One of the hardest parts of working on a video game is figuring out when it’s ready to be shown. While it’s twice as much work to maintain a stable “live” build alongside a development build or create a completely separate build for an event, the feedback we receive — be it from comments, surveys, or previews — is invaluable to the process. That’s why we’ve committed ourselves to showing Dungeon Defenders II at every opportunity, whether it’s to our community, the press, or even students at the local university.
Level Designer Steven Collins hard at work making a PAX specific build of the game.
DD2 Makes the Rounds
We’re constantly adding new features to our development build so that we can “fail” quickly and learn what content is fun versus what needs major retooling. When we show the game, there are even more features we need to add for each specific event. This past press tour, we decided to demo the mid-game experience of Dungeon Defenders II, along with one of our newest features: the elemental combo system. With that experience in mind, we created a build and balance for level 18 heroes and took it to San Francisco and New York City.
We assumed everyone playing the game had been a part of our first press tour in February, so we dove straight into stats, elemental weapons, combos, enemy tiers, advanced maps, and more. Unfortunately, we forgot that some of the journalists playing hadn’t had the opportunity for a hands-on before, so for them it was a bit overwhelming. And of course, like any early build, there were bugs aplenty:
Surfing Ogres made it even more difficult!
All that aside, the response was very positive. Below you can see some of the writeups, livestreams, and videos that came out of the press tour. And we’re still expecting more!
Game Informer: “There Are Even More Reasons To Team Up In Dungeon Defenders II”
GamesRadar: “Rube Goldberg machines of death abound in Dungeon Defenders 2”
Digital Trends: “Dungeon Defenders 2 grows up with a new focus on colorful loot.”
Buzz Focus: “Hands-On with ‘Dungeon Defenders II’ – Promise in Pre-Alpha”
Joystiq: “Teaming with Trendy in Dungeon Defenders 2”
Destructoid: “Dungeon Defenders 2 Pre-Alpha Gameplay with Max Scoville”
The Road Ahead
Now it’s time to create the build for PAX. Luckily, this past press tour allowed us to “fail” quickly enough to learn a lot for our biggest showing thus far. To satisfy new players and veterans alike, we’re preparing two maps for the PAX East show floor: Dragonfall Gates and Nimbus Reach. Players of the first map will have two defenses and two abilities unlocked, and players of the second map will have three of each. We’re hoping the first map will serve as a good introduction to the new game mechanics and the latter as a challenge for hardcore DD1 fans. Even then, we still have questions to ask ourselves, the biggest being: How can we make loot relevant in just a 20-30 minute demo?
What do you think is the best way to demo the full experience of Dungeon Defenders? Is it even possible in a short session? Let us know in the comments below!