A suggestion in regards to the potential/future beta

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BobTank63
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A suggestion in regards to the potential/future beta

A message to the devs on any future betas.

Most of the people on the forums are excited about the beta. This includes me, as I think a beta could be great for the game. However, I think the success of the beta will depend on how it is used, specifically if it is used primarily to collect feedback.

Currently, a lot of FPS titles like COD and BF use betas as primarily a marketing tool. It's a way to get people to play the game a month early so they can tell their friends how good it is and generate more sales. Now, this is all well and good, but this strategy works only if the beta is good. This is why a lot of betas are launched a month before release so that they are as finished as possible. However, since beta is also the first time the public gets their hands on the game, there are going to be a lot of bugs found. The problem is if the game is due out in a month and the game is chock full of bugs, the beta will have a negative reception and sales will be reduced. There is also not enough time to fix the bugs before launch. (See the BF 2042 beta for what I mean).

If SDIF uses this method for the beta the game will probably be negatively impacted. I know Highwire Games has a lot of dedicated, talented people on the team, but this is the first game you guys will be launching. In addition, this game is very unique among the FPS genre due to its new features and documentary style. There are probably going to be bugs. A beta launched in the above manner would be detrimental to sales and there would be no time to iron out the bugs.

What I suggest doing instead is using the beta primarily as a testing and bug-fixing tool. A great example of this would be the game Regiments, an RTS being published by Microprose that will be released later this year. The dev of Regiments had 2 betas, the latter of which took place several months ago. That way, he had time to take feedback from the beta and apply it to make several large improvements and bug fixes to the game. That way the final product at launch will be a much better game and not a Cyberpunk.

An FPS example of the above would be the Halo Infinite playtests. They started off with small portions of the game many months before release and collected feedback they could implement.

My two main pieces of advice for a beta based on the above:
1. Have enough time between the beta and release so that you can fix the issues that players encounter in the beta.

2. Post a notice in-game (the main menu would be a good spot) explaining that the purpose of the beta is specifically to find bugs and issues with the game so that they can be fixed. Encourage the player to report any bugs or feedback to the devs here or on the Steam forums (or better yet have an in-game method of submitting feedback and bug reports).

I hope this advice will be helpful to you.
Disclaimer: I'm not a game dev myself, just offering the advice based on what I as a gamer think would benefit the game after playing quite a few FPS games.
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Re: A suggestion in regards to the potential/future beta

BobTank63 wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:14 pm My two main pieces of advice for a beta based on the above:
1. Have enough time between the beta and release so that you can fix the issues that players encounter in the beta.

2. Post a notice in-game (the main menu would be a good spot) explaining that the purpose of the beta is specifically to find bugs and issues with the game so that they can be fixed. Encourage the player to report any bugs or feedback to the devs here or on the Steam forums (or better yet have an in-game method of submitting feedback and bug reports).
Thanks for writing this up, Bob. We appreciate the advice and concern you have alongside other members of the community. We know you guys want to help make Six Days a success. Betas could be put to better use in our industry. On top of this, community feedback should also hold more weight in our industry. We recognize this and couldn't agree more.

The ability to submit bugs and issues while in-game is a cool idea, right alongside the charity QR code that was suggested a few days ago. This community has already proven vital to the development of our game, on multiple accounts. Passing this on to the team.
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