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Unfinished Games

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Hello all,

So I have noticed lately, on Kong, that there are a lot of games being posted that are incomplete, which would be more appropriately categorized as “works in progress,” and not “finished games.” (I’m sure Vynx will agree with me, lol)

So, this says to me, there would be a definite need on this site for some kind of pre-publishing area for games in progress, so the dev can get ideas, suggestions, criticisms, et cetera, BEFORE putting it on the main games section. I know we have all been beginners at one point, and I want beginners to feel encouraged, but, come on… some of those games are just not ready for the big time (read: they are junky).

Ok, so aside from that, I also would like to have some critique of a game I am currently working on (and have been for three months now), without posting to the Kong page in an unfinished state. Not only is it unprofessional for the dev, but it is disappointing to the gamer.

Also, I do NOT want to consider my game published, until it is ready to go. Further, I do not want just any casual online gamer to see it, and give his two cents, when he doesn’t know jack about games and doesn’t care either (Newgrounds I’m talking to you!!).

I think that there has been some thoughtful comments on the games, and there is a lot of talent here, so I would value the input of the community. SO—- Is this the plan for the developers section of the site, currently? It’s been under construction for a while, so hopefully something really cool is going to happen there…

I wanted to post this under the suggestions topic, but I knew I would rant so I started a new one. But please consider this a suggestion, because Kongregate could really use it!

 
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I think IndyFlashArcade hold a part of the solution on the delicate matter of “incompleted game”. I think the ever growing page game on Kong will someday have to find a better way to sort project. I like the system on DA (deviantArt) because it make it easy for an artiste to label is sketch AS Sketches. Those WIP (work in progress) stuff is not mixtup with the rest of the galery. I think a dev on Kong should have the same opportunity to show thinks but only from is profile page. I think DA is very complex when come the time to submit a piece, but it has the excellent advantage that everything as is place. I dont wish to see Kong being like DA but I’d like to see a way for WIP game to find a place on kong.

IndyFlashArcade : Looking forward to your “unfinished” project. :D

 
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EDIT : I’d like to add that not only work in progress should have there own spot on Kong but also the interesting project “Understanding Games: Episode 1”. Wich I dont judge been a game (sure its a pong game with a very long intro). I think this project also need to be classified an other way, a way the average gamer could ignore it because he will only give it a bad rating before reaching the end. But sort it a way the Dev could go to for reference and tutorial. And what if someone post just a sweet animation. Those are not game but some are worth seeing. See, there is a lot of thing that are not game that need sorting out. Maybe its plan for the Dev section on Kong, let us know. :)

 
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We definitely need a way to do this, espescially once we release our flash API, since devs will want to test all kinds of stuff before going ‘live’. We are thinking that you will be able to upload a test version of your game with several levels of visibility: visible only to yourself, visible to your friends, and visible to the general public. Once you are confident in your game, you will be able to publish it and have it show up in games lists, etc.

 
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For a while we’ve been discussing the idea of creating a sort of “beta” section for developers. We were thinking this could be within each developer’s profile. It would be public to anyone, but users would have to go looking for it, basically. The idea was given to us by Dr Nero (Fancy Pants), who thought it might be cool to have a little place where he could get feedback on an early build of world 2 without claiming that it was in a finished state.

However, I honestly don’t think that any sort of beta section would completely solve the problem with “unfinished” games on the user end. So we can try to please IndyFlashArcade on his quest for feedback without publication, but Vynx probably won’t be able to put away his “incomplete game” stamp anytime soon. The problem is that while you consider some games to be a work in progress, the developer might feel that they are completed. For example, I’ve been interested in writing for over a decade, and while I’d like to consider myself somewhat competent now, I can’t believe the crap I posted on the Internet for all to see when I was 13 years old.

 
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Greg I totally agree with you. I like the idea of the Beta section within each developer’s profile. I think it wont resolve all missplaces incomplet games but it could help clean out the home page a little bit. At least if I “judge” a game incomplet I could politly redirect the dev to the beta section of the web site for comment and help. Still your right, we can’t take for granted that everyone have the same sense of a finish game.

 
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Oh yeah I’d like to have a beta section in my profile and see the beta projects in other people’s profiles.

 
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Well, I agree fully with Greg on the issue of unfinished games on the user end: having a beta section will not stop people from posting buggy, unfinished games on the user end. It just won’t. And, frankly, I don’t think a lot of them are truly serious about games as a business, or about being professional, and that’s fine.

However, as Greg alluded to, there are people out there who ARE serious (and very talented), such as Dr Nero, who could really benefit from a community of developers to help critique works in progress. I include myself in this category.

The only problem that I see about having people go looking for your beta games in the profiles, is that you could post and then not get anybody to look at it. Also, anybody could look at it. It would be a tedious process, to sort through all the dev profiles, and I would hesitate to use it, myself. I feel that a dev-only section (filters all viewers but those with ‘D’), with a games list, would be very, very smooth. Perhaps I’m only dreaming, but that is what I want.

Cheers,
Benjamin

 
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As a follow-up, I also want to say that the only reason I really use this site is to see the new, never-before-seen stuff that would be coming from the developers. I can play most of these games here at other places, but I don’t play games for nearly as much time as I spend making them.

I am interested in the community of this site, (and by all means it’s a really awesome site), but to be honest, if Kong wants to be a hot place for developers to congregate, then they should provide some useful tools that I can’t find on any number of similar such sites.

 
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if Kong wants to be a hot place for developers to congregate, then they should provide some useful tools that I can’t find on any number of similar such sites.


Definitely one of our primary goals. This became clear when we became aware of the incredible amount of collaboration that goes on in the Flash world. What are some specific tools you’d like to see?

 
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an area only for developpers would be great for beta-testing because you wouldn’t get the “wow that game is cool keep working on it” comments but just gameplays improvments or code helps … a bit like a wiki i don’t know

PS: Another suggestion, very fast, place a “reply to topic” at the end of the page so that when u have read everything, you don’t have to scroll up to reply, would be cool :p

PS2: Indy : your game is cool, keep working on it ! :D

 
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Yes, I think an area for developers only would be a good starting place. I would just like to have opinions of my peers with the understanding that the game is not published, this is a beta, and it’s still in production. Just making that distinction is important, because it is one thing to read/write comments about a game, but another entirely to ask for critique and etc.

So, that is the “tool” I was referring to, essentially, aside from the Kongregate features such as ratings, etc. It is a big one, though, and I think it’s worth discussing.

I would like to know if other people have better, or different, ideas. I’m sure I’ll think of some more, too…

 
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Yes, I think an area for developers only would be a good starting place.


So Vynx, Ben (one of the site programmers) and I wouldn’t be able to enter? Hmmm…

 
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Maybe developers, admins, and mods?

 
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My point was more that the distinction between developer and non-developer is somewhat arbitrary. I think someone like Vynx could provide better feedback than someone who hits the “upload” button on a swf that they spent 15 minutes creating. If developers want to keep their beta work somewhat private, then I think a more practical solution would be to give them the power to manually decide who gets to see it (or maybe just people on their friends list or something).

 
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Would it be possible to allow in other developers and also individuals who would have to be manually flagged by the developer for entry? Like a semi-exclusive personal beta program facilitated through Kongregate?

Personally, I’m more interested in the opinions of select non-developers on my projects than in developers. People who make games tend to think about them differently from people who only play them, and I would want the feedback of both.

 
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Edit seems broken, but damn you greg for replying with essentially what I was going to say while I was still reading the thread.

 
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Hmm… Greg makes a really good point. Honestly, I didn’t think about that, but, yes, come to think of it I would definitely value the opinion of Vynx over some others, even though he is not flagged as ‘Developer’ on this site (even though I think that, in real life, he is one). To be sure, there is no easy solution. Like Greg has said, the distinction is rather arbitrary, but Damijin’s & Greg’s suggestion seems like it might be feasible within the current site structure. Like ‘adding a friend’, you could ‘add a beta tester.’

I am less interested in blocking users from viewing my work than I am in making a distinction between completed projects and works in progress. (Specifically, published vs. unpublished) And, also, in creating an environment where unfinished betas can be critiqued for what they are: works in progress. It really changes the way you approach your comments about the game.

And, I think a lot of newcomers, and people learning Flash, can benefit just as much as intermediate and experienced devs.

PS. edit worked fine for me ;)

 
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Wow, we really, really need that reply to topic link at the bottom.

Maybe the Beta section could be something you unlock after you hit a certain level on Kongregate? That would ensure most developers and the more involved/thoughtful Kongregators get to see it, without necessarily exposing works in progress to the masses. It would also be a reward for people as they level up. And there is something about something being closed off that encourages people to give good feedback – we definitely saw it in our closed Alpha. Of course we’re still getting good feedback, but mostly from the people who’ve been with us since then. It would also be a lot simpler for us to implement

 
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I would definitely value the opinion of Vynx over some others, even though he is not flagged as ‘Developer’ on this site (even though I think that, in real life, he is one)

I think someone like Vynx could provide better feedback than someone who hits the “upload” button on a swf that they spent 15 minutes creating.


Thanks guy’s for appreciating my feedback! :D But Greg brings a point, even if I am a flash develloper, I do not have the status of it on Kong. Even if I get the valued blue D on kong some day others may not be dev and may still have good input do give on beta game.

The perspective damijin brings up is also nice. Maybe a kind of friend list for tester could be part of the solution for a Beta section. Or you simply give ristricted acces to certain friends or all your friends. Friends are suppose to be sincere to you and all that. They can do the tester job nicelly. :P

Finally, Emily bring another great idea. Even if level is not a warranty of anything it sure is a proof of devotion on Kongregate. Maybe you could unlock your acces to the beta section after level 5 (or else).

Whatever the rules of acces to a beta section could be, I would work with it. We now only need such a section to existe! :D

Indy: is it me or did you remove the link to your project? I was cought in a lot of work and didnt take the time to go see it.

 
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Ah, sorry Vynx. I removed my link. After all, this is not a self-promotion but a discussion of Kongregate, lol. Yes, now the only question is: when will this developer section be added? I think we are all waiting to see what will happen. ;)

 
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I have note your adress and your link this time. I’ll give you news soon. You may want to reedite your post to remove e-mail. ;P Again thanks.

 
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Friends are suppose to be sincere to you and all that. They can do the tester job nicelly.

I asked a lot of friends to beta test the first episode of Understanding Games before uploading it to Kongregate. While their feedback was extremly helpful, friends tend to give feedback in a very polite way (which is what you expect from them after all), but this politeness can make you overlook major problems. The first comments I got for Episode 1 were rather harsh, so I was very surprised when people where so annoyed by the slow pace of the game. (After working on the series for 6 months, I became blind to such “details”.) Of course for a developer, this is some of the most important feedback. So having some “non-friends” to test your game seems to be very important.

 
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Ah, sorry Vynx. I removed my link. After all, this is not a self-promotion but a discussion of Kongregate, lol.


If you’re being sincere and not just keeping your site a bit private, I should let you know that our forum guidelines are nowhere near that strict, so link away.

 
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friends tend to give feedback in a very polite way


Yeah I agree, but the friend I have on Kong are not traditionnal friend I go hang with to take a coffee. IndyFlashArcade, added me to is friend list without knowing much about me. He added me simply because I post comment on a lot of games and in the forum section. Most of the relation on kong are of this type. They dont mean those kind of person wont become coffee type friend, but you get my point. I’m sure when Benjamin (IndyFlashArcade) ask for my comments on one of is demo, he knows i’ll get him the new perspective he want. Sure i’ll be polite and sincere… but not “mom polite” or “best friend polite”.

So, pixelate, i’ll add you to my friend list. Until we become “coffee friend” i’ll try to give you my insight in the best professional way I can. And i’m sure you can have a friend list on Kong full of those kind of people.

Again, friend base, dev base or level base, the beta section will need a restricted way to get select people.