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2024 Roadmap

Updated: Feb 27

This year’s roadmap is a continuation of efforts initiated in 2023. We currently have three major projects going on simultaneously: 


  1. Continue to improve/optimize WWII Online 1.0

  2. Re-design WWII Online in Unreal Engine 5

  3. Continue the conversion of WWII Online: Chokepoint from UE4 —> UE5


It’s going to be a jam-packed year for CRS, and great progress is being made on all fronts for WWII Online. Keep reading to learn more about how your support is turning into action!

WWII ONLINE 1.0

The following relates to upcoming development coming into WWII Online 1.0, our flagship game currently playable.


QUAD ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS COMING TO WWII ONLINE

As the years of the war progressed, innovation for anti-aircraft gunners enabled some pretty uber stuff to shoot enemy aircraft down. All of these guns will be made available in the Army branch as towable ground units. You will be able to spawn these from depots, army bases, and forward bases.


  1. Flakvierling 38 (Germany)

  2. Polsten 20mm (England)

  3. M45 4x.50 (United States & France)


And if you wanted to get an idea of how much fun these can be, enjoy this clip from Waterworld where it shows the M45 going to town:



Coming to WWII Online: M45 Quad Anti-Air Gun

Type

Quad-mount AA

Tow type

Heavy

Armament

4x .50 cal M2HB Browning Heavy Machine Guns 


Belt fed 200 rounds per gun

Weight

1087kg

Coming to WWII Online: Polsten Quad Anti-Air Gun

Type

Quad-mount AA

Tow type

Heavy

Armament

4x 20mm Polsten Cannons


30 round Box Magazine per gun 

Weight

1100kg

Coming to WWII Online: Flakvierling Quad Anti-Air Gun

Type

Quad-Mount AAA

Tow Type

Heavy

Weight

1500kg

Armament

4x 2 cm Flak 38 L/65


4x 20-round detachable box magazine

NEW TANKS COMING TO WWII ONLINE

For a long time, we’ve had players requesting that we add completely new tanks to WWII Online, and we agree - it’s time. FYI: It’s important to note that the resources working on these do not include developers currently working on our conversion to WWII Online 2.0 or Chokepoint.


We’re pleased to let you know that we intend to add the following tanks this year:

  1. Panther Ausf.A (Germany)

  2. Valentine Mk X (England)

  3. M18 Hellcat (United States & France)


Coming to WWII Online: The mighty Panther tank!

Type

Medium Tank

Speed

46 km/h

Weight

44,814kg

Armament

7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70


2 × 7.92 mm MG 34

Coming to WWII Online: The Fierce M18 Hellcat!

Type

Tank Destroyer

Speed

89km/h

Weight

17,00kg

Armament

M1A1 76mm Main Gun


.50 cal M2HB Browning Heavy Machine Gun

Coming to WWII Online: A very modular Valentine tank!

Type

Medium Tank

Speed

24km/h

Weight

17,200kg

Armament

QF 6-pounder Mk V


7.92mm Besa machine gun

REVAMPING OLDER MODELS FOR WWII ONLINE

We completely revolutionized our approach to modeling during 2023 and had some fantastic results. We’re going to continue this effort and we have several items not only in progress but planned. We are not only creating NEW artwork and improving the visual appeal of the game, but we are also cleaning up technical debt by addressing known issues with each vehicle as it goes through the pipeline.


This creates a future-proofing opportunity and optimizes gaming experiences now found in WWII Online 1.0. Keep your eye out for more vehicles being improved, and be sure to use the official bug tracker to report any known issues which is located at http://www.wwiionline.com/bugs. (Include vehicle types, descriptions of the issues, and any relevant picture or video and it will get prioritized).


Coming to WWII Online: New vehicle (tank) interiors being developed

This tank model interior is an example we did to test how far we could push and improve things. It is a work in progress (WIP) and does not represent a final result.


Coming to WWII Online: Rebuilding the A-13 cruiser british tank

Here's a WIP photo of the A-13 Cruiser third-person model replacement. It will be further refined, but we wanted to give you an idea of how it will look.


Coming to WWII Online: Rebuilding the French R35 tank

This R-35 is a WIP and has some more refining happening. But it gives you a great visual in how the model is receiving greater detail.


TANK CREW - TRACK REPAIR

We now have a working concept of tank crews being able to repair their tracks, development continues and is approaching testing. WWII Online tankers are about to have the ability to fix their own tracks and get mobile again (up to a certain amount of times) if this occurs. We had this on our roadmap last year, and while work did occur we didn’t quite get it where we wanted. We intend to move this forward and get it available to tankers this year.


BETTER EWS REPORTING

Particularly for our underpopulated forces, we’re looking at adding some helpful - yet somewhat vague - information on where enemy infantry forces (only) are at via system/chat. For example, “Enemy infantry spotted northeast.” So again purely designed to help increase situational awareness and support the side with less people online.


AFK PLAYERS & BALANCING MECHANISMS

Some players go AFK and are still considered part of the balancing mechanisms that determine the number of attack objectives, capture speeds, and so on. We’re planning to remove AFK players from this consideration in fairness to the rest of the active players, and we plan to go a little deeper than just someone who types .afk or nudges their player every so often. This is a problem with someone who has multiple accounts and is distorting real numbers.


SHOW FB DAMAGE ON SPAWN

We want to simplify things a bit here. Long story short, when someone spawns into their forward base, we want to report the percentage of damage instantly and easily to the player. Normally you’d have to click on your forward base on the map and type .own to see the percentage (Infantry: 20%, Vehicle: 80%, Other: 22%), etc. This will just automatically happen as you spawn in to give you immediate situational awareness and help all players, new and veteran alike.


TOWN ALTITUDE ON THE MAP

For bombers, indirect fire weapons, and paratrooper aircraft, it is critical to know the specific town altitude in game so you can range your sight or drop paras at a safe altitude. Our goal is to get the specific town height of the town marker (statue/obelisk) to be displayed on the in-game map. For example, when you hover your mouse over a town you can see the available brigades, garrisons, and town owner in a small pop-up window. In this case, we’ll expand that window to include town altitude information.


SATCHELS CLIPPING INTO VEHICLES

Players have identified several reports of satchels clipping into vehicles. We have some working theories on this and will be prioritizing some effort here as this should not be happening. Using the bug tracker you can help our team find out (faster) where these specific hot spots might be by tank type. 


We ask your support on this because you’re experiencing it daily and it will help us figure out those issues faster and turn around a result at a faster pace. When creating a ticket include: 1) Tank type, 2) picture of tank/satchel placement, 3) identify with some annotation via picture where it’s happening, 4) a video works too, all of that = a surefire way to identify what needs cleaning up.


INFANTRY DYING TO STOPPED VEHICLES

This is one of those important quality of life things. Let’s say we have a sapper hunting down an enemy tank, and the vehicle stops. Sometimes infantry die simply by touching their character model with the vehicle, even though it’s “stationary”. We’re planning to clean this up for a more appropriate experience.


WWII ONLINE 2.0

Our production team has a two-birds approach to the generation of assets.  Whether a new building or a new vehicle the the objective is to design them such that they are optimized for use in Unreal (so usable in either Chokepoint or 2.0) but downgradeable for re-use in our current 1.0 engine.


Our development team is following an incremental approach to building an Unreal-based client and is closing in on finishing up the first step of it this quarter.  Each step/stage of this process builds on the previous and while most of these milestones are not public some of them will have public exposure whether it's through the sharing of progress, a visual (recorded) demo, or sharing a limited playable demonstration of particular technology.


The development of the 2.0 client is a multi-year project.  The exact timeline is highly dependent on how successful we are at building and maintaining a dedicated volunteer development team so you might see us periodically ask for referrals within our community.


As previously stated the first stage of development is coming to a close this quarter and focuses on integrating the following technology:


  • Basic interoperability with existing Playnet server systems (authorization, cluster, voice)

  • Terrain conversion and adaptation

  • Basic character control and remote player tracking

  • Transition between login/menu - and spawned states

  • Construction of a base UE5 client capable of integrating all of these things


As we look forward to our next stage of development the focus will be building out the game world (terrain, rivers, roads/rails, terrain objects) and testing out exactly what aspects of this we'll be able to greatly improve on when using UE5.  At the same time, we will continue to expand on areas previously developed.


WWII ONLINE: CHOKEPOINT ROADMAP

As we announced in mid-2023, we had to completely rebuild our Chokepoint team. Given all of the other moving parts of our organization here at CRS, and the high demand to press updates for 1.0 and 2.0, things were a bit slower than desired to get things going. So we appreciate your grace as we’ve had to navigate the recruitment and training of personnel and pick the project up from the original development team. By no means, is that a simple thing to do.


Our commitment to Chokepoint remains because it is acting as a training tool for our Production team and as we’ve described all along, it is being sought out to replace the current infantry system for WWII Online 1.0 for many reasons.


UPGRADE TO UNREAL ENGINE 5.3

Chokepoint is currently running within UE 5.1, we need to pursue the latest and greatest capabilities and stay on top of our game (pardon the pun). As much as we can help it, we do not want to fall behind. Initial conversion steps from 5.1 → 5.3 are underway.


REBUILDING INVENTORY SYSTEM

This has been identified as a key hurdle we need to get past. UE4 utilized a custom-built inventory system which has been totally deprecated as part of the conversion over to UE5. We plan to leverage UE5’s new inventory system called, “Lyra.” Efforts were made to see what could be transferred over from UE4 → UE5 but have mostly fallen flat. This is part of the exploration process of our new team picking up the pieces and recognizing that we need to build anew. 


The inventory system manages character inventory, which weapons are assigned to whom, load-outs, etc. Rebuilding it gives us native compatibility with UE5 which in turn makes it better long-term for support not just in Chokepoint, but anything WWII Online 2.0 intends to use from these systems. It also means that the general knowledge of how this works will be better documented (as it is provided by Epic Games itself) and our new team will be more capable of sustaining it.


To do this, we intend to strip out the current system entirely and start small by adding a single weapon to be shared across all classes and building from there.


Fortunately, we have lots of data still intact and weapons, animations, sounds, etc which should make that process start to pick up speed once we get base functionality working. We’ll keep you posted on progress, this a very difficult task and touches many areas of the code/blueprints.


CODE CLEAN UP

We’re at a much better point now to isolate deprecated elements of our code base and blueprint(s) post-conversion. So things that are hanging around from UE4 will be jettisoned that are no longer in use by our programming team, to reduce technical debt and ensure optimal workflows going forward.


CLEANING UP EXISTING MAPS & MODELS

Our environment artists have been steadily repairing Carentan & La Fiere, and have made some strong progress. Our next goal is to unlock a technical issue preventing artists from being able to work on Eglise (the nighttime map), so we can get that game ready as well. 


Several models have received UVs, textures, placement adjustments, and so on. These were mostly post-conversion issues that demanded attention.



CARENTAN UNREAL ENGINE 5 PROGRESS (CONTINUED)

Here are some additional photos demonstrating post-conversion cleanup activities on Carentan.


Advancing Chokepoint: Carentan's town hall is receiving finishing touches

Advancing Chokepoint: Carentan buildings being cleaned up

Advancing Chokepoint: Stunning rail yard updates in Carentan

LA FIERE UNREAL ENGINE 5 PROGRESS (CONTINUED)

Here are some additional photos demonstrating post-conversion cleanup activities on the map of La Fiere.


Advancing Chokepoint: An all-new La Fiere Bridge

Advancing Chokepoint: Road to La Fire is being cleaned up

CLEANING UP ANIMATIONS

There are several animations requiring attention, and our animator has already been addressing the more obvious animations in the third person. As soon as the inventory system is online, we’ll be able to do more thorough first-person animation improvements as well, as we can properly test results. 



BUILDING, DEPLOYMENT & PLAYTESTS

Once we have our inventory system functioning again, our next step is to clean up our application building process for PC and work on deploying those binaries to our dedicated host. This will effectively get us back into the routine development swing of things.


Then we can get updates deployed via Steam and all key holders of Chokepoint will be able to dive back into playtests and get the ball rolling. Then it will all be about players reporting issues, our team prioritizing them, cleaning things up and deploying new builds, and so on. This will be the ultimate sign that we’re on the right path and we can be more certain about release timelines.


TRANSPARENCY & EXPECTATIONS

This stuff isn’t easy. We’re a mostly volunteer team with three major projects going on simultaneously. We’ve laid out what’s happened, our commitment to rebuild and get things back online, and that we’re staying the course as best we can to get Chokepoint to be operational. But it’s got some challenges that we’re currently navigating through. 


Keep your expectations reasonable and know that until otherwise stated, we’re continuing to move forward on all fronts. 


2024 FUNDRAISER

Mark your calendars and get ready, on March 1st 2024 we will be launching our 2024 fundraiser to continue pushing WWII Online forward. As you can see there is no shortage of activity scheduled or otherwise taking place. During 2023 we pushed hard and got a lot of good things done, delivering new content and bug fixes globally.


As always we want to thank you for your support because it is the literal fuel source making all of the above possible. We couldn't do this without you, and we're very grateful and blessed to have your continued backing. We will keep up the good fight and take WWII Online forward on all fronts.


What do you think of this year's roadmap? Be sure to share it and spread the word, comment within, and tell us what you are most excited about!

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Park Admin
Park Admin
04. März
Mit 1 von 5 Sternen bewertet.

Lets see since 2012 you have had $210,192 in go fund me money come thru. The last 2 years $28,411 and last year $37,695 come in with no functional demo of UE5 (just screenshots) so with all this porting and working you dont even know if it could handle your current size and map content.

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Obelix 3PzG
Obelix 3PzG
22. Feb.

Awesome! Thank you.

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@xoom so the new EWS system when released is for the underpopulated side?


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Antwort an

Alright, thanks! S!


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This is all great news and well beyond what I thought would even be possible in the current version, production team really is killing it out there. Lets not forget, 2023 even had a few surprise additions that were not in the roadmap, so we've been getting lots of great additions lately.

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XOOM
XOOM
22. Feb.
Antwort an

Thanks for your support Rob!

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Joel Baird
Joel Baird
18. Feb.

What happened to the Glider development that was previously announced?

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Antwort an

At the time of Q2/2023, the gliders and some other items were NOT complete and as previously announced, if it was not completed by q2/2023 it would be put on the shelf as all DEVELOPMENT related work STOPPED on 1.0 unless it was bug related, etc. What you are seeing on the 2024 roadmap is PRODUCTION driven.

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