Today we kicked off our initial alpha testing that will focus on the core gameplay, usability, and the campaign mechanics. It’s a very small group but we’re really looking forward to getting feedback on everything currently in game and how we can improve on it.
One thing we’ve been asked about on more than a few occasions is whether we will have official controller support. I’m a huge fan of PC gaming from the couch so it’s something that I have a lot of interest in as well. After some preliminary testing and trying to figure out the amount of work that needs to be scheduled, we’ve decided on adding official controller support.
This isn’t included in the current alpha build as there is a lot more work to be done. To really support it properly we’ll be trying a variety of control options, as well as building the remapping screens and options for each controller type.
Right now we’re testing the XBox 360, Dual Shock 3 (PS3), and Dual Shock 4 (PS4) controllers but we will also be testing and adding support for XBox One and Steam controllers once they are available.
Of course you won’t need a controller to play, as the keyboard/mouse is generally the primary control setup and works extremely well. We mainly wanted to fully support Steam Big Picture and make sure that if laying back on the couch with a controller is your thing, we’ve got you covered!
We’ve talked a little about how there are two campaigns, as you can play through the story from the viewpoint of either faction, but we haven’t talked much about their dynamic nature and how it works.
When playing through the campaign there can be any number of objectives active on the war map at a given time. These are dynamic events that will either be triggered by a specific action, or based on a chain of events that has already occurred during the course of the campaign. These events will not be available indefinitely, so you’ll have to make tough choices on where to bring your squadron.
Your reputation with the various races and leaders will not only be affected by the choices you make, but on the outcome of battles, therefore changing the story based on your actions. So if you made the choice to help the Dvergar defend the auralite mines from the attacking Lithos, the Aduro may be questioning why you did not help them push the raiding Az’modai war party back into the desert.
Another really cool thing we’ve built into the campaign is the legacy system. When playing through the campaign for a second time, using either the same or opposite faction, the deeds of your original character will be remembered and you will hear mention of their name.
Also if you’re playing through for a second time with your leader being of the same race, for example a Dvergar, you are able to take advantage of the lineage system. When doing so your reputaton is altered right from the start based on the actions of your decendants. Not bad eh?
You can expect another update in a few months once our initial pre-alpha testing has concluded and we’ve had time to analyze all the feedback and issues. I’d also like to talk more about our competitive multiplayer system and what you’ll see from us in that area.