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Old maps will be heavily modified or even withdrawn.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.
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