Current Alpha Target Date: October 8th
Hi HEXers. William here with your weekly update and the headline is that Alpha is currently planned for release on October 8th. Here's Cory Jones below with more information on that.
So the big question… When is Alpha? It's October 8th … maybe
Features in the Alpha
- Make an account
- Full play set (4) of PVP cards
- Full deck building interface
- Make and Save decks
- Play single matches with other Alpha gamers
- First look at the Entrath interactive globe
- Enjoy the (still in progress but greatly improved) interface elements!
- The game going up and down as we patch and fix all the problems we discover as part of the Alpha
- BUGS! This is Alpha; it will be riddled with bugs! That’s just the way an Alpha is, its part of the alpha process!
- Seriously... BUGS!!!
We are very close and continue to finish elements that will allow us to hit our internal Alpha milestone schedule of Sept.30. There are a few elements that remain untested (primarily server issues); those issues will be our major hurdle, and I will have a clearer picture as we get closer to that date.
I have often described video game development like so: “Imagine you’re on a road, and off in the distance you can see a castle. Given the distance, you can make a pretty accurate judgment on how long it will take to walk to that castle. But, the problem is the road between you and the castle is shrouded in mist. Sure, if the mist isn’t hiding anything, your estimate should be pretty accurate… but, if you happen to run into a crevasse or some bandits hiding in the mist… well, its going to take a bit longer to get to that castle”
We are very close and can be pretty accurate on this date (not a lot of mist left), but sadly we are not sandbagging. Real work is still going into the alpha, so until we have the last bit of development done I cannot guarantee the date, and this is compounded by some of these last elements having zero test time. This has really been a war between our desires to get you the Alpha by the end of Sept. and judging what was “finished” enough to really feel like a good Alpha experience. We are actively playing the game, and every day the look and feel gets better. Trust me, no one is more excited to get this in the hands of you the backers than me, and I think you’re going to flip for what we have done.
As to the roll out, clearly we cannot simple dump the entire base into an untested server platform; players will have to trickle in. My hope is we do relatively small batches the first couple of days and based on that info we throttle it as high as we can reasonably go to get everyone in as quickly as possible. As an example: if we let in 500 people day one, 1000 day two, and the server is handling it no problem, we could go 5000 day three and the rest day four, but this is all based on server performance.
Thank you so much for your belief in HEX, and leading up to October 8th. I will hit the forums and let you know if anything goes wrong and the date will not hold.
So, we're truckin along and we'll let you know if that date moves, but we're currently targeting October 8th.
What We're Doing
As for the rest of the team, we're still doing things like putting new location panoramas into the client, finishing up the PVE art (both creating and upgrading pieces), and booking Set 2 pieces. We have a few pieces that came in this week, and we're really trying to both improve the art from an artistic quality standpoint and a composition standpoint. That means cleaning up the internal artist database and project management website.
R&D is both working on Set 2 development (a lot of late night pizza party booster drafts here at the office) and the PVE dungeon experience. The engineers are working their magic-- or at least it seems like magic to a layperson such as myself. Kyle is cracking the whip to make sure we get to the targeted date. He's a kind whip cracker, though-- as kind as you can find in the whip cracking business-- so don't feel bad for us.
Today, we're featuring two humans: the sapphire Phoenix Guard Trainer and the ruby Daring Swordsman. The former fits perfectly into Human Inspire decks, and the latter gets dangerous-- even lethal-- quickly.
We've updated the desktop area with the Alpha design featuring some new art, so download those and refresh your device backgrounds today!
Next week, you can expect some information on the alpha sign-up process as we're able to finalize that, some more card previews, an art showcase, and more! Until then, see you next week and feel free to discuss this here in the comments as well on our forums.