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Looking Ahead: Dungeon Defenders II in 2016

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iamisom

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Steam Early Access. Those three words inspire so much discussion. It’s no longer just the finished product that matters -- it’s how you get there that makes all the difference.

Since our Early Access launch in December 2014, we’ve released 9 major updates and 51 patches. We’ve added, removed and tweaked major systems thanks to your feedback. We’ve revealed the behind-the-scenes workings of our studio through weekly Development Logs and Devstreams. And many of you have dedicated your free time to help development in a variety of ways. It’s been an incredible experience working with you so far, and this year, we’re taking it to 11!

Here’s our big 2016 plan for Dungeon Defenders II on PC and PS4!


New Year, New Us


We’re super excited to share that Elliot Cannon is our new creative director! Elliot is a video game industry veteran with over twenty years of design leadership experience. He was one of the original designers on Unreal and Unreal Tournament, titles that launched Epic Games and the Unreal Engine as the most successful licensed game engine in the world. Elliot led multiple projects at Crytek Germany and Crytek Budapest during the development of the Crysis franchise and was the creative director behind Crysis Warhead. He has also worked as a lead designer on multiplayer titles such as Warhammer 40k – Dark Millennium Online and Steam-focused live update titles such as Killing Floor, Killing Floor 2, Red Orchestra 2 and Rising Storm. Prior to joining Trendy, he was the design director at id Software on Doom and an adjunct lecturer on video game design at Southern Methodist University’s Guildhall, one of the premier graduate video game education programs in the United States.

His experience brings a much-needed perspective to our team, and the impact since his arrival in early December has been incredible. Together, we’ve refocused the vision for Dungeon Defenders II, and it’s awesome.

So what’s the refocused vision for Dungeon Defenders II? Focusing on what makes our game great:  Tower Defense and Heroes. Let’s use that foundation and build upon it. Let’s improve the systems that aren’t up to par. Let’s get the PS4 and PC versions on the same update cycle. Overall, let’s finish the damn game, and then continue to build on it.


Our New Roadmap


With our refocused and reinvigorated vision, we needed a new roadmap for 2016. We’re still working out the details, but we wanted to share the big items with you right away.


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Get the PS4 version in sync with the PC version.

In 2016, the PS4 and the PC will be on the same major update. It’s important that our PS4 players are right there with our PC players as we release new content and changes.

To do this, we will release the remaining updates that separate PS4 from PC in a shorter window. We’ve tentatively scheduled the next PS4 update for the beginning of February, which includes 3 major updates -- Alpha & Beyond, Ascension Part I and Ascension Part II.Then, we’re hoping to release The Harbinger Awakens update along with the current milestone together shortly after that. From this point on, the two versions will be in-sync. We’ll develop new updates for the two versions at the same time, and we’ll release the updates simultaneously.


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Our first new hero... the Abyss Lord!


Make new heroes -- lots of them.

Our biggest goal for 2016 is to build a deep Hero Library. In fact, we’re working on our first new hero right now (tentatively called the Abyss Lord)!

We don’t plan to just make one or two heroes this year. We want to make lots of them. Right now, our team is doing pre-production work to get the design and play of our first hero right. We’re starting designs for more new heroes, too.Our goal is to release new heroes and expand your choices early this year, and we can’t wait to share more details with you.


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Improve features. Adjust balance. Fix bugs.

Another big goal for us in 2016 is to improve what’s currently in the game. Just like our first hero, our design team is doing pre-production work right now to flesh out what changes they’d like to make to existing systems.

Our focus for early 2016 is refining the Hero Deck with a unified theme and new UI across major parts of the game. (Note:  The UI above is temporary and does not reflect any final changes to the system.) We also will be improving Matchmaking so you can play with your friends and others much easier, with greater control and cooler rewards. Our designers are knee-deep in figuring out the nitty-gritty details of the changes to these systems, and we’ll provide those details after the release of the current milestone.


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Make new content.

While our designers and programmers are busy designing new heroes and changes to core features, our level designers and art team are working on some fun new content for you to play!

In our next major update in February, we’re releasing the Dragonfall Carnival. The Dragonfall Carnival contains a brand-new, limited-time event map full of madness and wonder. Don’t miss your chance to win exclusive costumes!

Along with the Carnival, we’re introducing a brand-new outdoor social hub called the Heroes Marketplace. It’s time to embrace the open air as you mingle with other players. The Heroes Marketplace gives us more flexibility in real estate expansion to include...well, you’ll just have to wait to find out.


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Finally, let’s finish the damn game.

It’s our plan to leave Early Access this year. Really, Trondo? Really really. Everything we do this year will move us closer to this goal. You can expect more polish and higher production values to come on top of the new heroes, system changes, balance adjustments, bug fixes and new content that’s coming your way.


Our Progress So Far


To wrap things up, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on how the game has changed since our Early Access launch. Here’s a refresher on the major changes we’ve made to the game:

February 2015 (Foundation Part 1):

  • Campaign Mode

  • Daily Missions

  • Incursions

  • Social Tavern

  • Challenges, Titles & Steam Achievements

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


March 2015 (Foundation Part 2):

  • Hard Mode

  • Player Kicking

  • Forge/Inventory Overhaul

  • Removal of Downleveling (and Associated Changes)

  • Matchmaking Improvements

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


April 2015 (Pets & Dragons):

  • Betsy, Our First Boss Fight!

  • Three New Maps

  • Three New Incursions

  • Pet System

  • Skill Sphere System

  • Costume and Accessory System

  • Daily Quest System

  • Four New NPC Shops

  • Early Access Rewards

  • Lockboxes

  • New Challenges & Titles

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


July 2015 (Loot & Survive):

  • WIPEAGEDDON

  • Pets 2.0

  • Fourth Hero Deck Slot

  • Loot/Item Overhaul (including Item Power System)

  • Major Matchmaking Overhaul

  • Onslaught Mode

  • Nightmare I, II, III and IV

  • Lane Trait and Resistance System

  • Tutorial

  • NPC Dialogue Boxes

  • Daily Mission System Overhaul + New UI

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


September 2015 (Alpha & Beyond):

  • Went Into Alpha (obviously)

  • Daily Map Bonus System

  • Build System

  • Inventory 3.0

  • New Onslaught Maps

  • Enter Private Tavern From Main Menu/Move Between Taverns In-Game

  • Skill Spheres UI Update

  • Difficulty/Loot/Pet/Passive/Skill Sphere/Defense/Hero/Economy Balance Changes


October 2015 (Ascension Part I and Part II):

  • Two New Maps

  • Spooky Event 2015

  • Steam Trading Cards

  • Auto-Collect Filter System

  • Stat Points Systems (stats on level up)

  • Increased Defense Size (+ Defense Balance Changes)

  • Melee Weapon Variety System

  • Ranged Weapon Variety System

  • Partial Controller Support

  • Enemy Rollout Changes (“Support” vs. “Standard” Enemy Changes)

  • New Passives and Skill Spheres

  • New Builds

  • Skill Sphere System Update

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


December 2015 (The Harbinger Awakens):

  • New Boss:  The Harbinger

  • New Map, Two Redone Maps

  • Loot V2

  • Endgame Progression Changes

  • NPC Shop Item Generation Changes

  • Accessory Progression Changes

  • New Challenges & Quests

  • Improved Controller Support

  • War Cache + Galactic Weapons Event

  • New Builds

  • New Cinematics

  • Difficulty/Loot Progression Changes


By the way, this list doesn’t include the hundreds of bug fixes, balance changes and quality of life improvements from our weekly patches.

2015 was a busy year, and this year is going to be even busier. We hope you enjoy the ride as much as the result. In the comments below, tell us:  What are you more excited to see in 2016?

Love,
The Trendy Team

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Just want to say I appreciate all the hard work you guys are doing and excited and happy to hear about the plans for ps4 and the 2016 roadmap, and glad to hear about team trendys expansion welcome Elliot

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So hyped! Summoner is returning! Heroes are still going to be free right? This is a big deal, the game going the Pay-2-Win route would be awful for the free players.

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Hype train, choo choo! Can't wait for all these delicious updates to come out. Keep up the good work guys.

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@Dasky quote:

Oh my god. Is that the summoner?! :D

That's actually the Abyss Lord. We'll have more details soon!

In response to Dasky

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@.OC. Kiatight quote:

So hyped! Summoner is returning! Heroes are still going to be free right? This is a big deal, the game going the Pay-2-Win route would be awful for the free players.

im sure about they will put them on Free or sell it with an alternative for Free Players like in other games or almost

In response to .OC. Kiatight

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"Our focus for early 2016 is refining the Hero Deck with a unified theme and new UI across major parts of the game. (Note:  The UI above is temporary and does not reflect any final changes to the system.)"


Refine the Hero Deck?

How about ELIMINATE THE LIMITATIONS OF THE HERO DECK?


Adding more Hero types to the deck will make the current limitations even more painful.

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@.OC. Kiatight quote:

So hyped! Summoner is returning! Heroes are still going to be free right? This is a big deal, the game going the Pay-2-Win route would be awful for the free players.

That's actually the Abyss Lord, not the Summoner. :)

We're still finalizing our plans on how to release heroes. We'll announce the final details as we get closer to the release of the Abyss Lord.

In response to .OC. Kiatight

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The question everyone wants to know regarding new heroes: 

Are you guys going to break this guarantee before the game is no longer in "Alpha?" As a player who has already spent money on outfits in support of the current business model, I would quit playing the game.

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When you say "refining the hero deck with a unified theme and new UI" does that mean "change it's look and maybe add a slot or two" or will it actually see some fundamental changes or, preferably, complete removal?

Everything else sounds good, but I'm probably not playing again until the hero deck is either gone or somehow justifies its existence.



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Dang releasing a ton of heroes = having to purchase a ton of hero slots, hope we get 1 free hero slot per character otherwise thats p2w. :P just a heads up

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I don't think you need new creative director right now, but if you do, go for it. The guy behind my favourite Unreal games must be good ;)

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