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Updates Intel Report #016: More V1034 News
Intel Report #016: More V1034 News

Greetings, tactical realism aficionados.We're a week into July, and it's about time we put out a new Intel Report for you with fresh dev news and more sneak peeks for upcoming release V1034 of GROUND BRANCH.⚠️ This report is not an exhaustive list of V1034 features!For the most up-to-date list of expected V1034 and later features, see our {LINK ENTFERNT}roadmap.You may also want to check out last month's Intel Report #15 (June).Going prone and more animation workOne of V1034's most notable features will be the first iteration of the highly anticipated prone stance, in which characters drop to the ground on their stomachs and move around by crawling.Lead programmer Kris and animator Mike have spent a lot of time and effort navigating the considerable complexities of GROUND BRANCH’s true first person system, and the prone system is now ready for a little showcasing.The media below is all very much work-in-progress/first pass, but here are a few shots straight from Kris:Folks, it's realAnd here are some quick and dirty captures of one of the pistol reload animations while prone: prone stance will offer the lowest profile, making you harder to spot and a smaller target in most situations, while also boosting weapon accuracy by providing the most stable of all three basic shooting stances (standing and crouched being the other two).Here's the result of Mike sacrificing his IRL knees in the name of science hardcore vidya during last month's mocap session: it comes with a stealth and accuracy bonus, prone is also the slowest stance — not just to move around, but also to perform actions such as reloading, changing weapons and equipment, and looking/aiming around. For reference, the prone pistol reloads above are roughly one second slower than the standing/crouched variant.More upgrades to the animations will include equipping and stowing additional primary weapons on and off the character's back:New map on the wayWe're not disclosing too much at this time, but John has a smaller map project going called "Hideout". Here are some sneak peeks:Any ideas about the possible setting or theme? Drop 'em in the comments!Chasing that quality of lifeIn each update, we try to include some quality-of-life changes to make your gaming life a little easier — often based on community feedback. When it comes to mission setup, we have two new features coming to V1034 so far:Objective and insertion randomizationIn game modes with randomized insertion/extraction points, search areas, hotspots etc., you can now click the ? button on the Ops Board to "re-roll" them.Don't like the choice of hotspot in your Terrorist Hunt game, or the search areas in Intel Retrieval? Not a fan of the Team Elimination spawns for the next round? Just click the button on the Ops Board (either in Lone Wolf or as a server admin) and see if you like the new picks better.Special role volunteeringFeeling like you become the hostage way too often? Ugh. Do you want to place the flag in DTAS, but never get the chance? We feel your pain. That's why we're introducing a "volunteer" button to the Roster menu.Simply click the button, and you'll be volunteering for any special role associated with the game mode. Only volunteers will then be considered for the special role. If no player volunteers, then the role is picked at random like before (though in all cases, game modes always try not to pick the same player in a row).? Server admins will also be able to, well, "volunteer" other players. Is that a thing? Volunteering other people? *opens new browser tab*Color blindness supportA quality-of-life update of a slightly different kind is provided by a couple of new Advanced Video options.We have received reports that the default red reticle, red laser dots, and the red search area and hotspot markers are very hard to see for people with color blindness (especially in the case of deuteranopia, which affects about 6% of males). In response, we're implementing two different schemes to try to assist people with color blindness of different types (and other visual impairments, hopefully).Firstly, it is now possible to change the color of reticles, lasers, and search/hotspot markers to one of a range of different colors that different types and severities of color blindness may be more sensitive to (and thus have an easier time seeing).Secondly, we have implemented a number of different extreme look-up tables to attempt to "correct" colors into a palette that is more visible for people with different types of color blindness. This may also shift the default red color of the reticles, lasers, and so on.We hope that these measures provide at least some alleviation and/or aid for people with different types of visual impairment. We will of course keep an open mind as to other measures we could put in to assist with visual impairments, and we welcome your feedback.? When color blindness corrections are active, a warning message is displayed on screen so that hopefully anyone seeing footage of it will not be confused as to why the colors have gone a bit awry.The composition below shows the color correction schemes that are possible:Speaking of quality of life, we have also managed to fix two very special bugs that you have no doubt grown to know and love: Being unable to set the enemy AI count ("Expected resistance") on the Ops Board Moving option sliders adding one (1) to the number that you wantedSorry we let those slip through, everyone.Helmet camHead and body cams are all the rage these days, and since we always wanted to make it a Spectator Mode camera, we're going ahead and adding a spectator helmet cam perspective in V1034. It may or may not eventually replace the regular first-person spectator camera, depending on feedback and practical implications.Here's programmer Matt "Fatmarrow" Farrow testing his creation on The Farm's shoothouse:Radio pouchIn V1034, we're finally adding a radio pouch to all vest platforms. VOIP radio is a default feature in regular play, so the radio pouch is a fixed, non-removable item — though the former aspect isn't necessarily set in stone.It's a small cosmetic update, but it adds some flavor to setups.VFXGrenade effects continue to be iterated on, and VFX artist Charles got to a nice spot with the frags.Notice how the version below even has some small flying debris bouncing off the ground:Expanding mod supportCal, one of our programmers, has been making good progress on the GROUND BRANCH SDK and Steam Workshop integration.He's already got a functioning test mod into Steam Workshop, and servers and clients will soon be able to download mod updates automatically from the Workshop. We are planning to stagger the development of the SDK so as not to delay updates: V1034 should see the addition of weapon mods, while maps and other kinds of modding will follow in later releases.This should be exciting news to all modders and modding enthusiasts out there who have been having to hack their mods into GROUND BRANCH for a while now.That's it for this month's Intel Report!If you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back and know that we do have favorites.Don't forget to check out last month's report if you haven't already, and maybe check out our {LINK ENTFERNT}Discord community if you're not in there yet.As always, thank you for supporting GROUND BRANCH. We'll see you again next month!
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