Author Topic: Something that bothers me.  (Read 696 times)

Offline Chthon

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Something that bothers me.
« on: April 13, 2014, 04:24:14 PM »
I keep hearing the current state of the game being referred to as an alpha.  Usually an alpha test is a closed door test by the programmers to see if the basic game runs as they think it should, and to work out major production issues.  The game is releasing in 5 days.

Are you guys just calling your beta an alpha, or are you really that far behind in testing?  Just wondering.  I think it's the former, but not having really seen anything of it but a few videos and screen shots I can't say personally.

Offline x4000

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 04:26:52 PM »
The terms are not clearly defined in any sort of fashion that is agreed upon.  Remember that Keith and I come from software backgrounds outside the industry, too.  The way that I tend to use the terms is:

1. Alpha is something that is not yet feature-complete.
2. Beta is, but is not done.

In this particular case I would already call this beta, aside from quests not really having enough content yet.  So likely we'll just stay "alpha" in terminology until release.  Why the heck not, at this point.  ;)  Better than switching terms a few days before release, because that really would raise eyebrows.

When this first started, back in January, it was truly an alpha in every sense.  Somewhere along, not that long ago, that changed.  Things move fast!
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 04:35:24 PM »
Ok, cool, I know you had delays and budgeting concerns with this game.  What I saw looked like an almost finished game, but I didn't want to get too hyped about it too soon if it was going to be a beta release.

I also didn't want to be involved in the alpha directly, because honestly tracking down bugs to get fixed all the time detracts from the experience, and eventually poisons a game for me.  When I've been involved with things like that in the past, it usually means I don't play it much for a long time to let the memories fade.  I don't want to do that to a game that I might find very interesting.

Offline x4000

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 04:37:45 PM »
Totally understand with that.  I think this is shaping up really well, and a number of the more expert testers are going "this feels done."  We still have cleanup to do, but we have a while to do it in and a lot of it is nitpicky-level stuff (which is awesome, we love to hear about that stuff so that we can do it, but it's not something that ruins the experience).  And the other big thing is just getting players past the "WHAT do I do now, now that I know HOW to do stuff?" phase.  That phase doesn't hit everyone, but for those it does we're trying to provide more guidance between now and release.
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 04:41:20 PM »
To be honest, that phase never hit a lot of people that played AI War.  Probably for the same reason.  Players these days aren't used to being given the reigns on their strategy.  The story usually handles that for them.  I find it amazing that you find so many ways to break from that in your games.  Instead of the story forcing you to adopt it's strategy, the story itself molds around the strategy you choose, resulting in a unique story every time.  This is why I sank so many hours into AI War, and might do the same here.

Offline x4000

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 04:44:16 PM »
Yeah, I'm hoping to just provide tools for players to refine their thinking on "what might a good intermediate goal be?" And some ideas on "what are at least the standard ways I might go about that?"  And then leave it at that.  All the extra cleverness and side things, and more complicated stuff, people can figure out on their own.  But rather than going "here's a solar system, here's the mechanics of how to play, go make a federation!" I think it's helpful to give a bit more guidance.  The tutorial campaign in AI War I think is a big thing that accomplished that for that game, but here I don't want players to have to play a long tutorial like that -- I prefer it to be integrated into the game itself, so they're actually playing a real game as they go.
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2014, 05:42:01 PM »
May I quote you on that?

Ignore the ominous music, that's your imagination :)

Offline Chthon

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2014, 05:57:51 PM »
Seriously though, I want to take a quote from your last post X4000, may I?

edit:  If it helps, this is the blurb I will be using:
Quote
I'm hoping to just provide tools for players to refine their thinking on "what might a good intermediate goal be?" And some ideas on "what are at least the standard ways I might go about that?"  And then leave it at that.  All the extra cleverness and side things, and more complicated stuff, people can figure out on their own.  --Chris Park, Founder and Lead Developer of Arcen Games
Edit 2:  Is that title fine, or do you want me to use your full title: -- Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Dev Administrator and Zenith Council Member Mark III
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 06:31:26 PM by Chthon »

Offline x4000

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2014, 10:58:28 PM »
Sorry, been all over the place and did not see this post.  It's perfectly fine with me!  And thanks for checking.
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2014, 11:09:19 PM »
Thanks, You kinda summed up how I felt nicely, and made me actually want to write about it, so grats on causing my first Blag post (ignore the other, it was a test by the person who set it all up for me)

You can see it here: http://www.chthonicone.com/?p=9

Offline x4000

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Re: Something that bothers me.
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 12:12:13 AM »
Sweet!
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