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  JGF: Testers needed  (Read 2065 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Posted 2004-08-25 12:40:52 »

The influx of games submitted to the Java Games Factory (see link below in my sig) is getting problematic (i.e. more than I can cope with without long delays). A lot of the submissions haven't been tried in public before, and in order to keep quality high we need to test each one on each of the major platforms (somethnig that the authors are often unable to do themselves for obvious reasons!) - this is also something we're not doing well at the moment, since no-one with OS X has been involved.

As well as basic testing to ensure that we don't add a game that in practice is windows-only, at the moment we provide detailed feedback on any obvious bugs and problems in a game. Often there are one or more issues that mean it's worth trying to get the author to fix them BEFORE we put them up on JGF because otherwise a large number of players will try the game once, get pissed off, and not try it again. Examples include:

- framerate of one frame every 20 seconds (!)
- non-standard keys (e.g. not using cursor keys and not telling the player what the keys actually are)
- fatal crash whenever attempting to play sound effects
- ...etc

So...I'd like to get together a small number of "pre-release testers" who would play each game that was submitted BEFORE it appeared on the live site. To keep things fast, I want to just alert all the testers, who then have 24 hours to try it out and send me a response. After 24 hours, if there are no serious problems, and it's been tested by at least 3 different people, it can go on the site. If there are serious problems, we'd carry on testing until the game was in a basic working state for all testers.

At the moment, this is simply done by email, because each submission comes in by email anyway. The next version of JGF (currently in development) will do this online via the website - testers will be members of a special group that gives them access to view and comment on games that are "under review".

So...please could you send me an email (ceo @ grexengine.com) with the following info:

- OS, RAM, CPU (plus any other OS's you will definitely be bothered to test on!)

Note: you need to have a decent amount of free time. Basically, if it always takes you 5 days to have the time to test these games, there's no point: the point of this is to help developers by getting their games reviewed much more quikcly.

Also note that you are NOT expected to write game-reviews. You're just running the game, and responding with "yeah, works for me", or "it started OK, then it kept crashing at the start game menu", or something like that. Just basic "I spent 5 minutes trying the game" feedback...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 186
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-08-25 12:56:24 »

Have you got some online tracking of this information already? Would be nice for games to be added to a pile with check marks next to each for, for each OS.

Then as your band of testers pops in to have a luck they can quickly see what needs doing and report their results..

Obviously, still keeping this a private list so that the quality of the tests stays high..

Kev

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-08-25 13:23:20 »

EDIT: No, not at the moment. The time it took to set that up now would just be taken away from the time I'm spending getting the CMS ready. So it seems wasteful to do the same system twice Sad.

Quote
Have you got some online tracking of this information already? Would be nice for games to be added to a pile with check marks next to each for, for each OS.
Kev


That's exactly the kind of thing that will appear in JGF v3 - a full CMS, with a proper publishing cycle (e.g. resource to be publishd have to go through a series of stages before they appear on the site, all managed by the system. E.g. for an article: First Draft -> Editing -> Pending Acceptance -> Published. Typically, different people have different access depending upon the state).

So, in this case, the games might have a cycle that went:
- Submit (author provides all details, the final page for people to play the game is created, but NOT given public access)
- Testing (testers are granted access to that page, and the download, and can test and add comments directly to the database)
- Rejected (fixes weren't made wihtin 7 days, and testers didn't approve, so now only admins have access, and if the submitter ignores it they will just delete it after a while)
- Accepted (page permissions automatically altered to become "world readable" and it automatically appears in the index on the site, and people can now play the game

What I do NOT have at the moment (but do need!) is use-cases and HTML layout: I need a set of webpage layouts for each of the various stages, and a list of what data needs to be recorded at each stage, what happens to it when the resource moves to the next stage (e.g. tester comments might get deleted once resolved) etc. So, if anyone wants to have a go at doing a page layout, or providing ideas feedback etc on the publishing cycle I outlined above, go ahead!

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline weston

Junior Duke





« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-08-26 07:58:38 »

Well I was bored last night and decided to brush up on my web stuff, and here are the results Grin:
http://www.cyntaks.com/projects/jgflayout/gamepage.html
http://www.cyntaks.com/projects/jgflayout/submit.html

I figure different options will be available depending on your account type when you go to a game's page, and the status along with some other options would change with the game's status and the 'status' text would disappear once the game goes public. Feel free to use anything or nothing from it, I just did it for fun. Btw, I would have e-mailed you but I didn't see it on your profile and didn't want to look around for it Wink

for(int i = 1; i > 0; i++)
{
System.out.println(i+" cups of java downed");
}
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-08-26 11:19:35 »

Quote
Well I was bored last night and decided to brush up on my web stuff, and here are the results Grin:
http://www.cyntaks.com/projects/jgflayout/gamepage.html
http://www.cyntaks.com/projects/jgflayout/submit.html


Ooo! I like it. OK, so there's a bit that's terrible and needs minor tweaking Grin (e.g. on my monitor the first page has most of the text as "black on almost black") but I think the overall style is great.

If you'd be up for doing some more screens, I'll try my hand at some use-cases myself. For instance, the submission form on the new version will need to be quite a lot different from that - lots of differences and stuff to do with automating the submission process more - which obviously you have no idea of at the moment.

The main page that concerns me right now though is the front page. JGF is:
- pure java games by any developer
- articles on java games development
- extensive info pages on all technologies that might be useful to pure java games developers

...and things which will appear only with the new verssion:
- lots of java-games news (doesn't exist on current version)
- one private forum for each game, to give feedback to the author (and the author has to moderate their mini forum themself)
- online highscore tables for all games that choose to use the free tiny library, with JGF users able to view their "best position in any game", "average position across all games" etc
- ...and quite a lot more, although not all at once

PS: I also heartily approve of the pure-CSS approach (I can't cope with non-CSS based HTML these days).

Quote

I figure different options will be available depending  account type when you go to a game's page, and the status along with some other options would change with the game's status


Yeah. Basically, to you (or anyone else) playing about designing layouts, all you have to do is make the "main" version of a page with placeholders for bits that will change depending upon who is viewing it, or what the status is etc, and make separate HTML files for each of the different options in those placeholder areas which do NOT start "<html>" but instead are just fragments to be inserted directly in, e.g. probably they start "<P>" - we'll be using the open-source templating library Velocity to stitch everything together automatically.

Quote

Btw, I would have e-mailed you but I didn't see it on your profile and didn't want to look around for it Wink


Sorry, the address to use for JGF stuff is ceo @ grexengine.com. It's not my *real* address, but it's got a chain of spam filters on it (ISP, mail server, office mail server) and it's the public address we use for posting on forums like this one Smiley. Filters mean that anything with about JGF (e.g. the word JGF, or the long form, in subject line or message body) will get to me quickly.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline weston

Junior Duke





« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-08-27 01:22:23 »

Yeah, there is some tweaking that could be done both in the layout and with the code (should link to an external css document, and some other stuff). Just wondering how much you are working on this right now, like if you plan on finishing in a couple weeks or what the deal is. My main project right now is the asteroids game I'm working on, but other than that I'm not doing much else so I'd be happy to help out with anything specific that you want done. Not doing much else == I have class 3 days a week and no job  Grin. I have no idea what you already have done and in place, so perhaps some more information in that area could be useful as well as what server side scripting language you are using. If your interested here area couple other pages I have done recently:

http://www.lucid.cyntaks.com
http://www.cyntaks.com/projects

neither are finished, the dream site is on hold for an extended period and I just started my projects page.

for(int i = 1; i > 0; i++)
{
System.out.println(i+" cups of java downed");
}
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-08-27 10:23:21 »

Send me a mail on the above address, so I get your email addy, and I'll get back to you with some more details. Things are still too haphazard right now for me to post here without it just being confusing.

PS this is the first time I've encountered someone else who apparently knows about lucid dreaming.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-08-30 00:22:43 »

Quote


Most links are broken on Mac running the latest Safari browser.  (1.2.3)
Sad

Edit - Err.. it looks like they just aren't supposed to go anywhere Smiley.  I saw the link to # and assumed some javascript wasn't working.

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