DEV BLOG #2 – WEAPONS & FX

Hello everyone!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any updates on the status of MW:PR 3051.  Currently the priority has been setting up weapons and equipment for the game and making sure the heat/damage systems are working properly.  Along with adding in weapons, I’m making sure that the ‘MechController’ is properly updating tonnages, and slot utilization, total ammo and so forth.  With April almost half way over, the roadmap remains mostly red.  While that might be worrisome, never despair!  Most of the items on this month’s roadmap are FX sprite textures and sounds.  All of the sounds are being custom made and along with particle effects, require a lot of time and attention to get just right.  However, I’ve made some progress in that avenue and the first sounds are beginning to roll out of production.  Finally, pathfinding has been pretty much wrapped up except for a few minor optimizations that will come in later roadmap.

With all that being said, lets get into the meat of this Dev Blog, weapons!  Weapons were a lot trickier to implement than I thought they would be and even then, there is still quite a lot more work to be done.  As a result, I’ve had to cancel some planned items for the April roadmap and postpone them for May.  April I have decided, will be dedicated completely to weapons implementation.  In Mechwarrior: Project 3051, weapons work slightly differently than in the official titles.  In MW:PR 3051, the weapons act much more realistically, while still trying to abide by canon logic (grab your pitch forks).  The idea is find a healthy mix between the two that makes players feel like they are truly in a Battletech world.  So let’s start with some basic weapon stats of the first batch of weapons to hopefully get in this month’s roadmap (some are still to be added to the official roadmap).

For the most part, all weapons will function as they do in cannon.  The only changes to the weapons systems are as follows…

  1. Energy weapons now have a delay when firing
  2. Missile weapons can alternate between 3 different firing modes
  3. Ballistic weapons can set the amount of rounds fired per trigger pull
  4. Weapons with a firing delay can only go critical when fully charged
  5. Ballistic weapons now include penetration mechanics

With the first bullet being self explanatory, lets begin by explaining the 2nd bullet point.  Missile launchers can fire in 3 different modes that are pre-defined by the weapon.  So once you set a firing mode, you can not change it in-game, only in the mech-lab.  The firing modes are as follows…

  • Full
  • Burst
  • Single

Full mode fires all missile tubes at the same time, burst fires five tubes at a time, and single fires every missile individually.  These modes can help spread out heat generation, or help ensure a bigger impact.  Truthfully, the firing modes aren’t really a big deal because they don’t affect the outcome of the game too much.  However, it is a neat feature to have that allows for greater immersion.

Ballistic weapons can now be set to fire a certain amount of rounds per trigger pull.  Every bullet deals a certain amount of damage leading up to the total damage rating for that weapon.  In other words if an AC-2 fires 10 shells, every bullet deals 0.2 damage.  The interval of time between every weapon discharge can be set as well so that you can time your weapon to be ready to fire again at the end of a burst cycle.

Instead of energy weapons firing immediately, I thought it was a good idea to add a slight amount of delay to the weapon before it fires.  This is because in theory, you probably wouldn’t want these weapons charged at all times.  So a quick charge up time before you use the weapon makes sense.  Ideally the player wont have to release a button to discharge his weapons.  Instead, he’ll fire his weapons group, and the weapons will fire after the delay has been completed automatically.

Finally, to add some realism to weaponry, all ballistic projectiles now carry with them a potential to penetrate armor.  In other words, penetration mechanics!  Every projectile will have associated with it a mass and velocity.  We will base the armor thickness off of the armor points provided to us for every mech.  What the final formulas will look like to achieve the perfect armor thickness representation is still to be figured out, but what is known is that we will be using the Krupp penetration mechanics formula to achieve the final effect.  Basically, every time an Autocannon shell hits a mech, a penetration calculation is performed to see if the bullet can infact penetration a certain part of a mech’s armor.  If the calculation reveals that it is possible, we deal the damage of the bullet to the component, otherwise no damage is taken.  This should balance out the enormous ranges of the Autocannons, and prevent spam in the worst case scenarios.  Hopefully this mechanic will add some new angles of gameplay to Battletech and refreshes the feeling of a Mechwarrior game.

With all that being said, let me just mention that this is a work in progress system and there is still a lot to be done.  Nothing that is represented in these tables is permanent and is still subject to change as the game goes forward in development.  A video showing off progress should be uploaded sometime next week depending on how everything goes.

 

Until then, see you on the battlefield mechwarriors!

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