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Community Campfire #20

Posted by dunkelza , 08 September 2015 · 2,560 views

Community Campfire #20

Howdy Rock Jocks!

 

As you probably saw from BlueDog's and Designopotamus' blogs, the office was closed yesterday for the U.S. observance of Labor Day.

 

That doesn't mean that nothing cool was going on-

 

 
Stormwind put the "labor" in "Labor Day Weekend" and delivered a first pass at client-side movement prediction...

 

That's the part of the game that helps to make the flight smoother and more natural!

 

We playtested the changes this afternoon and wow did it make the game feel better in network matches!

 

There's still some more improvement to be made, but this means that we've driven straight through one of the hurdles that stood between us and Proving Grounds!

 

Speaking of Proving Grounds...

 

We are working on developing an iterative testing plan to enable Alpha and Beta backers to get a crack at stuff that's Proving Grounds tested.

 

Our original plan had long periods of Alpha and Beta testing that started later in development, but we realized a couple of things:

  • We'd really like to have more people in our testing pool.
  • Waiting stinks. Waiting's no fun- and we are all about the fun!

 

Now, I'd like to you to bear in mind that this is a draft plan at an early stage, but here's the basic idea:

  • Proving Grounds tests a new "build" (sub-version) with the features we want to check.
  • Alpha backers test that build if the Proving Grounds didn't find any major problems.
  • Beta backers test that build if the Alpha backers didn't find any major problems.
  • All game package backers get a "production" build based on what was tested.

 

How long each of these phases might take is probably not going to be written in stone. Some tests will be very short and sweet, others might take longer and require a number of bug fixes before they can move to the next phase.

 

In addition, we are not entirely sure yet when phase 4 might begin. Obviously, we'd want any features that go "to production" to be pretty solid before we unleash them.

 

Plus... we still have a bunch of larger feature sets that will likely require a longer testing period. For instance, things like tech trees and some of the singleplayer mechanics (like bot A.I.). Just testing A.I. could take quite a lot of player-hours!

 

So, to sum up- we are working on a way to get our backers in the game sooner while keeping Proving Grounds, Alpha, and Beta as distinct and important testing phases!

 

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I also want to encourage you all to get in on the final stage of our Build-A-Bot contest- advertising!

 

There is less than one week left to enter, and your creative submissions could find their way into the game!

 

So head to this thread to get all the information and submit your entry today!

 

Plus, be sure to join the discussion for extra points!

 

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Until next time- fly safe!

 

-Dunk



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Star Machinist
Sep 09 2015 12:57 AM

I like this plan! Super excited to get in on the action as soon as Alpha rolls around. I'm sure it'll also bring about a whole lot of publicity and sales as more people become exposed to the gameplay and want to try it for themselves and share it with more friends/family/acquaintances/dogs/et. al...

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Sounds good. As long as you ensure that the game makes a brilliant first impression when it goes live particularly on Steam early access. Make sure to give them a lot of reasons to write splendid reviews and enough "meat" to keep them playing until it's officially released and beyond.

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