Let us examine the word BETA in the gaming industry


#42

I forgot that it changed recently :stuck_out_tongue:


#43

Weekly Bump


#44

Thank you Bones. You’re doing us all a great service.


#45

No Problem c:


#46

Did some of you fellas had to link this thread lately to explain this? Just curious…
For such reasons we should be able to have sig.


#47

I know a while back I did on “laughable experience” or something like that.
What does sig mean?


#48

like signature. Text or picture that displays in footer (bottom part) of every your post


#49

Weekly Bump


#50

That’s not quite what a “BETA” test is, and the “BETA” we’ve been provided is not a “BETA.”

Given that this game is slated for release in FOUR months, and that the “Beta” hasn’t been updated in over a year, I’m getting a little bit scared of what Warhorse will be putting out without any real Beta testing.

The simple guide for testing release candidates is this:

Demo / Proof of Concept

The first step in development, build a minimal, working, example to give people an idea of what you’re trying to create, and to prove that the idea could work. Most of the code that goes into a POC cannot be used for the actual development. This essentially acts as stand alone game, without any polish or in-depth content.

In-Dev / Pre-Alpha

While in development, the developers themselves will be running the program, and experimenting with additions and changes. When a larger milestone is reached, the team will take a little bit of time to repackage the software with all the changes and new components, fix a bunch of bugs, and make a new working base for the whole team. This packaged up, unfinished but mostly runnable, game is a PreAlpha.

Alpha

The core functionality of the game is complete, but there are still bugs and secondary components to be completed. At this stage, the game could be released after a month or so of bug-smashing. However, such a game would likely be a little shallow (missing secondary components, like trading or mini-games), and it is very difficult to track down every possible bug on every possible machine configuration. The alpha version of a game should be one intended to be close to release, but for internal testing to identify and fix what bugs the team can find.

Beta

Once the team has fixed what bugs it can find, and the Devs think the game is ready to go, they don’t just LAUNCH. Instead, the open up the game to a select group for BETA testing. A BETA is essentially the completed game, and a BETA test is intended to get a larger number of people/machine-configs finding the bugs the team didn’t even think to look for in the Alpha.

Now that these categories are a little bit more clear, I think it becomes much more apparent why people felt slighted by Warhorse not updating their “Beta.” These people knew it felt wrong, but didn’t know why. Here’s why.

We backed for BETA access. We backed so we could contribute to creating and refining a game we believed in. What we got was something between a Demo/POC and Alpha. Carefully packaged up, as early as possible, so WH could say that they filled their end of the deal, and put the “Beta” behind them, and get on with development. After all, it takes a lot of extra work to package up a real BETA for public release, let alone the management and triage of the feedback that is the whole point of a BETA.

A real BETA would have HAD to be updated. It also would have had to come much later in development.

Now here we are four months from release, a year since any new release, and not an Alpha nor Beta in sight. Now here we are, a community of people passionate about the game, who paid to be a part of it, who paid for BETA access, waiting for a release of a game we haven’t seen in a year. This. Is. Not. A. Beta.

All of this is completely at WH’s discretion, and I would be totally fine with it, were it not for two glaring truths:

  • Without Alpha testing, the game will be riddled with bugs.
  • Without Beta testing (which you NEED a large community for), the game will be riddled with performance issues, crashes, and graphical glitches.
    • Unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to be running the same hardware as what WH was using for their internal dev and testing.

THAT’s why people felt slighted, and why this “Beta” is not OK.


#51

We are so close to final release, and people are still talking about beta?


#52

Well the reason why I made this post was for people who recently backed the game and got beta were posting every single day “why my extreme pc seem like potato on this beta?” "Beta performance issues please halp!!!"
And so I was sooooo tired of it and made this post. Now I just weekly bump it cause I can.


#53

You make some good points sir. I just wanna add something that you may have missed a little bit:
Even though its a beta… technically TECHNICALLY its still unfinished :stuck_out_tongue: . And this “beta” certainly does not feel like a common one, I agree on that. I completely understand why people may feel swindled.
Rarely, there are even tests after a beta. I know I have seen this before, but as to where… Its hard to say. (Meta, maybe?)
Keep in mind I made this kinda from rage because of daily post of performance issues and blah blah even long after KCD stopped updating it.


#54

While the ‘beta’ was indeed at an early stage, it was a ‘slice’ of all of the planned major mechanics (including the persistent AI, save & load, the questing, the combat, facial motion capture, clothing layering, weather, lighting, alchemy, sword maintenance, riding). This made it a significant ‘step up’ from the preceding alpha versions, which had only included subsets of these. (It was built on the earlier alphas and stability and predictability suffered especially in the earliest sidequests). It was a dead-end branch, obsoleted by the recasting of the entire AI and save & load code.

Some ‘testers’ actually did testing, and made reports - I know Blacksmith was very active in that regard, and he has far more time in game than I do - I think he was testing in Alpha, while I only started with the March 2016 tech beta.

As to how game testing goes… I have been a tester on a variety of titles - and for the most part early betas are iffy at best. KC:D for all it’s limitations was well up in the ranking of performance and usability.
While a title based around mechanics and ‘levels’ can be easily pushed out for public testing/preview, this is less clear for open worlds with a story focussed gameplay. Culling content to make ‘public slices’ or exposing the whole (before it is close to ready) to data mining and leaks is less than optimal.

I could agree that the original naming of ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ could be confusing to those who are used to beta being synonymous only with external public release candidate/early access, and the use of ‘tech beta’ or ‘March 2016 beta’ adopted later is more accurate.

The internal testing team is by all accounts significant in size, and active, and uses much automation and profiling alongside specific guided testing.


#55

It was called beta only, because they promised beta and they wanted to keep that promise.

Kingdom Come has no facial motion capture, everything else beside changing weather and save & load (almost unusable anyway) was in alpha.


#56

Why then the actors with dots all over their faces? I know it isn’t captured alongside the scene capture, but the mimics for facial animations are from captured data, not modelled by hand.
Reeky used this tech, most of the other npc had either no facial animation or used basic hand modelled stand-ins.

As of the summer, little of the dialogue appeared to have received the final versions of the mimics. But this is usually the last stage added, as tweaks to anything else require them to be reflowed.

The side quests had been in alpha, but the more varied and ‘multiple solution’ main quests were far more complex in structure, and had significant freedoms in how the player solved them (as well as some bugs).


#57

They scanned multiple facial expressions.

Facial animations are indeed animated by hand. They considered using facial motion capture (and it was one of the kickstarter stretch goals), but they decided not to use it. Reeky was not using facial motion capture, his facial animations were just more advanced than animations of other characters.


#58

I would like to add one point to wyrdnexus’ great post:

It is not a Beta, because it does not include one key feature: combat. The combat was (according to Warhorse statetments) completely reworked, so we have some placeholder instead of combat in the so called “beta” and the real combat system has bot been publicly betatested.

Honestly, while I was disapointed by the absence of beta (=providing this fakebeta without updates), I do not care anymore and I also understand the cost reasons. On the other hand, bumping this silly post irritates me a little…


#59

Weekly Bump 2


#60

Another weekly bump
About 12 weeks left


#61

Feels like Christmas choco calendar opening :grinning: