It's been a little while since we announced that Legends of Equestria had progressed to the point that we were now looking at December this year for a 'limited access release'. At the time, we said we'd go into exactly what that 'limited release' would mean soon. Well, would you look at the time; it's Go-Into-That O'Clock! I'm going to give you all more details on what exactly we mean by 'limited Access release', and how you (yes, you!) can apply in the coming weeks. It's a lot, but please stick with me on it; there will be socks for those who do!
It takes a lot of time and effort to make a game on a scale like this, especially with an all-volunteer team - and we should know! For over five years, our dedicated development team has been working hard to get the game to the state it's at today, and we're still committed to improving the entire game going forward - but we can't do that alone. There are loads of things being worked on that just need more input, to make sure that the game will handle the number of players we've seen in the past without stuttering, and that every single one of them has the best experience possible.
It's with that in mind that we've planned out the 'limited access release' of Legends of Equestria. This first phase of release doesn't, however, mean that the game will be fully open and available to play for everyone, right from the start; we want to make sure that everything is built to cope before we throw the gates open and welcome the stampede with open hooves! It will mean us making the game available for permanent play, rather than having our occasional, weekend-long Open Server Events, for a smaller number of people to begin with.
What we're planning, then, is a staggered release. This means that, though the game will be online and available, only a limited number of players will be given access to begin with. The first phase of this will involve a small number of players, in the hundreds most likely, which will allow us to get a great pool of information, as well as test out our systems and (hopefully!) flatten all the bugs we can find. Then, the next 'phase' would introduce a larger number of players, to help us build on the first phase and test out more complicated features and systems.
That's why we've called this a 'limited access release'; a limited number of people will experience the game in what we'd consider an unfinished state, to help us work on the game more, improve the systems we've got in play, and of course have fun themselves! It should be noted, though, that this programme is primarily meant to improve Legends of Equestria's gameplay, find bugs, and generally prepare the world of Equestria for a larger, full release. This early access to LoE isn't meant for passively experiencing and enjoying the game (though we'd obviously hope that you do!); as an early experience player, we'd want as much information as possible about your experience of the game, so that the team can determine what needs to be changed or refined. This would generally mean things like submitting bug tickets, providing written recommendations, and generally pointing out what aspects of LoE's user experience you think could be improved!
If that sounds like something you'd be interested in - an early look at the permanent world of Equestria, with the goal of helping us making it the best it possibly can be - then great! You're the exact kind of person we're looking for. In the next couple of weeks, we'll be announcing that applications are open for the limited access release; this will be in the form of something like a questionnaire or survey that'll let us gather things like your system specifications, experience with similar early releases of games, and interest in improving the game. Based on that, we'll select a pool of players to be the first to experience Equestria in its permanent state, and help us get it ready for everyone else!
If you aren't selected at this early stage, there's no need to panic; as I said earlier, once we reach the goals of this first phase we'll be opening up access to more and more players in a staggered release over the coming weeks and months, leading into the full release of the game.
Phew, that was a lot of reading! Just to recap the important stuff (or for those of you who just want a TL;DR
- The 'limited access release' is a staggered system designed for widespread testing before the full availability of the game. During this phase of the game's release, we're interested mainly in getting feedback about features, getting in bug report tickets, etc.!
- As we progress with the final touches for the game, the access pool will get wider and wider, leading into the full open release of the game - so if you don't get in at this early stage, don't worry; there'll be plenty more opportunities!
- We will open applications for the limited access release in the next few weeks; keep an eye on our posts to see it when it's up!
- Thanks for reading this far down! As a reward, here's a super-exciting new thing we've just added to the game: colour-customisable socks. You're so welcome.
This is a super exciting moment for us; we've been building up the world of Equestria for years now, and we've finally reached the point where we're confident enough to keep the game online for players while we work on it. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's helped us, supported us, and enjoyed what we've done so far. Nobody's more eager to get the game out and available to everyone than us, and with your help we can make sure that we make Equestria great for everypony.
Thanks for your time, everypony! Keep an eye out for the limited access release application over the next couple of weeks, and get ready to pony up and party on!