Those of you following on Discord have probably noticed that I’m doing a lot of “upgrading” of the infrastructure surrounding MicaBytes. Setting up the Discord server is one, of course, but I’m also working on the wikis and moving my issue/bug lists. My hope is, of course, to make communication and work with the games more streamlined and efficient, so that I can focus on the actually fun stuff of making games.
One of the aspects that I’ve streamlined is the release approach.
1. Production/Early Access
This is your default when you install Pirates and Traders 2 from the Google Play store. I plan to continue pushing out new updates regularly for the rest of the year (and however long it takes until I’m happy with the state of the game). If you want the best, most stable version of P&T2, you don’t need to do anything.
2. Open Beta Access
It should now be possible to opt into beta releases from the Google Play store. In future, I plan to always release new versions to the Open Beta channel first, before I push it to production. Beta releases should generally still be very stable – I will never release anything to Beta that I know is buggy – but the purpose of the open beta release is to have the new version tested by a lot of people prior to general release, so one should expect the occasional new bug to appear. Beta releases will be promoted to production after a few days if no new bugs turn up.
If you want to help with beta testing (and get new updates as soon as they are ready), opt in to the open beta on Google Play. You can join (and leave) the open beta at any time.
3. Closed Alpha Access
I rarely make releases to the closed alpha channel, but when I do, it’s usually because I am worried that something has broken in the game. In short, the alpha testers are those players who are willing to have their games crash, see their phones explode, and face down dragons for the sake of keeping the rest of us safe from the terrible bugs I produce. I tend to fix identified bugs fast, but this is not the group you want to join if you’re very attached to your savegames. The #buccaneer on the Discord board are these brave souls – buy them a virtual beer if you see them around.
To become a #buccaneer, you need to pass the trial of swords. No – actually – assuming I haven’t scared you off yet, simply drop me an e-mail with your google account ID and Discord ID, and you’ll usually be added to the group.
Join the open beta via Google Play if you want to help testing the game, and want the new updates as soon as they’re ready (and sometimes before they are ready).
Request access to the closed alpha only if you enjoy wondering whether your savegames might get corrupted.