Monday Balance Blog
Design Design Underground
Howdy, Descent Community,
Welcome to another Monday of full-speed-ahead development on Descent: Underground. This Monday is, of course, a bit different than previous ones, because much of what is going on in the office is a direct result of the fact that members of our community are playing in the Proving Grounds right now!
The Proving Grounds were made available to backers at the higher levels during our Kickstarter campaign and subsequent funding on our site. Current builds of the Proving Grounds are also made available to active subscribers to The Underground at any given time. (There won't always be a current test running on PG.)
If you'd like to get in right now, I'll save myself some extra typing and point you to this release notes page of our blog, which tells you everything you need to know about how to get the game (and provides a convenient link to subscribe to the Underground if you're not in yet)!
END OBLIGATORY PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL
Alpha and Beta access are stampeding towards us at full-tilt, as well, but we're rolling out servers and testing each deployment stage carefully before rushing ahead too fast. That way, each new player can have the awesome experience that we think they deserve on their first sojourn into Descent: Underground.
Meanwhile behind the scenes, we're doing a whole lot of playing, discussing, balancing, testing, and repeating the whole cycle. (Again, aiming for that awesome experience for each and every one of you.) We're also working on a few new interface elements to support game modes and better player information. (Note the sample Capture the Core scoring mockup in the blog image.)
The important thing about the test/balance/refinement process is not just looking at your last match and reacting to it, but instead aggregating results, looking for a desired change, and then figuring out the best approach for achieving that desired change. It's a very involved process - sometimes contentious and sometimes repetitive - but that process is what gets us to a better game.
That's really our only goal.
While I've got your attention: if you're an aspiring map builder, check out this week's Design Underground. In this episode we talk about a few specific map things that we do as part of our map layout and preparation process to get to grey box and art buildout. If you're interested, it's right here in this post...
As always, please help spread the word about what's going on here. More and more people will be playing the game over the next few weeks, and there's lots of great content still to come in the long run.
Also, keep you eyes on the blogs, forums, and the front page for updates on when your numbers will be called.
See you underground (hopefully when you're not carrying a mega missile),