Dev Log #11 – 0.26.0 Patch Notes, Dedicated Servers, and PAX West

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In Dev Log #11 we’re going to go over the new changes in the latest patch, the general release of rentals for dedicated servers through our partner Branzone.com, and news about Midair at PAX West.

Build Highlights

UI Overhaul: The HUD

As we mentioned last dev log, we’re overhauling the UI to fit our final design and look more polished and modern. Our first overhaul is the HUD. We won’t talk your ear off about it – just check it out!

HUD Overhaul

Third Person and Freelook

We’ve added third person and freelook controls to let you get the full picture. Third person puts your camera behind your character so you can see the full player model while playing. Freelook will let you rotate the camera around your character or vehicle to see what’s to your side or to your left without moving your aim. This is pretty handy for things like seeing where your bombs landed from the bomber cannon.

Animation Overhaul: 3rd Person Animations

As part of a larger overhaul of our animations, we’ve started from the ground up on our 3rd person character animations. Everything should look more fluid and polished than before. There’s still more work to be done but we like how the animations have progressed. Take a look and give us feedback!

Ammo Pickups

In 0.26.0 we’ve added ammo and health pickups from dead players to help you have a little more staying power and longevity in the field. To grab one, just walk over it and it will activate immediately to give you the player’s dropped ammo and a small health boost. The health boost is a flat 25 health applied over 5 seconds. If you’re damaged during this time, the health regen will stop. Grabbing multiple pickups in a row results in them being applied one after the other. Example: Player picks up 2 health boosts in a row and heals a total of 50 damage over 10 seconds.

As part of this patch, we’ve made the ammo/health pickup the placeholder sphere we had before and added a placeholder cylinder for the pack pickup in Base CTF.

Ammo 1_sm

Alpha Build 0.26.0 Patch Notes

General

  • NEW: Brand new HUD and Fonts
  • NEW: Added third person & freelook controls (defaults are X and Left Alt respectively)
  • NEW: Added combined ammo and health pickups that drop when a player dies
  • NEW: Completely overhauled third person animations
  • Adjusted Chaingun to reduce its long-distance effectiveness
  • Slightly increased self-impulse on Ring Launcher to increase effectiveness of ring jumps and ease the impact of the Chaingun adjustment on chasers
  • Changed Mortar physics to make it feel more powerful and consistent [Top User Issue]
  • Slightly increased respawn timer in CTF and LCTF to increase the importance of timing and positioning
  • Decreased camera shake effect for Chaingun, Ring Launcher, and Grenade Launcher impact
  • Adjusted shield bleed effect to fix a change that was made earlier that significantly increased shield bleed beyond where we wanted it, but we also increased bleed from where it was during the Alpha launch so it should make fighting players feel a bit more manageable overall
  • Reduced power of Vertical Boost augment to bring down its effectiveness a bit
  • The Medium Female has had a visual update!
  • The Light Male decided to get rid of his goggles!
  • The Land Mine activation time and damage radius have been buffed to make its use more consistent against fast-moving players (maximum damage is still the same)

Vehicles

  • NEW: You now teleport into the vehicle you purchased
  • Bomber cannon now has a magazine, fires faster, has faster projectiles, and is more responsive to the gunner’s mouse movement
  • Reduced impulse to vehicles from explosives to make them easier to control and manage in a fight
  • Air Fighter weapon impulse reduced

Audio

  • NEW: Sonic boom – go check it out!
  • NEW: Evacuate sounds
  • NEW: Vehicle collision sounds

Maps

  • NEW: Frozen Lines (CTF & LCTF)
  • Deserted Sands: Complete overhaul to address various gameplay issues
  • Snowfall: Removed generators, cleaned up and remade all building areas to address issues – and there’s a surprise!
  • Brynhildr: Revised the base and added an inventory bunker to support Base CTF
  • Tolar: Overhauled the base area to better support Base CTF and to address issues with the old flag stand
  • Sunset Cove: Overhauled to better support Base CTF
  • Outpost99: Minor terrain revisions, added an inventory hut to better support Base CTF
  • Elite: Revised terrain and spawn to create better movement flow across the map
  • Minora: Minor optimizations
  • Added CTF-Sunset Cove
  • Added LCTF-Snowfall
  • DayHike has been temporarily removed and will be back soon

Major Bug Fixes

  • Clones are no longer created when dying on inventory stations
  • Motion Sensors were broken in a prior patch and were unable to detect players outside of 4m – this has been fixed

Server Administration

  • General availability of server rentals – read on for more details!
  • NEW: Added server option to limit destruction of generator and inventories while under certain player count (0 is default which always allows damage)
  • NEW: Added server option to enable or disable randomized teams (default is true which randomizes teams)

Dedicated Servers

After a brief pilot with a few dedicated server admins, renting dedicated servers is now generally available through our partner Branzone.com. Head there now to rent your very own Midair server!

A Midair dedicated server gives you the ability to change the map list, admin list, game settings, and more so that you can control the experience for you and your friends or community. Have questions? Need help troubleshooting your new server? Check out the Midair Server Admin Discord channel here.

PAX West

We’re excited to announce that Midair is headed to PAX West! PAX is September 1st-4th in Seattle, WA and is the premier consumer gaming conference on the west coast. More details to come, but we’ll be exhibiting in the expo hall at the Washington State Convention Center throughout the show. Will you be there? Let us know!

A Note on the Release Schedule

As a quick note, we mentioned we’d discuss release schedule details (like the Closed Beta timing) and other updates in this dev log. However, were concerned that the dev log was long enough already and that it could get buried and readers would miss important information. So we’re going to post an additional blog devoted to our schedule within the next couple days. Stay tuned.

That’s all for now! See you next time.

Dev Log #10 – Build Process and Alpha 0.26.0 Build Preview

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There’s a lot happening right now and lots to talk about in Dev Log #10. On deck today: Team changes, an interview with Bittah.com, the Build 0.26.0 preview, and an in-depth look into our Build and QA process. Read on!

Team Changes

We recently added a new member to the marketing team. Everyone welcome Steffane who will be working on making our website and emails great!

Interview with Bittah.com

If you missed it, our CEO Chris did an interview with Bittah.com – home to many of our Australian players and fans! It’s a great read and goes deep behind the scenes of the history and development Midair. We even showed off some never before seen pictures of the game in its early stages. Go check it out!

Build 0.26.0 Preview

UI Overhaul Part 1: HUD

Over the next few builds we’re overhauling the Midair user interface. To start, we’re giving the HUD some love in 0.26.0. This first step is a big one and we’re really looking forward to showing off what’s to come.

Environment Art Improvements

The art team is hard at work improving our environment art. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming for our Desert Biome.

3rd Person Camera

Michael did some work on this on stream a while back. We’re finishing it up and bringing it to you this build. Here’s a quick look at 3rd person in action:

This is just the start to what’s coming in Alpha 0.26.0. Stay tuned!

Build and QA Process

We’ve recently updated our build system tools to allow us to do multiple releases for multiplayer QA earlier in the build cycle. What’s new about this and why is this important? We mentioned in an earlier post that we had updated our build system to run our editor build process automatically in order to check for build issues, test for quality, and take that workload off of our code team (specifically Michael, who was manually doing this before). This was a big first step, but the editor build is used primarily for editing gameplay and content inside of Unreal Engine. We run some ad-hoc design and function-oriented testing early in the process with editor builds, and it keeps our team up to date, but we can’t do things like test the effect of our changes in a real networked environment, or larger-scale multiplayer testing.

What that meant was we could encounter big issues related to multiplayer or other services only a week before release during what we call our Quality Pass. The Quality Pass is a specific development sprint preceded by a larger scale test pass (or QA session) with our private tester group, the main purpose of which is to identify and fix quality issues before we release that build. The private testers run through a spreadsheet of over 400 pre-made tests intended to test the game’s functionality, gameplay, and a variety of edge cases. We use the remaining week to finish or polish features we’re releasing that build and resolve as many issues highlighted in the earlier QA session or that have otherwise been marked for this build. There are two reasons we wait until this final week to do multiplayer testing: (1) We hadn’t fully automated this process yet because it was more complex than automating the editor build, meaning Michael needed to do this manually, and (2) features are often not ready until later in the build process.

Updating these tools has given us the ability to produce test builds on demand for our Private Tester group. Now, they can find and report crashes, bugs, or even design issues much earlier in the build cycle. This is in direct alignment with our goal of increasing the quality of each build as we move towards Closed Beta and eventually Release.

As a result of increasing the frequency of QA sessions each build, we’re looking for more volunteers to join our Private Tester Program and give us early feedback. If you have purchased Alpha access, have time to contribute, and you’re interested in helping the game reach a higher quality, please fill out our Private Tester Program Application. If you have any questions please post them in our forum thread and we’ll be happy to answer them. The commitment will be a few hours a week usually on Sunday plus any additional ad hoc testing or feedback discussions that take place.

That’s all for Dev Log #10! See you next time. 🙂