Rust has changed a lot over the years and opinions vary greatly. Rust Blog looks to document various parts of the game, provide well thought-out opinions, and promote a more healthy Alpha ("testing") community for the game.
We obviously have strong opinions and intend to share them, but our preferred game features / style aren't the only ones. Rust is a game, and like with any game there are a wide range of personal preferences for what is enjoyable. We hope to provide equal attention to all opinions and provide a mechanism to track how many players feel each way.
Why Not Reddit?
Rust Blog intends to provide a more comprehensive set of opinions and documentation regarding Rust that is not well suited to Reddit. Reddit is great for sharing new information, funny content, ranting, and a great many other things. It's not great for tracking specific issues or providing context over time. Rust changes a lot and opinions regarding individual aspects of the game may or may not change as a result. Since Reddit is based on the thought of the moment, it's difficult to see if people share your opinion at any point in time. Re-posting an issue may make the poster feel better, but can be redundant or annoying to players who have seen the same thoughts over and over again. Reddit also has a significant disadvantage that a great argument for or against an issue can be lost due to bad timing. It may be posted when few people are visiting the site, or be unlucky and get buried behind a series of great images and user generated content.
Reddit can be an enticing way to share personal opinions or rant. It does provide a mechanism for game feedback, but seems to be dominated by rephrasing the same issue in new ways or trying to shout down opposing views. However, a productive test and feedback environment isn't one where the loudest or most frequent tester wins. Rather it is a comprehensive look at the gameplay and opinions regarding it which serves as a dataset for game developers to consider when making decisions.
What is testing?
Testing is an important part of any software development effort. While the concept in theory is easy, their are wildly different implementations and end goals of it. It's important to note that when users are testing a program that the developer may be looking for any combination of these forms of testing. It's also important to note that the developer is under no-obligation to act upon the testing results.
Likely the most common and simplest form of testing is simply an effort to find bugs or mistakes. Does the program do what it is in intended to do?
- The program will not launch or crashes when a specific action is performed
- An action fails to perform or performs incorrect
- Pressing space bar no-longer results in the character jumping
- Changing a setting has no effect or is not saved
- A state is in the program is not reachable
- Areas of the program or game are in-accessible due as a result of unintended consequences from other changes
- A part of the program or game is too difficult, preventing the majority of users from progressing
A second form of testing is to provide feedback on whether features are desirable or undesirable. In this case the developer adds features with an intended result and users provide feedback regarding it:
- A new interface may be provided to make an action easier.
- Is the interface intuitive or even useable?
- Is the interface an improvement from the previous interface?
- A new feature may be provided or an existing feature removed
- Does the feature make the experience more or less enjoyable?
- Does it accomplish the developers goals independent of whether or not the user enjoys it?
A third form of testing is where the user provides detailed feedback to the developer regarding their experiences and opinions. This acts more as a market study than conventional testing.
- What does the user think of various aspects of the program?
- What makes the program enjoyable for the user?
- What makes the program annoying or frustrating for the user?
- What features are missing that would make the program more usable or enjoyable?
With respect to Rust, we here at Rust Blog believe if done in a constructive manner all of the above forms of testing feedback are appropriate.