Battle Stations! This is not a drill!
24 days ago
– Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 12:06:09 AM
Listen up, MechWarriors!
Over two years ago, our forces launched Operation Alpha Strike, a coordinated effort to bring turn-based tactical ‘Mech combat back to PC gaming and to return BattleTech to its rightful place of honor.
Today, High Command reports that our launch window is confirmed for April, 2018.
High Command also reports a special mission incentive for new recruits, so spread the word!!!
IMPORTANT INTEL FOR “BACKER” COMPANY…
All Backers at the Recruit level and above will ALSO receive this special edition Shadow Hawk skin upon deployment. High Command thanks you for your continued support of the cause.
Enclosed are TIME SENSITIVE materials from High Command, whose goal is to expand our forces. Make sure you get this into as many MechWarrior's hands as possible across all forms of communication.
Here’s a hi-res wallpaper version of our new store art.
High Command is also pleased to announce the third in a series of four linked digital novellas by Mike Stackpole is now available for Backers at the $50 MechWarrior level and above.
You’ll find a file including the pdf, mobi, and epub versions to download when you hit “Get My Digital Rewards” in your BackerKit account. It can take a little time for the files to populate to everyone's account so please check back in a couple hours if you don't see the files right away.
The Global BattleTech Forum is moving and you can read all about it in this forum post.
To make the new forum feel like home, you’ll find a new forum code in BackerKit that will give you access to BATTLETECH Avatars, Backer Badges and access to the Valhallah forum if your rewards include that. You'll also find a second code for a 10% discount off an order at the Paradox Store - a Happy New Home gift from Paradox Interactive. Codes and directions on how to use them will be found in your BackerKit account. We’ll see you there!
MechWarriors of Backer Company: We have traveled the length of known space to deliver this package and though the journey has been long, we are very excited to finally get BATTLETECH into your hands.
HBS Actual, out!
2 months ago
– Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:42:41 AM
Happy New Year Everyone!
We’re excited to report that the team hit their end-of-the-year goals and are on track for a great launch this year. While we don’t have a release date to announce yet, we definitely feel good about the state the game is in.
It’s an amazing feeling to have all the pieces in place and to finally play the game we imagined over two years ago! During the week between Christmas and New Years, we took a step back to review our progress and look for areas that need more attention and now we’re back in the thick of it, fixing bugs, balancing the game, PLAYING the game, and taking action to improve the experience day-by-day.
By and large, BATTLETECH is surprisingly close to the vision we originally pitched in the Kickstarter in September 2015. As anyone who’s made a video game can tell you, it’s incredibly rare to finish a game with all the features you envisioned when you start making it. So while we’re surprisingly close, we’re not perfect.
With release in sight in the next few months, we want to tell you about a few features that were part of our Kickstarter Campaign, but need to be delivered post-launch in order to focus development and testing as we move towards release.
Legendary 'Mechs and MechWarriors
Ability to play different types of missions in Skirmish mode (The campaign itself still has plenty of mission types though.)
Some Valhalla-tier reward items (specifics TBD)
Famous character cameos in the campaign (a Social Mission Bonus from the Kickstarter Campaign.)
Famous AI Lances in Skirmish mode (another Social Mission Bonus from the Kickstarter Campaign.)
Rest assured that we are still committed to delivering these features after the game’s initial launch and at no additional charge to Backers.
One other change - instead of a multiplayer experience focused around competitive tournaments & leagues, we've opted for a more friend-focused model of multiplayer functionality. Players can invite each other to matches via Steam/GoG, create private games, and browse public games from the lobby.
Because of this change in direction, we also won’t be delivering a Solaris-themed multiplayer experience at launch. Instead, the game will ship with a diverse set of multiplayer maps across all the game’s biomes to battle on. We recognize that Solaris VII is a great setting for BattleTech experiences, and in success, we still hope to explore different ways to bring Solaris VII to life.
And finally, a feature that wasn’t a Kickstarter commitment but that we talked about online a bunch is Ironman Mode. Unfortunately, that won’t make it in for launch but we’d love to add it later.
Before we go, we want to thank everyone who came out to Mech_Con 2017 last month. We had a blast hanging out with everyone and hope you did, too. There’s really nothing more invigorating for us than meeting you face-to-face and sharing our mutual excitement for BATTLETECH.
The highlight of the evening for us was watching Jordan & Mitch go head-to-head in an epic (though tactically challenged) Battle of the Gray Beards™ with McCain doing color commentary. The two combatants fought a Trial of Honor with the loser kneeling before the winner and pledging to be his Bondsman for one horrible week. You can check out the duel between Jordan and Mitch at this link around the 5:56 mark.
Okay, back to the grindstone. We’re starting back up our Livestreaming Dev Q&As on Wednesday, February 14th hosted by our friends at No Guts No Galaxy. See you then!
See you then!
Official Multiplayer Backer Beta Is LIVE!
4 months ago
– Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 12:22:48 AM
After weeks of gathering data from our Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta and more weeks of revising our network architecture to allow the Global BattleTech Community to easily play together, we are happy (and relieved) to announce that the Official Multiplayer Backer Beta Is LIVE on Steam. We hope you enjoy your multiplayer matches as much as we enjoy ours.
If you are at the MECHWARRIOR Backer level or above and have already downloaded the game, Steam will automatically update the Beta to include the multiplayer mode. No password is needed and no action is required to start playing against others right away.
We’d like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to the brave Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta testers who provided invaluable data and feedback during this early testing period. Your support has benefitted your fellow Backers, our community, and all the folks who are about to find out how cool the BattleTech universe is.
This final beta release is intended to test our multiplayer code with a larger sample of players around the world. You won't find any new combat features, very many balance changes (beyond those we've already done), or additional content in the update, much as we would love it. It was simply too much for our small team to keep the Beta and Production versions of the game in synch for months - or to attempt to update the Beta now after months of adding new code and content.
The Skirmish & Multiplayer Backer Beta will remain open through the end of the year. After that, the Beta will be shut down in preparation for the upcoming launch of the full game. Folks can still purchase Beta Access (and Backers can still upgrade their reward level) until Friday, December 1st.
If you’re looking for a match, head over to the Beta matchmaking sub-forum to find other MechCommanders ready for some Heavy Metal Mayhem! And if you’re eligible for the beta and haven’t downloaded it yet, this is your last call - head over to the Backer Beta PDF Manual to get instructions for getting your Steam Key from your BackerKit account, downloading the game, and how to play the game.
A First Look at the Campaign and a Production Update!
4 months ago
– Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:06:23 AM
Hey everyone, Mitch here!
Last week we did a press tour with our friends at Paradox to spread the word about BATTLETECH. Mike and I flew to San Francisco to meet with journalists there, while Jordan did the same in London. We gave the editors some hands-on time with one of the first story missions in the game and walked them through the full scope of the single-player campaign. We're looking forward to seeing what the press have to say this week, and hope to get people excited for our release next year.
While we were in San Francisco and London visiting the press, we also got a chance to hang out with some awesome BattleTech fans and a good time was definitely had by all.
It was an exciting, whirlwind tour but we're definitely glad to be back in the studio, working on the game. Speaking of which, how about a production update?
Things are rolling around here! We have the entire singleplayer campaign and mercenary simulation fully assembled and now we’re working through the game chapter-by-chapter, screen-by-screen, feature-by-feature to get everything to a shippable level.
Most mornings, Mike (Game Director) leads playtests/critiques of BATTLETECH in our break room. He holds them in our break room so everyone on the team feels comfortable wandering in and hearing what’s being said. He and Kiva (Lead Designer) determine what they’re going to look at ahead of time and invite the people responsible for that section of the game to play together and collaborate on a plan for improving things. This visibility is key to improvement. When you’re in the thick of making a game, it can be challenging to step back and play it from an audience member’s point of view.
The whole team is methodically working through every part of the game to “up-level” it - missions are getting second and third drafts, designer-created maps are going through full art passes, temporary voice-overs are being replaced with professional actors in missions and cinematics, quiet missions are suddenly filled with dramatic music, and programmer-created interfaces are getting the full art and audio treatment.
It’s a ton of intense work and the whole team meets briefly for announcements and general direction every day before breaking up into small groups for tight communication and progress updates. After that, it’s heads-down for the rest of the day. We try to keep meetings to a minimum and if we have to have one, we do our best to keep it tight and action-oriented.
In addition to all of this, a few members of the team have been diligently progressing on our multiplayer network infrastructure, analyzing data and updating the Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta with important changes. Expect a separate update on that soon.
There’s still a lot of work to do (including tons of balance work) but we can see the next milepost up ahead - the plan is to be feature and content complete by the end of the year, so we can go into full-on bug fixing and polish mode after a much needed break. As Jordan noted in our mid-August update, all indications are that Paradox & HBS will release BATTLETECH in early 2018.
Thanks for sticking with us as we develop our most challenging, complex, and aspirational game to-date. It’s a big one and we truly appreciate all your support.
Jordan, Mike, Mitch and the rest of the gang are heading to Vancouver on December 9th to attend Mech_Con, a HUGE gathering of BattleTech fans and developers. We had an absolute blast last year and we encourage you to come and hang out with us. Here’s a video to give you a taste of what you can expect.
This Twitter thread by Lead Designer @HBS_thratchen shows the process of building a Battletech map.
And our music composer Jon Everist created a YouTube series on the creation of the game's music, which he also sometimes tweets about @JonEverist.
Gen Con, Gamescom, and a trip to Red City
7 months ago
– Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:42:11 PM
Hey Backers, we just wrapped up two great conventions - Gen Con in Indianapolis and Gamescom in Cologne - so we thought a small update was in order, along with a little gameplay video treat.
This year was the 50th anniversary of Gen Con, and the largest attendance in the convention’s history with over 70,000 people playing tabletop games for four days. My first Gen Con was number 6, and I have only missed a couple in the intervening 44 years, so that convention is very special to me. It was a real pleasure to bring the Backer Beta Update to Gen Con and share it with people who have been playing BattleTech for several decades, as well as people who just discovered it for the first time at the show. Gen Con is probably the only show in the world where you can play various versions of the tabletop game, climb into the Virtual World cockpits for the most immersive BattleTech experience, and top it off by battling a friend face-to-face in the BATTLETECH Backer Beta on PC. The players had a blast, and so did all of us at the booth.
I especially wanted to do a shout out to all our Mods who hosted the booth with us. These men and women work hard every day on the forums and social media, and they did a fantastic job at Gen Con, helping people learn the game and comparing strategies with players. We rarely get to see and work with the Mods in person, so it was a special treat for us at HBS.
While we were in Indianapolis, Mitch was on his way to Cologne, Germany to attend Gamescom - one of the biggest video game conventions in the world. We have been working with the Paradox team for some time, so they were properly prepared for Mitch - meaning they had the right whiskey for him to drink, and a strong metal cage to contain him. (No joke - Paradox’s press demo stations were set up inside converted shipping containers, which you can imagine with Mitch’s booming voice reverberating within.) There was only supposed to be one demo station per container, but so many members of the press wanted to see BATTLETECH that they squeezed two stations into the container - where poor Ash, our Paradox producer on the game, had to try to compete with Mitch’s voice while doing interviews.
While we didn’t do any public demo-ing at Gamescom, we did debut a brand-new biome to the press - our “Martian” biome. This is one of the non-terrestrial biomes in the game, and I think one of our most striking so far. And since press got to see it, we wanted all of you Backers to get to see it right away as well! (Gamescom was last week, but impressions were embargoed until today.) So without further ado, here’s a new gameplay video showing multiplayer on a new Martian map between Mike McCain, our Game Director, and Connor Monahan, our Encounter Designer. Their titles might give you some sense of the battle’s outcome, but I won’t spoil the suspense for you. :)
Note that this video was recorded from the development branch of our codebase, not the Backer Beta branch. Thus, some elements of combat may differ slightly between this video and what you see in the Backer Beta. (Most of the inconsistencies are UI-related.) Map and encounter design are different on the development branch to support the campaign / sim game, and thus we aren’t planning on adding this map to the Backer Beta, due to the amount of work it would require to bring it over to the Beta branch.
Lastly - thank you again for all of your feedback on the Backer Beta Update! It’s encouraging to see such positive reactions to all of the changes we made based on your survey and forum feedback. And we greatly appreciate those of you who are braving the rough waters of the Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta - your play is really helping us smooth out that experience. Expect more updates to the Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta in the coming weeks as we improve the experience. We will announce a date for the addition of multiplayer to the normal Backer Beta when we are closer to releasing it.