Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. As you might've noticed, and as PointlessAmbler pointed out in last week's blog, we've been more or less relaxing and spending time with family lately (and hope you had a chance to, too). Starting this week we'll probably be back on track for having the weekly blogs and things to show you and tell you about.
A while back we started showing you some work on a couple new maps, with which we hope to raise the bar a bit in terms of game play and how visually interesting they are. A lot of the older maps don't really play as well as they could given how much has changed since they were made (and a lot more changes to our core game play are coming, let me tell you). I'd like to show you RA_Pipeline first, something ChopBam's been working on.
Edit: Please note trees and rocks placements are (mostly) just placeholders to make the images look more lively for blogs. Tree/shrub/rock placements/models will change as work continues.
Fabian also decided to try out some new techniques and really put some effort into his re-imagining of Hourglass. Yes, Hourglass from Renegade, also known as Symmetrical Hell. Raapnaap tried a more or less direct port of the horrible place but it still felt rather samey and ugly, but this is a complete remake that has a lot of potential and certainly looks a lot better. It'll be released for both Renegade and as part of the next version of APB, and features a lot of the new foliage and propwork that has been done for Gamma (and thus, stuff you'll see retrofit into existing maps in time for Gamma and used to greater effect in more original work). If you've been following the thread for it you've already seen some pics; if not, take a look:
In other map related news, r34ch also was working on a re-imagining of Fissure that we can show you more of later, plus Cuddling's been finishing up that Silo and working on the War Factory in terms of new buildings (a rather important part of a map). Hopefully with a more uniform method of doing ore/gems and water areas plus all the new foliage, maps will appear more consistent and enjoyable; the older maps will likely be brought up to date in terms of these things for a final change, then it's all-new stuff because that's a lot better for all of us instead of just constantly fiddling with the older content.
2008 Mod of the Year
It's that time again! We managed to do very well for ourselves last time around (with Beta fresh in people's minds) but unfortunately, Gamma won't be ready in time for this year's awards. Still I'd like to ask for your support because it's this kind of recognition that can really keep us going at it. The rules appear to have changed this year a little bit so read up on them, and be sure you get yourself a ModDb account so that you can vote! There are also some other worthy mods (including other C&C projects like those quality mods/remakes found in our C&C subforum) that you might want to take a look at supporting, too.
Work on the newest scripts and all that is going on fairly smoothly, and Jonwil's back from his own vacation so that's obviously a plus. We showed some new blast mark stuff, and while I'm still working out the details for how it'll be for the various weapon classes (we do have some limitations after all) I figure that next week we can show some closer-to-final looks for all of that. Just know we're doing it finally, now that we can. Gamma hopefully will have a lot more of these little nice-touches, probably including newer explosions for some weapons, sound edits, and the like. We're also looking into giving the Allies an opportunity for a unit to inflict some "hull damage" on vehicles much like how the tesla weaponry works, it'll probably be one of their own tanks.
The HUD's being redone still in a way I think you'll all like, and this is going to go hand in hand with a newer easier-to-read font and a new set of kill icons. I need to get around to making that stuff, so that PA can do more work on the HUD layout and design itself. We're bringing back visible weapon icons, rejoice.
A bunch of testers have resigned or are being removed, more news on that next week as well as an estimate of how many new testers we'll probably be interested in taking on. If you think you have free time you can dedicate to playing internal versions of APB with others and spotting bugs, you might want to apply next week...