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W3D Weekly #2 - 30/06/2021


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Welcome to the 2nd edition of W3D Weekly! This week we have a whole batch of updates from various projects!

 

Let's get started!

Forum Updates

We recently upgraded our version of the Invision Powerboard forum software from 4.5 to 4.6, so if you guys notice any bugs or issues, please report them to me (@ OWA )!

 

We have a few new forum features at our disposal now that we might roll out in the future, so keep an eye out for quality of life improvements!

Expansive Civilian Warfare

The brand spankin' new ECW client was released last week, so what are you doing with yourself? Go get yourself down to San Casina, grab yourself a job, run with the deer, drive a train and fight the aliens!

 

 

 

Cold War Confrontation

@ CMDBob  just announced his personal W3D Project, Cold War Confrontation! Go and check it out below!

 

 

Red Alert 2: Apocalypse Rising

We've been looking at how to make the game a bit more user-friendly in AR. One of the things that came up in one of our previous tests, is that it's sometimes not immediately clear where the vehicle that you have just bought is. To alleviate that, we've now put a marker on any vehicle a player buys, that stays around until they get into it. This should hopefully help players find their vehicles a little easier. :) 

 

Screenshot.109.png

Red Alert: A Path Beyond

@ ChopBam  reports that in the next release, we will be hearing new Soviet elevator music in all of the Soviet Elevators! This brand new track was composed specifically for A Path Beyond (credit goes to none other than ChopBam's amazing spouse) and is inspired by a Soviet FMV, from the original C&C: Red Alert, where there was elevator music playing in the background.

 

Super RA-listic! :D

W3D Engine Team

This week we're going to talk about one of the new tools that the engine team has made that helps developers to more efficiently make balance tweaks to the games; the Armour Editor.

 

Before talking about what the Armour Editor is, we'll give a brief rundown of what armour actually is.

 

  • In every W3D game, weapons deal damage and soldiers/vehicles/buildings (let's call them game objects) have HP that can be damaged.
  • Weapons have a damage value associated to them which tells the game how much damage it does.
    • Weapons have a warhead type associated to them (i.e. Bullet, Rocket, Cannon etc.)
  • Game Objects have health points associated to them which tells the game how much HP (health points) they have.
    • Game Objects have armour types (i.e. Skin, Metal, Wood, Concrete etc.)
  • When a weapon shoots and hits a game object, the damage from the weapon is deducted from that game object's hp.
    • This is when warhead and armour type comes into play.
    • For example, if the weapon has a bullet warhead and the game object has the concrete armour type, the game will find a multiplier for what bullet-type damage should do against the concrete type armour. Let's say that this number is 0.5.
    • Because bullet-type damage vs concrete-type armour is 0.5, the damage that the weapon deals against the target is halved.
  • Multiple warheads and armour types form the way in which we then balance the game. This is why pistols aren't good against tanks, but are great against infantry for example.

 

Previously in W3D development, developers needed to hand-edit the armor.ini text file in order to make balance changes to the armour types and warheads within the game. This is what it would look like:

 

[Scale_Light_Vehicle]
None=1.000000
Earth=1.000000
Death=10000.000000
Harmless=0.000000
Bullet_AI=0.030000
Bullet=0.125000
Bullet_AV=0.250000
Rocket=1.000000
Rocket_AV=1.000000
Artillery=1.000000
Tesla=1.500000
Heatwave=1.000000
Prism=0.700000
Tank_Shell=1.000000
Flak=0.200000
Flak_Ball=1.600000
Repair=-2.000000
Medical=0.000000
Explosive=14.000000
Weak_Explosive=4.000000
Terror_Drone=1.000000
Melee=0.000000
Radiation=0.025000
Capture=0.000000
Disguise_Kit=1.000000
Demolition_Trigger=1.000000
Airstrike_Laser=0.000000
Attack_Dog_Sniff=1.000000
Superweapon=0.500000
Splash=0.000000

 

Every armour type would have a load of numbers like in a long list this which we'd need to first find and then manually tweak, which was incredibly error prone. With the new armour editor this now becomes much easier. Adding and removing new warheads or armour types was also a massive pain to do manually.

 

Here is the armor.ini file from Apocalypse Rising as an example of how much easier the new tool makes it to edit all of the warheads and armour types within the game:

 

image.png

 

With the file laid out like this, we get an overview of the relationship between every warhead and every armour type in the game very quickly. It's not something that you'd generally see when booting the game, but improvements like this help us to reduce bugs and make balance tweaks a lot quicker than we used to be able to do.

 

Big thanks to @ Yah-Nosh  for getting this one into place, as it's saved us a ton of time already.

 

If there's any part of the engine you want to know about in future updates or have any questions about this update, leave a comment below!

Other Stuff!

@ OWA is re-watching Castlevania and is also going paintballing at the weekend.

It was @ Yah-Nosh 's birthday on Sunday, so he came over and we cooked some burgers, pork and steak!

@ Metaridley has made an excellent playlist of his APB game night highlights, which you can check out here:

 

 

Spoiler

 

Seeya next week!

 

[blurb]Welcome to the 2nd edition of W3D Weekly! This week we have a whole batch of updates from various projects![/blurb]

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