News


Tinkerer’s Lab DLC Available Now on Steam

June 12th, 2013 by

The Dungeon Defenders Tinkerer’s Lab DLC is now available for you to download on Steam! This Etherian factory has been over run by the Etheria’s enemies and it’s up to our heroes to stop them. These dark forces had more than chaos on their minds. They came here with an evil plan to enhance their numbers, and turn allies into foes.

This DLC comes with an exciting new set of costumes and new weapons for you to acquire. Want to find out what they are? Hop on to steam, follow this link and click Add to Cart. Don’t worry about the cost because it will be free for the first 2 weeks.

We will also be playing this map on this week’s Trendy Friday Fun Livestream! Download it and join us online this Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. E.D.T.

Discuss the DLC here!


Dungeon Defenders Map Contest 3 Update and Livestream

May 9th, 2013 by

You guys have a little more than a month to enter our third Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. Show us your creative side and build the map you’ve always wanted to play. Oh, that map is already in our game? Well then, build the map your best friend has always wanted to play if that’s what will inspire you.

So far we have a few participants who are eager to win our grand prize of $1,000 and have their maps featured on our Ranked mode. You can view some of these map entries in this thread. Second place will receive $500, third place will receive $250, and the fourth-place winner will receive $125. To top it off, quality maps uploaded for the contest will receive instant beta access to our next game the moment they are uploaded!

We’re showing off the first Map Contest entry tomorrow on our Trendy Friday Fun livestream. Community mapmaker Nexus will run us through his contest entry, Brookrift Keep.

Join @iamisom, @darkpython98 and @laurawantsacow for this special one-hour livestream. The event will run from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, and we’ll drop Dungeon Defenders II beta codes in the chat.

The last day to enter our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest is June 15, so hurry up! If you are interested but don’t know the rules, you can find them here.


New DLC Reveal on Trendy Friday Fun

April 23rd, 2013 by

Want to see the next DLC?

Join us on Trendy Friday Fun as we showcase our brand-new Dungeon Defenders map! All details will be revealed. Broadcasters @iamisom, @darkpython98 and @laurawantsacow will be joined by a special guest who will answer your questions. Who will it be? You’ll have to watch the show to find out!

This special one-hour livestream will run from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT this Friday. As always, we’ll drop Dungeon Defenders II beta codes in the chat. Be sure to register for a Twitch account and follow the channel for your chance to win!

See you then!


Dungeon Defenders Linux Available on Steam

March 26th, 2013 by


Click the image to grab your Linux Steam copy!

Due to popular demand, the Linux port of Dungeon Defenders is now available on Steam! In a strange and completely unrelated coincidence, Dungeon Defenders and all DLC are 75 percent off on Steam from now until tomorrow. Weird, right?

The Linux port is cross-platform on Steam with the PC and Mac versions of the game. Be sure to pick up the game and let us know what you think!


DunDef Digest 3/13/13

March 13th, 2013 by

Hey guys. I bet you want to know what that picture is. Well look at it, then look at my words, now back at the picture, and now back at my words. Sadly, I haven’t described what it is yet, but if you stopped looking at it and gave me 100% of your attention, you might find out. Now look down, back up, where are you? You’re in front of a computer and have pants on. Wait, what’s in your hand? Now look back at my words. I have it, it’s a cookie whose name contains a letter with a clue as to what the picture is. Look again, that clue has become a question. Anything is possible when I accidentally take Nyquil instead of Dayquil. I’m on a chair.

Oh you wanted to know more about this picture? Well…

Secret Rumors

There’s something happening in Etheria. My underground sources have been telling me about a persistent rumor floating around town and were only able to snap the picture above. After seeing it, I just HAD to investigate. I strapped on a tiny camera on my trusty hamster, Speedy, and told him, “Squeak, squeak, squeakitty, squeak!” (I would translate that, but who in this day and age DOESN’T speak hamster?) It was supposed to be a simple in-and-out mission, but after a few hours, I got worried. Just as I was about to send in a rescue team, Speedy returns all bruised and hurt. As I nurse his wounds, I find that I can only recover one complete picture…

I’ll work on getting the rest of Speedy’s digital bounty. Speaking of maps…

Dungeon Defenders Map Contest 3

Our community asked for it, and we are more than happy to oblige. We are holding our third Dungeon Defenders Map Contest! You can win up to $1,000 and have your map added to our Ranked mode. Quality maps uploaded for the contest will receive instant beta access to our next game the moment they are uploaded!

The contest will run from now until June 15. If you are interested in participating, you can find the rules and a few handy tips here. Campaign/challenge/PvP maps are encouraged.

Who will follow in the awesome footsteps of Palantir and Akatiti!? We can’t wait to find out.

Community Meetup at PAX East 2013

What’s better than checking out the cool stuff at PAX East and collecting all that sweet swag? Getting to do that AND meeting some of the people who work at Trendy! We’re hosting an official Dungeon Defenders community meetup on Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. EST. You’ll get to meet and greet with Trendy developers, designers, your fellow Dungeon Defenders fans and, best of all, your super-awesome, totally cool community managers! We’re providing delicious food and drinks!

Interested in attending? Email josh.isom@trendyent.com. Space is limited, so be sure to email us ASAP!

March Community XP Event for 360 and PS3

We are gearing up for this month’s Community XP Events, and we’re going to do things a little differently this time around. We will not be able to run any on March 21 due to PAX, but that does not mean that our PS3 fans are going to miss out on this month’s fun. Instead of eliminating the PS3 event, we’ll just move it to Thursday, March 28, while the 360 event will take place on Wednesday, March 27. Both events will run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.

If you are interested in participating, all you have to do is comment in this PS3 XP Event thread with your name, PSN ID and what time of the day you will be online (in EDT please!), or in this 360 XP Event thread with your name, Gamertag and what time of the day you will be online. (Again, in EST please!) Use this converter to convert EDT to your local time zone. Signing up does not guarantee entry. We’ll post the final list on a Google doc that we’ll create the day before the event.

Participants will receive 50 million XP! Plus, you’ll get one-on-one time with members of the community team. Don’t forget to vote on which map and modifier you would like to play with. We have added two new modifiers: Benedict Arnold (Trendy hosts will randomly sell any defense. Idea courtesy of Damocles!) and High Gravity (Players can’t jump as high. Idea courtesy of UnarmedReaper07!) You can vote here. Voting ends this Monday, March 18, so hurry up!

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 captboxershorts


Courtesy of Daodima


Courtesy of Dr Batman PhD


Courtesy of Shatter830


Courtesy of Uzu

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Trendy Friday Fun: Returnia Shards Sponsored Event — This past Friday, Hitmonchan played on the third Returnia Shards Sponsored Event map: Return to Aquanos. We had DarkPython join us in the livestream, but sadly, Laura was unable to join thanks to some Grav-o-tron 3000 technical difficulties.

Have you ever gotten that feeling like you’re forgetting something? That’s how I feel right now. I have tried to do everything possible in order to remember what I’m forgetting. I have walked around the office, taken a nap on the fuf chair and raided the fridge. I guess I’ll remember by next week. See you then!

…Oh wait, I remember, it’s….

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


DunDef Digest 3/6/13

March 6th, 2013 by

Sometimes the most comfortable and restful sleep you will ever get is in front of your computer screen, on top of the keyboard. This is one of the most important things that I learned from college, along with the fact that if you don’t sleep for a long time, you begin to hallucinate, and that once you place a rubber duck in the bathtub with you they have some of the most beautiful opera voices. Here in the office, the nights are long and the garbage cans are overflowing with energy drinks, empty snack bags and coffee cups.

In the end, we do it all for you guys. There is more work to do then there are hours in the day. Hitmonchan and I are committed to giving you guys all the help and attention you deserve along with managing all the things that go into this new game. Some of you guys are probably wondering what shenanigans and surprises Hitmonchan and I are working on. Well, I can tell you that we’ve been sleep deprived in part due to …

Forum Update Coming

At the beginning of the week, Hitmonchan announced that, “The forums, they are a-changin.” We have been spending countless nights figuring out how to change the forums to provide a richer experience for existing users, to provide visual clarity and to encourage new users to register and participate without having you guys pick up your pitchforks. So far, the responses have been positive, but we would like to hear from more members of the community. You can find the list of changes here. If there is something you like or don’t like, let us know by posting a comment telling us why.

In order to switch to the new style, we have to shut down the forums for a bit. We will be sure to let all of you know a few days ahead of time when this will happen to give you guys times to plan accordingly. Once everything is set, we will announce the forums are operational on our Dungeon Defenders Facebook Page and our Official Twitter.

Would you like to beta test our next game?

It just so happens we are looking for testers! Fill out this survery for a chance to be a beta tester. If chosen, you will be asked to sign a standard NDA and then given a Beta key. We are looking for people who are willing to put some time into testing and who can clearly describe any bugs that they encounter.

Returnia Shards: Return to Aquanos

After fighting in the harsh desert heat, you’re left craving the one thing that the dry landscape barely provides — water. Whether it’s a cruel twist of fate, or the work of spiteful Djinns, your journey now takes you into the very depths of the ocean. You are returning to Aquanos, and your demise might be the very element you craved so dearly.

Sign up for the Returnia Shards events by Friday, 11:59 p.m. EST in this thread if you would like to participate. These events will be on Open, and you will have to subscribe to the map once it is made available on our Steam Workshop in order to play. The map will be available to download on Friday at 6 p.m. EST right after we play through it on this week’s Trendy Friday Fun.

The Humble Bundle with Android 5


Click the banner to grab a Humble Bundle!

We are once again proud to be part of the Humble Bundle. This new bundle also comes with an amazing surprise for those fans who longed to have Dungeon Defenders in the palm of their hand. As some of you have noticed, due to server hosting costs, we had to remove Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave from the Google Play store. Thankfully, the great people over at the Humble Bundle offered to rehost the game and now, if you buy the bundle, you can have access to it! At the moment, the in-app purchases for Second Wave do not work. Please do not try to purchase mana from the shop.

Looking for some other amazing games to carry around with you on your phone? Super Hexagon, Beat Hazard Ultra, Dynamite Jack, Solar 2 and NightSky HD are also included in the Bundle. As usual with Humble Bundles, official soundtracks from some of the games (including Dungeon Defenders) are also in the bundle. Listen to the sweet sounds of Aquanos in pristine FLAC format or the ever-dependable MP3 format.

Pay more than the average price to get Dungeon Defenders on PC, Mac, Linux and Android. All Dungeon Defenders DLC to date comes with every bundle. (That’s a $50 value!) The best part is that upon purchasing, you get to choose where your money goes. You can split it between the developers, charity (Child’s Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and the Humble Bundle team, or you can send it all to one place. Get some amazing games and feel good knowing that your money goes where YOU want it to go.

Click here to head to the Humble Bundle site to grab a bundle!

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 Dani


Courtesy of Julldar


Courtesy of Reba


Courtesy of AppleJackie Chan

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Community Member of the Week: Mischief — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose Mischief for his dedication to Dungeon Defenders, his Mario Kart Wii skillz and OGRE MINIONS!

Trendy Friday Fun: Returnia Shards Sponsored Event — This past Friday, we played on the second Returnia Shards Sponsored Event map; Return to Morrago. We had DarkPython and Michief join us in the livestream, with Mischief guiding us through the map.

As I sip on my cup of coffee and look lovingly at the fuf chair in the office, I can’t help but to wonder if I should tell you just a little bit more. After all, one of the devs DID just enter my room and dropped some interesting news. Oh well…

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


Grab Dungeon Defenders Android/PC/Mac/Linux in Humble Bundle with Android 5

March 5th, 2013 by


Click the banner to grab a Humble Bundle!

Once again, Trendy Entertainment has partnered up with the Humble Bundle team!

Pay more than the average price to get Dungeon Defenders on PC, Mac, Linux and Android. All Dungeon Defenders DLC to date comes with every bundle. (That’s a $50 value!)

Last year, we removed Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave from the Google Play Store due to server hosting costs. The Humble crew contacted us and graciously offered to rehost our old Android game, Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave. If you want to always have access to Dungeon Defenders on your Android device, grab a bundle! At the moment, the in-app purchases for Second Wave do not work. Please do not try to purchase mana from the shop.

Also included in the bundle are some amazing mobile games: Super Hexagon, Beat Hazard Ultra, Dynamite Jack, Solar 2 and NightSky HD. As usual with Humble Bundles, official soundtracks from some of the games (including Dungeon Defenders) are included in the bundle. Listen to the sweet sounds of Aquanos in pristine FLAC format or the ever-dependable MP3 format.

Upon purchasing, you get to choose where your money goes. You can split it between the developers, charity (Child’s Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and the Humble Bundle team, or you can send it all to one place. The choice is up to you.

Click here to head to the Humble Bundle site to grab a bundle!


DunDef Digest 2/27/13

February 27th, 2013 by

Trendy loves to celebrate birthdays. I think it might be the promise of cake or the promise of ice cream cake, but we get in a festive mood. February may be the shortest month in the year, but it was full of sugary birthday goodness and a strong desire to break some hearts. I personally think I look just as good in a top hat as I do stuffing my face with cake.

As I look forward into March, taking note of how convenient it is to sit right across from a giant calender, I smile at all the Trendy goodness we have in store for you guys. The winds of change are coming. Spring is around the corner. The days of frigid 60 degree weather are almost over. We can only hope you like what we have in store for you, and if you don’t, I’m blaming it on Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow this year. But for now, I’ll finish up the month in style with our…

Dungeon Defenders February Community XP Event for 360

Last week’s PS3 community event was a rousing success. We’re looking forward to what the 360 community has in store. We’ll be playing Low Gravity in the Alchemical Laboratory tomorrow, Feb. 28. The repairmen are almost done fixing the Grav-o-tron 3000, so we only have a limited amount of time before these labs return to normal gravity.

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.

All participants will receive 50 million XP! Plus, you’ll get one-on-one time with members of the community team. Have a burning question you’ve always wanted to ask? Ask us at the event. If you don’t have a question, feel free to talk or sing about anything. We have more fun when we know that you guys are having a blast.

Signing up does not guarantee entry. Hope to see you guys there!

Dungeon Defenders Map Contest Results

Last week, we asked if you wanted another Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. The people voted in our official poll, and the results are in.

A whopping 97% of you guys voted yes and would like to see us do another Map Contest.

You guys asked and we shall deliver. Of course, here at Trendy, we like to make things bigger, better and less explode-y. We plan on making some changes to the rules and rewards. This means we won’t officially begin the contest until later, but not too much later.

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 Agent Getzu


Courtesy of Stefneh


Courtesy of Ика


Courtesy of KEV1N


Courtesy of Christopher I.

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Community Member of the week: KeenJammin — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose “KeenJammin” for his dedication to Dungeon Defenders, how playing online with friends makes everything better and how Dungeon Defenders changed his view of tower defense games

Meet the Trendy Team: Aleasha Ford — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with 3D Artist Aleasha Ford about what she does at Trendy, adapting to different workflows, and her love of art.

Trendy Friday Fun: Returnia Shards Sponsored Event — This past Friday, we played on the new Returnia Shards Sponsored Event map; Return to Mistymire. We had various PC event hosts join us in tackling this event with us. PC Event Host and map maker Mischief was also on hand to answer all your questions.

As mentioned above, we have a lot of neat stuff planned for you guys this coming month so stay tuned to find out what they are!

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


DunDef Digest 2/20/13

February 20th, 2013 by

One of the mottos I live by is, “All work and no play makes Homer something something.” He eventually becomes crazy and I took that lesson to heart.

I don’t know who set this trap, but I love you. Everyone is working their butts off for hours and hours. It’s nice to see that every once in a while, we can put things aside and pull off some unexpected shenanigans.

After all, it’s not like we spend all day playing Dungeon Defenders…

Dungeon Defenders February Community XP Event for 360 and PS3

Tomorrow is the February Community XP Event for PS3 fans. This month, the winning map and modifier was:

Low Gravity in the Alchemical Laboratory!

We’ve had a large number of participants sign up. 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. Have a burning question you’ve always wanted to ask? Ask us at the event. If you don’t have a question, feel free to talk or sing about anything. We have more fun when we know that you guys are having a blast.

360 fans will get to play with us next week so don’t forget to go to this sign-up thread to enter the event.

Signing up does not guarantee entry. Hope to see you guys there!

Meet the Trendy Team: Javier Eduardo Barreto

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Senior Gameplay Programmer Javier Eduardo Barreto about what he does at Trendy, what the minimum cups of coffee required for work are and his background.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Javier: Who am I? This is a tough one. Javier is my name. Everybody calls me Javo; or at least they used to do back in Argentina. Now it’s Javier, and it sounds weird. (Not sure that is because of the pronunciation or just that it is not Javo.)

Married male, 31 years, 1.75m, 74kg. Programmer … gameplay programmer.

I like all sorts of videogames, not only FPSs, I’m playing a really old school game called Legends of Grimrock (a Lands of Lore inspired game).

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Javier: Nope, it is actually my third. I started making mobile games in J2Me a while ago. 2004, I believe.

There was no iPhone back then, so you can imagine what kind of games I was making, although some of them were quite fun. I’ve even got the chance to work in a Zelda-like game!

After that I leveled up to PC game making on NGDStudios. My first job was an unpublished football game in 14mb. It was an incredible experience with one of the most talented teams I’ve ever worked with. It’s a pity it never got published.

And after that, I worked on Realms Online adding scripted AI, point-and-click control (that nobody uses), some quests and well a few other things.

Finally, I’ve (we) got the chance to make our own game. While working on Realms Online, some friends and I started working on our own project: a third person shooter called Bunch of Heroes that eventually got published by NGDStudios. They liked it, and after a few meetings we decided to finish it with NGDStudios resources and time…. TIME.

What drew you to Trendy?

Javier: We were working on a UDK game and having problems with matchmaking. We needed to contact someone who had solved that very same problem using UDK. So I went through my list of games Steam looking for a game developed in UDK (we had already posted enough questions on the Unreal Forum), and there it was … Dungeon Defenders. So I Googled it and that took me to Trendy’s page.

I was surfing through the page looking for contact information trying to find some friendly tech contact that could point us to a solution to our problem. I had no clue as to what I was going to ask for nor if I was actually going to do it. But then I found something that I wasn’t looking for; “we are hiring”; that is still there….

Bottom line: I never asked Trendy about our problem, I sent them my resume instead and here I am. =)

Read the rest of the interview here!

Dungeon Defenders Map Contest

Earlier this week, xytech, one of our forum members, started a poll to see how interested the community was in another map contest. The response from the community was amazing, and we couldn’t be happier. Hitmonchan and I are always looking for ways to showcase how awesome you guys are, and a map contest is just the thing.

We have started an official Trendy poll on our forums asking the community if you want another Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. You can vote here and leave us a comment!

Sponsored PC Event This Weekend

We received word from Dredd that the PC event hosts are secretly working on something new for this weekend. They have already put up a new sign-up thread here in the forums, but they have been vague as to what people can expect. I spoke to Dredd who would only say this:

“After a much-needed break, the PC Events are firing back up! Are you ready to revisit the Eternia Shards? This event will focus on a much more difficult version of Mistymire.”

This is all I could get from him, but those who are curious can see us running the event on…

Trendy Friday Fun: Returnia Shards Sponsored Event

Tune in when Hitmonchan and I try to conquer the new PC event challenge on Trendy Friday Fun. The show runs from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Follow the channel to join in the fun the moment we go live!

We will also be giving away Steam codes for the game and for any piece of DLC to date in the chat every 10 minutes. All you need to do is log in to Twitch, follow the channel and say something once every 10 minutes to be entered in the giveaway. It’s that easy.

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 Juan G.


Courtesy of Robin M.


Courtesy of Adam B.


Courtesy of Gregor F.


Courtesy of Necroo

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Community Member of the Week: “CrzyRndm” — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose “CrzyRndm” for his dedication to Dungeon Defenders and his love of a good challenge.

Trendy Friday Fun: Temple O’ Love — This past Friday, we played our newest DLC, Temple O’ Love with some fans. We also had a special guest, Level Designer Steven Collins, there to answer your questions and to explain a little bit more about what went into making the map.

It’s been a while since we’ve done this, but we are giving away 10 Dungeon Defenders Steam Codes. All you have to do is post a comment in the discussion thread and you will automatically be entered to win. Check out next week’s digest to see the winners!

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here! (Don’t forget to post a comment for your chance to win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of your choice!)


Temple O’ Love DLC Available Now on Steam

February 14th, 2013 by


Click the banner to download the new DLC!

The Dungeon Defenders Temple O’ Love DLC is now available for you to download on Steam! This DLC will be free for two weeks, so get it while you can. To make sure that it is yours forever, follow this link and click Add to Cart. This DLC comes with a new challenge map, a new Ranger Tuxedo costume and lovely new accessories for those willing to break some hearts. You can find details on the challenge here and details on the map and the rewards here.

Download the map now so you can join us in our Trendy Friday Fun livestream tomorrow. If you want to see a walkthrough of the map, watch last week’s special Trendy Friday Fun sneak peek.

Discuss the DLC here!


DunDef Digest 2/13/13

February 13th, 2013 by

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! I love this holiday. It’s not the hearts, the flowers or the happy, loving couples walking about that I love. I love this holiday because the moment it’s over, unsold heart-shaped candies and chocolates are on sale for half off. They say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and that, boys and girls, is why I “heart” Valentine’s Day!

Our fans have another reason to be happy. Tomorrow, we are releasing our amazing new Valentine’s Day map, Temple O’ Love, along with a few goodies.

Temple O’ Love

Come one, come all. Step up ladies and gentlemen, and see if you have what it takes to keep Etheria’s enemies from falling in love. Accomplish your mission, and you can win either this lovely bow or this very dapper top hat. Those who manage to get the achievement also get the new, very suave Ranger costume seen above. So get ready to break some hearts, kick butt, and most of all, suit up!

It also helps if you know a little more about what you’re getting into. Last week we interviewed Skott about gameplay. This week, we sat down to talk to Level Designer Steven Collins about the map itself.

Can you describe the overall layout of Temple O’ Love?

Steven: The layout consists of a female side and a male side. The initial idea was to create a symmetrical map. After some consideration, we wanted to create a more chaotic layout that sort of “masked” the easier defendable areas.

What was your inspiration, visually and creatively, for the map?

Steven: Being a follow-up to Sky O’ Love, we wanted to keep the similar Roman architecture theme but avoid the unclear fiasco of being inside clouds. So we decided a sort of Roman courtyard surrounded by those clouds would be a suitable place to deny love.

Were there any specific guidelines, like the number of players or forge placement, that you had to use?

Steven: We wanted this map to be a smaller map in order to make things a little more challenging. The smaller layout made it more difficult to keep the enemies apart.

What was your favorite moment in making this map?

Steven: I think creating the secret located in this map was my favorite. ;) It is one of the few times the level designer can really create something interesting and personal for the player to interact with outside the confines of gameplay.

Has there been any major changes to the map since you first started?

Steven: As I said before, the initial layout was going to be symmetrical. The gameplay felt too generic and easy to defend since the best defensible areas were sort of pointed out. So the major change to this map was definitely the layout switch.

Were there any challenges or problems that occurred when you were working on this map?

Steven: One of the major challenges to creating this map was that it was a brand new gametype. So creating a map that flows well without any prerequisite of what works and what doesn’t work was a real obstacle.

Is there anything else you would like to add regarding this challenge map?

Steven: Don’t be afraid of this map. It is the exact opposite of Sky O’ Love…

This DLC is going to be free for two weeks, so get it soon before time runs out! We’re just spreading the love around and no amount of penicillin is going to keep us from spreading it to our other fans as well. Yup, looking at you console fans, because…

February Community XP Events

It’s almost time to jump on the PS3 and 360 to play Dungeon Defenders with you guys. First, you have to go to this survey and chose which modifier and map you’d like to play. Voting ends on Monday, Feb. 18, and we’ll reveal the winning map modifier that Tuesday on the website.

You must sign up on the forums to play. PS3 players sign up here, while 360 players sign up here. We will put your PSN IDs and XBL Gamertags in a Google Doc the day before the event begins. The PS3 Community XP Event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 21, and the 360 one will take place on Thursday, Feb. 28. Both of these events run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

When you sign up, please write down your name, your PSN ID/Gamertag and what time of the day (in EST please) that you will be available to play. We had a lot of fun making in rain Ogres in The Deeper Well last month, and we look forward to seeing what you will choose this time!

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 thebamboobear


Courtesy of NOMOREDEADCOPS


Courtesy of DanielSound


Courtesy of OXIDADO PARTY


Courtesy of Demonseye

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Community Member of the Week: Daniel “Sound” Nascimento — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose Daniel “Sound” Nascimento for his dedication to Dungeon Defenders, his creativity and his amazing art/3D animation skills. *Not mentioned, his love of Speedos.*

Trendy Friday Fun: Valentine’s Day DLC Sneak Peek — This past Friday, we broke a few hearts as we gave fans an exclusive look at our newest DLC.

Whether you are in the company of a loved one or, like me, in the company of some cookies and ice cream, we hope that tomorrow brings a smile to your face. But then again, free and fun DLC will do that. For our console fans, don’t forget to keep an eye out next week to find out what map and modifier won. <3

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


DunDef Digest 2/6/13

February 6th, 2013 by

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…

Discuss this Digest here!


Meet the Trendy Team: Eduardo Lev Guerra

February 5th, 2013 by

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.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Hi! My name is Eduardo Lev Guerra. I’m a software engineer from Costa Rica and started at Trendy last September after obtaining my Master’s in Interactive Technology from the Guildhall at SMU. My position at Trendy is engineer. More specifically, I’m a generalist programmer, mostly dealing with all sorts of engine-related tasks.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Indeed!

What drew you to Trendy?

I was initially approached by Trendy’s development director a few months after graduating from the Guildhall, which led me to interview and meet the team. Trendy has a hugely capable team of engineers working on some very interesting challenges right now. The atmosphere of the company felt very dynamic, and I thought that I would have many opportunities to do high-end, challenging programming here.

When and how did you decide to pursue being an engineer?

I’ve been fascinated by gadgets since before I can remember, and by computers specifically since my uncle gave me his old Commodore 64 when I was a little boy. I didn’t have any software for it, so all I could do was type in commands into this blinking text prompt on my TV. I’m pretty sure that counts as the first programming I did, even if the extent of it was changing the color of the screen.

As far as making games, I’ve known I wanted to make games ever since I was a teenager. There wasn’t really any doubt in my mind that I would program games for a living. That was the main driving intent behind getting my undergrad in software engineering, and my master’s degree immediately afterwards.

What’s your daily routine?

After waking up and getting ready (and optionally getting extremely distracted by our cat), I bike to work fairly late in the morning. At work, I generally have a long-term background task, but day-to-day tasks and bug fixing tend to take higher priority. I usually work a lot with other departments, since it’s my job to add, fix or improve engine functionality and relevant tools.

How has your work developed over the years?

I mostly work in C++, and over the years have come to realize the immense value of proper object-oriented design and execution. That and general programming good practices (such as proper variable and function naming, encapsulation and separation of concerns) are much more important than cleverness or low-level optimization in the great majority of the code I write. If I can read and understand my code a year later, I’ve done a good job.

What are some of the bigger challenges that you face?

As a generalist, I’m often required to “live” right between gameplay script and native engine code. That intermediate area makes debugging a little awkward. Another big challenge is tracking down and fixing old bugs in a very large and complex codebase, particularly when reproducing them is unreliable or restricted to an environment where debugging tools aren’t readily available.

What do you love the most about your job?

Working deep in the guts of the Unreal Engine is an endless learning experience. It’s even better when surrounded by other engineers who know their way around the codebase backwards and forwards. I’ve had opportunities to work on an extremely broad range of tasks, from input to graphics, streaming, audio, pathfinding, you name it.

I also really enjoy being able to add significant new functionality to this massive codebase, and have it be appreciated by other people — be it engineers, artists or designers — on the team.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

As I mentioned before, there are usually a large number of small, high-priority tasks and bug fixes that take precedence over the larger, more complex implementation tasks. Sometimes I wish I had more uninterrupted time to work on the long-term stuff, since it tends to be more interesting.

What are your top five favorite games?

That is by far the hardest question. I’m a big fan of open-world games, and Morrowind was one of the first games of that type I played, so it holds a special place in my heart. The Elder Scrolls series in general is pretty great. I also enjoy combat flight sims, so I have to give the DCS series a shoutout. Currently I play a lot of PlanetSide 2 — a dream I thought would never come, even if needs a lot of work yet. I used to be a huge Final Fantasy junkie (I played XI for the better part of five years), but I can’t say I am anymore. Super Mario World was probably my first real addiction, and I like to replay it every few years.

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

I’ve played piano for most of my life, and I’m about to start flying lessons.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve been happily married for almost two years and have been together with my wife for almost nine, since we were both in high school back in Costa Rica.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

Make some games. It doesn’t matter how small. Make a Pong clone, or tic-tac-toe, then find an easy framework to use (XNA is a good start) and make something a little fancier. Take them all from start to finish, and don’t get too ambitious. For this, the journey is the entire point — the final product is mostly irrelevant.

For programmers specifically, I’d recommend not to underestimate the importance of a proper background in software engineering, even if you don’t get a degree in it. Being able to hack your way to a complete game is a great testament to your perseverance and talent, but maintainability and code quality are much more important in a team environment.

Discuss this post here!


DunDef Digest 1/30/13

January 30th, 2013 by

Making my way down the hall, I have never been so glad to be tiny and light. My footsteps barely make a sound. I hear the tapping of keys on keyboards as I pass the dev room. Did they see me? They couldn’t have. You can’t hear ninjas. I press up against the wall to look over the corner and see if the coast is clear. There was no one in the hall. Just the faint noise of someone in the art room singing badly. I thank lady luck that the only people who can catch me are distracted. I swiftly make my way to my target as my heart starts to beat faster. Within the blink of an eye, I was in the room and in front of the computer. Suddenly I hear the owner of the computer talking. He’s nearby making small talk, but that won’t last long. I need something, ANYTHING, to take with me. I copy a folder from his computer before I sneak out and hide around the corner just as he makes his way back into the room.

So far I can only access one picture on the folder and the phrase, “It’s almost time to break some hearts.” I wonder what that could mean. There’s not time to think about that now. I have to prep for tomorrow.

360 Dungeon Defenders January XP event

Tomorrow, 360 fans will get the chance to go mano-a-mano against all the Ogres we can possibly rain on them. The Deeper Well will not be the same after I’m through with it! 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. We had a lot of fun with the PSN players last week, and we hope to do the same this week. The biggest thing 360 fans have to remember, and what PSN fans quickly learned, is that my Ogres follow nobody’s rules!

Meet the Trendy Team: Ben Greene

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Art Director Ben Greene about what he does at Trendy, what drives him and his thoughts on creativity.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Ben: Hey, thanks for having me! My name is Ben Greene, and I am one of the art directors here at Trendy. I started as a lead concept artist and have been with the studio for about 2.5 years now. I’ve helped in varying capacities on many different projects since I’ve been here and have gotten the chance to work with a number of amazingly talented people along the way.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Ben: Before joining Trendy, I worked with a few other studios on their projects , some that launched and many that never will. That’s just how it goes though!

To be in a leadership role like I am (even if I got here sooner than expected), it requires some amount of previous experience. Without that previous experience I would not understand what a good leader looks like in this industry. It makes all the difference.

What drew you to Trendy?

Ben: Trendy offered a cool opportunity. They had some cool projects that aligned with my interests, in fact those kinds of projects were a career goal at the time. I was introduced to Trendy through a former workmate (our lead level designer Ben Burkart), and Trendy happened to be looking for a lead concept artist to help out. I was talking with a couple of other studios at the time, but Trendy was the only one offering the project that I really wanted to be a part of!

When and how did you decide to pursue being an artist?

Ben: I’m not quite sure. I mean, art has kind of always just been my thing. When I was about four, I started making bad drawings of dragons, dinosaurs, alien cat beasts and so on. From that point on, I just kept drawing and quickly decided that being an astronaut, race-car driver or fireman was child’s play!

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

Ben: First it was mostly dinosaurs, then at about 8 I discovered superheroes and comics. In my early teens I got back into dinos and dragons (while still loving superheroes), and then, in my late teens, I started getting into more visually bizarre, psychological horror stuff like Silent Hill and the works of Brom. I mixed those themes with illustrations revolving around theology, emotion and storytelling. These days my inspiration comes from trying different themes, styles, storytelling, design exploration…whatever. I’d say all of those inspirations from my past still accent everything I do today.

Read the rest of the interview here!

Endless Boss Rush

I want to be the very best like no one ever was.
To beat them is my real test, to stop them is my cause.

Endless Boss Rush is one of the newest additions to our Dungeon Defenders Steam Workshop page. In it, you must face wave after wave of bosses, with enemies that only get harder and harder. There is no end to the number of enemies that come at you, but that’s not the point. The point is to try to survive as long as possible and take out as many of them as you can. Take down so many enemies that people would want to write odes and haikus in your honor. Do you have what it takes to take on the very worst enemies that Etheria has to offer? If you think you are a worthy opponent, then I suggest you subscribe to it on Steam Workshop and check it out for yourself.

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 1shark1


Courtesy of Squashatron


Courtesy of Nekro


Courtesy of wmarcin0


Courtesy of donCamillo

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Community Member of the Week: Daniel “Immortal D” — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we selected Daniel “Immortal D” his dedication to Dungeon Defenders, love of Highlander and Team Fortress 2!

Trendy Friday Fun: Realm of Polybius Part 2 — This past Friday, we had a special guest with us, PC Event Host Dredd, while we battled enemies on the new POLYBIUS Doomsday Event, the Realm of POLYBIUS: Part 2.

That’s all for this week. I will leave you all to ponder what the picture and the message means. I will do my part and find ways to learn more. No one can resist freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and brownies! Stay tuned for next week’s Digest where I’ll definitely have more information. See you there!

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


Meet the Trendy Team: Ben Greene

January 30th, 2013 by

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Art Director Ben Greene about what he does at Trendy, what drives him and his thoughts on creativity.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Hey, thanks for having me! My name is Ben Greene, and I am one of the art directors here at Trendy. I started as a lead concept artist and have been with the studio for about 2.5 years now. I’ve helped in varying capacities on many different projects since I’ve been here and have gotten the chance to work with a number of amazingly talented people along the way.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Before joining Trendy, I worked with a few other studios on their projects , some that launched and many that never will. That’s just how it goes though!

To be in a leadership role like I am (even if I got here sooner than expected), it requires some amount of previous experience. Without that previous experience I would not understand what a good leader looks like in this industry. It makes all the difference.

What drew you to Trendy?

Trendy offered a cool opportunity. They had some cool projects that aligned with my interests, in fact those kinds of projects were a career goal at the time. I was introduced to Trendy through a former workmate (our lead level designer Ben Burkart), and Trendy happened to be looking for a lead concept artist to help out. I was talking with a couple of other studios at the time, but Trendy was the only one offering the project that I really wanted to be a part of!

When and how did you decide to pursue being an artist?

I’m not quite sure. I mean, art has kind of always just been my thing. When I was about four, I started making bad drawings of dragons, dinosaurs, alien cat beasts and so on. From that point on, I just kept drawing and quickly decided that being an astronaut, race-car driver or fireman was child’s play!

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

First it was mostly dinosaurs, then at about 8 I discovered superheroes and comics. In my early teens I got back into dinos and dragons (while still loving superheroes), and then, in my late teens, I started getting into more visually bizarre, psychological horror stuff like Silent Hill and the works of Brom. I mixed those themes with illustrations revolving around theology, emotion and storytelling. These days my inspiration comes from trying different themes, styles, storytelling, design exploration…whatever. I’d say all of those inspirations from my past still accent everything I do today.

What’s your daily routine?

Haha, man, I can’t say that I have one, really. I get in and check my email, check in with my artists, and either start replying to emails, helping with visual development needs (concept art mostly) and trying to keep track of my head as more things pile on throughout the day. It gets crazy sometimes, heh. I like the business though, and it always feels good to get a solid day’s work in before heading home!

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I was once nominated for a British Sci-Fi Association award. I made it all the way to the finalist round, too. That was unexpected and cool. There have been other little things here and there, but nothing amazing has ever really happened that I can recall. Every artist wants to be known and make their mark. Sometimes it happens early on, and sometimes it happens later. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. I’d like to see something big happen with my work someday, but for now I’m just doing my thing and trying to make a living.

Do you have a favorite piece of artwork that you made?

A personal favorite of my own? That’s always a difficult question to answer. Most of the time I don’t care for my work a couple days, maybe even hours, after I complete something. All I can see are the problems with it. I also don’t have a lot of time for personal work, so most of the stuff I do I am not allowed to show off. I’ve included a couple of pieces with this interview (both personal and work done for clients) that I dig though.

Do you have any preferred subjects, and why?

Like I mentioned earlier, I really enjoy mixing elements of humor and the macabre, exploring abstract ideas, and telling a bit of a story. I tend to veer towards the fantasy and horror genres or alternate/parallel reality stories. There is just a lot of freedom of interpretation and visual design when you explore worlds like that. I can’t get enough of it!

How has your work developed over the years?

I think it has gotten more consistent. I explore fewer stylistic options as I have found what really does and doesn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I continue to push myself and explore and grow, but I am less unsure of how to approach an image than I was a few years ago. I think it should be noted that when I switched from an interest in working in comics to an interest in working in games, film and illustration, I thought I needed to drastically change my approach to art, my style, my thinking, when in fact, that hurt my art for a couple of years…maybe longer. I could have been where I am today a whole lot sooner if I’d been true to the foundation arts and drawing abilities I already knew. I’ve certainly learned a ton from personal study and practice since then, and because of learning those lessons the hard way, I have a better ability and passion to help younger artists move past those difficult and sometimes confusing hurdles more quickly. Sometimes all it takes is someone to point you in the right direction.

What do you like the most about your job?

I really enjoy design challenges. Like when gameplay needs a prop to function the same way in multiple environment settings, and we have to figure out how that might change the way the prop looks or animates. It’s like a visual puzzle, and it’s a fun challenge… or it can be after it’s solved, haha.

Besides that I enjoy the artists that I get to work with here. They are some of the best and most driven I have had the privilege to know.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

Well, let me take a look at the broader industry and comment on what I have experienced and am seeing/reading about (whether from friends or articles) and quickly comment on that.

There are a lot of creative, talented, driven individuals out there that are, sadly, experiencing the heavy hand of people under the influence of money fever. I think few people get into this industry because they want to become rich. This is a creative industry, most of us want to do just that, create. Most of us just want to make a living, and there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money, unless that becomes your goal and you lose sight of the creative industries beginnings… to explore, to discover, to create and to share for the enjoyment and delight of others.

Creative people (and if you are one then you probably already know this) thrive in creative environments. Companies need certain amounts of structure to guide the production of creative projects, but what we’ve been seeing a lot of is large, money-focused companies turning their “teams” into disgruntled, unappreciated logs for the money machine. Small, creative, money budgeting teams (team is an important word, too) have started rising from these ashes or as a result of a distaste for the lack of truly creative endeavors being pursued. We’re seeing odd and innovative projects continually capturing the spotlight and winning the awards and making plenty of money, sometimes more than enough, for the teams to live off of and continue to inspire the world.

I think that the game industry in particular is at a point where it needs to grow up. I’m not talking about it becoming corporate. I’m saying it needs to get its jive together, realize what has been working for the best studios and get rid of the trash that hasn’t. One successful studio I was acquainted with had a wonderful slogan, “You’ve got to have fun to make fun,” and it’s true. The creative spirit needs to be energized and cultivated in order to make great entertainment for the rest of the world.

Put succinctly, I think the industry needs a bit of a revolutionary infrastructure overhaul. I am trying to do my part to try new methods of team organization and leadership.

What are your top five favorite games?

I’m going to cheat a bit on this, sorry. Baldur’s Gate (both of them), S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (wonderful mood), Silent Hill (1-3), Mass Effect … and either Borderlands (1 and 2) or Dead Space (1 and 2).

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

I really enjoy collecting animal skeletons. I have several that I want to reconstruct and display eventually. My wife and I are working on a trilogy of illustrated novels. I love watching movies, playing games, hiking (if I get the chance) and hanging with friends and family.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m kind of a Brony, haha.

Are there any particular artists that we should know about?

The art team here at Trendy is super diverse, driven and talented! You should get to know as many of them as you can, because I’m sure they will all make big names for themselves one day, if they already haven’t. Here is a selection of links from some of the artists.

Jordan Kerbow
Mia Goodwin
Aleasha Ford
Daniel Araya
David DeCoster

As far as artists I find inspiring right now:

John Foster is always amazing.
Daniel Dociu has epic vision for environments.
Dylan Cole is an inspirational matte painter.
Ian McQue nails it every time.
Paperblue (can’t remember his name). Drool.
Laurel Austen is just too good.
Kazuo Oga blows my mind. (Please Google him.)
James Jean has a wonderful mind.
Ruan Jia is dreamy.
Jaime Jones — wish I could paint this freely.
Bruno Gentile is a long-time favorite.
Zdzislaw Beksinski was wonderfully dark.

As if that wasn’t enough, here are some awesome friends of mine (besides the people I work with):

Sean Andrew Murray
Nate Hallinan
Mike Bear
Josh Abegglen

I’m probably forgetting people, sorry. :S

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

Dream big, work hard, study, practice, reach out for help when you are lost and be suitably persistent. Don’t be a bother to companies or persons but keep submitting new work or updated portfolios. If there is a kind of game or a kind of company you want to be a part of, build a portfolio that shows it! Be flexible, considerate, and as much as possible, get rid of your pride because that can be a “team” killer.

You can look at more of Ben’s art at his websites:
http://linesofsanity.blogspot.com/
http://mrblackcap.cghub.com/
http://mrblackcap.deviantart.com/

Discuss this post here!


DunDef Digest 1/23/13

January 23rd, 2013 by

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 contest@trendyent.com. 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,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


Meet the Trendy Team: Steven Collins

January 22nd, 2013 by

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.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Hey, my name is Steven, and I am a level designer and scripter here at Trendy. I create nice gameplay spaces and then fill those spaces with tidy scripting to make the gameplay work.

Where did you study?

When it comes to my knowledge of level design and scripting, I learned a lot from practice and internships. I never actually went to a game design school, but I do have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history. So practice, personal research and more practice have lead me to my job today.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

It is not, I have worked at a few different studios with a variety of different games that were being developed.

What drew you to Trendy?

Coming to Trendy was something that really offered me a challenge. It is a different game than I have ever designed levels for and something fresh to my skillset.

What’s your daily routine?

I get in the office in the morning and usually start my day by looking through any tasks that I have been assigned. As a scripter, sometimes there are some quick tasks that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. I usually then move towards whatever current level we are working towards.

How long have you been designing levels?

I’ve worked in the game industry since 2010. I started as a junior scripter and moved up in a couple different companies to level design and gameplay scripter.

What are your criteria for deciding whether a level is designed well?

I always look for the fun. Since I assume you are playing this game to have fun, I want to make sure all levels contain some fun moments. Also I look for any memorable moments. Things you can tell your friends, “Hey, remember when such and such happened at that one time?”

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

I am really interested in architecture, so a lot of my maps usually take a ton of inspiration of different architectural styles. My favorite is medieval architecture. Castles, forts and old cathedrals all having amazing architectural qualities from which I draw.

How has your work developed over the years?

Earlier on, my levels were pretty basic. Get red key, open red door. But then I kept reading and researching on level design theory and trying to think outside the box. So getting more complex while sticking to more classic level design roots.

What are some of the bigger challenges that you face?

One of the major challenges is creating both fun and challenging levels. You really have to think about how the player is going to react and play around in your levels. Then you have to challenge that player but to a point where it is still fun. So making sure the levels are created in such a way that players can feel accomplished as well as having a fun time.

What skillset does today’s level designer need to have in order to become the great next-generation level designer?

It really depends on what the studio you are looking to join is searching for. Some level designers look to create their own assets and be an artist as well. As for me, the skillset of being a level designer and the ability to script your own levels is something that is proved invaluable.

What do you like the most about your job?

I love designing spaces, buildings, and then making them work. The constant state of progress when creating levels is really rewarding. The challenge to be creative in all new ways is something that I look forward to every day.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

Honestly, I love what I do. Creating game environments and adding life to those environments is really something I only dreamed about as a kid.

What are your top five favorite games?

Hmm, always a difficult question.
I think top 5 would have to be the following in no particular order.

1) Just Cause 2
2) BioShock
3) Halo 3
4) Uncharted 2
5) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

I enjoy some outdoor activities such as Ultimate Frisbee and soccer. Other than that, I enjoy watching some basketball and playing some Xbox with the friends.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That I didn’t go to some sort of gaming school, or that I was homeschooled for most of my life.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

I know it’s cliché, but practice, practice, practice.

And then show what you’ve done off on some sort of portfolio or website. Also, don’t get discouraged by being turned down by game companies. It isn’t personal.


Discuss this post here!


Dungeon Defenders January XP Events for PS3 and 360

January 21st, 2013 by

What better way to start off the new year then by jumping onto the consoles and playing with you guys! As a special treat, we had a survey that asked you what map and modifier you would like to play with. Well we asked and you guys have spoken! The winning map and modifier is:

Raining Ogres on The Deeper Well!

Participants will receive 50 million XP! Plus, you’ll get one-on-one time with members of the community team. Have a burning question you’ve always wanted to ask? Send it straight to the team.

The PS3 event will take place on Jan 24, and the 360 event will be on Jan 31. Both events will run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. If you are interested in participating, you can go to the PS3 sign-up thread or the 360 sign-up thread. All you will have to do is comment on there with your name, Gamertag/PSN ID and what time of the day you will be online.

Signing up does not guarantee entry. We’ll randomize entrants and post the final list on a Google doc that I’ll create the day before the event. Hope to see you guys there!

Discuss this post here!


DunDef Digest 1/16/13

January 16th, 2013 by

As Hitmonchan stated last week, he’s going to step back a bit to focus on making our next project amazing for you guys. He has entrusted the forums and most of the community stuff to me. LET THE REIGN OF TERROR, FIRE AND ALL EVIL THINGS BEGIN! MUHAHAHAA!

Just kidding…maybe. I’m actually a kind and understanding Cow-munity Manager. I will happily bring you all the latest information from around the office starting with our Trendy Console Community Events!

Trendy Console Community Events

It’s a new year, and I’m already excited to do something for our Console fans. I can’t program, and my art/animation skills go as far as drawing stick figures on the edges of books so that when you flip the pages they move.

So I’ve decided on a Console Community Event. Just go to this survey that lets you guys vote on which map and which modifier you would like to play with. The PS3 event will take place on Jan. 24, and the 360 event will be on Jan. 31. Both events will run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. The chosen map plus modifier will apply for both consoles. Voting ends this coming Monday, so hurry up and tell us what you think!

If you are interested in participating, you can go to the PS3 sign-up thread or the 360 sign-up thread. All you will have to do is comment on there with your name, Gamertag/PSN ID and what time of the day you will be online.

Cr4zy’s Helms Deep

“If the wall is breached, Helm’s Deep will fall.”

After a long wait, fans were finally given a chance to defend the legendary stronghold known as Helms Deep. I sat down and talked with Cr4zy about his amazing map:

Can you describe the Map?

Cr4zy: Helms Deep! It’s not that different from what you’d expect. I made a few changes to its design to help it fit the DD gameplay and visuals stylized slightly to the cartoon style of the art.

What inspired you to make Helms Deep?

Cr4zy: Long ago (like really long ago, the month after DD came out on PC), I decided that I needed to make something new. DD was out and offered its dev kit. Dungeon Defenders fit in with LotR perfectly, so I went along with deciding on what my skills could actually make. It had to be a main part of the film(s). I settled on Helms Deep because it’s just what DD is, defense against a horde of mobs assaulting your limited defenses while you try and hold off long enough.

How long did you work on it?

Cr4zy: The days between the initial post on the forums (Nov. 10, 2011) and the first BETA release (Jan. 11, 2013). A scary 427 days! However, I didn’t work on it for every one of those days. I’m guessing most of the work is about two to three months or so. Most of the work was teaching myself modeling and creating assets outside of the editor itself.

Did you design this map with a certain number of players in mind?

Cr4zy: Originally it was designed for four players, because at the time I started, four players was the maximum limit. I did set it to eight players initially when I could, but eight players felt like too many, making the few entrances easy to cover with DPS. Six players feels right, giving you a good spread due to the slightly larger style of the level.

What is your favorite part of this map?

Cr4zy: Can it be all of it? Right now if I had to pick one thing, it’s probably the wall, the wall that goes kabooom! It took some doing without frying computers and crashing games.

What are the challenges you faced in creating this map?

Cr4zy: Too many to remember them all. Originally, Dungeon Defenders had a hard limit on how far AI units would path. I spent ages trying to get workarounds for that. With terrible AI pathing, it looked like it wouldn’t work. I had intended to scale down my efforts; however, with the release of later Shards maps, Trendy increased that maximum pathing limit, solving most of the issues I was trying to fix.

Some other fun was had in making sure the wall works as it should. It has to swap a model out when it gets destroyed, meaning that standard pathing doesn’t work. It requires dynamic paths. So there’s some fancy background magic involved to switch models, hide things and disable/enable collisions. All under the disguise of a massive explosion.

Has there been any major changes to the map since you first started?

Cr4zy: Not really. There were some minor changes at the start when I was trying to figure how some of the level is actually arranged. There was a lot of watching of The Two Towers going on to make sure it was as close as I could get to the film, along with some miniature model images from the Internet plus locations that Helms Deep was filmed at.

What ideas didn’t make it to the map?

Cr4zy: I’m not sure there is anything that hasn’t made it into the map. There are a few things left that I want to do, like tweaking how the mobs look and some other bits with ladders and maybe an actual gate on the front. Oh, and there aren’t any Goblin Copters and Djinn yet!

Are there any plans to make other Middle Earth-inspired maps?

Cr4zy: At the moment, no. I’d love to do it, but at the rate this one is going, they probably wouldn’t see the light of day for a year and a half, and Helms Deep needs to be finished first.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Cr4zy: Thanks to everyone who has played it so far and especially those that have provided useful feedback to help me resolve bugs and other issues. Also, the rate of votes and support on the Workshop blew my expectations out the water. Right now it has flown past what Akatiti gained in 3+ months.
If you haven’t grabbed it yet, give it a go and let me know what you think!

You heard the man! You can find Helms Deep here in our Steam Workshop. Once you get it, be ready to fight the legions of evil with everything you’ve got. The horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the Deep one last time!

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 Trashxboat


Courtesy of Liam P.


Courtesy of Michael C.


Courtesy of Michael D


Courtesy of Cliff Jameston

Thank you for being such amazing fans. If there is anything you guys would like to discuss or bring to my attention, please feel free to contact me here in the forums, on my Twitter (@Laurawantsacow) or just let any of the mods know, and they’ll use the bat signal.

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


DunDef Digest 1/10/13

January 10th, 2013 by

This weekend marks the anniversary of Dredd’s community events. In honor of such a joyous occasion, we’re donating FIVE unique accessories that you won’t find anywhere else.

In this anniversary event on Steam, players will be defending The Summit. But there’s a twist: Bosses throughout Etheria will be there to crash the party. As players progress through each wave, more and more bosses will appear in larger numbers. Can our Dungeon Defenders community stop these party crashers and save the anniversary, or will our Defenders meet their untimely demise? To sign up for this event, click this link and post your Steam ID, a link to your Steam profile page, the day you’d like to run the event and the time you’d like to run it. Sign-ups close Friday night at 10 p.m. EST, so don’t delay.

In January 2012, Dredd sparked the community-hosted event movement. As our console community events were winding down, Dredd formed a group to carry on the spirit of the events. Enter the 360 Winter Olympics. From a hot lava obstacle course to Squire racing, his events amazed our team and our community. To encourage more participation, we sponsored his events with unique items. Thus, the Sponsored Events were born.

He switched from the 360 to the PC last year. During his time on the PC, he and his team have created The Legend of Selda Events and their current series, the POLYBIUS Doomsday Saga.

Thanks for making our community brighter, Dredd. And thanks to all of our event hosts, both past and present, for all of your hard work. Our community would not be the same without you.

On another note, are you an experienced video editor? Want to help us make amazing videos? We’re looking for a video editing intern! You must have previous experience with video editing and a working knowledge of Adobe After Effects, particularly with compositing overlays onto footage. You do not have to live in the Gainesville, Florida, area, but that would be preferred. If you are interested, please send an email to josh.isom@trendyent.com with the title “Video Editing Intern Application.” Include your name, age and video editing software experience. Samples are not required, but they are appreciated. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Android fans, I have some bad news to share with you. I sat down with the development team to talk about when Second Wave will be coming back to the Google Play Store. I’ve been informed that Second Wave will not be coming back to the store. Our previous hosting arrangement for the game expired, which is why the game went down from the store. To modify the code to use Google’s new content hosting features is too costly.

In that same meeting, we discussed what was happening with Shards Part IV and the patch for PSN EU. At the moment, we’re on target to meet a crucial milestone for our next project. We’re not at risk of missing the milestone, but we need all hands on deck to ensure the ship is steady. That means that, for the time being, the DLC and patch for PSN EU will be postponed until after we hit our milestone. As all of that is under wraps at the moment, we are unable to share a date on when these items will release at this time.

I understand this was not the news you wanted to hear. This is not the kind of news I enjoy sharing. I wish things were different.

Creations of the Week

Here are this week’s Dungeon Defenders Steam code winners! Winners, we’ll be in touch. 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 GillianIvy


Courtesy of aemanoff


Courtesy of artzimm


Courtesy of devilkid


Courtesy of frikakus

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Trendy Friday Fun: Back in the Saddle — Trendy Friday Fun is back! Join @iamisom and @laurawantsacow as we play Dungeon Defenders live!

As we end this week’s Digest, I’d like to take the moment to announce a few community team changes and addition. We’ve hired Zack “Artorias” Donovan as our new community coordinator. You may have seen Zack’s posts if you hang around our PC/Mac Tech Support subforum. Zack will be helping us with lost heroes, feedback, tech support and Report a Player. Welcome to the team, Zack.

I will be taking a step back to focus on our future, so you’re going to see less of me around these parts. Laura is kindly and boldly stepping up to the plate. Our website content production will be back to full capacity next week.

Should you need me, you can email me, shoot me a Tweet or talk to me via forum PM.

Until next time,
Hitmonchan



Discuss this Digest here!


DunDef Digest 1/2/13

January 2nd, 2013 by

Like a survivor rising from a fallout shelter, I saw the outside world again.

The sunlight torched my pale skin. Pain, unimaginable pain, coursed through my veins. I fell to my knees and begged the sun demons for mercy.

Then the pain melted away. I rose to my feet without labored breathing or grunting. I was stronger than ever before. I trekked north to Tennessee, where I hiked mountains, walked trails and breathed fresh air for the first time in ages. It was the best of times; it was the best of times.

I’m back in the office now, along with most of our team. A special thank you to Laura for keeping things tidy and orderly while I was gone for the first week. She did a marvelous job.

While I have everyone here, I’d like to direct your attention to the curtain in the room. Behind this velvet cover lies wonder. Mystery. The future of Trendy. Within a few months, the curtain will be drawn. Your eyes will see beauty beyond imagination. You will look upon previous sneak peeks with new understanding.

The curtain could raise at any moment. If you’re vigilant, you’ll know with some advance notice. Maybe a post will appear on our Twitter or Facebook. Maybe a whisper will float like a fallen leaf from a livestream.

Needless to say, you’ll want to be there when the curtain draws.

Our current game isn’t slouching, though. The Steam Holiday sale and the Humble Indie Bundle did wonders for our community numbers. We’re consistently in the Top 25 Most Played Games on Steam with more than 9,000 players at our peak time. We have nearly 40,000 registered users on our official forums. At the time of this post, we have nearly double our currently active forum users than usual. If you’re new to the game, or if you read our forums but don’t normally post, stop by this post and say hi! I’d love to hear from you.

Our fearless leader is out of town at the moment, so if you were hoping for news on Second Wave or PSN EU, there’s nothing new to report at this time.

Interested in Dungeon Defenders merchandise? We want to hear from you! Our Merchandising Manager Alex Polefko put together a survey, and he’d love for you to answer it. It only takes a few minutes of your time. What you say will directly impact what we sell. Please let us know!

Just a few additional things to note. Our Ask Us Anything section is on hiatus as we get things in motion for our reveal. Creations of the Week winners will no longer receive 10 billion mana. Instead, we’ll be offering winners a Steam code for Dungeon Defenders or any piece of DunDef DLC he/she wants. If you win, we’ll add you as a friend on Steam and send you the code via chat.

I know, I know, this Digest is shorter than normal. To make up for it, I’m giving away 10 Dungeon Defenders Steam codes! All you have to do is post a comment on our Digest Discussion thread. To enter, post by Friday at 12 p.m. EST! We’ll announce the winners in the original post of the thread.

Buckle up. 2013 is going to be a big year for Trendy fans.

Until next time,
Hitmonchan



In case you missed it above, discuss this Digest here, and you could win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of your choice!


Etherian Holiday Extravaganza 2 is Live

December 21st, 2012 by

The Etherian Holiday Extravaganza 2 is now live on Steam and as a special gift from us to you, it’s FREE! This DLC includes Candycove Village and The Silent Night challenge maps. On top of that you also get better weapons, a new pet, more hero slots, more item slots and Diamond pets! That’s right, diamond pets! How do you get one? Well I can’t really tell you but it does involve coal. You can check out our Patch Notes or you can go get it on Steam right now and see for yourself. If you have bought our game on the Humble Indie Bundle then don’t worry because it you automatically get this as well. We hope everyone enjoys our Etherian Holiday Extravaganza!

Discuss this post here!


DunDef Digest 12/19/12

December 19th, 2012 by

You guys already saw our Christmas tree in our lobby, now we present the kitchen Christmas tree, complete with a tasteful ornament. We would have added more decorations but we were too busy discovering how the panini maker works and working on the new challenge map from Etherian Holiday Extravaganza 2.

As you guys may have seen, I don’t write the digest very often. I usually sit back and watch Hitmonchan pace back and forth in our room. His battles with writer’s block were epic and I watched with popcorn in hand. Now Karma has decided to come back at me. I’ve already spent countless hours staring at a blank computer screen trying to decide what to include, what I would say, and what will keep me in your good graces. Until I figure that stuff out, hope you enjoy this digest!

Last week we went over the new Campaign level that will be included in the DLC, Candycove Village, with Morgan Roberts. This week I have asked Steven Collins a few questions on The Silent Night challenge map.

For those who haven’t played last year’s DLC, can you describe the challenge?

Steven: The Silent Night challenge map is built around delivering gifts to various drop off points around the map. But upon getting the presents to the drop off point, the players then must protect them from enemies trying to destroy the gifts.

Did you incorporate community feedback from our last present-delivery map?

Steven: I got some feedback about the general feel of maps from the community. This map was made under the intention to be both a challenge and something the player feels is accomplishable. There are some really good players in our community and creating a challenging experience for such a wide variety of players is something that is not an easy task.

What was your favorite moment in making this map?

Steven: The initial planning and constructing phase is always fun for me. It is where I am able to be my most creative. Also finally seeing people play the maps that I worked on is really special.

What was your inspiration, visually and creatively, for the map?

Steven: I settled on the theme of a castle styled courtyard because I have always been a fan of medieval architecture. I created the map to be symmetrical because I wanted the players to be able to easily communicate about their positions as well as navigate the map easily.

What were the challenges you faced in creating this map?

Steven: As I mentioned before, creating a map for such a broad audience can be daunting. Then the other obstacle is making a challenge map fun. Solving this challenge was done by giving the player options whether that be in setting up defenses in key areas or boxes the player can climb for a better viewpoint.

Is there anything else you would like to add regarding this challenge map?

Steven: Watch out for the bosses…

Humble Indie Bundle:

Today Dungeon Defenders joins a bunch of other great indie games as part of Humble Bundle 7. That’s right folks, this includes Dungeon Defenders and all the DLC up to this point! You can get this bundle Here!

The list of games that come in this Bundle are:

-Dungeon Defenders (and all the DLC)
-Legend of Grimrock
-The Binding of Isaac (and its DLC, Wrath of the Lamb)
-Closure
-Shank 2
-Snapshot

Plus you also get Indie Game: The Movie and some amazing soundtracks!

Discuss this Bundle here!

Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz
You guys have asked and Jeremy delivered. Thank you for sending in all your questions and we look forward to all the new ones you guys come up with for next year!

What are Trendy’s plan for the holidays?

Jeremy: Depends on the person. Some of our intrepid engineers and IT folk will be holding down the fort and monitoring TrendyNet. Most of us will be on vacation between Christmas and New Year’s. Personally, I’m going to France with my fiancee, and during that trip will be visiting our co-lead 3D character artist, Jerome Pourchier :)

Hello, Im just wondering when are you guys planning on fixing the mac version? I absolutely LOVE this game cant wait to buy all the dlc’s and play online! – TJ358

Jeremy: We’re currently working on an update to the Mac App Store version, as I presume you are referring to. Thank you for your appreciation of the game!

Are you guys going to release DD on Steam Linux? – Sir_Brizz

Jeremy: That’s going to be up to Valve. I hope so!

Are there new costumes coming on chrismas? right? ^^ – Philzo

Jeremy: It isn’t Christmas if you can’t dress up as something new!

Can you give us another sneak peek at your secret project pretty please? – Chris the ranger

Jeremy: Can you guess what it is?

Creations of the Week

Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


Courtesy of Nekro


Courtesy of imONLYi


Courtesy of Mr.Laggy XD


Courtesy of Deacon Frost


Courtesy of Daniel Sound

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Meet the Trendy Team: Ben Burkart — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Lead Level Designer Ben Burkart about what he does at Trendy, his advice on getting into the industry, and Trendy’s lack of a certain delicious treat. He might even tell you, in his own words, what he’s currently working on.

Community Member of the Week: Wesley “Wes1180″ Noble In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose Wesley “Wes1180″ Noble for his dedication to Dungeon Defenders and for making amazing fun filled maps!

This Week on the Website

Thursday: Weekly Workshop

Friday: N/A (Trendy Friday Fun on hiatus until January)

So this is it as far as digests for this year. Thank you everyone for all the great times and the fond memories. We will be on break until the first week of January so we’ll be seeing you next year. We wish everyone safe and happy holidays from everyone here at Trendy. <3

Until next time,
Laurawantsacow

Moo…

Discuss this Digest here!


Humble Indie Bundle

December 19th, 2012 by



Guess who’s part of the Humble Indie Bundle? Trendy is proud to have Dungeon Defenders be part of this Bundle along with so many amazing games. With your purchase of the Humble Indie Bundle, you’ll get Dungeon Defenders plus all of our DLC! That’s not all. We have also worked with the awesome Humble Bundle team to create a Linux version of Dungeon Defenders! With the holidays around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to get Dungeon Defenders plus all the DLC AND a whole bunch of incredible games as a gift for yourself or someone special! Check it out here!

The list of games that come in this Bundle are:
-Dungeon Defenders (and all the DLC)
-Legend of Grimrock
-The Binding of Isaac (and its DLC, Wrath of the Lamb)
-Closure
-Shank 2
-Snapshot

Plus you also get Indie Game: The Movie and some amazing soundtracks!


Discuss this Bundle here!


Meet the Trendy Team: Ben Burkart

December 18th, 2012 by

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Lead Level Designer Ben Burkart about what he does at Trendy, his advice on getting into the industry, and Trendy’s lack of a certain delicious treat. He might even tell you, in his own words, what he’s currently working on.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

I’m the Lead Level Designer at Trendy. I started working at Trendy back in February 2010 in the very early stages of Dungeon Defenders. As the Lead Level Designer it’s my job to ensure that all of the levels going into our games follow a specific set of rules/quality, both visually and gameplay wise. Working with such an awesome team of level designers and artists makes that a lot easier ;)

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Trendy is actually my 3rd job in the gaming industry. I worked on Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway at Gearbox Software, and Damnation at Blue Omega Entertainment.

What drew you to Trendy?

I was on the lookout for new job opportunities back in 2009 and most required moving across the united states, or even across the world! Jeremy originally contacted me through the epic games forums with the possibility of offsite paid work and the original dungeon defense prototype looked interesting so I jumped on board! After working off-site for about 2 years I moved to Gainesville FL to work onsite.

What’s your daily routine?

About 20% of my day involves going over other peoples levels, 10% of it goes to talking with the artists and going over what’s needed in the current, and sometimes future levels. The other 80% goes to eating cake obviously. Currently I spend most days working on ****** :O

What do you love the most about your job?

My job is all about creating worlds that other people can find both beautiful and fun to be in. While most people dream of these locations, its my job to create them!

What do you wish you could change about your job?

As much as I enjoy working, 10 hour days all year long can be pretty extreme. There’s also an overall lack of cupcakes at Trendy, you can never have too many cupcakes!

What are your top five favorite games?

- Unreal Tournament 2004
- Unreal Tournament 1
- Command and Conquer series (except for C&C 4)
- Dungeon Siege 1&2
- Guild Wars 2

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

I’m a pretty boring individual while I’m not at work. I usually spend my free time with my wife (Which isn’t boring!!!) playing video games, and working on making custom levels for various games.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

You can’t be afraid to work hard. The most important thing for people looking to get into the gaming industry is to focus on one specific discipline. Companies don’t care if you can program, and make fancy art if you’re applying for a level design position and they also don’t want somebody who is only decent at all of the above. The only way you’re going to get hired is if you can prove that you are the absolute best at a single job in the gaming industry. If you’re interested in programming go entirely into programming, if level design go entirely into that. Be prepared to work the long hours it takes to get good at what you enjoy because at the end of the day the only way you’re going to get hired is if you’re better than the other 500 people applying to a company (Which usually means competing with other professionals for the same job). Don’t be afraid to start out at a smaller studio and move your way up as well, very popular companies are far more competitive and will often times put a lot higher requirements on the quality of your work. If you want to be noticed you need to put a portfolio together with only your best work on it, a few awesome pieces will look a lot better than a few awesome pieces mixed with some poor pieces, quality over quantity 100%. Also don’t be afraid to reach out and communicate with developers from companies, some might ignore you but overall most are very friendly people who will be more than willing to give feedback and to help out! Don’t try and get a job as a game designer or a lead game designer, this is the number one position I’m asked about. Game Designers and Lead game Design job positions are not entry level spots, they are usually senior positions that people have worked up to over many years from another position.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

If anyone has any questions about anything level design related or just wanting feedback on any of your work feel free to contact me, I don’t bite!

Discuss this post here!


Code Drop Tuesday: 12/18/12

December 18th, 2012 by


The holidays are near and the Trendy halls are filled with cheer. We actually it’s filled with people running around trying to finish up work before they go home and stuff their faces with pie and egg nog. Amid all the chaos, we still love to give back to our fans and what better way than by giving away free Dungeon Defenders Steam codes of your choice via our Code Drop Tuesday event. If you want to be entered for a chance to win, retweet this and follow our Twitter account by 8 p.m. EST for your chance to win!


DunDef Digest 12/12/12

December 12th, 2012 by

Greetings from Vacation Land!

Vacation Land feels quite similar to home. In fact, it is home. Before I drive to faraway lands, I must complete the epic quest known as Final Exams. I’ve practiced perfect bubbling motions and memorized mnemonic devices — everything but actually studying, it seems. That part comes two hours before test time.

Of course, some people come to expect this weekly newsletter on their digital doorstep every Wednesday. I’m more than happy to oblige. By “more than happy,” I mean I’m being paid to write this. And it won’t be good. In fact, I’m going to ramble for a few more sentences to make this look like a full Digest. Of course, this won’t make it to print! Did I ever tell you the time when I met Ron Jeremy…

…Where was I? Oh yeah, Christmas. I was talking about Christmas, right? Err, I mean, the holidays! Don’t sue us.

Surprise! Coming as a shock to absolutely no one, we’re releasing another Etherian Holiday Extravaganza for Steam. But there’s a twist. This DLC contains TWO maps — the Present Delivery challenge map people were expecting and an entirely new Campaign map featuring traditional Dungeon Defenders gameplay.

For this DLC, map-making duties were split between two of our level designers, Morgan Roberts and Steven Collins. Morgan designed the Campaign level, Candycove Village, while Steven created the present-delivery map, which we’ll detail next week. Morgan graciously took the time to answer my questions about Candycove Village.

Can you describe the overall layout of the map?

Morgan: I should probably state that the original layout and design was a hybrid to accommodate both Campaign and Santa’s Present Delivery game modes. The Santa Present Delivery game used three Christmas Trees and one central pickup location. My design rule with this type of gameplay is that every Tree must have at least two paths to the nearest tree and pick-up location. When production of the map came to a close, the dev team decided to use this as the Campaign map and utilize only Crystal Cores. This gameplay change didn’t require any major redesign since the original Tree locations could simply be swapped out for Cores. However, since the cores are now on opposite sides of the map, there is a bit of added challenge to navigating your way quickly to each core while avoiding creeps.

What was your inspiration, visually and creatively, for the map?

Morgan: Originally, the art direction for the map borrowed aesthetic and color choices from The Nightmare Before Christmas in the Christmas Town scenes. We really wanted something new and different for this year’s holiday map. The cold and icy landscapes muted behind bright and colorful townhouses portrayed a fresh and vibrant look at the holiday season; however, pushing those design and color palettes from reference would have been overly too distracting and off-beat from the Dungeon Defenders universe. Instead, I opted for reviving neo-Gothic architecture blended with our bright and colorful Christmas Town assets. This gave way to a playful blend of holiday color and cheer resting on a solid Dungeon Defenders architectural style.

Did you design the map with a certain number of players in mind?

Morgan: Actually, we didn’t start off with a required amount of players for the design choices used. The original requirement was to be a small- to medium-sized map with three cores and work our way from there.

What map is this most similar to in Dungeon Defenders?

Morgan: When the map design was finished and the polish was added, I noticed a resemblance to Ben Burkart’s Servants Quarters map in terms of layout, but positioned in a relative aesthetic world close to the original Ramparts map. The neo-Gothic architecture and styling is also reminiscent of the final Summit and Spires maps.

What was your favorite moment in making this map?

Morgan: My favorite moment in designing this map was when I firmly nailed the exterior environment and terrain. I wanted to do something natural and exotic that could position the player’s viewpoint that he or she is part of a much larger and connected world. The frozen river snaking upstream through distant mountains adorned with castles and stone bridges really pulled the mood of the map together. And of course, we always have a bit of fun with small hidden gems in our maps. (The snowmen in this town aren’t very casual.)

We’ll have more details about the rest of this content next week. But I will share one more detail: The Barbarian shall soon don thy gay apparel.

And yes, all of this new content will be free. (That’s two details. Don’t say I never did anything for ya.)

As you may have noticed, we removed the Supreme Accessories from Tower Wars. These rewards were not intended for the map. This was an oversight by the team, and we apologize for the frustration this caused. In our eyes, Tower Wars is meant to be a fun yet fiercely competitive map played solely for the succulent taste of victory; however, the focus of the map turned from competition to farming when these rewards were discovered.

Worry not, vocal defenders. You’ll soon find another place to get Supreme Accessories. In our next patch, Supreme Accessories will be added to Nightmare Akatiti and Nightmare Hardcore Akatiti. Other difficulties on Akatiti will receive quality accessory rewards, too, but they won’t be quite as amazing as the Supreme Accessories.

Speaking of Tower Wars, our good friend DarkPython weathered a cold and several video issues to bring us this Tower Wars introductory guide. His video touches on the major overview of the map: the crystals, the mob pedestals, time-outs, upgrades and boss spawns. This is essential for those who want to get in there and get their hands dirty without looking foolish.

Finally, we’ve added the Jester and Anniversary DLCs to the Dungeon Defenders Collection. Unfortunately, this is not a retroactive fix. If you’ve previously purchased the Collection, this DLC will not be added to your account.

Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz and the Team

Have a question for the team? Want to know about something in the game or what our favorite movies are? Ask away in our new Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

Since you guys increased the skill point cap to 1000 per stat and we can only get 985 points at level 100, is there a planned level cap increase? – Sol C. Raxius

Jeremy: That depends on whether you’ve been Naughty or Nice…

How did the Trendy team create certain names of items? Such as the high-end ones being Ultimate and Legendary being one of the worst; however, in Blizzard-based games, Legendary quality is the highest. What were some ideas tossed around during the process of this? – Sneevik

Jeremy: I’ve never played WoW, so I just tried out names that seemed to imply increasing tiers of quality. Of course, once the original game ended at Godly and the DLC needed to expand beyond that, I had to come up with ever-greater names of power… that was tough!

Any books you guys and gals could recommend? – Garzhod

Jeremy: I only read comic books! Batman, Inc.!

Steven Collins (Level Designer): “Count of Monte Cristo” – Alexander Dumas; “Dracula” – Bram Stoker; “The Scarlet Pimpernal” – Baroness Emma Orczy

Nicole Kwiatkowski (3D Artist): Anything by R.A. Salvatore! Or the “War of the Spider Queen” series.

Josh Isom (Community Manager): “To Kill a Mockingbird” – Harper Lee; “About a Boy” – Nick Hornby; “Kafka on the Shore” – Haruki Murakami; “Ringworld” – Larry Niven

Jesús Díaz (Level Designer): “The Pillars of the Earth” – Ken Follett

Kayd Hendricks (QA Lead): The first four books in the “Nine Princes in Amber” series; “Stranger in a Strange Land” – Robert A. Heinlein

Ben Greene (Art Director): “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series; “Phantoms” by Dean Koonts; anything by Neil Gaiman; “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling; “The Night Circus” – Erin Morgenstern, “Howl’s Moving Castle” – Diana Wynne Jones; recently enjoying the “Septimus Heap” series; “Relic” – Douglas J. Preston

Aleasha Ford (3D Artist): I would recommend “The Strain” by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It’s a pretty good horror book with vampires. (They are more like parasites. Nothing like “Twilight.”)

Dwayne Knight (Senior Engine Programmer): “The Mistborn Trilogy,” or anything by Brandon Sanderson really.

With the release of Tower Wars, are there future plans for more PvP maps of this style? If not, are there plans for any maps that put a twist on tower defense? – Profish13

Jeremy: I don’t think we’ll generate them internally, but we may incorporate cool PvP maps that the community creates in the future…

What was tweaked in the PSN EU patch, and will it make it to the NA and 360 versions? – RobBobtheAlien

Jeremy: Fixed Aquanos XP bug and did some more performance optimizations. We’ll consider doing another PS3 and NA patch with the remaining tweaks next year.

Given that 12/12/12 is the date of my wedding, what has TE got planned as my wedding gift? – classic22

Jeremy: How about another preview of what we’re working on next? Here you go, Classic22. Congratulations on your wedding!

Creations of the Week

Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


Courtesy of Kane-


Courtesy of DoctorWillSeeYouNow


Courtesy of Garzhod


Courtesy of Chris the Ranger


Courtesy of The Sentinel

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Meet the Trendy Team: David DeCoster — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Environment Artist David DeCoster about what he does at Trendy, his advice on getting into the industry and basketball.

Community Member of the Week: Grant “Alhanalem” Dotter — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose Alhanalem for his dedication to events, forum moderation, map making and everything awesome.

Akatiti and Tower Wars are Live — We have just added Akatiti and Tower Wars to the Dungeon Defenders Ranked mode. Our map contest first place winner, Akatiti, is a traditional campaign map taking place in the depths of the Etherian rain forest…

Trendy Friday Fun: Bring It On — It’s already December, and we are feeling the cold. All 68 degrees of it here in Florida. Maybe it’s the chilly air or the festive tree in our lobby, but we are in a giving mood. Like all gifts, we won’t tell you what the surprise is until later.

Weekly Workshop: CD Survival Section 2 — Mischief has done it again and released part 2 of the Crystalline Dimension Survival map. If you thought the first one was hard, well then you better bring your “A” game to this map.

This Week on the Website

Thursday: Weekly Workshop

Friday: N/A (Trendy Friday Fun on hiatus until January)

Monday: Community Member of the Week

Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday

Before we go, we must mention Daniel Sound’s Musical Cubes Contest. There are only three days left to vote for your favorite Dungeon Defenders songs. The winner will receive 12 Weighted Companion Cubes. Go vote!

Until next time,
Hitmonchan



Discuss this Digest here!


Meet the Trendy Team: David DeCoster

December 11th, 2012 by

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Environment Artist David DeCoster about what he does at Trendy, his advice on getting into the industry, and Basketball.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Hi, my name is David DeCoster, and I am an environment artist here at Trendy. I’m originally from Kansas City, Kansas. I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator there for about three years before deciding I wanted to pursue a job in the video game industry. I moved to Plano, Texas to attend the Guildhall at SMU so I could train to become a 3D artist, and now I help build environments and fill them with interesting props.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Yes, it is. I was fortunate enough to have been hired right after I graduated from school.

What drew you to Trendy?

It was mostly the art style of their projects. Most of my portfolio is pretty realistic and sci-fi based, but I’ve always loved stylized games and hand painted textures. I was really excited about the opportunity to work on a game that had that kind of art direction.

What’s your daily routine?

Usually I start the day by reviewing my task list for the week and speaking with the lead environment artist or lead level designer about the specific needs of the pieces I’ve been assigned. I then dive into modeling whatever it is I have to do that day, whether its a modular set, rocks, trees, props, or anything else the concept artists come up with. Once the asset is modeled and unwrapped, I import it into the game and check that it works for the needs of the level before I start texturing. The rest of my day is generally spent painting the piece. Our environment assets are generally pretty low-poly due to the technical restrictions of our games, so a lot of extra detail goes into the textures, rather than the geometry of the models. I would say that 70% of my day is spent painting textures, which is great for me since that’s my favorite part of the job.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

I have a pretty big collection of artist portfolios bookmarked that I look through regularly for inspiration. One good way for me to find inspiration is just to go onto an artist’s deviantart or cghub page and look through their favorites list. Its a quick way to find a variety of art, and it usually leads to a lot of great stuff I haven’t seen yet.

What do you love the most about your job?

I work with a very talented group of artists. The work can be very demanding, but I’ve learned a lot just in the short amount of time I’ve been here because the other artists are so strong and always willing to share their knowledge. We all work really closely, and I never feel like I can’t ask for advice about how to approach a problem I’m unsure of, or if something’s not working and I just need another artist’s opinion.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

I’m required to work pretty long hours regularly, which makes it really difficult to have much of a personal life during the workweek. I’m required to work from 10 a.m to 8 p.m., but unfortunately its not unusual for me to still be at the studio at 9:00 or 10:00 pm. Needless to say, I wish that were different.

What are your top five favorite games?

It’s hard to narrow down a top five, but here are some of my more current favorites:
1. Bioshock 2
2. Super Smash Bros. Melee (Brawl has nothing on Melee.)
3. The Binding of Isaac
4. Pokemon White 2
5. Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Concept by Tuomos Korpi

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

I like to paint, and I practice making 3D pieces so I can try to keep up with current techniques and technology. I’m also a huge college basketball fan. I attended the University of Kansas, where basketball is a really big deal, so I watch every game I can, and I keep up with most of the other Big XII conference teams. Also, its really cool to live in Gainesville because the University of Florida has a very strong team as well. I plan to go to at least a couple of their games while I’m here.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

First of all, make sure its what you really want to do. It is a very competitive, young industry. There are a lot of techniques and technology to learn, and you have to constantly work to keep your knowledge current. Also, research companies you are interested in. There are great companies to work for, and there are also a lot of not-so-great ones. Making video games is a job, just like any other, and no one should have to work for a company that abuses them just for the “privilege” of making video games.
As for breaking into the industry, focus on creating a strong portfolio. It is better to have a few awesome pieces that showcase a wide range of skills, rather than a large portfolio filled with mediocre work. Once you have a strong portfolio, send it out to every game company you’re interested in working for. Try to get feedback, and don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals for critiques. I’ve found that most industry people are kind and willing to give newcomers a few minutes of their time if they’re asked in a professional manner.
Finally, go to events like GDC, IGDA meetings, and other places where you can meet and run into professionals. Its a small industry, so sometimes getting your foot in the door just comes down to who you know.

Discuss this post here!


Akatiti and Tower Wars are Live

December 7th, 2012 by

We have just added Akatiti and Tower Wars to the Dungeon Defenders Ranked mode. Our map contest first place winner, Akatiti, is a traditional campaign map taking place in the depths of the Etherian rain forest. There you will find yourself among the ruins of a once magnificent civilization. Don’t let the beauty of this landscape distract you. There are dangers and secrets just waiting to be explored.

Tower Wars is a Competitive Tower Defense map but with a twist. Adding an element of pvp, this level divides you into two teams of up to 4 players each summoning the monsters to attack the other team! Use can either use your mana to summon enemies to attack the other team or use them to upgrade your defenses, so chose wisely. Victory is achieved when one team destroys the other team’s Ethernia Crystals.

Trendy is very proud to include these maps into Ranked and we had a lot of fun playing them. Tell us what you think of each map in the Akatiti discussion thread or the Tower Wars discussion thread. You can also share strategies and find people to play with.


DunDef Digest 12/5/12

December 5th, 2012 by

Be warned: The road ahead is filled with danger. Fret not, worried traveler. Community members are here to guide the way.

After a brief hiatus, our PC community event hosts are back with another set of sponsored events. Every weekend from now until Jan. 13, PC and Mac Steam users can win loot created by Trendy in the POLYBIUS Doomsday Saga Events. These events are run by members of the community and not employees of Trendy, so be kind to them. Or we’ll kick your ass.

Here’s the event description from the team:

“POLYBIUS is a self-aware artificial intelligence arcade machine and serves as the main antagonist of the POLYBIUS Doomsday Saga Events. POLYBIUS has many features, including control over all machines and having the ability to create parallel universes. It was created by Dr. Cr4zy and the P.C.E.T. as a new Defense System for Etheria in the attempt to finally stop the Old Ones and their minion army. It became too self-aware and changed its main objective from protecting everyone in Etheria to its new ultimate goal — the extinction of all life forms.

To stop POLYBIUS from achieving its ultimate goal, Dr. Cr4zy and the P.C.E.T. decided to lock it away in a special vault specifically designed to keep it imprisoned away forever. Unfortunately, Etheria’s Heroes managed to stumble on to the Vault and released POLYBIUS. Now it’s up to our heroes to stop POLYBIUS from completing its ultimate goal. Good luck to everyone because you are going to need it!”

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 we mentioned two weeks ago, Akatiti and Tower Wars are coming to Ranked later this week. The Ranked versions may play differently than their Open brethren. In Tower Wars, the mana costs of some creeps have changed, and we animated them for extra eye candy. You might notice that Nightmare mode on Akatiti is harder than before. We’ve included Survival mode on Akatiti for those who like subjugating themselves to such feats. A few things weren’t changed at all. Certain Easter eggs are still in Akatiti, albeit with a significant boost. Spider Queens are still in Tower Wars.

We’re excited to see the community feedback for Akatiti and Tower Wars. I’m especially excited to see how everyone feels about Tower Wars. To me, this is what our PvP mode should have been all along. If you happen across someone named Hitmonchan playing Tower Wars, that’s me. And no, I’m not sorry for the punishment you’re going to receive. Bring it on.

Our team worked long nights to ensure that everything is working properly. But if you do encounter bugs, please let us know. We’ll post on our website when these maps are live.

Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

Have a question for the team? Want to know about something in the game or what our favorite movies are? Ask away in our new Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

What’s Trendy’s goals for the next few years? – Garzhod

Jeremy: Revolutionize what you’re going to expect out of your online games. Seriously. :)

How/why did you come to the decision of making 83 and 90 level requirement armor be random upgrades? This is on the console versions and it also affects the weapons and pets. – Yonathan Arredondo

Jeremy: This was a byproduct of how the extra-high-quality gear was implemented on Console. It was implemented in a quality-algorithm based way, which can yes sometimes lead to random No. of upgrades, rather than explicitly a number-of-upgrades way.

Why is there a fixed hard range cap on tower projectiles (currently 60 units)? Is exempting a tower from this cap (DSTs would benefit greatly from this) going to require serious reprogramming of it? – CrzyRndm

Jeremy: This can probably be removed without side effects. We’ll look into it for a future update. Please indicate to a community manager where in the code this is being limited to speed up the process of getting it changed. :)

Have you heard from Sony about the Shards IV DLC or patch for PSN EU? When will Second Wave be back on Android? – Justin

Jeremy: We’ve had to make some further revisions to PSN Shards IV DLC & Patch for EU, so that’s going through another iteration. We’re unsure about Second Wave on Android, as the hosting cost of its files was prohibitive. Google eventually made a system to host large files themselves, so we’re currently analyzing the work it’d take to switch to that system.

Since you basically knew you were going to add DLC and expand the game in the future, how much of of it was “by the seat of your pants” see how it goes as you go and how much was “pre-planned” to some extent? How does the team try to balance adding new content and achievements versus what was? – draemn

Jeremy: The Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards, the expanded Hero Roster and the modding support was all pre-planned during the core development cycle. Everything else was seat of your pants in response to the great reception that the game has received and based on perceived feedback and interests of the DD community.

How do you guys decide if you are going to make a new map for a DLC or an existing one? When you choose the existing one, how do you choose it, basically what variables come in to play? – DSWITHDQ

Jeremy: We think about whether there’s a distinct new visual theme that we want to portray, or whether it’s just a new gameplay idea, and most important whether there’s any existing level that has a layout which can be effectively utilized by the new game type.

When we do choose an existing map, we try to think about which map’s layout best serves the gameplay concept we have in mind.

For example, when we wanted to add everyone’s favorite pair-matching mission, we determined no previous level had the pathways we needed for boy-meets-girl and that furthermore we wanted something visually distinct for V-Day, and hence we created a whole new map as “Sky o’ Love.”

Conversely when we went about designing “The Great Turkey Hunt,” we decided that while we did want to visually convey Thanksgiving and thus would “re-dress” the level, the arena-style layout of Hall of Heroes was well suited to running around whacking Turkeys en masse!

Will the DDDK update be coming with the Christmas DLC? – What

Jeremy: Yes.

Creations of the Week

Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


Courtesy of Thebamboobear


Courtesy of Szalony Wariat


Courtesy of Mischief


Courtesy of Inanimate Carbon Rod


Courtesy of Commish

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

PC Events: POLYBIUS — Sponsored Steam events are back! Go check out the details.

Code Drop Tuesday: 12/5/12 — Be sure to follow our Twitter account for code drops every Tuesday!

Meet the Trendy Team: Alex Polefko — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Merchandising Manager Alex Polefko about what he does at Trendy and his love of cauliflower.

Community Member of the Week: FooBear408 — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose FooBear408 for his dedication to events, for his straight-shooting personality and for his love of pugs.

Trendy’s Xbox 360 Event — This Thursday, we’re hosting Trendy’s Xbox 360 Event! Join us in taking on The Ramparts on Low Gravity and see what you’re made of.

DanielSound’s Musical Cubes Contest — Want to win 12 Weighted Companion Cubes? Sing a little song, and you might win!

Trendy Friday Fun: 11/30/12 — It’s the most wonderful time of the week — when we ignore all our other responsibilities and sit down to play Dungeon Defenders with our fans.

Weekly Workshop: CD Survival Section 1 — Here at Trendy we have learned to fear and appreciate the wonders of the Crystalline Dimension. Its beauty is only matched by its attempt to crush your heroes. Once you free your parents and defeat the Ultimate Evil, what then?

This Week on the Website

Thursday: Weekly Workshop

Friday: Trendy Friday Fun

Monday: Community Member of the Week

Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday



Until next time,
Hitmonchan

Discuss this Digest here!


Code Drop Tuesday: 12/4/12

December 4th, 2012 by


It’s the first week of December. It’s a festive time full of snowball fights and icicles. Of course, we wouldn’t know anything about that because it’s beach weather here in Florida.

If you want something to keep you company while you escape the cold weather, we’re giving away Steam codes of Dungeon Defenders on our Twitter! If you want a chance to win a Steam copy of the game or a piece of DLC of your choice, retweet this and follow our Twitter account by 8 p.m. EST for your chance to win!


Meet the Trendy Team: Alex Polefko

December 4th, 2012 by

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, we spoke with Merchandising Manager Alex Polefko about what he does at Trendy and his love of cauliflower.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

My name is Alex Polefko. I have dark brown hair and eyes, my favorite color is black, I cannot dance and I do not like cauliflower. My job title is merchandising manager. Basically I handle research of creating merchandise for Trendy Entertainment.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Yes it is. It’s very exciting.

What drew you to Trendy?

I actually played Dungeon Defenders, and I was interested in getting involved with it.

What’s your daily routine?

I constantly check my email. Depending on the project, I’ll do research, call people, email people. I also make lots of lists.

So Mr. Merchandise, what kind of merchandise are you trying to get?

You know, this and that…

What do you love the most about your job?

I would have to say the overall environment. I’m around some very creative and like-minded people, and that’s very motivating.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

Nothing…well. Maybe a hot tub.

What are your top five favorite games?

Hmm. In no particular order:
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Half-Life
Half-Life 2
Counter-Strike: Source
Honorable mention goes to the Mega Man Battle Network series

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

Movies. Lots and lots of movies do I watch. I also like biking and reading. (I recommend anything by Terry Pratchett.)

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

Don’t be afraid to send an email or call someone in the industry. It can’t hurt, and, you never know what might happen.

Discuss this post here!


DunDef Digest 11/28/12

November 28th, 2012 by

The final days of autumn are upon us.

Here in Gainesville, people have ditched their jean shorts and mustard-stained wife beaters for pullovers and carpenter jeans. Holiday lights sparkle from the lofty downtown apartments. The scents of peppermint and homelessness waft down Main Street, sending out waves of nostalgia and nausea.

Inside the studio, holiday preparations are underway. Our mighty Christmas tree spreads cheer in the front lobby. At the top of the plastic perch stands Optimus Prime. Keeping him company below is Raiden, Donkey Kong and the blue dude from Bubble Bobble. (A quick Google search says his name is Bob the Bubble Dragon.)

But where are the presents? There’s not a single gift for Bobby Pink or Suzy Killmore, the orphans we abducted to fuel our coal heaters and clean our kitchens.

Rest assured, there will be presents — not just for us and the orphans, but for you, too.

The gift-giving starts early with the introduction of two new maps to our Ranked mode, Akatiti and Tower Wars. I spoke with their respective map creators to learn more about the process of making these maps.

Scott “Cr4zy” is the 22-year-old creator of Akatiti. Hailing from Peterborough, England, he studied graphic design at New College Stamford. His first map for our game, Helms Deep, was a recreation of the namesake location from the Lord of the Rings. The map featured epic vistas and exploding walls. He entered his next map, Akatiti, into our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. This gorgeous map was a natural evolution of our original campaign. Akatiti won first place, and Scott earned a smooth $1,000.

Where did the idea for Akatiti come from?

Scott: The idea formed after watching the most recent Indiana Jones. Ancient Mayans in a jungle had some excellent visual choices to try out. Along with DD having a Mayan art set, it helped make sure the level would be created without needing to create lots of new content.

How long did you work on the map?

Scott: Just under a month on the level in the engine, with a week or two throwing ideas around on paper for layouts/visuals.

Speaking of layouts, how did you design the layout of the map?

Scott: With a lot of doodling and changes. With basic ideas of level design from previous games influencing what and where routes would go. Being my first original DD level, there were a few changes once it was placed into the engine to even out route lengths and balance the mob flow.

What were some of those changes?

Most were small minor changes, such as the addition of another spawn point and route to flesh out an area of the level that was otherwise boring and empty. And some small changes for player-only routes that, while not massive in impacting gameplay, they allowed for a much better flow for players. Helping them get around to defend better.

You mentioned that basic ideas of level design from previous games influenced this map. What are those basic ideas?

Scott: It’s hard to explain some of it. I find bits just come naturally. Other things like keeping a fair amount of routes so that it’s not too easy or hard to defend and making sure that the route sizes go hand-in-hand with the amount of mobs. Too many routes with too many mobs and not enough DU ends in a big mess of dead crystal. A lot of it comes when you play it over and over with constant minor tweaks to values.

You worked on Helms Deep before working on this map. Did you learn anything from that experience that you applied to Akatiti?

Scott: For me, most of the work I did on Helms Deep was teaching myself more about modeling and texturing. The extent of the work I did there was to do with that. I did get onto some mob pathing, where I ran into multiple issues with the AI that required a few navmesh tweaks. There was also the distance models in Helms Deep that Jeremy informed me of using certain materials to avoid the outline post-processing drawing hundreds of lines everywhere.

What was the most difficult aspect of creating Akatiti?

Scott: There wasn’t many major issues I encountered. A few Unreal Engine crashes lost some progress now and again. I spent a fair amount of time learning new tricks though, such as animating models for the butterflies, dragonflies and the secret turtle. Along with that, there’s some interesting technically arty stuff for the water to look more realistic by mapping the “water flow” so it actually follows the river shape.

Speaking of secret turtles, are there any undiscovered secrets left to be found?

Scott: There isn’t, unfortunately. After Dredd went and teased the next series of PC events, people were positive something was hidden in Akatiti.

What ideas didn’t make it into Akatiti?

Scott: Things I ran out of time on, mainly minor details, cobwebs and the like. There were also limits on the filesize so some additional textures were dropped for plants

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Scott: I can’t think of anything else other than saying thank you to everyone who voted and Trendy for running the competition! Congrats to those who found the secrets, and hopefully Helms Deep will one day come out. :)

Grant “Alhanalem” Dotter is the 29-year-old author of Tower Wars. His previous work includes Rainbow of Death and Port Etheria. Tower Wars is a marked contrast to the traditional PvP offerings in our game and on the Steam Workshop. Players split into two teams. Each team is given one half of the map, and players cannot travel to the enemy team’s side. The goal is to outlast the other team. But it’s more than a simple game of survival. Players can spawn almost every creature in the game, including Spider Queens, into the enemy team’s side. Coordinate your enemy waves effectively, and you could end their dreams of winning in a matter of minutes. This map won second place in our Map Contest.

Where did the initial idea for Tower Wars come from?

Grant: Partially from a custom game in Warcraft III by the same name, and the map layout along with the periodic enemy streams is a bit inspired by DotA (Defense of the Ancients).

How long did you work on it?

Grant: Easily 300+ hours in total, almost evenly split between building the map itself and setting up the huge amount of kismet needed to make the map work. Also a fair bit of time spent bouncing ideas off of and working together with fellow modder Dingle for scripting things that couldn’t be easily done with kismet.

What was your visual inspiration for the map?

Grant: A lotta bit of Mistymire Forest, one of my favorite maps, a little bit of DotA. The cave running under the map drew a bit from Glitterhelm Caverns.

The centerpiece of Tower Wars is the enemy spawning system. Each enemy has a mana cost. How did you determine the cost of each enemy?

Grant: Partially trial and error, but also partially based on the amount of mana the enemies normally drop. Also, there’s the value each enemy contributes to leveling up your spawns and unlocking the boss, which was added after initial testing had most players investing all mana into leveling up and none into summoning or improving defenses (leading to a typically very sudden end where neither team is prepared for the assault that follows).

Did anything change during the creation of Tower Wars?

Grant: The basic layout stayed pretty constant once I got it established. The visuals early on were very rudimentary. The detailing went in towards the end. (And I honestly didn’t leave myself enough time for that, in my opinion.) I kinda had a “feature creep” problem where I kept coming up with ideas and trying to add them. Some got in, some didn’t. :)

What ideas didn’t make it into the map?

I originally planned to carry over the ogre token concept by having them appear as you summon enemies (as an incentive to keep summoning). I ended up not doing this after I decided that the measures I had already taken would work. I also considered offering a choice of bosses to spawn (with varying requirements), but I ran out of time for that.

Dungeon Defenders is not known for its PvP gameplay. How did you expect the map to be received by our fans? Was that the case once the map was available to the public?

Grant: My hope was that, since the focus of this map was still on tower defense, that it would be recieved a lot better than your typical PvP map. I think it was very successful in that regard. Because you aren’t battling the opponents directly, it allows for strategy to be a bit more important, as well as for a larger amount of stat variance before things become too unfair.

You worked on Port Etheria before working on this map. Did you learn anything from that experience that you applied to Tower Wars?

Grant: I learned a lot about Unreal Matinee (for making animation in cutscenes) in Port, which led me to try to make a nice boss intro (the first one was much more simplistic). It was also when I really took command of the geometry tools. Coming off of Port, I was able to set up more precise blocking and tower allowance/prevention.

What was the most difficult aspect of creating Tower Wars?

Grant: The kismet logic for awarding items, which may have been in vain, was needlessly complicated and took many hours to set up because UE3 was lacking some kismet functionality that would have been really useful and for the system which controls upgrading your enemies. Hands down, those things took the longest, though setting up the bosses was not so simple either.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Grant: I really hope everyone enjoys it. I certainly had a lot of fun making it. I made this because I liked the idea of Competitive Tower Defense (on Karathiki), and I wanted to take it to a higher level after nobody else stepped up.

Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

Have a question for the team? Want to know about something in the game or what our favorite colors are? Ask away in our new Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

Can we please be awarded Spook 1 weapons rewards from completing Spook 2? – What

Jeremy: Yep, we’ll do that as an additional Xmas bonus for all the Nice DunDef players!

Will there ever be a challenge version of the Sky City map? – Winterbraid

Jeremy: Nah, that’s what Boss Rush was for. ;)

Is there a particular reason Trendy seems set against tweaking (even just limiting to bug fixing) item generation? – CrzyRndm

Jeremy: Could require a lot of iterative rebalancing over the game to redo various loot drop percentages.

Can you give us any sneak peeks or hints as to your new project? – Onion Knight

Jeremy: Why yes, since you asked so nicely!

Creations of the Week

Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.

Courtesy of Emel Walsh


Courtesy of Thebamboobear


Courtesy of owod


Courtesy of DeVIlKiD


Courtesy of Jabaxaro

Previously on Dungeon Defenders

Trendy’s PS3 Event — You guys voted and we will deliver. This week we’ll be hosting The Ramparts on Low Gravity! So don’t forget to sign up for this week’s Trendy PS3 event!

Meet the Trendy Team: Esther Ko — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Junior Animator Esther Ko about her career at Trendy and why she runs around all silly-like in her office.

Code Drop Tuesday: 11/28/12 — Be sure to follow our Twitter account for code drops every Tuesday!

Community Member of the Week: Iyashii — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose Iyashii for his moderation service to our official forums and for his charismatic personality, which stands at odds with his venomous nickname. Read on to learn more about the man behind the handle.

This Week on the Website

Thursday: Weekly Workshop, DanielSound’s Musical Cubes Giveaway

Friday: PS3 XP Event Recap, Trendy Friday Fun!

Monday: Community Member of the Week, 360 XP Event Reminder

Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday

Until next time,
Hitmonchan

Discuss this Digest here!


Meet the Trendy Team: Esther Ko

November 27th, 2012 by

In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Junior Animator Esther Ko about her career at Trendy and why she runs around all silly-like in her office.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Hello, my name is Esther! I’m the over-enthusiastic junior animator that makes those pretty characters and objects move around. My family is from Taiwan, but I grew up in Gainesville. (Go Gators!) I speak three languages, play the piano, sing, dance and love to learn. I spent my undergrad studying economics at UF (I know, I know, it’s so random) and will receive my MS in Interactive Entertainment this December.

As junior animator, I work closely with my buddy Mike, the other animator, to animate everything from savage attacks to heartbreaking deaths. Our job is to bring our characters to life and give them some good ol’ sparkle!

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

Yes! I just learned to animate this past January and am definitely just getting my feet wet in the awesome world of game animation. Working at Trendy has already been a great experience in being a part of a team and the game pipeline.

What drew you to Trendy?

I love doing stylized games and the broader creative range they give you. When I saw what Trendy had done with Dungeon Defenders, I wanted to get a chance to be a part of their next project! Also, as part of my masters program, we were split into teams to make a capstone project game, and my team happened to reference DunDef for many things.

What’s your daily routine?

Mike and I normally start our day with a quick chat about who is animating what on the current list of “To-Dos.” And then we just dive right in! Periodically, you’ll see one of us run around and do awkward things like rage or pretend to die – but don’t worry! That’s just our way of practicing animations and figuring them out in real life.

Whenever a chunk of animations are complete, we go through reviews to make sure everything looks great in-engine, in-game, and that there is no funny business happening. Usually we do a few rounds of revisions to fix interpolation issues or to compromise for any gameplay restrictions that come up. Once the animset is complete, we move on to the next one!

What do you love the most about your job?

I get to do the type of animations I like on the coolest of cool characters! I know other animators who are stuck with a million other duties on top of animating, but I get to JUST animate to my heart’s content. Also, I work with the best team. If I ever have the slightest issue in a rig, I can literally turn around, ask Abe, our baller rigger, and he’ll have the most ridiculously awesome fix in about two seconds. Mike and I constantly bounce ideas and critiques off of each other, and we teach each other new animation tips every day. And all my other coworkers are also very cool.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

To me, the hardest thing about game jobs is that your schedule isn’t very consistent, which makes it hard for me to keep in touch with other friends. Or do obnoxious yet very important things like … the laundry.

But then again, I get to make games for a living. So it’s still a win!

What are your top five favorite games?

Ocarina of Time (or Wind Waker, I can’t pick!), any Harvest Moon game, Super Smash Brawl, Okami and Final Fantasy VIII minus those unskippable GF cutscenes.

I know, I’m SO hardcore!

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

So many things! I love to cook, travel, read, and draw… and about a million other things, but I won’t bore you with the list. My latest hobby is helping with refurbishing my parent’s house because I’ve decided to become “handy.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people! If there’s someone whose work you love, give them a holler. I was actually very confused on how to get into the game industry until I swallowed my awkwardness and reached out to a lot of professionals.

Also, everyone and their mom will tell you this no matter what profession you’re in, so I’ll just tell it to you too for kicks – keep improving! Keep that hunger to expand and develop your skills. Even if you think you’re the most horrible, untalented, disgustingly shameful artist/programmer/designer/whatever to ever exist – you’re getting better every day. GOOD LUCK, KICK SOME BUTT!

Discuss this post here!


Code Drop Tuesday: 11/27/12

November 27th, 2012 by


Thanksgiving is over and we are barely mobile thanks to the amount of food we somehow managed to eat. In order to aid in your digestion we offer you the chance to win copies of Dungeon Defenders.

If you want a chance to win a Steam copy of the game or a piece of DLC of your choice, retweet this and follow our Twitter account by 8 p.m. EST for your chance to win!


DunDef Digest 11/21/12

November 21st, 2012 by

We have a lot to be thankful for here at Trendy Entertainment.

We’re thankful for the Fridge Gods filling our stomachs with delicious high fructose corn syrup and Red No. 40. We’re thankful for the roof above our heads, which only caves in every other month. We’re thankful for the free back rubs from the personal in-house masseuse who…wait a minute. We don’t have a personal masseuse. This is an outrage! I demand free back rubs. I have needs, Trendy. Needs.

But most of all, we’re thankful for you, the fans, for keeping us in check, delivering honest feedback and supporting us so that we can continue to do what we love most: making games.

To celebrate this time of thanks, we’ve released a free Thanksgiving Steam DLC. The Greater Turkey Hunt is a multiplayer map for level 100 heroes, so bring a few mighty friends along for the ride. The Greater Turkey Hunt will be free for two weeks. To guarantee hours of turkey slaughter long after the free period is over, head to the DLC Steam page and click Install Game. It’s that easy.

This DLC pack includes:

  • New Mission: The Greater Turkey Hunt!
  • New Holiday Themed Accessories & Crystal Core
  • New Achievements

  • As we mentioned last week, Akatiti will be added to Ranked. What we didn’t share was that our second-place winner, Tower Wars, will be added, too! Our tentative release window is the first week of December, but keep an eye on future Digests for updates to that release time.

    Did you hear? Dungeon Defenders is free for PlayStation Plus users. If you have a PlayStation Plus membership, you can download the full original game and play it to your heart’s content. This deal lasts until March 26. That’s plenty of time to loot gear, shoot mobs and defend Etheria! Go tell your friends to get the game, and then let them know about our Trendy Console XP events. Yep, we’re hosting another XP event for both the 360 and the PS3. You’ll find more details below.

    No updates yet on the PSN EU DLC and patch or on Second Wave for the Google Play Store.

    Trendy Console XP Events

    It’s the return of the wacky modifier in our next Console XP Event. Participants will receive 50 million XP! Plus, you’ll get one-on-one time with members of the community team. Have a burning question you’ve always wanted to ask? Send it straight to the team.

    Like last time, we’re splitting the 360 and PS3 days to invite as many people as we can. Our PS3 console day will be Nov. 29, and our 360 day will be Dec. 6.

    But we’re missing a key detail: What will the modifier be? Why, clever eagle-eyed reader, that’s for you to decide! Head to this thread to suggest a crazy modifier for our next event. We’ll take our favorites and put them up to a vote.

    Signing up does not guarantee entry. We’ll randomize entrants and post the final list on this Google Doc the day before the respective console.

    We’ll announce the times of the event as we get closer to the event day.

    Ready to sign up for the event? Head here to sign up for the PS3 and here to sign up for the 360.



    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

    Have a question for the team? Want to know about something in the game or what popular game show themes are our favorites? Ask away in our Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

    Will Kayd’s awesome hat ever be implemented into DD? – Dredd

    Jeremy: That’s up to Kayd. We’ll ask him!

    Is there any chance of Dungeon Defenders or any future title being ported to Wii U? – Alhanalem

    Jeremy: Never say never…

    Can more detailed graphic options be released? Espicially tailored to extremely low end or high end computers? – Garzhod

    Jeremy: I think users can distribute INI settings via the Tech Support Forum/FAQ, which can enable you to tweak the many INI-driven graphic options to your specific machine’s capabilities.

    What have you learned from watching the in-game economy evolve and what kind of ideas or concepts have you thought of that you think would be a great addition or change to this part of the eco system? – brixel

    Jeremy: Systems for player vs player out-of-game trading, better loot value scaling and total security of gameplay are various key aspects going forward.

    Fall being the biggest season for games – what do you think of the AAA releases? Examples include but are not limited to: Halo 4, Assassins Creed, COD, Resi Evil, Borderlands and XCom. – Sonos

    Jeremy: Resident Evil was disappointing and needs to return to its roots, Halo 4 is beautiful but kinda feels to me like one big fetch/delivery quest, and haven’t played Assassin’s Creed 3 yet but looking forward to doing so. I think they’re are not enough “historical” action games like AC, ya know!


    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.



    Courtesy of Commish


    Courtesy of noobsforlife


    Courtesy of bigcakefr


    Courtesy of DeVIlKiD


    Courtesy of Mischiefz

    Previously on Dungeon Defenders

    Meet the Trendy Team: Abraham Abdala — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Abraham Abdala about his daily life as a character rigger/technical artist, how he arrived at Trendy and what advice he would give to those on the outside looking in.

    Code Drop Tuesday: 11/20/12 — Be sure to follow our Twitter account for code drops every Tuesday!

    Dungeon Defenders Free for PlayStation Plus Users — Good news, PlayStation Plus users! Dungeon Defenders is free if you have a PlayStation Plus membership. This deal starts today and lasts until March 26. That’s plenty of time to loot gear, shoot mobs and defend Etheria!

    Dungeon Defenders on Sale at Amazon and Mac App Store — Haven’t picked up a copy of Dungeon Defenders? You can get the Steam version of the game on Amazon for $2.99 — that’s 80 percent off! This Steam code will work on PC and the Mac. If you’d rather play on Game Center, you can buy a copy on the Mac App Store for $3.99. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

    Community Member of the Week: Gashen-Sai — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we selected Gashen-Sai for his dedication to events and for his impeccable beard growth.

    Trendy Friday Fun Canceled This Week — Tears were shed when we had to cancel last week’s Trendy Friday Fun. I don’t like canceling them. I look forward to them each week.

    Weekly Workshop: Forgotten Graveyard — Step into this spooky map and defend the crystals until you take your last breath. Once you enter the graveyard, you can feel the souls of the forgotten crying for help. Intruders have stormed their territory. Ogres and all sorts of enemies are determined to keep the dead from resting in peace…

    This Week on the Website

    Thursday: N/A

    Friday: N/A

    Monday: Community Member of the Week, PS3 Console Event Reminder Post

    Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday


    The Trendy team will be enjoying Thanksgiving away from the office. We’re making the annual trek back home to spend time with our families and hometown friends. That means customer support and technical support will be away until Monday. Trendy Friday Fun will not happen this week, but it will happen next Friday.

    Stay safe this weekend.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Abraham Abdala

    November 20th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Abraham Abdala about his daily life as a character rigger/technical artist, how he arrived at Trendy and what advice he would give to those on the outside looking in.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey, I’m Abraham Abdala. Born in Panama, raised in many different countries in South America and the U.S., yet I consider myself Colombian. Why, you ask? Because my family lives there. :) I have a background in electrical engineering, B.A. in Fine Arts & Computer Animation and a Master Degree in VFX and Animation.

    At Trendy, I develop all character setups and any other asset that needs to be animated. Pretty much, my job consists of facilitating the animators a clean working character rig that will deform properly meeting our technical expectations.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    In the game industry? yes. But I’ve been in the entertainment industry for the past four years doing stereo compositing for feature film, motion graphics, lighting and rendering, some modeling and animation. I was also an instructor at the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego, CA.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    A good friend of mine told me they had a position open as a character rigger, and well, it’s kinda hard to say no to a dream job.

    What’s your daily routine as a character rigger/technical artist?

    As soon as I come in, I check all the animations done for the current character in the pipeline. Checking if it’s deforming correctly most of the time. If something needs to get fixed I’ll quickly get my hands on it. Now, if there is a character waiting to be rigged, that’s a bigger priority that could take my entire day, involving meetings with the animators to decide how the character will move, any limitations, rigging process and implementation. When not doing that, I’m creating tools for the animators and myself to streamline our process.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    As I mentioned before, this is my dream job, and I’m so blessed and thankful to have it! I love everything about it, but if I have to choose, I would say problem solving. There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you get to solve problems. Oh, and I love the people I work with! They’re all crazy. :p

    What do you wish you can change about your job?

    I really wish I could work less hours. But this is the price you pay to be in this industry. Although, when you love what you do, time goes by really, really fast!

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Man, this one is hard. So many good games, but my current top five are:

    1. Assassin’s Creed Series
    2. Splinter Cell Series
    3. Battlefield 3
    4. League of Legends
    5. Super Smash Brawl (Donkey Kong FTW!) / King of Fighters / Street Fighter

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    Absolutely! I won’t mention the obvious one. (Games? Haha!) Now that I have a little bit more time than when I was in school I’m getting back to an old hobby I had — building realistic scale models of medieval times. I love watching TV series and going to the theater. Another field that I completely enjoy is lighting and rendering, so every now and then I’ll make a project.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Do a lot of research, look for what companies are looking for out there, what skills sets are they asking for, and if you decide to study this, please do yourself a favor and specialize in what you feel you do best. Don’t compete with your classmates. Look at professional portfolios and try to achieve their quality. This is a very competitive industry. If you’re not literally pushing to become the best, don’t even bother. All that, and also network — go to conferences, keep in touch with your talented friends. Remember how I got into Trendy? ;)


    Discuss this post here.


    Code Drop Tuesday: 11/20/12

    November 20th, 2012 by


    There’s no better way to drive off daydreams of succulent turkey feasts than a few rounds of Dungeon Defenders. Wait, you don’t have the game? Good gracious, what is wrong with you? Better yet, why are you on our page? Are you a spy?

    Well then, intrepid knowledge thief, if you want a chance to win a Steam copy of the game or a piece of DLC of your choice, retweet this and follow our Twitter account by 8 p.m. EST for your chance to win!

    We aren’t normally this nice to spies. Consider yourself lucky.


    Dungeon Defenders Free for PlayStation Plus Users

    November 20th, 2012 by


    Image courtesy of PlayStation Blog. Click the image for more details!

    Good news, PlayStation Plus users! Dungeon Defenders is free if you have a PlayStation Plus membership. This deal starts today and lasts until March 26. That’s plenty of time to loot gear, shoot mobs and defend Etheria!

    Plus, check out the other great deals available right now for PlayStation Plus users. (The first two Sonic games are free. Yes, please!)

    Discuss this post here.


    Dungeon Defenders On Sale at Amazon and Mac App Store

    November 19th, 2012 by

    Haven’t picked up a copy of Dungeon Defenders? You can get the Steam version of the game on Amazon for $2.99 — that’s 80 percent off! This Steam code will work on PC and the Mac. If you’d rather play on Game Center, you can buy a copy on the Mac App Store for $3.99.

    Get ‘em while they’re hot!


    DunDef Digest 11/14/12

    November 14th, 2012 by

    Three months of sweat, tears and furious crafting comes down to this one moment.

    Our second Dungeon Defenders Map Contest is over. Sixteen map entries were submitted, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. We played them on our livestreams. We witnessed the public give criticism, both constructive and otherwise. And we watched them evolve on our forums and on the Steam Workshop, metamorphosing from a blocked-out caterpillar to a beautiful, light-mapped butterfly.

    The public cast its last vote at midnight. The last judge came sprinting to the ballot box like Tom Cruise escaping a sandstorm.

    The votes are tallied. The numbers are crunched. The winner of our $1,000 grand prize is … Akatiti!

    Equal parts beautiful and brilliant, this map stunned our panel with its polish and its performance. This map easily outclasses some of the official maps for the game, and it’s the perfect fit for our Ranked mode.

    Our $500 second-place winner is Tower Wars Mistymire Valley. A brand-new gametype for Dungeon Defenders, Tower Wars is an insanely creative competitive map that allows players to spawn enemies on the other team’s side. I had a blast sending wave after wave of Goblin Copters. It’s the perfect marriage of competitive and cooperative gameplay.

    Our $250 third-place winner is Yar Har Fiddle De Dee. Set aboard a pirate ship on the high seas, players will have to defend against incoming ships attempting to board your vessel. We loved how the map evolved as the match progressed, and seeing Shards enemies on non-Nightmare difficulties was shocking but awesome.

    And finally, our $125 fourth-place winner is Mystywind Falls. This gorgeous map is a natural evolution of the core principles of our maps, and the final boss was a brilliant touch.

    All of our map contest participants will receive beta access to our next project!

    Here are the final results:

    1st: Akatiti — 87.64
    2nd: Tower Wars Mistymire Valley — 82.76
    3rd: Yar Har Fiddle De Dee — 81.18
    4th: Mystywind Falls — 81.06
    5th: Gallowmere — 78.3
    6th: The Sewerage — 78.12
    7th: The Arcane Vault — 71.85
    8th: Defend Paradise Joy Map — 69.55
    9th: Library of the Ancients — 68.98
    10th: Etheria Triangle — 68.86
    11th: Hero Temple — 67.45
    12th: The Clock Tower — 66.58
    13th: Basement Death Match — 65.18
    14th: Astronomers Tower — 62.2
    15th: Magic Platform Assault — 61.46
    16th: Brightlow Outpost — 32.96



    Our Lead Level Designer Ben Burkart was gracious enough to write feedback for each entry. Here are his thoughts:

    Tower Wars Mistymire Valley:

    This map was very interesting and creative. It was cool to see something a bit different in terms of gameplay. The level was pretty straightforward visually. Not a bad looking map, but nothing too new in terms of visuals. I liked the use of the river, bridge and caves to really break up the gameplay in interesting ways but felt the blocking volumes that kept players from going to the opposite teams base should have been marked visually in some way. There probably should have been a better visual indicator that the river will kill you upon jumping in, having it at player level where I could just walk in and die seemed kind of harsh! I really liked the display of different enemies to spawn, and the layout was pretty interesting. The added touches such as being able to disable weapons was pretty neat, too!

    Overall, a very creative concept for a map that created a cool new gametype. There were a few issues like floating trees in the background and invisible walls but that won’t stop this map from being fun. :)

    Library of the Ancients:

    A very straightforward map. I like the authors use of bookcases to create a maze for the enemies. I love that it keeps the enemies in a direct line that is very clear to the player but that also allows the players to jump over them to take a shortcut! I do wish there was a bit more variety in the height of the bottom floor and that there was a little more variety in the use of the bookshelves. I know there were some knocked over, spider webs, benches and a few other things, but I guess just a little more of that is needed. The lighting felt a little flat to me, overall there was mostly a lack of lighting in the map. There were very bright beams of light coming through the windows, which looks cool, but there was never any light actually casting on anything. The transparent upper part of the map was cool and creative, but I wish it could be seen from the bottom as well.

    Cool map with some decent height variation. The map could have used a bit more architecture, as of now it feel as if the level was built into a giant rectangle. Lighting was also a little bland but the use of the upper floors and bookcases was creative. I was also happy to find the teleporter that allowed me to get to the top quickly.

    Yar Har Fiddle De Dee

    Very creative map! I loved the creativity spread throughout this map. The layout was interesting and made me want to explore, but I felt like a large portion of the level was of no use. There were a lot of cool little details and custom pieces in this map such as the small living quarters, parrots, distant mountains and the ability to climb the ladder! The layout was straightforward and fun to defend, and the level author used the chance to get a creative layout by using ships shape. The distant mountains and what appears to be a distant ramparts was pretty creative and cool, too. The way the ships pulled upside the level was pretty cool and creative!

    Overall a really neat map that appears to have had a lot of hard work put into it. Very creative and had a cool atmosphere. I would have liked to have seen some of the dead end parts of the map in the lower decks go to more use or to simply not be a dead end. (Dead ends are evil!) The giant seahorse at the front of the ship was cute. :P

    Mystywind Falls:

    Very cool map both visually and layout wise! There were a lot of awesome little touches in the map like the crystals casting light rays through the boards on the ground, and the fallen mine track that crushed the ogre. (This one made me laugh.) The map was very easy to get around and fun to explore. It used a lot of good height variation, and the contrast visually was well done. There is a large hole above the center of the map that has a large light ray coming out of it that looks cool but doesn’t actually have a corresponding shadow cast on the ground to show that light is actually casting through there. The use of the spikes in the water was a good way to make it obvious the water was deadly. It would have been nice to see some water splashes coming from the waterfalls around the level, and the lighting was messed up on a lot of the treasure chests around the level, but other than that, the level was overall really cool and pleasing to look at. :)

    This map obviously had a lot of hard work put into it and it shows. Very creative use of assets such as the ogre and the skeleton in the water, as well as light rays through the board. There weren’t many issues in the map other than a few small things such as ogre should have had collision, grass was clipping through a mushroom and the light wasn’t actually casting through the large hole in the center of the map even though there was a giant light ray, but you know it’s a good map when that’s about all there is to complain about. :P

    Etheria Triangle:

    Very solemn map, but that’s awesome! I found the look and mood of this map to be very spooky in a cool way. The use of some of the meshes and sound to create that creepy feeling was cool, too! I’m never a big fan of mapmakers putting water at player level that will kill you when its not obvious. Falling from above and dying is fine, but when I can walk into it and get really far into the water then die randomly, it’s kind of frustrating. The Etheria Triangle was an interesting concept to me as I always loved the story of the Bermuda Triangle as a kid. Layout was a little bit lacking. It was straightforward but perhaps a little too straightforward. Map was almost entirely flat, and the walkways going to the enemy spawns were a bit too long and felt awkward to run overtop because of the large holes underneath. The giant serpent swimming around the level was a really nice touch. The color changes during the combat phase with the lightning flashes was pretty cool, but the color changes got a bit too saturated at times. Still, a cool effect!

    Creepy/cool map with some creative ideas behind it. The surrounding area brought a lot of atmosphere to the level, and the serpent completed it. Was slightly disappointed to walk into the water and just die though. And the layout was a tad too overscaled and areas of it had the player running way out of the way to reach a treasure chest, which I felt slowed down gameplay a lot.

    Astronomers Tower:

    Upon looking at this level, I can’t help but feel that the author just ran out of time. There are some really awesome ideas in the level, and architecturally, it is really neat to run around in, but it feels unfinished. Visually, it looked like the start of something cool, but there were a lot of small issues that hold it back. A lot of the hanging lights are using default textures, and the skydome seems about 5X smaller than it should be and the textures on it are unaligned. The architecture reminds me a lot of “The Lord of the Rings,” which is awesome. I’m never a fan of people using wall brick textures on the floor and the wall at the same time, as it just looks messy and you just end up with a level that uses the same colored textures everywhere and unaligned levels. There was also a large floating vine mesh in the middle of the air.

    If this map had been finished, I could easily see it being one of my favorites in the contest. (I’m a sucker for awesome architecture in levels.) In its current state, it could use some work. Really hope to see the map author finish this map up as it’s looking awesome so far. :)

    Hero Temple:

    There was a strange visual bug in this map that really stopped me from seeing the level as it was meant to be. A lot of objects across the level just had this black shadow effect moving across it. Other than that, the map was pretty interesting both visually and gameplay wise. It was both creative and used a good amount of height variation. I wish the author had used a different texture on the stairs as I didn’t feel it looked very good tiled the way it was. The level was small and compact, enemies had decently long paths to the core but since there was a lot of height it kept it very easy and simple for the player to get around where he needed to.

    Simple map that suffered from a strange visual issue. Cool, both architecturally and visually. The use of height was a very interesting addition to this map.

    Magic Platform Assault:

    Interesting map with a cool twist on Assault. This reminded me a lot of the classic Unreal Tournament 2004 Assault levels people would make. There was, however, a large issue I had with the level. It was extremely easy for me to just run right past half of the level without firing a shot. Of course, that just ruins the fun, but it’s still too easy to do. The nostalgia feeling this map gave me was awesome. I might just have to go play UT2004 Assault again.

    Very new twist to the Assault gametype. The use of the floating platforms to take you from place to place was pretty cool as was the different sections of the level and the use of jumping at different locations. Fun for anyone who likes Assault, but perhaps a little too easy to cheat on. :P

    The Clock Tower:

    Very cool map! The art style and design of this map was awesome. All of the spinning gears really added a lot of awesome movement to the level that made it feel very alive. I was slightly disappointed to not hear any sound effects for the gears at all, and it would have been cool to see the actual hands of the clock moving. The layout was a tad simple and will probably be far too easy for most players but might be cool for some people. One enemy pathway going to one core didn’t really leave much room for different builds and different strategies but might be good for players who want something easy or who like focusing all of their attention on one path. The visuals were very simple but kind of refreshing. I really liked the sparkle effect added to everything.

    Very cool visually and quite simple on the gameplay side. Although some people might like the simplistic layout of this map, most hardcore players will probably want more paths and variety in their map. The level was very well made and without bugs, but would love to see something more done with the ceiling. I saw on the minimap that this was version 0.1, so hopefully there’s a lot more coming to this map. :)

    The Sewerage:

    Another really creative map! The sewers map was a lot cooler in game than it looked in the screenshots! From spiders coming down from the ceilings to the overall feeling of the level, it was a pretty creative environment. The views looking outside was a nice touch, and the layout was pretty straightforward. (Perhaps a little too straightforward.) It’s always nice to see custom art, and there was a decent amount of it in this level. I do wish the level was a little more evenly spread out, having all of the enemy spawns that are closer spawn on the same side made the map feel a little unbalanced.

    A lot of nice touches across the map, from the water dripping and the wall that was broken out and the hole in the ceiling where the spiders came from, they all bring the level together to feel more moody and concrete. There was obviously a lot of work that went into this map, and it shows!

    The Arcane Vault:

    Very creative level both in layout and in visuals. It’s always cool to see custom start animations. This level was really huge! If it wasn’t for the interesting use of the teleporters, it would have been nearly impossible. I really liked how each enemy spawn actually had a visible part of the world that continued on through it. These kinds of little touches really make a world feel more realistic and much larger, and less like you’re running around in a predefined arena. The architecture in this level was really neat as well, and I’m glad to see the cave areas were actually different. Most level designers take the lazy approach and just mirror things.

    Very giant level that obviously had a ton of work put into it. It was nice to see certain rarely used meshes used in this map, and some of the mining areas outside of the map looked really cool and made me want to explore more. There were a couple of small issues I had in the map. The underside of the giant floating rock/crystals looked very dark, almost black. A lot of the chests around the level seemed to open twice. After the first one disappeared there seemed to be a second invisible one that would open and block collision at that spot still. Overall, a very cool and well made map, I had a lot of fun playing and exploring it! :)

    Brightlow Outpost:

    Crashes upon loading. :(

    Akatiti:

    Very amazing map! Very glad somebody put these assets to good use as they were easily my favorite art set in the game to work with! The map author really pulled off an amazingly detailed and visually pleasing map while at the same time making a fun to play and well polished map. I only have two complaints for this map! The collision is kinda wonky at spots, had a lot of issues around the treasure chest with the B sign next to it. Also found it kind of annoying running around the spikes in the water and other small things that I got caught up on. The second complaint was flowers throughout the level were intersecting with the ground at many spots. That’s right, flowers…. I had a hard time finding something to complain about so I had to throw that in. :P

    Quite an amazing level that’s easily up there with professional quality levels and surpasses many made for the stock DD game! Other than the small collision issues (and evil flowers), this level is spot on and quite impressive! There was also a sneaky QR code I found on the backside of a piece of wood, which I haven’t gotten a chance to scan yet.

    Basement Deathmatch:

    It’s good to see a deathmatch level for Dungeon Defenders. I do feel that this level is missing one of the most important elements of any deathmatch level, and that’s height variation! The teleporters were a neat touch, although the level probably would have worked fine without them. ;) The arrows in the boombox was a neat touch.

    Quite a small level with not much to comment on. Probably fun for a few games of deathmatch, and the music was fun. ;)

    Defend Paradise Joy Map:

    This map is enormous. It really brought out a feeling a lot of the old N64 games would bring that would just make me want to explore every nook and cranny in a game. There were a few issues in the map. Upon dying, the performance took an enormous hit. I have an extremely fast computer, and I didn’t have this issue before dying so not sure what it could be but there are some pretty crazy effects like the physics-based water effect, which was pretty cool. The ability to change difficulty and music from jumping on the buttons was a cool addition. Overall, the world felt random but creative. Finding the different crystals was a very creative addition as well.

    Overall, a very giant map that will be fun for anyone who enjoys exploration. Very creative and again a giant map with lots of cool nooks and crannies and lots to discover.

    Gallowmere:

    Very beautiful map, was a lot larger than I first thought it was. First thing I ended up doing was falling into the sneaky vine covered spike pits, which I felt was a bit too harsh! After innocently falling victim to this sneaky vine trap, I really had to pay attention as to what I was stepping on. Every puddle had me nervous. The overall design of this map was very well thought out and very creative. The player was given many options to get around the level quickly and effectively. There were a few spots where the collision was a little strange. One spot I couldn’t jump without hitting my head on invisible collision, and another spot leading into the background of the level had invisible walls blocking my way. There were some really nice touches in this level such as the buttons that caused the fire and many of the little visual details scattered around the level. The background really added a lot to this level. There were a few issues with the map such as the blimp that flew around the level flew right through a tree and a few collision issues but there wasn’t anything major!

    An amazing map all around. Hopefully this map is well accepted by the community even if it does not win! There were so many nice touches across the map that I just kept wanting to explore it! The small button with the spikes coming down from the ceiling with the dead guy under the spikes was awesome. :) Many people may find this layout to be a little on the large side, but the amount of work that went into this level was awesome! I finally got my trust back in puddles just to walk through a frikin death trap spiked hallway, but that was super awesome so I forgive the author. :P

    General Feedback:

    Overall, the maps in this contest were extremely creative this time around. The things people pulled off in their level amazed me at every turn. I really hope that people take the time to continue making maps for Dungeon Defenders even after the contest is over!”

    Thanks, Ben!

    Gobble Gobble

    I hear it’s almost Thanksgiving time. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t been outside in months, and nobody from my family is calling me to guilt me into a family meal. I should probably call them.

    Next week, your Trendy family will have a free Steam-y meal prepared for you to download and devour. In the same vein of our previous Halloween DLC, we’re updating our Turkey Hunt DLC to include a new Thanksigivng map, new accessories, new achievements and a new crystal core to unlock! This DLC will be free for two weeks. If you already have the Turkey Hunt DLC, the new content will automatically be added. If not, you’ll have to go the Turkey Hunt DLC page on the Steam store and click Install Game.

    Expect this content sometime next week.

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz and Philip Asher

    Have a question for the team? Want to know about something in the game or what our favorite ice cream flavors are? If you have a question that you would like to ask anyone on our team, head to the new Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

    Will the new ranked maps which get voted in from the map contest have their own unique pet rewards? – KnowsNoLimits

    Jeremy: They’ll have new rewards!

    Is there even the slightest chance of getting more than one of these maps into ranked? – CrzyRndm

    Jeremy: It’s possible if there’s a grand tie — and we will be holding other map contests going forward as well. ;)

    When are new DLC characters costumes going to come out? – Garzhod

    Jeremy: That depends on whether you have been naughty or nice…

    How did the devs on console decide what to tweak on the console version of Sky City (mob count, mob health, etc.), or did they just port it exactly as it came out originally on PC without considering the differences in console? – Yonathan Arredondo

    Jeremy: We optimized the maps for console and played over it to the best of our ability on console. Values were tweaked, but it did originally derive from the PC version (unlike the other maps, which were tweaked from console first to PC second).

    I’m not sure if you can share sales numbers, but if you can could you break down PC, console and mobile sales now that the game is winding down. To further it, maybe show us spikes during Steam sales? – Sonos

    Philip: Hm, that’s an interesting question. Well first off, spikes in Steam sales highly correlates to spikes in the simultaneous players, so if you want more information on that for Dungeon Defenders (and any other Steam game), I suggest looking here: http://steamstatshistory.appspot.com/list

    As for PC and console sales, we’ve seen over 80 percent of sales on PC, about 13 percent on Xbox and the rest on PS3. Those numbers are rough estimates based on per unit sales of Dungeon Defenders.

    Would you guys ever put in the weapons, like the IGameshot’s Reptilium in for an extra hard challenge, to reward those who played on tablet? – DSWITHDQ

    Jeremy: New weapons are coming to the PC version, but we’re unlikely to port the mobile weapons directly…

    Will the Initiate’s Enemy Drain ability ever affect bosses? Also, will there be an option to hide accessories? – troqdor

    Jeremy: We’ll consider Enemy Drain on Bosses for the next patch… as for Accessory hiding… that would defeat some of the purpose of getting a cool-looking accessory, eh? ;)

    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.



    Courtesy of Echo


    Courtesy of Brixel


    Courtesy of Jeroentjuh


    Courtesy of SNESTASTIC


    Courtesy of 0NESH0TKILL

    Previously on Dungeon Defenders

    Code Drop Tuesday: 11/13/12

    Meet the Trendy Team: Rosa Burkart — In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Administrative Assistant Rosa Burkart about the challenges of keeping our immature flock happy and organized.

    Community Member of the Week: Dredd — In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we selected Dredd for pioneering the community-hosted events movement in Dungeon Defenders, for moderating our official forums and for being one of the nicest, most helpful members of our community. Read on to get a rare glimpse at the man beneath the helmet.

    Trendy Friday Fun: 11/9/12

    Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: The Final Batch — Our Map Contest is coming to an end, so we wanted to shine the spotlight on the other maps that we haven’t shown. There’s still plenty of time left to vote, so click on the images and cast your votes!

    This Week on the Website

    Thursday: Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition

    Friday: Trendy Friday Fun

    Monday: Community Member of the Week

    Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Code Drop Tuesday: 11/13/12

    November 13th, 2012 by


    Do you want a chance to win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of your choice (base game or DLC)? Log on to Twitter and retweet this tweet in order to enter. We’ll randomly choose a winner at 8 p.m. EDT!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Rosa Burkart

    November 13th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Administrative Assistant Rosa Burkart about the challenges of keeping our immature flock happy and organized.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hello! I’m Rosa Burkart. Originally from Chugiak, Alaska. Married to Ben Burkart, a.k.a. Evilmrfrank [Ed. Note: Our lead level designer at Trendy], and I’m the administrative assistant.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I check my emails, look through Skype messages, update my task list, sending and confirming, focus testing sessions, go food shopping every Tuesday and perform other office duties as needed.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    This would be my second. I worked at Gearbox Software as a QA tester. The main project I was assigned to was Borderlands but also assisted other teams testing Aliens: Colonial Marines, Samba de Amigo, Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway and a couple other titles.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I wanted to continue pursuing my career in the gaming industry as a QA Tester, but at the time there wasn’t any open positions available. So my husband who’s been working at Trendy for a few years helped me get a position as an administrative assistant.

    What are the challenges of being Trendy’s administrative assistant?

    Sometimes I’m given last-minute tasks and need to have them completed before a certain deadline. I need to keep improving my multitasking skills by staying prepared and alert for new challenges that come my way.

    Also, keeping everyone here at Trendy well fed! It’s becoming more of a challenge since Trendy is growing so rapidly!

    What’s the craziest snack request you’ve had?

    Jeremy requested I go buy $300 worth of candy and [our CEO] Augi requested dog food and wing sauce lotion…

    What’s it like to be the voice of reason among grown-ups who act like children?

    Let me just say I feel like the caring company mother.

    Have you dealt with the aftermath of a Nerf war?

    No..but if I do, I’ll probably be responsible for the clean up!

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Helping and providing whatever people need around the office to get their job done efficiently.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    I’m happy to even have a job!

    What are your top five favorite games?

    League of Legends

    Unreal Tournament 2k4

    Diablo III

    Tomb Raider series

    Soul Calibur series

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    Trying out new video games, drawing/sketching, watching anime, working out, going on hikes/walks with my Alaskan Malamute and online shopping. Does that count as a hobby? :)

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    For companies to take you seriously, you have to prove you’re capable of doing good work. One way you can do this is by joining modding teams. Game companies like to see your ability to work well in a team environment as well as your ability to finish work. The most important thing is to specialize in one particular area that you enjoy. Game companies are never looking for a jack of all trades. They are looking for the best of the best so you need to become the best at what you do to be recognized.

    Discuss this post here.


    DunDef Digest 11/7/12

    November 7th, 2012 by

    Mark another historic election down in the United States.

    Regardless of party affiliation, the importance of this election cannot be understated. This election marks the first Asian-American woman in the Senate, the first female disabled veteran in the House of Representatives and the first openly gay senator. It’s great to see our government show diversity and to grow closer to truly reflecting our country.

    Speaking of voting, the Dungeon Defenders Map Contest voting has begun! You have until Nov. 13 to cast your ballot for the maps you’d like to see in Ranked. All in all, there are 16 wonderful maps to download and experience. The entries run the gamut from traditional campaign maps to PvP to Assault. Even if you don’t want to vote, you should check them out. These authors worked hard. Reward their efforts.

    PlayStation Plus users, we have some good news. Starting Nov. 20, Dungeon Defenders will be free! This free period will last until March 26, 2013. That’s plenty of time to see everything there is to see. Go tell your friends! Sorry, PSN EU fans. No word yet on the Shards IV DLC or patch.

    No word from the team about Second Wave on the Google Play Store. Stay tuned.

    Have you grabbed our free Steam Halloween DLC? There’s still time! Head on over to this page to learn all about it.

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

    Have a question for the team? Want to know about something in the game or what our favorite ice cream flavors are? If you have a question that you would like to ask anyone on our team, head to the new Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

    Any ETA on when beta invites for your new game might start going out? – Sonos

    Before the end of this year. We’ll be looking to the most hardcore among the DunDef community to join in the first rounds.

    Will you guys ever make a level specifically about Trendy Entertainment, featuring maybe TE treasure chests and you guys as enemies? – DSWITHDQ

    Only if I get to be the Final Boss.

    What are the challenges with building a Ranked play mode that doesn’t kill your progression when there is a quick Steam or network glitch for example? Is this kind of item in your product backlog for future games? – brixel

    Basically, the current TrendyNet system requires Steam to authenticate your user for data storage, and if Steam goes down, we can no longer authenticate your user. We may be able to eliminate this requirement after the login process, however. We’ll look into it shortly. For future titles, it’s not going to be an issue due to new backend systems.

    Since you guys now have released the Kobolt on Treadmill as a pet, is there any chance that the Skeleton on Treadmill that you can see over the edge at the Etherian Holiday Extravaganza map is going to be released as a pet too? – Patrick

    Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa is just around the corner, right? :)

    Meet the Trendy Team: Robbie Reed

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Environment Artist Robbie Reed about his pathway to Trendy, his creative inspiration and his favorite games. Spoiler alert: One of them is Shadow of the Colossus. This man has taste.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hello, my name is Robbie Reed, and I am an environment artist at Trendy.

    If I walked around our game, what would I find that was made by you?

    I made a pumpkin for the Halloween pack. Really though, you won’t find anything. I started Trendy not too long ago, so just about everything I’ve done has been for our upcoming projects.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yes. I started Trendy on a two month internship, where I worked my way up to lead intern before I officially joined the team.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I was born and raised in Gainesville, so to hear that there was a video game studio only a few blocks from where I live was hard to believe. I took a walk down to the studio, knocked on the door and asked to volunteer. I think they thought I was crazy.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I roll out of bed, bike to the studio, and stay at the studio for the majority of the day. Then I go home and go to sleep. It’s a good life, video games.

    Where do you find creative inspiration?

    Music. I like to listen to soundtracks from all my favorite video games while I’m doing art things. Find the soundtrack to Shadow of the Colossus and then go draw something while listening to it. It makes drawing a lot more fun, and having fun is about the most important thing I need to feel creative.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    My co-workers. Spending 10 to 12 hours a day in front of a computer is difficult, and even though modeling and painting is fun, it still requires a lot of mental stamina. Thankfully the people I work with are a fantastic group, and my job wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without them.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    It’d be fun to have tri limits in the tens of thousands for our assets.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Chrono Trigger, A Link To The Past, Castlevania SotN, Journey and Shadow of the Colossus. Probably in that order.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    As often as I have energy I like to play the piano, though I don’t have nearly as much time for it as I did before I started working at a video game studio.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Find a video game studio within a 10-block radius of your home and knock on their door. But seriously, go find some tutorials online and learn as much as you can about whatever you want to do, and then go do it. If you can go to school for it, go for it. I spent five years in school studying things that had nothing to do with what I do now, and the best decision I’ve ever made was to stop going. You can get an intro course to Maya for the price of a video game. It’s worth it.

    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


    Courtesy of mustangpirate69


    Courtesy of Jesus Cristo


    Courtesy of gyBtabris


    Courtesy of TheDuckMiner


    Courtesy of MyShell27

    Previously on Dungeon Defenders

    Code Drop Tuesday — Every Tuesday, we drop Steam codes from our Twitter account. Follow along for your chance to win a code next Tuesday.

    Community Member of the Week: TitoDaddy – In this week’s Community Member of the Week, we chose TitoDaddy for his commitment to PS3 events and for his undeniable charisma on our forums. Click the link above to learn more about the man himself.

    Trendy Friday Fun: Map Contest Entries and Voting — On last week’s stream, we played through the Map Contest entries. Watch the stream to see these maps in action.

    Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: The Arcane Vault — There’s more to The Arcane Vault than meets the eye. Click the link above to read more about it!

    Dungeon Defenders Map Contest Voting is Live — Sixteen maps are waiting for your vote in our second Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. Go to our Steam Workshop Map Contest section and cast your votes for the maps you’d like to see in Ranked. Click the link above to read more about the contest.

    This Week on the Website

    Thursday: Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition

    Friday: Trendy Friday Fun

    Monday: Community Member of the Week

    Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Robbie Reed

    November 7th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Environment Artist Robbie Reed about his pathway to Trendy, his creative inspiration and his favorite games. Spoiler alert: One of them is Shadow of the Colossus. This man has taste.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hello, my name is Robbie Reed, and I am an environment artist at Trendy.

    If I walked around our game, what would I find that was made by you?

    I made a pumpkin for the Halloween pack. Really though, you won’t find anything. I started Trendy not too long ago, so just about everything I’ve done has been for our upcoming projects.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yes. I started Trendy on a two month internship, where I worked my way up to lead intern before I officially joined the team.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I was born and raised in Gainesville, so to hear that there was a video game studio only a few blocks from where I live was hard to believe. I took a walk down to the studio, knocked on the door and asked to volunteer. I think they thought I was crazy.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I roll out of bed, bike to the studio, and stay at the studio for the majority of the day. Then I go home and go to sleep. It’s a good life, video games.

    Where do you find creative inspiration?

    Music. I like to listen to soundtracks from all my favorite video games while I’m doing art things. Find the soundtrack to Shadow of the Colossus and then go draw something while listening to it. It makes drawing a lot more fun, and having fun is about the most important thing I need to feel creative.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    My co-workers. Spending 10 to 12 hours a day in front of a computer is difficult, and even though modeling and painting is fun, it still requires a lot of mental stamina. Thankfully the people I work with are a fantastic group, and my job wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without them.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    It’d be fun to have tri limits in the tens of thousands for our assets.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Chrono Trigger, A Link To The Past, Castlevania SotN, Journey and Shadow of the Colossus. Probably in that order.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    As often as I have energy I like to play the piano, though I don’t have nearly as much time for it as I did before I started working at a video game studio.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Find a video game studio within a 10-block radius of your home and knock on their door. But seriously, go find some tutorials online and learn as much as you can about whatever you want to do, and then go do it. If you can go to school for it, go for it. I spent five years in school studying things that had nothing to do with what I do now, and the best decision I’ve ever made was to stop going. You can get an intro course to Maya for the price of a video game. It’s worth it.


    Code Drop Tuesday: 11/6/12

    November 6th, 2012 by


    Do you want a chance to win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of your choice (base game or DLC)? Log on to Twitter and retweet this tweet in order to enter. We’ll randomly choose a winner at 8 p.m. EDT!


    Dungeon Defenders Map Contest Voting is Live

    November 1st, 2012 by

    It’s time to vote!

    Sixteen maps are waiting for your vote in our second Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. Go to our Steam Workshop Map Contest section and cast your votes for the maps you’d like to see in Ranked. Give maps you’d like to see in Ranked a thumbs up and maps that you wouldn’t want to see in Ranked a thumbs down. Remember, we may choose more than one map to add into Ranked!

    Here’s how the voting breaks down:

    From now until Nov. 13 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, public voting will take place on the Steam Workshop. Only the maps listed below this post are eligible for the contest.

    The final voting will be weighted 40 percent public voting and 60 percent judges’ voting. The judging panel will consist of 5 to 7 judges from the Trendy staff. The final results will be revealed in the Nov. 14 DunDef Digest.

    We’ll take the overall percentage of up votes to down votes per map and multiply it by .4 to get the public voting percentage. Then, we’ll add that to the 40 percent score from our judges to find our final winners. We’re using the up/down percentages and not the number of votes because we cannot guarantee that players have voted for every map.

    Just a reminder to our entrants: Unless granted special privilege by the judging staff, you may not update your Steam Workshop map. Updating your map may result in disqualification.

    Ready to see which maps are waiting for your vote? Here are our entries. Click the images to go their Steam Workshop page, and click the Subscribe button to download the map for use in Open mode.


    DunDef Digest 10/31/12

    October 31st, 2012 by

    Welcome to the Digest, Mr. J.

    Today was Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s first day at Trendy. Having read through her diary, it appears someone in the office made quite the impression on her.

    We’ve been struck with Halloween fever here in the office. Either in a state of delirium or gratitude (we confuse the two quite regularly), we gave away another Halloween Steam DLC event for free! (Well, it should have been free. Valve should make it free by tomorrow.) You can head on over to the Steam store page to grab your copy once it’s free. For full details, stop by the website to learn how to make it yours forever.

    Speaking of the website, as Laura mentioned on the site earlier today, the PC Event Team has something special brewing for the weekend. These frightful community members are hosting Nexus’s Halloween Hallows Event! This event will take place in Open on a special Steam Workshop map, so the hosts suggest you bring a character who does not use modded gear on Open. If you can, bring your best geared Ranked character. There will be teams of five, and the difficulty will be Nightmare Hardcore. Are you tough enough?

    Today is the last day to submit a map for our map contest. Follow the instructions listed on our official Map Contest thread to ensure that your map will be eligible for voting. As of this post, we have 13 solid entries ready for you to vote on. You have two weeks to vote for the map you’d like to see in Ranked. Voting will close on Nov. 13, and the winning entries will be announced in the Nov. 14 Digest.

    Just a quick reminder: We do not have an ETA for when Second Wave will be on the Google Play Store again, and we have not heard back from SCEE about the PSN EU patch and DLC. I’m incredibly sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully I’ll have more news to share on both these fronts soon.

    In other news, our technical support guru IceArrow leveled up! Ice is now our new IT and QA administrator. That means three things. First, there will be a new tech support sheriff ‘round these parts. Second, he has the unenviable task of moving all of his belongings across the country to come join us here in Gainesville. Finally, part of his new job is to lead the remote closed beta team for our next project, similarly to what we’ve done in our current project. Want to help us test our next project? IceArrow shares the deets below.

    Beta Team Sign-ups

    Earlier this month we had our first in-house beta session for our new project where the beta testers were given pizza for their time. Every beta test has been very successful for finding issues and receiving valuable feedback on what players like and what they would change. We’re planning on doing a remote closed beta at some point in the near future provided our internal testing keeps going well. If you’d like to get some QA experience and troubleshoot our next exciting product, please send us an email with your name and information to betatesters@trendyent.com. Please note this is the initial external beta test group and so requirements maybe a bit more strict but will likely lessen as time goes on and we wish to expand the beta team.

    Requirements:

    Must be 18 years of age
    Windows XP or later
    Be able to participate in beta tests during or near US prime time hours (6pm to 11pm Eastern Time)
    Applications with previous closed beta, IT, QA, or game industry experience will be considered first

    Additional information that would help us in narrowing tester selections:

    Link to your Steam profile
    Link to Trendy forum profile
    Attach a DxDiag Report (Start -> Run -> type dxdiag and hit enter. Then click save all information and this will put it into a .txt file for you to attach.)

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

    If you have a question that you would like to ask anyone on our team, head to the new Ask Us Anything thread! The thread will close on Monday, and answers will be posted in next week’s Digest.

    Could we have a feature to choose what Build and Combat theme to use across the board? – What

    Jeremy: Alas, that is a cool idea but would actually increase memory usage too much across all the maps, unless we implemented audio streaming, which would be impractical.

    When the next DLC is published, will there be a chance of having a never before seen Boss? – gow3isba

    Jeremy: In a manner of speaking. :)

    Where does a team start when teaching how to use Unreal script? – Nexus

    Jeremy: The DDDK is a pretty handy reference for a completed game, but to just get your feet wet, try the many tutorials available on www.udk.com.

    Were there any enemies/towers that you wanted to implement to game, but you did not for whatever reason? – 1shark1

    Jeremy: Nearly implemented a “Troll” enemy (see attached concept), but didn’t have a place to put him given the Lost Eternia Shards campaign structure. Trolls were gonna toss boulders, and you were only gonna be able to kill them by hitting a dead troll with the specific element type that they were immune to, otherwise they’d resurrect (“Kill it with fire!”). However, these mechanics may have been too much “trolling” of the players, so we decided against it for Shards. :)

    What have you learned from the challenges you’ve faced with supporting multiple platforms, and how will it help you with future releases? – brixel

    Pipeline, pipeline, pipeline! Future releases are going to have a much better pipeline for multi-platform development & maintenance.

    What would you consider to be important factors in determining the strength of a loyal community several months down the road? Given these factors, what actions are being taken or planned in pursuing the preservation of a loyal community? – Commish

    Listening to the community, adding features that the community wants, supporting them with new content and giving the community the tools and capability it needs to create its own content! As for preservation of the wonderful DunDef community, that includes more new content going forward (and continued expansion of the DDDK), but also getting the DD fanbase the first opportunity to experience the next things that Trendy has coming up!

    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


    Courtesy of dr.riven


    Courtesy of fallenangel1337


    Courtesy of EdeNoti


    Courtesy of Olaf IV


    Courtesy of manuelle

    Previously on Dungeon Defenders

    Meet the Trendy Team: Jerome Pourchier
    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Jerome Pourchier, lead character artist, about his career in the gaming industry, the freedom of working from France and the character that changed the most from concept to complete.

    Code Drop Tuesday — Every Tuesday, we drop Steam codes from our Twitter account. Follow along for your chance to win a code next Tuesday.

    Free Steam Halloween DLC Out Now — For the next two weeks, you can grab our spooky Halloween Mission Pack DLC for free! This pack contains new 2012 content and last year’s Halloween surprises. In addition to the Mission Pack, last year’s Halloween Costume Pack is free.

    Community Member of the Week: CaptBoxershorts
    In the first of our inaugural Community Member of the Week series, we selected CaptBoxershorts for his dedication to the community. CaptBoxershorts is a PC community event host, meaning he spends his precious free time hosting events with other members. These events are organized and maintained by community members, and because of their commitment to the game, these events are sponsored by Trendy. CaptBoxershorts previously hosted events for the PS3 and the 360 versions, both of which were also sponsored by Trendy. His enthusiasm, commitment and selflessness earned him a spot on our Community Hall of Fame.

    Trendy Friday Fun: Into the Sewers — On last week’s stream, we played on The Sewerage, one of the maps in our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest.

    Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: The Sewerage — Here’s a side of Etheria you haven’t seen before. The Sewerage by TF Pickle ventures to the disgusting yet necessary underworld of Etherian society. Click the link above to read more about it!

    This Week on the Website

    Thursday: Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: The Arcane Vault

    Friday: Trendy Friday Fun

    Monday: Community Member of the Week

    Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Jerome Pourchier

    October 30th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Jerome Pourchier, lead character artist, about his career in the gaming industry, the freedom of working from France and the character that changed the most from concept to complete.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hi! My name is Jerome Pourchier, and I am 34. I’m lead character artist at Trendy Entertainment. On Dungeon Defenders, I was in charge of creating the characters, costumes and monster designs and making the 3D model of most of them.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    No, I started in 2008 in a French company called Lexis Numérique, first as character artist, then as lead character artist. (Before that, I was a mechanic teacher and before I worked as an engineer in the nuclear industry). I’ve worked on various titles like “AMY,” “Red Johnson’s Chronicles” or the world-famous (or not -_-) “Chaos à la Maison.”

    What drew you to Trendy?

    When Epic Games launched the UDK in late 2009, I had posted some stuff on their board — a kind of huge flying steampunk-ish airship. Then I was contacted by Jeremy Stieglitz who offered me to work with him. After playing the prototype, and the game looked so promising, it was obvious that I had to join the team.


    What’s your daily routine?

    I work from my home in the south of France, so after bringing my daughter to school I take my breakfast in front of my computer, browsing my favorite websites, like ZBrushCentral or deviantArt. I check my email. I read the Trendy Skype channel, and I click (or not) on the doubtful links provided by my co-workers. [Ed. Note: Goodsell is known to drop the link-bomb or two.]

    I used to start working on Dungeon Defenders stuff around 9 a.m. (3 a.m. Eastern time). When my co-workers came online around 5 p.m., my day was already well underway. So it was time to receive feedback about the work of the day before and to discuss what could be improved or changed. I try to stay available until midnight to 1 a.m. in the case the team needs some urgent work.

    What inspires you when making new characters?

    I love the work of Joe Benitez, Mike Henry (zatransis), or xa (from Ankama), and I can’t say that I’m not picking some form of inspiration in their work. I’m also a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Warhammer and the Stormbringer universes.

    Which character changed the most from your original concept to the final, in-game character?

    Hmm. I think that the Summoner has nothing to see with the original design. First, it was supposed to be some voodoo-ish aborigine.

    What’s your favorite asset you created for the game?

    Hmm. I had a lot of fun doing the Goblin Mech boss and their gigantic battleship.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Well, when you gather tons of references, make and remake design, work hard on the 3D model, and you see it brought to life by a talented animator, it’s priceless. That and the opportunity to go to work in underpants. >_>

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    If I had more time, I would love to push some of the DD toony characters to a higher level with high-quality models, textures and rendering. I would love to work on a Pixar-like cinematic for our game. Unfortunately, we are a small company, and we can’t afford that. Maybe one day. ;)

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Hmm. I assume that Dungeon Defenders doesn’t count, right? So Everquest II is probably the game that has provided me the most fun. I’m also a big fan of League of Legends (Mordekaiser forever!), Batman: Arkham City, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, and Flashback.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I love to draw traditionally (you see pencil, paper, eraser, etc.), and I take figure drawing lessons in my spare time to improve my skills. I also love to craft things with my hands. This summer, I did a hut for my daughter. All her friends are jealous now.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Work, work and work more. Always be open minded. Don’t try to not burn stages. Always accept critics and try to analyse them. Be satisfied of your own work, but not more than five minutes. Never spend too long on the same stuff. And the most important: work, work and work more.


    Code Drop Tuesday: 10/31/12

    October 30th, 2012 by


    Do you want a chance to win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of your choice (base game or DLC)? Log on to Twitter and retweet this tweet in order to enter. We’ll randomly choose a winner at 8 p.m. EDT!


    Free Steam Halloween DLC Out Now

    October 29th, 2012 by

    Celebrate Halloween with everyone on TrendyNet!

    For the next two weeks, you can grab our spooky Halloween Mission Pack DLC for free! This pack contains new 2012 content and last year’s Halloween surprises. In addition to the Mission Pack, last year’s Halloween Costume Pack is free. Go to this page and this page to get the Mission Pack and Costume Pack, respectively. Click Install Game on each DLC to ensure that the frights and fun are yours forever.

    Now updated for 2012, this Halloween Mission Pack contains:

  • 1 new Spooktacular Challenge Mission
  • 8 Halloween accessories
  • 1 new unlockable Halloween Eternia Crystal
  • 2 new achievements

  • Plus, the previous Halloween Mission Pack contents:

  • 1 new Halloween-themed mission
  • 8 exclusive Halloween weapons
  • 4 ultra-rare, unlockable character skins

  • DunDef Digest 10/24/12

    October 24th, 2012 by

    Halloween is right around the corner, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s another Steam Halloween event!

    Get ready for Spooktacular 2.0.

    This time, we’re using Endless Spires as the haunting grounds for our Halloween DLC. We won’t reveal what you’ll need to do to succeed just yet. You’ll have to wait until next week to find out for yourself. But we think you’ll like what we’re brewing in the cauldron.

    This DLC comes with the revised Endless Spires, eight new Accessories and a new Crystal Core. It will be added in to the previous Halloween Spooktacular DLC.

    And it’s all free.

    Yes, that means you will get this Halloween event and last year’s Halloween event together for free. Thank the Great Pumpkin!

    Xbox DLC and Patch Out Now

    The wait is over.

    Xbox 360 defenders can download the final Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards DLC. Along with the new DLC, a new console patch brings the highly anticipated Insane+ difficulty mode for free. You can grab Shards Part IV on the Xbox Marketplace for 320 MS points.

    Head to our official thread to discuss the new DLC with your fellow defenders!


    Last Week to Submit Map Contest Entries

    Submissions for our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest are due October 31 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. To submit your map, upload it to the Steam Workshop and select “Map Contest” in the DDDK when uploading your map. If you do not upload it to the Workshop by the time stated above, it will not be eligible for the contest.

    After October 31, we’ll have a two-week voting period. Be sure to subscribe to all of the maps, try them out and give them your vote!

    Ask Us Anything with Daniel and Jesús Díaz

    If you asked a question in last week’s Ask Us Anything thread, they’ll be answered in next week’s Digest. Most of the questions were aimed toward Jeremy, and the boss man stepped out this week to do important things. Big things.

    With the free Anniversary DLC out, I figured this would be a great time to talk with Daniel and Jesús Díaz, the two level designers responsible for Tavern Defense. You might remember Daniel Diaz — he was the author of Palantir, the contest-winning map that earned him a job here in the studio. We talked about the challenges and creative process of making the map.

    Can you briefly describe your creative process for Tavern Defense?

    Jesús Díaz: The first thing we did was break some walls of the tavern as well as some windows and scattered all of those pieces around the floors. After this, we starting working on the outside areas. I did the buildings, bridges, etc., while Daniel was making the outside floors, fences, etc.

    At the end, we worked on the tavern outside, backgrounds, lighting and added last details.

    What was your visual inspiration for the map?

    Daniel Díaz: We were inspired by the map Mistymire Forest and some cool concept art we found in the Internet (mostly for the tavern outside meshes).

    What is your favorite feature of the map?

    Jesús Díaz: My favorite feature of this map is that finally players can go outside the tavern. Also it shows the tavern from outside.

    What challenges did you face in making the map?

    Daniel Díaz: Perhaps the fact that we had to break the tavern so the mobs could enter and reach the core. Making all of the tavern’s outside was another big challenge. And of course the time — we had two weeks to make this map.

    What was challenging about making the outside of the tavern?

    Daniel Díaz: All of the building meshes that covers the tavern, the towers, roofs, that type of stuff. In other words, we had to imagine how the tavern should look from an outside view.

    How did you guys determine how the outside of the tavern (the river, the towers) would look?

    Daniel Díaz: For the outside of the tavern, we looked for some cool tavern concepts and tried to adapt them to the Dungeon Defenders theme using Dungeon Defenders textures. All the rest was directly inspired by the Mistymire map. The river was improvised while we were building the basic layout for the map.

    Was it different creating this map — iconic as it is among the players — than it was creating maps about places they’d never seen or had preconceptions about like Palantir?

    Daniel Díaz: On the Tavern Defense map, you have to create something that people would expect so you are a bit more limited than in a totally custom map. But is a lot of fun making this type of maps and read the reactions of the people.

    Is there anything you wish you could go back and change?

    Daniel Díaz: Of course there’s always things you would change. Maybe that broken log on some of the bridges could be replaced with something more interesting. Also adding some more animated stuff could have been made.

    Why does the tavern have multiple floors?

    Jesús Díaz: The tavern has several floors from the previous owners that always were making big parties in the beginning…

    Some time later, when Etheria was attacked by a lot of mobs, those floors were closed to people and now only contain many barrels of beer, expired beer…

    Is there anything else you’d like to share about the map?

    Daniel Díaz & Jesús Díaz: We had way too much fun working together! Also, we would like to thank all of the gameplay team who did an awesome job with the map!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Jordan Kerbow

    This week, I spoke with Jordan Kerbow, lead environment artist, about his daily routine, his favorite assets he made in Dungeon Defenders and some other things that might interest you or might not. Also, he totally copped out on the creation process question.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey, my name is Jordan Kerbow, and I am the lead environment artist as well as character artist at Trendy. I have been working here since February of 2010.

    Before working at Trendy, I lived in Seattle serving tables and doing art in my spare time. One night, I made a post on the UDK forums about how I wanted to be a part of a modding team, and I posted my portfolio. Awhile later, I got contacted by Trendy about an environment position, and they gave me an art test. I was to design and model a spiky blockade for the Squire. They liked the final model so much that it’s the one you see in game now.

    What else were you responsible for in the game?

    When I first started there were only two environment artists so I ended up making a large chunk of assets for the full game. I also created all the Squire and Apprentice towers, as well as most of the weapons in the game.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yeah, Trendy was my first.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I was super excited to work on a toony fantasy game.

    What’s your daily routine as a lead environment artist?

    When I get to work I like pick up where I left off on whatever I was working on. The work I do in a day can range pretty greatly from small props to meshing out a level’s base, weapons, lots of tiling textures and characters as well. Throughout the day, I review assets from the rest of the team and have the occasional talk with our art director or level designer about super cool game things.

    How do you go about creating and designing environment art? Is there a process?

    Usually I get an idea of what I want, and once it’s ready, I find the ‘Make 3D button’, press it then go home.

    What asset in the game are you most proud of?

    I loved making the DLC content. Me and the other environment artist at the time, Anton Kozlov, had a great time creating all the DLC maps, weapons and a few characters as well. I was very happy to get to create the Female Squire skin and liked how it came out.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Right now, I really love working on characters. In general, I love to hand-paint textures. Above all I get to work with some really great and talented people.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Icewind Dale series, Mass Effect, Dragon Age. I love World of Warcraft for the art. When I used to play, I spent most my time running around looking at things.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I love painting when I get home. I just bought a Cintiq so it’s even more enjoyable. I have always loved crafting things. One summer, I made a suit of leather armor. Over two summers I crafted some swords using leaf springs from the back of pickup trucks. I generally like the challenge of learning a new craft and making some fun things.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    You gotta want it. If you want to break in young, then you gotta pretty much always be learning and getting better in your spare time. If your work is good enough and you are putting your work out there, then you will find something eventually.



    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


    Courtesy of Nekro Night


    Courtesy of Commish


    Courtesy of Tauhoor


    Courtesy of Screeny


    Courtesy of Farmer

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    This Week on the Website

    Thursday: Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: The Sewerage

    Friday: Trendy Friday Fun

    Monday: Community Member of the Week

    Tuesday: Meet the Trendy Team, Code Drop Tuesday

    Previously on Dungeon Defenders

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Xbox 360 Shards Part IV DLC and Patch Out Now

    October 24th, 2012 by

    The wait is over.

    Xbox 360 defenders can download the final Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards DLC. Along with the new DLC, a new console patch brings the highly anticipated Insane+ difficulty mode for free. You can grab Shards Part IV on the Xbox Marketplace for 320 MS points.

    Head to our official thread to discuss the new DLC with your fellow defenders!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Jordan Kerbow

    October 23rd, 2012 by

    This week, I spoke with Jordan Kerbow, lead environment artist, about his daily routine, his favorite assets he made in Dungeon Defenders and some other things that might interest you or might not. Also, he totally copped out on the creation process question.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey, my name is Jordan Kerbow, and I am the lead environment artist as well as character artist at Trendy. I have been working here since February of 2010.

    Before working at Trendy, I lived in Seattle serving tables and doing art in my spare time. One night, I made a post on the UDK forums about how I wanted to be a part of a modding team, and I posted my portfolio. Awhile later, I got contacted by Trendy about an environment position, and they gave me an art test. I was to design and model a spiky blockade for the Squire. They liked the final model so much that it’s the one you see in game now.

    What else were you responsible for in the game?

    When I first started there were only two environment artists so I ended up making a large chunk of assets for the full game. I also created all the Squire and Apprentice towers, as well as most of the weapons in the game.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yeah, Trendy was my first.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I was super excited to work on a toony fantasy game.

    What’s your daily routine as a lead environment artist?

    When I get to work I like pick up where I left off on whatever I was working on. The work I do in a day can range pretty greatly from small props to meshing out a level’s base, weapons, lots of tiling textures and characters as well. Throughout the day, I review assets from the rest of the team and have the occasional talk with our art director or level designer about super cool game things.

    How do you go about creating and designing environment art? Is there a process?

    Usually I get an idea of what I want, and once it’s ready, I find the ‘Make 3D button’, press it then go home.

    What asset in the game are you most proud of?

    I loved making the DLC content. Me and the other environment artist at the time, Anton Kozlov, had a great time creating all the DLC maps, weapons and a few characters as well. I was very happy to get to create the Female Squire skin and liked how it came out.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Right now, I really love working on characters. In general, I love to hand-paint textures. Above all I get to work with some really great and talented people.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Icewind Dale series, Mass Effect, Dragon Age. I love World of Warcraft for the art. When I used to play, I spent most my time running around looking at things.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I love painting when I get home. I just bought a Cintiq so it’s even more enjoyable. I have always loved crafting things. One summer, I made a suit of leather armor. Over two summers I crafted some swords using leaf springs from the back of pickup trucks. I generally like the challenge of learning a new craft and making some fun things.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    You gotta want it. If you want to break in young, then you gotta pretty much always be learning and getting better in your spare time. If your work is good enough and you are putting your work out there, then you will find something eventually.


    Code Drop Tuesday: 10/23/12

    October 23rd, 2012 by


    It’s the most wonderful time of the week.

    We’re giving away Steam codes on our Twitter account. To enter, follow our Twitter account and retweet this tweet by 7 p.m. EDT. We’ll choose five lucky winners by 7:30 p.m. EDT. If chosen, you’ll be able to choose between the original game or any DLC of your choice!

    Good luck!


    DunDef Digest 10/18/12

    October 18th, 2012 by

    One year. One wild, eventful year.

    It seems like yesterday we shuffled down to the local restaurant to celebrate the game’s launch. Looking around the table, I saw the exhaustion and relief in their eyes. Their shoulders sagged, as if the strings of stress that held them up had snapped. The game was out. Finally. Hopefully a few people liked it. That would validate the long nights.

    Flash forward to today. Dungeon Defenders has sold more than 1.5 million copies to date. But more than that, a community coalesced around an oddball game with an even stranger genre definition. People flocked to our forums, to Reddit, to almost everywhere imaginable to share strategies, guides and stories. They created events, crafted custom maps, devised applications, moderated the forums and tested our numerous updates. We were a small team, and seeing an opportunity to help, the community offered a helping hand. Without you, we wouldn’t be here today. Every last one of us is grateful for your support, for your selflessness and for your immeasurable creativity. To those of you who went above and beyond, we did a little something special. It doesn’t hold a candle to your generosity, but we hope you enjoy it.




    As thanks to our community, we’ve provided a festive new Steam DLC just for the occasion. Open up your Steam client and voila, it’s yours. It’s free for the next two weeks. To ensure that it’s yours forever, go to this page and click Install Game. On top of this free DLC, all of our Steam content, including the game and every piece of DLC to date, is 75 percent off. Run by the Steam store and check it out. Sale ends today at 4 p.m. PST.

    Remember that website update we mentioned a few weeks ago? It’s finally here. Now it’s easier than ever to stay up-to-date with the world of Dungeon Defenders. We’ll update the site daily, so check back often. Have a suggestion for the site? Stop by our Website Suggestion thread and let us know!


    360 Shards Part IV and Patch Release Date

    It’s official — the final Quest for the Eternia Shards DLC is coming to the 360 on October 24! The next 360 patch will arrive on the same day. The patch includes Insane+, a new difficulty mode for you to tackle for free. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting us.

    We haven’t heard back from SCEE about the PSN EU release date for the Shards DLC or the patch. Stay tuned to our updated website for more details.


    Weekly Q&A with Jeremy Stieglitz and the Team

    Have a question for our team? Head to the new Ask Us Anything thread and ask away!

    Is there any possibility that you would add an option (perhaps in the secret room) where you can choose your tavern theme, for example using the past holiday themes if you wanted to? – ArklemGreeth

    Jeremy: Perhaps once all the tavern themes are finished. :)


    How do you come up with the “random” names for the created characters? – Jemmajule

    Jeremy: Usually based on some of the original source material inspiration behind the character from. Crom!!!! Proto-Girl!!!


    Will the Jester DLC (and possibly any other DLC that may come out) ever be added to the “Dungeon Defenders Collection” on Steam? – Rageamok

    Jeremy: Ah yeah, it should be added! We’ll get it on it with Valve now!


    What’s the story behind Babyface (Sky O’ Love)? – Commish

    Jeremy: Ben Burkart, the level designer, has a demented sense of humor and likes putting little Easter eggs into his maps for eagle-eyed players.

    Do you guys, as a group, go and hang out outside of work? – Darrelodin

    Jeremy: I’m usually too busy, but the art guys like hanging out on the weekends and partaking in the occasional beverage.


    Are any more crystal skins (besides the birthday cake) or DLC character skins ever going to be added? – Garzhod

    Jeremy: Yes and yes.


    What kind of music do you all listen to? – CaptBoxershorts

    Jeremy: I’m a U2 + Coldplay fan myself (yeah yeah don’t beat me up about it), but I’ll let the rest of the team indicate their own preferences for themselves.

    Michael Smith: Electronic, Hip Hop, 8-Bit, Rock, Classical and Jazz.

    Ben Burkart: Christian Rock, Dubstep, Jazz and generally any music without lyrics that has a good beat

    Steven Squitieri: Whatever I think sounds good, which isn’t much.

    Joshua Javaheri: Smooth Jazz.

    Ben Greene: World music, Soundtracks, Folk, Rock and Electronic.

    Josh Isom: Indie Rock (Grizzly Bear, mewithoutYou, Wild Nothing), Indie Folk (Fleet Foxes, The Tallest Man on Earth, M. Ward), Electronic (Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, Telepopmusik) and Soul (Otis Redding, Solomon Burke).

    Steven Collins: Exclusively the Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl soundtrack.

    James Reid: Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, 80s Metal, Country, Classic Rock, Rap … whatever sounds good. And the Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl soundtrack is pretty damn cool. Oh, and Weird Al.




    Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: Gallowmere

    Get medieval in Gallowmere — just in time for Halloween.

    Besides being a contest map, what exactly is Gallowmere? Here’s the description from julianprokop’s Workshop page:

    “Welcome to Gallowmere, an ancient temple rediscovered in a distant land. The excavators have all abandoned this place. But why? Is there a curse upon this place? Perhaps there is treasure! Tread lightly brave defenders for there are many traps in Gallowmere. Some will aid you in your fight and others, well, they may just kill you. Be wary of your defenses, too! You can hear the Kobolds clawing in the tombs…”

    This four-to-six player map contains three crystals to defend. The author added Siegebreaker waves designed to break your defenses and keep you on your toes. The visual design is similar to his previous map, Forgotten Graveyard, which was created for our last map contest. This map addresses the main issues with his last map, particularly the lack of obstacles that made traversing Forgotten Graveyard a bit of a chore.

    Subscribe to the map and try it out for yourself!

    Remember, the deadline for map contest submissions is October 31.



    Meet the Trendy Team: Kayd Hendricks

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with one of our newer hires, Kayd Hendricks, about his role here as QA lead and junior technical producer.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey there, I’m Kayd Hendricks, part writer, part game enthusiast, and I’m not entirely sure what the last part is, but I’ve got the guys at the lab working ‘round the clock to figure it out. Seriously. If anyone knows what the last part is, contact me.

    Currently I am working as the head of QA at the office here, though honestly I’ve got my fingers in an assorted number of pots, including game design and UI design at the moment.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yes and no. I’ve done contracted or temporary work for the guys doing Guild Wars 2 as QA, and have had other assorted brushes with big studios like Valve, but nothing that was ever as serious as the job at Trendy is.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    Part of it is because I liked their IP, honestly. Another part of it is that smaller studios tend to function much more dynamically than larger studios, and give people who work there a chance to branch out into other fields no matter where they start at.

    What’s your daily routine?

    The day starts out with me checking in the latest copy of what we’re working on, and checking to see if any of the issues I’ve reported from the previous day have been resolved and are in need of final confirmation. After I’ve gone through the initial list, a lot of my time is taken up actually in the game picking apart the game’s core systems. It involves a lot of creative thinking, actually, I have to be five or six steps ahead of what’s happening in development — when a new mechanic or technical aspect is introduced, I have to not only be able to see what that mechanic is going to do, but also predict what it could do in conjunction with all of the other moving parts. Anticipating unlikely outcomes or bizarre circumstances is very important.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Problem solving. Or maybe, more problem identifying. A little of both. The best feeling ever is being able to see something breaking, some part of the system that is really just not working the way it’s supposed to, and instantly identifying what the underlying issue is that nobody else could seem to figure out. That’s the best part of the job, hands down. A great runner-up is working out of my depth — that is, in parts of the design or development process that I’ve never touched before or only have a tangential knowledge of, and then learning everything about that and becoming proficient with it.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    The hours, maybe. I’d like to work hours that were more comfortable for me, but the luxury of such isn’t really there when you’ve got deadlines and milestones to hit.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    From favorite to least (In the top five, anyways):

    Planescape: Torment
    Baldur’s Gate (1/2)
    Half-Life series (Including Portal)
    Final Fantasy VI
    Chrono Trigger

    If it’s not obvious, I’m an enormous fan of story-driven games over anything else.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I play League of Legends at a semi-competitive level, I write, and I am actually really into network security, especially application layer front-end stuff. I know that’s both boring and weird for most people, but it’s something I find enormously fun.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Find something you really, really like to do — art, creative design, programming, any of those related things — and then become pretty good at them. Once you’re good at them, and you don’t have to be the best, just get good, then go find people and opportunities. Volunteer for QA/Beta testing positions, and then use that skill to help assist the development team in any way you can. Don’t be afraid of them. Offer to help them more closely than you yourself would be comfortable with and see what comes of it.

    Having a skill, being educated, these things are your tools, but the No. 1 rule of employment, hands down, is that it’s who you know, not what you know — get out to gaming conventions or get out to expos, beta test, send out emails to people in the industry, reach out! Grab for hands! Once you start meeting and talking with these people, that’s where you’ll find your entrance into the biz. Even if you get a hundred “Noes,” you’re not any worse off than you were before you asked. You just have to get up and ask again.


    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


    Courtesy of Aklemgreeth


    Courtesy of dr.riven


    Courtesy of Spencer


    Courtesy of Noizy[RUS]


    Courtesy of no_body_angel

    We’re Giving Away More Codes!

    Want a free Dungeon Defenders Steam code? To enter for your chance to win a code for the game or for any piece of DLC, head to our Code Giveaway thread and post a comment. It’s that easy! You have until 2 p.m. EDT Friday to enter. After that, we’ll choose 10 winners and announce them on our Trendy Friday Fun livestream later that day. We’ll update the thread to include the winners after the stream is over.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    We’re Giving Away More Codes

    October 18th, 2012 by


    Want a free Dungeon Defenders Steam code? To enter for your chance to win a code for the game or for any piece of DLC, head to our Code Giveaway thread and post a comment. It’s that easy! You have until 2 p.m. EDT Friday to enter. After that, we’ll choose 10 winners and announce them on our Trendy Friday Fun livestream later that day. We’ll update the thread to include the winners after the stream is over.


    Meet the Trendy Team: Kayd Hendricks

    October 18th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with one of our newer hires, Kayd Hendricks, about his role here as QA lead and junior technical producer.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey there, I’m Kayd Hendricks, part writer, part game enthusiast, and I’m not entirely sure what the last part is, but I’ve got the guys at the lab working ‘round the clock to figure it out. Seriously. If anyone knows what the last part is, contact me.

    Currently I am working as the head of QA at the office here, though honestly I’ve got my fingers in an assorted number of pots, including game design and UI design at the moment.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yes and no. I’ve done contracted or temporary work for the guys doing Guild Wars 2 as QA, and have had other assorted brushes with big studios like Valve, but nothing that was ever as serious as the job at Trendy is.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    Part of it is because I liked their IP, honestly. Another part of it is that smaller studios tend to function much more dynamically than larger studios, and give people who work there a chance to branch out into other fields no matter where they start at.

    What’s your daily routine?

    The day starts out with me checking in the latest copy of what we’re working on, and checking to see if any of the issues I’ve reported from the previous day have been resolved and are in need of final confirmation. After I’ve gone through the initial list, a lot of my time is taken up actually in the game picking apart the game’s core systems. It involves a lot of creative thinking, actually, I have to be five or six steps ahead of what’s happening in development — when a new mechanic or technical aspect is introduced, I have to not only be able to see what that mechanic is going to do, but also predict what it could do in conjunction with all of the other moving parts. Anticipating unlikely outcomes or bizarre circumstances is very important.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Problem solving. Or maybe, more problem identifying. A little of both. The best feeling ever is being able to see something breaking, some part of the system that is really just not working the way it’s supposed to, and instantly identifying what the underlying issue is that nobody else could seem to figure out. That’s the best part of the job, hands down. A great runner-up is working out of my depth — that is, in parts of the design or development process that I’ve never touched before or only have a tangential knowledge of, and then learning everything about that and becoming proficient with it.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    The hours, maybe. I’d like to work hours that were more comfortable for me, but the luxury of such isn’t really there when you’ve got deadlines and milestones to hit.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    From favorite to least (In the top five, anyways):

    Planescape: Torment
    Baldur’s Gate (1/2)
    Half-Life series (Including Portal)
    Final Fantasy VI
    Chrono Trigger

    If it’s not obvious, I’m an enormous fan of story-driven games over anything else.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I play League of Legends at a semi-competitive level, I write, and I am actually really into network security, especially application layer front-end stuff. I know that’s both boring and weird for most people, but it’s something I find enormously fun.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Find something you really, really like to do — art, creative design, programming, any of those related things — and then become pretty good at them. Once you’re good at them, and you don’t have to be the best, just get good, then go find people and opportunities. Volunteer for QA/Beta testing positions, and then use that skill to help assist the development team in any way you can. Don’t be afraid of them. Offer to help them more closely than you yourself would be comfortable with and see what comes of it.

    Having a skill, being educated, these things are your tools, but the No. 1 rule of employment, hands down, is that it’s who you know, not what you know — get out to gaming conventions or get out to expos, beta test, send out emails to people in the industry, reach out! Grab for hands! Once you start meeting and talking with these people, that’s where you’ll find your entrance into the biz. Even if you get a hundred “Noes,” you’re not any worse off than you were before you asked. You just have to get up and ask again.


    75 Percent Off All Dungeon Defenders Steam Content

    October 16th, 2012 by

    In celebration of our anniversary, all of our content is 75 percent off. That includes the base game, the Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards, every hero class, every map — it’s all discounted. You can find all of our content on our Steam store page. Sale ends Thursday at 4 p.m. PST.

    Thank you for supporting us through thick and thin. Without you, we wouldn’t be here today.

    Love,
    Trendy Entertainment


    Celebrate Our Anniversary with Free DLC

    October 16th, 2012 by

    Our new Anniversary Pack DLC is out now. And the best part? It’s free for two weeks!

    The Anniversary Pack DLC contains:

  • Tavern Defenders Campaign Mission
  • Party Hat Accessories
  • Birthday Cake Crystal Core
  • Kobold on a Treadmill Pet
  • To ensure that it’s yours forever, go to this page and click Install Game. This free DLC offer ends on Oct. 30.

    Thank you for supporting us through thick and thin. Without you, we wouldn’t be here today.

    Love,
    Trendy Entertainment


    Meet the Trendy Team: Adam Stow

    October 10th, 2012 by

    Want to learn more about the monumental task of overseeing our team? In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with our producer, Adam Stow, about the challenges and sacrifices of managing our ever-growing team.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Adam Stow is my name and producer is my game… of this game… or something.

    My actual title these days though is producer overlord. I handle production management primarily, but I also dabbled in operations, HR, expansion and everything else that doesn’t have a dedicated guy or gal on it. Basically I’m the guy who ensures the studio has everything it needs to keep running, produce great content on a regular basis and have satisfied employees doing it!

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Nope. I’ve been a paid writer for various sites over the last four years and a bit of a name for myself writing honest reviews for Ten Ton Hammer. Unfortunately, honest reviews also piss off the people sponsoring your site and rather than lose revenue, they’ll find people who are willing to give crap like Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3 95+ reviews.

    C’est la vie.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    It’s not often that you get in when a company is just hitting success. I saw the preorder numbers for Dungeon Defenders and then when an offer came my way, I realized I was joining a small team that was going to sell a lot of product and be a strong career move.

    That, and I was addicted to what little I had played of the game as a reviewer. DMFlex and I played till 4 am that night — I think we got all the way to Spires before we stopped!

    What’s your daily routine as a producer?

    First thing on my plate is to make sure nothing broke overnight. I check in with everyone and ensure that all tasks are running smoothly still, that our game still runs and that nothing cataclysmic is on my plate at the crack of dawn.

    Then I tackle what needs to be done to ensure the team is smiling and strong. I edit deadlines to be fair but challenging based on the morning reports. I check in with new potential employees and scope out new artist portfolios. Then a fire will start, which can be anything from a hard drive failure to a fridge failure, and by fridge failure I mean someone drank all of the Coke or Red Bull. I now have assistants to help me out with those types of tasks, but I used to be the only one for those things when they came up.

    So I guess you can imagine that no day is routine beyond production management.

    What’s the most challenging aspect of managing the team?

    Every few days I get tackled with a problem I have no idea how to handle — fixing bogus art, moving websites, mounting projectors. I face unknowns on a regular basis and those are the core of my challenges. The team is wonderful and the least of my worries when it comes to things breaking down there. Tech, marketing, art — they all work superb together, and it’s very rare that I have to intervene for a process or pipeline gone awry.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    I feel free. At the end of the day, I don’t have a deadline for what I do. I have high-level deadlines for making sure content reaches completion, but a lot of that isn’t on me directly. It’s up to me to make sure it gets done, but when I’m not the one writing the code or with the digital pen in hand, there is a certain sense of freedom obtained from that. Of course, you can only have that freedom if you work with a fantastic team that can be depended on to get things done when you need them done, and I am fortunate and thankful every day to be surrounded by these guys!

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    I have some really long hours. I typically work from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the occasional 14-16 hour day. It’s hard work, and it feels really good to see your game shine. But it can be taxing on your personal life, and I’ve had to pass on my friends more than I like to admit. I am also dating a banker, and she gets out at 4:15 p.m. every day, making my love life a little subpar in the process.

    At least I love what I do, right?

    What are your top five favorite games?

    I’ll warn you, I have terrible taste!

    #5 – Diadra Empty: I love side- and vertical-scrolling shooters. I love bullet hell games. This is the most unique take on it with some great production values, music and customization. Everyone I show this game to is in awe, and it’s a damn shame the guy who made it fell off the face of the earth after.

    #4 – Front Mission 5: I don’t think I’ve played a strategy RPG that felt so good to confirm your attacks in until I played this. Your mechs will tackle the opposition, fire 50+ bullets, rain napalm and… accidentally shoot each other over the course of one round of combat. It’s beautiful.

    #3 – Tales of Destiny Remake: Just plain fun. A very freeform combat system that allows you to juggle opponents endlessly when mastered and tons of fun with friends in multiplayer, something most RPGs fail horribly at when they try to include it.

    #2 – WarCraft III: The game that started a genre (the MOBA). I probably logged on every night for about 6 years straight. I was the #1 player on the east coast back in Reign of Chaos for a time. When that fervor subsided, the custom maps that the community made were enough to give me memories I’ll never forget playing with my friends.

    #1 – Shadow Hearts: Covenant: Basically the pinnacle of the PS2 RPG era, sporting a fun combat system and serious yet entertaining plot. Also, one party member beats people to death with a frozen tuna as a weapon. How can you not love this?

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I’m a pretty avid RTS and RPG gamer, as you might have figured out from the above list. I also love to bowl! I still dabble in video game writing and am doing some indie scriptwriting on the side for a few other projects.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    You need a portfolio, not a degree, to have a chance in this world now. Find those indie projects of worth and make your contribution to them that gets you noticed. Explore sides of your trade that aren’t often pursued, such as VFX for artists and get your foot in the door as a generalist before you specialize in what you love.


    DunDef Digest 10/10/12

    October 10th, 2012 by

    Break out the party hats because it’s a celebration!

    Next week marks the anniversary of Dungeon Defenders, and we’re celebrating in style. As our gift to you, we’re releasing new content for free! Included in this celebration Steam DLC pack are the aforementioned party hat accessories, a new Birthday Cake Crystal Core skin and a new Birthday Tavern theme!

    You may ask be asking yourself, “How do I earn them?” Astute observation, dear friend! Will you have to gather items for a limited time? Nope. Will you need to match up birthday mobs? Not at all. What you’ll need to do is…wait until next week to find out. After all, it can’t be a celebration without a few surprises. I will say this: You’ll have to protect something that brings us all together.

    Our community is celebrating the occasion, too. Dredd and his PC community event team are hosting a special anniversary event next weekend, and they will be handing out a rare event item prize. DarkPython is streaming for 24 hours on October 19 in celebration of our birthday, and he’ll have a few Dungeon Defenders Steam codes to hand out. Classic and his PS3 community event team are holding their final Super event that weekend with its own unique event reward.

    Speaking of consoles, no word yet from SCEE or Microsoft about the PSN EU or 360 patch/DLC, respectively. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

    As you may have noticed, the website update we mentioned last week didn’t happen. We’ve run into a few technical issues that we still need to iron out. Keep an eye on our Twitter for more details.

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

    Have a question for the team? Head to the new Ask Us Anything thread!

    Are there any more patches coming soon? – KeenJammin

    Jeremy: Yes, very soon.

    Will there be another awesome sale of Dungeon Defenders this coming holiday season? – Nexus

    Jeremy: *grin*

    Does Trendy ever plan to release more unique modifications? Such as coloring of pets or modifying aspects of your tavern? – Garzhod

    Jeremy: Not as part of the core game, but we plan to add more functionality to the DDDK soon.

    I would like to know what happened to the idea of being able to customize and filter the display of dropped items on maps. This seemed like an excellent idea. – kyleg001

    Jeremy: Coming up with an ideal way to present it took the wind out of that idea’s sails; however, if some intrepid Defender writes a Total Conversion with the DDDK which does this, I promise that we’ll incorporate their code into the core game.

    Will there ever be a Meet the Trendy team with Jer? – CaptBoxershorts

    Jeremy: Sounds like a plan.

    As you guys are so open to modding with DD, will you allow modding of future games to come? – Cr4zy

    Jeremy: As best we can!

    Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: Mystywind Falls

    As a wise woman once said, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.”

    Nexus thankfully didn’t heed this sage advice. Mystywind Falls is a gorgeous two-crystal map. According to Nexus’s forum post, the goal with the map was to create a new location similar to the play style of Deeper Well while adding a second core to defend. It sounds like the perfect map for solo players wanting an accessible challenge.

    Subscribe to his map, give it a few test runs and leave your feedback on his Workshop page.

    There’s still three weeks left to make your own map for our contest. Winners will receive cash prizes and a beta key to our next project. We’ll also hand out a few beta keys to honorable mentions, so if you want one, whip up a map! For the full list of contest rules and details, head to our official contest thread.

    Trendy Friday Fun: Map Contest Edition with Cr4zy and Nexus

    After a brief hiatus last week, our Trendy Friday Fun livecast is back!

    This week, map authors Cr4zy and Nexus join us to discuss their map contest entries. The show starts at 5 p.m. EDT on our Twitch channel. We’ll be giving out a few Dungeon Defenders Steam codes, too!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Adam Stow

    Want to learn more about the monumental task of overseeing our team? In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with our producer, Adam Stow, about the challenges and sacrifices of managing our ever-growing team.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Adam Stow is my name and producer is my game… of this game… or something.

    My actual title these days though is producer overlord. I handle production management primarily, but I also dabbled in operations, HR, expansion and everything else that doesn’t have a dedicated guy or gal on it. Basically I’m the guy who ensures the studio has everything it needs to keep running, produce great content on a regular basis and have satisfied employees doing it!

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Nope. I’ve been a paid writer for various sites over the last four years and a bit of a name for myself writing honest reviews for Ten Ton Hammer. Unfortunately, honest reviews also piss off the people sponsoring your site and rather than lose revenue, they’ll find people who are willing to give crap like Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3 95+ reviews.

    C’est la vie.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    It’s not often that you get in when a company is just hitting success. I saw the preorder numbers for Dungeon Defenders and then when an offer came my way, I realized I was joining a small team that was going to sell a lot of product and be a strong career move.

    That, and I was addicted to what little I had played of the game as a reviewer. DMFlex and I played till 4 am that night — I think we got all the way to Spires before we stopped!

    What’s your daily routine as a producer?

    First thing on my plate is to make sure nothing broke overnight. I check in with everyone and ensure that all tasks are running smoothly still, that our game still runs and that nothing cataclysmic is on my plate at the crack of dawn.

    Then I tackle what needs to be done to ensure the team is smiling and strong. I edit deadlines to be fair but challenging based on the morning reports. I check in with new potential employees and scope out new artist portfolios. Then a fire will start, which can be anything from a hard drive failure to a fridge failure, and by fridge failure I mean someone drank all of the Coke or Red Bull. I now have assistants to help me out with those types of tasks, but I used to be the only one for those things when they came up.

    So I guess you can imagine that no day is routine beyond production management.

    What’s the most challenging aspect of managing the team?

    Every few days I get tackled with a problem I have no idea how to handle — fixing bogus art, moving websites, mounting projectors. I face unknowns on a regular basis and those are the core of my challenges. The team is wonderful and the least of my worries when it comes to things breaking down there. Tech, marketing, art — they all work superb together, and it’s very rare that I have to intervene for a process or pipeline gone awry.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    I feel free. At the end of the day, I don’t have a deadline for what I do. I have high-level deadlines for making sure content reaches completion, but a lot of that isn’t on me directly. It’s up to me to make sure it gets done, but when I’m not the one writing the code or with the digital pen in hand, there is a certain sense of freedom obtained from that. Of course, you can only have that freedom if you work with a fantastic team that can be depended on to get things done when you need them done, and I am fortunate and thankful every day to be surrounded by these guys!

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    I have some really long hours. I typically work from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the occasional 14-16 hour day. It’s hard work, and it feels really good to see your game shine. But it can be taxing on your personal life, and I’ve had to pass on my friends more than I like to admit. I am also dating a banker, and she gets out at 4:15 p.m. every day, making my love life a little subpar in the process.

    At least I love what I do, right?

    What are your top five favorite games?

    I’ll warn you, I have terrible taste!

    #5 – Diadra Empty: I love side- and vertical-scrolling shooters. I love bullet hell games. This is the most unique take on it with some great production values, music and customization. Everyone I show this game to is in awe, and it’s a damn shame the guy who made it fell off the face of the earth after.

    #4 – Front Mission 5: I don’t think I’ve played a strategy RPG that felt so good to confirm your attacks in until I played this. Your mechs will tackle the opposition, fire 50+ bullets, rain napalm and… accidentally shoot each other over the course of one round of combat. It’s beautiful.

    #3 – Tales of Destiny Remake: Just plain fun. A very freeform combat system that allows you to juggle opponents endlessly when mastered and tons of fun with friends in multiplayer, something most RPGs fail horribly at when they try to include it.

    #2 – WarCraft III: The game that started a genre (the MOBA). I probably logged on every night for about 6 years straight. I was the #1 player on the east coast back in Reign of Chaos for a time. When that fervor subsided, the custom maps that the community made were enough to give me memories I’ll never forget playing with my friends.

    #1 – Shadow Hearts: Covenant: Basically the pinnacle of the PS2 RPG era, sporting a fun combat system and serious yet entertaining plot. Also, one party member beats people to death with a frozen tuna as a weapon. How can you not love this?

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I’m a pretty avid RTS and RPG gamer, as you might have figured out from the above list. I also love to bowl! I still dabble in video game writing and am doing some indie scriptwriting on the side for a few other projects.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    You need a portfolio, not a degree, to have a chance in this world now. Find those indie projects of worth and make your contribution to them that gets you noticed. Explore sides of your trade that aren’t often pursued, such as VFX for artists and get your foot in the door as a generalist before you specialize in what you love.


    Courtesy of DarkPython

    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners and display them here in our Digest.


    Courtesy of Commish


    Courtesy of MicD


    Courtesy of Monukai


    Courtesy of Super Princess Peach

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Dungeon Defenders Map Contest is Heating Up

    October 5th, 2012 by

    After a brief dry spell, the contest maps are coming out of the woodworks. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing them in our Weekly Workshop series. If you want your contest map to be spotlighted, send an email to contest@trendyent.com with the details of your map.

    There’s still plenty of time to create and submit a map. If you’d like a chance at winning $1,000, upload a map to the Steam Workshop by October 31. Be sure to tag it as a contest map in the DDDK so we’ll know which ones are in the running for the contest. If this is your first time making a map, check out our beginner’s tutorial. If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to try it. You could walk away with a bit of green lining your pockets.

    You can find the current entries in the Map Contest section of our Workshop. Check ‘em out!


    DunDef Digest 10/3/12

    October 3rd, 2012 by

    Country sausage gravy and pork rinds — the perfect snacking combination.

    This is just a small sample of the delicacies our local testers will experience this weekend. As you know, Saturday marks the first in-house beta session. I’ll be in the office to make sure the experience is smooth while keeping one eye on the TV. (It’s the UF/LSU football game this weekend. Priorities.)

    I can’t wait to see the testers’ reactions to our new project. Our team dedicated many long hours and weekends to get the game to the state that it’s in right now. There’s still a long road ahead of us, but this might be the song to keep us alert and driving.

    People have asked me if this in-house beta and the beta codes for the Map Contest are for the same project. The answer is indubitably, old chap! If you want a beta code for our next project, the best way to secure one is to make a map for our contest. Even if you don’t win, if you put in a strong effort, you may walk away with a key.

    In the meantime, our website update will go live tomorrow. Our multimedia designer Rodrigo Lizarraga worked hard to make it easier than ever to learn about Dungeon Defenders, code drops, live-streams, patch updates, TrendyNet status, events and other community happenings. For those who prefer to have their news in one place at one time, the Digest will still be available every Wednesday night. This will be the place to learn more about our future projects, to get a sneak peek at new content, to learn about all of the news from the previous week and to see who won the weekly 10 billion mana contests.

    For our console fans, we’re still waiting to hear back from Microsoft and SCEE. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz, Philip Asher and Josh Isom

    This week, President Jeremy Stieglitz, Marketing Director Philip Asher and Community Manager Josh Isom (hey, that’s me!) answer a few of your questions. Have a question for our team? Head to the Ask Us Anything thread!

    Has Trendy looked into expanding their “new projects” into a disc game rather than a download? – commandandco

    Jeremy: No comment. Sorry, really can’t say anything about this right now!

    Are there any chances of another level cap on PC or is 93 the last cap? – gow3isba

    Jeremy: Triple-digits baby!

    You mentioned previously that the RNG has issues, but won’t be planning to fix it. As you see it, what ARE the issues with the RNG? – Jonzor

    Jeremy: The stat number roll-over is the big one.

    Can you tell us about some ideas that the team really wanted to implement, but couldn’t for either technical or balance reasons? – Eagle29

    Jeremy: Consumables, Hats and a web-based or offline trading system.

    Do you ever plan to have a Kobold on a Treadmill pet as a reward? – Commish

    Jeremy: Yes indeed.

    How do you feel about the replayability of Dungeon Defenders? – ElderLuck

    Jeremy: Pretty darn good! Every time I see someone hit 1,000 hours played, I think, “Hurrah, another Hardcore Defender has joined the ranks!” Have you reached that threshold yet? :)

    When TE releases this new game that’s in beta will there be another forum site, or will you guys still be using these forums? – gow3isba

    Philip: We’re definitely going to mix up our web strategy some for our next game. The extent of that hasn’t been decided yet, but I think it’s pretty safe to say there will be separate forums for the new product. Who knows though!

    How will you be picking the people that get into the closed beta of your new game? Also, will there be a new set of staff (community etc.) in the new game, or will the current staff be doing both games at the same time? – DarkPython

    Philip: We’re also working on this right now. It will be composed of part current staff and part new staff. We don’t want to leave anywhere too thin. It’s also safe to say there will be multiple stages of the closed beta and a ton of different ways to get into it, so stay tuned.

    Josh: The current community team will certainly still be here. We have a few surprises up our sleeves. Stay tuned.

    Facebook Winners

    Over the weekend, we held a Steam code raffle on our Facebook page. We’ve tallied up the entries, and we have our 20 winners! If you entered our contest and your name is listed below, send us a private message on our Facebook page.

    Jere Gargano
    Mupfeldich IndenBoden
    Kanun Nobel
    Joshua K. Ingram
    Grant Rokobauer
    Sarah Lorraine Truitt
    Nicolas Gurrola
    Justin Doucette
    Keith Stone
    Jeffrey Bublitz
    Corey Vincent Vera
    Brennan Tallack
    Greg Metzger
    Alastair Wankel
    Patrick Ge
    Daniel Kropp
    Jeremiah Morris
    Daniel Woollen
    Derikson Rivera Rios
    Thomas Rillo

    Congrats to our winners! Follow our page to be notified about future giveaways.

    Weekly Workshop Map Contest Edition: Akatiti

    Cr4zy’s at it again.

    You might recognize that name from one his earlier projects, Helms Deep. Now he’s using his talents to whip up a map for the map contest.

    I could go on and on about how gorgeous this entry is, but there’s so much more to it than that. Cr4zy has meticulously documented his journey through the jungle on his forum post, from the initial layout drawings to map texturing to animating the butterflies in the level. His attention to detail is stunning.

    If you want to try it out for yourself, you can subscribe to the beta version on the Steam Workshop. If you want to learn more about the map, Cr4zy will be joining us on our Twitch channel from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EDT for a special Map Contest Edition of our Trendy Friday Fun.

    Meet the Trendy Team: Philip Asher

    Want to know more about the marketing genius behind Dungeon Defenders? In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with our marketing director Philip Asher about the challenges of multi-platform marketing and the keys to our success.

    Hi, Phil. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey! I’m Philip Asher and I do marketing and design at Trendy. I’ve been here for over two years, since before DunDef came out on mobile, and have worked at various video game companies in the marketing, production and design departments before that.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Nope! My first real job in the gaming industry was for Electronic Arts as a contract gig in their marketing department. I got to work with some pretty awesome people on their college campaigns for games like Rock Band, Battlefield, Brutal Legend and all their EA Sports titles.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I saw some demonstrations of Dungeon Defenders before it was released and thought it had a lot of potential in the PC and mobile indie space. I offered to orchestrate the mobile launch of Dungeon Defenders to Augi/Jeremy for free (while I was still working for EA) and have been here ever since.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I have so many responsibilities, I’m often working on completely different things every day. The only thing that stays consistent is my near-constant reading of video game and marketing blogs to keep up with current trends in the industry. The rest of my day is split up between working on design docs, communicating with the artists, level designers and graphic designers to implement those designs, talking to our various partners in the industry via email, investigating business opportunities for future products, working on pitch documents, organizing convention events/merch (it’s coming, I promise!), helping Josh with some of the social/community stuff (in the rare case that he needs it!) and probably a lot more I can’t think of right now.

    Dungeon Defenders has sold more than a million copies. What would you say was the key to that success?

    I don’t think there was a single key, but rather a whole key chain (of keys) that led to its success. Of course, now that we have key cards due to… wait, nvm.

    A lot of it had to do with having the right team, at the right time, with the right product. The most important part was the game itself — it was tight, well made, and most importantly, fun. At the same time, there were a lot of other, smaller decisions that ultimately led to the games’ HUGE success. I think some of these (in no specific order) were: simultaneously releasing the PC version, the $15 price point, a review tour we did in LA/SF before release, Valve’s amazing support, our ability to support the game post launch, and oddly enough, the extra polish we were able to put into the game due to its extended delay. You have no clue how much of a battle numbers one and two on that list were.

    We released some of our DLC for free for a limited time. What was the rationale behind that decision?

    It was really a best of both worlds decision. Some of us really wanted to release free DLC, but others needed a justification for our small team to spend time creating that content as opposed to paid content (or a new game). The compromise was content that was free for a limited time. Ultimately, I think it worked out well and put out a variety of free content post-Dungeon Defenders’ release.

    Have you learned anything from the launch and post-launch support of Dungeon Defenders?

    For sure. The number one lesson was to address potential issues before they occur (be it community, PR, etc.) and, if the source of the problem can’t be fixed, have contingency plans to deal with them before they happen.

    What are the challenges of marketing a multi-platform title?

    A lot of the challenges of marketing a multi-platform title are the same as the development challenges. It’s hard to get all the releases synced up (both in terms of date, as well as content), while keeping each community happy. Sometimes it’s really hard to choose making one community wait longer than another for their content, instead of making every community wait. Ultimately, we decided to treat each community as well as we could with releases as fast as we could, instead of making some artificially waiting for other’s content to be releasable.

    How would you define a game’s success?

    I believe a game’s success can be defined in three ways: how much fun it is, its artistic merit and how much money it makes. I like to put more weight in the former two.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Working with some of the most incredibly talented people in the industry and seeing their ideas come to life.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    As with any indie company/start-up, we often end up with way too many things on our plates. I often wish I had more time to dedicate to each individual thing I’m working on.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Hm, it’s always difficult to list my favorite games. Some games I really like that come to the top of my head are:

    Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
    Super Mario RPG
    Brutal Legend
    No One Lives Forever 1/2

    …and one bonus one: Starcraft 2.

    Also, go play Anachronox and give Tom Hall money to make a new RPG.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I spend a lot of time going to EDM and various music festivals around the globe, meeting awesome people and doing crazy things. I used to be a big punk/indie rock fan and guess that’s transferred over to electronic music. Also, I read a TON of comics and am a huge movie buff. Anyone else see Looper yet? Or Cosmopolis? And yes, Cronenberg is my fav.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Figure out what you want to do in the video game industry and do it. Doing and learning are the same. You can learn while you do. If you want to be a programmer, program a video game. If you want to be a project manager/marketing, get a group of friends together and encourage them to make a game.

    As for entering the industry itself, it’s really important to have friends in the industry or work experience. I’d advise getting any job you can that’s related to video games, and start making friends/contacts. If that fails, start your own thing!

    Creations of the Week

    Here are this week’s 10 billion mana winners! If you have an amazing video or screenshot, upload it to Steam. If you have a piece of fan art or another Dungeon Defenders creation, send it to contest@trendyent.com. Each week, we’ll choose five lucky winners.


    Courtesy of The Bob


    Courtesy of Cupid


    Courtesy of Nexus


    Courtesy of Commish

    Courtesy of RainbowMods

    We’ll see you again this time next week. And if you haven’t already, go watch Indie Game: The Movie. It’s on Netflix streaming!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Philip Asher

    October 3rd, 2012 by

    Want to know more about the marketing genius behind Dungeon Defenders? In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with our marketing director Philip Asher about the challenges of multi-platform marketing and the keys to our success.

    Hi, Phil. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey! I’m Philip Asher and I do marketing and design at Trendy. I’ve been here for over two years, since before DunDef came out on mobile, and have worked at various video game companies in the marketing, production and design departments before that.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Nope! My first real job in the gaming industry was for Electronic Arts as a contract gig in their marketing department. I got to work with some pretty awesome people on their college campaigns for games like Rock Band, Battlefield, Brutal Legend and all their EA Sports titles.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    I saw some demonstrations of Dungeon Defenders before it was released and thought it had a lot of potential in the PC and mobile indie space. I offered to orchestrate the mobile launch of Dungeon Defenders to Augi/Jeremy for free (while I was still working for EA) and have been here ever since.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I have so many responsibilities, I’m often working on completely different things every day. The only thing that stays consistent is my near-constant reading of video game and marketing blogs to keep up with current trends in the industry. The rest of my day is split up between working on design docs, communicating with the artists, level designers and graphic designers to implement those designs, talking to our various partners in the industry via email, investigating business opportunities for future products, working on pitch documents, organizing convention events/merch (it’s coming, I promise!), helping Josh with some of the social/community stuff (in the rare case that he needs it!) and probably a lot more I can’t think of right now.

    Dungeon Defenders has sold more than a million copies. What would you say was the key to that success?

    I don’t think there was a single key, but rather a whole key chain (of keys) that led to its success. Of course, now that we have key cards due to… wait, nvm.

    A lot of it had to do with having the right team, at the right time, with the right product. The most important part was the game itself — it was tight, well made, and most importantly, fun. At the same time, there were a lot of other, smaller decisions that ultimately led to the games’ HUGE success. I think some of these (in no specific order) were: simultaneously releasing the PC version, the $15 price point, a review tour we did in LA/SF before release, Valve’s amazing support, our ability to support the game post launch, and oddly enough, the extra polish we were able to put into the game due to its extended delay. You have no clue how much of a battle numbers one and two on that list were.

    We released some of our DLC for free for a limited time. What was the rationale behind that decision?

    It was really a best of both worlds decision. Some of us really wanted to release free DLC, but others needed a justification for our small team to spend time creating that content as opposed to paid content (or a new game). The compromise was content that was free for a limited time. Ultimately, I think it worked out well and put out a variety of free content post-Dungeon Defenders’ release.

    Have you learned anything from the launch and post-launch support of Dungeon Defenders?

    For sure. The number one lesson was to address potential issues before they occur (be it community, PR, etc.) and, if the source of the problem can’t be fixed, have contingency plans to deal with them before they happen.

    What are the challenges of marketing a multi-platform title?

    A lot of the challenges of marketing a multi-platform title are the same as the development challenges. It’s hard to get all the releases synced up (both in terms of date, as well as content), while keeping each community happy. Sometimes it’s really hard to choose making one community wait longer than another for their content, instead of making every community wait. Ultimately, we decided to treat each community as well as we could with releases as fast as we could, instead of making some artificially waiting for other’s content to be releasable.

    How would you define a game’s success?

    I believe a game’s success can be defined in three ways: how much fun it is, its artistic merit and how much money it makes. I like to put more weight in the former two.

    What do you love the most about your job?

    Working with some of the most incredibly talented people in the industry and seeing their ideas come to life.

    What do you wish you could change about your job?

    As with any indie company/start-up, we often end up with way too many things on our plates. I often wish I had more time to dedicate to each individual thing I’m working on.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Hm, it’s always difficult to list my favorite games. Some games I really like that come to the top of my head are:

    Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
    Super Mario RPG
    Brutal Legend
    No One Lives Forever 1/2

    …and one bonus one: Starcraft 2.

    Also, go play Anachronox and give Tom Hall money to make a new RPG.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    I spend a lot of time going to EDM and various music festivals around the globe, meeting awesome people and doing crazy things. I used to be a big punk/indie rock fan and guess that’s transferred over to electronic music. Also, I read a TON of comics and am a huge movie buff. Anyone else see Looper yet? Or Cosmopolis? And yes, Cronenberg is my fav.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    Figure out what you want to do in the video game industry and do it. Doing and learning are the same. You can learn while you do. If you want to be a programmer, program a video game. If you want to be a project manager/marketing, get a group of friends together and encourage them to make a game.

    As for entering the industry itself, it’s really important to have friends in the industry or work experience. I’d advise getting any job you can that’s related to video games, and start making friends/contacts. If that fails, start your own thing!


    DunDef Digest 9/26/12

    September 27th, 2012 by


    Courtesy of wingchen

    Since I won the community manager job in a gladiator-style fight to the death back in January, I’ve had the luxury of new content every week to fill the Digest. It’s a point I bring up because A) I’m wearing my opponents’ hearts on a chain around my neck (it’s the first item in my new fashion line — Flesh Bling), and B) new content is slowing down. There’s certainly new content being made every day, but I can’t talk about it in detail. Not yet. I’m being followed by ninjas who will slit my throat at the first mention of that one thing and those other things. At least, I think I’m being followed by ninjas. That’s the thing, you never really know because they’re so darn sneaky.

    But I can share a few tidbits. We recently reached a pivotal milestone in our next project. The project is coalescing into something with a definite form. Think about this way: Imagine walking in a meadow surrounded by blinding darkness. You’re here to meet someone — someone you only know by name. You don’t know what she looks like, but you have a mental image of what she could look like. Across the meadow, you notice a shape walking toward you — a lighter shape emerging from a sea of darker shapes. You can tell by its gait that it is bipedal. At this point, you can only hope that this human-esque shape is the person you are waiting for.

    Back in reality, next weekend on Oct. 6, we’re hosting our first in-house beta. We’re inviting people in the Gainesville, Florida, area to help us test our next project. If you happen to be in the area and you’d like to help, send an email to betatesters@trendyent.com. Be sure to include your name, age, location and contact number. If chosen, you’ll need to sign a strict NDA that grants us the rights to your first-born child should you speak about the project.

    Over the next few weeks, our Dungeon Defenders website will begin a long-overdue update. It’ll be easier than ever to keep up with news, patches and new content. If TrendyNet is down, you’ll know about it there. If we’re giving away free codes (which we do every week in numerous places), you’ll know about it there. The site will also include a new focus on you, the fans, and the amazing things that you do. You’ll find new sections highlighting community members, community events, custom maps, videos, screenshots and other outstanding creations. We’ll be accepting news submissions, which can include, but are not limited to, information about your next live stream, your new guide for Insane+ or your new Dungeon Defenders photo gallery. As the changes go live, we’d love to hear your feedback.

    In the meantime, our community team is taking it to 11. Fueled by Red Bull and fruit snacks (the sugary kind, not the healthy kind), we’re dedicated to making your Dungeon Defenders experience kick all kinds of a**. Every Friday, we host the Trendy Friday Fun livecast where we gather up the community for a few hours of tower defense and PvP action. This Friday, we’re inviting the 360 community to help us defend Etheria. If you want to join us, head to the sign-up thread. We’ll close it on Thursday and post the lucky list of community members on Thursday night.

    When we’re not hosting events of our own, we’re sponsoring events run by community members who have proven themselves worthy of the Trendy Seal of Approval. In these events, you can win unique items made by us that you can’t find anywhere else. Both the PC and PS3 have events this weekend, so head to our Events forum and sign up today.

    And yes, we’re still giving out 10 billion mana to five people every week, including wingchen for the awesome screenshot at the top of this post. Just send us your screenshots, videos, fan art or anything Dungeon Defenders related to contest@trendyent.com, or you can upload it to the Steam Workshop. This prize is only available to Steam users.

    Map Contest is Heating Up

    Finally some entries! After a brief dry spell, the contest maps are coming out of the woodworks. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing them right here in our Weekly Workshop series. If you want your contest map to be spotlighted, let me know!

    There’s still plenty of time to create and submit a map. If you’d like a chance at winning $1,000, upload a map to the Steam Workshop by October 31. Be sure to tag it as a contest map in the DDDK so we’ll know which ones are in the running for the contest. If this is your first time making a map, check out our beginner’s tutorial. If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to try it. You could walk away with a bit of green lining your pockets.


    Courtesy of Macros

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz and the Team

    This week, I pulled in a few extra members of the team to answer your questions. Enjoy!

    Why is Trendy headquartered in Gainesville, FL? – vincentmc

    Jeremy: I went to school at Gainesville’s University of Florida from 2001-2005, and some of the founders of Trendy were my classmates. Throughout college we developed game engine technology together, and then after college, we went on to create video games. Gainesville remained a good place to be, both because of the core team we had put together through college, and also because of the constant cycle of new creative talent that comes into town every couple years through the university. Definitely a unique place for a game developer to be located, we’re one of the few in Central Florida!

    Has Trendy grown enough in the last year to make it possible to work on development of two new games at the same time? If not, is that a goal? – Damocles

    Jeremy: We’re still a one-game-at-a-time scale company. Maybe by the end of 2013 we’ll be doing two games at once, but it’s only worth scaling to that level when we have amassed enough talent to run two production pipelines without sacrificing quality. We’ll always be a quality-over-quantity operation. :)

    What other games do you like to play? – CaptBoxershorts

    Jeremy: Resident Evil series. Rocksteady’s Batman games. The Witcher 2. Deus Ex 2. Max Payne 3. The hits. But also, some more random stuff, like Skies of Arcadia Legends on my Dolphin em — I mean, the Skies of Arcadia Legends disc I bought for my Gamecube back in 2004. Really, what a game (own the Dreamcast version, too). You might notice a few influences on DunDef there…

    Daniel Díaz (Level Designer): FIFA 13

    Kayd Hendricks (QA Lead/Junior Technical Producer): Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate 2 and Secret of the Magic Crystals

    Jesús Díaz (Level Designer): Fallout 3

    Ben Greene (Art Director): Alan Wake

    Jerome Pourchier (Lead Character Artist): League of Legends, Guild Wars 2

    Mia Goodwin (Concept Artist): Team Fortress 2, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Guild Wars 2, CS:GO, Saints Row 3, Halo Reach, Half-Life 2, L4D, Bioshock [Ed. Note: Good God, Lemon!]

    Rosa Burkart (Office Administrator): League of Legends, Guild Wars 2, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Pangya

    Geoff Sholler (Technical Producer): Borderlands 2

    Skott Chatten (Gameplay Producer): Mia’s lineup along with Super Meat Boy and Cave Story

    Brian Goodsell (VFX Artist): Black Mesa

    Steven Squitieri (Lead QA): Blazblue, Persona 4 Arena, DOTA 2, Torchlight 2, Way of the Samurai 4, Tokyo Jungle, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (only for terrorist hunt), Bionic Commando, Journey

    Danny Araya (Lead Concept Artist): Journey. Just started Kingdoms of Amalur. Skyrim off and on

    Josh Isom (Community Manager): Borderlands 2, Defense Grid: The Awakening, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid Prime, League of Legends

    Will you guys ever fix the newly occurring bugs on the Console with another Patch, or was that it? – Onion Knight

    Jeremy: We hope to be looking into another console patch when all the platforms’ Shards 4 are released.

    I noticed that behind the tavern keeper there are these potions of different colors and sizes. My question is did you guys ever have plans for them to be used at some point but got scraped for whatever reason, or were they there for just decorations? – Dredd

    Jeremy: Indeed the original design docs had plans for it, but ya know we gotta save something for the [Sentence Fragment Redacted].

    What does EV officially stand for? – Commish

    Jeremy: Enhanced Variety.

    Will there be some kind of anniversary event/DLC in October? – hamtier

    Jeremy: What, is October a special date of some kind? Did something notable for us happen in October 2011? Hmmm…

    Have a question for the team? Head to the new Ask Us Anything thread and ask away!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Geoff Sholler

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Geoff Sholler, technical producer at Trendy, about his job here at the studio.

    Hi, Geoff. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey, I’m Geoff Sholler and I’m primarily in charge of asset integration, as well as a varied list of other things that combine to grant me the title of “Technical Producer.”

    What exactly does a technical producer do?

    Basically, my job is knowing the UDK toolset well. More specifically, I primarily set up new items and characters in terms of media integration. This boils down to taking the art from the artists and the code functionality from the programmers, and putting it all together so that the item or character is functionally complete and ready to be balanced. This generally involves sound effect setup, visual effect integration, and making sure everything is scaled appropriately.

    Outside of that, I also do cutscene work, subtitle setup, testing, balancing, level scripting, and a bunch of other things. Pretty much any type of task that is handled in the editor, I can do and have done to varying degrees.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    It most certainly is. I was fortunate enough to get hired on here as I was coming out of the University of Central Florida’s FIEA (Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) – and yes that is a shameless shout out, haha – program. So I was fortunate enough to be well prepared, as a large number of the projects I worked on in school had me filling the same role of “knowing UDK well.”

    What drew you to Trendy?

    A few things. Early during my grad school program, a team I was on played the old Dungeon Defense demo to get an idea on what sort of non-FPS things could be done by a small team using UDK. It served as a good bit of inspiration for us on that front. Later on, when we were all looking for jobs, our school pointed us towards Trendy. That’s when I discovered that they made what we had used as our motivation AND were in Florida, which was also a plus. Reading over the openings they had, there was one that was looking for someone with a technical background (Bachelor’s in Computer Science, check) and experience with UDK (double check). Sounded like a better fit than pretty much all the other openings I had looked at, so I went for it.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I live about a five-minute walk from the office, so I usually leave and get in between 11:00 and 11:30, which is nice, and grab a snack from the break room to serve as breakfast, which is also nice. Then I sit down, look over my task list for the day, and start on the most urgent task. Throughout the day, I’ll likely get called away for several tasks not on my task list whether it be some new thing that popped up or playtesting or bug fixing or whatever. End of the day usually comes between 9:30 and 10:30. Somewhat long hours, but I don’t mind them and was fully prepared by the many all-nighters spent during school, haha.

    What’s the atmosphere like in the development room?

    Pretty busy. The dev room houses all of our programmers and gameplay related people, which allows for pretty rapid iteration on things when any issues are found or ideas had. We joke around some, too. All in all, a pretty solid work environment.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    No, I’m all about work, all the time….kidding. But yeah, I like to play video games (Borderlands 2 at the moment), watch TV and movies, play basketball when I can, and I generally go running 2-3 mornings a week before work.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    That’s a tough one. I suppose I’d say if it’s really what you want to do, then don’t give up on it. I got a degree in computer science thinking that programming was the way in for me (since I have very little if any artistic talent), but was less interested in programming by the end of it. It took me a little while to find a graduate program that wasn’t strictly art or programming, but when I saw the producer track at FIEA, which was described as somewhere in between artists and programmers, it sounded perfect for me (another plug, but 100% honest). One thing leads to another and here I am, doing work I’m good at and enjoy doing in the industry I’ve wanted to be in since I was playing Super Mario Bros on the NES. So keep looking and trying, and you’ll probably eventually find a way to get where you want to go.

    Weekly Workshop: Old One Practice

    Crystalline Dimension is a grueling test of strength and endurance. At the end of this lengthy levels waits the Old One, a maniacal creature who will test the skills of even the most veteran defender. The community wished for a way to practice defeating the Old One, and Daniel Sound has answered their cries for help.

    For best results, export your Ranked heroes to Open for an exact replication of the Old One battle. Once you have the battle down pat, head back to Ranked to tackle the Dimension with renewed vigor and confidence. We believe in you. Your magic is real.

    Subscribe to his map and take on the Old One right now!

    Creations of the Week

    These next three winners are walking away with an extra 10 billion mana to spend. Keep up the great work, everyone!


    Courtesy of Joe Palfreyman


    Courtesy of Commish


    Courtesy of Shadow Penguin

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Geoff Sholler

    September 26th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Geoff Sholler, technical producer at Trendy, about his job here at the studio.

    Hi, Geoff. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    Hey, I’m Geoff Sholler and I’m primarily in charge of asset integration, as well as a varied list of other things that combine to grant me the title of “Technical Producer.”

    What exactly does a technical producer do?

    Basically, my job is knowing the UDK toolset well. More specifically, I primarily set up new items and characters in terms of media integration. This boils down to taking the art from the artists and the code functionality from the programmers, and putting it all together so that the item or character is functionally complete and ready to be balanced. This generally involves sound effect setup, visual effect integration, and making sure everything is scaled appropriately.

    Outside of that, I also do cutscene work, subtitle setup, testing, balancing, level scripting, and a bunch of other things. Pretty much any type of task that is handled in the editor, I can do and have done to varying degrees.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    It most certainly is. I was fortunate enough to get hired on here as I was coming out of the University of Central Florida’s FIEA (Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) – and yes that is a shameless shout out, haha – program. So I was fortunate enough to be well prepared, as a large number of the projects I worked on in school had me filling the same role of “knowing UDK well.”

    What drew you to Trendy?

    A few things. Early during my grad school program, a team I was on played the old Dungeon Defense demo to get an idea on what sort of non-FPS things could be done by a small team using UDK. It served as a good bit of inspiration for us on that front. Later on, when we were all looking for jobs, our school pointed us towards Trendy. That’s when I discovered that they made what we had used as our motivation AND were in Florida, which was also a plus. Reading over the openings they had, there was one that was looking for someone with a technical background (Bachelor’s in Computer Science, check) and experience with UDK (double check). Sounded like a better fit than pretty much all the other openings I had looked at, so I went for it.

    What’s your daily routine?

    I live about a five-minute walk from the office, so I usually leave and get in between 11:00 and 11:30, which is nice, and grab a snack from the break room to serve as breakfast, which is also nice. Then I sit down, look over my task list for the day, and start on the most urgent task. Throughout the day, I’ll likely get called away for several tasks not on my task list whether it be some new thing that popped up or playtesting or bug fixing or whatever. End of the day usually comes between 9:30 and 10:30. Somewhat long hours, but I don’t mind them and was fully prepared by the many all-nighters spent during school, haha.

    What’s the atmosphere like in the development room?

    Pretty busy. The dev room houses all of our programmers and gameplay related people, which allows for pretty rapid iteration on things when any issues are found or ideas had. We joke around some, too. All in all, a pretty solid work environment.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    No, I’m all about work, all the time….kidding. But yeah, I like to play video games (Borderlands 2 at the moment), watch TV and movies, play basketball when I can, and I generally go running 2-3 mornings a week before work.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

    That’s a tough one. I suppose I’d say if it’s really what you want to do, then don’t give up on it. I got a degree in computer science thinking that programming was the way in for me (since I have very little if any artistic talent), but was less interested in programming by the end of it. It took me a little while to find a graduate program that wasn’t strictly art or programming, but when I saw the producer track at FIEA, which was described as somewhere in between artists and programmers, it sounded perfect for me (another plug, but 100% honest). One thing leads to another and here I am, doing work I’m good at and enjoy doing in the industry I’ve wanted to be in since I was playing Super Mario Bros on the NES. So keep looking and trying, and you’ll probably eventually find a way to get where you want to go.


    DunDef Digest 9/19/12

    September 20th, 2012 by


    Courtesy of DouDouneman

    At 8 p.m. last night, my phone buzzed. It was a text from Laura.

    “The forums and mods are saying that Shards IV is out on PSN.”

    That was news to me.

    I chomped down the rest of my chicken strip and pulled up the forums. Sure enough, our Console Discussion forum was packed with threads about the new DLC. People were able to purchase it from the PlayStation Network.

    There was just one problem — the necessary patch to play it wasn’t out.

    Luckily, Phil sent out several emails to Sony to correct the issue. A few hours later, our PSN US fans were able to dig through all of the new content, including the ferocious Insane+ difficulty.

    For the rest of the night, I watched our fans write about their experiences with the new Shards and patch. Sometimes people ask me, “What’s your favorite part about working at a game studio?” The honest answer is watching your excitement and reactions to new content. I might not have made the content myself, but I still feel some ownership to it. The kind words sing, and the harsh words sting.

    I hope you’re enjoying the content, gang. As for our 360 and PSN EU fans, we’re hoping to hear back from Microsoft and SCEE soon. As soon as we know, you’ll know.

    Trendy Friday Fun: PS3 Console Event Livestream

    This Friday is our PS3 console event, and we’re streaming it live on our Twitch channel! Be sure to follow the channel to be notified the moment we go live.

    We’re running through Glitterhelm on Insane (not Insane+), and participants will earn a ridiculous amount of XP. If you’d like the chance to play alongside the Trendy team, you have until midnight tonight to sign up in our official PS3 event thread on the forums. Due to the small size of our team, we can only invite in so many people, so tomorrow we’ll post the lucky winners tomorrow in the Console Event Google Doc. Think of it as a lottery.

    Some people want to know why we do it this way. Early last year, we started off the official Trendy events on consoles. We asked people to send us a message on PSN or Xbox Live, and we would go through the list on a first-come, first-serve basis. The problem behind this method is that people would wait around for hours hoping for an invite that would never come. Using this new method ensures that people know ahead of time if they are going to be invited and around what time they would be invited.

    As a reminder, 360 fans, if you’d like to join us for next Friday’s event, sign up in the official 360 thread by midnight, Sept. 26.


    Courtesy of Jonathan

    PC/Mac Patch 7.42

    Earlier this week, PC/Mac fans got their hands on patch 7.42. In the patch were several fan-requested notes, including a Huntress/Hunter buff, a speed buff on the Super Legendary Parent costumes and slightly better high-end randomization.

    Here are the full patch notes:

  • Super Legendary Parent costumes are now nearly as fast as the legendary-parent costumes. (To those who have earned the Super Legendary outfits, we bow to your righteous might!)
  • King’s Game now about 10% Easier
  • Hero Selection & Swap Hero now display 8 Heroes in a page
  • Huntress and Hunter 20% exponential ramp damage buff (high-end heroes approximately +50% end-result)
  • Raised level cap to 93 along with slightly better high-end item randomization possibility (which requires 93), in preparation for upcoming Event
  • Weapon types which had a lower Ultimate damage boost per level than Transcendent damage boost per level have been fixed, Ultimate is now at least as good per Upgrade as Transcendent in all cases. (is not backwards compatible to pre-existing Equipment however)
  • For those wondering about the Mac fixes that we mentioned in last week’s Digest, we had to delay them for further testing. We’re incredibly sorry about that. Stay tuned for more information.

    Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz

    Jeremy graciously stepped up to the plate to answer more of your questions. Have a question for the team? Maybe you’re curious about the art direction or level design? If you have any question about Dungeon Defenders, Trendy Entertainment or the team, head to the new Ask Us Anything thread and ask away!

    How did you guys come up with the name ‘Trendy Entertainment’? – OnE_AwSuM_NiNjA

    Jeremy: I wanted a name which would reflect that we’d be on the ‘cutting edge’ of game development, while still being a little kistchy. Thus, Trendy!

    Hey, at least I didn’t call it ‘Lionheart Games,’ which was my first name… or ‘Cocky Games.’ Yeah, look up the .coms and you’ll see they were registered, as they were on the shortlist. ;)

    Are there any hidden Easter Eggs that haven’t been found yet? – Mincygrape

    Jeremy: Yes!

    In regards to the new PC patch: What exactly does ‘slightly better high-end item randomization possibility (which requires 93)’ mean? – some_guy

    Jeremy: Rare Ultimate items can now get about 40 more upgrade levels on the high-end, and when they do, they’ll have a level 93 requirement.

    Any chance of increasing item storage in our box? – elmo

    Jeremy: Consider it done for the next event.

    What have you learned about balancing/play testing that you’ll put to use in your next game? – Jonzor

    Jeremy: 1) Pre-release: Play-test often and early, and include volunteer (mature) community members in that process as early as you can.
    2) Post-release: Listen to your community’s feedback :)

    Jer, how long have you been working with Unreal Engine? Have you ever considered CryEngine or Frostbite? – Junbao

    Jeremy: Since 2005, when I sold Reality Engine to Epic Games and got a Unreal Engine 3 license in return.

    I love Unreal tech, it’s really versatile and powerful. I have considered other Engines, but none really scale so well between the high, high end (think Arkham City) and the low, low end (think Dungeon Defenders Mobile). ;)

    Meet the Trendy Team: Mia Goodwin

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Mia Goodwin, concept artist at Trendy, about her career in video games, her work in the comics industry and how the two fields differ and overlap.

    Hi, Mia. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

    Hello! I’m currently a concept artist here at Trendy and at the moment. I’m mostly responsible for designing props and environmental assets. Before this, I was a professor of sequential art/illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I was responsible for teaching all of the concept art classes and the occasional comic scripting/manga class when needed. I also work as a comic artist and writer and have been fortunate to work on many great books such as Princeless and the Twilight Zone graphic novel series.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    This is my first job on-site in the game industry, which I am extremely excited about.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    One of my former students/interns and I were actually having coffee and talking about new job prospects we were both looking into at the time — Jenn was waiting to hear back on an internship with LAIKA (which she got!), and I was looking at taking a break from academia and finding a staff position in games to further broaden my experience base — when she mentioned one of her friends worked for Trendy. As I’d played Dungeon Defenders, this sparked Jenn getting into contact with Danny Araya, our lead concept artist here at the studio, and it just so happened they needed someone rather immediately. I spent the next four days drawing up a new portfolio of props and assets to meet the style of art needed, and after those first 100 props, I did another 26 for the art test that came soon after.

    I was very happy to be offered the concept art position here at Trendy: I’m a big fan of Dungeon Defenders and the art team here is full of amazing people.

    What’s your daily routine as a concept artist?

    Generally, I bike to work in the morning, make coffee, gather reference and then spend the next ten hours with my butt glued to my chair drawing. My daily tasks are always different, which keeps things interesting and engaging. I was partly hired on for my speed, and I’m currently providing concepts for three of our 3D artists, so most days are extremely fast paced and often I’m concepting and handing off paintings the same day they’re being modeled. Music is great, but most of the time, I work while listening to old episodes of MST3k and lot of Day[9]. Once I finish my work for the day, I head home and either work on commissions, comics or play video games. Whew!

    I started working here last July when most of the major concept work was finished, so the concept process is a bit foreign to me. Can you describe the creative process of concepting at Trendy?

    Right now, I’m more or less this strange middle man in the process. Ben Greene (our art director) and Ben Burkart (our lead level designer) meet to discuss what needs to be concepted in terms of the environment, and then that filters through Adam Stow (our project manager) who feeds those assets to me as daily assignments. Some days, I have one or two things to work out…the most I’ve done in a day I think was 35 or so.

    The first thing I do on a new concept is to gather up any reference I may need and then sketch out as many variations/concepts as I can before noon. Then the art director reviews these concepts with me, and I do full color work-ups of his picks. Sometimes, the concept can’t just be “done-in-one,” and with Ben’s input, I’ll try new variations or change aspects of the concept to better fit the overall need for the design. In other cases, such as with themed sets of things, where one item must relate to the next in the series, I’ll make certain I’m not only concepting the item itself but also the cultural benchmarks that need to be mirrored or carried through into the next items. Once I’m done with the concepts and they’ve got the art director’s approval, the paintings are passed off to the 3D team for modeling.

    What’s the atmosphere like in the art room?

    The art room is awesome, and the people who work in it are amazing. We’re very much a team and support each other throughout the day both in morale and in work. There are a lot of misconceptions about what we do as artists — one of the biggest being how easy our jobs appear to be — so having a team that’s extremely talented, dedicated and amicable with each other is super important. I’ve worked with a lot of talented people over the years, both famous and otherwise, and I truly enjoy the people on the art team here at Trendy. It’s always exciting to see what we can create together.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    Honestly, I play a lot of video games. I started on the Colecovision way back in the day and haven’t really stopped since. I even met my husband playing TF2. I have a great group of friends that have been playing together for years, and when I’m not at work, we’re generally all hanging out online in some game or another. Besides gaming though, I do a lot of drawing and painting, and I really love reading. Audio books are doubly awesome as I can work while listening to them.

    You’ve worked on a number of comic books. How did you get into that industry?

    Much like games, I have always been into comics and coming from the Detroit-Metro area helped a lot with getting into the comics industry. My friend Chris Sanchez and I used to go to Motor City Comic Con every year where we met and hung out with a lot of the local artists. Guy Davis and Paul Sizer helped mentor me so much when I was a teenager — they were just really awesome about keeping in touch and answering questions and such. I really started in self-publishing and small press doing books here and there both before and after college. Eventually, I transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design for their Sequential Art department and things further took off from there. I’ve done everything from graphic novels to motion comics, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked with a lot of wonderful people and companies. My first love is still self-publishing; however, and my friend Jon Verrall and I are now working on several projects together we’ll be putting out on our own in due time.

    You were nominated for several Glyph Awards for your work on Princeless, including Story of the Year, Best Artist and Best Female Character. Can you describe the comic series for those of us who haven’t read it?

    Princeless is a really great book. Along with winning two of the four Glyph Awards I was nominated for, the book was also nominated for two Eisners this summer. It’s a story about a princess who decides to save herself and her sisters rather than hanging around her tower waiting for her prince to come. It’s aimed at young girls but has been well received by people of all ages. The production schedule on the book was extremely fast — I drew and colored the entire 28 pages of Issue 3 in less than four days — but it was worth living in the rush. I even had the chance to team up with Jim Zub, as he and I did a short crossover between Princeless and Skullkickers that was released this last Spring.

    What are the differences between drawing panels of a comic and drawing concepts for a video game? Are there similarities between the two fields?

    The biggest difference in drawing a panel versus drawing a singular concept is the space in which you have to tell a story. For a panel, you often have a lot more space to tell that story in — from characters, dialogue, environments, action — but with a singular concept, the story is the object, or the character or the weapon. It’s a bit different when you’re concepting out mood paintings or full environments, which are closer in similarity to panels, but designing the singular concept is really exciting because you have so little time and space to develop as much story as you can so that it’s not only part of a whole, but also has interest as a standalone piece. While concept for games is really about developing ideas for things that will be built into the game, there are a lot of similarities the discipline shares with sequential art, especially in terms of story telling. That and both disciplines are more or less trained with the idea that you have to be able to draw anything and everything.

    When concepting a new character, what do you focus on the most?

    While I really don’t draw a lot of characters for my job here at Trendy — that’s primarily Danny’s department while I’m drawing props and assets beside him — when I do get to focus on a character, my process usually goes something like personality > silhouette/movement > fashion. I think the first thing I like to find with any character is their personality — who are they, why do we want to play them/interact with them, what’s their story? — and that generally leads into playing around with shape and gesture until I get the form to pair up aesthetically with the function. After that, it’s a lot of designing clothing/weapons/accessories, which is the super fun part. Even with concepts, I carry over a habit I have when writing/drawing comics of sort of “acting” out the character as I’m drawing them. This generally involves making lots of faces as the drawing is happening and writing out dialogue that would fit for the character. It just helps me get into it more.

    Finally, do you have anything else that you would like to share?

    “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!… .” Sun Tzu said that, and I’d say he knows a little more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it! And then he perfected it, so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor!

    ~Words to live by :3c

    Weekly Workshop: The Pit

    I fell in the pit. You fell in the pit. We all fell in the pit.

    This map by InvaderZim is similar to his other map, The Arena. It features a single crystal in the middle of the map to defend, and various enemies are cheering on your death around the edges of the map. The Pit is larger in size, so it’s better suited to group play than The Arena.

    With each successive map, we’re watching InvaderZim mature as a map maker. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Be sure to subscribe to InvaderZim’s map and check it out for yourself!

    Creations of the Week (with a new prize!)

    Starting this week, those featured in our Digests will win 10 billion mana for their screenshots, videos or fan art! Each week, we’ll choose five winners and display them here. In order for your content to be in the running, you will need to upload it to Steam, with the exception of fan art, which you can email to contest@trendyent.com. If you want to make sure that we see your submission, email it to us. This prize only applies to PC/Mac Steam users. Please provide your Steam profile link in the email.

    This week’s winners include the two screenshots used by DouDouneman and Jonathan earlier in the Digest and the three submissions below:


    Courtesy of PlantedAquarium

    Winners, we’ll update your profiles with your reward by Friday.

    Here are some tips for your screenshots to increase your chances of winning:

    1) Unless the HUD is important for the shot, turn it off.
    2) I am a sucker for scenery.
    3) If possible, turn post-processing on. I like the purty colors.

    Keep the content coming!

    Until next week,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Mia Goodwin

    September 19th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Mia Goodwin, concept artist at Trendy, about her career in video games, her work in the comics industry and how the two fields differ and overlap.

    Hi, Mia. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

    Hello! I’m currently a concept artist here at Trendy and at the moment. I’m mostly responsible for designing props and environmental assets. Before this, I was a professor of sequential art/illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I was responsible for teaching all of the concept art classes and the occasional comic scripting/manga class when needed. I also work as a comic artist and writer and have been fortunate to work on many great books such as Princeless and the Twilight Zone graphic novel series.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    This is my first job on-site in the game industry, which I am extremely excited about.

    What drew you to Trendy?

    One of my former students/interns and I were actually having coffee and talking about new job prospects we were both looking into at the time — Jenn was waiting to hear back on an internship with LAIKA (which she got!), and I was looking at taking a break from academia and finding a staff position in games to further broaden my experience base — when she mentioned one of her friends worked for Trendy. As I’d played Dungeon Defenders, this sparked Jenn getting into contact with Danny Araya, our lead concept artist here at the studio, and it just so happened they needed someone rather immediately. I spent the next four days drawing up a new portfolio of props and assets to meet the style of art needed, and after those first 100 props, I did another 26 for the art test that came soon after.

    I was very happy to be offered the concept art position here at Trendy: I’m a big fan of Dungeon Defenders and the art team here is full of amazing people.

    What’s your daily routine as a concept artist?

    Generally, I bike to work in the morning, make coffee, gather reference and then spend the next ten hours with my butt glued to my chair drawing. My daily tasks are always different, which keeps things interesting and engaging. I was partly hired on for my speed, and I’m currently providing concepts for three of our 3D artists, so most days are extremely fast paced and often I’m concepting and handing off paintings the same day they’re being modeled. Music is great, but most of the time, I work while listening to old episodes of MST3k and lot of Day[9]. Once I finish my work for the day, I head home and either work on commissions, comics or play video games. Whew!

    I started working here last July when most of the major concept work was finished, so the concept process is a bit foreign to me. Can you describe the creative process of concepting at Trendy?

    Right now, I’m more or less this strange middle man in the process. Ben Greene (our art director) and Ben Burkart (our lead level designer) meet to discuss what needs to be concepted in terms of the environment, and then that filters through Adam Stow (our project manager) who feeds those assets to me as daily assignments. Some days, I have one or two things to work out…the most I’ve done in a day I think was 35 or so.

    The first thing I do on a new concept is to gather up any reference I may need and then sketch out as many variations/concepts as I can before noon. Then the art director reviews these concepts with me, and I do full color work-ups of his picks. Sometimes, the concept can’t just be “done-in-one,” and with Ben’s input, I’ll try new variations or change aspects of the concept to better fit the overall need for the design. In other cases, such as with themed sets of things, where one item must relate to the next in the series, I’ll make certain I’m not only concepting the item itself but also the cultural benchmarks that need to be mirrored or carried through into the next items. Once I’m done with the concepts and they’ve got the art director’s approval, the paintings are passed off to the 3D team for modeling.

    What’s the atmosphere like in the art room?

    The art room is awesome, and the people who work in it are amazing. We’re very much a team and support each other throughout the day both in morale and in work. There are a lot of misconceptions about what we do as artists — one of the biggest being how easy our jobs appear to be — so having a team that’s extremely talented, dedicated and amicable with each other is super important. I’ve worked with a lot of talented people over the years, both famous and otherwise, and I truly enjoy the people on the art team here at Trendy. It’s always exciting to see what we can create together.

    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while you’re not working?

    Honestly, I play a lot of video games. I started on the Colecovision way back in the day and haven’t really stopped since. I even met my husband playing TF2. I have a great group of friends that have been playing together for years, and when I’m not at work, we’re generally all hanging out online in some game or another. Besides gaming though, I do a lot of drawing and painting, and I really love reading. Audio books are doubly awesome as I can work while listening to them.

    You’ve worked on a number of comic books. How did you get into that industry?

    Much like games, I have always been into comics and coming from the Detroit-Metro area helped a lot with getting into the comics industry. My friend Chris Sanchez and I used to go to Motor City Comic Con every year where we met and hung out with a lot of the local artists. Guy Davis and Paul Sizer helped mentor me so much when I was a teenager — they were just really awesome about keeping in touch and answering questions and such. I really started in self-publishing and small press doing books here and there both before and after college. Eventually, I transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design for their Sequential Art department and things further took off from there. I’ve done everything from graphic novels to motion comics, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked with a lot of wonderful people and companies. My first love is still self-publishing; however, and my friend Jon Verrall and I are now working on several projects together we’ll be putting out on our own in due time.

    You were nominated for several Glyph Awards for your work on Princeless, including Story of the Year, Best Artist and Best Female Character. Can you describe the comic series for those of us who haven’t read it?

    Princeless is a really great book. Along with winning two of the four Glyph Awards I was nominated for, the book was also nominated for two Eisners this summer. It’s a story about a princess who decides to save herself and her sisters rather than hanging around her tower waiting for her prince to come. It’s aimed at young girls but has been well received by people of all ages. The production schedule on the book was extremely fast — I drew and colored the entire 28 pages of Issue 3 in less than four days — but it was worth living in the rush. I even had the chance to team up with Jim Zub, as he and I did a short crossover between Princeless and Skullkickers that was released this last Spring.

    What are the differences between drawing panels of a comic and drawing concepts for a video game? Are there similarities between the two fields?

    The biggest difference in drawing a panel versus drawing a singular concept is the space in which you have to tell a story. For a panel, you often have a lot more space to tell that story in — from characters, dialogue, environments, action — but with a singular concept, the story is the object, or the character or the weapon. It’s a bit different when you’re concepting out mood paintings or full environments, which are closer in similarity to panels, but designing the singular concept is really exciting because you have so little time and space to develop as much story as you can so that it’s not only part of a whole, but also has interest as a standalone piece. While concept for games is really about developing ideas for things that will be built into the game, there are a lot of similarities the discipline shares with sequential art, especially in terms of story telling. That and both disciplines are more or less trained with the idea that you have to be able to draw anything and everything.

    When concepting a new character, what do you focus on the most?

    While I really don’t draw a lot of characters for my job here at Trendy — that’s primarily Danny’s department while I’m drawing props and assets beside him — when I do get to focus on a character, my process usually goes something like personality > silhouette/movement > fashion. I think the first thing I like to find with any character is their personality — who are they, why do we want to play them/interact with them, what’s their story? — and that generally leads into playing around with shape and gesture until I get the form to pair up aesthetically with the function. After that, it’s a lot of designing clothing/weapons/accessories, which is the super fun part. Even with concepts, I carry over a habit I have when writing/drawing comics of sort of “acting” out the character as I’m drawing them. This generally involves making lots of faces as the drawing is happening and writing out dialogue that would fit for the character. It just helps me get into it more.

    Finally, do you have anything else that you would like to share?

    “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!… .” Sun Tzu said that, and I’d say he knows a little more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it! And then he perfected it, so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor!

    ~Words to live by :3c


    Shards IV Out Now on PSN US

    September 19th, 2012 by

    Shards Part IV and the new console patch are out now on PSN US! This patch includes Insane+, the free new difficulty mode with harder mobs and greater rewards.

    We’re waiting to hear back from Microsoft and SCEE (PSN EU) about their respective DLCs and patches.

    Head to the Patch and DLC thread to discuss the new content!


    PC/Mac Patch 7.42

    September 19th, 2012 by


    Earlier this week, PC/Mac fans got their hands on patch 7.42. In the patch were several fan-requested notes, including a Huntress/Hunter buff, a speed buff on the Super Legendary Parent costumes and slightly better high-end randomization.

    Here are the full patch notes:

    • Super Legendary Parent costumes are now nearly as fast as the legendary-parent costumes. (To those who have earned the Super Legendary outfits, we bow to your righteous might!)
    • King’s Game now about 10% Easier
    • Hero Selection & Swap Hero now display 8 Heroes in a page
    • Huntress and Hunter 20% exponential ramp damage buff (high-end heroes approximately +50% end-result)
    • Raised level cap to 93 along with slightly better high-end item randomization possibility (which requires 93), in preparation for upcoming Event
    • Weapon types which had a lower Ultimate damage boost per level than Transcendent damage boost per level have been fixed, Ultimate is now at least as good per Upgrade as Transcendent in all cases. (is not backwards compatible to pre-existing Equipment however)

    DunDef Digest 9/12/12

    September 12th, 2012 by


    Courtesy of Commish

    Meetings. Every day there’s a new meeting. Luckily for me, some of them occur right beside my office.

    As I’m watching over the forums, hushed whispers swim through the hole in my door where a handle should be. I feel like a spy. Donning my black turtleneck, I crept into my favorite gaming studio undetected. And now, I’m learning the ins and outs of what’s next.

    I can’t wait to share all of this with you. Soon. All in due time.

    PC/Mac Patch Update

    It’s been awhile since our last PC/Mac patch. Let’s change that.

    Having issues with our Mac version? Our off-site team is fixing some of those pesky issues. You can expect this update to hit Steam this weekend and the Mac App Store in about a week and a half. The Mac App Store may take longer than that due to the approval process for patches. Also hitting Steam this weekend is a patch for the PC version of the game.

    We’ll update our Twitter account the moment the patch notes are live. Stay tuned.

    Console News Updates

    No word yet from Sony or Microsoft, console fans. But we do have a spot of good news — Laura and I are hosting another Trendy Console Event! Participants will earn a ridiculous amount of XP on Glitterhelm.

    And for the first time ever, our console events will be streamed live on Twitch.

    Next Friday, Sept. 21, will be our PS3 day. The following Friday, Sept. 28, will be our 360 day. PS3 fans, you’ll need to leave your PSN ID in a comment in this thread before midnight EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 19. 360 fans, you’ll have until midnight EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 26 to leave your XBL gamertag in this thread to sign up.

    Events will last from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. Remember, signing up is not a guarantee of entry. We’ll randomize the list of entrants and post a list of the lucky few fans to join us. (Alas, the one flaw of having a small team.) We’ll update the Console Sign-Up Google Doc with the final list of people on the Thursday before the events.


    Courtesy of Nekro Night

    Weekly Q&A with Jeremy Stieglitz and Philip Asher

    We’re once again joined by our fearless leader Jeremy Stieglitz and marketing director Philip Asher (Pmasher) for this week’s Q&A session. Enjoy.

    Who came up with the whole Dungeon Defenders idea? – CaptBoxershorts

    Jeremy: Me, Jeremy Stieglitz. I started with the “Dungeon Defense” prototype that I created in 2010 with the Unreal Development Kit, and then when that piqued gamer’s interests, I started building “Dungeon Defenders” as a bigger realization of the concepts of RPG + Tower Defense, and co-founded Trendy as part of that process. Gradually, the Trendy team originally composed of myself and a couple others got larger and larger as we built Dungeon Defenders towards its release in 2011.

    Is Nightmare mode balanced around the original 4 heroes, or is it balanced around using the paid DLC characters (EV, Summoner) in addition to the regular heroes? – Carlh267

    Jeremy: It’s balanced around any combination of 4 heroes (definitely not meant to be taken on be a lone player). Certain missions can be somewhat easier with the DLC heroes in the mix, but it has been designed to be beatable by any combo.

    After the upcoming DLC and patch for console, is that all for console support? No future DLC or patches planned? – SupRfirebird

    Pmasher: Yes, the upcoming DLC and patch for consoles will be the last.

    Are you guys aware of/will there be a fix for damage scaling on the Ultimate versions of The Eternian Greatsword, The Gambler’s Polearm and The Light Knight? – Dragonsmight

    Jeremy: If you can please explain the issue to me here, we will fix it! :)

    Do you guys play Dungeon Defenders during work hours (for fun)? – Hisoka

    Jeremy: We certainly did non-stop during its core development cycle, and still do! One of my favorite maps to play on for fun is Moraggo Desert Town.

    Are there plans to release new Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday related content for the PC version of Dungeon Defenders? – Derikpr

    Pmasher: Not at the moment, though we are considering making the previous DLCs free for their respective holidays this year.

    If someone from the community were to write coding in relation to the RNG, and it was passed to the dev team and approved by them, would you introduce it to the game? – Classic22

    Jeremy: We’d definitely consider it, but as we mentioned before, even a minute change there could alter the entire progression ramp, and not necessarily for the better (imagine getting Ultimate weapons in the first 10 hours of play, etc). So it’d have to be a change that kept the progression ramp intact, which can be tricky in a game with as much content as this.

    Have a question for the team? Head to the new Ask Us Anything thread and ask away!

    Weekly Workshop: The Arena

    Looking for a great solo map? Welcome to The Arena.

    This deceptively simple custom map by InvaderZim pits our heroes against waves of baddies who are trying to destroy a single crystal inside of a gladiator-style arena. In the stands around the arena, enemies from across the region cheer for your untimely demise.

    This small map has a twist. (Of course there’s a twist!) Every wave, a miniboss will spawn from a corner of the map. While these are a pain in the butt, it’s the wyverns and goblin copters that spawn almost directly above your crystal that will cause you the most grief. Have fun using harpoons against those dudes.

    I love this map, and judging from the five-star rating on the Workshop, the community agrees. Be sure to subscribe to the map from the Steam Workshop and check it out for yourself!

    Meet the Trendy Team — Now on Tuesdays

    Starting next week, our Meet the Trendy Team series will be posted every Tuesday. This way, each employee gets a whole day to shine. Next Tuesday, we’ll talk to concept artist Mia Goodwin about her career in art and her job here at Trendy HQ.

    Creations of the Week

    I want your screenshots, videos and fan art! Good, bad or otherwise, please send them to me. Not only do they help brighten up the Digest, they could be featured on our Facebook page, and of course, I would be forever grateful to you.

    Send them to contest@trendyent.com with the subject “Creation of the Week”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of Nekro Night

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Michael Smith

    September 6th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Michael Smith, character animator at Trendy, about his job, his life and why the Jester’s animations look the way they do.

    Who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    My name is Michael Smith. I’m 23. I went to Full Sail University from September 2008 to December 2010. I was born in New York and came down to Florida right before middle school. I was hired at Trendy in late June of 2012 and I’m still enjoying it. I’m a character animator, so I get the rigged models and make them move to whatever actions we need. My current interests still are video games, but I’m also in the habit of practicing my drawing, longboarding and reading.

    What have you contributed to Dungeon Defenders?

    I came in at the very tail end of DD, so really my contributions were minimal. I got to make the Mother Huntress animation set, propeller cat and the Jester.

    Speaking of the Jester, why does the Jester’s animations look the way they do?

    Her animations looked that way because of some technical limitations and my novelty with animation blending in UDK. She could use all four weapons which I thought meant that she needed four different animation sets. We only did two, crossbow and “melee”. The “melee” set had to have the wand, staff and sword be held the exact same way, at a very boring by the hip pose with virtually no movement while running so the mage’s wand can fire shots without having it jump to where it should be, to mention one of the technical issues I had.

    What did you do before you worked at Trendy?

    Before Trendy I was working at Sprint 30 hours a week and freelancing about 35. I hated working retail and made sure that I got out of there as fast as I could.

    What sparked your interest in animation?

    I’ve always had a deep interest in games and animated movies, although I completely chose what I wanted to do in school. In my second month of Full Sail we had a Maya introduction class. We modeled, rigged, textured and animated a short little thing just to get a taste of what we’ll be learning later on. I found rigging to be interesting, but I really found animation to be what I wanted to do.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a character animator?

    Start with the principles of animation, memorize those until you can say them in your sleep. Get critiques on EVERYTHING you do — it’s art, it takes a lot of time and practice. Fresh eyes always help especially when you’ve been looking at the same 5-10 seconds of work for many hours. Reference is key. All those little details that seem minor aren’t. Similarly, act out everything you physically can, and record yourself or others. Being able to draw a stick figure with proper proportions and foreshortening help when sketching out ideas for animations, so practice that.


    DunDef Digest 9/6/12

    September 6th, 2012 by


    After 16 grueling hours of traveling, we’re back from our Seattle adventure.

    There’s no video game expo like PAX Prime. The booths, the cosplay, the panels — there’s always something interesting to see each day. But going from a 10-hour-a-day desk job to standing on your feet for 10 hours took its toll on my body. Clearly, my exercise regimen of Breaking Bad and pizza wasn’t effective enough.

    We’d like to give a very special thanks to the Dungeon Defenders fans whom we met at PAX. Meeting each and every one of you was the highlight of our trip. Your passion for the game drives us to work harder.

    My brain is still processing the trip, so expect a full PAX wrap-up post soon.

    Console News Updates

    The SCEE (or PSN EU to some of you) DLC and patch are now in certification. We’re waiting for a release date from SCEA (PSN US), and the DLC/patch are still in certification at Microsoft.

    We love our console fans, and we hate to see you guys and girls upset. We hope you understand that the ball is out of our court for the time being. Certification is a long process. We wish we could snap our fingers and give you Insane+ and Shards IV right now. Sadly, we all have to play the waiting game on consoles.

    People have asked about Trendy-hosted community events for consoles. We’re looking into the possibility of more in the future. If they should come back, expect to see a set schedule for them along with an easier way to see upcoming events. In the meantime, if you are a PSN US player, head to Etheria’s Super Events to get a special pet reward made by Trendy! To our 360 fans, we’re in talks with several community members to get the community-hosted events back up and running. We’ll have more details soon.

    Dungeon Defenders on the Mac App Store

    Dungeon Defenders is finally available on the Mac App Store for $14.99. This version isn’t identical to the Steam version, so here are some details if you or your friends want to pick it up:

    * Optimized for Mac Book Pro Retina Display (2880×1800)
    * ALL of the paid PC content available is available for purchase, excluding the President’s Day DLC (Generated from 7.40 PC build)
    * Supports Game Center Leaderboards, Achievements, Matchmaking, and voice chat
    * Supports GameSpy play with advanced matchmaking filters and session browser.

    Note, this version also:
    - Does not support TrendyNet
    - Does not include Steam Workshop or Mod support

    Weekly Q&A with Jeremy Stieglitz and Philip Asher

    Last week, we gave you the opportunity to ask us anything about Dungeon Defenders, Trendy Entertainment or the team in general. Some of the questions wanted to know about our next projects. We applaud the effort and the eagerness, but we can’t talk about those at the moment. With that caveat out of the way, we picked a handful of questions for our fearless leader Jeremy Stieglitz and our marketing director Philip Asher (Pmasher) to answer:

    Do you ever plan on changing the speeds of the Super Legendary Costumes? – Fictorious

    Jeremy: Sure thing, we’ll boost their speeds to be comparable with the other costumes in an Update next week! After all, you worked really hard to earn those special costumes.

    How much longer will DD be supported with DLC? – Classic22

    Jeremy: At least through the end of this year, including additional Trendy-produced DLC. Beyond that, we plan to continue to incorporate the best of the community-created content into the official Ranked game as well. [Ed. Note: Including the winner from our Map Contest!]

    Will the RNG ever be reworked? – SirLatency

    Jeremy: No. The RNG has issues, but it’s too ingrained into its existing balance-ramp to alter at this point.

    When you guys originally set out to make DD, what game(s) was your biggest influence? – Vesper

    Jeremy: To wit: Castle Crashers, Fieldrunners and Diablo — along with a dash of Skies of Arcadia.

    Will Trendy officially start selling Dungeon Defenders/Trendy Entertainment-related merchandise? – JoBarfCreepy

    Jeremy: That’s up to the marketing guys. I know I’d love me some DunDef T’s and coffee mugs. ;)

    Pmasher: We’re working on merch as we speak. In fact, we even have a dedicated guy on it now. Trying to get the highest quality merch has been a challenge, especially for such a colorful game (for any of you who know about printing!). As always, we’d love any suggestions for stuff you’d like to see! I expect the first batch of merch to be available around the next convention we attend officially, but there might be some available sooner.

    Have a question for the team? Head to the new Ask Us Anything thread and ask away!

    Weekly Workshop: Yar Har Fiddle De Dee

    This is the first map made specifically for our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest, and what a way to kick it off right. Wes1180, whom we’ve showcased in the Digest a number of times, is the author behind this naval-themed map. (Now we know what his Dynamic Level was for!)

    Here’s the description from his Workshop page: “Between one and eight of our brave heroes are traveling to a small island off the coast of Etheria to retrieve a magical crystal that has revealed itself above the land. Although it would appear that some of the enemy army have beaten you to it and are now defending the island from you. Will your vessel stand up to the attacks of the enemy ships that have been sent to take you down?”

    Subscribe to his map and defend against enemy ships attempting to board your vessel! And keep the contest entries coming! Check out the full contest details on how to win cash money, a beta key to our next project and inclusion into our Ranked mode!

    Facebook Code Winners

    The two winners from our Facebook page are — Francisco Diaz and Daniel Dictator Hartzell! Congratulations! Send us a message on our Facebook page to receive your codes!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Michael Smith

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Michael Smith, character animator at Trendy, about his job, his life and why the Jester’s animations look the way they do.

    Who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    My name is Michael Smith. I’m 23. I went to Full Sail University from September 2008 to December 2010. I was born in New York and came down to Florida right before middle school. I was hired at Trendy in late June of 2012 and I’m still enjoying it. I’m a character animator, so I get the rigged models and make them move to whatever actions we need. My current interests still are video games, but I’m also in the habit of practicing my drawing, longboarding and reading.

    What have you contributed to Dungeon Defenders?

    I came in at the very tail end of DD, so really my contributions were minimal. I got to make the Mother Huntress animation set, propeller cat and the Jester.

    Speaking of the Jester, why does the Jester’s animations look the way they do?

    Her animations looked that way because of some technical limitations and my novelty with animation blending in UDK. She could use all four weapons which I thought meant that she needed four different animation sets. We only did two, crossbow and “melee”. The “melee” set had to have the wand, staff and sword be held the exact same way, at a very boring by the hip pose with virtually no movement while running so the mage’s wand can fire shots without having it jump to where it should be, to mention one of the technical issues I had.

    What did you do before you worked at Trendy?

    Before Trendy I was working at Sprint 30 hours a week and freelancing about 35. I hated working retail and made sure that I got out of there as fast as I could.

    What sparked your interest in animation?

    I’ve always had a deep interest in games and animated movies, although I completely chose what I wanted to do in school. In my second month of Full Sail we had a Maya introduction class. We modeled, rigged, textured and animated a short little thing just to get a taste of what we’ll be learning later on. I found rigging to be interesting, but I really found animation to be what I wanted to do.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a character animator?

    Start with the principles of animation, memorize those until you can say them in your sleep. Get critiques on EVERYTHING you do — it’s art, it takes a lot of time and practice. Fresh eyes always help especially when you’ve been looking at the same 5-10 seconds of work for many hours. Reference is key. All those little details that seem minor aren’t. Similarly, act out everything you physically can, and record yourself or others. Being able to draw a stick figure with proper proportions and foreshortening help when sketching out ideas for animations, so practice that.

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest@trendyent.com with the subject “Creation of the Week”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of nyxiie


    Courtesy of jemmajule

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan


    Dungeon Defenders Available Now on the Mac App Store

    September 6th, 2012 by

    Dungeon Defenders is finally available on the Mac App Store for $14.99. This version is not identical to the Steam version, so here are some details if you or your friends want to pick it up:

  • Optimized for Mac Book Pro Retina Display (2880×1800)
  • ALL of the paid PC content available is available for purchase, excluding the President’s Day DLC (Generated from 7.40 PC build)
  • Supports Game Center Leaderboards, Achievements, Matchmaking, and voice chat
  • Supports GameSpy play with advanced matchmaking filters and session browser.
  • Note, this version also:

  • Does not support TrendyNet
  • Does not include Steam Workshop or Mod support

  • DunDef Digest 8/29/12

    August 30th, 2012 by

    PAX Prime, my favorite gaming expo of the year, is almost here.

    I’m making my travel list and checking it twice. Deodorant is on the list three times. Remember that scene in Lion King where Pumba’s flatulence disturbed a circle of animals? Imagine that except with body odor. I’d like to avoid that shame. (Contrary to popular belief, gaming expos are not drowning in body odor. Most of the people at expos are hygienic and well-kept.)

    Trendy is boothless for this year’s Prime, which means plenty of time for panels. The Halo Reborn panel on Saturday is a no-brainer for me, and Phil wouldn’t dare miss the Metal Gear panel on Saturday. We’ll try to have our full panel schedules up on the forums before the opening day.

    If you’re going to be in the area this weekend, let us know in the comments section. Phil and I would love to meet you! And if you see someone sporting the shirt seen above, chances are it’s one of us.

    Console News Update

    Sony Computer Entertainment America (PSN US) certified our Shards IV DLC and patch! We’re submitting the SCEE (PSN EU) materials tonight. We’ll have a release date for the PSN US Shards and patch soon. Meanwhile at Microsoft, the Xbox 360 content is still undergoing certification. We’ll keep you updated on all three fronts in the coming weeks.

    Ask Us Anything

    After Obama’s AMA on Reddit today, we were curious if our fans had questions they would like to ask us. So we’re trying something new. If you have a question for our team, head to this post and ask away. We’ll answer a few of them in our Digest next week. The thread will close sometime on Monday, so get your question in now!

    Weekly Workshop: Rama Joy Map

    I love maps that defy the expectations of a Dungeon Defenders map. Rama Joy Map by evernewjoy is exactly that. In this open-world style map, you must find eight Crystal Shards to complete the match. Or you could have a battle on top of the floating crystals in the sky. Or you could ignore both of these and just explore the island. It’s entirely up to you.

    If you watched our Trendy Friday Fun livecast, you’ll know we had trouble figuring out what to do. I think a few in-game instructions might be nice to help newer players of the map.

    Be sure to subscribe to the map and share your feedback on evernewjoy’s page! If you’d like to download the maps that we played on our Trendy Friday Fun, head to our collection and click Subscribe to All.

    And keep working on your map contest submissions!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Brian Goodsell

    For this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Brian Goodsell, VFX artist, about his art career, his contributions to Dungeon Defenders and what aspiring VFX artists should know before entering the industry.

    Who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    I’m Brian Goodsell, and I’m the effects artist (referred to as FX with our modern-day hip lingo). I make sparkly things that add significance to the map and enemies. Swing that monk staff, fire the apprentice weapon, look at a torch — that’s the stuff I make.

    I’ve had a long mixed background with art. I graduated from college with a degree in graphic design that I never really used. I worked as everything from a technical print artist (yes, that’s an artistry now) to doing tattoos before I decided to make a serious go of a profession in video games. I heard they were all the rage on the Internet and was lured to them by an influx of late-night gaming commercials.

    In all seriousness, I tried to build a game long before I even knew there was an indie scene for this stuff. Before graduation from college in 2004, I created a dorky little game called Foreverhood using the Doom 1 engine by myself. Of all the things I learned about game design (aside from the fact that it’s really hard to do), it’s that it’s a lot of fun to watch the whole thing come together. At the end of the day, theres nothing else I’d rather do.

    If I were to walk around Dungeon Defenders, what assets would I see that are made by Mr. Goodsell?

    First, take out your wallet and spend your hard-earned dollars on the Talay Mining Complex, the fourth Shards pack and the Jester. This will ensure that you have the right amount of content for viewing my work as well as paying for the coffee in my hand.

    On Talay Mines, I did a lot of the fan particles. That was my first gig. The crystal map we got a little more ambitious. I did all the visuals for the final boss as well as putting together the cutscene before the Sky City boss. For the Jester, look at the swirling area surrounding the map. All me (and some other guy who made the 3D models).

    That’s the big things. I also made a shooting star in the crystal map or whatever we called that crystal universe. Not so good with the names.

    I believe the final name was Barney’s Funland.

    Really? We should sit down with the Department of Naming and have a long chat.

    What sparked your interest in art?

    The fact that they offered it in a college. In high school, I had no idea what artists really did aside from design work (we’re talking back in 1999). Like a child that wanted the puppy in the window, I somehow convinced my parents that this was my calling in life, or that this would move me out of the house for four years. Either way, I seemed to do well with it because there were no rules to it, no answers. People just accepted what I created or gave me ways of making it better. So really this is your fault, society. You should have told me there were other ways to make a living.

    Your resume and portfolio peg you as an environment artist, but you’re working on FX at Trendy. How did that happen?

    I had been freelancing for a few months doing FX work unrelated to Trendy. Then I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to do FX work for Trendy. I got a job here about a week later.

    The cool thing about our toolset is there are a million and a half tutorials on how to do anything in the Unreal Engine. (If you have no idea what that is, Google it. I’ll wait.)

    So basically I was hired because they really needed someone to do effects, and I knew enough about Unreal to fit the bill. The rest is just a lot of late nights watching tutorials so I at least looked productive enough during the day that nobody was asking questions about why the new guy spent hours on YouTube researching particle systems.

    What do you like the most and least about the art style of Dungeon Defenders?

    Most: We took it to space. Like, our map range is all over the place. The DLC we put out covers so many places it’s like we released a new game after releasing a game. You really should buy all the DLC. Not because it just pays my salary, but some of the best looking places are in the content we put out after shipping the base game, in my opinion.

    Least: Turn off post-processing in the options and play the game. ‘Nuff said.

    You mentioned being a tattoo artist. You have a few tattoos of your own. Did you design those yourself?

    Designed myself and did a few myself on myself by myself. Though when I can, I usually get someone else to revise my designs. Nothing like walking around with a half-baked idea on your skin waiting for the sun to fade it into oblivion.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an FX artist?

    It’s a long process that begins with the ceremonial leaving of the free time. I suggest you tell your friends and loved ones that you’ve decided to take the plunge into the thankless world of being an end credit. Next, you can do one of two things. You can either go to a school to be taught your profession, or you can find a tutorial site and pay a lot less money for that school-like education. I recommend starting with any of the beginner series from either 3dmotive or Eat 3D and learning the basics of what a particle system is and how you make stuff in it. If you find that it isn’t for you, you’re out like $50, which is the price of a mildly disappointing AAA game nowadays anyway.

    Being an FX artist is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. There’s some math stuff involved (like knowing the difference between acceleration and velocity). There’s days where you live in Photoshop making the graphics you need for an effect. There are days where you’re doing 3D modeling to make other props you need to break something or blow up a relic piece of Aquanos history. Mostly it’s just a question of mastering the basics, iterating on your work and posting it on a website like Polycount where other professionals can see and critique your work. Our industry needs more VFX artists, so it’s a road I recommend taking if you’re serious about working in games.

    But be warned about the time issue. Games are hard work. Lots of late nights and weekends are spent in the office working until you never want to see another space mutant guarding the portal back to your home world again. Then again, it’s a good conversation starter to tell your friends you’re stressed out because the deathrays the Old One shoots out of its eyes doesn’t look menacing enough.

    Most of all, be patient. Talent doesn’t come overnight or within the first few weeks of trying something. I’ve been an artist of one kind or another for over 10 years now, and I still find ways to f*** things up and make terrible quality stuff.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    You can follow my dumb thoughts on Twitter: @bgoodsell. Occasionally I rant passionately about FX work or post useful game art-related tutorials.

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:

    8/31 — Trendy Friday Fun ← Win free Steam codes!

    PS3:

    8/31 to 9/2 — The Return of Etheria’s Super Events! ← Win an exclusive pet made by Trendy!
    9/4 — Hardcore Defender Event — Month 2

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest@trendyent.com with the subject “Creation of the Week”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of @nekro_night


    Courtesy of lemon93


    Courtesy of Peanut Noir

    Keep the fan art coming!

    If you have any issues or questions, Laura will be handling things while I’m in Seattle. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to pack the rest of my flannel shirts.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Brian Goodsell

    August 29th, 2012 by

    For this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Brian Goodsell, VFX artist, about his art career, his contributions to Dungeon Defenders and what aspiring VFX artists should know before entering the industry.

    Who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

    I’m Brian Goodsell, and I’m the effects artist (referred to as FX with our modern-day hip lingo). I make sparkly things that add significance to the map and enemies. Swing that monk staff, fire the apprentice weapon, look at a torch — that’s the stuff I make.

    I’ve had a long mixed background with art. I graduated from college with a degree in graphic design that I never really used. I worked as everything from a technical print artist (yes, that’s an artistry now) to doing tattoos before I decided to make a serious go of a profession in video games. I heard they were all the rage on the Internet and was lured to them by an influx of late-night gaming commercials.

    In all seriousness, I tried to build a game long before I even knew there was an indie scene for this stuff. Before graduation from college in 2004, I created a dorky little game called Foreverhood using the Doom 1 engine by myself. Of all the things I learned about game design (aside from the fact that it’s really hard to do), it’s that it’s a lot of fun to watch the whole thing come together. At the end of the day, theres nothing else I’d rather do.

    If I were to walk around Dungeon Defenders, what assets would I see that are made by Mr. Goodsell?

    First, take out your wallet and spend your hard-earned dollars on the Talay Mining Complex, the fourth Shards pack and the Jester. This will ensure that you have the right amount of content for viewing my work as well as paying for the coffee in my hand.

    On Talay Mines, I did a lot of the fan particles. That was my first gig. The crystal map we got a little more ambitious. I did all the visuals for the final boss as well as putting together the cutscene before the Sky City boss. For the Jester, look at the swirling area surrounding the map. All me (and some other guy who made the 3D models).

    That’s the big things. I also made a shooting star in the crystal map or whatever we called that crystal universe. Not so good with the names.

    I believe the final name was Barney’s Funland.

    Really? We should sit down with the Department of Naming and have a long chat.

    What sparked your interest in art?

    The fact that they offered it in a college. In high school, I had no idea what artists really did aside from design work (we’re talking back in 1999). Like a child that wanted the puppy in the window, I somehow convinced my parents that this was my calling in life, or that this would move me out of the house for four years. Either way, I seemed to do well with it because there were no rules to it, no answers. People just accepted what I created or gave me ways of making it better. So really this is your fault, society. You should have told me there were other ways to make a living.

    Your resume and portfolio peg you as an environment artist, but you’re working on FX at Trendy. How did that happen?

    I had been freelancing for a few months doing FX work unrelated to Trendy. Then I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to do FX work for Trendy. I got a job here about a week later.

    The cool thing about our toolset is there are a million and a half tutorials on how to do anything in the Unreal Engine. (If you have no idea what that is, Google it. I’ll wait.)

    So basically I was hired because they really needed someone to do effects, and I knew enough about Unreal to fit the bill. The rest is just a lot of late nights watching tutorials so I at least looked productive enough during the day that nobody was asking questions about why the new guy spent hours on YouTube researching particle systems.

    What do you like the most and least about the art style of Dungeon Defenders?

    Most: We took it to space. Like, our map range is all over the place. The DLC we put out covers so many places it’s like we released a new game after releasing a game. You really should buy all the DLC. Not because it just pays my salary, but some of the best looking places are in the content we put out after shipping the base game, in my opinion.

    Least: Turn off post-processing in the options and play the game. ‘Nuff said.

    You mentioned being a tattoo artist. You have a few tattoos of your own. Did you design those yourself?

    Designed myself and did a few myself on myself by myself. Though when I can, I usually get someone else to revise my designs. Nothing like walking around with a half-baked idea on your skin waiting for the sun to fade it into oblivion.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an FX artist?

    It’s a long process that begins with the ceremonial leaving of the free time. I suggest you tell your friends and loved ones that you’ve decided to take the plunge into the thankless world of being an end credit. Next, you can do one of two things. You can either go to a school to be taught your profession, or you can find a tutorial site and pay a lot less money for that school-like education. I recommend starting with any of the beginner series from either 3dmotive or Eat 3D and learning the basics of what a particle system is and how you make stuff in it. If you find that it isn’t for you, you’re out like $50, which is the price of a mildly disappointing AAA game nowadays anyway.

    Being an FX artist is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. There’s some math stuff involved (like knowing the difference between acceleration and velocity). There’s days where you live in Photoshop making the graphics you need for an effect. There are days where you’re doing 3D modeling to make other props you need to break something or blow up a relic piece of Aquanos history. Mostly it’s just a question of mastering the basics, iterating on your work and posting it on a website like Polycount where other professionals can see and critique your work. Our industry needs more VFX artists, so it’s a road I recommend taking if you’re serious about working in games.

    But be warned about the time issue. Games are hard work. Lots of late nights and weekends are spent in the office working until you never want to see another space mutant guarding the portal back to your home world again. Then again, it’s a good conversation starter to tell your friends you’re stressed out because the deathrays the Old One shoots out of its eyes doesn’t look menacing enough.

    Most of all, be patient. Talent doesn’t come overnight or within the first few weeks of trying something. I’ve been an artist of one kind or another for over 10 years now, and I still find ways to f*** things up and make terrible quality stuff.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    You can follow my dumb thoughts on Twitter: @bgoodsell. Occasionally I rant passionately about FX work or post useful game art-related tutorials.


    Trendy Entertainment Going to PAX

    August 25th, 2012 by

    We would love to meet you! We won’t have an official booth at our favorite gaming expo, but a few of us will be there on the show floor to meet and greet with the Dungeon Defenders community. (Plus, I want to get a hands-on taste of Halo 4.) If you’re going, stop by this thread and let us know. Follow us on @trendyent for updates on where we’ll be. Plus, you can follow @iamisom (myself) and @pmasher (Philip Asher). We’ll be checking Twitter throughout the PAX weekend, so if we miss you, we can chat there.

    We’ll post our PAX Prime schedules early next week, so maybe we could meet up and check out some panels together.


    DunDef Digest 8/22/12

    August 23rd, 2012 by

    It begins again.

    Back in July, Daniel Diaz stunned our team and the community with his map contest entry, Palantir. This gorgeous map earned him $1,000 and something we’re sure he didn’t expect — a job offer. Now, he’s working with us on our next game!

    With the triumphs of the first contest still sweet on our tongues, we’re hosting another Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. You could win $1,000 or one of three additional cash prizes for your custom map!

    The contest begins right now. The deadline for maps is October 31 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, which will be followed by a two-week voting period. Voting will end November 13 at 8 p.m. EDT. Winners will be reveal in the November 14 DunDef Digest.

    Last time, we restricted entries to traditional campaign maps. This time, the sky’s the limit. Campaign maps, PvP arenas, challenge missions: If it meets the guidelines established in our rules, we’ll add it to the contest.

    The first-place winner will receive $1,000 with his/her map implemented into our Ranked mode. Second-place will receive $500, third-place will receive $250 and the fourth-place winner will receive $125. On top of that, all winners will be given access to the closed beta of an upcoming Trendy title! A few lucky honorable mentions will walk away with a closed beta invite as well. Put forth a valiant effort and ye shall be rewarded.

    In order for your map to be eligible for the contest, you will need to tag it with the “Map Contest” tag when uploading your map to the Steam Workshop. We will update the DDDK this week to include the tag. For the full contest rules and details, check out the Official Map Contest thread.

    Head to the Official Wiki page for details on how to download custom maps for Dungeon Defenders, and head on over to the forums for tutorials on how to use our development kit!

    Are You Going to PAX?

    We would love to meet you! We won’t have an official booth at our favorite gaming expo, but a few of us will be there on the show floor to meet and greet with the Dungeon Defenders community. (Plus, I want to get a hands-on taste of Halo 4.) If you’re going, stop by this thread and let us know. Follow us on @trendyent for updates on where we’ll be. Plus, you can follow @iamisom (myself) and @pmasher (Philip Asher). We’ll be checking Twitter throughout the PAX weekend, so if we miss you, we can chat there.

    We’ll post our PAX Prime schedules early next week, so maybe we could meet up and check out some panels together.

    Nothing Lasts Forever

    Alas, the clouds gave way to rain, dampening our free parade of jovial Jester antics. If you didn’t pick up the Jester DLC Pack during the two-week free period, you can grab it for $3.99 on the Steam store. The pack includes the Jester hero class, The King’s Game map, “The Fool” Jester costume and four new weapons.

    Console News Update

    The Shards IV DLC and console patches for SCEA PS3 and XBLA are still in Sony and Microsoft quality assurance. We hope to have them cleared with a release date soon! Stay tuned.

    Meet the Trendy Team: Scott Chatten

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I chat with Scott Chatten, our new gameplay producer, about his job, his past work in our remote QA team and what it felt like to get the call to work for Trendy.

    Hi Scott, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you tell me about yourself?

    My name is Scott Chatten. I’m 29 years old, and I’m Trendy’s new gameplay producer. I’m originally from Monterey, California, and I have been involved in the game industry most of my life, both as a gamer and working within the industry. This, however, is my first “in studio” job.

    What did you do in the gaming industry before you were hired by Trendy?

    Well, prior to actually being hired on at Trendy I’d been volunteering for them for a period of about six months. I was initially recruited to be a remote beta tester in January. I eventually went on to lead the team and serve as the manager for all of remote QA. Prior to that, I was just another gamer who loved the product. The last paid position I’d held within the industry was as a private beta tester during high school and college. Back in the dark ages…

    In fact, it was your extraordinary work in the remote QA team that led to our decision to bring you onto the Trendy team at the beginning of August. What was the moment like when you received the call to work for us?

    I think when I had finally received the call from Jeremy I was half excited and half expecting it. We had talked about it A LOT prior to my actually getting an offer, and there was a lot of downtime while I waited for the company to get in a position where it was ready to bring me onsite.

    Now that you’re in the office, is it everything you expected it to be?

    I think it’s interesting because of the many hats that get thrust upon you when you first arrive. I didn’t expect to be involved with as much as I am right up front and all at once.

    I won’t say it’s overwhelming, but I was a bit amazed at how the trust that had been put in me by the development staff while I was in QA has been placed in me in other areas of development much earlier in the production pipeline.

    What do you do as gameplay producer for Trendy?

    It’s a three-part job. At the beginning of the pipeline, I work with the other designers, artists and creative minds on developing new content that we produce. As the various teams begin to work on implementing these decisions, at the middle of the pipeline I meet with animators, riggers and VFX artists to ensure that the things they’re creating make visual sense to the player and that the timing on the various animations is appropriate. At this point I also meet with the programming staff to clarify and help mold the various new mechanics that we want to implement. Finally at the end of the pipeline, I take a look at the finished product and make sure that it’s functioning the way that we’ve intended back at the beginning and help prepare it all for the QA process.

    What’s your favorite part of the job so far?

    It’s hard to say. I’ve only really been in the position since August 1. There always seem to be new things to do every day. I’m not entirely sure I’ve seen the job come full circle yet. It’s hard to nail down a thing I like to do best. It’s all pretty fulfilling.

    What first sparked your interest in Dungeon Defenders?

    I had a group of friends I always played League of Legends with. They were some friends of mine back home in Monterey. They bought the game for me in October the day it came out. We played pretty solidly through November. They dipped out after that to go back to LoL, but I was hooked and kept playing DunDef.

    What was it that kept you playing after your friends went on to other games?

    Honestly, I think it was a combination of three things:

    1.) I’m the type of gamer that wants to have everything that a game has to offer, so achievements were definitely a factor.
    2.) The game was constantly releasing expansions, which I found fantastic.
    3.) I think the “pick it up and set it down” style of play was good for me at the time because I couldn’t really dedicate 4-5 hours at a time like an MMO would require, but I could do one or two Glitter runs in 45 minutes or so back when the game had first come out.

    Speaking of other games, what are your top five favorite games?

    Oh man, you ask a hard one.

    I’m going to go with the following, but there are so many more titles I’d like to list. This covers each of the major subgenres relevant to me:

    1.) Final Fantasy 6
    2.) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
    3.) Super Meat Boy
    4.) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    5.) Anything from the Smash Bros. franchise
    6.) Gonna throw in the C&C Red Alert series in this group, too, since I just realized I don’t have an RTS in the top five. There just isn’t enough **** room.

    Last question, what advice would you give to someone who wants to break into the industry?

    The same advice I’d give to anyone in any industry. Try your hardest to be as proactive as possible. If you’re always doing your best to anticipate your employer’s needs, you’ll never want for a job. Everything you do should be done with the consideration of what comes next, to insure you’re prepared for it. The gaming industry is no different.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions, Skott. I really appreciate it.

    My pleasure.

    Weekly Workshop: Tower Wars

    This week’s entry comes from Alhanalem, the author of Port Etheria from our first map contest. Tower Wars is a PvP map where mana is used to spawn monsters to attack each other’s crystals. There’s a bit more to it than that, so I’ll let Al explain.

    “A twist on the original Competitive Tower Defense, this level brings you two teams of up to four players each summoning the monsters to attack the other team! In this map/mode, the goal is to destroy the other team’s Eternia Crystals by spending mana to summon enemies to attack the other team while using your Defenses to keep the other team from doing the same. In order to win, you’ll have to balance the mana you spend on defenses and defense upgrades with the mana spent on summoning monsters and upgrading those monsters. Rather than being wave-based, this map has a single build phase and then combat runs continuously until someone wins.

    All standard and Eternia Shard enemies are available for your use: Goblins, Dark Elf Archers / Mages / Warriors, Orcs, Kobolds, Ogres, Wyverns, Spiders, Sharken, Goblin Copters, and Djinn.”

    If you’re looking for a new PvP map to scratch that competitive itch, subscribe to his map on the Steam Workshop!

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:

    PS3:

    8/24 to 8/26 — [Trendy Sponsored] Etheria’s Super Events! ← Win an exclusive pet made by Trendy!

    Creations of the Week

    Nobody wanted to do a Dungeon Defenders montage, so I’m awarding the three entries below with a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of his/her choice. Have a cool screenshot or clip that you’d like to share? Send it to contest@trendyent.com!


    Courtesy of Fictorious


    Courtesy of GillianIvy

    Courtesy of DarkPython

    As we end this week’s Digest, we’d like to say happy birthday to our QA lead, Steven! Go wild, Steven. This weekend, I’ll be celebrating my own birthday on the beach with a sexy lady and a coconut drink.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Scott Chatten

    August 22nd, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I chat with Scott Chatten, our new gameplay producer, about his job, his past work in our remote QA team and what it felt like to get the call to work for Trendy.

    Hi Scott, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you tell me about yourself?

    My name is Scott Chatten. I’m 29 years old, and I’m Trendy’s new gameplay producer. I’m originally from Monterey, California, and I have been involved in the game industry most of my life, both as a gamer and working within the industry. This, however, is my first “in studio” job.

    What did you do in the gaming industry before you were hired by Trendy?

    Well, prior to actually being hired on at Trendy I’d been volunteering for them for a period of about six months. I was initially recruited to be a remote beta tester in January. I eventually went on to lead the team and serve as the manager for all of remote QA. Prior to that, I was just another gamer who loved the product. The last paid position I’d held within the industry was as a private beta tester during high school and college. Back in the dark ages…

    In fact, it was your extraordinary work in the remote QA team that led to our decision to bring you onto the Trendy team at the beginning of August. What was the moment like when you received the call to work for us?

    I think when I had finally received the call from Jeremy I was half excited and half expecting it. We had talked about it A LOT prior to my actually getting an offer, and there was a lot of downtime while I waited for the company to get in a position where it was ready to bring me onsite.

    Now that you’re in the office, is it everything you expected it to be?

    I think it’s interesting because of the many hats that get thrust upon you when you first arrive. I didn’t expect to be involved with as much as I am right up front and all at once.

    I won’t say it’s overwhelming, but I was a bit amazed at how the trust that had been put in me by the development staff while I was in QA has been placed in me in other areas of development much earlier in the production pipeline.

    What do you do as gameplay producer for Trendy?

    It’s a three-part job. At the beginning of the pipeline, I work with the other designers, artists and creative minds on developing new content that we produce. As the various teams begin to work on implementing these decisions, at the middle of the pipeline I meet with animators, riggers and VFX artists to ensure that the things they’re creating make visual sense to the player and that the timing on the various animations is appropriate. At this point I also meet with the programming staff to clarify and help mold the various new mechanics that we want to implement. Finally at the end of the pipeline, I take a look at the finished product and make sure that it’s functioning the way that we’ve intended back at the beginning and help prepare it all for the QA process.

    What’s your favorite part of the job so far?

    It’s hard to say. I’ve only really been in the position since August 1. There always seem to be new things to do every day. I’m not entirely sure I’ve seen the job come full circle yet. It’s hard to nail down a thing I like to do best. It’s all pretty fulfilling.

    What first sparked your interest in Dungeon Defenders?

    I had a group of friends I always played League of Legends with. They were some friends of mine back home in Monterey. They bought the game for me in October the day it came out. We played pretty solidly through November. They dipped out after that to go back to LoL, but I was hooked and kept playing DunDef.

    What was it that kept you playing after your friends went on to other games?

    Honestly, I think it was a combination of three things:

    1.) I’m the type of gamer that wants to have everything that a game has to offer, so achievements were definitely a factor.
    2.) The game was constantly releasing expansions, which I found fantastic.
    3.) I think the “pick it up and set it down” style of play was good for me at the time because I couldn’t really dedicate 4-5 hours at a time like an MMO would require, but I could do one or two Glitter runs in 45 minutes or so back when the game had first come out.

    Speaking of other games, what are your top five favorite games?

    Oh man, you ask a hard one.

    I’m going to go with the following, but there are so many more titles I’d like to list. This covers each of the major subgenres relevant to me:

    1.) Final Fantasy 6
    2.) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
    3.) Super Meat Boy
    4.) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    5.) Anything from the Smash Bros. franchise
    6.) Gonna throw in the C&C Red Alert series in this group, too, since I just realized I don’t have an RTS in the top five. There just isn’t enough **** room.

    Last question, what advice would you give to someone who wants to break into the industry?

    The same advice I’d give to anyone in any industry. Try your hardest to be as proactive as possible. If you’re always doing your best to anticipate your employer’s needs, you’ll never want for a job. Everything you do should be done with the consideration of what comes next, to insure you’re prepared for it. The gaming industry is no different.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions, Skott. I really appreciate it.

    My pleasure.


    DunDef Digest 8/15/12

    August 16th, 2012 by

    Behold the aftermath.

    After an epic late-night testing run, the PS3 DLC and patch have been shipped to SCEA for approval! Once we receive word that the content is working as intended, we’ll ship the PSN EU content for certification.

    Not pictured above are the valiant testers who sacrificed personal health and hygiene to make this possible. Way to go! But guys, it’s a new day and you have no excuse now. I’m just kidding! You smell like a fresh spring garden on a sunny April afternoon.

    But we do have a spot of bad news. As we were working to include the Shards III pet in the latest Xbox and PS3 updates, we were also testing the two new Eternia Shards levels (Sky City and Crystalline Dimension) on both consoles. We had memory issues with the new pet(s) that caused consistent crashing, so we had to not include them in the updates in order to release a stable console build. We are really sorry and will update the descriptions of Shards III on both platforms to reflect this change.

    Weekly Workshop: Dynamic Level

    This map devoured a chunk of my morning today. Dynamic Level comes from the mind of Wes1180, the author behind Viridian City, Pallet Town and The Manor. This proof-of-concept map features a single crystal with enemies pouring in from four sides, but there’s a twist: Enemy spawns and walkways open up every two waves. As new spawns appear, more DUs are added to the map. It’s reminiscent of Tomb of Etheria, one of the map entries from the Map Contest, but the single crystal in the middle of an all-sides assault gives this map its own end-of-the-world flavor.

    Dynamic Level takes advantage of the DDDK Eternia Shards update, so you’ll fight plenty of Djinn, Sharken and Goblin Copters. I didn’t see any Spiders during my playthroughs, but the mob traffic was pretty thick. In true Dungeon Defenders fashion, the last wave is a brutal, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink finale plucked right from my nightmares.

    Mobs tend to drop too much mana, which causes mana to disappear quickly as it runs up against the mana cap on the map. And since it’s a proof-of-concept map, it’s not the most visually arresting creation on the Workshop. But those are small nitpicks on an otherwise fun map.

    Be sure to subscribe to his map and share your feedback on his page! And yes, we’ll be showcasing this map on our Twitch channel in this week’s Trendy Friday Fun!

    If you like making custom maps, you’ll want to check out next week’s Digest. Stay tuned.

    Meet the Trendy Team: Laura Muriel

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Laura Muriel, associate community manager at Trendy Entertainment, about her job, her love of gaming and why she missed her calling as a sniper.

    First of all, can you tell us about yourself?

    My name is Laura Muriel and I’m 24. I was born in Bolivia but grew up in the US and went to college here at the University of Florida. I like things and stuff.

    What do you do at Trendy?

    I’m an associate COWmunity Manager.

    That’s a terrible pun.

    Says the guy who came up with it.

    How long have you worked here?

    A little over a year.

    How did you end up at Trendy? Why did you decide to work for a video game company?

    I knew Philip from working with him as an EA campus rep back in college. A few months after I graduated, he asked if I’m interested in working at a local video game company. After an interview and meeting the Trendy Team, I was hired. I chose to work here because of the amazing people and environment. I love video games. It’s amazing that I get to go into work every day and interact with such funny and talented people who share this passion. Except for Steve and Geoff. They know why. (-.-)

    What’s the story behind your online handle, Laurawantsacow?

    I want a cow.

    It’s always cows with you! When did your cow obsession begin?

    When I was younger, I saw a cartoon by Gary Larson where he had drawn a cow. I remember laughing until my sides hurt. Cows are not normally what people would consider cute, but then again, I’m not normal. I love to laugh and I find humor in everything they do, whether they are standing on a field chewing away or being a regular target of aliens. Being delicious doesn’t hurt either.

    Let’s talk more about your job. What’s your daily routine as an associate community manager?

    I get to work and say hi to everyone in the office while I wait for my computer to start. I look at and reply to “work related” Tweets, emails, forum posts and sometimes Facebook posts. Fridays are always interesting due to our Trendy Friday Fun, where I hope and pray to cow that my computer lets me join a game and that my headphones work. At some point I partake in some sort of shenanigans.

    What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of your job?

    Favorite is banning people. Just kidding, it’s actually goofing around and interacting with the other employees and with all our fans. As for least favorite, it has got to be giving bad news to our community.

    What’s it like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry?

    It’s a bit complicated. I grew up around boys, so I’m actually quite comfortable being around and working with mostly males. Unfortunately it comes with some people assuming that you don’t know anything about the industry and that the company brought you on board because of boobs. I don’t blame them. There are a lot of women in this industry who are smart and know their stuff, but for every one of them there are 10 or 20 other girls who were hired by companies because of the way they look even though they can’t even hold a controller the right way. In the end it doesn’t bother me because I’m confident that I have the knowledge and experience to get people interested in other things besides what gender I am and what I look like.

    Why do you love video games?

    I have been into video games for as long as I can remember. My brother and cousins would all gather around the TV to play whatever games we had recently bought. Eventually I would start playing with them. Since I was the only girl, I felt like I had to prove myself and therefore be better than them at these games. It was kind of a bonding experience and one of the few moments where I didn’t feel like an outcast because I was female. This sense of competition turned into passion. Over time we grew up and our tastes in activities changed, but our love for video games remained constant.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Wow. It’s hard to name top five because certain games just stay with me for some reason or another. I have a special place in my heart for Chakan and Mortal Kombat. I think those two games are my earliest memories of video games. I remember sinking a small fortune into The Simpsons arcade game. Back in the N64 days, I couldn’t get enough of Duke Nukem, Star Fox, GoldenEye and Super Smash Bros. I can kick some serious butt in Age of Empires, StarCraft: Brood War and Mario Kart. I love Left for Dead, and for a few years I was all into World of Warcraft. There are a lot more games and apparently I can’t count to five, so I should probably stop here.

    Why are you such a pro at shooting Nerf guns? Seriously, I think you missed your calling as a sniper.

    I checked it out. In the U.S., women are not allowed to become snipers. :(

    Any barriers of money or experience aside, what would be your dream career?

    I don’t know if I have a dream career. There are so many things I would love to do. Maybe a professional actress. Not for the money or fame but because you get to bring an experience to people. With each project you get to dress up and become something else. You are also taken to all these exotic locations and get to do cool things like run down the side of a building or slowly walk away from explosions. I have changed my mind on careers more times than I can count within the past four years alone. I’ve wanted to do everything from costume design to digging up bones in war zones as an anthropologist to becoming a professional brewer of delicious beers. I guess my dream career is being able to hop around the world and experiencing everything it has to offer.

    What advice would you share to hopeful future community managers?

    Talk to people who share similar interests. Learn to be social and respect other people’s opinions without raging if they don’t agree with you. Mostly just talk to everyone, be friendly, and try to really get to know your community.

    On Twitter

    This week, we asked our Twitter fans to draw the Jester for a shot at winning a Steam copy of the game or a DLC code of their choice. Below are the three winning entries. Want to win a code of your own? Keep an eye on our Twitter account every Tuesday for more contests!


    Courtesy of @Mingus_1


    Courtesy of @Azaeroth


    Courtesy of @Greenbare

    This entry missed the deadline for the contest, but we liked it so much, we want to give it special recognition in the Digest.


    Courtesy of @Kiwitomato

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:

    PS3:

    Creations of the Week


    Courtesy of Fictorious


    Courtesy of gow3isba

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTJ7_g-IEP0

    Creations of the Week Contest

    We’re looking for the best Dungeon Defenders montage! Our three favorite montages will win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code of the author’s choice. To enter, email a link of your montage to contest@trendyent.com with the subject “Creations of the Week Montage Contest” by Tuesday, 11:59 p.m. EDT. Only one code per entry will be given, so keep that in mind for group efforts. The video must be uploaded to YouTube. Offensive content will be disqualified.

    I see you’ve made your way to the bottom of the Digest. At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Where’s the big news?” As most of the team looks ahead to the future, details about our new projects (yes, plural) will be slim for awhile, like the meeting we had on Monday about the [redacted]. I mentioned this grim new future all the way back in March. We’ll continue to feature custom content, console release updates and community-related contests (like the one we’ll reveal next week), but the big stuff will have to wait.

    Eagle-eyed readers will notice the Meet the Trendy Team was written by myself and not our valiant intern, Matt Arnold. Matt’s time as a community management intern has come to an end. We wish him well in his future endeavors!

    And finally, to our European fans, one of our community members created a new forum just for you! Head on over and say hey!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Laura Muriel

    August 15th, 2012 by

    In this week’s Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Laura Muriel, associate community manager at Trendy Entertainment, about her job, her love of gaming and why she missed her calling as a sniper.

    First of all, can you tell us about yourself?

    My name is Laura Muriel and I’m 24. I was born in Bolivia but grew up in the US and went to college here at the University of Florida. I like things and stuff.

    What do you do at Trendy?

    I’m a COWmunity Manager.

    That’s a terrible pun.

    Says the guy who came up with it.

    How long have you worked here?

    A little over a year.

    How did you end up at Trendy? Why did you decide to work for a video game company?

    I knew Philip from working with him as an EA campus rep back in college. A few months after I graduated, he asked if I’m interested in working at a local video game company. After an interview and meeting the Trendy Team, I was hired. I chose to work here because of the amazing people and environment. I love video games. It’s amazing that I get to go into work every day and interact with such funny and talented people who share this passion. Except for Steve and Geoff. They know why. (-.-)

    What’s the story behind your online handle, Laurawantsacow?

    I want a cow.

    It’s always cows with you! When did your cow obsession begin?

    When I was younger, I saw a cartoon by Gary Larson where he had drawn a cow. I remember laughing until my sides hurt. Cows are not normally what people would consider cute, but then again, I’m not normal. I love to laugh and I find humor in everything they do, whether they are standing on a field chewing away or being a regular target of aliens. Being delicious doesn’t hurt either.

    Let’s talk more about your job. What’s your daily routine as an associate community manager?

    I get to work and say hi to everyone in the office while I wait for my computer to start. I look at and reply to “work related” Tweets, emails, forum posts and sometimes Facebook posts. Fridays are always interesting due to our Trendy Friday Fun, where I hope and pray to cow that my computer lets me join a game and that my headphones work. At some point I partake in some sort of shenanigans.

    What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of your job?

    Favorite is banning people. Just kidding, it’s actually goofing around and interacting with the other employees and with all our fans. As for least favorite, it has got to be giving bad news to our community.

    What’s it like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry?

    It’s a bit complicated. I grew up around boys, so I’m actually quite comfortable being around and working with mostly males. Unfortunately it comes with some people assuming that you don’t know anything about the industry and that the company brought you on board because of boobs. I don’t blame them. There are a lot of women in this industry who are smart and know their stuff, but for every one of them there are 10 or 20 other girls who were hired by companies because of the way they look even though they can’t even hold a controller the right way. In the end it doesn’t bother me because I’m confident that I have the knowledge and experience to get people interested in other things besides what gender I am and what I look like.

    Why do you love video games?

    I have been into video games for as long as I can remember. My brother and cousins would all gather around the TV to play whatever games we had recently bought. Eventually I would start playing with them. Since I was the only girl, I felt like I had to prove myself and therefore be better than them at these games. It was kind of a bonding experience and one of the few moments where I didn’t feel like an outcast because I was female. This sense of competition turned into passion. Over time we grew up and our tastes in activities changed, but our love for video games remained constant.

    What are your top five favorite games?

    Wow. It’s hard to name top five because certain games just stay with me for some reason or another. I have a special place in my heart for Chakan and Mortal Kombat. I think those two games are my earliest memories of video games. I remember sinking a small fortune into The Simpsons arcade game. Back in the N64 days, I couldn’t get enough of Duke Nukem, Star Fox, GoldenEye and Super Smash Bros. I can kick some serious butt in Age of Empires, StarCraft: Brood War and Mario Kart. I love Left for Dead, and for a few years I was all into World of Warcraft. There are a lot more games and apparently I can’t count to five, so I should probably stop here.

    Why are you such a pro at shooting Nerf guns? Seriously, I think you missed your calling as a sniper.

    I checked it out. In the U.S., women are not allowed to become snipers. :(

    Any barriers of money or experience aside, what would be your dream career?

    I don’t know if I have a dream career. There are so many things I would love to do. Maybe a professional actress. Not for the money or fame but because you get to bring an experience to people. With each project you get to dress up and become something else. You are also taken to all these exotic locations and get to do cool things like run down the side of a building or slowly walk away from explosions. I have changed my mind on careers more times than I can count within the past four years alone. I’ve wanted to do everything from costume design to digging up bones in war zones as an anthropologist to becoming a professional brewer of delicious beers. I guess my dream career is being able to hop around the world and experiencing everything it has to offer.

    What advice would you share to hopeful future community managers?

    Talk to people who share similar interests. Learn to be social and respect other people’s opinions without raging if they don’t agree with you. Mostly just talk to everyone, be friendly, and try to really get to know your community.


    DunDef Digest 8/8/12

    August 9th, 2012 by

    The Jester is available now on the Steam marketplace! You can get this new hero class, along with a new map, a male costume for the Jester and four new weapons by following this link. And it’s all free for the next two weeks. After that, the Jester DLC pack will be $3.99. To make sure that she’s yours forever for free, click Install Game next to the DLC. You can do this from the store or via the Steam client.

    Once you’ve downloaded our chaotic new hero, let us know what you think in our new subforum for Jester discussion. You can share your new Jester strategies, likes, dislikes and anything else Jester-related there!

    Want to learn more about the Jester before you download her? Our Beta Video Team assembled an in-depth video that showcases her towers, abilities and stats. Check it out!

    On Tuesday, nearly 3,000 viewers tuned in to watch the Jester on our Twitch account! Such a large viewership attracted the attention of a Twitch.tv staff member who joined our channel, upgrading our account and Tweeted about the show. Thanks to everyone who showed up and helped contribute to our most successful live event yet! If you liked that, be sure to tune in to our channel every Friday at 5 p.m. EDT for our Trendy Friday Fun series, where we discuss hot topics of the week, showcase custom content from the Steam Workshop and make fools of ourselves for your entertainment. All because we love you.

    Dungeon Defenders Giveaway

    And because we love you so much, we’re giving away 20 Steam codes of Dungeon Defenders and DLC! To enter, head to this thread and tell us why you would like a code. Don’t have the game yourself? Want to give a copy to a family member or friend? Need a piece of DLC that you’ve been eyeing for months? No sweat! Just let us know why below. That’s all there is to it!

    You have until Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT to post in the thread. We’ll pick 20 random winners and announce them sometime on Friday. If you win, we’ll contact you and ask if you would like a copy of the game or a DLC code. It’s entirely your choice.

    While you’re there, be sure to check out the other sections of our forums!

    Console News Update

    Just a quick update this week. We’re still working on the PS3 patch and DLC. We’re hoping to send it out by the end of the week. Once they’re in Sony’s hands for a little bit, we should be able to provide a release date for both the PS3 and 360 patches and DLC.

    Weekly Workshop: Library of the Ancients

    One of the maps we’ll showcase this Friday on our Twitch account is Library of the Ancients. This mystical map from Simtim features floating crystals, teleporters and a ton of minions to kill. This is a work-in-progress map, so be sure to subscribe and share your feedback on his Steam Workshop page!

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:

    PS3:

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest@trendyent.com with the subject “Creation of the Week”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 8/1/12

    August 2nd, 2012 by

    We’re growing!

    Today marked the first day for two new employees, Skott Chatten and Mia Goodwin. Skott and Mia are just a couple of the brilliant minds we’ve assimilated…err, I mean, welcomed into the family over the past two months. In celebration of our growing team, the gang shambled down to The Smokehouse, a local barbeque joint, to gorge on delicious animal flesh and barbeque nachos, which is quite possibly the greatest appetizer of all time.

    So before we dive into this week’s news, we’d like to officially welcome our newest employees: Brian Goodsell, Rosa Burkart, David DeCoster, Mia, Skott, Abraham Abdala, Zach Smith, Daniel Díaz, Jesús Díaz and Michael Smith!

    If you want to join our family, check out the Jobs page and send in your resume! (Especially if you’re an animator!)

    Now let’s get down to business. Those Huns won’t defeat themselves!

    Wield ALL The Weapons

    We’re one week away from releasing the Jester and her grab bag of goodies to the community at large. But there are a few details left to cover before you hit the ground running.

    Question: What weapons will the Jester use? Well, Jimmy — you don’t mind if I call you Jimmy, right? — she can use EVERY weapon in the game. From Steam Saws to Soul Focusers to everything in-between, the Jester can wield the full force of the battlefield to lay waste to mobs. Like the Series EV, she can swap between two different weapons. Speaking of weapons, I think you’ll enjoy the new weapons shown in the photo above. Play close attention to the Monk’s weapon. I hear it’s quite the gambit.

    Of course, it’s the Jester’s abilities that will be the main draw for players. The first is the Wheel o’ Fortuna. Different combinations in this slot-machine ability will yield varying postive and negative effects: heal allies, kill % of enemies, damage enemies, buff players (duration), debuff enemies (duration), prevent repair (duration), upgrade a tower, gold some enemies, stun some enemies, slow down time (duration), downgrade a tower.

    Her second ability comes straight from the community: the ability to move towers once they’ve been placed. No longer will Sharken ruin your beautiful setup. Now you can tell those thick-headed cussers to go cuss themselves.

    The King’s Game

    Included in the Jester DLC pack is The King’s Game, the most visually stunning map yet. Two crystals lie in the heart of this triple-tier living chessboard. The tiled floor swoops high into the sky. Rooks, pawns and bishops slide on the floor while you’re collecting mana in rainbow-colored chests. Confetti and party horns celebrate your heroic actions. Loose tiles dart around in the vortex raging around the map.

    Thanks to feedback from the community, we’ve added shining tiles to the map that, when stepped on during the Combat Phase, will cause different reactions in the map. Maybe all the ogres on the map will die. Maybe it will activate slow motion. Or maybe it will grant a one-time bonus to the overall DUs on the map.

    You can pick up this MC Esher-esque map, along with the Jester, the male costume (the Fool) and the four new weapons on August 8. And it’s all free. We’re not fooling you. That would be cruel.

    Console News Update

    The Xbox 360 patch and Shards IV DLC have been shipped to Microsoft for certification! The PS3 patch and DLC are nearing completion. We’ll keep everyone updated once the PS3 materials have been submitted. As a reminder, we won’t have a release date on these for a little while, so we do ask for your patience for a little while longer.

    One quick note: Due to memory limits on the console patch, we weren’t able to stuff the Shards IV or Crystalline Dimension weapons or pet in it. Instead, you’ll be able to earn superior-quality randomized rewards. We sincerely apologize for this.

    Major DDDK Update

    PC modders, rejoice! The Dungeon Defenders Development Kit will now include ALL Dungeon Defenders content up through and including the Jester. This includes ALL released maps, too! This mega drop will be included in the Jester update next week, when the DDDK will change to be considered a “Tool” and not a “DLC”. We can’t wait to see the even more-awesome stuff you’ll be able to put into Steam Workshop with it!

    Weekly Workshop: Viridian City

    Wes1180 continues his Pokemon creations with Viridian City, the second city from the original Pokemon trio. Wes was awesome enough to include transitioning music as you enter and leave the buildings scattered around the town. And should you decide to download the map, you might spot a certain wormy creature roaming the field.

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:


    360:

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest@trendyent.com with the subject “Creation of the Week”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of Dark Intent


    Courtesy of louisman1995

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 7/25/12

    July 26th, 2012 by


    Our Gift to You

    The Jester is approaching.

    We’re two weeks away from her arrival, so we figured now would be the perfect time to talk about her towers. She has three tower types, each one a different size of Present: Small (1 DU), Medium (2 DUs) and Large (3 DUs). The higher-quality Presents are more likely to yield high-end rewards. That can include a random powerful Tower given to you for less DUs than normal (whatever the DUs of the original Present), loot, mana or various long-lasting explosion and gas effects. Stay tuned next week for an in-depth look at her abilities and arsenal.

    In other Jester pack news, Etherian Gameland is rechristened. Meet The King’s Game. Experience this gravity-defying living chessboard, along with the Jester, four new weapons and a male Jester costume on August 8.

    But wait, we haven’t even revealed the best part about this pack. You’ll be getting all of this for the low, low price of free. Free. One more time: Free.

    Console News Update

    Our development team blacksmiths are forging away at the console patch. Here’s the quick patch list so far:

    - Insane+ difficulty mode: Details below
    - New Level Cap: 90!
    - PS3 freezing issues (including the DLC freezing issues) resolved
    - Aquanos XP earning fixed
    - Shards III and Shards IV pets & weapons added

    In Insane+, you’ll encounter enemies with 5x Enemy HP (including Bosses) and 4x Enemy Damage. You’ll earn 3x the amount of XP. Dropped loot can generate up to twice as powerful in almost all stat types. Loot can have level 90 requirements, too. To access the new difficulty mode, choose “Next Difficulty” with Insane selected, and it changes to Insane+. As a reminder, this is provided for free in the patch.

    We’re aiming to release the patch and Shards IV DLC to Microsoft and Sony by the end of the month. To those curious if the Crystalline Dimension will be coming to consoles, the answer is a resounding yes. Both the Crystalline Dimension and the new Boss Rush mode will be available for you to play. We’ll have more details soon.

    But that’s not all. We have an extra treat for our console fans this week.

    Trendy Friday Fun: Insane+ Sneak Peek

    This Friday, get a sneak peek at the new console difficulty! From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EDT, we’re tackling the new difficulty mode on our Twitch channel. And it’s up to you to vote for the maps we’ll be playing on! Our voting polls will go live sometime Thursday on our Facebook page and in the Console Discussion forums. Be sure to vote in both!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Josh Isom

    In the latest installment of the Meet The Trendy Team series, intern Matt Arnold interviews Josh Isom, community manager at Trendy Entertainment, about his experience at Trendy, how he began working in the gaming industry, and more.

    Hey, Josh. Can you tell me about yourself?

    Sure! My name is Josh Isom. I’m 21 years old. I’m a journalism senior at the University of Florida. I love NBC Thursdays. I have a major crush on Ruth Wilson. I wish people were nicer to each other. I believe video games are a near-perfect platform for storytelling. (I still think books are better.) I wish I could live in Murakami’s version of our world. I’m saddened by the portrayal of women in video games. I can’t remember the last time I went a week without eating fast food. I would let Matt Damon do terrible things to me.

    How long have you been the community manager at Trendy Entertainment?

    I’ve been a community manager here for seven months, but I’ve been with the company doing community management support for a year. When our former (and sexier) community manager, Justin Danford, left to chase other pursuits in January, Jeremy and Phil asked if I wanted to join the team and get paid and everything. I’m totally making bank now, as you can tell by my ‘98 Chevy Malibu. 13-inch spinnas, y’all.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yep! I went to college to become a video game journalist, but somewhere along the way that changed. I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity. I’ve never had a job so challenging or fulfilling before.

    How long have you been playing video games? What are your all-time favorite games?

    I’ve had a video game system in my house since I was born. I don’t remember the first time I played a game, but the earliest memory in my life was calling someone a b**** in DuckTales on the NES. Good times.

    I really love Dungeon Defenders. I honestly do. I feel awkward when I try to get my friends to play it because I feel like I’m pressuring them to play a game that I work on. Other than Dungeon Defenders, I love the Halo series. Halo was where I first experienced video game hype. My obsession for Reach news almost ruined my relationship with my girlfriend. I’ve learned to calm it down since then. (But Halo 4 is just around the corner. Eek!)

    There’s a special place in my heart for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I challenge anyone to find a 1080p video of The Wind Waker and tell me that it’s not the most beautiful game ever made. It’s a living, breathing cartoon. Link’s eyes and the way they emote expression still makes me giddy.

    As a community manager, what are some of your daily tasks?

    I’m in charge of many things: our official forums, Facebook page, Twitter account, our Steam forums, the IRC chatroom, live events on Twitch, community events, event rewards, lost player data and email support. I’m very grateful to have LauraWantsaCow and IceArrow on team, who help me tackle the workload. I couldn’t do a fourth of my daily tasks without their support, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I appreciate their efforts. I couldn’t ask for two stronger or more capable workers.

    I’m also in charge of moderating the moderators. (Who watches the watchmen? Me. That’s who.) And I oversee the community-hosted events.

    What are your favorite aspects of community management? Why?

    I love that I get paid to have meaningful conversations about what I love most: video games. I love the freedom of my job. I love that I get to take the feedback from the community and turn it into something tangible in the game. I just wish I had more time in the day to do everything I want to do.

    Based on what you’ve experienced so far, is community management what you expected it to be?

    At first, no. During my first month as community manager, I had to break some pretty tough news to our console fans. I was pretty depressed about that for awhile.

    But since then, it’s been almost exactly like I wanted it to be.

    In the office, who do you coordinate with the most? What departments do you interact with on a daily/weekly basis?

    I work with every department in the office — marketing, development, QA, art, level design, corporate and, of course, the community team. It’s my job to be as knowledgeable about our game as possible. I take that job seriously. I work the closest with Phil, our marketing director, since our jobs have the most overlap.

    How did the DunDef Digest come about? What sparked your idea to begin posting weekly updates for fans in form of this digest?

    For the past decade, I’ve been reading the Bungie Weekly Update. I would run home from school on Fridays, start the dial-up process (the dreaded 56k!) and get a snack ready before diving into the update. It’s a ritual that made me a diehard Bungie fan, even when my love for Halo was hit-or-miss.

    Back in October, while I was an intern I started the Forum Week in Review, where I gathered all of the biggest news and best forum posts and put them into one convenient location. I suggested that we take the idea and make it bigger, similar to the Bungie update where we revealed news through the update itself. That spawned the Dungeon Digest, which became the DunDef Digest. Our former (and sexier) community manager, Justin Danford, handled Digest duty until he left back in January.

    When coming up with a community event, what process do you usually go through?

    When creating a Trendy-hosted event, I think about how I would want to play the game if I didn’t have access to all the fun tools I have at my disposal. And when that fails, I look to the forums to see what people would want to play.

    The last event, Raining Ogres, was inspired by a community member’s suggestion to make Ogres rain from the sky like in Raining Goblins. Unfortunately, that idea didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to, so I thought it’d be fun to troll people by letting our hosts spawn Ogres all over the place. Turns out, the game can’t handle 200+ Ogres spawning at once. Who knew?

    As for the community-hosted events, we leave that entirely up to the creative collective of the community. To help bring people to their events, we create unique items for them to give out. It’s time-consuming, but I hope the community appreciates the effort.

    How do you come up with new event weapons and items? Do members from the community contribute?

    Event weapons and items spawn from the community. Laura and I make sure that these items won’t break the balance of the game before delivering them to the hosts.

    Can you tell me anything about Trendy Entertainment’s next project?

    Absolutely. Not.

    I will say that my stomach starts to flip and my inner geek gets excited when I hear about it.

    What have been some of your favorite moments while working at Trendy?

    I love our company gatherings. We went to the midnight premiere of The Avengers as a team. Like Danny said in a previous Meet the Team interview, I wish we went out to lunch more often like we used to. Fun story: As soon as Danny completed his interview, I coordinated another team lunch. Once the team starts to wind down on current projects, it’ll be easier to get the gatherings going again.

    What advice can you give to someone interested in pursuing a community management position in the gaming industry?

    Find a major that focuses on writing. (Except English. Most English majors can’t use a comma properly, and it’s frustrating.) A community manager’s main task is writing. If you can’t communicate properly, nobody is going to hire you. Journalism is a great major for this. It teaches the most important rule of communicative writing: accuracy. People rely on you for accurate information. You cannot afford to be wrong. Plus, journalism teaches concise writing. Short, simple sentences are the clearest way of sharing information.

    Community managers need to be the biggest contributor to a community, so find a community that you’re interested in and participate. Write positive articles based on that community or find exemplary members to interview. These are perfect for a portfolio.

    Practice your social media management. Start a community blog and develop a Facebook and Twitter following for it.

    Most importantly, develop positive relationships. This is the most critical part of community management. People need to like you, they need to be able to interact with you, and they need to feel valued by you. This is a great rule for life in general. Like Conan O’Brien said, “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:

    7/25 – 7/29 — Ice’s Delicious Livestream Event
    7/26 – 7/27 — [Trendy Sponsored] The Toxic Empire Saga Events (Win Captain Isom, the awesome unicorn pet seen above!)

    360:

    PS3:

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Photos courtesy of MiniMinhMo


    Courtesy of euromikeym1

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Josh Isom

    July 25th, 2012 by

    In the latest installment of the Meet The Trendy Team series, intern Matt Arnold interviews Josh Isom, community manager at Trendy Entertainment, about his experience at Trendy, how he began working in the gaming industry, and more.

    Hey, Josh. Can you tell me about yourself?

    Sure! My name is Josh Isom. I’m 21 years old. I’m a journalism senior at the University of Florida. I love NBC Thursdays. I have a major crush on Ruth Wilson. I wish people were nicer to each other. I believe video games are a near-perfect platform for storytelling. (I still think books are better.) I wish I could live in Murakami’s version of our world. I’m saddened by the portrayal of women in video games. I can’t remember the last time I went a week without eating fast food. I would let Matt Damon do terrible things to me.

    How long have you been the community manager at Trendy Entertainment?

    I’ve been a community manager here for seven months, but I’ve been with the company doing community management support for a year. When our former (and sexier) community manager, Justin Danford, left to chase other pursuits in January, Jeremy and Phil asked if I wanted to join the team and get paid and everything. I’m totally making bank now, as you can tell by my ‘98 Chevy Malibu. 13-inch spinnas, y’all.

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

    Yep! I went to college to become a video game journalist, but somewhere along the way that changed. I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity. I’ve never had a job so challenging or fulfilling before.

    How long have you been playing video games? What are your all-time favorite games?

    I’ve had a video game system in my house since I was born. I don’t remember the first time I played a game, but the earliest memory in my life was calling someone a b**** in DuckTales on the NES. Good times.

    I really love Dungeon Defenders. I honestly do. I feel awkward when I try to get my friends to play it because I feel like I’m pressuring them to play a game that I work on. Other than Dungeon Defenders, I love the Halo series. Halo was where I first experienced video game hype. My obsession for Reach news almost ruined my relationship with my girlfriend. I’ve learned to calm it down since then. (But Halo 4 is just around the corner. Eek!)

    There’s a special place in my heart for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I challenge anyone to find a 1080p video of The Wind Waker and tell me that it’s not the most beautiful game ever made. It’s a living, breathing cartoon. Link’s eyes and the way they emote expression still makes me giddy.

    As a community manager, what are some of your daily tasks?

    I’m in charge of many things: our official forums, Facebook page, Twitter account, our Steam forums, the IRC chatroom, live events on Twitch, community events, event rewards, lost player data and email support. I’m very grateful to have LauraWantsaCow and IceArrow on team, who help me tackle the workload. I couldn’t do a fourth of my daily tasks without their support, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I appreciate their efforts. I couldn’t ask for two stronger or more capable workers.

    I’m also in charge of moderating the moderators. (Who watches the watchmen? Me. That’s who.) And I oversee the community-hosted events.

    What are your favorite aspects of community management? Why?

    I love that I get paid to have meaningful conversations about what I love most: video games. I love the freedom of my job. I love that I get to take the feedback from the community and turn it into something tangible in the game. I just wish I had more time in the day to do everything I want to do.

    Based on what you’ve experienced so far, is community management what you expected it to be?

    At first, no. During my first month as community manager, I had to break some pretty tough news to our console fans. I was pretty depressed about that for awhile.

    But since then, it’s been almost exactly like I wanted it to be.

    In the office, who do you coordinate with the most? What departments do you interact with on a daily/weekly basis?

    I work with every department in the office — marketing, development, QA, art, level design, corporate and, of course, the community team. It’s my job to be as knowledgeable about our game as possible. I take that job seriously. I work the closest with Phil, our marketing director, since our jobs have the most overlap.

    How did the DunDef Digest come about? What sparked your idea to begin posting weekly updates for fans in form of this digest?

    For the past decade, I’ve been reading the Bungie Weekly Update. I would run home from school on Fridays, start the dial-up process (the dreaded 56k!) and get a snack ready before diving into the update. It’s a ritual that made me a diehard Bungie fan, even when my love for Halo was hit-or-miss.

    Back in October, while I was an intern I started the Forum Week in Review, where I gathered all of the biggest news and best forum posts and put them into one convenient location. I suggested that we take the idea and make it bigger, similar to the Bungie update where we revealed news through the update itself. That spawned the Dungeon Digest, which became the DunDef Digest. Our former (and sexier) community manager, Justin Danford, handled Digest duty until he left back in January.

    When coming up with a community event, what process do you usually go through?

    When creating a Trendy-hosted event, I think about how I would want to play the game if I didn’t have access to all the fun tools I have at my disposal. And when that fails, I look to the forums to see what people would want to play.

    The last event, Raining Ogres, was inspired by a community member’s suggestion to make Ogres rain from the sky like in Raining Goblins. Unfortunately, that idea didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to, so I thought it’d be fun to troll people by letting our hosts spawn Ogres all over the place. Turns out, the game can’t handle 200+ Ogres spawning at once. Who knew?

    As for the community-hosted events, we leave that entirely up to the creative collective of the community. To help bring people to their events, we create unique items for them to give out. It’s time-consuming, but I hope the community appreciates the effort.

    How do you come up with new event weapons and items? Do members from the community contribute?

    Event weapons and items spawn from the community. Laura and I make sure that these items won’t break the balance of the game before delivering them to the hosts.

    Can you tell me anything about Trendy Entertainment’s next project?

    Absolutely. Not.

    I will say that my stomach starts to flip and my inner geek gets excited when I hear about it.

    What have been some of your favorite moments while working at Trendy?

    I love our company gatherings. We went to the midnight premiere of The Avengers as a team. Like Danny said in a previous Meet the Team interview, I wish we went out to lunch more often like we used to. Fun story: As soon as Danny completed his interview, I coordinated another team lunch. Once the team starts to wind down on current projects, it’ll be easier to get the gatherings going again.

    What advice can you give to someone interested in pursuing a community management position in the gaming industry?

    Find a major that focuses on writing. (Except English. Most English majors can’t use a comma properly, and it’s frustrating.) A community manager’s main task is writing. If you can’t communicate properly, nobody is going to hire you. Journalism is a great major for this. It teaches the most important rule of communicative writing: accuracy. People rely on you for accurate information. You cannot afford to be wrong. Plus, journalism teaches concise writing. Short, simple sentences are the clearest way of sharing information.

    Community managers need to be the biggest contributor to a community, so find a community that you’re interested in and participate. Write positive articles based on that community or find exemplary members to interview. These are perfect for a portfolio.

    Practice your social media management. Start a community blog and develop a Facebook and Twitter following for it.

    Most importantly, develop positive relationships. This is the most critical part of community management. People need to like you, they need to be able to interact with you, and they need to feel valued by you. This is a great rule for life in general. Like Conan O’Brien said, “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”


    DunDef Digest 7/18/12

    July 18th, 2012 by

    It’s a monumental week for Trendy Entertainment. The company is undergoing a metamorphosis like a caterpillar entering a cocoon, so that when we burst forth, we’ll be more brilliant and beautiful than before. We can’t talk specifics, but you can expect sharper, higher-quality titles from us in the future.

    With change comes a new reason to celebrate, and last night, the team celebrated in style. The usual suspects painted the town glitter and gold, VIP style. Champagne bottles. Swank jackets. Tons of nerdy people dancing.

    But all good parties must come to an end… unless you’re the Jester, where every day is a birthday party.

    Mr. Fool and His Chessboard

    If you saw the photo and read the headline above and said to yourself, “That’s about the Jester’s male costume,” you’d be half right. Last week, I said we would be revealing more about the Jester’s abilities and towers. Now I stand before you, embarrassed and foolish. That information needs to be kept under wraps just a tiny bit longer. We’re ironing out some details, and we want to make sure the information is accurate before we share it with you.

    But I can talk about the pretty new images above. Yep, that’s the male costume for the Jester, the Fool. We decided to make this gender-swap costume feel like a natural variation of the hero class, instead of something drastically different like the male Series EV costume. The chess pieces below that are a part of the Etherian Gameland. Imagine if Inception and the chess scene from Harry Potter had an illegitimate lovechild. Take away the shame and you have the Etherian Gameland. It’s not ready for the public limelight, but having played through the level a bit, you won’t be disappointed.

    The Jester DLC includes the new Jester hero class and four new weapons, plus the above mentioned new map, Etherian Gameland, and male costume, the Fool. When can you get your hands on all of this new content?
    Mark it down. Be prepared. The Jester DLC pack will be available August 8.

    Palantir Dropping in Hot Later This Week

    It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen Palantir. For those of you just joining us, Palantir was the fantastic map from our DunDef Map Contest that landed Daniel Diaz a grand in smackaroos. As part of his grand prize, we tweaked the balance of the map and added a few extra surprises of our own, including four killer new Accessories.

    This Friday, you’ll get to experience the balanced fruit of Daniel’s labor in our Ranked mode.

    In preparation, our community video team put together a walkthrough video showcasing the overall presentation. And you might see a surprise or two at the end. Check it out!

    Console News Update

    I spoke with Jeremy earlier today about the progress of the console patch and Shards IV DLC. He said that development efforts are heavily focused on these two pieces of content at the moment, and that we will have an update to share with you next week. It’s our intent to submit it to Microsoft and Sony this month, and hopefully we’ll have a release date shortly thereafter.

    On the Rise

    Dungeon Defenders has been slashed, sliced and otherwise discounted for the better part of a week, and the numbers have been awesome. We thought we’d share a few of the stunning results so far. (And remember, Dungeon Defenders and most of our DLC is still 50 percent off on Steam!)

  • 25% more Series EVs on the playing field
  • Double the number of Summoners are protecting the realms of Etheria
  • Plus, we’re back up to 8,000 concurrent players!
  • If you’re new to the community, welcome aboard! We hope all of our community members are treating you well and showing you the ropes. Be sure to say hi in the comments!


    Weekly Workshop: Pallet Town

    Each week, we’re highlighting our favorite community map from the Steam Workshop. This time, we’re looking at Pallet Town, a Pokemon-themed map from Wes1180. (You may remember him as the maker of The Manor.)

    We played this nostalgia-gasmic map on our Trendy Friday Fun stream last week. To get into the spirit, I pulled up a 10-hour video of the original music looped, which turned out to be one of those things that was better as a kid. But the joy of playing on such a hallowed childhood ground was too much for my geeky 12-year-old soul to handle. I killed goblins just outside Prof. Oak’s laboratory! Eek!

    There are a few things that could be tweaked. The enemy spawns from the north side could probably be pushed back so that enemies spawn outside of the playing field and enter in. The scaling of some of the buildings didn’t take into account the new legendary hero costumes, so our loveable tech support guru, Ice, couldn’t leave Ash’s house on the stream.

    But with those minor nitpicks aside, it’s a fantastic map. Download it today and try it out for yourself!

    On Twitter

    It’s been a few weeks since we tested the creative mettle of our Twitter community. On Tuesday, we asked our followers to draw their favorite pet from Dungeon Defenders for a chance to win a copy of the game or a DLC code of their choice from the Goody Drawer. These three pets below grabbed our attention, and because of that, their masters walked away with their pockets full of candy and treats.


    Courtesy of @Azaeroth


    Courtesy of @HecFloW


    Courtesy of @PaulBZee

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!

    PC:

    360:

    PS3:

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of Corey

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 7/10/12

    July 10th, 2012 by


    It’s good to be back. And it looks like I’m just in time for the festivities, because…

    Shards Part IV is out now on PC!

    Last night, Shards Part IV descended from the development heavens. For those with the Complete Pack, there was joyous dancing and gleeful prancing. If you were waiting on the standalone DLC, worry no more! Swing by the Steam store to pick up your copy.

    Meanwhile, our console fans are getting anxious. We’re working hard on a submittable version of Shards Part IV and the patch. Once we’ve shipped them off to Microsoft and Sony, we’ll let you know. Even then, we won’t have a concrete release date for a little while. Hang in there.

    During our sneak peek of Shards Part IV, people said we were spoiling too much of the content. If you watched the stream but haven’t picked up the DLC, believe me when I say you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Unless you watch this next video from the Beta Team, which totally spoils that one thing and those other things.

    Of course, there is one more secret for you to discover, which brings us to our final entry in the Tavernkeep Chronicles.

    Tavernkeep Chronicles Part III (For Real)

    146.

    It’s him.

    He looked different this time. Younger. Rounder. But I could feel it in my gut — it was him.

    He came into the shop asking for a job. He could have me arrested, but here he is, wide-eyed and jovial, wanting to work alongside me. What game is this man playing?

    I don’t like it. I need to leave. Now.

    Before I go, I need to grab a few things from the dungeon. I need to disappear without a trail.

    Previous pages: 145. | 144.

    Steam Workshop Available Now

    We’re pleased to announce that Steam Workshop for Dungeon Defenders is available now. Download and experience custom maps and mods from the community on both the PC and the Mac! You’ll find plenty of community maps at launch for you to discover.

    We hope you’ll take the time to make and rate new content. Who knows, we may even show off the best creations right here for the world to see!

    Head to the Steam Workshop Discussion to find tutorials and resources to make the first step on the path to creation.

    Dungeon Defenders Sale

    Surprise! Dungeon Defenders and most of our DLC (excluding the Eternia Shards) are on sale right now on Steam! Save up to 67 percent on sweet, glorious content!

    Don’t hesitate. This sale won’t last long!

    Jester Update

    If you’re expecting news of the Jester’s towers, you’ll have to wait one more week. But we can share this tidbit — the new character class will come with a new map. We’ll have more details on the map soon, but just remember this: Checkmate.

    Community Calendar

    PC:

    360:

    PS3:

    Creations of the Week

    Have something neat you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of jkpopfever

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 7/4/12

    July 4th, 2012 by

    With Hitmonchan away, Laura gets to play. That’s what I thought until I realized that I would have to take over his duties. So I put down my Nerf gun and stole Hitmonchan’s thinking chair in an attempt to not let you guys down.

    The Tavernkeep Chronicles III


    Did the Taverkeep’s imagination get the best of him? Where was he planning on selling his new loot? Did he crack another joke? These are all questions I wanted to know. As I searched Hitmon’s computer for answers I found pages of the diary missing. I frantically tried to reach him in his mountain retreat only to find out that he took them. Those pages were much too sensitive to leave behind. He couldn’t risk someone…or something, getting their hands on it. His isolated location has prevented him from mailing it to me so I guess I’ll have to wait with you guys to see what the missing pages have in store for us.

    The Jester
    Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for!

    This trickster has a few special abilities up her sleeve which include… wait… are you ready for it… the ability to move towers. She also has the “Wheel of Fortune” ability, which places a random buff (or debuff) to the environment. So maybe it will repair all of the towers on the map… or maybe your enemies will grow twice as strong. You’ll have to spin the wheel to find out! But what about her towers and weapons you ask? Well that will have to wait till a future digest. But we’ll give you a hint:

    Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards: Part 4

    Hey, it’s pmasher here. Taking over this section for Laura while she’s getting everything else done (thanks!). Obviously this release is going to be huge, and we think there’s a lot of extra stuff in here that you’ll all dig. The beta (and our QA) team have been working extra hard on this content for the last few weeks, and there’s plenty of clues hidden throughout this digest at some of the new stuff. In any case, here’s some more pretty pictures for you before release:


    Map Contest
    Congratulations to our Map Contest Winners! We tallied the votes and they were super close. We were blown away by the quality of each and every map that was submitted but alas, there can only be one winner!

    The map that will not only be included in the Dungeon Defenders Ranked and Open mode, but also receive a $1,000 prize and a DunDef prize pack for being in first place is…


    Palantir

    But of course, everyone had different favorites! The runners up were:
    Second Place: The Siege

    Third Place: Tomb of Etheria

    Forth Place: Forsaken Undercroft

    We had an amazing time going through every one of these fantastic maps. You can download them here: Maps from the Contest!

    And soon, starting July 10, you’ll be able to grab them off of Steam Workshop! Which one is your favorite of the four? Let us know in the discussion below!

    Beta Team Update: 7/4/12
    Hey there everyone, it’s the beta team!

    You know, one of the most enjoyable aspects of trying out new content, is the things you end up not expecting, rather than the things you’re told to expect.

    The last half (Or, 70 percent-ish) of the Shard 4 content is beautiful– it’s beautiful, it’s challenging, and it’s been a ton of fun to balance and test. There is an interesting surprise that waits during each (did I said each?) of the new levels, which was unexpected and a lot of fun, as we’d not been told about it.

    The new enemy has been a big deal for us over here, we really like it a lot, and want to make sure that the challenge it presents isn’t disproportionate, especially on the newer levels where the difficulty is even higher than it’s ever been, but also back on old maps where it’s a little harder to predict. Its mechanic, we think, is really solid at this point. It, as the others before it have, makes you really take a few tries to re-think your strategy before facing it.

    There’s a new challenge map that’ll be sure to give even the best players a run for their money, I won’t say too much about it, because honestly, our bosses would have our heads, but it’s very unique and it’s the toughest thing we’ve probably played to this point. Don’t play it on Hardcore mode!

    There’s more, ooh there’s so much more to talk about, but that’ll be it for us, we’ve got to get back to testing!

    Community Calendar

    PC:


    360:


    PS3:

    Creations of the Week

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of Kothpik


    Courtesy of The PaiZ

    That’s all for this week! I hope you nice folks enjoyed it. Now I get to take a deep breath and possibly relax a bit now. Either that or I can cover Hitmonchan’s desk in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. In in the spirit of the Jester, I think I’ll go with option 2 and post the pictures as soon as I do it. Also, to our fans in the USA, Happy 4th of July!

    Until next time,

    Laura, Phil and Matt

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 6/27/12

    June 27th, 2012 by

    145.

    It worked!

    This morning, the heroes entered the tavern before their crusade. I yelled, “Look behind you, a three-headed dog!” They jerked around. When they turned back, a smile cracked their lips. Before long, they doubled over in laughter!

    While they were laughing, I convinced them to sell their weapons. I stowed their weapons away in my safe. I can get a higher price for those outside the shop.

    But the day wasn’t a total success. A man strolled into the shop just before closing time. His hair fell in perfect waves past his shallow cheeks and sharp jaw. I could see it in his emerald eyes: A man with a taste for opulence. An easy catch.

    But when I told him a joke, his lips curled. For a moment, his eyes flashed blue. Piercing sky blue. The same blue that haunts my dreams.

    With a small pop, his eyes turned green again. He gave me one last look and stormed out the door.

    Could it be? Has he finally come back for revenge?

    Welcome to Sky City

    Our young heroes arrive at Sky City on July 10 for PC. But what awaits you in the city above the clouds?

    The city is divided into four sections — a large central area; a small, isolated area to the north; a medium-sized area to the east; and a small area to the south. A bridge connects the southern and eastern areas. Several jump pads provide easy access between areas, and you’ll need them to reach the northern area.

    Of course, you’re not alone. Mobs crawl out from the central area to attack the Eternia Crystals on the north, east and south sections. (Let’s be honest: If you weren’t fighting mobs, this would a boring level. But it’d be great for our new difficulty mode, Let’s Talk About Our Feelings! Mobs are replaced with Good Feelings. Collect enough Good Feelings, and the game showers you with rainbows, gold stars and unicorns. Farm Good Feelings to sell for more Good Feelings! Turn on the AFK option and the Good Feelings will come to you!)

    Helping you save the crystals are the Catarangs. These tubby kitties are equipped with adorable jetpacks that keep them airborne. When you pet them, they shower you with rainbows, just like cats in real life! (Expect to see plenty of Catarangs in the new Let’s Talk About Our Feelings mode.)

    Protect the crystals for 12 waves, and you’ll meet the new boss: the Goblin Battlecruiser. This giant airship circles the map and launches missiles at your defenses. Golden jump pads appear during the boss fight, and you’ll need these to reach the cruiser. Climb aboard, and you’ll notice the final Eternia Shard is powering the mechanized behemoth. Fend off the onboard mobs and knock the Shard lose to bring the cruiser down.

    Not so fast there, slick. Once you deal a certain amount of damage to the Shard, nearby electric coils will kill everything on the ship. Nothing escapes from electric death.

    PC Patch Notes 7.38

    Just when you were about to get some sunlight, we had to go and ruin it with more patch notes. Sorry!

    In our next PC patch, you’ll find a new tier of loot: Ultimate. Ultimate loot has higher stat limits, levels and a new full-set bonus. This gear is available to level 90 heroes, which brings us to the new level cap: 90!

    But those things are expected at this point. We’re bringing two fan-requested features to the game: Mana Tokens and updated Hero Portraits.

    You can now generate Mana Token items of arbitrary value at the Tavern Shop’s Services panel. Mana Token items have the same resale value as the amount of Mana you generate them at. Your Player Shop will now automatically put excess sale Mana into Mana Token items until your inventory is filled up, allowing your shop to stay open beyond the 2 billion Mana cap.

    And we’re including new Hero Portraits for all costumes! People will be able to see what costume you’re wearing at any time! I am a huge Jim Darkmagic Apprentice fanboy, so I can’t wait to show that off even more. Here are a few of the finished portraits!

    Map Contest Voting Ends Monday

    Sixteen maps await your vote. Download them, play them and vote for your favorites! With the permission of the map author, we’ll take the winning map and give it a second layer of polish — a new coat of paint, map balance, the works.

    You have until Monday at 11:59 p.m. EDT to vote. You must vote for every map. It won’t take you too long to go through the maps.

    For every 10 people who vote, we’ll drop a new piece of the Shards IV puzzle we teased last week. Get enough people to vote, and you’ll get a sneak peek at the final Shards DLC.

    All of these maps will be available to download when the Steam Workshop launches July 10. If you have a custom map that you’d like to add to the launch lineup, send a cooked version of the map to contest@trendyent.com!

    Meet the Trendy Team: Danny Araya

    This week, intern Matt Arnold interviews Danny Araya, lead concept artist at Trendy Entertainment. Danny’s work includes the new cinematics from the Lost Eternia Shards and the hero wallpapers from launch. He is currently working on certain future projects for Trendy. Read on to learn more about his job, his experiences at Trendy and more.

    Hi, Danny. First off, can you give me a little bit of background information about yourself?
    “Hey, my name is Danny Araya, I’m 26 years old, and I draw things for a living. I was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area and pretty much stayed there up until I got this job. I got my B.F.A in Media Arts and Animation from the Art Institute of Washington, but I pretty much have been drawing since I was a kid.”

    How long have you been working at Trendy?
    “I’ve been working here about 15 months.”

    How did you get your start in the gaming industry?
    “Trendy’s actually my first in-studio job. The current art director, Ben Greene, and I had hung out once back in D.C. during a sketch crawl with some of the local game studio artists. Now in case you’re wondering, a sketch crawl is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You get together with a bunch of people and hop around from one location to the next, sketching all the people and scenery around you. Ben and I kept in regular contact through emails and Skype, and when an opening popped up, he was gracious enough to pass my portfolio along to the higher-ups. They dug it and had me do contract work for a few months before moving me on-site and making me a full time employee.”

    What does the job of lead concept artist entail? What are some of your daily tasks?
    “Well, the obvious answer is a lot of concept art, but the bigger part of my job is working with the lead environment artist and the art director to maintain a consistent aesthetic throughout the game. We have a very specific style we’re shooting for in future projects, and it can take a bit of time making sure that every 3D asset maintains the look we’re aiming for.

    In terms of generating concepts, it can be ridiculously taxing. The drawing part is pretty easy, but coming up with new ideas on a daily basis can be draining. I work in a large room with most of the other artists, and I’m extremely grateful for this. The unique thing about Trendy is that the majority of us have become friends since working here, so I’m comfortable enough with the other artists and the art director to just start talking about what I’m working on and pick their brains for ideas.

    Talking and joking is also VERY important. Joking around with each other is actually how we come up with the bulk of our best ideas. That sort of friendly, light-hearted atmosphere makes people comfortable with sharing ideas and creates an environment that’s extremely conducive to creativity. A lot of the time, an idea that was meant to be just a joke sparks a conversation that leads to a dozen awesome ideas that are directly applicable to the game.”

    What is unique about being a concept artist? How is it different, for example, than a technical artist?
    “Drawing, drawing and drawing. A lot of the guys have to create something from nothing, whether it’s a new special effect, a model with no prior concept, the arrangement of a level. The only difference between those guys and myself is that I use sketches and paintings to do it, where they use other tools.”

    As one of the members of the original development team that launched Dungeon Defenders, what was the experience like for you when the game was first released to the public in October of last year?
    “To be honest, the bulk of what I had been working on at that time were the illustrations for the Crystal Shards cinematics. I did very little work on the original Dungeon Defenders aside from some promo illustrations and a handful of concepts.”

    What was your favorite cinematic to draw?
    “My favorite cinematic was definitely the first panel of the Aquanos intro. It gave me the opportunity to draw an expansive ocean and to spend a bit of time rendering water and clouds. Painting monsters and OMG SWORDZ is fun and all, but I actually really enjoy painting natural environments. Mountains, clouds, cliffs, oceans are relaxing and fun to render.”

    What would you say has been your proudest moment while working at Trendy?
    “Seeing what we’re accomplishing with our latest project. We struggled really hard to get the style right for this game, and seeing it come alive and look even MORE beautiful than we anticipated is a feeling I can’t describe. I really can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

    What is your inspiration when it comes to creating new concept art? What triggers your creativity?
    “Working around the people that I work with, it’s hard not to get inspired just by having a conversation! We talk movies, art and games all the time with each other as we’re working, which only serves to make us more excited about what we’re working on.

    The question I constantly ask myself when creating anything is, ‘What’s the game I want to play that nobody has made yet?’ I approach it with the intention of satisfying my own aesthetic preferences (within reason) and go from there.

    Some specific sources of inspiration for me though are almost anything made by Pixar, animated shorts from the Gobelins school in Paris, FFVII (dominated my middle school years and is the reason I got into games in the first place), anything directed by Edgar Wright, most things written by Aaron Sorkin, almost ALL the artists on CGHub. I could honestly keep going on and on, so I’m going to be kind and stop here.”

    Your work was recently featured in IGN and Kotaku. Can you talk about that experience?
    “Haha. Well this kind of came out of the blue. A while ago ago I did a series of concept designs where I re-imagined some of the Justice League the way I would portray them if I were to direct a JLA animated movie. I posted them online along with some very detailed descriptions about how I saw the characters’ personalities and why I made the decisions I made regarding the designs. Fast forward two years later, and Bleeding Cool did an article praising my approach, which was a HUGE ego boost. I was really happy that they dug it, but all of a sudden, articles kept popping up all over the internet. IGN, Kotaku and a host of other places picked it up. It was humbling, but also extremely awesome, and my ego hasn’t come back down to earth since.”

    Looking back on the time you’ve spent at Trendy, what are some of your fondest memories?
    “There was a time where almost all of us would go out to lunch together on a daily basis. That doesn’t happen as often as it used to anymore, and a lot of those people have since moved on to pursue other opportunities. I miss that.”

    Who is your favorite character from the Dungeon Defenders universe?
    “The monk, because we’re both bald with serious eyebrows.”

    What are your most anticipated games coming out later this year?
    “These days it’s pretty rare for me to get excited about a game. Working in this industry, your time outside of work is precious because you have so little of it, so I’m very picky about the games that I play. I’m really really really really really big on story, and unfortunately most games out right now don’t satisfy me in that department. Some people say it’s impossible for games to even do that, but I feel like plenty of games (VALVE) disprove that ridiculous notion, I just think it requires a different approach to storytelling.

    The last game I was strongly looking forward to was Journey. I played it, and it didn’t just meet my unreasonably high expectations, it significantly exceeded them. That game is in my top five favorite games of all time, but unfortunately I haven’t felt passionately about a game since.”

    Finally, what is the best advice you would give to aspiring concept artists?
    “Draw. A lot. Take the time to learn the technical side of art (perspective, anatomy, proper rendering of form with light and shadow) but DON’T neglect your ideas! Do everything you can to foster your creativity because at the end of the day, your ideas are the only real unique thing you have.”

    To see more of Danny’s work, check out his blog, Art of Araya.

    Warning: Maximum Trolling Incoming

    It’s been awhile since I’ve unleashed my inner troll. My goblet of tears has runneth dry, and it needs to be replenished.

    So we’re making it rain ogres on Endless Spires! Sign-up in the 360 thread or the PS3 thread by 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight. We’ll randomize the list of people and present the final list of participants Thursday morning.

    Survive our trolling, and you’ll earn yourself a hefty XP reward.

    Beta Team Update: 6/27/12

    Welcome back to the Beta Team portion of the Digest! It’s been quite a while since you’ve heard from us. We haven’t disappeared, we’ve just been really busy. The next Shards update is ENORMOUS, and we’re only halfway done with testing.

    The new enemy type is definitely a new challenge. One thing we particularly like about them is that, unlike the Djinn and Sharken, they don’t manipulate your defenses. Instead, they just have a tendency to get behind them. And smash them to pieces if you let them.

    The new level looks and feels awesome. The boss is tough and does something that no other boss does. Expect a tough fight! (And we do NOT recommend Hardcore mode on your first playthrough.) We’re still working on the finer points of balancing the campaign map and survival. Hardcore Survival players will be pleased to know that we’ve hit the final wave of Survival on Sky City quite a few times, and we’ve pinned down the trouble spots on the maps.

    So, what’s next for the beta team? Why, 60 percent of the patch! We’ve recently gotten a hold of the rest of it. Sky City is just the start, and we are feverishly working through the rest of it so we can see the “ending.” Now, back to playing…

    Community Calendar

    PC:


    360:


    PS3:

    Creations of the Week

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!


    Courtesy of MiniMinhMo


    Courtesy of @Azaeroth

    Monday was miserable. Over the weekend, a ceiling tile smashed into my desk. So I spent Monday morning cleaning up the mess and throwing away some of my favorite pieces of art. Throughout the day, water dripped on my head while I tried to work. (I grabbed a trash can to collect the water. I’m setting up a bottled water factory. If anyone wants a batch, let me know!)

    So I think it’s time for a vacation. (Or, as I like to call it, research for the Let’s Talk About Our Feelings mode.)

    I’m heading off to the Blue Ridge Mountains over near Tennessee. No Internet. No phone. No video games. Just the misty mountain peaks and maybe a brisk jog through the woods. Nude.

    That means you won’t hear from me next week. Or maybe ever again, depending on how the nude jog goes. The lovely Laura will be here to crack the whip until my triumphant return. And she might have some Jester information to share.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Danny Araya

    June 27th, 2012 by

    This week, intern Matt Arnold interviews Danny Araya, lead concept artist at Trendy Entertainment. Danny’s work includes the new cinematics from the Lost Eternia Shards and the hero wallpapers from launch. He is currently working on certain future projects for Trendy. Read on to learn more about his job, his experiences at Trendy and more.

    Hi, Danny. First off, can you give me a little bit of background information about yourself?
    “Hey, my name is Danny Araya, I’m 26 years old, and I draw things for a living. I was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area and pretty much stayed there up until I got this job. I got my B.F.A in Media Arts and Animation from the Art Institute of Washington, but I pretty much have been drawing since I was a kid.”

    How long have you been working at Trendy?
    “I’ve been working here about 15 months.”

    How did you get your start in the gaming industry?
    “Trendy’s actually my first in-studio job. The current art director, Ben Greene, and I had hung out once back in D.C. during a sketch crawl with some of the local game studio artists. Now in case you’re wondering, a sketch crawl is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You get together with a bunch of people and hop around from one location to the next, sketching all the people and scenery around you. Ben and I kept in regular contact through emails and Skype, and when an opening popped up, he was gracious enough to pass my portfolio along to the higher-ups. They dug it and had me do contract work for a few months before moving me on-site and making me a full time employee.”

    What does the job of lead concept artist entail? What are some of your daily tasks?
    “Well, the obvious answer is a lot of concept art, but the bigger part of my job is working with the lead environment artist and the art director to maintain a consistent aesthetic throughout the game. We have a very specific style we’re shooting for in future projects, and it can take a bit of time making sure that every 3D asset maintains the look we’re aiming for.

    In terms of generating concepts, it can be ridiculously taxing. The drawing part is pretty easy, but coming up with new ideas on a daily basis can be draining. I work in a large room with most of the other artists, and I’m extremely grateful for this. The unique thing about Trendy is that the majority of us have become friends since working here, so I’m comfortable enough with the other artists and the art director to just start talking about what I’m working on and pick their brains for ideas.

    Talking and joking is also VERY important. Joking around with each other is actually how we come up with the bulk of our best ideas. That sort of friendly, light-hearted atmosphere makes people comfortable with sharing ideas and creates an environment that’s extremely conducive to creativity. A lot of the time, an idea that was meant to be just a joke sparks a conversation that leads to a dozen awesome ideas that are directly applicable to the game.”

    What is unique about being a concept artist? How is it different, for example, than a technical artist?
    “Drawing, drawing and drawing. A lot of the guys have to create something from nothing, whether it’s a new special effect, a model with no prior concept, the arrangement of a level. The only difference between those guys and myself is that I use sketches and paintings to do it, where they use other tools.”

    As one of the members of the original development team that launched Dungeon Defenders, what was the experience like for you when the game was first released to the public in October of last year?
    “To be honest, the bulk of what I had been working on at that time were the illustrations for the Crystal Shards cinematics. I did very little work on the original Dungeon Defenders aside from some promo illustrations and a handful of concepts.”

    What was your favorite cinematic to draw?
    “My favorite cinematic was definitely the first panel of the Aquanos intro. It gave me the opportunity to draw an expansive ocean and to spend a bit of time rendering water and clouds. Painting monsters and OMG SWORDZ is fun and all, but I actually really enjoy painting natural environments. Mountains, clouds, cliffs, oceans are relaxing and fun to render.”

    What would you say has been your proudest moment while working at Trendy?
    “Seeing what we’re accomplishing with our latest project. We struggled really hard to get the style right for this game, and seeing it come alive and look even MORE beautiful than we anticipated is a feeling I can’t describe. I really can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

    What is your inspiration when it comes to creating new concept art? What triggers your creativity?
    “Working around the people that I work with, it’s hard not to get inspired just by having a conversation! We talk movies, art and games all the time with each other as we’re working, which only serves to make us more excited about what we’re working on.

    The question I constantly ask myself when creating anything is, ‘What’s the game I want to play that nobody has made yet?’ I approach it with the intention of satisfying my own aesthetic preferences (within reason) and go from there.

    Some specific sources of inspiration for me though are almost anything made by Pixar, animated shorts from the Gobelins school in Paris, FFVII (dominated my middle school years and is the reason I got into games in the first place), anything directed by Edgar Wright, most things written by Aaron Sorkin, almost ALL the artists on CGHub. I could honestly keep going on and on, so I’m going to be kind and stop here.”

    Your work was recently featured in IGN and Kotaku. Can you talk about that experience?
    “Haha. Well this kind of came out of the blue. A while ago ago I did a series of concept designs where I re-imagined some of the Justice League the way I would portray them if I were to direct a JLA animated movie. I posted them online along with some very detailed descriptions about how I saw the characters’ personalities and why I made the decisions I made regarding the designs. Fast forward two years later, and Bleeding Cool did an article praising my approach, which was a HUGE ego boost. I was really happy that they dug it, but all of a sudden, articles kept popping up all over the internet. IGN, Kotaku and a host of other places picked it up. It was humbling, but also extremely awesome, and my ego hasn’t come back down to earth since.”

    Looking back on the time you’ve spent at Trendy, what are some of your fondest memories?
    “There was a time where almost all of us would go out to lunch together on a daily basis. That doesn’t happen as often as it used to anymore, and a lot of those people have since moved on to pursue other opportunities. I miss that.”

    Who is your favorite character from the Dungeon Defenders universe?
    “The monk, because we’re both bald with serious eyebrows.”

    What are your most anticipated games coming out later this year?
    “These days it’s pretty rare for me to get excited about a game. Working in this industry, your time outside of work is precious because you have so little of it, so I’m very picky about the games that I play. I’m really really really really really big on story, and unfortunately most games out right now don’t satisfy me in that department. Some people say it’s impossible for games to even do that, but I feel like plenty of games (VALVE) disprove that ridiculous notion, I just think it requires a different approach to storytelling.

    The last game I was strongly looking forward to was Journey. I played it, and it didn’t just meet my unreasonably high expectations, it significantly exceeded them. That game is in my top five favorite games of all time, but unfortunately I haven’t felt passionately about a game since.”

    Finally, what is the best advice you would give to aspiring concept artists?
    “Draw. A lot. Take the time to learn the technical side of art (perspective, anatomy, proper rendering of form with light and shadow) but DON’T neglect your ideas! Do everything you can to foster your creativity because at the end of the day, your ideas are the only real unique thing you have.”

    To see more of Danny’s work, check out his blog, Art of Araya.


    DunDef Digest 6/20/12

    June 21st, 2012 by

    144.

    When I was a lad, Sir Provly was my idol.

    A gangly man who towered above his peers, Provly was not a gifted or an elegant warrior. Once, in a showdown with a ruthless barbarian, he swung his hammer and smashed himself in the face!

    But he was an inspiration to his fellow warriors. Seeing the anxiety in the faces of his brothers and sisters before the Battle of Maginon, he dressed himself as Saint Nick, stood before the regiment and regaled them with hearty jokes and one-liners. They roared with laughter as they ran into battle. His wild antics, having raised their spirits, helped them defeat their enemies.

    He was an inspiration to me. I used to act out his most famous moments. I’d don the rabbit outfit my mother sewed for my birthday, clamber upon the kitchen table and say, “A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but meant your mother!” I’d picture everyone laughing along, and I would grab my stick-sword and lead the troops to war.

    Sales in the shop have been slow lately. Maybe I could channel a bit of old Provly to motivate the customers to spend more mana!

    Meet the Jester: The Next Dungeon Defenders Hero Class

    A sly trickster in the service of the royal court, the Jester will provide long-time fan-requested capabilities and unique combat and defensive strategies. We’ll provide full details on what this harlequin defender will bring to the table in an upcoming Digest!

    Shards IV is on the Way

    And what better way to celebrate than with everyone’s favorite pastime: puzzle solving! But wait, there’s only one piece of the puzzle. Ah! Sharp eye there, champ. Maybe it has something to do with this Map Contest thing I keep hearing about. Haven’t heard of it? Let me help.

    Dungeon Defenders Map Contest Deadline and Voting

    When we first announced the Dungeon Defenders Map Contest, I was skeptical. Would anyone submit a map? What happens if they don’t? Will I get fired?

    The answer to the third question is still up in the air, but the modding community went above and beyond to deliver some truly captivating maps. Seeing their maps progress and evolve was a treat for a clueless, babbling baboon like myself.

    The deadline to submit the final version of your maps is nigh. All maps must be submitted to us by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday. Send your map to contest@trendyent.com with the following information:

    Subject:
    DunDef Map Contest: [Map Name] [Author or Team Name]

    Body:
    Name, Birthdate, Address for all Authors
    Map Name
    URL to download Map
    Brief description of Map and what you were trying to accomplish

    Voting begins on Friday. To vote, head to the Official Voting Thread. We’ll have links to all of our entries for you to download. Plus, we’ll include details on how to download and play them for those new to that scene.

    You may be curious about the strange image above this section. What could it be? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not the cover to “Purple Rain.” As more people vote, we’ll reveal more of the image above this section. So get out there and rock the vote, dungeon lovers!

    Map Contest Spotlight: “The Library” by MacCoy

    Map Name: The Library
    Author: MacCoy
    Gametype: Crystal Defense
    Player Count: 1-4
    Objective: Defend the 2 crystals

    Map Contest Livestream Interview: The Library

    Channeling the spirit of Bill O’Reilly, we did it live for the final Map Contest Spotlight. Skott and I joined map author MacCoy to discuss his entry for the map contest, The Library. If you missed it, you can watch the archived stream above. (Be sure to turn down the volume a bit. I channeled O’Reilly’s voice, too.)

    We enjoyed the experience, so we’re dedicating this week’s Trendy Friday Fun to the contest maps we haven’t had the chance to spotlight. Follow our Twitch account to be notified when we go live!

    Trendy Console Event Part Two

    With 55 percent of the votes, our winning console modifier is … Raining Ogres!

    Console fans, join us next Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT, for some Extra XP action. (We’ll announce the map next week.) You’ll need to sign-up in the appropriate thread (360, PS3) before midnight on Wednesday, June 27. Remember, signing up is not a guarantee of entry. We’ll randomize the list of entrants and post a list of the lucky few fans to join us. (Alas, the one flaw of having a small team.) We’ll update the Console Sign-Up Google Doc with the final list of people a few hours before the match begins.

    Code Drop Tuesday

    We asked our fans to choose a song that described their Dungeon Defenders experience. From nu metal to My Little Pony to Queen (“Don’t stop me now ‘cause I’m having a good time!”), the song collection was eclectic and fascinating. I wanted to make this magical playlist more accessible, so here’s a full collection of the songs you chose. Enjoy!

    Community Calendar

    PC:


    360:


    PS3:


    Creations of the Week

    The first video below is quite possibly the greatest thing I have ever seen in Dungeon Defenders. Downloading now. If you have anything you’d like to showcase in our Digest (screenshots, videos, guides, fan art), send it contest@trendyent.com!


    Courtesy of Peter Allen

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 6/13/12

    June 13th, 2012 by


    This Digest is meaty, so we’ll get right to the chase. Strap in.

    Catch and Release

    You might be asking, “Who is that cute fox above?” That’s the Sky Captain (no, not THIS Sky Captain), the new costume for the Initiate coming with the PC version of Shards IV. (I’ve dubbed her Franky.) Others might be asking, “When will I get to play the last chapter of the Lost Eternia Shards?” We are pleased to announce that the massively jam-packed Part IV will drop from the clouds on July 10 on PC, and it’ll be available sometime later for PS3 and 360!

    Steam Workshop Integration

    We’re joining the likes of Skyrim and Team Fortress 2 in adding Steam Workshop to our game, which makes it easy to download, share and rate maps created by the community! Steam Workshop will allow map developers to add and update their maps directly from the Development Tool. This now includes Cooking for Mac as well! (That means Mod Maps can be played on both platforms.) Players can then browse and subscribe (download) these maps on the Steam Workshop from within the game in Open mode. If they join a game being played on a map they don’t have, they’re automatically presented with the Workshop page to subscribe and download that map.

    We’ll be scouring the Workshop daily looking for new creations to show off! Highly rated maps on the Workshop may even be included in Ranked mode! Steam Workshop for Dungeon Defenders will launch with Shards IV on July 10.

    Dungeon Defenders Vita Update

    We originally showed off a tech demo of Dungeon Defenders running on Sony’s handheld early last year. E3 came and went, and our fans noticed that nothing was said about Dungeon Defenders for the Vita. While we believe the Vita is a very capable platform, we’ve decided to shelve the Vita port of the game. Many fans, including myself, would like to play Dungeon Defenders on the portable device, but ultimately, we’ve decided to divert those resources to other pursuits. We can’t talk about these at the moment. In fact, you may not hear about these for quite some time. But trust us when we say it’ll be worth the wait.

    Console Patch Details

    We don’t have a concrete patch list just yet, but we do have a few juicy morsels to share with you. According to the dev team, the console patch will fix the freezing issues, fix the Aquanos XP imbalance, increase the level cap, add new Shards IV-specific pet & weapons and add a new “Insane+” Difficulty Option that will make the game much more difficulty yet present better and rarer loot. It will also fix various other reported issues that we’re currently reviewing. Again, that’s not a full list of the patch notes. It’s just the items we can confirm right now. The console patch is scheduled to released with Shards Part IV.

    Map Contest Spotlight: “Palantir” by Daniel Diaz

    Map Name: Palantir
    Author: Daniel Diaz
    Gametype: Tower Defense
    Player Count: Unknown
    Objective: Defend the Eternia Crystals!

    This week, we asked map creator Daniel Diaz to answer a few of our questions about his lovely map, Palantir.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you tell us about yourself?
    My name is Daniel Díaz, 28 years old from Spain (Málaga). My favorite hobbies are mapping, digital painting, football, gym, programming, cinema & series, and going out with friends and my girlfriend.

    I have been mapping since 1999 when the first Unreal was released. I made maps for Unreal, Unreal Tournament, UT2003, UT2004, UT3 and now for Dungeon Defenders.

    What was the basic idea for the map?
    The main idea of the map was creating some kind of castle built upon a big rock. I was inspired by Minas Tirith, the fictional city and castle from the Lord of the Rings.

    We’ve watched your map evolve on our forums. What was your inspiration for the final visual look of the map?
    Once I did all the basic layout and construction, I felt the map still needed some identity, so I started making new foliage stuff inspired by a beautiful park near my house with plenty of vegetation. The support and chain meshes are also inspired from there, too. I took some photos for making the texture.

    What was the most challenging aspect of creating the map?
    There were several, but maybe one of the most challenging was making the dragon statue mesh and texture (self-painted with my digital tablet). They both took some hours to be done.

    Have you created any totally custom content for this map? How long did that take?
    Yes, the map is 90% custom content. There are 130+ new static meshes, all modeled with Autodesk Maya and like 20 new textures, self-painted with Photoshop and a digital tablet. For some of these new textures, I used some references from Google and Total Textures.

    All of this new stuff took like a month of work.

    What advice would you give to those who are using the Dungeon Defenders Development Kit?
    Keep always learning new things, try to better yourself and do as much as you can with every map.

    Head on over to his thread to download and try the latest version of his map!

    Trendy Console Event, 6/28

    After the overwhelming success of last week’s Trendy Console Event, we are back with another round of mayhem!

    This time you could be pushed to the limit with No Holds Barred, where the enemies fight longer and you die faster (Extra Enemy Health, Low Player Health), do your dance with Time Keeps on Slippin’ (2x Game Speed — faster running, faster enemy movement, faster shooting) or a third option to be revealed next week.

    These options will be put to a vote on both our Facebook page and our forums starting on Monday. Voting will end Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. EDT, and the results will be announced in the Digest the next day. The event will take place Thursday, June 28, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. We’ll post the sign-up threads in next week’s Digest.

    Trendy-Sponsored Community Events — New, Improved and Now on 360 and PC

    It makes us all warm and fuzzy to see Trendy Sponsored Community Events branching out to other platforms. Even Laura’s cold heart melts just a bit knowing that our fans can get to enjoy the various events designed and hosted by our wonderful members of the community.

    We have also decided to be more involved and write up a few rules. These will cover all three platforms. Trendy will have the final say when it comes to hosts. We want to make sure that all hosts are conducting events fairly. All hosts will also have to be 17 years old or older. Anyone who is younger can still test out the map and give ideas, but they will not be allowed to host or give out event weapons. We will also decide who gets banned from events. So if you have a problem with being banned, please come to us. Last but not least, we have decided to not make event weapons. Any items made and given out as prizes will be in the form of pets, armor, or accessories (on PC).

    PC: Dredd is back! This time he has dedicated long hours and countless days in order to bring the community events to the PC! He’s kicking things off with the “Toxic Empire” saga events. The first one, titled “The Arm Guard Of Earth,” will take place on June 19. Your heroes will find themselves in Glitterhelm on NM HC.

    360: With Dredd over on PC, who will rise up and take over on the 360? We are very happy to introduce K1ng DooM as the new event leader for the 360 side. We’ll be interviewing potential hosts for these events. Once we get things settled, we’ll let everyone know.

    PS3: Of course, Classic and his merry hosts will still continue their event on the PS3 side. Their next event will be June 22. Check out their event page for more details.

    You can find all these events on our Community Calendar. If you would like to join any, please sign up in the respective threads.

    Meet the Trendy Team: Rodrigo Lizarraga

    In this second Meet The Trendy Team interview, our community intern, Matt Arnold, speaks with Rodrigo Lizarraga, multimedia designer at Trendy Entertainment, about his job, electronic music and more.

    Hey, Rodrigo. First off, can you tell us about yourself?
    “Hi! My name is Rodrigo Lizarraga, multimedia designer here at Trendy, and I like turtles.”

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?
    “No, I worked as a UI/graphic designer at Ignition Studios.”

    What brought you to Trendy?
    “I used to work with Jeremy [Stieglitz] and a few others at Ignition. They needed a graphic designer again for this new company, Trendy Entertainment, and contacted me. Been here … two years now!”

    When it comes to working as a multimedia designer, what are some of your daily tasks?
    “The fun part about my job is that I get to dip my hand in all sorts of things. I work on nearly every single piece of marketing material that we pump out for Dungeon Defenders. One day I’ll be doing assets for Xbox Live, Steam or PSN; another day I’ll be working on the trailer for our latest DLC. Currently, I am working on the in-game 2D cinematics for the fourth Eternia Shard DLC!”

    To read more, check out the full post here.

    Code Drop Tuesday: Father’s Day Cards

    Over on Twitter, we asked our fans to create a Father’s Day card for our heroes’ parents. Here were our five favorites:


    Courtesy of @Green_Eyed_Man


    Courtesy of @ElectricE1


    Courtesy of @Zorpix_Fang


    Courtesy of @nibblemonkey


    Courtesy of @spartybm

    Creations of the Week


    Courtesy of username12321


    Courtesy of MiniMinhMo

    Have an awesome Dungeon Defenders creation you’d like to share? Send it to us at contest@trendyent.com!

    We’d like to end this week with a heartfelt thank you to Oliver Clark, one of our community interns who will be moving on from our flock at the end of the week. You might know him around these parts as Castiel. We wish him the best of luck with the rest of his college years, and hopefully when the party’s over, he finds a great career and leads a fulfilling life.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan and LauraWantsaCow

    Discuss this Digest here!


    Meet the Trendy Team: Rodrigo Lizarraga

    June 13th, 2012 by

    In this second Meet The Trendy Team interview, our community intern, Matt Arnold, speaks with Rodrigo Lizarraga, multimedia designer at Trendy Entertainment, about his job, electronic music and more.

    Hey, Rodrigo. First off, can you tell us about yourself?
    “Hi! My name is Rodrigo Lizarraga, multimedia designer here at Trendy, and I like turtles.”

    Is this your first job in the gaming industry?
    “No, I worked as a UI/graphic designer at Ignition Studios.”

    What brought you to Trendy?
    “I used to work with Jeremy [Stieglitz] and a few others at Ignition. They needed a graphic designer again for this new company, Trendy Entertainment, and contacted me. Been here … two years now!”

    When it comes to working as a multimedia designer, what are some of your daily tasks?
    “The fun part about my job is that I get to dip my hand in all sorts of things. I work on nearly every single piece of marketing material that we pump out for Dungeon Defenders. One day I’ll be doing assets for Xbox Live, Steam or PSN; another day I’ll be working on the trailer for our latest DLC. Currently, I am working on the in-game 2D cinematics for the fourth Eternia Shard DLC!”

    Any hobbies you enjoy doing while not at work?
    “I DJ around town a lot. It’s a fun hobby, a good creative outlet, and I get paid to do it!”

    I noticed that you do graphics-related work for local clubs and electronic artists on the side. How does your passion for electronic music manifest itself in these projects?
    “I’m a pretty hardcore EDM snob, and the type/style of music that the artist plays helps inspire how I visually design for them.”

    What computer programs do you typically use for your work?
    “I wouldn’t have a job without the entire Adobe suite of products. Mostly Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere. <3 Adobe."

    Finally, based on your experiences while working at Trendy, what advice do you have for those interested in becoming multimedia designers in the gaming industry?
    “The key is to be a jack of all trades when it comes to this kind of job. I know the Adobe product line better than my own name!”


    DunDef Digest 6/6/12

    June 7th, 2012 by


    It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

    E3 brings tidings of games and the occasional accessory dud to our lives. A few members of our team are in LA drinking in the sights and the smog, but most of us are in the office glued to our computers for the latest gaming news. (Pikmin 3 is real, I have seen it with my own eyes, and you can’t take it away from me now, Nintendo.)

    Despite the distractions, our main focus of the week was Dungeon Defenders. We’re hard at work to finish Shards Part IV, the final chapter of the Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards. We know expectations are high to deliver the strongest chapter yet. Before you travel to Sky City and beyond to fight new enemies and discover new weapons, we need to grease the gears, squash the bugs and tighten up the graphics to make those golden walls shine.

    Speaking of new enemies, let me introduce you to your new foe: the Goblin Copter. I’m sure you two will be good friends.

    These wonderful enemies will take to the skies to carry mobs over your Defenses! Of course, this contraption has other tricks available that will be revealed soon.

    Of course, new enemies aren’t the only thing awaiting you in the fourth Shards. You’ll see what it all means for yourself once you dive into the new content soon.

    Trendy Console Event — 6/7/12

    Break out the moon boots. After tallying the votes from our Facebook and forum polls, the winning console modifier is — Spaced! That means we’ll be enjoying the boundless joys of low gravity on Royal Gardens. This 360 and PSN US event will take place tomorrow from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. We’ll be giving out a ton of XP to those who participate in our event.

    Haven’t signed up yet? You have until tomorrow by 11 a.m. EDT to sign up in the appropriate console thread (360 thread, PS3 thread). Signing up does not guarantee entry. We will randomize the sign-up sheet and cut it down to two lists: The first list of people will be those we will get to and the second will be a back-up list in case we have extra time. This is to help decrease the amount of time people are waiting around without knowing if they will get an invite or not.

    Bookmark this Google Doc. This is where we will post the final list of people on the day of the event.

    And a word of advice: Bring something that deals a ton of knockback.

    Map Contest Spotlight: “Port Etheria” by Alhanalem

    Map Name: Port Etheria
    Author: Alhanalem
    Game Type: Standard TD with boss waves
    Player Count: 1-4
    Objective: Defend the 3 crystals!

    This week, Skott returns to help us out in our third Map Contest Spotlight. In the video above, Skott guides us through the salty harbor of “Port Etheria” by Alhanalem. To hear more about the map, download the latest Map Contest Podcast below!

    Map Contest Podcast: Port Etheria
    (Right-click, Save As)

    You have two weeks left to submit your finalized maps to contest[at]trendyent.com. The official contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 21. For the full contest rules, follow this link.

    After the deadline, you will get the opportunity to vote for the map you’d like to add to our Ranked servers. Be sure to check out our Discussion forum for all of our community’s work-in-progress maps.

    Did you miss one of our previous spotlights? Catch up using the convenient links below!

    Kings Valley: Video | Podcast
    The Forsaken Undercroft: Video | Podcast

    Code Drop Tuesdays

    This week, we asked our Twitter community what movie best described their Dungeon Defenders experience and why. Our three favorites, shown below, won a DLC code of their choice!

    Who doesn’t like to win free stuff? Be sure to follow our Twitter for upcoming Code Drop Tuesday giveaway and up-to-the-minute news.

    Community Calendar

    Check out the Community Calendar for all upcoming events on PC, 360 and PS3. If you’d like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side. Be sure to follow this format:

    Date(s)
    Time(s)
    Host(s)
    Description of the event

    Creations of the Week

    We’re opening our weekly screenshot showcase to all community creations! We’re looking for creative fan art, crossover work (Minecraft creations, TF2 posters), screenshots, videos — if you make it and we like it, we’ll show it off! If you have anything you’d like to share, send it to [email]contest@trendyent.com[/email]!


    Courtesy of sneezes2 (I told myself no more fire shots, but this one was too awesome to pass up.)


    Courtesy of Fictorious

    Courtesy of ViciousXUSMC

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 5/30/12

    May 30th, 2012 by

    When I’m sitting at my desk, I usually listen to folk harmonies or sad-sack-lover blues. But as I prepared to leap into the pulsing heart of a volcano, the moment called for something different. Something mysterious. Something dangeresque.

    I opened the latest build of Volcanic Eruption, the mission tied to the Talay Mining Complex. This three-story complex loops, ramps and shoots players around the map. Embedded crystal shards bathe the third floor in blue and purple light. On the first floor, magma burns and boils just below the rocky ground.

    Near the red-hot magma rests a single Eternia Crystal. As the match began, mobs poured in from all sides. As I was fending them off, the crystal began to rise. So did the magma. Its viscid fury devoured the first floor. Lines of wide-eyed mobs were swallowed by the superheated sea. The walls burned brighter as the funnel filled toward the brim.

    Finally, the crystal reached the very apex of the map. Swarms of Ogres, Wyverns and Orcs rushed to claim their prize. Unfortunately, the magma claimed it first. It clawed over the third and final floor and left nothing but charred remains in its wake.

    You can experience the Talay Mining Complex tomorrow on the Steam marketplace. The pack includes four new weapons, a new pet and the female Summoner skin, the Demoness. The pack will be available as a standalone purchase for $1.99, and for the first week, you can pick it up for $1.45.

    A Brief Look Ahead

    Beyond the peak of the volcano flies Sky City, the final map of the Shards DLC. Our team, from the level designers to the art team to the ivory tower gameplay designers, have invested many man-hours and buckets of man-sweat to ensure that their fond farewell would leave a remarkable impression.

    We’ll announce the release dates to the final chapter of the Lost Eternia Shards soon. For now, here’s a tasty preview of the many cinematic sequences of the epic conclusion.

    The Return of the Console Event

    We’ve dearly missed joining our console fans in righteous, glorious co-op action, which gives us great pleasure to announce a new Trendy Console Event!

    This time around, we’re letting our fans decide the crazy modifier for use on Royal Gardens. Will you choose to float above the crowd in the return of Spaced (Low Gravity), wield the power of the Gods in Berserker (Double Player Damage) or build to your heart’s content in Mad Craft (Insanely High DUs)? These options will be put to a vote on both our Facebook page and our forums later today. Voting will end Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. EDT, and the results will be announced in the Digest the next day.

    As your reward for participating, we’ll be offering five times the amount of experience for completing the map!

    Before we go any further, I’d like to mention something: We will not be handing out event weapons. These rewards were fun, but as we continued our original events, they began to create a competitive environment that went against the principle of creating fun, cooperative experiences between Trendy and our loyal fans.

    Here’s how the event will go down:

    The event will take place next Thursday, June 7, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. You must sign up in the appropriate forum thread (360 thread, PS3 thread) by Wednesday night, June 6, to participate. Signing up does not guarantee entry. We will randomize the sign-up sheet and cut it down to two lists: The first list of people will be those we will get to and the second will be a back-up list in case we have extra time. This is to help decrease the amount of time people are waiting around without knowing if they will get an invite or not.

    Bookmark this Google Doc. This is where we will post the final list of people on the day of the event.

    Map Contest Spotlight: “The Forsaken Undercroft” by TrookLue

    Map Name: The Forsaken Undercroft
    Author: TrookLue
    Game Type: Longplay TD with 2+2 cores
    Player Count: 1-4
    Objective: Banish all enemy creatures out of the forsaken undercroft. And, of course, defend the crystals!

    This week’s Map Contest Spotlight shines on “The Forsaken Undercroft,” a smaller-sized map designed by TrookLue. With Skott out sick for the week (feel better, buddy!), Kayd stepped up to the plate to deliver the video walkthrough of the map, which you can find above.

    In this week’s Map Contest Podcast, Kayd, Laura and I chatted with TrookLue about his inspiration for the map, the challenges of trying something different and his experience with our Dungeon Defenders Development Kit.

    Map Contest Podcast: The Forsaken Undercroft
    NOTE: This forum post will be updated later tonight with the link to the podcast.

    Code Drop Tuesday: Summoner Pose

    This week, we asked our fans on Twitter to do their best in-real-life Summoner pose for their chance to win a Summoner code. These two brave souls put everything on the line, and for that, we salute you.


    Courtesy of @PaulBZee


    Courtesy of @Zorpix_Fang

    Community Calendar/Screenshots of the Week

    We’ve noticed a disturbing lack of PC community events/livestreams on our calendar and on our forums. If you want to start one, post about it in our Community Calendar and we’ll feature it right here in our Digest!

    If you have a beautiful action screenshot or scenic photo, send it to us at [email]contest@trendyent.com[/email] with the title “DunDef Digest Screenshot!”

    [PC] Trendy Friday Fun

    Date: 6/1/12
    Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST
    Hosts: Hitmonchan, IceArrow, Skott
    Description: Join us every Friday for fun and games! Look for the lobby “Trendy Friday Fun” in the Ranked servers.


    Courtesy of Voodoo

    [PS3] Etheria’s Super Events

    Date: June 1 to 3
    Hosts: Classic22 (event coordinator), CaptBoxershorts, TitoDaddy, Raknar2011, Flaming_cows, Thedarkcrucible, Uprisinq, Gashen-Sai, Deathdealer1877, xNoxONEx
    Description: Read [URL="http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?56918-PS3-quot-Etheria-s-Super-Events-"]this thread[/URL] for more details.
    Sign-up Thread: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?63817-PSN-SUPER-EVENTS-Tag-Team-Sign-Up-1st-3rd-June


    Courtesy of StLenny1

    [360] Memory Blast

    Date: June 2
    Hosts: UltimateJorts, Emel Walsh, King Doom
    Description: This event is in honor of those who have served in the armed forces

    This will be on the Oasis PVP map and players will only be aloud to use the Blasticus weapon and you are aloud to wear armor and pets, you cannot use traps or invisibility and no piercing shots either that is all of the rules we have for now but they may be updated later so keep checking in even once in awhile! Oh and did i mention the first place reward is a Dharmas blade!!! also no camping (this is not Call of Duty) the host will participate in these events and if he wins on anymore then the first Tier then everyone loses if he wins on the first Tier then second place gets to advance!

    P.S. The more people we get to sign up, the better the events are going to be so tell your friends!
    Sign-up Thread: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?62197-(Xbox)-Team-Betrayals-PVP-events


    Courtesy of MiniMinhMo

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 5/23/12

    May 23rd, 2012 by


    He has been summoned.

    After weeks of teasers, previews and interviews, the Summoner is finally available to download on Steam! Our new hero represents a landmark change in the way you’ll play Dungeon Defenders. We can’t wait to see the strategies and game modes that will brew from the community cauldron. As always, we want your feedback on the hero. Follow this link to let us know what you think!

    His mechanics might be daunting the first time you load him up. To help you through the first hour of game time, our beta team has prepared an in-depth video that covers the Summoner’s mechanics.

    And what’s a new hero without a new costume? Introducing the Demoness, our female skin for the Summoner!

    One look at her devilish smirk and you’ll know she can handle more than her fair share of trouble. The new costume will be finished and shipped with our next mission pack, the Talay Mining Complex.

    Three-Tier Cheer

    “In the southern region of Talay, rich in minerals but dangerously volcanic, a long-buried Eternia Crystal has been unearthed. Protect it from the horde!”

    If you were watching our Summoner Sneak Peek yesterday, you caught an extra peek at the Talay Mining Complex. The build you saw was from an older build of the level. Our level designer, Morgan Roberts, has been spit-shining those rock walls and crystal clusters to a pristine sheen.

    Of course, we didn’t show you our favorite part of the map — the new challenge, Volcanic Eruption. As the lava rises, it’s up to you to protect the Eternia Crystal as it moves up through the Mining Complex. Defeat all of the enemies quickly before the rising lava destroys friend and foe – even during the Build Phase!

    Also included in the pack are four new weapons, a new pet, and the Demoness costume mentioned earlier. One of these new weapons has the capabilities of a certain masterful beam-shooting sword from a certain legendary series. Did we mention that it shoots beams?

    All of this will be available next week on May 30. We’ll have more details on pricing next week.

    Console News Updates

    The third part of our Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards put its feet upon European soil earlier today. Now our PSN EU fans can experience the majesty of the lost city of Aquanos, solve the Riddle of the Deep and claim the third Shard for their own!

    And we’ve heard whispers of another Trendy community event pass breezily by our office window. Expect more details in next week’s Digest.

    Dungeon Defenders Sale

    I think it’s pretty obvious to say, Trendy Entertainment wouldn’t exist right now if there weren’t flexible, developer-centric platforms like Steam around for us to sell our games on. So, to celebrate, we’re teaming up with a bunch of other developers and putting Dungeon Defenders on sale May 24 through June 1. The discount (and lists of other games) will be here tomorrow, so stay tuned!


    Courtesy of FUTURETECH

    Map Contest Spotlight Postponed

    With the beta video team busy on the Summoner video, we had to postpone our map contest video walkthrough and podcast for this week. Don’t worry. Next week, we’ll give you a double dose of the good stuff.

    Beta Team Update: 5/23/12

    Greetings from Beta Land! Last night was a blast for the beta team. Trendy gave the go ahead for the beta team to show off the new hero in games titled “Official Summoner Beta Team Sneak Peek.” As a result, quite a few people got a chance to see the new class in action. So, we thought we’d share some of the stories we had from the event!

    “I was setting a few summons and then just walking a pair of ogres around, people loved me XD”

    “I’ve been enjoying the whole ‘heal aura works on minions’ thing, I think I missed the memo on that!”

    “Some guy asked me to make a warrior follow him. I told him he wasn’t allowed to get a puppy because he didn’t take very good care of it.”

    “It was then that I realized I could really entertain people by giving them a goon squad.”

    “I managed to get to 71! I was letting people pick the map they wanted and one crazy group I ended up with insisted on doing an insane Glitter run to help me level up!”

    Code Drop Tuesday

    Instead of our usual Twitter giveaway, we decided to host a Summoner Sneak Peek event, giving our fans their first taste of the Summoner in action and a chance to get the new hero on us. If you want to catch up on the stream, click the banner below! (The audio looping glitch at the beginning was pretty epic.)

    Congratulations to all of our winners from yesterday!

    Community Calendar

    [PC] Trendy Friday Fun

    Date: 5/25/12
    Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST
    Hosts: Hitmonchan, IceArrow, Skott
    Description: Join us every Friday for fun and games! Look for the lobby “Trendy Friday Fun” in the Ranked servers.

    [PS3] Etheria’s Super Events

    Date: May 25 to 27
    Hosts: Classic22 (event coordinator), CaptBoxershorts, TitoDaddy, Raknar2011, Flaming_cows, Thedarkcrucible, Uprisinq, Gashen-Sai, Deathdealer1877, xNoxONEx
    Description:
    - Challenge Map: Monster Fest
    - Difficulty: Hard
    - Huntress and Apprentice NOT ALLOWED
    - The host will place 3 Slice’n'Dice Towers marked on these three spots on the >>>MAP<<<, from there each participant will endeavour to stay on top of the Slice’n'Dice until the game is over. Fall off, or get knocked off will render you useless for the rest of the game, you may run to the other towers so you don’t waste valuable lives.
    - You must not attack if you fall off or get knocked off. Your pet will still be usable. You may only stand there, however one fallen person can use hero abilities.
    - To win, one person on your team must remain on their Slice’n'Dice until wave 8. You must not intentionally lose the last wave just to get the reward. If the host notices a substantial effort to win, but didn’t reach wave 8, they may award the item.
    - If you AFK, or the host notices that you are obviously not trying to win, you will be disqualified. You must attempt to win. Those who beat wave 10 shall have the respect of their fellow community
    - You may build defences whilst on your Slice’n'Dice only.
    - If your Slice’n'Dice is destroyed, you must follow the fall off procedures.
    - The host may help at their discretion. They will only build the defenses outlined on the map. The host will avoid being killed or pulling aggro on the mobs, that’s only fair
    - Banned event items: “Laser Robot”, “The Mentor”.
    - Thanks to the Xbox community for allowing the use of their idea.
    Sign-up Thread: Here

    If you have an awesome event you’d like to share with the world, click the Add New Event button on the Calendar page. Be sure to include PC, 360 or PS3 in the title of your event, a brief description of the event and the times you’ll be hosting. We might spotlight your event in a future Digest!


    Courtesy of grey-1

    Screenshots of the Week

    We’ve spread our screenshots of the week throughout this Digest! Have a great photo you’d like to share? Send it to [email]contest@trendyent.com[/email]!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 5/16/12

    May 16th, 2012 by

    Our towers were laying waste to the enemy when the crystal shattered.

    Wyverns from the northern Karathiki horizon swooped past our defenses, destroying the crystal and dashing our hopes of beating IceArrow and the rest of Red Team. Defeat left us hungry for a rematch. Basking in their victory, the glowing champions accepted our challenge. But we were prepared.

    Last Friday marked the beginning of Trendy Friday Fun, our new weekly event. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST, join us for a good fight and a good laugh. If you aren’t able to join us in battle, you can watch us and ask questions on our live stream.

    Summoner: From Paper to Playing Field

    On May 23, players will wield the Summoner’s talents to summon minions and defend crystals from a new perspective. Being a curious fellow, I wanted to know more about the process of bringing the Summoner from concept to completion. I asked our lead developer and company president, Jeremy Stieglitz, and our lead character artist, Jerome Pourchier, to talk about the process of bringing the Summoner to life.

    The Summoner marks a change in how our fans are going to play Dungeon Defenders. What inspired you to add a character who brings RTS elements to the game?

    Jeremy: “On an intellectual level, I wanted to give players more of a personal sense of interacting with their Defenses — in this case, Minions — and also open the game up to tactical micro-management for players who were so inclined. But on an emotional level, I just really wanted to run around the battlefield with my goon squad of Dark Elf Warrior minions and tear stuff up — and yes, a Summoner can order his units to follow other Heroes.”

    When building a new concept for a character, where do you begin?

    Jeremy: “We begin by looking at the gameplay systems DunDef currently has, what new mechanics we’d like it to have, and what we can add that fits in with the essential Defense-oriented design of the game. That’s a dry way of saying, we think about what new fun we can have without breaking anything. *laughs*

    Once we have a gameplay concept nailed down, which usually comes along with some rough visual idea for the hero in question, we pass it onto the concept art team to give it life.”

    Jerome: “Well, the trick when designing a character for Dungeon Defenders is to keep it very generic, similar to general Western cultural understanding, but in the same time trying to add this little thing that makes the character instantly recognizable as a DD universe character. In this particular case, I stayed pretty close to the regular cloaked wizard, adding some elvish-looking ornament to his outfit to increase his presence.”

    Has anything changed between the original idea for the character and the current implementation?

    Jerome: “We don’t have too much time to spend on iterating for a character, but for this one I did four very different rough sketches: a hunchback, a small-and-fat one, an average one and a thin-and-tall one. The silhouette was very important to make a clear distinction between him and the Apprentice, so I went with the tall one. At the very end of the concept step, we realized that the spiky shape of the cloak wasn’t interesting enough, so we decide to let it fall on his back.”

    Jeremy: “Yeah, originally we were debating having the Summoner use two Monk weapons. But then we looked at the Barbarian, which is a DPS hero class, and determined it’d be nice to make a character that was the opposite of direct hack-and-slash. Thus we decided to give the Summoner two Pets instead of Weapons. Sure, you could still bring two DPS Pets along and let them have at it, but you also could equip two Guardians of different Types, or two Fairies, etc… the strategic possibilities are very interesting.”

    Jerome, not only did you create the visual concept for the Summoner, but you created the in-game model for the character, as well. Was there anything unique about this process with the Summoner?

    Jerome: “Haha… Probably removing his legs at the very end. Making a character with a long dress walk is always a bit tricky since the bottom of the dress is stretched weirdly. In that case, it was a problem, so we decided to remove the feet and made him hover. After that it was a lot easier for Alex, our lead animator, to handle him.”

    What was your proudest moment when creating the Summoner?

    Jeremy: “The best moment was when we realized that the unit-command mechanics were so in-depth that we could go ahead and create a full-on RTS mode for the Summoner, called Overlord Mode, complete with a top-down camera and Warcraft-style drag-select and right-click ordering mechanics. It was an exciting thing to see the core Dungeon Defenders gameplay reinvented in such a fun new way, so we added two new Achievements for it as well!”

    Jerome: “Probably once the line of the concept was done and tweaked. It’s like taking a huge breath and seeing all the ideas you got in mind mixed together on the screen in a nice way.”

    Is there anything else you’d like to share about creating the Summoner?

    Jeremy: “We think the Summoner is the most innovative Hero yet and is going to totally change the gameplay dynamic for players who master him. If you love Real Time Strategy or squad-based tactics games, this is the Hero for you. It’s going to be really exciting to see the community’s new strategies in the coming weeks, as this bold new way of playing is unveiled!”

    Jerome: “Just a secret. The female outfit is a bit more … devil.”

    If you’re interested in watching the Summoner in action, be sure to stop by our Summoner Sneak Peek next Tuesday! We’ll be streaming gameplay and giving out prizes on our Twitch account. Our beta team will be hosting various sneak peek lobbies for you to join, too. We’ll have more details next week.

    On the horizon after the Summoner, we have a new mission pack coming to you set in the Talay Mining Complex, an unstable volcanic region of Etheria rich in minerals. We’ll reveal more details about what you can expect in this unique 6-player mission next week!

    Console News Updates

    This week was a busy time for our console players. The third Shards DLC released on PSN US and XBLA, with PSN EU getting the content next week on May 23. Shards 4 will be a particularly exciting time for console players. Around its release, we will be introducing a new difficulty mode that will challenge even the most hardened console player. This mode won’t be quite as devilish as Nightmare mode, but it will give our fans something new to sink their teeth into. We’ll have more details as we get closer to the launch of Shards 4.

    Map Contest Spotlight: “Kings Valley” by Nexus


    Map Name: Kings Valley
    Author: Nexus
    Game Type: Crystal Defense
    Player Count: 4+
    Objective: Defend the Crystals at 4 unique locations.

    We’re continuing our spotlight of the work-in-progress contest maps with “Kings Valley” by Nexus. This week, we decided to mix things up a little. As you can see above, our beta team created a video walkthrough of the work-in-progress Kings Valley. But that’s not all! Skott and Kayd from the beta team, along with Laura (LauraWantsACow) and myself, interviewed Nexus about the process of creating the map, his inspiration for it and what you can expect to see from the map in the coming weeks. He also shared a few wise words about using the DDDK. Click the link below to check it out!

    Map Contest Podcast: Kings Valley (12.6 MB)
    Download Here (Right-click, Save As)

    Remember, you have until June 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST to submit your completed maps to [email]contest@trendyent.com[/email]!

    Beta Team Update: 5/16/12

    We’ve been taking the Summoner for a spin with the beta team! Having a character that basically plays RTS style in a tower-defense game is a bit weird, and we’re still adjusting to the concept. Lots of numbers are getting tweaked for balance, so we can’t provide any firm comments in that direction. Instead, we’re looking into a few of the more interesting questions we’ve asked and answered.

    1. Does he work with a gamepad? Yes. A couple of fine points are being worked on here, but they’ll be sorted before release.

    2. Does having access to two pets make any bosses ridiculously easy? No. His HP scaling is not as good as a monk’s, thus making him a little fragile compared to other boss-slaying options.

    3. How do summons interact with NM creatures? Being able to turn and shoot in any direction is good against Spiders and Djinn. Moving back into place automatically is helpful against Sharken.

    4. If I am in Overlord Mode (the one where your hero is in top-down view and not on the map) with a genie, and a reflect wall bounces a projectile and hits something, will I get mana (if I am the player that summoned the wall)? No. The genie’s ability is in part linked to its ability to do the mana gain animation. No animation, no mana.



    Code Drop Tuesday

    We tasked our fans on Twitter to draw an enemy creature using MS Paint or Paintbrush. Here were our five favorites!


    Courtesy of @kiwitomato


    Courtesy of @CipeTheEpic


    Courtesy of @TerasMinas


    Courtesy of @DemonicChocobo


    Courtesy of @migueenando



    Community Calendar

    [PS3] Underwater War

    Dates: May 18 to 20
    Hosts: Dark_AssazinZ
    Description:
    To celebrate the new release of Aquanos on PS3 on the 15th, I am hosting an event to all gamers who have purchased the map by the 19th. The event is on Aquanos Hard. All levels are welcome (although a level near 70+ is HIGHLY recommended).

    The rules of this event are as follows:
    - Only 50 defense units are allowed
    - Only Blockades allowed (spike blockade, bouncer blockade, slice & dice blockade and magic blockade)

    I haven’t finished with this event setup yet, and I will supply you with more information as the map comes out and I check my times.

    [PS3] Etheria’s Super Events — Super Totems!

    Dates: May 18 to 20
    Hosts: Classic22 (event coordinator), CaptBoxershorts, TitoDaddy, Raknar2011, Flaming_cows, Thedarkcrucible, Uprisinq, Gashen-Sai, Deathdealer1877, xNoxONEx
    Description:
    - Challenge Map: Monster Fest
    - Difficulty: Hard
    - Huntress and Apprentice NOT ALLOWED
    - The host will place 3 Slice’n'Dice Towers marked on these three spots on the >>>MAP<<<, from there each participant will have to stay on top of the Slice'n'Dice until the game is over. Fall off, or get knocked off will render you useless for the rest of the game, you may run to the other towers so you don't waste valuable lives.
    - You must not attack if you fall off or get knocked off. Your pet will still be usable.
    - To win, one person on your team must remain until wave 8.
    - You may build defences whilst on your Slice'n'Dice only.
    - If your Slice'n'Dice is destroyed, you must follow the fall off procedures.
    - The host may help at their discretion. They will only build the defenses outlined on the map. The host will avoid being killed or pulling aggro on the mobs, that's only fair
    Sign-Up Thread: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?61907-PS3-quot-Etheria-s-Super-Events-quot-Week-3-Sign-Up


    [360] TeamLEGIT Summer Events — Second Event

    For more details, visit the team’s thread.

    If you have an awesome event you’d like to share with the world, click the Add New Event button on the Calendar page. Be sure to include PC, 360 or PS3 in the title of your event, a brief description of the event and the times you’ll be hosting. We might spotlight your event in a future Digest!

    Screenshots of the Week


    Courtesy of ludda1


    Courtesy of MiniMinhMo


    Courtesy of Gigazelle

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 5/9/12

    May 9th, 2012 by

    Around the corner of our L-shaped office, you’ll meet our two level designers, one on each side of the hallway.

    To the left, you’ll find Morgan Roberts. His office is a technophile’s wet dream. Two glowing electron tubes and four monitors wash over the room like a futuristic rave club. To get into his office, you’ll need to bypass the fingerprint scanner on his door handle. On the other side is Ben Burkart (known around here as EvilMrFrank). Ben has the privilege of having the comfiest couch at Trendy — a privilege earned by using his own money. My opportunities to speak with Ben are few and far between, but to see him without a warm smile is rare.

    With the impending release of Shards 3 on the horizon for PSN US players (May 15), I asked Ben to reminisce about the design process of Aquanos.

    Where did the idea for Aquanos come from?

    Jeremy Stieglitz originally came to me with the idea of an Atlantis-themed map. It was a good break from the regular fantasy environments and also took a lot more research to figure out how this environment should feel and work. Although the idea for the map was heavily inspired by Atlantis, we didn’t want to create a straight copy of the Greek civilization/architecture. We decided to give it its own unique style — more stylized and fantasy feeling while keeping the underwater idea. The map was to be a city deep under the ocean, and so we had to make it feel as if it naturally fit this idea and made sense.

    What was your process in designing the layout of the map?

    I first had to figure out the architectural style the level would have to better know how I was going to layout the level. It was important to figure out not only the architectural style but also what elements the level would have such as rocks, how the water boundaries would be handled, etc. After the initial planning, the art team created a modular set for the buildings and rocks, which I used to create much of the actual layout. The biggest thing was creating an environment that felt fresh, fun, and kept people wanting to explore.

    What were the challenges of designing an underwater map?

    The biggest challenge we encountered was making the level truly feel like a city underwater that was actually inhabited. We didn’t want the Aquanos level to feel abandoned. It was meant to be a mythical place trapped beneath the ocean still inhabited by the people who created it (as well as various sea creatures).

    Are there any Easter eggs in the map that nobody has found yet?

    There aren’t really any Easter eggs in the map, but there are lots of interesting little critters around the map, some very hard to spot. The schools of fish swimming by the level are the same smiling fish that are found swimming about the small puddles in the Mistymire Forest.

    What can fans look forward to in Shards 4 (Sky City)?

    Sky City is one of the most dynamic/interesting environments yet. Sky City really takes the dynamic environment feeling to a whole new level, definitely a lot of fun for anyone looking for something fresh. There are a lot of unique gameplay elements the map brings that I think people will really enjoy.

    One more question: For the love of all that is holy, what is that thing flying around in Sky o’ Love?

    This is what happens when goblins spend too much time in the Sky o’ Love. Let’s just say the teddy under the bridge has a naughty little secret.

    Summoner: Abilities and Release Date

    The Summoner’s RTS mechanics represent our biggest gameplay evolution to date. Entering Overlord mode, players will gaze down upon the field of battle and move minions like chess pieces. Each minion has a wide variety of stances to defend positions and seek out threats.

    While the Summoner cannot wield weapons, he is not without powers.

    The first of his abilities is Flash Heal. When activated, the Summoner can send a wave of healing ethereal energy to his trusty minions and to nearby defenses. When in Overlord mode, this power only affects his minions.

    The second ability is Phase Shift, which transports him to the Crystalline Dimension and renders him immaterial in the physical world. He’ll be able to move through objects on the battlefield, enemies will not target him nor be able to damage him, and the power does not consume mana. While he can issue orders and use tower-related abilities, his pets can’t attack or collect mana when in this mode. This will be the go-to ability when using Overlord mode.

    There was some confusion last week over the use of the word pets. The Summoner can equip two pets (guardians, chickens, etc.). You’ll be able to summon more than two minions.

    Experience the next evolution for yourself when the Summoner arrives May 23.

    Beta Team Update: 5/9/12

    The Dungeon Defenders Map Contest is still ongoing! Maps need to be submitted before June 21. To give you an idea of what kind of zany stuff you can do using the Dungeon Defenders Development Kit, the video portion of the beta team has put together a short video for you!

    As you can see, we’ve cultivated a few talented video staff for these kinds of projects. If shooting video of Dungeon Defenders and editing it is something you aspire to do, the team is looking for a few more members. We’re looking for candidates with high-end computers and experience in video recording. If you think you fit the bill, please email us at [email]betatesters@trendyent.com[/email] with the words “video team” in the title! Please include your video experience and computer specifications.

    Not much more from the team for you this week. Most of us have spent the week catching up on our ranked accounts playing through the new content on live. Look for our spot next week where we’ll get a chance to tell you a little bit more about… something awesome. :-D

    Map Contest Spotlight: The Manor

    Starting this week, we’re going to take a look at the work-in-progress maps for our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. To kick things off, we’re taking a look at The Manor by Wes1180. It’s still in the early stages of development, but we like where it’s going.

    Map Name: The Manor

    Author: Wes1180

    Gametype: Crystal Defense

    Player Count: 4 (possibly 6)

    Objective: Defend the 3 crystals

    Description: “It is a manor and features the main room of the manor and its garden. I have a few screenshots of it so far. It is not yet functional as it does not have the spawns working yet (doing that now) and will put a download up once that is sorted out. When this map is finished I will make a plaque with the names of everyone who has helped on. And I will put it in the map.”

    Head on over to Wes1180′s thread to offer your feedback!

    If you’re working on a map for the contest, be sure to post about it in our Contest Discussion forum. We’ll be sure to feature your map in an upcoming Digest!

    Code Drop Tuesdays

    This week, we asked our fans to use the new Freelook Spectator camera to take their best scenic Dungeon Defenders screenshot. Here are the favorites from this week!


    Courtesy of @Cubey2019


    Courtesy of @ebolloquial


    Courtesy of @ElectricE1

    Community Calendar

    [PS3] Etheria’s Super Events — Protect and Serve

    Dates: May 11 to 13
    Hosts: Classic22 (event coordinator), CaptBoxershorts, TitoDaddy, Raknar2011, Flaming_cows, Thedarkcrucible, Uprisinq, Gashen-Sai, Deathdealer1877, xNoxONEx
    Description:
    - Challenge Map: Chicken
    - Difficulty: Insane
    - Host will have no equipment on (won’t heal either), you will have to protect the host at all times.
    - Host will stand in one of the marked position on this >>>MAP<<< during combat. They will not move, unless they are killed, in which they will move back to their position.
    - You must only build defences within the green areas marked by the ensnare auras marked on the above map. Failure to do so will make the host kamikaze.
    - Maximum of 2 Huntresses (although I'll hint that there are other classes that make this easier)
    - You must complete up to the last wave minimum to win. (this may be changed)
    - No restrictions on pets or weapons or setup.
    - Don't forget about the crystals
    Sign-Up Here: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?59885-PSN-Event-Sign-Up-Week-2



    [360] TeamLEGIT Summer Events — First Event

    Date: May 12
    Hosts: WarpedReality (Event Coordinator), CKGxJay (Head Host), ID SMURF THAT (Head Tester), Axl DS (Mod Hunter), K1NG doom, Dogmax12, Twinklefarytutu (Tester), XGC UnholyCries (Tester), UnarmedReaper07 (Mini Event Host), xBG Montage x (Mini Event Host)
    Time: 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. CST
    Description: No description will be released before the first event.
    Sign-Up Here: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?59032-360-TeamLEGIT-Summer-Events



    [PS3] Junior Judge Event

    Date: May 12
    Hosts: AsTrO_Shootz, DJET717
    Time: 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. EST
    Description: I am overstocked on Junior Judges, so I’m gonna do an event to give away some of them. The event is The Summit without towers on Insane. I will choose whether or not if you can build something depending on your attitude toward me, most likely auras and traps I will allow.
    Sign-Up Here: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?60643-Junior-Judge-Event-(PS3)


    If you have an awesome event you’d like to share with the world, click the Add New Event button on the Calendar page. Be sure to include PC, 360 or PS3 in the title of your event, a brief description of the event and the times you’ll be hosting. We might spotlight your event in a future Digest!

    Screenshots of the Week


    Courtesy of MiniMinhMo


    Courtesy of Mathew Ng


    Courtesy of MalReynolds

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    In our usual glut of junk mail last week, we received several mysterious packages. Three of them were labeled for three individuals, and the fourth was simply labeled Trendy. Using a time-honored technique known as the Car Key Thrust, we ripped through the tape and peeled back the cardboard flaps. Inside, we found a tin of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and hefty cookie cakes for our gluttonous enjoyment.


    Not pictured: the third delicious cake

    For knowing the secret to our hearts, and more importantly, for making us feel validated in our efforts, we’d like to give our warmest thanks to Junbao. You truly are the best around. Nothing’s ever going to keep you down. We won’t let it.

    Until next time,
    Hitmon

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 5/2/12

    May 2nd, 2012 by

    Comic book movies are serious business at Trendy.

    As I write this, our inner-office chat is debating the worst superhero movie. Batman and Robin? Superman IV? For my money, nothing tops Superhero Movie. Yes, it counts. I’m not having this argument again.

    But while we’re focusing on the negatives, a beacon of light shines on the horizon: The Avengers. We didn’t believe the Avengers movie would actually happen when we were working on Dungeon Defenders, so we peppered references to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes throughout Etheria. (Think about it: How likely was it that a string of big-budget movies starring A-list stars would lead into one major crossover movie without falling through? Sadly, not all of the actors made the cut for The Avengers. For shame, Hollywood. For shame.)

    Of course, great things are on the horizon for you, fellow Defenders. While we can’t share them all right now, we can take a quick peek into the portal.

    Summoner

    The Summoner is the next exciting hero class for Dungeon Defenders. He does not use weapons, but he can summon TWO pets to accompany him into battle.

    The Summoner can call upon the following creep types (in uber-powered Crystalline variants) for a cost in Defense Units: Orcs, Archers, Warriors, Mages, Spiders and Ogres. These pets can be upgraded and buffed as with any Defense.

    In addition to commanding his units on the field, the Summoner can leave the field of battle entirely to enter a full-on RTS mode where he is able to drag-select units and issue them a variety of commands, such as:

    - Hold Position Defensive
    - Hold Position Aggressive
    - Move Defensive
    - Move Aggressive
    - Attack Target
    - Follow Target (Me or any other allied target)

    The Summoner has two innovative Hero abilities. What are they? That’s a good question — one that will be answered before the Summoner arrives this month.

    Console News Updates

    Shards 3 is currently in certification for PSN EU and XBLA, while Shards 3 is still on track to release on May 15 for PSN US fans. Along with Shards 3, the second patch to fix the spider_mismatch error for PSN EU is in certification, too. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

    Easter is Over


    Photo courtesy of meancat5

    Sadly, our egg-celent Easter event has come to an end. While the eggs have stopped dropping, the Squire bunny costume and the Mega Chicken will continue to unlock for those who have the appropriate amount of small and humongous eggs. (24 small eggs and 36 humongous eggs, respectively.) You can still find eggs floating around in player shops should you need a few more to complete your sets!

    Costume Contest Winning Hero

    Last week, we opened the polls for you to choose which hero would receive a new costume in an upcoming map pack. The votes have been tallied, and the winning hero is — the Apprentice! We’ll make sure the well-costumed mage gets an outfit worthy of the occasion.

    Free DunDef for IGN Prime Members

    Our friends at IGN are giving away free copies of our game to IGN Prime members. If you’re a Prime member, what are you waiting for? Click here and get your copy today!

    Free Stuff from the Wiki

    The fantastic people at the Dungeon Defenders Wiki are giving away free DLC codes to people who submit guides! And this isn’t limited to our PC fans. Console users are encouraged to submit guides, too! (Console fans will earn Microsoft Points or PlayStation Network Cards for their efforts.)

    If you’ve noticed a gap in the Wiki’s database that you think you could fill, send them a guide and get free stuff! It’s a win-win!

    Defenders Store Update


    Photo courtesy of Melvin0108

    The lovely Maydie has once again updated the Defenders Store! Now you can search the site for Accessories and Aquanos items. Head on over and complete the look.

    Beta Team Update: 5/2/12

    After each Shard release, there is often a small calm in the storm that is beta testing. Our relative calm has been filled with reporting bugs from the past and creating the video for the map contest.

    Recently, some of the backlog of game-related issues has been worked on. One of the best places you can comment on these issues is this forum: Report a Game Issue. It’s intended for definitive issues like mapping/geometry issues. Please don’t forget it’s there!

    Currently, there is a mapping contest going on, and the grand prize winner can bring home $1,000 plus the bragging rights of having their map touched up by and released as DLC to players of Dungeon Defenders. We’ve been watching things develop over the last few weeks, and it’s not at all too late to get in on the action. Don’t forget that anything goes when you’re using the DDDK. We encourage anyone and everyone with a good idea to share, a creative notion to pursue, or just a downright silly map that they think will be a lot of fun to go ahead and enter. The deadline is in about six weeks, so while it’s steadily getting closer, don’t let that dissuade you from throwing your entry in.

    The suggestion topics for the upcoming weeks will be focusing on Aquanos. As a Shard has many parts to it, we’ll focus on topics bit by bit. This week, we want to know what you think about the map, the boss, and the challenge. (In following weeks, we’ll want feedback on Sharken and Survival, so please hold those for the appropriate week!) PM suggestions to “Official Beta Test Group” using the words AQUA MAP in the title.

    Code Drop Tuesdays

    This week, we asked our fans on Twitter to sing us a song about Dungeon Defenders. These three brave souls below won our game and every DLC available so far, along with our hearts.

    DDsongFinal” by @ElectricE1

    “A Day in the Life of Dungeon Defenders” by @OliverSingleto1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fHhrzL79CHA

    “Brave Squire No-Pants” by @Zorpix_Fang

    Be sure to follow our Twitter for a new contest next Tuesday!

    Community Calendar

    [PC] Map Testing — The Undercroft

    Date: May 4
    Host: Immortal-D
    Time: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST
    Description: I’d like to see what a full group can do against our first contest entry. Server name will be “Contest Maps,” and you can download here: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?57854-WIP-MAP-The-Forsaken-Undercroft. Hope to see you all there!

    [PSN] Etheria’s Super Events — High Five for Bowling

    Dates: May 4 to May 6
    Hosts: Classic22 (event coordinator), CaptBoxershorts, TitoDaddy, Raknar2011, Flaming_cows, Thedarkcrucible, Uprisinq, Gashen-Sai, Deathdealer1877, xNoxONEx
    Description:
    - Squires only (you can switch between DPS and Tower based squires as much as you like)
    - Ogre Crush
    - Difficulty: Hard
    - Bowling Ball turrets only (host can place bouncers/blockades to fill DU)
    - You must complete the map to be rewarded
    - You can DPS the ogres
    - Level 1 High Fives are the only weapon allowed
    - Teamwork will be needed
    - Use of Pets is encouraged
    Link to Sign-Up Thread: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?58334-PSN-Etheria-s-Super-Events-Sign-Up-Here

    If you have an awesome event you’d like to share with the world, click the Add New Event button on the Calendar page. Be sure to include PC, 360 or PS3 in the title of your event, a brief description of the event and the times you’ll be hosting. We might spotlight your event in a future Digest!

    Screenshots of the Week


    Photo courtesy of Darth [SW]


    Photo courtesy of The Angel Havoc


    Photo courtesy of Pugnacious

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    Keep an eye out for our next Meet the Team later this week. This time, TrendyGator will be focusing on our lead level designer, Morgan Roberts. Next week, we’re going to start spotlighting some of the work-in-progress maps for the Dungeon Defenders Map Contest. The entries posted so far are really promising! If you’re working on a map and you’d like to see it in our Digests, be sure to post it in the Contest forum!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 4/25/12

    April 25th, 2012 by

    It has been prophesied that a man wearing flannel will come to the aid of his peers when they need him most. Written in the stars and passed through generations, this prophecy became legend, legend became myth.

    Until yesterday.

    Rows of caffeinated beverages. Boxes of ice cream treats. For one day, the people in a small gaming studio in Gainesville, Florida, found peace on Earth.

    And so Fridge Day was formed. But the people agreed Fridge Day was too important to be experienced only once a year. It shall become a regular event, helping to achieve high employee satisfaction and reduce the number of inner-office Nerf injuries.

    As we enjoy our regular day of treats, soon, you will be, too.

    Aquanos Awaits

    Coming out tomorrow on Steam (console news below), our third Shards is shaping up to be our best Shards release yet! But as you stand before the Great Sea, we want you to be prepared for what awaits you in the murky depths.

    Twelve waves. Three crystals. Set up and survive the onslaught of Sharken and Fish-Wyverns to reach the new boss, the Kraken. There are troves of treasure to be found under the sea, including new loot…

    …and a new costume (and pet!)

    The third Shards challenge mission, Riddle of the Deep, will require teamwork in order to succeed. It’s up to the puzzle solver, a randomly chosen defender, to enter the portal in the middle of the map and solve the puzzle to stop the water from rising.

    For our PC fans, we’re introducing the Shipwreck Ruins Monsterfest. Grab seven friends and fend off waves of enemies before the time runs out. Keep an eye out for the Fish Wyverns!

    Curious to see how everything looks in-game and in motion? Our beta team has put together an in-depth video of the next Shards! Take a look:

    Console News

    Good news, PSN US fans! Shards Part 3 will be coming out May 15. We’ll keep everyone updated as we hear back about the PSN EU and XBLA release dates.

    This Thursday, Shards Part 2 is coming out on XBLA with the new console patch. You should be able to fire up your 360s sometime in the early afternoon EST and experience the new content for yourself.

    Accessories

    Along with the Shards PC release, our new accessory system comes out tomorrow! There are 62 accessories scattered throughout the game for you to discover.

    Masks, Bracers, and Brooches are usable by everyone and boost your stats. They come in a variety of randomized colors. You can equip one of each, and upgrade and sell them. They are all pretty rare, but there are extremely rare versions that you might only find on the hardest difficulties under lucky conditions.

    Shields are only usable by Squire and Countess, and they add Damage Resistance Percentages in addition to having stat boosts.

    More accessory styles will be added in the future. Collect them all to fully customize your team of heroes!

    Vote for the Next Costume!

    We’re putting the next costume to a vote. Help us choose which hero will receive a new skin in an upcoming map pack! You can vote on the poll here and on our Facebook poll. You have until this Friday at 7 p.m. EST to vote!

    Beta Team Update: 4/25/12

    While dusting off our hands from a very successful feature release (the ability to load-up survival from any wave!), we received another HUGE testing task — Shards 3! Kraken, Sharken and Riddles, oh my!

    Aquanos is by far the most beautiful map released so far. The art style is great, there is a variety of sea animals you can pet for mana and the portals look awesome. The Riddle of the Deep Challenge also gives additional depth to an already brilliantly laid out map.

    What everyone really wants to hear about are the Sharken, right? Just like the previous Nightmare monsters, players are going to have to adjust their strategies accordingly. We like to think of them as Running Backs. Once they start charging, they don’t stop until they get to their goal (your crystal). So you gotta hit them early and hit them hard!

    Given our recent testing adventures, we still have some backlog in the inbox! If you haven’t received a reply, it doesn’t mean we don’t like you, it just means we were a little busy! We’ll certainly be sending you a reply. We normally do two week topics, and we have a solid idea what next weeks topic is. So, we’ll be extending the Series EV topic a little more! PM suggestions to “Official Beta Test Group” using the words SERIES EV in the title.


    Running around with a turret attached to your head can put a real kink in your neck!

    We also hope that you enjoy our latest installment of the Dungeon Defenders Beta Team Sneak Peek! We are looking for more people to contribute specifically to our video projects, so if you’ve got a high-end computer, experience recording video and think you can serve as a cameraman for us, please email us at [email]betatesters@trendyent.com[/email] with the words “video team” in the title! We’d love to get about 5-6 new members, so if you feel you’re up to the job, then throw your hat….. I mean mask, into the ring!

    Meet the Team: Alex Fundora (Lead Animator)

    In the first part of our new Meet the Team series, community intern, Matt (known around these parts as TrendyGator), interviewed Alex Fundora, lead animator at Trendy Entertainment, to discuss his job, how he began working in the video game industry and more. Check it out!

    Code Drop Tuesdays

    This week, we asked our fans on our Twitter to submit a photo of their heroes for a chance to win a Series EV Steam code. Here are this week’s winners:


    Courtesy of @azuvidexus


    Courtesy of @AZNguyen


    Courtesy of @DakotaJehle

    We hope you have a song in your heart for next Tuesday’s contest.

    Community Calendar

    [360] Robot Wars

    Date: 5/1/12
    Host: Dredd
    Description: Tuesday’s event is called “aBOTination”. It will take place in the “Throne Room” on Insane. The only defenses a player can use are blockades (Spike blockades and Magic barriers.) Players can attack throughout the match except when the boss appears. When the Boss appears, players cannot attack at all, but they can place down attack towers (attack towers can only be placed when the Boss appears). Also, pets can attack. Robot pets only (Steam robot, Laser robot and Gemini).
    Link to Thread: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?54351-360-quot-The-Robot-Wars-quot-Events!

    [PC] Test Your Might (Skill-based PvP)

    Date: 4/27/12
    Host: Immortal-D
    Description: Friday night, I will be hosting various PvP maps. The catch is you fight naked. I will give loots and tokens to the winners, and maybe a special prize for whomever can kill me the most. Server name will be “Calendar Party.” All are welcome, hope to see you there!

    If you have an awesome event you’d like to share with the world, click the Add New Event button on the Calendar page. Be sure to include PC, 360 or PS3 in the title of your event, a brief description of the event and the times you’ll be hosting. We might spotlight your event in a future Digest!

    Screenshots of the Week

    There were too many good screenshots, so I broke down and included five this week. Keep up the great work, gang!


    Photo courtesy of Mathew Ng


    Photo courtesy of Wrathofgods


    Photo courtesy of Levijatan


    Photo courtesy of dr_rivan


    Photo courtesy of Darkie

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    Featured Mod: Metal Sonic

    On our forums, Kingoftheboos has kept us updated on a Metal Sonic model for the Monk that he’s been working on. The latest update was posted yesterday, which you can see below.

    We can’t wait to see your next update!

    And to everyone who is working on a map for our Dungeon Defenders Map Contest, be sure to show off your work-in-progress maps here!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan


    Meet the Trendy Team: Alex Fundora

    April 25th, 2012 by

    In the first part of a new behind-the-scenes series, our intern, Matt Arnold, interviewed Alex Fundora, lead animator at Trendy Entertainment, to discuss his job, how he began working in the video game industry and more.

    Hey Alex, tell me a little about yourself.
    “Hey, my name is Alex Fundora, Lead Animator here at Trendy Entertainment. I’m 25 years old, was born in Buffalo, New York, but moved to Florida a few years later and lived here almost my whole life since. I received my BFA in Computer Animation at Digital Media Arts College in south Florida.”

    How long have you been an employee at Trendy Entertainment?
    “So far, I’ve been working with Trendy for about 2 years.”

    How did you get a job at Trendy?
    “I first discovered Trendy while browsing through some modding forums a few years ago. At the time, Trendy was working on a prototype version of the game which was originally titled ‘Dungeon Defense.’ It was a really fun concept for a game right from the start, so I quickly got in contact with Jeremy, the Creative Director, which eventually kickstarted some contract work.”

    Prior to working at Trendy, did you work at any other video game companies?
    “After a few months of contracting with Trendy, I made a full-time switch to a popular game studio known as Bethesda Game Studios. There, I was an animator for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. It was a great trip, though I quickly discovered that their type of work and games didn’t reflect my personal interests as much as I would have liked. So I got in contact with Jeremy again and was offered a full-time Lead Animator position back at Trendy, which I couldn’t refuse.”

    What is a typical “day in the life” for you at work?
    “I start the day off by riding our half-broken elevator up to the top floor of the building. The unrythmic jolting and noises inside the elevator gives you just the right kick to not need coffee in the morning. I then walk down a long hallway and pass many rooms which include: Public Relations, which many times houses a puppy or some animal that demands petting; the beta testers room for which I get to be jealous that they play videogames all day; the programmers room a.k.a. Mordor, which no artist enters even with a double-salary incentive; my Art Director Ben’s room, which I stop in every morning to tell him he’s a sexy beast; and then finally the artists’ room where I go to my desk a.k.a. The Valve Shrine (see picture). The rest of the day I usually stare out the window or sometimes do work.”

    As a lead animator, what are some specific contributions you have made to Dungeon Defenders?
    “I have my hand in just about everything animated for the game including characters, world assets, in-game cutscenes and promotional cinematics.”

    What is your proudest moment from working at Trendy?
    “My proudest moment was when the full Dungeon Defenders game was finally released for console and PC, knowing that everything that I was responsible for was technically flush and artistically interesting.”

    What are some of the challenges you have experienced getting in and staying in the video game industry?
    “The most difficult detail was figuring out how to develop my portfolio for job hunting. Different studios are looking to fill different types of animation jobs, so developing a reel that covered a broad spectrum of animation was the key. I find that many students are too confident that they know exactly what they want to do and develop a very narrow portfolio … when entering the industry. This can make finding work difficult, even for the talented. Once here, it is a lot easier to focus on something more specific.”

    Do you prefer to animate 2D or 3D art and why?
    “I really enjoy the appeal and freedoms from traditional animation, though with digital animation, it allows the animator to focus more on the shot and performance of the character and not worry about the high demands of technical consistency that would be required with 2D.”

    What are some of the pros and cons with using the Unreal Engine 3?
    “Working with Unreal Engine 3 is amazing. It has a very straight forward design which makes working with new content fast and easy. The engine also has a very powerful and dynamic cinematics department which helps fuse ambition for us animators. The only con from working with the Unreal Engine is that I can’t keep up with all of its consistently awesome updates from Epic Games.”

    Who is your favorite hero in Dungeon Defenders?
    “My favorite hero is definitely the Huntress. Her traps which have solid utility and damage coupled with some evasion perks make her a fun and effective teammate.”

    Outside of Dungeon Defenders, what are some other games you enjoy playing?
    “It is no secret here at Trendy that I am a huge follower of Valve Software. I’ve been playing their titles for over half of my lifetime so far and are what initially sparked my interest in game development, which eventually led to my career as an animator. Nowadays, I play lots of Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2. Brownie points for Grand Theft Auto, Trine and Torchlight.”

    What advice do you have for someone interested in being an animator in the gaming industry?
    “Not just for animation, but for any 3D discipline, it is very important to have a strong traditional art background. Even if drawing will never be applied on a practical level with your specific career choice, traditional art teaches you how to compose an idea without all the technical jargon. It is very important, so don’t let your sketchbooks collect dust.”

    Thank you for your time!


    DunDef Digest 4/19/12

    April 19th, 2012 by

    We’ve been watching you.

    We’ve seen our community raise mountains, sow gardens and make childhood daydreams come true. We’ve tried to spotlight your maps in our Digests, but for every gem we show here, many go undiscovered.

    Now, we’re offering a platform to show your talent to the world.

    And you might walk away $1,000 richer.

    Introducing our first ever Dungeon Defenders Map Contest! We’re looking for the best original PvE map to put into our Ranked mode.

    We’re asking people of all experiences to give it a shot. If you’ve never used our development kit, you can download it for free on the Steam marketplace. If you’re looking for a beginner’s tutorial, our kind and gracious leader Jeremy has written a handy how-to guide.

    Here’s the full breakdown of the prizes:

      1st place: Map inclusion into Dungeon Defenders for everyone to see/play, available in Ranked mode, $1,000 prize and a DunDef prize pack (TBD)
      2nd place: $500 and a DunDef prize pack (TBD)
      3rd place: $250 and a DunDef prize pack (TBD)
      4th place: DunDef prize pack (TBD)

    For full contest rules and submission guidelines, head on over to our new Map Contest subforum. While you’re there, you can post your work-in-progress maps! Invite people to comment on your newest iterations and let people test it before your final submission.

    You have from this day until June 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST to make your map and submit it to us.

    Console Patch/DLC Updates

    PSN EU fans, the wait is over! The second Shards DLC and console patch came out yesterday. Be sure to turn on your consoles and download the newest content! (If you need a reminder on what’s included in the patch, check out this thread.)

    Our XBLA patch and DLC are still in Microsoft’s certification process. Yesterday, it passed half of its certification (Compliance Testing). It now enters Functional Testing, which should complete this week or early next week and thus get us a release date (we’ll make sure it’s released ASAP when that happens). In short, we hope to have the definitive word on it in next week’s Digest.

    The PSN US patch, which includes the fix for the spider mismatch error and some preparatory work for Shards 3, is in Sony’s QA at this time. We’ve heard that you should have it within a week.

    Speaking of Shards 3…

    Shards 3 Release Date

    It’s time to roll back the curtain. The next Shards will arrive on Steam on April 26! (No word yet on the release date for consoles.) Experience the next chapter of our heroes’ journey. Discover exciting loot on our new campaign map, Aquanos. Solve the Riddle of the Deep. Join together for a new PC Uber Monster Fest! Defeat your friends, enemies and frenemies in a watery PvP arena. And go head-to-head against the new boss, the Kraken!

    Express Yourself

    Starting with Shards Part 3, accessory items will be making their way into Dungeon Defenders on Steam. These rare drops will boost your stats to a small extent. All classes can equip masks, but there will be class-specific accessories: Squire/Countess can equip Shields, Hunter/Huntress can equip Bracers and Adept/Apprentice can equip Hat Brooches. Collect them, trade them and use them to distinguish yourself among the legends of Etheria!

    New Reward: Jetpack Bounty Hunter

    By popular demand, we’ve added a Jetpacking version of the Bounty Hunter costume! To get it, you’ll need to earn the Transcendent Survivalist Achievement — an incredible long-term challenge for even the most hardened Defender. But those brave souls who earn the Jetpack Bounty Hunter will be able to show off their tremendous singular achievement in style!

    Community Calendar/New Events Subforum

    Now there’s a convenient place to see and share community events! The Community Calendar is your one-stop destination to advertise your Dungeon Defenders live streams, giveaways, PvP events and more. We might even pick some of them to spotlight in upcoming Digests.

    If you have an awesome event you’d like to share with the world, click the Add New Event button on the calendar page. Be sure to include PC, 360 or PS3 in the title of your event, and include a link to your event discussion thread in the description of the event. Each event will be moderated to keep the calendar spam-free.

    We’ve also created an events subforum to discuss your events. No more digging through stacks of forum threads! There’s also an off-topic events subforum so you and your fellow Defenders can team up and play other games, too! (Remember, the calendar is only for Dungeon Defenders-releated events.)

    Need an example for an event? How about one that’s happening this week…

    [PC Event] Hitmon’s Battle Royale

    Join me and a few of my co-people in competitive tower defense battle this Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. You must sign up for the event in this thread before 4 p.m. EST on Friday. Please provide a link to your Steam profile!

    We’ll be inviting four people per lobby — two teams of two with a Trendy representative on each side.

    Prizes: Each member of the winning team will get (2) 400m Mana Tokens.

    We’ll update our event thread with the Steam IDs from which you’ll be receiving invites.

    You’ll also want to bookmark this Google Doc. This is where we’ll keep a list of the people waiting to be invited. In order to promote fairness, we’ll be choosing names at random. You can also keep tabs on whether or not you’ve been invited.

    On Twitter

    Every Tuesday, we giveaway Steam codes to lucky fans on our Twitter page. This week, I asked people to draw their favorite hero from Dungeon Defenders to win a copy of the New Heroes DLC. Here’s the catch: They could only use MS Paint or Paintbrush. These were our winners this week:


    Courtesy of @theninjaben


    Courtesy of @CipeTheEpic


    Courtesy of @draykho

    And here are the honorable mentions:


    Courtesy of @A7X_Victim


    Courtesy of @TonyXEnd

    Be sure to follow our Twitter for giveaways and up-to-the-minute news!

    Meet the Team

    We’re going to start up a new series later this week. One of our community interns, Matt (TrendyGator), will be interviewing members of our team to discuss their contributions to the game and how they broke into the industry. Let us know if this is something that interests you!

    Beta Team Non-update

    We’re giving the beta team a pass on this week’s digest. This is the perfect moment to say how grateful we are for all of their hard work. Their dedication to help make our products stronger is humbling and inspiring. Keep up the great work!

    Screenshots of the Week

    This week’s screenshots of the week are brought to you by the letter A for Awesome.


    Photo courtesy of Armadillo of Dune


    Photo courtesy of Dr_Rivan


    Photo courtesy of Chris the Ranger

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    We end this week with another callout to Czokalapik’s Defense Layout, which now has its own sexy URL: ddplanner.com! Along with its new domain identity, the planner added Steam login integration to associate layouts with logins. Check it out!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 4/11/12

    April 11th, 2012 by

    And just like that, PAX East is over.

    We hope everyone who came out to the booth had a fantastic time! Seeing our fans tackle the new content was a blast. Shards 3 is still a little ways from release, so hopefully you enjoyed the sneak peek. Thanks to everyone, both new fans and old, who stopped by, picked up a controller and played our game. Your enthusiasm for the game was infectious. It was my first time meeting some of you in person, and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget.

    While at the expo, we got the chance to eat lunch with some of our fans. Talking with eveyone over steaks, burgers and DunDef secrets was a delight! We hope they had as much fun as we did, and we look forward to meeting more of you at future events.

    While Shards Part 3 was in the spotlight at the booth, we had some other goodies hidden for people to find. (Console fans, you can skip ahead to the Console Updates section of the digest.)

    New Mission: City in the Cliffs

    A few eagle-eyed fans at PAX spotted this content embedded in the menus. Introducing City in the Cliffs, a new map coming to Dungeon Defenders this week!

    This isolated Moraggan outpost has now become a warzone as the horde lays siege to its Eternia Crystals. City in the Cliffs is a full Campaign map that supports Survival, Mix and Pure Strategy Mode. Included with the map is the “Über Death From Above” challenge. And the best part? All of the above modes and missions support up to six Defenders! Rewards include a brand new Djinnlet Pet, four new weapons and… the new male costume for Series EV, the Bounty Hunter!

    City in the Cliffs will release this Friday for $1.99 on the Steam marketplace!

    New Hero Reveal: Summoner

    We reveal the next Hero to join your ranks, the Summoner! This visitor from beyond the crystalline void can raise and command an army to fight for him, RTS-style. He also has a formidable command of Pets, along with other special capabilities. More details in coming Digests!

    Console Updates

    On Tuesday, our PSN US fans downloaded the first console patch and second Shards DLC for Dungeon Defenders. After the patch installed, they were treated to higher weapon and gear upgrades, improved balance, a higher mana cap, greater Item Box inventory space and more!

    For our PSN EU fans, we’ve just heard back from SCEE, and it looks like you’ll be able to download the patch and Shards Part 2 DLC on April 18! The patch will release earlier in the day than the DLC to give everyone a chance to update before it’s released. As for our XBLA fans, we haven’t heard from our publisher as to when you can get your hands on this fresh content. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we’ll keep you updated as soon as we have the updated date.

    There was an unforeseen glitch with the PSN US patch that has hindered players from joining other lobbies. The dev team has checked, and this issue is not present in the XBLA and PSN SCEE versions. If you have encountered an error message regarding a Spider Mismatch issue, we are submitting a patch to fix the issue. The patch will also ready the game for some of the Eternia Shards 3 content.

    To help XBLA players with the wait, Dredd has decided to host additional events! His first event will begin tomorrow. Check out his thread for more information!

    Street Sharks

    Of course, the main attraction at PAX was Shards Part 3. Not only did we have the new map and mission playable, but all of the other DLC goodies were in the PAX build, including the new enemy — Sharkmen.

    PAX attendees experienced first-hand the terror of these ruthless sea creatures. Just when you think you have the perfect setup, the Sharkmen charge the playing field (literally). It’s up to your heroes’ might and magic to stop them from pushing aside your defenses and bolting straight to your crystals. Fend them off, and you may survive to see the new boss.

    Defender’s Armory – A New Dungeon Defenders Mobile App

    Once again, we’re constantly surprise at just how dedicated our fans are. Developed by Zulaxia (Random Icon) in cooperation with the Defender’s Store, Defender’s Armory is the first mobile application for the Steam version of Dungeon Defenders and, we’re told, will eventually host a slew of tools for our game!

    The tool available now in the app is the Loot Chest. The Loot Chest lets you browse the endless piles of equipment and pets on sale by your fellow players.

    Features:

    - Browse, filter and sort the hundreds of thousands of items listed for sale on TrendyNet
    - View item stats as any class. No need to try to remember which stat is which on each of your characters.

    Coming soon:

    - “Watch for similar” option on items. Like the particular stats on an item, but wish they were higher? This is for you.
    - Inventory system. Store what each of your characters is using, making it much easier to find those upgrades.
    - “Scan for upgrades” option. One hit wonder to look for item upgrades for any or all of your characters at once.

    You can find the app here for $1.99!

    Note: This is not an official Trendy product, though that doesn’t stop it from being awesome.

    (NSFW) Derpy Defenders

    Since this is NSFW we won’t embed it here, but if you’re of age we highly suggest you follow this link. This is a teaser for Bag Boyz new machinima series, Derpy Defenders. We think it’s pretty awesome, even if it’s not safe for (your) work.

    And… now we can never listen to those sound effects in the same way again.

    TV Tropes

    They really nailed some of these on the head here. Pmasher’s favorite:

    Demonic Spiders: Used to be Dark Elf Warriors, but now clearly replaced by actual spiders, which will web-stun you, then bite you to death. (or web-stun your towers, then bite them to death)”

    Hitmonchan’s favorite:

    Ms. Fanservice: The Huntress comes complete with a bared midriff, a rump-shaking dance, a hint of Jiggle Physics, and a dangerously low miniskirt.” Sorry, @DannyAraya!

    What are your favorites? If you have more, feel free to add them!

    Beta Team Update: 4/11/12

    It’s been a busy week for the beta testers! We’ve chased down Easter eggs, tested the new map (no, not *that* map), fought a spider queen every wave (this feature was removed), and gone through the lengthy process of verifying the huge 7.27 patch! The survival change everyone is looking forward to required additional testing and has been moved back. (The upcoming patch notes are located here.)

    Thank you to everyone who applied for our beta team over the weekend. We’ve gotten plenty of candidates, and we’ll be reviewing each email received. It will take us quite some time given the volume we received, so please be patient!

    We’ve also had a bit of backlog on our inbox, and for that we apologize. If you haven’t received a reply, it doesn’t mean we don’t like you, it just means we were a little busy! We’ll certainly be sending you a reply. As mentioned last week, the current community suggestions topic is a review of the Series EV. PM suggestions to “Official Beta Test Group” using the words SERIES EV in the title.


    What nightmares are made of.

    Screenshots of the Week

    Check out this week’s screenshots!



    Photos courtesy of Jowblob


    Photo courtesy of cynobyte


    Photo courtesy of the_evil_zombie_clown

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    We end this week’s digest with a look at Binarity Lab, a phenomenal fan-made map from TrookLue. (And if you like making maps, be sure to check back for next week’s digest. That’s all I can say for now.)

    Map Name: “Binarity Lab” (Version 1 + 2)

    Author: TrookLue

    Gametype: Endless PvE CoreDefense

    Players: 1-4

    Objective: “Sit down, and relax *jking, i created the map as a warm-up-exercise, before i started the ‘real work,’ wich makes me busy right now. This means, there are many incompleted things in this map and the objective is more to jump in and take a look at some cool stuff, instead of awaiting a great new challange. I wont change anything, as long as i didn’t finish my actual project, for quite a while (…at least. Its a damn big and detailed map).

    Sry, but feel free to use/change/modify or whatever u would like to do with it. As Trendy shared their stuff with us, i will also share mine. So far, thx for the great feedback @all!”

    Download link: Trook’s Binarity Labs

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    (A special thanks to GearsGator, pmasher and Augi for the PAX photos!)

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 4/4/12

    April 4th, 2012 by

    Eight months ago, I traveled to the mecca of gaming geekdom. It was there in Seattle, a city renowned for its music, that I no longer felt alone in my hobby.

    I was among my people.

    With more than 60,000 people present, PAX Prime focused on video games, tabletop games and the people who make them. Now its sister convention, PAX East 2012, is a few short days away.

    And as luck would have it, we’re going to be there.

    Trendy Entertainment is going to be living large at Booth 808 (Reverb Publishing). Joining me at the Reverb booth is our marketing director, Philip (pmasher), and one of our faithful interns, Matt (GearsGator). If you stop by, we’ll have some free codes for our recently announced Penny Arcade skins! (Available for purchase this Friday on the Steam marketplace.) Play as Tycho, Annarchy, Jim Darkmagic and Cardboard Tube Samurai from the popular online comic strip.


    Yes, you’ll be able to get an awesome cardboard tube to use with your Cardboard Tube Samurai.

    Plus, we’ll have some new content for you to dip your toes in.

    Play the Third Shards DLC at PAX!

    If you stop by our booth, you’ll be one of the first people outside of the studio to witness the next chapter of our heroes’ journey! We’ll have four stations set up to let you explore the lost city of Aquanos. Within the shrouded dome, brave a new boss battle, experience a new mission scenario and fight a dreadful new enemy.

    PC Easter Event

    Easter is approaching, and it wouldn’t be a proper holiday without a DunDef special event! Starting this Friday, we’re hosting a Dungeon Defenders Easter Egg Hunt! Eggs will be hidden throughout the game, and it’s up to you to discover how and where to find (or trade for) them!

    What’s your reward for this hunt? Meet the Squire bunny!

    You’ll have two weeks to find the eggs. (And between you and me, if you hunt down Mega Eggs, you’ll be in for an extra surprise. But I didn’t tell you that.)

    Complete the Look

    Accessorize your hero and stand out from the crowd. Don’t listen to Tyler. You are a beautiful and unique snowflake. While the full details of the system will be revealed in the coming weeks, we’ll go ahead and point out that they’re not purely cosmetic and that you will be able to acquire them throughout the main game.

    Series EV’s New Costume

    Since the first time you laid waste to the Old Ones’ minions as Series EV, you’ve been asking for a male costume. So for our male chauvinist EV fans, this one’s for you.

    Get your intergalactic badass on with the new ‘Bounty Hunter’ skin. This costume will be available in a new content pack next week. We’ll have more details then.

    ViciousXUSMC’s Series video


    ViciousXUSMC made an introductory Series EV video featuring some fantastic voiceover work. It reminded me of Penny Arcade’s Extra Credits videos. (We also made EC’s Games You Might Not Have Tried No. 3.)

    Beta Team Update: 4/3/12

    Hey, guys!

    Last week we got very few responses regarding how PvP should/could be revamped. As Hitmonchan said before, the amount of feedback given will determine the resources allocated to PvP. If you’d like to see Trendy focus on PvP in the future, please post your criticism and feedback in the PvP forums. If you’d like to see balanced loadouts or new forms of PvP gameplay, let them know! Trendy is keeping an eye on the forum, and if nobody posts there, they might pass on allocating more resources to PvP balancing and that sort of thing. You have a direct involvement in the future of DunDef. Don’t let it go to waste.

    With that said, I’m switching our weekly topic over to a review of the Series EV. If you’ve got a suggestion for DunDef’s newest hero, please send it to the Official Beta Test Group account. We’ll gather your responses and send them to the dev team for review.

    I’m also announcing that we’re looking for the following: 2-3 people interested in contributing to our video project and 3-4 new testers (PC preferred) with some kind of IT/UDK/QA experience. Please submit all inquiries of interest to [email]Betatesters@trendyent.com[/email].

    Best Regards,
    The Beta Team

    Screenshots of the Week

    Take a look at this week’s community screenshots!


    Courtesy of camerontheaussie


    Courtesy of Jowblob


    Courtesy of Arroyo

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    We end this week’s Digest with some sad news. Long-time Trendy employee Rob “DMFlex” Godwin is leaving our flock for other pastures. You might remember him from the Trendy Testers videos during the pre-launch media blitz. We’re going to miss you, buddy.

    In his stead, former Trendy employee Marc “Tsuda” Singer will be rejoining us! We can’t talk about what he’s working on at this moment, but we’re glad to have him back.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 3/28/12

    March 29th, 2012 by

    Believe me, you should savor these digests like a fine wine. Series trailer, console news updates, a new PvP mode — there’s almost too much information here.

    Almost.

    Let’s do this. Drink up!

    Prepare Yourself for the Series EV

    Rising from the depths of beta testing (…or Sky City!), the Series EV is almost here. Extendable defenses, tower buffs, projectile reflects — these elements are going to revamp strategies across the board.

    Earlier today, Joystiq revealed the official trailer for the EV. If you haven’t seen it, check it out:

    There were two large, unanswered questions about Series EV from last week: What are her abilities? And what weapons does she use?

    Series EV has two abilities: Holographic Decoy and Proton Charge Blast. Decoy projects a holographic replica that will attract and confuse enemies before detonating in their faces.

    Series can also consume massive amounts of mana to unleash a destructive Proton Charge Blast — the more mana you ingest, the longer the blast will last. (Check out last week’s Digest for more information on her defenses!)

    Series EV absorbs both Apprentice staffs and Huntress bows/guns in her A.R.C., switching between the two on the fly. For Hero Info purposes, she’s a dual-wielding class. She can carry two App Staffs, two Huntress weapons or one of each. And yes, she can put a Portal Gun in her memory bank and keep its portals open while she uses another weapon!

    Remember, the Series EV comes out tomorrow on Steam for $3.99. For one week only, you can pick her up on sale for $2.99!

    Series Sneak Peek

    If you’d like to get a sneak peek of the Series EV in action, our beta testers have put together an in-depth video looking at her defenses and abilities. Take a look:


    And as we speak, a few of our beta testers are running around in the fields of Ranked showing her off. Hop online and look for games titled Series EV Sneak Peek. Some of them have been gracious enough to host live streams of their gameplay. Click the links below and check ‘em out!

    http://www.twitch.tv/cr4zyb4st4rd

    http://www.own3d.tv/Alhanalem#/live/168552

    http://www.own3d.tv/live/1591

    http://www.own3d.tv/live/270809/Dr._Who

    http://www.twitch.tv/icearrow2

    Karathiki Competitive Tower Defense

    For some time, many in the community have felt that PvP isn’t relevant in Dungeon Defenders. Those words sting, but like everything else, we use them to help make our game better.

    Today, we’re proud to introduce the first attempt at a revamped PvP in Dungeon Defenders: Competitive Tower Defense! Compete with up to 6 heroes in the Karathiki Jungles to decide which team can defend the longest against an onslaught of powerful mobs. Gain the upper hand by strategically summoning an Ogre Rush to overwhelm the enemy team at the most opportune time. Two teams enter, one team leaves!

    It’s important to note that this is the bare bones of a new PvP mode, complementing the existing CTF and Deathmatch modes. We’re using this opportunity to see if there’s enough community feedback to support continuing in this direction. So if you like the mode or you would like to offer ways to improve it, please do so. The more people who participate, the more we’re willing to put into the mode. So if you’d like to see more “competitive tower defense” in this vein, let your voices be heard!

    Console Release Date Update

    XBLA console fans, we’ve just heard from our publisher that the XBLA console patch and DLC are going to remain in certification for just a bit longer than expected. That means it’ll be coming out a week or so later than expected. As soon as we get confirmation of the new date, we’ll let you know. The PSN patch and DLC will still be coming out on April 10. We’re sorry about the inconvenience.

    In other console news, we’ve submitted the PSN EU patch and DLC for certification. We’ll have more news on that as it develops.

    PAX East

    Booth babes need not apply. I’ve got this covered.

    I’ve picked out the perfect man-kini for our booth at PAX East. I spent hours finding the snuggest fit with the most lift. And it’s leopard print. I’ve always thought of myself as a wildcat on the prowl.

    Yes, Trendy Entertainment is going to be at PAX East. And we’re not just wayward ruffians this time. We’re going to have a booth on the main floor of the expo! Located at Booth 808 (our Kanye-approved digs), we’re going to be handing out free swag and letting you get hands-on with future content. Did I say swag? I did, indeed. And it’s not T-shirts. We’ll have more news on what it is next week!

    Beta Team Update: 3/28/12

    Two EVs sitting in a tree… K-I-L-L-I-N-G…

    Oh, hi there! We’ve been having a blast testing the EV and the new competitive tower defense mode. One thing working with Trendy has shown consistently: When they get a great idea, they just go ahead and do it!

    Series EV is the first character with new towers and as a result we’re getting the opportunity to try old maps in new ways. We were able to solo the campaign on her, though, as you might expect, wyverns proved a bit of a challenge. We’ve also been testing her out endgame. From our reports there, she is certainly good enough to base your defenses around her towers in the world of djinn and spiders.

    The competitive tower defense is pretty solid. The mode is going to be released as a “beta.” To that end, we’ll be looking to the community for suggestions about the mode. This week’s suggestion topic is, “What would you like to see in the new mode to make it enjoyable and addictive?” PM suggestions to “Official Beta Test Group” using the words COMPETITIVE TD SUGGESTIONS in the title. (Please remember that off-topic suggestions will be ignored.)


    Series EV plays non-traditional games like TOE-TAC-TIC. It’s O’s move.

    Screenshots of the Week

    There were a ton of fantastic entries to choose from this week. I’m loving the more scenery-focused photos I’ve been getting. Keep up the great work!


    Courtesy of Aarowned


    Courtesy of Regnak and Owczareck


    Courtesy of Jumpy George

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    Czokalapik’s Layout Planner

    We end this week with a handy new tool for creating layouts for strategies. Similar to the Cubicle Ninja page that some of you are accustomed to, this rapidly updated layout planner will be incorporating the Series EV defenses soon. Easy to use and easy to share, definitely check out this planner if you’re looking to share your strategies.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 3/21/12

    March 22nd, 2012 by

    Laughter.

    I hadn’t heard it in months, but all the familiar signs are there: the repetition of vocal sounds, the strange way it falters and dies at the end. From the high pitch and echo, I’d say it sounds like kids. Why would there be kids in the desert?

    I stopped and scanned the horizon. There it is. A village. Or at least a dark, wavering mass that looks like a village. That must be where it came from.

    I might find other people there. Perhaps the parents of the children. Or more of those vile Djinns. Either way, it beats getting my joints sandblasted in this wasteland.

    As I walk closer, I detect shapes moving toward me. Indistinct at first, their features stabilize. One person is wearing a large hat. Another one has a rather flat head.

    My brain buzzed. I found them! And here in the desert of all places.

    I walk slowly to prevent unwanted aggression. I expected this journey to last longer. They’ve been gone for almost a year, and now I find them on a random chance in the desert. The odds of such an occurrence is a fraction of a percent.

    Laughter again. This time it’s closer than the last. That’s peculiar.

    And something looks wrong. These people seem shorter than the picture in my brain.

    Is this not them after all?

    As the five of us emerged from the desert’s veil, I was confused. Their attire and features were similar, but they were kids. Pre-teens at the oldest.

    What sorcery does this desert hold? The realms of magic are unpredictable. Incalculable. The stuff that haunts my hibernation times.

    I looked down. The kids gave me a collective cold look. They’re tainted with the reality of battle. Now I was sure of my unsupported conclusion. These four must be their kids.

    The Knight’s child stepped forward.

    “Who are you?” he asked. Who? That’s an interesting question. I’ve never been asked that before.

    “I am Series EV,” I answered. “I have traveled many miles to be here. I have been looking for you.”

    Not entirely true, but close enough.

    The group glanced at each other, no doubt questioning the validity of my statement. Smart kids. The young Apprentice kept staring at me, like he was fearful to take his eyes off me.

    “I mean you no harm,” I replied. “Please, let me tell you more about myself.”

    Series EV

    Built for the military and recommissioned for civilian protection, the Series EV has a host of defensive capabilities. Have an arms cache in a narrow hallway or a large entryway to cover? No worries! The EV uses nodes to create adjustable Proton Beams and Physical Beams to suit the needs of the space. Just remember: the longer the defensive line, the more units it costs!

    Sometimes the foe is cowardly. Hiding behind their more ferocious peers, they’ll shoot at you from afar. Fear no more! Lay down a Projectile Reflect wall, and watch as their attacks come flying right back at them. Brilliant!

    Other times, the enemy is too large to be brought down by beams and energy walls alone. Plant a Shock Beam to stun it, and then, using your Assimilable Ranged Cannon (A.R.C.), blast the little guy to oblivion.

    And if someone’s towers need a boost, plant a Tower Buff Beam to shoot ‘em with energy and make them stronger.

    So when can you get your hands on a Series EV? The street date is March 29. The estimated retail value is $3.99, but for one week only, it’ll be on sale for $2.99!

    Welcome to the Jungle

    We have a surprise for you this week.

    If you paid attention to our Barbarian trailer, you’ll have noticed an unrevealed map. Today, we’re pulling back the curtain.

    Venture into the ancient ruins of the Karathiki Jungles to discover Dungeon Defenders first 6-player co-op map, the Amazon Barbarian tribe and a new challenge — Rumble in the Jungle, the successor to our War of the Djinns challenge. Converted Djinns will be sent to nearby tiki lamps, and each successive wave will require more converted Djinns to proceed.

    Be warned: From what our beta testers tell us, this jungle is no pushover.

    Of course, that’s not all that awaits you in the jungle.

    The Amazon Barbarian outfit and Monkey familiar come with the pack, too!

    If you own the Eternia Shards Complete DLC, you can unlock this content for free on Friday. This will be available the same day as a standalone purchase for $1.99.

    At the Penny Arcade

    As you may have gathered from Twitter, we’re hitting the road again. This time, we’re going to the city of Boston, home of the Celtics, baked beans and patriot/beer icon Samuel Adams. We’re going to be there Easter weekend, which we hear is also conveniently the days a certain expo will be there. And by certain expo, I mean PAX East. Sometimes I like to throw subtly out the window.

    Why are we going to be there? We’ll roll out those details as we get closer to April 6.

    Meet our Esteemed Composer

    Some of you have asked me on Twitter and Facebook about our elusive composer, Afshin Toufighian. I’ve managed to track him down to answer a few questions for you. Enjoy!

    How did you get into music?

    I started playing the piano around age 9. I started mostly on Classical music, playing composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. I became fascinated by the tonalities of their music and soon decided to try a hand at composition myself. I went through school studying music and having a blast because I knew I was doing what I really loved.

    How did you get involved with Dungeon Defenders and Trendy?

    Well I’ve had a working relationship with our brilliant director, Jeremy Stieglitz, for several years. We started back in 2005 on Monster Madness and have continued working on games together ever since.


    How did you and Jeremy meet?

    I was working in Los Angeles at the time, and wanted to branch out a little bit and get into games. It only made sense to start getting into that field because I knew I had a passion for games and felt I wasn’t doing much on that side. So one day as I was looking through the web at some different game companies to see what was out there, Artificial Studios (the company Jeremy was running at the time) caught my eye, and I immediately sent out a few samples of my music to see if there was any interest in collaboration. The answer was yes, and the rest is history.

    What were you doing in Los Angeles before that?

    I was doing some freelance work on short films, performing music, working with various film composers (William Goldstein, Ron Jones from the Family Guy), as well as teaching music, building studios, and going around ‘climbing the ladder’ as they say.

    Can you describe your planning and creation process for the Dungeon Defenders soundtrack?

    Sure. The thematic or musical idea most usually starts on the piano. After viewing some visual content, whatever is available, whether still images or motion picture, I get the basic idea and get the ‘juices’ flowing. I sketch out the basic idea roughly within a few minutes. That’s the fun part. But then comes the long and hard part of actually composing and orchestrating all the details. It’s like painting a picture and trying to decide what colors to use basically. I do all of this in Steinberg Cubase, my audio software, along with tons of audio plugins and instruments. The editing, tweaking, mixing, and mastering process comes after that – that’s where I polish it up and make it shine a bit more.

    The combat phase of the game lasts considerably longer than the build phase. Is your process different for combat phase music?

    Well, the composition process … is the same for both build up and combat phases, but the combat phase usually requires more time and attention to create, due to its greater intensity than the build phase. It needs to give that extra punch so that you feel you’re in the middle of the action, more instruments need to be used, and the music is usually faster which means more bars of music need to be written. It’s a fun challenge.


    The second Lost Eternia Shards DLC just came out, and people are really enjoying the music. Can you describe the basic idea you had for these tracks?

    Well Jeremy mentioned to me the idea that the music in the level should be more in the direction, for example, of the soundtrack from the film “Gladiator,” which is a fantastic piece of work. Coupled with the beautiful visuals the art guys at Trendy came up with, it didn’t take long for my head to explode with imagination for what to write for this DLC. I really wanted to use some traditional Middle Eastern instruments in this segment of the game. You’ll hear instruments like the Duduk, Oud, Ney, and Zourna. I then tied those in with the traditional orchestral instruments to complete the picture, a mix of Eastern and Western tonalities, I guess you could say.

    What was the most challenging part of making the Moraggo tracks? Did you run into any unique issues?

    Nothing particularly challenging or different on this one… I don’t think… I mean as far as the music, Middle Eastern tones make up a different scale than Western tones. So I just had to be careful enough to make it sound true to that genre.

    Do you use live instruments? And if so, do you play them all, or do you get other people to help out?

    Due to the efficiency required on scoring the soundtrack for Dungeon Defenders and also often because of the time constraints, I took the approach of scoring with virtual instruments. I think it was mainly a practical decision. In a sense, however, the virtual instruments I used were, in fact, recorded live, but I’ve tweaked them up here and there with midi programming. So they get their “live” sound, but just programmed into the sequencer in a ‘non-live’ way.

    It is my hope, however, that soon we’ll hear more actual live performers on the soundtracks.

    What’s your favorite track you’ve written for Dungeon Defenders?

    Probably Mistymire Build Phase, because I think it draws on my early influences from the music of Zelda and Final Fantasy, two games I loved playing endlessly when I was a child.


    Who or what influences your music?

    I’m a big fan of many things written by Nubuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) and Koji Kondo (Zelda), as well as film composers such as John Williams and Danny Elfman. These guys helped stretch my imagination of what can be explored on the harmonic spectrum. I think my brain rewired itself and grew a little larger after hearing what these guys did.

    The Valentine’s Day DLC music is a marked departure from what we’ve come to expect from the soundtrack. What was your inspiration for that piece?

    Yeah, I wanted to change the pace a little with that one because everything up until then was pretty much orchestral. I’m actually a pretty big fan of electronic music and thought I could try something out for that particular DLC. I don’t know, I think those pretty pink fluffy clouds sparked that idea for me.

    What electronic bands/musicians are you into right now?

    Well I like a mixture of stuff… Tiesto, Bjork, Matmos, I loved Aphex Twin back in the day, and there’s this new kid on the block by the name of Madeon who does some truly excellent stuff.

    Do you have anything special in mind for Quest for Lost Eternia Shards Part 3?

    Oh yes. I’d rather keep it in the bag for now, but I can’t wait for you to hear what’s coming up for it. I’m taking somewhat of a different approach on this one. I hope it doesn’t get too outside-the-box, but maybe that’s a good thing. I am using some more piano on these tracks, which seems to blend really beautifully with some of the other instruments. I’m looking forward to contributing the soundtrack to this beautiful new DLC.

    That sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to hear it! Thank you so much for your time.

    Thank you too, Josh.

    If you’d like to hear Afshin’s work (including Dungeon Defenders), check out his Bandcamp page!

    Beta Team Update: 3/21/12

    Release week, when all Trendy and our work is shown to the public! It was quite a week and spurred a lot of discussion on the forums. Our team coordinator, Skott, shared some insights into the beta testing process here.

    Here are some additional thoughts the team wanted to share: “We approach new content with the assumption that it’s going to be hard, but possible. With the Djinn, we got exactly what we expected. At the start they totally kicked our butts. But, as a team we never give up. We took our unworkable strategies and changed them. We started working more on playing multiplayer. And in the end, we found strategies that worked. We managed to do the vast majority of the NM content with the kind of gear you find in HC NM Endless Spires. It was quite a rush!“

    Here is a short list of the most commonly suggested items that we received on our focus topic regarding Endgame Variety:

    1. Only one map – The only realistic place to advance in the game was Mistymire. With the addition of Moraggo, this changes some. Additional maps are definitely in the works, but a few enterprising suggestioneers mentioned the idea of making some/all campaign maps work more like Misty.

    2. Only one mode – Another frequent point is that survival is the only way to progress. Most of them mentioned adding armor as rewards to challenges as a solution. Additionally, campaign map rewards could include armor.

    3. Make more towers/classes viable in Nightmare – For many endgamers, shoring up the weaknesses of certain towers and classes would help spur a bit more creativity in layouts.

    Thanks again to each person who responded!

    Reflective walls are awesome. Wait, what does #3 do?!

    Screenshots of the Week

    Check out this week’s screenshots!


    Courtesy of Renendaru


    Courtesy of The Fire Chief


    Courtesy of ada309

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    Ode to the Monk

    Closing out this week is a video from one of our community veterans, Junbao. His monk pride is known far and wide around these parts, and to show it to everyone else, he’s put together this wicked tribute to the kid who won’t let anything get in his way.

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 3/14/12

    March 16th, 2012 by

    Last week was like a book I couldn’t put down. Each chapter contained some new truth or revelation that clenched me like an iron fist and wouldn’t let go.

    Around every corner in San Francisco stood a new face to meet or a new place to be. It’s exactly as Jack described in “On the Road” — thick plumes of fog, giant hills and a ceaseless, pulsing desire to be everything to everyone. From the spring scent of the Golden Gate Park to the smoke and bass of the nightlife, even the most reserved person would succumb to the city’s advances.

    As the company booths packed up and headed home one by one, so did we. But back in the office, we haven’t missed a beat. Everyone is prepping for the incoming content drop.

    So gear up, soldier. We’re dropping in hot.

    Dungeon Defenders Steam Free Weekend (Mac & PC!)

    Play Dungeon Defenders for free from Thursday (3/15) at 10 a.m. PST to Sunday (3/18) 1 p.m. PST! And you can save 50% on the game and all DLC except the Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards DLCs.

    Grab your friends and spread the word!

    Welcome to Moraggo


    The Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards Part II will be available tomorrow on the Steam marketplace (console fans, look below). For $3.99 (or free if you’ve purchased the Shards Complete Pack), you’ll gain access to a new boss, missions, weapons, pets, skins (PC only), music, cut-scenes, and more. Our beta team has put its nose to the grindstone to ensure that this will be the strongest and most polished DLC release yet. (Great work, gang!)

    Of course, we might be biased there. You’ll be able to see for yourself sometime tomorrow. (If you have the Shards Complete DLC, you can get it right now!) We’ll post about it on our forums, Facebook and Twitter when it goes live.

    Mac Fans, Are you Ready?

    Of course, also hitting the Steam marketplace tomorrow is Dungeon Defenders Mac. If you own the game on PC, you can pick up the Mac version for free. Any DLC you previously own on the PC version will transfer over, too! Otherwise, you can grab a copy for $14.99. Of course, from tomorrow until Sunday you’ll be able to try the game for free or grab a copy (and all the DLC) for 50% off as part of our Steam Free Weekend! Hopefully this will help somewhat for the long wait! Our upcoming PC patch (which we’ll get to later) contains some pretty major technical revisions to allow PC/Mac cross-platform play. We’ve tested it internally and with the beta team, but we haven’t been able to properly test it with a large population. So tonight, we’re going to open up the Mac beta to everyone who owns DunDef PC so you can help test it before its big debut tomorrow.

    That said, as with any major release, be prepared for some technical issues tomorrow. Or not. Everything could go all roses and unicorns, and I’ll get to sit back and sip top-shelf margs and everyone’s happy. A man can dream.

    Console Patch/DLC Release Date

    From social media to the forums, our console fans have begged for updates on the console patch and the Shards DLC. We’re pleased to announce that you will be able to rip through the new content on April 10 for PS3 and April 11 for XBLA.

    Why will you have to wait until April? We’ve been very open about the console patch and DLC submission process — more so than most companies. There’s more to being released on the store besides passing quality assurance. The console companies also dictate the timing and release of DLC (and, since the patch contains delicate DLC matters, the patch, too).

    Lucky Community Costume Pack

    Last week, we revealed the first concept pieces for our community DLC skins. From what little I understand of game development, our art team made blood sacrifices to the development gods to transform concept into content. (If that’s not true, someone needs to explain the blood-stained carpets in the art room.) Here’s your first look at both the 3D concept models and the in-game models!

    Note: We’ll update this post when we finish the Barbarian.

    As luck would have it (yeah, I went there), the Lucky Community Costume Pack will be available this Friday for free for a limited time (2 weeks).

    PC Patch 7.20 (It’s Beefy!)

    Patch 7.20 just went live! As we mentioned before, there’s some heavy technical changes included in this patch, so if you see any issues please let us know in our Tech Support or Patch forums. Check out the notes:

    * Added a super-secret awesome reward for those who earn “Transcendent Challenge Champion”
    * Buffed Apprentice Exponential Damage Ramps on Lightning Tower and Magic Missile Tower by ~20%
    * Editbox for specifying the Item Costs in the Player Shop now displays numerical commas
    * Binding chat key to alphanumeric button no longer interferes with EditBox inputs
    * You can now browse into and out-of Item Box/Player Shop folders properly with Gamepad control (though you can not create them with Gamepad control, yet)
    * “Hardcore” mode now yields a 50% XP wave-completion earnings boost, regardless of difficulty setting
    * Added “Pro” Item Upgrade Mode, where you can simply click an item stat directly to immediately invest all needed funds and upgrade the item rapidly.
    * Hardcore Mode is now accessible on all Challenges, and gives better reward items (on Campaign and Challenges) than non-Hardcore
    * Nightmare Challenges now also give Insane Achievements
    * Spike Blockade width increased by 15%
    * Level cap raised to 78, along with new Items and Item Qualities
    * Controller users can now press “Y” to export data to Local/Open mode
    * Eternia Shards 2 Pack + Hero Outfit
    * 5 new Achievements + Trophies
    * Cross-platform SteamPlay with Mac
    * Fixed issue where Traps would become weaker in various ways if you died in Hardcore mode and your player character disappeared. Also fixes Upgrade Detonation Count decreasing issue with Traps after the player was destroyed (where Upgrading could result in a Det Count decrease).
    * Fixed issue where alphabetical keybinding for Chat would result in inability to use that key in edit boxes
    * Increased NM Crystal HP by 40%
    * Clients can now see the Host’s selected mission name of a mission they don’t own
    * Harpoon Turrets now incorporate target leading into their aiming, making them MUCH more effective against Wyverns and also fast-moving enemies
    * Buffed Nightmare Damage Pets by 12%

    Beta Update: 3/14/12

    OMG, it’s here! The team has been anxiously awaiting the day everyone gets to see what
    Trendy and the Beta Team have been working on. Fueled by a steady supply of mountain dew and pizza, the team has polished and combed over one of the largest updates to the game so far!

    Some comments from the team about the update:

    1. “Pro Upgrade mode is way faster than the old upgrade system!”

    2. “Djinn add a lot of variety to Nightmare mode. Expect to rethink your layouts!”

    3. “When I first made it to wave 30 on Mistymire I thought I was hot stuff, with Moraggo I now retract that statement.”

    4. “The super-secret awesome reward for those who earn ‘Transcendent Challenge Champion’ is in fact awesome. Please, only request tips after launch.”


    Not your typical pizza delivery service.

    On a more serious note, as this is a release week, our testers are in overdrive and so we will not be posting a suggestion for this week. We like to take the time to read and respond to each suggestion that comes across our table, and it wouldn’t be right for us to ask you to submit your thoughts if we couldn’t respond to them in a reasonable amount of time. Expect us to open up suggestions again next week. We apologize for the disappointment and hope you understand. Enjoy the release!

    Dungeon Defenders in Soul Caliber (Fan Creation)
    Hellcarver posted these fantastic Soul Caliber DunDef creations on our forums earlier in the week. I think everyone in the office had a collective nerdgasm.

    Screenshots of the Week

    We’re starting to see more creative entries each week. Keep it up!


    Courtesy of [G33K] Regnak


    Courtesy of Zimmies


    Courtesy of Dyles

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    P.S. I’ll just leave this here:

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 3/08/12

    March 9th, 2012 by

    Hello fellow Dungeon Defenders!

    This week I have been placed in charge of things due to Hitmon going off to GDC and leaving me with all his work. As I curse his name every hour on the hour, I should at least introduce myself so that you may also curse his name on my behalf. I’m Laura, and I work for Trendy alongside Hitmonchan. I look forward to getting to know our community and bonding. Especially now that the secret of my existence is out and I can no longer be a creeper on the forums. Feel free to send me PMs, promises of food, or a cow.

    Now a few words from Hitmonchan:

    ————————————–


    GDC!!


    Our 2d/3d artist, Jordan Kerbow, in front of our poster


    Our Lead Concept Artist, Daniel Araya, on the Iron Throne!

    Yesterday was day one of the GDC expo. Booths seemed to disappear into the distance. Walking around was an odd dance of bruised elbows and weight shifting. But the room was filled with some of the most passionate people I’ve met — students trying to find jobs, vendors showing off their pet projects, and developers gauging reactions and reception.

    Right near the main focal point, there’s one booth in particular that may interest you the most.

    Dungeon Defenders Flash

    On display at the Adobe booth is a tech demo that we’re really excited to show. Our dev team has been buzzing up a storm in the office for quite some time, and for good reason — using the power of Adobe Flash (and the tears of many children), the team has made the technically dense code of Dungeon Defenders playable directly from your browser.

    This is just a tech demo, albeit a really awesome one. Dungeon Defenders Flash is not a new version of the game that we are courting. It’s just what the name implies — a technical demo showing off an Unreal Engine 3 playable on browsers.

    I’ll be back in town next Tuesday, so if you need anything, talk to me on Twitter (@hitmonchan107) or just ask Laura.

    Much love,
    Hitmonchan

    ———————————-

    He told me to include some more hugs, xoxo’s, and a few hand drawn hearts in there but I figured he can do that when he comes back.

    Shards Part II PC Release Date

    No more vague hints. The second Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards DLC will be available on the Steam marketplace on March 15. That’s just eight days until you can get your feet in the blistering desert sand. The second Shards DLC will include new weapons, a new campaign level, a new mission, a new enemy (which will be introduced across the board in Nightmare mode, as well), new cinematics and, of course, a new boss.

    Who’s the Boss?

    No. I’m not talking about Tony Danza, but he does make the magic happen. The newest boss is the Genie King. He rules the arid land alongside his faithful djinns, using any one of his powerful attacks to keep strangers out. He reigns with an iron fis…err… beard? Beware of his minions and keep a sharp eye out for his lamps. He has more tricks up his hat, but why would I want to spoil the surprise?

    Console Patch/DLC Update

    We’re still awaiting word from Microsoft about the console patch and the DLC. It’s normal and expected for one console manufacturer to pass content while the other is still working on theirs. Imagine giving two professors the same essay to grade. One professor might get you your grade back early, while the other hands it back to you a little while later.

    Beta Team Digest: 3/8/12
    PC Beta Applications Open! We are looking for 3-4 more people for our PC beta group. Individuals interested in applying should prepare a short description of their IT, QA, map balance/design, and previous CLOSED beta experience. Please email your letters of interest to [email]betatesters@trendyent.com[/email] with the title “PC Beta Applicant”. Applying to this team requires a serious amount of dedication and effort. You must be 18 or older to apply. We will stop accepting applications on Sunday 3/11/2012.

    The Mac and PC sides of the team are playing constantly and delivering great feedback on the game. Many of the Mac guys have leveled up and are getting their hands dirty in Moraggo. The PC guys, meanwhile, are busy testing all the challenges on Hardcore. UMF 3.0 with Djinn in the mix is quite a challenge!

    Here is a short list of the most commonly suggested items that we received on our focus topic regarding Huntress/Hunter Traps:

    1. Inferno Trap – Many people suggested that the visual effects of the Inferno trap should be toned down.

    2. Ethereal Spike Trap – Another common concern of our suggestiongineers is the Ethereal Spike Trap. It just doesn’t look good when compared to a Proximity Mine Trap. A few ideas were: Improving its damage, decreasing its DU, and giving it noticeable knockback.

    3. Traps in Nightmare – For endgame players and those working towards it, traps are reportedly weak. Most of these players suggested a general buff to trap strength in NM.

    Thanks again to each person who responded! The next topic is, “What kind of changes would you like to see to create variety in the end-game?” PM suggestions to “Official Beta Test Group” using the words ENDGAME SUGGESTIONS in the title.

    Beta Screenshot of the Week:

    Djinn are infamous for their dislike of holidays.

    Screenshots of the Week

    It’s that time of the Digest where we marvel at the artistic creativity of our community.


    Courtesy of [BFG]™manuelle


    Courtesy of ada309


    Courtesy of A.D.D. Ninja

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    This is all I have to offer. Feel free to comment and ask questions to your heart’s content and I’ll answer then as quickly as I can!

    Hope I did you guys justice!
    Laurawantsacow

    Discuss this Digest here!


    DunDef Digest 2/29/12

    February 29th, 2012 by

    Like a colossal gathering of superheroes, a few Trendy men are gearing up to take the fight to San Francisco. The Game Developers Conference takes place next week, and we’re suiting up and flying out. We’ve been told by TSA that we’ll have to leave the crossbows and Mjolnirs at home, but I’ll be damned if I’m not wearing my leotard. This is America!

    For now, daydreams about industry shindigs and expo halls will have to wait. We’re hard at work making sure the next chapter of the Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards is up to snuff. Speaking of which…

    About that February Release Date

    We’re taking extra precautions to make sure the next Lost Eternia Shard DLC is good to go, so we’re giving the beta team extra time to work the kinks out. That means it’s not going to come out in February on PC like we’ve advertised on the TrendyNet login screen. The PC release may assemble with…

    Mac Release Date Update!

    Also being pushed back for additional beta testing is our Dungeon Defenders Mac version. We’re introducing major technical changes to the PC version to enable things like cross-platform play, so we want to make sure that those technical changes won’t cause a crushing wave of sadness. If it messes up the beta tester’s versions of the game, it’s OK. They knew what they were signing up for. *clenches iron fist*

    So when can you expect to see Dungeon Defenders gracing your Macs? March 15.

    Console Patch/DLC Update

    Today, the console patch and the Lost Eternia Shards Part II DLC passed PS3 approval! This is a great step toward getting this content into your eager hands. We’re still waiting to hear back from Microsoft. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

    Meet the Djinn

    These dastardly fiends await you in the desert town of Moraggo. Wielders of fire, lightning and poison elements, the Djinn will warp your defenses to another plane of existence. But these crafty genies have another trick up their sleeve: enemy buffing.


    The Midas touch.

    Despite their violent demeanor, the Djinn are loyal to their masters. In the upcoming challenge mission, defeat the Djinn to win their allegiance. Allied Djinn will buff your defenses and help you conquer both their kin and foe, but they’ll disappear after awhile. Each wave requires you to conquer more and more Djinn.

    Vote Dungeon Defenders for Best PSN Indie Title!

    Dungeon Defenders is nominated for Best PSN Indie Title, Best Move Game and Best 3D Game!

    It’s an honor to be nominated alongside such fantastic and deserving games. But we’re competitive. In a one-upmanship contest, we go straight to army crawling in the nude over two miles of barbed wire and hot glass. There’s no gradual build of danger. We just do it and hope the other guy won’t crawl farther than us. It’s called strategy.

    But we can’t do this through sheer force of bravery and nudity alone. We need your help.

    Follow this link and vote for us for Best Indie Title from your computer. Then hop on your PS3 and vote for the other two categories! Remember, a vote for Dungeon Defenders is a vote for world peace, free puppies and unicorns.

    We’re not saying that we’ll hate you if you don’t vote for us. We’re not allowed to say that.

    Costume Contest Progress and Concept Art

    We’re almost done with our St. Patrick’s Day PC DLC costume contest. You submitted ideas that ranged from the traditional St. Patty’s Day fare to some truly odd choices. (We’re looking at you, giant cabbage.) In just a few short hours, the polls for the Barbarian costume will close, and we’ll have our four community-picked costumes. Of course, if you haven’t been following along, here are the two winning costume concepts so far:


    Trap Girl


    Steampunk Adept

    We’ll have the concept for the winning Apprentice costume (the Leprechaun) and the winning result of the Barbarian costume tomorrow.

    Community Console Events Thread

    While Trendy’s official console events are locked up in the shop for a tune-up, our console communities have stepped up to give you guys a ride. Check out the Console Community Events thread to see the dates of upcoming events. Be sure to give them a try, especially if you missed out on the event weapons and pets from our official events.

    Beta Team Update: 2/29/12

    Excitement is in the air around the beta team! On the PC side, Shard 2 testing is in full-swing. Testers are riding carpets, battling djinn and finding their way through the new awesome looking maps. On the Mac side, the team is testing every aspect of the game from start to finish. Never have orcs and goblins had so much reason to fear!

    Here is a short list of the most commonly suggested items regarding challenges’ role in progression:

    1. Armor – A consistent place to get solid armor pieces was by far the number one suggestion.

    2. Filling “gaps” in progression – Several people wanted Insane challenges to ease entry into NM difficulty. Additionally, others wanted NM challenges to help progression into higher-end content.

    3. More Ways to Scale – Another common suggestion was to allow players to improve the challenge reward quality through various accomplishments. For example, clearing a map extra fast or without dying.

    Due to the high volume of “Traptress” related suggestions, that suggestion topic will be up for another week. Thanks for all your input!

    This week’s beta team screenshot:

    Tester: So I can build stuff while flying on magic carpets. Then this happens.
    Lead: Okay, THIS is why we can’t have nice things.

    Screenshots of the Week

    It’s that time of the Digest where we marvel at the artistic creativity of our community.


    Courtesy of Cin


    Courtesy of Veri


    Courtesy of DragonflyMistress and bdg0376

    Have a cool photo you’d like to share? Send it cool to contest[at]trendyent.com with the subject “DunDef Screenshot”! Be sure to include your forum username or Steam username in the email. Our favorites will appear in future Digests!

    To end this week’s Digest, circle_breaker sent us these mockups of a Squire container he’s designing:

    “Engineering students apparently have too much time on their hands,” he wrote. “Got this (hopefully) working Squire-shaped container queued for rapid prototyping.”

    We can’t wait to see how it turns out! Keep us posted, circle_breaker.

    That’s it for this week!

    Until next time,
    Hitmonchan

    Discuss this Digest here!

    Edit: The console patch and the second DLC has passed quality assurance at Sony Computer Entertainment America.


    DunDef Digest 2/23/2012

    February 22nd, 2012 by

    I licked the cracked skin on my lips. The sharp wind peeled the corners of the loosened bits. Some of them fell off.

    It’s been weeks since we found the first shard. Days since we last found water. At this rate, that first shard might be our last.

    And yet, my companions and I trudged forward. The sounds of scraping metal and flapping cloth underscored the whistling wind. My head was a whirlwind of sand. My tongue groaned of thirst.

    FLASH.

    A bright light flicked ahead.

    FLASH. FLASH.

    The light flashed in slow rhythm on the edge of a faraway sand dune. As it drew closer to us, I could make out the source between the flashes.

    It was human in shape and size, but its skin – if that’s what you could call it – was metal. Thick metallic prongs for hair swooped back in short spikes. One of its arms formed a cannon. Even this far away, you could sense it was built for combat.

    Through the rippling waves of heat, I could see it getting closer and closer. I tightened my grip on my staff.

    Suddenly, it disappeared.

    I turned to look at the group. Unfazed, the lot of them. Perhaps I was delirious. The desert plays tricks on travelers.

    Further ahead, we found a post drove into the sand. Nailed to the top was a board covered in colorful fliers and photos. The group gathered around the board and read:

    ——————————————————————————————————

    Console Patches/Shards Part 2 Submitted for QA

    Both consoles patches and the Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards Part 2 have been submitted to Sony and Microsoft for quality assurance! Woohoo!

    “But what about a release date?” you ask. We won’t have one until we hear back from Microsoft and Sony. The quality assurance process is so varied and hinges on so many different things. To give you a general outline of when we might be able to tell you would be nice, but the truth is we can’t give you an honest approximate time frame.

    As soon as we hear back from the console manufacturers, we’ll be sure to let you know!


    Courtesy of Greetz-Dîegø

    Choose the Next Free DLC Costume Pack!

    Have an idea for a character costume? We’re letting YOU choose the next four skins for our St. Patrick’s Day PC DLC! (And not only that, we’re letting you choose which four heroes will get the costumes, too!)

    Here’s how it’s going to work:

    From now until Thursday at 6 p.m. EST, you can vote in our Facebook poll and our forum poll for which hero you want to see get a new skin. We’ll tally up the votes, and the top four heroes chosen by you will be revealed.

    Also starting now, be sure to send in your ideas for character costumes. You can post them in the Costume Contest Voting and Submissions thread, tweet them to us on Twitter, tell us on Facebook, post them on Reddit or send them to our contest email (contest@trendyent.com). Anyway you can get them to us is fine. (Snail mail probably isn’t the best route here.) There’s no limit on ideas, but please do not send the same ideas to different channels. Posting that idea once in one place is best.

    We’ll aggregate those ideas, and starting Friday, we’ll host a daily vote for each character. (One character a day, starting with the hero who received the least amount of votes.) This is why it’s important to start sending in ideas. Once the vote goes live, we won’t be able to add in additional ideas. Get them in early!

    Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be our voting days for the characters.

    Skins are limited to non-copyrighted, non-trademarked entries. (Public domain is fair game, of course.)


    Courtesy of ¿XkER¿

    Report a Player Update

    Starting sometime tonight, we’re streamlining the Report a Player thread. Clicking the thread will now take you to a form to fill out, so you’ll know exactly what we need in order to catch hackers, modders and USD sellers on Ranked. Each report will be sent to us via email, and as we handle each report, we’ll send you a verification email. This process cuts out a lengthy section of time in dealing with reports, so the time between reporting and reaction should be shortened dramatically.


    Courtesy of Emptiness

    Beta Team Update: 2/22/12

    Wow, it’s been quite a week on the Beta Team! While you’ve only seen the Presidents Day map, the team has been busy working with new applications and compiling community suggestions.

    We’ve gone through hundreds of applications and chosen a great mix of players from all skill levels. Sadly, this means that we are completely full for both our PC and our Mac beta teams. Thanks to everyone who applied!

    We’ve also been very busy developing a dialogue with those who’ve responded to our suggestion topic of the week. When we are [or Trendy is] ready to address the issue in game, we [they] can pull from this great source of information.

    Here is a short list of the most commonly suggested items regarding the Monk:

    1. Survivability – The Monk is rather frail compared to everyone else. The most common suggestions were to increase his HP and to increase the effectiveness of Hero Boost (particularly the healing side).

    2. Second Best at All – A lot of people wanted to see the Monk step into a jack-of-all-trades role. At the moment, he dabbles in a lot of things but isn’t quite strong enough to attract players. There were a lot of suggestions about making him able to switch between melee and ranged without having to commit to one or the other.

    3. Improving his Auras in NM – Increasing the softcap on auras and improving scaling were the main focus of many suggestions.

    Thanks again to each person who responded! The next topic is, “How would you change Huntress to make traps more appealing?” PM suggestions to “Official Beta Test Group” using the words TRAP SUGGESTIONS in the title.

    ——————————————————————————————————

    No clue what any of those fliers were talking about or why they were in the middle of the desert. But I didn’t care. My body appreciated the short respite from famine and fatigue.

    We had to keep going. And yet, once we found Moraggo, things weren’t going to be easier. Rumor has it the town’s riddled with powerful Djinn – creatures that can warp defenses and buff nearby enemies. And I’m sure they aren’t the only obstacles between us and the second shard.

    I readjusted my robes and caught up with the group. Moraggo wasn’t too far away now. Neither was death.

    Discuss this Digest here!