The Alpha Test Phase was a testing phase of LEGO Universe that was limited to select people and groups.
Before the LEGO Kids Inner Circle was invited to test on December 8, 2009, only LEGO employees, their friends and family, and specially chosen testers were able to test and play the game. While this test phase is still technically part of the Alpha and ran on the same game server, it is commonly referred to as the Pre-Alpha, as it was mainly limited to people inside the company. The game was extremely different at this point, with totally different world designs, enemies, and NPCs. Instead of the chunks of Planet Crux, the game took place in a massive world called Wonderland, which contained areas such as the Gnarled Forest and Forbidden Valley, though they had very different designs and were generally lighter in atmosphere. Other areas, such as Team Play Island and YouReeka, were also planned. An online news article divulged why the entire game was redesigned, delaying LEGO Universe from a release in early 2009 to late 2010 while NetDevil re-worked the worlds. Most notably, the worlds became much darker, for instance, Forbidden Valley went from a green, lush, forested valley to a rough set of mountains with sudden drop-offs and little vegetation except for the giant tree in the center of the world. The original three Darkling designs (Freak Darklings, Hyper Darklings, and Grumpy Darklings) were replaced with the more zombie-like Stromlings, and the Maelstrom was introduced. After enough of the game had been redesigned and was ready for more testing, the KIC was invited to test, leading to the beginning of the Alpha.
LEGO Kids Inner Circle
The first outside users to receive invites to the LEGO Universe Alpha Test phase were members of the LEGO Kids Inner Circle. Only those who joined before December 7, 2009, were invited.
Visitors to CES 2010 were able to play a live demo, which ran on the same servers as the Alpha. Beta Test signups were also available.
Bradford Rant Institute of Cosmic Kinesis
The seven people who found the LEGO Pods during the B.R.I.C.K. promotion received Alpha Test invitations, the real life Pod they found, a B.R.I.C.K. T-Shirt, and an in-game shirt like the shirt of the minifigure in the Pod they received. People who emailed the institute with correct puzzle solutions also received Alpha Test invitations.
After signing a Declaration of Secrecy during the Alpha Test signup process, Alpha testers were forced to withhold any video or photographic evidence of LEGO Universe gameplay (Although this did not apply to CES visitors). Later on, it was found that Alpha Testers were permitted to share text-based descriptions of the game with friends and family alone. The Declaration of Secrecy was lifted at the end of the Beta, meaning Alpha Testers are now free to talk about their experiences and share information.
During the recent beta hype, and shortly after the end of the Alpha Test phase, a patch was released to Alpha Testers, which included some sort of schedule lineup of the Beta test event. At the time, it displayed Thursday, February 25 as the first open date. However, this date was later extended. Alpha testers were the first to play in the Closed Beta phase, although others were accepted on March 10.