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3 HD Videos, Public Demo/BETA release in days...

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Hey guys,

Yea I know it's been a while since the last update...I'm like the drunken delinquent game developing uncle you never had :-o. In spite of the lack of updates to the developer journal, and my website, and my forums, aaaand...yea...work has been progressing at an unprecedented rate for me.

I'll be releasing a pretty full featured BETA/Demo version of Warbots Online (placeholder name) in the next few days. August 11, 2009 was my goal date. I was hoping to have multiplayer ready by the 11th, but I have enough to focus on without that in the equation. The demo version will just be single player/offline practice. With the online BETA to follow ~1 week later. I'm not going to require an e-mail or anything to download the demo/BETA...I'm just putting it out there and if you wanna play it...go on, if not, then just send it right back ;-) The upcoming Warbots demo that I'll release will be the first "anything" that I've put out in the public in the last 5 years ... that sounds kind of crazy, and I guess it is.

For those of you who want an update regarding Urban Empires, my gangster game...I was hoping to have some new images ready by today, but I'm working on so much stuff, getting the Warbots BETA out there in good shape, I had to delay that update. Urban Empires is so much more complex than just about anything I could have chosen to make...it's still in the works and I'm much happier with the way things are looking.

So anyways, back to Warbots - the vehicle combat game - I have not posted an update for like a month, so let me try to recall some of the major stuff I've added into the game since then...
- Lua scripting for the robot AI.
- New map 'Wasteland'.
- Wheel/Tire track rendering system.
- Ragdoll physics on the humans.
- Air transport ships / Human reinforcement system.
- Hovercraft physics / visuals.
- 'Gib' system for dirt/shells/body parts/etc.
- Fixed alt-tabbing.
- GPU based flag rendering.
- Decal system for scorch marks, etc.
- Ambient battlefield smoke.
- Human lasers - visuals&sounds.
- 'TV/interlacing' viewfinder shader, and viewfinder functionality.
- Tanks traps, 'hedgehogs', barbed wire fences.
- A HL style damage awareness system.
- FPS optimization, profiling, and tuning of almost every aspect of the game.

Obviously I've tweaked so many little pieces of art, code, and misc. that it would take me about as long to do the work, as it would to document it all...so I just do the work 8-)

As far as the BETA...the to-do list looks like this
- Vehicle/weapon selection screen
- Improve Robot AI
- Encrypt assets

Then the small tasks before releasing
- Disable the grasslands,desert,and arctic map...only the wastelands map will be in the demo/beta
- Remove unused assets from game directories
- Update the installer package
- Add the havok physics logo / splash screen
- Edit the documentation .pdf file

That's probably about 20 hours of work, or about 2 days. It'll be out there Wed. morning, or Thursay morning EST time [ 24-48 hours from now ]...


Below are the download links, and screenshots from the HD Videos I've created and uploaded. These videos will show how the first Demo/BETA release will look [ minus any last minute changes/adjustments/tweaks ].

The screenshots posted under each video link were taken from the HD video feeds, the FPS are ~30-40 while recording a full 1280x720 video, the game easily gets 70-80 FPS when not recording a HD video. Basically ignore the FPS readings in the screenshots/videos.

These video shows a bit of everything while controlling one of 4 different vehicles, there are only going to be 3 of the many weapons included in the public demo/BETA. The videos show driving, shooting, ragdoll physics, the new particle effects, the air dropships, human combat, vehicle combat, dynamic time of day, the new environment artwork, and just about everything in between.

*NOTE: Make sure you have flash 10 installed, and click the HD link on the bottom video bar. Otherwise you will get a blurry mess ;-) Not 720p goodness.

Warbots Online HD Video #1 - Driving 0:55 long.
Youtube HD Link -

Warbots Online HD Video #2 - Battle Formations 1:34 long.
Youtube HD Link -

Warbots Online HD Video #3 - Combat Gameplay 4:43 long.
Youtube HD Link -

The BETA/Demo version of the game will be released in the next day or two...stay tuned!

- Dan
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Any luck finding a publisher yet? It looks like you are pretty much finished...

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Thanks a lot for the comments guys.

Original post by Twisol
As always, that's some great eye-candy you've got there. [grin]

[grin] thanks.

Original post by Aardvajk
Outstanding. Love those shell casings. [smile]

Yea, the shell casings are pretty kewl :-) ...I'm going to generate tighter collision hulls for the vehicles so the shells don't sort of 'hover' above the vehicle when resting on it...but it's a lot of fun to waste people with the machine gun with a hail of bullets while the shells pile up 8-)

Original post by Jason Z
Any luck finding a publisher yet? It looks like you are pretty much finished...

Yup, I'm just about done with the project...I was talking to a few publishers about 1-2 months ago, I've not sent the game out to anybody else since then. I'm going to put the game out there, let people player around with the game and give me feedback.

I'll add/remove/adjust features based on user-feedback...I'm not glued to some design document and corperate chain of command, if I like somebody's idea or if people complain about something enough, then I'll change it. Then release a new version with all the fixes/updates and keep going until I
a) have a sick game that no publisher would turn down
b) start self-publishing until (a) is true

I'm sure I can find a publisher somewhere who'll pick the game up, but having a tested product with feedback from the gamedev community and from others who download the game will increase the chances.

I released 3 public versions of my gangster game back in 2004 before it was signed.

- Dan

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