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Feature Friday: New In-Game Map

One of the problems with invading a foreign country is that you don’t really have time to learn the correct pronounciation of all the street names. Also, it’s hard to ask for directions when the local residents are mostly hiding in the cellar — and if you’re really unpopular, they probably took the street signs with them. This is when maps come in handy! And with the Newgarden build, the in-game map will become more useful.

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Half the Battle: Squad Tactics 1 – Using Map Coordinates

By popular demand, I am launching a series of blog posts about squad tactics, which is to say tips on how to function better as a team. This week I want to draw your attention to the grid coordinates found on the in-game map. You will see that they can function as a very efficient tool for quick communication.

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Making The Factory Map Pretty

Im currently working with Reto.FleCK on the new factory map. Reto.FleCK handles the overall level design, where it’s my job to make props and buildings and to make it all pretty. So I just thought I would share a couple of screenshots of what I’m working on right now.

factoryhalla_001 In-game screenshot from Factory Hall A

factoryhalla_overview001 An overview of Factory Hall A from XSI showing all the props and lightsources

factoryhalla_overview002 factoryhalla_overview003 Factory Hall A in XSI (left) and in-game (right)

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Press Release: Heroes & Generals – Come Out to Play Trailer

Announcing the Heroes & Generals “Come Out to Play” trailer

Heroes & Generals – Come Out to Play Trailer
Show it to your friends, share it on facebook and help us to make this video go viral!

We are proud to present our new Heroes & Generals “Come Out to Play” trailer.

Based on Heroes & Generals, the Massive Online Strategic Shooter being built by a veteran team that includes the original creators of the Hitman franchise, “Come Out to Play” is produced to entertain and inform. By splicing live action and in-game sequences together, the movie celebrates H&G’s innovative combined online first-person shooter and strategic campaign in an authentic World War II setting.

Community members and developers on the frontline Community members and developers on the frontline

Community Stars

As a true testament to our open door development model, where developers work with Heroes & Generals players in the alpha and beta community to enhance the game, we invited some hardcore fans to join us on set for the filming of “Come Out to Play.” From near and far, these community co-stars arrived and happily joined members of our development team on the frontlines and in the strategy room for a few days of glorious make-believe war.

“We wish to create a living and breathing game universe, where we deliver the setting and the scene, but the real ‘star’ is the community who plays out all the active roles in a persistent war and helps us tweak the experience into the game that they want to play,” says Jacob Andersen, Game Director at Reto-Moto. “I believe that the ‘Come Out to Play’ trailer shows the scope of Heroes & Generals – and it’s just perfect that we have actual community members participating as actors in it!”

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Intelligence Bulletin Vol 2 * No 21

Do you want to receive the weekly Intelligence Bulletin by email? Then go to your Account settings, press ‘Change account settings’, check ‘I want to receive weekly development updates’ and press save!

intelligencebulletingvol02no21 The biggest news of this week is of course that the new Bradley build is up! We have really been looking forward to present all the new goodies to you!

Due to a new weapon modification and character system we had to reset the servers and clear the database. So this means that your earned gold and credits are gone, but bought gold, War Bonds or gold earned by War Bonds should still remain. If not, then please contact support.

A new batch of Beta-keys is coming up quite soon, and we’ll also run a new stress test as soon as we have fixed the most grave bugs on Bradley. It’s our goal to have the community grow quite a bit over the coming months, so next week, we’re preparing a major PR push, which hopefully will attract a lot of new players.

Starting next week we’ll also send the weekly Intelligence Bulletin (you’re reading one now) by email to those interested. So if you want the latest development news to hit your inbox each week, then go to your Account settings, press ‘Change account settings’, check ‘I want to receive weekly development updates’ and press save!

Propaganda this Week

Brutal Gamer Preview
Bagogames Podcast Interview

The Visuals of Explosions

Well, guess what this video is about… Yes, you guessed it – the look of explosions! Please note that it’s still work-in-progress – the explosions are only particle-based without 3d debris (but it will come) and there are no shadows on the particles yet.

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Intelligence Bulletin Vol 2 * No 20

intelligencebulletingvol02no20 There is a new build on the way to the live server, and we expect it to be up in the beginning of next week. We have started naming our builds so it’s easier for both you and us to communicate about the various builds throughout the development phase, so the name for the next build is ‘Bradley’.

Some of the new things in Bradley includes a reworked weapon modification system and a slightly modified character system, which means that we need to reset the servers and the player stats, because the old system and the new one aren’t compatible.

However, all gold bought with ‘real money’ + gold earned from War Bonds are refunded as gold, and all War Bonds remains intact.

One of the other new things in the Bradley build is a fix for the dreaded ‘Disk Cleanup bug‘. Our two community-members mouseofpain and Wolf.Ferber discovered that Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup tool corrupted their Windows installation after installing Heroes & Generals. After a lot of research we discovered that the Disk Cleanup tool starts erasing the wrong files if it encounters a full-file-path longer than 260 characters in the %temp% folder. And as we install Heroes & Generals in the %temp% folder and some of our files have long names and paths this particular bug might be triggered. However, there is a fix in the Bradley build, where we make sure that no file-paths are too long!

This week we also found the winner of our Screenshot Competition on facebook, and it was Mateusz Stępień with Kevin Andrew as runner-up. Congratulations to both!

… onwards to Propaganda, Developer Blogs and Ream Debriefing for this week:

Propaganda this Week

Press Release: Fresh screens and artwork for E3 2012!

“To mark the occasion of E3, today we offer fresh new screens and artwork, including images of the forthcoming light tanks, MC with sidecar and two-man bicycles voted for by the Heroes & Generals community, and a glimpse at combat badges from H&G’s unique character advancement system.” Read More

Previews and interviews

MMOBomb
Comics & Gaming Magazine
FPSGuru

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Intelligence Bulletin Vol 2 * No 18

intelligencebulletingvol02no18 This week we proudly announced that we went into Closed Beta and that we’re encouraging gamers to sign up for a Beta-key.

But what does “Closed Beta” really mean for us, for you and for Heroes & Generals? Here is how we interpret “Beta”:

Well first of all “Beta” really is just a name… Well, it’s actually a letter… Wikipedia says: Beta (pronounced UK: /ˈbiːtə/, US: /ˈbeɪtə/) (uppercase Β, lowercase β; Greek: Βήτα Bḗta) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet.”.

But Wikipedia also says “In computing the term ‘beta’ is used as (usually) the last pre-release in the Software release life cycle.”

To us, “Beta” is simply a milestone and a statement that we’ve made a solid platform where we can continue to expand the game on and that we’re ready to invite more players.

Please don’t compare a Battlefield or a Call of Duty beta with ours – those games are “boxed” titles and their betas really aren’t beta’s in the first place. It’s release candidates and much more meant as marketing tools. Instead look at Minecraft, World of Tanks, Firefall, Tribes Ascend and all the other recent online games. They all went “beta” at a similar stage in the development, and the games were (and still are) further developed throughout the beta and after launch.

We’re not making a boxed and fixed product, where we lock down the development in the beta stage, and then never again touch the game. No, this is a living and breathing process, where we’ll continue to develop the game, tweak gameplay, graphics and sound – and add new features and content, no matter what we call it; alpha, pre-beta, closed beta, open beta, launch, v1.0, v2.0, etc…

What we have implemented in the current build is only a fraction of all the ideas we currently have in our design manual but releasing the game to a (hopefully) larger audience will help us prioritize the development of the features.

So the basic Wikipedia definition “Beta is the second letter in the Greek alphabet” kind of fits our interpretation – Closed Beta is simply just the next chapter in the never-ending story of developing Heroes & Generals.

Propaganda this Week

Heroes & Generals Beta Videolog 1

Heroes & Generals – Beta Videolog 1 showing gameplay and a preview of our upcoming iOS and Android app – Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command

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Objective highlighting

In my ‘sparetime’ I’ve worked a bit on a system similar to the glow effect seen in some other games (eg. Left4Dead), where it’s possible to ‘see’ certain mission objectives through walls in order to aid the player on the way through the game. I know even from myself that it sometimes can be really hard to find certain key points in our game, as the in-game map isn’t that detailed. Below is a screenshot from my current experiment.

highlighting Mission objective outlining effect

Let us know what you think! Whether you like it or not…

Reto.Hal9k

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What are you waiting for soldier? We need heroes on the battlefield and generals to lead them!