Author Topic: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!  (Read 9944 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
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There are no spoilers in here, and I'll be brief (well, brief for me ;)).

Current Status:
Wow this game has changed a lot in the last few months (writing this as of late September 2015).  If you were already a beta tester prior to this date, then try to forget what you thought you knew about the game.  Seriously it will be easier I think.  If you're new, then no such problems.  Welcome!

So, let's see:
1. There is a development status screen on the main menu that gives you the latest info on what is known-unfinished and what is complete, so please refer to that before posting bugs relating to those things.

2. If you want to see what we're actively working on, you can read the SBR List Backlog.  The lists on there for Keith are accurate, although the ones for me tend to get pretty out of date and I do a lot of notes for myself in notepad.

Where To Give Feedback
On mantis, which is here: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/

Key notes:
1. Please only report one issue per mantis ticket.  That way we can close the tickets when they are done, versus having half-done tickets all over the place.
1.a. That said, if it's something like "here are 30 typos," obviously that is one mantis ticket.  It's a judgement call on your part, but if you think that we're extremely likely to address the entire set of issues at once, then it's one ticket.

2. It is possible to upload files on mantis, though some folks miss that.  It's there in the middle of the page after you make your initial submission.  You can continue to submit more files as much as you need as discussion continues.

3. Please please please include a savegame and steps to replicate where relevant. :)  It's almost always relevant.  We don't need screenshots or video unless it's something really strange that you think we won't be able to easily observe another way.  But a savegame and instructions lets us just pop into your game, see the problem, fix it, test it, and then mark it resolved.  The observation and testing steps take 90% or more of the time for us if you don't include savegames.

Anyway, thanks. :)

What Sort Of Feedback?
Honestly, whatever you want to tell us.  If it's feature suggestions, then sure.  We might not do them or might not do them until far into the future, but it never hurts to submit if you've got an idea and you think it's cool.  If I do wind up closing a lot of your tickets as "won't fix" or "working as intended," please don't be disheartened.  I'll leave a brief comment to explain why, and the fact that you have a lot of closed tickets does not reflect in any way badly on you.  It's all good!  No pressure, really.

Now, the one exception: really long stream of consciousness narratives.  Those tend to be very hard for me to read quickly, and me being able to parse information quickly is a pretty important thing when it comes to moving through the beta.  You guys will outnumber me hundreds to one, literally, by the time this is over.  If you want to share longer narratives with other players in the forums and have a long discussion with them, absolutely!  No problems. 

If you come to some sort of consensus, or if you want to float specific ideas past me either way, then please just make mantis tickets that are specific potential action items.  Or that are specific problems that you had (confusion here, bug there, balance there, etc).  I'll take part in some longer discussions, but I won't have time to read most of them just because I'll actually be working on the game, but I will read every last mantis ticket that's in the style requested above.

These are just some guidelines on what to expect based on what has worked in the past.

Oh, Please Do Remember I'm A Human
If something sucks, I want to know about it.  But!  I'm not a robot.  So if you can tell me it sucks -- clearly, so that I know you mean it sucks -- without bludgeoning me emotionally, that would be best for all of us.  When I get worn down emotionally by overly-negative stuff, I get slower.

Basically think of it like this:

Healthy feedback: "Thing A is no fun at all, or is broken or whatever, and probably needs attention.  Possible resolutions might be XYZ, or I don't have ideas but what specifically is bugging me is 123, and addressing that would probably make this fun/functional/whatever."

Toxic feedback: "Thing A sucks, I don't know what you were thinking.  I'm not having any fun at all."  (NB: Even if you're not having any fun at all because of some issue, a better way to say it is "I can't get past this issue to really evaluate the rest of the game, because this one thing is bothering me so very much.")

TLDR: I can take the heat, I'm open to all feedback, but only when I feel like you're on my side.  If I feel like you're going "this Chris guy is actually an idiot, why was I ever excited about this," then I start going into a death spiral if that happens enough.  Past a certain point in the beta I get a lot more confidence and that becomes less of an issue, but whenever I'm first unveiling a new game it's a really emotionally tense thing for me.  Don't hide the truth from me or say things you don't mean, but if there's something you hate then please give me the benefit of the doubt that we can work through it together, and approach it from that angle.  It will be a lot happier for both of us that way!

What's Changed Lately?
Whatever it is, you can read about it here: https://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Stars_Beyond_Reach_Beta_Phase_3_Release_Notes

Tips
You don't owe us anything for being a part of the beta, in fact my view is that we owe you.  The free copy of the game that you get (your "beta" steam key is a permanent thing that will keep working after the game comes out, fyi) is a small token that we're able to give back to you.  Your feedback really is what takes the game from being pretty rough at first beta, and then getting to fully polished at 1.0.  That said, if you want to leave a tip, we do have a way for you to do that: http://arcengames.com/tips/

Giving us a tip is not required to get into the beta, nor will it get you into the beta -- though getting into the beta honestly shouldn't be a problem for you anyway, at this point, if you have the interest.  We're only taking a certain number of people per batch, but you should have no problem getting into one of the batches.  My honest preference is that if you do feel inclined to give a tip, you actually wait until you're in the beta and make sure you still feel that way. ;)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 09:01:12 AM by x4000 »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 05:10:48 PM »
As of April 14th, the following Redshirts should have PMs (or in DevildogFF's case an email) for the beta:

mrhanman
windgen
Misery
Watashiwa
tbrass
pumpkin
crazyroosterman
GarathJJ
mllange
FractalReaper
Hyfrydle
ptarth
DevildogFF
Pizzatiger
TheVampire100

Testers added on May 5th (Orangeshirts!):
jerith
Shrugging Khan
MaskityMask
donblas
Drakonis
tombik
Timfortress
UsF
YoukaiCountry
Mayjori
nas1m
Eternaly_Lost
Endymion
Zebeast46
Kizor

Testers added on May 22nd (Blueshirts!):
Aklyon
Cinth
Cyborg
Mick
Darloth
Zalrus9
Kizor
steelwing
Utrick
Stilgar
Vacuity
notagreatgamer
Physicaque
Deekay
Paps
tadrinth
SugeBearX

Testers added on May 24nd (Blueshirts extra!):
Sounds

Testers added on June 1st (Yellowshirts):
mooncows
Billick
P3X-639
TheokGrundor
Animorganimate
kasnavada
EzekielMoerdyk
skanx
stblr
MayhemMike
MooN
satoru
Elijah
DreadnoughtShanor
Azurian
Lysenko
eOSO
tim1983
Magus-k
Vordrak
Hampsmaine
Huw
FroBodine

Testers added on June 2nd (Yellowshirts -- ack I missed them but should not have!):
Razer98K
wwwhhattt
iozay

Testers added on June 15th (Blackshirts)
Rekka
Taravassal
doctorfrog
Chthon
LordStryker
MishTheFish
ghgl090
kokonut
qrter
dersquatch
DrGonzo
Valectar
Parmenides
Tormodino
greywolf1991
EvilMonk3y
Chriamon
AlgaeNymph
Vinco
Orelius
Jerebaldo1
rallythelegions
Teal_Blue
Tolc
Gwmngilfen

Testers added on June 16th (Blackshirts -- late additions)
AlmightyTaz

Testers added on September 24th (Redshirts V2, previously going to be known as Greenshirts)
Traveller
Tomasdk
ElektroSMF
Nubbify
Tridus
donlol
darkarchon
hadberz
Genomic
gnosis
Firemad
hapexindustries
Torchwood202
Peons
Rendon
Diji
Paracosma
Despayre
bobsky
mrvole
Ingros
Greywolf22
KaidenOZ
Genosse
dfinlay
SashaNein
d10sfan
Ravachol
Entvex
rjblackwolf
relmz32

Testers added on October 1st (Blueshirts V2)
Smithgift
tassadarpaladin
YukaTakeuchiFan
NullDragon
Panzeh
Groomy
Cyprene
Pluto011
Rythe
Julius
Morslok
Turbokretzsche
jaxxa
anastase
ElOhTeeBee
Mal
ajhager
Vesson
mightymike2035
Grey-fox-13
gia
jabbawocky
Chazn2
DFox83
Matt Damon
Sytri

I'll keep this post up to date as I later send out invites for blueshirts and so forth, to make sure that if you're wondering "should I have a PM but I don't yet?" You can check this list to see.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 08:30:31 PM by x4000 »
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Pizzatiger

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 05:30:55 PM »
*wears a blue shirt that been hastly painted red*


Uhhh, i am here for testing *nervous laugh*, i spilt some blue paint on my shirt, no need to notice any of the blue in it.

Offline x4000

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 05:38:33 PM »
*wears a blue shirt that been hastly painted red*


Uhhh, i am here for testing *nervous laugh*, i spilt some blue paint on my shirt, no need to notice any of the blue in it.

Switched you to redshirt, you should have an email now. ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 05:39:07 PM »
Installing now.  I should be able to spend at least a couple hours with it by the end of the day.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 05:42:51 PM »
Went looking for an appropriate meme image to describe my excitement. Failed.

Very excited.  :D

Any chance of a subforum for beta discussions?

EDIT: Haha, is there a reason the default profile name is "Hydral"?

EDIT2: No music on startup... Pity. Good thing I know where it's stored in the data.  :D Really digging the theme.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 06:02:00 PM by Watashiwa »

Offline Pizzatiger

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 05:43:56 PM »
*wears a blue shirt that been hastly painted red*


Uhhh, i am here for testing *nervous laugh*, i spilt some blue paint on my shirt, no need to notice any of the blue in it.

Switched you to redshirt, you should have an email now. ;)


*Whispers to self "Damn i didn't think that work work"*  Thank you captain sir! I will make you proud with my pathetic meat brain

Offline Zebeast46

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 05:49:55 PM »
Excited for this, about the savegame thing, I am assuming that we copy and paste the savegame from the options menu which will probably be in the options menu? Sorry if this question sounds stupid but I am not the best at figuring this stuff out.
AI 1 = Chris.

AI 2 = Keith.

Taken from Bognor

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 05:54:12 PM »
Can i still become a redshort or do i have to wait until the first tests are over?

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 05:56:15 PM »
Excited for this, about the savegame thing, I am assuming that we copy and paste the savegame from the options menu which will probably be in the options menu? Sorry if this question sounds stupid but I am not the best at figuring this stuff out.
Your save will (/should) be stored in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Stars Beyond Reach\RuntimeData\Save unless you installed the game elsewhere.

Offline Hyfrydle

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 06:17:21 PM »
So far I'm confused but enjoying it, keeping a log of thoughts of my first game in readiness for Mantis.

Is their anyway to end the turn without placing landers? I'm running out of crowns.

Offline mllange

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 06:50:01 PM »
Thank-you for including me on the team, I'm anxious/excited to dig in. As always - best wishes and good fortune!

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 07:30:03 PM »
awesome sauce ill install it tonight it tonight and then do some achual testing tomorrow when my laptops not in a mood.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 07:52:18 PM »
Awesome, thanks guys! For all the kind words, and the help. :)

To the questions:

Any chance of a subforum for beta discussions?

Done: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?board=114.0

EDIT: Haha, is there a reason the default profile name is "Hydral"?

* The default profile name is now "Benevolent Dictator" instead of Hydral.

:)

EDIT2: No music on startup... Pity. Good thing I know where it's stored in the data.  :D Really digging the theme.

It's on my list, yeah.

*Whispers to self "Damn i didn't think that work work"*  Thank you captain sir! I will make you proud with my pathetic meat brain

I'm an easy going guy.  Thanks for coming aboard, crewman!

Excited for this, about the savegame thing, I am assuming that we copy and paste the savegame from the options menu which will probably be in the options menu? Sorry if this question sounds stupid but I am not the best at figuring this stuff out.

If you look in the settings menu, there is a game folder path.  You can also in steam go to properties and just hit browse local files.  In that folder, RuntimData/Save has the savegames.

Can i still become a redshort or do i have to wait until the first tests are over?

Boom, redshirt.  Check your PM. :)

So far I'm confused but enjoying it, keeping a log of thoughts of my first game in readiness for Mantis.

Is their anyway to end the turn without placing landers? I'm running out of crowns.

Yep, redshirt confusion is all but guaranteed.  I wasn't kidding around! ;)  But I'm glad you're enjoying it despite that, that's a good sign.  When things are properly streamlined in terms of communicating properly to you, that should be much better for those who follow after the redshirts.  You guys fall on the grenades of confusion so others don't have to. ;)

Regarding camp placement, that will be adjusted next build: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=16174
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 07:54:20 PM »
I started up a game of this and all the other races are dead apart from the acutions and burlusts is that normal?.
c.r