If you're reading this you may be playing Defense Grid: Containment - Lots of News within!
The Beta Experience
Play the beta!
1. Yes you can - beta keys have gone out to every kickstarter backer who chose a pledge reward! We'll add some additional instructions below if you're having any issues.2. Please do play, and then send feedback to containmentbeta [at] hiddenpath [dot] com. Your feedback makes it better, and helps us improve the game before release!
First off, the story to this point is that a couple weeks ago we opened up the beta with 4 un-arted levels and first-pass invader scripts to our early beta backers. 1500 or so folks were sent keys to Containment and the feedback started rolling in. It was awesome! Then we added 4 more un-arted levels, and fixed a couple of issues. More feedback and then it was time to open it up to every kickstarter backer. We did another tweak update first and then keys were sent out to the rest of the group so we now have almost 6500 people with access to the beta. Now we're getting 2nd impressions from the early group and 1st impressions from the new group (it is always a good thing to keep getting 1st impressions after you make changes).
Currently the 8 levels are sporting "story" and "story challenge" modes. In the not too distant future, there will be a "mode explosion" and each level will get more challenge mode scripts to go with them. We'll ask you to play those too. All in the name of science, research, and fun!
Then we'll change things up by sending you ANOTHER DLC key. This is for a DLC that hasn't been announced before - so might as well do so now. The upcoming Community Levels DLC will feature 4 user created levels (as voted on and chosen by the private backer community), that are then touched up and scripted by Hidden Path. It is possible that more levels will be added, but for the moment, we're committing to 4 levels in the pack.
We're not going to sell this DLC, but we are going to trade it for an email registration! Everyone who is a kickstarter has already "registered" with us, and so have all the folks who have accounts on our website, or participated in our contests, so keys will soon be sent out for the Community Levels DLC beta test as well. Then once Containment launches (we're looking at a late January launch right now), any player who enters their email address will receive a Community Levels DLC pack Steam code for free by email.
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.
Mighty Morphing Steam Keys
The Steam beta keys that we've sent each backer for the Containment beta are going to turn into FINAL SHIPPING DLC keys without you doing anything. Basically, one day you’ll wake up and see that your beta looks a whole lot better and the beta notification will go away, and you’ll have a bonafide, final copy of Containment right there inside your Defense Grid game. The same thing is going to happen with the upcoming Community Levels DLC. We’ll send you a key, you’ll play an un-arted level that is first-pass on scripting, we’ll get feedback from you, and then when we’re done, we’ll flip a switch, and all of a sudden your beta will become the real thing. It’s future magic!
Ok fine, but tell me more about the FINAL product
Sure thing! Let me tell you about the parts of Containment you don’t see yet. Friday marked the end of art development on the 8 Containment levels. They look exceptional and bring something new to Defense Grid! We’re excited! Lighting and particle effects are going on this upcoming week with just a few minor tweaks, some animated objects, and some new elements are being added and within a week or two, we’ll be done, finished, kaput, all complete in making the art for the game.
I’m holding in my hand right now (when I’m not typing) the FINAL dialogue script for Defense Grid: Containment (that is until some folks make last minute tweaks before our recording session), but the script has been going through drafts and revisions for almost 6 weeks now, and it’s in very good shape. Believe it or not 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.
Story density is up too. We started out averaging just under 7 story lines per level in the original game. Then we tried doubling that to almost 15 story lines per level for You Monster and after seeing that work, now we're approaching 20 story lines per level.
For those dialogue line accountants wondering about ancillary dialogue line numbers (you know, lines where Fletcher says a core is lost or a bad wave is coming, or you killed that one with the Laser tower), we increased those in an update earlier this year from the 345 that shipped with the original game to almost 500 now – working to add variety in the places that were the most repetitive to cut down on hearing the same line too many times.
Ready for a cool new announcement? Are you sure? Ok fine. We’re adding TWO new characters to the Defense Grid universe in DG:Containment. I could tell you more about the characters, I could tell you more about the unbelievable actors that will be voicing those characters, I could tell you about how we’re going to kill those characters off completely in DG:C so we can’t ever use them again in DG2 (or are we?), but I’m going to save all that for another update. (sorry, well, ok, only kinda sorry – gotta save some fun for later).
The plan is to record all the English actors in a week and a half and then once we have the English takes, the French and German voices will be recorded as well by our great localization partner in Europe. We’ll ship Containment on Steam in our traditional English, German, French, Italian and Spanish text localizations, with voice recording in English, German and French. We have Jim Ward reprising Fletcher in English, and expect Marc Alfos (French), and Renier Baaken (German) to also reprise their previous Fletchers too.
Housekeeping and Installing Games on Steam
Ok, we did promise at the very top to add in some additional instructions for those of you who may be having issues getting the beta onto your computer.
First thing to know – ignore the Steam error that talks about the content not being released yet. That error doesn't affect anything though it is a bit annoying, but it is harmless and can be happily ignored.
Secondly, in the email out to folks, we made the assumption that you've already been adding the keys we've sent you before and you would remember those instructions for this key. Not necessarily a great assumption on our part, so we’re sorry about that. Here is what you do with the key or keys you have received.
First, make sure you already have your Defense Grid: The Awakening main game installed on Steam. Steam will only let you add DLC to a game if it is installed itself, so it has to come first.
If you haven’t yet used your Defense Grid key that you got when being a backer, use the steps 1-3 in the instructions below to activate and install Defense Grid: The Awakening. Then you can use the instructions below for each DLC key you have from us including the Containment key.
1. Bring up your Steam client with you logged in to your account.
2. Go to the menu item 5th over from the left, at the top of the Steam window, and pick the “Games” menu item and look at the drop down list.
3. The 2nd menu choice down is “Activate a Product on Steam” click on that, and follow the instructions – you’ll put your code in there.
4. Ignore any error message about Containment not being released yet
5. Run the copy of Defense Grid you own, and you’ll see a new button in the Mission Selection screen called “Containment”
6. Press it and play
Next time we’ll have updates on physical good rewards (T-shirts, posters, gun towers, audio buttons, art books), planned release dates, and more about our new cast.
Thanks so much for being a Defense Grid backer. We’re so appreciative of your participation.
The Hidden Path Team