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Old maps will be heavily modified or even withdrawn.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
Image result for long post potato

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Debates about GuP Universe

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Recently there were quite massive debates among developers and Russian players community (that is now consists of more than 250 people). The main question was that should game Panzer Vor be stick to Girls und Panzer Universe. The main reason of changing game ideas and concepts appeared because of fear to be banned by the managers of anime series. Game now uses characters and schools from anime, but it remains the intellectual property of anime creators. So, we looked into several options:

  1. Replace all school and character names and their appearance on own one. Keep only basic ideas of GuP universe, but replace all schools and characters, to escape the future problems on this stage
  2. Do nothing and continue game development. If there will be any treats of being banned, go to first option
  3. Try to contact the anime authors for a support request. In case if it fails, go to first option

So, well… Everything basically has fallback to first option. The opinion of people was quite different, but most of testers said, that want to see actual GuP game with it’s characters and schools. Also lots of people thought that contacting anime authors with complete version of the game before releasing it is the best idea. That’s how we decided for now.

So what for now?

We DO NOT change anything, just make less impact on graphics, because re-drawing all characters in case of fallback is not a good idea. Everything stays how it started and we develop a stable version of the game, that is going to be ready by the end of Autumn.

Am I able to tell you my opinion of this situation?

Yes, we highly appreciate this. Please, write your opinion in form of comment to this post on facebook or wordpress. We’ll read and answer to each of them.

Thank you for following the development and testing the game. Panzer Vor!

PvP Mode Update

UrYA31zvThk.jpgFinally after a bunch of fixes I manage to release a stable version of multiplayer. It should work just fine for you and your friend to play. Also single-player still in game and you can enjoy playing with AI too.

To create a multiplayer game you should do the standard procedure that is made for game that has no server-side support. That means you should consider using such programs like Evolve, Hamachi, Tunngle etc. Or the host of the room can just make a port forwarding. That’s why we also created an opportunity to change the port that is used by game.

You can get this update by the launcher. Also the external links will be updated soon. And we have finally updated a build for Mac OS that will appear on the about page soon. Multiplayer doesn’t depend on platform, so you can play from Mac and Windows at the same time with your friend.

Later on there will also be a full multiplayer mode with ability to create 3×3 player battles. And after adding a missions, the game will have an alternative to complete missions in co-op mode. So, as you can see there are lots of features and opportunities that multiplayer creates for the project.

Remember, that you can use a contact page to report a bug, propose a new feature or leave a comment.

Panzer vor!

Enemy detection bugfix

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The game had one serious bug from version 0.8.1. Sometimes detected enemies didn’t disappear at all. The hardest thing was that this bug appeared without any error in some random time. That’s why I decided that re-writing all the code that does enemy detection will be much better than catching ‘invisible creature’. Now everything works fine.

Also camera changed it’s behavior. Now you can rotate it using middle mouse button and QE buttons. There is also an alternative camera behavior that you can turn on in settings. Controls are totally the same as in ‘Men of War’ game and maybe you’ll find them better.

Camera became more smooth, so you’ll have to rise up it’s movement and rotation speed in settings. 50% is quite balanced but all this depends on your preferences.

Thank you for following the development. I’m working hard on implementing new features. The work on multiplayer already started and I hope that first tests to begin in the end of this week.

Panzer Vor!

Armor update

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In this update each tank received different armor in different parts of the tank. Almost every tank (excluding low tiers) have higher armor in front, and the lowest in back. So now medium and light tanks have to find weakest spots and players who like heavy tanks will have to always hide those weak places. This creates new abilities and brings new strategies to the game.

Also there was a visual bug in training. Now it is fixed.

There are also many different changes like:

  • New hotkeys (C – clear routes, X – clear selection, V – toggle interface)
  • Updated shaders for tanks
  • Ability to choose own primary target for selected tanks by clicking with LMB on it
  • New effects
  • Physics updates

Use the launcher to update. Next update in several days (will bring you squads)

Also game comes soon to Steam Greenlight concepts.

Bugfixing update

Konachan.com - 224871 sample.jpgYou may now update game using launcher to version 0.8.2.1

Thanks a lot to testers for detecting bugs and sending feedback. Analyzing the response, I decided to restrict tank rotation due to reduce accidents when you find your tank lying on turret. Now it’s possible to make this, but much more harder.

Physics got lots of improvements and fixes, so now it is even 5 times more stable. Tanks collision became much better and ‘killed’ tanks behavior is more realistic.

Soon tanks will receive more realistic armor. Planning to release this update soon