Tannenberg - Wilson
Hi everyone, it’s time for another Frontline News post! Today we’ll update you on what we’re working on after the big merge last month.

Our five main focuses
Performance improvements are still a major focus of course, and we continue to make progress there. At the same time there are four big gameplay aspects that we’re working on at the moment - in no particular order:
  • Heavy Machine Guns
    Yep, we’re still experimenting and working out how to best position these weapons in the maps, and how to make them useful while not being overpowered. The addition of MG Shields had mixed results, with many players liking the change but not really noticing any big difference in how useful it made the HMGs. Several of you have also been helpful in pointing out particular HMGs in the maps which you think are badly positioned.



  • Bot Behaviour
    The intelligence of the bots and believability in how they act is an on-going project - as anyone who has worked on AI will know, it’s no easy thing. Thanks to everyone who has described specific bot behaviours which they do or don’t like!

  • Filling Servers
    We have already made several changes to how players join squads when they search for a game, and how squads themselves are distributed within matches, but there is still more that can be done to improve your chances of joining a more busy server when you choose the auto-matcher.

  • Recon Plane Call-in
    Like the HMGs, the recon planes can feel underpowered compared to some of the other tools in the game (hello artillery!) so we are investigating options to make them more useful.



Working to improve gameplay in areas like this is one of the key reasons we chose to do a beta launch before a full release. It also means we can take into account the thoughts of some of our most dedicated players! On the topic of which...

Give us your feedback!
We are asking to hear from all of you in the community in this State of Tannenberg thread on our Steam forums. People are usually very vocal in Early Access games, but we haven’t had that many comments on specific things in Tannenberg outside what we mentioned earlier in this post. With the above thread we’d like to see specific suggestions of what you think could be improved or polished in the game.

We also have a second Steam topic with a poll, asking your opinions on how bots should fill servers. There are three options ranging from bots filling every slot to there being no bots in the game at all once at least 32 players have joined. Check the post for more info on the options and a link to the poll to cast your vote!



That’s it for now. The screenshots in today’s post have been made by our player echo1, a very talented frontline photographer! If you have some cool shots of your own, upload them on Steam, or post them on our Twitter and tag us so we can retweet our favorites!

Keep an eye on our Steam news (follow us if you like) or watch for our announcements on Facebook or Twitter to hear about our next Frontline News post.
Tannenberg - Wilson
Greetings and welcome back to our first Frontline News of 2018. Happy New Year to everyone, and we hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are! Let’s get started!

The Merge!
You can now easily switch between Verdun and Tannenberg with an in-game menu if you own both games! This also means a big update for Verdun which includes improvements to graphics, gameplay, and more. You can read all about it on the announcement at the Verdun Steam Hub. If you encounter any issues following the update, uninstalling both games, restarting Steam, and then reinstalling is helpful.

Tannenberg also received a small update which included a number of UI fixes, and made the bots more tenacious with their movement. The bots also have their vision range reduced in poor weather conditions now. You can read the full changelog on our forums.

And, guess what? You can get get the whole set for a great price in today’s Steam Daily Deal! This is a great opportunity to introduce friends to the delights of WW1 FPS action!



So that’s an overall summary of how things are going with the WW1 Game Series - now, let’s talk more about the details of the Tannenberg update.

Sounds
Work has been going well with the new sounds, some of which are already in the game. Where appropriate these new sounds will also be making their way over to Verdun to enhance the atmosphere and authenticity there.



Now that the Verdun and Tannenberg merge has been completed, we can move on to other things - such as the new weapon sounds for Tannnenberg (which will also be coming to Verdun in future). This includes firing, reloading and other handling sounds for a range of guns. In the future, we will be looking at things like footsteps, impact sounds, and other ambient noises.

Level Improvements
Since the open beta began we’ve been making changes to the maps of Tannenberg based on feedback from players and our own observations. There’s been no drastic overhauls of course, and instead we’ve been focusing on carefully targeted modifications. We can broadly split the main changes into art, gameplay, and spawn location improvements.



Art updates include changes to the props and scenery appearance of maps (without altering elements like cover positions), as well as more general things like better shadow mapping and bringing a few floating objects back down to earth.
There were a few changes to spawn positions, primarily to shift them to safer locations where you are less likely to get shot before you have a chance to get your bearings. This was of particular note for the German HQ in East Prussia, and one spawn too close to a troublesome chair was tweaked too.



In terms of gameplay, there has been cover added and removed from various positions as required for more balanced fighting - again often in or near HQ sectors. You may have noticed a hill trench in the Carpathians nudged a little towards the Entente HQ, and more cover added around HQ exits in Galicia. Also of note are the changes to collision detection with tree trunks to make them less climbable (you are playing as soldiers rather than squirrels, after all).

See you next time!
Keep an eye on our Steam news (follow us if you like) or watch for our announcements on Facebook or Twitter to hear about our next Frontline News post. And don’t forget that Steam Daily Deal ;) Until next time!

Tannenberg - bramlegolas
Merry Christmas!
Christmas is almost here, so it’s going to be a fairly brief Frontline News for today. Since last time there have been more tweaks to performance, networking and gameplay, along with the usual bug fixes. Of particular note are the addition of HMG shields (currently using placeholder graphics while we decide on the right balance of cover vs sight), safer German HQ spawn points on Prussia, and changes that should reduce the incidence of shots or other attacks which fail to register. The full changelog can be found here.



We’re looking forward to continuing our work on Tannenberg in the New Year, improving the performance, implementing the new user interface, producing new sound effects, and more. A big thank you to everyone who has submitted or voted on issues on our bug tracking forums.



The Verdun Christmas Truce
In memory of the Christmas Truce of 1914 on the Western Front, the Verdun Christmas Truce event is running from today until January 4. Players will be able to throw snowballs, play football, send Christmas cards, and listen to carols in a special in-game map appearing between every few normal matches. Verdun is 60% off during the event, and a temporary DLC allows people to easily donate to War Child UK, who work to support and protect children in conflict zones around the world.

https://youtu.be/oPj5-J_6mQY
All the best over the holidays, and we’ll see you again for our next Frontline News in the new year!
Tannenberg - Wilson
Your favorite maps!
We held a vote a few weeks ago for your favorite map in Tannenberg, and things came down pretty close between the Carpathians and Poland! These two maps are very different, with Poland being flat and mostly featureless aside from the ruined village at the center, while the Carpathians have large height differences and forests.

The typical Polish landscape seen below makes attacking a risky proposition, though you’re far more likely to get away with it at night or when there isn’t as much snow on the ground. Don’t forget how your uniform will blend in (or stand out) against your background.



Any discussion of Poland wouldn’t be complete without mention of the crossroads at the center of the village. The houses offer much needed cover, along with some farm carts and gullies running alongside the road, but anyone fighting here can still be vulnerable to attacks from the other sectors all around. Without securing those surrounding sectors, trying to hold the middle may turn into a costly meatgrinder.



Here we have the views from a hilltop trench looking down towards the central Church sector...



And here is a view from the graveyard looking up towards the hilltop trench. Being on top of that hill gives you a big height advantage, but it’s a long, mostly exposed way down.



Past the church to the north of the map, you have a mix of buildings, trees, trenches and slopes. Although there might seem to be a lot of cover, you always have to remember that someone might be looking down on you.



There’s also a discussion going on in our forums about people’s favorite maps, so if you have an opinion we’d love to hear it. On a similar note, if you have a screenshot of a key location, or just a really beautiful image, please upload it!

A new update
Earlier this week we put out a new update which included some map improvements, better bot behaviour when fighting to capture points (they’ll look for defensive positions once they reach the point, and will try not to leave the capture zone while fighting), and other small fixes.

Squad creation and matchmaking has also been adjusted to allow squads in the lobby to merge into squads in a match being played, which should help fill servers and make it less likely that people will join empty matches. Read the full changelog on our forums.

WW1 Returns with Tannenberg
Luetin09 has released a video on YouTube which offers a great explanation of what Tannenberg is, how it compares to Verdun, and what newer players can expect with the game. If you have friends who might be interested in Tannenberg, you should link them this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yU8JdU079U
Tannenberg - bramlegolas
Maneuver Tutorial Video
The basics of the new Maneuver game mode aren’t complex, but there are some nuances that can be the difference between victory and defeat. We made an Early Access tutorial video that explains it all! https://youtu.be/eM-t5x6QUxM One interesting thing to remember is that you can win the match by capturing the enemy HQ, if you’ve cut if off from any other sectors they control. How many of you have done this so far, or gotten close to achieving it?

Can you collect them all?
Trading cards are coming to Tannenberg! There are eight cards to collect, each one focused on a different soldier type. Check them out:

Improvements and Fixes
You can see in our changelog thread that we’ve been working hard on the game since the open beta went live. On launch day we already increased the chances of seeing gas barrages when you call for artillery in response to player feedback - so sights like this one (captured by player Wendigo) have become less rare. Keep your gas mask close to hand!


There have been changes to all maps to move unsafe spawn location to better positions, a host of UI improvements and polish, we fixed a bug allowing people to walk around with an HMG, and… we also made climbing trees harder. So you should see less of this (captured by player jaKster):


Finally, if you have feedback we’d love to see it posted on our
support website. You can also post bugs there, and vote on which issues you think are most important.
Verdun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Fraser Brown)

tan

This week’s Premature Evaluation sees our early access conscript, Fraser, flung into the nightmarish Eastern Front of World War I in multiplayer FPS Tannenberg. It’s a companion game to Verdun, but the weather is worse and and there are a lot more angry men with guns. >

A man sprints out of the woods just in front of my hiding spot, screaming as he jumps over fallen trees. Before I can even figure out if he’s friend or foe, there s a flash and a scream as he’s sent hurtling through the air, the latest victim of the enemy s mortar. He lands in the mud right next to me, where he moans and gurgles as the life slowly seeps out of him. It s a noise I ve become very familiar with in Tannenberg.

(more…)

Tannenberg - legolas
Tannenberg has been released! The launch is going great so far, and we know people are having a lot of fun with the game.
We’ve already got plenty of useful feedback, and combined with our plans from before the launch, here is a rough roadmap of what we are planning to work on next:
  • New user interface - this was part of our plan before the release, and we can see from various comments that you agree that it’s important.
  • Tweaks to the Maneuver game mode - we want to hear from you what works and what doesn’t so we can refine the mode and the maps to provide the best possible gameplay.
  • Sound improvements - we have already implemented some new ambient sound effects, and there are more to come!
  • General performance - this is definitely a big priority for us.
  • Matchmaking - we want to make sure the system for creating and assigning players to games when they choose to automatch is as efficient as possible in connecting players.
  • Making the bots better - overall, we’ve had positive reactions to the bots, and we want to make them even more fun to play with and against. Don’t forget that when you play an NCO role, bots in your squad will follow your orders!
  • Looking into ‘clunkiness’ - this is a fairly common complaint regarding the movement and sometimes the game in general, and we want to spend some time trying to address it.
We will keep you updated via Frontline News posts.

Updates
Since Tannenberg entered open beta we have already put out several small patches addressing problems and improving performance. You can read the full patch changelogs here.

If you run into glitches in the game, or just have good ideas for suggestions, you can post them to our issue tracking system. You can use the same system to upvote problems you’ve encountered that someone else has reported, or to show support for someone else’s suggestion.

Heavy Machine Guns
One of the new features in Tannenberg are the heavy machine guns present around the map. They work well in Tannenberg’s Maneuver game mode because of the different sectors - if a particular HMG is holding up an advance, you have options depending on the map. You can capture adjacent sectors to flank them, find high ground to let you shoot down at the HMG gunner, or sometimes use cover to get close enough to throw a grenade. As exciting as it sounds, the frontal charge is not the best strategy!



Verdun is on sale, and Verdun owners get a 20% discount on Tannenberg
There is a 50% off sale for Verdun on Steam as part of the Autumn Sale! Plus, don’t forget that owners of Verdun can get a 20% discount on Tannenberg until December 1st.

And last but definitely not least...
Thank you all for making the Tannenberg open beta launch such a success! We have 92% positive reviews on Steam, and we’re very happy with the number of players who have joined us so far. As we said earlier, we’re working hard on fixing the issues you’ve spotted and considering the feedback you’ve given so far. If you haven’t left a review already, please do so - it helps us a lot!
Verdun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

World War 2 is all the rage again but for those who favour classic conflicts, not their ‘bigger and deadlier than ever’ sequels, World War 1 games are still kicking. The creators of WW1 Western Front FPS Verdun today launched the Eastern Front standalone expansion Tannenberg into early access. Tannenberg focuses on ‘realistic’ action and ramps it up with a new 64-player mode (Verdun caps out at 40 players). Here, have a peek in the early access launch trailer: (more…)

Tannenberg - Blazy013
Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we would get the support and success that we did with Verdun, and that on top of that we would get the opportunity to develop a second WW1 game. Today the unexpected happened… we just released our second entry in the WW1 Game Series into open beta, set on the Eastern Front: TANNENBERG!

https://youtu.be/IR6k2MagQbs

The game is available for $17.99, with a 20% discount for Verdun players until December 1 2017.

The open beta is feature complete, and we will be using the time until release in Q1 2018 to work on improving the performance sounds, and game balance, adding an in-game switch between the two fronts, and implementing a new user interface.


Sneak peak of the new UI

There will also be a special in-game medal for those playing the game in open beta, and some release celebration events on the Steam hub, Facebook and Twitter where a few lucky individuals will be able to win keys! Stay tuned...

Don’t forget that you can report bugs for Tannenberg (or Verdun) on our support website at http://support.1914-1918series.com. Again a huge thank you to all our Tannenberg alpha and closed beta testers, as well as the Verdun players who have already been submitting issues there!

We’re very excited to hear what you think about Tannenberg, so make sure to join us in the Steam Hub and/or Discord.

Stay warm!

Cheers, M2H & Blackmill Games

Interesting links:
Tannenberg

Tannenberg, the First World War online FPS from the makers of Verdun that was announced in May, is now available for purchase on Steam Early Access. The new game takes place on the Eastern Front of the war, and features Frontovik and Cossack units from the Russian army, Austro-Hungarian KuK troops, and German Infanterie doing battle in a more mobile, but no less horrific, theater of war. 

Unlike certain other WWI shooters you may have played (I'm talking about Battlefield 1), Tannenberg, like Verdun, is a more true-to-life recreation of the Great War: Weapons are clunky, movement is slow, and death comes quickly. That probably won't help make it a mainstream hit, but the priority for developers M2H and Blackmill Games is "to create an all-encompassing World War 1 experience that captures the essence in the gameplay and also provide a myriad of historical content (by using squad leveling and map sectors etc.)" 

With Verdun marking the "completion" of its Western Front effort, the developers opted to go to the Eastern Front, because of its "enormous" historical impact. It also opens up opportunities to create different kinds of gameplay, without sacrificing historical fidelity. 

"The almost complete lock-down on the Western front required unique rules to be imposed on a multiplayer game-mode to recreate the somewhat symmetrical nature of warfare, where each line lost would face a direct counter-attack, for instance. The overwhelming nature of the combat and the deep lines of defense on either side allowed for a unique approach," Blackmill's Jos Hoebe explained. 

"In the East we see characteristic elements that also lend themselves to certain gameplay rules. To begin with, the environments themselves are different, with less continuous lines of trenches, the vast distances to be covered, and fewer artillery shells per square meter, combined with the doctrines and equipment of the armies that fought there. The battle of Tannenberg itself, for instance, is a good example of an encirclement battle, a pattern repeated several times over as the war progressed. This element will be central to the new 'Maneuver' game mode." 

Maneuver is a 64-player mode set on large, open maps, with multiple zones of control and a variety of terrain, weather conditions and objectives. Players can attack and defend from any zone they control, and as zones are won or lost, the flow of battle will shift. "All of these elements add up not only to a different meta-game in terms of having to move around in a nonlinear way across the battlefield when the tactical situation changes for your squad, but also with respects to shifting gunplay engagement distances and different approaches to cover," Hoebe said. 

I've spent a little time playing with the Maneuver mode and even though it has that "not quite ready" feel of a game in beta, I was impressed by both its scope and its brutality. The map features forests, bombed-out buildings, dangerously wide-open fields, points of high and low ground, and small networks of trenches—and it feels big. It's plodding at times compared to games like BF1, but the slow, primitive weaponry can make for some intense moments, too: In one up-close confrontation, an enemy and I each emptied our rifles toward, but not actually into, each other, and then it was a frantic race to reload (which takes forever) and try again. I won, by the way.

And when you shoot a guy and don't make a clean kill—which seems to be most of the time—he goes down and makes some of the most awful screaming, choking, and gurgling noises you can imagine. It's horrible, but it occasionally works against the game too: The aftermath of a big skirmish in a small area is inevitably filled with competing cries of agony, and it ends up sounding like the cast of a small-town theater troupe trying to outdo each other in simultaneous over-dramatic death scenes. It might sound like an odd thing to complain about, but it's really weird. Hopefully the developers will tone it down. 

The new game features a number of under-the-hood changes from Verdun, including improved AI and graphics, and an updated interface that will properly support 4K resolutions. But the developers plan to approach the Early Access in basically the same way it did with the previous game, gradually increasing the player cap as it becomes more stable. Even so, if all goes well it should be a relatively short Early Access period: Tannnenberg is content-complete, so the Early Access beta will be focused primarily on "balance [and] sound and performance issues," and getting the new interface in place. It's expected to be ready for full release in the first quarter of 2018.

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