Communication needs to be improved during Beta periods

Then why have this forum? Seems you “got this” with no needs for comments.

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That last part is good news.

Automatic telemetry data is incredibly useful to software developers, but it’s only one part of the picture. It doesn’t tell us how users “feel” about a particular build in a subjective/qualitative sense, nor does it catch every bug or issue testers encounter.

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That’s fair. But putting some important topics on slow mode makes that a bit more difficult. I’ve been splitting my time between Xbox and pc as I use both, I was mainly on Xbox until last week and am quite happy with how the Xbox is currently doing.

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To be fair with devs in this case I think they are not going to read the forums because the amount of posts we generate is quite big daily. If they had to do it they won´t be working on the code during that time. There´s one communication channel defined by means of the polls. It´s primitive, is not complete but it works as a way to quickly tell them if the release works. On the other hand we have the voting on threads. If many users experience the same issue the topic turns into a logged bug, as any other one.

The other communication channel is unidirectional and goes via the wallets: you have to hold your purchases of extra content if this is not working well and resume them when it does. This is normally much more efficient than any of the other methods because all companies have a summary of benefits at the end of the fiscal year, and that´s the only variable that matters for the investors. So, if benefits are not enough, the action plan quickly starts at the manager and ends anyway on the desk of the devs with the instruction to fix the problems as well.

After taking the feeback (technical or economical) they will decide if they change their way or not, because everyone has to meet targets and stay inside the budget limits, but on the other hand it´s also in a market that is just moved by money. I wouldn´t expect much more than that, to be honest.

Cheers

The Community Team really does read every single post written on these forums. It’s one of the core duties of our job. Multiple times every week we share aggregated player feedback (collected not only from these forums but also from other platforms including Discord, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and more) with the rest of the MSFS team.

Programmers, producers, QA analysts, and other team members also actively read the forums, although I doubt they read every post the same way the CM team does for the reasons you noted. They’re very busy with other duties. Often if they’re working on a particular bug, we will direct them to the forum thread where it is being discussed so they can read player reports about the issue first-hand.

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Sure. I have no doubts about the benefit of your work. We see you (and the rest of mods) on the posts everyday and I think we all agree that´s a really important part of the feedback process. As you say a guidance or summary pointing devs to the forum topic is much better than devs having to dig into the whole forum themselves.

Cheers

Isnt the community team different from the actual Asobo dev team? Sounds like the community team is just the moderator team for this forum. Correct me if im wrong

The forum moderators are unpaid volunteers. They are members of the player community, same as you. Their role is to ensure posters on the forum adhere to the Code of Conduct.

The Community Managers (me, @Jummivana, @iinKWest, and @OlieTsubasa443) are paid employees working on the Microsoft Flight Simulator team. We work directly with the developers.

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So you know all PC User’s hardware? Motherboard/GPU/CPU RAM and all the what-nots?
Or are you simply stating you can tell if we are on PC or Xbox?

I would like to thank you for your details here (this and your previous posts).

It’s good to have this feedback, it gives us further sense to post here.

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As a relatively new Xbox and MSFS user, and someone who has run public forums before, I am very impressed by Micorosoft / Asobo’s open forum and willingness to engage and listen, and big thanks to the moderators. I had assumed all were paid staff, but I’m especially grateful to those who are volunteers. It’s not easy to moderate a forum, but it is rewarding when constructive feedback leads to better results. Thanks for all the work you do.

Without the forum for information, and the engagement of the developers, i would have abandonned MSFS already. But the enthusiasm and optimism of the developers - in the face of pretty big technical challenges - has kept me engaged so far, in the hope that MSFS will become stable and enjoyable going forward.

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I agree with this comment. I found it helpful. It would be even more helpful if they had some details for some of the issues that aren’t readily obvious what they’re talking about.

For example I was unsure of one so I posted a topic asking what it meant "54. Added VR support for Vcockpit rendered on screen" and didn’t get any response so I was unable to test this one. What is “Vcockpit”? I still don’t know and I can see nobody has tested this yet so details about them would allow us to help even more effectively.

Here’s #55 Fixed missing cockpit interaction foleys. What’s a foley and which ones were missing that they fixed? I mean if they don’t want us to test it then why put a number to it?

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After taking part in a number of MSFS beta programs, my “personal” conclusion is that , if future beta programs are to improve, they will need to be a lot more managed and structured.

The Free for all, of a multitude of Testers, all reporting back what are often, random reports, that vary in both accuracy, technical soundness, etc, leads to a total flood and overload for the central persons or person (Technical MSFS devs, and/or Community managers) receiving these reports.

Granted, to do beta testing in a more structure, Top Down way, would require a little more structure and management, but the end result may result in a far more concise flow of relevant information back to the Asobo Devs (or Asobo Beta test manager)

ie
Small, assigned teams of Testers, each testing just one Individual aspect of the Beta, reporting to that Tasks Team leader, who collated that data, and then each team leader, submitting those finding back to an Asobo Beta Test Manager, with 2 way communications.
The team leader then “passing back the results to their team”, keeping them informed and on track.

This more structured beta Testing might work better than the current system, that seems to be based on a Typical game’s developer “Public Study Group”, where a random group are invited to play with the game, and then pass back feedback, on specific aspects of the game.

my 2 cents, probably worth even less !!

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While I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote, one key aspect of the current situation is still missing: MS/Asobo needs to have a representive setup of testing equipment that mirrors the setup of us home users both for Xbox and PC. Might even require to setup sites outside the usual development sites & buildings, where they usually are behind company firewalls, high speed communication networks and maybe not even thought about direct channels to the supporting resources. Even two or three locations like in the US, Europe and Asia/Pacific to get the reality of the connection to hubs and servers correct. I doubt that MS/Asobo teans have the slightest chance to track down many of the issues with frame rate losses, constant CTDs, blank displays or other problems we face if they stay behind the walls of their gardens. One good example for this request was the effort with the previous beta where they specifically collected data about CTDs (and blank screens? ): why would they have needed that if they could see those defects themselves being behind their fences and may be use development PCs and emulated Xboxes?

A lot of the Microsoft team has been working from home during the pandemic.

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Might be true but I doubt that they have normal end-user equipment and setup. Otherwise they’d face the same problems we see wouldn’t they?

That would be the Beta Team Leaders I referred to … with a the ability to communicate directly with Asobo, through the Asobo Beta Test Manager, who works directly with the technical Devs ( and can communicate at the appropriate technical level)

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Especially the comms concerning .18/.19, and .20 were quite meagre. Asobo in my opinion just can’t push new features in a near final candidate, especially not without any explanation. The community managers really need to bring this point forward (again?).

Yes I am talking about the lame GPU-overclock-message. A totally unforced error.

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The CMs can only communicate what they know.
From my own experience, I either tell / write the CMs what the fix / change does in detail.
If they do not understand in detail what it does they ask and I tell 'em in more detail.
This is what I am missing in the relationship between Asobo dev and CM!

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