Letter from the Producer

Clockwork Labs
4 min readJun 19, 2023

June 2023

Greetings,

Pre-Alpha 10 has officially concluded! While the servers may be down and all may seem quiet, we are hard at work reviewing tester critique as it comes in! This test was our largest and most ambitious test to-date, and we can say with confidence that we are excited to be moving to our new server infrastructure. It quickly became apparent that we had outgrown our old systems, and needed plenty of room to grow! We look forward to talking more about this process in the future. To those of you who suffered at the hands of the old systems, we apologize and are excited for you to test our new systems in the future. We truly think it will be a game changing experience.

Our game designers had a good look at how well game mechanics and social systems supported interactions between players and how well the game loop retained our players’ interest. This is important to us, because we believe that designing a MMORPG is more than just developing art for people to enjoy over an afternoon, but should create a holistic experience for players to immerse themselves in to warrant investing their time and energy.

It was amazing to see how far some players pushed, given an incomplete game and limited time, and created self-governing states in BitCraft’s open world. We saw the emergence of trade routes, supply and demand adjusting prices, and the beginnings of booming cities. We even found a few trade harbors!
That is not to say we are kicking back and calling it a job well done! There are lots of bumps and rough patches and we are grateful to our testers for all the feedback.

Server Software Update

As mentioned before, migrating BitCraft to server software of our own design is the next big step. Most of our engineers will be involved in this process and it will take a few weeks to get up and running. Lots of testing will be needed to ensure quality, but as the results will generally be “It’s working!” or “It’s not working!” we will conduct most of these tests internally.

Sound

Up until now, playing BitCraft was a silent adventure. But no more!. We brought some amazing people on board who are helping us to set the acoustic mood for BitCraft. It is our plan to have sound and music ready for Closed-Alpha, but there is still a lot to do, so stay tuned.

Polishing

Our engineers will be busy with the server migration for several weeks, which gives the rest of the team a chance to catch up and polish what we already have. We will review all skills, based on tester feedback to make sure they all feel rewarding, take a pass on balancing all player progression, and deepen BitCraft’s lore.
Our art team has the monumental task of designing, modeling, and animating hundreds of game objects. Buildings, creatures, environmental assets, equipment, and so much more are being added as we reach higher tiers and retire our old placeholders.
We mentioned the UI overhaul in earlier blog posts and, after presenting the new UI during pre-alpha 10, we are happy with how the technical side turned out, but have work to do on the visual and functionality aspects, based on our own findings and player feedback.

Social systems

Since BitCraft’s inception, we have said that the game would have a large focus on civilizations created from the wilds but, admittedly, we have not put many resources into designing the “civilization gameplay” so far. We had to build a world and create character gameplay that was enjoyable enough for players to stick around before tackling the grand civilization design.
As soon as the engineers are done with the infrastructure update this will change. Interactions between players and their self-created factions will be brought to the forefront. Many of our rudimentary systems are being completely overhauled to reach a state we believe is deserving of the “Massively Multiplayer” part of MMORPG.
So what comes next? Well, as you can guess, we have a lot of back-end work to do, and won’t be running any tests for a while. But we do have some good news! We are on our way out of Pre-Alpha and hurtling toward Closed Alpha. Follow us on our various social media, and join our Discord for regular updates on our progress, and we hope to see you very, very soon!

Thank you, and stay tuned for more!

Cheers,
Alessandro

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