Oh the sights my eyes have seen! Seriously, you guys should be chomping at the bit for 1.31 open test. It is truly breath taking to see how far the look and feel of the game have come. That said I can't wait to get it out and move on to some more game play centric features. So then what do we have to talk about this week...
We had a poll out recently asking about some of the features and the weather came back with a lot of positive reviews. I know we've tried this before but we didn't really quite nail it the first time and that was largely because we didn't get it right for the air game. Rest assured pilots, you've been heard. As you all probably already know the rain has a ceiling and a cloud deck that you can climb over. Once there it is blue sky turn and burn time. In addition you guys gave us a lot of feedback on the rain sprites for planes (and other vehicles) travelling at speed and how it looked... well... not right. We know and hey, it's hard. We went back to the drawing board a few times but the effects we really want just aren't going to be possible this pass so we knocked around a few ideas and settled on a more modest but still workable change.
We thought about turning rain off at speed or altitude but it really didn't feel right and it didn't provide the same affect on gameplay that it was giving to all other combatants. Instead Martini added a speed component to the rain that angles it toward the faster moving objects. It's a pretty good sell all in all and one we think you'll be happy with until the time comes we can figure out how to make realistic droplet streaking on the many facets of the He-111 nose glass. Ouch.
The ragdoll animations continue to improve this week. Watching Troy "Ramp" Lowe set 50 guys on top of the barracks along the edge and slowly mow them down to watch how they slide off of the roof and on to the ground is something that never gets old. He's also added new crawling that actually sticks the players to the ground instead of the old feet floaty thing. Long overdue. I really got some time this week to enjoy the new infantry smoothing and transition animations an the new falling should be working, that's nice. Oh, did any of you notice the new combat idle stances in the video? For me that may be one of the best. So much better than the old at rest animations though those are still there when you have your weapon lowered.
In general a lot of things are coming to a close. Sure we still have a lot of work to do but it is increasingly minor. We've got to rework settings and add abunch of new stuff but the buildings are almost all complete and it looks like we'll have completely redone all of the original set. I've got about 200 tickets in test that need to be reviewed and hopefully closed and we have a bit more performance tuning on our new building instance system (allows us to save a lot of memory off of the new objects) before we are ready to let you guys at it but the light is now visible at tunnel's end.
It's been a while since you guys heard from me on these production updates and I have to say I miss them. Next time you hear from me I'll be having new recommended system specs for you and I'll be following that up with some sytem builds to help those of you who are in need of an upgrade for the new game. We're doing everything we can to both bring the game to a modern graphics standard and still provide performance for mainstream machines. Until then...
See you on the Meuse,
Dana "Gophur" Baldwin