Starstorm Report #20: May the Beta be With You!
We've been working hard to get the Beta out this week, but it looks like we'll need until next Tuesday or Wednesday to give you your first taste of Custom Games features. The reason for this slight delay is quite exciting though: we're actually trying to implement a whole new gamemode into the Private Match system for this Beta!
Yup, you read that right: a new gamemode! For a long time, we've been getting requests from people who desperately want to see Team Deathmatch happen in Awesomenauts. No objectives, no more backdooring, no desperate last-ditch defense efforts around the drillcore... just a plain, good-old fragfest! We aim to please, so the Custom Games Beta that is launching next week will include basic functionality for this gamemode.
The Beta will be available to all backers in the Iron Tier and above, and I'll begin sending out keys to give you Beta access right away. Please note that while you can already redeem the Steam key for Beta access, it doesn't actually do anything yet – you'll have to wait until we release the Beta itself next week before you can use it properly. I'll be writing up another Kickstarter update when the Beta goes live, and that message will include more information on how to actually access it.
In addition to the Team Deathmatch feature, which will see the match end when either team reaches a certain number of kills, we're also adding a few more customization options to matches in general. These features include:
- No Droppods mode (You spawn directly in the base when the timer reaches 0)
- Spawn Timer Multiplier (Reduce, increase, disable spawn times)
- Random Spawn location (mainly relevant for Team Deathmatch, so you spawn in a random location on the map instead of your base)
- Droid Multiplier (Increase or reduce the number of droids that spawn in your base)
- Limit or Disable Bots (Empty slots in a match don't get filled by AI-controlled bots, unless you tell the game you want at least 1, 2, or 3 slots filled per team. This will allow you to play 3 vs. 1 or 2 vs. 2 for instance)
- Shop Anywhere (Allows you to enter the in-game store from any location on the map)
- Arena Mode (mainly relevant for Team Deatchmatch, closes off certain areas of the map to keep competitors in a more confined space)
Of course, we have many, many more features lined up for Custom Games, but as you can see in the Roadmap we published last week, we'll be rolling these features out over the coming year.
As we get ready to kick off the Beta next week, this might be a good moment to take a look back at previous Betas we've done. In July 2012, we ran a Closed Beta for a few weeks before the game launched on Steam. We had about 5000 people participate in that, and it brought quite a lot of attention to the game.
Since then, we've been doing small-scale tests with a subset of the community (the Betanauts) to test out balance changes, find bugs with new characters, upgrades and skills, and test a couple of new features. As some of you may know, these Betas were password protected (rather than key-protected as they will be from now on), and these passwords have always been a little bit... special. In fact, all of these passwords came from the mind of our Lead Programmer Joost:
Oh sweet Beta passwords of mine, you will be missed!
More news regarding the new “Early Access Beta” will be included in a Kickstarter update next week!