I have recently been invited to do some volunteer playtesting for a pretty well known developer. They made it very clear that it was on a volunteer basis only. It's not a job and I won't be getting paid. What should I expect? What kind of input are they going to be looking for from me? What tips do you have for doing the playtesting well? What should I do to ensure I'll be invited back? Have you or anyone you know done something similar to this before?
Also, although this is unlikely (at best) to turn into a job, what tips do you have for possibly getting my foot in the door at the company? I am happy to just be able to participate, but I would love to be able to make some good connections since I plan on building a career in the game industry. Thanks in advance.
I've been invited back to be part of a regular test group for the same game. We went over some UI designs and filled out a survey on what we thought of them and how well we understood them. Then we had a video taped Q&A session with the QA supervisor and some of the developers. We discussed the designs we critiqued in the survey and elaborated more on what we thought of them. Finally, before leaving, we played a few rounds of one of the test builds of the game, just for fun. It was a great experience and from what I observed about the offices and the general work atmosphere, I'm even more sure I've made the right career choice for myself, personally.
I've accepted an answer to this question, but I'm still open to hearing about experiences from other people who have been involved in volunteer playtesting!