There are none :p
I want to start reviewing, but I cant find out how the xbox needs to be connected to the PC. I got a new router that is on the offical compatible list. I can have my computer and my xbox online at the same time. But I dont know if I need to do anything else.
I dont want to drop 100 bucks if it doesnt work on my set up.
That's all I have. A router that has my 360 and PC up and running at the same time.
I didn't need anything outside of that for it to work.
Playtesting is certainly not for everyone.
Even if it were cheaper/free to participate, there would still be few people who would actually give very thorough reviews. Most would try it out for a bit, then quickly tire of it when they realize the time investment required to give thorough feedback/reviews.
I signed up for XNA on a whim, like it was an impulse buy next to the cash register at 7-Eleven. It was cool for a bit to see all the "behind the scenes" of how songs are put together, but honestly after a while, I felt a buyer's remorse with it. 120 bucks buys a lot of DLC (hell, or groceries), and I never had any intention of authoring songs myself (not that we have the option to do so in Canada anyway). All the motivation for a dedicated tester through the Creators site is intrinsic, so the reward is feeling good for helping out. That only goes so far with me before I think, "I still have to pay for the songs for which I devoted several hours to making improvement notes".
I've been doing some work with an authoring group now as internal QA and it feels more rewarding to be more involved with the process. Actually using Reaper to see how songs are put together is a whole different experience from just playing through songs using Magma. Plus the group is VERY organized and passionate, and it's evident in their work.
When my XNA account expires in 2011, I don't know if I would renew it with the way the RBN system works with dedicated playtesters at the moment.
If you view it as a chore/task/... then of course paying to do it doesn't make sense.
If you view it as entertainment/fun/... then I think it does make sense. The idea of paying 50 bucks for 4 months of enjoyment seems like a good deal to me.
I have Tested/Reviewed well over 200 songs. I have fun doing it and as long as that holds true I will continue to do it. Pretty simple to me.
Casto put it nice and succinctly.
I signed up for an XNA the day after the beta went live. I bought the year long subscription without hesitation, and threw myself into the creators documentation to learn how to be the best little playtester I could be.
Does it take time? Yes.
Do you need to learn things? Yes.
Does it require more than simply tossing up the song and playing through it once? Yes.
What makes it something of value depends entirely on your motivation for joining as a playtester.
If you're simply looking to get advance copies of the RBN songs, well there's already over 300 of them in various stages of the system. There's no shortage of things to play (albeit in audition mode only).
If you feel that RBN is an amazing, revolutionary step forward in both the games industry as well as the music industry, and you believe that momentum is a vital key to its success, then it's worth the cost to be part of that momentum. (This is the reason I signed up, and I've never regretted it for a moment).
If you want to play the game as you normally do, and don't necessarily want to learn what the charting rules are, or delve into what the different difficulties should feel like, or spend time playing a song several times over then writing up a report about it, then you might find it feels a bit like work. But if you're a rockband geek like me, you might find you really dig it!
For me, it's been an incredible experience. I've interacted and worked with some of the most creative, dedicated, and passionate people I've ever met. Being able to purchase a song that I helped shape into something a tiny bit more fun to play is an incredible feeling. I was even lucky enough to wind up working for an authoring company doing in-house playtesting. It's been worth every penny of the XNA cost a thousand times over.
But then, I'm weird like that. ;) If you think you're at all weird in the same way, then I'll hopefully see you on the other side in the creators forums!