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Post-GenCon #SuperPreAlpha Demo Debrief!

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)

Wow, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of nerves and activity and emotions... but it was all incredibly worth it to see everyone’s excitement about the pre-alpha demo, both online and in-person at GenCon. We couldn’t have asked for a warmer response -- it was fantastic to see longtime tabletop fans and new recruits alike respond with such enthusiasm to this first look at our game. Brian and Connor (below) even drove six hours -- at the last minute, after seeing our Kickstarter update last Wednesday night -- to come try out the demo at GenCon. (They loved it!)

We got a lot of great coverage from both press and fans about the GenCon demo last week, such as Austin Walker’s piece on Vice, and this fan’s thoughts about the demo on the Penny Arcade forums.

We’re still a bit tired, but also deeply buoyed by your support -- and by the validation that while we have a lot of work still to do, you believe we’re on the right path to deliver a great BATTLETECH experience. So, to the Global BattleTech Community: we thank you, and we salute you!

We’re going to get back to work now, but we’ll be back in touch soon with more updates -- and more cool new stuff to show you. In the meantime, see below for a recap of everything from last week, including photos from the show, and a brand-new cinematic sneak-peek teaser.

-- Jordan, Mitch, Mike, and the BATTLETECH team

The GenCon 2016 demo crew!
The GenCon 2016 demo crew!

Demo Playthrough Video

If you missed the Backers-only update last week, here’s the #SuperPreAlpha demo video. (Feel free to share it!)


Digital Backer Tiers Re-Opened

We’ve also re-opened a limited number of DIGITAL-ONLY Backer Tiers on our BackerKit page -- if you know anyone who missed the Kickstarter, let them know! And if you’re a current Backer, but want to upgrade your Reward Tier to the $35, $50 (Beta Access), or $85 (Valhalla) Reward Tiers, just contact us via our website and we can process your upgrade.

Cinematic Sneak Peek

This is a short teaser that the art team cut together right before GenCon to loop on the TVs at the show. Now that we’re back, we want to share it with you to give you a taste of what we’re doing with the cinematics for the game.


#SuperPreAlpha Screenshots

In addition to the playthrough video, here’s a Facebook album of screenshots we took to show off of the demo.


And, for those of you who weren’t able to make it to GenCon - here’s some of our favorite pictures from the show! (There’s more on our Facebook page too, if you’re interested!)

Were we clear enough that this was a pre-alpha?
Were we clear enough that this was a pre-alpha?


MechWarriors take the field.
MechWarriors take the field.


There was so much interest, we had to demo in the aisles!
There was so much interest, we had to demo in the aisles!


Mitch received the Gift of the Show from an old-school fan.
Mitch received the Gift of the Show from an old-school fan.



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    1. RC on

      One of the forum users posted a great thread with lots of collected information from HBS's various Q&A's and the dev's individual forum posts in one place. He's still working on it, but there's a lot of info here. Prepare for a lengthy, worthwhile, read to get caught up. Remember the game is still in development, things may still change prior to launch ^_^

    2. Psi Cop on

      Got to try out the demo at PAX this morning! Very intuitive to play (and fun!) even in its pre-Alpha state, although I had the same thing happen that occurred in the video. The first PPC shot from the Marauder took out my Atlas as well (Critical hit to the head). I was... annoyed, but still able to finish the mission.

    3. Missing avatar

      John Vilnis on

      @Jacob - From a he super pre alpha video you can see that there is five turns per round and it depends on how fast your mech is as to which turn it can move/fire in.
      Light mechs move at the beginning then mediums, heavies and then assaults.
      But you can hold back your movement/firing until later if you want.
      They still appear to be working on some things but with a alpha demo battle with four different weight mechs, you saw them only moving one a turn.
      Well that is what I saw.

    4. Jacob on

      Looking great, but why can we only move one mech per turn?

    5. Lee Sweeney on

      Looking good.
      You know a .stl file of that drop ship would be cool to have.....

    6. RC on

      There's an update on the forums regarding Rewards shipping that doesn't affect most Backers, so it wasn't sent out through Kickstarter to all 40,000+ backers, some of whom might think it affected them when it doesn't.

      Also, very interesting reading

    7. Missing avatar

      VonTed on

      When am I getting this again? :)

    8. Missing avatar

      John Vilnis on

      This is what I have been waiting decades for and if this is the quality of pre-alpha, I can only imagine what the beta and full release looks, feels and plays like.
      Excellent works guys and gals.

    9. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      I'm a little confused. Are you saying that this build is an alpha? :D

    10. William Forbes on

      myself being an old school Mech-commandeer, I would hope a successful release of this new version and a moded version for us RTS guys?

    11. RC on

      HBS is doing an interview on the No Guts No Galaxy podcast livestream today @ 6pm PDT

    12. Damian on

      Oh man I can already see me spending a lot of time playing this game. Graphics and gameplay features are impressive for such an early build

    13. Missing avatar

      John Jones on

      Wow... I can NOT wait to play! Gr8 job!

    14. Talizvar on

      No alphas for backers because they would then be bombarded for alpha support!
      They would get nothing done.
      I think they were wise to back away from that thought.
      Beta testing however.... Oh I would promise to not complain unless they want good bug reporting.

    15. Thilix on

      Loved seeing you guys out there. Wish you had the rights to sell more of the hats and banners, ya'all would have cleaned house at GenCon for sure.

    16. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      BTW, folks -

      The Global BattleTech Community is going strong on The dev team regularly stops in to answer questions and have fun. Check it out!

    17. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Kevin Alford - we'd love to but getting the rights to do so has been challenging.

    18. Stewart "Zoot" Wymer

      My GF's only real complaint with your gameplay video is your selection of 'mechs and your loadout - but that's actually fairly high praise, coz she's hard to impress!

      I thought it was great and I'm looking forward to playing it. She can help me with the loadouts, haha. I think the fields of fire being extremely visible when you move is fantastic - because I have really hated some TBSs where you move a character/unit and then you're ready to fire and like ... oh, no line of sight. This has gotten me killed way too often! Great design decisions and gives me confidence this project is going in the right direction.

    19. Kevin Alford on

      Will you guys be selling the hats and banners and all that swag some time in the future?

    20. Phil Jefferson on

      Looking very promising - good job HBS :)

    21. Khell

      The picture of the Atlas showing before you click "play" on the cinematic teaser...anyone else think that kinda looks like Tom Hardy as Bain (Dark Knight Rises)?

      Wish I could have gone to GenCon. Glad things are going well for the game. There's an itch at the back of my brain that keeps screaming how much it can't wait for me to play this one.

    22. Missing avatar

      Mike on

      I'm glad you got such an awesome demo out in time for Gencon and that it was so well received. Keep up the great work!

    23. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Bitmap -- for existing Backers to request an upgrade, use the form on this web page:

    24. Manchershaw Engineer on

      The alpha looks incredible so far. Definitely meeting expectations. Good job guys!

    25. bitmap on

      How do I upgrade to the $85 tier? I backed during the Kickstarter :- )

    26. Jean-Baptiste Perrin on

      Well done! Keep up the good work!

    27. Nicholas Faubert on

      Once again, I'm completely happy that I've backed this project. Wonderful stuff.

    28. Remember Citadel on

      Great job HBS, can't wait to check out the game for myself.

    29. Missing avatar

      David Thompson on

      Any Harebrained presence at PAX West this year? I would love to get a shot to try this out!

    30. Hell-Nico on

      Nice job, keep going guys :D

    31. Kyle Schleich

      After finishing my 16 hour drive to gencon, i was in the hotel wednesday night and got the update, i was very happy to see that stuff was showable and playable for gencon! I didnt get a chance to play the demo, but it looked really nice!

    32. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Russell Selkirk - if you got this update in your email, you should have gotten last week's too. There's no differentiation between backers who got the update. Perhaps check your spam folder?

    33. Rodney Leary

      Just watched the demo video and love what I see so far. Awesome work guys. I was wondering if you plan on adding cinematic camera angles of kill shots when a mech scores an awesome hit. Something like what X-Com does. I think it would really show off the fantastic detail in the models and terrain.

    34. Missing avatar

      Russell Selkirk on

      I am rather confused as to why I did not receive the "kickstarter update" from you last Wednesday night that you all are referencing in your current project update... I'm a full backer, and should get a copy of all updates as such, so when I see something like that it sets off alarm bells. :/

    35. Serena Nelson - Hero of the AGRM

      I just loved playing the alpha demo at Gen Con. In fact, I'm considering upping my pledge now that I know a couple tiers have been reopened. Anyway, I also wrote a piece on my experience over at Cliqist. Here's the link if anyone's interested.

    36. Missing avatar

      James Buckett on

      Battletech and Harebrained Schemes was definitely the highlight of this years Gen Con for me. Thanks for the chance to pre alpha demo the game. Can't wait for more!

    37. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      We will not be releasing the Super-Pre-Alpha of the game. Only the single- and multi-player Beta will be released.

    38. Michael Barnhart on

      As a Vanguard Backer, can I get a copy of the pre-alpha game to play for now? I really loved it at GenCon!

      Yes, I am the guy you all had to tell several times that my play time was up and I had to let others is just that I finally got my Atlas into a perfect firing line for ALL its weapons - and all at greater than 80% hit chance! No way could ANYONE not take that one more turn and watch the Atlas light it up! :)

    39. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      Ah, just realized the issue. We said that if you are ALREADY a Backer, you can upgrade to the $85 (Valhalla) Reward Tier. We felt that if you had already gotten in early to support the project but couldn't afford $85 at the time, we should support you.

      New folk can't get that level.

    40. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      As noted in our last Kickstarter update, the $85 (Valhalla) Reward Tier is NOT open to Late Reinforcement Backers.

    41. Andrew McBride on

      $85 (Valhalla) Reward Tier should not be an upgrade option.

    42. Missing avatar

      Vicente Cartas

      Why not sharing the Alpha with the backers? We are all eager to try!

    43. Elliot Jenner on

      Just so you know the Atlas in the last shot has a transparent head.

      I like the style but I hope it gets a little more refined for the actual game. Some of the drawings looked vary awkward and asymmetric, and the parts where mechs moved all looked very wrong. Otherwise pre-rendered stuff in engine would also be good.

    44. Ian Hunter on

      I had a great time talking with you guys and a had a lot of fun playing the demo.

    45. Jacob Albers on

      Seriously. I'm in awe of what you guys are doing. It looks beautiful and I can't wait to try it out myself. This is Battletech brought to life in a way I've never seen it before. I'm excited about the future!

    46. Matt on

      Realize the alpha wasn't promised as a tier reward, but a little disappointing that random people off the street get to play and not backers who funded the project.

    47. Stefan Lopuszanski on

      While it is cool you're opening up the tiers again, it kind of is annoying to those, like me, who backed thinking you'd never open them up again. $85 a few months ago is worth more than $85 now. Wish you'd either increase the price of buying into the tiers now that time has passed or give something special to those who were original Kickstarter backers.

    48. nick.does.bags

      Great work have been impressed with what I've seen so far looking forward to it!