Community Campfire #11
We had the Community Campfire later this week because I wanted to be able to do a couple of things. First, I needed to tell you about the winner of Build-A-Bot's Stage 2 Art challenge. Plus, I wanted to give some of our Advisory Board members a chance to guest-blog and we wanted to make sure they'd had a chance to get their hands into to the nitty-gritty first.
So, without further ado...
Drakona & LotharBot, members of our Advisory Board, brings us guest blogs:
Looking forward to the week, Tom and I weren't sure what to expect, visiting the studio. Would there be serious, useful stuff for us to do? Would we be able to make a positive impact on the game? Would it get close enough to make a Descent pilot happy? How much did the studio even care about that?
Much as we liked and respected these guys, we had a lot of questions about how strongly our interests coincided. We're allies -- but close ones? We didn't know. We were pretty sure the week would decide.
Well, it has.
Right away, I was impressed with the list of things the team had set out for us to work on. Top priority was getting the ship to fly right. Next after that -- evaluating how maps were put together, teaching them what we knew about building great Descent maps, using the new system and giving feedback. Last? Teaching them what we knew about flying.
We've worked very hard on all of those things this week, and I'm very pleased with the results. I just came out of a build running the flight envelope I designed the other day, intended to give a D1 feel in a totally different engine. It gets pretty -- darn -- close! There are glitches, there are bugs, everything is still in development -- but flying the new ship really does feel great.
But what really impressed me was that the team made time and space to work hard on that while I was here. They are all really busy and working very hard on many, many tasks! And they care about polishing this thing just right, and it is important to them to take the time to make me, as a pilot (and by proxy, the Descent community) happy.
I have been delighted with the professionalism and integrity and passion and talent of this team. Day in and out, under pressure and through intense design disagreements -- they make good decisions and do great work. And as rough and early as the whole product is, I have great confidence they will do their utmost to do right by their fans.
So -- the verdict after a week at the studio? I'm more than an ally. I'm a fan.
This is gonna be great, you guys.
It's been a great week here at Descendent Studios. We went from a flight model that sort of felt Descent-like to a flight model that felt closer to D1 than D3 did. We've had level design brainstorming sessions, built levels out of tinker toys, converted levels from Descent 1 to Descent 4 using the whitebox kit, and built a new D1 level from scratch based on the One Sheet from this week's Underground meeting.
More importantly, we've learned from the team and imparted knowledge to the team about where the project is going from here. Soon we'll head back home, but we're in position to make a difference going forward, and hopefully help make Descent:Underground into the best Descent game ever.
We're moving forward with the Build-A-Bot competition, where YOU have the chance to design a bot for Descent: Underground!
Earlier this week, you all voted for your favorite 3D concept art from a pool of awesome entries!
The devs had a hard time picking the best model to move into Stage 3, but in the end I have to say:
Congratulations also to our runners-up FireDragon and Angry Peas!
There's still time to enter the Stage 2 Design contest, in which we are asking YOU to write a backstory for the bot.
We're also starting Stage 3 of the Art path, where we want YOU to turn Louhikarme's 3D concept into a fully-detailed, highly-polished model according to Josh's art direction:
Remember, the ultimate winner of Build-A-Bot will win an AMD 290X video card courtesy of AMD and a generous supporter!
There are many ways to enter (constructive discussion feedback earns points too!) and the final winner will be determined by points.
Today, starting at 5:00pm CDT (2200 UTC), we started dogfighting LotharBot, Drakona, and Elfindreams live on our Twitch channel:
Be sure to tune in for the fun!
Speaking of tuning in, be sure to watch Wingman's Hangar at 11:00am CDT tomorrow and most Fridays for loads of Descent info!