"There’s still an enormous amount of things to do, but the game is really taking shape, which feels *so good!*"

Hey everyone, it’s Sam here. In case you’ve wandered in from the wide weird prairies of the internet and don’t know who I am, I’m the co-founder of Balancing Monkey Games and creator of Before We Leave, and now Creative Director on the sequel Beyond These Stars.

Well, it’s certainly a long time since I’ve sat down to write one of these blog thingies!

We’re in the phase of development now where we’re starting to get to the end. There’s still an enormous amount of things to do, but the game is really taking shape, which feels *so good!* In particular we’ve opened the game up to a few volunteers for some Closed Beta testing and while they’ve found lots of things that need to be fixed, they’re having heaps of fun too - showing us screenshots of what they’re creating, exclaiming with excitement over things they discover or changes we make that they like!

One of our testers, GumGumKingKonGun, doing some serious terrain manipulation

But that’s not all that is happening. Amongst many other things, we’re:

  • Sorting out text for localization into several languages
  • Getting more art assets built and into the game. Tom the artist has been working on vegetables for several days now, and they all look so tasty
  • Writing more story and content for you to discover. I nearly cried reading something that Emily wrote today, and that was only an early draft!
  • Working on the final major features for the initial Early Access release
  • Planning out more social and marketing content for you all to enjoy
  • Coordinating with our publisher Hooded Horse on various dates and timelines

Editor's note: Could Sam perhaps be preparing for life on the back of a celestial cetacean?

In personal news, I was very happy to dig up a decent half-bucket of potatoes from a couple of square feet of my new vege garden yesterday and very proud to get a personal best 100 kg deadlift - which is extra special given that I struggled with back issues for a lot of the last 15 years.

Oh, and I want to recommend two books, if you’re in a reading mood. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold and Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir are both hugely enjoyable and hooked me right in. I decided I wanted to read more Fantasy/Scifi from authors I hadn’t read before, or at least books I hadn’t read before, but I wanted to avoid anything dark or nasty, so some google searching found those and I wasn’t disappointed!

(pssst! Community manager Lia here. Want to apply to become a playtester for Beyond These Stars? Simply: 1) join our Discord server, 2) select the 'Test Rider' role, then 3) keep your eyes peeled for an announcement ping!)