This is just a quick update about progress and what's happening around BPG:
Closed beta is running internally and we should soon be opening it up for users to test. Access to the closed beta will be available to any account with premium game time. In addition we'll be retiring the old supporter packages and introducing new supporter packages to further support development. We'll likely open just a single supporter package tier to start with some additional tiers later on to include new supporter skins and custom rewards. Initial new supporter package will give unlimited premium access till launch and some premium time at launch plus a couple goodies off the store. A big thanks to those who have bought supporter packages in the past as it has helped keep development moving on the project! Any previous supporter skins are planned to be retired so they will not be able to be purchased once the new supporter packages open. Those skins and perks that were purchased will still be grandfathered in so they won't disappear or anything don't worry there just won't be the possibility to purchase them in the future. We're planning to offer a method to transfer older custom skins to the new steam server barring any severe compatibility issues, which we don't foresee being an issue. More details will come in the future, right now our focus is getting the game on the steam platform and to begin playtesting while we finish all the critical changes and features we want to get in for the steam launch.
Once we get the closed beta access opened up we will be looking for players to be involved in playtesting and providing feedback. Rewards in the form of game time, bonus tokens, special recognition etc. will be offered for those that are heavily involved, so I hope you all come nerd out with us as we build the next chapter of our beloved game! There will be regular discussions and feedback threads planned to happen over on Discord so if you haven't yet make sure to get set up on our Official Discord!
Speaking of Discord we're going to be retiring our existing forums due to the rise of popularity and features that discord includes these days. Many of us grew up on internet forums and look back on the hay day of some massive forums that used to be thriving with discussion and sometimes drama(Hah). With discord's ability to have conversations daily and also have some more in depth discussions in various channels and threads plus bots and other tools there really isn't a purpose to a forum anymore. We'll archive the forums for those who are interested in any nostalgia but we're going to be using discord to fulfill the forum's role as a discussion place for threads. We will be using steam's pages for various information so there will likely be forums used there, more info as we get closer to get the game on the platform!
We are admittedly getting off to a slower start than we had wanted for this development push but the wheels are turning slowly and we should have access to the closed beta soon for everyone to sink their teeth into. Some of the things we're looking at are converting the game to 64-bit, proximity voice chat and a variety of other technical upgrades. We'll be starting some more design discussions and revealing the upcoming design changes in more detail as features are finalized and being built. We're aiming some improvements/fixes to existing features as well as adding in some new features/content for the new launch. Changes around alignment, race wars, fast travel, and many other features will be coming, some will go in before launch for testing and others will go live on launch, stay tuned here and on discord for announcements!
Want to join BPG? We're currently looking for additional artists for new 3d assets including house skins, new models for structures, environments, weapons, armour, etc. This is a great way for new artists to build a portfolio and show off their skills! Please apply via our Careers page. We're also looking to create a community manager role to facilitate discussions with the community, post news articles, bring player feedback to the company's discussions and development process. Essentially this role is to facilitate an ongoing conversation with the community and the development team as well as be a champion for the community in the ongoing development and daily operations of Rise of Agon. We want to improve with regular communication and that's what this role will perform as their sole duty. Please apply via our Careers page if interested. In addition you can reach out to Andrew or Thomas via discord about joining the team or if you want to nominate someone for us to reach out to feel free! Also we are always looking for more developers who are looking for a unique challenge or to get their feet wet in the industry. Developing and running Rise of Agon is a lot of work and we have a lot of plans for the future, with the ability for future projects using the proprietary engine and more modernization happening currently it's going to open up a lot more possibilities, come join the team and build the future with us!
It's been 5 years today since we launched Rise of Agon! So much has happened since then, we never knew if we'd survive a year let alone 5! Thanks to the hard work of the staff over the years, some new and several still here since the beginning we are continuing on. We're very excited to see what the next years ahead will have in store for the team and the company, happy anniversary Agon!
Have a great week everyone and stay safe!
The team at Big Picture Games.