Antidote’s Security Measures for Playtesting Your Games

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Introduction

 

At Antidote, securing the intellectual property of your game during playtesting sessions is our number one priority.

We recognize the countless hours your team has spent on planning, designing and creating your game, as well as the resources invested to realize the project. 

Therefore, it’s critical to ensure that your game’s details are protected until the official release.

As you devote immense effort and creativity to your game, we match that dedication by safeguarding the playtesting stage of your journey.

In this article, we will reveal our practices and commitment to security, shedding light on how Antidote keeps your game’s content safely behind closed doors.

Antidote’s Security Measures

 

Since 2017, Antidote has successfully conducted countless remote playtests for a wide array of games, collaborating with indie developers and globally recognized studios worldwide.

 

 

This vast experience has established us as a trusted partner for studios and publishers looking to playtest their games and gain actionable insights, all within a secure environment.

But how does Antidote uphold these high standards?

When playtesting your game, we divide the security elements into four stages:

  • Player confidentiality 
  • Game distribution
  • Technical measures
  • Offline testing


Each of these measures provides a separate layer of protection, helping to eliminate any risk of unauthorized sharing of content.

 

Player Confidentiality

NDAs and Identity Checks

An image of Dot handling documentation

When it comes to offering NDAs to participants, you can choose from the following options:

  • Standard NDAs, created by Antidote’s in-house team.
  • Customized NDAs, provided by you to meet specific requirements.
  • ID verification (applicable only to small groups), which requires players to verify their identities with an ID and a photo.

 

As a standard practice, we require our players to sign NDAs that prohibit them from sharing any details of the playtesting sessions. This includes information about game design, characters, mechanics or any other related content.

To facilitate this process, we provide a comprehensive NDA document template that covers all crucial confidentiality points and requirements.

If your project demands more tailored agreements or if you have additional concerns, you can provide your own NDA document to be used with the participants.

Finally, you can opt for an ID validation process that requires participants to: 

  • Provide an ID document (passport, national ID, driving license etc.)
  • Complete a liveness test using the phone or computer camera to verify their identity. 

 

This step adds an extra layer of assurance, allowing you to confirm the authenticity of each participant.

Player Recruitment & Ranking System

 

During the recruitment process, specific project details such as the game’s name and research objectives are omitted from the survey. 

This approach reduces bias and enhances the accuracy of responses. It ensures that participants answer questions based solely on their preferences and experience, rather than forming opinions based on the game itself.

Moreover, our Steam Connect feature allows Antidote to recruit players based on their:

  • Preferred game genres
  • Recent gaming activity
  • Minimum playtime

 

By verifying their gaming profiles and activity through Steam, we significantly reduce the risk of unqualified users gaining access to your game.

Furthermore, at Antidote, we employ an internal ranking system based on multiple criteria including prior participation, engagement and quality of feedback. This method allows us to select players based on loyalty and reliability for highly confidential studies.

(Please note that the recruitment process does not rely solely on the ranking system, as a player’s profile must also meet the initial project criteria.)

 

Game Distribution

 

It’s important to distribute your game securely to your playtesters. 

Depending on your project preferences and the platform of your game’s build, you can select one of the following distribution methods: 

Antidote-powered (best security):

  • Local installation via the Antidote platform
    • With binary protection using our Auto-Inject SDK.
  • Remote access via the Antidote’s native Cloud Streaming
    • With SDK integration

       

Third-party methods:

  • Beta stores (Apple Testflight, Google Play Beta etc.)
  • Game launchers (Steam, Epic etc.)
  • Custom distribution (Parsec, Shadow etc.)
 

You can simplify the entire delivery process by utilizing the Antidote platform as your distribution channel.

 

An image showing the game upload process for the Antidote platform

Figure 1. Example of a game being uploaded to the Antidote platform

 

Once you upload the build to our platform, we will assign the project to the selected participants. Antidote will automatically download and install your game on players’ devices

This approach ensures that participants don’t have direct access to the installer files and that the game will be automatically uninstalled once the project is closed.

Antidote also integrates easily with Steam or Epic launchers, allowing you to define a set of keys that will be uniquely assigned to each player.

The streamlined process will allow players to play on the beta branches of your preferred launchers and have control over which keys have been assigned. 

 

An image of showing the game distribution via sharing of keys

Figure 2. Example of a game being shared using keys via the Antidote platform

 

Once the project is completed, we will revoke the invites, preventing any further unauthorized access.

Conversely, you can employ our cloud streaming option to distribute your game via the dedicated cloud server, eliminating the need for local installation. You can find more information on cloud streaming in the section below.

 

Technical Measures

Antidote’s Software Development Kit (SDK)

 

To ensure your game’s content remains secure, our engineering team has developed a specialized SDK for PC and mobile platforms, supporting native plugins for Unity and Unreal game engines.

 

An image showing the manual installation of SDK on the Antidote platform

Figure 3. An option in the Antidote platform to manually integrate the SDK for the build

 

The purpose of the SDK is to add an extra layer of security and features to your playtesting sessions by providing you with the following tools:

 

Controlled Game Launch and Safeguarding

This feature prevents unauthorized access by enabling remote control over when players can launch your game. If a player who is not assigned to the project attempts to launch the game, our SDK automatically shuts it down. 

Watermarking 

Each player is assigned a specific ID. This, as well as timestamps, are displayed live on-screen during the playtest. This allows you to link each recorded gameplay session directly to its corresponding playtester. For real-life examples of how watermarking works, refer to our SDK documentation.

Touch Screen Interactions (for mobile only)

For mobile-based playtests, the SDK allows you to track how players interact with your game by monitoring their screen touches. This feature enables you to analyze natural touch placements and frequencies during live gameplay.

 

Figure 4. Example showing the real-life application of the user interaction feature

Implementing the SDK

 

To make the whole process easier for you, we have developed an Auto-Inject feature that automatically integrates our SDK into your build through the Antidote platform.

 

An image showing the Auto-SDK Inject feature

Figure 5. An option in the Antidote platform to automatically integrate the SDK for the build

 

The Auto-Inject feature is currently available for Windows and Android games.

This removes the need for your development team to spend time manually integrating the kit, allowing them to focus on other important tasks.

Impressive, right? 

To learn more about the steps for implementing the SDK, check out our documentation.


Cloud Streaming

 

One of the biggest concerns for game studios when it comes to remote playtesting is having the game installed on players’ local devices. 

Similar to Parsec, our cloud streaming feature allows participants to playtest your game in a completely remote environment, eliminating the need for local installation.

The feature is supported worldwide in 21 regions, covering North and South America, Southern Africa, Europe and Asia. The multi-region support allows Antidote to optimize bandwidth usage and minimize latency for best-in-class speed for your playtests. 

Once the session is complete, players will no longer have access to the game, as it will be automatically removed from their assigned projects.

The benefits of using Antidote’s cloud streaming include:

  • Enhanced security, since the game’s assets are not downloaded to the playtesters’ local devices.
  • Controlled access, managed automatically by Antidote’s platform, which only allows assigned players access to specific games.
  • Compatibility with our SDK for an added layer of security.
  • Minimal hardware requirements, needing only a decent internet connection to our local servers, as cloud streaming does not require players to have high-spec devices.
  • Ability to stream modern games at 60fps with medium-to-high details at 1080p.

 

To take full advantage of this feature, contact us to start playtesting your game in a remote and secure environment!


UX Game Lab

 

For studios prioritizing maximum security, you have the option of offline playtesting in our specialized Game Lab, located in the heart of Barcelona.

Our lab provides a secure, enclosed environment where you can playtest your game, with Antidote’s UX team moderating the sessions.

So, what are the key benefits of offline playtesting?

 

An image showing the key benefits of using the UX Game Lab (security)

 

If you are looking for a specialized UX Game Lab to test your game in a secure environment, contact our team and book your spot! 


Select Your Security Level

 

You can choose your preferred security level based on your project’s needs and the importance of maintaining confidentiality.

 

A table showing different security levels that Antidote offers

Figure 6. A table showcasing different security levels that Antidote offers

 

Level 1. Playtesting without an SDK 

  • The players will be required to sign an NDA and accept our terms & conditions  before participation
  • The game will be distributed via Antidote platform or other relevant method, with players having access to the game on their devices

 

Level 2. Playtesting with an SDK (using Antidote platform)

  • The game will be distributed via Antidote platform and using an SDK, meaning you will benefit from safeguards such as controlled launch and watermarking 
  • The SDK ensures that the game can’t be accessed after the session, by blocking the launch and automatically uninstalling the build for Windows based projects 
  • Players will be required to sign an NDA and accept our terms & conditions before participation

 

Level 3.  Playtesting with an SDK (with screen sharing and live moderation) 

  • Antidote’s UX team will be present during the playtest to observe gameplay through screen sharing, ensuring that participants follow the project’s guidelines
  • The SDK ensures that the game can’t be accessed after the session, by blocking the launch and automatically uninstalling the build for Windows based projects 
  • Players will be required to sign an NDA and accept our terms & conditions before participation

 

Level 4. Playtesting with an SDK (using cloud streaming for PC and Android games)

  • Antidote has the full control of the cloud server, regulating elements such as launch date and time, pre-installation and tracking of various events. 
  • The players can only access the dedicated server if they are assigned to the project.
  • Players don’t have access to the operating system during the playtesting session, only being able of testing the game without access to any other functionalities
  • As it’s a cloud based playtest, the participants are not required to download the game’s assets on their devices 
  • This level includes all the benefits mentioned in the earlier sections, such as live moderation, employing an SDK and providing NDAs.

 

Level 5. Playtesting in a Game Lab (offline testing)

  • Players are required to attend the playtest in person at our Game Lab based in Barcelona
  • The sessions will be moderated by our UX team, who will provide necessary documentation, validate identities with photo IDs and ensure all guidelines are followed throughout the project
  • The game can only be accessed once players enter the lab, meaning that the game is not distributed to the participants’ devices 
  • PCs provided by Antidote come with disk encryption, anti-malware software and firewalls, ensuring maximum security for your game 


Summary

 

As you can see, upholding the highest security standards is part of Antidote’s DNA.

Our in-house team works tirelessly to implement the best and latest practices, ensuring your game’s content is protected and remains confidential until release.

The result?

We provide you with the antidote (no pun intended) to your worries and concerns about playtesting your game in a secure, trusted environment.

If you are seeking assistance with your upcoming project or have any additional questions, contact our team and let’s chat about how we can help you! 


FAQs

An image showing the security FAQs

 

 

How does Antidote ensure that my game’s content is safe during remote playtests?

At Antidote, we employ multiple security measures to meet the confidentiality requirements of your study. This includes player NDAs, implementing SDKs, cloud streaming and more.  

You can find more information on this page above.

 

Do players have access to my game after the playtest is over?

No, after the playtest we can prevent the player from accessing the game by closing the project (for Antidote platform) or canceling shared keys (for example, Steam Keys). When using an SDK, the game will automatically uninstall itself from the participants’ devices, preventing any future unauthorized access.

 

What does the Antidote SDK do to protect my game?

Our SDK provides controlled game launch, watermarking and, for mobile, touch screen interaction tracking. It prevents unauthorized access by allowing remote control over game launches and assigns unique IDs to link gameplay sessions to a specific player.

 

How does cloud streaming enhance the security of my game during playtests?

Cloud streaming ensures that the game’s assets are not downloaded to playtesters’ local devices, eliminating the risk of unauthorized distribution. Access is controlled by Antidote’s platform and players can only access the game during their assigned session.

 

How do NDAs work and what is included?

Participants are required to sign NDAs that prohibit them from sharing any details of the playtesting sessions. The agreement can include preventing sharing of gameplay, mechanics, survey questions, collected results and more.

You can choose between standard NDAs created by Antidote or customized NDAs provided by you to meet specific requirements.

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