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Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!

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Hey folks,

So we're getting really close to being ready for the private alpha.  Possibly as early as tomorrow, or else on Monday.  If you want to be a part of this, please PM tigersfan (Josh).  There are also a number of you that already are confirmed as being part of the first wave of alpha testers since you made one or more suggestions for bot designs that we wound up using.

Alpha Process
We'll be doing this in waves, as usual.  So please tell Josh when your time availability actually is during the next week or two.  The idea of doing this in waves is the fact that we can only make a first impression on a given person once.  So having some testers be first and then making adjustments on their feedback means that the first impressions of the later testers are closer to what the beta and 1.0 customers will experience.  Which is really useful to us.

Current State Of The Game
This thing is practically done, to be honest.  This is unlike any other alpha or even beta that we've done before.  Well, except Tidalis, actually.  The reason this time is that this game HAS to be pretty much done in order to be playable much at all.  So don't expect titanic shifts in the game during alpha or beta (it already works and is plenty fun), and in general don't expect much more in terms of content.

Current known things that are going to change during alpha and beta:

1. We are still working on more floor graphics and more "flavor objects" to add more variety in the visuals of your locales.  These have no impact on gameplay.

2. There will inevitably be some bugs found and some balance things that need adjusting (of course).

3. Four more cities will be added so that we have a total of 5 rather than the current 1.

4. We may add a few more bots, depending on how it winds up feeling over time.  But there are already 100,000 possible combinations of normal bots that you may face in a level, plus more with the "special" bots that are in smaller numbers.   So that's, uh, pretty good. ;)

5. During alpha, not all of the bots are yet lit and animated.  We'll be finishing that next week.

6. We're also still putting in some of the "robot chatter."

7. The comic from Nick Trujillo is just getting started.

8. We do plan to have hackable computer terminals that are kind of like potions in other roguelikes, but those won't be in until partway through alpha or possibly into early beta.

9. The big one: there are certain things that the game doesn't explain yet, instead just dumping you into things.  It tries as much as it can, but there are still some things needed.  This is the biggest reason we are doing waves of players, because we want to know where each group feels a bit stumped.  Still, this game is our most accessible yet according to Erik's experience at PAX (oddly, for a roguelike), so it doesn't seem like there's a ton.  We'll find out during testing.

And... yeah.  That's pretty well it. :)  When it comes to this alpha, mostly we're going to want you to just play it and report anything you feel like you want to tell us (bugs, balance, something that isn't clear or fun or whatever).  And that's about it!

- Alpha will last for 1-2 weeks or so.
- Then we'llgetting that to anybody from the public who wants to try it.
- Shortly after that, when things settle down some (maybe a week in), we'll be treating the beta as our press build.
- Then 1.0 will be in mid-October.



 (Sorry, haven't been active lately. Had a lot of other things to do...)

I'll post here to make it easier for folks to find me... if you want in the Bionic Alpha, please send me a PM, and let me know when you have time.

Just heard TotalBiscuit speak about Bionic Dues in his "Content Pax". Can't remember if it was #2 or #3. But he liked it, which is awesome!

Oh, and speaking of alpha, I'm currently heavily involved in the Distance (Nitronic Rush sequel) alpha, so my time is very short, so I won't be able to participate in BD alpha. Sorry guys!


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