DECEMBER 23 - NIHILCAT
Good evening everyone!
It's nice to be back here with a regular update again. Furthermore, the time to sum up a whole year has come.
The last period was the same as usual a hard-working, it's probably our lifestyle already We tried to do as much as possible to get to the moment that we will only be refining the details. Do not count your chickens before they hatch, but we think we have implemented all we planned. The last ones were shooting, implementing types of ammunition, more precise damage mechanisms and macro management. We tried to refine all elements as accurately as we were able to. We were watching other productions, collecting materials, reading them, watching them, trying to draw the right conclusions. Have we succeeded? You will judge.
Not everything is closed, it must wait for its time and constantly evolve together with our knowledge. In the new year we will mainly polish the game, add more ships, graphics, sounds, voices, texts, icons and other minor elements. Furthermore, we will be involved in the production of the campaign. That's real final part.
But now let's get to the summary of recent works.
We've fully implemented both manual and automatic modes for all types of guns on the boat. All guns have different types of available ammunition that we tried to model in a historically accurate way.
88 mm shells
U-boat now has a fully functional storages for items that you can load at ports, loot from freighters etc. You have to wisely manage the available space as these items are often very important for your boat functioning or are just valuable in some ways. We have a very long list of items in the game, but to give you an idea of what kind of items are out there, there comes a short list:
Food: bread, meats, vegetables etc.
Mission equipment: hand guns, weather stations, deep diving suits etc.
It's now possible to rescue and capture enemy pilots or crew in addition to arresting your crew mates for their misbehaviours. You can either keep the prisoners under guard in Battery Room No. 1 or let them freely roam your boat.
You can drop your prisoners in ports for some budget and prestige points.
We've introduced numerous improvements to our damage system in this update.
- Most enemy vessels can now be broken in half, if they are badly damaged into a weak spots on their hulls.
- Hull holes are now fully 3D and reveal ship's internal structure.
- Water gushes from explosions were made from the scratch again to follow your feedback. They are far better than they used to be.
- Torpedo fuzes were fixed back again. You won't be able to damage targets in a close proximity to your ship.
Hole in a hull
This is a major change for the gameplay and it's rather a good one. From now on all officers on your boat, including a skipper, can be promoted to field officer ranks (Stabsoffizier) and work at Kriegsmarine headquarters. You will get your first field officer after finishing the first story mission and can gain more of them by spending prestige points.
You can communicate with the headquarters by using onboard radio as long as you are in your currently built transmitters range. After establishing a communication you can assign jobs to your men out there.
- They can start and oversee missions for your u-boat. It's now the only way to start missions in the game as this explains well how you are free to choose missions for yourself.
- They may work on tasks directly supporting your war effort in addition to providing something useful for your boat. This includes building new submarine pens, decrypting enemy codes, researching new technologies etc.
In addition to your field officers there is also the rest of the admiralty represented by Admiral Dönitz. Admiralty chooses work for themselves independently from you and they push forward historical evolution of the world independently from your added impact (which is configurable to satisfy pure simulationists too).
Ship physics were criticized in your feedback to the last update and we tried to do something about that. As of now, our physics system for ships has been completely rewritten and uses neural networks to approximate many factors that normally were too expensive to compute or would require too much toying around with simplified colliders. In addition to more realistic boat visual behaviour, this new method has a better performance and ensures historically accurate diving and acceleration times.
This means that from now on it's no longer that easy for your enemies to dodge torpedoes, so even if they spot you or your torpedo it's often too late for them to do anything with this. Not all our ships use updated physics, so on the video you can be sure to see it in action just on the u-boat.
Also, it's very tweakable so if you don't like something about it, we will probably be able to fix this. As a matter of fact we recorded hours of footage with different settings and made a voting in our team to choose a preset that looks most convincing in our opinion.
Our radio communications were massively upgraded. After selecting one of your radio operators you will see a list of transmissions reaching your boat. Usually these last for a limited time, so you have to hurry, if you want to receive them. Some transmissions are encoded, some are not. If it's not Enigma nor a broken Allied code then at best you will be able just to track its location with a direction finder.
In addition to messages, radio can now be used to communicate with your headquarters and to listen to radio stations from many cities around the world to boost morale recovery.
Aircrafts in our game are now fully functional although we still don't have final models for them Planes should approach your boat realistically and drop their bombs with a correct horizontal acceleration.
Sometimes they may flood their engines, if they get too close to water when dropping bombs. It's intentional and not a bug as this was happening historically at times and we tried to model this in our game too.
Illustrious-class aircraft carrier
Besides all of these additions to the game we were mostly working on fixes and necessary improvements to existing stuff that felt raw and that probably took us most time since the last update. This trend will now continue and we (probably?) won't add anything new to the game from now on and focus on fixing stuff.
Improved living quarters
Having this in mind, it's probably our last big content update, but you will hear from us more as we will be sure to keep you updated.
We don't feel confident enough to give you any reasonably accurate estimate how much time this remaining work is going to take, so for now we will still have to stick to the "2018" release date. We feel that it's good for all of us as with our relatively small team size, we can't reliably predict how much time this work is going to take. Usually there is just one unreplaceable person for each task and if delays happen it's just how it is.
PS many thanks for the feedback since the last update. If you feel that we should improve some area of the game feel free to speak openly in the comments section as we literally read all comments. We are aware of some things that need to be improved, but we lack the perspective and distance that only you can put into our further considerations. Thanks!
Thank you for your continued support!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Deep Water Studio