Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

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GladDog
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Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

Postby GladDog » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:36 am

I was torn. I have been in several alpha tests and numerous beta tests over the years. Most of the alphas would run for 2-3 months, the game would shut down for several weeks while the devs fix things, and then the beta would start. So the typical gap has been about 3-6 months for most games. Now, I am talking about long before the pay-to-beta craze, back when testers were actually testing!

I think 6-9 months is a good gap between start of early alpha and start of early beta. Not the early, early escorted alphas, but the actual play 2-3 days a week alpha when you are expected to post lots of input on the tester forums.
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GasCanGerry
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Re: Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

Postby GasCanGerry » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:51 pm

I also think 6-9 months is a fair amount in order to polish and fix things. If the devs decide 6 months, that's great! If they decide 9 months, that's also great! Take all the time you need in order to give us something both you and we can be proud of devs! (just don't pull a CoT on us and take forever :lol: )

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Greyhawk
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Re: Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

Postby Greyhawk » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:48 pm

In my never humble opinion, if more than three months elapses between the end of Alpha and the beginning of Beta then it was never an "Alpha" test to begin with, it was simply a development test run.

For the Alpha test all of the games elements should be in place. Limited enemies and limited questing, but the core functionality should be up and running and running well. If not, then you're not ready for public testing. Alpha tests are not to expose known bugs (those should be already fixed!), the Alpha test reveals the game mechanic bugs you never knew existed.

For the Beta test you should be looking at server loads, connection stability, phasing, community controls (bans, chat limits, etc.), and so on. The game itself should be running fine and have about 80% of the enemies and quests in place. Beta testing should be confirming you can actually manage the game once it is released.

Far too many development teams jump into the fray and release their game way too early because they are paranoid someone will steal their future customers before they launch. Don't be paranoid. Build a fully functional product that customers can enjoy and the team can efficiently manage. Just by preparing a proper foundation you'll be the one doing the stealing as players "jump ship" to play a better running game.
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JestersGhost
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Re: Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

Postby JestersGhost » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:08 pm

At this point, releasing anything will get players compared to anything else :)

But yes, 3-6 months seems reasonable, depending on development team size, to be taking feedback from alpha and releasing beta.
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Consultant
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Re: Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

Postby Consultant » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:46 am

So far, 6 months and 9 months are almost tied for first place, with 12 months and 18 months in third and fourth.

There is a lot of variation in the real world on this question, but it seems our community is pretty realistic. If a dev team is going to launch a Beta in 12 months, they really need to be conducting a successful Alpha right now, or at least be about to conduct one in a couple for months.

In our schedule, first playable Alpha and Beta activities are about 12 months apart.

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A1fighter
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Re: Time Gap between Alpha and Beta question

Postby A1fighter » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:41 pm

I went with a little over a year. Traditional developers tend to have traditional resources, teams, etc. Still, games are been polished. For example, MvC2 Infinite are working on character faces before release later this year.

Players want the game out asap, but they are also the first ones that will tell the developers to fix, implement more, or ask for powers. The honeymoon of just having an actual Coh successor available will wear off fast, and then players will be players. SoH will stop being compared to CoT and VO, but ESO, WoW among others.

Us players constantly want improvements and additions added to our game. If this is not happening, the devs abandoned it is what they say. Patience :) .


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