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  • @Jennifer said: A completely playable product can still be branded alpha. Take a look at ResidualVM for example, you could completely play through Grim Fandango with it for over a year without any crashes while it was still in alpha stage (it stayed in alpha simply because it had many glitches and some of the program-specific features didn't work quite right).



    Jennifer, you are exactly right about this.

    Also, the Replay/N-Fusion team took a lot of care creating a solid system for accepting feedback from what is an unusually large number of Beta testers/Kickstarter backers who paid for testing privileges.

    Hands down, this new Larry game from Al Lowe and Josh Mandel is the Kickstarter-funded adventure I am most looking forward to.

    I regret not backing Larry Reloaded at a higher level. I would have loved to have been a beta tester for what is shaping up to be an awesome, beautiful game.

    But, back to the subject of this thread before it was derailed, I am starting to warm up to the idea of a Telltale KQ. I just played through a few other Telltale games, and I enjoyed them quite a bit, even if the experience wasn't quite like playing a traditional adventure game.

    If only they would confirm that they still have plans for King's Quest! :)

  • Ha...gotta love the classic "ignore all points that refute my argument as if they had never been stated at all" strategy being employed here.

    The concern is not how far along a piece of software has to be before it stops being considered an alpha build, but rather how far along a piece of software has to be before it STARTS being considered an alpha build. If the alpha build has only just been announced as "coming soon," how can that possibly bode well for the project? The logic simply doesn't work.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @Lambonius said: A single programmed room would be considered an alpha build. Saying the alpha build doesn't exist yet is essentially an admission that there is still a SHITLOAD of work to be done. It's not a statement that should produce optimism at the team's progress.


    No, in game development, a one room build would be called a prototype. They've left prototype phase and entered alpha phase, meaning they have something more substantial.

    Exactly how much more substantial though, is anybody's guess. The amount of work done in the prototype phase differs (take a look at Double Fine's Brazen as an example, which is pretty feature-rich despite being just a prototype).

  • Once the alpha build comes out (hopefully this week), then we'll see how far along the game is. I don't think we really have any solid evidence to back anything anyone is saying on either side of this debate right now.

    If nothing else, Replay runs some cool contests. I never expected to have a voicemail from Josh Mandel on my cell phone. :D

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    exo

    So after I slaughtered your comments like so many suicidal sheep, the best you can do is debate the meaning of an "alpha" build?

    The definition of alpha build means, enough of a product that it can be tested. In this case that could be anything from one interactive room, to a smattering of locations. It will not be every location, because at that point your at beta, which is specified as "feature complete", and is focused on just squashing bugs at that point.

    As of the last update, Josh stated they almost had the backgrounds redrawn, and almost had the txt in place. I'll put my money down on an alpha that lets you wander through the games backgrounds, but with very limited, if any, puzzles or close-up conversations. I also expect many of the background characters, such as bar patrons to be absent. This is not a random guess, it is based on footage of the game in motion as of only 2 weeks ago.

    In another KS game, The Dead Linger, the alpha build allows you to move around a 3d environment. You can not interact with much of anything. Doors do not open, you just slide through them. Zombies meander towards you, but can't get around objects. The graphics are shit. Like... worse than KQ8. Now, if you compare that to the game that was pitched on kickstarter... well, there is a *very* long way to go. And currently they are on Alpha build 3.

    So yes, while some very prepared companies have posted some extremely impressive alphas in the past, those are the exception - not the rule.

    The ResidualVM example is poor, as it was technically a beta by definition. If piece of software has all features available, and you are just squashing bugs, then that is a beta by definition. But it is also a poor example because it was testing of the interpreter, not a game. The games assets were already all there. Riven in ScummVM for example is listed at like 5 or 10% completable, and yet every screen is traversable. Getting your interpreter to simply access the assets that are already there is exceedingly simple. Stringing together all the actions required to actually play the game is the difficult part.

    Notice my expectations for the alpha as stated above simply revolved around traversing the game screens, and not actually much interaction/puzzles/or convo. Same principle.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    I'm just pointing out that it's probably at least slightly more than a simple prototype, but that the amount of work above that could be a little or could be a lot (since I've worked in game development, and know that the prototype phase and alpha phase differs for projects). That's all.

    I'm not exactly optimistic about this, as I'm skeptical too. I like Al Lowe and Josh Mandel's work, but don't really trust Paul Trowe's methods of managing things (I'm the one who wrote the mixnmojo.com article BTW).

  • Today is 2 weeks from the last biweekly update, so Josh will probably send a message to backers today.

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    exo

    he didn't. grab the pitchforks and fire.

  • Josh didn't, but Al Lowe himself did. Alpha planned release date announced, final release date in April.

    I can't wait to see the box cover art. I always loved the Larry boxes.

    Also looking forward to the new music. I have a lot of Larry themes on my phone in midi format. Apparently the Larry Reloaded team is going to be making available the entire new Larry Reloaded music soundtrack (live recording) on iTunes.

    It's exciting that a whole new generation of players (on iPhones, android, tablets and of course pc's) is going to be introduced to the true Leisure Suit Larry.

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