ALPHA TESTING POSITION

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BasiliskWrangler
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ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by BasiliskWrangler » September 30th, 2013, 12:18 pm

We are looking for one (possibly two) Alpha Tester(s) to join the team. We finished Alpha 1 testing in late August and will be spending about 6 weeks working on issues that came up during that test. Alpha 2 will be ready in mid October. However, one of our Alpha members will be unable to return to test at that time due to other obligations. As a result, I need one more Alpha Tester to rip Book 3 apart before we hand it out to some beta testers.

What is an Alpha Tester? An Alpha Tester is a trusted position that can have a great influence on the design of the game. Book I and II have many features that came from the Alpha Team's suggestions during early play-throughs. As an Alpha Tester you will be trying to break the game. You will harshly critique the game. Your opinion on the difficulty of the game is paramount at this point, and you can greatly influence the design and difficulty of some map areas based on your opinion of how easy or hard they are. An Alpha Tester here at Basilisk Games generally earns the title "Additional Design" due to the kind of feedback I ask for.

You are also bug hunting. You will point out things that might seem obvious to you, but are oblivious to me. Missing sounds, missing dialog, holes in maps- these are things that might have been overlooked for so long that I just ignore them now. You will need to point them out with your fresh eyes.

What an Alpha Tester does not do: spell check. While I want you to point out if you see a giant block of text missing from a book or narrative cue, I do not want an Alpha tester to spend his/her time proofreading and submitting a bug report because a comma was put in the wrong place. Beta testers can do that. If you want to keep notes on spelling errors you can; just submit them when Beta Testing starts.

How long is Alpha Testing? 2-3 weeks, playing daily. Yes I know, some days you might not get to it (and that's okay), but generally I am looking for someone that has the time to play it 1-2 hours a day during the week, and maybe 3-5 hours per day on the weekend. I'd like to have you play through the game twice in 3 weeks or less. I will be able to offer you “hints” to the game so that you are not hung-up too long on any single puzzle.

How are you going to select an Alpha Tester? To be honest, I am only going to consider Forum members here that are active, that really know Eschalon well, and have at least 100 comments. That limits me to maybe 60 potential people that I can consider for this position. And so if you qualify, and if you are interested, send me a private message and we can talk.

What you get as an alpha tester: well, you get your name in the game. You get a free game out of it, of course. And usually I get the Alpha Testers an additional gift after the game is released, like a gift card or something like that.

Will you be testing the whole game? No. You'll have access to roughly the first 70%-80% of the game. The end will be left off. Although it is mostly finished, I will use your characters to determine how to balance the last 20% of the game. Also, for security reasons, we've never released a full game for testing purposes in the possible event that it is leaked.

It is important that you send me copies of your character as you go along. I need to know what level you are at when you reach certain points of the game, how long it took you to get there, how difficult the game is for you based on your character build, how is your money/food/water holding out, etc. So, you'll need to save often and use new save slots every time.

Is Alpha Testing difficult? Yes, but only marginally more than Beta Testing. Book III is both tightly focused and yet widely open. With the player's option to follow the main quest or not, there are a lot of dialog branches and conditions to test. It's not difficult, just time consuming, and only people who really want to see Book III become the best game in the series should consider helping on the Alpha.

Have questions? Ask them here so everyone can see the answer.

Want to be considered? Send me a private message. I need to know who you are, where you live (time-zone reasons), did you test any of the previous Eschalon games, and how much time you'll be able to devote to the Alpha test between mid-October through early November. Convince me that you are the tester I should choose.
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by BasiliskWrangler » September 30th, 2013, 9:35 pm

Thanks to the people who have already submitted themselves for consideration. I just wanted to let everyone know that I will not respond to any of these message right now (unless you ask a specific question that needs an answer), and I won't make a choice until mid October.

To everyone else: if you are interested in Alpha Testing, please follow the instructions above and send me a message! I'll keep taking them until October 15th-ish.
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by Akiva » September 30th, 2013, 10:52 pm

Oy, I so wish I could. I've beta tested games as far back as Meridian 59 and Daggerfall. I just don't have the time right now. Good luck finding the right candidate, though!

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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 1st, 2013, 6:47 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:I cannot help but feel this is a not-so-subtle jab at someone. Or am I being paranoid? :wink:
Hehe- no, I didn't think of you at all when I wrote that. Just making it clear that an Alpha Tester needs to play the game, not burn up 3 hours to proofread and submit bug reports on minor grammar issues.
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:I like to think that I know the games well, but if you were to ask me the formula for something like lock-picking I wouldn't know the details.
An Alpha Tester does not need to know all the math and calculations for stats and skills, but an Alpha Tester should be aware of things like "Why does armor X require more skill to utilize than armor Y, despite the fact that armor Y is notably better?" (This was an actual issue in the last Alpha test).

..or, this other actual exchange I had:

Them: "I turned down quest X, but was not given any guidance on what to do next."
Me: "Yes you were. Did you read the full dialog?"
Them: "Eh, I skimmed through it. But if you really want me to go to 'Location Y' after turning down Quest X, you better make 'Go to Location Y' an actual quest of its own."
Me: "Good point."
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by severian » October 2nd, 2013, 7:17 am

I just have one point - RPG gaming communities have very different approach towards many issues in the games.
I managed to see presentations and chat afterwards with some of our major developers (gaming conferences are blooming in Poland in last 2 years), and differences are sometimes huge. Our devs needed to be flexible in expanding where the money are, so they always did extensive research, and there are even major differences in gaming communities between neighboring countries - Germany and Poland, not even saying UK, USA or Japan. For example - German RPGs are specific, and this allowed polish series Two Worlds to be a major success in Germany, however some mechanics and solutions deterred gamers from other countries - but not the german players.This explains why german RPGs have never really succeeded outside Germany.
That is just a point - perhaps you already know all that - considering world-wide alpha and beta testing later.
Take care and good luck =)

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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 7th, 2013, 10:09 am

Update - I'll be sending messages to the people I select for Alpha Testing on October 21st or 22nd, and I'll likely select two alpha testers to get a wider range of feedback.
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by voyager39 » October 16th, 2013, 1:57 pm

I think you should also state the minimum hardware/software requirements. You obviously don't want somebody doing this on a 256MB RAM and running custom Linux. Or is that what you want?

Your cutoff of 100 posts assures that you'll only get genuinely interested volunteers who have been actively following the game. We want it to come out well.

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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 22nd, 2013, 8:58 pm

Update - I have contacted the top 2 people for the Alpha testing position(s). Thank you to all 13 people who applied. If you didn't get chosen, it's not because you weren't qualified enough- even those of you with less than 100 posts. I'm sure every one of you would be a great Alpha tester. Don't forget, Beta testing will be here soon so you can apply for one of those positions if you want.

Thanks again, everyone!
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by Ssschah » October 22nd, 2013, 9:51 pm

Thank you for this amazing opportunity Basilisk Games!
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by Thynar » October 23rd, 2013, 3:06 pm

Darn it, I need to post more...

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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by Ssschah » October 24th, 2013, 5:46 pm

I wasn't chosen, I am simply appreciating the chance Basilisk Games has given to the community.
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by deathknight1728 » October 25th, 2013, 10:51 am

Ssschah wrote:I wasn't chosen, I am simply appreciating the chance Basilisk Games has given to the community.
Congratulations! Book 3 is in good hands. I am really hoping to see loose ends tied up and want to know what those new monsters are in game. Avadon 2 will be out in a few days but this will likely be completed 4 times before I complete Avadon 2 Twice :mrgreen:
"As long as 60% of the things you do are good, it doesnt matter what the 40% is."-PQ

His face turns a twisted grin. Its a little disturbing. "Vicious vermin, I'd like to strangle every one of them."-Captain Johnson, Avernum

Randomizer
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by Randomizer » October 25th, 2013, 10:55 am

Avadon 2 only takes about 30 to 40 hours depending upon how many quests you do and how often the party dies. :)

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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 25th, 2013, 11:21 am

Randomizer wrote:Avadon 2 only takes about 30 to 40 hours
Only takes? That's quite long.

Do you spend a lot of time in combat?
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Re: ALPHA TESTING POSITION

Post by SpottedShroom » October 25th, 2013, 11:28 am

Randomizer wrote:how often the party dies. :)
If it's anything like my first Avadon 1 play-throughs, that'll be a lot.

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