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A quick update


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#1
dunkelza

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Attached File  DU-anim-card.gif   2.99MB   1 downloads
Hello Descenters,
 
Some of you have asked why we have been far less active these last few months.
 
In fact, we owe you an update.
 
Most of you know that Pixley left a couple of months back after another studio offered him a huge bucket of money to go and work for them. He came and talked with us and being the great guy he is, he was really torn up about whether he should accept the offer or not.
 
We told him to take it. We are a very lean studio and everyone here is making far less than what he was offered. He had to take it. It was a friendly parting, and we miss Pixley a lot. We still chat with him from and he’s doing great. He says to look for him on the servers from time to time.
 
Afterwards we took a long, hard look at the scope of our project and how long it would take us to finish the game we described on Kickstarter. We always intended Descent: Underground to be a starting point to a larger universe. Plus, being huge Descent fans, we knew that some things had to be done right, and to a production level that exceeded expectations.
 
So, for the last few months, we’ve been digging deep into our own processes and working out ways to finish the game faster and still support a live product with a great community. We discovered that over the course of the project we’d been spending between half and two-thirds of our time on things like tech support, bug fixes, and community outreach. Those kind of delays can be devastating to a small team.
 
Obviously, we need to keep bringing in new players if we’re going to revive 6DoF gaming as a genre, so we can’t stop trying to reach more people. Of course, we can’t completely stop addressing bugs and providing tech support either.
 
This left us with a few problems to solve:
  • How can we get more users using less developer time? 
  • How can we communicate more with current players using less developer time?
  • How can we speed up development of the game & provide bug fixes faster?
 
Pretty tough, huh?
 
Luckily, we have some pretty cool friends and they’ve been helping us work through solutions to these complex issues.
 
We are going to tell you about a new platform to help us connect more with current players. It will also help us recruit more people at the same time, with less effort on our part! We plan to move many of the features of our communications to this new tool - some right away, others over time.
 
As part of that, we are also planning to bring back our public web show, “Wingman’s Hangar”. We are currently thinking about doing it monthly to give Viewmaster more time to focus on game development- as he is also the Art Director here. We’re also thinking about renaming the show- do you have any cool ideas? Rob says it doesn’t even have to have “Wingman” in the title… (Yes it does  - Wingman)
 
Finally, we’ve worked out a plan to bring a lot more developers onto the project to work on the game. We can’t discuss the details right now, but we expect to show you tons more cool stuff in the months to come!
 
Important stuff like the size of our single-player campaign, what new tech is coming for your ships, how unlocks will work, how you level up, matchmaking, and so much more.
 
In truth, we were debating going completely dark and focusing completely on the game until it was done. But, that did not seem fair to all of you who have supported us all along the way. We are still committed to keeping you in the loop, so we took some time to figure out how best to  honor that commitment and still build the engaging game we promised.
 
By the way, the multiplayer demo is very, very close. We will need you to help us test it and to share it around to your friends.
 
Thank you so much for your support, your patience, and your hard work! You really are helping us to the make the best game possible.
 
- The Team
(Did someone say “roadmap”? - Wingman)
 
 


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#2
Doglman

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Thanks for the update. And thanks for not going completely dark. laugh.png  I was getting worried this project was ending up like Project Ara and Phonebloks - quietly shutting down.

Have you considered a community-run podcast/show for updates? It could serve a similar purpose to the wingman's hangar show while requiring fewer dev resources (requiring only a script of announcements). Heck, it could even exist alongside the show and summarize the show's primary points in 5/10 min bites.


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#3
DarkwingDiva

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I eagerly wait for some actual results.


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#4
...m...

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...hey guys, i'm patient as heck:  go dark if that's what works for you!..


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#5
inspades

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x4

All good to hear!

 

The demo is especially important right now. The game at the moment is very multi-player heavy, and a free demo would be a great help to get people playing with and against each-other. (Dont forget the anti-griefer measures!)

 

Looking forward to whats next.


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#6
Hunter

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I'd offer to help but my design skills are likely lacking :)


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#7
defcon_x

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I'd offer to help but my design skills are likely lacking smile.png

 

Hunter, your designs are amazing. Not all design is about technical rendering ability. You are an awesome level and campaign designer. Kinda famous in the Descent community. It would be frickin' amazing if DS asked you to design a story arc within their larger scope somewhere along the way. Just wanted to say you shouldn't disparage your epic efforts.

 

Anyway, thanks for the message devs! Keep up the hard work. Like ...m... I have patience for this.

 

You are also kind of future proofing (though there are many ways of doing that of course) by having somewhat high graphics performance expectations. (Though some present mouse control issues are reported and I am sure you will get to that in time, they seem to need some priority for the demo to function well.)


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#8
Explorien

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[dev]

 
By the way, the multiplayer demo is very, very close. We will need you to help us test it and to share it around to your friends.
 
[/dev]

 

I wonder, is there a better demo nomenclature? I am excited to boost the multiplayer users, but am worried any bugs/glitches will be viewed to closely to final product. Maybe Open Beta like Quake and Doom did recently? Just a thought. 


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#9
Vainiac

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Have you made any more tweaks to the multiplayer since April? Bigger ships, more powerful weapons, improved weapon availability, weapon autoselect ordering, etc? The game looks good and runs pretty solid for the most part, but the actual multiplayer gameplay is still in rough shape as of the last build.


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#10
Star Machinist

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Pretty excited to see what you guys have got cooking. I don't think going dark would have been the best approach. Just from following a lot of other up-and-coming indie projects, no word from the devs while they work may mean less stress on the devs, but it tends to instill a lot of worry and paranoia in the community base. People start posting things like "Stay away! Dead game! Haven't heard from the devs in half a year!" Gamers can be a fickle bunch, after all.

 

Anyway, you say multiplayer demo, so I presume you mean a free-to-play D:U "lite" to get more people into the game, similar to Quake: Champions' game model, where they get access to all the maps and gameplay, but they're restricted to a basic all-rounder ship (probably the Wasp, but I'd actually suggest the Torch for that Pyro nostalgia.)

 

Take all the time you need on the singleplayer demo. That one will be big for first impressions and will be a make-it-or-break-it deal for a lot of people. (No pressure!) Just gotta make sure it's polished enough. wink.png

 

 

[dev]

 
As part of that, we are also planning to bring back our public web show, “Wingman’s Hangar”. We are currently thinking about doing it monthly to give Viewmaster more time to focus on game development- as he is also the Art Director here. We’re also thinking about renaming the show- do you have any cool ideas? Rob says it doesn’t even have to have “Wingman” in the title… (Yes it does  - Wingman)
 
 
[/dev]

 

 

Wingman's Hangar is a classic moniker. "Wingman's Drone Bay" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. But if we're coming up with potential alternate names...

 

  • Rock Wranglers
  •  
  • One Stop Rock Jock Space Shop
  •  
  • The Mine Shaft
  •  
  • Wingman's Shaft ... *shudder* okay maybe not that one
  •  
  • Descent Down Under
  •  
  • Rock Shop
  •  
  • Rocky Horror Wingman Show
  •  
  • Descent Burrowers
  •  
  • Wingman's Burrow
  •  
  • Show That Fights Underground
  •  
  • Around the Rock kidding please no
  •  
  • Rob and Eric's Excellent Deventure
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  • Drones 'R Us
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  • Material Defenders not sure if that's still copyright elsewhere
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  • Rocky Road
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  • No Man's Descent no no not that one
  •  
  • ....... Uhh....... looks around office ... Desk... Dev ... Warriors... of Descent...
  •  
  • Sultans of Descent

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 


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See You Underground

Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)


#11
defcon_x

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Show That Fights Underground lol +1


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#12
Wingman

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I wonder, is there a better demo nomenclature? I am excited to boost the multiplayer users, but am worried any bugs/glitches will be viewed to closely to final product. Maybe Open Beta like Quake and Doom did recently? Just a thought. 

 

Hmm, that is interesting calling it an Open Alpha or Beta instead of a Multiplayer Demo?

Have to think on that.

WM


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#13
dunkelza

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We've just posted more details in this pinned post: 

https://descendentst...gamings-future/


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#14
mackiet

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It's a bit late, but...

 

Wingman's Nuts      nah, who would ever call a show that?

Descendents Hangar

 

Actually, I like Wingmans Hangar best :)


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#15
DeathArt

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Take all the time you need guys. Cocking up is just not an option!

 

We've waited since 1999 so we'll be here

 

DeathArt out


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#16
Wingman

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Take all the time you need guys. Cocking up is just not an option!

 

We've waited since 1999 so we'll be here

 

DeathArt out

 

Thanks Death - we are on it.

WM


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