From: Colin “Elandrian” Fisher, Creative Director
What’s up, Defenders! Welcome to our first post as Chromatic Games! If you’re new to the community, an extra helping of “welcome” is in store for you. If you’re a veteran Defender, then welcome back. Let’s get right to it!
It’s been a wild ride these past couple months, but the cat’s out of the bag now! There’s been a lot of news about our rebranding, new Kickstarter campaign, and what all of it means for you as a player. I want to just take a brief moment to provide a little extra context about what’s going on. We’re #indieAF now, so it’s time to get the info straight from the horse’s mouth! (Or maybe it’s beans time? Company beans? Who knows. Let’s do this.)
So What Happened To Trendy Entertainment?
For the more official take, you can check out the press release here.
For the realest take, keep reading!
In December of this past year, Augi Lye, one of the original founders of Trendy, came back as CEO to help return Trendy to its indie roots.
The development team and I worked with him to figure out how we can have a good plan to move forward and start creating Dungeon Defenders games in the way they were meant to be made: for our players. One of the things we wanted to make clear was that Trendy was no longer really Trendy. There’s brand-new leadership, a new creative direction, and new energy at the studio that was just waiting to be released. So we decided that we’re not really Trendy anymore.
Chromatic Games is our final form. We’re over power level 9000 now, and we’re ready to rock.
We’re not answering to external people anymore. We’re in control of our own destiny. We were able to keep the majority of the development team around, but we had some people move on to newer pastures. We’re so grateful for their years of service. We love and respect all of our previous Trendy family, but now the Chromatic team is focused on the future — and that future is to keep improving DD2 and crafting Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.
What Does This Mean For Dungeon Defenders II?
Dungeon Defenders II will keep going! Development is going to slow down, but we still plan on maintaining limited updates and content. What do I mean by limited updates? We’re going to be focused on smaller quality of life updates, bug fixes, improvements and some occasional new cosmetics. When I say smaller QoL, I mean in the development time aspect — we still plan on our quality of life features to be super impactful for players.
We’re going to be releasing an update soon on all platforms that will have a vendor where you can get the Shards you’ve been looking for or looking to gild — a highly requested player feature!
There’s some extra morsels of dopeness in that update as well. Most of the changes are gameplay related. We’re trying to make the fixes and improvements that everyone has been asking for.
Supporting Dungeon Defenders II will still continue to support the team at Chromatic and support our ability to continue to patch and grow DD2. Our team is dedicated to figuring out how we can keep evolving the game in the right direction.
We’re going to keep making Dungeon Defenders II better and better, just as we’ve been committed to doing in the past.
So Why Dungeon Defenders: Awakened?
I’m just going to begin by addressing the elephant in the room:
“Elan, Dungeon Defenders: Eternity already happened. Isn’t this just the same thing?!?”
The short answer is no. The long answer is HELL no. DD:E was a different product entirely. We have no plans to repeat history when it comes to that.
We came up with Dungeon Defenders: Awakened as our first smaller-scope project as a new team. If we want to remain employee-owned/controlled (which is the dream!), we needed to prove that we’re the capable stewards and re-earn that trust before diving right into Dungeon Defenders III (which we have SO many slick plans for).
Dungeon Defenders: Awakened started as a plan to do a modern remake of the original Dungeon Defenders for the Nintendo Switch, but then it evolved from there. We didn’t want the game to feel like some sort of weird attempt at Dungeon Defenders: Eternity again. We wanted to make a new game, a new experience, a new story.
As we began looking into what we could build with Unreal Engine 4, we found that we’ll need to rebuild a lot of the systems and code that supported the Dungeon Defenders games. Fortunately, our engineers are rockstars. We’re taking a lot of the hard lessons we learned about building games over the years from DD1 and DD2 and now have the freedom to make these systems in newer, more optimized and scalable ways for DD:A.
We don’t just want the game to look better in UE4 — we want it to run and feel better.
We want controlling your character to feel “crispy.” For some context on what that means, you should check out Ben Brode’s PAX Keynote from last year. We love to draw inspiration from other games and developers, and that is one of my personal favorite talks that describes some of these key aspects of making games have that polished and responsive feel.
Then when it comes to content, we’re exploring ways of using and importing some of our existing content in new ways that we can use as a springboard to accelerate development.
This is one of the things we show off in the Kickstarter. Deeper Well is definitely still the same map effectively, but it has a completely new look and will play a little differently. It will still be a familiar and recognizable location, but there are new things going on in these familiar spots and new gameplay that comes with it.
This is what will allow us to make our aggressive October timeline. By using the content and assets that we’ve been developing over the years, the content team can go CRAZY and make the game look and run amazingly well while our design team focuses on bringing the gameplay into 2019.
Our goal is to bring Dungeon Defenders: Awakened to as many platforms and players as possible. We want to make a game that everyone can enjoy, and enjoy together. It just takes additional support to get there, and that’s why we have our Kickstarter campaign.
Why Go To Kickstarter?
We JUST became fully independent again. We want to build the game in a way that we can fully be in control of. Obviously going to a publisher is an option that we can explore to get additional funding, but there’s always a bit of “loss” associated with that. We’re really trying to move forward and make new games. We don’t want to have a publisher — we want to make Dungeon Defenders games that are fun, weird, engaging, meme-tacular, challenging, charming and magical.
By going to Kickstarter, we can maintain FULL control over development and the future of the Dungeon Defenders franchise. Your support here is VITAL.
The “dream” is to add as much content to this game as possible and to make a game that you can enjoy as a solo player or as a co-op player, strategizing against new challenges, maps, defenses, and gameplay. We love it when people make interesting builds that even baffle our internal designers. We love when people find cool ways to make defenses and heroes more powerful than we ever could have imagined. We want to give you more of that.
So we need your help.
We’re here to make a game that communicates our passion for Dungeon Defenders. We want to fulfill the expectations of our followers both new and old. At this moment, we’ve had about a month of focused pre-production development time so far, and look how much progress we’ve has been made already!
We can’t wait to give people more news and updates about Dungeon Defenders: Awakened as we make more progress. We’re focusing on having a player-first mentality be our driving force at Chromatic.
We’re here for you, if you’ll be here for us.
Support our Kickstarter, spread the word, help us make the dopest Dungeon Defenders game of all time.
As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter: @LordElandrian
Welcome to our community. Stay a while.