Poll Question 345 – When it comes to SP mods, do you play betas or wait for the finished mod?

Multiplayer games and mods are always throwing out betas for users to play. I makes sense. Some smart puppy once wrote Release early and release often (I am paraphrasing) but with SP mods and games, it’s a whole different ball game.

I can tell you that if I ever beta test something for somebody I generally don’t want to play the final release. Partly because I know what happening and partly because I would be a little upset if my feedback were actioned.

Some SP game and mods are so different from the standard product that releasing without plenty of testing would be a disaster. Obviously, all SP games and mods should be extensively beta tested but releasing to the general public, especially if it is a game, is a little risky.

From Earth did just that though and I applaud them for it. I love the creativity Au Heppa has and in general love his work. He generally strays too far away from the standard FPS game style for me, but that’s just a personal preference – doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his work.

To be honest, I wish I had spent more time and effort covering From Earth, but most of its publicity is going to come from ModDB and Steam anyway, so I doubt I would be helping that much.

So onto the actual question.

Quite a few modders release stuff on ModDB early and it seems a few people play what is released. Are you one of them? Don’t you feel it spoils the excitement and anticpation of finally getting to play the mod?

Time to vote

When it comes to SP mods, do you play betas or wait for the finished mod?

  • Generally, I play the beta. (41%, 34 Votes)
  • Generally, I wait for the finished mod. (59%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 83

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  1. Obviously when you play a beta you take a lot of things into account,,
    More than happy to play a beta , I find it interesting to see what changes they make.

  2. I wait for the finished mod, mainly because I don’t like the whole “This game is in its alpha/beta stage. Don’t play it, unless you want to be part of the development process.” thing. I bought an early stage/alpha game on Steam only once, and I still regret it.

  3. Generally, I wait to play the finished mod, but it depends on what kind of time frame we’re looking at. Something like Black Mesa, for example, probably isn’t going to be “complete” for at least another year or two, so I see no harm in playing it now. Besides, they continue to iterate on previous work as well, so a year from now, it’s going to feel like a different game regardless.

    I’m actually not that big on “being part of the development process” because I’d rather let the creators create and see what they come up with. I’m commissioning them for their ideas, not community ones. And that’s generally a marketing blurb anyway as many Kickstarter/Early Access developers act like the feedback matters, but it really doesn’t. That said, if there is a general consensus that the developers have screwed up on something, I expect them to respond to it instead of plugging their ears and hoping it will go away. Nowhere has that been more publicized than the ill-fated Mighty No. 9 project.

  4. If I’m specifically aware of a beta or am invited to work on one for testing, I’ll do what I can. I didn’t find the From Earth project to be worth keeping up on, after finding so many errors in what was purported to be a reasonably finished mod when I got to it. I don’t know whether they’ve fixed any of the problems it had when I was trying to wander through it, but from spelling errors to basic grammar, terribly bad geometry issues, and a really clunky UI interface, I was not gonna be buying into that mod anyway. It looked interesting because of the language bits, as I’m quite interested in that, but… The rest of it just doesn’t look like I’ll enjoy playing it in the slightest unless someone else comes through and really smooths out the bad mapping.

    But mostly for my part, I choose to wait for full releases. For mods, that usually means in reality, a “basically still a beta” product anyway. I don’t expect production-level releases from mods in any way, so I’m usually surprised and impressed by those that manage it.

    It’s a really different story for Multiplayer games I’ve been involved with, the betas are usually loads of fun and you do get to see direct feedback being implemented by the dev teams. When it’s a very small team or (as with a number of mods here/on steam) are non-English speakers, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get the developers to even understand what’s wrong. Some just don’t have time to give a flip about feedback. In those cases though, I’d never under any circumstance pick it up if it goes paid.

  5. For SP Mods a clear no,i dont play betas.

  6. I’m more than happy to participate in a beta to offer any advise I can, but if much rather play a completed mod, especially if its HAD a beta beforehand.

  7. aaron

    i’d play a map or beta if it was going to help

  8. To me, someone who is releasing a beta to the public is wanting to learn more about what other people see and do when they are playing through the mod, as sometimes behavior can be unpredictable and not really what you expect people to do. That being said, if I know that the person making a certain mod doesn’t listen to other’s feedback and just keep doing whatever they want to do, then I will probably not be inclined to play the beta at all.

    It also depends on the type of game too, as something like a first person shooter doesn’t have the same sort of replayability that other game genres have. So, to me, a lot of this depends on what exactly the mod is trying to accomplish as well, as that changes my attitude toward everything.

  9. Duke

    I tried ‘From Earth’ yesterday, but barely got through the first 5 minutes before the seat for some reason wouldn’t go back round. It’s too complicated. Why do developers assume everyone has 30 fingers, it’s just too busy. That was my first look at a beta, not impressed, it was difficult to play and buggy.

  10. I only play closed Beta releases in order to review them for bugs and potential alterations to improve the flow or pacing of the story…

    After I make my general assessment I forward my report to the mod developers and offer to help them along the production of the mod if they see fit.

    In terms of public Beta releases I generally wait for the full versions, that way I can have a bug-free experience and a blind run of the full product as it was meant to be made.

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