|News about the initial stages of the Horizons Beta Test by Creative Director David Bowman - that's what the Horizons Dev Journal #17 at RPGVault is all about. Here's an excerpt:
We are currently in Beta 1 testing of Horizons: Empire of Istaria. From among the initial huge pool of applicants (it is still possible to sign up for future stages of Beta at www.istaria.com), we selected a small group to participate. They were contacted via e-mail with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Since they will be able to see the game long before it is publicly available, Beta participants are asked not to discuss the game in public forums.
Our goals for Beta 1 are simple. We want a number of people not working at Artifact Entertainment to connect to our first shard from a variety of locations distributed primarily across North America (our European and Asian partners will be facilitating independent programs for those markets). We monitor those connections and the performance of the servers and infrastructure during the connection. We make changes to the software to improve stability of the connection and performance of the shard during connection. We test how launcher, connection, authentication and patching perform. We also begin testing our staff's ability to deal with problems that arise, our communication with our hosting facility, and our lines of communication with Atari (they are doing a fantastic job of supporting us through this learning process, especially their QA and Marketing teams).