WHAT IS AN ALPHA?
Shadow Heroes is currently in it's Alpha stage. This means that the game isn’t fully complete. We are actively adding new features, new game modes and building up the core game. The terms Alpha and Beta can be defined in different ways so here is how we are defining them for Shadow Heroes.
In Alpha, the core game is still not complete. You can play through a match but some core mechanics are still not in place. These are things like new gameplay modes, progression systems, and graphical interfaces. This stage is intended for testing and that means there will be bugs. Sometimes your save game will not work in a new version but we try to avoid this because losing progress really sucks.
In Beta, all the core mechanics are in place. There are multiple levels and the game is fully playable. At this point, we are working mostly on single player story content and bug fixes. Because all the core mechanics will be in place, save games should work across releases and everything will start to get polished up.
While developing Shadow Heroes, we use the Agile Scrum Development Process. That sounds very technical, but in reality it's very simple. Agile scrum is about reacting and adapting in short periods of time. Work is broken up into periods of time called sprints. For Shadow Heroes, these sprints tend to be a week long. Each sprint we go through the development process and then release the build.
The result is fast iteration and updates for the most important parts of the game. Each sprint starts with a meeting discussing what the most important features are and what users actually want. Each task is then assigned to a development team member and designed. When a design is complete, we implement the feature into the game and test it. If it passes all tests, it's pushed out for you guys to try.
This process keeps our focus very tight each week and most importantly, it lets us react to the community extremely quickly. Any feedback we get is added to our evaluation step. The more people that want a feature, the higher it goes on our list.