Author Topic: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!  (Read 9719 times)

Offline x4000

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Re: Instructions for Alpha Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 07:57:41 PM »
I started up a game of this and all the other races are dead apart from the acutions and burlusts is that normal?.

Umm... no, that should never be possible and I've never seen it despite starting about 300ish games.  Savegame on mantis would be great.  Did you perhaps start via the scenario editor somehow?  Maybe we had some sort of regression on that front of initial placement just today, I'm not sure.

I just quickly fired up a game of my own and it seemed fine, so I'm definitely perplexed.  There's absolutely no way the spire, neinzul, and thoraxians should fail to spawn in particular.  Maybe this is based on certain map types -- I've only been playing continental for a very long time.
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 Mayjori

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2015, 09:06:05 PM »
Are redshirts the people that signed up on this thread:
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,17238.0.html   ?


Offline Cipherpunk

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2015, 09:16:29 PM »
Very much interested in beta. I did the TLF beta and I was really happy to see that my feedback was valued here. Is the right thread to volunteer?

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2015, 09:16:43 PM »
I would do that if it wasn't for the fact that the game had a hissy fit and I had to restart my laptop so I kind of lost it.(as a side note my method for bordering a bordering civ 5 while in game does seem to mess it a bit I know stars beyond reach gives you the ability to turn the full screen but I've been using my other method out of pure habit ) I can give you the set up though map style hot tropic(I'm about 60 percent sure that was it but I'm not 100 percent sure) map size standard turn limit max starting tempo untouched land random and the difficulty normal and the race krolin. ps I am 1000 percent sure that I was dong nothing with the scenario editor
c.r

Offline Misery

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 09:31:15 PM »
Got mine all downloaded, though with my schedule being what it is you'll probably not see my feedback until morning.... I'll try not to pile up too much in one go, heh.

I'll be firing this up as soon as I get home from my usual annoying driving.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2015, 09:43:30 PM »
Are redshirts the people that signed up on this thread:
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,17238.0.html   ?
Redshirts are the people who signed up for the beta yes, but also they said they didn't mind the confusion and possible tales of woe that comes from it.

Offline Mayjori

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2015, 10:12:57 PM »
oh, i signed up but missed needing to say I dont mind being "confused". I actually like playing without directions/tutorials/etc.
If its not to late, please add me to the redshirt list :D.

Offline jerith

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Beta feedback
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2015, 05:23:44 AM »
Providing feedback in a way that doesn't hurt is something I've been thinking about a lot in recent years, albeit in a slightly different context. A large part of what I do (both professionally and on open source projects) involves code review, as both the reviewer and the reviewee (which spellcheck thinks isn't a word, but I'm using it anyway).

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.")

What Chris said above is excellent, but I'd like to add some more specific points:
  • Be professional. You're here to do a job, and that job is helping the Arcen team build the very best game they can build. Too much emotion can distract from that.
  • Be nice. Chris said it better than I can. :-)
  • Be concise. Include all necessary detail, but try to avoid clutter. All else being equal, shorter tickets take less time to read than longer ones. (Don't take this to extremes, though. Sometimes a little extra fluff is helpful.)
  • Talk about the game, not the people. This is something that sounds obvious and a bit silly, but is surprisingly important. Basically, "you did a silly thing here" and "there's a thing here that seems silly" both carry the same information but only one of them accuses the developer of silliness.
  • Look for good things as well as bad. Your main job as a beta tester is to find problems so they can be fixed, but it's also important to occasionally mention things that work really well. (More on this below.)
  • Check for duplicates before reporting a problem. It doesn't take long, and it saves the Arcen team a whole lot of admin work. If you aren't sure if you have a duplicate or not, open a new ticket and include something like "this problem looks kind of like that one, but not quite". If you do have a duplicate, add extra details to the existing ticket if you think they can help.

As I was writing this list, I found myself spending a lot of words on the "look for good as well as bad" item, so I'll explain it in more detail here. On the one hand, a steady stream of problems can be really depressing even if they're reported in the nicest possible way. On the other hand, concise reports of particular problems are very important. The idea is to occasionally mix in some positive feedback with the negative in a way that adds value without getting in the way.

I often write something along the lines of "I love how the potion crafting system blends alchemy and chemistry, but the UI for using dephlogisticated air makes it hard to interact with" rather than just reporting the UI issue. As well as the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that they did something great, it tells the team that my problem is specifically with the UI rather than the underlying game mechanic. Adding "Despite the somewhat clunky menus, I'm very pleased with the wide variety of cuisines available for Thoraxian Royal Feasts" or similar to the end of a ticket achieves the same effect.

This post ended up being about twice as long as I originally intended, so I'll stop here. Just remember that my list is a set of general guidelines and anything the Arcen team says about the kind of feedback they want should take priority. This is a topic I'm particularly interested in, so feel free to add to my list or disagree with it. I'm not particularly active on the forums, as you can see by my post count, but I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.

As an aside: Chris, am I on the beta list? I'm happy to wear whatever colour shirt you choose for me, but I "signed up" long enough ago that there may not have been a list yet and I'd hate to miss my opportunity to take over the world help you guys build an awesome game. ;-)

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2015, 06:01:36 AM »
If you have a use for more people in red shirts - I don't mind getting my nose bloodied :P
The beatings shall continue
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2015, 10:43:17 AM »
by the way I'm 21 turns in and I cant figure out how to generate water I seriously have no idea I just thought id ask here first before doing putting anything down on mantis just in case its something obvious I'm missing?.
c.r

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2015, 10:55:25 AM »
One of the early techs is groundwater research. It makes basic wells.

Offline UsF

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2015, 01:49:12 PM »
Into the breach people. Throw your bodies against the bugs, so we can climb over them with the piles that will form. :D

Offline Timfortress

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2015, 03:06:16 PM »
Interested in being a  blue shirt , I was in TLF beta before.  ;)

Offline Cinth

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Re: Beta feedback
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2015, 03:25:04 PM »
What Chris said above is excellent, but I'd like to add some more specific points:
  • Be professional. You're here to do a job, and that job is helping the Arcen team build the very best game they can build. Too much emotion can distract from that.
  • Be nice. Chris said it better than I can. :-)
  • Be concise. Include all necessary detail, but try to avoid clutter. All else being equal, shorter tickets take less time to read than longer ones. (Don't take this to extremes, though. Sometimes a little extra fluff is helpful.)
  • Talk about the game, not the people. This is something that sounds obvious and a bit silly, but is surprisingly important. Basically, "you did a silly thing here" and "there's a thing here that seems silly" both carry the same information but only one of them accuses the developer of silliness.
  • Look for good things as well as bad. Your main job as a beta tester is to find problems so they can be fixed, but it's also important to occasionally mention things that work really well. (More on this below.)
  • Check for duplicates before reporting a problem. It doesn't take long, and it saves the Arcen team a whole lot of admin work. If you aren't sure if you have a duplicate or not, open a new ticket and include something like "this problem looks kind of like that one, but not quite". If you do have a duplicate, add extra details to the existing ticket if you think they can help.

Sound advice.  As a longtime tester here, I'll add just a bit. 

You volunteered to do this.  Even if you don't spend a lot of time with the game, you very first impression of the game is very important to the guys.  Write it up as you play or just after your first play session.  It's the most important piece of feedback you can give.  So just do it.

If you feel the need to get personal, talk about how YOU feel.  Keep it in context of the game.  Games should evoke emotions, talking about that is a good thing.

Beta is a process.  Welcome to an Arcen beta.  Updates can come rapid fire or take some time.  Make sure you have the latest and greatest.  Read the patch notes.  If you have a bug posted in Mantis, double check it.  Sometimes what the guys think they fix, isn't exactly what you wrote up.  Other times it's just good to know the issue was taken care of (verified fixed).

Be open to discussion and changes. 

Think that's about all I have   8)
I do believe that the beta is still open to folks who want to test.  Speak up, be heard and wait.  A few will be added each week (stated in OP).  Have fun all!
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Offline ajhager

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Re: Instructions for Beta Testers (PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IF A TESTER)!
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2015, 08:52:24 PM »
Hi. I have played every Arcen game, but was never able to beta test. I am super excited about SBR and would love to help this time. I am not daunted by bugs and a lack of documentation, so any wave is great with me.

Thanks and good luck!