Beta at all?

Everything Caesar IV that doesn't fit elsewhere
catgoddess83
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Beta at all?

Postby catgoddess83 » Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:59 am

Will there be a Beta???? It's kind of late isn't it? :(

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:42 pm

Whether it's late or not depends on if the various dates shown on the various websites are accurate. Right now they range anywhere from September to October.

I still believe that there will be a beta test.

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:36 pm

catgoddess83 wrote:Will there be a Beta???? It's kind of late isn't it? :(


The definitions mean nothing any longer.

Now we have terms like pre-alpha, alpha, pre-beta, beta & there probably is also a gamma, delta, etc. What do we call a Patched game? The process, especially in these times of rushing to release a game that is not ready, doesn't stop when a game hits the streets.

Each is a different version of the game in development.

The real question is who does it? Developers themselves or do they ask for "outside" help. Then we have Corporate Producers. Do they jump in & help, or better, interfere in the process. Or totally take over the game & the developers have merely become pawns in some Corporate Strategy to increase sales & to hell with the game?

Are these stages in game development done in private due to the need for some seen secrecy due to the Age of Terrorism (ie competition) or is this privacy due to a lack of pride in their work?

Are they scared?

Really weird stuff is going on with C4 that didn't happen with COTN. With COTN, TM appeared to be proud of their work & couldn't wait to tell everyone about it.

Now, we only learn things from off-site & WE are the ones who report it here.

Strange times we live in. For all we know, the C4 "Beta" is complete & TM is working on scenarios only.

EDIT: Forgot the punchline. I personally watched the release of both AOE3 and GOTRE. AOE3 definitely wasn't pretty. At least something like 7 patches so far. GOTRE is not doing much better.

What I find most interesting with GOTRE is that CDV (Producer) & not Haemimont Games (Developer) is the Forum of record.
Last edited by MarkDuffy on Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:54 pm

The difference between CotN and Caesar IV people seem to keep forgetting is that Children of the Nile was TM's project with a different publisher.

Caesar IV was VU/Sierra's idea and they are the publishers this time. VU/Sierra has to clear any info being released to the public. Their marketing department has their own ideas on how to handle things, as fristrating as that might be for the rest of us.

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:06 pm

Keith wrote:Caesar IV was VU/Sierra's idea and they are the publishers this time.


BS

Caesar IV was TM's idea.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:32 pm

MarkDuffy wrote:BS

Caesar IV was TM's idea.


Not so, the this comes right off the official Caesar IV website:

A New Era
So when Vivendi Games approached me last year about the possibility of collaborating again, on Caesar IV, I jumped at the chance. Usually we developers spend a lot of time trying to convince publisher big wigs of to spend millions of dollars on our ideas, so it's certainly nice when both the developer and the publisher (even the marketing folks!) are excited about an idea like this from day one. Of course it still takes time to get all the right decision makers in the right place at the right time, but finally everything came together and we began work on what is truly destined to be the greatest installment in the Caesar series, and the greatest city-building strategy game ever created.

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:08 pm

Keith, you understand as well as I do how propaganda works & the need to kiss up to the people paying the bills.

Politics is everywhere, including economics. Diplomacy is the appropriate political word.

Question

You feel that VU Games is calling the shots, so the obvious point follows.

Is TM off the hook for any failures in C4 & I only need to blame VU Games?

Arkalius
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Postby Arkalius » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:18 pm

Some computer science education on the definitions of beta and alpha are probably relevant here.

The terms alpha and beta are not used just because they are the first two letters of the greek alphabet. They actually mean something specific in this context. They are descriptors of a type of test, not necessarily the level of completeness of the software, though usually one can surmise how "complete" a piece of software is based on what kind of testing it is being put through.

An alpha test is a test conducted by the developers of the software, though it can also refer to a test by the end users in a controlled environment (ie on computers set up by the developers for this purpose) usually under supervision and/or guidance from the developers. A beta test is a test conducted by end users in their own environment, usually free from supervision, though they may or may not recieve guidance from the developers.

If one is talking about an "alpha version" of software, it's usually an early build that is being tested by the developers and is not designed for end user use, and is rarely indicative of the final product. Public beta tests are somewhat common these days though usually only with multiplayer-focused games, or sometimes only the multiplayer aspect of a game that contains both multiplayer and singleplayer gameplay. I can't speak for tilted mill but I'm guessing that a public beta will not be released for this game. A demo of course is definitely possible.

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:08 pm

Arkalius wrote:Some computer science education on the definitions of beta and alpha are probably relevant here.


Or not.

Evolution is how the world runs. You can make absolutely no predictions of the future, based on the past. You can try, though... :D

Development stage
Last edited by MarkDuffy on Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:39 am

MarkDuffy wrote:Question

You feel that VU Games is calling the shots, so the obvious point follows.

Is TM off the hook for any failures in C4 & I only need to blame VU Games?


It's not what I "feel," it's what I've been told. That's one reason why the Caeasar IV websites were moved over to the VU/Sierra servers.

VU/Sierra's name is going to be prominent on the package so they'll end up with the blame if it should fail. If the game should somehow fail, I'm sure TM will catch some flak for it too.

I don't forsee a failure, so I'm not worried.

tavita
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french beta

Postby tavita » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:15 am

Just for fun, let me tell you the french meaning for beta.

It comes from the same word "bête" (which means beast or animal) and the word beta is used to qualify a stupid person.
So, if you see a french-speaking guy looking amazed when you ask him if he would like to be part of the beta, now you know.

BTW, I would have applied for a beta job but the best for me is that a decent game comes out asap. If there are some bugs or enhancement, a good and free downloadable patch is enough.
What I wouldn't like is to wait for an official extension to fix problems. The game must be decent w/o having to pay "C4 hannibal extension" or so..

I believe TM team is great, and I hope VUG will please buyers by offering good patches.

My last : to TM lead developper (cant remember if it's Beatrice or Leier), when you've been asked about reasons for C3 success, you should have also mentionned all the things that fans did, the buzz, fan-developped stuff that gave your games a unique playability and duration. I never had the skills to create decent scens or campaigns but what I found on some websites (heavengames.com) was definitly enjoyable and challenging.

PS nothing rude in my intention, or blame my english skills...

Hibernian
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Postby Hibernian » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:08 pm

It is getting a bit late if the beta's are going to be mail posted hard copies, especially for those of us outside the ol' U S of A.

If not, then there's still time...

Keith
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Postby Keith » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:19 pm

A lot of the beta tests are limited to just the U.S. just to speed things along among other reasons.

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:24 pm

The only thing I will add here at this time is that there might not even be a public beta.

Soooooo

Your best bet to have an influence on C4 is to get the information we have already, make your guesses & post about it. No fear. Don't worry about being wrong. It has never stopped me! :D

Good AND bad.

This is our best way to help TM with C4.

The information is all here on this Forum. :)

Kuplo
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Postby Kuplo » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:38 pm

So what was the final decission? Was/Is there a beta test for C4? I beta tested COTN and helped them quite a bit I feel with the bugs that I found myself as well as the bugs that I was able to reproduce that others had found. I dont recall getting any "invitation" to help them with beta testing C4 or my spam blockers could have just dumped them as spam.

Was/Is there still a beta test for C4 or is it being done purely in house at VUG?

dorn
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Postby dorn » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:55 pm

Kuplo wrote:So what was the final decission? Was/Is there a beta test for C4? I beta tested COTN and helped them quite a bit I feel with the bugs that I found myself as well as the bugs that I was able to reproduce that others had found. I dont recall getting any "invitation" to help them with beta testing C4 or my spam blockers could have just dumped them as spam.

Was/Is there still a beta test for C4 or is it being done purely in house at VUG?


The beta was/is in-house!! :(
The demo will be released in mid-august, there will be facts at the GamesConvention in Germanies Leipzig at the end of august.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:11 pm

If there was a beta invitation sent out I never got it if they sent me one. They used to post a announcement for people to apply for the beta test first, then they would send out invitations.

There has been a test that started months ago at the end of March though from what I understand.

If you watch the Who's Online section you can almost tell who is taking part in the test. When someone is viewing a thread the name of the thread usually appears. However, there are a lot of "Viewing Threads" with no thread title, which indicates it is on a private board, most likely for testers.

Frankly, if that is true, I'm a bit miffed I didn't even get the courtesy of a invitation having been a major lobbyist for Caesar IV these past 8 years.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:39 am

It's just an assumption on my part thats what those untitled "viewing thread" listings indicate.

angelisis
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Postby angelisis » Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:58 pm

does it really matter? game due in a few anyway.......thought we all wanted to play it? or just piffed because you got no chance at seeing it before release?

@phil thought you packed up your bat and ball and went home...what happened then....are you back?
Last edited by angelisis on Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Schmophit
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Postby Schmophit » Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:59 pm

Keith wrote:Frankly, if that is true, I'm a bit miffed I didn't even get the courtesy of a invitation having been a major lobbyist for Caesar IV these past 8 years.
Maybe its cos of being a moderator for VUG Keith, cos it kinda reminds me of companies who hold competitions, usually in the rules and regulations you have blurbs such as 'Company members and their families are not allowed to enter' :rolleyes: But anyway, sh*t happens and usually in large quantities lol
Phil Walker wrote:Yes Keith, of all you should have had an invite, but you really want to get miffed? Most who are in this area date back to 2004 and some who are there have NO posts visible, but one of the NEWEST members are involved with this area as well. So, it appears obvious to me, there is some unfair partiality. Seems obvious to me, those who started it have a thing against you, among others. (And no, I'm not including myself although I too am miffed as I saw this and asked but was not even given the courtesy of being told there was an area I could not see.) Lack of courtesy to those who contribute is intolerable, unfair and flat out rude :mad: !!! Fairness and courtesy is lacking as even when asked nothing is said.

Sincerely,
Phil


If you are referring to the NEW member I think you are, he/she is not a new member, but an old member who, for whatever reason, has a new TM handle.

Also, I don't think it unfair that there are areas that normal board members can't see, afterall, the Luminarys have their own forum that we do not see and we don't complain about that *shrug*
Last edited by Schmophit on Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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