Reporting Your Findings

Feedback, suggestions and general discussion on Hinterland
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Reporting Your Findings

Postby _KPaul » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:31 pm

I’d like to take a moment to outline what I expect from you guys regarding the reports you give me. For starters, we need to deal with a few definitions. Some of these may be known or obvious to many of you, but I wanted to lay the groundwork to make sure we are all communicating the same way to each other:

    Bug — A Bug is a low-level problem with a specific component of the game. Bugs occur when the intended functionality is functioning incorrectly. Not every problem is a Bug. Bugs are generally pretty specific, such as…“I ran to <this> and clicked <this>, and instead of seeing <this> I saw <this>.” Bugs are measured against expected results. When you know what should happen, and it doesn’t happen that way, that is a Bug.
    Issue — An Issue is a high-level problem with the intended functionality of a general system of the game. Issues are usually more vague than Bugs. Issues relate to things like frustrations with the UI, poor user feedback during an event, a lack of understanding about how to do something, balancing concerns, or game behaviors that you know are working “correctly” but do not make sense to you. You know for sure that you have an Issue when it makes the game more difficult to grasp or play but you know it’s not a Bug.
    Sug — A Sug [short for Suggestion] is a personal idea about how to improve something about the game. Sugs are usually related to small tweaks to current functionality. Within the context of Beta Testing, Sugs are most useful when you are looking for ways to make gameplay smoother and more fun. The best games are made in the details, and coming up with ideas to tweak those details can be extremely beneficial.

Later this week [hopefully tomorrow] we will be making a Bug database available to the Insiders to allow you guys to enter your Bugs into a centralized location that makes it easy for Tilted Mill to fix them. This database will be for Bugs only. Issues and Sugs require some amount of discussion, and therefore they fit the features of a forum quite well. Bugs do not require any discussion. The game component is either broken or it isn’t. Reporting a Bug on the forum is not recommended, but expect to be asked to ‘bug it’ if you end up doing so. For now, until the database goes live, please just take notes about the Bugs you are finding so you can enter them all into the database at once.

When reporting your findings, please keep each problem exclusive to its own thread. Take a few moments searching the database before digging into a Bug to find out if it was reported earlier, so that you do not spend a bunch of time duplicating someone else’s efforts. Dupes can be an incredible waste of time for anyone involved with the record. All of this holds true for Issues and Sugs on the forums, as well. Take it from me, it’s very frustrating to spend 20 minutes tracking down a Bug and 10 minutes on reporting it only to find out someone else reported it earlier and your effort was wasted. Ohhh…that’s maddening! So save yourself a little stress by confirming that the problem you found is unique and unreported. If you do find that someone else has already reported the problem, it’s extremely helpful to take a few moments and see if you have any new information to add to the thread or Bug record.

For each thread, use the type of problem as a prefix to the post title. For example, “Bug: Game launches even when Steam is closed.” Another example would be, “Issue: There is no feedback given to the player when monsters attack the town.” If you are not sure about which prefix to use, post with a “???:” as your prefix. This will indicate to me that the problem is up in the air and you aren’t sure about what’s going on. It will allow me to quickly address points of confusion. The title can always be edited to reflect the problem type if it is later deduced. I will likely be passing over any thread that does not have a prefix, so if you posted and are not getting any feedback about it, that is likely the reason.

Last, but certainly not least, there will be a number of habitual responses you may see me post. These are quick responses that help me handle a thread efficiently. The more efficiently I handle a thread, the more threads I can handle!

    Here is the reference table for what you will see:
    • NYI — Not Yet Implemented. This one’s pretty self-explanatory.
    • BOB — Bug Of A Bug. The Bug is a result of another Bug happening first, and won’t happen when the original Bug is fixed.
    • CAA — Confirmed And Added. The problem is confirmed and has been added to the internal database.
    • KIP — Known In Progress. The Devs are already aware of the problem and are working on a fix.
    • FIL — Fixed In Latest. The Devs have already fixed the problem internally, but you will not see the fix until a new build is released.
    • CNR — Cannot Reproduce. We can’t seem to make it happen internally, and need more information [i.e., clearer descriptions, more research, etcetera].
    • NBA — Not Being Addressed. The Producers have decided that the problem is valid, but not worth the time [and cost] to fix.
    • WAD — Working As Designed. The Designers have determined the problem is not valid because it’s how they want it to work.

If anything is unclear, please feel free to let me know!

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Postby _KPaul » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:31 pm

The Insiders Elementool [ET] Database will be online soon. This is the web-based database I mentioned yesterday that we will be using to organize the Bugs that you guys find. The main purpose is to have a streamlined method for reporting, reviewing, and tracking your Bugs. When I review them, I will be comparing them to the much larger internal database and determining if they are confirmed as new Bugs, known Bugs that are already in process, or if they are even actually Bugs at all. Remember that the database is *only* for Bugs. Issues and Sugs are discussion-based problems that will be handled on the forum.

All of you should be receiving notification from ET later today or tomorrow, via the email addresses you used to sign up as an Insider. Unless otherwise stated, your usernames will be the same as your forum usernames. It is HIGHLY recommended that the first thing you do upon loading into ET is to change your ET password, which will be included in the email you receive.

I have attached a DOC version of the Elementool Instructions. Please read through it today before using the database. I also suggest printing out a hard copy for quicker reference.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by _KPaul on Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added ET instructions

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Postby Boaster » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:21 am

Refer to my thread. I sort of already followed the 3 Guidelines you have requested.

If you need me to just copy and paste stuff from that thread here, send me a msg and it's done.

In the manner I posted, my list of Bugs could be Issues or Bugs in your definition.

Suggestions = Suggestions.

Problems = General griefs.
Last edited by Boaster on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby _KPaul » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:24 pm

Thanks, Boaster.

I have briefly looked over everyone's comments thus far. There have been a lot of them!

While I very much appreciate the enthusiasm you guys have all shown, the information that has been posted so far has been a pure inundation. The system I implemented above is designed to streamline the meat of these large posts you guys are all writing into single threads devoted to single problems. This helps all of us, not just me, to more concisely hold discussions that are glued to particular problems and concerns.

Now that all the guidelines are posted, we can all be working on the same page.

I would like to request that everyone who has given feedback please review your posts and break them down into separate threads, following the prefix system I laid out in the original post if this thread. I do understand that it will be difficult at first to keep yourself from duping, since you will all likely be breaking down your posts at roughly the same time. We'll deal with that as the nature of the beast. The important thing is getting all the things you guys have to say structured and easily referenced. Also remember that only Issues and Sugs should be posted. Save your Bugs for when the database goes live [hopefully later this afternoon].

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Saved games or files?

Postby JuliaSet » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:58 pm

Paul, how do you want us to document this? I've posted some files to resume the game after a crash, but if we need to, or can save a game, what files do you want and where do we put them? Is there going to be a place in the data base for such an upload?


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Postby _KPaul » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:28 pm

Yes there is an Attachment field which you can use to attach files that are needed. The current save game functionality is a bit lacking, and we are aware of it and have plans to make the files more concise.

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Postby mouse » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:19 pm

Umm maybe I'm missing something here but how do I access ET. Have used it some years ago but it seems to me that I need a link to it.

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Postby Miut » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:20 pm

Same from me - How do I access Elementools? I thought we had a Link last time around I used it...
I got a Slew of bugs to report from last night.

DISREGARD. Just found an email telling me how... :o
Last edited by Miut on Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Keith » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:49 pm

I was wondering about the elementool emails I got this morning. I knew it looked familiar, but I was a little suspicious at first because it arrived unexpectedly. I get so much spam that even my spam filter can't catch it all at times. I was just about to ask about it when I saw this thread.

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Postby mouse » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:29 pm

Ahhh guess I need to read my email :o

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Postby _KPaul » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:56 pm

I'm noticing a lot of people are not updating the Current State of their ET records when they pass them around. Please make sure you are dilligent in doing so. The Current State is what helps me determine priority in what gets my attention, so please keep it up to date.


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Postby Jaguar » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:22 pm

Please remember to assign your new bugs to paul_g and enter the version number. I have gone through all records to assign all unassigned bugs to Paul and am in the process of updating version numbers where I can. Also you need to assign a severity, reproducability, etcetera. There are a lot of bugs with these fields empty.

A good bug report with more information will be much more beneficial then one that is a one-liner. You may know what you mean, but please take the time to explain it to the rest of us so we know without a doubt what you are trying to describe so we can also test and see what could possibly cause these bugs.

When a bug gets assigned back to you (Claims Fixed or More Information Needed), please ensure that you update your comments once you have provided additional information, as well as change the state to the next appropriate response (ie Verified Fixed or Info Provided) and assign it back to paul_g.

Paul has provided information on Elementool in a link in one of his earlier posts in this thread and the naming conventions are in another stickied thread in this forum.

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Postby tyjenks » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:46 pm

Just so I am clear...

We are to simultaneously submit a bug via ET and post a thread here?

Are the developers concentrating more on the ET submissions and the forum discussions are more for the testers benefit?


EDIT: Nevermind. Julia set me straight. (get it. I made a funny.)
Last edited by tyjenks on Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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