News & Updates

Visitors, Ahoy!


Today we had a nice visit from a couple of our Undergrounder supporters who happened to be in town...


...and they got to fly around in for a little bit in the current work-in-progress of the "Devil's Food" vertical slice!


They also got to see Pixley's ship doing cartwheels or something when he was testing out some new feature implementations- more on that later.


Here's a picture of our guests, Bitwise and Xyphon, with Designapotamus, Stormwind, and Pixley:





Then, as is our tradition... we put them to work!


Xyphon and Bitwise flew through Drakona's "Valor" map to test the flight controls:





Then both of them checked out the details in our "Apophis" test map:





Afterwards, the guys moved on to testing out various systems, like lasers and mining...





...and discovered that someone had forgotten to give the Wasp's mining laser a power level. Oops!



Our visitors reported their feedback to Wingman:





Then, just as our guests were packing up, Stormwind announced that he and Pixley had solved some issues with the netcode and everyone got to see the two of them facing each other down in a network game!


Then Pixley's ship started doing some kind of disco spin...



It was so great to have Xyphon and Bitwise stop by and I want to thank them for scheduling a time with us in advance.


Because we're such a small, focused team, it's very important for us to be able to plan ahead for visits. We love sharing our work with you and it takes time to get set up for these demos- computers have to be moved, files updated, cables run, etc.


I'm not sure when our next window for visits will be (I hope soon!); but, if you want to schedule a visit, please send me a PM via our forums.


Also, don't forget that this Friday Wingman's Hangar is streaming LIVE from the Celestial Citadel (well, Viewmaster's studio...) so be sure to tune in at 11am CDT (1600 UTC) on our Twitch channel:


Thanks for being awesome!


Fly safe,



Community Campfire #12


Hiya folks!


Things are a BLUR here at Descendent Studios!


← Isn't this WWII-themed ship skin concept cool? Slap a olive green or desert tan paint job on the hull and...


Sorry... Back to the blog...


The game dev team is putting finishing touches on what I call the "Devil's Food" vertical slice (slice, cake... get it?). We are testing the living daylights out of that to determine what we need to add/improve for the next iteration- "Angel Food", anyone?


Aside from general curiosity, why is that super significant?


Because we are hoping to put "Angel Food" or its successor in front of our Proving Grounds backers in August- that's next month!


Speaking of Proving Grounds, we need more pre-alpha testers to help us get the game ready faster. We are in the process of figuring out how best to expand the number of testers in the Proving Grounds (pre-alpha) while honoring those backers whose reward packages already include Proving Grounds. There's a thread in the forums talking about some ideas- your feedback helps!





After some earlier issues finding reliable screenprinters, we've found a great local team to work with and expect to have our first batch of shirts in-hand soon!


We plan to begin shipping those out to folks who've already pledged for them in the next few weeks.


Those who pledged for a shirt- please check your store information to make sure that your address is a valid shipping address.


You can also check the size chart to see if you picked the correct size:



Posted Image

A - Width, B - Height, C - Sleeve Center Back

SM18" (45.7 cm)28" (71.1 cm)15.6" (39.7 cm)
MD20" (50.8 cm)29" (73.6 cm)17.0" (43.2 cm)
LG22" (55.9 cm)30" (76.2 cm)18.5" (47.0 cm)
XL24" (61.0 cm)31" (78.7 cm)20.0" (50.8 cm)
2XL26" (66.0 cm)32" (81.3 cm)21.5" (54.6 cm)
3XL28" (71.1 cm)33" (83.8 cm)22.9" (58.2 cm)
4XL30" (76.2 cm)34" (86.4 cm)24.3" (61.7 cm)
5XL32" (81.3 cm)35" (88.9 cm)25.4" (64.5 cm)


If you need to change your address or size, please file a support ticket here so we can update our information.





Semi-finalist voting for Stage 2 of the Design Path has begun!


Next week, the top vote-getters will advance to a Finalist round of voting, and the top three will be placed before the devs to pick a Stage 2 Design winner.


We are also accepting entries in Stage 3 of the Art Path, where are looking for a highly-detailed 3D model based on the 3D concept provided.



If you know some talented folks who should be participating, there's no time like NOW to get them involved!


Be sure to check out all the info on our Build-A-Bot competion, where YOU have a chance to design a scary boss bot for Descent: Underground!


We award points for entries, constructive feedback, and being in the top tier of a stage.


Remember! The top point-earner over the entire contest wins an AMD 290X video card!


Alrighty folks, until next time...


Fly safe,



Apologetic Monday Blog

Hey, Descenters,

Happy Monday (for those of you still seeing Monday on the calendar)!

Sooooo, there was supposed to be a brand new Design: Underground episode today, all full of goodness about the new map. Unfortunately, filming got pushed from Thursday to today due to scheduling pretzels last week, and then today there just never seemed to be enough time to get it shot, due to the factors that needed to come together for the Grand Plan simply refusing to come together.

For those of you looking forward to the new episode, I apologize profusely. For those of you NOT looking forward to it... You're welcome!

Of course, the end result is that today we made HUGE progress towards the vertical slice actually all being together and functioning in the same branch (that's a big deal in game development land) so that we can actually start testing this thing for realsies. Believe me when I say that we're all REALLY excited about that.

At this point, we have the very Descent-like new flight model in, along with better overall performance for the base weapons, thanks to some serious elbow grease provided by LotharBot and Drakona working side-by-side with us last week. Mining is up and running and being pulled into the main game as we speak. (There's still progress to be made, but it's worlds better than it was.) We have SOUND popping up all over the place. (Phil's been kicking some butt in the implementation department on that one). The map appearance has been evolving dramatically, as the blog image will attest, and Josh has been doing some great new looks for the rock textures to make the ships really pop. We also have a whole slew of menu visuals and code in place to take you from the drone bay into the game and back. We even have homing missiles working now (with some interesting behavior that should provide lots of footage), sans some significant number...

Most Valuable Post for July 11, 2015


Howdy, Folks!

Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making

Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!




Renegade-Shank invented an ecoterrorist group to add depth to the backstory of the game!

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.


Speaking of Build-A-Bot, there's still time to enter Stage 2 for Design

and we're accepting entries for a high-detail 3D model!

Get your entries in SOON!

Week In Review (7/10/2015)

Howdy, Descenters!!

It's been a great week at the Austin office. Drakona, Lotharbot, and Elfindreams have been here all week playtesting and consulting. Drakona and Lotharbot even created a Descent 1 level just for this week and the whole gang has had a blast playing it. In addition to bringing in a D1 level, Drakona and Lotharbot used our "lego" pieces to create a graybox level for DU -- yeah, that's right we put them to work!

Most importantly though, they've shared their knowledge of flight mechanics, maps, and gameplay. It has been an excellent learning experience for all of us.

In this week's snapshot, we have:

  • Wingman reviews some of the latest camo ship patterns. Lots of very interesting ideas from the artists. Some of the patterns are very "natural" looking and others a bit more structured.

  • You also get an interesting view of what happens when the Typhoon does a spinning attack and rolls at the same time -- cool effect!

  • One of our artists (Matt), gives the whole crew a lesson in level building -- which Drakona and Lotharbot used to great effect by grayboxing a DU level.

  • We also get a look at Wingman reviewing some of Dan's awesome music!

  • There's even a BlueDog sighting this week! Dan delivered a ton of sound effects -- which are fantastic -- and I spent some time this week adding them to the game.

Check out the latest -- directly from the Wingman!!


Community Campfire #11

Howdy F.R.A.G.s!

We had the Community Campfire later this week because I wanted to be able to do a couple of things. First, I needed to tell you about the winner of Build-A-Bot's Stage 2 Art challenge. Plus, I wanted to give some of our Advisory Board members a chance to guest-blog and we wanted to make sure they'd had a chance to get their hands into to the nitty-gritty first.

So, without further ado...


Drakona & LotharBot, members of our Advisory Board, brings us guest blogs:

[font='trebuchet ms']Looking forward to the week, Tom and I weren't sure what to expect, visiting the studio. Would there be serious, useful stuff for us to do? Would we be able to make a positive impact on the game? Would it get close enough to make a Descent pilot happy? How much did the studio even care about that?[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']Much as we liked and respected these guys, we had a lot of questions about how strongly our interests coincided. We're allies -- but close ones? We didn't know. We were pretty sure the week would decide.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']Well, it has.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']Right away, I was impressed with the list of things the team had set out for us to work on. Top priority was getting the ship to fly right. Next after that -- evaluating how maps were put together, teaching them what we knew about building great Descent maps, using the new system and giving feedback. Last? Teaching them what we knew about flying.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']We've worked very hard on all of those things this week, and I'm very pleased with the results. I just came out of a build running the flight envelope I designed the other day, intended to give a D1 feel in a totally different engine. It gets pretty -- darn -- close! There are glitches, there are bugs, everything is still in development -- but flying the new ship really does feel great.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']But what really impressed me was that the team made time and space to work hard on that while I was here. They are all really busy and working very hard on many, many tasks! And they care about polishing this thing just right, and it is important to them to take the time to make me, as a pilot (and by proxy, the Descent community) happy.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']I have been delighted with the professionalism and integrity and passion and talent of this team. Day in and out, under pressure and through intense design disagreements -- they make good decisions and do great work. And as rough and early as the whole product is, I have great confidence they will do their utmost to do right by their fans.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']So -- the verdict after a week at the studio? I'm more than an ally. I'm a fan.[/font]

[font='trebuchet ms']This is gonna be great, you guys. :)[/font]

[font=verdana]It's been a great week here at Descendent Studios. We went from a flight model that sort of felt Descent-like to a flight model that felt closer to D1 than D3 did. We've had level design brainstorming sessions, built levels out of tinker toys, converted levels from Descent 1 to Descent 4 using the whitebox kit, and built a new D1 level from scratch based on the One Sheet from this week's Underground meeting.[/font]

[font=verdana]More importantly, we've learned from the team and imparted knowledge to the team about where the project is going from here. Soon we'll head back home, but we're in position to make a difference going forward, and hopefully help make Descent:Underground into the best Descent game ever.[/font]



We are in this together!

When we started this adventure, we as a team decided that it was very important that we engage the community every step of the way.

It is our commitment to the backers, that gave us the opportunity to reboot this storied franchise. We are truly building this great game together, and we would not have it any other way.

I am excited because all week we have three of our top-tiered backers in the office participating in scrums, design meetings, webshows, playing the game, everything. There are no barriers in making our game, no red ropes separating development from the people that want this game as much as us.

Posted Image

Without you guys, there is basically no us, we are eternally grateful to all of you and it is why we have a commitment to keeping you all involved.

We hosted a meeting about maps today, talking about the one sheet we use to build the maps to the actual direction we are taking with the next map (hint - Iceteroid).

Here is a small snapshot of the Underground meeting.

If you want to be involved in these meetings, head over to our store and join up for an Underground membership, it is there you get early looks, have a private forum and probably will be where Proving grounds access will be garnered.

Also, you might be noticing some changes on the awards systems in the forums...

Welcome F.R.A.G.s!

Howdy folks!

I'm writing today's blog just to confuse you... no, not really. Rob's in the middle of some serious math and so he asked me to tell you about this week's Design: Underground.

Instead, I wanted to tell you about our first "Freelance Resource Acquisition Generalists" (F.R.A.G.s)- Drakona, LotharBot, and Elfindreams.

That's right!

For the first time today, people from outside the development team flew inside the vertical slice map using game engine flight mechanics!


As members of our Advisory Board, they're here all week helping out with a whole bunch of tasks.

For starters, they've been helping us to fine-tune those flight mechanics to make sure we keep that Descent feel.

We're also picking their brains about maps. We're going to need a lot of maps for Descent: Underground and their experience is very helpful.

Speaking of maps...

This Wednesday is the design meeting livestream for our Underground members. We're going to be having a meeting about maps and map design, which should be pretty awesome!

If you're already a member, keep watching your super-secret forum for more details!

If you aren't a member yet, there's still time to join- just sign up right here.


Week In Review (7/3/2015)

Happy Friday, Descenters!

It's a short week for the Austin crew (due to July 4th :D), but lots of stuff got done!

  • The office is ready for our visitors next week -- Drakona, Lotharbot, and Elfindreams! There'll will be lots of play testing, map discussions, checking out all the art in progress, and no doubt some back-and-forth regarding game design.

  • Dan Wentz delivered a huge batch of SFX. We've reviewed them all and they are awesome! Check next week for a video with a bunch of SFX included.

  • Jason and Erio had a big breakthrough with flight mechanics. Lots of tinkering still needed to get it just right, but, hey, that's one reason the visiting trio are coming in next week.

  • Almost all of our feature set and art are in for the vertical slice! Just about all that's needed is a bit of polish. We are looking to release some new gameplay footage next week.
Continuing with the new tradition, below is the weekly video snapshot. This week you'll see:

  • Tyler has hooked up the HUD and demo's it in the editor. Gadgets, tools, weapons oh my!!

  • Me, Rob, Eric, and Keith reviewing some of the SFX Dan Wentz created! Very nice work from Dan.

  • Josh gives us a run through of our test level. In the video, the lighting isn't quite finished but you get the idea. Great team work on this level with Rob, Josh, Matt, and Jeff all working on it!

  • You also see us playtesting the first version of the new flight mechanics. The funny part is that the ship could outrun the laser bolts!! Seems like there's some tweaking that needs to be done. But to which? The ship or the bolts?

  • In that last shot, the guys are enjoying some BBQ sent in by a big fan of the game and the team -- Senalaya. Thanks Senalaya, it was awesome!! He also put us over the top for the Shaman stretch goal.


Most Valuable Post for July 4, 2015

Howdy, Folks!

Our MVP award is given to members who actively contribute to making

Descent: Underground a better experience for us all!


A Future Pilot


A Future Pilot built and maintains an installer that helps to make it easy

to get Descent: Classic running on modern machines!

Keep up the awesome!

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.


Speaking of Build-A-Bot, we're voting on the 3D concepts in the Art Path

and there's still time to enter Stage 2 for Design!

Get your entries in SOON!


A wonderful Fourth of July to you all!

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