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The Repopulation

PAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, The Repopulation

Above & Beyond Technologies Lead Developer Josh Halls has been on a very long journey with The Repopulation, a journey that began back in 2009 and isn't even close to being over yet. I met with Halls at PAX Prime to talk about where this sci-fi sandbox has been and where it's going as it angles for beta testing.

The Repopulation released its Alpha 3 build this past April and will be sticking with that for the duration of alpha testing. Halls told me that there's a pretty dedicated group of testers in the game, with around 1,500 having picked up the title so far and around 20 to 40 playing at any given moment. Those numbers are primed to increase when the game transitions into beta and Steam Early Access later this year.

While it's not terribly sexy, bug tracking and fixing is vital to the development process and foremost on the team's mind. Player feedback during the alpha has helped to refine the game in other ways, such as to make gathering less of a click-fest and more of a community effort. Right now a group of players can work together to enhance a region in order to gather better materials.

Other big to-do items include putting in a fishing minigame and opening the doors (so to speak) for open-world housing. Fishing will pave the way for other possible minigames, and open-world housing is the next step from the game's existing instanced homes.

Halls said that the dozen or so members of the team are hard at work to prepare The Repopulation for the larger gaming public and that the studio is currently operating in the black.

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Perfect Ten: How to spend $46,750 on MMO crowdfunding purchases

Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, The Repopulation, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pathfinder Online, Trove

sota
Do you ever look at your wallet and say, "Ugh, this thing is too full! It's causing a bruise on my tushie every time I sit, and no gas station ever has change for a thousand-dollar bill!" Are you tired of the endless cycle of purchasing luxury sedans to roll them off cliffs only to realize that the auto industry is making them faster than they can be destroyed?

We here at Massively feel your pain, and just as soon as I finished eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs made from endangered birds, I hopped off the company's gold yacht and got to work tracking down ways that you could relieve yourself of the burden of wealth.

So here is my plan, in 10 simple steps, for you to shed $46,750 of your bank account, all by blowing your enormous disposable income on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding options. No, please don't thank me by sending me a gigantic check. I would only shred it to use in my robo-hamster's cage.

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The Repopulation looks back at its July test updates

Betas, Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, News Items, Sandbox, The Repopulation

The world is big, and so are we.
The end of the month means a new update for those on the outside looking in at The Repopulation, and July brought with it some sizable changes. For example, the game introduced 27 new areas, with several existing areas seeing new improvements and a lot of extra paths opening up. Any explorer has plenty of new stuff to see throughout the game, from new ways to see old regions to old regions just filled with new things.

July also saw the inclusion of the training mechanic, which allows players to spend training points to improve various abilities. Pharmaceuticals, equipment fittings, and music also saw large-scale overhauls for players, and the development team launched a survey to get a better idea of the player types watching the game closely. You can see the full list of patch changes with the official update, along with more details on the overhauls and plans moving forward.

The Repopulation allows you to queue up 100 recipes at a go

Betas, Sci-Fi, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
If you consider that The Repopulation will feature crafting so heavily, is it any surprise that the team is working hard to beef up that portion of the game during its alpha test? In its end-of-June update, the devs say that they've added a batching system into the game that allows players to queue up 100 items at once. Even so, doing the job by hand will generate better results, albeit over a longer time frame.

Other changes in the game include improvements to harvesting info and the inquiry system. Players can now use the latter to generate missions to take camps in order to get better resources.

According to the letter, The Repopulation is "getting closer" to transitioning into beta testing.

The Repopulation improves abilities and combat in May

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Sandbox, The Repopulation

Standing in an open field, just waiting for adventure to come to him, he is John Protagonist.
May has finally come to an end, and The Repopulation comes ever closer to release with a larger pool of testers on both weekends and a regular basis. It also means that more big changes have been rolled out to the game, starting with Ability Enhancements. These slotted tricks fit into abilities similar to item fittings, with a variety of different enhancements available to improve a character's skills. The enhancement slots are limited, however, which forces players to think about how they want to specialize their characters.

Combat has also received a major tuning tweak, with a new off-hand option for those who'd prefer not to dual-wield melee weapons and a number of improved abilities. The refined combat system includes new openings and counter-attack support, which makes the system play nicer in a group setting. You can see the full patch notes and read more details on the official site.

[Thanks to J.C. Smith for the tip!]

The Repopulation team has squashed a lot of bugs

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation art
Above & Beyond has released its latest monthly recap for crowdfunded sci-fi sandbox MMO The Repopulation. April saw the launch of Alpha 3, and the dev team says that next week they'll start inviting "preview weekenders" to grow the tester numbers yet again.

The team's primary focus right now is bug fixing, as there have been "quite a few new things that we never expected to happen bug-wise." Most of them have been dealt with, though, as the massive list of fixes in the update makes clear. You can read the full report at The Repopulation's official web site.

PAX East 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Hall on the future of the game

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

Are you not entertained?
If you're looking for Kickstarter success stories, The Repopulation definitely qualifies. While the game hasn't yet been released, it's managed to run not one but two successful campaigns looking to fans for funding, and it's managed its development carefully to keep itself on track for release. The game feels like a well-managed professional affair. And it's been a bit more quiet, but that comes down largely to the focus on getting the game out of its current alpha state and into its first beta.

At this year's PAX East, I sat down to talk with Josh Hall, one of the core team members on the project, about where the game is in development and what it's heading for in the next few months. While the final alpha stage has taken slightly longer than originally planned, the team is on track for launching the first beta phase at some point over the summer, and it's eyeing further release plans.

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Jukebox Heroes: Talking with The Repopulation's Steven Coltart

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Sandbox, Jukebox Heroes, Music, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
Massively: Even in the far distant future on alien worlds, we'll still need music. This is why it's great that Composer Steven Coltart is providing The Repopulation with an original soundtrack, because otherwise the silence would be too much to bear. So Steven, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Steven Coltart: I'm a full-time professional composer based in the UK and was commissioned to be lead composer on The Repopulation in 2013. Previous projects include Outer Empires, the first MMO of its kind created for iOS, which went on to sell over 200,000 copies and boasted the largest ever network of players online at that time. 2014 has seen me complete the soundtrack for a soon to be announced iOS game, and I'm currently putting the finishing touches to US-based sci-fi film Downward. I've worked incredibly hard to get to this point, but I'm lucky to have what I consider the best job in the world. Writing music for a living and getting to work with talented developers and producers, it doesn't get much better for me!

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The Repopulation adds adversarial camps, preps for Alpha 3

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, The Repopulation

Repopulation concept art
Above & Beyond has released its latest monthly status report on The Repopulation. In February, the design team added the adversarial camps stretch goal to its sci-fi sandbox, which will allow devs to "generate much of the game's content on the fly and help ensure that players do not have a static experience."

Additional work was done on the title's customizable XML-based UI, the harvesting mechanics, and a fitting system for robotic pets. February's "largest changes" came in the form of additional world content, as the dev team is looking forward to adding more testers for Alpha 3 "in a few weeks."

The Repopulation closes its second Kickstarter with triple funding

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

Sit down and talk.  They're kind of a big deal.
The development team at Above and Beyond Technologies went back to Kickstarter to ask for a little extra funding to develop The Repopulation. The project's goal was set at a very reasonable $50,000. Now the campaign is over, and it turns out that the company's philosophy of starting low and using stretch goals worked out quite well. Funding for this campaign closed out at around $176,000, more than triple what was initially requested.

Despite that high number, not every stretch goal was hit, but that's what happens when the developers build a high ceiling. Still, it means that the game squeaked past the mark needed to unlock gladiatorial arenas in player-run cities. It's good news for the game's developers, backers, and even fans who elected not to back the second campaign.

The Repopulation delivers third alpha trailer, conquers another stretch goal

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

One great thing about The Repopulation's latest Kickstarter campaign (besides the chance to support an upcoming sandbox) is that it delivering regular doses of data to the public. And the latest tidbit to come through the pipeline is a third alpha trailer showing off a bit of the game. Experience a minute and a half of the in-game environments, mounts, and various battles with wildlife and other players in the clip below. Then, if you want to get in on supporting the game and helping it reach another stretch goal (it just secured the unique naming of items), you've got until Monday to do so.

[Source: Above & Beyond Technologies press release]

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The Repopulation will feature both standard and PvP servers

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, The Repopulation

The Repopulation PvP
The Repopulation's going to have two distinct server rulesets when it eventually launches. Option one will be a standard PvE-focused environment with optional PvP and associated flagging mechanics. "The standard ruleset should be suitable for most types of players. You have a full compliment of resources and PvE tiers available in protected areas," explains the latest Repopulation dev diary.

If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, Above & Beyond Technologies is also hosting an open PvP ruleset with corpse looting, friendly fire, and EVE-like security sector mechanics. Some of the details are still being ironed out, but you should definitely read the lengthy new dev diary that lays out the particulars for each rule set.

The Repopulation details transportation options

Betas, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

How do you like to move it, move it? The Repopulation is offering a variety of transportation methods for traversing its vast world to fit most any style and circumstance. Players can always hoof it to their destination, either by walking or running indefinitely, or sprinting until their endurance is depleted. If that seems too slow, there will also be pets for mounts and customizable vehicles. An even quicker method will involve underground stations that will let players take a subway train to specific locations; even large enough player cities can develop a connection to this system.

If all that is still just too slow for your liking, there's the instant travel option that lets players teleport back to their faction's capital city once every 30 minutes. Some players might even opt for the death express: Players can bind themselves to different cloning facilities and respawn at one after a death.

Here's a list of The Repopulation's weapon abilities

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation elephant thing
Guess what, Repopulation fans? It's time for another update, that's what. Above & Beyond has posted a list of alpha weapon abilities on the game's website. The post notes that "some weapon lines are still under construction and missing abilities," but it's nonetheless an extensive info dump that gives those of us outside of alpha testing a quick look at the sci-fi sandbox's combat particulars.

The Repopulation's dev team has also released the sixth chapter of its Evening Star short story. You'll find both updates behind the links listed below.

The Repopulation discusses design goals after its second Kickstarter

Sci-Fi, Interviews, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Rekickstareration.
Six days remain until the second Kickstarter for The Repopulation closes out, and it's already doubled its funding goal. That prompted an interview with Kickstarter Conversations regarding the game's design principles and its second successful funding run. The development team attributed the success to reasonable financial goals and to setting the bar low and expecting to exceed it rather than setting the bar high and struggling.

The interview also goes into more detail regarding the game's design goals and how progression will work. As stated before, the game is entirely skill-based, with older characters having a wider variety of skills rather than being inherently better. Grouping is meant to be painless and advantageous rather than mandatory so that there's no disincentive to grouping up with other people while taking on content. Take a look at the full interview for more details, and if it sounds like the sort of development you'd like to support, you still have six days to jump in and help fund the game.

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