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Re: Anyone on this list?

On 30 Oct 2002, J. Perkins wrote:

>A good point against the "release early/release often" approach. But by
>developing in a bubble you lose a lot of valuable feedback. Where
>appropriate, you could release a few small "technology tests". They did
>this with the original quake - just a single, rather boring level that
>you could run around on. Allowed them to find bugs and get some user
>feedback, without really commenting on the quality of the game itself.

But what's the point of comments like "it doesn't work" and "why can't I
use this feature" or "there's nothing to do yet"?

It is slightly different with a game like Quake, it was a follow-up to the
wildly successful Doom2, so it already had a huge fan base. And being
about the only FPS in town didn't really make it worse. :) However, if I
release a "techonology demo" of something I work on I'm guaranteed to get
no feedback at all, as already the name says that there is no complete
game in there.

For normal tools/apps "release early/release often" is good, as the
current version may work at least partially for doing the task the app is
designed for. So users *can* use the pre-1.0 version for something useful,
which a pre-1.0 game is rarely even working and probably not what it
should be: fun.

From this discussion one would think that every game would get huge
amounts of feedback. Well, we got a comment or two for our releases so
far, but we mostly got semi-interested developers (that usually never
really did anything). I don't think anybody ever even tried to run the
game, they just looked at screenshots. :)

You've got a lot of time for abstract thought when you've got your hand
    stuck up a dead badger.
                                 -- Terry Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb