Alpha Test Starting October 31st!
Alpha is almost here! In this post, we’ll cover:
- 🔑 Alpha Key Survey Link
- 🎮 Current Status of Features and Gameplay
- 📑 Feedback
- 🖥️ System Requirements
- ⏰ Alpha Timing
- 🤫 Secrecy during Alpha
- ❓ FAQ
🔑 Fill out the Alpha Key Survey to confirm your participation in Alpha 🔑
Today we are sending out our Alpha Key Survey for entering your information to get your Alpha Steam Keys. The survey will contain some quick questions about what types of games you like, and some information to help us with our Steam Key delivery. In the survey we will be asking for the email we have on file associated with your order. This is the email we will use to deliver your Steam Key!
NOTE: The Steam Keys themselves aren't tied to any email. They can be activated by any Steam account. The email is only to confirm your purchase, eligibility, and most up to date information.
If you need to update your email, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible!
⏰ Don’t wait to fill out your survey!
Depending on the volume and timing of Alpha Key Survey responses and the performance of our systems, delivery of Keys may take longer than we’re hoping. We will send batches based on who filled out their survey first.
When will I get my Steam Key?
Steam Keys will be sent out in batches. We will send a Test Batch of Steam Keys at 10AM PT on October 31st, with the goal of sending the remaining batches starting 12PM PT on October 31st. We anticipate that all remaining batches should be sent in a matter of minutes or hours.
The Alpha Key Survey will be open until ALL Alpha Testing Rounds are complete.
Delays are possible!
We have been doing exhaustive tests leading up to launch, and we will continue to do so in the coming days, but this is the first time we are launching something at this scale with these parameters. There is always a chance something goes wrong, and we ask for your patience and understanding if that happens.
This will be the first of many Alpha Testing Rounds!
The timing and number of the Alpha Testing Rounds will depend significantly on your feedback. We anticipate this first round will last around two weeks, depending on your feedback. Read below to learn more about the timing and frequency of the next Alpha Testing Rounds.
The same Steam Key will be used for every round of Alpha!
You will receive one Alpha Steam Key and it will not be the same key you use for Early Access or Final Release, regardless of platform!
As always, Alpha is for Windows PC only! 🖥️
For more info on Alpha Key distribution and Alpha Testing, read more below in our Alpha Timing section.
📊🎮 Current Status of Features and Gameplay 🎮📊
We’ll have a link to a page for this soon - we’ll keep updated on a weekly basis!
Below is the status of the systems (code) and content (the stuff you’ll see and interact with in the game) you’ll be seeing in Alpha 1! You will probably not see or feel the systems, but they’ve been what we’ve spent most of our time in the past year, and they’ll be what lets us quickly make changes to accommodate your feedback.
This list is incomplete, and is intended to give a better idea of what’s going to be in Alpha! We’ll continue to fill this in and expand it over time.
Why so many systems and not so much content?
Pre-Alpha for us was about setting up a robust skeleton for all of our critical game systems. Alpha will be about tuning how those systems are implemented, and adding features where they’re needed. Early Access will be where we push harder on expanding content.
What does "complete" or "prototyped" mean? Read more below!
📃 Glossary 📃
Complete (system): The system meets our standard for stability, feature set, and expandability.
Example: The customization system is complete. There may be changes to the system like adding extra categories of clothes, or some option to customize colors of certain facial features, but these are relatively easy to add to a complete system.
MVP Complete (system): The system meets our standard for stability and expandability, and a minimal standard for feature set needed to support the rest of the game, but should be expanded if it’s clear it’s a gameplay priority during testing.
Example: Crafting has a very minimal implementation, but if it’s clear there are other higher priority features, improvement could be delayed without causing too many issues with the rest of the gameplay.
Prototyped (system): The system is functioning, but may not meet our standards for stability, feature set, or expandability, or may just not be integrated into the build.
Example: Decoration has been prototyped, but has not been tested thoroughly for stability, and Veggie/Fruit/Mushroom pets have been prototyped, but the system does not yet have a feature set we would consider complete.
In Progress (system): The system is incomplete and not ready for testing. This status covers a wide range of states.
💖📑 User Feedback 📑💖
During Alpha, the most useful feedback will be about your experience with the gameplay and introduction of the world and features of Island Skies. For Alpha, these are rough, but your feedback will be critical in helping us shape them into what we want them to be.
We will be monitoring bug reports for new issues, but this won’t be our primary focus at this time. We want to keep Alpha stable enough to deliver a representative experience, but not burn too much time chasing down minor bugs until the state of the game is more locked down, toward the end of Alpha / start of Early Access.
There are 3 ways we’ll be collecting feedback:
- Surveys: We’ll send surveys with each Round of Alpha. These will cover the topics our designers are most interested in and give us data that will help contextualize conversations we’re seeing. This will be the primary way we collect and evaluate feedback.
- Discord: We’ll pay careful attention to conversations that are happening around the features and content in the Alpha. This can help flesh out our understanding of the feedback we’re getting from the surveys, and see what conversations are happening around specific topics.
- In-Game Analytics: In-Game Analytics will be some limited data we collect behind the scenes to gain insight on how players are engaging with the game. This will be the most objective, but least insightful way we collect feedback.
📣💻 System Requirements 💻📣
The following is based on our most recent build testing.
Minimum System Requirements
- Operating System (OS) Version: Windows 10, 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i3 or equivalent
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 or AMD Radeon RX 550, with 2 GB VRAM
- DirectX Version: DirectX 11
- Network: no
- Disk Space: 2.5 GB
Recommended System Requirements
- Operating System (OS) Version: Windows 10, 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 series
- DirectX Version: DirectX 11
- Network: no
- Disk Space: 2.5 GB
Our build is constantly changing. Over time, we will continue to optimize and improve performance so Island Skies works better on a wider range of hardware.
It’s possible we will make changes between Alpha Testing Rounds that will temporarily hurt performance, but the overall trend should be toward a more performant game.
⏰ Alpha Timing ⏰
Alpha Key Survey Batches
The Test Batch will be made up of the first users who respond to the Alpha Key Survey. If there are any issues with the Test Batch, we will make an announcement on Kickstarter and in our Alpha Discord with more information.
Again, depending on the volume and timing of Alpha Key Survey responses and the performance of our systems, delivery of keys may take longer than we’re hoping. We will send batches based on who filled out their survey first. We have been doing exhaustive tests leading up to launch, and we will continue to do so in the coming days, but this is the first time we are launching something at this scale with these parameters. There is always a chance something goes wrong, and we ask for your patience and understanding if that happens.
After the first set of batches, we will try to process new batches every weekday during this first Test Round.
Alpha Test Rounds
The Island Skies Alpha will be unavailable to play between rounds. You will still be able to redeem Steam Keys. If you redeem a steam key between Alpha Testing Rounds, the Island Skies Alpha title will not appear in your library until the next Alpha Test Round starts. This is expected, and not a cause for concern.
Timing and frequency of Alpha Rounds will vary greatly depending on your feedback. If your feedback calls for larger changes first, there could be up to months between Rounds, or 2 weeks for the Round itself. If there are a lot of small tweaks we can make based on your feedback, the time between rounds could be as short as a week or less, or a weekend for the round itself.
It’s also possible we’ll push hot-fixes or revisions during a testing Round.
Keeping availability limited to the testing rounds will help keep the team’s focus balanced between issues and wants raised in the community, and behind the scenes priorities that might not be visible when you’re playing the Test, but still have a significant impact on the game or production. This is critical to keeping production focused and on track, as supporting feedback and player experience during testing can take up significant team bandwidth.
🤫 Secrecy During Alpha 🤫
Keep it secret!
Keeping Alpha content controlled will give us a lot more freedom to share a wider range of work in progress content with Alpha testers without worrying about confusing or upsetting people who haven't been part of the Alpha process, who might not understand the context of what's being shared or the state of production.
🧑💻 No streaming 🧑💻
Live streaming Alpha is not allowed at this time.
📸 No screenshots 📸
Do not share screenshots of the Alpha build outside of the Island Skies Discord at this time.
You can read more about secrecy during Alpha here ➡️ https://fluffnest.com/pages/island-skies-alpha-confidentiality
❓ FAQ ❓
When does Alpha launch?
On October 31st, 12pm PT the first batch of Steam Keys will be distributed via email. Once you receive your Steam Key you should be able to access our Alpha!
What is a Steam Key?
A unique code (looks like the following: AAAAA-BBBBB-CCCCC) that you enter into the steam app to add the Island Skies Alpha Test to your steam library! Steam keys are limited to one use only.
Will I receive a new Steam Key for every round of Alpha Testing?
No! The key you receive for this Alpha phase will give you access to all our Alphas until Early Access/Final release. Be sure not to lose it!
What if I forgot the email I used?
Be sure to go through any accounts and look for emails relating to Kickstarter or Island Skies. If you still can’t find it, email us at email@example.com !
What if I fill out the survey late?
The survey will be open throughout all of Alpha testing! You might get your Steam Key a bit late, and if you wait until the end of this first round, you might need to wait until the next one, but you will still get your Steam Key!
Will I be able to play Alpha in between testing rounds?
The Island Skies Alpha will only appear in your steam library during the testing periods (this one will be around two weeks, starting Oct. 31st). The Alpha will not be playable outside these times. This is critical to keeping production focused and on track, as supporting feedback and player experience during testing can take up significant team bandwidth.
How long will the first testing round last?
This will depend on your feedback, but we’re currently planning 2 weeks! We should have a firmer answer after the first couple days of the first Alpha Testing Round.
How long will Alpha last overall?
This could vary depending on your feedback over the course of Alpha, but Alpha testing should be finished by the end of 2024!
When will the next Round start, and how long will it last? How many Rounds of Alpha will there be?
This will depend on your feedback! For more info, see the Alpha Test Rounds section above.
Can I stream Alpha?
Streaming of Alpha is not allowed at this time.
What if I hate Alpha? Can I get a refund?
The purpose of Alpha is taking negative (and positive) feedback and using it to improve the game. If you hate Alpha right now, we hope you’ll like it by the time Alpha is done!
Is there anything Halloween themed in the Alpha?
Nothing at all! We’re sad about this.