An insight of Black Matter, worth a read to understand where they come from.
As far as Hell Let Loose, we are all trying to make ourselves as much available to the team and community as possible. This often means early mornings, long nights and working weekends. Most of us have a full, regular working week to go through, spend time with family and friends, but all gladly have a lot of time to spare to work on the project, to research unknown fields in game technology or to bake/cook a newly received foreign recipe.
It’s been 3 months since the conclusion of our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and we’re excited to report that development is at full speed across every department in an effort to bring to life the full vision we described in our campaign. Below you’ll find updates on every aspect of the game, the community and some examples of development progress.
Immediately after the conclusion of the Kickstarter, we began overhauling our character models to create a standardized system to raise the quality and match them to all other aspects of the title. Our Kickstarter campaign media made use of some early models that were both inaccurate historically, but also visually lacking due to early workflow issues.
Fortunately, we’ve been able to create a workflow that has allowed us to greatly increase the visual quality of the models, while also staying within our technical budget. By using beautifully photo-scanned faces, we’ve worked with our brilliant character artist and several deeply knowledgeable historical advisers to overhaul the uniforms into their later-war manifestations.
While the Officer and Rifleman characters are complete for both forces, we will continue to create different uniform and equipment combinations for each role, as well as slowly start to diversify and create new units and army branches. This is not a process that will end, as there will always be another uniform, role, unit, branch or nation to implement.
All full-body character animations as seen in our early gameplay videos have been entirely overhauled and implemented alongside our new character models. By far, this has been the largest amount of work we’ve had to overhaul. It can take a long time to make sure that everything is performing as it should, and that it appears as fluid as possible. While we’re happy with what we have now, it will take some more time to iron out every smaller bug as we encounter them.
Our key focus with vehicles it to implement the trucks and other wheeled vehicles. The reason for this is simple - they underpin the supply metagame, and are a key resource in transporting units around the map. All vehicles will have a working gear system, suspension and physics properties that match their real-life equivalents. Our philosophy in all things is to begin using reality as the base, and then to push the design more towards “fun” wherever we feel players will struggle. In light of this, we’ve altered the horsepower and handling of some of the vehicles. We want you to focus on choosing clever routes, prioritising supply drops and clever driving techniques - not to feel chore-laden and bored.
In addition, we’re now applying small props and other details to all our vehicle models. It’s important to give them a lived-in feeling so commonly seen in archival photographs. For many men, these vehicles were home for months - if not years!
With the completion of the StG 44 model, we have nearly the full complement of US and German weaponry. Now begins the process of finishing animations, fixing bugs, implementing weapon-specific programming (deploying machine guns), sound design, muzzle flash design, additional FX (overheating barrel smoke) and gameplay balance (recoil patterns and damage). All of these steps need to be done for every weapon, and we find ourselves with the great problem of having many to choose from!
For our Early Access release, we’re aiming to include:
Mk2 Fragmentation Grenade
M18 Smoke Grenade
M2 AP Mine
M3 Fighting Knife
Karabiner 98k with 8x Zielacht Scope
M43 Stick Grenade
M39 Smoke Grenade
As per every other aspect of the title, we will continue to introduce new weapons for both the US and German forces, as well as others forces down the line.
We have recently added two new roles - the Automatic Rifleman and the Flamethrower - to the line-up, but will most likely add several more as development progresses. The idea is to create a large selection of different player experiences that are not only historically accurate, but also allow you to create the right Platoon composition for a particular task.
Currently, we are aiming to include the following roles for the Early Access:
The Officer role works currently as intended for all spawn deployment mechanics and initial loadout. The current aspects that are not yet complete are Officer-specific map markers and smoke grenades.
The Rifleman role is largely complete, with the primary weapon and grenades all working.
The pistols for both teams are almost complete. The medic system is underway, with bandaging working for all roles. The morphine model for the US is complete (with the German one underway). The bandage model is complete. We will need to tie in animations for both, but functionally they are almost ready pending bug testing. Smoke grenades are not yet complete though. Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
The BAR is complete, however we are yet to animate and introduce the StG 44 for the Germans. Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
Both machine guns are in and working, however we’re yet to finish the deployment mechanic and the overheat/barrel change mechanics. We also need to add layers of complexity to the FX to introduce lingering barrel smokes as the weapons heats up after sustained fire.
Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
Both rocket launcher models are complete and the animations are underway. However, the projectile model is not yet done, nor is the exact damage model for vehicles. Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
Both sniper rifles are complete with animations. The last piece of the puzzle is to introduce the proper zoom and scope overlay. This won’t take long at all, but it is something lower on our priority list due to the rarity of the sniper role. Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
The spotter functions largely as an Officer, and so is almost feature complete. We are keen to introduce some unique abilities to the role further down the roadmap. Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
The assault is almost complete - only lacking a role-specific character model.
The Support role is a strange hybrid currently, and we’re going to look to add more functionality to it as we test the game. Currently, he will be able to drop a smaller quantity of supplies in order to allow his Officer to deploy cheaper defences.
Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
The Engineer needs to have much of his functionality finished. He currently is a very basic version of his final manifestation. We will be deciding whether it is useful to include him in the Alpha if he remains at such an early stage. Role-specific character model is not yet complete.
The tactical map is done! We’re now moving on to refining vehicles, overhauling the deployment menu and bringing the tactical map logic into the deployment menu layout. The medic system is currently underway and we’re keen to expand movement and weapon-specific functionality as we proceed.
We’ve expanded our programming team, and there are so many exciting new features to add. If anything, we’re currently
Currently, we’re aiming to release St Marie Du Mont, Hurtgen Forest (which you can see above), Foy and Utah Beach for Early Access. It’s very difficult for us to describe the level of detail and work that goes into each map, but we’re very excited to see how players engage with the different and challenging conditions in each environment.
Nearly every sound heard in our gameplay videos has been overhauled. We expect the sound design to continually evolve as we move towards Early Access.
We currently have a first pass on every weapon, and will be continuing to refine and expand as we go.
Our forum is currently closed to those who have not backed the game. If you were kind enough to back us on Kickstarter or PayPal then you’ll have received access to the forum via email. If you did not receive an email it may have been lost in transit or sitting in a spam or promotions folder, but an account has likely been created for you.
Simply use your backer email to log in here: https://forum.hellletloose.com then use the forgot password link. We will eventually open up certain areas for the wider community, but it is currently important for us to be able to receive key feedback from those who will participate in our Closed Alpha.
Everyone is invited to join our Discord server! This is the best place to keep informed and updated on the entire development process as we move towards Steam Early Access. The devs are always present and often do impromptu Q & As to address mechanics, leak new images or talk about the game design. It comes highly recommended from our existing members, so please do check it out. If you are also a forum account holder you can now link your forum account with Discord and be assigned your backer tier. https://discord.me/HellLetLoose
Currently, the team is moving as fast as possible towards our Closed Alpha deadline (end of Q1). Many aspects of the game are rapidly being upgraded or introduced and we know as a team that to create a satisfying gameplay video for the community could take several days of development time away from our production schedule. However, while a gameplay video will not yet be released, we are keen to show you the current progress via updates on our social channels, or with Paleo where he’ll be streaming dev on Twitch! You can tune in to his streams here: https://www.twitch.tv/paleotronix
So, when is the Alpha?
It’s a good question, and it’s one that gets asked in Discord almost every day! At present, we feel that the end of Q1 (end of March) is a realistic Alpha launch date. As you can see in our update - every moment we have is spent on improving and expanding the content in the game. If we feel that this deadline will not be met, we will immediately communicate this with the community.
Have I missed my chance to support the game?
We understand that many people within the community may have only just discovered the title and are worried that they will miss out on participating in our Alpha. We have deliberated on this, and due to overwhelming demand have decided to open up our PayPal portal for a brief period with a limited selection of backer tiers. It will be available for the duration of February.
If you get the email, you can check out the pictures. If you did not sign up, pm me your email address and I will forward it on.
As we are still in early stages of development please note that this is a WIP, these are the best answers given at the time, some answers provided may therefore be subject to change. We will edit and update this FAQ periodically and do our best to keep you informed of any significant changes if they occur.
How much is Hell Let Loose where can I buy it?
You can currently secure your spot in our Closed Alpha and Beta phases by contributing to our ongoing Kickstarter campaign or the upcoming PayPal campaign.
Can I use PayPal?
We are now confirming that we will offer a PayPal form of backing once the formal Kickstarter has concluded. We really appreciate your patience while we’ve investigated this. All funds raised by PayPal backing options will be applied toward the Kickstarter stretch goals. We’ll update the stretch goal graphic and notify the community across our channels when goals are met.
The PayPal option will run for the first two weeks of November - beginning at the conclusion of our Kickstarter. We will offer the most popular backer tiers. If you’re unable to find the exact backer tier you would like to support, we’ll establish a way to contact us. We’d love to work with you to ensure you have the option you desire (with the exception of the Scout tier).
Our current release schedule is as follows:
Closed Alpha - Q1, 2018
Closed Beta - Q2, 2018
Steam Early Access - Q2, 2018
Will HLL be coming to console?
Currently our focus is on PC only.
Will you censor Nazi imagery?
Yes - but only in territories where the law states that we must. It is our goal to make an historically accurate game. As such, we will strive to capture the camouflage schemes, equipment, uniforms and weapons of each of the Wehrmacht and SS formations.
-Gameplay Mechanics & Systems-
Will there be a character progress or ranking system?
We are doing a very, very simple rank system at the moment. It’s a three tier system designed to show players your relative experience in the game so that they know you’re probably a good source of advice. Currently the rank system is based on games won: 15 games won is a bronze star, 100 games won, a silver star and 500 games won - a gold star. It’s designed as a long running incentive - not as something to be immediately obtained. The only role so far that would be “rank locked” (and that’s after a good deal of time after release) would be the Commander.
Will there be a cosmetics or customization system for uniforms and/or weapons?
At the moment we are trying to work out exactly how cosmetics will break down. We like the idea of entire platoons appearing in the same but also recognize that individuals will want to customize themselves to a degree. For us, it will be about striking a delicate balance while maintaining authenticity and historical accuracy at the forefront.
Will there be a suppression system / mechanic and if so can you explain a bit about it?
We’re going to be implementing pretty brutal suppression tactics to the degree that’ll match or exceed RO2 and PR. We really feel they’re critical to MGs and other high ROF weapons, and suppression will be a large feature in the game. We don’t want to talk about it too much, because it’s subject to testing.
How will the in-game voice communication system work?
There will be three VOIP channels. A proximity VOIP for your team. A Platoon-based VOIP, and then a leadership VOIP between the commander and all Platoon-leaders. We also have text chat at each of those levels too, and will look at a vehicle VOIP.
Could you take a minute to explain / expand upon the health and medic system?
Our health and medic system is a three tiered system based on the triage criteria used during the war.
Wounded: Wounded players have suffered non-fatal injury that has resulted in bleeding and will be required to either apply a bandage or have a bandage applied to them in order to control that bleeding. If left uncontrolled the player will bleed out and become Incapacitated.
Incapacitated: Incapacitated players have suffered a life threatening injury (gunshot to the chest or thighs) that has resulted in incapacitation. The player will be knocked to the ground and unable to move. The platoon medic can apply a morphine syrette to the incapacitated soldier and place him into a wounded state at which point either the player or the medic will need to apply a bandage to control bleeding.
Death: Players who have suffered mortal injuries (headshots, multiple gunshots to the chest and thighs, immolation, dismemberment, etc) will not be able to be resuscitated by a medic and have to respawn.
Can you shed any light on how Hell Let Loose will handle player spawning?
No spawn point costs resources to deploy, but each role has an inherent value. If a Rifleman dies and chooses to respawn (instead of being revived by a Medic), the cost of that role (1 Manpower) is deducted from the team’s manpower pool. More valuable roles cost more Manpower. While it does not directly affect the individual player, losing many valuables roles continuously will reflect in the team’s Manpower (the less they have, the more likely they are to lose the game). Additionally, there are three types of spawn points in HLL:
The Base: All players can respawn at their main base.
The Garrison: This is a spawn that can be used by the entire team.
The Observation Post: This is deployed by the Officer of a Platoon as is one of the most important functions of the Officer role. It allows all Platoon members to spawn at this location.
Will there be a limited amount of specialty roles per platoon or per team?
All roles are limited to 1 per Platoon - except the Rifleman (which is unlimited). The only role that is limited per team is the sniper and spotter roles (because you can only have 2 recon platoons per team).
-Sector Capture & Resource System-
Can you expand on the resource meta that is so central to Hell Let Loose?
In HLL, we are currently using three resource types as a mixture of currency to buy supplementary benefits. For example Munitions buys strafing runs and restocks artillery ammunition at base. Fuel allows the Commander to spawn special vehicles or to force respawn destroyed vehicles. Manpower allows you to force respawn dead infantry and governs your rate of attrition. Currently, defences that the player can build are tied to Supply crates, which are generated in main base via Munitions. We will continue to widen, refine and balance the resource system as we develop during testing stages.
Is it possible to cap a point behind enemy lines? If so does this affect their resources if you cut off the front lines for example?
You can only cap adjacent sectors to ones you already own. So two guys can’t hop in a jeep and cap the sector next to the enemy base, but you can perform a flanking manoeuvre by capping around an enemy salient.
-Weapons & Weapon Handling-
Can you take some time to explain the aiming system which HLL utilizes?
In terms of handling and sway, that’s already present, but I’ll be tweaking it as we go. Our closed-testers are all players of tactical shooters and milsims, and we’re working very hard to create the best of a AAA shooter experience (by this we mean reliability and quality), and also a mirror of the real life equivalents.
Will the game contain melee?
Yes - think BFBC2. The visceral and decisive nature of animations will make melee tactile and brutal - instead of constant air swinging over and over!
Will tracer rounds eventually be added to the game?
Yes - and only on weapons that fired them!
Is "hold breath for accuracy” a thing?
Not currently, but it will be.
Will weapons be map-dependant?
Eventually they’ll be map dependant, but initially we’ll be filling out all the roles with a complement of weaponry.
Could you provide us with a list of weapons we can expect in the closed alpha?
What can we expect from the mobile artillery stretch goal?
The mobile artillery stretch goal refers to self-propelled artillery pieces. We are currently looking at making our first two additions to this sub-category the M7 Priest for the Allies and Sd. Kfz. Wespe for the Axis.
Will it be hard to land artillery fire? How it will work?
It will be difficult, in so much as ranging and practice is concerned. Players who do it a lot will become a force to be reckoned with. You’ll essentially need to get a bearing, a range, then manually shift elevation and check effect-on-target as you go. A spotter or comms from the frontline will be necessary. You’re going to have range charts and have to work it out. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at quickly sighting on specific landmarks.
Will players be able to tow artillery pieces with support vehicles?
Possibly. We’ll have mobile artillery, so we can look at including towed arty too.
Will the commander, tank crew, recon team receive their own uniforms?
That’s our aim!
Will vehicles/tanks be able to run out of fuel (theoretically)?
Yes, but it may be slightly gimmicky…
Will vehicles suffer mechanical strain as they traverse different terrain or encounter problems and/or breakdowns well?
At the moment we’re going to have a very simple gear system for drivers, which will add a tiny learning curve. We’ll also look at different surfaces having different effects on driving. Ultimately I suspect we’ll make the vehicles quite reliable for the two hour stretch of the battle, as they’re very expensive. Plus, the player error in using them will be quite high.
Will infantry be able to ride on top of the tank as was often seen during the war?
Yes! It’ll be a great way to get into combat!
What is the plan on amphibious combat?
Currently our focus is very much on combined arms warfare on land. We will see how it goes with vehicle programming, and how amphibious could be implemented - this however is nowhere near our priority.
Can we expect to see the inclusion of airpower in Hell Let Loose?
Players will be able to call in full scale aerial bombardments and strafing runs on enemy positions. Unfortunately we will not be including player-controlled planes in the game. Our current focus for our development team size means that we can only realistically deliver a combined arms ground combat experience.
Will there be any kind of weather system and/or a day/night cycle? If so will the time of day be based on the actual conditions during the time of the battle?
It will be based on the battle itself! That said, as you’ve probably seen in Hurtgen and Foy, it’s important to have different characteristics and weather effects for each map. We’re not interested in copy-pasting the same old stuff over and over. We’re focused on creating entire biomes that we can then create many maps off. Normandy, Ardennes, Snow etc.
Will we have the ability to perform air drops into the maps if playing as a paratrooper?
We basically need to test this. At the moment our map bounds are very close to the edge of the playable area as a tradeoff of beauty for performance. This is the main incentive not to tackle aerial combat - as it will look quite ugly. Because of this we are currently spawning paratroopers on the ground. However, this will be something that we reevaluate as development progresses.
Can you expand on the future of the strategic layer in terms of a possible campaign or territory mode?
We are planning for an RO2-like campaign mode. Ultimately, we would like players to be able to fight different campaigns sequentially. For instance, an operation Overlord Campaign, Battle of the Bulge, Moscow, Stalingrad etc.
Do you plan on releasing an SDK or offering some degree of mod support?
We would like to. We will look at releasing a map editor with the full suite of mapping tools after the game has reached full release. We are going to look at how custom maps interact with the game - and what mapping tools we offer (if we do). It’s a bit early to explain it, but know that we’re thinking about it. However, our main priority is making sure the title is as good as it can be.
Do you plan on offering localization for gamers who aren’t fluent in English?
Yes! For our title, we are fortunate in that most of the text is in options menus, and this is very easily adapted into different languages.
Their source is in the post but I can’t remember my login to the forums.
The developers of Hell let Loose have posted yesterday an update about the game’s alpha, scheduled in the kickstarter for the first quarter of 2018. The announced release date is March 31st and the alpha will be active for 4 weeks . However, stay cool and read on.
If they previously announced a list of features available from the alpha, it is clear that some are now passed by the wayside. Indeed the vehicles will have to wait (it is the biggest retreat), there will be only one map and the alpha will now focus on infantry combat. So everything suggests that the logistics system has jumped with the trucks and therefore the parties will be large FFA. Here we just understand why it will last only 4 weeks, we would soon shit!
In short, Hell let Loose suffers a little lack of experience of his team and may be an overconfidence of developers. To want to honor their ads and to work on several fronts, here they are with the flock everywhere. I have followed the development on twitch and … there is some work to do just for a “simple” infantry fight! So I’m willing to bet that alpha will be at best late, or at worst it will make you manic-depressed because of its lack of flavor. The advantage is that there will be no NDA so you can see videos everywhere to get an idea.
What is holding up the Alpha - answers on the following post from the forum and a general Q&A:
Currently we have lots of small issues encountered from testing that are standing in our way.
These include but are not limited to:
Missing third person and some first person animations for medic equipment (currently in progress).
Glitching animation transitions when a player is put into critical state (shot).
The need to implement several key deployable mechanics for the Support and Rifleman role (all 3D assets are complete).
Implementing correct reload sequences (wet, dry, cocking) for several weapons.
Fixing a nasty grenade bug where the grenade sound continues to play despite being thrown minutes ago.
Implementing (skinning) the German Medic character model.
Implementing an ammo box system to allow the players to re-arm.
Fixing the differentiation of some rules between Garrisons and OPs.
Implementation of some tertiary weapon sounds (equips).
Implementation of some third person weapon animations.
Locking animation transitions in third person (currently crouching does not force play and can result in desynced stance against the first person view).
Don’t despair all, when the Alpha does drop, there is no NDA so we can freely discuss/record actions. Also, the Alpha is scheduled to last for 4 weeks. It will be St Marie Du Mont as the Alpha map, infantry only (no vehicles) as they need to check final infantry gameplay
I have borrowed this from the post:
What won’t be included in the Alpha?
The following features have not yet been implemented, but will be for Early Access: