CK3 Dev Diary #35 - User Testing Before Release

CK3 Dev Diary #35 - User Testing Before Release

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Riamus

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I'd imagine it's less that and more statistician. It sounds to me like this kind of job requires a great deal of knowledge in what is and isn't constructive to pass on to development. After all, saddling the programmers with every little comment about how ugly a character's baby ended up would just bog down development. I figure a job like this requires a keen understanding of what can and can't be used for good. A bit like an intelligence officer, only with far less lives on the line.
As someone who has worked with software and database development and also handled the QA side of things as well as the initial Q&A with those who needed new software to see exactly what they really wanted and needed, I can tell you that you hit the nail right on the head. When you watch the forums here or elsewhere, you always see the tons of posts nitpicking about minor details and although a developer may care about fixing those details, it's often more important to have someone filter out the things that aren't important or realistic or possible or that the majority of players would not want so you can focus on what is actually important. I think this DD showed that PDX knows how to do this well.
 
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Hanako Seishin

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Those old portraits at least looked nice within their style, even if that style was cartoonish. The current ones fall right into the uncanny valley where they're not cartoonish enough to look nice in a cartoonish way, and at yet still too cartoonish to look nice in a realistic way.
 
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Pzt_Kami

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As someone who played CK2 for more than thousand hours and still playing it ,I still dislike both character portraits as well as somehow bland UI (and both Characters and UI feels lifeless). I was strongly worried about especially weak UI prior to Total War Rome 2 release and everyone who is familiar with the series or at least follow gaming news is aware of CA's Rome 2 fiasco (and UI was a major contributer to the outrage post release)

Edit
Hanako Seishin said:
Those old portraits at least looked nice within their style, even if that style was cartoonish. The current ones fall right into the uncanny valley where they're not cartoonish enough to look nice in a cartoonish way, and at yet still too cartoonish to look nice in a realistic way
all those dislikes to your post reminds me again of total war diehard fans who could not stand any criticism to their beloved franchise , only to realize how wrong they were when Rome 2 released.
 
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Druplesnubb

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For all the complaints about the portraits, let's also remember what CK1's portraits looked like. If you're thinking the early CK3 portraits are cartoonish or something out of a mobile game, you haven't seen anything.

Oh God, why is the land blue while the sea is brown?
 
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Veldmaarschalk

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Oh God, why is the land blue while the sea is brown?
That's hardcore baby!

They 'dumbed' the games down after this, making the seas blue, so even new players knew what they were looking at. ;)
 
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Nitan17

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all those dislikes to your post reminds me again of total war diehard fans who could not stand any criticism to their beloved franchise , only to realize how wrong they were when Rome 2 released.
What? He's getting dislikes because people disagree with his opinion, are we now not allowed to do that and must like everything we see or read?
 
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Maziga

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Speaking of user testing: will the forum issue of threads always displaying a view count of one more than the reply count be resolved any time soon? It's rather annoying, as it turns out.
 
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Olden Weiss

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Those old portraits at least looked nice within their style, even if that style was cartoonish. The current ones fall right into the uncanny valley where they're not cartoonish enough to look nice in a cartoonish way, and at yet still too cartoonish to look nice in a realistic way.
1596027758078.png


I personally don't see anything overly uncanny about CK3 as compared to real life. It looks like someone used a real world face as the basis for a CG model. Compare the prototype to other cartoonish styles, on the same token, and I don't see how it would have come out looking particularly good. Particularly for a game as gritty as Crusader Kings.
 
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McDanny

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How are the stats and traits for the vanity characters determined? Are they randomised or did you fill in a questionnaire saying "Yes I am shy and depressed haha please help me"?
 
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Olden Weiss

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How are the stats and traits for the vanity characters determined? Are they randomised or did you fill in a questionnaire saying "Yes I am shy and depressed haha please help me"?
If I were to wager a guess, the depression is a result of the tireless work of having to find actionable feedback in Steam's discussion threads.
 
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Knotz

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Being shy isn't pathology and while (severe) depression is there is nothing 'wrong' being self-aware enough to describe your traits and mental state accurately while you're still demonstrably a functional person.

People are making this weirder than it needs to be. You are allowed to just be a sad person, it's okay.
 
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McDanny

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Being shy isn't pathology and while (severe) depression is there is nothing 'wrong' being self-aware enough to describe your traits and mental state accurately while you're still demonstrably a functional person.

People are making this weirder than it needs to be. You are allowed to just be a sad person, it's okay.
Nobody said it isn't. Hell, I'd describe myself in much the same way. I was just interested in the process for coming up with the vanity characters.
 
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Basileus2

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Those old portraits at least looked nice within their style, even if that style was cartoonish. The current ones fall right into the uncanny valley where they're not cartoonish enough to look nice in a cartoonish way, and at yet still too cartoonish to look nice in a realistic way.
How does it feel to be so objectively wrong? :)
 
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DebbieElla

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How are the stats and traits for the vanity characters determined? Are they randomised or did you fill in a questionnaire saying "Yes I am shy and depressed haha please help me"?
I can answer this because I coded Hanna's character! :D Since we try to make all the vanity characters at least fairly balanced I had to give her some negative qualities to go with the positive ones. We don't have restrictions to make the characters exactly like us (I know of one dev who's given himself all sorts of maladies because why not haha), but since Hanna is very smart I wanted that to be reflected in her vanity character. Most of the time we do our own characters, but I've known Hanna for a very, very long time and had more time to do it than her, and what a fun thing to do! I'm so excited for you all to try to find us in-game! :D
 
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I can answer this because I coded Hannas's character! :D Since we try to make all the vanity characters at least fairly balanced I had to give her some negative qualities to go with the positive ones! We don't have restrictions to make the characters exactly like us (I know of one dev who's given himself all sorts of maladies because why not haha), but since Hanna is very smart I wanted that to be reflected in her vanity character! Most of the time we do our own characters, but I've known Hanna for a very, very long time and had more time to do it than her, and what a fun thing to do! I'm so excited for you all to try to find us in-game! :D
Thanks for the reply! It's a really interesting insight. I'm definitely going to have a run at some point where I "collect" PDX devs in my court...
 
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Thanks for the reply! It's a really interesting insight. I'm definitely going to have a run at some point where I "collect" PDX devs in my court...
On that note, do these vanity characters have a +50 "It's a Paradox!" reason to move to the court of whoever rules Stockholm?
 
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Olden Weiss

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I can answer this because I coded Hanna's character! :D Since we try to make all the vanity characters at least fairly balanced I had to give her some negative qualities to go with the positive ones. We don't have restrictions to make the characters exactly like us (I know of one dev who's given himself all sorts of maladies because why not haha), but since Hanna is very smart I wanted that to be reflected in her vanity character. Most of the time we do our own characters, but I've known Hanna for a very, very long time and had more time to do it than her, and what a fun thing to do! I'm so excited for you all to try to find us in-game! :D
Wait, these are legitimately going to be ingame? I thought they were just fun little things you made in-house to help test the mechanics or something! This changes everything. I'm going to spend one of my playthroughs just trying to find and recruit the lot of you. I'll play as the King of Sweden, recruit the whole PDS team, and I'll have your characters conquer the world for me. I figure two decades plus of making grand strategy games should give you lot plenty of experience at conquering the world from Sweden.
 
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DebbieElla

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Wait, these are legitimately going to be ingame? I thought they were just fun little things you made in-house to help test the mechanics or something! This changes everything. I'm going to spend one of my playthroughs just trying to find and recruit the lot of you. I'll play as the King of Sweden, recruit the whole PDS team, and I'll have your characters conquer the world for me. I figure two decades plus of making grand strategy games should give you lot plenty of experience at conquering the world from Sweden.
Haha yeah we're gonna be in-game! But we are scattered all over, so finding us all might be hard :p
 
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Olden Weiss

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Haha yeah we're gonna be in-game! But we are scattered all over, so finding us all might be hard :p
Well, every good king needs a lifelong quest. :)