Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Steam Early Access

So I have a new graphics card underway, and thanks to a friend of mine, my pc has sound once more, so hopefully more game reviews will be coming down the line in the future.  For now I'd like to talk about something that has cropped up here and there, and that has been discussed by much better writers then I.  The Steam Early access model that cropped up a few months ago and is now peppering the entire service with dozens upon dozens of games for sale.

For a quick rundown, generally when you buy a game, your buying the full game, your aware of what's supposed to be included in it, and you can roughly guess the game will be in working order (runs fine, no major issues etc).  Early access is another way of saying paid beta/alpha access for a game.  If a game is in early access, it is telling you it's not done yet, may not have most or even alot of the planned features in place yet and is currently working on new builds to improve the game.  Some of them will offer a reduced price for the game, or even give you special bonuses for essentially pre-ordering the game (which in of itself could be another topic to discuss).  When you select an early access game, you get a small blurb from the developer about what they want to accomplish, a list of recent updates and sometimes planned updates.  Anything else is generally left up to the developers or can only be seen once you've purchased the game (this includes lists of planned features and such)

So I do own an early access title (Dungeons of the Endless, it's a rogue like/tower defense game, so hooray for hitting two of my favorite genres).  I think the system has merit, in that it can get people involved early on in the process of seeing a game, and even having a chance to talk about, discuss and help shape a game.  So far the updates have been decent for this title, and they give a good amount of information on what is changing and what is planned.  This gives me, the early tester/backer, good information to know what is coming, and if I was to recommend the game to other people, I could use this information to persuade them to give it a shot.  However, there are other games that do not display such information, the updates are sporadic and not very detailed, and they do not have a list of what is planned vs what is currently in the game.  Total biscuit, a very popular you tube reviewer does a better job then I could talking about some of these games, found here Link .  I've managed to avoid any of the games with these pitfals, but you never know if I will run into one in the future, distracted by shiny things and all that.

So there is alot more to discuss about this, but I wanted to keep this a bit brief for now, and come back to it in a few weeks to see what other people think, if they know of any games in early access worth mentioning, and what your general opinion is about this.

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