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Developer Briefing #86 - Action Plans, Fixes & A Community Event Highlight!

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Hey everyone,

Welcome to Dev Brief #86!

This week Lead Developer Max is here to discuss what we've learned and what we're working on following your feedback since Update 7 dropped. From bug fixes and crashes to meta-changes and role mechanics we're letting you know what the team are currently working on behind the scenes!

Oh and make sure you scroll all the way to the end, we've got a little something new to show you...


A Message from Max - Action Plan

Hi everyone!

We thought that it’d be useful to now update the community on our current action plans in as granular detail as possible so that you’re aware of where our priorities lie. This is to give you a sense of what is to come, as well as give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we’re tackling both the current issues in-game, as well as prioritising future work.

In a perfect world, we’d be releasing a simplified roadmap graphic to demonstrate this clearly, however due to the current in-game issues (crashes being the most persistent), we’re going to break down our current action plan for you, then work through the current urgent issues, and then revise our timescale accordingly before releasing a proper roadmap with adjusted dates.

Disclaimer: please know that this list is non-exhaustive and focuses on short term work.

Programming:

The programming team are hard at work with our QA team to profile and fix the two most common crashes. These two crashes are the “Map Change Crash” and the “Apex Crash” respectively. We have huge amounts of logs for both of these - working with both QA and the wider community. However, the issues for both are happening in an obscured location (garbage collection and the physics engine respectively) - making it more difficult to nail a certain fix. Whereas other crashes are quite easy to profile and remedy, these are taking the resources of our programming team, as we understand these issues greatly affect your experience with the game.

Once these crashes are dealt with we’ll be tackling:
  • Engineer overhaul.
  • Support overhaul.
  • Adding transport and logistics vehicles.
  • Supply systems overhaul.
  • Ammunition systems overhaul.
  • Bullet penetration.
  • More undisclosed items.

Mapping:

With 9 maps currently in the game, your feedback has made it clear that our focus should now be on fixing and optimising the current map rotation in the game. As such, we have the following focus for the mapping team:

Updating, optimising and fixing gameplay (impenetrable fences, lack of cover, poor lighting) for PHL, SME, Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, Carentan and Foy, with heavier work done on SME. Our aim here is to make sure each of our nine existing maps have the same quality lighting, optimisation and are free of visual and gameplay bugs. In addition, we’re also making sure that gameplay feels good on each of the Strongpoints.

Adding Warfare or Offensive modes to maps that do not yet have them.

A total overhaul of both Hurtgen Forest and Sainte-Marie-Du-Mont with a huge focus on optimisation and unique gameplay.

On top of that...
  • Unannounced New Map 01: approximately 75% complete.
  • Unannounced New Map 02: approximately 15% complete.
  • Unannounced New Map 03: approximately 55% complete.

Sound:

Currently, we’re working through the update feedback list and expansions of the new systems:
  • Better positionality for enemy shooters.
  • Tweaks to weapon sounds per feedback and constant playing.
  • Continued application of sound “environments” per map (ie. making sure the forested areas alter the gunshot sound correctly).
  • Refining and assigning different interiors sound volumes (industrial, residential etc.)
  • Overhaul of all heavy weapons sounds (tank explosions, grenades, mines, bombing runs etc).
  • Continued refinement of vehicle sounds.
  • Fixing any occurring bugs.
  • Scoping out voice over lines for soldiers within proximity.
  • Overhaul of footsteps sounds.
  • Overhaul of bullet impact sounds.

Animation:
  • Working through visual bugs and glitches for both FPP and TPP.
  • Refining systems for TPP to create more fluid visuals. This includes altering and expanding some methods for player inertia.
  • Setting up new weapons.
  • Scoping out several new gadgets.
  • Scoping out melee systems.

Art Team:
  • Working on new 3D assets for the Engineer and Support overhaul, as well as the new supply and ammunition meta.
  • Working on new weapons.
  • Working on new vehicles.
  • Working on multiple new map assets.
  • Overhaul of vehicle vision port textures to up-res them.
  • Overhaul of lower res firearms in order to optimise them and increase visual quality.

Character Art:
  • Overhaul and expansion of Crewman and Tank Commander uniforms for both forces - including additional unlockable uniforms.
  • Continual creation of new uniforms, headwear and faces.

HUD/UI:
  • Polishing off outstanding aspects of HUD and UI that do not yet share the same design language.
  • Scoping out additional force UI elements.
  • Revising tactical map readability issues.

Design:

The largest design shift in Update 7 were the changes made to the metagame around Garrisons.

We’ve been playing a lot since the Update, and feel that the game is now moving in the desired direction - characterised by much more logical flow of infantry during attack and defence, as well as a lack of “Garry bombing”. Defending is rewarded now with far fewer “360 degree attacks”, while offensive units can exploit gaps in the line in a much more rewarding fashion. To this end, the recon mechanic within the game is now far more powerful - enabling you to relay far more useful information due to more consistent enemy locations and pathing.

We feel now that the flow of battle is now far more stable and provides a great basis for us to expand with new mechanics - namely transport vehicles, additional Commander abilities, the Support and Engineer rework and halftracks.

That said, several issues remain - largely around indestructible Garrisons behind the lines in locked sectors. Fortunately, many of the creative ideas that the community have had about dealing with these are exactly where we want to go.

In addition to the overall metagame tweaks, we’re also working on:
  • Supply metagame overhaul.
  • Resource node functionality expansion (enabling functional use of them by soldiers and vehicles on the battlefield).
  • Ammunition separation and expansion (different ammo boxes for different ammo types).
    Engineer overhaul (new gadgets and all deployables significantly reworked to become powerful and useful).
  • Support role reworked to alleviate the die/respawn gameloop.
    vAdditional Commander abilities.
  • Specific new gadgets, weapons and loadouts to create new playstyles and interesting meta (satchel charges etc.).

Community Event Highlight - Hell Let Loose International Cup Tournament 2020

As we have mentioned previously, we want to highlight more community run events, to recognise the fantastic teamwork, dedication and support shown by everyone involved in organising and running these for you all to enjoy.

Something we never anticipated happening so early on in the HLL development process, was the extraordinary level of comradery & commitment by these communities and individuals.

We will always do our best to make sure we support these organisations as much as we can, and want to give a great big shoutout to all communities running and organising them. We recommend to anyone who has a desire for comradery, that the Hell Let Loose training camp in coordination with participating communities, is a fantastic place to start for both new and veteran players!


A word from GOD-sSs-END - Hell Let Loose Training Camp

Join the HLL Training Camp Discord[discord.gg], almost at 1500 current members!

“WEEK 3 of the HLL International Cup 2020 begins this Saturday, the 25th. This tournament pits 12 teams against one another in a grueling 30-minute, 18v18 match, centered on a single sector and cap. We are streaming LIVE to twitch using a high-def, split-screen format with some of HLL's top players commenting on the action. It's all free (no subs or follows required). It's just great teams from an amazing community getting together to do something SPECTACULAR.

Below is the match schedule for this weekend. Matches highlighted in gold will be streamed in the new (advanced) format. Matches highlighted in purple will be streamed in standard format (Discord-based).

Note: All teams get a recording of their matches, so they can review their performance and prepare for the following weeks. Two matches on both Saturday and Sunday overlap. The two streams are so we can cover and record all matches.”

[82AD] IronFi$t on the HLL International Cup 2020

“It's the perfect example of HLL communities coming together and organising a fantastic tournament that spans the globe for people to enjoy HLL. The participating teams come from all over Europe and the US, and it functions just like the world cup of football or rugby. The work these guys have done in organising this is outstanding!.”

Be sure to check dates and times to catch the live Cup-cast brought to you by the following channels:
God_sss_end[www.twitch.tv]
Cayovnzl[www.twitch.tv]


Week 3 HLL ICT 2020 Schedule - Starts July 25th
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We want to thank GOD-sSs-END, all the members of the HLL Training Camp, and all participating communities for your contribution, on behalf of Black Matter & Team17

We salute you!


Classic map revamp first look!

A taste of what's to come...

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That wraps up this week's Developer Briefing, have a great weekend everyone!

We'll see you on the frontline.


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