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Will you have a beta testing version?

Zetsumei

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
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Clans are not the only people who will be buying this game though. If you just let clans into the Beta test then they will tell TW to tweak the game to be good for 6 vs 6 gameplay, or whatever the standard numbers of a clan match are. I would think TW wants a beta test to gather opinions of the game from all groups of players, not just clans.
Clans can play with bigger player amounts as well rather than only 8v8 or so clanmatches. But overall i think you need different kinds of players for gameplay experience testing, including players that are completely new to the entire red orchestra franchise.

However where i think clans can bring a big help, is that their forcus is on competitive play, and with that have a big focus (especially for top / super competitive clans of any game) on obtaining a perfect balance and removing all the exploits in the game. Aka they are ideal for the polishing a game, and finding ways how bugs can have an influence on gameplay. An additional bonus generally of clans is that a clan is a group of players from the get go.

Another group that generally works really well for testing is modders and mappers. A lot of content creators got a good eye for visual bugs, and technical issues, and understand what things can go wrong in a map and give feedback on things causing for instantance low performance. Often modders unite under communities or mod teams as well making them easy groups as well.

The nice thing about both modders and clans is that a lot of them get to a scarily fanatical point of caring for and getting addicted with a game, and will help in ones devotion to testing. Not to say there arent people equally devoted elsewhere but its hard to stick a tag on them.

Next to that regular gaming communities are probably nice to use as well, like people from this forum. Which primarily bring diversity and counterweighted opinions to 2 groups that are somewhat got a dedicated focus. And with 3 types of groups like that, if you get groups like that from the RO scene, KF scene, ARMAII scene and COD scene you will find a nice diversity.

But then again you come with the biggest issue with all of them, testers must be trusted (and bound by NDA's) especially in early stages of testing so that information can be shipped out using according to plan.

And that is probably the hardest part here, as its hard to find a big group without any leaks, and that is probably a reason why a lot of companies probably do the final testing as a sort of super near open big beta. So you can shorten the time on the final testing due to massive numbers, so it doesnt that much if people share a bit of info here or there. Especially if compatibility needs to be tested the more people the better so in that sense just give every preorder and website some beta keys :p.

EDIT: LoL while i was typing this Apos wrote about nearly the same thing :p Although differently from Apos i think you definitely need regular players especially for input on how they experience a game. As over 90% of the people actually playing a game end up being regular players and they are where the money is at in the end.
 
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ButchCassidy

Moderator
Feb 17, 2006
3,727
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The Hole in the Wall
www.twbclan.com
I agree with you Zets
We must recognise that TWI have a very specific plan attached to RoHoS.
Namely to make the Red Orchestra franchise much more accessible to a much wider ordiance.
So any testing must bear this in mind.
No good making a game that's great for experienced RO Clans playing in competitions if its just plain bad for a noob to grasp the basics within an hour or so.

In truth it will require a lot of testing in order to provide the best of both worlds.
Hopefully the addition of two game modes i.e. realism and relaxed realisim will provide enough of a challenge for players to want to take the next step.
I know the PC community as a whole is really looking on with interest at what TWI are doing.
So many (me included) are hoping that TWI will provide this years top quality release which will rival the big franchises of both EA and Activision and include all of the things we have begun to see disappear from those very same franchises..Like Dedicated Servers and Community inclusion.
(Things that TWI already do so well.) If they do then we will see more RO games from a bigger, more confident and more dynamic TWI.:D
 
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Apos

FNG / Fresh Meat
Dec 3, 2007
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www.enclave.pl
Zetsumei i agree with you as far as that group of regual players isn't only a "big number players" but testers. I guess you know what do i mean.

Imho giving access to unoptimalized Beta for casual players doesn't work well with game promotion and many of them resigns cos of low framerate or other typical for beta stuff. Im totally for good demo version with nice tutorial video promo materials. Dont hide it - RO is complicated game for standard PC FPS players and many of them doesn't understand the game in first time. For example EA and other big companies publish hundretsof video of their game showing stuff like that "shotgun is well balanced weapon for close range", sniper rifle is well balanced weapon for long range firing etc". I could work if TWI make some stuff like that about gamemodes, rifle recoils, commander and artillery role etc etc.
 
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Zetsumei

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
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Falmouth UK
During beta periods you need people that just play the game as well, not only those that look for bugs. In testing of things i have done for games/mods in the past i know of myself that i'm a horrible playtester but consider myself pretty good at finding exploits and issues (although i know many clanners that are loads better than me). And personally would rather walk with some people around a game trying to break it than play it.

A game can be 100% balanced and bug free, and still not be fun. Which is why you need diversity and a representation somewhat of possible future players as well, and for that regular gaming communites are handy.
 
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-[SiN]-bswearer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 3, 2008
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i may have not made myself as clear as i could have earlier.....when i'm referring to "beta testing" i'm mostly referring to the early beta stages where the majority of testing is to find major bugs/exploits and other big issues. i also agree that especially for the large scale public play that RO has, you need to have big groups of people simply to test map balance. really, there is no balance difference between whether those "Testers" are clanners or pubbers. the thing about clans are that they are already organized and already experienced in the games basics. if you tried to test maps with a bunch of people who have no clue what they are getting into at first, then the testing process would take a much longer time and have an effective test. you're right though, it's important to see some diversity in testers to include new players to the game. but again when you're talking "clans" they are just groups of gamers. most all clans are multigaming clans, at least a good portion of them. a clan may have both players who are veteran RO players, but also complete RO nubs. :D the point is that with a clan, it's also better for organizational purposes. say there is a clan of 40. that clan is told "beta test for map balance this sunday", you're more likely to get a good test group to show up, have a coordinated test and able to compile useful feedback to report.

a demo is a must, but that shouldn't come until the game is completey ready to go. perhaps once the "beta" is getting towards the final stages of completion, a "public" beta would be released for limited access, like maybe a weekend or two. and like others have said, that "pulic" should still be relatively exclusive, i.e. seriously interested players like just those on these forums. that process would get everything you'd need for successful testing and promotion. you'd have experience, diversity, numbers, and plenty of good feedback without allowing every joe out there to pay to get the opportunity to call themselves "testers" just to get early access, which is not the most effective way to test and review the game before release.
 

Zetsumei

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
12,459
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Falmouth UK
Let me recall the prices of the wintercup of 2008:

  • 8 free copies of TripeWire Interactive's new game.
  • 8 free closed beta test keys to TripWire Interactive's new game.
  • A free 32 man private server for one year at any location with a teamspeak or ventrillo server.
As early on there was a discussion over what prices were better (as the actual value and percieved value were different among prices), it was decided that the winner was allowed to pick something first, then the team that ended second could pick, and the prize that was left was given to the third.

CoreNA won but picked the free copies of the new game over the beta keys, and suomi the 2nd in line ended up picking the beta keys. But i dunno if there was something agreed with the Devs that perhaps both CoreNA and Suomi ended up with beta keys as i wasnt in the ROL staff at that time. (For those wondering [-Project.Twilight-] was third).

Considering both CoreNA and Suomi were not giving anything for Killingfloor, the new game must mean RO:HoS.
 
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-[SiN]-bswearer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 3, 2008
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CoreNA took the best prize, unless of course it ended up being free copies of KF :D but i also don't think they got KF.....vader was saying something to me back in like july or august about still having the keys to hand out for HOS once it is ever released. actually the conversation if i remember right had something to do with him giving me one of the copies LOL, but i honestly can't remember the whole conversation....

you know, i've noticed a bunch of {CoreNA} vets reappearing over the last couple weeks.....perhaps they got betatesting and free copies, testing right now?? :eek::D