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  • Opt-in Prerelease for 1.1!


    Ted
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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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    17 minutes ago, CuAnnan said:

    So is the opt-in beta just going to be a Steam normal beta or are we going to need closed beta codes?

    You will be able to opt in as long as you have KSP on steam. No code required. (Emphasis 'on will be able to,' it's not open yet)

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    I've got a store and a steam purchase - I have the ability to participate, but likely will not.  Why? Because I disagree with the concept of "volunteer testing" for a company that has made millions in revenue.  I've paid money for early access and I have received it over several years - so I'm cool.  I've already given my money and my support, I do not feel it is necessary to contribute my time (at no cost) to support a for-profit company - I choose to not be a 21st century serf whenever possible. ;-)

    Some folks enjoy this kind of pseudo-dev-QA involvement and they should have at it.  And, If they do not already have a steam license, and access to the beta (is it really a beta?) is really that important, then they can still go buy one so as to obtain the access - the price of the steam license is a small fraction of the value you will spend in your volunteer testing time.

    If its really important for you to get access, then consider buying a steam license.  If it is really important for Squad to have your participation, then they should consider providing you a Steam discount code.

    Or not. It's their profit, and their decision.

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    2 hours ago, KerbonautInTraining said:

    You will be able to opt in as long as you have KSP on steam. No code required. (Emphasis 'on will be able to,' it's not open yet)

    Many thanks. At least four. I think that information is worth four thanks,  but if I've short changed you let me know and I'll add a sufficient number of thanks.

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    Wait, so how do we actually get this pre release? Sorry if that's an absurd question, but I hate reading, soooo.... ^^;

    I have Steam, and have KSP on it, so how do I get it? Also, what do I do when I get it?

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    10 minutes ago, SmashingKirby148 said:

    Wait, so how do we actually get this pre release? Sorry if that's an absurd question, but I hate reading, soooo.... ^^;

    I have Steam, and have KSP on it, so how do I get it? Also, what do I do when I get it?

    The main intent of the pre-release beta test, is to give volunteers a chance to uncover weird bugs the Experimentals test team (currently very busy) may not have seen, the developers time to consider fixing them, AND to give active mod makers a couple weeks to rework their mods in time for the official v1.1 release.  If that doesn't sound like you, and if you have a lot of mods installed, you will have less headaches by just waiting for the official v1.1 release.

    Actually getting the beta requires going into KSP Properties in your Steam library, the Betas tab, and looking for a new option. The only current option is "previous stable release" - you don't want that.

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    27 minutes ago, SmashingKirby148 said:

    Wait, so how do we actually get this pre release? Sorry if that's an absurd question, but I hate reading, soooo.... ^^;

    I have Steam, and have KSP on it, so how do I get it? Also, what do I do when I get it?

    You will need to opt in, it is buried in the options for the game in your library.  It is not available yet but here is how to find it.

    right click the game name in the library and select properties.
    7ym0yQT.jpg

    Then click the Beta tab in the pop up window and then select the pre-release from the dropdown menu and a code will not be necessary.
    M4Cgudm.jpg

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    Ohhhhh... ok, thanks guys! This will actually be good because if Kopernicus comes out for the pre-release then I can get my (and The White Gaurdian's... haven't heard from him in a while though) mod in the making to be updated for the new update too!

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    1 minute ago, FirstSecondThird said:

    Can someone please tell me where to opt into the 1.1 experimental branch on steam.

     

    It's says Previous Stable Release as the only opt in one.

    Is this the one with 1.1.

    bump

    It's not out yet.

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    49 minutes ago, KocLobster said:

    I'm a little confused, is there a scheduled time when the pre-release becomes available to all on Steam?

    Nope. It will be available when they think it's ready. 

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    3 hours ago, 101Kerbal said:

    When is ksp going to take less computer ram?

    gb ram is only problem!

    Probably never. RAM requirements generally tend to climb, not sink.

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    6 hours ago, 101Kerbal said:

    When is ksp going to take less computer ram?

    gb ram is only problem!

    About 3 or 4 years ago is when it is going to take less ram. :P

    All depends on how many mods you have, and how many flights/debris you have. If you set it so your debris is limited to a small number, it shouldn't be a problem. Though then you run the risk of having useful things "deleted". I did that once. Lowered the number of debris left, then proceeded to try and build a space station, not thinking about the first module becoming debris because it didn't have a probe core. Of course, that problem can be solved by just making sure anything that MIGHT be important has a probe core....lol.

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    Might have been asked already but is it possible to have your non-steam (purchased many moons ago through KSP when you could get it for less than $20) turned into a Steam version so I can take part in the early access program?

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    21 minutes ago, reschke said:

    Might have been asked already but is it possible to have your non-steam (purchased many moons ago through KSP when you could get it for less than $20) turned into a Steam version so I can take part in the early access program?

    Unless you purchased before May of 2013 NO!

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    48 minutes ago, mcirish3 said:

    Unless you purchased before May of 2013 NO!

    Well I bought the game in April of 2012 for $18. So are you saying that it is possible?

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