Ahha, a progress report!
While I do not exactly bring the best of news, in that this is not going to give you a date for our next release, it should at least let you know some of the pretties we've been toiling over.
With the new SDK update, we've been able to introduce HDR to the map set, pretty bloominess is always a bonus, so I've included a couple of shots of the new, improved, rebuilt from the ground up Stalkyard in it's full HDR glory. We'll also be redoing all our media shots to show off the fancy effect over the next few weeks.
If you haven't been following the forums much, you may well have missed the discussion about our new gametype we're introducing in the next release (which is, in part, why it's taking so long - we want to get it as perfect as we can before we drop it out!) - so allow me to introduce you to Extraction Point or HEX as it is otherwise known.
HEX is an objective based gametype that allows for a broad range of mapper defined objectives for either IRIS or Subject 617 to complete - though only IRIS can win via completing objectives and escaping via the (obviously named) Extraction Point.
We've created a number of custom entities to deal with the objective system and to make it as easy and obvious for mappers to work with. The new entities are;
- hex_logic : controls all logic for the gametype, reads the objectives file and activates the specified entities (be it all, or a random selection). It also tracks the objectives and fires outputs when they complete, allowing for mappers to control map flow based on objective completion.
- hex_extraction_point : the brush based trigger that the IRIS must reach once all objectives are complete, requires a percentage of all living IRIS to be within the zone before the extraction countdown will begin.
- hex_*_button : three specific buttons that can be controlled by the objective system. hex_timer_button requires a player to use it over a set period of time, allowing for hacking, bypassing or any other activity that requires time to complete. hex_damage_button has a set health level that is lowered when damaged, it tracks this damage and completes when it goes to 0 or below. The final button, hex_rotation_button acts in a similar way to the existing momentary rotation button in HL2 but plugs into the objective system.
- hex_pickup_spawn : allows for two types of items to be spawned, those that are collected and tracked on a per player basis (so if the carrying player dies, the item is dropped and has to be picked up by someone else) and those that are 'absorbed' and their collection is final. This is ideal for retrieval style objectives.
As I mentioned earlier, the objective system uses a seperate text file to dictate the actual objectives, while the layout of this system is relatively easy, we will be providing a custom tool to aid in their creation - it should remove any confusion over how to correctly write out the file. More details on this will be made available closer to release.
We've currently got a single HEX map in the works, Sigma by Boxy - based upon the Origin art style of futuristic lab technology. Pretty HDR screenshots are provided below.