Train2Game News: Darksiders II development influenced by fan feedback

Darksiders II development has been influenced by community feedback of the original game. That’s according to Vigil Games creative manager Jeremy Greiner, who says fan reaction to Darksiders has played an important role.

“As a creative manager, my primary role is to bring community feedback and sentiment into the design process, and speaking about improvements, that’s a pretty easy one to tackle.” he told Shadowlocked.

“ The first would be that a lot of gamers were disappointed they didn’t get to use Ruin – the horse – from the outset of Darksiders I, you pretty much got him halfway through the game. So, in Darksiders II you start the game on Despair, it plays a big role in a lot of missions and quests.”

“Another thing we heard about Darksiders I was that there was a fair amount of backtracking.” Greiner continued.

“So we put systems in place just to mitigate that issue, so a lot of dungeon design has you finishing where you started so you don’t have to backtrack through the whole dungeon. A lot of zones have different places you can port from so you can get around.” said the Relic creative manager.

Relic use a number of methods to get feedback from players, including reading comments on both their own forums and the comment sections of websites

“It’s all about data-gathering and getting those opinions in. We go to the forums, our own forums, we go to websites out there and check through comment threads. There’s all different ways to find it and typically things bubble up that should bubble up and it isn’t hard for us to spot them.” said Greiner.

Community creations will actually appear in Darksiders II, thanks to a design a weapon contest. Meanwhile, Jeremy Greiner recently offered advice on getting into the industry.

There’s more Darksiders II news here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on Vigil Games taking onboard community feedback for Darksiders II? Do you think it’s something all game developers need to actively do?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News: Darksiders II Creative Manager on getting into the industry

Train2Game News recently went to a Darksiders II preview event organised by THQ. While there we had a quick chat with Vigil Games Creative Manager Jeremy Greiner, who told us how he broke into the games industry and offered advice to those looking to get in.

“My gateway into the industry was through community.” He told The Train2Game Blog.

“I was very active on the Microsoft forums, in the shooter forums, and ended up on becoming community manager and from there moved forward on the path.”

“Once you get your foot in the door, it’s all about what you do with it, so just get that foot in the door and keep trying hard.” Greiner added.

Getting a foot in the door can be a very important step towards a career in the games industry, and it’s something that Train2Game can provide students with thanks to the work placement scheme.

There’s more advice from industry professionals about getting into the industry here on The Train2Game Blog.

Also, keep reading for the latest Darksiders II news. Vigil’s action adventure game is scheduled for release for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in August. A Wii U version will arrive at a later date.

What are your thoughts on Greiner’s path into the industry and his advice?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Darksiders II developer diary focuses on game design

Train2Game students can get behind the scenes of Darksiders II’s story in a new developer diary from THQ.

Titled ‘Behind the Mask: Death’s story’ the video sees the Darksiders II development team discussing the story of protagonist Death, and how the narrative runs parallel to that of  fellow member of the four horseman, War in the original Darksiders.

And in what will be especially interesting to Train2Game game designers, the developer diary details how THQ and Vigil Games ensure that their “deep story” has rules, which ensure everything makes sense and comes together.

Watch the Darksiders II developer diary curtsey of GameSpot, below here on The Train2Game Blog.

The video features, among others, Lead Designer Haydn Dalton. You can find out what a day in his life working on Darksiders II involves right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Darksiders II is scheduled for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on Tuesday 14th August 2012.

There’s more Darksiders II news here.  

What are your impressions of the game design and story behind Darksiders II? Are you looking forward to this one?

Leave your comments on The Train2Game Blog, or here on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: A day in the life of Darksiders II lead designer Haydn Dalton

Train2Game students can get an insight into what it’s like working on Darksiders II for Vigil Games thanks to a ‘Meet the Team ‘feature with Lead Designer Haydn Dalton.

In a blog interview with THQ, Dalton describes a typical day in the life of a lead game designer for Darksiders II, and as Train2Game game designers may already expect, it’s a busy life!

“I’ll get in the morning, get the latest version of the game code and start playing the game. Depending on what’s the current priority; up-coming demo, milestone, stability, encounters, combat, what have you – that’ll dictate how I focus my time with the game.” he said.

“I write up feedback on the content, sit with designers and provide guidance on a whole variety of design components.” the Darksiders II lead designer continued.

“This also extends out to animators, programmers, etc. Sometimes I may go into some of the script files and tweak numbers myself, but most of my time is set on the broad view of the game, and it’s a BIG game.” Dalton added.

The full interview with Darksiders II lead designer Haydn Dalton is here, and also features talk of where he started in the industry, and balancing in-game weapons.

There’s more on Darksiders II here on The Train2Game Blog. The game is scheduled for release on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC later this year.

What are your thoughts on a day in the life of Haydn Dalton? Does it give you a greater insight into what it’s really like being a game designer?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Impossible for devs “to not get attached” to work even if it’s “not good” say Darksiders II team

Train2Game students will get attached to the work they produce during game development, and might find it difficult to let something go if it needs to be significantly changed or dropped all together.

That’s according to Darksiders II creative director Joe Madureira and Vigil studio general manager David Adams who were speaking in an extensive interview with Gamasutra.

“You totally get attached to stuff… It usually comes to a series of painful realizations, where you try to fix it, and it’s still not good, and you try to fix it, and it’s still not good.” said Adams on getting “precious” with assets produced during game development.”

“And on your third or fourth time trying to fix it, you’re like, “It’s just something we can’t do”. For whatever reason, we don’t have the time to commit to it, or we don’t have the right people… But yeah, I don’t think it’s possible to not get attached to stuff; we’re human beings.” he said.

Darksiders II Creative Director Joe Madureira agreed, adding that developers need to compare what they’re doing by playing other games, even if it means you drop the idea afterwards.

“You just have to be honest about it, too, and play other games, and see how you measure up. And if something’s not good, we all know it; you can see it. Even if you worked on it for two months, it doesn’t really change the fact that it’s just not very good.” he said.

Madureira argues that learning to let go of your work is something you need to do when working in the games industry.

“Sometimes you do get really attached to something, and you’re sad to see it change, but… And there’s morale hits — there’s all that stuff that you mentioned — but it’s just part of working in games. I think the longer you work in games, the more you’re just cool with it.”

“I think people that just are fresh out of school, and super excited, sometimes get crushed by how hard it actually is. And once you’ve been doing it for a while, you just expect that stuff’s going to change at any given moment, even after we’ve worked on it for a long, long time.” the Darksiders II creative director concluded.

The full, four page interview exploring development of Darksiders II is on Gamasutra.

The comments from the Darksiders II team are similar to some made by Bioshock Infinite boss Ken Levine, who as previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, said “Everybody has to get comfortable with throwing their stuff away”

What are your thoughts on the comments from the Darksiders II team? Is it possible to not get attached to your work? Have you struggled to throw a concept away?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Darksiders II ‘Create a Weapon’ contest prize is your work in the game

Train2Game Art & Animation students have a chance to use their skills to create a weapon for Darksiders II, one that’ll be included within the game at launch. The competition is from THQ and runs on the Polycount forum.

“We are extremely happy to announce our latest contest – The Darksiders II ‘Create a Weapon’ Contest!”reads the announcement.

“For this contest you will be creating a Mace, Axe, or Hammer that would fit in the world of Darksiders. One entry from each category will be chosen to be included in the release of Darksiders II! — That’s right! Not in a future DLC release or a digital download of any sorts – the winning entries will be shipped with the game when it launches!”

Full details about the Darksiders II Create a Weapon Contest, which closes on Monday 26th March, can be found over at Polycount.

It surely provides a great opportunity not only for Train2Game Art & Animation students to show off their skills, but also see their work appear in a major title.

It wouldn’t be the first time Polycount users have seen their content used in a game, with a previous contest providing weapons and accessories for Team Fortress 2.

Will you enter the Darksiders II Create a Weapon Contest? What are your thoughts on THQ and Vigil Games allowing users to submit content?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.