Activism Now: Wildfire Worlds Offers A Paid Alpha

By Jim Rossignol on February 8th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.


We sent Brendan to see Wildfire Worlds a few months back, and he was moderately amused. Now though, you can get at the “cute paper society with riots” by signing up to the alpha. Anyone can take a look for free, but as devs explain, there’s a bigger version you can pay for: “You can interact on some new smaller test levels, but not in the big city. If you want to get your hands dirty in the big city and plop some little agents of destruction in there you need to buy one of the tiers with alpha access.”

Intrigued? Watch the trailer, below, and sign up.

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47 Comments »

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  1. Shooop says:

    I love the general theme, but it sounds like it’s going to be more of a movie than a game than some games are already – instead of pressing a button to continue the scene, you do all the setting up before the scene begins and then just watch it play out.

    With more interaction I’d be thrilled to give this a spin.

    • UsF says:

      You can interact with the environment. In the paid version of the Alpha, you can currently place down protesters, who go around fighting police and converting other citizen, destroying buildings and traffic etc. They can group up to form mobs. You can control those people with a simple interface to guide them for more efficient mayhem. I believe it will be a great interactive toolbox. Maybe they could offer a map editor for the final version or at some point, so people can recreate locations.

      • Shooop says:

        Well this sounds more like it.

        I’ll keep an eye on this, thank you.

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  2. Synesthesia says:

    haha, i’ll never grow tired of that trailer. The clapping!

  3. bongpig says:

    Hey. One of the devs here. You can totally control the activists… and you can also sit back and enjoy the carnage. It’s completely up to you. If you grab the free demo, you get to play with some activists on one of the smaller levels and get a feel. We have much planned for tweaking the control methods.

    • Shooop says:

      Do tell us more if you can. What can we do with the activist under our control?

      • UsF says:

        I replied to the top comment with a possible answer to your question. Basically you can guide them around to wreck havoc automatically, you can gather them to form mobs who are faster and more efficient or you can simply let them go on by themself.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      The game looks beautiful. But it feels really irresponsible of you to be equating “activists” with “carnage.”

      • TΛPETRVE says:

        It’s satire, so everything is permitted, including cliché evil anarchists that rape and plunder :-> .

  4. TukkerIntensity says:

    This looks absolutely stunning. I love the idea and the presentation.

  5. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Looks cute.

    Not sure what the motivations are to charge for the alpha, but it clashes with my motivations to surrender my money. So, not interested in opening my wallet until an actual game is released.

    • jatan says:

      what possible reason could there be to charge for a paid alpha?who does that, when you can just kick start – this is not 2009 after all….its all just crazy

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        I spent most of the 90s getting high. And playing games more than discussing about them. So I could be wrong. But I don’t remember being asked to pay for an alpha back then either. The principle that stood was “you pay for a finished product”.

        It’s funny actually. It was harder times. Companies back then did struggle. And the vast majority of them came of garage programming circles, much like we look at the indie community these days. They didn’t have any money to speak off. But could still manage to produce seminal and genre defining titles of a high quality (to the time) on their own cereal budgets. Today we have a mass-market (according to some “specialists”). There are 10x, maybe 100x, more people buying games now than before. But somehow asking for money to be able to pay for an alpha is seen as the right thing to do. Poor development studios.

        • bongpig says:

          Hey. To be clear, we ( Dot Product ) are not asking for money to pay for the development of an alpha. We’ve done the alpha already! We are beavering away towards the final.

        • jatan says:

          hey mario- glad you spent most of the 90s getting high- thats great, and sorry to hear it was harder times

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          And the vast majority of them came of garage programming circles, much like we look at the indie community these days. They didn’t have any money to speak off.

          If you’d been high a little less often you might have noticed that almost all of them had to sell out – games, IPs, sometimes entire studios – to the big publishers in order to stay in the game, or get out of it completely to make some money doing something else. This is why we’ve recently had XCOM without the Gollops, Black Isle without, well, Black Isle, etc etc etc

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            That is actually untrue. And you know it. We can both come up with examples and we can do it all day. Independent studios always existed and while some sold out to publishers, others grew up to become references in the industry today, while others simply disappeared out of bad management, bad games or just bad luck. You’ll always find a bigger number of failures. But that’s the economics of the industry since the 80s. It’s the economics of any industry. And the point still stands they were able to develop high quality products on low budgets without appealing to the hearts of consumers.

            They are still doing it today. They are called Indie. And by golly I’m trying to think of at least one that asked me money for access to an alpha!

            I’m a little bummed no one argued for what could potentially be a more interesting argument. One that I will have an harder time contradicting. That games today are costlier to develop than they were then. The technology has evolved to a point where it becomes much harder to specialize in all aspects of game development. Meanwhile consumer demands for quality, gameplay innovation, yadayada have been putting too a burden on independent development teams who are usually today much bigger than they needed to be back then. This does increase the relative costs of development compared to those days.

        • The Random One says:

          I spent most of the 90’s paying for freeware games that were pressed into a cheap CD, because I didn’t know better and even if I did would take so long to download those games that I’d probably still be at it today.

          Plus, on the nineties I never paid 25% of a product’s selling price because it existed only as a digital release and had effectively no manufacture costs.

          My point is, markets change. I’m not sure I like this paying for alpha thing, but it’s a thing that people do that makes sense economically in the current market.

      • wfw-rps says:

        its a preorder for the game… like minecraft sort of thing- hope thats not unreasonable

  6. kuporuta says:

    upto I looked at the paycheck 4 $4563, I accept …that…my cousin had been truly taking home money part-time on their computer.. there aunt had bean doing this for under 11 months and resently repayed the depts on there appartment and got a great Maserati. read more at, http://www.Cloud65.com

  7. wodin says:

    Looking forward to this..it looks abit like that plague game mentioned the other day..but I this feels like it may have more gameplay.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    This strikes a chord with me, though I’ll probably wait for a demo.

    EDIT: Ah, shame, won’t work on my ancient Placard Bell PC.

  9. Premium User Badge

    bear912 says:

    I love the look of this, but I think the color palette could use some more variety. Definitely could use some mob-burn to complement the greens.

  10. Detrian says:

    And here I thought they were paying people to test. How cheeky.

  11. fishcake says:

    Why are these guys getting stick for providing paid alpha access? There are dozens of titles doing exactly the same thing but charging far more and I’ve not read any complaints. Hell, there are kickstarters taking cash and providing absolutely nothing for months. Personally, I dig a bit of alpha access. Gives me a chance to have a play of something that interests me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, as long as you get the final game eventually, this strikes me as being entirely fair.

    • Shooop says:

      People used to get paid for game testing. Not the other way around.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I won’t so readily accept that the Kickstarter project can be compared to this. You shouldn’t either.

      Kickstarting your project can be an all out approach to developing a game. Instead of asking for investors or publishers to put their money in (with all the dire consequences), developers have an opportunity to reach out directly to gamers and have them act as the investing partner with nothing more than the promise of a game and some bonuses for being a good boy. I personally think Kickstarter.com was one of the most wonderful things to happen to entrepreneurs and consumers everywhere, not just in the gaming industry. But as far as this industry is concerned, Kickstarter is a dream come true.

      Trying to compare it to payed alpha access is disingenuous at best, outright dishonest at worst.

      As for there being others doing this, all I need is an opportunity to lash out. I tend to be very vocal about these type of things. Make no mistake, I’m not being selective on my criticism.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        You might not accept it, but you haven’t actually told us what you see as the relevant differences, or what you see as so valuable in Kickstarter, which makes it pretty pointless for anyone else to post their opinions in response.

        • Mario Figueiredo says:

          Llewyn, I suggest you don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t want to get annoyed at you, being that on many other matters I do like to read your thoughts. But if the best you can come up with is consistently looking for openings on someone open and honest thoughts, without you daring speaking of your own thoughts on the matter, you are no different than anyone else whose only activity in these comment threads is to pick and run.

          And as for your question. I already answered it. If you want me to elaborate, I’ll kickstart a book just for you. Otherwise you may get the meaning from that short paragraph. Unless you insist on dismissing it as not being good enough.

          • Chris D says:

            I’m still confused as to what the problem is. Surely you can just ignore it if you don’t like the deal? Where’s the harm?

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            Llewyn says:

            I’m not putting words in your mouth, I’m implying that you failed to actually say anything of any meaning.

            It’s not good enough, and I do want you to elaborate. I want to know what you actually mean by “Trying to compare it to payed alpha access is disingenuous at best, outright dishonest at worst”. Why is it disingenuous? What differences are there that are important that the rest of us are missing?

            In short, why is a making a donation to a Kickstarter project (which usually, but doesn’t always, include a pre-order for the game) a good thing, while pre-ordering a game direct from the developer and in the process getting access to an alpha build a bad thing?

            I’m not interested in dismissing your views, I simply want to know what they actually are.

            Edit: Mario, we’re not in that comment thread at all.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            There is really no problem to speak of, Chris. This all started with these words:

            “Not sure what the motivations are to charge for the alpha, but it clashes with my motivations to surrender my money. So, not interested in opening my wallet until an actual game is released.”

            Apparently that is not good enough here. I must not speak out against something that I find is against my best interests as a consumer.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            Ok, if that is the case I may have made a gross mistake here. And I owe everyone an apology (including the developers).

            I didn’t know this was about pre-ordering the game, which would give access to the alpha. I honestly thought this was about straight up charging for alpha access. The article made me think so and I never clicked the link because I never expect the wording for a pre-order to be done like that on an RPS article.

          • Chris D says:

            Oh, ok. If it’s just a case of you’d rather not that’s entirely reasonable, I thought you were arguing that it was wrong for developers to offer the chance to pay for alpha access.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            Ah! Now I do understand :-) In that case I agree, if this didn’t include the game when it’s released then it would be a lousy deal indeed. It’s not particularly clear (on Wildfire’s page either, at least until you try to sign up), but I just assumed that if it was purely for the alpha then RPS would be as outraged as you were.

          • Chris D says:

            Well that’s cleared that up. Cakes all round!

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            But on me. I must insist. The least I can do.

          • Chris D says:

            Excellent. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get them down the wires anyway.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            Most kind, Mario.

            By the way, if anyone from Dot Product is still with us at this stage, it might be worth making it clearer on your site that access to the full alpha is a pre-order benefit and not something that’s being sold separately. Actually, it might also be worth making the pricing tiers more obvious – putting them in the sign-up process is likely to put off at least some people before they manage to track them down.

          • wfw-rps says:

            Hi Sorry just been pointed to this – i am one of the devs of wildfire

            can I state- The WildfireWorlds alpha access IS A PREORDER for the full game – you get the game at the end of alpha and beta…i guess minecraft style is the best equivalent i can think of- i think we are changing the website to be more clear about this.

            hope this appears as a reply to the above threads-& thanks for the interest

  12. bongpig says:

    Hi chaps. This thread is eye opening. The criticisms are spot on… the wording on our website is totally unclear. To clarify, yes the tiers you can buy all include a pre-order to the final game and updates thereafter. Most of the tiers also include access to the current alpha and all the builds on the way to the final.

    I’ve fiddling with the wording on the website to reflect this. I’m glad this has been bought to our attention. Thanks. :)

  13. DXN says:

    Neat! I have no money right now so I can’t kick in, but if there’s another round of looting any time soon I’ll be getting in on this. Would you accept a new pair of trainers in trade?

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      Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, can’t wait. I went looting the last time and came back with five gold and a health potion!