Suggestion to collect some early money! And let us play!

I would pay $10 TODAY for the chance to play on your buggy dev server.

What I imagine is this.

  1. Add the ability for the servers to restart every 3 hours or so (whatever number you need)

  2. Figure out how much money it will cost to host a server. When new users sign up, assign them to a server until you have a good number to cover cost. When you hit some limit, split people to a new server.

  3. Optional Add the ability for the server to auto-restart when it locks up(cheap server monitoring tools can do this, checking an API or some other health check)

  4. Maybe setup a 24 hour DB wipe

  5. LOGS LOGS LOGS … for future dev goodness!

  6. Nice disclaimer that if things break bad, you drop and go back to an older build. No guaranteed up time and a big note THIS WILL NOT BE FUN … DON’T GIVE US MONEY.

Wait patiently like the rest of us. Nothing good will come from spoiling the fun too soon.
Not that I would not barge in if the opportunity comes or anything.

From my perspective,

The reason this isn’t being done is because right now there is a limited amount of people actually working in the product and there would be an overload of information. It’d be extremely hard to check every time something goes wrong in these buggy servers since plenty of reports are bound to come in, while at the same time continue core game development. If it is done how you explained sadly it would slow down development time and actually put the game’s release farther away (although maybe less buggy).

The reasons for the stress tests are to do exactly what you said, gather logs, reports, and test the software but as I’ve seen the game devs are running all over the place while a stress test is being done because there is so much that can and usually does go wrong they must be on their toes to gather the info and act accordingly.

One final thing I’d like to add is even though your mentality is not like this but most people as soon as they give money they start “expecting” and that means plenty of customer support, upset because they didn’t get a reply fast enough or something of that matter. The least thing anyone wants, especially the devs are to have angry users and have users experience something lacking in quality especially if they paid for it.

Just my 2 cents.

At this point I think the plan is basically that we’re going to do the next pre-Alpha test, and then around the time we are ready to officially go into “Alpha” we are going to do some sort of crowdfunding campaign (Kickstarter or something like that) to allow people who want to support development to do so. Those people will then get exclusive access to future testing dates, although we’ll likely still do one or two open tests in the run up to Beta just to make sure the servers are still holding up. I don’t think the servers will be up 24/7 right away, but something more like a “full weekend” should hopefully be possible.

I think it’s important to note that we’re not approaching any potential crowdfunding from a perspective of “we need a ton of money or we can’t make the game!”, but rather that in my experience crowdfunding gets you some nice press and awareness in the larger community, it gives people a vested interest in following the game’s development, and of course if we do raise money that’s more we can spend on art, music, etc.

Allowing other people to test the game (while it is helpful for sure) adds a lot of burden in terms of support, answering questions, fixing bugs, etc. Which is fine as the game gets closer to launch, but the reason we haven’t done it yet is because we don’t want to spend a lot of time fixing things that we’re just going to end up throwing out. Usually whenever we prepare for a stress test it takes me around 20 hours just to “polish” things up and fix the obvious bugs I know are floating around…the closer we get to launch the less those hours are wasted on features that are going to be heavily modified.