Some games make massive developmental strides loudly. STOMP STOMP STOMP WEEKLY TWITCH BROADCAST CLANG WOMP WOOZLE WE ADDED PARTICLE RENDERING. Others, however, do so in relative silence, announcing progress only once all systems are (mostly) go. Case in point: Legend of Grimrock 2. The first-person dungeon/island crawler sequel looks more and more marvelous every time we see it, and now it's quite deep in the dungeons of alpha. The next step? Beta. And apparently that one's not too far off.
Developer Almost Human fully explained in a progress update:
"We sneakily went past a very important milestone just a while ago. Legend of Grimrock 2 is now in alpha! The definition of milestones of course varies from one company to the next but I think our alpha is, relatively speaking, a 'strong alpha.' Alpha in our case means that the game can be completely played from beginning to the very end and that all the planned features exist. The last missing piece from the alpha we had was the ending of the game but now that we got that done, the deal is sealed. Of course at alpha, there are still features and content that lack polish and refinement, and balance and progression of the game is not complete, but in a sense the game is now 'whole'!"
Beta is up next, and to get there the team is making passes on each individual area in the game and isolating what work still needs to be done. I am imagining a chalkboard that simply reads, "MORE SNAILS MORE SNAILS MORE SNAILS." We can only hope.
Legend of Grimrock 2 still doesn't have a release date, but it sounds like it's progressing very nicely. I've mailed Almost Human to ask about the possibility of early access and all that good stuff, so hopefully we'll know more soon. In the meantime, I am preparing my salt-covered flail.