Progress Update on New Early Access Content for Tip of the Spear: Task Force Elite
It’s been just over two weeks since the Early Access for Tip of the Spear: Task Force Elite released. Since then, updates have rolled out on a near-daily basis to squash bugs, integrate player feedback, and deliver new roadmap features, including bots.
Behind the scenes, the design team has been hard at work on a slew of new content, and we wanted to share a progress update with you all.
The team is creating all-new assets designed to complement the gunplay, movement, and mechanics in TS:TFE. The new assets will be used to delver several blueprints the team has created, as well as improve existing placeholder assets in several maps. We have 60+ buildings ready to go that only need UV mapping, vertex painting, and material slots assigned.
As a multinational indie development team, we have to run a lean ship, which comes at the expense of relying heavily on key individuals to execute on our workflow. Unfortunately, one of the team’s key artists has been displaced by the wildfires in Australia, which have burned 15 million acres, destroyed 900+ homes, and displaced thousands of Australians. We are working to assist the team member in their time of need, and have recently found a new addition to the team to help back-fill their work until they are ready to return.
Here is a sneak peek of a few of the work-in-progress assets (groupings not finalized):
NEW MAP: VIPER’S NEST
A new terrain-based map called Viper’s Nest is in the works. Long-distance sniping opportunities are ample thanks to the numerous mountains and plateaus surrounding the center objective. Players can utilize dried-out riverbeds and ditches for cover when approaching the target grouping, and bunker down in the town buildings to defend the zone.
An in-depth preview of Viper’s Nest will be arriving next week. The team spent a particularly long time hand-crafting many miles of terrain outside of the playable area so that players leveraging this terrain in the map editor will have many opportunities for level design (more on the map editor below).
MAP OVERHAUL: DEVIL’S DEFIANCE
Devil’s Defiance is receiving a major overhaul to condense specific areas of the map and allow attacking teams more opportunities to enter the key objective area without taking fire.
- Reduced vantage points for defenders. The existing design bestows the defending team far too many vantage points to mow down the attacking team as they approach the target building and PSPs. Windows have been boarded up, walls have been constructed along the objective building’s roof, and vantage points near the PSP areas that peek into opposing teams’ spawns are being eliminated.
- Condensed city groupings. The teams’ city groupings are also being condensed to reduce the amount of time it takes to travel from the spawn to the objective building, and the number of alleyways are also being increased to make the players’ approach less predictable to the defending team.
- Performance improvements. In addition to the design enhancements, the center objective building is receiving ample performance improvements, which should stabilize the framerate on lower-end PCs.
Below is a sneak peak of some of the work in progress (screenshots taken at different stages of development and not finalized):
The raised wall (highlighted) limits the rooftop vantage points.
Spawn peeks have been removed from the PSP areas, allowing attackers more opportunities to approach the objective area.
Boarded windows restrict the number of vantage points for attackers to clear as they approach the objective building.
The team has developed a claymore cap that is currently in internal testing. Going forward, players will be capped at two active claymores. When the player plants a third active claymore, the first active claymore will disappear.
Additionally, going forward, when a player exits a server, players’ live claymores will disappear. (At this time, when a player dies by a claymore planted by an enemy player that left the server, the kill feed states that the dead player killed him/herself).
The community in Tip of the Spear: Task Force Elite is truly incredible and reminiscent of the “good old days” in PC gaming, when players felt like they were part of a community with familiar names and clan tags. It is a very welcoming, laid-back community with players of all skill levels, and a key part of why Tip of the Spear is so much fun to play.
However, as the game’s player base increases in size, it is inevitable that some bad apples will enter the bunch. In a proactive step towards addressing this, the devs are working to empower players with new tools, and have just rolled out the ability to mute the text and voice chat of toxic players, as well as removed all friendly fire effects to limit trolls from antagonizing their teammates.
Red Jake Studios is also working on a policy for which toxic players will receive a warning, a temporary ban, and a permanent ban. Particularly egregious offenders may immediately receive permanent bans depending on the severity of their behavior. Red Jake Studios is extremely committed to fostering a healthy and friendly community.
LEVEL EDITOR + SERVER HOSTING
The level editor is one of the most-requested items from the community, and a top priority roadmap item for the development team. Red Jake Studios is working on a streamlined version of the Unreal Editor that is tailor-made for Tip of the Spear level design. Map makers will be able to choose from a number of pre-made terrains, environment settings (i.e. time of day, weather), and of course, hundreds of optimized assets – including building groupings for urban maps.
In order to take full advantage of the Tip of the Spear level editor, the community needs the ability to host their own maps. The team has made tremendous progress on the server tool. In addition to being able to host your own server, the server tool will allow for robust customization options.
Hosting options may include:
- Game mode
- Player count
- Bot count (and if bots should disappear as players enter the server)
- Remove bots as players enter the server
- Set map rotation
- Play custom maps on server
- Move players to different teams
- Kick/Ban players
- Set time for medic revive
- Configurable respawn timer
- Round delay timer
- Password protection
- Weapon restriction
The team is looking forward to seeing the community’s imaginative levels, as well as experiencing the metas that may pop up within heavily customized public servers.