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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2020, 02:46:50 AM »
Invasion Machine | Live Stream #1
25 September 2020



Join Invasion Machine Staff for an official live stream.




The Network Moderation Team & Network Development Team will be live streaming Invasion Machine #1 on the 25th September 2020 at 15:00 EST/20:00 BST. The Live stream will share some insight into the development of Invasion Machine and future updates including building update, vehicle update and the Invasion Machine community outreach programs. There will be several discussions happening and you can ask any questions to the EN Manager of Invasion Machine.

Happy Commanding!
Game Moderation Team


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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2020, 02:34:50 AM »
Update 0.5 Progression
Thu, 10 December 2020

Hello,

The Invasion Machine Team understands that some players would like updates and announcements on steam, as a result, we will be providing more announcements on the steam forums in the future.

Currently, update 0.5 is in the closed testing phase and the Game Development Team is working extremely well in fixing the issues (bugs) our beta testers are providing us. In the near future, we will be releasing an open testing branch for everyone to test the saves and provide feedback on the forums. The Game Development Team has not yet provided any dates for update 0.5 release or the open testing branch.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2020, 12:14:32 AM »
Plans for the rest of 2020. When are saves coming to the game.
Wed, 16 December 2020



There's been a long radio silence on my side, it's time I gave you an official update on the further plans

The game's still moving forward as before (just behind the scenes, for now)

Once again I went radio-silent on you all (at least all of you who haven't joined the Discord). From my perspective, it always seems like it's better to wait till I have some more major news, but after such a long break - I do understand that the game might look a little bit abandoned. So, to say in two words - it's not.

Why isn't there an update up, yet?
I'm finishing work on the saves. It's about 95% done at this point, but the nature of this update is - so far, when testing with some of the players, we realized that sometimes the game doesn't save correctly and all the player's progress gets lost. There's been no public updates to the game in the past months, but internally - we've tested about four different builds with the community, making progressive changes.

So, until all the little but disastrous bugs are taken care of - I cannot go public with the build. I understand there's nothing more infuriating than saving your game, just to realize later that the save got corrupted and all your progress lost for good.

Why so long?
This was the absolute worst part to develop in the project. The amount of interactions between the actors on the map, their plans and intentions, their state, ... All of these just kept on mounting up, and having them figured out, one by one, just took an enormous amount of time.
The good thing about it, is - it only had to be done once, so there's no reason for the future updates of the game to take this long.

tl;dr;
So - when will the update finally go live?
Before Christmas. It's literally in the last stages of testing right now.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2020, 01:38:00 AM »
Saves will remain as an optional beta branch till the second week of January
Fri, December 25, 2020

Some players were having issues with the saves, so until January the update will remain as an optional beta branch

Saves will only be available as an optional update until January
It turns out some of the testers have experienced issues with their savegames, and some of those issues I wasn't yet able to reproduce. Because of this, I need to delay the official launch of the game-saving update, and for now keep them as an optional branch, only available to those of you who would like to test it and maybe help me find any remaining issues there.

If you want to get involved, you can switch to a beta branch of the game to enable saves.
All the issues will get resolved soon, but the more people join in and help me - the sooner this will happen. The update was scheduled to go live today, because I wasn't able to find any major problems in my own tests anymore, until some of the testers started reporting them to me.

...and if you find any issues, please report them
If the game crashes for you, or you save file no longer works - please report it, either in the forum or by emailing me at pixelmachinegames+bugs@gmail.com, including the player log from the game and the save file itself.

The log files can be found under C:\Users\[your user name in windows]\AppData\LocalLow\Pixel Machine\Invasion Machine\[any logs that you have here].log

The save file is in the same folder, and has a filename that ends with the extension .sav (for example, 1_12309.sav).

How to switch the game to a beta branch in Steam?
1. Right-click on Invasion Machine in your steam library page.
2. Select "Properties..." from the dropdown menu.
3. In the Properties window that will show up, select "BETAS" in the menu on the left.
4. Switch to the branch named "public-testing - Open testing for the saves feature".
5. That's it. Wait till Steam downloads the new branch and switches to it.
6. Now, when you open the game for the next time - it will be in version 0.5.1, and the load/save buttons will be enabled.

tl;dr; Saves are delayed till the second week of January, and will for now remain in a test branch, available for any of you who'd like to try it out and maybe help report any bugs. I'm sorry for the delay, but I was made aware of some major issues that slipped through and would corrupt your save files, if left unfixed.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2021, 01:06:06 AM »
Your gameplay can now be saved.
Sat, 16 January 2021



The saves are in.

Finally. The saves are in the game.
I'm releasing a new build of the game to the default, public branch. From now on you'll be able to save your progress. With the help of community's testing I'm now reasonably sure the mechanisms work as intended. So - you can save the entire state of your gameplay, as long as you don't have any CAS deployed on the map, or the units on map are not engaged.

Any other changes?
Beacuse this development took so long, I've also added countless small fixes to the game. Most of them related to scripts and AI getting lost in it's little plans, but also a bunch of optimizations to game behavior and physics calculations.

version 0.5.1:
* NEW: the game can now be saved/ loaded. You can have any number of saves you want.
* NEW: a summary window for all the people you arrest and transport off the map in your cars. You'll gain/lose relations points depending on if your arrests are legitimate.
* the screen resolution and other display settings were all moved to the settings menu of the game. No more launcher screen.
* optimizations: much less calculations needed for the cars' pathfinding (with exactly the same results as before, wether that's good or bad)
* optimizations: a huge reduction in CPU usage for the actors' actions and the way the actors on map scan their surroundings.
* fixes to the UI windows, sometimes ignoring the ESC key
* fixes to unnecessarily huge memory usage of some of the objects on the map
* switched to a more effective physics calculations solution
* optimizations of the objects' physics calculations
* updated to a more recent game engine version, which will translate into multiple fixes and optimizations under the hood

So what is next and will it take a year to materialize?
Next - I'm gonna add a first batch of persistent, player-buildable structures. I'm thinking of some MG nests, sandbags, watch towers, some better traffic control checkpoints.
No other development in this project should ever take _this_ long to materialize. Saves were horrible to do, but they're now in. I will be adding new features to them every time I update the game in the future, but the bedrock of saving is now here, and thankfully will never have to be re-done again.

Also, some other changes I will work on
The AI is very disappointing, oftentimes. Trying to fight almost face to face, and too weak to really be a threat to your units. I will work on various ways of fixing this, from giving your enemies better weapons, to make sure they hide from you a bit more effectively.

Other priority will be adding political elements to the village management. Local leaders, both aligned or opposed to you, and some more interesting interactions there.

tl;dr; You can now save the game.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2021, 04:24:16 AM »
The AI enemies will get new weapons soon, to make them more challenging
Sat, 30 January 2021

I'm testing smaller improvements in the development branch, before moving on to the next major update. Currently in testing - RPGs

I'm pushing a small intermediary update to the dev branch ("public testing", you can switch to this branch whenever you want in Steam client settings page for the game, but you need to be aware it's sometimes gonna be broken, more or less. this branch is always updated first) - adding RPG launchers for the enemy units.

The game has a long-standing issue - your units are overpowered in comparison to the enemy's. The 50cal armored transporters, the generally better quality of your weapons, and the CAS - it all adds up and often makes it way too easy to completely dominate the map.

I will keep on implementing ways of mitigating this, from making the enemy setup ambushes and IEDs more often, to giving them some new toys.
Note: weapons are assigned at random, so you might sometimes not get too many enemies equipped with the specific one you wanted to see.

So - meet the new RPG launcher. A couple of thing to know about the RPG, is:
* they are not especially effective at disabling infantry, save for a direct (or almost direct) hit, but are very effective at suppressing them.
* they are very deadly against any of your vehicles, but again - will need to score a direct hit to actually cause damage.
* they damage buildings
* they are notoriously inaccurate, especially against moving targets.
* the game will simulate the basic mechanics of a rocket, as in - arming the rocket at a certain distance
away from the shooter, it's max range, and also - whatever it hits on it's way to the target (which could be an innocent civilan vehicle, or a house on the other side of the map, if the shooter misses badly)





tl;dr; RPGs are coming to the game soon, to make the enemy units more dangerous. For now the update will only be available in the test branch of the game ("public testing"), until it's somewhat sufficiently tested.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2021, 12:53:21 AM »
About the next update - when can you expect it, what's in it
Mon, 1 March 2021



It's been a while since the last public announcement, so here comes.

What am I working on currently?
I'm still in the process of adding the player-buildable structures. This involves making the UI for selecting them, making the UI tools for placement/rotation, adding the "build this structure" orders to your units, allowing you to later cancel or destroy existing structures, making the AI see them as threat, saving/loading the changes on the map, etc.

At the moment, I have the system fully working with the first sample structure (a guard tower), and I'm finishing work on the saving/loading part. Once this is ready, the feature will go public in the test branch.

Other than that, the test branch also contains a first draft of the RPGs and a MLRS technical, as described in the previous update. Those still need a lot of balancing and for now exist as a preview only.

When will all this be released?
The plan is to release all these in about 2-3 weeks. Once I'm done with the updates to the buildable structures save system, I'll get back to more intensive testing. In three weeks at most all this should be done, ready and playable.

And what comes after that?
More buildable structure selection. More units for you. More options for interactions with the population (this system is way too basic for now, and all the updates so far were mostly concentrated around combat). When? TBA.

tl;dr; the next update, containing new features (RPGs, buildable structures), is planned to go public in about 2-3 weeks.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2021, 11:52:43 PM »
Buildable structures are now in the game
Mon, 3 May 2021

You can now place some of the first buildable structures on the map

The player can now place his own structures on the map.
Among the first ones I'm making available is the bunker, a better traffic checkpoint and guard towers. For now this is just a basic set of buildings that will help give your units better shelter on the map. In a future update, I will also add different, more specialized structures. The goal is for the player to eventually be able to build some sort of a FOB on the map, with resources management (food, ammo), and being able to run patrol missions from it.



So what changed, exactly?
You have a new menu in the top left corner of the screen, allowing you to select a structure to build (or rather plan) on the map. Once you have a layout planned, you can order your units to start construction.
Hint: to actually be able to build anything, your units need to have access to a stockpile containing Construction Materials. You deliver those from your HQ, as selectable cargo for any of your vehicles.
Once constructed, the buildings can be used the same way any other structures on the map are (as shelter/ firing positions), and may also get overran and used by the enemy the same way.

Other important news
There's been a bunch of long-running bugs that some of you reported to me. Most annoying of those, was some of the vehicles getting stuck at the edge of the map, and corrupted save games. Those are now fixed.
You can now also rotate the camera by holding the right mouse button, instead of having to hold left alt on your keyboard. A small change, but feels much more natural to use.

What's next
I'd like to focus on a couple of things, next.
First of all, it's time to add more interactions between your units and the locals. The goal would be for you to be able to build lasting relations with the people living in the area, and implementing some sort of "local leaders" (be it aligned with you, or actually working against you).
The other thing would be to make the enemy think more globally - if you attack one group, they should be able to call for reinforcements. This means adding communication devices to the units, as well as some sort of I-Com equipment for you.
Finally, I'm thinking of adding proper resource management, with ammo count and rations your units would be using up.

Those will most likely get divided into smaller, or much smaller updates, this time.

Changelog
* NEW: This is the big new thing: the player can now build permanent structures on the map. Stuctures can be placed pretty much anywhere outside of main roads. Any structure ordered by the player has to actually be built by the units on the map, using construction materials delivered from HQ.
* NEW: enemy units will now get equipped with RPGs sometimes
* NEW: MLRS technical
* NEW: revised the engagement ranges again, all weapons can now be fired from farther away
* NEW: the camera can now be rotated with right mouse button (hold, instead of clicking). This is much more natural than the previous system, and just feels better.
* FIX: more than one shooter can now engage from a given building at once, if there's multiple occupants inside
* FIX: shooters in houses would previously share the same burst/ cooldown timer, causing them to only shoot one bullet and then stop firing for a long time
* fix: the player vehicles will no longer get completely stuck at the edge of the map
* fix: when you deliver prisoners to your HQ, the prisoner processing window will now show up, again
* fix: save/load fixes for the civilian farming actions (previously they sometimes failed)
* fixed the readability of some of the transparent UI icons. Much more will be done to this, soon
* fix: the player units will no longer get stuck at the edge of the map




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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2021, 11:18:41 PM »
What's happening these days? What about the next update
Sat, July 24, 2021



I'm working on some major technical changes in the game, that's why there's no content updates these days

What's with the updates
The last time I spoke here, I promised to focus on developing a more fleshed out hearts and minds interaction for the game (more social projects, political leaders, more lasting consequences to how you interact with the villages). This hasn't changed, and will still remain the main task for the nearest future.

I have, however, reached a limitation in how the AI brain works. I initially made a somewhat simple system, where each actor senses the events around him, and tries to pick the most suitable action for his current mission. This works fine, but the problem is - the more complicated a mission is, the more unreadable the code that manages it becomes. For example, if the enemy units are doing a foot patrol, their goal is to move from point to point, looking for anything interesting they might wanna check out. So far, so good. But, what if they should check out a village, instead of a random map point? What if they stumble upon and unguarded enemy car? What if they get enegaged in an unexpected place? What if their allies need help? What if they're in cars themselves? They then need to stop, exit them and continue the mission.

All these things are being tracked by the mission script, making it more and more hellish to manage and read. I cannot continue writing the AI this way, cause it completely discourages me from making any more complex interactions (whenever actors leave their cars, I need to remember why - is it the location they were going to, are they stopped in traffic, is it something else), and in general - if at any point the AI gets engaged by your troops - it has to abandon the original mission completely, because it has no way of remembering what it was trying to do.
The solution I'm currently working on, is switching to a more modern and robust way of writing this code - a node based system, similar to a behavior tree. The AI will now always remember at which stage of it's mission it is, and after I'm done writing the "nodes" for various interactions, I can start making really complicated plans for it.

The same system will be used for other parts of the game, starting with behavior in combat, to the in-game politics.

How will the AI be different when I'm done



This is a sample view of an AI mission, where instead of a single monolith of unreadable code, I now have a structure I can track, and think of as "point to point" interactions for the AI. This lets me plan entire behaviors, like: 1) go to an area 2) exit cars 3) enter a building 4) if engaged, abort and return to this plan later 5) etc.

What does this mean for the game
The AI will get smarter, and I will again start making new interactions for it. The first thing I'll do will be adding political leaders to the game. The leaders would be moving from village to village, changing the civilian sentiment in favor or against you, promoting their local allies, maybe organizing protests. As the player, you'll be getting new missions related to them, new demands to meet, and so on.

This sort of complicated interaction would be impossible to make with the old system.

What's coming next
The next big update will add politics and more hearts and minds strategies for the player, like new social projects for you to develop, and more interesting interactions with the locals.

When is it coming
With the summer season in full swing, I'll take two weeks off by the end of August (gonna be my first time getting any downtime since 2019). Before I leave, I plan on finishing the switch to the new system for all existing AI missions. This might not be immediately visible for the players (after all you rarely see what the AI is planning to do, and why), so I also plan on implementing smaller, unrelated changes as well. Expect new units, as well as some QOL improvements.

Planned release date - end of September.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Invasion Machine : Counter-insurgency RTS game
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2021, 11:34:09 PM »
What's in the next update, and when?
Mon, 20 September 2021



I'm currently working on adding more interactions with the civilians to the game. Progress ongoing.

What is happening with the development this month?
The last time I wrote an update, I said there were major changes being made to the AI. That's still the case, the development is still in progress, and the first batch of these changes is already live in the current game build (some of you noticed that the enemy became more aggressive - this is because the enemy can actually see you better now, in some cases).

The update in AI will be noticeable in your engagements with the enemy units, but I also need it to finally start building more interesting interactions with the civilians. Why don't the locals remember the troops you post in front of their houses? Why don't they expect compensation when you damage their property? Why don't they have leaders? These are examples of things I'd like to start simulating a little better in the future, starting with the nearest update.

Planned new features
In other words, I will soon be adding various new interactions with the civilians and villages. The idea is to let you work on a longer term hearts and minds campaign, and be able to see how the locals are affected by your actions.

Some of the new things that will soon appear in the game:
* a proper statistics window for the entire villages (as opposed to specific houses) - showing you all the major events, what the people think of you, and what their leaders think of you.
* a new UI section, letting you track the requests and promises you've made to the locals (similar to the missions you get from your command). If you work with the civilians, you'll eventually gain their trust
* a new order (and lots of new UI) for the interpreters, allowing you to organize meetings (you might know them as "shuras") with the locals. Here's where grievances and issues will be solved, and maybe new relations built.





This is just a start, this entire "nation building" aspect of the game should eventually become a big part of what you do in Invasion (talk to locals, find out what they need, provide security, build infrastructure) in the future. However, since this entire new feature will take a lot of dev time, I plan on rolling it out in phases. First, the new stats windows and the shuras. Then, new social projects. Then, political leaders. Then, something else, and so on.


Bonus - the MRAP is now in the game
I know many of you asked for the MRAPs, so finally - I added one to the game. Just a note, though - you don't get to have it in your default roster, when starting a new game, because this is the most powerful land unit you can get. If you want one - you'll have to spend Command Points on it (it's available from the unit buy menu).




tl;dr;
There will be a new update in about two weeks, adding new interactions with civilians. You'll be able to better track the progress of your hearts and minds efforts. You'll also be able to organize meetings ("shuras") with the locals.

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