Welcome to Early Access!
Posted by: Jonno on steam_community_announcements June 6, 2019
Early Access launch day is here!
To get things started we've got a message for you all from Lead Developer Max:
We’re Now in Early Access!
We began Hell Let Loose as a tiny hobby project on the Unreal Engine forums back in late 2014, when World War Two games were very much in drought. We wanted to create a game that mixed the intensity of frontline combat with the depth and strategy of more realistic team-oriented shooters. From there, Hell Let Loose has gone on to become the sole focus and passion for our team of 10.
We’re so thankful for the patience you have shown us - both before our Kickstarter (if you want a laugh, watch the gameplay in our original Kickstarter trailer!), helping us raise funding, and then supporting us through the testing waves. You’ve been battling bugs with us on the frontline for more than a year now. Whether you’re a newcomer or one of the grizzled veterans who discovered us in June 2017, we’re really excited to continue this journey with you. World War Two was an enormous conflict and we’ve only just scratched the surface. Below I’m going to talk through some of the key aspects of where we are heading from here.
Why Early Access?
Ultimately Hell Let Loose was born from a desire to create an enormous World War Two game that we’d never experienced before - where teamwork and communication met aspects of realism, brutality and an intensity of combat without losing an inherent meta strategy or smaller unit tactics. We’ve read so much World War Two history and wanted to experience something close to what the soldiers experienced. We want players to be able to use a tank as cover on an approach towards a hamlet. We want to be able to create deadly minefields in a forest, or creep artillery onto a target. We want the exhilaration of being able to break through the enemy line, or the panic knowing that the enemy had done the same to us.
There are many, many more features that we’ve committed to in our Kickstarter, as well as features that we would love to include in addition to those. We want to widen and polish the core experience.
We plan to use our Early Access period as a balance of working with you - the community - while also introducing and polishing new features and content. Working with Team17, we’ve structured and scheduled lots of exciting updates - but we’re going to be working hard to integrate everything we learn from you - the players. We have exciting things coming that you can see in our roadmap below. We’ll be updating this image as we progress and will release one similar to it after we leave Early Access - the content won’t end there.
A Call to Arms
As we launch our Early Access, we’d like to call on you - the community - to assist us in making Hell Let Loose an inviting atmosphere to new players. Every Beta, we’ve seen new players come to the game and begin to get accustomed to the strategy and tactics unique to Hell Let Loose. Things that are obvious to us (how wounding works, how respawning works, how role selection works, how to stay together, how to use VOIP etc.) are often totally new concepts that need to be introduced to a player who may have come from a different genre. We know that Hell Let Loose is best played when everyone is communicating, kind and happy to help, and we ask that you assist us in modeling this to everyone you meet in-game.
Inevitably, the first week of any major release means that the majority of soldiers on the front line may be not only totally new to Hell Let Loose, but new to the teamwork and hardcore genre. We’re seeing players from large high-budget shooters keen to jump in and try something new and we’d much prefer to help them get up and running as a great contributing member of a unit and team than criticise them for their gaming pedigree. We ask that if you’re an experienced veteran in the genre - you’ll keep the new players in mind and create a welcoming atmosphere. Many won’t yet have mics - or be confident to use them - but we’re keen to make sure we foster an atmosphere in which people can learn. Nearly all players will remember that first game they played in the hardcore genre. It was terrifying, difficult and brutal - but also an experience that stuck with you and made it hard to go back. We all know that awesome feeling of a veteran taking you under their wing and showing you the ropes. We ask that you keep that in mind when confronted by totally green players.
While we can encourage you the community to take new players under your wing, we also want to assure you that during Early Access we’ll be working hard to overhaul and add to our tooltips, wiki and gameflow - in order to better help new players understand how to play.
Throughout the last couple of months we’ve created numerous role guides and other information to help you get started.
If you’ve played the game recently, or spoken to any of us about features, bugs or changes you’ll know that we’re highly passionate and motivated to improve and widen the Hell Let Loose experience. We watch the community discuss new vehicles, features, maps and polish and can only agree on how they’d add more variety and interest to the game. Everything from barbed wire functioning as barbed wire should - to new and improved Commander Orders - to new vehicles, maps, uniforms and weapons - we’re as excited as you are to implement it all.
We hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the frequency of hotfixes, patches and updates to come.
Types of Updates
Our first patch will be applied in the first week after release. It will fix critical issues that arise, as well as tweak or change gameplay in response to community feedback. Obviously, we won’t be able to tackle every single bug we’d like, so we’ll attempt to prioritise this according to need. Please do not be discouraged if a particular bug you’ve experienced isn’t fixed in the first patch - there's a high likelihood that it will be addressed down the line.
While we’ve been preparing for EA, we’ve also been thinking about the content for our first update: On the Beaches (U1). It’ll introduce an all new map - Utah Beach - as well as a large bunch of goodies that we’ll reveal closer to the date. We can say that the environment and level design team really feel that Utah presents many new challenges to the roles and vehicles you’re already familiar with.
In addition to regular patches, we will also be hotfixing the game if any show-stopping bugs rear their ugly heads.
We haven’t forgotten the Kickstarter rewards for our backers and want to assure you that the credits will be patched into the game during Early Access. We want to follow up with each tier to make sure your name is present in the format you desire.
EA Release Changelog
- Lowered MP40 horizontal recoil to allow for better control up to 75m
- Lowered Thompson horizontal and vertical recoil to allow for better control up to 75m
- Lowered STG 44 horizontal and vertical recoil to allow for better control up to 75m
- Lowered BAR horizontal and vertical recoil to allow for better control up to 75m
- Tweaked scope time on Springfield in order to smooth out the transition to the optic
- MG bipods now have a more generous vertical arc to allow people to better aim up while deployed on the ground
Those who pre-ordered the game will now be able to enable their helmet to display once they’ve entered a server by turning it on in the Options menu. We will be distributing codes to all Backer tiers eligible for a helmet via email in the coming weeks. Both will then be worked in to the full cosmetic system that will be implemented during the Early Access period.
Being able to jump and then vault has been removed, and instead we have increased the vault height from 120cm to 160cm, allowing you to climb out of most trenches and over all fences without allowing you to scale high walls. We are keen to make sure high walls remain a way to funnel infantry and vehicles in the battlespace.
General Bug Fixes
- Fixed attempting to deploy as the map is changing with less than 4 seconds left on the deploy counter will cause the player to get stuck on the 'Failed to deploy' message, forcing a shutdown via either Task Manager or Alt F4.
- There could be pending deployment requests scheduled with timers when a map was changed or a round ended. Deployment timers are now tracked and invalidated when a round ends or a map is changed.
- RCon Client displays an untitled map name when changing maps
- Commanders can now dismantle their Garrisons
- The hint reminding users to place down Garrisons and Outposts will still occur even if the user has already built one) - now the player will only need to place either a Garrison or an Outpost to the hint not to appear
- Fixed inverse angle calculation for ricochets
- Fixed rocket launches so that they apply surface specific decal
- Fixed the possibility to get the same map twice in a row (disabled shuffling the map sequence and additional logging for MapRotation)
- Changed physics correction to run every frame instead of only when it receives information (to make physics more responsive and smoother)
- Players are no longer able to fire certain weapons while vaulting/climbing
- Button prompts on the "Map Vote" & "Vote to kick" windows do not update after changing keybindings
- Fixed pistol to rifle equip causing character to slide in TPP
- Add animation notify to hide TPP Kar98 WPN clip when firing
- The player can sometimes hear voice chat audio after leaving a heavily populated server - disconnect all voice channels upon returning to the main menu
- Fixed multiple instances of voice channel connection loss issues
- Added defensive code
- Decimated the poly counts on over 50 commonly used props in each map which should increase player FPS (still more to do).
- Did a texture sweep and managed to save on video memory in all three maps.
- Improved LODs on Barberry Bushes
- Updated tank driver and commander positions to have less bloom (players were suffering from a blown out viewport in Foy)
- Fixed blood textures not always appearing accurately when player's model is shot in certain locations
- Begun work on overhaul of new deployment menu
- Begun work on overhaul of team selection screen
- Begun work on new HUD
- Begun work on new server browser menu
- Begun work on new death screen
- Expanded scoreboard menu name field to display longer names
- Made legalese on main menu smaller and less distracting
- Fixed - markers cannot be placed on hedgerows and instead travel through
- Fixed - the 'Deploy' prompt overlaps its text box on the Deployment screen"
- Fixed - the United States team name goes off screen within the deployment screen
- Added “Leave Server” button to the after action scoreboard and screen
- Added unit prefix to VOIP notifies so you can see which unit leader is talking (eg. Easy company has the prefix “E”)
- Fixed a terrible bug where the sector capture progress was often inverted - leading to horrible situations in which you’d think you were about to capture when in actual fact it was the enemy who’d capture.
- US Commander is missing construction SFX for building Garrisons
- MG42 new FPP fire sound and restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- MG34 (coaxial and hull on German tanks) has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- M1919 has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- M1903 Springfield has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- BAR has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- STG 44 has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- M1 Garand has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Kar 98k has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- G43 has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- M1 Carbine has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- MP40 has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Thompson has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Bazooka has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Panzerschreck has restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Colt 1911 new FPP fire sound and restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Luger P08 new FPP fire sound and restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Walther P38 new FPP fire sound and restructured, mixed and updated TPP sound treatment
- Temporarily removed Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy as US victory theme and replaced it with the Victory March. Don’t worry - Erika is still there.
- In-game map is not consistent with environment shown in sector E10.
- Incorrect colour icon in HUD when German player enters a strongpoint
- Tank HUD indicator does not behave correctly (should behave the same as infantry)
- Some instances of ‘snaking’ still present
- Changing helmets in the redeployment screen does not change the helmet
- Users occasionally will travel great distances when vaulting (however they will recover and be returned to their correct spot)
- No ADS as separate sensitivity (will be coming in Patch 1)
- Some Foxholes difficult to exit (needs geometry adjustment)
- Tank camera judder sometimes experienced when driving over very uneven ground at top speeds
- Supply drop can appear out of sync with plane animation
- Custom helmets do not have blood or charring decals applied when damaged
- Max player count on deploy screen incorrect for 82 and 64 player servers
- Very long custom server names are badly scaled on enlist screen
- Shadows incorrect in SMDM
- Localisation incomplete
- Some placeholder images in ‘How to Play’
- Support score currently unfinished
- Possible compatibility issues with some hardware on Windows 10 1903 (causes game to boot to black screen)
- Crash when plugging in or unplugging some headsets when the title is running
- Crash if map changes when user is in keybindings menu
- Possible compatibility issues with some versions of Windows if users disable all audio output devices
- Game can crash if user unplugs primary display monitor during bootflow
- Users joining a server during a map change via RCon may become stuck on deployment screen
- Various other minor issues
R&D (not currently in game - this list is non-exhaustive)
- Optimisation pass for Utah Beach
- Updated flamethrower look and function
- Work on a material vertex shader which does custom FOV projection for first-person meshes
- Currently testing Steam Sound Engine in build
- Currently implementing water systems
- Currently updating Foy with additional cover in areas that are totally flat (we will release a map that indicates the locations of new cover)
- Hurtgen is in the process of a makeover to make many SPs more unique and interesting (including the introduction of concrete defensive emplacements).
- Barbed wire systems currently in progress
- Work on resource nodes
- Work on refining TPP animation systems
- Currently assessing all remaining FPP weapon bugs and animation needs
- Scoping audio engine change
- Continued work on animation bugs and refinement
- Continued creation of all US and German Winter uniform variants
- Continued work on all 2D elements in the game
- Scoping improvements to bipods
- Scoping improvements to sniper rifle scopes and sniping experience
Special Launch Livestream!
To celebrate the launch of Hell Let Loose into Early Access, we're hosting a 24 hour livestream today on our Steam Store page!
If you’d like to see the game in action, ask us questions or chat – then stop by!
During the stream there will be various hosts from Team17 and Black Matter, as well as special guests Karmakut and Bluedrake42!
The stream goes live at 12pm BST / 1pm CEST and will run for 24 hours straight from that time.
See you on the frontline!
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Other Hell Let Loose News
Hell Let Loose - September 11, 2019
We’ve been assessing and prioritising a large amount of content we’re currently working on, as often implementing one feature too early can have negative consequences for other areas of development - causing us to have to re-do work. As you can imagine, we’d much prefer to work efficiently and quickly, so we’ve been revising our roadmap continuously before updating it. One of the biggest challenges we face is making sure that we keep you abreast of developments, without overpromising or having to drastically delay release.
Developer Briefing #38 – Unit Management System! August 21, 2019
Developer Briefing #37 - Hands on with Hell Let Loose! August 15, 2019
Patch #5 - Live Now! August 8, 2019
Developer Briefing #36 – Tiger 1 First Look! August 7, 2019
Patch #4 Hotfix - Live Now! August 5, 2019
Patch #4 - Live Now! August 1, 2019
Developer Briefing #34 – Post Update 1 Fish! July 24, 2019
Update 1 Hotfix Available Now July 19, 2019
Update 1: Utah Beach - Live Now! July 18, 2019
Hell Let Loose is a realistic World War Two first person shooter with open battles of 100 players with infantry, tanks, artillery, a dynamically shifting front line and a unique resource based strategic meta-game. This is World War Two at a scale you’ve never played before.
Developer: Black Matter Pty Ltd
Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd