So . . . what are the plans for the backer builds?


#1

The latest news is that backer builds will continue to come in every couple months until June 2019. What is the eventual scope of the backer beta?

I ask because, realistically, only the most die-hard fans will still be playing the same mission on the same handful of parcels over and over a year from now. But it’s important for the team to get useful feedback from backers throughout the entire process. Also, any major element (like the entire strategic layer) that doesn’t go through a few backer builds won’t be as well-tested as the rest of the game.


#2

We will continue to add new elements of the game and additional mechanics to the Backer Build as we go (though we will probably hold a lot of the story based elements back to avoid spoilers).

While we provide a place for feedback on the Backer Build, the game will be internally tested. Public testing is not required on all elements of the game.


#3

Perhaps not, but it IS more fun for us public testers! :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

Why avoid spoilers for backers who already funded the game?

Public testing may not be required on all elements of the game, but I’d bet money that the publicly-tested elements of the game will run much smoother at release than everything else.


#5

Because the spoilers wouldn’t be limited to just the backers.

We have no obligations to provide any specific elements within the pre-release builds. We’d prefer to keep some surprises for the finished game.


#6

@Cl_Flushentityhero They don’t need public testing since they already have internal testing. Most backers, me included, appreciate them not spoiling the game. Remember the backer build is not an early access. It is more like a demo.


#7

This is the answer I was looking for. Your choice how to present your product. All good.

I just don’t buy into the notions that leaving story out of the backer builds does us any favors or will result in a more polished game at launch.

Most backers are grown adults who can choose what they look at on the internet, to be blunt.


#8

@Cl_Flushentityhero Yes, but that would mean backers who don’t want the game spoiled wouldn’t be able to enjoy the backer build.

Also I’m pretty sure from a marketing view point Snapshow would prefer not to spoil the game so they hype more the launch of the game.


#9

Don’t treat the backer build as testing build, but a sneak peek into the unique mechanic of the game.

I get the vibe of the build was never meant to be a testing tool but an early demo for backer who paid enough to keep them in the loop and show appreciation.


#10

This is true, but it also means that you have to shut yourself away from the community if they start to spoil too much and you want to enjoy a spoiler free release. If you consider a small forum like this one, it’s divisive for the community.

I routinely stay away from spoilers in the month before a game’s release, but it’s way more annoying if you have to do it over a year.

In a perfect world, I’d be happy with PP revealing game mechanics, maybe get a backer build featuring the geoscape to get a feel of the strategic layer, but I don’t want them to fail as Firaxis did and reveal ALL aliens before launch. I may love FiraXcom but I’m still salty about two things :

  • Announcing a brand new secret class that won’t be revealed until launch … and have this class be the psi user. Psionics have been in XCOM for over 20 years, call that old news.
  • Revealing ALL aliens in the game before launch, killing any surprise, and having the audacity to say they left half of the aliens unrevealed. Flash news, the unrevealed half were elite versions of basic aliens, better stats more hp, nothing new for the player. They even revealed infiltration units in advance.

#11

Call me a pessimist, but I suspect the backer build will ultimately amount to a tactical layer demo. Which would prevent us from providing meaningful feedback on roughly half the game until release.


#12

Later versions of the Backer Build will contain the strategic layer.

Once again though, the purpose of the Backer Build is to give backers a sneak peek into the current status of the development. The plan for the Backer Build was never intended as a testing build. While we do read through the feedback, there are also a great many games developed and released with no public input at all.


#13

Let’s also remember that we haven’t signed a legal NDA, so it’s be VERY unlikely for us to be included as part of the “dev team” or “playtest team”. We get thrown a bone for being early supporters and get to find “gross” bugs in the process. I, for one, ABSOLUTELY want some surprises about the game when it’s released, not just to be surprised in what order the missions I’ve been playing/play-testing for the last 18-24 months get stitched together into a story.


#14

Thanks. This was one of the main things I was looking for.


#15

Yup, leaking of ideas (among others) are the kind of things that must worry the more the PP team. Not a word from firaxis about a potential xcom 3 that is mostly on the thinking desk considering the sales of xcom2, meaning they can and will steal as many ideas as they can from other games, including PP and xenonauts 2.

From my point of view it’s not necessary a bad thing, i’ll be glad to see PP re-use some nice firaxis adds to the xcom franchise for example. But i wish all game stay differents.

Thanks for the precision, that’s a part of the game i’m really curious about. Seeing how different the strategic combat is from other games of the genre (localised damage and real angle shot, especialy) i must say i’m super hyped about what you guys can do with the thing that should be the “core” of the gameplay (even considering we usualy spend less time in the tacmap than in combat zones, the whole game articulate around decisions made there.)


#16

True, so it should be called DEMO and it would be best if (some version) will be freely downloadable (as way to promote game). This one level is sufficient (random map part can be removed for free demo).

On backer builds, its really nice they are out every 2-3 months.


#17

I would gladly see in next build some kind of equipment other than medkit. Some scanner/radar to show enemy positions, maybe some combat stim affecting AP pool and accuracy. Also would welcome some basic idea of fog of war, even if not graphically finished, but with some border line like movement range in white colour.


#18

Remember the backer build is not an early access. It is more like a demo.

The front page of the PP website has a video with “Now in Early Access” in huge superimposed text. So, mine is an easy misunderstanding to have.


#19

This is not a misunderstanding, PP insists that backer builds are early access versions which, strictly speaking, is correct, since you have access to content before the game is launched.

That said, it does differ from the current norm of early access players are used to see, which is often games (mostly) playable up to a point, more frequent iterations, and less withheld content. I see pros and cons in the approach, but then I mostly care about the end product anyway.


#20

Do you think that we will have new build in next 2 weeks? Or is it too early? I’m still happy with build 3 so for me there is no need for Snapshot Games to rush anything - I will wait patiently. :slight_smile: Especially because there was a lot of bugs to deal with.