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Thread: Gettysburg: Armored Warfare, Dev. Diary #1 [ Feb 16. 2011 ]

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    Gettysburg Developer dgreen02's Avatar

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    Gettysburg: Armored Warfare, Dev. Diary #1 [ Feb 16. 2011 ]

    Hey Guys,

    This is a first official 'Developers Diary' for Gettysburg:Armored Warfare. My name is Danny Green, President/Lead Programmer @ Radioactive-Software, [ http://www.radioactive-software.com ] well I'm the only employee, so errrr... Those who read my blog on GameDev.net [ http://www.gamedev.net/blog/289-radioactive-software/ ] know that I love to post a lot of screenshots/images, so after 5 years and close to 1mil views of that, I'm not going to change :-p

    I'll start out with an overview of the game+tech since this is really the first dev entry I'm making for the game on the Paradox Interactive site. To re-iterate, Gettysburg: Armored Warfare ( G:AW ) is a RTS/Action hybrid free-to-play online game. The tech supports 64 players per server, 9kmx9km terrains, 1024 controllable units, 2.4mil pieces of foliage, 100k+ fence/walls, a procedural farmland generation system, high resolution art asests [ 10,000+ tris, 4096^2 texture maps, etc], an integrated server browser + in-game lobby for chat/matchmaking, and of course a dedicated server topology! I really want to take advantage of all the things that make PC gaming great. Custom servers, dedicated servers [ sorry console gamers, host-migration doesn't exist in my world...], etc. Also, as usual it's worth mentioning I've programmed this entire thing myself, this represents about 4 months of work on the Gettysburg direction.

    In terms of gameplay/setting, I don't think anybody can deny the game is pretty unique, the way I've been describing the backstory in a few sentences is as follows - "Essentially, in the year 2060 this evil Tony Stark esque guy goes back in time to change the outcome of the U.S. Civil War so that the South wins...the government finds out and sends back their own technology creating an arms-race in time. So we have this fusion of 2060s and 1860s technology, with a steampunk twist". There is no campaign in the game, only offline practice with bots.

    A lot of people probably see the title of the game and go "wtf? tankz in the civil war, omg, rage. Gen. Lee is turning over in his grave, hhhhhhh, etc". I can understand where they are coming from especially since there hasn't really been multiplayer RTS/Action civil war game similar to this, er...ever? One thing I'm going to do with the game is making it so the server operater can determine what types of units are usable in the world. There will be 3 options:
    1) Only realistic civil war units ( 1860s ).
    2) Only hybrid futurisitc units ( 2060s ).
    3) All types of units available ( 1860s + 2060s ).
    This means players can turn the game into a pure civil war game if they don't like how the game was meant to be played ( option number 3 ).

    Currently the game is still officially 'PRE-ALPHA' status, which means that it's still very much a work-in-progress. I've already implemented Paradox Connect technology into the game, meaning I can login to my servers using my Paradox Forum login information. We're going to start really testing the multiplayer outside of my offices in a few weeks.

    What am I working on right now ? Too many things to list, today I got the futuristic hybrid rifle, code named 'X-122' it's a 5.56mm M16A4 type assault rifle. So currently there are 2 infantry weapons in the game, the X-122 and the Springfield 1855 rifle carried by vanilla confederate and union soldiers from the 1860s.

    Screenshot time!

    Yes this is my favorite part of any blog entry, let's get started...remember all of these images are PRE-ALPHA and some of the stuff shown is still a work-in-progress, or was added into the game a few hours ago...

    Here is an image of the hybrid confederate armored soldier with the X122 AR...


    Here is an image of a 'vanilla' Union soldier with his Springfield 1855 rifle.


    Confederate hybrid armored soldier with X122 rifle.


    Hybrid Union armored soldier with the X122 rifle.




    Screenshot of the Real-time Strategy (RTS) view where you can give orders to your squads...




    One more screenshot of the X122 rifle ;-p



    Here is the last screnshot showing some WIP art assets - hybrid tank, civil war cannon, civil war gatling gun, and a bridge that will be used in the environments.



    Well that's all for now, If you have any questions or comments just post them below...

    - Dan
    Last edited by dgreen02; 16-02-2011 at 07:35.
    Danny Green
    President & Lead Programmer
    Radioactive-Software, LLC. http://www.radioactive-software.com

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    Gettysburg Developer dgreen02's Avatar

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    Oh yea, if you guys are interested in the project, please follow it on Facebook!

    http://www.facebook.com/GettysburgArmoredWarfare

    - Dan
    Danny Green
    President & Lead Programmer
    Radioactive-Software, LLC. http://www.radioactive-software.com

  3. #3
    hey man, interesting project!

    One quick suggestion off the bat. I think the soldiers on the hybrid server should have more (body) armour especially around their mid-section and their thighs to absorb high-tech bullet fire.

    This is not just a practical suggestion but it's also like when a billionaire buys a new football team and makes it a point to give them a new look to mark the start of a new era. The new armour should refer to the past but have that more Starship Troopers feel though I suggest going for the comicbook-style armour because the one used in the movie was too light imo.


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    Question- are you going to have infantry with anti-tank weaponry? Will aircraft be in the game at all?

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    Sounds like great fun, really looking forward to it!

    I must say, the graphics is quite impressive for a one man project just 4 months in. Keep the developer diaries and especially the screenies coming please
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  6. #6
    Fun read.
    The limit of 1024 controllable units seems low in comparison to the huge amount of environment objects it can handle.
    A rough count gives me 350-400 units (in total) in your top-down rts-view screenshot. That's already over a third of the maximum?

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    Gettysburg Developer dgreen02's Avatar

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    Hey guys :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauparte View Post
    hey man, interesting project!

    One quick suggestion off the bat. I think the soldiers on the hybrid server should have more (body) armour especially around their mid-section and their thighs to absorb high-tech bullet fire.

    This is not just a practical suggestion but it's also like when a billionaire buys a new football team and makes it a point to give them a new look to mark the start of a new era. The new armour should refer to the past but have that more Starship Troopers feel though I suggest going for the comicbook-style armour because the one used in the movie was too light imo.

    *IMAGE SNIPPED*
    Thanks for the feedback. Well these are the light infantry, I think we might end up scrapping these soldier models all together ? The project is still very early, these are just prototype versions - though I must admit I'm growing fond of them :-]

    Quote Originally Posted by arstal View Post
    Question- are you going to have infantry with anti-tank weaponry? Will aircraft be in the game at all?
    Yes, rocket-propelled grenades and AT mines will almost be a necessity to balance the game. Otherwise the tanks will be far to overpowered. When it comes to air units, I'm still thinking about steampunk biplanes or fighter jets, but there will be war zeppelins for sure :-D

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakath View Post
    Sounds like great fun, really looking forward to it!
    I must say, the graphics is quite impressive for a one man project just 4 months in. Keep the developer diaries and especially the screenies coming please
    Thanks, will do!

    Quote Originally Posted by Romtos View Post
    Fun read.
    The limit of 1024 controllable units seems low in comparison to the huge amount of environment objects it can handle.
    A rough count gives me 350-400 units (in total) in your top-down rts-view screenshot. That's already over a third of the maximum?
    Good call, I think the total number of units is 392 in those screens :-p

    The reason for the 1024 limit is two-fold, one is a technical limit having to do with the way I designed the imposter system [ similar to that in the Total War series ] where distant units are render-to-texture'd into 2D atlas dynamically and the 2D representation is used at medium distance - I'm only using one page and this determines the 1024 limit. With some tweaking I could easily remove the technical limit - but there is another reason for the 1024 unit limit. ...multiplayer, synching all these units between 64 possible players in the server will be nearly impossible to do the way I want if the world unit count is higher than 1024.

    Thanks for the comments guys, I will keep you updated. Any more Qs just fire away.

    - Dan
    Danny Green
    President & Lead Programmer
    Radioactive-Software, LLC. http://www.radioactive-software.com

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    Usermod Coordinator Paradox Dev Team Captain Gars's Avatar
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    You really seem to be a one man army - very promising work. Looking forward to test this!

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  10. #10
    The soldiers eyes are almost vampire like, creepy. This looks greats though. Will this be a download or browser-based game?

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    Gettysburg Developer dgreen02's Avatar

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    Thanks for comments guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    The soldiers eyes are almost vampire like, creepy. This looks greats though. Will this be a download or browser-based game?
    Yea they do have a weird look to them, probably has a bit to do with 'uncanny valley' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley and with the lack of skin color in the texture.

    I've also added self-shadowing on the character models in the last few days, so they have proper shadowing under their hats/visors, I'll post new screenshots soon.

    Game is download only, close to 3GB already in PRE-ALPHA.

    - Dan
    Danny Green
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    Radioactive-Software, LLC. http://www.radioactive-software.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris ze Spider View Post
    Looks very entertaining, cant wait to try it out.
    Totally, and you should totally call your units "Ze Spiders"
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    This looks really interesting....What worries me though, is the issue of speed.Any estimate on the systems necessary to run this smoothly?
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    Gettysburg Developer dgreen02's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelos View Post
    This looks really interesting....What worries me though, is the issue of speed.Any estimate on the systems necessary to run this smoothly?
    Yup, I'm doing my best to make sure the game scales well, I create 2-3 fallback quality options for each visual feature. If you can play Modern Warfare or any other recent FPS/Shooter game you should be fine.

    I can paste the numbers that I've got now, I've got 10 test computers ranging the gamut that I use to test the game.

    The machine I do all the development on scores a 2.5 out of 10.0 rating in-game.

    These numbers may change before the BETA/Release...

    System 1
    10.0 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 192 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 128 FPS
    Game : 100 FPS
    AMD PHenom II X6 @ 2.7
    8 GB RAM
    64 bit Windows 7
    Geforce GTS 450 1GB

    System 2
    10.0 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 311 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 193 FPS
    Game : 173 FPS
    Intel i7 870 @ 2.93 GHZ
    8 GB RAM
    64 bit Windows 7
    Geforce GTX 460 1GB

    System 3
    2.5 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 110 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 55 FPS
    Game : 18 FPS
    Pentium D @ 2.8GHZ
    2 GB RAM
    32-bit Vista
    ATI RV670 256MB

    System 4
    5.7 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 177 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 92 FPS
    Game : 59 FPS
    Intel Quad Core @ 2.4GHZ
    3 GB RAM
    32 bit Vista
    ATI HD 5700

    System 5
    6.0 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 33 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 40 FPS
    Game : 15 FPS
    X2 AMD DuelCore @ 3.0GHZ
    3.5 GB RAM
    32 bit Vista
    ATI Radeon HD 5450

    System 6
    10.0 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 120 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 120 FPS
    Game : 120 FPS
    NVidia 3D vision @ 120FPS
    AMD PHenom II X6 @ 2.7
    8 GB RAM
    64 bit Windows 7
    Geforce GTS 470 1.25GB

    System 7 ( MAIN WORK MACHINE )
    2.5 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 229 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 109 FPS
    Game : 91 FPS
    Intel Core2Duo @ 2.4GHZ
    4 GB RAM
    32 bit XP
    Nvidia Geforce 9800GTX+ 512MB

    System 8
    3.4 / 10 in-game rating.
    Menu : 129 FPS
    Game welcome screen : 123 FPS
    Game : 70 FPS
    Intel Core2Duo @ 2.4GHZ
    2 GB RAM
    32 bit Vista
    Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS+ 640MB

    System 9 + System 10
    9) Asus Gaming Laptop G72
    10) Asus Gaming Laptop G73
    Both run the game at 100s of FPS. Like buttah.
    - Dan
    Last edited by dgreen02; 29-03-2011 at 22:12.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgreen02 View Post
    Yup, I'm doing my best to make sure the game scales well, I create 2-3 fallback quality options for each visual feature. If you can play Modern Warfare or any other recent FPS/Shooter game you should be fine.- Dan
    Humm could modern warfare be substitutable for lets say Empire/Napoleon/Shogun Total War?

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by dgreen02 View Post
    Good call, I think the total number of units is 392 in those screens :-p

    The reason for the 1024 limit is two-fold, one is a technical limit having to do with the way I designed the imposter system [ similar to that in the Total War series ] where distant units are render-to-texture'd into 2D atlas dynamically and the 2D representation is used at medium distance - I'm only using one page and this determines the 1024 limit. With some tweaking I could easily remove the technical limit - but there is another reason for the 1024 unit limit. ...multiplayer, synching all these units between 64 possible players in the server will be nearly impossible to do the way I want if the world unit count is higher than 1024.

    Thanks for the comments guys, I will keep you updated. Any more Qs just fire away.

    - Dan
    Apparently there can be up to 56000 soldiers in a single battle of STW2 (on and offline). Now, I am certainly no expert on game engine coding and the likes, but this raises the question of how will units be handled in game and why would 1024 be a multiplayer linked limit if the engine try to mirror the TW games' own engine.
    Are soldiers here treated as singular units, then put in groups (squad, companies...), which ranks up into a full Army OOB? Because this could seem like overkill on game calculations and performance!
    Last edited by JRHINDO; 21-12-2011 at 01:54.

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    Gettysburg Developer dgreen02's Avatar

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    Hey Rhindo,

    The 1024 limit has to do with the imposter rendering system, and how many dynamic unit billboards I can fit on a single texture page with decent resolution.

    Yes, every unit is controllable, can be grouped, etc. Total War does all kinds of tricks to achieve the appearence of syncing all those units in multiplayer ... Or they are using lockstep like older RTS games, but I doubt that for some reason.

    - Dan
    Danny Green
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  18. #18
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    This looks brilliant! A one-man project? Wow..
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