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View Full Version : [Demo] Please let it actually be a beta...


edhe
23rd Jun 2005, 12:27 PM
I just realised this the other night:

UT Demo - Months of 'being out', if i remember rightly. Lots of people playing it, reporting, and many tweaks came from it.
2k3 Demo - 1 week, practically no tweaks, before going gold.
2k4 Demo - slightly more time but practically no difference.

I would just like to suggest to the Epic lurkers that they actually put the Demo out like they did in UT, there must be a correlation between the heavy Beta testing this gave and the overall success of the game, and the Zero testing 2k3 got and the direness of that.

Please, therefore, give us an early demo that we can break time and again before the Gold Party.

Thoughts?

LooseCannon
23rd Jun 2005, 12:54 PM
Please give us a 'beta' demo so we can break it and not the Gold. ;)

Selerox
23rd Jun 2005, 02:39 PM
I would just like to suggest to the Epic lurkers that they actually put the Demo out like they did in UT, there must be a correlation between the heavy Beta testing this gave and the overall success of the game, and the Zero testing 2k3 got and the direness of that.

Please, therefore, give us an early demo that we can break time and again before the Gold Party.

Oh sweet mother of christ yes :tup:

Vault
23rd Jun 2005, 02:54 PM
early demo yes, yes, yes,

Selerox
23rd Jun 2005, 03:32 PM
early demo yes, yes, yes,

An early demo doesn't mean a thing unless suggestions and input from the community are acted upon. If that doesn't happen, then an early demo is WORSE for the game IMO.

-AEnubis-
23rd Jun 2005, 03:36 PM
Indeed. I'm sure the last thing anyone wants is to be able to say 2k7 was the beta for 2k8.

Those who don't learn from the past are damned to repeat it. Don't think epic is nototious for making the same mistake twice.

Vault
23rd Jun 2005, 03:49 PM
An early demo doesn't mean a thing unless suggestions and input from the community are acted upon. If that doesn't happen, then an early demo is WORSE for the game IMO.

i said that cause its so pretty

Bullet10k
23rd Jun 2005, 03:56 PM
Indeed. I'm sure the last thing anyone wants is to be able to say 2k7 was the beta for 2k8.

Those who don't learn from the past are damned to repeat it. Don't think epic is nototious for making the same mistake twice.
Definately, example: 2k3 was like a beta to 2k4. Hope it doesnt happen again.

kafros
24th Jun 2005, 06:55 AM
a public demo is always a risky decision. Look at Pariah for example (I AM NOT SAYING THAT UT2007 IS GOING TO BE LIKE PARIAH).

After playing the demo, Pariah droped to the bottom of my games wish list (the game is OK but not stellar as I expect it it to be). If the demo hadn't gone out, I would have got it straight away (even after reading the reviews that give it 7-8/10)

I dont expect EPIC to do something more than a closed beta

EDIT: typos

edhe
24th Jun 2005, 07:54 AM
Pariah should've waited until it was tweaked after demo release :)

JaFO
24th Jun 2005, 08:57 AM
For the love all that is good etc. I sure as hell hope that Epic doesn't release a friggin' BETA.

Such things do not belong in the hands of public, especially since the average user does not have the patience to report bugs. The Pariah-disaster (a beta-demo for a beta-quality game) and various mods have proven this beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Besides : there was nothing in UT2k4 that needed serious tweaking. Even UT2k3 only got 'minor' changes that the average gamer wouldn't notice unless he read the opinions of a few highly-vocal-never-satisfied-no-life nerds.

Nosnos
24th Jun 2005, 09:02 AM
I would like a beta but if they release one they better make sure that everyone knows it's a beta and not a demo... Don't want people trying the beta and expecting it to be a demonstration of the final product...

SirYawnalot
24th Jun 2005, 11:20 AM
Not too likely to happen Nosnos, people are already treating the existing UT2007 information/videos as demonstrations of the final product. ;)

Slainchild
24th Jun 2005, 11:35 AM
It's worked for MMO's in the past, so I don't see why it shouldn't work for UT. :)

edhe
24th Jun 2005, 11:41 AM
For the love all that is good etc. I sure as hell hope that Epic doesn't release a friggin' BETA.

Such things do not belong in the hands of public, especially since the average user does not have the patience to report bugs. The Pariah-disaster (a beta-demo for a beta-quality game) and various mods have proven this beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Besides : there was nothing in UT2k4 that needed serious tweaking. Even UT2k3 only got 'minor' changes that the average gamer wouldn't notice unless he read the opinions of a few highly-vocal-never-satisfied-no-life nerds.

I think you just made my point :)

How UT worked was that the demo was a significantly complete Beta (a Beta test is when software is being tested by select end users in order to test to acceptance in their own systems, *ANY* pre-gold demo release is a cut-down Beta of the game) and had a great game come after it. 2k3 felt like a beta to 2k4 in retrospect, with a pathetic demo test time.

A list of good people (IE 2k4 server admin list..) could be used. These people could host servers (if possible) and distribute to people who won't take it as final - problem with that is too many 'pro' boys might get their hands on it.

Nosnos
24th Jun 2005, 12:48 PM
What about a closed beta? Would be great imo, get players from different parts of the community, competitive players, "pros" and casual players and get their input...

Wowbagger
24th Jun 2005, 01:31 PM
We have a very good and topical example in BF2.
They released the Demo 2 weeks before retail, leaving NO time for feedback (i think they announced gold just 2 or 3 days after the demo was released) and what do we have?

- Broken Linux servers (crashing during mapchange)
- Broken Server browser (plus it lacks a Favorite feature FFS!)
- Lots of people with stability problems.

The only thing thats saving them is that the game is really fun.

So im all for a "beta" or demo but make it timelimited so all the cheap bastards will have to buy the retail :)

JaFO
24th Jun 2005, 03:57 PM
As was said : the comments on the alfa-quality demo-level already proves that even within this community only a few understand the words 'beta'.

Besides ... why would Epic want to let the people test a game they are going to buy anyway ?
Given the few patches that both UT2k3 & UT2k4 had after release I'd say Epic already does a fine job of testing & tweaking the games themselves.

So why should they even need a 'beta' for the community to test at all ?

// BF2 :
That would not have been solved by the developers listening to the community-response.
It would have been solved if EA had given Dice the additional time required to complete the game instead of forcing them to release the game at a certain date.

Capt.Toilet
24th Jun 2005, 07:19 PM
As was said : the comments on the alfa-quality demo-level already proves that even within this community only a few understand the words 'beta'.

Besides ... why would Epic want to let the people test a game they are going to buy anyway ?
Given the few patches that both UT2k3 & UT2k4 had after release I'd say Epic already does a fine job of testing & tweaking the games themselves.

So why should they even need a 'beta' for the community to test at all ?

// BF2 :
That would not have been solved by the developers listening to the community-response.
It would have been solved if EA had given Dice the additional time required to complete the game instead of forcing them to release the game at a certain date.

Few patches as in just a few or few as in quite a few because 2k3 went through at least 4, and 2k4 is on its 5th. For a game that i never considered broken, at least in the gameplay and stability department, that is alot of patches. Something like that should never happen if it went through "extensive beta testing".

As for the BF2 comment, its EA for pete sake, they get what they want because they think they are badarse cakes. EA is turning into the microsoft of the gaming industry IMO.

Olga
25th Jun 2005, 01:16 AM
Rushing is all EA is about, people. They crunch their workers, and they zergling rush their games.

SirYawnalot
25th Jun 2005, 05:17 AM
"Turning into"? EA has been worse than Microsoft for years.

I don't agree that Epic should release an early demo, instead releasing it when the game is pretty much complete. However there is a need to have a fair gap between it and the game's release, because in the past I've noticed quite a few bugs fixed in this timeperiod and it's no fun firing up a game for the first time only to run into a bug that could easily have been fixed by allowing more bug-fixing time between demo and gold. Obviously bugs can be fixed by patches, but a lot of UT owners have either a very slow or nonexistent net connection and others are just incredibly stupid, so there's a really good case for making sure it's as polished a game as possible out-of-the-box.

That said, the gap does need to be as small as possible (hence releasing when the game's pretty much finished), because a demo-release tends to skyrocket a game's hype, so it's a good idea to strike while the iron's hot. Epic have been pretty good about this in the past though (except UT2003 if I remember rightly, which didn't have enough gap), so I'm not worried.

JaFO
25th Jun 2005, 11:56 AM
Few patches as in just a few or few as in quite a few because 2k3 went through at least 4, and 2k4 is on its 5th. For a game that i never considered broken, at least in the gameplay and stability department, that is alot of patches. Something like that should never happen if it went through "extensive beta testing".

I don't have the exact list of items 'fixed' in each patch, but IIRC there were more 'new features' added (demo-recording, splash-effects for water, new vehicle-related fixes) compared to plain and simple bugs. Especially given that it is an mulitplayer-based game it's definitely above average, when compared to stuff like Tribes and Diablo.
There've been little to no fixes that have anything to do with balancing of weapons (the translocator-fix for BR is the only example I know and that was because they'd underestimated the lack of teamplay on servers).

I doubt anyone really understands the magnitude of the problem a public beta is for any company. They'd have to read to thousands of badly worded (not every gamer writes flawless english) e-mails that rarely contain detailed descriptions of the bugs. Then they'd have to sort them so they can avoid duplicates, which is a full-time job for at least one employee (and Epic isn't that big in the first place).

So considering the scale of the problem versus rewards there's plenty of reasons why (good) developers don't use public beta-tests.

tool
25th Jun 2005, 01:02 PM
I would be happy with a tech demo of the unreal engine 3.0 personally. :D

edhe
25th Jun 2005, 01:29 PM
I don't have the exact list of items 'fixed' in each patch, but IIRC there were more 'new features' added (demo-recording, splash-effects for water, new vehicle-related fixes) compared to plain and simple bugs.

So considering the scale of the problem versus rewards there's plenty of reasons why (good) developers don't use public beta-tests.
Well if you don't know what you're talking about then why keep talking? Do you actually play online ever or are you talking from your own wee world again? Try looking at the patch releases and seeing how much you've missed out on.

Any good developer would have beta tests from as soon as is feasably possible. Do you understand software development? Didn't think so.

No good developer would deliver a product without a respectable beta period and bugfix period, but game developers do not follow that path as much as more business critical stuff. IMHO having a strong beta aspect to the demo, unlike recently, would greatly help the release product, the less bugs and issues with it the more it'll pick up casual gamers.

Sir_Brizz
25th Jun 2005, 01:45 PM
Well if you don't know what you're talking about then why keep talking? Do you actually play online ever or are you talking from your own wee world again? Try looking at the patch releases and seeing how much you've missed out on.
If you'd like they can just wait 12 months until most of the bugs are found and fixed and give you one patch :rolleyes:
Any good developer would have beta tests from as soon as is feasably possible. Do you understand software development? Didn't think so.
Not PUBLIC beta tests. There are alot of problems with allowing the public to see something that you know is not completed. It's even problematic for NO PROFESSIONAL developers, although I feel more necessary. The thing is, even if they DO have a proper "beta testing " period from the demo, 99% of the requests are going to be feature/gameplay CHANGES (which they aren't going to do) and 1% is going to be actual bug reports. It's not worth the return. They can get a professional testing fir or do in house testing and find more bugs than they can with a public test.
No good developer would deliver a product without a respectable beta period and bugfix period, but game developers do not follow that path as much as more business critical stuff. IMHO having a strong beta aspect to the demo, unlike recently, would greatly help the release product, the less bugs and issues with it the more it'll pick up casual gamers.
I encourage you to go back and find the original UT demo and the original UT release and compare them. Precious little was changed between the releases.

FireCrack
25th Jun 2005, 08:46 PM
The best ide's to make a demo but call it a beta, that way people that dont like it can say "it's just a beta"


Then again ,ther are also problems with that...



Personaly though, i dont care.

Sir_Brizz
25th Jun 2005, 10:02 PM
The best ide's to make a demo but call it a beta, that way people that dont like it can say "it's just a beta"


Then again ,ther are also problems with that...



Personaly though, i dont care.
No, what they should do is release a demo, and accept feedback on it. Most of it will be worthless, but they might get a few ideas out of it. Calling it beta would be dumb.

-AEnubis-
26th Jun 2005, 05:14 AM
Yeah, public beta's I wouldn't see as being a good thing. They need to get a list of people, either by application, or hand picked from forums, etc... Decent mappers / mod makers, server admins, and some straight players.

JaFO
26th Jun 2005, 01:56 PM
...
Any good developer would have beta tests from as soon as is feasably possible. Do you understand software development? Didn't think so.

I'm in the business in real life ... :rolleyes:
I've had to deal with crappy bug-reports and even worse specs. And they effectively only cost time and waste resources.
It is you who fails to understand the kind of time & resources needed to handle a public beta for a big release like UT2k7.

...
No good developer would deliver a product without a respectable beta period and bugfix period, but game developers do not follow that path as much as more business critical stuff.

that's why most games need patches, while business-related software can be pretty much patch-free ...


IMHO having a strong beta aspect to the demo, unlike recently, would greatly help the release product, the less bugs and issues with it the more it'll pick up casual gamers.
It won't work that way in reality.
Your so called 'casual gamers' will download the 'beta/demo', see the bugs and the more obvious weapon/map-balance problems, scream 'buggy demo' on whatever forums they can find, delete the thing and call it a day. Effectively killing what chance Epic might have had with their game.

You've got only one chance to make a first impression.
If Epic wants UT2k7 to succeed then they've absopositively make sure that the demo is perfect from beginning to end.

Heck .. why'd you think that Epic hasn't released a high-resolution movie fof all the UT2k7-demo's so far ?
Why did they try to limit access to the UE3-demos at the E3 as much as possible ?