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Do you believe they actually play tested Civ 6?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by tanktop4158, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    Without evidence or insight as to the internal workings of the company, I am forced to spread blame across all aspects of the development process. That means I presume both that the amount of playtesting was inadequate, and that the playtesters themselves did a poor job.
     
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  2. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Alternatively, you could not express an opinion on something you are (by self-admittance) lacking in information and / or knowledge about.
     
  3. ·Imhotep·

    ·Imhotep· Legendary Builder

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    Of course they play tested. Firaxis just doesn't listen. Happened with Civ V too.
     
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  4. unpossible251

    unpossible251 Warlord

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    Theres an interesting article on cracked.com:

    http://www.cracked.com/personal-exp...iculous-tedious-world-video-game-testing.html

    Which i found fascinating. While i was reading this, all i could think about was civ 6 tbh.

    By the look of things, most AAA games do enough bug testing to ensure that it desnt ever crash. Thats priority number one.

    As a matter of fact, if i understand right, for at least 90 % of the development cycle its barely a game at all, and certainly not much fun. Testers arent really playing the game as much as theyre trying to find ways to mess with it. Theyre not really playing the game as much as theyre seeing if it breaks when they bend things.

    As long as the product is more or less functional, its considered cooked. Send it out, start bringing in the money. Patch it later.

    It doesnt seem to help either that playtesters are lowly paid, unfamiliar with code and programming, and so on. I suspect that if someone with half of a college degree is telling the lead programmer that the game is still no fun, thats going to be a pretty icy conversation.

    I suspect that to the people controlling the purse strings of a major software company, long times playtesting and enhancing AI are the first thing to go. Game isn't working? MoneyBags suggests piling on a bunch of buffs and upgrades to the bots, way cheaper than meticulously refining the AI to win in an even competition.
     
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  5. Lewi11

    Lewi11 Chieftain

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    Ok the fairies came into the studio and messed up the game. If we mere mortals don't know where in the production process it went terribly wrong, why don't you enlighten us? Look at the end product and tell me Firaxis as a whole did an excellent job.
     
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  6. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    1. I was talking to the person who said they lacked knowledge but decided to post anyway. I was not criticising your competence or understanding at all.

    2. Plenty of people have already suggested where it could have "gone wrong".

    3. Don't force me into saying Firaxis did an excellent job when the point of the thread is to talk about the existence of playtesting. The game could have undergone playtesting and still not ended up in an excellent state. These are not contradictory states.
     
  7. Europa Victrix

    Europa Victrix Chieftain

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    Sadly, playtesters are, in general, at best average at the games they test. There is no variety in skill levels, they don't use both new and experienced Civ players.
     
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  8. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    That would be a silly thing to do when arguing against the implication we should assume, apparently without evidence, they did an adequate amount of competent playtesting.

    And I am not completely lacking in information anyways -- the poor state of the released game is evidence that things were done poorly.
     
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  9. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Super Moderator

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    Looking under the hood of the "end product", it doesn't require god-like power to get an answer on what "went terribly wrong" : the release date was fixed too early, and I don't think that the testers (or even Firaxis) have any power to change it once it's fixed.
     
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  10. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    A lot of the problems with the game, talking about balance problems, are things that shouldn't even have made it to testing in the first place, but things that should have been noticed when they made the basic design decisions. I think one problem is that the devs themselves aren't very good at the game and cannot see flaws in mechanics like someone who has put thousands of hours into previous civ titles would see them. For example district cost scaling probably looks to the devs like a good system that causes a gradual increase in district costs over the course of the game, while an experienced civ player immediately recognizes that this leads to unintuitive play where you have to avoid completing techs for as long as possible to place down and lock the lower district costs. Then there are also lots of mechanics that they have solved correctly in previous titles, like how to handle overflow with production modifiers or chopping outside of your borders, but apparently this development team had forgotten about how it's supposed to be done. I don't know what their early production meetings look like when they discuss and decide on the core mechanics, but I think it would help a lot if they already at that stage got input from someone who has lots of experience with previous titles, specifically experience with high level competitive games which often aim at finding holes and possible exploits allowed by the mechanics.

    Overall this game has made me curious about how much the devs even know about the game they are working on. How many people at Firaxis have a firm overall understanding of the game and know all the mechanics in and out? For example, if one day before launch you had sent out a questionnaire to all devs at Firaxis asking them how much gold you get for disbanding a unit and how much gold it costs to buy production, how many people would have been able to answer that? Or in other words, how many people at Firaxis should have seen the horse market coming?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  11. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Everything in this thread is about assuming things without evidence. That said, the existing of playtesting is a rather fixed constant in games development. It happens, whether people want to believe it happened or not.

    It's like speculating if the game was ever programmed at all. The game exists, ergo it was obviously programmed.

    You introducing the qualifier of competent playtesting is a qualifier that was not previously present in the questions being asked, and is an attempt at reframing the question to grant it more validity.
     
  12. Balkans

    Balkans Warlord

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    They had a play test team, kinda. Play testing is very different from bug testing. I don't think they had enough time or human resource to actually pay attention to game play problems. They were after major and minor bugs, although few of those slipped through anyway. What they needed is closed beta, with at least couple of thousands of serious testers. That way, at least vanilla would be polished, people wouldn't have to wait half a year to finally say that vanilla product is finished.
     
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  13. Gort

    Gort Emperor

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    People don't buy games based on their amazing AI. They buy games based on the feature list. Civ games have generally had very exciting feature lists and lacklustre AI at best, and they've sold very well off the back of that strategy, partially because it takes effort to analyse an AI's moves (which most reviewers and players won't bother to do, they'll play a game to get acquainted with the system, then another to completion most likely, and they'll give nice reviews about how Russia attacked them, were beaten back, then they eventually won a space victory) and partially because even those who do bother to analyse the AI will be big fans of the series who would buy the game no matter what, hence this thread full of dissatisfied customers who already gave Firaxis lots of money, will complain a bunch, but be back again to buy Civ 7.

    I will say I like this game a lot better than Beyond Earth, and I actually had the willpower to not buy the expansion for that one, so I'm only mostly part of the problem.
     
  14. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    Which makes one wonder why you decided to single out my comment, rather than addressing the OP, or everybody in general.

    (I'm assuming you were actually addressing me, rather than using me as a proxy for everybody)

    Direct your gripes to Eagle Pursuit, since he's the one who explicitly introduced the subject of competence.

    (this post is not to be construed as agreeing with the premise that the subject of competence is not implicit in the OP's post)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  15. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

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    No. It's impossible to miss the obvious issues.

    But game price has increased, go figure.
     
  16. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Of course the game was tested before release. But devs have limited resources and time to make the game. They can't do everything. There are bound to be some missing features or bugs. Devs have to prioritize what they can do in the time allotted before release. For example, it is very possible that the devs put build queues at the bottom of their to-do list because the game is imminently playable without them and with the new district system and map based wonders, implementing build queues would have required too much effort. The idea that the devs are incompetent or purposely released a shoddy, untested game when they successfully implemented 1000 good features just because they missed 20 that you think were essential, is ludicrous.
     
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  17. bladex

    bladex Emperor

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    no way in hell did they the way the AI currently is or the playtesters were all blind idiots LOL
     
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  18. Gort

    Gort Emperor

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    It's quite possible that they playtested, but didn't do the right tests. A few rounds of:

    1. Information age start
    2. Domination only
    3. Pangaea
    4. Online speed

    Would have revealed that the AI is virtually incapable of taking a walled city without a ram or siege tower, which go obsolete in the mid-game.
     
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  19. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    My theory is that a lot of game testing is done with partial games. I.e. - now we want to test if early game features work, ok we run some games from ancient era and stop by medieval era. Now we want to test if mid game features work, so we start up a game in medieval era and play into industrial and then quit, etc. At least, that would explain some of the most glaring issues with the game, which is the absurdly bad scaling over the duration of an entire game. I'm thinking about stuff like district cost increase, building costs, district overlaps, long term AI capabilities, etc.

    I also think it's true that AI vs. AI tests have been a major part of testing, which makes sense in several ways, but does have the drawback of some extremely obvious UI flaws simply not being discovered (or not being fixed in time for release - i.e. missing queue button, which was there in early build but didn't work).
     
  20. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    @Gort

    Have you ever considered that that could've been reported, but not been addressed in time?

    That said, you also have to bear in mind the priority of fixing specific AI bugs (when I think we can all agree there are more to be fixed) - specific issues based on a specific game starting Era (and subject to other starting conditions) would come in way down the list of priorities, in my opinion.

    You missed the part where I already replied to the OP.

    You attempted to turn around the existence of an implication that you made on the thread as a whole by saying "well others are assuming competent testing has been carried out" when people didn't actually say that. However, you actually did say that you made a statement in absence of knowledge and / or understanding of the specific situation (r.e. testing in games development). So I called you on it.
     

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