A discussion over the beta process ensued over the HarpGamer Chat channel. For those who are interested in the problems behind the proces:
Session Start (Herman:#harpgamer): Wed Oct 01 12:52:28 2008
* Tegramon finally understands why ANW has such a small fanbase
Rufford: Ya, the MP is almost impossible to get going
Herman: now you know why I have to hold every noob's hand to get them online
Herman: did you manage to get the session up?
Tegramon: Rufford, that to, but when I bought the game it came down with broken tutorials, IMO, dont want to offend you, but it's a problem of management and presentation
Rufford: I think I have the bulk of the major issues with the GE fixed and more will be fixed with mission parameters
* Herman Teg: are you sure that you aren't one of my multiple-personalities?
Rufford: Tutorials are corrected and will go out with the public release of 3.9.4
Rufford: I managed to crash the client as well
Herman: Teg: there are many reasons for the small fanbase. why do you think it is so?
Herman: lack of a standing server?
Tegramon: Herman: tutorials also, but lack of polish is the most important in a product
Tegramon: game is not really that hard to learn, IMO, you got like ... 3-4 buttons
Rufford: ErikR is trying to set up an official server now
Herman: what is 'polish'? bad UI?
Herman: bad manuals?
Tegramon: polish? UI is not bad for me, but it's slow to respond, unending bugs
Tegramon: manuals are awsome thanks to matrix :)
Herman: I'll beg to differ :)
Herman: most of them talk about things you can't even do
Tegramon: Herman, manuals are according to taste, but presentation, bugs, polish, this stuff really isent
Tegramon: tutorials should be the first thing that should work in a game
Herman: no, the manuals talk about non-existent functions and programs
Herman: yes, I agree about the tutorials
Tegramon: Herman, I only read the part on naval tactics :P
Tegramon: it's a shame though, game has a lot of potential
Herman: it is pretty interesting high-level strategy stuff, but it doesn't really tell you how to play the game, IMO
Herman: y, that may be why people hang around
Tegramon: it's a matter of management I guess
Herman: we see what "it could be"
Herman: not "what it currently is"
Tegramon: Herman: tutorials in the manual are not in sync with the tutorials in the game itself
Herman: that, too
Tegramon: polish and stability is the first most important stuff for a user
Rufford: First I fixed every crash bug I could replicate (exept one from an old 3.6.3 scenarios)
Rufford: Then I fixed a bunch of blocking bugs
Rufford: I fixed the tutorials though you can't see them
Rufford: A new UI? Spare a mil?
Herman: (no one asked for a new UI, I don't think)
Rufford: Well, there is no polishing for this old UI.
Rufford: And lots of people ask for a new UI
Tegramon: Rufford, coding a new UI would probably cost around 300$ for books, tools would probably be free, there's a lot of professional libs out there for almost nothing or free
Rufford: Looking at Qt at the moment Teg
Rufford: A lot of issues stem from old libraries though
Rufford: Allegro and the UI libraries are ancient
Tegramon: let me guess, the game is a port from a DOS codebase right
Rufford: To mac and back again
Tegramon: the way i see it is not as a coders problem (although it involves coding), but of management
Rufford: Do tell
Herman: it's the process that is broken.
Herman: but this is 'boss-level' stuff, IMO
Herman: I won't waste your time since I think only DonG has the authority to fix this kind of stuff
Rufford: But I'm curious
Tegramon: Rufford said earlier that he runs the show?
Rufford: What do you think? feature freeze, check
Herman: no, he is the project manager
Herman: but DonG is the company pres and owner
Rufford: Director of Operations is the official title (woo)
Herman: still. DonG owns
Herman: he decides. final authority and all
Tegramon: feature freeze is a check indeed
Herman: you could no more force a decision on him than my (former) staff could on me
Rufford: Where did you work?
Herman: I used to own my own business
Rufford: What sort of business?
Tegramon: well, if it's a logical and sane one, you'd really be stupid not to accept it
Tegramon: Rufford, I thought you said he was a coder?
Herman: but he can accept all he wants
Herman: he can't make AGSI/DonG do anything
Rufford: So who is AGSI?
Herman: AGSI = DonG
Herman: owner = AGSI
Rufford: Agsi = Don, few other owners, Darrel, and myself.
Tegramon: but a project manager can take a feature freeze decision
Herman: well, it's pretty high up what needs to be fixed
Herman: IMO, everything CAN be fixed
Rufford: Your opinion yes.
Herman: it's just a matter of doing it. and that's been lacking
Tegramon: i'd say the game's in a perpetual beta
Rufford: You don't think I've been improving anything in recent times?
Herman: Teg: yup
Herman: yes, you have
Rufford: But it's all doom and gloom from you
Tegramon: Rufford, you did, we see, but the avarage player simply cares not ...
Herman: and that is good, but the underlying foundation cannot support your efforts
Rufford: Cause you've seen the underlying foundation?
Herman: I've seen the results
Rufford: You make a lot of assumptions Herman.
Herman: I only judge on what is shown
Rufford: But then you say that all the problems can be fixed.
Herman: just like this beta boondoogle
Herman: everything can be fixed
Tegramon: Rufford, since you said the cycle was from DOS to Mac and back ... the foundation i'd say is pretty shaky
Herman: if there is will to do so
Rufford: And I'm working on it
Rufford: Thanks for all of your support by the way
Herman: well, I've had a few ideas which we've been chatting about
Rufford: Please share
Herman: 5-6 points that won't cost you a dime, for the most part
Herman: everything is within AGSI's power to change
Herman: 1. Freeze the feature list
Herman: you say that you have done so, but you simply haven't
Herman: that list of things I posted is indicative of this non-happening
Herman: you still add things. (even if they are good)
Rufford: In the process of fixing issues that you listed.
Herman: I like many of them, but the fact is, the feature list isn't frozen
Rufford: Alright, 1 is a good idea.
Herman: 2. drop all these pretentious sub-fora and hidden systems
Herman: i.e. special fora for bug / feature discussion, etc
Rufford: hah, pretentious
Herman: they dilute the effort
Herman: it's a waste of time
Rufford: I've been working on that for a while
Herman: your best discussion is coming from Matrix, IMO
Rufford: So, 3?
Herman: 3. Everyone gets access to everything.
Herman: i.e. no closed beta
Herman: it's open. the s/n protects you anyway
Rufford: SN does almost nothing
Herman: you don't need this "Special access to the Members" section
Herman: I think I know why Matrix wants it, but it is not needed
Tegramon: I agree with Rufford here, I saw a lot of pirated copies of ANW herman
Tegramon: S/N is moot
Rufford: I don't believe registration is such a high hurdle.
Herman: but will that change once the patch comes out?
Herman: no, the patch will get cracked, too
Rufford: If they make you register for that too, ya
Tegramon: Herman, good point, it wont, it gets cracked
Herman: so, why all the inconvenience
Rufford: You'll have to talk with Matrix about that.
Herman: I know
Herman: but you control your own Beta distribution, too
Herman: to your Beta group
Herman: if they are 'dissolved', everyone needs to get the access to the same version
Tegramon: Beta should be open especially for this game
Herman: I was talking with 3 different beta guys and they were ALL using different versions!
Herman: that's insne
Tegramon: so we're back to management
Herman: drop all the various groups
Herman: make it all open
Herman: no silly 'secret forums' for bug discussion
Rufford: 2 and 3 would be the same then.
Rufford: But a good point
Herman: pretty close, yes
Herman: one reason I don't do anything is because I don't know if it has already been solved elsewheres or not
Rufford: Open bug discussion is de facto as is
Herman: what does that mean?
Herman: that it won't change?
Rufford: It means almost all bug discussion, about 99%, is done on Matrix forums.
Tegramon: well, look at it this way, we're all beta testers
Herman: well, that's probably true
Tegramon: i run the beta, H runs the beta ...
Herman: but even the stuff we can't see, might be helpful
Rufford: Not really.
Herman: you just don't realize how many problems we find because someone mentions something innocently
Tegramon: i should register for beta, might lend a hand to ppl there
Herman: that's the creative process
Rufford: I would appreciate it Teg
Herman: a Noob might say something that makes someone else dig deeper to find something totally unrelated
Herman: no, don't do it Teg. I recommend against it
Herman: read that NDA
Herman: again, this is Boss-level stuff
Herman: the big thing in that NDA is a 5 yr restriction on talking about anything you do
Herman: that's absurd
Herman: just to put it in perspective, H3 (the previous version) came out in 2003). If you worked on it, you COULD NOT even talk about it at this time!
Rufford: Hmm, MP tends not to close out on its own.
Herman: server just died
Tegramon: Herman: it seems that they really are motherly about the product
Herman: so, if you want to sign up for the NDA, just realize that you will never be allowed to talk
Tegramon: not even between us?
Rufford: Well, confirmed the crash I was looking for is fixed. Might have found another
Herman: well, you can take that view
Herman: see what I mean, R?
Herman: you look for one thing, and find another
Herman: that's the creative process
Herman: if someone mentions one thing, it leads to others
Rufford: Well, I'd like to talk freely about all those decisions but I'm pretty sure they would get posted on the internet for eternity.
Herman: keeping the Bug discussion closed is a BAD idea
Rufford: So what's 4?
Tegramon: Rufford's right about this, posting a decision of beta testing on the net for everyone to see, no one does that except small projects
Herman: not finished with Teg's idea
Rufford: Sorry,go ahead
Herman: so, if you feel that a 5 yr restriction is okay, that's your personal opinoin
Herman: I find it ridiculous
Tegramon: ok, but not even among us?
Rufford: Not among non-NDAed folk
Herman: and only serves to muzzle folks from discussing AGSI's real boondoggles
Tegramon: here on the irc? we're practically beta-testers
Tegramon: well, why dont you register H?
Rufford: Most of this was done because of things Herman has pulled in the past. Overreactions I'd say.
Herman: right, but this discussion is prohibited under your NDA
Tegramon: what things?
Herman: see? it's supposedly stuff "I've" done. what a crock
Herman: yes, by all means. we may as well discuss it
Rufford: Not you alone Herman
Rufford: Stuff you and Ragnar pulled
Tegramon: the way I see it that you guys have to settle some stuff ...
Herman: you could not have this discussion if you were under the NDA
Tegramon: so what overreactions?
Rufford: No, I'm not for settling it. I'd rather just move on and make a game.
Herman: because there are folks here who are not under the NDA
Rufford: Hey, I'm under NDA and I'm having this discussion
Herman: no, you aren't talking about any of the bugs that might be in your secret fora
Herman: this stuff is already public
Tegramon: so it's pretty liberal Rufford? I mean, you CAN talk about the problems in the game?
Rufford: We have an anonymous reporting supported in Mantis
Herman: that just isn't supported by the NDA
Herman: and that isn't under the NDA
Tegramon: i dont understand, whats the overreaction stuff with herman?
Tegramon: you guys need to settle this
Rufford: I believe the NDA is there to protect us against information being posted on the websites
Herman: yes, let's take a detour and talk about it
Tegramon: Rufford, that is a good thing, I totally agree
Herman: ah, let's talk about that for a moment, then
Rufford: Alright, so there have been a couple personalities in recent history that seem to want to take control of the game
Tegramon: posting info about beta stuff is a no-no
Rufford: Ragnar was one
Rufford: Herman was another
Rufford: is another
Rufford: Ragnar left
Herman: see, that's where we'll disagree
Herman: I don't want to control this game. Ragnar did, yes
Rufford: So Ragnar accusses Herman of copying his database
Herman: yup. to control the game
Herman: he just can't get over the fact that we did something so that he could not control the game with his DB
Rufford: As Herman seemed to have come out of nowhere with a huge database aproximately the same size of the DB2k (another database) we looked into
Herman: we gave an alternative and he just couldn't take it
Rufford: I looked at the data and a lot of it looked identical
Herman: the Y2kDB is much larger
Rufford: Hold on, just giving my side
Tegramon: this accusations are really childish really, who the **** cares who's database is as long as it improves the porduct?
Rufford: Well, Ragnar never copyrighted his database anyway
Rufford: And the only one owning intellectual property is Larry Bond
Herman: and facts in the natural world cannot be 'copyrighted'
Rufford: People work really hard on these things Teg
Rufford: And there were at least a few instances of scenarios copied
Rufford: Another issue is Herman posting the bugs everywhere under the sky
Rufford: Now, I'm not for hiding our problems
Herman: another falsehood
Tegramon: Rufford, then why are we talking about DB stuff? I really dont see how someone can take control of the game unless he sabotages with a better DB and refuses to share
Herman: which scens. Exactly
Rufford: But posting in all the forums and then just leaving it there so no matter what we do, that snapshot stays, irked us
Herman: speaking of sabotage...
Herman: (Link: http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23874)http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23874
Rufford: Teg, the game is really in the content creators
Rufford: The people making scenarios
Tegramon: I agree with this, if old bugs are posted and taken care of they should be erased
Rufford: Herman and Ragnar managed to start a civil war
Herman: many points are raised
Rufford: Drove away a lot of the content creators
Herman: let's examine them
Rufford: What else....
Rufford: Oh yea
Rufford: Every breath from Herman seems to condemn us
Rufford: I wonder why he plays the game
Rufford: That's about it from me (thanks for letting me go first)
Tegramon: we all like it
Herman: let's start with that NDA:
* Rufford got a crash log from the server btw?
Herman: "you agree to hold all results and AGSI data (including but not limited to Serial Numbers, Executables, Test Data, Quality Assurance Data/Procedures) confidential for a period of five years from now. You further agree to not defame, nor attack, any other Harpoon player, product, developer, team member, or publisher during your time as a Beta Tester. "
Tegramon: we did not finished with the nonexistant buglist though
Herman: sorry, no
Herman: I just shut down
Herman: not even a crash message. just GONE
Tegramon: it's really not polite to let those bugs float on forums if they are solved
Herman: you can't talk about Beta problems for 5 yrs
Herman: and they aren't
Herman: let's focus on that quote
Herman: except for the 5 yr requirement, it's a fine requirement
Herman: problem is, everyone ignored it with the exception of ME
Herman: so, that's why I would never sign up for it
Tegramon: well, as you saw, Rufford is pretty lenient when we talk between us. Who would care? Girlfriend? Wife? ...
Herman: when it is openly flouted by everyone under the sun. everyone flame with impunity, I'll do the same
Rufford: The NDA is there because him and Ragnar
Rufford: He should be worried
Herman: there you go
Herman: that's why I'll continue to ignore it
Rufford: That's fine
Herman: since it will only be enforced against me
Herman: been there, done that
Herman: not stupid enough to do it again
Tegramon: well, Herman, the bug list you posted, is still viable to this day?
Herman: now, let's talk about that
Tegramon: beacause if it's not ... that is where the problem really stems from
Herman: this 'bug list' I supposedly posted was a link to the "mantis" bug-tracking system
Herman: sure, I quoted from it, but it was an open system at that time
Rufford: Nah, was on usenet as a list of issues
Herman: no, it wasn't
Tegramon: usenet? bad place to post buglist :(
Herman: we are talking about different things, I think
Herman: you'd better find a reference, then, Rufford
Herman: if you can find it, I'll talk about it.
Rufford: So is gamesquad for that matter
Herman: it doesn't exist
Herman: there was a listing on GameSquad
Herman: a link to your Mantis
Tegramon: anyway, posting buglists on many many forums would really damage the credibility of the company herman, depends on what forums and the tone, but I would not like it for my app
Tegramon: and depends on how many forums
Herman: it's the same bug list on every forum
Herman: SimHQ, SubSim, HarpGamer, ScenShare, Matrix, GameSquad
Herman: everywhere Harpoon discussion appears
Herman: I support every forum that supports Harpoon discussion
Tegramon: well, any player who sees it might feel deterred from buying it ...
Herman: Open Harpoon discussion. I don't play favourites
Herman: that's their prerogative
Herman: I only post what can be proven
Rufford: We're talking about very bad PR Herman
Herman: but there are also folks who have written to me thanking me for the list
Rufford: You're a horrible PR machine
Rufford: For all your talking about helping, preventing sales does not help develop a better game
Tegramon: it's also mine, I work in software dev, i'd not like my app to sit near a huge bug lists on 6 forums
Herman: they say, "it gave them a better idea of what they were buying". they still bought the game
Herman: I hide nothing
Tegramon: well, this posting should be more controlled
Herman: it is updated every time a patch comes out
Herman: how much more accurate does it need to be?
Rufford: You're not getting it
Tegramon: Herman, but are those bug lists accurate?
Herman: if there were no problems, then it would disappear
Rufford: Everyone looks everywhere and sees bug lists
Herman: they are checked with every patch
Herman: that should not be a problem
Rufford: Teg, I put them in Mantis so I could deal with the issues
Rufford: (Link: http://hud3.harpoon5.com/mantis/my_view_page.php)http://hud3.harpoon5.com/mantis/my_view_page.php
Tegramon: Herman, the idea is that anyone who looks at Harpoon discussions the first thing he sees are bug lists, once he takes a look at the screenshot for the game and sees the old dos interface, he's gone
Rufford: Might have to change the selected project
Herman: if everyone checked everywhere and saw Harpoon discussion, you'd be happy, too
Herman: you can't have the good without the bad. I hide nothing
Rufford: You advertise everything bad as much as possible
Rufford: That's the issue
Rufford: One place, that'd be reasonable
Herman: when there is so much bad, it is hard to highlight the good
Herman: it is not reasonable
Herman: people will talk about the game where THEY want to meet
Herman: not where AGSI / Matrix want them to meet
Rufford: Well keep fighting the good fight there
Tegramon: yeah, but on 6 forums is really bad for PR ... I guess you hoped that would force AGSI to solve them ASAP?
Herman: I post on SubSim, SimHq, etc because that is where those fans want their info
Herman: I don't go on SubSim and say, "come to Matrix/AGSI to discuss it,..."
Herman: that is simply disrespectful of SimHQ, IMO
Herman: they go to SimHQ for their data; not Matrix
Tegramon: Herman, than the bugs should remain only to those who beta test them, no software company posts their bugs on public forums, none i've seen so far, it's awfull for reputation
Herman: if you want to try and re-direct discussion to your forum, that's your right
Herman: I post the info where THEY want it
Tegramon: Herman, yeah, but it's bad for reputation
Herman: Teg: do you know that the ONLY reason there is a 'Public Mantis' is because the lists were already out there?
Rufford: So I think we're not going to come to an agreement on this issue
Herman: no need to come to an agreement, I think
Rufford: I disagree Herman
Herman: I post publicly what I like
Rufford: The reason we engaged the list is because we finally had the resources to do so.
Herman: I won't be censored
Herman: well, that's your view
Herman: I have a different perspective
Tegramon: Herman, but it's bad for sales, few people come to know and appreciate the game
* Rufford tries to remember that this is about a video game.
Herman: My perspective is that you finally had to deal with it since everyone else was reading it
Rufford: How long were they posted Herman?
Rufford: So what changed?
Herman: and it got people talking
Rufford: How many years from posting to when I put them in Mantis and started working on them?
Herman: and the HC list is still posted
Tegramon: Herman, so the way i see is that your trying to force AGSI hand to fix the bugs by making a public aggressive PR campaign, it's commendable, but there should be another way. more diplomatic
Herman: yet the HC list seems to get smaller with patchs
Herman: not so with the ANW list
Herman: no, it wasn't to force anything
Herman: if AGSI fixes, great
Rufford: It's got smaller in the last 3.9.x patches
Herman: if they don't, well that's their choice
Rufford: If we just stop developing the game, oh well
Tegramon: so why did you not modified the list Herman?
Tegramon: or you did?
Herman: the customer gets to know exactly what he is getting himself into. if he agrees, he buys. if he doesnt', he walks away
Herman: I do
Herman: every patch that comes out, we check the bugs
Herman: and we take off those bugs that are fixed
Rufford: I don't see it as so altruistic
Herman: we leave the ones that aren't
Herman: R: well, that's your opinion
Tegramon: Herman, it's honest I agree, but this is not how the business world is working, if i'd done that for the company i worked for, i'd be getting fired in 5 minutes tops :)
Herman: done 'what'?
Rufford: He doesn't work for us so it doesn't matter
Herman: that's exactly it
Rufford: But don't expect us to be happy about it all
Herman: and no one cares about your happiness
Herman: we just want a functional game
Tegramon: done as in posted bug listis for software to the public, bug lists are strictly internal, granted the NDA's for any company is tops 6-12 months, even less
Rufford: Ya, we're all working for that
Herman: and we'll have to disagree on that, too
Herman: doesn't seem that way,
Rufford: Which issue?
Herman: okay, back to bug lists
Rufford: We're not resolving this, what's next
Herman: let me read back up
Herman: okay, we were talking about 5yr NDA
Herman: it's silly and useless
Tegramon: 5 year indeed is silly
Herman: especially since no one observed the terms
Rufford: Annoys you so I guess that's more about our happiness
Tegramon: i signed NDA's in the past, mostly for 6-12 months
Herman: so, you need to get the betas out there to everyone who wants them
Tegramon: depends on the product line though
Herman: is that #4?
Tegramon: Herman, arent beta's out?
Tegramon: i registered my legal copy of the game and got the beta
Rufford: No, was #3
Herman: they are under 1) the Matrix membership requirement 2) there are 'private' betas, too
Herman: okay, #3
Tegramon: private beta's? strange
Herman: there are two ways to get a beta
Herman: you must register with Matrix
Herman: I wish not to do this
Tegramon: i did that
Herman: there are also private Betas
Tegramon: i dont plan on selling ANW
Herman: these betas are ONLY avail to folks in the Beta group
Tegramon: well, it's again a PR problem
Herman: so, you maybe running Beta 394.6, but the private beta might be 394.7 or 394.8 or 394.9...
Tegramon: you can't ship beta copy's of the game to all ppl
Herman: who's shipping anything?
Herman: you just put it out for folks to DL (if they want)
Tegramon: Herman, the private beta's are patches or entire game snapshot?
Herman: what's the point of testing 394.6 and it could already be fixed in 394.8?
Tegramon: beacause if they are entire game snapshot, they'd give the game for free
Herman: no, the betas still require s/n
Herman: so, you need a legitimate s/n to install/run them
Tegramon: that can be easily overcome, but they are patches or full game?
Herman: full game
Herman: not full game
Rufford: The internal betas are just the exes
Herman: only the exe files, right?
Herman: the hotfixes are that, too
Rufford: With an installer
Herman: let's get back to i
Herman: the beta out right now is 394.6
Herman: so, we test with it, right?
Herman: well, that's kind of a waste of time
Herman: because there may be 394.7 an already out
Herman: so, we are testing 'obsolete' software
Rufford: The Matrix beta is on the only beta process out there besides what I run on my box
Rufford: So I understand that worry, but it's unfounded
Herman: 394.7 might fix something we just discovered in 394.6
Herman: so, why bother?
Tegramon: Herman, so this means we're beta testers, as probably most of us on this irc channel are, then we should have registration and NDA accounts set up
Herman: no. I will never again work under an AGSI regime
Herman: let's concentrate on the process
Tegramon: ok, you guys should settle this
Rufford: Where's the nearest pit?
Herman: so, if 394.6 is out and 394.7 and 394.8 are in the private beta, we are really wasting time testing 394.6
Herman: simple as that
Herman: we are testing old stuff. why not just be testing 3.8? same difference, really
Tegramon: true, but then we should register for the agreement and we can all have the bleeding edge
Tegramon: solution is simple
Herman: sure, registrants would have the latest, but it is simply WRONG to restrict it
Rufford: There is no .7 except what's on my box now
Herman: you've read Matrxi
Herman: some of the best ideas come from Noobs
Tegramon: Herman: agreed
Herman: and casual non-beta folks
Tegramon: again agreed
Herman: R: that may be the case, now. but that wasn't the case earluier
Herman: I spoke with 3 beta guys. one had 394.1, another had 394.3 and the last was on 394.4
Herman: so, they all got different versions
Herman: and they are YOUR beta group
Rufford: I guess I should make updating mandatory somehow
Rufford: That'd solve it
Herman: so, restricting this stuff is only hurting your testing
Herman: just put it out publicly
Herman: all the time
Rufford: We'd have the same issues
Herman: every time you got a new one, put it out
Tegramon: Rufford, you could set a limited license on the betas so they all end the same date
Herman: only of guys don't want to get the latest
Rufford: Many many versions being mixed up by a good deal more people
Herman: the beta guys told me that they had different versions because that was what you sent them
Herman: just like that BurntFingers idiot
Rufford: I announce them in a mass e-mail
Herman: let me find the link
Rufford: Hey, try to tone it down
Tegramon: Herman: a software company does not give out betas to everyone, beta testing is always closed, and also a software company never publishes bug lists, that belongs to internal management honestly, you have good ideeas, except for those two things, no one does them ...
Herman: if they want to keep it closed, then they do it that way
Herman: this 'open' beta charade is just that. a charade
Rufford: The question is
Rufford: Is it the smart thing to do
Rufford: Only to you Herman
Herman: (Link: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=1772044)http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=1772044
Rufford: I don't know the details of the re-sell issue but seems it could be worked out
Herman: that's where old Burnt said that not everyone in the Beta group got the same versoion
Tegramon: i dont see it
Herman: let me grab the quote
Rufford: I don't read that...Think I'm missing it
Herman: "GRRR.... OH NO YOU DON'T.
News as it seems to you, AGSI policy was NOT TO SUPPLY THE RELEASE TO ALL BETA TESTERS. DON'T BLAME ME!!!"
Herman: he got an older 'beta' when the 'elite' beta guys got a newer release
Rufford: He was flying off the handle
Tegramon: Herman, he meant the release available under matrix download
Rufford: No, nothing like that
Herman: he is part of the beta group
Rufford: I gave a beta build to individuals so they could confirm some bug kills
Rufford: It was informal
Herman: but some guys in the beta group got more recent versions e-mailed to him. he couldn't get a coopy
Rufford: He later did.
Tegramon: probably each has assignments?
Herman: but you just don't see the problem, eh?
Tegramon: each beta tester on an area
Rufford: I see you blowing it out of proportion.
Herman: again, your perspective
Herman: I point out a fact and you claim it doesn't exist
Herman: either it is true or it isn't
Rufford: You call the guy an idiot and then quote him to prove a fact
Tegramon: anyway ... the game is suffering from your wars, what does it take for you two to reach an agreement?
Herman: he is an idiot
Herman: even idiots get things right
Rufford: And quoting him would be idiotic
Herman: your perspective, again
Herman: even a moron can count to 5
Tegramon: ok, stop it both of you, this is getting nowhere, NOWHERE
Herman: I am still answering to the accusations
Tegramon: you should reach an agreement
Rufford: Patience Teg
Tegramon: both of you
Rufford: Simmer down
Herman: I had my plan, but I'm kind of distracted by the accusations
Rufford: I doubt we'll get anywhere but it's an interesting exercise
Herman: I can continue with my plan, if you prefer
Tegramon: Rufford, im simmer, but dont you see it's getting nowhere ... ?
Rufford: I do prefer
Herman: or I can answer to the accusations
Rufford: I don't agree Teg
Rufford: I'll make time for the accusations
Rufford: Or the response rather
Tegramon: Rufford, ok, tell me your view
Herman: do I answer the accusations or go on with my proposal?
Tegramon: yeah? answer the accusations, might as well have the whole picture
Herman: I'm working through Rufford's list
Rufford: I've read your responses many times on the forums (not that I'm not willing to hear them again)
Rufford: The ideas you're listing are more productive
Herman: I'm trying to keep Teg engaged, too
Herman: okay, the next accusation was about scenarios and databases being copied.
Herman: which scenarios, exactly
* Herman that's a new one to me
Tegramon: Herman, from AGSI?
Herman: no idea
Tegramon: or another player?
Rufford: From another scenario developer
Herman: I never heard the accusation until today
Herman: so, which ones
Rufford: Really, I believe he posted about it on the Matrix forums
Herman: you must have the titles
Herman: then please point them out to me
Herman: I never saw them. I could have missed it
Rufford: I'm looking
Rufford: This might take a while
Rufford: Might wanna move forward
* Rufford is still looking.
Herman: just a sec, please
Herman: okay, let's do the other accusation
Herman: about the PlayersDB
Herman: I've also answered to them on Matrix, too
Herman: now, you say that you've looked and drawn your own opinions.
Rufford: So quick interruption. I don't really care about this stuff except for how it leads to more bad PR.
Rufford: this stuff = the plagarism issue
Herman: well, it plays a major part
Tegramon: Rufford, but is one allowed to talk of bugs on AGSI forums?
Herman: okay, I have all the intermediary phases of how I built HUD into the PlayersDB
Herman: the problem is, AGSI never bothered to talk to me ONCE. not once about this
Rufford: We looked at the results
Herman: if you wanted to see how I did it, I would have shown you
Rufford: And have our perspective
Herman: instead, you look at this crap
Rufford: I looked at the databases
Rufford: Later on someone (I think Ragnar) presented a spreadsheet
Herman: and I could pretty much tell you exactly how and where that stuff came from, but no one bothered
Herman: I saw that, too
Herman: and I have my own, too
Tegramon: yeah, but on matrix seemed to be a discussion on banning users from posting bulistis on AGSI
Herman: are you leading somewhere else, Teg?
Tegramon: buglistis sorry :P
Rufford: Go ahead Herman
Herman: I'm sorry. did Teg have a question?
Rufford: Herman talks more about banning than we do.
Herman: maybe I should answer it first?
Rufford: I've started many discussions on bugs
Tegramon: Herman, you were banned?
*** ChanServ has changed the topic on channel #harpgamer to "HCE: Bringing you war from across the globe" (CV32).
Herman: well, the fact was/is, people got banned on Matrix/AGSi for talking about bugs
Herman: I am back on Matrix, but not on AGSI
Herman: nor am I on AGSI IRC channel
Herman: notice how the AGSI developer has come over to HG channel to talk about this stuff
Tegramon: they have a chan?
Rufford: This is where the action is
Rufford: Everything else is handled in IMs
Herman: so, bans remain in effect and a part of the AGSI way of doing business.
Herman: simple as that
Tegramon: so you are banned there herman?
Rufford: He is
Rufford: Too divisive of a player
Herman: he just gave his opinion
Rufford: Why is he divisive?
Herman: and mine is that I refuse to have bug talk squashed
Tegramon: its about PR
Rufford: Because many people believe he copied his work
Herman: again, your perpsective
Rufford: I'm telling you why you are divisive
Herman: and now we get back to that accusation
Herman: why, because I refuse to confess to things I didn't do?
Rufford: Confession wouldn't help
Herman: so, we were on this DB crap issue
Herman: well, only if it were true
Rufford: But once again
Herman: and I'll continue to spit in the eye of all false accusers
Rufford: I don't care and you don't care about AGSIs irc channel
Herman: it's the fact that AGSI continues to try and restrict discussion
Tegramon: let's be polite
Rufford: Your discussion
Herman: so, it comes back to the bug problem
Rufford: We're pretty free with everyone elses
Herman: problems that need to be openly discussed cannot be
Herman: closed channels and fora
Rufford: Let's continue on with the accusation responses
Herman: back to the DB accusation
Rufford: We can get with the other stuff in a bit
Herman: firstly, you say that Scens were copied, yet you cannot find them
* Rufford hopes the HCE guys are enjoying this
Herman: now, we get to the DB accusation
Herman: you have your opinion, and others have theirs
Herman: I've stated exactly where the PDb derived from the HUD
Herman: and even discussed this with Darren
Herman: another database edited by Darren Buckley
Rufford: Darren Buckleys database
Herman: we built PDb from the HUD II
Herman: HUD II was an older H3 database
Herman: Fred Galano built upon it as a foundation for his H3DB
Herman: I worked with Fred on it
Tegramon: for free? pretty decent
Herman: when we decided that the H3DB could not fulfill our needs, I made a variant of H3DB and made it into the PDb
Herman: everyone does this for free
Herman: the big difference between what Fred and I wanted to do was how the DB was going to be edited
Herman: as you know, we don't just change things in the PDb
Herman: we don't crash people's scens
Herman: the way Fred wanted to maintain H3Db meant problems for folks who built scens with it
Herman: it's his way, and it isn't "wrong"
Herman: we just didn't think it was a good long-term philosophy
Herman: so, we parted as friends and I and others continued with the PDb
Herman: when it was ready, we took the scenarios we originally wrote with the Y2kDB and re-made them for the PlayersDB
Herman: anyway, as to the accusations, I'm happy to answer them in REAL court, too
* CV32 is not following the discussion closely, but there can be no enjoyment of this rehashing of old wounds
Rufford: There was no copyright notice
Tegramon: should be a fun process
Herman: not this mickey mouse AGSI or hhq process
Herman: I'm quite happy to find a REAL judge
Rufford: Such drama
Herman: the fact remains, the law does not allow you to copyright what hhq claims that it owns
Herman: let's use a sports example
Herman: if I buy a football team and fire all the players and hire a new team, are they 'copies'?
Herman: they all play the same positions, have two legs, arms, and a head. does that make them 'clones'?
Tegramon: their unlucky
Brains: How about we move this discussion to some place more appropriate... Like ##DB_Wars_Ad_Infinitum or something...
Herman: that's crap
Herman: if the ops want me to move, that's fine
Rufford: Let's do as the OP says
Herman: sorry for taking over the room
Rufford: How about #resolution
Herman: that's fine for me
Rufford: I'm there
Rufford: Sorry about all that.
* Brains shrugs. "No harm, no foul."
CV32: its ok to continue here
Herman: then let's do so
CV32: as long as everyone maintains a modicum of respect
Herman: I prefer it here
Rufford: I'm gonna ban you from the other room for kicks then
Herman: I do not believe I have done anything less than that
CV32: if insults start to get tossed around, then move it elsewhere
Herman: of course. I hope that I haven't issued any
* Brains clarifies that he isn't kicking anybody out, merely suggesting his opinion of the topic... (And he's one that will discuss random offtopic things all the time anyways.)
CV32: and all the other usual rules, like paying proper penance to me :P
Rufford: You have but let's move on
* Rufford sacrifices a cow.
CV32: bravo, i am a fan of beef
Rufford: Please continue when ready Herman
* Brains takes his medium rare.
Herman: okay, so the accusation is out there and I'm happy to answer to real judges
* Rufford its steak tacos tonight
* CV32 will also take a medium rare :)
Herman: mmmm. :)
Rufford: The data is public for anyone to take a look at and judge for themselves
* Brains would go rare but he likes to audition his cooks first.
* Rufford is a friggin grill master.
Herman: so, everyone gets to have their own opinion
Herman: has this one been sufficiently answered?
Tegramon: from my point yeah
Herman: we will have to touch upon it again when we talk about other stuff
Rufford: A lot of actions stem from that issue, yes
Herman: do you wish to continue with it?
Herman: something you need to touch upon, now?
Rufford: Me? No.
Tegramon: me? no
Herman: as I see it, scenarios were claimed. but none can be produced
Herman: so, until I actually get a file, there's not much else to back up that accusation
Rufford: Correct, I can dig that up from the annals of the internet some other time but there's a lot of garbage to sift through
Herman: you'll have to find it
Rufford: And I'm getting pretty hungry
Herman: it's the first I've heard of it
Herman: well, sorry
Herman: this crap takes a long time
Herman: I'm not trying to drag it out
Herman: okay, the next accusation was:
Rufford: Herman and Ragnar managed to start a civil war
Herman: many points are raised
Rufford: Drove away a lot of the content creators
Herman: sure, that war happened
Herman: and it didn't involve AGSI, so it is pretty irrelevant to this discussion
Tegramon: was it like the american one? :)
Rufford: Usual internet flamer wars
Herman: and the next one:
Rufford: Every breath from Herman seems to condemn us
Brains: Nah, the American one was much more interesting... And productive actually.
Tegramon: well, chasing off users is AGSI problem
Herman: just like my posting on every forum
Herman: if folks want to talk about good things in Harpoon, I'll talk about them, too
Rufford: But don't expect to be treated nicely then
Herman: no one stopped AGSI or anyone else from posting features on the same forums that the bug lists were posted to
Herman: not be treated nicely for what?
Rufford: We can post in forums all day or develop the game instead.
Rufford: For preaching about the evils of AGSI.
Herman: oh, about the censorship?
Herman: well, I'll continue to do that if it continues
Rufford: Not exclusively
Herman: for what, exactly then?
Rufford: But in this I will say, you were not always unprompted
Rufford: Bannings and th general attitude towards you
Herman: for not believing that AGSI developers can ignore the laws of mathematics and physics?
Herman: please be specific
Herman: if you can
Rufford: I was specifically referring to posting buglists everywhere. But we've covered that.
Herman: I keep hearing innuendo and slurs. some details, please
Herman: and the rest?
Herman: I'm still hearing the same accusations
Herman: so, the accusation was, again:
Rufford: Every breath from Herman seems to condemn us
Tegramon: if buglists arent allowed on AGSI's forum and or site then it's normal what herman did
Herman: so, I will continue to condemn censorship and bans
Rufford: They are allowed on AGSI's forums.
Herman: not before
Herman: I posted plenty that have 'disappeared'
Herman: I just gave up on it
Rufford: In the public forums? yes
Herman: well, that's where they 'were'
Rufford: Ya, and we covered how we don't want the most public face of AGSI to be a list of bugs
Rufford: Hence the censorship
Herman: I think I've answered to Rufford's accusations
Herman: at least you admit to the censorship, then
Rufford: But beyond the buglists
Rufford: You badmouth us constantly
Herman: now, the rest of the proposal
Rufford: At this point, it just makes me wonder what drives you to do so.
Herman: when you fix the problems, I'll say all kinds of sweet things, too
Rufford: Don't hear that
Herman: it's just that you haven't so I won't
Rufford: I hear, "They introduced a lot of new bugs with that"
Herman: and how is that untrue?
Herman: if you want me to change the syntax, I can
Herman: I'll say, "These new issues were reported after the XXX patch" instead of "These issues were created by XXX patch". Will that make you happier?
Rufford: But realize in all this sharing of our perspectives, in the end you are a customer and I will treat like any other customer.
Rufford: I want Teg to understand that as well
Tegramon: well, after all we're all just "customers"
Herman: if it means that things won't be fixed, it doesn't matter
Rufford: "These bugs were introduced in this patch" is at times patently false.
Herman: then I'll say that they were reported after patch XXX.
Herman: okay, that's fair
Herman: does it change anything material?
Herman: it's not like the behaviours can't be reproduced
Tegramon: Rufford, it seems some poeple put a lot of passion in the game, i dont see it as a bad thing, the purse can be "milked"
Rufford: Much of this discussion is about context
Herman: no, it isn't, IMO
Herman: these are substantive issues
Rufford: People are so passionate they kill off interest in casual customers
Herman: no, they know our passion
Herman: they read the game reports
Herman: they hear us playing and trying to enjoy the game
Tegramon: Rufford, sadly the other way around is what happend to Spore :)
Rufford: Ya, not very enticing at all
Rufford: Not saying you can't say these things
Rufford: Just that I don't appreciate it
Rufford: I'm sure you can live with that
Herman: different opinions, of course
Herman: now, what was my last proposal?
Rufford: Lack of concern about what the other thinks
Herman: let me look it up
Tegramon: i never "bought" anything from AGSI, although I can say I was a little scared when I sought a review and found the buglist, but the product proved to be good despite it flaws, excellent game with good marketing potential
Rufford: 2 and 3 were about opening up forums and betas
Tegramon: anything before*
Rufford: We have a demo coming out again.
Rufford: That can help
Herman: okay, talked about opening up the fora and testing
Herman: it's all part of the creative process
Herman: we need to see what others are saying and thinking
Herman: whenever you posted an idea on Matrix, you got a (hopefully) thorough response
Herman: if that had been the case before, AGSI probably wouldn't have so many problems
Herman: okay, #4
Herman: you need to take the PlayersDB and circulate it like any other DB
Herman: we know it was derived from Darren's HUD II
Herman: and it's just hurting your users to deny it otherwise
Rufford: No one is denied
Herman: this stance just continues the antagonism within the community
Rufford: You advertise it constantly
Herman: and if you send it out with the patch, that would be excellent
Rufford: We made it easier to change databases in ANW. That's about as far as I can go
Herman: in fact, we would have no objection to including other DBs with our installation
Herman: if other DB editors want us to include it with our installation, we'd probably do it because it is good for the game
Tegramon: that would lessen AGSI controll
Rufford: Don't hinge anything on getting your db in the official release.
Herman: we want all dbs and scens to go out with a single click
Herman: it helps the new users to get everything and not one piece at a time
Herman: like I said, these are what I think need to be done. this stuff costs AGSI NOTHING
Tegramon: is the ANWDB so bad?
Rufford: I actually have a problem with PDB
Rufford: It's too large
Herman: valid point
Rufford: The game runs slower with it
Rufford: You should consider making an MP version that is a subset
Herman: there is a 'way' around it
Herman: I have thought of that, too
Herman: but let me conitnue
Herman: PDb does not want to be exclusive
Tegramon: but it tends to
Herman: if other DB editors want their stuff going out with our own, we could accommodate
Tegramon: most of playerDB though ...
Herman: we could package all 5-10 DBs and the players could get the whole shebang with one click
Herman: but the other editors have to ask for it
Rufford: You can manage those databases. We'll make it easier to switch between them
Herman: that would promote your game
Rufford: I don't seeing that add much value
Herman: it is pretty easy already, isn't it?
Herman: 300+ scens? how could it not
Herman: but if we put 600 in an installation, then that is even better
Tegramon: 300+? I got the std PlayerDB installed and dont have that many
Rufford: They can get them anyway
Herman: you should have almost that many, Teg
Herman: we wrote that many (not all are out, yet)
Rufford: Besides the question in value
Herman: let's pause a moment
Rufford: We can reference the old plagarism issue which would just bring up the DB flame wars again
Herman: we already put out the PDb LOTs as an after-market installation
Herman: and it wouldn't
Herman: if it is an AGSI product, then no such claims can be made
Herman: we know that the DB 'structures' are claimed by AGSI
Herman: and, AGSI already says that we cannot' sell' scens or DBs, then how is that not defacto ownership by AGSI?
Herman: of course, your interpretation of the law may be different, but I see it as all AGSI property nonetheless
Rufford: Cause we don't own it?
Herman: and no different from the Doom judgment
Rufford: Not familiar
Herman: According to what Vince has told me and the links he provided, Doom asserted it's ownership over all residual works created for that gbame
Herman: some guys tried to create levels, etc. for sale
Herman: according to the judgment, the owners of Doom were deemed to be the owners of the materials made with the Doom editors
Herman: that's the quick and dirty of it
Tegramon: ah, the WAD wars, was so looong ago
Herman: and how it was basically explained to me by Vince
Rufford: the binary database
Tegramon: WAD was the extensions that the "levels" of doom had
Rufford: scenario and platform in one
Tegramon: textures and the like, maps
Herman: I'm not a game journalist or jurist. all I know is the opinion I was given
Herman: which I do not believe to be in error
Herman: anyway, sending off the entire packaged deal is the best idea, IMO
Rufford: What's this about anyway?
Herman: we WANT you to take our DB and scens and go Make Money with them
Tegramon: so this is the underworld of harpoon :) did not imagined the harpoon was so smeared with blood and wars and issues :)
Herman: if you offer a patch with 300+ scens, you can bet that is added value
Herman: you dont' think so, but I believe you in error
Herman: Tony and I were chatting about this and not many users seem to go with third-party works
Herman: in our opinion
Herman: even when we make it as easy as PDb, many stick to the 'official' scens
Rufford: I'm not up for managing it all
Herman: even though they are offered throughout the internet, consumers aren't taking advantage of most third-party offereings
Herman: what's there to manage?
Herman: when you are ready to patch, you grab the latest and off to the races you go
Herman: you don't do it daily, weekly, monthly. just when your official patch goes out
Rufford: So where's the QA process in that?
Tegramon: I can allready see it that the Harpoon 4 : MIA would have PlayersDB included at only the price of 80$
Herman: and what are you promising?
Herman: you only distribute. you make no claim or warranty
Herman: you are providing service/value to your customersw
Tegramon: AGSI needs to ship and claim a functional product Herman
Tegramon: they should claim it is of quality
Herman: and they can easily put in a disclaimer, too
Rufford: Can't just pile a bunch of goodies in a bag
Herman: look, if you want to argue quality, that's a red herrin
Rufford: It's not the sum of of the parts
Herman: most of your ODB scens are broken
Herman: outright broken
Tegramon: exactly, needs to go through birocracy, QA tests and the like
Rufford: Your perspective. Ya, we're removing those too.
Herman: things dont' fire, no ViConds, etc,.
Herman: that's not even a fair argumebnt
Tegramon: things dont fire at all?
Herman: they are broken. outright broken. do we need to show exact details?
Tegramon: no, but my general opinion is that Rufford stopped caring
Herman: some things just don't fire At ALL
Rufford: I know they are broken.
Herman: okay, and the same applies to the ANW DB scens
Herman: lots of problems
Herman: and they aren't "just a matter of taste"
Herman: things just don't fire/work
Rufford: So why should we include PDB again?
Herman: value for your customers. more things for them to play.
Herman: you can say that you don't like our style, fine
Herman: but, IMHO, the quality is high because they are Functional
Tegramon: AGSI would do well to appreciate player's contribution, the standard ANW scenarios that ship with the game are for the most part worthless, if ppl would stick to them they'd throw the game out the window
Rufford: Ignoring everything technical, you are still a divisive character with other content developers. It aint happening
Herman: we know the ViConds Work
Herman: right, Teg
Herman: let's back it up
Herman: technically, they are good for AGSI and the game. is this in agreement?
Herman: they work, they add diversity, etc... right?
Tegramon: i concure
Rufford: A healthy diverse community is good.
Tegramon: or however it's spelled
Herman: so, the 'obstacle' is the "other content providers"
Herman: is that where it would stick?
Tegramon: meaning you
Tegramon: well, he did said your a divisive character
Herman: let's flesh that out
Rufford: Haven't I fleshed it out in last few hours?
Rufford: AGSI doesn't like you.
Tegramon: probably you did not impressed the people at AGSI with those buglists postings, DB Wars ...
Herman: and so what?
Rufford: That's as simple as I can make it.
Herman: they like their wallet
Rufford: We're not going to entangle ourselves with you.
Herman: this will make them money. does anything else matter?
Tegramon: they dont want to risk entangling with you
Tegramon: lol, yeah
Tegramon: it's standard corporate stuff, they dont wanna risk with divisive personal
Tegramon: a company is as an empire, unloyalists die
Herman: so, what is there to resolve? you won't look out for your own self interest due to egos and pettiness, for sake of a better word
Herman: again, why does it have anything to do with me?
Tegramon: Herman, they dont wanna risk, that's the drill
Rufford: We're not going to include your database.
Rufford: That's endorsing you.
Herman: I'm not a rep of AGSI
Rufford: We're not going to be a rep of you either.
Tegramon: they dont want to deal with you at all, have any connection at all basicly :P
Rufford: Well, I'm here and talking.
Rufford: But I'm not endorsing PDB.
Herman: yeah, and that really wasn't a choice
Herman: then that's your loss and your users
Rufford: Okay, so what else?
Herman: okay, where were we
Herman: right. let me see
Herman: oh, testing
Tegramon: Rufford, try to think a little clearly, that DB plus scenarios could really bolster the game, corporate crap aside :)
Herman: but you don't want to be involved with me, so maybe it isn't worth mentioning
Herman: no, AGSI can't do it
Herman: that would mean that "the evil HH 'forced' them to do it and they can't be seen to not be in control..."
Rufford: Your perspective.
Herman: anyway, testing
Rufford: I'm here because this is where the testing is going on.
Tegramon: lol, during this discussion one if it would could really had written a basic harpoon engine in XNA
Rufford: I ask you guys to play in the betas and collect the crash logs.
Herman: if the goal of AGSI is to have a functional game,
Herman: let's deal with your point first
Herman: you want us to test, yet you want us to do it 'your' way
Herman: which is why there are so many bug
Herman: your way doesn't work
Herman: this Beta 6 is prime example of it
Herman: if we had gotten everyone to update with it, no one would be playing right now
Herman: since we all CTD upon starting a session
Herman: no response? okay, let's deal with my testing idea, then
Herman: you claim to want a functional game
Rufford: What was the point?
Herman: oh, sorry. go on
Herman: the point is, your process is broken. badly
Rufford: What was that the prime example of?
Herman: the Beta 6 CTD
Herman: you released it today and hoped that everyone would just grab it up
Herman: if they had, they wouldn't be playing MP At ALL
Herman: sure, it's beta
Rufford: I put out a bad build. Public beta and public users were the first to do real testing. I'll make MP part of my release testing so that's my bad.
Herman: but you want US to run your beta
Herman: so, we are the only guys who run an ANW Server, so, in fact, we would be forcing everyone to use Beta product
Herman: I spoke out against this to AoA, but he's the owner
Herman: he decided to try and support your beta efforts
Rufford: You went to the backups
Herman: and this is what happens. I didn't think Beta was such a hot idea and preferred 393
Herman: but most of your users are pretty simple
Herman: you can see this from the fora
Herman: very tech-nophobic sorts
Rufford: They can move files.
Herman: they cn
Tegramon: we're not that simple :P
Herman: but you have seen many of their Q
Herman: you are an exception ;)
Herman: well, just realize that many folks don't like to do Beta
Rufford: The beta is optional
Herman: do I need to give you the links?
Tegramon: i'll still say that Rufford just does not care about this discussion anymore, or that's the "subliminal" message im getting
Rufford: No, I'm here
Rufford: I'd be gone if I wanted.
Herman: back to testing
Tegramon: with your soul not really :P
Herman: we have been polite and cordial
Herman: so, what's there not to like? ;)
* Rufford is listening to some Otis Redding special in the background.
Herman: okay, back to testing
Herman: so, you want a functional game
CV32: gnite guys, play nice
Herman: and your current beta group doesn't seem to be cutting the mustard (IMO)
Tegramon: Heil CV32 :)
Herman: so, here's the Grand proposal
Herman: very audacious, but I hope that it doesn't bore
* Tegramon hears drumrolls in the background
Herman: point #5? ;)
Herman: okay, you need it tested
Tegramon: ahead flank :)
Herman: and it isn't getting done
Herman: (or isn't getting done well, IMO)
Herman: one reason for my reluctance in testing is that the goal posts kept moving
Herman: you couldn't freeze the features
* Herman and still haven't
Herman: okay, so if you froze the features, it would mean that the game could have the crap tested out of it
Herman: so, at least ONE point in time, this game might actually work
Herman: you seem to be open to this
Herman: (but your definition of 'freeze' seems to differ from everyone else's)
Herman: is this pretty fair?
Tegramon: you know Herman, during the period of this discussion, one could really code a basic structure for a Harpoon Clone engine in XNA, im amazed how Rufford is working in this rhythm
Rufford: Ya, maybe I played a bit loose. Hooking hotkeys up to existing functions and adding text here and there... not what one can call features though in a feature list.
Herman: you want me to shut up? ;)
Tegramon: me? no, go on
Herman: I know what you did
Herman: I like what you did, but I am very self-disciplined
Rufford: Teg: You and Don could get together on XNA
Herman: I really wanted to ask you for stuff, but I stop
Tegramon: i was musing on the fact that it's not really such a big deal of managing something like Harpoon, now i dont know how complex it is under the hood, but still ...
Herman: I don't want to create more problems
Tegramon: Rufford: he plans to use XNA?
Rufford: He likes anything MS
* Brains retches.
Herman: Brains is still here?! ;)
Rufford: Only to retch
Tegramon: Rufford, the only motive i like MS is that they have good standards
Rufford: I'm pessimistic that anything different from now would happen if I froze features by all definitions
Tegramon: what is the conclusion of this discussion?
Rufford: In fact
Rufford: My 'features' are just giving the user more feedback from the GE
Brains: Heh, I have plenty of other options, but I'd rather not add to the discussion.
Herman: the change would be that it gives you a chance to get everything working
Rufford: And have led to more bugs fixed
Tegramon: make the game open source :)
Rufford: I'm no longer revamping damage models and the like
Rufford: So don't equate that with text output
Herman: okay, so a true 'freeze' is possible
Herman: no, a TRUE freeze.
Herman: no exceptions, please
Rufford: Yes but not likely
Rufford: I will continue to add logging to the game
Herman: that is at least a possibility
Herman: here's the suggestion:
Rufford: It is too valuable to testers
Herman: if it was truly frozen, it would be possible to test the crap out of every function and command
Herman: at the end of the process, everything will at least have been looked at
Herman: that's the first prat
Herman: that is rational, no?
Rufford: Yes but I disagree that I've added features.
Herman: so, were are at:
1) Freeze everything
2) test the living crap out of it all
Rufford: So 3.9.x was about a feature freeze
Rufford: So test the crap out of it
Rufford: Don't be scared of using the betas and when they screw up
Herman: we can define what a freeze is later, okay?
Rufford: Don't believe that the world is ending
Herman: may I continue?
Herman: so, were are at:
1) Freeze everything
2) test the living crap out of it all
Tegramon: it's just a game in the end
Herman: 3) produce a list of problems found
4) present for rectification
Herman: 5) repeat 3 & 4 until done
Tegramon: that's standard management issue
Herman: pretty straight forward, no?
Herman: but here's the kicker
Tegramon: standard industry management stuff
Rufford: What was 3.9.x but that (with a disagreement about the definition of freeze)
Herman: standard problem solving procedure
Rufford: (actually, disagreement about the definition of feature)
Herman: for the sake of argument, let's say that your 390 was 'frozen' okay? you seem to be stuck on it
Rufford: 3.9.1, .2, and .3 were the frozen parts
Herman: for the purposes of this discussion, 390 was frozen
Herman: fine. we'll use your definition for the rest of this proposal
Herman: so, you want me (and others) to test the living hell out of your game
Rufford: My contention here is that you are describing this process as a new thing when I believe I've been doing it for months.
Herman: no, it is a new thing because you haven' been doing it
Herman: the 'test the living crap out of it' isn't happening
Rufford: Your perspective.
Herman: may I continue
Rufford: Go ahead
Herman: sorry, toilet break :)
Tegramon: yet no conclusion from this discussion
Rufford: I can and have gone around begging people to test the releases
Rufford: I put up the releases on Matrix so they aren't under the evil AGSI umbrella
Herman: I am trying to get to the final part of this proposal
Rufford: I put a public Mantis up
Tegramon: well, I play on the latest bleeding edge, not the "hidden" ones
Rufford: Teg: At this time, they are the same
Tegramon: Ruff: got it
* Herman maybe "at this time", but not always
Herman: so, back to the testing
Herman: you want it tested and folks dont' want to do it (maybe)
Herman: so, I propose to test the crap out of it
Herman: I and others
Herman: for the period of one month
Herman: you get a report on everything and must address it
Herman: if you don't want to change it, that's fine. you address it, at least
Tegramon: make him sign a contract in blood that he addresses it :)O
Herman: that should be enough to get it out
Herman: no, there's a catch
Herman: (as there always is ;) )
Herman: I don't care for your money, but I know that DonG cares about his money
Rufford: Christ man, I've been asking people what issues they want resolved for at least a month now
Herman: so, this won't be for free. (but there is a mony back guaranty)
Herman: you want it done your way and I am unwilling to do it your way. I don't know about the others
Rufford: Then I came here to deal directly
Tegramon: hell, i'll beta test for free only to see the game working as it should
Herman: here is the catch
Herman: testing in the real world costs money. I don't want your money, but I know that DonG won't appreciate anything he doesn't have to pay for.
Tegramon: but if it's not gonna improve anything, in that time one could code something else
Herman: (do I need to cite examples)?
Rufford: Let me check my anus for extra funds
Rufford: Sorry,All this talk of the riches of AGSI gets me pretty pissed
Herman: please. no need to be abusive
Tegramon: if only money were so easy to make
Herman: like I said, there is a money back guaranty
Herman: allow me to finish?
Rufford: No one is stopping you
Tegramon: Herman, how much are you thinking?
Herman: so, I have imputed a value for one month of intensive testing. Let's say it is $5,000
Herman: for this value, you get pretty much 24/7 testing
AoA: Whats up
Herman: let me finish
Tegramon: AoA, come to join the war eh? :)
Rufford: No one gets paid 5k
AoA: Are you still having discussions about the politics of the game?!!! lol
Herman: let me finish
Rufford: Yes AoA
Tegramon: AoA, it's educative in a way
Herman: for this, you get a list of everything that is broken
Herman: after one month
Tegramon: you see the commoner vs corporation at work
Herman: this list is given to you
AoA: I know it is... I take it with humour... some don't, just be careful!
Herman: you might have XXX number of issues
Herman: all detailed. all supported
Rufford: A coporation of all of 3 people.
Herman: now, after 1 month
Tegramon: you said there were also others besides you don and darren
Herman: you get a month to do your own testing (however you like)
Herman: for every bug / issue you find that 'we' missed or reported incorrectly, you deduct $50 from the bill
Herman: find 100 things we screwed up and missed? pay notyhing
Herman: now, I don't want your money
Herman: I dont' care who you give your money to
Herman: give it to United Way
Rufford: We don't have 5k
Tegramon: give it to me
Herman: as long as it is out of AGSI pockets, it will work for me
Rufford: So that settles that
Herman: back up
Herman: let's continue with this
Herman: do you see the value of it?
Herman: do you see it as functional?
Tegramon: my Mastercard is open for AGSI donations, even AoA would appreciate a donation
Rufford: And it's not a realistic way to solve all of our problems
Herman: please, guys. let's see if something can be done
Herman: okay, why won't it work?
Tegramon: Herman, you really dont think AGSI would shell 5000$ ...
Herman: if you find 100 problems 'we' missed, you pay nothing
Rufford: So wait
Rufford: 5k possibly to you
Herman: No, but I know that AGSI won't appreciate anything they don't have to pay for
Rufford: Then we invest at least 5k finding another 100
Herman: that 5k is 0k if you find 100 problems we missed
Herman: so, why is that bad for you?
Herman: you don't pay anyone anything if you find errors in 'our' work
Rufford: We pay someone 5k we don't have
Rufford: Either you and another tester
Herman: then they pay you
Herman: and that is bad, how?
Herman: are you not getting value from your money?
Rufford: Then we pay me again to work that 40 hours overtime a week
Rufford: To fix it
Herman: that is $5k worth of good testing, no?
Tegramon: they dont have the money though
Rufford: When we get it for free
Tegramon: you get 5k overtime a week? :)
Herman: Teg: don't focus on the money, please
Herman: if the idea is workable, let's tackle it after
Rufford: Premise was
Rufford: Testing is lacking to say the least
Tegramon: ah, you want to make a point
Rufford: I agree
Rufford: So you want to get paid for testing
Rufford: Or have someone else paid for testing
Herman: I dont' want the money in 'my pocket' or anyone doing the testing
Herman: don't want or need it
Herman: the problem is, AGSI doesn't value anything they don't have to pay for
Herman: if you pay nothing, you just ignore it. simple as that
Rufford: You think the NDA we put on our volunteers is bad, wait til you get involved in our contracts.
AoA: I am happy and thankful to all of you who make MP possible... it was my childhood dream and now I am living it!
Herman: by 'potentially' paying a sum, you won't be wasting time on it
Rufford: Who finds the extra 100 bugs?
Tegramon: AoA, dont want 5k? :)))
* Brains resist the urge to mention Harpoon Online.
Herman: what if there aren't 100 bugs to find?
* Rufford please don't. We're all dreaming about that MMO inflow.
Rufford: How do you prove that?
Herman: okay, let's get back to the concept
Rufford: How do we prove this bug isn't equivalent to that
Rufford: Or this bug isn't a bug
Rufford: Maybe it's a feature
Herman: proof is easy. it is either replicable or it isn't
Tegramon: you bring a list of features
Tegramon: and we separate them from bugs
Rufford: So look at the public Mantis and see the issues I've resolved
Herman: just a sec
Rufford: Things don't work out so simple guys.
Tegramon: especially when there's cash involved
AoA: you guys should chat less and play more!
Tegramon: ppl want guarantees
Rufford: Agreed AoA but sometimes talking is necessary.
Tegramon: Hymn to the Red October really goes with this discussion
Brains: Rufford: If that was in response to me, I was referring to the MP Harpoon game that was played a decade or so ago.
Rufford: Oh really?
Rufford: What sort of setup?
AoA: that was a HC mp attempt, right?
Tegramon: the AOL multiplayer stuff?
Tegramon: AOL dropped it, no big userbase
Rufford: When they went unlimited?
* Brains can't remember if it was AOL but it was something like that.
Tegramon: it was AOL
Brains: Resembled (if not based on) Classic too. *chuckle*
Rufford: Who was the publisher?
Tegramon: something like kimset, or kismet
Rufford: Publishers tend to play fast and loose with source code if you let them
Tegramon: some noname brand
Rufford: I'm told we lost a lot of utilties when h2 changed hands
Tegramon: lol, nah
Rufford: The source was 'lost'
Brains: Yeah, apparently a lot of Harpoon source code was "lost" over the years.
Tegramon: yeah, Kesmai
Rufford: I've only got the AAR
Rufford: Maybe this is my chapter
* Rufford is suddenly very depressed
Tegramon: Kesmai's Harpoon OnLine
Tegramon: a glitter of hope, but failed during that time
Rufford: I got 15 minutes
Tegramon: Herman, maybe you should make a petition about all this stuff online
Rufford: We are considering a bounty system for bugs
Tegramon: we're after all customers :P
Tegramon: get ppl to sign it
Rufford: 10 confirmed bugs gets you some dollars
Herman: no, that's an ongoing thing that I don't think will work
Tegramon: in that case im rich
Tegramon: when does it start? :)
Herman: no, you keep mistaking that someone wants to make $$ from this
Herman: we want a functional game
Herman: so, can we back up a bit?
Rufford: Feel free
Herman: my idea was to get it done in a month
Herman: I said $5k, but let's just say $XX since it seems more palatable to you
Rufford: I don't like the concept honestly
Rufford: I don't think it's very sound
Herman: so, it is:
1) Freeze everything
2) test the crap out of it
3) present list after one month
4) resolve or repudiate list in one month
Herman: I just think it will work
Herman: this 'bounty' stuff wont' IMO
Rufford: Why not?
Herman: this idea gets it over and done with
Herman: no ongoing nonsense
Herman: we want a game by i.e Dec 31, 2008
Herman: this gets it done
Herman: or as close as we will ever come
Tegramon: bounty ideea is good, not ncesarly money, i'd like a harpoon shirt or something, there are other ways of recompensation
Rufford: I'll toss it around. Maybe someone will like it
Herman: of course, I know that AGSI will re-open the feature floodgates after Dec 31, but it will at least work for one day
Herman: I don't think it's fair
Rufford: Teg, we do that for the testers that produce after they sign up with us
Herman: it's an idea
Tegramon: so they do it
Herman: now, your point of what is a bug/feature is good, too
Rufford: A polo shirt with Team Harpoon on it
Herman: that's fair
Rufford: 3.9.x was our chance for wrapping it all up.
Tegramon: yeah, that's a nice thing from AGSI
Herman: as before, the "testers" aren't in it for the money
Herman: you get paid for your work fixing, already
Rufford: Trying to get paper rule sets signed by Bond for prizes too
Rufford: It doesn't look likely until they print H5
Brains: (Make sure the rule sets are the new rules coming out!)
Rufford: ( They don't have any of the old left lying around so it'd have to be )
Tegramon: good point
Rufford: ( Still begging for 3 and 4.1 in binders but they'd have to print a lot to get one)
* Brains wonders where his copy of 3 is...
Tegramon: i still hope this discussion reached a sane conclusion/resolution
Herman: already off on a tangent :)
Tegramon: so many hours in vain? :)
Rufford: Nah, I think we exchanged enough ideas to merit some of it
Herman: current situation isn't working
Herman: and nothing here is up for changing that status
Herman: so, AGSI continues to limp along
Herman: or did I miss something substantive?
Rufford: So what else?
Rufford: So on your ideas
Rufford: Two of them I'm outright saying no
Rufford: The last two
Herman: no, that was it. I believe that the testing proposal was a sure-fire no loser for AGSI. guess you have a different opinion
Rufford: I won't be involved in them
Rufford: In the first 3 I would say we are moving towards them or, in my view, in the middle of working on them.
Rufford: So I like them
Rufford: Just think I'm already doing them
Herman: 1) opening up all the fora / systems
2) open betas
Rufford: So still some disagreement there
Herman: sorry, which were the three you were thinking about, then?
Tegramon: freeze system and the like
Tegramon: there was another list
Rufford: Trying to find 1. I believe your 1 and 2 were actually 2 and 3
AoA: I am sorry to interrupt, can I ask a newbie question?
AoA: How do the successful companies do this beta/debugging process??
Rufford: Ah, 1. freeze the feature list
Rufford: I believe I've done so for 3.9.x and have only given the user more feedback of existing features.
Brains: AoA: That is a complicated question far beyond the time and effort you want to devote. Trust me.
Rufford: 2 and 3 were opening up of the beta process
Rufford: De facto, this has happened
Rufford: Trust Brains but go ahead and ask
Rufford: They hire testers
Rufford: Have teams of them
Rufford: QA Managers
Rufford: They have budgets and investors
Rufford: Or on the other end of the spectrum, closer to us
Rufford: Is open source
Herman: quit blaming the $$, will ya?
Herman: look, I owned businesses, too
Rufford: It's reality Herman
Rufford: What kind of business?
Herman: if I can't find $5k in my right pocket as an owner, I'm not in a business. I'm in a hobby
Rufford: Because businesses are not all the same
Brains: Rufford: No offense, but AGSI's method is pretty dang far from any F/OSS setup I've ever heard of...
Herman: I owned restaurantsw
AoA: Brains, I trust you... I just had the feeling that there must be out there an industry standard for this process... I am sure there are good reasons why they do not apply to our Harpoon case.
Tegramon: catering food makes good money
Herman: one gas station
Rufford: We depend on volunteer testers for everything
Herman: Crimony, it's more management than AGSI has ever done
Brains: AoA: Game companies are seldom even what you would call "successful" in this are
Rufford: Very true Brains
Rufford: So in the end is this
Rufford: No one is willing to invest the money (and yes, money=time=accomplishment) to make this game perfect
Rufford: No one believes its a sound investment
Rufford: Except maybe me
Brains: Rufford: Slight modification... Nobody believes that the terms DonG offers makes it a sound investment. (Regardless of whether DonG is smart / savy / etc or not.)
Herman: better, Brains
* Brains is pretty sure that "nobody" is a strong word too.
Rufford: Alright, a long list of people do not believe it is worth investment
Rufford: Still, I spend my days debugging and improving
Rufford: Nights too
Herman: it does have potential
Tegramon: how much do you make Ruff?
Rufford: not your business
Herman: just the wrong man at the helm, perhaps
* Brains notes that Rufford makes it not "nobody" at least.
Rufford: Just note that I'm still paying student loans
Tegramon: Rufford, got it :)
AoA: Russell, I thank you for that time.
Herman: it really is a management problem
Rufford: Maybe I'll offer them an investment plan
Tegramon: alright, it's morning here, it was a fun discussion though
Herman: the three that you are considering is:
1) Freeze features
2) opening fora
3) Opening beta
AoA: Time that most likely you are not compensated.
Herman: problem is you already think that you have them solved. and this is a major disconnect
Brains: Rufford: Suggest they go F/OSS. While they are recovering from their stroke, offer the investment plan.
Rufford: I said they are in progress
Rufford: Brains: hehehe
Rufford: I'd be black bagged
Rufford: And despite the CTD today I'm happy about our efforts for 3.9.4
Rufford: So try it out everybody!
Herman: you got a new Beta 7 for us?
Rufford: Will have a new build out within a day or two
Rufford: Ya maybe
Rufford: I have it solved now
Tegramon: Rufford, are there any beta registration requirements except the fact that I owe the game?
Rufford: Think you could keep it under your hats that I'm giving certain testers different versions?
Rufford: Nope, just need to sign the agreement and have an SN
Herman: sheesh. the more things 'change'...
Herman: and shut your mouth for 5 yrs
Herman: just as long as you are willing to do that...
Brains: 5 years? Sheesh.
Rufford: Or we'll put you in the stocks
Rufford: Throw bad fruit at you
Tegramon: well, why not? as long as you give something back to the comunity
Tegramon: we all love the game
* Rufford has more of a hate/hate relationship with it.
Tegramon: Ruff, you should play one of us some time
Tegramon: Herman would be honored lol
* Herman Teg cheats
Rufford: You would school me easily and I have plenty to do.
Tegramon: it's impossible to cheat lol
AoA: Russell, did you ever get hooked up with it, or was it a job for you, since the beggining?
* Brains is married, but he's pretty sure that he didn't agree to not do anything for 5years after any dissolution of the marriage.
Herman: no, it's possible. just ask AoA
Rufford: Sign up for the beta testing and we'll giveyou all the cheat codes
End of excerpt