Hold the Line
Intended Player Count: 1 - 10
Hold the Line is a multiplayer and singleplayer game focused on battlefield combat where players lead an individual squad. The maps are filled with NPC squads of infantry, vehicles and field artillery. Using their squads and abilities, players must break the lines of the enemy and gain supremacy over the field.
The multiplayer has been tested with up to 400 NPCs! Bandwidth used for the game host was comparable to playing Battlefield 1 or similar games. The CPU load is light on clients.
The game's AI uses a Recast system for basic navigation. The real advantage, however, comes from the flexible AI logic system developed solely for my projects. Emergent AI behavior can be achieved by giving individual characters independence of thought. This, however, can create challenges to design if you want them to also work together.
A balance was achieved by creating a system that allows individual AI to scale itself up and down based on the needs of a situation; a second layer allows them to think and move together. On top of this, like a synchronization gear, a mechanism allows the AI to evenly spread its thinking without constantly calling expensive global variables.
The result is an AI experience that sees them hold formation, identify and move to cover and work together as squads to overcome battlefield obstacles, such as infantry encountering a tank.
The simple building system allows players to create defenses to hold strategic areas on the battlefield. NPC soldiers will be able to navigate in and around objects and structures and recognize locations where they can take cover.
Powerful weapons can destroy objects, reducing them to debris. If parts of a structure are no longer supported, they will fall as well. Anything build by players and any ambient structures can be toppled, opening more strategic choices.
Below is a list of squad types already implemented, more are in development and more abilities will be added over time.
3 Bolt-action Rifles, 2 Semi-automatic Rifles
Abilities: Frag-Rifle Grenade, AT Rifle Grenade
3 LMGs, 2 Semi-automatic Rifles
Abilities: AT Rocket Laucher
3 SMGs, 2 Semi-automatic Rifles
Abilities: Frag Grenade Volley, Sticky Bomb
1 SMG, 1 Bolt-action Rifle, 2 Semi-automatic Rifles
Abilities: AT Mine, Able to Build Advanced Defenses
AT/Field Gun Battery:
2 Field Guns, 4 Crewmen
Abilities: Switch between HE/AT Rounds
2 Medium Tanks
Abilities: None (To be added)
Air and sea unit prototypes are functioning but need artwork.
Hold The Line
The premiere innovative mode featured in the game. This mode is won by forcing the opposing team from the map. Battle lines are established and AI divisions switch back and forth from offensive and defensive stances. By supporting the AI, players are able to push the enemy lines back. Victory is achieved when most of the map has been captured by one team.
This mode centers around the classic point capture style game. There are several strategic points which must be captured and held. Victory is achieved when one team holds the majority of the points long enough or if the enemy force is depleted.
About the Development
Hold the Line was started in late 2015, but was shelved due to a lack of time. In the past few months, I began work on several projects again, including this one. If this kick-starter succeeds, I will devote all my effort to this project solely.
Music in video by The United States Army Field Band and the Musopen Symphony.
Some sound effects were processed from raw sounds obtained from a variety of sources, full list included with the game.
Please let me know what you think about the game! Leave comments here, on the game site or drop by on the Discord chat room!
The D-Day scenario map features a progressive spawn sequence where the Allies get to drop randomly from the air during the night. By morning, the LCVP spawn becomes available. Taking out artillery guns and beach defenses during the night will greatly reduce the difficulty of the landing.
Each squad spawns in a landing craft; once it hits the beach, the door will open and leave you charging through a hail of machine gun fire. As the Axis, try to drain the enemy team's strength as much as possible with this strategic starting advantage. With the numerical superiority of the Allied team, its a tooth and nail fight to repulse the invasion.
In the image provided, you can see the basic HUD elements. They were designed to be as minimal as possible while still providing you with all the necessary information. The health and ammo indicators are quite standard to any FPS or TPS game. The squad indicator shows you a soldier symbol and a red health indicator for each squad member. As squad members are replenished, the soldier icon is shown as an ellipse until the reinforcing soldier reaches you from the spawn. Also included is a set of tutorials and key hints to help acclimate you to the control schemes. Lastly, the ability icons display green for ready and red for recharging; the buttons become darkened and slowly light back up with a clockwise fill.
Some equipment, like mortars, now with a bombardment type ability. You simply active the skill, highlight below, and designate the target. If your squad has set their equipment up, they begin firing.
In this example, we target a small house. Simply press the ability button, in this case "1". Look at the target and activate the ability with left mouse to make it rain. Then watch, enjoy and obliterate your enemies.
More maps, vehicles and squad types are on the way! Give the game a try; I'm ready to listen to suggestions and opinions.
Greenlight is dead, but Valve has Greenlit the project anyway. The new D-Day map features a seamless air and land assault with multiple phases.
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