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.