Computer Game supplier Blitz 1UP is the latest business to use crowdsourcing as a means of cost effectively testing its products.
According to a report on Develop-online.net, the company does not have the resources required to test the compatibility of games with different computer platforms.
Blitz 1UP producer Neil Holmes reportedly said: "It's an area that can be pretty expensive if you pay for the good external companies to fully test your game on a wide range of hardware, and it doesn't scale down in price just because you're a small indie game."
"Even though Blitz Games Studios [has over 200 employees], our machines are all of a similar high spec so we can't do much to help internally either. Crowdsourcing therefore makes perfect sense. We'll be able to test on a huge and diverse range of hardware and software, which will lead to improved stability for our partners' games. At the same time the hardcore indie fans will be receiving free copies of the games in return for their services, so everyone's a winner."
Crowdsourcing is the process of outsourcing a job normally done internally to a large number of people. This is usually done over the internet and is being harnessed in software testing.
A recent competition for software testers to reveal flaws in major search engines unearthed over 600 in Google, Google Caffeine, Bing and Yahoo. The Battle of the Search Engines, as it is known, was carried out by uTest, which uses crowdsourcing to test software. Over 1,100 software professionals from over 50 countries took part in uTest's Battle of the Search Engines.
US-Israeli firm uTest has pioneered crowdsourcing to help companies test their software. The technique is also attracting growing number of converts, including Microsoft and Google.