Today marks one year since Deep Rock Galactic, our co-op first, dwarven mining space shooter, launched as a console exclusive on Xbox Game Preview. Developing Deep Rock Galactic alongside our community has been, and continues to be a truly awesome experience and we have to thank each and every miner who has joined the initiative this past year. I wanted to take this opportunity to look back at our first year on the platform, update you on today’s in-game festivities, and give an insight into our experience working on Deep Rock in open development.
To celebrate our first birthday, we’ve released an update that encourages all of our space mining dwarves to let loose and party on the Space Rig, the homebase for all personnel currently in the service of Deep Rock Galactic. We’ve decorated the Space Rig with festive dressing, introduced a time-limited one-year celebration hat to the Gear Shop and called for an all day long happy hour in the Abyss Bar, meaning all beverages are half price! Outside of our one-year celebrations, the update also introduces weekly assignments where miners can earn hefty bonuses in credits and minerals, and 13 new items of stylish headgear. Today’s festive update marks the 22nd update we’ve introduced into Deep Rock Galactic since alpha testing began.
We’ve been constantly introducing regular updates to Deep Rock Galactic that have brought new biomes, new monsters, new weapons and tech, new game modes and endless technical improvements to continue refining the game. From day one we’ve worked extremely closely and transparently with our community to deliver the game developments and content that they want to see. We’ve never wanted anyone on the team to feel like should hide anything from the community so we don’t have any kind of approval process for social posts etc. as we want our players to know they’re part of the production.
As well as being constantly engaged with the Deep Rock Galactic community, we also have more systematic ways of gathering player feedback that helps make sure we’re not missing anything. We have an in-game survey that players can fill out, and we’re also beginning to do on-site testing to monitor the experiences of new miners, and we monitor reddit and other social channels very closely. When we release a new build, we often join random games with a Dev-tag inside the game and talk to players directly, so keep an eye out for us!
Whilst open development has been an amazing system for us, it does present challenges. Being in constant communication with your community takes time, and whilst it’s absolutely worth it, we could have done with a dedicated Community Manager early on. We also need to ensure we have a constant stream of assets that we can release with immediacy as updates happen to keep the community engaged. It can also be tricky to do larger system/feature updates, we prefer to integrate smaller updates to be released every 3-6 weeks to maintain visibility and feedback.
Outside of constant feedback, our approach to open development has also meant we’ve built an amazing network of die-hard fans who act as spokesdwarves for Deep Rock Galactic. Our players know they’re being listened to and can have a direct impact on the development of the game which builds very high levels of trust. This has also come with some amazing opportunities, our QA is partly done by the community and we’ve also used community-driven localizations from fans passionate about making Deep Rock accessible to their region. Having our community play such an integral and continuous part of development is also a constant morale booster to the team through positive engagement on social media.
We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved this past year with Deep Rock Galactic, and open development has meant we’ve been able to work collaboratively and transparently with our community to keep improving the game. We still have a lot that we want to deliver, and we’re so excited to keep building Deep Rock Galactic together in the run-up to full release.
Hopefully see you for half price drinks at the Abyss Bar!