Please don’t get mad when beta 2 comes out

Published on Thursday, May 13, 2010 By Brad Wardell In Elemental Dev Journals

imageThere is quite a bit of concern (mostly from marketing) that people will be angry when beta 2 comes out because of how much we crippled the betas.

I hope those of you in the beta understand why we did what we did with the betas. Elemental is a new game. It’s been many years since there’s been a new fantasy strategy game made from scratch. As a result, it was important to us that we not rely on 3D graphics or multiplayer in order for the game to have good game mechanics.

Now, some of you may be like me where you’ve played games for decades so you’ll understand where I’m coming from.  A GOOD game shouldn’t need super good graphics or high end production values. Tower Defense is an awesome game and it has virtually no graphics.  So for Beta 1, we went to considerable efforts to force it to be, well, suck in order to get the beta testers to think about the game AS A GAME rather than as some sort of multimedia experience.

Now, when Beta 2 shows up, obviously with the 3D engine, some of you may feel we were trying to torture you or something. We just wanted to make sure that you guys felt truly free to debate and suggest different game ideas.

When this is all done, we will have to revisit just how much of an impact you guys have had in making the game a BETTER game and how much of that was because of being able to play minus fancy graphics.

Nowadays, it’s very very rare for brand new major PC games to be made. Nearly everything is a sequel or a remake. We felt it important that we take our time and do this right.  So while 7 months in beta 1 might have seemed excessive, I think it’ll become clear that giving the beta testers time to debate game mechanics and concepts was worth it.