Archive for the ‘ GoD Factory ’ Category

Steam Achievements and Squad System

GoD Factory: Wingmen is almost complete and we’re now mostly doing finishing touches, such as the Steam Achievements and the system to be able to play is pre-made teams, or squads.

Rather than just put achievements for the sake of it, we decided to make them matter a little more by associating them with in-game rewards. Every achievement you unlock will grant you credits and a new color or sheen to apply to your ship. We have over 40 achievements, with varying degree of difficulty. We’re using those also to train the player and to show him different tactics and abilities.

The squad system has always been something important to have but which always got pushed away in development in favor of issues more directly related to gameplay. Now we finally got around to making it. Essentially, it’s just a way to say tag your friends and say “I play with them and we stay together” and when the squad leader enters a game or leaves one, his team will follow.

With these two things out of the way, there is little more left to do than menu sounds, debugging and polishing.

Oh and on another note, tonight we’re going to play a game of Guns of Icarue Online against the devs! It will be on our twitch channel at 8pm Eastern Times.

This is what their game is about.

This is what their game is about.

Crew Quarters and a space station’s interior

 We’ve begun work on an interior environment for the Crew quarters, where a player can see his or her track record. Here’s a work in progress screenshot from the game (with no menus):

progress

The different computer terminals will bring up different information about your pilot career.

This work prepares us for the eventual single player of GoD Factory, where your character will be able to walk the halls of a massive ship.

 

The room shown above is composed of many small parts, such as a straight wall, a corner wall, etc. This allows me to create new layouts on the fly, which will be useful once we’ll need a more comprehensive environment for our characters to eventually move in.

 

Until next time,

EV

Terrain Update – Mechanical Hedrons and GoD Statue

Today’s post concerns the changes which are taking place in GoD Factory’s terrain. After finding that the terrain was too complex from a programming standpoint, the art team has spent time and effort to create a new kind of asteroid: one with mechanical details instead of asteroids with natural rock only.

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The change is not only esthetic and  geared toward computer performance, though. The new terrain features more nooks and crannies, as well as tunnels and other peculiar pieces of cover. Playing matches in these new environments will allow players to further use the terrain to their advantage, adding depth to the experience.

 

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We also found the time to complete a new version of one of the titular “GoD”. The giant statue that will tower over the battlefield will have more details and a more graceful figure, grace being one of the defining keywords we’ve used when designing our game’s look.

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A side and back version:

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The terrain is not 100% complete and has not been properly playtested yet. We also have a bit of work left to perfect the lighting and the post-processing effects to achieve a maximum visual fidelity in GoD Factory: Wingmen.

 

Until Next Time,

Étienne Vanier, Lead Artist

Bots, textures, new environment assets and more

The feedback we received from the beta was very useful in identifying what should be prioritized. We’ve been hard at work to bring the game up to your expectations, and this is what we’ve come up with so far:

Even though we thought it would be very hard to develop a competent AI before the game’s launch, we had to realize that we simply had no choice on the matter. We need bots so that new players have a safe space without the pressure of others to practice, and that way we also provide something to do when there aren’t enough people online to fill up a match. We think that this feature will really help fill up the lobbies.

Right now our bots can attack and defend the carrier, they respond to commands issued via the communication macros and they can participate in dogfights. They aren’t that difficult to beat, but you can use them efficiently if you give the right orders at the right time. It’s actually more fun than I expected to be honest. Here’s a short video:

Some people felt that even though the artistic direction was nice, the visuals looked a little dated. We want to keep the game accessible to a wide range of hardware, but we did find a way to improve the textures without making it more intensive on your computer. Essentially, we found another process to improve the normal maps, which in turn gives a more defined and detailed look. You can get a glimpse here:

Another frequently requested feature was a general chat that you can access outside of match lobbies. It’s done.

We also added some informative sections in the game on damage combos and carrier parts, in a more elegant fashion than how it was during our kickstarter builds.

We made the wave type weapons more satisfying to use by adding a short anticipation phase before they detonate.

We did an overhaul of the victory screens once back in the lobby to better communicate how the progression system works.

It is now much easier to identify in what rank a gunship part is.

We made abilities more satisfying to use by increasing the amount of feedback to the player and adding or replacing some FX and sound effects. For instance, when a kamikaze decoy starts heading toward the enemy that attacked it, it glows red and looks more threatening, helping the player understand that he was attacking a decoy.

We also did some changes to the level environment, but we’re not ready to show that to you yet!

That’s it for today!

PAX East 2014 video montage

We know that it’s been a few months already since PAX East 2014, but our good friend Andrew Czudac just finished a montage video of our wonderful time among fellow gamers!

Here it is:

Closing down the beta on June 2

Hi all!

The beta has been extremely useful to gather feedback, but soon we will close it down and focus on finishing the game. This Sunday will be the last day of the beta, so we invite everyone to come play one last time before the official release of the game.

We originally intended to release by the end of June, but during the beta we’ve learned, among other things, that we will definitely need bots to let new players practice more before they jump right into pure PvP action. We wanted to avoid it if we could due to how demanding it is on our development resources, but we think that this change will have a big impact on the traffic online. It also means setting back the game by a few months to make sure we do it right, without compromising what we already wanted to achieve before launch.

I think that people following our progress from the start will agree that with every passing month, the game has been improving tremendously and this extra time to polish up will be worth it.

We still need better loading screens, better stability and less disconnection errors, AI, matchmaking, better feedback when using abilities and taking damage, etc. These all take time but GoD Factory is too important to us to compromise on the game’s quality.

Thanks for your participation, your constructive feedback, your bug reports and for being all around a great community. I hope to see you online on Sunday for the last few matches of the beta!

- Guillaume

A week of beta: What we learned and where we go from there

We just pushed an update to the beta and the patch notes in a previous blog post. More importantly, we’re using this as an opportunity to reflect on what went well and what went bad with the beta launch, and what we’re going to do about it.

What went well:
– So far, reception is very positive, almost unanimously so and this is very encouraging for the whole team
– Our community has been incredibly welcoming and helpful to newcomers (thank you so much everyone, we’re blessed)
– We’ve identified a lot of bugs thanks to your help and also got some very helpful feedback on tweaks we can do to make the experience better
– Players are getting better at a faster pace than we expected!
– We’ve got players from all around the world

What went wrong:
– We had troubles synchronizing with our partners for key distribution, which lead to a smaller initial burst to kindle the community
– Solo farming is discouraging many players from grouping together to play matches
– New players are hesitant to create matches as they don’t want to be the host when they have little experience with the game, leading to less activity
– Not enough players overall to ensure that anyone at any time can join up on a match with at least 6 players

What went funny:
We got the coolest bug ever in the history of video games (disclaimer: this is entirely subjective and I am completely biased) when the beta started: whenever someone completed a tutorial, it gave money to every single player to ever register an account instead of just the person who did the tutorial, leading to massive amount of cash quickly piling up for no apparent reason. Luckily we could fix this rapidly, but we had to reset the credit count for some players and give them a fixed amount of credits to compensate.

Here are a series of actions we’ll take to fix the issues we encountered:

- Try to get more support from youtubers and twitch streamers. Note that it is really difficult to get in contact with popular web personalities. I keep trying to contact them but in the end, it will be up to them to decide whether or not they want to help us be successful.

- Try to schedule matches and encourage people to join our Razer Comms GoD Factory group and on our forums to plan ahead together for the best time to play.

- Open up the beta even more and distribute more keys (duh!).

- Add a quick match button.

- Make it impossible to earn EXP/credits when playing against an empty team (eventually we intend to have a penalty on experience/credits when not playing at least in 3v3, but for now this fix will have to suffice).

- Start increasing our own presence on Twitch to rally players while we are available (starting tomorrow!)

- Start making helpful video guides for our wiki and our youtube channel

Note that while we don’t have that many players online at the same time, players do log in but they leave as soon as they see there are no matches available. So if we can find ways to retain their attention, we could actually have enough players online to make regular matches without waiting. So we have to work both on ways in game to retain people longer and outside to game to direct more traffic at us. Meanwhile, encourage your friends to sign up for the beta and schedule a time with them to play :)

Have fun!

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