Midair Dev Log #5 – Supporter Dashboard, Build 0.23.0 Preview

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In this dev log, we’re announcing our all new Supporter Dashboard with lots of widely requested information about Midair’s development, and we’re also giving you a preview into what’s coming in build 0.23.0. Let’s get to it.

Supporter Dashboard

One of the most common points of feedback we’ve received from you, the community, is you want to see more details about what our plans are. We started that path by creating Dev Logs, which began a regular cadence of communication from the dev team on what we’ve accomplished, our immediate priorities, and other general news. The Dev Logs have been well received, and in general have improved in quality since we started them. However, there’s been a lot of interest in seeing a timeline and also understanding where issues submitted by the community stand in development.

This last week, we’ve worked to setup what we’re calling the Supporter Dashboard. The Supporter Dashboard will be the place everyone who has supported Midair can go to in order to find the latest information on the state of development in one consolidated place. Let’s take a look at what you’ll find.

Latest Dev Logs

This one is pretty straightforward. We’re putting the latest 3 Dev Logs on rotation so you can read the details about what we’ve released and where our latest efforts are headed.

Midair Top User Issues Board

The Midair team has setup a Top User Issues Trello board in order to communicate our priorities and gather feedback on top user issues submitted by the community. The board will help you keep tabs on development, so use the boards features to let us know what you think and vote for what’s most important to you. Make sure to check out the “How to Read and Use This Board” card first!

Development Roadmap

This is one of your most requested asks of the Midair dev team. We’ve been reluctant to push out a timeline because of how frequently it changes based on resources, your feedback, and prioritization. However, we’re getting to a point where we’re feeling more confident about our trajectory and want to share with you an overview of our efforts. What we’ve put together represents many of the priorities we’re working on and the milestones we’re planning to get them done by. With this said, please recognize the following realities associated with this roadmap:

  1. The roadmap will evolve and change over time
  2. It does not represent the entire extent of our development efforts – we’ve purposefully left off items that are fluid (and therefore always going to move around), risky, or relatively minor
  3. The closer we get to milestones the more specific the roadmap will be
  4. There are no guarantees to anything in the roadmap – just because an item is listed in a particular milestone doesn’t mean it will be completed by the end of that milestone
  5. Your feedback has affected, and will continue to affect, the roadmap!

Supporter FAQs

We receive a lot of the same questions from supporters, so we’re including answers to them in the dashboard.

Community Resources

Now we’ve got a central place to find all of our community resources. Make sure you’ve liked/subscribed/followed/joined everything on that list!

Supporter Access Timeline

One of the most common questions we get is when supporters and backers will get access to Midair. We’ve included the timeline here and will keep it updated as development progresses.

We’re super excited to release this dashboard, and in particular we hope the Top User Issues board and the Development Roadmap will keep you in the know as we edge ever closer to release. Have any ideas on what else you’d like to see? Post in the forum or start a conversation in Discord!

Build 0.23.0 Preview

In build 0.23.0, we’re upgrading our engine, taking a stab at some commonly requested bugs and issues, and adding several new features. Here’s a peek into some of what’s coming up.

Engine Upgrade

We’re in the midst of an upgrade to Unreal Engine’s latest 4.14 release. We’re currently on 4.12, so the upgrade to 4.14 will also include features from 4.13. Want more info? Check out their blog posts here and here.

Sensor System

We’re stripping out the old sensor system and adding in what we’ve planned on all along. Of course we’ll be tweaking and balancing through release, but this will give us all the right knobs and levers to make the sensor system more robust and feature-full.

Voice Binds

We’re working on version 1 of our voice bind system – another highly requested feature from our community. For those unfamiliar with the genre, voice binds will let players hit a series of keys in order to communicate key information in the chat window, while also using the character’s voice to relay the same message. This feature is super critical to communication when you’re not on voice comms and is also pretty fun to play with!

Vehicle Pad Improvements

We’re improving the vehicle pads to make them more functional. This is important as we add more vehicles to the game. Currently we spawn vehicles automatically, alternating between the fighter and the tank. That’s no good, so we’re improving it.

There’s a lot more coming next build, so stay tuned to the blog to make sure you’re always up to speed. Comments? Questions? Feedback? Praise? Post in the forums or on Discord!

Midair Dev Log #4 – Rabbit, Plasma, and Tank Patch

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We’ve got a lot of content coming to you in 0.22.0, and it’s probably the largest single patch we’ve released to date. Because it’s so hefty, this dev log will focus solely on upcoming features in 0.22.0. This patch is live now, so you can check it out immediately!

Production

This patch features the addition of the Rabbit gametype, the Plasma Gun, some new augments for the Kinetic and Arsenal packs, as well as some map changes and bug fixes that should help Midair run more smoothly. And as an added bonus (we weren’t sure if we were going to get this ready for the time of the build), this patch features a brand new two-person tank in Base CTF!

Our team has also started laying the groundwork for a new player backend and statistics system which will allow players to receive in-game notifications for everything from availability of new updates to getting disconnected from Steam, as well as a bunch of other handy notifications. Finally, we are hard at work identifying and solving issues related to network performance and have started development efforts to dig into the issues we’ve seen in-game.

As a heads up, we’ve got highlights of some of our new features below these patch notes, so make sure you read all the way to the bottom!

Patch Notes

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed – Vehicles are now more resistant to chaingun, railgun, and blaster fire
  • Fixed – Cloak pack external sound now properly plays for other players to hear
  • Fixed – Players should no longer get a “free toss” when dying with the flag
  • Fixed – Wind audio now plays again during high speed character movement
  • Fixed – Killing a vehicle with weapons no longer gives a midair kill sound
  • Fixed – We’ve reduced (and hopefully eliminated) game crashing after joining a server for the first time after updating
  • Fixed – Medium character animations now trigger as expected and no longer occasionally lock into a standing position

General

  • New – Tank Vehicle added
  • New – Plasma Gun added (Added to LCTF for now as well)
  • New – Rabbit Gametype added
  • New – Issue Reporting system added to menu for better issue capturing
  • New – Artillery Augment for Arsenal Pack: Allows player to see where projectiles will hit
  • New – Blink Augment for Energy Pack: Teleports a player a short distance in the direction they are facing.
  • New – Admin Temporary Ban feature: Bans players for 5 minutes with optional reason
  • New – Passworded Server support
  • New – Created a player backend system that has many uses including issue reporting and Midair’s future statistics features
  • New – Network profiling added to help troubleshoot networking issues
  • Updated – Weapon crosshairs now have a thin black line to help it stand out from lighter backgrounds

Maps

  • New – Minora Art Overhaul
  • New – Rabbit Minora
  • New – Rabbit Speedway
  • New – Rabbit Crystalline
  • Updated – Ingonyama revisions
  • Updated – Coral renamed to Sunset Cove
  • Updated – Sunset Cove revisions
  • Updated – Raptor renamed to Iguana
  • Updated – Iguana revisions
  • Updated – Kryosis terrain revisions next to flagstand

As you can see, this patch brings quite a few improvements to Midair. That being said, there are some new issues that have arisen in 0.22.0. Thanks to our QA test that we do for each of our patches before going live, we have identified the following issues and are already working hard to fix them:

Known Issues

  • Characters sit facing wrong direction in fighter
  • Tank aiming can be difficult at times and will be improved in future releases
  • Tank effects and animations are placeholder and will be updated in future releases

New Gametype: Rabbit

“Lots of enemies, one flag. Grab the flag to become the rabbit and RUN to get points. Sounds easy? It’s not. Extra style points for mid-air kills.” -Midair Kickstarter Page

As our Kickstarter page highlighted, one of the gametypes we’re delivering on release is Rabbit. Ultimately, the goal is to score as many points as possible by grabbing the flag and staying alive. Players who do not have the flag are “Wolves” and the one player with the flag becomes the “Rabbit.” As the Rabbit runs, they earn points at a fixed time interval. Points are also awarded to Wolves who kill the Rabbit, and bonus points are awarded for midair kills with non-Chaingun weapons. Players are limited to the Light armor class and have all weapons at their disposal except the Rail Gun – this gametype is all about chasing down fast-moving targets and trying to stay alive by any means necessary. Keep in mind, Wolves take 1/4 self-damage, so use your ring-jumps to gain enough speed to take down the Rabbit.

New Weapon: Plasma Gun

We’ve been looking forward to bringing you the Plasma Gun for quite some time, and now it’s here! It has a great mix of close-range damage capability and indoor effectiveness, making it a real force to be reckoned with in several key situations. Its slower-moving projectile can give opponents a false sense of security: in the right hands, it can shred even the most experienced players. To give this gun more playtime we’ve included it in LCTF, so start blasting away and send along your feedback.

New Pack Augments: Blink and Artillery

We’re tossing some new pack prototypes into the mix with Kinetic’s new Blink augment and Arsenal’s Artillery augment.

Arsenal: Artillery Augment

The Arsenal pack is all about doing lots of damage for extended periods of time. The new Artillery augment is Arsenal’s new primary active augment that when activated from a standstill shows where your weapon projectile will actually hit. This augment will assist players in short or long-range artillery fire, and for new players it will help them get a sense of how to aim some of the more difficult arched weapons and to get a sense of their range. Artillery doesn’t have an energy cost, though it does have a fairly extended cooldown time.

Kinetic: Blink Augment

As we continue to develop the Kinetic pack, we wanted to start expanding its active movement capabilities. The new Blink active augment is an ability we’ve been wanting to try for a while, and it’s one that really brings out the fearsome capabilities of this pack in close- to medium-range fighting situations. Blink will allow you to teleport a short distance in the direction you’re facing in exchange for some energy and a moderate cooldown. It’s a great way to mix it up in a fight and use tactics to surprise an enemy.

 New Vehicle: Tank!

As mentioned above, we weren’t sure the Tank was going to make it into the build, but we worked hard to squeeze it in to get some early feedback from our Instant Access backers on how it plays today – and how we can improve it. The tank is a heavy, two-seat hovering vehicle that takes and dishes out tons of damage with its main cannon and defensive gun turret. The tank has two seats: one pilot and one gunner. The pilot can move the tank and command the turret to get into the right position and defend itself against attacking enemies. The gunner can aim and fire the main cannon which is used primarily for dealing damage to vehicles, players, and enemy base assets – really just ruining the enemy’s day. Oh and one more thing, did we mention that the tank has a siege mode?! The pilot can toggle siege mode, which extends the range and increases damage for the main cannon in exchange for the Tank’s mobility. It’s important to use siege mode tactically, as the tank becomes completely immobile and an easy target for a player that gets the jump on you.

A couple notes about the tank before we move on to the next highlight:

  • Press the “1” or “2” keys to switch seats, and Right-Click when you’re in the pilot seat to shift into siege mode
  • The tank effects use placeholders from other weapons – these will be updated in a future patch
  • Some of the aiming on the guns can be difficult – this is an issue that will improve over time
  • Siege mode simply lowers the tank to the ground for now, but it will have super-cool animations in the future

Minora Art Overhaul

Over the last month, the art team has been working to overhaul Minora’s look and feel to make it significantly more lifelike and interesting. Take a look around this map and you’ll find some fun and fantastic elements from the Midair universe.

In-Game Reporting Feature

We’ve added an in-game reporting feature that we really hope you’ll use to help us identify and address issues you encounter. You can find a REPORT button at the top of the Main Menu and the In-Game Escape Menu that will launch the following screen that lets you send a report directly to our team.

Issue Tracker

The bugs you find and the feedback you have is critical to the success of Midair, so please use this tool and participate in the community discussions about this patch (and Midair in general) on our forums.

Whew… that’s a lot for one patch! We’re really excited to see everyone playing with these new features as they are a great step forward toward our release goals. What do you think? What would you like to see next? Post in our forums and in our Discord. We try to read everything that comes our way.  🙂

Midair Dev Log #3 – Holiday Recap and What’s Around the Corner

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Hello!

It’s been a while since the last Dev Log due to the holidays, food poisoning, and last-minute surgeries, but we are back at it and have lots to share.  Let’s walk through some updates.

Team Changes

Nark from our community is joining the team as a level designer.  He’s spent a bunch of time working with our team to prototype new maps up until now, and many of them have had lots of play from our backers.  Exhumed, Coral, Raptor, and Brynhildr are all maps that he’s been working on with us.  With Nark now formally on the team, we’ll be able to work much more quickly on map iterations and new concepts.

Upcoming Build

In build 0.21.0c we pushed to our Instant Access backers included some great new features including our new Pack and Augment system, server moderation features, new maps and map improvements, and a variety of bug fixes.  Build 0.22.0 is shaping up to have some great new features for you to try out and it’s slated to be ready by next week.  Here’s a quick preview of just some of what you can expect:

Plasma Gun

We’re finishing up the first iteration on our Plasma Gun.  Firing slower-moving projectiles that do tons of damage on contact, the Plasma gun will be a great option to shred anyone who gets within close range.  The Plasma Gun will likely get several changes until release, but we feel like this is a solid start on a gun that is a common of the genre.

Pack Updates

The Arsenal and Kinetic packs are getting some new actives.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss them!

New Gametype: Rabbit

We’re putting the finishing touches on our first iteration of Rabbit.  This should help get some lower-player count public games started that can grow into fuller CTF games.

More!

There are more things we’re working on that will come out in 0.22.0, but we don’t want to spill the beans on everything just yet.  Well, maybe just one leak…

dev_log_4_teaser

Keep an eye out for Dev Log #4 when we release the new build to get the full list.  🙂

See you soon!