Author Topic: Anyone want to alpha test?  (Read 3773 times)

Offline madcow

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2013, 11:16:41 AM »
Wow. It sounds like the plan is to move through testing much faster than AVWW2. I'm guessing there won't be as much game changing going on and more polish/bug testing?

Offline x4000

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2013, 11:33:08 AM »
Wow. It sounds like the plan is to move through testing much faster than AVWW2. I'm guessing there won't be as much game changing going on and more polish/bug testing?

Correct, there will be no game changing.  We're already into the point where the game is done except for refinements and polish, and getting the last of the art and levels in there.

Valley 2 was a procedural soup, and required certain kinds of testing and development.  We'd basically create seeds, and we could rearrange the whole way the game blossomed by adjusting the seeds.  But with a tightly-designed game like Shattered Haven, you pretty much have to start completely over (multiple years of work, in other words) if you want to majorly change the game.  The game is what it is, and there's no changing that fundamentally without really going back to the drawing board in a harsh way.  At any rate, feedback from the alpha has so far been extremely positive.
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Offline FroBodine

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2013, 12:00:16 PM »
Great news!  Thanks for the detailed responses.  So, I guess we will be able to purchase it once it hits open beta?

Offline madcow

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2013, 01:08:33 PM »
That's great to hear! I decided to wait on full release on this one as the thought of alpha/beta testing puzzle levels is not appealing.  They frustrate me enough when I know they're complete. Adding the level of, maybe it's missing something is just too much!

Offline x4000

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2013, 01:35:17 PM »
Great news!  Thanks for the detailed responses.  So, I guess we will be able to purchase it once it hits open beta?

My pleasure!  And yep, as soon as it hits open beta it will be purchaseable.  I'm excited to finally be able to share more about this title, and work on it on a daily basis like this, too. :)

quote author=madcow link=topic=12492.msg136787#msg136787 date=1362161313]
That's great to hear! I decided to wait on full release on this one as the thought of alpha/beta testing puzzle levels is not appealing.  They frustrate me enough when I know they're complete. Adding the level of, maybe it's missing something is just too much!
[/quote]

Haha, yeah, I can understand that.  All of the levels are definitely solvable already, but some of them turned out to be a little bit less clear in their solutions than we would have preferred.  Also, early into the alpha because I had broken part of the scripting engine AND messed up something with the overworld inventory, it was impossible to complete the first overworld section, which was super frustrating for a number of the first batch of alpha testers.

Essentially my last big batch of "major changes that are likely to cause unforeseen bugs" went into place just an hour before we started the private alpha, and so the first batch or two of them really got slapped in the face with some of that, unfortunately.  But, to some extent, that's what a private alpha is for -- that, plus just finding things that plain out aren't clear, which there were some of, too.

I think we're through all the worst of that sort of thing now, so it's just a matter of continuing to polish it and fix things off of our long list of known minor bugs, so that we arrive at a beta that is nearly final quality but just doesn't have the last of the art, music, levels, or voice acting in there.  Yeah, voice acting -- just in a few parts, though, and recording on that doesn't happen until next Thursday.  It's just internal monologues of Darrell during certain key scenes, mainly at the start, end, and a few pivotal moments in between.
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 02:03:52 PM »
it was impossible to complete the first overworld section, which was super frustrating for a number of the first batch of alpha testers.

Personally, I wasn't frustrated. I just thought I was really stupid and missing something....   ;D

Offline x4000

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 02:43:39 PM »
It varied from person to person.  And someone did actually figure out how to get through it even before I put in all the fixes.  I'm not quite sure how that worked. :)
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2013, 02:50:06 PM »
It varied from person to person.  And someone did actually figure out how to get through it even before I put in all the fixes.  I'm not quite sure how that worked. :)
Memory editor?  Physically threatening the hardware? ;)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 02:52:24 PM »
Not sure. :)
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 03:03:59 PM »
For me it hasn't been frustrating at all.  Whenever I hit a wall that didn't feel right, I just submitted it.  At that point it is sit and wait (for a few minutes) and the fix is already out lol.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline x4000

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2013, 03:06:42 PM »
I'm glad!
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 03:10:28 PM »
For me it hasn't been frustrating at all.  Whenever I hit a wall that didn't feel right, I just submitted it.  At that point it is sit and wait (for a few minutes) and the fix is already out lol.
I'm surprised you didn't just drop a black-sky fleet of spire capital ships on it ;)
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 03:10:49 PM »
It varied from person to person.  And someone did actually figure out how to get through it even before I put in all the fixes.  I'm not quite sure how that worked. :)

Ok, so I was totally OK with myself when you said it was a bug. But now, knowing it was possible....  :-[

Offline x4000

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 03:12:33 PM »
Ha -- well, I really have no idea how they managed it!
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 03:32:57 PM »
For me it hasn't been frustrating at all.  Whenever I hit a wall that didn't feel right, I just submitted it.  At that point it is sit and wait (for a few minutes) and the fix is already out lol.
I'm surprised you didn't just drop a black-sky fleet of spire capital ships on it ;)

10/10 AIs currently have the fleet tied up.

Seriously though, it may depend on when those bugs decided to show.  The few that I have run into have been pretty big roadblocks.  Lucky for us testers, X and crew are extremely effective exterminators  ;D
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.