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Developer Briefing #88 - Bullet Penetration Details & Implementation!

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Hey everyone,

Welcome to Dev Brief #88!

This week Max is back to give the first formal details on a new mechanic that will be coming to Hell Let Loose in Update 8 - Bullet Penetration!

Now I'll hand over this week's brief to Max so he can go through things...


Lead Developer Max - Bullet Penetration Details!

Hi everyone,

When approaching bullet penetration systems, we thought hard about what would make the difference to Hell Let Loose. Hell Let Loose is a huge game in scale, and a feature like bullet penetration - if made too complex or obscure - may make little to no noticeable difference to players. We also felt that making the system too obvious and powerful would create very cheesy gameplay - with players being shot through solid surfaces and nowhere ever feeling safe.

After several brainstorming sessions, we felt that the best option would be to apply bullet penetration across the game on an individual basis - both for the object being penetrated and the type of ammunition being fired.

We stepped back and looked at our netcode budget (the higher the amount of complexity - the worse it’ll hold up in 100 player conditions) and then looked at how far the system would need to stretch.

As a result of this we’ve created several categories - both on the material side (eg. the wood of a wooden fence), and on the caliber side (a weapon’s ammunition).

We’ve built out a huge amount of materials - with several different types and styles of each (eg. wood_hollow, wood_solid etc.), each material in the game is then given a “material penetrability” value. Setting this figure essentially acts as a penetration check - if the penetration power of the round is higher than the penetrability of the material - then the round will travel through the surface.

If the round is able to travel through the surface, we’re then able to set up other values in the ammunition, including numbers of times the round can penetrate subsequent objects, as well as the degrading velocity of the round and the lowered resulting damage to the player hit by the round. Eg. a player who is hit by a round that has travelled through several planks of wood will take less damage than the same round that has travelled through one plank of the same wood.

Finally, we now have the ability to take our specific ammunition: ie. the Kar98k 7.92×57mm Mauser and then set its “penetration power”. This lets us tune each ammunition type to penetrate different materials with different levels of effectiveness.

What we end up with is a rough breakdown in the power hierarchy of weapons, with a rough order as follows:

All weapons can penetrate:
  • Fabric
  • Paper
  • Glass
Smaller rounds will be able to penetrate:
  • Thin Wood
  • Plaster
Large rounds will be able to penetrate
  • Thicker Wood
  • Some Brick
  • Thin Metal (sheet metal)
We’re currently working through the majority of props in the game and thinking carefully about what we want to enable with regards to penetration - as it’s important that hard cover still feels reliable and therefore valuable to infantry players.

The images below should give you an idea of what we're going for:

Yellow: All Weapons
Orange: Smaller Rounds
Red: Large Rounds

cdc76680ec80e6e75e06d72192ce5b14653b1556

25f75a2a4d49e4c6045721caa65e7844c50f1b31

Please note, like all features we release - we’ll be watching your feedback and playing a lot in order to understand what (if any) changes need to be made once this is live.


To the frontline!

That wraps up Max's message and this week's Dev Brief!

We hope you enjoyed your first detailed information on the Bullet Penetration mechanic coming in Update 8 - Let us know what you think!

In the meantime the team are continuing their work on bug fixes, optimisation and even more new content.

Have a great weekend everyone.

See you on the frontline.

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