HLL From the Front: Dev Progress Update #2 - Alpha Expectations

Hi everyone!
First of all, thank you for supporting us both financially and in following the progress of development. We're really excited to share what we're making with you and finally get a chance to meet you on the battlefield!
We’ve been quite silent over the last two weeks as we work night and day to make such as many aspects of the title are playable as humanly possible.
As a team, we feel it's important to be clear in the exact state of development and what you can expect to be included in the Alpha. As a new team, it's a scary and exhilarating process to prepare a title for such a passionate community. We know that you're as keen as we are to make sure that Hell Let Loose is everything it can be.
At present, we are racing the clock to finish content that we consider essential for our core gameplay experience. These are features that represent the heart and soul of what we're trying to do differently with Hell Let Loose, and we feel that without them we would be misrepresenting what we want the game to be.
You may ask why it's so important that our Alpha reflects the final experience as closely as possible.
The answer to that is our non-disclosure agreement - or lack of one.

Will the Alpha be under NDA?
The short answer is no.
As a team we've chatted a lot about this. On one hand it allows us to curate and squash bugs without our flaws on display to the world, but on the other hand we built Hell Let Loose because we're believers in the power of emergent gameplay and as open a development process as we can manage. We feel that it’s important that you’re able to record and talk about your experience as you wish. We also appreciate that crowdfunding deserves a level of transparency and accountability so that you - as our backers - can see the progress as it happens.
What this does do is force us to deliver a quality of Alpha worth viewing.

When will the Alpha launch?
This is the toughest question of all. Our goal date is the 31st of March, however as a new team we live by the maxim "hope for the best but prepare for the worst."
Currently we have lots of small issues encountered from testing that are standing in our way. These include but are not limited to:
  • Missing third person and some first person animations for medic equipment (currently in progress).
  • Glitching animation transitions when a player is put into critical state (shot).
  • The need to implement several key deployable mechanics for the Support and Rifleman role (all 3D assets are complete).
  • Implementing correct reload sequences (wet, dry, cocking) for several weapons.
  • Fixing a nasty grenade bug where the grenade sound continues to play despite being thrown minutes ago.
  • Implementing (skinning) the German Medic character model.
  • Implementing an ammo box system to allow the players to re-arm.
  • Fixing the differentiation of some rules between Garrisons and OPs.
  • Implementation of some tertiary weapon sounds (equips).
  • Implementation of some third person weapon animations.
  • Locking animation transitions in third person (currently crouching does not force play and can result in desynced stance against the first person view).
We’re going to work through this week and assess any outstanding issues. We will then notify you again next weekend to let you know as soon as possible if there are any delays to the Alpha launch. If there is a delay, we would continue to update you as we go.
We understand that many of you have commitments - whether work or otherwise, that mean you have kindly sought to reserve time to play. We apologise if this has disrupted your planning.
While these issues look unimportant, they have some critical implications to the gameplay, and the way the game presents itself. As you can imagine, due to us deciding not to place the Alpha under NDA, we are keen to make sure it as playable as it can be.

What is the purpose of the Alpha?
This will be an Alpha in the purest sense of the word. Many mechanics are in, many need refining on a technical and a gameplay level. During the course of the Alpha, you’ll be able to engage in a bug reporting system in a structure of subforums on our official forums.

How many maps will be in the Alpha?
Currently we will showcase only St Marie Du Mont in the Alpha. We are still busily working on the other maps and don’t feel they’re playable yet.

How long will the Alpha last?
In total, the Alpha will last approximately four weeks. This is determined by numerous factors - the key being whether we feel like we've been able to test issues of scale (player capacity, the meta-game, resource accumulation speeds, scoring, map design), or if any serious technical issues have meant that the majority of players have not been able to play. We will be updating the client frequently during the Alpha with continual fixes and addition of features.

Will there be vehicles?
No. We currently have the trucks sitting ready in the wings, but have decided not to release these into the Alpha in order to focus our resources on clearing up some final infantry-related issues and bugs. The moment that core infrastructure and infantry-related bugs and issues have been addressed we will pivot our attention back to the vehicles.

How close is the Alpha to the final product?
Some aspects of the Alpha are final and some will be replaced or refined - either because we as a team know that work has to be done on them, or because of community feedback. Things that are unlikely to change are character models, weapon models, some first person and third person animations and environment assets. That said, you will notice the progression in all aspects of the title between our reveal cinematic, our Kickstarter gameplay video and the experience you have in Alpha. Know that every week we’re able to spend working is another week of fixing, upgrading, adding variation and widening the scope of the game.

What won't be included in the Alpha?
The following features have not yet been implemented, but will be for Early Access:
  • Vehicles, including supply trucks
  • Deployable machine guns
  • Artillery
  • The Commander role
  • The Engineer role (including deployables)
  • The Flamethrower role
  • Smoke grenades
  • AP and AT Mines
  • Weapon jamming and overheating
  • Barrel changing
Lastly, we're often asked whether or not a particular skin, uniform or other aspect of the title is final, or will be the sole representation. Speaking beyond Early Access and official release we want to share our ongoing commitment to you to continue supporting the title well into the future. We will continuously be creating new vehicle variants and skins, new character models with new faces, new branches and divisions, new environment assets to go in new maps, and we'll be continuing to widen the scope of game features and forces. We are very excited to continue bringing new experiences to the battlefield and flesh out the entire vision we have for our depiction of World War Two.
We as a team want to thank you for your incredible engagement, patience and support of the us and for the title, and for joining us on the journey to fulfilling that vision.
Max

PS
Below you can see the photogrammetry and optimisation pass at work on St Marie Du Mont. We've put a lot of effort into creating something as beautiful as we can, that also won't set fire to your machine.

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WHERE ARE MY BULLETS EVEN GOING?!?
- me, every game ever.


Originally posted here: https://forum.hellletloose.com/inde...ont-dev-progress-update-2-alpha-expectations/
 
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