So Rezzed is over and I just want to thank every single one of you that has contributed to all the amazing feedback and interest we have received over the past week. It has a been a very busy period but Battalion will definitely benefit because of your pre-alpha feedback!
We completely exceeded our initial expectations, having a constantly full queue of players waiting to get their hands on the game (with people even re-queueing for up to an hour just to get a chance to play again!). We received great feedback from everyone who attended and 99% of people that played Battalion loved it so it's always hugely encouraging to receive that kind of reaction. It was great to speak to some of our backers and dedicated community members.
As well as this, we got a some great feedback on our online content that was released over the weekend and due to this there are a few things that we would like to discuss and hopefully get cleared up.
Post EGX Rezzed Pre-Alpha Changes:
1. Visual Fidelity / Environments:
We have always gone into making Battalion with the intent of making it look as great as it can without compromising gameplay. One of the most important aspects of classic games is their performance and clear and clutter free visuals within their level design, so we decided to take the route of opting for smooth gameplay and high frame rates over performance hampering visual effects. Our aim was to create a game that feels fluid to play and we feel like we have achieved that.
In short; we’re retaining gameplay essential characteristics such as clearly visible players; smooth. high frame rates and overall reducing the amount of clutter within the levels. There may be some lighting and post processing tweaks but the video was pretty representative of the direction Battalion is taking; performance first.
Our intent of prioritising performance is working out well as our frame rates on EGX’s supplied PCs hitting 144fps easily and when unlocked reaching over 300. High focus on performance is transferring well over to the console test builds too, and we’re expecting high results from the console version of the game.
Note: User Interface and third person animations were ALL work in progress.
2. Gameplay Feedback, Updates and possible Changes:
Most people loved the pre-alpha footage we released and we have had a great reaction to it with some great feedback. However some people had a few concerns that we wish to address:
We received many comments on the speed of our movement and our sprint. One thing we’d like to remind you of is that Joe is the one playing in the video. He and Howard designed the levels and Joe has a lot of map knowledge/movement skill after playing nearly 200 hours on the manor house map throughout development. He can do these jumps and move at a certain speed because he spends hours in the game everyday and has pretty much mastered the jumps he created. Also remember that was TDM gameplay on our smallest map.
That gameplay footage was not representative of how players played the game at Rezzed.
Skill based movement is highly important to Battalion differentiate players of varying skill levels and will always be in the game to some extent. However, this is community driven development and we’re actively working based off player feedback from both our forums and players at EGX Rezzed.
We are looking at reducing the speed of our sprint function, strafe jumping distance and reviewing how that affects gameplay. We have always been aiming at fast paced intense infantry combat and we still aim to retain that.
Third person animations:
These are currently being completely reworked as we speak, using a new system for smoother blending between animation states. A whole load of new animations will be added soon ready for the Alpha, including running, jumping and death animations!
All new animations will be updated by Closed Alpha in May.
We’re planning to post a development update in April showing you the full range of our new third person animation system.
So again the player in the video is one of the designers Joe Brammer and for the most part he is extremely accurate with his weapons and pretty good at controlling recoil. Therefore there is more recoil in Battalion than shown in the footage.
However, we have had similar feedback from people that have played the game and we’ll be looking at altering this. Weapon recoil is on a slider and we buff and nerf weapons weekly to attempt to balance them. Although, with the introduction of other weapons into the game there will have to be constant rebalancing to allow each weapon to have its own characteristics and uses within Battalion!
We’d also like to remind people that if we ‘increase’ the recoil amount, players will simply adapt to control that recoil (this has been tried and tested). Within a few hours of practice players will be back to the same level of control as before. After a certain point it's difficult to improve on recoil as a player. Battalion as with many old school games, Call of Duty, Enemy Territory, and Quake the skill was in the movement, positioning, and gamesense. Recoil was never a focal point of those games, accuracy and aim still plays a huge part, but on specific weapons.
These things are what play testing is for! Don’t write the game off from a few balancing issues that you saw, this is open community development. This is what our Closed Alpha and Closed Beta stages are for!
3. The closing of the Pre-Order store
For those of you that don’t know. We announced the closure of our pre-order store on the 31st March. Unfortunately that means that you will no longer be able to purchase Alpha, Beta and Early Access packages of Battalion. We really appreciate everyone that pre-ordered Battalion and we are so excited to see you all in these pre-release stages!
EGX Rezzed - The Development of Battalion 1944:
Check out this talk our producer Joe Brammer gave at EGX Rezzed about the development of Battalion 1944: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IewUBml4eZM
Also if you’ve got half an hour spare take a look at Joe’s panel on The Second Coming of WW2 games here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l62BTcCuu7M
From this point onwards we’re planning weekly development updates to keep you guys in the loop with Battalion 1944’s development.
Next Thursday (April 13th) we’ll be announcing the Closed Alpha start date and the date that we’ll be sending out the Battalion 1944 backer surveys. We’re also super pumped to announce that we’ll be releasing a brand new trailer to get people hyped for the Closed Alpha testing.
That’s it for now!