With a half a billion dollars spent on development, Activision is betting the farm on Bungie's upcoming first-person sci-fi shooter, Destiny. The publisher isn’t taking any chances with the massive project, and has turned to the gaming community to help fine tune the Bungie-developed game with a PlayStation 4-exclusive alpha and a cross-platform beta coming soon. Today Bungie's David "Deej" Dague spoke with Eurogamer about what players can expect from the beta, and how it will relate to both the alpha and the final product.

Dague stated that beta players will first create their Guardian character, choosing their class and gender, and customizing their appearance. Players who participated in the alpha will have to restart their Guardians since alpha progress will not carry over to the beta. They will, however, experience an expanded adventure that goes beyond what the alpha offered in terms of story and exploration. Alpha players started at level four, and were capped out at level eight. Eurogamer asked Dague about the level cap for the beta, which starts players off at level one, but the developer simply stated, “It's not something we've revealed yet. But all will become apparent within a matter of days.”

Dague was somewhat cagey about multiplayer questions. When asked about the Beta’s competitive multiplayer Crucible Mode, he revealed that new maps will be available in the Beta, including some on planets players have yet to see, but stopped short of talking about gameplay modes specifically. When asked about the cooperative Strike mode, Dague clammed up, stating, “I've said as much about the beta and the complexity of the experience and the components of it as I can.” He added, “I would rather for your readers leave some of these things to chance so you have something in the game that can surprise you instead of me just blurting it all out in my usual boring fashion.”

The main purpose of alphas and betas is play-testing in a real-world environment, and Bungie and Activision are tweaking and fine-tuning the game based on feedback and observations from the alpha. Beta players who also took part in the alpha will immediately see some changes, though Dague did not reveal exactly what those differences would be. While the alpha showed the different Guardian types to be relatively well-balanced, they found that one weapon was being used by an inordinate amount of players; the Galahad-C auto-rifle. As a result, Bungie will make the gun less powerful, better balancing gameplay and encouraging players to use different weapons. For Bungie, the goal is a game where every gun is useful, and every play-style is valid and evenly matched.

While the alpha was only on the PS4, Destiny’s Beta will be on all four consoles, allowing Bungie and Activision to see how the game will perform on different platforms.

Players who pre-ordered Destiny automatically gained access to the beta, and many who take part in the play-test will want to see their Guardians’ progress reflected in the final game. Dague said that there is a possibility that Beta characters will transfer over when the game releases on Sept. 9, but that it’s still up in the air. “The beta is a test. It's extremely unknown as to what the outcome will be," Dague said. "So, it's certainly not a promise or an announcement that we're making at this time. It all depends on what we learn and how things shake out. So, we're certainly not telling players they can carry their progress over, but we haven't made any announcements either way.”

PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 owners will have access to the Beta on July 17, while Xbox gamers can grab it on July 23.