Grim dawn future

Just adding this that big M posted in a Steam thread.

"Man, this thread… no need to get all heated over game discussion. Not like anything said here is going to hurt GD’s feelings.

Why are we not just jumping on GD2 - for one thing, I’ve been making ARPGs for like 18 years and I need a break. I think also to really improve upon GD and compete with D4 and whatever PoE is doing next, we’ll need to make a big investment and have some fresh ideas. We’ll also need to either overhaul our engine or jump into Unreal or whatever. On that topic, someone mentioned going to Unreal, which would certainly almost guarantee great graphics… however, ARPGs require some special consideration when it comes to engine architecture and Unreal is not natively designed for that type of performance. The tools are also not great for an ARPG. We’d have to do some engine work and a lot of tool work and after that, we’d be starting from scratch in terms of ARPG combat / features. It would be a lot less work to overhaul GD.

Also, 5% engine fee would be millions of dollars and it’s not like we can just assume in advance we’ll get some sort of offer for an exclusive that is worth enough to offset, which I am doubtful would be the case.

On the other hand…“But GD is an old engine and…” Do you know how old Unreal is?! Part of what has kept up from making major graphics updates to GD is that we are burdened with having to support the specs we put out years ago, for older directX versions and operating systems. We can’t just update the game in a way that will break it for existing users who have to play on older machines. A jump to a sequel though gives us an opportunity to start fresh, cut support for older shader models and directX versions, hardware specs, and allow us to greatly modernized the engine. If you scrap the renderer and start over there, it’s not like the age of whatever you keep matters - it’s basically like a new engine. Beyond the engine component, we have an entire ARPG codebase we can then use, which cuts out a ton of work. Even if we go in a direction drastically different from GD, there are a lot of fundamentals to ARPG gameplay that take time to program and get working just right. It would be easier and lower risk to start from a point of being able to say “what do we want to change, cut, add” to an existing codebase.

Not sure what direction we’ll go in terms of engine but it’s not a straightforward choice. There are big pros and cons either way.

GD is also still doing quite well - last year was our highest earning year by far and this year it looks like we’re on track to meet or exceed revenue from 2016, when GD released.

As someone pointed out above, we have no investors or publisher and I am the sole owner, so you can imagine I’m doing pretty okay and my biggest motivation is not to maximize profits at this point. And really, that’s great for fans because chasing profits often leads to decisions that are not beneficial for players.

Why a town builder? Well, I loved the genre when I was younger and I’ve always wanted to make one. I also wanted to take a break from such content-heavy games as ARPGs and do something that was more pure gameplay. I also think it is almost guaranteed to break even and will probably make a pretty nice profit. I also wouldn’t say town builders don’t sell - just look at Banished, which has sold around 2m copies. Sure, no town builder has numbers like the Diablo franchise but there isn’t actually a lot of competition in that genre compared to ARPGs. We have two huge competitions with Diablo and PoE, plus various smaller ones, and ARPG players will often stick to a game for years. Wolcen was lucky to release when they did but if we start on GD2, it’s very likely, we’ll be releasing alongside the next Diablo (again) and whatever PoE does next.

One thing I think a lot of people fail to consider when they look at financial success of games is the development cost. Sales don’t directly equal profit - profit is what you’re left with once you deduct dev costs from sales revenue. So there is something to be said for a project that maybe has lower sales potential but also has a much lower development cost. As far as this city builder goes, we won’t need to sell that many copies to break even, so I think we’re almost guaranteed to make a nice profit on it.

Finally, while we do intend to return to GD in the future, we don’t want to be a one-trick pony. There is definite value and stability in establishing multiple successful franchises vs. just churning out the same game year after year, hoping people don’t get tired of it. The idea that a developer who made ARPGs can only make ARPGs is a very publisher-like sentiment. We ran into this very skepticism when we pitched Titan Quest and the problem then was - we were known as RTS designers. Yep, at Iron Lore, Brian Sullivan and myself only had experience on RTS and publishers weren’t sure we could manage to make a successful ARPG. Now you’re telling me I can’t make a strategy game and have to stick with ARPG?! Haha, not sure I want to know what you’d say then if we told you what else we were working on…

Anyway, sorry no GD2 yet but hope that answers some of your questions. Don’t worry, we’re not about to go bankrupt anytime in the foreseeable future. We’ll get back to GD before too long."

“Haha, not sure I want to know what you’d say then if we told you what else we were working on…”

Well, you won’t find out until you tell us now will you. :rofl: Come on big M, spill the beans.

If you won’t do that (and no I don’t really expect you to) just give us more info about the town builder. Is it close to being released? Will it ever be released?


On medierras comment:

Are Diablo 4/PoE really competitors, though? From my perspective Grim Dawn is a unicorn of a game done by a unicorn company. It is an unapologetically singleplayer focused ARPG with deep gameplay mechanics, exceptional build diversity, a lot of content and great ongoing support by the devs. I don’t see any game that can compete with this right now because the aforementioned ARPGs and other ARPGs currently in development have a different focus, which is online play.

I personally don’t like online-focused ARPGs because they usually come with this underlying pressure of competing and keeping up with what’s the meta right now, sometimes even combined with sketchy mechanics, systems and events to keep the player interested in playing the game. Right now Grim Dawn has its own niche and it seems to work quite well for Crate. Obviously there is a market for a game like Grim Dawn that is not focused around stuff pretty much every other ARPG does at the moment.

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I see it like this:

Technically any game occupying the “diablo-like” market is a competitor by virtue of but technically Grim Dawn can get away with “snubbing” them and pretending they don’t exist as competition since it’s the only currently active one occupying the “offline & moddable” diablo-like market. Their closest competitor for that particular portion of the market would be Torchlight 2 but we all know how that ended and Torchlight 3 has veered away from all that.

I guess I should add that Titan Quest is also technically competition as a result but in my honest opinion the recent work Pieces/Nordic has done doesn’t come close to what Crate has done with GD, which outclasses TQ completely.

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yeah, pretty much this. And it seems to work just great so far. The numbers are good for GD, especially considering the fact that Crate doesn’t need to rent a server farm to keep GD going.

There are other games like Chaosbane but it’s lackluster in basically every aspect. Which is kind of a common theme when it comes to more SP-focused ARPGs. Something that sets Grim Dawn apart yet again.

I never played through Torchlight 2 because, judging by the design of the areas and levels, the game was already heavily tilted towards an online-focused game where it felt like they just got rid of that concept at the last minute. Giant areas with multiple entrances to dungeons that had basically no coherent connection whatsoever made the game feel like a chore to play through. T2 also had the reputation of being generally unbalanced class-wise. I enjoyed Torchlight 1, though.

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It doesn’t help that they also never really supported T2 post release anywhere near the level Crate has done with GD.

What ultimately completely turned me off of the Torchlight series tho was the graphical style… I just couldn’t stomach the kiddie style anymore and needed something a bit more “grown-up”.

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And yet they thought it would be a good idea to make Torchlight 3, or rather Torchlight Frontiers, this big MMOARPG’ish game. A game that actually has to compete directly with PoE and Diablo. But with an abysmal microtransaction system where you can buy actual gear to progress faster and a weird Leveling system that basically nobody liked. Now they have to backpedal on everything while the buzz for the game is pretty much entirely gone. I don’t say all this out of spite or with Schadenfreude, but it is a good example of what not to do with a comparatively small franchise.

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The thing is many players chose Grim Dawn when they were already bored with Diablo 3, tired of PoE, didn’t even know Grim Dawn exist. I don’t know the reasons - little marketing, low popularity on Twitch, realistic/not flashy graphics etc. Sure Grim Dusk may be in a different situation with its predecessor already widely known. Still you can’t deny it’s optimal to release a game in just the right moment when players are actively seeking new games so that it gains the biggest momentum possible from the initial sales. Seems to me one of Medierra’s priorities are steady growth and minimizing the risks (we see that from his intent of making games representing different genres to be versatile and independent from current fads) and timing of releases also poses some risks.


I can’t recall how I found out about grim dawn, maybe it was even from PoE global chat (lol). This was definitely the case for me.

I think I would have got around to GD eventually though, but that would have come much later if PoE hadn’t degraded.

Yeah, for sure. Crate don’t pay rent for office premises either, right?

No doubt the regular release of new content, expansions and balance patches has helped sustain play longevity and spur new interest and sales. Nice steady revenue with the biggest spikes at expansions.

As for competition, we’ll have to wait and see. Overall I would say the direction of PoE meant the competition wasn’t particularly significant (speed and drop rate issue etc). Given the microtransaction model I would imagine they wouldn’t want a repeat of players going to GD without having spent money, so there could more competition in the future.

Yeah, I don’t see GD as a game that will “die”. considering that it’s an offline game, there’s no servers to shut down, and as others have mentioned, there are plenty of real old games that remain alive and well due to the communites.

Even if they everntually stop “supporting” it due to lack of revenue, I’m pretty sure that if the company is still in existence (due to other projects), we will see bits and pieces flow at us for a long time to come.

I’ve been with GD since beta,a nd to be honest, even though the dev’s are working on other stuff, they/re love for GD shows through, and I’m sure they won’t let it go, even if it gets put on “maintenance mode”.

I’m sure we still have many years of enjoyment to get out of GD,

Medierra’s comment is precisely what I wanted to hear - they’ll probably make GD2, but not very soon. That’s great for the team, and great for the gamers, as well.

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Once again I showed up late to the party. The last party was Titan Quest. Granted I had WoW and Diablo to keep me occupied, but I had such a blast with TQ that I completely forgot about WoW (still paying the 15 a month lol) and Diablo. Once the party was over, it was back to those two Blizzard games.

Now, Grim Dawn. So much fun. I have 4 characters and I haven’t even gotten into the 60s yet. Before that happens, even playing Ashes of Malmouth content, I want to play a couple of more class ideas, combos, builds. The one thing that got me hooked with TQ was the dual class system. It reminded me a lot of AD&D 2nd. Edition when I was a little kid. So, same with GD here. Besides the old TSR games, I haven’t seen anyone taking advantage of the dual class system, especially coming up with a cool name for the combo too. Commando > Soldier/Demolitionist.

I hope there is still life in GD. The last expansion pack was last year, wasn’t it? 2 years after the first one? The game is only 4 years old. No need to let it vanish like TQ. GD is so much more fun than D3 too. D4 looks like a complete rip off of GD. If GD goes bye bye, I guess I will hop back on the Diablo wagon. Yeah, I can play both. But I like to devote my time to one game at a time and right now that’s GD. Looking into a 2 pistol pew pew character too.

I am feeling a little jelly here of all the players that got to enjoy this game since 2016. Crate, please, do not let this gem of a game die. It’s so much fun. I like the fact that it’s solo first and multiplayer second.

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Hmm… Since you’re a new player and so much content/builds is ahead of you that it wouldn’t matter for you if Grim Dawn “died” right now anyway. Not that is even possible due to the off-line/modding/single player nature of Grim Dawn.

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Rewind it back a little - GD released, publicly, into Steam early access around Oct/Nov 2013. Max level initially was 15 I think with only Act 1 finished and in the game (a much older and a bit different Act 1). Been playing ever since :upside_down_face:

There was also a closed early access version that released some months prior to even that, that early supporters had access too. I missed that boat tho.

No need to worry about it “dying” - as tqFan notes above, like Titan Quest the modders kept the game alive in their own way after it was left high and dry following the dissolution of Iron Lore, and later even the publisher THQ would fall and be bought by Nordic (now THQNordic). During this span of years of nothing going on for TQ there were modders there, still modding the game, still playing it.

I expect the same would more or less happen with GD once Crate decides to stop actively patching/adding to the game. At this point tho I’m beginning to wonder if they are ever gunna stop :smile:


Crate have said they’ll continue to support the game so long as it makes sense to do so. We know they’re working on a new area between Tyrants Hold/Twin Falls and it seems also around Burrwitch/East Marsh.

There’s also this.

“I imagine gd fans will be interested in what I’m working on.” from Zantai in this thread

Good games never die, especially not single player ones. While development on them might end, players can and will continue to enjoy them after that point. And the modding community will also keep players interested in the game and having fun with it.

And modders are still adding new mods to TQ. You just can’t keep a good modder down you know. :grinning:


Many people can’t even imagine how much time you need just to make one model. Generally you start from high poly, than making it low version. After that you need to unwrap it for texturing. The next step is to bake (transpose data from high poly to low). Then make a texture for it. And if it is not just a mesh (static object) you need to make animation. And not only one or 2. Making only one model can take a week.
I didn’t say anything yet about sound design, VFX, texts and calculations + game mechanics.
After that try to remember how rich is GD for that stuff. Environment, equipment, notes, enemies. And it’s full of details. You will probably never notice in a game that, for example, for aetherial human body parts (which just hags somewhere on a body) was made animation as well. That’s a titanic amount of work and skills invested in that game only from 9? people.
So, there is no surprise that they are not mentally ready to work with ARPG again in a near future.
Personally, an expansion of GD universe in another genre is what I am waiting for more than GD2 (for now). After making different relics I even would like to see their version of Factorio, for example :joy: Crates has their vision of what they can add as well as improve, so I am very intrigued.

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And I agree with all people that said previously. For example, I don’t remember when was the last update for S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but it was living all that time because of the mods and great universe. And many people were re-playing vanilla or greeting a franchise for a first time. Good games never die, especially if they are single player. And even less with mods.

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Yeah agreed 100%, Crate has created a unique world with tremendous potential for super deep and expansive lore beyond whats already in existence. This lore could be used as the foundation for a variety of games spreading across multiple genres. I could personally see, and would love to see, the Grim Dawn universe represented in the below genres;

-Turn based/real time Strategy
-First person shooter/Skyrim/Fallout 4 style (with settlement building!)
-Collectible card game
-Grand strategy, more akin to Civilization
-2d rougelite style, similar to Darkest Dungeon

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I love your specificity… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Turn based RPG with combat as solid as Underrail’s with the ability to recruit all Grim Dawn Waifus (and that includes Ulgrim) and i would be all over that game.


Hirelings. Ugh. :crazy_face: