Shape of the World Newsletter #8 May 2016
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Newsletter #8: Post Pre-Alpha Update


Hello from Stu: Hi to everyone who has discovered this strange little project I’ve been building! I’m so delighted to have a curious audience wondering what exactly I’m making here.

A few of you have played the Pre-Alpha build we released to gather feedback at a critical juncture, and I want to sincerely thank you for your feedback. To the rest of you, thanks for holding on as we craft this project! It’s continually improving and I won’t release it has become something truly spectacular. Here's what we've been up to recently.

Making Friends Across the Pond

A couple months back, audio designer Brent Silk and I had the pleasure of dining with the creators of the beautiful Forerunner Magazine. Their unique limited-run magazine has them traveling to meet and get close to some of the most interesting, underrepresented indie devs around the world. Their latest West Coast road trip brought them to Vancouver where we and others showed them our home, beautiful Vancouver, Canada. They met with us and our friends at Over the Moon Games (They were the ones that convinced us to do a Kickstarter in the first place after they funded The Fall.) I was delighted this month to finally get a copy of their brand new magazine in the mail and read their article about Shape of the World. Check them out if you want to support amazing, atypical journalism about the world of indie developers.

Pre-Alpha Feedback

In March we sent out a Pre-Alpha build to some of our close friends and industry allies. Since then we’ve been collecting and reviewing feedback. In response to this feedback, the team and I are implementing changes, driven by the inspiration that comes when you have time to reflect.

Some of the areas we’re concepting now:

  • Interacting with a full range of inhabitants. More creatures, and more ways to engage with them. Have you been following the sneak previews on Twitter
  • Ensuring there is always something new and unexpected to discover. 
  • Balancing the feel of the open world with landmarks to help you find your way 
  • Finding those special moments for secret surprises for those who venture really far off the path.

What Comes After Pre-Alpha? ALPHA!

The next step is to complete the Alpha that we can send to fans and industry pros for feedback and further testing. Do you have experience testing video games? Are you interested in literally shaping the game with your feedback via a short survey? If you’d like to take part in our Alpha test group send us an email to with the subject line “Alpha” and we’ll be in touch.

So How is the Game Progressing?

Great! I’m really excited where the game is headed. Part of this is directly due to the Pre-Alpha feedback. It’s helping me prioritize what to add and how to refine the game mechanics and landscape. I know now which moments are surprising and captivating, and where I can put the next set of moments which can take your breath away. 

Here’s a little look at what things look like behind the scenes. I’m carving out a large forest of huge gullies. But without a player running around, nothing has grown. Instead, you can see all the points where you can change the growth and color recipe.    

As always, thanks for partaking in this journey with us! If you have any feedback or comments, we’d love to hear from you. We couldn’t be doing this without your support..


Stu Maxwell & The Shape of the World Team

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