Dustforce is almost three years old but that’s not stopped Hitbox Team from cooking up a massive update to expand and rework sections of the original game.
The free Dustforce DX update adds more than 100 new maps, fixes bugs, and redesigns the overworld system to make it friendlier for new players.
It does a stack more, too.
“Dustforce is a tough game,” Hitbox write in a post detailing what’s inside the DX Update. “It was our intention from the beginning to push the skill ceiling sky high, so we can see just how much players push themselves to be masters at the game. However, as we watched more new players pick up the game, it was sad to see them get stuck early on and give up. We realized we were just filtering out all but the most hardcore players. Ideally, we should be converting normal players into hardcore players.”
The team gathered data from the Dustforce leaderboards and discovered just how punishing their platformer could be.
Almost 20% of players quit after completing a single level, over half had quit after four.
To combat this steep slope the team have combined the game’s four regions into a single world map. “Before,” Hibox explain, “players felt like they had to beat a whole region first before moving onto the next. This meant they only had four easy levels to practice on before having to tackle the tough ones (and remember, over half of the players quit after completing four levels). By combining all the regions in one map, we are able to guide players towards all of the easy levels first, regardless of region.
“We made it harder to reach the tougher levels. We gated off the medium and hard doors by making them reachable only by a difficult jump or technique. The hardest doors have even tougher entry requirements. This helps in two ways: it keeps new players away from levels they aren't ready for yet, and it serves as a teaching tool for more advanced techniques that are required in the tougher levels.”
The update also adds 16 new levels from the developers which work as “a new tier of easier levels that unlock the old easy levels.”
The rest of DX’s changes are 109 community-made maps, a new music track, bug fixes, and support for Steam Trading cards.