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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 With UE that's frequent blog posts, expansive and ever-growing documentation (also not out of date), several active developers communicating with the users and a big and helpful community.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  (70 - 80 of 920)
nightwatcher66 Apr 15 2014, 9:33am says:

when will you guys be releasing some prequel model pictures? sorry if that sounded rude, im only curios.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Mandosis Apr 15 2014, 7:56pm replied:

We are not sure when and if we are going to do anything from that time period. As of now we are putting our focus on the Rebellion Era.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Truebladed404 Apr 15 2014, 8:03pm replied:

Yes, as Mandosis has said, the focus for the team is currently on the vicious war between the Rebels and the Imperials. This is our starting point and we are building from here. Once the era has been expanded upon, we can set our sights to other well loved time periods Star Wars has to offer. As always, I'll be seeing YOU!! in my next post. . .BABAI!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
ConstantinoP. Apr 14 2014, 11:53am says:

The pre-alpha may be the greatest game I have ever played. Indeed, the storyline and gameplay were masterfully designed and executed. Being able to control my favorite charter of all time as he embarked on a journey of epic proportions brought a tear to my eye, as I have never before beheld the degree of perfection demonstrated by this game. I was at a loss for words, only being able to mutter, "pure beauty" as I played. I cannot begin to fathom what I will experience with the first full release. I would like to thank the mod team for making my dreams a reality.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Truebladed404 Apr 14 2014, 2:37pm replied:

You have, honestly and sincerely, our greatest appreciation for your diligence in both perseverance and strength. It honors us to know that one has fought, bled, and risen to glory. Birthed with triumph, we salute you as the victorious hero you have become. We dearly hoped that the work which has been completed would be met with joyous outcries and admiration, and we have never been so proud to hear we have, indeed, achieved this goal. We can only ponder what shall come in the future. The future where you are no longer restricted. A land where you may wander and find true adventure. (And maybe you will actually get to finish the game!) As always, I'll see YOU!! in my next post. . .BABAI!!

+4 votes     reply to comment
rocknroll237 Apr 15 2014, 8:15am replied:

Have you two considered writing poetry?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Truebladed404 Apr 15 2014, 8:05pm replied:

Funny you mention that. . .I actually love Math and HATE (I repeat with great passion. . .HATE!) Grammar so, ideally, I would not pursue such a course of action. Ironically, my job as a PR requires the utmost perfection in Grammar so. . .I jus got tuh roll wif it!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Schlechtwetterfront Apr 10 2014, 3:16pm replied:

Exactly 34.84927 parts, 40° and 0.502 units.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Truebladed404 Apr 10 2014, 12:37pm replied:

If you mean will we include Easter Eggs, well, that is to be left to the devs. . .*glances with a suspicious look at the team*
If not. . .I am afraid I do not understand the question enough to answer it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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