The Start of Something Big…

Third Time Dev
5 min readMay 18, 2022


‘First of His Name’ with a convincing pass turning for home

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the official test release of Third Time Games’ Photo Finish™ LIVE! It’s been a long time coming, and we know you’re waiting to hear about it. Today we’re going to talk about: what it is, what’s in it, what we’re doing with it, and what’s in it for YOU 😉.

What is the Beta?

Photo Finish™ LIVE is a web-based game. Sign up for an account and play. Nothing to download!

This Photo Finish™ LIVE beta is a pre-release test space for players to try real game mechanics before the full release. If you are new to the game, it may feel overwhelming, but really it’s quite simple. You take the role of a virtual thoroughbred owner. Buy, sell, breed, and race your very own horses with and against other real players. Win races and make money!

LIVE races are ready for owners to enter 24 hours a day!

The beta is a playground — a version of the game with a bunch of free currency for all players, early test values for game mechanics, and the ‘season’ moves quickly.

We want you to try everything! The more you try, the more we can learn and the better we can improve for the full release.The best thing you can do to help a successful launch is play and then let us know what you think.

What’s in the Beta?

When the Beta releases, anyone with a ‘Generation 0’ Photo Finish™ LIVE ticket can head to our site, and redeem their ticket for a virtual thoroughbred. Don’t worry, this won’t use up your ticket. It will, however, make a ‘test’ horse with characteristics that you might see in the real game.

After you do, you’ll receive a drop of free gameplay currency to play the game with. This currency — a clone of our eventual $DERBY token — can’t be taken to the real game, so be sure to use it before you lose it. If you DO run out 💸(we’ve all been there) you are automatically granted more at the beginning of every test season. Even if you blow it all, a refresh is right around the corner.

Speaking of, the game runs in seasons. A ‘season’ is defined as a collection of races that spread over a year of each horse’s life. In the beta, this takes place over a shorter period of real time — one real week (as opposed to four real life weeks when the game is finally released). During this beta period, we’ll have Races, Studding, and the Marketplace open for play. A lot of base functionality is in for analytics, so you’ll see potential values for race math, injuries, and fees.

Buy and sell horses with other players on our very own virtual thoroughbred marketplace

We’ve also turned off a few things that might interfere. For example, you won’t see age restricted races during the test, though we expect plenty during the full release. The same is true of other race restrictions. Racing reports and breeding reports are also absent. You’ll have to do things the old fashioned way.

What are We Doing with the Beta?

While the beta is running we’ll mostly be doing two things: Analyzing and Developing. You didn’t think we’d take a break did you?

The big goal with this beta is to understand how players interact with our design. While we’ve created more than our fair share of virtual horse racing simulations before, there’s a lot in this game space that’s pretty new. Having this time to try out ideas and value is a huge advantage toward future success. You’re invited because we want the full release to be perfect, and there are some things we just can’t test for ourselves.

In the meantime, we’ll be working. There’s plenty left to do, and we’ll no doubt have some changes to make after you play. And let’s be clear, post-beta changes are not only possible, they’re probable. Good game development relies on taking data and improving designs. It’s critical that you let us know what you love and hate. Not all comments and critiques will make the full release, but we will read and consider as much as we can.

WIP shot of “My Stable”, where you can manage all of your fine thoroughbreds

What’s in it for You?

The answer is: more than you think.

Throughout the beta, we’ll be keeping an eye on things like:

  • Highest Earnings
  • Most Wins
  • Most Races

For players and individual horses that excel in these categories, we’re going to give out:

  • Commemorative Race and Race Series naming rights
  • Generation 0 Tickets
  • Marvelous Mare PFPs
  • And Custom Trophies (within reasonable distance)

Like I said, these are value prizes; they’re our way of saying thanks for the help. Please note that not all categories are eligible for all rewards and that the rewards may change from those posted here. We’ll have more information on who gets what closer to the beta.


The good news is that we are in the final phases of implementation and testing for the beta. The not as good news is that we don’t yet want to provide an exact date, because we want to make sure we don’t let you down! We do feel pretty confident you’ll be racing before the month is up. So, it’s coming. Soon™.

As always, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you at the track!

Paul N.
Lead Systems Designer



Third Time Dev

Game development studio with many years in AAA, mobile, and F2P. Crypto enthusiasts. Big fans of Unity.