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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: May the 4th be with you, but beware of the Revenge of the 5th

15 comments by Schlechtwetterfront on May 4th, 2014

As some of you have figured out (from our teaser image) we're moving, to Game Maker.jk, Unreal Engine it is. Due to that we of course need to (sadly) change the direction of our game again.
The recently announced Star Wars: BattleCry: Jar Jar Binks: The Adventure will be renamed to Unreal Star Wars: Battle Tournament 2014. The direction will be updated to 50-Shades-of-Brown Simulator with QTE elements and big men with big guns.

Our goals are just as true as ever, we just have better tools to achieve them.

Now, why did we switch to UE4?

The two biggest points which made us decide are workflow and support. A full .FBX pipeline for 3D assets of all kind - both ways, importing into the engine and exporting back to the 3D package - is such an improvement over CE's semi-proprietary format with only two supported applications (Max and Maya).
Sometimes I rather edited the source .xml files directly than use the corresponding editor in CE. UE's editors all feel polished, more advanced and are at the same time just as easy - if not easier - to use.

Something which isn't really what you normally think of when evaluating engines is the information and support the developers provide. With UE that's frequent blog posts, expansive and ever-growing documentation (also not out of date), several active developers communicating with the users and a big and helpful community.

The full engine access is probably not anything we'll ever seriously use, but just for debugging purposes it already proved helpful several times.

Now onto the main topic, progress. We decided quite a time ago to switch to UE4, but for several reasons, like important people travelling and other things, we didn't get to start "full production" until about a week ago. We still had/have to get used to the different workflows and ways of living but we have not been idle. In these 7 days we have come further in some parts of development than we have ever been in 1.5 years in CE. In itself that doesn't mean much, really, but UE's pipeline and architecture enabled us to make good progress without a lot of knowledge in those specific fields.

In the current state we have a game that mostly consists of placeholders or not yet fully integrated assets. The important thing is that it is playable, and it actually feels like Star Wars. No SCAR, but an E-11. No guy-with-leather-jacket but an Imperial Scout. No Hoth, but Cloud City.

Wait... Cloud City?

As you have maybe seen in the teaser image, Cloud City will play some part in the time to come, whereas Hoth will be put on hold for now. Again there are several factors which lead to that decision.
UE4 (and CE 3.6, whenever that'll be out, so this does not just apply to UE) are using Physically Based Shading, which means if we want to take advantage of that, we will have to go over all of our textures again before getting them into UE. We also need to just do the legwork of re-exporting all of our assets for UE4 and re-build the map.
Now, this will require time and after we have done all that, where are we? Well, definitely not close to being finished with Hoth, especially because Hoth also needs quite a lot of vehicles to actually be Hoth. Most of the space on the map wouldn't be usable without those vehicles.

So we decided we'd rather do a smaller map, one which would work with only infantry. We chose Cloud City because it contains a lot of tiled and modular pieces, so we can get a lot out of a small amount of work. It's relatively small, but it can still be extended to include dogfighting so we have testing grounds for infantry and aircraft but we don't need the vehicles to have a nicely playable map.
In the time it would require to rebuild what we have for Hoth we can get a big chunk of work done on something that will pay off a lot sooner.

The future, uncertain it is. But it always was. The Alpha release should not be negatively affected by this move in any way, but who knows.
Also, we needed a bit of a motivational push and for that something new is always good. Engine and map.

After all that text, let's get to the actual stuff.The planning (concept, layouts etc) for Cloud City have been in the works for a few weeks now, 90% of the actual content we have now was created in the last few days though. This is heavy WIP and just a small part of the map. More and prettier stuff to come soon.

Richard and Austin (Altureus) have been hard at work creating loads and loads of great Sound FX just waiting to be used in-game. Bathe your ears in chocolatey engine sounds and smokey cannons.

And last but not least, our long awaited new web site will launch in the next days! As an appetizer feast upon these.

Note that you will need to create a new account if you had one on the old forums. The new ones will be cleaner, active-er, better, donger.

Until next time, maybe moving pictures will have been invented until then, who knows. May the 4th be with you, airways.

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 929)
thefinalhack Jul 10 2014, 9:09pm says:

How far back do you think the engine upgrade will push the alpha release?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mandosis Jul 11 2014, 12:46am replied:

It has not being pushed back because we never had a solid timeline for when it would come out and are still estimating that it will be out by the end of this year. We are still working on the core game play, game modes and getting Bespin into playable shape. We should have an update out soon so keep an eye on our website, social media pages and of course ModDB/IndieDB.

+5 votes     reply to comment
thefinalhack Jul 11 2014, 11:45am replied:

That's great to hear, And I as ever look forward to the next update.

+3 votes     reply to comment
GeneralAdrian Jun 9 2014, 4:12pm says:

So from the E3 we didn't really see that much from DICE (just some seconds of epicness), will we expect some more updates from you this month?

The epicness can never be too epic...

+3 votes     reply to comment
SharkYbg Jun 12 2014, 8:32pm replied:

We are currently working on the game mechanics and its that time of the year where people are busy with all kinds of stuff(exams etc) so we might not have anything fancy this month but when we have something more we will be glad to share it so you can see whats being going on ;)

+2 votes     reply to comment
IngyBall May 27 2014, 11:23pm says:

Hi guys,I've been following this project from the very beginning since the times you guys were moving around different forum websites recruiting and your project is really coming together. I can't wait to play it!

+6 votes     reply to comment
Truebladed404 May 28 2014, 10:41am replied:

It's always a pleasure to hear of the dedication you guys have given us! To have this devotion in a fan base is incredible! This game also rather depends on it. Since we cannot truly advertise in conventional ways, we are relying on the community to tell others, to make posts places, etc. Every single battlefront fan has hungered for the sequel that has been dangled in front of them just out of reach. . .it is beyond doubt that we will do the utmost to bring you a worthy title. We cannot wait to share this game with you all! (of course we still need some time for things so. . .enjoy some uj cake?)

+4 votes     reply to comment
dg1995 May 26 2014, 10:30am says:

hello again team.
isn't Unreal Engine going to harm online matches of this game as much as it did to Mortal Kombat 9's online ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Schlechtwetterfront May 27 2014, 6:29am replied:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Truebladed404 May 23 2014, 10:35pm replied:

We hope to release a working Alpha version sometime this year, 2014. The actual window is rather large as we cannot be certain when this elaborate electronic puzzle will be competed. I can tell you now that the artist are just as hyped to see things coming together as you are! It will be an exciting advent when we are ready to share Battlecry with you all!

+3 votes     reply to comment
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