Dead Meets Lead Dead Meets Lead Website Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:46:25 +0000 en hourly 1 Editor and Open Source 2012/10/editor-and-open-source/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=editor-and-open-source 2012/10/editor-and-open-source/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2012 19:10:07 +0000 admin To us, Dead Meets Lead seems like a pretty good start for a mod. It’s got a fairly feature-complete editor. It’s written in C# and is pretty easy to extend and change. Only problem so far has been that we haven’t released the source code, nor the editor.

That changes today. We’re very happy to announce that Dead Meets Lead, together with our custom game/graphics/physics/sound engine and editor, now are completely open source. We’ve also created a new installer which bundles the editor with the game, and also makes it easy to open custom maps in the game.

Download Dead Meets Lead 1.1.0 (including editor)

To get the source code: Visit us at GitHub

Two short disclaimers though; First of all, we’re not actively working on this project any more, so don’t count on updates and/or fixes. And secondly, the code is pretty much in the same state as when we released the game, we haven’t really done anything to polish or refactor it afterwards (except a small fix to get maps into a single file format).

Feel free to tweet to #dmlmod if you create some cool maps or mods!

Leaditor features

  • 3d world editor
  • Drag and drop units, props and pickups
  • Terrain editor
  • Ground texture editor
  • Scripting
  • Camera editor, which we used together with the scripting system to create cut scenes
  • Pathing editor, to control where enemies are allowed to walk
  • Localization support

Leaditor tips & tricks

  • Save often!
  • Brushes (such as terrain & ground texture brushes) can be resized with Q and W
  • The terrain brush can be heightened and lowered with E amd R
  • F1 – F7 switches between the different states of the editor (Moving, dropping, pathing, regions, splatting, heightmap and camera state)
  • Holding Z, X and/or C controls the camera, scrolling the mouse wheel zooms in and out
  • Holding S scales an object, R rotates it E elevates it
  • Press the Delete key to remove an object
  • In the drop mode, you can select multiple entities from the list to randomize between them. Very useful for building forests.
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Going Freeware 2012/01/going-freeware/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=going-freeware 2012/01/going-freeware/#comments Sun, 01 Jan 2012 20:37:49 +0000 admin We’ve had a great time with Dead Meets Lead, but since we’re shutting down operations (or rather, they’ve been down for a while now) we’d like to do one last thing for the community. Starting from today, we’re making Dead Meets Lead a freeware so that those who haven’t tried the game yet get a chance to play it too. Everyone is free to download and play the game, just use the product key below and go to the download section to get your copy. Hope you’ll have a good time with the Captain and his adventures!


Go to the download page

Happy gaming!

/The Team at Keldyn Interactive

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Dead Meets Lead Post-mortem 2011/10/dead-meets-lead-post-mortem/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dead-meets-lead-post-mortem 2011/10/dead-meets-lead-post-mortem/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 19:45:25 +0000 admin (First off; I know it’s been a while since we last posted anything, sorry for that.)

Welcome to the official post-mortem of Dead Meets Lead! In this post-mortem, I will try to convey the adventure of DML from ours, the developers, perspective. I will go through topics such as; developing a DIY game, 80,000 pirates, mixed responses and choosing a business model.

The idea with the whole text is to most of all criticize ourselves and our game, so that other people out there who wants to start a computer games business (or to some extent any business) at least have a chance to avoid doing the same mistakes we did.

Since this whole text is mostly picking out what went bad in our project you might get the idea that everything went bad in our project, so before I start I’d like to say; on the contrary! We did lots of things right, and in many ways this project has helped all of us to advance our lives and careers at an express speed, and gaining knowledge and experience that would have taken years to gain otherwise. We would wholeheartedly recommend going on an adventure like this to anyone in that mindset. Just read this text before you do and maybe, maybe, you can avoid hitting some of the same bumps we hit!


The history of how Keldyn came to be is quite long, and involves several smaller projects with at least subsets of the team all the way back to 2004. But lets not go all the way back there, instead we’ll start at 2010. Three of us had just graduated, with masters degrees in computer science. All four of us loved games, and loved making games. We had a sizable but incomplete codebase already. “Now or never” we thought. We registered a company, drew up a quick design for a game and started hacking.

We didn’t even bother get proper funding for the project. This was going to be a quick and small project to get us started and generate some income for our next project.

We quickly got into a routine of being extremely productive. Each day we’d look back at the issues we had solved and marveled at how much could be done in a day. Nothing seemed impossible to us. That mindset, in combination with being three programers and having no funding, set us of on a DIY rampage. Whenever we needed something that would cost money, we’d just do it ourselves. Graphics engine, physics engine, sound engine, all the sounds, marketing… Nothing seemed like too big a project. And lo and behold, we were right too! In the end we were able to create a complete game engine and a game at the same time.

What we didn’t know beforehand we learned along the way. Making sound effects. Accounting. Marketing. Making videos. And of course everything about how to be an extremely efficient team. Boy, did we learn a lot this past year.

This all went on, and by February we felt we were close enough to have a finished product that we could set a release date: May 3rd.


As we got closer and closer to release we planned and adjusted to make sure everything was all set for the big day. The Challenge, our demo for the game, was released a few weeks before the release date and helped us find most of the major bugs in the engine and the game.

Finally, the release day came. Best described perhaps as a mix between the experiences of Christmas day as a kid and exam day as a student. The game went live, and everything seemed to work. We were all at the edges of our seats; would it become a success or would it not?

After a few days it was clear that it wasn’t going to be an immediate financial success. Sales were extremely low, less than our most pessimistic forecasts. Demoralizing as it was, we still sported a vague hope that people would like the game and tell their friends, and that thus we’d get a peak perhaps a few weeks after release.

We waited. Time went by. And three things happened:

First of all we started getting reviews of the game. They were, to say the least, mixed. The largest review was The Cynical Brits video review, WTF is Dead Meets Lead, which was less than favorable. Other pages thought the game was alright. Some minor pages even featured some really positive reviews of the game.

The second thing we noticed was that that even though no one bought the game, lots of people were playing the game (we had some statistical software implemented from the beta phase to collect anonymous statistics from the players, to see which maps were too difficult, which weapons needed balancing etc.). Actually, thousands of people started playing the game. Before long, thousands turned into tens of thousands, and by the end of the summer some 80,000 people had played the game, of course all of it attributed to piracy. Most people would probably assume we were furious that people didn’t pay up, but that wasn’t our reaction at all. We were actually thrilled so many people were interested in playing the game! (Explaining exactly why we didn’t “blame” piracy for our failing sales would require a whole article itself, so I’m just going to leave it unexplained here for now. )

The third thing that happened was that we were elected Game of the Year at Swedish Game Awards. This was huge for us. Getting some appreciation for what we’d worked so hard with the past year, getting the acknowledgment that what we had done was indeed something good, was a huge relief for us. It was absolutely thrilling to go to Stockholm to exhibit our game in the middle of the central station, and to go on stage to receive a prize for our beloved game. And of course meeting lots of other developers and professionals withing the gaming industry was a great experience for us.

Now, several months after release, we can safely say that the release was a financial failure for us and a critical… hodgepodge. But at least a lot of people played the game, and we sincerely hope it entertained and inspired people (or at least gave them a somewhat plausible past-time for a few hours).

A critique of our game

Lets go back to the critics though. Was there any credit to their harsh reviews? In retrospective, we have to actually say; Yes. There are things with DML that are sub-optimal, things that we completely missed when we tested the game (even though we had people over almost every week to test the game). The most important ones, according to us, are:

Balancing and difficulty level. The game is simply way to hard in many areas, and there are no ways to control the difficulty yourself (for instance, in some games you can take detours to get buffs, which in effect is trading time for lower difficulty level). Our idea was to go for the hard-core market, to make the game stand out by being more difficult than any other game. This turned bad for us in two ways; we failed to convey it in the marketing (all games say they are challenging, no matter how casual they are) and it put us in a situation where balancing became the most important part of the game. Balancing a single player game so that it’s both completable and challenging to as many as possible is almost impossible, and no matter how much time we spent on balancing (and we spent a lot) we could never get it just perfect for everyone.

Repetitive combat. The combat was just too repetitive, especially the sword. More than anything, the early levels suffered from this, as they all were based on teaching this fairly bland basic combat (the later levels were more enjoyable as they relied on lots of different twists and quirks instead of basic combat). This also made the game seem kind of flat.

Lacking rewards. We play games to feel good. We want rewards. If there’s too little of them, we feel the effort of combating these enemies (or whatever the task at hand is) is just not worth the reward. And DML simply had too little rewards, and those that existed were too loosely coupled with the effort that produced them.

Of course, these are just the issues we considered the absolutely most important ones. There were lots of other, minor, things that we could have done better as well. Worth mentioning also was the lack of co-op, which would most likely have made the game a lot more enjoyable, but we knew from the beginning we wouldn’t have time to included it in the game.

Caveats, mistakes, errors and other things to consider.

Right! We’ve now done a critical review of the final product. Let’s not stop there. I will here also do some criticizing of how the product came to be. Hopefully, someone who’s about to start their own game studio (or actually, this probably apply to most businesses) will read this and at least have a chance to avoid doing the mistakes we did. (Though I’m sure you will find lots of mistakes of your own to commit! ;)

Which came first? The team or the product? This was one of our most profound mistakes. Our team was great, but for it’s purpose; to create a computer game, it was less than optimal. Having the team that we had dictated what we could do whatever we wanted to do. This was one of the strongest reasons we created our own game engine. The resource we spent on creating a game engine would have been much better spent on for instance game design or a longer polishing period. Form a team around what needs to be done, instead of inventing what needs to be done to accommodate the team.

Don’t sell single player games online in 2011. Sure, it can be done (just look at Amnesia). But why bother going with a sub-optimal business strategy? Try to find something that fits both you and your customers better, there are lots of alternatives (F2P, microtransactions, DLC-centered) that does a much better job these days.

We’ll fund it ourselves does not equal free. Obvious as this may seem, it’s way too easy to fool yourself that not funding the project somehow makes it not cost anything. Make a proper cost calculation before embarking on an adventure like this and ask yourself “can I afford losing this money?”. In our case, we were right this time too (as with the DIY attitude); all of us were able to survive by working week-ends, spending savings and loaning money. But it’s a huge psychological difference to have that worked out before-hand instead of just surviving month by month.

Don’t sell sand in the desert. That is; don’t create a product that no one will want. Make sure that either there is a need for your product, or that you can create a need. Of course, there’s no knowing here, but do everything in your power to be as certain as possible.

A video is not enough. And our final tip; make sure you got a really good marketing strategy. If possible, try to make the product “market itself”; for instance make it beneficial for customers to recruit friends. Try to maximize the amount of time people are conscious of your product (it will make it more likely they will tell people about it). Don’t just rely on traditional marketing, try to utilize as many things like these as possible.


There we go! The official DML post-mortem. I hope it’s been an interesting read and at least provided some insights to someone. One final question you might have is “So what now? What will happen to DML and Keldyn?”. The answer to that is that for now, Keldyn is going on a hiatus (can a company go on a hiatus? anyway, time off, so to speak) and won’t be making games professionally in the near future. We’ll see again in a few years if the itch for creating games becomes too great, but until then; take care and enjoy our game!

Fredrik Norén & The Keldyn Team

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Dead Meets Lead wins Game of the year, Swedish game awards 2011/06/dead-meets-lead-wins-game-of-the-year-swedish-game-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dead-meets-lead-wins-game-of-the-year-swedish-game-awards 2011/06/dead-meets-lead-wins-game-of-the-year-swedish-game-awards/#comments Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:49:07 +0000 admin Wow, the past few days have been intense for us at Keldyn! Last week we went to Stockholm to partake in Swedish game awards and to display the game at the official SGA exhibition in the Central station, Stockholm. The exhibition lasted about nine hours, and after that all of us (SGA nominees, sponsors, exhibitors…) went to Berns saloons for the dinner and price ceremony. Our competitors we’re really cool games too (Unmechanical and Hero Battle Arena), so we weren’t really sure whether we would win or not at this point. As the price ceremony progressed we got more and more nervous; the Game of the year award was the last one. And from that point I’m sure you can all imagine what we felt when they announced that Dead Meets Lead is this years winner of Game of the year, Swedish game awards! A big thanks to everybody that supported us with the development, to SGA and to all the other participants for making it a day to remember!

Kedyn Interactive just as we receive the trophy and check. From left to right: Patrik Sjölin, Fredrik Norén, Magnus Norén, Joakim Carlsson

The motivation from jury was:

Fun & frantic gameplay, fantastic polish and a setting we see all too seldom – this click-fest of a game was the clear winner in the eyes of the jury. Dead Meets Lead, is much more than good game in a pretty package, it’s the beginning of a franchise.


The SGA Game of the year trophy!

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Dead Meets Lead Nominated to Game of the year, SGA 2011/05/dead-meets-lead-nominated-to-game-of-the-year-sga/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dead-meets-lead-nominated-to-game-of-the-year-sga 2011/05/dead-meets-lead-nominated-to-game-of-the-year-sga/#comments Mon, 16 May 2011 16:10:06 +0000 admin We’re going to Stockholm! Dead Meets Lead has been nominated to Game of the year at Swedish game awards, the largest official game development competition in Sweden. The price ceremony is held in Stockholm on June 3, so make sure you keep your fingers crossed for DML on that day! The other two nominees are Hero Battle Arena and Unmechanical, which both seem like really cool games, so we’re in for some tough competition :) May the best game win! Click here for more info.

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Zombies ate half our price, now it’s just 7€ left 2011/05/zombies-ate-half-our-price-now-its-just-7e-left/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=zombies-ate-half-our-price-now-its-just-7e-left 2011/05/zombies-ate-half-our-price-now-its-just-7e-left/#comments Sat, 14 May 2011 08:49:39 +0000 admin

There was an odd feeling walking towards “the office” this morning (actually our parents house where we have a tiny room, but that’s another story). The birds were all quiet, the wind didn’t blow. The world was holding its breath for something, and as we entered the room, we learned what it was. Zombies! They had invaded our computers and started gnawing away at our price tag. We loaded up the Captain and he killed them all in an outfit of rage like we’ve never seen before, but alas, it was too late. They had already eaten half our price tag, and now, only 7€ remains.

As of today, we’re lowering the price of Dead Meets Lead to 6.95€. Happy zombie hunting!

Go to the buy page

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Release party special 2011/05/release-party-special/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=release-party-special 2011/05/release-party-special/#comments Sat, 07 May 2011 13:15:30 +0000 admin Tonight is a very special night; we’re having the official Release Party for Dead Meets Lead for our friends and families! To celebrate with all our fans, we’re going to make Dead Meets Lead available for only 6€ the following 48h! Take the chance right now, the sale will end on Monday at 2:00 PM GMT.

This sale has ended

(This sale has ended, check back soon for new specials)

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Dead Meets Lead Released 2011/05/dead-meets-lead-released/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dead-meets-lead-released 2011/05/dead-meets-lead-released/#comments Tue, 03 May 2011 12:00:13 +0000 admin This is a big moment for all of us, we are very proud to announce the…

After over nine months of hard work with direct development, and nearly three years of working on our game engine, we at Keldyn Interactive today officially launch our very first title; Dead Meets Lead. What started off as a group of students who liked playing and writing games have now evolved into a company, and our tinkering have evolved into a proper product. Our hopes are that this product will engage and entertain loads and loads of zombie fans out there, the way it has engaged and entertained us since day one of development.

To get started slashing away, pick up a copy for €13.95 at our webstore, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Impulse or Desura. For those who prefer to wait for special offers we also supply a newsletter; click here to sign up (don’t forget to check the special offers box).

Not only do we release the game today; for those of you who aren’t already devoted DML followers we’ve also crafted a launch trailer which will hopefully get you in the mood for some zombie slaughter. Just click play below and behold the power of the Blaster, the Sword and the person wielding these deadly weapons; the Captain himself.

Still not convinced Dead Meets Lead is something for you? Go download the demo version: The Challenge. Although this version is even harder than the rest of the game (it isn’t called The Challenge for nothing!) it’ll give you a fair idea of what DML is all about.

Click here to get your hands on the full press release.

Additional press resources (including press kit)

While we we’re at it we also update to a new forum software; check it out at the community section. All accounts have been removed unfortunately but it’s quick and easy to re-register.

Download high res version of the release trailer

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A week until launch 2011/04/a-week-until-launch/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-week-until-launch 2011/04/a-week-until-launch/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2011 08:13:42 +0000 admin It’s getting close now! With less than a week until launch we’re all starting to get really excited here. To get the mood up for launch we’ve prepared a launch timer, which you can view above. The game itself is completed now and tested, so we’re mainly working with updating the website and preparing the launch trailer. Get ready for some truly challenging zombie slaughter, The Captain is about to arrive!

The game will be launched at 12:00 AM GMT May 3. It will be available for purchase on our website, as well as several major digital distributors, including Direct2Drive, Impulse, GamersGate and Desura.

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Dead Meets Lead on Direct2Drive 2011/04/dead-meets-lead-on-direct2drive/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dead-meets-lead-on-direct2drive 2011/04/dead-meets-lead-on-direct2drive/#comments Mon, 18 Apr 2011 07:55:56 +0000 admin

Dead Meets Lead is getting up on more and more of the digital distribution services, the latest in line being Direct2Drive. Direct2Drive is one of the largest services of its kind, and hosts over 1000 titles. Head over to our page at their site for a discounted pre-purchase straight away.

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