Mechanized combat in the far future!
Battlefront.com and TBG Software are thrilled to announce DropTeam! A truly cross-platform compatible (Mac, Win, Linux) Sci-Fi multiplayer tactical simulation of mechanized ground combat using a new groundbreaking and powerful 3D engine, DropTeam is all about fun, fast and furious tactical action - but not at the expense of realistic physics and a credible combat experience*
The game will be released for Mac OS-X, Windows and Linux simulataneously* It is currently in alpha stage but expected to enter beta soon, and is expected to go gold in the second half of 2005* Like all Battlefront's games, DropTeam will again not be available in stores, but only via mail-order directly from www.battlefront.com.
DropTeam is a multiplayer capable, real-time, tactical simulation of armored ground combat in the far future* You'll battle for control of objectives on a broad variety of planets ranging from verdant Earth-like worlds to desolate, radioactive wastelands* You will use Dropships to land fighting vehicles and other deployable assets like sensors, mines and automated turrets on planetary surfaces* You will take direct control of various types of armored fighting vehicles while also coordinating your team, including AI, other human players, artillery support and more* Vast alien landscapes rendered in real-time with detailed, accurate physics and ballistics systems and true line-of-sight provide realistic combat* There are no "hit points", limited view distances, unrealistically short weapon ranges, or other gross simplifications that are typical of many other sci-fi games* DropTeam can be played online on a public server with up to 16 players, or it can be played privately with as few as 2 players, as well as single-player vs* AI opponents* AI opponents can also be mixed in with human players in order to make the teams any size you like.
DropTeam runs on Mac OS-X, Linux, and Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and has been designed to be very scalable with a wide range of systems.
"Some people might be surprised that Battlefront is going to publish a Sci-Fi game* But with the incredible new 3D engine, true cross-platform compatibility, the thrilling and fun gameplay, and last but not least the realistic physics and combat modelling, we were immediately immersed in the innovative and fantastic world of DropTeam", said Matt "Madmatt" Faller from Battlefront.com* "A good Science-Fiction game does not have to immediately suspend with all the physical laws that we know of in the real world* Quite the contrary - the implementation of real world physics in a sci-fi themed environment leads to very exciting and innovative gameplay! If you have ever wondered what realistic armored vehicle combat might feel like across exotic landscapes , e.g* on a low gravity planet, a volcanic moon, or a barren asteroid, where real physics apply, then DropTeam is the game for you!"
"We're thrilled to be working with Battlefront as the publisher for DropTeam", said Clay Fowler from TBG Software* "Battlefront is unique in the game industry because they believe in producing mature, intelligent games with real depth - games like DropTeam - instead of simple eye candy* Since TBG and Battlefront share this unique perspective on game development and Battlefront brings invaluable experience and talent to the table, we at TBG look forward to a lasting relationship with them not only for the DropTeam project but also for many titles to come."
GAME FEATURES SHORT LIST
- Game runs on Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Linux, and Mac OS-X* Game ships with all versions together and each game version is fully compatible with the others*
- Play in a universe complete with a rich back story and detailed history.
- Realistic combat system that models projectile/armor penetration, various munition types, and interior vehicle damage in detail.
- Huge, detailed and varied alien landscapes each planet accurately modeling its own gravity and atmospheric density, radically changing the tactical situation.
- Map sizes up to a massive 1000 (!) square kilometers.
- Terrain height resolutions from small ridges and vehicle fighting positions to towering hills and mountains.
- Deformable terrain with engineering vehicles digging out trenches in real time, ordnance created surface cratering and even trees toppling over under artillery fire.
- Dynamic environmental effects include building destruction and vehicles exploding and flipping over.
- Game includes 20 scenarios plus a 10 mission single player campaign* New scenarios will be offered for download after the game's released plus you can create you own battles and share them with others.
- Terrain uses dynamic tessellation (continuous Level of Detail) to render high resolution terrain at large sizes.
- The game engine automatically adjusts level of detail based on your computer hardware* This optimizes gameplay on even older computer systems and hardware.
- Game uses the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) for advanced graphics effects that literally weren't possible a year ago with little to no performance impact such as rippling water and blowing foliage*
- Up to 16 human players or more supported, depending on system specs* Maximum online players realistically only limited by game server bandwidth, CPU and RAM.
- Game launcher allows you to browse a list of servers that shows the servers' current scenario, current number of players, game time remaining, and connect to the game sessions at will.
- Server management functions allow administrators to login and exercise special privileges on the server, such as kicking players and moving players between teams* This interface is within the GUI of the game itself.
- Various game types include "Capture the Flag" and "Objective" based missions.
MODDING AND EXPANDABILITY
- Highly extensible, open architecture makes the game easy to modify, even by non-programmers.
- Game uses XML (Extensible Markup Language) files for game objects* Allows for an incredible wealth of modding options and capabilities* All information about 3D models, physics, control mechanics is encapsulated and allows specification of any arbitrary texture data for terrains, skies, and models.
- Add new vehicles, change their physics, change turrets, swap one gun for another or put a brand new gun on a existing unit and more* All of this can be achieved by editing the associated the XML files* You can also create entirely new models and textures that weren't originally included* You can even just drop in your own 3D Studio models if you want!
- Game engine reads data from professional GIS (Geographic Information Systems) packages such as ArcGIS and Terragen* This is the same industry standard data formats that are used by the Department of Defense for simulations and by engineers for land work, surveying, etc...
For more information on DropTeam, please visit:
First Alpha-Screenshots are available at:
FURTHER GAME DETAILS
The game takes place on the barely settled fringes of the explored galaxy, in a region of space called "The Rim." Civilization crumbles slowly in these isolated places as technology and higher knowledge gradually erode* The surviving settlements have been left vulnerable to incursions from predators who hunt The Rim for loot: a new brand of Viking who pillages from the rubble for survival, who has honed the military tactics of planetary assault to a fine art.
DropTeam models large playing areas ranging from 100 to 900 square kilometers: areas large enough to realistically simulate mobile armored combat* Terrain is deformable, so explosions and engineering vehicles actually change the landscape dynamically during the game* The physics engine accurately models different types of terrain, so a nimble vehicle on asphalt roads might become slippery and hard to control when driving on frozen ice* Since combat takes place on a broad variety of planets, you will have to adapt your tactics as you play; the maneuvers that worked well in an Earth-like environment might not work as well on a planetoid with no atmosphere* Different atmospheric densities and planet gravities also have a drastic effect on the performance of your weapon systems* Solid AP projectiles are devastatingly effective at long range when there is no atmosphere to slow their flight, but in very dense atmospheres you might find yourself using HEAT munitions instead.
DropTeam simulates combat realistically* The detailed armor penetration model takes all important factors into account: armor angle and thickness, projectile penetration angle, velocity, and performance characteristics based on projectile type and size (HEAT vs* AP vs* exotic ammunition, caliber, etc.) Projectiles that penetrate their targets have detailed, specific effects on the target, including modeling of armor fragmentation, fire due to kinetic friction, and direct damage of internal components within the target* For example, individual crew members such as the driver or gunner, or systems such as a vehicle's ballistics computer, ammunition magazine, or engine might be damaged when a projectile penetrates the vehicle* The loss of these systems directly impacts the target's performance* A vehicle without a ballistics computer will have to manually elevate its shots for range, a dead driver will prevent the vehicle from being driven, etc* Under the right circumstances, a penetration might even cause the target to catastrophically explode, scattering pieces across the landscape.
HE and ICM artillery support munitions are also modeled accurately, causing specific damage effects on targets that are hit by their fragmentation and munitions* Units on the terrain such as the SP Mortar unit can perform indirect fire, ranging to their targets with the help of team mates who can act as forward observers, or automated orbital artillery support can be called in, including HE and smoke fire missions.
You can stay immersed in combat by taking your vehicle into the thick of the action, driving and gunning in real-time against the opposing team* Or you can play an indirect supporting role by dropping engineering vehicles to dig revetments for your team and lay obstacles for the enemy and by dropping support vehicles that provide benefits to your team mates* Or you can play the role of your team's Commander, spending more of your time on the Tactical Display, coordinating the actions of your team mates, issuing direct commands to the AI players on your team, and deploying sensors, sensor jammer's, mines, and turrets to bolster your team's position* Or you can play with your own mixture of these different styles.
The DropTeam engine is quite flexible* All scenario and unit data is stored in simple XML files so it's trivial for the technically-minded player to modify existing game elements or add entirely new ones with a simple text editor* Terrain data is read from industry-standard topographic and geological file formats, so players can use software such as Terragen, Bryce, MojoWorld, or even simple paint programs to add their own custom landscapes to fight on.
DropTeam is unique in that it strikes a balance between realistic, tactical combat simulation and pure, accessible fun for the novice* It will be enjoyed both by hardened grognards as well as by more casual "twitch" gamers who are more interested in "run and gun" game play* Its layered complexity allows for a wide range of play styles and tactics* DropTeam will also offer a steady stream of new content to players over time, thanks to its highly extensible architecture* Finally, DropTeam is a truly cross-platform game! Both its server and its client run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS-X*
From planets with lush forests to those with vast desert scapes or frigid arctic wastelands, battles in DropTeam will be waged across a variety of planets and environments* Battles take place on maps that are typically between 50 and 400 square kilometers in size (maps as large as 1000 square kilometers are supported)* This achieves a good balance between having enough space to exercise creative tactics, while not making the battlefield so large that players have difficulty finding some action*
GAME OVERVIEW PHILOSOPHY 'The Layered Onion'
DropTeam is simple to play* Using a few keyboard keys and the mouse or a joystick, the player drives vehicles over the terrain and fires weapons at other vehicles in a "point and shoot" manner* The game is instantly accessible to the novice player* This simplicity of control belies the fact that DropTeam is actually a game of depth and tactics* In order to win, players must utilize tactics and teamwork, use the terrain to their advantage, formulate and execute plans for defense and offense, use shared team resources such as fire missions, smoke missions, and autonomous turrets, and take advantage of the unique traits and abilities of each of the game's vehicles.
DropTeam is first and foremost fun to play, but fun does not have to be won at the expense of a reasonable level of realism* A believable simulation of combat actually adds to the fun rather than detracting from it.
Battlefront.com is an independent, internet-based publisher and developer of superior war and strategy games, among them the award-winning 3D tactical WWII combat simulation series Combat Mission (three successive Wargame of the Year Awards).
Other titles include: the innovative Dangerous Waters combined arms naval warfare simulation, the grand strategy classic Strategic Command - European Theater (PC Gamer - 90%), the unique Down in Flames and Modern Naval Battles strategy games, as well as the famous TacOps 4 modern combat simulation, a commercial version of the official tactical training tool used by the U.S* Army* Besides computer games, Battlefront.com offers a selection of books, military print posters, and other warfare related articles to one of the world's largest and fastest growing war and strategy gaming fan communities!
Find out more at www.battlefront.com
About TBG Software
TBG Software is an independent software development company specializing in real-time terrain visualization* Demeter, TBG's flagship technology, is an open source project that is freely available* During the development of DropTeam, this technology has been extended and improved in many ways, so a more advanced version will be available for other software developers in late 2005* Demeter has been used by the U.S* Army Research Labs and Northrop Grumman, among others* TBG will continue to improve Demeter while releasing games that feature this technology.
For more information about TBG Software, please visit www.tbgsoftware.com