This week in Trench Run news – some clarification on our current direction with the lobby!
Over the week we’ve had a big discussion about what we really want to get out of the lobbies – and decided that it should be a social as well as functional place for players of a similar level to gather. To that end, we’ve reduced the number and variation in lobbies immensely from what was planned. This has meant scrapping some previous work, but we feel like the new direction is much more focussed and will make more sense for players in the long run.
Before we get into the new one, the previous plan was to have a lobby per-gamemode, as well as some minigame lobbies, and to swap between them with a menu. While this is an achievable and practical goal, it led to quite a large number of lobbies per region, with concerns about being able to reliably fill the lobbies each day, even at peak time. As we all know, a surefire way to ensure a game dies early is to split up the players.
Current concept sketch of the lobby plans, complete with VIP Bar!
The current aim is to have Novice, Regular, and Master lobbies in each region, and to do gamemode selection (currently just skirmish/campaign) within that lobby. This makes it so you can see everyone who’s playing at your skill level in your region, and where they are playing their games. To accomplish this, we’ve had to create some new assets and still need to create new code to run and maintain the multi-gamemode lobbies, but we think it will be well worth it in the end.
The physical structure of the lobby is still in flux but the plan is to have a recreational area in the middle, initially featuring a bar, band and basketball hoop, and trucks at the sides that players can get into to join games. This gives quick, physical feedback on which gamemodes have faster queues, and allows easy switching between waiting for each mode – you just go and get in the other truck.
An early mock-up of the truck with players inside waiting for skirmish.
Whatever ends up happening, the Novice lobby should feature an expanded help HUD to help new players understand the lobby system quickly. This would be absent in the Regular and Master lobbies as players there will already have an understanding of how the lobby works, meaning new players can learn quickly but old players dont get nagged by tooltips!
Let us know what you think of this lobby direction on the forums! It’s still in flux and your ideas could help shape the game for the better!
In other news, Paul has finished the bulk of the soundtrack, including the main theme and themes for each biome! We’re working on getting the new tracks in game asap and have been looping them in the background while we work. The soundtrack is the kind of music that gets into your head easily, you’ll be humming the tracks on the way to work or school we promise! We’re so happy with how easy the process has been and how nice Paul is to work with. Definitely a highlight of the week!
KAG news will be coming shortly as we’ll try to get a build out next week if all goes well; Norill’s work on menus may be released if everything tests well, but otherwise the impending changes are mainly bugfixes, balance changes and reversions.