Our public beta of Elemental lasted until Beta 4.
We’re going to be making the game available early to everyone who beta tested Elemental (planned day is either Sunday night or Monday morning) and anyone who pre-orders prior to Monday morning will get the game on Monday rather than having to wait until Tuesday.
A quick beta recap for those who didn’t follow it:
Beta 1: Began a year ago.
Beta 1 focused on game concepts and took place purely on the cloth map. In this beta, we talked about all kinds of different game styles we wanted to try to explore.
The key challenge of beta 1 was coming up with a game design that was sufficiently original, challenging, interesting and engaging for players.
Beta 2: Began early this year.
Beta 2 focused on testing the brand new engine that Elemental uses called Kumquat. It is a 3D engine made specifically for the PC. What makes it special is that because it was made for the PC, it sacrifices memory usage for performance (consoles work the opposite – they have a lot less memory but great hardware). As a result, Elemental’s hardware requirements are roughly the same as for Galactic Civilizations II allowing the game to run on a very large number of PCs.
The key challenge of beta 2 was performance and stability.
Beta 3: Summer
This beta deal with starting to put the pieces together. Tactical battles, economics, magic, spells, diplomacy, etc. This was about getting the features in there and seeing what worked in practice (this is why sequels are so much easier – you have an established system).
Beta 4: July
Beta 4 was basically Beta 3 with the modding features enabled.
Beta 5: August
This was an internal beta where all our “stuff” came together.
This is the “release to manufacturing” version. There are actually several of these versions depending on what continent it’s going to for manufacturing with our RTM having been last Thursday evening.
Day 0: August 24th
This is the build where we get to do more polishing, AI improvements, tweaking, bug fixes, optimizations, etc.
Here are a series of screenshots for those whose last experience with Elemental was Beta 4 in order to outline some of the high level changes:
More to come…