News & Updates

Paradox made the Most Valuable Post for Dec. 5, 2015

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Howdy, Folks!

 


Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!

 


 
Congratulations

Paradox

!!!!!!!

 


https://www.youtube....

Paradox wrote a great thread about improving stickiness and player experience in the game!

 


Keep up the great work!

 


Enjoy the MVP forum badge that will appear on your Descendent Studios account!

If you don't yet have a Descendent Studios account, you can link your Steam account to enjoy the benefits of both sites with ease!

 


You will also receive a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 


Everyone else, remember: Our MVP badge is awarded to a member who has supported the game in a positive way (creativity is encouraged!).

 


Our great moderation team picks a member each week who goes above and beyond.

 


Get to posting!

 


Until next time, fly safe!

-Dunk

Week In Review (12/4/2015)

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Hello Fellow Descenters,

 


We've spent the last two weeks (really just 1.5 I guess due to Thanksgiving) adding, fixing, and enhancing.

 


 
Let's get right to it, here's some things we've been working on and are looking to get started very soon:

  • The new Career Page is ready and will be in the next big patch. You'll be able to see your achievement history, as well as, all of your other stats in all their glory.

  • You'll also be seeing the fix for the infamous mouse bounce. For those of you not familiar with this, it happens when you move the mouse very quickly. So we are implementing some mouse smoothing to compensate.

  • We've made several improvements to the Oculus VR build. Awesome improvements to the framerate.

  • Loads of fixes to the leaderboards -- with a handful to come.

  • Server stability and availability enhancements. These are the sort of things you probably don't notice but are super important.

  • We added a cockpit to the original Auger. This was done for our friends at Oculus so they could check out the game with and without a cockpit. Cockpits might also work their way into the game at some point.

  • We've are looking at performance enhancements in the current set of maps. Valor is first and will likely go live in the next big patch.

  • Chat -- both voice and text. This is in the research and design stage and is something we'd like to get in very soon.

  • We've had quite a few Descenters ask about modding. This week we've started moving a little in that direction. It's a bit of a baby step but it does get us going. To that end, we will be offering a basic level building kit and, of course, some guidelines and how-to's to go along with it.

  • Some of you may have noticed that the match entry message and VO telling you what team you're on got a little.... confused sometimes. That's been fixed now.

  • Team Selection! Ok, not in yet, but now on our short list. Soon, the match creator will be able to move players from one team to another while in the lobby. So, for instance, if you and a buddy want to play on the same team, you'll be able to make sure that happens.

  • We're making progress with Hot Rock! Some really cool art for now, but the game development will happen in the not too distant future.

  • We're adding the Smart missile. This should be in the Proving Ground by the end of the year

  • Lots of people have been pinging us about Single Player. We know it's a very big deal -- it is to us too. We'd already started working on the lore side, planning out the story arc and so on. Now we've started building a single player map. I don't have an eta on that yet, but stay tuned.

  • There's been a lot of feedback with respect to Laser Grids and team kills. So we are thinking about doing something like this teammates laser grids are green and can be flown through and taken down by teammates - and enemy grids are red which work as now. Post your thoughts in the forums.

 




There's certainly more but it's is time for a Studio Snapshot!

 


 


And, of course, Wingman's Hangar:

 


 


Hey! If you're interested in a sci-fi strategy game, you can get in on the ground floor with Not Your Space. It's being developed by our friend Bob Saunders and it looks like it will be tons of fun.

 


That's about it for me for now. Have a great weekend and look for me in-game -- I'm and easy kill :(

 


Cheers,

 


BlueDog

Raptur made the Most Valuable Post for Nov. 28, 2015

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Howdy, Folks!



Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!



 
Congratulations

raptur

!!!!!!!



https://www.youtube....



Raptur wrote a great post about encouraging team play and cool dynamics!



Keep up the great work!



Enjoy the MVP forum badge that will appear on your Descendent Studios account!

If you don't yet have a Descendent Studios account, you can link your Steam account to enjoy the benefits of both sites with ease!



You will also receive a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages.



Everyone else, remember: Our MVP badge is awarded to a member who has supported the game in a positive way (creativity is encouraged!).



Our great moderation team picks a member each week who goes above and beyond.



Get to posting!



Until next time, fly safe!

-Dunk

Flufball made the Most Valuable Post for November 21, 2015

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Howdy, Folks!

 


Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!

 


 
Congratulations

FLUFBALL

!!!!!!!

 


 


Flufball wrote an elegant explanation of their preferred mouse control style- with videos!

 


Keep up the great work!

 


Enjoy the MVP forum badge that will appear on your Descendent Studios account!

If you don't yet have a Descendent Studios account, you can link your Steam account to enjoy the benefits of both sites with ease!

 


You will also receive a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 


Everyone else, remember: Our MVP badge is awarded to a member who has supported the game in a positive way (creativity is encouraged!).

 


Our great moderation team picks a member each week who goes above and beyond.

 


Get to posting!

 


Until next time, fly safe!

-Dunk

Week In Review (11/20/2015)

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Happy Friday Descenters,

 


Quite a bit of work has gone into this latest build scheduled to be released to the Proving Grounds (Which includes Alpha and Beta backers) tonight. If all goes well there, we'll release it to everyone else next week.

 


 
New stuff going out tonight to the Proving Grounds:

  • Changes to Capture The Core scoring.
  • Changes to damage while capturing the core. This change means you will only take damage while mining the core.
  • We've also implemented the afterburner! Awesome when you need that little bit extra speed.
  • You will now take damage if you collide with the environment or another drone -- but only if you hit either hard enough.
  • Trichording!!!!!!!
  • 3 new achievements: Minor Miner, Major Miner, and Master Miner! You earn these by being in the core zone or mining the core during a CTC match.
  • CTC is now available in Rama!
  • Now when you die :angry:, you will be invulnerable for 3 seconds. This gives you a chance to get your act together before someone else gets it together for you :P
  • Here's a biggie! Career Page! The Proving Ground folks will see a prelim career page.
  • I mentioned this one last week -- Proximity Mine. Well we had to hold it for a while, but it's going into the PG today as well, for reals B-)
  • And more -- check out the patch notes for everything.

 




Want to check out this week's Wingman's Hangar? Here ya go!

 


 


Here's this week's Studio Snapshot:

 


 


Have a great weekend,

 


BlueDog

Navigating the Minefield & Infinity Battlescape

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Howdy, Descenters,

 


You may or may not have noticed that there hasn't been a Design Underground popping up on your favorite YouTube Channel today...

 


<- I can only blame this little guy for making life so difficult.

 


"Now, Rob," you may ask, "How hard can it be to put something into the game that just sits there and blows up when you get near it?"

 


Well, let me tell you: there's a long road between a simple concept and a full in-game implementation. There are a lot of moving parts that go into getting a fairly lightweight object into the game and having it cooperate with all of the other systems. Let's see if I can break down for you the whole story of the proximity mine. (I guess that this is sort of a written version of Design: Underground.)


  • We had to assemble a gadget blueprint that combines the explosion, the audio, the in-game behavior, the collision detection sphere, and the actual art. The blueprint also had to provide proper launch behavior so that it didn't hit you - and explode on you - the second you launched it.
  • We had to take the splash damage functionality - originally in the missile class - and pull it out into a weapon function library to be accessible to all objects.


That's all pretty straightforward. Now we have a bomb that deploys and explodes when you go near it. Done, right? Just need to test it....

 




But wait - no ships have proximity mines on them. So let's add proximity mine loads to each ship as our new default. (Some ships, based on the original balance calculations, will have mines and laser grids, but some only have proxies.) That led to a lot more steps than you might think...


  • We originally had only one gadget - the laser grid - and ships didn't have an idea of a default gadget selected. Add that. To all of the ships.
  • Like the laser grid, we don't want your initial loadout of mines to drop when you explode - just the extra ones. So we needed a base count for each gadget type (in addition to the current count and the max count). Get those added to all of the ships as well.
  • Once there was a default gadget and a set of mines on each ship, it's testing ti... oh, wait: they don't show up when you launch the game.... Huh?
  • It turns out that some of the functionality was coded with the assumption that the starting gadget was always the laser grid. Rip that out and make everything generalized:
  • Make functions for getting a ship's stats based on the gadget type passed in. (Count, max, base.) Add this to the gadget component class which is attached to the ships.
  • Make a function for setting the current amount of any given gadget, based on the selection passed in.
  • Change the initial ship spawn behavior to get a current count of all gadgets and a default gadget and set the correct count and image on the HUD.


Almost there... At least it's testable now, and a few tweaks get the behavior working well pretty quickly. Awesome! Now switch to my laser grids to make sure nothing got broken on those while I was messing around with the base gadgets. Oh, crap - nothing happened. Phase 3....

  • Get key bindings set up for gadget switching. (Note to self to let John know to tweak the launcher to open up that control category behind the scenes on the next launcher.)
  • Go into the gadget component class and set up the functions for actually switching based on the key/button press.

    • Make sure that the forward and backward buttons work. Forwards and backwards. (Duh!)
    • Just for completeness' sake, make switching skip any gadget category for which you have no ammo. If all of your gadgets are gone, don't switch at all.
    • Research odd behavior and learn that in Blueprint, returning out of a loop does NOT stop the loop. On purpose. WTF? Fix that. Tell the other programmers. Make them sad.
    • Add a sound for switching.

  • Hook that up in the flight HUD. And the flight player controller. And the main HUD interface. And the main HUD. (Yes, there are that many parts for making the HUD communicate with the game and you.)


Hooray! I can switch gadgets! And they both still work. (Gotta check that, too.) Now I just need to be able to pick them up. Fortunately, there's already a power-up built for the proximity mine, so that should be simple. Just add a few to the test map and pick them up, and it's time to move on to some other feature.

 




But it doesn't work.


  • Go back into the HUD and base ship code and rip out a few more places that assumed that laser grids were all you wanted to know about.
  • Make the HUD not change your gadget count if you're not picking up your currently equipped gadget.
  • Make sure the power-up Blueprint itself is also using your gadget count, and caps you at the max. (Good thing that I made those functions in the gadget component to quickly get your counts.)
  • Actually hook up the correct image on the HUD for the prox mine. (Whoops.... missed that.)


Now I can pick up gadgets! Lay a few mines, blow them up, pick up some more mines... and I only get 1? But I told it to give me 4.

  • Make a base gadget pickup class to be the parent of laser grids and prox mine pickups, so I don't ever have to do this again.
  • Hook up that class to accept the ammo count from the base pickup class and pass that to the gadget component code that updates the FPC that updates the HUD...
  • Check that the count of the prox power-up in the test map is 4, just to be sure.

 




Back in the game, lay some mines, blow them up, pick up some mines, lay them all down, make a magnificent chain reaction, wait for them to respawn...

 


Oh, wait. I didn't hook that up yet.


  • Teach the power-up manager about respawning different types of gadgets. (So many steps, and my fingers are tired...)
  • Teach the power-up manager how to properly drop excess gadgets when you die.


Now, at last, the gadgets can undergo the full circle of life in Descent: Underground. Although I'd still like to hook up auto-switching on gadgets and make them spawn in groups instead of singly, at least we can get this out there in the Proving Grounds to test how they change the game balance. (And they will...)

 




Wait... you can't access the Proving Grounds? But that's only one click away....

 


If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed the ride.

 


See you Underground,

 


Rob

 


Wait, what a Double BLOG? Yep, this is Wingman dropping by and gravy training on Rob's most excellent blog to say there is a space game that is in need of our support.

 


Battlescape Infinity is a passion project that will have hundreds of people flying around shooting each other IN SPACE, and it is indie, so heck yes, we backed this.

There are 3 days left, the guys are doing a great job over there, if you are looking to back another TRUE indie space game, this would be one that deserves your attention.

 


And we need more INDIE Space games - right? RIGHT? HECK YES WE DO !

 


Posted Image

 


It is worth checking out - for sure.

 


Thanks for your continued support.

 


WM

Gabinator made the Most Valuable Post for the week of November 14, 2015

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Howdy, Folks!

 


Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!

 


 
Congratulations

GABINATOR

!!!!!!!

 


 


Gabinator made a funny video using lots of in-game footage from Descent: Underground!

 


Keep up the great work!

 


Enjoy the MVP forum badge that will appear on your Descendent Studios account!

If you don't yet have a Descendent Studios account, you can link your Steam account to enjoy the benefits of both sites with ease!

 


You will also receive a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 


Everyone else, remember: Our MVP badge is awarded to a member who has supported the game in a positive way (creativity is encouraged!).

 


Our great moderation team picks a member each week who goes above and beyond.

 


Get to posting!

 


Until next time, fly safe!

-Dunk

Week In Review (11/13/2015)

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Hey Descenters,

 


We have some big items being released into the Proving Grounds today. This gives us a chance to expose the new features, enhancements, and fixes to a wider audience for testing. Once we're satisfied that everything is ready for general release, we'll make it all public.

 


Some of the changes that will be going into the Proving Grounds today:

  • Big Huge Matchmaking upgrades. We've talked about it before, but the new matchmaking will allow you to create private matches, join private matches, quick match, and pick map and game type.

  • We're also pushing a new map to the Proving Grounds. Rama!!! This is a very cool map in that it combines some tight twisting tunnels and a very large open space. For now, you'll be able to play Anarchy and Team Anarchy in Rama, but we'll be adding other game types including Capture The Core as well as HOT ROCK!!

  • Some significant changes to Capture The Core are included in the Proving Grounds build as well -- mostly scoring changes.

  • Hey a new gadget is has been added! The Proximity Mine!

  • We've also Tronified TM the Torch and it is flyable and ready for battle
  • And much, much more

 




Coming Soon:


  • Career Page!

  • Taunts!

  • Two new bots!

  • A slew of new achievements!

 




Stay tuned for more info regarding the timing and details of all those.

 


The Alienware partnership has resulted in tons of new faces in the game!

 


Ok, Wingman starred in another Wingman's Hangar this week (he usually does). Here it is:

 


 


Studio Snapshot!!!!!!:

 


 


That's it for me! Have a great weekend and I'll see you in the game.

 


Cheers,

 


BlueDog

inspades made the Most Valuable Post for the week of Nov. 7, 2015!

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Howdy, Folks!

 


Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!

 


 
Congratulations

inspades

!!!!!!!

 


 


inspades found an exploit in the Typhoon's Spin Attack that we are looking to fix.

 


Keep up the great work!

 


Enjoy the MVP forum badge that will appear on your Descendent Studios account!

If you don't yet have a Descendent Studios account, you can link your Steam account to enjoy the benefits of both sites with ease!

 


You will also receive a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 


Everyone else, remember: Our MVP badge is awarded to a member who has supported the game in a positive way (creativity is encouraged!).

 


Our great moderation team picks a member each week who goes above and beyond.

 


Get to posting!

 


Until next time, fly safe!

-Dunk

Week In Review (11/6/2015)

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Howdy Descenters,

 

We've finally gotten off the bug smash train (somewhat) and are back to implementing new features.

 

In the very near future, we'll have the next phase of matchmaking in. This phase will give you the ability to create private matches and invite your friends to play in those private matches!!! If you have no friends (like me :P) , you can still pick the match type and map you want to play and be queued with the other Descenters who favor that match and match type. Or you could really be just like me and take whatever match and match type come your way (Quickmatch!)

 

Another big feature on tap is the Career page. The Career page will be available in-game (and web soon after). You can check out all of your achievements (yes, we are adding tons more). This also moves us down the path toward leader-boards and rankings. You'll be able to opt out of those if you prefer. By the way, I think Keith has some Career page contest stuff coming too.

 

Well, those are two of the biggies on the list. There will be plenty more though!!

 

For those of you that would like to watch some hot in-game action, I am including the stream from today of me playing against some fans. No doubt the pro Descenters will be critiquing my performance and likely finding it wanting :( . However, you never know which member of the dev team will be playing, so check in periodically and you might get a chance to Mega-Missile Wingman!

 

 

If you missed Wingman's Hangar you can always find it here on Fridays:

 

 

This weeks Studio Snapshot:

 

 


Have a great weekend,

 

BlueDog

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