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WorldAlpha.com is a Social Strategy MMORTS

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WorldAlpha DevBlog: Day 694 to Day 707: Closed Beta Success, IndieGoGo and more

Closed Beta #1 is a Success
Well, the days coming up to last weekend's Closed Beta were a little nerve wracking as we put in long hours, to get as much functionality in the game as possible for the first closed beta. Ideally, all the elements would have been there and just needed tweaking, but as a small indie team, there was still a lot that was missing, and we rushed the code to get it into closed beta.
Well Thursday morning rolled around, and though feeling a little unprepared, we opened the gates, and let the beta testers in. I tracked the concurrent users, and it reached 64 in the first hour. The server held up great, and the survey showed it wasn't slow by any means. It was clear though as people started to Report Bugs, that we had left a few things unchecked. The day before we has wiped clean the databases and set them up for a "clean" first world. We missed a couple of things, which created bugs, like workers in a couple types of jobs not getting paid. Oops. The economy module went fairly well, but it still needs improvement in simplifying it. The politics module had a few glitches, but heads of governments and officials were elected, some constitutions were drawn up, and laws were passed. There were even a couple of passed impeachments over the weekend. The military module based on how the game works, took until Saturday morning to be tested. Well, unfortunately this was the most glitched module, with a few things breaking, including the humorous one of putting units in the middle of the ocean. Some but not all were looked at by end of the weekend.
So, by the end of the weekend 366 beta testers came through out of the 1,000 beta keys that were handed out. A little surprising, I wouldn't have thought 63% of people who would grab keys just wouldn't show up. Overall we had over 280 bugs/suggestions reported over the weekend, which is fantastic. With duplicates removed, and quick bugs fixed, it left us with about 150 bugs/suggestions to fix after the weekend. We sent out a survey to the 366, and here is some of the breakdown:

86% of respondents found the game was enjoyable. (Gave it a 3 out of 5 or higher.)
89% of respondents like the graphics (Gave it a 3 out of 5 or higher.)
87% of respondents enjoyed the Economy Module (Gave it a 3 out of 5 or higher.)
77% of respondents, who tried Politics Module enjoyed it (Gave it a 3 out of 5 or higher.)
85% of respondents, who tried Military Module enjoyed it (Gave it a 3 out of 5 or higher.)

So, with approval ratings in the 70s and 80s, I was very happy with how the first beta went. I realize there is still a lot of work to do. I asked in the survey how the excitement for the game was before and after playing, and for 47% of respondents it had actually dropped after playing. We will strive to do better.

IndieGoGo in the final hours
Well the month of raising money at IndieGoGo is over on Monday at midnight. It has been a fun ride seeing those excited about WorldAlpha pledging money towards the campaign. In the end all of the money will be used to raise our marketing budget to get more gamers playing. With IndieGoGo you can have a flexible funding campaign, meaning we will end up with whatever the campaign is funded, less slightly higher fees. Right now it stands at $1,593. The perks being offered are awesome, and those who have funded the campaign will definitely benefit when the game begins. So, if you are considering funding there is just slightly over a day left to contribute. We thank all 38 funders thus far (2 of them even gave twice). It really is fantastic to see the growing excitement for our project. If you can contribute great, if not please let others know about WorldAlpha.

Closed Beta #2 starts December 6[sup]th[/sup]
Well our second closed beta is coming up this Thursday, December 6[sup]th[/sup] at 10am Eastern, and will run until Monday, December 10 at 10am. We will be handing out 2,000 beta keys this time, and hope to get at least 1,000 players into the game. We are actually going to let our faithful DevBlog readers have the first crack at beta keys. Here is where you can sign-up:

WorldAlpha Story 3. Rifle
This WorldAlpha Story continues with another segment:
Warrant Officer Kyle Mendall is in big trouble. Tasked with a daily inventory of the AlphaOne's small weapons cache, he is aware of a missing sniper rifle. Discovering who stole it is no longer the issue. Keeping its status as "missing and unlikely to be recovered" a secret from his superior officer is the real challenge...

Citizen of the Week
This Citizen of the Week award this week goes to Woshie for this creation of the Earth Galactic Empire website http://ege-wa.enjin.com/ as well as promoting it through IRC. Congrats Woshie. You'll get 1,000 EarthBucks for your efforts when the game is released.




WorldAlpha DevBlog: Day 673 to Day 679: IndieGoGo and Closed Beta Keys

Well today we started our IndieGoGo campaign. Unlike many other IndieGoGo and Kickstarter campaigns that raise funds to create or complete a game, WorldAlpha will be completed without any additional funding. What our campaign is about is allowing you, our early fans, to get great rewards when we launch our game in March 2013. It will raise funds to increase our ad budget so that we can get more gamers playing WorldAlpha, and make it a more enjoyable experience for all. We also have stretch goals that will see WorldAlpha translated into a number of different languages. So, if you want to see WorldAlpha translated into your language, this would be a great reason to donate.
To donate or see more about our campaign go to:

I realize that not everyone can donate to the campaign, but everyone can help out by getting the word out regarding WorldAlpha, and the IndieGoGo campaign. So, get onto forums, irc, reddit, gaming sites, and similar avenues, and talk it up. Please though don't spam people, but if you can mention it online or to family and friends please do.
I want to give a big thank you to anyone who is able to contribute, and also to all who let others know about WorldAlpha.

Alpha #3
Our 3[sup]rd[/sup] and final alpha is happening this Friday, November 9[sup]th[/sup] to Sunday, November 11[sup]th[/sup]. This is going out to some select individuals and to everyone that supports the IndieGoGo campaign at the Bronze Level and above. To assure yourself a spot you need to contribute on, or before November 8[sup]th[/sup]. We look forward to getting the feedback from our Alpha testers regarding the economy, politics and military modules as well get ready for closed beta later this month.

Closed Beta Keys
A lot of people have been asking when is closed beta, and how can we be a part of it. As mentioned a few weeks ago, our first closed beta will be November 22 to 26. Currently we have over 8,000 people who have signed up to take part in Beta. For this first beta we are going to limit it to around 1,000 beta keys that WorldAlpha is going to hand out. (We may also have some other sites hand out keys.) Everyone will be mailed around November 13[sup]th[/sup]. We will also starting this week hand out some beta keys on Twitter and Facebook so if you want an early copy be sure to sign up there.
Finally, to secure beta keys for all of our closed betas, all you have to do is support our IndieGoGo campaign. Everyone who supports it will be given beta keys for all closed betas. So, if you want to secure your spot, please consider a donation. Thanks.

Citizen of the Week
Congratulations to Sani for being our Citizen of the Week for his really cool WorldAlpha country site
Sani will get $10 worth of EarthBucks once the game begins. I look forward to seeing what creative ways Citizens will think of promoting WorldAlpha and our IndieGoGo campaign this week.




WorldAlpha DevBlog: Day 656 to Day 672: One Year Anniversary and Types of Government

One Year Anniversary
Well, it was 1 year ago today that I this website WorldAlpha.com was started. It seemed early to a lot of people, but it proved to be a real crystallizer in terms of helping me think through the project, and making it a reality. I have enjoyed writing DevBlogs and getting people's responses to the game, and hearing input from the community. In the past year over 8,000 people have signed up to be beta testers. A big thank you to all who have participated in the development of the game, and to the many more that will help beta test in the come weeks.

Types of Government
Well, we have finally confirmed the initial types of government that will be available in the game. There are as follows.
Anarchy - No Leaders
Democracy (Representative) - People select representatives
Gerontocracy - Oldest people rule
Meritocracy - Those with highest political power rule
Plutocrarcy - Those with the most money rule
Stratocracy - Military leader rule
Aristocracy - Rule by the best (highest experience)

Not on the list initially, but ones that we hope to add sooner than later are Direct Democracy where everyone votes for everything and Autocracy or Dictatorship. Next week we'll let you know what a constitution will look like.

Alpha #2
This weekend beta testers having been testing out both the economy and the politics module and giving their feedback and letting us know about bugs. We have look forward to having hopefully a hundred or participate in the next alpha as we test out all three main modules including the military.

Citizen of the Week
The citizen of the week award goes to TitanSmath for create a the fan site at:

Congrats TitanSmash and $10 in EarthBucks coming to you when the game begins. For the other entrants feel free to resubmit them as you continue to add content to them.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 642 to Day 648 - Greenlight, It's a Start Finalist and Closed Beta Dates announced

It has been a very exciting week for the team at WorldAlpha. As I mentioned a couple devblogs ago, I submitted WorldAlpha into a competition at Digifest called It's a Start. Well, the winners were to be announced this past week on Wednesday. The day came and went, and no email... So, I was a little disappointed. Well on Thursday, partway through the day I got the email that WorldAlpha had been selected as one of the 10 finalists! Yeah! So, this coming Saturday I will be given 5 minutes to present WorldAlpha for a chance of top 3 prizes. I also am getting an All Access pass, so I will definitely be down on Thursday and Friday to check out Digifest.

Steam Greenlight

Another exciting thing that happened this week is that I got WorldAlpha up on Steam Greenlight. For those of you who don't know, Greenlight is a new program put out by Steam, to showcase Indie titles that are either in development or released, and the community votes on whether they would like to play them on Steam. There are over 800s games now listed. So far the first 3 days, WorldAlpha was in the top 100 games for votes, by the last day has slipped behind. We are 14% of the way to Top 100. Over 13,000 gamers have viewed it thus far. So, if you could check it out, vote, comment and make it your favorite I would appreciate it!


Alpha & Beta Launch Dates

Well we are excited to announce the dates for alpha and beta launch. These dates are tentative, but we are going to strive our hardest to make sure we hit these dates. Alpha testers are by invitation only. One way to get considered for alpha testing is to be active on chat. Beta-keys will be given out and as we approach the dates we will announce how they can be obtained. If you haven't already, then sign-up to be notified when beta testing begins.

Alpha Test 2 - Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28
Alpha Test 3 - Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 11
Closed Beta Test 1 - Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, November 25
Closed Beta Test 2 - Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9
Closed Beta Test 3 - Thursday, December 20 to Sunday, December 23

Citizen of the Week Award

In order to encourage community involvement, I'm going to start awarding a Citizen of the Week award to anyone who in some way has promoted, been creative, or furthered WorldAlpha during the week. I'll make the prize of Citizen of the Week award, alpha access, plus some EarthBucks, once WorldAlpha is released. The better the idea, the more EarthBucks you might get.
Some ideas for Citizen of the Week award

1.) Create a WorldAlpha Fan or Country website
2.) Go to a popular forum and start a thread about WorldAlpha
3.) Figure out a clever way to promote WorldAlpha on Facebook, Twitter, reddit, pinterest, etc.
4.) Create some FanArt, and get it some exposure on Game Art sites

So, put your thinking and creative hats on and come up with something for Citizen of the Week. When you have completed it, put a link (or links) and a short description as a comment on the DevBlog.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 635 to Day 641 - Game Trailer, WorldAlpha Story & Alpha Testing

Lots of exciting things have been happening every week, as more and more people get involved in the project. It is exciting for me to see what I have been envisioning for the last almost 2 years finally coming into fruition.
Game Trailer
Well, I realize that our first game trailer was all concept, but we finally have enough gameplay and UI in place to do an actual gameplay trailer. So, we present to you our first true game trailer. I hope you enjoy. Let me know your thoughts.


The Passage to WorldAlpha: StoryGuide to a New Society
Thinking about WorldAlpha, I realized that it really needs a story to go along with it. So, having an award-winning short story author in my brother, I decided to use his services to create the back story to WorldAlpha. So, I present to you The Passage to WorldAlpha: StoryGuide to a New Society
Alpha Testing
It has been an exciting week as we have had alpha testers trying out the economy section of the site. Bugs have been found and suggestions have been made, but overall I think the testers have enjoyed the game, and it the depths that it has. With no real tutorial, players found it a little "confusing" at first, but soon got the hang of it. I'm hoping that the deeper complexity of the game, will be a real feature to those wanting to explore the depths of social strategy gaming.
Next week we will be announcing the rest of our Alpha and Beta testing dates. So, be sure to sign up to be a beta tester, if you haven't already.




Day 614 to Day 620 - WorldAlpha Finally Taking Shape

Well after more than a year of working with programmer art for a majority of what makes up WorldAlpha, it is nice to finally see some final artwork to be used in the game. Serge was busy all week creating icons for the different products in the game. Here are just a couple samples of this work:


Electronic Component

Bedroom Set

Graphic of the Day
Starting tomorrow, we're going to start to give you more insights to the visuals of the game by offering a graphic of the day. So, you can come back daily and check out a little glimpse more of what is happening with WorldAlpha. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks to all of you who participated in last week's contest. This week, I'm able to give you a visual answer to the question. The 4 food categories on WorldAlpha are:



Fruits & Vegetables


There were too many close answers with 2 1/2 right, so I'm going to roll over the winnings and put them into this week's contest, which again ends
on Saturday night at 11:59pm. So, this week's winner will receive a Promo code for WorldAlpha Sniper and $20 credit for EarthBucks once WorldAlpha launches. This week, I want you to name the 9 industrial materials that can be created. These are products that use raw materials, in order to create a product, that isn't an end product, but is used in constructing final products. I'll give you a hint, the Electronic Component above is one of the 9 industrial materials. Now start guessing what the other 8 are.

Military Module
The last week and a half we have been busy working on the Military module. It is starting to take shape as we have created wars, battlefields, military units, crews, and military command. Now we need to tackle a scrolling map and plugging in the mini-games. We hope to finish this by the end of the month to have this completed.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 608 to Day 613

Surprising Results
We have grown our newsletter to over 6,800, and have only used it once before to announce beta testing for WorldAlpha Sniper. Our last email provided fantastic results with over 1,000 beta testers in 24 hours. This time we used it to promote WorldAlpha Sniper being released, and it unfortunately had very little impact to downloads and purchases on the AppStore. I can't quite figure out why. I thought that even at 1%, that there would be at least 68 additional purchases of the $1.99, instead as far as I can tell there has been no impact on sales. Wow! I can only hope that sign-ups for beta tester accounts for the launch of the MMO will have a better response.

Lead Artist
Well after going through 130 resumes and portfolios for our Lead Artist position, and doing 4 interviews, we have found the Lead Artist for WorldAlpha. We are very excited to have Serge join our team, and start this Monday. To give you an idea of the amazing art to expect from this artist take a look at what in produced in just 1 hour in his art test. He is going to make WorldAlpha look fantastic!

More Economy Revealed
Well, the answer to last week economy contest is:
Iron Ore

So, there were 2 winners with 4 of 6 correct, and they were Mark and Raymond. I will give each a promo code, and split the $10 between them.
One thing I should have clarified with the last contest, is that there are four food items. This week's contest is guess what the four food items might be. I will again award a promo code for the full version of WorldAlpha Sniper and a $10 credit for EarthBucks once the game is launched.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 601 to Day 609 - WorldAlpha Sniper Update, Graphic Artist Flood & Beta Testing Help.

WorldAlpha Sniper Update

Well after taking into consideration a lot of the comments from the first version of WorldAlpha Sniper, we have released a new update that now allows for use on iPad 1, iPods 4+, and iPhone 3GS. If you have an iOS, and could take a moment to download, the free app, and give it at least a 3 star review, we'd appreciate it. If you feel it doesn't deserve at least 3 stars please email us, and let us know how we can improve it.


The full version is only $1.99 and helps the continued development of WorldAlpha. We appreciate your support.


We are planning one last major update, which includes 7 different ways to play the game. This should be out in the next few weeks.

Graphic Artists Flood

While looking for a programmer in the spring, we were only about to get about 10 local candidates, but thankfully found a good programmer for WorldAlpha. So, I didn't know what to expect when we posted the position for Lead 2D Game Artist. I was a little shocked by the response. Thus far we have had over 100 local candidates. It has been amazing the amount of talent that we have locally in the Toronto area. I was surprised at the number of candidates that didn't even submit an online portfolio. If you are looking for a graphic design or artist job, be sure to always include an online portfolio of your work. In another DevBlog, I'll break down where the candidates came from, and the best sites for getting a good artist. I look forward to the 4 interviews this week, and selecting the Lead Artist for WorldAlpha.

Beta Testing Schedule and Help

We are going to have a few alpha testers into the site in the coming week. We are pressing hard to have everything ready for a November closed beta launch. We need your help. Please use your email, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other social media outlets to promote WorldAlpha. The more players to play WorldAlpha, the better the game will be.

Economy Update

The economy is finishing off this week. No guesses last week for what might be the economy products. 47 products was a lot to try to guess. This week, I'll make it a contest. The person who fills in a comment with the closest answer to the 6 raw materials, will win a promo code for the full version of WorldAlpha Sniper and a $10 credit for EarthBucks once the game is launched. Contest ends Saturday, Sept 8, 2012 at 11:59pm EDT. One hint, the icon for this article is one of them! So, guess away.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 568 to Day 600

It has been a very busy month. With the launch of the first minigame, we have had a huge increase in the interest for WorldAlpha. Traffic to our site has more than doubled. With the game launched, I knew there would be feedback, but unfortunately not what I had hoped.

Some iTunes store reviews
1. Horrible - This game first started with a long download . then the game starts with no story and ur left guessing. If all u want in a game is shooting figures that barely r visible this is the game for u.
2. Crash-o-la iPad 1 with latest OS - Goes to start screen, press start game then it dies. Review changed when fixed
3. Crashed. - C'mon guys. Bad. It's an automatic delete when it crashes that fast. I mean 100% shutdown of my ipad1. I would give zero stars if the store would let me. Bad bad bad.
4. Nope - Not very good. No explanation of anything, no apparent motive to do anything except shoot. Mechanics are clunky, sounds are almost non-existent and the only high point would e the graphics.....
5. Daft controls - Your trigger is the same as your aiming mechanism - therefore lots of accidental discharges. Very slow animation as you go from rife down to the scope. Needs work.

Ouch! Not quite what I have hoping for. So, it was back to the drawing board, and looking how to make the game better. The developers were able to address the iPad 1 crashing issue, which also makes it work on an iPod too. Then it was speeding up some of the scoping, and making the gameplay smoother. We also added a few more screens to explain a little of the story of WorldAlpha. We were able to fix these issues, and have submitted an update to Apple. Here's hoping it will be available this week and will get some better reviews. To play it check out http://www.worldalphasniper.com

The Economy is Almost Done

The economy should be done this coming week. We are excited to see it all coming together. So, we hope to have some Alpha testers in the game come beginning of September to test this part of the game, as we complete the Military and Politics sections. If you are interested in Alpha or Beta testing the game, sign up here:


Here are some high level numbers for the economy.

# of Different Products: 47

These are broken down into the following categories
oBuildings: 12 + 1 special
oBusiness Goods: 2
oConsumer Goods: 10
oFood: 4
oIndustrial Materials: 9
oMilitary: 3
oRaw Materials: 6

Next week I'll reveal what the different products are. In the meantime comment on what you think some of them might be.

Lead 2D Game Artist Wanted

As we approaching completion of the economy, we are now looking to get a full-time game artist to finish off the game. Up until now we've been using contractors, and some "programmer art". So, if you are local to the Toronto area, or know someone that could help us, please check out: http://www.worldalpha.com/jobs/lead-2d-game-artist

Attention Redditors

If you are a redditor and would like to follow us on our new subreddit, we'd appreciate it!


Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 540 to Day 567 - WorldAlpha Sniper Finally Launched for iOS

Well, after many months of working with several graphic artists and programmers, WorldAlpha Sniper is finally launched and live in the App Store! It was definitely a steep learning curve, but I'm happy with the final product. To get your copy and support the ongoing work of WorldAlpha, you can purchase the Full iOS Version it for only $1.99. It has both the city background and the military installation background, and access to all 5 guns. It is only going to be in the store for a limited time, as when the full MMO launches, it will be removed from the store, and exclusively playable in the MMO game. So, here is your chance to get a jump on the competition, and learn to play this minigame, and become a sniper master before the full MMO is released.

If you can't afford the $1.99, you can download a Free Demo iOS version, with only one background, and only 2 guns will be available.

You can also play the Free Demo Flash version as well.

I trust you like the game, and would be interested in any comments that you have.

Economy Progresses

The main core, and economy module has progressed quite a bit over the last month, as our full-time developer Chris has worked on the project. We hope to get most of the economy done by end of July, the military finished end of August, and the finishing touches on politics by end of September. We are pushing hard for beta in the fall, and released before the end of the year.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 450 to Day 518 - Minigame Beta Launch & Progress on All Fronts

I apologize for my lack of DevBlogs over the last couple of months. Life has been busy both personally and with WorldAlpha. Progress is being made. I'd like to dispel a rumor on reddit by saying "I'm very much alive." It is neat to see the community anxious for updates, and really wanting to play the game.

WorldAlpha Sniper Minigame to launch in Beta
In the next week to 10 days, everything should be set for the WorldAlpha Sniper minigame beta launch. If you are interested in being a beta tester please sign-up here. The game is very solid and from the first few people that have tried it, they think it is visually appealing, as well as fun to play. It is tough because the game has to be play in 3 minutes, in order to facilitate "combat rounds" so there isn't the progression you'd see in other sniper games. I hope the beta will be just a couple of weeks, and then the iOS version will be available for $1.99 and there will also be a Web Version. Here is the "World Premiere" as I show you me playing a 3 minute game. Enjoy!

Politics Progress
I've been working away at the politics module. There are going to be a lot of options for future budding politicians to consider. Who can vote, how often they will vote, who is eligible to be voted for, what type of government will there be, how will politicians be selected, (Automatic, Lottocratic, Democratic or Appointed), etc. Then there will be National, City and International politics to be concerned about. There is going to be real depth to the politics on WorldAlpha.

Next Hire
Well the project has been moving, we really need a dedicated full-time programmer to see this game completed. So, we had one interview last week, and 2 more interviews this week and then I'll choose the best candidate. This will see progress jump tremendously, as there will now be 2 programmers pushing the project forward.

Beta Launch
A lot of people have been asking about when beta is going to be launched. Optimistically I was hoping by end of June. This just won't be a reality unfortunately. Building an MMO is a massive undertaking, I realize, but it is getting done. With the new programmer on board, I trust the beta will be ready this fall. Using contractors for graphics, the minigame, etc. means that I have to compete with other projects they are dealing with, and therefore it slows down progress. With a full-time programmer on board I hope to see the progress picked up significantly.

Visit our Dev Site: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color]
Facebook: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color]
Twitter: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color]
Beta Testers: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color]




Day 422 to Day 428 - A Completed Sniper Gun

Well, this update comes a little late. I was away for the weekend. Graphics continue to be worked on, and I finally have the first completed gun for the sniper minigame. Please give me your feedback for the gun.

Let me know your thoughts on the gun. So, now that it is March, I'm onto working on the Political Module, more details in my next DevBlog (which will probably be 2 Sundays from now).




Day 401 to Day 406 - MMO Timeline, Sniper Comes in View, & 2000 Beta Testers

Military Module Progression
People have been asking about other modules in the MMO game. My intention is to focus on the Military module in February, the Politics module in March, and finish the Economy module in April. This week was a good week for progressing the military aspects of the game. I finished the creating of units and crews, assigning them weapons and vehicles (tanks and artillery) and then moving them. The creation of the battlefield has begun. I'm looking forward to the epic battles that will soon happen at WorldAlpha.

Scope View
The last of the graphics are being finished for the sniper game including this scope view.

This scope view, along with an animated gun, has been incorporated into the game. So, here is another screenshot. My first video of the sniper minigame will be available next week.

4 Military Installations
The second background for the sniper game, I want to be a military installation. I'm having a tough time deciding what the look and feel of this should be. Which one below is your favorite?

2,000 Beta Testers
Just last night we surpassed 2,000 beta testers. So, 5 more winners to be selected. From Random.org the winning numbers are 707, 1111, 1889, 468, and 363. Congratulations to winners: Jason H., Tadas M., Christian W., Tyler D. and Tony C.

Visit our Dev Site: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color][/color][/color][/color]
Facebook: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color][/color][/color][/color]
Twitter: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color][/color][/color][/color]
Beta Testers: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color][/color][/color][/color]




Day 381 to Day 387 - Organizing Graphics & Development

Sniper Game versus MMO development

Based on a few comments, I see that some people are getting a little concerned about the amount of discussion on the Sniper minigame in the DevBlogs, and not as much on the MMO. I can understand the concern. Rest assured, progress is being made on other MMO modules. Right now I'm focusing on the Military module. This week I worked through creating sub-units of units, creating and listing crews, and assigning officers to units. So, progress is being made, it just isn't as visual as the sniper game, and still a lot of work to get completed. The sniper game on the other hand is in the last month and therefore has a lot more visuals to "show off". So, on that note, so more about the sniper game.

Sniper Graphics Abound

Currently, I have 3 different artists creating work for the sniper game, as well as 2 developers working on the iOS and Flash versions of the game. So, part of my week, is making sure I'm keeping everyone on track. I have people working in the UK, Brazil and Canada.
Igor for the UK, has finished the background for the site. As it got near the end, I thought I would add some "cameos" with names of my family appearing in some of the ads. A lot of the details can't be seen, but will be evident, once the sniper zoom is in play. Let me know what you think.

Now with the background done, Igor worked on an "innocent" person to pop-up in the sniper game as well.

Finally, he has begun work on a new background of more of a temporary military installation. Here is his first version.

Next I had Mike from Canada working on the first gun for the game. Here is the first draft of it.

Finally I have Rodrigo, from Brazil, who did the first cityscape, now working on the Scope View of the sniper miingame.

Sniper Game First screenshot

Well, there has been steady work done on the minigame. Working is being done simultaneously on both the iOS and Flash version. Here is the first screenshot of the Flash version.. Not much to look at, as I'm getting the visuals in the place in the next week or two.

Visit our Dev Site: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color][/color][/color]
Facebook: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color][/color][/color]
Twitter: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color][/color][/color]
Beta Testers: [color=#0F72DA][color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color][/color][/color]




Day 380 to Day 386 - Sniper Game Progresses & More Winners

Well, this week there was a lot more progress on the sniper game. I did some more work on the Military module, but not a whole lot to report. I am finishing of the military units and crews currently.

Sniper Background
Well, the background is almost completed. I should have it in the next couple of days. Here is the updated version, with almost all the details completed. It looks really sharp in my opinion. What do you guys think?

Sniper & Weapon
Along with the background, I had the actual "snipers" created this past week. Here is a look at what you'll be facing in the minigame.

The first weapon is coming along. I choose #2 of the concept art, and I should have an update for next week.

Sniper Game
Now with some art assets in place, the game build has begun for WorldAlpha sniper. It is starting on iOS, and then will be ported to Flash. So, I'll have to figure out how to do screenshots on iOS for the next DevBlog.

Beta Tester Winners
It continued to be a good week of promoting the game. It got listed on a Russian site. The sign-ups are now over 1000 beta testers. (Actually over 1,300), so I will do a draw for 3 more iTunes/Amazon Gift cards. The first draw happened at 500, and now we are doing it at 1,000. In future, I plan to do the draw every 1,000 new beta testers, and draw 5 winners each time. From random.org the winning numbers are: 504, 1238, 759 which correspond to the following winners: Russell H., Edi M. and Tuan T. Congratulations to the winners.

Visit our Dev Site: [color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color][/color]
Facebook: [color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color][/color]
Twitter: [color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color][/color]
Beta Testers: [color=#0F72DA][color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color][/color]




Day 374 to Day 380 - Sniper Assets & Military Takes Shape

Work Continues
This week was busy actually overseeing the work of others. Currently I have an artist working on the background of the sniper minigame. Then I have my lead artist working on concept art, and 3D imagery for the weapons in the game. I have graphic designer working on some of the web work that needs to be done. Finally, I have the Flash programmers gearing up to start the Sniper minigame once they have the artwork in hard.
Also, on a positive note, I'll be meeting with a programmer I've worked with before, to see if he wants to become a lead developer for the game, at the end of this week. So, there is progress being made on all fronts.

Sniper Assets
Well, the sniper background came back, with all but a few changes, this is what it looks like:

I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and look forward to seeing the sniper game develop.

Also, here are the concept pieces for the first sniper weapon to be made:

Which one do you like?

I continued work on the military section of the game this week. I further developed the military units. There are going to be 11 sizes of military units. Here is what I have named them, in order of smallest to largest:

In the game, Tanks and Artillery are going to be controlled by groups of 3 to 8 players, which are "crews". These crews then too have 11 classes which are as follows:
First Class

Let me know what you think of the names.

Finally, WorldAlpha got another big boost at the end of the week, as we were mentioned in Joystiq's Massively BetaWatch report here: http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/20/betawatch-january-14-20-2012/
This has led to another week of huge signups culminating in 96 beta tester sign-ups on Saturday, and 420 beta testers for the week.

Visit our Dev Site: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color]
Facebook: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color]
Twitter: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color]
Beta Testers: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color]




Day 374 to Day 380 - Huge Marketing Boost & Lead Artist Found

Well, this week was a very good week for getting exposure for the game. At the beginning of the week I discovered the game had been posted on BetaWatcher.com. The addition lead to a few more visitors and beta testers to the site. Well, a day later, IGN's FilePlanet Beta Center picked up WorldAlpha and listed it. Well, a steady stream of beta testers has ensued, with around 40 signing up every day since it was listed on their site.

Beta Tester Winners
This huge boost in marketing resulted in pushing the total number of beta testers over 500. As promised, I'm going to give away a $10 Amazon or iTunes gift card for every 200 beta testers. So, for this first achievement, I'm going to give away 3 gift cards. Using the random.org the winning numbers are 158, 251 and 479. Congratulations to Bob B., Szulcu B. and Atakan E.

Sniper Background
This week the color scheme was decided on for the Sniper Background. It is an evening scene, so we went with a lot of blue.

Lead Artist
I'm excited about hiring a Lead Artist for WorldAlpha. Mike Fortais will be heading up the 3D work, as well as video work for the game, along with also overseeing the 2D work that needs to be done. It is good to now have someone with graphics experience, leading the charge in terms of the look and feel of the game.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 366 to Day 373 - A Sniper Background Takes Shape

Over the past week in this New Year, I have been working with Igor to work towards finalizing the background artwork for WorldAlpha Sniper. This is a process of back and forth that takes some time to get the ideas and concepts from my head, to finalizing the artwork by my artist. It is an interesting process, that I have now dealt with three times, with my 2 different artists. Though still a work in progress, I wanted to show you, how my very bad drawing becomes a sniper-ready cityscape.

My Drawings

First Attempt

Second attempt with 2 different angles. Rooftop and Street level views

Third attempt where things really start to look good.

That's the progress thus far, I hope by end of next week to have the finalized picture to share.
I've also been working on the marketing side of the project. I've got some more marketing ideas that I will be sharing over the coming weeks. More focus this week on developing on the new core, and getting the military module going.

Visit our Dev Site: [color=#0F72DA]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color]
Facebook: [color=#0F72DA]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color]
Twitter: [color=#0F72DA]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color]
Beta Testers: [color=#0F72DA]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color]




Day 344 to Day 365 - Graphics, Teaser Trailers, Marketing & More

This last month has been very interesting for WorldAlpha. The game has progressed on many fronts. There have been marketing initiatives, graphics and videos developed, contracts signed, and a whole new core for WorldAlpha developed. Let me break it down for you.

Fiverr & Article Marketing
The first discovery I made this month was Fiverr. This site has a lot of people willing to work and do something productive for you for just $5. So, I thought I would put it to the test, and paid someone to write about the upcoming MMOs, of SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, Secret World, and of course WorldAlpha. I knew it was a stretch putting my game with the other 3, but generating some hype or buzz, I believe what gaming marketing is all about. So, for $5, I got a very decent article.
So, with a decent article, I used another Fiverr service, and had it promoted to over 700 article directories. The traffic from the actual article was limited, but it did help increase my rankings in Google for both "worldalpha" and "world alpha". I also received some visitors from Google on other keywords.

Concept Art
There was more movement on the graphics side as well. I had my artist create two different destruction views of the city.

City is burning.

Total Destruction of a City

Teaser Trailer Videos
With more graphics to work with, I decided I wanted to create a trailer. At Fiverr, I discovered some quick videos that could be created for only $5. I just had to supply the graphics and wording, and a day later, I had a teaser video. While still having limited graphic assets, I still wanted something. I realized the quality wasn't as high as I wanted, but it was a starting point. So, here is WorldAlpha's first teaser trailer.
Shortly after creating this, a fan from irc, Raikage, decided that he would create a trailer on his own. Using some of the WorldAlpha graphics, along with some FanArt he had found, he created the first FanArt teaser trailer. I must admit, it is better than the one I came up with. Thanks Raikage!

Mini-game Progress
We have just about finalized the contract for Golden Gear Games to do our first mini-game, WorldAlpha Sniper. This flash based game will be a traditional sniper game, with some cool WorldAlpha related graphics and weapons. The game will be available initially as a Flash game, and then ported to iOS. It will give players a chance to try the game, before it is incorporated into the WorldAlpha MMORTS, as a mini-game. In the MMO it will be used when the player is in battle as infantry. We hope to release the game early February for beta, and finalize the game by end of March at the latest.
Along with getting Golden Gear games, I had to find another artist, as my current artist is taking until February off. So, I found Igor, from the UK, to start in on the first scene. Here are some of his initial mock-ups.

Military and Politics Gameplay
I have been working hard on developing more of the gameplay for the game. Thinking through how the military and politics will work. This involves coming up with screenshots for each of the different activities. For the politics module, it meant going through and finding out all the possible types of different governments that exists, and seeing which ones might work for the game. Using Wikipedia and a few other sources, I came up with 59 possible government types. From this I have whittled it down to 16 possible government types for the game. This might go down a little more as I make final refinements. I'll leave the whole process for another DevBlog.

New Core
One major step over the last month was I have decided to opt for a new core for the game. The initial core that was developed was an API-based core, that I abandoned once I started to become the main developer. This new core developed by Robin Hood Technology has a lot of functionality that I should be able to adopt quite quickly. This should make for faster development, as well as more secure code. I look forward to transferring over the work I've done thus far, and moving forward on a faster pace.

Looking forward to 2012
Well, WorldAlpha has come a long way since being conceived at the beginning of 2011. It has been a good year. Development hasn't been as fast as hoped, but that usually is the case. I'm looking forward to 2012, and seeing all the different elements coming together. I'm really pushing hard for a June beta launch, and a full launch by end of September 2012. It should make for an exciting year!

Visit our Dev Site: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com[/color]
Facebook: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha[/color]
Twitter: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame[/color]
Beta Testers: [color="#0f72da"]http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers[/color]




Day 303 to 343 - Initial Marketing Begins

Day 303 to 343

Well, now that I had a website up and running, I need to get some people to it. In creating an MMO, I'll need to have a fairly big community at launch, to make it Massively Multiplayer. So, even though the game is still several months out, I knew I needed to start to garner some interest. Here are some of the initial marketing efforts I made.


As I already posted here this DevBlog, I went to Digifest, and met up with some other gamers, as well as other gaming companies. It was good to actually meet people, and talk to them about my game.


Next, to get the site out there, I went to a bunch of game development websites and started to get feedback from others about what I had developed in regards to the site. Here are a few I sent posts to:

GameDev - https://www.gamedev.net/topic/613834-worldalpha-website-to-be-launched-feedback-appreciated/

TIGSource - http://forums.tigsou...p?topic=22512.0

ModDB - http://www.moddb.com...-in-development

IndieGamer - http://forums.indieg...ack-appreciated.

DevMaster - http://devmaster.net...ck-appreciated/

After the game development forums, I also went to some MMO related web-sites and posted it there as well.

ONRPG - http://www.onrpg.com...rds/188146.html

Kongregate - http://www.kongregat...-in-development

MMOSite -http://forum.mmosite...4dd1b813-1.html


Along with creating my devblog, I also took the opportunity to post it at a couple of DevBlog sites. Hoping to get a bit more exposure to the game I was creating as well as some feedback.

GameDev - http://www.gamedev.n...phacom-devblog/

TIGSource - http://forums.tigsou...p?topic=22656.0

Twitter @TweetGamersNow

Having a Twitter account for WorldAlpha at @WorldAlphaGame, I started to explore more of what Twitter had to offer. I started to think about having a separate account, that I could have lots of game related twitter accounts followed as well as gamers. So, I did a little searching and found TweetGamers.com was available as a domain, but unfortunately @TweetGamers was not at Twitter, but @TweetGamersNow was. So, I registered the domain, and started a new Twitter account. I took some time to find and follow lots of games. I also came across Twiends.com a service that allows you to find friends to follow. Quickly I was able to grow my Twitter account to over 600 followers.


One Saturday morning, I was thinking of other ways to connect with gamers, and I knew a few games that use IRC to allow their community to talk amongst themselves. I decide to jump on to IRC and join a few of these channels, to see how it worked. Soon, I was chatting about my game, and an ircer kcirp offered to help me create my own #worldalpha channel. I jumped at the opportunity, and with the experience he had, it just took 1/2 hr and I was up and running. Since then we've had up to 10 people chatting, and a lot of good discussion about the game, as I seek input as to what would make the game better. I've gotten some great feedback, and hope to incorporate some of this feedback into my game.


My final bit of marketing I discovered during this time was reddit. I took some of my DevBlog articles, and posted it them there. In terms of up votes/down votes I had mild success, but I did get a lot of visitors to the site. A lot more than any other site that I had posted to, but I also get a lot of bounces. So, it is an interesting avenue that I hope will yield more success as the game gets closer to completion.

Well, those are all the interesting areas of marketing that I explored. How about you? Do you have any interesting and creative ways to market an indie game? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 298 to Day 302 - Website Up and Running & Social Media Launched

With Digifest just around the corner, and now just getting my first real piece of artwork, I needed to get a website up and running for the game. With only about 10% of the game programmed there wasn't a lot of visuals, or gameplay to show on the site. So, I took some time to look around at other sites, and see what kind of content ended up on a game site. I looked both at live games, as well as those in developments.

With no a lot of impressive screenshots, I felt my options were limited. So, we took the [color="#c94f33"]concept art[/color], and tried to maximize its use throughout the site. A nice background was developed, and one of my staff at Robin Hood Technology was able to create a nice floating effect of the content on top of this background. With the need for beta testers down the road this also was highly featured throughout the site.

We needed content, so I started to "develop" my [color="#c94f33"]DevBlog[/color]. I wanted to chronicle the whole process, so I started back at the beginning, and started to write each of the challenges I faced. I revealed the [color="#c94f33"]storyline[/color] that I had been working on, as well as created a news section. Soon the site was taking shape.

Also, wanting a social media presence, we set up [color="#c94f33"]Twitter [/color] and [color="#c94f33"]Facebook[/color] accounts. Then the search for followers and likes began. We let our connections know about the site, and soon others started to join and follow the site. It wasn't long and we were getting some traction.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the results, and so I started to let others know about the site, predominantly through gaming and game dev forums. Overall the feedback was positive, though there wasn't enough details of the game. So, we will need to continue to put more on the site in the coming weeks and months.

So, what do you think? What is good on the site? What needs improvement? What content do I need to add? Let us know.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 274 to Day 297

[font="Times New Roman"] [/font][font="Calibri"][size="3"]While I was continuing to plug away at the programming, andstarting to see pieces come together, I found out about Digifest, and signed upfor a booth at the show. [size="3"]This put realpressure to have something to show. [size="3"]While, I was getting some gameplay, I realized that I didn't have thevisuals to go along with it. [size="3"]So, off topolycount.com I went to try to get someone to do some Concept Art for me, sothat I could have some visuals on my dev site. [size="3"]I got talking with a few artists, and finally was able to get Rodrigofrom Brazil, to do some artwork for me. [size="3"]It didn't take him long to come up with the following sketches. [size="3"]He made changes with each of my suggestions.


[font="Times New Roman"] [/font][font="Calibri"][size="3"]I was pleased with how the sketch looked, so now he startedto work on the final product. [size="3"]I was alittle nervous, as I wanted this ultra-modern realistic feel in mind, and hopedwhat I shared via email, [size="3"]wascommunicated effectively. [size="3"]Well, Rodrigocame through. [size="3"]He was able to give the "glassy"modern look I was hoping for. [size="3"]I wasthrilled with the final product, and soon it was incorporated into the website.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 244 to Day 273 - A New Direction

[font="Times New Roman"] [/font][font="Calibri"][size="3"]Well, the game was at a crossroads. [size="3"]I need to take over the programming to seemovement, but the core that had been programmed was based on Objected-OrientedPHP, jQuery, and AJAX. [size="3"]I had limitedexperience with all three of them. [size="3"]Itwas a daunting task thinking of trying to get up to speed on all the languages,all at once. [size="3"]So, I had a decision tomake, do I continue to use the core as it had been developed, or do I breakfrom the core, and go with procedural PHP, which I was comfortable with. In mydesire to see movement, I chose the latter. [size="3"]Within a couple of weeks, I was seeing real progress, as I was now atthe helm, and programming on a daily basis, the parts that needed to cometogether for the economy module. [size="3"]Thespare database was getting filled with tables, as I was able to layout myvision, and start to bring all the various pieces together. [size="3"]The Marketplace, real estate, building construction,special items shop, hiring for a job, take a job, refining the activities, allof this became a reality in short order. [size="3"]I was finally seeing a playable game, and it was exciting to see all theparts finally coming together.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"] [/font]Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers




Day 136 to Day 243 - My First Programmer

With big anticipation on my part, the programmer went back and started to work on the game. While he had been at the office, I shared a lot of the vision, and a lot of the overall thoughts regarding the game, but we hadn't dealt with a lot of the details. There was a basic framework, but not a lot of the specific gameplay details and database structure. My hope was that he would be able to take that vision and turn it into a functioning game. What I had hired was a front-end programmer that could do back-end if needed. Being unsuccessful at finding a back-end programmer, I gave him the green light to work on both aspects. Initially I did see some progress as the design was converted on the front-end, and the game started to be playable. I was getting excited, seeing the game in action. The amount of functionality was limited to doing an activity, as was programmed initially in the core.

Now, we needed more aspects of the economy working. We needed to have factories, so that meant we needed to be able to build buildings. To build buildings, we needed to be able to purchase construction materials as well as purchase land. It was all interconnected, and though I left the programmer with a lot of ideas, I hadn't done a lot of concrete stuff, like setting up the database, giving specific pages with actions, etc. Unfortunately, it was becoming clear that I was asking way too much of the programmer, and I needed to give him more details. The project stalled. It was becoming clear to me, that I needed to give my programmer, really specific instructions, and I just hadn't done that. I botched the process, and the project suffered. It wasn't long before there was frustration growing on both sides, and that I really needed to get into the code, and start developing more elements to the game, before a programmer would be able to take over. So, we decided, that for the time being I would take the project back, and in future when I needed more front-end work done, I would have to give him very detailed instructions on what I needed done. I had learned my lesson.

Visit our Dev Site: http://www.worldalpha.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldalpha
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WorldAlphaGame
Beta Testers: http://www.worldalpha.com/beta-testers



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