Another week, another State of the Game!

 This week I was working on some secret parts! In the newest Snapshot build [0.5.20_18, available now] you can check out the all new Hover legs! 

I know, the long awaited, always denied that they would exists, hover legs have finally made it into the game. And with this new addition, that means that the wheel legs no longer have to fulfill such a large role. So, with this update, there has been quite a few balance tweaks. 

First, lets look at the hovers:

The hover type legs are the fastest legs in M.A.V. [even faster than the old wheels!] but trade this speed for very low load capacity and low part health. Also, since they hover, they don't have that great of stability or aim stability, so watch out for high impact shots and large recoil forces. They do counteract these drawbacks by having a higher than normal cockpit rotation speed and the do not suffer from fall damage [not implemented yet].

All in all, they are the perfect scout platform and can harass from a distance very well. A hover with some flamers makes for a great sniper cooker as well ;)



As for the rest of the changes, read below:

* Added Hover Legs
* Fixed wheel legs floating through the air bug
* Reduced top speed of wheels
* Increased turn rate of wheels
* Increased acceleration and braking of wheels
* Increased base health of reverse joint legs
* Fixed 'damaged' AlienFX lights triggering when being healed
* Added healing AlienFX lights


Posted on October 29, 2014

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Welcome back for another State of the Game!

This week, I actually took a small vacation! It's crazy, I know, but I went up to the Texas State Fair [even with all the Ebola scare!]. I have lived in Texas a long time, but had never been. I did enjoy it, but think it will be the one and only time I go, haha.

Also, on Sunday RestfulSHADOZ, LegacyElite84, and Sergedavid invited me to join them for the M.A.V. podcast #4. It was a great time, and if you missed it, you can check it out on youtube below

 I have continued to make some minor fixes and my work on new models is going to continue this week as well. Sometime this week, there should be an update with at least 1 new part in it. I also hope to add some additional functionality to the CommSys parts, which should aid team work in Siege mode games.

That is all for this week! See you soon! 

Posted on October 22, 2014

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Welcome back! This week I have mainly been focusing my time on finding a new environment artist [I think I have one!] and creating models for the last of the parts that I consider to be required to fully know if the levels are properly designed. 

In between all of that, I did manage some super small bug fixes and was able to add AlienFX support for anyone that has an alienware computer. For those of you without an Alienware, they have a bunch of LED lights on them and the AlienFX allows M.A.V. to control those lights in response to what is happening on screen. Currently M.A.V. will send light commands for 3 different events. Firing a weapon, having a vital part take damage [legs or cockpit], and having a part be on fire. Hopefully this adds to the immersion for people that have AlienFX.

If you are wondering why I implemented AlienFX lights, it is part of a cross promotion deal that I was approached with. Alienware will help advertise M.A.V. to their 3.5 million users, which should help increase awareness for M.A.V. and hopefully grow the player base! 

Posted on October 15, 2014

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Welcome back for an exciting State of the Game update!

This week, I have been solely focused on finishing up the alpha version of No Man's Pass V2. There were two snapshots this week, one on Saturday and one yesterday, with playable versions of the map in it.

The first version of the map was met with positive reviews, but had a few spots in it that allowed you to get stuck or fall into a hole. The updated version addressed some of the gameplay issues I saw while playing with real people and fixed up as many of the bugs as I could find. 

Overall, it seems people are enjoying it.  

At this point in time I would be sending parts of the level out for art, but unfortunately the artist I had contacted before had to take another gig and will be unavailable for the next six months. I do have back up artists and have also posted a job listing and have been reviewing new candidates. I hope to have an artist on board and starting work before the next state of the game.

While I wait, I have started work on a few things. One of the was to get a dev environment step with unity 4.5, to test migration strategies to the newer versions of the engine, as was as using some new tools to create better shaders for the current engine. I have an excellent tool called Shader Forge, but it can sadly only be used in unity 4.5. [I can't upgrade past unity 4.2 because they changed the compile system in unity 4.3 and M.A.V. is too big for the 32 bit editor, cashing a crash when I try and compile a new build] My hope is to use the tool to create the shader in unity 4.5 and then pull it backwards into unity 4.2. 

Also, I have started up some more part creation. I don't want to flood out too many parts before the unlock system is in place as I don't want to overwhelm players. [There are already 325 parts] I do feel that there are some parts that need to be in place, at least in some form, to get a better idea of how the whole meta game will play out and how maps are designed. I will let you speculate what those parts are ;)

Do expect a LOT of parts with the social update though.

That is all for this week! Thanks for your support! 

Posted on October 8, 2014

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Welcome to another State of the Game! For a good portion of last week, I was fighting off a terrible virus that sapped the energy right out of me. It's always been funny to me, that no matter how big of a 'man' you are, a tiny virus and always bring you to your knees.

So, to catch up, let me cover a few of the changes that happened last week!

These changes will be in snapshot 0.5.20_14, which will go out once the next whitebox revision is done.

During the white boxing of a level, I play it a lot. I mean I play it a LOT, close to 50-60 times a night. In doing that many play tests, I realized the HQ health was way too high. I couldn't even build a reasonable build that would have enough firepower to take one down on my own. After some toying around, a 50% reduction in health seems to be the sweet spot. At 15,000 health, you need a fairly dedicated base dropper to be able to take out the HQ yourself, and you better not waste much ammo on fighting. 

Also in all of this testing, i got very frustrated with the HQ's not showing any kind of damage feedback, espeically since I know I made the feedback and thought I had setup the system. Turns out, I had done it, but there was a minor error caused by code changes somewhere else, that was preventing them from showing. So now the HQs will show feedback for 75% health, 50% health, 33% health, and death. This is tested to be working in both single and multiplayer.

 There was also an interesting Garage bug pointed out by Legacy, which would prevent you from leaving the garage unless you had at least 1 part on your M.A.V.. I was able to get this fixed as well. [It was an error with trying to auto save a non-existent M.A.V.]

Now that last week is all caught up, I want to talk about how I am working on the new No Man's Pass.

First of all, you have seen me throw around the word "white boxing" a lot. This is taking a level, and building it quickly with boxes [typically textured and thus white, though sometimes also called grey boxing]. This allows very rapid game design and gameplay feedback, without being distracted by if the art looks good or makes sense. Here is a image to give you a better idea:


Here you can see how I have used boxes and hexagons to start to get a level layout.

So, back to what I was saying. With the white boxing, I wanted to start from scratch. I know some players were upset that the level didn't have a 'Pass' in it, and wanted history of the level, and so, to start the level, I treated it like a character and started with a backstory. No Man's Pass was a typical Linea on Europa, or a crack in the ice along a fault line. However, when the comet hit [on the other side of Europa], the shock wave that traveled around the globe caused the two sides of the ice canyon to slide and smash into each other. They then recoiled back, but forever closer than they used to be. The crashing forced to the surface many valuable minerals, such as phosphorus, peroxide, and sulfur, but also left behind a landscape filled with icy daggers and unstable walls. Linea are also known for their hot water eruptions, making this a very dangerous place to be. Unfortunately, it is also one of the only ways left to traverse what remains of the icy plains, as the surface above the canyons is too cold and is exposed to significantly more radiation. Thus is born, No Man's Pass.

With this backstory in place, I was able to instantly get a visual of how the map should play and the type of landscape you will be dealing with.

That is all I have for now! I will continue the white boxing and hope to have a playable map out before the next state of the game. Then it's off to the artist to make it look awesome! ;)

Until next week, happy MAVing! 

Posted on October 1, 2014

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