To the developers, Alpha testing


#1

I would like to ask if you guys have decided on wether or not your going to do an alpha test.

I personally think that you should amend the kickstarter beta backer into an alpha backer simply because many indie games of the same genre, such as gnomoria, towns, and minecraft all had a way to alpha test the game. This has led all of them to be better games in all honesty and it saves you guys money on having to pay for professional testers.

As long as you keep paying attention to what the alpha testers say about the builds(as you release them) then you will get very valuable feedback on how you guys are doing, plus it keeps people interested in the game.

That’s just my two cents anyway. Cheers!


Stonehearth Alpha
#2

Ponder said this about the idea in a previous thread:

This is good feedback, thanks. In you opinion, how much of the game
has to be there before you would consider it “game” enough to be worth
going to alpha?

My belief: Anything. Even if I have to:
start alphastoneheart.exe


#3

I know what ponder said in that thread but he never said if they were actually going to do it or not, even after all of the answers to his question. So I was just wondering is all.


#4

I wish they gave out alpha releases to all $15+ backers and after the kickstarter sell it at a slightly lesser cost than the full release stating it is in its alpha state and bound to have bugs. Just like what Minecraft did. It was release in Alpha in 09 and didn’t get fully released til 2 years later. That’s two years of alpha and beta, but with millions of people contributing to the Minecraft community.


#5

Personally I think Beta is the way to go. Gives the Devs time to flesh out the game they want it, add what they were planning to add, make it actually work (a nice, streamlined UI and controls is the two things they should be concentrating on the hardest), and then Beta is the time to allow everyone to add their opinion and shape the game the way they want. That being said, don’t forget about modules. Sure the Beta might be a longer period because there’s no Alpha, but who cares?

ALL that being said, I understand that there might be little kinks and stuff that the Devs miss that other people might pick up on if they release early early Alpha builds, but does it really matter all that much? They can just do that in Beta.

If they ARE thinking about releasing an Alpha, I hope I don’t offend anyone, they should raise the price to add another layer for quality testing. Let’s face it, lower tiers are going to be populated by more of the younger audience. Not saying that a younger audience is all bad, but after being an adult for awhile and realizing just how do I put this unaware we were as kids/teenagers I do think an adult testing community would be most beneficial.

This is all just a grumpy adult talking so feel free to disregard, I have no qualms either way as long as it gets released! :slight_smile:


#6

I agree with what you’re saying in principle, in that if there is an alpha it should be contained in a certain way, - there’d be nothing worse than releasing an alpha to a load of people, only to essentially damage the brand.

It’s likely that the Alpha would have numerous bugs, or faults; it would also be missing a large amount of features (I am only speculating here) and as such releasing an alpha to a large audience - some of which may not concern themselves with the forums, or keeping up to date with the state of the game - could potentially damage the reputation of the game, and the devs.

Just my thoughts on it anyway!


#7

Exactly!

Also, I have come to the realization after reading about the modules and such that the UI can be redesigned/reskinned through modules, which is absolutely awesome. Can’t wait to create my own custom UI.

Also also, to the people that just want to play it as immediately as possible and not test, you will be sorely disappointed at what an Alpha will give you in terms of pure playable value.


#8

Limited alpha testing would be nice - I’d definitely be interested in helping out in that regard. The team is small, and I’d prefer that they be free to dedicate their time towards programming, rather than finding bugs. Community testing provides an extra set of eyes and opinions that other devs have to pay a QA team to do.

Having recently played games that could have used more dev time/community testing (I’m looking at you, SimCity and Diablo III), I hope the brothers take it into consideration. My main worry would be that the main motivation for some would be to just to play the game early, instead of wanting to help playtest. This would not be useful, and would most likely lead to disappointment in those players as well.


#9

Just adding my support to the same idea here discussed in the other threads. I agree with early access/testing and would “contribute” 15-20$ for that. And I still agree that it seems more likely to keep interest, coverage and community growing. And would greatly increase a steady flow of ongoing donations and future funding. Plus as stated by others, “free testers”, heck I think we’d be paying to be testers.


#10

They’ve pretty well documented that they are doing lots of automatic testing. Test Driven Development you might say. So it’s not as if they write a bunch of code and then test – pretty much how every home work assignment or project I’ve ever written goes – they would have a set of automated test cases that they run, as soon as a module is complete.
So they probably have the foundation for the game envisioned at release built, from a development side it’s a matter of prioritizing building up all those pieces – they’ve already discussed: Mac/Linux support, async PvP, co-op, sync multi-player, extending modding tools, probably a pretty long list here – and interacting with constructive feedback of the player base using all these features in ways more helpful than automated testing.
My guess is Ponder’s trying to figure out the point where player testing would be fun (my guess as well is alphastoneheart.exe) and the point where player testing would be most useful for development (my guess, the published beta timeline, Dec 2013), and deciding if there’s a good place to meet in the middle.


#11

If the people developing Stonehearth made a downloadable alpha that would be epic, and more people will buy it and stuff because it’s awesome.


#12

Unfortunately we will have to wait for the Beta, which will run for around a year… I guess this will be enough time for people to fell in love with Stonehearth. And till December it is not that long anymore anyhow :wink:.


#13

GAh why couldn’t the beta be in September and the final in in December. rant over waiting is hard.

instead of doing small amount of work and lots of things at once, they are doing it one thing at a time, because of that, they cant really do an alpha.


#14

What I mean by alpha is a free downloadable version


#15

I am pretty sure there will be a demo available at one point in time :slight_smile:


#16

they said there will be a demo after release.


#17

Guys… only 3 completes months more and and 1-3 weeks ^^ and we can put ours hands on the beta!!! :smiley:


#18

Patience… is the better part of a gamer I have yet to meet, especially when that gamer is awaiting the release of a great game like this one.


#19

I actually like the wait-time until beta release so I can get a PC capable of playing anything besides Minecraft, Terraria and 20-year-old games. I’m just old enough to get a part-time job so hopefully I’ll get enough money for it by then!

Not that anyone cares :D.


#20

Just to shatter anybody’s hopes of getting an Alpha here (I’m lovely :smile:), the devs said no to it because making the Alpha, ironing out all the bugs and getting it to a playable state takes up a lot of time. Instead, in their wisdom, they’ve decided just to plough on until Beta. After all, 9 months for feedback from the Beta is long enough. I’m glad they decided not to just side-track with an Alpha :smile: