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  1. #1
    Member Grifta's Avatar
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    Limited time open Alpha/Beta?

    Will there be a short open alpha or beta at some point? Steam can handle "free weekend" style access controls and it would be great to have a day to poke around.

    Barring that; are there any more short update videos on the way? I'm not looking for full, polished updates, maybe you guys got a cool spell working, or spiced up the fireball animation. Then just a 15 second clip of that happening?

  2. #2
    Community Manager Berserkerkitten's Avatar
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    Hmm... I wouldn't hope for an open alpha, because people may have unrealistic hopes and expectations in an alpha. You know how major publishers tend to have these public beta events for their games just weeks before release and these betas are often super polished and look really great and get people all hyped up into pre-ordering?

    Thing is, our alpha right now is exactly that. Missing, incomplete and experimental features, placeholder assets, a bunch of text which needs additional love and proofreading - our alpha backers are aware of that and they're extremely helpful and understanding. Releasing an alpha build to the public, however, may do us more harm than good. Please don't get me wrong! I'm sure that most of our community would understand what 'alpha' means and they'd be cool with it, but I'm a bit scared of a ton of negative Steam reviews from people, who for some reason expect a complete and polished game during a hypothetical free alpha weekend.

    I'm also not sure how that would go down with our alpha supporters. People paid a lot of money for the priviledge and they might feel it devalues their pledge if we suddenly started a free alpha event.

    But hey, you never know. When we get closer to release and have a really good beta build ready, maybe at the end of the closed beta phase, this could be something we can do? I'm sure that's something the Owlcats would be willing to talk about when we get there. :) Of course it's not my decision to make.

    Regarding updates, I see another companion and another new UI in the pipeline right now, but a little further down the road I see planned updates for graphical features and animations. So while some of that is still a little while away, it's all scheduled and in preparation and we're definitely gonna show a lot more stuff!
    http://nutiminn.is/kattarshians/

  3. #3
    Member Grifta's Avatar
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    Yea, fair point on the Alpha reviews, but I was meaning (as you mentioned) something at the end of a stage.

    For the updates, I guess you guys are controlling the updates to be more polished. I was hoping for some of those smaller company style ones where there's just little snippets of cool artwork/animations every week or so. Maybe something funny that happened in testing, or around the office. Does someone have a great collection of something on their desk?

  4. #4
    Community Manager Berserkerkitten's Avatar
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    I hate to be reason for disappointment, but right now updates really have been slowed down to 1-2 per month, because there is still so much work to do on the game and these updates are extremely time-consuming. They usually require one of our devs to stop whatever it is they're doing, then take a few hours to describe a certain aspect of the game, a behind the scenes story or what have you. Not every Owlcat speaks English, so the text gets a first rough translation from Russian.

    Then we all have a look at the update, see if it's fun, if it's easy to understand, talk about things that might need changing. And I'm usually asked to have another look at the phrasing, spelling and grammar. I don't do a perfect job with that, because I'm not a native speaker (or writer, heh), so in some cases we send the text to Chris after I'm done editing it, so he can have one last look before we send the whole thing to Paizo for approval. Ideally, they are happy with our work and the update can be published right away. In some cases we may have to change certain phrases or descriptions, because they're a little too close to that other popular roleplaying franchise. Sometimes an included piece of artwork doesn't get approval, so it needs to be swapped out.

    Sometimes we also get folks who ask us for a shout-out on Kickstarter, so that requires a bit of time and planning, as well. Does their game look cool? Is it relevant to our users? Is our update big enough, so that it won't look like spam or advertising if we add a small paragraph about another game, which we genuinely think looks great?

    Heh. Sorry for typing out a novel here. What I'm trying to say is, these updates require a lot of time and involvement from everyone, even if they're small, fun little anecdotes and progress updates. I can poke the team and ask them if maybe we can show the odd little clip here and there, but I can't make any promises. For what it counts, more fun stuff is definitely planned! :)
    http://nutiminn.is/kattarshians/

  5. #5
    Keep doing those 1-2 updates per month!

    If a kickstarter isn't regularly updating about once a month people start freaking out, asking if the creator has vanished with 'their' money (which, at this point, isn't their money anymore at all) and such. Even more so, once the delivery estimate is in the past.

    So, while I understand the writing of such updates (and proofreading, and in your case, approval and whatnot) is a tedious task, you have to keep doing them to keep folks interested and happy.

    Sometime it is enough to write: "Nothing much of the ordinary, bugs are being squashed, art assets implemented. We can't really show you anything new right now, but we are on track."
    Just keep showing that you are doing work and don't forget those who made (part of) this happen.

    We on the forum here are blessed with your presence, but there are so many backers on Kickstarter that haven't made their way over to here.
    Last edited by Frazzle Running; 10-09-2017 at 11:36 AM. Reason: addition

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mat's Avatar
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    Maybe you could share some of the feedback you've received from the alpha? That would require no art assets and it would minimize writing since you're just picking out quotes or information from the surveys to share with the community.

    I'd be very interested to know which companions are most popular with other players.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    I have to agree, update do not have to be big or anything "new" (for people who are at forum) even things like: "Update 44, Alpha test have been going on around 2 weeks. We have learned a lot. There is still a change to be part of it: look this url and pay us money" <= naturally edit that last part a bit :p

    But it will tell plenty of people who do not know that alpha test is now going on, that you are making good progress and so on. Us (here in forum) that would be old news but still...

    Or even update for social challenges (when we get cooking while camping, how many "like" more in fb or so). Meaning: "small" stuff what you or pretty much anyone can write. Or even some of your experiment like "hey here is Mr X, it have been wild ride this far, now my days are pretty much full for answering people in our kickstarter page (url) and our forum (url) remember to join us and give a shout there if you have anything to ask!" :)
    Last edited by Pathfinder; 10-09-2017 at 12:54 PM.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  8. #8
    Community Manager Berserkerkitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat View Post
    Maybe you could share some of the feedback you've received from the alpha? That would require no art assets and it would minimize writing since you're just picking out quotes or information from the surveys to share with the community.

    I'd be very interested to know which companions are most popular with other players.
    That's actually a really great topic for an update. We're still waiting for a little more feedback (only 16 people filled in the survey so far), but I love your idea!
    http://nutiminn.is/kattarshians/

  9. #9
    Want I'd want from the next update, is the introduction of a new companion.(preferably a divine/healer because I don't trust dwarves(kidding) and certainly not a cleric of Groetus with my health/life)
    What do you call a dragon who ate a bunch of adventurers? A party-pooper!
    If you Awaken a chicken, is it speaking fowl language?
    What do you say when a treefolk betrays you? Tree-son!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berserkerkitten View Post
    That's actually a really great topic for an update. We're still waiting for a little more feedback (only 16 people filled in the survey so far), but I love your idea!
    Great! I wanted to suggest something that would be relatively easy to do. I know the team is swamped actually making the game at the moment.

    How many people have alpha access? Hopefully you can get at least 100 backers to fill out the surveys.

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