Build 00.09.07.16 Status Update (Feb)

Build 00.09.07.16 Status Update (Feb)

Just a quick update to let you guys know that we’re still doing some final internal testing and tweaks for this build. Also, we’re going to be doing a simultaneous DSS and public release because we’ve done extensive testing on this build these past months.

Because these vehicles, though not yet usable by players, are part of the next build, all the ground work we did from years back for them, coupled with the revisions, integrations etc, have all been worked on these past months. This means that Phase III and IV (described in the top section of the changelog) of the vehicles update, will take a lot less time to release.

The planetary vehicles are the last major milestone of the development. Everything else after the final Phase IV are minor and basically high level gameplay features, tweaks (e.g. the fps mechanics need some loving).

Shockingly, the known issues list hasn’t grown at all. But don’t worry though, that’s probably going to change in the upcoming major updates due to these vehicles.

Also, having deprecated legacy DX9 support, we’ve done a lot of fixes and tweaks to the DX11 build which improves stability, visuals etc. We actually found an obscure shader issue in that build, and which resulted in weapons disappearing (not rendered) in some cases.

As to the on-going asset improvements (only weapons, some vehicles, and some planetary buildings and scene assets remain), those are on hold for now as we work through the stages of our eventual port to UE4 (as mentioned in my Nov dev blog). The reason being that we’re going to have to revise, improve, and export ALL of the game’s assets in order to take advantage of the vastly superior UE4 toolset which not only gives us seamless support for things like 4K, HDR and PBR, but also will significantly improve on the game’s visuals (while retaining its colorful art direction) and performance.

At the end of the day, it’s already clear that doing a UE4 port so we once again have a PC/XB1/PS4 game release, means that the game stands zero chance of being released in 2017. We’re a very small indie team, so it’s just not possible. After spending so much money, time, effort, and resources on this game, I am not inclined to release a PC only version. Let alone a PC version ahead of the console version.

It’s a long time coming, and seeing how the sausage is made, is not always as expected, let alone glamorous; but basically, as I said from the start, it’s ready when it’s ready, and right now it’s not ready.

UPDATE: The media page now contains new shots of some of the planetary defenses you’re going to be contending with in the upcoming update.

Build 00.09.07.16 Status Update (Jan)

As per my previous update, we’ve been working on getting Build 00.09.07.16 out. Due to some technical issues which we were working through at the time, we opted to do further testing before releasing the build to the dev test server. We expect to release this build to DSS shortly, and plan to release an official public build later this month.

phase I: AI controlled space defense systems on stations (x4), carrier (x1), Orbital Defense Systems (x2)

phase II: AI controlled planetary ground defense (x15) systems (fixed & mobile)

phase III: Player controlled planetary ground vehicles (x13) & defense (x15) systems unlocks and testing; including weapon systems. Not including MICE (x2), which require special handling

phase IV: Player controlled naval (x2) vehicles unlocks and testing; including weapon systems.

This upcoming build contains Phase II of the defense systems, in which the AI controlled planetary defense systems are fully active. Phase III of this involves player controlled planetary vehicles. Seeing as all of these defense systems in Phase II are also player controlled; though they will only be AI controlled in this phase, we decided to complete and/or clean up some of that Phase III work as well due to the shared code base.

In this build, we have fixed several lurking issues, including some previously unknown crash bugs. We’ve also finally deprecated support for DX9. Going forward, we will stick with only DX11, while taking DX12 into consideration down the line.

With support for AI controlled space and planetary defense systems, our next smaller releases will focus on player ability to activate/deactivate them via a terminal inside a building as indicated below. Then our next big release will enable player control for these units, while adding the other ground and naval units.

1) Passive (default) // fires only when fired upon
2) All Targets // fires at all targets
3) All Hostiles // fires at all targets hostile to the player alliance that activated this terminal

Anyway, that’s all for now. It’s a massive project, and we’re a small indie team, so we’re taking it one step at a time as we race through the final stages of the game’s development.

In case you missed my Nov dev blog update regarding the plan to port to UE4, please catch up on that as well, as I will be posting more about that soon.

Build 00.09.07.16 Status Update (Dec)

We’re working on getting Build 00.09.07.16 out in time for the holidays. Still got a blocker we’re trying to fix. Hopefully we can get that one out or we won’t be able to release this build in time for the holidays because it’s a pretty serious crash bug.

As you know, the key component in this build is Phase II of the defense systems, in which the planetary defense systems are fully active.

In case you missed my Nov dev blog update regarding the plan to port to UE4, please catch up on that as well, as I will be posting more about that in the New Year.

Stay tuned.

Build 00.09.07.16 Status Update (Nov)

It has been over a month since the last major build release, and we’ve been hard at work on phase II of that update.

Though the primary focus of phase II is on the planetary ground defense systems, the task also includes the revision of various vehicle properties (weapon systems, dynamics, AI etc) which are required for phase III and IV.

This phase II build is now on the internal testing schedule, while we start fixing some of the minor bugs which will be a part of the upcoming release.

Both the changelog and known issues pages have been updated with all the last update info.

GEN 7 SCHEDULE

  1. phase I: AI controlled space defense systems on stations (x4), carrier (x1), Orbital Defense Systems (x2)
  2. phase II: AI controlled planetary ground defense (x15) systems (fixed & mobile)
  3. phase III: Player controlled planetary ground vehicles (x13) & defense (x15) systems unlocks and testing; including weapon systems. Not including MICE (x2), which require special handling
  4. phase IV: Player controlled naval (x2) vehicles unlocks and testing; including weapon systems.

Steam CBT Keys Invalidated

If you get notified on Steam that your key (Closed Beta Test or commercial) has been invalidated, it is due to one or more of the reasons listed below.

  1. CBT key was expired.
  2. CBT key was obtained under false pretenses. Here’s more info (1, 2, 3) on how that happens.
  3. CBT key was found being sold. This is a violation of the license. See point #2
  4. Key purchased on third-party sites was expired due to a refund or chargeback. e.g. those third-party sites have no access to Steam. So if someone does a refund or chargeback, once we are notified, we have to manually expire the key on Steam, or the person gets to keep a game they already got a refund for.
  5. Key purchased on Steam was invalidated by Valve due to either refund or chargeback.
  6. Promo period which previously gave free access to the game, has expired.

Also, free CBT keys which were either never activated, or were activated and the game not played for testing (the whole point of issuing the key), can also be invalidated.

The game is still in Early Access, and we give out CBT keys from time to time. As is standard procedure for all games which do a public alpha or beta test, such keys are invalidated at some point in time. Which means that the only way to continue playing the game, is to purchase ($19.99 – $59.99) a commercial key (Starter Kit or Tactical Advantage Kit).

Anyone who had a now invalidated CBT key, and who has been active in the game and wishes to continue with the program’s testing, can send email to support@3000ad.com requesting a new key. Be sure to include your Steam name so that we can look you up and be able to verify that you were activate in the program.

NOTES:

  1. We manually disabled the Steam store page on 04/29/2016.
  2. Keys (commercial) sold via third-parties (Amazon, GoG, Digital River etc) are manually generated by us. They can only be invalidated by us when a refund or chargeback is issued.
  3. Devs don’t have access to Steam keys bought via the Steam store. They are automatically generated by Valve. So we can’t invalidate them even if we wanted to. Pretty much how we can’t do refunds.
  4. When we generate keys, Steam has settings which allow us to track where they were sent. So if we get notified of a suspicious (e.g. being sold on eBay) key, we can look at the key, compare against the dB, and know where it was issued.
  5. If you paid for a game on Steam, the only way you would lose access, is if you did a refund or chargeback on Steam. If we invalidate a FREE CBT key, that has nothing to do with Valve.
  6. If you had access to the game via Steam during a promo (e.g. freeplay weekend), it will be removed from your Steam account when the period expires. In some cases, trying to play the game after that period, takes you to the store page to buy it. In the case of LOD, since we disabled the store page during this phase of testing, you can’t purchase it on Steam. You can only purchase it via third-party sites which still have some commercial (not CBT) keys left.
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