Just curious about how the community would take it. I have a few abilities that need some actors to look a lot nicer and let players know what is going on with visual clues in a melee mod.
My question is: would you release a technically finished melee mod lacking visual effects or perfect it first and then publish it?
Because this is my first map, I do not want to release too early, but I see advantages in releasing early as well considering my mod is essentially bug-free.
A melee mod - The A-move stops here.
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I would put out an open BETA, to get bugs as I perfect it, and then publish it once its finished.
my maps will always be Free. and Available to the public at the earliest possible date.
If you need a tester feel free to ask IShadowWolf.258
You can also catch me on the IRC most times.
First impressions count alot and leave a huge impact.
People will often play a map once or twice then never again, unless they're really impressed.
So as above take your time, test, test, test until you think it's perfect :)
Looking for a Terrainer - Trivial Pursuit
Release it when you feel you are comfortable enough that if you needed to use it in a job interview, it would be a good asset to you rather than detrimental.
Don't set the bar too high but at the same time don't release it when it is clearly unfinished. We have delayed our project over a year and we have gotten a tonne of shit for it, but - I believe that it was for the best. We have had the opportunity to take our time and really polish things up to a level we are comfortable with. Is it finished? God no ... but it is at that stage where we are comfortable releasing it as an Open Beta. There will be a few things missing for sure, perhaps even a few things that people might have wanted from the start, but these things can be implemented in time and are not needed to enjoy the game.
Don't get in the trap of never releasing a project because you feel it is not good enough.
Thanks for the replies. This was initially how I felt about it. I really want to get something out there because I think shipping is important, but I am wary because I know that people only play something once or twice before they give up on it. Seems like it is already hard to get a community to back a mod.
So, when talking about an open beta, do you publish publicly and call the map a beta map or privately and work with testers?
It sounds like I might be pushing out what I have a lot sooner, and, damn, I'll be excited to do so. It is pretty cool to hear some of my friends say they are more excited to play my mod than HotS.
It depends on where you are in development.
We are still in closed beta (and its private) until we are happy enough that we know that a brand new player who has never seen the map before, will be able to join and hopefully enjoy themselves. At that stage we open it publically, under its full name but make clear that its an open beta, but its ultimately up to you.
"Open beta" = something anyone can join (So public in the case of sc2 maps)
"Closed beta" = Only specific people can join (So in the case of sc2 maps, private + you host and invite the people you want to see the map)
I think first impressions matter a lot, which is why I never really release screenshots or videos of my map without creating custom UI images first. Imo custom images/models show that the map has some time and effort put into. I'm not that great at photoshop, but the images I made for my UI are good for a first impression. If you play the map longer, you'll see how the images aren't perfect and so on, but by that time you either like the map or you don't and it doesn't matter anymore.
So in general, I don't think you have to polish up everything for a first release - But definitely finish anything you think gives a good first impression. And then do as Dogmai said - Release when comfortable with it. If you think the not-polished stuff works and looks fine, might as well release it, but if you don't feel comfortable with the current state, then don't release it.
Projects: Starmon - RuneCraft
Get the bare skeleton done, then release it.
Players find problems, exploits and most importantly; fundamental gameplay fuck-ups much more efficiently than you can.
The earlier you catch these things, the easier they are to solve.
Furthermore I believe that releasing mini-patches is easier on you as a developer. It's nice to have a bare-bones map and just add to it in small bursts over time, than trying to shotgun the whole thing at once.
Lastly, if the core concept sucks, you can quickly realise this and avoid wasting your time.
If all that you need is a few actors I'm sure you can delay release for a week until you complete them :3
On the other hand testers nagging about obvious flaws that you knew for a while (such as spell doesn't produce any sound) is a great motivator to open map and and implement that stuff.
Finally, if you feel that you're sick from your project and just need to stop - release it, so when you come back you've got reviews and suggestions on improvements (that is if you're lucky and someone actually plays it).
Bomberman for SC2!
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Status: floating aimlessly beneath the clouds
@DogmaiSea, So, where I am at with my project is I have one ability left to create. After that, I have to create actors for 13 abilities. Everything after that is testing, balancing, and updating.
@TheAlmaity, thank you for the clarification. I have better internet now so I will be logging on and checking Arcade out more. So, you mention screenshots, but is it possible to put videos in the game? I was hoping to create videos of the new changes just because it looks better (to me) than just looking at a picture. Some of my abilities are activated auras that damage enemies. I really want actors for that kind of stuff so their enemy knows to run away instead of checking enemy units for specific buffs. That's my primary motivation for getting visual cues in there.
@Eiviyn, Loving the sound of that. Once I sort out the publishing problems I am having, I will probably push it. Instead of just me having the net, I can hand it to a few more people and get feedback. Once the big monster is over, it is going to feel quite smooth just updating. It sounds glorious.
@DuckyTheDuck, It will probably take me longer than a week right now to create the visual effects and sounds just because I don't really know anything about actors, and I do not know how easy it will be for me to pick it up. Do you feel like people finding a new game and playing it is mostly due to luck with the Arcade system? I'm going to do some research to make sure mine isn't AS lost in the system as it could be.
I have a strong opinion to wait until everything is done before you release. You only have one shot at a first impression. My goal was to leave nothing left in the game that I wasn't 100% happy with, and give the player no reasons to not like the game. Here's why:
1) Those reviews and scores will be around forever, even after the bugs get fixed.
2) I like to blow people away with quality. The "wow" factor is greater when the map is closer to perfect when people first play.
The quality of the average map is pretty low, so you always have the chance to wait and polish until your map is way above average. This is how you stand out.
My usual experience with the arcade is as follows: "Oh look, a new map in the newest tab, I want to check that out" -> Create public game -> wait 20 minutes without a single person checking in -> start anyway to see what's up.
So based on that experience if map blows me away with quality I will try to get a game with other people from mapster, but if it's raw and unfinished.. too bad, I won't be visiting it again :|
First impressions are very important, especially considering what the SC2 playerbase is. If the animations or actors or w/e arent that big of a problem it should be fine. However if they arent and you put it out people will play it once and assume its crap, give you a bad review and never play again. Even in this case every 6 months or so if a map has been unplayed long enough it can come back to life giving you another chance, but youd need to find a way to wipe your bad reviwes by republishing under a differnt name.
And making your game an open beta will mean absolutly nothing to anybody. These are 13 year old kids playing your games not developers, they arent going to go oh its beta its got a few problems but itl be fixed in the future, its the same to them as if you had full blown released it.
I'd probably suggest running your product through a close friend/family member and see what they think as a first impression. Even people who don't normally play games will have good feedback for catching things that stand out. Even if something is placeholder, as long as people don't see it as broken it shouldn't be a big concern.
The feedback you get from someone you can talk to directly is infinitely better than ominous one-way text from a stranger.
Totally on the level with this. I did it yesterday with a friend who seemed to enjoy some things, and their tears told me I needed to fix a few others. It was massively helpful. I decided to throw a couple of maps up, but I don't believe they're in arcade yet (I think?) so no reviews at this time or active players. I should have a decent chunk of time to polish before going all out.
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