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ImDaMisterL

Why take the beta away?

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ImDaMisterL    20,062

I'm trying to understand the purpose of giving a limited time access to this beta, but I can't see it. We test the content that's already out, but what about the rest of it? Will it just be need to be tested upon release? Will you make another beta when the time comes?

I think it'd just be more useful to leave us with the beta until release. What do you guys think about this? Has Klei already stated why they're doing it this way and I missed it?

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-Variant    4,994

I agree with your post and am also a bit confused. It didn't make sense to me, was SW handled like this? 
Like, the only reason I can come up with is Klei wanting to be able to add in some nice juicy secrets without people digging them out and gutting them before they're even ready, such as the Roc. We wouldn't have know about it if it weren't for Data Miners, or a few glitches or so. 

Aside from that, I agree and feel like letting everyone keep the copies is a good idea, but I also agree, it'd be nice to see some secrets go unspoiled.
<:-D

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voyager156    357

I also don't see the reason the beta should be closed soon. More people testing it for longer = more polished game.

But letting it be available longer for free --> they can see it as a possible loss of future income.

So devs should just made the Hamlet be available for purchase as beta (the same as Shipwrecked was).

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Charsis    224

They could be taking the time to look at suggestions once stuff is closed to really improve upon the game, so if that is the case they have made a very good decision I think.

Just keep suggestions and bugs rolling in and we'll see how it goes :)

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Lumina    2,135

Maybe they will have an Early Access, like they often do. Also, maybe it's working fine to have two weeks of beta with bugfixes and updates, but not for some months, since it could be pretty intense to follow all the feedback, bug reports and all. Players can understand two weeks of beta with bugs and only some fixes, they will become less patients if some bugs are still here, or if no new content is coming.

There are plenty of reasons why a short beta could work better than a long one, depending of their goal, especially since it's a free beta and the game still need to be attractive when it will be in its final state.

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JimmyJam    1,303

It would be nice if Hamlet came out as a pre release when the beta ends. I don't want the dlc for free. Its just really hard to get into it knowing its going to be gone in a few days...

 

So payed for pre release feels like a good move.

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zzKratoszz    122

I've gone through this same line of thought my self already. I feel its related to the self annihilating nature of demos. Remember when every game would have a demo 20 years ago? Well there is a subset of people who will feel like they have played the game already so they don't feel like they need to buy the game anymore. And even though the demo would be pretty good at advertising your game you still lose out in other areas. Perhaps they are hoping a month away from the game will offset this problem.

Now I'd love it if klei would sell the beta to us now with the promise of the full release later. I wouldn't trust most devs/publishers to do that but klei has probably earned that trust. It might be more work since they would probably do it through a steam code on the forums. So its not on steam unfinished. I assume they have settled on a price tag already but maybe they haven't or don't even want us to know until closer to release. If they did it this way I would suggest they take steps to not be developing 2 versions of the game at once.

Klei have also been fairly successful and actually have the manpower they didn't have 10 years ago. Perhaps they want to be fancy and have a finished game for sale instead of an early access. That might be a goal they have without an extended alpha/beta phase like many of their past games have had. Or maybe its a combination of many factors and its not black and white. There are still other factors like the media, streaming, videos and algorithms that are part of it. They might not be ready to handle this important aspect of selling a game that could cause delays to the full release if something went wrong.

I'm sure its less work for klei to do nothing than to give us the demo. Which if it gets us the finished game sooner might not be bad.

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ansuman    140

Yeah, completely agree on this. People who love Don't Starve will anyway buy it. And those who are weary can buy when it moves out of beta.

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FuffledBeeQueen    3,247

I mean, I don't see a point taking a beta away if there are still bugs roaming... Limited time Events, sure, Limited time Betas... I don't think you'd get what you'd want from it. You don't have to provide us with the new content in it, but tracking down bugs is important... I still need to write my mega Feedback round

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Its probably a mix of marketing and getting general feedback for the limited beta.

Firstly having this a few months before the actual release helps with revoking Steam keys and probably helps communicate to Beta participants that what they received isn't the full game (According to Steam Beta all participants "own" Hamlet. I do not think its Klei's intention to give the DLC to testers for free). Having a not paid Beta closer to launch could make it a bit more difficult revoking the Beta keys. Accidentally revoking a paid key instead of a Beta DLC key would be a huge PR nightmare that Klei doesn't need.

I am not very familiar with Steamworks development but I don't think Klei can directly revoke Steam purchase keys but they can revoke keys given by them (such as the Beta key) or keys obtained as a purchase from another storefront.

Secondly Hamlet was first announced in September 2017 and was delayed (presumably) multiple times. Klei probably felt that they could benefit from community feedback for Hamlets ultimate release but it takes time to get a build ready for consumption by the general public. Based on the scarcity of time theoretically every bug noticed, logged by the community and fixed by the developers is at the expense of a bug not noticed, logged or fixed so ideally Klei wants it to be at a state they can get the most beneficial feedback from. (A theoretical example being a bug where the game can't launch. If players can't launch the game then they can't notice other bugs, such as the shop selling MISSING_NAME items that crash the game or the trinkets displaying Trinket_name when examined in the shop.)

Thirdly Klei has been experimenting with content creators as a marketing engine. Having the game in a good state to reap feedback can also be a useful marketing tool. The Beta has been exclusive to a probable minority of the community. There are likely a lot of users who will first see the beta from a content creator or some other participant. This gives them exposure to the product and something to look forward to in the series future (with the closed Beta potentially leading to a more polished product) while at the same time demonstrating that the current build is a work in progress and not completely representative of the final product. Hamlet probably needs the marketing exposure since it was announced in September of 2017 and was completely quiet aside from a video at the PC Gamer show in June and some issues with the Steam storefront changes last Winter/Spring that leaked (arguably multiple) internal development dates.

I think a notable example of poor marketing that is relevant to help explain Klei's decision regarding the Hamlet Beta would be the Fallout 76 Stress Test and the Greenbriar event marketing campaign run by Bethesda. Bethesda invited community content creators and the press to demo Fallout 76 at the green briar hotel and resort but the build they played was only optimized around the starting area. Bethesda didn't optimize most of the world, only where they thought players would explore, so nearly all the footage of players who explored further show game play of Fallout 76 playing at 1-7 Frames per second running on the Xbox One X which is not good promotional footage and led to some damage control regarding the game being completely unplayable (one month before release!) rather than good footage showcasing the game. Bethesda acknowledged this issue and the next public event a week or two later (the Xbox Insiders server Stress test) using the same build of the game had an NDA in place so players couldn't legally share game play of their experience.

This is just speculation on my part but hopefully some of you found this useful.

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JimmyJam    1,303
27 minutes ago, Dreamscape18459 said:

I think a notable example of poor marketing that is relevant to help explain Klei's decision regarding the Hamlet Beta would be the Fallout 76 Stress Test and the Greenbriar event marketing campaign run by Bethesda. Bethesda invited community content creators and the press to demo Fallout 76 at the green briar hotel and resort but the build they played was only optimized around the starting area. Bethesda didn't optimize most of the world, only where they thought players would explore, so nearly all the footage of players who explored further show game play of Fallout 76 playing at 1-7 Frames per second running on the Xbox One X which is not good promotional footage and led to some damage control regarding the game being completely unplayable (one month before release!) rather than good footage showcasing the game. Bethesda acknowledged this issue and the next public event a week or two later (the Xbox Insiders server Stress test) using the same build of the game had an NDA in place so players couldn't legally share game play of their experience.

I don't want to take this off topic but they planned for an NDA on the stress test before Greendriar becasue people got to play for about 4 hours.

Back to Hamlet. I think people are confused about this beta because this is the first time Klei done a closed beta apart from DST. (i think)

We don't want or think Klei will give the DLC out for free. I think most of us just want to play and help find bugs until release.

Beta/Pre releases have been apart of DS ROG SW and DST.

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watermelen671    14,911
38 minutes ago, Dreamscape18459 said:

Firstly having this a few months before the actual release helps with revoking Steam keys and probably helps communicate to Beta participants that what they received isn't the full game (According to Steam Beta all participants "own" Hamlet. I do not think its Klei's intention to give the DLC to testers for free). Having a not paid Beta closer to launch could make it a bit more difficult revoking the Beta keys. Accidentally revoking a paid key instead of a Beta DLC key would be a huge PR nightmare that Klei doesn't need.

Or y'know...to negate this entirely, why not just have a paid beta? That way there's no need to revoke access keys.

40 minutes ago, Dreamscape18459 said:

I think a notable example of poor marketing that is relevant to help explain Klei's decision regarding the Hamlet Beta would be the Fallout 76 Stress Test and the Greenbriar event marketing campaign run by Bethesda. Bethesda invited community content creators and the press to demo Fallout 76 at the green briar hotel and resort but the build they played was only optimized around the starting area. Bethesda didn't optimize most of the world, only where they thought players would explore, so nearly all the footage of players who explored further show game play of Fallout 76 playing at 1-7 Frames per second running on the Xbox One X which is not good promotional footage and led to some damage control regarding the game being completely unplayable (one month before release!) rather than good footage showcasing the game. Bethesda acknowledged this issue and the next public event a week or two later (the Xbox Insiders server Stress test) using the same build of the game had an NDA in place so players couldn't legally share game play of their experience.

That's why I like Klei's methods better. They don't kick a beta out the door until they have a build that ISN'T a complete and utter mess.

Besides, our job here is to break the game in every way possible, that way Klei can fix it before we have another Shipwrecked on our hands.

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Duxe    185

@watermelen671 Ok I keep seeing this get mentioned and I don't mean to get this off topic but I'm curious. I was here for the Shipwrecked release and everyone keeps talking about how big of a disaster it was. I don't recall this... what happened? The only thing I remember that was a disaster was the volcanic eruptions at launch.

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1 hour ago, watermelen671 said:

Or y'know...to negate this entirely, why not just have a paid beta? That way there's no need to revoke access keys.

As far as I know Beta's like this are part of the reason the Steam key system is designed the way it is. I think accidentally revoking the wrong key is unlikely to happen but I thought it was worth mentioning.

As for having a paid Beta that's a very tough call. There are plenty of talented individuals who would love to provide feedback, even in a paid beta but its a touchy subject as some developers rely far too heavily on player QA testing which has left a sour taste in some people's mouth.

I don't understand the situation at Klei but they decided the current Beta system is the best implementation for them. As a fan I would personally like to see another paid early access period (similar to the ROG DLC launch) but we will only see that if Klei thinks its a good idea.

1 hour ago, watermelen671 said:

That's why I like Klei's methods better. They don't kick a beta out the door until they have a build that ISN'T a complete and utter mess.

Besides, our job here is to break the game in every way possible, that way Klei can fix it before we have another Shipwrecked on our hands.

In regards to Bethesda the Xbox insider Stress Test was to test server load: not the current build's frame rate performance. In this situation using the Greenbriar event build of the game (with an NDA) made a lot of sense.

I do like Klei's implementation of a mostly stable (on my pc at least) release than I would playing at 5 or fewer frames per second. I find it hard to enjoy a game with low or unstable framerate.

Anyway thanks for the friendly discussion everyone!

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Roosev    986

I'm actually hoping that Klei could make another closed (or open) beta signing. That, or simply an early access purchase. I'd freaking love to play some new Don't Starve content.

 

I've missed the original beta signing, and I'm currently strangling my gut.

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lakhnish    1,474
9 hours ago, ImDaMisterL said:

I think it'd just be more useful to leave us with the beta until release. What do you guys think about this? Has Klei already stated why they're doing it this way and I missed it?

TLDR; My thoughts followed by the statement for why it's being done this way in the spoilers as well as links.

Maybe an unpopular opinion and given that this is only my second beta ever, I prefer Klei keeps it under its current time constraint. When Forge beta came out, it was out for two weeks and by the official release of the Forge, I had already seen everything to have been seen. All that was left was to grind for achievements I had already gotten during the beta. I realize that this beta and the Forge are two different things, but what I want to convey is that I don't want that feeling of "there's nothing left for me to see".

I'd rather have this beta be to give a preview of what's to come and for official release to have much more content and completed feel rather than Klei feeling compelled to continually add content till the official release date, which wouldn't make Hamlet as exciting for me.

Not only that, there would be increasing pressures from individuals posting that they want the beta, evident in the initial signup thread (I only skimmed due to time restraints at the time of writing this, but it addresses this point), as well as the few posts here and there. 

I'll also post what Nome said on that forum as well (idk how to quote cross forums), linked here and that specific comment in the spoilers.

Spoiler

Sorry to say that you did sign up for the beta with [redacted], but that's your PS4 account, not your steam account. :(

Folks, I've been through about a dozen people now who said they did all the steps but didn't have the beta signup in their KU. I'd totally like to let everyone in, but we already let in WAAAY too many people as it is because we didn't want to disappoint with a random choice.

Remember that getting into the beta doesn't give the DLC forever, just for a limited time while we do testing, and that not all of the content is active in the beta, just the stuff that badly needed testing. There's plenty of cool stuff that'll only come in the release version.

One of the things on my todo list is to improve customer messaging. Many of you will have noticed the new MotD system in DST with the six little boxes (thanks to [Joe] who not only came up with the idea but also did much of the programming himself!), we're also planning to improve our email communications before the next beta we do, letting you choose exactly which things you want to get emails about. Hopefully things like this mean fewer of you will miss out on things at Klei you wanted to know about, without spamming anyone with things they don't care about.

 

Spoiler

 

This is the instructions from Joe about getting beta as well as your beta account status for more info, both of which link to each other. Felt compelled to put this in here for more information.

 

It wouldn't be fair to those individuals to go from a time-restricted beta to a beta until launch.

Given the initial criteria of the beta (and correct me where I'm wrong), they were looking for constructive feedback to help polish certain aspects of the game and squash possible game breaking bugs (such as the dark room bug that would destroy a save, but has now been hopefully fixed in today's patch). On my part, hopefully I've done that through my posts in the suggestion and bug reports forum to help squash stuff that badly needed testing as Nome said in the quotes.

Klei has also taken into account how to improve upon their infrastructure as well for future events such as this, showing that they do care.

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MagicManICT    29
1 hour ago, Dreamscape18459 said:

As for having a paid Beta that's a very tough call. There are plenty of talented individuals who would love to provide feedback, even in a paid beta but its a touchy subject as some developers rely far too heavily on player QA testing which has left a sour taste in some people's mouth.

Having been involved in gaming online for about 25 years now, I can tell you of all kinds of stories where devs relied solely on in-house bug testing and stories of mass closed beta testing. The games still came out buggy and incomplete, but the ones that had more open testing were less likely to have critical game-killing bugs.

I recall one game I own that was released and it was nearly six months before I could play it. I couldn't refund it, either, because of the story policy on opened media. It was a solid game after I finally got the patch, but it's just another good reason why mass testing before release is a good idea. I don't recall the game now, but it was well before Win 95 and DirectX. There was a hardware compatibility issue that took a good bit of time to resolve that affected a small percentage of buyers. I had another game--I did return it because it was just buggy beyond fixing--that had many of these small bugs that could have been found had there been a mass test.

I'm glad they're doing it this way. Day 1 issues like the rain bug and offset room assets would have been a huge headache to discover. It's nice to see they're getting some early balance feedback on it and can do some iteration on it already. I imagine if something else major comes up before the end, they can extend it a few days to make sure fixes work correctly.

@lakhnish: I hadn't seen that first post you had quoted. Guess that explains all the issues people have been having that are unanswered.

 

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__IvoCZE__    6,266
9 hours ago, Duxe said:

@watermelen671 Ok I keep seeing this get mentioned and I don't mean to get this off topic but I'm curious. I was here for the Shipwrecked release and everyone keeps talking about how big of a disaster it was. I don't recall this... what happened? The only thing I remember that was a disaster was the volcanic eruptions at launch.

It was just mess.

animal tracks - dirt spawning on sea , many enemies being jesus and one thing We are missing baby water beefalo.

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Zeklo    17,455
26 minutes ago, __IvoCZE__ said:

It was just mess.

animal tracks - dirt spawning on sea , many enemies being jesus and one thing We are missing baby water beefalo.

In case you don't already know, a bunch of new SW assets are in the Hamlet Beta files, one of said assets being baby water beefalo. 

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Zeklo    17,455
Just now, oCrapaCreeper said:

Just wondering - would there be anything stopping someone from just copying the game directory before it's taken away and still play it?

If you tried to play Hamlet without plugging in the beta code you'd just end up booting up normal ds/shipwrecked despite having the files. So basically once they disable the beta, no you won't.

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