alpha

Crowfall shines more light on its day/night cycle

With a fully dynamic world that involves varied spawns, parcels that are moved around, and generated terrain, the Crowfall team had a tougher challenge than most to create good-looking lighting that was carefully placed by hand. Instead, the art team had to come up with fully-dynamic lighting, and Art Director Melissa Preston is more than happy to talk about that and more on this month’s Q&A video.

The lighting keeps changing, too, as Crowfall just instituted a day/night cycle with Patch 5.7. The devs talk about all of this, fiddling with the various sliders to show the complexity of lighting in this MMO. If nothing else, it’s an eye-opener about an aspect of these games that you may have never considered!

The video also shows off the Stoneborn and female Half-Giant characters, so there’s a lot to absorb before all is said and done!

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Fractured reaches 30k registrations and shows off building mode

As Fractured continues to ramp up to its hopefully successful Kickstarter campaign, interest ramps up from the MMO community about this indie title. The dev team announced that the game has seen a rapid increase in registrations from 20,000 three weeks ago to 30,000 today.

To help prime the pump for crowdfunding, the team also released a new teaser video showing off the game’s building mode: “In the video, you can see the character taking a resting phase in the tavern, then venturing in the nearby forest to chop down some trees […] The building the player is trying to raise is a medium-sized one, with low-level technology, made of wood and stone. The construction is modular, and has to be completed step by step.”

Give it a look after the jump!

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Star Citizen alpha 3.2 hits the PTU as backers play with mining, grouping, and pixel ships

The Star Citizen Reddit is abuzz today – and no, not just about EVE Online’s “Venture Capitalist” skin bundle joke, although they’re doing that too. Nope, they’re buzzing because Cloud Imperium has opened up the testing for the alpha 3.2 build on the PTU for a much broader group of players, including subbers and wave-one PTU backers.

The focus of this leg of the test is mining in particular – scanning, extracting, and prospecting need a work-through. The patch also buffs up the grouping system, turrets, shopping, G-force effects, and orbital quantum travel. And it actually adds some of those old pixel ships that somebody keeps buying, including the Anvil Hurricane and Aegis Eclipse. Pew pew.

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Rend is moving faction bases as its alpha rolls on

Everything is moving in Rend. That much should be expected, of course, because the game is still early in its testing cycle. In this particular case, though, the faction base is moving from the prior location to a spot closer to Yggdrasil. This has a number of benefits, as it gives players a taste of what to expect during the first journey to the base, provides clearer movements to the other biomes, and offers the developers a chance to change the map a bit further.

This also helps adjust the overall balance of the game by setting creature movement speeds to account for the new location, and since the game’s taming system is arriving in the same update it addresses multiple issues at once. None of the changes impact the overall timeline, so you can look forward to seeing the results of these shifts yourself sooner rather than later. Our own Andrew got a chance to see how the game is coming along on E3, so you can also take his word for it.

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Chronicles of Elyria brings its world to life with player chat and adorable bunnies

You just couldn’t resist the bunny post, could you? The bunnies were there and your mind goes, “Aww, fluffy little hoppity hoppers!” and now you’re reading a post on Chronicles of Elyria. No, no, don’t leave, you might as well finish it while you’re here.

Anyway, the world of Chronicles of Elyria is coming together as the team prepares for the pre-alpha test. First up for this month’s efforts was getting the chat interface working for the VoxElyria client. “Chat in Chronicles of Elyria is a more complex beast than you might find in your typical MMO,” said the team.

The developers also worked on creating a stable and well-performing hardware platform and fleshing out the world with those adorable bunnies, shrubberies, oxen, and various bits of lore.

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Gran Skrea brings an indie sandbox MMO to early access

On the prowl for an undiscovered indie MMORPG these days? You might want to check out Gran Skrea Online, as it just went into early access this past weekend.

According to the team, Gran Skrea “combines a desire for new player-defined MMORPG mechanics with influences from classic RPGs like RuneScape, Ultima Online, and The Elder Scrolls.” It’s $9 right now through June 23rd, which isn’t the most exorbitant price we’ve ever seen, and there’s an official Discord set up already.

The sandbox MMORPG sends players “to create their own destiny in an original world of medieval fantasy.” This apparently means a mixture of quests, “ruthless” PvP combat, guilds, and economy. There are already quite a few features in place, including player housing, a criminal flagging system, lots of crafting, and a game world with plenty of lore. There’s more to be added in the early access program, so features such as territorial warfare, auction houses, and naval warfare are still in development.

Get an early look at Gran Skrea after the jump!

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Rend showcases new Stagswood biome with video

Frostkeep Studios showed off plenty for Rend at E3, as you can see from our hands-on with the game, but the studio still has more to share. It unveiled another boime last Friday, showing off the lush landscape that surrounds hearthhome with a flyover video. Stagswood is home to — you guessed it — stags. But this survival PvPvE game doesn’t feature just ordinary stags. No, these majestic luminescent creatures have beautiful flora growing out of their mighty antlers. They live among the skogurfrut bushes and hardwood saplings under the canopy. Also living amid the foliage (likely stalking you) are wargs, and down in caves you’ll find vicious looking Ursas. Check out some screens below, then watch the flyover and collect a few survival tips on Rend’s official site.

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Dual Universe’s latest pre-alpha patch adds markets, scanning, and mining

Let’s all take a moment for an appreciative round of applause to any studio that is considerate enough to post monthly round-ups of games in development. This is especially helpful for titles like Dual Universe, as there is so much going on that it gets easy to miss updates.

So what’s going on with Dual Universe this June? The team reviewed its pre-alpha 0.10 patch, which added scanning and mining gameplay, several new gameplay videos, a dev blog on the revamp to piloting mechanics, how it’s handling player feedback, and some new concept art.

Speaking of the patch, another major feature just added to the space sandbox was its oh-so-necessary market system. The devs urge that you familiarize yourself with the market UI in order to make the most efficient use of your time and effort. Check it out below!

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Camelot Unchained doubles down on development in the beta home stretch

Saying that it needs to “double down” and push hard to get the beta build finished for next month’s launch, the Camelot Unchained team noticeably increased its output this week with 20 items on its to do list.

Among the many projects that the developers were tackling this past week include shaping the Arthurian Physician class, stress testing the builder system, sorting out the crafting system, load testing servers, upgrading the trade window UI, and building props to populate taverns and banks.

As for Camelot Unchained BetaWatch (ooh, that’s a catchy title we should steal), it’s still on track: “As you all know, we had set our original feature lock date as June 12, which was this Tuesday. The good news is, many of our core Beta features have landed, things like skill improvements, scenarios, and our ability to have a complete game loop. However, some work just isn’t where we want it to be, and so we are moving forward with a bit of continued feature work to deliver the experience we want for Beta 1 Day 1. We are still hopeful for the 4th of July!”

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Crowfall delays again: ‘Soft launch is not going to happen by the end of this year’

Here’s a slight damper for your weekend: Crowfall has decided to delay its soft launch into 2019 due to the additional work that the studio believes should to be done. ArtCraft said that between “getting it right” and “calling it done,” it would much rather do the former.

“The game experience is paramount,” ArtCraft stated. “We firmly believe is the right path forward. These changes aren’t free, however, so we should recognize that more changes to core systems means more time before launch. As a result, I think it’s clear that our soft launch is not going to happen by the end of the year.”

The delay isn’t the first for the studio; by our count, it delayed major functionality as well as a soft launch last year too.

Now that you’re past the crushing disappointment of development schedules, here’s some good news. Alpha testing is on track to start later this summer and the studio is in a strong financial position after receiving an additional $6 million investment at the start of 2018. Other deals that have been made to help the PvP MMO include a partnership to bring Crowfall to Russia and an agreement to license its MMO technology base to an unnamed company.

Source: Crowfall. Thanks JamesGoblin!

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Betawatch: Star Citizen and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week (June 15, 2018)

Oh, boy, Star Citizen. It’s been a week. First, the little boy who would never lose faith in you lost faith in you. In a film, this is the point when you check into rehab. In real life, this is the point when the game released a trailer for alpha 3.2 that contains things not actually in alpha 3.2. And then they released another concept ship you can buy which looks… let’s be kind and say oddly similar to a ship from EVE Online. A well-known one. EVE Online had some fun with that. In short, the game is going to move to Australia.

Other beta news? Sure, yeah, let’s go for it.

Did you have a good week? Would you like to end it by looking at the games currently in testing? Would you like to tell us if something is mislabeled down in the comments? All of these things are good and you should do them.

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Ship of Heroes discusses the difference between Alpha and Beta

What makes an alpha? If your answer is “marketing jargon,” you’re not entirely wrong. But the team behind Ship of Heroes is going for a slightly more formalized definition, and it’s explained on the official site right now. In short, an alpha is when you have people who aren’t part of the development team running around in the game, because that’s when you can find the bits that are broken without developers who just know to avoid that stuff.

The team is also preparing for its next major alpha milestones, starting with a 50-player login test with everyone logging into a spot and running around. Assuming that goes well, it’s time to move on to the same thing with a full-fledged invasion, adding combat into the mix. If you’re curious about the exact divisions between alphas, betas, and closed vs. open status, check out the whole piece on the official site.

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E3 2018: Vigor brings a DayZ-like experience to a post-war Norway

Bohemia Interactive, the developer behind DayZ, knows what it does well, and it’s going to continue to create games within its specific field of expertise. The studio just announced its next title at E3 this week called Vigor, and yup, it’s a multiplayer survival shooter.

Vigor takes place in a post-war 1991 Norway where players have to grab everything that’s not nailed down and attempt to survive. There’s prooooobably going to be some snow here, considering the country, so pack your long johns.

“Turn a shelter into your home. Fight, run or hide. Take risks, claim rewards. Survive this cut-throat experience,” the official website said.

The big bummer here? Vigor is exclusive to the Xbox One, so you’ll either have to access it through that platform or look wistfully at some screenshots for the rest of your life. Early access signups are currently open through the website.

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