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Prepping for PAX

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Hey everyone - I'm back from my trip, safe and sound. Glad to see that the conversation has stayed nice and lively in my absence  :-)


While I was gone, my fellow devs have been busy little bees and made a lot of headway. We've got about a week and a half left before we drive down to Seattle to set up for PAX before the show actually starts. We've still got plenty to do before then, but we're on track! We're really, really excited about the prospect of getting Don't Starve Together in front of some people that don't work for Klei.


A lot of the work we've been doing to get ready for PAX is more along the lines of cleanup and stability, rather than new features or content, so I don't have any crazy-exciting updates for you (which is why I didn't call this post a Fireside Chat). But I'll do a quick rundown of what the experience at PAX will look like, just the same. Just as we've done with Don't Starve and Reign of Giants when we've shown them at conventions, the Don't Starve Together demo will have little tweaks and changes we made in order to offer the best experience possible in the limited time of a show floor demo. Here are a few illustrative examples from when we took Reign of Giants to PAX East 2014: you would spawn in an established base and already have an axe, a pickaxe and a torch ready to go. When you play that demo, your hunger drops faster than in the full game. Lastly, with one minute left on the 12 minute timer, we randomly selected one of the new giants to spawn in and chase after you (your final impression should be exciting!).


So what does that look like for Don't Starve Together? The following is a dramatization. Most of what I describe is already in place, but a few things might slip, so don't be sad if you come play the game at PAX and miss something I mention below!


You, dear reader, are walking the PAX show floor. It's loud. It's flashy. It's magnificent and thrilling. Out of the corner of your eye, you see an orange K--Klei! You've been diligently reading the forums, so you know that Klei is showing off Don't Starve Together at PAX. Giddy, you rush over and sit down at one of the four demo stations. After you pick a character, you click start. Rather than spawning into a camp setpiece with tools and resources all around, you start in a random location on the map (well, semi-random: there are spawn points that are built into the map generation now) and you find some basic survival tools in your inventory. You notice a timer in the top corner of the screen. It's 15, maybe 20 minutes. Whatever it is, it's a bit longer than the one you remember from Reign of Giants at PAX East--we want you to have a fair chance at encountering other players. As you start to explore, something strange occurs to you: there was no world generation screen after picking a character. You haven't seen anyone else yet, but you find the skeletons of a player who have come before you. You inspect the skeleton and learn how they died (killer bees--the honey was too sweet a prize). Eureka! That's why the world generation screen was missing: the world that you've just entered wasn't generated just for you, like you're used to: the map is persistent. You continue on your merry way, satisfied with the knowledge that your death will not come so easily. On your way, maybe you'll find a camp that has been built up by several generations of players. Maybe you won't see anyone at all, but find plenty of evidence of their presence: a burnt forest or a strip-mined rockyland. Or maybe you'll find a roving band of plucky survivors eager for you to join their adventure! Your hunger is dropping faster than in a normal game, but not quite as fast as in the Reign of Giants demo. It's still a threat, but since there wasn't much in the way of foodstuffs near your spawn location, you're glad it's not too intense. You chat with your new friends and generally have a merry time. Suddenly, a traitor emerges in the group and whacks you with a spear. Phew! Thank goodness those clever designers at Klei lowered the damage that players do to each other in this demo--that would've been a silly and frustrating way to go out. Infuriated, the rest of the group goes totally Lord of the Flies on the traitor and beats them to a pulp. That'll teach 'em. Just after they crumple to the ground, a ghost emerges from their body and floats off into the distance as the ghost complains about their extremely-rapidly-deteriorating humanity. A message appears on your screen, "Ten minutes until Armageddon." Your demo clock is winding down, so you don't think much of it. Shortly thereafter, your time runs out and a gracious message appears thanking you for playing. Glowing from your lovely experience, you get up and stick around a bit to watch the next person in line. A bit later, "One minute until Armageddon." It turns to Winter. The sky falls. The server shuts down and reboots to make sure that future players have enough resources.


We're still in the early stages and I'm sure we'll learn plenty from talking to people at PAX after they play. Hopefully you, dear reader, are one of them! If you're around at PAX, at least come say hi! I'll be at the booth the whole weekend, as will many other lovely folks from Klei.


I'm sure I'll have some thoughts to share in the wake of PAX. Until then, keep the great discussion going!

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Oh boy! PAX! Can't wait can't wait can't wait can't wait WAIT...


Where the heck is Seattle?


*checks globe*


Ah. Here it is. Clear as day. How long would it take to get there?


Oh. 4 days. 


That's $500 in gas terms.



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Why is PAX so far away! Hmm....

To make it seem as though I'm at PAX when Klei are at PAX, I'm going to play some loud crowd soundtrack, sit at my booth *erhm* I mean desk, watch the two play tests on Don't Starve Together and read SethR's main post. It will be just as how SethR explained it, I'll be at PAX in mind and spirit :)

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Why isn't anyone of you guys going to PAX? It's going to be lonely there!

Especially because I'm not going either :razz:


EDIT: I forgot to thank SethR for the realisticly written experience. Are you interested in writting books? Write a book about potato cups turning into tentacle monsters.

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Devs: The PAX is coming soon!

Us: too far

Derp! But can't wait to finally see some DST in action. I've lately only played DS for my mod's testing and such because I got bored of playing single player. And we'll have to make a new world anyway when playing multiplayer.

It doesn't seem like much will change from what we have in the current D for multiplayer, other than multiple people in one map and everyone becomung a ghost when dead. In a way it's kinda nonsential in terms of graves, this death system is.

Btw, add Wilson's door as well!

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Im sorry if it turns out im spamming, its the 4th time im asking and it doesnt seem to get posted, will we get an official gameplay? (12 mins of someone's first time is not that awesome :( )

Oh and hey hawks, its tomer from the steam forum!!

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Ahhh man this sounds awesome! 

I really like the feature of seeing how the skeletons met their fate. Will this stay in place beyond the demo? 

Probably not. It's just common that developers of games just take out some cool little details that are in demos.

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