Arcen Games

General Category => Shattered Haven => Topic started by: tigersfan on February 19, 2013, 11:32:50 AM

Title: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: tigersfan on February 19, 2013, 11:32:50 AM
So, we're getting really close to being able to Alpha test this game. So, is there anyone out there who might be willing to help with that?

If so, please send me (and only me, please, we want to keep these all in once place) a PM letting me know you are interested.

Now, I need to warn you, we really need to keep this test small, so there is a chance that if you send me a PM, that you won't get into the test. If this is the case, please understand, it's not personal. Also, we want to move on this pretty quickly, so please only apply if you think you will have time to test this at least for an hour or so this week (potentially, it might be next week).

Anyway, don't worry if you've never tested anything for us before, or if you are an old hat around here. I'll be looking for both types of testers, ideally, so please, if you're interested, let me know!

Thanks a bunch!

Josh
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: tigersfan on February 22, 2013, 03:41:04 PM
I've gotten close to 30 responses to this. Unfortunately, Chris and I got together today and realize that there are just a few too many things that need fixing yet before we can release this in alpha. Stay tuned for more info! :)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 on February 22, 2013, 03:45:23 PM
Mainly we did some visual improvements like the new lighting model and some important performance-enhancing compositing work for lower-end graphics cards (man this thing FLIES now), and those things resulted in some bugs that have to be ironed out.  Better for us to do that before we get even alpha folks on this, so we get useful feedback about problems we're not already aware of. :)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Teal_Blue on February 22, 2013, 04:27:51 PM
Hang in there Chris and Company, I feel real bad about what is happening with AVWW 1 & 2, but just wanted to say keep hanging in there! Sometimes the internet makes me soooo mad!! :(
But you know, i got no control over that!  :( Anyway, keep making games, big ones when you can afford to, medium and small ones when you have to, and all kinds of games... (though i wonder to myself if strategy isn't Arcen's strong suit, but i don't want to tell you what is your strong suit. Maybe your strong suit is games you care about that click like you said AIWar clicked when you made it, but not necessarily, you know 'just' AIWar kind of games. Anyway, I'm talking to much, but just wanted to say i support you guys and feel bad for you and hope like heck that things turn around real quick and everyone can get beyond this into some better times, you know? 

Anyway, really looking forward to this when you think its ready!
-Teal

Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Oralordos on February 22, 2013, 04:36:38 PM
I think that the portion of your fanbase that hangs around the forums is understanding enough to forgive you. So no rage this time. ;)

Sometimes the internet makes me soooo mad!! :(
But you know, i got no control over that!  :(
I would like to meet someone who does have control over that. It would be very interesting I think.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Deekay on February 22, 2013, 06:50:27 PM
Nice to know there is so much going on with SH :)
I will keep my eyes peeled for more info.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: mrhanman on February 23, 2013, 01:26:59 AM
I'm really looking forward to throwing more money at you guys.  :D

I know SH is going to be awesome!
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Pattoe on February 23, 2013, 08:01:40 PM
Totally understandable!

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." - Shigeru Miyamoto

This quote is still true to this very day, even with the advances in patching and bug fixing, if you release a game too early, then the initial reception will be poor, and it's VERY hard to come back from that no matter how much polish and patches are received post-release.

If anything this is even more true today due to the amount of information available to potential consumers and how the sources of that information are likely only to cover your game at launch. Youtube is a great example of this.

It's best to take as long as possible testing and developing Shattered Haven to make sure it's everything you want it to be, if it is, other gamers will be more likely to enjoy it.

Also, talking about Youtube...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhfiSuK9c6A
^ ForceSC2strategy's "First 40" look at AVWW2 shows the game in a good light. Lots of positivity in that video.

Although Force's Youtube channel isn't the biggest, his videos tend to net between 5,000 and 35,000 views, with that video at 8,500 already. Good publicity I must say!
(He also hinted towards covering the game further.)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: tigersfan on February 23, 2013, 10:36:26 PM
Yeah, I saw Force's video. :) I enjoyed watching him learn the game. There was more than once I said to myself, "I'm glad we put that text in there at that time" :)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Panopticon on February 24, 2013, 03:04:12 PM
I don't think the Valley 2 situation is doom and gloom at all. Lots of positive comments are popping up about the game. I think it'll have a bright future. Tom Chick has already posted a very positive review on Quarter to Three (http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2013/02/19/valley-without-wind-2-transformed-by-the-winds-of-change/).

I'm totally looking forward to Shattered Haven. I was pretty sad when you guys canceled Alden Ridge, so to see it come back bigger and better as Shattered Haven is pretty great.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on February 26, 2013, 11:01:18 PM
I'd totally apply to alpha test if I weren't afraid of encountering bosses that would kill me in seconds again.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: MouldyK on February 27, 2013, 06:55:16 AM
I'd apply, but it is probably too late now, so I will wait for beta. :P
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Misery on March 01, 2013, 06:31:59 AM
Well, I gotta say, so far.... this is really good.   The particular gameplay ideas you guys are using here really work very well.  This should be worth the wait, to those that arent playing it quite yet, I think.

Spent a couple of hours with it, sent a feedback e-mail.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: FroBodine on March 01, 2013, 09:51:35 AM
Is there any update yet on when the game will move into open Beta?  I'm REALLY looking forward to this one.

I was bummed that I did not get selected to help alpha test, and I even applied very early!  I know, poor me.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 on March 01, 2013, 09:59:00 AM
We may actually be taking on some more alpha testers as we go -- Josh has been doing the selection for these, and we've had three rounds of testers thus far.  There were some serious bugs that I had introduced the day prior to the alpha test's start, so actually consider yourself lucky that you weren't in that batch; there was lots of frustration there, though people seemed to still really enjoy it despite that.  But the alpha is paving the way toward a much cleaner beta, and we tend to not use up all our testers at once in an alpha because doing them in batches lets us get first impressions after early issues have been fixed.

It's clean enough now that we've sent it to a couple of major distributors for review for coming to their platforms.  Depending on what exactly is said, our plan is to be to open beta on either the 6th or the 8th next week ideally, and to 1.0 on the 18th of this month.  But we have to work with the schedules of distributors, so we might be earlier or later on both of those dates.  The game is close to beta-ready now, and hopefully will be pretty much 1.0-ready a week in advance of its launch, with just last minor polish coming in during that last week.  That's what's looking likely at the moment, anyhow.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: madcow 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?
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 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.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: FroBodine 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?
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: madcow 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!
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 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.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Penumbra 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
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 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. :)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: keith.lamothe 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? ;)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 on March 01, 2013, 02:52:24 PM
Not sure. :)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Cinth 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.
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 on March 01, 2013, 03:06:42 PM
I'm glad!
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: keith.lamothe 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 ;)
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Penumbra 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....  :-[
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: x4000 on March 01, 2013, 03:12:33 PM
Ha -- well, I really have no idea how they managed it!
Title: Re: Anyone want to alpha test?
Post by: Cinth 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