Two months have passed since our last news article, and it’s time again to keep you up-to-date on what we’ve been doing lately!
In the past few weeks, most of our focus has gone into getting the last bits of custom content into the game, essentially getting rid of almost all of the placeholder assets from vanilla Day of Infamy. We’ve also spent some time tweaking our classes and the amount of weapons we’ll be including for our first release. Before getting to the media part of the article we’d like to welcome two familiar names and voices for anyone who plays Day of Infamy to our team. George Exley and Ki McKenzie, the British and Canadian voice actors have joined our team in order to provide the project with period-correct voice acting that fits in with our gameplay and features. Judging from the samples they’ve already made for the project - the new voice sets sound very promising! For this article the main focus will be on weaponry and maps, and we hope you’ll appreciate the eye-candy we’ve put together!
AN UGLY DUCKLING
The first thing we want to show off in this article is a new British sidearm available for a few of the classes centered around offensive and aggressive gameplay. The weapon in question is the Webley Self-Loading Pistol, a rather bulky and odd looking firearm that holds 7 rounds in its magazine. While the fire rate and magazine capacity is higher than that of the standard issue Webley Revolver, the accuracy is poor in comparison and it also costs more supply points to equip. In real life this pistol was adopted in the .455 calibre configuration by the Royal Navy, Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Horse Artillery. Some Army officers also purchased it privately, preferring it over the Webley Revolver.
Getting this weapon finished and working in-game was a joint effort, and the credit goes to RedRogue, Tigg, Spacepirate, TKaZA and Rymd for making this happen.
While Screaming Steel primary focuses on long range rifle and machine gun combat, there are a few close quarter options to pick from. Some weapons we want to go into detail about in this article are ones used by the Assault/Sturmmann class, a class centered around getting in close with the enemy and sweeping them away with superior firepower. The first weapon we want to show off is one that has been requested heavily, all the way back since WW1: Source first released – the MP-18.
The MP-18 is a submachine gun available for the German Sturmmann, the only weapon of its kind in Screaming Steel. It fires a 9mm pistol cartridge in fully automatic fire, a very devastating combination in close quarter combat. It feeds from a very distinct looking “snail” drum magazine, capable of holding 32 rounds. With a fire rate of close to 500 rounds per minute, it has a clear advantage over bolt action rifles in the trenches, but it lacks power at medium and long ranges. The recoil also kicks quite a bit, and the Sturmmann does not have a secondary firearm to use incase the situation gets hairy. Being cautious and methodical is very important when storming the enemy, as getting caught at long range is a death sentence for the Sturmmann.
In real life, the MP-18 was the world’s first truly practical submachine gun, and it was used to great effect by the german Stormtroopers in the last year of the war. It’s ability to quickly wipe out groups of enemies earned it the nickname, “Grabenfeger” (Trench sweeper), by the soldiers using it. It’s design was copied and tweaked by essentially every nation developing fully automatic firearms after the war, and it has sometimes been referred to as the grandfather of all modern submachine guns.
It would be unfair not to give the Commonwealth faction a close quarter weapon of their own, which is why we decided to give them something that fits the same purpose but with wildly different functionality; the Browning Auto-5.
The Auto-5 is a semi-automatic shotgun able to store 4 rounds in its tubular magazine plus one round in the chamber. All five rounds can be fired in relatively quick succession, decimating any bunched up enemy soldiers. Akin to the MP-18, the Auto-5 has a lot of recoil and it is also borderline useless at long ranges. Relying on teammates for covering fire while tactically moving moving towards the enemy is your best bet when it comes to maximizing the devastating strengths of the Auto-5.
In reality, the Auto-5 was one of many inventions by John Moses Browning, a pioneer when it comes to firearms design. When it arrived on the market in 1900 it was the world’s first practical and commercially successful semi-automatic shotgun, quickly earning a good reputation from both civilians and different militaries alike. It remained in production until 1998 with its design essentially untouched. While the British Army never officially adopted the Auto-5 before or during the First World War, the Royal Flying Corps and some units of the Belgian Army used it in notable numbers. It was also a popular civilian shotgun, making it very possible that some officers and specialized British Army personnel brought their private examples to the front.
Screaming Steel features a variety of hand grenades. While the arsenal was limited to one frag grenade per faction in WW1: Source, we decided to expand our list of throwables for Screaming Steel. One of the most important tools on the battlefield is the smoke grenade, extremely important for masking a friendly advance or disrupting an enemy attack. Most classes have got access to this type of grenade, making it possible to coordinate in making an effective smoke screen. The Commonwealth smoke grenade is the No.27, while the German counterpart is the rather simple looking Hand-Nebelbombe.
Both factions also have access to a special grenade, only available to the Bomber and Assault classes. The Commonwealth special grenade is the No.27 WP grenade which has its smoke filling replaced with a White Phosphorus one. When the grenade explodes, a cloud of WP will linger in the area for some seconds causing burn damage on any enemies touching it. The German counterpart is the M1915 Discushandgranate, a discus-shaped grenade with an explosive filling that detonates on impact. The explosion radius and overall damage is smaller than the standard frag grenade, making more precise throws very important for dealing maximum damage.
For this article we’ll be revealing not only one map, not two, but three new maps that will be available in our map roster. They are all quite different from each other, and we’re pretty excited to show off some screenshots! The maps are all in different stages of completion, so some areas might look a bit bare and unfinished - that’s because they are.
NIMY BRIDGE - AUGUST 1914
The battle of Nimy Bridge occurred on the 23rd August 1914 as a subsidiary engagement during the opening hours of the Battle of Mons in Belgium. The railway bridge near the village of Nimy was one of several vital crossing points across the Mons-Conde canal defended by elements of the British Expeditionary Force. The Nimy railway bridge in specific was defended by the 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, and the battle for the bridge became one of the first engagements between the British and German military of the war. Accurate rifle fire and devastating machine guns held off the Germans for several hours, but the British eventually pulled back from the bridge and the other canal crossings, ending the battle of Mons with a tactical retreat.
In Screaming Steel the map is built around the “Offensive” gamemode where the Germans have to capture a farmhouse, defenses on Nimy bridge itself and a mansion before finally destroying a radio as their final objective.
PASSCHENDAELE - OCTOBER 1917
While the landscape around Nimy bridge is lush and untouched by war, our Passchendaele map is the complete opposite. The battle of Passchendaele lasted from July 1917 to November 1917 and became one of the most infamous battles of the entire war, still standing as a terrifying example of one of the most futile and dreadful battles of the Western Front.
The goal of the Commonwealth offensive was to punch a hole in the German lines in the Ypres region near the village of Passchendaele, pushing the enemy back so far that they would have to give up their U-Boat ports on the Belgian coast. The Entente attacks very quickly stalled because of the summer rains in the region which turned the flat region a muddy lunar landscape riddled with shell craters and swamps that men, horses and machines alike disappeared into. The horrible fighting conditions combined with the ignorance of High Command resulted in 400.000+ casualties for both the Entente Powers and the Germans.
VALENCIENNES - NOVEMBER 1918
The battle of the city of Valenciennes occurred during the last days of the war, on the 1st and 2nd November 1918. The city was taken by a mixture of Canadian and British forces after fierce resistance from dug in German troops. The battle became one of the few examples of urban warfare on the Western Front, but it has often been overshadowed by other larger engagements that happened during the closing stages of the war. The map combines both long and close range urban combat, and we feel the map provides us with a very different and unique type of gameplay when compared to our more larger maps centered around long ranges and trenches. The map is built for the Offensive gamemode in mind, and the Commonwealth forces have to make their way across farmland to capture the first objective being the suburbs of the city. The second objective is a bakery turned into a German HQ, while the third objective is the church sitting alongside the river cutting the city in half. The final objective is a radio inside the city hall.
We would like to give a huge thanks to poLemin for letting us use his Day of Infamy map “Metz” as a base to work from when creating Valenciennes for Screaming Steel.
The last thing we want to show for this update are two short videos showcasing the animations for our Gewehr 98 rifle and the Webley Self-Loading Pistol. The animations for the Gewehr 98 were made by MyZombieKillerz and the Webley animations were made by Spacepirate.
WRAPPING IT UP
That’s it for now! We hope we managed to satisfy your need for Screaming Steel media for a little while, and as always we’d like to mention our Steam group you can join by clicking the banner below. The group serves a devblog where we post smaller updates more often than we do here on MoDDb, and you’re also welcome to start and partake in various topics in the discussion forum of the group.
Regarding an estimate for a release, we have no specific date yet. But we can tell that we’re aiming for a late summer/autumn release this year, a goal we are very confident we can meet without trouble. We’d also like to mention that the primary source of actually getting a hold of the mod will be on the Steam Workshop for Day of Infamy, allowing us to push out various patches and updates automatically without the user and server admins having to manually keep track of what version of the mod they’re running. We will also make the initial version available to be downloaded here on MoDDb for those who prefer that way of downloading mods.