New alpha opening

Hey everyone!

With the new network layer working, the time has finally come for another opening in the current alpha. It’s been one and a half years now since the start of the alpha, and a lot of things have changed since then:

  • The alpha provided some useful real-world experience of how the server responds to a number of players being connected at the same time. I initially only scheduled the server to run on weekends, but as the server ran better than expected, I switched the server to run 24/7.
  • The alpha testers have found and reported more than 100 issues, and a lot of them have been fixed already. There are still a bunch of issues remaining, but with the network layer rewrite functionally complete and other rewrites planned, the project is moving closer to fixing them.
  • The work on the MLN server has helped to both get a revival of a related game going, and to get some insight in how to design the rewrites needed to address the most problematic bugs found during the alpha.
  • The first of the rewrites has now completed the minimum viable implementation, and work is under way to make the new network layer work entirely under the hood.

The rewrite of the network layer has at the same time removed a large blocker for a new alpha opening, and introduced a new component that would benefit a lot from real-world testing. Testers have previously experienced connection issues that would result in their connection getting dropped, especially during world loads. The network layer rewrite attempts to fix that, but connection issues are notorious for only happening to some specific users in specific situations, so having more testers would help in making sure the issue is resolved.

A new opening in the alpha is also a good opportunity to keep testing active, as the activity naturally slows down a bit over time.

With these factors coming together, it’s time for a new opening up the alpha to new testers. The server development is still very much focused on bug fixing and getting the parts that are implemented to work like in the original. This is my top priority because there’s not much point to features if they don’t work right. That’s why this new stage doesn’t mark the introduction of new features to the server. However, there has been progress in server development since the initial alpha release, which is why we’ve decided to launch a new stage. To avoid misunderstandings, we’ve chosen to call it “opening in the current alpha”, as opposed to “new alpha”, and we’ll be using the latter only for releases with new features.

With all that out of the way, it’s time for the specifics of the new opening. We’ve chosen to keep much of the process we used for the initial alpha, as it’s worked quite well.

  • The new alpha opening will start on April 26th. On this day the new testers will be able to join the server and play.
  • There will be 20 tester slots available for this opening. Twenty new people will double the count of testers with access to the server.
  • People wishing to be testers will need to apply to the alpha with a short description of why they want to be a tester. This system will help to ensure that the selected are dedicated, and will discourage duplicate/spam submissions.
  • If you had applied to the initial alpha, you will be counted automatically, without having to resubmit an application. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you.
  • Those eligible to be selected (having written a valid application for any alpha opening) will be selected randomly by a computer. This will ensure that everyone has equal chances of getting in.
  • The period in which you can submit an application starts now, and ends two weeks from now, on April 9th.
  • We’ll be looking through the applications the week after that, and announce the results on April 16th. The selected testers will receive a mail with instructions and will be able to access the alpha tester channel on the project discord.
  • Finally, on April 26th, the selected testers will be able to join the server and play.

We’ve written up some more detailed explanations in our Alpha FAQ.
If you want to apply for this alpha opening, click the link below.

Apply for Alpha

It’s been one and a half years now since the initial alpha opening, and I’m glad we’re now finally at the point where we can let more people play. The server still has ways to go until it will be complete, but it’s slowly and steadily progressing, and I’m confident we’ll get there one day. With the new alpha opening, we’re a step further along.

See you all in-game!
โ€“ lcdr

13 Replies to “New alpha opening”

  1. I thoroughly miss this game when I was a kid I’d play it for hours on end I appreciate what you guys are doing and hope I can get in and help you in the alpha.

  2. I would really like to play this game again. I really miss it. When i was 10 i didn’t understand english so well and that made My progress really slow and that’s partly why i would like to complete and help make the game alive.

  3. I played this game when I was in 5th grade. I only got to play for about a year before rumors came around about it closing. I would really love to play this game again and relive my childhood.

  4. Haven’t seen this game in years since I was back in middle school and used it as an escape from homework, I dreamed of a day when it would be possible to see it again I’m very happy y’all have been working on bringing it back and wish to help make it as good as it can be anyway I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I used to play this game back when i was in elementary school and i was so devasted when it closed because this game was my childhood and had so many memories and after the game closed there was really nothing else to play because this game had absolutely everything in it and was just so amazing. And when i found out that itโ€™s possibly coming back that i would want to see for myself and if you delevopers need any testers or input i would be very delighted and happy if you could me help you guys out!

  6. I have played MMOs my whole life but this one holds a special place in my heart. Combining Legos with MMO design was brilliant to me. And id love to be apart of this. Thank you

  7. Dam i would love to play this game again. I didn’t understand english back then but now i do so it will be fun to try it out

  8. I really would love if i could Play this game again it is still my favourite one because it was the first game i played on pc.

  9. Team up with Darkflame to make the development of this game go faster. Iโ€™m trying to get the chainsaw minigun right now.

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