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WWII Online: Battleground Europe News

News from the front line. WWII MMO FPS, Play For Free. www.wwiionline.com

Author: XOOM-CRS

WWIIOL:Battleground Europe: Player Placed Objects Primer

Posted by BEMotormouth Friday September 17 2010 at 3:46PM
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Written by Al "RAFTER" Corey
Executive Producer, Cornered Rat Software
 

1.32 will soon introduce three new Player Placed Objects to give players some new game play options. This is only the start of what we can do with this new feature. And, as with any new game feature, there are rules and codes governing the who, where and how of PPO usage. The following "PPO Primer" should clarify what those initial rules are. Some of these might be changed after a while, once we see how they work in the live game.

FORWARD REINFORCEMENT UNIT

  • Can be placed by Trucks or Mission Leaders
  • Instead of leaving a UMSP in the world, truck drivers will drop the new FRU. Trucks are then free to drive away
  • Mission Leaders have the option of "tearing down" the FRU at any time and placing it at their current position. They can do this as often as they need
  • Build Timer: TBD (Probably around 30 seconds)
  • Placement limitations and ranges: Same as current UMSP
  • Destroyable: yes
  • Resupply points for friendly unit
  • RTB point for friendly infantry
FRU

GUN EMPLACEMENT


  • Can be placed by sappers only
  • Will be able to accommodate smaller class of AT guns
  • Build timer: 120 seconds, interruptible (moving/damage)
  • Cool down timer (Determining when another GE can be placed): TBD
  • Placement limitations: Not on water, airfields, within 3 meters of buildings, limited number per area (TBD)
  • Destroyable: No
  • Time-out rules: GE will vanish after being abandoned for 30 minutes (timer resets to 0 every time any unit, friendly or other, is within 3 meters)

INFANTRY FIGHTING POSITION


  • Can be placed by all infantry except sappers
  • Will be able to accommodate prone/kneeling infantry
  • Build timer: 30 seconds, interruptible (moving/damage)
  • Cool down timer: TBD
  • Placement limitations: Not on water, urban tiles, city tiles, airfields, not within 3 meters of buildings, limited number per area (TBD)
  • Destroyable: No
  • Time-out rules: IFP will vanish after being abandoned for 5 minutes (timer resets to 0 every time any, friendly or other, unit is within 3 meters)

 

With both the GE and the IFP, terrain will factor into placement. The HUD will display a ghosted 3D image tinted either red or green, indicating where the PPO can be placed. Once the system has determined that the object meets the criteria for placement in the terrain, the infantry unit will be forced into the kneel position and unable to move, change states or fire a weapon during the build process. Infantry units will be damageable during the build process. Should infantry damaged any time during the build process, the build process is interrupted.

That's it for today's lesson. Initial testing is looking good. It's once these feature get into the live game that these features will really be put to the test. It's that we'll be able to determine if any of the rules needs to be changed. We hope you're as excited about PPOs as we are. We can't wait to see how you play with them and what new ones we can introduce in the near future.

S!

In Development- Update to Battleground Europe Infantry Models & Animations

Posted by BEMotormouth Thursday September 9 2010 at 10:52AM
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Written by Al "RAFTER" Corey
Executive Producer, Cornered Rat Software

 

It's time for another sneak peek at what's in the Battleground Europe development pipeline. Our last update provided a look at "Player Placed Objects" & "Bailout for Aircraft". Since those features have been slated for 1.32, its time to unveil a huge update coming to the 3rd person infantry.

During the past few months a ton of ground work has been completed to update the entire 3rd person infantry portion of the game. Many of our current models and animations date back to before 2005. Our current animations and some of the systems that make the 3rd person part of the game work have been holding back new features and even future additions of weapons. That's going to change with the work underway today.

ModelsRAFTER

We are replacing every third person infantry avatar in the game with new, higher polygon models. On average, the new models have more than 60% more polygons in LOD1 (level of detail) than existing models. You will definitely notice the difference in both body and head models which will be more detailed. This higher polygon count also means smoother looking movement as the mesh that makes up the model will deform better in concert with new animations.

While we are sticking with an industry-standard "biped" model, the new skeleton has more bones than the current one and adds a five-fingered hand to allow more flexibility in animations.

Kit Objects

Every kit objects for every character is being created from scratch with higher polygon models and higher resolution textures. These include items like packs, ammo pouches, helmets, gas mask canisters and the list goes on and on. Our production team, with a lot of help from members of our closed beta team, have gone back to the books for uniform and kit object references to update the already comprehensive material. The result will be historically accurate characters with more variety based on weapon load out (Rifleman, LMG, etc).

Textures

This update will double the resolution of textures used on the 3rd person infantry characters and include specular and normal maps. Combined with higher polygon base models and kit objects, the improvement to the overall look and amount of detail in the characters is a big improvement to what's in game right now.

Animations

We are in the process of replacing almost every significant animation in the game's library. This will include new "loops" for idle, crawl, walk, sprint and many more. Also being replaced are the many states like stand, fire, kneel and prone. In addition, all new animation "blends" are being created for smoother transitions between states. The results from our testing shows significant improvement in movement and feedback for a better infantry experience. Finally, this paves the way for functionality for firing new weapon types as we will have updated all the systems related to the 3rd person animations.

Attach System & Damage Model

Alongside all this new material is a re-write of how objects (kit & weapons) are attached to characters in game. Currently most of these objects are modeled as part of each infantry unit (Rifleman, Sniper etc). This makes it difficult and time consuming to create various "load outs" for specific infantry units. It also limits our ability to provide variations like different helmets. This new system attaches these objects to the character in a different way. In the short-term it means more variety to infantry units. In the longer term it opens the door to feature development like personalized load outs.

More deeply in the code of the game lives the damage and collider model for the infantry. Although already simulation-grade, we are working to improve the fidelity of these models to extend the features and functionality of infantry. The result of this work is expected to provide more accurate results to non-critical components of the infantry model and better feedback to both parties (the shooter and the target). We are currently evaluating these results and examining how to use this improved fidelity to better represent the best combat experience. Expect improvements to the Stamina and Blood Meter functions and expanded features like realistic wounds and a first implementation of medic functionality (don't worry killshots to the head and torso aren't going away). Watch for updates on this segment of the plan in the near future.

Time frame

This items included in the development preview are being worked on primarily by members of our art and client code team and as you can see from the preview video and screen shots, we are making good progress. As we previously wrote, we have an aggressive schedule for the rest of 2010. As soon as we have a release version assigned to this work we will be able to give everyone a better idea of a target date.

We hope you are excited as we are about the 3rd person update and some new features that go along with it.

WORK IN PROGRESS VIDEO - CLICK HERE!