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DG Insider, short for Deathgarden Insider, is a video series published on the official Deathgarden Youtube channel. The series features various members from the Deathgarden development team.

01 - Lore[]

This video features Michael Peloquin, Community Manager, and Ashley Pannel, Creative Director, and was uploaded on the 10th of December, 2018.

Transcription[]

Michael: Hi everyone! I'm Michael, your community manager on Deathgarden, and today I'm joined by:

Ash: Ash, the creative director.

Michael: So today we have our very first DG Insider for you. In it we'll be talking about the game's lore.

Ash: That's right. We're gonna be looking a bit about where the world is right now for Deathgarden; where we've been, where we're going, how as a player you're going to be interacting with some of this lore, and generally taking a deep dive into all things lore.

Michael: So Deathgarden is about coming up with the most beautiful garden on the planet, is that correct?

Ash: That's absolutely right, that's exactly what they did. A group of society people came together to make a beautiful garden.

No, Deathgarden is a brutal future sport that is designed to show individuals within the future society who has the most value within that society. So the idea would be that people go into this arena, and their performance will dictate how much benefit they are to that society and how much of a reward they get.

Michael: But there is a difference between Deathgarden in August and Deathgarden soon, where we're going. So, can you tell us a bit more about that?

Ash: For sure. Essentially there's been a 10 year time shift between the Deathgarden of August and the Deathgarden of now. Humanity has reverted back to what we know humanity can do; Hunters have taken control of the council of three who run the whole thing. Now, they've decided that half the world - more than half the world - should have nothing. At all. And only those inside what they call the "Enclaves" should have all the resources of mankind. So inside these Enclaves they have everything they've ever wanted, and outside the masses of the world live in total desperation.

Michael: And it's the Hunters basically who become the guardians of this thing.

Ash: Exactly! They're the deciders as to who's worthy of entry into the Enclave. So for individual who lives outside one of these Enclaves, they're living mainly in desperation, they're fighting every day just to stay alive. They can choose to enter this Gauntlet, they can choose for the opportunity to ascend to the Enclave. Now, once they sign the contract to enter the Gauntlet, that's it. For life.

Michael: They're committed.

Ash: Yup. If they don't succeed in entering the Enclave, then they'll be dead. Michael: Does the lore have a direct impact on the arena - the Gardens?

Ash: Yes, of course. Each one of the Gardens is procedurally generated, 3D printed using the nano-particle image in front of everyone, and each representation of the Garden represents a time in history. So, each Garden that you play through, it actually has a history in the story about the Great War that they went though. The Gauntlet was created as a memorial of the Great War. It was a reminder of the terrible atrocities that humanity once did, and ironically now is once doing again to all the runners in the environment. So, yeah! Each one does represent a place, a battle, an atrocity that took place during the Great War, that led to the creation of the first iteration of the Gauntlet.

Michael: What will they look like, the Gardens?

Ash: Well, the goal is to make each one as unique to the individual story that we wanna tell about that place. So the idea is that the players will go in, they'll be able to recognise a specific environment, and then they'll be able to go back and find out and read about exactly what took place in that location.

Michael: So what does this mean, for our runners, and for our hunters, all these changes?

Ash: Well I think it's very important, we talked a while ago about the concept of fantasy, about why you're here and what you're doing as a player -

Michael: Yeah.

Ash: - and how the characters back that up. So by adding characters, by adding more lore, by adding more reason for everyone to be in the space we're at, I think players are gonna feel much more engaged with the gameplay that we have. Because, each one of these now has a clear reason why they're there, and the premise of the place is no longer nebulous; it's clear that everyone is there for - they can't escape. It's effectively a prison, one way or another. So now you're in there, each one has their reasons, the gameplay is altering in different ways, and this will be backed up in the way that we're telling the story and the characters.

So for example, the moment you enter the space as a runner or hunter, you go into the locker room. And now the hunter locker room and the runner locker room are different. So the hunter has a locker room that looks out over this Enclave, over this glorious place; this wondrous land of infinite resources and wonder, and that's very much reminding the Hunter that that's where they came from and that's what they're guarding. They're protecting everyone from stealing all the resources of what they already have.

And for the runner, they have a very different space. It's a much darker, bleaker place to reflect the fact that they're there for life, one way or another. I mean eventually they might ascend to the Enclave if they're "worthy of the honor", but essentially it's not a happy place for them. It's like. They're there to be brutalised over and over again, to keep coming back, to keep doing their best to try and prove that they can reach the Enclave, or die trying. One of the two.

Michael: Right, well thank you ash for sharing Deathgarden's lore with us, and thank you guys for having watched this video. We're looking forward to revealing more information in January.

02 - Characters: Fog & The Inquisitor[]

This video features Michael Peloquin, community manager, and Matt Jackson, design director, and was uploaded on the 4th of February, 2019.

Transcription[]

Michael: Hello, everyone. I'm Michael, your community manager, and I'm pleased to welcome you to our second DG Insider video. So over the past few months we've been talking about DG's new darker, more brutal fantasy. We've talked about some of the gameplay changes that will be making their way into the second iteration of the game, and, last week, we've introduced some of our new characters; in case you've missed those videos and articles, you'll find the links in the description below. Now, in today's episode we'll be talking about characters, and gameplay elements with our Design Director, Matt Jackson.

(introduction sequence plays)

Michael: Hey man, how's it going?

Matt: I'm doing well, how about you?

Michael: I'm not too bad man, not too bad. So, last week we published an article about our characters and introduced our very first scavenger; Fog. Today I would like to ask you a couple of questions character related and gameplay related. So, we'll start off with the first one: In your opinion, what do you think the characters will bring to the table in the new iteration of Deathgarden?

Matt: We figured out - we determined that - we really want to make a real character. And what I mean by that is a character that has abilities that he or she only has, a character that has abilities that are locked to them, and are not available to other characters.

Michael: Right.

Matt: We've really created unique loadouts for both the scavengers and the hunters. Each character has unique perks so you have to pick the character that has perks you like, but within that, there's a lot of choice within how you wanna play that character.

Michael: Which we'll talk about later.

So, that's actually one of the concerns that we've seen: that people are afraid that we're removing teamplay entirely. Is this the case?

Matt: Well, I would say completely not. There's a lot of teamplay. Now, one of the major changes, if we wanna talk about teamplay, is that it's... more optional. If you wanna be a solo player, if you wanna be a lone wolf, you're much more able to do that in the new Deathgarden, than in the old one.

Michael: Could you tell us a little bit more about Fog's abilities, and how they might function in the Garden, like the situations you might use Fog's Smokescreen.

Matt: So Fog, like you said, has an ability called Smokescreen, which basically creates a cloud of smoke at its point of impact. So, our runners within the smoke cloud, the Smokescreen, they are invisible to the hunter, and if they are revealed at that moment, from a hunter ability, or from a Garden ability - which we'll talk about later - if they're within this cloud their reveal will be turned off.

Michael: So, basically, the smoke ability is all about breaking the line of sight - the hunter's line of sight, that is.

Matt: Yes, exactly. Well - I think one of the major things that we've changed with the characters, is we created non confrontation-able powers. All of them are gonna be based on "something that I can do, to help a teammate."

So the Inquisitor is a powerful character; the Inquisitor uses - his power is, he has a turret.

Michael: Okay.

Matt: So this is similar to the turret that we had before. It's unique in the way that because of the gameplay changes, a lot of the turret's power has been heightened in some way. For example, Fog, with his Smokescreen ability. Even though players are not revealed when they're inside the fog, the turret can still see them.

Michael: So it's kind of like a heat-sensitive or a thermal turret basically, right?

Matt: Exactly! So what we hope is that the hunter is going to feel a lot more powerful than they used to feel. There was a lot of Vambrace Powers that the runners had that could potentially make the hunter feel less powerful, in the original version of the game. We've gotten rid of all of those, and there's very little that stops the hunter from doing what they wanna do in this game.

Michael: Can you tell us a little bit more about what you guys are working on right now?

Matt: Really what we wanna do, is we wanna create an experience which rewards teamplay, but doesn't force it. So that's a major element of what we're working on right now. We're doing a lot of stuff with map control, and we really want the hunter to feel like it's their Garden, it's their playground, if you will. It's a playground for everybody, but y'know, it's the Garden, for the Hunter, y'know.

So one of the things that the hunter can do is to increase their map control and feel like they have power, and they're powerful against these scavengers. So these are the types of things we're working on, we'll give more details at a later time, but that's what we're focusing on.

(end sequence plays)

Michael: Well thanks for watching everyone, we hope you've enjoyed the video. We'll have tons of new information for you guys in the next weeks to come, and so we can expect more DG Insiders and additional articles, so, see you next time. Cheers.

03 - Animation, Gameplay, & New Character Recap[]

This video features Michael Peloquin, community manager, and Kirk Sandiford, animation director, and was uploaded on the 15th of February, 2019.

Transcription[]

Michael: Hey guys! Welcome to episode 3 of DG Insider. So, in today's episode we're gonna be talking with Kirk, our director of animation. But before we do so I'd like to talk to you guys about some of the characters we've been introducing these past few days, and, as promised, show you a couple of their clips. So, let's dive right in.

(introductory sequence)

Michael: We've introduced three new characters since our last DG Insider. We've introduced one new hunter, and two scavengers. The first hunter - or huntress I should say - is the Stalker. The Stalker's default power is Fade, which allows her to slip in and out of the shadows. Her starting weapons are the sniper rifle and the burst rifle. Unlike the Inquisitor, who roots out his targets using his turrets, the Stalker lies in wait and ambushes her prey.

Inked's default power is the Shield bolt, which provides all nearby scavengers with a shield buff. This can get scavengers out of a tough spot. For example, if you're playing against the Stalker and she pops out of the shadows, that shield might make the difference between life and death.

Like all scavengers, Ghost can use his starting power, the Invisibility bolt, to benefit him or any nearby scavenger. While invisible, scavengers can move freely around the Garden or get out of a tricky situation without ever being noticed.

(transition from gameplay clip)

Michael: Hey Kirk, how's it going?

Kirk: Pretty good, Mike. How's it going with you, man?

Michael: Not too bad, man, thanks for asking.

So I wanna know, how does your work give life to our unique characters?

Kirk: Well, you have to think of it this way: each character has to have their own unique personality, so we have to put ourselves into their positions. And when we do that sorta stuff, I start thinking about unique poses, just so that everyone, when they play this game, they're gonna go "oh, that's this character, that's that character", and they'll be able to get the essence of each one of them right away. Moving forward with the game, people will see that, if you round them all up together, you're gonna see they're all different.

Michael: So, we've been revealing characters these past few days and weeks, and I wanted to know, are there any specific animation quirks that are particular to the characters? Anything that stands out for you?

Kirk: That we're excited about?

Michael: Yeah, that you're excited about, basically! Yeah.

Kirk: So we are kinda excited about some of the stuff, like, we're adding a lot of secondary little animation onto these characters, having their capes that will flow... Like you'll see the Stalker, it's going to be fun to, as you watch the Stalker go through the scene, all of a sudden you see this cape flapping behind and everything. And it's the same thing with some of the other characters that we've introduced and will introduce.

Michael: So how does animation influence gameplay, or vice versa?

Kirk: Well, I think when we're doing a lot of these gameplays, especially when it's like, third person and first person at the same time, we have a lot of things to take into consideration. For example, when you're in first-person you never want to get into a situation where our animation is hampering the experience for the player. If you're chasing down the scavengers, if that reticle is off by just a little bit, it's going to affect the gameplay.

Michael: And your overall experience.

Kirk: Exactly. So we're constantly looking at these things, all the time.

Michael: An important part of the scavengers' gameplay is maneuverability, so how does your animation work impact their ability to move across the map?

Kirk: If we make a choice, and it causes you to get killed because we're taking too long doing an action, we haven't done our job properly. So when we talk about maneuverability, it's always about having that fluid motion that allows the player to go from one thing to the next in their parkour-type style, that will not affect them being shot in the back just because they're stopped for a moment.

Michael: We're avoiding all animation locks, basically.

Kirk: Pretty much. We're looking at those, and when we do have it, it's a particular choice between us and the game design.

Michael: Alright.

Kirk: You're making a choice to do something that might cause you to slow down, y'know? But in most cases, we're making sure that the player always feels like they're like an agile ninja. While they're running around the place they shouldn't feel slowed down, they shouldn't feel caught up on anything; it's a constant smooth action.

(end sequence)

Michael: Well that sums it up for this week's episode of DG Insider, so thank you for watching. Next week we'll have some information and concrete details about the gameplay changes we've been doing, so stick around. Ciao, guys.

04 - Blood & Drones[]

This video features Michael Peloquin and Marilou Hudon community managers, as well as Ashley Pannell, creative director, and was uploaded on the 11th of March, 2019.

Transcription[]

Michael: Hello everyone! Welcome to DG Insider episode four. Today I'm joined by Marilou, our new community manager.

Marilou: Hi guys! So today I'll be talking about the three characters that we just released, so we'll be talking about Switch, Sawbones, and the Poacher.

Michael: Later on I'll be joined by Ash, our creative director; we'll be talking about blood, drones and the new Terminator cosmetic.

(introductory scene plays)

Marilou: Sawbones' default power is Healing bolt. She can use it to revive downed scavengers from a distance, and help them get the extra health needed to escape the hunter's grasp.

Switch's default power is Clone. She creates duplicates of herself that can be used to throw off the hunter in various ways. Her clones are detectable by drones and hunters' constructs, which can make for a nice decoy.

The Poacher uses Anti-personnel mines. His starting weapons are the LMG and the Automatic Shotgun. He's more of a close-range hunter, using his LMG to shred through scavengers, while trying to push you into one of his traps.

(transition from gameplay clip)

Michael: Welcome back, Ash, it's nice to have you with us today.

Ash: It's great to be here.

Michael: So, last week we released a small article about blood drones and new gameplay features, and I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about blood and its role in Deathgarden.

Ash: Sure. So, blood is really important in our fiction. It's what all the scavengers are built out of, the components of the blood that they have, so what we are asking the scavengers to do is to go into the level, find the fallen bodies of scavengers, and extract the blood from them. When they deliver this blood to the bloodbank, they're effectively breaking that blood down into component parts that they can to rebuild themselves. This feeds directly back into our upgrade loop within the game.

Michael: How does the hunter gather blood?

Ash: So the hunter is also required to get resources to level their character up too, and their way of getting blood is by downing, killing, and executing scavengers in the game. So there's much more literal representation. So the more that they execute, the more they earn, the more resources that they get, and the more they're gonna be able to level up their character and get back to doing more killing.

Michael: What do you want hunters and scavengers to feel when playing Deathgarden.

Ash: So they're two very different experiences. For the scavengers we want a sense of tension, a sense of also being able to hide and take the environment at their own pace. So they can work on their own challenges, work out how much they think they can do; because they know at any given time if they come across a hunter, their time to death could be very very quick. So they need to be able to approach each experience at their own pace, and set their own goals. But it's still always going to be an intense experience for them. They know they're under-powered against the hunter, and they know the hunter is devastating and can kill them at any second.

So for the hunters it's a very different experience. For them it's about the thrill of the hunt, and killing scavengers. It's "how many scavengers can I kill, and how quickly can I kill them and how many resources can I get for doing that?" And they do that by finding the scavengers in the arena, and by exerting map control over the whole space.

Michael: How do hunters exert their map control?

Ash: So there's several ways that a hunter can use map control; they can use their powers to control the environment, they can also use hacking and other skills they have, but the primary way is to use the drones that are in the environment for this purpose. The hunter can activate a drone, and it will go up and reveal any runner that comes within its sphere of influence. So the more drones they put up, the more chance they're gonna have to be able to find runners in the environment. The more active the runners are, the more they're gonna walk through the drones, and the more they're gonna trigger this for the hunter. The hunter is going to be able to hunt more efficiently and slowly over time they will tighten the net over the whole environment, and increase their chance of winning.

Michael: So we just released our first DLC and introduced a Terminator skin, so what can you tell us about it?

Ash: So yeah, you can now play as a T-8000, as a hunter in our game. Makes all kinds of sense; it's a hunter in the fiction, it's a hunter in our world, it's from a dystopian future, it fits our world really well, and as we move forward, as we go with a darker fantasy and characters, it's going to make even more sense in the game. It's super cool.

Michael: Well thank you, Ash, but just before you go I'd like to ask you. Of all the characters we've released so far, which one is your favorite?

Ash: It's a good question. Inked is definitely my favorite. Absolutely love that character, definitely my highest chances of survival with her attack, it's perfect.

Michael: That's awesome. Well, thank you so much, Ash.

Ash: That's great.

(end sequence)

Marilou: Thank you guys for watching. We hope you liked this week's video, and we'll see you next time.

05 - Maps[]

This video features Marilou Hudon, Community Manager, and Christine Marsh, Associate Producer, and was uploaded on the 3rd of April, 2019.

Transcription[]

Marilou: Hey guys, welcome to DG Insider five. Today I'll be joined by Christine Marsh, the associate producer on Deathgarden. You might also know her as BuckyMcgee and today we'll be talking about the new maps.

(intro sequence)

Marilou: Hey Christine, welcome to DG Insider. How's it going?

Christine: It's going good, thanks.

Marilou: So you're the associate producer on Deathgarden, so what exactly do you do?

Christine: Well I basically manage several aspects of the game, specifically for art. So I take care of the day-to-day task assignment, and make sure that people hit their deliveries on time, that we're all working on the right stuff, and help be the liaison between different departments. So, for example, like design and UI and VFX. I also help take care of concept art, manage the 3D art team... So basically everything that isn't programming, I help take care of.

Marilou: So can you tell me a little bit more about the changes that we did on the new maps?

Christine: Sure! One of the things that we wanted to keep since the beginning of Deathgarden was the fact that the maps were procedurally generated. We liked the gameplay variety that that presented, getting the player to learn the map every time they played was very interesting to us. So that stays. One of the things that we did add was thematics, and with thematics comes different gameplay elements. We have elevation changes, we have structures, we have different vegetation, different time of day, different things that affect visibility and line of sight; and all of these things help to make a unique gameplay experience with each map.

Marilou: So let's dive into the specifics of each map.

Christine: Sure, let's start with Tombstone.

Tombstone is an interesting map because it's dark. It provides a lot of opportunities for the scavengers to be stealthy, and to hide. It also has tunnels which allow the scavengers to travel stealthily, and there are groups of cover like tombstones and mausoleums; these kinds of structures that will allow scavengers to hide.

The advantage the Hunter has is that when the runners are delivering, there's a giant beam of light that shoots up into the night sky, and he knows exactly where they are.

Marilou: What about Salt Creek?

Christine: Salt Creek is our rivers map, and this area is wide open. There's nowhere to hide, which is very challenging for the scavengers, and also very easy for the hunter to pick you off. However that's contrasted by the fact that it is a foggy map, so even though it's great for snipers, it definitely is more challenging. There are also varying degrees of elevation, which gives different vantage points for both sides, so it's pretty well balanced.

First Strike is our shattered city. It is a flat map that is covered in destroyed buildings. This gives the scavengers lots of opportunities or different places to hide, but the hunter definitely has some advantages. It is a day-time map and there's high visibility despite all the walls. There's no fog to block his view. He or she also has opportunities to hide their constructs anywhere. They can hide their mines under the stairs, they can hide their turrets up on the second level, and there's lots of chances for the scavengers to get caught in the crossfire.

Marilou: And finally, let's talk about Blowout.

Christine: Blowout is a desert map that has fiery smoke sacks and embers floating on the wind. There is a high degree of difference in elevation, contrasted with flat areas filled in cover, like barrels and pallets and oil derricks. So the vantage points for the hunter is great; he can pick them off, pick off the scavengers, however the scavengers can have lots of places to hide.

Marilou: So, I have to ask you: as BuckyMcgee, which one is your favourite map? Christine: It's a toss-up. I really like Salt Creek, because I think it's very beautiful and I like to explore the river, and then I'm dead. But I also really like First Strike. I find First Strike is the most challenging one. I like scampering over walls, I like having lots of places to hide, and I find it very exciting when I discover a trap that had been set and I see it ahead of time and avoid it, and gameplay-wise I find it the most interesting.

Marilou: So thank you very much, Christine, for joining us today.

Christine: Thank you, it was my pleasure.

(end scene)

Marilou: Thank you guys for watching, I really hope you enjoyed this video and stay tuned for more exciting news about Deathgarden.

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