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- Progress Report VII
In Overwatch: The Mod on Oct 13 2010 07:39 PM
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It's finally here! After a whopping 555 day wait since our last release, version 1.5.0 is ready for the masses!
→ What is Overwatch?
Overwatch is a cooperative asymmetric multiplayer Real-Time Strategy Shooter (FPS/RTS hybrid) powered by the Source engine and set in the Half-Life² universe. It pits a team of rebels playing cooperatively in first-person (the Resistance) against one player who assumes the role of commander to the Combine forces (the Overwatch), controlling units and the environment around them from a bird's-eye view.
→ What's NEW in 1.5.0?
With 515 changes made to the code, level and game files, 1.5.0 packs quite a few surprises! Check out all the juicy details and six in-game screenshots in the previous news post, or skip right to the action-packed trailer below! (Changelog)
You can also watch the video above in HD on YouTube.
→ Grab the Game!
Already have Overwatch installed? You can use the included Game Updating Utility to update to the latest version with only the click of a button (click here for instructions). On the other hand, if you're new to Overwatch, hello! Just grab the installer right here and you'll be up and running in no time.
→ Listen to the Original Soundtrack!
If you love listening to the high-intensity in-game music that plays while you dominate Combine forces or pound on rebel fighters, you definitely need to get your hands on Overwatch's 68 minute-long OST! All 18 tracks are currently available on CD Baby and are coming soon to iTunes, Spotify and many other stores and music streaming sites.
Want a small taste? Then listen to the two preview tracks included in the last news post!
→ What's Next?
While this will likely be the last major update we release for the mod, the Overwatch saga is far from over. Version 1.5.5 is already being put together (and is targeted for release within a few months of 1.5.0), and aside from tweaks and minor improvements, it'll feature a fourth new level created by a member of our community!
And let's not forget Intruder Alert! which packs the same popular and fun gameplay found in Overwatch. We have a tall stack of plans for IA! (and are working hard to get that first release out), so be sure to follow our progress on its awesome-looking IndieDB profile.
→ Time for Fun!
Join us on one of our official Overwatch servers (listed here) and get ready to duck when you hear that mighty Strider roar!
We'll be scheduling playtime events on our Steam Group every now and then, so be sure to keep an eye on that calendar. We look forward to playing with you all!
Enjoy the release!
And here we are, kicking off a hot and sunny summer season (or a cold and cloudy winter season for some) with a drool-inducing triple bill!
That's right! In under a week, we'll be unveiling three awesome surprises we've been keeping somewhat secret for a while:
- The long-awaited next Overwatch update (1.5.0),
- Overwatch's very own OST (which is pure ear candy, by the way),
- A pretty sweet Intruder Alert! news post (IA! being Overwatch's spiritual successor).
→ What's New in 1.5.0?
Version 1.5.0 is Overwatch's first big update since 1.3.5's release at the close of 2010.
As we explained in our previous news post, we've been hard at work on Intruder Alert! for the past year or so, and even though IA! is essentially a bigger, better and more complete version of Overwatch, we weren't ready to simply give up on the Half-Life² modification you've all come to love and enjoy (all 100,000+ of you!).
For that reason, we've worked very closely with members of our community to bring you exactly what you've been asking for: more stuff! What stuff? Well keep reading to find out!
▪ In the Spotlight
- Breach & Breached: The original Breach, one of the first two levels released, always ended with players' screens fading to black and revealing a cryptic "To Be Continued.." message. In addition to completely revamping the original level, part two of the series (which we've named Breached) is finally ready, featuring the mighty Strider, a fun new objective type, and a train ride rebels won't want to miss!
- Super Fortress, Traverse & Outbreak: Designed and built by three of our very own community members in collaboration with our development team, these brand new levels are just what the doctor ordered. Each features a unique environment, tons of unpredictable enemies and traps, and fun objectives to boot. The addition of these three levels brings Overwatch's total up to eight!
- Strider (& Warp Cannon): Available in Breached, the Overwatch-controllable Strider comes equipped with a powerful Pulse Cannon, Spiked Limbs (to stomp rebel daredevils), and a "Warp Cannon" ability. Let the screaming begin!
- Carpet Bombing: Those pesky rebels giving your Hunter-Chopper a hard time? Annihilate them with a salvo of timed explosives using the new "Carpet Bomb" ability!
- RiotShield: Originally a simple prop from Half-Life², the Defender role's bullet-blocking shield is now a fully-modelled and textured weapon hashed together by the great minds in the Resistance camp (with a little help from our wonderful community).
→ Overwatch: Original Soundtrack
Composed by our lovable Swedish
We'll have much more information posted about the OST soon. In the meantime, here's a small taste!
Assault (OST Track #4) - Originally intended to be used in the Citadel level, we instead opted for the much more subtle tones of the aptly-named Citadel track (OST #6). You'll notice that there are still many similarities between the two!
Prometheus (OST Track #18) - Only ever used in one of our first trailers, this variation of the Main Menu track has a much faster beat. Echoes (OST #15), which is also a variation of the main theme, can be found exclusively on the OST and is definitely one of our favourites!
→ It's Not Over Yet!
While this will likely be the last major update we release for the mod, the Overwatch saga is far from over.
Version 1.5.5 is already being put together (and is targeted for release within a few months of 1.5.0), and aside from tweaks and minor improvements, it'll feature a fourth new level created by a member of our community!
And let's not forget Intruder Alert! which packs the same popular and fun gameplay found in Overwatch. We have a tall stack of plans for IA! (and are working hard to get that first release out), so be sure to follow our progress on its news page.
In the meantime, keep yourselves busy with Overwatch!
We hope you're as excited as we are for what's to come! Don't forget to return when that week is up!
Overwatch is still alive and kicking, with huge plans for the upcoming year and beyond!
We've been so insanely pleased with Overwatch's popularity: so far, it's been downloaded over 90,000 times and is still played every week by fans from all over the world. These facts, combined with the amazing feedback we've received from our community, have kept us highly motivated to keep pushing forward with our plans.
We've hit a few bumps in the road in the last year but, bumpy road or not, we never even considered giving up. Instead, we made a few tough decisions, decisions that allow us to keep moving forward with our plans. The biggest one, explained below, is our switch to the Unreal Engine.
Why switch to the Unreal Engine?
Source is a fantastic engine and we definitely had a blast working with it and being a part of its community; however (and unfortunately), it wasn't designed to handle everything we were throwing at it (like the RTS aspects, numerous complex entity systems, etc..). It would have taken quite a bit of effort (and lots of code) to fix those issues, which would have been time taken away from developing the game itself. After a quick bit of prototyping in the UDK, it became obvious to us that UE3 is much better suited to handle our needs.
Our community has also come to expect a great deal from us (timely/frequent releases, for example), and many of you have also voiced your concerns that Overwatch's potential wasn't being fully explored (not enough maps and lack of custom assets built specifically for OW's type of gameplay, to name a few). Switching to UE3 gives us the opportunity to work on an Overwatch-like game as a commercial project which, even with a minimum amount of income, would allow us to dedicated more than just our free time to its development, producing more content at a faster pace (honestly, if we didn't have to eat and feed our families, we'd all be putting in every minute we have - and some of us already put in more than what is considered a sane amount).
The bottom line is, even though we've made a few big changes, we're working harder than ever to reach our goal of producing a fun and unique game that people can enjoy for years to come. That said, allow me to introduce:
Intruder Alert! (or IA! for short) is a cooperative asymmetric multiplayer Real-Time Strategy Shooter and the spiritual successor to Overwatch.
Like Overwatch, IA! pits a team of GPs (Ground Players, playing cooperatively in first-person or third-person view) against one or more OPs (Overhead Players, commanding AI-controlled units and manipulating the environment around them from a top-down perspective).
We've taken all the valuable lessons we've learned while developing Overwatch and are using them to build a bigger, better and more complete game of the same genre, this time powered by Epic's amazing UE3 (using the UDK).
We've also gotten rid of the restrictions we'd set on ourselves during Overwatch's development. This time around, we're aiming for a complete gaming experience: bigger and better features, with levels, models and textures built entirely from scratch around a fun theme and an awesome art style.
Our plan is still to RERO and to get our community intricately involved in IA!'s development process every step of the way. In our minds, your feedback and suggestions are invaluable to IA!'s success, as they were to Overwatch's.
There's plenty more to say about our plans for IA! and we've organized it all in an easy-to-read format and posted it on this Details page. You can also read the official announcement here.
Is this the end for Overwatch as a Half-Life² mod?
Not quite. While getting that first build of IA! in our community's hands as soon as possible is our top priority, we still have at least one big release planned for Overwatch.
Targeted for early 2012, the update will contain all of the content found in the development build (which includes textured Breach, updated Crossroads and Canals, tons of other tweaks and bug fixes, and some awesome community-made levels) as well as a few new surprises like Breach II: the long-awaited second part of the Breach level (hint: STRIDERS!!), enough to keep you busy until you can play IA!.
Be sure to keep a close eye on our site as we'll soon be posting a complete list of changes that will be included in the upcoming release.
2011 Best Upcoming Indie of the Year Award!
In closing, I'd like to point out that thanks to you, IA! made it to IndieDB's Top 100 list this year, just like Overwatch did last year! If you love Overwatch as much as we do and like our plans for the future, please put a huge smile on our faces by helping Intruder Alert! make the Best Upcoming Indie list of 2011 (click the image below and scroll to the bottom of the page, then click on the Vote button to the left of the IA! image):
Happy Holidays and see you in 2012!