DHMC Dev Diary 8/28/15

Been a very busy month behind the scenes for the team as we work on more Contract missions, internal redesign of how SP and MP will converge to fuel the Faction Wars campaign and some major updates to the games graphics and animations.

We are not ready yet to share the vision that the players have help shape for SP and MP, but we are at a point with some of the new updates to the game graphics, animations and physics.

No more floating mechs!

One legacy issue, we pulled in from Aftermath, was that it was built on a platform made for FPS and lacked the ability to do cool things like IK (Inverse kinematics). We are now in process of implementing IK which is being combined with our animations. This is a big change that will really affect the way the chassis moves and reacts to the environment, including giving them a much more sense of weight.

Example 1 (Viper standing on uneven ground)
viper_ik1

old1new1

(above is old vs new)

Example 2 (Abolisher)
abol1

As you can see the feet and legs of the mech chassis now conforms to the ground instead of floating above the ground. This may seem like a simple thing, but in our next Dev Dairy we will share some video and these changes will become very apparent in how the mechs move.

Higher Fidelity environments

Another part of what we are working on are higher fidelity environments. This includes more detail to the terrain and the objects in the levels, along with larger environments more similar in size to the Arctic Battlefield.

Speaking of that battlefield, here is a shot with the new terrain which really bring to life the feel of being in more of a glacier type environment.

artic1

Other larger environments are in the works
afgan1

Coming next

The above changes are still a bit away from being released, and in the next Dev Diary we will share all the some more of the behind the scenes happenings. Coming in the near term we are focusing on providing more SP contract missions and improvements to current MP missions.

Look for a game update coming soon……

Next Dev Diary will coming in about a week! Look at for shots of the work we are doing behind the scenes, and we will also share with you the player inspired re-envisioning of Faction Wars!

To join the conversation hit the forums:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/266470/discussions

To keep up to date join the official game group:
http://steamcommunity.com/games/dhmc

DHMC – State of Live Development 6/26/15

Where we’ve been

We launched in July of last year, and started development on the Steam project a bit over a year ago once we received Greenlight support. The game was based off a project that we had started developing on and off in 2010, but since we launched on Steam, players have been seeing a game being build pretty much from the ground up.

Doing Live development was not new to us, but this was the first time we started it so early in the process and we have to say that it has been very rewarding for the team. Though we have had a couple moments where we have been slow to get new updates, the response we have gotten both positive and constructive criticism is exactly what we were hoping.

The Present

We have the core game elements now functional for our Faction Wars system, including base mission mechanics, economy system, mech customization system, persistent balance of power map, squad management systems and our core mech functionality, and basic AI functionality.

The game has come a long way, but we know that some of the systems are still rough (i.e. Mech movement, AI functionality for SP and online support, and visual fidelity). So for our next part of the journey and to live up to expectations set by ourselves and all those whom have and continue to support us we are taking steps to improve in these areas.

The Road map

Though we are not putting dates on the roadmap at this time, we can tell you we are already working on several of these items. As we get close to implementation we will be sharing details.

– Updated AI systems and Single Player
— The current AI system is receiving updates in the next couple patches to make SP and MP games involving AI bots a more competitive experience.
— We will be updating to a new AI system that allows us to bring to the game a more compelling SP experience, along with bolster AI support of Faction Wars missions.
– Engine updates
— Updates to visual Fidelity to bring in line with modern game engines
— Physics and animation system updates
— Updates to hit detection
– New Gameplay modes for MP and SP missions
– New customization’s
— New equipment pieces (repair bots, ammo stations, radar jammers, etc…)
— New ammo system allowing you to purchase ammo per weapon
— New torso and legs combos
– Cross platform support. We will still be pushing a Linux branch client out that does not support the Steam overlay. As we work toward updating our visual fidelity and adding more AAA features we will be working also toward a fully functional Linux and then Mac Client.

The Team

Many do not know that Max Gaming is a fully functional game studio whom has been part of development of well over 50 titles across mobile and PC games over the last decade. We are mainly funding development of DHMC ourselves with help from EarlyAccess. With the focus now shifting to bringing more Polish to all aspects of the game we have been able to add more resources.

Outside of adding a couple more programmers and a art resource, we have also asked one of our long time community members to join as to help with the community. We would like to welcome DeMyztikX to the team, whom will be helping us get the word out, be the point person on setting up community events and available to answer question on the forums.

You should still expect updates to the game every 2-4 weeks, and we will be ramping up our community and public relations output over the next couple months.

To join the conversation hit the forums:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/266470/discussions

To keep up to date join the official game group:
http://steamcommunity.com/games/dhmc

DHMC DEV Diary Faction Wars PT. 2

DEV DIARY Faction Wars PT. 2

This last week and for the next few days we are putting the finishing touches on the next release of Faction Wars functionality for DHMC.  This release will put into place the persistent online war between the two online factions.  At the heart of the system is the balance of power map that shows the current state of the war.

Balance of Power Map

Derived from DHMC’s predecessor Lore: Invasion the balance of power map allows players to see what the current state of the war is in the universe in real time.  As sector battles take place the sectors will gain a battle icon and allow you to join the battles that are in progress.

As shown in the following image, players will also be able to see at a glance what the current status is of the sector, how close the attacker is to taking over the sector, and how close the defender is to defending the sector.

DHMC 2015-05-03 13-33-04-97DHMC 2015-05-03 13-33-22-59

Once either the defender or attacker reaches 100% on the sector it is successfully defended or taken over.  If taken over the sector will change ownership and the attacker will now spawn as the defender in future conflicts.

In the future, contract raid missions will also show up in the missions select but for now only attrition and team death match style missions will be part of Faction Wars.

Faction Bonuses

As a reward for owning sectors, each faction player will receive a XP and credit bonuses based on which sectors they own.  The bonus information will be displayed on the sector information and a player’s total bonuses will be displayed in the player profile..

For mercenaries, they will get the bonus based on the missions they fight for each side in the current iteration.  In future interactions mercenary units will earn bonuses based solely on their reputation with each faction. The plus for a unit is that their bonus will persist and not just be based on the mission at hand.

Mercenary reputation will be based on how successful the mercenary unit has been in its missions for each faction.

New in-game Lobby

To help make the in-game lobby more information, we have been working on a redesign of the lobby as seen below.  This lobby may not be available until 0.0.8.1 but we will attempt to have it in for the 0.0.8.0 build.

game_lobby

In the future, Faction Wars battles will limit players to only 5 mech configs they can take into battle, so we will update the lobby to support this selection in the future.

AI Updates

AI will be continually worked on to help enhance both single-player and multi-player gameplay over the next several releases.

In the upcoming 0.0.8.0 Alpha release the AI will sport new configurations to help increase their effectiveness in battle.  We are also working on trying to fix some of the AIs movement issues that we hope to have in 0.0.8.0 or 0.0.8.1.

Next level of AI improvements will be around working with its player controlled teammates more effectively.  We will be updating some of the functionality of the laser targeting system to also give commands to AI from the player to attack specific targets.

Other Updates

Linux client – We are still trying to troubleshoot with Steam an issue with the steam overlay.  In interim, right after the 0.0.8.0 release we are going to look to release the current Linux client in the beta channel.  To NOTE, this beta channel release will not support the Steam overlay or SteamOS until we can rectify the issue with Steam.

New Missions – Faction Wars 0.0.8.0 update will ship with 2-3 news missions, with an additional sector mission available about 2-3 weeks after the launch of Faction Wars.

 

DHMC April DEV Diary Pt. 1

March was a great month for Dark Horizons Mechanized Corps, not only did we add a lot of great players but we began to finalize and implement one of our persistent online multi-player features of the game which we are calling “Faction Wars”. We were also able to make some progress toward cross platform play.

Because Faction Wars is such a huge addition to the game we are going to post a 2 part DEV DIARY for April leading up to the 0.0.8.0 release which will have the next big phase of Faction Wars.

For part 1, we are going to discuss some of the systems we are adding that will tie both Faction Wars and single player aspects of the game, this focuses around earning and spending Credits as part of the game experience.

Credits and how you earn them.

Credits are a currency that you can only earn by playing the game, you cannot buy them with real money, via the persistent multiplayer portion of the game (Faction Wars), online play, or through playing offline (single player) missions.

Players will earn credits based on both their performance and their team’s performance in-game. This includes factors such as number of kills or assists the player gets, whether the player’s team was successful, credits for salvage for the winning team (a credit bounty for each enemy mech destroyed by your team) and amount of damage inflicted. (Mockup of new results screen below).

game_end_player

(note: this is purely a mockup, though its close to the final in-game layout)

[b]Will there be other ways to earn credits?[/b]

The answer to this is yes there will be a couple other ways. All players will begin with enough credits to build out a couple of custom mech configurations which will help them get started. Players will also earn credits each day that they log into game (as a stipend from the merc guild or your selected faction that you fight for in Faction Wars).

There were also be other additional method for earning credits in future releases (beyond release 0.1.0.0) which include, but are not limited to:

  • Player market (the ability to sell parts and builds)
  • More complex salvage system

Spending Credits

As we previously mentioned one of the uses for the player to use Credits on will be building mechs! Currently in-game you can build as many chassis as possible with no limits. As a planned feature, with the implementation of Faction Wars, players will now earn credits and then spend those building out their mechs. The following item categories will cost credits:

  • mech chassis
  • weapons
  • equipment (targeting laser, ammo deployer, jumpjet, etc…)
  • engines
  • extra armor
  • additional ammo (future feature)

So essentially every component used in building your mech out.

Future updates:

  • Squad upgrades
  • Custom mech builds
  • Additional mech slots
  • and more…

Can you try out a config before purchasing?

This feature will come in a future release, but until then we will allow players to sell back the build at full price for an unspecified time period while we pull in analytic data to ensure that your credits earned is balanced with your credits spend.

With that said you also can sell just the base chassis of a build and strip the weapons and put them into your inventory (for use later on a future mech config that the player will want to create). A mockup of this functionality is as follows:

inventory

Once an items is in the player’s inventory it can be used in future builds without any additional costs, or the player can choose to sell the item on their own.

In Closing

So that is the credits and inventory systems at a high level. Please feel free to post questions or make suggestions in the forums. http://steamcommunity.com/app/266470/discussions/0/618460171315113977/

Tune in next week, we will be posting details on the rest of the upcoming 0.0.8.0 patch including:

  • Faction Wars, Balance of Power map
  • Faction bonuses for territory control (XP and Credits bonuses)
  • New in-game lobby layout
  • New AI and default config layouts
  • Status on some other items
  • New battlefields
  • Linux update
  • New team member introductions

Upcoming events

May Faction War Fridays! We will be hosting Friday events again focused on the start of the 2nd Machine Wars. We will also be looking to host more events on Sundays also.

To be kept up to date on scheduled events we encourage you to join the OFFICIAL GROUP at http://steamcommunity.com/games/dhmc.

DHMC DEV DIARY 2/10/15

Over the last few weeks we have been working on several different areas of the game. and while we are working to get a stable patch we wanted to share them with you.

Engine update status

As we dug deep into some performance issues on Windows and Linux we looked at the latest updates for our game engine to help resolve some of these problems (as well as provide new features). As such we made the decision that for the past few weeks, our programming team would put some new features on hold so we could do a major update that will benefit everyone.

While this meant that we were not able to put out updates to features like Faction Wars as quickly as we had initially hoped, the good news is that most of the issues that had been blocking updates are now resolved! So we should have a patch up soon.

Art Updates

While our programming team has been tackling this engine upgrade and performance issues the rest of the team has been hard at work in several other areas.

One of the most significant updates has been with updating the weapons and mechs that are currently in the game with more detailed geometry and textures. Though we are only part way thru these visual updates, we will be integrating this new content as we complete it.  Here are a few shots including a updated Viper mech with new mesh detail, texturing, and a sampling of some of the weapon updates we have done.

Mech chassis updates

viper02
The art team has spent some time looking at the current mech chassis and starting adding more detail into the geometry and in the texturing.  The Viper chassis (being the first mech that we made for the game) is the first to get a makeover.

 

New weapons textures

Below you see the latest Viper chassis with an assortment of the updated weapons models.

viper

Is that a new hanger you see in the background? Why yes it is!

Weapons balancing updates

We have been lucky enough over the last couple months to be able to collect more data around the weapons and also see how different players outfit their mechs.  During this time we have found some imbalance issues and have been working on updating all weapons to better fit their designed functionality.

Though not all weapons will change, we have touched about 70% of the values, with that we will be posted a detail of the changes once they are live. Why? Because any current configuration will likely be affected.

We have also added in some chassis specific power plants so configurations can get the custom power and system specifications it needs.

Faction Wars

Though not in the immediate upcoming patch, more Faction Wars functionality is coming very soon with the ability for individuals and squads to join Factions and the Faction interface to include initial functionality.

We will be holding a mock war event in a few weeks which we will post soon including the dates for the event!

Linux and SteamOS

Now that the engine upgrade is completed we can now finish the Linux/SteamOS client port.  The initial release of the Linux client will be very early alpha, but with the new engine upgrade we have improved performance a good bit.  For more info on the port please visit this forum post:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/266470/discussions/0/616189106649380833/

Shout out to our supporters

We want to thank everyone whom has shown their support for the game, and to help celebrate you, we are going to start looking thru posted screenshots and then share our favorites on the forums. The team would especially like to thank Sophisanimus for his extensive thoughts on the weapon balancing and of course dedication to the game. Thanks again, and we hope to continue to earn your support.

DHMC – November Event Schedule

We have started scheduling Novembers events for DHMC, to be hosted by various members of the staff.

The current list includes the following events: More to come!

[u]Saturday Morning Bot smash![/u]
Saturday – 11/8/2014 – 11:30AM EST/8:30AM PST

[u]Friday Night Fights.[/u]
Friday – 11/14/2014 – 10:00PM EST/7:00PM PST

[u]Saturday Morning Bot smash![/u]
Saturday – 11/15/2014 – 11:30AM EST/8:30AM PST

[b]DHMC Faction weekend![/b]

More details to come on Faction weekend, but we will kick it of with:

[u]Friday Night Fights. – Crashsite[/u]
Friday – 11/21/2014 – 10:00PM EST/7:00PM PST

Remember best way to keep informed of event times etc… is to join the official Steam Group:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/dhmc

DHMC DEV DIARY 10/31

The next update is right around the corner, which will be followed by 2 more updates before the winter holiday.

We have been working on various parts of the game including:

  • New and updated missions
  • Weapons and mech balancing
  • new weapons
  • mech movement and cockpits
  • and Faction Wars….

Coming in version 0.0.6.6 

In the upcoming patch version 0.0.6.6 we have working on improving performance so we can update visual distance in the game, reducing the amount of fog.

Why is this a big deal you may ask?  We have added 2 new zoom levels for use with long range weapons, like the ARCs, LARBS and the NEW! sniper cannon which will be released in 0.0.6.6 .

266470_screenshots_2014-10-31_00002

Also coming in the next build is a new mission “Crashsite”, updates to the mech balancing, additional feedback when being attack, and many bug fixes.

 

And then?

Coming shortly after is something we are all excited about, and for this we will just let the picture speak for itself.

cockpit

First person cockpits have been a long time coming , and the first iteration to make it back into the game is coming later in November.  With this we will also support server settings to force cockpit only.

 

And last but not least we are hard at work on Faction Wars, with elements coming out over the next couple updates with the start of the persistent system coming soon..

 

Upcoming Events

We will be hosting more multi-player events in November, including a introduction to the Factions in three weeks. To be kept up to date on scheduled events we encourage you to join the OFFICIAL GROUP at http://steamcommunity.com/games/dhmc .

Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps

Now Available on Steam Early Access – Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps

Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps is Now Available on Steam Early Access!

Max Gaming Technologies is pleased to announce that its latest mech game “Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps” is now available for Early Access for the PC platform through the Steam network. We invite all mech fans to come and join us during early access development to wage futuristic war by piloting a fully customizable 50 foot tall mechs into online battle and in the process take part in shaping “Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps” by providing feedback directly to the development team.

Throughout each update during the Early Access cycle new content will be added and enhanced to allow you to fight for personal glory or battle for territorial domination in a persistent online warzone with your friends in various unique battlefields and combat environments.

Do your duty. Serve your people. Pull the trigger!

Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps coming soon to Steam!

Visit the games Steam store page at http://store.steampowered.com/app/266470

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