Fish Bowl VR steps in to fill the VR beta testing void

by Will Mason • November 17th, 2014

How can you improve a virtual experience without reliable feedback? It’s a question Fish Bowl VR Founder, Geoff Skow, knows many developers struggle with and hopes to solve. Fish Bowl VR is “building an on-demand user testing platform to help VR developers create better experiences through fast, affordable and actionable user feedback.” So basically, Skow and the team at Fish Bowl VR want to pay you to beta test VR experiences, how cool is that?!

When doing research among over 100 VR developers, Skow says there was a real need for this type of service and three common themes emerged among developer complaints:

  1.     Developers have a difficult time finding enough people to give objective and honest feedback. Many developers will rely on friends and family to test their experiences, but those testers are a resource pool that quickly runs out, making it hard to get objective feedback. Additionally those with access to the enthusiast community have a hard time because, as Kent Bye, host of Voices of VR pointed out, “experienced VR gamers tend to build up their motion sickness tolerances and VR sea legs.” Developers need to have the ability to test those who aren’t already acclimated to VR, in order to make sure their experience is accessible to a larger market.
  2.     Developers and enthusiasts aren’t necessarily the best judges of what game play elements resonate with a broader audience. After trying a few VR experiences and interfaces, one eventually becomes a bit more acquainted with how things behave and how to interact with things in VR. For the first time user, however, the ever steepening learning curve, exacerbated by the wave of new VR inputs, means that these experiences may not come across as intuitively as they seem to developers and power users. Testing helps reduce this feedback void.
  3.     Some people still get sim sick, and that is a problem. While the technology has evolved to the point where motion sickness is less of a problem for the majority of users, it still does exist for number of them. Beta testing will allow developers to get their demos in the hands of those most sensitive to it and help figure out how to develop best practices to correct those issues in the future. 

When developers sign up, Fish Bowl works with them to craft the best test for their experience, and then pairs them with users who best match the needs of the project from their extensive panel of testers. The testers will record their experience from both first and third person view and complete a survey after the test is complete, thus providing the developers with copious amounts of untethered, actionable data.

This can only be good for the community, as it will help us continue to develop VR for the mass market. We all want to share the magic of VR’s potential with everyone, and Fish Bowl VR is one of the great steps along the way to doing so.

Those interested in becoming paid beta testers should click here to sign up or sign up on the website at Testers will receive a % of the cost of the test, as well as the opportunity to have a part in building some of the best VR experiences in the world.

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