Welcome to the Midair Closed Beta

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Welcome to the Midair Closed Beta!

The Midair Closed Beta is now LIVE on Steam Early Access!

Don’t have access? Play Midair TODAY!

 

Join the Community!

While you’re downloading the game, join the Official Midair Discord server and head to the forums to give feedback, meet other Midair players, and keep up to date on the latest Midair news.

Beginner-Friendly Servers

We’ve added new servers to help new players find a place to practice and get up to speed with the game. New to the game? Join up on servers labeled “Beginner Friendly” and feel free to ask for help! We’ll try to monitor these servers more closely in particular to make sure there’s a good experience maintained for all.

Are you a veteran Midair player? Feel free to join these servers and help out new players – this is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED! Just make sure to consider their experience while playing and don’t get too competitive. Admins will be around to help remind you. 🙂

New Website

If you’re here, you’ve probably noticed we have a brand new website! Take a look around and please leave feedback in the forums.

A “Thank You” to the Midair Community

We wanted to send out a special thank you to our amazing community for supporting the game and our team up to this point. Every person on the dev team is appreciative of your time and effort playing and giving feedback up through this release (and hopefully beyond!). Your Discord messages, forum posts, and constant feedback is critical to the success of the game.

We would not have been able to do this without you, and you have made Midair better since we entered into Pre-Alpha over a year ago. The game has grown leaps and bounds, and as you’ve seen from the last several dev logs and patches, we’re able to do more and more as we get closer to release.

It’s a super exciting time for Midair and we’re fortunate to have such a passionate, committed community.

Now get out there and play some MIDAIR!

Dev Log #14 – Build 0.27.2 Patch Notes

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We’re heading into the 11th hour of Closed Beta launch prep and we’re super excited to introduce a bunch of brand new players to the world of Midair. In advance of hitting this important milestone, we’re releasing our final patch NOW before we launch! We’ll keep this log short and focus on the patch notes so we can get back to work with our final preparations.

See you all very soon!

Closed Beta Build 0.27.2 Patch Notes

Bug Fixes

  • Weapons no longer appear above the tank while in the tank cannon seat
  • Fixed evacuation messages being the same as death messages
  • Invisibility augment now applies to weapon clips
  • Skull and ghost death icons are now appropriately team colored
  • Fixed an issue that was causing vehicles to stutter while being piloted
  • Expanded the width of the Vote Change Map list to be able to read the entire list
  • Deployable inventories are no longer invulnerable with InvulnerableBaseAssetsBelowPlayerCount turned on in server settings
  • Improved issues with the loadout menu that were causing large FPS drops on all other menus

Art and Animations

  • Fixed broken shading on various weapons
  • Updated various 1st person animations
  • Updated pack drop mesh

General

  • NEW: Archetype and UE4 Splash screens
  • NEW: Ability to join on player and launch the game from your steam friends lists
  • NEW: Added server browser sorting options
  • Tank movement speed, boost speed, and health have been increased to make it a more viable option in the field
  • Passengers in vehicles can now view that vehicle’s health and energy
  • Heavies can no longer pilot vehicles, they will receive a chat notification if they attempt to pilot one – they may still buy vehicles and sit in bombardier and tailgunner seats of the bomber
  • Base inventory and deployable inventory station IFFs can now be seen through walls and hills at a longer distance to be easier to locate for newer players [Trello Top User Issues]
  • Re-enabled the following “Show” commands after the blanket removal of all show commands last patch: DeferredLighting, DirectLighting, Decals, InstancedFoliage, Grain, Vignette
  • Adjusted Base Turret mechanics so it should not shoot at extremely long range targets that it will likely miss
  • Added invulnerability messages to perma-invulnerable assets
  • Turrets no longer shoot at invulnerable assets
  • Wall repair pack IFFs are now visible through walls and hills at a longer distance to be easier to locate for newer players [Trello Top User Issues]
  • NEW: Added new default loadouts for all game modes to assist new players in discovering useful loadouts (to check them out, delete everything in your Midair/Saved/SavedGames folder)
  • Decreased Engineer/Charge regen speed to limit turret farm spam
  • Updated a loading screen tip that had an out of date default keybind

Audio

Maps

  • AR-SnowArena prototype map added for more wide-spread testing
  • AR-ReactorCore prototype map added for more wide-spread testing
  • Fixed broken textures on the mana cracks on Verdant
  • Added loading screens to all Tenebris variants, SnowArena, and ReactorCore

Closed Beta RC2 0.27.1 Patch Notes

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Last patch we added a lot of great new content, but we also introduced some new issues. We were going to hold back on releasing a patch until we had more done, but due to the critical issues like the persistent crashing and missing projectiles we decided to release this pseudo-hotfix. I say “pseudo” because there are plenty of improvements not related to those issues included in this build.

In Closed Beta RC2 0.27.1 we fix several of the most impactful issues while also improving the stability of the build and introducing several quality of life fixes that improve the game experience overall. We’re getting close to a final build for Closed Beta but you can expect at least one more patch before we launch this Friday.

Build 0.27.1 Patch Notes

Bug Fixes

  • Projectiles should no longer disappear while flying in front of clouds
  • Fixed game crash related to weapon reload animations
  • Fixed game crash upon joining servers during map transitions
  • There are no longer double footsteps playing while in third person
  • Fixed issue where players would sometimes get an invisible chaingun after placing a deployable
  • Fixed issue where pressing a number key while changing a loadout name would switch to that loadout
  • Fixed issue where players would lose hit and kill sounds while playing for extended periods of time
  • Chaingun audio should no longer cut out while continuously firing
  • Fixed issue where reload sounds would continue playing after you had switched weapons or died
  • Pack pickups that are dropped on player death or evacuate will now remain vertical instead of landing slanted
  • Sentinel turrets should now properly fire at enemies in all placement scenarios
  • The railgun no longer applies full damage at all energy levels at certain ranges
  • Mid-match voting notification no longer fades away when the chat box fades away
  • Mid-match vote UI will no longer persist if an admin changes the map during the map vote
  • The blue-side generator spectator camera on CTF-Massive is no longer in the middle of a field
  • Fixed main menu loadout screen issue where players couldn’t modify Rabbit and Arena loadouts because their buttons were cut off

Art and Animations

  • Adjusted railgun position
  • Adjusted chaingun position
  • Changed Light model’s loadout preview pose
  • Brightened loadout preview to make the loadout UI elements easier to read
  • Updated Blaster reload animation

General

  • “Show” console commands have been disabled to avoid issues with players using them to gain an advantage on other players
  • Removed chat window from main menu
  • Base Sensor hitboxes were increased to better match the visuals
  • Made a quick update to the Engineer pack UI to better match the in-game UI
  • Added the ability to spectate using a gamepad
  • Vehicle pad IFF is now the fighter icon and can be seen through walls, helping players find the vehicle pad more easily
  • Added notification when attempting to shoot invulnerable assets
  • The Kill Feed now shows up to 12 characters of a player’s name (increased from 10)

Audio

  • Updated Evacuate sound
  • Updated Railgun reload sounds
  • Updated Blaster reload sounds to match with new animations
  • Updated Fighter and Bomber engine sounds

Maps

  • Iratus: Terrain adjustments to make the map more friendly to ground vehicles
  • Howling Spires: Terrain adjustments to make the map more friendly to ground vehicles
  • Deserted Sands: Fixed various terrain seams, added a base tower
  • Added loading screen images to most maps missing them (except Tenebris, you sly boots)
  • Fixed various issues with CTF-FrozenLines, which has been re-added to the map rotation for official servers
  • Minora now has some wildlife here and there

Known Issues

  • Mana cracks on CTF-Verdant have broken texturing as of this build

Dev Log #13 – Build 0.27.0 Patch Notes, Design Deep Dive

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Welcome to edition #13 of the Midair Dev Log. Today we’re focusing entirely on the build highlights, full patch notes for 0.27.0, and a design deep-dive into the design process for some low-speed physics changes we’ve been working on. To be clear upfront, we do not have a firm date for the release of Closed Beta yet but will update you when we do. 🙂

Build Highlights

In this build, we’re delivering features and improvements that would provide the most impact for new players joining in Closed Beta and Steam Early Access. The areas we focused on were:

  • Quickly getting new players up to speed on the basics in Midair
  • UI improvements to rough areas that make it easier to get going quickly and that are more visually appealing
  • Visual polish and “feel” on some of our maps and while playing in first-person

These changes and more are what you’ll see in 0.27.0, which is our first “Release Candidate” for Closed Beta and is LIVE NOW!

Tutorial Missions

New players come from a variety of sources – some from other jetpack shooters, some from more traditional FPS games, and some have little or no gaming experience at all. When we hit Steam Early Access it will be important to ensure players jumping into Midair for the first time can quickly learn the basics and have a few “ah ha!” moments that really bring free-form movement, physics-based gameplay, and CTF to life. This build we’re releasing two tutorials:

  • Basic Movement: Intro to basic movement, using the jetpack, and skiing
  • Shooting and Loadouts: Basic shooting on stationary and moving targets, loadouts, and a brief intro to base play

Even if you’ve already logged hours in Midair, it’s worth running through these new missions just to make sure you’ve got all the basics down. 🙂

DayHike Returns as Howling Spires

Last build we benched CTF-DayHike to give it a visual overhaul and a new name: Howling Spires. We’re extremely happy with how the new art and visuals really make the game feel great. We’re excited to continue producing maps with great quality in the future. Here’s a look at the new visuals:

 

New Loadout Screen UI

We’re introducing our brand-new loadout screen UI! The new UI has a new look and feel with armor, weapon, and item previews, and a new augment selector. Tooltips are gone and descriptions are now displayed on the right side of the screen. This is a great first step toward our final vision for the loadout screen, and we’ll be improving this over time as we continue to update Midair’s UI.

Low-Speed Physics Changes

We changed parts of how our physics work at low-speeds so that we could provide a better experience to new players and veterans alike who felt that the jetpack at low speeds was under powered. This is something we wanted to dive into with an explanation because it’s a really interesting topic, so we did…down below. Here’s an excerpt:

One of the most common complaints we’ve heard from new players is they feel it’s hard to get off the ground and gain upward velocity when they’re using directional keys. The typical response to this is: “Don’t hold W all the time when you’re using your jetpack.” This exchange is super common among players coming from games like Tribes: Ascend due to the way the jets work in those games. We knew that this was an important issue that wasn’t limited to a small subset of players because we just kept hearing it

Want to read more? Check out the full deep-dive below the patch notes!

New First Person Animations and Sounds

We redid the underlying first-person animations and reworked each weapon reload. There’s still work to be done here but what you see now is a much more interactive and interesting set of animations. We’d love your feedback on this as we will be making these better over the next several builds.

Closed Beta RC1 0.27.0 Patch Notes

Bug Fixes

  • FOV settings now apply to 3rd person view
  • Fixed client crash related to Sonic Booms
  • Mouse DPI now saves between map changes and game loading
  • Fixed issue with Active Shield pack not displaying properly
  • Fixed server crash related to Engineer pack
  • Cannot play the grenade throw animation while in freelook anymore
  • Fixed issue where the chat box was extended across the main menu partially blocking the Refresh and Join buttons
  • Entering a deployable inventory while jetting no longer leaves your jets active
  • Bomber reticles no longer appear when they shouldn’t
  • Fixed an issue with a Vehicle purchasing UI where it wouldn’t update what keys you needed to press to purchase each vehicle
  • Fixed an issue where 3rd person aim would occasionally desync and fire in the wrong location
  • Fixed an issue where while typing in chat certain keys would still trigger in-game input
  • Removed voice chat playing while the game is out of focus
  • Fixed death notifications (the “X” next to the player name) not displaying properly on the scoreboard
  • Longer keybinds should no longer cut off on the in-game UI

General

  • NEW: Loadout Screen UI 1st pass
  • NEW: “Basic Movement” and “Shooting and Loadouts” tutorials to help new players learn the basics
  • Tutorials menu added to header nav, which is also the default main menu screen (for now)
  • Main menu UI improvements 1st pass
  • Added notifications to mid-map voting to make it more noticeable
  • Changed mid match voting mechanics to require a minimum percentage (currently 40% on official servers) of players to vote in order to change a map
  • Adjusted low-speed physics to be more intuitive for newer players (See Design Deep-Dive below for details!) [Trello Top User Issue]
  • Removed Vertical Boost augment from Kinetic pack as this was used primarily as a test for the more significant low speed physics adjustments we made above
  • Added chat notification when a loadout is selected with hotkeys
  • Ammo drops now have a new model
  • Pack drops have a new model which also projects a hologram for the type of pack it is
  • The Repair gun now attaches to objects more effectively making it more easy and intuitive to use
  • Slightly reduced Repair Tool healing rate overall in order to decrease the effectiveness of the repair gun in combat situations [Trello Top User Issue] and make the taking down of base assets more impactful
  • Added color to system messages to distinguish them from normal chat
  • Changed some voice bind paths and made voice bind categories more distinguishable from terminal binds
  • The chat rate limiter has been tightened to further prevent chat flooding – these settings are now also available to server admins who can tweak them to their own preference
  • When joining a passworded server, pressing enter on the password input prompt now functions how any normal game might, my god…
  • NEW: Ring Launcher has a decal upon ground impact (This currently applies to all weapons which will be changed in the future)
  • Removed view distance setting from video settings due to weird issues that were occurring
  • Rabbit and Arena scoreboards no longer show decimals for things like damage and timers, which had caused misalignment of those scoreboard items

Art & Animations

  • NEW: 1st person animation overhaul
  • NEW: Blaster weapon model now shown and animated in 1st person
  • 3rd person animation improvements building on what was done in 0.26.0

Audio

  • NEW: Fighter sounds overhaul
  • NEW: Bomber sounds overhaul
  • NEW: Tank sounds overhaul
  • NEW: Weapon reload sounds overhaul to match the new animations
  • NEW: Blaster fire sound
  • NEW: Flag bounce & slide sounds
  • Unique Collision (Fall) damage sounds for Light, Medium, Heavy (Minimal, Painful, Fatal)
  • General volume improvements

Maps

  • NEW: CTF-HowlingSpires (formerly known as DayHike) is back with a brand new look
  • NEW: PR-Movement added, a tutorial map for general movement
  • NEW: PR-Shooting added, a tutorial map to practice your aim and learn about the basics of your loadout and Base gameplay
  • Minora: Updated sky
  • Verdant: Is now symmetrical, with overhauled sky, foliage and rock assets
  • Updated skies across the board
  • Aria-II: Adjusted lighting to fix brightness issues
  • Aquarena: Made walkways wider, added railings to make it less difficult to fall into the water
  • Deserted Sands: Added missing repair packs
  • FrozenLines: Fixed lighting issues, made revisions to clean up and streamline the map
  • Added spectator cameras to a lot of maps that were missing them

Server Admin

  • IMPORTANT: In order to play CTF-HowlingSpires, you will need to manually add it to your map list
  • We’ve released a list of server commands and config options that can be found here – we will be updating this as we add more features and as we hear feedback
  • New server admin settings have been added to help server admins better control deployables in Base CTF, chat spam, and voting requirements:
    • MaxDeployableInventoryCount – Maximum deployable inventories allowed for each team (Default: 5)
    • MaxDeployableTurretCount – Maximum deployable turrets available for all turret types (Default: 6) [Note: We will be breaking this out into each turret type in the future]
    • MaxDeployableSensorCount – Maximum deployable sensor count available for all sensor types (Default: 10) [Note: We will be breaking this out into each sensor type in the future]
    • MaxMessageRate – The maximum amount of “cost” available before the SpamCoolOffTime kicks in (Default: 3.5 ) [Note: This regenerates automatically at 1.0 per second]
    • SpamCooloffTime – The cooldown time where “cost” is not regained back (Default: 3.0 seconds)
    • ExpressionRateCost – The cost of using a voice bind (Default: 1.2)
    • ChatRateCost – The cost of sending a typed chat message (Default: 0.8)
    • EndMatchMinParticipationPct – (0 – 1) percentage of players who must vote for the end match vote to be tallied (Default: 0.6)
    • EndMatchYesVotePctToPass – (0 – 1) percentage of players who must vote yes for the vote to pass (Default: 0.6)

Branzone

  • The following settings we added last build will soon be available in the Default Config editor:
    • bRandomizeTeams
    • InvulnerableBaseAssetsBelowPlayerCount
  • The new Server Admin settings we added THIS build (see above) will soon be available in the Default Config editor

Design Deep-Dive: Low Speed Physics

One of the most common complaints we’ve heard from new players is they feel it’s hard to get off the ground and gain upward velocity when they’re using directional keys. The typical response to this is: “Don’t hold W all the time when you’re using your jetpack.” This exchange is super common among players coming from games like Tribes: Ascend due to the way the jets work in those games. We knew that this was an important issue that wasn’t limited to a small subset of players because we just kept hearing it. Realistically, we simply cannot be there every time a new player boots up the game to tell them “don’t hold W” and explain the nuances of directional thrusting. While tutorials are great, not everyone reads the text, listens to the voice over, or (frankly) can master the underlying mechanics.

Before I get into the solution, I want to discuss openly the reasons why the problem exists and the design constraints we face when making physics changes. The way we’ve designed our jet thrusting system to work focuses on maximum maneuverability in exchange for energy – meaning you must use your jetpack to make directional changes with your movement keys, and when you do that we push most of the power to your horizontal jets so you can make fine-grained movements. As long as you’re managing vertical jets effectively at the same time then you’re able to keep your height and maneuver while in a fight or moving around. This system is very effective and very nice feeling when you’re a good or great player that has experience with the way the physics work.

The problem is, this system completely ignores the realities that new players face when they start up the game for the first time or even within the first 10 hours of gameplay. At PAX and during user testing, when we switched to Icewind we kept seeing the same thing over and over again from our new players. In order to get on the flag stand, players would go to the highest point nearby, hold W, hit their jetpack, and look at where they wanted to go. If you’ve played Midair you probably know that this is the result of doing that:

The Icewind stand is a little challenging with the way we designed the edges, but the scenario didn’t feel right. If you look at where they’re taking off, it just feels like they should be able to get there no problem if they’re using a jetpack regardless of their directional keys. Jetpacks are supposed to go UP, right?! They certainly believed so. They often wouldn’t tell us verbally but you could tell that they were getting frustrated because they didn’t know how to be effective. The resulting effect is something we called “The Icewind Flag Stand Effect” and it is a really scary thing for the future of the game because these enthusiastic new players just got frustrated, blamed themselves, and didn’t know how to overcome it.

The good news is we know new players primarily play the game at lower speeds, so we could focus on those scenarios. The problem was, even though the problems were mostly isolated to scenarios at low speeds, any changes you make to the physics will affect everything down the line including physics at high speeds. We needed to really consider a full solution that provided the most low-speed effectiveness with the most control without drastically changing the game at high-speeds.

We were concerned about potential changes because small adjustments in initial takeoff velocity, jetpack power, thrust effectiveness, and other things that seem like “obvious” solutions have massive impact on how the physics work at all speeds. Every additional point of velocity can translate into several points of speed down the line, making cappers faster and more difficult to catch among other things. Additionally, we didn’t want current players to feel like we were nerfing the control or speed we’ve all grown so fond of. Internally we discussed this problem as a “Ferrari vs Civic” issue (yeah we’re going with a car analogy). Give a novice driver a Civic and they’ll mostly figure it out. Give a novice driver a Ferrari and you’ll get to watch them spin out of control and crash. The Ferrari is the better car and experienced drivers really know how to drive it, but new drivers will simply fail with it. On the flip-side, the Civic is a safe and easy car, but it’s limited with what it can do (read: not as fun or powerful for experienced drivers). We had to decide where in the middle we’d go.

The good news is we found a great mid-point that sacrifices very little of the control you’re used to while providing a much better experience for a new player. This is through two primary methods:

  1. We worked on a complex and fairly elegant set of solutions to provide a reasonable amount of additional boost during certain low-speed scenarios like jetpacking up to a flag stand
  2. We fixed a big issue where when players were pressing W into a wall while jetpacking, the player would get pushed down – we now translate some (but not all) of the lost horizontal thrust power into vertical thrust

Both of these things help newer players get to where they want to go without requiring they know the finer details of the jetpack. In addition, we did this while still rewarding higher-skill movement and sacrificing none of the control you’re used to. Here’s the result in the Icewind flag stand test:

This seems like a lot of text for what appears to be on the surface a small change in the jetpack. It was actually a pretty difficult design problem that could have had massive impact on the game any place where movement physics play a role (pretty much everything).

We’d love to hear your feedback on this change. Do you like it? Do you hate it? Let us know in the forums and make sure you include lots of info.

Midair in the Indie MEGABOOTH @ PAX West 2017

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