Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Minion Masters 2.0 and the future of BetaDwarf

Greetings masters!

The dwarfs have been working really hard behind the scenes to prepare for some pretty big changes coming to Minion Masters and BetaDwarf. We would like to officially announce that BetaDwarf is becoming a multi-game company!

We’ve put together a great dedicated team to run Minion Masters for years to come, and established the ground-work for another game to add to the family, working title Project Haven.

Most relevant to you is a big 2.0 upgrade we will talk about below.

This comes off the back of lots of new dwarves joining the team the last year and slowly setting BetaDwarf up with dedicated teams for each game, but also to share things both games can use - e.g. a 3D model from Haven can be used in Minion Masters, and a server component for Minion Masters can later be adapted for Haven.

Without further ado, we present Minion Masters 2.0!

Minion Masters 2.0 is a major upgrade to the game that will help propel Minion Masters to new heights. We are planning on releasing the Minion Masters 2.0 update alongside the mobile version, although we haven’t set a date for the release yet. Stay tuned for that.

As mobile development started, we saw an opportunity to make big improvements to the game that we’ve wanted to make for a long time: upgrade the UX on all platforms, much requested performance improvements and finally, improving the code base.

While we’re not touching the core gameplay (as part of this upgrade), it’s going to make the menus and overall feel of the game, well, feel like a new game, thus the 2.0 designation. We know there are concerns in the community about how Minion Masters will work on both PC, mobile and Xbox, but we’re actively working to make it the best it can on all platforms. 

We still want to make plenty of other changes to the game along the way - requested improvements to the ladder are already in the works with trials for hidden ELO and more competitive higher ranks starting this month, economy improvements to make Minion Masters more sustainable still need doing, and much more Today, however,we are focusing on the big long-term package called 2.0.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what Minion Masters 2.0 and mobile will bring:

  • We are making a lot of optimizations to improve performance, a requirement for mobile that will benefit PC and console as well.

  • We are also rewriting the code base for the Minion Masters client, which will result in fewer bugs and faster development and will allow us to make your suggestions, new content and features for years to come. 

  • We are redesigning the user interface and focusing on user experience. We want to make the game much easier to navigate, make the game more appealing to new players, and overall make the game cleaner with higher quality UI. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the changes to the Season roll-over screen and how rewards are faster :)

  • We’re aiming for what we call “True Cross-Platform”, i.e. it’s made for all platforms, has cross-play, cross-save, you can link your accounts between any platform and seamlessly switch, all that jazz.

  • And a bunch of other stuff we’ll talk about later!

Fortunately, we were able to bribe the UX designers with some cake so they would allow us to share images of the UI rework with you. Just to note, these images are for the mobile version, and they are still being worked on. As we built it from scratch we were exploring mobile UI first because that's what we know the least about, but there are obvious things to make it fit for PC. We would love to hear your feedback on what elements you would like for the PC version as we start building that version too.

The dwarfs are working hard to get these changes out. This is a very big update and will take some time to make perfect, but it will be an exciting update that helps Minion Masters’ development for years to come.

We are thrilled to start talking about 2.0, and excited about what it’ll mean for Minion Masters.

Now, we also promised some details on Haven.

What is Project Haven?

Project Haven is the code name for our next project. It’s still in the very early prototyping phase, and we’re not making a splash out of the announcement yet, we wanted you to be the first to hear.

We do not have a lot of concrete details yet, but we can share an idea of where we’re going right now.

Haven is a cooperative PvE MOBA where you play as tight-knit groups of heroes saving the world from a time-twisted fate.

It plays a lot like a MOBA, but as with other BetaDwarf games there’s a lot of focus on fast decision-making over reactions. Action-decisions, if you will.

We’re building it to be forever replayable, with tons of systems for variation and interesting decision making to be made on the fly.

It’s also built to foster friendships through co-operation, guild-building mechanics and what we simply call “friendshipping”, a variety of mechanics ranging from e.g. matchmaking you more with those you enjoyed playing with to high-trust missions where you bring your best teammates.

Haven is linked to the Minion Masters (also FORCED and Showdown) world, but toys with some cool time-clashing mechanics that will allow you to play as and encounter all your favorite characters.

This is all very vague, but while we’d love to tell you more we intentionally aren’t sharing details publicly because it would be unwise. We wanted you to know about the overall future for the company though.

Weaving them together With Haven being in the Minion Masters universe, there will also be some opportunities for us to share things, especially art assets, between the two games, making development faster and more cohesive between both. Overall we have some lofty goals for Haven. We want to push the boundaries of co-op games to create lifelong friendships all around and across the world; we’re on a journey to becoming a front-runner in games that also attacks a society epidemic: loneliness. We expect this to help Minion Masters grow as well and aim to get 60 percent of Haven players to play Minion Masters in addition to Haven. We know you have an Empyrean ton of questions at this point, and we’ll share more about Haven as we go, but for now we’re going to focus on getting Minion Masters 2.0 rolling and out on that mobile platform so the game can continue to grow!

Your Thoughts? As always, we want to know what you think. Head over to our Discord and let us know! We are sure you have a lot of questions about the changes. If so, please DM them to RGL_Trinity#2180. He will get them together and do a follow up Q&A in next week’s blog with Alex, Minion Master’s content lead, and Peter, Minion Master’s lead designer.