The Culling, announced last week, is a little bit Rust and a little bit Running Man: 16 players crammed into a tropical island paradise with nothing but crafting resources and 20 minutes to kill each other dead. It's being developed by Xaviant, the studio behind Lichdom: Battlemage, and it sounds like good, murderous fun, even though it's still very early in the development process. Which brings me to the point. A closed alpha is coming, and you may now sign up to take part.
“Launching a Closed Alpha will allow the community to have an active role in The Culling’s development.” Xaviant founder and CEO Michael McMain said. “The feedback gathered from the test will ensure that we are able to deliver the reliable and balanced experienced our players deserve.”
The difference between a closed alpha and a closed beta is a bit hazy but I think has to do primarily with lower expectations, which is to say that a beta will run reasonably well in most cases, while an alpha is more or less a success as long as it doesn't set your PC on fire.
In this particular case, Xaviant is looking for help “stress-testing our server infrastructure and identifying other issues we may have missed” prior to the Early Access launch on Steam. The studio clarified that taking part in the alpha will not entitle you to a copy of the Early Access release, and asked that everyone please ensure they meet the minimum system requirements before signing up. Fortunately, they are fairly undemanding:
- OS: 64-Bit OS Required: Win7 SP1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i3 560 / AMD Phenom2 X4 945
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: DX11 GPU with 1GB VRAM: NVidia GTX 460/ AMD Radeon 5850
- DirectX: Version 11
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 8 GB available space
The Culling will go live on Early Access on March 8 and sell for $15/£15, which doesn't really seem fair, with a ten percent discount offered from March 8-14.
Update: Xaviant has issued a statement explaining why the price for The Culling is the same in both dollars and pounds, which results in UK customers paying a premium of more than 25 percent. “Our Euro and GBP pricing follows the Steam store’s standard recommended conversions, which account for the value-added tax levied in those countries," Producer Josh Van Veld said. "We feel that The Culling is a bargain at those prices and we hope fans worldwide will agree.”