We're gonna need more men...

SpiderSamboSpiderSambo Opening Act
edited March 2010 in The Rock Band Network
With today being the first day in several weeks where not a single new song has been approved, do you think it's time we got a boost in the BETA members?

It seems to me like a lot of the BETA testers who would normally spend X amount of hours per day play testing are now buying the approved songs on RBN and playing the game... as opposed to continuing the review process.

I have absolutely no problem with this, with the BETA testers having a hard-earned rest for all their brilliant work... but with the RBN moving at such a constant rate, surely we're going to end up with more and more 'obscure' songs missing the playtesting cut, creating a much weaker trickle of songs coming to the RBN in the near future?

Obviously it's going to get back on track after the RBN BETA guys get a little bored of the songs and get back to the review process... but in that time wouldn't there be a risk of songs missing the cut due to lack of commitment to something that is just a minor hobby?

We can't have another promotion to get more people involved in the RBN process... because there are several people who will have bought the licences... making it unfair on them for buying the XNA and Creators Club... only for a new batch of BETA testers.

It looks like something that will sort itself out, but with 300+ songs in the review process... that might be too late :/

I guess the obvious thing would be to open it up to Europe... but that isn't down to HMX, but Microsoft itself.

I know I'm overreacting a lot, but surely if there's only about 20 BETA members who are utterly committed to the RBN project... then it's slowly going to become harder and harder for new songs to be approved unless they're REALLY big bands that everyone wants to get their hands on first.

Comments

  • bmanincbmaninc Wetter of Fine Pants
    edited March 2010
    I'd playtest if it didn't cost me a lot of money to do so.

    I'm not paying money to help others make money without really getting anything of substance in return.
  • solidsnakejtsolidsnakejt Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    bmaninc;3547998 said:
    I'd playtest if it didn't cost me a lot of money to do so.

    I'm not paying money to help others make money without really getting anything of substance in return.
    you get to play songs before others and make a decision wheter you want to buy it or not:p
  • JixzerJixzer Hillbilly Deluxe
    edited March 2010
    solidsnakejt;3548006 said:
    you get to play songs before others and make a decision wheter you want to buy it or not:p
    ****...that's good enough reason for me...if only my internet wasn't the suck!
  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited March 2010
    I'm definitely affected by this. I have a song that's been in playtesting since the end of January. Before the Creed and Smashing Pumpkins and Stroke 9 and whatever else songs were submitted, I was getting some playtests. I'm on version 3 of my song now. It's been available for playtest for 9 days, and nobody has touched it. And I've been doing playtests myself too. I wish there was some way to keep your no-name songs from going 2 weeks without a playtest when songs from big name bands get enough playtests in 24 hours.
  • Thom1234Thom1234 Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    I'd sign up for playtesting if...
    -I was over 18
    -If I was in the USA instead of England.
    -If a had a lot of money/would get something in return for spending a lot of money.

    The Playtest/Peer Review process is painfully slow, especially so now that the store's open, and so the promise of "New Songs Daily" is already a misnomer (no new songs were put on XBLM today; yes, I know this is whining but still.)

    There is pretty much no incentive to playtest, and that is why so few people are taking part.
  • back_blowsback_blows Washed Up
    edited March 2010
    I have free time and would sign up, if I were in the 'States.
  • Casto21Casto21 Rock and Roll Statistician
    edited March 2010
    SpiderSambo;3547911 said:
    With today being the first day in several weeks where not a single new song has been approved, do you think it's time we got a boost in the BETA members?
    First, there are songs that will finish the Peer Review process today, there are quite a few with only one vote to go and it's is barely past noon on the east coast. These songs do still have to get approved by HMX (last checks and legal proof/approval) and it is a sunday, so I doubt they are in the office working on this.

    Second, of course more beta testers would be nice. Opening it up as a free process is not the answer. Providing a shorter time period at somewhat of a discount to just be a tester might be, and HMX has said that they are discussing this with MS, but not to expect an answer anytime soon.
    SpiderSambo;3547911 said:
    It seems to me like a lot of the BETA testers who would normally spend X amount of hours per day play testing are now buying the approved songs on RBN and playing the game... as opposed to continuing the review process.

    I have absolutely no problem with this, with the BETA testers having a hard-earned rest for all their brilliant work... but with the RBN moving at such a constant rate, surely we're going to end up with more and more 'obscure' songs missing the playtesting cut, creating a much weaker trickle of songs coming to the RBN in the near future?

    Obviously it's going to get back on track after the RBN BETA guys get a little bored of the songs and get back to the review process... but in that time wouldn't there be a risk of songs missing the cut due to lack of commitment to something that is just a minor hobby?
    I'm sure a lot of the beta testers are taking the time to enjoy the songs they worked hard on getting out the door, but I don't see this really causing any slow down whatsoever. A weekend of less testing and reviewing will not cause any songs to "miss the cut". The playtest and peer review process is a long process (can be months). A few days off will not affect it, it might actually rejuvenate it.
  • bmanincbmaninc Wetter of Fine Pants
    edited March 2010
    I don't use charts to decide if I want to buy. I listen to the song.

    You can play it a few times but you can't play online, and you can't keep it.
  • kiggidykevkiggidykev Thinks about pandas
    edited March 2010
    solidsnakejt;3548006 said:
    you get to play songs before others and make a decision wheter you want to buy it or not:p
    I have to empathize with bman here. You're essentially saying you get to spend money on the XNA account to find out if you want to spend more money on the songs when they are actually released. You can actually do that with Youtube and not have to spend anything.

    Peer reviewing isn't for everyone, because yeah, there aren't many people out there wanting to plop down the 100+ bucks for an XNA account. The people that do so are appreciated in the RBN community.
  • TransbrakTransbrak Headliner
    edited March 2010
    I would love to if it wasn't for the 100 dollar entrance fee.
  • Happy DragonHappy Dragon Rising Star
    edited March 2010
    back_blows;3548033 said:
    I have free time and would sign up, if I were in the 'States.
    Bingo!
  • k-mack-mac Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    blueblur3000;3548017 said:
    I'm definitely affected by this. I have a song that's been in playtesting since the end of January. Before the Creed and Smashing Pumpkins and Stroke 9 and whatever else songs were submitted, I was getting some playtests. I'm on version 3 of my song now. It's been available for playtest for 9 days, and nobody has touched it. And I've been doing playtests myself too. I wish there was some way to keep your no-name songs from going 2 weeks without a playtest when songs from big name bands get enough playtests in 24 hours.
    Each weekend on the Creator's forums in General, there is a playtest potluck for trading playtests, which I would reccommend. Outside of that, there are occasional threads of individual people saying they'll do playtest trades.
  • ScottWARScottWAR Banned
    edited March 2010
    Well, you arent supposed to pay to beta test,...beta testers provide a service to developers,.....they should be paid or allowed to test for free. As someone else said earlier,....many people will not pay to do work, while someone else gets paid as a result of your work.
    As long as its required that people pay to be able to beta test,...there will probably always be a shortage of testers.


    Also charging people who will only be testing the same as those who are releasing songs isnt fair at all.

    And no playing the song earlier isnt worth paying that much for. I can use the demo feature to see if I want the song or not as well.
  • UltraceUltrace Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    blueblur3000;3548017 said:
    I wish there was some way to keep your no-name songs from going 2 weeks without a playtest when songs from big name bands get enough playtests in 24 hours.
    Just like getting your song purchased, you might need to go an alternate route of advertisement; I see many groups (including Harmonix bands) making call-outs on Twitter to try and rally playtesting on their songs.
  • ZmsZms Opening Act
    edited March 2010
    Sure, I'm in! :)

    Oh wait... :(
  • G_tarRoCK3RG_tarRoCK3R Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    Being as I'm a only play tester, I think its not really fair to have to be paying $100/year when we are doing alot of work and not really getting anything out of it.

    This is the reason there aren't more testers. The fee should be less. Also to weed out the people would just be mooching, make it so you HAVE to play test reviews & they have to be quality reviews or just ban the people.

    I've seen someone have the idea for points based reviews. If they give good feedback, their reviews should be worth more. HMX implemented a badge system, this could be used to give more power to the better play testers.

    ALSO! If HMX allowed for the free trials of XNA to let people playtest review but NOT submit songs, that would be huge! (then they could give out free trials for testers on this forum) Along side what I say above about point system for review power. (new people have 0 points to attribute) This would be a good solution (I think)
  • SpiderSamboSpiderSambo Opening Act
    edited March 2010
    This is the reason there aren't more testers. The fee should be less. Also to weed out the people would just be mooching, make it so you HAVE to play test reviews & they have to be quality reviews or just ban the people.
    That wouldn't really increase the number of playtesters. If you buy a game but are banned from playing it because you aren't playing it enough... then the backlash would be HUGE

    At the same time, if RBN was free... then you'd get loads of people rating things 5* without actually seeing the chart just beacuse they want the song in the game.

    It's a lose-lose situation and it's not going to get any better unless there's a slight change.
  • G_tarRoCK3RG_tarRoCK3R Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    SpiderSambo;3548185 said:
    That wouldn't really increase the number of playtesters. If you buy a game but are banned from playing it because you aren't playing it enough... then the backlash would be HUGE

    At the same time, if RBN was free... then you'd get loads of people rating things 5* without actually seeing the chart just beacuse they want the song in the game.

    It's a lose-lose situation and it's not going to get any better unless there's a slight change.
    Did you read my whole post? lol If people are just rating yes (not 5*) on everything without providing some kind of feedback, then their points would be little or none and wouldn't count.

    I meant ban as in they can't provide quality feedback so they can't play test for free (or reduced fee) Basically to prevent people from just signing up to play free songs.....aka not contributing.
  • JixzerJixzer Hillbilly Deluxe
    edited March 2010
    Wait, correct me if I'm wrong, but you need an XNA account to get into RBN to be a tester/reviewer right? Isn't this more MS's fault than HMX's that you have to pay? Unless I'm missing something...
  • SpiderSamboSpiderSambo Opening Act
    edited March 2010
    G_tarRoCK3R;3548194 said:
    Did you read my whole post? lol If people are just rating yes (not 5*) on everything without providing some kind of feedback, then their points would be little or none and wouldn't count.

    I meant ban as in they can't provide quality feedback so they can't play test for free (or reduced fee) Basically to prevent people from just signing up to play free songs.....aka not contributing.
    Ah sorry about that, I instinctively jump to conclusions when someone says ban :D

    I can understand taking away the 'quality feedback' thing... but that poses two questions:
    1) If you wouldn't be able to review songs... what exactly would you be paying $100 for?
    2) What if the guys bought the thing realising that they're not going to do it now... but start doing it when they have loads of time to do it?
  • UltraceUltrace Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    Jixzer;3548195 said:
    Wait, correct me if I'm wrong, but you need an XNA account to get into RBN to be a tester/reviewer right? Isn't this more MS's fault than HMX's that you have to pay? Unless I'm missing something...
    You are correct, the fee is not Harmonix's doing at all. I guess some people are suggesting that Harmonix either cover or subsidize the XNA cost.
  • G_tarRoCK3RG_tarRoCK3R Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    Jixzer;3548195 said:
    Wait, correct me if I'm wrong, but you need an XNA account to get into RBN to be a tester/reviewer right? Isn't this more MS's fault than HMX's that you have to pay? Unless I'm missing something...
    I guess what I'm trying to say jix is that HMX should allow for "free trials" (like dreamspark) to be given to playtests (but take away the ability to submit songs)
    SpiderSambo;3548202 said:
    Ah sorry about that, I instinctively jump to conclusions when someone says ban :D

    I can understand taking away the 'quality feedback' thing... but that poses two questions:
    1) If you wouldn't be able to review songs... what exactly would you be paying $100 for?
    2) What if the guys bought the thing realising that they're not going to do it now... but start doing it when they have loads of time to do it?
    1) Basically I'm saying give testers the access for free. If they are banned, they can't do anything lol They don't lose anything except for the ability to playtest for free (like a privliage). Cause lets face it. If RBN play testing was free most people would sign up because HEY ITS FREE! and then just play the songs and not give feedback, or give non quality feedback.

    2) See #1? It would be free, no money lost for play testers.
  • dman2309dman2309 Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    I am in accord with everyone else who says they'd sign up if there wasn't such a huge steep entrance fee price. I don't even know if I spend 100 dollars in a year on DLC. 100 dollars just to playtest songs and still have to purchase them later? It's not really enticing.

    Free trials to playtest I would be all over. It's just as a typical starving college student it's not easy for me to just plop down 100 bucks on something.
  • SpiderSamboSpiderSambo Opening Act
    edited March 2010
    I think the problem is people buying XNA and then the HMX tools on top of it

    At the moment, if HMX tools were to be free for X amount of time, it'll still weed out those who'd just 5* anything by making them pay for one thing at least... while giving those wanting to use developer tools a chance to do something.

    A free 1 month trial might just be enough, it'd allow people to get a taste of the RBN tools (to see if they'd buy them) whilst being enough time to get the RBN songs pushed through.

    Plus, if they only allowed X amount of people per month to get a trial, it'd distribute the play-testing amongst the members.
  • Casto21Casto21 Rock and Roll Statistician
    edited March 2010
    G_tarRoCK3R has the right idea and I have contemplated this idea too. It does require leeway on MS side as far as XNA accounts and costs.

    Getting a play testing account would have a reduced fee. This would allow you to download and test songs.
    - If you download without testing then the account is close
    - If you download and provide 'dummy' tests (yes on everything with no relevant info) all the time then the account is close
    - If you download an do a decent job, then you can continue to test
    - If you download and excel at testing, then you are allowed to peer review

    This would require new development on the web front for HMX as well as MS working with them some. I doubt it would happen but it would probably be the optimal situation.
  • SpiderSamboSpiderSambo Opening Act
    edited March 2010
    G_tarRoCK3R;3548212 said:
    1) Basically I'm saying give testers the access for free. If they are banned, they can't do anything lol They don't lose anything except for the ability to playtest for free (like a privliage). Cause lets face it. If RBN play testing was free most people would sign up because HEY ITS FREE! and then just play the songs and not give feedback, or give non quality feedback.

    2) See #1? It would be free, no money lost for play testers.
    That's where the problem was, sorry for misunderstanding... but I'm sure you just said at a 'lower price' which kinda implied that there'd still be a fee.

    Then again, free is a lower price from $100 and I'm probably just being picky with language again :D
  • ScottWARScottWAR Banned
    edited March 2010
    Ultrace;3548203 said:
    You are correct, the fee is not Harmonix's doing at all. I guess some people are suggesting that Harmonix either cover or subsidize the XNA cost.
    No, people are suggesting Harmonix have a discussion with MS,....since MS is a lot more likely to listen to Harmonix than us.
  • G_tarRoCK3RG_tarRoCK3R Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    SpiderSambo;3548221 said:
    I think the problem is people buying XNA and then the HMX tools on top of it

    At the moment, if HMX tools were to be free for X amount of time, it'll still weed out those who'd just 5* anything by making them pay for one thing at least... while giving those wanting to use developer tools a chance to do something.

    A free 1 month trial might just be enough, it'd allow people to get a taste of the RBN tools (to see if they'd buy them) whilst being enough time to get the RBN songs pushed through.

    Plus, if they only allowed X amount of people per month to get a trial, it'd distribute the play-testing amongst the members.
    Now you are talking about something else, authoring. That should be the $100 +tool costs.

    This thread is talking about for play testers only.
  • HeyRilesHeyRiles Besse's Girl
    edited March 2010
    Jixzer;3548195 said:
    Wait, correct me if I'm wrong, but you need an XNA account to get into RBN to be a tester/reviewer right? Isn't this more MS's fault than HMX's that you have to pay? Unless I'm missing something...
    It's Microsoft

    Basically the trial versions work the same as any other trial version - it will let you create your games and try them out yourself, but it won't let you upload to Microsoft and sell it for money

    It works the same way with RBN. You can take your own note charts in REAPER and upload them to Rock Band, but you can't upload them to the Creators site to playtest and eventually sell

    The idea is that Microsoft would hopefully open up the trial versions a little bit so that they could allow songs to DOWNLOAD from the Creators site and playtest them, but not allow them to UPLOAD their own creations. It certainly seems feasible if Microsoft will comply, and it's not like you're weeding out unwanted people that shouldn't have song knowledge since, well, if you look around, there's plenty of people leaking the songs in playtest that you can find without a premium account. It just seems like a good move that will ultimately help playtesting
  • SpiderSamboSpiderSambo Opening Act
    edited March 2010
    Sorry I meant playtesting not tools >_<

    I need another coffee...
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