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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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    On 3/2/2016 at 8:15 PM, HebaruSan said:

    SQUAD is going out of their way to help mods be ready on release day (!!!!), and we're complaining?

    On the topic of rereading the OP, there is this (emphasis added):

    It's pretty clear that SQUAD also sees this plan as an opportunity to make this unprecedentedly massive update more stable.

    Agreed. What this really is doing is opening up the pre-releases so mods can be released on release day. We shouldn't be complaining. And as I already have quoted someone explaining this, this is just something they can do on-the-fly. They're not going to fully reconfigure the KSP Store JUST so everyone else can have it. Because by the time they do that, the original release date of 1.1 would be here. And that means OFFICIAL 1.1 would be delayed. (which makes beta completely obsolete if it makes just delays). So instead we should be happy. More release-day mods. More of a full game. Squad is getting BACKLASH for this. They're getting backlash for something they should be APPLAUDED for. I don't understand the controversy here. This is good either way. More people get access to the game to test it out, and more mods are released on release day for everybody. I can tell that you would be a little annyoed because of 1.1, but just continue rollin with what you have been doing earlier. Imagine they never announced the pre-releases. Go have fun playing something other than KSP. That's all I got to say. o7

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    On 3/22/2016 at 4:16 PM, Dre4dW0rm said:

    You do realize that couple means two, right? It's been 3+ weeks now since the announcement of the experimental phase, and no update so far. I assume things have gone so badly, that I will probably get to play No Man's Sky before 1.1 comes out.

    words_for_small_sets.png

    And in KSP: <anything> = Soontm

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    14 minutes ago, Bobdabiulder said:

    How do I get this?  Steam doesn't acknowledge any open beta right now, what's the code?

    It hasn't started yet. When it does open, no code will be required.

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    2 hours ago, Bobdabiulder said:

    I thought they said it started :mad:

    Experimentals has started, but no the public beta testing. I believe they've mentioned some of the various bugs they've been squashing on several of their social media sites, and in the weekly posts they do.

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    Patients is a virtue something apparently many haven't got. The beta will be available when it becomes available and no sooner. Complaining about it won't make it happen any faster. I for one am looking forward to its release and am happy that they are taking time to squash any bugs they can find before hand.

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    I am totally in for trying out the pre-release. I could not be anymoar hyped, I've see the new change log, and HAWMAGAWD it will be awesome. I am really proud of squad, especially for giving up their holidays and working overtime...

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    8 hours ago, DiamondExcavater said:

    I am totally in for trying out the pre-release. I could not be anymoar hyped, I've see the new change log, and HAWMAGAWD it will be awesome. I am really proud of squad, especially for giving up their holidays and working overtime...

    Squad is the most dedicated game devs I have even seen and I also couldn't be more proud

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    When the prerelease or the actual release, releases,

     

    Does steam automatically update the game, or do I have to manually update it, and how do I manually update it?

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    4 hours ago, silvertree said:

    Sign me up!!!! I can't wait for 64bit support, now my 7 other processors can help out

    Unfortunately, that's not how 64 bit support works. 64 bit support unlocks access to addressable memory sizes larger than about 4 GB. That means, if you have more than 4 GB of RAM in your PC, KSP will be able to use any free RAM above 4 GB. Like me, I have 32 GB RAM, but right now, KSP can only access 4 GB. 64 bit KSP will be able to access as much of my RAM as it needs.

    There are apparently VERY good performance improvements though. Scott Manley loaded a massive station that gave him 4 FPS in current KSP, and that same station ran 10 FPS in 1.1, which is a VERY impressive performance boost! That comes from more efficient code and new engine features though, not really 64 bit.

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    11 hours ago, silvertree said:

    Sign me up!!!! I can't wait for 64bit support, now my 7 other processors can help out

    This guy

    6 hours ago, richfiles said:

    Unfortunately, that's not how 64 bit support works. 64 bit support unlocks access to addressable memory sizes larger than about 4 GB. That means, if you have more than 4 GB of RAM in your PC, KSP will be able to use any free RAM above 4 GB. Like me, I have 32 GB RAM, but right now, KSP can only access 4 GB. 64 bit KSP will be able to access as much of my RAM as it needs.

    There are apparently VERY good performance improvements though. Scott Manley loaded a massive station that gave him 4 FPS in current KSP, and that same station ran 10 FPS in 1.1, which is a VERY impressive performance boost! That comes from more efficient code and new engine features though, not really 64 bit.

    is correct.

    To add to that the new Unity Engine does have Hyper thread support which will let your 7 porcessors help out.  BUT and it is a big BUT.  KSP has to be correctly coded to take advantage of it.  this new update will help, I am sure some effort has been put into hyperthread, but my understanding of this is that it is very VERY complex to  fully convert from non-Hyper thread to Full Hyper thread.  In short don't look for a ton of improvement in this for 1.1 but down the road for 1.2+ this could now get better and better.

    1 hour ago, TalismanStryke said:

    When should we expect to see the beta opt in on Steam? My only options currently are Opt Out and Previous Stable.

    NOT out yet!
    SoonTM

    Edited by mcirish3
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    1 hour ago, mcirish3 said:

    This guy

    is correct.

    To add to that the new Unity Engine does have Hyper thread support which will let your 7 porcessors help out.  BUT and it is a big BUT.  KSP has to be correctly coded to take advantage of it.  this new update will help, I am sure some effort has been put into hyperthread, but my understanding of this is that it is very VERY complex to  fully convert from non-Hyper thread to Full Hyper thread.  In short don't look for a ton of improvement in this for 1.1 but down the road for 1.2+ this could now get better and better.

    NOT out yet!
    SoonTM

    It'll be a good sight to see even partial proper hyperthreading. On Scott's end, it was a 150% FPS improvement, with no freezing during the collision. I don't care if I get that 150%, if I get more than 50% improvement, I am astoundingly happy!

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    Can I apply for been a tester. I am a newbie streamer but gaining experience in this matter. I can help to find bugs because I am also a software developer. My expertise are planes ans spaceplanes, but off course I also use rockets a lot.

     

    If it is possible to be an experimental "cobaia" I love to do it!

     

    Thanks in advance

    Rodrigo Gil

    https://www.twitch.tv/rgilpt

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    2 hours ago, Table said:

    so, does steam automatically update to 1.1 or is it manual? and how do i do it if it's manual

     

    2 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

    The beta will need an opt-in, watch the forums/reddit/etc for details

     

    That, but if you opt in, you'll get automatic updates, and the final 1.1 update will be automatic as well. What Steam lacks, actually, is a "never update this game unless I say so" option.

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    55 minutes ago, Tfin said:

     

    That, but if you opt in, you'll get automatic updates, and the final 1.1 update will be automatic as well. What Steam lacks, actually, is a "never update this game unless I say so" option.

    Which is why I won't be opting to take part in the pre-release, since I would have to leave the KSP store, and have the game updated even if I don't want it to be, along with the ever present DRM threat from steam.

    7 hours ago, rgilpt said:

    Can I apply for been a tester. I am a newbie streamer but gaining experience in this matter. I can help to find bugs because I am also a software developer. My expertise are planes ans spaceplanes, but off course I also use rockets a lot.

     

    If it is possible to be an experimental "cobaia" I love to do it!

     

    Thanks in advance

    Rodrigo Gil

    https://www.twitch.tv/rgilpt

    You would have needed to apply as a tester many months ago.  However you are free to take part in the Pre-Release if you own KSP on Steam.

    Edited by mcirish3
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    16 minutes ago, mcirish3 said:

    Which is why I won't be opting to take part in the pre-release, since I would have to leave the KSP store, and have the game updated even if I don't want it to be, along with the ever present DRM threat from steam.

    Steam's DRM is ridiculously easy to thwart. Some quick shortcutting and you can play KSP without letting steam know.

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    2 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

    Steam's DRM is ridiculously easy to thwart. Some quick shortcutting and you can play KSP without letting steam know.

    That's because there is none on KSP. You can always just move the directory and it will be just like a normal install. You shouldn't avoid updates for this pre-release, though, since the point of it is to hunt down the last game breaking issues, if any.

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    2 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

    Steam's DRM is ridiculously easy to thwart. Some quick shortcutting and you can play KSP without letting steam know.

     

    36 minutes ago, Tfin said:

    That's because there is none on KSP. You can always just move the directory and it will be just like a normal install. You shouldn't avoid updates for this pre-release, though, since the point of it is to hunt down the last game breaking issues, if any.

    I know this.  I just don't trust steam not to change the rules at some point in the future.  

    Edited by mcirish3
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