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  • Opt-in Prerelease for 1.1!


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    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!

     

     


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    4 minutes ago, Temeter said:

    All the while we exactly now that constant and fast updating isn't possible through the KSP store.

    Worth mentioning (again) that updating through the KSP store isn't possible at all. When updates are released Squad rents extra severs to handle traffic for a few days. To rent them for two weeks would cost absurd amounts of money.

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    36 minutes ago, KerbonautInTraining said:

    Worth mentioning (again) that updating through the KSP store isn't possible at all. When updates are released Squad rents extra severs to handle traffic for a few days. To rent them for two weeks would cost absurd amounts of money.

    Huh, I didn't know.  It's also just that you can't efficiently download something like daily updates over the store. Would have to login and download the whole game for every little update, while they'd need to constantly update on multiple platforms. Can't really rely on people always playing the most recent version.

    33 minutes ago, Spacetraindriver said:

    O-o

    I just got 1.0.5 last month!


    See the positive side: You're not going to lose much progress. ;)

    Edited by Temeter
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    1 minute ago, KSP Bros said:

    I went on the KSP site, and it didn't have the option to transfer to steam. do I have to buy it separately on steam?

    Yes, there is only an option to transfer your purchase to steam if you bought the game before it was sold on steam (may 2013 I think but don't quote me on that).

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    Just now, CaLVin-K said:

    Yes, there is only an option to transfer your purchase to steam if you bought the game before it was sold on steam (may 2013 I think but don't quote me on that).

    ;.;;.;;.;;.; I bought it after. 

    I saw that renting out servers would cost a lot of money, so why couldn't Squad send e-mails to users to give them a window of time to download, not overloading the servers.

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    6 minutes ago, KSP Bros said:

    I went on the KSP site, and it didn't have the option to transfer to steam. do I have to buy it separately on steam?

    Guys, it's not worth it, don't buy another copy just to have access to an open beta. unless you really want it on Steam.

    Edited by Hary R
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    1 minute ago, KSP Bros said:

    ;.;;.;;.;;.; I bought it after. 

    I saw that renting out servers would cost a lot of money, so why couldn't Squad send e-mails to users to give them a window of time to download, not overloading the servers.

    I don't think anyone would abide by that.

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    4 minutes ago, KSP Bros said:

    ;.;;.;;.;;.; I bought it after. 

    I saw that renting out servers would cost a lot of money, so why couldn't Squad send e-mails to users to give them a window of time to download, not overloading the servers.

    It's even harder then that, the silent update of 1.0.5 prove that the store is not ready (at the moment) to handle an open beta.

    4 minutes ago, KSP Bros said:

    Then maybe Squad could email users a code they can write into Steam to purchase the game for free?

    I think Valve will have something to say about that. Won't happen.

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    yeah it all seems a bit wrong to me i if i buy first party ie direct from squad store shouldnt we all get the same opertunities and features next we will be taking out sandbox if bought from gog imho squad should let people transfer to steam again.really feel bad about all this lost a LOT of confidence in squad

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    Just now, BrutalRIP said:

    imho squad should let people transfer to steam again.

    If that were a viable option Squad would already be handing out Steam codes to anyone that asked. 

    They can't do that anymore because the cut that Steam takes from your KSP purchase wouldn't be going to them but you'd still be using their services.

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    2 minutes ago, BrutalRIP said:

    Well maybe squad put a note on the ksp store saying "for the full ksp experience buy from steam" 

    If by the 'full ksp experience' you mean a potentially unplayable (in the normal way), buggy version that you have to update at at least daily to see if it's better than the one you tried yesterday then you may just have a point. :cool:

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    4 hours ago, Red Iron Crown said:

    [...] All because they bought through a venue that put more money in the developers' pockets, [...]

    I was curious about this, so I looked up some stuff about it.

    KSP costs US 40 dollars at the store, US 39.99 at steam.  Steam takes a minimum of %30 from every sale, which means (assuming $40 for KSP) that they get $12 per KSP sale.  So the devs get $28 per sale.  However, that's not the whole story. 

    Steam hosts servers that SQUAD doesn't have to host.  They also provide an immeasurable amount of exposure.

    Taking @technicalfool's ratio of 100tb/month via amazon, to $9779.96/month, and rounding down to 9000/month, we get a ratio of 1/90 tb/$/month.

    Next we have the problem of copies bought per month.  I'll take a total stab in the dark, and say that 3 million copies have been sold.  About one year ago, there were 1 million total copies sold on steam.  So let's say that, in the past year, another 800000 copies have sold on steam.  KSP is about 1GB per game, to that's 800 tb per year., which equals ~66.66 tb/month.  That's $6000 a month.  
    This means that the devs get $1,866,666 a month off of steam sales alone?  That's almost certainly not right.  But if it is, then the cost of hosting servers is negligible, and it's matter of whether the exposure outweighs the %30 cut. 

    This is not meant to refute your post, Red Iron Crown.  I am curious whether different venues provide different profits.

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    5 minutes ago, pandaman said:

    If by the 'full ksp experience' you mean a potentially unplayable (in the normal way), buggy version that you have to update at at least daily to see if it's better than the one you tried yesterday then you may just have a point. :cool:

    having that option to would be nice.........yes

    all just feels like a kick in the teeth to the people that bought from the store

    Edited by BrutalRIP
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    4 minutes ago, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

    I was curious about this, so I looked up some stuff about it.

    KSP costs US 40 dollars at the store, US 39.99 at steam.  Steam takes a minimum of %30 from every sale, which means (assuming $40 for KSP) that they get $12 per KSP sale.  So the devs get $28 per sale.  However, that's not the whole story. 

    Steam hosts servers that SQUAD doesn't have to host.  They also provide an immeasurable amount of exposure.

    Taking @technicalfool's ratio of 100tb/month via amazon, to $9779.96/month, and rounding down to 9000/month, we get a ratio of 1/90 tb/$/month.

    Next we have the problem of copies bought per month.  I'll take a total stab in the dark, and say that 3 million copies have been sold.  About one year ago, there were 1 million total copies sold on steam.  So let's say that, in the past year, another 800000 copies have sold on steam.  KSP is about 1GB per game, to that's 800 tb per year., which equals ~66.66 tb/month.  That's $6000 a month.  
    This means that the devs get $1,866,666 a month off of steam sales alone?  That's almost certainly not right.  But if it is, then the cost of hosting servers is negligible, and it's matter of whether the exposure outweighs the %30 cut. 

    This is not meant to refute your post, Red Iron Crown.  I am curious whether different venues provide different profits.

    Excellent post, and I think I can see where this leads. First, let me say, if I were running a business, I would want to reduce costs wherever possible. Even in my personal finances, I always take the philosophy of if I don't buy it, I don't have to pay for it. Which leads to less time working and more time playing or doing what I want and not what someone else wants. So, from Squads point of view, I would imagine that maintaining servers to distribute a product that is not generating revenue is a significant cost, one that over the long term really adds up.

    So, if it were me, I think I would have to reach a point where I would have to make a change. Something to the effect of "well, it was a nice idea, but it's not gonna work out in the long term so, it's time to make a change". If that is the case, I would rather Squad man up and say so. Just tell everybody to transfer to Steam, and sell the game only through Steam or Amazon, or GOG, or whatever. Don't fill me with a line of crap, "oh, buggy release, need more testers, blah, blah". Man up, face the problem, tell the truth. If it's time to shut down the KSP Store because it can't handle the job it was intended for then just say so. I can handle that, and I would venture to say that many others like me could handle it also.

     

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    8 hours ago, Red Iron Crown said:

    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.

    totaly agree with this

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    17 minutes ago, BrutalRIP said:

    having that option to would be nice.........yes

    all just feels like a kick in the teeth to the people that bought from the store

    I do get your point, I would have liked the option too.  But you seem to be taking it as if it's just a plan to give the steam users a huge bonus at everyone else's expense.

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    Ok so we are back to the "Squad is loaded with money" thing... Which is not an argument guys, if you know a little about finance you will know that.

    Here is the thing it's not about the money, the store can deal with the normal update, it does do what it is needed for, this opt-in beta pre-release is not a normal thing, the store was not created fore that, Squad can certainly change it given enough time but do they really have that time right now? (or do you want the real release to be pulled back a few more month so you can participate the open beta) Do you really think the management team say who care we are loaded with money just wait and give it to them.... No one in his righteous mind will do that, especially that close to the (real) release.

    AND before you counter me, I don't think it was something they wanted to do in the first place but decided that it would be good for the community.

    The only thing i hope now is that all that useless drama here stop and the open beta end with some very good result so Squad cant take the time to change the store so next time we won't be left behind.

    Yeah i'm frustrated that I can't participate the beta because i brought the game from the store but I also understand that due to time constrain, technical difficulties and lake of manpower, SQUAD couldn't make it happened (at least this time). As I said, the silent 1.0.5 change in build number disaster convince me it can't be done right now.

     

    Spoiler

    But i'm way more frustrated to the people here saying that a technical difficulties that can not be resolved in such a short amount of time is a betrayal...:mad: seriously.

    Well the flame will burn me now I guess.

     

    Edited by Hary R
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    2 hours ago, KSP Bros said:

    ;.;;.;;.;;.; I bought it after. 

    I saw that renting out servers would cost a lot of money, so why couldn't Squad send e-mails to users to give them a window of time to download, not overloading the servers.

    I think the issue is the nature of this pre-release version: It's a constant stream of small updates, and KSP store isn't set up for continued development versions.

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    This is not a way to get new features first, this is a way to get new bugs first. Keep that in mind.

    Also, i dont think this decision was made to give users of a third-party-service an early look on a unpolished, most likely unplayable version of the game. This decision was made to make this game better by having more eyes to find bugs...

    I´m curious how many of those people, who opt-in, will also report bugs :huh:

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    3 hours ago, KSP Bros said:

    ;.;;.;;.;;.; I bought it after. 

    I saw that renting out servers would cost a lot of money, so why couldn't Squad send e-mails to users to give them a window of time to download, not overloading the servers.

    Not a bad idea on the face of it, but how many of us would get windows at times we can't use them, because we are at work etc?

    How frustrating would that be?  It would be like telling a child they can have an ice cream next time the van comes down the street, then telling them it came while they were at school so they missed the chance, that's just building a tantrum factory :D

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    so i got this idea right now the station in the stock game are useless expensive to build hard to move, beside good looking there is no use for their been there. so is that possible to create a some kind since lab with two or three large parts(so it has to be orbiter assembled, and has to be as a station or a bass ) can generate since point or money? since ksp has small space for mods on windows platform specially after i put the RSS,RO,RVE on then there is almost no room left. 

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