Hello all, i wish you a merry christmas.
Before i start with content, i'd like to get this of my chest: Please note that this mod needs more helping hands. We are currently 2 people and the tasks are daunting in their number. Despite the shiny ingame pictures you see, under the surface there is a big amount of work in all fields of modding and editing left to do (including basic image and text editing, writing, ...) , before a first release will be feasible. If you have time to spare and are willing to help, contact us (preferably on discord).
Concepting - Brick and Mortar Part 2
Over the last months the foundation of buildings/structures was beeing gradually explored. Concepts and experiments for the look and feel of buildings on the chosen planet, what metrics are necessary for them to function as desired and how to create a model system that allows time effective creation of many assetts. This is quite a complex topic, which is a bit too much to go into full detail here.
Part of the concepting also involved defensive structures (walls, fortifications, ...). With this mod's focus on functionality and believability, the structures must fullfill realistic requirements just like any other object. This means it needs to be considered which weapons they would have to withstand, and what weapons would possibly be used from inside them. However, there was a big undefined gap between infantry mortar and Basilisk which needed to be filled first, before any work could resume on defensive structures.
Here are early WIP images of 3 artillery weapons that resulted from this concepting - Medusa Siege Gun, Heavy Mortar and Quadlauncher on field gun carriage (inspired by DKoK models, but carriage is a custom pattern).
The Quadlauncher sits in the middle between Heavy Mortar and Infantry mortar, at least in the TT rules. It is essentially a four barreled medium mortar, if background and TT rules are fused together. A single tube Medium mortar is not known in the background or TT, but would make a lot of sense from a logical standpoint. Same munition as quad launcher, easier to relocate and transport. Once the Centaur is complete (currently on hold because of Physx issues...), a variant with medium mortar installed would propably be very usefull.
The current roadmap for structures is, to start with defenses (pillboxes, walls, vehicle obstacles) to provide first real gameplay opportunities, even on a relatively flat and barren map (which also needs to be created, still). The fortifications are designed to be more realistic, so they are harder to take out. There will be no huge 1m x 5m gaps for "firing slits". This is why defense buildings with different fortification levels (wall thickness) are planned, to allow for flexible scenario creation. After all, not every scenario should require a Medusa Siege Gun or human wave tactics to disable it/get close to it. Here you can see prototypes of the fortification system: Reinforced pillbox wallsections - building blocks for the creation of the real pillboxes - and an Earthshaker cannon in armored turret, for a potential artillery fort system.
As for the style, a more bare bones concrete look will be used, without the reliefs on it (as opposed to the TT wall of martyrs terrain piece for example). The reason is the same as outlined here in context with vehicle instrument design. The backwater world that is our planet has more pressing needs than to adorne it's pillboxes with skulls, angels and other baubles. Iconography and elaborate detailing is reserved for high value places that do not have to weather artillery barrages. The concepting is far from over (as you can clearly see), and more work needs to be completed before the first structures can be finished and put ingame. Among the blocking tasks are the crew served weapons, that need to be integrated properly into the defense building block system.
Artillery without an observer is useless, and an observer needs magnification. This is why MartinezFG11 kicked his work on this mod off with two binocular variants (small and large) - from start to finish. A big thanks to him. This is the very first usable contribution by somebody else other than myself in this mod's development , a little milestone so to speak :)
As you can see, the Hydra now has it's crew placed properly. It also has heavy stubber as front weapon option now (as well as heavy bolter, obviously). This idea came from the FW units, which can often exchange their heavy bolters for heavy stubbers. In tabletop the option is mostly just for flavor, in this mod however both will be very usefull. One has more ammo, flatter trajectory and higher rate of fire and velocity, the other has more hitting power, armor penetration and an explosive effect. This heavy stubber option extends to all Leman Russ and Chimera family vehicles now. In the case of the Chimera troop carrier, we reached a majestic 32 unique different configuration variants (not including camo variants).
Behind the scenes some more model and texture optimisation was completed (all LOD's for the Hydra and some parts for other chimera based vehicles)
That's all worthy of showing for now, cheers.