Open Alpha Recap and Next Steps

Well, the Open Alpha has come and gone, and it was very successful! A hearty thank you to everyone who stopped by to check out the game. Some of you ran into some pretty nasty bugs, but thanks to everyone reporting them I actually think by the time the Alpha was over we had a good chunk of them solved. We also received hundreds of pieces of feedback from the community which we're sorting through now and taking into consideration as we plan out the march to release.

Some Fun Stats

Here are a few fun statistics about the test that you might find interesting:

  • Total participants: 1,880 (more than 3 times our previous record!)
  • 2,981 hours were played total in the 60-hour testing period
  • That's an average of 1.6 hours/player, which is higher than we expected!
  • 194 players played more then 4 hours this weekend
  • The player with the most time played was Lee, who played 32 hours

Overall we were really pleased with the level of participation in the test, which really exceeded our expectations. The server (which was the part that I was the most concerned about coming into the test) handled all the extra people like a champ. At one point we peaked at 200 concurrent users, and we were using around 20% of our server's capacity...so to scale up to 1,000 concurrent users (which is our goal for launch) we'll need to do a little work to get more efficient, but overall we're not very far off target at all.

A Few Things We Learned

This is by no means a complete list and we'll continue to add to it internally as we receive the survey results and keep combing through feedback, but here's a few takeaways from the Open Alpha for us:

  • The client is still crashing way too much, we need to spend a lot of time fixing this immediately.
  • The in-game community player interaction is one of it's strongest points, so we need to make sure to continue encouraging that
  • We need to make sure the tutorial is absolutely bullet-proof, as we lost a fair number of players in the first 30 minutes of the game due to a couple of bugs
  • We need to add a lot of additional locomotion options; as long as they are all balanced in terms of total movement speed, this is an area where pretty much everyone has a different comfort pick, so we should try to support a lot of them.
  • And of course there's still a lot that needs to be added to the game, including region maps, tutorials for advanced class mechanics, more content, (way more stuff than I can list here).

Overall we're happy by the progress we've made since the pre-Kickstarter stress tests. There's much more of a game here; but we still have a ways to go before launch.

What's Next?

We'll be sending out an email to everyone who participated in the Alpha with a brief survey that you can fill out to let us know what you thought about the game, what we can improve on, etc. We're very interested to hear your feedback, so look for that later today.

In terms of development schedule, our next milestone is the beginning of Closed Beta, which begins August 18th. Note that you must be a Founder backer or higher to participate in the Closed Beta period, see our Buying Guide for more details on that.

We'll have a more detailed preview of the Closed Beta in a couple of weeks, but you can expect bug improvements, increased locomotion options, and a new zone to explore to be part of that release. We'll also be rolling out the complete Closed Beta Schedule early next week. The plan right now is to have around four major Closed Beta tests, but we'll be having longer periods of time when the server is open for those tests, rather than just for a single weekend. More details on that to come.

As always, we appreciate your support as we all work together to build something that's never been done before. See you in-game!

Riley Dutton

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