This week we see the PC release of 2 great independent games from Magical Time Bean, SoulCaster and SoulCaster II. Totally loved these games when they were only available on XBLiM. The significance to this post you might be thinking? Well I got the chance to help out and beta test these releases which I can happily add as another instance in the indie scene in which my name appears on a credits screen. I really have to give credit to the internet here, especially seeing how accessible it makes getting into contact with the right people. Back when I was much younger and most if not all independent game development was PC based or unofficial homebrew, getting the opportunity to help out by play testing was a much much harder opportunity to come by. You needed to be a professional playtester to have beta tested for NES games and this would extend to the end of the 6th Generation of game consoles (i.e. Xbox, PS2 and GameCube). While I do enjoy helping out independent developers, I am also seeing a trend that could hurt professional beta testers… we have more and more mega softhouses using public betas and other promotions to essentially get their beta testing done for free and in some cases… even making money off of this pro-bono work. While I do appreciate the opportunity to play new AAA titles before they are released but there really are people who may be losing their jobs because of this. I kinda hope that is not the case but it is something to think about.