The Future of Draw & Guess

🎨 This refers to a completely free update that will download automatically in February!

We released the initial version of Draw & Guess back in 2021 as a project made with the help of some friends. Today, thanks to the outpouring of support and creativity of our players, we’ve seen over 3 million players join the Draw & Guess community.

We’re incredibly humbled and thankful for the community that has been building around Draw & Guess – there are two key pieces of recurring feedback we’ve seen from players we want to focus on:

  • The game isn’t polished enough
  • Servers are bad

Your voices have been heard and we spent the past two years working through numerous challenges in both these areas, as well as developing some completely new features we believe you’ll love!

Starting mid-February, we’re excited to release a fully revamped version of the game. This won’t be a separate sequel but a FREE update for everyone.

Visual Overhaul

We have re-designed the user experience from the ground up, as well as developed a new look and feel to the interface of Draw & Guess. Our goal was to design a mix of cozy and casual with stylized 2D art for characters, combined with more realistic art for the interface.

Characters & Ink

We’re introducing fully animated avatars, usable across all game modes. You may’ve seen our previous announcements with Gus and Scarlet, with more to follow.

These characters will also have skins available as part of our optional monetization system. Our plan moving forward is to invest in high-quality unique game modes, develop our server architecture, as well as to continue to implement meaningful new features – this isn’t possible with the current model.

We do not want to monetize game modes, tools, or any other part of the game that impacts gameplay.

The skin system is our way of implementing a means for players to express themselves and support us if they wish so, allowing us to sustain the development of new features and overall improvements to the game.

✨ 

As a thank you for all the support shown to us over the years, we will be adding some currency to the accounts of all players who purchased Draw & Guess before the update. ✨

Gameplay

The current game modes will keep their core gameplay unchanged, but we’ve given them a fresh look to address some of the UX problems we saw players experiencing.

More game modes are our #1 priority moving forward. We want to bring you a variety of modes that feel unique and engaging, adding new features to offer a more practical and fun experience to everyone, regardless of how you choose to play, with a strong focus on quality over quantity.

We’re adding a whole bunch of completely new features as part of the update. Some of them include:

We also have new game modes and features on our roadmap for after the revamp release as we look for ways to keep the gameplay fun and fresh!

Servers & Networking

We have spent the past two years collaborating with networking experts developing and experimenting with different approaches/architecture designs to improve the overall experience. If you are a long-time player, you may have already been a part of some of the experiments we’ve run over the years.

We understand that networking issues can be incredibly frustrating, and as gamers ourselves, we are equally upset when they occur. We want to be transparent with the process.

Steam networking was our choice at release, a P2P-based solution offered by Valve – while this service is free and operates well for most Western players, we saw frequent reports of players in Asia experiencing issues.

For players in China especially, we saw much higher rates of disruption (even when using a VPN) due to lost packets/corrupted data when passing through the firewall. This is an issue for all games with servers located outside of mainland China. Unfortunately, the only solution would be to operate servers locally, however, due to the nature of Draw & Guess being an entirely user-generated content game, local publishers are unable to get the necessary government license for us to use local hosting providers.

We started developing our own networking solution in October 2021, and deployed new solutions over 10 times during the following two years, making significant changes after each update. These tests ran for 1-2 days at a time. In June 2023, after seeing significant improvements consistently compared to Steam’s networking solution, we made the switch.

We spent a large portion of our time developing networking infrastructure on “protecting” matches as much as possible from disruption by implementing more recovery measures, hyper-specific to Draw & Guess’ use case.

The current solution is not perfect, though we will be continuing to make improvements over time – if you know any games that operate servers outside of China with a high amount of Chinese players, hop in our Discord and let us know!

Transition Period

As we gear up for the revamp release, a transition period is underway, including changes to Player Names and Wordlists. Our team is diligently preparing for a smooth release. Stay tuned for updates, and we’ll keep communication transparent to help you prepare without any issues.

Future Roadmap Preview

The revamp is just the beginning! We’ll be sharing a more detailed roadmap after release, though with this milestone out of the way, we’ll be shifting our focus to:

  • New game modes (e.g. Battle Royale, Animation, etc)
  • Mobile release with cross-play PC support
  • Trust score system for players that frequently abandon/grief games
  • Dedicated Twitch Integration
  • and more!

If there’s a feature you’d like to see brought to Draw & Guess, head over to our Discord server and let us know!

Wrap Up

We’re thrilled to share this two-year effort with you. Your feedback is crucial as we strive to continuously improve Draw & Guess. Share your thoughts on our Discord or here – your voice matters in shaping the future of Draw & Guess.

More Posts