I do seem to be spending a lot of time on Yucata, but then they do keep implementing more games. The latest game to enter Beta stage is Jaipur a 2-player hand management card game about becoming the Maharaja’s personal trader. It seems a fairly light game and I’m playing a few games so should be able to give a review in a week or so.
Although it sounds like a “matter of fact” statement, announcing a game has reached Beta stage is quite an achievement. Firstly lets remember that Yucata is a free games playing site – free to join, free to play and free from adverts! Secondly the games developers are doing it in their spare time, unpaid, so they have the dedication. The process, I believe is something along the lines of this: Games are identified as suitable for asynchronous play-by-web and make a good addition to the games on offer. The publishers are then approached to seek a license, and if granted the game is given to a developer, who is someone who’s offered their services to Yucata for free. Some time later (I think the developer goes off and eventually comes back with something they are happy to progress to beta) it is implemented onto the site, marked at “in beta” and announced on the site to members and all. Most games I’ve tried in Beta are usually bug-free, though the occasional one pops up, what seems to happen is the implementation is tweaked after user suggestions to improve game play. Just the same as having a document proof-read by someone before final submission. After the game has been played a while and people seem to be happy with it, the beta flag is removed.