With so much going on while you attempt to manage your own space economic empire, you’re going to need a little help to stay informed. That’s why the small dev team behind Prosperous Universe is putting a priority on hacking out a useful notification system that will deliver regular updates on projects and events that impact the user.
The devs said that they’re taking a cue for this system from social media: “It pretty much looks and works as you’d expect from a site like Facebook… and that’s on purpose: Many smart people have thought a lot about this problem in the past and there is no point in reinventing the wheel.”
Another project in the works is to rebalance the game so that it rewards specialization strongly enough that it will tempt players away from creating self-sustaining bases that don’t require any external interaction.
Faster-than-light travel may be an impossible dream of our time, but for the three-person crew piloting the Prosperous Universe development ship, it’s all but a reality. The small team announced that it is almost ready to introduce players to how the space sandbox will handle FTL travel and turn over the flight controls to testers to see how they handle it.
We expect mass casualties.
“When jumping into a destination star system, the ships will not arrive directly at the destination planet anymore,” the team explained. “Instead, they appear in a safe distance (0.5 astronomical units at the moment) of the planet and will have to do a short slower-than-light flight to the target.”
Other projects that the team is working on this week include notification alerts that will inform players when something important is happening with their in-game business and laying out a strategy for marketing.
For those of us in this part of the world, this has been a quiet week of little news, because, well… Thanksgiving. (That is, a quiet week of little news for betas. Everything else has been exploding and on fire at the same time.) But Moonlight Blade has gotten plenty of new videos released into the wild, because it’s not Thanksgiving in South Korea. Moonlight Blade badger don’t care. Moonlight Blade badger does whatever it wants.
Other beta news? Oh, of course! It’s still been out there in the trenches.
- The third alpha test for Prosperous Universe kicked off, and at last report everything was running smoothly. If something broke horribly during the holiday, well… these are the breaks.
- There’s a new slot machine in FreeSO, if you want to watch your Sims watch things roll around in a circle and then not give them any money back. Living on the edge!
- Magic: the Gathering Arena, the online version of the real card game, is kicking off its beta testing on December 4th. You could also probably test the game by actually playing the card game that’s been around for nearly three decades, although we suspect the beta test will be more focused on “make sure the software works right” and less on “do the tapping rules make sense.”
- If you were worried about the future of Fortnite’s PvE mode (aka “the mode the game was actually sold on before someone realized they could tack on a battle royale version”) we have good news. It’s getting some love in December and January, so it shan’t end up like, well, Just Survive.
- Oh, hey, speaking of Just Survive, it got some maps! And some free reward crates. That’s cool.
A full list of games in testing? What do you think this is, Betawatch? Because you’re right. Like always, do let us know if something skipped test phases without us noticing, we really do appreciate it.
Here’s this week’s test of age: When you see the title of Closers Online, is your first thought along the lines of “help me, I’ve torn apart my insides” or “four years, no call, now you’re looking pretty in a hotel bar”? It really doesn’t matter either way; the game just entered closed beta, so you can buy a founder’s pack to get in whether you want to growl about losing yourself in bed or sing about stealing mattresses from roommates.
Meanwhile, we bid farewell to Mu Legend as it moves into open beta, which rhymes with “soft launch” in this case.
Other beta news? Not a whole lot, but it’s still there if you know where to look! Specifically, toward games in testing. That’s where to look.
- After ages of tests and rumors, Lineage Eternal is being rebooted as Project TL, which is… we’d like to say a step closer to release? It’s not actually even in consistent testing, see.
- The second week of early testing for Prosperous Universe apparently felt a lot slower than the first one in terms of gameplay. But that’s still providing lots of technical data, so it counts as a net win.
- The plans are set for OrbusVR’s early access schedule once December rolls around, but it’s still in a beta state for the rest of November. There’s a plan, and that plan is important.
While the week may have been quiet (read: while the week was totally quiet), there’s still a whole list of games on the testing docket just below. If you’re curious, you can jump on down there and check them out, but you can also let us know about the tests you’ve personally been checking out down in the comments. And if you’ve seen a game on the list that seems to have changed states without us noticing? Do let us know with specificity, that helps us yank things from the list.
A slower week for the small Prosperous Universe team nevertheless proved to be beneficial, as the sci-fi MMO rolled through its second alpha test more or less intact.
The team said that while this version of the game “feels way slower” than previously, the test is progressing smoothly from a technical test. It also sounds like players are getting a better handle on their start in this sandbox universe: “While the players I spoke with complained about not being able to be self-sufficient from the beginning, they quickly adapted to the new situation and started to trade the things they need to grow their bases. This is exactly what we hoped for and what this test is about.”
Curious about this “sandbox business simulation MMO?” The team put together a series of questions and answers about Prosperous Universe and addressed them while showing off some of the gameplay. Check it out below!
This week should serve as a helpful reminder that just because a game is in testing does not mean that it’s actually primed for launch. Two high-profile games this week have gone from early testing to a hiatus or cancellation. Breakaway is definitely on a hiatus that may well rhyme with “cancelled,” and The Amazing Eternals is paused and presumed dead. Whether this is an acknowledgement that the market is oversaturated with games of this type or just that those two titles were more than was needed is left as an exercise for the readers.
Other less cancel-y beta news also existed this week, though, so that’s good!
We also had a discussion about when a game crosses the line from “testing” to “launch.” That isn’t exactly beta news, but it’s relevant.
A list of titles in testing? Sure, we’ve got that down below. Did something jump test phases without us noticing? Has a cash shop opened in a game we don’t know about? Have we missed a game? Did Timmy fall in something other than a well (seriously, that kid never fell in a well)? Let us know in the comments!
Welcome back to another edition of Betawatch, the game where literally everything is in early access forever. Except Closers, of course, which is open! I never get tired of that. Yes, Closers Online is running a fully open alpha this weekend, which I guess is what we do now when open beta is actually soft launch. Regardless, you can play it and check it out. What else happened in the world of eternal testing this past week? Let’s see…
- Go Project Gorgon! It put your crowdfunding to work on a programmer to overhaul the in-testing UI.
- OrbusVR kicked off its third round of closed beta testing. Backers could also take part in Dual Universe’s second pre-alpha, which begins tomorrowday.
- Both Legends of Aria and Prosperous Universe put the wraps on their alpha testing.
- Crowfall talked up its action harvesting, while Ship of Heroes went all pew-pew with lightning.
- H1Z1 changed its name. Again. This is its third try and it’s still in early access! So is PUBG; it broke 2.3M concurrent players last weekend. Not too shabby.
- Don’t get your hopes up about Star Citizen spinoff Squadron 42; it’s not launching this year. Star Citizen itself is still busy breaking alpha 3.0. But Bless Online is definitely coming (to us) in 2018!
- Conan Exiles, on the other hand, will stay in testing an extra quarter.
Did we miss anything? Other than Eliot, who will be back in action next week? Send it along to us! And in the meantime, check out our ongoing list of MMOs-purporting-to-be-in-testing that we’re watching.
With nearly two years under the small indie team’s belt, Prosperous Universe successfully survived the launch and reentry of its first alpha test.
“We are still quite surprised by how well the overall system performed,” the team reported. “To be honest, we expected for things to fall apart rather quickly, with people discovering major game-breaking problems or blocking bugs that would keep players from accessing the game. Except for one such bug, everything went surprisingly smoothly, though […] This unexpected lack of major problems meant that people could actually play the game the way it was intended to.”
As the Prosperous Universe team prepares for another test in the future, there’s a lot to do in the here and now. The crew said that its members are busy incorporating feedback from the first alpha, redesigning the production interface, and improving the starter base building experience.
So here’s an MMO we’ve never heard of before: It’s called Prosperous Universe. It’s super duper indie alpha browser-based massively online game, with single-shard tech, a focus on trading and economy, and of course, a military component – a “high-level meta game” that dev Michael Olp tells us revolves around orbital and planetary structures.
“Imagine a game world with hundreds of stars, thousands of planets and asteroids, new colonies, huge empires and — you. A tiny little company, owning a few ships, barely enough money to buy fuel for your next jump. What would you do? Would you try your luck in one of the asteroid fields mining for rare ores? Would you sell your ships, your cargo and everything else to start trading in one of the large trading hubs? Would you want to become a respected designer of modern space ships? Or would you do anything to become the leader of one of the large corporations to scheme plans on how to wage trade wars against your enemies? Whatever you decide to do, it will leave a mark in the persistent world of Prosperous Universe and have consequences for you and everyone else.”
It’s pretty much got “Bree, come be a Star Wars space trucker” written all over it, and I’m digging the positive name for a change. But while we’re going to kick up a dev video down below and point to the features roadmap, let us also note that there’s no in-game demo or pics just yet. On the other hand? The tiny German Simulogics team also isn’t asking for money just yet. It’s one to keep an eye on!