|WWII Online Development Roadmap|
|Written by XOOM|
|Friday, 31 July 2015 13:08|
It is finally here, the new WWII Online development roadmap for the remainder of 1.34, onwards to 1.35 and the Steam release! We’ll walk you through the top level view of what’s going on here at Cornered Rat Software, with some fixes and new weapons that are being developed. This is probably the biggest update I have ever written, it’s going to take awhile to knock through the list but it really shows you an entire view of what’s coming.
We’re on our way to have a great year - WOOT! The team at CRS is very excited to be able to share these notes with you. We’re opening the doors a little wider than we have in the past because we want you to know that we mean business and a full fledged effort is happening as we speak.
Version 1.34.11 (Next Game Update Readme)
Our next patch is about to hit BETA and we’ll be inviting players to get involved to get a first look and hunt for any outstanding bugs. 1.34.11 will include several new features which include:
Infantry Class & Weapons Updates
New Vehicle Classes for USA
New art skins for vehicles
S! To our brothers who have passed. The following have been added to the WWII Online Memorial (RIP):
Georg "GeorgH" H, Karen "Frank35" Sylte, Patrick "Icux" Carns, Ivan "Johan250" Telleria, Carl "Howie622" Howarth, Mike "RailRD" Perrier, Dale Stelgard Hopkinson, James "Carolina" Simpson, Augustus “Goof” Pope and Jim “Jeep” Leonard.
We anticipate we will be doing at least one more point release on the 1.34 code base. This will allow us to add any other fixes and features that might be ready while we’re preparing for release on 1.35. During this patch we will attempt to fulfill all remaining Indiegogo campaign promises.
INSTANT ACTION BUTTON
We’ve already been talking about the “ACTIVE BATTLES TAB” which will debut in 1.34.11, but as we start to think about re-working our existing UI (user interface) and making it really easy for new guys to get into the most likely situation to find action, we need something a little more “to the point.”
We’re thinking at the moment of placing this new “button” at the bottom of the active battles tab, which will be replacing the brigade roster as the “default” tab you see upon loading into the game. As far as how it works, we want the soldier to simply click the button, and it will do all the work in finding the most populated brigade —> mission —> FRU Y/N? —> Select weapon —> Spawn. And there they are, boots on deck in the best probable fight the system can offer them.
One thing we’re thinking about right now is how to set up a users preferences, so they can select what their priority unit to spawn would be, and other filters a user might be able to custom tailor to their interests.
All of this UI work and increasing simplicity in terms of LOCATING battle (not game play itself) is all preparation for a great Steam release. In general we have a lot of users joining the game who experience a steep learning curve (we were all there at one point), so we’re making a big point to clean that up as much as we can.
Depending on how quickly 1.34.12 is released there may be another update or two in 1.34, this will be dependent on several other moving parts. We’ll be creating more game updates more frequently than we have historically, to get fixes and other features in your hands faster, as they are tested and polished.
Our big goal is to get on 1.35. There are a lot of great solutions in regards to host / server improvements, like improved infantry death lag, multi-crewing and increased server capacity. We anticipate in the next 6-8 months (if all goes well) we’ll be able to get on the 1.35 code base, and we’ll need lots of community members to help us test this thoroughly!
Another task we are working on which is really important, is to have a roll-back ability on our releases / updates. Releasing 1.35 is a pretty risky endeavor at said moment, which is why we’re not rushing it and trying to complete these items listed for 1.34.11/12+. The reason it’s relatively risky is the code base must be tested and examined so the new team can get more familiar with it, because most of the fixes were conducted by the legacy team and never went live (as we know).
That said, initial observation gives us great encouragement. We have fixed a long standing issue that prevented the current player base to participate on the BETA server, so when it’s time (and starting with the above 1.34) we can open the door to who ever is selected.
In the case of 1.35, we will likely run a mock campaign and drive all traffic from the normal campaign to this server so we can have a really good case study and make sure all cylinders are firing appropriately.
Release on Steam
Once 1.35 has been achieved, we will be doing everything we can to increase server maximum capacity. We anticipate a major flood of users and will be prepared with at least two game servers, 1) dedicated to the standard campaign, 2) dedicated for specific 2-3 day special events. Our preliminary ideas include requiring at least a 75% fill rate on server 1 before server 2 can be accessible.
Focusing all soldiers being in a single server is our primary goal, but we need to be realistic and prepare for worst case scenario situations. Now would also be a good time to say we will not be a 100% Steam game, if you have an account with us right now, you will not need to sign up on Steam.
Specific release date will be determined after 1.35 is secure and we’ve made progress on server capacity. As we transition from 1.34 —> 1.35 we will automatically obtain double the space for users, but we really need to do more. Can you think of 6+ AO’s happening? WOOOOT!
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT
SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES MAS40 & GEWEHR41
The 3D art was completed by VOLCOL sometime ago, however these weapons have been sitting on a shelf waiting to get rigged, animated, sounds produced and handed off to a programmer to get the ballistics and data in order. I am pleased to report to you that this weapon is currently being rigged and animated, and the sound is also being produced. Once they are game-ready we will also increase the rate of fire for the Lee-Enfield as planned.
Click images for more detailed view. On the left is the French Mas40, on the right is the German Gewehr41.
Pictured Gewehr41 with a brand new rig which controls the animations. This is the beginning stages of our plan to improve rigs and animations for all characters and weapons in WWII Online. Click image to see more detail.
BRITISH STEN MK II (SMG)
We’re very excited to announce that the Sten Gun will be making its way into WWII Online. This iconic weapon is part of a plan to introduce more variants of a similar class of weapon to the game. This will allow us to offer more value for specific subscriptions and add some new flavor onto the battlefield.
High poly version of the Sten MK II submachine gun. UV map and texture is the next step. Click image for more detail.
US & FRENCH M3A1 GREASE GUN (SMG)
Everyone knows the grease gun, right? This is also in production and is in the 3D art and texturing stages. It will fire the .45 calibre round only. Did you know historically you could change the barrel on this weapon and use German 9mm ammunition? Talk about a great design decision.
Highly poly version of the M3A1 Grease Gun. The model is nearly completed and is currently being polished. Click image for more detail.
GERMAN MP34 (SMG)
Naturally the German’s will be receiving the MP34. Once the above two weapons have been completed in 3D Art and Texturing this weapon’s development will begin. It will be firing the standard 9mm luger parabellum.
US RIFLE GRENADIER
The M1 Rifle Grenade adapter, M9A1 HEAT RG and US M17 HE RG have been produced and textured, waiting on rigging, animation, sound and implementation via programmer. The US Rifle Grenadier will be using the M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle. The M17 HE round will explode on impact like the German grenadier’s HE round.
Here are the high poly versions of the US Rifle Grenadier kit. UV map and texture to follow, these are a work in progress. Click images for more detail.
RIFLE GRENADIER ROUNDS
Similar to the Mas40 & Gewehr41 issues, we’ve had some rifle grenades ready to go that didn’t quite make it into the game. The French Brandt 50mm HEAT German GG-P40 HEAT rounds will be making it’s way into the game around the same time the US Rifle Grenadier is in. This also means the British will see the return of the Mills No.62 HEAT grenade, and all forces will have a rifle grenadier equipped with both High Explosive (HE) and High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) grenades.
US GMC CCKW 2.5 TONNER
Also known as the “Deuce and a half,” the American equipment list is in need of some serious beefing up. We’re going to start with this troop transport which will be the first new vehicle our new team starts from scratch, then ramping it up a bit by moving onto bigger toys. 3D art production of this vehicle has started.
HIGH COMMAND OFFICER UNIFORM
As part of our roll out of high command uniforms the US HC officer is nearly complete with the 3D art side of it. Next up is rigging and animation, which takes a lot longer than infantry weapons (lots of moving parts). We’ll then proceed onto the next HC officer uniform, covering all sides.
Click the image below for greater detail.
OLD CITY BUNKER
This has been a hot topic of discussion lately and we’ve seen a really strong wave of positive with the return and also the few edits we have made to “spice it up a bit.” The city bunker will likely find it’s way into the game around the release of 1.35, sooner if we can of course but that should give us enough time to get the job done. What’s different about this compared to infantry, weapons and vehicles is this will actually require us to rebuild the terrain, big project, but we’re gonna do it!
CLICK IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE DETAIL
NEW FORTIFIED MOBILE SPAWN (PPO)
Production of the fortified mobile spawn is underway. It will be using earth materials to create a field bunker from which players can defend and invest into their mobile spawn. We really need to do more with player placed objects, this is the beginning. A big thanks to all of you who recently put in your ideas in a survey, we have logged them and are using that as a guide for concepts.
AIR RAID SIREN
VICTARUS has been digging deep into the air raid siren and learning how to make it a great feature, without the annoying factor of constantly playing. This still requires some more digging and testing but we’re making progress to reduce how long the siren audio plays.
ARMOR & BALLISTICS AUDIT
Over the course of the above development cycle we will be working closely with researchers and professionals to examine armor and ballistics data from a historical perspective and what is currently in-game. We want to be sure we’re doing our best to get historical accuracy as right as we can because that is fundamental to our brand and the customers experience. This has also been an important request of the players on both sides.
RE-PURPOSING EXISTING AIRCRAFT
Our boys in the air are in need of some new aircraft (we hear you). We want to start out by examining which aircraft can receive a different load out. Eventually we’ll want to work into creating brand new aircraft but with this new team just getting its feet wet, we need to start small and gradually gain momentum.
We will also be looking into new uv maps and texture (paint work) for some already existing American planes in the French Air Force and start populating the US Army Air Corps persona.
Thanks to our Sailors in the “Harbor,” we’ve been able to collect an important list of fixes we need to bring to the Naval game. Some important things we want to do is make sure our Fairmile riverines can use the “net” to pick soldiers up and transport them. We also want to look at collider issues and see why the troops on destroyers and troop transports cannot walk around on them. We also want to dig more into why some areas of the river banks you can climb, and some you cannot. Note: Multi-crewing issues should be fixed at release of 1.35, that’s a global fix (fingers crossed, beta testing willing).
We’ll also be looking at increasing the speed of the FMB and perhaps the top speed of the Troop Transport ship.
PONTOON BRIDGES (PPO)
When standard bridges are destroyed, or you want a unique tactical advantage… you go to your engineers to place, “pontoon bridges.” We’re still designing exactly how this would work but it’s a really great feature all around to make some big changes in tactical warfare. Fortunately the rivers are pretty straight forward to work with. Our immediate thoughts are to make sure placing these takes a bit of an investment on both the construction and defense. They will be able to be destroyed and engineers will spend time repairing them. We'll make each piece strong enough so a rifleman can't take it out however.
Since we already have the Paratroopers in-game we really want to bring in the iconic US Airborne. We would also take the existing c47 and re-work the uv’s / texture so it matches the right paint job. Once the primary HC officers are completed, we’ll be shifting gears to work on this.
FUTURE INFANTRY WEAPONS
We will be introducing a series of weapons in the future which will include:
3D art development begins on these items after the MP34 has been completed (listed above).
ITALIAN FORCES UNDER GERMAN COMMAND
For a long time players on the Axis side have been wanting another faction to work with them. They are after all going up against the British, French and now American forces, we think it’s a good time to start planning how we can roll in a little help for the Germans.
The plan to introduce Italian forces to WWII Online is on a small scale. Essentially we’re talking about an infantryman with 2-3 load outs and being embedded with the German army. History has shown that Italian forces did participate with the Germans on the western front but in a smaller capacity, not a full fledged Army as they were mostly in North Africa.
The weapons that will be brought in with them currently include:
MEDICAL SYSTEM IN PLANNING
We are conceptualizing a medical system that is based around realism. If someone gets shot in the field, there is blood loss, most soldiers had the ability to at least clamp the bleeding and conduct basic life saving procedures.
What about medics? Medics should matter a lot, but they should not have magic “health packs” that suddenly bring people back to life, or max out their health. However, if a soldier has been wounded, they probably won’t be able to aim well because they’re in pain, maybe they can’t move? So we think how can we make morphine matter, bandages, maybe dragging soldiers to cover? All of this would really change the game play for infantry and give you all a new set of challenges.
REDUCING DEMAND ON HIGH COMMAND
The game as it sits right now is far too manpower reliant for HC officers to be online. When brigades were introduced, so were a lot of manual (and labor intensive) requirements onto this group. We’re looking for ways to reduce that work load from the HC while still maintaining a player driven game. We’re not quite ready to comment with certainty, but we’ve been meddling around with ideas on side voting for certain HC tasks that are currently required of them only to fulfill.
That said, until we have fix(es) in place, officers will be needed to man the lines for smooth game play operations.
This is the direction we are headed. There’s so much to do and we have a great community backing and an awesome team onboard getting things done!
This article will be available on our home page and playgate for you to review and to show vets who are wondering what’s happening here at WWII Online. You can answer, “BIG THINGS,” times are changing, for the better.
I’ll be scheduling a Rat Chat with you all in the near future to keep you posted on progress and answer as many of your questions as I can.
Please leave some feedback below, questions will be answered and I’d love to hear your response to this very important article. We can’t thank you enough for your support, thanks for believing in us, backing us up and supporting us throughout the “dark times,” we experienced not too long ago. We will go on to do amazing things as long as you continue that, SALUTE!
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR GAME DEV TEAM
Most of these listed below are volunteers. With an increased number of people signing up to be a hero builder and vets re-subscribing, we can seriously increase the production of new weapons and hire more talent to force multiply ALL of our existing objectives.