Designer Diaries part 1

Hi folks! My name is Alex, and I’m one of the designers, along with Marco Portugal, of Massive Darkness 2: Hellscape (Hellscape being the sub-title of the core box). Our relationship with this franchise started a few years back, not as designers, but as developers of the first Massive Darkness game. Massive Darkness means a lot to us both, as it was our first big project at CMON; and what a dream assignment! I mean, my first big project was a dungeon crawler hack ‘n slash taking place in a medieval fantasy universe? That’s music to the ears of this longtime Diablo fan!

Back then we were anxious about the reception of the game, which in turn, made us keep track of community feedback. Yes folks, we have been closely combing Facebook groups, Reddit threads and, of course, BGG since the release of the first game. Getting this vast amount of information is the dream of every developer looking to improve their work. After reading all the reactions, we often found ourselves discussing what we could have done differently, hoping one day to have the chance.

So when Massive Darkness 2 appeared on CMON’s development schedule, we were thrilled! Not just because we had a bunch of cool ideas that we wanted to implement, but also that we would finally have the opportunity to take a good look into the biggest issues that gamers on the forums discussed.

That being said let’s dive into details. Massive Darkness 2 is still very much Massive Darkness. However, this time heroes will explore the depths of the lower dimensions in order to locate and destroy the source of the invading Darkness. We took a serious look at every single rule and mechanic & class and monster, and while we wanted to keep the core of what made the first game such a success, we weren’t afraid to change a few (or a lot of) rules, rebalance play, enhance combat, or to add and remove components, all in the hope of creating a better experience.

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