If you read the Pre-Alpha 9 Producer Letter you already know what we have been working on over the last months. To recap, our set main goals for Pre-Alpha 9 have been a revamp of the “discovery system”, the introduction of “enclosed spaces” and the addition of the 3rd tier of content. We made great progress on all fronts and are now close to the next test wave. The big changes to how players discover the world requires us to specifically invite testers who have never played BitCraft in the past to get bias-free first impressions. After all, one can only give first-impression feedback once.
Players have a stronger sense of goal-setting and progression as they discover the world
The way in which players discover knowledge (e.g. how to craft an item) has been completely revamped, to allow for a smoother discovery of content. In the past, it could, for example, happen, that a player would need a specific tool to build their next building but you would not know how to craft said tool because you needed to have gathered every ingredient to learn how to make the tool. Now, learning new recipes is a mixture of intuitive discovery and finding or buying blueprints.
Increase point of interest density through enclosed spaces
The general engineering challenges with allowing players to enter, leave and interact with enclosed spaces have been solved. BitCraft can now have non-instanced building interiors, caves, and dungeons. There is much work to do on the UX, game design, and art fronts but enclosed spaces are working and the upcoming test wave is planned to feature, for the first time, secret rooms below some ancient ruins…and there are treasures to be found.
Continue to scale game lifetime by adding a new tier of content (tier 3)
Over the last months, we hired additional concept artists, 3d artists, and game designers which allowed us to not only work on higher-tier content but also review the starter tiers. To bring existing and new content in line with our more ambitious art and design vision, we decided to first revisit previously implemented content. Many older models and mechanics have been improved since Pre-Alpha 8. Most tier 3 content is still in development as a result, and so instead testers will get to experience a completely redesigned tier 1 and 2 (tier 0 is gone) with much better progression in the pre-alpha 9 test build.
The other stuff we have been working on
Besides the big milestones for Pre-Alpha 9, we also worked on many other improvements and additions.
- We have now a full-time animator on the team. She is now replacing all the placeholder animations and is also working on a selection of awesome emotes.
- New UI/UX is coming along and we gradually replace some earlier components with polished versions. In this test, you will be able to toggle to the new UI to take a peek at it, but it won’t be fully functional yet.
- Equipment which provides character stats is now separate from cosmetic equipment. So a player’s fashion sense will no longer get in the way of your character stats and playstyle.
Pre-Alpha 9 test wave
For pre-alpha 8 we invited a considerable part of our most loyal fans and we will do similar events like the Discord signup again in the future. For this test wave, however, we need fresh eyes as explained earlier. Therefore we will randomly select and invite several thousand testers, who signed up on our website. The test itself is planned to run from March 31st to April 2nd. All invited testers will be contacted directly via email.
Thank you, and stay tuned for more!