Work In Progress (9/12/13) – Major Improvements and Beta 1.2 Update

It’s been 4 months since we have posted any major progress updates on the Army Men III Beta release. We have been busy behind the scenes repairing many bugs and issues found in the 1st beta release as well as improving on the game’s quality. But how could we ever forget our fans?

Beta 1.2 Update

We released the first Beta release on April 30th 2013 and although it did receive a fairly decent amount of reception, we really felt we could have did better to improve the game. More especially the cinematics and gameplay art. Some of you may noticed the different changes in some of the art (such as the sandbox mission). Unfortunately, I panicked on the art side after receiving feedback from Polycount, personal mentors, and other advice from all possible directions. I was so busy trying to satisfy their art requirements to reach AAA quality that seeing the April 30th release/countdown was really imminent, I just basically panicked.

That is why this next beta update and most other releases will be a proximity release, which I would define as a TBD release or as some would know as – “when it’s done”. We are currently improving the in-game cinematic scenes and the Bink FMVs to meet AAA quality, as well as improving the game’s art quality and clear as many bugs and issues as possible, more especially that annoying vehicle physics glitch, the overly-difficulty AI, and the hidden glitch on the transition of Mission 6 (we already fixed the three). You might also come across more secrets in this updated release….
*cough* Secret mission paths *cough*

Though, if you have not tried the previous updated release you can download it below.

Army Men III Banner - Download Now

Meanwhile, here is an example of what he have completed so far.

Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.Graphical Improvements on Level Design.
Graphical Improvements on Level Design.

Music

We have welcomed another music composer to the empire (Neotl Empire). Samuel Garner has done a wodnerful job on creating the new music tracks which will replace some of our older tracks, even the original title theme I have composed in 2008.

New Website

As some of you may already know from our minor update article post, our official website has expired and before I could renew the domains, someone else (presumably, a domain reseller organization), have acquired the Lord Ihean and Army Men 3 domains and we are currently trying to acquire them back.

On the bright side, we have finally managed to re-established our new website!

www.LordIhean.net

….Which we will use as a hub to host Army Men III and many of our future projects (games, machinima videos, films, etc.) though, we are still working on acquiring a new website specifically for Army Men III.

That’s all for today folks! Tracks on IndieDB for more updates, or visit our social networks, and enjoy a drink of our finest Imperium *new game incoming*.

Imperium Energy Drink
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Army Men III Beta Version Released!

Due to unexpected difficulties that caught us by surprise in the cooking and packing process, we have released a critical update to resolve the troubles!

At last after struggling through a few packaging difficulties, the Beta version is finally released and ready to go! Right on this very day of the…

15th Anniversary of Army Men!

(Trailer Coming Soon)

Army Men III Banner - Download Now

You may need to download this plugin in order to download the game properly here.
You can also try using the MeGa Downloader by clicking here.

Known Bugs/Issues

Army Men Specific – Bugs/Issues we CAN eventually fix.

  • We are still struggling with fixing the IK Bone solvers (most likely a UDK-based bug).
  • The vehicle physics tend to get wacky (probably because UnrealPhysics are On)
  • After switching from dual-wielding, the left hand would not return in place as it should.
  • Some missions would lag at the beginning due to loading the AI and scripted events.
  • Some NPCs would turn to Idle state after performing a melee or special attack (e.g. Berserker).
  • Some of the static mesh objects in certain missions are missing collision (e.g. Pipe Dreams)
  • Save systems are sometimes flawed.

UDK Specific – Bugs/Issues we CAN NOT fix on our own (Epic Games will have to do that instead).

  • The terrain collision for some reason started becoming rather bizzare after packaging the game.
  • The AI would sometimes become semi-function after packaging the game.
  • The game would sometimes crash when selecting a mission (Campaign or Skirmish) or exiting the game.
  • Some of the AI objectives would not become invincible when scripted to do so, since the game was cooked and packaged (e.g. Flak Gun in Mission 05: Demolitian)

System Requirements

Minimum Specs:

  • Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista
  • 2.0+ GHz processor
  • 2GB system RAM
  • SM3-compatible video card
  • 3GB Free hard drive space

Recommended:

  • Windows 7 64-bit
  • 2.0+ GHz multi-core processor
  • 4GB System RAM
  • NVIDIA 200 series or higher graphics card
  • Plenty of HDD space

Minimum for DirectX11:

  • Windows Vista
  • 2.0+ GHz processor
  • 2GB system RAM
  • DX11 Graphics Card: Nvidia: 400 series or above ATI: 5000 series or above
  • 3GB Free hard drive space

Known Bugs/Issues/Fixes

New Update Improvements.

  • IK Bones were partially fixed (including the dual-wield issue)
  • The vehicle physics are only less whacky now (still trying to get rid of the craziness)
  • Most NPCs now respond better to Line-of-Sight and Hearing threshold (can see and hear targets more effectively).
  • Fix the crash of certain missions (e.g. Earning a Living)
  • The simple command system is fully functional – Press V to order your allies to follow, V again to order them to stop. (NOTE – only some allied soldiers will follow you)
  • The grenade now only detonates when it touches a target or
  • Save system features for Mission 05 has been improved.

Army Men Specific – Bugs/Issues we CAN eventually fix.

  • We are still struggling with fixing the IK Bone solvers (although we somehow fixed the glitched issue with dual wielding).
  • Some NPCs (e.g. Zombies) may still have their target stuck at enemies far away from them, thus not responding to sight and hearing targets (actually have to shoot them for them to attack ya)
  • Some missions may lag at the beginning due to loading the AI and scripted events.
  • Some NPCs would turn to Idle state after performing a melee or special attack (e.g. Berserker).
  • The grenade may sometimes get stuck and will not detonate.
  • Save system is sometimes flawed.
  • Body dismemberment is somehow flawed – E.g. the Tan soldier’s leg will still exist even after spawning the leg gib.

UDK Specific – Bugs/Issues we CAN NOT fix on our own (Epic Games will have to do that instead).

  • The terrain collision for some reason started becoming rather bizarre after changing resolution or “Alt-Tabing” out of the game for whatever reason.
  • The game may sometimes freeze and crash during gameplay.
  • The game would sometimes crash when selecting a mission (Campaign or Skirmish) or exiting the game.
  • Some of the AI objectives may not become invincible when scripted to do so, since the game was cooked and packaged (e.g. Flak Gun in Mission 05: Demolitian)

If you find any additional bugs and/or other issues, post them in the forums via the Bugs and Support section.

If anyone could also provide additional download links to the updated game, we would really appreciate it.

Work In Progress (4/28/13) – Beta Release Imminent!

Only 1 more day left until the beta is released and we would like to demonstrate some of our most prominent features and introduce our new forums.

New Forums!

Some of you may have already noticed that the old Mingle Forums (funny name for a forum app) is totally replaced with a link directing you to a new forums website, and the answer would probably be easy to guess – It simply did not serve us very well. So we decided to migrate to one with more superiority, better quality & decency, and free! Please note that you will have to create a new account to use the new forums as we were not able to transfer the data from the previous forums.

Be sure to register on the forums here if you have not already.

Gameplay Features Demonstration!

In this video, we will be demonstrating some of our most prominent features in the Army Men III game, including:

  • Random ‘special’ death animations (animations played beyond the regular death anims that would only play from each weapon damage)
  • Special melee attacks (different animations play in accordance to specific weaponry)
  • Incendiary Melting effect – certain characters will melt when killed by incendiary damage (e.g. flamethrower or incendiary grenade launcher kills)
  • Limb dismemberment.
  • Tesla Cannon’s secondary feature – EMP blast (knocks out stronger enemies, instantly kills weaker ones).

_________

15th Anniversary Theme

We have a new music composer on the team. I would like to introduce Mark Braga. He is very professionalized in music and he will be helping me out with the music for the upcoming holiday DLC. He has created this awesome music track to support the 15th Army Men Anniversary which may be played in our release trailer.

That is all folks! Keep an eye out for the Beta release.

Work In Progress (4/17/13) – Skirmish Mode Preview

12 more days until the beta release and boy do we have something for you!
More progress, LOTS of improvements, new plastic weapons feature, and….

A sneak peak of Skirmish Mode!

IMPORTANT NOTE – You may notice a few number of flaws and bugs which we are currently fixing, such as the plane’s rotor rotating the wrong way and the scenery of the mission. This is a beta after all…

Army Men III Skirmish Preview ScreenshotsArmy Men III Skirmish Preview Screenshots
Army Men III Skirmish Preview ScreenshotsArmy Men III Skirmish Preview Screenshots
Army Men III Skirmish Preview ScreenshotsArmy Men III Skirmish Preview ScreenshotsArmy Men III Skirmish Preview ScreenshotsArmy Men III Skirmish Preview Screenshots
Army Men III Skirmish Preview Screenshots

We have improved the Plastic soldier character further by applying the bloom effect on the character mesh, giving him the more animated plastic soldier feeling. It may be hard to see it from this image, but the gameplay video might give some better insight or the beta once it is released.

Bloom Effect Applied

Thanks to popular vote, we have also returned the use of plastic weaponry from the previous Army Men games.

Plastic Weapons & Stances

However, we are also very aware that there are still some that really preferred the metallic weapons, so to satisfy both parties, we added a plastic weapons feature in the Main menu settings replacing the obsolete DirectX11 feature (you can add the suffix -DX11 to your desktop shortcut to activate this game’s DX11 features upon beta release), and right below the Reduced Gore (gibs and hitsplats) check box.

Plastic Weapons Settings Feature

However for story campaign mode and origin purposes, not all weapons are using the plastic colors. E.g. both the tesla cannon and laser rifle were made by the IGD using metal parts from the Real World, and the Vortex gun is a grenade launcher heavily altered to use vortex plasma grenades), it will only affect standard weaponry (Assault Rifles, SMGs, Rocket launchers, etc.)

Finally, we have already initiated the countdown for the Beta release, which you can also find on the main page.

You can find here – http://www.indiedb.com/games/army-men-3/news/work-in-progress-41713-skirmish-mode-preview

That’s a wrap (as Vikki Grimm would say)! Keep in mind, we are but only a very small team, So we are still looking for artists and programmers to complete Army Men Multiplayer sooner. If you are interested in helping this project and more especially it’s online MP expansion see the light of day, just send us a PM via IndieDB or Skype.

Be sure to sign up and join our New Community Forums Here

We have removed the old Mingle forum as it provided very little value to us.

Don’t forget to follow us via our icons below, This game really needs more publicity.

Fan us on Facebook

Thanks!
Neotl Empire.

Work In Progress (3/31/13) – FAQ for Upcomming Beta

The beta is almost here and we made this progress article to answer any concerned questions about the game.

We were originally planning a video version of the FAQ, unfortunately we could not have enough time to make one (some of us have college education and finances to deal with), So we will post them in this article instead.

We have also recreated the Boxshot theme for our game. Hopefully, this will be the FINAL version of our Boxshot which you can find it on the IndieDB summary page. For now, here is the Wallpaper version.

Army Men III Wallpaper - Fresh out the Kitchen

Q: When is the 1st Beta release?

  • The first Army Men III Beta release will launch on April 30th.

Q: Will the Beta release become available to everyone?

  • Yes, Keep in mind that this is an Open Beta release.

Q: Will the Beta release support character customization?

  • No, however we should have the character customization feature setup by the 2nd Beta release. We plan to allow characters the ability to change their player character, including their headgear, body accessories, and even their gender.

Q: Will the Beta release provided more Skirmish missions than what existed in the Alpha release?

  • Definitely! We have the screenshots above us to prove that.

Q: Are there any unlockables features, special powerups, or Bonus missions in the Beta release?

  • Yes, Just like in Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes (Dreamcast) and Sarge’s Heroes 2, There are a few secret areas throughout the Campaign & Skirmish Modes. Some of them could provide a large arsenal of inventory, powerups, easter eggs, or even unlock certain cheats. If you are adventurous enough, you may find them. There are are also bonus missions being included in the Campaign (such as the Anniversary Map Pack) as well as future holiday map packs arriving in the near future.

Q: Will the 1st Beta support playing as the Tan Army or The Monster Horde (IGD’s Army)?

  • No, we may release DLC that supports this at a later time, however we can not guarantee it at the moment.

Q: What improvements were made in the Beta version in comparison to the outdated Alpha version?

  • A LOT. For starters, cutscenes have been improved and the voice acting has been drastically improved. We have also recreated and revamped some of the campaign missions to better give players the feeling that they are fighting in the Plastic and Real World missions respectively.

Q: Explain the process of Campaign mode?

  • The Army Men III Campaign is practically the story mode of the game – Taking place where Army Men II last left off. Most of the missions in the Campaign take place in the Plastic World (and the last few in the Real World) as the Insane Grey Doctor threatens to destroy the plastic world with his warped experiments, and you will have to fight your way through all four of the Major nations – Tan, Green, Blue, and Grey, and take part in a full-scale assault on The Grey Doctor’s fortress – an enormous Castle in the Real World.

Q: Explain the process of Skirmish mode?

  • The Skirmish mode is practically the arcade mode of the game. Fight your way through waves of enemies – Tan infantry, swarms of insects, hordes of zombies (and explosive ones), and even returning foes from Sarge’s Heroes 2 reincarnated as the Machines of War.

Q: Is this game by any chance related or will end up like Sarge’s Heroes?

  • NO. We get this quite a LOT. Even the public pages (like gamepron) are misleading. Sure, we may have similarities and references from the game (e.g. the Green Beans cans in the skirmish missions) as well as a returning character from SH2 (with a new origin), however, this game is by NO chance directly related to the sub-series. Remember that this is a direct sequel to the original game, if anything else, this game would probably be closest to Army Men 3D.

Q: Is this game anything like Call of Duty or trying to follow it’s trend?

  • ROFL!! If I had a nickel for this one…. I can safely say, ANY game is prone to this stupid assumption (Even the all-mighty Halo 4 is vulnerable). I even see these assumptions in the ratings. I honestly don’t know how else to say this but please understand, that this game is NOT a Call of Duty knock-off. Sure it has some similar elements that God forbid they popularized (such as the Health regeneration system and dual-wielding) however we are not even trying to follow the modern-generation trend that you would find from most AAA Games. That is why indie games like Minecraft are ultimately becoming more prevalent. While most AAA games are focusing more about forking up some extra cash with overpriced DLC and console-focused gameplay, Indie games are focusing on not only improving on new and/or enjoyable gameplay, but also adding User Mod support. I believe that is what ultimately extends the life of a product, more especially if it is poorly-received or underrated (i.e.Duke Nukem Forever). More of the reason why our standalone expansion. Army Men Multiplayer exists.
That is all folks! Keep in mind, we are but only a very small team (practically three core developers such as myself, and less than a handful of voice actors), So we are still looking for artists and programmers to complete Army Men Multiplayer sooner. If you are interested in helping this project and its online MP expansion see the light of day, just send us a PM via IndieDB or Skype.

Be sure to sign up and join our Community Forums Here


Don’t forget to follow us via our icons below, This game really needs more publicity.

Army Men III – Series Recap & Beta Release Date Announced!

Summary

On April 30th 1998, The 3DO Company created the very first Army Men game.

This well-received strategic tactical shooter had a very effective and interesting storyline taking place in the “Plastic World” and quite a good gameplay value, as well as a modem-based online multiplayer mode. A year later, they released a direct sequel which continued where the story left off, introducing the “Real World”.

Unlike the original game, Army Men II was a more action-packed tactical shooter with an even greater gameplay value than it’s predecessor. Later that same year, 3DO released a 3D remake of the original game.

Despite a certain number of flaws (such as the removal of Air Support items, such as Paratroopers and Airstrikes, and the lack of building a squadron of allied units), Army Men 3D still retained the tactical elements from the original game. Unfortunately, due to the lackluster AI, brutally-punishing difficulty (on Easy mode no less), barren environments, and the lack of a proper save system, the game was horribly bashed and underrated and did not receive the attention it truly deserved.
You can read more about the summary of the series below.

Link to Army Men Series Summary Here

Beta Release Date!

Yes, this is it folks! In celebration of the Army Men series, we will release the Beta version of the game on…

April 30th 2013

The 15th Anniversery of Army Men!

Even though the release date has been announced, noting is really set in stone yet, so it may be prone to change (*crossed fingers and hope to God it never happens* ). On this special day, we plan to release our planned Anniversery Skirmish Map Pack, to fuel the action-packed gameplay by adding a few Real-World and Plastic-World bonus maps as well as a secret campaign map (which will only be unlocked once you complete the Campaign mode).

Extras!

As some of you may already know, our official Army Men III website underwent an overhaul (due to a glitch that destroyed our previous website code), and our LordIhean website was forcefully shutdown and the domain was blocked due to the contact email being hacked (possibly by those spammers), Fortunately, since we have also re-branded our own team (and changed it’s name since to something more desirable), we won’t even need the domain website link anymore since we are in the process of creating a new website.

Meanwhile here’s a few extras you’ve all been waiting for.
Army Men III Wallpaper - The Coalition
Army Men III Wallpaper - World Map
Army Men III Wallpaper - Aircraft Carrier
Mission 05 (Recreated)
Mission 05 (Recreated)
Mission 05 (Recreated)
Mission 05 (Recreated)

Plastic Shader Overhaul

We have also improved on the plastic material of the plastic characters, vehicles, and weapons (we practically use one core material for all Army Men-specific assets)

New Plastic Shader

Stay tuned for more updates folks!

Be sure to sign up and join our Community Forums Here

Don’t forget to follow us via our icons below,

Fan us on Facebook

Thanks!
Neotl Empire.

Army Men Series Summary

The Summary

On April 30th 1998, Someone came up with the idea to make a game based on the beloved plastic Army Men that were popular during the 20th century. The 3DO Company created the very first Army Men game.

This well-received strategic tactical shooter had a very effective and interesting storyline taking place in the “Plastic World” and quite a good gameplay value, as well as a modem-based online multiplayer mode. A year later, they released a direct sequel which continued where the story left off, introducing the “Real World”.

Unlike the original game, Army Men II was a more action-packed tactical shooter with an even greater gameplay value than it’s predecessor. Later that same year, 3DO released a 3D remake of the original game.

Despite a certain number of flaws (such as the removal of Air Support items, such as Paratroopers and Airstrikes, and the lack of building a squadron of allied units), Army Men 3D still retained the tactical elements from the original game. Unfortunately, to the lackluster AI, brutally-punishing difficulty (on Easy mode no less), barren environments, and the lack of a proper save system, the game was horribly bashed and underrated and did not receive the attention it truly deserved.

Years later, 3DO began a fast-paced development cycle in which they created over 300 games, including a total of 34 Army Men games (including the various ports).

As a result, most of these Army Men games were very rushed, poorly developed, and horribly-received and although some of the games have demonstrated greater potential, (such as Sarges Heroes, which rebooted the franchise, and the console-exclusive World War games), were already rushed towards their release before they were ever realized and due to the negative reputation it created, some of the games that were actually great and worthwhile (E.g. Army Men RTS, and Air Attack) did not received the recognition it truly deserved. Eventually The 3DO Company collapsed and other developers that have taken over have made a number of games that are surprisingly worse, (only exception for the recent Mobile Ops video game). Despite all of this, the Army Men fan base has surprisingly developed even larger since the aftermath of The 3DO Company, more especially because of Army Men RTS and ironically Sarge’s Heroes, and have started surporting the series by uploading a tremendous amount of walkthrough videos, creating fan-based communities such as the Army Men Fans ModDB group, and even making tribute references from even one of the best Garrys Mod machinimas available (5:30).

However there are two core elements that NONE of these games ever had (and one additional core element that MOST games have never had and were not strongly support by those that did), that we believe could have extend their lives and their potential.

Online Cooperative Multiplayer,

Competitve Multiplayer,

&

User Mod Content,

Army Men III Wallpaper - Fresh out the Kitchen

On December 1st 2011, Army Men III was released at it’s Alpha stage, which practically served as a “story/game ploy” or a practical demonstration of how the storyline and some of the core gameplay features were planned in a nutshell and to receive some feedback of what to add towards our Beta release. Although the Alpha version was surprisingly well-praised for its rough-drafted story and gameplay direction, it was criticized for its certain flaws, such as the bad voice-acting (more especially with Sarge, Plastro and the Grey General), as well as a few unexpected glitches that managed to threaten the game’s playability and a few graphical glitches, some of which were caused from the UDK’s end (e.g. Terrain glitch on resolution change), which we have absolutely NO control over (blame Epic Games).

Since then, we have continued to work VERY harder than we originally did to make a the true direct sequel and a VERY fun and enjoyable Army Men game that many of us have desired. Most importantly, we want to allow gamers (more especially our fans) to modify or even create their own custom and unique universes and content with our game and it’s multiplayer-focused standalone expansion component, supporting both singleplayer and multiplayer capabilities, including our upcoming multiplayer-exclusive plastic currency/scoring system (score that is used as currency for buying specific items, and other multiplayer features) and our player customization feature (customize your player model, color, weapon loadout, etc.)

Stay tuned for more updates. If you have not seen or was not introduced to this article through our recent Progress update, be sure to check it out via the news section, the IndieDB front page, our official websiteor by clicking here.

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Neotl Empire.