I remember taking a little bit of stick when I blogged that Titan’s ‘beta’ test for Fat Princess wasn’t the best idea. Sure, the free publicity must have been nice for Sony and the fact that a few of us got to play the game for nothing some months ago was cute too, but calling what essentially amounted to little more than a demo a beta test was pushing it, in my opinion. I saw little feedback from those playing the game and the limited nature of the version we had meant we couldn’t really test very much at all. Whilst we don’t doubt Sony’s own internal testing department worked on the game too, perhaps the two companies could have been more transparent about what we were meant to do with the game.
And now, look, the game’s out and it’s lagging like crazy and connection problems abound. Naturally, the so-called beta test didn’t highlight these issues the first time around so now the onus is back on Titan to get these issues fixed. “Players are sometimes experiencing significant lag in some games. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve identified a specific problem and already have a fix in testing.” says the Titan dev blog.
“The matchmaking system will randomly pick potential servers bases on a number of criteria. As implemented, the results that are returned are fit in some regards, but sometimes have a high ping for your location. As a result, some players may be having a great experience, and others dealing with substantial lag. Leaving a particularly laggy game and joining a new one may result in a better experience. Unfortunately, it can be luck of the draw. The fix we have in testing returns a list of potential servers in such a way that it always favors the lowest available pings.”
With regards to the connection problems, Titan tell us they have “implemented a number of fixes for previously identified problems,” focusing most of their efforts on connection failures. “We have already tested this patch on our own client machines, and performance appears to be dramatically improved. We are working with Sony now to get the patch into the Sony testing process as soon as possible.”
Titan re-assure us that Fat Princess went through “comprehensive testing with Sony in the US and Europe, and a beta,” but go on to say that “these issues did not manifest until the game went live at scale”. Funny, that. “Rest assured,” they say, “we’re working on it, and think we have it largely addressed.” Excellent. Fat Princess is a great game but held back at the moment by some dodgy network issues, we hope Titan and Sony can fix these bugs and make Fat Princess the success it deserves to be.