The day is finally upon us, Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is OUT NOW on Steam Early Access. This is a huge day for us as a studio, as it’s our first launch of a product out into the masses; it’s a huge step for Dungeon Defenders returning to its roots; and it’s a huge accomplishment thanks to your support, to get something this amazing out WITHIN A YEAR! With that said, you what we do, we get into it — let’s get into it!
Steam Early Access
This is time for us to deliver on our promise of having a release in February. This period is pivotal for us to get the game into the Defenders of Etheria’s hands and go crazy throughout the entire game. We used the 10,000+ pieces of feedback we received from our Beta, and used it to help mold the game into this Early Access state. There’s still work we’re polishing, but the state the game is in, we’re comfortable and proud to present it to you. We’ll go over a couple pieces of info we’ve gone over before, as well as discuss what to expect in this Early Access release.
If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, we’re on Steam right now. Click here to visit our Steam page!
Releasing into Early Access isn’t only going to be setting the game live in its early state and then providing the finished product months later. Instead, we’re going to be updating it over time, adding in features as they become polished and in a state we’re happy with. Thus, THE ROADMAP IS BORN!
As a studio, this is what we are sticking to as a studio. Should anything change, we are going to make sure that we keep all of you updated as soon as possible. We want this road map to serve as a look into where our focus is and as a promise for what we’ll deliver.
Why Early Access?
Going into Early Access on Steam allows us to get where the game is at into the hands of our players on PC. By doing so, we’re able to iterate quickly, getting Dungeon Defenders: Awakened into that 100% state as soon as possible, something we’re unable to do on consoles as fast as we want to iterate. We are still going to be honoring our Nintendo Switch exclusive deal with Nintendo, with our PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases coming in Q3 2020.
That said, this Early Access is not going to be like other games, or like Dungeon Defenders II. The Early Access period is going to be incredibly short, because we’re really spending this time to polish up the game and meet your expectations. Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is going to be fully released during Q2 on PC and Nintendo Switch. We want Early Access to be as short as possible so that we can get Dungeon Defenders: Awakened out to all of you as the best version of the game.
Teamwork makes the dreamwork.
This will give us a chance to make sure that the game is balanced, being easy or hard in the appropriate parts of the game; animations and art assets are looking great and working properly; working out any kinks when it comes to playing with others; making sure our network tech properly connects you to others and also properly saves your gear; and of course testing our flags, checks, and reactions from our anti-hack systems on a much larger scale.
What’s In Early Access?
Shown in the Roadmap above outlines what is going to be coming to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened, and briefly goes over what is already in. We’ll blow it apart a bit more here!
Every heroic adventure starts in a really deep well, right?
The Campaign is the progressive order maps are presented in, and on the full release will include story elements and bosses scattered throughout to help you understand what exactly is going on in Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. In the Steam Early Access release, Campaign includes all 12 maps part of the whole campaign:
These maps are in a great state, but we are still open to feedback as you play through these maps, so please throw it our way through the in-game link seen on the Escape screen.
Alchemical Labs, Throne Room, and The Summit do not currently have their bosses implemented. As covered in the Roadmap, the Demon Lord arrives in March, the Goblin Mech charges in during April, with the Ancient Dragon approaching in the full release.
On this release, you have access to:
We’ve tested these extensively, and the progression through the campaign feels incredibly good. Our goal is to let people provide extensive feedback on these difficulties before we throw you into the terror that is Nightmare in March, which is going to push Defenders to take on some substantially harder enemies. It doesn’t stop there though, as upon release you’ll have to survive the newest difficulty — Massacre. Both of these difficulties provide new enemies that only brave Defenders will be able to cull!
Making its triumphant return, the Survival game mode is going to be available on all difficulties and all maps provided in Early Access. Each map rewards a unique pet to join you in your adventures, while also boosting your hero in some way. There’s a lot to master through all 12 maps, we hope you’re able to survive!
While playing through Survival in Early Access, we are going to continue to optimize the maps to accommodate all the enemies that you are going to be fighting. As noted on our Road Map, there is going to be continuous updates to the game, and this include performance optimizations. If you run into frame drops or crashes, report them in feedback, as that’ll help us polish things up. For Defenders looking for a true challenge, try playing on Insane Survival Summit on very old hardware getting 1 FPS, outside in the rain, while taming lions (please don’t do this, this part is just jokes, play it normal and safely please).
There’s a lot of pets that are going to be in Steam Early Access that were not in Beta. Some pets are straight forward, boosting your stats and slapping enemies, however we brought back some revamped fan favorites *cough*Genie*cough*, and also some new pets that have never been seen before. We made sure that you have a wide variety of pets to use, trying to apply a variety of play styles to fit certain pets. There are even more coming past this, but we’re sure you’ll quickly grow to love all of these companions (the Ramster is so dang cute!).
There’s a TON of gear to earn. Going back to our roots, we wanted people to get excited for gear to hunt. Itemization feedback has been tremendous, and so we used words from Defenders old and new to curate some awesome pieces to hunt for. We brought back a lot of the systems that made Dungeon Defenders gear great to hunt. Gear rolls any and all stats that are on your hero, making it exciting to receive that one perfect piece that has all the defensive stats for your Tower Builder spec'd heroes, or well-rounded gear for any Defender who prefers a Jack of All Trades play style! Another exciting return is that weapons and pets are randomly colorized, providing unique looks to the loot you receive. White and Gold is one of the rarest combos you’ll find, so good luck!
Gear continues to get stronger as you progress through the game of course, with each difficulty providing new pieces to empower your heroes and defenses to new heights! While climbing also make sure to keep an eye on what armor you’re equipping, as gear sets are back in the game.
Through your journeys, you’ll also be receiving accessories that visually change the look of your character. This was not something part of Dungeon Defenders original release, but they are so fun to acquire and add a great level of visual customization that we couldn’t just not do them! Masks, Bracers, Brooches, and Shields (Squire Only) are some of the pieces you’ll receive that you can uncover to add another layer to empowering your character.
Cursed Gear No More!
One thing you will notice that is different from Dungeon Defenders is that there is no longer any cursed gear. This was something a vast majority felt very strong as a detractor from the game, and made getting gear feel like a potential punishment if it had the one stat you wanted, but diminished others.
Tools of the Trade
There’s a lot of tools we wanted to provide to the players. One of them was an updated Tactical Map (tac map for short). There’s a ton of upgrades we made to this feature, trying to provide as much visual clarity on what’s going on and where. There’s also brand new additions, such as in the options menu, you can now select filters for the tac map to show specific upgrades and items that you’re looking for, making it easy to survey the land quickly and go get your items before continuing on.
There’s also a lot of the HUD and UI improvements. There are seriously too many to include here, and as noted on the Roadmap, there are more coming! Comparing items in your inventory, providing clearer definitions for upgrades, revamped stat names, and so much more.
Towers are also part of the UI improvements. You can now interact with your towers to see how they are performing and what their stats are. Even a deep layer, towers show you the important stats that matter based on what they do. This means seeing what’s important in how a Spiked Blockade performed is different than seeing how an Ensnare Aura performed. We can’t wait to hear your feedback on these features and make any improvements possible!
Kickstarter, BackerKit, and Preorder Rewards
Rewards are planned for our full 1.0 release. While we have already chipped away at getting these made, today is our final deadline for our backers to submit what they’d like. We recently got a ton of requests back from our initial surveying to people in appropriate tiers, so now we just need to get to work on them. Some of these things are absolutely beautiful, others are horrifying, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Early Access Note
We have an Early Access FAQ that we’ve put together. If some of your questions weren’t answered here, please give it a look and hopefully they are answered!
There’s some stuff that we are not covering in this post, but there is a ton to discover in this game. Some of it is intended, some of it may be bugaboos that need to be squashed, and some of it may be as Bob Ross put it: happy little accidents. This is a game that we’re proud to present as a culmination of developer work and extensive community feedback. We truly feel this is a game made for our GLORIOUS Defenders, and we hope you feel the same. We want to thank you for joining us on this journey so far, and we can’t wait to continue on and hope you’ll be there by our side.
We’re going to keep working. As shown in the Roadmap, we’ve got some ground to cover still. We want to keep updates coming and to further enhance our transparency and direct communication with our community. We plan on having updates showcasing the work that has been done, continue introducing you to members of the team, and giving you a look at the work it took to make Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.
Chromatic Weekend Wind Down, Dev Streams, and more are going to be coming as we continue development. We’re very excited for everything coming out and are excited that all of you are along for the ride!
Next week some of our team is going to be at PAX East, Booth #12074, right next to the Nintendo booth! If you’re going to be there, stop by to play, chat with the devs, and maybe leave with some sweet sweet swag! We had a crazy turn out at PAX South, loved hanging out with our glorious Defenders and the new Etherian recruits we picked up, and would love for PAX East to be Chromatic Games At PAX II: Revenge of the Hangout Boogaloo the Game, the Movie, the Game Returns.
To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:
The entire team thanks you for your support. We’re working to make Chromatic Games a studio that is able to create games current and future that our Defenders are sure to enjoy, because our games are made for YOU!