To beta or not to beta

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  • Hi folks. Apologies if this has been asked before.

    My question is simple enough: should I update to every new version that's released? As beta releases, how stable are they, really? How much of the core application is changed in these new releases?

    Since I bought Construct 2 about a month ago I've been getting quite into the development of my first game, and as new features are released I'm tempted to play around with them, but what are the risks? Specifically, could I stand to permanently corrupt my project by working on it in a beta version of C2?

    I'm not looking for the safe answer here, I know that answer is "only install stable releases if you're worried." I'm looking for people's experiences with Construct 2 as development has progressed over time, if you've ever lost a project to a beta release, or have had any other sort of catastrophic (or even minor) setback, temporary or otherwise.

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  • Never had problems with beta versions myself, and I always want to have the new goodies as soon as possible :)

  • Each release has its own changelog page, in which the possible breaking changes are notified.

    When installing a new version, it's important to review this list and see if your projects are likely to be broken by those changes or not.

    A safe thing to do is to make backups of your projects/capx before opening them in a new version and to save them as a new project/file from within C2.

    As far as features go, well a new feature may contain bugs, that's the purpose of betas. Depending on the feature it may or may not act on the "core" of the soft, but generally it doesn't.

    For example, r115 is mainly a new export option, so the rest of the soft is untouched.

    I'm always keeping to the latest beta and it's been pretty good so far.

    Some versions had "major" bugs that made projects not workable anymore. When this happens, Ashley generally release a .2 in the couple of days following the first report of such issue.

    If you want to be safe, don't download the beta on the very time it's released, wait a couple of days to see if people will report a major bug or not.

    Anyway, you can install multiple instances of C2 (for example, a stable on the harddrive and beta on a USB key).

    There are always ways to get back a corrupted project saved in a beta version to an older stable release (as long as the project does not use specific features only available in the newest beta).

    It's "hacky" but it's possible.

    Lastly, if you're looking to export and upload a game to Scirra's arcade, you are to export it in the latest version of C2 anyway.

  • Are you working on a commercial project that you MUST, at all costs, have a stable version of? Then use the stable releases. If you're messing around, learning new things and creating a game without any base, use the beta versions.

    The game I'm making is still in early development, so I use the beta versions of C2 all the time.

    The best think you can do is just keep a backup at all times.

  • I think beta releases are generally fairly stable - we don't usually make significant engine changes any more, so usually there are only more minor code changes or new features being added. However every now and then something important does get broken. I think it's still fairly low risk though - as long as you back up your project just before installing a beta, if it doesn't work you can go back to the previous version and still open your project. Usually within a week or so a new beta is out which fixes whatever was broken.

    We haven't had any "corrupted project" bugs for a long time now (although never say never...) but even if that worst case scenario happened, you have your backups (right?)

    The main purpose of beta releases is so if we do break something important it doesn't affect everyone - only those who have opted in to help testing.

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