Settling on a difficulty for a game is tough. We’re not making Super Meat Boy, where difficulty is a major selling point, but we don’t want to make the game a casual stroll in the park either.

What we’re going for now is tough for a casual player and challenging for an average player, but probably a tad bit too easy for hardcore gamers.

In order to add some extra mileage for those wanting to push their characters to the limit without putting huge road blocks in front of “normal” players, we added a feature to the arena called Challenges!

At the top level, you can select between Challenges and Versus.

Challenges are just that. Designed trials where your performance will be graded! In multiplayer, you’ll cooperate in these.

Versus is a collection of mini games where you can challenge your friends to a farm-off, the noble art of chicken herding and other wacky mini games! We might cover this in more detail some other time.

In the Challenge menu, you’ll see a list of all unlocked challenges, together with your current best grade (the grades go from ‘C’ to ‘S’). You’ll unlock more challenges as you progress through the story!

Most challenges will be tied to the combat mechanics of the game. For example, you might fight through waves of difficult enemy constellations, or battle a nightmare version of a boss!

When you’ve completed the challenge, you’ll get to see a scoreboard with your grades!

When you return to the arena reception, you’ll receive different items depending on what grade you got. Whenever you beat a challenge on S-rank for the first time, you’ll be rewarded with a unique item!

To move on to a completely different subject, we’re going to do the unthinkable and actually posting some info regarding the beta!

A while back we contacted Steam to see if we could run the beta on their platform. This was just before them announcing Greenlight, and as such, six weeks later we received a template reply telling us to check that service out.

Now, Greenlight seems great. However, it isn’t launching until the end of August (+Valve Time?), and there’s also no way of guessing right now how much Greenlight interest we must garner before being put on Steam, and how happy they are with indies prancing around running betas on there. While our skill at postponing betas is at Olympic level, even we didn’t want to delay it indefinitely!

So, we couldn’t do Steam, but we still wanted some centralized platform with automatic patching and ability to select users to invite. An indie friendly alternative to Steam that does just this is Desura.

Desura is pretty similar to Steam in many ways, and should be a pretty familiar experience for most players used to Valve’s platform. We’ve set up an IndieDB-page for the game in preparation. This is probably also where we’ll open up forums for our beta testers!

The beta isn’t running quite yet, but as you can tell things are moving along! We still have a few things to throw into the mix as far as the game goes. In the coming few weeks, we’ll give you more detailed information on how to register for the beta (we don’t know yet :D ), and shortly after that we’ll be throwing out the invites!

Wow, today’s post became really long… glad you made it to the end! See you next week! :)