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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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    So the rest of us who don't have Steam just watch the people with Steam have all the fun? There's no reason to screw up community relations (which had been improving btw), especially over something as arbitrary as whether we bought the game from the store or from Steam. 

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    2 minutes ago, Malaclypse said:

    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.

    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

    Well, I can tell you that I would love one and do have a copy of the store, although I dont know if you really have to do this. I mean, I would accept it, but I would feel a little bad, although if you were to do it anyway....

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    Just now, Robotengineer said:

    So the rest of us who don't have Steam just watch the people with Steam have all the fun? There's no reason to screw up community relations (which had been improving btw), especially over something as arbitrary as whether we bought the game from the store or from Steam. 

    Everyone gets the full version at the same time. These butt-hurt grumblings are most likely putting Squad off doing this again, if at all. Please don't ruin it for everyone. They CANNOT do this through the other delivery method. Suck it up, life is not fair sometimes.. :rolleyes:

    Edited by Majorjim
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    31 minutes ago, Perry Apsis said:

    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?

    zPbZrvS.jpg

    If you have that "Transfer Purchase" button up there, then you have the ability to transfer your purchase to Steam.

    Bear in mind that this is irreversible so you have to be really, really sure you want to do it as there is no way back.

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    5 minutes ago, Majorjim said:

    Everyone gets the full version at the same time. These butt-hurt grumblings are most likely putting Squad off doing this again, if at all. Please don't ruin it for everyone. They CANNOT do this through the other delivery method. Suck it up, life is not fair sometimes.. :rolleyes:

    Why cant it be fair this time? While it is true that they probably can't handle all the daily updates, they certainly can handle one or maybe two over that period, then the official release. Anyways, they still could be useful as people can submit bugs and then other people who have the newest version can try and reproduce them before the devs are notified to try and fix it.

    Anyways, your really just saying that because you have it on steam and this doesnt effect you.

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    9 minutes ago, Majorjim said:

    Everyone gets the full version at the same time. These butt-hurt grumblings are most likely putting Squad off doing this again, if at all. Please don't ruin it for everyone. They CANNOT do this through the other delivery method. Suck it up, life is not fair sometimes.. :rolleyes:

    But I paid for the right to pre-releases. Plus, how the hell was I supposed to know to get it through Steam instead of through the Store? I didn't even know about Steam when I bought KSP in late 2013. Congrats to you for getting it on Steam and having the foresight that Steam users would get a pre-release version of 1.1.

    So half of us are not going to get full access to what we paid for, because Squad can't afford hosting or build a working launcher (no pun intended)?

    And it's easy for you to say that life is unfair sometimes when you aren't the one being treated unfairly.

    Edited by Robotengineer
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    Just now, Robotengineer said:

    But I paid for the right to pre-releases.

    No you did not.. You bought the game 'as is'.. There is not further obligation from Squad. And duuude everyone gets the stable full 1.1 release at the same time. I don't care if I can dl it or not, I most likely wont, I hate constant updates. I can wait two weeks because I am a sensible adult..

    Just now, nosirrbro said:

    Why cant it be fair this time? While it is true that they probably can't handle all the daily updates, they certainly can handle one or maybe two over that period, then the official release. Anyways, they still could be useful as people can submit bugs and then other people who have the newest version can try and reproduce them before the devs are notified to try and fix it.

    Anyways, your really just saying that because you have it on steam and this doesnt effect you.

    I am certain that if they could they would. I won't dl it, I will wait to see what people post to this forum.

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    I honestly would rather 1.1 take another month or two to ferment a little better and become a more polished product. It worries me when the antenna overhaul which was originally supposed to come with 1.0 got pushed back to 1.1 due to time constraints (the coding for it itself has been done, but it hasn't been integrated into the game yet), and when 1.1 got about halfway this got pushed back to 1.2 for time constraints. Squad, the KSP community will not kill all of you if 1.1 isn't released Sooner-than-Soon™. Please take your time. :)

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    Clearly there's been a lot of melodrama on the part of those who, like myself, are excluded from the fun. At the same time, "Suck it up, life isn't fair," particularly when it isn't preceded by "I'm in the same boat," isn't quite appropriate either. I was very excited by this opportunity. Then I found that I won't get to participate while others will, and yes, it sucks some of the fun out of the anticipation. Ooh, I can't wait until I get to download the release and get to do all the things that other people have been doing and writing about already for a couple of weeks. Those who feel bad about this, like me, should be able to keep a sense of perspective. Nevertheless, Squad should understand that it does hurt feelings and ruins some of the sense of fellowship and excitement. And as for those who say, "Oh, grow up. Now when does that download link appear???" well, part of growing up is learning to empathize with others, and to deal gracefully with luck and privilege, as well as with disappointment. Also, bite me.

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    Just now, Majorjim said:

    No you did not.. You bought the game 'as is'.. There is not further obligation from Squad. And duuude everyone gets the stable full 1.1 release at the same time. I don't care if I can dl it or not, I most likely wont, I hate constant updates. I can wait two weeks because I am a sensible adult..

    Look, this situation is from the perspective of something as trivial as the time an update comes out, and the damage caused by giving us our trivial request is the trivial thing of possible server clogging, which leads to something as trivial as a slower download speed and possibly some downtime, neither of which will really matter that much on the grand scheme of things. However, since we are viewing it on this perspective, the reasoning that you, and we as well, can wait two extra weeks, is invalid since that is the only conflict. If waiting two extra weeks means that, say, the new antannae system or some giant proformance upgrade, then the metric would be different, but it doesn't.

    We payed as much as you did (Well, probably different amounts because it changed alot as time passed, but still), and we want the same privilages. I dont care if you wont use them, that is besides the point.

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    Just now, Perry Apsis said:

    Clearly there's been a lot of melodrama on the part of those who, like myself, are excluded from the fun. At the same time, "Suck it up, life isn't fair," particularly when it isn't preceded by "I'm in the same boat," isn't quite appropriate either. I was very excited by this opportunity. Then I found that I won't get to participate while others will, and yes, it sucks some of the fun out of the anticipation. Ooh, I can't wait until I get to download the release and get to do all the things that other people have been doing and writing about already for a couple of weeks. Those who feel bad about this, like me, should be able to keep a sense of perspective. Nevertheless, Squad should understand that it does hurt feelings and ruins some of the sense of fellowship and excitement. And as for those who say, "Oh, grow up. Now when does that download link appear???" well, part of growing up is learning to empathize with others, and to deal gracefully with luck and privilege, as well as with disappointment. Also, bite me.

     

    Just now, nosirrbro said:

    Look, this situation is from the perspective of something as trivial as the time an update comes out, and the damage caused by giving us our trivial request is the trivial thing of possible server clogging, which leads to something as trivial as a slower download speed and possibly some downtime, neither of which will really matter that much on the grand scheme of things. However, since we are viewing it on this perspective, the reasoning that you, and we as well, can wait two extra weeks, is invalid since that is the only conflict. If waiting two extra weeks means that, say, the new antannae system or some giant proformance upgrade, then the metric would be different, but it doesn't.

    We payed as much as you did (Well, probably different amounts because it changed alot as time passed, but still), and we want the same privilages. I dont care if you wont use them, that is besides the point.

    Stiff upper lip chaps..

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    2 minutes ago, Majorjim said:

    No you did not.. You bought the game 'as is'.. There is not further obligation from Squad. And duuude everyone gets the stable full 1.1 release at the same time. I don't care if I can dl it or not, I most likely wont, I hate constant updates. I can wait two weeks because I am a sensible adult..

    I can wait too. I just don't like being excluded, intentionally or not. And yes, I paid for alpha access. Why not just make the prerelease downloadable to people who bought the game before .90 on the store?

    3 minutes ago, Majorjim said:

     

    Stiff upper lip chaps..

    Awfully mature of you...

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    As somebody who bought KSP on Steam and so will be able to download the 1.1 pre-release, I still think this is pretty inconsiderate towards people who bought the game directly from Squad. There was never any indication given that there would be any difference in updates available to people based on where they bought the game, and it was at least implied if not explicitly stated that everyone would be entitled to the same updates. The fact that it's an experimental pre-release doesn't matter: it's effectively the same open-alpha/beta state of every release prior to 1.0. Even if this isn't a breach of any actual legal contract, it's still bad form.

    I don't understand why Squad's own servers apparently can't handle the rush of downloads expected from a 1.1 pre-release, but presumably will be able to handle the (undoubtedly even bigger) rush when the full release is out. What's the difference?

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    Alright, I want to add to my previous statement.

    I am sad that I cannot download the early version, but it doesn't feel like I'm "not getting 1.1," I am getting 1.1.  I am not getting a buggy, not-mod-supported, early version of 1.1.  I'll be happy as long as someone makes some videos and/or descriptions of what 1.1's like.

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    4 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

    As somebody who bought KSP on Steam and so will be able to download the 1.1 pre-release, I still think this is pretty inconsiderate towards people who bought the game directly from Squad. There was never any indication given that there would be any difference in updates available to people based on where they bought the game, and it was at least implied if not explicitly stated that everyone would be entitled to the same updates. The fact that it's an experimental pre-release doesn't matter: it's effectively the same open-alpha/beta state of every release prior to 1.0. Even if this isn't a breach of any actual legal contract, it's still bad form.

    I don't understand why Squad's own servers apparently can't handle the rush of downloads expected from a 1.1 pre-release, but presumably will be able to handle the (undoubtedly even bigger) rush when the full release is out. What's the difference?

    From what I read here, it's the constant stream of downloads as each new version is made available. I guess they figure that a subset of users downloading the package however often updates are released (daily? more?) would generate more traffic than a larger population downloading once over a few days. I have no way of checking their math, but I assume they know what they are doing. Certainly, the store infrastructure has had problems with releases in the past. 

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    12 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

    I don't understand why Squad's own servers apparently can't handle the rush of downloads expected from a 1.1 pre-release, but presumably will be able to handle the (undoubtedly even bigger) rush when the full release is out. What's the difference?

    As noted earlier, it is the sheer volume of potential early access releases, meaning bug fix versions, not just a single "CHECK THIS OUT STEAM BRUH" release.  Squad is probably banking on the ten users from their Steam userbase that will find some obscure bugs they can fix.

    Ninja'd

    Edited by regex
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    1 minute ago, Perry Apsis said:

    From what I read here, it's the constant stream of downloads as each new version is made available. I guess they figure that a subset of users downloading the package however often updates are released (daily? more?) would generate more traffic than a larger population downloading once over a few days. I have no way of checking their math, but I assume they know what they are doing. Certainly, the store infrastructure has had problems with releases in the past. 

    Ah, I get it. I missed the part where this was going to be a series of pre-release updates; I was picturing a single download two weeks in advance, with no further updates until the full release. My mistake.

    I still think it's bad form.

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    5 hours ago, Elway358 said:

    You really should just pull the product off of your store period if you can't FULLY support it in the exact same way as through other avenues. Gives a very amateurish feel to your store tbh and this type of information should be known up front before making a purchase from you. Even more, you should be giving refunds to anyone who bought it from your store who requests it and wishes to buy it from a real retailer.

    Bad business practice from you guys...

    You REALLY seem to not comprehend what is going on here. WHY would they pull KSP from the store cause you can't get in on a beta test/courtesy pre-release for modders? Beta tests/pre-releases like this are NOT standard releases. You're really coming across as self-entitled when you whine about stuff like this. THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL RELEASE. It's intended for bug testing and allowing modders to update their mods so when 1.1 OFFICIALLY releases, probably a couple weeks later, you will be able to download the OFFICIAL RELEASE of KSP 1.1, and be able to get the major mods for it right away, instead of waiting a week or two for mod updates. The store has nothing to do with this pre-release. That you paid money for the game has nothing to do with this pre-release, This type of pre-release has happened with practically EVERY VERSION of KSP for AGES. It's just that they CHOSE to open this one up to the public... provided they use Steam, which is the only viable platform that can handle the DAILY patches. I COMMEND Squad's business practices! Grow UP!

    Talk about ungrateful... Squad busts their butts for us, and you act like this!

    5 hours ago, KSP Bros said:

    Wait, you won't be able to get this update from the KSP Store?!?!

    Don't worry, the update will come... As I said to the last guy, this is a PRE-release preview/bug/beta test of sorts. Steam offered the infrastructure for the DAILY patch downloads, because people participating in this will be helping find bugs and adapting mods so they will be ready right away when 1.1 officially releases... So no, it's not an "update", per say. The update will happen, probably a couple weeks later, when 1.1 officially releases, with many major mods already adapted for run on it, and most of the bugs squashed (we hope) :wink:

    Edited by richfiles
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    4 minutes ago, richfiles said:

    As I said to the last guy, this is a PRE-release bug/beta test of sorts. Steam offered the infrastructure for the DAILY patch downloads, because people participating in this will be helping find bugs and adapting mods to the mods will be ready right away when 1.1 releases... So no, it's not an "update".

    Can you imagine the DAILY outrage over a PRE-release beta-test version as people tried to download from the store DAILY?  The forums would literally be on fire.

    Seriously, Steam is the only viable way to do something like this.

    Edited by regex
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    Squad finally gives us a longtime requested feature: community pre-release. However, due to limitations outside of their control, half the users got shafted. But, because people have been dying to take part in this forever, and due to 1.1 taking just under a year, then went ahead and gave the option out anyways. I'm sorry for those who drew the short stick but its that or nothing. The fact that they even listened and responded is class act enough. Miles better then, say, Turn10 or EA. Its also worth pointing out that (at least I don't think) not everyone who applied will even be accepted, just a lottery of willing and able users. Please everyone, keep this    community classy and see the bigger picture.

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    8 minutes ago, regex said:

    Can you imagine the DAILY outrage over a PRE-release beta-test version as people tried to download from the store DAILY?  The forums would literally be on fire.

    Seriously, Steam is the only viable way to do something like this.

    No kidding, The KSP Store's servers would catch fire! :D

    Then the forums! :confused:

    Edited by richfiles
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    I'm trying to understand the rationale behind people being unhappy with Squad for doing what they're doing.

    Put yourself in Squad's shoes.  Here are your options.

    1. Don't do any pre-release at all.  Ship on target date.  It has lots of bugs in it.  Result:  Everybody loses.
      • Players get hammered with bugs.
      • Then they yell at Squad for the bugs.
    2. Delay the release until the small number of experimental testers can generate the same degree of coverage that this pre-release does.  Result:  Everybody loses.
      • Players have to wait additional weeks to get their hands on 1.1.
      • Then they yell at Squad for "why is this so late."
    3. Offer pre-release to the most generously wide distribution that is technically possible, given their networking and financial constraints.  Result everybody wins.
      • The players who can download it, win.  They get their hands on 1.1.  They're okay with it being buggy because they've gone into it with their eyes open.
      • The players who can't (or don't) download it, also win.  They get 1.1 earlier and with a lower bug count than they would have if Squad had gone with option #1 or #2.
      • Then they yell at Squad for being unfair.

    I understand that it's not ideal.  I understand that we'd all like to be able to participate, and if that's not possible for technical reasons, that's unfortunate.  It may seem "unfair", but that's simply what the technical reality is.  Life is unfair.

    If you can't participate, that's too bad... but the fact that other people do participate in no way diminishes your own game experience.  And you personally are better off than you would have been if Squad hadn't done this.  Framed a different way:  would you prefer that "everybody has to wait longer to get 1.1, at a lower quality bar, so that someone else can't get it before me"?

    I think this is a great idea, and bravo to Squad for doing it.  I think the decision shows thoughtful consideration for their player base.  It's a way for them to release their product promptly and at a high quality bar.

    So they can give us the next shiny new toy they've made for us.

    For free.

    Again.

    So maybe cut them a little slack, here?

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