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    • Hey everyone, Welcome to Dev Brief #99! This week we're having a blast as we give you a first look and listen at the new explosions coming to Hell Let Loose in Update 8! These improvements to explosions will really ramp up the intensity of battle, so to go into all the glorious detail I'll hand you over to Lead Developer Max... A Message from Max - New Explosion Details! Hi everyone! We’re diving in deep today on the new explosion sound effects as we know it’s such a critical area that we know has long been overdue for a proper rework. Explosives are a prominent tool in warfare, and are a huge part of creating an iconic and authentic battlefield soundscape. They’re also an aspect of the game we haven’t updated since our initial release into Early Access (over a year ago!). We’ve gone back to the drawing board on the way we build our explosive sounds - from both a sound and visual perspective (we’ll tackle the visual side in a later brief). Drawing inspiration from different games, real world footage and film we have applied our own spin to the sounds whilst maintaining a realistic aesthetic. These will seem louder and more fierce than previous. We have taken a similar approach when creating the new explosion sfx as we did to our weapon audio. This method consists of using multiple layers that are mixed and attenuated individually in the game engine, allowing us to have a plethora of explosion variations without taking up too much storage space. We can pick and choose assets from the categories “Small, Medium and Large” allowing us to mix and match sound layers depending on the type of explosive ordinance whether it be an MK2 grenade, an 88mm shell or a satchel charge. The explosion audio uses our custom Audio Volumes that control the environmental layer of the sound meaning in time we will have interior reflections represented. We use a volume ducking feature to reduce certain sound groups when an explosion takes place, this method better highlights the explosion whilst maintaining its original volume to help it stand out within the whole audio mix. The soundscape should seem far more dynamic in Update 8 due to the fact we have extended the presence of explosions over a larger distance. To add to this, what would new explosion sounds be without some new vehicle gun audio? Coming with Update 8 will be reworks of the vehicles main guns from the Luchs 20mm autocannon all the way up to the Howitzer artillery pieces. The vehicle shells will also have new ricochet audio and internal damage within vehicles will be touched up. Don't forget within the Audio Settings we have the option to increase the amount of sounds heard at any one time, just set the Audio Channel Count from Low to Med/High/Epic allowing 32, 64, 96, 128 simultaneous channels. The video below is designed to demonstrate the difference in explosions at different ranges. Please note that this is an early version of Hurtgen Forest used to demonstrate the distance differences. It is now far more complete! Dev Brief 100 - We want your questions and comments! That wraps up your first look and listen at our new explosions that'll be booming their way into Update 8. Whilst we're really pleased with how they are, please remember they are a work in progress and we'll be fine tuning them before they drop! Now, lets talk about next week and Dev Brief 100 shall we! Next week is our 100th consecutive weekly Developer Briefing and what a milestone it is. To celebrate we'll be interviewing Lead Developer Max about all things Hell Let Loose, from where it began to where it's going. That's where you come in! We want to ask some of your community questions to Max in the interview and get you some juicy answers. To have your question put into consideration please post it in the comments section of today's brief. You have until Tuesday morning on October 27th as we'll be doing the recording on that day. If you have any nice comments or stories you'd like read to Max, feel free to pop those down too - it'd be great to share them with him. Now we'll leave you this week with a reminder that Hell Let Loose is 25% off until Monday afternoon, so if you've not joined the frontline yet now is a damn good time to: https://store.steampowered.com/app/686810/Hell_Let_Loose/ Also a huge welcome to all our new players who have joined us in the sale so far, we hope you're having a brilliant time!! Have a great weekend everyone. See you on the frontline.View the full article
    • Hey everyone, Today we're pleased to kick off a week long discount for Hell Let Loose! From now until 5pm BST / 6pm CEST on October 26th you can pick up Hell Let Loose at a 25% discount: https://store.steampowered.com/app/686810/Hell_Let_Loose/ Hello to our new players! To those of you that join us in the sale, welcome to Hell Let Loose and thanks for picking up our game! You're joining us at a very exciting time as we head towards Update 8, our next big content drop: As you can see we've got a lot of cool stuff (and more) on the way! If you'd like to see learn more about what we're working on we share a community update each week in the form of a Developer Briefing, our weekly community check-in where we let you know what we're working on and take a moment to address your questions and comments. Here's a selection of recent ones for you to check out: Developer Briefing #98 - Unit Designation & More Hurtgen Forest Overhaul! Developer Briefing #97 - PTE, Balancing and HLL Competitive Developer Briefing #95 - Grease Gun, New Hitbox System & Flinching! This stems from the core mantra of Hell Let Loose - community is the heart of the game. We're building the game through Early Access and beyond together and as such, seek to include the community in the process as much as possible. On that note, our existing community are a great bunch consisting of players from all over the world, so you should totally get to know them! You can find them (and the Devs) at the following locations: Here on the Steam forums Over on the official Hell Let Loose Discord[discord.com] Chatting and memeing on the Hell Let Loose Reddit That wraps up the post! Welcome to Hell Let Loose, we'll see you on the frontline.View the full article
    • Hey everyone, Welcome to Dev Brief #98! Today we're going to be talking about some more cool new features coming in Update 8, some of which are a direct result of you sharing your thoughts on teamwork and team composition with us. Lead Developer Max will be going into full detail below, and make sure to stick around until the around for some brand new Hurtgen Forest overhaul images and more... A Message From Max - Unit Designation Hi everyone, We’re preparing for a series of weeks where we’ll be deep diving into some of the largest changes coming in Update 8. In the meantime, we wanted to touch on something rather small, but that will have a relatively significant impact on team coordination and communication. Unit Designation We’ve received brilliant feedback from the community about the need to allow Officers to broadcast to the team what the function of their unit is. Currently in Hell Let Loose, the only information available is the unit name (which we keep consistent to allow for each inter-unit identification) and the type of unit it is (Infantry, Armoured or Recon). The design of Hell Let Loose has always been a constant tension between keeping things functionally as simple as possible while allowing players to specialise into all manner of roles - both individually and as a unit. The community has often asked for specific unit types (artillery, logistics etc). While we totally agree with the principle of this, we’ve been very reticent to introduce more and more unit types, as the ruleset and architecture behind each is very specific and is delineated to make the code side of things as simple as possible. That said, we’ve long recognised the need to allow Officers to let the rest of the team know that they’re focused on a particular task - especially so that the Commander is able to get a sense of the resources at their disposal. Therefore, in Update 8 we’re implementing the ability to mark your unit in the deployment menu with several key designations to better quickly let your team know what your intended role on the battlefield is. You can now select two different options: 1. You are a VOIP only unit. By toggling this, you will be indicating to the players who join the unit that they are expected to use a microphone. 2. Unit designation. This can be set at different points in the battle by your Officer. Clicking the little arrow will open up a choice of four different designations - Offensive, Defensive, Logistics and Artillery. We feel that these additions to the UI will serve a key purpose in giving the team a much greater sense of coordination, as well as allowing mic-using players to specifically group together. While we have designed much of Hell Let Loose to be playable without a mic, we strongly suggest that all players use one in order to have the best experience possible. Coming Soon Update 8 is set to be another huge update. In the coming weeks we’ll be deep diving on some meaty changes to the game, including: Rework of resource nodes to play a specific function on the battlefield (not just something to hide!) explosion SFX and FX overhaul. Deep dive into adjusted bullet damage when it comes to being hit in the extremities and how we’re looking at weapon balance while preserving a fast TTK. New Engineer deployables, hammers and the ability to upgrade fortifications. We’ll also be addressing how these are destroyable. Transport truck and Supply truck functionality Hurtgen Forest overhaul (we’ve kept the topography of Hurtgen Forest, but introduced a lot more cover, but also more clear sight lines). Large scale optimisations New customisation options An expanded level cap and ways we’ll acknowledge your level in-game Hurtgen Forest Overhaul - New Images Now an update on the Hurtgen Forest overhaul... Teamwork makes the dream work! That wraps up this week's Developer Briefing! We hope you liked your first look at Unit Designations and how we're further empowering teamwork on the frontline. Finally Commanders, you'll know exactly who your Arty crew are and Arty crews, you can wear your unit badge with pride! Those of you who paid close attention to the 'Coming Soon' bullet points will have noticed some more content reveals, we'll be talking about all of those in our upcoming Dev Briefs - so if you have a question you'd like answered on anything in that list let us know and it might well get answered when the time comes! Have a great weekend everyone! See you on the frontline. View the full article
    • Welcome! HLL has only gotten better over the past year. It’s been very exciting to see so many enthusiastic players.
    • Hi everyone! This week we’re going to chat through the introduction of a public test environment, as well as the way we’re approaching the competitive side of Hell Let Loose. What is a PTE? A Public Test Environment is a version of the game available for download that lets you play unreleased, beta-phase content. It’s a way we can get your help in testing new content at a much larger scale than our internal QA. We’ll be testing new features, vehicles, maps, customisation, weapons and looking for bugs and server and client crashes. It’s also important to note that the content may have significant issues, bugs and incomplete features. Why haven’t you done this earlier? Until now we’ve held off on running a PTE as it has a significant effect on the impact of a release from a marketing perspective. The core playerbase - who follow the game closely - become hugely familiar with the content that is going to be released and this can then lead to lack of excitement around the release itself.w Another issue is that an open PTE can cause large amounts of confusion as to what content is currently available in game, and tandem conversations begin to happen within the community - where some players may like or dislike the unreleased content, while some players may not have realised it was playable in the PTE. For example, releasing bullet penetration on the PTE will lead to conversations about that feature, but then cause players in the Release branch of the game to think that penetration is buggy or not working due to its absence from their game. For both of these reasons, we’ve been keen to put the key gameplay pillars in place and finalise large systems overhauls before putting a PTE in place. Why are you doing it now? Whereas before our goals were to achieve quality systems that needed huge overhauls, we’re now changing pace slightly to focus on the finer tuning of the game, as well as catching large scale crashes and other endemic issues before public release. Can I share content from it? In order to create a focused feedback environment, we’ll be asking all those who join the PTE to submit their feedback in a designated channel so as not to mix feedback with the Release version of the game. We will also be placing the contents of the PTE under NDA, in order for us to keep some of the excitement around the coming content fresh. Please note that the features that you will be testing will also be incomplete, with ugly bugs occurring. When will the PTE happen? We’re keen to create focused testing at high capacity so that we can catch the worst high-population issues, as well as see how a particular feature is working when a server is at full capacity. We’ll be advertising specific test days in the near future. How can I be part of it? We’re currently setting the environment up and completing some testing to make sure it’s smooth to join. We’ll then release information shortly. Competitive Hell Let Loose We’ve been thrilled and surprised to watch the competitive scene in Hell Let Loose consistently establish itself over the course of our Early Access period. As developers of an unfinished game, we’ve always been very keen to support the competitive side, but we’ve also been aware of how many huge aspects of the game will shift as new planned features come online. Due to fundamental systems being absent our priority has very much been on filling out the game content as fast as possible while trying not to rock the boat too much (something that we hope to get better at as development continues). A competitive scene is something that we hoped may emerge, but not something that we planned on this early in the life cycle of Hell Let Loose (especially while in Early Access). We consider our Early Access period a time in which we can flesh out the core Western Front content and the key systems and pillars that support the game. That said, we want you as a community to know that we follow the competitive side and will be playing a much larger role in the discussion (and playing in matches) as time goes on and the meta starts to settle after the addition of some large features left to come in Early Access. Asymmetrical Balance In looking at the conversation around balance, we know that there are significant issues we can work on that will vastly improve the competitive experience while also having net positive effects on the public games. We’re aware of the advantages the US forces currently have - whether in terms of armor cost and balance, or overwhelming unit-level firepower. Over the course of our continued development, we’ll be making moves to adjust the potency of each faction in order to bring them into competitive balance. Our goal here is to reflect the historical asymmetry of the forces, but to achieve parity with regard to win/loss ratio. We’ll be working closely with the community in order to be very specific about our changes - as we don’t want to superficially nerf or buff something in a way that achieves balance by creating a worse experience for a particular player (especially something that contradicts the historical account). Metagame Separate from balance is the metagame. Our changes in U7 focused on creating a much more significant frontline experience. As a result, this has led to more static games that revolve around the center capture point. Fortunately, there are multiple tools in our toolbox to address these issues. Dialling values (total number of Garrisons, distance of Garrisons and many more) is incredibly easy for us to do in seconds, and we’ll be working with the competitive community to achieve better results here. The second aspect is that we still have significant feature additions to come that will radically shift the metagame - especially around more ways to deploy friendly troops in enemy-owned sectors now that Garrisons can no longer be established in red zones. Halftracks, transport trucks, more Commander abilities and additions to role loadouts (gadgets and weapons) as well as many more features will give teams greater ability to orchestrate flanking attacks and other strategic maneuvers that were always carried out previously by dropping a Garrison. Finally, we’re very aware of the issues around Offensive mode. The time it takes, the unsatisfying nature of it and the inherent issues within the gamemode. We’ll be addressing these issues as a focused effort during our Early Access period - with initial changes coming in Update 8. Our Commitment Moving Forward Lastly, we want to thank the community for playing such close attention to the game and the way it develops. We also want to assure you that we are hard at work finalising key aspects of the title and will be continually working on game balance and the satisfaction found in the metagame. As we’ve stated, we have a very long plan for the development of Hell Let Loose and we look forward to continuing to work on it alongside the community in order to achieve the best gameplay outcome possible. And that wraps it for this weeks DB, and again we really appreciate all the continual support & feedback. We hear you! See you on the frontline :D New tanker customisation will be coming spoon... View the full article
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