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Thread: Help from fellow FPS shooter: Ground Branch KickStarter is now Live

  1. #26
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    Real Life

    Due to a dose of Real Life?, I did not have it in me to do updates or socialize much in the past few weeks. Thankfully, things have a progressed and much of the stress is gone.

    On the bright side, one way I deal with stress is to distract myself by coding? a lot. I?ve done everything from updating more loadout and UI related code (booo!) to gametypes and AI (woohoo!).


    As a result, you can run around with a custom loadout in a round based gametype firing off rounds in the distance and watch the bullets trajectory traced out by a debug line. It is not with out its issues (see image below) but is a great feeling to finally be shooting again.

    update



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  3. #28
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    Quickie? behind closed doors. Posted on July 9, 2013 by kris<------ GO HERE NOW!!!!





    please, see Official Website and Community to more updates.
    Last edited by Cpl Ledanek; 07-09-2013 at 05:43 PM.



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  5. #30
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    from News thread

    Jsonedecker (Lead Developer)

    Some of you have wondered what happened to Jon after the Kickstarter last year. I mentioned that he took a lot of what happened personally and got pretty burnt out of the ups and downs of this crazy industry. He is a good friend of mine outside "work" and we keep in touch. Well he saw our previous news item on Doors and decided to write something on his private Google+ feed. I saw it and felt it summed the development of GB pretty well to this point.

    So with his permission I am sharing with you all...........


    Making Games Is Messy

    We were trying to model the real-world feel of being a Special Forces Operator, by simulating things such as the human spine, gravity, physical limitations or unique features of the human body (binocular vision), and first-person immersion, in regards to physical interactions with the environment. Limitations aren't always a bad thing, and they teach you to plan ahead, and to act using some degree of intelligence. I don't know that I'll ever be able to "elevator pitch" the things we had in mind; but let's just say that we were interested in modeling infantry combat as closely to true life as possible.

    You know how "Mirror's Edge" firmly establishes that it's modeling immersive, first-person running and parkour? You know how upon playing that game, it instantly makes sense to you, and you never cease to be amazed by how fluid and realistic it feels? We wanted to be that, but with infantry combat and player movement.

    It's been just shy of a year, since I stepped away, but I'm glad to see that my buddy John Sonedecker and a handful of solid guys are still plugging away at creating our dream game (when they're not working at a handful of other day jobs). What's there now is completely gutted and rebuilt from the spiderweb codebase we had from 2007-2012 (up through our KickStarter build). Things just got so messy with so many different programmers, and it was slowing down progress for new team members, who couldn't make sense of some of the logic from previous leads. That, and a lot of that code was written for a different player skeleton and animation tree.

    The thing about games is: nobody ever shows you the messy stages where things look ugly, or just plain bad; and for good reason, really. Showing stuff like this makes a lot of people guffaw at your product. And believe me, we had our share of that, for many years. It was very physically and mentally draining, trying to be transparent, and then, being subjected to the endless negativity (simply because people don't understand the process, and would compare your work-in-progress media to AAA, big-budget, publisher-backed games such as "Battlefield"). There are lots of entitled people who expect things to magically exist, and they expect it to be everything they ever wanted, and they want it now. But that's just how it goes, being in the public eye.

    While it's not the prettiest girl at the dance (most of this is programmer art, or hacked together, or outdated, or the work of a man who wears more hats than anyone should ever be asked to wear), the prototype is still doing lots of unique things, in regards to player stance and in-game environmental interactions. I don't know that it'll ever be exactly what we all envisioned (we got pretty ambitious with our ideas), but it's determined to be more than a floating gun in front of a camera, and that's more than most games ever aspire to be, technically-speaking.

    One of our developer mantras was "every piece of gear has its role and serves a purpose." A lot of games have what's called a "masterkey" (an under-barrel shotgun for breaching doors and breaking locks), but will never give you the opportunity to use them as a tool. And how many times have you played a game with a locked door, and you've just thought to yourself, "why can't I just break down this ing thing?"

    I'm glad to see that ambitious ideas are still floating around, which slowly tear down the walls of "programmer logic" or "game logic" and replace them with "common sense" (being able to breach doors, rather than having decorative doors).
    Last edited by Cpl Ledanek; 08-05-2013 at 01:00 PM.



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  6. #31
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    These guys deserve to succeed, but there is a lot of competition in the FPS genre.
    Is there any way I can help right now? Any other crowd funding initiative or pre-order? I might consider it.
    Thanks Cpl Ledanek.

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  8. #33
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    read more at GroundBranch.com



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  9. #34
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    update



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    Blackfoot Studios enters partners with Killhouse Games, Inc


    COLUMBUS, Ohio ? October 30, 2013 ? BlackFoot Studios LLC announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Killhouse Games, Inc. to license Door Kickers for developing premiere simulations and training products for the world?s militaries and law enforcement agencies.

    ?Killhouse Games is a small company of passionate game developers, with the respect and knowledge it takes to create a product which properly captures the spirit of modern urban combat,? said John Sonedecker, founder of BlackFoot Studios. ?We?re proud to partner with a company that shares similar values to our own.?

    The Door Kickers platform is perfectly suited to BlackFoot Studios? vision for their products. It provides both the low development costs and versatility needed to quickly iterate and deliver content.

    ?It?s a really clever and easy-to-learn engine, which will run on basically any machine,? says Sonedecker. ?It gives us the opportunity to develop a product for quick deployment, and it affords our customers the added convenience of easily producing their own modifications and additional content. We?re really excited to deliver the educational simulation tools needed to train today?s warfighters and first responders, to safely execute some of the world?s toughest jobs.?

    ?The top down perspective and clear graphics in Door Kickers are designed to put the emphasis on presenting the tactical situation, and from day one we had a training version in mind? says Dan Dimitrescu, co-founder of KillHouse Games. ?Having followed Blackfoot Studios for the past couple of years I knew John?s experience in developing for the discerning gamer and the military trainer alike. With their intimate knowledge of the subject matter and the solid ethics that guide them in business, we are thrilled to have Blackfoot studios develop the Simulation and Training version of our game. They are in a great position to capitalize on our technology and to deliver the maximum of quality to the end user ? the man on the line.?

    Door Kickers: Simulations & Training will focus on the planning and execution phases of Close Quarters Battle (CQB) employed by many of today?s military and police forces. It will allow instructors to teach and then grade the methods of their trainees, using an easy-to-use interface. BlackFoot Studios plans worldwide availability of Door Kickers: Simulations & Training to government and law enforcement agencies, in the first quarter of 2014.

    About Door Kickers

    Door Kickers is a top-down, primarily 2D, real-time strategy combat game, created in the spirit of the original Rainbow Six and SWAT titles. Players must use their planning skills to their advantage, and draw out both the flow plan and firing sector of each team member as they attempt to safely navigate and clear a multi-room structure. Complex actions ? such as door breaches and grenade deployments ? can be easily programmed and queued to hotkeys, so that players may design the ideal plan, and simply hit ?Go?, as their team executes every order according to plan. As the situation develops, players are able to pause the action in order to quickly reasses and adapt as needed.

    About Killhouse Games

    KillHouse Games SRL, based in Bucharest, Romania, was founded in 2012 by Dan Dimitrescu, Mihai Gosa and Catalin Saitan, veterans of the Silent Hunter submarine simulation development team.KillHouse Games focuses on military themed games that offer the player an unique blend of polished experience and controls, quick and easy play, challenges for the thinking gamer and a solid essential base of real tactics and technologies.With solid multiplatform development experience and having contributed to numerous big name titles on the market, the team was able to quickly develop a solid engine and release Door Kickers to crowdfunding and on Steam Early Access, to the acclaim of players and critics alike.

    Additional information about KillHouse Games can be obtained through KillHouse Games Web site at http://inthekillhouse.com/

    About BlackFoot Studios

    BlackFoot Studios LLC, based in Columbus, Ohio, was founded in 2004 by John Sonedecker, a veteran developer who has been involved with some of the gaming industry?s most prominent and successful realistic tactical shooter franchises.With a team of visionary programmers and artists, BlackFoot Studios? goal is to develop simulations and gaming products that cater to the military and law enforcement space as well as the simulation and tactical games space. The studio firmly believes that it is important to balance complicated actions with intuitive interface design.With the studio?s talent for creating challenging realism while maintaining fun game play, gamers will find themselves in an immersive world of military Special Ops, with never before presented perspectives and gameplay.

    Additional information about BlackFoot Studios can be obtained through Blackfoot Studios web site at http://www.blackfootstudios.com/




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  12. #37
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  13. #38
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    Looks interesting, does it have triple-monitor support? Are you looking for a triple-monitor tester? Hit me up!
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanSmooth View Post
    Looks interesting, does it have triple-monitor support? Are you looking for a triple-monitor tester? Hit me up!
    please stop by the forum, because they do need someone who have the rig for this game.



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    BlackFoot Studios moves to Unreal Engine 4


    November 15, 2013/in News /by jsonedecker
    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!
    Many deficiencies and vulnerabilities of UE3 are no longer present
    UE3 is no longer being actively updated by Epic (It is still supported by Epic)
    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.


    KS is projected timeline would be Jan 2014.... so don't buy your wife something too expensive this coming Holiday.



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  16. #41
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    News we've been waiting for........

    [quote name='Jsonedecker' timestamp='1390882761' post='124361']

    We are not doing a new Kickstarter.

    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.


    Read this story on GroundBranch.com
    [/quote]



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  17. #42
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    just updating ..............


    [quote name='Jsonedecker' timestamp='1390882761' post='124361']
    We are not doing a new Kickstarter.

    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.

    Read this story on GroundBranch.com
    [/QUOTE]



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  18. #43
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    Talking

    First interview, with incoming screenshots not found in the forum


    -------------------


    Things are coming along
    Posted on February 19, 2014 by jsonedecker
    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.

    - See more at: Things are coming along | GroundBranch.com ? Official website


    Thanks for sharing the news



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  19. #44
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    Straight from the Dev

    [quote name='Jsonedecker' timestamp='1394983276' post='125894']
    Its been a while, but hopefuly I can make it worth the wait with not one, but two videos.


    They were recorded while trying to get the fastest time possible in one of the killhouse maps. To make this more difficult, the targets are randomised at the start of each run, as is the time the buzzer starts.


    We plan to make this speed run usable in both single player and multiplayer training, as well as add target options.

    eg. number of shots required to drop a target, friendly/hostage targets


    In this first video, I am doing the run with a mouse and keyboard only:



    Ignore the speed the player is moving at. Its a work in progress, like everything else.

    I insisted to the guys that I'm just that good, but they didn't buy it...


    In this second video, I am doing the run with a mouse and keyboard while wearing an Oculus Rift development kit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMpp4R5HGys

    (Lower resolution due to use of Oculus Rift devkit).


    You may have noted that on my very first run with the Rift, I make it through faster then any of my non-Rift runs. Despite the low resolution, this is normal, once you get used to it.


    The setup for Ground Branch is similar to one of the the Team Fortress 2 VR modes:



    • The Rift controls the view direction relative to the characters facing direction.
    • Mouse yaw turns the whole player, view included.
    • Mouse pitch controls the direction of aim and switches to the high or low ready weapon positions beyond the aim zone.
    • When aiming, the eye corresponding to the weapon hand lines up with the weapon sight.





    Combined with the true first person viewpoint, you get a better overall feel and sense of movement, as well a simplified control scheme. No need for a button to aim - you just bring the weapon up and naturally engage the weapon sight.


    I prefer this setup over any other first person control scheme that involves weapon handling/aiming that I've tried thusfar... and I've tried a lot. Aiming and moving with your head? What's up with that?


    I'll try and show webcam footage of the mouse / head movments in a future video.

    It really does feel quite natural.


    That's it for now.


    Enjoy and as alway, feel free to discuss this on the forums.


    Kris

    Read this story on GroundBranch.com
    [/quote]



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  20. #45
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    more from Dev

    Jsonedecker' timestamp='1395057820' post='125967']
    So here is a rough screen grab of the handgun postures you are seeing in the video. If not aimed then he goes into a close ready posture.

    sorry don't know how to resize this



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  21. #46
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    This game is looking good! Nice and smooth, just how it should be. Again, if you guys need a triple-monitor game tester, please let me know!
    \Project\ Triple Surround Fury
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  22. #47
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    just passing this along

    [quote name='Jsonedecker' timestamp='1401160970' post='128315']
    We have a new wallpaper available courtesy of DetCord, a friend of BFS. Feel free to download, use, pass around or whatever you feel like.

    Enjoy!

    1920x1200



    1920x1080

    1680x1050



    Read this story on GroundBranch.com

    [/quote]



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  23. #48
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    a little update



    Rain down on me



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