Will there be game testing?

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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?[/quote]
Have to be able to dig / build stuff and “grow the settlement” after a fashion.

Warfare or research are not essential. First you need something to go to war over.
Also, pretty constructions or Youtube videos can generate traffic and can be used for KS updates. =)

I dont think the first few times you release to testers should be about the gaming.
It should be about you crowdsourcing your bug testing out to people who want to help you.

Playing an alpha build is more about writing bug reports so you the developer can find and fix what needs to be fixed.

So IMO, dont release until you feel its taking too much of your time finding bugs and want help.

but yes, any way i can get my hands on this would be awesome!! Really looking forward to experiencing your creation.


I am willing to report so many bugs if it means Alpha.

I just wanna chip in with my two cents. I know releasing an alpha can slow down progress but it can help alot. Firstly, the amount of awareness in the game will rocket if people have a chance to play it. I’m sure many people here have discovered new games through let’s plays on youtube. I know alpha would not have enough content for a let’s play but if people watch someone just doing simple stuff with small tutorials it will get their creative juices flowing and will make them interested. They might tell a friend who will tell a friend who will tell a friend but that friend already knows about it because he saw some of the videos trending on youtube.
Another great thing about alpha is that it’s all well and good us chipping in with ideas about what we want and what we don’t want, but until we can actually test the game out, we can’t know what we will enjoy the most.
Anybody willing to pay to play alpha is not going to care about bugs, even bugs that will destroy saves.
But of course, you have to weigh everything up and if you feel like releasing an alpha will throw you off a bit then don’t do it.


I have a slightly different take on it; don’t use the Alpha as a ‘what do you want the game to be like testing’; that’s a different issue. An Alpha testing phase is all about the bug hunt; it’s creating a stable enough product that you’re comfortable opening it up to a wider audience to get the more general ‘is this fun/does this work’ feedback by itself, and not mixed in with too many ‘this doesn’t work like it’s supposed to’ issues. That’s the Beta test. Of course the Beta is STILL going to have bugs, but hopefully they will be minor enough that the testing can focus on how the game plays, not on what still doesn’t work.

In the interest of full disclosure, I currently do Software QA, but I have not worked on a game, primarily medical and defense products. So my prior experiences might not be accurate. But I think the more logical course would look like this:
Unit/Developer Testing- I see from your blog posts you guys already do this, and have an automated test suite; awesome!
Alpha Testing- This should probably still be Radiant, with maybe a select group of users if you need the bodies for late Alpha testing. By the end of this you might not be feature complete but the core ‘stuff’ is there and works reliably.
Beta Testing- this is where you open it up to the backers for general feedback.

Anyway, just my two cents.



IMHO it is purely semantics.
But I see ALPHA as a build where you still add new features and crush the most obvious bugs.
And BETA is when the main features are locked in and you test for the most obscure bugs.
This is true especially with a PC software that will run in 1000’s of different hardware configurations and a small Indi studio cannot afford to test the game on all possible hardware.


Alpha / beta / whatever will be what the developers want it to be.
Some alphas are nothing but a couple of frontends to determine how the UI should be set up. Others are actually playable games where the player can “progress” in some way.

Players will get it wrong anyway and usually expect far too much. Nothing to worry about. Always happens. =)

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Having been in a room full of SQA folks and seen them nearly shank each other over a discussion about Alpha vs. Beta test I can assure you that it’s not JUST semantics. :wink:

Generally an Alpha Test is ‘operational’ testing or verification; does the software work as expected? The Beta test is more about validation; does the software do what the customer wants? Of course both validation and verification are happening even before the Alpha testing phase, but generally an Alpha is supposed to create a reasonably stable build so the Beta test can focus on validation. But there are endless permutations of this, and lots of possible strategies.


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The most logical way to get a game out there, would be to include most of the core mechanics with minimal content, and then add more content later. Like implement the classes, but only a couple things pertaining to each class to get it out faster, and then beef up all of the content at a later time. As long as most mechanics exist, and it is playable, you can find any existing problems. The content can always be added upon at a later time, especially when harnessing your design.

Is six months an extensive amount of time? Makes me think of this.

I think that it depends on who is getting the game and for what purpose. Alpha testing to a few people who will try to break the game and know how to write a descent bug report makes sense. Alpha testing to everyone doesn’t as it is likely to slow down the development process. I’d rather have a decently completed game in six months than some barely completed mechanics right now and have to wait till sometime next year to get what I would have got in December because sorting through all the bug reports and dealing with the “This game is so buggy!” crowd impeded the game development.

I think basic survival should be the minimum of the earliest release. Crafting. Building. Resource gathering. Building can be basic. Slap down some sections of prefab flooring and some prefab walls. Resources can be few. Wood, maybe some stone, and something edible. Crafting can be simple to non-existent at first. As long as the players understand that bugfixes and updates might break a game in progress (a la Mincraft minecarts), I think they might be satisfied with less than complete game mechanics.

I think if you had a solid building experience (perhaps a little bit more than what is in the prototype video) then people would be satisfied to get building and wait as more content develops. The danger is that if the first release only has building, there will be cries of “Minecraft Clone!!11!” from the unwashed masses because then it really won’t have more than Minecraft at the time.

Whatever you release before December, please don’t let it prevent you from fulfilling the promises you made in your Kickstarter campaign for the rest of us who are willing to wait six months for this gem you are making.

I think having access to the alpha testing would be huge as I am so excited to play this game. However I don’t want it to slow you guys down in any way. Not getting bogged down by bugs and just focusing on adding new features. Beta, in my opinion, is when you flush out the bugs and Alpha is where you get in all the features you want to get.

So in conclusion if it doesn’t delay the beta I would love to see builds as you go. However if it would I can wait 'til december. :slight_smile:

Please don’t make it like Folk Tale … a 2 hours tutorial with no load/save for $20 that leaves people very disappointed.

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I agree with that… even though I think it did state somewhere: Alpha
Though all but prominent…

I was well aware of the Alpha early release state. I also search and read any negative comments and reviews before buying any game these days.
So my comment was about what would happen if Stonehearth was releasing a too-early pre-Alpha version with no more to do than building a house like in the videos.

it would honestly do more harm than good… i am hoping my theory proves correct, in that radiant intends to provide updated builds (perhaps 3-4 before the beta ships) to their youtube contacts…

thats 3-4 builds in a (roughly) 8 month period, which gives enough space between builds/videos so as to really have something to showcase… and it keeps the fans updated/engaged on the progress between blog updates and livestreams…

There should be a free version so that more people can contribute. For me I dont care about bugs and glitches. If I can at least have a try of the game its fine. There are some people that cant buy the full version and need to rely on free stuff. Some people cant access things that need money so I think there should be a 20 minute trial if possible.

I agree to that and there should be an alpha and if there is it would help a lot

i can understand some folks might not have the discretionary income… but this is a company, trying to make a living doing what they love… they have to make decisions that are in the best interest of their game, company and future…

as this is their flagship title, you can understand how radiant would want to put their very best foot forward, and you simply cant pull that off by releasing an early alpha of an unfinished product…

yes, we would all love to be playing right now, but thats just not a sound design decision…

will there be a trial of sorts? doubtful, but it also hasnt been formally ruled out either…


Well think about this, as a community/ company, you do what the people want, then you will have a better community to support you and make people happy by giving them what they want while the developers still make money and could possibly make more money. By achieving this, more advertisement will be distributed to the game thus making more people aware of the game. I am so far in love of this game’s idea and the fact it is a game I have been wanting for a good while now.They should consider listening to the community sense they have been paying for the game. I do agree with you that yes, this is a company and they are here to make money. As I stated before, they could release an alpha and as everyone knows an ALPHA is a pre-release of a game and is not finished and will be continuing to get updates while the game is being developed. It is still there choice in the matter well because it is their game and they can do what they choose. This is just my idea so don’t hate!

no hate whatsoever… :smile:

im just putting myself in their shoes, as someone whose been in the industry myself… regardless of the best intentions, releasing an alpha could potentially do more harm than good…

forget the fact that people will inevitably overlook the fact that its an alpha, and just consider the time required to prepare and test a functional alpha… some would consider that time better spent elsewhere…

some, as you pointed out, would also like to have an alpha (early glimpse) at the current state of the game… i submit, that the same benefit can be derived from an in depth “lets play” from the developers or one of their youtube contacts…