To beta or not beta ?

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To beta or not beta ?

Postby flap on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:57 am

Alas !

Those who pre-ordered the game will probably soon have access to the beta, with the plan DD to be released for good in 4 months or so. And for the first I wonder : do I really want to play the beta ?

Because, on the one hand, one wonderful stuff with indie game development is the exchange between the authors and the players. And which moment is best for that exchange than during beta ? While testing, we are more than just costumers, as we do help the developers with actual technical help. Also, if we have crazy ideas, that's one of the best moments to give them (though, it would be more appropriate in alpha). So it should be a great and fun stuff to do.

But, well, I realise that I do actually spend 10 more times reading about games and dreaming of the way they could be rather than actually playing. Also, as granting access to beta is very common in free or paying indie development, I spend most of my time playing unfinished games. Actually, the main characteristics of indie games is that they are permanently in development and thus in beta. And when they are not any more, they often are considered dead...

That perspective of games permanently evolving could be a part of the fun, but it is sometimes annoying to have to learn everything again, to restart everything because the save format changed, or to discover a game while the atmosphere and features are still far from being perfect, and will be tuned a bit more.
For example, I really hated the way Puppy Game totally changed core parts of "The Revenge of the Titans" just when I was getting to like the way it was before. (They really threw us some changes in the face at last minute).

On the other hand, discovering a well crafted, equilibrated and finished product, all at once instead of each features being distilled in few month, can be a blast and an intense experience.

With DD, it seems that we well be lucky enough to have a finished game in a few month. So maybe for once, I will simply enjoy to relax and play a finished product. Then, maybe I'll wait a few more month and refrain from reading to much the forum, to avoid learning too much...

And you, what is your opinion ?
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Re: To beta or not beta ?

Postby Carl on Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:57 am

I'm definitely gonna play the beta AS SOON AS I CAN! I need a new DD fix ASAP!

I do understand what you mean about losing the initial 'WOW' of a game, as the 1st time that you play the completed version you'll already know basically what's gonna happen.

But for me I'll hopefully get enough of that amazement from the beta.And the benefits of being able to play sooner as well as giving feedback to the Devs and seeing the subtle (or sometimes drastic) changes that happen after beta release vastly outweigh the extra 'amazement' that I would get from playing the polished game before seeing it in the beta.
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Re: To beta or not beta ?

Postby Ellume on Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:56 pm

I find the giving feedback and bug testing during betas often gives a higher level of meaningfulness to playing a game. Not only is it fun, but you can feel like you are contributing in some way at the same time. That is why I usually prefer to play betas if I can.
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Re: To beta or not beta ?

Postby Herborist on Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:18 pm

Some game betas aren't really worth playing in. I'm talking about the kinds where there's 1,000's of people playing along side you and any bug you could find would have already been reported many times over.

Fortunately, I believe that DD's beta will be the kind where the developers will actually read our comments and that each of us will be able to have our own individual voice. I look forward to playing the game, and then discussing it here on the forums. I'm not so much a "bug tester" as I am a "reviewer," but I'll do my best to do both.

Back on-topic: if you think you'll ever buy it, you might as well buy it now. The price isn't going to change, and if you buy it right now you get the game + the beta. If you buy it later, you get only the game. In other words, buying it right now would be maximizing your money's worth. :P
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Re: To beta or not beta ?

Postby flap on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:46 am

Herborist wrote:(...)
Fortunately, I believe that DD's beta will be the kind where the developers will actually read our comments and that each of us will be able to have our own individual voice. I look forward to playing the game, and then discussing it here on the forums. I'm not so much a "bug tester" as I am a "reviewer," but I'll do my best to do both.

Indeed, I am convinced that there will that kind of rich exchange. But just for once, I was wondering if I wanted to skip it !


Herborist wrote:Back on-topic: if you think you'll ever buy it, you might as well buy it now. The price isn't going to change, and if you buy it right now you get the game + the beta. If you buy it later, you get only the game. In other words, buying it right now would be maximizing your money's worth. :P

Well, don't worry about that ! I have probably purchased it the 3rd or 2nd day preorders were available : having tried to run a business, I do really understand how cash is crucial in early development of projects. And I wanted that version to exist, and be the best possible.
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Re: To beta or not beta ?

Postby Nandrew on Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:37 am

If you're restrained enough, you could go halfway: hold out for a couple of weeks and jump into the beta part of the way through. ;)

But yeah, it's a classic ol' dilemma.
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Re: To beta or not beta ?

Postby flap on Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:12 pm

Indeed, it will be tough. But I'll let the most hardcore player horribly crush on the inevitable bugs and balancing issues. :D And come back in a few weeks to gather their corpses and bring some fresh blood...
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