Grim Dawn - Alpha where art though?
Crate has an update on the Grim Dawn forums titled Alpha where art thou? A partial snip:
Given the increasingly frequent questions about a release date for alpha and the fact that we are starting to eat away at "early 2013" or Q1, I felt that I should address this.
While I still believe we will release within what I would consider "early" 2013, things are running a little slower than I had hoped due to some unanticipated problems that have been hampering us since late last year. The good news is that we have recently taken action to correct this problem in a way that will be a boon to the entire project. I shall elaborate...
Around Sept or Oct of last year, both of the part-time animators we had working on the project ended up in crunch at their day jobs (both at different studios). They were out of the game for longer than expected and things got behind in the animation department. We also found some issues with the character rig when work began on skinning the female armor. Our main animator struggled with this on and off as his busy schedule allowed but progress in identifying and fixing the problem was slow. We ultimately had to track down and set up a Skype meeting with the original Titan Quest animator. Those problems appear to be fixed now but they did their damage in slowing us down and caused some rework.
Fortunately, pre-order sales have been higher than I had predicted after the KS and some things in our budget ended up not being as expensive as I had anticipated. The result is that we were able to bring on a full-time senior technical animator, who starts this coming week. Best of all, he already has experience working with the TQ engine as his last job was at Stomp (aka Tencent Boston), which was started by one of the owners and the former president of Iron Lore. They started out prototyping in the TQ engine on their past project. We've also brought on another contract animator to help us make up for lost time and he's currently at work animating the first mini-boss that will be in the alpha.
Now that we'll have a full-time animator, we won't have to worry about any future cases of people's unpredictable part-time availability slowing us down. I also expect that we'll be able to have more / higher quality animations in Grim Dawn. One of the little bonuses we're hoping to get to is more ambient animation for things like swaying lights and hanging corpses that react to the wind.
In terms of alpha, some of the biggest things that remain are getting the mini-boss and "act-end" boss animated. There are also a number of armor pieces that need to be skinned.
Read the full update for a bit on quests, as well. Designer Zantai also has a new Grim Misadventures with new screens.
Information aboutGrim Dawn
SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development