Jump to content

Open and Honest Development Insight


Recommended Posts

DEFENDERS,

Today we released a brand new game on Steam in Early Access, Dungeon Defenders Going Rogue. We’ve had a lot of great reception, but there are also people concerned about the development of Dungeon Defenders Awakened. We’re still developing content for it, but I want to talk about the project in a pretty honest way. Let’s get into it.

Dungeon Defenders Awakened had a pretty rough start and still hasn’t exactly found its footing. There are some things that we are planning on improving and updating, releasing on PlayStation, getting splitscreen in some form (it’s incredibly broken with what we’ve tested so far, and it’s not an easy feat to make it work to get it past certification on consoles), we’re adding in a rune system to give players more customization, new maps, heroes, and enemies. However, DDA as it currently stands isn’t financially sustainable as our only project, as the Tower Defense market has become more and more niche over time. We’re still applying updates to DD2 which helps financially, but as some of you have seen this past week with crashes and disconnects, it’s built on an old engine so even simple updates can completely scramble our netcode and stability (which we can’t bring into Unreal Engine 4 without a 1-2 year commitment worth of work at least), and Unreal Engine 3 devs are fewer and farther between as time passes, meaning our updates need to take longer and longer the bigger that projects gets for the sake of stability testing with the resources we do have. As a business, we need to have income to make sure that we keep working to keep making content. So how did we get to Going Rogue?

We’ve been working on Episode 2 content for quite some time. With Episode 1 we added in the Boss Tests, which was a fun way to change up the gameplay, and a lot of players gravitated towards this addition. For Episode 2, we were working on a “Test of Power” game mode, which was a very VERY simple roguelite. We started playing it, and it was incredibly fun, people internally spending tons of time playing it. It was super limited with how roguelites function - no multiplayer, no meta progression, no clearing the gear you acquire after a run, no custom enemy setups that didn’t break other enemies, etc. At this same time, the team was presented with the task of trying something new, as our finances weren’t sustainable in the medium-long term, Episode 1 didn’t bring in as many people to be sustainable (we thank everyone who played it as well as supporting us through purchasing cosmetic DLC), and Episode 2 was projected to follow the same path just from a marketing perspective. Selling the episodes as DLC is not a good route either, it ends up splintering players and communities, creating barriers with each new one we release (ex: having to buy Episode 1 to buy Episode 2, and compounding with every release), so we want to avoid that at all costs. That’s when we presented the idea of doing Going Rogue, taking the Test of Power game mode that we were having a ton of fun playing with, as a full fledged game that we could be used to bring in new Defenders, increasing sales, and giving us the runway to finish out the remaining work and episodes of DDA that we want to make a reality. Without doing something like this, it was pretty grim that there was not going to be anything for DDA past Episode 2. It was approved, and we began working long days, weeks, and now months at this point. The project reinvigorated the team with each day, with each bit of testing feedback we got. Everyday was a step in the right direction, inspiring hope that the stuff we have planned for DDA, DD2, and even more projects will actually see the light of day.

One of the things that we’re doing with Going Rogue is that there are overlaps in features, so as we developed Going Rogue we started building out runes, which drastically reduced the work on getting them to work within DDA; creating shops through the Blacksmith and Tavernkeeper; and a lot more. It also allows us to use anything we make for DDA to be brought into Going Rogue, providing unique experiences while using content efficiently, helping financially secure us to expand on DDA, Going Rogue, and any other projects in the future (which we have plans both big and small to expand the world of Etheria). Another big point for Going Rogue is that we wanted to make sure that people who had supported us and bought DDA would be able to partake in Going Rogue at a drastically reduced price, which is why we created the bundle to do just that. Since we don’t sell gameplay DLC, we thought it would be fair to use these game modes that are developed into fully fleshed out games and experiences as an alternative. From a marketing perspective, selling it as DLC to the game creates another barrier of entry for people who may only like this roguelite gameplay and not traditional Dungeon Defenders gameplay (something that’s usually a pretty long time investment), alongside the fact that the gameplay, UIs, and visuals are very different. That’s why we created it as a bundle, as it acts as a pseudo-DLC that we can price adjust so that it’s the same cost as a DLC while providing the benefits. Some people might disagree, and that’s okay, but for us to accomplish our goals of finishing DDA development, supporting DD2, and making more games in the future, this is something we had to do, otherwise we as a studio cease to be and there are not any more DDA updates. 

Some people may call this a cash grab, but we truly believe in these projects and want to do what we can to make sure they not only stay alive, instead that they flourish. We’re proud of the work and effort that we’ve put into everything that is Going Rogue and are doing everything we can to ensure its success. If Going Rogue succeeds, then Dungeon Defenders Awakened succeeds, and all our Defenders succeed. If you don’t believe us, you can watch us and see what happens, we just ask that you don’t root against us. We’re trying to do everything we can to give you the best experience, and we’ll do whatever it takes to make that a reality.

For Etheria,
Lawlta

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for bringing in the insight here. It does puts things into perspective so I understand on why this needs to be done. I hope things would turn up better for you guys with DDGR.

Also, yeah the content of Going Rogue (based on the trailer) does looks to be a potential expansion to the Test Mode in DDA. With the origin revealed, it makes sense now. Would be nice if GR was an actually expansion to DDA but with the limitations and hurdles mentioned in Discord, I totally understand why this has to be completely separate game and maybe that's for the better. I'll definitely play it and *hopefully* leave my thoughts about it soon.

Edited by Paloverde zfogshooterz
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DDGR is not my thing, to be honest, but I really want DD games to be here for me so I have no issue with DDGR. DDA I want to see more original content and not just remade DD1 content. I say that when I would be willing and hopeful if you guys started work on porting DD2 making it less of an FTP pay for this and that but make it a really cheap price like maybe $5 but still have some paid content after that $5 make the $5 be something like 6 heroes from the start and 20 hero card slots and max bags. make it so that you can play the game without needing to go beyond that $5 then make other heroes more compelling to want as well the bank and other stuff you add.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This kind of transparency is exactly what the community has been begging for since the Kickstarter days.  Thank you so much for taking the time to let us in on the thought process and hurdles.  Excited to play GR more and see what new things get added.

Love this franchise and hyped to see what these "plans both big and small to expand the world of Etheria" will be.  Unless it's a Match-3 mobile game.  Hard pass on that one.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

long story short.  grab the money and dont deliver on your promises.  this game is over 10 years old and cant even be brought back to the good ol' days?  + it had a $40 price tag while the original I think had a $15 price tag (+ paid DLC, I know).  how did that game get made then (hmmmmmm)?  this wasnt it, not even close.  your player count would grow if you guys could deliver on your promises and actually released content in a reasonable time.  grab that bag and laugh straight to the bank with it!  (sorry, you guys keep playing the remake DD card)... for what, the 3rd time now?  remember DD:E ?  appreciate the transparency but damn you guys suck.  sorry to write this, but you guys oversold on your promises again.  the right thing to do would be to give people partial refunds...

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2022 at 4:47 PM, [CG] LAWLTA said:

Some people may call this a cash grab, but we truly believe in these projects and want to do what we can to make sure they not only stay alive, instead that they flourish. We’re proud of the work and effort that we’ve put into everything that is Going Rogue and are doing everything we can to ensure its success. If Going Rogue succeeds, then Dungeon Defenders Awakened succeeds, and all our Defenders succeed. If you don’t believe us, you can watch us and see what happens, we just ask that you don’t root against us. We’re trying to do everything we can to give you the best experience, and we’ll do whatever it takes to make that a reality.

Everything was going well until this paragraph, you should of thought a little more on the wording here. The part that I really have to ask why is "we just ask that you don't root against us". Clearly you feel that there is a section of the community hoping for you to fail, which to be fair I understand. I have seen the more toxic of responses, but I really doubt any of those stuck around playing DDA throughout its development and still want to play the game. They just want to post to talk trash and I doubt anything said now could ever change their minds. This closing paragraph makes me ask myself are you really trying to keep us on your side or just trying to alienate what little community is left? Even when I have been an inch away from quitting the IP entirely, I have kept a hold of some hope you all manage to pull it off and my faith thus far would be rewarded. When suddenly asked for the $30 delivery charge even though I was not happy I still paid it there and then before you gave any explanation. On the day of launch I was there trying to put out every flame of toxicity I saw from the community. Even when I fundamentally disagree with any of the decisions made I have been there trying to support in some form, yes I have been critical and sometimes harsh, but it is because I want you to SUCCEED. I feel most who have been in this for the long haul probably feel the same, we desperately want this to work, we love the IP, but we have to feel its a two way street. There has been times when it comes across that you might listen to us, but you dont seem to actually understand where we are coming from or perhaps even in some ways asking if you actually care. Communication has been your major weakness from the start and I feel like I am just banging my head against a brick wall trying to point out how you are failing with communication.  I know you all want this to work as much if not more than I do and you all are just as invested in getting a good product out the door. Before posting anything like this again please take the time and think how it will be interpreted by those like myself who still want it to work and the IP to grow.

Edited by dizzydiana
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Diana. I'm thankful for THIS communication but that last paragraph should have been a "Thank you for everyone who's still supporting our goals" type thing instead of whatever that was...

I've been a fan of Dungeon Defenders since it released on Steam years and years ago. I've improved so much in my drawing skills because all I wanted to do as a kid/teen was draw Dungeon Defenders fanart. Dungeon Defenders was, at one point, at the heart of my imagination.

I backed your Kickstarter, bought every DLC, bought merch, bought the game for friends, etc.

I don't want you guys to fail, obviously. If you guys don't succeed, it will feel like, in a way, I have also.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel the same as the people above, I didn't want DD to go. Admittedly I didn't support the Kickstarter but as soon as the game went on Steam I bought it without hesitation.

A lot of us I imagine are frustrated with the lack of updates and the promises being broken. The long radio silences. The community was there for you with this Kickstarter. This proves there is a want for the game to succeed. I feel like the money has been poorly managed in some way and now to want more with a new release feels to me a little insulting to anyone who did support the KickStarter.

DDA didnt take off because it got old quickly, A lot of samey stuff from DD1 and then when things did change it was a dramatic one not in favour of a existing playerbase. 

Some ideas to keep things fresh could have been, newer towers for the main 4 heroes. 

Newer crazy weapons

Different Skins for towers, or just a re-colour

A community event to kill 10 billion MOBS and the top hundred get a awesome goody / pet?

Some ideas to float with.

 

I stopped playing just before the update which makes heroes both Tower and DPS. Since then been waiting on something worthwhile to pull me back in. But feels like mostly crickets

Chromatic > if you want to DDA to get more love give back to the community - 'we' want to continue loving this IP.  Speak to as many people on Forums, be it here. Steam or wherever gets the most attention. Do Polls, ask what users want to see. Add breadcrumbs of new stuff instead of months of nothing. Stop biting off more than you can chew and just be honest. 

"If Going Rogue succeeds, then Dungeon Defenders Awakened succeeds, "  This statement sounds nice but the track record so far tells me not to try and get burnt again.

 

Best of luck Chromatic

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This kind of communication is refreshing. 

 

It sucks to hear the situation and sucks even more that DDGR isn't really my thing, but I did give it a try.  I do hope you find some financial stability, as your the only company that makes a Tower Defense game I like. 

Should you ever make another DD game, please learn from this experience and try not to stretch the Kickstarter goals too far, as that is kind of how we ended up here in the first place

Edited by lifewater
  • Like 4
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been in love with DD franchise already for 10 years , i have been your loyal now maybe hardcore fan already. 

Seeing all these 10 years of work is amazing.

And I have to be honest I see few problems along the line you as company do not do well:

1. Communication - you have community manager now Andy - his role should be to inform us regularly on the game development and what is going on - new post at least 1 or twice a week tell us plans for future etc. Be honest and it will pay back. 

I started playing Path of Exile last year - and they are highly profitable - why? Because they have extremely good communication with community - every 3 months there is a release and they do not break trust of people - and if they do they apologized as in patch 3.14.

2. Broken promises - noone believes you when you promise something and that is understandable as you promised so many things and did not deliver.

Well we can all understand at some point but we need someone to communicate with us - do a stream - tell us we fucked up and be honest and you will earn the respect back.

3. Too many things to develop for a small team - I was a product manager in my real world job - and I see it often - people tend to do many things and nothing is good.

Choose a game and focus on it - in my opinion you should focus on DD2 development - you can attract a lot of players with this game. Then get money for more people to develop DD and DDA. DDGR is just offtrack - not sure why adding another track of dev - another dev time to spend when you are small studio.

I understood what you said in the post - i highly doubt you will benefit from it in the longrun. You just added the 4th game to focus on with limited resources.

4. Marketing

That one is big - In that 10 years I think you never learnt how to do marketing for your games and attract new people. You did with kickstarter - but you screw it up sadly after when everything should be released.

Do a good marketing for all your games attract new people - who will pay the money - DD2 can attract way more people im sure with good marketing.

STREAM MORE and connect with your customers - you have some fanbase - Why you are not using Juicebags more? He is the most known in the community why you dont cooperate with him to prepare some good streams and youtube and twitch to do marketing there.

True fan here.

Good luck

MAX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, atharix said:

Well we can all understand at some point but we need someone to communicate with us - do a stream

For the record, they have been doing hour-long dev streams every Friday for a while

7 hours ago, atharix said:

Why you are not using Juicebags more? He is the most known in the community why you dont cooperate with him to prepare some good streams and youtube and twitch to do marketing there

Not sure if it's helped at all, but about a month ago they did announce this:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thought of an Etherian doomsday possibly 1-2 years from now is scary. I do not want the franchise to die that soon, let alone DD1's game servers. I've been highly active in this community since early 2020. Not only have I dedicated hundreds of hours to playing DD1 and Awakened on Steam, but to almost single handedly updating the "Dungeon Defenders Wiki" as well, which was desperately needed.

Other Defenders have well-defined your shortcomings already, Chromatic. Not much else for me to add there. I sincerely hope that you guys actually get your acts together.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I know DDA can be great if given the proper attention.
Don't give up, as some of us still haven't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Its hard to be honest and I thank you for it, I re-picked up this game(DDA) to experience all the new content since about a year hiatus and can say nice work! Thank you for the hours you have spend on the game so far, Ive got over 2500 hours played across DD1 to DDA and can say that I've honestly got my moneys worth in game time! I look forward to trying DDGR when I have a chance and its nice to know the developments done in DDGR can assist DDA in some way too!

In reality.. Money is what pays for the servers, patches, endless fault finding and chicken nuggets to feed the staff,

Good luck and I hope to see more of your content!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

It's hard to believe these words when history shows exactly what has happened, over and over again.

 

The situation you're in is nothing new. It happened from DD1 to DD2 and then from DD2 to DDA.
DD2 was a major slap in the face to the entire fanbase and playerbase, and now you're about to do the same with DDA.


Chromatic has failed this IP over and over - and I am not here to point fingers at individuals, I am talking as a company or studio overall.

It's even still on this very forums : https://forums.dungeondefenders.com/forums/topic/159461-chromatic-games-dd2/?tab=comments#comment-1537391

"There are people who like the DD2 model and we're going to continue to support it. That said, there are also people who want something more based on the original Dungeon Defenders, and we're using all the great things about DD1 to make this Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. If you doubt us even after us explaining these things, that's perfectly fine, but as a developer, I would go kicking and screaming if we changed our course that we've presented to people to trust us and back us this early."


And if we look at this "new" post :


"One of the things that we’re doing with Going Rogue is that there are overlaps in features, so as we developed Going Rogue we started building out runes, which drastically reduced the work on getting them to work within DDA; creating shops through the Blacksmith and Tavernkeeper; and a lot more. It also allows us to use anything we make for DDA to be brought into Going Rogue, providing unique experiences while using content efficiently, helping financially secure us to expand on DDA, Going Rogue, and any other projects in the future (which we have plans both big and small to expand the world of Etheria)."

 

There's that overlap talk again. Using great things from previous games onto the next.

 

"If Going Rogue succeeds, then Dungeon Defenders Awakened succeeds, and all our Defenders succeed. If you don’t believe us, you can watch us and see what happens, we just ask that you don’t root against us. We’re trying to do everything we can to give you the best experience, and we’ll do whatever it takes to make that a reality."


You said  the same last time.

 

Edited by Elyssae
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...