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Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts - Steam Release Plan Update


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21 hours ago, Ink said:

Admirals,

We would like to share with you the plans on the Steam release for UA: Dreadnoughts.

Game launch
The game will launch in Steam Early Access after Steam Summer Sale. Valve does not recommend launching during the Summer sale and we had to move the date from mid-summer to end July August. Estimated date 10th of August, the date depends on the Valve’s final approval of the store. But we are trying to push for an earlier date.

Price for Early Access Edition – 35 USD (with Steam regional pricing differences).

Steam keys for Limited and Standard edition buyers
We are requesting keys from valve next week and will send them using the email you used to purchase the game through Xsolla. We will add an update to the forum, game launcher and Steam page when the keys will be sent out.
The keys we are sending will allow you to play the game once it launches on Steam (on release date). We tried to get the keys with the ability to access the game earlier than launch date, but unfortunately Valve no longer allows developers to let access to the game before launch due to abuse by some developers.

Xsolla availability
Once we start sending out Steam keys to all editions, the Xsolla store will close. Game will be available to buy again when it launches on Steam Early Access.

Campaign
We estimate that we need at least 5-6 months to create the first playable version of Campaign. This time might change. Despite the unexpected difficulties that the pandemic caused in the world, affecting the development of the project, we will follow through all the development goals. Timing could be affected by the world situation, but the development goals themselves will not change. 

We will update the community on the progress by posting the internal campaign patch notes at least once every month.

The only development focus after Steam keys’ delivery will be the campaign. We will, of course, occasionally switch to critical bugs or minor features, but campaign is and will be the only main priority:

  • Stages of campaign development:
    • Two nations first 
    • Crew and Officers progression
    • Technology development and connection to Crew & Officer progression
    • Event and battle systems
    • Campaign AI
    • Political systems, wars and alliances
  • Beta version of the campaign, as mentioned above, will be available 5-6 months (or more) after Steam Early Access launch, as a beta branch. 
  • Full version of the campaign will be available on full release of the game (not the Early Access version).

Custom battles and saves
We know saves in custom battles is one of the most requested features. Campaign saves systems, once implemented, will hopefully help to add saves to custom battles sooner, we will let you know more about this when we have more information. 

Again thank you very much for the support, feedback and encouragement.

The Game-Labs Team

This was... Heavily disappointing would be a massive understatement. I love this game, but campaign delay will really test my patience.

I get that devwork is difficult right now, but damn, end of 2020 possibly early 2021 just is a little long for campaign first version.

Many of us have voiced that we would play a campaign no matter how broken. I don't think the devs seem to get what we mean when we say no matter how broken, I mean unless it literally destroys my computer's ability to run permenately, I would gladly play any state of the campaign.

It may just be looking back but it seems the devs are further away from the community now then they were a few months ago. But I still have plenty of love and respect for ya'll

Despite me being disappointed, and frustrated. I would much rather have this game be an amazing game that released late than a decent one that released cause I wanted it to.

Edited by BobRoss0902
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Admirals, We would like to share with you the plans on the Steam release for UA: Dreadnoughts. Game launch The game will launch in Steam Early Access after Steam Summer Sale. Valve does not re

Well considering the fact it's our job to provide feedback, i dont see how thats crying about it. Especially when most of that feedback has been massively in-depth as well. And no it won't be thr

I do... Designing ships is fun, but its the campaign that actually puts meaning to that... You can't just retry that battle with different design, you are stuck with what you thought will work 3 years

2 hours ago, BobRoss0902 said:

This was... Heavily disappointing would be a massive understatement. I love this game, but campaign delay will really test my patience.

I get that devwork is difficult right now, but damn, end of 2020 possibly early 2021 just is a little long for campaign first version.

Many of us have voiced that we would play a campaign no matter how broken. I don't think the devs seem to get what we mean when we say no matter how broken, I mean unless it literally destroys my computer's ability to run permenately, I would gladly play any state of the campaign.

It may just be looking back but it seems the devs are further away from the community now then they were a few months ago. But I still have plenty of love and respect for ya'll

Despite me being disappointed, and frustrated. I would much rather have this game be an amazing game that released late than a decent one that released cause I wanted it to.

Im wondering if we will get moar ship hulls and other designer stuff in the mean time, along with balans and bugfixes.

Otherwise it's going to be vvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyyy long wait indeed.

Really curious too see what level the campaign is at now lol.

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I still prefer to wait and get a quality product than a piece of trash right now. Of course, the waiting is disappointing, but at least, not so many questionable decisions in the gameplay and the designer of ships at the moment. We can say that developers are moving in the right direction, but they are doing it slowly. Well, this is more than you can say about most game developers.

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9 minutes ago, TAKTCOM said:

I still prefer to wait and get a quality product than a piece of trash right now. Of course, the waiting is disappointing, but at least, not so many questionable decisions in the gameplay and the designer of ships at the moment. We can say that developers are moving in the right direction, but they are doing it slowly. Well, this is more than you can say about most game developers.

True, better than rushing stuff out i guess.

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2 hours ago, Cptbarney said:

Im wondering if we will get moar ship hulls and other designer stuff in the mean time, along with balans and bugfixes.

Otherwise it's going to be vvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyyy long wait indeed.

Really curious too see what level the campaign is at now lol.

I am wondering too.

I think we NEED additions to the ship designer for the next 6 month until the campaign arrives 

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1 hour ago, 1MajorKoenig said:

I think we NEED additions to the ship designer for the next 6 month until the campaign arrives 

I wish the devs would stop adding hulls and actually start fixing the game mechanics first. If they need to redesign the hulls after rebalancing, this just means more pointless work they'll have to fix anyways. If they continue at this rate, I worry they'll just give up on fixing the shell/armor/flooding models and release a broken mess.

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21 minutes ago, roachbeef said:

I wish the devs would stop adding hulls and actually start fixing the game mechanics first. If they need to redesign the hulls after rebalancing, this just means more pointless work they'll have to fix anyways. If they continue at this rate, I worry they'll just give up on fixing the shell/armor/flooding models and release a broken mess.

Designing, modelling and texturing hulls has nothing to do with code, so they can do both at the same time, since they already have an amrour hitbox and overlay for every model all they have to do is change and add/subtract parameters (If im right in what they have done with their assets, if not oh well) . The thing is they have clearly made the campaign their main goal above all else, so any game mechanical fixes will either somehow occur before then, when they release the campaign or soon after.

So we will either have to wait or keep on pushing them to fix these mechanics.

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30 minutes ago, roachbeef said:

I wish the devs...start fixing the game mechanics first...If they continue at this rate, I worry they'll just give up on fixing the shell/armor/flooding models and release a broken mess.

Yeah, remake simplified armor system into some more realistic, for example. Or are these terrible divisions. Dear God, this is the first game in my experience where I do not combined  units into groups, but instead split groups into single units:wacko:

 

Edited by TAKTCOM
WAR FOR IMPROVEMENT
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4 hours ago, roachbeef said:

I wish the devs would stop adding hulls and actually start fixing the game mechanics first. If they need to redesign the hulls after rebalancing, this just means more pointless work they'll have to fix anyways. If they continue at this rate, I worry they'll just give up on fixing the shell/armor/flooding models and release a broken mess.

Well than it’s fair to agree to disagree. Yes the mechanics need tweaking. But that is moving numbers and calculations from left to right. Relatively easy to do once you know what changes to make.

However - the devs just announced that the campaign would be the one and only priority next and it is about 5-6 month away from a first release. Do you expect people to stay interested for half a year without improvements to one of the two selling propositions of the game? Knowing where the ship designer - as great as the feature itself is - currently is?

For me Alpha 7 was a big downer. I don’t play these single player missions, I am not interested in these at all. Until the campaign arrives I am playing around with custom battles but the limitations in designing ships are something I would like to see improved.

Anyway - it’s fine to disagree here 

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3 hours ago, Cptbarney said:

Designing, modelling and texturing hulls has nothing to do with code, so they can do both at the same time, since they already have an amrour hitbox and overlay for every model all they have to do is change and add/subtract parameters (If im right in what they have done with their assets, if not oh well) .

You're missing the point. It's not about code vs. visual design, it's about pouring water into a bucket full of holes on the bottom. You are also assuming one of the developers is doing nothing but churning out ship hulls. I don't think that's the case given that the dev team is only a few people. I'm fine with the devs prioritizing the campaign—I even support that somewhat—but the last thing we need is more hulls when each hull is fundamentally broken.

Whenever they add a hull, they have to create an armor model and weight model for it based on the visual hull model and the player's choice of displacement. The current system is a flawed model that is based on the idea that the player should not have any control over variables such as ballast, belt height, belt length, magazine protection, turret protection schemes, or transverse bulkheads. Compromises and considerations that real-life naval architects had to make, and which are completely beyond player control in the current system. There is no point in giving us more historical hulls because we don't have the basic mechanics in place to replicate them. Look at the County-class, for example:

Quote

The initial design left little weight to distribute amongst protection. Thus, the traditional side-belt of armour was dispensed with and the 1-inch (25 mm) side plating was sufficient to only give protection against shell splinters. A 1.25-inch (32 mm) protective deck covered the machinery spaces and there were "box citadels" protecting the magazines and shell rooms; 2.5-inch (64 mm) crowns and 4-inch (100 mm) sides, closed by 2.5-inch bulkheads. The aft box citadel had slightly reduced thicknesses at the ends and the citadel amidships had thinner armour as it lay within the confines of the armoured deck and side plating. There was a 1.5-inch (38 mm) arch over the steering gear closed by a 1-inch-thick forward bulkhead. The turrets and barbettes received only thin splinter plating, as did the compass platform. There were external bulges to provide torpedo protection.

It's impossible to get a ship with a similar performance.

The devs need to overhaul the current GUI and hitboxes so that the player can change them dynamically in the shipyard, similar to how we can see a 3D model viewer in WOWS or WT. Until then, any effort in creating new hulls seems like a mismanagement of priorities.

 

5 minutes ago, 1MajorKoenig said:

Yes the mechanics need tweaking. But that is moving numbers and calculations from left to right. Relatively easy to do once you know what changes to make.

My original comment was agreeing with you in that we need changes to the mechanics of the ship designer, not the number of hulls or components. I must have been misunderstood your comment. Are you saying that we should get more content (i.e. hulls and components), and that fixing the current ship designer is just a matter of tweaking numbers? 

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:57 PM, Cptbarney said:

Gib fat russian supercruiser hull pls 😁

I reckon bob will go mental when he sees how long we have left for campaign lol. Im wondering how the updates will look like from here on out.

No riots yet.

I have gone mental.

I have eaten my computer and there is a hole in the wall, the only reason I can type this is because it's on the phone that I shattered.

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I first read this topic just after coming back home from funeral. I can tell you that finding out that we have to wait for campaing for another half of year was for me sadder than the funeral. Kinda sad isn't it?

58 minutes ago, BobRoss0902 said:

I have eaten my computer and there is a hole in the wall

I think that if we will really have to wait for another 6 months, someday WE WILL EAT DEVS.

Edited by Aceituna
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On 6/19/2020 at 1:24 PM, Ink said:

Campaign
We estimate that we need at least 5-6 months to create the first playable version of Campaign. This time might change. Despite the unexpected difficulties that the pandemic caused in the world, affecting the development of the project, we will follow through all the development goals. Timing could be affected by the world situation, but the development goals themselves will not change. 

This is a bit of a gut punch... at first I hope that you simples forgot a "d", but no the campaign will take 5-6 months more then hoped for... given that I have no love for the academy missions and that custom battles get "stale" somewhat, I guess I will be "gone" for a time being.

No grat but it probably can't be helped.

On 6/19/2020 at 1:24 PM, Ink said:

We will update the community on the progress by posting the internal campaign patch notes at least once every month.

This I like.

As some people know, I made a question thread about the campaign, because there is so much we don't know about what I think is safe the "main event" of the game.

On 6/19/2020 at 1:24 PM, Ink said:

The only development focus after Steam keys’ delivery will be the campaign. We will, of course, occasionally switch to critical bugs or minor features, but campaign is and will be the only main priority:

  • Stages of campaign development:
    • Two nations first 
    • Crew and Officers progression
    • Technology development and connection to Crew & Officer progression
    • Event and battle systems
    • Campaign AI
    • Political systems, wars and alliances

Sounds nice. 2 Nations only could be a pumper, since its likely that "yours" isn't in it. Hoepfully new nations don't take too much time repsectively. 

Crew and Officers do sound interesting thou I wonder how easily officers can die, given the battles.

Technology was know to be "random", thou it can be a concern given that certain key technologies are pretty strong.

I don't think someone without Radar needs to even show up when the other side has it.

Event & Battle system is of course really important because if the games screws you over with the random missions it creates it would get frustrating..

I hope the Ai will not cheat too much.

Alliances and politics could make or break the campaign for multiple runs.

On 6/19/2020 at 1:24 PM, Ink said:

Custom battles and saves
We know saves in custom battles is one of the most requested features. Campaign saves systems, once implemented, will hopefully help to add saves to custom battles sooner, we will let you know more about this when we have more information. 

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I'm able to wait six months for the campaign if that's what it takes, particularly if they start releasing more information as they go which seems to be the plan. However, I was hoping that game mechanics like the armor system would get fixed before campaign, and if we don't see any more substantial releases until the campaign comes out that means we have 4-6 months before we can really try anything new, and that some key mechanics aren't getting fixed anytime soon. I realize that the game is in alpha and we can't expect everything to be perfect right away, but my worry is that things like a reworked armor system never get implemented at all.

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On 6/19/2020 at 7:24 AM, Ink said:

The only development focus after Steam keys’ delivery will be the campaign

Theres absolutely things that still need addressed though. The damage model is still very weak. Many models are broken in many places.

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10 hours ago, roachbeef said:

My original comment was agreeing with you in that we need changes to the mechanics of the ship designer, not the number of hulls or components. I must have been misunderstood your comment. Are you saying that we should get more content (i.e. hulls and components), and that fixing the current ship designer is just a matter of tweaking numbers? 

With tweaking numbers and formulas I meant to combat stuff, hit chances, penetration, etc.

 

I think we agree that the ship designer needs more work. I fully agree that the system needs to be expanded/changed. I think it needs much more flexibility but I would not necessarily agree it needs to be completely redone. In my opinion it could be enough to split up some of the modules into smaller entities to allow for more flexibility.
And I think it is ok to aggregate certain elements into „gamey mechanics“ such as how the determination of belt Armor is a simplification currently.

Much rather than trying to mimic a complete ship design process I would appreciate to include more freedom without redoing everything. Examples:

  • Include definition of machinery areas (and as a result where to put / not put barrettes, funnels, etc.)
  • split superstructure modules into more granular parts. At the minimum into bridge and Mast separately and allow freedom where to place these. Preferably more than that otherwise the ships almost always look similar 
  • Etc 

 

So my point about adding more hulls was that I assume the current system can be relatively easy tweaked and expanded to do what we would need and therefore we can safely add additional parts while working on these things. My feeling is that it won’t be a bad idea to add hulls, parts and such while people are waiting for the campaign to keep experimenting interesting.

The comment was about waiting time 

Edited by 1MajorKoenig
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10 hours ago, roachbeef said:

You're missing the point. It's not about code vs. visual design, it's about pouring water into a bucket full of holes on the bottom. You are also assuming one of the developers is doing nothing but churning out ship hulls. I don't think that's the case given that the dev team is only a few people. I'm fine with the devs prioritizing the campaign—I even support that somewhat—but the last thing we need is more hulls when each hull is fundamentally broken.

Well the last i heard they had 2 designers and one programmer, and designers don't touch any code whatsoever and programmer don't touch any artsy software whatsoever (unless their coding it of course), unless they are generalists, but this doesn't seem to be the case because when their programmer fell ill it seemed to put their progress on the campaign to a halt.

10 hours ago, roachbeef said:

Whenever they add a hull, they have to create an armor model and weight model for it based on the visual hull model and the player's choice of displacement. The current system is a flawed model that is based on the idea that the player should not have any control over variables such as ballast, belt height, belt length, magazine protection, turret protection schemes, or transverse bulkheads. Compromises and considerations that real-life naval architects had to make, and which are completely beyond player control in the current system. There is no point in giving us more historical hulls because we don't have the basic mechanics in place to replicate them. Look at the County-class, for example:

The armour hitbox model won't be hard to remodel at all, they just split it into further sections and then code those new sections to have certain limits with armour and also code and model any interior plates liek citadels, spaced armour, inner belts etc. The main problem is AP being unable to go past the ruin bulkhead and section and penetrate further below causing a ship zombie effect, which should only really happen in an immunity zone with deck or belt armour. The system doesn't need to be redone it just needs expansion thats all, the basics are there. But thats it. It's just a basic system, add more stuff to it such as more armour layouts and schemes and being able to select a portion of the ship model and only increasing or decreasing the ships armour in that location should be fine, along with spliting the ships armour model or being able to add armour sections to the ships armour model (like icebreakers for example).

10 hours ago, roachbeef said:

It's impossible to get a ship with a similar performance.

The devs need to overhaul the current GUI and hitboxes so that the player can change them dynamically in the shipyard, similar to how we can see a 3D model viewer in WOWS or WT. Until then, any effort in creating new hulls seems like a mismanagement of priorities.

No they just need to add to it, but they need to change how AP penetration works and how bulkheads work as well. We need an armour viewer so that we can select parts of the hull and either add armour strips to the model and/or make precise changes to certain specific sections of the model. Also citadels need to be displayed individually as their own armour schemes.

Also if they are working on the campaign there is a good chance that they will simply rework or add to the current systems and unvail them their. Otherwise in the meantime, the designer does need more stuff to play around otherwise people are going to get bored pretty quick. Doesn't help that the custom battles save won't be coming till around the campaign has been released.

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22 hours ago, Cptbarney said:

Doesn't help that the custom battles save won't be coming till around the campaign has been released.

The very thing that could 'alleviate' campaign delay is custom battles saves. Somehow saves can't be done without the campaign ? 

And just maybe, releasing academy missions on steam is actually a fundraiser.

One thing is for sure with the release, is that they will get a 'fresh' round of feedback, could be what Dev's are looking for!!!

Edited by Skeksis
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If they put this as it is now on Steam early access with the words "realistic" or "realism" or similar, all the while failing to address the fundamental root cause elements we've been discussing OFTEN FOR AS MUCH AS 6 MONTHS, I suspect that might prove interesting.

I looked at my posting history following the situation of Nick wondering why we were discussing bulkheads. It's as though it was all news to him. LOL.

I've also provided some questions/feedback in the "hotfix" post Nick made.

I see very little evidence to suggest there's any interest in a genuine discussion of core elements. All I see is a willingness to apply band-aids over band-aids to produce results that are "popularly accepted". That's not how one arrives at robust system/process design (something I do IRL for large corporations as a professional consultant), although to be fair it's entirely possible they're working on those things and simply not sharing them, merely doing tweaks so people will keep playing thus producing data for them (which it seems is our REAL value to them).

I had hoped to have some influence on the design of the game because I've been interested in the genre for 40+ years now, with genuine dialogue between us and the devs.

Looking at the hotfix, plus other recent events, let alone my posting history (and many others', too), I no longer feel I'm doing that at all. I'm simply producing numbers remotely (well, I was until I turned it off because nobody was willing to answer my questions about it). I find that profoundly disappointing.

Mind you, that's my problem. There were no promises, and I certainly don't believe I'm owed anything.

Don't think I'll be posting much because I see little point, and I've no interest in playing until and unless those core elements that DOMINATE any other consideration with respect to a game claiming "realism" as its point of differentiation are addressed. We've been posting about them for 4-8 months and they've not been, nor is there any evidence to suggest they WILL be.

I'll watch the Steam launch with interest. In fact I am curious to hear everyone's thoughts on a particular aspect of that:

How long do you think it will take the sorts of people attracted to such things to come to the same conclusions WE have? My recent review of my posting history, all 16 pages of it back to October last year, showed me it didn't take ME very long. Most of those elements remain unaddressed. What do you think the consequences of that may be?

I for one hope they are REALLY CLEAR about what they're promising, ABSOLUTELY EXPLICIT.

For all my own issues with things to date, I hope that because I want them to succeed. In fact I'd like to think everything I've posted since I arrived was with that underlying motivation: build the best, most "realistic" (as is reasonably achievable) game covering this period. Nothing's changed for me with respect to that. I've simply reached the point where I have had enough "hoping" so it's time I did other things in the interim.

Cheers

Edited by Steeltrap
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