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Topics I've Started

Let's get this thing in gear

18 April 2014 - 08:26 PM

I thought it might be about time to pass along a couple pieces of news.... First off we have officially started a very limited private testing phase for an initial Ground Branch preview release. We plan to open this testing up to a larger group before unleashing the full preview build on the public and hope to post more details about that in the next couple of weeks.

We would also like to announce that we have brought on FragOut Studio to take care of the animation work, as well as a few other things, for Ground Branch. These guys are well known for their animation work on Armed Assault 3 and we are also looking at some possible future collaborations.


They have also recently completed work on a mobile game Sniper Tactical. Give that one a look:

So things are moving along quite nicely at the moment and we are working hard to get the free Ground Branch preview build complete. It won't be long until you get start messing with it yourself.

Read this story on GroundBranch.com

I lost a body part and other news.

20 March 2014 - 01:33 AM

It may have been the painkillers, but damn, this week went fast.

A week ago, I was just sitting here, talking to Jeremy and John on Skype when I got an acute pain under the lower right ribs. I continued to chat with them, making jokes about it only being pain and that these were manly tears I was shedding. This continued right up right up to the point where I was dashed off to the emergency room by my wife.

Later that day my gall bladder was out and I was in recovery.
By the next morning, I was back home, albeit with a few extra holes in me.
Isn't modern medicine awesome?

A week later...

We got two videos out, with overall postive and constructive reponses... and yes, in case you were wondering, I was on said painkillers while recording them (woohoo). Could help explain more of the speed :)

Unreal Engine 4 is now public and Oculus has also announced the Rift Development Kit 2. My wife will undoubtedly love the latter, once I explain to her why its costs $460 to ship one to the land of Aus.

This puts us in an excellent position where the only thing holding back a release is us. As much as we'd like to say "here you go" and hand it over, as is, and then keep developing it with the benefit of input, we're not going to... not quite.

We're going to hold off just a little bit longer.

Noooo! Give us something tactical to play! Please!

We want too! Honest!
And we will, even though we lack several fundamental features:

  • a UI - its being remade/updated using HTML/CSS/Javascript.

  • crouching - new animations coming.

  • prone - more animations/proper implementation coming.

  • loadout customisation - see UI being remade above.

Once we have transferred over to the public build of UE4, we will be making sure we have certain things working, then releasing it.

Even if John needs to beat us (more) harshly, it will include:

  • a shooting range

  • a killhouse with timerun.

  • basic UI for choosing between the two.

  • the M4 with different sights.

  • the M1911.

  • direct connect multiplayer.

It will be free and it will stay that way, at least for a while.
Once we get the basic shooting & moving mechanics nailed and the overall feel is progressing well, then, and only then, will we consider asking for money.

When??? For the love of GabeN, WHEN?!

Ask me again when the stitches are out and I am no longer taking codeine.
Its the best I can do for now.
That's it.

Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Now you know.....

19 March 2014 - 10:36 AM

Epic Games has finally revealed their official plans for Unreal Engine 4 for smaller developers!


Now that the 'cat is out of the bag' we hope to be able to discuss things about UE4 more openly.

Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Running the killhouse...

16 March 2014 - 09:21 AM

Its been a while, but hopefuly I can make it worth the wait with not one, but two videos.

They were recorded while trying to get the fastest time possible in one of the killhouse maps. To make this more difficult, the targets are randomised at the start of each run, as is the time the buzzer starts.

We plan to make this speed run usable in both single player and multiplayer training, as well as add target options.
eg. number of shots required to drop a target, friendly/hostage targets

In this first video, I am doing the run with a mouse and keyboard only:

Ignore the speed the player is moving at. Its a work in progress, like everything else.
I insisted to the guys that I'm just that good, but they didn't buy it...

In this second video, I am doing the run with a mouse and keyboard while wearing an Oculus Rift development kit:

(Lower resolution due to use of Oculus Rift devkit).

You may have noted that on my very first run with the Rift, I make it through faster then any of my non-Rift runs. Despite the low resolution, this is normal, once you get used to it.

The setup for Ground Branch is similar to one of the the Team Fortress 2 VR modes:

  • The Rift controls the view direction relative to the characters facing direction.

  • Mouse yaw turns the whole player, view included.

  • Mouse pitch controls the direction of aim and switches to the high or low ready weapon positions beyond the aim zone.

  • When aiming, the eye corresponding to the weapon hand lines up with the weapon sight.

Combined with the true first person viewpoint, you get a better overall feel and sense of movement, as well a simplified control scheme. No need for a button to aim - you just bring the weapon up and naturally engage the weapon sight.

I prefer this setup over any other first person control scheme that involves weapon handling/aiming that I've tried thusfar... and I've tried a lot. Aiming and moving with your head? What's up with that?

I'll try and show webcam footage of the mouse / head movments in a future video.
It really does feel quite natural.

That's it for now.

Enjoy and as alway, feel free to discuss this on the forums.


Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Hate mail

28 February 2014 - 09:37 AM

In my 17 years of doing this I have really never gotten hate mail..... until this week! I have gotten a few mails hating on GB and myself as a game developer. Lots of curse words and links to things on the net that are "so much better" than what we are doing. (There have been a few positive and legitimate critique emails as well Posted Image )

I haven't received any death threats (as some in the industry have) yet, but this is the worst I have ever gotten. I guess I have finally "arrived" as a modern game developer! Posted Image