Welcome to this weeks State of the Game! Work continues on the new version of No Man's Pass and it has brought up a very interesting discussion on the forums

The basic idea is, what are the ideal ranges to be fighting at? This has a major impact on the level design and it's something I had gone through a lot when creating Giant Leap, a big reason why that level is much smaller than the other levels.

Since No Man's Pass is the biggest level so far, it really started to become apparent that there was something off with the ranges and level sizes. So I did some tests.

Here I have a 'range test' setup showing what it is like fighting at 400 meters and 200 meters.



And here is the same setup at 200 meters.


As you can see in these images, 400 meters is actually a really LONG ways to be engaging the enemy at.

The issue is, most of the levels were designed for engagements at OVER 1000 meters, and are several thousand meters across.

To me, this seems like a fundamental flaw. This also means movement speeds are designed for covering hundreds of meters, which leads to snipers have a big disadvantage. Even on a completely open level like Crater Arena, a sniper can not disable a target faster than the target can close the distance in engagement ranges.

I will be spending this week tweaking values and building some prototype versions of no mans pass to help be choose a course of action to peruse. 

I would love to hear your feedback on the forums

Posted on August 13, 2014

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This week has a few updates, so this will likely be a short State of the Game.

I did release the new snapshot build, and players are already having a great time on the new No Man's Pass. If you forgot what it looks like, here is the final concept again:


Already, there is a lot of feedback about the new level and how it plays. You should join in on the discussion!

Well, that is all for this week! I will continue to improve on the level and take gameplay feedback into consideration. 

Posted on August 6, 2014

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It's time to announce the T-Shirt contest winner! The winner is shadow0716, with their 'Iceberg' design. I will be working with them to get a free shirt to them and get this design added to the M.A.V. merch store.


In development news, I continued work on the next snapshot, which will include a work in progress remake of No Man's Pass. I have a basic level design laid out and will be tweaking the sizes of the combat zones and 'battle flow'. The new level will be 36 sq km, of which a full 16 sq km will be playable area. Compared this to the old No Man's Pass, which was 16 sq km, with only 9 sq km being playable.

At these distances, it would take ~3 mins for the fastest M.A.V. in the game to go from HQ to HQ, in a siege battle.

I am also experimenting with different times of day, so the current version is actually set at night. I am doing this because it is a feature I have been wanting to support for Campaign mode, but I have not fully tested it out.

Also, there are some additional changes that I have in the snapshot already. While the snapshot is not ready today, do to an issue I am having with unity, I do plan to release it before next week, so here is the change log:

* Changed HQ health on all maps from 5,000 to 30,000. This will help prolong Siege games and prevent single attacker base rushing.

 + Added 3 new camo patterns. These patterns were user created and include some very cool designs. They are, bananas, fuzzy camo, and the 'uber camo' a very multi-use pattern.
* Upgraded Unity to version 4.5

+ Added No Man's Pass v2 as a playable level. It is available for arena and siege mode, in both single and multiplayer. It's marker is next to the old No Man's Pass marker.

Well that is it for this week. I will see you soon! 

Posted on July 30, 2014

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Welcome back to another week of development! This week I got fully back into the groove of development and put out a build with code fixes in it. It took a little while to get full acquainted with the code base again (it is close to 100k line), but once I was the fresh eyes made finding some long standing bugs pretty quick. Here are the fixes in this week:

* Uplink networks will now properly show allies and enemies. Before there were issues if a unit was inside a the Uplink Network, but not directly in range of a ComSys part.

* Fixed turning being tied to frame rate. I noticed this because my new computer has such better frame rate. Before, the faster your frame rate, the faster you could turn. This seems to have always been in the game, so it's weird it was never noticed before. Now, turn rate in frame rat independent. This required a re-balance of the turn rates. I tried to keep them the same, but it's hard to tell if it's exact. 

* I added additional checks for handling issues / crashes when you are spectating a player that dies. I feel it's 100% solid in single player, but there are still some race conditions in multiplayer that can cause it to mess up.

So, not only is there a new update today, but the T-Shirt contest is closed for submissions! Soon I will set up a voting thread and the winner will get a free shirt and thier design will go on sale in the MAV store!

As for continued development, this coming week I will be focused on upgrading to Unity 4.5 and getting started on a proper remake of No Man's Pass.

I am doing this now because there are features that are part of siege mode and the commander update that I want to test on a 'proper' map. The last new map was Giant Leap, and it's not up to size of what I had in mind for a proper siege game. It is likely Giant Leap will also see some optimizations and enlargement.

Also, I want to take advantage of the bug fixes in Unity 4.5 and use some of the new tools I have to revisit the shaders I have created. This should put me on the final path to getting 'final' art. I have already accepted that while the models in the game now are nice, it is likely they will all be replaced with higher quality assets. They currently lack a lot of the character that I feel the really old models have, even if they are higher quality models in general.

See you next week! 

Posted on July 23, 2014

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Welcome back for another State of the game! So, if you haven't been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you will not know that I ran into a small issue when building my new computer. In my hurried haste of ordering all the parts (hey, I was excited!) I ordered a 32 bit version of windows and not a 64 bit. I didn't notice this untill I had fully installed everything and on the last program, got invalid CPU errors, as I was naturally trying to install the 64 bit version. After some extensive searching, I was able to get a 64 bit ISO file directly from Microsoft and put it on a boot-able USB drive. With that all taken care of, I present my new workstation!


With a fully up and running computer I jumped right back into development. I started with a small update, as I needed to test all my tools and deployment processes on the new machine. With that said, I present version 0.5.20_4!

Interestingly, I started this update before moving, so I don't have the full change log available. It was a bug fix update, but I don't remember what I fixed while still in Germany. So the Changes this week:

* Updated the Reverse legs animations speed so they don't go into turbo mode when walking in circles. 

* Updated the Camera position on all leg types

* Updated camera lag on Biped legs to allow more camera motion

* Updated camera lag on Reverse legs to allow more camera motion

* Updated camera lag on Tank legs to allow more camera motion.

The primary changes were content side, as I didn't want to introduce new bugs with this update.

Here is an example of the new camera positions:


The camera has been something a lot of players had wanted different, so I think the new position strikes a nice balance of showing your M.A.V., allowing you to aim in 3rd person, and still being able to have good spatial awareness.

I know this is a small update, but I am back in the swing of things now and you can expect things to return to a normal development pace now. Thanks for your patience and I will see you next week! 

Posted on July 16, 2014

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