Hi, everyone! It’s been a bit since we last posted a devlog. Closed Testing 2 is underway, and going well! In this post, we’re going to break down some of the work that is still to be done. We’ve received a lot of feedback in many of the categories below (which is a good sign—it means that our direction is right), so I think it might be helpful to clear up exactly what we’ve got on our backlog.
When we say that the game is “unfinished,” a lot of people are (justifiably) assuming that the game just needs polish. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Here’s how we see it: we have several milestones that we need to hit before the game is ready for a full release: 20+ Biomes & Dungeons, the Subclass System, the HUD/UI Overhaul, the Realm Rework, the World Boss Rework, 100+ Primal Items & Effects, 50+ Runes, the Crafting System, the Enchantment System, Music & SFX… and likely more. Notice that we’re not discussing “polish,” but rather, a very large number of features, fights, and systems that we haven’t even started working on yet.
After explaining this to players, we sometimes get asked: if the game is *literally* not done yet, why are you letting people play it? But the reason is simple: after we hit a milestone, we need to playtest to make sure that everything works. Many studios can do this with an in-house QA team, but we’re a small, international team without an office. Closed Testing is our next best option!
With that out of the way, let’s talk some details.
Thus far, we have a total of 10 playable dungeons:
- Magician’s Hideout (needs polish)
- Gelatinous Palace
- Fungal Abode
- Living Forest
- Crystal Grove
- Caramel Carnival
- hey, there’s nothing here!
- Darkest Depths (needs polish)
- Asgard (needs polish)
- Soul Harvest (needs polish)
- Gate to the Underworld (50% done, missing several boss fights)
You might have noticed that this isn’t very much content! Some of our testers are playing the game, and giving feedback like “there isn’t very much to do once you’re maxed.” We know! But it’s not because of some grand failure of game design that there isn’t that much to do—it’s because we’re still building 8+ of the dungeons that we plan to have in full release.
Something we’re hearing a lot is that a lot of fights (especially around minions) involve two bullet hell patterns, exclusively: shotguns and novas.
We know this is a problem, and we agree! While we’ve already taken steps to make combat more flavorful (we’re particularly proud of Asgard’s Heimdallr and Soul Harvest’s Farmer’s Son), we are well aware that we can do more. That being said, our strategy for the moment is to build the new fights to meet our ever-higher standards, and then overhaul the old ones so that they feel equally exciting and flavorful. We’re hoping to surprise people.
The in-game HUD will be completely overhauled. The current HUD blocks nearly 20% of the screen, which aggressively restricts our abilities to design content. We were in the process of experimenting with a new HUD when CT2 was scheduled to begin, but we hadn’t finished the inventory, yet. We wanted the game to look like this:
But since we aren’t done with the inventory, it currently looks like this abomination:
People have been super vocal about this issue.
But again, this HUD isn’t at all what we have planned! The alternative was having no inventory HUD at all for CT2, which obviously wasn’t going to fly, so we hacked this one together. The new HUD remains on our backlog!
Realm Rework, World Boss Rework, Subclasses, Enchanting, Crafting & Beyond
For the most part, while we aren’t hearing as much feedback about these specific components of the game, that’s largely because these components are literally not done yet. They’re worth mentioning, because I want to re-align expectations about how much is still left to be done. We don’t have anything specific to share about these things yet, though.
We appreciate all of the feedback you’re giving us. I’m going to close with an analogy: we are still adding the ingredients that will make BTN great. I understand the impulse to look at BTN’s Closed Testing as a cake in the oven that just needs to bake, but the truth is that we’re still making the batter. Before you try to imagine the finished cake, try to remember the ingredients that are still yet to be added!
As always, thank you so much for reading. Recently, we’ve been doing key giveaways on our Discord. We’re about to start another one, so stop by for a chance to win a key! https://playbtn.com/discord