You can pick it up right now on GOG.com with a 20% launch discount!
Actually it came out on April 2nd, so why are we announcing it late!? Well, here’s the deal:
After the launch, players found some bugs that made the game less fun than it should be, so we went into super crunch mode to squash them like… well… bugs! We made the decision to spend all of our time fixing the problems people had instead of promoting the game. We’re not sure if that’s going to translate into less sales, but it was the right thing to do for our customers. We’re happy to say we were successful in eliminating them in short order (the bugs, not the customers).
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to start making some noise about Signal Ops. What better way to start things off than with a brand new trailer!
Anyone have any spare breath? Cause that trailer just took ours away if we do say so ourselves.
We plan on writing some articles about the development process of Signal Ops while we work on getting the Mac and Linux versions ready for prime time, so stay tuned for those bits of literary goodness.
Well, we found a couple last minute bugs and we would feel terrible if the game shipped with those in there, so we’ve decided to hold off shipping until they are fixed up.
The next available release date from our distributor is Tuesday, April 2nd, so it looks like that is when Signal Ops will finally be making its debut. Our most humble apologies if you were looking forward to playing Signal Ops this weekend.
Hey, speaking of distribution… we are happy to reveal that Signal Ops will be available DRM free, exclusively on GOG.com at launch.
Your Tax Dollars At Work
We wanted to share an inside look at what sort of stuff we’re doing with the extra time we got from delaying the game from the original release date about a month ago. One of the tools we’ve developed to improve your experience playing Signal Ops is called the Navmesh Autotester. What it does is run the game in a special mode that spawns thousands of agents and runs them around each level. Normally it just outputs text while it runs, but that’s no fun, so we made a video:
The Autotester detects when and where agents get stuck and records the location and path they were on when they got stuck. Once the test is complete, we load the data into Softimage, which is the 3D software we use to create the levels and other models you see in the game.
In the picture on the left, we see a visual representation of all the problem paths. On the right, we’ve made some adjustments to the navigation mesh (“navmesh”) that the AI uses to get from place to place and run the test again.
We repeat the process until all but the most obscure issues are fixed. Using this technique we’ve been able to fix up to 95% of agents getting stuck in each level.
When we said we were delaying by one week, we should have said three weeks; that’s actually how much time we needed to put the extra polish on Signal Ops that we wanted to. As Nintendo honcho Shigeru Miyamoto once wisely said, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
The new (and final) release date for Signal Ops is March 28th, 2013.
We’re pushing back one week to March 14th. This gives us a bit more time to finish up Signal Ops without resorting to holding our eyes open with toothpicks. We hope those who are eagerly awaiting Signal Ops understand.
As consolation, please accept these new screenshots!
It’s been a while, but here it is: your latest dose of Signal Ops news.
First of all, we hope everyone had a great 2012. Ours was pretty busy, and we’re looking forward to having a bit of time off this year between shipping Signal Ops and getting started on something new! Yes, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. All the bits and bobs are coming together. We’re pretty sure you’re gonna love it when you can get your mitts all over it on March 7th (absolutely positively maybe the final date!).
So what have we been working on, specifically?
For starters we swapped out the whole physics system, making the game very solid in terms of stability while improving performance at the same time.
We like kicking doors a lot, so we decided to add that into the game. Now it’s just like real life.
Of course there were also some great improvements to pathfinding, allowing agents and enemies alike to navigate though some pretty complex environments.
Another area we spent time improving was the tutorial section. With gameplay mechanics that are unusual to say the least, it was a daunting task. We needed a training mission that was detailed enough to make sure players understand how the key concepts in Signal Ops work, but with the extra fat trimmed off so you won’t get all comatose on us. Things like highlighted HUD elements will help you absorb all knowledge ever as efficiently as possible.
Those young rattlers and their whiz-bangs these days. When I was a youngster we just had rocks, and it cost a month’s pay just to look at them!
Some games try to make themselves seem intuitive by taking away your choices as a player. Not Signal Ops! Decision-making (AKA strategy) is a big part of playing Signal Ops.
You are not some sort of modern-day Pac-Man, eating up little “move here now” objective markers every few feet. In Signal Ops there is a map, and you will need to actually look at it to see where the objectives are and plan out where you want to move. The map also shows you where you have signal range and the location of your agents. The map is found in your clipboard. This is what it looks like:
We have fond memories of split-screen gaming, and because of the multi-perspective interface in Signal Ops those good times can be had once again. Another similarly old-school feature we have is non-regenerating health. We give you a sense of “lives” by being able to call in reinforcements. Let’s not forget that Signal Ops will have a good old regular save system. No checkpoints here!
We hope you will enjoy our “gameplay first” development methodology. Till next time.
Sometimes you want to take a stealthy approach, and sometimes you need to do some shooting. Ah, the dilemmas we face in these modern times. The Scope agent does well in both areas, but at different extremes of distance!
From far away, Scope is the most accurate of any agent with his sniper rifle. Naturally, it makes a lot of noise. You’ll want to fire and move unless you have an agent who is more adept at dealing with the enemies who will come to investigate.
At close range, the Scope has the special ability of using any melee weapon as a deadly throwing weapon. Knives? Yep. Hammer? Sure. Pie? Who knows! It sure comes in handy when you need to take out an enemy quietly, but he’s out of range for a melee attack. The Scope also moves a little faster than the others, which can help with sneaking up on patrolling enemies to hold them up.
Other things we’ve been working at here in the “office” are hand signals, which will make your agents look professional times two, and new real-time filters for the power-finder device.
We just put in the throwing weapon feature today, so there is still some work to do, but we put together a little video just for you:
Space Bullet is proud to present our first real gameplay video, and it’s a doozie.
10 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay, with narration explaining some of the critical game mechanics you’ll need to use to make your missions a success in Signal Ops.
In the six weeks since our Greenlight trailer, we’ve made improvements in pretty much every area of the game. First thing you’ll notice is the HUD changes, as we talked about in a previous update. We’ve also started putting in some of the new agent voices, new animations, effects, gameplay features, and more.
We’re working on fixing up some odds and ends in preparation for a new gameplay video. Finally you’ll be able to see some uncut gameplay footage and get a real sense of how Signal Ops plays and what to expect in the real thing. We think people will be pleased to see (and hear) some of the improvements we’ve made in the short time since the latest trailer.
We’re happy to say that over 50,000 people have now checked out our Greenlight page, but things have been slowing down a bit lately since the newness of Greenlight has worn off. We would appreciate your help spreading the word to get more votes.