Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

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Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby luciderous » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:02 pm

I can see that beta-testers are starting their own threads with early impressions and suggestions. Therefore I am a bit undecided here - should I do the same and and discuss my ideas with the devs in this thread mostly, or should I instead post my impression in other tester's thread instead? I mean - it might quickly go out of control - for the devs especially, to follow what they replied to whom and where, if there is little coordination in this regard.

May I suggest a small moderation tip here? Perhaps having some dedicated official/sticky threads would help? Like these, for example:
- Discuss - Early Game Impressions
- Discuss - Game Design Decisions
- Discuss - Art and Style
- Suggest - Features and Improvements
- Report - Current Bugs and Issues

Therefore, it should become a lot easier to stay on track both for devs and new testers about what is going on with the game, without having to go through all the previous forum topics.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby sven » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:29 pm

I'm happy to defer to your expertise here luciderous. Even with just a handful of testers, I'm already having trouble keeping track of what I've said to who and where :)

Now I think I'll go take your advice, and start a "AMD Compatibility Thread".

If you'd like to start other threads that seem like good candidates for stickied sub-topics, I believe I can mark them as such after they go up.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby mharmless » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:39 pm

Some sort of bug tracking software might be very nice, and make things easier on your end. I don't really know what's popular nowadays though.

Depending on how large this beta is going to get, subdividing discussion topics multiple ways might be a bit much. Discussion of design decisions, at this point, kind of dovetails into features and improvements.

Moving bug reports into their own area (even if a more formal tool is adopted) does seem like a win.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby sven » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:55 pm

mharmless wrote:Some sort of bug tracking software might be very nice, and make things easier on your end. I don't really know what's popular nowadays though.


I've used a few different free tools -- but the truth is, when you only have 1 developer, I'm not sure you can do much better than an annotated TODO list.

I think posting dedicated sticky threads for reporting particular categories of bugs is certainly a good idea though.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby sven » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:12 pm

mharmless wrote:Depending on how large this beta is going to get, subdividing discussion topics multiple ways might be a bit much. Discussion of design decisions, at this point, kind of dovetails into features and improvements.


Eventually, I'd like to transition to what is effectively, if not formally, an open beta. Not quite sure how fast that will happen, but, it does mean that we're likely to need much expanded and improved forum organizational policies as times goes on.

I believe luciderous has worked professionally as a community moderator -- and so I've gone ahead and given him mod powers, in hopes of facilitating the implementation of his suggestions.

Just how to best break up threads is something I'm sure we'll need to experiment with and adjust as time goes on -- but, I'm very happy to have a volunteer willing to take on some of the organizational work.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby Devildogff » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:46 pm

I've moderated quite a few forums myself, so if/when you need more moderators, I'd be happy to help :)
http://www.eXplorminate4X.com - 4X News from 4X Fans!

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Re: Report - Current Bugs and Issues

Postby mharmless » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:41 pm

Maybe an entire subforum for bugs? I could do one post per bug without making those huge digest posts that way. My last digest post was what, six or seven bugs? Easier to follow each bug line. Lock the threads when solution is implemented and confirmed in testing?

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Re: Report - Current Bugs and Issues

Postby luciderous » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:57 pm

mharmless wrote:Maybe an entire subforum for bugs? I could do one post per bug without making those huge digest posts that way. My last digest post was what, six or seven bugs? Easier to follow each bug line. Lock the threads when solution is implemented and confirmed in testing?

I believe that is would be easier for the devs to follow one dedicated "bugs and issues" thread at the moment, instead of keeping track of dozens of new dispersed topics emerging around. Let's try it this way and see if it sticks. We can always change to some other format if needed.
You should probably just post your bug reports one at a time in that specific topic and try to keep them as compact as viable.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby mharmless » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:15 pm

The one thread of just my own finds is already 4 pages long, and I have no plans to slow down. It's already annoying to follow the conversation chain around each issue, and most follow up posts have quoted just the relevant part of one of the digests. We'll be looking at a 10+ page thread in a week, easily.

In a merged thread, the hope of having us all read everything drops to near zero. Being able to scan post titles for similar-sounding issues would probably avoid some duplicate reports.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby sven » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:24 pm

mharmless wrote:In a merged thread, the hope of having us all read everything drops to near zero. Being able to scan post titles for similar-sounding issues would probably avoid some duplicate reports.


Well, the hope would be that the reports in the merged bug report thread are reasonably concise -- making it easier to read through them quickly.

I've been having a huge amount of fun reading your long-form narrative descriptions of the beta gameplay, and I certainly don't want to ask you to stop writing such engaging posts. But -- as a means of submitting bug reports, they do have some drawbacks. I think we may be wise to defer to luciderous's experience here. In future, if you'd make separate posts for each of the replicable errors you've managed to isolate, and put them up in the "current issues" thread, then I'll be more likely to respond to them with appropriate promptness. And if the forum has a consolidated "brief form" of the known issues, then the other testers will at least have a reasonable chance of not replicating all your hard QA work :)

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby luciderous » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:46 pm

mharmless wrote:The one thread of just my own finds is already 4 pages long, and I have no plans to slow down.

You keep up good work, mharmless! No, really - it's very invigorating to have such motivated and thorough people like you on board - you are an example for all us testers.
And concerning your suggestion - I agree with sven - there is definitely no reason for you to stop posting your great reports. You can still post them in separate threads if you like, but it would be nice to have a short notice of the bug reported in the dedicated "bugs and issues" thread nonetheless, for bookkeeping (you can post a link to your specific topic there as well). What do you think?

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby mharmless » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:49 pm

I suppose a digest-digest would work. It probably won't drastically increase the time to do write ups. I'll take a stab after work tonight. Maybe go back and break up the already reported items along that format.

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Re: Dedicated topic for design discussions and/or feature suggestions?

Postby Arioch » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:32 pm

There's no need (at this early stage, at least) for a one-size-fits-all approach. If you have a lot to say, post your own thread. If you have a small item or one related to an existing discussion, post it in an existing thread.


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