Crowfall: Pre-Alpha 1.1 Underway
ArtCraft Entertainment issued a press release yesterday, by way of Conley Swofford Media (David Swofford’s PR company; Swofford was Origin’s publicist for a long, long time):
AUSTIN, Texas, November 19, 2015 — Independent game developer ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc. today announced the kick-off of the next phase of pre-alpha testing for its flagship MMO, Crowfall. A new type of online experience, Crowfall is described as a Throne War Simulator in which thousands of players vie for glory, wealth and power in a game of feudal empire building and territorial conquest.
“This is a critical phase of development,” explained ArtCraft Co-Founder and Crowfall Executive Producer Gordon Walton. “This round of testing adds core RPG elements like monsters and grouping – as well as a host of performance improvements to make combat more immersive and visceral.”
In addition, this milestone introduces a new hero: the Champion, described by ArtCraft as “a hulking skull-crusher who towers over his opponents and pulverizes everything in his path.” The Champion joins the Knight, the Confessor and the Centaur Legionnaire to become Crowfall’s next playable archetype.
“The core philosophy of our team is to over-deliver. As with our last test, we are unveiling more content and more features than expected, and we are delivering them on the date that was promised,” says ACE Co-Founder and Creative Director J. Todd Coleman.
Riding on the momentum of a successful Kickstarter campaign in March of this year, Crowfall has established itself as one of the most successful crowdfunded projects in video game history. Total project funding (from pledges and investment) currently stands at almost $6 million, and more than 95,000 players have registered at www.crowfall.com for next year’s open beta test.
There’s some additional information about the pre-alpha over on the Crowfall website proper:
Our first official match will begin tonight with our Pre-Alpha testers from 5pm to 7pm Central Time. This is also the PERFECT opportunity to finally reveal a few of the final details about the 1.1 test. In addition to the Champion, this version also includes:
- No more greybox environment! The Hunger Dome level is 90% complete, with the remaining pieces to be added over the next few weeks. I’m sure you will agree that it looks VASTLY improved over the previous version!
- Monsters! While we won’t ever have a WoW-style PvE experience, we have always intended to include monsters as a way of raising the general threat level of the universe. (If you’ve ever seen “The Walking Dead”, you have a good idea of what to expect.) The Hunger Dome now includes a scattering ofzombies and hellcats to make the environment more dangerous for both you and your enemies.
- Custom Teams! In addition to the random matchmaking system used in our last test, we also included a very simple mechanism for players to team up with friends and guildmates.
As a reminder, testing invites will be sent in waves to all backers with the Pre-Alpha, Alpha 1 and Alpha 2reward tiers, in that order – and, within each group, in waves based on the date that you first backed the project.
Playtest announcement emails will be sent from the same mail program we use for our newsletters (MailChimp). This means that if you unsubscribed from our mailing list, contact Support to get reactivated. Be sure that you have our domains, Crowfall.com and artcraftent.com, added to your Contact list. Gmail users can simply click, drag and drop the email to the Primary tab and select the option that will automatically send emails from us to that tab in the future.
I gather that the Champion archetype — the concept art for the female Champion is above — features prominently in this round of Hunger Dome testing.
Other Crowfall-related news since the last time we checked in on the project includes this interview with Thomas Blair about combat and customization, a new lore piece about Hero, the first Crow, some survey results illustrating the demographic breakdown of Crowfall’s audience, and this video interview in which Thomas Blair and Tully Auckland discuss the changes made to the game’s combat for pre-alpha 1.1.
And if lore is your thing, you may want to check out this interview with J. Todd Coleman at Ten Ton Hammer.