Defense Grid: Containment development update
We were asked on the private backer forums about the status of Containment, and I thought I would also repost our answer here.
Defense Grid: Containment development is going well.
Design: As of this week, we now have first pass designs for each level and first pass scripts for the story mode of each level. The design team is tweaking the levels, trying out multiple strategies, and getting us ready for a beta with you that will happen soon (meaning the next week or two). We are planning on sharing some of these levels with early beta backers to play in this pre-release form (they won't have art or dialogue like finished levels, for example), to get your feedback on strategies, scores for medals, and all around difficulty progression and play.
Writing / Dialogue: The story arc has been edited and revised several times and how it fits into the planned DG2 story arc has been nailed down more. The writers we partner with, are immersing themselves in the new story details and are outlining how it progresses, with initial dialogue draft due next week. The writing goal is to have the script ready by Thanksgiving and be recording voices in early December.
Art has completed almost half of the fully visualized versions of the new levels and the other half should be done by early December. There are some new features that art is building assets for and we have some new integration and implementation to do with those visual features.
Hidden Path Co-Founder and Defense Grid Art Director Dave McCoy shared this image with us on the blog earlier. 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."
Overall Schedule evaluation: My guess is that we'll go into to mid-to-late-December fixing bugs and balancing, take a break for the holidays and then begin formal testing in early January. That would then put the game releasing in mid to late January for the public, and mid-January for Kickstarter backer release.
Please recognize that while this is very much the way things look today, development doesn't always go the way you think and it's pretty easy to be days and weeks off when unexpected difficulties arise. I can't currently imagine a scenario where we'd be more than 3-4 weeks off of the plan at this point, but this is an art more than a science - especially when adding in new approaches to what we've done before.
Today, I'll have a meeting with the team to start planning for beta. I'll let you know as we approach that.