News & Updates
Community Campfire #17
"`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!
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.
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?
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...
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!
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.
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!
Monday Full Speed Ahead Blog
Just got finished playing a few quick matches of D:U with some of our advisory board members and team members, and had a blast! (That might just be from Pixley slinging missiles at me, now that I think about it.)
Now that we're fully recovered from last weekend's epic RTX appearance (and I have my voice back - mostly), we're pushing forward with the fixes and improvements that we need to spread the game to a wider audience - and our early access people are next on the list.
We had a big meeting today to do plan for exactly what's coming next, and you'll be seeing quite a bit of new content over the upcoming weeks. As the blog image indicates, the Goliath is nearing completion, and it might just be bringing some friends along to the party...
If you want to see a little more about the lessons we learned from letting hundreds of people play this early version of the game, check out today's Design Underground, where Phil and I discuss precisely that.
We're seeing quite a bit of press coverage from RTX and the first playable release to our Advisory Board. Keep watching here for updates to the Press Page. The word IS spreading (but you can do your part, as well)!
Stay tuned for more news in the upcoming week, and, as always...
See you Underground.
Most Valuable Post for August 15, 2015
Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making
Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!
Star Machinist took a look at the progress that our team and the community have made
and posted a heartfelt thread that really captures the feelings of the moment.
Thank you so much for the perspective!
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.
Week In Review (8/14/2015)
We've all recovered from the RTX expo. It was a fantastic show, hundreds of people played the game -- and loved it, and we learned alot from watching them play. In fact, on Monday, Rob releases a new Design Underground where he and I chat about some of what we learned at the Expo. Tune in for that one!
Although, we still have a long way to go (and a short time to get there ) the team has made tremendous progress. The fans at RTX were amazed at how far we've come in only 3 months. We not only have a playable game, but its pretty damn fun too!
As for our next step, we will release the latest build to the Advisory Board and join in with them for some playtesting this weekend and on Monday. Not too long after, we'll be releasing it on the Proving Grounds. So anyone that has access to the Proving Grounds, like members of the Underground, will be able to join in on the playtesting and provide feedback in the Proving Ground forum.
Take a look at the video of DU at RTX:
In case you missed Wingman's Hangar earlier today, you can see it here:
Lots of you have asked about gifting. We have the gifting system in testing now and if all goes well, that will be rolled out to all of you very soon -- maybe even next week.
Also, all T-shirts to the US folks have shipped - and the folks in the rest of the world will ship next week - great job Winglet!
That's it for me this week.
Have a great weekend!
A personal thank you!
I wanted to drop you all a line and give a little personal note of thanks to our team and to all the backers for allowing us the opportunity to reboot a storied franchise like Descent.
When we set out to do the RTX show we had no idea how people would react. This was a show that would primarily have people that had never heard of Descent and though we love the game and game play, would they? Very nerve wracking, to be honest.
Well, I am here to say....HOLY COW !!!! We had over a thousand playing the game during those 3 days, many on the Oculus Rift, and many playing just the game on a monitor and PC. But, they all had one thing in common.
THEY LOVED IT !!!
I mean we could not believe the reactions, folks were lining up for hours to play, and people were coming back time and time again, one guy came back around 10 times and finally challenged the office champion Tyler Pixley and BEAT HIM!
This was so gratifying to the team, and validated that all of us are on the right path - and for that, I thank you.
Without your continued support, and helping us spread the word, this game might have continued to become a distant memory in older gamers like me, but thanks to all of you, there is an entirely new generation of gamers that are now experiencing Descent, and they are saying... HELL YES !!!
So, while we are not there yet, we are very encouraged by the direction we are in, and where we are today, and the best part is that Advisory Board will be getting it VERY SOON, and then the Undergrounders soon after that.
We can't wait to get this baby into your hands - oh man - this is fun. In fact here is an interview I did with Bad News Baron where we talk about the game - enjoy.
We are also featured in today's MMORPG.
Thanks - and see you all UNDERGROUND.
Community Campfire #16 (RTX Edition)
This past weekend was a total whirlwind of awesome!
In case you missed it, we went to Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX)- our very first convention with a playable version of Descent: Underground!
Not that long ago, a whole bunch of things gelled and the "Angel Food" vertical slice got baked into a working game! It still had plenty of bugs, but the features we'd wanted it to have were included- and more importantly, it was fun to play!
Right about the same time, we had an opportunity to get a small booth at RTX... along with an hour of livestream time on their central stage!
So we got the booth (and stage time) and the team furiously smashed bugs. Meanwhile, I chased logistics to get us things like a booth banner and handouts so that people could at least find our website after the convention.
Suddenly, it was Thursday!
So we loaded up the truck and we moved to Beverly...
Actually, RTX was right down the street from us, but it was still an adventure. Setting up the booth involved hours of effort:
But in the end, our little booth was complete!
Friday morning, though, we arrived to find that we'd gotten boxed in by some more walls, the end result of which meant that we couldn't be seen unless someone was right in front of us! Oh noes!
Thankfully, the RTX staff, being totally awesome, stopped by and checked in. I think they noticed our Oculus Rift stations and the relatively tight walkway where our "play the game" line would have to wait. They offered us an unused booth with better traffic flow...
...and we couldn't refuse.
Thanks to Viewmaster's careful wire management, we were able to move the entire booth with minimal disassembly in less than half an hour!
Which was a good thing, because about 15 minutes later, the doors opened and we were totally surrounded by howling bar... actually, the crowd was composed of wonderfully polite and interesting gamers from all walks of life.
All weekend long, the team shared Descent: Underground with thousands (tens of thousands) of gamers, many of whom had never seen a shooter with six degrees of freedom.
On Saturday, Wingman and Designopotamus brought more than 30 players up on the stage for four rounds of livestreamed Descent: Underground combat in front of a combined in-house and worldwide audience of bajillions! That's a technical term, BTW.
Afterward, our booth was even busier- people often waited more than an hour to play!
Even more awesome, a lot of people came back multiple times. One young feller returned several times and even convinced his mom to give VR a try (and then video recorded her)!
Sunday morning, before the show opened, we got to hang out with some awesome folks from MechCorps! They tried out D:U (and loved it!) and we got to learn the finer points of mech combat. I totally pwned the rest of our guys, BTW...
All too soon, this amazing show was over, and our final batch of Freelance Resource Acquisition Generalists fought one last anarchy match in the Apophis mines...
While my feet (and back) are grateful that the show is over, I'm definitely sad that RTX2015 is over.
We met a lot of great people, got loads of constructive feedback (plus metric tonnes of positive feedback!), and finally got to show that the dream of rebooting Descent is not a pipe dream, but a reality!
Okay, I'm going to go find a box of tissues...
Until next time, fly safe!
Week In Review (8/8/2015) -- Sort of, well the mini version.
Sorry about the missing WIR yesterday. As Wingman pointed out on his blog Thursday we've been getting ready for the Rooster Teeth Expo, between that and manning the booth all day Friday, I just didn't get one out.
We'll give you a full run down next week, but I can tell you this, the expo has been very crowded and so has our booth. Lots of people very interested in DU and have loved what they've seen. We've had some of the longest lines at the expo, with some people waiting an hour just to get the chance to play.
The expo is open until 6 pm tonight and all day tomorrow, so if you are somewhere near Austin, come by and see us.
Again, apologies not delivering last week's WIR.
Marching towards RTX, and if you like Graphic Novels...
What a great day at Descendent Studios, we are working on final touches for our RTX version of Descent: Underground, and at this early stage it is already FUN TO PLAY!
This is so exciting, because rarely does a game come together this fast and be FUN right away, and that is down to all of you for believing in us and for giving us the chance to bring this bad boy back to it's rightful place as a top gaming experience.
Lots of thanks to the folks that are helping out all along the way too, so much talent, so much passion, this is making our team feel so incredible as we work long into the evening to make it just right.
We are releasing the RTX version to the Advisory board, real soon (as soon as we can lock down the server address in the cloud) - because Jason has set it up so well that new builds are going on constantly and the cloud server moves just as fast with the process, meaning builds can work for 5 minutes and then a new one is ready...and you can't login anymore on the cloud server - so he is making a static one for the releases which will help us on the proving grounds versions later as well.
So, if you are coming to RTX, great, if not, don't worry Michael "Viewmaster" Morlan will be filming all along and we even will have some updates from Kaji and Erio at Gamescom, probably next week as we will all be slammed working the shows, but I promise it will be worth the wait.
Now, on a personal note: I had the pleasure of working with John Mueller years ago, a very talented game developer and artist - he has a kickstarter for a Graphic Novel he created called "Oink"
Check it out if you like those kinds of things, lord knows I do, and if you like it great, or pass it on to someone you think might be into that.
It is important that we independents support talented creatives.
Thanks, and see you all Underground.
Community Campfire #15
Wow! It seems like every week things just get busier around here!
I don't know if you caught last week's gameplay livestream, but it was intense!
If you missed it, it's worth checking out!
ROOSTER TEETH EXPO
As Rob mentioned yesterday, we're setting up a booth at RTX this weekend to share Descent: Underground with a whole new batch of people.
We should be in booth 341 right next to the MechCorps, so if you're in town be sure to swing by and visit us!
In addition, we are scheduled to be doing a LIVE, hour-long Wingman's Hangar on Rooster Teeth's central stage on Saturday at 11AM CDT. That's our usual time slot, but one day later. That does mean we aren't streaming on Friday, but you'll get TWICE the Wingman if you tune in on Saturday!
On Wednesday, we'll be "locking down" our build with the latest features so that we can put it in front of our Advisory Board members.
That means that we're counting down to our first Proving Grounds pre-alpha test!
We still have a few technical hurdles to make sure that everyone who should be able to get into Proving Grounds can, so I don't have a hard date... yet.
In the meantime, if you don't currently have Proving Grounds access as a part of your pledge rewards, you can always join The Underground to get Proving Grounds access for as long as you're a member.
Build-A-Bot is our summer contest, in which fans like YOU are designing a bot for Descent: Underground!
The overall winner of Build-A-Bot will receive an AMD 290X Video Card, and the winner is chosen by point for entries, victories, and participation across multiple stages and categories- click here for all the info on Build-A-Bot!
We've finished Stage 3 of the Art Path, with Louhikarme's high-detail bot progressing into Stage 4!
That means that we've started Stage 4 of the Art Path- TEXTURING!
We need YOU to put a paintjob on the flamethrower boss bot. Click here for all the details!
That's all for today, folks- fly safe!
Monday Evening MEGA Blog
Holy cow, we're going to a trade show! Heck, we're going to TWO trade shows. And they're THIS WEEK! Eek.
Needless to say, things have been even more hectic than usual around the office today, We're doing constant iteration on the current level to get everything as perfect as possible for showing off.
The Austin crew will be gathering Friday through Sunday at RTX 2015 (a local convention put on by Rooster Teeth). We'll be showing off the game and allowing people to get a taste of the current demo, as well as making an appearance on their streaming channel on Saturday at 11 AM CDT. Should be a big event for us, and it's a chance to reach a new audience all at once.
Stop by our booth and say hi if you get a chance.
(For those of you wondering why we're not all just trooping over to Gamescom this year... Well, it's just not cost effective at this time, and we want to put everything that we can into actually making the game. We sure hope that we can catch you all there next year. We love Germany!)
Meanwhile, our very own Kajisan and Erio - our European contingent - will be wandering the show floor at Gamescom this week, as well. We're hoping they get to meet a lot of Descent fans, both old and new! Watch for their nifty Descent: Underground and Descendent Studios shirts if you're there.
All efforts this week are pretty much devoted to planning for that event and getting everything as fun as possible. (As today's blog image hints, we might even have a bit of a mega-surprise in our weekend demo.)
If you just can't wait to meet us at the shows and you want more of us, why don't you stop by and check out me and Phil on today's Design Underground. We talk a little about blueprints and the recharge zones, which might come in handy in the game.
Come catch us in either location this weekend if you're able, or continue to spread the word if you can't. Things are coming together amazingly well, and we want to get as many players into the fold as we can.
See you Underground,