Thank you for your patience, the last two months have been very hectic... despite the summer period we have shifted a lot of work through production nonetheless and in combination with personal commitments, holidays and so on we could not commit time to the news area.
Hopefully the occasional twitter updates plus personal replies from our team members during this period were able to keep you content.
As promised, please find below the Answers to Junes “Q & A” as posted here: Tactical-assault.com
Question: How many maps will the first release include?
Tactical Assault will have a minimum of 3 levels in the first release (safe option) but more likely 5 (certain).
Some levels have “codenames” as they are not final, keep this in mind please.
The level names are:
Codename: Area 3
Question: Can we see what weapons you have finished and improved, such as the AK-47 animation that was rated negatively on moddb.com e.g.
Tactical Assault has taken its weapon range and have completely updated them all within the last 6 months due to inconsistencies across the weapons. We had weapons that were too detailed for Tactical Assault, and weapons that were not detailed enough. We had textures that looked completely unacceptable and weapons that did not have moving parts for animations. You might remember us recruiting weapon modellers recently.
This was to rectify those exact problems.
Peter Aldred took the position Art Director and has done a terrific job Quality Assurance all of our weapons during this period, of which many had to be re-done from scratch, the complete HP, LP modelling process to baking, uv’s and texturing.. before being re-QA’d for a final check again!
We have more than 10 approved weapons, fully QA’d and the animation process has begun.
We are very certain that the standard of work is now consistant with our expectations and will live up to todays modern society. However, let it be told.. animations take very long to get right, it’s no quick fix and throwing people at the problem doesn’t solve it.
Today I have seen a video of our Animation setups and things are looking good.
So note, any prior animations that have been publically released prior to this post are now completely unused.
Whilst we cannot please everyone we are positive our new approach will be better pleasing than before.
Question: When will you release a first game play video?
Tough Question - The answer to this is probably the same time we have hit our milestone of a completely playable TO with all the major game play elements programmed into place. You can be assured when we release a game play video we intend on blowing you all away. You will get to hear and see what we are working on and you will KNOW TA is going to release.
The time of the demo is the time you guys will stop wondering if TA is a pipe dream and start realising “its gonna happen”, and its “gonna be big” and its “gonna rock” the games industry giving major commercial games a run for their money.
Question: What will grenade toss physics and attributes be like? Mimicking the TO style?
You have a power bar and a throwing arc in which you can throw your grenade. You can jump or aim higher to get the grenade further but you can’t "flick" your mouse to gain a physics speed boost on your grenade. Grenades will bounce and react to physics - for example bouncing on the ground or against a wall or that unlucky baddy who’s last words are "oh shi..." ***BOOM*** " ENEMY DOWN!! "
Custom physics may be applied by level designers that will affect grenades, such as running water which can move a grenade downstream. This is most akin to the style of TO grenades.
You cannot cook grenades. You cannot carry more than one grenade at a time. You cannot buy spam more than 3 grenades in any one round.
New... you will be able to “underarm roll” grenades.
Question: Are there any major aspects of the game that is still missing or being worked on as far as bug fixes, detailing etc that is forcing the release date to be more towards the end of the year?
There are a tonne of major aspects missing. We decided 7 months ago to begin a complete rewrite of the TA code because it was UT2k3 with UT2K4 mixed with UT3 then the UDK and TO modifications bolted on top (was just a real mess).
Since the arrival of Drakk Lord and Rogue they have really boosted the existing development team in heightening our standards and pushing out patches, features and bug fixes much quicker internally.
We took TA back to no code and have began rebuilding the code. We have implemented a workflow of monthly “iterations” breaking down all tasks into 30 day periods. At the end of each month, we release an internal build, with release notes, update changes etc..
This in turn becomes our QA Package which Joolz and Thor (plus our whole team) are able to install, run and test TA in its current state.
Drakk Lord - Weapon systems
Rogue - Gameplay, Spectator systems
Kolbybrooks - Sound, Objective systems
Amir - Artificial Intelligence (hostages and bots)
MacFrog - TA Web Admin, Statistics system, Website integration
TOP-Proto - Scaleform UI, All of the above areas when required
What we have at the moment is about 50 small bugs which we are nailing down and a few big pieces of programming to re-implement we call features.
Examples of bugs are (some are already fixed or WIP):
- Laser dot not replicated to all players (unfair advantage)
- Shadows not showing always for players (unfair advantage)
- Can suicide when round ending (fixed)
- Inventory resets on round reset (fixed, loosing equipment)
- Spectator not working (fixed, totally re-done by Rogue)
- UDK engine issues (sound reverb design causing problems)
- Landscape tool causing crashes
- Password dialogue (fixed)
- Custom Resolution detection issue (fixed)
- Scaleform UI Art need fixing and updating
... Plus many more!!!
Examples of features are:
- Flash Light
- Voice command system
- Demorec system
...plus other “major” features which are 100% necessary.
Other aspects of the game that are being implemented are:
- The character animation system – In since 3 days, great work from Hamid (some animations need further cleaning up)
- Completion of beta quality Weaponry animations (as described earlier)
- Dynamic Sound systems - we got a few ideas on this we are trying to implement.
- Web Admin - For game administrators to control TA from a website (change maps and admin players etc)
Nothing really major is left to do, but what’s left takes time, months and needs to be tested and bugs need fixing.
Question: Can you provide an abstract outline of your development plan detailing what is still missing until the first release?
Our current milestone is to our demo build. The outline of the development plan for this is
- implement character animations
- implement 4 characters - 2 swat, 2 merc.
- implement minimum of 3 game modes (rescue, hacking and c4 planting)
- complete 3 levels.
- complete alpha / beta UI (programmically complete but graphically at alpha stage)
- implement a small selection of key weapon groups (few pistols, smgs, rifles, nades to begin with)
- ensure the code is relatively bug free - no major bugs, no crashes, no stupid bugs that break the game or force players to do stupid things like suicide or restarting the map, ending round, forcing disconnect, not saving details etc.. (all the annoying stuff that will p*ss you off)
Question: What will be the max team size? And will a "war/tournament mode" be implemented - perhaps a mix between UT and TO style (In UT there was a UTPure mod click-in system with an indicator to show a player clicked in - when everyone was clicked in, the match would officially begin - it even allowed people to "practice" before everyone clicks in) (in TO, one thing I liked was the demo indicator, showing people had started their demos)?
The Max team size theoretically is 32 players a team. However TA has not created any maps designed for 64 player combat at this time. We have designed our levels to support 8 players a team - We are programming aspects such as the scoreboard to handle an overflow of players + real spectator slots + waiting to join team slots.
The community is requesting quite often war/public modes – we am not sure this will make our first release but it could. TA has a waiting for players mode that allows you to run around and kill etc – it’s basically deathmatch, it’s not complete yet though. We already have an ingame Admin GUI that allows us to control the server, some settings etc.. so once the functionality is in place it will not be hard to add additional settings to this tab too.
We are missing some indicators off the scoreboard and need a slight redesign on the concept for these indicators. Things like escaped players, dead players, demo recording etc.
Question: Can you briefly describe the server architecture and the administration tools planned for the first release?
Tactical Assault is designed to be a dedicated server and clients connecting. We will probably not want to use any lobby system. Expect the usual server browser and filters to find games. Dedicated server packages will be provided; offline & LAN play is also possible.
Administration tools, expect a webadmin tool to remotely administer the website out of game. Also expect an ingame web admin UI where an admin may login and change the game settings, passwords, ban, warn players, change maps etc.
We hope you enjoyed our first time exclusive Q&A and look forward to the next session in the near future.
Our next news release will be a cool feature looking into the Level "Codenamed: Area3" as described above!
Until then, please feel free to jump over on our forums and join in on this hot topic!
We are currently accepting applications from 3D Flash Artists / Scaleform Artists as well as a Sound Foley Artist
Your TA Team
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