DunDef Digest 2/6/13

Day 6: I have tried to read the words on the pages over and over, but they may as well have been written in a foreign language. How do I decode the information in front of me? I know I have all the tools needed to accomplish my task, but I should have known from the beginning to ask someone with more expertise and knowledge. I look down at the table in front of me and all I can see is a recipe for disaster. Well, more like a recipe for double chocolate brownies…

Day 7: With my failed attempt to bribe the devs with baked goods, I had to think of something else. That’s when Hitmonchan told me, “Just ask someone from the dev team.” Surely one of them would help me figure out the contents of the folder I “borrowed” last week. I confronted Senior Gameplay Designer Skott Chatten with the information I had in my hands, and he agreed to help.

Valentine’s Day DLC

Roses are red
Violets are blue
We’ve got surprises
waiting for you.

In the Dungeon Defenders universe, love is in the air. Everyone in Etheria can’t help but to breathe in the heart-filled and loving atmosphere. Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day draws near, or maybe it’s the side effect of the lingering pink fumes from the Alchemical Labs accident last week. As a result, we are releasing a very special piece of DLC.

To learn more, I sat down with Skott Chatten to get as much information about this map as I could.

Is this Sky O’ Love 2.0? Are we going to pair mobs together to make sweet, beautiful mob children?

Skott: Quite the opposite actually. Last year, our heroes came to the conclusion that it wasn’t very productive to encourage mobs to mate on Valentine’s Day. Namely because they’ve been having to clean up the mess they made playing matchmaker in every other place they’ve visited since.

How did you guys go about creating the new map?

Skott: Actually it was a group effort. I sat down with members of our community (Hitmonchan and Laurawantsacow), our tech (IceArrow), and our balance teams, and we all put our heads together to come up with what we felt was a game mode that was suitable for the holiday and would be really fun to play. So we developed a map that satisfied us — one that was all about preventing pairs from occurring instead of creating them.

What was the inspiration for this challenge?

Skott: So I just wanna go on the record as saying that I was just another gamer in the Dungeon Defenders™ community (doing some volunteer beta testing) back when Sky O’ Love came out. I’m gonna be as kind as I possibly can be here. I was not a very big fan of the map. I was so frustrated having to unite these reluctant lovers trying to get the map rewards that rage quitting after an hour and a half of gameplay was not uncommon. This new game mode is tailored to give players who have experienced this same kind of frustration the very needed payoff they deserve.

How hard is this challenge?

Skott: I’m not gonna lie, it’s tough. It starts pretty reasonable, but a few of the wave spawners were tweaked such that it keeps the map interesting and challenging. You really need to stay on top of managing defenses and having solid map awareness during the regular waves. Additionally, the boss this year is twice as hard as last year.

Has this challenge changed since the original concept?

Skott: Only slightly, and mostly from a technical implementation side. Some new code needed to be generated so that the game mode would work properly. Aside from that, we have been pretty good about sticking to the initial design for the map/mode.

Did you incorporate community feedback when thinking of gameplay ideas?

Skott: Of course we try when we can. With regard to this challenge, it was a significant goal of mine to make absolutely certain that this game mode have a better reception than last year. Additionally, while I do admit that the challenge is hard, a player should never feel burdened playing this game mode. It’s a lot of fun.

What were some of the problems you encountered when designing this challenge?

Skott: Limited resources. The hardest part about the entire process was answering the question, “How can we manipulate existing functionality in a way that makes sense for the holiday, that will create a fresh and rewarding gameplay experience for the player without reinventing the wheel?”

Do you have any fun bugs from testing you’d like to share?

Skott: At the moment only ran into some interesting collision issues with the bosses, but as we’ll be remotely beta testing some of this content prior to its official launch, I expect more issues will crop up.

Are there any surprises you’d like to share?

Skott: I wouldn’t say it’s a surprise, but I’ll just say that as long as these kinds of maps and game support continue to get a good reception from the player base, there’s a good chance that we’ll be able to continue providing new content. We’ll see how it goes, and play it by ear.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about this challenge?

Skott: Beware the Dark Elf Warrior wave! GLHF

This map already sounds exciting. I can’t wait to sit down with Hitmonchan and give a very special sneak peek of it on…

Trendy Friday Fun: Valentine’s Day DLC Sneak Peek

We’re showing off the new Valentine’s Day DLC a week before it goes live! Get an exclusive first look at this new map and challenge this Friday on our Twitch channel. Special guest Skott Chatten will be joining us to talk about the map and to answer viewer questions. Of course, we’ll be giving away a handful of Steam codes throughout the one-hour show. The sneak peek will run from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Follow the channel to be notified the moment we go live. Don’t miss out!

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 contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


Courtesy of Fictorious


Courtesy of That guy


Courtesy of M70122


Courtesy of GermanSaDo.


Courtesy of Honzo

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Meet the Trendy Team: Eduardo Lev Guerra — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Engineer Eduardo Lev Guerra about what he does at Trendy, what it means to be a generalist and tips on programming.

Community Member of the Week: Shane “DarkPython” Garner — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose Shane “DarkPython” Garner for his dedication to Dungeon Defenders, his love of livestreaming and the special place in his heart for fanmade DarkPython memes!

Trendy Friday Fun: Endless Boss Rush — This past Friday, we played Endless Boss Rush made by map maker Mischief. This map is designed to test your courage and strength. You must try to survive as many waves of enemies that only get stronger and stronger. How many waves can we survive? Well, you’ll have to watch and see.

We’ll have more about the rewards and map next week so stay tuned. We love you long time!

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

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