Stop passing the buck to Firaxis

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by evrett37, Oct 10, 2010.

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  1. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    I do know the real names of two of the testers and played in demo games that lasted nearly 2 years with several others. I can tell they are excellant players and very reliable. One wrote a book on one of the most popular Sid games of all time.

    In any event those that tell you they have pretty much no power are correct. The issues are the same as they always are in games. Lack of money and that leads to lack of time to fix things before release. You frequently can add in poor concept and design, but I leave that to others to decide.

    Every civ game that I can remmeber well had issues on release and slightly improved over expansions till they were pretty decent. I played I and II, but that is too far back to recall clearly. III and IV and now are still fresh though.
     
  2. cr0ws

    cr0ws Prince

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    I went out and bought a parrot instead of Civ 5...I feel more satisfied! :D
     
  3. Ogaburan

    Ogaburan Warlord

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    I think if bizzard made it, It wouldn't be out.
    It would have the same release date as Diablo 3: "The first Sunday after it is done".
    Not only that, the MP would be fully operational.

    I think Paxton's FFH vision of a standalone game + Blizzard = A very good game!

    Sadly WOW, Diablo, Starcraft are not my cup of tea anymore but i have allot of respect for blizzard for delivering.
     
  4. Rik Meleet

    Rik Meleet Top predator Retired Moderator

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    I've heard from different sides some background information on the beta tester for civ 4 and civ 5. For civ 4 (and C3C) they had a group of beta testers who were hard-core gamers with thorough knowledge of balanced strategy games. Those beta testers gave the developers a hard time. In the end, not everything of what was needed and suggested by the hard-core testers was included in the game, unfortunately.

    For civ 5 they weren't asked back; instead a different group were invited, or as some say: 'Way more fanboys than hardcore testers. I doubt the testing process of Civ5 was very rigorous at all. "These maritime city states are so cool! They are just like Sid's Sushi, but from the beginning of the game! Awesome!".

    It might not have been such a bad idea idea to have invited a tester as critical as the threadstarter.
     
  5. Fredric Drum

    Fredric Drum Civilizator

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    I'm sure beta testers are useful for reporting bugs and other minor things that can be easily fixed.

    In no way do I think beta testers can convince Firaxis or other developers to make major changes to their game that go against the "vision" of the game designer(s). The testers will basically help the designer fulfill his vision by pointing out bugs. It's the designer that makes the game, not the testers.

    Also, beta phase is late in the process, and not too much can be changed at that point.

    As for why we weren't "warned" about ciV, that has been pointed out already, so I'll leave it at that.
     
  6. jpinard

    jpinard Martian

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    You couldn't be more wrong. Kael is one of the brightest and most intelligent designers out there. He is the epitomy of what people is right about a beta tester.

    I do agree with the sentiment that many of the testers were "yes men". If I'd had my hands on this, Shafer would have been sick so of me talking about the end-game replay that you would have probably had it in the shipped game. Soren let me beta test the post-Civ IV launch game (for patches and exp) and he was really great about listening to feedback and doing his best to make sure those features saw the light of day.
     
  7. evrett37

    evrett37 Prince

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    Dwight Eisenhower said "Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America". If we are going to organize and use our influence as a fan community to create a healthy two way customer-dev communication the first thing we need to do is resolve our own issues. We need answers for the silence of the tester and accountability for our own members who have failed the game and the community, many of which hold positions of authority on this website. And we need an account of those of us who are on the DLC payroll so that their bias will be known.
     
  8. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Hall Monitor Super Moderator

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    The reason for the "silence of the tester" is the NDA. There are serious financial repercussions for breaking such an agreement, and it doesn't matter if no one has yet been sued, there is always a first time. Companies are becoming very protective of their intellectual property rights, and I can't imagine anyone wanting to be a test case.

    The beta testers are not at fault, they have been muzzled. This has been explained to you several times, why do you not get it?

    You're trying to start a witch hunt, and you're targeting people who aren't at fault, and couldn't say or do anything if they wanted to. If you want to blame anyone, blame Firaxis/2K. I would place the individual integrity of most of the members of the Frankenstein test group above yours any day. These are respected members of the forum, and many of them are successful modders who have made a significant contribution to the game. When you have made a contribution equal to theirs, and done a beta test of your own, then you can beak off about who is liable all you wish. Until then, stop trying to provoke a fight.
     
  9. cr0ws

    cr0ws Prince

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    Now what are we supposed to do huh? Now what?

    Moderator Action: Warned for spam
     
  10. gingerbill

    gingerbill Prince

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    Anyone who is in a beta knows that beta testers have little effect on the game , they are there to catch major bugs etc... not to change a game.

    Every beta i've been in is the exact same , many gameplay problems are pointed out and ignored , nothing to do with beta testers.

    Personally i like CIV5 and had alot of fun with it and still am . Lookin gforward to the patches.
     
  11. lissenber

    lissenber Warlord

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    Thou shalt not muzzle the Tester when he treadeth out the corn.

    Sorry, i just had to say that...
     
  12. TrailblazingScot

    TrailblazingScot I was kittenOFchaos

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    The worst thing about that PTW beta-test was when they actually fixed a bug, they'd create several more in the process. I made plenty fuss during that beta-test, mainly about that WW2 in the Pacific Scenario...all it achieved was the AI would actually escort transports, nothing else, not even getting Pearl Harbour right.

    I never signed up for the Civ4 beta-test as I didn't get any enjoyment out of the PTW beta-test, but I was impressed with Civ4...very impressed. CiV, well, life had got too busy, I had practically given up gaming!
     
  13. katipunero

    katipunero Prince

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    you make a lot of assumptions in your post. let me make and express a few of mine then: i recognize some of the names in the list and most of them are well-respected in the community and would probably not renege on the duties of a beta-tester, with or without a contract. and drawing from common human experience, a beta-tester has nothing much to leak because obviously they are still at that stage of finalizing the game or software. and, if someone was stupid enough to, as you say, leak information, moved by a powerful sense of duty to the community, then he risks not only his expulsion but his actions could lead to the dissolution of the entire group.
     
  14. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    I'm still pissed off they never fixed Stealth Attack with air units for C3C WWII in the Pacific Scenario. I think one of these days, I'll have to give up hope that they'll ever correct that one.
     
  15. vendur

    vendur Warlord

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    I've played in over half a dozen betas. In fact, i was in an "in house" alpha once. just because you make a complaint about X or Y bug/exploit/balance issue doesn't mean your concern warrants any more than the /ignore button. The devs are increasinly under the gun to release a game by X date it seems, issues be damned.
     
  16. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    I'll put down my view of how CIV5 slipped out based on what I can see happening in game.

    I'd assume that a new design was put together for CIV5 and I suspect the programming was given to a programming house. The game engine was coded but took too long and ran overbudget. Financial managers got worried and looked to get the final product out quickly, cutting corners on documentation, help screens, logs, overviews, AI tuning, unnecessary features, maps and scenarios, etc. System testing and beta testing could have focused on stability rather than content, so that a product could be released to give the financiers some cash flow. As a result many parts of the game work in a fashion and meet a specification but probably aren't rated by the users or the designer. Here's a link to a suitable graphic http://www.businessballs.com/treeswing.htm.

    I'm just assuming all that but the evidence in the released game points to those events. So who's to blame? Well without seeing how the project slipped it's hard to tell. I would say though that there was someone in charge who decided that the cash flow was more important than the quality of the product and set a release date that prevented sufficient beta testing and remedial work. I'm guessing that initial release should have been put back 2-4 weeks.
     
  17. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Very good analysis but I think more like 2-4 months instead of 2-4 weeks.
     
  18. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    I wonder how the increasing number of pre-orders in game releases affects decisions to delay release if the game is a mess.

    On the one hand, if they have the money in hand, shouldn't that relieve the financial pressure to rush (except it could all be cancelled and refunded, I suppose)?

    On the other hand, does that increase the pressure to meet the release date, regardless? Or create a mentality of "you paid, we delivered" without regard to quality?

    dV
     
  19. silentknight111

    silentknight111 Warlord

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    To the OP:

    Why do you feel the need that someone must pay for you perceive as a bad game.
    Maybe these beta testers simply don't agree with you that the problems are that bad, or maybe they made suggestions to fix these problems, but their bug reports were low priority to other fixes.

    Besides, as other people have pointed out, they were under an NDA.

    Please don't start "witch hunts" on a public forum. Especially against fellow users simply because they were involved in beta testing.
     
  20. Cromagnum P.I.

    Cromagnum P.I. Chieftain

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    Speaking as a video game tester I'd like to say that it doesn't matter when in the process someone mentions any concerns or input on how to improve the game. Game developers have a vision of what they want. Anyone else's input (unless they hold the investment money strings) does not matter. As someone else pointed out all they care about from post design stage is game breaking behaviour (CTD, glitches, video bugs...)
     
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