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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #60 on: December 30, 2020, 01:41:33 AM »
Road to 1031: Our last SITREP of 2020
Tue, 29 December 2020



Intel Update #007

As this year comes to an end—and what a bastard of a year this has been—comes also the time for our final report of 2020. Intel Update #007 brings you all the major development details and behind-the-scenes of the last couple of months as we move towards GROUND BRANCH V1031.

So what’s been going on in BlackFoot Studios country?
Development has had its ups and downs since our last release, but we’re hanging in here and doing our best, as always. Here are some recent highlights:

Kris was out of action for a while
Having the only programmer and UE4 wizard in your team mostly out of commission for about three weeks as engine- and logic-related tasks pile up on the checklist is never fun. Kris was on meds that left him drowzy and unable to focus (he’s feeling better now and no, not Covid-related!), but since going off of them around a week ago, he has been catching up and pumping out fixes and under-the-hood work.

This has definitely set things back considerably, but on the flip side…

Reinforcements have arrived
As some might be aware, we were recently looking for an assistant UE4 developer/programmer to share Kris’ significant workload—and are happy to announce that we now have that person on board! Ethan Wade (aka WaderTheGamer) is a long-time GROUND BRANCH supporter and solo UE4 indie developer for his personal project.

As a guy with UE4 skills and many years of closely following the game, Wader has been able to quickly tackle a lot of minor and not-so-minor tasks (which we’ll cover in a bit), and has been immensely helpful in implementing quality-of-life improvements as well as helping the rest of the team get their work into the game.

Mikson made a blanket hut to record foley
This was originally a funny tweet (link), so we're gonna do our best to replicate it here with BB code, just for fun:


Read on....



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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2021, 03:18:07 AM »
CTE Update #004: V1031 Testing
Sat, 13 February 2021



New GROUND BRANCH CTE build available now — help us test V1031!

⚠️ NOTICE ⚠️
These release notes are for the V1031 testing build currently available in the GROUND BRANCH CTE Steam® app, not to be confused with the official (and upcoming) V1031 release for the main GROUND BRANCH app.


GROUND BRANCH CTE
Build ID: 6236486 (Client) / 6236494 (Dedicated Server)
Download size: 2.8 GB (Client) / 446.2 MB (Dedicated Server)

Greetings, hardcore tactical realism friend.

If you like GROUND BRANCH and testing unfinished game features, your time has come again: GROUND BRANCH CTE (Community Test Environment) is once again open, now with a testing version of upcoming release V1031.

So those of you who got excited by this teaser from late December…




…as well as by our last Intel Update, should rejoice and get downloading that CTE app, 'cause you can now try out those new effects and a lot more.

As with our previous CTE release notes, this will be pretty stripped down in comparison to our usual Dev Blog posts, but that is all in the name of brevity and self-preservation as we've been working overtime (well, more overtime than usual) to get this update out—so please bear with a rather tired Scopey here.

What's new...........


Read on....

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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2021, 12:46:29 AM »
CTE Update #005: V1031 Testing
Mon, 1 March 2021




New GROUND BRANCH CTE update — try V1031 ahead of time and help us get it in shape!

🆔  GROUND BRANCH CTE
Build ID: 6311218 (Client) / 6311231 (Dedicated Server)
Download size: 366 MB (Client) / 83 MB (Dedicated Server)

    ⚠️ NOTICE
    These release notes are for the V1031 testing build currently available in the GROUND BRANCH CTE Steam® app, not to be confused with the official (and upcoming) V1031 release for the main GROUND BRANCH app.

    🚨 CLEAR YO FILES
    We strongly recommend everyone to delete all files located in %LOCALAPPDATA%GroundBranchSavedConfigWindowsNoEditor (copy-paste this into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter) to ensure your old saved files do not conflict with the latest changes and cause input and settings issues.

A new Community Test Environment build is now available on GROUND BRANCH CTE. If you're just now getting into CTE, make sure to check out the release notes for the last update (February 13th) so you get the full story.


What's new

Performance
The last CTE has introduced an issue with larger numbers of bots (typically above 30) causing massive CPU usage, resulting in slowdowns particularly offline and when hosting listen servers. Kris is still debugging the problem, but as a result of his findings, we have:
•   Cleaned up and optimized navmeshes.
•   Stopped the skylight actor from moving through the sky "live" to make sure it was not impacting performance.
•   Not directly related to the overall performance issue outlined above, but we've also added r.GraphicsAdapter=-1 to DefaultEngine.ini to try to get the engine to favor dedicated GPUs. This is a possible fix for laptops defaulting to the integrated graphics adapter instead of the preferred Nvidia/AMD card.

Multiplayer
Player limits are now hardcoded to the numbers we have designed the game around. This was done for both performance and gameplay reasons:
•   Self-hosted listen servers (Host Game option) can host up to 8 players, including the hosting player. This number may be reduced depending on performance.
•   Dedicated servers can host up to 8 players on co-op (PvE) and 16 players on adversarial (PvP) game modes.

Read on....



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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #63 on: March 05, 2021, 01:46:20 AM »
CTE Update #006: V1031 Testing 3
Thu, 4 March 2021



Another V1031 testing build is now live on GROUND BRANCH CTE! Help us test it, will ya?

🆔 GROUND BRANCH CTE
Build ID: 6330185 (Client) / 6330198 (Dedicated Server)
Download size: 78 MB (Client) / 37 MB (Dedicated Server)

⚠️ NOTICE
These release notes are for the V1031 testing build currently available in the GROUND BRANCH CTE Steam® app, not to be confused with the official (and upcoming) V1031 release for the main GROUND BRANCH app.

🚨 CLEAR YO FILES
We strongly recommend everyone to delete all files located in %LOCALAPPDATA%GroundBranchSavedConfigWindowsNoEditor (copy-paste this into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter) to ensure your old saved files do not conflict with the latest changes and cause input and settings issues.


Another Community Test Environment update is now live on the GROUND BRANCH CTE app with the latest V1031 testing build. This is the third—and hopefully final—V1031 CTE update. If nothing major pops up, we'll be moving on to the official V1031 release on the main GROUND BRANCH app.

If you're just now getting into CTE, make sure to check out the previous CTE release notes (#004 and #005) to get the full picture.

What's new

Game modes
•   Terrorist Hunt should now end as expected once the last tango is killed.
•   Player/team stats in the AAR screen should display again for dead players.
•   Increased the size of the Extraction Point collision component to make extracting multiple players easier (Intel Retrieval).
•   Added more checks to important items (laptop) so they hopefully don't fall through floor/ground anymore.
•   Max player count is now enforced on map/mode change from PvP to PvE. It was causing the new player limit to break.
•   Added a few AI spawn and guard points to Depot (Intel Retrieval and Terrorist Hunt).
•   Created new, less emissive material for Ops Board and toned down the noise on the minimap for better clarity.
•   Hopefully fixed the weapon vertical shake some players were reporting.

Input and settings
•   Fixed default Keyboard & Mouse keybinds for Reticle Brightness Up and Reticle Brightness Down resetting to [LAlt] + [D-Pad] Left/Right.
•   Fixed default Lean Type being "Toggle" instead of "Hold" in Settings > Controls (when controls are reset via Reset Default button).
•   Fixed Screen Space Reflections settings being overwritten when Effects Quality is changed.
•   The solution for a universal console key didn't work out, so we've added alternate console keys back to DefaultInput.ini for players who do not use a US keyboard or EN-US input language in Windows. In addition to the Tilde key, these should also bring up the console:
o   Multiply
o   (aka the asterisk key on the NumPad)
o   Caret [^] and Section [§] (both commonly found where the US Tilde key is on some layouts)
o   Grave [`] (ditto above)
o   Backslash [\] (for those with tenkeyless/80% keyboards)

If these do not work for you, here's how you can set up your own custom console keys:

1️⃣ Open DefaultInput.ini (%LOCALAPPDATA%GroundBranchSavedConfigWindowsNoEditor).
2️⃣ Add +ConsoleKeys=YourKeyHere to the bottom of the file, replacing the underlined part with the key you want to use. For example, to make [F5] open the console, add +ConsoleKeys=F5. 3️⃣ Save the file, and it should just work next time you launch the game.

Conversely, if you want to remove any of the existing console binds, simply remove the line.

Content
•   Changed display name convention for scopes: Name (Magnification), e.g. ACOG (4x), Specter DR (1x/4x) etc.
•   Added magnification value to the display name of Russian scopes 1P78 Kashtan (2.8x) and PSO-1M2 (4x).
•   Fixed the display name for Tac Light (M600V) (had an extra zero in it).
•   Improved magnified sights clipping camera when mounted too far back on the MPX.
•   Reduced effect of volumetric lights on flashlights to minimize ghosting effect when moving in heavy volumetric areas of maps, mostly visible in nighttime gameplay.

UI
Art/UX pass on the Server Browser:
•   Hid tabs that are temporarily out of order (only Internet and LAN still show up).
•   Cleaned up server list: alignments, font sizes, icon proportions and general formatting.
•   Fixed Game Mode column not displaying the proper game mode.

Known and possible issues
•   Bots may be caught displaying exaggerated weapon shake.
•   Footsteps may sound duplicated. If you come across this bug, please file a report mentioning the map and location of the issue!

This has been CTE UPDATE #006!
Thanks for playing the CTE and helping us get this update in order — we really appreciate it. Stay safe and let us

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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #64 on: March 07, 2021, 01:03:08 AM »
BUILD UPDATE #028: V1031 now live! Price going up soon!
Sat, 6 March 2021



Release notes for GROUND BRANCH V1031 + a reminder of the upcoming price increase

🆔  GROUND BRANCH V1031
Build ID: 6338489 (Client) / 6330198 (Dedicated Server)
Download size: 3 GB (Client) / 447 MB (Dedicated Server)

    🚨 CLEAR YO FILES
    We strongly recommend everyone to delete all files located in %LOCALAPPDATA%GroundBranchSavedConfigWindowsNoEditor (copy-paste this into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter) to ensure your old saved files do not conflict with the latest changes and cause input and settings issues.


After about 20 days of testing on the GROUND BRANCH CTE app, Version 1031 is now stable enough for the main branch of the game, and our little community can reunite and enjoy all the latest content and updates together, at last.

A lot has happened since V1030—from programmer Kris being knocked out by meds to industry legend John Romero tweeting about us out of nowhere (holy sh*t, by the way)—and in this period GROUND BRANCH has become a better experience than it was in almost every way: it has better audio and visual effects, a nicer-looking and more user-friendly interface, improved controls and options, 2 new game modes, a new CQB map and a brand-new consolidated training area, and even a few updated assets.

Although V1031 isn't without issues (such is the nature of Early Access, though we'll be sure to patch those as soon as we can), we had to move on and transition the project over to V1032 so that Mike (Munk, animator, of Killing Floor and Rising Storm 2 fame) can transition from working on a separate environment to actually putting all those new animations into the game with Kris' assistance. We'll be mentioning all known left-over issues in this build in the release notes below.

    💚 Before we get on with it, we'd like to thank all players who took time off their gaming to test V1031 on CTE, report the issues they found, and provide valuable feedback. We love you and we appreciate you.


Oh, and just one more thing:

Price is going up this Monday (March 8th) at 12pm EST!
As announced just a little over 4 months ago in Build Update #027, GROUND BRANCH was due a 10 USD price increase with the release of V1031. The game has come a long way since it was released on Steam® Early Access in August 2018, and with V1031 now live, we feel like it has earned the less modest price tag of 29.99 USD for all the reasons we are quoting here from the original announcement:





Read on....

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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #65 on: May 12, 2021, 11:40:10 PM »
Build Update #031: Patch V1031.3
Wed, 12 May 2021



Just a quick hotfix for most of the issues introduced with the last update (V1031.2).

🆔 GROUND BRANCH V1031.3
Build ID:
 6684573 (Client) / 6684579 (Dedicated Server)
Download size:
63 MB (Client) / 32 MB (Dedicated Server)
🚨 CLEAR YO FILES

We strongly recommend everyone to delete all files located in
%LOCALAPPDATA%/GroundBranch/Saved/Config/WindowsNoEditor
(copy-paste this into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter) to ensure your old saved files do not conflict with the latest changes and cause input and settings issues.


Our last game update, patch V1031.2, arrived with more bugs than we anticipated. Luckily we were able to diagnose and fix most of them relatively easily, packaged and tested a new build, and are now rolling it out as a hotfix for you all.

Hopefully this will take care of most of the recent reported issues—if it doesn't, you know what to do, but please check the known issues listed at the end of the fixes list to make sure it hasn't already been noted.

Changes and fixes

Ready Room
•   Fixed Ops Board "In Progress" overlay not always showing up.
•   Fixed Ready Room team wall not always being removed for PvP modes.
•   Fixed the player character in the Customize Operator screen disappearing if the round started mid-customization.
•   Increased sound occlusion in the testing range.
•   Added spatial audio volume for the Customize Operator screen's background to block all sounds while customizing character.
•   Fixed round time not being cleared when round stage timer is.

Weapons and attachments
•   Fixed M9A3 magazine's display name (was listed as 15 rounds when it's actually 17).
•   Fixed NVG effect not being loaded correctly sometimes and displaying no green tint.
•   Fixed shotguns preventing players from changing items when fired.
•   Updated collision on optics to allow placing the Offset Rail and low-mount RMR where applicable.

Spectator Mode
•   Fixed Show Player Names/ Show Enemy Blips not being applied immediately while the spectator overlay is shown.
•   Fixed spectators having the ready status set to Not Ready when sent to the RR even if they had been  Waiting To Ready Upearlier.

Maps & level design
•   Fixed grenades colliding with foliage—they should now go right through leaves.
•   Fixed foliage protecting players from grenade explosions.
•   Fixed various bugs on Tanker dealing with collision on pipes and some visual issues with the internal stairs.

Admin
•   Changed in-game menu Admin button to a drop-down list containing an option to open the Admin Panel, as well as a list of quick admin commands (thanks, Prowlaz!).
•   Fixed Admin Panel spamming console/log with admin commands.
•   Fixed StartRound command not working in ReadyCountdown round stage.
•   Fixed dead bodies being created when StartRound and RestartRound commands are used.

Known issues

These audio-related issues were reported, but not yet diagnosed or successfully fixed:
•   Occasional lack of gunshot SFX.
•   Long bursts with the MK48 machine gun can cause the sound to bug out.

🐞 One common issue that we have been unable to fix yet is related to VOIP and microphone usage, from stuttering all the way to freezing or otherwise being unable to communicate via voice. For a list of possible fixes, please see this post: ⚠️🎙️ Microphone/VOIP issues!


This has been BUILD UPDATE #031!
Thank you for all the reports! This patch wouldn't be out so soon without all the feedback and we continually receive from the community. If this patch survives first contact, expect a new Intel Update in a few week's time to get everyone up to speed with how V1032 is coming along.

Stay connected
Discord / Steam Community Hub / Reddit / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook


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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #66 on: August 31, 2021, 11:39:23 PM »
Intel Update #009: Road to V1032
Tue, 31 August 2021



Catch up with development and check out the latest previews for V1032!
Alright, everyone, it’s time for another Intel Update!

These last few months have seen no shortage of setbacks—big and small, both inside the development and outside—but we’re chugging along like we always do. Humans are not built for waiting, and believe us when we say we absolutely hate how long this is taking, but we’re hoping this dev blog will give everyone another good taste of what’s coming.

Some will argue that the succulent previews you are about to see actually make the wait worse. To those, we say: scroll no further, for this shall be painful.

This is going to be media-heavy, so double-check you’re not on mobile data and let’s move on.


Optimization

In our last Intel Update, we introduced you to Bad Rhino Studios
, a company that has been helping us with (mostly) under-the-hood development.

As part of our partnership, they have ran a thorough performance profiling on GROUND BRANCH and found that the biggest offender was indeed audio- and AI-related. More specifically, AI audio event calls causing big spikes in CPU usage.

Another performance issue we had was related to navmeshes
(the areas of maps that bots are allowed to navigate on), and determined to be caused by how the AI interacts with doors within the navmeshes—hence maps Run Down and Tanker having the worst PvE performance, as they have the most doors.

Fixes have been applied to both issues, and appear to have yielded positive results in testing so far. Hell yeah, Bad Rhino Studios.

Read on......


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Offline Asid

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2021, 01:44:10 PM »
CTE Build Update
Sun, 12 December 2021



We wanted to try to address some of the bigger(and some smaller) issues as quickly as possible so here is a small update.
* Dedicated Servers will need to be updated

- fixed bug in TeamElimination where it checked for blue deaths when it should have checked for red deaths
- fix in Storage Facility for volume in rear stairwell that prevented bullets passing through
- collision pass on Compound interiors to avoid player stepping up on props
- attachment weird rotations hopefully fixed
- team restrictions crash fix
- SW farmhouse spawn in Compound Uplink mission fixed
- server browser handling of mission variant names is improved
- all maps rebuilt to try and solve texture streaming issues
- infinitely extending loadout save list fixed
- DTAS tweaked to have longer PreRoundWait round stage and additional text at that point to help you get your bearings on spawn in
- dump pouch placement on main menu guys fixed
- leaning limits tweaked (Still heavy WIP)
- Intel Retrieval proximity alert lingers a couple of seconds after you leave the area, and shouldn't trigger after taking laptop
- front sight posts added to M4, M14 EBR Mod1, MK46 Mod 1
- M16 iron sights fixed up
- a pass on doors in Compound to try to avoid AI getting stuck so much
- weapon pick up bug (multiple weapons in hand after pickup) fixed
- camo swatch for ACR rolled shirt Desert Marpat fixed
- after action report (AAR) tweaked to hopefully improve readability, with team names coloured and your team indicated in more places
- team names were wrong way around on match summary tab of AAR - fixed
- shotgun add-on attachment rail now accepts attachments
- placement of MK110K suppressor fixed
- odd texture on Mk25 pistol fixed
- collision inside Storage Facility tunnel walls fixed
- tentative fix to excitedly bouncing AI weapons
- Mk46 animations fixed
- radio bleep cues added on round start and end
- text blip sound reintroduced for round stage text displays
- audio work done on RunDown
- missing default sight on MP7 and M14 EBR fixed

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #68 on: December 30, 2021, 11:48:33 PM »
CTE update #4
Thu, December 30, 2021

As we are trying to get a final 1032 out the door here is another quick update to try to knock out the bigger issues. The main fixes for this update are hopefully getting all the kit/loadout item edge cases cleaned up. Things like eyewear showing in first person, double characters and random rotations on attachments. And of course fixing bugs in other areas as well.

Oh and the old blood hits are back with the pink mist and splatters on walls. It definitely helps with identifying hits at distance.

DS:
Build ID : 7955154
42MB

Game:
Build ID : 7955148
82MB

Here are the detailed changes:

* Fixed wrong highlight map in black ballcap material
* Fixed some collision bugs in 747
* Fine tuned iron sight setup on UMP
* Fixed bad material on low Micro T1
* Tweaked Mk46 full auto recoil to be a bit more pronounced
* fixed possible stuck AI spawn in Storage Facility IR
* Fixed flashing front sight post geometry on M16, M4 and FSP
* Tweaked LOD settings on Magpul MBUS front sight so sight post is always visible
* Fixed various bugs from database on Creek
* Adjusted Small Town doors
      * Made so none opened more than 115 degrees (was 150)
      * Added small navmodifier on doors to area between the open door and close walls. Hopefully this keeps AI from getting into those areas
* Removed Ambient Cubemap from Farm PPVolume
      * Was causing issues when lights were out (too bright)
      * Added a few more lights to inside of airplane to help see better now that PPVolume was changed
* various UI and copy tweaks/cleanup
* updated key map image (Default Controls/Press Any Key screen)
* fixed/updated mag check for M1014, SDASS Martial & MK46.
* created AGBItem::ClientForceRemoveFromInventory()
      * detaches item from what ever it is attached to, which ensures it part of no ones inventory.
      * destroys it.
      * this is a Client Reliable RPC.
* updated GBPlayerController
      * updated SyncLoadoutToTeam() brute force tell the players inventory to go away if they are a client by calling ClientForceRemoveFromInventory() before their owner is cleared.
      * removed PrevLoadoutInventoryList due to adding brute force method mentioned above.
      * added logic to ensure the same sort of item is equipped after changing loadouts.
      * added logic to ensure the previously used firing mode is used again when respawning/leaving RR/changing loadouts.
* updated GBCharacter
      * DestroyInventory() now sets ItemAnimationType to 0, which stops the player standing there holding imaginary rifle/handgun if swapping loadout etc.
      * updated GetItemsByItemAssetType() to ensure ItemAssetType is valid before using it.
* ensured SetIsReplicatedByDefault(false); is used for GBEjectComponent, GBFrontSightPostComponent, GBRailComponent & GBRailMountComponent
* added PostRepNotifies() overrides to GBRailComponent GBRailMountComponent & GBSightComponen
      * their attachment and transform should never be changed by the server anyway.
* updated GBRailAttachment::OnRep_RailAttachmentReplication()
      * uses SetRelativeXXX_Direct() instead of SetRelativeTransform() to bring make it similar to default UE4 attachment replication logic.
      * Will hide if not attached correctly.
created aGBMuzzleDevice::OnRep_AttachmentReplication() override.
      * does not call parent version of the function.
      * only attempts to attach with a valid component and socketname.
      * uses SetRelativeXXX_Direct() like parent, but with identity values.
      * Will hide if not attached correctly.
* updated GBCharacter
      * updated DestroyInventory() to change ItemAnimationType = 0 change to only kick in for servers.
      * updated PlayDying() to add some randomness to the roll of dropped items.
* updated GBDroppedItem
      * fixed clamped velocities (oops)
      * tweaked dampening and velocity values.
* updated BP_Character to hook up old pink-mist style blood.


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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2022, 01:52:24 AM »
Build Update #032: V1032 now LIVE + SALE (30% off)!
Thu, January 27, 2022



All-new character assets, updated animations, 2 amazing new maps and a lot more!

    Build ID:
    8098273 (Client) / 8098322 (Dedicated Server)
    Download size:
    4.1 GB (Client) / 433 MB (Dedicated Server)


    ⛔ IMPORTANT:
    CLEAR YOUR OLD FILES
    If you are coming from V1031 or have not updated CTE in a while, you need to delete all contents in the following locations
    (copy-paste these into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter):

        %LOCALAPPDATA%\GroundBranch\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor

        Documents\GroundBranch


    ⚠️ Not doing so will
    cause various asset and input issues in your game.

    If you are coming from a recent CTE version, clear them anyway to be sure.



Roughly a month and a half ago, the first testing build for GROUND BRANCH V1032 went live on our Community Test Environment (CTE) app.

And after and a very busy holiday season, no less than 13 public test builds and well over 1,000 bug reports, V1032 is now finally available on the main branch as a stable release!

If you are among the few who decided to wait for it, we hope this version of the game leaves as good an impression as it has for many of our community testers. And if you're among those who have been waiting for a price drop, we got good news for ya:

🔥 Lunar New Year Sale: GROUND BRANCH is 30% OFF!

As part of the Steam Lunar New Year Sale, GROUND BRANCH is 30% OFF on for an entire week
— until February 3rd.


You know the drill: go tell that friend of yours who's on the fence, spread posters around the neighborhood, maybe grab an extra key or three to gift your buddies. Just don't let it go to waste.

Alright! Moving on!


Build highlights

A fully comprehensive list of changes would be unrealistic for such a complex update, so we're going to keep things more summarized with these release notes while still covering as much as we can afford. Let's get to it.

New Ready Room and Ops Board
Upon first loading up a mission (or into server), you will likely notice that the Ready Room has been slightly renovated
and now sports a more somber and concrete-y look.

Walk into the Ops Room, and you'll se a slight rearrangement: the Ops Board
screen is now much larger, and its contents a little easier on the eyes:



The Ops Board as seen during a round of the updated Intel Retrieval
game mode. Note the "Intel Search Areas" field which indicates possible intel device locations (represented by the red circles on the map)


Functionally, not much has changed: you still set the game mode options and time of day, and then pick your preferred insertion point. It's all just laid out better, and the satellite/drone map images should be a lot easier to visualize.

New character assets and customization....

Read on: https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/16900/view/5311434706117938230
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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #70 on: February 26, 2022, 11:32:44 PM »
Special Announcement: Kythera AI



A quick announcement about a new BlackFoot Studios partnership for GROUND BRANCH

Today, we’re taking a little break from working on the V1032.1 patch for a special announcement.

It is no secret that bots in GROUND BRANCH are still very bare-bones and have a long way to go, which is why AI will be one of the main focuses of our upcoming major releases. As many players are aware, developing human-like tactical AI is, to say the least, extremely tricky even for large triple-A studios — let alone a small team like BlackFoot Studios — and capable AI developers willing to take on a niche project like ours are not easy to come by.

While game development can be an infinitely deep can of worms, it is made a little bit easier today by solutions such as Epic’s Unreal Engine and the ecosystem of plugins that support it. Enter Kythera AI
: a middleware toolset that greatly enhances and facilitates AI development with features like their 2D navigation system (which includes formations, contextual pathfinding and character avoidance), automatic markup (to help generate cover and vaulting points, for example), spatial query system (which will help with combat maneuvering, among other things) and advanced behavior trees.



With that introduction, and as you have probably guessed by now, we are excited to announce that the Kythera AI toolset is now fully licensed for GROUND BRANCH! We very much look forward to resume AI development from V1033 onwards, as well as start giving players a more realistic and immersive PvE experience with Kythera’s partnership as we move forward. In John’s own words:


    Great AI is crucial for us, and as a smaller studio without dedicated AI engineers, Kythera AI is the perfect solution. Their toolset easily integrates with our existing work in Unreal and lets us provide comprehensive, intelligent AI that we can maintain and continually improve. We can’t wait to roll out the first of these updates in the near future!


So there you have it, folks. Our AI has gone bare-bones for long enough, and as promised, we’re picking it back up very soon — with a leading industry solution to boot. While this will not mean state-of-the-art tangos and squad AI at the press of a button, we are confident that in addition to giving us the technical support we need, Kythera will offer a better foundation for our AI and generally make our lives much easier while developing it.

We’d like to thank Kythera AI for their partnership, and we can’t wait to start putting their tools to good use. To find out more about Kythera AI, check out their website here https://www.kythera.ai/

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #71 on: May 01, 2022, 11:41:20 PM »
Build Update #036: Patch V1032.2
Fri, 29 April 2022



Possibly the last patch for V1032 to fix up the last few major issues and a few minor ones

    Build ID:
    8622958 (Client) / 8622968 (Dedicated Server)
    Download size:
    82 MB (Client) / 46 MB (Dedicated Server)

    ⛔ IMPORTANT:
    CLEAR YOUR OLD FILES
    We generally recommend players to delete all contents in the following locations
    (copy-paste these into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter):

        %LOCALAPPDATA%\GroundBranch\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor

        Documents\GroundBranch

    ⚠️ Not doing so may cause various asset and input issues in your game.



Patch V1032.2
is now available!

This is expected to be the last patch for V1032, after which — if nothing game-breaking comes up — we will be fully shifting to work on the V1033 release.

Here's the full change list with all of the fixes and tweaks:

DevTest changes

If you have played the latest DevTest
build (shared about a week ago with our Discord community), these changes will not be new for you:

    Updated stride length calculation to fix "dip" when moving
    Big restructuring of inventory item system (in particular replication) with the aim of fixing a wide range of online kit bugs
    Lots of changes behind the scenes as a consequence of the above
    Miscellaneous bug fixes identified during the course of the restructuring
    Dragging-and-dropping attachments will now copy the skin for the attaching item from whatever you are dragging it onto, if possible
    Updated inventory bar to equip a rifle on single press if hands are empty and there is a rifle on left/right shoulder, but not slung from chest
    Updated platform system to make sure a single dump pouch is added to the players inventory (attaches to belt or platform, whichever is found first)
    Made sure newly spawned mag/round for AI is added to their inventory
    Fixed right elbow while sprinting with tablet/grenade
    Fixed skin not being applied when selecting item without customizing it
    Fixed magnifier having no sight picture when swapping from offset sight back to it
    Fixed zoom in/out input staying active even when not looking down sightline with magnifier
    Restructured night vision handling (local and spectator)
    Tablet
    (map) now fills screen fully when equipped — the camera automatically adjusts and zooms in on it
    Small update to ladder handling code so ladders should work a bit better
    Server Browser
    now obscures passwords in the text input dialog
    Fixed item not being brought up upon entering play unless it was already equipped in the Ready Room
    prior to leaving it
    Tweaked position of display mag info notifier in mag check widget
    Fixed iron sights validity check
    Fixed issues related to the input sensitivity value not being set back to zero
    Fixed cheap wooden doors on Compound
    having no collision


Post-DevTest changes

This is the list of changes made after DevTest was released, based on reports and feedback:

    G33 Magnifier
    collision fixed to allow flipping up/down when in use or when not ADS
    The magnifier is now also flipped up in the weapon customization screen to make it more intuitive to interface with other attachments
    Updated weapon attachment placement to allow shape components to be used as well as static or skeletal meshes
    Updated tan G33 to use the correct skin
    Hopefully fixed issue with server details going out of scope
    Fixed (new) issue with trigger not firing correctly and not being able to shoot when crouched
    Updated platform to add/remove/reattach dump pouch as required
    Changed iron sights handling to deactivate all front sight posts by default and do some general fixes
    Corrected box collision used on some dropped mags
    Fixed PIP scopes not having screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO) and screen space reflections (SSR)
    Set all exterior lights in City
    to only be on at night (was causing slowdown at dawn/dusk due to to many lights being active)
    Tweaked Tablet to not fully fill screen when zoomed, for a bit of peripheral vision
    Fixed ammo check and fire selector HUD elements showing up for listen server host as well as client


📢 This has been Build Update #036!

Thanks to all of the public DevTesters for helping us get this patch squared away!

Provided this patch holds up, development will soon fully shift to V1033, and we'll soon start gathering some very exciting previews to showcase. Stay tuned!

Stay connected
Discord / Steam Community Hub / Reddit / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook
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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #72 on: June 24, 2022, 01:20:25 AM »
Intel Update #010: First V1033 Previews + SALE: 40% OFF
Thu, June 23, 2022



Check out the first batch of V1033 sneak peeks and don't miss the sale!

What's up, everyone?

It's been a hot minute since our last Intel Update, and although we have been patching V1032 for a while now, work on upcoming release V1033
has been ongoing for several months behind the curtains. Before we start teasing the goods, however, we need to talk about a couple things:


Summer Sale
: GROUND BRANCH is 40% OFF
 until July 7th! 🔥
That's right! GROUND BRANCH is currently a whole 40% OFF, which we think is a pretty dang good deal and our highest discount yet.


    ❤️ CONSIDER BUYING DIRECTLY FROM OUR STORE

    Buying the game from our Store
    ensures that we get the full cut of the purchase, as opposed to Valve taking 30%.

    💰 Use code GBSUMMER
    at the checkout to apply the 40% discount.

    Please note the GB Store has no regional pricing — it can only use the base USD price tag!

https://www.groundbranch.com/store/

You have exactly 2 weeks (until July 7th) to think about it or get that one friend (you know the one) to pull the trigger on this fantastic opportunity. Let's get the word out and make sure to welcome the new players in!


We're hiring:
VFX Artist wanted for particle effects
This one is for any industry pros that might be lurking: BlackFoot Studios is looking for a VFX Artist
to create awesome, realistic particle effects in GROUND BRANCH. For more details, click here.

Also, the Senior Gameplay Engineer/Developer
position is still open. So if you know any Unreal Engine & C++ wizards out there (or happen to be one yourself), get in touch! Full job details right here.


So how's V1033 coming along?

That's what most of you are here for, so let's move on to those sneak peeks we promised. Here are some of the exciting things currently under development.

New sky and weather system
GROUND BRANCH V1033 is being setup with a new system that allows for dynamic sky and weather effects, which means clouds, the moon and stars will be making a return.



Read on..... https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/16900/view/3318605091407074988

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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #73 on: July 30, 2022, 12:39:15 AM »
Intel Report #011: V1033 Progress and Other News
Fri, 29 July 2022



New previews for upcoming game update V1033 and other important developments

Hey, everyone!

It's been around a month since our last dev blog (#010), and because we are now aiming for monthly entries, the time has come again to showcase some more progress and talk about other recent developments.


    Intel Update is now INTEL REPORT!

    We are renaming our series of dev blog entries from "Intel Update" to Intel Report. The reason is that some players would simply glance over the title, spot the word "update" in it, and immediately proceed to type "did we get an update?" in the nearest text box, prompting confusion and aggravation in an otherwise incredibly peaceful and welcoming community.


New dev team members
As some of you will know from our recent job ads, we have been looking for reinforcements in a couple areas: VFX (visual effects) and programming being the main ones.

We hope to have news on the programmer role very soon, but in the meantime, we are proud to introduce new BlackFoot Studios members Charles Schmidt
and Zack Regan!

Charles is our first dedicated VFX Artist. He was previously a gameplay designer and visual effects artist for Operation: Harsh Doorstop, and is now giving the particle effects in GROUND BRANCH some much-needed love. He will be working on making hit impacts, muzzle blasts, smoke, blood and all kinds of visual effects in the game look and perform better.

Zack's joining us as an additional Sound Designer whose skillset nicely complements Mikson's, with valuable Wwise and Unreal Engine integration experience. Formerly a member of Code Blue Games, Zack is also a composer, so we might be seeing some new tracks in GB down the line.

Welcome to the team, guys!

    💡 We'll be checking out some of their initial work in a bit, so read on!


Performance optimization
As a pre-alpha game on Early Access that also happens to have a handful of fairly unique features, GROUND BRANCH is bound to have its performance fluctuate over the course of development as we add, remove and generally change things around. And although we always keep track of the worst performance offenders, fixes are rarely straightforward and may take some time to figure out.

It's no secret that performance in V1032 is less than stellar, with certain aspects of audio and asset modularity being some of the major culprits. Here are some of the steps we have been taking to address them so far:

Read on.... https://steamcommunity.com/games/16900/announcements/detail/3397421255151994356



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Re: Ground Branch
« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2023, 12:28:59 AM »
Patch #13 — V1033 Community Test
Mon, 6 February 2023



Patch #13 is now live on the

Community Test
beta branch!

❓ How to join the Community Test beta branch
•   Right-click GROUND BRANCHin your Steam Library and select Properties…
•   Click BETAS on the left-hand list menu
•   Select 'communitytest - Community testing branch' from the drop-down menu Steam will begin downloading the files for the new testing branch.

🐞 Where to report bugs
You can report bugs and issues using any of these methods:
•   The in-game Bugs & Issues screen (press [Esc] once in-game and look along the top menu)
•   The Steam forums: steamcommunity.com/app/16900/discussions/
•   The #bug-reports channel on the official GROUND BRANCH™ Discord Your reports help us locate and fix issues faster, so keep them coming!


Patch notes
•   Added distance cull setting to base door blueprint with default of 2500 units
•   Added door handles to Compound, Small Town, Run Down and Tanker doors
•   Fixed dark splotchy lighting inside several buildings in Compound
•   Fixed some clipping issues with Combat Pants and Fleece Hoodie
•   Fixed some mesh culling issues on City and Run Down
•   Added black version of Specter DR 1x/4x
•   Added a variable length delay when turning on strobes, to desync them a bit
•   Added billboards to Sea Grass meshes (used in Depot too)
•   Texture size optimization (on assets used in Small Town, will be a small amount of crossover in other maps)
•   Mesh build setting optimization (again on assets used in Small Town, will be small crossover)
•   Removed inconsistent sprint related hack in AnimAction_Reload_Master
•   Updated handgun and PMM reloads to split mag check into compressed and non-compressed, as originally intended (fixes PMM mag check being played twice)
•   Hooked up firing & charge animations MK46 belt
•   Disabled multi-threading on AI light detector component (prefer stability over performance right now)
•   Crash fixes in modding manager relating to Lua state being used before initialized
•   Fix to skylight override volume where minimum light level was not set properly for AI light checks when exiting the volume(s)
•   Cleaned up some foliage in big rocks on Storage Facility
•   Made truck window glass in Compound not glow at night
•   Fixed strange particle collision, switched affected emitter from GPU to CPU
•   Fixed bug in Team Scores function
•   Fixed a few bad lighting channels on doors in Small Town
•   Fixed issue with UMP45 stock being offset
•   Updated MK8 CQBSS 1–8x LPVO: added proper reticle (M-TMR), tweaked magnification values and fixed magnification ring rotation
•   Updated Vudu 1–6x LPVO: reduced max reticle brightness and tweaked reticle color based on reference
•   Updated PSO-1M2 4x scope: removed eyecup to improve sight picture and added reticle illumination (for now, works like other optics — brightness levels rather than on/off like the real thing)
•   Applied subtle greenish-yellow tint to 1P78 Kashtan 2.8x and PSO-1M2 4x scopes (characteristic of Russian scopes)
•   Fixed magnification ring rotation on all LPVO-type scopes
•   Fixed some scopes using a static "fake glass" texture on the rear lens
•   Updated display names for scopes: removed brackets around magnification to make names shorter — e.g. ACOG (4x) is now ACOG 4x
•   Adjusted LOD distances on Sea Grass and allowed AI visibility blocking
•   Tweaked some light culling distances on Compound
•   Tweaked Mesh culling distances on Power Station and Run Down
•   Fixed a few collision issues on Creek
•   Standardized vehicle glass material between vehicles in maps
•   Streamlined some antialiasing (AA) settings to hopefully help with Temporal AA (TAA) issues
•   Fixed glowing window glass in Storage Facility
•   Visual adjustments made to the flesh bullet impact (VFX)
•   Fixed missing third-person PKM sound and updated Depot audio level
•   Fixed a few collision issues on 747 and PowerStation maps
•   Fixed character lighting in dark tunnel issue on Power Station
•   Cleaned up some light leaking in Docks
•   Auto balance routines moved to game mode Lua library
•   Using vote map change now merges game mode and mutator options set in the maplist with the standard game mode options
•   Fixed function name in WeaponRestriction mutator (weapon restrictions now working again)
•   Initial reticle sight brightness now depends on sun intensity (night = 1, day = 3, dawn/dusk = somewhere in-between)
•   Spectator night vision now usable if following character (because some follow camera modes can use it)
•   Changed way NVG eye light color is done to try avoid replication type issues and to simplify things
•   admin startround command should work a little better
•   Spawn behavior improved in cases where players are brought into a round without a valid insertion point selection (under-the-hood change)

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