Game Design Process

By on December 2, 2010 10:50:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek Paxton

Join Date 03/2003
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I hope that if you are here reading dev journals then you are curious about the game development process.  There are a lot of ways to manage a game, so I don't mean this to be the bible of game development.  Only a talk about my thoughts.

 

High Level Design

The first step to creating a new game or an expansion is to write a high level design.  My design for the expansion was about 30 pages (I tend to have problems summarizing).  The important part isn't that every detail is laid out in the high level design, but that all the systems that will be touched are included.  I don't need every spell, but I need the way the spell system works and the structure if it is being changed.

Good design work takes time.  It isn't something that's done in a weekend.  It's like writing a book.  You write it all out, then you go back and write it again, and again, and again.  Every detail is scrubbed.  Is this really needed?  Is there a way this can be more fun?  Is this going to require too much effort to implement?  And most importantly for an expansion, how will this integrate with the base game?

 

Stakeholders Meeting

Once the High Level Design is complete we have a meeting with the stakeholders and go through the concept, focus and design of the game.  They can see what needs to be done to create it, get an estimate for how much time and money is required and talk about systems they want to add or remove.  For the expansion it was the Executive Producer (Brad), the associate producer, the Art Director, and the former producer.  The executive producer is the most critical member of the meeting as he has to pay for it.

In most gaming companies this would be a meeting with a publisher.  There would be contracts around the deliverables, milestones and budget.  The best thing about working for a self-publishing independently owned company is that there is only one guy that needs to approve the design, and he's Elementals biggest fan.  (did I mention that my job is awesome)

The trick to a successful meeting is to make sure everyone has been introduced to the topics before it starts.  That way I know what everyone thinks about each part, where I can expect to get push back and that everyone is generally onboard before we start.  I also have the opportunity to adjust the design to their good ideas and any issues they find, rather than being surprised with them in the meeting.  I don't like surprises.

For this expansion the meeting went well.  The hardest part is balancing features and the schedule.  There are a million things we can do and there is no lack of good ideas.  But choosing the right few is the hard part.  By the end of the meeting everyone knows what the expansion is going to be and has a fairly good idea on the schedule and budget.  We have all agreed to the design, there won't be any major changes.

 

Detailed Design

The next step is to take that high level design and turn it into something that programmers and artists can pull tasks out of.  Every spell needs to be detailed, exactly what it does and how it works.  Every place we need a new model, a new animation, a new texture or a new painting need to be specified.

Implementation can start as the detailed design is being written as long as the high level design was very through and it truly is locked.  If your high level design is just a concept doc then there is going to be a lot of time and confusion when people try to implement on ideas that aren't ready.  But assuming a through high level design programmers and artists can get started on the framework for the systems while designers spec out the unfinished parts.

Its almost impossible to have too much detail at this stage.  The more ambiguity, the more you rely on the programmers to be creative.  Stardock has amazingly talented programmers who know the game and are accustomed to designing as they work.  But their focus and creativity should be on implementing clean systems, on making the code as efficient and bug free as possible.  Not on trying to figure out what I meant in some obscure sentence about tactical combat.  Ambiguity also causes them to misinterpet and not implement the system I've imagined which will come back as bugs later on.

The detailed design is not a one man job.  Those that are interested are invited to sit down and talk about various systems.  Some team members have a lot of passion and ideas around city sieges, or spell ideas or quests and they should be invited to brainstorming sessions to pitch and share ideas.  Review meetings are also scheduled to go over the design and get lots of input throughout (especially if you are like me and the newest member of the team).  Everyone on the games team is a member of the design team.

 

The Schedule

In conjunction with the detailed design the schedule can be built.  This is an estimate of all the tasks that are needed to create the game assigned out to each team member.  Once the schedule is complete a team member should know what they are expected to do throughout the project.  Vacations are entered on the schedule, tasks are lined up so that if one system requires another the required system is completed first.

The schedule is what breaks game developers.  There is never enough time.  So much we would love to do, but the weeks slip by so quickly.

The nice thing about a good schedule is it allows you to see how you are performing.  Are you a week ahead or behind?  Would adding another artist make life easier for everyone?  What sort of artist do you need most?  Can you afford to have a team member spend a week working on another project?

 

Implementation

I enjoy design, but this is my favorite part.  This is when I get to see those things we talked about coming to life.  Every day bring some new tweak or detail to play with.  Given a balanced schedule this is the reason we decide to make games.  Those people that think that programming is programming, that making a game is really no different than making a business application have never created a spell that damages all enemies and causes those killed by it to rise as demons under your control.  It's cool stuff.

 

Iteration

The first test build allows you to try the game out and see if it's working.  2/3 of development should be spent implementing, and 1/3 for iteration.  The reason so much time is allocated for iteration is that some ideas just aren't going to work and have to be changed.  2 additional weeks of implementation may allow you to add more stuff, but 2 more weeks of iteration improves the quality of your game.  Given the choice, pick iteration.

It's also important to remember that iteration doesn't mean much if all the systems aren't implemented yet.  It's too easy to blame pacing or game problems on systems that aren't implemented.  To be of any real use a beta must be full featured.

Gaming companies have differing opinions on Alpha/Beta builds.  Some release beta builds to a private community months before and play test for a while before issuing a public beta, which is then more about balance.  Stardock releases quickly.  This is good and bad.

Some players may comment that our first priority should be stability, that is tough to do.  Anytime you make significant changes you introduce bugs.  Let me give one example, multi-threaded AI.  There is a reason most games don't use multithreading.  It's difficult to code, it's difficult to support and it introduces issues.  With multithreading the computer is doing more than one thing at a time independently.  So while you are attacking a city the AI may be going through and planning its production.  If the AI builds a list of cities to check and goes through city 1, 2, 3, 4... and if between the time it built the list of cities and got to city 4 you destroyed city 4 the game will crash.  The AI tries to query city 4, there is no city 4, boom.

The good point of AI threading is that it dramatically speeds up the game.  Human players spend a lot of time planning their turn, lots of time that the AI could be doing their actions.  But in a single threaded world the AI waits and that 30 seconds that would have happened while you were moving has to happen while you wait.  It also allows us to make the AI smarter.  In a single threaded world you wouldn't want to add an AI function that causes the AI to spend an extra 5 seconds a turn.  But with multithreading the players don't even notice the difference.  If a player spends 90 seconds on his turn, that's 90 seconds that is open to the AI.

Understanding that we want multithreaded AI, but we know that it will introduce issues we could either keep it internal for a few weeks and allow the QA guys to beat on it.  Or after verifying some base stability (it should be playable, but not perfect) we can release it and allow the community to help us find issues, report on balance issue and offer feedback.  Of course we do this with the huge disclaimer that it is a beta.  But we do it because the community asks for it, it's a community option (in that you have the choice to play betas or not) and frankly its very helpful to us.  We know it can be frustrating.  In fact I didn't play the Elemental beta at all because I was so looking forward to it that I didn't want to dirty my impression of it by playing flawed versions.

 

Lockdown

At some point before release, at the very least a week, all changes stop.  Only bug fixes are allowed and those are usually by approval only.  Code checkins may have to go through the most experienced programmers and even good ideas are rejected.  Now is the time when stability becomes king and every precaution is taken to make sure that some late game defect isn't introduced that causes issues.

Lockdown is an act of willpower.  It's tough because there is always things that need to be done.  There are always late ideas that would make something better.  And a lot of anticipation about the upcoming release that makes people want to make everything perfect, just like a bride fiddling with her dress before the wedding or some other more masculine analogy.  But the time for fiddling is past.

The biggest misconception about game development is that the game has been relatively consistent throughout.  Many people imagine that the set and we add things to it throughout development.  Like a cake with frosting (or some other more manually analogy).  So they are surprised when things don't work.  That the developers should have had the entire process to work those things out.  But the only real time to see the game in its final form is the lockdown time.

I see it right now with patches.  The game changes every day, sometimes the game changes every few minutes.  Players may update to a new patch and wonder why after playing for an hour they run across an issue that the developer didn't catch.  Hasn't the developer had that patch for weeks/months.  Why didn't they see it?  Mostly that's because that issue got in just before lockdown (assuming patches have lockdown at all).

 

Release

The bugs have been slain, the schedule bested, though at times weak and weary we have overcome and produced a game.  XP is handed out and we head to the pub where the bards sing of our victory's.  Or the bard's give us a bad metacritic score, those crazy bards.

But release is only a new beginning, especially at Stardock.  There is support left to do, there is a ton of community feedback and ideas that are accepted and adopted.  The beta process gives a lot of that but release is the real opportunity to see where we stand.

I don't know if the time we spend posting and talking with the community is the best use of our time (as compared to making the game).  But its undeniable that it effects the game.  And although it takes a lot of time the game is better for it in the end.  It is in a very real sense a community effort and it exists at every level at Stardock.  From Brad asking if I read one post or another, to the team members talking directly to community members or asking about community feedback in our meetings.

 

 

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December 2, 2010 11:57:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can feel the potential of the game in it's current state and believe it can only get better.  I am not a modder myself, but I suspect that this community is bursting with great ideas that will enable each gamer to mod the final game into "their" ultimate 4x fantasy game.  Once you achieve lockdown and release, I will be checking the mods page frequently for all of the great community generated content that has already been discussed here on the boards and in the design a spell contest.  

Looking forward to the "design a random encounter contest", "neat loot drop contest",  "coolest goodie hut"  etc!  

Thanks for the tour of the sausage factory and the whole team being willing to pull back the curtain and share.

 Edit: And thanks for the new beta!  (5 minutes after my initial reply.)

 

 

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December 3, 2010 3:03:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Pure awesomeness. I always love stuff like this.

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December 3, 2010 3:05:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have been looking forward to this game ever since I learned it was being developed.  I was disappointed by the initial release, but I have a lot of faith in the concept's potential and the team's ability to implement it.  Even though I haven't played much Elemental since my purchase, I still consider it money well spent.  Lock down the design & sweat through the balancing and you'll have one hell of a game.  Good luck and godspeed.

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December 3, 2010 3:47:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That was a very good read, thank you for that.

Quoting ,


The schedule is what breaks game developers.  There is never enough time.  So much we would love to do, but the weeks slip by so quickly.
[...]

To be of any real use a beta must be full featured. 

My only hope/concern is that you handle idiosyncracies of Stardock beta scheduling and iteration with a LOT more transparency this time around.

I say this because I believe there was at least one tremendously fatal error which must have occurred around June of 2010 about which Brad (and no one else at Stardock) has yet mentioned a single word. It involved this: In June of 2010, Brad stated (1) that the Beta we were all testing was still "horrible" and causing hemorraging etc. etc. and that (2) the product would go gold in August. This aroused many questions (including mine here, which was locked) which were never addressed, and speaking about them was forbidden. Then, the Beta continued with the same procedure, yet without being "full featured", as you write above -- and all of this with no statements transparency from Stardock.

Since I had invested a great deal of time and effort in Beta testing and because like all of my peers here I am not monetarily reimbursed (our renumeration is the good feeling we get by helping a cause we feel we can identify with), I felt abandoned, and very dissapointed -- not because the product release was suboptimal, but because the process leading up to the suboptimal release was entirely lacking in trust and transparency.

This is one of the reasons why despite my continued friendly support of Stardock and its products, I will not be investing too much time in current or future Beta procedures without explicit changes made to your policy regarding the above issues. Brad's laudable and feverent optimism as well as his transparency in other realms (e.g. his work on AI, his restructuring of the project, his vision for a "great" game, his assessment of the suboptimal results of the release week, etc.) not withstanding -- we have had those types of transparency since 2008, and yet this did not prevent what I see to be a mysterious disaster in June of 2010 -- an issue regarding which I believe Brad still owes us at least one word. I do not want to hear "That didn't go as I had wanted, we will strive hard to make it better".

Thank you for starting to make many things clearer and your continued perseverence, I look forward to hearing something explicit regarding the above-mentioned issue some time soon.

 

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December 3, 2010 8:55:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I hope so too.  Communities need a little love and attention to reach the fullest potential, and I am sure this issue is no different.  And it's also a good time to kill a few demons (now that Kael is involved, who knows a little about killing demons  ).

Best regards,
Steven.

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December 3, 2010 9:35:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds a lot like my old job, I worked at an engineering firm and reading this gave me a deja vu type of feeling. Thanks for the write-up, it was a good read!

 

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December 3, 2010 9:58:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Really interesting. Sounds like my current job

 

I think all of us who have programming/software jobs understand that implementation is 2/3rds time and testing is 1/3rd time. I've come to realize that testing is EXTREMELY important and needs to be really rigorous if you're going to have a a product worth it's salt. Who cares what cool features you've implemented if it crashes right away.

I'm curious, and feel free to stop me if it's proprietary- but what sort of testing methods do you guys use? What's your QA round like? Do you have a dedicated team? Do you write automated tools? I realize it's really tough to write an automated tool to test a game, but such tools are really invaluable for plumbing the depths of a system. It's probably not standard, but honestly I would think writing an AI that could 'play' the game and interact with the UI from a player's perspective would be extremely valuable to most gaming companies.

 

 

 

 

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December 3, 2010 10:16:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

(Damn, my browser crashed and I lost my post, I'll try to sumarise what I wanted to say.)

The concept of iteration also applies to the design of the rules of the game. You start your game design with something that roughly works, evaluate risk, make a prototype, test if it works then change your design. As the process advance the rules get more and more refined. Since electronic prototype are expensive to develop, you generally start with a paper prototype and when the testing has exceeded the limiits of the paper prototype, you should start making the electronic prototype.

I think the problem with Elemental was that they roughly designed the game and jumped directly into programming. There has been no testing of the rules of the game, but rather testing of the programming. So they made a software with no game. Since elemental is similar to known games, there might be less rule testing to do because you already have a base with these other games. But you ended up with design flaw like the gold deposit which was the only source of gold income. I could have found this flaw without playing the game.

So now, It's after the release that the design and testing of the rules of the game has started. So you somewhat procedded backward, instead of designing a game first and implement it as a video game afterward, you made a software or engine that could be used for a civilisation like game, and now you are designing the game.

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December 3, 2010 11:02:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow. Organization. I'm not sure I fully appreciated it before, but watching this development process unfold has really been an eye-opener. One thing I remember most about the beta were the frequent, sudden, sometimes unsettling changes in overall direction. I knew there was something not right about it but I couldn't fully articulate it. A project this big simply cannot turn on a dime in two weeks without its pieces and parts flying out helter skelter.

Bugs and instability do need to be dealt with at every reasonable opportunity, but never let yourselves feel bad about them. There ought to be no shame in releasing a game with bugs. It is indeed impossible not to. A good fun design is the only thing that matters. The game with the very most bugs and broken mechanics is Dwarf Fortress, and yet its probably one of the best games ever designed for those who have some patience. How can that be? I think its because it utilizes its content in a way that can tell an almost unlimited number of stories. It creates content through pure cause and effect.

 

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December 3, 2010 2:45:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Your Development process seems to lack any real QA process and the reason now seems clear, testing is never done, because the software is never finished just keeps changing every 5 minutes. Maybe you should finish the software development before releasing a different version every other week. What's the point of releasing another half-baked version, if the software isn't finished yet?

The AI was not fully implemented (not finished) in 1.09n, what was the point of it's release?

Is the AI now fully implemented in 1.09o/p/z why waste eveyones time until it's done and ready for testing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 3, 2010 2:52:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pad152,
Your Development process seems to lack any real QA process and the reason now seems clear, testing is never done, because the software is never finished just keeps changing every 5 minutes. Maybe you should finish the software development before releasing a different version every other week. What's the point of releasing another half-baked version, if the software isn't finished yet?

The AI was not fully implemented (not finished) in 1.09n, what was the point of it's release?

Is the AI now fully implemented in 1.09o/p/z why waste eveyones time until it's done and ready for testing?
 
To annoy people like you that on purpose decides to ignore that these are betas. And also decide to ignore on purpose the answers to that already given to you by Stardock.

Not that you care.

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December 3, 2010 3:04:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pad152,
...testing is never done, because the software is never finished just keeps changing every 5 minutes...
It seems you missed the entire "lockdown" section, and the repeated references to stability and finding/fixing bugs...

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December 3, 2010 3:21:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pad152,
Your Development process seems to lack any real QA process and the reason now seems clear, testing is never done, because the software is never finished just keeps changing every 5 minutes. Maybe you should finish the software development before releasing a different version every other week. What's the point of releasing another half-baked version, if the software isn't finished yet?

Responded to you in more detail here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/401240/page/1/#2835457

You are suggesting we skip the beta process, or make it only for a private community (which in all fairness is what most game companies do).  There was a beta of Civ5, it went on for years, it just wasn't available to the public.  We make it publicaly available because members of the community enjoy it.  We beleive in a lot of transparency between what we do and the community.  You get to see the sausage being made.  Game development is a bumpy road and most companies would keep you out of the process until it was all done.  We allow you to be as involved as you want in the process.

Quoting pad152,
The AI was not fully implemented (not finished) in 1.09n, what was the point of it's release?

The point of releasing a beta version (not a release version) is to get player feedback on issues, balance etc.  It is understood that it will have bugs.  If the understanding is that betas are just to get players to have early access to the game, then those players will probably not enjoy the beta process.

Quoting pad152,
Is the AI now fully implemented in 1.09o/p/z why waste eveyones time until it's done and ready for testing?

We aren't wasting anyones time.  Players have the option to participate or not.  If they enjoy helping us develop and improve the game then their time isn't wasted.  If they don't enjoy that then they should stay on the release version.

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December 3, 2010 3:57:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek

I was part of the beta process before Elemental was released and I'm seeing the same beta process of one broken buggy release after another and wonder will the 1.1 release will be any better, there never was a stable version before release!

You can't comment or test features in a game until it's some what stable, so far all of the 1.1 beta's do little more than just crash.

I'm suggesting that even a beta version should not be released until it is some what stable, bugs-yes, broken features-yes, not fully playable-yes but, not constant crashes.

Thanks for your reply!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 3, 2010 4:03:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Derek Paxton,

Quoting pad152, reply 10Your Development process seems to lack any real QA process and the reason now seems clear, testing is never done, because the software is never finished just keeps changing every 5 minutes. Maybe you should finish the software development before releasing a different version every other week. What's the point of releasing another half-baked version, if the software isn't finished yet?
Responded to you in more detail here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/401240/page/1/#2835457

You are suggesting we skip the beta process, or make it only for a private community (which in all fairness is what most game companies do).  There was a beta of Civ5, it went on for years, it just wasn't available to the public.  We make it publicaly available because members of the community enjoy it.  We beleive in a lot of transparency between what we do and the community.  You get to see the sausage being made.  Game development is a bumpy road and most companies would keep you out of the process until it was all done.  We allow you to be as involved as you want in the process.


Quoting pad152, reply 10The AI was not fully implemented (not finished) in 1.09n, what was the point of it's release?
The point of releasing a beta version (not a release version) is to get player feedback on issues, balance etc.  It is understood that it will have bugs.  If the understanding is that betas are just to get players to have early access to the game, then those players will probably not enjoy the beta process.


Quoting pad152, reply 10Is the AI now fully implemented in 1.09o/p/z why waste eveyones time until it's done and ready for testing?
We aren't wasting anyones time.  Players have the option to participate or not.  If they enjoy helping us develop and improve the game then their time isn't wasted.  If they don't enjoy that then they should stay on the release version.

Derek, I hope you all know that most of the community is behind you 100%, and very much appreciate all the time and effort yall go through to make us part of the whole process. I know it would probably be faster and less painful for all of yall at SD to let the community take a backseat, but I think we can all agree that following elemental these past few months has been a fun and wild ride.

 

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December 3, 2010 4:05:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pad152,
Derek

I was part of the beta process before Elemental was released and I'm seeing the same beta process of one broken buggy release after another and wonder will the 1.1 release will be any better, there never was a stable version before release!

You can't comment or test features in a game until it's some what stable, so far all of the 1.1 beta's do little more than just crash.

I'm suggesting that even a beta version should not be released until it is some what stable, bugs-yes, broken features-yes, not fully playable-yes but, not constant crashes.

Thanks for your reply!
I am not sure you understand what a beta is. If it was stable, there's be no point in making it a beta, it would be ready to go. And in order to get it stable, you would need to run a beta first.

And there were plenty of stable versions after release, in fact the current (non-beta) version is plenty stable. So stability in general is not an issue. If you prefer a stable version, you may limit yourself to versions which are intended to be stable.

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December 3, 2010 4:15:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pad152,
Derek

I was part of the beta process before Elemental was released and I'm seeing the same beta process of one broken buggy release after another and wonder will the 1.1 release will be any better, there never was a stable version before release!

You can't comment or test features in a game until it's some what stable, so far all of the 1.1 beta's do little more than just crash.

I'm suggesting that even a beta version should not be released until it is some what stable, bugs-yes, broken features-yes, not fully playable-yes but, not constant crashes.

Thanks for your reply!

 

I disagree with this. It seems you did not understand what Derek has tried to explain. They can release versions that most would consider "release ready". However, doing so takes time. Releasing these betas has the direct result that 1) the time until a "Release ready" client is done is reduced, because they multiply bug finders by the hundreds and 2) the testers get to post feedback on gameplay during development, instead of after.

So, I say bring on the crashing betas all you want, Derek. And let those who want a more stable game experience play the non-betas.

Really, the only issue here is that we have to assume that people will consistently mistake betas for non-betas, and treat them as such.

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December 3, 2010 4:54:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

B-B-Beta B-Beta Banana......

 

Thank you for that very insightful post Derek, I learnt a lot.

 

@pad152, Maybe what you're referring to could be called a Gamma version?

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December 3, 2010 5:00:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cruxador,

I am not sure you understand what a beta is. If it was stable, there's be no point in making it a beta, it would be ready to go. And in order to get it stable, you would need to run a beta first.
And there were plenty of stable versions after release, in fact the current (non-beta) version is plenty stable. So stability in general is not an issue. If you prefer a stable version, you may limit yourself to versions which are intended to be stable.

It's hard to blame him for not understanding that. The entire Elemental "beta" process had exactly zero beta versions before 1.0. Remember:

To be of any real use a beta must be full featured.

This was NEVER true before. There was no full-featured beta that people could hit for actual gameplay issues, because we never had all the gameplay assembled at the same time. Seeing that problem fixed will by itself improve the quality of the beta process.

 

 

I think all of us who have programming/software jobs understand that implementation is 2/3rds time and testing is 1/3rd time. I've come to realize that testing is EXTREMELY important and needs to be really rigorous if you're going to have a a product worth it's salt. Who cares what cool features you've implemented if it crashes right away.

Testing is important, but iteration isn't just testing. Its evaluating how things work as a whole game, and potentially changing something that works perfectly fine in terms of bugs, because the design itself doesn't make for a good mechanic.

 

 

As a whole, this entire post reminds me very little of how Elemental appeared to be built up to 1.0. That's probably a good thing.

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December 3, 2010 5:02:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hi Derek,

Thanks for the thread.  It makes me want to consider a career change.  Are you guys hiring?

P.S.  It's remarkable how level-headed you and Brad stay.  I think I've only seen Brad blow up once.  My hats off to you guys keeping your cool no matter how bad, ugly, or rude the feedback gets.  These last two beta patches have been nothing short of remarkable in terms of forward progress.  Even with crashes every 15 minutes or towns that can't grow past level 3, this game is now infinitely more playable and fun than it was.

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December 3, 2010 5:17:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek, I hope you all know that most of the community is behind you 100%, and very much appreciate all the time and effort yall go through to make us part of the whole process. I know it would probably be faster and less painful for all of yall at SD to let the community take a backseat, but I think we can all agree that following elemental these past few months has been a fun and wild ride.

Personaly, i can sign this. I play video (pc) games for almost 20 years. Its the first time i´m part of a beta and to me its fun. I like to give feedback. Of course for me there is this damn language barrier. But over all SD gives me the feeling (not directly or personaly) that my small posts help a little bit. Thats cool. I like that.

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December 3, 2010 9:35:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So now, It's after the release that the design and testing of the rules of the game has started. So you somewhat procedded backward, instead of designing a game first and implement it as a video game afterward, you made a software or engine that could be used for a civilisation like game, and now you are designing the game.

 

Here here.

Thanks for the article on the development process, Kael.  Moments like this revitalize my affinity for Stardock.  I will keep waiting!  Just don't keep me waiting too long, my AoW:SM is wearing thin!  If this keeps up I'll have to go back to Disciples!

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December 3, 2010 10:44:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Really cool behind the scenes info.  Thanks for sharing it!

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December 4, 2010 3:07:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome summary. I've always wondered about this and wanted to know more.

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December 4, 2010 4:10:38 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting James009D,
Awesome summary. I've always wondered about this and wanted to know more.

Agreed - say what you want to about stardock, but I know of no other gaming company that shares the amount of detail that they do with their customers.  And that is more open with their customers. 

 

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