The Chinese Room announced that they've hit an important point in Everybody's Gone to the Rapture's development. The CryEngine-powered PS4 exclusive is now officially in alpha.
"OK, so it doesn’t get any easier – the back half of development is all go, ramping up detail in all angles, intergrating stuff like crazy, polishing the hell out of anything we can… and the bugs," The Chinese Room announced on their website. "It’s all about the bugs. So by this point the world is locked, scenes are locked, we know what is happening where and when and why and how, but there’s a big difference between that 'it works' and 'it’s a great game,' which is where we all want it to be."
"QA kicks in hard now, with both Sony’s internal teams and our new in-house QA tech – Foucauld Escaillet, who we’re incredibly happy to welcome onto the team – will be playing the game over and over and over looking for everything from texture seams to places where things could, well, just be tightened up a notch (and there’s always plenty of those). The art team split their time between bug fixing and environmental storytelling; now the world is there in its major components, it’s time to focus on the small details that really sell the sense of place and people."
The studio also revealed that the soundtrack will be recorded next month. The game's composer is Jessica Curry, who also put together the soundtrack for previous Chinese Room projects Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Dear Esther. The voiceovers and other sounds in the game will be massaged at that time as well. Other tasks still yet to be completed include the A.I. system and visual effects. In a couple months, the studio will then add in the "last parts of the game."
The Chinese Room won't be celebrating the alpha milestone with a new trailer or screenshots. They say that they're in "heads down time" at the moment. However, they do mention that there's "incredibly exciting news" coming soon about those previously mentioned last parts of the game.
"We’ll surface again sometime around March with more news, but for the moment, we just wanted to let you know where we are, and that we’re making something we’re really proud of. This is going to be our best game yet."
In Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, players explore a rural English village during the apocalypse. They'll control six different characters experiencing the event. The actions that they take as each character will impact the world and story.
If that all sounds vague, it's because we don't know too much about Rapture just yet. I did enjoy Machine for Pigs a lot though so that's enough to make me intrigued by this game.