We've been excited about Sir, You Are Being Hunted - Big Robot's new open-world running-away-from-gentrified-androids simulation - ever since we got to play it at Rezzed, where it was our game of the show, so the news that the alpha version is being made available to everyone next week is hot stuff.
Monday 19th August is the date, according to a video slipped out to Kickstarter backers last month and confirmed by Big Robot's Jim Rossignol to us late last week. Anyone who pre-orders the game for $20 will get it then, as will any Kickstarter backers not already playing the closed test version, and anyone who buys it from then on. There will be Windows and OSX versions initially and Linux will follow later.
The general alpha version will include the fens, rural and mountain biomes, and will be followed by regular updates. Big Robot plans to include a roadmap for these with the alpha, so people can see what's planned, but they will include customisation options, hunter/gatherer mechanics, the castle biome and more NPCs - including a cool-looking scarecrow shown in the video above.
In Sir, You Are Being Hunted, you play a man or woman being stalked for sport across procedurally generated landscapes by tea-sipping robots. The general goal is to retrieve pieces of a special stone distributed across several islands, but your first priority is survival - robots are deadly and your vitals need constant attention, so it's about self-preservation and exploration in the face of mounting odds.
It's been influenced by stuff like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., which is obvious (and welcome) as soon as you start roaming its bleak environments.
Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure, Big Robot's Jim Rossignol is one of the editor-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, for which Eurogamer's parent company Gamer Network does the ad sales. It is weird and confusing to be writing about his game, but hopefully when you play it you will agree it's worth covering and this isn't all just an outrageous example of corporate nepotism.