Please DO HAVE EARLY ACCESS for X4 paying Customers

This forum is the ideal place for all discussion relating to X4. You will also find additional information from developers here.

Moderator: Moderators for English X Forum

User avatar
Vandragorax
Posts: 916
Joined: Fri, 13. Feb 04, 05:25

Post by Vandragorax » Thu, 26. Apr 18, 16:52

The only successful "public" beta test I've seen for an early access game has been Subnautica. It had to be led by their QA lead (Obraxis) and it was controlled under NDA about who was invited and who wasn't. They always made sure they had a sufficient small number of testers in a regular weekly session, and as rightly pointed out by many above me here, they were controlled carefully with what aspects they were testing each week (areas that Obraxis knew had been specifically touched by dev's code changes that week).

I work as a business software test lead and know how difficult it is to get any useful details from bug reports from someone who has not been trained as a tester. There is a lot of information required in order to reproduce some issues and good feedback is essential for the devs to be able to collect and fix things without wasting a lot of time guessing what's going on or what the user's expectations were. It is absolutely no help to anyone to be flooded with bug reports saying "This thing doesn't work" or "I can't do so and so" with little other information.

IMO if any beta testing is to be done, it is essential to do it in a controlled way with a proper QA lead who can guide the testers and collate the information to present to the dev team. Having an open invite testing is not real testing, it is more as was mentioned above, user experience testing and has a completely different goal to functional testing.

I do honestly think that a lot of times when early access buyers think they are testing or shaping the game, they are only under that illusion but don't have any real influence in the game's direction, and I feel that would definitely be the case for an X game. Bernd and the team already know what they want to do with it, and they have a good technical understanding of how and what is/isn't possible. The usefulness they could find in a "public" test would be simply testing new functionality for bugs, or regression testing heavily changed functional areas, which should definitely be done under NDA in a controlled way.
Admiral of the Fleet.

Graaf
Posts: 3674
Joined: Fri, 9. Jan 04, 17:36

Post by Graaf » Thu, 26. Apr 18, 18:09

The only reason EA will be good, is you will see other data then just running your current build on 100hrs of SETA. You will have actual people playing the game using the THINK part to do things devs might not have anticipated. You will also get early reports of basic things missing, like radar (probably not this time).
Trade, Fight, Build, Think. There is no Walk.

FAQ.
Acronyms

Fleabum
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed, 24. Dec 03, 22:44

Post by Fleabum » Thu, 26. Apr 18, 18:24

Vandragorax wrote:Having an open invite testing is not real testing, it is more as was mentioned above, user experience testing and has a completely different goal to functional testing.
Being involved in development myself I have to disagree with you on the above point, open invite testing is essential to some phases of development. You can do simulated testing but it is nowhere near as good for data mining as using real life scenarios with the myriad of network, hardware and software platforms out there.

For example, stress testing multiplayer or patching environments, including patch, download, connection handoffs, latency, disconnections and ghosting. Open beta testing is a proven test strategy, backed up by the amount of mainstream developers who have open beta 'weekends' and sneak peeks to stress test these exact facets (amongst others) of development. Far Cry 5 recently used this strategy to test their arcade and sandbox game play elements.

I know multiplayer environment tests are not useful for single player games like the X series, but they do have their place in the beta test cycle. And that's why I disagree with you that open invites are not real testing, they are, but they have to be used in the correct manner.

I do have to agree with you in the fact that the majority of 'beta testers' have no idea about how to fill in a bug report form, and end up costing you more time and effort than the report is worth. I get the feeling that a lot of 'beta testers' are more bothered about playing the game earlier, more than than actually helping to quash bugs. :D

Regards
Flea

Kane Hart
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri, 4. Nov 05, 02:18

Post by Kane Hart » Thu, 26. Apr 18, 18:49

Fleabum wrote:I do have to agree with you in the fact that the majority of 'beta testers' have no idea about how to fill in a bug report form, and end up costing you more time and effort than the report is worth. I get the feeling that a lot of 'beta testers' are more bothered about playing the game earlier, more than than actually helping to quash bugs. :D
Very true but one thing I want to add to this is there is some out there who will say oh that bug when they cry about it and go in game and test it or try to attempt to get it then report it themselves. I know I have done that a lot with random open source projects I was part of over the years as a none coder just a user of the application and wanted to help and give back.

Slashman
Posts: 2073
Joined: Tue, 12. Oct 10, 03:31

Post by Slashman » Thu, 26. Apr 18, 19:34

Ketraar wrote:
Slashman wrote:There can be no changes made due to player requests unless devs are receptive to input. Whether asked for or not.
That was the point. But if you read through forums, more so on steam, you will find that there is a sense of entitlement to be involved in shaping the games (not just X games). We come so far to have the same discussion in movies, see SW TLJ, where movie goers expect a movie to be shaped based on their vision.

THAT is the notion I was trying to highlight and claim that neither system will EVER cover that type of involvement unless the people making the art "allow" it and that if they dont, it not warranting criticism.

We are in agreement on everything else.

MFG

Ketraar
Fair enough. You are right about the Star Wars thing. It is kind of crazy to have people claiming ruined childhoods over a movie but hey...if they want to spend all that angst...OK.
If you want a different perspective, stand on your head.

Snafu_X3
Posts: 3952
Joined: Wed, 28. Jan 09, 16:14

Post by Snafu_X3 » Sun, 29. Apr 18, 06:00

For the (hopefully forthcoming) X4 L3+ beta forum(s) would it be possible to devise & include a compulsory bug report form (for a /new/ 'Bug Say' rather than simply a gameplay suggestion or balance) to fill in basics such as game build number (extracted from attached save?); whether modded or not (& list of mods, if available); nature of 'bug'/suggestion; brief summary of expected vs 'real' outcome etc? Perhaps even constant playtime could be attached to track down memory crashes etc (altho I believe this may be mostly tracked by the current X:R auto-report system, which presumably fails if CTDs occur)

Most fields in such a form could be left as optional, but at the very least they would serve as a constant reminder & guide of what info is required by DEVs to track & maybe reproduce the alleged problem. C&P of the current example text-only form(s) is fiddly (esp. for smartphone browsers), time-consuming & doesn't lead to many orderly reports IMO

IMO such a method, even if voluntarily (perhaps an additional 'bug report' button on that forum screen?), may help to reduce DEV time searching thru reports for potential (genuine) problems in design, coding & implementation of their respective goals. It should certainly help in the formalising & categorisation of such reports

This, rather than the current X:R voluntary format, may reduce DEV's current tedious tracking thru multi-page threads to find the gold of a genuine problem vs the dross of the inevitable chitchat (whether relevant speculation, confirmation/denial or otherwise)..

Apologies for sidetracking this thread, but it's been at the back of my mind for some time now & the recent posts have clarified my thinking somewhat. An example would be the DF or Nethack bug submission page (sry; can't remember which atm :( )

Try http://www.nethack.org/common/contact.html or http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/manti ... p?id=10731 for layout ideas
Wiki X:R 1st Tit capping
Wiki X3:TC vanilla: Guide to generic missions, Guide to finding & capping Aran
Never played AP; all X3 advice is based on vanilla+bonus pack TC or before: AP has not changed much WRT general advice.

I know how to spell teladiuminumiumium, I just don't know when to stop!

Dom (Wiki Moderator) 8-) DxDiag

vadiolive
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed, 18. Dec 13, 05:36

Post by vadiolive » Sun, 29. Apr 18, 09:22

Closed beta .... with limited number people (I believe peoples with great experience in modding , but cant forget pick fews stlys as well)

why? because work

And take as many years you need to refine all systems

Why? EA market is ****** people just want play dont give a shit about bug report and once hit market EA or NOT need be perfect because market and customer just going look at you game once

Even i know egosoft support game over years its far far way good vision to player one software need constant updates have alot issues :)

User avatar
Nikola515
Posts: 2867
Joined: Fri, 4. May 12, 07:40

Post by Nikola515 » Sun, 29. Apr 18, 19:16

Personally I think devs start EA if they don't have money to develop/finish game.... I also think it would be useful to get as much as testers as possible for X4 do to it size and scope but I don't think ego will be able to process all information from all the testers.
It's not world hunger because we can't feed poor,it's because there will never be enough to feed the rich .....

Kane Hart
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri, 4. Nov 05, 02:18

Post by Kane Hart » Mon, 30. Apr 18, 00:46

vadiolive wrote:Closed beta .... with limited number people (I believe peoples with great experience in modding , but cant forget pick fews stlys as well)

why? because work

And take as many years you need to refine all systems

Why? EA market is ****** people just want play dont give a shit about bug report and once hit market EA or NOT need be perfect because market and customer just going look at you game once

Even i know egosoft support game over years its far far way good vision to player one software need constant updates have alot issues :)
TBH this tends to be bad at times. People who are good at modding or have experience in modding means they might spend most their time playing with the API so they can be the first to get out some mods. Rather it should be mixed groups of experiences instead.

Slashman
Posts: 2073
Joined: Tue, 12. Oct 10, 03:31

Post by Slashman » Mon, 30. Apr 18, 22:29

Nikola515 wrote:Personally I think devs start EA if they don't have money to develop/finish game.... I also think it would be useful to get as much as testers as possible for X4 do to it size and scope but I don't think ego will be able to process all information from all the testers.
Not ALWAYS true. But true sometimes nevertheless. I've seen both kinds of games in EA. I've also seen both kinds of games both fail AND succeed in EA.
If you want a different perspective, stand on your head.

pref
Posts: 3420
Joined: Sat, 10. Nov 12, 18:55

Post by pref » Tue, 1. May 18, 01:38

Nikola515 wrote:Personally if we didn't get EA by now I don't think we will get it at all ( unless it is short one).... Personally I think game will probably be out by October or November.
Is this just a wild guess or likely to happen?
Man i hope devs won't have to rush release this time!

Snafu_X3
Posts: 3952
Joined: Wed, 28. Jan 09, 16:14

Post by Snafu_X3 » Tue, 1. May 18, 02:07

pref wrote:
Nikola515 wrote:Personally if we didn't get EA by now I don't think we will get it at all ( unless it is short one).... Personally I think game will probably be out by October or November.
Is this just a wild guess or likely to happen?
Man i hope devs won't have to rush release this time!
Considering ES is now self-publishing (ie not having deadlines forced upon them by another publisher) & considering the huge tank in their rep from releasing X:R as it was originally (even worse than the previous buggy first release X-versions), I suspect they'll take things a little cautiously this time around, even if it means delaying their 'expected' release date..
Wiki X:R 1st Tit capping
Wiki X3:TC vanilla: Guide to generic missions, Guide to finding & capping Aran
Never played AP; all X3 advice is based on vanilla+bonus pack TC or before: AP has not changed much WRT general advice.

I know how to spell teladiuminumiumium, I just don't know when to stop!

Dom (Wiki Moderator) 8-) DxDiag

pref
Posts: 3420
Joined: Sat, 10. Nov 12, 18:55

Post by pref » Tue, 1. May 18, 02:28

Thanks!
Self-publishing sounds nice. Also a `18 release.
Haven't been here for a few years now, think ill have to check on forums more often :)

*fingers crossed*

A5PECT
Posts: 4649
Joined: Sun, 3. Sep 06, 02:31

Post by A5PECT » Tue, 1. May 18, 09:07

Self-publishing can be nice because it means there's no third party to meddle with the direction or pace of development. But that doesn't mean that every executive decision made by publishers is a bad idea; publishers aren't automatically bad and developers aren't infallible.

Also, having a publisher has its own advantages (it has to or no one would use them). Having a publisher to run marketing and advertising for you means the developers have more time and resources to focus on developing.

One major change from previous X games are Egosoft's livestreams. They probably exist because there isn't a publisher telling them they can't, but also because they need to generate their own marketing prior to release and it's the most feasible, cost-effective method they have at their disposal.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step in figuring out how to make it worse.

palm911
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun, 29. Jul 07, 22:52

Post by palm911 » Wed, 2. May 18, 02:48

as said before, i do wish Egosoft to be successful,

- being a sandbox, and the complexity of the game itself, it means you really need plenty of (voluntary) work force to help iron out this massive project.

- due to the natural complexity of this game, it is wise to have Egosoft shield itself with the EA, you still get our moneys , people will complaint, yes, but still have the early access shield.

-imho it is either that, or make sure the game is in great shape before launching it. I believe that due to the apparent complexity seem in the videos , it is hard for me to believe that the game could be ready to launch in 2018.

again i wish Egosoft a great launch. and to be succesful in this project, you know you have my money either this year or when the game is launched.
X gamer , one at a time.

Post Reply

Return to “X4: Foundations”