The Beta Test Tournament went as planned and we've managed to secure a good number of testers. Thanks to everyone who sent in an application. In the last blog I mentioned that I'd be taking some questions regarding the mod an answer them here. Here are some of the commonly asked questions and the answers:
Question: Will the mod be available for all platforms or only Windows?
Answer: Currently Tribal Wars is only playable on the Windows platform. It is possible to compile the mod for the Mac OSX and Linux platforms and we will have someone look into producing the binaries for those. There won't be any guarantees on multi-platform support in the first release of the mod, but it may be possible at some time in the future.
Question: What are the ideal team sizes for the Mod?
Answer: Like many other games, each map has it's own characteristic. 12 vs 12 could work well with Icepick which is slightly bigger, while Chthonic has a layout that's more suited to 6vs6 or 8vs8.
Question: Is the mod compatible with the Steam version of the game?
Answer: Yes, the mod does work with the Steam version of the game, but it requires a few extra steps to get a launch item added to your Games list. Additionally the SDK (for making maps) should also be compatible with the steam version of the game.
Question: Does the mod have VOIP support?
Answer: Yes, the game ships with an in game VOIP codec called Speex. It's quality is comparable to Ventrillo.
Question: Will there be any popular Tribes 1 map remakes?
Answer: No, currently we're only creating brand new custom maps. People from the community can recreate some of the classic maps and release those as add-ons though.
Question: Why was ETQW chosen as a base for this mod?
Answer: There are a number of factors involved, but one of the biggest ones is the choice of Engine. ID Tech 4 is a reliable industry proven engine, and the Splash Damage Team made ETQW with the intention of making it a very mod friendly product. Another aspect is the Icarus Vehicle which was inspired by Starsiege: Tribes and had similar characteristics. The first prototype for our new physics was added to the Icarus, but ported over to the player shortly after that.
Question: Will there be customizable skins or voicepacks?
Answer: Customizable skins are not possible unfortunately. Most textures are cheat protected to prevent things like pink skins, and mines. The voicepack files are part of the localization stuff (to allow for multiple languages), so it is possible to have different voicepacks other than the ETQW defaults. For the first phase of release, there won't be any new Vsays so whatever is included with ETQW will have to do.
That's all of them for now. On to some other things...
As mentioned before the Beta Testers were selected through the Tournament and we're slowly getting people introduced to the mod. There have been a number of suggestions put in already and we'll try to include some of them in a patch next week. We're likely going to see small changes which may include:
-Reduction of fall damage
-Change in Ion Rifle reload speed and characteristics
-Fixes to spawn points on Chthonic
-Selectable outdoor spawn to reduce traffic
-Removing proficiency script items
-Fixes to server cvars
These features will also be worked on:
-Fixes to the Server voting options to allow for CTF gametype maps to be voted on
-Adding gui item to display how many mines/grenades are present
-Adding Healthkits and keybinding elements to the player's inventory
We're also going to be setting up forums for the mod later this week, and a brand new website is the follow that. There is also the new moddb page for Tribal Wars which will feature a lot of the same content as the main site. There is a downloads sections there where users can post custom content and other mod related downloads once the mod is released. Be sure to check that out: Moddb.com
We also have a new irc channel on irc.quakenet.org , channel #twars. If you have any questions about the mod or want to get in touch with me, you can find me there.
I'll keep everyone informed about the progress of the Beta test. We're hoping to hold a fairly big match this weekend. I'll be sure that people record some demos for me to screencap, and I'll put those up on moddb and blip.tv next week.