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Kevin Olson
08-01-2006, 01:50 PM
As a brand new LightWave owner ( package should arrive tomorrow ) I want to know how one gets onto the open beta? Was this just for pre LightWave 9 or is it for all upcoming versions as well? A PR I read from Jay Roth mentioned something that seemed to make the open beta thing permanent?

jayroth
08-01-2006, 01:57 PM
Hi Kevin,

Open beta is a program that we started with LightWave v9. Given the incredible success of the program, we are going to make it a permanent fixture of our development process. There are a few restrictions to participation, such as agreeing to abide by the terms of an NDA agreement, but other than that, participation is open to any LightWave v9 license holder.

Now that LightWave v9 is officially shipping, the amount of qualified individuals for the program has grown significantly. We are making the appropriate adjustments to our management of the program, so that we can insure even better quality interaction than we had before.

The features that we have just announced will be made available to the new open beta program in a short time. They must first pass muster with the internal beta team, and then we will roll out the next open beta phase. It won't take very long, though.

Welcome aboard!

Jay Roth

Kevin Olson
08-01-2006, 02:03 PM
Thanks for clarifying Jay!

So just to be %100 on the same page, there is nothing that needs to be done on my end other than registering my license when it arrives, correct?

Bytehawk
08-01-2006, 02:14 PM
you will have to sign up for the open beta program. Dunno how they do it in the 'states though as I'm in Europe.

jayroth
08-01-2006, 02:21 PM
you will have to sign up for the program, and sign off on the NDA. We will not actively solicit anyone, so the responsibility is yours to get signed up. Sorry about that, but we are talking about quite a lot of people here...

Jay Roth

aa1037
08-01-2006, 02:26 PM
Just curious - how will we know when to sign up?

Kevin Olson
08-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Sounds good, Thanks for the info!

jayroth
08-01-2006, 02:29 PM
We will make an announcement when we are ready to begin the next open beta program...

Jay Roth

monovich
08-01-2006, 03:13 PM
I assume current open beta people won't have to re-enroll for the next phase?

jayroth
08-01-2006, 03:15 PM
Yes, I believe that is correct :)

Jay Roth

RedBull
08-01-2006, 03:33 PM
My only concern with the public betas, is the closed discussions really don't do a lot to promote LW in public places.

I think the NDA and lack of public comments on LW9, has slowed down it's uptake to anyone but LW9 open beta adopters. The worley NDA comments
were also not the best way to promote great communication, or openness.

The feedback from all the openbeta members is great, and most of them felt it was a positive experience, and i agree. But to people who did not partake in this exercise i feel they've been less impressed with LW than ever.

A lot of the important discussions that pertained to LW development and feature implentation, a lot of Node surfaces examples etc, .... Have never been opened to the public. I think this is really bad for advertising LW's newest and best features. I know NT don't have the advertising budget of competitors, so anything NT can do to promote themselves without money, must be a good thing.

It's harder to make a splash of LW9.5, when 80% of it's users were already using it features in private beta before it's release. So while i think the Beta program is an excellent idea, i think NT need to be aware that limiting the exposure to LW9's features and benefits, may not be such a benefit.

So anyway don't forget that you guys are trying to sell LW to new customers
and not just the openbeta people. If you don't have the excitement on public forums, and people can't talk about the new vector blur and 5x faster OGL modelling. Having all that good positivity, that's only allowed on beta forums,
can certainly limit your sales. I hope the LW9 Demo is released soon,
as maybe this will offer some good free advertising.

I have no doubt some of the people i know that have not upgraded to LW9,
did not upgrade due to the NDA gagging that stopped them from communicating initially, and discussing it's good and bad points.

In a time when most companies are moving to development blogs and a more open approach to dealing with customers, i just hope NT don't go too far the opposite direction.

Chuck
08-01-2006, 03:37 PM
Yes, I believe that is correct :)

Jay Roth

Confirmed - participants in the 9.0 Open Beta still have access to the Open Beta sections, and will not have to sign up again when we are ready to commence the next Open Beta cycle.

cagey5
08-01-2006, 04:27 PM
For me I think Newtek played the open beta just right. In the very early stages there was a lot of big bugs and serious issues. Those don't need to be, and shouldn't be aired to the open forums. As we came close to actual release, Newtek encouraged us to go and spread the word and talk about what was happening. I think there was perhaps less of that than they may have expected because everyone was already communicating so well in the beta section.
I can't imagine people not upgrading because they felt they would be 'gagged', I just can't understand that reasoning, but hopefully they will be tempted on board with hints of new features to play with, certainly I'm looking forward to getting involved again.
What is important is that people understand they are participating in a beta process. They should be actively looking for bugs and reporting them as such in order to ensure the next release is as rock solid as possible. If people expect fully executed and implemented tools they are going to be disappointed.
Sign up, be positive, methodical and objective in your assessment and everyone benefits.
If you just want to see full implementations of all the new features, sit back and wait for the point releases.

Maxx
08-01-2006, 04:55 PM
The only thing I would've liked to see NT relax about is the NDA on renders - you can show the renders, but not state specifically that those renders were done with beta LW9 - I think it would've been beneficial if renders would have been allowed to permeate the masses - with the SSS, new shader selections, etc. Look at Kray - they show renders from upcoming versions and (it seems) generate quite a bit of excitement about them. LW9 had enough new stuff under its' hood in the render department that it just seemed like it would've been a decent viral marketing tool.

StereoMike
08-01-2006, 05:23 PM
I thought you were allowed to post renders, you just weren't allowed to state that it was lw9.
So showing an sss skin and saying it is native LW but not 8, 7 or 6 would tell enough I think ;)

Mike

RedBull
08-01-2006, 05:35 PM
I think there was perhaps less of that than they may have expected because everyone was already communicating so well in the beta section.

Again, that's exactly my point having people communicate in the beta forums, is great for beta members, but not for non-members and new customers.


I can't imagine people not upgrading because they felt they would be 'gagged', I just can't understand that reasoning, but hopefully they will be tempted on board with hints of new features to play with, certainly I'm looking forward to getting involved again.

You misundestand, many people could not gain feedback from early adopters
or beta members, which doesn't encourage upgrading. Combine that with the lack of public enthusiasm due to lack of public discussion, and you can have a negitive impact on your exposure and thus sales.


What is important is that people understand they are participating in a beta process. They should be actively looking for bugs and reporting them as such in order to ensure the next release is as rock solid as possible. If people expect fully executed and implemented tools they are going to be disappointed.

As i said the majority of people who participated in the beta, were happy.
And that's a good thing, but if NT are going to make this a permanant fixture,
i believe they should look and guage or balance their public exposure better, as a result. I think despite LW9 being a much better upgrade than the past,
recieved much less public fuss.


Sign up, be positive, methodical and objective in your assessment and everyone benefits. If you just want to see full implementations of all the new features, sit back and wait for the point releases.

I personally will be waiting for point releases, i don't have time to administer continual releases all the time and i don't allow beta software on my workstations, i'm spending enough time already writing bug reports on release software already. But i have been loading the odd beta, and reading the beta forums. So i'm quite aware of the issues, and it's a personal choice.

But i'm looking objectively at how it impacts on LW's exposure, to new or exisiting users and not just my own beta experience. Without doubt less fanfare on many public lists and forums as a result of the open beta.
I would say Blenders fluids got more talk on many forums/lists personally.

When full releases and point releases, are not being talked about with the same enthusiasm in public releases and beta releases, then you severley impact the "free advertising" that's associated with a new release.
Considering for LW8 we lacked even a public demo version, they could use more exposure rather than less. Don't go reading antibeta programs into my words. Just a need to look at the good and bad points, as a result.

RedBull
08-01-2006, 05:47 PM
The only thing I would've liked to see NT relax about is the NDA on renders - you can show the renders, but not state specifically that those renders were done with beta LW9 - I think it would've been beneficial if renders would have been allowed to permeate the masses - with the SSS, new shader selections, etc. Look at Kray - they show renders from upcoming versions and (it seems) generate quite a bit of excitement about them. LW9 had enough new stuff under its' hood in the render department that it just seemed like it would've been a decent viral marketing tool.

Totally agree... I think that would of definately contributed to more "look at this" publically rather than only to people in the beta program.

Perhaps demo videos from future and upcoming features or beta features, can be continually discussed on public forums, sometimes before even the beta forums can provide the WOW factor that viral marekting revolves around.
anything that can hype, without hyping... :) Just thinking out loud anyway.

Maxx
08-01-2006, 06:04 PM
You were allowed to post renders, and good point about not mentioning the version - I just thought announcing that it was the beta may have stirred up some "upgradefever", if I may coin a totally cheesy non-existant term. People had seen 6, 7, and 8 renders for quite some time. Seemed to me that touting early successes with a beta product would have helped with the "upgradiness" of the public. (Yeah, I'm in a mood. Or perhaps, I suffer from "wordmoodimakeupednessism").

This, my friends, is what happens when you don't get enough sleep and have a glass or two of wine with dinner :D .

colkai
08-02-2006, 03:03 AM
For me I think Newtek played the open beta just right. In the very early stages there was a lot of big bugs and serious issues. Those don't need to be, and shouldn't be aired to the open forums.
Quoted for 100% agreement, I was very happy with the way Newtek handled it, sure there were areas it could be refined, but it should be kept under the radar.

That said, I agree with the comments about the renders. I think being able to say "this was accomplished with XYZ from the LW9 in Beta" could whet peoples appetite and may encourage them to look at LW9 for themselves. Every feature that can be 'shown off' should be, I can't think of any downside to doing this, well, maybe apart ffrom the Open Beta applications going through the roof. ;)

StereoMike
08-02-2006, 06:16 AM
I think the downside of allowing free speech or free posting of renders is, that people definetly abuse this freedom and spread things like "OMG, lw9 renders my favorite scene slower than ever" or posting these black squared pictures without context. That would lead to _very_ bad publicity in a minute. You know, bad news are much faster than good news.
That's not an estimate. I can almost guarantee, this will happen. Just have a look, what bill$hit people whined in a _closed_ beta forum.



Mike

Wonderpup
08-02-2006, 06:42 AM
I think Redbull has a good point. I must admit even though I was part of the beta test, the release of 9 was so attenuated that the 'wow' factor was completely lost for me, and for those who weren't involved, 9 must have just slipped into view with barely a ripple.

On the other hand, the Beta test option itself will probably tempt some into buying- we all like to feel on the 'inside' of things.

colkai
08-02-2006, 07:41 AM
people definetly abuse this freedom and spread things like "OMG, lw9 renders my favorite scene slower than ever" or posting these black squared pictures without context.

Alas yes, you're not wrong, the more one thinks of it, but then, these people are going to whine no matter what. I dunno, it's a tough call, one of the problems that certainly reared it's head was this concept of beta, it seems to escapr so many that beta means, in development. I'd like to be optimistic but as you say, you can just see it happening.

Maybe the solution is for Newtek to choose certain renders from the beta area and, with the artists permission, release them into a publicly viewed gallery so they can show the work, listing the features used. If they have a locked area, they can avoid all the diatribe, but just have it as say a sub-section of the LW gallery pages rather than the forums?

StereoMike
08-02-2006, 09:02 AM
I think it's a good Idea, Colkai. In my opinion NT has every right to restrict the output of information and renders of beta software. Heavy censorship? Darn, yes! It's B E T A!
If someone likes to talk about everything to his hairdresser he better don't partake on a beta program.
Every now and then you see posts or threads with ppl complaining about the restrictions or censorship on this (developers) forum, on the beta program or on whatever. NT OWNS this place, what would one expect?

Mike

Maxx
08-02-2006, 09:12 AM
colkai - that makes perfect sense! I'd have to bet that not every test render out of Kray makes it to their site, either ...

colkai
08-02-2006, 12:59 PM
Yeah, after all, Newtek should be the ones with the right to decide how best to show off new features.
Plus, it can be a great 'teaser', such as '..this image was created using the new feature of LW9 currently enjoyed by our beta team, it rendered in xyz on a wimble-splot machine". :)

I have no problems at all with Newtek holding a tight leash on how material is displayed, as we need to isolate the "noise" from the goodies.

What do you think Jay/Chuck? Sound like something you'd consider?

jayroth
08-02-2006, 01:04 PM
Sure. We actually did a bit of this, I recall.

Jay Roth.

Thor Simpson
08-02-2006, 04:18 PM
Sure. We actually did a bit of this, I recall.

Jay Roth.
Yup. And that's exactly how it should be handled. :thumbsup:

colkai
08-03-2006, 02:15 AM
Indeed, t'would be a grand thing. :)