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Post news RSS Hearts of Oak News November 16'th 2015

We had some issues with last months update, hopefully most of those are fixed in this version! This release is focused on enhancing ship physics and damage system. Sail and hull damage system have been added. New compartmentalized buoyancy system. Ships pumps added and pump module, which can be destroyed. Enhanced materials (PBR) for ship and damage. Bug fixes and optimization of physics, AI and rendering.

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Ahoy mates, last week we had some technical issues with the October demo release. As some of you have already noticed, the September release was accidentally re-uploaded to IndieDB and labeled as the October demo. Once we realized this, we decided to take a closer look at the October demo before we uploaded it again. On closer inspection, we ran across some technical issues, basically a fatal bug, with the demo it's self that wouldn't allow the demo to run properly on certain hardware. The buoyancy script had some issues, and the new modding directories were missing after install, so we decided to wait till we got those issues fixed before we released the demo to the public.

You can get the new release from the IndieDB Downloads section, or from our download Mirror.

Those issues have now been corrected, but because of the confusion, we also decided to change the way we had been naming the demo files. All new release will be numbered as follows :

- Major = Pre-Alpha/Alpha/Beta – In this case “HoO_Setup_1”
- Minor = Second number – Revision Number .7
- YearDayOfTheYear = Condensed Third number - .15319
- Revision = Fourth number - .0

Thus, this current release is titled HoO_Setup_1 .7.15319.0.exe. It may be a bit confusing to some of you at first, but it makes things much less confusing for the development team, and helps assure that we post the correct files that we wish to make available for you to download and test.

Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, here is what is included in this November update!

Release notes:

  • This release focused on enhancing ship physics and damage system

    • bug fix for buoyancy system causing the Albans to roll over and sink after sailing out to sea, has been fixed

    • Ships rigging anti aliasing was rendering broken lines, fixed by implementing forward forward rendering and forcing default AA x8

      • this may cause an issue with rendering of the water, please post screen shots if you see any hue changes on water

    • ship sailing and physics enhanced due to bug fixes 0.4

    • ships armour sections implemented and connected with buoyancy compartments

      • Albans has 22 armour sections, with 12 below water line

    • buoyancy system enhancements

      • ship buoyancy is compartmentalized with new hull armour

      • water flooding for damaged destroyed

        armour sections

      • ships pump module added, which can be destroyed

    • damage system 0.2

      • DestroyIt unity asset extended to support ship damage

      • sails can be destroyed

        • when destroyed, sails and yard falls away

        • damage detail is applied to sails

        • damage or destroyed sails lose wind power

        • basic particle effects added

      • hull armour sections can be damaged and destroyed

        • damage detail is applied

        • basic particle effects

    • physics enhancements and some optimizations

      • cannonball collision optimized

      • cannonball pool enhanced to support 1000 active cannonballs

    • texture material enhancements

      • some older textures were updated

    • several internal bug fixes and optimizations

  • GameSettings folder has been added for modding (was missing in last release)

    • currently folder contains 2 files

      • shipSettings.txt

        • json settings for all AI ships

      • targetSettings.txt

        • json settings for all targets

    • please let me know if you need help modifying these files

    • feel free to modify these files to add or remove ships and targets, the current default is 10 targets and 8 NPC AI ships

Most of the development for this release focused on buoyancy, bug fixes and optimization. As development continues, more focus will be spent on optimizing physics, AI and rendering performance.

Here are a few screen shots from this November release:

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Top sail showing heavy damage.

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Nice raking shot on the port side.

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Another ship sinking, notice how the box is going down first and the ship is listing starboard .

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Another damage shot, notice the missing cannons, I had an almost perfect shot lined right up on the gun ports.

Currently the only sounds in the demo are cannon shots, that will be changing in the near future. These are great screen shots, but they just don't do this release justice. Our lead programmer JohnSilver has put together a nice little video going over some of the highlights of this release. He is still working on his video and audio recording setup though, so this one will be accompanied by some of Flannery's great music!

Hearts of Oak - Conquest of the Seas preAlpha 1.7. - Indie DB

The current AI was originally designed to help you destroy targets, it was originally setup with the Suimono water system, but after changing to Ceto, the accuracy is currently not very good. It was left this way to keep the gameplay running longer in the demo, otherwise the targets are destroyed too quickly. This is one of the things we will be working on for the next release. For now though, it will allow you to have quite a bit of fun blasting things out of the water!

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To get to the multiple targets and ships, you need to complete the tutorial by tabbing through all the stations and completing the requested commands. The game will then throw you in to the middle of some combat action!

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During the game you can actually take control of any ship. Just click the mouse on a ship and choose "Yes" to take command. Note, if your mouse is on another ship, you may get multiple prompts to either Take or Leave command. I know this is quite annoying and something we will fix in the future, but just remember to never Leave command, at least not until the character learns to swim!

Goals for Next Release

  • improve ship damage system

    • decal system

    • breakable yards, masts

    • ships components and crew

  • spy glass

  • quartermaster station

  • different cannon loads

  • particle effects

  • sounds

  • UI improvements

  • lighting improvements and baking

    • decal effects

  • crew AI

  • additional game scenarios, NPC AI combat

  • Unity Analytics enhanced tracking

How You Can Help?
As always, we are looking for volunteers to help us with Hearts of Oak! We always need programmers and 3D artists, but we need people with other important skills as well. If you would like to give us a hand, please feel free to have a look Armada's post over on our IndieDB page with quite a bit more information on how you can help us out.

Additionally, we need more volunteers to become QA testers for the game! We need people to thoroughly test each release and provide detailed feedback to the team. Being able to post videos or screenshots would also be a big plus! This is a very important role and will help shape the future of the game, this is your chance to have a real say in how we develop new features. The QA position also comes with a couple of perks, number one, you will be given access to the development section of the forum so you can see just were we stand first hand. You will have access to test builds much sooner than the rest of the public, and you will also be given a forum ribbon and also be listed in the credits for Hearts of Oak! There is a limited number of QA slots available, so please head over to our Recruitment forum to sign up!

Don't know what the Hearts of Oak project is? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

taintedpyro813 - - 664 comments

Awesome update, keep up the great work!

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Thagarr Author
Thagarr - - 21 comments

Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed it! Our Dev team has some great stuff in the works, so stay tuned!

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taintedpyro813 - - 664 comments

Will do! :)

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AlexWithK - - 3 comments

Awsome! Been waiting for this game for years but I haven't checked it out in ages though. Nice to see you are making some great progress. Keep up the good work and never lose the spirit! This will be an awsome game

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Thagarr Author
Thagarr - - 21 comments

Thanks mate! We have a long way to go, but we are determined to get there!

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vfn4i83 - - 692 comments

It look great so far.

I`m having some time free, might apply for some 3D modeling.

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Thagarr Author
Thagarr - - 21 comments

Thanks for the support mate! We will need plenty of help with 3D models, and you are most welcome to join us! Head on over to our recruitment forum and introduce yourself!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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