View Full Version : Preorder and beta thoughts

11-10-2009, 11:20 AM
So I'm thinking of having a preorder beta type thing for Din's Curse. How it would work is that when we get to beta, you would be able to buy the game for a reduced price and also be able to download and play the beta. There seems to be a lot of advantages for a system like this for you guys and for Soldak. A bunch of other indies have used a process like this very successfully.

I think this will be a good thing for you guys. This will allow you to buy the game for a cheaper price (right now I'm thinking 20% off). It also gives you a good chance to be more involved with the creation of the game if you are into that kind of thing. You wouldn't have to participate though, you could just play the beta or simply wait for the game to be finished and then download the release version and play that.

This should be good for Soldak also. It gives us a bit more freedom to release the game when it is done. The more preorders we get, the longer we could polish the game. This would also get us a lot of feedback from you guys before it was too late. We will certainly update the game after the full release like we usually do, but when a game ships there is only so much tweaking you can do. When you are in beta, you have a lot more freedom to change things without annoying everyone. There is also the possibility that this would get us more word of mouth and forum traffic which would be nice.

So what do you guys think?

11-10-2009, 11:32 AM
I think this is a good idea, but hopefully you are also planning a closed beta ... or at least a more informed beta from 'real' testers. I've done a fair amount of beta testing and it is not easy if done right - folks just want a 'taste' of the game early, not wanting to spend time looking for issues, noting balance, checking all dialogue for typos and so on.

11-10-2009, 12:10 PM
It's a great idea. I would preorder :)

I like what Wolfire is doing with their preorder/alpha. They have a "Secret Preorder Forum", only available to those who preorder of course, where people can talk about their experiences with each alpha build, modding, the editor, etc. It adds some "exclusivity" to having access to the alpha, and makes a stronger community out of those that have preordered.

11-10-2009, 12:56 PM
I'd be willing to do it.

11-10-2009, 01:04 PM
Probably a good idea once everything gets situated on it. I had a good first experience in closed beta for Knights of the Chalice and it would almost certainly be a good idea to follow that up with yet more experience. We also had a little password protected subforum where everything got hashed out and it worked well.

Aside from making the game that much better, it is a great feeling to see one's name in the credits for it after throwing the many hours at it.

So long as all went well with the credit card and such I'd very likely be up for it.

11-10-2009, 01:12 PM
Not to sound foolish but..how does beta work? Can we download beta for free to playtest or do we have to pay?

11-10-2009, 01:27 PM
I think this is a good idea, but hopefully you are also planning a closed beta ... or at least a more informed beta from 'real' testers.

We will still have our closed alpha/beta testing as usual.

Not to sound foolish but..how does beta work? Can we download beta for free to playtest or do we have to pay?

If we go forward with this you would pay for the game except you would get a discounted price.

11-10-2009, 02:06 PM
I'm a huge fan of this kind of thing. I bought into the betas for both Gratuitous Space Battles and Elemental. It's fun to see "behind the curtain", and I think it's great that an indie dev can get at least a little bit of income before the product is 100% done (WAY before, in the case of Elemental). So, yeah, count me in.

And it's cool to see so many people posting their interest here, so quickly.

11-10-2009, 05:23 PM
Good idea Steven and on your Pre-order form you could have the options for buying at full price or 20% off - you may just be surprised at how many people would support you that 100% ;)

11-11-2009, 02:01 PM
I think it's a great idea. I'll keep my eyes open for those typos again ;)

11-12-2009, 11:27 AM
I'd be up for this as well :D

11-12-2009, 12:13 PM
I'm glad to hear that this is a popular idea. We are probably going to move forward with this. It will still be a little while, but this should mean that Din's Curse will be playable a little earlier than it would have been otherwise.

11-14-2009, 02:48 AM
Yeah, Din's Curse is a game that I would buy without even checking out the demo, so I'd love an early sneak peek as well!

Delilah Rehm
11-15-2009, 12:39 PM
I'm play testing now and we're in a serious de-bugging faze. A lot of times I'm not sure if it's a bug or not because I don't know if it's part of the game or a code-boo-boo. :D

11-17-2009, 10:31 PM
Excellent idea! Count me in!


11-18-2009, 12:54 PM
I've got to agree. This is a really wonderful idea that really gets the community involved and excited and I think everybody feels pretty proud when they get to play a game that they know they had contributions to, whether large or small.

Indie's really live and die by fostering and expanding their community and Steven, I think this way of doing things will only build upon an already very solid foundation.

11-19-2009, 10:58 AM
This sounds like an excellent way to beta-test a product. Vince over at Iron Tower has put a beta around to certain regular forum goers and has done extensive tweaking prior to the public release.

There are two foreseeable issues:
> with an unlimited number of beta-testers, the logistics of tracking all the bugs, functionality and random requests could get hairy
> if you open the beta up to a ton of people, someone will probably (definitely?) torrent it. Having an unpolished version of the game out there before the official release would not be ideal, to say the least.

People who know nothing about Soldak, and pick up a torrent of the beta because it's free, are going to complain loudly if they find game breaking bugs. A similar scenario basically sank Iron Lore Entertainment.

11-20-2009, 02:00 AM
For a start, the beta won't be free, so I'd be astonished if a supporter of the game would pay for a copy of the beta build and then torrent it, though I guess stranger things have happened.

Soldak has a very progressive stance towards towards piracy of it's software. The 2 games released so far have no DRM and yet the company is still going strong and working on it's 3rd.

Without wanting to hijack the thread and launch into a piracy vs DRM rant, I will say that if the community likes Din's Curse as much as they have liked Depths and Kivi's then they will shell out cash for Din's. The proof is in the pudding.


11-20-2009, 01:13 PM
It really sucks when people pirate your game but we are in danger of that the instant we have a full version available whenever that might be.

We will probably have a big logo or text on the main menu of the game that says BETA, so no one should mistake it for the full game.

11-24-2009, 12:15 PM
One more quick question. If we buy the beta version of the game for the reduced price. When the full game comes out, will we have to repurchase the game again?

Other than that, I think that this sounds like a great idea. Can't wait till the game comes out! :D

11-24-2009, 02:12 PM
No, you definitely would NOT have to buy the game again. You would just patch up to the released version.

11-25-2009, 01:41 PM
Good idea Steven and on your Pre-order form you could have the options for buying at full price or 20% off - you may just be surprised at how many people would support you that 100% ;)

This is a really good idea. I don't mind paying the full price for a beta version of game I know I'm going to buy anyway and will eventually be a full version. Wholeheartedly supported.

11-29-2009, 11:49 PM
The preorder = beta-access pattern does seem to work very well for the projects I've seen use it, and I've certainly been grateful for the ability to "buy-in" early and play and test wherever the game happened to be in development at that time.

It does take a lot of the release pressure off, at least from the perspective that anyone who really-really-has-to-play-it-now can do so, with the understanding that the game isn't finished yet.