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A Tale in the Desert III beta is going to be going live today. Read the latest info on this game in their newsletter below! Read more about A Tale in the Desert, here.
Citizens of Egypt,
I'm really excited to finally be able to announce the Beta Test for A Tale in the Desert III:
A Tale in the Desert I had a frantic pace early on. Most technologies were fully player-unlockable, and so it was a race to open as many per region as possible, and a race to learn as many skills as possible, and to build everything. Not surprisingly, burnout was the overwhelming reason for people leaving the game.
A Tale in the Desert II attempted to enforce a more moderate pace. Though some people felt they couldn't keep up, just as many left due to wanting to play faster.
I don't think it's possible for a Tale to be slow and fast at the same time, and I think the faster pace was more fun. So, the plan for ATITD 3 is fast paced. I'll give plenty of "Pace Yourself" warnings, but the game won't try to enforce it.
The notion of player-unlockable content has even been expanded: At release we should have 28 Tests (plus the 7 Initiations) unlockable. We'll have somewhat fewer than that at the start of Beta. To unlock a Test, visit the appropriate University, and (for instance) "Petition for the Test of the Acrobat." You will be told:
"The Test of the Acrobat must be petitioned by one with Dexterity of at least Seven, even fleetingly."
So this means that as soon as Cooking has been unlocked, and enough recipes are known to create a meal with +7 Dexterity, The Test of the Acrobat can be unlocked. The person who actually does the unlocking is recognized in the System channel.
I'm planning to do two beta sessions - the first will last for about a week, and is primarily for experienced/existing ATITD players. It will be an "open" beta in the sense that no special keys are needed to enter, and the goal is to get the right feel for that first critical week. Expect lots of developer-chats and quick changes to difficulty levels.
The second Beta will last for about three weeks, and we're partnering with FilePlanet for that one. I expect that Beta to have a somewhat more refined/mature feel to it. I'll send another newsletter next week with details.
A Tale in the Desert II will continue without interruption throughout both Betas.
Ok, next item is the preorder system. Three different packages this time, with some options. All of these come with a T-Shirt by default:
3-Month: In-game goodies include choice of a Sheep, a Medium Stone, or a Compound Trim Upgrade. Also access to the 12 legacy avatars normaly reserved for Tale 1/2 players, a Specimen Case for preserving unique cut gems, a Flight-of-the-Phoenix fireworks assortment (28 shells), and a miniature assortment in Beta. $49.95
6-Month: All of the above (Sheep, Stone AND Trim upgrade), an additional Specimen Case, an additional "Fury of Isis" fireworks assortment, and some extra fireworks during Beta. $89.95
12-Month: All of the 6-Month package, plus something that only a more intimate game like ATITD can offer: One of the ATITD team will visit your camp and help decorate it with favorite species of flora, terrain customization, and decorative items. Not in a way that gives a gameplay advantage (no forests of wood), but just as a way of saying thank you. For those ordering this package, I have a few extra gifts, including a rare "Octec's Glory" ancient fireworks package, a Founder's Chat Bubble, and an additional pair of specimen cases. Since we're a small team, this one is naturally limited. $169.95
Also, the folks at Heavy Melody Music have put together a CD of all the music they composed for ATITD, packaged with screenshots of the game, in a jewel case. The CD even includes one unreleased track. Add this to any of the above packages for $6.95.
Well, time for me to get back to code. I'm really happy with how A Tale in the Desert III is turning out, and I look forward to these next few weeks, and then to launch. Can't wait to see everyone there.
Dawn in the Desert,