Alpha 1 Update & Feedback!
Alpha 1 Launch
About a month ago we released Alpha 1 and we are very happy with the feedback we have received from you since then. The feedback was exceptionally detailed and constructive. That is anything but a given and on behalf of the entire team, we would like to say "thank you" once again.
The feedback also showed us that we are on the right track. Most of you liked the game a lot, although it is still a very early version, of course.
We have already implemented a lot of minor changes with today's update (see “Alpha 1 Update”). The rest went on our “To do” list or to the “To be discussed” list. Check out “Planned Improvements for Alpha 2” to see what we hope to achieve until end of the year.
If you want to be among the first to know what‘s going on and want even more behind-the-scenes info, be sure to join our private Backers’ Discord Channel.
With the launch of Alpha 1 we also updated the Iron Harvest website and the shop. Since the release of the Alpha 1 sales are way up. Of course, the money goes directly into the Iron Harvest development.
People who are not Iron Harvest backers but want to play Alpha 1 can pre-order the game at www.iron-harvest.com and get access to Alpha 1 that way. Please let everybody know who might be interested.
KING Art at gamescom
Every year in August, gamescom, the world's largest video games show, takes place in Cologne.
Despite not presenting Iron Harvest publicly, we had a busy schedule. We did not only meet with service providers who could help us develop or market Iron Harvest, we also met with publishers and distributors.
We have offers from several outstanding publishers and are pleased to report that they support our approach of developing Iron Harvest together with the community, away from corporate bullshit.
It is very likely that in the next few weeks we will be able to announce which partner we have chosen.
Info: Alpha Update / Change Log
Today we released another patch for Alpha 1 (version 0.2.5). You don’t have to do anything to get it, the Alpha gets updated automatically.
In this version you’ll find quite a few improvements and bug fixes (see below). We focused on “quick wins”, things we can change relatively easy without too much risk of causing problems elsewhere in the game. These are the things we’ve been working on:
- You can attack and destroy wrecks now (so they can’t block your path anymore)
- Improved mech explosions and destruction
- Tank Mech and Field Cannon now shoot at each other instead of on the ground below each other
- Reworked guard behaviour of units for the challenge map
- Infantry can do point attacks now
- Explosive barrels, gas tanks and wrecks can now be attacked by right-clicking them
- Rework of the turret of the Tank Mech (turns slower now)
- When you reinforce a squad, the reinforcements appear one by one now
- The crew of a Field Cannon can now be reinforced properly
- All units in the selection now get reinforced if possible
- Neutral Field Cannons can now be repaired
- Reworked the placing of Rally Points and the behaviour of Spawn Points of production buildings
- Structures can now be repaired by engineers
- Enhanced overhead info for buildings
- Better display of group affiliation in the overhead info and unit selection bar
- Added “Player” section in the skirmish configuration to enable you to set the AI difficulty there instead of in the game settings
- Now the camera can be moved using the Minimap while also being moved by another method at the same time
- General increase of attack range for most units (about 25% on average)
- Balancing adjustments of several units (mostly damage & health)
- Longer cool-down for grenades
- Increased walk speed for the Gatling Mech
- Increased manoeuvrability and walk/turn speed for the Tank Mech
- Reworked “Abandoned Railways Station” map (skirmish), so that large mechs have more space to move
- Changes to the balancing of “The Last Stand” (challenge map)
- Less deviations during Mortar attacks
- More hit and destruction animations and effects for structures
- Removed some glitches from Tank Mech animations
- More screen resolutions are now available in the settings menu
- Drastically reduced “floatiness” of all infantry units (feet hovering across the ground)
- Many little animation tweaks (walk/run/shoot)
One of the biggest issues in Alpha 1 had to do with bad pathfinding because of wrecks. You can now destroy wrecks to clear the way for your units. We also worked on the pathfinding system.
- Added several missing texts
- Fixed a bug where units behind UI elements sometimes got picked instead of the UI
- Fixed a bug where dragging for directed movement command lead to interacting instead of movement, when the drag was released over an interactive object
- The Tank Mech now turns correctly when you set the direction
- Fixed Attack move for infantry units
- The starting point of the selection rectangle is now pinned in the world when panning or rotating the camera
- Fixed a bug where some units did not enter a bunker when the entrance was obstructed
- Fixed a bug where some units did not participate in capturing when their action points were obstructed
- Mechs no longer attack destroyed structures
- Removed structures now spawn rubble when an upgrade was in progress
- Fixed refund (resources and population) of cannons when destroyed or the crew exits
- Fixed several bugs regarding leftover icons on the minimap and tactical map
- Fixed a bug where sometimes the middle mouse button stopped working after a focus change
- The button “Leave Building” is now always active if units are inside the structure
- Fixed the tooltip for Tactical Positions (flag poles)
- Fixed tooltip positioning for some situations
- Fixed some bugs regarding the result screen at the end of the challenge map
- Fixed a bug where the grenade ability could not be used directly sometimes after picking up the equipment
- The XP bar can no longer be dragged
- Fixed a bug where closing menus with the ESC key did not work properly
- Health bars of captured units always change their color properly now
- The XP bar in the main menu updates correctly now
- Bug fixed regarding the granting of medals
- Fixed a bug where scrolling combat text of damage did only show when the settings where disabled and enabled again
Your Alpha 1 Feedback & Our Plan
After focussing on quick wins and relatively easy and secure changes for the latest update, this month we’re going to rip the whole game apart and put it back together. From time to time it makes sense to work on the code without thinking about playablity of the game. In these “refactoring” periods, we take a look at the code and all systems as a whole and change structural things that turned out to be sub-optimal over the last half a year or so.
With these bigger changes behind us, we’ll focus on the bigger improvements at hand, which are (among other things):
- Performance optimization
- A reworked cover system, so units use multiple covers when they are in close proximity and don’t use two sides of a cover
- Responsiveness of units (for example leaving cover faster, aborting commands faster if a new command is given)
- Line of Sight / Fog of War
- Enhanced pathfinding
- Enhanced squad behaviour
- Unit level-ups and skills (including retreating)
- Command queue
- Further UI/UX enhancements
Our goal is to implement all of that or enhance the existing systems significantly for Alpha 2 (besides the multiplayer features, that is). We probably won't get there, but we're ambitious. ;-)
Look Ahead: Road to Alpha 2
On the game design front our main topics are multiplayer, the meta-game (progression, leagues, achievements etc.), enhancement of map tools and the preparation of the singleplayer campaign production.
It’s safe to say, fall won’t get boring!
The next DevBlog update will be a “classic” update. We’ll talk about a feature and introduce some team members. Stay tuned!
As always, we’ll keep you informed via our monthly DevBlogs, via Facebook and Twitter and via our Developer Discord Channel.
If you want to support us and get your hands on Alpha 1 right now, you can pre-order Iron Harvest here
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