NEWS

Master your own destiny! Command a nation!

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”.

office

Emotions

“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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Coming up next – War Event Log

“War Log” notification screen “War Log” notification screen

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.
- Robin Morgan, American Poet and political theorist

Woah woah woah…. Hold your horses Ms. Morgan. And stop calling us at Reto-Moto “tyrants”! Alright?! Its not like we don’t want to give information to our players about the war and their assault teams, we just haven’t got around to making the feature yet…. Ok, ok – stop grumbling. I’m on it.

Sorry folks, you had to hear our little tussle with the political activist where she was complaining about the game not keeping players updated about important events in the war. But she just doesn’t get it! The game’s still in “Closed Beta”. Anyway, that’s not a good enough excuse. And we know it.

So, here goes a few words about us preparing a framework which stores all the important events in a war, which would pave the way for a “War Log” feature to be presented to the players in a future build. We’re starting out with a few select important events that are being tracked, such as:

  • Player Login/Logout
  • Players Joining an Action game
  • Assault Team movement
  • Assault Teams losing resources
  • Assault Team’s supplies being created and when they reach the AT
  • Assault Team initiating battle
  • Assault Team retreating from battle
  • Assault Team movement blocked
  • Faction winning and losing control of Battlefields

That’s not to say it’s the end of it – more info will be added in the log as we go along. The framework is actually already in place and its recording some of the above mentioned info on the Live server – right this very moment! Here’s a sample of the raw data dump taken from the server (some pieces of info are removed, in order to adhere to mine and Reto.ogssan’s privacy):

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Intelligence Bulletin Vol 2 * No 23

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!

intelligencebulletingvol02no23 The next server stress test with a new batch of Beta-keys is getting closer. We had really hoped to be able to make the stress test (and send more betakeys) this week, but unfortunately we haven’t fixed all the bugs we discovered at the previous stress test yet. So once more we pray that you have a bit more patience and with a little luck we’ll be able to do the stress test next week.

For the coming stress test we’ll, like the previous stress test, send 7000 new Beta-keys, an “invitation” mail to players who already are Beta-players and a reminder mail to those who have received a key, but haven’t activated it yet. So look out for the mail, and add “[email protected]” and “[email protected]” to your address book, if you want to be sure that your spam/junk filter doesn’t catch mails from us.

The weekly Intelligence Bulletin will take a break the next three weeks, as the highly intelligent and incredibly handsome editor of the Bulletin (ed. Cut the crap! /Reto.KenSolo) will take a loooong vacation and has promised his wife and kids not to open his laptop during his vacation.

…onwards to Developer Blogs and Team Debriefing (now with developer photos):

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Featured Developer Bo Heidelberg (Reto.BomberBo)

Once in a while we feature one of the developers from the team and tell you a bit about who they are and what they are working on. This time it’s our trigger happy Effects Artist Bo Heidelberg aka. Reto.BomberBo.

retobombebo

What is your gamertag in Heroes & Generals, and what’s the story behind it?
Reto.BomberBo – because I love guns and explosions!

What is your position at Reto-Moto?
Senior Visual Effects Artist – I’m making gunshots and explosions look good!

For how long have you been working here?
Since December 1st 2011.

What games have you worked on?
Hitman: Contracts
Hitman: Blood Money
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men.

Which tools do you use for making Heroes & Generals?
Softimage XSI, Photoshop and FumeFX.

What are your hobbies?
Making electronic music, traveling and watching movies.

What’s the best thing about Heroes & Generals?
The endless possibilities for the future development of the game and the intensity of the battles.

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