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Minor weekly updates

Discussion in 'General' started by boromir, May 5, 2018.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. boromir Apprentice Engineer

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    157
    I'm not trying to sound pessimistic and I'm still very excited about KSH games but I don't understand the recent approach to communication and weekly updates - especially with ME. I've been watching both the SE and the ME forums for the last 5 months. The SE community was getting extremely frustrated with the recent major updates (I don't want to get into that - there's plenty in the SE forums) but at the same time several people weren't experiencing some of the common complaints. Xocli's streams seemed fine too. But I can understand why Marek stepped SE out of the spotlight to do some major polishing in the background. Marek's communications have often been leaning more towards the surprise, and I don't blame him for that, I surprise my kids all the time it's fun. Xocliw's streams have always been excellent in communicating with the community.

    Deepflames communication with the community has been very good and he hasn't been as heavy in the surprise philosophy with ME as Marek has been with SE and I think Deepflame's approach has also helped form a very good relationship with the ME community. His openness has been very appreciated.

    I understand Marek is the CEO of KSH so he can run the business how he likes. The SE community communication seemed like it was getting out of hand so they cancelled the weekly updates and are now doing only major updates with no announced schedule (which is fine). But what I don't understand is this: they cancelled the weekly updates in SE, published and polished the ME 0.6.3 update and then cancelled the weekly updates in ME also. ME has been going along smoothly, why cancel this excellent well-oiled update machine for ME to fall back to just do unscheduled major updates with ME also?
     
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  2. Deepflame ME Director Staff

    Messages:
    379
    Heya Boromir,

    There are essentially two reasons to this. First, the company has decided to shift towards a more test-driven style of releases. In the past it has happened that our weekly releases were not always the most stable. This has an immediate effect in Steam review ratings and thus sales, plus it negatively affects player enjoyment if we release sloppy releases. To this end, we're moving towards more thoroughly tested releases, which means our testing checklists are getting longer and longer. They have finally reached the point where performing the whole range of tests takes so long the testers are no longer able to process it correctly within the alloted timeframe for weekly releases. While this means our builds are more polished than before, the downside is that we are no longer able to push weekly releases.

    The second reason is that while the SE and ME teams are essentially separate teams, we do share the same company. This means that if company policies change, both teams have to fit to match the changes. This has the direct internal benefit that team members are more interchangable, lets say ME has a major coming up, we can borrow QA people from the SE QA team to help out on our QA process and vice versa. This allows us to more thoroughly test our changes, again to prevent broken things from being released to the public. It also makes internal communication easier as people know what to expect from each other.

    And finally, as a bonus, this gives us more time to more carefully implement changes we need to make. While we're not stopping our minor releases, they're just going to be a little more spread apart so we can spend a little bit more time to make sure they're *nice* changes. Right now, we're collecting a bunch of things for 0.6.3 Patch 3, one of the upcoming changes are that we've got some improvements to the MP synchronization of dynamic grids, which took over a week to analyze, develop and test, it wouldn't have been as easy to do if we were still on the weekly crunch. We also have some other little fixes, all in all it is shaping up nicely. Now, we wont be releasing this upcoming Tuesday because it's a Czech national holiday and the office will be closed, but we're looking at some nice fixes for the week after. :)

    In parallel, we're also working on 0.6.4 and 0.7, though we will not talk about either of these releases yet. This parallel development is very practical, but only possible because the weekly releases are no longer slowing us down. :)

    While it's a little less directly communicative, we believe that this way we will be able to develop the game at a faster pace with more polish than before, and we can start communicating with results rather than words.
     
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  3. boromir Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    157
    Thank you, @Deepflame, that's very helpful. To @Merek's credit, both ME and SE are fascinating realized dreams - very ambitious!! He's already accomplished what 90% of the industry is unable to do - complete a project successfully. I'm even more excited about both projects based on your description of Keen's new development processes. I wish you all the best of luck and patiently excited to see upcoming deliveries (including beyond 0.7). :woot: Thank you for filling us in!
    --- Automerge ---
    Happy Czech holiday, @marek_rosa, @Deepflame, @Xocliw and team Keen!! Thank you for representing engineering in a very fun way!
     
Thread Status:
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