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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Early Access / Open Beta Dates

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We've been planning an Early Access launch in late February 2021 for a while now, but we've now decided to push that back a few months. Instead, we'll be running an open beta that will go live in March. You can sign up for the open beta (it's called a "Playtest") on the Steam page for Xenonauts 2.

Why have we made this decision?
The simple reason why we have made this decision is that our February launch date was dictated by our finances, but we've now been able to secure the funds we need to finish development without having to rely on Early Access sales. This gives us a bit more flexibility about our launch date than we had previously.

While we think Early Access is a good thing overall, launching a game before it is ready can backfire spectacularly - a lot of people don't understand that it's quite normal for an unfinished game to be broken or not much fun to play. This can lead to bad Steam reviews that will remain in place and make the game look bad even after it is finished and those problems are fixed, which we really want to avoid.

I think there's currently too much missing content in Xenonauts 2 and too many similarities to the original Xenonauts for us to be confident launching into Early Access right now. Since we don't urgently need to start taking customer money, it makes sense for us to play it safe and delay the launch while we continue to improve the game. Instead, we'll run an open beta so interested players have a way of getting involved.

Open Beta details:
The open beta for Xenonauts 2 will begin in March and will be run using the new Steam Playtest function, which allows us to give people access to a temporary copy of Xenonauts 2. This beta will be entirely free and will be open to everybody, but will be deactivated once the game launches into Early Access.

We're doing this because we want to start building a community around the game. Part of the reason we wanted to launch into Early Access was because there are so many people who want to play Xenonauts 2 and help out by offering feedback, but there was only a narrow window of time where they were able to back the Kickstarter or buy the game on Xsolla to get access to the Closed Beta. The community were a huge help during the development of Xenonauts so we want to get as many people involved in the project as possible, and the Open Beta seems a great way of doing that.

The content of the builds and the release schedule will be very similar to the current Closed Beta builds. We'll probably cut out the final ~30% of the game (which is currently barely functional anyway) from the builds during the open beta just so players have something interesting to look forward to when the Early Access launches, but other than that it'll be the full version of the game.

(For those of you that prefer GOG to Steam - I've not spoken to them yet, but I imagine we'll also be able to run the Open Beta in a similar arrangement via GOG Galaxy too.)

 

Taken together, these two things should help us have a much better Early Access launch. The game will be more polished and playable with a few more months of work, and hopefully we can impress enough people during the Open Beta that we'll have a large community of people ready to buy the game on launch. Hopefully that explains the reasons behind our decision, and I hope anyone who was excited about the Early Access is keen to get involved in the open beta instead - once again, you can sign up for it here!

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2 minutes ago, silencer said:

I assume those who have access to closed beta will be automatically upgraded?

Yeh, anyone with closed beta will continue to get updates as normal. You don't have to sign up for anything.

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On 2/3/2021 at 4:58 AM, Chris said:

We'll probably cut out the final ~30% of the game (which is currently barely functional anyway)

How do you plan to test this part of the game when it's ready?

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There are 3 Possibilitys Mr Alex for your Question:

1. The Devs will test it first in the Development-Version and until all found Problems there get solved then we get it for Testing with the "fresh Meat" in Open Beta (like it´s now for the Closed Beta).

2. The Devs will test it first in the Development-Version and until all found Problems there get solved we Founders get the new Version first for Testing as Closed Beta. After we give our OK then the "Fresh Meat" will get it for Open Beta. They can find out the missing or from us overseen Bugs / Failures etc. as a second Controlling.

3. The Devs will test it first in the Development-Version and until the Main-Problems get solved then we get it for Testing with the "fresh Meat" in Open Beta, with the difference to 1 that the Secondary etc. Problems are still in it.

Edited by Alienkiller

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