Announcing Duple Dragon 2.0

Jul 2, 2024

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We’re Back, Baby!

If you’ve been keeping up with Tripping Whale news, you know that we recently had a major blow up of our newsletter. What you may not remember is we also hinted at a big upcoming announcement. Today we unveil what’s been in the works for quite some time: Duple Dragon 2.0!

Originally planned as a major update for our game’s first anniversary, this update has grown far beyond the original scope. There will be lots more information about what’s coming soon, but today we wanted to get a little more personal and talk about why we’re making this, and what it means to us.

A Quick History Lesson

Duple Dragon was our team’s first completed project together, and for two of us, the first complete game period. It was a long and messy learning process spent over years in our spare time. When we started development, we were wrapping up the decision to put an indefinite hiatus on another game we were making called Niobe. Niobe was a 2D action platformer with a big story focus, and long story short, it became clear that at our team’s pace of development we wouldn’t have a released game for several more years; we decided to cut our losses and make something simpler.

Enter Duple Dragon. Originally conceived as a small scope project, by the time all was said and done we all learned that it wasn’t so simple after all, especially with our constantly changing availability and still nascent game development experience. It turns out making fun games is really hard, and coming up with a doable project scope is one of the hardest parts.

Fast forward three years. Despite many setbacks and difficulties, both in the project itself and with scheduling our precious free time, we had a released game. We were immensely proud of our accomplishment, but it’s no secret that we weren’t able to get as many eyes on the game as we’d like, and the game didn’t have the success we wanted at the time. It turns out marketing is also really difficult.

A Love Letter to Duple Dragon

You might be wondering at this point why we’re releasing a major update to a game which hasn’t taken off. We definitely have plans for a better marketing effort once 2.0 is launched, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t hope for a better result this time. We strongly believe the game is a lot of fun, and that it has an audience somewhere out there waiting to discover it. All that practical reasoning aside, though, there’s an even more personal reason.

This update almost didn’t happen. As we gained more and more distance from the release of Duple Dragon, all of us have found new projects to occupy our time. Sometime last year these other projects were taking so much time that work had dried up on 2.0 altogether, and we were seriously considering cutting our losses and never giving it the light of day.

In the end, though, one driving force convinced us to finish it — we want the game to be something we can be proud of, no matter the outcome commercially. You see, by the time work was starting to stall on 2.0, we had already finished many of the new features that would be shipped with it. The game we were playing internally was miles beyond what was released to the public, and with each passing day it became clear that we didn’t feel good about recommending the original release to others anymore. How can we proudly guide people towards this thing we built, when the version they will see has many problems that we already fixed? In the end, we decided we wanted what’s out there in the world to be the definitive experience, even if it never goes further than it already did.

You can consider this 2.0 update to be our love letter to the game we spent so much time creating, and that we learned so much from. If you’ve played the game before, we hope you’ll give it another shot when the update launches. And if you’ve never tried Duple Dragon at all, there isn’t a better time to get into the action!

Here’s What to Expect

All of that reminiscing is great and all, but what can you expect from this update after so much build up? There will be more details to come on all of this, but today you can enjoy these teases about some of the biggest additions:

Cloud Saving

This has been one challenging feature to get working, and we’re very happy to be including it. Starting in 2.0, your unlocks and progress in Duple Dragon will be saved to your Google Play or Apple Game Center account. This means you can switch devices and take your progress with you. 

You’ll be able to have up to three sets of progress saved to one account, meaning you can still separate your progress on multiple devices if you want to; a great feature if you want a young family member to be able to play on one of your devices but keep their progress separate.

Aesthetic Upgrades

We’ve made some significant aesthetic improvements to the game with 2.0, many of which directly contribute to a more exciting gameplay experience. Instead of a straight line, stages will now curve left and right as you play, and stages have new color schemes for more visual variety. The camera will shake when you hit negative items, and nearly every power and cosmetic effect in the game has had upgrades to their visual effects. If that wasn’t enough, there are also a host of UI improvements across the game to make things more clear, and more exciting to look at.

Power Improvements

The power system has always been at the core of the game’s design, but there were some issues we wanted to address in 2.0. We’ve changed how Powers recharge, simplifying things as well allowing new gameplay possibilities. Powers can now be unlocked right away, instead of having to spend XP first. All Powers in the game have had balance and gameplay improvements, with an emphasis on making them all as fun to use as possible. Power buttons will be fully customizable, just like our movement buttons, a big improvement for some device sizes and for accessibility in general.

Performance Improvements

While this category of changes isn’t the most flashy or exciting, trust us when we say you’ll feel it. We’ve made huge performance improvements throughout the game, and it should run considerably better than before, even with all the visual improvements coming in 2.0.

And Lots More!

The full list of patch notes for this update is almost 2,000 words at this point, and there’s far too many small improvements to list here. We’ll be highlighting some of the new features in future posts, and the full list will be revealed along with the update when it’s done.

Stay Tuned for More

We’re so excited to finally be able to unveil this update and start hype building for it. We didn’t want to announce it until we were sure we could get it out the door, and we’re proud to say that the time has finally come. We hope you’ll check out our feature spotlights coming, and try 2.0 when it finally launches in the coming months.

Thanks for playing,

– Caleb, Ian, and Souren

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