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Patch 1.1.2 removed Propast street music?


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#41 Ragnar

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 16:54

Actually Patch 1.1.2 removed in Propast:

 

- all background music,

 

No, it didn't. There's still music around Europolis, and that was the biggest problem. We listened for the music in the Bricks and the souk, and it was there. Assumptions were made about the other music — it's an easy thing to miss when you've run through the same parts of the game a thousand times. Memories of prior playthroughs get mixed up with your latest play session.



#42 Ragnar

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 16:57

Just to be clear, I wasn't thinking of an open Beta, where everyone can opt-in to test a patch. And I'm not talking hundreds of testers. I was thinking of several dozen, who are selected based on their hardware/software configuration, to attempt to cover as many different configurations as possible.

 

This is a good idea. I mean, we're probably not going to do this with the content in upcoming books — we don't want to spoil the story for anyone — but for technical patches: yes, definitely.

 

We will talk about it here and return with a proposal to y'all. If you feel this is something you can contribute to, and you have the time and meticulous nature needed to beta test and provide us with bug reports, great! Stay tuned.


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#43 Jana

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 18:03

Have you played any recent AAA games? Those guys have hundreds of testers, and still...

 

butsir.jpg But sir, ... how can you say this?!


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#44 Carlos

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 18:30

 Have you played any recent AAA games? Those guys have hundreds of testers, and still...

 

You mean, pretty much every single one AAA recent game that gets massive "day one" patches?

 

No, I have no idea what you mean.  :rolleyes:

 

(I'm looking at you Halo Master Chief Collection!)


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#45 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 18:32

I'm a fan of how they retooled the leap of faith.

tumblr_inline_newwwcyKRC1s4k1us.gif

;)

That said if RTG does a beta performance patch thing, I'd love to help. Though I'm not sure my system specs are really what they'd need. Look forward to seeing what they decide with that, though. Lots of people in the community who I'm sure would be happy to help.

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#46 Lee-m

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 19:24

I have to say I STRONGLY disagree with that statement.


Given the size of our team, I don't think we miss "an awful lot of really obvious stuff". It's a big game, there will always be bugs. We catch most of them and fix them right away. The rest we hear/read about and fix as soon as humanly possible. Have you played any recent AAA games? Those guys have hundreds of testers, and still...

Ok clearly this hasn't done much for my rather poor image with RTG :/

My statement wasn't intended as a big criticism, I think maybe you miss read the first part of that, I completely understand it must be a small testing team, I think I made that understanding pretty clear. Hence my saying, its not like you have an AAA EA style super lab to check everything. The 'awful lot' part was unfair, but I wasnt really picking my words all that carefully, so sorry about that one.

Hopefully I can spare my self the wrath (again), i'll try be abit more specific. So from my point of view, as a fan (that loves the game dearly) who played the game on 1.0, I did wonder how on earth the performance issues with europolis could have been missed. It was borderline unplayable on anything but a top spec system, even I was getting drops below 20fps. It was across the board and the same for everyone.

I was also quick to praise how fast that got fixed, and have gone out of my way to speak up about things your self and RTG have done well (which is a lot), for what my opinion is worth anyway.


The lazor eyes again I would have thought would have been obvious as it effects a wide range of amd cards (the popular r9 series mostly), its not like you can just not see it right ?

Also the HoAW door you could walk right though (which was how I ended up finishing the game the first time), would also seem an obvious thing to have checked. It was a door after all. Players WILL try and open it, and end up passing though it.

For me (I have done some game testing, and other stuff in my time) the above would be fairly obvious stuff to check, and from a personal point of view I wonder how they could have slipped passed.

But the team has nothing but my up most understanding on how hard it is to test games. Obviously I have no idea if testing is internal, or if it goes out to some one else (or another company for that matter).

It was less about the music.

And I love the game so far, its brilliant.

#47 debro

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 19:25

It'd be an honor to help... I was 1 day late to back the game, so if it is backers only, i'm out :P

 

 I'm not sure my system specs are really what they'd need. Look forward to seeing what they decide with that, though. Lots of people in the community who I'm sure would be happy to help.

I actually believe they would appreciate older/slower specs to join the beta test. They surely have a lot of new/fast hardware to test the game on.


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#48 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 19:46

I actually believe they would appreciate older/slower specs to join the beta test. They surely have a lot of new/fast hardware to test the game on.

 

From what I've gathered, they have a few different builds to test on. They've definitely tested it at min specs. Though I'm sure people at lower specs would be particularly helpful. I didn't mean that specifically, though. I'm on a laptop and it's not exactly top of the line, but I'm only just barely under rec spec with my CPU. Everything else is good. And I've had very few problems other than some initial lag. I was just assuming they might want more people with like L4Z0R eyez or other issues. We'll see what they say if it becomes a thing. 

 

Though my laptop has been acting up something fierce recently, so this all may be subject to change if the thing craps out completely. 


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#49 Ikon

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:12

I agree that people with lower spec machines who have experienced issues would make good candidates for Beta testing.

 

I would be happy to contribute what I can. I have been a Beta tester on numerous products over the past 30 years, including many for MicroSoft. I have 2 systems on which to test, neither of which have had any significant issues with the game. However, machines like mine are also important to Beta testing, if for no other reason than to compare to machines that are having a specific issue. They provide a counterbalance that helps isolate exactly what's wrong.

 

There is also another advantage. Ragnar quite rightly pointed out that it can be hard to identify issues when you've played a game 1,000 times. It's very true.  Beta testers from the DFC community would not be in that situation. Typically, they won't have played the game more than a few times. Everything is much fresher for them.

 

I also think it would be a good idea to have a separate forum for submitting and discussing discovered issues, one that's restricted to Beta testers. This can greatly facilitate cross-testing: i.e. when someone discovers something that seems to be a 'bug', they post it in the forum and other Beta testers can quickly check it on their system(s). This is really how Beta testing by fans/enthusiasts can provide the greatest feedback - the aggregation of the Beta testing becomes greater than the sum of the individual Beta testers' experience.


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#50 Lee-m

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:22

Maybe a small number of testers from the community would be a good idea (a few with AMD cards ;) ).

The main issue might be trust. You have to trust them 100% not to give the game away and it ends up on pirate bay a month before release. I guess that's not such an issue with patches, but the main releases.

#51 Ikon

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:28

Yeah, we're only talking patches & updates here. And security is why I suggested only a few dozen testers, and a restricted forum.


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#52 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:33

I hesitate to speculate too terribly much before RTG has even gotten a chance to decide if they want to do it, but I will say that if they DO choose to go that route, they should be able to open up a private forum within this forum and then add testers to a group that would have access to said forum. 

 

...I think that can cause some issues with it overriding backer titles (like how "Shifter" has been replaced with "Moderator" on my little bar off to the left) and stuff like that, but it is more than doable. We had a beta tester forum thing on here back when we were beta testing this forum pre move from the Undreaming. 


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#53 Ikon

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:40

I hear what you're saying agirlnamedbob. However, I wasn't necessarily thinking of a forum on this board. It could be on another. Agreed, it might be more convenient to have it here, but I don't think it's a requirement.


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#54 khh

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:48

I hesitate to speculate too terribly much before RTG has even gotten a chance to decide if they want to do it, but I will say that if they DO choose to go that route, they should be able to open up a private forum within this forum and then add testers to a group that would have access to said forum. 

 

...I think that can cause some issues with it overriding backer titles (like how "Shifter" has been replaced with "Moderator" on my little bar off to the left) and stuff like that, but it is more than doable. We had a beta tester forum thing on here back when we were beta testing this forum pre move from the Undreaming. 

Nah, that wouldn't really be a problem. They could be added to a Beta Tester group as a secondary group, and retain their backer status as the primary group.


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#55 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:53

I hear what you're saying agirlnamedbob. However, I wasn't necessarily thinking of a forum on this board. It could be on another. Agreed, it might be more convenient to have it here, but I don't think it's a requirement.

 

Oh, I know. I was just saying that they could do it here. Speculation, but I think that would be easier. It wouldn't require additional signing up and RTG wouldn't have to create another forum. 

 

Nah, that wouldn't really be a problem. They could be added to a Beta Tester group as a secondary group, and retain their backer status as the primary group.

 

Okay. I kind of assumed there would be a way to do something like that. This is my first time moderating a forum with this software. I just remember Morten saying that adding me as a Moderator might break my forum badge briefly while he set it up, so I wasn't sure if there was some secret extra magic to it. 


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#56 Ikon

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 20:53

Nah, that wouldn't really be a problem. They could be added to a Beta Tester group as a secondary group, and retain their backer status as the primary group.

 

That sounds workable.


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#57 debro

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 21:04

I believe the beta testing should be kept a secret.. i think not everyone would understand why someone recieves the patches before everyone else...

 

So IMHO the forum AND the members should be kept secret


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#58 Olstyle

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 22:05

I don't see why beta testing of patches (not books!) should be restricted. Opt in beta via Steam should technically be no problem.

Whether RTG wants public betas is another question.

#59 Ikon

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 23:32

I don't see why beta testing of patches (not books!) should be restricted. Opt in beta via Steam should technically be no problem.

Whether RTG wants public betas is another question.

 

It should be restricted simply because RTG is a small team and overseeing Beta testing is not a zero effort undertaking. The team needs to be kept to a manageable size. Testers need to follow a specific set of guidelines in order for the whole thing not to descend into chaos. For example, Beta testers must not fall into the trap of using the Beta access to start making specific requests for extra features. The testing is about ensuring the patch accomplishes what it's intended to do, and that it doesn't introduce too many unexpected side effects. It needs to be focused, and targeted. As the X-wing pilot said in Star Wars, "Stay on target".

 

Also, I don't believe recruiting via Steam is a great idea. Plenty of players don't use Steam. I think recruiting needs to be based on people having the right attitude and motivation, and having a useful configuration of hardware and software. These forums are probably the best resource for Beta testers, IMHO, because the fact that people participate in the forums is an indicator that they will have the motivation.

 

Those are strictly my own views on it, based on my own experience in the past on other projects. RTG may well have other ideas and it is, of course, their call.


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#60 Ragnar

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 23:39

Ok clearly this hasn't done much for my rather poor image with RTG :/


Ha! No worries Lee, you don't have a poor image with us. Anyone who's stuck around for this long, contributing to the forum, being an active member of the community, and who hasn't become overly negative or simply burned out — we don't mind the odd criticism or ten! — gets a star in our book.
 

My statement wasn't intended as a big criticism, I think maybe you miss read the first part of that, I completely understand it must be a small testing team, I think I made that understanding pretty clear. Hence my saying, its not like you have an AAA EA style super lab to check everything. The 'awful lot' part was unfair, but I wasnt really picking my words all that carefully, so sorry about that one.

Hopefully I can spare my self the wrath (again), i'll try be abit more specific. So from my point of view, as a fan (that loves the game dearly) who played the game on 1.0, I did wonder how on earth the performance issues with europolis could have been missed. It was borderline unplayable on anything but a top spec system, even I was getting drops below 20fps. It was across the board and the same for everyone.

I was also quick to praise how fast that got fixed, and have gone out of my way to speak up about things your self and RTG have done well (which is a lot), for what my opinion is worth anyway.

The lazor eyes again I would have thought would have been obvious as it effects a wide range of amd cards (the popular r9 series mostly), its not like you can just not see it right ?

Also the HoAW door you could walk right though (which was how I ended up finishing the game the first time), would also seem an obvious thing to have checked. It was a door after all. Players WILL try and open it, and end up passing though it.

For me (I have done some game testing, and other stuff in my time) the above would be fairly obvious stuff to check, and from a personal point of view I wonder how they could have slipped passed.

But the team has nothing but my up most understanding on how hard it is to test games. Obviously I have no idea if testing is internal, or if it goes out to some one else (or another company for that matter).

It was less about the music.

And I love the game so far, its brilliant.

 

Most of the things you describe — not all, but most — are simply due to a relatively limited test park: i.e. our development hardware. The game ran fine for us with version 1.0. No, performance wasn't GREAT, but we could run it on 'awesome' on most of our PCs (our Macs were definitely slower, but by no means unplayable) with a decent frame-rate and few issues. Heck, I ran the game in 4K on our two-year old meeting room computer…while recording Fraps video.

 

The performance issues encountered by many (definitely not by all) took us by surprise. We'd heard from partners and friends of ours who'd played the game prior to launch who experienced no such problems. And maybe all of them were running on high-end hardware with 64-bit Windows and plenty of RAM? And maybe all of them were fine with frame-rates dipping to the low 20s? I don't know, but the fact is that we didn't experience or hear about these performance issues until after launch.

 

As soon as we received bug reports and detailed system specs, we were able to identify problem areas; mostly related to memory. There's not much we can do with the frame-rate, however, since Unity doesn't offer a lot in terms of multithreading support. The strain is largely on the CPU, and not the GPU. This isn't ideal, but with a third-party engine and no access to the source code, we're stuck — at least until we can port (or consider porting) to Unity 5.0.

 

In regards to AMD cards, it was just bad luck. We don't have a whole hardware park of different setups available to us. We have our development PCs. Those PCs did not exhibit those problems. With a bigger budget and/or more time, we could have either bought more test rigs or outsourced to a test lab — not something we can afford right now, and not something I'm particularly comfortable doing — but we had to make do with what we had. And we didn't see or catch this bug until it was too late. There are many, many larger games — games from companies with huge QA departments — that end up in the same boat. Shipping a game on three platforms, with a host of different configurations, is incredibly difficult and ambitious. I'm amazed that we haven't seen MORE problems…but part of that is using Unity, which takes care of most (though not all, in turns out) compatibility issues. That's why we chose it, so that we didn't have to worry about that part of development. It obviously didn't work 100%, but I think it's fair to say that MOST players did not have any issues with graphical glitches.

 

The door you could walk through in HoAW… Yeah, no explanation for that. We spent a lot of time running up against collisions — walls, objects, doors — everywhere in the game…except right there. We even plugged some collision holes in the House weeks and days prior to launch. How we missed that, I'll never know, but it happens. Did you play (or read about) the new Assassin's Creed? That's from a company with probably a THOUSAND testers. They missed stuff, too.

 

As a small company with a pretty big (and ambitious) game running on a third-party engine, I think we shipped a remarkably good product. It wasn't bug free by any measure of things, but few games of this size and complexity are. More QA would have helped, but that was outside our scope. We did a lot of testing, and we missed a few things — more than I would have liked, but there we go; I was a tester, too — and then there were things we simply couldn't catch, because we were on the 'wrong' hardware. Them's the shakes. We fixed things VERY quickly after launch, our tech guys worked tirelessly, even when it was hard to reproduce bugs, and right now we have a solid, solid foundation to build subsequent episodes on.

 

It is unfortunate when new bugs are introduced in patches, but it happens, and in this case it was easy to miss it for those on the team who've spent hours and hours playing and replaying. We'll fix this, too. And soon.

 

The reason I reacted strongly is that I've worked in game development now for twenty years (eek) and I know how incredibly hard and exhausting it is to test a game. Every time we make a build, every time we fix a TINY, tiny thing, something else might break, and we have to sit down and play through the entire game from start to finish, with all different choices & consequences accounted for. And not just play it: we have to play it THOROUGHLY. This is hard, hard work and stuff slips through the cracks, no matter how many dedicated testers you have. I think Chapters is one of the least buggy games I've worked on, and this is without a single dedicated tester. Everyone on the team contributed (and continues to contribute) to the test loops, and we're lucky to have one of the best testers I've ever worked with in charge of that process, but even then it's pretty fucking amazing that we managed to pull it off.

 

So yeah, that's why. Appreciate the effort, applaud the result, and realise that game testing is one of the most backbreaking and complex tasks imaginable. Games are a nightmare. They break, all the time. And testing games is far from being a dream job: it's hard labour. And, most often, a task that gets little to no recognition.


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