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

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

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

Steam Summer Sale Is Here!

06/19/2014 by Kaboom

Steam Summer Sale Is Here!
Here's a preview (prices in USD): 75% Off - Defense Grid: The Awakening - $2.49 75% Off - Defense Grid: The Awakening + All DLC - $4.99 50% Off - Windborne - $14.99 50% Off - Windborne + Order of the Dragon Membership - $22.49 50% Off - Windborne 2-Pack - 24.99 With prices like that you might as well pick up a copy for a friend too! These deals won't be around for long, so head over to Steam to pick up your games today.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Introducing Defense Grid: Green Bean Casserole Edition

12/20/2013 by Kaboom

Introducing Defense Grid: Green Bean Casserole Edition
And here's how you can make Lex's scrumptious recipe at home! Green Bean Casserole simplified no blanching of beans/using frozen beans 1 onion cut into half rings 1 tsp. olive oil 4 T butter 4 C sliced mushrooms Salt and pepper to taste (don’t be a Philistine always grind your pepper fresh) 3 T All Purpose (AP) flour Pinch of nutmeg (I grate mine on a microplane) 3 cloves minced garlic 1 ½ C chicken stock ( there’s a little wiggle room on the amount depending on how thick or thin you like it) 1 ½ C half and half 5 cups of thawed cut green beans 1 T butter (I use salted because my kung fu is strong) 1 C panko crumbs 1 C grated parmesan cheese (not that Kraft crap in a can) ¼ tsp onion powder ¼ tsp salt Onion rings (garnish!!!) 1 Large onion 1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 t baking powder 1 t salt 1 egg 1 cup milk, or as needed (I use buttermilk) ¾ cup panko Set oven to 400 F. In a heavy sauce pan, heat oil to a shimmer. Add onions and sauté to color. Remove these onions from pan to a bowl and set aside. Lower heat to medium and melt butter. Add mushrooms season with salt and pepper and sauté to mid tooth with good color. Add garlic and nutmeg and cook for additional 3-4 mins taking care to not let garlic burn. Lower your heat to a low setting. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and get full coverage over contents in pan. This is creating a roux from the fats in the pan (this technique is called “singe” pronounced san-jay in French culinary circles). Cook this for 3-4 mins to cook out the raw cereal taste of flour. Make sure to toss the mushrooms around to keep from burning the roux. Slowly pour in chicken stock and raise heat to medium Scrape up fond on bottom of pan while doing this. Stir this often and it will eventually thicken from the starches swelling with the liquid in a heated environment. Stir for 3 mins. And slowly pour in half and half and stir to fully incorporate. Reduce this down to thicken (approx 10 mins it should have the consistency of soup that moves). Season with salt and pepper to taste (do it now!) Reintroduce (fold in) previously cooked onions and drained and thawed green beans. Pour pan contents into a casserole dish. And sprinkle with half of parmesan cheese. Using a sauté pan set heat to medium and melt butter. Lower heat to low and add panko and keep contents moving to brown slowly (use flip method to get good butter and heat distribution) Add salt ad onion powder and remove from heat once color turns corner (blonde, not brown) once cool add remainder of parmesan cheese to panko mixture. Sprinkle this crumb mixture over the casserole and place in oven for 15 until it’s freaking bubbling and brown on top. I top mine with onion rings fresh from the fryer after its baked and sitting for a bit, but you can do these a few hours ahead and top them during the final bake. Rings: Now I know a lot of you out there are “lazy lima beans” so if you use ready to bake onion rings, I wont balk. Just know deep in your heart that going scratch is the true path to Valhalla Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 365 F Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. The wire rack may be placed over a sheet of aluminum foil for easier clean up. Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate or shallow dish. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat. Give it a hard tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings. Deep fry the rings a few at a time, for 2-3 mins until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain (paper bags are the best for this). Season with seasoning salt, and serve.

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

Weekly Challenge Results - Overflow - Campaign Challenge

08/01/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Overflow - Campaign Challenge
Here's what happened when we played Resurgence - Overflow - Campaign Challenge.

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 frengky.st
3 pastlegacy
4 spider323g
5 takista
6 pdanoe
7 Sir Mien
8 AstraNine
9 Morris
10 nickelfloor89
11 hanbaoluo
12 vinceycr
13 Ganjafear
14 Zyxpsilon
15 rbaldwin94
16 Russ
17 Thin crust
18 behindthelight
19 Lyonnete
20 castlealan
21 Laurrior
22 [Les GoRiX]--Maddy34
23 jasonjmx
24 [Les GoRiX]--NoXy94
25 Rsn-xprT

Sal's on top for a second week, and the Wonder Twins frengky.st and pastlegacy are back together.

There was a resurgence (heh) from Sir Mien who spent last week at #27 and now sits, smugly (maybe?) at #7.

Russ lingered at #49 last week and jumped up to enjoy the glories of #16.

But the Leap of the Week was executed by [Les GoRiX] - Maddy34 who after a week at number 90 worked some kinda DG magic and wound up at #22. Maddy seems to have a sibling or teammate along for the ride, as well. Hello to [Les GoRiX]--NoXy94. We don't know what a GoRiX is, but we're intrigued!

Now playing: Portal II - Grinder


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Featured Player - ksloan

07/25/2013 by trixie360

Featured Player - ksloan
He says he's "not really a gamer" but he's logged over 2,000 hours in Defense Grid. Did we mention he's the Bishop of Alabama?! Meet ksloan...

Where do you live?

 

My wife and I live in Birmingham, Alabama, in the United States.

 

What do you do for a living?

 

I am the Bishop of Alabama in The Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Communion.  I was a priest for 27 years, until I was elected Bishop about five years ago.

 

How long have you been playing Defense Grid?

 

I've been playing since our son, who really understands computer games and knows me well, gave the game to me for Christmas of 2009.  I was immediately intrigued by the need for strategy and the notion of defending the home land.

 

What is your favorite map/mode?

 

Well, I really do like them all, but I’m especially drawn to the levels that are the most challenging. I suppose I’m not typical of game-players in that I don’t pay much attention to the scores. My favorite for right now is the level that took me the longest to beat: one of the Community levels – Central Square, the Frozen Core mode. And still I’m looking for a way to beat it so that the aliens never get to the cores at all …

 

What's your favorite tower?

 

The Cannon.  It seems straight-forward and old-fashioned, and I like its efficiency, its range, its power – I also really like the sounds they make!

 

What is your favorite DLC?

 

I love the fact that you folks have included designs from the Defense Grid community.  There’s no cohesive story, which I liked in both Awakening and You Monster, but in Community there’s a real diversity of style which appeals to me. 

 

Do you have any tips on playing Defense Grid: The Awakening?

 

No, not really. I’m not really a gamer so much as someone who enjoys playing this particular game.  I don’t care about the score, and I don’t  have any tricks or secrets – my best tip is to take your time and enjoy playing.

 

What do you hope to see in Defense Grid 2?

 

I hope we learn more about Fletcher’s past, and how he became the way he is now.  I am very interested in Fletcher, and I’d love to hear (and possibly see) more about him.


Know someone we should interview for Featured Player? Drop us a line at community [at] hiddenpath [dot] com.

 







Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Turnabout - Story Challenge

07/25/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Turnabout - Story Challenge
Here's what came about when we played Turnabout - Story Challenge. 

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 frengky.st
3 pdanoe
4 takista
5 pastlegacy
6 spider323g
7 AstraNine
8 nickelfloor89
9 Ganjafear
10 vinceycr
11 Morris
12 pmf026
13 Reflectice
14 hanbaoluo
15 King Ghidorah
16 Zyxpsilon
17 Lyonnete
18 schlag58
19 Rsn-xprT
20 Jens_BIC
21 castlealan
22 rbaldwin94
23 Oatmeal25
24 jasonjmx
25 guavo

This week was all kinds of crazy! First of all, we must welcome The Juggle Master back to the top spot after an absence of six weeks. Good to have you back, Sal!

Not only did someone finally come between frengky.st and pastlegacy--TWO somebodies did!

Leap of the Week was accomplished by jasonjmx who spent last week at 88 and made it all the way to 24!

Now playing: Resurgence - Overflow - Campaign Challenge

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Forge - Campaign Challenge

07/17/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Forge - Campaign Challenge
Here's what happens when seven strangers stop being polite... No, wait. Here's what happened when we played Borderlands - Forge - Campaign Challenge:

1 frengky.st
2 pastlegacy
3 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
4 spider323g
5 takista
6 Morris
7 pdanoe
8 AstraNine
9 Ganjafear
10 vinceycr
11 nickelfloor89
12 Reflectice
13 rbaldwin94
14 Sir Mien
15 Thin crust
16 pmf026
17 Lyonnete
18 Zyxpsilon
19 spacehabitats
20 behindthelight
21 castlealan
22 Stonefish
23 2easy2kill
24 markus.schyska
25 Vegemite

Looks like pastlegacy and frengky.st thumb wrestled for first place this week and frengky won.

Check out spider323g, who climbed up right behind Sal at #3.

The Leap of the Week was accomplished by Stonefish, who swam upstream 36 spots to land at #22.

Nice big advances over last week were also made by behindthelight, 2easy2kill, markus.schyska, and Vegemite. Well done, Gridders!

Now playing: Turnabout Story Challenge. Got a suggestion for the next Weekly Challenge map? Bust it out here


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Hey, you got Fletcher in my Dota 2!

07/15/2013 by trixie360

Hey, you got Fletcher in my Dota 2!
So there you are playing Dota 2, when suddenly, the announcer starts talking about raspberries. The voice sounds like...but it couldn't be...it IS Fletcher! 

What's happening? Have worlds collided? Is it just a sweet, sweet dream?

No! It's the Defense Grid Announcer Pack for Dota 2, and it's available right now in the Dota 2 store for $9.99.

Here's a video Shoe and Jon put together of simulated gameplay with DG Announcer Pack audio as they'll be used in game. Check it out:


Pick up the Fletcher Pack here.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Roundabout - 30 Tower Limit

07/11/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Roundabout - 30 Tower Limit
Check out what happened in the latest Weekly Challenge featuring Resurgence - Roundabout - 30 Tower Limit: 

1 pdanoe
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 pastlegacy
4 frengky.st
5 Sir Mien
6 takista
7 AstraNine
8 Wyatan
9 spider323g
10 nickelfloor89
11 vinceycr
12 Morris
13 thuxus
14 Reflectice
15 dodo
16 Thin crust
17 abndvr64
18 King Ghidorah
19 rbaldwin94
20 Zyxpsilon
21 castlealan
22 oldtimer3
23 Fizeosh
24 Dave The Red
25 Rsn-xprT

What's this? pdanoe at the top of the heap followed by Juggle Master and the inseparable pastlegacy and frengky.st!

The Leap of the Week goes to Dave the Red who was at #129 last week. He moved up a mind-boggling 105 spots! Also impressive is oldtimer3 who spent last week at #90 only to sip from the fountain of youth and wind up at #22, and dodo, who far from going extinct, flew from #105 to #15!

Now playing: Borderlands - Forge - Campaign Challenge.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Onslaught - Campaign Challenge

07/04/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Onslaught - Campaign Challenge

Here's what happened when we played Borderlands - Onslaught - Campaign Challenge

1 pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 pdanoe
4 spider323g
5 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
6 Reflectice
7 vinceycr
8 Morris
9 takista
10 Sir Mien
11 AstraNine
12 Ganjafear
13 thuxus
14 nickelfloor89
15 castlealan
16 pmf026
17 behindthelight
18 Russ
19 Zyxpsilon
20 rbaldwin94
21 Jens_BIC -35
22 wineman
23 thegrommit -33
24 Rsn-xprT
25 abndvr64

It's deja vu all over again. The top five this week is an exact replica of last week's leaderboard!
Leap of the Week belongs to Jens_BIC, up 14 places from the last Challenge.

Now playing Roundabout 30 tower limit. To all our U.S. players, have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Waste Disposal - Story Reversed

06/27/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Waste Disposal - Story Reversed
Here's what happened when we played Waste Disposal - Story Reversed:


1 pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 pdanoe
4 spider323g
5 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
6 takista
7 Wyatan
8 AstraNine
9 vinceycr
10 Sir Mien
11 nickelfloor89
12 Morris
13 thuxus
14 Reflectice
15 pmf026
16 Ganjafear
17 rbaldwin94
18 Zyxpsilon
19 Russ
20 Thin crust
21 abndvr64
22 castlealan
23 Rsn-xprT
24 david
25 Rentner
Pastlegacy and frengky.st are back again at 1 and 2. I had to double check the leaderboard because I thought I'd gone through some sort of wormhole and it was last week! 

Also vinceycr is parked at number 9 again. Don't get too comfy, vince!

Our buddy pmf026 made the Leap of the Week: 27 places from 42 to 15. Way to go, pmf!

Now playing: Onslaught - Campaign Challenge.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Containment Scoring Guide Videos

06/21/2013 by trixie360

Containment Scoring Guide Videos
If you've been hanging out in the DG community, this guy's name will be familiar. He's Wyatan and he has created an ongoing series of video scoring guides for Containment. We're going to be getting to know Wyatan a bit better in an upcoming Featured Player interview, but here's what he had to say when we asked him what inspired him to start making videos:

"I started doing videos last year, for another Tower Defense game, Orcs Must Die! 2.  I kinda stumbled into the high scoring scene for that game, and my very first videos were basically merely a scoring "proof". But then I actually became one of the very top scorers, and my videos turned into  a way of explaining what I did, so that others could emulate and eventually surpass me, adding their own ideas and strats. That was definitely gratifying, a positive feedback loop with the community. A few other players did some videos, and one other, Juicebags, probably ended up doing more than me. So on the whole, it was a great experience... one that I obviously wanted to reproduce. 

Coming back to Defense Grid for the Containment DLC, and knowing that I could also high score on thatgame, made it a pretty easy decision. But I don't do videos for the sake of doing them, I feel they must provide added value for the community. There's no shortage of Gold Medalling videos on the web, but apart from a couple by Ganjafear, there were no high scoring videos for Containment. So there was a gap to fill."

And we're so glad he did. Check out Wyatan's videos and let us know if they help you get that high score.



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Ancient Research - Fully Loaded

06/19/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Ancient Research - Fully Loaded
For this most recent challenge we went back to where it all began--the Awakening--and played Ancient Research - Fully Loaded

Here's how things shook out:

1 pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
4 pdanoe
5 Max Payne
6 hanbaoluo
7 Sir Mien
8 Reflectice
9 vinceycr
10 AstraNine
11 spider323g
12 Zyxpsilon
13 Jens_BIC
14 Ganjafear
15 nickelfloor89
16 castlealan
17 [Teddy Dispenser]Au@u
18 thuxus
19 Aelfwin
20 oldtimer3
21 behindthelight
22 Morris
23 Thin crust
24 2easy2kill
25 Russ

The wonder twins pastlegacy and frengky.st are back at #1 and #2.

Just as suddenly as he appeared, hirschquadrat has slipped away again. Was he ever really here?

The Leap of the Week was accomplished by Jens_BIC who spent last week at 42 and is our current #13. Nice work!

Now playing: Waste Disposal - Story Reversed. Good luck!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Abandon - Campaign Reversed

06/13/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Abandon - Campaign Reversed
Here's what happened when we played Abandon - Campaign Reversed: with few exceptions everyone just shuffled around a place or two. 


1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 frengky.st
3 pdanoe
4 hirschquadrat
5 pastlegacy
6 Wyatan
7 Sir Mien
8 Ganjafear
9 Raptor_1000
10 AstraNine
11 nickelfloor89
12 hanbaoluo
13 Morris
14 Reflectice
15 spider323g
16 rbaldwin94
17 Sloopjohnb
18 vinceycr
19 Russ
20 Thin crust
21 behindthelight
22 Zyxpsilon 27 last week
23 Fail Factor 55
24 thuxus
25 castlealan

Congratulations to The Juggle Master; back at number one after a fairly lengthy absence.

New to the Top 25 are Wyatan and Fail Factor 55. Welcome!

Now playing: Ancient Research Fully Loaded

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Featured Player - pdanoe

06/07/2013 by trixie360

Featured Player - pdanoe
You know pdanoe from the top of the Weekly Challenge leaderboards and his helpful advice in the forums. A big thank you to him for letting us ask him some questions to find out more about him!

Where do you live?


My location is Copenhagen, Denmark. I live in an upper apartment nicely situated in a green area. And close to the beach. Not that the beach is very attractive here, the water is just too cold. But you can have a nice adrenaline kick if you do the so-called winter swimming, which is quite popular here.
 

What do you do for a living?


I work as a teacher in physics and mathematics and sports. I changed my career to teaching a few years ago, quite impulsively, but I happened to be very satisfied with my decision. Teaching is a great job !


How long have you been playing Defense Grid?


I bought the Defense Grid at Wild Tangent Games 3 years ago. I immediately liked the setup, and getting through the levels was my first challenging decision. The later levels were quite hard, I remember. Lockdown was so difficult, and Last Stand .... I can not even speak. I remember playing that level so many times, before I mastered it.That level was the place where I learned my first juggling, and I am happy to tell, that I am today the present world record holder in that map.


What is your favorite map/mode?


There is many great modes ! I remember playing the resource challenges with great interest. These modes need a kind of special magic trick, to get the highest score. I will not reveal here, but the first people to discover it, named it "green magic".  


What is your favorite tower?


I think the inferno tower is definitely underrated in the community, compared to its actual power. An inferno planted near a temporal does great against almost any wave. And the inferno is the second cheapest tower in the game.

 
What is your favorite DLC?


Right now, that would be the new Containment DLC. It is a map pack filled with new challenges, a new story line, and very creative maps once again. Endurance is a great map, and Passage and Under Siege are maps that make you speculate many possibilities. I like maps that stimulate a creative thinking.

 
Do you have any tips on playing Defense Grid: The Awakening?


Yes ! I think my most important tip is, that a great score in a map is achieved by saving in the first rounds. That is the most magic trick on the way to a good score. And secondly, put up a Command tower as soon as possible. That tower does not just make the lurkers visible. It also greatly increases your scoring.


 
What do you hope to see in Defense Grid 2?


A great story line, great graphics, inspiring challenges, and hopefully many many new secrets. 


See some of pdanoe's advice here in the forums.


What player would you like to see featured on the HPE blog? Shoot us an email at community [at] hiddenpath [dot] com and let us know!
 

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Endurance - Reverse Frozen Core

06/06/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Endurance - Reverse Frozen Core

Here's what's up with what went down this week when we played Endurance - Reverse Frozen Core

1 frengky.st
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 pastlegacy
4 pdanoe
5 Max Payne
6 hirschquadrat
7 spider323g
8 AstraNine
9 hanbaoluo
10 Morris
11 rbaldwin94
12 nickelfloor89
13 Ganjafear
14 vinceycr
15 Thin crust
16 Russ
17 Reflectice
18 Sir Mien
19 thuxus
20 markus.schyska
21 jonny floppychops
22 behindthelight
23 castlealan
24 Sloopjohnb
25 Jens_BIC

Congrats to frengky.st who tops the leaderboard this week--up from #8. hirschquadrat is squatting at #6--if you're still there next week, hirsch, we're charging you rent.

The Leap of the Week goes to jonny floppychops who went from 59 to 21. Nicely done!

Now playing: Abandon - Campaign Reversed

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Resurgence - Risk Exposure - Campaign Challenge

05/30/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Resurgence - Risk Exposure - Campaign Challenge
Here's what happened when we played Resurgence - Risk Exposure - Campaign Challenge:

1 pastlegacy
2 pdanoe
3 spider323g
4 Max Payne
5 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
6 hirschquadrat
7 Reflectice
8 frengky.st
9 Sir Mien
10 AstraNine
11 Ganjafear
12 vinceycr
13 rbaldwin94
14 thuxus
15 Russ
16 markus.schyska
17 Zyxpsilon
18 castlealan
19 ZhaxRa
20 pmf026
21 Thin crust
22 [6am] Tigger
23 behindthelight
24 schlag58
25 woodie17

The most interesting story this week was the mystery of hirschquadrat. There he is at number six. I searched the leaderboards for the last couple of months and there was no sign of him. Still, I was SURE that name was familiar. So I started at the very beginning (a very good place to start), and there he was at #3 for Veil of Ice! He was in the top ten two more times in October and then vanished. He appeared on the leaderboard one more time, when he came in 7th on Center of Power in December. Then he was gone again, like a thief in the night. Then this week comes around and suddenly! hirshquadrat!

Keep a close eye on this player...you'll only ever see him in the top ten.

Reflectice is another old friend who has returned to the game after a long break. (We were on a break!)

And Leap of the Week, you ask? Well, that was accomplished by the one and only [6am] Tigger who bounced and pounced from #58 last week to #22 this week.

Now playing: Endurance - Reverse Frozen Core. Want to help choose next week's challenge? Suggest and vote for your favorites here if you're a Kickstarter backer or here if you were not.  All suggestions are welcome!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Bring Back Penny Arcade's Podcast

05/29/2013 by trixie360

Bring Back Penny Arcade's Podcast
Penny Arcade's wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to bring back the beloved podcast "Downloadable Content" is coming to an end. 

The good news is that you can still become a backer until May 31. 

And if you pledge at the $35 level along with the other rewards you'll also receive Defense Grid plus expansions. 

How's that for awesome?!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Augur - Out of Bullets

05/23/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Augur - Out of Bullets
What the heck went down with Augur - Out of Bullets? Well, take a look:


1 pdanoe
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 pastlegacy
4 Max Payne
5 hanbaoluo
6 frengky.st
7 Ganjafear
8 spider323g
9 Raptor_1000
10 AstraNine
11 nickelfloor89
12 rbaldwin94
13 Sloopjohnb
14 Sir Mien
15 vinceycr
16 Thin crust
17 Zyxpsilon
18 thuxus
19 svyt
20 Russ
21 spacehabitats
22 castlealan
23 Karabin
24 LittleDawg
25 Rsn-xprT

pdanoe is back on top again! The last time was for Ghost in the Machine - Poison Core.

Here's something weird: you can actually see light between pastlegacy and frenky.st. The two players are usually neck-and-neck.

Ganjafear is up four and spider's down five.

Russ and LittleDawg tied for Leap of the Week--they each moved up 39 places from last week. 

Now Playing: Risk of Exposure - Campaign Challenge. Mind your resources!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Volition - Story Challenge

05/20/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Volition - Story Challenge
Since the same dozen players have been dominating the Weekly Challenge top ten for months, let's zoom out a bit and take a look at the top twenty-five players. Here's what happened in Containment - Volition - Story Challenge:

1 pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 spider323g
4 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
5 Max Payne
6 AstraNine
7 Raptor_1000
8 pdanoe
9 Sir Mien
10 vinceycr
11 Ganjafear
12 nickelfloor89
13 Zyxpsilon
14 Thin crust
15 behindthelight
16 bokgas
17 rbaldwin94
18 pmf026
19 jonny floppychops
20 dodo
21 BarnabyJones
22 Jens_BIC
23 castlealan
24 deborah
25 [6am] Tigger

Frengky.st and pastlegacy switched places. Again. Yawn. Just kidding--well done, guys.

Zyxpsilon moved up three places from 16 to 13--word on the forums is he's seen the value of juggling. 

Raptor_1000 used super dino powers (we think) to move up 5 places to #7.

Tigger bounced and pounced into the top 25 this week, up from #31.

The Leap of the Week was accomplished by deborah, who went from #1169 to #24!

The current map and mode is Containment-Augur-Out of Bullets. Have fun!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Featured Player - Ganjafear

05/10/2013 by trixie360

Featured Player - Ganjafear
You've seen him on the Weekly Challenge leaderboards and may have watched his video guides. Here's our chance to really get to know Ganjafear!

Where do you live?

I live in the capital of Denmark, a small Scandinavian country known mostly for its fierce Vikings, whom I am a proud descendant of. I live with my girlfriend of 5 years, and we have a baby boy on the way, due date august 11th =).

Wow! Congratulations! What do you do for a living?

I used to build windmills, but the company closed the sites in Denmark, so I decided to follow an old dream of becoming an engineer. I am now on my second year of mechanical engineering. I should be done in around three more years. I also work nights at a storage now and then.

How long have you been playing Defense Grid?

I am not sure actually. My account at Hidden Path says I registered to post on the forum at June 2010, so it was probably well before that time I started. This actually means that I have played around 30 minutes a day on average since I bought DG.
 
What is your favorite map/mode?

For a long time it was any mode on Kill Zone, after that I really enjoyed any mode on Lockdown followed by Portal II (I call it Lockdown II). I generally like all modes except for maybe resource challenges or shredders. I really enjoy making the cheapest/most efficient setup possible, no matter if it is fixed path or juggle play, and in order to do that I enjoy the effect interest has on the game.

What is your favorite tower?

Tesla tower by far, I often use it even when it is not feasible, and I do not care if I place lower on the leaderboards because of it, it is just way too cool not to use. I use laser and inferno way less than most other people, I guess I like taking shields off fast.

What's your favorite DLC?

I like them all a lot. I think they all brought countless of hours of new entertainment to me and everybody else interested in DG. I would actually say that I like them all equally much except for maybe “You Monster” which was a bit behind the other DLCs entertainment wise (for me).

Do you have any tips on playing Defense Grid: The Awakening?

It depends on what people want to achieve. I have lots of tips:
-          Start out as efficient as possible. If you have a strong start you can still place high, even if you are not a fan of backspacing endlessly to get those extra points.

-          If you want to place high on the leaderboards, all it takes is a good idea and good execution. I personally do not (usually) play a lot during the weekly challenges, maybe 4-5 times per challenge week, but I always place in the top10 when I participate. This is due to getting a good start and a good kill zone only. I very rarely optimize my strategies as it gets tedious for me to play the same map over and over again in a short time span, so I leave the top5 for the more dedicated players.

-          Record your games if you have the chance. If you want extra points you can easily see what you did wrong or where you can improve during your game. A bonus from this is that you can always go back and see what you did that one time last year, when you made a highscore but forgot just what you did to achieve it.

-          Watch other people’s videos. I make a video every now and then, so does mien, pdanoe and now Wyatan. I think those are the only people I watch videos from regularly, since the rest of the people making videos seem to lack a lot of understanding of the game. I often see a video where there is no command tower for example or where the kill zone is spread out across the entire map. These are things that will never work out (unless it is an early map with no command tower available of course).

What do you hope to see in Defense Grid 2?

I hope to see a lot more of the same. I am not sure how multiplayer will work out so I am looking forward to seeing that.

I hope that the game stays simple, while still allowing advanced play, just not in the form of stuff like the ability to target specific aliens, taking control of a tower etc. I think that a lot of other tower defense games tried that and all failed, and I really believe that is not the way to go with a game.

I would like to have some truly hard levels. Levels where you do not just get a gold medal on first playthrough by default.  Levels that maybe some of the top players played before they were released and decided what the score for gold should be (let’s say five people play it for a limited amount of time, and the gold score is the average minus 5-10% of the five people’s top score for example).

I would like to play a mode where the aliens became stronger and stronger and came in increasingly more complex waves. Not dynamic waves as this would defeat the purpose of leaderboards, but the same buildup every time, just a lot harder than super grinder and non-juggable on a fixed path for example.  

I would like to see split leaderboards for jugglers/non-jugglers. This would mean that everybody who likes to juggle get twice the content, and that the people who think that they are being held down by jugglers would be proven wrong, since the same 10 people would be on top on the non-juggle boards as well. I really do not want to sound like an ass here, but it is the reality.

I would like to see A LOT more players. The game is awesome and I have no idea why there are not 11 million people playing it right now. It is very fun; you can play for just half an hour and still be entertained. There are both long and short levels, and there is almost always a friend that scored slightly higher than you on some map that you claimed, meaning there is always something to do (beat his/hers score!).

I would also very much like for the issue with cheaters being resolved. Simply just delete any person who score above the theoretical max, it is not possible to do so without a bug or by cheating in some way, so it should be very easily done (and it should have been done a long time ago).


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Abandon - Story Challenge

05/09/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Abandon - Story Challenge
In the latest Weekly Challenge we played Containment-Abandon-Story Challenge. Here's what happened: 

1 frengky.st
2 pastlegacy
3 pdanoe
4 spider323g
5 Max Payne
6 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
7 Ganjafear
8 Sir Mien
9 AstraNine
10 hanbaoluo


Well, look at that, it's our friend frengky.st back at the number one spot he last claimed in A River Runs Through It - Frozen Core.

Other big news this week: The Juggle Master dropped from #2 to #6, and pastlegacy jumped from #5 to #2. 

Our new map and mode is Volition - Story Challenge. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

DG2 Concept Art!

05/02/2013 by trixie360

DG2 Concept Art!
“The direction of the mood for the environments in DG2 will be more in line to show established human colonies in new settings. These are thriving beautiful places,” explains Lex Story, Lead Artist for DG2 at Hidden Path Entertainment. Lex adds, “I make drawings… it’s kinda fun and the coffee machine here has all sorts of flavors.”

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: DG2

Weekly Challenge Results - You Monster - Ghost in the Machine

05/02/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - You Monster - Ghost in the Machine
Here's what we played: You Monster-Ghost in the Machine-Poison Core.

And here's what happened:

1 pdanoe
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 spider323g
4 frengky.st
5 pastlegacy
6 Max Payne
7 Ganjafear
8 hanbaoluo
9 Sir Mien
10 AstraNine

Big congrats to pdanoe, who earned his first NUMBER ONE placement in the Weekly Challenge! Well done!

Juggle Master and spider323g are up to their old tricks at the top of the top ten, coming in at second and third place.

Welcome back as well to our friend Sir Mien who jumped up to number ten from last week's 15th place showing.
 
This time around we're playing Containment-Abandon-Story Challenge. Remember to suggest and vote for Challenge Levels in the Hidden Path forums!



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Endurance - Story Challenge

04/29/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Endurance - Story Challenge
Here's what went down when we played Containment - Endurance - Story Challenge...

1 pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 Max Payne
4 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
5 pdanoe
6 Ganjafear
7 hanbaoluo
8 vinceycr
9 AstraNine
10 spider323g
 
pastlegacy is back at number one for the first time since "Wasn't Designed for This" a month ago.

Max Payne made a big leap from 9 to 3. pdanoe and vinceycr are both up two spots, landing at 5 and 8, respectively.

We don't know what happened to our favorite arachnid: spider323g dropped seven spots this week. 


This wrap-up was delayed due to our big DG2 news. We're already neck-deep in the newest challenge: You Monster - Ghost in the Machine - Frozen Core.

Remember, Kickstarter backers can suggest and vote for the next Challenge via UserVoice. Just go to the Private Backer Forum and click the DG2 tab on the right of your screen.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - A River Runs Through It

04/18/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - A River Runs Through It
Here's what happened when we played A River Runs Through It - Frozen Core. Spoiler alert: Brad Pitt did not show up. :(

1 frengky.st
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 spider323g
4 pastlegacy
5 AstraNine
6 hanbaoluo
7 pdanoe
8 Ganjafear
9 Max Payne
10 vinceycr

Want the whole dang leaderboard? Get it here.

frengky.st sits at the top of the leaderboard for the second week in a row followed by The Juggle Master. He's also made his debut in the Hidden Path forums, so stop by and tell him congrats!

spider323g makes his best showing in four weeks, sitting at #3.

After taking a week off, AstraNine is back with a strong showing in fifth place.

And finally, welcome back to hanbaoluo, last seen taking the Weekly Challenge in February. Nice to see you again!

Next up: Containment-Endurance-Story Challenge. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Volition - Grinder

04/11/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Volition - Grinder
Here's what happened when we played the Containment level Volition - Grinder

1 frengky.st
2 pastlegacy
3 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
4 Max Payne
5 pdanoe
6 Ganjafear
7 spider323g
8 dodo
9 vinceycr
10 nickelfloor89
Want to see all 225 scores? Check it out here

As for the top ten, it looks like frenky.st and pastlegacy just swapped places with frenky on top this week.

nickelfloor89 enters the Circle of Awesome (aka the top ten) up from #16 last week as does dodo, who made the leap from #13.

We may be seeing new folks in the Circle of Awesome because players tend to go with their first score that gets them in the Circle because Grinder takes so dang long. "Trixie," Ganjafear told me with a weary sigh, "it's like a second job."

This week we're giving you a break on the endurance test that is Grinder and playing one of the community levels: A River Runs Through It - Frozen Core.

Don't like the challenge level? Suggest your own choice right here if you're a Kickstarter backer or here if you missed out on the Kickstarter. 


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Behold! A Contest Winner!

04/08/2013 by trixie360

Behold! A Contest Winner!
One of the winners of the Defense Grid Containment Portable Power Core Contest shows off his prize: an Alienware laptop. 

The Defense Grid Containment Portable Power Core Contest was a sweepstakes we held back when the Containment DLC launched. We partnered with our great friends Intel, Dell, and Alienware who provided the amazing prizes.

Terence in Hewlett, NY won the Alienware laptop!

Jeremiah in Flowery Branch, GA won the Dell Ultrabook

and these fine folks each won an Intel Core i7-3770 processor:

Donald in Centralia, IL

Irene in  Edison, NJ

Matthew in Lewisville, TX

Robb in Mount Shasta, CA

Robin in Florence, WI

Congrats again to all the winners and thanks to Terence for sharing!



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Wasn't Designed for This - Frozen Core

04/04/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Wasn't Designed for This - Frozen Core
The Challenge was the Community level "Wasn't Designed for This." and the results looked like this:


1 pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
4 Max Payne
5 pdanoe
6 spider323g
7 AstraNine
8 Ganjafear
9 Sir Mien
10 vinceycr


pastlegacy and frengky.st are making a habit of this #1 and #2 thing. Sal juggled his way up from #5 last week to third place.

spider323g slipped down the waterspout (sorry) to sixth place, and Sir Mien is up one spot to #9--but so far hasn't found the Grail.

Up next is Volition - Grinder. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Occupation - Green Towers Only

03/28/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Occupation - Green Towers Only
Here's all the news that fits on the Weekly Challenge featuring Occupation - Green Towers Only.

1      pastlegacy
2 frengky.st
3 spider323g
4 pdanoe
5 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
6 Ganjafear
7 Max Payne
8 AstraNine
9 Raptor_1000
10 Sir Mien

Want the full story? Check out the leaderboard

Pastlegacy, frengky.st and spider323g are once again battling for those top three spots and this week pastlegacy came out at number one. 

pdanoe liked fourth place so much last week he decided to stay. Same goes for The Juggle Master and Ganjafear at fifth and sixth and AstraNine at eighth. Don't get too comfy, guys.

One player on the move is Raptor_1000 who [insert scary velociraptor sound]'d their way from #21 up to #9. 

Now playing: Wasn't Designed For This - Frozen Core

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Under Siege - Campaign Reversed

03/21/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Under Siege - Campaign Reversed
This week we took on the challenge of Under Siege - Campaign Reversed. Here's what went down:


1 spider323g
2 frengky.st
3 pastlegacy
4 pdanoe
5 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
6 Ganjafear
7 Sir Mien
8 AstraNine
9 Max Payne
10 vinceycr


Spider's back on top for another week, and frengky.st and pastlegacy swapped places from last week.

You can actually watch Ganjafear get that number six-securing score in this video. Watch it and learn.

Other big movers: AstraNine moved back into the top ten (from last week's #11 spot) and Treff*Nix fell out of the top ten to land at #11 this week. Basically, AstraNine and Treff*Nix swapped places. Hmmm. What's up with the swapping?

This week we're playing Occupation - Green Towers Only. Good luck!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Foothold - Frozen Core

03/14/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Foothold - Frozen Core
Here's what happened in Foothold - Frozen Core...

1 spider323g
2 pastlegacy
3 frengky.st
4 Max Payne
5 pdanoe
6 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
7 Sir Mien
8 Treff*Nix
9 Ganjafear
10 vinceycr

Full results here

It was a week of returns. Our longest-winning champ ever (5 weeks in a row) spider323g returns to the number one spot after a several weeks. Make no mistake, spider's always near the top, but he's at last reclaimed his spidery crown.

Also, our dear friend Sir Mien returns to the weekly challenge after taking a break for real life. Great to have you back, good sir!

Now Playing: Under Siege - Campaign Reversed

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

We have contest winners!

03/12/2013 by trixie360

We have contest winners!
We want to thank everyone who entered the contest and spread the word to their friends. We especially want to thank our partners Intel, Alienware, and Dell for their generosity. 

So here's who scored the goodies:

Terence in Hewlett, NY won the Alienware laptop!

Jeremiah in Flowery Branch, GA won the Dell Ultrabook

and these fine folks each won an Intel Core i7-3770 processor:

Donald in Centralia, IL

Irene in  Edison, NJ

Matthew in Lewisville, TX

Robb in Mount Shasta, CA

Robin in Florence, WI

Congratulations to all the winners!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Polimer Maze - Campaign

03/07/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Polimer Maze - Campaign
Here's what went down in Polimer Maze - Campaign.

1 frengky.st
2 pastlegacy
3 spider323g
4 Ganjafear
5 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
6 Max Payne
7 pdanoe
8 takista
9 AstraNine
10 Thin crust




There seems to have been a massive leaderboard shake up. You might even call it coup--if, y'know, you were feeling French.

We have a new champ, frengky.st who bolted up the leaderboard six spots to claim the crown--or power core, or whatever. Last week's champ, pastlegacy, dropped to second place, and long-time winner spider323g puts in his second week at number 3.

Oh, it's all just higgledy-piggledy. It's madness! It's chaos! We love it!

Now playing: Foothold - Frozen Core. Good luck, Gridders!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Central Square Story Challenge

02/28/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Central Square Story Challenge
Here's the skinny on the most recent Weekly Challenge in which we played Central Square - Story Challenge.


1 pastlegacy
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 spider323g
4 Max Payne
5 AstraNine
6 pdanoe
7 frengky.st
8 takista
9 Treff*Nix
10 nickelfloor89


pastlegacy took a week off from the number one spot and now is back on top followed by the usual suspects The Juggle Master and spider323g

The biggest gains this round belong to AstraNine, frengky.st and nickelfloor89 who central-squared their way to the top ten from numbers 11, 13 and 15 respectively.

Now playing: Polimer Maze - Campaign Reversed. Enjoy!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Don't Miss Out!

02/27/2013 by trixie360

Don't Miss Out!
Time is running out! The Portable Power Core Contest ends tomorrow, so be sure and enter!

Enter for your chance to win fantastic prizes featuring Intel Core i7 power and get extra Defense Grid content just for registering!

The Fabulous Prizes

Alienware M17x Laptop
This gaming rig delivers an immersive gaming experience with a new Intel® Core™ i7 processor and advanced GPU options.

Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch Screen Ultrabook™
Go from work to play on this convertible and multi-touch 12" Ultrabook™ and tablet made with premium materials and craftsmanship.

Intel Core i7 chips
For a difference you can see and feel in HD or 3D, multitasking or multimedia, the Visibly Smart 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770 processor with top-of-the-line has the performance you need for your most demanding tasks.

You must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia to be eligible to win.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Augur - Super Grinder

02/21/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Augur - Super Grinder
Who made the Top Ten this week? Check it out:

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 pastlegacy
3 spider323g
4 takista
5 hanbaoluo
6 Max Payne
7 Ganjafear
8 Treff*Nix
9 pdanoe
10 rbaldwin94


The Juggle Master is back on top after edging out last week's champ pastlegacy. pdanoe came up from 12th place last week to number 9, and after spending a week at number 12, takista is back in the top ten at number 4.

The action this week is happening in Central Square Challenge. Good luck! 

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Endurance - Campaign Reversed

02/14/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Endurance - Campaign Reversed
Check out the results for the last Weekly Challenge. We played Containment - Endurance - Campaign Reversed

1 pastlegacy
2 spider323g
3 Max Payne
4 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
5 Treff*Nix
6 AstraNine
7 hanbaoluo
8 frengky.st
9 rbaldwin94
10 Ganjafear


Happy Valentine's Day, Defense Gridders! For the first time since we started doing the Weekly Challenge we have a NEW WINNER. That is, a person at number one who is neither spider323g nor The Juggle Master

Congratulations to pastlegacy!!

Other than that astonishing event, the rest of the top ten are the same players from last week's top ten shuffled around. Except: rbaldwin94 made a jump from 15 to 10. Welcome to the big-time, rbald.

Up next is another Containment level for your Challenge enjoyment, Augur - Super Grinder.

Have fun and good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Containment - Passage - Campaign Reversed

02/07/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Containment - Passage - Campaign Reversed
Here's what happened in Passage - Campaign Reversed, our first Containment challenge:

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 pastlegacy
3 spider323g
4 AstraNine
5 Max Payne
6 vinceycr
7 Treff*Nix
8 Ganjafear
9 hanbaoluo
10 frengky.st

Juggle Master is on top once again! Trff*Nix and spider323g seem to be fond of 7th and 3rd place respectively. Welcome to the top ten to pastlegacy and frengky.st!

AstraNine had a good week, moving to 4th place from 9th last week and vinceyer worked his way up from number 10 last week to 6 this week. Nicely done.


Next up: Endurance - Campaign Reversed. Good luck!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Forge - Super Grinder

01/31/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Forge - Super Grinder
We played Forge - Super Grinder, and here's what happened:

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 takista
3 spider323g
4 Max Payne
5 Ganjafear
6 hanbaoluo
7 Treff*Nix
8 Gemini
9 AstraNine
10 vinceycr


Juggle Master's got no complaints this week--he's on top of the heap, followed by takista and spider323g.

Ganjafear made a nice 5-place leap this week, but the big story was Gemini's huge jump from 49 to 8! Welcome to the top ten, Gem!

For this week's challenge we're busting out Containment! Join us in playing Passage - Campaign Reversed.

Remember, the Weekly Challenge is for fun!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Out of Fuel Story Challenge

01/24/2013 by trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Out of Fuel Story Challenge
Here are the top ten scores for Out of Fuel - Story Challenge! Full results here.

1      spider323g
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 takista
4 hanbaoluo
5 Max Payne
6 Treff*Nix
7 AstraNine
8 vinceycr
9 Tower_Mazer
10 Ganjafear

Spider does it again. Can his eight-legged dominance be stopped?!

A note on the results for Roundabout - 20K Resources. The top four players had the same high score of 67,650, but spider323g was the first to earn the high score, takista was second, and so on. It was a 4-way tie displayed in chronological order.

This week's challenge is Forge - Super Grinder, and next week we'll be playing a map from the new Containment DLC!



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Win Awesome Intel-Powered Prizes!

01/23/2013 by trixie360

Win Awesome Intel-Powered Prizes!
Alienware & Intel are celebrating the release of Defense Grid: Containment with amazing Intel Core powered products for you to win! Register now for your chance to take home an Alienware M17x gaming laptop, a Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch Screen Ultrabook, or one of 5 Intel Core i7 processor prizes you can use to upgrade or build your computer.

Everyone who registers and qualifies will be entered in the drawing to win one of the 7 exciting prizes. Submissions end at midnight Pacific Time on February 28th. Winners will be announced on March 1st, 2013.

Bonus! Everyone who enters will receive a Steam code for the Defense Grid: Community Levels DLC -- 4 levels designed, submitted and voted on by the DG community.

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Must be 18 years of age or older.

Hit the link to get all the details and register.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Roundabout - 20k Resources

01/17/2013 by Trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Roundabout - 20k Resources
So how'd we do on Roundabout - 20k Resources?

1 spider323g
2 takista
3 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
4 hanbaoluo
5 Treff*Nix
6 Firestorm
7 rbaldwin94
8 AllyRoman
9 davey3000
10 Morris

Lookie there, spider323g is on top again for the second week in a row. In a Weekly Challenge surprise Takista edged out The Juggle Master for the number two spot. AllyRoman is up one spot, and Morris makes it a second week at number 10. Welcome to new leaderboard blood Firestorm, rbaldwin94, and davey3000!

Check the full leaderboard here.

Next up: Out of Fuel - Story Challenge. With Containment now in the hands of Kickstarter backers it will be interesting to see the Weekly Challenge results!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Defense Grid: Containment - Delivered to Backers - Available to Everyone on Jan 23, 2013!

01/16/2013 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid: Containment - Delivered to Backers - Available to Everyone on Jan 23, 2013!
We're very excited to announce that Defense Grid: Containment has gone gold and has been downloaded to our Kickstarter backers.  It goes on sale to the public next Wednesday, January 23rd, and will be available on Steam for $4.99.  It requires the main Defense Grid: The Awakening game in order to play.

We want to thank our backers and fans so much for your support.  They joined us this last summer on Kickstarter, we raised enough money to fund a new expansion, and we built it with their help,  feedback, voting, and support.  It's been a huge deal, and we're so excited to have this new approach in working with our fans on our games.

There isn't anything new to report as of yet on Defense Grid 2, we're still working to close the funding gap between what we have and what we need in order to make that game, but we'll keep you updated as we work to make that game a reality.

Meanwhile, we're excited to share with you the work of our team over the last several months - we think Containment is the best Defense Grid content yet, and we can't wait for you to play it.

Thanks!


Jeff

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, pc

Weekly Challenge Results - Tactical Diversion - Campaign Challenge

01/11/2013 by Trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Tactical Diversion - Campaign Challenge
The map/mode was Tactical Diversion - Campaign Challenge, and here's how it all shook out:

1 spider323g
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 takista 100097
4 Max Payne
5 Wyatan
6 Ganjafear
7 Treff*Nix
8 AstraNine
9 AllyRoman
10    Morris

Spider has reclaimed the number one spot after a week's absence. Takista climbs to number four and Treff*Nix slips to number 8. Give a hearty "Welcome to the top ten" to AllyRoman who was at number 12 last week.

The leaderboard and post were updated on 1/14/2013.

Next up: Roundabout - 20K Resources

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Containment Achievements Announced

01/11/2013 by Trixie360

Containment Achievements Announced
We're excited to announce the Steam achievements for the upcoming Defense Grid expansion Defense Grid: Containment. Especially cool is that four of them were suggested by community member miendiem, who was profiled in a Featured Player blog post!

Here is the complete list of Containment achievements. The starred achievements were suggested by miendiem.

The Container
Earn at least a Bronze medal on all eight Story modes in the Containment campaign.

Contains Trace Amounts of Gold
Earn a Gold medal on all eight Story modes in the Containment campaign.

Fully Contained
Earn at least a Bronze medal on all 40 modes in the Containment campaign.

Core Container
Earn a Gold medal on all 40 modes in the Containment campaign.

A Temporal Would've Been Nice*
Earn at least a Bronze medal on the Story or Story Challenge mode of Occupation using only Gun, Inferno, and Laser towers.

So Many Spaces to Build On, So Little Time*
Earn at least a Bronze medal on the Story or Story Challenge mode of Foothold building ten towers or less without selling.

If At First You Don't Succeed, Retry Again*
Reload an earlier save checkpoint five times in a single mission.

Master Siege Breaker*
Survive 100 waves on any Super Grinder challenge mode.

Clean Getaway
Prevent the aliens from stealing a core until they have arrived safely at the second core housing in the Story or Story Challenge mode of Auger.

This is…spartan.
Earn a Gold medal on the Story or Story Challenge mode of Volition building fifteen towers or less without selling.

Kickstarter
Begin playing any mode of the Containment Campaign.

Foresight is 20/20
Earn a Gold medal on any Containment mission without going back to a save checkpoint.

Clear Skies
Earn a Gold medal in the Campaign Reversed mode of Passage without building any Meteor or Missile towers or using the Orbital Laser.

Congratulations and thanks to miendiem! Are you guys getting as excited for Containment as we are?!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Team signs DG Backer Posters

01/10/2013 by Trixie360

Team signs DG Backer Posters
Kickstarter backers chose their favorites in two rounds of voting and on December 10 we showed off the final poster design. The exclusive Defense Grid poster is a reward for backers that pledged at the $75 level and over.

Today, the team gathered to sign all 600 posters.

Armed with Sharpie pens and fueled by pizza the Hidden Path team went to work!

Thanks to the organizational genius of Jim and Jessica (go-go assembly line, activate!), all posters were signed in just over two hours. We'd set aside four hours to get it done, but vastly underestimated our super pen powers.

Backers will receive their posters with any other physical goods in their reward tier.



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

New Year, New Weekly Challenge Results

01/03/2013 by Trixie360

New Year, New Weekly Challenge Results
You had two whole weeks to make your mark in Center of Power - Grinder. So how'd you do? Read on...

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 spider323g
3 Treff*Nix
4 Wyatan
5 takista
6 Max Payne
7 hirschquadrat
8 Ganjafear
9 hanbaoluo
10 Magmas  (this username must be read aloud in a Dr. Evil voice, fyi)

The Juggle Master and spider323g are back at their power struggle for the top spot. In this way, 2013 is just like 2012.

Treff*Nix moved up from 8 to 3, hirschquadrat dropped from 3 to 7, hanaboaluo dropped from 7 to 9, and AstraNine dropped just barely out of the top ten, coming in at 11.

Seeming to appear out of thin air, Wyatan makes a Weekly Challenge debut at number 4. Welcome, Wyatan!

Next up: Tactical Diversion - Campaign Challenge. We're back to our regular weekly schedule now, so don't lollygag; get in there and play!



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Saying Good-bye to 2012...with Stats!

12/31/2012 by Trixie360

Saying Good-bye to 2012...with Stats!
As 2012 comes to an end, we thought it would be fun to share some interesting Defense Grid stats. These are for the lifetime of the game, not just 2012. 

First, our game has been played on Steam for 8,000,962.1897222 hours, or 913 years. To put it in perspective, that’s as if one very determined (and immortal) player had begun playing Defense Grid during the First Crusade and kept going until…just now. Dang!

The level 3 gun tower claims its rightful crown as dealer of most damage at a total of 1,658,884,239,914.

Not surprisingly, the level 1 gun tower is the most built; but perhaps surprisingly it was built 10x more than the next most built tower (yes, it was the level 2 gun tower)

Only 1,350 players have all the achievements; beatingdeadpotato seems to be the gatekeeper with only 1,737 earned.

More fun stuff:
  • Total Defense Grid Players on Steam:  314,364
  • Total Levels Played: 14,992,532  
  • Resources Recovered:  274,777,403,431.317
  • Gold Medals Won:  3,177,356                  
  • Silver Medals Won:  4,369,958                  
  • Bronze Medals Won: 6,057,327

Thanks for playing with us, and have a fantastic 2013!!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

DG Community Levels!

12/20/2012 by Trixie360

DG Community Levels!
We’re very pleased to announce that the Defense Grid Community Levels are now available for beta testers!

All Kickstarter backers will receive a DLC key just for the Community Levels. There are four levels designed by three of our Defense Grid community members that received the most votes from our backer community. These levels have been touched up and scripted by Hidden Path. Once Defense Grid: Containment releases, we won’t be selling the Community Levels DLC, but will be giving it away free for email registration. 

We’re so excited to be bringing community level designs to everyone as a first step on our road towards a Defense Grid 2 with tons and tons of user generated content.

Here are the levels you’ll be playing in the Community Levels DLC.

Level 1: Polimer Maze
Author: jordan_choklad86
Description: In this level there are two core houses and two spawn points. All of the cores start in the house furthest from the exit. Cores will return to their preferred housing which will change midway through the level. 

Level 2: A River Runs Through It
Author: jon.grimlar
Description: Hydro Electric Power Station in a river valley. Lots of ground defense options. Perhaps at risk to an air assault, fast and low distraction with a more direct slower heavier higher altitude attack.

Level 3: Central Square
Author: jon.grimlar
Description: Attacked from three directions at once with only limited opportunity to control the path of the aliens.  Use the central square of this ruined town to control their approach.

Level 4: Wasn’t Designed For This…
Author: hybrid.draken87
Description: They're going to make us crash! This ship wasn't designed to combat a boarding party! Why did I try piloting? ...I'll try to adapt the ship for tower building so you can protect our engine cores.

Congratulations to our community level designers!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Down Came The Rain

12/20/2012 by Trixie360

Down Came The Rain
Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Well, it wasn't the rain, it was The Juggle Master and he was only washed down to second place, but Sal has finally put an end to spider323g's five-week winning streak.

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 spider323g
3 hirschquadrat
4 AstraNine
5 Max Payne
6 Ganjafear
7 hanbaoluo
8 Treff*Nix
9 Neurofarad
10 RabbitSlayer27

Sal made a brilliant return this week, rising from 7th place in Fire Control - Green Towers Only to the number one spot in Waste Disposal - Grinder.

AstraNine is holding the line at #4 for the second week.

Comebacks of the week: Ganjafear jumped from #21 last week to #6, while Neurofarad also made a big leap from #19 to #9, and RabbitSlayer27 hippity-hopped from #29 to #10.

Nice work on a tough level, Defense Gridders. Full leaderboard results here.

The new Challenge is Center of Power - Grinder and we're going to make it a holiday extravaganza, a.k.a. we won't be posting a new Challenge until next year. January 2, to be exact. Good luck!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

New DG characters voiced by stars

12/18/2012 by Trixie360

New DG characters voiced by stars
Big news! Not only are we adding two new characters to the Defense Grid universe in Defense Grid: Containment, but they’re voiced by AMAZING actors.

Don’t fret, Fletcher is back and is still voiced by the inimitable Jim Ward. But are you ready for this? The new characters are voiced by none other than Ming-Na (you've seen her on ER, heard her as Mulan, and will watch her in Joss Whedon’s upcoming show S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly!)

We couldn't be more excited! With voice talent like this we’re squeezing more story lines of dialogue into Defense Grid: Containment (157 story lines) than there were in the entire original game (135 story lines) or even in You Monster (118 story lines), so expect a new story adventure that bridges us to the future of Defense Grid in addition to the 8 new levels of play.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Fire Control, Green Towers Only

12/13/2012 by Trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Fire Control, Green Towers Only
Fire Control - Green Towers only is a notoriously challenging map. Here's how it all shook out:

1 spider323g
2 Max Payne
3 Treff*Nix
4 AstraNine
5 vinceycr
6 rja
7 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
8 Hipster Doofus
9 asianprovisions
10 Magmas

Max Payne is up four places to number two, vinceycr came up from ninth place to fifth, and Juggle Master slipped five spots to number seven. The biggest moves were made by rja who clawed his way up from last week's 17th place to come in at number six, asianprovisions who leapt from 27th last week to number nine, and Magmas who is up from 18th place to number ten. Welcome to the Top Ten, guys.

And, yeah, spider323g is holding the top spot for the fifth week in a row. Can no one stop him?

This week's challenge is Waste Disposal - Grinder. Let's see if the Harvester can put an end to spider's reign!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Planning, Launching, and Living Through the Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter

12/12/2012 by Trixie360

Planning, Launching, and Living Through the Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter
This past August at PAX Dev in Seattle, Hidden Path Entertainment CEO Jeff Pobst gave a keynote speech about Hidden Path’s experiences raising money to make a sequel to the critically-acclaimed tower defense game Defense Grid.

It includes a unique and very detailed look at the history of Defense Grid, the challenges in bringing a new IP to market and the roadblocks and disappointments that happened along the way.  Then it explores the decision to launch a Kickstarter for the sequel and the planning and choices made before launch.

Filled with data and statistics from the Kickstarter, the presentation is candid and in-depth; transparency like this doesn't happen often in the games industry. It’s a must-watch for Defense Grid fans, game industry veterans, and anyone thinking about doing a Kickstarter campaign in 2013.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2

The Final Poster!

12/10/2012 by Trixie360

The Final Poster!
Presenting...

The final Defense Grid Kickstarter Backer Poster. After two rounds of voting via UserVoice, this is the winning design. Thank you for your votes, backers!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Second wave of Containment beta begins!

12/06/2012 by Trixie360

Second wave of Containment beta begins!
We've been overwhelmed with the amount and quality of feedback we've received on the first wave of the Defense Grid: Containment beta. Thank you so much for your input. There was certainly consensus on a few areas in the Beta, and we've addressed them in the latest update. Specifically:

Levels 1, 2, and 3 updated based on your feedback.
Corrected instances in Level 1 in which aliens weren't being shown in the Reconnaissance display.
Story Challenge mode now working properly.
Adjustments to wait times between waves in Level 2, as well as hit points and make-up of the aliens.
Gold requirement for Level 3 lowered from 60,000 to 58,000
Lighting and background color changes in many levels.

And…drum roll…Story Challenge Mode is now available for all 8 levels!

More good news: A new wave of users will now be included in the beta. With this update, ALL Kickstarter backers are invited to participate. Check the email associated with your Kickstarter pledge for your beta key.

Bash on the game, send us your feedback, and most of all, have fun!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Four Weeks of Spider Domination

12/06/2012 by Trixie360

Four Weeks of Spider Domination
After a break for the Thanksgiving holidays we're back with the Weekly Challenge Report. Here's what happened in Guardian's Fall...

1 spider323g
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 hirschquadrat
4 Treff[^8N^1i^3X^7]
5 AstraNine
6 Max Payne
7 Sir Mien
8 Hipster Doofus
9 vinceycr

Spider323g has held on to the number one spot for an astonishing 4 weeks now. Yet the reclusive arachnid is reluctant to give us a Featured Player interview. Come on out spider, we promise not to spray you with Raid.

Treff made a big leap from 9th place to 4th this week, knocking Hipster Doofus down to 8th place. It's hard out there for a Hipster. Looking for the full results for Guardian's Fall - Out of Bullets? Click here.

Next up: the difficult Fire Control - Green Towers Only. Good luck, Defense Gridders!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

The Winning Poster!

12/03/2012 by Trixie360

The Winning Poster!
A Defense Grid Kickstarter Back Poster winner has been chosen! It was a landslide actually, and we want to thank all the voters! What's next? We've implemented a lot of the suggestions and feedback on the main image and given you five iterations of the poster. Vote for the border, font, color etc that you like best. Voting ends Friday!!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Poster Voting Ends Tonight!

11/30/2012 by Trixie360

Poster Voting Ends Tonight!
The voting for the official DG2 Backer Poster is still going, but not for long. We've already been through one round of decision-making which narrowed the choices to two vastly different designs.

Get yourself into UserVoice before midnight Pacific and cast your vote before it's too late!





Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: DG2

Weekly Challenge Results - Roundabout - Campaign Reversed

11/15/2012 by Trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Roundabout - Campaign Reversed
The epic battle between The Juggle Master and spider323g continues. This week spider edged out Sal by just under 400 points. Ganjafear is holding steady in 7th place for the second week, and AstraNine leaps to 4th place after coming in 9th last week.


1 spider323g
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
3 takista
4 AstraNine
5 Hipster Doofus
6 Max Payne
7 Ganjafear
8 Herr Doktor
9 Sir Mien
10 marcelino_j

Welcome to the top ten marcelino_j, who debuts on the leaderboards in 10th place. Name change or talented newcomer? Herr Doktor spent last week at 16 and comes in at number 8 for Roundabout - Campaign Reversed. Get complete Challenge results here.

Next up: Urban Planning - Single core. Good luck, Defense Gridders!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Containment Beta is coming!

11/14/2012 by Trixie360

Containment Beta is coming!
We're now in the process of doing an internal beta for Defense Grid: Containment. Next, it will be your turn!

Kickstarter backers whose pledge includes "Early Beta Access" will soon receive Steam keys to the Containment Beta (in the next week or two). At that point the levels will be very basic --they will not include final art, story or dialogue-- because we want you to bash on the game, play it, and give feedback based on gameplay alone and not be distracted by pretty visuals.

After we receive feedback from the Early Beta Access folks, we'll start expanding the beta even further.

What do you need to do to prepare for the Containment Beta? Set aside some time to play, and make sure you check the email you used for backing the Kickstarter campaign.

We're very excited for our supporter community to get their hands on this early version of Containment!

Any questions? Email us at community@hiddenpath.com!




Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

More Containment Concept Art

11/13/2012 by Trixie360

More Containment Concept Art

Our own Defense Grid Senior Artist (and resident Jarhead) Lex Story gives us some insight into the process of creating levels for Containment.

"Sometimes the paper is too far to reach and too small in the scope of the moment. Sometimes the white board provides the only canvas appropriate for something I call 'concept rants.'

This is a 'concept rant' for a level, trying desperately not to go off on a tangent about WWII vintage aircraft strafing and bombing tactics."


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Featured Player - The Juggle Master

11/12/2012 by Trixie360

Featured Player - The Juggle Master
A man of few words, but mad skills, here's some Q&A with The Juggle Master ( Sal ).

Where do you live?

I live in the Eastern part of the USA.

What do you do for a living?

I am a Public Safety Officer at a Hospital. Hospital police.

How long have you been playing Defense Grid?

Since March 2009.

What is your favorite map/mode?

The Last Stand. It's there where I made my first  #1 score on the grinder and learned to juggle.

What is your favorite DLC?

Borderlands.

Do you have any tips on playing Defense Grid: The Awakening?

Patience and practice. I mean I could write so much, but lets keep it short.

What do you hope to see in Defense Grid 2?

I want to see many of the new features mentioned by Mein in his excellent thread including level editor, multiplayer, new towers, new aliens, fixed bugs, and separate leaderboards for juggling vs not juggling.

In general I would like for juggling to gain equal respect and lose its negative position among the DG Community. I want it lose the "not in the spirit of the game" tag.

Anything else you'd like to say to the Defense Grid community?

I want to mentions these gamers and give them credit for super excellent work: Spider323GAtarc55 (xbox), Past Legacy (xbox), and Mr. Han.

Thanks to Ganjafear who created the weekly challenge and the other great players who play there weekly.

Thank you HP for making should an excellent game.




Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Weekly Challenge Results - Ancient Research - Out of Bullets

11/08/2012 by Trixie360

Weekly Challenge Results - Ancient Research - Out of Bullets
This week's challenge was Ancient Research - Out of Bullets. It's probably no big surprise that The Juggle Master came out on top AGAIN. Nevermind the Superman v Batman question; who would win in a fight, The Juggle Master or spider323g?

Our friend vinceycr jumped from 9th place to 2nd place and Max Payne seems to be making 4th place a tradition. A hearty Defense Grid "welcome to the Top Ten" to Hipster Doofus (up from 12th place last week), and "welcome back" to hanbaoluo, returning to the Top Ten after a two-week absence.

Your Top Ten:

1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 vinceycr
3 spider323g
4 Max Payne
5 hanbaoluo
6 Sir Mien
7 Ganjafear
8 takista
9 AstraNine
10 Hipster Doofus


This week we're playing Roundabout - Campaign Reversed. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Infiltration Campaign Challenge Results

11/01/2012 by Trixie360

Infiltration Campaign Challenge Results
Let's take a look at the results for the most recent Defense Grid Weekly Challenge: Borderlands - Infiltration - Campaign Challenge. The Spider and the Juggle Master continued to battle for the top spot, with spider323g edging out Sal by just over 500 points. Apparently our friend Mien has been knighted since last week and climbed from 4th to 3rd place.

Finallly, a big Defense Grid "Welcome to the Top Ten" to takista, and also pmf026 who made a giant leap from last week's 23rd place.

1 spider323g
2 The Juggle Master ( Sal )
3 Sir Mien
4 Max Payne
5 Ganjafear
6 takista
7 AstraNine
8 sawelt
9 vinceycr
10 pmf026

View the whole leaderboard in all its leaderboardy glory here.

Next up: Ancient Research - Out of Bullets. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Containment Concept Art

11/01/2012 by Trixie360

Containment Concept Art
Hidden Path Co-Founder and Defense Grid Art Director Dave McCoy shared this image with us. What the heck is it? We'll let Dave explain:

"Here is a quick ZBrush sculpture I did to explore some ideas for a level in the upcoming Containment expansion. Obviously no color or details – just some rough visual ideas.  I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but it should be obvious we’re not in Kansas anymore." 


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Featured Player - miendiem

10/29/2012 by Trixie360

Featured Player - miendiem
You've seen him in the forums and on the leaderboards...now learn a bit more about Defense Grid community member miendiem!

Where do you live?

St. Louis, Missouri.

What do you do for a living?

I'm a computer and electronics tech by training, but really, I'm something of a jack of all trades for a small business.

How long have you been playing Defense Grid?

Steam informs me that I bought the original game on April 2, 2011, and the Resurgence map packs about a month later, in early May. I actually took quite a bit of time away in 2012, though, only to come back for the Kickstarter campaign. As for the actual length of time, Steam's tallied up over 500 hours, though I've been known to leave the game open all night on occasion, so it's not the most accurate count in the world.

What keeps you playing Defense Grid?

The chess-like amount of depth. There are any number of ways to win, a smaller but still sizable number of ways to win while attaining gold, and then the stretch beyond that where players can vie for high scores. While there was plenty of game there for me as a novice, scrapping with the cutoff for gold medals, 500 hours later, I'm still finding ways to improve my play and pin the aliens' ear-equivalents back.

The variety of maps and modes also helps keep things from getting stale, particularly with the Weekly Challenge, and the community that has grown up around it. Sure, it might be small at the moment, and maybe we're all odd birds in our own right, but it's almost like a conclave of stage magicians at times - figuring out what the trick is, how the trick is performed, and then executing the trick are very different things, and the varying levels of the masters tend to show through clearly in the final results.

What is your favorite map/mode?

That's a tough question. There are a lot of maps that I like for various reasons, and only one that I really particularly dislike (Borderlands - Entanglement). If I had to pick one, I'd say Crossed Signals, mostly because it's the map I score most competitively on, in general. Similarly for modes, it's more difficult to pick out one that I like than to single out the one I don't. I like Green Towers Only as a challenge, but it's not something I particularly want to replay. Out of Bullets may have a slight leg up in the modes category, just because it changes the dynamic in some interesting ways. (I'll take time out here to pitch a game mode suggestion, for those with backer votes)

What is your favorite tower?

Again with the tough questions. When I started playing, it was certainly the meteor tower. "How could you go wrong with flaming rocks of destruction?" thought my newbie self, when he first encountered the tower in Out of Fuel. I suppose I still do like the concept, but for serious firepower in most cases, the cannon and laser have overtaken it.  More recently, a friend of mine pointed out just how detailed the towers were at close zoom - something I'd never really noticed, since I always play at the tactical far zoom. Having looked at them, though, I have to say that the craft that went into the gun tower, especially, is outstanding. Sure, it's the basic tower, and folks have plenty of issues with it when it comes to game balance, but I say that it does everything you could really want from a tower, and it looks cool to boot.

What is your favorite DLC?

Borderlands. I know, I just got done a few questions ago saying that I hate Entanglement with the fiery passion of a thousand solar gods, but Onslaught, Forge, and Infiltration are all great maps with diverse appearances and strategies. Now, that's not to take anything away from Resurgence, which has plenty of interesting maps in its own right.

Do you have any tips on playing Defense Grid: The Awakening?

Oh, lots, but I think I can pare them down to something that won't double the length of my reply:

1)  The opening is one of the most important parts of the game - figure out what the minimum number of resources you need to spend from your starting pool is. I did a video explaining this in a bit more detail, with a few maps as explanation pieces here.

2)  In general, build from the core housing out.  This catches the aliens coming and going soonest, keeping the cores in the housing longer.

3)  Don't build until you need to. Those extra resources from interest may be enough to place that extra tower later when you really need it.

4)  If you can force the aliens path to pass by towers multiple times, do so.

5)  Don't over-build in response to a mistake. If it doesn't look recoverable, backspace to checkpoint is there for a reason.

6)  Patience and perseverance. According to the leaderboards, I've played some 2300 games. Friends of mine who challenge the top of the leaderboards regularly have at least 1600 games played to their credit, and some of the folks who stand atop the heap have 3500+ (Sal, excluding his Xbox games, which I can't check), 9000+ (Spider), and the granddaddy of DG:PC players has over 15000 (takista).  It's a game with a great deal of complexity - learning what towers work where, learning the timing and composition of the waves on a given map and mode, learning which waves on a map include a jump in health, requiring upgraded towers, on open path maps, learning how far you can build before convincing the aliens to switch paths.

7)  Finally, for those at a loss on a particular map, I'd recommend the video/tactic sharing thread from the DG Steam boards.

What do you hope to see in Defense Grid 2?

Generally, I'd like to see:

The game run more evenly across hardware.

Waves to be a lot more standardized. (I'm not sure the programmers are ready to believe even now just how much backspacing goes on in the weekly challenges amongst the crop of players vying for the top 10, trying to get that one wave composition that dies faster and/or without the need to upgrade a tower)

A functional replay system that doesn't entail having to run FRAPS plus an encoding program plus a YouTube upload, preferably tied straight to the leaderboards, with a way to opt in or out so that folks can choose whether or not to disclose their tactics.

Now, this one may be a bit off the wall: Sal, Spider, and maybe even some of the other top 10 in cameo voice roles.

Beyond that, given everything that has come before, I have a great deal of faith that Hidden Path is going to make the next installment of Defense Grid live up to my expectations.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Focal Point Story Challenge Results

10/25/2012 by Trixie360

Focal Point Story Challenge Results
The Juggle Master reclaimed the number one spot in this Weekly Challenge featuring Focal Point, with last week's winner spider323g dropping to second place. We asked Juggle Master for a comment on his win, and here's what he had to say: "I played all Focal Point modes for about a month. I was in a battle with a great gamer who may not want his name mentioned by me. This score over 86,000 was exceedingly hard to make then. Just as it is now. It was this experience which has given me an edge over some of the other great players. Good luck next week."

AstraNine climbed from 8th place last week to number 3 in Focal Point. New to the top ten are vinceycr who was in 16th place last week, and markrevell who leapt an astonishing 22 places to take his place in the top ranks!


1. The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2. spider323g
3. AstraNine
4. Mien
5. Max Payne
6. hirschquadrat
7. Ganjafear
8. sawelt
9. vinceycr
10.markrevell

Congratulations to our winners. You can see the full leaderboard results here

Up next, Infiltration - Campaign Challenge, as decided by our Kickstarter backers!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Backer T-shirt voting is live!

10/22/2012 by Trixie360

Backer T-shirt voting is live!
The voting is underway for the DG2 Kickstarter t-shirts. Vote for your favorite design in this first round of decision-making. You can vote until you've used up your 15 UserVoice upvotes. You have 15 UserVoice votes total. If you use them all on t-shirt selection, you won't have any left to vote on other stuff until this round is over and your t-shirt votes will be returned to you.

Right now T-shirt Design #18 is in the lead, with #3 and #8 close behind.

Current DG2 Kickstarter backers can access the designs here. If you'd like to back the project and have your voice heard it's not too late. Simply send an email to pledge@hiddenpath.com and get in on the action.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: DG2

Kill Zone - Poison Core Challenge Results

10/18/2012 by Trixie360

Kill Zone - Poison Core Challenge Results

The Juggle Master dropped the ball this week, falling from first place to third. And then along came a spider323g, creeping up to first place—appropriate for spidery October! A big "Welcome to the Top Ten" to larry.garriott and Ganjafear, who wasn't afraid to go from thirteenth to fourth place this week!

 

1. spider323g         

2. Max Payne        

3. The Juggle Master ( Sal)               

4. Ganjafear           

5. hirschquadrat   

6. larry.garriott      

7. Mien    

8. AstraNine           

9. sawelt  

10. hanbaoluo


For full results, check out the Weekly Challenge Leaderboard.

Next up is Focal Point – Story Challenge. Good luck, Defense Gridders!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Veil of Ice Weekly Challenge Results

10/14/2012 by Trixie360

Veil of Ice Weekly Challenge Results
The challenge was Veil of Ice - Ten Tower Limit. The Defense Grid community was clearly up to the task, and here are the top ten players. Hit this link for the full list.


1 The Juggle Master ( Sal)
2 spider323g
3 hirschquadrat
4 hanbaoluo
5 takista
6 Mien
7 Max Payne
8 Oatmeal25
9 AstraNine
10 sawelt

This week's Challenge is Kill Zone - Poison Core. Will the Juggle Master stay on top? Will takista make a play for the top spot? Will Sulfur edge into the top ten? 

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Design Levels with the new Defense Grid Level Previewer

10/11/2012 by Trixie360

Design Levels with the new Defense Grid Level Previewer
We’re happy to announce the Level Previewer for Defense Grid! It's one of the components of the Defense Grid Digital Download Rewards from our Kickstarter campaign. If you're a backer whose rewards included the digital goodness you should have received an email with a link to the download.

With the Previewer, you can dream up and map out levels for Defense Grid. They won’t be playable, but they’re sharable, and ultimately could be enjoyed by everyone. What that means is that you can send them to us and we may use them for inspiration and/or upload them to UserVoice so the community can vote on their favorites.  There’s a world of possibility in this simple tool. 

Here’s Defense Grid’s Lead Designer (and Hidden Path’s Co-Founder / CTO) Michael Austin on the history—and future—of the Level Previewer:

“The level previewer is actually the exact level editor we used for Defense Grid: The Awakening for testing the game play on levels.  We polished it up, added in a tutorial video, and put in the ability to upload concepts directly to us before shipping it out. 

“We’re a small team, and so almost everyone worked on the editor at one time or another. Matt Hansen, our tools and engine ninja started off the whole thing. T.J. Martin (who has done a lot of the UI work) put in splines and a lot of the property setup, and then I did the procedural platforms and roads. I think Matt Johnson (You guys know him as Twig on the forums) has done most of the maintenance.  Scott Bodenbender (did a lot of game play programming on the original game, and is now back for the sequel) has packaged it up for the community.

“Our hope is that the community will submit ideas for levels that we haven’t thought of or considered because all of the maps so far were created by either me (base game, Resurgence, You Monster), or John Daud (base game, Borderlands, Containment), there’s definitely a bias and flavor we have introduced across all the levels so far. We hope the community submits concepts we haven’t even thought of yet, and even if we can’t use them directly we can get ideas from them which will really open up new feels for future maps.”

John Daud, one of the two main designers of the original game, has created a tutorial video that is included in the download. He says, “I can’t wait to see the design ideas that the community comes up with.  Only a handful of us here have had a hand in designing the maps up until this point.  It will be awesome to see stuff we haven’t thought of.”

If the Level Previewer sounds like the best thing since comic books but you weren't a Kickstarter backer you can still back the project and receive the DG Digital Download reward. Just email us at pledge@hiddenpath.com. The reward tiers that include mice and video cards are gone, but any non-hardware reward tier over 30 bucks will get you the Digital Download reward that includes the Level Previewer, Wallpapers, and Ringtones and Soundtracks!

Check out John’s tutorial, play around with the tool and let us know what you think! 



Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2

Defense Grid update features Community Weekly Challenge

10/03/2012 by Trixie360

Defense Grid update features Community Weekly Challenge
The latest update to Defense Grid is live, and here’s the skinny on what’s new.

Weekly Challenge
Every week we’ll be choosing (later, with UserVoice, backers will be voting) a level to be the week’s Challenge. The leaderboard for the level will be re-set to ensure a level playing field. What’s in store for the top player of the Weekly Challenge? Bragging rights and momentary fame. The first Challenge is ... Veil of Ice – 10 tower limit. Good luck!

More New Stuff
* The Defense Grid 2 Backer Credit List web page is now available. If you backed us on Kickstarter, please make sure your name appears correctly! 
    • * Video settings now appear in aspect ratio instead of bpp. Woot!
    • * We now have multi-monitor support!

Clean-Up
Since our Kickstarter Campaign has ended, we’ve removed the Kickstarter links and buttons. We’ve replaced the Kickstarter button in the main menu with a Community button. Oooh, shiny!

Bug Fix
Unspawned aliens from Seekers and Turtles will appropriate award bonus resources when destroyed within range of a Command tower.

That’s the scoop on our latest update. Let us know what you think in the Hidden Path forums or drop me an email at christa@hiddenpath.com.

Happy gaming!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, pc

Update on the D2 Kickstarter Campaign

09/19/2012 by Trixie360

Update on the D2 Kickstarter Campaign
The short version: You did it! Thanks to the support of 6,291 backers, we blew past our goal of 250,000 dollars, ultimately raising 271,727 dollars! Thank you to each and every one of you who backed the game, asked questions, made videos and spread the word.

The slightly longer version: The Kickstarter campaign for Defense Grid 2 launched on July 10 and ended on August 14. Here are some of the highlights along the journey:

July 15 – We hit the 100,000 dollar mark in less than a week and added new discount reward tiers.

July 16 – Defense Grid fans and supporters participated in a Twitter flash mob, simultaneously using the hashtag #IwantDG2.

July 17 – Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter gets a theme song! Do we have the greatest fans or what? Check out stayfro123’s song “Gimme More Defense Grid” 

July 24 – Hidden Path Design Director Mark Terrano conducted an IamA/AMA session on Reddit. You can check it out here.

July 25 – Fantastic new surprise reward added for backers who have pledged at the $150 tier (discounted to $110) and above. It’s a Fletcher Fortune Button! Press the button and hear Fletcher AI speak 20 random phrases. Who knows what the future holds? Fletcher does.

August 3 – Hidden Path team members participated in a Spreecast group video chat followed by a 24-hour Defense Grid gaming marathon on twitch.tv. Whew!

August 6 – People love those AMD Radeon HD 6870 video cards so much we added a special Add-A-Thing tier so backers could add one of these babies to their rewards.

August 8 – The AMD Radeon HD Add-A-Thing tier sold out in 48 hours, so we added another special tier: for a 106 dollar pledge, backers get all the goodies of the $15 tier plus TWO AMD Radeon HD 6770 video cards!

August 11 – Minimum threshold reached! (Imagine that in Fletcher’s voice). Backers ponied up to the tune of 250,000 bucks! In celebration, DG programmer TJ Martin did this.

August 14 – The Kickstarter Campaign came to a close, raising a total of $271,727. We celebrated on Twitch.tv.

So Now What?

If you’re kicking yourself for missing out on the Kickstarter, fear not! Though the official campaign has concluded you can still become a backer. Email us at pledge@hiddenpath.com and let us know you want to be a backer. Unfortunately, we are completely out of the mice and video cards, but you still have the opportunity to back the project, collect cool rewards and add your insights, opinions and suggestions!

Coming Soon: Private Backer Forum and UserVoice…. Stay tuned!


Posted in Defense Grid | 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

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

06/30/2012 by Jeff Pobst

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

Hi,

I know you haven't heard much from us in a while, and its because we've been building things for you to play and there just hasn't been too much time to talk about it.  CS:GO has gone through 18 major weekly updates on the PC beta and we've learned so much with Valve, watching your metrics and studying how people play the game so we can keep working to make it better than it was before.

You know that there is a release date now and the game will be coming out August 21st, and we're busily getting the game ready for release on multiple platforms (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PS3), and doing everything we can to polish the game.

Meanwhile we've also been starting to let ourselves think about "the future" and what lays beyond CS:GO for our studio.  We get your emails and requests asking for more Defense Grid: "I want more Defense Grid" they say, and sometimes it is simply that blunt. 

We hear you, and have come up with some plans on how we might be able to accomplish that and I'll be sharing those plans with you...  in a bit.  I know, I know, on our facebook page I said "in 2 weeks" about 4 weeks ago, and I apologize for that statement - I thought it would be true at the time.  During those two weeks, some surprises took place that caused us to incorporate those surprises into our plans, and it slowed down sharing them with you, because, well, they changed a bit - but we think for the better - so we're excited for when they'll be ready to share.

It has been a whirlwind of activity with CS:GO development and planning for the future and the last 10 weeks or so have been so packed that even as I write this on a Saturday, I'm late for my next meeting and I need to quickly wrap this up.  Let me say that we so appreciate your support of the games we make and we just continually focus on how everything we do meets the bar of it being "better for the player."

Here's to fun play, hopefully you get a lot of it in your life.  We'll be there to keep making it for you.
 


Posted in Company News, CS:GO, Defense Grid | Keywords: CS:GO, Defense Grid

Every Day I'm Bundle-in

04/04/2012 by Jeff Pobst

Every Day I'm Bundle-in

We haven’t done many bundles with Defense Grid.  There was the Potato Pack for the Portal 2 launch almost exactly one year ago this week. Last Fall we joined other TD games for the Indie Strategy bundle on Steam, but this week’s Indie Royale Bundle is our first to offer both a Steam key for an expandable version of the game with several of the DLC and also include a version of Defense Grid: Gold without any DRM or online connection needs too.

Indie Royale has combined Defense Grid (the main game and the first five expansions: Borderlands & the four Resurgence Map packs) with Hack, Slash, Loot; Alien Zombie Megadeth, Explodemon, and Astro Tripper all together to keep our April on-sale tradition alive with their April Fools Bundle.  Also, for anyone who pays more than the minimum, they get Rock: Deluxe Edition as well.

If you haven’t already picked up Defense Grid, this is a great opportunity to get to know our game and also pick up a few other great ones for a ridiculously low price.

On other topics, the number of emails we’re getting about making a Defense Grid sequel as our next project is almost as large as the number of people who email us asking to join the CS:GO beta (hint – there’s no point in emailing us as it doesn’t get you in, see http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/facts/ for more details on how to get in). 

The requests have been rising as the months intervene since the release of the You Monster expansion and we hear you.  The studio is obviously right now focused on making the best possible CS game we can make in conjunction with the folks at Valve, and not only are we updating the PC beta a lot (and I really do mean a lot), we’re also working to finish the game for all the other platforms too.

After shipping CS:GO, taking one deep breath, and getting a few hours more of sleep than we have been getting, it will be on to the next things – and what will those next things be?  I want to know for sure too.  I will say that there are a ton of great conversations with many potential partners and lots of very good things as real possibilities. 

Perhaps there will be new things in the world of Defense Grid there.  Perhaps there will be brand new games that expand on games we love, perhaps there will be completely new things, there are lots of ways it can go.

As for Defense Grid, some folks have suggested with think about “going Kickstarter” to do the sequel and I will say that is an intriguing possibility.  There are certain partnerships that may allow us to go even bigger than we think we can go if we do Kickstarter, but should that path not come together, maybe we’ll turn to you and see which features are most important for you to fund.  There are so many cool possibilities dancing around in our heads.

Once we do know our next steps after Counter-Strike, we plan on sharing as much as we can with you.  You’ve been great and responsive to us as we update our games and adjust products that you’re already playing, but we hope to expand our relationship – you know, us and… you.  And with that closer relationship, expanded and all, we hope to create new fun and entertaining experiences that will delight you even more.

 


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: CS:GO, Defense Grid, Hidden Path, pc

Defense Grid, Counter-Strike, Contests and More

01/13/2012 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid, Counter-Strike, Contests and More

Happy New Year! 

I wanted to get back to the blog and give you an update on the goings-on here at Hidden Path Entertainment, so here goes.  Let's start with a myriad of Defense Grid news.

Defense Grid: You Monster and the full bundle (Defense Grid: The Awakening, DG: Borderlands, DG: Resurgence Map Packs, and DG: You Monster) are both available on Steam and have been very popular in the month of December and January.  Thanks much for all your support!  We hope you're really enjoyed the full chapter of GLaDOS coming to the world of Defense Grid that started back almost a year ago when Valve kindly approached us about joining the Portal 2 ARG. 

The game has also been doing well on the Xbox 360 though it can be tough to find on the new dashboard.  Go to the games marketplace and search for Defense Grid as an Xbox LIVE Arcade game and you'll see the game and the expansion content all there for you.  We're also excited to be a "Deal of the Week" along with other top Tower Defense games on XBLA so for another few days you can get Defense Grid at a great deal on the Xbox 360.

Most of the folks playing the game on Xbox 360 are having the pristine gaming experience as was expected, but there have been a small group that are seeing repeating error messages and achievements that aren't awarding to them, and we've been working closely with the folks at Microsoft to find a way to solve those issues.  We don't have a resolution yet, but the Microsoft folks have been helpful and we've given them a lot of information recently so we'll see if this doesn't get fixed here shortly.

Starting soon, the folks at Gamefly's Direct2Drive service will also start selling Defense Grid: You Monster and the full bundle.  So that you know, this is still the Steam version of the game, but this allows you to get it from Gamefly if that's where you like to purchase your software.

In December we also did a UI revamp on Defense Grid with the folks at OnLive so that the game could support their new foray into playing the service on tablets.  It's true, you can play Defense Grid on an iPad now through the OnLive streaming service, and we created a new user interface that is touch-focused and automatically appears if you play the game on the touch surface.  The OnLive folks have been raving about the interface and have even stated in the press that they think this is the best way to play the game.  We're happy to be supporting them and will continue to keep an eye on the tablet market and see what other things we can do for these cool devices.

Congratulations also goes out to the 30 awesome folks who were randomly chosen from all the people that did a December (or earlier) like of Defense Grid's Facebook page or Logitech's gaming page and won either a Logitech F710 wireless gamepad, a Logitech G400 gaming mouse, or a Logitech G110 gaming keyboard.  We've reached out and contacted the winners on Facebook and some of the hardware is already in the mail and some of it is waiting for a response from the winners.  It turns out that the "Defense Grid" page can't contact people, so I had to create a new account from me that is reaching out to folks.  If you're a winner and you've been contacted, make sure to get back to us so we can send you your prize.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta is underway and we're learning a lot about the game, balance, online metrics, etc. from the beta and it's helping us make the game better each day.  I'll repeat what we've said before though about joining the beta and such (because we're still getting emails from you), that this is something you want to talk with Valve about rather than contacting us, and definitely post anything about CS:GO over on the Steam forums rather than here.  Everyone from Hidden Path and Valve are looking over at Steam for opinions and input and the Valve folks are the ones making the calls on the growth of the beta over time. So far, just a small set of maps and weapons have been released to the beta, but more will come over time.  It has been exciting to see more and more public matches of CS:GO, the latest one being the Plantronics matches shown over at CES. 

Next up, we have a small bonus coming to Defense Grid players on Steam, and we'll be talking more about that soon.  Until then, thanks so much for all the great things you've been saying to your friends and colleagues about the game, we greatly appreciate it.

 


Posted in Company News, CS:GO, Defense Grid | Keywords: CS:GO, Defense Grid, Hidden Path, pc, Xbox

Defense Grid: You Monster Launches

12/07/2011 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid: You Monster Launches

Defense Grid: You Monster is now available on Steam and Xbox LIVE.  We're excited and can't wait for you to enjoy our special guest star and a set of new maps and missions.  To help celebrate, our friends over at Logitech offered to give away some great keyboards, mice, and PC gamepads to the fans of Defense Grid.  Here's the story:

Play Defense Grid Your Way with Great Input from Logitech!
 
In conjunction with the release of Defense Grid: You Monster on Steam, Logitech and Hidden Path are giving away upgrades for your computer so you can play Defense Grid with the precision and comfort you deserve.
 
Simply "Like" the official Defense Grid Facebook page or “Like” the official Logitech Gaming page (or both for two chances to win!), and you'll be entered into a drawing for top Logitech input devices for your PC.
 
You could win one of ten G400 gaming mice, ten G110 Gaming Keyboards, or ten Wireless F710 Gamepads. Contest ends 12/31/2011.

 

So thanks so much to the Logitech folks.  Come the new year we will be mailing out a lot of hardware to a lot of fans.  Maybe we'll be sending something Logitech your way!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, pc, Xbox

Defense Grid: You Monster Announced!

12/02/2011 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid: You Monster Announced!

I'm so excited to share with you something we've been working on since the Portal 2 ARG.  Last year, the folks at Valve invited us and several other indie developers to participate in launching Portal 2 early on Steam with an Alternate Reality Game that took place with GLaDOS invading each of our games as she tried to escape and launch Portal 2.  It was amazing fun and we felt very fortunate to participate in the ARG.

Afterward, we proposed the idea of making this into a full expansion and the kind souls at Valve gave us the go-ahead and then helped us record new GLaDOS dialogue (in English, French & German). We developed a whole new story that continued past what was shown in the ARG and we can't wait for you to be able to play it.

Oh, the Valve folks do want me to point out that while Aperature Science has loaned GLaDOS to Defense Grid for the duration of this expansion, nothing that takes place here is part of the Portal story canon. So don't worry about making it all fit in the timeline you wikipedia entry writers.  It doesn't.

On the content side of things, in the last day or so we've already released a free update on both Xbox 360 and Steam that gives your existing Defense Grid some UI updates (making it easier to see all the available challenge modes on a map and all the medals you've earned at a glance) and we threw in a few new game modes and over 30 new challenge missions so you have something to play "right now" while you wait for Wednesday to come.

A Steam order site should be appearing soon and you should also be able to buy it on xbox.com and then have it automatically download the expansion to your Xbox 360 from the web - I think that feature is pretty cool myself.  I know I buy many XBLA titles that way.

This is an expansion, so you do need to own the original game in order to play You Monster, and I believe you'll see some discounts and bundle opportunities to get the main game at a special price during the launch of the You Monster expansion pack if you don't already own Defense Grid.

The expansion contains 8 new levels with a story mode and over 35 additional challenge missions and will be priced at $4.99 USD on Steam (or it's equivalent including VAT in other territories), or 400 MS points on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.

For you Xbox 360 users, remember that there is a major dashboard update coming just before this goes out, so things will look a little different as you go to find the expansion.

We look forward to you playing the latest chapter in the Defense Grid franchise.

Protect the cores!  And Enjoy!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, Hidden Path, pc, Xbox

Fun for New and Current DG Players

07/03/2011 by Jeff Pobst

Fun for New and Current DG Players

By now you may have noticed that Steam is having their huge summer sale, and Defense Grid is a big part of it.  Today, July 3rd, Defense Grid is 75% off for just the next 24 hours, but throughout the sale, Defense Grid is 50% off.

AND, for the first time ever you can get a discount on Resurgence.  How much of a discount?  Well, how about 100% off or FREE!  But of course there is a catch.

Each day during the Steam Summer Sale, 5 or 6 games on Steam will be revealing a brand new achievement that you can earn.  These achievements are in games that you may already own, or perhaps have been wanting to buy and are now on sale.  All you need to do to get Resurgence for free is collect 3 of those achievements across the dozens of games participating, and then go to the prize booth and pick the Defense Grid Resurgence Map Pack from the list and it's yours.

If you already own Defense Grid, we've got help for you to get Resurgence free too.  We're rolling out a new game mode and achievement today for you in an automatic update called "Out of Bullets."  Five different original levels have the new Out of Bullets game modes in their challenge mode list now:  Ancient Research, Out of Fuel, Barrier to Entry, Veil of Ice, and Guardian's Fall. 

Out of Bullets gives you all the towers to choose from except Gun and Cannon.  This gives you an opportunity to not only look to other towers for primary pathing and baseline destruction, but it also provides a fun way to try out some advanced towers on early levels - Concussion, Temporal and Meteor on Ancient Research is one of my favorites - it's so fun (and strange) to see the (almost) full tower assortment on some of these early levels.

For those of you who have played through Defense Grid's story mode, but haven't gone back to look at the challenge modes available on each level, we think you'll not only find the Out of Bullets modes a lot of fun, we think we'll open up a whole new side of the game that you may not have even known was there.  Watch out - many many hours of fun are ahead.

I'm looking forward to seeing you on the Out of Bullets leaderboards, they're fresh, new, and there is a lot of opportunity there for you to show off your great Defense Grid skills early.


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, pc

Updates & Surprises

06/30/2011 by Jeff Pobst

Updates & Surprises

Thank you for your passion for Defense Grid!  Over the last several months and even years, we've carefully read your posts, your emails, your suggestions, your requests, and because the Defense Grid community is so active we've been able to address several of your requests in today's June 30, 2011 update on Steam.

First off, Defense Grid now supports Steam Cloud and automatically merges your existing offline profile with whatever is in the cloud too!  That means that when you first run this update all your medals and unlock progress will transfer over to the new cloud profile, but it also means that if you need to play the game in offline mode in the future, it will keep that profile locally and update it to the cloud when you next connect again.  If you have two different sets of medals and unlocks on two different computers, they'll now be merged - the best result is kept.  Many of you have been asking for this, and it starts today.  Enjoy your Defense Grid wherever you'd like, as all data for DG on Steam is now stored online.

But there is a lot more than Steam Cloud in this update as well.  Recently on the forums it was pointed out that as computers have gotten faster and faster and hard drive seek times are getting shorter, that perhaps our load times are being artificially kept longer than was needed.  A bit of investigation showed that this was in fact the case (on the newest and fastest computers), and so we removed any wait times associated with the splash screens and move forward when we're done loading as soon as possible - just spacebar or enter through the splash screens to get to the loading screen right away and it will progress as soon as it can.

The Xbox 360 leaderboard has for a long time been easier to navigate than the one on Steam and we've updated the Steam leaderboard to have the same filtering approach so you can quickly get to the particular leaderboard for the map and mode you want to check.  It's much easier to show people your high score now.

We also went ahead and removed any "locks" on levels.  As people were installing or reinstalling the game, sometimes they'd lose their progress data and get frustrated.  We don't want any frustration, so in addition to Steam Cloud saves, we've removed locked levels as well.  If you're learning how to play the game we recommend starting with The Awakening, and playing the levels in order, but if you get stuck on a level or just want to go back to a level from a while back and a profile ago, no worries, they're all unlocked now.

One really large request for advanced players was to have the fast forward button be a toggle rather than a hold down to fast forward.  This of course can be really confusing for new players, but we found a way to have both approaches available, and in the settings screen shown above you can now decide whether to have the fast forward button only operate when being held down, or you can live dangerously and toggle fast forward on or off.

Some DG users have passionately wanted shortcut keys, and while they aren't documented in the help text, they're now in the game.  The number keys 1 through 0 each represent a possible tower from Gun to Command, and if you push a number key while your cursor is over a buildable spot (and you have the needed resources), you'll see your tower build right then and there.  Want to upgrade a tower?  Press the 'u' key when your cursor is over an existing tower.  Want to sell a tower, press shift and u to sell that tower (it is a two-key combo to make sure you don't accidentally sell that tower).

We also cleaned up all of the potatoes from the UI that were put in there as part of the Portal 2 ARG, and we fixed the voice audio in the C.H.A.S. levels such that the voice volume slider now affects those levels as it does the rest of the levels.  The console remains in so you can poke around and read about some of the early DG back-story, but the account passwords have been removed and it is a lot easier to explore.

There are a couple of other popular requests that we aren't able to get to at this time, and we want you to know we looked into them carefully.  We would like, and you have said you would like, both multiplayer options in the game and an editor for the levels.  The scope of those changes reach into such fundamental systems of the game, that we're just not able to bring them to you in this Defense Grid product.  Please know we seriously looked into it.

So, we're excited to share this update with you today.  It's available now, so if you launch Steam, you should see your Defense Grid update to the latest version, and all the new features should be there. 

Let us know right away on the forums if you run into any new issues.  You can always use the contact form as well on the web site, but sometimes that means you're waiting on us to get to the emails, and when you use the forums, other smart DG users can jump in and respond to you, sometimes faster than we can.  There also is a lot of activity on the Steam forums.  Either way works, it's just a question of which method will get you a faster response.

The Steam summer camp sale has begun, and you'll notice that Defense Grid is on sale, and you can cash in your tickets for free map packs as you earn achievements in other games.  Keep an eye out for more Defense Grid opportunities as the summer camp activities are unveiled each day.

 

 


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid, pc

GLaDOS is a 'Special Guest Star' in Defense Grid

04/20/2011 by Jeff Pobst

GLaDOS is a 'Special Guest Star' in Defense Grid

The Valve Potato/Portal Two ARG is now complete and Portal 2 has been released.  We at HPE had a blast participating and we hope those of you who already own Defense Grid or are new to the game, also had fun. 

We thoroughly enjoyed working closely with a host of Indipendant Game developers including Dejobaan Games, Frictional Games, Dylan Fitterer, Gaijin Games, Lazy 8 Studios, Tripwire Interactive, Two Tribes, Team Meat, Teotl Studios, Valve and of course peripherial manufacturer Razer.  This was a large cross-group project that nimbly reacted to fans, updated weekly, and worked hard to entertain you through our games with new content, puzzles, and several crazy surprises.  I don't think anyone ahead of time expected to see pole climbing clue seekers and such intense and exciting IRC discussions or detailed Wiki's spring to life.

The amount of new ARG content that you could find in 123 Kick it, AaAaAA, Amnesia, AudioSurf, BIT.TRIP BEAT, Cogs, Killing Floor, Rush, Super Meat Boy, The Ball, Wonderful End of the World, Toki Tori and of course Defense Grid must have added up to several hundreds of hours of new puzzle solving, investigtation, and fun for fans and we hope finding GLaDOS in all of our games, and getting access to new Portal 2 concept art and information was a fun diversion as we all awaited the launch of Portal 2 and we able to get it to release a day early on Steam.

People have been asking if we'll remove the two new levels we have given our Steam customers now that the ARG is over, and the answer is "no", those will stay.  We may be able to create more surprises in store for the future, so we'll see what we can pull off, but for now, there are two new levels for you to experience including one starring GLaDOS and ending with something unexpected happening to our friend.

Others have asked if we will be bringing these new levels to other platforms and channels such as Xbox LIVE, and for the moment, this content is unique to Steam.  Where it shows up later, though may be something that can change in the future.  We'll keep working on that on our end and see what happens.  The world of game development is far less certain and clear than you likely expect it to be on our end.  I'm sure you think we know all the answers and how it is going to turn out, and the truth is we try to make a lot of things happen, and sometimes they do!

Several of us were watching the IRC channels, and every once in a while someone would comment that "I bet the devs are watching and laughing at us."  They were exactly right on the watching part, but the laughing couldn't have been further from the truth.  Each of the Indie developers involved were making all sorts of content for a type of experience that was new to develop for all of us.  We were scared to death that a puzzle would be way too easy and solved in seconds and not be interesting, or scared that a puzzle would be way too hard, and no one would figure it out and it would be too frustrating.  Our job was to entertain, and we were always concerned that the puzzles and clues and information would not be entertaining, and fortunately it went a lot better than we feared.  Thanks so much to the community of people who helped organize, document, share, and connect people together so that so many people could participate and have fun.  We were honored to be interacting with you in a way we hadn't been able to do so before.

Well, it is back to "regular" work for those of us in the studio who were working on the ARG.  The rest of the studio has been focused on our other projects and we can't wait to share them all with you once they're ready to talk about and we have a better idea of when they'll be coming out.

Thanks much for playing Defense Grid, and hopefully also enjoying it.  We love making games for you.

 

 


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

It is GLaDOS

04/15/2011 by Jeff Pobst

It is GLaDOS

It would appear that the worlds of Portal 2 and Defense Grid have become intertwined and GLaDOS is at work.  A new Aperture Science website has gone live and it indicates that Portal 2 may well be released early if enough people play all of the games in the Potato Pack on Steam:

http://www.aperturescience.com/glados@home/

 

Defense Grid is in there of course, as is Killing Floor, Cogs, Rush, Toki Tori, BIT.TRIP BEAT, 123 Kick It!, Audiosurf, The Wonderful End of the World, Super Meat Boy, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, AAAA!! and The Ball.  All are great games, so I guess if one is going to slave to GLaDOS's purposes, at least one can have fun doing it.  That's something new.

 

Defense Grid does have new content for you to play on Steam.  There are two new levels added this month, one of them starring your favorite Portal character!  There is also an old computer console (found under the "console" main menu button) that has puzzles, mysteries, and information on some of the people who worked on the Defense Grid program long long ago.  Best of all we learn our AI friend's name for the first time.

 

Enjoy!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Defense Grid Art Design

05/27/2010 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid Art Design
Hidden Path Entertainment's Art Director Dave McCoy gives background and insight into the art design and direction of Defense Grid and shares how many artists at HPE contributed to the final look.

Go take a look at the great article in Gamasutra


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: aliens, Defense Grid

Defense Grid Soundtrack Available

05/24/2010 by Jeff Pobst

Defense Grid Soundtrack Available
Does the haunting melody run through your mind at night.? Fill your days with all of the music that was made for Defense Grid including clips that didn't make it into the final game!

Composer Duane Decker has the music from Defense Grid up on his site for you to download for your personal use. 

http://www.duanedecker.com/DG_Soundtrack.html

If you have commercial reasons to want to use the music, please contact info@hiddenpath.com .

Enjoy!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Gun and Inferno Towers

03/17/2010 by Michael Austin

Gun and Inferno Towers

The gun tower was used as a baseline for all other towers in Defense Grid. Each upgrade of each tower was balanced around the level 1 gun, based on its overall utility across all situations.

Level 1 gun tower - Total Cost: 100 DPS: 10 Range: 3.50 squares
Level 2 gun tower - Total Cost: 300 DPS: 30 Range: 3.75 squares
Level 3 gun tower - Total Cost: 700 DPS: 70 Range: 4.00 squares

Originally, upgrades were 1:3:9 with the red towers being three times as powerful as amber towers, but it became too expensive to do the final upgrade (you had to wait around too long for the money), so we lowered it to 1:3:7. The first upgrade is twice the cost of the base tower, and the second is twice that cost.

It was interesting- originally I thought that upgrades needed to be more powerful since you had to save up the money to place them, but in actual playtesting this was offset by the fact that you could make extra use of a prime spot (one near a temporal tower, or one that was placed near a junction). In many tower defense games, upgrading is an easy decision- several waves in it becomes 'place-upgrade-upgrade, place-upgrade-upgrade', and it was important to us to try and find a balance where the upgrade decisions were actually meaningful and had tradeoffs.

The gun tower can shoot any alien within range, and is the best general purpose tower. Because it's so cheap and easy to put down, it's efficiency at level 1 is a little bit below average; however, by the 2nd upgrade the extra range brings it on par with the other towers. It is a front row gun- any tower in front of it limits the damage it can do, and so it should generally be placed as close to the path as possible.

The inferno tower shoots a wide cone of napalm, roasting all the aliens within. It is balanced with the gun tower if it hits between 2-3 enemies on average while it is firing, and is much more powerful when there are more, and less useful when there are less.


The inferno tower is the first tower that does partial heat damage (which means it heats up enemies so they continue to take damage over time. This does have the side effect of reporting half of the damage it does under 'laser level 1' in your stats, but trust me, it's the inferno doing it!) This makes it more effective against fast enemies (who continue to take damage after they pass through), but less effective against shields (which make an alien immune to heat while they are up).


Here are the basic stats:

Level 1 inferno tower - Total Cost: 150 - DPS: 8.5 - Range: 2.50 squares - Cone: 70 degrees

Level 2 inferno tower - Total Cost: 450 - DPS: 23 - Range: 2.50 squares - Cone: 80 degrees

Level 3 inferno tower - Total Cost: 1050 - DPS: 48 - Range: 2.50 squares - Cone: 90 degrees
The inferno targets the front enemy of the group, and any other enemies caught in its range will take equal damage. Because of their short range they are best when adjacent to the path (giving them the best cone area of affect).


Here are some good and bad inferno layouts:


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bad- infernos really should be next to the path - this one is not very efficient.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Good- this one gets a good spread, but it's still angled relative to the path, so it doesn't get all the aliens it could.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Best - this inferno will be aligned along the path a majority of the time. Note the position relative to the path of the aliens. Because it always targets the front, it will be stretched out along the path, making it maximally effective.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Line of Sight

01/05/2010 by Michael Austin

Line of Sight

Line of sight started out actually as more of a problem than a feature. We didn't really think about it until an early version of our game where the shooting-through-other-towers looked really awful. You don't really notice it until you try to do realistic graphics, and then your brain goes "That's wrong!"

We started out with 15 towers, I think, and the line of sight constraint really helped us tune them down. We tried to pick a subset of the towers such that each one was different and unique, and could be the best tower in a specific situation. I like, for instance, how line of sight affects the cannon-gun tradeoff. Guns need line of sight to be effective, since they are shooting constantly and any down time is bad. Since cannons are on a long cooldown, they can shoot the instant line of sight is available, and it actually doesn't hurt them that much. It leads to a natural "back row"-"front row" thing.

I grew to love it when I realized what a difference it makes for tower placement- when you have to consider your future plans for areas, there's a new depth of strategy. Suddenly in that clump of 4 towers right by two paths, they aren't all equal- there's a reason to pick, and the trade-offs are different for each tower. It was definitely a case where a problem turned into (what I think is) really fun gameplay!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Animation in Defense Grid

01/04/2010 by Adam Crockett

Animation in Defense Grid

In this diary, I’ll be discussing aspects of the animation process for our tower defense title, Defense Grid: The Awakening.

The visual tone of the game was set by the various artists involved.  This was done in a very collaborative environment – typical of game development at Hidden Path.  We discussed and decided how the towers and creatures should move, and what sort of impact the animations should have. 

Towers:

In the game, the player character erects defensive towers from predefined slots in each level. Since we wanted to preserve the fundamental strategy of tower positioning, we didn’t want to have towers move around like characters, but we did want them to raise, lower, attack, and scan for the next target. We also planned special idle motions, and reload sequences, but most of the towers’ animation ‘zing’ is in the way they raise and lower, mechanically blossoming into death- dealing machines of doom. As we were starting to spec out some of our planned idles, T.J., one of the programmers, devised a procedural way for the turrets to “scan” for the next target. I was happy enough with the result to scratch most of the idle animations off the list. It was much less repetitive and more convincing than a looping idle animation created by an artist. Players will still see a standard idle here and there, such as a rotating radar dish, but most were replaced by T.J.’s great solution.

Accommodating the procedural motion wasn’t without its challenges – it meant re-rigging some of the towers to have yaw and pitch bones that the programmers could control (even in instances where a tower did not yaw or pitch!) but it was ultimately worth it, and I still love the way the towers all look around separately, searching for their next unlucky victim. 

Aliens:

The aliens consist of the invading hordes intent on robbing the player of his precious power cores. They appear in increasingly difficult waves made up of different types of creatures with different stats. They move intently, focused on their goal, undeterred by the slaughter into which they march.

As models were completed, I began rigging the most complex one first -- the Juggernaut. We used 3d Studio Max‘s biped rig, posed as a quadruped. After rigging and skinning were completed, I created the first walk and death cycles to set the look and feel for our animation team.  For additional direction, I tweaked the animation timing to work appropriately with the pacing of game play.  The animation crew took it from there.

Though we started with a more complex list that included lots of animations, gameplay evolved such that we narrowed the list down to basically walking and dying. Those two animations had to convey each alien’s personality.  Differentiating was a difficult task.  Each alien has a couple of death animations, for variety, but the walks were pretty standard and so presented a tougher problem.  To solve it, we added “leans” that we blended into their animations as the aliens turned corners.  That added a lot to an otherwise unremarkable animation.  I was very pleased with the way the alien animations turned out.  Of course, I’m never completely satisfied.  If we had additional time and budget, I would have liked to see the deaths have a bit more inertia, but they definitely convey what they need to with a lot of character from game view.

Overall, I’m really happy with the animation in Defense Grid. I think it is a substantially better experience than what other tower defense games have to offer. I still get giddy watching the towers unfold, and it’s always satisfying to watch a particularly tough alien finally crumple to the ground. I hope you enjoy playing Defense Grid: The Awakening, and thanks for reading!


Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: aliens, Defense Grid

Tools and Rules

01/03/2010 by David Wenger

Tools and Rules

As a software engineer at HPE, I get to develop tools that enable the team to work more productively.  Improved productivity results in more game content and a more gratifying experience for the player.  On Defense Grid: The Awakening, I worked on new tools that helped our artists and designers develop more content so the player gets even more from the game.

Asset Viewer

One of the concerns when developing a game is how long it takes for an artist to be able to see their art as it would look in the game.  Artists use many different software tools to make characters and environments come to life, but those tools usually don't know anything about how the art will be drawn in the game.  As a result, we generally create some additional software to allow the artists to very quickly be able to see and evaluate their content in the game engine.

A new Asset Viewer software system has been a particularly fun element of programming for Defense Grid.  This tool allowed our artists to take new art (including towers, environments and particle effects) and view that art as it would be seen in the game.  This allows the artists to immediately get an idea of how object animations or lighting will look without having to wait for a new build.  Making all the rendered content for a game is a huge task, so helping the artists out with the Asset Viewer was useful for them and a fun program for me to create.

Rule Sets

Another one of the cool things I worked on was the implementation of Rule Sets in the game engine.  Rule Sets allow the designer to set up specific ways in which a game level can be played.  The more ways you can set up a level, the more hours of game play our designers can dream up.  We might give you lots of resources with which to build up your defenses, but then also make the enemy units stronger.  Or perhaps, when playing on a higher difficulty setting, you have to fend off the invaders with only a limited set of tower types.

As an example, when you first play the "Fire Control" level you are playing with a set of rules that makes it challenging to earn a gold medal.  But once you've unlocked the additional play modes you get to challenge yourself by trying to play the same level with tougher aliens, limited number of towers, or only green (first-level) towers.  Each of these additional modes has rules that are uniquely set up by the designer in order to provide the player more fun, additional game play and new challenges.

During play-testing it was really cool to see how we could play a level with one rule set and then play it again with a different rule set; resulting in two completely different and exciting encounters, despite it being the same map!  Our designers continued to tweak the rule sets for each game level to ensure that no matter what the play style, you'll have a really enjoyable experience.

Enabling the artists and designers on the team to create content better and faster has been very rewarding.  I hope it leads to you having a lot of fun with Defense Grid.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Talking Towers

01/02/2010 by John Daud

Talking Towers

Greetings!  My name is John Daud and I'm a designer at Hidden Path Entertainment.  Our latest project is a tower defense game called Defense Grid: The Awakening.  Our goal for this title was to take all of the fun we were having playing web browser tower defense games and add some production value to the genre through complex sound design, gorgeous art and a compelling story.

Defense Grid was principally inspired by the imagination of our CTO and one of the company founders, Michael Austin.  Michael had played a number of tower defense games and was fascinated by the game mechanic, but believed that there was great opportunity for improvement in graphical fidelity and game play.  He discussed his idea with Mark Terrano, another founder and our Design Director.  Mark bought into Michael's vision and assembled a proposal.  From there, the principals generated a great design document that set the product tone.

But the design contribution went far beyond Michael and Mark.  Design at Hidden Path is a truly collaborative effort that involves everyone on staff.  Every member of the team has a wealth of game development experience and a broad knowledge of many game styles.  Consequently, the team considers all ideas and suggestions, regardless of whether the source is an artist, a programmer or a designer.  With such a strong group working on the title it was no surprise that in a matter of months we were already playing a fun, addicting and great looking prototype level.  After we agreed on what made the game fun, we just needed more content.  So my primary role on the project was to design and build many new levels, leveraging off of that initial prototype.

To construct level maps, we used a proprietary map editor built specifically for this title. The tool allowed me as a level designer to either construct constrained paths, open platforms or combinations of both.  In tower defense games, the antagonist comes into the map messes up your world (in our our case they steal precious Power Cores) and leaves, either from the point of entry or a separate exit.  So we knew we needed spawn points, exit points, and power core positions defined in the editor.  One of the most exciting features of our map editor tool is the procedurally generated geometry.  The constrained paths - where the landscape of the environment determines where the enemies can move - are defined by series of connected waypoints.  These automatically generate the path geometry complete with the path surface, guard rail, lights, support structure, pipes, etc.  This technology also allows sections of the map that are designated buildable areas to be procedurally generated with the sci-fi industrial design appearance we wanted.  With the game play-specific elements procedurally created, the artists can focus on geometry in the levels that really brings the environment to life and truly takes the Defense Grid aesthetic to a high level.  One of the coolest parts of the process was seeing what the artists created out of my collection of paths and tower platforms. 

Of course, making each level fun and unique was a critical part of my job. I had many different variables to play with to accomplish this. One of the cool things about tower defense game design is the ability to "tweak the knobs" in order to adjust the game play experience: the number of enemies attacking, the time between waves, the type and strength of the invaders versus the types of towers at the player's disposal, how many resources the player has at the start in order to build those towers, the number of spaces available to build in... all of these variables can be adjusted to subtly or radically change the player experience.  And while surviving a Defense Grid level is certainly fun, another effect of these many variables is the desire to replay the level in order to achieve a better score or a higher medal value.  "Did I need to build that last tower?" "What if I frontload my defenses instead of building near my cores?"  "Maybe the Inferno tower would be more effective than the Laser in that one build spot..."  "How did that guy finish the mission with 800 more resources than me?"  As a level designer, I want to know the ideal strategy for any particular mission, and I want to provide the player with a challenge while they search for the perfect defense. Personally, it is great to hear about someone waking up after playing our game the night before with an inspiration for a better defensive strategy for some particular mission in our game.     

I am thrilled that even after all of the months of hard work put into this game that the development team still can't stop playing the thing.  I can honestly say that I had a great time working on this game, and I am very proud of Defense Grid.  I hope you share my excitement, and that this diary adds to your appreciation of the game.  See you on the leader boards!

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid

Team Communication

01/01/2010 by T.J. Martin

Team Communication

Hi, I'm T.J. Martin, a game programmer at Hidden Path on the team that created Defense Grid: The Awakening.  We've just finished the final polish stages of the product, and it feels great.  I think we've got a challenging, addictive game that's fun to play and beautiful to look at.

When I think back to what the key things were that allowed us to get to this stage, I focus on two things:  1 - allowing the designers to have the ability to efficiently experiment with design concepts, and 2 - the excellent communication and problem solving techniques the team used.

The tower defense format provides a simple, but rigid, system of rules. Since this system established the basic game play, we used this rule set as a canvas to explore more subtle design ideas and play with game balance.  We wanted our designers to be able to work as freely as possible, so we thought about content creation from the very beginning of Defense Grid.  One of my main tasks was to allow the designers to create levels that were completely playable without any programmer or artist intervention. The result was a level editor that actually generated geometry for testing purposes.  Only after the level design was nailed down would the artists would go through and make it look beautiful. Since Tower Defense is a genre that is largely about optimization and efficiency, it was important to be able to tweak every little detail to make every level, monster and tower as fun as possible. We made an effort to ensure that any number or setting could be modified by a designer without having to wait for someone to change code.

One of the things I like most about Hidden Path is the rapid flow of information. We work in open environments where everyone is free to bounce ideas around. No one hides in an office and creates features in isolation. Any feature has probably been thought about and discussed by multiple people from art, programming and design. This low communication barrier also allows programmers to better empower designers. We don't simply read a document and then make it happen. We work with the designers. If we have a question or suggestion, we can bring it to them directly instead of waiting for an open slot on their Outlook calendar. This lets us make sure that our game stays fun and that we all love the final product.

One of the most interesting design areas has been assigning roles to individual towers. I have always felt that, in any game, different pieces of your arsenal should be fundamentally and functionally different. Just changing numbers and adding a new visual effect is not enough! Anytime we felt that two towers were becoming too similar, we addressed it. At one point, we had a tower that wasn't really working out. Instead of just cutting it or letting it go unaddressed, we got around a whiteboard and discussed what made the tower unique and how we could keep that element. At the end, we had completely redesigned two towers. No meetings were scheduled. No formal change requests were written. We exchanged ideas collaboratively until we arrived at the right answer, and we made it happen.

This kind of cooperation and these thought processes are what enable us to create games we are proud of.  I knew we were on the road to achieving this goal with Defense Grid when we all started competing with each other for better scores and breaking down strategy on a whiteboard to be better at our own game.  The team dynamics have really helped build a great game experience.

Posted in Defense Grid | Keywords: Defense Grid