Development Release Alpha 0.0.5 is in the works, but still some time away. At the time of writing, I've rewritten the defition loading system, I've changed how the art behind blocks work, and I'm working on integrating all of those together. I've also added a series of scripts to help package the game, generate C# names for all the assets, etc. This release is going to be mostly "things that should have been done earlier." Lots of little development things, like being able to reload art in-game and refactoring the BlockMap class to support more things to some gameplay stuff, like getting the basics of a survival system into the game. These are subject to being cut, if I want to release without them, but those are what I'm building towards recently.
I've migrated the project to Gitlab instead of BitBucket. I prefer the design of the site, and Gitlab gives you more storage space. With the migration, I've started moving some of the mess of little text documents I have lying around onto the provided wiki. I plan to keep better track of changes and To-Do stuff on there, too, making it a place where I keep track of both design ideas and technical stuff. Eventually, it'd be nice to open it up to the players, so they can get a good idea of what I'm aiming for in the design and see how development is progressing. It also seems like a good place to correllate data for modders, too.
At some point in the future, likely after 0.0.5, I plan on doing the "early access" thing for real, and selling releases as they come out. This won't mark the switch from "alpha" to "beta," which, for me, would indicate that the game is almost feature-complete, and moving into balancing, testing, refinement, and other polishing stages, but I might switch up the release types between "Development," "Testing," and "Public," to distinguish how stable a release is, and how long to expect before the next one.
"Some point in the future" could mean upwards of four months, but my plans are to host the paid version of the game on itch.io initially, and hopefully making it through Greenlight to a final release on Steam. As far as pricing goes, I don't like the idea of changing the price from alpha to beta to final release, so it'll stay at $15.00, probably with a 20% discount if/when it goes up for pre-order on Steam. I don't think early-access is trusted or, really, noticed by players on Steam, so, hopefully, the game doesn't get too much attention before release. This seems like wistful dreaming, though--the game is barely more than a tech demo right now, so back to work I go!
You can get the latest build of Sparse in the release thread