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Dragon Age: Inquisition Developmen+PE Beta Thoughts

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Hi!

This is related to the Development Process and it is more of a question about Beta Testing than a suggestion (although I think it looks like a wise thing to do).

This came across my feed somehow, between 2:00-2:30:
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2013/08/21/exploring-the-world-of-dragon-age-inquisition.aspx

 

The question to Obsidian is, does Obsidian plan on doing something similar for Project Eternity with their play/beta/early-access testers?

I think personally that it looks healthy for both the developers for the sake of development (getting a better game) and, of course, the players can directly communicate in-game matters with the developers more in-depth about what's going on around them.

Not fishing for a beta-access (Though I might buy an Early-Access copy if it ever appears on Steam at whatever stage it is in, Alpha or Beta doesn't matter~ in whatever way I can help ^^), but I just think that getting raw data from the Player decision in-game might help out Obsidian a lot in terms of physical development :)

Members: Thoughts?

Obsidian: Possible answer?

 

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For almost any game with early access for the intent of testing, developers will do well to have a lot of telemetry.

 

Active beta participation (in terms of bug feedback) has often been quite low, in my experiences, so if you can ensure that those that don't report anything are still providing you with feedback, you help maximize the benefits for doing so.

 

 

For a lot of people (I'd argue most, but I couldn't say for certain), Early Access/Beta is simply early access to the game.

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For almost any game with early access for the intent of testing, developers will do well to have a lot of telemetry.

 

Active beta participation (in terms of bug feedback) has often been quite low, in my experiences, so if you can ensure that those that don't report anything are still providing you with feedback, you help maximize the benefits for doing so.

 

 

For a lot of people (I'd argue most, but I couldn't say for certain), Early Access/Beta is simply early access to the game.

True, most people just want to play the damn game. I prefer to wait at least a few days after release myself, so a patch that fixes the worst of the bugs can hopefully be released.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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Forget the dirty beta masses. I want alpha access.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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I actually used to do QA (developer/publisher side and not as a contractor) years ago and it was the most fun job I've ever had. It was work...but really, it was finding creative ways to break the game and then reproducing it, and then documenting it in such a way that any monkey can do, only to be told by the programmer it was...*cough* as designed. Haha! Of course this is when we were deep/late in crunch and anything short of "A" bugs had to be set aside for post launch patches.

 

Finding a bug is one thing -and to recognize it as such AND to actually be able to reproduce it consistently and write steps to do just that is what separates good testers from those that are useless drek. Doing post launch QA, I had to try and reproduce bugs that were submitted by the player base, and many of these really took a lot of effort as they didn't really do a really good job at explaining their bugs or how they got to it. You'll see a lot of this during beta.


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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The paradox that always bothers me is when people in betas complain that stuff is buggy and often broken....

that's expected of beta access, you report the bugs so they can be ironed out.
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There's a difference between reporting bugs, and complaining that a beta isn't stable and has issues.

 

A friend of mine is in the FFXIV beta, and she sees all sorts of absurdity of people flipping out that the beta has server downtime and stuff like that.  The reality is, a lot of people want beta access because they really, really, really want to play the game as soon as possible.  But this over enthusiasm turns to vitriol when they realize it isn't what they expected.

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Perhaps these people need to be informed of what Beta is in a Clockwork Orange method.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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To be fair, although I don't know if this is related to the Final Fantasy example, in mmo's there is a difference between Beta testing and server stress testing.

 

I remember playing the SW:TOR stress test, and complaining about the level of bugs and poor design, and then got the 'The whole point of Beta-testing is to iron out the bugs and refine the gameplay' spiel on the forums.

 

Which isn't to say that you don't have idiots complaining about such in the actual beta, but the difference should be noted.

 

As for P:E, I'm not sure I would want to be part of the Beta personally. I'd rather just wait for the first release.

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Perhaps these people need to be informed of what Beta is in a Clockwork Orange method.

The Ludovico method?


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Heatmaps are cool, I like heatmaps. I guess I'm at a point where I take the use of heatmaps in design and revision as assumed.

 

But being on a small budget here, Obsidian might not be able to implement that kind of tracking.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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Heatmaps are cool, I like heatmaps. I guess I'm at a point where I take the use of heatmaps in design and revision as assumed.

 

But being on a small budget here, Obsidian might not be able to implement that kind of tracking.

I'm confused what are the pro's and cons of using heatmaps on games, and particularly on PE?


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Heatmaps are cool, I like heatmaps. I guess I'm at a point where I take the use of heatmaps in design and revision as assumed.

 

But being on a small budget here, Obsidian might not be able to implement that kind of tracking.

I'm confused what are the pro's and cons of using heatmaps on games, and particularly on PE?

 

Look at the video in the gameinformer link in the first post. It starts around the 2:00 mark and ends at the 2:30 mark. The developer speaks a little bit about how it helps.

 

As for cons, I think it just costs a lot like Tale implies.

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I'm confused what are the pro's and cons of using heatmaps on games, and particularly on PE?

 

It gives an indication on how people are playing your game and what sort of events they are having.  This is most important within the context of having the public playtest your game, less so for the actual development team (because it's so small).  You don't tend to get much in the way of helpful information with public playtests, as most people just want to play the game early.

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I'm with alanschu on this one, beta access is just early access to most people and a waste of resources for the devs. Keep beta for actual beta testers, better for everyone in the long run.


"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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Can we still sign up to actually be actual beta testers? 'Cause I'd like to actually test the game. :)


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I loved the heat maps during the SWToR beta. It was gratifying to see other people being eaten at the same places. 

 

Also, I would enjoy looking at the one out-lier. A spot that you know represented 1 person who just had to keep jumping off that one mountain waaaaaaaaay off the beaten path.

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Can we still sign up to actually be actual beta testers? 'Cause I'd like to actually test the game. :)

If I'm not mistaken, backers of a certain tier get beta access, and you can test it for them then. Call me naive, but I'm thinking backers will be more likely to be helpful.....if they aren't busy burning effigies of Sawyer for implementing teh wurst systme evah before they even know what the system is and exactly how it works.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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...if they aren't busy burning effigies of Sawyer for implementing teh wurst systme evah before they even know what the system is and exactly how it works.

Well, they wouldn't want to become tainted by the systme's horrendously awful details. :)


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I thought I replied to this hm...

Do you know if you will be able to up your pledge to a Beta Access/Early Access Tier when the fulfillment site or would Obsidian simply release it an Early Access on Steam? PE's lowest Beta price was $110 (Planetary Annihilation was at $90 and released it as such on Steam as well, met with lots of complaints but was still on the top selling list on Steam).

I'd probably up my pledge to $110 if I could join on the Beta for the sole purpose of bug testing.

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Can we still sign up to actually be actual beta testers? 'Cause I'd like to actually test the game. :)

If I'm not mistaken, backers of a certain tier get beta access, and you can test it for them then. Call me naive, but I'm thinking backers will be more likely to be helpful.....if they aren't busy burning effigies of Sawyer for implementing teh wurst systme evah before they even know what the system is and exactly how it works.

Yep, I've got beta access @ 250 for example.


Exile in Torment

 

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