Sunday, April 3, 2011

Go Play Matt's Game, Dungeon Blitz!

Dungeon Blitz Map

Oh hey! Where have I been? Playing Dungeon Blitz! Those of you who have been around a while and have some familiarity with the Matron family might know that Matt, my beloved husband, is a computer game developer.  That's what took us out to live in California, eleven whole years ago, to work in a start-up with friends, and we were able to move back to the South when he got a job at another game studio here in Atlanta.

A while back he and our friend Lincoln started their own company, wanting to make some fun games that didn't take 200 guys and 50 million dollars to build. (Did you know that the game business was that big? It is.)  Last weekend, their first game, Dungeon Blitz, went into open public beta.  Beta means that there might be some kinks to work out that arise when lots of people are playing, and it is not totally finished, i.e., all of the story isn't complete.  It is super fun, you should check it out, plus it's free and you can play right in your browser. Even if you're not a big gamer (I'm not), there is lots to run around and do, and lots of monsters to school, and you can chat with your friends while you do it. Keely is playing.  So are Gretchen and Jenni.  I think it hilarious that my mom blogger friends are into it. Hilarious awesome. You can play in ten minute increments, so it's very mom-friendly. Keely's character is named Stabitha, Jenni's is Violencia, and Gretchen's is a swarthy dude named Mo.  Keely and I teamed up and brought the smack right down on a dragon the other day.

It could be that this game is helping us work out some of our aggression issues.

But my character's name is just Becky. Here I am!

DB at night

See how cute my outfit is?  You would think that furry skirt would make my hips look big, but with the chunky magic boots and the long staff, it somehow works. You can choose how you want your character to look, and then you find gear along the way. When this screenshot was taken, my butt-kicking Mage was enjoying a rare quiet moment, admiring the night sky. Sometimes after I have saved a village from a ravening goblin onslaught, I just like to look at the stars and think about how insignificant our goblin problems really are. You know, in the grand scheme of things.

Dungeon Blitz screenshot

Here we are down in a dungeon putting the hurt on some skeletons and their ghost overlord.  The handsome fellow on the left, holding the stone mallet, is Matt.  His character's name is Matt, if you happen to run across him. There's an emote that lets you do a little dance for him. He likes that.

Dungeon Blitz screenshot

One of the things I most enjoy about the game is the art style. It's fun, cartoony, and interesting, and I think the background art is beautiful. I like to just run around the different zones and look at all the scenes and creatures. (That character is Walpole, my young paladin. He is new but I think he's going to work out.)

Since they announced the open beta last weekend, 6,000 people have created accounts and played.  It is so much fun watching it take off.  What used to be this empty online world, that only we knew about, suddenly has a lot of people running around in it. If you've ever worked at a startup or made something for an audience, you know how exciting it is. It is a neat experience for Matt and Lincoln, and their artists, to watch people enjoying something they've worked on for so long. They both took a chance starting Blue Mammoth Games, leaving perfectly comfortable jobs to make Dungeon Blitz. I'm loving it and I'm proud of what they've done.

And for me, the whole cycle of making games is connected to the growth of our family. I was pregnant with Laura when we first moved to California. It seemed like a big leap: new job, new state, new baby. Then, when City of Heroes (the game they made out there) launched, Laura was three, and I would sit with her on my lap and let her play. When we moved to Atlanta, I was pregnant with Hank, and it felt like another momentous start. Now Hank is playing Dungeon Blitz, with great gusto, and part of the fun for both kids is that this is the game their daddy made.

Hank has characters named Sparky, Roguey, and Awesome at Fighting, if you happen to see him. He may behave erratically. Laura will mostly be changing different parts of her outfit.

If this game does well at launch, it will mean that we can keep the lights on and Hank won't have to be put out to work in an Alaskan salmon cannery. So go play around with it! And show it to your kids and your nerdy friends!  Matt would love to hear your feedback, especially if you don't usually play these kinds of games. And look for me in there, I am the hot one.

Dungeon Blitz

26 comments:

Jenni said...

Teaming up to beat the dragon - SMART. It took me for freaking EVER to do on my own.

I can't wait to play again. We should make a date.

Elizabeth said...

Dang, it does look fun, and I'm not one for games! I'm going on pronto. For a second there, I thought you were leading up to announcing a pregnancy (I wanted to look closer at your character's outfit and make sure it didn't have a Peter Pan collar like pregnancy clothes of yore). :)

Elizabeth said...

O.k. I created my character and was promptly defeated by some little trolls. But I'm coming back.

Becky said...

Click on them and hold the mouse button down and you will shoot them. Then, in the first dungeon, you learn more about the controls. There's not much.

Pregnancy? Nooooooo...

Megan said...

You game pusher! I'm MegaNefarious. Just spent 15 minutes sorting out all the clicking and button pushing and decimating goblins. I think I made it to Level 2 and then committed suicide by accident by jumping off an underground cliff. I hate it when I do that...

Melissa said...

I wish I were more of a techie so I could understand even how to sart playing!

Keely said...

I wonder how much fun Laura would have with the City of Heroes character creator?

Xander also wanted to play, so he has a mage named "Nuffing". She can be found clicking madly on the NPCs to make them talk.

Amy said...

Go Matt and Lincoln!! I'm so proud. The game really does look amazing. I am ashamed to say I haven't made a character yet. :( But I'm all over it today.
And then everyone will play and y'all will be rich and you can fly to me to Paris and we can meet there for the weekend and go to the Louvre and eat pastries and drink champagne. Yes?

KathyS said...

I tried to play, but after making my character, the game keeps stopping at the point when it's 76% loaded (I stop when I'm 76% loaded, too, so I'm sympathetic).

I will try again later to see if this is just an interweb connection problem on my end ...

Amy said...

Okay, I'm ActionAmy, and don't be deceived by my whimsical purple hair. Cause I will OWN you.

Becky said...

Oh yay! I'm gonna go in the game and friend MegaNefarious and ActionAmy! And Keely, I saw Nuffing running around. Go Xander!

Kathy, Matt said that 76% thing is a rare problem that they're trying to figure out. It's happened to a few other people but I think they can't reproduce it. It should clear up in a bit.

I wonder if this post could lead Matt to FINALLY COMMENT ON MY BLOG? No, probably not.

Kelly said...

I just might have to copy this post onto my blog! You beat me to it! Have a drink for me this week...we'll celebrate 5000 when you get back oxoxo

Kate said...

I am hapless with games, so won't even attempt, but it looks like a blast. i may let my son give it a whirl!

Elle said...

Hey, beautiful nerdgirl! I'm not even about to play an online RPG, but I know plenty of nerds whio might take a look plus it gives me a chance to lord it over them once again about how I am on the cutting edge of everything, even if I would never actually do any of it, lol. Will comply xo

KathyS said...

In the hopes that this might help Matt in the debugging, I am a Mac owner. Also, I live in South Carolina, so the game might just assume that I can do my fightin' and killin' in a less-virtual world. I'm just sayin' ...

Mason said...

I'll play just about anything right now, just so long as I don't have to look at that horrible picture of the pet opossum here at Suburban Matron.

Hootie said...

We successfully enjoy D-Blitz on our various Macintoshi here at the Wells bungalow, no matter what percent loaded we may be.

Christian said...

Now that I suddenly find myself with such a surfeit of unstructured time, I look forward to giving this a whirl!

Rebekah said...

Three cheers for Matt and Lincoln and Co.! We'll give it a spin!

gretchen said...

You and Keely teamed up on the big dragon? Dang. I hated that dragon. But I managed to slay him ALL BY MYSELF. Woohoo! Yea Mo! Tell Matt, that if a swarthy cross-dressing Paladin does a little dance for him, it's me. BTW, Jude wants to play. I have not let him on, because I'm hogging it for myself.

Jason said...

Love the post! Ava, Nate and I have enjoyed playing the game many times. I will help them create there own logins and let you know who they are then Hank and Nate can go battle together. Very cool stuff!

Nicely done Matt and Lincoln! Great game

Aimee said...

Woo hoo! Congrats to Matt!

I just started up as GreyNotGray (which also happens to be my Xbox Live ID...if you happen to be on there...no, not a big gamer, but whither DH goest and all that...)

KathyS said...

Okay, while I still can't get into the game, it was rather excitingly 78% loaded the last time I tried (moments ago)!!!!

crazylovescompany said...

I've signed in on as Fantastica. I know sad. It sounded good on my third glass of wine. I wish I could blame my suckiness on the wine but I think it's because the last game I played involved a joystick.

KathyS said...

Okay, not that you were holding your breath or anything, but I got in! I'm enjoying it, but are there instructions? (Or is it controlled so much like other games of this type [of which I have played none] that instructions aren't necessary?)

Becky said...

Hey Kathy! I'm so glad you finally got in! By now you will have figured it out. In the first little dungeon, everything you need to know is literally written on the wall. Lemme know if you need any hints or if you wanna team up!