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Member Since 22 Feb 2007
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Topics I've Started

Welcome to 2015

06 January 2015 - 11:56 AM

If you are still with us, and why wouldn't you be.... welcome to 2015 with BlackFoot Studios! We have a feeling its going to be a really great year around here so we hope you keep hanging on and enjoy the ride. It's going to start  gaining some speed here soon. ;)

John starting working on the official Ground Branch Steam store page today! That is actually a pretty important milestone as it signals the start of moving into more of a public phase for Ground Branch. On that note, we am looking for some professional (either actual experience or work quality) to help out on the graphics side of things for the page. It's going to be important to start off with a professional appearance so I'd like to do it right. If you think you would be able to help for reduced rates or even barter a bit, let us know as soon as you can.

We have also got around to setting up a public bug tracker so people can help out by submitting bugs once the demos are available. That is getting tested out by a private group as I type this.

On the game side of things Kris has been busting ass with getting things stable and features more completely implemented. He has also got the first pass of character and weapon configurations in and working. This includes the ingame UI and saving/loading out actual constructed configs.

On the art side the existing training maps have received one more pass for visuals and some more detailing work. John has also started working on the main demo map that will be used to show off various gameplay features to get people interested in the upcoming Early Access. Sort of a 'try before you buy' for the Early Access. It's a reworked version of the warehouse map that was shown in the UE3 screenshots and videos.

So we hope everyone had a great holiday and safe New Year. It's time to get back to work!

John & Kris

Read this story on GroundBranch.com

Xbox One games not running

29 December 2014 - 11:31 AM

So, got my son an XboxOne and am having issues getting COD: Advanced Warfare and Forza: Horizons2 to run. They install fine, but when played with go to title screen then a black screen for 15 seconds or so then the console restarts. I found a few things online about it trying to install updates while installing the main game, but the solutions didn't work. Our EA sports games install and run fine so no idea whats going on.

I'm pretty fed up with the new gen of consoles already to be honest. 45gb installs! What happened to a small installs to cache gameplay from the disc? I miss putting the disc in and playing.... that was always the draw of a console to me.

Oh well, anyone have this issue and/or a solution? Google isn't helping much.

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