Iron Harvest DevBlog #10 - February 2019

  Feb 13, 2019     Iron Harvest

A new Alpha 2 Update is available!

Status of the Campaigns, Alpha 2 Update, Servers Live!

News

The servers are live!

With today’s release of the Alpha 2 update, we will put the multiplayer servers online again for a week. If you want to play Iron Harvest in multiplayer, please do so between

Wednesday, Feb. 13th and Wednesday, Feb. 20th

Please play plenty and give us your feedback on the changes and the game in general. See you on the battlefield!


If you backed Iron Harvest on Kickstarter or pre-ordered it at www.iron-harvest.com, be sure to join us in our Backers Discord Channel. You can find the link here, if you claimed your copy of Iron Harvest.
Info: Status of the Campaigns

Where we're at

In this issue of our DevBlog we will talk a lot about the Alpha 2 update, which means, by definition, that it’s a lot about multiplayer. However, we do know that many of you are especially looking forward to the singleplayer/coop campaigns. 

So here is a brief overview of what the status is in terms of campaigns:

  • The content and structure of all 21 missions and 23 cutscenes has been defined.
  • Texts for the first campaign (Polania) are mostly done (including the tutorial). 
  • There is a layout for most maps (3 or 4 are still missing).
  • The first campaign map (map 3 of the Polanian campaign) just received the first visual pass (see below).
  • This map will be our “testmap” for scripting, staging and campaign gameplay. We’re working on our scripting system at the moment and expect to be able to play the mission in early March.
  • At the moment, three level designers and three artists are working on multiple maps and graphics sets at the same time. Usually, the first maps take forever and as soon as there are all the assets available and people know what they are doing, things speed up considerably.

We start each map with a rough in-engine layout. Then we do a first visual pass, followed by the scripting and staging. After a ton of testing (functionality/bug testing, but also many playtests), we do the second visual pass to make everything look perfect.

City Set

Doing the first maps in a game always takes forever, because we have to design all the elements for the map. We’re almost done with our “Rural” and “Industrial” sets (all the Alpha 2 maps use these sets) and are working on the most complicated set, “City”. 

Some blockouts and tests regarding the size and general look of city buildings.


And here a couple of buildings, all build from a surprisingly small number of pieces.

Info: Alpha 2 Change-Log (Patch Notes 0.4.0) 

General

  • There is a chat in the multiplayer lobby now that helps you negotiating the match settings with other players and insult their mothers (Please don’t do that.)
  • There is an ingame chat now to communicate with your teammates or with all players in the match

  • Improved performance and reduction of lag-spikes, for example when fighting with the spider mech for the first time
  • We added several new ingame notifications to the game
  • A new unit, the medic, has been implemented in the game for both the Polania and Saxony faction:
    • Medics can heal other units 
    • You can sacrifice a medic squad to build a medic field post that can heal and also reinforce infantry units

UI & Ingame Feedback

  • Unit selection circles and range indicators are now better visible on any terrain
  • Progress bars (e.g. conquering, building) have a progress animation now and the health bar of a building flashes when the building is being captured
  • Resource buildings no longer display full health while being destroyed
  • Tooltips and health bars of buildings that can be garrisoned now show how many soldiers are garrisoned
  • Tooltip of build options in the production menu is improved to better reflect why a unit cannot be built
  • Placing fortifications now shows a ghost preview
  • There now is an UI element that informs you about low FPS, bad ping and server problems. By default, you’ll only see the element if there is a problem. You can change that in the settings. 
  • Remapping keys in the settings menu has been improved
  • The “Rules” in the „Skirmish Map Settings Screen“ have been improved
  • You can now configure mulitplayer victory conditions better than before
  • The „Multiplayer Result Screen“ works better now and should no longer display wrong “0” values

Controls

  • Context sensitive orders can now be used on the unit pictures in the Unit Selection (for example: You can now repair a mech by right-clicking its portrait when an engineer is selected)
  • Improvements for squad interactions with objects (better feedback, enhanced usability)
  • It is now possible to select objects like crates or equipment even if some of your units are standing in front of them
  • You can now use right-click drag to determine in which direction your units take cover in two-sided covers or in trenches

  • The right-click drag now works for all mechs
  • UI elements no longer cancel the right-click drag
  • When starting a selection drag over an object that is not on the floor layer, the rectangle now starts exactly where the click was registered in world-space instead of on the floor below
  • Soldiers following a weapon system are now clickable
  • Hotkeys are no longer blocked if the cursor is over an UI element
  • Assigning groups with Ctrl+Number should now also work if you release Ctrl before the number
  • Releasing the mouse cursor after moving off an ability button no longer executes that ability
  • Camera rotation hotkeys now match the keybindings in the options menu

Gameplay

  • Retreating units no longer need to touch the Headquarters to end the retreat; instead, they stop the retreat when near the Headquarters
  • While in a multiplayer game, players can now surrender if they are the only humans in a team or start a vote to surrender if they are in a team with other humans

  • AI takes over in multiplayer games if a player has a disconnect and there is a chance to reconnect to the game
  • It is now prohibited to build an HQ when you already have one
  • Fortifications can no longer be built in the building zone of another player

Animation & Art

  • More gameplay buildings have hit animations now
  • Highly reduced aiming inaccuracies for all soldiers 
  • Enabled full motion range for all soldiers (walk to sprint and everything in between)
  • Further improved responsiveness for all units
  • Some UI enhancements

Balancing & AI

  • Reworked the population costs to be lower overall and easier to read
  • Reduced overall damage and health values to be 1/100 of their former values. Gameplay stays the same.
  • Buffed splash damage in general. This affects: Smialy, Isegrim, Wotan, Cannon System and Gunner Infantry
  • Nerfed Wotan: Slightly reduced health, reduced damage to light and medium armored targets, reduced rocket damage, increased rocket cooldown
  • Nerfed Grenadier: Reduced grenade damage to all targets
  • Buffed Lowca: Basic attacks now pierce through unarmored and light armored targets, short range high damage ability is now available
  • Buffed Grimbart: Slightly increased damage to light and medium armored targets
  • Buffed Eisenhans: Increased health, reduced size in hit-system
  • Adjusted the attack behaviour of the AI in AI modes "Hard" and "Insane”
  • Further improved AI behaviour  

Bugs

  • Wrecks of mechs no longer "float" if destruction happens while off-camera
  • The rally point no longer resets after upgrading a building
  • Population costs of weapon systems are now processed correctly
  • Setting "Confident" bonus modifier to anything higher than "None" no longer results in invulnerable units
  • Buildings constructed by the AI now face in the right direction
  • Gatling sweep and spider default attack are now properly cancelled when the mech is dying while shooting
  • Fixed a bug where you could get stuck on the loading screen of a skirmish map when you invited someone to a multiplayer match earlier

Look Ahead

We are planning the next Alpha 2 update for late March. If everything plays out as planned, we will add “shouts” (units giving vocal feedback to orders and so on), which will be exciting because it’s very important for the atmosphere.

After focusing on bug fixing for this update, we’ll add more new features, at least one new unit and at least one new map to Alpha 2 with the next update. Of course, while working on these more visible changes, we’ll keep working on a lot of stuff “behind the scenes”.

As always, we’ll keep you updated through our monthly DevBlogs, over Facebook and Twitter, and via our developer server on Discord.


If you want to support us and get your hands on Alpha 2 right now, you can pre-order Iron Harvest here. You‘ll also get access to upcoming Beta builds and to our private Backers Discord Channel for exclusive behind-the-scenes material.

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