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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, allmhuran said:

    Guys guys guys gals, let's look at this with a little calm rationality.

    The Steam distribution network creates the opportunity for Squad to do this wide experimental release for no additional effort on their part. That's good, because it means it doesn't cut into their 1.1 bugfix development time.

    Fundamentally, the complaints here seem to be this: "Other people are getting the game early. I want to get the game early too."

    But for squad to make it possible for you to "get the game early too" they would have to redevelop the store updater, set up the required processes for store updates, and so on. Doing this would take time. Which means, yeah, everybody would be able to get it at the same time.... but everybody would be getting it later. 

    Let's say, right now, Steam users will get the experimental on the 43rd of Blarpril, and the full game will be released to everybody on the 57th of Blarpril. But store users complain, and Squad decides to support this experimental via the store. This takes, say, 10 days. So now Steam users AND store users get the experimental on the 53rd of Blarpril, and the game is released to everybody on the 67th. 

    So we went from "You get the full 1.1 release on the 57th of Blapril" to "You get the experimental release on the 57th and the full game on the 67th".

    Is that really what you want?

    Why do you assume it would cause literally everyone at squad an entire 10 days to do? It would take one employee an afternoon, tops. Even if doing so somehow made one of the devs die, the delay would probably only be a day or two, three at maximum.

    Also, your probably someone who is getting it early yourself because you gave squad 30% less money, which is why you really dont care about those who have to wait another half month to get it.

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    5 minutes ago, ronnie4444 said:

    ffs just post a non-updated version of 1.1 to the store. Please. For god's sakes I'm begging you.

    But that would defeat the purpose of the release. The point is to have a wide range of people to test, submit bug feedback, and retest when the system updates. This is not simply a case of some people getting the 1.1 release before other people get it.

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    4 minutes ago, allmhuran said:

    Guys guys guys gals, let's look at this with a little calm rationality.

    The Steam distribution network creates the opportunity for Squad to do this wide experimental release for no additional effort on their part. That's good, because it means it doesn't cut into their 1.1 bugfix development time.

    Fundamentally, the complaints here seem to be this: "Other people are getting the game early. I want to get the game early too."

    But for squad to make it possible for you to "get the game early too" they would have to redevelop the store updater, set up the required processes for store updates, and so on. Doing this would take time. Which means, yeah, everybody would be able to get it at the same time.... but everybody would be getting it later. 

    Let's say, right now, Steam users will get the experimental on the 43rd of Blarpril, and the full game will be released to everybody on the 57th of Blarpril. But store users complain, and Squad decides to support this experimental via the store. This takes, say, 10 days. So now Steam users AND store users get the experimental on the 53rd of Blarpril, and the game is released to everybody on the 67th. 

    So we went from "You get the full 1.1 release on the 57th of Blapril" to "You get the experimental release on the 57th and the full game on the 67th".

    Is that really what you want?

    Exaaactly. It would be a waste of precious time to get their site made to suit the needs of a constantly-updating link, making the test process entirely useless if they have to spend precious time on it, while STEAM has it built right in.

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    1 minute ago, allmhuran said:

    But that would defeat the purpose of the release. The point is to have a wide range of people to test, submit bug feedback, and retest when the system updates. This is not simply a case of some people getting the 1.1 release before other people get it.

    Well, it kinda is, I can guarentee you the vast majority wont post any bugs, and most of those people probably wont be posting them just because there are hardly any bugs left anyways, and those that are noticed are probably mostly ones that already have and have been kept because fixing them would cause more problems than it solves, or they just dont know how to. Look, I know that this is meant for bug fixing, but I see no harm in letting people use a version that isnt for reporting the bugs, and unlike before these are almost bug free, probably just a couple, and anyways most people probably wont even use either.

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    3 minutes ago, allmhuran said:

    But that would defeat the purpose of the release. The point is to have a wide range of people to test, submit bug feedback, and retest when the system updates. This is not simply a case of some people getting the 1.1 release before other people get it.

    Except that if you actually read the OP and understand what you're reading instead of just OMGIGITERLYZ, you would realize the "pre release" isn't some big experimental style bug chasing. It's pretty clearly written that this is AFTER EXPIRIMENTALS and designed for the most part to help test mods.

    It is a case of some people getting a near release ready game early based on their place of purchase solely because the developers own service for distribution is not up to the task we pay for it to do.

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    5 minutes ago, nosirrbro said:

    Also, your probably someone who is getting it early yourself because you gave squad 30% less money, which is why you really dont care about those who have to wait another half month to get it.

    Why are people thinking that they're going to get it early?  You need to remember that it's for QA testing.  If you think it's otherwise, you really shouldn't even consider, or be considered for it.  You need to understand that it means testing a lot of stuff, and making bug reports, posting logs, etc.  If you didn't know that before, don't sign up for it.  This discussion's also getting way out of hand.  This isn't about Squad letting some people get it early, it's them trying to speed up the process of release.  Would you rather have to wait a month?

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    13 minutes ago, Elway358 said:

    The reality of it is that this "pre release" will not be the bug ridden mess they would have you believe. We're talking about a basically release ready version that would have even been through "experimentals" by that time.

    The real reality is that based on many reports from long time users here, even a single release would crash the defunct server system of their store. Which leads me back to my opinion that they have no business retailing and distributing it if they can't do it properly.

    For the main release, at least for the last couple of releases, the Store version has been served via an Amazon Web Services instance. Good luck overloading that.

    However, AWS is probably not cheap when you start serving however many downloads every person will be downloading every day in order to get the latest build.

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    1 minute ago, Elway358 said:

    Except that if you actually read the OP and understand what you're reading instead of just OMGIGITERLYZ, you would realize the "pre release" isn't some big experimental style bug chasing. It's pretty clearly written that this is AFTER EXPIRIMENTALS and designed for the most part to help test mods.

    It is a case of some people getting a near release ready game early based on their place of purchase solely because the developers own service for distribution is not up to the task we pay for it to do.

    There will still be bugs with it to report, so it's kind of both.

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    Some posts have been removed. Steam keys are an issue from 2 years ago, and are not the subject of this thread. They are only available through Steam purchase.

    Also, please do not attack each other for having differing views on the matters in this thread. 

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    1 minute ago, CliftonM said:

    Why are people thinking that they're going to get it early?  You need to remember that it's for QA testing.  If you think it's otherwise, you really shouldn't even consider, or be considered for it.  You need to understand that it means testing a lot of stuff, and making bug reports, posting logs, etc.  If you didn't know that before, don't sign up for it.  This discussion's also getting way out of hand.  This isn't about Squad letting some people get it early, it's them trying to speed up the process of release.  Would you rather have to wait a month?

    That would be nice except for(again) it's NOT some huge bug chasing, hero beta tester mission. This pre release is AFTER experimentals on a nearly release ready build being used to help modders test their goods. re read the OP.

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    Just now, Elway358 said:

    That would be nice except for(again) it's NOT some huge bug chasing, hero beta tester mission. This pre release is AFTER experimentals on a nearly release ready build being used to help modders test their goods. re read the OP.

    I did read the OP.  It's still helping Squad, because many people use older versions until mods catch up.  Sometimes, they stop playing all together.  Now, let's not get into discussion about our interpretations of the OP.  Boy, I'm glad I'm not a moderator right now...

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    6 minutes ago, technicalfool said:

    For the main release, at least for the last couple of releases, the Store version has been served via an Amazon Web Services instance. Good luck overloading that.

    However, AWS is probably not cheap when you start serving however many downloads every person will be downloading every day in order to get the latest build.

    I certainly don't pretend to know who or how they work that but if that is true, that's even more of a shame because it would be 100% about not wanting to spend money to ensure paying customers are receiving equal services.

    2 minutes ago, omelaw said:

    I'll try to make a 1.0.5 to 1.1 patch (and after daily patches..) file and torrent it, is it allowed?

    I'm not a progrmer, though..

    I'm almost certain that would not be allowed. I wouldn't do it for sure.

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    3 minutes ago, omelaw said:

    I'll try to make a 1.0.5 to 1.1 patch (and after daily patches..) file and torrent it, is it allowed?

    I'm not a progrmer, though..

    That is entirely not allowed at all, or else nobody here would be poodleing.

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    4 minutes ago, omelaw said:

    I'll try to make a 1.0.5 to 1.1 patch (and after daily patches..) file and torrent it, is it allowed?

    I'm not a progrmer, though..

    More than likely no. That would be unauthorised distribution.

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    Those of you saying us KSP Store people will have it good simply because we won't get buggy versions are all probably Steam users. I will not go too far into this but I am indeed disappointed that I will not be able to have access to what Steam users will.

    This also complicates the Hype Train a bit. When will the train reach the station? When the Steam testing versions come out, or when the final version for everyone comes out? If the former happens, then I predict that the community will be pretty split up.

    Edited by Rthsom
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    2 minutes ago, Rthsom said:

    Those of you saying us KSP Store people will have it good simply because we won't get buggy versions are all probably Steam users. I will not go too far into this but I am indeed disappointed that I will not be able to have access to what Steam users will.

    This also complicates the Hype Train a bit. When will the train reach the station? When the Steam testing versions come out, or when the final version for everyone comes out? If the former happens, then I predict that the community will be pretty split up.

    Probably those ever so priveleged with steam could be said to be on an expresshype train that moves alot faster but will slightly damage KSP 1.1 when it gets there due to its high speed.

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    1 hour ago, Noname115 said:

    I think the community just died today...

    Oh, the Kerbality!

     

    Is there a how-to for transferring one's key to Steam, for those of us who bought the product before it was available there?

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    1 hour ago, 123nick said:

    it should still be a option. im like, 1000% sure it still is.

     

    It's called add a non steam game isn't it? The option I mean.

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    Just now, Majorjim said:

    It's called add a non steam game isn't it? The option I mean.

    thats only for adding a .exe file soo u can launch it with steam. too have the game in your library, and actually available, you need too go through some process that gives u a steam key.

     

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    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):

    Quote

    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.

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

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    Hello, everyone.

    Long time player, short time lurker. I've not done much on the forums before but was drawn to this discussion by something mentioned on the Facebook group.

    Apparently there are a lot of people that are really upset that they won't have early access to the 1.1 release. I believe I have a solution for this. But first a little bit about my KSP backstory.

    I purchased my early access copy for the low low price of $15. So far I've spent more than 850 hours in game and I've been playing since 0.23.5 (aahh memories). This game is fantastic. I love everything about it. I love the way Squad works so closely with the community. I love the modding community itself. There's really been fantastic work on all parts involving this game.

    The thing is... I feel that, of all the game developers out there, Squad deserves far more of my money than what I've paid. I've been pondering gifting a copy to someone on my friends' list that wants KSP.  Then I find out about this rift in the community between Steam owners and KSP store owners.

    Now to my solution. I want to buy and gift 1 Steam copy of KSP to an original KSP store owner. Sorry, I would do more but I'm not made of money. Unfortunately I have no idea how I would go about deciding who's going to get it.

    I really think that everyone wins in this situation. KSP Store purchasers get their Steam copy. Squad gets more money. I start taking my lunch to work again...

    -Scott

    Edited by Malaclypse
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