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DunDef Digest 8/29/12 Discussion Thread

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PAX Prime, my favorite gaming expo of the year, is almost here.

Im making my travel list and checking it twice. Deodorant is on the list three times. Remember that scene in Lion King where Pumbas flatulence disturbed a circle of animals? Imagine that except with body odor. Id 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 years Prime, which means plenty of time for panels. The Halo Reborn panel on Saturday is a no-brainer for me, and Phil wouldnt dare miss the Metal Gear panel on Saturday. Well try to have our full panel schedules up on the forums before the opening day.

If youre 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! Were submitting the SCEE (PSN EU) materials tonight. Well have a release date for the PSN US Shards and patch soon. Meanwhile at Microsoft, the Xbox 360 content is still undergoing certification. Well keep you updated on all three fronts in the coming weeks.

Ask Us Anything

After Obamas AMA on Reddit today, we were curious if our fans had questions they would like to ask us. So were trying something new. If you have a question for our team, head to this post and ask away. Well 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.

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 weeks 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 -- thats 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, thats 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 its really hard to do), its that its 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).

Thats 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 youre 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 its 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?

Its 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, youre 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 its also a lot of work. Theres some math stuff involved (like knowing the difference between acceleration and velocity). Theres days where you live in Photoshop making the graphics you need for an effect. There are days where youre doing 3D modeling to make other props you need to break something or blow up a relic piece of Aquanos history. Mostly its 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 its a road I recommend taking if youre 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, its a good conversation starter to tell your friends youre 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 youd like to host a livestream, giveaway or event of your own, click the Add Event button on the right-hand side!


8/31 -- Trendy Friday Fun ← Win free Steam codes!


8/31 to 9/2 -- The Return of Etherias 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 [email]contest@trendyent.com[/email] 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 Im in Seattle. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to pack the rest of my flannel shirts.

Until next time,

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Crap. I missed a digest.. I told myself I'd get art out for every digest.. Oh well. :D

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"Least: Turn off post-processing in the options and play the game. Nuff said."

I like it without post-processing, not more than with mind you, it just looks interesting to me, I like to turn them off every now and then and just see the difference

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Sooo... it COULD be released this upcoming Tuesday on ps3, but won't because 360 hasn't certified yet? Sounds,like the usual.

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very disappointed with the past 2 digests, both tell us nothing to give hope that this game isn't dead\dieing.

RNG, Hacking, (economy falls into the hacking but I'll still mention it), nightmare+, dlc/dd2.

Give us something to tell us you haven't given up on this good but not nearly perfect game

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Woo! Got featured in the digest, but I wish I had gotten a picture with my Camera instead of my Ipod. :s Awesome news for the console players

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When's the new one coming? Laura has been teasing details now I want it!

I'd say by 6 p.m. EDT. Just needs approval and images now. :^)

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