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For whatever it was worth; this was in part my suggestion (and since it was executed, my decision) as the systems designer. We recently received a large influx of applicants, as well as people who believed that they were getting into an immediate beta test.
This project, prior to my joining, was already taking applicants and I do believe that the decision to do so was based on a belief that the system development cycle was going to be shorter than it was. It wasn't, people were still signing up, and so JDB asked the staff what should be done.
It was my suggestion to clarify the current state of development as well as the close sign ups as to prevent people from getting the wrong impression due to the current state of affairs. You are correct in that Beta signups are somewhat confusing and appear to be not actual beta; you are incorrect in that we are not looking for QA. We have internal staff that are going to be QA, and a lot of QA testing will be done prior to Beta testing. You can certainly make an argument about whether one floor worth of game testing will be considered Beta testing, but that would be an argument of semantics that is not really worth going into, especially in a public forum. We have our reasons for dedicating our DevCycle toward a single floor completion, but are not ready to go into details about it at this time.
This engine looks conceptually very similar to the Tenchi Muyo SNES RPG. (Which is neither a good nor bad; just an observation)
This appears to be an RPG Maker Engine, either XP or VX. And at that, it seems like you're largely using the existing engine resource. This is more an observation than a criticism, mind you, as the concept is sound.
Making the game based off the comic is an interesting premise, but since you're using the comic artwork interlaced with the premade game graphics, and then your own separate sprite style for your character graphics, the overall feel is something that doesn't mesh together well.
"In the game universe, Tiberium crystals proliferate by infecting plantlife and mutating them into so-called Blossom Trees which seed the substance across large areas of land, or, in later C&C games, by growing out of the ground from Tiberium fissures within in the Earth's crust. Verdu describes these Tiberium concentrations as "oddly beautiful fields of green crystal that [kill] everything around them". The substance is radioactive and is extremely toxic to carbon-based life, causing either death or severe genetic mutations in plants, humans and animals alike. It replicates by converting everything around it into more Tiberium either through oddly directed mutation of plantlife, or through direct assimilation of other substances on the atomic level, through this gradually covering the whole surface of the Earth. It gives off radiation, which in the game universe is harnessed both for energy and as a weapon."
It is not a plant, but a mineral. It can infect plants, and therefore take on a plant-like appearance - but as a crystal, it will maintain a crystalline appearance. Because of the fact it converts anything it touches into Tiberium, it could theoretically take any shape of anything it has converted, however. So you could have dog shaped chunks of Tiberium if you really wanted.
Although it was created by Sierra, it's still an official expansion. It was authorized by Blizzard. If it was unauthorized (and therefore unofficial) it would never have sold, or would have resulted in a large number of lawsuits for tinkering with copyrighted product for profit.