Feature Article

Steam Early Access Week Hub

Early to the party.

With the new year underway, we're all looking ahead to the games of 2014, the experiences that are going to define our gaming year when they actually come out. But some of the games that could make waves in 2014 are playable right now through Steam Early Access, a program that lets you buy and play games while they are still in development. There are a LOT of Early Access games currently available, with more coming every week, and while some are totally playable and fun, others are still pretty rough.

So today and every day this week, I'll be your host as we check out a bunch of Early Access games to give you an idea of what's worth playing, what's worth waiting for, and what all is going on in this brave new world of giving money to people to play their games before they're done.

Day 5 - Grand Finale!

Day 4 - Survival of the Craziest

Day 3 - Exploring Mysterious Worlds

Day 2 - SPAAAAAAAAACE!

Day 1 - Dungeon of the Grim Throne

Written By

Chris enjoys aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent.

Discussion

18 comments
prats93
prats93

And so it begins. More sites are starting to advertise this horrible practice.

focuspuller
focuspuller

Playing something early that you may like and possibly have input on making it better, great.


Paying three times the price (60 instead of 20) for an early beta or alpha that used to be free, not great.

oracleofdarknes
oracleofdarknes

It is of my opinion that Early Access is a good thing, but the prices they are expecting us to pay is quite exorbitant on most games, considering how much is actually done.

Halloll
Halloll

you shouldn't play games on Steam early access, you would be burned before the game even release.

Excalibus
Excalibus

I want more Mary Kish on Gamespot, her voice is angelic.

geekrider
geekrider

Riiiiiight! Pay money for an unfinished product? I'd rather not. Early Access is a load of crap. Developers rarely address problems face by the player. Even if they do they take months to do a half-arsed patch. Early access only makes sense for independent developers, who do not have the funding. Not for AAA titles. By AAA developers. You know what it's like? Apple giving us an iPhone with only the call functionality working. And there are people out there, who are so friggin' crazy, they will actually buy it. It's not just the developers. It's us. We need to stop supporting Early Access. Seriously. How stupid do you have to be to buy something that isn't working?

Aphyosemion
Aphyosemion

I am torn about early access.  It is often cool to get an early look at a game, but the devs expect you to pay them to test their unfinished game, rather than the other way around.  I don't feel that this should be supported, but people are so impatient that they throw money at them anyway.  The next thing you know, we will be paying our employers for the privilege of working for them.

Quackit
Quackit

OverGrowth is an awesome Steam early access game.

Stepn2myworld
Stepn2myworld

This is an great feature. I just cannot support paid early access. Pay the developer to essentially test their game while funding their efforts. Nahh, I'd rather invest (private stock), becoming a part owner and reaping financial benefits of its success. 


I'll gladly pay a fair price for an excellent finished game.  Hell, for some games,I'll help beta-test a game for free if I'm a fan.  

HandsomeTrot
HandsomeTrot

Are you planning on a quick review of Entropy and Starpoint Gemini 2? been curious about those 2 games, as Entropy would give me an MMO combat experience, while SPG2 has a more tactical feel as I figured plus there's a large and positive community on Steam forums..

ry0uz
ry0uz

I had been curious about Dream for a long time now, good to see it featured. I will probably still wait for it to be released though, as I'm not into paying to beta test software. Nuclear Throne seems fun too, might check it out eventually.

pongley
pongley

Not surprising that Danny O'Dwyer would be into a game about birds.

Aletunda
Aletunda

@geekrider Wtf is wrong with you? thats a pretty far out comparison youve imagined up there with apple, AAA devs and indies. I think its great that Independent developers can give access to those who are WILLING to be involved in the early/late development phase, early access is not for everyone, it helps developers figure some things out, and you get to play an almost finished product, as it evolves. saying we need to stop support if fucking stupid, lets just not support developers at all shall we? IF YOU DONT LIKE EARLY ACCESS, DONT FUCKING PARTICIPATE MORON!

CaptainNimoy
CaptainNimoy

@HandsomeTrot Too bad Limit Theory isn't part of the Steam Early Access model, though I'm quite curious about Starpoint Gemini 2 :S

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Just so anyone is wondering what the statement above means, Danny's sanity has been tested by certain oddball visual novel games that involve pictures of birds. ;)

geekrider
geekrider

@Aletunda I already said early access makes sense for indies. Read before you post. I was just making an analogy. And I stand by my opinion that AAA developers are minting money through early access. And stop hyping it up. By that I mean, stop marketing the game as a finished product. And on that note WE need to understand that these games are unfinished, so if you're going to buy it, stop complaining how buggy it is. You chose to buy it. Deal with it. Complaining about it makes you look like a moron.

As far as supporting developers go, what EXACTLY is supporting? Giving them money? If you want to go with that vague answer then this is my answer and I don't know how much clearer I can be. YES INDIE DEVS DON"T HAVE MONEY. SUPPORT THEM WITH MONEY AND FEEDBACK TO DEVELOP AN AWESOME GAME. AAA DEVS ALREADY HAVE THE MONEY. THEY ARE HUGE ASS COMPANIES WITH HUGE ASS FUNDING. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT YOUR MONEY AND WILL NOT GIVE A SHIT AFTER THEY'VE TAKEN IT.

PS: I don't understand why you had to resort to calling me a moron

doriard
doriard

The more we support developers the better games will get.  With extra support they may even take more risks such as making more original and creative features instead of using game formulas (imagine that!).  The prices do seem a little high right now, but that will probably balance out with supply/demand. Like the guy said above, it's an opportunity if you want it, no one's forcing you.  If you are an early-adopter type of games and technology it may be great fun to explore new titles and game features even if the game never becomes highly successful.  This early access program is itself an innovation in gaming.  It may evolve or die out as well.