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Alcyone: The Last City

A sci-fi interactive fiction game set in the last City in the universe. · By Joshua Meadows

Beta Release Thread Sticky

A topic by Joshua Meadows created May 11, 2019 Views: 1,366 Replies: 20
Viewing posts 1 to 14

I've only just realised I forgot to put a thread up for the beta, and there have been quite a few releases for it already. Here's the release notes for all of the betas so far, including the build I just pushed — for now this is still in the "demo" download, I'll push it into the normal purchases soon.

I am aware of a weird issue with the itch app (and another weird issue on Windows involving the zip file itself) but I'm struggling to figure out what's causing either and how to fix them. For now, if you're impacted by it grabbing the zip file from the page (scroll down to the bottom of the page to the demo section and download from there) and forcing it to unzip anyway even if it complains about overwriting an existing file seems to be the fix — check your antivirus software as well.

May 11 2019 —
• Beta4 release
• Version number added to Main Menu
• Improvements to TTS, keyboard navigation
• Fix where TTS would only read first line of any multi-line dialogs
• Initial tutorial now available any time from Menu
• Fixed issues with keyboard navigation and the Map
• Region names added to the Map
• Citadel model added to the Map
• Fixes to incorrect fonts in Credits screen
• Fixes to edge cases where clicking on edges of "bubbles" wouldn't progress story
• Consistency between next click triggers
• Initial controller support added
• Pre-May 2019 Patron content added and now accessible for Supporters
• Fixes to initial internships, small writing tweaks
• Improvements to how attributes are phrased for the sake of clarity
• Map regions can be closed via the back keybind
• Disabled accidental keyboard navigation to Map regions out of focus
• Disabled accidental activation of inactive/hidden Map Hub locations

May 07 2019 —
• Beta3 release
• Fixed bug with tooltip overlap on choice requirements/unlocks
• Fixed bug where glossary entries weren't read by the TTS system
• TTS works without keyboard navigation being enabled
• Fixed depth sorting issues on the Map hubs
• Fixed bug with keyboard being enabled by default
• Added an option to the game's first launch that asks if TTS/keyboard nav should be enabled
• Keybindings are on a separate screen in the options menu
• Fixes to keyboard navigation
• Fixes to percentage challenges failing when you change equipment a second time
• Further bug fixes to the internships

May 03 2019 —
• Beta2 release
• Fixed misfiring gameover states
• Fixed collect-4 dialogs preventing mouse scrolling
• Fixed screen jiggle when using keyboard navigation
• Fixed unicode characters missing from credits screen
• Fixes to TTS
• Added a quit button to the main menu
• Split TTS from keyboard navigation
• Patron codes implemented for Patron Supporter content
• Fixes to some bugs found in the internships

April 30 2019 —
• Beta1 release
• Massive update switching game from Twine engine to Unity
• Alpha test concluded
See Kickstarter for full information


May 16 2019

• Beta5 release
• Tweaks to the tutorial images
• Additional graphics and sound options added to the menu
• Improved scrolling on macOS
• TTS added to Map region names
• TTS improvements
• Glossary keywords now accessible via keyboard

(1 edit)

I bought the Beta release one year ago...I cannot download the Beta builds /:

It's grayed on my purchase page and the Demo link doesn't want to start downloading... 


It could be because I haven't pushed any changes to the beta branch directly (I will once the Patron stuff for May goes out at the end of the month) because I didn't want to break old save games for people yet.

If you go to the main page directly and scroll to the bottom where it says "demo," there should be four options depending on your operating system. Do you have any ad blockers active or javascript disabled? If so, whitelisting should help.

Alas...doesn't seem to work...with or without AdBlock+.

I'll try again later,I played one of the previous Demo,It was awesome ^^
At least I can follow the progress here.
I have enough games to play and I can wait for the release,no problem.

hello. i preordered alcyone months ago, but decided to upgrade to the besta testing today. somehow now i have two preorders, one at $6.99 and another at $14.99? i was wondering if there is a way to cancel the $6.99?

also i can't download the beta build :/ it's grayed out.


Hey Nyphren! Unfortunately I can't do anything about the previous order in terms of refunds or anything, really sorry you grabbed it twice!

As far as the beta build goes, it's greyed out because I haven't yet pushed anything to that branch. If you download the current demo, that's technically the "beta" as I updated the demo in the new Unity engine for everyone to have access. Once I update the Unity version to have the same content as Twine (all of the Patron stuff) then the beta branch will be updated and the demo will fully replace Twine. That will happen soon, I'm still doing QA to make sure there aren't any bugs.

So for right now grab the demo from the itch page. :) I'm aware of a bug (which I have fixed, but it's not uploaded just yet) on Windows that causes the zip file to give an error, and the itch app won't work either, but the zip file works okay even if it complains.



So, first of all I want to thank everyone for their patience — as I mentioned in my last Kickstarter update, it's been a pretty hectic time for me over the last year. Despite the lack of outward updates, I've been hard at work behind the scenes and have reached a bit of a milestone; as of this update, I'm pretty confident that (aside from any bugs I haven't encountered through a year of testing!) the Alcyone engine is now feature complete. All that's left is the remaining writing, and then we're good to go.

I don't want to set expectations on anything because clearly life keeps throwing curveballs. This feels easy to get away with when tasks are distributed across a team, but this has been a broadly solo operation from the start so delays land on my shoulders. That said, I do feel like all I have left is the writing and then Alcyone will be in tip-top shape for release.

If you're a Supporter, you've got access to all of the Patron commissions — which are wrapped up for the time being with this update, as I've just added two at once! If you backed Alcyone on Kickstarter or pre-ordered on itch before the alpha ended, you should have received a code. Send me a message if you don't see it!

You can check out all of the updates via itch and if you have any questions, feedback, or comments PLEASE get in touch. Release notes are below!

Also: don't forget that you can wishlist Alcyone on Steam — and PLEASE DO, as this helps out with metrics tremendously!

- - - - 

June 25 2020

• Beta6 release
• Fix to the game not unpacking and loading properly in Windows systems due to filename error
• Two Patron Commissions! This now also wraps up the Patron content for the time being
• "Autoplay" system implemented — choose between three, four, and five second delays in the Option menu and play/pause from the UI element in the lower right corner of the Story tray
• Slight adjustments to make the Status Tray more dynamic and reactive
• Slight tweaks to the initial New Game experience
• ESC key always returns to the top menu list instead of the last-used screen
• Fixes to the music state not saving/loading correctly
• TTS now has an independent sound control option
• TTS will repeat previous text when navigating to dimmed passages
• TTS will speak the current volume level when changing music, sound effects, and TTS
• Tweaks to the opacity of previous passages
• Music properly saves track and position between hubs and save game reloading
• Custom cursor added
• Added a glossary overlay to the menu
• Glossary overlays have been increased in size slightly
• Improvements to the navigation system for keyboard use
• Secondary bindings implemented for controllers
• Graphics options now include a font size toggle between three options
• Fixes to some glossary terms not triggering when interacted with
• Fixes to some glossary terms not being interactive if the term line-breaks mid-paragraph
• Status of trays are properly reloaded when restoring saves
• Fixes to some dialogs not properly progressing story when clicked
• Patron code now works when entered mid-game
• Fixes to Hub locations not showing on the overview map
• Tweaks to some equipment, and fixes to some equipment with incorrect stats
• Fixes to wording on receiving and completing Objectives
• Fixes to cursor "blinking" when transitioning between interactive and non-interactive states
• Stowed trays are now properly non-interactive
• Removed mouse scrolling — clicking and dragging now scrolls trays more intuitively and without accidental issues missing text because of the scroll wheel
• "O" binds to Objectives by default and not the Options menu
• As Maladies increase, the UI will now reflect their progression in a more visually interesting capacity

(2 edits)

Beta Link is always grayed...I paid for the beta like 3 years ago...really tired right now /:

Would be nice to finally be able to DL the thing on my purchase page T_T

I didn't get a new key or new link send to my address linked to my payment to fix the old problem.

Thank you for purchasing Alcyone: The Last City by Joshua Meadows.

You purchased the game on 2017-06-06 11:58:17 for $14.99 + $3.00 VAT with the email *****. This page has a unique URL for your purchase. You can always access the latest files from this page. You should have also received an email with a link to this page. If you ever lose the URL for this page you can request it to be emailed to you from the support page.

This purchase is linked to the account Violette.

This game has files that aren't released yet. Come back to this page when the developer has released the files in order to download them.

Pre-Order (Releasing in 2021)   
Version 11  7 hours ago

Version 10  8 hours ago

Beta Access (Early 2019)   
Version 11  8 hours ago


Hey Violette, let me look into that as I'm not sure what the issue is. 

In the meantime if you download the demo from the main itch page you can still play that — the demo and beta are currently identical as there were enough bug fixes that I felt it was appropriate to update that too.

Let me know if you still have trouble!

Yes...I can DL the Demo but I really would like to use my purchase page.

This problem is going to be bad at the full release if the link for the full version doesn't work.

Btw,do you think to sell the full version on GOG?

I would be pleased to buy the game again DRM free on GOG :)


I'll look into the itch page, but the demo version is identical at the moment so if you'd like to play it now they're the same files.

The game is DRM free on all storefronts, as well. :)

Okay...Good Luck looking into itch page problem ^^

Developer (4 edits)

Hi all, a small(ish) update fixing some engine stuff that came up since the last release was pushed live.

If you're having trouble accessing it through your sales page, try grabbing the demo from itch as versions are functionally the same at the moment, but Patron content can be unlocked with your code. I believe this is because the game isn't "released" in itch yet so page access keeps getting locked. I'm trying to figure out a way around that — but in the meantime you're not missing out on anything as I'm still making engine updates public. Please let me know if you come across any issues as I think the engine itself is basically finished now and all that's left is getting the writing done (still a big process obviously, but we're getting there!)

Fun bit of trivia: the word count for publicly-accessible content (IE, the tutorial, internships, and all Patron storylines) is a bit over 40k words at the moment. This puts it on the shorter end of the average novel length (nearly as long as Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time for reference!), so that's a fun little benchmark for what you all can play right now!

August 10 2020

• Beta7 release
• New app icon!
• Updated Unity version to 2019.4.7f1
• Updated TTS strings for tutorial images to reflect slight changes to default keybinds and UI elements
• Fixed TTS not reflecting volume changes
• TTS now automatically reads glossary definitions on open (previously required a click/tap on the definition)
• Information windows (like text descriptions of icons) read their text on open automatically
• Slight visual changes to the second half of the second Patron commission
• Autoplay pauses as expected when Story Tray is stowed
• UI improvements to the Map when new stories are unlocked through game progression


Relatively minor update but I think that's a good sign as the engine is about as polished as can be — I haven't found further bugs or issues after weeks of testing.

September 02 2020 —
• Beta8 release
• Updated Unity version to 2019.4.9f1
• Fixed the "continue" sound not triggering when the first tutorial screen appears
• Minor fixes to button text


November 25 2020 —

• Beta9 release
• Updated Unity version to 2019.4.12f1
• Accessibility focus!
• Big overhaul to keyboard navigation, elements should be easier to select via keyboard and the intended element more intelligently highlighted
• Fully implemented image descriptions for all icons, equipment images, and headers in-game; interact with graphics to see a description overlay which is also read out via TTS
• Initial "TTS is enabled by default" dialog now correctly speaks via TTS as well
• Initial TTS dialog can be navigated by keyboard correctly
• First tutorial image can be navigated by controller and keyboard

Developer (1 edit)

Hey all, a relatively small update in terms of fixes (though the fixes are a bit big!) as the engine is pretty much complete aside from a handful of things I've noticed in testing. My primary focus now is wrapping up the rest of the game's writing as all the music and art assets are now more or less in place.

April 20 2021 —

• Beta10 release
• Updated Unity version to 2019.4.24f1
• Further overhaul to controller support
• Fixed an issue with controllers & keyboards where input was sent repeatedly resulting in an unplayable state
• Added an option to the Graphics menu that toggles the Map auto-spin on and off

Developer (1 edit)

Hullo all, this is a very small update bumping up the Unity version and a small improvement to the tutorial section (a lot of players continue to get stuck when you first get your starting gear and fail to put it on, which then causes problems later on if you're underskilled for the stat challenges — hopefully this makes it clearer!)

I'm still continuing to hammer out the game's writing, although the whiplash covid-related restrictions and lockdowns here in Melbourne have been a challenge to my creative energy. Still, it's progressing along, and with the engine basically finished (as well as pretty much all of the music and art assets) there's not much else to finish besides the story. It's getting there, and I still continue to work on the game regularly.

Hope you and your loved ones are safe, and enjoy the holiday season!

December 02 2021 —

• Beta11 release
• Updated Unity version to 2019.4.33f1 
• Tweaks to the tutorial/internship sections and improvements to text on picking up your first gear


A quick one updating some bugs I caught after the release earlier in the month. Happy holidays!

December 14 2021 —

• Beta12 release
• Fixed hover tooltip on the Body attribute not displaying the current value
• Some initial tweaks to how the Misfortunes work (this mostly has little relevance to the tutorial/demo section and will likely require balancing but for now the functionality is in place to make the Misfortunes more of a player balancing act when accumulating negative values)
• Fix to some passages breaking after the Nihility Encounter

Developer (1 edit)

Hello lovely people, there's a lot to share! I've put this in a big update which you can read, but the release notes are:

October 12 2023 —

  • Beta13 release
  • Updated Unity version to 2022.3.10f1
  • Huge overhaul to the in-game map! The City is now 3D! There's been major changes to the way hubs look and work to take advantage of this significant visual fidelity upgrade
  • Overhaul to the map navigation for screen readers & accessibility
  • Fixes to some glossary definitions
  • Some of the Misfortunes went buggery-boo and they've been put back where they belong
  • Reworking of character creation and the tutorial to utilise the new 3D map

Let me know if you encounter any issues, and I can't wait to announce more towards the end of the year!

Developer (1 edit)

Hi folks, I've forgotten to directly announce a couple of beta updates here but I've put out an important update on Kickstarter regarding the game. Going forward, Steam is going to be required for Alcyone but I'll be giving keys to everyone who backed it on Kickstarter or bought it on I'm trying to figure out a solution for as currently it's the only place where the game can be pre-ordered, but I want to be transparent about the platform requirement.

Release notes for the latest version (now available on the demo page through Steam) are here. This is a great reminder to please make sure you've wishlisted it on Steam if you haven't already, as it's a super important pre-release metric for me and will make sure you get notified the moment the game is launched next year.

November 28 2023 —

  • 23.231128 release
  • Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud Saves, and Steam Crossplay implemented
  • Steam is now required for the full version of the game, see the latest Kickstarter update for more details
  • Demo saves can transition to the full version with no progress lost
  • This required a full rewriting of the save game system that unfortunately breaks old saves; I don't anticipate this happening again, but we are still in a beta so it remains a possibility — that said, saves have only broken once in development with the transition from Twine to Unity, so I think we're doing pretty well with stability
  • Initial text at the start of a game has been rewritten to further clarify tutorial game functionality
  • Changes to the tutorial text when getting your initial internship equipment
  • Fix to Steam Input configuration for controller support out of the box (this can be further refined using the controller configuration tool in the Steam client)
  • Fixes to camera transitions within the demo during the internships