DG Architect - Building a Basic Map Tutorial

07/29/2014 by Kaboom

DG Architect - Building a Basic Map Tutorial

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

The Windborne Signs, Ladders, and Launchers Update Has Arrived!

07/28/2014 by Echo

The Windborne Signs, Ladders, and Launchers Update Has Arrived!
First of all, thank you everyone who participated in the Trailblazer Community test. To those not in the loop, we are opening up our updates/patches for testing a week or two early to get feedback and help tune things.

If you were part of the test, remember to switch back out of the beta (Right-click on Windborne in steam, select properties->betas tab->None (opt out) from the drop down).


New features: - New Climbable (vines, ladders)
- New Launcher (you can shift-click it in gather mode to switch between various directions)
- New Signs (Iconic Standing Sign, Iconic Wall Sign, Iconic Floor Sign, Standing Sign, Floor Sign, Hanging Sign)
>Activate normal signs to write text on them. Click in the text box to write on the sign.
>Shift-click iconic signs to go through the icons
- You can turn on auto-gather in settings. This makes it so you continually gather in gather mode without holding down the right mouse button.

Misc fixes/polish:
- UI Consistency update (buttons, scrollbars, etc)
- Fly-to-player no longer teleports you inside the target player
- Physics is now turned off for plants, ladders, etc. You can place these even if standing in the block.
- Wall and brick blocks are much more efficient (they hide geometry that is obscured). This is retroactive.
- Hand auto-hide is less annoying

Bug fixes:
- Many crash fixes
- Pets tamed as a client no longer act like they belong to the host
- Malik/Ferals only take one block from item stacks (you won’t lose all your gold in one swoop)
- Music volume setting is less sensitive
- Player/Character loading is more safe and tries to handle/recover corrupted characters
- Some broken UI crafting filters were fixed

DG Dev Profile - Steve Kramer

07/25/2014 by Kaboom

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

I’m afraid not, I was born in Chula Vista, California. My dad was in the military, so I’ve lived all over the United States, but somehow ended back in Chula Vista for all of High School and College.

I understand you’re an avid Twitch streamer. How did you get started and what do you enjoy streaming?


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

What was the longest stream you've ever done and what were you playing?


I hosted a 24 hour long stream playing Defense Grid here at Hidden Path Entertainment in honor of our DG2 Kickstarter a couple years ago. It was brutal, but I’d love to do another one someday. I was lucky to have a lot of help from our HPE team here, who helped sub me out for breaks. (www.twitch.tv/devgamer)

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

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

What are a few of your all-time favorite movies?

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

What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I’m primarily responsible for the challenge modes. Other than that, I focus on multiplayer and lend Lead Designer, John Daud, a hand wherever he needs it.

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

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

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

I can think of several games that were massively influential on the games that get made today. Off of the top of my head I would list World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and Gears of War to mention a few.

What’s the most rewarding thing about making video games?

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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

07/23/2014 by Kaboom

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

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Welcome to DG Architect!

07/21/2014 by Kaboom

Welcome to DG Architect!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Pre-Purchase DG2 Today!

07/17/2014 by Kaboom

Pre-Purchase DG2 Today!
Here's a look at the rewards you can earn:

Tier 1 - Receive the Containment expansion to Defense Grid: The Awakening and a digital copy of the Original Defense Grid Art Book. All content is giftable.

Tier 2 - Everything Above, Plus: A free immediate copy of Defense Grid: The Awakening for Windows and a 50% off coupon for Hidden Path’s new social sandbox game Windborne (currently in Early Access). All content is giftable.

Tier 3 - Everything Above, Plus: “A Matter of Endurance” a new original audio story to be written by Hugo Award Winning Author Mary Robinette Kowal and performed by the English voice cast. This content will be delivered to your Steam account on or before the launch of DG2.
You'll also save 10% by ordering your copy today.

Go HERE to pre-purchase your copy today!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Alienware Arena Defense Grid 2 Map Contest

07/16/2014 by Kaboom

Alienware Arena Defense Grid 2 Map Contest
> Ready to start making your very own DG2 map? You'll first want to introduce yourself to our User Created Content tool, DG Architect. You can find the program in your DG2 game directory.

> Never made a map before? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Just follow our tutorial guide and you'll be creating levels in no time. Click HERE for the link.

> Head over to Alienware for the official rules and details. The top five entries will be winning a $100 Steam Gift Card while one grand prize winner will be taking home an Alienware X51! Click HERE for the link. :

Submission period ends August 10. Good luck!

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne Community Update 7/15

07/15/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Community Update 7/15
​Hey Crafters,

Kaboom here! I want to give you all the 411 on Windborne. Our team has finished development work for this patch, and is currently testing everything out to make sure it’s running A-Okay. We’re aiming to have the next update in your hands soon! In the meantime, please continue to send along your suggestions and feedback. We love to hear what you have to say about Windborne, and appreciate your continued support.

And to all of those new to Windborne that were brought in by the Steam Sale, welcome! We’re glad you chose to be a part of our community, and we can’t wait to see what you build!

Here’s a little sneak peek into some of the new features coming in the next update:

> Launchers- blocks that bounces you around and can help make transportation networks around your island
> Ladders and vines that you can climb
> Customizable signs
> And More!

Keep an eye out on the forums and socials (like Twitter & Facebook), we will post more details there as they become available.

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Boost Towers

07/09/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Boost Towers

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Coordinated Defense Intro

07/08/2014 by Kaboom

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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher: Defend the Cores

07/02/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ Gen. Fletcher: Defend the Cores

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

World Traveler Update Highlights

06/26/2014 by Kaboom

World Traveler Update Highlights


New Features:
- See yourself for the first time and customize your appearance
- Learn to make clothing and choose your fashion (Order of the Dragon members start with a special surprise)
- Share your island with others and visit their islands
- New creatures to discover
- Tame pets who give you special abilities
- Use the researcher table to learn new recipes from items
- The sun has returned and the world is much more vibrant
- Can you discover the secret of the mysterious lantern and the Nightshade furniture set?
- Who is Malik the Cursed and what does he want?

Until June 30, you can get Windborne for 50% off! Head over to Steam today to pick up your copy.

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

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, Windborne | Keywords: Defense Grid, Windborne

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Laser Tower

06/17/2014 by Kaboom

Command Strategies w/ General Fletcher: Laser Tower

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Introducing the Kabloom Flower!

06/03/2014 by Kaboom

Introducing the Kabloom Flower!
Want a chance to get this beautiful Kabloom flower for your island? Come play with our Community Coordinator, Kaboom, during one of our Windborne streams and she'll give you one!

This week's stream schedule:
Wednesday - 1:30-2:30pm PDT
Friday - 4:00-5:00pm PDT

Hope to see you all there! You can tune in here: www.twitch.tv/hiddenpathent

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Go Island Hopping in Windborne

05/20/2014 by

Go Island Hopping in Windborne
Bellevue, WA (May 20, 2014) - Hidden Path Entertainment is excited to announce that its largest Windborne patch to date has landed on Steam. Gamers will be thrilled to see tons of new content. Windborne will be on sale to celebrate starting today, May 20th at 10AM Pacific.

New Features:
See yourself for the first time and customize your appearance
Learn to make clothing and choose your fashion (Order of the Dragon members start with a special surprise)
Share your island with others and visit their islands
New creatures to discover
Tame pets who give you special abilities
Use the researcher table to learn new recipes from items
The sun has returned and the world is much more vibrant
Can you discover the secret of the mysterious lantern and the Nightshade furniture set?
Who is Malik the Cursed and what does he want?

Fly over to Steam today and get your copy of Windborne and see where the winds take you. Click here.

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

The 8-Bit Salute Marathon Stream Is Near!

05/12/2014 by Kaboom

The 8-Bit Salute Marathon Stream Is Near!
Join devs from our team and community members as we stream for 12-hours straight this Saturday, May 17 in efforts to raise money for Operation Supply Drop, a charity that sends video game care packages to military overseas and those recovering in hospitals.

We invite you to join our team and show your support. All proceeds go directly to Operation Supply Drop. Hope to see you all on Saturday!

Who: Hidden Path Entertainment devs & community folks will be streaming!
When: Saturday, May 17 (7am-7pm PDT)
Where: Twitch.tv! (www.twitch.tv/hiddenpathent)
What: We'll be streaming both Windborne and our award-winning Tower Defense game, Defense Grid
Why: In efforts to raise money for Operation Supply Drop, a charity that sends video game care packages to military overseas and those recovering in hospitals.

Show your support and join Team HPE HERE!

**Donate $10 or more to receive a Steam (PC) code for a Defense Grid: The Awakening bundle which includes Defense Grid 1 and all its DLC!**

Posted in Company News | Keywords: Hidden Path

The Official Defense Grid 2 FAQ Is Now Live!

05/05/2014 by Kaboom

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

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 PAX East Preview Trailer

04/14/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 PAX East Preview Trailer

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

How Can I Collect, Gather, and Earn New Items in Windborne?

04/09/2014 by Kaboom

How Can I Collect, Gather, and Earn New Items in Windborne?
1. Mine, Mine, and more Mining!
Anyone can do it, and it’s guaranteed to work. It may take some time, but inviting a friend to your island to help you out speeds up the process. If you’re trying to hunt down rarer resources such as gems and gold, we recommend diving into caves. You’ll find a lot of these precious recourses hidden there as well as alongside biome walls.

2. Complete Quests
Questing is a wonderful way to discover your island, earn rewards, and gather new resources. Along with teaching you the basics of Windborne such as controls and features, quests are also an efficient way to help build your crafting recipe library.

3. Buddy System
Visit a friend’s island or invite them to yours. You can mine twice as much and help each other out. Besides, you can invite as many friends to your island as you want so might as well invite them all – the more the merrier!

4. Hunt For Treasure
You heard right, we said treasure! If you stay on the lookout you’ll occasionally run into a relic chest or two. The chests are filled with various items like resources and crafting recipes. As an added bonus, you can also take the chest with you after looting it.

5. Trade with the Jin
The Jin are helpful little creatures who are eager to trade with you. Just toss down a crafted item, they’ll have a look at it, and if they take it they’ll give you a gift back! You can pick up loads of new crafting recipes this way. Hint: Each Jin can only trade a set amount of scrolls at a time, but you can always pay them a visit later to trade again.

6. Reach Out on the Forums
Last of all, you can always reach out to other players, make new friends, and ask for their help. We have a thriving community that is passionate and helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask! You’re also more than welcome to reach out to us through any of our social channels, and we’re happy to help.

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 4/3

04/03/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 4/3

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 3/26

03/26/2014 by Jeff

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update - 3/26
(UPDATE CAN BE FOUND HERE)

Hi Team,

We've been working hard to get our Defense Grid 2 game features complete and make sure the core gameplay is the most fun it can possibly be. In fact, if you've been following the embedded reporting work of Russ Pitts at Polygon, he just released a new article a couple of days ago where he witnessed and recounts one of the many days where we are feverishly working to make sure this game lives up to your expectations.

DG2 Leads Meeting via Polygon (Russ Pitts)
To see the sixth in-depth report on Making Defense Grid 2, click here
To go to the index of all the reports in this unprecedented Polygon series, click here


PAX East
Also – big news flash. For those of you attending PAX East in Boston on Sunday, April 13th, Polygon Journalist Russ Pitts and Hidden Path DG2 Executive Producer Jeff Pobst will be making a dual appearance on stage at 11am in the Condor Theatre. Jeff might talk about what it is like to have a reporter watching your every move (and mistake) while you develop a new game with no say whatsoever in what Russ writes. Meanwhile Russ might give you additional insight into that crazy cast of characters that you read about who are making the game. Is Lex Story really like that? Does John Daud really worry about the details so much? You'll also get the opportunity to ask questions, so if you want to know more about the making of Defense Grid 2, here's a great opportunity.

Now some more big news, this time on product dates!

Beta Date
As you know we had originally hoped to do a multiplayer and feature beta back in November, but due to the multiplayer engine status, some low level engine rework, and new Steam features that we are taking on, we have been delayed on doing a beta significantly.

We've kept busy working on other things while waiting for the APIs needed, so development progress has been good, but we're now happy to report that we have made progress on all beta fronts and have received most of the APIs we were looking to get from our partners at Steam. With that work now back underway again, we're expecting to begin the Defense Grid 2 beta process in either late April or early May! We're looking forward to seeing you online then.

Release Date
Also, by now you also have seen the news that we have partnered with 505 Games to release Defense Grid 2 as planned on Steam (Windows, Mac, Linux) and also now on Xbox One & PlayStation 4. This is being accomplished both by adding some additional members to the team, and by adding some additional time to the development process for the existing team.

We plan on simultaneously shipping Defense Grid 2 on all the platforms above, and to do that, we're now targeting a release in Fall 2014 which means the game release will fall outside of our original planned window of being in the first half of this year, but will not be far behind that.

Art Books
For those backers whose pledges included bound art books for the first series and the second series, we're happy to let you know that all of the hardcover art books for the first Defense Grid series have been printed, bound, and mailed out to their new owners!

Thank you so much for your generous support of the Defense Grid franchise! The DG2 art books will follow sometime after the launch of DG2 once we've had time to pull all the art for DG2 together and get it in book ready form. That process took much longer than expected on the first art book, so we'll see if we can utilize that experience to help us make the second one more quickly.

For those backers whose pledges include the pdf file of the art book that was used to print the books, your email with the link to download the large pdf file will be sent out starting today. Keep an eye out as sometimes the emails from us end up in your spam filter or elsewhere deep inside the depths of your email clients.

So that’s news at this hour. We know you are waiting to play a great game, and we're working hard to get you that great game as soon as is possible. We also want it to go faster, but we know that it being fun and solid is the most important thing, and we're committed to getting you a great Defense Grid 2!

Thanks so much for your support!

The Hidden Path Team


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne Patch Notes 3/25

03/25/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Patch Notes 3/25

  • Community Driven features
  • Other Community Requests
    • Blocks
      • Lowered crafting cost of 'Stone Window' and 'Iron Blade'
      • Fixed auto-morph of tables
      • Fixed 'Highborn Dresser' to close properly
      • Fixed 'Highborn Roof Cap' to align properly below the roofline
    • Multiplayer
      • You can see and trade with Jin in multiplayer games
      • You can see and harvest Woolies in multiplayer games
      • Throwing spheres should show properly in multiplayer games
      • Island owner's dragonling is visible to other players
    • Misc
      • Apply audio settings before music starts playing
      • Clicking on links in the launcher should now launch in the default browser
      • Shrunk some fields so full block name shows up
      • Clarified 'craft a fine highborn item' quest
  • Stability
    • Fixed several crashes on startup and network connection
    • Make a backup of the profile just in case something bad happens while saving
    • Fixed a crash that would happen when several people connect to a game at once


Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

We're Now on Pinterest!

03/13/2014 by Kaboom

We're Now on Pinterest!


We've got all the concept art, screenshots, and community art that your heart desires now on Pinterest.

You'll find us HERE!


Defense Grid 2 Is Coming to Consoles!

03/06/2014 by

Defense Grid 2 Is Coming to Consoles!
BELLEVUE, WA – March 6, 2014 – Independent video game developer Hidden Path Entertainment, and 505 Games, a global publisher of video games, today announced a partnership to bring the highly anticipated Defense Grid 2 (DG2) to console platforms.

The tower defense game, which has been announced for a PC release later this year, will also be available to console players on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PlayStation® Network for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.

”505 Games has partnered with us at Hidden Path and is providing a great opportunity for next-generation console players to experience our vision of the definitive tower defense experience. We’re so excited to work on a game we love and bring it to additional platforms with such a like-minded publishing partner,” said Jeff Pobst, project lead for DG2.

“Our goal at 505 is to be a publishing partner that lets studios retain their creative independence and that is exactly how we intend to partner with Hidden Path in order to bring DG2 to market,” said Ian Howe, president, 505 Games. “Hidden Path is the perfect partner, they are experienced industry veterans developing a top-quality tower defense game that we both cannot wait to get into gamers’ hands.”

About DG2 Defense Grid 2, DG2, is the highly-anticipated sequel to Hidden Path Entertainment’s 2008 Defense Grid: The Awakening. DG2 for the PC was funded by a private investor after a successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign funded the DLC, Defense Grid: Containment. DG2 will be developed by Hidden Path Entertainment. DG2 will uphold the standards set by its acclaimed predecessor. Along with single player mode, DG2 will expand with cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. For more information please visit here.

About Hidden Path Entertainment Hidden Path Entertainment is an independent video game company established to develop and produce interactive entertainment software for current and future generations of PCs, video game consoles and other computing platforms. Hidden Path focuses on immersive, fun, and well-designed game experiences that allow players to express themselves creatively as well. The company is currently working on independently-funded and partner-funded projects with some of the most popular companies in gaming. For more information visit here.

About 505 Games 505 Games is a global video game publisher focused on offering a broad selection of titles for players of all ages and levels. The company publishes games on leading console and handheld platforms as well as for mobile devices and social networks. Product highlights include, Sniper Elite V2, PAYDAY 2, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, Terraria, How To Survive, Tiny Brains, and the upcoming Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2.

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

Dev Profile - Mark Forrer

02/28/2014 by Kaboom

Dev Profile - Mark Forrer
Are you a Seattle native?

Nope. I'm from Caldwell Idaho

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

Sam Cobra (Quick Draw)

Do you have a favorite book or comic?

Amber Series

How about a favorite band?

My favorite right now would probably be Five Finger Death Punch

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

Halo

What exactly do you do on the Hidden Path team?

I’m a bit of a utility guy. User Interface, Animation, Game Concepts, Marketing, Web, Particle Effects.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

My son thinks its cool.

If you had to eat one thing for an entire year, what would it be?

Tacos


Keywords: Hidden Path

Windborne Patch Notes 2/26

02/26/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Patch Notes 2/26
Community update!


  • Community driven features
    • Jin trading issues have been fixed
    • Added an FOV slider to graphics settings
    • Added a brightness slider to graphics settings
    • Added vsync control to graphics settings
    • Shift-click on the craft button lets you queue up to 10 items at a time
    • Crafting speeds up when you make things in bulk, up to double speed after 5 items
    • Rarer items are slower to craft, but common items are faster
    • Holding shift while moving will let you sprint
    • Base (non-sprinting) speed reduced by 5%
    • Holding jump continuously jumps
    • Clarified several quests
    • Order of the Dragon dragonling now does a better job of keeping up with you and not getting in your way
  • Multiplayer
    • Connecting to a friend should be much faster in most cases
    • Fixed some sync issues in multiplayers (spheres, for example)
    • Fixed several connection bugs
  • Stability and Performance
    • Crash dumps now include dxdiag information to help us track stubborn bugs
    • Fixed a crash on launch
    • Fixed several crashes when deleting, changing, or creating islands
    • Sped up grass rendering
    • Removed some input lag in the inventory and the game
  • Miscellaneous
    • Fix some sounds that weren't tagged as SFX
    • Added a new drop orb sound
    • CHESs are now CHESTs
    • Added character limit to the creation word (12 characters)

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

DG2 Dev Profile - Matt "Twig" Johnson

02/20/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Dev Profile - Matt
Are you a Seattle native?
No. I was born in raised in St. Paul, MN and Stillwater, MN. I lived in MN until after I graduated from college and then moved to Seattle to start my job at Microsoft. I don’t miss the really cold winters in MN, but I do miss the sun in the winter and thunderstorms. There’s just no sun here in Seattle during most of the winter months and thunderstorms are rare. Even when they do occur, they are nothing like the storms in MN. The summer’s here in Seattle are far superior to MN though. MN is hot and humid. It’s perfect here.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?
Hmm…There’s probably a few toys I’d bring back. And a couple I actually did bring back with me!

I think I’d have to grab the first computer I owned, and Atari 800XL. It had a floppy disk drive, a cassette deck (for saving/loading programs to magnetic tape!), and a printer/plotter (it used really short ball point pens to draw!). That was computer I learned to program with. Started by teaching myself BASIC and just moved on from there.

The second toy I might have to take would be a huge stuffed elephant. My dad has this knack for winning the really hard carnival games at the Minnesota State Fair. (Especially the Stand the Pop Bottle one.) He would practice in our basement prior to fair opening. One day he won this huge stuffed animal elephant. It was as tall as my brother and I. It stood maybe 3’ tall and about 3’ long from head to tail. It was bring enough for us to ride on its back. It didn’t go anywhere of course, but it was totally awesome because stuffed animals larger than you are awesome.

The one toy I did bring back with me recently was my Lego Castle. My son just turned 7 and has been a big fan of Legos for a while. My parents still had my Legos from when I was a kid so asked them if I could take some of them. This past Christmas when I was back in MN for the holidays, I brought my Lego Castle home for my son to add to his collection. (Which is already larger than mine was!)

What’s a few of your all-time favorite movies?
In no particular order:
Memento – I really loved this movie because it was a mystery that you were trying to solve along with the main character.
Primer – Time travel is awesome and this movie is quite a mind bender. You’ll have to watch it more than once just to see how all the threads are woven together.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – A classic action adventure movie.
The Last Starfight – As a kid that loved computers and video games, this movie had both. In addition to spaceships and a war to save the galaxy.

Do you have a favorite book or comic?
I’m not a comic book reader, but I do have a number of favorite books. Also in no particular order:
Jhereg (Steven Brust) – And the rest of the Vlad Taltos series. Vlad is a very fun and entertaining character. He’s a witty assassin.
Wheel of Time Series (Robert Jordan) – Still haven’t finished reading the series. Need to start from the beginning again so I remember everything.
Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson) – And the rest of the trilogy. I’m currently in the middle of the second book and am really enjoying them.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) – Funny book, great read, and just all around entertaining.
A Spell for Chameleon (Piers Anthony) – This is the first book the Xanth Series. I read a ton of these books from this series when I was young.

How about a favorite band?
Muse, Green Day, Nirvana, Bare Naked Ladies, The Beatles, Nine Inch Nails, and a lot more.

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?
The last decade? That’s pretty recent. How about I go back a little farther than the last decade? One game I really enjoyed was Ultima Online. I kind of credit it as being the first really big and popular MMO. It was sort of the father of all the MMOs you see today. I have lots of fond memories from staying up late playing UO, chasing down PKs (Player Killers), taming dragons, and sneaking through dungeons. It was great. The Origin run events were truly epic. UO had actual game masters in the world playing as the evil mastermind of special events. An actual person playing that boss you and everyone else was trying to destroy. You’d just gather up as a group and try to take down the evil monster and hoping you don’t become another one of the dozens of bodies littering the ground. But you would. Often.

What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?
I am the dev lead for DG2. That means in addition to writing lots of cool code, I also get to help plan the schedule, assign tasks, make sure everyone has work to do, and answer a lot of questions. When I do get to write code I’m primarily focused on the user interface and fixing anything in the code base that’s needed to make sure everyone else can continue working uninterrupted. It means I get interrupted a lot, but if it helps everyone else work smoothly, then it’s worth it.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?
You get to make video games! Aside from that, the best part about games, or making any piece of software in my opinion, is just having people enjoy something you helped create. There’s nothing better than knowing that someone somewhere is having a blast because of something you made.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne is Now Available on Steam Early Access!

02/17/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne is Now Available on Steam Early Access!
Windborne brings social sandbox creation games to the next level. Explore a vibrant world filled with secrets to unlock and treasures to find, craft personalized furnishings and innovative artifacts, and befriend intriguing Jin to help build a new civilization.

For a limited time, the game is 20% off! Visit the Steam page HERE for more information.

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Windborne Dev Profile - T.J. Martin

02/12/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Dev Profile - T.J. Martin
Are you a Seattle native?

Washington native, but not Seattle. I grew up the desolate wastes of Eastern Washington.

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

A board game I had called Broadsides and Boarding Parties. It was this awesome game where you ordered ships around a map until they ran into each other. Then you brought out larger scale ship models and do battle on the decks of the ships.

Do you have a favorite book or comic?

I would have to say Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. In the middle of re-reading it right now, in fact.

How about a favorite band?

Liquid Tension Experiment.

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

Probably something like Farmville or Angry Birds that really brought mobile and social media into the foreground. As far as more heavy duty platforms, I’d have to go with Minecraft. Everyone has heard of it, it has sold millions of copies, spawned an entire subculture and people still have to ask “wait.. what exactly do you do in this game”? It has really opened the door for more free-form creative adventures.

What exactly do you do on Windborne?

I do work on the programming side of things, focusing mostly on user interface and gameplay. I have also appointed myself as the team troll, a job I take very seriously.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

Making video games challenges you both technically and creatively. I find that mix to be very enriching.

If Bigfoot knocked on your door, what would you do?

Well if he’s knocking instead of just knocking down the door, I assume he’s planning on remaining civil, so I guess I’d invite him in and see what he needs. I’d steer clear of cameras though. They clearly wig him out.


Posted in Company News | Keywords: Hidden Path

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update 2/10

02/10/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 - Community Update 2/10

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG2 Dev Profile - Lex Story

02/07/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Dev Profile - Lex Story
Are you a Seattle native?
No, I am not a Seattle native, but I do consider the Puget Sound my spiritual home (first place that didn’t give me a rash). I am originally from San Bernardino, CA and I have lived in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois - and of all of those places, none could compare to the beauty and vigor of what I find here in terms of its people (who are connected to the outdoors and the high concentration of creatively thinking individuals) and the easy access to nature.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?
If I could travel back in time to my childhood bedroom I would bring back my Stretch Armstrong toy because those are going for a pretty good price on Ebay these days (they basically rot with exposure to UV radiation so to find one in near new condition would be money!)

What’s a few of your all-time favorite movies?
My all time favorite movie is “A Bridge Too Far” c’mon now! It’s was filmed in a era where there was no CGI to help fill the screen with a massive assault of tanks being ambushed by artillery, because they actually filmed a coordinated battle with real freaking tanks and artillery pieces and used live explosives! A close second favorite would be “Full Metal Jacket” I’m a former Jarhead … 'nuff said

Do you have a favorite book or comic?
Favorite comic book “Kingdom Come” Alex Ross kicks ass so hard he breaks the stink seal. Fave books would be “The Design of Everyday Things” and “A River Runs Through It”, “Iliad”, “A Cooks Tour”…. Too many to list!

How about a favorite band?
Fave band at the moment would be a toss up between the “Queens of the Stone Age” and “Tame Impala”

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?
It would have to be GTA for unapologetically allowing people to tap into the darkness that all people are capable of.

What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?
I make purty things. Ahem, I mean, I help guide along the visual aesthetics of the game (environment, FX, constructs).

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?
Working with a great group of people ( psst, that’s my team, yo)

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

We've Got Your Valentine's Day Cards Right Here!

02/06/2014 by Kaboom

We've Got Your Valentine's Day Cards Right Here!
Here's instructions on how to make Jin Valenteine's Day cards:

1. Go HERE to download the image.
1. Select “Print”
2. Check the “Fit Picture to Frame” box
3. Select 4 – 3.5 X 5in. or 9 – Wallet for best size
4. Print, Cut, and Share!

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Windborne Dev Profile - Marisa Erven

01/30/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Dev Profile - Marisa Erven
Are you a Seattle native?
No, although I certainly have lived here long enough to call it home! I have lived in Oregon, Washington and Canada to date.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?
I would bring back my Blue Sega Game Gear with Ecco the Dolphin. Oh, and probably some batteries as well…

Do you have a favorite book or comic?
Any Science Fiction Books written by Ray Bradbury or Alastair Reynolds, really.

How about a favorite band?
Currently, Lorde. Although Techno is certainly a permanent fixture in my music library.

Which animal is bound to take over the world - cats or dogs?
Cats, I believe, already have…

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?
Wow, so many awesome games have come out in the last decade that impacted the industry! I think Uncharted 2 is a great example of a fully immersive, beautiful experience that really utilized the tech available at the time it was made. Oh, and treasure hunting is cool too…

What exactly do you do on Windborne?
Concept Art, Illustration and User Interface

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?
Creating Beautiful Things and seeing Happy Players!

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

DG2 Dev Profile - Dacey Willoughby

01/27/2014 by Kaboom

DG2 Dev Profile - Dacey Willoughby
Are you a Seattle native?

I’m not! I come from Wyoming, the City of Casper. There are about 60k people there I think, out of the 575k in Wyoming as a whole. My Husband and I have been in Seattle for about seven years now, after being in Florida for two.

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

Probably the first-gen My Little Pony collection I had. I mean, I don’t know which single pony I would pick, so I’m counting the collection as one toy. A Pound Puppy would come in as a close second.

What’s a few of your all-time favorite movies?

The Forty Year Old Virgin, This is the End, Scrooged (for Christmas), Tropic Thunder, The Harry Potter Series, and the Kill Bill movies.

Do you have a favorite book or comic?

Maybe not a favorite, but in the past year or two I read Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail), and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Those were really good. The Power of Now is a book I think everyone should read. I’m not usually into that sort of material, but it made me start to think about things in a really different way.

How about a favorite band?

NOFX

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

This is a tough question, because I can’t think of just one game that’s changed the entire industry. I do think that two major things have happened in the last ten years. One, Mobile gaming has exploded. Having not played a ton of mobile games myself, the game changer in that area I would say is Angry Birds, simply because for a while it was EVERYWHERE. It has mass appeal through simple mechanics, cute graphics, easy to generate DLC, and is very accessible to any level of player. I’m sure there are other mobile games that people would argue answer the question better, but I think those guys nailed appealing to their demographic, and really showed the industry that you don’t have to have insane graphics and complex gameplay to be successful.

Secondly, indie games have been on the rise for a while now. More recently I would say Minecraft had a huge effect. It managed to capture casual and hardcore gamers alike, with a combination of super basic gameplay mechanics and the ability to create crazy complex worlds. Add to that community modding, resource packs, and DLC, and you’ve got a true phenomenon.

What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I’m the Associate Producer, which means I do a lot of different things. At the core is scheduling, tracking, and communication both internally and with external content creators. We have a relatively small team, so I manage all disciplines along with the Leads. I’m a funnel. Outside of that is really anything that needs to be done. I work with our Executive Producer/CEO on things like submission and milestone documentation, give feedback to content creators, and even pitch in when I can with things like hooking audio and visual effects up in the game. I also sometimes talk really loud, and distract my team (or the entire office) while trying to be funny.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

Finishing a project is always really rewarding, because you get to see all your hard work come to fruition. Hearing people say they love a game I worked on is amazing. What is most rewarding for me personally is that I know every day that I go into work, I will smile at least once, and love my job. Even when I’m having a crappy day and have been eyes-glazed-over staring at a spreadsheet for hours, someone will crack a joke, or I’ll get an email that brightens my day. I’ve been lucky to have great coworkers throughout my career, and being a part of a great team with people you like is a reward every day.


Posted in Company News | Keywords: Hidden Path

Windborne Community Update 1/24

01/24/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Community Update 1/24

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Windborne Dev Profile - Kelly Kristek

01/23/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Dev Profile - Kelly Kristek
Are you a Seattle native?
Yup, Lived here all my life! And I like the weather, Rain, shine or snow!

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?
My original NES system and games, which I still have! So moot point!

Do you have a favorite book or comic?
The Bourne Identity

How about a favorite band?
The Smashing Pumpkins (Their older non-electronica stuff) Although a little more current, The Exies.

If you had an evil lair, where would it be located?
The Bahamas. No wait. Antarctica. I think I might need two lairs… Maybe one good and one evil. Balance is everything you know! (And I’m really indecisive)

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?
I feel the last decade of games has gotten more progressive a lot quicker than in the past so it’s harder to define but if I may go older by a few more years, I think games like tomb raider and super Mario 64 changed things quite significantly in really cementing our change from 2D into 3D and really outlining things like quest structures (achieve this) rather than just ‘get to the end of the level. Third person gaming got a lot bigger and the quest type of game play has grown and refined so much and is now usable in almost any type of game and I feel these were pretty big game changers back then.

What exactly do you do on Windborne?
I’m a designer on Windborne. I do a little bit of everything sometimes, but over-all I help define features/items, document them (and update them), and put them into the game hooking art from the artists with the code from the programmers.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?
Being able to build experiences for people. I grew playing all these games and taking journeys through the experiences that someone else had created for me ( and everyone) so being able to build a virtual world that is a story and experience for other people to play through is amazing. Knowing that people are having fun with what I’ve helped create and investing their personal time into it is the most rewarding thing for me.

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Defense Grid 2 Update 1/22

01/22/2014 by Kaboom

Defense Grid 2 Update 1/22
You've been asking, and now we're answering!

What is the Defense Grid team currently working on?


The DG2 team has been very busy! Some major features are in progress, and it’s been very exciting to see all the bits and pieces start coming together. Additions to our network play are coming along, which include Steam integration, matchmaking, and additional modes for players to choose from. The user created content tools and pipeline that players will be using is looking great, with just a little bit of work left to make the experience whole. Items and special weapons that give players a chance to have a more custom experience are also gaining momentum.

The Design team is working hard to create new levels that are fun and interesting, with mechanics and modes to enhance gameplay and offer new challenges to the player. Art has kept busy decorating the levels that design has been making, as well as creating visual effects, towers and mobs, and generally making the game look beautiful! All of the art is looking great thanks to recent tool improvements and graphics coding from the engineers.

Can you give us an update on Defense Grid 2?

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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne Community Update 1/15

01/15/2014 by Kaboom

Windborne Community Update 1/15

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

We're Back!

01/03/2014 by Kaboom

We're Back!
Our response times are back to normal, and we are hard at work again to make 2014 an awesome year. Thank you for all your continued feedback and support throughout our holiday break. We have big plans for 2014!

Posted in Company News | Keywords: Hidden Path

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

Windborne Community Update 12/19

12/19/2013 by Kaboom

Windborne Community Update 12/19

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Happy Holidays from Hidden Path Entertainment!

12/16/2013 by Kaboom

Happy Holidays from Hidden Path Entertainment!

Posted in Company News | Keywords: Hidden Path

Defense Grid 2 December Update

12/11/2013 by Kaboom

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

Happy Holidays!


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid

Windborne Patch Notes for 12/9

12/09/2013 by Echo

Windborne Patch Notes for 12/9
We're excited to announce several new additions in this patch. Our team is still hard at work and we appreciate all your feedback and support!

Release Notes:

Stability
  • Fixed several crashes
  • Launcher now will detect and offer to upload crash dumps
  • Networking is much more stable

Performance
  • Can change resolution on the fly now without restarting the game
  • The game window is now resizable
  • Added new Graphics Settings menu in game
    • Can adjust quality, view distance, other settings in real time to see how it effects performance
  • Quality settings do a lot more now, and should have a larger impact on performance
  • Vsync now defaults to true. Use “-vsync false” in the launcher additional command line params to re-disable it.

Gameplay
  • Falling off the island now respawns you at the dragonstone

Multiplayer
  • Hosts can enable/disable editing privileges for clients in the social menu
  • Name of the island and host is now shown
  • More information given on disconnect
  • Added new chat window! Press [Enter] to chat with people on your island

Blocks
  • New 'Stone' set - has many good cave blocks (stone steps, etc), made of primarily granite
    • Added emerald blade. Made ceramic and iron blade more individual.
    • Ceramic blade is the slowest and least durable.
    • Emerald blade is the quickest and lasts the longest.
  • Rare items now have a blue inset instead of a purple one
  • Moved grasslands lamp and desert lamp to use the fine workbench instead of the gemcrafting table
  • Tuned recipes
  • Renamed 'Idyllic' to 'Highborn'
  • Renamed 'Sandstone' to 'Desert'
  • Rearranged blocks to have common blocks be more accessible
  • Alphabetized recipes within each group
  • Added new roof cap blocks
  • Shaper and Stove now drop item collections when gathered
  • Added recipes to get fine and superb resources from lower rarity resources.
  • Fine and Superb resources harder to get from shaper (but you can craft up to them now)
  • You get 4 torches now for a branch and a wool
  • You get 2 wood planks per branch you put into the shaper

Graphics
  • Added in new color blending system for all blocks
  • Blocks can have textures start randomized for each face
  • Blocks can have color variation even if they are not terrain blocks
  • Fixed pop from grass noise
  • Fixed bug with things in hand using extreme color shifts and not glowing (Glowmoss)

Fauna
  • Woolys should no longer face-plant

Other UI
  • Added valid drop indicator to UIs
  • Added inventory icon to action bar

Updated crafting UI
  • No more stipple

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

The 12 Days of Defense Grid Sweepstakes is now LIVE!

12/09/2013 by Kaboom

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

'Tis the season... to win some new gaming gear! To enter, click HERE to get started.

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

The Windborne Suggestion Thread is Now Open!

12/06/2013 by Kaboom

The Windborne Suggestion Thread is Now Open!
We recently published the official Windborne Suggestion Thread on our forums because we want to hear what you, the community, have to say about Windborne!

We welcome your feedback and encourage you to post your thoughts, ideas, and experiences there. We are always checking our forums and listening to what you have to say.

Your feedback truly helps shape our games - thank you! Click HERE to start posting.

Content Patch and Community Update Tonight

11/21/2013 by Echo

Content Patch and Community Update Tonight
Additionally, here are the 11/22 patch notes as well!

Fixes
  • Preview blocks and cloth are drawn correctly now
  • Some update bugs on lower end CPUs fixed (if you gathered blocks, and the world didn't update properly)
  • Sphere in hand updates when you swap the item it was holding
  • Invites to people not in the game should work
  • Veins are properly identified as such now

    Features
    • Social menu much more hooked up! Playerlist, ability to kick and invite
    • When you pick up a sphere, an animation will show you where it went
    • Sheep animations updated



      Hello everyone!

      Echo here, the project lead for Windborne. It's been a week and a half since we released the Windborne Alpha Preview,
      and we've been very busy here at Hidden Path. I'm happy to announce that our first content patch has just been released!

      Thank you again to everyone who has submitted crash dumps, logs, and videos.

      First, some extended patch notes:

      Engine
      • We've tracked down and fixed the 'ghost world' problem!
      • Fixed a few crashes
      • Networking is much more stable
      • Reduced GPU usage
      • You can set a graphics quality in the launcher. At the moment it only effects draw distance and whether grass is drawn, but we'll be adding more control in the future.

      Controls update
      • Smooth on blocks works much better (Middle mouse button)
        • It should be much easier to repair terrain and placed blocks now
        • The angle you smooth terrain matters- try different angles for different effects
      • When in Place mode:
        • Shift-Left-Click to drop a single sphere (alternative to middle click)
        • Ctrl-Left-Click to place and smooth terrain at the same time
      • When in Gather mode:
        • Ctrl-Right-Click to smooth (alternative to middle click)
      • Shift-Middle-Click now rotates in either mode

      Existing block updates
      • Iron textures updated
      • Marble brick blocks have a less rounded look
      • Harder to collect shapers, chest, and stove
      • Torch model updated, moved off-center. Will auto snap to walls eventually.

      New blocks!
      • Thin walls for both Sandstone and Idyllic
      • Thin rails for both Sandstone and Idyllic
      • Tiled roof pieces for both Sandstone and Idyllic that are solid
      • New fence gates for both Sandstone and Idyllic
      • Desert trees added (Can you find them?)
      • Coal added
      • You can create superb cloth now
      • New ore system:
        • When you mine veins you find ore
        • You can craft ore to solid blocks at a 4:1 ratio
        • You can shape solid blocks back to ore at a 1:3 ratio
        • Use ore for crafting
        • When you mine a vein, you either get 2 ore, or a solid block of whatever the ore is in and 1 ore.

      Sheep updates
      • Sheep will try to avoid your buildings more
      • New shorn sheep model!
      • Use 'E' to harvest instead of Right-Click (Right-Click is a more aggressive choice)

      UI updates
      • Several crafting panel bugs fixed
      • Social menu minimally hooked up (You can stop people from joining your games now)
      • Target panel adjustments
      • Action bar changes

      I'd also like to show everyone some of what our community has been doing.

      First up is NitroKoS - he has a beautiful house made primarily out of marble:







      And next is Sandra, more sandstony:



      And one more to leave you with- some bugs should be features :)



      We're really excited about what is coming, so stay tuned and enjoy!

Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

Meet Emily, Our Newest Addition

11/20/2013 by Kaboom

Meet Emily, Our Newest Addition

I was previously at
Microsoft Studios, but now life has taken me here! I'm super excited to be a part
of Hidden Path, and I'm very passionate about both Windborne and the Defense
Grid franchise.

I'll be helping manage the forums, our social channels, and coordinate awesome,
no... SPECTACULAR events like community game nights, live streams, and interviews.
I'm here to help you, and hopefully you can do the same for
me... because I'm struggling to get a gold medal in Defense Grid, ha!

Since some of you are probably busy previewing Windborne or protecting your
cores, I'll make this short and sweet. Here's how you can get to know me in
four convenient bullet points:

- I'm obsessed with cat/otter/panda .gifs and memes.

- I've been a gamer ever since I could pick up a controller! I even played TF2 competitively for a while. 

- On the side, I'm also a big Magic: The Gathering fan and am currently working on (I know, I'm a newbie) building my 2nd deck!

- I've been attending gaming conventions and LAN parties for years now, and I love meeting other gamers.

With that being said, I can't wait to digitally meet you all and hear your gaming stories.



P.S. - Feel free to connect with me on Twitter too! (@kaptainkaboom) 

Cheers, 


Posted in Company News

Updated build(s) Tonight

11/14/2013 by Echo

Updated build(s) Tonight

We have a new patch for Windborne out tonight, just 36 hours or so into the Early Preview.  We've fixed almost all the crash bugs that have come in - there are still a couple unique ones we're tracking down, but 90% or so of them have been addressed.

Here are the latest "Known Issues"

- If you crash when looking through the tabs on the side menu (X, J, M keys), you may need to upgrade your NVidia display drivers. If this doesn’t fix it, let us know at info@hiddenpath.com. Thanks! 

- Some of the fine and superb bricks are partially invisible (Fine Granite bricks for example). We'll fix this in a later patch. 

- We're still working on network game stability. 


Performance 
- Performance across the board should be better, particularly in built up areas 

Bug Fixes 
- Fix a bug where you could craft things with only half the required materials 
- Filter in crafting book works even if you aren't scrolled to the top 
- Increase scroll speed in crafting book 
- Updated Blog and Tutorial links on the launcher 

Let us know what you find.  The team is hard at work, will look at your reports tomorrow, and might, hopefully, catch up on their sleep this weekend, and then get right back at it on Monday.



Posted in Windborne | Keywords: pc, Windborne

Windborne Closed Beta Information

11/11/2013 by michael

Windborne Closed Beta Information

For those that are joining us - welcome to the Windborne Preview!  Explore your island,
craft almost 100 types of blocks, and build whatever you can think of! 
Thank you for joining and helping the team at Hidden Path! 


Because this is an Alpha build, there’s a good chance you
may lose your island periodically as we update data formats.  We’re very
sorry about this!  You may need a pretty high end system for the Alpha
testing period but performance will be changed as we get closer to early access
and final launch allowing for a wider range of systems to play. 


Hidden Path Entertainment is community driven, so your
feedback can help shape the game using the button below and you can talk to us
on Twitter or Facebook
.
We are listening!

Here are our initial expectation on Frequently Asked Questions.  Soon there will be a FAQ page where we can go farther:

What is Windborne?

Windborne is a social sandbox game with thousands of pieces to build and play with.  You’ll be able to build a civilization of friendly Jin who will help you in your endeavor, although they haven’t made it to the Alpha yet. There will be dungeons to conquer, islands to explore, and combat that is completely optional.

I don’t have a code, how can I get one?
There will be multiple sites giving away codes over the course of the preview period. Keep an eye on the Windborne Facebook and Twitter pages for up to the minute giveaways.

How do I play?

We are updating the wiki at http://windborne.gamepedia.com right now, but here are the basics:

 The mouse looks around

 WASD move you around

 The left mouse button lets you place blocks

 The right mouse button switches to gather mode where you can pick up blocks in the world

 The mouse wheel or the 1-9 keys let you select which bubble you are placing from your action bar.

 Q opens your inventory

 C opens your crafting book

 E interacts with things in the world

 There are more advanced controls, but this is all you need to start.

How do I get help?

The wiki will be populated over the next week, and you can always ask at the forums or on facebook or twitter.

What do you mean I might  lose my island?

During alpha, there is a good chance you’ll lose your island when we update the game formats.  Right now we don’t have backwards compatibility to old islands, but that’s one of the things we’ll put in and test during the alpha. 

I’m having trouble running Windborne

Being a small team, we haven’t been able to test on the wide range of machines out there.  In the next couple of days, we will update the game to upload your crash to us so we can investigate what is going wrong.  

We haven’t put as much time into performance at the moment, so you’ll need a pretty beefy system to run at a high resolution.  You might try decreasing it in the launcher for now.  You can still run full screen at lower resolutions.

You have to be running Steam right now or the game will crash.  We will fix that in the future.

Also, check out the official forums to see if there may be workarounds for your issues.

Can I play with my friends?

Sure, you can send a game invite through steam to anyone who is part of the preview.   They’ll be able to join your island!  (We’d love for people to test this out)
 
The Game Crashes on My System - what do I do?
Send any .log and .mdmp files from your computer to info [at] hiddenpath [dot] com with the heading Windborne crash dumps.  To find the needed files to attach to the email, go to the Steam program. In your Library, right-click on Windborne and choose Properties.  Go to the Local files tab and click on the Browse Local Files... button.



Posted in Windborne | Keywords: Windborne

You Get to Go Behind the Scenes

10/15/2013 by Jeff

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

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




Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

DG Dev Profile - Scott Bodenbender

09/26/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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


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



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

Lawrence of Arabia.
 

How about your favorite books or comics? 


The Lord of the Rings


Finally, hit us with your fave band or musician.


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

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

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


What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

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

What have you learned from working on Defense Grid? 

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

Thanks Scott! 




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

DG Dev Profile - Tyler LaBelle

09/12/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

How about favorite book or comic?

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


Favorite band or musician?

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

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


What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

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


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

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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne makes a splash at PAX Prime

09/09/2013 by trixie360

Windborne makes a splash at PAX Prime
We've nearly recovered from the double whammy of Gamescom followed immediately by PAX Prime. Gamescom gave us the opportunity to introduce Windborne to the international games press, which is awesome. But at PAX Prime we got to show our baby to the people that matter most: gamers. 

For four days, the Hidden Path booth was full of folks eager to see what Windborne was all about, and we heard some great feedback. One gentlemen played the demo three times in two days and was completely enamoured. He works at a local game developer that we won't name. He told us that the game he's working on (a AAA title we will also not name) might be delayed because he'll be so busy playing Windborne. 

Here are some of the Windborne stories that came out of PAX. 




And finally, the Cynical Brit, TotalBiscuit himself:


Thank you to everyone who came by and to those of you who couldn't be there, Windborne will be coming to Steam Early Access in the near future.


Posted in Windborne | Keywords: pc, Windborne

A PAX upon thee!

08/29/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Defense Grid 2, Windborne | Keywords: Hidden Path

DG Dev Profile - Charlie Ngo

08/14/2013 by trixie360

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

Are you a Seattle native? 

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

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

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

Please name one of your all-time favorite films.


Favorite book or comic?


How about your favorite band?


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

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

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

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

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

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

What exactly do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I work on the level editor and gameplay code.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

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

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

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

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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

Windborne and DG2 Pins at PAX PRIME

08/12/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Defense Grid 2, Windborne | Keywords: DG2

New DG2 Trailer & PAX Info

08/08/2013 by Jeff Pobst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

DG 2 Dev Diary #1

07/24/2013 by trixie360

DG 2 Dev Diary #1

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

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

Hello all,


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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



P.S. The Boost tower


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


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


- John 


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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

DG Dev Profile - James Osborne

07/09/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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

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

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

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

Star Wars 

Favorite book or comic?

Beowulf 

How about band or musician?

Led Zeppelin

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

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

How long have you worked in gaming?  

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

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

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

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


What did you study in school?

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

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

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

What can you tell us about citizen12?

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

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

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

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

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

07/01/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

Meet Team DG2

06/05/2013 by trixie360

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

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

DG2 secret investor is unmasked!

05/16/2013 by trixie360

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid

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

More DG2 Details

04/27/2013 by trixie360

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

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

$500,000 Tier -

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

$750,000 Tier -

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

$1,000,000 Tier -

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

Here's Jeff's response:

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


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


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


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


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


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

- Jeff


 



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

We're Making Defense Grid 2!

04/25/2013 by trixie360

We're Making Defense Grid 2!

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


When?! When is it coming?


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


What platforms will it be on?


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


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


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


Is it going to be multiplayer?


Heck yeah! Co-op AND competitive modes!


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


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


So I’m still special?


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


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


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


Who is this awesome investor?


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


Whoa. Is it Batman?


No. It isn’t Batman.


Is it…?


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


What kind of stuff will we see in DG2?


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


New characters? Will Fletcher be back?


Of course!


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


Yup! Cai and Simon will be back.


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


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



Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2

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

Age of Empires II, now in high definition!

03/07/2013 by trixie360

Age of Empires II, now in high definition!
Isn't it just the best when something you love gets even better? Like Double Stuf Oreos, or when Wil Wheaton guest stars on Big Bang Theory?

Today, Microsoft Studios announced that Age of Empires II is getting an HD Edition! It's a Steam exclusive that will be available on April 9. But you can pre-purchase it here

The stuff you love about AoE:II is all here, all the original single player campaigns from Age of Kings and The Conquerors expansion. That's 18 civilizations and a thousand years of history. 

So what's new?

It's re-mastered for 1080p+ displays. An "enhanced visual engine" means everything looks way, way more awesome. As if that weren't enough chocolately goodness, the HD Edition supports Steam Workshop with all its wonders including user created content, achievements, leaderboards, matchmaking, and cloud support.

We're proud of the work we did "re imagining" Ensemble Studio's original work in tasty, glorious HD. Check out the split screen before and after shots. Now Age of Empires II really looks as good as it does in your faulty memory. Sort of like your high school girlfriend. *rimshot*

Check out the trailer on GameSpot! Then mark your calendar for April 9!

Posted in Age of Empires II HD | Keywords: pc

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

CS:GO Closed Beta Begins

11/30/2011 by Jeff Pobst

CS:GO Closed Beta Begins

Today, at 3pm Pacific time, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive closed beta launched and thousands of folks are using their beta keys they received at PAX prime, Eurogramer Expo, or a few of the other events where the game was shown in exhibition on the Xbox 360 or PS3.

Also going live is http://www.counter-strike.net/ which is the official site for the game, and there you will find all sorts of answers to frequently asked questions that we've been hearing whether here at Hidden Path or at Valve.

A snippet: 

"Today, CSGO starts its first stress test of our servers and a variety of client hardware.

This stress test contains a limited set of weapons, items, game modes, and functionality.

If you have a beta key, fire up the game. Join a match on a server. Give us feedback in the Steam forums.

Don’t have a key? How do you get one? Hold tight. The stress test is currently closed as we test our server and client systems."

The #1 question asked is stated many ways, but boils down to this. 

"Q) How can I get into the beta?"

The answer: 

"A) The beta is currently closed. The current stress test is to test for crashes with various hardware configurations and how the servers handle the stress. The best way to get into the beta is to be active in the current Counter-Strike communities."
 
So, if you're in the beta, take advantage of that key and log a lot of playing time right now.  If you're not in the beta, hold tight.  Valve will be letting new folks in over time, but it will be a gradual process. 

Posted in CS:GO | Keywords: CS:GO, pc

PAX Achievement Unlocked

09/01/2011 by Jeff Pobst

PAX Achievement Unlocked

We're back from PAX and what an amazing time it was.  Thousands of people got to play Counter-Strike: Global Operations at PAX last week and according to Joystiq "Though the line to play had its naysayers, I saw no one turning away from their demo without a smile on their face. It feels ... well, it feels like Counter-Strike."

And everyone wanted to try out the game.  According to Videogamer.com "On the first day of PAX 2011, a confident booth in the middle of the convention's show floor claims to boast the longest queues of the show, and it's for a downloadable game rather than a mammoth AAA title. Isn't that a bit daunting for the staff manning its 10 demo stations? Apparently not - they say it's exciting. I'm inclined to agree: excitement is the right response when the developer is Valve, and when the game in question is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive."

It was exciting.  We knew we were working on a very important franchise with Valve, and we all knew that we were having a lot of fun with the new version when we played, but what none of us knew, was how you'd respond, what you'd think, and whether or not you'd want to keep playing it.

I can now report back, that people visiting PAX were as excited as we are about the game, that even when folks weren't sure if the Xbox 360 version we had for them would be their main platform or not, that shouts of delight, suspense, and victory rained down from the rafters as T's and CT's squared off on the new Dust map, and virtual bombs were both planted, defused, and detonated.  It was a ton of fun to witness.

Everyone who came to PAX and played got a beta code, those going to Eurogamer will get them too.  Don't fall for any of the scams that are starting to pop up out there claiming to have beta keys for you to download, purchase or earn.  The only way into the beta right now is to play the game at one of these shows. 

There's more to come and we look forward to bringing you more about CS:GO and working closely with Valve to make sure that the very best possible Counter-Strike works its way to you in 2012.

 

Jeff


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

CS:GO Intro Trailer

08/25/2011 by Jeff Pobst

CS:GO Intro Trailer

It has begun.  Information, interviews, and the first official trailer of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have hit the internet this evening as PAX opens tomorrow, for the public to play and see what several in the press have been experiencing over the last day or two.

Check out Kotaku's preview, IGN's first look  with 3 videos of gameplay, and the reveal of the first official trailer for CS:GO

Stay connected on Twitter and follow @csgo_dev and @hiddenpathent for all the latest updates.

The doors open tomorrow at PAX at 10am, and close at 6pm.  The hours are the same Saturday and Sunday.  We have 10 Xbox 360s ready for a 5 vs. 5 match on Dust, all set up and ready for you to play, so come to the booth, experience an early build of the game for yourself, and leave with a code in your hand that will get you in the PC beta later this Fall.

We'll see you there.

 

Jeff


Posted in CS:GO | Keywords: CS:GO, Hidden Path, pc, Xbox

CS:GO

08/18/2011 by Jeff Pobst

CS:GO

As you now know, Valve announced Counterstrike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO as it is also known.  Our team here has been working closely with Valve for quite a while on this project and we're very excited for everyone to know about it.

Last week Valve brought in professional CSS competitive players to play the PC version and give our team feedback, and next week, the Xbox 360 version will be playable at PAX for anyone who comes to Valve's booth too.  When you come to PAX or the show in London, after you play a round, you will get a code for the upcoming PC beta too.

We'll be there at PAX, watching, taking notes, and making sure that we prepare and iterate to make the best possible Counter-Strike game for you, no matter what your preferred platform is.

Also, if you didn't already know, there is an official Twitter account for the game that will have the very latest and greatest info coming out about it.  Follow @csgo_dev (http://twitter.com/csgo_dev) and you'll be plugged in!

 

Jeff


Posted in CS:GO | Keywords: CS:GO, 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

Talking About What I Can't Talk About

06/25/2011 by Jeff Pobst

Talking About What I Can't Talk About

We're entertainers.  Sure, we write software, design and build new game capabilities, draw new concept art, model 3d sculptures, texture those sculptures, design new game systems, try out different game modes, explore what is fun and what isn't fun, test to make sure it works, think about the audio presentation and how to enhance the experience, and spend a lot of time thinking about things different players may want even if other players may not, but at the end of the day, we have one goal.  We want to entertain you.  That's both the larger group "you" and the more personal "you."

So, it was very energizing when Valve asked us to be a part of the Portal 2 launch ARG because never before had we been able to make game content, and receive such instantaneous feedback on game systems or features that we were developing right then and then adjust what we were doing instantly to make the release a week later even better. It was a completely different entertainment experience, both for us the entertainers and for the audience. 

Michael Austin, Hidden Path Entertainment's Chief Technology Officer is going to tell more about that story and the things we learned from the community at the upcoming PAX Prime Dev conference  - a new conference hosted by Penny-Arcade for game developers to share information with each other that takes place right next to PAX Prime.  Michael gave some initial background of that experience at the LOGIN conference here in Bellevue last month, but will be sharing much more about the experience in August. 

Not only that, but we've been told that Design Director Mark Terrano will also be speaking at PAX Dev talking about all the things we've learned about Kinect over the years.  It is very possible that Hidden Path Entertainment has been working on Kinect/Natal/3D cameras for gaming and Microsoft longer than anyone else.  Back in Spring of 2007 when Peter Moore was running the Xbox gaming group, there was a stealth group of game folks at Microsoft who approached us and asked us to make what I understand was one of the two very first Kinect demos.  Another internal group at Microsoft made the other demo.  Bill Gates saw the demos, and the rest as you know is history, or actually a lot of complex history between that time and now with several people leaving the project, joining the project and changing how things turned out over the years.

Since then though, we've helped out with many Kinect projects at Microsoft.  Some of it you may see, and you don't know that Hidden Path was involved, some of it you haven't seen yet. We think Kinect is very cool technology and we think about it rather differently than a lot of other people,  Mainly the difference is that we think it can be a great controller for core gamers who are looking for a unique game experience.  The winds are just starting to blow this way - people haven't been quite as interested in thinking about Kinect that way for the past couple of years, but things are changing, and we'll see if we get the opportunity to share some of our approaches with you.  Hopefully if we do, you'll think it's really fun (we think what we have right now is a ton of fun and we can't wait to share it with "you").

It will probably be a while though before I will be able to talk more about that since the whole process of making a game with a partner who publishes or finances it requires some secrecy, iteration, and polish before the story is ready to be told - after all, a half-done story isn't as good as the fully flushed out and detailed narrative.

There have been a lot of stories going on at Hidden Path though, and I'm getting excited because as I look at the calendar, and see how things are coming together, I'm getting the impression that I'll have a few things to talk about that I still can't yet talk about, but boy do I want to. 

We've been working closely with the folks at Valve for a while now.  Whether it was releasing Defense Grid on Steam, updating Counterstrike for the PC last year, or working on the Portal 2 ARG with new Defense Grid content, it is always interesting, refreshing, and just a lot of fun to work with the folks over there.  We'll take our cue from them if there ever is an opportunity to talk about anything new, but I can tell you that they really are as great people to work with as their products are great to play.

I can also say (can I?) that more is coming in the world of Defense Grid.  Things aren't complete yet, they aren't yet locked down, but we'll be doing something fun for a large part of the community here shortly, and then have some plans for everyone down the road.  There are more plans being hatched than will actually happen, so I'm not sure what will turn into final reality, but rest assured that we listen to what you say regardless of game or feature or opinion, and we work hard to try and focus on what will entertain "you" even more and make your experience a better one.

Besides all the things above that I've not really talked about there are a couple of completely new things brewing that have no basis in any game we've released before.  I think at last count there are 154 different game design documents in the design share internally, and when the whole team gets involved on turning those idea seeds into fully realized experiences, something magical happens in my opinion.

I'm getting to see the early magic now.  I look forward to when we can share it all with you.  Sorry if this is a bit of a tease, I'm less trying to tease and more just trying to share my excitement without saying anything that will change the future (kind of like those time travel stories, where you can accidentally change everything if you take the wrong step, run into yourself, or prevent yourself from being born).  I'm trying to respect the sacred time-space continuum, while also telling you cool things are around the bend. 

I look forward to seeing you there.

 

 


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

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

Welcome to the new Hidden Path Web Site

03/12/2011 by Jeff Pobst

Welcome to the new and improved Hidden Path Entertainment web site.  We're pleased you're here and invite you to take a look around and make yourself at home.  There are a lot of new changes and improvements to help make it easier to find what you are looking for and some new additions as well.

Perhaps one of the largest improvements is the updated forums.  We're happy to now be on Vbulletin and look forward to a significantly enhanced experience sharing info between players and interacting with you in a cleaner and easier to read manner.  Searching is also improved.

Finding the image or screenshot you want is also much easier now when to go to the game detail page.  Click left and right on the single preview to go through them one at a time, or click on view all to get an expanded thumbnail view with up to 35 images per page. 

For Defense Grid we now have downloadable wallpaper and screensavers as well that previously were only offered through 3rd party partners.

Hidden Path Entertainment turned 5 years old this year, and as we approach our next 5 years, we have several games under way, new exciting opportunities, and more fun and surprises left to share.  This new site is just the beginning.

Enjoy the ride with us!

Posted in Company News | Keywords: Hidden Path

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