HLL Developer Briefing #80 - Omaha Beach Revamp!

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Hey everyone,

Welcome to Developer Briefing 80!

This week we're going to be detailing the Omaha Beach revamp which will be arriving alongside the Foy revamp AND a brand new map in Update 7.

Before we go into that though we want to let you know that we've got so many new features to show off, but we’re very keen to reveal these off closer to the release date.

To keep you in the loop on that we want to let you know that next week's Developer Briefing will be the Community x Black Matter Developer Q&A Session that was recorded with Team Dixx recently. The week after that you can expect us to start sharing brand new content, including the new animation system - Thank you all so much for your patience on this, we can't wait to share more and discuss it with you.

Now, back to Omaha!


Omaha Beach Revamp

Alongside Foy, Omaha has had a significant revamp leading in to Update 7. We’ve remodelled large parts of Vierville town (with more to do) in order to create better gameplay, better visuals and better optimisation.





We’ve also relit the map - learning from the photoreal techniques we used in Hill 400. This has better improved the atmosphere and unique feeling of that dark, overcast morning of the 6th of June, 1944. It’s also using photoreal values to create a far more natural transition from dark interiors and shadows into daylight.



After releasing Sainte-Mere-Eglise, we stepped back and started to heavily examine the ways we do urban environments and combat. Often we hear players excited for specifically urban environments, and so we were keen to break that down in order to establish what makes great urban combat in games that do it really well.



Previously, when creating a map we’d place buildings individually next to one another. Some would be open, some would be closed. We’d often then drop in buildings and individual props around those buildings, trying to shape them into the most convincing layout for the space and the era. While this worked, it resulted in thousands of tiny gardens and yards that ended quickly in tedious gameplay - where players would either be in one of the many rooms of the house, or they’d be sitting behind a corner in one of a hundred gardens. In addition to this, the sheer number of objects and their placement resulted in lots of “bitsy” gameplay that not only tripped you up as you moved through environments (especially before our new vaulting mechanics have been introduced), but resulted in ugly and uninspiring gameplay.



Revisiting this, we’ve started to build out many archetypal compounds for both urban and countryside usage. We’ve also created entirely new building assets. We’ll do a deep dive on this in a later dev brief, but our philosophy around mapping these locations has now changed for the better - enabling us to spend a much larger amount of time on medium sized portions of the built environment that we can then adapt into the maps.



The end result is not only a higher concentration of detail in the environment (with far more microprops and visual interest), it’s also a much larger mixture of cover, interesting ways to traverse the environment, as well far more considered lines of sight. We’ve also taken into account specific locations to drop spawnpoints and other deployables. We’ve also lit these environments to give them an especially atmospheric feeling (very useful for low light or night-time conditions). This also means attacking and defending is far more reliable. Instead of enemies moving in from all directions, these environments can be locked down far more successfully, while fighting through them is far more interesting (ie. crouching through a blown out hole between two buildings in order to uproot a sniper in the attic).



As new assets, compounds, buildings and props come online throughout the course of our Early Access period, we’ll be fleshing out strong points across all our maps to ensure that each presents a new challenge. We have a huge amount of work to do across the current Western Front maps, and we’re excited to bring each to the same level of quality while offering a unique experience per map.




New FPP Hands and Arms

With the implementation of the all new hands and arms for our animation overhaul, we’ve set about creating matching sets for all available uniforms in the game. We feel this not only is the expected visual to match your choice of uniform, we also have some interesting things in store when it comes to dynamic mud/blood and dirt...




Caption Competition!



You may have seen some hilarious and awesome Hell Let Loose comic strips floating around recently on our Sub-Reddit and Social Media pages.

These were created by community artist and all round awesome player u/Moscatnt (Reddit).

They now want you to caption the above image to win some sweet prizes:
  • Custom Avatar Illustration
  • Hell Let Loose Steam Key

To enter your caption you must post it in this Reddit thread.

Good luck everyone, we look forward to seeing what you come up with!


That wraps up this week's Dev Brief, let us know what you think of our upcoming improvements to Omaha!

Have a fantastic weekend, we'll see you on the frontline.

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