Written by Al "RAFTER" Corey
Executive Producer, Cornered Rat Software
It's time to lay out the feature plan for our next point release. 1.32 is currently in development and will include Player-Placed Objects and Bail-out for Aircraft along with a few other goodies.
Player-Placed Objects (PPOs)
As previously outlined in our Development Note of July 14th, we have defined the first three PPOs.
The Field Reinforcement Unit (FRU) which will allow truck drivers to drop an infantry spawn object onto the terrain and drive away to conduct other operations. The FRU will follow the same rules as current mission-based MSPs with restrictions on where the object can be placed as well as limiting the number to one per mission. Once the new FRU is placed, mission leaders can decide to destroy it and create an opportunity for a new one to be placed. This is the same as current MSPs. FRUs will take damage and can be destroyed and will provide the same resupply function as a truck.
The next two PPOs are for infantry units and for the first time, allow players to build objects on the terrain;
Infantry Fighting Position (IFP)
The IFP will be a small berm- big enough for a couple of infantry to be concealed and covered from enemy fire. One of the goals is for the object to blend in with terrain as much as possible with characteristics similar to existing berms. IFPs will have a build timer for placement and a lifespan timer for removing them from the game world when unused.
Gun Emplacement (GE)
Sappers will have the ability to build a Gun Emplacement on the terrain which will serve as an AT/AA pit offering cover from enemy fire. GE's will not provide any spawning capability but will have a resupply function similar to trucks. GE's will be destroyable by enemy fire, a build timer for placement and a lifespan timer for removing them from the game world when unused.
A server-based area grid will track these objects and limit the number of PPOs in order to manage performance issues. A HUD element will provide feedback to players on build availability. A change in this feature design from the original article should be noted; the arbitrary player limit of (2) PPOs per sortie has been deleted from the design as we believe that the combination of build timers, lifespan timers and server managed limits eliminates this requirement.
Bail-out for Aircraft
As one of our longest standing requests from pilots, bailing out from aircraft has remained an elusive feature. We have chosen to develop a partial answer to this request with 1.32.
The goal of this feature is providing a means for a pilot to increase the chance of having his mission scored as "Rescued" or "MIA" instead of "KIA". Pilots will have the ability to despawn while in-flight which will activate the despawn timer. Once the timer expires, the player will be dropped from his aircraft with a chute attached and will begin descending to the ground. The first-person view will be similar to what is seen as a paratrooper in descent. After touching down, the despawn function will be completed with the presentation of the after-action report. Pilots will not have the ability to continue play as infantry once touching down.
After a player bails out from the aircraft, it will continue on an uncontrolled flight path until it crashes to the ground/water. This will provide additional time for enemy aircraft to fire and potentially cause critical damage. Critical damage to the enemy aircraft will result in a mission score of "kill". Should the aircraft not be critically damaged prior the completed despawn of the pilot who bailed out, the aircraft will also despawn from the game world as seen in current play.
Along with these two features, we've got a short list of items we're working as well as some fixes/changes that are being moved from the 1.31 branch to the 1.32 branch. We will be sure publish details of other items that get officially added to the 1.32 release plan as they get the green light.
Work on 1.32 has been underway for some time and we are taking an aggressive approach to the schedule. We have not yet set a release date for 1.32 but we will post updates as available.