Jump to content
  • Opt-in Prerelease for 1.1!


    KSP_logo_full.png.99743e7d63a15357cde91d

     

    Hi all,

     

    As I'm sure many of you read, 1.1 is to enter Experimentals this week! It's a significant update to KSP in terms of just how much has changed under the hood. We've done a complete overhaul of the user interface from a conglomerate of interface systems to Unity 5's native system. Aside from that, an entirely new system for the wheels had to be adopted due to the major changes Unity made to the native wheels system, and the list goes on!

     

    Quality Assurance is the most bare bone part of the entire testing process and is performed by around five to ten QA testers pretty much constantly. The focussed testing and efficiency mean that instead of going through the motions of the game as a normal player would, QA tends to identify areas of the new content that would usually be prone to issue and hunt for bugs there. This cuts down the time taken to find issues by a significant margin and means that the content is tested more evenly – playtesting can sometimes skip completely past some aspects of a feature. Furthermore, this method allows the testers to work closely with the developers and compare exactly what they intended to occur for specific cases, to what actually occurs – this is where QA becomes more about feedback.

     

    QA is a lot more than just finding bugs. It’s about having the knowledge of the game (especially how it works under-the-hood), the comprehension of the ideas behind the features in the game, the understanding of what a developer wants the feature to turn out like and how you can assist them in making it happen. Furthermore, it’s about condensing all of that into concise and objectively written issue reports.

     

    The QA process on 1.1 has been going for a long time, but it has been incredibly fruitful: crushing 516 issues in 107 builds! There is still more to do however, in Experimentals we hope to only increase the stability of the game, add polish to areas and carry out some bug fixing as always!

     

    The Experimental Team comprises about 100 testers. All of these testers are volunteers who contribute their spare time to playtest the game. They are normal players, sourced from the various communities via a simple application process. Often and understandably they don’t have as much spare time to devote to testing as the QA Testers and thus there are significantly more Experimental Testers ‘signed up’ than we need at any one time. This works in everyone’s favour as it keeps the activity level throughout an Experimental Phase and doesn’t put pressure on the testers while they also deal with their personal and professional lives.

     

    After we have an update go through QA, as detailed above, it is hopefully free from major issues and each feature has had any needed major improvements and refinements carried out; the update is in a feature-complete state. However, many components of a feature may still be unpolished, such as part balancing, or the performance of newer UI on different platforms. This is where Experimental Testing comes in and assists the developers in cleaning up the remaining feedback issues.

    An Experimental Testing phase typically lasts around a couple of weeks, though it is highly dependent on the number of issues that arise and how much further development is required to reach a release state. At the end of the Experimental phase, there are still a fair amount of issues on the tracker that are still open, but it’s important to note that these issues are typically minor ones, ones that aren’t in the scope of the update or simply issues that would take too much time and resources to resolve.

     

    This time around though, things will get even more interesting after Experimental testing! Given that update 1.1 will be unlike any update we’ve seen to date in terms of widespread changes to pretty much any significant and underlying system in the game we're planning to provide an optional pre-release branch of update 1.1. This opt-in branch will run for just under two full weeks before the targeted release date of the final update.

     

    The nature and extent of the changes in the update mean that many plugins and add-ons will require refactoring, updating and at the very least a recompile. Of course modders cannot do this overnight and on the flick of a switch, especially with an update of this scope. Typically a select group of particularly KSP-savvy modders would be given access to the new update to help us find bugs, but the extent of the changes this time around is such that we feel we should open it up to everyone.

     

    The pre-release branch will be opt-in via Steam only, and won't be available via the KSP Store. We really wanted to make the pre-release branch available on all distribution channels but given the frequency of builds, the size of those builds, and the necessity for everyone to be on the latest version for testing it proved to be impossible to facilitate this on the KSP store.

     

    To facilitate discussions of the pre-release branch we’ll be opening up a temporary forum for feedback. Additionally, a separate section will be made available on the bug tracker to report bugs on.

     

    Please feel free to ask any and all questions you have!

     

     


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Just now, Robotengineer said:

    And people could have chosen to play .90 instead of the buggy 1.0 releases.

    How could a new player who just bought the game after 1.0's release have gotten 0.90 instead of 1.0? How could a Steam user with auto-updates enabled have done the same if they didn't know the update was coming?

    A full, publicized release puts the code out there in a way that it just isn't otherwise.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If it were available for store purchasers then yes, I would most likely go for it, but I'd be under no illusions of it being just a chance to 'get it early'.   I'm a bit disappointed yes, as I would like to help and can't commit the time to volunteer as an official 'experimentalist',  but I'm realistic enough to know that not being on steam probably saved me quite a bit of hassle.

    Many of those preaching 'entitlement' will quite likely give up on it when they realise they can't 'just play it' as they would like and need to update every day to stay current even if they don't encounter bugs themselves.

    Squad will have a lot of 'filtering' to do, but having such a large number of testers will give them the best chance to see how it performs on a wide variety of different machines too.  Overall a good plan, I just hope the majority of 'testers' do just that and report well.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    @Robotengineer: Yes, after the closed experimental period ends. Not after we have a release quality build. Big difference.

    As others have said upthread, the closed period is gonna be shorter than it otherwise would because we can take advantage of further testing in the wild.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Perhaps for once, Squad actually cares for the modding community. I can only applaud this good behavior. Now please back it up and give use the modders some good documentation of ALL the changes, specifically changes in the library that have changed. I realy hate wasting time figuring out everything by trail and error again.

    Now how can Opt in? In steam I can only see the previous stable release, is this it? or do I need a special beta access code to get access to the 1.1 beta release?

    Edited by FreeThinker
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    36 minutes ago, NathanKell said:

    I realize it's fun to be ~le so edgy~ and talk about how buggy release builds are, but if you honestly think there is no difference between even marginally release-quality builds and what there is at the start of experimentals testing...you are not helping your case for why you would be a good tester.

    You talkin' to me, son?  I don't anybody else around here, so you must -- er wait actually there are lots of people around here.  Are you calling me edgy, or someone(s) else?

    ('someones' - heh)

    33 minutes ago, CliftonM said:

    Because some people had to scrape up the money to buy KSP, and there are, believe it or not, people who don't have disposable income.

    People without disposable income, by definition, don't have a KSP-ready computer, or KSP, and have to decide if they're going to eat today, XOR tomorrow.   I know, I've been there a couple of times.  It's not fun.  Ever made soup out of purloined ketchup packets?  Not exactly scrumptious.

    Of those that do have disposable income, I don't see how you could have some huge set of people that have enough to afford everything in life (rent, food, transit fare, utilities) plus the bare minimum extras (internet, computer), AND one copy of KSP, but not a SECOND copy of KSP.  Seriously, it's $44 CDN.  That's like 18 dollars in real money.

    Funny thing is, I'm normally the first on the 'Squad is a bunch of lazy slackers' bandwagon, but I've dealt with content delivery in the past, and ugh.. I'd rather be eating ketchup packet soup.  Frak, I'd rather eat the actual packets themselves than deal with (cleverly disguised name here) Nakamai ever again. Plus, I do get the feeling that more effort has gone in of late, so I think people should cut them some slack and either pony up the dough, or pony up the patience wait two extra weeks if they can't.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I wouldn't say a lack of disposable income means a lack of nice stuff. Some folk could have gotten the game as a gift, or 3 years ago when it was 12 dollars, and their ksp-ready computer as a graduation present, and still have like 200 dollars in their bank account theyre worried about spending because bills and stuff.

    and yes, to that one guy, I do have it on steam. because nowadays, I couldn't justify the 40dollars on it no matter what, worth it as it is.

     

     

    Edited by aWildLupiDragon
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, Perry Apsis said:

    One time I was finishing a long hike on a hot day with two friends, Bob and Bill. For the last part of the hike, I was telling them about this nice beer I had in the fridge and we were all pretty excited about it. I was just unlocking the front door when I mentioned that I only had one beer and it was going to Bob. Bill was kind of upset, for some reason. 

    I told Bill he was being selfish and immature, but somehow he still didn't get the point, even after I said I'd definitely let both of them have a beer next week.

    Even after he admitted that it would be better for one person to have a beer than for nobody to have one, he still felt hard done by, and said it might have been better to not offer the beer to anyone. 

    Except that in this case, the "beer" that Bob is getting isn't cold, has been open for a while and is thus flat, and has bugs in it. Does Bill really want that beer? 

    For the record, I have KSP on Steam and WILL NOT be opting in to the pre release, simply because I don't have the time available nor the knowledge to be of great help for the stated purpose, which is hunting bugs so that when Bill does get his beer, it's flavorful, cold, and bug-free. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I'd love to test this, but didn't buy through Steam, so oh well. The reasoning behind the decision is perfectly solid and the fact they are putting it out there for testing pre-release is a fantastic move IMO.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, Perry Apsis said:

    One time I was finishing a long hike on a hot day with two friends, Bob and Bill. For the last part of the hike, I was telling them about this nice beer I had in the fridge and we were all pretty excited about it. I was just unlocking the front door when I mentioned that I only had one beer and it was going to Bob. Bill was kind of upset, for some reason. 

    I told Bill he was being selfish and immature, but somehow he still didn't get the point, even after I said I'd definitely let both of them have a beer next week.

    Even after he admitted that it would be better for one person to have a beer than for nobody to have one, he still felt hard done by, and said it might have been better to not offer the beer to anyone. 

    Morals a-plenty:

    What a nice story, but it seems inaccurate. At no point in time did Squad mention in advance, let alone promise, a pre-release versions and then backtracked and said "Steam only." Well yes, during the course of the announcement, but if that was "all along" then I think you have problem with being impatient. Squad made a clear case: we want to extend testing, we've never done that before, the process involves certain logistics, right now Steam can provide those, banana banana banana. I can see  how an approach of starting this release with the bad news: “pre-release on steam only, and here's why:” won’t achieve a single thing either, as those who will cry foul will stop reading after that anyway.

    So here's an updated version:

    One time I was finishing a long hike on a hot day with two friends, Bob and Bill. The hike took longer than expected. Guys, I have some beer in the refrigerator. I'd love to give it to the both of you when we get home, but circumstances (Bill was not yet at the legal drinking age) only enable me to offer a beer to Bob.

    Bill completely understand that, smiled and said, "Hey, two weeks from now I'll be [drinking age], I get to get a beer too then, right? I'd be silly to deny Bob his beer just because I can't have it."

    “But of course Bill! It's not that I don't *want* to give you a beer, it's that I *can't* but as soon as I can, I will.” I was amazed that such a young lad was able to display such maturity. Good for him!

    Morals-a-plenty: if you're coming up with some story, make sure to use an analogy that is not blatantly unprecise. And Squad should see to it that the pre-release is downloadable through curseforge. That should put an end to the complaints. :P

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Quick suggestion for Squad: I understand that the KSP store is not as suitable for experimental builds as Steam, however as you guys have hopefully realized by now, the community is salty. How to improve this situation? How about posting the latest pre-release build to the KSP store once per day. That seams reasonable given that in the past you guys have released patch updates to the store within hours of each other. Of course those people wont have the latest build most of the time and thus wouldn't be able to contribute to the testing process, but according to the current plan KSP store goers wont be included anyways. The pro here is that those who feel left out will still get almost the same content. I know the test builds will be buggy, but last I checked there are people today playing the half broken 64 bit KSP and they tolerate it. Lets face it, many people here are interpreting this "Opt-in" as a certain group of individuals (Steam goers) basically getting 1.1 two weeks before everyone else. Nothing will change that opinion, even if the first pre-release builds are mostly broken. So please, listen to the community and try to not alienate much of your player-base.

     

    -Rocket

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hell, not even that, just once every other day would be fine, and then you can add a special topic for store users to submit reports, then those with the most recent version can test them there and if it is still a problem then report them to squad. 

    And, anyways, even if their servers cant handle that, they have sold over a million copies so I would expect they probably have enough in the bank to pay for offloading trafic to a seperate server for a little bit longer than they usually do.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    5 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

    At no point in time did Squad mention in advance, let alone promise, a pre-release versions and then backtracked and said "Steam only."

    That is literally exactly what has happened.

    Up until version 1.0 all versions were pre-release, including the 0.90 "beta", and all were available through all outlets. The FAQ on the website and comments from Squad representatives said that Steam, store and all other outlets were treated equally with regard to having access to new versions, and labored to point out that Steam would not be getting new releases first. It is hard to see how this new policy can be seen as anything but backtracking on that.

    People made decisions on where to buy the game based on what was told to them, there's a reason that point was addressed in the FAQ. I've gifted two copies of KSP to friends, and I bought them from the store because there was supposed to be no difference and it put more money in Squad's hands as opposed to buying on Steam and giving a portion to Valve. Now I look like an idiot for paying the same price for a store copy when a Steam copy includes early access at no additional cost.

    People can get nitpicky about what constitutes a release, a prerelease, or a version; I don't really care about that as I'm not trying to put together a legal case and semantic games miss the point anyway. The simple fact remains that Steam users will be able to play the game with 1.1's features before users who bought elsewhere, when previously it was made emphatically clear that Steam would not get earlier access.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Well now,

       I cannot wait to see all the new optimizations and changes to KSP in the next update.  I wish the experimental testers luck in their endeavor to crush the bugs.  There's an update on the way, three cheers for Squad.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    2 minutes ago, capran said:

    OK, maybe I'm dumb, but I don't see where to go to opt-in. I checked KSP's properties on Steam and it wants a code to opt-in? Do I ask for that here?

    It's not ready yet.  Soontm  you can have it by going to some kind of properties menu.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Doing the math, from amazon, outsourcing it if you were to get 5000 downloads daily, it would cost $6,000 in total. Doesn't seem like that much to me given estimates have shown that the game has over a million sales and your team is quite small compared to many other companies...

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hi Squad and all users.

    This flame war has a real basis is human behavior and I think everyone especially Squad could learn something from this, most importantly how not to have this happen again.  

    First watch This Ted talk.

    Then listen to the first 15min of this NPR podcast.

    Now, keep what you just learned in mind as I present my analysis! ( it won't be that great of an analysis but well I am a numbers guys so....)
    First off I want to say, as way of introduction, I am a bit of an expert on the topic of what I think is happening here.(I hope i can make it understandable, no promises I unfortunately prefer to communicate through numbers)  I am a pricing and financial analyst for a large electronics distributor (think billions in sales).  We recently had this exact scenario play out in the sales of one of our largest suppliers.  We have not finished solving this problem but we have Identified what happened.  It was Monkeys.  I think Squad has a bad case of the monkeys too. (this is extra funny when you think about what Squad's logo is.)

    What squad has accessed in its user bases in this open beta test is the natural human aversion to loss. 

    What squad has is three groups.

    Group one is all users who have a steam copy

    Group two is people who do not currently have a steam copy but have the option to upgrade.

    Group three is people who do not currently have a steam copy and can not upgrade with out purchasing a second copy.

    For group one, the open beta is like the guy offering the moneys 2 grapes but when they hand over the coin they get 3, even if they only want to eat two, they will take all three and be happy.  ROC ON TOTAL BONUS!!!

    For group two they are kinda like the canary of monkeys, they sympathize with they guys who can't have the bonus but they personally can take the bonus or leave it but they will have to pay a small cost(not monetary) to switch to steam.  These guys are shouting, "I don't really like have to pay the extra cost (not monetary) but it is not so bad, but any extra cost above this would be bad."

    Now we come to the last group the guys who can not access the pre-release at all.  For these guys, especially the way the OP was written, they see not accessing the pre-release as a loss, they were offered 3 grapes but when they went to pay (got to the last paragraph of the OP)  they were only given two grapes.  These guys would rather no one got an extra grape if they can't have an extra grape. why? because they're human and VERY loss adverse.  Even though as a group we are better off if more of us get 3 grapes, those who only get two are still going to feel cheated.  Triggering the loss function in your customer base is a VERY VERY bad idea.  Don't do it,  it always always leads to a loss in profitability.  I can not tell Squad how to fix it I can only point to what caused it.

    FYI I am a canary Monkey, and won't be doing the pre-release thing.
     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Alo as far as the flame war goes:

      You have group one who correctly sees the pre-release a a bonus for themselves and the community and are confused as to why group three can't see this as a positive for all of us.
     

    As for Group three they correctly state "BUT hey we can't have three grapes even though at first we were offered three grapes"( again the way the OP presented this made it even worse) "we lost a grape that really sucks even if I did not want the extra grape it still really sucks" (loss aversion).  They are mad at group one for not recognizing the fact they they lost a grape.

    Edited by mcirish3
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    12 minutes ago, KerbMav said:

    The third grape just comes with a few weeks delivery time for some.

    Good night.

    This behavior is also a very normal human behavior in economics.  It is also known as the reluctance to wait, especially if it is perceived (rightly or wrongly) others are able to jump ahead of them inline.

    My comments were primarily aimed at squad if you can anticipate an undesirable behavior you can look for ways to avoid triggering that behavior, especially when it is very predicable.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I really liked this community. I thought it was neat, science savvy, friendly, and fun. Though, as I read through these coments today, it's revealed itself to be little better than a typical Reddit page. There's flames and salt going around, and now even folk claiming to be better or more important users because of where they purchased the game. There's people who've become entrenched in their positions, reinforced by their own echo chamber, and unwilling to listen to anyone else no matter what they have to say, even going so far as to imply that Kasper is lying to them and there's secret nefarious intentions. I'm just really disappointed in the whole community today. This is childish.

    Good luck and goodbye. I'm out. Don't want to be a part of a group this toxic.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Guest
    This is now closed for further comments

×
×
  • Create New...