Your long awaited update has arrived! For this month's dev blog, we'll be sharing our progress on development, priorities, goals, and plans for our closed alpha. Strap in... we've got a lot to cover!
On the overall development front we've made considerable progress since our last update and are happy to report that we are on track towards our internal Closed Alpha date. We're not quite ready to give away the date yet, but rest assured we are progressing at a rapid pace.
In addition to making things look pretty, one major component to designing a level belonging to the "online shooter" space is optimization. With our level design team working around the clock adding new content and improving virtually every aspect of our pre alpha map, we've been making sure everything is optimized not only for performance, but for first person shooter gameplay as well. This means proper collision, no nooks or crannies players can disappear into, and no exploitable angles. You can't design a competitive game without taking these things seriously of course.
With that said, we've also lowered the overall verticality of the map, added and moved around some points of interests, adjusted our terrain material, optimized our foliage for online play, and patched up a ton of collision bugs. Oh yeah, and we've dramatically improved the look of the dome structure and skybox! We still have much more planned for this current map and we'll be making sure no one gets stuck in bugged terrain ditches for the next testing phase (Alpha)!
We have tweaked gameplay quite a bit since our Pre-Alpha began.
Each weapon has its own unique recoil and spread system which ensures that each weapon has a specific role to fill depending on the combat situation. This allows players to drop in and find the weapons they enjoy using the most, suitable to their playstyle.
Based on feedback, audible hit markers and bullet tracers have been added to give players a better idea on when they are landing their shots and where they are getting shot from.
We've enabled "hitscan"-like responsiveness for anything within a 10-meter radius from the player. If you don't hit anything within a 10-meter range, a projectile is spawned. This allows for more responsive close quarters gun fights while preserving traditional bullet drop physics for longer range battles.
Our fantastic animator, Cole, has been working on improving existing animations to look a little more natural. We think he's done a great job so far! Nade throws are not easy... Next up is our first Melee weapon. Lets see what he can do!
After our Pre-Alpha launched, testers were experiencing lag, rubberbanding, and poor hit registration. Over the past month we've made it our priority to resolve these gamebreaking bugs so that your shots land where you aim and latency issues are at a minimum. We know how frustrating poor netcode can be and we want to make sure network performance is optimized once ION hits the market. The last few patches have taken care of the majority of these issues and we're happy to report that hit reg is on point and things are running very smoothly!
We love FPS (frames per second) here at DH Studios just as much as you do, which is why we are utilizing various optimization techniques to make sure we squeeze out every frame per second possible. We want to make sure ION is playable on a wide variety of rigs and on the highest settings possible. Here are our current requirements for ION:
Windows 10 (x64)
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500k CPU
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon RX480 or Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB
Windows 7 (x64)
Processor: 2.5 GHz Dual-Core 64-bit CPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX10 Compatible GPU with 2 GB Video RAM
With Unreal Engine's new update to 4.15, SLI configurations are now supported!
We've hired a badass engine programmer to help us wipe out all the annoying crashes players are currently experiencing. We know they suck, they happen to us too!
Also joining the Define Human team is an extremely gifted UI designer slash graphic artist. His name is Brad and he's awesome. Here's a sneak peek at what he's been working on!
Closed Alpha News
As previously mentioned, we are hitting all of our internal deadlines for Closed Alpha. We're extremely happy with the progress we've made in such a short amount of time, but we are still a little ways off from finalizing a launch date. That being said, we'd like to share our Closed Alpha feature roadmap:
- Medieval and ancient areas of the map complete with detailed interiors
- First iteration of our ranking system with global leaderboards and stats
- New and improved character model
- More weapons and attachments
- First iteration of our melee system
- Beam drop event system (described in Kickstarter update #2)
- Inventory overhaul
- More optimization, net code improvements, and 0 crashes
Don't let that list of features scare you, we are currently making rapid progress and have the right people in place to implement them. Keep in mind that some of these features may not be fully polished for Closed Alpha, however, they should be in a functional state.
Hang in there just a bit longer, we'll be announcing dates soon!
Congratulations to our first Battle Royale Dev Hunt event winners:
These 5 contestants came in first place in our Dev Hunt event and have been awarded the esteemed Dev Hunt Champion Badge. They will forever be remembered as the Nyne's first victors.
Remember Pre-Alpha members: Every Wednesday and Saturday from 9PM-11PM Eastern Standard Time is our Pre-Alpha Dev Hunt event. Come join for your chance to be part of Islands of Nyne history!
Screenshot of the Month (this month's a gif)
Too far for ACOG, switching to 12x (double rendered scope ON)
Keep an eye out for our next dev update coming soon!
-Define Human Team