Please don’t get mad when beta 2 comes out

By on May 13, 2010 7:14:40 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
+102

imageThere is quite a bit of concern (mostly from marketing) that people will be angry when beta 2 comes out because of how much we crippled the betas.

I hope those of you in the beta understand why we did what we did with the betas. Elemental is a new game. It’s been many years since there’s been a new fantasy strategy game made from scratch. As a result, it was important to us that we not rely on 3D graphics or multiplayer in order for the game to have good game mechanics.

Now, some of you may be like me where you’ve played games for decades so you’ll understand where I’m coming from.  A GOOD game shouldn’t need super good graphics or high end production values. Tower Defense is an awesome game and it has virtually no graphics.  So for Beta 1, we went to considerable efforts to force it to be, well, suck in order to get the beta testers to think about the game AS A GAME rather than as some sort of multimedia experience.

Now, when Beta 2 shows up, obviously with the 3D engine, some of you may feel we were trying to torture you or something. We just wanted to make sure that you guys felt truly free to debate and suggest different game ideas.

When this is all done, we will have to revisit just how much of an impact you guys have had in making the game a BETTER game and how much of that was because of being able to play minus fancy graphics.

Nowadays, it’s very very rare for brand new major PC games to be made. Nearly everything is a sequel or a remake. We felt it important that we take our time and do this right.  So while 7 months in beta 1 might have seemed excessive, I think it’ll become clear that giving the beta testers time to debate game mechanics and concepts was worth it.

Locked Post 86 Replies +1
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 7:18:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just one minor example. With the beta, it would never ever have occurred to us to have a global resource system. Every city having its own resource pool has always been how it's done. If not for the beta testers debating it we would never have considered something new and interesting like this which has led to a much "funner" game design. When the reviews of the final game come out, I think the importance of having beta testers involved as early as possible will become increasingly recognized.

Next game I want to get people involved even before the beta as it has worked out incredibly well on Elemental.  

For those of you who are new to Elemental, go check out the beta forums. The concepts, ideas, reports, and so forth are just amazing.  

Beta 2 is being made for every gamer who has felt like PC gaming has become merely a commodity of stale ideas and mass production concepts. We thank you.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 7:26:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Beta 2 is being made for every gamer who has felt like PC gaming has become merely a commodity of stale ideas and mass production concepts. We thank you.

Not just PC Gaming, but Gaming in general.  I am VERY excited for Beta 2!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 7:38:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Me too, I can't wait!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 7:41:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm easy going as long as the quality is there.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 7:46:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, I must admit that this is my first beta testing. I never wanted to beta test a game before, but since I just love the fantasy strategy genre [especially if it's a fantasy TBS] + I always respected you lads @ Stardock, I was like....hmm this is a game, which has a huge potential...so I pre-ordered, and I am very happy with what I've seen so far. It's a very good thing that the devs are interacting with the testers, and not only that...but the devs care about the opinion of the testers. Hats off!

+ This is a really good, and mature community what we have here, on this forum. [Thankfully we only had 1 Hortz! ] The players are coming up with very interesting ideas & suggestions on a daily basis. The bug reports were also decent so far... this is my opinion of course, since this is my first beta. 

To sum it up: it's a very good thing to be part of this beta...can't wait for phase 2.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 8:00:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think this concept of game creation should have been done a long time ago. The friends of mine I have told about this seem to agree, even got one of them on the hook and interested in the beta 2! I don't understand why more developers don't try to get input from the people they ultimately want to sell their product to. Must have something to do with a lack of desire to hear the feedback, or a fragile ego, or just money. I am just excited to have a quality game for a change. One I will want to play a year from now and not lose interest in 3 months. Anyway I am very happy to suffer through bugs and CTD's just to know in some small way I helped to shape the final product. Thanks guys!!!  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 8:06:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Interior crocodile alligator I drive a Chevrolet movie theater" that's a good explanation of the beta.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 8:17:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's counterintuitive to me to think that beta-entrants would be angry, if anything I'm extra-double-triple pleased that we get to see the game with its bells and whistles attached

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 8:25:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sur17,
It's counterintuitive to me to think that beta-entrants would be angry, if anything I'm extra-double-triple pleased that we get to see the game with its bells and whistles attached

Our worry is that when users see beta 2, it'll be pretty obvious how much we've been holding back on.  But we are convinced that had all the goodies been made in beta 1, we might have ended up with a much poorer game.

The beta testers can hopefully attest to just how much the game has changed since October in terms of how it functions.

One nice thing is that we didn't ditch previous ideas but rather added to them so that modders can use them still. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 8:30:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The excellent and frequent communication should be prevent anybody from getting the wrong idea. I'd also bet your audience for this game is on the more mature side.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 8:32:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, I mean there are a lot of "game play excerpt" videos using the non-cloth map function, even in the Media section, so its not like we would be completely surprised ...

I would like for Beta 2 please.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 9:17:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can I have Beta 2 now?  please?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 9:33:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the heads up.. I migth be a little angry to see how awsome this game actually is lol, just kidding! Stardock is in my opinion one of the greatest gamedevelopers out there.. Ps. I read on a fan page on facebook about mr. CEO of Stardock.. "Frogboy". It's quite a journey you've had. And I admire what you have done. And the hights you are going to bring Stardock to.. Is there any possibilities to buy any shares in Stardock, cuz now would be a good time to invest hehe. Great job guys. I surly is excited about beta 2. Looking forward to it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 9:48:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

More companies should extend their development period on their games... It goes a long way.

 

Beta 2 NOW! (starts FOAMING AT THE MOUTH!>>!>$@$#$#)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:03:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Its not necessarily the length of the development period (although that certainly helps) but it is the determination to get things right, as well as willingness to cooperate with the player base.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:40:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting sur17, reply 8It's counterintuitive to me to think that beta-entrants would be angry, if anything I'm extra-double-triple pleased that we get to see the game with its bells and whistles attached
Our worry is that when users see beta 2, it'll be pretty obvious how much we've been holding back on.  But we are convinced that had all the goodies been made in beta 1, we might have ended up with a much poorer game.

The beta testers can hopefully attest to just how much the game has changed since October in terms of how it functions.

One nice thing is that we didn't ditch previous ideas but rather added to them so that modders can use them still. 

Are you trying to tell us that Elemental is in a much more complete state than what you were letting on? Actually, that's a relief. With your release date so soon I thought for sure you wouldn't have it ready in any reasonable amount of time.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:45:16 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

It kind of saddens me when the Beta for Elemental has me more interested than full games available today like Mass Effect 2.

In any case:

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:45:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm very sure, when you folks release Beta 2, I will have several moments, somewhere, possibly entirely seperate, where I go "Wow, this was here all along? Goddamnit Brad, why couldn't I have had this earlier?"

Now, mind you. I still play things like Tropico 1 and 2, and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Partially because I'm a crazy person and enjoy management games. Partially because the gameplay is good and satisfying. Certainly not because of graphics, or stuff they could have had those games been made today.

 

So I won't promise I won't be mad. What I will promise is that I'll understand. If, for instance, beta had been awesome from the get-go, I wouldn't have noticed things like watchtowers taking 70 turns to make. Or the fact that certain things here and there were broken. The game, as you say, would have suffered enormously, from being cool from minute one.

 

So, bring on Beta 2. Let us see what you've cooked up behind the curtains. I can only imagine that everyone will love you for it.

 

Long live Stardock, etc.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:50:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One really good thing about this Beta is that I feel most major releases now are pushed out at beta quality anyhow.  Hearts of Iron 3 is an example of a game that was just not finished and had to be shoved out the door.  These practices hurt the industry overall, and some consumers adopt a wait-and-see attitude, where they'll wait until X patches before they buy.  The day one buyers are essentially involuntary beta testers, albeit unintentionally.  The key difference is that I think you guys get tons of goodwill and come off looking like the good guys, whereas the release-early-and-patch-later style gets you a lot of pissed off customers.

So kudos SD and Elemental!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:50:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Our worry is that when users see beta 2, it'll be pretty obvious how much we've been holding back on.  But we are convinced that had all the goodies been made in beta 1, we might have ended up with a much poorer game.
The beta testers can hopefully attest to just how much the game has changed since October in terms of how it functions.
One nice thing is that we didn't ditch previous ideas but rather added to them so that modders can use them still. 

This is one of the many reasons you and Stardock are unique (or at least among a select few) in the gaming (and non) development world. Which makes me applaud you and the team that much more.

It WAS indeed hard as the early BETA was a killer but that did exactly what you wanted: we all focused on the game-play and thinking outside graphics etc.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 10:57:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quite an interesting thing here has occurred.

If you, the developers, feel that this was the best laid path to the goal of a great game then by all means hold back the way you have. Small or large, the amount you've held back has been for the purpose of refining the base systems that make the game enjoyable. These systems have had very noticeable changes that we all would agree are for the best. You've also found a way for the intrinsically motivated to assist you in the creation of this game. You've done a wonderful thing here buddy. Keep up the good work.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 11:07:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Beta 2 is being made for every gamer who has felt like PC gaming has become merely a commodity of stale ideas and mass production concepts. We thank you.

Amen. This line makes me want to preorder again.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 11:14:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ZehDon,

In any case:

 

I busted out laughing seeing that picture.  And I concur completely.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 11:29:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

LOLOLOLOLOL

Wow I have to congratulate you. This is the best Bragging post I have ever seen.

Now seriously if you are going to state we are going to go all Rodney King riots on your asses about what you have been holding back on us. I am pretty sure if anyone is STUPID enough to complain, the forum community as a whole will rise up, hack your systems, Find their homes, and beat them to death.

I for one cannot wait and hope that what you deliver in Beta 2 lives up to the promise you just made

And oh just for the record... I knew you were holding out on us. Stated it in another post that you wanted to live up to your "No Fun" promise. I'm am just glad for one you guys went the way you did. and I promise not to get mad unless when Beta 2 hits it sucks. In which case we are going to start playing whack-o-boogie-toad on the forums. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 13, 2010 11:33:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But on the main note...............

 

 

 

Where is our Beta 2!!!!!!

Seriously enough build up already my heart can't take much more.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0002172   Page Render Time: