SITREP - 1, 2015
published Thursday, 15 Jan. 2015, 00:00 by ZPSPhyrefli
It's a new year, and things have already started with a hotfix for Update 16. This SITREP looks at Update 17 and what will happen for the next few updates.
The new SITREP is an ongoing progress report where we publicly talk about what we've recently been working on, and what we're aiming to achieve over the next few weeks.
Briefing - week ending January 16th, 2015
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope you had a fantastic holiday season and had a chance to relax and enjoy a rest. We certainly had a great holiday, and have hit the ground running this month with the release of a hotfix to Update 16 and work commencing on Update 17.
Update 16 included Assault on Starcrown Aerospace, our second campaign co-op map, and is a map we're very proud of. We took the lessons we learned from The NeuroGen Incident and applied them to Starcrown to make it as polished and interesting as we could. As with any map there were a few extra things we wanted to do (no map is ever truly complete, there are always more things we want to add) but we were very happy with both the end product and especially the response from the community.
That leads me elegantly into 2015 and the delights and promise it holds. As this is the first SITREP of the year I'm going to change the format for this one as there are some interesting things I want to cover. SITREP 2 will go back to the usual format of discussing what individual members are up to.
So lets get to it :)
(Bugs and features list)
We have a very clear guiding light for Update 17: To make the whole Interstellar Marines experience as easy, understandable and fun as possible for new players.
To do this we're concentrating on two things. The first is to fix as many bugs as we can, and the second is to add as many new features within the time we have that will help new players.
Usually we work on bugs on an on-going basis, especially towards the end of a sprint when we're in testing and polishing. For this update we've decided to focus on fixing as many bugs as possible in lieu of adding major new features. We've taken our list of current bugs, assigned each one to a specific person, and already started work on them. When we're comfortable that we're through the most severe bugs we'll start to assign people to work on the new features.
Most of the features for this update are quite small, which is a reflection of the priority on bugs, and we're going to carry on working down the list until we get to the point where we're happy to release the update.
As a test we've decided to put a public document together showing what we're working on. Please note if you read the document it is not real time, and we're working through the bugs and features on a top-down basis, so we will not complete them all in Update 17. To view the non-real time document, please click on this link.
(Miki hard at work on the sprint / animation / accuracy system)
There are two larger features we're working on in Update 17, one of which will be complete in this update, and one which will be completed by the end of Update 18.
Henry and Lukas are both working on a new introduction level, which is part of "easing" new players into Interstellar Marines. This will be included in Update 17, and you can see Lukas sharing some information on the level in this Facebook video. We've been wanting to do this kind of level for some time, and it's a great feeling to be able to put it into the game.
Concurrent to this, Miki has already started working on a more advanced stamina / accuracy / sprint system. The aim of this is to improve our movement system to enhance and promote tactical movement. You will be able to sprint, stamina will become more prominent and visible, and your accuracy will be affected by your movement and the stance you're in. We're aiming for this to combine with the stealth system we recently introduced, as well as the new hit detection, to really reward tactical movement. Immersion is a central pillar of Interstellar Marines, and correct movement is a key part of that.
We're hoping to have an early version of what Miki is working on in Update 17, with the aim to have the full version in Update 18. It's hard to estimate how long it will take to complete this feature, and our rough estimate is 4-6 weeks.
Update 17 is expected to be ready during the first 1-2 weeks of February. We'll announce the hard date as soon as we have it.
(The level designers talking about Update 18 and beyond)
Update 18 and beyond
After update 17 is complete and shipped we're going to focus on a large feature addition which will be spread over several updates.
The first of these updates will be Update 18, which is expected to have Miki's completed work on sprint / stamina / accuracy along with some other features and bug fixes. We expect Update 18 to be out about 4 weeks after Update 17 is released, so a tentative time frame for it is the first half of March.
As we complete major parts of the new feature we'll include them where possible in subsequent updates. The new feature is likely to take until June to complete, and we'll be introducing what it is and why we're doing it when we release Update 17 - so stay tuned for more info!
The very tentative plan for the next few months is:
- Update 17 - released first half of Feb. This will be bug fixes, smaller features, new introduction level and an early version of the improved sprint / stamina / accuracy system.
- Update 18 - estimated release first half March. Completed sprint / stamina / accuracy system + other items. Work on the new large feature commences.
- Update 19 to ?? - we will release updates whilst working on the new feature. The feature is expected to be ready early June.
Until then, here's a concept image Jess created for the large update we'll be working on:
(Concept image from Jess)
I hope you enjoyed this SITREP - please let me know what you think.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME,
Paul (Phyrefli) & the team at Zero Point Software