NEWS

Master your own destiny! Command a nation!

The making of the Battle Suit M-1942 Parachutist Reinforced and a brief look of the character model workflow

In our character pipeline we are using several graphics programs to accomplish the highest quality as possible with quite a limited number of character artists.

The model is still a work in progress and all insignia, patches and badges are not included here. Final tweaking of shaders and colors are not yet final.

We have found that the cloth simulator program  Marvelous Designer is very useful in creating nice, high resolution clothing models and subsequently from those the low resolution in-game models in a pretty fast fashion (no pun intended…).

Marvelous Designer is creating all the main cloth simulation features such as the draping of the cloth onto our base nude character model  creating realistic wrinkles and folds. The clothing is made from many pieces of sown together sewing patterns we create from reference of real world clothing. We basically have our very own uniform sweat shop. :o)

This program also gives us total control of the physical properties of the various fabric types.

marvelousd2_full_screen_30-11-2011 Marvelous Designer screen dump collage.  The UV layout follows the sewing patterns shown to the right.

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Intelligence Bulletin Vol 1 * No 13

intelligencebulletingvol01no13

We’re chewing our way though the tasks towards the next milestone, which is to activate the Multiplayer Campaign on the stable servers. We’re still not quite there yet, and this week Reto.Murphy has just committed his ‘Commit of Doom’, which is a major update to the backend servers. This commit is the first major step in scaling up the backend, so it will be able to handle more users. The reason why we call it ‘The Commit of Doom’ is, that it holds so many changes and updates, that our development environment currently has become seriously incapacitated – but don’t worry – this was expected! However it also means that the next stable build will be a bit delayed. However there will be some updates on the Action game.

Last week I spoke of a major Action game update – this hasn’t been rolled out on the stable-server, but it’s now in the process of being rolled out – so those of you who have an alpha-key will soon have new weapon-poses, new vehicle textures (on some models), a new friction model on vehicles, updated tank sights and more.

This week we announced that our good friend and long time collaborator Jesper Kyd will be scoring the soundtrack for Heroes & Generals. He has already composed our main theme and the Axis theme – and he’s currently working on the US theme. But more on that at a later point.

We have a profile on a gaming community called IndieDB. And they have a contest where the users on IndieDB can vote for “Indie of the Year 2011″, so please go to our profile page on IndieDB and vote for us!

 

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Vote for us at Indie of the Year Awards 2011


2011 Indie of the Year Awards

I don’t know if you know it, but we have a profile on a gaming community called IndieDB. And they have a contest where the users on IndieDB can vote for “Indie of the Year 2011″, so please go to our profile page on IndieDB and vote for us:

http://www.indiedb.com/games/heroes-generals

Cheers,
Reto.KenSolo

Campaign data handling

(Warning: Nerdy contents ahead.)

If you haven’t noticed, then I have to tell you that I am focusing a lot on data structures, data handling and data in general. The reason why, is that we have some needs for advanced data structures in order to handle a massive amount of data. But another reason is that we are using an unusual approach to dealing with data client side.

database_diagram

 

Usual you do a lot of data processing on the server side. For instance if I needed to get hold of all the Assault Teams that a user has control over, I would ask the server for this and it figures out which ones I need. This is neat and simple for the client side programming, but on the other hand it uses the servers processing power to do this. This is why a lot of people have used a lot of time building databases and server optimization, so that all this is handled with as much ease as possible. Server programmers also have to keep this in mind when doing expensive server operations such as ‘joins’. As we are creating a MMO-like game there will be a lot of clients (hopefully) asking our servers for information. Therefore we want the servers to do the least amount of work as possible, to keep them snappy. In order to achieve that we have almost no server operations (only login). Instead all data in the database is sent to the client and we leave it to the client to do the data handling.

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Separating the testers from the Testers

Often when people get access to a game in alpha or beta, their main purpose is to snoop around and figure out if the game is something they want to spend time on, once it’s released.

But then there are some, who logs on to actually test. Most of them might not even know it, but the impact they have on the game is more than they imagine. Every post written on the board, every crash log sent and every bug report made, is getting looked into.

Can small things have a big impact?

Sure!  It can be small feedback like “You should be able to shoot the small speakers with the German propaganda, to make them stop!”. Which won’t have a major impact on the game play, but it will give the game that ‘little extra’.

“Argh crash! Send crash log?”

Yes! Send them, gimme gimme!
You might think that the crash reports don’t matter much, but nothing could be further from the truth. Like ripples in the water, a single crash log might prevent tons of other people from crashing later on. Best thing is also to add in the crash report, what you were doing at the time of the crash (in-game that is… “Eating cookies and talking to my dad on the phone” is nice to know, but wont help us ;)).

“Found a bug/exploit/’this is not working’/issue, but what do I do with it?”

I’m glad you ask!
Go to: http://www.heroesandgenerals.com/community/development/bug-reporting
If it’s your first time there, you’ll need to create an account (Trust me, it’s painless). From there simply fill out the blanks and (Please please please!) add screenhots and/or DX Diag file.

“What do I get out of it?”

Properly nothing. Except you might later on be able to brag about, you’re the reason why so and so is in the game and in the process getting to kill the dev’s. But in the end, combined with the others testing the game, you will have helped us shape Heroes & Generals into the game you want to play.

300 new Alpha-keys are away!

300 new Alpha-keys has just been sent by mail, so we hope that those of you who receive it will be able to join us at the weekly Play Sessions: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 20.00 – 24.00 CET.

Once again, remember that 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!

Press Release: Heroes & Generals Enlists Jesper Kyd for Soundtrack Duty

Award-winning composer of Assassin’s Creed® and Hitman® series hooks up with Reto-Moto to score studio’s upcoming combined online FPS and Strategy game, Heroes & Generals.

jesperkyd

Following the critically-acclaimed launch of Assassin’s Creed Revelations® featuring his powerful soundtrack, BAFTA-winning composer Jesper Kyd has announced a partnership with Reto-Moto to provide key music for Heroes & Generals, the studio’s highly-anticipated combined online FPS and Strategy game. Playing to the themes of a realistic World War II setting, Jesper Kyd crafts a rich musical tapestry to reflect the ongoing battle for European domination in the online war being waged in Heroes & Generals. Working with longtime collaborators and countrymen at Reto-Moto, Jesper Kyd lends his musical expertise to the team of proven veterans.

In Heroes & Generals, players will help to turn the tide of a massive online war being fought by thousands of other real players, either in the role of a soldier engaged in blistering first-person shooter combat, or as a strategic officer influencing the grand scheme of the campaign on a tactical war map. Heroes & Generals, now in Alpha testing, aims to deliver this combined one-two punch in a thrilling multiplayer online battle across realistic WWII environments, all playable from within a browser thanks to a Reto-Moto’s own potent 3D engine, called “Retox”.

Heroes & Generals Jesper Kyd Soundtrack TeaserPlease enter the url to a YouTube video.

Jesper Kyd brings a lifetime of game and film soundtrack experience to the Heroes & Generals score, renowned for his incomparable blending of atmospheric acoustic instrumentation and scintillating electronic melodies. Kyd has received multiple honors for his previous soundtrack works, acknowledged by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the International Film Music Critics Association, and winning Best Original Music awards at top game industry destinations like G4TV, GameSpot.com, and IGN.com.

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Modeling Vehicles

There are many stages before a final vehicle model end up in Heroes and Generals. The first step is obviously to decide on a vehicle.

Research

I then spend the first day or two gathering photo and blueprint reference from books and from the Internet.
Whenever possible we go on field trips. Here we have the opportunity to see all the vehicles in real life and really get a sense of their scale and mass.

Here is a small collection of reference images used to model the Kübelwagen Typ 82.

Modeling

When I’m confident that i have all the reference material i need i start the modeling process.
First I block out the basic shapes trying to get the proportions just right.
When I’m happy with the overall shape I start adding detail always working on the largest parts first.
Final details such as dashboard, nuts and bolts go in last.

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