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 Firefall Beta Soon.

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CUBEone
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PostSubject: Firefall Beta Soon.   Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:13 pm

Hello Firefall fans. Earlier today we responded with an open letter to an article by Greg Tito on “The Escapist” about our December launch date. The Escapist was very kind to post a followup article, but I thought I would include the entirety of the letter here:

Greg:

Thank you for the opportunity to reveal Firefall’s development and launch plans with your readership. I must admit I was surprised by the widespread interest that my forum post generated with the media, confirming an already revealed release of December. I take it as a good sign.

Back in PAX prime of 2010, we announced that the game would be released at the end of 2011. This has never changed. This month, at ChinaJoy, I confirmed this same information with the Chinese and Korean press, which caused so much interest in our forums and elsewhere. I can only attribute this to the growing tidal wave of interest we’ve had in the game.

We are currently in Friends and Family Beta and have been since early this year. We have hundreds of testers playing both internally and externally. These testers also include a select few gamers drawn from our beta signup program.

But, I am very pleased to announce here at the Escapist that our expanded beta program will begin this month after PAX prime. We will be drawing a much larger group of gamers from our beta program at our signup page, www.firefallthegame.com which is rapidly climbing to 200,000 signups despite our keeping a low profile.

To explain our launch process further. We already consider ourselves “launched.” We will not have a traditional beta, open beta, launch process. We no longer feel this makes sense in a modern, online, service oriented business, especially a free2play game. Instead, we have modeled our launch after G-mail’s invite system.

The way this works is that we bring testers and content up in layers. As each layer proves itself out, we give our testers invite slots, which they are free to send to their fellow gamers. We use different criteria to decide when and to whom we release more invite slots. This process never stops, as it didn’t stop for G-mail for a very long time. It’s a great way to grow the game through people’s social networks, which is what we want for our team and clan oriented game.

Finally, as for my comment to the Escapist that the game was 50% complete, this is an overly simplistic way of representing progress in a game. Game development has many parallel tracks, and some are harder than others. Our custom 3D engine and server engine, for example, is 90% complete. Our terrain and art and towns for December are also at 80% as is the art for NPCs, monsters, mobs, etc. Our competitive multiplayer maps are about 75% of the way there, and while Co-op missions are the lowest at below 20%, these are also the fastest to produce with our tools. This is modern rapid development. We are a F2P game and we have a different go-to-market strategy than retail games. Just like League of Legends, we start with a great gameplay experience, get that right, and then the content will flow. It’s all about frequent and rich content updates. We have lots of unannounced content in the wings, some already created, that we are reserving for our layered approach and will reveal as the story unfolds and players drive back the Melding to reveal new content.

I hope this clarifies things. And I’m once again very excited to share with Escapist our Beta plans!

Sincerely,

Mark Kern
CEO/CCO, Red 5 Studios


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Hey all. We are super excited to announce a few more details about the Firefall beta program. Yesterday, Mark Kern announced that the Firefall beta program will be expanded from just our Friends & Family to include members of our community starting after PAX Prime at the end of August. I wanted to take this opportunity to go over the beta selection process and hopefully answer some of the questions you all have been asking.

Getting into the Beta

There are multiple ways to get into the Firefall beta. The first is to sign up on www.firefallthegame.com and wait for an invite from Red 5 Studios directly. This is what many of you have already done. By registering for the beta, you are also already creating your Firefall account, joining the Firefall community, and participating in conversations directly with the development team giving direction and feedback on Firefall.

Over the next few months, we will be selecting users from the community to participate in the Firefall beta. To start with, these numbers will be small, but will grow more and more as we seek additional feedback, different computer configurations, and increased load on our game servers.

Another way you might receive an invite is by participating in giveaways or contests on the Firefall website or partner websites over the coming months. More specifics and detailed information on these events will be revealed as they come up, but expect to see Firefall on your favorite gaming websites soon.

That brings us to the very special reveal from Mark’s announcement…

The Firefall Beta Invitation System

Firefall is a game designed for massive co-operative gameplay. What is more fun than playing with your friends? It’s never fun being the one person in your group of gaming friends that gets an invite to a beta and the rest just have to wait. Since we want people to play with folks they know, we decided to shake up how beta invites are traditionally distributed and to take a note from some of the web-based application betas that have been a big hit in recent years.

At various stages throughout the beta, current testers in the beta will receive invites they can distribute to anyone they choose. The invited person will receive an e-mail inviting them to into the beta..

We think this is going to be an awesome way to expand our beta test size while building and maintaining an even stronger sense of community in-game. We hope this will lead to you all having even more fun with your friends and being able to give better feedback on your experiences.

“Release” Date

Another thing Mark pointed out in the article on The Escapist is that Firefall is a free online service that has already “launched” and has active users. As such, we don’t have an official launch date as you would see with other games or products. In December of this year, we plan to open up the Firefall virtual item store and begin taking micro-transaction payments that will fund the game. This is also the point in time when we would perform our final character wipe to reset all players for the last time.

Our beta invitation system and user acquisition will continue to expand through December in order to ensure a stable, consistent, and fun environment for Firefall.

The Fun Begins

There you have it. I hope this answered most of your questions. This is a real exciting time for all of us at Red 5. It has been a long time coming, but we’re finally ready to deliver the game into the hands of gamers. I can’t wait to start reading your feedback after you get your first chance to play Firefall.

In the meantime, be sure to join us at GamesCom in Cologne, Germany or PAX Prime in Seattle, WA this month. Get your first taste while you wait for that e-mail to come. Thanks!


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For all you new people, Firefall is a MMORPG First/third-person shooter. It has PVE and PVP and Army VS Army and other stuff. The world is as big as World of Warcraft, so its not like Borderlands which are rooms connected to eachother and 4 max player. Firefall is a huge world with thousands of players in a single zone.

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