Since we released the game on Sept 16 with the Heatwave planetary scene and the GCV-Starguard station, all but 6 (*) of 13 in the world are yet to be unlocked for testing.
- Vanguard* (unlocking on 14-10-29)
- Templar* (unlocking on 14-11-05)
Since that time, a number of you have sent in many scene related bug reports in the following categories.
- Inaccessible areas
- Terrain texture issues (seams, incorrect textures etc)
- Floating assets
- Geometry issues (accessible areas in world, places to fall through etc)
- Transition issues (crashes using DJP from one scene to another)
- Various water issues in scenes (Nightbridge, Frostbite, Gulge) that have them
- Various non-scene related issues (camera angles, jetpack and wing suit malfunctions etc)
The two remaining stations are going to be unlocked within the next week.
The four remaining scenes are space scenes which are inaccessible without aircraft. We expect to unlock all four scenes at the same time once we start unlocking aircraft for testing in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we expect to unlock the ATS (Automated Transport System) within the next two updates.
Each scene has a total of four shuttles which fly different routes. They visit (at various altitudes) several key areas of each scene, land on a launch pad, wait for a bit, then take off again.
You can tell when the next shuttle will arrive by walking up to the terminal located at the launch pad.
These shuttles are fully automated – and cannot be destroyed (yah, no griefing there folks) by any weapons in the game.
The ATS was designed to allow players who don’t have certs required to operate aircraft, to be able to travel through these large scenes with ease. If you have a jetpack or wingsuit, you can still use the ATS to get to certain areas, then jump out while in transit.
Once the ATS is unlocked and you can get to other areas of the map, it will be time to unlock the first of four infantry combat phases. Then you’ll finally get to run around with weapons of mass destruction.
Though we use Jira for our internal task tracking, we’ve been working on a public roadmap website where you can track the progress of what we’re releasing in each update as well as be able to vote on some features which have not yet been implemented for this game but which are being considered for implementation once the game is officially released next year. We expect to make the website live within the coming weeks once it has been fully tested.
Finally, I want to thank you all for being patient and for understanding why, with our limited resources and for such a massive game, we have decided to conduct our testing in this “staggered” manner. It is for the greater good. Been doing this a very – very – long time, so you just have to trust that I know what I’m doing.
In Pursuit of Awesomeness12-02-13
It has been a while since my last blog post. We’ve been busy as the game fast approaches the final stages of Alpha and smack into the middle of Beta. All things being equal, we should be rolling in awesomeness by Q2/14.
Having switched from a custom internal engine to a custom middleware engine (Havok Vision Engine), we did have some setbacks during the transition. Especially in light of the fact that, well, the game uses over twenty-five (!) different middleware engines; all of which do various things. And all the content – include the world – had to be ported over.
Our custom game engine based on Havok Vision engine, does the brunt work of tying it all together. Then we have Havok AI for exactly what it implies. Sundog’s Silverlining and Triton for all those glorious atmospheric (sky, cloud, light scattering, crepuscular rays etc) and water masses you see in the shots. Havok Physics for all things dynamics related, Iggy for our Flash based UI, SpeedTree for vegetation etc. And a bunch of other minor ones which do various things such as networking, audio, web etc. Yes – and they all have to work together or else very bad things happen. Very bad things indeed.
Tweaking, customization and performance improvements as always, have been touch and go for the most part. Heck, we had one specific scene, Gulge (the canyon scene) which would make a grown man weep (Nick, my art director, complained enough, though I’m certain that he wept too) in his cornflakes while waiting for it to load. And for a game of this size and which sports such a large seamlessly connected universe optimization is everything.
Anyway, it is all coming along and aside from the batch of shots we released last month, here are a few more shots which focus specifically on the atmospheric aspects of the game featuring Havok, Silverlining and Triton. Enjoy!
More to come soon, including a Twitch.TV hosted exploration of the entire seamless game universe. Prepare to have your mind blown. Guaranteed.