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Offline Asid

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On The Western Front
« on: November 10, 2018, 03:51:17 PM »


January, 1915. The Race to the Sea is over. The Great War has just begun. You are the commander of a single division in the meat grinder that is the Western Front.


Steam: Here
Official forum: Here


Single-player


Trailer

Coming soon



About

Grand Strategy on a Small Scale
January, 1915. The Race to the Sea is over. The Great War has just begun. You are the commander of a single division in the meat grinder that is the Western Front. Lead your men over the top as you attempt to break the stalemate that is to claim the lives of millions over the course of years.

Are you ready to be a donkey and lead lions to their glorious deaths?



Mud and Blood
•   Command your men down to the platoon level. Build trenches, dig tunnels, set barbed wire, and more in a futile attempt to break through the enemy lines.
•   Make use of different unit types to solve the stalemate, from riflemen and machine gunners to engineers and tunnelling units.
•   Multiple shell types allow astute commanders to remain flexible. From gas shells to shrapnel, different situations call for different shells.
•   Weather and time of day will affect everything, including visibility, morale, and the structural integrity of your fortifications. Make sure to maintain them properly!



Noble Sacrifice
•   Earn Valour from your superior officers by sending your men to their deaths during full-scale offensives. Both inflicted and sustained casualties can be used to unlock upgrades - lessons learned through blood sacrifice.
•   Perform trench raids and capture enemy prisoners in order to capture intelligence.
•   Send pilots on reconnaissance missions in order scout the enemy lines and keep an eye on enemy activities.
•   If you can't break the enemy lines above ground, go underneath them and set mines that can be detonated at will.



























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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 03:56:39 PM »
Remembrance/Armistice Day Weekend Update
10 November - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

I've added a couple of new features this week!

Alternate Font



The Settings screen in the main menu now has the option of switching to an alternate font which I believe shows up better at lower resolutions. This can only be done on the main menu, because allowing it from the pause menu would be MUCH harder to implement. Let me know if the new font helps - I can always change it to something else if necessary.



Aircraft



I've now made it necessary to assign aircraft to individual pilots before sending them out on sorties. It's pretty basic at the moment. Once you get 1,000 Valour points, you can upgrade any of the aircraft to better models, which provide bonuses in combat against inferior enemy aircraft. You can also have pilots change planes if one becomes too damaged.

Let me know what you think of this feature. I'm not 100% sure how much detail should go into it, so I'd love the feedback.

Bugfixes:
•   In the process of tweaking the aerodrome, I noticed that new pilots weren't being generated. Now, at the beginning of each month, if the number of pilots and/or planes is too low, new ones are generated.
•   Pilot info now contains an icon to indicate whether they are Recon or Escort pilots.



•   Fixed bug in which scheduled orders for dugouts and blockhouses wasn't working.
•   Fixed bug in which Dry Weather Only scheduled orders wouldn't work a lot of the time.
•   Optimized pathfinding a bit, which should reduce some lag whne pathfinding over long distances.

Thanks for playing!


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 12:03:19 AM »
On The Western Front Early Trailer


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 02:55:57 PM »
Threads
20 NOVEMBER - AGGROBLAKH

Hi all,

Relatively minor update this week, as most of the work I've done is under the hood. I was hoping to include destructible terrain this week, but it's not quite ready to roll out yet. The reason I'm releasing an update anyways is because I've made a few changes to the way the game runs through each game tick.

Previously, the game timer would interrupt the game and cause issues with using the interface, as well as essentially locking up the game for a few milliseconds while it processed each game tick. Now I've moved things around in code so that the majority of the game tick runs in a separate thread. It seems like an obvious thing to include even before releasing in Early Access, but in my mind performance comes secondary to correctness ie. I was initially more concerned with making sure everything worked and was fun rather than how quickly it ran (as long as it was playable, of course).

Using the UI should now feel a lot more responsive even while the game timer is running, and I'm hoping things run a lot smoother in general. Let me know if you run into any issues - if any of you have done programming yourselves, you'll probably be more than aware that multi-threaded/concurrent programming occupies its own special place in Hell. Nevertheless, I'm hoping this improves the game experience for a lot of you.

Bugfixes/Changes:
•   Made game tick concurrent.
•   Prevented the HQ and Aerodrome from refreshing every game tick, which should make those screens more easily useable while the game timer is running.
•   Added the ability to use the WASD keys to scroll.
•   Reduced the number of subscreen refreshes, which should make things less "choppy"
•   Drag-selecting entire groups of units and issuing orders to them will now ignore HQ units if HQ units are unable to perform those orders (build orders, wiring, etc)
•   Selecting HQ units will now highlight their subordinate units as well.



•   Added weapon names in the Order of Battle subscreen.
•   Updated the tutorials so that they are no longer broken versions of the main map. This also means that the bug in which the map toggles in the upper right corner of the screen now work in the tutorials.
•   Changed the game icon to something other than the default Godot icon.

Soon to Come:
•   Destructible Terrain - I have one house type completed, as well as the underlying logic for any type of terrain in general. I probably won't release this feature until I have at least a few different building types, otherwise it's going to look really weird.
•   The ability to schedule attack orders using the Scheduled Order screen.
•   A Retreat button once you send units over the top.
•   Better UI for managing subordinates/superiors. Right now it takes several clicks to, say, select a company within a brigade, and then to select all platoons in that company. I'm probably just going to steal the interface from HOI3, but it will take me a few days to implement, and I wanted to get an update out today.
•   Artillery gun-pits. Some of you have suggested this, but until now I couldn't think of a gameplay-related reason to include them. Since artillery can't enter blockhouses, I'm thinking these will basically be blockhouses for artillery. They take longer to build, and it takes artillery units a long time to settle into them or leave them. However, artillery will be protected from counterbattery fire and aerial observation (signals units can still spot them, though). Let me know if this sounds good!

Thanks for playing!


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Offline zakblood

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 08:45:58 AM »
not so sure what to say or make of this one, icons for the NATO symbols far too small imo, no idea on losses, advance seems to be piecemeal with no attacks against it going in, with no casualties or attacks / tracers shown going either way, regrading bullets, dead dropping, shells / smoke etc etc shown, it looks like a parade and not a march into no mans land, it losses the feel of the time, and needs a lot more added before the likes of me would even go near it i'm sorry to say, look more like a 1980 space invaders game, and i'm really sorry to be so negative on this one, but only commenting on what's shown on the video, and in the end, it's my impression and opinion only, for what it's worth

Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 02:13:36 PM »
Hi Zak.

Some valid points. It is early days and the dev is receptive to input  :thumbsup

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Offline zakblood

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 04:08:30 PM »
ah sorry is it EA?

thought it was released or something, must admit didn't read much, just watched the video,.

my bad :laughing4

 :thumbsup :howdy

Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 04:42:14 PM »
Why Early Access?
“The development of this game is a one-man operation. To avoid scaring anybody off, I've successfully completed and shipped games before, so there is zero-risk of me leaving this game in an incomplete state (barring unforeseen circumstances, of course).

The release of my previous games taught me an important lesson. Namely, that no matter how much I test and tweak the game prior to release, there are always going to be bugs, balance issues, and new features/content that I simply cannot predict. Furthermore, attempting to overhaul a fully-released game constrains my ability to introduce sweeping changes, for fear of breaking savegames and ruining progress. So rather than upsettting or misleading people, I might as well release early and openly declare my intention to continue working on and adding to the game for the foreseeable future.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“I'm aiming for no more than about 3-6 months, but I don't want to commit to a hard deadline because, as mentioned above, it's almost impossible to predict how comprehensive bug-fixing and feature requests will be. With my luck, it will be twice as long. To assuage any fears, I've continued fixing and balancing my previous games for more than a year after full release, up to and including porting the entire game over to a new engine simply because there were a lot of Mac and Linux users who wanted to play the game, but weren't able to. Despite whatever one might think of the graphics or audio in my games, I am very proud of my work and outright refuse to abandon them in broken or incomplete states.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“There are a lot of features planned that aren't in the game yet, because I figure it's sensible to make sure the core gameplay is fun and balanced before adding a bunch of new content that ends up being broken and needing fixing anyways.

As a bare minimum:
•   The tutorials will be improved. How and where they are improved is up to you guys and the feedback I receive with regard to user-friendliness, etc.
•   Saving and loading will be implemented. Right now it isn't because I expect lots of changes in the weeks or so following Early Access release, so I figure there's no point in creating a bunch of broken saves. Obviously, though, once things start to solidify, save/load is at the top of my list.
•   UI quality of life improvements.
•   A system for loading user-edited language packs in the game.
•   Steam Achievements

I will also be adding different maps based on different theatres of the Great War:
•   Meuse-Argonne: This map will introduce forest warfare and river crossings.
•   Middle East: This map will focus on controlling water wells that are dotted around the map rather than breaking through the enemy line.
•   Italian Front: This one will almost certainly be among the last of the major features I introduce due to the massive amount of work it will require, but since underground warfare is already in the game I'm hoping that I can introduce multi-level underground/mountain warfare, as well as "unit cohesion" to reflect the multi-cultural makeup of both the Austro-Hungarian and Italian armies.
•   Anything else you might suggest!

Lastly, I'd also like to add online gameplay, but I'm not 100% sure how well Godot Engine handles online/Steamworks, so I can't really promise anything. It's just on my radar.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“The core gameplay is, to the best of my knowledge, playable and stable. As of Early Access release, the main/default map is playable with AI, and all planned gameplay elements are available to be broken by you guys. My main goal is to ensure that the AI and gameplay for the main map is solid before adding more content, but at the very least the game won't be crashing and taking your computer with it.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“The planned price for Early Access is $10 USD, and I might bump it up to about $15 if I end up adding a lot of new content to the game. I don't generally pay more than about $15 for games myself, so I can't in good conscience ask any more from you guys.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“The game forums are a good place to suggest features and report bugs, and if anything urgent comes up, feel free to add me on Steam and yell at me via Friend Chat. I'm open to suggestions, and my previous track record should suffice to prove that I'm willing to listen to anything. I've literally had people email me their save games so I could fix them manually when the situation called for it. As mentioned above, I am very proud of my work, and it kills me when people are left feeling disappointed or misled. I'm a fan of Great War history myself, so it's my intention to make a game that fills this void for myself and other WW1 nerds out there.”

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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 12:19:12 AM »
Terrain
On The Western Front - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

Early stages of destructible terrain are in! So far only a few building types have included, and only a few different configurations. I want to know what you all think before I start adding more types of terrain and customizing things a bit more. For now, houses act as shelter. They hide units from view, and essentially function as a combination of dugouts and blockhouses (albeit less effective at protecting units than blockhouses). The tradeoff is that buildings obscure lines of sight, and will be permanently destroyed if they take enough artillery fire.



I've also taken the liberty of implementing a bunch of the suggestions I've seen in the discussion forums.

Bugfixes/Changes:
•   Destructible Terrain
•   Commanders now auto-assigned at start.
•   Aircraft now auto-assigned to pilots at start.
•   Supply units have been tweaked so that they automatically resupply and return to their previous order. This should reduce some of the micromanagement associated with supply lines. This was actually present in the last update, but I forgot to tell anyone.
•   An event log display which can be shown and hidden at will.



•   Coffee and alcohol have been included as new supply types. They aren't limited in number - you can just keep grabbing them from rear lines as you see fit. Coffee provides a temporary bonus to sight range via the new "Alert" status, while alcohol provides a temporary movement boost to help facilitate frontal assaults. Just for fun, each nation has its own version of alcohol.



•   Health bars showing unit numbers, morale, primary supply, and readiness are now included on unit lists. This will hopefully provide more visual feedback with regard to unit status.

Thanks for playing!


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 03:08:46 PM »
Hospitals
On The Western Front - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

Some more updates this week!

Bugfixes/Changes:
•   Field Hospitals
Field Hospitals can be built by Medical units, and serve as automatic treatment areas for Medical units that pick up wounded men via the Find Wounded order. Units being treated in field hospitals are treated faster, and convalescents return only to units in range. This replaces the existing system in which convalescents trickle back randomly to units along the front, which allows you to prioritize units that need to be reinforced.



•   Performing Wiring, Trench or Comm. Trench actions now activates a separate Build Mode, which allows you to chop and change the lines you draw. This is in response to complaints about the inability to fix mistakes.



•   Buildings no longer appear underground.
•   I've made a couple of optimizations to the AI's unit rotation functions, which should prevent the game from slowing down so much when enemy units rotate lines.
•   Saving the game now saves terrain properly.

Thanks for playing!


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2018, 02:05:59 PM »
Building Types and Improvements
12 December - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

Some more content and quality of life updates this week, most of which has been requested by you guys. Keep the suggestions coming!

Bugfixes/Changes:



•   Field Kitchens
Field Kitchens are essentially an open-ground version of field supply dumps. Only supply units are able to build field kitchens, and they start off fully stocked. However, they slowly distribute food to the units around them, and thus must be restocked using the Add Supplies command with a supply or rifle unit carrying food.



Food and water combined are now a new supply type, and can be viewed by using a new button next to the morale value on the unit window. Reaching 0% food/water starts to reduce morale, which can affect the ability of your units to carry out attacks and defend their positions. It's worth noting this new addition breaks all your saves, since Food is now a unit attribute. Sorry for the trouble.

•   Showers/Delousing Stations
This one's just for fun, like coffee and alcohol before it. Sending your men to the showers adds the "Deloused" effect for eight hours, which increases the rate of morale regain when resting (and also slows the rate of morale loss when food is at 0%). The "Deloused" effect also prevents men from becoming sick/wounded during heavy rain and snow.





•   Watch Duty, Rest, and Training are now click-and-drag AOE orders. Watch Duty and Rest will target trench tiles within the selected area, while Training will target open ground tiles. This allows you to select an entire group of units and have them garrison an entire stretch of trenches, or have them spread out and train over a patch of open ground instead of all being stacked on the same tile. This, along with the updated unit window, should make it easier to manage your units by allowing you to issue idle/rest orders over a small area instead of having to manually place subordinate units.



•   Tutorials were broken due to a bug with the event log. This has now been fixed.

Thanks for playing!


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 01:29:28 PM »
Grass
20 December - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

Fairly minor update gameplay wise, but a pretty noticeable one. I've added destructible grass, since many of you asked for it to be included in the game. I've also modified the scale of the buildings on the map, making them much smaller and more realistic relative to the units in the game.



Lastly, I made it so that using the Rest order and dragging over an area would also include buildings as possible rest locations, rather than being confined to trenches/dugouts.

Hope you enjoy the game!

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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 02:57:31 PM »
Happy New Year!
3 January - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

Hope you all had a good holiday. I did, but I still managed to set aside some time to update the game a bit more!

Bugfixes/Changes:

•   Commander Traits
Commanders now possess traits that they pass down to their subordinates. The effect is inversely magnified depending on the commander's rank. That is, the bonuses (and penalties) given by company commander traits is greater than those given by battalion or brigade commanders, with the obvious tradeoff of affecting fewer units. NCOs earned by veteran-level platoons offer the greatest effects from traits.



•   Enemy Strongpoints
This one's not quite perfect yet, but you might notice that the AI now tries to build trenches around buildings. I'm hoping to eventually get to the point where the AI is turning these into strongpoints, just like in real life.



•   By turning "idle" actions such as resting, guard duty, and drilling into AOE orders, I accidentally broke the ability to order a unit to move elsewhere if it was already moving. This bug is now fixed.
•   Fixed a bug in which field kitchens could be restocked endlessly until they held enormous amounts of food/water.
•   Enlarged the range of both field hospitals and field kitchens, as well as increasing the carrying capacity of field kitchens. I found it got kind of annoying having to build one of these every few tiles.
•   Fixed German HQ unit counters. Previously were all set to company commanders.

Thanks for playing!


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 03:53:35 PM »
Hotfix 3
7 JANUARY - AGGROBLAKH

Hi all,

Quick turnaround on this update, as there are a few bugfixes and changes that hopefully make the game a bit easier to play.

Bugfixes/Changes:
•   Underground construction works again. I had broken it when I redesigned the unit order list after adding things like field hospitals and kitchens.
•   Redesigned the "Suppress Area" command at the top of the screen. Previously, clicking it brought up a second menu which could be used to select artillery shell types. Now there is a small window with separate buttons, similar to Build Mode.



•   Scheduled artillery bombardments now are colour-coded when selected using the pop-up dialog in the top-right.





•   Cancel and Rest orders have been decoupled. Cancel orders cause units to stop what they're doing and return to an idle state, while Rest remains an AOE order in which you drag an area for your selected units to rest in.
•   Following on from the above update, Rest orders now work for artillery units. Previously, it would assume all selected units were infantry and eliminate all open ground tiles as rest positions after dragging an area. Now I've made it so that artillery units will rest on open ground, while infantry continue to use trenches or houses as rest locations.
•   The AI has been tweaked a bit so that it now attempts to build blockhouses on higher ground, as well as being more proactive in actually garrisoning them.


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Offline Asid

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Re: On The Western Front
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2019, 02:26:33 PM »
Hotfix 4
15 January - Aggroblakh

Hi all,

Was a bit sick this past week, so I mostly focused on small-ish things rather than adding anything totally new.

Bugfixes/Changes:
•   The Alternate Font was bugged out and would often crash when used. I've managed to track down the issue and fix it.
•   "Supply Area" order was buggy due to the units in question sometimes resupplying with invalid load types when automatically resupplying from the rear. I've fixed the issue so that units will no longer resupply with invalid load types.
•   Following on from the previous issue, units that automatically return to resupply in the rear will select load types based on the prevalence of open ground within their assigned areas/routes. More open ground means a higher probability of shells for artillery, while more trenches, comm. trenches, and the like means ammo/tools.
•   Following even further on with supply types, non-artillery units will no longer take shells from supply units.
•   Obscured units that appear when fog of war is enabled now match the colour of their faction properly instead of all looking British. This was an easy fix that really should have been a day one type thing, but it was such a minor issue that I kept putting it off.


•   AI has been improved so that it will now consolidate new forward trenches better (setting up new kitchens, field hospitals, comm. trenches) if it manages to take them from the player.
•   Readiness regain rate has been slowed in sub-optimal weather.
•   Food regain rate has been increased for units in dugouts.
•   Upgrades now actually reduce division Valour points again. I disabled this at some point for my own testing and forgot to re-enable it.
•   Hitting the ESC key while in the middle of a construction order now clears and resets the mouse cursor.
•   Pilots now cannot be withdrawn until the Wireless Radios upgrade is unlocked.
•   Wireless Radio upgrade also cuts order delay in half.


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