3 New Ways to Make Private Matches More Spectacular and Interactive
As you know, our objective with Darwin Project is to further connect players and spectators, which means navigating the dichotomy between player interest and viewer entertainment. We’ve already seen that giving spectators and Show Director the power to influence matches in significant ways was at odds with the experience that many players expect―and in response to that feedback, we’ve made specific changes such as not permitting the Show Director to activate a targeted Power during a fight.
But in Private Matches, where players deliberately join with friends and agree to play by the host’s rules, where’s the harm in a little chaos?
We’ve added new options to spice up Private Matches and re-empower Show Directors and spectators―to a potential point of extreme unfairness, yes, but also of extreme entertainment and interactivity with viewers. In fact, our vision is to progressively build the Private Match into a small build-your-custom-show toolkit.
Note that all these are optional and can be disabled by the Private Match host. Show Director Unleashed and Spectator Power checkboxes have been added to the options bar when choosing between the inmate or Show Director role, while Scavenger Mode can be freely turned on or off in the lobby.
Show Director Unleashed
Show Directors ignore all the rules of normal play and have access to unprecedented privileges. Enabling Show Director Unleashed in a Private Match allows the Show Director to:
- Have immediate access to all Show Director Powers (Powers will be unequipped from non-unleashed Directors in other modes)
- Have access to the Invincibility Power that was previously removed
- Use equipped Show Director Powers as many times as they want
- Use Show Director Powers on players in combat
- Use the Megaphone every 5 seconds (compared to 90 second cooldown in normal play)
- Use the Soundboard as often as they want (compared to 30 second cooldown in normal play)
- Gain Action Points at 10 times the normal speed
- Close zones with no restrictions
Spectator Powers [Steam only]
UPDATE 11/20: Spectator Powers are now expected later in the week. Please stay tuned to our official channels!
With Spectator Powers, spectators on Twitch have the opportunity bid for Powers usually reserved for Show Directors using Darwin Dollars (the same currency earned through Spectator Betting) during the lobby. The spectator who wins a bid for a Show Director Power will see it added to the stream’s interface and will be able to launch it at any point during the match they’re spectating―without having to boot up Darwin Project.
At the beginning of each match, three Powers among the following will be randomly selected and made available for viewers to bid on:
- Close Zone
- Speed Up
- Warm Up
- Heal (300)
Broadcasters on Twitch, are you ready for your spectators to wreak havoc in your Private Matches? Just make sure the host leaves Spectator Powers turned on in the Private Match options and your streams will be more interactive than ever. Note that the official Spectator Experience Twitch Extension is needed to experience the mayhem of Spectator Powers.
In this new mode, added as a prototype, players begin with an empty Crafting Wheel and must rely on finding Blueprints for new craftable items (Arrows, Tools, and Perks) in Loot Chests and deer. These Blueprints will be added to players’ Crafting Wheels until they fill up. In addition, harvesting an Electronic will grant players an Electronic Power that’s ready to use as opposed to a resource.
Because players won’t know which equipment they’ll have access to before they start searching, Scavenger Mode puts a heavier emphasis on their ability to adapt as well as their proficiency with all available Arrows, Tools, and Electronic Powers―not just those they usually equip.
We’ve decided to add an optional version of this mode in Private Matches for players who like to be kept on their toes or just want to freshen up their Darwin Project experience. We’re interested to hear whether Scavenger Mode is a hit among you and your friends in Private Matches. Please send us your feedback on any of our official channels!
The Playground is a new training room type game mode that players can enter to practice their survival skills safely. While Lancaster the Darwin Orientation Drone provides tasks to help inmates with the main mechanics, we wanted to provide new players with a way to interact with resources and experiment with their equipment without having to worry about being attacked by another player.
The Playground is a small map divided into areas meant to help players get acquainted with specific mechanics. In the Trap Museum, players can see what Traps look like when laid by another player (and even get caught inside them to understand their effects). The Archery Range is perfect to practice aiming and shooting with the Bow, and dummy inmates are also present to take any Axe swings, Arrows, and Electronic Powers coming their way. Resources (trees, leather armchairs, and Electronics) as well as Loot Chests respawn after being harvested in the Playground. More areas, marked “under construction,” will be added at a later date.
In the Playground, players can easily make changes to their Crafting Wheel by going back into the chalet (the main structure). They can also clear their inventory at any time by pressing V on a keyboard or A+B on a controller.
In this first iteration, players can only enter the Playground as an inmate.
SHOW DIRECTOR SOUNDBOARD
The Show Director Soundboard allows the Show Director to play various sound effects, either for all inmates to hear or only those in the vicinity. The Soundboard can be used by pressing R or Y during a match and lobby, and has a cooldown of 30 seconds.
This new feature is meant to allow the Show Director to make matches more show-like and highlight the coolest moments of the match with increased emotional and narrative impact.
In this first iteration, these 12 sounds are available in the Soundboard:
- Nice shot
- Oh Yeah
- Hot Damn
- Love in the air
SPECTATOR BETTING ENABLED IN PUBLIC MATCHES [STEAM ONLY]
Betting is a work-in-progress improvement for spectator interactions that allows viewers on Twitch to place bets on which inmate or team they believe will be the last one standing.
Following positive feedback from a previous update in which we enabled spectator betting in Private Matches, we decided to integrate this feature permanently to Public Matches. The crowd favorite vote that normally appears at the beginning of a match will now be fully replaced by the betting interface in both Private and Public Matches as long as at least one player is streaming on Twitch with the Spectator Experience extension enabled (and, in the case of Private Matches, as long as the Spectator Betting option is turned on).
Note that the economy will be balanced over the next few months, so please don’t grow too attached to your wallet of Darwin Dollars as it will be reset!
80+ NEW COSMETIC ITEMS
Patch 1.17 contains the largest amount of new cosmetics items we’ve added at a time since April’s customization-focused update! Over 80 new items will be obtainable from Fan Gifts and will also be purchasable with Ramen from the Shop. Here’s the overview:
Here’s a closer look at some of the styles you’ll be able to complete, but we encourage inmates to mix and match collected items to create unique outfits (and don’t forget to share them in the #fashion-project channel of the official Discord server!)