Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

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NotTooBad
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Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by NotTooBad »

Greetings Commanders!

By now, most of you have seen our announcement trailer for the Armored Brigade sequel. And yes, you have seen it right – our beloved battlefield has evolved from 2D into 3D. This change is a monumental shift for the game and we are elated by the positive responses received so far and the overwhelming excitement from fans. In this first diary, we aim to provide an in-depth look at this major transformation, delve into our motivations, and most importantly, reassure some of our long-standing fans about certain core gameplay elements.

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Why the Transition to 3D?
We have been attentively listening to community feedback, and we recognized the need to improve terrain interpretation and offer a more immersive battlefield experience. The idea notably sprouted in January 2021 as we were refining the ISO view. This concept gradually morphed into a full 3D perspective, which made us ponder: why not render everything on a single screen? We wanted to push the boundaries of what was possible, and this felt like the next logical step.

We did not make the decision to transition from 2D to 3D lightly. It necessitated a steep learning curve for our team. We had to adapt quickly, upskilling and expanding where necessary to meet these demands. The introduction of 3D also posed the risk of diverting focus from gameplay to graphics. Striking the right balance, where enhanced visuals did not overshadow core gameplay, was a paramount concern. There was also a genuine concern about how our dedicated 2D fans would react to this new direction, and ensuring the transition felt natural and value-added for them was crucial.

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By adopting 3D, we can now offer depth and spatial awareness that 2D simply cannot match, and a visual detail that breathes new life into every skirmish. This modification paves the way for enhanced tactical perspectives, from discerning line-of-sight over undulating terrains to better assessing the influence of the landscape on vehicle movement. This shift could potentially appeal to a broader audience, and feedback so far seems to confirm this. While Triple-A games excel in photorealistic graphics, Armored Brigade carves its own unique niche by focusing on gameplay and feature depth instead of competing on visual realism.

The new engine still vividly brings to life the intensity of warfare, portraying combat in a gritty and graphic manner that immerses players like never before. Every explosion, bullet tracer, and tank duel is rendered with a raw realism that underscores the unforgiving nature of modern conflict.

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Still True to its Roots
For those who loved the top-down perspective of the original, worry not! While the 3D graphics will offer new perspectives and possibilities, Armored Brigade II is designed to be played top-down as well. We understand that many of our players prefer this view for its strategic advantages, and we have ensured that it is optimized and as functional as ever. The top-down view will continue to provide that clear, concise battlefield oversight that many of you, and us included, have come to love. The shift to 3D simply allows for an additional layer of immersion and choice for players who wish to dive deeper into the tactical visuals. This move to 3D is not a departure but an evolution, taking the best from our roots and building upon it.

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Ease of Transition
One of our top priorities has been ensuring that the transition from 2D to 3D feels smooth and that massive maps and huge battles can be maintained. Whether you are a seasoned Armored Brigade veteran or a new recruit to the series, we aim for an intuitive and seamless gameplay experience. We have invested heavily in optimization to ensure that, regardless of whether you have a high-end gaming rig or a more modest setup, the game runs smoothly. By deliberately maintaining a stylized design and low model complexity, we've had another clear intention in mind: ensuring modding remains accessible and robust.

Modders have always been a crucial part of the Armored Brigade community. Their creativity and dedication have expanded the game's horizons, introducing new factions, eras and theaters. By maintaining a simplified design, yet aesthetically pleasing 3D models, we aim to provide modders with a canvas that is easy to adapt and build upon. Uncommon in game development, especially amidst such a dramatic shift, we have prioritized maximum backward compatibility. Old content can be quickly integrated into the new game, even if it initially appears with placeholder models.

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This is just the beginning, Commanders. The transition to 3D is more than a visual overhaul: it is an evolution of the Armored Brigade legacy. While embracing the new, we hold onto the core that has made this game special for so many. As we continue to polish and refine, we are excited to take you along on this journey. Stay tuned for more dev diaries, and as always, lead with strategy and foresight.

Until next time, keep those tanks rolling!
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by ncc1701e »

Excellent, this is a great evolution. What will be important will be to get the Line of Sight right.
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kevinkins
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by kevinkins »

Gee, now we know why things were delayed. It's a new sim. Giving Combat Mission a run for its money.

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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by ncc1701e »

kevinkins wrote: Fri Oct 06, 2023 1:28 pm Giving Combat Mission a run for its money.
If it can surpass it... I think the main problem with Combat Mission is the delay between each new release. Even the delay in correcting things as simple as adding cartridges for units. The "Syrian Airborne & Special Forces still only carry 100 MG rounds as standard" thing is lasting for ever. How many years do we have to wait between patches is their problem. I'm not even talking about the announced arrival of a new engine.

But, other than that, there is nothing else. If Armored Brigade II can surpass it, well this is a deal.
Chancellor Gorkon to Captain James T. Kirk:
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kevinkins
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by kevinkins »

That's because they are making more money from the UK military (for no measurable reason other than money) and CM is just a cash cow. I can't blame them.
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by Sunbather »

I think the shift to 3D is great, even though I can already predict a lot of complaints about how bad the graphics look. Personally, I just wanted better terrain interpretability and 3D solves that.

Two things come to mind when I look at the screenshots:

1. Please don't make every tank pop its turret when it gets hit fatally. Heck, tanks shouldn't even explode all the time. There are myriads of videos and photos out there showing destroyed tanks that didn't explode or burned out or whatever. If a damage model as complex as the one in Graviteam proves too complex, there could be a dice roll. 20% catastrophic hit (turret pop, cook-off); 50% knocked out etc. etc. Of course, this the catastropic hit chance would be considerably higher for certain vehicles that have there ammo stored right in the turret ;)

2. Let's be honest, the graphics do look a bit outdated. But I want to emphasize again that I don't mind. What I do mind though is that now it is all the more important to get the sound effects right. In a wargame they can add so much more to immersion than even the most "modern" graphics could right now. EDIT: I'll happily mod the sounds of the game as long as every unit/weapon/engine has its own file (similar to Combat Mission).


EDIT:
By deliberately maintaining a stylized design and low model complexity, we've had another clear intention in mind: ensuring modding remains accessible and robust.
This is probably the most important reason for having low poly models. In fact, it was the first thing I thought about when I saw the first trailer: oh my, hopefully the modders can keep up with the transition to 3D.
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PanzerCro
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by PanzerCro »

When we can expect gameplay trailer ? :)
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by jason oates »

While i love this game, and i welcome the 3d etc.
The key faults that need to be addressed are the lack of Infantry transport to give towed guns, missile teams and mortars tactical mobility and the link of Infantry to their own APCs. (ie when an APC is destroyed, the Infantry are marooned despite there being other transport assets available in the area).
Also the way helicopters are used needs to be addressed, as they are all but unusable, and commit suicide despite their known capabilities.
They also have no tactical helicopter transport capabilities.
Hopefully quite a bit of this will be fixed then i will be looking for my credit card.
vladimirK
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by vladimirK »

Great news guys, looking forward to play the new release!

As for graphics and complains about it's being "outdated" on the release: if you give community a possibility to create mods I'm pretty sure that grateful fans will create some graphic mods with improved unit models, new textures for grass, trees, roads, etc. Having your game "moddable" is a key for a long happy life.
ArmyEsq
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by ArmyEsq »

This is fantastic!! Outstanding. This game i such a great modeler of modern combat. Bravo! :D
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Re: Armored Brigade II - Dev Diary #1: Evolving the Battlefield – Embracing 3D

Post by ncc1701e »

vladimirK wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 1:55 pm As for graphics and complains about it's being "outdated" on the release: if you give community a possibility to create mods I'm pretty sure that grateful fans will create some graphic mods with improved unit models, new textures for grass, trees, roads, etc. Having your game "moddable" is a key for a long happy life.
Absolutely
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