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Developer Briefing #52 – One Year of Developer Briefings! A look back, a look forward and free helmets!

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Dec
06

Hey everyone,

Here we are, 52 weeks since the first ever Developer Briefing. A lot has happened since then and we’ve still got an exciting, content packed journey ahead of us as we head towards full launch in 2020!

Being able to touch base with the community every week is an absolutely pleasure, giving you first looks at upcoming content, discussing your feedback and letting you know what we’re working on behind the scenes.

We have been blown away by your support and we hope that these weekly updates have not only been interesting for you, but also highlight the upmost respect we have for your time and support of Hell Let Loose.

Here’s to the next 52 weeks of Developer Briefings!

Now, to Lead Developer Max who has a few words to share, including what you can expect in the first part of 2020….


Max-imum Update!



Hi everyone,

We’re fast approaching the end of the year and we thought we’d take the opportunity on the 52nd anniversary of developer briefings to look back at some of the bigger moments.

A Look Back:

 

  • Our first beta and the following waves.
  • Metagame update.
  • Launching into Early Access.
  • Dismemberment system.
  • Tanks!
  • First snow map – Foy.
  • Balance adjustments.
  • Audio tweaks.
  • Mantling & Leaning.
  • Resource Nodes.
  • Unit management.
  • Utah Beach.
  • Omaha Beach.
  • Offensive Mode!
  • Progression system.
  • Soldier Customisation.
  • Loadouts.


And many more!

Your feedback and openness with us have allowed the team to prioritise and focus on content that you, our awesome community want. We’re a small team but it’s great to have our hard work noticed by you all – thank you.

Let us know your favourite moments and updates from the last year in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!


First Things First: Fixing Existing Issues



We’ve been working very hard to produce new content and new features as fast as possible in order to get them in the mix so that we can best test them during our Early Access period.

We’ve pushed ourselves to implement systems that add increased complexity to our back end (progression, customisation, server queuing etc.) and we recognise that some of these features have existing issues. While we want to ensure the whole team is able to take some time out to celebrate Christmas, we’ll be working intensively behind the scenes on several key issues affecting the game. Namely:

 

  • Server stability (crashes and latency/performance)
  • Experience and progression bugs
  • Server queueing issues


We’ve carved out time with our programming and QA team to nail these endemic issues so that we can start next year from a good place.


Next Up!



Our Early Access is not an indefinite period of time. We are currently working to a fixed date by which we need to achieve what we’d consider a full, content rich and predominantly issue-free Western Front, as well as a nice introduction of the Russian forces and the Eastern Front. To do this, we’re following a set development road map that balances new features, polish optimisation and bug fixes.

We’re excited to share that during the first third of next year will see the introduction of:

 

  • 2-3 new maps (at minimum),
  • Overhauled existing maps (for both gameplay, visuals, optimisation and introduction of
  • Offensive game-modes)
  • 1 x US Heavy Tank
  • 1 x German Wheeled Recon Vehicle (we will be using this as a tech test for all wheeled vehicles)
  • 1 x US Wheeled Recon Vehicle (we will be using this as a tech test for all wheeled vehicles)
  • Overhauled ballistics system (realistic bullet travel time, bullet penetration etc)
  • Overhauled FPP animation system
  • Melee ability
  • Overhauled TPP animation system
  • Overhauled icons
  • Implementation of Reconnaissance gameplay systems
  • Improved and widened Commander Orders and interface
  • Overhauled and widened Engineer deployables
  • Overhauled Support and Rifleman Supply and Ammo box gameplay loop
  • New sound engine implementation
  • New loadout options
  • New customisation options


We are also currently deciding whether or not we upgrade to 4.23 or 4.24 at this point.

The first third of next year may vary slightly depending on bottlenecks, bugs or other content additions, but we’ll work to let you know should anything deviate.

Beyond the first third of next year, we still have to implement the rest of the vehicles (mobile artillery, jeeps, trucks), flamethrowers as well as more as-yet unannounced vehicles, maps, weapons and features.

We really appreciate your patience with the development cycle and look forward to the new year!


Approach to Optimisation!



We know that optimisation is a key aspect of development and plays the most significant role in your experience in-game. We’re keen to explain our strategy here, so that you know what to expect.

During the course of development, we’ve become quicker and quicker at profiling and fixing troublespots – as well as implementing much stricter technical budgets. It’s been a large balancing act – to make sure that new features and content doesn’t inhibit our inability to field 100 players per game for sustained durations (2 hours games, with days of games in a row – this is harder than you’d think!).

For any team – let alone a smaller team – this has been our biggest challenge. We want to assure you that our leaving Early Access will contain significant and sweeping optimisations – with a concerted effort to re-profile the game near launch in order to properly benchmark each map and feature in an effort to bring them in line with the expected FPS output of a low, mid and high end machine.

Working with Team17, we have access to a large suite of optimisation tools to help us profile across the full array of hardware and system configurations. We’re keen to do this, but know that to do so before the full feature list is complete would defeat the purpose at this stage (as many of our least optimised components are already undergoing overhauls currently).

In the meantime, we’re adhering to our budgets and using processes that we’ve now finalised to generate assets and content that we know won’t contribute to poor FPS.


Celebratory Helmets & Heads!



That wraps up Max’s message for this week’s briefing! Hopefully you liked what you saw, we’ve got some exciting content lined up for the start of the year!

Now, we recently shared that to celebrate 52 consecutive weeks of Developer Briefings we were going to make two special helmets and all Winter versions of the existing heads available for free to the community.

So, here’s the details on how to get these beauties when they drop…

 

  • These customisation items will be made available when Update 4 drops later this month.
  • They will only be available as ‘Free DLC’ from the Hell Let Loose Steam Store page.
  • All owners of Hell Let Loose will be eligible to download the helmets and heads.
  • The helmets and heads will only be available to download for a limited window of time.
  • If you get the helmets and heads you will have them unlocked permanently.
  • These won’t be the only event based free cosmetics we release…



There you have it, the 52nd Developer Briefing!

Time to get planning for the 53rd now…

See you on the frontline!

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