DQII: platforms announced, DQI: Vita, Limited Run, Switch, OpenFL Console Targets

Hey everybody,

A quick info-dump update on everything I've been working on lately.

  1. Physical release with Limited Run Games
  2. Nintendo Switch
  3. Final list of platforms for DQII
  4. PSVita version of DQDX
  5. Patch for PS4, XB1, PC
  6. Haxe Summit Talk
  7. OpenFL console targets

Physical release with Limited Run Games

We're doing a physical release with Limited Run Games, for the PS4 and the PSVita. We don't have a date on that yet, but we will absolutely announce it on our mailing list so you don't miss out on the chance to get a copy if you want one.

We are doing two alternate covers for the physical editions, one featuring Azra and the other featuring "The Golden Man":

Nintendo Switch

People have been asking us whether Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten DX and Defender's Quest II: Mists of Ruin will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. The answer is... yes!

In the interests of putting porting work behind me so I can focus on Mists of Ruin, the Nintendo Switch port will be handled by Jens Fischer, better known to the Haxe community as Gama11. He's an extremely skilled programmer, the most prolific contributor to HaxeFlixel, and has taught me most of what I know about programming in Haxe and HaxeFlixel.

We have absolutely no date to announce for either DQDX or DQII on the Switch. But we'll let you know when we do.

Final List of Platforms for DQII

Now that our game is up and running on various consoles, we can actually make commitments for where we are -- and aren't -- planning to launch Defender's Quest II: Mists of Ruin.

Yes:

  • PC (ie Windows+Mac+Linux)
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch

No:

  • PSVita
  • iOS
  • Android

Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe:

  • Web / HTML5

As much as I like the PSVita, it looks like DQDX will be one of the last games shipped for it, and by the time DQII arrives I think the platform will be well out to pasture. As for iOS and Android, phones are too small a form factor for our genre, which just leaves tablets. For now we feel that's too risky a market, and we're already up to our eyeballs in ports.

A web build would be nice for various reasons, and well within our technical capabilities, it's just a question of priorities and resources. I won't commit to it just yet.

PSVita version of DQDX

The PSVita version of Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten DX is now in certification with Sony. I don't have a release date yet, but May 2018 (ie this month) is looking real good.

The PSVita version will feature cross-buy and cross-save with the PS4 version. This means that if you buy the game on either platform, you will get a free copy on the other platform, and that you can transfer your saves between the two using Sony's online cloud storage. These features will be available on day one for the PSVita build, and will be patched into the PS4 build at the same time. The PSVita version and the PS4 build will share the same trophy set, including a Platinum trophy.

If you've already bought the game on PS4, you shouldn't have to pay for it again on either platform, I'll post an update after the PSVita release with full instructions for making sure you can get both titles.

The PSVita version will feature the exact same features and content as the PS4 version of the game, with the following modifications:

  • More limited graphics options (because of file size restrictions, etc)
  • Some effects have been toned down
  • 30 FPS (all other builds are 60 FPS)
  • Max battle speed multiplier capped at x8 (all other builds are x16 max)
  • Bonus Endless Battle 2 is capped at 100 waves (so you can still get the achievements under the same conditions as on the PS4, but letting us ensure proper stability on the Vita). The PS4 and XB1 versions will still be endless, and other than the wave cap on Vita, the level will be identical on all three platforms.

Patch for PS4, XB1, PC

In addition to these new features, all of the existing builds of the game on PS4, XB1, and PC will receive a patch that improves performance and fixes various bugs. After getting reports about performance troubles on console targets, I did some hard core profiling and found some major gains that I'll talk about in an upcoming blog post. Suffice it to say that the game should run much better after this patch on all targets.

Additionally, after the patch, the PS4, XB1, and PSVita releases will feature exactly one content difference from the PC version of the game: Bonus Endless Battle 2 has been re-balanced -- it has fewer enemies which all have stronger stats/hp, and comes out roughly the same in terms of difficulty.

If I'm being honest, this particular battle was not designed very well as it hits all the pathological cases for the game's algorithms. I don't want to "George Lucas" the project to death, but this change felt necessary on the console platforms.

On PC, the level will retain the original balance, warts and all.

And all that aside, the performance patch has great optimizations for every platform.

Haxe Summit Talk

I was originally scheduled to be one of the speakers at this year's Haxe Summit in Seattle, but I had to cancel at the last minute due to some family health issues. Don't worry, nobody's dying or anything super scary or awful, but it was serious enough that I had to prioritize things and cut down on travel and obligations.

I'm really sorry to miss this, and I'll probably wind up doing a more low-rent version of my workshop talk, Hands On With HaxeFlixel in the coming weeks/months, maybe as a Twitch Stream / Youtube Video / Blog Post.

It's a double shame because I was also going to give the long-awaited update on the status of the OpenFL Console project at the conference. Given my absence, Joshua Granick will be giving that update on my behalf, and I'll be available online to answer questions in the coming days.

Questions

Here's some questions/comments I'm anticipating people asking and their responses.

Q: Ports, schmorts! Where's DQII? I'm tired of waiting!
A: Totally feel you. DQII is still coming, it's taking a while because the Indiepocalypse hit everybody pretty hard and we're doing our best to stay alive without having to take on a publisher, refinance our homes, etc. But that's our problem, not yours! If you pre-ordered the game and you're unsatisfied for any reason, email us at leveluplabs @ gmail dot com and we'll sort you out, no questions asked.

Q: I bought DQI / DQDX on (PLATFORM), can I have a free copy on (OTHER PLATFORM)?
A: If your two platforms are PS4 and PSVita, then yes! Otherwise, sadly, no. Console companies explicitly forbid us from "selling" console keys, which it seems like this counts as, and even then we only have a limited amount, so we just can't give console versions to PC customers and vice versa, as much as we might like to.

Q: I pre-ordered DQII, will I be able to pick my platform when it finally ships?
A: We're looking into this. There's that rule that we're not allowed to "sell" console keys, and I'm not sure if preorders/crowdfunding count or not. Basically this is up to the console holders, if they let us, I'm all for it. If they don't let us, we'll only be able to distribute PC keys.

Q: Will you do a physical release on Nintendo Switch?
A: We don't have an agreement lined up to do that at the moment, but I'm talking to Limited Run about it, as they've done this for some other games. If this is important to you, go ahead and tell Limited Run you would want to purchase such a thing ;)

Q: What engine/tech/backend are you using for the Nintendo Switch?
A: I can't talk about it yet because of some Nintendo rules. We'll post details as soon as we can!

Q: I bought the game on... "FastSpring?" years ago and the download link doesn't work...
A: We still get these emails, six years later. Email us at leveluplabs @ gmail dot com and we'll get you a new download key for PC.