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Nov 21 , 2010


Mod of the Year Awards

Six years and still going strong, but now we need your vote for the annual Mod Database "Mod of the Year" awards! Simply click on the image above and press the VOTE button on the main page, be sure to log in as member votes count more than a guest vote!

Hydra Trailer - Feelin' Good

VGO Hydra Trailer - Feelin' Good video - Vietnam Glory Obscured Mod for C&C Generals: Zero Hour - Mod DB

Download High Res Version Here!

Rage... Rage Against the Dying of the Light

We are putting the final touches on the Hydra release in hopes we can release by the end of the year. Progress is steady, hopefully we have the NVA voice work sorted, and if no problems crop up, then we'll be on schedule for release. It's quite an odd feeling to be practically done, to have over six years of hard work come to a close, to be at the "twilight" of development on this project. Join us for one last hurrah as we give Zero Hour its swan song at years end.


Oceans of Paradise

As part of doing final polish on the project, water has been getting some attention. With the recent addition of bloom into the project (to be featured in the Hydra release) it has helped give the hot, steamy, humid feel of the tropical environment. Eska, one of our testers, stepped up and has done a fantastic job capturing the look of a tropical ocean.


Lamentations and Loud Wailings Resounded Through the Starless Air

Slew of screen shots from the most recent builds of the game. The beta testers have been helping us greatly with finalizing balance and testing the new game mode King of the Hill, which seems to be a great hit with the team.






Oct 10 , 2010

Things of the Past

Last news post, we talked about the village rings that make villages more clear for the player. Today we are going to talk about the other improvements to the communication and the new monetary system. We are also going to discuss a new game mode, the state of the AI and some new naval units. We are on the home stretch now, and most of the work remaining is AI and 2D art related.


The New Monetary System

For some time, we have wanted to encourage assaults on multiple map locations - this was the purpose of villages. However, villages were few in number and easily defensible due to the fear of damaging the village; as such, we wanted to add more points of contention on maps in order to keep a player's forces spread thin.

To this end, we placed supply points around the map for the CH54 and Supply Trucks to collect. This solved the problem, as well as having a weak point in the supply chain in the collectors; the problem was that the collectors were unreliable and stupid. As such, we decided to move to fixed, capturable locations on the map that provide funds. As such, there are three types, shown below:

The Supply Zone, on the left, provides the least amount of money and is usually found in the center of the map.
The Whorehouse, in the middle, provides a moderate amount and are usually found in the extremities of a map or between each base and the villages.
The Supply Tunnel, on the right, provides a considerable amount of money and can be found very near to each base area.

This tier system allows players who have control of the center of the map not to have a majority of the cash; however, holding those areas is still valuable. While points are rapidly capturable, if a player is unable to take a point they can destroy it, temporarily preventing the enemy from benefiting from the point and thus allowing harassment of points.

As a result of this system, we have removed all supply collectors from the map; the CH45 and Supply Trucks no longer serve that purpose.


Visual Communication

Previously, we outlined a system to make it clear who owns a village and whether it is correctly occupied. There was still the problem of finding villages, however, and this was made all the worse with the new, small points.

As such, we introduced two visual systems. The first is visible in the screenshot above of the cash generators; all key structures have large, bright beams of light - this means they are easily visible when moving around the map.

In addition to this, we have added radar "pings" to show the location of villages, and all white structure dots on the minimap have been removed except for money generating structures. Sadly, you cannot see these in the fog, however they are visible once scouted and as they are the only white dots they are reasonably clear.

King of the Hill

We have recently added a new King of the Hill style game mode. The objective of KotH is to hold the center area for five minutes cumulatively by having 2000 VND worth of troops in a central ring. If the enemy has troops in the area too, then the player cannot control the area until the enemy are removed. The counter does not restart; if a player loses the center, their counter will remain static.

Any player who does not hold the center gains continuous cash injections to help them retake it - this allows for frequent exchanging of hands and interesting battles for the center Below is a screenshot of our first KotH map, Abandoned:

Other Changes

On top of the ever-tweaking balance changes, we have made the following of note:

- The NVA AI is now complete on all Standard and Bombardment maps. The USA AI is completed for all 4 village maps. These AI are to the new specification of making them slower to advance on Easy and Normal, and therefore easier for new players, as well as handling the new monetary system, balance changes and revised cash amounts.

- We now have the Aircraft Carrier working in-game as a capturable like the Battleship; it launches F14 aircraft to attack a target with missiles. The F14 has animated wings when taking off and landing, and replacements are brought up from the lower deck.

- The Incinerator, an old model from 2006, has been added to the game as a capturable structure similar to the Field Hospital; it makes all vehicles and aircraft 10% cheaper to produce.

- The USA airfield begins as a dirt runway that can only construct the A1 Skyraider; it is then upgradable to tarmac and can then produce jets. In addition, we reduced the size back down to the original four runways for easier placement in tight maps.

- The shellmap has had a slight tweak such that the Battleship now fires towards the camera periodically.

- The NVA OSA missile boat is now in game; this formidable bit of kit fires four missiles per volley and has an anti-infantry machine-gun mounted on the front.







August 28 , 2010

A Matter of Momentum

Last update we talked about AntiSocialKindaGuy wrapping up production on Blur The Game (go buy it!) and is now taking a much needed break. ScreamingCricket has finally settled in after moving to California to work for Carbine Studios and is now able to devote more time to the mod. The testers have been testing vigorously as we've been trying to squash every bug found (no more art bugs as of right now!)

As of this point, things are basically code complete, we are continuing to test balance and new systems. For art, there is one more model left to make for the NVA faction and then 2D graphics (UI, icons, etc). After 6 years of hard work, the end is finally in sight. Wait...what? 6 YEARS??


6 Years Strong

As of Thursday, August 26, 2010, Vietnam Glory Obscured has turned 6! Check out the News Archives to see what we were doing 6 years ago! It's been quite a long haul, do you remember what you were doing back in August of 2004? Well I joined and started working on what was then known as Vietnam Reborn. A mod that essentially would play like Zero Hour with a Vietnam skin. While I wasn't particularly interesting in the Vietnam conflict, I wanted to work on a topic no one else was doing and that wasn't a remake of a previous C&C game. Since starting work on the mod and all the research that I've put into the subject, the Vietnam War is definitely one of my interests now.

As with all things, stuff changes, the people in charge of the mod left, leaving what would be all this wasted work. So I took up the reigns, decided on a new direction for the mod, changed the name from Vietnam Reborn to Vietnam Glory Obscured, and practically did a complete 180, going from the arcade ZH play style to a tactical and strategic game play I felt the RTS genre lacked.

It's been a long road, and we've come far. To a committed team of devs, the best group of beta testers I could have asked for, and all the fans anxiously awaiting our next release: Thanks for stickin' with me through this tour of duty!

-- ScreamingCricket


A Case of Visual Communication

Last update we talked about how the villages have always been core to the VGO game play experience, but how frequently people do not realize they exist or how to use them. We showed a glowing ring last time to mark the village boundaries as a proof of concept. Now the rings are fully realized and implemented.

Occupying villages still works the same, just now you have more visual feedback. Once the Master Hut has been captured, funds don't start generating until you have a sufficient force of troops occupying the village within its perimeter. Players couldn't really tell where the perimeter was or if they had a sufficient force occupying the village to generate funds. Now they do!

The perimeter around the village is marked with a white glowing ring. After the Master Hut is captured and you move a sufficient force into the ring, it dynamically changes to your team color. Now any player will be able to tell at a glance who occupies the village and if it is generating funds.


Micro-Management and Resource Control

One thing that has always bothered us was the inane stupidity of resource collectors. They always ended up wandering into the enemy base or enemy occupied space without any kind of self preservation. To make sure the collectors would stay alive required lots of babying and nagging micro-management. We were fed up with it, it wasn't a fun system, and we felt it took away from exciting tactical game play we were going for. So we removed all traditional resource collecting!

So just villages only? NO! Villages are still the main source of funds, but we've implemented a new secondary resource system to promote more skirmishes and remove the headache of stupid resource collectors. We'll go more in depth in the next update.


Unit Showcase - NVA Boats

The Sampan - pretty straight forward unit, its fast, cheap, and packed full of explosives. BOOM.

P4 Torpedo Boat - originally of Russian design, the Chinese made their own variant. This is the same type of boat that was claimed to have attacked the USS Maddox during the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The P4 fires torpedos (obviously) and is also equipped with an AA turret at the back of the boat.


Voice Work

We are still in need of somebody to do the NVA voices. Ideally this will be Vietnamese, however at this point we would accept any far eastern accent. If we do not find anybody, you'll not only have my terrible American accent and ScreamingCricket's real one in the game, you'll have to put up with our terrible (and probably unintentionally racist) renditions for the NVA, too. So lend us your voice!


Obligatory Screenshots!

Because no news post would be complete without them, here's some screenshots of some games between the testers playing against the NVA AI:







July 4 , 2010

The Great Vanishing Act

Recently, the team have been beset by many a real life trauma: I have been working on Blur The Game (go buy it!), ScreamingCricket has moved to California to work for Carbine Studios and Nuka5 and most of the testers have vanished for the exam period. However! When we have had time, we've been looking at a considerable barrier to entry within VGO.


Hard Counters and the Speed of Failure

One of the problems we have been trying to overcome is the dramatic gap between skilled and unskilled players. We believe this was caused by the speed with which hard counters can destroy very expensive units with little to no recourse; if an assault is not pre-empted, it is possible to lose a lot of money's worth of troops in a very short space of time.

To this end, health has been improved across the board; all units have greater survivability. Hard counters are still hard counters, and they fire more rapidly than they did, but they also do less damage per shot. This gives the player under attack the opportunity to pull their expensive units back before they are completely destroyed in many instances, giving a player who failed another chance to regroup.

This has another nice bi-product: battles last longer. This makes for more interesting, more dynamic gameplay, as well as putting greater emphasis on healing infantry - medics now require less micro management when reviving infantry and as a result are now regular members of squads in most games.

We have also overhauled the visibility system. While vehicle vision will remain broadly similar, infantry now have a greater vision radius as do scout units such as the OH6. This encourages ambushes to occur in jungle areas (as stealth detection ability remains unchanged), as well as makes forward scouting just that little bit easier for most players.


The Brutality of the AI

For an experienced player of VGO, the AI was a pleasant challenge. For the new player, it was overbearingly difficult. As such, the NVA AI has been built from the ground up to be more easily scalable in terms of difficulty. The Easy AI is now a much more sedate experience, allowing new players to get a much better handle on the game and its mechanics; the hard AI is still as brutal as it always was.

We intend to expand this new system to the old USA AI; this is especially important because learning to play as the NVA is much harder than learning to play the USA was. The NVA build mechanics are fundamentally different in their approach, which usually takes players a bit of time to learn. It's worth mentioning at this point that the NVA AI is complete for all standard maps for up to 4 players and 6 villages. Glorious!

Visual Communication

The villages have always been core to the VGO gameplay experience, but frequently people do not realise they exist or how to use them. As well as creating very obvious mini-map markers to encourage exploration of the villages, we have created some large, animated village markers to show the area in which infantry must reside to produce the village bonus.

This is in addition to the changes to villages and monetary funding in general introduced in Pegasus 1.4 that gave players more of a chance of assaulting an enemy with a greater number of villages by giving regular fund injections directly to the HQ and additional funding just for holding the Master Hut.


The Tutorial

Sadly, it is clear that our in-game tutorial is woefully inadequate at teaching the finer points of VGO - not only does it teach you the basics of ZH control (something one would hope you should know by now), which bores people such that they don't even play through it, but it doesn't teach you the most important aspects of gameplay beyond the trivial.

While we would love to re-do the tutorial, we simply do not have the time to do the scripting effort required; as such, we intend to release a plethora of training videos aimed at all levels of skill to teach players how to play the game effectively. These will be released with the Hydra release, and will be linked to from the launcher.


Voice Work

We are still in need of somebody to do the NVA voices. Ideally this will be Vietnamese, however at this point we would accept any far eastern accent. If we do not find anybody, you'll not only have my terrible American accent and ScreamingCricket's real one in the game, you'll have to put up with our terrible (and probably unintentionally racist) renditions for the NVA, too. So lend us your voice!


Obligatory Screenshots vs NVA AI

Because no news post would be complete without them, here's some screenshots of some games between the testers playing against the NVA AI:






March 21 , 2010

Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the mod of the year awards, we placed in the top 100 mods of 2009! As 2010 kicks off, we are finally reaching the last stretch on finishing the NVA faction. A few more units remain to be modeled and textured for the NVA, after that UI work for that faction will start. Balance testing continues and as we balance the sides, some adjustments to the USA are required, in some cases, this requires actual model work to show upgrades.

Magnificent Desolation

The UH-1 ARA (Aerial Rocket Artillery) Gunship variant is an upgrade for the UH-1 Gunship. This load out carried up to 48 (24 each side) tube launched 2.75 in rockets as well as 2 M60 7.62mm MG's. This turns the gunship into a floating artillery platform. The upgrade is purchased on a per unit level. This upgrade will help counter some of the NVA advantages.

Bloom Tests

In an effort to help visually enhance the mod, we've implemented bloom. We have tried to achieve a hot, tropical, steamy jungle feel to the coloring and intensity of the bloom. In the first image, you can see the bloom effect applied to the top half of the image, and the bottom half without the bloom.

All images below have the bloom effect applied.







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