Dungeon Defenders is a fun co-op action tower defense game. Dungeon Defenders II, announced today by Trendy Entertainment, is that idea give or take everything that's happened in PC gaming over the past three years. It's free-to-play with cross-platform multiplayer (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Web), and it's launching in two parts: a new competitive MOBA mode that's in closed beta now and will be playable at PAX East this week in Boston, and an update to the cooperative defense mode of the original, which is scheduled for beta late this year or early next. So, not much has changed.
The competitive mode, which Trendy happily labels a MOBA, is taking beta signups right now. It will initially feature just one 5v5 map, but on the hero side Trendy anticipates it will have amassed 24 to choose from by launch. Some of those will be paid heroes, but the rotating selection of free heroes is expected to match "similar free-to-play games." Meaning League of Legends, of course.
And, as is now standard practice when announcing F2P games, Trendy already has an answer for the question: "Is the game pay-to-win?"
"Of course not!" reads the official FAQ. "As of this moment in development, everything sold in the game is obtainable through play. Furthermore, all stat giving items are awarded only through play, not pay. Like many other games in the genre though, you will be able to purchase boosts that will let you level faster or find better cosmetics."
But why make a cooperative game into a MOBA in the first place? Answer us that, Trendy!
"During the development of Dungeon Defenders we constantly tried different multiplayer modes. Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, you name it. None of them really fit. When planning the sequel, we couldn’t drop the idea that a MOBA in the Dungeon Defenders universe would rock. Maybe it was all the after hour games of League we played in the office. We don’t know. But it fit well into the storyline and achieved a core goal of helping Dungeon Defenders players meet new players, so we went all in."
Oh, well that makes sense. But what makes it different from League of Legends and Dota 2? Don't have an answer for that, do you?
"Our take on the MOBA genre is more rpg-esque, with more hero customization, persistent hero leveling, loot and a town square where players can socialize, manage their heroes, shop, trade, and queue for matches. We’ve drastically simplified the item system, to reduce the learning curve for new players and are aiming for shorter total match times. We’re also experimenting with some other unique twists that you might find out about later (if they work!)."
Alright fine, announce your game with plenty of details and jump straight into closed beta like some kind of indie game studio that communicates frankly and only when it has something to show. See if that works. And while you're at it, why not promise a gameplay reveal in the announcement post? Schedule it for this Friday, maybe? Yeah, I thought you would, and now I guess have to get real excited about it with no need for sarcasm, because it actually is pretty exciting.
I'm not a big MOBA fan, so I'm more excited to see more of Dungeon Defenders' original co-op, but I'm willing to give the competitive mode a chance while I wait. What say you?
Don't worry, the Humble Bundle for Android 5 may name-check Google's telephonic operating system but, in typically Humble fashion, the latest round-up of pay-what-you-want indie games is available for PC, Mac and Linux too. This version of cross-platform indie pick 'n mix includes four games as standard, with another two available to those who beat the average. Among them is the excellent Super Hexagon.
Joining Terry Cavanagh's geometric avoid 'em up are music based schmup Beat Hazard Ultra, 2D action adventure Dynamite Jack, physics toybox Solar 2, and atmospheric puzzle platformer NightSky. You'll also get Dungeon Defenders plus its DLC for paying more than the current average.
As always, your payment can be split a variety of ways between the individual developers, the charities EFF and Child's Play and the Humble Bundle organisers. Pay over $1, and you'll also receive Steam keys for all of the games.
Now there's even more reason to use that holiday cash Aunt Myrtle sent you on something charitable. The ongoing Humble Indie Bundle 7 has just expanded its indie game offerings to include The Basement Collection of Flash games, the action puzzle platformer Offspring Fling, and the retro 2D platformer Cave Story. The original bundle was packed with indie hits Snapshot, Closure, The Binding of Isaac and its Wrath of the Lamb DLC, Shank 2, Dungeon Defenders and its DLC, Legend of Grimrock, and the documentary Indie Game: The Movie. So, for the next six days, you can snatch up nine full games and one movie for a price that's absurdly close to free.
If you haven't done a Humble Bundle before, here's how it works: You can donate any amount of money and receive Snapshot, Closure, The Binding of Isaac, Shank 2, and Indie Game: The Movie. But if you pay more than the average ($6.41 as of this writing), you'll also get Dungeon Defenders, Legend of Grimrock, The Basement Collection, Offspring Fling, and Cave Story. The folks at Humble Bundle estimate the total value of this collection at $170. You can even choose how you'd like to have your payment divided between the developers and the two benefiting organizations, Child's Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
For more information on the games included in the bundle, check out the trailer for Humble Indie Bundle 7 here.
The seventh Humble Indie Bundle is upon us, just in time for the holidays. For whatever cash you've got left over after your shopping's done you get a slew of indie winners that include The Binding of Isaac, bloody platformer Shank 2, the surreal Closure, the gross-tastic Binding of Isaac (and its Wrath of the Lamb DLC), and colorful sidescroller Snapshot.
You'll also get the Indie Game: The Movie documentary, and clearing the average price—$5.87 as of this writing—gets you the excellent Legends of Grimrock and Dungeon Defenders (plus included DLC). That's the holiday spirit!
The bundle's organizers introduce each game with terribly hilarious puns in the trailer below.
Unlike A MAJOR PUBLISHER, the Indie Royale guys actually know what the word "indie" means. Their latest colon-tastic bundle includes Dungeon Defenders, Containment: The Zombie Puzzler, Data Jammers: FastForward, Brainpipe - A Plunge to Unhumanity and Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. You also get a few extras: Dr. Blob's Organism, and the VooDoo Interface and Temporal Logic Grid Blues OSTs.
Games are provided in their Steam and Desura forms, apart from Weird Worlds which isn't on Steam, weirdly. The current price stands at £3.14, but you can pay more than £4.32 to get Starscream's album Future, Towards the Edge of Forever.
Trendy Entertainment, creator of action tower defense game Dungeon Defenders, is offering a cash prize of $1000 (about £620) for the winner of its first map contest, as well as inclusion of the map in the game's ranked and open modes. The contest will also award $500 (£310) to the second place winner, $250 (£155) for third, and a "DunDef prize pack" for all winners. The official rules have been posted to Trendy's forums, and the Dungeon Defenders Development Kit can be downloaded as free DLC on Steam.
Trendy is asking for "people of all experience" to participate, and suggests starting with a how-to guide in its forums. Once submitted, the entries will be evaluated both by the community and a panel of judges.
The contest is not strictly limited by age or region, though Trendy cautions that to claim the cash prize you must "meet the age requirements for your state and country," so keep that in mind. Also note that Trendy will own the winning map so that it can safely include it in the game. Entries must be maps which haven't been previously released, and the deadline for submissions is June 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
What better way to break open today's toughest campaign issues than the imminent threat of becoming demon food? The just-released President's Day Surprise DLC for Dungeon Defenders unlocks four new skins, including President Obama and Mitt Romney, then sets you up to battle for points while avoiding a giant patriotic demon. Of course you'll also be fighting your fellow players, and at some point Michelle Obama will probably use a machine gun to rain lead pain down on George Washington. If only every presidential debate was this entertaining.
The free DLC unlocks more than just democratic mayhem. Two new pets (a Democrat Donkey and Republican Elephant) and two new weapons are also added. Would-be dungeon debaters can pick up their boxing gloves via Steam.
The real heroes of the realm have gone off on a crusade, and only their young pupils are left behind to defend the Eternia Crystals from monsters. That’s the premise of Dungeon Defenders, a tower defence game where you place turrets to stop streams of AI-controlled enemies as they work their way around a maze to attack your base.
So instead of a Knight, there’s a tiny Squire in an oversized helmet and no trousers, and Huntress, who expresses her character by turning around and wiggling her buttocks. The intro warns that “these heroes-in- training will have to grow up quickly” – this might be too quickly.
Playing alone, it’s a strange game. Each hero type can place a different type of defensive structure, but you have to do loads of running around to intercept all the enemies. Placing structures costs mana, and that has to be scavenged from dead monsters. It takes a long time to scrounge up enough to set up a good defence, a long time to place those defences, and a long time to walk between all the places you want to put them.
Dungeon Defenders only really works in multiplayer: it’s co-operative, so you can each focus on one particular stream of enemies, or one particular aspect of defence.
I like to play Squire, and set up a killzone on one particular path. I place a harpoon catapult off the beaten track so it can penetrate whole lines of enemies. Then, to keep them in the field of fire as long as possible, I lay spiky barricades to block and damage them just before they leave its arc. If there’s room, I add a bouncer turret right in the middle of the chokepoint, which shunts them back or into the spikes.
These abilities are unlocked at regular intervals as you level up, and you can enhance either your fighting skills or your defensive structures. You also find randomly generated items, and can ‘invest’ in your favourites: pay gold to boost one of your weapon’s magical properties. It’s all smart and effective stuff to keep you engaged early on. After that, it relies more on you enjoying the matches themselves.
None of the individual interactions are especially fun, though – combat is stiffly animated and unconvincing, turret projectiles don’t have much weight, but there’s a definite pleasure in deciding where to concentrate your efforts and resources, while others do the same around you.
Strangely, Dungeon Defenders doesn’t have any good systems for encouraging players to work together. Mana, the most crucial resource, is hogged by the first player to snatch it from the battlefield. You have a shared maximum for how many structures you can build, but no individual player limits: the jerk who squanders it by overbuilding his own stuff is ultimately rewarded with a higher score.
It’s also tough to get into a good game. The browser tells you the character level of the host but not the other players, so you’re usually in a game with at least one hero too high or too low level to have fun with.
The core idea is good, but right now it’s too hard to get into a good game, or work effectively with other players once you do.
For a comparatively small game released on the same week as Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3, Dungeon Defenders has done rather well - it’s currently sitting pretty at number eight in the Steam charts. Well done Dungeon Defenders.
It could be set to get a lot bigger, too: developers Trendy Entertainment have just released Dungeon Defenders’ SDK as free DLC on Steam. The game’s cel-shaded graphical loveliness was built in Unreal Engine 3, and Trendy has included all the game’s source assets in the SDK. Which is jolly nice of them.
Trendy reckons you’ll be able to take Dungeon Defenders’ assets and do just about anything with them, from creating an FPS to a third-person RPG. You’ll also be able to tweak the game to your heart’s content, or create entirely new dungeons to defend.
To demonstrate the benefits of the SDK, Trendy has also released a 16-player Capture the Flag mode as free DLC. It's currently in pre-alpha, so Trendy wants to know your thoughts and feedback as you play
The tower defence action-RPG, Dungeon Defenders exploded onto Steam recently, and has picked up quite a following already since launch. You pick one of four classes and then dive into a dungeon to start throwing down defences against the incoming hordes of enemies. Kills mean experience, which means more creative ways to hold back the hordes. A massive update has just landed, bringing with it a wealth of balance changes and bug fixes.
Bad news, superfast mouse clickers, the update has "fixed potential double-upgrade bug with superfast mouseclicks," you might want to try and find a way onto the Diablo 3 beta where your clicking prowess will serve you better. There have also been some chunky nerfs to the Spooktacular "Van Wolfstein" weapon, the Huntress' piercing shot, the bowling ball turret and the harpoon turret. Nyooo! Get the full patch notes below, as seen on Steam.
Bug fixes / Feature Additions:
Rebalanced/redesigned Spooktacular spawns and added Leaderboard & Stats collection – Thanks Tsuda! Made Spooktacular skins unlockable by beating Spooktacular on hard (per hero class), though second set of weapons remain Insane-only Fixed various Spooktacular mission bugs Fixed chatbox getting stuck during level transitions Make costume unlock requirements clear in the costume selection Allowed mission unlocking/downloads at the mission selection screen Reduced self-heal mana cost ramp (cheaper to heal at high HP’s now) Added “Drop All Mana” key, default “M” key, and keybinding added to configuration tool Fixed problem with Familiar attack rate being effectively capped (there was indeed a bug with this), and renamed the Familiar Attack Rate stat to “Attack Speed Bonus”. Now high-Attack-Rate familars are way, way, way more effective. Made practice dummies average DPS over 5 seconds for a more accurate reading Fixed potential double-upgrade bug with superfast mouseclicks Moved bonus-item crates back into the main section of the Halloween Tavern, out from the Secret Room Added Pause menu option to “Hide Game”, which delists the game and prevents anyone else from joining it. Useful for turning public match into a private match, or making a private match totally unjoinable even by your friends. Fixed bug in algorithm to determine gear stat allocations, that was making high-end gear less likely to have Defense Damage and Defense AoE stats. Removed Non-Infinite Build Time Option for Easy, Medium, Hard Fixed bug where Squire would turn around when entering block in Chase Cam Pets will now attack one of the Practice Dummies in the Tavern so you can check your Pet DPS Added button (Default “G”) to remote-activate your Eternia Crystal so you can begin the Combat phase from wherever you are
Made Genie pet’s “Grant Mana Bonus” upgradeable, and made him grant more Mana proportionate to how much its “Grant Mana Bonus” is upgraded Nerfed Spooktacular “Van Wolfstein” weapon about 40%, and Huntress Ability ‘Piercing Shot’ about 30% Increased speed of Apprentice Staff “knockback” animation by 40%, and increased its maximum (fully charged) damage output by 50% Nerfed Bowling Ball & Harpoon Turrets a bit more: bowling ball & harpoon damages reduced by about 33%, attack rate reduced by about 25%, bowling ball projectiles now limited to 6 hits before breaking, harpoon projectiles now limited to 12 hits before breaking. Slice and Dice Tower no longer has such a vertical sweep to be effective against enemies above it Reduced Energy Drain rates on Electric and Ensnare Monk Auras Increased Insane/Post-Insane Kobold Damage by 20% and Kobold Explosion Damage radius by 20% 20% increase to Spike Blockade HP & its exponential HP ramp 30% better exponential damage ramp on Squire Circular Slice 40% reduction on Imp/Engy repair costs