Sign in to follow this  
Sputnik-1

Let's Not.

Recommended Posts

Let me just stop right there. That isn't a "Lousy excuse" as you so eloquently put it. It's 100% the unanimous truth. I'm sorry that someone might expect an alpha game to be bug free. That makes that person the fallible party here. That said, the people who will make useful bug reports already know this. They don't need to be told and they are also not the ones getting threads locked.

If your only report is this is broken/doesn't work right Etc. Then that is information that, for all intents and purposes, is useless. Furthermore, if you have any MODs installed, any report you might make about the game other than the functionality of the MOD system it self, is void.

Have you ever heard any dev using the alpha excuse? Also, I don't expect the game to be bug free, but some users will expect the game to at least run, which is not the case as seeing from some bug reports. Those people are left stranded (specially Steam ones) since KSP doesn't keep old "stable" versions just in case for those users. Also, how can you measure the usefulness of a bug report in an alpha game that can have all sort of issues, even ones that have no relation with the core game at all? What makes user A's reports better than user B's simple because A knows that game is alpha?

As for MODS, a major criticism. The game should be able to be mutually exclusive from mods. The fact that mods that have absolutely nothing to do with a specific bug are the cause of said bug is left to wonder why nothing of that sort was implemented yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What are your thoughts on the topic Kasper? From the point of view of a moderator, you would see a completely different side of the forum than the rest of us.

How I feel about the (original) topic of this thread? It's kind of hard for me to judge since I never got on board the whole Minecraft train. On the subject of the bugs being labelled as 'kerbal' I think that's just an expression of acceptance that not all bugs will get fixed immediatly, and this is a very true fact. Remember the game is in alpha and that that is not a lame excuse of some sorts. During the alpha stage features get added, once a game goes into beta no more features are added and the process of eliminating bugs begins. Once the beta is complete the game will be released.

There was also a big discussion about entitlement etcetera. There is (in my humble opinion) a big difference between a suggestion or a bug report and someone being entitled and those should not be confused. Entitlement comes into play when someone thinks they have some power that they really haven't. A suggestion for example is exactly that: a suggestion, no strings attached. Some people forget this and demand that something be implemented or fixed, just because they bought the game. This is ofcourse not only not right but also impossible since a lot of people have a lot of opinions on for example a feature. Entitlement is a display of egocentric behaviour.

I'll just leave it at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I originally sent this to Sputnik-1 as the thread went on a tangent, and he (or she) encouraged me to post it here. Slightly edited for clarity.

----

What you're seeing in the community is something that happens to all growing communities, in real life as well as online. Growing pains, basically. I can see you're worried about the community tanking and ruining your enjoyment of the game, but take heart.

I don't see KSP becoming anywhere near as bad as the minecraft forums, the critical mass that MC achieved is almost impossible to replicate, and it's a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Also, it's a cult of personality. Notch and Jeb can do no wrong, death to the heretic!

Squad's unintentionally headed off that part, since they didn't start it as a one-man operation and keep a relatively low profile. No one is specifically defending Nova or harvester, but they are defending the group. Distributed out, things are less intense.

The other barrier is the learning curve in KSP. Even with the tutorials and wiki and Youtube videos, there's so much that can be done in KSP that it's hard for people to defend specific behaviors in construction that they may have never seen. That's a bit of a filter to help make growth more reasonable, and to get players to trust each other (with good advice and help) even more than the mods and devs, who can't possibly keep up with every request themselves.

So, build that community. KSP is in a prime position to hold on to the spark you love, and as long as we set good examples, we can keep things positive for everyone and not end up like the MC forums.

---

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, how can you measure the usefulness of a bug report in an alpha game that can have all sort of issues, even ones that have no relation with the core game at all? What makes user A's reports better than user B's simple because A knows that game is alpha?

Its not bug reports that come from user B, usually you see threads like "I Paid for This and Fix it Now" or "I'll never spend another dime on this game and I'll convince my friends not too because of (fill in bug/missing feature)" from user B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Although I did not read this (as it's a huge block of text), I did skim over it and you have some very nice points.

Mind making a tl;dr version?

I'll try.

Back when KSP was first released, the community was smaller and was almost solely space enthusiasts. Furthermore, the simplicity of the game did not give much cause for huge divisions. The forums were, as a result, more peaceful and could be better in tune with the issues at hand. This made developer-community interaction easier, too, and moderation wasn't too hard. But things have changed, now that KSP has grown.

Now, the forums are not as close knit since the community so so large. The concentration of the experts is much lower as well. This has made communication between devs and users much harder, and the differences have driven a wedge into the KSP community. New bugs in ambitious updates, plugins like mechjeb, and the difficulty of moderating a large, diverse community have all amplified this.

To fix this, first the users can help by doing things like ensuring they don't repeat an old topic by searching, listening to arguments and understanding them before jumping in, and detaching themselves emotionally from their gripes. This will make things much smoother and easier for moderators and other users. Also, it might also be a good idea to try and research gameplay concepts yourself to help you along your way. It's rewarding!

Then, the moderators can play a big role too. By avoiding curt and unprofessional responses and kneejerk reactions, the stigma of an oppressive moderation team will evaporate. Since I also would consider the stream under the jurisdiction of the community team as well, I think that needs some work as well to make sure it makes users as informed as possible. After the departure of Damion, it had fell on some hard times. Sure, transitions are never easy, but regardless, I personally think Skunky is not the best choice for the streamer, with all due respect. He has been with the community for a long time and has played a huge role in it, but I don't think he is the best fit for that post. I do like the idea of having prominent independent streamers getting slots, though.

Finally, the developers. Really, my only advice would be to make tutorials one of the top priorities. If a robust tutorial system is implemented, then it is possible that we can regain the understanding we all once had with each other. Knowledge of the subject matter makes communication with other players and devs easier and even reduces the necessary frequency of these encounters because less is more when things are understood. There are certainly other important features, but tutorials should be up there with them too so that players can learn and create a friendly, helpful and intelligent community here on the forums.

Everyone has to do their part though , or else it'll all crumble anyway. But it's definitely possible to turn things around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its not bug reports that come from user B, usually you see threads like "I Paid for This and Fix it Now" or "I'll never spend another dime on this game and I'll convince my friends not too because of (fill in bug/missing feature)" from user B.

Normally you would expect something you paid for to function. That's not an erratic behaviour. I agree that some people can go overboard, but they're just complaining o nsomething they have (technically) rights to, since they paid for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Normally you would expect something you paid for to function. That's not an erratic behaviour. I agree that some people can go overboard, but they're just complaining o nsomething they have (technically) rights to, since they paid for it.

The issue is they also kinda agreed that it was an alpha version and that there was no guarantee of it working perfectly all the time. I could see this argument holding more weight however in games such as Simcity, where the release of the game was horrendous.

Now, the forums are not as close knit since the community so so large. The concentration of the experts is much lower as well. This has made communication between devs and users much harder, and the differences have driven a wedge into the KSP community. New bugs in ambitious updates, plugins like mechjeb, and the difficulty of moderating a large, diverse community have all amplified this.

To fix this, first the users can help by doing things like ensuring they don't repeat an old topic by searching, listening to arguments and understanding them before jumping in, and detaching themselves emotionally from their gripes. This will make things much smoother and easier for moderators and other users. Also, it might also be a good idea to try and research gameplay concepts yourself to help you along your way. It's rewarding!

That is a very neat thought. Oftentimes we can be a cause of many problems. I know in my day job many problems arise because the people trying to use the machines I work with don't know, don't care, or don't take the time to really understand how to use them. In the end I have to come in and clean up the mess so to speak. Furthermore, people can sometimes act irrationally and emotionally at times (I am prone to this). If we were to step back and really examine ourselves it could help.

Edited by AmpsterMan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Normally you would expect something you paid for to function. That's not an erratic behaviour. I agree that some people can go overboard, but they're just complaining o nsomething they have (technically) rights to, since they paid for it.

A well reasoned a rational post, about paying money, and expecting something to work after a dev based change broke it, I understand. Those types of posts are backed by bug reports, times in between discussions with the proper parties for resolution, and calmly add in the "This is making me question my decision to spend money on this game." They dont cry it out in battelust against whatever cruel entities are robbing them of their gaming experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The issue is they also kinda agreed that it was an alpha version and that there was no guarantee of it working perfectly all the time. I could see this argument holding more weight however in games such as Simcity, where the release of the game was horrendous.

This argument has equal amounts of weight in any place. That's the bane of including money into things. They might had kinda (which weakens the validity of it) agreed on it by purchasing, but you can't see it anywhere, except on a readme file that, we all know, NOBODY reads in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A well reasoned a rational post, about paying money, and expecting something to work after a dev based change broke it, I understand. Those types of posts are backed by bug reports, times in between discussions with the proper parties for resolution, and calmly add in the "This is making me question my decision to spend money on this game." They dont cry it out in battelust against whatever cruel entities are robbing them of their gaming experience.

Needless to say, the demo is carefully crafted to not make new users think about it, since it's not the same version as the retail KSP and with just that, not having the same bugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This argument has equal amounts of weight in any place. That's the bane of including money into things. They might had kinda (which weakens the validity of it) agreed on it by purchasing, but you can't see it anywhere, except on a readme file that, we all know, NOBODY reads in the first place.

I have to agree with Ampsterman that people should've expected bugs when they bought a game that is in development. It is in development for a reason because if it were working perfectly we'd be releasing by now. People have been able to make an informed decision. As far as to how the development process goes: every time an update is tested for release bugs are found, some big and some small. Before the developers release the version they work to get the biggest, most annoying and most game-breaking (but perhaps rarer) bugs out of the way. Then the game is released and the big audience gets their hands on it. You people will do so many things with the game that we haven't been able to do during testing because of time restraints or otherwise that new bugs will happen. As soon as these are reported the most important ones are again filtered out and scheduled to be fixed in a patch such as a 0.20.1 which shouldn't take too long anymore.

This is a work in progress and until we enter beta phase testing you can expect a lot more bugs to come around, and a lot of them will get fixed. Some won't because it would take up too much time or because we cannot fix it now. Talking about that, a nice example of a bug we cannot fix is the fact that the mouse wheel scrolling isn't working correctly under Linux. This is an issue with the game engine, Unity, and the devs will have to wait for Unity to fix it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Then, the moderators can play a big role too. By avoiding curt and unprofessional responses and kneejerk reactions, the stigma of an oppressive moderation team will evaporate.

This is something I have a concern over myself. Some of the new moderators don't seem to be the most professional of people, and as members of authority people are going to look to them for how to act. That might just end up causing harm to the community at large.

Since I also would consider the stream under the jurisdiction of the community team as well, I think that needs some work as well to make sure it makes users as informed as possible. I do like the idea of having prominent independent streamers getting slots, though.

Maxmaps (the new PR person for Squad and KSP) has mentioned that supposedly something is coming along soon. My guess is an official reveal of the new KSPTV.

Finally, the developers. Really, my only advice would be to make tutorials one of the top priorities. If a robust tutorial system is implemented, then it is possible that we can regain the understanding we all once had with each other.

I wholeheartedly agree with you here. Hopefully better tutorials will come along with the next few updates as the developers start getting career mode going. If better tutorials can help get people flying and achieving all those things that may seem out of reach to many when they first fail at reaching orbit, then the game and the community can only benefit from that.

Edited by hoojiwana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to agree with Ampsterman that people should've expected bugs when they bought a game that is in development. It is in development for a reason because if it were working perfectly we'd be releasing by now. People have been able to make an informed decision. As far as to how the development process goes: every time an update is tested for release bugs are found, some big and some small. Before the developers release the version they work to get the biggest, most annoying and most game-breaking (but perhaps rarer) bugs out of the way. Then the game is released and the big audience gets their hands on it. You people will do so many things with the game that we haven't been able to do during testing because of time restraints or otherwise that new bugs will happen. As soon as these are reported the most important ones are again filtered out and scheduled to be fixed in a patch such as a 0.20.1 which shouldn't take too long anymore.

This is a work in progress and until we enter beta phase testing you can expect a lot more bugs to come around, and a lot of them will get fixed. Some won't because it would take up too much time or because we cannot fix it now. Talking about that, a nice example of a bug we cannot fix is the fact that the mouse wheel scrolling isn't working correctly under Linux. This is an issue with the game engine, Unity, and the devs will have to wait for Unity to fix it.

I could agree with both you and Ampsterman if SQUAD had made a specific change: The demo being the same version of the retail KSP. Imagine yourself playing a snappy demo and then buying the game, which is a different version and has an assortment of bugs. Why not give the demo users a taste of what we're experiencing, instead of giving them a stable version mostly bug free?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This argument has equal amounts of weight in any place. That's the bane of including money into things. They might had kinda (which weakens the validity of it) agreed on it by purchasing, but you can't see it anywhere, except on a readme file that, we all know, NOBODY reads in the first place.

Just because nobody reads it does not make it less true, its right there on the purchase page, and steam makes it pretty clear by selling it as early access.

The point is the difference in approach, person A is offering constructive criticism along with all the information nesecary for the devs to look at resolving the problem, Person B is just complaining that its broken. as an IT guy, the four words I hate the most are "My computer is broken" it gives me no useful information, or any point on where i need to look in order to fix it, my first response to a call like that will always be "define broken?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This argument has equal amounts of weight in any place. That's the bane of including money into things. They might had kinda (which weakens the validity of it) agreed on it by purchasing, but you can't see it anywhere, except on a readme file that, we all know, NOBODY reads in the first place.

I guess it's just when I purchased the game I new I was getting an unfinished product that would break often and not work because it was still in development and I understood that. That is why when my game HAS broken I haven't been to worried about it. I just play around it.

This does bring to mind a different thought though. With playing games as they are developed a relatively recent thing I would think these kinds of issues would be inevitable with the first few hit games experimenting with this (Minecraft and KSP for example). I wonder where the line of "It's still an alpha!" vs. "I payed for a product that doesn't work!" get drawn.

Needless to say, the demo is carefully crafted to not make new users think about it, since it's not the same version as the retail KSP and with just that, not having the same bugs.

Is this wrong though? Is this dishonest? I disagree. Squad made the demo 0.18.3(?) not because of it's relative stability but specifically BECAUSE it was closer to the final product than the previous demo 13.2 was. In fact, I remember when I first played the demo and then bought the game I was like "What? A SPACEPLANES? Where was this in the demo? This is AWESOME!"

Edited by AmpsterMan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I could agree with both you and Ampsterman if SQUAD had made a specific change: The demo being the same version of the retail KSP. Imagine yourself playing a snappy demo and then buying the game, which is a different version and has an assortment of bugs. Why not give the demo users a taste of what we're experiencing, instead of giving them a stable version mostly bug free?

Ah, but if you notice the demo is version 0.18.3 and was based on 0.18.2. If you expect a similar performance in your own game you need to wait with upgrading until we are at 0.20.1 or 0.20.2 as well. On the other hand I can understand that you don't want to wait for the features that a new version brings but that's just a catch 22, a problem we cannot solve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to agree with Ampsterman that people should've expected bugs when they bought a game that is in development.

I fully expect and understand that there will be bugs during alpha development. However, that "just an alpha" argument loses a lot of its meaning when:

There are scheduled 'releases' instead of nightlies or stables.

Said 'releases' have 1-2 weeks of testing by an apparently crack QA team supposedly hand-picked for bug-reporting.

Customers are kept in the dark about what exactly got fixed and detected by the QA team since the experimentals/internal bug tracker is kept secret and representatives (such as Skunky) tend to fly off the handle when said issues are brought up.

Enormous and apparently obvious bugs like the recent lander-can/cupola explosion issues, the lagtastic oceans, and mismatched terrain/ocean levels on Laythe were apparently glossed over in the QA periods, and then barely get acknowledged and are never mentioned until after they get fixed.

Transparency and just keeping people in the loop helps enormously. Stuff like Harv's recent "we found what was making things explode, we're fixing it now" and "the issue was fixed and was surprisingly easy once we found what was causing it" was well-handled. Note how he never said "deal with it, it's an alpha" or "it's to be expected, it's an alpha" or "we'll deal with it when it's a beta", he just acknowledged the problem and fixed it once the bug was pinpointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess it's just when I purchased the game I new I was getting an unfinished product that would break often and not work because it was still in development and I understood that. That is why when my game HAS broken I haven't been to worried about it. I just play around it.

This does bring to mind a different thought though. With playing games as they are developed a relatively recent thing I would think these kinds of issues would be inevitable with the first few hit games experimenting with this (Minecraft and KSP for example). I wonder where the line of "It's still an alpha!" vs. "I payed for a product that doesn't work!" get drawn.

As answered to KasperVld's post, the problem starts with the demo. I still question why it's not the same version of the current retail and a much more (all things considered) stable version. That gives people all right to complain after playing the demo and deciding to buy the game. They weren't technically paying for the same game to begin with. That creates wrong expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I could agree with both you and Ampsterman if SQUAD had made a specific change: The demo being the same version of the retail KSP. Imagine yourself playing a snappy demo and then buying the game, which is a different version and has an assortment of bugs. Why not give the demo users a taste of what we're experiencing, instead of giving them a stable version mostly bug free?

Er, how would you make the demo feature-limited vs. the full game? Time limit, perhaps? Making demos is extra work for any game company and not always the best investment. I think this video might be helpful for you to watch. It is on the Penny-arcade network, so be mindful of where you wander.

Demo Daze by Extra Credits, SFW, Video

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I could agree with both you and Ampsterman if SQUAD had made a specific change: The demo being the same version of the retail KSP. Imagine yourself playing a snappy demo and then buying the game, which is a different version and has an assortment of bugs. Why not give the demo users a taste of what we're experiencing, instead of giving them a stable version mostly bug free?

MR4Y, I am not really disagreeing with anything you're saying until you come to this. They made the new demo and it requires a bit of work because they have to carve things out of it and limit it. It may take an hour, or it may take 20 man hours to do. Either way, i don't think they should have to do this for every single new release. It takes the time of a developer or multiple developers from making new content, to editing content for a demo.

There is all the truth in the world on display in mentioning on the store and steam that it is not a finished game. Its part of Steam's Early Release and is one of the more functional items in that program. They're very honest about how its in development. The demo is there to show the gameplay they are going for, to give a taste, and entice to buy into what the game wants to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, but if you notice the demo is version 0.18.3 and was based on 0.18.2. If you expect a similar performance in your own game you need to wait with upgrading until we are at 0.20.1 or 0.20.2 as well. On the other hand I can understand that you don't want to wait for the features that a new version brings but that's just a catch 22, a problem we cannot solve.

Yes you can. Make the demo be based off the same version as the retail one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Needless to say, the demo is carefully crafted to not make new users think about it, since it's not the same version as the retail KSP and with just that, not having the same bugs.

...I dont know why you quoted me when you said this. I said there is a difference between entitled whining, and voicing a valid concern, even though both have the same final point. What you said is SQUAD lures people in with functional demo's into buying a buggy full alpha release. I fail to see the link here.

Unless you are attempting an example at the latter of the two choices, in which case, yes I can see why this might lead to complaints, but there is no shortage of reviews, info, youtube videos, and a bug report section of the official forum to read and review before buying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MR4Y, I am not really disagreeing with anything you're saying until you come to this. They made the new demo and it requires a bit of work because they have to carve things out of it and limit it. It may take an hour, or it may take 20 man hours to do. Either way, i don't think they should have to do this for every single new release. It takes the time of a developer or multiple developers from making new content, to editing content for a demo.

There is all the truth in the world on display in mentioning on the store and steam that it is not a finished game. Its part of Steam's Early Release and is one of the more functional items in that program. They're very honest about how its in development. The demo is there to show the gameplay they are going for, to give a taste, and entice to buy into what the game wants to be.

I disagree. That's what makes people complain more. They will expect the full game to work like the demo (which it doesn't), giving them more room to complain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I fully expect and understand that there will be bugs during alpha development. However, that "just an alpha" argument loses a lot of its meaning when:

There are scheduled 'releases' instead of nightlies or stables.

Said 'releases' have 1-2 weeks of testing by an apparently crack QA team supposedly hand-picked for bug-reporting.

Customers are kept in the dark about what exactly got fixed and detected by the QA team since the experimentals/internal bug tracker is kept secret and representatives (such as Skunky) tend to fly off the handle when said issues are brought up.

Enormous and apparently obvious bugs like the recent lander-can/cupola explosion issues, the lagtastic oceans, and mismatched terrain/ocean levels on Laythe were apparently glossed over in the QA periods, and then barely get acknowledged and are never mentioned until after they get fixed.

Transparency and just keeping people in the loop helps enormously. Stuff like Harv's recent "we found what was making things explode, we're fixing it now" and "the issue was fixed and was surprisingly easy once we found what was causing it" was well-handled. Note how he never said "deal with it, it's an alpha" or "it's to be expected, it's an alpha" or "we'll deal with it when it's a beta", he just acknowledged the problem and fixed it once the bug was pinpointed.

The reason the bug tracker has shielded parts is so that users don't post there and overload the developers. You can rest assured that no funny business is going on and it looks just like the public part of the bug tracker. In fact, there are parts of the bug tracker even the test team cannot see, including myself. The bugtracker basicly acts as a funnel for bugs. About keeping people informed: I try best I can but most of the information about testing is covered by a non-disclosure agreement and this has to do with discussions about which bug to fix and which not as they would slow down the testing progress.

As answered to KasperVld's post, the problem starts with the demo. I still question why it's not the same version of the current retail and a much more (all things considered) stable version. That gives people all right to complain after playing the demo and deciding to buy the game. They weren't technically paying for the same game to begin with. That creates wrong expectations.

See my post above, though I'll be the first to admit a lot of bugs slipped through we simply don't have the time to build large spacestations during testing and even if we do we may use different techniques and not switch vessels during construction. Remember that the test team consists of volunteers and not paid full-time employees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stay the course. Follow in the footsteps of Dean Hall with DayZ and build the game of your original vision and don't dumb it down to appease the loudest voices in the crowd.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this