Echo VR on the Quest closed beta starts Monday and is the third phase in a series of rollouts from Ready At Dawn as they port the game over to the portable Oculus headset.
Although many of us were eager for the game to arrive on the Quest last fall, the port is taking longer than expected as developers want to get it right. That means a lot of testing, but in a desire to be transparent about their progress, they’ve shared regular updates via their blog and on social media such as discord.
There are key phases in the roadmap outlining the path to release. Each phase involves specific goals and testing groups.
Closed Alpha 1 and 2
During the closed alphas, experienced level 50 community testers were brought in first and given an opportunity to offer feedback on high level play. They evaluated mechanics and overall function of the port.
After a couple of weeks of closed alpha 1, additional players from level 5 to 49 were brought in to test 4v4 public matches on the Quest. Developers have continued to seek feedback during this phase and fix bugs they’ve become aware of with increased numbers of players.
Registration for the closed beta ends Friday, April 17 and those who sign up before the deadline will be accepted into the existing community of testers from the previous two phases.
At this point in testing, players will have access to tutorials, player experience that includes “versus AI,” the Echo VR lobby, and Echo Arena.
According to the dev blog, crossplay will also be introduced at some point during this phase, which is a huge leap forward and something many have been eagerly anticipating. Although Echo VR was designed as an Oculus Rift exclusive game and is available via free download on the Oculus store, some players also use the HTC Vive (using revive) and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Crossplay with the Quest is huge, though, because it’s the first time the game will be playable on a standalone headset.
During this phase, anyone interested will have the opportunity to join the open beta to test Echo VR on the Quest.
Echo Combat, the zero-gravity first person shooter in the Echo universe, will not be added to the Quest at this time. When you’re in the Echo VR lobby on the Quest, you can see the Echo Combat area, but it is inaccessible. Combat fans shouldn’t be discouraged, however, as it takes a long time to create these ports and the Ready At Dawn developers tend to respond well to community input. If the Echo Combat community continues to grow and thrive, it’s likely that they’d consider adding that to the Quest at some point in the future.
If you’d like to know more about what’s going on in Echo Games or become involved with the community, join the discord and follow them with your favorite social media sites.
Echo Games Blog: https://medium.com/echo-games-blog