The next steps for the Alpha

Heya folks, it's time to talk about the roadmap for the alpha.

One interesting part of shipping anything, even at the alpha or beta stages, is how long it takes relative to 'normal' work. All the various threads of the solution need to come to rest, be tested, fixed, changelogs & posts written and then finally shipped. If you are part way through something with far-reaching changes you have to find *some* solution even if it's not the final (or even correct) one.

Given that, as we all know, 6 months is a short period of time to get this to Beta we can't be putting too many of these kinds of delays in the roadmap. However, it's super sucky if the alpha now just stagnates until we get something sane to use again. Even-more-however it's extra super sucky to ship something so work in progress that it breaks everything so people can even reliably play any more.

In an effort to find a balance between all these things, here is our plan.

- We will put out one more update (this should have shipped now) to the current alpha and then it will stay the way it is, bugs and all, until Early Access.

- We will, in a month or so (maaaybe two) put out the HERE BE DRAGONS alpha branch. Which will be opt-in, frequently updated, and will run concurrently with the current alpha.

The 'Here be dragons' branch (or the dragons branch for short) will be where you can try the stuff in a super unfinished and broken form. It's a totally separate world from the current alpha so board/campaign/slabs/etc will not be portable between the two. The dragons branch will break and be reset A LOT. The only priority with that branch is development and so stuff will disappear with very limited warning.

The fun bit though will be that if you want to try things out as soon as possible and help us find bugs, that will be the place to be :)

It is expected that you will be able to move between the two branches relatively easily by opting into and out of the dragons branch on steam, so this doesn't have to be an either-or if you are the adventurous type.

One reason for not opening up the alpha again was the load of scaling the alpha on us. This approach costs us very little and doesn't increase load as no new people will be joining the alpha, all we are doing is moving load around :)

So that's the plan, the alpha keeps being useful for the folks who want to keep playing the game, and the dragons branch will be there for when you want to... not be able to play the game :D Jokes aside, we do hope this works for you as this is, to us, the best way to make this happen.

Until the next time

Ciao!