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Member Since 22 Feb 2007
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Topics I've Started

Upcoming 4.11 based build

19 April 2016 - 04:25 AM

We're hoping to have a new test version out this week (April 19-23).
In the meantime, here is a preview of some recent additions and a information about other areas that may interest you.

Eye Bias

A percentage value that causes the camera to be offset towards one eye.

[caption id="attachment_2555" align="aligncenter" width="250"]dev_ingame_20160419d 0%[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2554" align="aligncenter" width="250"]dev_ingame_20160419e 50%[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2553" align="aligncenter" width="250"]dev_ingame_20160419f 100%[/caption]

This is the limited to the right eye at this time, as it is not yet possible to choose your preferred handedness.
It is especially handy to help you get a better feel for the firearm while point shooting.

Updated Rail Attachment System

Rail based attachments can now use multiple rails as parents, have their mount points modified dynamically and only need those mount points to be on a rail for the attachment location to be considered 'valid'.
This lets you do things like mount the MK4 on the EBR across its ejection port:


Optical Sights Fitted to Screen

All the optical sights have had a 'sight radius' variable defined for months, but I have only now got around to implementing the rest of the feature. That is, making the optical sights fit the screen based on their sight radius.

We first tried changing the FOV to fit the screen.
It worked, but the FOV change also affected the area around the scope and didn't feel quite right.

John suggested modifying the camera position instead, so we gave that a whirl and liked it.
He also created a basic blur post process material and this is the result:


The modified camera position is based on a fixed value from the cameras origin to the rear of the firearm.
In this way, an optics position on the rail is important and allows the player to decide if they want more situational awareness or a larger sight picture.


Virtual Reality

I've developed a pretty decent method for handling VR in a side project. It supports both rotation and position data with far less issues then the original method used in Ground Branch. Though GB is well overdue for an update in this area, it will have to wait a little while longer while we focus on bugs and stability.

Bugs & Stability

The transition from Unreal Engine 4.9.2 to 4.11.1 went rather well, with a few exceptions.
Week one was spent bug hunting, both in our code in the engine itself, to get the editor up and running properly.
Week two was spent making sure we were at the same point we were at using 4.9.2 (relatively).
We still have some update related issues to fix (map crash related to hierarchical LOD, some UMG shenanigans etc), but in other areas, such as those described above, we are ahead.

Stability is next on the list.

Bots help in this area - I can setup a server, spawn a bunch of bots and up the game speed to 10x normal.
Its looks like a Benny Hill skit, only more violent.

The best information tends to come from you guys - the players.
So please, keep being awesome in this area.
Keep playing.
Keep pestering me.
To help with your efforts in this area, I've added additional info about the game version, player position etc to the bug reports, as well as taking a screenshot.
You can optionally specific your name, but other then that, no personal information is required or included in the report.

Broke another #$^&#%$ chair

In related news, I broke another #$^&#%$ chair.
I tend to lean back way too much at times, and this caused the damn thing to snap at the small shaft welded to the base plate. I'm a solid guy (110kg/240lbs), but its kinda ridiculous how poorly some of these chair are made.
Any advice on a reasonably priced - and solidly built - chair would be welcome.
If not for my sake, then for the sake of my 4 year old, who is horrified I'm going to break her chair.

That's it.


Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Build update available and some UI concepts

31 March 2016 - 07:51 AM

Posted Image

Scopey has posted some new UI concepts in the forums based on feedback from users and the team. These ideas streamline the user experience and make things more intuitive. They will be making their way into the game as we go.


Some fun community stuff....

Posted Image
We also pushed a build update to Steam that fixes some server issues, bug that wouldn't save uniform choices and the groundwork for our Terrorist Hunt style gamemode.


* added build number generator
* changed network version to be a combination of game version (1010, 1011 etc) & build number (0001->9999).
* added game version, build number & engine version to background of UI.
* rigged game to override the BuildID used in the creation of server sessions.
* this should result in incompatible servers being hidden from view in server browser.
* Reduced number of recoil slots Heatshield attachment requires
* Cleaned up Background Sound audio setting BP and moved it it proper ini file
* added travel & network failure handling to GBGameViewportClient
* changed game viewport client class to GBGameViewportClient
* created Travel & Network Failure Overlay widgets.
* hooked them up to FrontEndMenuManager.
* Added doors to SmallTown map
* Added basic navmesh to Test_User_Killhouse map
* created Set/GetGenericTeamId functions in GBFunctionLibrary.
* created Test_NPC map.
* created TerroristHunt gamemode Blueprint.
* created TerroristHuntMessages Blueprint.
* created Test_TerroristHunt map.
* created TerroristSpawnVolume
* modified GBGameMode::JoinTeam() to force player to join team 0 if there is less then 2 teams.
* allows all Trigger_JoinTeam's to work, regardless of chosen team id.
* added coverpoints and terrorist hunt support to Test_User_Killhouse
* Widened Door openings in wall sections for Test_User_Killhouse to better accommodate Door BP and allow navmesh through
* replaced build number generator with one based on system date : HourDayMonth
e.g. 113103
* fixed operator appearance not saving to config

* Fixed - Made sure metal shelf was using proper physical material
* Fixed - Typo in ServerBrowser GameModes dropdown
* Fixed - Shotgun shell no longer spins on ground (Still want better physics response though)
* Fixed - removed built in heatshields from Mk48 model and added proper rail system
* fixed int to byte conversion in TeamEliminationMessages Blueprint.
* fixed TactialAIInterface Blueprint/C++ shinanigans (I hope)
* updated affected classes.
* added SquadId & FireTeamId to GBAIController class.
* fixed possible nullptr in GBGameMode::Killed().

Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Small hotfix available

28 March 2016 - 08:09 AM

A small hotfix is available for the build release over the weekend.

This update is mainly some server fixes, including addition of ability to set server password. To set a server password open /GroundBranch/Config/DefaultGame.ini. Under the [/Script/GroundBranch.GBGameMode] section uncomment ‘ServerPassword’ by deleting the ‘;’ then add whatever password you like after the ‘=’. Example:
In the server browser, at the moment, if you enter a bad password it will look like its going to connect then dump you to the main menu. That will be handled more gracefully at some point.
There was also a check box added to turn on/off the MainMenu background sounds when no at the MainMenu. It is located in the Audio Settings screen.

Steam build id: 1043982
Update size: 273MB

* updated GBGameInstance
	* fixed bug report having kittens when linebreaks are in description.
	* added support for user submitting password to server on join.
* updated GBOnlineGameSettings to add server password setting.
* added server password prompt to ServerBrowser Blueprint.
* fixed Trigger_JoinTeam causing massive log spam due to invalid player controller reference.
* fixed bad interp speed in BaseOptical Blueprint
* had a coffee (long f'n day)
* Added UserSettings checkbox to turn on/off MainMenu background sounds (Thunder/Rain) while user is not at the MainMenu
* simplfied password handling in GBGameInstance class.
* updated GBOnlineSteamSessionClient so it uses GBGameInstance::OnJoinSessionComplete() instead of its own internal version
	* required to for adding password to URL when joining server.
	* updated ServerBrowser to reflect change
* set bNetLoadOnClient to false for CoverPointActor & CoverGenerationActor in TacticalAI plugin.
	* prevents them showing up for clients who connected to online server.

Initial release issues known and getting fixed

26 March 2016 - 02:17 PM

Initial release issues known and getting fixed

As expected, there are some issues cropping up with this initial build that we are working to get fixed. Some may have difficulty connecting to servers or may have an issue with item selections in the Operator menu saving. We knew that opening things up to a larger audience would expose problems we didn’t anticipate so please be patient as we get these problems fixed and an update out in the next day or two. We want to make sure we don’t break more than we fix. Posted Image

Pre-Order keys going out

25 March 2016 - 05:40 PM


Steam keys for those that supported development by purchasing Pre-Order keys should be seeing an email with their keys(s) in them. The automated process is sending them a bit slow so give it an hour or two to make sure it makes it. Also, if you don't see it make sure to check your spam folder as well. If you purchased a Pre-Order key and an email does not show up in the next 12 hours then please contact us at contact@blackfootstudios.com and we'll get it sorted out. Please be patient over the next few days as we get things setup in the forum and our build update information sorted. We are also going to be bringing a couple more BFS servers online as well in addition to the one we currently have running. Anyone with the build can run a dedicated server so feel free to start your own!

I'm sure all of you will have lots of questions as well so feel free to ask away in our forums. There are plenty of people that have been playing the Operator Edition builds for a while now and have a good grasp on how things work.Here is a good Quick Start guide to help you get going:  http://www.blackfootstudios.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8445&#entry155268

The online store is also setup to use our new provider and should deliver a license key upon purchase by email. So if you purchase a Pre-Order from now forward you won't need to wait for a key.

We hope you enjoy this early look at things while we move towards our Early Access release. Also, please be fully aware of the current state of the project and that not all of the features that will be in the Early Access are in yet. There will be lots of additions and revisions over the next couple of months to get us there.

Read this story on GroundBranch.com