The Trendy community room now has a brand-new Fuf chair! At least, that’s what the instructions called it. The instructions also said it will take 7 to 10 days to reach its full size. We’re only on Day 2, and it’s consumed a good portion of our room. If you don’t hear from us on Days 7 or 8, it’s probably because we were unable to enter our office, or the Fuf chair decided to devour our computers.
On the bright side, co-workers have made the perilous trek down the hall to verify the rumors. Is it comfy? Is it soft? How did they manage to fit a giant bean bag into their room? The answers are yes, yes and we have no idea, but we did. Now I can comfortably sit down for hours and not have my butt get sore during our Trendy console events. Good thing that it arrived just in time for tomorrow.
PS3 Dungeon Defenders January XP event
Tomorrow is our Dungeon Defenders January XP Event for PS3! I hope everyone is as excited as I am to play Raining Ogres on The Deeper Well. The event will run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. The sign up thread is closed, but you can find the list of participants in this Google Doc. Participants will receive 50 million XP, plus you’ll get one-on-one time with members of the community team. So if you have any questions you have been meaning to ask, we’ll be happy to answer them. You can always spice things up by sharing any thoughts, jokes or songs.
I hope participants don’t think I will take it easy on them just because it’s the the first Trendy XP Event of the year. I will be as merciless as ever while I run around making Ogres spawn in every corner of the room. I’ve told the other members of the community team to do so as well, so even if I’m not your host, you won’t get off easy. Wherever we go, chaos and destruction will follow.
Mystywind Falls Night
This beautiful map is the revised version of the Dungeon Defenders Map Contest entry Mystywind Falls by Nexus. The layout is similar to The Deeper Well with additional spawn points that provide added difficulty, and the lower section now features a crystal for players to defend. Taking place during the night, the area around you is bathed in a gloomy yet beautiful moonlight glow. The waterfall in the center catches this moonlight and perfectly illuminates the area around it. Torches are strategically placed to light up your path and provide some warmth to the environment. Nexus worked hard to add extra “magic” to an already magical map. We sat down to interview him and find out how he came up with this map.
Can you describe the map?
Nexus: Mystywind Falls and its nighttime variant are a pair of maps that I had done for the 2012 fall Map Contest. It’s a two-floor map similar to Deeper Well but with four additional spawn points, two of which are for flying units. Visually, Mystywind Falls is that of a tropical environment with lots of ferns and jungle trees about, though the bigger theme is that it has a big central waterfall pouring out of a rock formation that spires and twists over head, and there are mine tracks coming out of tall cliff faces. It is also hard to miss the poor dead Ogre who is crushed beneath a twisted set of tracks, also whose ghost is the final boss!
What inspired you to make the map?
Nexus: Well, it’s sort of a funny story that. I was going through a breakup with my ex-girlfriend before I had started on Mystywind Falls, and I had a lot of pent-up emotions and creativity. Fortunately, working with the DDDK became a great outlet for me after all of that. It is hard to describe the inspiration that came from what I was going through, because there are so many ideas and thoughts about how a map can be approached, started. Really that’s what I did with Mystywind Falls. Granted, I did have some general ideas that I borrowed from Deeper Well, like the monster spawn layout, but I had a lot of room to work with in adding some twists of my own.
How long did it take you to make it?
Nexus: Well, the first concept version I had made for Mystywind was done in a single night, and it was briefly up on the Workshop. But due to a lack of planning I lost the concept version and had to start from scratch. (Which wasn’t a bad thing!) By the time it was shown on a Trendy Friday event, I had been working the rebuild for just a little under two weeks, and it was in a playable state complete with the Ghost Ogre Boss. Under four weeks in total for the final submission. Plus a couple days in December to fine-tune and release the nighttime version.
What challenges did you face while creating it?
Nexus: My biggest challenge for Mystywind Falls was keeping it balanced. I really wanted it to be a map that is fun for players of mid-level range and a little higher to complete without as much frantic rushing around the map.
Though other major challenges of creating Mystywind Falls were mostly around presentation. Creating a unique environment that is believable takes a bit of creativity, and it was something I really wanted to feel like it fit inside the unique universe of Dungeon Defenders. If you imagine Mystywind Falls without some of the rock cliffs or some of the foreground like the waterfalls, it’d be harder to see the level as a complete setting.
The other major challenge I had was introducing a new boss. I wanted to do something that hadn’t been seen in Dungeon Defenders yet. It took a lot of trial and error through some of the monster types to narrow down the boss to the Ogre. He scaled well, and with a little artistic twist, it made sense to make him a ghost.
There was also lot of other small challenges, like learning how to use monster animations in Matinee, fine-tuning the lighting settings with a lightmass volume (invisible box that tells the game what lights are important and how to render them) and cueing sounds to work in multiplayer (which I still haven’t quite fixed). There’s so much that goes into designing a level. It’s almost best to think of them as multi-faceted gems, each facet once cutout needs a good layer of polish. Sometimes, it’s easy to miss the smaller facets.
What ideas didn’t make it to this map? why?
Nexus: The first idea I had to scrap, which I spent two days on trying to make a workaround for, was a day-night cycle. I had a working system in place, but it would not play nice due to some engine limitations. The other big idea I had was to have a second level tier above the main one which would have included a third crystal location. But due to time constraints and file size issues, I wasn’t quite able to squeeze that idea in at the time.
What is your favorite part of this map?
Nexus: I can’t say any one part of the map is my favorite. I’m really pleased with how the whole map came together. But if I had to choose, I would say the dead Ogre under the track. It brings out a chuckle or two now and then seeing such a fearsome beast bested by an inanimate object.
Are you currently creating any maps to be released in the future?
Nexus: I have a package of five mission maps I have been working on in my extra spare time. Not quite ready to talk about the exciting details yet, but they are all tied together in a special environment I’ve planned out. I’m really excited about the gameplay elements, and I hope I can get them released together in the spring time.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Nexus: I’d like to thank everyone at Trendy for making an awesome game and for having such a great support for their fans and for supporting the mod community with such a great tool! I’d also like to thank everyone who has played my maps, and also to those who have given me feedback. It really helps to hear from the players. I hope I can continue to provide fun locations for people to visit in the Dungeon Defenders world!
This map was featured on our previous Trendy Friday Fun livestream where it proved to be more than a challenge for us. I won’t blame anyone, *cough* Hitmonchan *cough*, but we ended up losing the first time we tried it. There is a very fun boss fight at the end, but I suggest you subscribe to it on Steam Workshop and check it out for yourself.
Dungeon Defenders POLYBIUS Doomsday Events
The POLYBIUS Doomsday Events are back! This week, they are running from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27. You will have to go to the Dungeon Defenders Steam Workshop to download the Realm of POLYBIUS: Part 2, a custom map made by Alhanalem for the purpose of this event. The event times have been split into two blocks. Block “A” runs from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST, and Block “B” runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.
Players will need to sign up each week in order to participate. Here’s the sign-up thread for this week’s event. We’ll update our website post whenever a new sign-up thread surfaces, so be sure to bookmark it to stay up to date.
As a special treat, during this week’s Trendy Friday Fun, we will be playing on Realm of POLYBIUS: Part 2. Go to our Twitch page this Friday to watch us attempt to conquer this map live. This is a perfect opportunity for those who have signed up to see what they are getting into and probably pick up some tips and tricks along the way.
Creations of the Week
Here are this week’s Dungeon Defenders Steam code winners! Winners, we’ll be in touch, but it would really help us A LOT if you would just email us with a link to your Steam profile page. Want to win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of your choice? Send your amazing videos, screenshots, fan art and other Dungeon Defenders creations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.
Courtesy of 22storm22
Courtesy of 1shark1
Courtesy of Toadeh
Courtesy of Honz
Courtesy of mjlin86
Previously on Dungeon Defenders
Meet the Trendy Team: Steven Collins
— In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Level Designer Steven Collins about what he does at Trendy, his insight on level design and the value of practice.
Community Member of the Week: Selah — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we selected Selah for her dedication to Dungeon Defenders, running events and most importantly, bacon!
Trendy Friday Fun: 1/18/13 — This past Friday, we had a special guest with us, Senior Gameplay Designer Skott Chatten, while we battled enemies on Mystywind Falls Night.
Tomorrow we will test the famous Fuf chair with our PS3 fans, but I would like to remind our 360 fans that your Trendy Console XP Event is next week. There is still time to sign up for it, which you can do in this thread. Sign-ups will close soon, so hurry up! If you plan on signing up for the 360 XP Event, make sure to leave your name, Gamertag and what time (in EST please) you’ll be available between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m in the sign-up thread.
Until next time,
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