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BattleTech Kickstarter Update #45: First Look at the Campaign
Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 15 November 2017, 21:48:00Tags: BattleTech; Harebrained Schemes; Jordan Weisman; Mike McCain; Mitch Gitelman
In the first major BattleTech Kickstarter update since August, Harebrained Schemes offer us a long-awaited first look at the game's single-player campaign. There's a screenshot collection and a 25 minute video of one of the campaign missions, which involves the player's mercenary team helping out a group of independent prospectors against a mining corporation. The game has come a long way since the simple skirmish videos we saw earlier this year. Watch the video until the end for a nasty little twist.
Most mornings, Mike (Game Director) leads playtests/critiques of BATTLETECH in our break room. He holds them in our break room so everyone on the team feels comfortable wandering in and hearing what’s being said. He and Kiva (Lead Designer) determine what they’re going to look at ahead of time and invite the people responsible for that section of the game to play together and collaborate on a plan for improving things. This visibility is key to improvement. When you’re in the thick of making a game, it can be challenging to step back and play it from an audience member’s point of view.
The whole team is methodically working through every part of the game to “up-level” it - missions are getting second and third drafts, designer-created maps are going through full art passes, temporary voice-overs are being replaced with professional actors in missions and cinematics, quiet missions are suddenly filled with dramatic music, and programmer-created interfaces are getting the full art and audio treatment.
It’s a ton of intense work and the whole team meets briefly for announcements and general direction every day before breaking up into small groups for tight communication and progress updates. After that, it’s heads-down for the rest of the day. We try to keep meetings to a minimum and if we have to have one, we do our best to keep it tight and action-oriented.
In addition to all of this, a few members of the team have been diligently progressing on our multiplayer network infrastructure, analyzing data and updating the Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta with important changes. Expect a separate update on that soon.
There’s still a lot of work to do (including tons of balance work) but we can see the next milepost up ahead - the plan is to be feature and content complete by the end of the year, so we can go into full-on bug fixing and polish mode after a much needed break. As Jordan noted in our mid-August update, all indications are that Paradox & HBS will release BATTLETECH in early 2018.
Thanks for sticking with us as we develop our most challenging, complex, and aspirational game to-date. It’s a big one and we truly appreciate all your support.
Harebrained embarked on a press tour last week, and several sites (PC Gamer, PCGamesN, Rock Paper Shotgun, IGN) have now published their own previews of the BattleTech campaign, including its strategic layer. There have been some misgivings about this game's mechanics during the past few months, but overall it looks to be shaping up into something pretty cool.