February 15, 2019

Game Update! Engine Upgrade. Optimisations

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Holdfast: Nations At War has been updated! This time around we’ll be pushing forward more performance optimisations and another game engine upgrade. It was a hefty bunch of work but we’re sure that the community will appreciate the increase in performance.

 

We have also been keeping ourselves busy with gameplay-oriented content that will be coming your way relatively soon! Be sure to have a good read at our blog post for a sneak peek of what’s to come.

 

First and foremost, we’ll be starting with a recap of everything that has been going on during our previous BETAs leading to this update’s release.

 

Project Cleanup. Workflow

Time is our most precious asset. It is in everyone’s best interest that we dedicate time towards optimising our development workflow as this contributes towards producing content at a faster pace.

 

The entire project that Holdfast: Nations At War is developed in was given a well-deserved cleanup to reduce load times and all the models, code files, audio, animations, shaders and indeed everything else required to make a game function was sorted out for the developers to have easier access to.

 

Every minute we save from having to wait for a task to be completed, be it code compile times or general project responsiveness, will instead be going towards additional content or more optimisations.

 

 

 

 

Engine Upgrade. Game Core

Speaking of more optimisations, as this was our prime focus for this specific update, we’ve gone ahead and performed another major engine upgrade. This was a necessary step forward before we could deliver on our promise to further optimise the game as this exposes the team to newer technologies that can be utilised towards this effect.

 

 

 

 

Game Optimisations. Characters

Characters being one of the major bottlenecks in performance when a lot of players are on screen have received direct optimisations. We’re already seeing a good reduction in CPU usage on those massive 150 Player servers by utilising some of the newer technologies made available to us after the game engine upgrade. 

 

Those individuals not limited by an older GPU will experience better framerate.

 

 

 

 

Time of Day & Weather. A New System

Players can now enjoy a much better-looking dynamic skybox and weather system due to changes we had to undergo while performing the game engine upgrade. We do hope that this fresh new look is to your liking!

 

It is important to note that the volumetric clouds introduced with this new time of day and weather system utilise more GPU resources than the one present in the version before this update. If you’d like to trade off looks for performance, simply go to your ‘Video’ settings and lower down the ‘Skybox Quality’ setting to ‘Low’.

 

 

 

 

Naval Battlefield. Tackling Issues

We’ve also been looking into a solution to remedy the intermittent latency spikes present on the Naval Battlefield game mode. Functionality to ram and load cannons by holding the ‘E’ key aboard naval vessels has been temporarily disabled to confirm if this was indeed the cause.

 

 

 

 

Quality of Life. Admin Chat

As a quality of life addition for all of those individuals hosting events, we’ve introduced an admin chat channel that is specifically reserved for discussion amongst those with administrative privileges on a particular server.

 

You’re now also able to make use of some basic shortcut commands through this new admin chat. This functionality was all accessible through the ‘F1’ console but we thought that it would be especially convenient to have shorter versions of some of the most used commands accessible through this chat. 

 

Here are the shortcut commands we’ve introduced.

 

Shortcut Commands
- Administrators can broadcast a message by typing ‘/bc’ in the admin chat channel followed by their desired message.
» /bc <message>
- Administrators can switch to a map by typing ‘/mr’ in the admin chat channel followed by a value according to the rotation set in the server configuration file.
» /mr <map rotation id>

 

 

 

 

What’s To Come. Rocketeers!

Thanks to the continued growth of the team since the game’s release on Early Access, we now have more hands working on various aspects of the game. These range from various themed updates targeted towards optimisations, bug fixes as well as bringing new content into the game.

 

Yet another new class, the Rocketeer will be making their glorious introduction into the game with the next update! We won’t be revealing everything just yet but you should also expect to see other gameplay-oriented additions with the same update.

 

What’s better yet is that we won’t keep you waiting for too long before you can get your hands on this. The next update will be going into BETA testing during the coming week or the one after.

 


 

 

Community. Join The Discord!

Looking for a good bunch of fellows to play the game with? Do join our Discord! Linebattle events were players are encouraged to play in formations relevant to the Napoleonic era are hosted by the community through the week.

 

Discord is also a great place to be to stay in touch with the game’s development. Feedback is always greatly welcomed. We look forward to seeing you there! 

 

https://discordapp.com/invite/holdfastgame

 

 

 

 

ATTN! Server Administrators

Players that have updated to Game Version 0.24 will be unable to see servers that are still using the previous version in the server browser. We had to undergo changes to the lobby system’s backend due to the engine upgrade.

 

You should also make sure to update all the game server files present in the ‘holdfast_naw_public_servers’ folder. A new ‘Mono’ folder has been included that is required for servers to run. All the respective DLLs have been updated as well.

 

 

 

 

Here’s the entire list of additional features, bug fixes, improvements and content that you’ll find in this update.

 

 

 

Changelog 26 - Game Version 0.24.6984.29141

 

Game Core

- Project Cleanup. Optimised our development workflow as this contributes towards producing content at a faster pace.
» Removed all unused meshes, textures and terrains to lessen the load on our project and reduce wait times.
» Refactored multiple scripts to make them more accessible to the developers.
» Restructured the entire project for the developers to more easily locate particular items. 

- Game Engine Upgrade. A necessary step forward before we could deliver on our promise to further optimise the game as this exposes the team to newer technologies that can be utilised towards this effect. 



Optimisations

- Character Optimisations. One of the major bottlenecks in performance when a lot of players are on screen have received direct optimisations. Players will experience a better framerate on those massive 150 Player servers pending that they weren’t already previously limited by an older GPU.



Graphical Additions

- Time of Day & Weather System. Players can now enjoy a much better-looking dynamic skybox and weather system due to changes we had to undergo while performing the game engine upgrade.
» The volumetric clouds introduced with this new time of day and weather system utilise more GPU resources than the one present in the version before this update. 
» If you’d like to trade off looks for performance, simply go to your ‘Video’ settings and lower down the ‘Skybox Quality’ to ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’.

- Additional commands to better control the time of day and weather system have been included. You can find all the commands detailed below.
» rc nature weather preset <Weather Preset> <Transition Time>
Weather Preset: Calm, Calm2, Calm3, Calm4, Fog, Fog2, Fog3, Snowy or Storm
Transition Time: 5 - 60
» rc nature time timeOfDay <Time>
Time: 0 - 24, 13.5 = 1.30 PM
» rc nature time dynamicTime <Input>
Input: true or false
» rc nature time dynamicTimeSpeed <Speed Multiplier>
Speed Multiplier: 0.01 - 1



Quality Of Life

- Admin Chat Channel. We’ve introduced an admin chat channel that is specifically reserved for discussion amongst those with administrative privileges on a particular server. 

- Admin Shortcut Commands. You’re now also able to more easily access some of the most common administrative tools by typing shortcut commands in the admin chat.
» Administrators can broadcast a message by typing ‘/bc’ in the admin chat channel followed by their desired message: /bc <message>
» Administrators can switch to a map by typing ‘/mr’ in the admin chat channel followed by a value according to the rotation set in the server configuration file: /mr <map rotation id>

- Made muting functionality more easily accessible through the Round Players ‘P’ panel.

- Players are no longer able to hide private messages sent by server administrators by toggling the ‘Broadcasted Messages’ user interface settings.

- You can now separately control weather sounds through the ‘Weather’ slider under ‘Master Volumes’ in the Audio settings.



Bug Fixes

- We’ve pushed forward a tentative fix for the sudden latency spikes that players sometimes experience on the Naval Battlefield game mode.

- Fixed a bug where the confirmation text was being incorrectly displayed after a particular administrative action was clicked on in the Round Players ‘P’ panel.

- Fixed a spelling mistake on one of the spawn points present on Fort Imperial.

- Fixed various issues related to naval vessel destruction.

- Fixed an issue where players could go inside one of the props present on Dutch Canals.

- Fixed an issue with one of the bridges on Dutch Canals not being correctly placed.

- Fixed a bug were one of the mortars on Fort Imperial could sometimes incorrectly collide with an invisible object causing it to explode prematurely.

- Fixed a bug that was causing one of the ammo boxes on Fort Winston to become invisible.

- Fixed a bug were players couldn’t spawn as a Cannoneer on the Highlands map.

- Fixed various floating props on Ernest Ridge.

- Fixed an issue with players getting stuck underneath the watchtowers on King George.

- Fixed an issue on the Sacred Arena map which sometimes caused players to spawn behind the map’s border inside the church.

- Players are no longer able to walk on the metal flag poles present on Fort Arena.

- Fixed an issue with incorrect textures being assigned to the Prussian fife.

- Fixed an issue with players floating when interacting with cannons aboard ships or near the coast.

- Fixed an issue with players floating when interacting with the captain’s wheel on the 2-Gun Schooner.

 

We’d also like to convey our heartfelt thanks to all those good fellows that joined us during our BETA Testing! Thanks to your gracious efforts we can ensure that fewer hiccups occur during an update’s release.

 

Due to the unprecedented amount of development work that had to be undergone during this update, something could always have gone amiss even after all the testing. If you do experience any issues, please do let us know by posting on our Steam Tech Support board. You can also do so on Discord.

 

We have plenty of great content lined up for this year! Be sure to stay tuned. Until next time, may good health be yours.

 

We’re working on the next update.

 

Discuss this blog post here.

 

 

 

 

Once again thank you for all of your support from all of us on the Holdfast: NaW team,

- Refleax, Rycon, Dreas, Wrexial, PingPong, Walki, Cameron & Rejenorst

Anvil Game Studios

 


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