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DunDef Digest 9/26/12 Discussion Thread

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Courtesy of wingchen



Since I won the community manager job in a gladiator-style fight to the death back in January, Ive had the luxury of new content every week to fill the Digest. Its a point I bring up because A) Im wearing my opponents' hearts on a chain around my neck (it's the first item in my new fashion line -- Flesh Bling), and B) new content is slowing down. Theres certainly new content being made every day, but I cant talk about it in detail. Not yet. Im being followed by ninjas who will slit my throat at the first mention of that one thing and those other things. At least, I think Im being followed by ninjas. Thats the thing, you never really know because theyre so darn sneaky.

But I can share a few tidbits. We recently reached a pivotal milestone in our next project. The project is coalescing into something with a definite form. Think about this way: Imagine walking in a meadow surrounded by blinding darkness. Youre here to meet someone -- someone you only know by name. You dont know what she looks like, but you have a mental image of what she could look like. Across the meadow, you notice a shape walking toward you -- a lighter shape emerging from a sea of darker shapes. You can tell by its gait that it is bipedal. At this point, you can only hope that this human-esque shape is the person you are waiting for.

Back in reality, next weekend on Oct. 6, were hosting our first in-house beta. Were inviting people in the Gainesville, Florida, area to help us test our next project. If you happen to be in the area and youd like to help, send an email to [email]betatesters@trendyent.com[/email]. Be sure to include your name, age, location and contact number. If chosen, youll need to sign a strict NDA that grants us the rights to your first-born child should you speak about the project.

Over the next few weeks, our Dungeon Defenders website will begin a long-overdue update. Itll be easier than ever to keep up with news, patches and new content. If TrendyNet is down, youll know about it there. If were giving away free codes (which we do every week in numerous places), youll know about it there. The site will also include a new focus on you, the fans, and the amazing things that you do. Youll find new sections highlighting community members, community events, custom maps, videos, screenshots and other outstanding creations. Well be accepting news submissions, which can include, but are not limited to, information about your next live stream, your new guide for Insane+ or your new Dungeon Defenders photo gallery. As the changes go live, wed love to hear your feedback.

In the meantime, our community team is taking it to 11. Fueled by Red Bull and fruit snacks (the sugary kind, not the healthy kind), were dedicated to making your Dungeon Defenders experience kick all kinds of ***. Every Friday, we host the Trendy Friday Fun livecast where we gather up the community for a few hours of tower defense and PvP action. This Friday, were inviting the 360 community to help us defend Etheria. If you want to join us, head to the sign-up thread. We'll close it on Thursday and post the lucky list of community members on Thursday night.

When were not hosting events of our own, were sponsoring events run by community members who have proven themselves worthy of the Trendy Seal of Approval. In these events, you can win unique items made by us that you cant find anywhere else. Both the PC and PS3 have events this weekend, so head to our Events forum and sign up today.

And yes, we're still giving out 10 billion mana to five people every week, including wingchen for the awesome screenshot at the top of this post. Just send us your screenshots, videos, fan art or anything Dungeon Defenders related to [email]contest@trendyent.com[/email], or you can upload it to the Steam Workshop. This prize is only available to Steam users.


Map Contest is Heating Up

Finally some entries! After a brief dry spell, the contest maps are coming out of the woodworks. Over the next few weeks, well be showcasing them right here in our Weekly Workshop series. If you want your contest map to be spotlighted, let me know!

Theres still plenty of time to create and submit a map. If youd like a chance at winning $1,000, upload a map to the Steam Workshop by October 31. Be sure to tag it as a contest map in the DDDK so we'll know which ones are in the running for the contest. If this is your first time making a map, check out our beginner's tutorial. If you have an idea, don't be afraid to try it. You could walk away with a bit of green lining your pockets.



Courtesy of Macros




Ask Us Anything with Jeremy Stieglitz and the Team

This week, I pulled in a few extra members of the team to answer your questions. Enjoy!


Why is Trendy headquartered in Gainesville, FL? - vincentmc

Jeremy: I went to school at Gainesville's University of Florida from 2001-2005, and some of the founders of Trendy were my classmates. Throughout college we developed game engine technology together, and then after college, we went on to create video games. Gainesville remained a good place to be, both because of the core team we had put together through college, and also because of the constant cycle of new creative talent that comes into town every couple years through the university. Definitely a unique place for a game developer to be located, we're one of the few in Central Florida!

Has Trendy grown enough in the last year to make it possible to work on development of two new games at the same time? If not, is that a goal? - Damocles

Jeremy: We're still a one-game-at-a-time scale company. Maybe by the end of 2013 we'll be doing two games at once, but it's only worth scaling to that level when we have amassed enough talent to run two production pipelines without sacrificing quality. We'll always be a quality-over-quantity operation. :)

What other games do you like to play? - CaptBoxershorts

Jeremy: Resident Evil series. Rocksteady's Batman games. The Witcher 2. Deus Ex 2. Max Payne 3. The hits. But also, some more random stuff, like Skies of Arcadia Legends on my Dolphin em -- I mean, the Skies of Arcadia Legends disc I bought for my Gamecube back in 2004. Really, what a game (own the Dreamcast version, too). You might notice a few influences on DunDef there...

Daniel Dz (Level Designer): FIFA 13

Kayd Hendricks (QA Lead/Junior Technical Producer): Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2 and Secret of the Magic Crystals

Jes Dz (Level Designer): Fallout 3

Ben Greene (Art Director): Alan Wake

Jerome Pourchier (Lead Character Artist): League of Legends, Guild Wars 2

Mia Goodwin (Concept Artist): Team Fortress 2, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Guild Wars 2, CS:GO, Saints Row 3, Halo Reach, Half-Life 2, L4D, Bioshock [Ed. Note: Good God, Lemon!]

Rosa Burkart (Office Administrator): League of Legends, Guild Wars 2, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Pangya

Geoff Sholler (Technical Producer): Borderlands 2

Skott Chatten (Gameplay Producer): Mia's lineup along with Super Meat Boy and Cave Story

Brian Goodsell (VFX Artist): Black Mesa

Steven Squitieri (Lead QA): Blazblue, Persona 4 Arena, DOTA 2, Torchlight 2, Way of the Samurai 4, Tokyo Jungle, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (only for terrorist hunt), Bionic Commando, Journey

Danny Araya (Lead Concept Artist): Journey. Just started Kingdoms of Amalur. Skyrim off and on

Josh Isom (Community Manager): Borderlands 2, Defense Grid: The Awakening, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid Prime, League of Legends

Will you guys ever fix the newly occurring bugs on the Console with another Patch, or was that it? - Onion Knight

Jeremy: We hope to be looking into another console patch when all the platforms' Shards 4 are released.

I noticed that behind the tavern keeper there are these potions of different colors and sizes. My question is did you guys ever have plans for them to be used at some point but got scraped for whatever reason, or were they there for just decorations? - Dredd

Jeremy: Indeed the original design docs had plans for it, but ya know we gotta save something for the [Sentence Fragment Redacted].

What does EV officially stand for? - Commish

Jeremy: Enhanced Variety.

Will there be some kind of anniversary event/DLC in October? - hamtier

Jeremy: What, is October a special date of some kind? Did something notable for us happen in October 2011? Hmmm...



Have a question for the team? Head to the new Ask Us Anything thread and ask away!





Meet the Trendy Team: Geoff Sholler

In this weeks Meet the Trendy Team, I spoke with Geoff Sholler, technical producer at Trendy, about his job here at the studio.

Hi, Geoff. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First of all, who are you, and what do you do at Trendy?

Hey, Im Geoff Sholler and Im primarily in charge of asset integration, as well as a varied list of other things that combine to grant me the title of Technical Producer.

What exactly does a technical producer do?

Basically, my job is knowing the UDK toolset well. More specifically, I primarily set up new items and characters in terms of media integration. This boils down to taking the art from the artists and the code functionality from the programmers, and putting it all together so that the item or character is functionally complete and ready to be balanced. This generally involves sound effect setup, visual effect integration, and making sure everything is scaled appropriately.

Outside of that, I also do cutscene work, subtitle setup, testing, balancing, level scripting, and a bunch of other things. Pretty much any type of task that is handled in the editor, I can do and have done to varying degrees.

Is this your first job in the gaming industry?

It most certainly is. I was fortunate enough to get hired on here as I was coming out of the University of Central Floridas FIEA (Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) - and yes that is a shameless shout out, haha - program. So I was fortunate enough to be well prepared, as a large number of the projects I worked on in school had me filling the same role of knowing UDK well.

What drew you to Trendy?

A few things. Early during my grad school program, a team I was on played the old Dungeon Defense demo to get an idea on what sort of non-FPS things could be done by a small team using UDK. It served as a good bit of inspiration for us on that front. Later on, when we were all looking for jobs, our school pointed us towards Trendy. Thats when I discovered that they made what we had used as our motivation AND were in Florida, which was also a plus. Reading over the openings they had, there was one that was looking for someone with a technical background (Bachelors in Computer Science, check) and experience with UDK (double check). Sounded like a better fit than pretty much all the other openings I had looked at, so I went for it.

Whats your daily routine?

I live about a five-minute walk from the office, so I usually leave and get in between 11:00 and 11:30, which is nice, and grab a snack from the break room to serve as breakfast, which is also nice. Then I sit down, look over my task list for the day, and start on the most urgent task. Throughout the day, Ill likely get called away for several tasks not on my task list whether it be some new thing that popped up or playtesting or bug fixing or whatever. End of the day usually comes between 9:30 and 10:30. Somewhat long hours, but I dont mind them and was fully prepared by the many all-nighters spent during school, haha.

Whats the atmosphere like in the development room?

Pretty busy. The dev room houses all of our programmers and gameplay related people, which allows for pretty rapid iteration on things when any issues are found or ideas had. We joke around some, too. All in all, a pretty solid work environment.

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy while youre not working?

No, Im all about work, all the time....kidding. But yeah, I like to play video games (Borderlands 2 at the moment), watch TV and movies, play basketball when I can, and I generally go running 2-3 mornings a week before work.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

Thats a tough one. I suppose Id say if its really what you want to do, then dont give up on it. I got a degree in computer science thinking that programming was the way in for me (since I have very little if any artistic talent), but was less interested in programming by the end of it. It took me a little while to find a graduate program that wasnt strictly art or programming, but when I saw the producer track at FIEA, which was described as somewhere in between artists and programmers, it sounded perfect for me (another plug, but 100% honest). One thing leads to another and here I am, doing work Im good at and enjoy doing in the industry Ive wanted to be in since I was playing Super Mario Bros on the NES. So keep looking and trying, and youll probably eventually find a way to get where you want to go.





Weekly Workshop: Old One Practice

Crystalline Dimension is a grueling test of strength and endurance. At the end of this lengthy levels waits the Old One, a maniacal creature who will test the skills of even the most veteran defender. The community wished for a way to practice defeating the Old One, and Daniel Sound has answered their cries for help.

For best results, export your Ranked heroes to Open for an exact replication of the Old One battle. Once you have the battle down pat, head back to Ranked to tackle the Dimension with renewed vigor and confidence. We believe in you. Your magic is real.

Subscribe to his map and take on the Old One right now!


Creations of the Week

These next three winners are walking away with an extra 10 billion mana to spend. Keep up the great work, everyone!


Courtesy of Joe Palfreyman


Courtesy of Commish


Courtesy of Shadow Penguin



Until next time,
Hitmonchan

Discuss this Digest here!

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I noticed that behind the tavern keeper there are these potions of different colors and sizes. My question is did you guys ever have plans for them to be used at some point but got scraped for whatever reason, or were they there for just decorations? - Dredd

Jeremy: Indeed the original design docs had plans for it, but ya know we gotta save something for the [Sentence Fragment Redacted].




Did I stumble upon something by asking the right question about those potions?

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Will you guys ever fix the newly occurring bugs on the Console with another Patch, or was that it? - Onion Knight

Jeremy: We hope to be looking into another console patch when all the platforms' Shards 4 are released.


We hope so too!!! woot woot! :santa:

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I noticed that behind the tavern keeper there are these potions of different colors and sizes. My question is did you guys ever have plans for them to be used at some point but got scraped for whatever reason, or were they there for just decorations? - Dredd

Jeremy: Indeed the original design docs had plans for it, but ya know we gotta save something for the [Sentence Fragment Redacted].




Did I stumble upon something by asking the right question about those potions?


That sounds like it will be dd2 the game theyll reveal soon. Its reasonable cuz it would be too risky to try and introduce a nwe IP.

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I noticed that behind the tavern keeper there are these potions of different colors and sizes. My question is did you guys ever have plans for them to be used at some point but got scraped for whatever reason, or were they there for just decorations? - Dredd

Jeremy: Indeed the original design docs had plans for it, but ya know we gotta save something for the [Sentence Fragment Redacted].




Did I stumble upon something by asking the right question about those potions?

The potions are the key to fixing the Pony issue DRINK NOW AND FAST!!!!!!

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But I can share a few tidbits. We recently reached a pivotal milestone in our next project. The project is coalescing into something with a definite form. Think about this way: Imagine walking in a meadow surrounded by blinding darkness. Youre here to meet someone -- someone you only know by name. You dont know what she looks like, but you have a mental image of what she could look like. Across the meadow, you notice a shape walking toward you -- a lighter shape emerging from a sea of darker shapes. You can tell by its gait that it is bipedal. At this point, you can only hope that this human-esque shape is the person you are waiting for.


i'm intrigued. is this something about ... does life evolve into something else after death, or does it just end?

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Oh haha, I was sent my pic with my name instead of my gametag email haha :squire:, and thanks to Daniel Sounds makes the mod that i found what's behind the Old One. :squire:

I am so glad to see the another project is in beta now :) ??The Legendary of Defenders??

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lol cool!
I entered my video into the contest ;P



I absolutely love this video, now all we need is a group dance-off to see who is the better dance group Heroes vs. Monsters or have a huge choreograph with everyone in the game. This video has just made my day :)

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Would any of the future patches for Console include the removal of mods, or prohibit the use of modded gamesaves? (mainly an issue on Xbox; although, not quite a bad thing, in my opinion)

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Anyone else notice the delicious Firehouse sub in the picture? :squire:


I didn't until you pointed that out. Mmmm. Firehouse. *drools*

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I noticed that behind the tavern keeper there are these potions of different colors and sizes. My question is did you guys ever have plans for them to be used at some point but got scraped for whatever reason, or were they there for just decorations? - Dredd

Jeremy: Indeed the original design docs had plans for it, but ya know we gotta save something for the [Sentence Fragment Redacted].




Did I stumble upon something by asking the right question about those potions?


Brilliant question

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[...] We recently reached a pivotal milestone in our next project. The project is coalescing into something with a definite form. Think about this way: Imagine walking in a meadow surrounded by blinding darkness. Youre here to meet someone -- someone you only know by name. You dont know what she looks like, but you have a mental image of what she could look like. Across the meadow, you notice a shape walking toward you -- a lighter shape emerging from a sea of darker shapes. You can tell by its gait that it is bipedal. At this point, you can only hope that this human-esque shape is the person you are waiting for. [...]


Got a new trademark filed, maybe? Or the actual copyright on the upcoming game? ;)

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lol WOW! I had no idea so many (high ranks) people would comment on my video!
I can custom rig all the characters if people want? (it will take some time)
Make like an ALL character dance scene....
the hardest part is actually doing the animation but because I now have two 3D sensors I can use live person motion to animate my rigs (or rather apply the animated rig to the character and weight it).
I'll gladly release the rig... I just tried going advanced to upload it to the forum but attachments aren't allowed.. I gotta host it somewhere.

Edit:
AH WHERE'S my MANNERS?!

how can you make the squire dancing :squire:

I exported him, rerigged him in 3DSMax with Biped (easier to animate for me), convert mesh to poly, skin poly groups, convert back to mesh, export/save, import into UDK dev kit and export as UDK package. Import into DDDK... something like that.. I may have forgotten a step I took because it was trial and error. It was really difficult to re-import everything back into DDDK.

I absolutely love this video, now all we need is a group dance-off to see who is the better dance group Heroes vs. Monsters or have a huge choreograph with everyone in the game. This video has just made my day :)

Awesome! I'm glad you like it!

D: I WANT THAT RIG!!! xD

Sure thing, you can have it.. just please cite me (my YouTube) if you use the rig. I'll have a download link up shortly.

That video is awesome!!! Can't wait for the final video!! :)

Me either! lol I've been super busy this semester with school. Maybe when fall semester is finished I can go full speed on it.

that vid is an instant winner!

I just checked my email, when I get home I have to respond with my Steam profile link so I can continue to be eligible (it appears so.. I may have been too late in responding).

Simply awesome.

Thank you! So are you! :)

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