Letter from the Producer
Quick introduction: My name is Stoffer and I was recently hired as the EP of BitCraft. I also play a lot of video games. Like a lot. One thing that frustrates me about new games I’m excited about is radio silence and not knowing what’s going on. I want to make sure that everyone who’s waiting for our game knows what we’re working on and where we’re at. So going forward, you’re likely to be getting updates about the game from me, especially as we kick off a new release.
As a reminder, or just info if you’re new, we are currently in pre-alpha and even though we’re not launched yet, all of our releases are tested by our community. If you’d like to participate, sign up at ENTER HERE for a chance.
One quick note: I’m a strong believer in the principle that people remember if your game was good, not if it was on time. I’m about to share what’s CURRENTLY in production for pre-alpha update 8, but we’re not going to be afraid of moving any of it to a future release if it doesn’t hit our quality bar.
Next on deck: Pre-alpha update 8
Our pre-alpha update 8 update has three major goals:
- Ship a new, more satisfying movement system
- Expanding and making our world more interesting
- Adding more stuff to do, by introducing a first version of farming, while we add a layer of polish to fishing and hunting
Ship a new, more satisfying movement system
Taking player movement off-grid is a really valuable, long-planned change to our game. Since inception, our entire game operated on a hex-grid including player movement. Early on, this made development a lot simpler and faster, but as we’ve developed the game, it’s also become one of the most consistent points of negative feedback from players. That, coupled with finally having the tech in a good place to make the transition, made it a good candidate to tackle now, before we scale our tests past what we’re doing today.
The update should make movement feel a lot more fluid and natural, but as a quick warning, this is a pretty big change and has the potential to impact the overall quality of our next playtest.
Expanding and making our world more interesting
There’s two parts to this. The first part is taking water in BitCraft from a space between land, to a playable area. We want to make sure you can explore by walking, swimming or sailing around our world. On top of that, as with oceans in the real world, we want to make sure it’s populated by all kinds of interesting things that you’re more than welcome to try and fish out of the water.
The second part is around our ancient ruins. We’re going to add more types, seed them with ancient treasure and in general make sure that players who go exploring will run into interesting and mysterious content like this.
New skills and polish
Farming is coming along well. There’s a pretty good early experience, focused on growing different types of crops, as well as some early animal taming (cool mounts, anyone?). Pre-alpha update 8 is going to be our first outing for this particular skill and I’m really excited at how it’s coming along.
Hunting is something we’ve kind of had in the game. You could theoretically hunt animals, but combat was really clunky, which we were ok with, as we really just needed the mechanics to support a few of the other crafting skills. With this update, it should be a lot more intuitive, the UX should look much better and that sets us up for another pass on the visuals and sound in the future
Fishing is going to tie the room together like a rug in the ocean. With water being a playable area, it felt like the right time to fully add fishing to a playtest. Much like farming, it will be the first playtest” version of this particular skill.
We’re pretty excited about all the new features and we will make sure they are fun and immersive. At the end of this release, we’ll have an early skeleton of all the skills we’re hoping to have in closed alpha.
Additional smaller changes
Right now, all resources are constrained to be a single small hex-tile. With pre-alpha update 8 we’re adding larger footprint functionality so you should have more diversity in the resource sizing you can find, be it large rocky outcrops or a huge tree.
We’re going to do some art polish. A few of our items were either sharing models or icons with existing stuff, and we’re going to start cleaning that up a lot too.
As the social fabric of our game is incredibly important, we’ll start doing some quality of life changes to the claims system, to make it easier for you and your friends to be living together.
That’s it for now!
As mentioned earlier, if you’d like a chance at testing this release or a coming one, please sign up and we’ll continue adding players at random. We’re so excited to share the progress with everyone as we move towards alpha.