Steam Early Access Alongside Kickstarter?

Hello everyone, I guess all start by introducing myself as this is my first post. I’m fairly new, even though I joined the old forums back in 2010, but I’ve always been interested in this project and look forward to seeing its success.

With that said I was wondering what you guys thoughts were on releasing on Steam early access after launching the Kickstarter? I was thinking that could help raise more money towards development and get the project known more as a whole. Or is this even a viable option? Those are just my thoughts.


I’m curious to know the stance on using Steam. A quick search shows nothing on it on these forums (and I can’t check the old one).

Has there been any word on the usage of Steam as a launching platform?

The current plan is to release the game on Steam and through our website. Alpha and beta access to the game will be pledge tiers available during our Kickstarter. So far we haven’t decided how we’ll handle post-Kickstarter alpha/beta access however it’s likely to be more expensive than the access offered through the Kickstarter to reward those who help get us funded. If we use Steam early access it’s also likely it’ll be more expensive than going direct through our website. The reason for this is that Steam typically takes a 20% - 30% cut of everything sold through their platform. While we definitely want to make the game available to Steam’s huge userbase it’s significantly better for us if people purchase the game directly from our website so we’re likely going to offer perks for those who do.


Ah I see, yeah that makes sense. And that answers my question, thanks. It’ll be interesting to see how fast this grows once it reaches a wider audience. Anyone would have to be brain-dead not to see how awesome it is.

Just don’t make the same mistake that Planetary Annihilation made: Not explaining why the alpha costs three times as much as every other game available at that time … outrage was had because no one got how a game could have another pricing model then Minecraft had.
Writ in in fat bold letters! People sometimes are strange, I don’t know.

I wonder why the outrage wasn’t also on Prison Architect, the alpha version of which costs the same as a fully completed game. I mean they make the price so high so that they don’t have to support too many people. For Prison Architect it seems to have failed, since Introversion has sold over 250’000 copies even with the high price. :smiley:

The alpha of Prison Architect was $30… about average for a game of it’s calibre on release - no outrage waranted.
Planetary Annihilation was $90

Now my X Rebirth pre-order doesn’t seem so bad now…

The joke is:
You also don’t seem to get it. Planetary Annihilation was that expesive because you paid the Alpha access. I got myself 3 additional PA Retail keys for 50 Euros right after the kickstarter but didn’t buy an aplha key. Not expensive at all.

Same will happen to Infinity:Battlescape if it isn’t clear what the money is for.

50 Euro = GAME!

Something like that.

Might just be me, but that makes no sense.

My current understanding on I:B

Cost of Alpha perched at Kickstarter = ?
Cost of Beta at Kickstarter = ?
Cost of I:B at release = $0

Understanding subject to change by facts, roomer, misunderstanding, misreading, confusion, being told wrong, brain damage, forgetting, being lied to and so on and so forth.

Well it’s the pricing model I-Novae seems to have chosen.

The pricing model originates from Kickstarter. It’s the Kickstarter pricing modell.
You don’t actually “JUST” pay for the product but additional support the product by paying extra.

Problem is, people think it’s preorder. Which it isn’t.

Anyone know of a good name to call this pricing modell? It isn’t preorder for sure.

Alpha access is the earliest access to the game, therefore it will likely be the most expensive, followed by beta, and then reserving a digital copy of the game (pre-order).

iirc, for Elite Dangerous, the earliest alpha access was the ~$327 tier. Beta was $163, and reserving a digital copy was $49.

Well, actually, I was talking about the “joke”. I actually saw no joke in that post. But to answer your question, that would be “paid alpha”.

The process itself makes sense. I just didn’t see where the apparent humor was coming from.

It’s a German saying … somehow it slipped into my English … darn.

It’s German anti humor. “Der witz ist …”(“The joke is …”) is used in German even if there is no apparent joke as a way to emphasize a situation or object.

That explains it. I have trouble with figures of speech even in english, so I thought that there was some literal joke that I’d missed.

Lemme see if I get this, though. You were emphasizing the absurdity of PA’s pricing?

Alpha is more expensive for a couple of reasons in the context of a Kickstarter funded game:

  1. As @INovaeGene mentioned you are paying to get earlier access to the game whereas everybody else has to keep waiting
  2. Alpha testing is meant to have fewer people involved. Only the most passionate members of your community are going to shell out that much to test the game however it also doesn’t restrict anyone who just happens to have that much money and wants to have early access or any of the other perks
  3. They’re going to do this because they want to get more personal attention from the devs and actually be a part of the development process. This is a win for both parties. The devs get passionate testers, probably some of the most vocal members of their community, and the players know they will have an important role in the development of the game.
  4. Beta testing is meant to just stress test the game before launch and iron out any remaining issues. People who are just going to play the game without submitting meaningful feedback you want to be your Beta testers.

Because we’re a community driven company we want to get the community as involved as possible with developing our game. Our plan is to price alpha and beta access higher than the cost of the game at retail because, as mentioned above, we don’t actually want a huge number of people to participate in our alpha and to a lesser extent our beta. We also want people who really understand what alpha and beta mean so they don’t complain that the game is busted and worthless which will discourage people from buying it at launch.

Alpha testers and (eventually) beta testers will have access to a private forum and we will be actively engaging with them daily as we solicit gameplay ideas, balancing feedback, and bug reports. Alpha and beta testers will be able to submit bug reports directly through this website and we’ll be keeping track of who is actually contributing to the development process the most so we can offer them perks and rewards for I:B and our future games.

While on the surface it may seem crazy to charge more for a broken and unfinished product there is a method to the madness. We are charging more for someone to actually become a member of the development process - and we will also reward them for that down the road.

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I was emphasizing the incomprehension about PAs pricing here in this Thread just after I-Novae hinted that they will be doing the same thing. I tried to show that PAs pricing was so badly picked up that even months after the prices doped people still can’t believe why or how or for whatever reason PA did choose this pricing instead of “getting” why it was done.

Why I think it was badly picked up:[quote=“hrobertson, post:7, topic:203”]
Planetary Annihilation was $90

Note the bold.

Strange isn’t it, AAA game developers paid professional testers, but now some people even give their own money to become such testers. I guess we could say they have to pay, because they don’t test for full day workhours.

Right we have no guarantee that they’ll actually contribute anything meaningful to the development process beyond their initial purchase and certainly they aren’t obligated to contribute anything. That’s why we’re going to keep track of those who do, and reward them, because they’re particularly valuable community members.