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General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:57 am
by Flatfingers
Since we're being all optimistic here lately :D , I thought I might bring this subject up again to see what the current plans are.

(Note: Alpha and Beta happen whenever they happen. I'm not asking about dates.)

Josh has previously mentioned having a "closed Alpha" testing phase and presumably a somewhat more open Beta.

So: based on current thinking and planning, what do these mean in a practical, specific sense?

What's the definition of "closed" in "closed Alpha?"

Who may participate in Beta testing?

LT is not a game like most other games. I think it's going to need testers outside the Big Three to confirm that it substantially delivers on the spirit of the promises made in the Kickstarter.

So if 2018 is going to be the year, I'd be interested in hearing some official word on specifics for Alpha and Beta testing. (Again, not dates -- just who participates and what the expectations for them are.)

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:03 am
by vector67
It would seem from what Josh has said before that the beta will be available to all kickstarters who backed at the beta level or above. He's said more than once that there is no way of getting beta access unless you either backed the kickstarter at that level or you have subsequently bought someone else's pledge at that level or above.

Now as to the alpha, that's anyone's guess, but I would surmise that it'll be the subset of the beta backers who are active on the forums.

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:40 am
by Black--Snow
vector67 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:03 am
It would seem from what Josh has said before that the beta will be available to all kickstarters who backed at the beta level or above. He's said more than once that there is no way of getting beta access unless you either backed the kickstarter at that level or you have subsequently bought someone else's pledge at that level or above.

Now as to the alpha, that's anyone's guess, but I would surmise that it'll be the subset of the beta backers who are active on the forums.
I don't recall mention of Alpha ever actually being a playable thing.
I was under the assumption that Beta was marked by the release to Beta backers, but was more or less actually an Alpha version (ie. not with fully complete features, and also probably buggy).

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:28 pm
by Grumblesaur
I'm only speculating here, but I think it's possible that, if there is any alpha testing to be done, the backers who had access to the LT Prototype could be recruited for it.

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:34 pm
by Talvieno
I'll ask about it the next time I get a chance to talk to Josh. :) These are questions that definitely ought to be answered at some point.

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:13 pm
by Victor Tombs
Like others here I can't recall there ever being a mention of Alpha testing. I may have missed it but I was under the impression that only Beta would have a short test time. Of course, many changes have occurred since the Kickstarter days so there may have been an update concerning the views of Josh especially now the project has a team working on it. :angel:

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:33 pm
by Flatfingers
My original comment was only going to be about Beta testing, but as I went back through older posts I saw Josh's comment about a "closed Alpha."

It's a measure of how optimistic I've become, based on the presence of an actual team working on LT as well as Josh's most recent devlogs, that I feel like looking ahead to the "is the whole game fun?" verification-and-tweaking phases is worth doing now.

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:15 pm
by Cornflakes_91
i think the alpha will be the current team plus a couple of known forumites like Flat, BFett, and so on.
short some people that are a known and trusted factor in here.

and the beta was a kickstarter reward so i guess thats just going to get sent out to whoever is eligible (plus whoever in the alpha group isnt eligible for beta by throwing money)

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:57 pm
by Dinosawer
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:15 pm
(plus whoever in the alpha group isnt eligible for beta by throwing money)
furiously punts credit card at laptop screen

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:51 pm
by BFett
I'm unsure if there will be a alpha open to backers or not. I do know that I get beta access for sure since someone was kind enough to transfer it to me a year or so ago.

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:47 pm
by Cornflakes_91
To backers likely not, yeah.

But to a couple of trusted people?
Maybe

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:39 am
by Black--Snow
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:47 pm
To backers likely not, yeah.

But to a couple of trusted people?
Maybe
I would both not be and simultaneously be surprised if Josh recruited the active forum/IRC members for Alpha.

Though I think it would make more sense to recruit beta backers that are also active forum members, if anything.
This way it's a logical process and not Josh saying "I trust these special people more, also frak all you beta backers these guys get the game first for free".

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:06 am
by Victor Tombs
Black--Snow wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:39 am
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:47 pm
To backers likely not, yeah.

But to a couple of trusted people?
Maybe
I would both not be and simultaneously be surprised if Josh recruited the active forum/IRC members for Alpha.

Though I think it would make more sense to recruit beta backers that are also active forum members, if anything.
This way it's a logical process and not Josh saying "I trust these special people more, also frak all you beta backers these guys get the game first for free".
Hmm...I'm sure Josh could trust me with Alpha but I don't think I would make a good tester. I'm not entirely sure why there would be a need for Alpha as the Beta will involve a much better cross-section of players who would probably do a better job of weeding out any flaws that may be present. Knowing that "perfectionist Josh" lurks in shallow waters beneath his present persona I'm sure the game will be played to death by the LT Team until there will be very little in the way of gremlins.

I could do "this is a fun game to play" with ease though. :D :angel:

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:23 am
by Flatfingers
Black--Snow wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:39 am
"frak all you beta backers these guys get the game first for free".
This is always such a difficult perspective to address for any game whose developers have been friendly to regular gamers.

A lot of gamers look at alpha access or some similar friends-and-family testing phase as a special reward for a favored few. The thing is, though, the developer perspective Alpha is more like "OK, I think this is finally playable, but I'm too close to it and I need some friendly/professional folks to give me their unvarnished opinions before I let the high-expectation general audience see it."

In other words, the Alpha testing phase IMO is best understood not as just one more perk purely for PR purposes (even if that's how some developers of conventional AAA games treat Alpha) but as the last opportunity to get serious private feedback that helps an indie developer deliver the game he really wants to make. Gamers who are only thinking about "what's fun for me?" can't help with this -- what's needed in the Alpha phase are objective testers who have the developer's interests in mind even if they don't personally share those interests.

Beta testing, by contrast, is about opening up the game to a limited but representative subset of the full range of gamer types who'll play the game. These testers emphasize the player's perception of the game. This is also an extremely valuable perspective prior to the full release of a game... but it's not the same thing as what Alpha testing delivers.

Re: General Outline of Alpha and Beta Testing

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:42 am
by Naed
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:47 pm
To backers likely not, yeah.

But to a couple of trusted people?
Maybe
If by trusted you mean people from the forum that are not backers? Then i would very loudly say "HELL NO"

However if by trusted you mean someone that Josh and Co know, fx from the offices close by? Then i would say "Sure, that would make sense"