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Member Since 22 Feb 2007
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Topics I've Started

New look!

30 November 2014 - 08:14 AM

As you can see we have overhauled the site to be a little more streamlined. As we start to move into the next phase of the life of Ground Branch we thought it appropriate to give everything a "fresh coat of paint". We will begin to update the content in the near future as well.

We would like to thank our contributor Zoog for all his hard work!

- John & Kris

Read this story on GroundBranch.com

But is it fun?

26 November 2014 - 11:04 PM


WARNING: Contains ~11 minutes of two idiots running around and carrying on, shooting at each other and missing a lot. The audio is poor and some chest bumping occurs.

Its a over a year since we were online with the UE3 version, so it felt great to finally be online (and stable) with the UE4 verison.

The problem with bullets.
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Impact FX and decals are created as the bullet is simulated client side. By the time the client receives the initial location and velocity of a bullet it has already travelled some distance. This results in the missing impacts FX and decals seen in the video above.

Forcing the bullet to replicate immediately improves things, but not enough.

One solution is to create a client side version of a bullet if initial shot is received by the client. Once the proper server version of the bullet is received, the two could be synchronised and allowed to go on their merry way.
Several games have done this in the past and the latest incarnation of Unreal Tournament is using a similar system for all its projectiles.

Another solution is to fall back to how we were handling it in UE3 and replicate the impacts instead of the bullet. This does create more things to send across the network, but each one has so little to send and exists for such a short time, its still a viable solution.

The are pros and cons to both methods, but we're sure to come up with one we like soon enough.

Weapon collision.
This is the kind of lean we're want you to be able to do (and quickly):

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Credits to Psychomorph for this image.

Unfortunately the weapon collision needs more work.
It is currently accurate when your weapon is on target, but uses a less accurate swept trace when off target. This results in being unable to bring your weapon on target when next to obstacles until you first turn away from the obstacle so that it is 'clear'.

Annoying and will be fixed.

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Favourite respone to Psychomorph's image.

Dude, where's my VR support?
Its getting there.
Wasn't too high on the list of priorities of late, but a post from the Rift developer forums last weekend ###### me off annoyed me enough to get in there and attack it again.

This led to fixing the basics and cotinued on to hooking up lean.

A strange feeling when leaning actually shifts your view and you can see around the object, instead of just looking like this:

Feels good man.
Really looking forward to seeing people online... then, you know... shooting at them.


Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Have we done this before?

07 November 2014 - 01:49 AM

I've been having a terrible feeling of déjà vu this week. Spent most of it working on the UI and some of it rigging up a system to keep maps and missions organised properly.
To HTML5 or not HTML5, that is not really a question.

Originally we were using a CEF based system with support for HTML5, CSS and the like. This all changed once we had a go with the UMG in the preview version of Unreal Engine 4.4. The ability to create what we need in-editor and hook it up directly to the scripting won us over.

Now that I've had a decent amount of time to learn the system, I am able to come up with functional, if ugly, screens, buttons and other UI elements easily.

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Work in progress server browser with 100's of mock server entries.

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Work in progress create/host game screen.

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Work in progress Video Options.

There have also been a lot of UI related C++ changes too,
with future developments in mind.
i.e. Operator screens.

Time of Day

Just to make one thing clear: Ground Branch does not have a fully dynamic time of day system. And to be honest, since it has bugger all to do with movement and shooting, it is way down on our list of priorities.

That said, we do have a time of day system of sorts - it just isn't dynamic.

It's a bit of throwback from the UE3 version. Maps are split into pieces to keep things organised and allow the same base geometry to be combined with different lighting and other changes to support different times of day, multiple missions etc.

Maps & Missions

For the sake of organisation, we've gone with a basic system that defines the basic info about a map in one file and mission info in one or more other files.

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Test map definition and map mission.

It requires more work to automatically include child game modes with their parents and other such trickery, but its a good start.


A big thank you to everyone who continues to follow, support and encourage us.

And to those who have been testing out the upcoming tech build for us - hugs and kisses on all your pink bits!

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Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Somethings coming and here is a preview

14 September 2014 - 04:14 PM

So we are getting pretty close to releasing something public..... No really!

We plan to release a sort of tech demo in the next few weeks to serve a couple of purposes. First is to allow us to figure out the "packaging" process for a public release and to make sure we can deliver a public build that works. UE4 is a lot different than UE3 in many ways so there is a lot of learning on our part still. Secondly is to get an idea of performance characteristics with various performance settings and to see how an area with specific design characteristics works on various machines.

To be clear, this is not Ground Branch the game. There is no "game" in this release. It is a small purpose built area that shows off the density of map design, foliage density, lighting setups and various effects. You can walk around and shoot a weapon, but there is no purpose or "mission".

Here is a screen from the editor of part of the area:

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We really want to have solid and playable releases for Ground Branch. This is the first step in getting there and an actual playable build..... and that isn't to far away. Posted Image

<a href="http://www.groundbra...-preview/">Read this story on GroundBranch.com</a></p>

Team Rooms

14 August 2014 - 07:54 PM

I know we seem to be going slow (We are Posted Image ), but I thought I'd show something I've been working on lately..... Ground Branch will use the concept of a 'Team Room' as a place to start the game from. It is here where you will customize your gear, set up missions, receive and go over intel as well as hang out with teammates before, during and after MP and co-op missions. There will also be oppurtunities to customize your Team Room as well.

One part of your Team Room is the Operations Room that is shown here. This is where the Intel/Mission magic happens and every one of these monitors/screens will be interactive for various purposes. This is a clean unaltered screen grab from the editor and I'm sure you can get an idea of what some things do just by looking around. Posted Image

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We are using an HTML/Javascript based UI system for the interactive screens so there are some really unique possibilities we are exploring.

We know the pace is slow... much slower than we would like, but we are still here and still committed to Ground Branch!


Read this story on GroundBranch.com