Dungeon Defenders Eternity Out Now

Blog - July 22, 2014 - By Ben Craven, Associate Producer

launch-Blog

Surprise! Today marks the release of Dungeon Defenders Eternity, the definitive version of the original Dungeon Defenders. Eternity takes the best missions from the original game and includes a host of new features, content and anti-hacker security as requested by our loyal Defenders!

Eternity was created to give you, our fans, an opportunity to revisit Etheria while allowing us at Trendy to test an alpha version of playverse, the server technology that will host Dungeon Defenders II. This project has already undergone rigorous testing and feedback from a group of dedicated Defenders, and we can’t wait to continue improving and refining with the help of our entire community.

As you can see from the trailer above, we’ve included many fan-requested changes, additions and bug fixes to the game, including:

  • An entirely redesigned loot system that fixes the issues from the original game
  • Rebalanced enemies, difficulties and heroes
  • Four brand-new maps, plus Moonbase, the winner of our last map contest
  • Equippable amulets that let you customize heroes with all new abilities
  • Pet hatching and activatable pet abilities
  • A new crafting system
  • Visible armor
  • And so much more!

Want to get a jumpstart on Dungeon Defenders II? Very soon, we’ll be patching a new way for you to unlock rewards for DD2 by playing Eternity! This will be in the Tavern’s new Hall of Triumph, where you will earn unique items, titles, and pets to gear up for DD2. Then travel to Embermount Volcano for a fiery new mission and storyline that paves the way for the sequel, beginning your journey towards the next era of Dungeon Defenders!

Eternity is secured on our new playverse platform. All of our game data is stored server-side, so that means no more hackers interrupting your dungeon defending! Unfortunately, this also means Dungeon Defenders Eternity does not support importing your saves from the original Dungeon Defenders.

Also, you can now take Dungeon Defenders Eternity on-the-go with our new cross-platform integration! At launch, you can seamlessly play Eternity with other Defenders on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android Tegra devices, and even in your browser! Post-launch, we’ll include support for iPhone, iPad, and more Android devices. All versions of Eternity include the same content, and all the progression you earn on one device will be available on all the others!

Upgrade Now!

or get the Android version!

NOTE:  At launch, you will not be able to play a private session with fewer than four players. You can, however, launch a public session of a game with fewer than four players, if it can’t find others. Private session capabilities with fewer than four players will be coming soon! View the list of known issues, here.

Thanks for the support, and we look forward to hearing your feedback!


EDIT #2 8:25 PM 7/22: Single player and private sessions are now live. After updating, you will now be able to play in private sessions. Simply click the “Host private session” in the play menu. While hosting a session you can invite your friends through playverse to join your game or you can play by yourself. You can also create a party through playverse and kick off a private session to play just with your party.


Single player and private sessions now available

Blog - July 22, 2014 - By Brad Logston, Senior Producer of the Dungeon Defenders Franchise

Hey Defenders. We have just enabled Single Player and Private Sessions to Dungeon Defenders Eternity tonight.

Turning off Single Player/Private match in our initial release of Eternity was related to our fear that the server costs would be exponential, and cause us to lose significant money. We realize that jeopardizing the loyalty of fans far outweighs the risk of profit – and it was a mistake.

Player hacking was the biggest reported problem on the original Dungeon Defenders. To ensure players aren’t cheating in Dungeon Defenders Eternity, and for our future release of Dungeon Defenders II, we needed to create a connected, always online service hosted in a secure environment. This isn’t about DRM. We want to help players have positive experiences in our games where legitimate time and effort is rewarded and cheaters can’t negatively impact everyone else.

You are our fans. As the posts and threads have ramped up today, we jumped into meetings to figure out what’s the best choice for you. Our plan was to enable Single Player/Private Games once we had a chance to observe our server costs and analytics. Today threw that delay out the window, so our team worked diligently throughout the morning and afternoon to re-enable the feature. That patch is now live, and combined with improvements to our matchmaking service, players should be able to access Single Player/Private games right now.

When it’s all said and done, we’re truly grateful for all your feedback. We’ve been building Dungeon Defenders 2 directly with our Defense Council for many months, and as many will attest, we constantly make changes based on their influence. We make the same covenant with you on Eternity, and promise we’ll keep working and updating our games to provide a fun, positive, exciting experience.

Thanks for being such passionate fans and expect more fixes and changes in the coming days. In the meantime, please continue to provide us your feedback and we’ll keep listening.


The Ambient Sounds of Etheria

Blog - July 10, 2014 - By Zack Donovan, Audio Implementor

Greetings, Defenders!

So far we’ve given you quite a bit of insight into how our levels are developed visually from start to finish. There is, however, one final element that greatly contributes to the atmosphere of our beautiful maps: audio. Once our level designers have finished building and scripting a map, and our VFX artists have gone through to make sure everything is appropriately shiny, it’s finally time to implement sound.

When a map is ready for sound, my first step is to generate an audio asset list for our talented sound designer, Afshin Toufighian. It is during this process that I decide which environment pieces and effects will require an audio element and which areas of the map will require their own stereo ambient sound waves.

Stereo Sounds

Unlike mono sound waves, stereo sound waves utilize both your left and right speakers to create one sound, and as such are not spatialized. This means that they don’t seem to come from any one direction in particular, which makes them useful for establishing an ambient backdrop to a given area. Most indoor maps like Siphon Site D only require one stereo sound spanning the entire level. In contrast, outdoor maps like Nimbus Reach can have a variety of environmental settings that each require their own stereo sound.

With Nimbus Reach, we wanted the starting area near the main cores to sound windy and devoid of wildlife. As we imagined the player approaching the forest area towards the back of the level, we wanted the sound of wind to fade out as the sounds of wildlife faded in. Of course if the player were to approach the waterfalls and rivers on the sides of the map, we wanted the sound of rushing waters to fade in. You can see how this was achieved below.

Stereo_Zack
Yep, with circles. Mystery solved.

Here you can see I’ve placed a stereo sound wave on each side of Nimbus Reach. The inner and outer blue circles surrounding each sound indicate its minimum and maximum attenuation, respectively. When inside the inner minimum attenuation circle, the player will hear that sound at full volume. As the player leaves the minimum attenuation circle, the sound’s volume will dynamically fade out as the player approaches the maximum attenuation circle, beyond which the sound will no longer be audible. By fine tuning these attenuation values, I am able to make these stereo ambient sounds fade in and out as the player traverses the level, giving the sounds a sense of 3D placement.

Mono Sounds

After the stereo sounds are in place, it’s time to start adding in mono sounds for singular environment details. Mono sound waves only utilize one speaker channel, so I set them to be spatialized. This means a player standing near the sound will hear it travel from speaker to speaker as the they turn their camera and experience a direct audible link to where the sound is coming from. In Nimbus Reach, I’ve implemented mono sounds for things like rustling grass, glowing plants, and single crickets chirping throughout the level.

Crickets_Zack
All my single crickets, chirp your hands up.

The Big Picture

When used together, mono and stereo sound waves can create a complete and convincing soundscape for the player to experience. For example, while the water areas in Nimbus Reach do have a stereo water sound encompassing them, each individual waterfall also has a mono sound associated with it as well. These mono sounds communicate to the player’s ears that each waterfall is indeed making its own sound, while the stereo sound communicates the reverberations of water sounds a player should expect to hear that close to the base of a few waterfalls. To put it simply, the stereo sounds function as my broad brushes, while the mono sounds function as my detail brushes.

The finished product can look a little messy…

AllSounds_Zack
It’s ART, okay?!

…but we think it sounds pretty good. You don’t have to take our word for it though. Check out the video at the top of the post for a tour through Nimbus Reach and hear for yourself!

The random winners of our previous blogs are:

Enemy Tiers: Holliewood
Enemy Tiers: xFuNz
The Concept Art Process: MyGoldfish
The Concept Art Process: Alih789

What did you think of the ambient sound process? Tell us in the comments below, and you could win a pre-alpha code for Dungeon Defenders II! You have a full week to leave a comment. We’ll pick TWO random posters and reveal the winners next week. Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join the community!


New Reveal: Enemy Tiers

Blog - July 2, 2014 - By Steven Collins, Level Designer

tiers-Blog

In the original Dungeon Defenders, we used different colors to designate enemy difficulties. This was a clear way to show that one enemy was harder than another, but it didn’t allow for variety in the way enemies were presented during each wave.

In Dungeon Defenders II, we’ve thrown out the color system, and we’re now using a tier system. A tier is basically an “upgraded” version of an enemy. We’ve shown you different enemy tiers in previous blogs from Javelin Throwers to the nightmare-inducing Ogres. These enemies and almost every other enemy in the game will come at your defenses in different tiers. Below, you can see a Tier 1 Orc, a Tier 2 Orc and a Tier 3 Orc.

orctiers

As you can see, each tier is not a new enemy, but there is a visible progression between the three Orcs. The first Orc can be pretty threatening when first encountered, but then you meet the second tier of Orc. He’s stronger, hits harder and can withstand more damage from towers and heroes. Then you move on to fight the Tier 3 Orc. Basically a walking tank, this armored foe is no joke. If he’s not dealt with, a Tier 3 Orc can do some serious damage to your defenses.

Using this system, level designers will have more fine-tune control on how the difficulty of the game ramps up. We’re able to introduce enemies early on in the game like the Orc and the Kobold for players to learn how to respond to that type of threat. The higher-tier versions of those enemies allow the level designers to generate harder difficulty late game without needing to send out hundreds of Orcs and Ogres.

wrecking_gifOrc

New Tiers, New Fears

Some tiers aren’t just stronger versions of an enemy. Many Dungeon Defenders fans are familiar with the tower-busting enemy known as the Kobold. He’s back in DD2, and by utilizing the tier system, we can vary the gameplay of the Kobolds to generate different difficulty from one enemy type.

The tiers of Kobolds progress not from the front, but from the middle. We have a standard Kobold or Tier 2 Kobold in the center. This run-of-the-mill exploding menace makes his return as he was in DD1. But his tier setup goes down to a smaller and faster version, the speedy Kobold. Upon setting off his wick, this Kobold skates his way at high speeds towards his target. His speed comes at a cost, though, as he does a smaller damage amount than his medium-sized compadre.

speedy_gifKobold

On the other side of the scale, we have our Heavy Kobold. This third tier of the Kobold is the heavy hitter. He packs a harder punch than the regular Kobold but at the cost of speed. He moves much slower, making it easier to take out before he is able to blast through the towers.

This new tier progression is a way to generate a much smoother and enjoyable ramp in difficulty for players. It also allows a variety of enemies to challenge the players without creating too much confusion when trying to learn new enemy types.

Do you have an idea for an enemy tier? Tell us in the comments below, and you could win a pre-alpha code for Dungeon Defenders II! You have a full week to leave a comment. We’ll pick TWO random posters and reveal the winners next Tuesday! Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join the community! Also, there’s still time to enter The Concept Art Process blog giveaway, where we’ll also select two random winners!

Instead of our usual two blogs per week, we’re going to post one dev blog a week moving forward. Don’t worry: We’ll still giveaway four pre-alpha codes per week — two on each blog and two on each Facebook post!


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