Official Multiplayer Backer Beta Is LIVE!
18 days 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!
about 1 month 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
4 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.
All the best,
Skirmish Beta Update is LIVE! And the Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test Is LIVE, Too! And Gen Con 50!!!
4 months ago
– Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 12:51:33 AM
Happy Update Day, y’all!
The update to our Single-Player Skirmish Backer Beta is live on Steam right now and your game should automatically update in your Games Library with no action needed from you (assuming you keep Steam running on your machine - if not, just launch Steam and the beta will automatically begin the update). One addition we neglected to tell you about in our last Kickstarter Update - the beta now includes:
The Firestarter BattleMech! We’re excited to see how flamers change your gameplay.
We shared the highlights and big changes in our last update, but for those interested in all the gory details, you can find a complete list of changes here.
Your Backer Beta Manualhas also been updated to reflect all the gameplay and balancing changes we’ve made in response to all your great feedback. Thanks a ton for all the help!
Have fun everybody!
Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test is LIVE too!
As we said in our last Kickstarter Update, the Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test is for those hearty souls willing to opt-in and help stress test the system in the wild. All Backers with Beta Access are invited to participate but by opting-in, you accept that you may experience connection issues, crashes, and dropped games - which is exactly what the test is aimed to fix.
The Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test is separate from the current Skirmish Beta and will require a separate password. Again, once we’ve eliminated enough bugs and issues, we’ll shut down the Double-Secret Beta Test and automatically update the Beta for everyone to include multiplayer so all you MechCommanders out there can go head-to-head!
If you’re at Gen Con and feel like you’re missing out on the Beta Update, swing by booth 2311 and give it a whirl. The booth is set up for new folks to play Single-Player Skirmish and all you old pros to try 1v1 Multiplayer. Jordan will be at the booth all weekend so even if you don’t have time to play, stop by and say hi!
A Skirmish Beta Update is Coming! A Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test Is Coming, Too! And a Launch Window Update!
4 months ago
– Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 12:36:29 AM
Skirmish Beta Update This Week
Great news! An update to our Single-Player Skirmish Beta is coming later this week (we’ll send out another Kickstarter Update when it’s live). Thank you SO MUCH for all of your time submitting survey responses and discussing the Beta on the forums. This communication has been invaluable, and we've pushed a pretty significant set of gameplay & balancing changes to the Beta in direct response to your feedback.
The details will be in a complete change log and in your updated Beta Manual upon release, but here are some highlights:
Evasion, Sensor Lock, and Evasive Move have received major revisions.
Morale has been replaced with a new system intended to reduce the snowball effect of early game advantages.
Weapon balance has been tuned on a variety of weapons.
Crits are more frequent and powerful. Components and ammo now require only one crit to be destroyed, while weapons become damaged on the first crit (+2 Difficulty to-hit) and destroyed on the second.
A/C damage has been reduced (previous: 25/50/75/100, current: 25/45/60/100) for AC2, 5, 10, and 20 respectively.
Global heat has been tuned down by about 10%.
Water doesn't increase heat dissipation as much (previous: 200%, current: 150%)
Stability damage accumulates slower and also bleeds slower, and in larger discrete chunks.
MechWarriors now have two abilities, which increases their usefulness and flexibility.
An eyeball icon appears on enemy units if they will have LOS on you after you make the move you’re plotting.
Beyond these gameplay mechanics, this beta update also includes:
A big, tasty update to AI that includes enemies using MechWarrior abilities, making called shots on prone or shut down units, using Death From Above, and generally messing up your life.
A Settings Menu that allows you to change your settings and remap your keyboard shortcuts. (Currently only available from the Main Menu.)
Some UI changes/enhancements both in combat and the skirmish setup screens.
Enjoy! And please continue to fill out your surveys after each match. They’ve proven very valuable! We'll publish a complete list of changes when the Beta Update goes live.
Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test This Week, Too!
Still more good news - the BATTLETECH Multiplayer Beta is almost ready for primetime! Before releasing it to our entire Backer Beta population, we’ll be running a Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test on Steam this week (it might NOT start the same day as the Skirmish Beta update) for those hearty souls willing to opt-in and help stress test the system in the wild. Are YOU a hearty soul? Cuz, we could use your help! Again, we’ll send out another Kickstarter Update when it’s live.
All Backers with Beta Access are invited to participate but by opting-in, participants accept that they may experience connection issues, crashes, and dropped games - that’s what you’re looking for in the first place!
Once we’re comfortable that we’ve eliminated enough bugs and issues (it’ll probably take a couple of weeks), we’ll shut down the Double-Secret Beta Test and automatically update the Beta for everyone to include 1v1 Multiplayer. Then, all of you can take your hard-won experience with the Single Player Skirmish Game and apply it against your wiley human opponents in stompy head-to-head action.
Launch Window Update
As you may remember, the original release estimate listed in our Kickstarter campaign was for delivery of the BATTLETECH Base Skirmish Game. With each additional Funding Stage unlocked - Single-Player Story Campaign, Expanded Mercenary Campaign, and PVP Multiplayer - more time and team members were added for the additional work.
We’d previously been projecting a late 2017 release but now that we’ve revised our AI & combat mechanics in reaction to your feedback, completed a thorough review of the work remaining on the game, and are poised to release the Multiplayer Backer Beta update, all indications are that Paradox & HBS will release BATTLETECH in early 2018.
Throughout development, the message we’ve received has been clear, “Don’t rush it, just make it great.” and we have taken that to heart. All of us - HBS, Paradox, and our Backers - share a deeply personal attachment to this project and we are committed to delivering a game that not only meets your high expectations but introduces BattleTech to a new generation of players.
With that said, I’m happy to report that solid progress continues across the project! We are now able to play the open-ended mercenary campaign “loop” and I have to say that when you’re counting your C-bills and caring about your MechWarriors’ health and survival, you approach combat missions differently which imbues every turn with a ton of dramatic tension. And the upcoming upgrade to our AI is going to make you think hard about how you engage the enemy!
As Mitch mentioned in our last update, we’ve made a ton of progress on all the component pieces of the game and this phase of development is all about bringing them together - the core combat game, the mercenary simulation aboard the Argo, the single-player story and cinematics, the open-ended mercenary mission system, the ‘Mech customization system… it’s a lot of stuff and it’s exciting to see it all getting stitched together and “upleveled” with art, audio, UI, and writing.
It really is an exciting time on the project and I can’t wait to share it with you when it’s finally done. Thanks again for all your support!