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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby DiM on Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:29 pm

ender516 wrote:Keeping inexperienced mapmakers out of a test bed would mean those who might most need some early gameplay checking won't get it.


degaston wrote:I don't see a problem with allowing anyone to test/play the maps if they are unrated games.



letting anybody in is not a good idea. first of all more people = more traffic = bigger costs.
i don't think lack can afford allowing thousands of people on the test site.
as for making unrated games on this site and doing the testing here, then that's out of the question too. testing should happen remotely. new players already have a bunch of confusing info to assimilate. throw in a bunch of ugly maps and unrated games that are filled with bugs and you have a recipe for disaster.

ender516 wrote:I think adding an alpha test phase prior to the graphics stamp phase to check basic gameplay and keeping the beta test phase that we have now, which proves out gameplay/graphics integration, would be the right way to go.


the alpha phase would not be feasible on this site and in this environment. when testing you need to make changes on the fly, and this is impossible here as lack won't give access to the uploading tools to anybody. not just because of trust issues but rather because if a bug occurs it might affect other maps that are in live play and it could do major harm.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby koontz1973 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:51 pm

DiM wrote:"all your base" had a flaw with the neutrals and one could rush the objective in manual deployment. i fixed it in a matter of days and not much damage was done.
but "rorke's drift" had the same issue and it took longer to fix. hence at some point there were people who managed to get over 3000 points from this exploit.


Both of these issues should of been spotted in the game play section. Your one should of been spotted as well as mine. The reason mine took longer to fix as you said was the fact when it was raised, it was I thought. It was not until it was raised further, a long time later by you and others, did the problem get sorted, very quickly on my part.

But a beta testing site still may not of seen these problems and it could of still been released to the public beta testing with the same flaws. If a foundry that has many eyes on it and game play experts in it, how would playing a few games foresee these problems? In my thread alone, before the GP stamp I had, natty dread, DiM, isaiah40, thenobodies, Industrial Helix, Sniper08 and many other players as well, all with some level of GP expertise about them. No one foresaw the RD manual problem. Same with the AYBBTU. No one saw it.

Beta testing is still the best way to go as it gives the most overall picture of the games we create.

What would be nice to see instead of a beta testing site is a games stats screen for beta maps. That way, if there is a problem with the maps settings, it would be easier to spot trends than having the map maker go through all of the settings in the game finder. That should be an easy code to do as i would think something similar to tour stats would work.

enders516 wrote:I think adding an alpha test phase prior to the graphics stamp phase to check basic gameplay and keeping the beta test phase that we have now, which proves out gameplay/graphics integration, would be the right way to go.

Having an Alpha phase in the final forge would be nice. The site could generate a game for all of the settings (20 round limit) with an open invite to everyone on the home page (so first come first served). If bugs are found within the game or xml then it can be fixed before the beta testing for real.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby DiM on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:06 pm

koontz1973 wrote:
DiM wrote:"all your base" had a flaw with the neutrals and one could rush the objective in manual deployment. i fixed it in a matter of days and not much damage was done.
but "rorke's drift" had the same issue and it took longer to fix. hence at some point there were people who managed to get over 3000 points from this exploit.


Both of these issues should of been spotted in the game play section.


not really. as i said, as maps get more complicated it becomes harder and harder to think about all the possible scenarios and prevent such exploits. especially when new gameplay features are also involved.
for example when i made aybabtu i had no experience with manual, i didn't even think about manual deployment as it was a rather new feature for me. or take the trench attacks. we don't really know how they'll affect the gameplay and we might overlook some major flaws because of this.

koontz1973 wrote:But a beta testing site still may not of seen these problems and it could of still been released to the public beta testing with the same flaws. If a foundry that has many eyes on it and game play experts in it, how would playing a few games foresee these problems?

if testing is done properly then major flaws are easy to spot. a major flaw in the design is usually spotted within the first few rounds. so you don't really need to finish a 50 round 8p no spoil games to draw a conclusion. play a few rounds, delete the game, try a new setting for a few more rounds, and so on. within a week one could test lots and lots of variables.
also in a test site multiple accounts would not be a problem. i've got a few hours to spare but i can't find online fellow testers? no problem i'll test by myself using a few multis :)

koontz1973 wrote:Beta testing is still the best way to go as it gives the most overall picture of the games we create.


of course and i'm not saying we get rid of beta testing.

the way i see it it should be like this.
i have a totally new and crazy idea. one that might be genius or might be crap but we don't know for sure cause it's so damn complicated. so i come up with a very crude draft get you and sully and head on the test site. upload the image and start testing. we'll immediately see if the idea was genius or crap and see if it's worth going forward.
with just the beta system, i'd actually have to make pretty graphics for the crap only to realise in beta that it really stinks and now i have to redo everything, or simply bin it.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby natty dread on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:10 pm

koontz1973 wrote:Both of these issues should of been spotted in the game play section.


But they weren't, that's the point. I don't see how this is an argument against a testing feature.

koontz1973 wrote:But a beta testing site still may not of seen these problems


Well that's a fine argument: "It may not work so let's not even try". Like I said, the beta phase could still be there even with the testing feature, but the previous testing phase would prevent the larger flaws from showing up in beta, only minor issues would need to be tweaked there. Arguing that we don't need this because "the current beta-testing is needed" is a non-argument - the two are not mutually exclusive.

Any way you look it, having a test phase before the actual beta phase can't be worse than the current situation.

Besides, the beta-testing phase as it exists now is deeply flawed and unflexible. Granted, this isn't a problem for most maps, which are relatively simple - but the way beta testing works now, the changes you can make to a map that is already in play are limited: you can't add or remove territories, without stopping all current games and closing the map - and as it is such a huge pain in the ass, you can't really do it many times. Also it pisses off and frustrates the players.

A separate test site, available in the gameplay phase, would be way more flexible: you could test various permutations of the map, even totally different configurations, whatever you'd want, and it wouldn't be a problem. Heck, you could even test multiple versions of the map at the same time!
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby degaston on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:10 pm

DiM wrote:letting anybody in is not a good idea. first of all more people = more traffic = bigger costs.
i don't think lack can afford allowing thousands of people on the test site.
as for making unrated games on this site and doing the testing here, then that's out of the question too. testing should happen remotely. new players already have a bunch of confusing info to assimilate. throw in a bunch of ugly maps and unrated games that are filled with bugs and you have a recipe for disaster.

So you think thousands of people are suddenly going to flock to the site so that they can play maps under development? :-s I doubt this would even make a blip in the amount of traffic he gets. And I said that the foundry maps should not be out front with the main maps so newbies shouldn't be affected. Plenty of chess sites host both rated and unrated games. I really don't see what the problem is with that.

DiM wrote:the alpha phase would not be feasible on this site and in this environment. when testing you need to make changes on the fly, and this is impossible here as lack won't give access to the uploading tools to anybody. not just because of trust issues but rather because if a bug occurs it might affect other maps that are in live play and it could do major harm.

What better way to make his game engine robust than to allow un-vetted xml files to be used? ;) But I have no problem with it being done on a separate site either. He could even require that map makers host their own files if he's that worried about traffic. Another alternative is to have map makers submit their xml and jpgs for CA approval before it's allowed to run.

But I still get the sense that none of this is going to happen. :(
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby natty dread on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:12 pm

degaston wrote:But I still get the sense that none of this is going to happen. :(


You sound like an experienced mapmaker. ;)
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby degaston on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:19 pm

natty dread wrote:
degaston wrote:But I still get the sense that none of this is going to happen. :(

You sound like an experienced mapmaker. ;)

I guess I crammed a lot of experience into half-completing a map. :)
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby DiM on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:19 pm

natty dread wrote:
degaston wrote:But I still get the sense that none of this is going to happen. :(


You sound like an experienced mapmaker. ;)



i loled at this :lol: which is sad :cry:
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby army of nobunaga on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:02 pm

There should be a players committee of 8 guys with over 8000 or 10000 games that have cross-mapped 80% of all maps. A tough criteria that I do not meet. But until you guys start involving players then you are just making art, and not necessarily playable or good art.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby grifftron on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:23 pm

Just leave it alone and keep the BETA process... why try to change what is good already? Everyone knows BETA maps can change during the process.. just drop it geez.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby army of nobunaga on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:31 pm

grifftron wrote:Just leave it alone and keep the BETA process... why try to change what is good already? Everyone knows BETA maps can change during the process.. just drop it geez.



Every process should be constantly under review and improved and improved when possible..

that is um called growth of product and business.

attend many seminars do you?
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby army of nobunaga on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:34 pm

Good thing Ford stuck with the assembly line manned by people, those mechanized robots would never had lasted in the car making business. Good thing We still use the original windows.. I mean it was perfect, imagine a world with some fancy platform, that gates guy is a mastermind.

Good thing linux never has new developments and releases.. we all know it was perfect.

What world do you live in man? Not all change is good change, but constant attempts to improve the process and product always .. ALWAYS helps in success.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby grifftron on Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:11 pm

army of nobunaga wrote:
grifftron wrote:Just leave it alone and keep the BETA process... why try to change what is good already? Everyone knows BETA maps can change during the process.. just drop it geez.



Every process should be constantly under review and improved and improved when possible..

that is um called growth of product and business.

attend many seminars do you?


Yeah, every map does go thru this process already genius, its called BETA... EVERY CC player has the chance to play the map and complain about any faults it has, it has worked for years, and now your brilliant mind wants to put together a team of 10k games or more to work out the kinks of each map... every user looking at a map is a lot better then a group of 6 bud.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby ender516 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:20 pm

The point that was being argued in this thread was that the testing could be done sooner. Several people have mentioned that the beta testing phase would be retained, but testing prior to herculean efforts on graphics could save a lot of time and effort. The issue that army was trying to address was the valid concern that testing maps at an alpha stage might be too risky for the genpop.
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Re: Why can maps not be tested first?

Postby degaston on Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:58 pm

ender516 wrote:... The issue that army was trying to address was the valid concern that testing maps at an alpha stage might be too risky for the genpop.

And these risks are... what, exactly? :-s
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