Apr 26th 2017 by PhoenixLabs_AMA • 67 Questions • 153 Points
We are Phoenix Labs, an independent game developer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC.
Our game is Dauntless, a co-op, action RPG in which you’ll discover a shattered world, forge powerful weapons, and hunt the ferocious behemoths threatening our survival.
We’re starting our Tech Alpha soon and will be going into Closed and Open Betas later this year.
We look forward to answering your questions about Dauntless and our studio!
Earlier this week, we solicited questions from /r/Dauntless and have answered the top five below.
EDIT: Going to bed for now. Will continue to answer questions in the morning! Thanks everyone!
EDIT 2: Back in the saddle! Keep the questions coming!
Will there be any kind of robust replay system for hunts? I'd love to be able to move the camera around and record my hunts with my friends with colour/timing/speed effects. This would also be great if I could directly export a reply to social media!
When we slay a behemoth, will we be able to get a screenshot of that moment? Either manually or automatically? Some kill shots are quite entertaining!
This is a feature that we think would be awesome. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but it would be something that we would want to do well if we do it. That means that it would probably need to come later.
Great idea on the screenshots, too.
Most games of this genre fall short in one aspect when it comes to hunting: Impact and the sense of weight.
What precautions are you taking to make the heavier set weapons feel like they are, indeed, heavy weapons?
First, here's a blog that our combat designer speaks about this very thing in: https://playdauntless.com/an-early-look-at-combat-in-dauntless/
Things like hit-stun, sound effects, animation, and the weapons themselves all go into this. And, of course, the secret ingredient is community feedback!
How important Eggplants will be in the game ? Crucial for founder pack buying :)
Will the Chain Blades be more like the Dual Blades from Monster Hunter or the Kusarigama from Toukiden?
They're a cross between the Dual Blades and that sweet high-flying Ninja Gaiden Flying Ryu goodness.
Do you see Dauntless' business model clashing with the gameplay ideals of a title like Monster Hunter? Will spending money ever circumvent the necessity to grind for materials? How does the free-to-play model affect the game design for character progression?
First and foremost -- we are against pay to win and against pay for power.
The cornerstone of Dauntless is forging your own legend. If you see someone holding a weapon or wearing armour -- they earned it. They earned that legend.
To this end, we're also very interested in community feedback. The integrity of skill and progression is key. If we ever see or hear that it is being compromised, nothing is off the table (including the removal of any purchasable item) to resolve that issue.
Wil players be able to stick to one weapon type that they like. Or will they be more encouraged to use different weapon types?
If you want to use one weapon type for the whole game, that's cool by us! It may not always be easy or advantageous, but if you're committed then we're excited.
you said you boiled the options for the ranged weapon down, so now comes the important question, is the Harpbow one of those options???
Besides cosmetics what is something that will differentiate me end game from other slayers? In other games you have locked classes and usually some massive time sink levels or specializations that can give you a "place" in a group. With Dauntless having swap I'm and out weapons will there be a risk of end game just being a bunch of people with all the top tier equipment?
You will be able to transmog your gear meaning that you can replace an items looks without replacing its stats. You can mix and match to your heart's content.
Hey, guys! thanks for making this AmA!
I was wondering if you could give us any more detail on the ranged weapon you guys have been working on? I'd love to hear about what you guys are considering and came up with.
Great question! So great, in fact, that the /r/Dauntless community already asked, too <3
Something key to Monster Hunter has been the combo/crafting systems. Making poison steaks, paintballs, heat and cold drinks, Pre-game food for buffs. Do you have any plans for things like this in Dauntless? If so could you give some examples?
Another thing I am interested in is do you have plans for things like traps and bombs? It’s always a great feeling to trap a difficult monster right before it dies or lure a monster towards a trap of bombs. Is this something we might see as well?
1 - Yes! You will be able to craft items that will help you on your journeys, both durable and consumable. E.g., health potions, attack buff potions, defense rings, etc.
2 - Traps and bombs confirmed. We are tweaking them to ensure that they are fun and not OP.
After the game release, are you planning to add events with rare monsters and weapons? And special events like xmas, halloween...? TY
Definitely. We will be looking to really nail down the core of the game and make sure that's smooth. As soon as we're solid, you'd better believe we'll have some fun and creative events!
Will there be a Ping Communication system? Seen in games such as Portal 2, Dota 2, League of Legends and the such. Pings like "Danger!/Run Away" or "Look Here" and "On my way"? I think it would be good addition for quick communication among players.
This is something that we are experimenting with. Teamwork makes the dream work.
One thing that's always seem to fall short (or is completely missing) in games that have clear Monster Hunter inspirations are the interactions with Environments, whether that be the way that players interact (climbing, gathering, fishing, shortcuts, etc.) or the way monsters interact (leaving zones in surprising ways, using the environment for advantages/new moves, breaking parts of the map that provide support, create new areas by smashing through obstacles, etc.) with it.
Will Dauntless feature systems that allow the characters to interact with the environment beyond combat or have monsters that use the environment in ways that may even surprise players that have hunted it before?
As we move into Beta, the most important thing for us is to nail combat and make sure that it's fun. At the same time, we need to make sure that the islands that we're making are fun to hunt on.
Once we've got that nailed down we will begin exploring different ways that slayers and behemoths can interact with their environment.
is there going to be a voice chat system for parties?
i would also like to know if you will need to build an entirely new set of armour if you want to try a ranged weapon (like in monster hunter)?
We are working on voice chat! It really makes the game that much more fun.
You will not have to rebuild armour to accommodate weapons
Hi, what is the FOUNDER'S BANNER? and what's the max number of players in Co-op?
All slayers will have access to a banner that will be able to customize with elements that they will unlock as they progress.
The Founder's Banner emote that is found in the Founder's Pack is a specific animation that will make placing the banner look that much cooler.
Currently, the cap is 4.
what are the limits on how risque or lore breaking cosmetics can be?
We don't want to go too silly, but we also want to let slayers express themselves. Expect to see a few eyebrow-raising items, but nothing that will totally break immersion.
We're not mentioning numbers, but we are very happy with the response.
1) Cupcakes or muffins?
2) Will there be Behemoth hoodies and Owlbear plushies?
Chocolate chocolate-chip muffins
We are working on merch! Shrike plushies are frequently requested and we hear that ;)
Glorious 4K+ widescreen confirmed
Dogs, cats, hedgehogs, bunnies, bats, children.
Hiya~! I have a few topics I'd like to ask about:
1) Will you implement large monster battles, similarly to Lao, Jhen Mohran and friends? If yes, after reading that you are planning to add airships, could there be some monster fights fully in the air? :O (Maybe underwater too? no hate pls, lmao)
2) Since you are inspired by Monster Hunter, I assume there's gonna be an Armor Skills system similar to it. What kind of improvements/changes do you plan to make over the MH's own system?
3) Will there be crossovers with other (indie) games? Personally, I'd love me some Shovel Knight armor :D
1) We're really into this idea. That being said, we want to nail down the core of the game first. Once four-player combat feels GREAT we will look into this.
2) There will be Amour (Sic) Skills/Abilities. We're looking to incorporate a wide variety, clear crafting system, and improved visual effects
3) We met Yacht Club at PAX South. They're nice!
As a big fan of Monster Hunter, I loved the village quest hunt and the guilds hunt and the fact that they were separate, can we expect the same in Dauntless? Don't want to ask a question that was already answered, but I can't seem to find an answer.
There will be different factions within Ramsgate that will have varied motivations and desires. We're excited for you to meet them!
Cris Velasco is making something truly amazing and breathtaking for us. You're gonna love it.
Phoenix Labs, how often do you make trips to USA for fun and business? And where do you usually go in the USA?
We've been down quite a bit lately. LA, San Fran, San Antonio, Minneapolis, Portland, Boston.
Phoenix Labs, how many different characters can a player play as in Dauntless?
Currently, the plan is one -- which you can alter and customize to your desires.
Not at launch, but it's something that we're looking into!
Phoenix Labs, what ways do you plan to market and advertise Dauntless to customers? Do you plan to use Facebook, twitter, Instagram, word of math, YouTube ads, Facebook ads, Reddit ads, or better ideas than these?
Word of math. Our current plan is to becoming irrationally desirable.