Author Topic: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.  (Read 16461 times)

Offline x4000

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We're getting further and further along with Valley 2, but there's lots of final things that we're straightening out.  The good news is that multiplayer seems to be in a much better state than we'd thought.  The slightly bad news is that there's hundreds of other smaller things that we're still cleaning up and getting ready for prime-time.  I'm very wary about showing this publicly before it's baked to a certain point, given how the reactions were last time we did that.

So, with that in mind, we're going to do a limited-run private alpha for Valley 2.  We actually did this with AVWW1 as well, but I'm not sure how public that knowledge was.  Essentially, if you're interested in helping us iron out the kinks in a still-somewhat-buggy-and-unbalanced-with-some-missing-art version of Valley 2 starting perhaps on Friday of this week or into next week, then send a PM to tigersfan (Josh) here on the forums.  Or if you'd rather wait for a smoother and nicer version that will be our initial beta offering, you'll probably only have to wait until late next week instead.

In terms of the alpha, a few notes:

1. We're really only going to be taking a handful of people at a time, for two reasons.  Firstly, because there's only so much feedback we can parse at once.  And secondly, because we only get one chance to make our first impression on each alpha tester.  If everyone starts at the same time, then we fix some things, we can't get first impressions on how the fixed stuff works.  Instead we do it in small groups so that we collect first impressions at several stages of the process.

2. A huge amount of familiarity with AVWW1 is not a must by any stretch of the imagination.  These are extremely different games.  However, you will need a license key for the first game, as this is how you also activate the sequel.

3. There's a very good chance that not remotely everyone who notes interest in the alpha will get to be a part of it.  It's nothing personal, but here again we don't want to burn through all our testers so fast in case we need more waves of them; mixed with the fact that we can only take so much feedback at once.  If we get to the point where we feel this is beta-ready before we get through all of the potential testers (which is actually what happens in an ideal world, or else we're skirting the edge of running out of alpha testers, which is bad), then we'll go ahead to public beta and you can start playing with it along with everyone else who is interested.  Past a certain point we're ready to open the floodgates. ;)

4. Going along with #3, I also want to note that there is actually a bit of personal bias in how we are selecting people for the alpha.  But not in the way you might think.  If you've been a really useful tester for us in the past, this is not a guarantee you'll get in an early batch or even at all; and if you've never tested for us before, that's not to say you won't get chosen.  Rather, we try to put a couple of both kinds of person in each batch, for what I imagine are hopefully obvious reasons.  Having both some veteran testers and some neophytes in each batch of alpha testers helps us get both kinds of feedback as we proceed -- those all-important first impressions can only be collected once, and if we put all our veteran testers into the very first version that's really a waste of their expertise.  If any veteran testers get left to the beta rather than being a part of the alpha, that doesn't mean we don't like you or don't want to hear from you; that's just how the process happened to shake out prior to when we were ready for beta.  We'll be just as interested in hearing from you during beta as we would have been during alpha.


And lastly a couple of notes about testing Valley 2 in general:

5. Valley 2 is very much more of a mature game than AVWW1 ever was; it's more like AI War 2.0 was compared to AI War 1.0.  Therefore, I think that the expectation that some people might have that we're going to be doing major design shifts is something that needs to be tempered.  This is a much tighter, more cohesive design than in AVWW1, and we're not going to be looking to add more content prior to this getting out of beta (aside from what is already on our to-do list anyway), and nor are we going to be looking to reinvent the game mechanics wildly and repeatedly.

6. So what's the point of testing?  We're looking for things that are unclear, unbalanced, un-fun, or similar.  In other words, we're not looking to reinvent the game we've labored to create, we're looking to refine it.  With AVWW1 we were constantly reinventing and refining side-by-side, and ultimately that was unhealthy for the project (or a sign of an underlying disease, depending on how you look at it).  That's a big part of why Valley 2 was born in the first place, and why it had so much up-front design work done to it.  We did the exploratory bit with AVWW1, and Valley 2 is a product of what we learned before.

Anywho!  I think that's all the potential caveats; there will always be a potential for misunderstandings and hurt feelings, but hopefully by knowing our intentions as stated above the chance for them will be minimized.  Thanks all for your enthusiasm, and we look forward to sharing this with you soon!
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Offline Oralordos

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 08:38:05 PM »
Sounds lovely, I don't think the alpha of AVWW1 was that well known actually.

I would sign up but I'm not very good at giving feedback on things. I doubt I would play in depth enough for serious bug hunting and almost never say anything about how something is fun or not. So I'll wait until the beta arrives.

Offline Gemzo

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 08:45:08 PM »
I've been lurking, but I'm still here. I wasn't around for the AVWW1 alpha but I definitely am looking forward to participating in this one.

Offline x4000

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 08:45:40 PM »
By all means feel free to wait for the beta -- there's no pressure to be a part of the alpha! :)
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Offline Walter Sullivan

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 09:52:18 PM »
Oh man, if my college exams(and the finals, oh god the finals) weren't so close I would love to try to participate on this alpha. Well, at least on the beta I'm gonna play at the same time as my friends: I even convinced my cousin to buy AVWW so he can play too.

When the alpha happens, there's any chances we get to see some screenshots/videos/whatever of the testers playing? I know the beta is going to be only one week after the alpha, but I'm curious as hell to see how the game is looking now  :).
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 10:07:43 PM »
I'm interested, but I think there are people who could describe their feedback better than me. I'll send him a PM though, since I don't have a ton to do and you said you could use plenty different people.
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Offline madcow

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 10:18:59 PM »
I'm interested, but I think there are people who could describe their feedback better than me. I'll send him a PM though, since I don't have a ton to do and you said you could use plenty different people.

Pretty much this.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 10:32:21 PM »
I would love to get involved, but I am totally loaded down with work as it is right now. I'm in a game design class, I critique games privately (and fairly harshly), I look very closely for things that are unclear, things that are too clear... If I could, I totally would.
Fact of the matter is, I shouldn't, so I won't. Best of luck, Chris. If the game's in an unclear confusing state at launch I'll just blame myself. ;)
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Offline LayZboy

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 10:48:17 PM »
If there is Multiplayer stuff I'm pretty sure Mouldy & I will take care of that.

Offline MouldyK

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 10:57:30 PM »
What's this? Low chance of job over Christmas due to how things are for Christmas job places done? PC being redone after it breaks 10 times a day due to brother building an unstable PC, which might be fixed by weekend?

Multiplayer testing or not, i'd love to help out. :D

Edit: Says nothing for Sent PMs, so i'm going to assume that it sent and this was also a secondary test to Beta Test the PM system, in which case it seems broken. XD
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 11:12:54 PM by MouldyK »
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Offline mrhanman

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 02:07:46 AM »
I really liked testing AVWW1.  I'd love to test its sequel as well.  8)

Offline Nanashi

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 03:18:18 AM »
Can't commit since I don't have the time to do a good job of it, but will play the beta.

And - your games are your work and you really shouldn't be worrying about what features people want to see or not. I don't think that means they shouldn't express what they want though - since no reasonable person would expect any suggestion to be mandatory. Most of the time, such statements are just a little bit of phatic egocentrism that keeps us functioning and mentally stable by reaffirming our personal significance and likes and dislikes, rather than an imperative "Do this or your game sucks".

Offline Knightlord64

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 04:22:06 AM »
I would sign up for alpha testing but I don't really think I'm cut out for finding bugs and giving feedback haha. I'll just wait for beta patiently.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 07:32:16 AM »
We definitely want many different types of folks. Willingness is really the most important thing we need in a tester right now. Just being able to play around and say "yuck! I really don't like this part here!" is a huge help, and different people will catch different issues.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Interested in being a part of a private alpha for Valley 2? Read here.
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 10:05:55 AM »
Yea, folks with QA experience (professional or otherwise, many people have quite a bit from participating in public betas) are of course very valuable for giving us bug reports we can act on.  But it's also helpful to have people who are specifically not thinking in terms of surgical-bug-hunt or whatever.  A crowd of crack QA folks could find every technical problem with the game and still (possibly) not give the real gameplay feedback we need :)
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