Monthly Archive for: ‘July, 2012’

Tutorials, accessibility and usability

usability “…now, where do I start…?”

Heroes & Generals can be a quite deep and complex game, if you want to explore all the possibilities of the game, but it’s our goal to be able to present it to new players in a simple and fun way. So, we’re currently discussing at the office, how to make Heroes & Generals easier and more intuitive to newcomers.

H&G is in its core a shooter, and it’s our intention to make a shooter that is easy to learn, but hard to master.

The strategy/campaign part of the game is truly what makes H&G unique, but it’s also what might confuse a lot of new players and might scare them off, before they even get to play the shooter part. And basically we need a lot of players who just want to play the shooter part of the game compared to the amount of players needed for the strategy part of the game, so we really need to find a great way of introducing the game in an easy and “edible” way.

But before we reveal our thoughts on this matter, we would like to hear your unbiased thoughts.

So, in your opinion, what can we do to make H&G easier to get started with for new players?

Should we make a tutorial, and what should the tutorial go through? Should we hide the campaign/strategy part of the game for new players? Should we make a mentor-system, where experienced players can train noobs, and in that case, how should we design it?

Please post all ideas and comments in this forum thread:

Intelligence Bulletin Vol 2 * No 24

intelligencebulletingvol02no24 The nice weather has finally hit Scandinavia, and luckily it is in the week where the majority of the Reto-team is on vacation. The offices are quite empty, but those left behind are working hard to stabilize the servers, fixing bugs and tweaking stuff.

The Dietl build is now on our stable server (the last step before reaching the live server), and with a little luck we might be able to deploy it to the live server next week. If Dietl behaves nicely there, we’ll set up a server stress-test and send a huge batch of new beta-keys. But as always: we might encounter issues that will delay things!

The most prominent feature (or fix) in Dietl is a new stats-database and backend-system for handling character and player stats. While it seems invisible to you when you play, it’s really what has stopped us from pushing huge numbers of Beta-keys out the door. The old system was unfortunately too slow and couldn’t scale as well as we had hoped. But this just reminds us of why we’re still in closed beta, and haven’t opened the doors yet.

Quite a few interviews and previews has been published during the past 4 weeks, and we have also published a handful of interesting Developer Blogs, which you can see below… Oh, and sorry for a quite “thin” Team Debriefing, but even game developers need som R&R. ;)

Let’s proceed…

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!

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It’s summer, the sun is shining and 2000 new Beta-keys are out the door!

Even though we haven’t released the Dietl build yet, we’ve decided to defy the heatwave at our office and stay cool by sending 2000 new Beta-keys. So open your inbox and check if you’ve received one!

It can take up to a few hours for a mail to find it’s way, so remember to check again later today and also check your junk/spam folder.

See you on the Battlefield!

News from the front, July 2012

The summer is upon us (well at least in the northern hemisphere) and things are slowing down a bit at the office due to summer vacations. However we’ve not shut down the office entirely, so bugs are still being fixed and new stuff is being worked on and implemented.

The Crace Build is Up!

A few weeks ago the ‘Crace’ build was released. While this build primarily contained quite a few bug fixes and ‘small’ features it also contained a few major changes:

First of all we’ve implemented the first version af a mission lobby, in order to avoid having for instance 1 vs 12 missions, and besides it gives you a chance to see who’s on your team and who you’re going up against. However, this is not the final design, and you can read more about the design, and join the discussions in this forum thread.

We have also implemented the first version of the character rank system, so you can see your characters progression. This is not the final design either, but just the first step towards a deeper rank system, which will also affect the gameplay.

A more detailed changelog of the Crace build can be found here!

Status on Beta-keys

We haven’t sent Beta-keys for a while as we’ve been struggling with a broken stats-database/-backend system. This made the game quite unstable and made the servers crash with only a few hundred players on the servers. So we decided to ditch the old stats backend-system and create a new stats backend, including replacing the Berkeley Database we used with a PostgreSQL Database and rewriting almost all of the stats code.

We still have the data and are transferring it to the new database, while we do our best to avoid messing with your current Ribbons, Combat Badges and stats.

The new system is up and running in the upcoming Dietl build on our internal test server, so we expect to start sending a larger number of Beta-keys and have a new stress test as soon as Dietl is up on the live server and has proved stable.

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How cRo4Ti4 became “Superfan” by meeting Reto Moto on the trailer shooting

Community member cRo4Ti4 is guest blogging about when he flew from Berlin to Copenhagen to participate in the first trailer shoot. (Translated from German)

By cRo4Ti4, Superfan and Trailer Actor

Hello Comrades – a short story about how I met Reto-Moto and how I became “fan”.



“Fantastic, jeeeyyy, freaky omg what I have done?”  … this was what I thought as I got the answer from Reto-Moto that they had chosen me to be part of the Heroes & Generals trailer shooting in Copenhagen :) . Now i really have a chance to meet guys who works on a game that I am playing and in love with.

“Damn, I’ve never been in Copenhagen before.  I know no one there …but something told me, like an “adventure need” that I needed to go. I feel ready for this great adventure; to travel “alone” without knowing what will await me, where I will sleep and how to arrive to the right place at the right time .

I got a tip from Reto.KenSolo about a nice hostel ” Danhostel”. (I was the only one who came to the trailer shoot from outside Denmark and the developers told me that they couldn’t pay for travel costs, so I paid the plane-tickets and hostel by myself)

Cool great all went perfect!

All went perfect until a few days before the “adventure start”, as I opened an “important mail ” from Reto.KenSolo where he tells me that due to the bad weather-forecast Saturday, the outdoor video take is canceled, but the Sunday indoor shoot will stay. The plan was that on Saturday there should be an outdoor video capturing and on Sunday the indoor video take.

puuuuhhh… “damn I had already paid for the plane-tickets and the hostel was reserved.”

OK – I will just proceed and be “tourist” one day in Copenhagen.

So the adventure started before i arrived there…

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Player reporting and Panda’s

The amount of players is increasing fast, lots of new faces (well, names) are seen online every day and while most are kind, helpful and fun to play with, sometimes tempers flare and complaints, and player reports, fly. I have decided to write a bit about player reporting and the current challenges we are facing in the area – and what you can do to help us.

panda1  These pandas are not violating Terms of Service

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Animation : polishing sprint…sprint

“Benny Hill”, “Dragons Lair” and Spaceships… ? …what the… ?

Again a perfect attention grabber… no ? .. well I got your attention this far ;) . There is actually a bit of sense to be found in the above title – just hang on for a few sentences.

Currently our programmers are prioritizing builds and stability which I think is a wise choice. It leaves me with a bit of gap for polishing animations which is mega!

I have opened up three sections of animation polish that have been on the list for some time. These are – 3rd person Sprints and Runs and 1st person weapon holds.

“Benny Hill” ?

Initially when adding the sprint animations I mucked up a 28 frames sprint loop per weapon. Now – 28 frames (60fps base) approximates to just under half a second per loop (right foot down – left foot down).

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Multi-threaded Flash + H&G + ??? = Profit!

While we are developing our game, the world is changing. Change is coming to the Flash Player Plug-in as well and sometimes this change is something we’ve been waiting for!

So how will this affect Heroes & Generals? Read more to find out!

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