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Camelot Unchained Forum » General Discussion » Poll: Who should get alpha test access?

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33 posts found
  drakon3

Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/13
Posts: 114

 
OP  3/22/13 10:55:11 PM#1
I realize that MJ said he'd reveal the reward teirs next week for discussion prior to the KS go live.  But I wanted to see what other people thought on who should get alpha test access.  Personally, the entire reason for doing the KS is to get alpha access and a hand in shaping the game.  If I'm putting up $50 (or whatever) for a basic copy of the game and only get beta access, I might as well wait for release and make sure the game actually goes live and looks good. 

Who should get alpha test access?

All KS backers
Only higher tiers
Other, see comment
(login to vote)
  Raagnarz

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/13/12
Posts: 256

3/22/13 11:03:12 PM#2
Honestly Mark seems to want so much feedback from people who back the KS that I have a feeling the alpha access is going to be a fairly low tier. Lower than most. I tend to disagree with making high level tiers only because that kind of defeats the purpose if only a small % of the backers have feedback on the earliest gameplay.
  Arbroath

Novice Member

Joined: 3/19/13
Posts: 185

3/22/13 11:04:14 PM#3
I hope that the donation teir to alpha test isn't too high. I would love to be on the ground floor for this game. 

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself. ~Declaration of Arbroath

  fanglo

Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/04
Posts: 280

3/23/13 1:58:31 AM#4

I chose other.

I would like to see Alpha as an addon perk you could buy. Maybe something small like $30. That way any tier could get alpha you'd just have to pay $30 bucks more. 

I think MJ mentioned that the KS will work something like this anyway where you can pick what rewards you want. Like for example someone who didn't really care about alpha or beta and just wanted as many digitial copies as possible. Or someone who just wanted 1 copy of the game but wanted alpha, beta, and glowy sword.

 

I healed Mistwraith and all I got was this stupid tee-shirt!

  meddyck

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/18/08
Posts: 1134

3/23/13 5:29:43 AM#5
Most regular players won't have the patience to play an alpha version since it will be hugely buggy and missing many features. It would be best to leave it for the higher tiers so there are only a small number of truly dedicated people in it. My impression is that all Founders will be able to give feedback in a private forum even before the alpha test. That should be enough for most people until the first beta.

Camelot Unchained Backer
DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  Zinzan

Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/06
Posts: 1368

3/23/13 8:43:51 AM#6

Experienced alpha testers only and then usually a handful is enough, if you care about a game you don't waste time participating in the alpha unless you have something to contribute.

So many games recently have been poorly tested pre-launch and even pre-beta, it's such an important time and should be restricted to proper testers instead of the free-play crowd.

Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  Zintair

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 63

3/23/13 9:05:49 AM#7
Originally posted by Zinzan

Experienced alpha testers only and then usually a handful is enough, if you care about a game you don't waste time participating in the alpha unless you have something to contribute.

So many games recently have been poorly tested pre-launch and even pre-beta, it's such an important time and should be restricted to proper testers instead of the free-play crowd.

I agree here.  It's difficult to say whether I want it at a high tier or a low tier because money doesn;t directly correlate into testing skill what so ever.

I do believe that regardless of whether people WANT to play Alpha there should be some further method of determining their testing skills to gain access.  It's critical to the games success that competant people are involved from the first step.

  drakon3

Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/13
Posts: 114

 
OP  3/23/13 9:10:24 AM#8
Originally posted by Zintair

I do believe that regardless of whether people WANT to play Alpha there should be some further method of determining their testing skills to gain access.  It's critical to the games success that competant people are involved from the first step.

I think you'll find that "tourists" will get bored with alpha pretty quick, leaving only those players that are truly dedicated to shaping the game.  I don't think any other steps should be necessary to determine access to the alpha test.

  Zintair

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 63

3/23/13 9:22:29 AM#9
Originally posted by drakon3
Originally posted by Zintair

I do believe that regardless of whether people WANT to play Alpha there should be some further method of determining their testing skills to gain access.  It's critical to the games success that competant people are involved from the first step.

I think you'll find that "tourists" will get bored with alpha pretty quick, leaving only those players that are truly dedicated to shaping the game.  I don't think any other steps should be necessary to determine access to the alpha test.

Seems like this will be the case regardless.  I think its almost counter productive to use the Kickstarter as a basis for Alpha testing to only then apply another filter before you actually get Alpha testing.  Also I should pinch myself as a business owner because sometimes the $$$ is more important that what the "tourist" is doing.  I just hate to see games released that you can tell had poor Alpha and Beta phases.

I'm curious if there is a way to link Kickstarter to an account for the game you create and then have your profile consist of all your relevant MMO experience.  I'm kind of ripping this from ESO, but I really liked their BETA sign up process and I think having any of that information linked to a persons Kickstarter will be beneficial to CityState.

Offering Alpha at a mid-level tier may increase peoples Kickstarter contributions while also giving them critical marketing data for the popularity of the game.  Money attracts money.

  Odaman

Novice Member

Joined: 2/17/13
Posts: 195

3/23/13 1:41:30 PM#10
I'd rather see it in lower tiers because you'll have a larger pool for good testers. I won't be donating a large amount since I'm still in college, but being a cs student I imagine I can test better than many ;)
  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3740

RIP City of Heroes!

3/23/13 3:13:52 PM#11
Alpha access for top KS only. say greater than $500.00.
  rafalex007

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/13
Posts: 225

3/23/13 3:15:58 PM#12

where is the me opion :( i wana play, but cant affored going to kick start :(

hope it starts tommoro (alpha i mean )

  Odaman

Novice Member

Joined: 2/17/13
Posts: 195

3/23/13 3:31:56 PM#13
I don't see a need to restrict it to $500+. Shutting out that many potential testers would be bad for the game in general. Sure you could see them in beta, but the real work is done in alpha since betas have become more of a preview topped with final tweaks now.
  Plastic-Metal

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/13
Posts: 423

3/23/13 3:40:19 PM#14

I'm not sure, but I will say that the stress of developing a game and maintaining temporary alpha servers early on is going to be a massive headache for CSE.  

The better question would be who actually wants to participate in truly helping mold Camelot Unchained into a final, polished product while being able to overlook unbalanced mechanics, place holder graphics, and hundreds of bugs?  I'm willing to wager that a lot of people that think they want alpha access won't actually enjoy it due to the frustrations that will come with it, for both CSE and backers alike.

My name is Plastic-Metal and my name is an oxymoron.

  grogstorm

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/07
Posts: 287

If it ain't broke, dont fix it!

3/23/13 3:40:26 PM#15

I can see 20,000 people contributing to the kickstarter.  Yes, DAOC was that popular.  And there is no way they can manage that many people in an Alpha.  So there will have to be some limiting factor even if it is a lottery system.

Either limit by:

  • Donation
  • Lottery
  • Of some random factor like IQ :)

Grog

  Set_in_Ink

Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/13
Posts: 48

3/23/13 3:45:20 PM#16

I'll probably end up missing the beginning of alpha due to being out at sea, but I'm hoping that the lower middle tiers of Kickstarter get a chance to participate.  Allowing only the highest tiers would, as has been mentioned already, provide only a small amount of participation in alpha from the big earners/spenders while there could be some vital testers who just can't spare so much.

An alpha, and even a beta to a lesser extent, has no need for people who just want to mess around.  CSE needs people who are wanting to make an awesome game to participate in the testing, and I'm sure the high spenders are those people, but unless there is a large number of top tier spenders, I don't see enough participation to iron out the systems.

 

Edit: Off-topic, but I'm really tired of filling out Captcha forms because this website thinks I'm a bot for some reason.

'I think that there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge.' -Sherlock Holmes

  MarkJacobs

CEO City State Entertainment

Joined: 12/18/12
Posts: 405

3/23/13 5:31:37 PM#17

 

Folks,

Well, this is certainly one of those times that I think I will end up pissing off some people but...

First the good news though, we will be inviting lots of our backers into our stress tests even during the alpha test period because we need to focus on some really boring but necessary tech right from the start of this project. So, even if you don't get Alpha Access, you will still be invited to our "Break the Login Server/Renderer/Server" events.

Secondly, now the bad news. There is no good way to allow everyone into the alpha unless we also give them access to every test after that in which case, well, then everybody is in all the betas and that is a really, really bad idea. Besides the extra hard costs (which are manageable), the real problem is that if we had 20K people playing in alpha, we would have to deal with well, 20K people who've played the alpha on our forums. Alpha for us is a time to build, experiment and beat on the code. It is not a time (by how we are defining most stages of the alpha) a time to truly play the game but to build and test the foundation for the game. Alpha testing is not for everyone and as the developers, we shouldn't be distracted by all the support required to deal with that many people playing a shell of a game. As I've said, we want to get people playing our builds as quickly as possible but we can't allow everybody to do so.  In my mind the best thing to do is have a limited alpha (<5K total), let them in slowly and then go from there. Again, please remember that our alpha really is an alpha,  we're not using the term for PR purposes (it's really a beta but we are calling it an alpha).

Now more good news. Even if the tier you select isn't one of the tiers that come with alpha access, you can earn your way into it by participating on the forums. I'm sure someone will jump in after I post this and say something snarky, but truly, I want to have people in our alpha who can prove to us that are they willing to spend time engaging with us on the forums (“Insert snarky reference about kissing CSE buttocks here!”).  However, that does not mean praising us, fawning over us, etc. You guys have seen me tone down the hype, walk away from any statements from me or others about how we're the Holy Grail or anything like that. It's not that I don't want people to love our game and be passionate about it, I do. However, during our game's development I want people who can think and express themselves logically, coherently and (I hate this word) professionally especailly when they disagree with us.

I do want our backers in the game early but I also know that we want to let them in the game in a manner that won't set us one step back for every step forward. No matter what tier you pedge, I promise you that you will be given the opportuntiy to move up in the list (well, unless you already have alpha access of course) by helping us make CU the game we want it to be.  Over the decades I have read so many posts, gotten so much mail from people who have said "Let me in, I can help!" and sometimes we do and sometimes it works out. However, just like game development, sometimes it doesn't. Everyone who gets a copy of our game will be in the beta (free of course) and these same backers will also have the chance to prove that they can do even more for us and for CU. Those that can will be, I hope, pleasantly surprised at what happens in response. Hype? Nope, a simple promise. I'm independent again, less stressed than I've been since 1999, happy and frankly, the guy writing the checks (so far). While this means that I'm sure I'll do something dumb (as we all do), it also means that I will also do some smart things and this time, well, the responsibility is mine and mine alone. Letting people in slowly is smart, letting people in earlier who can prove that they can file bug reports, contribute to the discussion, etc. is smarter. Rewarding people who do so, smarter still and I did that way back in the GEnie days and I'm going to do so again, old-school. Smarter yet is the method that I'm using for our pledge tiers to thank our backers because it will also apply here. More to come on this next week.

Please also keep in mind that there are also multiple stages of beta, it won't go Alpha -> Beta -> Done. It will be more like Stress Test(s) -> Alpha -> Stress Tests(s)->Beta(lots)-> Stress Tests->Done. 

Mark

Mark Jacobs
CEO, City State Entertainment

  moosecatlol

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/25/10
Posts: 1178

3/23/13 5:36:20 PM#18
My personal alpha dream team would be a mix of notably dedicated gamers to help shape the hardcore spectrum of things, but also the friends and family that can help with the feed-back of content that would help build the bridge for the newer players.
  rafalex007

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/13
Posts: 225

3/23/13 5:43:12 PM#19
Originally posted by MarkJacobs

 

Folks,

Well, this is certainly one of those times that I think I will end up pissing off some people but...

First the good news though, we will be inviting lots of our backers into our stress tests even during the alpha test period because we need to focus on some really boring but necessary tech right from the start of this project. So, even if you don't get Alpha Access, you will still be invited to our "Break the Login Server/Renderer/Server" events.

Secondly, now the bad news. There is no good way to allow everyone into the alpha unless we also give them access to every test after that in which case, well, then everybody is in all the betas and that is a really, really bad idea. Besides the extra hard costs (which are manageable), the real problem is that if we had 20K people playing in alpha, we would have to deal with well, 20K people who've played the alpha on our forums. Alpha for us is a time to build, experiment and beat on the code. It is at least for us, not a time to truly play the game but to build the foundation for the game. Alpha testing is not for everyone and as the developers, we shouldn't be distracted by all the support required to deal with that many people playing a shell of a game. As I've said, we want to get people playing our builds as quickly as possible but we can't allow everybody to do so.  In my mind the best thing to do is have a limited alpha (<5K total), let them in slowly and then go from there. Again, please remember that our alpha really is an alpha,  we're not using the term for PR purposes (it's really a beta but we are calling it an alpha).

Now more good news. Even if the tier you select isn't one of the tiers that come with alpha access, you can earn your way into it by participating on the forums. I'm sure someone will jump in after I post this and say something snarky, but truly, I want to have people in our alpha who can prove to us that are they willing to spend time engaging with us on the forums (“Insert snarky reference about kissing CSE buttocks here!”).  However, that does not mean praising us, fawning over us, etc. You guys have seen me tone down the hype, walk away from any statements from me or others about how we're the Holy Grail or anything like that. It's not that I don't want people to love our game and be passionate about it, I do. However, during our game's development I want people who can think and express themselves logically, coherently and (I hate this word) professionally especailly when they disagree with us.

I do want our backers in the game early but I also know that we want to let them in the game in a manner that won't set us one step back for every step forward. No matter what tier you pedge, I promise you that you will be given the opportuntiy to move up in the list (well, unless you already have alpha access of course) by helping us make CU the game we want it to be.  Over the decades I have read so many posts, gotten so much mail from people who have said "Let me in, I can help!" and sometimes we do and sometimes it works out. However, just like game development, sometimes it doesn't. Everyone who gets a copy of our game will be in the beta (free of course) and these same backers will also have the chance to prove that they can do even more for us and for CU. Those that can will be, I hope, pleasantly surprised at what happens in response. Hype? Nope, a simple promise. I'm independent again, less stressed than I've been since 1999, happy and frankly, the guy writing the checks (so far). While this means that I'm sure I'll do something dumb (as we all do), it also means that I will also do some smart things and this time, well, the responsibility is mine and mine alone. Letting people in slowly is smart, letting people in earlier who can prove that they can file bug reports, contribute to the discussion, etc. is smarter. Rewarding people who do so, smarter still and I did that way back in the GEnie days and I'm going to do so again, old-school. Smarter yet is the method that I'm using for our pledge tiers to thank our backers because it will also apply here. More to come on this next week.

Mark

can you invite me atleast and make the game start tommoro (for me)

  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3740

RIP City of Heroes!

3/23/13 5:49:43 PM#20
Originally posted by moosecatlol
My personal alpha dream team would be a mix of notably dedicated gamers to help shape the hardcore spectrum of things, but also the friends and family that can help with the feed-back of content that would help build the bridge for the newer players.

 Well, alpha testers can provide feedback and it might be listened to but they shouldn't think of themselves as important enough to "shape" the game.  Alpha testers are not unimportant but they really aren't that important.

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