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New APB Blog

Posted by FRAYDO - Jul 29 2015 02:13 PM

A new Dev. Blog is out! Get a look at the new RA_PacificThreat, the new RA_GuardDuty, a variant of the destroyed Light Tank by APB_ICE, and a list of maps that are ready or very close to ready.


Catch the previous blog before if you haven't already, and feel free to comment on both.

APB Dev. Blog :: July 29th, 2015

Posted by FRAYDO - Jul 29 2015 01:43 PM

Welcome to another section of APB Dev. Blog!


For those of you who are first visiting, welcome and thank you for tuning in! For those of who are returning from the previous blogs, let's get right to it!


Map Developments


A number of maps have been receiving attention, and some of these you may remember even!


To start with: Guess that map!


PTAlliedBase.png PTSovietBase.png


Anything? How about a nostalgia shot from the Beta era?




Allow me to introduce to you (or re-introduce to you oldbies), RA_Pacific Threat!


Pushwall has re-visited this old locale, and has touched it up quite a bit. Of course, I can't just simply say so. Have some comparison shots!


PacificBeta1.png    PacificBeta2.png

PacificThreat1.png    PacificThreat2.png


PacificBeta3.png    PacificBeta4.png

PacificThreat3.png    PacificThreat4.png


You may notice the lack of a Refinery and War Factory in the current version. Indeed, Pacific Threat will be an Air / Naval map. We originally entertained the idea of having it limited to Soviet naval units versus Allied air units, but it seems better to have both sides on equal ground. Both bases will have a Helipad, as well as a Refill Pad and Service Depot.


But don't forget what you also have at your disposal: naval units! Patrol the sea in the Gunboat and engage enemy Submarines, level the Allied base with Missile Submarines, or down enemy Hinds with the Destroyer.


Here's Pushwall to elaborate more! ::


When the original map landed in my lap, I found myself wondering: what exactly makes it "pacific", besides the ocean being made of radioactive Blue Hawaii - and even that "feature" didn't survive the conversion from Beta. The original Pacific Threat is a barren wasteland, even by the standards that were accepted back in 2007; if you go back and look at the really old versions of maps like Bonsai and River Raid, they're actually more lush than Pacific Threat. So my primary mission statement was to make the map actually look a bit more like a tropical island chain. Aside from the artillery craters and ruined houses and tanks, but it's not like such settings are immune to the ravages of war. (Plus infantry needed more cover.)
Why replace the War Factory with a Helipad? Well, ground vehicles just never suited the map, honestly: why save up for a Missile Sub when you can get a V2 for less than half the price and hit the Allied War Factory from a few metres in front of your own factory? B2B is great! When you have the money for a Missile Sub, why not just get a Mammoth Tank since it takes about as long for one to reach the Allied base as it does to get in a Missile Sub and move it out of the dock? And how about them Light Tanks/Rangers running circles around the undefended Soviet base? Air units aren't that much better with regards to running rampant, but they have defenses specifically tailored for them, so we can prevent them from swarming bases and stealing naval units' thunder without gimping infantry in the process. Plus it gives us an opportunity to try out naval-versus-air combat, making the map more unique. We'll have to see how it works out in practice, of course, but it's unlikely the map will return to having a War Factory. If the Helipad turns out to be a bad idea it'll probably become a Missile Silo instead.
With no Refinery, income is reliant on Ore Silos - but surely that means Allies are sure to control the waters effortlessly because Gunboats cost half as much as Attack Subs, right? Well, some unit prices have been tweaked for the sake of balance, and the Allied naval units are an example of this. Allies have always had trouble finding ways to spend their money, and it was quite ridiculous for their big hulking boats to be so inexpensive, especially compared to the Soviet subs. Gunboats have gone up from 500 (cheaper than a Ranger... okay Westwood...) to 750 (slightly more than a Light Tank), and Destroyers have gone up from 1000 (only slightly more expensive than a sub that's restricted to hurting waterbound foes... uh huh...) to 1500 (same as a Tesla Tank). So the Allies may still hold a slight advantage over the Soviets when it comes to quickly fielding their navy, but not as much as you'd think.


And that's that for RA_Pacific Threat!



Another Destroyed Light Tank

Of course, that is only but one map! Before we move on to the next map, a quick interval! Ever the destroyed prop aficionado, ICE presents a second variant on the Light Tank.




APB_ICE, if you will. Tell us more!


Thanks Fraydo! Unlike the flexible-but-generic destroyed heavy and medium tanks, the light tank was set up as a one-piece prop set up in a specific configuration. While allowing more detailed damage and simpler placement on maps, it would also result in seeing tanks mysteriously destroyed in the exact same way regardless of the circumstances, which would get pretty repetitive. To spice things up a bit, the light tank will come in at least two versions.


And we certainly enjoy things spiced up. I'm sure mappers would appreciate the variety. Thank you for your time, APB_ICE!


Back to map developments!


Remember this?



Now, take that - and put that into A Path Beyond! and voila!



What you are looking at here, is the new RA_GuardDuty! Now from up here, you'll notice that it is no longer an island as it was previously. Rather, it has been set inland as this makes more sense; it being the German-Polish border and all.


Let's take a look at some shots from the ground, shall we?









Besides just showing pretty pictures, here's Pushwall again to elaborate on his latest work here ::


First of all I'd like to give a shout out to Pyryle. When I originally joined the BHP team, Guard Duty was one of the first maps I restored (actually possibly THE first, I don't entirely remember), though until recently, the basic terrain was exactly the same as the original Guard Duty, save for the ore fields being dug out similarly to how they are on Coastal Influence. I chose to restore this map purely because I liked Pyryle's visual updates to Guard Duty in 2.1.4, which brought the map quite a bit closer to what it was supposed to be. Without him I probably would have forgotten this map for a long time, so props to Pyryle!
Oh right, the map. The adjustments to the terrain have quite an impact on the gameplay; it's actually somewhat plausible to sneak around now due to the various tall, unscaleable mountains preventing scouts from seeing everything happening everywhere at once, so infantry should have an easier time contributing even with the reintroduction of snipers. Bases are a little further away from the river than before, meaning V2s and Artillery have to expose themselves a little more to hit buildings, so matches on this map should be less likely to instantly devolve into arty wars like they always used to. And the ore fields are much farther away from the Refineries than they originally were, because receiving over 3000 credits every 5 minutes when you can't spend more than 1300 on an infantry+offensive vehicle combo is just silly. So expect to actually pay a bit more attention to your economy this time around!
I tried to create a few more allusions to the RA map and mission setup in addition to the obvious reworking of the map borders; see if you can spot them in the screenshots! Sadly, since fixed-wing aircraft aren't a thing, there are no Airfields, and having Construction Yards and Turrets in such a low-tech map would just drag matches on for far too long. So it's not a perfect representation by any means, but it's definitely an improvement over "Why is the Oder River on a tropical island? Did someone try to remake Pacific Threat and change their mind halfway through?" The reworked borders is a very recent development and one that I would never have considered until I figured out a fairly easy way to make mountains, so you can expect to see more mountains on other inland maps with barren borders in the future.
And lastly, a shout out to ChopBam; without him I would have remained utterly clueless when it comes to map editing. Look forward to seeing his works in a future blog!


Thanks much, Pushwall!


Now! Before I close out with our links, I will leave you with this nifty list - and not just any list at that! This list below has what maps are ready or are very close to ready (legend included!).


► Green maps are not present in the public release -

 Red maps have had their visuals and/or gameplay overhauled considerably from their last public incarnation -


• Bonsai

• Camos Canyon

Coastal Influence

• Fissure

 Guard Duty

► Keep Off The Grass

► Pacific Threat

 Ridge War

• Seamist

 Stormy Valley




There are also two new infantry-only maps in the pipeline whose identities will remain a mystery for now; all I can say is that one of them is a significant revamp of an old map, while the other is entirely new.
And that just about wraps up this blog! Catch us on Facebook btn_icon_facebook.png, Twitter twitter_18234.png?width=12&height=12&mod, and Steam steam_63652.png?width=12&height=12&mode= and tell your friends!

To recap; RA_Pacific Threat, APB_ICE's second destroyed Light Tank, RA_GuardDuty, and of course, our maps list! Be on the lookout for our next update and while you're here, feel free to comment!

BHP Fun Days July 22nd-23rd

Posted by FRAYDO - Jul 15 2015 06:48 PM

Hi! Let's play some games together!


Join in on our TeamSpeak channel as we play Dawn of the Tiberium Age, the latest Renegade X patch, the soon-to-be released Twisted Insurrection 0.40, and of course, Red Alert: A Path Beyond!


19:00 GMT is a good time, but really - come by anytime and poke someone for a game or two! July 22nd and July 23rd, be here!


If you're needing the TeamSpeak address :: ts.bluehellproductions.com

You may also connect by simply clicking on our frontpage TeamSpeak Status!


Hope to see you then!

APB Dev. Blog :: July 10th, 2015

Posted by FRAYDO - Jul 10 2015 10:51 AM

Hello BHP fans and guests alike! How about a blog?

blog concept 135fjf.png


First and foremost, you may or may not have noticed an addition to the staff team. Well, I noticed because I'm always on this forum. :v:
Welcome and congratulations to our good friend Aprime, who now wears a lovely shade of blue. He has been brought aboard the team to look at some textures, and we hope to see good progress on his end.
He's even started work on rm5248's launcher GUI.







Testing / Gameplay Developments

In testing news, things are going great! Nodlied has done well in whipping the fresh meat new testers into shape, whilst Pushwall has put their feedback to good use. There is much happening here, and each new build tested brings more improvements. As each session brings more fixes, it also brings more fun!
Of that which I can share:


• Health regeneration has been reworked. As was mentioned in previous blogs, a soldier would fully recover his health with enough time. This has been changed to recovering and capping off at 75% health, rather than the full 100%. Armour remains depleted.


• We have been testing scripts to address issues with the EVA announcer. For over a year, it's been incredibly unresponsive, which has made many attempts at balance testing moot. Bonsai was the worst offender; signal flares were among the many things the EVA failed to report. As much as we dread hearing "Signal flare detected.", it helps to know when a missile is coming! However, thanks to the diligent efforts of jonwil and the rest of the Tiberian Technologies team, this is no longer a concern. With this and many other crippling scripts issues dealt with, we are inching ever closer to a public release.


• A feature long requested by many, maps will now feature a "jukebox" that plays several different music tracks, instead of playing the same one track over and over. As you may remember, Keep Off The Grass uses the Red Alert track Vector... for 35 minutes straight. Now, when it reaches the end of Vector, it randomly switches to another track from the map's list; for KOTG, the list includes Mud, Fogger and Second Hand in addition to the original Vector. Upon reaching the end of one of those tracks, it plays a random other one in the list, and so on and so on. Since every map has its own jukebox comprised of 4-5 tracks, we've been able to squeeze in a lot of Red Alert tracks and original works from Chicajo that previously went unused, as well as a few Tiberian Dawn tracks, so variety is assured for your listening pleasure.


• The field role of the Engineer has been revised for clarity and ease of use. As some may have known, the Golden Wrench was capable of disarming mines within a small radius. Unfortunately, this did not do well in practice and did not see much use outside of Under. Even more so, many players had no knowledge of this. The Engineer's completely arbitrary secondary ability has effectively been scrapped. As compensation, his passive mine detector has been improved vastly. In addition to the original effect of causing nearby mines to emit a beep (with tweaks to better pinpoint the direction their location), it now also reveals the mines on the radar, allowing teammates a much easier time clearing the field. With these changes, there is more importance to the Radar Dome, and more reliability on the Engineer in minesweeping operations. Do note however, that the Engineer now also relies greatly on his teammates in this endeavor, as his only method of clearing mines is his C4. Better bring a vehicle!


• Ever since the autocannon was introduced for the Hind several years ago, it's been a constant source of controversy. In all its iterations, it's been either wildly overpowered against buildings or vehicles or both, or completely useless against anything that's not infantry. Experts agree: the Soviets already have an overdose of splash-damage weaponry and Allied infantry already have a hard enough time surviving in the field as it is. Since the autocannon has proven a pain to balance properly, it's being reverted back to the "bullet hose" weapon that it had prior to Gamma, and retaining the one feature of the autocannon the Soviets actually needed: another way to scare Allied Mechanics, as the Hind's bullets penetrate vehicle armour and slow down the Mechanic's repair rate drastically.


• Homing weapons no longer track infantry, which spells good news for their survival. Longbows, phase tanks and mammoth tanks are basically incapable of sniping infantry from max range now, and are encouraged to use their splash damage instead. However, we are currently running a little experiment with this: since Volkov is part machine, he's still vulnerable to tracking. Fret not, as this is balanced out by him not being super-weak to homing projectiles anymore, just tank shells.


• The team info popup now correctly shows the health of auxiliary buildings (ore silos and refill pads), as well as grouping together duplicate buildings together on the list (pillboxes, turrets, service depots).



Site Updates


In case you missed Catalyst's recent activity:

• BHP TeamSpeak has been moved to another host. Whether or not this affected performance is yet to be determined. But hey! If you want to invite people onto our TeamSpeak, be sure to drop them the address - ts.bluehellproductions.com
• You may have noticed an improvement in the speed of the website.

http://www.apathbeyond.com/ no longer directs to our site here. Please use http://www.bluehellproductions.com/ if you're inviting guests over to visit us!



While I was writing this blog up, APB_ICE was more than happy to show off a couple of things he has been working on.


Firstly, his latest in destroyed props - the Light Tank. Along with the destroyed Heavy Tank you may have seen in the previous blog, you may also see the destroyed Light Tank appearing on some maps.


APB_ICE Light Tank Update 1.png

APB_ICE Light Tank Update 2.png


Secondly, the new and improved Master Control Terminal! Or should I say, Terminals!


APB_ICE has redesigned the MCT to have a much bulkier design, giving them a more retro feel. You will notice that there are two versions, and with good reason. The full-sized version will be housed within larger/advanced buildings, while the second "mini" version will appear in smaller/less-advanced buildings.


APB_ICE MCT Update 1.png

APB_ICE MCT Update 2.png



Thank you for those, APB_ICE. Fantastic stuff!


And I believe that concludes this update!

If you haven't already, give us a "Like" on our Facebook page. 


Also be sure to check us out on Twitter.




In the next blog, look forward to map enhancements! Rest assured, for we will not leave you blogless for half a year again!



APB Dev. Blog :: June 5th, 2015

Posted by rm5248 - Jun 03 2015 06:17 PM

Hey fans of Bluehell Productions!  That's right, it's new blog time!
This week has been a crazy week for game announcements.  First of all, Firaxis has just announced a sequel to their 2012 hit XCOM: Enemy Unkown.  If you haven't played this game, you really should!  I actually bought it soon after it came out, after seeing Yahtzee's excellent review of it.  Before that, I had never played an XCOM game before.  
If you haven't had a chance to play it, you really should.  Still not convinced that it's a good game?  Check out Beaglerush's videos of XCOM: Ironman Impossible.
Anyway, here's the big trailer for you: 



The other big announcement this week was Fallout 4.  Personally, I have never played anything in the Fallout series.  However, many people on the internet absolutely lost their minds when it was announced.  Check out the trailer below:



All of these game announcements leads me to the reason that I am writing today's blog instead of Chronojam.


Bluehell Productions is proud to announce that we are officially the lead developers behind Half-Life 3!


That's right folks, you heard it here first!  In fact, we've got some initial in-game screenshots that you can check out below:








Alright, I lied.  We're not really working on Half-Life 3.  We are however working on making APB bigger and better than before, and we're moving to a new engine!  Coming soon, you will be able to play APB on B4D.


What is B4D?  Well, it's a derivative of W3D, but one better!  Really the only difference is that APB will now have the power and awesomeness of scripts 5.0.  We've been hard at testing scripts 5.0 for work with APB, and we only have a few things left to fix before an official release.


Along with our latest version of APB, we will be releasing a new version of the official Bluehell Productions launcher.  This new launcher will allow you to do much the same that the current launcher does, but with a few more special features.  ;)  Look for the new version to come out in the coming weeks, barring any unforseen delays.



One final thing, since we had a lot of fun the other week with our APB game night, we're looking to do a regular game night for APB.  Those of you who want to join in, come around and join us on the official Bluehell Productions server starting at 19:00 GMT on Thursdays.  Can't make it?  No problem!  We'll play without you. :)  

Or else we'll do this on the weekends too, we're still tossing some ideas around for what the best way to have a game night is.




One more thing!  Did you ever wish that you had more props in-game?  Do you ever feel as though the maps are dull and boring?  Well GET READY, because APB_ICE has been working on some cool destroyed tanks for use in-game.  Check out the heavy tank below.



That's all from the front lines, tune in later for another exciting installment of APB DEV BLOG.

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