Jump to content
threeheaded monkey

Closed steam pre-release. Yes or no? [EDITED]

Recommended Posts

On ‎5‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 2:29 PM, Magecoerlin said:

Hey Kerby,

Can you explain more why the NDA bothers you? It's a super standard thing for testing like this and absolutely not meant as a slight against the community. It's just the normal thing to do, so that everyone understands they're working on a licensed project. We just don't want anyone talking about any new features until they're set in stone and in the hands of everyone. I've seen dev teams as small as two people make testers sign NDAs, even for their friends. 


Is there a specific part of that that you disagree with? Or is it a broader dislike of NDAs?

 

Ok I will share some of my insight. Sorry for plugging a different game here but it is needed for the comparison. 

I am a avid player, and sometimes streamer of the biggest crowdfunded game/kickstarter game in history, Star Citizen. Star Citizen thrives on streamers and word of mouth to get the game spread through the interwebs. It is a open alpha game currently, same as this. When they release new patches they have it set up in a certain way which you currently are close to. They have their internal team, the first wave of testers (like your external QA team) 2nd wave of testers (mostly those who forked out the most money or has been apart of it the longest) and then the 3rd wave of testers (streamers and hardcore players) before releasing each patch to the public. Now the first wave is to make sure there are no game breaking bugs, and if they are what are they doing to break the game/system. Highest risk since it has the potential to brick a PC. And the first wave of public QA testers are the only ones that cant say anything. Once it hits the 2nd wave of public backer testing its wide open, because they use streamers and hardcore gamers to showcase what they are working on, improvements they are making, and stress testing the game/servers which just adds more fuel to the hype fire. The more people see a object become shinier and more fun to play with the more people say, that looks great I want to try it. Hell I backed this game from watching JackSepticEye play it on his youtube channel and thought hey this looks like a new Black and White meets Spore, you get to play god then colonize other planets THATS AWESOME!! I was hooked. Your public appearance is what draws people in, so allowing us to blab about it and show people look at this shiny new toy, or mechanic, or chaos. For a kickstarter game this is pretty crucial, because your public appearance and how people see you and your game development being open to them since they are funding your creation. 

 

Side edit, the pushing the discord for the main source of feedback and communication is lackluster to say the least. The biggest CF games use forums and "ON SITE" (website) chat to communicate. I get a lot of people are migrating to discord because the voice feature but that is a more public forum for communication and not a local one that can easily be overrun and misled by people who have yet to back the game, or even test/play it. Forums are hands down the best for people who really care about communicating with the dev team as well as other gamers sharing the same issues or thoughts. Also, moving the main announcements from the forums of updates and patch notes to discord and twitter shows us that you are caring less about what we think and say, even though we have been giving the most support. It shows you want to show off to the open public what you are adding, or what they think you should add before asking the people who have been providing feedback and communicating with your team the issues here, which can make it muddled, because people who have yet to play the game can say ohh that sounds cool I want to see that even if it doesn't fit or isn't necessary for the game.

 

Just like currently I have some kind of issue with this game where I can't play the game for more that 15 minutes before the game crashes and resets my computer, which kills the stream and any kind of movement I had going to showcase it. And, this bug has been shrugged off on me like I was doing something wrong. This is a game ending bug for me that makes the game unplayable in its current state, and now I cant play it until your next release in August. It's terrible. I have been keenly invested in how this game progresses, putting input on broken AI, flawed systems, game ending bugs and crashes, and contributing to polls and questions presented in these forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, so a couple things to cover here. 

We're working on getting the twitter feed to aggregate right here, and will be trying to route people to the forums in official anouncements. That being said, the role of the forums is community discussion, which we're happy to have in paragraph long style as exemplified here.:) The social feeds will still be largely for announcements as there are more people there to the best of my knowledge ( @threeheaded monkey I appreciate analysis, but I'm not sure where you're pulling 40k from when the KS was backed by 11k. Is that all combined sales?) which goes through the Universim page, but also all the Crytivo pages, the Twitter alone has 24k followers. The fact is, we're already struggling to cover those announcements and every moment I'm typing this is taking away from my actual job in development. 

 

Now, the size of the forums is not to be disregarded, as it is absolutely notable, so like I said, we are working to get more announcements and attention here, for discussion on new and old features, the direction of the game, and so on. Like Ace said, forums in many ways are the best for this sort of discourse where people can write out their thoughts in full, and aren't stepping all over each other in a texting spree.

 

As for NDAs, I understand you're upset about this, but we've previously had testers in the past who put down their time to help us make the game better prior to releases, who signed NDAs, and who would presumably be willing to bug test under the same circumstances. @AceOfSpadez I appreciate the insight into SC, and I want to point out that what we are talking about is that first round of bug testing, to make sure the game isn't broken and we don't have situations like you seem to be experiencing. (If you'd like to email about your particular bug, or just forward me whatever correspondence you already had, I'll look into it and see what's up since a bug like you're describing is absolutely something I want squashed. My email is cmagerle@crytivo.com).

 

@Grapplehoeker to explain better, the NDA is not about reviews. We know that our steam launch is super important, and when we launch, there will be thousands of people who already own the game and have an opinion who will give their review. The NDA isn't about that. Whether on Steam or elsewhere, once the game ships, or even before, anyone who has already seen it and has loads of experience can make their voice heard and let people know. 

 

Baseline, when this thread was posted, a number of people responded after Alex mentioned an NDA, affirming that they would be interested in doing testing for us. This testing would only be for bug testing prior to the August release. Everything before then, anyone who has contributed to the game already has access to and has many avenues where they can make their thoughts known. When we launch in August everyone in the community will be able to voice their opinion just as well. Prior to that, the community is already making its voice known. 

 

Hope this has helped elucidate some things about our plan. I think if we want to continue this conversation we can, but should have it in threads marked individually with each topic, as the conversation around testing has splintered into a number of topics that are valuable, but irrelevant to the original thread. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Magecoerlin said:

the Twitter alone has 24k followers

7690 followers. where do you get those 24k followers from? ;)  The official Twitter account from The universim has only 7690 followers. This forum has 14363 registered members. Sooo....

 

13 hours ago, Magecoerlin said:

The fact is, we're already struggling to cover those announcements and every moment I'm typing this is taking away from my actual job in development. 

Then it's mismanagement from your CEO. If you're a developer and also the only one from the dev team (thanks by the way for answering) your job is overloaded. Your CEO ;) should have hired a community manager not a voluntary for this job. Oh and of course the NDA problem....

 

13 hours ago, Magecoerlin said:

As for NDAs, I understand you're upset about this, but we've previously had testers in the past who put down their time to help us make the game better prior to releases, who signed NDAs, and who would presumably be willing to bug test under the same circumstances.

Some people do not think about consequences. I had the offer as well and did not sign a NDA. You demanded a NDA afterwards while I already had access to bug builds through steam. It was the time when you asked for community testers the first time. I still refused to sign NDA and you changed the buld in steam. so no more updates there.

 

You don't seem to understand. The NDA situation. If you want somebody to sign a NDA there are consequences. Most people don't think about such things BUT some do. If you want an NDA you say: We will sue you if you break the NDA. Otherwise a NDA is useless. And a kickstarted company that is willing to sue it's funders is simply not trustworthy in my opinion.

 

It does not matter if some others did it already. It's a trust thing.

But nevertheless thank you for your answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This game wont be in beta until 2019.. the "steam release" is just an early alpha release IMO.. this game, imo, will be in alpha testing the rest of this year

 

A game isn't in "beta" until ALL features are in the game and it needs testing.. and I guarantee we wont see colonizing multiple planets 3 months from now.. not unless they have a LOT (95% the rest of the features) all coded and ready to go for beta testing and they just didn't push it out in the latest alpha build (and I dont see that happening)

 

dont get me wrong, I'm not complaining.. I'm just stating the facts in the software development cycle.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, TallBear said:

This game wont be in beta until 2019.. the "steam release" is just an early alpha release IMO.. this game, imo, will be in alpha testing the rest of this year

 

A game isn't in "beta" until ALL features are in the game and it needs testing.. and I guarantee we wont see colonizing multiple planets 3 months from now.. not unless they have a LOT (95% the rest of the features) all coded and ready to go for beta testing and they just didn't push it out in the latest alpha build (and I dont see that happening)

 

dont get me wrong, I'm not complaining.. I'm just stating the facts in the software development cycle.

 

24th May 2014 successful Kickstarter ... as I said... long development, bad community contact and no informations about the planned content. That's it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just edited my OP, since it could lead to confusion regarding the original intent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2018 at 9:43 PM, Alex Koshelkov said:

Hi @threeheaded monkey yes we plan to run some closed test close to that time. Let me know if you would love to be a part of it. It’s going to be highly NDAish we want add some surprises and don’t want spoil them

Jumping in to say I'd love to be a tester! I wouldn't mind having to sign or be governed by anything either because realistically I wouldn't have anyone to tell  :lol: None of my friends play the game yet (I bought the game for one though and she will play when it comes out on Steam and she can activate it haha), and secrets must be kept in order to be a nice surprise for people!!! I'm just soo excited to play the next update!  :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, KittHaven said:

...I'm just soo excited to play the next update!  :lol:

 

15 hours ago, KittHaven said:

I wouldn't mind having to sign or be governed by anything....

 

Thank you for supporting my point of view.

 

May I introduce you to the South Park Episode: Human Centipede. ;) 

 

Dont't agree without reading. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dependent entirely on what the NDA says and how long it is, I am interested in being a tester. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spoiling is a very good reason to have a NDA... and I see a few reasons for one...

 

1) There's a whole trend going on right now where people will watch a game (alpha, beta, release) of a game streamed vs buying it. I can see why some companies "ban" the game from being streamed (even the release version). Persona 5 did this. People got their twitch, youtube, etc channels/accounts banned for streaming it. Granted this got a LOT of hate from the gaming community.. but some companies look at streaming as akin to piracy. I don't think this is their real reason though for Universim.

 

That being said, streaming can also be an effective way of "free" advertisement. In the end, it's all up to the company on if they feel it's worth it or not. Being a kickstart backer doesn't guarantee one to all phases of development (unless a company promised that to backers)

 

2) The other reason for the NDA is not to spoil a launch - often to prevent negative press/pr. So if the game may not be what it's hyped to be, too many bugs, they don't want to spoil sales/pre orders. This is also VERY industry standard to do.

 

3) Piracy is another reason for an NDA. For example, v0.0.25 is ALL over the torrent and pirate web sites. This happened because anyone can buy it. By locking it down to a small, fixed number of people, the chance of piracy before the steam release is lessened and easier to track who released it.

 

I wouldn't call whats coming out in August a "beta" unless 99% of all the features are in game. I'd call it "closed Alpha 2 or 3" (or something with Alpha in it). Then again steam is VERY clear that early release games are not finished and may never be  - "buy at own risk". Either way, it's not a finished product.

 

Signing an NDA *really* doesn't affect anyone as a tester - except it spoils people not being able to go "hey! look at what I'm playing FIRST before anyone else!" (bragging rights).. and I don't really see that as a reason not to sign a nda. To foster good relations, all kickstart backers, who have been active in testing/feedback, should be allowed to test the steam early release before aug 28th , and I think an NDA is very valid (and very industry standard). This will only help the developers to deliver a more polished product by Aug.

 

Don't forget aug 28th isn't just early access on steam.. I believe it's early access on a number if digital distribution services. I think that's why they house info/feed back on social media and on these forums. They want the information as centralized as possible.

 

Basically, I think they are just "releasing" the game as is on the 28th of Aug, and people will just be buying an alpha test of the game, and it will be polished over the next year.. and to be honest.. there's REALLY only one reason to push a game like this out so fast: They probably exceeded (or have come very close) their budget for the game and need more sales to further develop it and make a profit.... and this is becoming more and more common these days with smaller, independent studios with less cash reserves vs the big companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, TallBear said:

Spoiling is a very good reason to have a NDA... and I see a few reasons for one...

Totally agree on story driven games. If you alrady know the story of a game... replayability is minimized or the will to buy and play the game yourself. But as you said... That's not the case for The Universim.

 

14 hours ago, TallBear said:

That being said, streaming can also be an effective way of "free" advertisement. In the end, it's all up to the company on if they feel it's worth it or not. Being a kickstart backer doesn't guarantee one to all phases of development (unless a company promised that to backers)

But it can be a warning for potencial customers too. If they don't like what they see and thought about buying the game... the company may loses customers. I think that's the case here. So I agree on your Point 2.

 

14 hours ago, TallBear said:

3) Piracy is another reason for an NDA. For example, v0.0.25 is ALL over the torrent and pirate web sites. This happened because anyone can buy it. By locking it down to a small, fixed number of people, the chance of piracy before the steam release is lessened and easier to track who released it.

Not a real reason imo. They promised and will release a drm free version at steam launch too so... If they develop a good game people gonna buy it. If they develop a shitty game people avoid buying it. 

 

14 hours ago, TallBear said:

Signing an NDA *really* doesn't affect anyone as a tester - except it spoils people not being able to go "hey! look at what I'm playing FIRST before anyone else!" (bragging rights).. and I don't really see that as a reason not to sign a nda. To foster good relations, all kickstart backers, who have been active in testing/feedback, should be allowed to test the steam early release before aug 28th , and I think an NDA is very valid (and very industry standard). This will only help the developers to deliver a more polished product by Aug.

So please explain why a NDA is needed to deliver a polished product by August? Openly discussing about the features they introduce or think about is more productive. It's not about "hey i want to play the next update before any other does" but agreed. There are some people of that kind. But it's more helpful to discuss about gameplay decisions the earlier the better. The micromanaging thing is such a kind of bad communication. They simply did not ask the community and added more and more micromanagement. Then the community reacted and said "we don't want that much micromanagemet" but it was too late for Crytivo to optimize withouth revising totally. So they implemented a half hearthed compromise.

 

And no. Only because it is industry standard - it's not a good decision. It's industry standard to fund your things with your money or the money of investors. The investors need to be updated about the development process and their potencial revenue. As private backers we don't care about the financial revenue of the game and crytivo. Their only job is to fullfill the promise they gave during the funding period while they collected money trough Kickstarter. So it's their responsibility to update the backer of their game with informations about the development process.

 

And yes this was a promise during Kickstarter:

Quote

We have already promised to keep you guys in the loop and build the game alongside you, and we plan to stick to this promise from here on out. We take your feedback seriously and we always listen carefully to what you have to say. 

-Alexander Koshelkov CEO Crytivo, Kickstarter Update May 3rd 2014

 

As we know now  - this was a broken promise given while they collected money to fund The Universim.

 

 

This topic is more about information and restricting information than the actual pre release of the alpha on steam. Development would benefit if informations would be shared instead of locked behind a NDA if a test is needed anyway. Most people willing to test only want to play the newest update and they'll soon realize there is not much content different than in the already exisitng version. My point is that Crytivo should openly share on what they work like promised in the Kickstarter funding period. Especially the godly gameplay optimizations they promised.

 

On 29.5.2018 at 10:00 PM, Antiglow said:

Dependent entirely on what the NDA says and how long it is, I am interested in being a tester. 

Standard NDA... Don't tell anyone about the content you see until bla bla or we'll sue the sh*t out of you. :)  And as I said... For a community funded Developer that promised to stick to his community and inform them and ask them about their opinions and involve them during development... This is a pretty shi**y turn. :) 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kerby84 said:

Totally agree on story driven games. If you alrady know the story of a game... replayability is minimized or the will to buy and play the game yourself. But as you said... That's not the case for The Universim.

 

But it can be a warning for potencial customers too. If they don't like what they see and thought about buying the game... the company may loses customers. I think that's the case here. So I agree on your Point 2.

 

Not a real reason imo. They promised and will release a drm free version at steam launch too so... If they develop a good game people gonna buy it. If they develop a shitty game people avoid buying it. 

 

So please explain why a NDA is needed to deliver a polished product by August? Openly discussing about the features they introduce or think about is more productive. It's not about "hey i want to play the next update before any other does" but agreed. There are some people of that kind. But it's more helpful to discuss about gameplay decisions the earlier the better. The micromanaging thing is such a kind of bad communication. They simply did not ask the community and added more and more micromanagement. Then the community reacted and said "we don't want that much micromanagemet" but it was too late for Crytivo to optimize withouth revising totally. So they implemented a half hearthed compromise.

 

And no. Only because it is industry standard - it's not a good decision. It's industry standard to fund your things with your money or the money of investors. The investors need to be updated about the development process and their potencial revenue. As private backers we don't care about the financial revenue of the game and crytivo. Their only job is to fullfill the promise they gave during the funding period while they collected money trough Kickstarter. So it's their responsibility to update the backer of their game with informations about the development process.

 

And yes this was a promise during Kickstarter:

 

As we know now  - this was a broken promise given while they collected money to fund The Universim.

 

 

This topic is more about information and restricting information than the actual pre release of the alpha on steam. Development would benefit if informations would be shared instead of locked behind a NDA if a test is needed anyway. Most people willing to test only want to play the newest update and they'll soon realize there is not much content different than in the already exisitng version. My point is that Crytivo should openly share on what they work like promised in the Kickstarter funding period. Especially the godly gameplay optimizations they promised.

 

Standard NDA... Don't tell anyone about the content you see until bla bla or we'll sue the sh*t out of you. :)  And as I said... For a community funded Developer that promised to stick to his community and inform them and ask them about their opinions and involve them during development... This is a pretty shi**y turn. :) 

 

 

 

 

NDA in this case is useless since they are pretty much sharing everything on twitter. "suspense"...there is more suspense stumbling on a dead animal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Izar_Morghuliz said:

 

 

NDA in this case is useless since they are pretty much sharing everything on twitter. "suspense"...there is more suspense stumbling on a dead animal. 

They do not share really much on twitter. ;) only unimportant things and new screenshots that can be liked quick by the twitter masses. ;) but yes as I said... A NDA is useless. :) I did not say a NDA is needed. Hehe. The only "suspense" they are talking about is the fact that we may dislike what they are working on. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just popping in to say that not only am I still massively on board for testing, I am fine with an NDA if there is one. I don't have an intent to say anything but understand the want to keep the new features under wraps until ready because hype can help make or break a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to take a stand on the whole NDA needed/allowed discussion here, but it seems interesting that people who are loudly advocating against an NDA are totally fine with the idea of a closed pre-release [alpha] ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love universim....lots of fun....wish I could play the new updates very badly.....Why cant the game launcher update the game? I tried downloading it through steam and it doesnt download.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, NeroVice said:

I tried downloading it through steam and it doesnt download.

To do so, you have to restart steam, after you restart it, it worked for me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its working perfectly now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×