This is a pretty important post here. I’m going to summarize the major points for closed-beta testing. So y’all who backed us on Kickstarter and won closed-beta keys during PAX East, listen closely! HEY!
We’ll be going into closed-beta in approximately two weeks. This pushes us to the end of April when things get serious. We know that we said we’d be doing this in March and we apologize. Delays, unfortunately, happen from time to time and we drew the short stick. It is what it is.
Anyway, there are some of the tasty bits. It’s a long read so here’s a song (after the break) that should get you through it:
(Just searched for “dubstep airship” on Soundcloud. Gold From Sand at 0:57s seems to fit nicely with this post )
We’ll be running approximately 5 closed-beta test weekends. The reason why we’re not doing it on-all-the-time style is because we want to give you very precise time frames of guaranteed (at least to the best of our abilities) server up time. There have been too many times where we played closed-betas and have experienced servers being down for almost no reason. There wasn’t any transparency on what was going on. Maybe they were patching stuff, who knows. It just made people wonder or, worst case, made them angry.
So during the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday weekend, we’ll be monitoring server status, collecting player data, and all that good stuff. Hopefully y’all have more time to play on the weekend anyway! Come Monday, we’ll take servers down and look at all the information we’ve collected. We’ll make all the tweaks we can before the next round of weekend testing. Ideally, things will get better and better every weekend.
A very important thing to note is that we will be taking subsets of players into each weekend. This means you won’t be playing on all of the weekends. This is how it’ll work…
So Kickstarter backers will have first chance to access our closed-beta and will be fully integrated by week 3. One important clarification to make is that those from Weekend 1 are not in Weekend 2 or 3. And Weekend 2 people aren’t in Weekend 1 and 3. Weekend 3 people aren’t in Weekend 1 and 2. These are entirely different blocks of people being taken. For Weekends 1,2, and 3 entirely new players will be playing the game. Kickstarter backers will experience their 2nd weekend of closed-beta in Weekend 4. I know, this may sound confusing so please ask if you have any questions! We’re doing this to not only support our own need to scale servers up but also being fair and giving our backers the same amount number weekends.
For weeks 4, 5 and beyond we’ll be introducing players from our beta email list and others we’ve been keeping track of. This is to ensure we scale server capacity up as each week progresses for stress testing.
Some time in July we’ll have open beta where anyone can play. That will be our Release Candidate. We plan to launch Skirmish Mode of Guns of Icarus Online in mid/late August. Prior to official launch, we will give our Kickstarter players a head start. So about a week before official launch, our backers will be able to play the game in its full release state. They’ll be able to progress their characters, ships, get achievements, etc… and have their data persist when the game officially launches.
At the beginning of our closed-beta weekend, we’ll have a smaller subset of weapons, ships, skirmish, maps, and player skills to test. This keeps our scope tight and manageable as we developers race to fix and balance things before the next weekend. Each weekend, more players and more content will be unlocked for testing.
I think that’s just about reaches brain absorption maximum. Take the time to reread it because this is all really important information. We think we’ve hit all our major technical and gameplay requirements during closed-beta but also made everyone happy in the meantime.
Please let us know what you guys think here.