Welcome to the first development blog for Warfare 1944! A lot of hard work has been put into the game during the first month of production after Bluedrake’s reveal (give the first 10 minutes of this video a watch if you haven’t already), and we are excited to recap our progress for the month of May, as well as showcase new content and features that will be coming soon. In May, not only were our games revealed, but we also began a massive onboarding process where we have received over 400 applications from the community to help with development from programming, 3d modeling, animations, level design, beta testing, and more. A huge thank you to everyone that applied and wants to support these projects!
Please keep in mind, Warfare 1944 is still in its’ pre-alpha stages, and you will see a mix of early assets, designs, and systems that are subject to change and be improved over time—our goal is to be as transparent as possible and let the community get a glimpse of what goes in to game development at all stages of the process.
Warfare 1944 will be available to purchase here on Steam on July 7, 2020 for the price of $9.99! You can still get your hands on a key to Warfare right now through our Patreon[www.patreon.com], where your support can also get you keys to various other Drakeling Labs projects right now, such as Operation: Harsh Doorstop and Iron Armada, and various other perks and benefits.
Before we begin we feel that it is important to outline the goals/objectives of Drakeling Labs, give a brief rundown of all of our projects and the core framework that they are built upon (OHDCore), and explain where Warfare 1944 fits into the picture and why it is our primary focus right now. Here to do this is the owner and studio lead himself, Bluedrake42:
As it stands, Utah beach is largely complete as far as layout and design goes, and most of the work that went into the map in May was building out the countryside and more inland regions beyond the beach, as well as bringing in new assets such as modular building pieces, and new trees and foliage assets. Now that the overall blockouts and positioning are more or less finished, the level designers are currently focusing on filling out these later stages of the map with more detail (towns, villages, and general countryside where the US forces will advance after taking the beach, further pushing into Normandy). Enjoy some development screenshots and timelapse footage of one of our level designers laying the groundwork for some of the various towns/villages and countryside of Normandy:
Carentan received much of the same treatment that Utah did during May—blocking out and expanding into the regions surrounding the city, making detail passes, bringing in new assets, and of course optimization work. Currently, the majority of detail is in the city itself, which players will find complete with enterable buildings (every building can be entered), propaganda posters, backyards and alleyways, and more.
Wake Island is a brand new map that was just started in May. It marks the beginning of our work on the Pacific Theater, and it will be our testing grounds for features like naval and air combat (when ships and planes are ready to be deployed—see below for some WIP images of both), as well as swimming.
Our level design team made quick work of this map in just a few short weeks following the reveal announcement, creating new foliage and tree assets, new modular building pieces/sets, new bunker assets, new lighting work, and more. There is still a lot more work to be done with this map, however basic functionality is there and the map is fully playable and coming together nicely (although at the moment we are testing with US vs Germans since we are still working on the Japanese faction! More WIP images of this can be found below, we hope to have the proper faction in very soon).
We also created a basic shooting range space that is available for players to play in a singleplayer environment in order to experiment with the various weapons and mechanics, as well as a sample of the vehicles in their current state (vehicles are only available in singleplayer right now, as they need more work to be networked properly and added into a multiplayer environment, however we wanted players to at least be able to experience them in their current state—you will find that we are still working out some kinks with the physics, and there are certain things you can do with the vehicles that we feel could be exploitable in a multiplayer environment).
Our goal is to have all three of these maps as complete as possible by launch, however, if there are some unfinished areas we will still leave them open for players to explore, but will be sure to keep the map capture point layouts consistent with what is more finished and ideal for gameplay. All maps will continue to be worked on and polished throughout development.
One of our most anticipated features for Warfare 1944 is naval combat. We still have a long way to go before we will be able to bring these ships in, however, our 3d modeling team is already laying the groundwork for this to happen by creating a series of ships from landing craft, to destroyers and aircraft carriers, and even submarines. Below you will find images of our current WIP ship models:
Kamikaze-class destroyer, Paterson-class destroyer, USS Intrepid, German U-Boat 505, USS Aaron Ward, US APA-159 Landing Craft, Daihatsu Landing Craft
We currently have several airplanes being modeled and prepared for when we start implementing air combat into the game. Just like ships, there is still a long way to go before planes are added, but we are still taking steps early to have some assets ready to go for when we begin bringing this feature in. Some more WIP images of our airplane models:
US Corsair, Mitsubishi A6M Zero
We already have a fairly wide variety of armor pieces and ground vehicles modeled and being prepared to be brought into the game. Right now, the US jeep and the German kübelwagen are the most complete/functional, and when the underlying systems for vehicles are more polished and complete, players can expect to see a wide range of options to play with. More WIP images:
US Army Jeep, US Sherman Tank, US Army G-506, US T17, German Wehrmacht Kübelwagen, Wehrmacht Panzer IV, Wehrmacht Schwerer Panzerspähwagen, Wehrmacht Opel Blitz, Japanese Type 3
A lot of work has been done in May to start preparing for the introduction of the Japanese and Russian factions. We will likely see the Japanese faction coming in first, but once again we are already getting started on creating assets for the Russian faction so that we will have a solid base for moving forward with creating maps to fit the Western, Eastern, and Pacific theaters of war. We have compiled a list of our current completed and WIP models for both:
Our animation team has been hard at work pumping out animations for many of the weapons and tools that we shared above. We have compiled a list of them for you to check out:
We couldn't upload all of the animations due to the larger file sizes, you can see the other animations here[imgur.com]!
In addition to all of the maps, models, and animations, our programming team has been working on some of the core systems and features that will be implemented soon. These include, but are not limited to:
The first iteration of grenades has been recently added into the game. Right now, the US and German factions have their own lethal and smoke grenade variants with basic functionality—players can equip and throw each grenade, and all grenades have basic physics that allow them to bounce, be banked off of walls, etc. (this will be further polished and refined over time). Here are some images of the models and in-game use:
Stielhandgranate 24, Nebelhandgranate 39, Mk2 Grenade, AM-M8 Smoke Grenade, Smoke effect in full bloom, Explosion Effect
Soon the squad leader roles will be able to deploy rally points, which will allow their team to respawn outside of the captured flag points. At the moment, players can respawn on the forward most captured point, however, once rally points are added, players will no longer be able to spawn right on the front line—instead, they will be able to spawn one capture point back, or on a squad leader’s deployed rally point (similar system to how other games with rally points.
The ammo and med bags are more or less completed, they just need to be programmed in. Right now, all available player classes and kits have increased ammo, and health regenerates over time—these are placeholder measures that we have in place until the ammo and med bags come in. These tools will be incorporated into the Rifleman and Medic classes when they are ready.
We are also currently working on our suppression systems, which will be coming to the game soon. We do not have any WIP screenshots of this to share yet, but the goal that we would like to accomplish for suppression is making it so that players vision becomes obstructed when shot at, but in a way that allows them to still react and return fire. In line with suppression, we will also be adding in a tracer effect to give players more feedback about what direction they are getting shot from, since this is currently an issue due to a lack of these systems. We will share more later on when we have something to show.
The current kits and classes that are available are Non Commissioned Officer (i.e. Squad Leader), Rifleman, Automatic Rifleman, and Medic. Planned/WIP classes that will be added later are as follows: Grenadier, Anti-Tank Rifleman, and Specialist. You can also see some of the new UI work that has been done for them here:
Work on audio continues. Right now a lot of the audio in game is a mixture of final and placeholder sounds, and there is a lot of work to do to bring in better, more complete sounds, ambient noises, adjust volume levels, make further adjustments/tweaks to distant sounds, and so on.
At launch, server owners can expect some basic tools and amenities for moderation and running their communities, such as: RCON and admin tools, text chat, and map cycling. Giving server owners the tools they need is very important to us, as we feel this is often overlooked with many modern/recent games—we fully intend on adding onto this list and building an impressive suite of admin tools as development progresses.
And now to move on to a bit of news about Operation: Harsh Doorstop. We will be conducting playtesting for O:HD soon, we just have some preliminary work that needs to be done to bring the game up to speed with a lot of the backend work that has gone into Warfare 1944. We will make announcements when playtests begin over in the DRK Community Discord[discord.gg], or Bluedrake’s YouTube channel so be sure to stay tuned there for more information! Once we have more to share, we will be creating another devblog similar to this that is catered towards O:HD, so be on the lookout for that.
May was the first month that our Patreon was started, and so far things have been going very well—in the month of May we had a total of [# of supporters], which has been a tremendous help in allowing us to make these games. Our Patreon is a great way to support our projects, and get access to the various games that Drakeling Labs is developing, as well as check out our prototypes and tech demos that we work on behind the scenes to learn about new technologies and development tools that could find their way into OHDCore and our games.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, we could not do this without you! If you believe in our projects and are interested in helping out, please check out our Patreon and consider supporting: https://www.patreon.com/drakelinglabs. We are constantly looking for ways to bring more value to our Patreon tiers, so be sure to keep checking in to see what we have to offer over time.
That wraps up our devblog for May! There was a ton of information to share, and we hope that you found this informative and have a better understanding of what our goals and objectives are. We look forward to sharing more with you later—be sure to check out the links below to stay connected!
-Goomes, Lead Community Manager