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TOPIC: Suggestion for future years: Beta testing

Suggestion for future years: Beta testing 2 years 3 months ago #13

Worked as a blacksmith. Can confirm that while the workshop room had pages with runes on them, none of them matched the runes for the forge room.

Source: Specifically searched each page while on my Dancing Puzzle run on Saturday, after having heard the rumor that the answers were on the pages.

That would have been exceptionally clever, though I cannot confirm if they had more pages in the workshop room on Thursday morning and took some out by Thursday night/Friday morning; I only know they circled and underlined some of the important clues for the workshop room.

If they took pages out in addition to circling and underlining, then it is possible they removed something that clued in the party for the forge puzzle. I never saw the puzzle side workshop before Saturday night.
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Suggestion for future years: Beta testing 2 years 3 months ago #14

I guess for testing there should also be a group of people on Carbondale that look to see if a puzzle or piece of a puzzle can be broken. If it can happen when you are trying....expect it to happen in the dungeon. The chains were too weak and should of been stronger or the puzzle changed into something that did not require pulling on the chain. Long story short people are going to break things maybe we can plan better around this.
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Suggestion for future years: Beta testing 2 years 3 months ago #15

Rob F wrote:

Adam Pillari wrote: I was one of the GM's for room 3 Dancing stones, the workshop puzzle room where everything had to be returned to the proper location on a shelf.

Those of us who worked that dungeon probably know of the issues we had on day 1, where it was exceedingly difficult. Not only was there just way too much information in the room (Actually had one or two guests say "There's no way they expect us to read all of this is there?), but one of the items (Bag of silver pellets) wasn't mentioned anywhere in the papers, at least not in a way that would link it to the red bag. They also didn't have enough time to catch the hints that could have helped them in room 4 puzzle, as most successful parties solved it right at the horn, after one or two whammies.

By the start of the second day, we'd made a few tweaks (Underlined important information, put the silver pellets on the shelf to start), and we were looking at roughly a 50% pass rate for puzzle side, which while tough, was way better than the first day. That being said, the golden ticket runs, and the entirety of the Thursday guests were faced with a room that was not exactly fun (I had a lot of frustrated party members)

After the end of my Friday shift, I was discussing the end results with some of the backstage team members, and brought up the following idea.

When a new computer program comes out, there's a period of alpha and beta testing before it's released to the public. This is to make sure that it's not only "ready", but also helps eliminate errors that might have been missed by programmers. It's that whole thing where you need proof-reading, because although you're reading the right words in your mind, because it's what you expect, the actual code or words on the paper might be wrong and will only be noticed by someone who doesn't have previous knowledge.


What if part of the Wednesday setup was to take people (Possibly from the build crew) who have no knowledge whatsoever of the dungeon mechanics, and have a proof-read "alpha test" of each room? We'd be able to check for inconsistencies, anything that the designers may have missed. For the puzzle rooms, take a group of 10, and see if it's realistic for it to be solved in 12 minutes. For combat, check the slide boards for issues (Had one with an extremely slick center, but sticky gutters) and for room layout (Is there realistically enough room for 10 people + GM to maneuver for quick sliding).

Now, I'm aware that this is kind of the purpose of the golden ticket run. That being said, there's only about 8 hours between the end of the GT and the start of the next day, people have to sleep, and any last minute changes may not be as well thought out as if we'd had a few hours between the test run, and the start of the GT. This would truly make the GT a "Beta test", and might give the GT run a chance at having more polished fun experience, and give a chance to evaluate any changes before things get busy on Thursday.

Thoughts? I'm aware that there's already a LOT of work that goes into this, so this may not be as viable, but I do believe it would make a better experience for guests, especially as expensive as tickets have been getting. If players are paying 60+ per ticket, they're expecting something amazing, and I feel this would give it to them.


+1. Good ideas here


+2
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Suggestion for future years: Beta testing 2 years 3 months ago #16

Lodestone (KH) wrote: Spoilers.
I was on the build, so I can say this fairly confidently. Last year we had a lot of issues and were working down to the wire and this would have been difficult. This year however we had a couple dozen people with little to do a few hours before the GT run. Part of the DM training could have been try a run of alpha volunteers that try to see/do

And even having done the DAS puzzle run three or four times, I never caught that the blower/furnace had instructions in the apothecary. doh. I never heard anyone else relate this before now.

I'm pretty sure the DAS puzzle room had a clue for the skrael mother/queen final battle for combat side. So that was less helpful that way too.

I'm totally for an alpha test, though it should be opt-in so people can avoid spoilers.



Having done the DAS puzzle run three or four times, I actually heard that there were clues to the furnace room in the previous room. I searched on my last run and couldn't find any. Also in none of my runs were we able to successfully complete the Furnace puzzle.
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Suggestion for future years: Beta testing 2 years 3 months ago #17

bpsymington wrote: Not sure if there would be time and resources for this, but it's worth considering. I think the puzzles get play tested before leaving Carbondale.


The question is, are they tested by people who helped design them? Or by people going in blind? And are the puzzles leaving Carbondale identical to the ones that we see at Indy? I know that room 3 was changed at the last minute (It was very different to the email attachment we received at the beginning of the month), which may have contributed to the issues.
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Suggestion for future years: Beta testing 2 years 3 months ago #18

Lodestone (KH) wrote:

bpsymington wrote: Not sure if there would be time and resources for this, but it's worth considering. I think the puzzles get play tested before leaving Carbondale.


As build, stuff gets left behind, stuff gets set up incorrectly. There was some confusion about the Tehlu's path puzzle, and part of it was cut up to fix it. It was found that it was right to begin with and was put back, but this just shows that more eyes are needed to see if a puzzle can be solved the right way, the wrong way, or can't be solved. Still might not catch everything, but it's better than no on-site testing.

I know one of the room 3 pages showed a lot of symbols but recognized the planetary symbols like Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc. I didn't see a page of the blower/furnace runes. But I easily could have missed it. It would have both made sense (that the apothecary had some notes relating to runes) and been an interesting clue for the later puzzle. But I can't confirm or deny. Now that it's torn down, only the TD people can confirm or deny it.


I remember asking the blacksmith if I could go back into the workshop, there was a page on the wall that would make the blower/forge puzzle a breeze. Of course I was kidding about going back, I just wish I would've paid better attention to it when I was in the room..... lol. We were too busy taking puzzle error damage as we guessed the last 2 or 3 combinations in the final minute.
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