The Founder's program works around the ALPHA build of Ashes of the Singularity.
If you are joining in the hopes of playing a fun game, don't. It's NOT fun yet.
So who should join and why?
We're mainly interested in these types of people to join:
(1) Power Users. People who know tech and can give us a lot of feedback on the tech.
(2) RTS experts. Particularly Total Annihilation, Company of Heroes, Starcraft 2 and SupCom veterans.
In other words, not for casual players.
What are we looking for from people?
There are a lot of important UI conventions that we will need to nail down. There will be a lot of balance. We will ultimately be compared to Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void and SUpCom: FA and the latest CoH which have had years of balance and content added. Through the right group of founders, we can shave years off the time it'll take to get the proper balance, AI strategies, and UI conventions nailed down.
Active founders will be given extra keys to give out to their friends (these keys will only work until the release of the game and only work multiplayer). We are going to be attempting a lot of meta game stuff with the multiplayer game. We expect most people will play the game single player but multilayer is a major focus as well for us.
I recommend JING for taking screenshots and marking them up. You can even submit your images to their site and then link to the images here.
The Sausage Factory
Founders are going to see the down and dirty of game development. That means, you'll be seeing us try out different ideas that we may throw out later. When it comes to UI, balance, game rules, almost nothing is off the table. Where we'll be constrained will be map features (like different types of forests) and units.
Those who get the lifetime edition get all the DLC plus the major expansions we have in mind which include:
Ashes: <Naval Units and Oceans expansion>
Ashes: <Aggressive neutrals - that's as vague as I can get, it'll be very exciting>
Ashes: <Third race>
The DLC will mostly be map stuff, more units, more campaign stuff.
Who is making Ashes?
It's a join effort by Oxide Games and Stardock. More specifically, the team includes people who were major parts (as in leadership roles) on Sins of a Solar Empire, Galactic Civilizations, Civilization V, Demigod, Lord of the Rings RTS and more.
The basic schedule:
- Founders Alpha Series (engine testing, UI arguments, MP is disabled): June/July 2015
- Founders Alpha MP series (MP is enabled, UI and balance arguments): August/Sept 2015
- Steam early access (tentative IF we think it's ready): 4Q2015
- Release: 2016
In short, we have a long way to go still.
As I've been doing with Sorcerer King, I may recruit people from the community to work with me on the game. Ashes is very moddable. I should also mention, we'll be contracting people from the community (i.e. with Sorcerer King, I contracted people from the community for $$ to implement the quests in the game that we wrote up, was a wonderful experience and made some great new friends).
To mod, you will need to get a good CSV editor as that is the format we're storing everything in.