Author Topic: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.  (Read 4380 times)

Offline x4000

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Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« on: January 15, 2014, 08:33:08 PM »
Just as an FYI, since I figured folks would want to know. :)  We had thought it might start next week or else on the 27th, and at this point it's definitely the 27th.

Not because we are behind -- actually we're doing really good overall, Keith is killing it on the code for the new combat stuff, and the prototype is already working a a certain level and really promising as we're layering on more stuff.  But rather, because we want to make sure that we make this as fully-featured as possible, without breaking the scope so to speak.

I can't really speak to the specifics yet, in case we wind up not having time to actually get every last one of our goals for this next week done, but I am super excited about them.  Even just the core of what we're working on is exciting enough, but there are some extended things that I believe we can fit in that will really expand the game in some interesting ways that I always wanted to do with AI War, but could not.

As next week progresses, I'll start sharing stuff with you about the combat model.  I don't mind going ahead and telling you that these are basically RTS skirmishes with your fleet versus another single fleet of some sort of opposition, in a relatively small sector of space.  It's a game of maneuver and of carefully avoiding losses since those cut into your profit margins.  It's... really different from any RTS I've personally played, in a good way.  The battles are still short and vicious, and actually higher-tension now than they were before.

Anyway, I'm really excited about it, as I've already said, but I don't want to say too much prior to really having these things fully tested out and vetted internally.  So I'll be saying more as we pass each internal milestone successfully, basically.
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Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 12:03:37 AM »
can't wait, it sounds really fantastic!!   

:)


Offline nas1m

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 01:41:54 AM »
In case you don't mind a single question regarding the new combat model:
Will it still be pausable realtime?

Otherwise I will just have to wait ;).
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Offline mrhanman

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 01:50:58 AM »
Awesome! I can't wait!

I'm really excited to see what stories emerge from this.

Offline Rekka

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 04:04:31 AM »
Nice stuff. Combats around maneuvers look promising. Can't wait to have more infos. :)

Offline alocritani

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 06:19:13 AM »

As next week progresses, I'll start sharing stuff with you about the combat model.  I don't mind going ahead and telling you that these are basically RTS skirmishes with your fleet versus another single fleet of some sort of opposition, in a relatively small sector of space.  It's a game of maneuver and of carefully avoiding losses since those cut into your profit margins.  It's... really different from any RTS I've personally played, in a good way.  The battles are still short and vicious, and actually higher-tension now than they were before.

Are they similar to naval battles in Patrician II/III?

Offline x4000

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 08:09:10 AM »
In case you don't mind a single question regarding the new combat model:
Will it still be pausable realtime?

Oh yes -- I should have clarified that.  Same sort of deal with pause, fast forward, and normal speed being on easy hotkeys, just like before (and just like the solar system map, still).  As noted above, the battles are an RTS, after all, so being realtime is part of it, and pauseable is another. :)

I'm really excited to see what stories emerge from this.

Me too -- I am expecting to read some epic tales of woe in some LPs. :)  I just love reading stuff like Boatmurdered, where the writer of the LP really goes the extra mile and makes the LP itself a work of art in my opinion.  Even in Boatmurdered itself, you can tell a few weaker chapters where there was not as much personality or storytelling prowess, and the same underlying game came off as more bland than crazy interesting like the rest of the time.  So I am really looking forward to seeing not only what stories the game gives to people, but also what some people then turn around and embellish to others. :)

Are they similar to naval battles in Patrician II/III?

I'll preface this by saying that I've not played those games.  But from a cursory look... maybe?  Sort of?  More details to come soon. ;)
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 08:51:02 AM »
Oh yes -- I should have clarified that.  Same sort of deal with pause, fast forward, and normal speed being on easy hotkeys, just like before (and just like the solar system map, still).  As noted above, the battles are an RTS, after all, so being realtime is part of it, and pauseable is another. :)
Cool stuff! I am always looking for games that I can play laid back on the sofa, either with my laptop on my knees or by hooking it up to the TV and using a game pad (this being one reason why I have so many hours logged in Skyward and to some degree Bionic ;)). Having to do something twitchy using only a touchpad is not exactly fulfilling this requirement ;D.

Looking forward to hear more!
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Offline Misery

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 09:10:54 AM »
Well, this all sounds good. 

Here's hoping that the beta goes smoothly, and that we have a decent amount of testers for this one.


Oh yes -- I should have clarified that.  Same sort of deal with pause, fast forward, and normal speed being on easy hotkeys, just like before (and just like the solar system map, still).  As noted above, the battles are an RTS, after all, so being realtime is part of it, and pauseable is another. :)
Cool stuff! I am always looking for games that I can play laid back on the sofa, either with my laptop on my knees or by hooking it up to the TV and using a game pad (this being one reason why I have so many hours logged in Skyward and to some degree Bionic ;)). Having to do something twitchy using only a touchpad is not exactly fulfilling this requirement ;D.

Looking forward to hear more!

Agh I hate touchpads on laptops.   I dunno how anyone can tolerate the blasted things.

I always have to hook up a proper mouse if I wanna do a game with lots of clicking.  Or a controller if that can be managed.  Touchpads are just.... argh.  If I tried gaming with one of those, it wouldnt end well for the laptop.

Offline x4000

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2014, 09:51:35 AM »
This is definitely a mouse-driven game, although you can tune the base speed of combat to be much slower than usual if you want to use a slower form of input.  Things will just take longer, but that's all.  Or if you are super fast, you can speed things up and just blaze through at the speed you prefer.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 09:57:27 AM »
This is definitely a mouse-driven game, although you can tune the base speed of combat to be much slower than usual if you want to use a slower form of input.  Things will just take longer, but that's all.  Or if you are super fast, you can speed things up and just blaze through at the speed you prefer.
Sounds good to me!
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 10:24:50 AM »
Well, this all sounds good. 

Here's hoping that the beta goes smoothly, and that we have a decent amount of testers for this one.


So far, easily the most testers we've had for a game.

That, of course, doesn't mean we'll get plenty of feedback from all of them. We've had testers in the past who give very little to none, but, we've never had this many testers before. (Unless Tidalis had a big long list I"m not aware of before I got here.)

Offline x4000

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 10:26:48 AM »
Tidalis had literally zero testers prior to its launch, IIRC.  I can't recall if we did a public beta with that, but we did not do a private alpha.

In the past we have had larger numbers of public beta testers/customers for things like AI War expansions or for Valley 1 and 2, but we did not get feedback of the same density from that sort of group, since a huge majority of them don't give any feedback at all.  So in terms of the pool of people actually lining up to give feedback, this is probably the largest.
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Offline Greywolf22

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 06:22:01 PM »
Awesome!! Really looking forward to breaki...uhh I mean playing it  ;)

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Alpha will be starting on the 27th, or thereabouts.
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2014, 11:31:29 PM »
So far, easily the most testers we've had for a game.

That, of course, doesn't mean we'll get plenty of feedback from all of them. We've had testers in the past who give very little to none, but, we've never had this many testers before. (Unless Tidalis had a big long list I"m not aware of before I got here.)

Guilty! :(

I wasn't able to contribute any Bionic Dues observations until it had shipped (and still have some in a .txt file), so in spite of my best intentions and desires, I didn't actively seek a beta test position for this one.

If I get an invite anyway (having been on the list), I'll take advantage of it, of course. But I'm slightly afraid of being as time-strapped as before.

Either way, will be monitoring the beta threads on coffee breaks for those drips and drabs of information!