Dungeon Defenders: Awakened

Created by Chromatic Games

Travel back in time to where it all began in this brand-new Dungeon Defenders game, built entirely in Unreal Engine 4!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

ACTIVATING THE GOBLIN MECH UPDATE PREVIEW
2 months ago – Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 12:25:47 AM

DEFENDERS

Today we posted our release announcement trailer for Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here to check it out! To celebrate the release of this trailer, and to check in with all of you, we’re going to give a preview for our next update as well as talk about new release information and where we are as a studio. Let’s get into it!

Activating the Goblin Mech Update

This update is coming so close, you can smell the exhaust coming from the Goblin Mech’s mechanical monstrosity. This is the update preview, there’s going to be more information provided on the post that goes live with our update.

Goblin Mech Plows Through

The second boss that you’ll fight is the destructive Goblin Mech! Piloting the pinnacle of goblin engineering, he bursts through the doors on Throne Room (Campaign). You’ll need to stop him from plowing through your defenses and destroying the Crystal Cores in the middle. He’s available for all difficulties.

UI Updates

One of the biggest focuses of this entire project has been to get UIs into a functionally better state compared to previous Dungeon Defenders games. As a lot of the UIs are wrapped up and getting their final touches, we’re able to finally start arting up the UIs. In this update, the first UIs to get this treatment are our Map Select UIs. There’s more to come across the entire game!

New Bonus Map — Endless Spires

Locking away from of Etheria’s most heinous criminals, the Endless Spires is going to be coming back as the bonus map for Act II. A fan favorite, Endless Spires is available to play on Campaign as well as Survival. Conquer the spires to receive an all new pet!

New Pet — The Monkey King

Climbing the Spires and fighting off the hordes of enemies that encroach upon the great prison rewards you with primate royalty, The Monkey King. Using his legendary bo staff, this pet attacks fast, gaining strength with each hit, all from the comfort of his floating cloud.

Delays

One of our goals regarding the development of this project is to be as transparent as possible about this project. We’ve had delays from initial releases and have tried to communicate why, ultimately being that we want Dungeon Defenders: Awakened to be a great game and set the standard when fully released as the first game for Chromatic Games. We sat down, made a road map that was realistic for the work we’re able to provide, and got to work. Everything was going smooth in development land, and then COVID-19 hit. This has been an unprecedented event, and as we’ve previously stated, our first priority was (and still is) making sure everyone of our employees was safe and healthy. This has affected development in multiple ways, and we’re doing our best to be responsive and ensure a quality game. Here’s how it’s affected multiple areas and where we’re at as a studio.

Nintendo Switch

Developing for a Nintendo platform is something new that we were excited to take on. The Nintendo Switch has a lot of awesome tech crammed into their console. Dungeon Defenders: Awakened can be a bit of a resource hog, so it’s important to make sure we do everything we can to make sure it runs smoothly, especially when playing 4 player split screen Wave 25 Survival. What happens on the Switch also sets the precedence for all of the other platforms we release on. There’s a ton of work that goes into making all of this happen.

Working in the studio with our Switch development kits allowed us to be quick with testing. One of the biggest hurdles with a game like ours is making sure that what other players are doing, including host and client connections, provides proper replication to everyone playing. You start local to make sure connections work, and slowly start playing over networks and doing larger network tests. Having to change to an entirely remote setup has caused a bit of trouble doing this. We are currently working through various solutions to emulate the process we planned to follow, but it comes at the cost of time. If we were in the studio, this would be moving along faster and we’d be in a much better position. Unfortunately that’s not where we’re at.

Ultimately this means that we’re going to have to delay our Nintendo Switch release to Q3 of this year. The above is not our only requirement, as there is a certification process that we must go through with Nintendo that takes some time to make sure it will work perfectly across their networks and platform. As a studio we believe you deserve the best experience. If we were to force something through, it would be incredibly rushed, not perform properly, and be a flawed product.

We’re going to keep working as hard as we can and keep you updated on our progress.

Pure Strategy and Challenge Maps

These were originally slated for our Activating the Goblin Mech update, but were pushed off to our release on May 28th. While we’re working on progression throughout the game, we wanted to make sure the additional mode and challenge maps (Act II introduces a brand new challenge map) provided a great experience. A lot of that is going related to our Massacre work, so we held on it for the moment so you don’t receive a lackluster experience that is going to be changed when everything is said and done. With these two changes to our schedule, the goal is consistently to not curb quality in order to meet deadlines.

What’s Next

The update is coming out VERY soon. There’s a lot of hard work that has gone into this update, and we’re working with all our might to provide an amazing experience at the end of next month when Dungeon Defenders: Awakened FINALLY Releases! Thank you for all your support, there've been a lot of ups and downs, but through it all we’re going to have a game to you that we’re very proud of. We’re almost there!

Social Defenders

To get reliable updates on the future of DDA make sure to follow us on all our social media platforms:

Keep an eye out for more info!

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

CHROMATIC GAMES DEV LOG 1
5 months ago – Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 12:29:19 AM

DEFENDERS,

We’re all so excited for the Steam Early Access release of Dungeon Defenders: Awakened on Feb 21st! We wanted to share some of the awesome work the team’s been working so hard on to get ready for the Early Access at the end of this week. This Dev Log will have some sneak peaks from different departments here at Chromatic: Art, Design, and Engineering! Also, if you haven’t and wanted any of the goodies that come with the preorder editions of DD:A, make sure to get them ASAP since they’ll be gone at 11:59PM EST 2/20!

Some of The Team

Mary — Community Manager

Hi there! I’m Mary, the new Community Manager and I’ve been working for Chromatic for a little over a month now. I worked at Artix Entertainment previously for almost five years before coming over here. It’s been super fun and I had a blast at PAX South talking to everyone there about DD:A. I’ve been really enjoying reading all of your feedback and suggestions regarding DD:A, and making sure that your voices are heard by the team. I’ve also been working on ways to revamp some of our social media platforms like Discord and hopefully you’ll see those changes soon. I’ve also been getting together some little gif teasers together and getting feedback from the Discord community. Here’s some examples:

I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the Steam Early Access of DD:A! It’s only 2 days away!

Brent Caulfield — Jr Designer

Hello, my name is Brent Caulfield and I am a Jr. Designer at Chromatic Games. I first started game development about 6 years ago when a friend and I started making a FPS game with wizards and magic instead of guns and ammo. That eventually evolved into a commercial project called Grimoire: Manastorm which was released on Steam in late 2017. After that I started a design internship at Chromatic and then accepted a full time design position shortly afterwards!

There have been a lot of interesting tasks, but my favorite would have to be the final implementation of gameplay elements for all the maps. Placing the final parts to make the gameplay work and then being the first person to playtest it was really exciting. Seeing the waves of enemies all come out on the maps full of beautiful art was a great experience and one I’ll remember for a very long time. There were so many talented peoples’ work that went into making it all happen and to be one of the first people to see it all come together into a full gameplay experience was very special and was definitely my favorite thing I’ve worked on!

Reverse engineering and breaking down DD1 code to find out exactly how and why different systems work was definitely the hardest stuff I’ve had to work on. In order to create an authentic DD1 style experience the Engineering and Design teams spent a lot of time going back into the DD1 code to see how it all functions. One of our major goals with the project is to bring back that awesome gameplay experience that so many people love and while we have extremely experienced people on the team that know how it all works there were still some surprises along the way that we never would have figured out without digging into the source code. This was very challenging at times, but extremely rewarding at the same time.

After the initial hazing (Javahawk told me it was possible to beat DD1 Insane Deeper Well on a fresh character) things have been great! Gainesville is my hometown and game development is my dream job so I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to find a place at such a welcoming studio that is working on a game I genuinely enjoy playing! There are so many amazing people on the team and it's a great feeling to wake up every day and be excited to go into work. I am really excited about everything we are working on and think the community is going to love all the awesome content we’ll be putting out in the future!

Jade — Jr 3D Artist

I go by Jadeite in the art world and I have a slight obsession with video games and all things nerdy! So much so that I decided to make some kind of a career out of it through the art side of things. I've been practicing 3D art since my junior year of high school, and it's my favorite medium to date. My life basically revolves around games, whether I'm at work making them, or at home playing them! I'm also a big fan of tabletop games like King of New York, Boss Monster, D&D, and Necromonda just to name a few.

I've had a lot of fun working on the many assets I've been tasked with, but if I had to pin down my favorite it would probably be the pets! I'd say I had the most fun when making these little guys, they're just so cute! I wouldn't really say I'm a character artist, but working on them gave me a chance to essentially be one for a small time and I learned a lot from it. Besides that I also really did like making weapons and shields, super fun especially when I got to make my own spin on old weapons or even just remake them from the ground up.

I haven't had to make anything that frustrated me to the point of thinking it wasn't fun in the slightest. But for the hardest thing I’ve worked on I guess I would have the pick the new version of Ancient Aegis. From the start I just had no idea where to go with the new concept, and then actually carrying that out in 3D form was a bit of a challenge. I've also had a few issues come up with this particular model, having to add more or fix things in regards to texture, smoothing issues, etc. It was still a very interesting take on a "sword" and I learned quite a bit from it.

My time here has been nothing but enjoyable! I was more than thankful when I first got my internship position here just a few months after graduating, and it's been a blast ever since. One thing my university always said was that you never fully learn this art form until you land your first job, and man were they right! I've been practicing this art form for about 5 years now and I definitely struggled my first week here. I kid you not, I took an entire week making a bench haha. But I've learned a great deal of information, new techniques, and even made some friends along the way! I'd say this is an experience I'll never forget :D

(Also here's some more of my work)

Derek Stroud — Sr Programmer

One of my favorite things that I’ve worked on was setting up our abilities using Epic’s own AbilitySystem, which is a very neat and robust system to work with. Abilities are such a key component to the game as they include everything from placing towers to the Genie pet giving you mana. Setting up our core flow for this and making some of the base abilities was very satisfying and fun as it is one of the very direct means of adding fun interactions to the game. In previous development on the original Dungeon Defenders and Dungeon Defenders II, this was a lot more difficult. Swapping to Unreal Engine 4 is like a dream come true when it comes to setting up abilities and being able to do a lot more in a shorter amount of time.

With any project, there’s always going to be that mountain to climb, and it’s usually the hardest thing you work on. For Dungeon Defenders: Awakened, we needed to mimic the original Dungeon Defenders stats on every piece of gear and balance for gear, enemies, difficulties, you name it! Due to Dungeon Defenders evolving beyond its original scope (especially post release) there were a lot of tacked on additions to various formulas that became very hard to translate into an easy to work with system for DDA designers. Tracking down all the various additions and small stat tweaks that could happen in DD1 and making sure we incorporated them into DDA but also trying to keep the new systems intuitive and manageable was quite an undertaking... not quite sure we hit intuitive but I think we got manageable down.

My favorite thing that has been added to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened that wasn’t in Dungeon Defenders (2012) is double jump! Anything that makes navigation feel better, also every game should have it cause it is the best. As someone who worked on both games, you should take this as a fact — double jump is best jump.

What’s Next?

Everyone has been working so hard on polishing things up for the Steam Early Access release of Dungeon Defenders: Awakened on February 21st and working on getting it ready for the full launch in Q2! A few of us are also getting ready to head out to PAX East at the end of the month, will we see any of you there? If you go, make sure to stop by and visit us, we love to hang out with some of our brave Defenders whenever we get the chance!

Social Defenders

To keep up with us and get the latest news on both Dungeon Defenders and us folks here at Chromatic Games, make sure to follow us on our social media:

For Etheria!

Chromatic Games

Kickstarter and BackerKit Supporters Update Pt. 2
5 months ago – Sun, Feb 16, 2020 at 01:34:53 AM

Hey All,

We recently announced that ALL of our BackerKit and Kickstarter backers that purchased the game in some fashion will receive one set of the preorder rewards (per Kickstarter/BackerKit account) from the preorder store:

Previously we had it locked to just the $40 and up tiers on both Kickstarter and BackerKit, it is now no longer locked by tier. As long as you receive a copy of the game through Kickstarter or BackerKit, you'll get these rewards. This is to reward our early supporters for putting their trust in us from during the birth of this project. That's all for now, just a quick update! :)

For Etheria!

Chromatic Games

Kickstarter Support Bonuses Update!
5 months ago – Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 01:52:28 AM

DEFENDERS!

This is just a brief check-in to talk about preorders for Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. We’ve received a lot of support from a ton of you, and want to make sure we reward that where we possibly can. There’s two big things to go over, being preorder upgrade options for Kickstarter and BackerKit supporters, and preorder window coming to a close. Let’s get to it!

Preorder Upgrades

We’ve been working tirelessly with our shop partner to enable upgrades over the past few weeks. Without getting into the details, we unfortunately have not been able to get upgrades going, and don’t want to let people know very last minute that they can upgrade, if at all.

Instead, we’re going to do the following. ANYONE that preordered through BackerKit or backed us on Kickstarter that selected the $40 or higher tiers will receive the $60 Prestigious Edition bonuses shown on the preorder store, that are preorder exclusive. This includes:

  • Forum Titles
  • In-game Titles
  • Digital Soundtrack, Strategy Guide, and Artbook
  • Awakened Phoenix Pet
  • Crystalline Skins
  • Rift Skins

At Chromatic, we want to do everything we can to reward all of our players who support us, as fairly as we can. We announced the ability to upgrade, and since we are not able to deliver, we are taking the high road and providing the bonuses to those who would have been able to upgrade for FREE. We chose these tiers because it’s equivalent to how much the retail price is for the game. This serves as a big THANK YOU to all of our supporters who joined us early on this adventure, and to help show that we’re focused on making a great game. Lower tiers had already received the game at a severely reduced price, or received other bonuses alongside a reduced price, so they will not be receiving these bonuses.

Preorder Availability

With Early Access coming on February 21st, we’re going to be closing our Preorder Store the same day. This is to ensure that all our sales for the PC version of Dungeon Defenders: Awakened goes through Steam. With the Preorder Store closing, the Preorder Bonuses will no longer be available for ALL platforms. If you want to grab the Preorder bonuses, you only have until February 21st.

Kickstarter and BackerKit Changes

Starting on February 21st, we will no longer be able to change the platforms that people have selected, as we need to make sure that orders are locked and ready to fire for when we release on each individual platform, ensuring that people receive their correct copies.

What’s Next?

We’ve got a Dev Stream that we’re going to have tomorrow, February 14th at 3:00 PM ET, where we answer questions that we’ve seen posted everywhere, answer questions that all of you have for us, and show some gameplay as well! Please join us, and potentially win a free Prestigious Edition of Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.

That’s all for now, just a quick check-in. We’re hard at work to make sure that Early Access feels as great as possible, and cannot wait for you guys to tear it apart!

Social Defenders

To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:

The entire team thanks you for your support. We’re working to make Chromatic Games a studio that is able to create games current and future Defenders are sure to enjoy, because our games are made for YOU!

For Etheria!

Chromatic Games

DUNGEON DEFENDERS: AWAKENED STEAM EARLY ACCESS ANNOUNCEMENT
5 months ago – Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 01:06:43 AM

DEFENDERS,

Now that we’re a week out from our PAX return, we’re ready to share a lot of information about Dungeon Defenders: Awakened and what you can expect. There’s a lot to talk about, and based off the title of STEAM EARLY ACCESS, you probably already have a ton of questions. Let’s get into it!

Steam Early Access

Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is going to be available for Steam Early Access on February 21, 2020 (just in case you thought it was February 2021). This is something we’re incredibly excited for and hope that you are too! There’s a lot of reasoning that went into this, so we’re going to break it down because we want to be as transparent as possible to you, our GLORIOUS Defenders.

We previously mentioned that we would be avoiding Early Access, but we feel this is the best route to deliver on our promise that we’re working very hard, while being able to also deliver something tangible to you by the extended deadline we provided. Our continued goal is to be as transparent as possible and have our fans tied to our development for years to come.

Feedback

We received A LOT of feedback. We put out a survey to our testers at the end of last year/early this year, and the turnout was insane. The thousands of results outlined what all of you thought about our game. In fact, for how rough the Beta was, we were ecstatic by the results:

In total, it’s less than 10% of the most diehard hardcore Dungeon Defenders fans were not happy with the Beta. In terms of testing a game… that’s a homerun! We knew that we were doing a lot of things good, but based on the feedback provided, we know we can do better than good and produce great work.

The feedback outlined a lot of what people enjoyed about the game so far, and also some of the holes we had to fill. We went through and outlined everything we could make better based off the feedback from the survey, forums, and feedback provided through zendesk. It was a lot, and we’re not devs who shy away from a lot of hard work. Some of the feedback we’ve received made it into the PAX build and had an incredibly positive reception, showing that our approach to focusing on pushing from good to great is the best approach for not only us as a studio, but to all of our incredibly loyal community.

Studio Work

We’ve been working at a pretty high capacity to make sure things get out on time. We could have made a February launch for both PC and Nintendo Switch, but based on the feedback we received, it would have felt like 80~90% of the game you expected. This created a lot of internal conflict, because the people who work here at Chromatic are incredibly talented individuals who have done such a great job in such a short amount of time (we’re coming up on only 1 year of development), and we hold ourselves to a higher standard because 100% of what’s in the game is a reflection of our work.

When we received the feedback, we knew that if we weren’t feeling the game was at 100%, then we couldn’t be dishonest and release it saying it was 100% ready. We want gameplay to feel polished and smooth, we want everything to look amazing and crisp, we want the systems to be seamless for people to use, and we want it to be a Dungeon Defenders game that our players are proud to support for years to come. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible, which leads us into what our Early Access schedule looks like.

Why Early Access?

Going into Early Access on Steam allows us to get where the game is at into the hands of our players on PC. By doing so, we’re able to iterate quickly, getting Dungeon Defenders: Awakened into that 100% state as soon as possible. We are still going to be honoring our Nintendo Switch exclusive deal with Nintendo, with our PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases coming in Q3 2020.

That said, this Early Access is not going to be like other games, or like Dungeon Defenders II. The Early Access period is going to be incredibly short, because we’re really spending this time to polish up the game and meet your expectations. Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is going to be fully released during Q2 on PC and Nintendo Switch. We want Early Access to be as short as possible so that we can get Dungeon Defenders: Awakened out to all of you as the best version of the game.

A lot of the polish we’re doing is to systems and gameplay, those are a bit harder to show off or discuss, but they encompass enemies spawning, how much loot drops, what kind of loot drops, enemy difficulty, enemy AI, and more across the entirety of the game.

One of the things we can show is the visual changes to some portions of our feedback. One thing that was shown off at PAX (and is still being iterated on) was the changes to the HUD:

The feedback from the survey was overwhelmingly positive:

That’s 4.5% that were dissatisfied, which when it comes to feedback, that’s almost like (Space Jam spoiler alert) Michael Jordan slam dunking with his long arm at the end of Space Jam. As a result, we’re going to continue to use this time to polish up UIs in a similar fashion to how the HUD was polished. We’re excited to get these updates out to you in Early Access, and will be continuing iteration through Early Access based on feedback. As we speak, the UI has received even more polish than what’s shown here.

Another change that we made was to the Huntress and Monk. We had seen through written feedback that people were not happy with their visuals, so we made some changes and presented them in the survey. People were happy with the direction we were going, but weren’t sold all the way. Something we weren’t able to get in the PAX build was our next iteration on the Huntress and Monk:

You can see the evolutions we made over time, the first being the version we released into Beta, the second being a first pass presented in the survey, and the last being an updated version based on the feedback we got.

These images felt to us a lot closer to Dungeon Defenders, while bringing them graphically up to 2020. We’re going to continue to get feedback on these as well, but we’re really happy with where they are at currently.

Roadmap

Releasing into Early Access isn’t only going to be setting the game live in its early state and then providing the finished product months later. Instead, we’re going to be updating it over time, adding in features as they become polished and in a state we’re happy with. Thus, THE ROADMAP IS BORN!

As a studio, this is what we are sticking to as a studio. Should anything change, we are going to make sure that we keep all of you updated as soon as possible. We want this road map to serve as a look into where our focus is and as a promise for what we’ll deliver.

Beta Closing

We’ve already implemented a ton of Beta feedback and are currently working through more. As a result, we’re going to be bringing the Beta to an end on Sunday, February 2nd at 11:59PM. We were very happy with the amount of people that we got in and the amount of feedback provided. If you had fun in the Beta, it’s only the surface of what’s in store for you on Early Access and our full release! Early Access is less than a month away.

What’s Next?

We’re going to keep working. As shown in the Roadmap, we’ve got some ground to cover still. We want to keep updates coming and to further enhance our transparency and direct communication with our community. After Early Access launches, we plan on having updates showcasing the work that has been done, introducing you to members of the team, and giving you a look at the work it took to make Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.

Chromatic Weekend Wind Down, Dev Streams, and more are going to be coming as we continue development. We’re very excited for everything coming out and are excited that all of you are along for the ride!

Social Defenders

To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:

The entire team thanks you for your support. We’re working to make Chromatic Games a studio that is able to create games current and future that our Defenders are sure to enjoy, because our games are made for YOU!

For Etheria!

Chromatic Games