Tycho Tries DG2 VR

09/08/2016 by Jeff

Tycho Tries DG2 VR
Jerry Holkins is Tycho at Penny Arcade and he jumped in to learn all about Defense Grid 2 in VR in his new "Tycho Tries / Explain it to me like I'm Five" video series. Jerry included Hidden Path Entertainment CEO Jeff Pobst in remotely to chat while playing and the guys cover topics ranging from poisonous mushrooms, getting sick in VR, how far out a skybox should be in VR, the space between your eyes, and gameplay emotions around your stuff getting stolen. The Hidden Path crew loves playing Defense Grid in VR, it's just such an upgrade to the experience, and Jerry finds that out for himself as he sees gameplay he already knows, but in a form that makes it special all over again. If you haven't had a chance to try Defense Grid 2 in VR, you should definitely watch this: And in fact, it's a lot of fun to watch even if you have played the game in VR!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid The Board Game Announced

04/05/2016 by Jeff

Defense Grid The Board Game Announced
We're really happy to announce that Hidden Path Entertainment has partnered with the exceptional board game designers at Forged by Geeks to bring the Defense Grid franchise to board gamer players in early 2017. We've already had a chance to experience some of the great prototype work underway and we're really excited about how the board game captures some of the fun tower defense essence of the original computer and video game while creating a new and fun experience all its own. Defense Grid the Board Game is a cooperative experience where 1 to 4 players work together to build and activate towers in an effort to stop all the aliens that are trying to steal their cores. With more than 10 maps, 9 familiar towers and more than 9 different enemies, players will need to use all their strategic senses as they fight to earn every medal in a game that combines the best of the tower defense genre with great deck building board games. Over the next year, Forged by Geeks plans to make Defense Grid the Board Game available broadly for community interaction and feedback. Soon they will be streaming development activities and playtests on Twitch and answering your questions on their forums. Later in the year Defense Grid the Board Game will be at GenCon in the Double Exposure Playtest room for some hands-on with the community. Forged by Geeks is also working with Double Exposure to use the Envoy program to bring Defense Grid prototypes to gamers around the United States for play testing. If you are a fan of Defense Grid or a member of the press that would like more details, you can contact Forged by Geeks through any of the following: Twitch - Tune in @ 1pm PST, 4pm EST on Wednesday April 6th for a live stream of a prototype being played
Twitter
Forums
Website
Facebook
Email
Thanks to all of our fans and we're looking forward to you having a ton of fun playing Defense Grid the Board Game!

Posted in Community, Defense Grid, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, Defense Grid, DG2

DG2 VR Launch Days Away

03/24/2016 by Jeff

DG2 VR Launch Days Away
It's less than a week until the launch of the Oculus Rift head mounted display and along with it Defense Grid 2: Enhanced VR Edition! We're hugely excited here at Hidden Path and have been working with Oculus for a year now on massively updating, revising, and converting the game so that it can be played in a completely new and different way.

We've increased frame-rate over 300% and render now to a view target that is larger than a normal PC screen. We completely revamped the entire control and UI system in-game and touched almost every asset in the game. We added new exclusive levels and a new expansion story that is included with the Enhanced VR Edition and of course, we made it one of the most comfortable VR experiences available putting the in-game world in miniature in front of the player as if they are controlling a living tabletop experience.

We've been answering a lot of questions about working in VR and the transformation of the game and you can read all about it if you haven't already:

We did this for an Oculus Developer Spotlight event a couple weeks ago with an AMA on Reddit that Jeff did around the game. You can read all the details here.

There also was a pre-AMA discussion here.

We released a trailer for the VR game mostly featuring new content here.

We then talked about the making of the trailer for VR - which was pretty different than trailers we've made before here.

We talked a lot last week at the Oculus connect event and ended up recording a podcast for the Road to VR site and the Voices of VR podcast - you can listen to 15 minutes of Jeff answering questions about the game and its VR development here.

We've done several other interviews and folks like Tom's Hardware, Time magazine and Newsweek gave their impressions of the game in articles like these:

Tom's Hardware

Time Magazine

Newsweek


You can check out Frequently asked questions about the game here.

And if we haven't answered all your questions, let us know your thoughts or questions on the new DG2 VR forums here.


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Making a Trailer for a VR Game

03/09/2016 by Patrick Moynihan, Studio Art Director

Making a Trailer for a VR Game
Reposted from Oculus' developer blog

See the Official Game Trailer first if you haven't already.

As Defense Grid 2: Enhanced VR Edition raced towards completion, we found ourselves faced with a challenge: How do we create a great trailer for a VR game?

In the past, we’ve been able to simply capture gameplay footage and use of our in-game camera spline tools to produce trailers with a nice mix of dramatic camera moves and real in-game footage.

We knew we needed to capture the feel of playing the game in VR, with the player looking around and moving their head. This all looks completely fine when looking through the wide angle optics of the Rift headset, but when converted to a narrower field of view on a 16x9 display the captures looked jerky, uneven and difficult-to-watch. We ended up with footage that simply didn’t do a good job of selling how the game really feels when you’re playing it in VR.

Smoothing the camera

We needed to find a way to smooth out the movement of the headset while still being able to play the game, which relies on a gaze-based targeting mechanism to build and upgrade towers. Our first thought was to mount the headset to a tripod with a fluid video head. To do this we used zip ties to attach the headset to a baseplate (called a cheeseplate) which could then be mounted to a tripod.

By placing the headset on a tripod, the sensor tracking the headset location would direct the game to move the in-game virtual camera based on that headset’s location and angle. We then display the player’s view not only to the eye screens inside the headset, but also to an output monitor. For the purposes of capturing footage, we output a 1080p 16x9 image from the center section of the left eye to the main PC screen and then capture that footage directly for putting together our trailer.

The tripod mounting gave us great stability and smooth rotational movement, but the fixed position of the tripod made it impossible to demonstrate the positional tracking, which is an important part of the game experience that we really wanted to highlight.

Our next experiment was to mount the fluid head on a camera slider, which would give us movement on one axis plus rotation. We were able to get some decent shots with this setup, but it still felt very limiting to only be able to move the camera’s position along one axis.

In an attempt to gain complete freedom of movement, we decided to try a “Fig rig” – mounting the headset on the baseplate between two handles which are spaced out about a foot apart.

Because the operator’s hands are spaced out away from the headset, it’s easier to produce smooth rotational movements that look like they could be produced by someone wearing the headset. This configuration produced good results but it was still unmistakably handheld. We wanted something that felt a little bit more polished, so we pushed on.

There are some great 3-axis stabilizers out there like the DJI Ronin. We looked into renting one from a local rental shop, but these gimbals are all designed for cameras that aren’t as wide as the Rift headset and we weren’t confident that we could come up with a way to suitably mount and balance the headset in the confined space of the mounting platform.

This led us to look at the Steadicam. Since these units don’t have complex 3-axis motor cages around the central balance point it would be easy to attach the headset and fly it on the Steadicam. After renting one and spending a day with it, we discovered a fatal flaw in our plan. The way a Steadicam works is to keep the camera in a near-perfect balance around the gimbal. Unfortunately the VR headset has a big heavy cord hanging off of it which produced significant input into this delicate equilibrium. No matter how hard we tried to minimize the influence of the cable, we were unable to achieve a stable system.

While the Steadicam experiment was a failure, it did lead us to our final solution. At this point we knew we wanted some kind of arm that would allow us to add mass to the headset and therefore make it easier to produce steady movement. Enter the jib:

One of the things we found with using the jib was unsurprisingly that “standard” Hollywood crane shots were the thing that came most naturally. We were able to capture a ton of great looking swoops and pans (you’ll see several of these shots in the trailer) but they didn’t really convey that we were looking through the player’s eyes.

Honing the technique

What we later realized really helped selling that concept of “head movement” to the viewer was trying to mimic the idea of “a decision being made in real time and the player changing their mind and looking over in another direction.”

So you’ll also see several shots (and we even went back and recorded more of them to really cement it in the trailer) where we are looking one direction, and then we swing to a different direction as smoothly as possible. This really sells the idea that we are “looking through the eyes of a person who is making decisions on the fly about what to look at” and reinforces the idea that we’re showing them footage through the headset.

Another type of shot that really sold that we were “looking through the player’s eyes” was the UI shot where we built towers during the shot and had the UI come up in the game and used it while we were moving through the space. Again, something that isn’t too typical in a game trailer, but it helped sell that this was “real game footage by a player” which can be difficult to convey. Being able to play the game with the remote taped to the control handle helped make this possible.

Takeaways

A few things we learned that are worth keeping in mind if you go down this path:

1. The Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler we used is very lightweight. It is easy to introduce oscillations if you aren’t careful. A heaver jib would make this less of a factor. We used one 5lb and one 2.5lb counterweight plates (from the Sears fitness department) to the get the jib balanced with the Oculus headset/fluid head.

2. It’s hard to get good results by just grabbing the handles and pointing. You have to guide the whole thing with your fingertips and take advantage of the counterweight mass and momentum. This takes practice.

3. You need a good fluid head mounted on the end of the jib. The Oculus headset is very light compared to a camera so a head with adjustable/defeatable spring tension and drag is key. We used a Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5.

4. You can do a little bit of stabilization in post though you have to be careful if there is a lot of deep perspective in your shot – it will smooth out the motion, but you can introduce some strange perspective artifacts. Also it resamples your footage so you may want to consider capturing at > 1080p.

5. Capturing at 60fps makes a big difference, and feels much more like the experience of playing the game in the headset.

6. If you don’t have access to a jib, cobbling together a Fig rig is a pretty decent alternative and in some ways is more flexible.

Final thoughts

In the end, we used the jib for about 80 percent of the footage in the trailer. It provided nice stable platform, but was flexible enough to allow us to move and aim the camera in a natural way. The jib was key to getting the shots we wanted, but it isn’t a panacea. And of course you are limited to the arc of the arm unless you put the whole thing on a dolly. We haven’t tried that yet – maybe next time!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2, pc

A Perfect fit for VR

09/24/2015 by Steve 'devgamer' Kramer

A Perfect fit for VR

One of the coolest things about being a game developer is the fact that you get to try out new gaming technology before anyone else does. I can still remember the day I saw the T-Rex demo running on a Playstation 1 development station like it was yesterday.

Fast-forward 20 years or so of game development and imagine my sense of wonder when I put on the DK1 hardware for the Oculus Rift for the first time in 2013. I was finally experiencing something I’ve been dreaming about all of my life as both a gamer and a game designer. I was witnessing the birth of affordable virtual reality, and the real possibility that I could stand virtually within worlds of my own creation and look around as if I were really there.

A few years later, what looked as promising first steps into a new kind of gaming has blossomed into something extremely compelling. With the latest Oculus hardware, the level of fidelity and sense of presence is mind blowing! It probably comes as no surprise that one of our first thoughts at HPE would be, “I wonder what DG2 would be like in VR?”

Well, wonder no longer my friends! It’s awesome!

Defense Grid 2 Enhanced VR Edition is a perfect fit for the Oculus Rift platform. Everyone at HPE was really excited when we discovered what a natural fit our tower defense game was in Virtual Reality. When you put on the headset you are truly transported into the world of Defense Grid and feel like you can really dive in and see all of the action going on around you. You feel the enormity of the towers, the threatening onslaught of aliens, and the depth of the world we created in a way that we couldn’t bring to players before now.

Every time I jump into Defense Grid 2 Enhanced VR edition I feel a child like sense of wonder that I’m in a world far away from home, fighting the desperate fight, protecting the cores. This dream is becoming a reality and I’m so excited to see what everyone thinks of it.

Defense Grid 2 Enhanced VR Edition will include a story expansion featuring 5 new levels and a new storyline featuring fan favorite A.I., General Fletcher, new intuitive controls and displays designed specifically for VR, and will be available in time for the Oculus Rift™ Q1 2016 launch.

Protect the cores!


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2, pc

Special Edition Content Available for Upgrade

07/02/2015 by Jeff

Special Edition Content Available for Upgrade
Now you can now upgrade your DG2 standard edition to the Steam Special Edition for only $5.99 on Steam . The upgrade brings you the two print-quality pdf file art book downloads: The Art of Defense Grid (72 pages) and The Art of Defense Grid 2 (118 pages), the 30 minute long Matter of Endurance audio-story featuring Fletcher, Cai, Simon and new character Governor Teydell and written by Hugo award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal. The upgrade package also includes the pdf file of the full 312 page The Making of Defense Grid ebook written by journalist extraordinaire: Russ Pitts. If you bought Defense Grid 2 and have been playing and enjoying it and wished you had these extras, they're now a just quick upgrade away without having to repurchase the game. Enjoy!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 March Steam Update

03/24/2015 by Shannon and Jeff

DG2 March Steam Update
3/24/2015 - DG2 March Steam Update - PC, Mac only (SteamOS version coming very soon) Gameplay: - New Game Type: Classic Open. Classic Open introduces the original DG scoring model to DG2. It is available for all single player missions and modes. No medals are awarded in Classic Open. - Tower Limit Mode Fix: Fixed bug in which boost towers could automatically sell out from underneath a tower in the middle of upgrading. - Strategy Camera Added: Edge scrolling camera for single player can be toggled on / off using Shift+C or can be set to be the default by adding “-freecamera” to the Steam launch options (library, right-click->properties, set launch options) Stability: - Fixed top ten crash bugs responsible for majority of remaining reported game crashes. - Fixed a significant number of OpenGL rendering issues for Mac (and soon SteamOS) improving both quality and performance rendering - Fixed Mac launcher race condition where launcher might not appear while Steam is still initializing launch of game - Fixed multiple DG Architect crash bugs - Fixed DG Architect block thumbnails not appearing Leaderboard Validity: - Added ability to remove scores from leaderboards that aren’t possible to achieve in an unaltered game session - Removal of invalid scores will take place some days after update release User Created Content (UCC) Tools Enhancement: - New UCC file format – must have update to download new UCC maps - Enabled UCC maps to have story mode leaderboards - Enabled UCC script asset creation with DG Architect and game loading of that script - Enabled UCC script assets to be packaged in Steam Workshop upload - Stopped UCC map creation process from creating multiple leaderboard versions for the same map - Mac: Users can load custom levels now. Custom levels are looked for here: /Users/[user_name]/Library/Application Support/Steam/userdata/[steam_user_id]/221540/local/DG2/[custom_map_folder] Usability - Restored Mouse button bindings to match system settings in Windows

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2, pc

Steam Inquiries

02/27/2015 by Shannon and Jeff

Steam Inquiries
Jeff recently took some time to respond to user posts on the DG2 Steam Community. His responses covered many topics and I think they should live here on the HPE Blog as well. Thank you all for your continued support and inquiries! Protect the Cores! ~Shannon Topic: Mac & Linux issues haven't been patched as often as I’d like. I’m worried that they’ll ask for players to buy a DLC or something to have additional issues fixed. Response: We are currently working on bug fix updates for PC, Mac and Linux. There are no planned purchases or anything to buy to get the updates. We use metrics and bug reports to track issues people are having, and our goal is to hit all the top issues on each platform that make up the majority of what gets reported back to us. This work is on-going and is making progress. Early update candidates have been tested and sent back to development with more to be done before it's ready for release. There is no target date for these updates until they're done. I'm guessing that they will be released in the next few weeks, but that is just a guess on my part. It will depend on how fast we can fix the issues that remain. Topic: On my screen, some levels are very dark to the point they aren’t easily playable. Response: Unfortunately, with respect to platforms, the platform that has consistently had some of the most difficult to solve issues is the Mac platform. From some of the things said, it looks like the person posting may be playing on the Mac (or they are seeing some issues we're not aware of on other platforms). We're still working to solve those problems, but some of them are much more challenging to solve on the Mac than on other platforms. For example, the "very dark maps" bug is only known to take place on Macs and only on certain Macs that have AMD video cards and only a select subset of those AMD video cards that have a particular bug in their AMD driver. On this issue, we contacted AMD around launch in September when this issue was first noticed and we traced it to their cards, and they worked with us, identified the issue and fixed the issue in their driver. We tried several times to work around the driver, but it turned out that this wasn't possible on those cards. I'd love to get you that driver that AMD made right now, but on Macs, we can't post a new driver for you. Updated drivers have to be distributed by Apple inside OSX updates - and those updates get locked months in advance. AMD's fix is in the queue to be released as part of OSX 10.10.3, but it did not make it in to the 10.10.2 release in time. Topic: Sometimes guns / cannons won't shoot at enemies in range and in sight, because of trying to shoot another alien that is way out of range. Also, guns & lasers sometimes still target aliens that already fell dead 4 or 5 squares away. Response: As for the targeting issues, tower targeting can be very complex with the different items available to you to use (target strongest, target fastest), and the base algorithms used to give you the best chance to succeed. Our test team hasn't seen towers shoot at the ground where aliens died previously like the post mentions, so if you are seeing that, getting more info from you on the specific targeting issues you are seeing would be useful - especially if you can state steps to reproduce it. Of course, missile towers and meteor towers may appear to fire at empty ground if the targeted mob dies while the projectile is en route to the target, but I don't think that's what was being discussed above. Topic: If game is fast-forwarded, rhino aliens reach the cores much faster than expected. The scores in fast forward aren’t exactly the same as when not in fast forward. Response: With respect to fast forwarding, fast forward will always be less precise than running the game at regular speed. Compared to DG1, fast forwarding in DG2 is an order of magnitude more accurate than it was in the first version. The more you fast forward, the more it will be "slightly off" (and we believe slightly worse - FF shouldn't ever make your score better) than playing the game at regular speed with the most detailed simulation. Slowing the game further does not improve the simulation. Topic: It seems like there haven’t been any patches since release. Response: Updates: So far since release we had September & October PC updates that fixed a majority of bugs reported after launch. On Mac we released 3 updates in October and December. On Linux, I believe we've had 1 update so far. The plan as I mentioned is to have a new update for all three platforms here as soon as they are ready. Topic: Limit tower mode seems to serve no purpose on limiting towers, other than bugging boosts. Response: Clarifying on Limit tower mode. Boost towers are not counted on limit tower mode and will only be allowed to be built if you have a tower remaining to be built in the limit so you can build on it. There was a bug introduced in one of the updates that we hope to fix in the next update that adding a timing problem where a boost could be sold if a tower was being built on it. Topic: On the mapmaking tool, HPE wants it so they can charge for fan-made maps and that seems wrong. Response: With respect to the level editor. Anyone on the PC can run the level editor, make levels, play them, and share them however they want. We've even highlighted some of the free maps available and out there. In addition DG2 has an in-game store where you can purchase chosen user levels with royalties going to the map creators. We were able to put 4 maps in the in-game store for launch, but only recently has Valve activated the needed version of Workshop for 3rd parties. We expect to add more maps from Workshop to the in-game store soon, once Valve turns this Workshop on for Defense Grid 2. We hope that will be soon. The next Mac update should also fix the bug that prevents Mac users from playing the UCC levels.

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2, Hidden Path

Talking Tower Items

02/12/2015 by Jeff

Talking Tower Items
Kevin emailed us at Hidden Path (as many of you do), and while we can't always spend the time to respond to every email that comes in (yes, there are many more of you than there are of us at HPE), this question seemed like it was one that many folks would want to know more about, so here is our private and secret (shhh!) response back to Kevin published here so he can read it without anyone else seeing. Q: How many upgrades does each tower have in Defense Grid 2 and what exactly is required to unlock them? Is unlocking completely random or will certain upgrades not drop on certain levels/difficulties. Would it be possible for a list of the upgrades for each tower? A: First question – getting items. Items are dropped periodically in Defense Grid 2. At the end of each mission (except for Prologue), the game rolls to see if you should get a new item and if so what rarity category of item will be awarded (common, uncommon, rare, very rare). The percent chance of you getting any item as well as the percent chance of getting something more rare is increased solely based on the difficulty level chosen (harder is better) and the amount of time played on the level you just completed (longer is better). Specific maps, game modes or game types are not factors. Once an item rarity is decided to be given to you, it randomly rolls to determine if it will give you a +1 or +2 level item (25% chance of being +2). Then it randomly picks an item from all items in that rarity category. If you already have that item, it adds +1 or +2 to your current level of the item and replaces it (if you don’t have an item it’s considered level 0). If you already have maxed out that item to level 5, the game re-rolls to randomly pick another item and rarity. It will re-roll up to 5 times. If you have max level (level 5) of all 5 items it tried to award, it skips the drop until the next time so that the award process doesn't tie up the game in an infinite loop. Second question – what items are in the shipping game? Here is the current list of the final 42 item features that shipped in the release version of the game (some names may have been adjusted near ship): Legend: [c] = common item, [u] = uncommon item, [r] = rare item, [v] = very rare item Gun (6 items): [c] Shield Piercing Bullets (ignores shields and inflicts damage directly to alien) [c] Target Strongest Always [u] Shield Disrupting Bullets (bonus damage inflicted upon shield) [u] Scatter Shot (A.O.E. cone with reduced range) [u] Chemical Tipped Bullets (D.O.T.) [r] Tachyon Bullets (slows down target) Inferno (5 items): [c] Target Strongest Always [c] Concentrated Fire (higher damage with tighter cone) [r] Napalm (D.O.T.) [r] Shield Eroding Chemical Spray (bonus against shields while having reduced damage against everything else) [v] Torch Bearer (targets pass fire on to any aliens that they come in contact with) Laser (5 items): [c] Target Strongest Always [u] Tachyon Beam (slows down targets more than default slow down while inflicting reduced damage) [u] Wide Beam (A.O.E. with lower range damage) [r] Shield Piercing beam (ignores shields and inflicts damage directly to alien) [r] Shield Disrupting beam (increased damage versus shields) Cannon(7 items): [c] Anti-Stealth Ordnance (reveals any stealthed aliens in the vicinity of impact) [c] Target Strongest Always [u] Chemical/Drill Tipped Ordnance (D.O.T. damage) [u] Tagger (target receives temporary reduction in speed when hit) [u] Anti-Shield Ordnance (increased damage vs shields) [r] Cluster Cannon Ordnance (A.O.E. cone) [r] Airburst (A.O.E. at impact) Meteor (4 items): [c] Fireball (causes increased D.O.T. heat damage) [c] Target Strongest Always [u] Plasmaball (increased duration D.O.T. damage with reduced A.O.E. damage) [r] Cluster (increased A.O.E. range) Missile (5 items): [c] Target Strongest Always [c] Chemical Tipped Warhead (D.O.T. to target) [u] Temporal Missile (target slows down for a period of time after hit) [r] Bonus Damage Vs Fastest [v] Shrapnel (A.O.E. range increase) Concussion (3 items): [c] Fire Bombs (explosive ordnance sets targets on fire for D.O.T. with reduced physical damage) [c] Anti-Shield Bombs (bonus damage vs shields) [v] Depth Charges (tower deploys Stealth revealing charges with reduced damage) Tesla (4 items): [c] Depth Charger (reveals Stealth aliens hit by chain) [c] Target Strongest Always [u] Anti-Shield (greater damage) [r] D.O.T. Charge (targets remained "charged" after hit by lightning - can be passed to aliens that they come in contact with) Temporal (3 items): [c] Increased Slowdown (targets' speed reduction increased with slower pulse rate) [c] Bonus Vs Core Carriers [r] Loose Core Speed Booster (loose cores will speed up when in range)

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

Community Maps

02/10/2015 by Shannon

Community Maps
It looks like we are getting extremely close in getting the ability to curate some of the maps that have been coming in from the community using DG Architect. Be sure to keep an eye out on our socials and forums, we will post there with all updates regarding the Steam store. In the meantime, if you are looking for more maps to play, there is a community driven website called DG2 Free Maps. http://www.dg2freemaps.com (Disclaimer: this site is not affiliated with or monitored by Hidden Path Entertainment. But we are thrilled that such an active DG Architect community has developed.) There are quite a few, what they call, “Forever Free Maps”, maps that the creators will not try to sell later. There are also a few maps that have been submitted for “Workshop Consideration Maps”, these are maps that the creator will eventually submit for potential Steam Workshop inclusion. We have had a lot of fun checking some of these maps out. Like this one, A Maze Me, from member Shark@tak, http://www.dg2freemaps.com/map-a-maze-me-by-sharktak/. What a creative bunch of folks out there! If you are looking for new challenges because you have completed DG2, be sure to wander over there and test some out. Be sure to leave constructive feedback for the creators; they seem to really appreciate it. As always we love our community and are forever thankful for your continued support and love of the game. Remember, defend your cores!

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

[New Video] Defense Grid 2 Demo: Part 1

01/14/2015 by Kaboom

[New Video] Defense Grid 2 Demo: Part 1
Wonder what's included in our Defense Grid 2 demo on Steam? We've just uploaded Part 1 of its gameplay to Youtube! Grab your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Community Map Spotlight: Festive Greetings

01/05/2015 by Kaboom

Community Map Spotlight: Festive Greetings
There's no better way to say "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" than with Grimlar's "Festive Greetings" map. Give it a try today! You can download it for PC HERE. Grab your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

Community Maps Spotlight 12/22

12/22/2014 by Kaboom

Community Maps Spotlight 12/22
In this video we shine the spotlight on four community maps: Colosseum, Sunset Bay, Industrial Complex, and Oasis. To check out (and download) more community maps please visit www.dg2freemaps.com (Note: user-created maps are only featured on PC.) Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

Game Informer Nominates Defense Grid 2

12/12/2014 by Kaboom

Game Informer Nominates Defense Grid 2
Hey Commanders & Core Defenders! First off, thanks so much for all your overwhelming support throughout DG2's development. You've truly helped shape our game with all your awesome feedback and suggestions. Recently Game Informer nominated Defense Grid 2 for Game of the Year AND Best Strategy Game, and we'd love to walk out with one of those titles! If you have a second, could you please show your support and vote? It would be greatly appreciated! Many raspberries to you all! VOTE HERE.

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

Mac Update Now Live 12/8

12/09/2014 by Jeff

Mac Update Now Live 12/8
A new Mac version has been updated that fixes several issues including support for OSX Yosemite & Mavericks, boost tower bugs fixed (both choose & hover), several crashes removed, and the multiplayer versioning has been updated (affects who you matchmake with). The 'dark levels' bug that affects some AMD Radeon graphics users is still present unfortunately. This is an issue with the AMD driver for the cards on OSX, and while we've tried several workarounds, we have not been able to avoid the driver bug. We've asked AMD to give us a pre-release driver, but at this point in time it does not look like they'll get permission to do so, so there may be a longer wait than desired until the driver is updated and released through Apple. We'll let you know if and when we have more information on this Mac problem that affects several users.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

12 Days of Defense Grid 2 Sweepstakes Is Now LIVE!

12/01/2014 by Kaboom

12 Days of Defense Grid 2 Sweepstakes Is Now LIVE!
Hey Commanders, Our 12 Days of Defense Grid 2 Sweepstakes is now LIVE! Enter for your chance to win a Logitech Gaming G502 Mouse ($80 value) and an exclusive Pinny Arcade Juggernaut Pin ($50 value). We'll be announcing a winner on our Facebook page each day at 5pm PDT until December 12. Winners will be selected at random. ENTER HERE Good Luck!

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

DG2 50% off on Steam & Demo Live!

11/26/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 50% off on Steam & Demo Live!
I've got two bits of awesome news for you. First off, Defense Grid 2 is now 50% off for a limited time on Steam. You can grab your copy (or a friends) HERE. And secondly, the demo for DG2 is now live on Steam! If you haven't had a chance to play yet, you can check it out HERE. Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

Defense Grid 2 50% Off for Xbox One Gold Members

11/25/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 50% Off for Xbox One Gold Members
Hey Xbox One Gold Members, From now until December 1, you can get Defense Grid 2 for 50% off! Grab a copy for yourself, and why not grab a copy for your friend too? We hear they make great digital stocking stuffers. Defense Grid 2 is the next evolution in tower defense. In Defense Grid 2 players will discover new additions that will require the player to change their tower strategy. Defense Grid 2 offers dynamic content where gameplay is constantly changing. There are a million different ways you can beat a level so your solution is truly your solution. The addition of cooperative and competitive multiplayer brings a whole new experience to Defense Grid. The mix of strategy and puzzle gameplay promises to be fun and engaging.The downloadable version of this game supports English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Go HERE to get yours today!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

"The Making of DG2" Now Available for Special Edition Owners

11/24/2014 by Kaboom

"The Making of DG2: The Complete Story Behind the Game" digital book by Russ Pitts is now available on Steam to those who purchased the Special Edition of Defense Grid 2! THE MAKING OF DEFENSE GRID 2 brings you behind-the-scenes of the creation of a modern video game. Over nearly two years and hundreds of hours of interviews, veteran video game journalist Russ Pitts (Polygon, The Escapist) has been given total access to every stage of development, and dives deep into the technological innovation, creative artistry and hard-nosed business that combine over weeks, months and years to make a game. From moments of startling inspiration to times of crushing stress, the author has been present for every aspect of production — major milestones, critical beta tests and sometimes contentious design meetings. To view, launch the game and you'll find in the left-hand corner of the launcher a tab for the book. Click that and enjoy!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Twitter Giveaway - RT or FAV for Your Chance to Win!

11/21/2014 by Kaboom

Twitter Giveaway - RT or FAV for Your Chance to Win!
Today on Twitter, you can RT or FAV the side you want to win! One winner will be chosen at random for each prize at 4:30pm PDT. Go HERE to to RT or FAV the tweet. Good luck & Happy Friday!

Posted in Community, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Community, DG2

Defense Grid 2 Demo Available on PS Store in US

11/20/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 Demo Available on PS Store in US
Hey PlayStation fans, Thinking about picking up a copy of Defense Grid 2? The demo is now available on the PS store in the US! Hop to it, the swarm of aliens won't stop themselves! Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Need Help with Those Elite Gold Medals?

11/18/2014 by Kaboom

Need Help with Those Elite Gold Medals?
Thanks to Gamersname, you can find out how to earn a gold medal on every mission in Defense Grid 2 on Elite! For your convenience, here's time stamps of each map so you can find the one you're looking for. CHAPTER 1 00:00:06 - Prologue - Elite gold 00:02:34 - Threshold - Elite gold 00:09:30 - Supply and Demand - Elite gold 00:15:55 - Suspension - Elite gold CHAPTER 2 00:22:41 - Overlook - Elite gold 00:28:28 - Barrage - Elite gold 00:37:04 - Rapid Collapse - Elite gold 00:45:40 - Split Decision - Elite gold CHAPTER 3 00:55:16 - Boiling Point - Elite gold 01:03:02 - Precipice - Elite gold 01:11:54 - Breach - Elite gold 01:21:00 - Sandstorm - Elite gold CHAPTER 4 01:29:37 - Incursion - Elite gold 01:38:29 - Deep End - Elite gold 01:46:56 - Surface Tension - Elite gold 01:53:03 - Refuge - Elite gold CHAPTER 5 02:02:12 - Double Take - Elite gold 02:12:02 - Scarce Resources - Elite gold 02:23:12 - Checks and Balances - Elite gold 02:33:11 - Out of Control - Elite gold 02:43:54 - Backlash - Elite gold

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

You're Invited!

11/13/2014 by Kaboom

You're Invited!
You're invited! Join Emily "Kaboom" and Paola "PancakePOW" on Saturday, November 15th for an Extra Life Charity Stream. The stream will be running from 4-6pm PDT, and we'll have prizes, games, and more! WHAT: Extra Life Charity Stream WHO: PancakePOW & Kaboom WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15th from 4-6pm PDT WHERE: Twitch.tv/hiddenpathent and Twitch.tv/BabyPancakesProductions

Posted in Company News, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 Accolades Trailer

11/07/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 Accolades Trailer
Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Defense Grid 2, DG2, is the highly-anticipated sequel to Hidden Path Entertainment’s 2008 Defense Grid: The Awakening. Setting the bar as the definitive tower defense game, Defense Grid 2 introduces new worlds and threats to test your tower placement strategies. With a bold new look, a compelling single-player campaign, and the addition of new game modes, online player-versus-player and multiplayer co-op, every play-through brings fun new opportunities and challenges. DG2 comes with a story campaign featuring 21 stunning maps, dynamic level movement, and expanded story and cast of characters, hundreds of challenge mode experiences, new multiplayer modes, a procedurally driven audio score and the ability for players to build their own levels. DG2 also introduces players to DG Architect, a level creation tool set connected to Steam Workshop where players can create their own unique levels to share and possibly even sell if selected. DG2 for the PC was funded in party by Dracogen, a private investor after a 2012 Kickstarter campaign funded the original game’s DLC, Defense Grid: Containment. DG2 is develop by Hidden Path Entertainment and published by 505 Games.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Level Progression: Art

11/07/2014 by Chad Haley

Level Progression: Art
We want to work in iteration stages. It’s important on the art side to be very agile and react to the story that’s unfolding from the design side. We have to respect the choices made by design and ensure that game play is first. The first iteration is done very quickly. Once the initial setup is made as seen below I’ll create a task list. • Light level • Add point lights • Fix road mip issues • Make space elevators move up and down. Very slowly • Swap out space lids • Swap out decaying city lids • Fix wall connections / missing connections • Add supports under floating platforms • Continue to build out level • Add foliage • New terrain textures FINAL RESULT Mission 13 Art Tasks • Fix cutter blade textures. • Create new wall variant of industrial militant. • Create wall red dust texture variant. • New road texture looks too similar to background. Add colors to separate. • Make hero cutter a bit more metallic, increase spec values. • Add red dust. • Select road and create a texture variant to include red dust. • Swap and finish lids for industrial militant set. • Create red dust concrete lid texture. • Swap tower doors for concrete. • Add black box to mob spawn points. • Fix camera clip issue with terrain. • Light level. • Foliage waived... for now. • Wheel is spinning in the wrong direction. [http://www.britishpathe.com/video/giant-coal-excavator/query/RUSSIA]- waived LVL Start Fix seams and polish out cutter textures Road Done

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Level Progression: Design

10/31/2014 by John Daud

Level Progression: Design
DESIGN LEVEL PROGRESSION Each mission in Defense Grid is primarily defined by the level (or map) in that mission. Tower attributes, alien wave configuration and timing, and resource management all contribute to the puzzle that is created by the layout of build locations, roads, and alien pathing routes within a level. DESIGN CONCEPTS DG2 level design concepts were created and iterated upon within the DG Architect level editor. Considerations included aesthetics, gameplay difficulty, technical limitations, story, and fun. In some cases a specific design goal existed such as introducing a specific tower. In that case the design of a level needed to have some aspect to it that highlighted that tower’s attributes. We also wanted a good variety of map types in the game, so fixed path, pathing maps, puzzle maps and any combination thereof were all a consideration. DESIGNING MISSION 17 The map that would eventually become Mission 17 “Scarce Resources” went through a number of iterations. The method I used for level iterations usually entailed getting a map to point where I was relatively happy with it and giving it a horrible name like, “map_test190”. If I started to radically change its design, and I was happy with it, I would create a new map incrementing the number on the original map’s name. In some cases these branches would become fully realized maps in the finished game. Below are some of the stages that Mission 17 went through. In this case one of the conceptual branches eventually became Mission 16. In the early stages I tried out things we could do in DG2 that we couldn’t do in the first game. In this case I had build squares positioned directly under other build squares. Now that we had the Architect I could quickly determine whether this was playable or not. It worked but ultimately wasn’t very interesting both aesthetically and gameplay-wise.   There were several complicated (or overly complicated) iterations of the level. This version attempted to keep things interesting but comprehensible. This version had a combination of fixed and pathable sections. This version begins to resemble the final layout of mission 17. This map still has the pathable sections seen in the previous version. At this point I started thinking this could be our satellite location that had been mentioned in our story.   This design is the one that will eventually become mission 17. The pathable plazas have been removed. What remains is an incredibly long fixed path. I liked the look of it, but I thought I could take it further. I wanted the curved parts to jut out of a center area as if they were platforms on a huge low orbit satellite base. Here’s where I take a wrong turn. In this iteration I’ve decided to put a structure on top of the map. This will obscure the alien movements. The intention here is to keep things interesting by having the aliens go in one part of the structure and emerge from another, unexpected, location. I was satisfied with the design at this point and handed it off to Art.   The artists roll with it. At this point we’ve decided that this level will be the planet-based end of the two space elevators shown in the previous mission. The elevators will dock on top of the obscuring geometry. We will soon discover that this map is too difficult to comprehend and it will need to be redesigned. ARTING MISSION 17 Art fixes my mess.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Xbox One & PS4 Patch Notes 10/29

10/29/2014 by Kaboom

Xbox One & PS4 Patch Notes 10/29
Both Xbox One and PS4 have received patches recently for Defense Grid 2. Here's the full list of patch notes: PS4: Multiple Crash Fixes, most notably: • Updating heat map • Quitting mid-match • When losing power cores • UI rendering Other improvements: • Added correct difficulty shield display on PS4 leaderboards. • The loadout screen now has a launch button. • Fix to stats tracking so that all trophies are achievable. • The player’s name no longer overlaps any other screen elements • Players will now get a message displayed when they accept a game invite, and the game is full. • Players will no longer be allowed into the multiplayer screen if they have accepted a match found. • Boost bonus scores are now limited to one application of bonus score instead of compounding. • Medals no longer persist between different profiles when changing profiles. • Wait while playing is now cleared when your opponent declines the match. • Fixed a stall that could occur when the network connection is lost during a multiplayer game. • It no longer possible to invite and search for a game at the same time in the multiplayer screen. • Some text in the settings screen is now scaled to fit in Portuguese. • Fixes for spawn point errors. • Player now only sees the heat map based on their own reticle, another player’s reticle cannot affect it, in local multiplayer. • The path preview now displays properly when the tower build UI is open. • The compressed score data for leaderboards is now taken from the mission system rather than the score system. • In Coordinated Defense, spawned aliens are now associated with both players stats. • Now, in a multiplayer game, the number of aliens escaped will never be a negative number. • The score graph now renders correctly at all times (no more whacky vertical lines). • There is no longer a full screen flash when the Tesla tower fires. • We no longer allow in game button events when the pause menu is up. • Player’s scores will now always match on each other’s summary screens in multiplayer. • We now delay closing a screen until the open logic action is completed. • Pathing improvements. • Ghost towers and buildable squares are now always rendered in the proper position. • Boost upgrade particle effects will no longer stop playing. • Fixed spelling errors. • Reduced Alien strength in story missions. • Adjusted mission 7 difficulty. • The laser tower info bars now change in the tower’s description when being upgraded XBOX ONE: Multiple Crash Fixes, most notably: • Fixed a crash that could occur when leaving a multiplayer session • Fixed a crash in the UI when leaving multiplayer. • Fixed null pointer crash when reloading assets. • Fixed a crash bug in the pause menu when exiting. Other improvements: • Fix to stats tracking so that players can achieve all achievements. • Players will now get a message displayed when they accept a game invite, and the game is full. • Players will no longer be allowed into the multiplayer screen if they have accepted a match found. • Game invites now function correctly when accepting an invite during a multiplayer session. • Boost bonus scores are now limited to one application of bonus score instead of compounding. • Medals no longer persist between different profiles when changing profiles. • Wait while playing is now cleared when your opponent declines the match. • When displayed in German, the Game Features title no longer overlaps the text in the Xbox help. • Fixed the D-pad reference in the Japanese Xbox help. • The gamepad that accepts the invite will become the active gamepad when an inactive profile accepts a game invite. • Fixed a stall that could occur when the network connection is lost during a multiplayer game. • It no longer possible to invite and search for a game at the same time in the multiplayer screen. • Some text in the settings screen is now scaled to fit in Portuguese. • Fixes for spawn point errors. • Player now only sees the heat map based on their own reticle, another player’s reticle cannot affect it, in local multiplayer. • The path preview now displays properly when the tower build UI is open. • The compressed score data for leaderboards is now taken from the mission system rather than the score system. • In Coordinated Defense, spawned aliens are now associated with both players stats. • Now, in a multiplayer game, the number of aliens escaped will never be a negative number. • The score graph now renders correctly at all times (no more whacky vertical lines). • There is no longer a full screen flash when the Tesla tower fires. • We no longer allow in game button events when the pause menu is up. • Player’s scores will now always match on each other’s summary screens in multiplayer. • We now delay closing a screen until the open logic action is completed. • Pathing improvements. • Ghost towers and buildable squares are now always rendered in the proper position. • Boost upgrade particle effects will no longer stop playing. • Fixed spelling errors. • Reduced Alien strength in story missions. • Adjusted mission 7 difficulty.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

[INFOGRAPHIC] Tower Strategies

10/28/2014 by Kaboom

[INFOGRAPHIC] Tower Strategies
You see the Crashers pouring in as Wave 15 approaches. This ain't no raspberry tea party folks, this is WAR! But fret not, we'll give you the tools you need to fend off those pesky intruders. Use the infographic below to learn how to build up a strong defense against the aliens, and may your cores always stay protected.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Alienware Alpha Content Bundles

10/27/2014 by Kaboom

Alienware Alpha Content Bundles
Pre-order your Alienware Alpha today and you'll also receive an exclusive DG2 demo with custom maps! So what all is included? "An exclusive Defense Grid 2 single player demo with 5 maps including Alien Space Base created by Alienware Arena’s very own Jonathan W during the Defense Grid 2 content creation contest. In addition, if you purchase the full game copy, you will receive a special map created by Hidden Path Entertainment." Click HERE to pre-order yours today.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

[Infographic] Defense Grid 2 One Month Steam Stats

10/23/2014 by Kaboom

[Infographic] Defense Grid 2 One Month Steam Stats
It's been exactly one month since Defense Grid 2 launch in September. Here's a look at how well you've been protecting the cores since then in our latest infographic. A quick overview: Total Games Played: 948,925 Total Towers Built: 31,691,424 Total Mobs Destroyed: 431,708,936 some_text

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Game Types & Difficulties

10/16/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 - Game Types & Difficulties
In this video Kaboom explains the different game types and difficulty options available in Defense Grid 2. Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

10 Achievements in 10 Minutes

10/14/2014 by Kaboom

10 Achievements in 10 Minutes
Now that Defense Grid 2 is here, it’s time to go hunting – achievement hunting! For all you achievement hunters out there, here are 10 achievements you can earn in Defense Grid 2 all in under 10 minutes. First Blood Kill 1 Alien. Eradicator Kill 100 Aliens. Thanks For Playing! Earn Bronze on a Single Player Mission. Field Promotion Earn a Silver (or better) Medal. Flawless Victory Earn a Gold Medal. Salvage Rights Kill an alien boss creature. (Juggernaut, Rumbler, Turtle, or Crasher). Happy Returns Recover a loose core. Hey! That's Mine! Kill an alien carrying a power core. Yellow Beats Green Upgrade a level 1 tower to a level 2 tower. Retry Use the reload checkpoint option.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Tman's High Score Guide

10/13/2014 by Tman

Tman's High Score Guide
Are you ready to make your way into the Top 100 scores on the leaderboard? You'll want to check out Tman's High Score guide then! Find out about scoring, tower upgrades, and early/mid/late game tips to add to your score. Check it out HERE!.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 Architect Part 3: Lighting, Particles, and Point Lights

10/08/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Architect Part 3: Lighting, Particles, and Point Lights
Join Artist, Chad Haley, as he guides you through adding light, particles, and point lights to a DG2 level using our tool, DG Architect (available to Steam users). Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Fun Is Relative - DG2 Comic

10/06/2014 by Nerf NOW

Fun Is Relative - DG2 Comic
Thanks for the laugh, Nerf NOW. We love your Defense Grid 2 comic! For more comics by Nerf NOW, visit HERE.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Evaluating Your Success

10/01/2014 by

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Evaluating Your Success
Evaluating your success is easy with the new and improved scoring system that appears at the top of your screen. The area will display information on resources spent and will continuously evaluate your efforts as you work to protect your cores from the aliens. Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Get the Designer's Cut DLC in DG2!

09/26/2014 by Kaboom

Get the Designer's Cut DLC in DG2!
If you register your email with us you'll receive Double-Take: The Designer's Cut, a free DLC level for Defense Grid 2! (Keys are valid for for Steam on the PC / Mac / SteamOS) ---> Click HERE to get your free level! <--- This version was "potentially too complex" to ship, even though our lead designer loved it. We hope you love it too.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 Is Now Available!

09/23/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 Is Now Available!
The day has finally come - Defense Grid 2 is now available! Let's celebrate... with raspberries! And thank you to all the amazing reviews so far! Here's a look at a few: 91% - Techraptor 8.5/10 - Arcade Sushi 4/5 - We Got This Covered 4/5 - Saving Content Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 Architect Part 2: Adding Art to a Level

09/22/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Architect Part 2: Adding Art to a Level
Our next segment in our DG: Architect series is here! In this video Artist, Chad Haley, will dive into adding art to a DG2 level, and give you a few pointers on how you can do the same at home. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

You're invited to our DG2 Launch Celebration Mega-Stream!

09/19/2014 by Kaboom

You're invited to our DG2 Launch Celebration Mega-Stream!
Who: Everyone's invited! What: We'll be celebrating the launch of Defense Grid 2 with a 2-hour mega livestream. When: Wednesday, September 24 @ 3-5pm PDT Where: twitch.tv/hiddenpathent Stop by for multiple dev Q&A Sessions and of course, lots of prizes! Our dev guests include: - Lead Designer, John Daud - Artist, Chad Haley - Test Lead & Audio Designer, Mark Shoemaker

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

The Making of Defense Grid 2: The End

09/19/2014 by Kaboom

The Making of Defense Grid 2: The End
The last Polygon installment for DG2's development has arrived. We've made it this far, and now we're faced with our last battle: certification. A big thank you goes out to Russ Pitts for documenting our journey. It was a pleasure to open our studio up to you, and to all those following our story. "Now, behind that closed door, assignments are handed out, a design document is started and the entire process begins all over again. Some months from now this small meeting will have produced a game. Decisions will be made, code will be written, art will be drawn, scripts, voices, music and schedules will be created, refined, discarded, rebuilt and eventually formed into something you can play. A "happy distraction" that will take you far, far fewer hours to enjoy than were required for its creation." You can read the full article HERE. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

FREE DG2 Map This Week Only!

09/18/2014 by Kaboom

FREE DG2 Map This Week Only!
Free stuff alert! This week only you can download the "Unwanted Cargo" map from the DG2 in-game store for FREE! We'd love to hear how your experience with the in-game store was afterwards. How to redeem your map: 1. Launch DG2 2. Under Download Content click on "Store" 3. Click on "Unwanted Cargo" And enjoy!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Tower Item Upgrades

09/17/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Tower Item Upgrades
In this episode of Command Strategies, General Fletcher explains how Tower Item Upgrades can take your defensive strategy to a whole new level. These items will provide an upgrade in damage to most towers, and also add new capabilities such as damage over time or provide new tower targeting behaviors. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG Fighter Intro (New Video!)

09/15/2014 by Kaboom

DG Fighter Intro (New Video!)
In our recent beta update we added a new game mode: DG Fighter. In this video, Kaboom shows you how to jump into a DG Fighter match, and explains how the gameplay and scoring works. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Alienware DG2 Contest - We Have a Winner!

09/13/2014 by Kaboom

Alienware DG2 Contest - We Have a Winner!
Congratulations to Jonathan "Grimlar" W. for being selected as the grand prize winner in Alienware's DG2 map making contest! Our team had a blast evaluating the top five finalist maps. Thanks for all the great submissions, we can't wait to see more from you!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

A Massive DG2 Beta Update Is Here!

09/11/2014 by Jeff

A Massive DG2 Beta Update Is Here!
12 days remain until the launch of Defense Grid 2 and we're going to update the beta now (and perhaps one more time) before launch. Here are some of the shiny newness you will find with today's update: - DG Fighter mode added to each level - Focal Point challenge mode added - your cursor does damage and speeds up the aliens - Power Outage challenge mode added - towers work only if your cursor or cores are nearby - New multiplayer matchmaking notifcation UI - New play while waiting UI - New Settings Screen - includes Audio sliders!! - Updated leaderboards and graphs (also resetting leaderboards with this update) - Now can toggle in-game single player graph to compare against best, last, or friend - Updated Mission Summary Screen - also can toggle graph comparison in single player - Updated Loadout screen - Updated difficulty icon display - Custom Levels now have multiple screens to separate downloaded vs. in-progress custom levels - Fixed hundreds of crash bugs and graphics glitches - Significantly improved performance - Improved compatibility - Faster loading times - DGArchitect update: pick from many more scripts - DGArchitect update: set modes and scripts for each mode for your map - DGArchitect update: use automatic wave events to trigger your moving pieces - Recognize that resuming any previous save games from an earlier version of the beta won't work, so you'll want to restart any mission you were playing. For DGArchitect folks, be aware that you should be able to open previously created maps, but you will have to resave them with the new editor. Also a few block types have changed (large objects), some FOV settings have changed, and the story mission scripts currently include flythroughs that will be removed later. Note that many of the new scripts require several different spawn point configurations, use the verify tool to find out their needs for now. Please jump in, play multiplayer, play single player, let us know if you still are having problems or crashes, submit crash dumps, email us at bugs-dg2@hiddenpath.com if you run into anything strange. The beta will run for at least another week, and then we'll be turning it off and turning on the full game just before launch. Thanks so much for your help and support!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Alien Healer

09/10/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Alien Healer
The Alien Healer is a new alien that heals other aliens around it and brings them back to full health as it marches alongside them. Its healing powers appear to temporarily subside while it is under attack. It can’t heal others if it is trying to protect itself. Make sure it keeps taking damage. It’s your best chance to prevent it from stealing your cores. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Community Blog: A "Defense Mix" Spotify Playlist

09/09/2014 by NightBirdDS

Community Blog: A
Sometimes you just need the right tunes to rock out to when you're playing Defense Grid. You know, the classical hits that remind us of why we love DG, such as... "Destroy Them With Lasers" by Knife Party "Raspberry Beret" by Prince and "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys Do your ears a favor, and feed them with this glorious 20-song Defense Mix playlist on Spotify. Thanks NightBirdDS for putting this playlist together. Rock on! "I hope you enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed putting it together. We’re now in The Final Countdown to DG2, so I’m hoping that things will start moving pretty quickly from here out. Until next time!"

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Status Display

09/08/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Status Display
In this episode of Command Strategies, General Fletcher explains how your status display can provide you with all the latest information about your resources, cores, and incoming threats. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 Architect Part 1: Designing the Level for Gameplay

09/05/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Architect Part 1: Designing the Level for Gameplay
Join Lead Designer, John Daud, and Artist, Chad Haley, as they walk through designing a Defense Grid 2 map. The first part of our series will cover initial design, and provide you with map building tips right from our devs. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

PAX Prime Wrap Up

09/02/2014 by Kaboom

PAX Prime Wrap Up
Last weekend at PAX Prime we showed off Defense Grid 2 at the 505 Games booth. We had lots of attendees come through to play, and enjoy delicious snacks at our Defense Griddle on Friday & Saturday morning. For those of you who could not make it to the show, here's a few pics of our booth! Smiley face Smiley face Smiley face Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

You've Unlocked Tier 2 Rewards!

08/28/2014 by Kaboom

You've Unlocked Tier 2 Rewards!
You did it! Thanks to all your continued support, you've unlocked the Tier 2 reward on Steam. Here's a look at the rewards you've earned so far: - Defense Grid: The Awakening - Defense Grid Containment Expansion - Digital Art Book for DG1 - 50% off coupon for Windborne The more people pre-purchase, the more rewards you'll unlock. There's still one tier left to go - keep it up! Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Landing Pod

08/27/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Landing Pod
In this episode of Command Strategies, General Fletcher explains the hazards of the Landing Pod. Once this invader is grounded, you must deliver all the damage possible before it hatches. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Community Blog: Why We Play Defense Grid

08/22/2014 by PrimeSonic

Community Blog: Why We Play Defense Grid
A typical game these days, with any level of story to tell, can run anywhere from 8 to 20 hours from start to finish. Sometimes it'll be more in the case of story focused games. But look up the record of any avid Defense Grid player and you'll see playtime that easily dips into the triple digits. Heck, I’ve got over 200 hours myself and I’m a small fry compared to the true masters. While the narrative of Fletcher and the commander (that's you) may only take a few hours to complete, the game promptly invites you to go back and re-play levels again and again; Sometimes to play with a different set of rules, sometimes just to see how you might do things differently. Starting over Can Be a Wonderful Thing Defense Grid offered a sublime level of possibility in each level. Would you try again with a Tesla tower in that square? Or would a Gun tower in that other one be better? The game presented you with a challenge but didn't fall prey to the trap of having only a single solution. Where some games might devolve into "guess what the level designer was thinking", Defense Grid offered you a much more open canvas with which to work on. Each play session becomes immediately different from the next with each player receiving a completely unique experience based on their own choices. Self-Expression through Towers It is an absolute fact that the strategy component of a game is essentially a complex puzzle to be solved. In our case it's a puzzle with dozens to hundreds of moving parts and with multiple solutions, and that is where your personal touch comes into play. The layout you make becomes your own. There's a lot of gut-thinking in Defense Grid, where you've got to play to your intuition on how you expect a tower placement to go for you. All this can make for an almost artistic experience where the map is your canvas and the towers are your paint. (And let's not even get into how DG2 lets you build your own maps!) The Perfect Interest Curve There is a flow and rhythm to playing a map. Things start off with an intense bang as you have to quickly set up your very first line of defenses for an otherwise unprotected core housing. But after a wave or two, things mellow out just a little. You've got the basic framework of your defense strategy in place, and you're now a bit more relaxed. Then a wave of fast or elite aliens show up and really push your defenses to their limits, jolting you back into action as your focus narrows in on protecting your cores once again. This steady rise and fall of engagement gently climbs up and up until it finally hits a climax with the map's most difficult wave. Then things settle down as you watch your towers pick off the last remaining aliens and victory is attained. This shifting of engagement throughout a map, this pacing, is the same kind of interest curve you'd find in a good movie or any form of entertainment for that matter. It's what makes each map a satisfying experience from start to finish. When you're good, it’s like nothing can stop you There's something to be said for games that empower us, that let us step into the role of a hero that takes on the world and wins. Defense Grid throws an entire army of aliens at you, and watching those aliens getting taken down by the defenses that you’ve set up, can make for one hell of a power trip. It can be even more satisfying when you finally get through a map that's been getting the best of you all day. When you finally pull through and protect those cores to the very end, you're on top of the world. Nothing quite like a good old fashioned victory to remind you that "yes, you can do it, just keep on trying until you make it.” I'm sure everyone has their own personal reasons for why they always come back to a good round of Defense Grid from time to time. These were just some of the ones I could pick out while looking at the game through the lens of a designer. These core reasons are at the very heart of what makes Defense Grid what it is and these same core elements will be in Defense Grid 2. If this sounds like your kind of game, then stick around for September 23 when it goes live. ;)

Posted in Defense Grid, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Tactical Overlays

08/20/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Tactical Overlays
In this episode of Command Strategies, General Fletcher explains how the Command Shuttle can provide you with additional tactical information such as the current path indicator, the tower range indicator, and the heat map. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Command Shuttle and Base Configuration

08/18/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Command Shuttle and Base Configuration
In this episode of Command Strategies, General Fletcher explains how you can access the grid using the Command Shuttle, and how you can bring along friendly AI to assist you in battle. Pre-Purchase your copy of Defense Grid 2 today! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 Gets A Release Date

08/14/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 Gets A Release Date
Last weekend at Gamescom we officially announced the release date for Defense Grid 2. It will be arriving to Steam, Macintosh & Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 23! Eurogamer spoke with our CEO, Jeff Pobst, at the show and got the rundown of the beta, what's to come for DG2, and its level editor, DG Architect. You can check out the in-depth preview in the video below! Earn rewards and save 10% by pre-purchasing your copy of DG2 HERE today!


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Community Blog: A Guide for New Commanders

08/12/2014 by NightBirdDS

Community Blog: A Guide for New Commanders
Hello! Welcome to my first guest post on the Hidden Path Blog. I've been a long time member of the community, and it's a real pleasure to be posting here today. I'm going to take you through the basic steps to achieve a Gold Medal score, including assessing the map and tactical situation, formulating a solid strategy, and then implementing it. Once the game releases, I'll be doing my own blow-by-blow video playthroughs. This is just a quick guide. Let's get underway! Looking Things Over The first thing you should do is get a lay of the land. Where do the aliens enter from? Where is your Core Housing? Examine the aliens escape route. A nice plus in Defense Grid is the Path Line, which will illustrate the route the aliens will take to the cores. Unfortunately, the path doesn't show their egress, and while this is trivial on maps where the entrance and exit are the same, maps with separate entrances and exits will require more foresight and planning. Once you know where everything is, you can move on to the next stage: building an initial defense. Build It, and They Come Now that we have our basic intelligence established, it's time to act. Start building a defense starting near your cores and working outwards. Just follow your gut and watch what happens. Experiment with different towers and observe their effects against the various alien types. Don't worry about losing cores... yet. Right now, the important thing is getting a feel for how your towers act. Understanding your towers is the most important skill. We'll focus on efficiency later. The aliens will haul tail towards your cores via the shortest way possible. Your initial defenses will get less effective as the alien waves roll in. This brings us to the next important element in creating a good defense grid: pathing. The Road Less Traveled Pathing is crucial. You'll want to route the aliens in such a method that optimizes the time they spend in range of your towers. If you can set up a route that leads them past the same towers multiple times, so much the better. Just remember: aliens will always take the shortest path, so make sure you don't accidentally leave a shorter alternate route. If they circumvent your grid entirely, it can ruin your whole day! Replay, Refine, Repeat Don't fear failure; every attempt is a learning experience. Get used to the way towers behave. Understand how pathing works. Now, turn that knowledge into an actual, viable strategy. We started off by building near the Core Housing, but that may not always be the best way to start. Use Boost Towers to restrict the aliens' movement, then lay your offensive towers. Play a few waves; if you don't like the way things are progressing, use the Checkpoint Feature (the backspace button) to wind back the tape and try again. Examine different combinations of towers and routes. Don't be afraid to try new builds and test out new strategies. You'll be striking fear into the hearts of the alien hordes in no time! I hope this basic guide has helped you get into Defense Grid 2. The hectic pace can seem overwhelming, but the key is to not panic go one step at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the optimal strategy. Take your time, experiment, and above all, don't get frustrated. Remember, Commander: there's nothing the aliens like more than getting under a rookie's skin. If you'd like to read more of my work, you can find me at SmashPad.com. Now, where's that raspberry pie?

Posted in Defense Grid, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Plaza Map Tower Placement

08/06/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Plaza Map Tower Placement
"More firing time equals more destruction and victory." -General Fletcher


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Area of Effect Towers

07/30/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher - Area of Effect Towers

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG Architect - Building a Basic Map Tutorial

07/29/2014 by Kaboom

DG Architect - Building a Basic Map Tutorial

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG Dev Profile - Steve Kramer

07/25/2014 by Kaboom

DG Dev Profile - Steve Kramer
Are you a Seattle native?

I’m afraid not, I was born in Chula Vista, California. My dad was in the military, so I’ve lived all over the United States, but somehow ended back in Chula Vista for all of High School and College. I understand you’re an avid Twitch streamer. How did you get started and what do you enjoy streaming?

I’ve been interested in streaming in its many forms for years and years. In fact I used to be one of those 24 hour webcam people who just left it on at home every day during the early 2000’s. Ever since game streaming started to take off in recent years I've toyed with the idea of streaming, but it was only earlier this year that I finally got a setup that I was happy with to stream on a regular basis. I stream a variety of games including DG2, Windborne, Risk of Rain, Resogun, and Dota2. I’ve found that I get more enjoyment out of my streams when I’m playing games that are a little more relaxed in their requirements for your concentration levels lately. What was the longest stream you've ever done and what were you playing?

I hosted a 24 hour long stream playing Defense Grid here at Hidden Path Entertainment in honor of our DG2 Kickstarter a couple years ago. It was brutal, but I’d love to do another one someday. I was lucky to have a lot of help from our HPE team here, who helped sub me out for breaks. (www.twitch.tv/devgamer) If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?

I still have many of my favorite childhood toys to be honest. I have my Winnie the Pooh doll from when I was 6 years old, and I have all of my Gen 1 Transformers toys still. If I could go back in time though, I would tell my younger self to save the boxes and manuals for my games, as I’m an avid game and game system collector… I wish I kept those boxes!! What are a few of your all-time favorite movies?

My favorite movie is “The Goonies” hands down. I live around 3 hours away from where they filmed it and visit Astoria a couple times a year! As for the rest it’s a bunch of random stuff like Happiness, Baraka, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Secret of NIMH. What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I’m primarily responsible for the challenge modes. Other than that, I focus on multiplayer and lend Lead Designer, John Daud, a hand wherever he needs it. How long have you worked in gaming? What did you do before?

I’ve been in the game industry around 20 years now. The first game I worked on was called Fun n’ Games on the Genesis as a tester. When I first got into the industry I was paying my way through junior college with a dishwashing job at a pizza place. I held both jobs for months before dropping the dishwashing job just in case it didn't work out. I guess it worked out, hehe. What video game(s) do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

I can think of several games that were massively influential on the games that get made today. Off of the top of my head I would list World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and Gears of War to mention a few. What’s the most rewarding thing about making video games?

There are so many things I love about making video games! Every day brings new creative challenges and it never gets boring. I’ve made friends all over the globe including players and developers, and I’ve had my name inside of what has probably been millions upon millions of Christmas presents around the world over the past 20 years. The idea that my day to day efforts result in people having fun all over the world fills me with a sense of pride and motivate me to do my best.


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher: Fixed Path Tower Placement

07/23/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher: Fixed Path Tower Placement

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Welcome to DG Architect!

07/21/2014 by Kaboom

Welcome to DG Architect!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Pre-Purchase DG2 Today!

07/17/2014 by Kaboom

Pre-Purchase DG2 Today!
Here's a look at the rewards you can earn: Tier 1 - Receive the Containment expansion to Defense Grid: The Awakening and a digital copy of the Original Defense Grid Art Book. All content is giftable. Tier 2 - Everything Above, Plus: A free immediate copy of Defense Grid: The Awakening for Windows and a 50% off coupon for Hidden Path’s new social sandbox game Windborne (currently in Early Access). All content is giftable. Tier 3 - Everything Above, Plus: “A Matter of Endurance” a new original audio story to be written by Hugo Award Winning Author Mary Robinette Kowal and performed by the English voice cast. This content will be delivered to your Steam account on or before the launch of DG2. You'll also save 10% by ordering your copy today. Go HERE to pre-purchase your copy today!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Alienware Arena Defense Grid 2 Map Contest

07/16/2014 by Kaboom

Alienware Arena Defense Grid 2 Map Contest
> Ready to start making your very own DG2 map? You'll first want to introduce yourself to our User Created Content tool, DG Architect. You can find the program in your DG2 game directory. > Never made a map before? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Just follow our tutorial guide and you'll be creating levels in no time. Click HERE for the link. > Head over to Alienware for the official rules and details. The top five entries will be winning a $100 Steam Gift Card while one grand prize winner will be taking home an Alienware X51! Click HERE for the link. : Submission period ends August 10. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Boost Towers

07/09/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Boost Towers

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Coordinated Defense Intro

07/08/2014 by Kaboom

In this video Kaboom shows you how to jump into a Coordinated Defense match, and explains how the gameplay and scoring works.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher: Defend the Cores

07/02/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher: Defend the Cores

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Laser Tower

06/17/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Laser Tower

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

The Official Defense Grid 2 FAQ Is Now Live!

05/05/2014 by Kaboom

The Official Defense Grid 2 FAQ Is Now Live!
You'll find all the answers right here.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 PAX East Preview Trailer

04/14/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 PAX East Preview Trailer

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 4/3

04/03/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 4/3

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 3/26

03/26/2014 by Jeff

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 3/26
(UPDATE CAN BE FOUND HERE) Hi Team, We've been working hard to get our Defense Grid 2 game features complete and make sure the core gameplay is the most fun it can possibly be. In fact, if you've been following the embedded reporting work of Russ Pitts at Polygon, he just released a new article a couple of days ago where he witnessed and recounts one of the many days where we are feverishly working to make sure this game lives up to your expectations. DG2 Leads Meeting via Polygon (Russ Pitts) To see the sixth in-depth report on Making Defense Grid 2, click here To go to the index of all the reports in this unprecedented Polygon series, click here

PAX East Also – big news flash. For those of you attending PAX East in Boston on Sunday, April 13th, Polygon Journalist Russ Pitts and Hidden Path DG2 Executive Producer Jeff Pobst will be making a dual appearance on stage at 11am in the Condor Theatre. Jeff might talk about what it is like to have a reporter watching your every move (and mistake) while you develop a new game with no say whatsoever in what Russ writes. Meanwhile Russ might give you additional insight into that crazy cast of characters that you read about who are making the game. Is Lex Story really like that? Does John Daud really worry about the details so much? You'll also get the opportunity to ask questions, so if you want to know more about the making of Defense Grid 2, here's a great opportunity. Now some more big news, this time on product dates! Beta Date As you know we had originally hoped to do a multiplayer and feature beta back in November, but due to the multiplayer engine status, some low level engine rework, and new Steam features that we are taking on, we have been delayed on doing a beta significantly. We've kept busy working on other things while waiting for the APIs needed, so development progress has been good, but we're now happy to report that we have made progress on all beta fronts and have received most of the APIs we were looking to get from our partners at Steam. With that work now back underway again, we're expecting to begin the Defense Grid 2 beta process in either late April or early May! We're looking forward to seeing you online then. Release Date Also, by now you also have seen the news that we have partnered with 505 Games to release Defense Grid 2 as planned on Steam (Windows, Mac, Linux) and also now on Xbox One & PlayStation 4. This is being accomplished both by adding some additional members to the team, and by adding some additional time to the development process for the existing team. We plan on simultaneously shipping Defense Grid 2 on all the platforms above, and to do that, we're now targeting a release in Fall 2014 which means the game release will fall outside of our original planned window of being in the first half of this year, but will not be far behind that. Art Books For those backers whose pledges included bound art books for the first series and the second series, we're happy to let you know that all of the hardcover art books for the first Defense Grid series have been printed, bound, and mailed out to their new owners! Thank you so much for your generous support of the Defense Grid franchise! The DG2 art books will follow sometime after the launch of DG2 once we've had time to pull all the art for DG2 together and get it in book ready form. That process took much longer than expected on the first art book, so we'll see if we can utilize that experience to help us make the second one more quickly. For those backers whose pledges include the pdf file of the art book that was used to print the books, your email with the link to download the large pdf file will be sent out starting today. Keep an eye out as sometimes the emails from us end up in your spam filter or elsewhere deep inside the depths of your email clients. So that’s news at this hour. We know you are waiting to play a great game, and we're working hard to get you that great game as soon as is possible. We also want it to go faster, but we know that it being fun and solid is the most important thing, and we're committed to getting you a great Defense Grid 2! Thanks so much for your support! The Hidden Path Team


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 Is Coming to Consoles!

03/06/2014 by

Defense Grid 2 Is Coming to Consoles!
BELLEVUE, WA – March 6, 2014 – Independent video game developer Hidden Path Entertainment, and 505 Games, a global publisher of video games, today announced a partnership to bring the highly anticipated Defense Grid 2 (DG2) to console platforms. The tower defense game, which has been announced for a PC release later this year, will also be available to console players on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PlayStation® Network for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. ”505 Games has partnered with us at Hidden Path and is providing a great opportunity for next-generation console players to experience our vision of the definitive tower defense experience. We’re so excited to work on a game we love and bring it to additional platforms with such a like-minded publishing partner,” said Jeff Pobst, project lead for DG2. “Our goal at 505 is to be a publishing partner that lets studios retain their creative independence and that is exactly how we intend to partner with Hidden Path in order to bring DG2 to market,” said Ian Howe, president, 505 Games. “Hidden Path is the perfect partner, they are experienced industry veterans developing a top-quality tower defense game that we both cannot wait to get into gamers’ hands.” About DG2 Defense Grid 2, DG2, is the highly-anticipated sequel to Hidden Path Entertainment’s 2008 Defense Grid: The Awakening. DG2 for the PC was funded by a private investor after a successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign funded the DLC, Defense Grid: Containment. DG2 will be developed by Hidden Path Entertainment. DG2 will uphold the standards set by its acclaimed predecessor. Along with single player mode, DG2 will expand with cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. For more information please visit here. About Hidden Path Entertainment Hidden Path Entertainment is an independent video game company established to develop and produce interactive entertainment software for current and future generations of PCs, video game consoles and other computing platforms. Hidden Path focuses on immersive, fun, and well-designed game experiences that allow players to express themselves creatively as well. The company is currently working on independently-funded and partner-funded projects with some of the most popular companies in gaming. For more information visit here. About 505 Games 505 Games is a global video game publisher focused on offering a broad selection of titles for players of all ages and levels. The company publishes games on leading console and handheld platforms as well as for mobile devices and social networks. Product highlights include, Sniper Elite V2, PAYDAY 2, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, Terraria, How To Survive, Tiny Brains, and the upcoming Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2.

Posted in Company News, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid

DG2 Dev Profile - Matt "Twig" Johnson

02/20/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Dev Profile - Matt
Are you a Seattle native? No. I was born in raised in St. Paul, MN and Stillwater, MN. I lived in MN until after I graduated from college and then moved to Seattle to start my job at Microsoft. I don’t miss the really cold winters in MN, but I do miss the sun in the winter and thunderstorms. There’s just no sun here in Seattle during most of the winter months and thunderstorms are rare. Even when they do occur, they are nothing like the storms in MN. The summer’s here in Seattle are far superior to MN though. MN is hot and humid. It’s perfect here. If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you? Hmm…There’s probably a few toys I’d bring back. And a couple I actually did bring back with me! I think I’d have to grab the first computer I owned, and Atari 800XL. It had a floppy disk drive, a cassette deck (for saving/loading programs to magnetic tape!), and a printer/plotter (it used really short ball point pens to draw!). That was computer I learned to program with. Started by teaching myself BASIC and just moved on from there. The second toy I might have to take would be a huge stuffed elephant. My dad has this knack for winning the really hard carnival games at the Minnesota State Fair. (Especially the Stand the Pop Bottle one.) He would practice in our basement prior to fair opening. One day he won this huge stuffed animal elephant. It was as tall as my brother and I. It stood maybe 3’ tall and about 3’ long from head to tail. It was bring enough for us to ride on its back. It didn’t go anywhere of course, but it was totally awesome because stuffed animals larger than you are awesome. The one toy I did bring back with me recently was my Lego Castle. My son just turned 7 and has been a big fan of Legos for a while. My parents still had my Legos from when I was a kid so asked them if I could take some of them. This past Christmas when I was back in MN for the holidays, I brought my Lego Castle home for my son to add to his collection. (Which is already larger than mine was!) What’s a few of your all-time favorite movies? In no particular order: Memento – I really loved this movie because it was a mystery that you were trying to solve along with the main character. Primer – Time travel is awesome and this movie is quite a mind bender. You’ll have to watch it more than once just to see how all the threads are woven together. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – A classic action adventure movie. The Last Starfight – As a kid that loved computers and video games, this movie had both. In addition to spaceships and a war to save the galaxy. Do you have a favorite book or comic? I’m not a comic book reader, but I do have a number of favorite books. Also in no particular order: Jhereg (Steven Brust) – And the rest of the Vlad Taltos series. Vlad is a very fun and entertaining character. He’s a witty assassin. Wheel of Time Series (Robert Jordan) – Still haven’t finished reading the series. Need to start from the beginning again so I remember everything. Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson) – And the rest of the trilogy. I’m currently in the middle of the second book and am really enjoying them. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) – Funny book, great read, and just all around entertaining. A Spell for Chameleon (Piers Anthony) – This is the first book the Xanth Series. I read a ton of these books from this series when I was young. How about a favorite band? Muse, Green Day, Nirvana, Bare Naked Ladies, The Beatles, Nine Inch Nails, and a lot more. What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade? The last decade? That’s pretty recent. How about I go back a little farther than the last decade? One game I really enjoyed was Ultima Online. I kind of credit it as being the first really big and popular MMO. It was sort of the father of all the MMOs you see today. I have lots of fond memories from staying up late playing UO, chasing down PKs (Player Killers), taming dragons, and sneaking through dungeons. It was great. The Origin run events were truly epic. UO had actual game masters in the world playing as the evil mastermind of special events. An actual person playing that boss you and everyone else was trying to destroy. You’d just gather up as a group and try to take down the evil monster and hoping you don’t become another one of the dozens of bodies littering the ground. But you would. Often. What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2? I am the dev lead for DG2. That means in addition to writing lots of cool code, I also get to help plan the schedule, assign tasks, make sure everyone has work to do, and answer a lot of questions. When I do get to write code I’m primarily focused on the user interface and fixing anything in the code base that’s needed to make sure everyone else can continue working uninterrupted. It means I get interrupted a lot, but if it helps everyone else work smoothly, then it’s worth it. What is the most rewarding thing about making video games? You get to make video games! Aside from that, the best part about games, or making any piece of software in my opinion, is just having people enjoy something you helped create. There’s nothing better than knowing that someone somewhere is having a blast because of something you made.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update 2/10

02/10/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update 2/10

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 Dev Profile - Lex Story

02/07/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Dev Profile - Lex Story
Are you a Seattle native? No, I am not a Seattle native, but I do consider the Puget Sound my spiritual home (first place that didn’t give me a rash). I am originally from San Bernardino, CA and I have lived in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois - and of all of those places, none could compare to the beauty and vigor of what I find here in terms of its people (who are connected to the outdoors and the high concentration of creatively thinking individuals) and the easy access to nature. If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you? If I could travel back in time to my childhood bedroom I would bring back my Stretch Armstrong toy because those are going for a pretty good price on Ebay these days (they basically rot with exposure to UV radiation so to find one in near new condition would be money!) What’s a few of your all-time favorite movies? My all time favorite movie is “A Bridge Too Far” c’mon now! It’s was filmed in a era where there was no CGI to help fill the screen with a massive assault of tanks being ambushed by artillery, because they actually filmed a coordinated battle with real freaking tanks and artillery pieces and used live explosives! A close second favorite would be “Full Metal Jacket” I’m a former Jarhead … 'nuff said Do you have a favorite book or comic? Favorite comic book “Kingdom Come” Alex Ross kicks ass so hard he breaks the stink seal. Fave books would be “The Design of Everyday Things” and “A River Runs Through It”, “Iliad”, “A Cooks Tour”…. Too many to list! How about a favorite band? Fave band at the moment would be a toss up between the “Queens of the Stone Age” and “Tame Impala” What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade? It would have to be GTA for unapologetically allowing people to tap into the darkness that all people are capable of. What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2? I make purty things. Ahem, I mean, I help guide along the visual aesthetics of the game (environment, FX, constructs). What is the most rewarding thing about making video games? Working with a great group of people ( psst, that’s my team, yo)

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 Update 1/22

01/22/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 Update 1/22
You've been asking, and now we're answering! What is the Defense Grid team currently working on?

The DG2 team has been very busy! Some major features are in progress, and it’s been very exciting to see all the bits and pieces start coming together. Additions to our network play are coming along, which include Steam integration, matchmaking, and additional modes for players to choose from. The user created content tools and pipeline that players will be using is looking great, with just a little bit of work left to make the experience whole. Items and special weapons that give players a chance to have a more custom experience are also gaining momentum. The Design team is working hard to create new levels that are fun and interesting, with mechanics and modes to enhance gameplay and offer new challenges to the player. Art has kept busy decorating the levels that design has been making, as well as creating visual effects, towers and mobs, and generally making the game look beautiful! All of the art is looking great thanks to recent tool improvements and graphics coding from the engineers. Can you give us an update on Defense Grid 2?

Overall, Defense Grid is moving forward at a really good pace. In the short term, we are working hard to finalize the features we’d like players to be able to experience during our Beta release, and are excited to get feedback in those areas as well as for the game in general. Once we get the major features wrapped up, we can focus on tightening up level balance and visuals, as well as start bug fixing and really making the game the best it can be.


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 December Update

12/11/2013 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 December Update
In this update we fill you in on the status of DG2, what our team is currently working on, and talk about our "12 Days of Defense Grid 2" Sweepstakes on Facebook (running from Dec. 9 - Dec. 20). Happy Holidays!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid

The 12 Days of Defense Grid Sweepstakes is now LIVE!

12/09/2013 by Kaboom

The 12 Days of Defense Grid Sweepstakes is now LIVE!
Starting today, we'll be giving away one Logitech gaming bundle each day until December 20th. We'll be announcing the winners on our Facebook page at 5 pm Pacific. You could soon be the owner of a new G510S Gaming Keyboard and G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset! 'Tis the season... to win some new gaming gear! To enter, click HERE to get started.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2

You Get to Go Behind the Scenes

10/15/2013 by Jeff

You Get to Go Behind the Scenes
Welcome to Story Time with Lex Story, and in particular an edition covering Laser Beam effects from the Orbital Laser to the laser tower.  Lex wants them to be so powerful that they can re-kill your dead ancestors. That's pretty powerful.

We love working with Lex, we think you'd love it too (and Lex always describes things with great entertainment value too), so take a peak and join us in one of our Defense Grid 2 art meetings here.




Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG Dev Profile - Scott Bodenbender

09/26/2013 by trixie360

DG Dev Profile - Scott Bodenbender
Next up in our series of profiles on the Defense Grid 2 team is an interview with programmer Scott Bodenbender. 

Are you a PNW native? If not, where did you come from and how long have you been in the area?

I grew up in a small town outside of Columbus, Ohio. I then moved to Virginia near Washington D.C. in 1992 where I stayed for 4 years. In 1996 I moved from Washington D.C. to Washington State.


If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?



"Drop the roadblock and go for a hook-up" That's great! Please name one of your all-time favorite films. 

Lawrence of Arabia.
 

How about your favorite books or comics? 


The Lord of the Rings


Finally, hit us with your fave band or musician.


Led Zeppelin. I think LOTR and Zeppelin sort of go together.


Without a doubt! What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

Angry Birds. I think games are becoming more accessible and more mainstream. If you asked me of all time I would say DOOM; It was amazing that at the time a game like DOOM could run on an old 286 PC.


How long have you worked in gaming?  And what the heck did you do before?

17 years. I worked at IBM in the defense division working on submarine sonar systems and battlefield simulators before starting into games.


What are some of the games you've worked on in those 17 years?

King’s Quest, Casino Empire, Evil Dead, Defense Grid (the first), Counter Strike:Global Offensive.


Is there a particular game or experience that led you down this video game development path?

I always knew from when I was kid that I wanted to make toys or video games; I realized in college that it was a lot easier to find a job making video games, so I switched majors to Computer Science in my junior year to start down the path towards games.


What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I’m a programmer on DG2 currently working on mob behaviors. I've been lucky enough to work on many different things in DG1. Probably my favorite is I got to implement the behavior for the meteor tower; it is just a really cool looking tower. I worked on other towers including the missile tower and some general tower behavior like making the towers ‘look’ for targets when they aren't busy blasting mobs.

On DG2 I helped start the initial work on the new editor and because we have more flexibility in level design in DG2 I had to rework the way we calculate the pathing system for the mobs to use when walking to their doom.


What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

Knowing that someone will get enjoyment out of playing a game that you helped make.

What have you learned from working on Defense Grid? 

You learn new things all the time in games; that is one of the rewarding aspects, constantly learning new skills.  Each game is different and requires unique solutions.

Thanks Scott! 




Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: CS:GO, Defense Grid, DG2

DG Dev Profile - Tyler LaBelle

09/12/2013 by trixie360

DG Dev Profile - Tyler LaBelle
In our quest to highlight the entire Defense Grid 2 dev team one by one, here is a brief interview with Environment Artist Tyler La Belle.

Thanks for agreeing to this, Tyler. To begin with, are you a Pacific Northwest native? If not, where did you come from and how long have you been in the area?

I've lived in Washington all my life, growing up mostly in the south end.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?

If I could bring back one toy it would be my generation 1 Optimus Prime with trailer attachment. None of my other friends had the extra trailer piece which turned him into an even bigger robot. 


Please name one of your all-time favorite films. b) books/comics c) bands/musicians

One of my favorite films is Bram Stoker's Dracula, probably the best Dracula movie ever! Evil Dead series, Bruce Campbell is the B movie king! 

How about favorite book or comic?

My favorite comic has to be Earth-X. The story is by far one of the best Marvel has produced. 


Favorite band or musician?

I don’t really have a favorite band per say. I’m really into techno and rock but I listen to others as well.  Just no country, sorry but I can’t stand the stuff.  


What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

I think the game or games rather, that have changed the industry the most are Skyrim and Rage. The tech they used on the engines alone is mind-boggling and super powerful. They give the artists and designers a lot of freedom in what they can achieve. 


How long have you worked in gaming?  What did you do before?

If you count my internships and freelance stuff I've been in games about 4 years now. Before getting my career in gaming and even much into getting my feet wet I was working retail to pay for school and bills. 

Is there a particular game or experience that led you down this video game development path?

It was probably when I was about 5 that I knew I wanted to be in games. I remember playing Jurassic Park back on the first Sega console and saying this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Of course I didn't realize how much games would change or even how much time and effort actually went into development. 

What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

Currently I am the environment artist on DG2. I take care of the aesthetics of each level providing pieces for our designer to use and implement.


What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

The most rewarding part in making games for me is knowing that people have seen my work and enjoy playing the game. 


The DG2 team has a ridiculous amount of experience making games. What have you learned from them, and is there a team member who has been particularly instructive?

Working with the guys on the team I've picked up some new pipeline techniques that have helped me iterate my work faster. One person on the team that I look to for inspiration and instruction is Lex Story. He’s the art lead on the team. His vivid and grandiose ideas give me a new way of looking at my work. Overall a great guy to bounce ideas off of and get good feedback from.


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

A PAX upon thee!

08/29/2013 by trixie360

A PAX upon thee!
It's time for PAX Prime and we couldn't be more excited for gamers to get their hands on DG2 and Windborne!

If you're attending PAX Prime this weekend, here's how to find us:

We're in Booth #3330. Come play Windborne or Defense Grid 2 (decisions, decisions) and provide feedback with the survey. When you've completed this you’ll receive a token. Take the token to the Great Wheel o’ Prizes. (You can see them in the picture taken this afternoon, and hey, there's Jeff!) One of the HPE team will spin the wheel on your behalf and you will receive one (1) of these fabulous prizes.

If you played DG2:
Juggernaut Pin
T-Shirt
Poster
DG2 Beta Key

If you played Windborne:
Jin Pin
Lore Trading Card Set
Poster
Windborne Alpha Key

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Hidden Path

DG Dev Profile - Charlie Ngo

08/14/2013 by trixie360

DG Dev Profile - Charlie Ngo
Charlie Ngo is a recent DigiPen graduate who is one of the newer members of the team. He's a game programmer helping to make Defense Grid 2 a reality. Here's some Q & A with Charlie.

Are you a Seattle native? 

I spent most of my life in Pennsylvania, and moved here for college. I've been in this area for 4 years so far.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?

I'd probably retrieve my Lego set. My childhood hobby consisted of building intricate structures and promptly smashing them upon completion.  

Please name one of your all-time favorite films.


Favorite book or comic?


How about your favorite band?


What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

I'd go with Half Life 2. The viability of HL1’s non-cinematic storytelling became set in stone at this point, and more FPS games started to adopt the same philosophy afterwards.

How long have you worked in gaming? What did you do before?

I started making small hobby games and projects during middle school. I never really pursued anything else, and to this day I still have many ideas from back then that I'd like to work on someday.

You are a DigiPen graduate. Is there a particular game or experience that led you down this path?

My first experience with a DigiPen game was when I saw a friend playing Toblo on a high school computer. I looked it up, and saw that it had won the student showcase for the annual Independent Games Festival. More games from the school obtained the same award in the following years. I figured they knew what they were doing with their students and curriculum, since there was a consistent output of innovative and fun games every year. 

What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I work on the level editor and gameplay code.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

When I see a final product being played and enjoyed by consumers worldwide, I get this feeling of having done something very worthwhile with the time I spent to work on it, whether it be a small hobby game or a large team project.

The DG2 team has a ridiculous amount of experience making games. Is it ever intimidating? 

It was a bit intimidating at first, but that feeling has long since disappeared. The team members are respectful and willing to help, and I've learned a great deal since I first started. The environment is a natural fit for my work style, with everyone being self-motivated, enthusiastic and just really wanting to make an awesome game.

Did we miss a question that you'd like answered? Hit us up at community [at] hiddenpath [dot] com and we'll pester Charlie some more. 


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne and DG2 Pins at PAX PRIME

08/12/2013 by trixie360

Windborne and DG2 Pins at PAX PRIME
We’re so excited to be part of Pinny Arcade at PAX Prime. We’ll have two pins available—one for each of the games we’ll be showing in Seattle. Here’s how to get your hands on either the Windborne Jin Pin or the DG2 Juggernaut Pin:

Visit Hidden Path Entertainment in Booth #3330. Play Windborne or Defense Grid 2 (decisions, decisions) and provide feedback with the survey. When you've completed this you’ll receive a token. Take the token to the Great Wheel o’ Prizes. One of the HPE team will spin the wheel on your behalf and you will receive one (1) of these fabulous prizes.

If you played DG2:
Juggernaut Pin
T-Shirt
Poster
DG2 Beta Key

If you played Windborne:
Jin Pin
Lore Trading Card Set
Poster
Windborne Alpha Key

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

New DG2 Trailer & PAX Info

08/08/2013 by Jeff Pobst

New DG2 Trailer & PAX Info
Hello again! Today we’re excited to partner with GameTrailers to show you and the rest of the world a first-look early alpha peek at DG2.

Here is the link to the trailer on GameTrailers: http://bit.ly/149c2Wu

Here is the link to the trailer on our YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gwyTj62Ias 

The team has been working hard to build a new Defense Grid 2 on a new engine that takes the next step past what the original game was able to accomplish, and adds new features, functions, and approaches that should enhance the game experience even further. We talked with you about some of those features in the previous development update and now you get to see some of them in this first-look trailer.

First off, you’ll notice the new game engine gives us much more visual fidelity to play with than we had in the original game. I have to stress again, that we’re early in development, so we’re barely taking advantage yet of new things we can do with the engine, but we have a new lighting model, new shadow tech, new effects such as fog and water, new particle systems, new emissive light sources, a fully rendered environment which lets us move the camera around for flythrough shots and to give you camera angle options for your gameplay (more on that later). There still are several features coming in over the next several months in the engine, so even more features will enhance what we can do with respect to visuals and also how they interact with gameplay.

In addition to showing the new look for several returning aliens and towers (in the trailer you’ll see new versions of swarmers, walkers, and juggernauts as well as new gun, cannon, inferno, and laser towers), we introduce some new features. We introduce the Boost tower – it blocks a space allowing you to path aliens more easily. It’s cheaper than guns were, but it also doesn’t do any damage. It does allow you to build another tower on top of it though, so you aren’t giving up a build space. It gives that new tower on top of it a better line of sight and provides a further enhancement upgrade option with available abilities such as Overcharge (do more damage), or Score Bonus (increase your score), or EMP (detect stealthed aliens and diminish shields).

We also show at the end of the trailer one of the major new features of DG2 – dynamic levels. Levels can have new sections added to them that allow you to utilize additional build spots or create new ways to path aliens. We won’t ever take any of your existing build spots away from you, but we will allow the level to grow and expand over time. We also may allow you to make some level configuration decisions during play too! In the trailer, you see a new section of road and build spaces rise from the water in time for you to path the last couple of waves even farther on their journey to the cores.

The best part of all of this, though it is still very early, early, alpha code, it is looking good and is already “Defense Grid” enough, that we feel good taking it to PAX. This won't be indicative of what the shipping game will be like, but… if you can, come see us in Seattle at the Penny-Arcade Expo, August 30 – September 2nd, we’ll have our first Hidden Path Entertainment booth ever – it’s #3330 on the expo floor - and not only can you try out Windborne at our booth, but we’ll also have DG2 there and you can play the demo level for yourselves! Come, play, and give us your feedback as we continue development of DG2 and target a release in the first half of next year. 

We’re so excited to start sharing this with you, and can’t wait to see you at PAX. 



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG 2 Dev Diary #1

07/24/2013 by trixie360

DG 2 Dev Diary #1

UPDATE:  Watch John and Jeff talk about the new features and bring you up to date with the first ever DG2 Development Update video on our YouTube channel here:  https://www.youtube.com/user/hiddenpathentertain 

Fans have been asking for an update on the progress we've been making on Defense Grid 2. Here's DG2 Lead Designer John Daud with the scoop!

Hello all,

I can finally start talking about some of the things we have planned for DG2. Back in May we discussed a few of the user voice suggestions that were in the “under review” category. Particularly the idea of manually controlling the targeting behavior of your towers. Just to paraphrase, the concerns surrounding  the targeting options feature included; the micromanagement of towers taking away from the key gameplay of DG, the implication that towers weren't innately intelligent in their targeting behavior, and the risk of over complicating the user interface.


Our concern here at HPE is what tower behavior is occurring in the game to cause players to want to control the towers. Our first priority is to make the towers behave intelligently and avoid any unnecessary frustration for the player. After that is accomplished then we look at what can make this experience even more fun.


The related concepts of tower and gameplay customization were also popular suggestions. Early on in the development of DG2 we had a couple of concepts that would provide a way for the player to change the gameplay to suit their tastes. The response on the forums to similar ideas reinforced to us the popularity of this concept. Our challenge was to find a way to include this ability in such a way that it didn't alienate the people who wanted to play in the traditional manner and integrate the features so that they fit the DG fiction properly. What we've devised are the Tower Item and Command Team features.


The Tower Items will allow the player to activate a specific Item that affects one tower type during a mission. This will modify a particular tower’s damage or targeting behavior. For example, all Cannon towers can have an Item active in a mission that replaces their default ordnance with chemically tipped (damage over time) shells or shrapnel (area of effect) ordnance. And, similar to what has been suggested in User Voice, Inferno towers that target location instead of targeting an alien for optimal damage to groups of aliens.


Additionally, we will also have a global gameplay modifier in the form of the Command Team.  This will take the form of additional characters that can be brought with the player on missions. These characters will bring with them certain perks such as special weapons that can replace the orbital laser, bonuses such as increased score accumulation, or special abilities such as quicker tower build and sell speed.  One of the examples of a new special weapon is the “paint target” ability allowing the player to select a primary target for all of the towers in range of the designated alien.


We will also be adding a new Difficulty setting to the gameplay options.  This will range from a casual mode to a difficulty level that requires both skill and the use of Tower Items to achieve a competitive score.


The intention of all of these new features is to allow you to play the game the way you want to play it and compete/compare yourself, via the leaderboards, with like-minded players. The new Leaderboards will accommodate all gameplay tastes. This means the competing schools of Juggling and Non-juggling players can have their own unique leaderboards without the presence of the offending party on your leaderboard. We love all of you, and we just want you to be happy in your leaderboards!


Of course, with all of these new features, we will need to put these ideas into practice and play test them. With your help during beta testing we can hopefully fine tune these to perfection or, if need be, cut them loose altogether. The DG community is going to keep an eye on the forest while we’re busy in the trees.


P.S. The Boost tower

I should mention the new Boost tower while I’m here. The idea of a blocking tower was explored early on. It would be a cheap tower that could be used to redirect an alien while they made their way towards their goal. The upside: it was inexpensive to build. The downside: it took up valuable tower building real estate with a tower that couldn't damage the aliens not to mention limit the line of sight for neighboring towers. Most likely a player would simply build gun towers instead unless resources were really scarce. This would most likely make this the most unpopular tower of the bunch. What would make this thing more useful and fun?  A blocking tower that doesn't prevent building in that spot would help. If we can build on top of the thing and add bonuses to the towers placed there…now we might have something. The Command tower is an underutilized tower. Granted, seasoned vets know how to use it to perfection, but casual players mostly ignore the thing. It was decided that we could take the attributes associated with the Command tower and make them optional upgrades for the Boost tower. This includes a score bonus for the occupying tower, damage output bonus for the occupying tower, or stealth and shield disruptor. The Boost tower will also be a good counter strategy for a new type of alien, but we’ll talk about aliens in a future diary entry.

Again, thank you, Defense Grid community!  We couldn't do this without you!

- John 


Want even more John, with a side of Jeff? Check out the video update!


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG Dev Profile - James Osborne

07/09/2013 by trixie360

DG Dev Profile - James Osborne
Here is the debut interview in our series of Developer Profiles featuring members of the Defense Grid 2 team. First up: some Q & A with James Osborne!

Are you a Pacific Northwest native? If not, where did you come from and how long have you been in the area?

No.  I hail from Boston and have lived in New England, California (northern and southern), and finally here in the Greater Seattle area.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?

I would bring back my original Star Wars action figures. Oh wait-- I DID bring them with me through time.  Never mind.

Smart! Name one of your all-time favorite films.

Star Wars 

Favorite book or comic?

Beowulf 

How about band or musician?

Led Zeppelin

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

I would have said Doom, but that was TWO decades ago. Yikes! I'll (reluctantly) call out FarmVille because it started the whole free-to-play revolution that has changed everything about making games.

How long have you worked in gaming?  

Let's just say Doom was the hottest game out there when I started working in the Biz.

What are some of the games you've worked on?

Myth: The Fallen Lords
Confirmed Kill
Flight Simulator X
Train Simulator 2 (never shipped, unfortunately!) 
Zombie Armageddon 
Halo Waypoint
 
Mobile Games:
Cro-Mag Rally
Nanosaur
Jelly Car 3
Cupcakes!
Poop Sweeper (Minesweeper for kids)
Superzaic - Kids Mosaic Crafts

And for those grizzled veterans out there... I was also responsible for Apple's first game SDK, called Apple Game Sprockets.


What did you study in school?

I double-majored in computer science and literature. I went to Dartmouth for my bachelor's and Stanford for graduate study.

Bonus points for hitting both sides of the brain! What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I focus mainly on keeping our non-PC versions of the game up and running. I also lend a hand with game play, networking, input, and perf.

What can you tell us about citizen12?

In 2009 I left Microsoft Game Studios to found citizen12 studio with the idea of developing games for mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Since then we have helped game studios like Hidden Path, 343 industries, and others with their multi-platform development. We also develop our own games at citizen12. The latest is a kids' educational app for iPad, called "Superzaic."

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

Most of the time, working on games feels more like having fun and less like working. Plus, you never have to explain what you do. "I make video games" always gets an "oh, cool" response at parties.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 needs you! Share your ideas and feedback with the dev team.

07/01/2013 by trixie360

DG2 needs you! Share your ideas and feedback with the dev team.
Help shape the next Defense Grid game by submitting ideas, voting for user suggestions, and giving your feedback to the developers.

Kickstarter backers have had access to the UserVoice tool for many months, but now we're opening it up to ALL registered forum users. Here's how to do it.

2. Click on Register in the upper right
3. Boom, baby! You're in. Just hit the "DG2 Input" tab on the right.
4. Make suggestions, vote for ideas, have fun!



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Meet Team DG2

06/05/2013 by trixie360

Meet Team DG2
Meet your Defense Grid 2 development team. The fine folks seen here enjoying some rare Pacific Northwest sunshine are hard at work every day making DG2. Want to know something crazy? They have a combined 208 years of experience making video games. 208!! 

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 secret investor is unmasked!

05/16/2013 by trixie360

DG2 secret investor is unmasked!
Last month we told you that we’re making Defense Grid 2 thanks to a mysterious investor. Today, we’re happy to unmask our hero:

It’s Steven Dengler! You may know him as the co-founder and CEO of Xe.com. Or as a Kickstarter “ultrabacker” who has helped fund over 75 backed projects from video games to electronic devices, from web series to documentaries. He’s the guy who pledged 10,000 bucks to get the speaking role in the Veronica Mars movie

If you’re thinking, ‘Oh noez this guy is some suit who’s going to mess up Defense Grid’—have no fear. Steven is a true gamer and a die-hard fan of DG. He started his Dracogen investment company to help make games. Check out some of the games he’s invested in here. Please note, the page says “We hate micromanagement, red tape, hassle factor, and typical corporate BS.” So there you have it. 

Oh yeah, and he’s a big supporter of the Child’s Play charity. So he’s a good guy.

Here’s what he had to say about investing in DG2: “I'm extremely excited to be working with Hidden Path to help make Defense Grid 2 a reality. I'm a huge fan of the original game, and it's tremendously satisfying to provide resources to help get the game made. I love that crowd sourced funding provided the first step along the journey.”

So three cheers for Steven Dengler; good dude, gamer, soon-to-be-waiter in the Veronica Mars film, and our hero. You can follow him (and tell him thanks!) on Twitter at @Dracogen 
       


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid

More DG2 Details

04/27/2013 by trixie360

More DG2 Details
On Thursday, this video featuring Hidden Path co-founders Jim Garbarini (CFO) and Jeff Pobst (CEO) was unleashed on Kickstarter backers. They're just a little bit excited to let everyone know that Defense Grid 2 is happening. Check it out.

Afterward, one of our community members requested that we verify or comment on each of the items listed for achieving the $1,000,000 Kickstarter goal. Here's the list:

$500,000 Tier -

Original Levels Remastered, Co-Op Multiplayer (online), DRM Free

$750,000 Tier -

Level editor to make custom levels that can be shared with DG community, More Multiplayer Content 

$1,000,000 Tier -

Full DG 2 Sequel, New Aliens, New Towers, New Level Types, New Game Modes, New Ways to Play, 20 Mission DG2 Campaign, Fletcher, Multiplayer Modes, Aforementioned Level Editor, Multiple Platforms, Steam, DRM Free

Here's Jeff's response:

As you know, the Kickstarter paid for the $250k Tier and that led to Containment being delivered to backers. We also said if we ever are able to make DG2, then you'll get a free copy of the game.

Once we began conversations with the investor, we took an approach where we were no longer going to focus on the intermediate tiers, and focus directly on making DG2. The intermediate tiers made sense if we were going to take more time and approach DG2 in a step by step way where we weren't sure how much money we'd raise and we wanted to make sure there was a deliverable for whatever part of the way we reached.

We're now off-the Kickstarter page, so to speak. The investor is interested in making DG2 real and that's our focus. We both agreed however, that the game would have the multiplayer features we talked about, would have a level editor and user created content options, and would ship on Steam for Windows, Macintosh, & Linux and that backers would get a free copy of those versions.

There will be betas and we will be including backers to help us with the betas. We want a community voice involved in the game to help us make the best possible game, and we also have to recognize that we have an investor now too who has contributed substantially and we'll need to respect that as well.

That's where things are at the moment. Our goal right now is to get to first playable on the new engine. We'll develop the multiplayer and level editor features, we're working on the story and the characters and the progression of the single player levels, we're working on the new look and feel of the game that we're very excited about. Once we get to a place in the development where having you play elements gets us good metrics and feedback we'll jump right into that. Likely that's going to be several months from now. Meanwhile, we'll share info as time goes of what is taking place and what progress we're making.

Going back to your above list - We expect everything in the $1m tier to be coming your way. We are not going to be focusing on the $500k and $750k tiers on the way there. 

- Jeff


 



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

We're Making Defense Grid 2!

04/25/2013 by trixie360

We're Making Defense Grid 2!

DG2 is in the works and on the way. The dev team is in place and making progress every day.  We’re beyond excited and hope you are too. We suppose you have a few questions:


When?! When is it coming?


The first half of 2014. Yeah that’s a mighty big window, and we’ll narrow that as we get further along in the development process.


What platforms will it be on?


Steam, baby! For Windows, Mac, and Linux!


But what about my [insert favorite platform here]?!


We’re not saying “no” to that, we’re saying “we’ll see.” If it makes sense it could happen; for now, we’re focusing on Windows, Mac, and Linux.


Is it going to be multiplayer?


Heck yeah! Co-op AND competitive modes!


I’m an OG Kickstarter backer! What does this mean for me?


First: You rock. Hard. Second: You will receive a copy of DG2 when it releases—as promised. You will also be called upon to take part in the beta testing. We will hook you up, no worries.


So I’m still special?


You’re so very, very special. You get to keep your private backer forum forever. It’s like the exclusive airport lounge for VIPs, without the free drinks. Sorry. We are going to open up UserVoice to all forum members on July 1 though. Until then it’s your private playground so keep voting and sharing your thoughts, we are listening.


Wait! I thought we didn’t raise enough Kickstarter money to make DG2. What happened?


You happened. The support and enthusiasm of the DG community got the attention of an investor who made up the funding gap. Now we’ve got enough money to make DG2.


Who is this awesome investor?


It’s a secret for now. We’ll tell that story a bit later.


Whoa. Is it Batman?


No. It isn’t Batman.


Is it…?


It’s not Bruce Wayne, either. Or Tony Stark. 


What kind of stuff will we see in DG2?


So much stuff. A new campaign, multiple planets, freakin’ MULTIPLAYER modes, user-created content support, new aliens, new towers and new characters, and the ability to create—wait for it—custom levels.


New characters? Will Fletcher be back?


Of course!


How about the new characters introduced in Defense Grid: Containment?


Yup! Cai and Simon will be back.


Can you just sum it up for me, so I don’t have to read this whole post?


Sure. We got the money to make DG2. So we’re making it. It’s gonna rock, and you’ll be able to play it in 2014 on Steam. Boom.



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 Kicks off!

07/10/2012 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid 2 Kicks off!
(deep breath) Ok, here we go!  We're taking a big new step and asking those of you who love Defense Grid to help us Kickstart more Defense Grid content.  We've heard your requests, read your emails, seen your posts, and we have been investing for a while in a brand-spanking-new Defense Grid engine with all sorts of cool features and abilities, but we don't have enough internal financing to finish the full game development on our own.  Knowing this, we decided to approach publishers to see if they wanted to partner on a Defense Grid sequel, and while everyone we talked with got very excited about it, over time, they didn't end up doing a deal with us as the profit model they were looking for was simply much larger than the what indies often make.

Everyone has seen what has been happening on Kickstarter with players funding games that they really want to play, and we've backed several of them ourselves.  I can't wait for my own copies of DoubleFine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, Banner Saga, Project Fedora, and several others that I've contributed to, and as we started getting closer to completion on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, we started thinking that maybe we could turn to the fans of Defense Grid not only for funding help, but also to collaborate with during the development of the game. We want you as a partner, and making the game this way (as opposed to the more traditional approach) really energizes us as a team and gets us excited about the possibilities.

So to see if we can make both the game and the Kickstarter the best it can be, we started talking with folks out there who we could partner with on graphics technology and input to help.  The folks at AMD Gaming Evolved said they wanted in on this and so did the team at Razer, and we're really excited about partnering with both of them on developing new Defense Grid content.  The game is going to be even better because of it.

To start with, you'll see AMD & Razer both contributing great pledge rewards on the DG2 Kickstarter page.  The hardware rewards are limited, so make sure to reserve one with your pledge if that's something that interests you.  Then you'll notice our latest update to Defense Grid includes among many other things new support for the Razer SwitchBlade interface.  If you have a Razer keyboard with SwitchBlade, Defense Grid now knows about it and takes advantage of the programmable keys and touch pad.  The new DG2 engine is getting some new graphical and input features as well, and as that moves forward we'll announce other cool results of the partnerships.

Other folks have chipped in to help out on in a big way on the Kickstarter as well, and we were thrilled when they agreed to participate and show their desire for more Defense Grid.  We can't thank these folks enough: Randy Pitchford, Jordan Weisman, Richard Garfield, Al Lowe, David Perry, Ken Rolston and his Ruby Red Ukulele, Jason VandeBerghe, Chris Taylor, Dave Taylor (no relation to Chris - that we know of...), and Jerry Holkins.  Other luminaries have also contributed to some great video moments, and well, you'll get to see those too, in the weeks ahead.  And, if you're interested and perhaps also somewhat entertaining, well, you could join the list too.  Yes, honest, really.

As part of our celebration of getting players and fans more involved in our game development we're giving away a Steam code of the existing Defense Grid game to anyone who pledges on Kickstarter and we're sending the code to them right away, even before funding closes.  Then, everyone in the game, both current owners of the game and folks new to Defense Grid through Kickstarter, can play the existing game, get some new content updates during the next five weeks, and we can also conduct some fun contests in-game and give away some prizes too.  Again the prizes are generously provided by the folks at AMD and Razer.  We're really excited about what our partnership with them means for you and for the game.

One of the in-game contests is around you making your own video on why you want more Defense Grid.  Not only could you win a prize, but your video might be used along with the other folks from around the game industry who have shared their desire for more Defense Grid with us. You'll find more details about it in the game update.

So that's how our big news starts.  How it ends is very much up to you.  If you want more Defense Grid content, please check out the Kickstarter page and see if there is a pledge level that interests you.  Also, if you have friends who love Defense Grid, make sure they know about the Kickstarter as well.  With your help, we can make a great Defense Grid sequel that sets a new standard for tower defense games.

Posted in Company News, Defense Grid, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2, Hidden Path, pc