My thoughts on the current state of R&D

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Olli_DXD

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#1
Hi there!
I've been a R&D owner for almost a year now, I bought it because I wanted to be a part of the development more than just owning the base game. Yes, I know what you're thinking "but olli you get to try out new blocks before they're released isn't that being a part of the development?", while it's true that you get some new unfinished blocks to play with, that's not what I paid for.

When I first bought R&D I felt like "I'm going to help the game grow big", but now after almost a year I've realised that what I paid for wasn't what I wanted... What I paid for was just an overpriced sandbox with some extra unfinished blocks and a forum badge. In the description for R&D it says "Preview access to new game modes" and I've never been told or been able to play a preview of Gauntlet...

Why are we R&D owners being neglected? Don't tell me we're not being neglected, we are. That's fact, we haven't gotten what we've been promised. I know you devs will just shrug this of as another "R&D isn't worth it", but it's not... This is serious, this needs to brought up and something needs to be done.

Kind regards
Olli
 
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streak1

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#2
For me, I feel similar about this, but for different reasons.

The way I see it, the in-development side of TerraTech is way too complicated. So many different sections, some of them little used.

I mean, you have 3 different sections of in-development stuff. You have canaries, which are hardly ever used anymore. You have R&D and the EXP corp, which hardly ever get new blocks. Then you have Unstable, which everything goes into.

Not to mention the fact that the game itself is early access, so people already expect to see bugs and weirdness.



If it were me, I would have merged the canaries, unstable, and R&D into one thing. You buy R&D (or maybe not), and you get access to the R&D chamber, debug tools, and frequent builds. You get a separate forum to discuss changes, give feedback and post bug reports. Just like it is supposed to be now, but all in one package.

As a result of them not being merged, you have a situation where you have one development thing doing great (Unstable), while you have two other groups sitting there, waiting to be used for something (R&D, Canaries). R&D isn't as bad, since we have the chamber to use still, but Canaries are completely unused right now. (And yes, I know we are getting debug stuff, but why haven't we gotten them a long time ago?)

Though, at this point, it might be too late to change it. You have R&D as paid DLC, and you have Unstable for free. If you stuck Unstable in R&D, that would piss off the people who use it for free. If you made R&D free, you would piss off the people who had to pay for it. Canaries can still be changed, though, just adding the debug stuff to R&D.


I don't see it as a problem when it comes to the game being finished. I don't doubt that we will get to 1.0. But the way you guys do some things seems really backwards to me. Why is it that TerraTech has 3 separate versions of unfinished content? Why not just one?
 

Olli_DXD

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#3
For me, I feel similar about this, but for different reasons.

The way I see it, the in-development side of TerraTech is way too complicated. So many different sections, some of them little used.

I mean, you have 3 different sections of in-development stuff. You have canaries, which are hardly ever used anymore. You have R&D and the EXP corp, which hardly ever get new blocks. Then you have Unstable, which everything goes into.

Not to mention the fact that the game itself is early access, so people already expect to see bugs and weirdness.



If it were me, I would have merged the canaries, unstable, and R&D into one thing. You buy R&D (or maybe not), and you get access to the R&D chamber, debug tools, and frequent builds. You get a separate forum to discuss changes, give feedback and post bug reports. Just like it is supposed to be now, but all in one package.

As a result of them not being merged, you have a situation where you have one development thing doing great (Unstable), while you have two other groups sitting there, waiting to be used for something (R&D, Canaries). R&D isn't as bad, since we have the chamber to use still, but Canaries are completely unused right now. (And yes, I know we are getting debug stuff, but why haven't we gotten them a long time ago?)

Though, at this point, it might be too late to change it. You have R&D as paid DLC, and you have Unstable for free. If you stuck Unstable in R&D, that would piss off the people who use it for free. If you made R&D free, you would piss off the people who had to pay for it. Canaries can still be changed, though, just adding the debug stuff to R&D.


I don't see it as a problem when it comes to the game being finished. I don't doubt that we will get to 1.0. But the way you guys do some things seems really backwards to me. Why is it that TerraTech has 3 separate versions of unfinished content? Why not just one?
Great words! I feel the same about the canary part, why can we not just have R&D and unstable?(and stable)
 
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Pink Kitty

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#4
Great words! I feel the same about the canary part, why can we not just have R&D and unstable?(and stable)
Because the canaries are tried-and-tested bug reporters/finders.

They are a group that can be relied upon to actually test things and write reports.
That may not be hugely important right now, but it could be in the future, if there's something really tricky to figure out.

And given that the canaries haven't really been used in months, there pretty much only ARE the two groups.
TMK, there hasn't been a canary release in many months.

My feeling on this is that they were feeling their way through the dev process, until they hit on a model that worked.
 

streak1

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#5
Great words! I feel the same about the canary part, why can we not just have R&D and unstable?(and stable)
Because the canaries are tried-and-tested bug reporters/finders.

And given that the canaries haven't really been used in months, there pretty much only ARE the two groups.
TMK, there hasn't been a canary release in many months.
Well, my point is that there is basically one group now, as far as testing is concerned. Sure, not everyone has R&D, but it isn't like R&D users are given much to test. There hasn't been anything added to EXP in quite some time, and the stuff that is there hasn't been worked on in a while. Lately, any new blocks have just been directly added to the game, tested in Unstable. What is the point of selling an R&D pack if new blocks aren't tested in R&D? They might as well rename it creative mode and give it to everyone at this point.

And I get that canaries are good at reporting bugs, but that doesn't mean that they should be given special builds. ALL users should be given those builds; that's what unstable is for. If the devs have something tricky they are trying to figure out, wouldn't it make sense to have more people trying to figure it out? It doesn't keep Canaries from posting their own bug reports, so why bother with making it different? The only exception I could see is multiplayer, as then it would serve a purpose to have a small amount testing, as to not overload the servers in the process.
 

Lost Ninja

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#6
They've said a couple of times recently that they plan on using Canaries more in future.

Personally I'd say:
Basic Game - No R&D, No Unstable (Based on if you won't fully support the game then you don't need any of the extras. But Canary is an option, it goes without saying that if there are two functionally different parts of the game then both need to be tested.
Basic Game + DLC - R&D + Unstable (if you want).

Canary is something that should be offered to those who show either a commitment to the game or who finds and reports bugs. Canary should also get some limited dev like tools to make bug finding easier.

I'd also suggest a sort of elite canary who would get nightly builds (or similar) for first look bug finding. And would only available to Basic Game + DLC who are already proven canaries.

And ditch the forum status badges apart from canary/beta deluxe. Because sure as eggs are eggs people will want into any program that offeres them even if they have no interest in actually doing the work.
 
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Pink Kitty

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#7
So, canary = Unstable
And elite canary = canary.

There are no nightly build TMK.

Sounds like what you want are new names.
 

Lost Ninja

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#8
So, canary = Unstable
And elite canary = canary.

There are no nightly build TMK.

Sounds like what you want are new names.
Elite Canary = What are currently internal only builds. Some of which go to unstable as bug ridden messes. Elite Canary (as it were) are used to get some of the glaring issues caught before a release goes to unstable. Normal canaries (plus non-canaries) can then submit bugs with unstable that either harder to catch, or less problematic. Making full point versions (0.5, 0.6 etc) much less buggy meaning those people who don't care about bug finding and just want a stable game to enjoy can.

Canary/Elite Canary get bug finding tools.

Unstable is in effect the old weekly builds.

TBH I don't really care about what anything is called, nor do I care if anyone knows who does what. Making the game easier to debug, and/or to track known bugs is a good way that people like me (who have virtually no other skills) can help... ;)
 

Jamie

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#9
We're very much aware of how much we use R&D for testing new blocks and features currently - so don't worry :) You aren't being neglected, we just roll things out a little differently than we did a year ago (with TT_Unstable).

We have plans to massively spice up the R&D Test Chamber - and do want to go back to the old habit of pushing new blocks through there first for 'testing'. But we're focusing on more core game features at the moment - as i'm sure you all understand are a higher priority :) There is a bit of an outline of some of the things we'd like to add to R&D here - http://www.terratechgame.com/blog_RoadTo1.0.htm

With regards to Unstable > Canary > Elite > whatevs. We used to use the Canaries in a similar way to what we use TT_Unstable for currently. Everyone essentially becomes a Canary when they switch to the TT_Unstable branch and give us feedback - which is awesome. It's better for the game and everyone involved to have as many people playing TT_Unstable as possible.

We (mostly @Adriano ) have plans for what Canaries can do with us in the future - as some kind of Elite Testing Squad...but it takes a bit of code time to achieve what we're after. It will happen when things are a little more progressed.

So TLDR; we're aware of R&D and Canaries being on the back burner recently -- but we have plans to give them some major love when the time is right kinganton

What would you guys like to see in R&D that isn't mentioned in the Road to 1.0 Blog?
 

Olli_DXD

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#11
We're very much aware of how much we use R&D for testing new blocks and features currently - so don't worry :) You aren't being neglected, we just roll things out a little differently than we did a year ago (with TT_Unstable).

We have plans to massively spice up the R&D Test Chamber - and do want to go back to the old habit of pushing new blocks through there first for 'testing'. But we're focusing on more core game features at the moment - as i'm sure you all understand are a higher priority :) There is a bit of an outline of some of the things we'd like to add to R&D here - http://www.terratechgame.com/blog_RoadTo1.0.htm

With regards to Unstable > Canary > Elite > whatevs. We used to use the Canaries in a similar way to what we use TT_Unstable for currently. Everyone essentially becomes a Canary when they switch to the TT_Unstable branch and give us feedback - which is awesome. It's better for the game and everyone involved to have as many people playing TT_Unstable as possible.

We (mostly @Adriano ) have plans for what Canaries can do with us in the future - as some kind of Elite Testing Squad...but it takes a bit of code time to achieve what we're after. It will happen when things are a little more progressed.

So TLDR; we're aware of R&D and Canaries being on the back burner recently -- but we have plans to give them some major love when the time is right kinganton

What would you guys like to see in R&D that isn't mentioned in the Road to 1.0 Blog?
Wow, so guys haven't "forgotten" about us!

Ps. I think a racetrack would be awesome to have, maybe some quicker wheels included?
 
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streak1

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#14
Depends on what shape of a track it is. I don't think that an oval Nascar sort of track would be needed, as we already have the flat expanse of R&D to test top speeds. But a track with different sorts of turns and stuff might be nice.

Though, outside of Gauntlet, you don't have tracks that you need to go fast on. Samples of the different biomes would be better, and I think they want to add that at some point.
 

sentryman

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#15
I heard new weapons are coming, from lathrix, I hope those weapons come out soon, btw there needs to be a jet engine that sound like a jet but doesn't use fuel
 

JimmyBlether

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#16
I heard new weapons are coming, from lathrix, I hope those weapons come out soon, btw there needs to be a jet engine that sound like a jet but doesn't use fuel
Sorry bro, but this thread is almost 2 years old.

About that jet, it sounds like the Venture Zero Prop, which has been out for ages.

On a happier note, I like your profile pic. 'Stargate Coffee'.
 
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#17
On this thread though, noticed a lack of new parts in R&D as the new parts are just jumping into the normal game without R&D inspection.

A bunch of old R&D parts also graduated to the normal game.

Are the devs trying to avoid putting the new parts in R&D now?
Better for the masses I guess, but that means the new parts are tested, right?
 
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