Red Hook Studios Reddit AMA Summary

A couple of Red Hook Studios developers took part in a Reddit AMA recently where they've answered plenty of community questions. Going through all of them is quite a task, so I'll try to list a few of the more relevant and well-articulated ones:

Q: Have you given any thought to giving more player information/feedback when interacting with curios?

A: YESS[the S goes on for a while] Sorry, I'm very passionate about this issue. From a design perspective, I hate that sometimes you effectively require the Wiki to interact with curios. We have a plan for solving this and it got cut for the Crimson Court update because other things were truly more important. (Such as the Crimson Court content itself!) I think it will happen at some point.

Aside: our contact at Curse said "Don't change it! That curio wiki page gets tons of views!" Ha ha

Q: How far is Darkest Dungeon going to go? Are we going to expect even more DLC? It gives me a personal D&D feel and could be added to almost indefinitely.

A: That's a good question. We were really interested to see how well DLC would be received, and use that as an indicator of how much continued appetite there is for the game and the world! Early indications are really promising and there's definitely a lot more we'd like to do!

Q: What do you guys think of the modding scene surrounding the game? Are there any mods that really stand out to you?

A: When discussing modding, I think you have to start with Maester Silvio and the effort he's put in since the beginning on his Pitch Black Dungeon mod and his contributions to the modding community. We even hired him to write most of the modding guide, and he's also helped us with some core game content, too, as an overflow relief valve for when we're too busy to get to some things ourselves.

I don't play any mods because I don't want to infect my personal creative process. But I like to browse and see what people are creating. Winter Wonderland is cute. Any trinket mods are a good thing as far as I'm concerned, because balancing all the trinkets is not only difficult, but really hard to please all players at the same time.

One of the things I love about modding and why Steam Workshop support was a goal of ours for a long time is that we can hold strong to our vision of the game, but modders can service specific parts of the community that want things harder, easier, different, etc.

Q: Any thoughts on adapting DD into a board/card game?

A: Yes, many thoughts! Flat out, it's something we want to do. Finding the right time or partner to do it is the key obstacle. We haven't been able to justify the time internally to do it (yet) but we also don't want to farm it out to a 3rd party unless they are proven and a great fit. We've had a lot of people interested in tackling it but none have been the right one yet. Also, we are boardgame lovers (and I've designed boardgames) so we still have our hearts set on doing it ourselves. We'll see what happens!

Q: The Flagellant has been a lot of fun for me so far, I can't say I've ever seen what I'd describe as a glass cannon/tank hybrid before, and his visual design is striking in that he almost looks like an enemy occultist. Can you talk a little about his inception and design process? And what are the chances he'll forget the old grunges of the church and work with the Abomination in the future?

A: Glad you are liking him! He was a bit crazy to make, but super fun at the same time. We have been hoping people will like his really swingy death-courting style and mechanics. His concept has been around since very early days on the project, but the other heroes just made more sense at the time. We really wanted to continue to play up the whole blindly-zealous concept that we gingerly touched on with Crusader and Vestal.

As for his Religion blocking teaming with the Abom, we actually are hoping to do a rework of that system generally and make it quirk-driven. That would fit the mechanics of the game better and allow for evolving heroes.

Q: When you were first starting the development of the game, how much time did it take you to figure out the art style of the game/what kind of story you wanted to tell?

A: I knoew right away that the art needed two things: A ton of black, because the game was dark, and hard edges, because the game was uncompromising. I looked back at the comic artists I grew up with: Chris Bachalo, Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Viktor Kalvachev. Also, medieval woodcuts and Durer were great to pull from.

I had to train myself to work this way, since I had been a digital painter for so many years. The whole process took about 3 months to pick up steam, but I dont think I really settled intot he groove until about a year of production work. Feels natural now. Probably draw like this for the rest of my life lol

Q: Based on play-testing and community feedback, how effective do you think Radiant mode is at addressing core gameplay issues in Darkest Dungeon?

A: Our initial goal was to cut playtime in half and relax some of the rules around farming low level quests. In the end I think it's around a 30-40% reduction. The reaction has been very positive and we're glad we did that update, to help serve a broader spectrum of DD players that were already putting in the time and are ok with its unforgiving nature, but just found it toooooo long.

We want people to be able to experience the whole story in under 40 hours. It's not quite there with Radiant, but we got a lot closer.

To add to this: we agree with many that parts of the game are more grindy than we really intended. Radiant is a way of helping with that.