It’s still in the works, and we’re getting closer, but while we do that, we wanted to give you a status update.
Why the delay?
We have reviewed our launch plan and decided that the early access game should be as close to the final release as possible, without giving away any of the plot. So we went to work on improving character appearance, mission generation, and map creation. Let’s break that down in some detail.
We switched the characters and clothes from using traditional materials to PBR (physically-based rendering), making them look better in-game. Character rendering performance was another major area of focus for us.
We also improved the fit of clothes, and enabled wardrobe management for playable characters. Now you’ll be able to choose from dozens of items your Commander and the squad members can wear.
In the same vein, we’ve added some more animations and made some improvements to character skinning, again, making them look more realistic.
And finally, the Spy DNA squad is complete, with finished models, and back stories.
Same mission, different map? We don’t think so. That means that we need a way to create unique combinations from some smaller “elementary particles” that make up a mission.
We have created a number of scenarios that are similar from the tactical point of view, and the game will fill in the (compatible) details randomly, whenever a mission is generated. To take a simple example, the generic mission could be “hostage rescue.” The details that would be filled in and used to generate a mission can be: number and appearance of hostages and enemies, skill levels of hostages and enemies, geographic location (rural, suburban, urban, etc.), and any constraints – say, the area is full of civilians and you shouldn’t kill any of them, or cause a panic.
Next, we introduced infiltration. Most of the new missions that pop up, will have an infiltration option, and the Commander will decide which of the squad members will go. In the hostage scenario from above, the infiltration options could be: sneaking up to the building and placing a surveillance camera or microphone, hiding a weapons stash, or going in as a commercial hostage negotiator.
If the infiltration succeeds, the mission itself will be somewhat easier to complete, and if it doesn’t, your mission may turn into a rescue operation really quickly.
Now of course, we need some maps to match the diverse missions. We’re working on creating landscapes and populating them with trees and buildings, as well as all the other things that go on a map: street signs, cars, fences, etc. both to provide a bit of visual appeal, and cover/line of sight obstruction.
You have been very patient with us so far, so we decided that while we are finishing up the Early Access release, we’ll be shipping another demo version shortly, to show the progress we’ve made. Please stay tuned – we’ll be announcing it here on the blog, and on social media of course.