Tannenberg - CID-77

Tannenberg Alpha Testing at full steam!
With the Early Access release drawing nearer we are still hard work testing the current builds, for which we still need more help. We have already been getting a lot of new testers on board. Recently another group of 1,400 soldiers has been released into Tannenberg so we are picking up speed. But we have more room so if you haven’t already, you can join Tannenberg Alpha Testing using the link below. We do ask you to have at least 20 hours of Verdun playtime. We need experienced soldiers!

Join the Tannenberg Alpha: http://steamcommunity.com/app/633460/discussions/0/2217311444342949200/

Do realize, testing games in such an early state is a delicate matter. We don’t only require your valuable feedback, but also your secrecy. Signing an NDA is a serious matter so please don’t post anything from your Alpha Testing experience. And if you find a bug you’d like us to squash, let us know here:
http://bugs.verdungame.com/forums/4-alpha-testing/

Q&A With Artist Jim ‘Volcol’ Chilton
We started things off in June with the first Frontline News, featuring a video the devs did with The Great War on Youtube, with some additional information courtesy of Lead Artist Jim ‘Volcol’ Chilton. Since then we have shared a lot of new in-game action and items with you, showcasing a lot of new assets. A good occasion to get some additional information on the art process, straight from the source!

How have the last month been progressing?
The last few months have (expectedly) been pretty busy. There’s been a lot of finalisation of assets and general little tweaks and edits here and there, to make the scenes, weapons, and characters better before launch. A lot of fixes have been approached based on feedback from the community. There’ll always be improvements going on behind the scene.

Any notable changes in certain models or items that we have only seen in an older state, that you are really proud of?
The weapons have seen a set of new textures created, now with a higher texture resolution. Doubling the texture resolution has allowed for much a much better result, with rifles having much nicer wood stocks, and metals. I’m particularly pleased with the Cyrillic markings on the Russian pieces.



Mosin Carbine and m95 Stutzen example


The maps have some serious set pieces. Do you have personal favourites you would like to put in the spotlight?
The buildings in Poland are some of the first I’ve ever done, and with the aforementioned strict technical limitations (the amount of materials we use being one major performance factor). All In all I’m super pleased with the results. I’ll never think something is perfect, but as an artist it will always be a learning process. I’m really happy with the weapon art I’ve produced also, some of the items were a joy to create but not so much to research.

Which changes in the engine allowed you to do new things with the art and design you are really happy (or surprised) with?
We’ve been keeping up with Unity's 2017 new features with each patch. The art process is pretty standard but in terms of visuals, I’m really pleased with the improvements to environmental effects (not my area). The new fog and weather system works exceptionally well, and can make for a whole different feel from round to round.

Is there a particular part of the higher graphical fidelity you are especially impressed with? Has the new weather system had any effect on creating the art and assets?
The environmental and weather changes haven’t really impacted the art process too much – but have presented a few challenges in getting snow to work well from model to model.

Which of the new units had the most challenging outfits or weapons to model?
Great coats are difficult to approach. We don’t utilise cloth based physics/simulation – so including them in game and getting them to look reasonable is quite frustrating. The characters in general saw a few issues highlighted in previous Tannenberg updates, we’ve since then fixed what we can easily (uniform colouring etc) as well as general improvement. The weapon rigging for the HMG’s was quite a challenge, getting machine gun belts working well for the mounted guns took quite a while to rig.

And which kind of assets in general have been the most challenging to create?
Everything presents its own challenge. I suppose the three areas that have been the biggest challenges for me as of late are the Panzerzug rework – I haven’t done much in the way of vehicle artwork before. The church was also a challenge, given technical limitations and the scale of the asset. Foliage, I had never approached before, so working on new trees (from an existing base) was extremely frustrating and time consuming but rewarding.



Winter trees example

Is there a particular weapon or item you especially enjoyed working on for Tannenberg, as someone genuinely interested in WW1?
Personally I’m really pleased with the Mannlicher m88/90. It was quite a simple item to approach but a really rewarding project and unusual weapon, one that I hadn’t been familiar with until it’s inclusion into Tannenberg.

Stay Tuned!


As the release is getting closer we are able to share more and more inside information, so as always, keep an eye out for upcoming posts and editions of Frontline News. We have more interesting topics coming up!
Tannenberg - CID-77
In order to do justice to the different strategies employed on the Eastern Front we have created a brand new game mode for Tannenberg, which reflects the different terrain and movement. Read on for extra information on Maneuver!



Positioning and movement are all important in Maneuver

Positioning obviously plays an extremely important part in military strategy. Enveloping and surrounding your enemy is a tried and tested tactic, cutting them off from their supply line and creating great tactical and strategic advantages. This is also known as Kesselschlacht, or Cauldron Battle for those less versed in German. The Western Front also had its fair share of encounters where this strategy played a role (the famous Von Schlieffen plan used this strategy at a large scale), but on the Eastern Front this was the bread and butter on nearly every occasion. The battle at Tannenberg itself is a prime example for the deployment of this strategy at the Eastern Front. That’s not to say there wasn’t any static fighting of course, but enveloping and surrounding was the backbone of military strategy during the war.



The Von Schlieffen plan, strategic movement at a grand-scale

With Maneuver we combine the strategic nature of the fighting on the Eastern Front that people are familiar with the operational and tactical nature of encounters in those environments. Based on the term Maneuver-warfare, we bring the mindset of trying to envelop your enemies in pockets of resistance to the (64-player) online battlefield.



Knowing the layout of the new maps will go a long way

Outflanking the enemy, capturing important tactical positions around the enemy will yield the players in-game benefits, and will lead to victory faster by cutting them off from their Headquarters. In addition, we wanted to give a more thematic context to capturing certain points, which is why we included signal stations and ammo dumps to further extend the focus on the logistical challenges of war, as one would expect in an RTS rather than FPS scenario.

Tannenberg Alpha


No pressure, but we really want you!

And finally another reminder that the Tannenberg Alpha testing is still going strong. Signing up doesn’t guarantee an invite but we are doing our best, and we’re about to send out a new batch of invites.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIlKCIbNkW7fjrDv2eRWnbtCjP03hF5KEP7vk6XNMfmwXtIw/viewform

Have a good weekend!
Verdun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

What did the early twentieth century Russian military man play in the jazz band? The Cossax.

We ve had the iceberg, the fatberg and now the Tannenberg [Steam page]. The latter is not as immediately impressive as an unassailable blockage of congealed grease held together by a fibrous network of wet wipes, but it is> videogame-releated and thus of interest to you, the reader. It s a multiplayer shooter set on the eastern front of World War One from the studio that made Verdun. And they ve announced a release date of November 16, from which point it ll be firing all its shells into the trenches of our greatest enemy early access. (more…)

Tannenberg - CID-77
As the winter draws closer, we’re happy to say it’s time for Frontline News once again. Yesterday saw the exciting announcement that Tannenberg will be launching on November 16th, and also revealed the new 64 player Maneuver game mode - check out the FAQ for more info, and expect a more detailed preview of the Maneuver mode soon.

Today though, we’ll be talking about weather variants for maps and focusing on the Russian Cossack squad. Enjoy!



A fearsome adversary in close quarters.

New Squad: Russian Cossacks
The Cossacks are here! In Tannenberg they serve as the Russian assault squad, with a focus on close combat and taking ground. Although trenches are a rarer sight on the Eastern Front this doesn’t mean that melee weapons and grenades are less valuable. Of course a straight charge across an open field into machine guns isn’t going to end well no matter how sharp your sword is, but the maps in Tannenberg also feature thick forests, buildings and ruins. This is where the Cossack Shaska can give you the edge against opponents with bayonets or entrenching tools. Alternatively, a well placed grenade can take them out from a safer distance.

Before they get in that close, the Cossacks have several primary weapon options, but the most common will be the Dragoon variant of the Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifle. Longer than the carbine version but shorter than the infantry rifle, the Dragoon variant would serve as the base for the later M1891/30 rifle which was the standard issue rifle from 1930 to 1945. Most of the Dragoon rifles would be retooled into M1891/30s.



The Dragoon variant of the Mosin-Nagant used by the Cossacks.

The Shashka, and other weapons
The Cossacks aren’t the only troops in Tannenberg to carry a blade - the image below also shows off the Austrian M61 Sabre (available in one of the loadouts for the K.u.K officer), the Russian M81, and the Shaska itself.



All elegant weapons, but it’s the soldier wielding it who really makes the difference.

Weather conditions may vary
One of the graphical improvements in Tannenberg is a wider range of more atmospheric weather conditions, from summer sunshine to winter snows. The weather won’t change during the playtime of a match, but the range of possibilities will provide variation and some subtle gameplay challenges - spotting enemy soldiers in dark forest undergrowth will be more challenging when there is fog hanging in the air and clouds overhead, while a blanket of snow will make targets stand out more than usual as they cross open fields. As with Verdun, the range of weather options for a map will be appropriate considering the conditions seen during historical battles in the area.



Don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself how much difference the weather makes!

Westie’s Youtube
If you’re looking for a summary of everything we’ve revealed so far, Youtuber Westie did a nice video on Tannenberg where he discusses the preview content we’ve released so far. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNTS2OPrkyY
That’s it for this edition of Frontline News, but we’re already looking forward to seeing your reactions to the next preview. Stay tuned!
Tannenberg - Blazy013
Prepare yourselves for a winter offensive! Tannenberg is going to be released November 16 on Steam Early Access.

Watch the announcement trailer:
https://youtu.be/zL7cEuh4nF8

This will be your chance to experience Tannenberg’s new Maneuver game mode, which sees up to 64 players engage in an unpredictable battle to outflank and encircle enemy positions. Bigger maps, more players and multiple objectives create deep and engaging matches where the tide of battle can turn quickly thanks to smart infiltrations, tenacious defenses, and the occasional last-ditch assault!

Tannenberg is expected to be in Early Access from November 16 until sometime in Q1 2018, and the focus will be on polishing and balance. The price will be $17.99, with a discount for Verdun owners.

Until then, watch this space for more previews and informative Frontline News posts! You can expect a more detailed post on the mechanics of the Maneuver game mode quite soon. If you have other questions, check out the FAQ.

Grab your shashka, wrap up warm, and get ready for battle on November 16!

Tannenberg - CID-77


Though not as dominant as on the Western Front, there are some trenches

We have a new edition of Frontline News for you, to keep you warm during your first encounters with the cold and harsh Eastern Front. This time we are looking more closely at another new map, located in Poland, so read on!

New Map: Poland
We have more up our sleeves when it comes to the new maps that Tannenberg will introduce to the 1914-1918 WW1 Game Series. But for now we are focusing on the third map reveal, joining the ranks of East Prussia and Galicia. Poland will offer a harsh and gritty setting, with its open landscape, scorched earth and burned villages. It is set in the central Polish plain, an area of vast flatland around Warsaw, the capital of Russian Poland.



Another nice set piece, but you won’t be taking to the skies obviously

The Stage Is Set
The 64 player map features a rural farming hamlet set around a crossroads. The scenario depicts an overextended Russian Army, in the north-east corner, applying the principle of scorched earth. In the south-west corner, 400 meters down the road, we find the German Army stationed around an abandoned farmhouse. In this map you'll find destroyed buildings, war-battered chimneys in piles of rubble, an improvised Russian airstrip with Morane-Saulnier airplanes, Russo-Balt armored cars and much more!



Finding your way through the fog using burning houses isn’t the best of times

Poland features a range of different combat locations, such as intense building-to-building fighting in entrenched and fortified wooden dwellings, creeping tactical gun fights along hedges and firewood stacks or long distance engagements over ploughed fields and fenced meadows. The wooden buildings are a first in the 1914-1918 WW1 Game Series.



The wooden houses look safe, but don’t forget there is bullet penetration now!

Eye For Detail
Much attention to detail was put in researching the different styles of fences, haystacks, wells and unadorned interiors. These cultural features really sell the feel of an early 20th century impoverished Polish village, while also providing abundant cover and movement options to keep the map fun! We hope you are ready for the fight in this barren and flat landscape. All the characteristics of the terrain and environment will require new strategies and insights, so you will need to bring your A game to be victorious.



Always, always, ALWAYS... bring your gasmask

Thanks for reading and keep a close eye on all our channels. We have more previews coming up this month!
Tannenberg - CID-77


In the wrong place, at the wrong time

Welcome back to your (usually) bi-weekly dose of news from the front. This edition of Frontline News starts with some additional info on the Galicia map, which we have previewed in the recent weeks. We want to provide you with some backstory of the map, giving some weight to the region’s history. By popular demand we also have a more technical reveal for you, showing off the bullet penetration mechanic we are working on! To round things up we have a link for you, allowing you to register for Tannenberg alpha playtesting.



Nothing like a morning charge over a frozen field

Galicia, A Map With A Variety Of Challenges
The map Galicia is set in the historic and geographic region of Galicia, which includes parts of present day southern Poland and western Ukraine. It lies to the north and east of the Carpathian mountains. The map features cultivated land, and wild forests on sloping hills and rock faces. A small rural village with a monastery is set in stark contrast to a destroyed forest and improvised revetments. In the north east corner the K.u.K. troops have set up an improvised HQ. From here, following the adjacent meandering creek, lies a rigged railway with the Austro-Hungarian armored train pinned down between the woods and a large cliff. Uphill we find outflanked Russian field artillery, which leads us to an overrun Russian encampment. Arriving over the crest of the hill - in the south west corner - we meet The Tsarist troops at a deserted farmhouse.

Galicia offers the most variety of challenges in the line up of maps. The steep terrain promises interesting situations, and the dense disorienting forest provides the potential setting for a deadly ambush. There are revetments and trenches to navigate with saber drawn, and open fields to lead your squad through. We pay a lot of attention to detail in the maps. A lot of work has gone into new props that bring the history of this unique conflict to life. Keep an eye out for anything ranging from artillery carts and signal lights to tents, outhouses and boats. Another eye catcher here is of course the massive armored train, a prominent stationary set piece in Galicia. These ‘hero assets’ create an amazing atmosphere in the maps!



The stationary armored train in all its glory (the smoke effect is still being worked on)

New Gunplay Mechanic: Bullet Penetration
Our Eastern expansion will introduce new maps - such as the recently shown region of Galicia - in which you’ll no longer be confined to the muddy trenches. Instead combat is moved to vast open plains, dense forests, abandoned villages and destroyed churches. To facilitate this new dynamic gameplay we are also introducing new gunplay mechanics. One of these new mechanics that we’re is including Bullet Penetration.



Duck and cover, works like a charm

When bullets hit soft objects, like wood, dirt or flesh, they will penetrate the object and continue to do damage beyond the initial impact. As you can imagine, this change has quite a substantial impact on the 1914-1918 WW1 Game Series’ ecosystem. It adds another layer of strategy to the game and we feel it also adds to the realism of the gunfights.

Tannenberg Alpha Testing
To close things off we wanted to share a link with you, giving you the option to sign up for Tannenberg Alpha testing.This is a traditional test phase though, not just some PR stunt in disguise, or chance for you to play the game for free. We’re hard at work perfecting the game so we need testers who are willing to take an active role in testing and hunting for potential bugs, in order to make Tannenberg the game we all want it to be.

Signing up doesn’t guarantee an invite but if you’re interested we hope you’ll take the time to register.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIlKCIbNkW7fjrDv2eRWnbtCjP03hF5KEP7vk6XNMfmwXtIw/viewform

Thanks for reading and till the next Frontline News!
Tannenberg - Leo
For this latest edition of Frontline News we wanted to give the stage to our recently revealed Austro-Hungarian soldier, and showcase some of the details of his equipment and weaponry we’ve been working on.



Early war officer and squad in Pike-Grey (Hechtgrau)

As is always the case during our development of both Verdun and Tannenberg, we greatly value realism. Not only when it comes to gameplay, but also in visual details of any size. Maps, characters, or gear, we want it all to look authentic. This also holds true in regards to the recently revealed K.u.K. Trooper. And now that our Austro-Hungarian cat is out of the bag, so to speak, we wanted to highlight some of the realistic weapons and gear we have fitted him with.



Late-war squad in Field-Grey (Feldgrau)

Some troopers are wearing the Austrian M1917 helmet. This was a domestically made update to the well-known German M16 helmet, of which the Austro-Hungarian forces initially received 500.000 units. At the end of the war, another 500.000 local versions were added, which differed in colour, chinstrap, and placement of rivets.



Late-war KUK squad Equipment

The M1910 Entrenching tool’s main difference to its predecessor is the pointed tip. By the end of 1915 this model ruled them all, and replaced all previous models in the field. It was so sturdy, some were even reissued to the Wehrmacht in WWII. All shovels came with a carrier and were traditionally carried on the left hip, often strapped together with a bayonet (appropriately called the ‘German manner’). The most commonly encountered bayonet is the M1895 Mannlicher rifle version, which originally came with a black painted scabbard. Some scabbards were repainted however at a later stage of the war.



Close up of in-game backpack

The unofficially named M1888/15 canteen came from different manufacturers, which was only reflected in name and date stamps. When it comes to weapons, Many Steyr-Mannlicher rifles saw use. But as shown by our recent Facebook poll, the M95 is amongst the most popular.


In-game first-person view of inserting an en-bloc clip in the m95

So there you have it. The K.u.K. Trooper in all his glory. What do you think? No, seriously, what do you think? We are always looking for constructive feedback. Everything we have shown so far is work in progress, so we genuinely value your feedback if you feel a certain model could be improved. Thanks and we hope you enjoyed this edition of Frontline News!

And if you can’t get enough of the Steyr-Mannlicher rifles, check out the video’s from C&Rsenal, who helped us with getting the in-game audio sounding as realistic as possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xeeE1E9Wwk
History of the M95
Tannenberg - legolas
East Prussia Map - Extended Preview



More news from the Front! This latest edition of Frontline News focusses on the East Prussia map, giving you a closer look and inside information. For the occasion level designer Sjors Janssen takes to the stand, to share his experience in recreating this area for Tannenberg:



‘’East Prussia is the first map we developed with Tannenberg's new 32 vs 32 playstyle in mind. Its setting is inspired by the area of northern Poland. What really sets this map apart is the vast amount of forest. The forest offers a lot of variation, with its bordering managed woodlands, meadows, lakes, simple country roads and the odd farm. Following the frontline of the depicted scenario, there are heavily guarded and partially overrun positions of the Central Powers, heavily bombarded sectors with torn up trees, and collapsed trenches.




What's been really new to the development of this map within the 1914-1918 WW1 game series are the open ranges and the scale of the environment. We've spent a lot of time improving the look and feel of the natural environment with the creation of indigenous vegetation and new rendering tech.



We always look closely at the photo sources available from that time, to try and recreate the types of defensive structures that were designed during WW1. What has been really exciting to me personally is our stride to include recognisable elements of local culture close to the front line. We've been careful to select building styles, ways of harvesting grass, livestock, hedges and styles of fencing to provide a more authentic feel to what the cultural landscape would have been like historically.’’ - Sjors Janssen, Level Designer



We hope you enjoy these posts with our personal stories and experiences, from different members within our team. Frontline news will return early next month with a brand new extended preview, focussing on another aspect of our upcoming Tannenberg release.
Tannenberg - legolas
Tannenberg Hub: Frontline News June
Welcome to the first edition of Frontline News! We wanted to include you in some of the hard work going on behind the scenes, by adding personal stories to the content that we share.

Below you’ll find additional intel relating to the two most recent Tannenberg previews that we posted, provided by Jim ‘Volcol’ Chilton, lead artist and newborn YouTube celebrity (thanks to the video video from The Great War)!



German Infantry 1914
Germany entered the Great War in 1914 with a well-equipped and quite substantial force. Able to mobilise up to 4.5 million men (including reserves) in 1914 alone, the German army was a formidable force. The uniforms and equipment in 1914 somewhat mimed the uniform and equipment used in previous conflicts on the European battlefields. Like most armies, the German regular was largely issued with aging equipment – which included often impractical headgear and uniform colour schemes. The famous pickelhaube for example being a common sight on European battlefields for decades. The infantryman shown also has equipped a Gewehr 88 rifle, instead of the Gewehr 98 rifle. The scale of the European armies in WW1 often saw many units equipped with older rifles.

In creating the new artwork, we have drawn from our experiences with Verdun and how our character art techniques have changed down the line. Using a new approach from the start of Tannenberg character creation has enabled us to get much better material definition, with next to no performance impact. The creation of the new artwork has also allowed us to further improve the visuals of the equipment and uniforms, as well as open up doors to more improvements in the foreseeable future.



Mosin 91/07 carbine
Like many nations around the turn of the century, there was an increase in demand for a common weapon design that could be easily converted between infantry and carbine variants. Russia was no exception to this trait, and upon adopting the Mosin Nagant M91 for the Russo/Japanese war, limitations were recognised. Seeing the urgent need for a more compact weapon for machine gun units, sappers or even artillery crews, the carbine was commissioned. With around 300,000-350,000 of the rifles produced, this seemingly high number (enough rifles to equip the British Expeditionary Force at least twice) is dwarfed by the millions of M91 rifles produced.


Coming from Verdun, weapon artwork should also see great improvements with new texture/material processes and game engine upgrades. Audio improvements - with historical accuracy guaranteed by C&Rsenal - and a more accurate representation in animations should help provide a much more immersive experience with the new weapons. The Mosin carbine is already proving to be a formidable weapon in the right hands.

Feel free to join us on Discord , if you want to chat some more about this subject (or any other subject for that matter).

Cheers!
...

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