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Field Report 43: Artillery Progress Update

17/9 - 2019

Hello and welcome to the Forty-Third Field Report!

Today marks the 157th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam and we thought what better way to honor and remember the anniversary than to give you all an update on the progress of some of the most anticipated features of War of Rights currently in development!

We’re very excited to be detailing some of the progress we’re making regarding the implementation of the initial artillery system into the game as well as a small sneak peek about some very cool things to come in the time after the introduction of artillery.

One of our programmers, Michael will guide you through the progress below.

Artillery Progress

Hello everyone!

For those of you who don’t know me my name is Michael and I have been a programmer at Campfire Games for 3 years. I am responsible for a lot of the notable systems including: the formation system, the weather system, free-looking, spectating, the admin tool, officer orders, capture zones and more. Currently, I am committed to two of our most important roadmap features which I am here today to talk about!

Arriving soon will be one of the most requested and anticipated additions to War of Rights, the artillery! Here is a brief rundown of what to expect and where we are now.

The very first artillery implementation which we’re quickly headed towards will be a work in progress (as most if not all things in an alpha are) and will thus feature both limited game mechanics as well as a lot of new exciting bugs for you to enjoy.

That being said, it will feature the core mechanics of functional artillery:

  • Different artillery classes with different tools and weaponry.

  • Unlimited artillery crew slots - if a team wishes to use all available battery pieces (or none) they can do so.

  • Pushable cannons (by wheels) by two players at once.

  • Ammunition and powder pickups from limbers.

  • Different types of loads (such as explosive shell and canister shot).

  • Horizontal aiming adjustments by lifting the tailspike of the cannon.

  • Vertical aiming adjustments by turning the elevation screw of the cannon.

  • Firing by fixing a lanyard to a primer and pulling it.

  • Recoil from firing will require the cannon to be pushed back to its initial position in order to maintain accurate fire.

  • Pushable limbers in order to make sure that the supply for the cannon can be moved with it should it be deemed a good idea to relocate the gun.

Here’s a short list of some of the things we’ll be looking to bring to the artillery system in later released iterations:

  • Artillery specific team damage punishment system (the first release of artillery will have friendly fire turned off).

  • Chance of normal and catastrophical misfires without proper maintenance of the cannon.

  • Dry sponge & worm tools for properly clearing stuck embers after firing.

  • Chance of explosion when hitting the limbers.

  • Chance of explosion when hitting the shell while it is being carried over to the gun for loading.

  • Vent hole plugging step while loading.

  • Fence destruction.

  • Horse drawn artillery.

At the time of writing all the hard work of many individuals is converging and we are now putting it through rigorous testing while ironing out the remaining issues. We hope you will enjoy this forthcoming feature as we continue to deliver the most authentic and engaging civil war experience we can muster.

Below is a flowchart of the structure of the artillery, or transport system as it is being called internally.

So when can you expect to get your hands on the initial artillery release? We do not know yet but great advances are currently being made each day in order to ensure that the release isn’t too far off

We look forward, in great anticipation, to experiencing artillery with you all and your invaluable feedback as we continue to press on!

Artillery Drill Camps

For the initial artillery implementation we’ve also expanded the drill camp map with two new Artillery specific drill camps and firing ranges - one for each faction as well as given it a major detail overhaul throughout the entire level

You’ll deploy in the artillery camp of your faction when spawning as an artilleryman in the level. There you’ll be able to drill positioning, loading and practicing your aim at the range alone or with a trusted band of crewmates.

Confederate Artillery Camp & Firing Range

Union Artillery Camp & Firing Range

A glimpse of Cavalry

(Game-ready low poly render of a chestnut horse recently completed by our Character Artist, Pat)

One of the benefits of the supporting framework for the artillery, known internally as the transport system, is that it has been built from the ground-up with cavalry in mind. Our forethought has already slashed the development time for cavalry in half and you will all be seeing it sooner than you likely think!

(Game-ready low poly render of a brown horse recently completed by our Character Artist, Pat)

Lastly, working on both the artillery and cavalry has been a welcome challenge at Campfire Games. It is our first venture that has really concentrated all the departments together to deliver some of our most complex additions to the game yet. It has been a real pleasure to work more intimately with much of the team. From the late nights of spit-balling gameplay mechanics to the long afternoons of arguing about the viscosity of soil, these deliberations have made this my favourite project so far!

That’s all for now. Until next time, have a good one!