Game state and delays

Panzer Vor: Preview is pretty close to be released, however, as the website says, it should have been released even before August starts. Well, this is true, this is what was planned in spring. However, I had some unexpected expenses and was out of money before I managed to finish the preview version. That is why I had to take a some contract job to make money for living.

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Launcher will be shut down on 05.05

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The Panzer Vor Launcher was a great app that allowed players to get the latest version of the game when it was actively updated. However, it also suffered from some problems, like being blocked by antivirus softwares, download speed, connectivity issues, ect. It also limited game to run on Windows 7 SP1 and higher, when the game itself could support earlier windows versions.

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Realistic tank physics

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One of the main features of Panzer Vor: Preview that should be introduced, is usage of better physics engine and physics optimization.
Tanks look much better in their behavior, also it behaves in a way, that would be calculated, only when tanks are in close view. The additional handling visual effects and particles can be turned off in the settings menu.

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Tiger-I is the only tank used now for testing, however there are much more tanks will be added into the release version.

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Panzer Vor: Preview. Announcement

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We were slowly getting game ready for the full-scale work all this time. Since February Panzer Vor! started getting full new detailed concept. Finally it is mostly ready and we have all necessary info to make the Preview version of the game.

What’s in Preview?
This is basically a version that shows main components of the game, gameplay and UI. I want to remind you that all that was significantly changed since that latest update. The core of the game, mechanics and art style – everything was changed. The ‘Preview’ version is not an ‘alpha-build’. This will be still buggy version with limited functionality, but will represent the full game at 70% rate.

Panzer Vor: Masters of Sensha-do
This is a version that we call ‘full game’. However, it doesn’t mean that it won’t get any update. Even more, it will receive new missions, tanks, commanders, maps, features… However, this will be a game with version 1.0.0 that will be a candidate to go to Steam Direct. The version that won’t be in ‘permanent early access’, so you will know that you are buying a full-functional product.

When can you await those?
The Preview version comes live in the first part of summer already. It will be completely free and will get several updates during the summer, based on your feedback. The release of Final Version is unknown due to still possible copyright issues and difficulties with new Steam’s ‘Direct’. Probably, game will have a crowdfunding campaign before that, to get more assets (models, textures, artworks, etc) and budget to get through Steam validation. These are problems to be resolved in Fall, and we’ll get back to them later.

The ‘future’ titles are planned to be released too. If everything goes well with copyright, we’ll make a nice story modes with lots of cool features for each school. Every story mode will be released separately and will give exclusive title to the game. There is no reason to ask whether those storylines will be paid DLC or just updates, because it all depends on how the project will be doing in future (mostly the conditions we get from GuP owners).

How is the current version going?
We had a massive work on the game’s concept and the questions of ‘making it more interesting’. Also after dozens of interface concepts, game finally got fixed image of how it is going to look like.

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As well as the style of game overall – it became more clear and consistent. Massive work on UI was done to make the game look nice and modern.

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Commanders got a lot more role in the game. Different commanders will make player change the style of battle completely. Each of them has special abilities and skills that shape your strategy.

AI and controls were changed too. Routes are built better, game is going to have formations and multiple flexible tank controls. More information about this is coming on later.

Physics, tanks, maps were also changed a lot. However, this is also topic for another time and it is better to see everything live on developer’s YouTube channel very soon!

Anyway, thanks for staying with the project so far. I know, it takes a lot of time to make this game, but I am trying my best to develop concept, write code and communicate with people who wants to help. Panzer Vor can’t still be my main project for now, because it doesn’t have any income, that’s why I manage to spend only half of my time on the project. The summer will give me much more time for that, so you can expect all mentioned features ready.
Panzer Vor!

NoxCaos

 

Concept explained

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I got several emails for resent several days and they all were about same topics. I am happy that you are interested in the project and would like to support it by adding your ideas to the game. So I think that it would be useful to share the final ideas that are added to the game now. Below I’ll provide most common questions about the game and answers to them.

Can you select a target for tanks? It will be nice to add

You can select PRIMARY target for selected tanks by clicking in it with LMB. The ally tanks will try to shoot primary target when it is visible to them. Interface is not designed to show this, will be fixed in future.

Sometimes my tanks don’t shoot. Do they have limited ammo?

No, tanks have unlimited ammo, but there is a bug, when tanks still try to aim some dead targets. This bug is too much connected with multiplayer functionality, so it is kind of hard to fix. Just wait for next update to come.

How am I going to improve my crews? Are there going to be any skill trees?

The won’t be a crew experience anymore. It was added once in update and it showed that controlling so many tankers is a pain. So for new version the game is going to have just a commander with a skill tree. Commander will receive certain exp for each battle and will spend it on abilities in the skill tree. There will be a lot of them and will help player to target certain tactics for that commander. Since you can change team tanks whenever you want, the main idea of a game will be basically to develop your commanders, their skills and Commander Points to increase the capacity of the team.

What gameplay modes and missions will be available for player?

It is planned to make several teams battle in multiplayer mode, so there would be battles like 3×3 players at once. Different elimination methods also will be there, like “eliminate all”, “capture the point”, “destroy the objective” or any other mission-specific or campaign-specific task. More information about the missions you will get closer to the update itself.

Can I make a localization for game?

Not now. We are making major changes to interface, so a lot of phrases are going to be changed. I apologize for that, but current translations (English and Spanish) will be also modified, so I will have to ask volunteers to help with them again. The localizations will be accepted right after major update.

Where are the updates? I am tired of waiting

I am sorry for that, but major changes to game concept, poor optimization and requirement to change all maps and tank models made us to re-write the game from scratch. PanzerVor team spent lots of time on modeling tanks and environment, finding textures, creating in-game artworks. We hope to finish an update and release it in the end of this year.

Still have a lot of work to do, but still hope for the project support from you guys.

Panzer Vor!

Final Update. What is next in the game?

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All new in Panzer Vor!
The bugfix update was released + added Spanish language (thanks to Dylan Toscano), but for now I want to talk about the plans, which will end the current year.

Since the game does not look right now and also has a rather weak performance, I’m working on a bunch of new settings to help players improve their FPS on slow computers. However I realized that this won’t be enough. New graphics settings you can raise FPS up to 30%, but the game becomes just … horrible to look at. I’m not talking about the mobile platform – this one won’t start at all.

I was exploring WoT Blitz recently, in order to understand how they made the game quite optimized, while maintaining a nice game appearance and dynamic gameplay with a small number of tanks. Thus I was able to identify the main problems PzV at the moment:

1. A terrible performance
2. Inconsistency, weak attempts to approach the realism
3. Borrowed models and textures
4. Too big maps and the team
5. Weak tank controls
6. Bad economy
7. Lack of motivation for the players

Solutions to all problems has been found and I will share some today. However, I want to make a stream, where I can live to tell (and they even show) that is planned to be implemented into the game by the end of the year. I will announce the stream a week before it starts, so we can collect as many viewers as possible.

Graphics. Now everything looks bad in my opinion but still consumes a lot of computer resources. Fortunately, this problem is solved, and there are the methods to resolve it:
1. Get our own model homes with the right polygon count and Level of Detail system (houses for desert ready)
2. Our own tank models with LOD, “clean” textures and animations
3. Maps of up to 600×600
4. The new interface in the game
Work on this is already under way, 60% of the assets list ready for the desert map setup, a new model of “Tiger”and the concept of interface and maps are ready.
Old maps will be heavily modified or even withdrawn.
Game takes path to the “cartoon”, rather than realism. This makes porting to mobile devices more real and brings the game to the original anime.

In some update, when these changes are applied, you will notice that all of your progress gone, maps “Europe”, “Desert”, “Siberia” replace all previous maps, interface is changed and amount of tanks was reduced. But here are some tanks, which receive their first model:
Tiger I, Pz-IV, T-34, IS-2, T-29, M4, Churchill-I, Matilda
All tanks will automatically change camouflage depending on the map, will have numbers and team flags on the turret. Also tanks will get new good-looking animations and new effects. Reducing the number of tanks is necessary because it is much easier to work with smaller amount of tanks.

Mechanics. With smaller maps come changes to gameplay. Capture points will now have different mechanics, but they are all quite familiar. Capture and hold a few points to gain superiority on points, or capture / defense of one point. These and other modes will be applied later in the missions and campaigns.

Economy. Well, yeah, it does not exist at all. However you won’t have to buy tanks at all. I thought for a long time over what was offered by users and decided that the main thing for a player is to develop the commander to increase capacity of CP (Commander Points). You can take any of the available tanks (which you have opened, passing campaign missions), if it fits into the CP limit. For example, you can take one “Maus” or five “T-34” – it will be the same number of CP. It all depends on your tactics and intentions. This system is still in the development and will be tested. Will it be the in-game currency – it is still unknown. Probably it will be used in the modifications.
Development of the crew, hiring, etc., will be greatly simplified, unlike the version that appeared about a year ago. Skills are only for commander, the main task of the player is to gain experience and improve commander skills.

Controls. I think that to some extent it is acceptable, but it would be nice to add it autonomization. For example, controlling tanks like that will be very difficult in an urban environment, it is necessary for the route to be built around the house, the ruins and bunkers.

The Conclusion.
I understand that you are just tired of all these changes, but the problem is that I am not a professional game designer that can distribute a good concept a few days. For all the time I was testing many different approaches and listened to different advises from you, guys. All of this eventually helped to identify priorities, challenges and changes for the better gameplay. These two months I studied different similar games, their features, created prototypes of new tanks and map. So this was basically a “research”. And I want to say that it has helped quite a lot. Now, the final result does not look so good in my mind and on paper much better than before.
I want to thank Vladislav Gritsenko (aka Inlife360) and Nikita Chishov (aka 4tikin) for contributing ideas and help with the project. They may not be aware of their contribution, but I have considered and analyzed all of their ideas and proposals for these months – everything was taken into account.

And, as always, thank you for feedback of all who play the current version of the game, leave a review, reports bugs, offers useful and appropriate innovations. I believe that this is how should look like indie development 🙂

Good luck and patience, here we go again
Panzer Vor!

BTW
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