I know this is a bit impromptu, but here we are.
Some of you have been messaging and texting me about updates, future planning etc. As you all know, I tend not to announce anything unless it is meaningful and/or exciting. So please excuse the silence these past few months. A LOT of things are going on behind the scenes; and all will be revealed soon. It’s all good. I promise. 🙂
Anyway, the changelog and known issues pages have been updated today.
LIVE TWITCH SESSION TODAY!
Part of what I have been doing these past months is running through all the 14 scenes (4 space, 4 planet, 4 station, 1 carrier) and all the game assets, and flagging those which still require quality (complete revision, new textures etc) passes, performance improvements etc. Those of you who own the game, know that it has a LOT of assets. So this has been painstaking to say the least.
Anyway today, I am running through the Gulge starbase, and so I decided to stream it live. So I will be on my Twitch channel today @ 5PM ET. It will be recorded, so if you missed it, you can grab the video when I upload it to YouTube during the week.
UPDATE: The stream was 3.5 hrs long and is now up on our YouTube channel. I also ended up covering all 4 bases (Gulge, Nightbridge, Frostbite, Heatwave) instead of just Gulge.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!
Nothing new to report on the development side. We are still working through various issues and events for the port to a different engine. Also, as we did with LOD Tactics, there is another spin-off game that we will be officially announcing very soon.
More news coming soon!
This is just a quick update regarding the state of the next patch build. Progress has been somewhat slow due to various factors including team and tech related challenges, as well as scheduling.
While this patch doesn’t appear to have a lot of things in it, as I mentioned in previous updates, most of the work is in the underlying tech which will be required for the remaining tasks we’re working through in tandem.
For starters, the supporting code in the underlying framework needed for the revisions to the ADS and certain FPS components, have spawned a series of issues which needed to be addressed. One of the most serious ones involved a crash that has proven difficult to track down and fix. The ADS revision itself, while it has been the best way to do it with the engine, also spawned a series of bugs which needed to be fixed, tested etc. As these bugs and issues are in the current build, which wasn’t released to CBT yet, they are not reflected in the changelog because they are going to be fixed ahead of the release of this build.
In addition to this, due to resources, scheduling, and dev costs, I also made the final decision to complete the PC version of the game using the existing custom engine in order to avoid any long term delays and complications. As a result, I am in the process of setting up another team to work on the UE4 port which would power the console versions of the game. This is similar to what I did the Line Of Defense Tactics spin-off game which was developed with the Unity game engine in co-operation with a third-party team. While it would have been great to port the PC version to UE4, then do a multi-platform (PC/XB1/PS4) release as we did with LOD Tactics, this game is too large and too complex. As a result, a million things could go wrong. And the longer the release is delayed, the more it will cost, while not generating any revenue in the interim. In the end, we’re going to end up with two engine versions of the game, one for the PC, and the other for consoles. But due to the similarities between our Havok based custom engine, and UE4, there are currently no concerns related to parity in the game’s features. If anything, most of the noticeable differences will be in visuals, due to the vastly superior graphics of the UE4 engine.
Some people keep asking about the Steam store page etc. We disabled that back in April 2016 and moved the game to CBT. As we have enough people who access the CBT servers helping us test, it allows us to focus test the game without distractions. That’s why we now have very few known issues left to address; which for such a large game, you would agree, is pretty impressive.
Finally, as I mentioned in last month’s update, we’re working on some exciting things related to the game and future plans for the Line Of Defense series. I will post more about those when the time comes.
Since our last dev update, we’ve been hard at work putting the finishing touches on the upcoming build in preparation for the next major milestone (unlocked player controlled ground vehicles).
As mentioned in the 05-31 dev blog update, having made the decision to stick with the Havok based custom engine (which we spent over three years building) for our final PC release, we have been busy with various cleanup and revision work to some underlying parts of the engine. I will have a more detailed dev blog update on this at a later date, along with some news on our UE4 porting plans and effort for the console versions.
In the meantime, realizing that after all this time, all this work, and all this money spent, that we only get one shot after we flip the switch and release the game, we’ve been doing quite a bit of tweaks and revisions to various game play mechanics and interfaces. One of those is the handling of the first person infantry dynamics and handling. For example, we revised the Aim Down Sights handling and UI. This required new 3D model assets (ADS attachments), a revision to the first person view (e.g. depth-of-field implementation), a new shader, as well as revisions to pre-existing shaders etc. You can see some of the work-in-progress results in the FG45 and ZS12 rifles, and the SCAT1 pistol. We expect these to work quite well when we replace the old weapon models with the new ones.
As the above work is on-going, the physics handling of the player fps movement is also undergoing some revision so that it “feels” right. All that work drags in other infantry related handling for inventory items such as the HAIS and the wingsuit/wingchute UI and flight dynamics which we’ve also revised.
As development is winding down, we’ve also contracted Peter (aka WiNT) to work on a new game trailer, as well as to provide on-going game play movies showcasing the game. We will be adding these to our YouTube channel, as well as the updated Steam store page when we re-activate that later this year ahead of the Open Beta Test.
I also want say a bit about news updates. I have tried to provide regular updates as often as is necessary. But from time to time, I get messages or emails asking for a status update. Unlike those other guys who tout “open development” while not actually being open, we really don’t have the time to be posting a litany of mostly useless and repetitive updates which are just “Hey! We’re still here” padding. If there’s nothing to report, there’s nothing to report. And though we have three (Line Of Defense, Universal Combat TLC, and an unannounced title) games in development, we’re also now at the LoD stage of development whereby all the game’s major components are in place, with most of the remaining work left to do being related to implementing remaining game play mechanics and features, tweaks and bug (of which we have very few pending) fixes. As with most games in development, most of the exciting and nightmarish events happen behind the scenes, and there really is no benefit to writing about them.
Anyway, there’s more exciting news; but until certain things are in place, there’s not much that I can say about it at this time. But it’s good.