It’s not unheard of for developers to work in their fans’ creations into projects and subsequent updates. Among that list is publisher New Blood Interactive, whose developer shared a cool story about how they added a fans custom enemy into their DOOM-like title, Dusk — going as far as making the discovery of it an achievement.
News about this addition came in late 2018, following a thread by indie superstar Rami Ismail. Ismail asked his hefty indie dev following to share a story on “how community, a player, or a fan made you love your work a bit more.”
One of the first to offer a response was Dave Oshry, the lead producer of New Bloods Interactive. According to Oshry, the team was sent an email from the mother of an autistic 6th grader (Caleb) from Washington state, attached with a concept art for a new boss in Dusk — his current obsession. Titled “Wife of Intoxigator,” the boss is seemingly a giant pink alligator with massive ranged attacks and 16,000 HP.
Included in the email was a short thank you to the developers:
“Thank you for all the work you do, creating games that provide hours of enjoyment for both adults and kids like my son. Thank you for taking the time to read this.”
So impressed with the fan and mother’s show of gratitude, the Dusk development team decided to add the boss into the game. Well… not a playable version of the boss, but a literal photo of the concept art along with an achievement for finding it:
In September we got an email from the mother of a 6th grader with autism who'd drawn concept art for a new boss in DUSK.
We liked the "Wife of Intoxigator" so much we hid the picture in the game (linked it to an achievement) and when you interact with it it says, "Thanks Caleb!" pic.twitter.com/K00vlD7FEO
— Dave @ #DICE19 (@DaveOshry) December 21, 2018
If you want to see how this plays out in-game, you can check it out below (courtesy of YouTuber Burnt Cereal) — alongside a quick thank you to Caleb after it is interacted with:
And while this was already a heart-warming story, Oshry shared a follow-up email received from Caleb’s mother. According to the email, Caleb managed to find the Easter Egg while playing the game, and has been telling everyone he could–assuredly making him a lifetime fan, and boosting his “self-esteem and confidence.” The mother also shared some of his Halloween costume that was inspired by Dusk:
UPDATE: Caleb found his art in the game! He loves it! He tells everyone! He even dressed up as a DUSK scientist for Halloween! <3 pic.twitter.com/BoTrcKbNpZ
— Dave @ #DICE19 (@DaveOshry) February 9, 2019
It’s hard to not be excited for the team at New Blood Interactive and the Dusk development team. Midway through January, Oshry shared that the team was able to hit 69,420 units sold (though they are likely well beyond that now):
I was going to wait until we hit 100k to announce any sales numbers but…
DUSK has now sold 69,420 copies…
and that's about as ON BRAND for us as it gets ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) pic.twitter.com/mUx3EfSgCG
— Dave @ #DICE19 (@DaveOshry) January 13, 2019
On the other end, Dusk will be coming to console soon, alongside a New Game Plus mode and bacon-scented soap.
Currently, Dusk is only available on PC. Players can expect a console version of the game in the future, though no specific consoles have been mentioned.
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