Great shooting and movement is the heart of any good multiplayer first person shooter experience. World War 3’s shooting system has been favourably rated by most players, however this was not the case with our movement mechanics. We heard your feedback loud and clear, and decided to improve it in order to make the final release a polished and well-received game. We hope you’ll come to notice the constant stream of improvements coming to WW3 in many areas, since it’s a part of our development philosophy – listen to player feedback and constantly improve our game, learn from mistakes and never give up on polishing and the fixing process. Today we present a first peek at our new movement system we’ve been working on it very hard this year.
The new system (not on public servers yet) is much more playable and responsive than the previous one. It merges TPP and FPP animations into one interactive, parametrised, flexible and complex system. We’ve spent months building it from scratch, learning and tweaking as much as possible since we understand how important it is to the final FPS experience.
Our new movement system is built on three key pillars:
Responsiveness [be responsive not clunky] – we’ve heard a lot of complaints regarding the overall clunky nature and feel of the old movement system. This time we made sure you’ll have total control of your actions and movement which – while slightly less realistic – results in much better gameplay.
Smoothness [be smooth and playable] – several improvements of the new system might be seen as trying to blend fire and ice – we managed to improve the movement while not getting rid of body awareness. We made sure to make the core part of the new system feel smooth and fluid while also implementing solutions such as making the weapon visible while sprinting, blending the TPP and FPP animations to give you more control over the character, adding new animations for heavy rifles or launchers, improving the weapon switching animations and much, much more.
Flexibility [be felxible at work] – the new system gives us unprecedented possibilities to do basically anything we want with the movement mechanics, which is a totally new thing for us in this respect. New movement system was built entirely in-house, so we know how to fix bugs and overcome problems as they arise, which was not possible while using the “basic” UE4 systems.
We firmly believe we’re on the right track to something great, and that the combination of the new movement system and our tried and tested shooting mechanics will bring us to an entirely new level of quality impossible before. Further stress-tests and fixes need to be done on a daily basis until we release it, but today we can honestly say that our effort finally pays off.
WEAPON SCREEN SPACE
The position of a weapon on screen is absolutely crucial for the kind of experience we want to deliver – it connects players with the game world and provides feedback of what the characters are doing and what’s going on around them. Using an efficient positioning tool we were able to rethink how we show you our guns and where they’re supposed to be on the screen. We used the Fibonacci curve to identify the most aesthetically pleasing location and tilt for the weapons, while making sure that the weapon models will look as good as possible (including new textures and PBR lighting improvement). You may also notice that the weapons feel slightly bigger – we can assure you that we aim to keep the proportions as close as possible to real life. The screen spaces are also more uniform within classes and weapons of similar size, which results in a more clear and coherent presentation. Extra attention was paid to all the weapons aiming directly towards the middle of the screen with a laser sight attached.
Weapon position in-game
REALISTIC DEPTH OF FIELD
To increase immersion we adjusted the blur and depth of field effects for iron sights and red dots. We now feature two different blur settings, one for the weapon’s base hipfire position and another one solely for aiming. Thanks to this we can set up both effects independently and offer both a natural, crisp look of the weapons when firing from the shoulder as well as a realistic depth of field effect when aiming down sights.
New adjusted the blur and depth of field effects in use
One of the most significant challenges of the new movement system was fixing and improving the sprint and vault animations for both first person and third person views.
Some of you have reported that you don’t particularly enjoy the fact that the weapons disappear during sprint, while others considered it alright, seeing it as a more realistic and reasonable approach. To be honest we were testing a lot of different concepts before the Early Access release, but our former movement system wasn’t flexible enough to make all the necessary improvements. This is why this issue was put on freeze. Please remember that we’ve always been trying to blur the lines between realism and fun, adhering to our ‘playable realism’ approach.
Finally, after getting the new movement system up and running we managed to find a good solution after lots of discussion and brainstorming. It has proven to get rid of past problems and blend in with the body awareness system, while improving the overall movement dynamics.
This results in a proper balance between realism and gameplay, movement and gunfight feel smoother and more fluid. The gun is always a reference point for your movement direction, but you still feel your physical body in close combat engagements. We have also added turbo-sprint, which allows the players to quickly change position should the need arise. It lasts only for a few seconds, but used correctly can turn the tables in any situation.
Sprints showcase – normal sprint, turbo-sprint and crouch sprint
Weapons feature different animations depending on their class and player stance. Now you’ll be able to immediately tell whether you’re sprinting normally, crouching or dashing – all by just looking at your weapon.
IMPROVED VAULTS, SLIDES & CLIMBS
Smooth vaults, slides and climbs are very important in any good multiplayer FPS, because they give players freedom to use the environment for their advantage and they are an integral part of the movement experience. Those movement actions need to be as smooth as possible to keep players engaged in the actions they are performing, not bring them out of the combat. The mechanics of advanced movement options such as vaulting, sliding and changing your position to on-back prone have been completely redone to accomplish such a task. Some of these actions needed to be tweaked many times in order to improve the overall fluidity, since when they were too fast or too slow, they felt artificial and clunky in comparison with the rest of the new system.
Vaulting in action
Transitions between poses
You can also vault-slide over longer obstacles such as tables or sandbags with your guns blazing – we haven’t decided yet it will stay in game, but it give us a lot o fun and is quite useful in gunfights 😉
Vault slide test
SPECIAL MOVEMENT – TOR ANTI-MATERIEL RIFLE
We managed to carry out our long-delayed plan of implementing dedicated movement settings for special purpose weapons the like of anti-materiel rifles. These extremely cumbersome sniper rifles are designed for long-range, stationary fire support against light and medium vehicles, eliminating auxiliary vehicle modules (cameras, RCWS etc), as well as against infantry behind heavy cover. Previously, without any special mechanics the TOR – our first anti-materiel rifle – was impossible to balance. It was essentially a cheap one-shot kill against infantrymen every single time. We decided to remove it for a while and now we reintroduce it as the first weapon of its’ unique class.
TOR AMR special movement preview
Anti-materiel rifles are carried with the barrel pointed downwards since they’re too heavy to be efficiently used while standing or moving. In order to be able to take aim and fire you need to go prone. This results in a brand-new niche: an anti-materiel sniper, a very distinct role on the battlefield. This playstyle requires a lot of patience and spatial awareness, which better reflects the real-life tactics for a special purpose weapon.
We’re also considering to add a proper bipod mechanics, so you could be able to brace your weapon against an obstacle or a window.
MOVEMENT STRESS TEST
Finally, here’s a sample of our improved movement system in action. It’s still very much a showcase video, but it should give you an idea of what to expect. This stress-test was created to test any possible kinds of player movement under different gameplay circumstances – for your information, this stress-test is not as easy as its looks on the clip, but it’s a very good sample, which shows the overall improvement in comparison with the old system.
As you can see the long and hard development was well worth the wait – at least we hope so. This overhaul made World War 3 feel like a whole new game now – we believe it is one of the most significant improvements to our project and we really don’t want to screw it up. We have a lot more to show but today we wanted to showcase the key (in our opinion) improvements which make up major differences between the new system and the old one. Last but not least – new system was already tested online internally in last few weeks and the results were very good 🙂
All this was made possible by your constructive criticism and feedback – we’re humbled to have such an amazing community and none of what you’ve seen could be possible without your feedback and help!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the whole World War 3 team, thanks for staying by our side!
We won’t have a weekly report until January, so see you then!