Today, indie-friendly game distribution platform Itch.io launches Refinery, a set of early access tools that will allow game developers to use the platform to share games that are still in development with audiences.
Itch is offering a number of options with Refinery. Developers can choose what kind of early access program to run, including a traditional paid alpha, a paid alpha with a limited number of keys, or a closed beta playtest.
The platform will allow developers to control the number of keys distributed, offer private playtests and closed forums to gather feedback on in-development games that aren't ready for public player, and offer digital rewards to participants in early access programs.
Alongside the Refinery update, the platform will now offer delta patching, so players can be kept up-to-date with new builds.
You can check out the toolset at itch.io/refinery, where you'll also find a list of games that are already using it as part of a pilot program.
Earlier this year, itch.io moved to a revenue-sharing model for its distribution platform, though developers are still free to share zero percent of their revenues with the platform.