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Posts Tagged ‘beta testing’

I’ve sent out the questions to Katelyn, the Allods Online Community Manager.  It’s a rather… bulky set of inquiries, so we’ll see what settles out as answerable.

I find that the more I dig into the game, the more I want it to be like Puzzle Pirates in the shipboard aspects of the game.  It would also be awesome if they incorporated things like wormholes in EVE (thanks to Tipa for a fun article on wormhole exploring).  Cooperative PvE and multiship PvP really are a blast in Puzzle Pirates, even to this old, scarred soloist.  (I’ve grouped more in PP than in any other MMOs combined.  It’s fun to do so, which is all the difference, and it’s completely optional.)  Add the instability of the Astral stuff Allods float around in, and you could have a huge variety of things for Explorers like me to do.

In the meantime, there are these interesting tidbits, the location of which I thank Keen for.

Talent Calculator (inconveniently in Russian)

It’s an interesting mix of WoW talent trees (the “three subclass” mentality) and Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid and XII’s License Board.  If we can plunk variable widgets into the blank spots on the grid, well, that would be really cool in my book.  It’s nothing earth shattering, perhaps, cribbed as it is from other games, but it looks like it might be fun to tinker with, and that’s what counts.

Astral Ships

This is a very interesting article on the ships in Allods Online.  I’m extremely interested in how these ships pan out, since they seem to me to be a defining feature of AO.  I really hope they wind up with a variety of sizes of ships, all the way from soloable to HUGE, like Puzzle Pirates.  It’s proven to be key to the longevity of that game.

In the meantime, I still don’t have my hands on any beta keys, but since I didn’t exactly have the doors beaten down in the Allod of Questions post, howzabout I just give a beta key to whomever wants one and asks for it, and when I run out, I run out?  Well… once I actually get them that is.  Thankfully, as Stabs noted earlier, the game will be playable on release without a monetary investment, so it’s not really a big deal to wait until then.  I’ve asked Katelyn for beta keys, and will be happy to disseminate them, but we’ll see what happens.

Thanks for the questions, all, and here’s hoping we get some great answers, eh?

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How about a little beta testing to get your feet wet?

“A Kingdom For Keflings” on PC, Beta Testers Wanted

The company I work for, NinjaBee, is looking for people to beta test our “A Kingdom For Keflings” conversion to the PC.  It was a hit on XBox live, and we’re excited for the PC conversion.  We need people to put it through its paces and let us know how it performs.

And hey, if you put in some work and give us some good feedback, you get the game for free when it’s released.

Oh, and we recently released a title update for the same game on XBox live, so now it’s harder for others to grief you, your Transport Keflings are three times more effective, and the game is primed for some upcoming DLC.

It’s a good time to be a Kefling fan.

(In case you’re wondering, I built and textured several of the buildings for the game.  That’s my job; working in 3DS Max and Photoshop, with a side order of Excel.)

 

Addendum, ’cause I R Dum n’ forgot…

The application process, so you don’t have to click through to find it (quoted from our NinjaBee forums):

Good news! A Kingdom for Keflings is coming to PC and we need volunteers willing to help test the upcoming PC (Windows) version.

Interested? If so, e-mail betatest@wahoo.com with this information:
* Full Name and Address
* Information about the PC you’ll be using to play the game
(processor, operating system, sound card, video card, RAM)
* Do you have internet access at home?
* Any other information you might want to provide on how you can help with the QA effort

We would also like to know the answers to these questions, but your answers won’t exclude you from being accepted into the beta test program.
*Have you had any experience beta testing?
*Have you played any of NinjaBee’s games before?
*Have you ever played A Kingdom for Keflings on the Xbox 360?
*What is your age?

Notes:

1. We’ll expect you to give us useful detailed (written) feedback on problems in the game. If it crashes or has some specific problem, we’ll expect you to document how you got to that error. If you’re just here to play the game and not help with testing, you might want to wait until it’s released.

2. We’re not anxious to get a ton of game design change ideas, because we expect the game to be quite similar to the Xbox Live Arcade version, though we’ll certainly consider low-impact requests.

3. We’ll probably expect you to sign some simple NDA and promise not to pass the game around to friends or talk about it outside of our test group.

4. The game seems pretty solid. Ideally, this will be a short test period and everything will be fine.

5. We’ll give the official beta-testers free copies of the final released game. To be clear: we are not paying the beta testers and you have to give feedback to receive the free game.

Thanks!

I suppose you can use me as a point man/reference, and I’ll pass along your information, but you don’t need to use me as a middleman either.  😉  I’ve heard we’re getting applications from all over the world, and it’s great to see interest in what I think is a great game!

 

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It snowed last week.

The first snow of the season always makes me happy.  I love Fall and Winter.  It’s my time of year, and always makes for some great photography.

It does make moving about a bit harder, though.  We’re looking to move to a new home, and my wife really wants to get in before it gets cold and really snowy outside, which would make things more troublesome.  Still, I’m really loving the colder temperatures.

At the same time, EA/Bioware is giving me the cold shoulder, much as the Gatheryn people did.  See, they opened up the floodgates for applications to beta test Star Wars:  The Old Republic.  I like the sound of the game, and would happily beta test it a bit, but according to the Beta Application terms, I’m disqualified because I work in the game industry.

I’m not out to steal their ideas.  If anything, I’d give them a few.  No, what I’d want out of tinkering with their beta is a chance to take a look, to offer some opinions, and to find some bugs.  I’ve done my share of testing games at my job, and I know what to look for and how to fix it.  I like fixing things, and offering ways to make a product better.  (Which gets me into trouble sometimes, actually.  Not everyone wants things fixed.)

I’m one of those weird souls who plays on a test server and actually tests things, though.  I know, the trend is to use betas as promotional tools (and the response to the SWTOR one, which crashed the application server, is a good indicator of the interest in the game).  I’ll admit, a beta is a good place for me to check out a game.  (I got into the DDO Unlimited beta and loved it, even as I found things to submit bug reports on… they only cared that I wasn’t working on another MMO.)  Still, I consider it my fair bit of the bargain to actually do some testing and help find problems with the game.  Strange, I know.

So, alas, I won’t be beta testing SWTOR.  I wish the game well, though.  I’m not bitter, just a bit… chilly.

In the meantime, though, I’ll be playing Puzzle Pirates a lot more.  One of the Ocean Masters over there (PP’s Game Master position, since servers are called Oceans) bestowed a very kind gift on my unworthy piratey soul.  (Quick plug:  there’s a link up there in the upper right to show you my pirate, and if you join the game via that link, there *should* be some in-game currency in the offering by way of the referral system.)

Demeter, the Greek goddess hailed by Homer as “bringer of seasons“, has kindly granted my PP account a year’s subscription.  She sent me an email explaining this, and that she knows that I like to play on the PP test ocean (effectively their Public Test Realm), the Ice Ocean.  It’s a wild frontier sort of place, where bug hunts are more important than hunting gold, and new species of game design are wont to rear their puzzling heads.

More than once, I’ve noted on the PP forums that I’d make Ice my home and play there almost exclusively.  (The trouble being that only subscribers or those who have purchased doubloons recently can go there.  The gift of a subscription unlocks the realm for me.)  Yes, it’s potentially subject to a complete wipe, but I don’t mind.  Playing on Ice is all about experimentation, exploration and taming the sometimes wild bugs that inevitably come up in game development.  That, to me, is far more interesting than playing on a “normal” server scrabbling around in the water for pieces of eight.  Ice, as a test server, is more about *playing* the game than accumulating more piratey *stuff*.  I can’t help but appreciate that.

(Which means yes, I’d likely do the same thing in WoW, if that were my game of choice.  Test realms are about the last “frontier” of MMO gaming, and that I get to help the devs that I like is icing on the cake.)

Plus, well, Three Rings does excellent work.  I’ve often held them up as an example in the game dev field, and I welcome the chance to spend a bit more time with their work.  I’m still busy and not really an online gaming fanatic, but if I’m going to play online, I’m going to play somewhere that I’m happy to do so.  The Ice Ocean is one of those places that just feels like going home.

So, even as my little family is finding a new home in this crazy “real life” thing, I feel like I’m going home to one of my sanctuaries in the online gaming world.  It’s a gift that I can’t thank Demeter enough for.  These Three Rings people are some of the best devs that I’ve had the chance to converse with.  (Special mention of Apollo, another OM, and the great fun that he’s offered as a forum admin and event runner.)

To be sure, it’s a relatively small thing in the grand scheme of Life and All That’s In It, but to me, it’s a very kind welcome mat and a magnanimous gesture that makes my heart warm, even as I go play in the snow.  Thank you, Demeter!

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