It's been more than a year since we last looked at Seed, "a hugely ambitious in-development MMO that echoes EVE Online, Rimworld and The Sims." Work has been continuing, though, and developer Klang has now announced that closed alpha testing will begin next year in a "narrative prequel" called Seed Pioneers.
Seed is an interstellar colonization game set in the distant future, long after Earth's ability to support human life has been tapped out. Players will work together to rebuild society on a new world similar to Earth (which we hopefully won't screw up quite so badly, quite so quickly) in a "persistent and continuous" simulation on a single shard.
When we previewed it in late 2017, Klang said it hoped to begin beta testing in late 2018; instead, Seed Pioneers will, if all goes according to plan, kick off in 2020, with "a select number of people from the Seed community." The prequel also sets up the story behind the main game, filling in the details with information on the planet Avesta, why you're going there, what's expected when you arrive, and what sort of technology you'll have at hand to help you get the job done.
Casting alpha testers as "pioneers" in Seed's fiction is an interestingly meta approach to alpha testing: You're among the very first to enter this brave new world, you're breaking ground for others to follow, things are bound to go wrong, and you'll probably die prematurely. (Hopefully not that last one, though—remember, thorough testing is important but not to the detriment of your health and well-being.) If that sounds like the life for you, you can sign up for more at seed-pioneers.io.