Dev Log #19 – Build 0.30.0 Highlights, Patch Notes, and Release Update

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Hello Proxies!

Today is a new day and with a new day comes a new build with new features and content. In Dev Log #19 we’ll run through the highlights in build 0.30.0, full patch notes, and discuss updates to our upcoming release schedule. There’s lots to discuss including the addition of version 1 of our progression system, a beautiful new makeover of CTF-Dam, CTF changes, and plenty more.

Oh, and if you missed it, you should check out the full stream with play-by-play commentary from the Bring Your Own 5 LCTF Tournament from last week. It was a lot of fun to watch and there’s some great high-level competitive play showcased, especially during the final matches. Congratulations to Tribes+ for their hard-fought win and thank you to everyone for participating!

Build Highlights

While you’re downloading, here’s a look into all of the features available NOW in build 0.30.0.

XP, Level-Ups, and Skills

Progression is finally making its way into Midair. In 0.30.0 we’re introducing version 1 of our XP, leveling, and skill systems. Please note these are early-stage features that will likely have user experience issues, bugs, and are likely to change frequently before release. For additional reading on our goals and objectives with monetization and progression in Midair, read this blog post from a while back.

XP and Leveling Up

Each player will earn XP in the game and will level up as XP is accumulated. XP is earned by completing the tutorial missions, playing the game, and doing well. When in the game, you are currently rewarded for each minute played (with a minimum play time of 10 minutes), sticking around through the end of the match, and in bigger games, placing in the top 3 players in the server. To help you track how much XP you’ll earn in a given match, we’ve added a Match XP element to the score screen UI.

NOTE: In this early version, you will only be rewarded XP if you are in the server when the game ends. The amount of XP it takes to progress through each subsequent level increases each level gained with a max level of 50. To see your level and current XP vs how much is needed for the next level, we’ve added this information (and also your Steam profile pic) to a new UI widget at the bottom right of the menu. This information is also available in the Progression menu under your Profile.

What’s the quickest way to get your first couple of levels? Play through both tutorials!

Skills

Each time a player levels up they are rewarded a skill point. Skill points are used to unlock most of the gameplay features in the game such as Armors, Weapons, Items, Packs/Augments, Deployables, and Vehicles. These skills are laid out in a tree structure to visually show requirements and dependencies. We are planning to add additional gameplay elements to the tree that are not in this version. You may see some visual gaps in the tree structure due to these missing items.

We’ve added some features like lock icons that should help you visually identify in your loadouts whether or not something is unlocked. Additionally, clicking on the lock icon will automatically take you to that item in the skill tree for quick unlocking.

Your Loadout menu should also inform you when a loadout you’ve selected contains items that have not been unlocked yet. If you attempt to use a loadout with locked items, those items will either be missing (weapons, packs/augments, throwable items) or downgraded (armors).

Tools for Early Testing

In the Progression screen under your Profile, we’ve added some tools to help you test the progression system and quickly bypass progression if you so desire (you all have the Progression Pass after all!). Using Give 500 XP you can add roughly a single game’s XP. Give Level calculates and rewards the XP required between your current level and the next. Give Max Level gives you all of the XP through level 50. RESET will allow you to reset your XP, Level, and Skills progress. Note: Resetting requires a restart of the game, and confirming this action will automatically close the game.

Down with CTF-Dam, Long Live CTF-Reservoir!

The map CTF-Dam has been re-imagined, renamed, and given a full art pass to bring it to life in the Midair universe. We are itching to show off the results, so let’s take a look at the brand new CTF-Reservoir.

The central feature to the map is a giant dam that holds back water from streaming into the valley, creating a reservoir. Mana processing plants use the water to harness the resources this planet provides.

The base interiors have been built with almost entirely new art using our military themed assets giving a distinct feel both inside and out.

We’re excited to see you all experience CTF-Reservoir for the first time and discover some of the neat features and quirks built into the map.

CTF Changes

Last time we spoke, we had added a prototype game mode called Spawn CTF that spawned all players in their loadouts and added a spawn time penalty when generators were brought down. It’s clear after seeing the initial response and listening to feedback that two things stand out:

  1. New and casual players have a better and more intuitive experience playing Spawn CTF than CTF that requires visiting an inventory to get your loadout
  2. We need better ways to ensure the base is still an important and relevant factor in gameplay, which is what we committed to since development on Midair started

We’re moving forward with these two things in mind. This means we’re committing to spawning in loadout in Base CTF and will be enabling this as the default setting on all official servers as well as newly created servers. If you’d like to go back to the old style that requires inventory use, we’re keeping that option configurable for server admins. With that said, let’s look at the new changes to CTF in 0.30.0.

Loadouts, Spawn Timers, and You

When players can spawn in their loadout it introduces several design challenges. In particular, when observing Spawn CTF in action, it was apparent that there is little impact when taking down a player in a key role like defensive sniper or heavy offense.  In order to help balance situations like quick respawning of powerful classes, we’re adding equipment spawn penalties that increase the time it takes to spawn in your full loadout. Here’s the list of equipment and their corresponding spawn penalties.

  • Medium Armor: +0.5s
  • Heavy Armor: +1.0s
  • Rail Gun: +2.0s
  • Missile Launcher: +1.0s
  • Mortar: +1.0s
  • Stealth Augment – Invisibility: +1.0s

The penalties are cumulative, so adding multiple of these items will continue to increase your spawn time. For example, a Heavy Armor (+1.0s) with both the Missile Launcher (+1.0s) and Mortar (+1.0s) equipped will experience a total spawn penalty of +3.0 seconds on top of the base spawn timer. The base spawn timer is 5.0 seconds, so the total spawn time for a loadout with those items would be 8.0 seconds. These penalties do NOT apply when using inventory stations.

Generator Importance

In 0.30.0 we’re adding several new effects to downed generators in order to keep base defense and assault important. Here’s a list of all effects that apply when the generator is down:

  1. Base spawn penalty increased by +80% when generator is down (was 60% in 0.29.0)
  2. NEW: Equipment spawn penalty of +50% when generator is down
  3. NEW: Deployable turrets now fire 20% slower when the generator is down
  4. NEW: Deployable sensors now acquire targets more slowly when the generator is down

Using the Heavy Armor example from before, spawning in that loadout when the generator is down will result in a base spawn + gen down penalty (+80%) of 9 seconds, and an equipment penalty + gen down penalty (+50%) of 4.5 seconds, making a total of 13.5 seconds when the generator is down. This means that keeping your generator up saves 5.5 seconds of spawn time for someone with those loadout options.

We’ve added information to the Loadout screen that will help you identify loadout equipment penalties easily, and also see when it is affected by a downed generator. The equipment penalty information will turn red and increase appropriately when the generators are down.

Emergency Spawn

In order to keep decision-making alive and well in base, and give players a chance to make quick decisions and emergency plays, we’ve added the ability for players to Emergency Spawn in a basic loadout at a much shorter interval. In the spawn screen, a shorter timer that is NOT affected by the generator status will decrease separate from the full loadout respawn timer.

Pressing Right Mouse Button will allow a player to initiate emergency spawn after the timer has completed.

Deployables

In addition to all of the above changes, we’ve removed the ability to deploy any deployable near the enemy base within a certain range (map-dependent). This should help make defending and retaking your base against a good offense a little easier, which should help prevent unbreakable base camping.

New Item: Concussion Grenade

The latest addition to the CTF arsenal is the concussion grenade. This grenade deals minimal damage but can knock out a player-held flag and knock the holder around. Its most effective use is stopping a capper from getting out clean or breaking a tough base defense when they are holding your flag.

New Main Menu and Loadout Backgrounds

We’ve added a brand new interactive background to the Main Menu and Loadout Screen. We changed the way we’re rendering this so the background is now be affected by your video settings and should be perform much better overall. Words won’t do it justice, so take a look for yourself:

 

Map Sounds Pass

We’ve started a sound pass on most maps which now have ambient sounds playing at minimum. Most maps with final or near-final art now have additional custom sounds as well. We’ll continue to update maps with sounds as we get closer to release to bring them to life and add polish to the final product. Take a listen!

0.30.0 Patch Notes

General

  • Version one of progression has been added: XP, Leveling, and Skills
  • A Progression menu has been added to the Profile menu with an unlockable skill tree and tools to help quickly test or reset progress
  • The loadout menu has been updated to help players quickly see and unlock unlockable equipment
  • Spawn-in-loadout is now the default mode for CTF
  • Deployables can no longer be placed close to the enemy base
  • Base spawn timer penalty increased to 80% from 60%
  • Using certain equipment in a CTF loadout now increases the time it takes to spawn, which increases by 50% when the generator is down (applies to the Heavy Armor, Medium Armor, Rail Gun, Mortar, Missile Launcher, and Invisibility augment)
  • Deployable turrets have reduced rate of fire when their generator is down
  • Deployable sensors have reduced detection speed when their generator is down
  • Emergency Spawn option added so players can spawn more quickly in a basic/”naked” loadout
  • Added the Concussion Grenade which knocks away player-held flags
  • Interactive Main Menu/Loadout screen background added
  • You must now press “Equip” to add weapons and throwables to your loadout, bringing them in line with the Augments interface, also setting up the UI to be ready for custom aesthetics
  • Because we’ve added a step to equip weapons, you can now double click to equip weapons and throwables in the loadout menu
  • Ammo Nugget pickup radius increased to make it easier to grab in the heat of the moment
  • Slightly reduced out-of-bounds grid opacity so it’s easier to see where you want to go or where you’re landing while near the grid
  • Repair gun now does damage to non-friendlies because why not
  • Updated descriptions of all armors, weapons, throwables, packs, augments, armors, and vehicles for use in the Loadout and Progression menus
  • Added a “Special” field to all loadout equipment info to give more information including any spawn penalties
  • New console command: ShowPerformanceStats (1 for show, 0 for hide) that shows fps, ping, and server performance in the top left to help troubleshoot performance issues
  • Vehicle Flares now have random spread to make them seem more natural

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an animation issue caused by using a deployable inventory to change away from the Reload++ augment
  • The delay between firing the grenade launcher and immediately throwing a hand grenade has been brought in line with other weapons
  • The Blink augment is no longer able to take flags through flag forcefields
  • Removed delay between being able to pick up hp/ammo nuggets
  • The Missile Launcher will no longer lock onto friendly, unmanned vehicles
  • The Bomber now has a description in the buy vehicle menu
  • Auto voice chat messages for flag grabs etc are no longer sent to spectators
  • Reduced bald spots on Light Male character in low levels of detail
  • Fixed some end of match voting issues that resulted in switching to unexpected maps
  • Fixed broken lighting in tutorial missions
  • Fixed broken LOD settings and lighting issues on LCTF-Minora
  • Fixed spots where players could hide underneath level geometry on LCTF-Kryosis
  • Fixed Missile Launcher model slightly clipping through screen in walk animations
  • Wind and weapon switch sounds can now be heard in third person
  • Players are now evenly distributed between teams when joining at all player counts
  • Fixed “{Player1Name} has dropped the flag” message when the match moves out of warmup
  • Vehicle ability cooldown indicator now fills from left to right to match other reloads and cooldowns

Maps

  • CTF-Dam is now named CTF-Reservoir and has received a full art pass
  • LCTF-Outpost99 has received an art pass
  • CTF-Tenebris: The flagstand ship has been moved downwards
  • LCTF-Kryosis: Overhauled the midfield ice formations, spawn changes to improve flow
  • LCTF-Minora: Spawn changes, added BYO5 LCTF Tournament winners sign easter egg
  • LCTF-Exhumed: Out-of-bounds grid changes
  • AR/LCTF-Crashsite: Terrain and flagstand gameplay revisions
  • AR-Research: The level layout has been altered to be more open
  • AR-SnowArena: Ceiling has been moved upwards, blocking volumes have been added to stop players getting on top of the outer edges, standing on the middle rock will now cause you to slide off
  • AR-Autumnal is down for maintenance
  • LCTF-FrozenLines: Moved rear spawn points forward, added a front spawn
  • LCTF-Snowfall: Moved tower spawn points, moved some base interior spawn points outside
  • Added spectator camera locations on LCTF maps

Server Admins

  • The SpawnWithInventory setting in your CPanel will need to be set to True/Enabled if you want to stay current and match Official Server settings (It will not change on its own so if you already had it set to true or false and want it to remain the way you have it configured, no change is necessary on your part)
  • There are 2 configurable settings in your CPanel that were used for tweaking spawn timers in SpawnCTF (now CTF) which are no longer used. These will be removed from CPanel soon
  • Make sure you are keeping your MapList.ini up to date with map changes as maps are added, removed or renamed. For example, not changing CTF-Dam to CTF-Reservoir in your MapList.ini can result in server crashes. Likewise, not removing AR-Autumnal can have the same effect.

Official Server Configuration

  • All CTF servers are now configured to Spawn in Loadout by default
  • CTF and Arena servers will only allow CTF and Arena maps respectively
  • LCTF servers will default to LCTF maps but allow for Rabbit maps to be voted as well
  • General servers allow maps of all types
  • Removed all CTF and LCTF maps which have not received final art (Rented servers are still configured to allow prototype maps)
  • Shortened the end of match timer from 30 seconds to 20 seconds
  • All gametypes now have a warmup time of 20 seconds
  • Arena now has a pre-round timer of 6 seconds (was 10 seconds)
  • Regions are now configured to have the following priority server configuration:
    1. General
    2. CTF
    3. LCTF
    4. Arena
    5. General 2 / 3 / etc.
  • Max player count for General and CTF is set to 24 players
  • Max player count for LCTF is set to 18 players
  • Max player count for Arena is set to 14 players

Release Update

We have a timing update for the release of Midair. For the last several months we’ve been aiming for Q1 2018 which basically meant anywhere in the months January to March 2018. As we get closer to the middle of Q1, we’re adjusting our public release projection. As of this post, our new goal is a late-April 2018 release. This is a little later than Q1 but buys us enough time to get the remaining features and polish in on the game given our budget and resource constraints. We’re narrowing down our release window and as you can see from the last few patches, we’re definitely taking advantage of the remaining time to bring Midair as far as it can go by release.

We also want to talk about some timing on some specific roadmap items that have changed:

  • The Transport and Hover Bike will be postponed until post-release – this is due to ensuring we have enough time to iterate and add polish on core game systems more critical to supporting the 1.0 release, as well as lets us work on these features when we have an opportunity to fully rework the vehicle system which is necessary to providing a better vehicle experience across the board
  • Some of the Kickstarter features are likely to come in post-release such as a custom player-voted environment tileset for maps and the player-voted custom gametype – we’re absolutely committed to getting these done but they may come in a little later than release as we focus on improving our core gametypes and tilesets
  • Some of the Kickstarter rewards are likely to come in post-release such as the Kickstarter exclusive aesthetics – we don’t have a specific list for this yet but stay tuned as we get closer to release for more info

With all of that said, we’re still working on these things, they’re just going to come in later than we had hoped. In particular, the Kickstarter exclusives are going to look great. Here’s a peek at the concept for the Kickstarter exclusive armor set we’ve got lined up:

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!

Kickstarter Extension Final Stretch Goals Update

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Greetings Supporters!  When you requested it, we opened up a Kickstarter extension campaign through our website letting new supporters back us or existing supporters upgrade their Kickstarter pledge after the campaign ended.  This extension ran from July 27th through September 16th, and we told you that all pledges during this period would count toward our campaign stretch goals. You blew us away with your support through this extension.  Let’s recap the numbers.

At the Kickstarter campaign’s close, the reported number of pledges came to $128,416.  When the payments were processed, $1,812 worth of pledges failed to process within the processing window.  That leaves us with…

$126,604

Kickstarter Campaign

 

During our Kickstarter extension, you contributed…

$23,380

Kickstarter Extension

 

So now our new total is…well…

$149,984

Total raised through Kickstarter & Kickstarter Extension

That’s right.  You were $16 dollars away from raising $150,000 in total.  So where are we at with our stretch goals?  Let’s take a look:

ks-stretch-goals-updated

Great job everyone!  You’ve unlocked an additional environment tileset selected by you, and team support!  More details on these to come.  In the meantime, the team would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of our Kickstarter backers and new supporters for your help to date.

Still interested in supporting Midair?  Want to get access to the game before release?  Head to playmidair.com/buy to learn more!

48hrs Left on the Midair Kickstarter Extension!

It’s that time! We are under 48hrs away from the conclusion of our Kickstarter extension, so if you’ve been waiting to back us, now is the time to do it! After Friday September 16th, you will still be able to buy in and support us but you will no longer be able to get any of the awesome exclusives offered during our Kickstarter.

Back Us on Kickstarter

Head to http://playmidair.com/buy before Friday, September 16 at 11:59pm PST if you want to help support Midair and ensure you get the most bang for your buck!

Midair Post-Kickstarter Extension

In celebration of Midair attending PAX West 2016, we have decided to extend our Kickstarter until September 16th! You’ll have an extra couple weeks to support Midair and get the same exclusives available during our Kickstarter campaign.

MA-PAX

Check out http://playmidair.com/buy and get your package before it’s too late!

Buy or Upgrade Kickstarter Packages Through August 31

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After receiving an overwhelming response from members of our community, you can now support us by buying or upgrading Midair Kickstarter packages through the end of August! For existing backers, you will be able to upgrade your pledge to higher tiers and for new backers, you will be able to purchase new packages and get access to Midair. In addition, purchases during this month WILL affect our stretch goals, so spread the word!

If you back us by 11:59pm PST August 31, 2016, you will still receive all the same exclusives you would get if you went through Kickstarter. Following the deadline, we will continue to offer access but with scaled back packages that will not include any of the Kickstarter exclusive items or physical goods. For those who missed out on Kickstarter or could only pay through PayPal, this is your chance to make sure you don’t miss out on all the exclusives!  Note: Currently we’re accepting VISA and Mastercard, but we hope to accept PayPal within 24-48 hours of this post.

If you’re on the fence on whether or not to join, check out a couple of our favorite community-made montages from players who joined us for Instant Access below.  🙂

Midair Officially Kickstarted!

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We’re happy to announce that as of Saturday, June 4th at 11:07am PT, Midair has been officially Kickstarted!  Thanks to you we smashed through our goal, hitting TWO stretch goals andearning over $128,000 in pledges!

From the dev team to you, THANK YOU.

When Will I Get My Rewards?

We’ll keep in touch regarding timelines for rewards, but definitely keep an eye on your Kickstarter inbox and these updates to make sure you see the latest. Also be aware that we will be sending out surveys to get additional information (like t-shirt voting and selection, keychain selection, etc.). As always, we can’t send you anything unless your payment goes through, so ensure your details are correct and your payment has been processed.

Instant Access

For those of you who pledged at the Instant Access tier or higher, here are the next steps for us and you:

  • We’ve sent keys and instructions out in bulk to everyone who backed at that tier. If you didn’t get yours, be sure to check the Spam section in your email!
  • Once you have your key and have access to the game, we strongly encourage you to share your feedback and suggestions with us.

If you have any questions or didn’t get your Instant Access key, let us know! Send us a Kickstarter message or post on our forums.

Thank you again for your support, and we’ll see you soon in Midair!

The Midair Kickstarter is LIVE!

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Midair has come a long way in 2 years, and today we reach an important milestone on the journey to release. Today, we’re excited to announce that the Midair Kickstarter is now LIVE! If you’ve backed projects on Kickstarter before, you know this step is an important one. Head over to our Kickstarter page and take a look at the great stuff you as a backer can receive from supporting us at this early stage.

 

Also, be sure to check out this page for more information on how you can help us spread the word, and to learn more about our upcoming 48-Hours of Midair event this weekend.

Kickstarter Date Announcement Teaser

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We’re excited to announce that we’ve set a date for the launch of our Kickstarter campaign: May 5th, 2016

If you’re excited like we are, head on over to playmidair.com/Kickstarter to learn more, and be sure to check out the new teaser trailer!  We’ve added it below for your quick viewing pleasure.  🙂