What is Steam Early Access?
According to http://store.steampowered.com/earlyaccessfaq, it is a system that allows you to gain access to games that are being developed with the community’s involvement. It also says that you will get the final game when it is released, but it’s up to the developer to determine when they are ready to call the game complete.
By joining the early access program, you get the chance to test early versions of the game that may or may not be fully functional, due to the fact that it’s a constant work in progress. You also get access to new features as they are implemented, and you also get to be heavily involved in the process of finding and ironing out bugs. Finally, when all that is over, you’ll get your copy of the completed product, for no additional charge.
Hive already has many features working, but there is a bunch of AI work and more testing (and the resulting bug-fixes from that testing) that need to be done before the final release.
- Things that are not currently working:
- There are 5 levels of AI. The top 2 haven’t been tested or tuned very much at all, yet. So they’ll say they’re really hard but they probably aren’t.
- There are no expansion pieces yet (they will probably be DLC, and will not be part of the initial release).
- Early Access is only PC (Windows). Mac and Linux ports will be done soon after (the game is already written in cross-platform Monogame system, so the other platforms will come soon after, if all goes well).
- The menus/settings still need some tweaking. We aim to make them more mouse/keyboard friendly. Right now, some menus require pressing buttons (like “Enter”) instead of allowing clicks in all cases. We say “Start” in a lot of places, where “Enter” makes more sense if you’re on a keyboard. The location of your mouse can make it hard to change to a different Game Setting, etc..
- Things that are actually in the build:
- Pass-n-play (2 players on same computer, sharing one mouse/keyboard or gamepad).
- Local multiplayer (2 players on same computer with separate gamepads and/or mouse/keyboard).
- Play against AI works (see note above about difficulty)
- Online games
- Steam Stats and Achievements
- Fluid change between mouse/keyboard and gamepad. You can hop between them mid-play and the game will detect that you’re using something else.
- New menus and transitions between them.
Please head over to the Steam Store Page for Hive for more information!