The Kynseed Closed Beta is Available!
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    Matt's Avatar

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    The Kynseed Closed Beta is Available!

     




    We awoke this morning to the faint sound of an eager crowd, like the bourdon note of a distant organ growing ever louder. From here within the confines of the castle walls, it sounded as if we were being surrounded. Our castle guardians quickly ascended to our highest towers, gazed at the approaching mass, and shouted down their report: not a single pitchfork in sight!

    But we suppose you already know that, since you were that enthusiastic crowd in question. Welcome, once more, to Castle PixelCount. It seems we've spoken much this month; first to report our progress in building The Vale, then to extend an invitation to visit it while under construction, and most recently to tell you that we'll be planting an entire forest in your honour.

    So here we all are, congregated and ready to visit a new world together. Our artisans and builders have been working tirelessly to prepare for your visit. Come. It is time to keep your appointment with Mr Fairweather.







    Proto-hype

    You will be happy to know that our entire fleet of carrier pigs has been dispatched to your locations, bringing magical keys made of steam. These should now be sitting safe and snug in your mailboxes, but if not make sure you've opted in first. Though if you still haven't received your key then be sure to contact us and we'll find out where your wayward carrier pig has run off to.

    It seems not long ago that we were building the Kynseed prototype. Game development often feels like a sort of time machine. You spend what seems like only a short time in it, but whenever you leave to visit the outside world you suddenly realize that innumerable months have passed.

    In that time, we've been hard at work taking the core foundation of the prototype and making it stronger and sturdier. Much of the original prototype feedback we received has been pivotal in giving us a clear sense of direction on how to develop the game. However, that was quite a while ago by now.

    Prototypes are fine, but their acceptability is limited. A little alpha is even better, but not nearly as effective as the right kind of beta. So we call upon you once more to aid us in Kynseed's development by visiting its world and sharing your impressions of it.




    For Want of a Beta Word

    Have you ever made something that was still a work in progress, such as a drawing or something you wrote, that you let someone see unfinished? Chances are you gave that person an avalanche of disclaimers, making sure they understood that you weren't finished and that there were tons of problems and that it wasn't all that good yet anyway. This section is basically our version of that.

    People assume that game development is a strict progression of concept to feature, but actually it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, laggy-jaggy...stuff. So let's not mince words here: this version of the game is extremely rough. It will probably break. Well...not probably. It will break. Kynseed is an intensely complicated game for a small team to be making and it's going to take time for it to solidify into a smooth experience.

    So we want to be very clear that our backer build is going to be thoroughly incomplete, infested with bugs, and liable to crash. Even save files may be temperamental on occasion. It's the wild west of game development where anything can happen.

    It sometimes feels like the games industry hasn't made up its mind on what an alpha or beta is. There's times we've seen closed betas that seemed shockingly (if not suspiciously) complete. Yet we've also seen closed betas that are drastically unpolished and liable to break at the slightest provocation. We're probably going to be closer to the latter. Which is to say, we're not really fussing too much over the name of the thing so long as everyone knows that it's going to be as unpolished as a rusty nail. We even considered calling it Prototype 2: Electric Boogaloo. (I suspect we were only half serious, though that's probably half more than we should've been.)

    We're not a big team with big resources. We're a small team with big ideas. We have only one programmer, one designer, one animator, and so on. But every day we find ourselves inspired by our teammates and what they've managed to accomplish. There's still a long way to go, but we hope that you lovely players will understand the spirit with which we're sharing this early version of the game and we genuinely can't wait to hear what you think (and what you've broken).



    A Message to Streamers

    We're in love with the idea of streaming and let's plays. In many ways, streaming has outpaced the importance of traditional games press even! So we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to support all of you lovely people on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, and elsewhere. If you need absolutely anything from us, please do not hesitate to ask. If you need any screenshots, logos, or even high quality exports of our official videos, feel free to make use of the Kynseed media kit.

    The only favour that we ask of you is that you let your audience know that you're playing a very rough and incomplete version of the game. First impressions are incredibly important, so if some of your viewers are seeing Kynseed for the very first time we want to make sure they don't accidentally think that the game is nearly finished.

    Also, we have a short little message at the very start of the build that we think would serve as a fine introduction to give your audience when starting the game. Though if that's not your style as a streamer then no stress. The main thing is to just mention to your audience a handful of times that there's so much more left to add into the game.

    Also, feel free to alert us on Discord or on Twitter (or wherever) if you're streaming Kynseed! We love popping into streams to see how people are getting on with the game. Not only is it incredibly helpful for us to see other people's play styles, but we also just love hanging out and talking with people. We're a fairly chatty bunch, if you couldn't already tell.




     
    This could be you.


    Closed Beta on Humble Bundle

    We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of interest in the Kynseed Closed Beta. It's exceeded all of our expectations and we've been scrambling to keep up with the flood of new Piggy Backers and opt-ins that we've been getting in just the last few days alone. As many of you know, we've been giving out Steam keys to all our backers so that they can get into the beta. The tricky thing is, Steam has limits on how many keys we can have for a closed beta! However, fret not. We're making sure that all future late backers will still be able to play the closed beta.

    To make sure every backer can play, all future late backers as of the release of this announcement will be able to download the closed beta directly through Humble Bundle whenever they complete a payment on our crowdfunding page. Also, if you're a pre-existing late backer and you'd actually prefer to get the closed beta through Humble Bundle instead, this option will be retroactive for any late backers! And there was much rejoicing.

    Here's a quick overview of how this'll all play out:

    • Anyone who backed prior to the closed beta release on April 29th will get a Steam key.
    • Anyone who backed after that will download the closed beta through Humble Bundle.
    • The Humble Bundle backers will still be sent their designated Early Access Steam keys as normal (when ready, of course).
    • All pre-existing late backers can also download through Humble Bundle if they prefer.
    • If you backed on April 14th or earlier and haven't yet opted in, just go here and we'll be in touch.

    As always, if you have any questions or run into any problems at all, just give us a shout at all the usual places that we can be found (many of which are listed out at the very bottom of this announcement). Thank you again for all your support during this closed beta. We honestly couldn't have imagined that we'd even be at risk of running out of spaces for the Steam closed beta and we're incredibly humbled and grateful.








    Up until now, we've been spending our time in The Vale in relative solitude, with nothing but our puns to keep us company. It's almost hard for us to believe that thousands of guests are about to visit this world that we've been making. If you visit it frequently enough, you'll be able to see The Vale literally grow one tree at a time. It will be constantly evolving and reacting to your feedback.

    So go forth, Seedlings. Go explore a new uncharted world. Then return to us with tales of your adventures, be they good or bad.

    Thank you for all your support thus far. We hope you enjoy this early visit to what we've been building. If you need anything at all, don't hesitate to message us. Our castle doors are always open.

    Love,
    PixelCount

    Steam | Late Backer | Discord | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Forums
    Last edited by Matt; May 10th, 2018 at 08:10pm.

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