In October 2015, Beerdude passed the torch to Catface and Tama as lead developers. Since then, a lot has changed - for one thing, we haven’t had time for progress reports, so here’s the first progress report from the new team!
Tama (steam: Bob2)
I’ve loved Empires since I first encountered it in 2009. After studying computer science and working as a game developer for 2 years, I joined the Empires development team in February 2015, but didn’t have very much time before August (I did a few bugfixes such as the wallheight bug). My main focus was and still is the interface, so I’ve been working on improving the feedback when placing buildings as the commander. I hope you like it! I’ve also been improving the code quality, and generally try to keep the developer team organised, making sure they are coordinated with each other, and receive feedback from the community on their work.
Redskull (steam: Ϟ|JFR|Ϟ Rhymes)
I was introduced to Empires by a friend around 2007 and have been playing since then, although I haven’t been playing very frequently until about a year ago. Unlike most of the other developers, I have never written a single line of code and stay strictly to modeling. I’ve currently contributed with one new model, the NF Jeep, but with help from Smithy there will hopefully be a new NF Medium Tank added as well. There’s also been progress on some new infantry weapon models which I hope to get into the game as soon as I get the new development pipeline figured out.
F1r3w4rr10r (steam: [HERD] f1r3w4rr10r | U!)
I discovered Empires back when it was still version 2.12 I believe. Back then it was my first online multiplayer game ever after buying the Orange Box. I actually started to get into 3D modeling because of this mod. My contributions so far (that are actually in game) is only a BE crate which is fairly old by now. Behind the scenes I did a lot of research on getting stuff into the engine, mostly on the materials side. I completely redid the faction materials, but those are not in yet. Further I have been working on new first person arms among other things. Apart from that I try to be as much help to the other modelers as I can. Right now my time is a bit limited to work on this mod though.
Smithy (steam: Smithy)
I first played Empires with a group of friends back in 2007. About a year later, Trickster/Mr. Bungles/Omneh/Zealoth created EPIC clan. I was one of the first recruits to their clan and since then I have been so addicted to the game that I’ve stuck around since. It’s hard to remember when I first became a developer as I have contributed under various different lead developers (I think I joined the team back when MOOtant was lead). My role has primarily been to work with game assets (models/textures), but I’ve also been helping with bug-fixing recently. One of my responsibilities has been to implement new models that were contributed. Most notably; the shotgun models (courtesy of RappemongO), NF jeep (courtesy of Redskull), updated Brenodi crate models (courtesy of f1r3w4rr10r). At the time of writing this I only have a couple of my own models that are used in-game, but hopefully that will change when I finish a few things I’ve been working on. Some of my progress can be viewed by following the link below.
Definitely a longer term player, I started playing Empires when V1.0 was released way back in April 2006. Hard to believe it will be a decade this year! Empires has come a long way since then; the days before prone, when the commander could be killed by explosions in comm view and when only a few vehicles would cause unbearable lag to name only a few. Like Smithy I struggle to remember when I first became a developer. For a long time it had been clear to me that once a feature was implemented there was often little more thought to it. Take the number of typos in early ingame descriptions as an example - implemented for 1.0 and then they remained for many years afterwards. I had been submitting small tweaks to the developers for many different things (primarily script related) before moving onto some pretty comprehensive testing and bug reporting in the (rather long) run up to the 2.4 release. Since then I’ve tried to keep making small tweaks and changes as time permits, primarily to improve the polish and occasionally to attempt to lower the barriers faced by new users. Not much to report over the last few months due to having lots to do in real life. Finally getting caught back up with the transitions coming about due to large changes in the development team, so will hopefully have something a bit more interesting to report next time :)
Max Maton (Thexa4)
I’m relatively new to Empires but really love the idea of combining RTS with real players. In real life I’m a freelance developer and in my free time I am working on making Empires easier to start playing for new players and making the codebase easier for developers to work with. Last few months I’ve worked on getting Empires to work on linux and making sure it keeps working by adding continuous integration to the development process.
I would say that I’m a newer player than most as I picked up the game in 2013, loved it and stayed with it ever since. But I’m a really new dev. on the team as I joined late last year.
As for what I’ve done since I’ve been here, well I’ve been bug hunting and testing mostly, whilst I learn the whole dev system. For example: I realised that scout/ rifleman have their passive skills swapped, so neither of them benefitted from armour or binoculars. This has since been fixed for the 2.7 update :)
I started playing Empires all the way back in 2006 and have been mostly a regular player. Empires has been a really attractive game that never received enough attention. I joined the development team in December 2015 as a scripter. I believe experience and a firm grasp of the gameplay are both required to create a balanced script. As probably the most experienced player among all previous scripters, I will make good uses of my understanding of this game to create a better script.