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TUG is a multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG using new technology and social sciences to directly involve players in the game’s design.
7,231 backers pledged $293,184 to help bring this project to life.

The Almost Beta (But Not Quite) Milestone!

Posted by Nerd Kingdom (Creator)

So we did it… We blundered it all up and everything is broken. Babies are crying, I lost my glasses, and we’re fairly certain that everything is as bad as they say it is… Except, not really!

We’ve decided to push back calling the game’s current state a “Beta” and keep it in the Alpha phase, at least for now. But fear not! We are still opening up the game to all our Beta backers, and the game will be available for purchase again. Most of the systems we wanted to implement are ready to go online, and we’ve had a chance to refine many things for this next major milestone. *high fives all around*

Starting out, we managed to raise a bit of capital to help us build the core of many of our systems without worrying about our doors closing. The best part about those deals is that they were structured in a way that allowed us, the developers, to retain control of the project going forward. We are now entering a new phase of development, which will require the help of you, our community, to get the word out about what we are doing, and to help expand and build our community. We need your help, but we don’t want you to help just for sake of helping. We want the game to be something you can all be proud of--something you feel inclined to share for that reason.

We are going to start implementing more methods of public communication with you all in this coming phase/year as well. Things like public milestones on our technology development, more dev blogs and vlogs, and a stronger presence with a bunch of our YouTube content creator friends. The tech is just about where we need it to be to truly make the experience something compelling, and we think this next stretch is going to make some AMAZING systems happen in the engine (even water! *gasp*).

We do plan on dropping the price of Alpha access down a bit, but those who are interested in donating more to our madness will have the option to do so! We haven’t decided on the exact prices yet, but we will have a handful of tier options available for varying levels of support. We are fortunate to be working with the Humble Store, of the Humble Indie Bundle fame. This will allow for a much smoother purchasing process for everyone who is supporting us (and will finally enable us to automatically send out Alpha keys… no more waiting for us to manually send them out at the end of the day!).

We’re also preparing to launch a Steam Greenlight campaign on January 29th, which is a super exciting opportunity for us. We’ll make an announcement as soon it’s live, and then we’ll need help from all of you in spreading the word!

We have come a long way since our crude demos in Kickstarter. Gameplay is actually happening, and we have a full blown development studio with amazing engineers, artists, designers, and scientists all working towards an OFFICIAL Beta milestone. To reach this milestone, we will list some criteria we feel must be met for us to be very comfortable making it official. Remember that though we’ve opted to not call it Beta for now, our goals have not actually changed… we’ll still keep building, we’ll still keep sharing, and we’ll still keep updating, probably more than ever!

This year is certainly going to be our year. Lots of exciting things are in store for us all within this Kingdom of Nerds that we’ve built… and we could not be more excited or grateful to have you guys here to help push us.

Justin Jackson, Robert Pearson, and 34 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Florence Versagen on

      Hi there! I'm a beta backer and I've just got my key email, but I don't yet have a computer capable of running Windows 7, let alone the game itself. How long exactly will the download be available? I have no idea when I'll be able to get a new computer, so I hope you guys don't take it down any time soon.

    2. Phil on

      how can I get my beta access??

    3. Missing avatar

      Rawr on

      Haha new NKsite again again?

      "even water! *gasp*"

      *GASP* <3

    4. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @WormSlayer We need to make sure we have TUG features and engine completed first before we think that far ahead. I am sure we all want VR support as much as you do. Big VR fan myself!

    5. WormSlayer on

      So... how is the Oculus Rift support coming along?

    6. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Aaron, we're actually rebuilding the entire TUG/NK site (again!) and it's going to launch next week along with all this other stuff. So, the new prices will be listed there, which is where the all the digital download packages will be available for purchase.

      @Andreas and Cody, we had many of the same thoughts and concerns about Greenlight, but ultimately decided that it was the best route to take with Steam for the time being, given our current stage of development. When/if we get Greenlit, we definitely plan to try to go the Early Access route!

    7. Cody Brown on

      I can definitely agree with Andreas here with what they said, the greenlight is kinda bogged down with games that a lot of people either never take the time to look at or just glance over and say "sure why not?" . If you guys can get in on the early access that would be awesome. But I think you have to go through greenlight to do that.

    8. Missing avatar

      Andreas Hamm

      Hey guys,

      you actually did something wrong IMHO. Steam Greenlight is going to be shutdown sooner or later because it doesn't work out as it should. Too many zombie games (with or without zombies in it) are lying around in this process and never get the attention they need to be greenlit. Also some of the greenlit games are horrible and just consume resources either on players' harddisks or Steam's storage servers. Instead more Early Access games are announced and I hope you go for this approach.

      About the hosted servers: I couldn't find any so far or they're deep hidden in some postings or are not working anymore. You know, I didn't visit the forums that much anymore after the change, because I couldn't get a good RSS feed from the new forum. It would be cool if you could tell me about some servers or give me hints where to find 'em.

    9. Missing avatar

      Rawr on

      "We do plan on dropping the price of Alpha access down a bit"
      Where will this new price be advertised? new TUG site, old TUG site, Steam?

    10. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Seth Cadman, That's what we are aiming for! Hopefully there's no evil force out there trying to stop our plan.
      @Joe is, We will get there at some point but for now you will have to type the server ip and port to get into a server. We are still looking into have servers up and will add the list on our forums and website in the near future. There are player hosted servers right now on our forums.

    11. Seth Cadman on

      awesome. i been looking forward to this for quite a while. so now its just a week away tell i get to hopefully start playing. hope it comes before next friday so i can play on my weekend. lol

    12. Joe Is on

      With multiplayer, will there be a server selection page, like for most multiplayer games, or will we have to type in an IP to connect like in Minecraft or Terraria? I personally like the idea of the server selection page because then you can see the best server based on ping.

    13. Nicholas Wogberg on

      @Nerd Kingdom, Awesome and thank you for the speedy reply.

    14. GSTree on

      win, gotta love you communication speed, you are made of amazing

    15. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Seth, @GSTree, Beta backers are still getting access next week! We've just decided not to call it "Beta" for now because we don't feel the game is at a place where we're comfortable using that term. We've reached many of the milestones we set out to reach for what we were intially calling Beta, but still don't feel it's quite there yet. So, we're still in Alpha, but Beta backers are still going to be able to play as planned. Does that clear things up? Nothing's actually changed as far as Beta backers are concerned, we're just changing our terminology a bit. :)
      @Explody, Beta backers are getting their keys next week, most likely! And it won't be a Steam key... we still have to get Greenlit! And even when TUG is up on Steam, we'll still offer downloads of the game on our own site, so you'll never be forced to use Steam if you don't want to.
      @Nicholas, we'll be figuring out many of those details in the coming months, so we can probably work something out for you!

    16. Sven O. on

      Seth: They're releasing it to Beta backers just as scheduled, but it wont officially be Beta. So you/we will still get our early access, but they don't think it's finished enough to call it Beta.

      At least that's what I think they think :)

    17. Seth Cadman on

      re reading that im not so sure. it looked like you were going to be in beta, but then decided not, and still alpha, then looked like you were going to release to beta anyways, but then reading again doesnt seem that way yet. sooo is beta uusers getting access now or later or what...

    18. Missing avatar

      Carey Newhouse

      Is there an ETA for the Beta backers recieving their game keys? I also would like to know if we'll get a Steam key for the game. Thanks for the work you're putting in!

    19. GSTree on

      confuzion: the update says that you are opening it up to the Beta backers, is that now? Soon? or much later?

    20. Seth Cadman on

      so Beta pledgers like myself will get info on how to get the copy of the game to start playing then? awesome! cant wait for this!

    21. Nicholas Wogberg on

      Thank you for the update, and I'm glad to hear you are pushing the beta back for sake of the quality of the game.

      I have a question about Steam, will it be possible for people who purchased the game via Kickstarter to get a Steam code for the game?

    22. Nick Hanson

      @Nerd Kingdom, Whew, thanks for the clarification!

    23. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Nick, we're referring to our Kickstarter there! That's what we mean by "raising a bit of capital," haha. We also were fortunate enough to have support from some private investors who allowed us to retain full creative control of the project, as we've mentioned elsewhere. And don't worry, TUG isn't going to be Steam only! We'll still continue to offer digital downloads through our website and the Humble Store.

    24. Nick Hanson

      This update confuses me. When you say "Starting out, we managed to raise a bit of capital to help us build the core of many of our systems without worrying about our doors closing." isn't that what the Kickstarter did? If we didn't even do that then what DID our kickstarter funds pay for? Also I'm not a fan of Steam at all and while it's technically possible to release a game on Steam that's DRM free (use it just to deliver the executable and patches) it rarely ever happens. If I can't uninstall steam and keep playing the game then it's not DRM free and your kickstarter clearly stated the game would be DRM free. I'm totally cool with there being a Steam version, even with DRM, as long as there is an DRM-free option too (direct download, GoG, Humble Store, whatever). I'm even cool with it being Steam only through the Alpha-Beta phase but if the game releases as Steam only and requires Steam to run it's DRM and you would have broken your promise to us backers.

    25. Billy Barnes on

      I am excited to see this all move forward!

      I really hope you devs are going to start focusing on the game as a whole, and start introducing all the fun things we want to play with.

      Also, I believe you should start doing polls or the like to ask us interesting questions, like where to direct the development, or what features are more important to us, etc.

    26. Erwin || Redlum

      So much words that say so little :p
      However, I am getting more excited for this game somehow. I can feel the potential and with every update I feel it even more. It got to the point that I am clicking the update button in the launcher everyday just in the hope that there is another new update. I'm excited guys, I'm glad I backed this game!

    27. WormSlayer on

      Sweet, really looking forward to playing this! How is the Rift support coming?