Online game development?

Jason Durall

Mongoose
I am in the playtest, and enjoying it quite a bit, and hopeful that my insights and suggestions are of use.

That said, I remember a while ago when this project was first released, that Matthew Sprange mentioned it would be developed in a much more "open" fashion, almost an open-source game - with contributions welcome from anyone who would care to contribute.

What happened with that plan? It seemed overly ambitious, but I am just curious if it was abandoned in favor of practicality, or if it is being instituted in some way I'm not aware of (outside the writer>editor>playtersters>editor cycle).
 

Samvail1

Mongoose
Hi Jason

I suppose you could include all the Signs and Portents magazine stuff which is previewing Conan. Anybody can provide feedback on the material presented in these pages. (Some of which looks to be quite out of date by the way. I too, am a Conan playtester and was dissapointed that some of the material produced in S&P is from the early playtest packs which has already been changed for later packs. I suppose we have to blame magazine production times blah de blah e blah. I would have been nice to see CURRENT information within the pages of S&P)

Sam
 

Ian Sturrock

Mongoose
Samvail1 said:
I suppose we have to blame magazine production times blah de blah e blah. I would have been nice to see CURRENT information within the pages of S&P

Sam

Yes, you do need to blame magazine production times, unfortunately -- it's just down to the difference between me sending an article to Ian Barstow, usually at the last minute so it's as up to date as possible, then having to wait a month or two for S&P to get back from the printer and out to the subscribers, and simply emailing out an update to you and the other playtesters. There's really no way Ian and his team could get a physical magazine out any more quickly, simply due to the way printers work -- if you want a glossy, colour magazine, you need to wait! And I don't think a newsprint style RPG magazine would prove very popular. . .

Despite that delay, the material in S&P is valuable to the people who aren't in the playtest, and we are still taking feedback from readers of the magazine on that material. If anyone spots anything that you or the other playtesters haven't already brought up, you can be sure we'll be incorporating it in the final game.
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
The presence of Conan stuff in S&P isn't really the same thing as the originally discussed Enworld/Mongoose collaborative website online design plan.

I remember thinking "man, this will be a nightmare" when they first announced it, but then it was apparently dropped in favor of the traditional development cycle.
 

Samvail1

Mongoose
Ian Sturrock said:
Samvail1 said:
I suppose we have to blame magazine production times blah de blah e blah. I would have been nice to see CURRENT information within the pages of S&P

Sam

Yes, you do need to blame magazine production times, unfortunately -- it's just down to the difference between me sending an article to Ian Barstow, usually at the last minute so it's as up to date as possible, then having to wait a month or two for S&P to get back from the printer and out to the subscribers, and simply emailing out an update to you and the other playtesters. There's really no way Ian and his team could get a physical magazine out any more quickly, simply due to the way printers work -- if you want a glossy, colour magazine, you need to wait! And I don't think a newsprint style RPG magazine would prove very popular. . .

Despite that delay, the material in S&P is valuable to the people who aren't in the playtest, and we are still taking feedback from readers of the magazine on that material. If anyone spots anything that you or the other playtesters haven't already brought up, you can be sure we'll be incorporating it in the final game.

Yes, I fully understand the problems associated with magazine productions times. Don't get me wrong, it's great to see a magazine dedicated to providing quality backup for games past/present/future. The production values and content are superb. It just seems a bit pointless to provide material which is older than the current playtest. Some reader comments would be rendered obsolete.

Sorry about the winge. I was very pleased and honoured to help out in my small way with the Conan playtest. It's great to be able to give something back to the industry which has been my hobby for more than 20 years. I'm sure Conan will become a big seller for Mongoose.

Sam
 

Old Bear

Mongoose
Ian Sturrock said:
Samvail1 said:
I suppose we have to blame magazine production times blah de blah e blah. I would have been nice to see CURRENT information within the pages of S&P

Sam

Yes, you do need to blame magazine production times, unfortunately -- it's just down to the difference between me sending an article to Ian Barstow, usually at the last minute so it's as up to date as possible, then having to wait a month or two for S&P to get back from the printer and out to the subscribers, and simply emailing out an update to you and the other playtesters. There's really no way Ian and his team could get a physical magazine out any more quickly, simply due to the way printers work -- if you want a glossy, colour magazine, you need to wait! And I don't think a newsprint style RPG magazine would prove very popular. . .

Despite that delay, the material in S&P is valuable to the people who aren't in the playtest, and we are still taking feedback from readers of the magazine on that material. If anyone spots anything that you or the other playtesters haven't already brought up, you can be sure we'll be incorporating it in the final game.

Appreciate the words, Ian. You are indeed spot on, so I don't need to say another word.
 

Ian Sturrock

Mongoose
Samvail1 said:
It just seems a bit pointless to provide material which is older than the current playtest. Some reader comments would be rendered obsolete.

To some extent that's a problem with all playtesting, since the game is written and developed on an hourly basis! Even sending out weekly playtest packs, there were plenty of times when a playtester would identify an issue four or five days after I'd made a change that dealt with it, but before I'd sent out the latest update with the change incorporated. So, some playtester comments were rendered obsolete too. That said, this isn't too much of a problem after all; if the playtesters made, between them, around 3,000 comments on the game (which I don't think is much of an exaggeration in this case!), even if I only incorporated 300 of those that will have made a number of significant improvements to the finished game.

Likewise if we get 100 people emailing us with suggestions based on the magazine previews, and we only incorporate 5 of those comments (because they're more likely to be obsolete) that's still an improvement to the game.

Samvail1 said:
Sorry about the winge. I was very pleased and honoured to help out in my small way with the Conan playtest.

No apology necessary, I was well aware of the irony of the situation myself. The barbarian class for example probably went through two major overhauls between me sending the preview in to the magazine and it getting published. But even if someone spotted an error in the wording or d20 compatibility of one of the unchanged class features (which there were plenty of), that would have been useful.

Thanks to you and all the other playtesters for all the assistance, too -- we quite simply could not have done it without you, so don't minimise your role too much!
 
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