Post news RSS Iron Assault Progress Update No. 4

Iron Assault Remake continues to move (slowly) forward. Let's talk about some of the new content and under the hood changes that have been added since the last demo release.

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Hello,

Been a while eh? Let's jump right into some updates. Follow along with my ill advised odyssey to make a 2.5D mech action game.


New Operation / Texture Process

Desert 1

Desert 2

Desert 3

Work on the 3rd operation has started, most of it has been building the texture set and adding some new objects.

Making the textures for IA is a simple, but tedious process. Every wall texture is a 64x32 patch sourced from the original game. These patches are then mixed and matched together to form composite textures. Depending on the patch there is a lit, non lit and destroyed version (and a brightmap for the lit version which is also composited).

Not every patch has a destroyed version and for those I need to create one. Patches with lights on them also need a non lit version made.

Here's an example of a large composite texture made up of many smaller patches. This will then get chopped up into appropriately sized vertical strips for use on the sides of buildings/walls.

DESCOL


Anyway: the first mission, O3M1, is complete and features the largest battles in the campaign so far. You'll get to smash through a defensive line then engage in some street fighting. It's pretty cool. See what this looks like here:

Since the last demo there have been some engine changes that now allow enemy NPCs to do proper visual checks for friendly ones. This makes large scale battles feel much more organic. Some other changes have also helped increase the scale of battles.


Optimization

The sheer amount of crap flying around was starting to cause some issues. Previous optimization passes focused on projectiles, and a little more has been done regarding that here, but the bulk of the changes are in other areas.

All alpha transparency and blending effects have been removed. Most smoke effects now use a kind of dithered transparency, similar to how some missile and bullet trails looked in 2.01. This (apart from being faster in the majority of cases) actually brings the project more in line with my initial intentions regarding the visuals. I think I went too far in a lo-fi "realism" direction, and this change makes things look much more retro and "period accurate".

All objects and many effects now have proper distance culling. This also lessens the burden since the game is no longer worried about rendering a bunch of lamp posts that are 5 kilometers away from you.


Heavy Mechs, Heavy Weapons

Group

Here you can see a wholesome family photo of every unit in the game so far. The latest additions can be seen in the back row. These new heavy mechs are available for the player and for use as friendly/enemy NPCs. Along with these heavies come some new heavy energy weapons and medium/heavy versions of the melee weapons.

Balance is an ongoing thing, and while I'm not going to expend a huge amount of sweat over balance in a singleplayer game, there is still some stuff that will probably need tweaking. The power differential might be too big: heavies will currently absolutely, no-contest, wreck light units.


New Modules and Module Changes

Two new modules have been added. An enhanced ECM pod and the Active Target probe, which is the more interesting of the two. The probe will stop your target lock from decaying if you lose line of sight. This opens up some interesting possibilities for missile mechs. However, ECM now has a chance to disrupt homing missiles. NPCs with high ECM values might prove very hard to reliably hit.

Many other changes have been made, most notably to leg actuators. These are no longer "self supporting" and have weight. Advanced actuators now provide a consistent boost to speed, and the speed of a mech now properly scales. Previously I found that in the majority of cases, taking the reinforced actuators was the better choice, but these changes should hopefully make the advanced actuators more viable.


UI and HUD

Some good quality of life changes have been made in the loadout editor and the HUD. Previously what left and right corresponded to differed from mech to mech. Left/Right should now be consistent between loadout editor and in game. Left and right are always considered from the perspective of the pilot. The loadout editor has helpful labeling to make this clear to you.

A fix to a dumb system means that the next/previous weapon binds now properly cycle between groups. The HUD weapon list is now sorted by location (Torso, Left Arm, Right Arm) and the lowest numbered group will now be selected at mission start. This greatly improves consistency.


The Weird Mechs

Ant

There are designs that are technically available to the player but are never actually unlocked. This is because, in my opinion, they are too weak or are just weird and have no niche. After a bit of thought I've decided to make these designs available. However you will have to opt in to seeing them. The option to do this has been placed in the pilot menu.


Demo Update

With all of this new stuff, and since it's been a while, I've decided to release an updated demo. This demo contains pretty much all of the changes I've talked about here. I'm creatively calling this "Demo 2.5".

Check it out here.

Consult the changelog to see specifics of whats new.


The Future

The immediate goal is to finish Operation 3. I also hope to implement flying NPCs and after that infantry. I've also put some thought into creating garrisoned structures that you'll have to destroy.

The longer term is to grind out Op4 and Op5, and fill in some blanks in the weapon roster. I feel the energy lineup is pretty weak at the moment, but there will also be some new types of cannon.

I know some people are a bit frustrated at the pace of these updates. I have other projects in the works, and I try to work on IA only when I'm in the right frame of mind for it. I don't like to force it.


Until next time.

Comments
Guest
Guest - - 693,014 comments

Looking great so far! Good luck with the release of the first version!

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ReformedJoe Author
ReformedJoe - - 193 comments

Thanks.

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GoodGriefer
GoodGriefer - - 31 comments

Very cool dude! Wow really looking forwards to this!

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Fulkrum25
Fulkrum25 - - 23 comments

Fantastic work!

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Phenixtri
Phenixtri - - 3,414 comments

i just cant wait until we get some infantry in the game both friendly and enemy.

id rekon 2 variants would suffice a exo suit infantry type with a 14.5mm AR with a underslung grenade launcher and a regular infantry type with a RPG and or missile launcher for anti vehicle duty.

also adding in some friendly tanks apcs and missile tanks would be neat too.

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DaBeowulf
DaBeowulf - - 66 comments

That Battle in the Desert video sure makes one look forward to such heavy mechs/ weaponry.

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