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    Beta Testing a World..........Tips & Tricks

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    Beta Testing a World..........Tips & Tricks

    Post  Archivist on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:31 am

    Beta Testing a World..........Tips & Tricks
    auntielynds & Writin Reg @ TS3CC II



    auntielynds wrote:Beta Testing
    The whole purpose of beta testing is to find any flaws in the world, and make it as playable as possible. Building a World is a long process, and after spending so much time starring at the same thing, world builders can overlook some issues while dealing with others.

    As a Beta tester you will download the beta version of the World and start playing it like a normal world, only in a more critical manor. This is how I play test a new world;

    Throw a bunch of sims into the world. It helps if you have a bunch of pre-made sims in your bin. for my testing sims I downloaded a bunch of peoples Avatars from the caw forum, and put them into groups of 4, and then they all run around the world checking it out. Makes me laugh.Laughing "Oh look, there goes Magician to his job as a hair stylist":=)):
    Okay, fun aside. Make sure you have a bunch of school age sims to test the school routing.

    Get a sim a job at each of the rabbit-holes to make sure routing is good. No one is getting stuck or anything like that.

    Take your sim to all the community lots and have them interact with everything they can.

    What will beta testers be looking for?
    • Road Tears
    • Lot tears
    • Floating Trees and Bushes
    • Accessibility to Lots
    • Terrain Abnormalities
    • Sim Routing


    Report Back
    When you find an issue, post it on the World builders thread. and check to see what other people have found so you don't double post stuff. If it's a large world, the builder may divide up the testing into categories so everyone isn't testing the same thing. make sure you read the world builders instructions before downloading and testing.

    Remember there will be things that can be fixed and other things that cannot. If you take an ultra critical look at the three EA worlds, you'll find little issues here and there also.
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    Re: Beta Testing a World..........Tips & Tricks

    Post  Archivist on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:32 am


    Writin_Reg wrote:I sort of figured it was in the wrong place, but still groping my way around here. I may be able to test a world to pieces, but put me on a new forum and I'm like a blind person trying to walk a tight rope without a safety net.

    But on the good side I got to see a lot of the different posts. hehehe

    In answer to both of your questions, like I said I was lost and had a need to reply to Lynds, at the same time I was also replying a bit to the poster and I do firmly believe a creator not just needs complete honesty from people testing a world, they deserve it. As some one who will admit they are all left thumbs with CAW - as I did give it the good ole college try - I know how hard it is to work with that tool, never mind create a work of art with it - but let's face it, a world really has to be better than just a pretty piece of art. I have seen some gorgeous worlds that creators spent months on and people ooh and ahhh over, that completely fall apart under the simpliest game play. As if Simmers do not have enough frustration with an often irrate launcher, a way too picky EADM, and don't even let me start on CC and patches - they do not need to put in this gorgeous piece of work in their game and have to start pulling out their hair over what they "must" of done wrong, or go running off to the over priced pc techs because their pc"must be broke" all because every one wanted to pat the creator or team of creators of the world on the back with how wonderful this disaster is. It is bad enough EA allows this Rubbish to stay on the forum when it is broke, but if there is a slight chance you can get a creator to listen to you and fix the problems, it's all around better for everyone.

    It's sort of like people without a police department, either they police them selves or their town runs rampant. So I figured I'm a disaster on the other end of the CAW tool, but I know this game inside out. I have probably more hours logged into the Sims games of - actual playing the game - than probably anyone anywhere, and that is not an exaggeration. Not even surgery on my eyes - 2 within 6 months of each other prevented me from fitting in at least a couple of hours playing my sims. I never miss a day - even if it is just an hour. I know how to take the game to extremes and push it about as hard as it can be pushed, as well as apparently have the pc that can withstand all the games heeing and hawing. But if a world withstands what I can dish out - then that creator needs to know that just as much as the creator whose world starts crumbling out of the gate. So do simmers need to know that just because a world is finished and said it's ready for full use, does not always mean it is.

    Also some creators do not take finding fault with their worlds easy, which is why I state there that I don't want to hear from a creator "nobody else has that problem". They do not get it, because I play their world hard and if some one just diddly bops around a world without the same intensity, it may take a lot longer for them to see that problem, especially if they just stay with the same family or spend all their time building houses or making families or even using a half dozen mods that alters game play and actually takes some of the presure off a world - it could be weeks, even months to see what I can find in 10-14 hours.

    Number 1 for testers is NO custom content and no mods. Not 1 hair, not one outfit, not one Fresh prince car or Twallan or pescado's stuff shoild be in their games. Absolutely nothing that can mod the game. Plus if you have no such object in your game - you shouldn't have any conflict in your own game to actually cause problems to a non-EA created world. It works on both sides of the issue, as CC can create just as many issues as it can fix. Plus with no user created downloads in your game, you won't get things like that drasted evil little "Girl Doll Dressed" or any of those things that morph innocent little baby simmies into creatures from the Black Lagoon. So if people want to test worlds, they absolutely have to agree to no non-EA stuff in their games. Otherwise the world will not have a fair test - and I don't care how great you say a hair or mod is - it changes the game ever so slightly. It would be different if creators had the same tools and used the same methods EA used for their creations with the same instructions fed to the AI. But they don't and I understand EA does not help the issue, but the fact remains as long as this difference exists, the testers need to be ALL non-EA content free.

    I also tell creators up front, if you plan to use CC, fine, when I'm done testing your world put a ton in it for all I care, but DO NOT ASK me to test your world with CC in it. I won't. It is not fair of creators to pollute my pc with all the Rubbish they find on the net because I was trying to do THEM a favor. So that HAS to be a rule - NO one - no tester and NO creator should have CC in their game period when they are creating or testing a world.

    I will tell you right up front I get a world that I have been told is CC free and it has CC, expect to hear me ROAR.

    So yeah, honesty is important all around, no matter how timid or shy the creator is, you can not always "not" step on their toes because - you have to tell them there is a problem- just because you might hurt their feelings. Granted you can use a bit of decorum and not get nasty about it, why pound the nail that is already creating a wound? But for heaven's sake and users sakes report as honestly what you find and try to be as nice as humanly possible. It doesn't help a creator to tell them their world sucks, and leave it go at that. How are they even going to see why it sucks if you don't tell them?

    Also one very important fact I have discovered from testing is a world that is going to go south will most usually go south on a users pc quicker than on a Creators. I have tested at least a half dozen worlds where their creators have no problem with their testing of their own world, while I get all kinds of weirdness. What's more usually after a while other simmers report some of the same problems I found weeks earlier. In almost every case the creator was actually the last ones to get the problems. I don't know why this is, if it's just because the world is at home on it's creators pc or the fact it may even have some kind of access to CAW original files on that pc or what, but I advise creators that if you can test your own worlds on a seperate pc from the one you create on, you also might have quicker results at finding problems. With the way pcs store things, as even erased harddrives are not truly ever erased - the FBI can prove that to you - I think just the fact original files and the world having some access to them to correct small flaws in the programming that may not be corrected in the testing world might be the possible answer to why a tester may see problems creators do not. So creators need to give problems a lot more weight when people report them - especially if you get a couple of people seeing the same problem. Which is another point - testers keep a notebook. You see a problem write the problem down, get an address if you can or a specific name - like in your case Lynds I stated your Witch's Hut/Hospital, so you knew exactly where I was having a problem. Then from my notes I was able to describe the problem. So when a tester reports these things, it is a good idea if other tester then go to that location and see if they also start having this problem. Check out a reported troublespot several times if you don't get the problem the first time or two, as it did take me nearly 11 hours of playing Castle Keep to see all the congestion caused by those sinking trees and plants. They don't sink instantly.

    But as far as I can see about your guide to testing, I think says it all in a lot fewer words than I could say and I believe would be far less confusing. Besides all my self inflicted rules would probably repel more folks to testing, than draw them in. They all have a life and demands I don't have, as being a writer who works my own hours when the spirit moves me - and seeing all my kids are grown, my time is usually pretty much my own. I don't even turn on the pc until I have what needs to be done in my house done, and other than making a late supper for my husband and myself, and being a night owl, I pretty much have all night. I'm one of those strange individuals that never needs more than 5 hours sleep, and I'm blessed with a very neat and thoughtful husband, so with just the two of us - house work and taking care of our pets which are cats - is not hard. So I generally have a lot more time than most do - more days of the week than the majority of people. Yes when I have things going on, like a speech to write or a column to finish or a deadline to meet they do take priority, but on the whole I do have more time than most people to just test a world. So someone following my own regiment may be impossible, so I think you short and sweet guide is more in the line of what you need than what I could write.

    As for those cheats you speak of - I don't really use any unless I have my sims stuck. I advise people not to turn on testingcheats and there is no good reason I can see to use buydebug if you are just testing someone's world.

    The only ones I might use while testing is freerealestate as I don't have weeks to donate to a testing world to wait for sims to get enough money to perhaps test a troubled house or even to move my first couple in somewhere, as not all creators seem to put a true starter house any where convinent in their world from where I seem to want to start my work. So that is necessary often. I also may use resetSim if my sims get funky and I want to make sure it is a sim problem and not a world problem. The money cheats kaching or motherlode are sometimes also useful when testing. Last I may resort to using moveobjects on without the testing cheat turned on of course, to get rid of something blocking a sim - but I always make note of those things in a notebook so a creator can fix them properly. Other than that I might move a lot or add a empty or filled lot with pre-builts to see if the lots added after a delete create tears or road fades, but those I can do through edit town and the world editor.

    So the only thing I think You need to add to you testers guide is to recommend STRONGLY testers not to have CC in their own games as the world can be affected even if you do not use the CC, conflicted CC can play havoc with any world just because it is in your game files - so no CC and NO mods. If they have to have CC and mods, they should not be volunteering to test your world - simple as that.

    They should also be reminded they are testing the world, not setting up housekeeping. They can set up housekeeping when the final comes out, so speed up your sims, don't activate Testing cheats or buydebug - they can foul up a world whether or not people want to admit it and I don't care if someone says they've never had a problem. Most likely they overlooked the kind of problems debugging (which both these command do, as they are not cheats, they are actually programming commands) operations can do. Just like it is plain silly to turn these commands on and leave them own, but you can't convince people what these things can actually do to a game until the game blows up in their face or implodes. Most just blame EA for Rubbish programming, but as one who NEVER activates a command, I can attest that EA's programming is not as bad as many people like to think. I am STILL playing the same Sunset Valley and Riverview save files I started June 3rd 2009, and they still work like a charm. Would not be possible if game was as buggy as people say it is. Sims 2 was a mass of bad coding, EA wised up apparently, although they do have a few untied ends here and there - which may eventually have a direction for an ep or something, their coding has massively improved in Sims 3. Now if they would just do the same thing for that stupid launcher, as therein lies the biggest problem with Sims 3... but that's another story.
    But that said, testers should use a shortcut to start their game and eliminate the launcher, thereby eliminating related problems with that buggy piece of your know what - and disable both the ad Rubbish and ingame shopping so the EADM doesn't keep trying to turn itself on. I personally use the 3 booter and fps limiter - these are tools not mods and protects my pc and video card, plus bypasses the launcher. My game never crashes and never refuses to start, I never have any error code - no 12, 13, or 16 and if I get any kind of error - 9 times out of 10 some creator left some gosh awful piece of CC in their brand new world. I do keep both of Delphy's tools on my desktop, custard I use to check every single house I can check, so I do make note of who has added houses to a hood, and will visit studios to check a house. I learned the hard way recently with a Ricslady world that I was told there was no CC - but they felled to take in account that houses for the world not only had CC, it had that drasted doll in at least 6 of the houses. I was so mad I was spitting. So I ask creators before you put that lovely house in your world at least check it with Custard first because if you don't and I get it, be prepared... I may have a fair share of free time, but I don't want to waste umpteen hours getting my game back pristine just because I tested someone's world. I will refuse any world that has anything and I mean anything including jinx's rugs in it.

    But you have already covered that more or less in your post anyway regarding Creator, it also needs to include the testers in the no mod, no CC as well.

    But in my book Lynds you did a fine job on your testing points - direct and to the point. I know I'm an old wind bag, my husband reminds me every day - hehehe - and I don't think I could ever be as direct and to the point as you. I'm too used to writing novels to ever write a short story - if you get my drift. Just stressing for testers to keep a notebook to keep notes and addresses, to stress they report these troublespots as soon as they see them so other testers can check it out to eliminate possible pcs causing the problem - may be a good idea. Maybe you should make a sub forum where a tester can give the name of the world being tested, the address of the problem, and a short description of the problem so testers can check there daily before doing their testing and check out that address on their pc to see what they see. This way this will eliminate wasting a creators time fixing something that just may be caused by a testers machine or even game corruption. Speaking of which, advise tester to clean the 4 cache files: these below,

    CasPartCache.package
    compositorCache.package
    scriptCache.package
    simCompositorCache.package


    before starting a test and after they are done with testing for that day to eliminate possible corrupt game files.

    But truthfully I find your guide very good. I would not say it was if it wasn't.

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