We're pleased to inform you that the latest in Nightmare Death Machinery is now ready for alpha testing! If you're an alpha backer, you should have received your key by email now (or it may only be visible in backerkit). Please give it a whirl and send us a postcard (or comment) about your particular mass extinction event.
If you're not an alpha backer, and want to be (see the "PLEASE NOTE" part below, to make sure), you can accomplish that by emailing BackerKit at firstname.lastname@example.org if you ARE already a backer, or simply make a preorder here if you are not already a backer.
PLEASE NOTE: the game is in an extremely early state. Earlier than early, as Chris said. The upside for you is that most stuff is still up for discussion and feedback. The downside for you is that the interface is abominable, the balance hardly existent, and everything terribly incomplete.
1) Check your email for your key. If you cannot find that email, even searching the usual places your email system hides important things (spam, etc), please check on backerkit directly. If you cannot find the key on your backerkit page, please contact email@example.com.
2) As mentioned during the campaign, the game is steam-only through the early access period (and we're not even in early-access yet, actually). There will be a drm-free version at release, but maintaining separate distributions throughout the whole testing period would take a lot of effort and bandwidth costs, and really slow us down. So if you don't already have steam, download it.
3) In steam, on the library tab, in the lower-left corner, click "Add A Game" and then "Activate A Product On Steam". Then follow the instructions and provide the key when asked.
4) When the game is added to your library, select it and click the Install button.
5) When it's installed, run it, and the mass extinction event will begin shortly :)
How To Play
Normally, we wouldn't have to tell you. The game would tell you, and the interface would be all nice and intuitive.
But it ain't nowhere near there yet ;)
So while you're welcome to just go in blind, and you'll probably get successfully annihilated in due time, you may get a better picture of what's there if we just tell you.
Since this is documentation, we're putting it up on our wiki:
And also instructions on the modding workflows (such as they are, and what there is of them) :
Those pages are still under construction, so if it still says "(work in progress)" that's because you got there too fast ;)
How To Help
Right now, don't worry too much about intensive bug finding and whatnot. Just see if the game runs on your particular platform, and try to have fun. You probably won't have a lot of fun because the game is in such a placeholderish and incomplete state, but you probably will lose! If any of you fail to lose, please submit a bug report right away.
Speaking of bug reports, our mantis is the place to do that: https://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/
Be sure to select "AI War 2" in the Project dropdown.
We're happy to read other feedback here in the comments, but it's most likely to be put to good use if submitted on our forum: https://forums.arcengames.com/private-alpha-discussion/
When it comes to me, the feedback I'm most interested in right now is: What bothers you most? Not the little stuff, but the biggest things. Obviously, a lot of that is due to the game being in such an early state, but I always want to know where the major pain points are during any given part of the testing. I may or may not be able to address them soon, but often I can, so it's good to know.
When it comes to Chris, the type of feedback he’s mostly looking for right now are performance-related or outright crashes. You can see the list of things he already has in progress on his todo list. A lot of the visual or gameplay-feel things you’d be most likely to mention are already on there; but if something isn’t please feel free to bring it up!
Chris and I need to get back to work, as there's a ton of stuff we'd like to have gotten in for the first alpha and are still working on, but we'll be listening to feedback. Thanks so much for your support, it's very exciting to have reached this point :)