Finally, the new alpha version 0.0.8.6 of Battle of Decay has been released on Steam!
That’s right, Battle of Decay is now on Steam and also uses all Steam services. Currently, the game is not yet displayed in the store, because this is an unlisted alpha version, which can be upgraded to a public version at any time.
You can expect a lot of changes in the new version – one year of work.
Battle of Decay on Steam
Currently, Battle of Decay is not yet displayed on Steam, as the game is currently still in alpha. However, the game already has its own AppID and currently uses all Steam services like the Steam Friend and Server services. During the integration between Steam and Battle of Decay, “DerSky” made a tutorial on Youtube on how to upload your Unreal Engine game to Steam.
Now that the Steam connection is established, dedicated servers are currently being worked on as well. Currently, an invalid server is still displayed in the game. However, this server is only a product of a bug that is still being solved. In December, the gameplay was successfully tested on a client-server for the first time. Even though there were still many bugs, it was a huge progress.
Gameplay and Level changes
There have been numerous changes to the map and gameplay system! In fact, there are so many changes that it is impossible to list them all here. The main changes can be found in the Road Map and in the Battle of Decay Discord Changelog.
The gameplay has been fundamentally changed. Items have new properties, can expire and now take up more space. It is no longer only the weight of an item that counts, but also the direct size in the inventory. On the other hand, food can also expire as mentioned, bottles can be drunk empty and you get an empty plastic bottle. This all sounds like small changes, but the system behind it is a completely new one to make the whole thing possible in the first place. The weapon system has also been completely renewed.
There are now real projectile weapons. The launched projectile now has a minimum and maximum speed, as well as a “bullet drop” effect. In addition, the impact effects and sound effects have been completely reworked. This applies to both ranged weapons and melee weapons. The new system allows for simple firearms as well as bazookas, flare guns and more.
Graphic, Performance, Visuals
Even though the alpha version hasn’t been optimized much yet, you can achieve an average of 50-60 FPS on 4K with gaming graphics cards. If you play in the standard resolution (1920x1080px), you will reach an average of 60-120 FPS. In the new alpha version, there is a new graphics setting for all people with upper-class graphics cards. Ultra re-sharpening not only provides better edge smoothing, but also extreme sharpness. This way, you can boost the in-game rendering by 250% at the expense of performance. With good graphics cards, you lose about 50% of the FPS and thus play with a constant 35-60 FPS (tested during a livestream).
Another great achievement is the new shading system that handles reflections better. Because of this, new visual and tactical possibilities will be available in the game. Currently, realistic trees from Quixel Megascan are also used, which have been optimized once again for Battle of Decay. These are “photoscans”.
Level Design and Map
Even though the size of the Alpha test area has not changed much, a lot of new areas have been added and existing ones have been improved. In the area around the station, some graphic improvements and level design improvements were made. Yesterday a vehicle was successfully tested on the map – so the map is already optimized for driving. With the new alpha, new loot item spawners were also set and over 100 new items were added. Currently, NPCs such as wild animals and humans are also being tested on the map.
As a new alpha area parts of X3Y2 and X3Y4 were prepared. The latter is the initial area of the major city “Confluentes”. Here, in addition to the river, a fictional version of the river “Rhine”, you can find a pedestrian bridge, a railroad bridge, a federal highway bridge and a highway interchange. If you follow the forest road by the interchange, you will reach a mountain with a large transmission tower. From there you have a clear view of the German Corner and the unfinished city.
New Level Design Tools in use
Battle of Decay keeps progressing, but the level design is a big challenge in this game. There have always been situations where the Unreal Engine simply lacked certain tools and workarounds, which is why various level design tools were created for Battle of Decay that allow you to, for example, build power lines within seconds. These tools are also now available in the Unreal Engine Marketplace and have already been featured by the Epic Games Unreal Engine Team in the Unreal Engine Showcase! Here you can see an example of the Smart Cable Connector: