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Steam Early Access Allows You to Play Titles in Development

By - Source: Polygon | B 27 comments
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Steam Early Access allows gamers to be more involved in the development process.

Valve launched its Steam Early Access program as a part of the same initiative that launched Steam Workshop and Steam Greenlight to make the Steam process much more community driven.

Steam Early Access allows users to benefit from playing a game in its development stage, whilst developers gain from player feedback in development. Developers can then make appropriate changes according to community response with iterations, and improve upon a game as much as possible before launching it as a finished product.

For now, the following titles are the only those that are available for Early Access:

·        1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby)

·        Arma 3

·        Drunken Robot Pornography

·        Gear Up

·        Gnomoria

·        Kenshi

·        Kerbal Space Program

·        Kinetic Void

·        Patterns

·        Prison Architect

·        StarForge

·        Under the Ocean

The Steam Early Access tab can be found under the Games dropdown menu on the Steam front page.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    anort3 , March 23, 2013 1:08 PM
    In other news, Drunken Robot Pornography and Prison Architect are actual game titles!
  • 18 Hide
    CheesyHotDogPuff , March 23, 2013 1:23 PM
    Drunken Robot Pornography???
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    anort3 , March 23, 2013 1:08 PM
    In other news, Drunken Robot Pornography and Prison Architect are actual game titles!
  • 2 Hide
    bull22 , March 23, 2013 1:15 PM
    All of the titles added to the library will be indie I'm presuming?
  • 18 Hide
    CheesyHotDogPuff , March 23, 2013 1:23 PM
    Drunken Robot Pornography???
  • 3 Hide
    bllue , March 23, 2013 1:35 PM
    Note that you won't get a refund if the game turns to crap
  • 6 Hide
    killerclick , March 23, 2013 1:38 PM
    Arma 3 is not bad, didn't crash on me even once, and I played maybe 10 hours or so.
  • 2 Hide
    slomo4sho , March 23, 2013 2:09 PM
    Yet I only get 5 days of early access for a preorder of AoE II HD.
  • 2 Hide
    janetonly42 , March 23, 2013 2:11 PM
    Sweet, and STEAM is working fine on my Ubuntu (64bit) drive right now.
  • 4 Hide
    4745454b , March 23, 2013 2:46 PM
    Yeah, I'm not sure the point of this. I get to test beta games for them AND I get to pay them to? SWEET!?
  • -1 Hide
    ms767210 , March 23, 2013 2:53 PM
    Not terribly exciting to pay $32.99 to play Arma a game unfinished. As for players suggesting changes or improvements. That formula is a failure. Why are developers so clueless about making games they need other people to tell them how they should make them.
    Long gone are the days when brilliant minds made brilliant games that come from their heads. Now we just have democratic mediocrity.
  • 3 Hide
    fonzy , March 23, 2013 4:15 PM
    ms767210Not terribly exciting to pay $32.99 to play Arma a game unfinished. As for players suggesting changes or improvements. That formula is a failure. Why are developers so clueless about making games they need other people to tell them how they should make them.Long gone are the days when brilliant minds made brilliant games that come from their heads. Now we just have democratic mediocrity.


    I'm pretty sure that 32.99 buys you the alpha, the Beta and the finished game. Not bad for $32.99
  • 4 Hide
    ipwn3r456 , March 23, 2013 6:04 PM
    Drunken Robot "Pornography"? The title seems to be a bit misleading...
  • 0 Hide
    grz09 , March 23, 2013 8:11 PM
    ms767210Not terribly exciting to pay $32.99 to play Arma a game unfinished. As for players suggesting changes or improvements. That formula is a failure. Why are developers so clueless about making games they need other people to tell them how they should make them.Long gone are the days when brilliant minds made brilliant games that come from their heads. Now we just have democratic mediocrity.

    of course it is unfinished. It's Alpha ...
  • 1 Hide
    walter87 , March 23, 2013 9:41 PM
    ms767210Not terribly exciting to pay $32.99 to play Arma a game unfinished. As for players suggesting changes or improvements. That formula is a failure. Why are developers so clueless about making games they need other people to tell them how they should make them.Long gone are the days when brilliant minds made brilliant games that come from their heads. Now we just have democratic mediocrity.


    This isn't a replacement for actual game testers. Developers will continue to use testers to try the games and fix any issues. Even with Beta testers and inhouse beta testing, flaws and bugs still exist (with more and more complicated games these days its nearly impossible to have a bug-free game at all, especially at launch). Long ago we didn't have complicated game engines running our games.

    This is an incentive to anyone who was already willing enough or planning to pre-order a game, early access to the game in hopes that further bugs (which could have possibly been missed) could be addressed by launch.


    I personally rarely pre-order any games.
    But having played Arma 2, trusting Bohemia Interactive, and seeing how paying $33 gets you access to Alpha, Beta and full versions of the game its actually a good value.

    If enough people get early access and test out a game they were really anticipating and it turns out to be horrible, you can also expect that that will spread on forums and review sites so we won't get disasters like SimCity or the WarZ on steam being released as a final build when clearly it appeared to be an alpha game.
  • 0 Hide
    maigo , March 23, 2013 10:02 PM
    Alpha my be a bit early to buy games. Yeah, you support the devs by keeping them rolling in ramen noodles but there's a huge potential for unknowing customers to feel and be burned. Most of the titles have huge potential.

    I'd be surprised if Valve wasn't giving the devs addition support OR using this as a new way to farm employees.
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , March 23, 2013 10:03 PM
    This seems like a choice to counter what happened with The War Z which was clearly sold in early alpha stages as a finished retail product. Instead of ensuring only finished products make it on Steam now they are simply putting up a "swim at your own risk" sign up. I like Steam and Valve but this seems to be the lazy and irresponsible solution to the issue.

    I'm in no way saying those games above are as terrible as War Z but the door is now certainly open for those who want to do quick cash ins.
  • -1 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , March 23, 2013 11:20 PM
    NuclearShadowThis seems like a choice to counter what happened with The War Z which was clearly sold in early alpha stages as a finished retail product. Instead of ensuring only finished products make it on Steam now they are simply putting up a "swim at your own risk" sign up. I like Steam and Valve but this seems to be the lazy and irresponsible solution to the issue.I'm in no way saying those games above are as terrible as War Z but the door is now certainly open for those who want to do quick cash ins.


    . . . so then it's Valve's fault still that people read the "CAUTION : THESE GAMES ARE ALPHA STATE" sign, ignored it, them feel like they got burned? Brilliant deduction, Watson.
  • 0 Hide
    tadej petric , March 24, 2013 5:22 AM
    ipwn3r456Drunken Robot "Pornography"? The title seems to be a bit misleading...

    Its going to end like Conkers Bad Fur Day.
  • 0 Hide
    4745454b , March 24, 2013 6:27 AM
    Quote:
    This seems like a choice to counter what happened with The War Z which was clearly sold in early alpha stages as a finished retail product. Instead of ensuring only finished products make it on Steam now they are simply putting up a "swim at your own risk" sign up.


    Kinda my/our point. I don't mind playing an alpha. I'll even help test with what I know. But to have to PAY for that ability? I'll pass.

    It would make more sense if Steam uses this as a reward system. If you have lots of friends, many hours put into games (or certain game genres), spent so much $$$ or some other qualifier, then they reward you with early access to a game of your choice. I shouldn't have to pay $30+ to play an alpha.
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , March 24, 2013 8:15 AM
    jkflipflop98. . . so then it's Valve's fault still that people read the "CAUTION : THESE GAMES ARE ALPHA STATE" sign, ignored it, them feel like they got burned? Brilliant deduction, Watson.


    You're certainly misunderstanding me if that is what you are getting from my comment. I am not placing the fault itself on Valve, and while this is better than nothing on one hand it just creates more opportunity for history to repeat itself. On one hand it's great that this will require products to clearly state that they are not in a finished state unlike what existed previously while on the other hand this will make more attempts at cash grabs like War Z.

    If it were up to me I would change one small bit. I would require well established and/or those in good terms with Valve to be the only ones that qualify for this selling alphas program. This way it greatly increases the chances of a cash in game isn't released through this. While Valve is not at fault for the actions of others it is however Valve's responsibility to do business and associate with respectable developers and publishers. I think we can all agree this is a fair expectation with any business.

    As it stands now it appears someone could easily make a barely functional game. Litter the store page with undelivered features put a "discount" price. While claiming when it goes retail it will be quite a bit more to make more gamers jump on it and then simply abandon the game after sales slow down. Perhaps never once giving a single patch or update. If this happens especially if repeatedly occurs even if we were not to hold it against Valve for conducting business with those it should have tried to avoid the fact still remains that it would be a negative experience. Not just for those directly effected but by all that hear of it and it would sow seeds of distrust into the program hurting the sales of the legitimate games.
  • 0 Hide
    ajvkorn , March 24, 2013 9:38 AM
    I have to say I don't see the problem. People have already stated the deal. You get to play Alpha, beta, and then full version all for 32.99$ The game as it is now is missing a lot of details, but it is playable. People need to realize that if you don't want to buy it now, DON'T BUY IT NOW. Let the people who want to spend 32.99$ to help the company and test for them. If it doesn't hurt you, don't get upset about it.
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