Update 2 is here and while it’s a big one, much of the work has been done behind the scenes. We struggled to think of a proper name for it, as it’s an implementation of key features that the game is currently missing.
Out of the gate, the first large scale implementation is our unit management mechanics. You can now lock your Unit – both as you make it and after it’s already been made. This will enable you to curate who’s in your unit. On top of this, we’ve also introduced the ability for Officers to invite players to their unit, as well as kick players. In addition to this, if players attempt to join a locked unit this will send a request to the Officer of the Unit, allowing for reciprocal inviting. In addition to this, when kicking a player from your unit you’ll be asked to give them a reason. We know that managing a Unit can be a stressful and difficult affair, or perhaps you’re keen to play only with friends or your Clan. This update is designed to give you the ability to decide.
The Tiger 1
The second component of the update is the new German beast – the Tiger 1. We’ve approached the Tiger with care. What it makes up in heavy armor and it’s powerful 88, it loses in speed and it’s relatively high profile. The Germans are able to field a single Tiger 1 and we encourage allied armor crews to take it on in groups, or wait in ambush and hit it from a hull-down, defillade position. While lesser forms of anti-tank measures (such as the Bazooka) will struggle to penetrate the body, aiming for the barrel or tracks will allow you to seriously wound the lumbering giant – making it vulnerable to the faster Allied armor.
Vehicle Audio Assets and Systems
The third component of Update 2 is the overhaul of all vehicle sounds – the cannon, engine and track sounds. We’ve finalised the way the sound behaves, as well as invested in high quality recordings of each of the tanks and vehicles in-game – now and coming. Each tank has its own distinct audio signature, allowing you to tell Allied from Axis at range, as well as the nature of its speed and size. The final cherry on top will be the implementation of a ducking system for vehicle occupants in the coming weeks – this will create a proper audio dynamic between the interior and exterior of closed vehicles.
Luchs: new engine start, idle, rev and track sounds.
Stuart: new engine start, idle, rev, track and cannon sounds.
Sherman: new engine start, idle, rev, track and cannon sounds.
Panther: new engine start, idle, rev, track and cannon sounds.
Barracks Customisation System
The fourth component of Update 2 is the first foundation of our customisation system – the Barracks. The Barracks will serve as a location to view your player level progress, your role progress and all the customisation components you’ve unlocked for each. You’ll be able to equip different helmets, uniforms and change characters for each role – per each force.
Coming hot on the heels of Update 2 will be the introduction of our progression system. This will complete the Barracks functionality. Included in this will be the ability to change your customisation as you select your role in-game, as well as the ability to select a different primary weapon or loadout.
Finally, we’ve used the opportunity to roll out much-needed community management tools to help administer community servers. This will assist the fantastic server admins in curating their environment to provide a far better experience.
Alongside these significant points, we’ve done a lot of work on smaller bugs and issues that we’ve been keen to iron out. We know that this is all good and well, but that the community will be most excited to know about new maps.
We’ll be releasing an updated roadmap to explain the coming weeks before we drop Update 3.
As a heads up, Update 3 is going to be HUGE – with Omaha Beach dropping at the same time as our second gamemode – Offensive.
Tiger 1 Tank -This rounds out the top end of the German armor until we introduce the Tiger 2 and other surprises.
Significant audio upgrade for all vehicles in the game
Introduction of the Barracks customisation system
Significant RCON administration tools
Smoothing out mantling and vaulting from FPP perspective by unlocking the camera and allowing higher tolerances for what could be vaulted.
Added several ambient tilts and momentum changes to the FPP rig in order to demonstrate your stance, speed and movement – resulting in a more fluid FPP experience.
Changed mip streaming levels for more than 600 textures to lower burden on low-end GPUs.
Added proper skeletal mesh LODs for all skeletal meshes (all characters, vehicles, statics).
New engine & firing sounds for Sherman tank
New engine & firing sounds for Panther tank
New engine & firing sounds for Luchs tank
New engine & firing sounds for Stuart tank
Fixed various small visual issues in each map (floating props etc).
Fixed an issue where players have experienced their proximity VOIP channel stop working after loading into a new game from one that’s just finished.
Fixed an issue where players have experienced the leadership VoIP channel not functioning when creating their first unit after joining a server or swapping from being in a unit to creating one.
Altered muzzle blast on tanks to include more drifting smoke.
Vehicle dirt trails are now more performant, larger and better looking.
Redeploy counter to be made larger and more visible.
HUD VoIP notifications are now more legible.
Server message and server broadcast have been redesigned to be much less obnoxious and obtrusive.
The server browser now has a more obvious scroll bar.
Setup admin permission levels and allow Server Owner to add new admins with specific abilities. (Owner/Senior Admin/Junior Admin)
Setup ability for admins to force team switch particular players with the choice to do now, or when the player dies.
Exposed all auto-balance variables to the server admin (including time and player threshold – as well as ability to disable it).
Added ability to give a reason for a server kick or ban.
Enabled ability for admins to punish players alongside a reason.
Introduced ability for Admins to create a server broadcast message.
Created a server log for Admins to view – including all significant 2D information (connects, disconnects, teamkills etc).
On the main menu ‘Enlist’ will appear to overlap and touch the title of the game.
Fixed graphical issue with Utah load screen.
Fixed low FPS lock caused just after spawn (caused by crashing audio thread).
Fixed an issue where players can become stuck on a defunct “Selecting Role” screen when selecting the Leadership role from the “Select Your Role” screen
Fixed an issue where the main menu will remain in a faded state after pressing NO on the Quit window.
Fixed an issue where the ADS sensitivity option affects multiple pieces of equipment that do not have any ADS functionality.
Fixed an issue where after taking damage for the first time during a life, the bandage icon will appear smaller than normal.
Fixed an issue where tanks are instantly destroyed when an AT mine is placed next to them. They must now move over them in order to trigger the mine.
Fixed an issue where the camera will point upwards or downwards when the player, from a prone position forces collision with another prone player.
Fixed multiple graphical issues observed when a player dies or is placed in the critically injured sate on-top of specific tanks.
Fixed an issue where Outposts placed in-game are not destroyed in-game or on the map when the unit that created them is disbanded.
Fixed an issue when ‘ADS Toggle’ is set to off, the machine gun ADS animation jitters when tapped compared to being held down.
Currently Working On
Continued overhaul of stock UI and HUD features to make them better looking and better functioning – including pinging, marks, Commander screen, role selection screens, vehicle HUDs, artillery HUDs, heavy weapons HUDs.
Flamethrower FPP setup.
Polishing FPP experience to make it more fluid
Re-assessing MG deployment mechanic in order to increase functionality and fluidity.
Replacing current fat FPP hands with photoreal hands and integrating new sleeves to reflect new uniforms.
Currently beginning work on full mocap overhaul of all TPP animations.
Working on Western Front backer map #1 (a very iconic map).
Working on Western Front urban map (also an iconic location).
Testing network load from wheeled vehicles.
Scoping out scope polish and visual enhancements.
Addition of ambient audio to all maps in line with Utah Beach.
Continued audio work in investigating new audio engine implementation.
Continued overhaul of audio assets within the game.
Re-assessing supply boxes and ammo boxes to remove ugly “redeploy” gameplay loop.
Continued visual upgrades and optimisations on all maps and fx.
Continued bug fixes across the entire spectrum.
Various bug fixes
Thanks – we’ll see you on the battlefield!
Developer Briefing #39 – Player Customisation!
Hell Let Loose – Jonno
This week’s Developer Briefing is straight from Lead Developer Max as he shares a more in-depth look at our upcoming customisation system!
Over to you, Max!
Cosmetics in Hell Let Loose
Update 2 will see the introduction of the early stages of the cosmetic system in Hell Let Loose. Tying in to a much broader array of systems, we had several goals we wanted to accomplish with it:
1: provide a way to personalise your appearance with historically accurate uniforms.
2: to display veterancy and experience in-game as a reward for long term players.
3: to capture the huge iconic array of uniforms and helmets seen during World War Two.
For us this has been a huge design challenge. We’ve tried to strike a balance between absolute accuracy to what each soldier was wearing for each force at each battle – while also allowing some flexibility in appearance.
How does it work?
In Hell Let Loose, your appearance is broken up into three different aspects across each of the 14 roles. Per army, this becomes 28 separately customisable roles – not including forces added at a later date.
While a plain old feldgrau Stahhelm is nice, a camouflaged one wrapped in scrim is better. Whether you want to play as a specific historical company or stand out in your unit, we’re excited to allow you to bring some quickly recognisable personality to your unit.
From looking like Band of Brother’s green recruit Albert Blithe, through to the grizzled face of Brad Pitt’s Don “Wardaddy” Collier from Fury, we’ll be adding many different characters.
Enlist in the standard US summer uniform, rug up with a winter coat, throw on an assault vest, or hunker down in a splinter camo smock, each role has a specific array of uniforms to unlock and use. They’re designed to be a quick way to determine the experience of the players around you.
How do I get new helmets, heads and uniforms?
Each of these items will be unlocked in multiple ways. Many tie into our Role leveling system – where playing a particular role continuously will slowly unlock more and more uniform options (for instance, the winter uniform is one of the first unlocks).
Other items will be unlocked through our Player levelling system – the overarching level that determines your experience with the game as a whole.
Will cosmetics be role specific?
Yes. It’s important to us that we make sure a particular item is role specific so as not to break immersion. This means that cosmetic items will only be available to the roles that are appropriate – such as Officer helmets only being available to Officers! It also means we won’t be allowing tank crewmen to wear sniper veils.
Why did you implement a cosmetic system now? Surely there are more important things to work on!
We’ve bought the cosmetic system in now as it’s largely entangled with a wider array of systems – including our player account system, progression system, weapon selection system and full TPP and FPP animation and look overhaul (which in turn ties in to our development of soft-skinned wheeled vehicles) . By bringing this in now, we won’t need to double back on work or risk breaking things at a later date.
Where do I apply my cosmetics?
The Barracks is now available from the main menu. There you can customise each role to your heart’s content.
Should you want to change your uniform or helmet to something more map-appropriate while in-game, you can do so when you select your role after joining a unit. We are currently working to implement this alongside the ability to select a specific weapon or equipment loadout per role
Equip your soldier for any front!
As you rank up and gain role experience, you’ll be able to unlock unique cosmetics to inspire your allies and strike fear into your foes!
See your uniform in all its 360 degrees glory!
Thanks for reading this week’s dev briefing. Next time we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the pros and cons of the Tiger – also arriving in Update 2. We’ll also be unveiling our updated roadmap. We know that Update 2 is short on maps, but have no fear – Update 3 is not far behind and will contain new maps and other goodies.
If you’re enjoying Hell Let Loose, you can help us by leaving us a review on Steam.
See you on the frontline!