Hey everyone! We are thrilled to be announce the release of Gears of Eden – Alpha 2.5!!! This is a big update for us (see the changelog for details), and the eighth update this year! Now that it’s finally here, we wanted to let you how this Alpha 2.5 fits into our future plans for the game. Our own Ben Sledge has made a fantastic video (if I do say so myself) breaking it all down, and you can find that video… right here!
For those of you who’d rather have this in text form, I’m here to help! So why don’t we get started?
More Toys for Streamers!
The first thing we want to talk about are a couple new commands for Twitch streamers to try out. The first is called “!erupt” which may sound familiar to anyone following our development closely. This one is pretty straightforward; if your viewers vote for it, you’ll promptly be thrown sky high! This one is mostly just for fun, but we have seen clever players use it to get out of sticky situations! (Or even to reach places they can’t drive to — and maybe aren’t really meant to visit…)
We’ve played the second new chat command a little closer to the chest,
because it was harder to do! because it’ll really change the game, provided your viewers are willing to help you out! If they band together and vote for “!drop”, you’ll find a Hop Pod headed your way, loaded with a bevy of randomly generated supplies to aid you in your explorations! Adventurous rovers might even discover a few of these hop pods hidden around the asteroid! (hint hint.)
Quest Menus and User Experience!
This update is huge and is the result of a lot of hard work, but I think we can all agree that this part of the update is a special one. See, in this update we added a new menu to help players keep track of quests as they’re playing, a fairly standard feature of games like ours. In working on this though, we spent a lot of time talking with our community to see how players would want this to feel. In that conversation, you all brought a whole bunch of other opportunities came to light! The changes were small but numerous, and we hope that the next time you play Gears of Eden, it’s a vastly more comfortable experience.
Building in The World!
We’ve been working hard to give you the ability to control your in-game situation as best as possible, and as of 2.5, the groundwork has been lain for the next stage of this experience: buildable and placeable world objects! In 2.5, we’ve added the Recyclo-Tron, a piece of equipment that you can place in the world and use to, as the name suggests, recycle equipment that you no longer need. We’ve also upgraded the solar beacons into a design that not only looks more realistic, but dynamically tracks the sun’s location to constantly be gathering power. In fact, if you look close, you might even find hints of another upgrade to them that we plan to implement soon!
How Do I Get It?
Alpha 2.5 will be available in all the same places it has been up until now. We have it hosted in Itch.io, Gamejolt, IndieDB, and Steam! The only difference this time is that we’re making version 2.5 a backer-exclusive build of the game. Fortunately, we are making a special allowance for 2.5 and allowing all backers to have access. If you can donate even a single dollar, you’re in!
I’d like to explain why we are making this a backer-only build. We’ve been working on Gears of Eden for about two years, and almost entirely out of our own pocket. And while the experience has fully been worth it, this isn’t particularly sustainable. Not only does this mean that everyone on the team is working full time jobs outside of game development to keep ourselves afloat, but it means that as development goes on and as costs pile up, we’ll eventually hit the point where we are too far into the red to keep going.
We don’t want that! Gears of Eden means a ton to everyone on this team, and we want to see our vision come to life! And so, that’s why we do things like these backer-exclusive builds. It’s a reward for our backers, and an opportunity to gain additional support for the game.
Now, to those of you who can’t afford donating at this time… we fully understand! Money’s tight! And so rest assured that this backer-exclusivity only pertains to Alpha 2.5. There are more updates in the future where we will open the game back up to everyone. In the meantime, if you’d like to chat with us or the rest of the Gears of Eden community, we would love to have you swing by our discord. It’s a friendly, laid back environment where the whole team likes to interact with our community during the day.
To everyone: thank you so much for your continued support. Your support and interest means the world to us. Please enjoy Alpha 2.5, let us know what you think, and we’ll be back soon with another update!