Most of the legal paperwork we have been waiting on is done, but there are a few more issues we need to resolve with the game itself before we can release anything. Rest assured, we are getting close!
While we wait, I thought I would post a couple images from the latest build. We are adding in environmental effects and doing more passes on the lighting and materials. Things get better and better with each iteration and will continue to do so as we move along.
As I always mention…. for better or worse, we never process up our screen shots. No ” bullshots” at BFS! These are screen grabs right from the editor.
We thought it would be a good idea to pop our heads up for a second and let everyone know that things are moving along well. Paperwork to allow the early access is close to being done and other legal issues are being wrapped up. We are also getting in some much needed feature work as well. We will keep you posted on our timeline once it becomes a bit more clear.
Since I’m here, I might as well show off the optic choices you will have when you first start playing Ground Branch. More will be added of course, but these should cover most of your needs when getting started. And yes, we know the reticules on the holo and reflex sights are not accurate. They are the way they are for testing at the moment.
Now that the initial shock is over let’s talk about the good news.
Instead of a second kickstarter we are going to do our own Early Access on this site until we have a build that can officially go up on Steam Early Access. Yep, we feel we pretty much have a solid enough build that we feel comfortable putting it out there. It will be rough, buggy and lack features/content but it will be Ground Branch and will give you a very good idea of what that actually means.
We are finally there people!
While getting the UE4 build far enough along to get decent KS material, we realized that we were actually pretty close to having something playable. I saw that we could spend a month building out the KS material then another month running the KS or we could spend that time finalizing the build, getting our licensing in order and the EA infrastructure in place to actually get GB out there in playable form. In the amount of time it would take to create the KS then run the campaign, you will be able to play and support GB! So in the not to distant future you will be able to financially support GB while playing it and while getting constant updates and giving us feedback.
There are a few very important things that are happening before we can actually launch this thing. We have a “punch list” of items that must be done before anything gets released. More importantly, we still need to get the final engine licensing paperwork(certain things need to be done before we can ship anything to the public) with Epic completed and all of their legal items in place. This may take a few more weeks, but the process has started. Don’t worry things aren’t going to drag out that long.
We will be handing out a build or two to a select small group of forum members before going public to make sure we have all the kinks worked out. Final licensing paperwork must be in place for that as well. We will soon expose a “store” page here that will list various support tiers just like a kickstarter, though you will get an actual download link once the transaction is complete. We plan to follow the lead of successful early access titles that paved their own way like Door Kickers and Overgrowth.
We feel this is a win win situation and one that allows us to grow Ground Branch development at a natural pace. It allows us to hold true to our mantra: ‘Do not build a community around a game….. Build a game around a community’
Keep checking back for more information as everything is finalized over the next few weeks.
We hope everyone is having a good holiday! The last few years have had more than their share of ups and downs concerning Ground Branch, so as we bring 2013 to a close we greatly anticipate what 2014 will bring. Myself and the guys greatly appreciate any and all support that you have given us and look forward to continuing that in the new year.
We thank you very much!
Oh, since lots has been going on behind the scenes, why not show some of the character progress while moving things over to UE4.
These are just a few of many customizations you can setup for your characters. More head styles, camo patterns, colors and of course gear are in varying stages of completion. Everything can be mixed and matched, so rest assured players will have tons of choices!
We pretty much have our heads down working hard these days… not to mention Kris has a new addition to the family!
Don’t worry, things are moving along nicely. We are getting close to having the UE4 build more or less back to where we were with UE3 on the programming side. Animation is almost there as well. Maps and content are slow, but getting there. We should be able to start showing more after the new year, but here is a small taste of the Killhouse map everyone has seen many times before….. but in UE4! Of course everything is a work in progress and will only get better. But not bad for a first pass I think.
Sorry for the odd resolution. Had to take it from the editor.
We are pleased to announce that Ground Branch is being developed using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4! Don’t worry, the majority of our completed work has moved over with a little bit of effort and things are in a much better state to move forward. For now, here are some of the main reasons for moving on to UE4:
It is modern technology!
More efficient art/programming pipelines
It allows us to compete better in the graphics area without needing tons of developers
Allows us to support platforms other than PC without hiring dedicated and expensive specialized programmers
Better Dedicated Server support
Infinitely better control and performance with dynamic lighting
New Material pipeline that makes use of physically-based shaders to give unprecedented control over the look and feel
Much more advanced particle systems
Advanced AI and the dynamic navigation system make it simple to simulate complex behaviors with navigation meshes that update in real time
Advanced DirectX 11 high-end rendering features such as full-scene HDR reflections, thousands of dynamic lights per scene, artist-programmable tessellation and displacement, physically based materials and shading, temporal anti-aliasing, IES lighting profiles
Moving to Unreal Engine 4 provides us a more solid foundation to make sure Ground Branch has a long life. We want to support GB for a long time and UE3 has been around for a while now… its roughly 7 years old and has lots of legacy code/methodologies that we had to continually work around. Basically, UE4 is a more solid platform to carry BFS/GB for many years to come. Oh, and it’s just a bad ass engine to work with!
We will have much more to show as we gear up for the new Ground Branch Kickstarter.