This is Number 10!
chr & kulan
Hi everybody, so it's the first Sunday of the month and it's time for the new devblog. This devblog is more text-based than we normally publish, the main reason is, we have been doing a lot of work on the Backend systems, cleaning up the games current content and editing code. So let's see what some of our crew has been up to.
Steam and Future
macfrog & ssswing
Well, the first steps have been made, for the last week or so the TacByte Crew has been able to play TO4: Tactical Operations on Steam and up to now our TO4 alpha testers had to play the game by downloading the game from one of our servers and loading it using our custom launcher, this has now changed and our alpha testers also have access via Steam, this a huge step towards our open Early Access. Here are some more details and the reasons why this is so important for us, and you.
Macfrog, has been working on the backend stuff for Steam and was able to create an additional Steam AppID for TO4, this means we have now got our main Steam AppID that will be used for our Early Access on Steam and will be opened to you once our closed alpha testing is complete, this will be the one you want to add to your Steam wishlist (http://steam.to4.co). The new Steam branch will be a test branch and will be used for our closed alpha testing and any further Steam tests before public release.
This second steam branch has paved the way for a friendly user test. Wait, what is that?
Firstly, this test will be using the new branch on Steam and it sounds really simple but, trust me it wasn´t, Steam has allowed us to get Steamkeys for TO4: Tactical Operations on our testing branch, with those keys we can now control how many players have access to our game via Steam, if we were to go directly into open Early Access, we would have no chance of controlling the number of players and we are fairly sure our systems are not stable enough or big enough to handle that just yet, also, we are not sure that we have the manpower or infrastructure to react to server failure or a problem quickly enough for general release, we can't predict how many new players will try the game when it pops up on their Steam store. We really want to deliver a working Early Access game, nobody wants to boot up a game to be faced with an empty server list or a game-breaking bug, that would just create a negative impression of our game to people that have not followed the development process. That's why we will do a big closed alpha testing period with friendly users first. What are friendly users? Well, friendly users are Thefirst100 (we have not forgotten about you), people like you and also people in our discord group, the people that have followed us and have given their opinions, help and encouragement during the development of the game up to yet, also, those of you that have given us constructive criticism. That's our friendly user test.
We will be starting this test with Thefirst100 group in Discord soon (see told you we had not forgotten you). If this works as well as intended, we will then send out more keys to our other discord users, then the followers, members, YouTubers, and streamers on our other social media outlets. Please, remember we will still only have a limited number of keys for this closed test, so don't be too disappointed if you don't get one, more will be released at a later date.
th120 & ssswing & darksoe
Th120 was concerned about the performance, so he started to change the blueprints system in the unreal engine to C++, collectively they have also, reworked all the lighting on the maps from a dynamic lighting system to a semi-static lighting system, as player shadows are quite important for gameplay the team decided not to use full static lighting for the game, while testing, we also found a bullet impact effects that dropped the framerate quite drastically, they have now replaced that, while they were fixing that, they also took the opportunity to add some dedicated impact sounds that were missing. They have just finished these modifications and the first results are very satisfying. These changes have made TO4: Tactical Operations run a lot smoother and also at a higher frame rate, as with all competitive games, the higher frame rate the better. Optimization is an ongoing process and we will try to squeeze as much performance as possible out of the game without affecting graphical quality or playability.
Elvis (it's not the real one, he's still with the aliens)
So, firstly, a big welcome to Elvis (Graphical Artist), Elvis sent us a mock-up of a new UI for TO4: Tactical Operations and we really liked it, he will be working with the team to see if his vision of the UI can be implemented to the game.What do you think?
There is still a lot of work left to do, but we are getting closer, Do you know any friends that might like the game? Please if you have not already done so, add TO4: Tactical Operations to your steam wishlist (http://steam.to4.co) and ask your friends to do the same!