Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pre-Alpha Update 014 - CLOSED-ALPHA RELEASE CALENDAR and More!
#1
[Image: U014-01-Welcome.png]

Greetings dear readers, friends and soon to be managers! We hope life as been good with you in the past few weeks!

As many of you know, the last Update (013) saw us teasing an upcoming official announcement for the Closed Alpha Release of Epic Manager. Well, Astoris be praised, here it is!

As always, this update will also be the occasion for us to let you know what the team’s been up to during the past few weeks, and we will also take a moment to highlight the newest version of the Recruitment Campaign game mechanic, one of the many cool features you'll soon be able to experiment with in the upcoming Closed Alpha.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at that that Release Timeline! 

[Image: U014-02-ReleaseRoadmap.png]
[Image: Update-014---Release-Roadmap-v2.png]

[Image: U014-03-WhatToExpectClosedAlpha.png]

CLOSED ALPHA RELEASE...WEEK?

That's right! Our official Closed-Alpha release target is Monday, May 30th. That being said, a certain number of factors could slightly delay this target, such as having to manually send hundreds of Steam Keys to all eligible Kickstarter Backers.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE FIRST WEEKS OF CLOSED-ALPHA?

If you’ve been following us for a while now, you probably know that we here at ManaVoid believe in transparency, and the Closed Alpha phase will be held with the same mind frame. Epic Manager will soon be played by a larger player base than ever before, and this period will be THE best moment for us to get your early feedback on the game and make adjustments where they are most demanded.

Bugs will be an inevitable part of the experience for early adopters. This will, of course, become less and less of an issue as updates and patches are released and as we work tirelessly to remove the major irritants as quickly as possible. The main takeaway here is that the Closed Alpha is but a starting point that will be improved on. We are doing our best to provide a fun and balanced experience even at this early stage but keep in mind that the game development process is still far from over!

Epic Manager’s Closed Alpha will present players with an ever-growing slice of the full experience. At first, Closed Alpha players will be able to experience all the game's mechanics until a certain point in the Agency's progression. New content and progression opportunities will then be added on a regular basis trough automatic patches, as we further tweak balancing and the game's core features with the feedback we've received. 

All-in-all, the Closed Alpha will be the opportunity for players to test out and enjoy Epic Manager for the first time, for its developers to gather immensely useful feedback on bugs, balance, gameplay, etc. and for the game to grow from the entire process.

HOW AND WHEN WILL PLAYERS RECEIVE THEIR CLOSED ALPHA ACCESS?

It’s very simple, really.

Using the email address you provided us with in the Post-Kickstarter Forms (the same we used to create your Forums account) all backers who are eligible for the Closed Alpha will receive their unique Epic Manager Steam Key. This message will also contain detailed step-by-step instructions to redeem the game on your Steam Library.

The Closed Alpha Release will also mark the beginning of an increased online presence for our team, as we aim to provide as much support for members of the community. 

On the day of the release, we will be available online continuously to provide you with support should you require any. We are at least as excited as you can be about this milestone, so we will be there, waiting, watching, reading, coding… By Astoris this will be EPIC!!!

[Image: U014-04-News.png]

In other news, it’s already been 3 weeks since the last update! Things fly at an incredible pace when you are working towards an approaching release, let me tell you! So, we’ve been busy bees at the office and here’s what we’ve accomplished in a nutshell.

A lot of improvements have been done to the World Map's graphics. We also implemented a fog of war system that works quite nicely - Exploring the Realm of Astraeus and revealing it's locations has never been such a rewarding experience!

Some development days were also invested on the camera-traveling mechanics on the World Map, in order to make them feel more natural and responsive. We now have pathways and smoother transitions for all parties on the Map. Likewise, many panels and sequences were also tweaked and polished in order to bring them to a state we judge adequate for Closed Alpha. We also continued building the internal framework that will be required to localize the game in different languages.

The game's credits have now been added, and we've put a lot of hours bringing the game's Tutorial segment up to par. Last week also saw some team members tweaking the values of all adventurers and enemy skills as well as out-of-combat values and algorithms. Of course, we're also purging and chasing down many bugs, and we're always on the lookout for more to shoot down every day!

Finally, with the release soon upon us, we also took the time to upgrade our management tools in order to make sure we're ready for the important steps to come!

Like we said, busy bees. Big Grin

[Image: U014-05-Feature-RecruitmentCampaign.png]

[Image: Update-014---RecruitmentCampaign.png]

For a long time now, we've debated what format the Recruitment Campaign mechanic should take. After some internal testing, and a little re-haul, we are happy to showcase the new Recruitment Campaign panel! 

In Epic Manager, players will need to recruit adventurers and form parties in order to complete Quests, which will in turn lend you Gold and Fame. As you probably know by now, Fame is a resource that will be used like points in professional sport rankings, while Gold is.. well, Gold.

Gathering potential recruits is done through the frequent use of Recruitment Campaigns. As your Agency becomes more famous, you will be able to use better campaigns that will allow you to contact better candidates or to focus your search on more specific criteria. Once a Recruitment Campaign is available (players unlock them through the Agency's Research Tree), you can select it and pay its price in both Gold and Scout Points in exchange for a list of available candidates.

But wait! Potential recruits will still need to be signed before you can deploy them in a party. Negotiating contracts will require you to balance your budget, respect salary cap limitations, consider contract lengths, and more, such as adventurer greed and other factors.

Chances are you'll be doing lots of recruiting over the course of each campaign, since it'll be the best way to replenish your roster when tragedy hits and that Bard you loved so much gets ambushed by those pesky Ratmen... With the Closed Alpha around the proverbial corner, you'll soon be able to discover it all for yourself! 

[Image: U014-06-ClosingWords.png]

That's it for now! We hope you enjoyed this update and, above all, we hope you're as hyped as we are for the upcoming Closed Alpha Release! 

As always, thanks for reading and don't hesitate to reach out to us here on the Forums if you would like more details about something that was mentioned here today! 

Stay tuned for more things Epic Manager, and stay Epic!

Best regards from the whole ManaVoid Dev Team! 

[Image: Epic-Manager---Kickstarter-Logo---620x465.png]
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
[+] 4 users Like Simon's post
Reply
[+] 4 users Like Simon's post
#2
Fantastic! Very exciting update. Can't wait for the final product.
[+] 1 user Likes chickenhed's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes chickenhed's post
#3
Great job guys! keep up the good work!
[+] 1 user Likes Joshua Muffins Butner's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes Joshua Muffins Butner's post
#4
Can't wait to test things out. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make it easier on your end regarding bug spotting & reporting.
I guess there will be some sort of template so you guys don't waste time on duplicate and such.

If you ever need more hands to parse and get through tough time, don't hesitate to ask or poke.
The firsts weeks will probably be the hardest, but the most rewarding nonetheless! Big Grin

PS: Again, awesome icons/visuals Smile great work!
[+] 2 users Like Alex G's post
Reply
[+] 2 users Like Alex G's post
#5
Thanks for the update. Really great seeing the plan for the release, certainly feels like it'll be released in no time! Although i'm sure theres so much more work needed.
[+] 1 user Likes Ieuan Miller's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes Ieuan Miller's post
#6
(squeal!)

I am so excited, I could just ... I could ... I could ... I could just dip a cat in mustard and use it to paint the ceiling!

That doesn't even make any sense, but EXCITEMENT.

(Also: tavern thugs - best king of thugs!)
[+] 1 user Likes DanielHall15's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes DanielHall15's post
#7
(05-03-2016, 06:49 AM)chickenhed Wrote: Fantastic! Very exciting update. Can't wait for the final product.

Hey ChickenHed! Once again, thanks for your continued support and encouraging words!

(05-03-2016, 07:01 AM)Joshua Muffins Butner Wrote: Great job guys! keep up the good work!

Welcome Back Joshua, and thanks for being part of the process!

We're really eager to finally put the game in your hands very soon!
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
Reply
#8
(05-03-2016, 07:03 AM)Alex G Wrote: Can't wait to test things out. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make it easier on your end regarding bug spotting & reporting.
I guess there will be some sort of template so you guys don't waste time on duplicate and such.

Hey Alex, how are things? Big Grin

We are indeed looking into different options in order to gather/process player feedback! We'll most likely dedicate an upcoming update to these "Feedback Protocols" as soon as we've settled an appropriate formula!

As for the next few weeks probably "being the hardest", I'm pretty sure they indeed will be, although we're very much looking forward to all of it! Big Grin

As always, thanks for your awesome support!
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
Reply
#9
(05-03-2016, 07:50 AM)Ieuan Miller Wrote: Thanks for the update. Really great seeing the plan for the release, certainly feels like it'll be released in no time! Although i'm sure theres so much more work needed.

Hi Ieuan! It's been a while! Big Grin
You're more than welcome! And you're right - the next few weeks will surely fly by in no time!

As for the all the work still ahead, you're right of course! This upcoming period will definitely bring new challenges, but we're really looking forward for all the valuable feedback you guys/gals will be able to provide from the Closed Alpha build!
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
Reply
#10
(05-03-2016, 08:11 AM)DanielHall15 Wrote: I am so excited, I could just ... I could ... I could ... I could just dip a cat in mustard and use it to paint the ceiling!
That doesn't even make any sense, but EXCITEMENT.
(Also: tavern thugs - best king of thugs!)

Big Grin
I'm keeping a personal "days to go" tab on top of my night table. Cat seems to enjoy throwing it on the ground whenever he can. I think countdowns unnerve him.
I'll mention the mustard thing the next time I catch him red-handed (pawed)!

Also : Tavern Thugs, sworn enemies of the Ruffneck Ruffians!
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
Reply
#11
...having just experienced a similar issue with another game, I should bring this up.

The KS page for Epic Manager promises a DRM free copy to backers, as did Grim Dawn. Now, to ME, DRM-free means I have a CD/install package, and install the game, and I am not REQUIRED to run another service like Steam in order to play the game in FULL. So if you offer online play, I can play online with any other person who has it. Grim Dawn offered alpha/beta play through Steam, like you appear to be doing.

From what little I gathered, people on the Grim Dawn forums got the impression (rightly or wrongly, I'm not sure) the devs weren't going to be bothering with offering a DRM-free copy after getting a percentage of backers who had come on for that perk alone. The end result of the furore was that the devs ended up arranging for backers' Steam keys to be revoked so that they could then get a GOG key which allowed the manual downloading of the install package (though as I recall the devs were all "how is GOG any better than Steam?", and frankly I wished they had offered downloads through Humble Bundle, but that's probably just me, given everyone else was ecstatic about having GOG keys).

I want to take part in the alpha (though having looked at the KS page, curiously enough no mention of the word 'alpha' appears, though 'beta' does), but having to be locked into Steam to do it is... not really my first preference. And given that in the end, I don't want to run the game through Steam anyway, cluttering my steam list with yet another game that I'm never going to install isn't something that I want to do either.
I was one of the one thousand, one hundred and fifty seven Kickstarter backers
[+] 1 user Likes Dianna Bell's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dianna Bell's post
#12
(05-03-2016, 12:18 PM)Dianna Bell Wrote: ...having just experienced a similar issue with another game, I should bring this up.

The KS page for Epic Manager promises a DRM free copy to backers, as did Grim Dawn. Now, to ME, DRM-free means I have a CD/install package, and install the game, and I am not REQUIRED to run another service like Steam in order to play the game in FULL. So if you offer online play, I can play online with any other person who has it. Grim Dawn offered alpha/beta play through Steam, like you appear to be doing.

From what little I gathered, people on the Grim Dawn forums got the impression (rightly or wrongly, I'm not sure) the devs weren't going to be bothering with offering a DRM-free copy after getting a percentage of backers who had come on for that perk alone. The end result of the furore was that the devs ended up arranging for backers' Steam keys to be revoked so that they could then get a GOG key which allowed the manual downloading of the install package (though as I recall the devs were all "how is GOG any better than Steam?", and frankly I wished they had offered downloads through Humble Bundle, but that's probably just me, given everyone else was ecstatic about having GOG keys).

I want to take part in the alpha (though having looked at the KS page, curiously enough no mention of the word 'alpha' appears, though 'beta' does), but having to be locked into Steam to do it is... not really my first preference. And given that in the end, I don't want to run the game through Steam anyway, cluttering my steam list with yet another game that I'm never going to install isn't something that I want to do either.

Hello Diana, how've you been! 

These are very good questions indeed and i'll try to address them as best as possible, so let's begin! Big Grin

Will there be a DRM-Free Version of Epic Manager?
This is indeed a promise we intend on honoring, once the development of the game is complete (Full Release / Version 1.0). 

The exact formula for this DRM-Free version's distribution is still to be determined, although we will most likely use the services of a Third-Party platform (like GoG) to make the whole downloading/updating process easier for both our team and the players. 

Why is the Closed Alpha only on Steam?
As we've mentioned in the past, funneling all players onto the same platform during the early release stages (Closed Alpha / Early Access) will provide many advantages in terms of feedback, support and update capacities.

Bugs are more than likely, and especially in the early builds. Steam's auto-updating capability means our team could push out a critical patch in the middle of the day and that all players will automatically receive it the next time they start the game. We expect to update the game on a very regular basis in the first weeks of the Closed Alpha in order to address game-breaking or fun-breaking issues as quickly as possible. Smile

Furthermore, by offering basic usage stat reports, reset-able achievements and other interesting back-end functionalities, Steam will also make it possible for us to watch and interpret important game metrics that will, in turn, serve as focus points for upcoming game play and balance changes.

On Alpha and Beta
This is also something we've mentioned before, but it's a perfect time to review our position on the matter!

Just to make the difference between the two less ambiguous :
Alpha : An early build of the game, with upcoming content still to be added and further polishing/balancing required.
Beta : An early build of the game, yet content-complete. Further polishing/balancing required.

Since there a LOT more content heading to Epic Manager in both the Closed Alpha and Early Access phases, calling it a 'Beta' wasn't making as much sense.

That being said, we've been working on this project for almost two years now, and what the game has to offer now is largely superior to what was originally presented on Kickstarter in Nov 2014. In other words, even though the upcoming release is called "Alpha", you can expect a very polished experience all-around!

Lately, some games (I'm thinking of Prison Architect, for example) have decided to stay labeled as "Alpha" for the entirety of their Early Access duration, without ever going through any Beta period before the full release. Considering that the game's EA updates were both regularly adding content as well as refining existing systems, it kinda made sense! We think this is a good approach. 

Thanks for bringing this up! 
I hope this answered all of your questions regarding the upcoming release(s). It's always a pleasure for us to clarify our position and to stay as transparent as possible with our community. 

Thanks for your continued feedback and support!
Best regards!
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
[+] 1 user Likes Simon's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes Simon's post
#13
I've been good; keeping busy.

Thanks for addressing the Steam/DRM thing. Looking forward to the game, because it seems like it will be lots of fun.
I was one of the one thousand, one hundred and fifty seven Kickstarter backers
[+] 1 user Likes Dianna Bell's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dianna Bell's post
#14
Great to see the progress being made!

I'm sure, as you say, there will be bugs to slay with the alpha (its Alpha after all), but that's all part of the journey to make it truly EPIC! Big Grin

BTW I'm doing well. Thanks for asking in the other thread Big Grin - I do try to drop buy now and then, mostly as the lurker type Tongue But I'm sure that will change when the game begins to come together.

Take your time, we'll be here.
Gamers are young at heart and creative thinkers. Shall we play a game?
[+] 1 user Likes CustodianV131's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes CustodianV131's post
#15
How are things over in Canada? I am lusting for a little update. Wouldn't mind a juicy screenshot or two, either. =)
[+] 1 user Likes DanielHall15's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes DanielHall15's post
#16
(05-09-2016, 03:28 PM)DanielHall15 Wrote: How are things over in Canada? I am lusting for a little update. Wouldn't mind a juicy screenshot or two, either. =)

Great!

I'd show you a screenshot of what I'm working on, but excel sheets aren't the sexiest thing to see. XD

Plus, you know... Quest spoilers!
Christopher ''The DM'' Chancey
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
@ManaVoidChancey
[+] 2 users Like Chancey's post
Reply
[+] 2 users Like Chancey's post
#17
(05-09-2016, 03:28 PM)DanielHall15 Wrote: How are things over in Canada? I am lusting for a little update. Wouldn't mind a juicy screenshot or two, either. =)

Hello Daniel!

Things are good in our little corner of world these days - things are warming up and it's really starting to feel like summer. (Although we spend our days indoors, in front of our screens, with all the blinds closed to reduce glare...) Big Grin

The whole team is working very hard to complete the long list of things we still have to do before the Closed Alpha Release!
As it stands, we're very much on track with the announced release window!

I'll try to make sure that at least one new update finds its way to the Forums soon, but since they generally take a few hours to write/piece together, it probably won't be this week.

It's back to the coding den for now!
Best regards from the whole Dev Team and, as always, many thanks for your continued support and presence here on the Forums Big Grin
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
[+] 2 users Like Simon's post
Reply
[+] 2 users Like Simon's post
#18
...so I'm buying a new computer in about... 40 hours or so? Thursday mornining at any rate. I might have AN ACTUAL GAMING COMPUTER in time to play this beta release!

(Of course, I'm only buying the computer in order to be able to play Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster on Steam, which leaves a DILEMMA about what to play. :-P)
I was one of the one thousand, one hundred and fifty seven Kickstarter backers
[+] 2 users Like Dianna Bell's post
Reply
[+] 2 users Like Dianna Bell's post
#19
(05-17-2016, 05:25 PM)Dianna Bell Wrote: ...so I'm buying a new computer in about... 40 hours or so? Thursday mornining at any rate. I might have AN ACTUAL GAMING COMPUTER in time to play this beta release!

(Of course, I'm only buying the computer in order to be able to play Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster on Steam, which leaves a DILEMMA about what to play. :-P)

Awesome!

Can't blame you about the HD remasters, they are looking amazing!
Congrats on the computer, must admit though our game isn't CPU/GPU intensive so it should be fine to play Epic Manager in any case. XD
Christopher ''The DM'' Chancey
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
@ManaVoidChancey
[+] 1 user Likes Chancey's post
Reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chancey's post
#20
That noise you guys can here on the hallway, that's me, by the way, pacing up and down and waiting for good news. ^^
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)