Scrolls unwinds into closed beta testing

It seemed for a while that we’d never get to see Mojang‘s Scrolls. First, there was that drawn-out court case with Bethesda over what exactly the game could be called. Then, there was a long period of nothing, where we didn’t hear anything from the Mojang developers. But today, out of the blue, designer Jakob Porser has announced to the world: Ready, Set, Alpha!

Yep, Scrolls is officially in closed beta testing – a huge milestone for the developers, and one step closer for the rest of us. Jakob explains the team is sending out “quite a modest number of codes” to start with, and then more will follow as time goes by. “If you do not get one,” he warns, “Don’t lose hope!”

The alpha itself is a pared-back version of the full Scrolls experience. You’ll have access to a full set of scrolls – three of each available scroll in the game – so you can build your own deck if you get inspired (if you don’t, stick with the pre-constructed one the game ships with). Singleplayer content has been minimised:

Although you will not be able to venture the world or go toe to toe against the powerful bosses that inhabits it, the alpha will allow you to test your strength against an AI opponent.

…that matters less though once you realise that multiplayer is still pretty well decked out (ha!):

In the Arena section, you can chat with other players as well as challenge them. You can also queue up for a multiplayer match against a random opponent. When playing a multiplayer match, there will be a round timer allowing the players no more then 90 seconds to make their move.

Jakob advises you to try out the tutorial before jumping straight in with a real-world opponent, and perhaps practising a little in a singleplayer match or two.

As with any beta test, what you see is not necessarily what you’ll get: Things will be added, taken away and changed in the leadup to launch, and Jakob warns that “many of the current scrolls” will not make it to the final game in their current form.

[img_big]center,8403,2012-07-05/scrolls_02.jpg,Scrolls[/img_big]

Despite Mojang‘s best efforts, any beta test is likely to be full of bugs, so it’s your job – as beta tester – to identify any you see, and report them back to the developers. The more feedback they get, the better the final game will be!

And if you’re reading all this and thinking it’s something you might like to be a part of, but haven’t signed up for beta access? You’re outta luck. Codes are only being sent to people who opted in when the game was first announced, so the rest of you will have to wait until the open beta kicks in, sometime in the future.

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