Defender's Quest DX release is imminent


#1

I’ll put out a newsletter post about this soon, but basically Defender’s Quest DX is getting really close to release. Sorry I haven’t checked in on the forums much, I’ve been trying to keep my head down and just get work done.

Some of this will be redundant to regulars, but I anticipate this will reach a slightly wider audience including some forum newbies.

Aaaaanyways, here’s what’s happening:

Defender’s Quest DX will ship in early/mid June

  • (probably)
  • for PC/Mac/Linux (console release later, but soon-ish!)
  • (review codes / trailer / presskit / review embargo) package is tentatively scheduled for Monday May 30 Tuesday May 31
  • we’re planning on 2 trailers, one for people familiar with DQ and one aimed at new players

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Then you should sign up for our awesome mailing list and we’ll get you the stuff at the same time we send it to everybody else!

So here’s a big splat of housekeeping details:


New Title

Defender’s Quest HD’s official title will now be:

  • Long form: Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten DX
  • Short form: Defender’s Quest DX
  • Initials: DQDX, or alternatively just DQI (roman numeral).

Opinion was pretty split on whether to go with DQHD or DQDX. We picked DX. It’s not perfect but it’s already in some of our official materials with 3rd parties so there’s no going back now.

And yes, we’re still working hard on Defender’s Quest II. As I like to reiterate, DQDX is literally the Defender’s Quest II Engine. One major part of the battle of making a game is engine work, the other part is content creation. Basically the idea was rather than make everyone wait until Engine + Content was done, we would just release something as soon as the engine was battle-ready. That game is DQDX, free to everyone who owns the original game.

Launch Features

  • Steam/GOG integration (achievements)
    • cloud saves / workshop might have to be patched in post launch
  • Will attempt simultaneous launch on all current stores
    • Steam
    • GOG
    • Humble
    • playism/h2
    • adding: Itch.io
    • deleting: gamersgate
    • working things out with H2 Interactive / Playism

Localizations

We added a lot of new text to the game for DQHD, some of it was just things interespersed here and there, but a lot of it was in Azra’s Journal. We took the old journal and moved it from New Game+ to the regular game, and then added a bunch of new entries + a secret “behind the scenes developer’s notes” section to New Game+.

Obviously we have all the localized text from the original game, but we’re not quite sure we’re going to be able to have every single thing ready in every single language at launch. So we’re shooting for a decent compromise:

  1. English & German will have 100% localizations on day 1
  2. Spanish & French will have “quick patch” that takes care of “everything but the new journal stuff”
  3. We’re in touch with Playism to try to do #2 for Japanese as well
  4. All the other languages came from volunteer fan translators and are up to those volunteers.

Localization is tough because a game that’s in development has a lot of text that changes all the way up to the last minute and if you start localizing too early you have a lot of wasted work. At minimum, I will take the old fan translations and make them fit the new format, with any new text being rendered in English, with a note on the localization page about the % of work that remains unfinished.

Aside on fan translations:
I feel awkward about soliciting work from volunteer fan translators because it’s just so much work, and for most of these smaller languages we don’t see huge sales from those regions so on these smaller languages we usually break even or even lose a little money when you factor in the time involved, so there’s no real financial reward to support them. On the other hand I’ve done fan translations myself so I understand the passion. So our policy is that for any language we expect to be profitable, we hire a professional, and for anything that’s not profitable, we hang back and see if a volunteer approaches us. If they do, we warn them what they’re getting into, and if they’re crazy enough to insist and present us with usable text, then we support their efforts with a full QA & integration job on our side of things and credit them as the author, even if it’s for a tiny or obscure language. I still feel a bit weird about it but that’s where I’ve settled and so far it’s worked out well.

Last Minute Tweaks

When I do the newsletter push I’ll do a big post on everything that’s new in DQDX, but while I’m still working I have a few last points I want to work out with some of the regulars on this forum.

Tweaked stuff:

  • Absence penalty: In the current build I’ve removed this entirely (it was defaulted to 0 in the old game for a long time anyways). Now every defender gets the same XP after battle regardless of whether they were on the field at the end of it. Does anyone really, really care about configurable non-zero absence penalties?

  • Bulldog mode: I put it back in and it works just like the original game.

  • Target specific: I haven’t implemented it yet. I might add it post-release.

  • Explicit Hero Mode:
    It’s in. You can “enforce” hero mode now, though it’s not strictly speaking required to get the achievements. You can “break” it by dismissing a warning when you try to recruit a character, and you can opt-in to the enforcement if you’re still eligible for hero mode, even if you didn’t start your game with the setting.

  • XP/Scrap multipliers in saves:
    This setting has been moved from the general options menu to each individual save slot

Feedback wanted

  • Hero mode + 100% completion
    This still isn’t possible yet as I haven’t done any rebalancing to the game. I want to revisit the idea of “what is the least possible change that can be made to make it technically possible (no matter how difficult)” without risk of wrecking much of the normal game’s balance?

  • Buff dragons?
    Dragons have always been considered underpowered until late game or New Game+. I was wondering if there’s an obvious way to tweak them to make them more useful in the early game without upsetting the balance of everything too much. I also wonder if this could be the way to make Hero mode 100% completion possible.

  • Level scaling for recruits
    This isn’t in yet but I see no reason not to do it. There’s two aspects to this : what level should new recruits be, and what should the UX be for “training up” a level 1 recruit that’s already in your party? Open to suggestions here, obviously I favor the simplest solutions as they’re the least bug prone and easiest to implement in a short time :smiley:

And as always, keep those bug reports coming! You have all been very helpful and we couldn’t do this without you.

Continuous Integration has been fixed for a while now, and we have two folders – one private for our DQ2 alpha backers with full builds of the game, and one public that anyone can see that has builds of the demo versions.

Public Demo Builds Available Here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B82nNNq_hucHOEV1eF9pQ1B1eXM

Report bugs here:


#2

“- Long form: Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten DX”

As someone who has a Steam library of 500+ titles (mainly thanks to humble monthly bundles and indiegala), I had no idea what DX meant the first time I saw it in relation to DQ. :stuck_out_tongue: Hopefully others will. Looking in my library, I only see three other titles with it. Retro City Rampage, Dino Run and Sonic Adventure. In passing curiousity, I wonder how much of the average gaming audience knows what it means… or just chuckle at the pronunciation of it. :smiley:

http://discourse.leveluplabs.com/uploads/default/original/2X/b/be2a4fdcbe98cb02c7522db8bcada7ab5ca26c9f.png

Wow, the pit looks a lot better. More colorful, more green, even has some nice palm trees there. Always looked like a barren wasteland devoid of much any life in the original DQ. I did wonder what people were eating. As an aside, the ‘Tips & Tricks’ seems to be leaking outside of it’s box there by a smidge. Not worth worrying about too much.

“Will attempt simultaneous launch on all current stores”

How’s Kongregate faring?

“Buff dragons?”

Hmmm… I’ll think about this and come back later.

“Level scaling for recruits”

Recruits gain +(#?)% EXP per level difference between the recruit and the story character whose class they belong to?

Buy Fresh Recruit: (normal price) Buy Seasoned Recruit: (normal price +5% per level of story character etc, leveled up to your story character’s level)?

I’ll think of something better.


#3

Kongregate:

Kongregate still does pretty well given it’s size. I forgot to mention them in the list above, perish the thought! What we’ll do is make the DRM-free download available to Kongregate owners on day 1 in the same way it’s currently distributed. Replacing the web version will take a little more work, probably won’t make it out on day 1, at least on Kongregate, as it’s a bit tricky to replace an existing game in-place there.


#4

Here’s my thoughts on fixing recruits:

  1. I like applying a multiplier to low-level recruits that zooms them up based on how far away they are from your hero. Good idea.

  2. New recruits – I think I’ll just make all new recruits appear at the same level as the highest level generic recruit you’ve got, or at 90% of your hero’s level, for the same price formula it has now.


#5

Good stuff. Hoping to re-play soonish once DQDX gets released. One question though, what does DX actually mean?


#6

DX means “Deluxe.” I might put that in the full title instead…


#7

Man, all this time I thought it mean “Director’s Cut” haha.

Anyway WOW I was absolutely stunned by the new overworld. It’s just so beautiful! I have no words to describe it. Amazing job. Hopefully the game gets a fantastic (re)launch! Maybe it can also get some fancy extra translations.


#8

Ways to potentially improve dragons:

Dragons get gradually stronger with each kill they make per battle. The sooner you can plunk them down, the better.

Dragons start with both a melee and fire ranged attack? The skill for the first ranged attack just powers the ranged attack up.

Dragon fireball actually splashes and ignites foes in an AoE around the target. Single-target fire makes it not worthwhile in a lot of later stages. Weirdly, Fireball in DQDX says ‘Splash: 0 dmg, 0 tiles’ like fireball was intended to splash? Fire Breath doesn’t have that text.

On a side note, I got a Null Object Reference crash when just moving across the world map. That was… odd. Can’t get it to repeat either.


#9

Niru could be improved in early game by having 1 point assigned in Epic Halitosis (Niru is 1 skill point shorter when you recruit her anyway). Dragons could also have a less steep stat curve by increasing their attack in early levels or by increasing their speed by a tiny bit.


#10

Fireball IS intended to splash. It should do that in the original game, does it not in DQDX? If no, please file a bug report so I remember to fix it.


#11

Fire Ball says 0 dmg and 0 tiles if it has no points assigned to it.


#12

My 100% save Niru had 9 points in it, 0/0. I reset her points, pumped it up, still stuck at 0/0. It says it’ll increase when you try to, but it doesn’t. I’ll file a report.

Oh, ManDude already did. Oops.


#13

Congrats Lars! Really looking forward to the release

Wow - the new overworld looks gorgeous :open_mouth: Amazing work!

My votes on feedback items:

Hero Mode 100%

Actually @Ethan recently achieved this, and it is impressive.

My vote is to leave the game as-is. You can currently get all-but-3 stars pretty easily. The remaining ones are tough but technically possible :wink: This gives very dedicated players something to shoot for and feel proud of, so mission accomplished.

Leaving it alone also means we avoid the discussion of whether you “really” got 100% because you did it in DQDX rather than the original with all of the original math and settings.

Plus - leaving the game alone means no extra work for you :wink:

Buff dragons

My vote is to leave this alone as well. That avoids discussions about whether it alters the “value” and difficulty of achievements from the original game to DQDX. You don’t have to do any re-balancing or figure out all of the effects it might have on game difficulty. Plus the game is modable, so if anyone really wants more powerful dragons they can mod for that :slight_smile:

It also means no extra work for you :wink:

Congrats again, and good luck with the rest!


#14

YES!!! Can’t wait to replay this fantastic game. Thanks!


#15

Well, as it turns out forum dwellers have been doing an amazing job posting lots of last minute critical bugs, so time alone may dictate my choices here :slight_smile: Glad to hear 100% hero mode is actually possible, gotta read that thread now!

And yes, avoiding any gripes on the steam page is a pretty big priority for me… so I’m still not sure what I’ll do in the end, but I do see the wisdom in “don’t fix what’s not broken.”

I am still going to go forward on making super low level recruits level up faster, though, and making new recruits come in at some sensible level. The old implementation seems like a pure drag that nobody will miss.


#16

I definitely agree about dragons having a balance issue. IMO, their only useful contributions were Halitosis and Roar. I found the fire damage not very useful due to use of ice mages to control the field, but Roar + Ice mages was fun for keeping enemies still. It’d be nice if there was some way they could follow up by doing area damage, like a higher level “Tail Swipe” that is a Whirlwind-type attack. You could then modify that to “impale” with tail spikes, doing bleed damage, or “thick plates” for a knockback effect. That would combine some of the best parts of the other classes, making them worth the extra cost. But I’m not a super experienced tower-defense gamer, so I don’t know how balanced that would be XD


#17

I’m ridiculously excited. This game hit all my buttons; even where I would get bored with other tower defense games, this would just kept building. Thank you!

On a different note, would there be any interest in a Latin translation of the game? I doubt it would be marketable, but I have a PhD in Latin and Greek and could definitely put one together :slight_smile:


#18

Did the characters become a lot less expressive, or were the same old/new poses not used?

Top Ketta: Sassy/sarcastic eye roll.
Bottom Ketta: A little uncomfortable.

Top Slak: Buff Superman hero posing.
Bottom Slak: Just hangin’. Chillin’.


#19

If you’re unhappy with the HD version you can always switch to old cutscenes. :V


#20

Speaking of minor rebalances, Crystal Patch is very… odd. It puts a crystal on the 8 surrounding tiles around Azra, if they’re free. The problem is that almost all levels have 1-2 free tiles for crystals, making it never worth a book slot.

Seems like it would be better if it did any other number of things:

  • Spawn # crystals at random locations around the level.
  • Your first # crystals are free to place, don’t auto-explode and have no energy cost.
  • Crystals no longer auto-explode, must be zapped, but spawn as large crystals.
  • Every # seconds a crystal forms in one of the eight slots around Azra, if any tiles are available to grow on.

Might be too close to the deadline for things like this, though.