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threeheaded monkey

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

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I really would like to highly recommend to at least have a little audience of randomly choosen people for testing the game before the steam release.

That way you could get an idea of the oppinion of those testers and then announce the game accordingly on steam.

 

Just a thing I was thinking of today, while posting here and there. :)

 

 

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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

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On 4/29/2018 at 10:43 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

Hi! I'm not sure if this was an open invitation, but I would also love to be a part of the closed beta. I started playing fairly recently but can definitely tell that there has been a lot of work done/still is a lot more left.

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I'm also on-board for closed beta testing, despite being brand new to the community, and I'll keep an eye out on how to sign up for it.

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I too would be insanely keen to put my hand up in joining the closed beta testing absolutely love this game and cannot wait to see the ongoing process.

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I think everyone who's been active on the forum would love to have a go at the closed beta test, me included:D

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.... Yes a NDA makes so much sense in a community funded game ... Think about the consequences... Would you sue your own community that build you up because somebody is telling something? Would you? Yes? Great PR for you... You would not? So why is an NDA needed at all?

 

On 29.4.2018 at 10:43 PM, Alex Koshelkov said:

It’s going to be highly NDAish we want add some surprises and don’t want spoil them

 

Surprises can't be spoiled. If they're really good you enjoy them over and over again. If they're a one time laugh... They're not a surprise. 

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Hey all,

My names Colin, I'm running QA for the Universim right now. Just wanted to pop in and say yes, we will definitely want to get together anyone interested in doing testing for us sometime in the next couple months. Most likely, we wouldn't need you actually testing until early August (Maybe late July), when we plan to have our build for the EA release and just need to stress test every single feature. We obviously really appreciate the help (Especially me!) and would set up some guidelines around that time to make it as easy as possible on you. 

 

Glad to have people sound off on this thread if they're interested and then I'll make a post probably in a month or so to gauge the interest and start signing people up.

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1 hour ago, Magecoerlin said:

Hey all,

My names Colin, I'm running QA for the Universim right now. Just wanted to pop in and say yes, we will definitely want to get together anyone interested in doing testing for us sometime in the next couple months. Most likely, we wouldn't need you actually testing until early August (Maybe late July), when we plan to have our build for the EA release and just need to stress test every single feature. We obviously really appreciate the help (Especially me!) and would set up some guidelines around that time to make it as easy as possible on you. 

 

Glad to have people sound off on this thread if they're interested and then I'll make a post probably in a month or so to gauge the interest and start signing people up.

With or without NDA? 

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Hey guys, just FYI. The reason why we would like to have NDA is that we don't want you to spoil some of the new features. I have no idea why this is a bad thing for you. We value all our fans equally and don't want everyone has a great experience and to achieve that we would like to have an element of surprise. I hope you understand and appreciate this.

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5 minutes ago, Alex Koshelkov said:

Hey guys, just FYI. The reason why we would like to have NDA is that we don't want you to spoil some of the new features. I have no idea why this is a bad thing for you. We value all our fans equally and don't want everyone has a great experience and to achieve that we would like to have an element of surprise. I hope you understand and appreciate this.

 

As I said... Spoiling is no reason. If the feature is great... everybody is hyped for August. If the feature is worth discussing about it it's probably even better. But the last "Surprise" was hidden easter eggs or something else. That's not worth an NDA.

Let the community decide if they want to know or not. Mark Topics with Spoiler warnigs if the secret feature is so unique and only a one time surprise. If it is a good game update... Everyone would love to know about it.

 

You know my point of view Alex. The community was there from the beginning and they want to support the game and The Universim needs to be a success we all want. But some decisions in the past simply don't feel right. We had this over and over again. Why do you think you need to decide what the community wants to know and what not?

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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. 

 

To be clear, I think something that's being miscommunicated is this wouldn't exactly be a closed beta. It's more likely that we would get a group of testers together, send out a build, get feedback, do some fixes, and then send out a new build, wash, rinse, repeat. Anyone testing would be seeing multiple iterations of fixes, and for stuff like that, we need everyone to kind of keep quiet until the Steam Release.

 

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

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I won't find any time this summer anyway,so...

But as for the NDA..

 

I'm not quite sure what you guys at Crytivo are afraid of? How are you going to make sure that the broad audience is happy about said features?

The steam people will know when it's released, but what about the early supporters?

 I already was paying solid money for this project, just to make it happen and I want it to be a success after all, but I also would like to speak openly about the progress telling the people wether I like it or not and why.

I can't for the sake of it comprehend in which way this would harm the game and probably the release on steam.

 

But it's your business, not mine. And I'm a "customer", not an employee. :)

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It's a standard thing for developers that develop games with their own money. Sure. But the community made this project come to life. So if you want an nda what is your consequence of breaking a nda? do you want to sue the community? It's a simple "Can we trust you" question and answer. Nothing more, nothing less. We trustet you by supporting this game in kickstarter and you do not trust the community of the game in return?

 

1 hour ago, Magecoerlin said:

To be clear, I think something that's being miscommunicated is this wouldn't exactly be a closed beta. It's more likely that we would get a group of testers together, send out a build, get feedback, do some fixes, and then send out a new build, wash, rinse, repeat. Anyone testing would be seeing multiple iterations of fixes, and for stuff like that, we need everyone to kind of keep quiet until the Steam Release.

 

This ist the problem A selected group gives feedback. Who choses? Are those more rts style players, or people that prefer the original and advertised god game concept. To clarify it... most people on twitter voted for more buildings. we all know introducing only new buildings without changing gameplay is useless and a straw fire. So if you want constructive feedback all of the community should be heard. 

 

Edit: You do not promote your Forum as first adress for information in the "big updates and news annoucements. only facebook and twitter..."

 

Edit 2: https://theuniversim.com/micro-to-macro-nugget-automation the newest update shows most things you will introduce in august. new buldings, old gameplay... So this game will develop more to a rts strategy game with resource management instead of a god game. god game features like god mail and god missions are only a "oh right... we advertised it as god game" excuse. even cities skylines has natural disasters you can trigger at your will. does that make this game a god game as well? You get the point. soulution would be... don't advertise it as god game any longer or change something fundamental.

 

 

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vor einer Stunde schrieb Kerby84:

*snip*

 

It more and more seems as if they would  more and more avoid the forums for measuring:

 

 

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Well of course we respect that so many of you contributed your actual money to make this project happen, and that's not something that will be forgotten. In terms of testing and an NDA though, that's a group that encompasses Kickstarter Backers and those who have joined the community since then. Threeheaded Monkey suggested at the start of this thread that it be random, and while we don't really have the luxury of an abundance of people willing to test, I want to pull from all aspects of the community so that we get a mix of perspectives and opinions. I can guarantee that the voices of backers would not be lost in that, and would probably be elevated to an extent, since you were all in before anyone else. We would be pulling people from interest polls from every medium, the forums, social media, Discord, and the mailing list. That's why an NDA is important, since we won't just be trying to pull in KS backers.

 

With the most recent devblog, we focus on the buildings and mechanics more because that's easier to show. We can pull up models, screenshots, and concept art and have a visual reference. The god powers and quests, there's less visually to show, we can only talk about it. And by talking about it, we pull away any awaited suspense. That being said, we are planning more blog posts prior to the August release, and I would bet that they will focus on the god aspects of the game. We are really trying to pivot and correct that, because we've heard across every outlet that people are unhappy with the state of the game as a god sim. I do want to point out though that while The Universim is a God Game, it's always also been a planet management game, and though the God aspect has been underdeveloped, we have to keep vigilance that the management aspect doesn't fall to the wayside as we do.

 

As for the polling on social media, I believe it's just largely a matter of numbers. The forums aren't as active as those platforms (Which is strange because we're constantly directing people to post their bugs here), so if we want a lot of responses, we go there. Granted, we could probably be doing more to divert some traffic here, and I'll see what I can do about that. 

 

What other things would you suggest? Obviously trying to get more people on the forums is a big one. What else? We will be loyal to our first supporters, but certain aspects of this I do feel are out of our control in terms of things like where people want to hear our news.

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Closed betas suggest that the KickStarter phase of Universim is coming to a close. The mechanism by which this project has been developed has changed and those who have paid for access are potentially shut out.

 

When Steam early access supporters join the crew, favouritism for KickStarter backers will be even more unpopular.

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7 hours ago, Magecoerlin said:

Granted, we could probably be doing more to divert some traffic here, and I'll see what I can do about that.

 

What other things would you suggest?

 

I'd suggest not having an enormous Discord banner that tries to divert users straight off the site as soon as they arrive.

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@Magecoerlin So please answer this short Question. With NDA... would you sue somebody from the Community that breaks the NDA because it's an affront against the transparency?

 

Yes Or No? Only Yes Or No. Simple answer, simple Question.

 

Would you sue your community? Yes or No?

 

This will be the main promotional thing for you. Crytivo... The kickstarted company that is willing to sue it's supporters because of NDA violations. This "Could" be the logic headline if you insist on having a NDA. If you're not willing to sue your community members if they break the NDA, a NDA is useless. And suing your community is a really bad pr stunt. We're not employees with a pay check from Crytivo. We´re the ones that made Crytivo possible at all. All backers. Kickstarter backers first and all other backers later. 

 

Quick Edit: Bug reporting was made possible ingame. So the forum is not needed for bug reporting...  and as @amigacooke mentioned... YOU promoted Discord as the main communication channel... Even pinned to your twitter account on top... not main promotion for the forum... main promotion for Discord...

 

 

Edit 2:

10 hours ago, Magecoerlin said:

The god powers and quests, there's less visually to show, we can only talk about it. And by talking about it, we pull away any awaited suspense. That being said, we are planning more blog posts prior to the August release, and I would bet that they will focus on the god aspects of the game. We are really trying to pivot and correct that, because we've heard across every outlet that people are unhappy with the state of the game as a god sim. I do want to point out though that while The Universim is a God Game, it's always also been a planet management game, and though the God aspect has been underdeveloped, we have to keep vigilance that the management aspect doesn't fall to the wayside as we do.

 

A description of what is planned would be okay. We're not the twitter community that reacts to shiny pictures with a like button. We can read and think ;)  and no... you're not pulling away suspense. There should be no suspense at all for the god game gamplay. This is a simple excuse for not wanting to talk about what is planned. Will the godly gameplay be empowering? Is god mail still a thing? Is god degraded to simple missions? Does god still watch nuggets being slaughtered by wild animals in the future without the chance of doing anything? Yes, The Universim was kickstarded and advertised as: "The Universim is a next generation Planet Management God - Game in development by Crytivo Games and designed by Alex Koshelkov." Original Kickstarter short text. What do we have? Planet management? no... nugget management yes. God game? not at all. The Universim is not unique. It's a management game that introduces questionable gameplay mechanics like stone huts that need repair after short time... engineers in the stoneage...those "buldings need repair" things were only introduced to keep people busy... micromanagement. it does not make sense. 

 

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First off, cause I've missed that, thank you Colin for taking the time to introduce yourself here. It's highly appreciated that at least SOMEONE is willing to participate.

( Yeah, I'm talking to you, Sasha! :P )

 

vor 13 Stunden schrieb Magecoerlin:

As for the polling on social media, I believe it's just largely a matter of numbers. The forums aren't as active as those platforms (Which is strange because we're constantly directing people to post their bugs here), so if we want a lot of responses, we go there. Granted, we could probably be doing more to divert some traffic here, and I'll see what I can do about that.

 

So let's talk about the numbers: There are over 40.000 people who have been supporting  the Universim during Kickstarter and via online shop.

The Universim has 7.600 followers on Twitter, no idea about facebook though;  7.600 people of which we don't even know if they are supporters at all.

Close to 600 people have been voting in the end: (Until now, I see the poll is still going on)

 

600 people out of 40.000. Not exactly a very trustworthy basis,hm? :)

 

EDIT: Just see that someone was(finally) updating Kickstarter. Thanks to whoever did this! :)

 

EDIT2: Ok, maybe I could have been more precise in the op. The idea was  to start a conversation about that in the first place, letting the studio know how others think about it as well. I think it's not just important for the game and thus the company, but also for those people you are having the game on their steam wishlist for years now, unsure what they can expect of the Universim.

Sayin' that we gonna like what you are working on, that we have to trust you and that it's worth the wait, is not enough imo. Also you can't promise that for sure.

I have been playing games for more than thirtyfive years now, so I think my oppinion is useful, but not just for you.

Yeah, I'm not a YAY-sayer, even when I like the look of the game and all the concept art out there; I'd rather talk about things I don't like, cause that's helpful!

 

Just think about this again; please, otherwise I fear that the whole thing is going to blow up right into your faces when released on steam.

 

 

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Let me try to wrap my head around this all...

We have an alpha version of the game that is being playtested by your Kickstarter backers.

You now propose a closed beta branch of the game for the purpose of being tested by a sample of volunteers willing to abide by an NDA, before the launch on Steam.

When it is launched on Steam, this closed beta will be the version released?

As for that, it will be released to the public using steam's Early Access system. This is a popular method for developers to entice players to invest in a game while still in development.

This allows the players on one hand, to get a preview of the game and be able to take part in the development by providing feedback - it also usually means that they get the finished game at a reduced cost.

On the other hand the benefit to the developer is in addition to more funding through Early Access sales revenue, they effectively get a large new player base from which they can receive free feedback. In fact it isn't just free feedback, the players are actually paying the developer for the privilege to become play testers. This is why I believe you are so concerned about the NDA. You do not want any potential negativity to mar the launch on Steam which will be a very important source of revenue and potential play testers.

I get that. It's wholly understandable, but is the closed beta really necessary? Isn't that a little too cautious? I mean there are still thousands of Kickstarters that have an in depth knowledge of the current state of the game that can and most likely will be vocal on Steam whether there was an NDA for the closed beta before Steam launch in August or not.

 

On a side note, Crytivo's preferred choice of social media for feedback outside of this forum doesn't bode well for Steam. I have taken an active role in several Early Access titles and I know many like me that prefer a forum based communication system whether it be on Steam or on the developer's own forum. I personally detest Discord, Facebook and Twitter. I'm not too fond of Reddit either. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Grapplehoeker said:

We have an alpha version of the game that is being playtested by your Kickstarter backers...

 

I think everybody who bought The Universim can play the Alpha now trough Crytivo launcher.

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Kerby84 said:

 

I think everybody who bought The Universim can play the Alpha now trough Crytivo launcher.

 

 

 

Of course, which is exactly what I stated. However, what is being proposed is a closed testing branch for volunteers only before the launch into Early Access on Steam in August this year. And that is what I was responding to.

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I was referring to the playtesting trough kickstarter backers. And that's it not. Everybody who bought the game has access to the version out at the moment. Not only Kickstarter backer. :) 

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