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September 2018 Squad Dev Recap


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SFC E.Verhein

SFC E.Verhein

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September 2018 Recap
OCTOBER 2 - GATZBY
(A media-rich version of this post can be found here[joinsquad.com])

Hey Squaddies,

Welcome to another Recap! Before we jump into the meat, a quick update on version 12: we're continuing through the internal playtesting phase and putting our new gameplay systems, UI, and engine-level changes through their paces.

http://media.joinsqu...iler_teaser.gif

While we're still encountering a number of game-breaking bugs at the moment, our priority is to work through them, do further optimizations, and open up playtesting to our community playtesting group as soon as that becomes possible. Be sure to check out a list of some of the changes coming to Alpha 12 toward the bottom of the recap.


With that out of the way, let's roll!


Optimization


CoreState

Alpha 12 will see the introduction of a work-in-progress system of changes to network relevancy for various aspects of the game, ranging from players to inventory, in an effort to decrease server load and allow for us to reach our goal of having 100 player server limits, as well as increasing performance on the server end. This system allows for the passing of information about faraway soldiers and vehicles needed by user interface without fully replicating them. Expect work to continue on CoreState for awhile!


World Origin Rebasing

https://media.joinsq...ginrebasing.jpg

Jitter-haters, look no further. We are excited to reveal we have been working on a solution to the "Map Origin" problem.

This problem was something that was preventing us from achieving larger map sizes. As a player moves further from the map's "origin point," there is a subtle but exponential increase in tiny deviations or "scope jitter," especially when looking through powerful optics. This gets much more dramatic as map sizes scale up and makes for frustrating gameplay when trying to fire weapons more precisely. 

We're implementing a solution called "World Origin Rebasing". It essentially repositions the origin of the world for each player dynamically, to reduce the distance between the origin and the player, fixing the jitter that you experience in things like magnified optics, player animations, and nametags. 


Gameplay

Command Menu Screen

http://media.joinsqu...commandmenu.jpg

We mentioned this Menu Screen in the August Recap, and our gameplay and UI designers have spent September to really polish this screen to make it as useful and ergonomic as possible for Squad leaders. All players will have access to the new Command Menu screen, and Squad leaders will benefit from some extra features.

  • Command Menu's default key is Capslock for quick access (keybind is fully configurable in Control options)
  • Command Menu will have a listing of all squads, which can be clicked on to highlight player positions on the map. We want to continue building these tools to encourage Squad leaders working together
  • Squad leaders can now place a "Request FOB" marker which will display via 2 yellow dotted circles, the build diameter and exclusion zone diameter of that potential FOB location.
  • "Map Filter" buttons that can be turned on and off to best suit the current need
    • "Show Spawn points" map filter will turn the selectable spawn points on and off
    • "Show FOB Radius" map filter will show all FOBs build radius and exclusion zone radius
    • "Show FOB Supply Points" map filter will show the construction and ammo supply status of all FOBs on the map.
    • "Show All SL Markers" map filter is only available to SLs, and will show all the order markers placed by their SLs
    • "Show player role icon" map filter will toggle all players on your team shown as their kit role icon or as a simple marker
    • "Map Icon Scaling" will allow you granular control over how big or small the map widgets are displayed - useful for players to customize with 4k monitors or those that have unique display setups
    • "Ticket Value Reference" is a legend for the values of all ticket loss and gain
    • "Map Legend" is now showing a list of what each icon on the map represents, from infantry to vehicles to deployables.


Fireteam Functionality


https://media.joinsq...p/fireteams.jpg

Fireteams will be fully functional in A12, our UI designers have been adding some really nice features that will be of major use for veteran players:

  • Fireteams can be created dynamically by the Squad leader with a menu option as well as a drag and drop feature. SL can use the new Command UI Map screen to click and drag a squad member and place them into Alpha Bravo Charlie or Delta
  • Fireteams are hidden by default and are a totally optional feature for those wishing more control over their squad
  • This same drag and drop feature can be used for internal Squad or Fireteam promotions.
  • Fireteam leaders do not have a special kit, they are just a designation that the Squad Leader can give to any member of their squad
  • Fireteam leaders will be able to place (and delete) their own fireteams Move, Attack, Defend, Observe, Build commands, both via the Command UI map screen and the 3D HUD T-menu.
  • Squad leader can see and place all Fireteam markers, Fireteams see their own FT marker and the SL marker.
  • Each of the four FTs is color and letter-coded, with the VOIP and nametags reflecting the appropriate FT assignment.

Physmat Dependent Vehicle Rolling Resistance
]We have recently incorporated [url]physmat[media.joinsquad.com] dependent rolling resistance for vehicles. Vehicles will roll much better on asphalt than on mud or snow. Wheeled vehicles are more affected by this than tracked vehicles.

The lowest resistance is on asphalt, concrete, and solid wood. Gravel comes next, then dirt and grass. Sand and snow are where you're really starting to suffer. And last, but not least, mud has the highest resistance and is terrible to drive on. It's used, for example, in the riverbed in Gorodok, so this will help prevent unintentional river features from being used as a highway.

For non-off-road vehicles, this change will have a significant impact on their ability to zip across maps at insane speeds and help to promote the use of roads.

Vehicle Manual Override for Gearbox

https://media.joinsq...inethrottle.jpg

We wanted to have a more granular way for players to control how fast their vehicle is moving, and we achieved this by being able to manually hold the current gear a vehicle is in. For example, if an APC wanted to travel slowly at the pace of their infantry to provide a screen, they could do this by staying in the 1st gear. 

All vehicles will now have this ability to keep their engine in the current gear by pressing and holding the SHIFT key (the key is rebindable). So by pressing SHIFT while in 1st gear, the vehicle will always stay in that low gear and drive slowly. It can also help vehicles climb slopes better as you'll be able to manually stay in 1st gear.

Art and Environment


FV432 APC

https://media.joinsq...p/bulldog_1.jpg

We teased this vehicle in an earlier recap, but the British FV432 APC is in-game and undergoing testing to be released in tandem with all the other goodies coming in version 12. A large, armoured transport vehicle, it carries up to 9 passengers, not including the driver (crewman), and a M2a1 .50cal turret gunner (regular infantry).

http://media.joinsqu...p/bulldog_2.jpg

While an older vehicle dating back to the 1960s, its recent up-armoured modifications have upgraded its armour to almost the level of the FV510, making it a true "battle taxi." (Not to be confused with IronTaxi, of course.)

http://media.joinsqu...p/bulldog_3.jpg
https://media.joinsq...p/bulldog_4.jpg
https://media.joinsq...lldog_oos_1.jpg
https://media.joinsq...lldog_oos_2.jpg
https://media.joinsq...lldog_oos_3.jpg

FAL

http://media.joinsqu...recap/fal_1.jpg

One weapon we're also adding to the Militia faction is the ubiquitous FAL. While it is characteristically similar to the German G3A3, aesthetically it is a different beast altogether and we have plans to further expand this family of weapons for unconventional factions.

https://media.joinsq.../fal_reload.gif
https://media.joinsq...recap/fal_2.jpg

Tallil Outskirts

http://media.joinsqu...allil_trees.gif

While we're racing to the release, the team is applying lots of polish on the new large-scale desert map, Tallil Outskirts. The map will feature two different weather schemes, one normal daytime, and the other in the midst of a thick sandstorm. 

https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_1.jpg
https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_2.jpg
https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_4.jpg
https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_5.jpg

The battle-beaten landscape has remnants of occupying forces from a previous era, as well as more recent installations. 

https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_6.jpg
https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_7.jpg
https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_8.jpg
https://media.joinsq...ap/tallil_9.jpg

The addition of the standstorm changes the feel of the level significantly and should provide some unique challenges for players on top increasing the immersion of the environment.

https://media.joinsq...sandstorm_1.jpg
https://media.joinsq...sandstorm_4.jpg

As battered as Tallil has been, it's ready to take on a brand new deployment of armored warfare. We can't wait to see you folks like it up!

Squad Alpha 12 Brief Summary

Going back through previous monthly recaps and from the way development has unfolded, we present to you a bullet-point summary of what to expect when Alpha 12 comes around. This is by no means a full changelog, so expect much fuller release notes when the time comes, but it should whet your appetite. 


Gameplay


  • Added RAAS game mode (Randomized Advance and Secure)
  • Added new Suppression system
  • Added Rifleman Ammo bags
  • Added Persistent Ammo system
  • Added Granular Rearming system for Infantry
  • Added Fireteams which are dynamically created by Squad Leaders
  • Added localized vehicle damage with 2 components (for now): Engine & Ammo storage
  • Added Turret Stabilisation to appropriate vehicles
  • Added Driver deployed Smoke generator for most vehicles
  • Added Crewman Repair tool
  • Added physmat dependent vehicle rolling resistance
  • Added Vehicle Manual Override for Gearbox
  • Overhauled Spawn system including Rallypoint Wave Spawn & HAB Spawn Over-run
  • Overhauled Revive system - bandage revive for all soldiers

User Interface

  • Added Team Selection screen on server join
  • Added Command map for improved squad leader functions
  • Added many QoL improvements on the map and UI
  • Added Infantry/Vehicle ammo point rearm cost indicator
  • Updated Deployment screen, role selection and weapon selection UI
  • Replaced right-click hex Command Grid with a more user-friendly horizontal based Command Grid

Vehicles
  • Added US Army M1A2 MBT
  • Added Russian T72B3 MBT
  • Added British FV432 APC
  • Updated FV510 APC to have an Up-Armored variant
  • Updated M2A2 sights/reticle
  • Updated M2A2 to include a Commander position with independant optic

Weapons
  • Added 9M133 Kornet ATGM for Russian Faction
  • Added RPG-29 for Insurgent Faction
  • Added FAL for Militia/Insurgent Faction
  • Added SKS variant that includes a PU-1 3.5x Optic
  • Updated Russian RPG-7 to include PGO-7 2.8x Optic

Mapping
  • Added Tallil Outskirts
  • Overhauled Jensen's Training Range and added the ability to load instances of the map with different factions
  • Overhauled Yehorivka - added more points of interest, revamped storage area flag, increased map size to 5 by 5km
  • Overhauled Belaya - reworked terrain, now less snow and more ground cover
  • Updated Kohat - added new main bases, new & improved foliage
  • Updated Gorodok - updated some points of interest, improved foliage
  • Updated Fools Road - ground textures have less tiling
  • Updated lighting on various map layers
  • Updated all maps with a greatly improved water shader
  • Updated all maps with a greatly optimized grass shader


Sign-off

Zoinks! Hopefully, you found a little somethin' somethin' in there for you, since it was a large one. Hang in there just a little longer - we're almost done smashing the bugs! Oh, and one last thing:

OWI's Company Holiday

https://media.joinsq...innergroup1.jpg

We mentioned it in the last Recap[joinsquad.com] and we know some of you wanted to see all our smiling faces -- something many of us got to do for the first time as well! The whole team survived despite Google incompatible bus drivers[media.joinsquad.com], ancient roof collapses[www.msn.com], evil staircases, swordfights, and one downhill biking accident (Don't worry -- we always deploy with medics!) and we're back, hard at work. A huge thank you to everyone that made the trip possible and got us home safely.

Offworld Out.

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