News & Updates

Community Campfire #19

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Happy Tuesday, Rock Jocks!

 


Things are chugging along here in the mines. If you missed Design: Underground yesterday, it's worth checking out- we're getting much better performance from mid-range video cards!

 


 
We had a bit of a scare last week when we found out that Drillsey's cousin, Mailsey, had malfunctioned and not all of the shirts went out in the first wave. We've since sent out most of those shirts and we expect the rest to go out this week.

 


We're very sorry about the mix-up! Mailsey has been appropriately beaten with a hammer [font='comic sans ms']repaired[/font] and placed into service far away from the t-shirts.

 


Speaking of shirts...

 




T-SHIRT CONTEST

 




Throughout September, you can enter our end of summer T-Shirt contest to win free copies of the game for yourself or a friend!

 


Snap a pic of you and/or some friends wearing one of our shirts for a chance to win!

 


We have a lot of cool categories, check out the rules for more info- and submit your pictures!

 


 




BUILD-A-BOT



All summer long, we've been asking you to help design a bot for the game in our Build-A-Bot Contest...

 




This week, we've wrapped up Stage 4 of the Art Path!

 


We got some super awesome skins for the flamethrower boss bot and the devs had a really, REALLY hard time picking a winner!

 


Seriously- we had to call in reinforcements to break the tie.

 


So...

 




Congratulations



LOUHIKARME



!!!!

 


 


[attachment=312:20150901-BAB-Louhikarme_Bot.PNG]

 


 


Congratulations also to our runners-up, Angry Peas and Pleasure!

 




This leaves us with only ONE stage to go as we determine which member of our community will walk away with an AMD 290X Video Card!

 


The points are awfully close, so it's anyone's game as we close in on the end of Build-A-Bot!

 


We'll be announcing the details of Stage 4 Design on Wingman's Hangar this Friday at 11:00am Central (US) time, so be sure to tune in to our Twitch channel for the lowdown on the exciting FINAL stage!

 




http://www.twitch.tv/descendentstudios

 




That's it for now, fly safe!

 


-Dunk

Monday Map Madness Blog

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Hello, Descenters!

 


We are banging away at our first Proving Grounds release, checking every tittle (not the producer) to make sure that we've got the game ready for a wider audience.

 


 
This weekend, we ran our first play tests with the Advisory Board using the map rotation on our servers. The end results were quite a lot of fun, and we had quite a few people playing on Apophis, Valor, and the new-to-testing Mobius gray box map. Matt is putting some finishing touches on Valor (see another screen shot on this blog) so it will be ready for prime time, and we have CGBot starting on a prettiness pass for Mobius, which is pretty much a giant frag fest waiting to happen.

 


EXPERT TIP: Don't go after the mega missile in Valor when LotharBot is around. He will make you pay.

 


As much as we all would love to just keep playing the game all day, however, there are still a handful of systems and fixes that must be in place for a bigger release. But don't despair: we're getting much closer.

 


Heck, we'll even provide you with a list:

* Installer/launcher/patcher - almost completed

* Basic matchmaking - underway

* fix power-up spawn issues - working the problem

* network movement prediction - well underway

 


We're also looking at team play and capture the core, but we can get builds to the Proving Grounds folks before those are completed if need be.

 


If you can't stand the suspense and are looking for some more information on how Unreal Engine's graphics settings affect the game, look no further than this week's Design Underground, where I mostly sit and look confused as Tyler explains all of it.

 


[font='times new roman'][/font]

 


As always, please continue to spread the word. We're all social media-ed up, and you can point random strangers at Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube so that everyone everywhere has heard of Descent: Underground. Remember: every new member is a potential mega missile target for the Wingman, and he needs those to get his scores up. (Don't tell him I told you...)

 


See you Underground,

 


Rob

Most Valuable Post for August 29, 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



deftflux



!!!!!!!





 


 


 


Deftflux shared a neat control configuration script with the community



to help people play classic Descent games with console controllers.

 


 


 


 


Keep up the creativity!

 


 


 


 


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

 


 


 


 


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.

 


 


 


 


===

 


 


 


 


Don't forget to submit your textures to skin the bot in Build-A-Bot!

 


 


 


 


Week In Review (8/28/2015)

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Hello Fellow Descenters,

 


Another productive and FUN week. We've added a new map -- Valor II -- to our playtest mix (screen shot to the left). This map is pretty different than Apophis in both art style and gameplay. There's still some set dressing and lighting to do as well, but it's already very playable. (Hat tip to Drakona for grayboxing Valor II)

 


 
On top of the new map taking shape:

  • We've implemented a map rotation system. With this, the server will decide the next match when you click "Quick Match". In the future, you'll be able to choose your map and game mode, so view this as just the beginning.

  • We're working with CGBot on another map -- Mobius. So, it looks like we'll have three maps to play in the very near future.

  • In some of our gameplay footage, you may have noticed that the ships are hard to see sometimes. We now have a solution for that and it seems to be working great.

  • The beginnings of the achievement system have taken shape this week. In fact, we presented our ideas to the Advisory Board during Wednesday's meeting, they had some great suggestions, and all that's left now is to code it.

  • We also discovered a pretty big framerate issue and solved it this week. In that vein, the player graphics customization system is almost done.

  • Controller customization is in! We no longer have to manually modify our ini files pre-game. You have access to the controls settings anywhere in the game.

  • Much, much, more, including the design of a new gamemode, weapon tweaking, and more weapons being added (fusion canon, plasma canon, just to name a few)

 




We're back to providing you with a Studio Snapshot, take a look!

 


 


Wingman's Hangar was awesome this week -- a must see! So, I'll make it easy for you...

 


 


That's it from me for now.

 


Have a great weekend!

 


BlueDog

 


PS. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and Rob wants you all to subscribe to YouTube so you get the updates about his incredible show Design Underground.

Community Campfire #18

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Hey there Rock Jocks!

 


Lots of busy-busy here in the mines over the past week!

 


In case you missed it, we caught a ginormous bug in the website this past weekend that made us seem a lot less welcoming than we wanted. Thankfully, the web team was able to stomp it. If you know someone that had trouble registering, please extend my personal apology for the trouble- that's not how we wanted the site to work!

 


 
Tomorrow, we're meeting with the Advisory Board and we're going to test out another iteration of the "Angel Food" vertical slice as we march towards Proving Grounds and more backers getting their first tastes of Descent: Underground!

 


Also, now that shirts are in the mail (and some have arrived!) we are going to have a contest!

 




T-Shirt Contest

 




The short version:

Snap a picture of someone (including yourself) wearing one of our t-shirts and share the photo with our community. You could win stuff!

 


The long version:

Submit pictures to this thread: http://descendentstu...ontest-entries/

We encourage you to also share your photo on social media- #DescentOutfit

 


We will be awarding prizes in the following categories:


  • Photo showing a person wearing a Descent: Underground shirt (random drawing)
  • Photo showing a person wearing a Descendent Studios shirt (random drawing)
  • Photo showing a person wearing a Ships That Fight Underground shirt (random drawing)
  • Most people wearing all the same style of our shirts (D:U, DS, or STFU) in one photo - Group prize
  • Most people wearing any of our shirts in one photo - Group prize
  • Coolest place to wear one of our shirts (must include someone wearing it)
  • Funniest inanimate object wearing one of our shirts
  • Most representative of the spirit of the Descent games (must include someone wearing one of our shirts)


Please keep your entries workplace appropriate, safe, and legal- Entries showing a person in an unsafe location or engaged in trespassing or other illegal or inappropriate activity are subject to removal and disqualification.

 




The contest will run through noon CDT on September 30, 2015 and entries will be judged by the Descendent Studios team.

 


Oh... You want prizes?

The adoration of the masses isn't enough? Okay...

 


How about an Enlist Now game package... for everyone in a winning photo who's wearing one of our shirts!

 


Plus, if the original poster included a link showing that they shared it on social media with the hashtag #DescentOutfit, we'll upgrade the original poster's prize to a 2316 Sky Cup Edition!

 


Oh, speaking of contests...

 




Build-A-Bot

 


 


We are getting close to the end of our Build-A-Bot contest, in which YOU have a chance to contribute a bot that goes into Descent: Underground!

 


We're still taking entries in Stage 4 of our Art Path for one more week, so you have through this upcoming weekend to submit your skin for the bot!

 


Remember, the ultimate winner of Build-A-Bot wins an AMD 290X video card! Ultimate victory is based on constructive participation as well as successful submissions, so get on our forums and give helpful feedback!

 


Soon, the final stage will begin: Design Stage 4...

 


Keep your eyes peeled!

 


...and now... the Lore Monster rears its head:

 




LORE



Special thanks to Sliver for adding CS to the world of Descent: Underground!

 


[attachment=303:Colonial Sugar Logo - Player Idea.png]

 


INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: CS

Reyex: CS

Close: 2958.06[font=arial][/font] 1MO: -1.21 6MO: +1.78

 


Though now famous for their “`Ava Go!” advertisements featuring khaki-clad workers building everything from refugee housing to space stations, CS is actually one of the oldest companies on the Security Council. Founded during the age of wind-powered sailing ships, CS was originally chartered as “Colonial Sugar” and tasked to build and manage sugar plantations for the former British Empire.

 


After a chance 1866 gold find near Gympie in what is now the Queensland EOZ, Colonial Sugar used the newfound resources to expand into shipping, rail transportation, and coal mining. The firm leveraged these into a dominance of general merchandise through the interior of the Australian continent. Furthermore, by 1900, Colonial Sugar had begun producing steel, structural iron, and concrete for export throughout the regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania.

 


Though the company fell on hard times in the early 21st Century, wise financial management enabled the firm, renamed “CS”, to acquire several advanced materials patents between 2032 and 2051. CS employed these to become a market leader in structural components and aerospace materials. A major investor in the Yú Networks, CS also runs some of humanity’s largest aeroponics equipment and construction concerns.

 


While helping to found the United Corporations' Security Council, CS built the "Capricorn" Zodiac Station, justly famous for its tropical gardens. CS managers often wear lightweight versions of the traditional black or blue business suit. Blue-collar workers typically wear khaki attire appropriate to their jobs, though contrary to the firm’s marketing few actually don slouch hats. Investors value CS stock as a balanced mix of long-term stability and periods of rapid growth.

 


[font='courier new']{LIBERETE NODE D982:D2C3:F0A4:EE13-BA84:9762:00F0:C231 ONLINE AT 23150715.025241.B}[/font]

 


[font='courier new']{OpusMagnor 23150715.025241.B} Here’s yet another of those gigacorp profiles: {((FILE ATTACH))} I can’t seem to find anything about their use of “indentured” labor, either historically or in their outlands. {EOP}[/font]

 


[font='courier new']{WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot 23150715.030834.Z} They might not be a friend of the People, but they’re far from the worst. Then again, they did compost about a billion kilos of food last year to keep prices high. {EOC}[/font]

 


[font='courier new']{Juanina 23150715.033517.R} That’s nothing compared to waste from their dump mines in the Bolivar EOZ, etc.! They’ve made millions of hectares of land and sea totally hostile to life! {EOC}[/font]

 


[font='courier new']{KoenigKapa 23150715.041209.B} At least they’ve started cleaning up some of those. Don’t buy that “green” hype, though- it took that suit from Chengchao in the UC courts to force their hand. {EOC}[/font]

 


[font='courier new']{NODE DISABLED - UCIA ACCESS DETECTED}[/font]

 


That's all for this week.

 


Until next time, fly safe!

 


-Dunk

A whoops, and a great show!

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Apparently in our new store update, there was an automated selection on our store back end that turned on a "choose a pledge" page at forum sign up.

 


What this meant was that whenever someone tried to sign up, a pop up appeared that said "Pledge" and it looked like there was no way to join the community without pledging. UGH!

 


If that wasn't bad enough, the prices were not right, the discounting was not working so if anyone pledged (and a couple did) they got overcharged.

DOUBLE UGH !

 


This is on us, while we tested all the new features and the store, we had not touched the sign up code, and did not realize this had happened - until - I got told on Kickstarter, in rather salty language that in no uncertain terms would they be forced to pledge $$$ to join up.

 


This confused me and so when I researched I noticed the problem, thanks to our dynamic web team, Fallarnon and Elfin, both sorted it out within an hour.

However, that did not seem enough - we went through all the pledges in the last few weeks to make sure no one was overcharged, and if they were we will give them the overage back in either store credit or in a refund. Turns out it was only 3 people, and we have reached out to them privately - Whew!

 


This is completely our fault, and by ours, I mean, ME!

 


So, my humble apologies for screwing this up, we never want to force ANYONE to have to pledge, we want all interested parties to be able to come in and participate and then if they want to, make a decision that is right for them.

I feel terrible that many people from Gamescom or RTX might have come, tried to register and left because of this bug - therefore we are going to be extending the coupons for 20% off game package pledges from both RTX and Gamescom until September 4th:

 




GC2015



RTX2015

 




I can't promise we won't make another mistake, but I do promise that when pointed out, we will always do the right thing.

 


Now, about that salty Kickstarter backer, I have thanked him for pointing out our bug, and invited him to join our forums and will be giving him a free $30 package - because this was a HUGE bug to find.

 


Now, onto something POSITIVE - did you see Rob and Tyler in this week's Design: Underground? If not, check it out here:

 


 


Always good stuff discussed in that show, it is a can't miss.

And, thanks to everyone for your understanding and continued support.

 


And again, MEA CULPA !

 


WM

Most Valuable Post for August 22, 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



Sliver



!!!!!!!

 


https://www.youtube....h?v=ZGKeNfN7BIc

 




Sliver brought the community abut of lighthearted fun by



sharing an idea for a new t-shirt that people might like.

 




Keep up the creativity!

 


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

 


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.

 


===

 


Don't forget to submit your textures to skin the bot in Build-A-Bot!

Week In Review (8/21/2015)

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Hey Descenters!

 


Tons of fun and progress on the project this week. We spent some time playtesting another map -- Valor. This is a really fun death match map and, personally, I killed in it.

 
This week we:

  • Released our first playable to the Advisory Board. We also playtested with them for a while.

  • The Predator, Goliath, and Auger were wrapped up. I can't wait to test those in game next week.

  • Fixed tons of bugs, including the joystick bug, the pickup bug, and the mega missile tumbling bug -- just to name a few.

  • We have Mac and Linux builds

  • Created a whole slew of new map pieces. For those of you not aware, we will be distributing the map building components to the player community to aide them in map building.

  • And much more!
Here's a bit of Snapshot goodness!

 


 


No thanks to me, but Rob Irving's Design Underground (featuring Rob Irving) was huge on Monday. In it, Rob and I (sort of) discuss what we learned at RTX. If you missed it, by all means take a look and don't forget to tune in on most Mondays for more design discussions with Rob and his guest. This is where you'll get to see the real nuts and bolts of what's going into the game.

 


 


If you weren't able to tune into Wingman's Hangar Episode 23 earlier today. Wingman and Designopotamus are in great form this week. Take a gander!

 


 


Hope you all have a great weekend!

 


Cheers,

 


BlueDog

Gifting, Items and Websites oh my!

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I am guessing some of you might know who I am :) For those of you that don't, I am Elfindreams aka John Tennyson. I am among other things, a member of the Advisory Board, the first backer and I even help out developing and managing servers for Descendent Studios in my spare time.

 


It is in that last role that I get to talk to all you good folks today. You might have seen something new show up in the site store on Monday. You might also have noticed that if you look at your purchases you have a lot more than you used to. We have been working very hard the last couple of weeks (special thanks to Stormwind aka Jason, Fallarnon, Stealthguy and Dunkelza for all their work on this) to get you gifting and start the database back-end work necessary to eventually get you your items in the game. Those two items are the visible parts of the fruits of those labors.

 


If you didn't notice them, that's what I am here for :)

 


If you have extra packages or packages that contain "giftable" packages, you should now be able to go to the Store and see a new tab named, appropriately enough, "gifting".

 


Posted Image

 


It is from that screen that you can choose one of your giftable packages, scroll down to chose an email and message and send gifts. You can also see gifts that you have sent that haven't been claimed yet and resend or cancel them (in case you put in the wrong email, etc).

 


[attachment=302:20150819-BlogElf-Gifting2.PNG]

 


When you send a gift, the recipient will receive an email with your notes and a link that they can use to claim the gift. If they are not already a member of our community, they will be led through creating an account and once the gift is redeemed they will have all the special items (ribbons, etc) that you graciously gifted them.

 


Speaking of ribbons and special items, if you go to the store and select the client area and choose purchases you should see a lot of new items.

Posted Image

 


A part of the database work we have been doing to make sure you get your items in the game and to enable gifting meant we had the pleasure of breaking out the many, many sub-items. You may notice a few items missing. Ships that have not yet been unlocked (like the Torch), ship cosmetic items (skin packs) and currency (Pals and script) have not yet been awarded. Don't worry you will get them, there are just some dependencies that mean we will be adding them at a later pass.

 


You may also notice (if you have them) ship tokens in your inventory. Right now we do not have the user interface to allow you to select a ship from a token, but rest assured it is on our list.

 


We also know that the user interface on the client area is a bit cumbersome to work with. That too is on our list :)

 


In the mean time, I sincerely hope you enjoy gifting, thank you once again for all your support and most of all I hope to see you all underground.

 


Elfindreams

Community Campfire #17

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"`Twas the blog after Monday and all down the street,

all the workers were hustling and bustling to eat.




I sat at a table, my order to place,

When a brilliant reflection made me cover my face.




Then what to my wondering eyes did appear?

But a mini Goliath, and not one single beer..."




 




No, I didn't really go out to lunch, nor did a miniature Goliath appear floating above my table...



But isn't that picture awesome? I can't wait to turn ore into ammo!



 


T-SHIRTS





All but a handful of our t-shirt pledges have been sent out!



The rest should be going out tomorrow, which is fantastic- lots of thanks to Winglet for his hard work on those.



So...



We are about to announce some fun contests involving pictures of people dressed for Descent: Underground, rocking our gear. While I'd love to send the winners a giant gold-plated ship model, that's not in the budget.



So what do you think would be a good prize? Maybe some giftable ship tokens? Maybe a tricked-out game package?



What do you think?



 


Website Changes





Some of you might have already noticed some slight changes in the way your account looks...



We're going to ask Elfindreams to swing by and explain the changes (and their awesomeness) later in the week.



This is huge, because it paves the way for...



 


Proving Grounds





We are ramping up our playtesting very soon, with a pre-alpha build heading out to our Proving Grounds and Underground backers in the next few weeks!



There are still a few technical checkpoints to cross, but we're closing in...



Keep your eyes peeled, because once the first Proving Grounds build drops, we suspect there might be some Twitch streams and YouTube videos popping up out there in the Intarwebz!



 


Build-A-Bot





We are closing in on the end of the Build-A-Bot competition and the awarding of the AMD 290X video card!



Stage 3 of the Design Path has ended, but we are keeping the winner close to our vest right now.



Why?



Because we need to get the bot model skinned in Stage 4 of the Art Path before we can start the final stage of the game...



So get your bot textures entered and rack up those points, because the game is afoot!



Alrighty folks, until next time- fly safe!



-Dunk

Developer Tracker