A.I. Fires its first shots in anger
The battlefield became more dangerous just before the arrival of the new year. The programming for AI-operated weapons was finished, which means we had a lot of shameless fun unleashing a few tanks and artillery on hundreds of (still defenseless) soldiers and watching them get decimated and blown to bits. Their begging for "immediate assistance" did not deter us one bit from enjoying their gruesome deaths.
The very first vehicle in which we tested the weapons was the Type 63 tank. While armed with an 85mm cannon and a coaxial machinegun, the Type 63 was known for its inaccuracy due to the lack of stabilization and rudimentary targeting equipment.
Still, seeing turrets slowly moving around towards a running character and firing independently from the vehicle's motion is something that looks quite ominous.
Watching artillery do its thing for the first time was also great. You see the puff of smoke when the shell leaves the barrel, but you don't really know what it is they're shooting at. Since they can shoot almost all the way across the sector, the target could be anywhere. So you look downrange, and in the distance, find a group of soldiers running for dear life with explosions going off all around them.
Vehicle crews and passengers
All vehicles now need to have its crew to operate their independent systems. A vehicle without a driver won't move. One without a gunner, won't operate its weapons.
The crewmembers are real, "physical" characters. You will see them run up to the vehicle, open the proper hatch/door to their seat, and enter it.
As a curiosity, a lot of reasearch went into finding out how a crewmember enters each vehicle. How does the driver enter the ZSU-23-4 "Shilka"? How does the hatch look and operate?
Vehicles can also carry passengers, which means there are now trucks and APCs carrying troops around the battlefield.
This will also provide for some interesting situations, like some truck crews choosing to dismount and run away from their vehicle when the AC-130 starts shooting at them.
A New Year's celebration, AC-130 Gunship-style
We want to wish you a Happy New Year, and also thank you for voting AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron as one of the Top 50 Apps of 2014 at SlideDB!!! For a small indie that is just starting up, getting that kind of support is just incredible!!!