Dev Blog
Sitrep: October
October 18th, 2021

Happy Hauntings Everyone!

We are releasing our October Sitrep a bit early so we can get you an update on everything we have been working on. We didn't release a September Sitrep because our focus was on getting the patch 1.8.10 launched. However, after evaluation of the feedback we received from players and our own QA testers, we decided to give Update 1.8.10 a bit more time in the oven to tackle some community needs including a big focus on the overall performance of the game. Taking on this work has shifted priorities across multiple departments and changed estimated release times on some of the features we previously stated. For more details on the current feature schedule please keep reading.

From the Dev's Desk

With the concerns surrounding the frame rate and performance that were brought up when reviewing Update 1.8.10, we wanted to make sure we took the time to listen and investigate the concerns the community had. The team has taken the time and is working hard on improving these issues. Here is a deep dive from our lead programmer:

 

Hello everybody, I'm the lead programmer on Onward, and I want to share some insights into our recent programming work. Today, I'll be going over our issue with the frame rate of Onward and why we're taking extra time to improve it. To the dismay of our community manager, this is a larger technical topic so I have broken it up into a few different parts that you can jump to.

 

What does frame rate mean for Onward?

First, frame rate is very important when it comes to VR as lower frame rates can make you feel sick because your movements in game don't match your movements in real life, throwing off your balance.

One of our main goals in Onward is to make sure that you, the player, feel comfortable while playing the game, so you can keep playing until you want to stop instead of when you have to stop from nausea. We have spent a lot of time on our systems to prevent motion sickness. For example a lot of design went into making sure the movement system doesn't throw you off balance. Frame rate plays a key role in your comfort and therefore earns priority at the top of our development to-do list.

 

Why has Onward's frame rate decreased?

The main reason our frame rate decreased over time has been the addition of new features and large changes. New features almost always come with an additional cost to run, so this extra cost needs to be offset with additional performance improvements in other areas of the game.

 

What are the steps to begin improving Onward's frame rate?

To improve the frame rate in Onward we have had to tackle the problem from several different directions. Our starting point is to profile the game. In the code we can identify code that is taking too long to run, code being run too frequently, and code that is high impact because it runs all the time.

After we've identified the problem areas in the code we can go through and try to improve them. We generally start with trying to improve performance by simplifying code and caching data for quicker retrieval. If simplifying the code and caching aren't enough, then we have to take more drastic approaches such as replacing the code faster or removing functionality. Removing functionality is a last resort.

 

What have we been working on to improve Onward's frame rate?

I'll provide a few examples out of the many parts of code we worked on during the performance improvements instead of going into more general explanations of how to approach performance improvements.

First, our projectile system was creating new bullets instead of reusing pre-existing ones in situations with heavy gunfire. The creation of new objects is expensive, so to prevent this we try to create objects before we need them. When we create objects we try to hide the frame rate drop they cause with loading screens. We then try to reuse the objects when possible as reusing is much cheaper than creating.

Another one of our major wins was bringing in a new system to turn off objects that could not be seen so we were rendering fewer objects at any one time. The system used for this is called occlusion culling. We had been using a Unity occlusion culling system which was expensive on the CPU and sometimes cost more performance than it saved. To fix this, one or our programmers wrote a new occlusion culling system that runs really quickly at the cost of extra memory usage over CPU use. This helped bring down costs on both the CPU as it had less calculations and the GPU as it now has fewer objects to render.

The examples above just scratch the surface of the work that has gone into the performance improvement work but we hope give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.

Until next time, here is a fun bug QA caught that was caused by an optimization to the bipods.

 

 

In addition to the performance improvements, the extra dev time gave us the ability to include the return of bHaptics to Quest users in 1.8.10. This feature is currently in testing and is looking good to return sooner than we previously stated. Also expect major bug fixes such as Abandoned spawn locations, AI walking through walls on several maps, and updates to spectator mode.

Turbine Day and Night will release with 1.8.10. Some changes including spawn points and environment adjustments have been made to the map based on feedback from our Unit51 playtests. Previous images may not reflect some of these changes, but we will be showing off Turbine on our social media soon.

We continue to work on the two new weapons and the gun stock calibration we mentioned in our August sitrep. If everything lines up, we are trying to have them included into the 1.8.11 Update. Update 1.8.11 was originally slated to include AI animation improvements, but we're working hard to get more animations included. We'll keep you updated as we continue to work toward this future patch release.

Our long-term development goals remain unchanged. These projects include the Party system, Friends system, and AI gameplay improvements.

 

Community Center

Last Thursday we launched our Onward Community Clips contest. We're excited to see your creativity and the different ways you enjoy the game. There are prizes for multiple categories and themes in the contest. For all the details on categories, prizes, and official rules for entry, check out the details here.

Custom maps are back and new ones are now available, which leads us to this month's community member spotlight. Tatoskok has submitted two new amazing maps for the month of October, one of which is perfect for the October spooky season.

  • Graveyard, by community member Tatoskok
    MARSOC SIGINT intercepted Volk communications coming from a remote region of Transylvania. A permanent layer of dense fog obscures satellite imagery requiring aerial drones to provide coverage. Prepare your fireteam for impaired visibility and perform a reconnaissance to discover what the Volk cell is hiding. The region is well known for roaming packs of feral wolves.

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  • The Streets, by community member Gridder
    A recent attack in NYC by Volk has caused major chaos all around but the city has been put in lockdown. Due to the area the only way to counter this is to send a MARSOC to deal with Volk in pretence of being national guard.


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That's the Spookiness for this month, Stay Frosty!


Sitrep: August
August 31st, 2021

Hello everyone!

August flew by, and it's a big milestone for Onward: earlier in the week we celebrated our 5th anniversary since our first release on Steam! Now, let's jump right into things! Last week we released Patch 1.8.9.1 to address an issue with the Workshop. Custom maps are a big feature in Onward and we corrected the issue as fast as we could with a hotfix. If you are still experiencing issues with the Workshop, please make sure you update to 1.8.9.1.

It's been a little over a month since the release of Update 1.8.9. We continue to receive positive feedback about the new weapons interactions, Abandoned Map, and we've even seen mini games being made using the Dolphin in Abandoned free roam.

With 1.8.9 in the rear-view mirror, the path in front of us includes the return of another map and new features the community has been asking for. Read on for more details on what's coming.

 

From The Devs' Desk

Our next update will be 1.8.10. The focus will be on the re-release of the map Turbine. PC players will remember this large map with its long-range firefights on top of the hydroelectric dam, and the close quarters combat in its many below ground-level floors. This map will also bring back some unique elements, such as elevators. Buildings have been added to the surface of the dam, which has also been redesigned to feature a curved road, allowing for new, semi-covered approaches. Also included in 1.8.10 are continued adjustments for the Quest 2 audio.

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1.8.11 will follow the 1.8.10 update and is shaping up to include improved animations and performance. The first animation improvements that will roll out is to the AI in Co-op mode. The major joints for bots have been tackled and updated, including better wrists and knees. They will bend better making their overall movement look more realistic. We are also working on adding the ability to vote kick players during matches using the tablet. Finally, we are hoping to reimplement bHaptics support for Quest users in this update as well.

If you have been reading the previous sitreps, you know that we are working on big features for the future such as a friends and party system and AI gameplay improvements. This month we have some new features to talk about! We will be starting development on a completely new map, gunstock calibration, and two new weapons. We can reveal one of the new weapons will be the SIG MCX and we will reveal the second new weapon at a later time.


Photo by Mike Searson. License: CC-BY-SA 4.0

 

Community Center

Last weekend VRML wrapped up Season 11 for Onward. Congratulations to Raptors for placing 1st! Beginners came in 2nd, Vikings in 3rd, and Peacekeepers in 4th. There were some great matches with some great plays throughout the games. We are looking forward to seeing the start of season 12. Head over to YouTube to watch the Semi Finals and the Finals.

 

Custom Maps

Currently, there is a known issue with being able to upload and update custom maps. We are working on this and hope to have a fix soon. This adjustment shouldn't require an update to the game, so keep an eye out on our social media and Discord for this fix to be announced.

We have the pedal to the metal moving into September and have a lot of things we are working on. Keep an eye out for the 1.8.10 release and as always, Stay Frosty.


Patch 1.8.9.1 Released
August 24th, 2021

Hi everyone!

Today we have released a hotfix to address an issue that caused the Workshop area of the game to no longer function properly. A fix for the related issue where custom map makers are no longer able to upload new maps or update existing maps is coming soon, but will not require a patch for the game.

We are still looking into an issue that causes a small number of Oculus Home users to not be able to launch the game. Please contact our support team if you are facing issues launching the game through Oculus Home (PC).

The patch to address the Workshop issue is available now, and will download automatically to your device.

Stay frosty!


Update 1.8.9 Released
July 21st, 2021

Hello again, everyone!

Today features the release of Onward version 1.8.9! We've already seen a lot of community excitement around this patch since we released the trailer on Monday. The headlines for this update include new gun interactions in the form of speed reloads, HK slaps, and slide locks, and the redesigned Abandoned, with day and night versions available. We also included some bug fixes and game adjustments. For a detailed list of changes, be sure to review the changelog below.

 

New Maps: Abandoned (Day) & Abandoned (Night)

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Gear up, team.

A Marine recon mission was cut short when a Chinook transporting MARSOC Raiders was shot down over an unmapped area. Survivors are believed to be held up near an abandoned industrial complex, and intelligence has confirmed a strong Volk presence moving into the area following the crash.

This is gonna be a large area of operation surrounded by lots of trees, rocks, and hills which we can use as cover for our approach. Once we reach the compound, expect to engage the enemy in close quarters. Command has also given us the option of using flanking routes on the outskirts of the AO. We'll also be up against snipers hiding in tall buildings -- some repurposed, abandoned apartments -- so be careful. We should consider having a designated Marksman to counter them.

Move out!

 

An ode to OceanDolf

We've added a toy dolphin to the map for you to find. The dolphin is the favorite animal of a very beloved community member, OceanDolf, who passed away in 2021. Not only was she a member of the player community and a part of the VRML, but also she was a valued member of the QA team here at Downpour.

Her joy and laugh was infectious and she was an absolute delight to work and play with. If you had the pleasure of being on her team you were a cub to her "Mama bear" personality. She swore by the MK18 and was one of the people most passionate about Onward. She will be missed dearly. The dolphin toy is a way for her memory to live on and continue to be a part of the community she devoted so much time and love to.

 

New Gun Interactions

HK Slap

Speed Reload

Slide Lock

 

 

Release Trailer

 

Changelog

System

  • Slightly reduced the weapon's quietest volume setting to help with people's feedback about volume being too loud for Quest
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the game to not to launch from SteamVR for some players

Gameplay

  • Increased the limit of players on a single team to 10 in Free Roam and Shooting Range
  • Fixed an issue with broken lobbies going into "Waiting for player" mode
  • Fixed dead players having downed player symbol next to their name in tent if they leave mid-round and rejoin
  • Sidearm accessories beyond the first (i.e., silencer, laser sight) will display in the correct location in the equipment section of the loadout
  • Downed MARSOC player can no longer type code into their tablet
  • Downed players will now count as kills at the end of the round
  • Fixed issue where if a player leaves a lobby they were in as a caster, they will cause the first round of any lobby they subsequently host to be un-endable
  • Fixed bug where if you put your gun inside an object or a wall and release the trigger hand your left hand gets teleported away from your body
  • Fixed an issue with the kill house on Shooting Range killing the player in certain areas
  • While wearing spectator goggles, you can now see players on minimap
  • After loading into another map the Caster is now able to change scores properly
  • Fixed the +/- controls not cycling through players in caster mode
  • Fixed player usernames not appearing in First Person Perspective while casting

Maps

  • Shooting Range (Day & Night) spawning in the table has been fixed
  • Some areas in shooting rage have been adjusted to not allow players to clip through unintended areas
  • Graphic adjustments throughout several maps have been made to fix fighting/collision issues, player/item pass through, cross-platform inaccuracies
  • One in the Chamber player spawn points have been adjusted so players are a lot less likely to spawn on top of each other during the match
  • Fixed Helicopter landing error in Subway that was causing round to not end
  • Fixed soft lock issue in Basic Training by expending all bullets and magazines in the M16 before the step to hold the front grip
  • Fixed ramp in Bazaar being walkable by building corner on the side of the scaffolding
  • Fixed players being able to climb on top of the tank inside the Northeast garage allowing the player to clip their head into the roof on Snowpeak
  • Several wall and surface bugs fixed on Subway
  • Changed the end of Subway tunnels to now have fallen metal walls to give you a better idea of how far you are able to walk into the tunnels as well as giving the background a brighter color to prevent hiding in the dark tunnels
  • Uplink spawns are adjusted on Subway
  • Adjusted a MARSOC spawn on Downfall
  • Moved a blue cargo container on Cargo to increase visual occlusion from both sides
  • Fixed Custom Content ammo boxes not spawning

Weapons and Utilities

  • Addition of HK Slap for G3, G3 auto, MP5
  • Addition of Paddle Release style Speed Reload for 552, AK12, AKM, AKS74U, VAL, G36C, G3, SVD, M39
  • Addition of slide locks to weapons: Beretta, Glock, M1911, Makarov, TT-33, Five-SeveN, M16A4, MK16, MK17, AK5C, MK18, AUG, L86, Benelli M4, G3A3, G3 Auto, TAR-21, G36C, SKS, SPAS-12
  • Improved the scope lenses for PC by showing a slight reflection on the lens
  • Fixed guns floating when joining in progress games

Known Issues

  • The red-dot sight on the MP5 is slightly mis-aligned, and the bullet will hit slightly below the centre pip
  • In Co-Op on Abandoned, host can sometimes spawn on top of the helicopter
  • Issue with items floating on Downfall
  • In Operations, when host changes, game mode cannot be changed until new host enters loadout screen
  • On Bazaar (Day and Night) the AI sometimes spawn out of bounds
  • Downed players will not count towards deaths at end of the round


Sitrep - July
July 15th, 2021

Happy July, Everyone!

Let's start this month's sitrep with the good stuff: update 1.8.9 is currently being reviewed in Unit 51, and will soon land on your devices! We are working hard to make sure all the new features are polished and in the best condition for release.

We don't want to dive into the details before giving you a peek at what you're looking forward to, so here's a couple of Abandoned teaser shots!

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From The Devs' Desk

Update 1.8.8 introduced some much needed backend stability to the game, room for growth, and helped set us up for future projects. Some game adjustments that were made in 1.8.8 received some passionate community feedback and we wanted to address two major concerns players have. Number 1, we have reviewed the audio and made adjustments to the Quest audio so it is closer to the sound profiles and settings for PCVR. Some of these changes will be coming in Update 1.8.9, and some will follow after. Number 2, Freeroam and Shooting Range maps will no longer have a 5-person limit on teams, meaning that you will be able to have up to 10 players on one team in these game modes. We also learned that a small number of SteamVR players weren't able to launch the game successfully, and we managed to fix this issue in Update 1.8.9.

In our last Sitrep we introduced two new weapons interactions that will be coming to 1.8.9. The HK Slap and Speed Reload, and the community had an overwhelmingly positive response. We are happy to share that we have added a third new interaction: the ability to manually lock back the slide/bolt for firearms that support this function.

 

If you have been keeping up with our dev blogs and social media, you have seen the story and images behind Abandoned. One new item that will also be coming to Abandoned is an Easter egg in memory of a beloved Onward community member and QA team member. For the details behind the addition of this item, check the patch notes that will be coming upon the release of the 1.8.9 update.

 

After the release of Update 1.8.9, we will be quickly jumping to the development of Patch 1.8.10. The update will feature the release of the Turbine day and night maps. Additional features that we are looking forward to releasing with it are new animations and a tent upgrade.

We continue to work on our next major game features such as Shadowmask Lighting to improve graphics on PC, a party system, and a ranking system. One bit of detail we can start to share is that the first iteration of the ranking system is looking to comprise of 20 ranks and 10 prestiges based on things such as kills, death, heals, objectives, matches played, and other game stats. Be ready to start moving up the ranks and look out for more details in future Sitreps.

 

Community Center

Hot off the LED screen we have new artwork for you! We had some beautiful new wallpapers for you to show off your passion for Onward. The Fan Supply Drop provides HD wallpaper art for your PC and mobile screens. To get these wallpapers download the Fan Supply Drop.

July's Community Spotlight is F.lapinski. You may have seen him wrecking people in VRML matches, or maybe you have played on some of his custom maps. Now he has an even bigger project he's working on. F.lapinski has created a charity group where he is going to be running tournaments to help Veterans. He is partnering up with Veteran charity Stack Up* who help eliminate extreme symptoms of trauma, stress, and isolation of military service members past and present. Stack Up is bringing vets together through the "shared language" of gaming. For more information on this tournament group please check out our Discord.

New community-made custom maps added:

  • OIL DEPOT DAY/NIGHT by F.Lapinski
    Conflict arises across the globe. Espionage indicates that there is Volk activity near Chudtsy, Russia conducting possible illegal oil depot operations. At this time marsoc are deployed to take down this operation.
  • DRY RUN by Beikenost
    An asset flip map set in the Middle East.
  • THE HOOK 2.0 by Evolution
    A collection of nostalgic pirates who can't let go of the past have managed to plunder a modern-day weapons payload. Your team needs to get in there and shut them down. This is no longer bringing guns to a sword fight.

Make sure to go to the Workshop in game to check out and play on these new additions.

 

Introductions

Downpour has some new additions to our team! You may know these two from the community or played with them on the battlefield. Novius (Brian) has joined the programming side of Onward and Monorchid (Joel) has joined level design.

Things are starting to heat up, make sure you Stay Frosty!

 

*Facebook has partnered with Stack Up in the past


Update 1.8.8 is now available!
June 16th, 2021

Hello everyone!

The long awaited update 1.8.8 is here! This update features a rewrite of key game systems to make the game more stable and future-proof, so that we can build on a better foundation going forward. The rewrite includes areas of the code that control player lobbies, game modes, and many other aspects of the game. We have included only a selection of bugs and changes in the changelog: over a hundred bugs have been fixed in this update and some new content has made it in as well.

 

Night Time Shooting Range

Are you ready to prepare for night time operations with your fire team? The new night version of the Shooting Range will allow you to train your skills in the dark. When setting up for Shooting Range in single player or multiplayer, you will now be able to choose a day or night setting.

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Audio Systems

The second major change to feature in this update is further improvements to the audio systems. We have rebalanced our audio volumes, we have improved the way volume decreases over distance and we have added new sounds for footsteps and a selection of weapons, with more to come in the future.

 

We've included a more detailed changelog below. Stay on the lookout for 1.8.9 in the coming weeks!

Changelog highlights

Audio

  • Added verification steps to check for correct settings
  • Audio volumes have been rebalanced
  • Audio attenuation distances were tweaked
  • Custom global audio can now use the indoor/outdoor ducking system
  • Added new Custom Content audio events

Gameplay

  • Fixed a bug where if players drew a lot on the whiteboard the game could crash on Oculus Quest
  • Fixed several instances of lobbies crashing and kicking players back to the main menu
  • Fixed an issue in Uplink where the round would sometimes not end after the Uplink was sent successfully
  • Forgive or Punish buttons for team killing have been moved to the tent, allowing players more time to punish team killers
  • Removed a small rogue collider around players' necks that could unintentionally block bullets
  • Evac choppers' landing locations have been adjusted slightly so they are more easily accessible
  • Bushes in Suburbia Day have been adjusted so that visibility is more consistent between the PC and Quest versions of Onward
  • Quest players can no longer spawn on dead fire team leaders after pausing the game through the Oculus menu
  • Collision boxes for the trucks on Shooting Range have been adjusted so players can no longer get stuck
  • Fixed an issue where some players were returned to the menu after completing Basic Training, instead of moving them on to Intermediate Training
  • Fixed several collision issues leading to inconsistent or incorrect results

Weapons and Utilities

  • Fixed a number of issues where objects would be incorrectly blocked or visible in front of or behind smoke grenades
  • When ejecting magazine from gun, velocity of gun is now taken into account
  • C4 can now be deactivated by fire from a Molotov cocktail
  • Fixed an issue where if the player had C4 and a Molotov cocktail on their vest and the Molotov was shot the C4 would float mid-air
  • Fixed an issue with the MP5 where the bolt could not be closed after emptying a magazine
  • Fixed an issue where grenades could do damage through solid floors
  • Fixed an issue where the gun sight would float above the MK18 in the tent if the M203 grenade launcher was equipped to the gun
  • Fixed RPG rocket fins sticking out on Quest
  • Fixed an issue where players could shoot through the Riot Shield if it was in a lowered position

Custom Content

  • Released a new custom content sdk: v2.0.9 link
  • Updated the Custom Content Guide link
  • Updated the Custom Content Lightmapping Guide link

Known Issues

  • Players will sometimes spawn inside the table in the Shooting Range day and night maps
  • We have temporarily removed support for bHaptics vests for Oculus Quest and Quest 2 users
  • Oculus players may encounter a black screen (audio can still be heard) when loading in or out of the tent. Restarting your game will fix this issue
  • One evac zone in Subway still needs to be adjusted to be able to complete the round
  • When playing One in the Chamber, multiple players can spawn on top of each other

 


Sitrep - May
May 27th, 2021

Hello everyone!

As you may have guessed when we announced that we were joining Oculus Studios back in late April it's been a crazy month of May for us. It was heartwarming to see the largely positive response to the news! We, like you, are excited for what this means and the future opportunities we will have. That's for the future, back to current events: we've been working on 1.8.8 for a long time, and we're excited to get it into your hands very soon. The release of 1.8.8 also clears the path for more frequent updates with more content and new features for you to enjoy.

 

From The Devs' Desk

To give a quick recap and update of the roadmap we set out in the previous sitrep: Update 1.8.8 is coming out soon, and we're currently tackling the final list of issues before we send a build over to Unit 51 for testing and ultimately release it to you. Update 1.8.8 will focus on a rewrite of key game systems to make them future-proof and increase their stability so that we can build on them going forward. On top of that, Update 1.8.8 includes a night version of the shooting range map and a lot of bug fixes, including a fix for the crash on Quest that happens when there is too much writing on the white board.

After 1.8.8 is released, we intend to release two more updates in quick succession: update 1.8.9 will feature the Abandoned map in both day and night variants, and Update 1.8.10 will see the release of the Turbine map, also in day and night variants.

As Abandoned is coming together we want to share a few teaser images with you.

Abandoned is situated in a Siberian forest close to a lake. With several Soviet-era buildings and factories, VOLK has repurposed these facilities in order to assemble weapons and vehicles. A MARSOC Chinook has been shot down and looted by VOLK militia. With months' worth of gathered intelligence, MARSOC is well prepared for an offense to take out this facility. A recon mission was cut short when a Chinook transporting MARSOC troops was shot down over an unmapped forest. The remaining Marines have gathered near an abandoned industrial complex. Intelligence has confirmed VOLK forces in the area.

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But that's not all to look forward to: although we're not sure yet if it'll be ready in time for 1.8.9 or if it will be released with 1.8.10, we are working on improving our weapon systems, adding the ability to perform an HK slap and speed reloads for weapons that realistically support such specific interactions. At the same time, we will also remove bolt release buttons from weapons such as the MP5 which do not have these features in real life. A full list of what guns will be getting these features will be made in the patch notes when the feature is released.

Our plans for the longer term also remain unchanged: we'll be working on Shadowmask Lighting to improve graphics on PC, all new and improved animations for characters, a friends and party system to quickly join up in a game with the people you want to play with, and a progression system to keep an eye on your battlefield performances! It's a bit early to talk about any of these in detail, but definitely keep an eye on future Sitreps for the juicy details.

 

Community Center

Summer Fun is coming! We are gearing up for a Summer Community Contest so be on the lookout for more details soon.

This month we want to highlight a member of our community, Sgt Scruff, who has been providing some fun Onward videos on his YouTube channel. Not only does he highlight some great sniper shots and gameplay, but some great moments within their community of players. This video in particular gave us a few laughs.

We have a couple new custom maps that have been added to the workshop area as well:

  • Offshore Platform by Tatoskok
    Volk has seized a deepwater offshore drilling rig! MARSOC must take back control of the facility. Failure will result in the long term disruption to the world's energy supply.
  • Paradise by Koiz
    MARSOC has been deployed to this South American town to remove a Volk cell and restore freedom.

 

That's it for May's Sitrep, and as always: stay frosty!


Sitrep - April
April 22nd, 2021

Hello everyone!

We hope you're all continuing to brush up on those tactics and improve your skills in Onward while we have been working on updates and patches alike. A new patch will release next week featuring anti-cheat measures, and we have started testing the long-in-the-making Update 1.8.8 earlier in the week. In this edition of the Devs' Desk we will also outline our roadmap for the next couple of months.

The competitive scene is gearing up as season 11 of the VRML Onward league officially started this week! In addition, more maps have been added to the Custom Maps area of Onward. Check out the community center for the information related to this news.

 

From The Devs' Desk

First things first: recent events forced us to focus our efforts on an anti-cheat system we have been working on over the past couple of months, and we are planning to release patch 1.8.7.3 for Onward that will bring this brand-new system next week.

With one task completed we are looking to get back to the development of update 1.8.8 which remains largely unchanged from our previous Sitrep: it is centered around a large update of the game logic that controls player lobbies, game modes, and many other aspects of the game. This update has been very long overdue, and as those of you who regularly follow these Sitreps can attest to, very long in the making. Aside from these changes we are also including audio improvements and a night version of the Shooting range in this update.

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Content is going to be our focus for the updates that follow 1.8.8, with Abandoned Day and Abandoned Night taking center stage for update 1.8.9 and Turbine planned to do the same for update 1.8.10. If you paid attention to the Seals in our April Fools 'Seals' gag you may have noticed our buddy Andre who premiered the first glimpse of Abandoned.

While these maps are being released all signals are go for the programmers to work on some of the features we've mentioned in previous Sitreps: a party system that will allow you to quickly join up to lobbies with your friends, a ranking and progression system to keep track of your performances, and the lighting update in the form of Shadowmask. Last time around we were still waiting for a Unity update to be able to bring back Shadowmask lighting and other lighting improvements to PCVR, and we are very happy to say that this update recently released, and work on our end can begin once Update 1.8.8 is out the door.

Although this is far from all that we're working on, it should give you a clearer picture of what to expect from our updates in the next couple of months.

 

Community Center

Season 11 for the VRML Onward league officially kicked off earlier this week! We are looking forward to watching the matches and seeing all the displays of teamwork and tactics that are sure to keep us on the edge of our seats. To watch the matches throughout the season check out the Onward section on the VRML website.

The library of custom maps in Onward keeps expanding. We've highlighted four new releases for April:

Speedball by F.Lapinski

Speedball is a map with 4 unique fields scaled and copied from an official NXL World Series layout. Each field has its own boarders and each field can only be played depending on the Objective location. This map is best played with the preferred loadout of a Specialist Shotgun using only slug rounds and smoke grenades. This gives it a balanced chaotic feel to the game with such a small paintball field being used.

 

Preston Yard by KIRI

Preston Yard is an ever changing, competitive focused map, that receives frequent quality of life changes based on player feedback. It's a map built for competitive play, by a competitive player. The map follows the traditional 3 lane system, and has a variety of interesting angles, points of interest and realistic world detail. Preston Yard has the potential to be a fan favorite map, and has received nothing but outstanding praise by everyone who has played it. I would LOVE to get this map in the VRML map pool, and work with the community to create one of the best maps Onward has ever seen!

 

Apocalyptic by Nolomite

The fallout from the pandemic has led to World War III, and civil wars due to pandemic related deaths and political polarization. Two factions emerge to either cease or defend the most powerful weapon, the uplink.

 

Villapuma by Rubio

Marsoc is locked in Puma Village and must deactivate the uplink. The streets are patrolled by VOLK soldiers

 

That's it for this month, stay Frosty!

 


Patch 1.8.7.3 is now available!
April 28th, 2021

Hello everyone!

Update 1.8.7.3 for Onward has just been released: this patch adds an anti-cheat system back into Onward. Although we usually like to talk about details, the nature of the patch makes that a bit harder this time around.

This patch affects the way Onward launches on Steam: by default it will now use OnwardLauncher.exe instead of Onward.exe. To prevent the Steam client from creating an error you will have the option to launch the game in a 'standard' and a 'legacy' mode, where legacy is meant for people who cannot immediately update the game. Launching the game in legacy mode is meant to be used only if you're on version 1.8.7.2. After you've updated to 1.8.7.3 launching in legacy mode will mean you won't be able to access multiplayer games. If you use a shortcut to launch the game, you should update it accordingly after applying this patch.

For Steam users who are running version 1.7, the legacy mode will be available to you as well.

 


Sitrep - April
April 22nd, 2021

Hello everyone!

We hope you're all continuing to brush up on those tactics and improve your skills in Onward while we have been working on updates and patches alike. A new patch will release next week featuring anti-cheat measures, and we have started testing the long-in-the-making Update 1.8.8 earlier in the week. In this edition of the Devs' Desk we will also outline our roadmap for the next couple of months.

The competitive scene is gearing up as season 11 of the VRML Onward league officially started this week! In addition, more maps have been added to the Custom Maps area of Onward. Check out the community center for the information related to this news.

 

From The Devs' Desk

First things first: recent events forced us to focus our efforts on an anti-cheat system we have been working on over the past couple of months, and we are planning to release patch 1.8.7.3 for Onward that will bring this brand-new system next week.

With one task completed we are looking to get back to the development of update 1.8.8 which remains largely unchanged from our previous Sitrep: it is centered around a large update of the game logic that controls player lobbies, game modes, and many other aspects of the game. This update has been very long overdue, and as those of you who regularly follow these Sitreps can attest to, very long in the making. Aside from these changes we are also including audio improvements and a night version of the Shooting range in this update.

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Content is going to be our focus for the updates that follow 1.8.8, with Abandoned Day and Abandoned Night taking center stage for update 1.8.9 and Turbine planned to do the same for update 1.8.10. If you paid attention to the Seals in our April Fools 'Seals' gag you may have noticed our buddy Andre who premiered the first glimpse of Abandoned.

While these maps are being released all signals are go for the programmers to work on some of the features we've mentioned in previous Sitreps: a party system that will allow you to quickly join up to lobbies with your friends, a ranking and progression system to keep track of your performances, and the lighting update in the form of Shadowmask. Last time around we were still waiting for a Unity update to be able to bring back Shadowmask lighting and other lighting improvements to PCVR, and we are very happy to say that this update recently released, and work on our end can begin once Update 1.8.8 is out the door.

Although this is far from all that we're working on, it should give you a clearer picture of what to expect from our updates in the next couple of months.

 

Community Center

Season 11 for the VRML Onward league officially kicked off earlier this week! We are looking forward to watching the matches and seeing all the displays of teamwork and tactics that are sure to keep us on the edge of our seats. To watch the matches throughout the season check out the Onward section on the VRML website.

The library of custom maps in Onward keeps expanding. We've highlighted four new releases for April:

Speedball by F.Lapinski

Speedball is a map with 4 unique fields scaled and copied from an official NXL World Series layout. Each field has its own boarders and each field can only be played depending on the Objective location. This map is best played with the preferred loadout of a Specialist Shotgun using only slug rounds and smoke grenades. This gives it a balanced chaotic feel to the game with such a small paintball field being used.

 

Preston Yard by KIRI

Preston Yard is an ever changing, competitive focused map, that receives frequent quality of life changes based on player feedback. It's a map built for competitive play, by a competitive player. The map follows the traditional 3 lane system, and has a variety of interesting angles, points of interest and realistic world detail. Preston Yard has the potential to be a fan favorite map, and has received nothing but outstanding praise by everyone who has played it. I would LOVE to get this map in the VRML map pool, and work with the community to create one of the best maps Onward has ever seen!

 

Apocalyptic by Nolomite

The fallout from the pandemic has led to World War III, and civil wars due to pandemic related deaths and political polarization. Two factions emerge to either cease or defend the most powerful weapon, the uplink.

 

Villapuma by Rubio

Marsoc is locked in Puma Village and must deactivate the uplink. The streets are patrolled by VOLK soldiers

 

That's it for this month, stay Frosty!

 


A new class of warriors
March 31st, 2021

Hello everyone!

We're very proud to announce that the Seals will make their first appearance in Onward, and are available in the game as of this announcement.

Onward has always focused on the battle between the Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and the fictional VOLK militia. Although MARSOC will continue to play a central role in Onward's universe going forward the addition of SEALs will accomodate upcoming changes in the game where Marines will take up a special operations role deep inside VOLK controlled territory. We are looking forward to sharing more details about these changes soon.

It has been a long road to get this new class of warriors in the game, and we would like to thank the Seals and the Naval Special Warfare Command for working with us to clear the way during this long and complicated process. In particular we'd like to send our thanks to Andre, Gaston, Hoover, Midge and 'Popeye'.

Semper fidelis!

 


Sitrep March 2021!
March 25th, 2021

Hello everyone!

We hope everyone is enjoying the 1.8.7.2 patch! 1.8.7.2 was a community driven patch and we wanted to really take time to focus on areas where we could improve your gameplay the most. The feedback you have given us has been overwhelmingly positive and a lot of you have reported issues have been fixed. If you still encounter any major issues then please use the official Onward Discord or website support form to reach out.

We know hopping in and playing with other like minded players is what a lot of you are looking for. While you are waiting for the Friends and Party system we discussed in earlier Sitreps, we are providing some tools/guides to help better connect and play with people. Please check out the Community Center below for more info.

 

From The Devs' Desk:

Now that 1.8.7.2 has been released we will be moving our focus to update 1.8.8 and security improvements. Those of you who have been keeping up with our Sitreps may recall 1.8.8's main feature is a coding refactor, so while it will not contain a lot of new content the update will fix a lot of outstanding issues with the game, especially when it comes to lobbies and game mode specific problems.

We will have new content for you as well. Included in 1.8.8 will be a nighttime version of the Shooting Range. In addition, testing will soon be underway for another map: the redesigned version of Abandoned which will be released in both a day and a night setting. After Abandoned we will be releasing more maps to keep the content coming. You might even see some teasers of the maps coming soon: be on the lookout!

The ranking and friends/party systems are also in the works. These are much bigger projects that will be worked on over a longer period of time. We are setting a higher standard for new features we develop to make sure they meet your expectations while making sure that the increased amount of features in Onward will not impact the game's future development where possible.

 

Community Center:

We often get asked how the Friends Filter works in multiplayer and how to best find your friends and their lobbies. Below we have laid out instructions for how/when to use the filter and how to more easily find your friends' lobby.

 

If you and your friends are on the same platform

SteamVR

  • Make sure both you and your friend are friends on Steam
  • One person will need to start a Multiplayer Game
  • Choose "Show Friends Only" from the filter options in Onward Multiplayer Lobby listings, press apply
  • You should now see just your friends game in the lobby list

Oculus Home

  • Make sure you and your friend are both friends/on friends list in Oculus Home
  • One person will need to start a game and put a helmet on in the tent
  • Choose "Show Friends Only" from the filter options in Onward Multiplayer Lobby listings, press apply
  • You should now see just your friends game in the lobby list

Oculus Quest

  • Make sure you are both friends/on friends list through the Oculus app
  • One person will need to start a game and put a helmet on in the tent
  • Choose "Show Friends Only" from the filter options in Onward Multiplayer Lobby listings, press apply
  • You should now see just your friends game in the lobby list

If you and your friends are NOT on the same platform

  • Make sure you do not have "Show Friends Only" selected in the filters
  • One person will need to start a match and put a helmet on in the tent
  • Ask your friends what game mode they are going to be playing
  • Filter by that game mode and search through remaining lobbies for your friends' game

 

Now that you can more easily find your friends, you can now jump in together and really start building those skills together and develop some team tactics. To assist you with this we will soon be providing you with aerial/top-down maps in the Media area on our website. Use these to formulate your best plan of attack, and use them wisely!

 

Custom Maps Highlight

The map makers in the community have been working hard and have developed some new maps for you to play on. Show them some love and give them a test run. For more information about joining the custom maps community, join our Discord server.

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From KIRI: Weapons Factory is my first successful attempt at making a map. It has a nice mixture of close quarters and long range engagements, and is tailored to competitive play, receiving frequent map updates based on player feedback. I hope to see this map become popular with the league community, as I feel it has potential to be an extremely fun and balanced map.

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From MOTYSHIZ: A procedurally-generated map? In Onward? sb_procedural tries to offer a unique CQB experience that trains players' moment to moment adaptability. This map will have its layout re-shuffled on a semi-weekly basis. Even without the weekly re-shuffle, the spawns rotate between rounds to keep the layout feeling fairly random. New pieces will be added from time to time, and some weeks may feature some very experimental modifications.

Motyshiz (sb_procedural creator) would like to credit LeonMail for the initial idea.

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From Doomblade187: Backstreets is an urban map with three long, interconnected lanes and plenty of places to hide. Evade your enemies in the hotel, or watch the streets from your rooftop perch. Just keep an eye out for the VIP. This map is inspired by the America's Army 3 map, Alley.

That wraps it up March here at DPI. Make sure to keep an eye out on social media for some Onward Easter eggs beginning in April.

Spring has sprung, but Stay Frosty!

 


Onward Patch 1.8.7.2 Now Available!
March 23rd, 2021

Hello again everyone!

Today we launch a patch for Onward: version 1.8.7.2. This patch is a bit more beefy than the last one and it includes a long list of fixes for issues that affect all of you: from audio and AI graphic issues, to walls that you could walk through on maps. Overall, the patch addresses some of the bigger issues affecting the gameplay and overall experience in Onward. Your experience is important to us and we value the feedback you the players provide us.

Among the key fixes included in this patch are bot visibility at long range, and smoke grenades correctly blocking visibility of objects behind them. Fixes for most lingering audio issues are also included. In addition, we have added changes/updates to some maps. See the list below for an overview of the fixes that are included in this patch.

1.8.7.2 is now live and should automatically prompt you for an update the next time you go to jump on the battlefield.

 

Changelog

Gameplay

  • Fixed an issue where players PCVR would sometimes not be able to connect to multiplayer or workshop servers
  • Onward will no longer request external storage access permission on Quest
  • Smooth rotation no longer rotates the player when they are using a drone
  • Hand locomotion movement has been adjusted to prevent side strafing too fast
  • Smoke now correctly blocks objects so you can't see things through it
  • Night vision no longer incorrectly uses depth of field
  • Friends Lobby will now show up using the Friends only filter without the person needing to pick a team, if they are the host. (Friends Filter is based on being on the same platform)
  • Fixed AI not being visible at long range for Quest users
  • Fixed AI footsteps occurring too frequently and not being loud enough
  • Fixed an out of place hit box that could cause you to accidentally shoot yourself when walking up an incline or stairs

Audio

  • Selecting team chat in the tent now completely mutes the other team instead of making them quieter
  • Fixed most situations for mic icons not appearing for players talking in the tent
  • Fixed an issue with players not hearing other players
  • The radio in the tent on Assault now functions correctly
  • Voice chat attempts to recover automatically if it is not working, fixing most instances of audio not working (mainly in the tent)
  • The Quest Audio Mixer Preset is now usable on PC

Spectating and casting

  • Desktop Spectating now uses a brightness boost instead of a real time light on night and custom maps. It can be toggled on/off with "N" and the brightness amount can be adjusted in the bottom right of the "Spacebar" menu options
  • Fixed casters hearing audio from both teams in the tent
  • Fixed hotkeys activating for casters when typing in a team name

Level Design

  • Updated objectives and spawns on Suburbia
  • Updated objectives and spawns on Downfall
  • Updated objectives and spawns on Quarantine
  • Removed an objective from Subway based on community feedback
  • Fixed players being able to walk on an invisible barrier on Quarantine
  • Fixed players being able to crawl through building windows on Quarantine
  • Fixed players being able to walk on a building ledge on Quarantine
  • Fixed a missing collider on Suburbia allowing players to walk through a wall

Known Issues

  • Flair and Flashlight (when on) can be seen through smokes

 


Sitrep - February 2021
February 25th, 2021

Hello everyone!

February came, and now that February is pretty much gone it's time for our monthly sitrep. The Developers continue to work hard on some much needed improvements, redesigned features and bug fixes.

Stay Frosty! Kidding...

From The Dev Desk

In our last sitrep we mentioned that 1.8.8 would come out quicker than our usual patches, but unfortunately that turned out to not be the case. We hit some speed bumps and are making sure it's in the best condition for you. 1.8.8 will significantly reduce the occurrence of broken lobbies, which often cause problems such as voice chat issues, lobby lockups, and rounds not assigning points correctly. The update rewrites the code that is the foundation of Onward's game modes. This part of the code interacts with a lot of areas in the game, and we've run into a lot of specific and unforeseen issues as a result. We appreciate the patience you've all shown over the past month, and we are working to get the update out as soon as possible.

Because of the delay with 1.8.8 we're working to release a couple of patches to address the most urgent issues with 1.8.7, the first of which (1.8.7.1) has already been released. Next up will be patch 1.8.7.2. The 1.8.7.2 patch will focus on fixing issues that affect a lot of you, and issues affecting competitive play.

  • Connection issues for PCVR players, where a registry reset was needed.
  • A number of Voice/Audio fixes and adjustments while inside the tent, along with a design change to the team chat function.
  • AI adjustments such as footsteps and visibility from a distance.
  • Some Map adjustments, such as broken walls and railings are likely to be included.
  • We are pushing to try and get improvements to tablets and smokes in as well.
A detailed breakdown of the fixes and adjustments will be given when 1.8.7.2 is released.

In addition to the focus we're putting on the 1.8.7.2 patch and the 1.8.8 update we are making strides with future features: as Onward continues to grow the player base has increased exponentially. Having this many players (and lobbies) in the game means we have to rethink some of Onward's features. For example we need to make it easier to find and play with your friends, and we want to make sure you have as much fun playing the game as possible. To get to that point we are working on implementing a party system to find and more easily group up with your Onward crew to get games going. With any multiplayer game, there are different play styles and different mindsets. We are also working on the features to help with toxic players, for example allowing you to mute them, and adding measures to prevent sustained team killing.

Also being looked into is an implementation of a ranking system. A place where you can get statistics on kills, deaths, revives, and more. Once we get closer to the final design we'll share more details with you! Another addition will be a revamped version of Abandoned. The map is set in an old abandoned soviet factory located next to a lake in the harsh Siberian landscape. Also high on our list is improving graphics for PCVR users with the use of Shadowmask lighting. We don't have an estimate on the Shadowmask update quite yet however, as we are waiting for a Unity update to start this implementation.

Community Center

This month we have made a major update to our official Onward Discord channel. We have always shared a home with the VR Master league, whose roots lie in the Onward Discord. However, with the growth of both Onward and the Master League, the VRML has spread their wings and opened up their own server to give the Onward Discord community a chance to make some adjustments. Explore new channels and new ways to interact with fellow Onward players. If you're not in the Discord, what are you waiting for? Don't delay, join today!

Our Twitter campaign for finding out the fan favorite map is coming to a close! We are in the Semifinals and the Finals will wrap up at the end of the month. Make sure you check out our Twitter account (@OnwardTheGame) to see the progress and get your final votes in!

Starting in March we want to Highlight you, yes you, our community! We want to showcase our players and show off your Onward fandom. Send us your photos in a DM of you being an Onward fan for a chance to be featured on our social media Community Spotlight.

If you'd like to get to know a little more about the people who work at Downpour you can also follow our company accounts on Twitter (@DownpourInt) and Facebook, this month we are featuring our QA Lead, Kaysaun.

Stay Frosty!(for real this time)


Patch 1.8.7.1 Released!
February 22nd, 2021

Hello everyone!

We have just released a hotfix for Onward 1.8.7. The hotfix fixes a problem where if you're playing on custom maps the game could become unresponsive.

We intend to release another patch in the next couple of weeks to address more issues, ahead of the 1.8.8 update release. We'll post a sitrep with the details later this week.

The fix is available now, and will download automatically to your device. Stay frosty!


A Winter Onwardland: map contest winners!
February 2nd, 2021

Hello everyone!

We are wrapping up our A Winter Onwardland contest by announcing the winners for the map creation portion. The community submitted some really fun maps. Thank you to everyone who submitted entries. Lots of creative style throughout them all.

As a refresher: we are announcing winners in three categories today: cross-platform, PC and Quest! The overall winner will receive their choice of an RTX 3090 or an AMD 5950X processor with a high-end motherboard, whereas the best PC and Quest maps will be rewarded with the author's choice of an RTX 3080 or an AMD 5900X with a high-end motherboard.

Without further ado, the winners are...

Cross Platform
Sommet - Submitted by Weidz

What some of the judges had to say:

  • Tribly:
    Sommet is impressive from when you first spawn in the cable car looking out over the mountains, to sneaking around in the caves and back rooms. Everything felt hand crafted from the observatory at the top of the mountain, all the way down to the map on the tablet. From the museum, to the kitchen, the wine/cheese cellar, every area felt unique which makes learning the map and orienting yourself much easier.
  • Eritheis: I liked that the map had different distinct areas. All of them were interesting and made me want to explore to see what else could be found. Having the different areas being so different from each other made it easier to figure out where I was on the map too.

 

PCVR
Panda Towers - Submitted by Monorchid

What some of the judges had to say:

  • SyrinS0ng:
    This is a unique design style we haven't seen yet. Set on the rooftops of a large building with skyscrapers all around you. You have to weave through different obstacles to find your enemies and need top communication to navigate though this map.
  • WH1SKEY: An enjoyable map that adds verticality to Onward. The battles that engage on this map make any angle action packed and really puts a player's tactics to the test.

 

Oculus Quest
Frostbite - Submitted by Evolution

What some of the judges had to say:

  • SyrinS0ng:
    As soon as I spawned in I felt immersed in the location. I could feel the cold fog around me. The rooms were great to explore and lots of area throughout to get some team tactics going.
  • KasperVld: I enjoyed the verticality in this map quite a lot: the fact that your opponents can be hiding behind any hill makes for a slower paced, nerve wrecking match. Never let your guard down, and always keep your gun pointing up.

 

Congratulations to the winners! All of the maps that were entered are available for you to download and play on. Go check them out! If you are interested in custom map building, check out our discord for more information and chat with fellow map makers.

 

Map Contest Entries available for Play:

  • Arctic / Arctic Night (PC & Quest) by Heclak
  • Ashes In The Snow (PC & Quest) by Stahr
  • Cerbere Landing (PC) by MOTYSHIZ
  • Dumpster Fire (PC & Quest) by 04
  • Hotham Day (Quest) by DaveSparhawk
  • Ice (PC & Quest) by Koiz
  • J-Street (PC) by GiantRobot
  • North Pole (PC) by WhiteFang
  • Trench - At Christmas (PC) by Winston
  • Wilderness (PC & Quest) by Monorchid


Patch 1.8.7.1 Released!
February 22nd, 2021

Hello everyone!

We have just released a hotfix for Onward 1.8.7. The hotfix fixes a problem where if you're playing on custom maps the game could become unresponsive.

We intend to release another patch in the next couple of weeks to address more issues, ahead of the 1.8.8 update release. We'll post a sitrep with the details later this week.

The fix is available now, and will download automatically to your device. Stay frosty!


A Winter Onwardland: map contest winners!
February 2nd, 2021

Hello everyone!

We are wrapping up our A Winter Onwardland contest by announcing the winners for the map creation portion. The community submitted some really fun maps. Thank you to everyone who submitted entries. Lots of creative style throughout them all.

As a refresher: we are announcing winners in three categories today: cross-platform, PC and Quest! The overall winner will receive their choice of an RTX 3090 or an AMD 5950X processor with a high-end motherboard, whereas the best PC and Quest maps will be rewarded with the author's choice of an RTX 3080 or an AMD 5900X with a high-end motherboard.

Without further ado, the winners are...

Cross Platform
Sommet - Submitted by Weidz

What some of the judges had to say:

  • Tribly:
    Sommet is impressive from when you first spawn in the cable car looking out over the mountains, to sneaking around in the caves and back rooms. Everything felt hand crafted from the observatory at the top of the mountain, all the way down to the map on the tablet. From the museum, to the kitchen, the wine/cheese cellar, every area felt unique which makes learning the map and orienting yourself much easier.
  • Eritheis: I liked that the map had different distinct areas. All of them were interesting and made me want to explore to see what else could be found. Having the different areas being so different from each other made it easier to figure out where I was on the map too.

 

PCVR
Panda Towers - Submitted by Monorchid

What some of the judges had to say:

  • SyrinS0ng:
    This is a unique design style we haven't seen yet. Set on the rooftops of a large building with skyscrapers all around you. You have to weave through different obstacles to find your enemies and need top communication to navigate though this map.
  • WH1SKEY: An enjoyable map that adds verticality to Onward. The battles that engage on this map make any angle action packed and really puts a player's tactics to the test.

 

Oculus Quest
Frostbite - Submitted by Evolution

What some of the judges had to say:

  • SyrinS0ng:
    As soon as I spawned in I felt immersed in the location. I could feel the cold fog around me. The rooms were great to explore and lots of area throughout to get some team tactics going.
  • KasperVld: I enjoyed the verticality in this map quite a lot: the fact that your opponents can be hiding behind any hill makes for a slower paced, nerve wrecking match. Never let your guard down, and always keep your gun pointing up.

 

Congratulations to the winners! All of the maps that were entered are available for you to download and play on. Go check them out! If you are interested in custom map building, check out our discord for more information and chat with fellow map makers.

 

Map Contest Entries available for Play:

  • Arctic / Arctic Night (PC & Quest) by Heclak
  • Ashes In The Snow (PC & Quest) by Stahr
  • Cerbere Landing (PC) by MOTYSHIZ
  • Dumpster Fire (PC & Quest) by 04
  • Hotham Day (Quest) by DaveSparhawk
  • Ice (PC & Quest) by Koiz
  • J-Street (PC) by GiantRobot
  • North Pole (PC) by WhiteFang
  • Trench - At Christmas (PC) by Winston
  • Wilderness (PC & Quest) by Monorchid

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the contest!


Sitrep January 2021
January 21st, 2021

Hello everyone!

Happy 2021! We are stepping into a new year and have a lot of opportunities and things to look forward to. Onward keeps moving... well... ONWARD! This month's Sitrep is a little lighter on development updates than usual due to the holiday season, but we still have some news to share.

Earlier this month we released Update 1.8.7. We have received lots of feedback from the community, we are listening to it all and we hear you. We are happy that you are enjoying the audio improvements and the updated Snowpeak map. With all improvements come some bugs and rest assured, we will be addressing things in 1.8.8.

1.8.8 will be coming out a little quicker than our usual patch releases as a maintenance release to address some ongoing issues and make some adjustments from 1.8.7 based on community feedback. Fixes that will be addressed include significantly reducing the occurrence of broken lobbies, which often cause issues such as voice chat issues, lobby lockups, rounds not assigning points correctly. Additional Audio improvements based around voice chat are also in the works. Fixing an issue allowing players to sometimes see through smoke emitted by smoke grenades and a fix for the infamous "jiggle peek" are on our provisional list as well. We also continue to work on a couple of large new features which are due to release over the next couple of months. Be on the lookout for more details as the patches get closer.

Downpour Interactive continues to grow as a company and we have been adding to the team to keep up with the game design, improvements, and the future of the game. You have already been introduced to our new Community Manager Korine (SyrinSong) earlier this month, and now we would also like to introduce a new Programer, Ben, and Level Designer, Joe who many of you may know under his nickname Snooper Fax. They have been a great addition to the team here at DPI. We would also like to announce some changes to people you know and have interacted with in the community. Daan (MrDeath) will shift his focus from Community Management over to level design and Kasper (KasperVld) will be taking up the role of Producer while still keeping an eye on community tasks and supporting Korine where needed.

We have wrapped up our Community Contest and judging for the custom maps has begun! We will be announcing the winners in the upcoming weeks. If you missed the announcements for the Fan Art and Video winners, check out our social media accounts.

In addition, for our community we have posted a new Support area to our website with an FAQ section to help with common questions that people may have about playing or any suggestions/reports that need to be sent to us.

To stay up to date on the latest news between Sitreps, make sure to follow our social media accounts and join the Official Onward discord.

Stay Frosty!


Update 1.8.7 Is Now Available!
January 12th, 2021

Hello everyone!

We are pleased to announce that the time for the 1.8.7 update is now! This update is primarily focused on audio upgrades and the re-release of the Snowpeak map, but also contains a lot of bug fixes and general improvements. The full change log is posted below.

Our audio improvements comprise amongst many other things gunshots that are more consistent in their quality, more immersive and directional footsteps, higher quality voice chat, more immersive environmental sound, and more consistency between the volumes of different sources. Two new features for audio are the ability to independently adjust the volume of gunshots and voices, and audio mixing presets to select.

Enjoy those updated audio sounds while playing again on the re-released Snowpeak map (day and night versions available!) and hear the crunch of the snow under your feet as you tactically sneak around on the ice to get that perfect shot in as you notice the other team coming your way. Snowpeak features long distance engagement and close quarter combat options. This map will test your skills in stealth and tactical abilities.

Smoke grenades have also been reworked. They have changed to spherical from the previous comic spray to allow them to be used in a more predictable way which benefits gameplay. Full screen tint will be more accurately bound to the area of the smoke, and is harder to see through. We have also fixed an issue where AI wasn't affected by smoke grenades and could 'see' players as usual. Finally and perhaps most importantly scopes no longer fully tint when looking at smoke grenades, allowing you to see players in front of the smoke through scopes once more.

For all other changes, refer to the full change list below. Update 1.8.7 is available now and will download automatically.

Enjoy!

 

Changelog

Gameplay

  • Smoke grenade effect is no longer a conic spray, but a spherical effect.
  • The full screen tint of smoke grenades has a more accurate radius.
  • The full screen tint of smoke grenades is harder to see through.
  • Scopes no longer fully tint when looking at smoke grenades
  • Fix AI ignoring smoke grenades.
  • Added network extrapolation to players, which should smooth out the movement of players with less than ideal connections.
  • Magazines are only spawned into the player's holster as needed, which fixes crashes caused by multiple people equipping shotguns.
  • Adjusted screen effects to easier tell if you were killed or downed.
  • When bullets fly near you and suppress you, the effect is now less intense for bullets that are further away from you. The size of the suppression area was slightly increased to compensate for this.
  • Improved performance of the suppression logic
  • Raise the cost of the ballistic shield from 1 to 3 points.
  • Spawn logic in respawn game modes has been further improved.
  • Allowed Uplink time limits to be configured in private matches.
  • Fixed the flare gun tint disappearing when the firing player respawned.
  • Fixed Quest players having collision on the P90 and LMG magazines.
  • When large items like C4 are placed in a holster, the holster is hidden to prevent clipping.
  • Fixed the RPG backblast not working correctly on Quest
  • Fixed letting go of your primary weapon with both hands simultaneously, while holding it away from your body, making the gun stick to your offhand
  • Fixed AI not properly spawning for players that join an in progress game
  • Fixed Five Seven sometimes having interaction problems in Gun Game
  • Fixed other players snapping to an idle animation when lagging
  • Reduced player rubber banding
  • Fixed shield moving items off of other players vests

Graphics

  • Added a night vision boost effect, making night vision brighter in dark areas.
  • Added a dynamic foliage effect for PC, currently only used on Snowpeak.
  • Fixed player hands flashing purple upon loading/dying
  • Fixed fade in effect not playing when spawning in from the tent.
  • Fixed the TAR not being properly holstered for other players

Audio

  • Replaced the Unity audio engine with Wwise everywhere in the game. This will give us more control over audio moving forward, and let us improve general sound quality.
  • All gun sounds and most equipment sounds have had a foley pass to update their sound effects to sound better.
  • We have replaced our voice chat solution with one that allows us to have higher quality voices.
  • There are now options to adjust the volume of gunshots, the volume of voices, and audio mixer presets to use.
  • Updated physics materials on objects across all maps, which will make impact and footstep sound effects sound more accurate.
  • Fixed gunshot audio ending early when the gun is destroyed
  • Improved audio performance across the board.

UI

  • Refitted all maps to make them easier to use on the whiteboard in the tent.
  • Fixed z fighting issues with the platform settings menu being behind barbed wire and helicopter blades
  • Fixed tooltips getting stuck on when the button hovered over disables

Level Design

  • New map: Snowpeak Day
  • New map: Snowpeak Night
  • Removed a clipping mesh in Bazaar
  • Fixed rugs from looking shiny in Bazaar(PC only)
  • Fixed props from z-fighting in Downfall
  • Removed random invisible collision boxes in Downfall
  • Improved the lightbake quality on some of the smaller props in Downfall
  • Improved terrain parity between the Quest and PC version of Downfall
  • Fixed a few instances where props would disappear in line of sight in Downfall
  • Fixed a few prop placements in Downfall from floating
  • Fixed instance where the skybox would be visible with a cut off on Downfall for Quest
  • Added collision to smaller props in Downfall
  • Fixed a rock wall allowing users to see through it in Downfall
  • Fixed a few props that didn't have cross platform placement parity on Downfall
  • Fixed a tire prop on Downfall becoming bigger on distant lod versions
  • Fixed a location where players would be lit in a dark area in Downfall night
  • Lowered the tower windows in Downfall to make them more useable
  • Fixed location in Quarantine allowing players to see through the floor
  • Added player blockers in Quarantine to prevent exploiting
  • Fixed several z-fighting issues on Quarantine quest
  • Fixed a concrete road barrier clipping through gas station wall in Quarantine
  • Fixed issue of the fallen over humvees having too large colliders in Quarantine
  • Fixed issues with scaffolding in Quarantine from floating
  • Fixed issue with wardrobe prop clipping through wall in the motel in Quarantine
  • Fixed odd collision on one of the couch props in Quarantine
  • Fixed bed prop clipping through wall in Quarantine
  • replaced the skybox for the Quest version of Quarantine day
  • corrected the collision on the inside of the half red containers in Cargo
  • placed a few floors on the outside of the playable map in the Quest version of Cargo to prevent the skybox from showing
  • Filled a seam in between two buildings in the middle of Cargo
  • Fixed a few holes on the ground in Bazaar

Custom Maps

  • Custom audio assets are supported again
  • Added helicopter and wind ambience options
  • Updated the available physics materials to match all the ones supported in game
  • Updated the "PP_Cubemap_Skybox" shader and added a "PP_Opaque_Simple_Lit_Layered" shader

Miscellaneous

  • Fixed a memory leak that would result in memory crashes if players stayed for extended periods of time in respawn game modes. This mostly affected Shooting Range.
  • Updated credits and added Unit 51 and Dynamedion who made the change to the Wwise audio system possible.


Community Contest Winners - Artwork & Videos
January 12th, 2021

Hello everyone!

Thank you to everyone who entered our Winter contest in the fan art and videos sections! All submissions were great and this was a hard one to judge. We appreciate the hard work and creativity you've put into these masterpieces. Today we're announcing the winners in the first two categories: Artwork and Videos, while those working on their custom maps still have just over a week to finish their entries.

The winner in the artwork category is .... *drumroll* .... Ovoideum for his stunning piece Subway Obj!

This gorgeous art piece is done in a Japanese block art style. It has so many Onward references in the details, every time we look we seem to find more. We already ordered a print to have put up in Dante's office!

Our winner for the best fan video is a long time active community member: nin10doVR

His video really brings home the feel of team playing with a catchy music tune. It's a reminder of how during the pandemic Onward has given us an opportunity to play online with our friends and offer us some community and social interaction while we can't go out.

We will also be posting our runners up and other entries on our social media accounts throughout the coming weeks. Keep a lookout and thank you again for all the great entries.


Sitrep December 2020
December 23rd, 2020

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the last Sitrep for 2020! Work continues on update 1.8.7, and although we had hoped to release it before the end of the year we had to acknowledge that making sure this update is as good as it can was the more important factor in that decision. With Christmas approaching that meant that the update wouldn't release until mid-January. We'll be spending the coming week working on the last few bugs and improvements, and polishing the new features.

One of the key new features coming in 1.8.7 is the overhauled audio system. The audio update is currently being tested and the general picture is that it will be a big improvement in both accuracy and immersion. We have been working towards providing better audio across the board. The changes to note include gunshots that are more consistent in their quality, more immersive and understandable footsteps, higher quality voice chat, more immersive environmental sound, and more consistency between the volumes of different sources. New are also the options to adjust the volume of sfx, gunshots, the volume of voices, and the audio mixer being used. Customised audio will also be available again for our custom map gurus!

If you've been keeping up with the Sitreps over the past couple of months you'll know that the second big new feature coming in update 1.8.7 is the re-release of a fan-favourite map: Snowpeak! Last month we teased the layout of the map, and this month we're ready to share some on-the-ground images of what's coming your way soon.

 

PCVR

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Quest

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Keep an eye out for improvements throughout the game. These improvements include the smoke bombs behavior change that we detailed last month, and a fix for a bug where AI would ignore smoke grenades. We've also applied a small boost to the night vision to make it brighter in dark areas. A memory leak that would result in crashes if players stayed for extended periods of time in respawn-enabled game modes has been fixed and should help those of you who like playing in the Shooting Range. A final highlight of the small changes is that you'll be able to set custom time limits in private Uplink matches now. Keep an eye out for the full change log when the patch releases!

We would be remiss not to mention an issue that's been affecting Onward's competitive scene. The "jiggle peek" issue is being worked on and we are hoping to have a fix that will come out in the new year soon after the 1.8.7 update releases. Speaking of things we're actively working on for the new year: we haven't forgotten about the graphical improvements we mentioned a while ago, and continue to research and develop improvements in that area, including shadowmasks and various shader and lighting improvements.

Unit 51 continues to be a great help and valuable asset for helping test some of these new features and help provide valuable feedback. In December we found that we needed to recruit new members to the unit to help with the evolution and expansion of the game. We received over 300 applications and are grateful for everyone's interest. From that we picked and added our new members to the unit. Due to the overwhelming interest and limited space we weren't able to invite everyone we wanted to based on their applications this time around, but we'll definitely have more recruitment drives in the future.

Switching gears from development news to community highlights we'd like to give a huge shout out to the Onward Master League. After intense battles the VR Master League (VRML) has finished Season 10. Congratulations to the Beginners for topping the league, Aimless Gaming for making sure they don't get too comfortable up there, and Bossfight & Mayhem for completing the podium with nothing to separate them.

Season 11 will be starting up in the new year, so make sure to hone your competitive play skills if you're looking to participate. If you are interested in joining the league for season 11, check out the Onward Master League website for more info.

We have our Winter Community contest running and have a lot of great prizes to give away including up to an RTX 3090 graphics card or an AMD 5950X processor with a high-end motherboard! There are prizes for three categories. Fan Art, Videos & Custom Maps. We have been seeing some very promising entries coming in already, and we're looking forward to seeing more coming in over the next couple of weeks!

To put the cherry on top of our year, Onward has been titled Best Action Game of 2020 by Oculus Quest. We are incredibly proud and happy to provide players with a great action experience and we are very grateful to Oculus for this recognition. Of course we'll want to grab similar titles on all platforms next year as well!

Finally, we wish all of you, your friends, your family, and everyone else a very Happy Holiday Season, and however you celebrate it we hope you are staying safe and healthy. We've got a lot in store for 2021, so keep looking Onward!

We know it's cold out for most of you: Stay Frosty!


Community Contest: A Winter Onwardland
November 24th, 2020

Hello everyone!

Over the past couple of months we've seen Onward grow as many new players have joined our ranks. On top of that we've recently brought back custom map support for PCVR, and introduced it on Oculus Quest. Now, the holiday season is fast approaching and we've recently seen the launch of some exciting new technology. A perfect time then to celebrate a successful year for Onward, and to do that we're launching a community contest where you all will be able to compete for eternal glory, and spectacular prizes.

We will be awarding prizes in the following categories:

  • Custom (Snow/Winter) Maps (3 prizes)
  • Fan art (1 prize)
  • Fan video (1 prize)

 

Custom (Snow/Winter) Maps

This category will be familiar to those of you who participated in our last community contest: creators will compete by making new and interesting maps for Onward. We'll be giving away prizes in three categories: overall best map, best PC map and best Quest map. Because we encourage creators to create maps that support all platforms, any map that supports both PC and Quest versions of Onward will compete in all three categories. Maps that support only one platform will only compete for that category. As a twist we've added a theme to the custom maps competition this time around: all maps submitted for this contest must have a winter setting!

If you're new to creating maps for Onward, go to the Onward Custom Content Guide to download the Onward Custom Content SDK for Unity and make sure to read the Rules For Content Submission on the Onward Custom Content Guide. All entries must abide by these rules.

  • Submission deadline: Thursday January 21st
  • Prizes:
    • For the best cross-platform map: 1x your choice of either an NVidia RTX 3090 video card or an AMD 5950X processor with a high end motherboard
    • For the best map on PC: 1x your choice of either an NVidia RTX 3080 video card or an AMD 5900X processor with a high end motherboard
    • For the best map on Quest: 1x your choice of either an NVidia RTX 3080 video card or an AMD 5900X processor with a high end motherboard

 

Fan Art & Videos

We always enjoy seeing the creative side of our community, and there's a lot of creative talent going around! We want to encourage and reward those of you who put your talents to use, and so we've added two new categories. For (aspiring) videographers we'll be giving away a prize for the best fan video, and we're also giving away a prize for any other form of fan art that catches our attention. Pretty much anything goes: from a drawing or painting to a music piece: catch our attention and you can win yourself a nice upgrade for your gaming system.

  • Submission deadline: Sunday January 3rd
  • Prizes:
    • For the best video: 1x your choice of either an NVidia RTX 3080 video card or an AMD 5900X processor with a high end motherboard
    • For the best fan-art: 1x your choice of either an NVidia RTX 3080 video card or an AMD 5900X processor with a high end motherboard

 

How to enter the contest

For all categories

  • Join the Onward Discord to stay up to date on any announcement we may make during the contest submission periods. This is mandatory if you want to be eligible for any prizes.
  • Send an email to contest@downpourinteractive.com with the following information:
    • Which category you are joining (Maps, Fan Art, or video)
    • Your Discord username

For map creators

  • In your email, include all the information listed above, and also:
    • The name of your map
    • The category/ies you wish to compete in (cross-platform, PC, and/or Quest)
  • Make sure the email address you use to submit your entry to contest@downpourinteractive.com is the same email address you use to submit your map using the Onward Custom Content SDK.

You will receive a response from us as soon as possible to confirm your entry and the details on how to submit your entry or entries.

 

Submission deadlines & winner announcements

  • Fan art: Sunday, January 3rd
  • Videos: Sunday, January 3rd
  • Custom Maps: Thursday January 21st

We will announce the winners of the Fan Art and Video categories on Monday January 11th, and the winners of the custom map category on February 1st.

 

The Fine Print

  1. All participants must join the Onward Discord
  2. Any participant can only win one prize, but they may submit as many entries as they want in as many categories as they want.
  3. Submissions for this contest must be original work, created after the date of this announcement.
  4. Submissions may not contain any material which is subject to a copyright or trademark owned by another person or entity than the one submitting the work.
  5. Submissions must not break or encourage breaking of any laws of the United States of America.
  6. We reserve the right to remove any person from this contest and/or reject any submission for any reason without prior notice.
  7. Downpour Interactive will, at its sole discretion, select the winners of each category of the contest.
  8. When the winners for each category are announced we will send them an email to claim their prize. If the prize isn't claimed within one week from the date of this email, that person will have forfeited their prize and we will award it to the next best entry.

 

 


SitRep November 2020
November 18th, 2020

Hello everyone!

Another month passed, and it's time for our monthly update on the development of Onward! Since our last Sitrep we've released two major patches: 1.8.5 and 1.8.6. Update 1.8.5 brought us specular maps for the weapons so that they catch light more realistically, custom maps to enjoy and improved 'or haptic devices, to name a few. Onward 1.8.6 was an iterative update to improve on the foundations that 1.8.5 gave us, and to address a good number of bugs. We're still investigating reports of some new and existing issues, and if needed those will be addressed in a patch before update 1.8.7 drops. We're hoping to drop 1.8.7 just in time for the December holidays.

The most noticeable change coming in with Onward 1.8.7 will be the game's audio system, which will be completely overhauled for this update to bring you a more immersive and AAA quality audio experience. To do this we have replaced the Unity audio system with Wwise, which gives our sound designers a lot of great tools to make the audio sound like you are really on the battlefield.

In terms of improvements you can look forward to directional voice quality, improved (ambisonic) ambience sounds, improved reverberations and high dynamic range settings. On top of that actions will have more audio feedback, and we've improved the general audio quality as well. It's hard to convey changes in the audio quality through text, but we're very impressed with the results so far.

Aside from the audio improvements we've been working on something else we've received a lot of feedback over the last couple of months: smoke grenades. We've changed the smoke grenades so that they're no longer directional, but instead form a sphere of smoke around the grenade: these types of smoke grenades are easier to use in game because of their predictability. We've also managed to remove the blinding effect encountered when looking at the smoke through a scope due to a series of performance optimisations.

On to the re-release of Onward's various maps. we're working to release an improved Snowpeak map in the next update, and to follow that up with the Abandoned map. As a special preview we've included aerial top-down shots for Abandoned and Snowpeak below so you can get an idea of what we're working on. Jungle, which we had hoped to release with update 1.8.6 last week, will need more work based on the feedback we've gotten from our Unit 51 player feedback group. We'll be taking our time to get it right, rather than release a map that doesn't meet your expectations and our quality standards. Also on the topic of maps we'll be announcing a new community mapping contest with prizes later this week, and we're excited to see what the map creators will amaze us with. If you're interested in learning how to create maps for Onward, check out the Community page on our website.

 

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We mentioned the Unit 51 playtest group a bit earlier. Unit 51 has been doing a great job providing us with feedback and catching some nasty bugs that had slipped by us. As a result, we'll be looking to expand Unit 51 with new players in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that announcement on our Discord and social media.

That's it for this month, until soon and stay frosty!


Onward Patch 1.8.6
November 11th, 2020

Hello everyone!

We're excited to share Onward 1.8.6 with you! In this patch we've focused on two key areas: first, we worked to improve gameplay and graphical issues we've seen players run into such as for example people appearing to jump around if they have a poor internet connection, players spawning near you in social game modes and some performance problems a small portion of PC players ran into after the last patch. Secondly, we've fixed dozens of bugs all across the game, the highlights of which are included in the changelog below.

In the previous patch we delivered some of our previously announced features earlier than we had expected, those included improved support for haptics devices and custom content. We're still working on the next set of major new features, including the game audio overhaul and the Shadowmask feature we shared a preview of in the September Sitrep. In that timeline we had anticipated the Jungle map to be released in this patch, and although we got close we got some valuable feedback from Unit 51, our playtesting group, that made us realize we want to change our approach to that particular map.

We'll be giving you an update on our overall progress on new features later this week. For now we trust you'll enjoy Onward 1.8.6, and we'll see you on the battlefields!

Onward 1.8.6 is available now and will download automatically.

 

Changelog highlights

Gameplay

  • Improved the priorities when grabbing objects from your vest to make grabbing different items work more intuitively
  • Improved the network prediction algorithms to make players with poor connections move more smoothly ingame
  • Improved spawn point logic for social modes (Gun Game, One in the Chamber, SpecOps) to reduce the odds of players spawning near each other
  • Improved "damage boundary" logic to make Assault boundaries and molotov fire damage more consistent
  • Fixed objects passing through ballistic shields
  • Fixed grenades damaging players through ballistic shields
  • Fixed players not being able to disarm another player's C4
  • Fixed players not being able to interact with another player's C4 clackers
  • Fixed issue with mk18 charging handle being hard to grab
  • Adjusted laser sight attachment placement on the m16a4 and mk16
  • Fixed players not being able to interact or break another player's molotov grenades

Graphics

  • Improved the way light interacts with and reflects off of weapons for the Quest 2
  • Made changes to the graphics options in order to reduce LoD 'pop-in' for PC users
  • Adjusted graphics settings to improve performance for Oculus Quest
  • Fixed an issue with the details settings on weapons that could cause performance issues in certain circumstances
  • Added a new visual effect for bullet impacting metal surfaces
  • Adjusted DesktopSpectate light buttons
  • Fixed night vision not applying its color correction to the tablet screen
  • Fixed a group of strange visual behaviors of the vignette
  • Improved the visual quality of of several buildings in Quarantine for PC
  • Changed the glass assets in Quarantine for PC to improve visuals
  • Increased the brightness of lights inside buildings in Bazaar and Downfall
  • Brightened Quarantine
  • Fixed the textures of the g36c and magazine showing white lines
  • Replaced the helmets in the tent with better looking ones
  • Adjusted the lighting in Tanker

Audio

  • Fixed breathing sounds not occurring while a player is bleeding out
  • Fixed the M249 using pistol casing sounds instead of its own casing sounds

User Interface

  • Added a screen to the Workshop which allows you to see how much storage space remains on your device
  • Added an option for PC players to change which directory they store custom content in

Level Design

  • Reworked the elevator logic for custom map elevators so that they work more reliably
  • Fixed collision being offset on metal shacks in Bazaar
  • Fixed several Z-fighting and collision fixes in Downfall for Quest
  • Fixed several collision issues for Quarantine
  • Fixed geometry mismatch on Quarantine between Quest/PC
  • Fixed geometry mismatch on Cargo between Quest/PC
  • Improved performance for PC maps: Downfall, Quarantine, Suburbia, Bazaar and Cargo
  • Fixed objects disappearing when standing in a particular location in the Quest version of the Shooting Range
  • Adjusted the collision for the ceiling of one of the small buildings in Downfall

Miscellaneous

  • Fixed seeing bodies fly across the map as players respawn
  • Fixed AI getting "stuck" and staring at the player
  • Fixed the drawing board not synchronizing across platforms
  • Fixed an issue where the tent was not appearing on Oculus Quest or Quest 2 in the Quarantine Day and Night maps
  • Fixed bullet holes appearing at world origin if you fire your gun into a wall
  • Fixed players being able to click through the password panel in the server browser

Known Issues

  • Oculus users playing on PC may will sometimes run into an issue where their microphone doesn't work properly
  • The windows in the towers on Downfall are too high to see through and will be lowered
  • Custom Round Timer sometimes does not function correctly on Assault mode
  • Custom Round Timer cannot be adjusted on Uplink lobbies

Onward Patch 1.8.5
October 12th, 2020

Hello everyone!

We're very excited to release a major patch with Onward 1.8.5. This update has been long in the making and features a metric ton of fixes and tweaks that we know many of you have been waiting for. Among many other things this update features custom map support, improved support for haptic devices, improved weapon audio, and support for the Quest 2 with improved graphics over Quest 1. Let's go over the highlights!

Support for Quest 2 with improved graphics

The original Oculus Quest was groundbreaking, and we've welcomed many of you with our release on the platform back in late June. Now, Oculus is releasing the Quest 2 with improved processing capabilities and Onward will take full advantage of it. On the Quest 2 you will enjoy an improved level of detail bias, meaning you'll encounter less noticeable transitions or 'pop in'. All new for both PCVR and Quest 2 are the Support for Specular Maps on weapons which improve the weapon visuals.

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Custom Maps

In last month's SitRep we already mentioned custom map support would return to Onward, and we're very pleased that we've been able to push the release forward to this update, instead of having to wait for update 1.8.6 as we had originally anticipated. Over the past couple of weeks We have collaborated with several map creators to make sure there are several maps available to play on both PCVR and Quest. Aspiring map makers can find a step-by-step custom content guide here.

Improved support for Haptic devices

For those of you who are looking to take their immersion to the next level we've added support for bHaptics body haptic devices on both PC and Quest. Equipping a haptic device in Onward will allow you to feel shots hitting you, and where they're hitting you. In addition to the haptic body devices we've added support for the ForceTube to the Quest version of Onward - it was already available on PCVR. Finally, we've overhauled all controller haptic effects and added a few new ones, for example for pulling back a bolt or holding a shield, and we've increased the strength of the haptic effect on several devices to balance it out.

A huge thank-you goes out to both bHaptics and ForceTube for helping us make this happen.

Social Game Modes

When we last switched out the rotating social gun mode we had received a lot of feedback asking us to allow you to play your favourite social game mode (Gun Game, Specops or One In The Chamber) at any moment you want. With update 1.8.5 that is now possible: the featured game mode will still rotate, but you can now play any game mode you choose whenever you choose in a public server.

Improved visuals for PCVR

Update 1.8.5 brings several improvements to the game's visuals for PCVR. Aside from the specular maps we mentioned above, we've made improvements to the visuals of the Downfall and Suburbia maps. Bazaar and Quarantine have had revised lighting to be more faithful to the 1.7 representation of the maps. The PC maps are getting model overhauls, effects additions and more that will continue as time goes on.

Full changelog

Game Modes

  • All of our social modes are now available to be played publicly at all times. There is still one rotating mode featured on the social mode playlist every week, but the other modes are not locked to private games any longer

Quest 2

  • PC and Quest 2 now benefit from enhanced specular maps on guns, which are tinted by nearby light probes. This means shiny guns, with good performance
  • Improved the LOD bias on the Quest 2, so it has less noticeable LOD transitions and apospop inapos than the Quest

Custom Maps

  • The Onward Workshop has been added back into the game, for all platforms. You can now download and play custom maps on PC and Quest and cross-play them if the map creator supports both platforms. Further improvements to the workshop are coming soon!
  • Updated Onward and Custom Content project to Unity 2019.4.8f1
  • We have been collaborating with several map creators already, so there are several maps available already that have been updated and are playable, for both platforms.
  • Use the Custom Content Guide 2.0 document to convert your maps or create a new one for Quest and PC.

Haptics

  • Support for bHaptics body haptics devices was added to the game, on both Quest and PC, so you can feel exactly what shot you and where, and it greatly enhances firing haptics.
  • ForceTube support was added to Quest
  • Controller haptic feedback has been made to be more powerful in general on several devices.
  • Controller haptic effects were overhauled and some new ones were added, for example when pulling back a bolt, or holding a shield.

Voice Chat

  • Fixed voice chat not working when joining a new lobby
  • Fixed downed players" radio
  • Fixed Uplink / Assault tent radio

Gameplay

  • Changed the duration of the flashbang effect back to what it was in 1.7.
  • Fixed Uplink / Assault bug that incorrectly selected fireteam leader from the opposite team
  • Fixed not being able to hear gunshots when joining an in-progress lobby
  • Fixed an invisible wall in Bazaar incorrectly blocking bullets
  • Fixed mismatched collision on the sea container doors in Cargo and Tanker
  • Fix several issues with Assault boundaries either applying or not applying at random
  • Adjusted the lighting in Downfall, Suburbia, Bazaar and Quarantine for better visuals that are more faithful to 1.7.
  • Replaced several props with higher quality model versions across all the maps for PC
  • Fixed PC version of Bazaar having no windows versus the Quest version of Bazaar
  • Fixed lens flares able to be seen through guns and other pickups
  • Potential fix for offset colliders and random teleporting
  • Removed the extra fences on Downfall that came with 1.8
  • Added extra lights inside buildings in Downfall
  • Added a usable first floor to the Downfall towers
  • Fixed a spawn location on Gun Game which would leave the player to be stuck inside of a table in Downfall
  • Fixed round count setting when creating the social mode server defaulting to '3' instead of 'standard', causing the game modes to end after three rounds instead of their intended number if the setting was not changed
  • Dead and downed states now more noticeably differ from each other
  • Removed a screen overlay that made the tablet glow with screen effects
  • Fixed body armor colliders not working
  • Fixed shields not blocking thrown items from other players
  • Fixed shooting range targets being invisible to the ground drone camera
  • Improved the ak5c bolt animation for PC
  • Fixed fire mode animations on the following guns: P90, MK16, l86a2 lsw, tar21, val, MK17 and AK5C, MK18, M16A4, AKS74u
  • Improved the VOLK PK120 reticle to make it easier to see and use
  • Changed the skybox in the Quest version of the Shooting Range
  • Optimized skyboxes across all Quest scenes to use up less memory
  • Adjusted light bakes across night scenes to improve the night vision effect
  • Fix PKM having incorrect positions for the bullets on its belt
  • Fix bullets sometimes not having textures on the PKM and the M249
  • Fixed collision issues in various PC/Quest maps
  • Adjusted material settings for some objects in Downfall PC maps
  • Fixed some visual issues in Quarantine PC/Quest maps
  • Fixed an Uplink Assault boundary issue in Quarantine PC/Quest
  • Improved the metal hit impact effect
  • Fixed PC players being able to stand on top of the P90
  • Fixed using FAMAS with proximity grip destroying the space time continuum
  • Fixed barrels and pallets fading too soon on Quest
  • Fixed the issue when running and shooting with L86 can cause you to damage yourself when held at the right angle

Audio

  • Weapons now use a volume slider in settings instead of a button toggle and it starts at 75%
  • Fixed suppressed weapons that were louder than their non-suppressed versions
  • Reduced expelled shell volume
  • Slightly reduced magazine in volume
  • Removed inconsistent c4 explosion sounds
  • Increased the grenade collision volume.
  • Changed grenade explosion sound back to the sound it had in 1.7 which is less distorted
  • Fixed Tanker using the wrong reverb
  • Fixed reverbs not changing for other players when leaving reverb areas
  • Increased limit of total concurrent audio on PC

AI

  • Fixed AI being able to look through bushes
  • Co-op Hunt now supports multiple player spawns. Levels have between 4 and 7 additional player spawn points.
  • AI can throw frag grenades once again
  • Added AI vision blockers to the palm trees
  • Added AI cover positions to the roof tops in Quarantine
  • Fixed AI navigation maps in Quarantine to allow the bots to enter the parking garage and all buildings
  • Fixed AI not being able to enter buildings in Downfall

UI

  • Reworked the server browser filters and added game mode filters
  • Add a "Recenter" button to the rear menu of the tent as well as the connection panel of the main menu that will center your playspace.
  • The tent voice icon turns green when team chat is on.
  • Fixed text showing in only one eye sometimes, showing squares while the screen is tinting, and having reduced performance.
  • Fixed the main menu barbed wire showing through the settings screen UI.

Casting

  • Fixed casters / spectators not seeing player names or outlines sometimes
  • Fixed spectate desktop's team 2 cameras getting offset from the hide team button
  • Fixed objectives missing on the spectator map
  • Changed the spectator map objective icon to use the same objective icon as the tablet
  • Fixed disconnected players not disappearing on the map
  • Fixed player dots not appearing on the map
  • Fixed an issue with desktop spectate that would cause glitching in UI elements.

Miscellaneous

  • Fixed helmets on the shelves in the PC tent not fading with everybody else when the screen fades to black.

Known Issues

  • The first floor tower windows in Downfall are positioned too high
  • The interiors in Downfall and Bazaar are too dark in places
  • The lighting change in Quarantine day might be a bit too dark
  • M249 and PKM box magazines don't have correct colliders
  • Passworded lobbies aren't able to change the round timers
  • When trying to grab the syringe sometimes you might unintentionally grab the pistol instead

Update 1.8.5 is available now!


Onward Patch 1.8.4
September 16th, 2020

Hello everyone!

We have just released patch 1.8.4 to address two critical audio bugs: the first is related to voice chat failing and the second to gun shots not being heard. We've also updated the rotating social game mode to 'One in the Chamber'.


Sitrep - September 2020
September 16th, 2020

Hello everyone!

In this month's Sitrep we want to take you on a tour of the changes coming to Onward in the upcoming months: we will set out the milestones we're working towards, and go into detail on several of them. Unfortunately we won't be able to share all the details on all the updates yet, but we aim to give you some insight in what to look forward to in the updates to come. Since our last patch for Onward (v1.8.3) we've been busy behind the scenes, improving our workflow to get more stable and more frequent updates out to you. It's an ongoing process, but we're getting there! If you're interested in reading more about our development process changes you can find a big post on Discord, Steam and Reddit with a lot more details, or simply follow this link to find it.

These are the milestones well be going over

  • Upcoming patches: v1.8.4 and v1.8.5
  • Custom content
  • Haptics upgrade
  • Reintroduction of pre-v1.8 maps
  • Audio update
  • Party system
  • A new game mode, exclusive for PCVR
  • High quality lighting returning to PC
  • Anti toxicity improvements
  • Miscellaneous improvements

 

Upcoming patches: v1.8.4 and v1.8.5

We're aiming to release patch 1.8.4 later this week or early next week; with the release of Patch 1.8.4 we will address a couple of critical issues affecting both PC and Quest users that we feel need immediate attention. These issues relate to voice audio cutting out in a lobby or during a game, and an issue that caused gunfire audio to be missing in some cases.

Soon after the release of v1.8.4 we'll be releasing version 1.8.5 which will include general game fixes, visual improvements for PC Downfall and Suburbia maps, and much more. We're very excited about some of these changes, and wanted to share a quick preview of the changes to Downfall.

Image
Image

 

Custom content

Ever since custom maps were first supported we've loved the creativity coming from our community. Since the release of v1.8 custom content hasn't been available due to restrictions we mentioned in previous Sitreps. Now, bringing back support for custom maps is one of our top priorities and we're aiming to release it with patch v1.8.6. It's a little too early to make a definitive call on that, but we'll keep you updated in our Sitreps. In addition to that we'll be reaching out to several map creators to help us start testing the custom content implementation soon.


The return of Jungle, Turbine, Snowpeak, Outlet and Abandoned maps

The map designers here at Downpour have been putting in a lot of hours getting these maps ready for their return to Onward. First up, Jungle and Outlet will be the first maps to return with the Custom Content update slated for patch 1.8.6. Snowpeak, Turbine and Abandoned are still in production and will require more testing due to their complexity, and will therefore return to Onward later. While Jungle, Turbine and Snowpeak will remain mostly the same compared to their versions in v1.7, Abandoned has received a redesign to allow for more compelling gameplay: while keeping the original spirit of the map, its layout and its major landmarks have been updated, and some new landmarks will be introduced as well. We will share more on these upcoming changes for Abandoned, as well as the progress of Snowpeak and Turbine in the near future.

 

Haptics upgrade

Good news for fans of haptics: the tactile feedback when interacting with equipment will be coming back to Onward with a vengeance (and upgrades!). This means that like before you will get feedback when for example hovering over the equipment on your chest. We've also implemented stronger haptics overall and added new features including improved effects when taking out magazines out of your AKM, cycling the bolt or pistol slide, stabbing another player and more! In addition, the integration for ProTubeVR's ForceTube peripheral has been redesigned to bring support for the device to the Oculus Rift S and the Oculus Quest in addition to SteamVR. ForceTube is an optional attachment for ProTube rifle stocks that enables the user to feel the recoil of their weapon when they fire it, adding another layer of intensity to the realistic gameplay of Onward.

Finally for those who pursue the maximum amount of realism in their games, something at Onward's roots, we have worked with the talented folks at bHaptics to bring support to Onward for their haptic suit peripheral: the Tactsuit. Tactsuit is a collection of wearable devices for the torso, arms and face that contain arrays of haptic motors designed to simulate the feeling of firing weapons, being struck by projectiles and more. Those of us who've had the chance to test the initial implementations of the bHaptics suit were blown away by it.

When Patch 1.8.6 launches players will be able to connect their bHaptics devices to both PCVR and Oculus Quest versions of Onward to unlock a new level of immersion through specific haptic effects for different weapons, bullet calibers, explosions, melee and more. You will be able to feel the raw power of the m249 and PKM machine guns as they rattle off deadly rounds, and experience terror as you duck from a grenade and its shockwave rips through you. Use your instincts to interpret where you were struck by the enemy and fire back in an instant.

 

Audio update

We're working with Dynamedion, a renowned audio studio, to improve Onward's in-game audio. Sound is a major factor in the immersion in the game and the first results are really showing an impact. Our main focus at the moment is to improve the audio occlusion and reverberation in the game. This is a complicated subject which definitely warrants a deep dive in a future Sitrep, so let us know if this peaks your interest.

 

Onward Party System

One of the things we've heard from our community after the Quest release was that it became noticeably more difficult to team up with your friends and join the same lobby because the number of game lobbies had exploded. To make it easier for everyone to find and team up with their friends in Onward we're going to be working on integrating an Onward Party system in the game which can be used on all platforms.

 

A new game mode for PCVR

In our last Sitrep we indicated that the 1.8 update had given us a lot of headroom to work with to improve the game going forward on PC. One of the ways we'll be leveraging all these advances is through a 'PCVR only' new game mode to extend Onward even further. While we can't share all the details on this game mode yet, we can state it's going to bring a lot of fun and mayhem to Onward, and will leverage the PC computing power to support more players in a lobby

 

High quality lighting returning to PC

With the v1.8 release we updated the game to use a more updated version of the Unity engine and their Universal Render Pipeline(URP). With these changes we got the unfortunate result that the Shadowmask lighting wasn't supported with the current unity version and URP, which resulted in noticeably worse lighting quality compared to previous versions of the game. Shadowmask results in a much better looking game without the necessity to calculate lighting in real time. Real time lighting calculations are extremely resource intensive game developers therefore typically calculate ('bake') the lighting and shadows ahead of time and then store the resulting lighting maps to be used by the players later. Shadowmask improves on this system by keeping the real-time specular highlights for baked lights and vastly improved real-time shadows for non baked objects like players which work much better alongside the traditional shadow bakes.We're currently looking into a couple of option to combine Shadowmask support with Unity's Universal Render Pipeline. We considered moving away from URP, but this isn't an option because we already use a lot of URP specific features, and depend on it for its performance improvements. Therefore we have two options:

  • Jury rig the Shadowmask feature back in ourselves; or
  • Wait for Unity to release a new version of URP with Shadowmask support.

Because we don't have a timeline for Shadowmask support in URP we opted to implement Shadowmask support ourselves. While we're making progress this isn't the most stable approach and it could be prone to break when we perform an Unity upgrade in the future.

Although we're not yet sure if our implementation of Shadowmask will work yet, we do want to share some pictures of the potential improvements, and we'll keep you updated in future Sitreps.

Wallpaper
Wallpaper
Wallpaper
Wallpaper
Wallpaper
Wallpaper

 

Anti toxicity improvements

We've been excited to welcome so many new players to Onward in the past couple of months. As with any rapidly expanding community though, we've unfortunately seen that a small number of people are actively ruining other people's fun in the game with toxic or otherwise unwanted behavior. We're working on ideas to combat this behavior and make sure everyone can enjoy playing Onward without having to deal with the toxic behavior from some players.

We'll share more on the upcoming changes in this area in future Sitreps, but for now we'd like to encourage you that when you run into toxic behavior you record it, and report it to our community managers.

 

Miscellaneous improvements

More changes are coming to Onward in the coming months than we have space to write about, but we briefly want to mention a few more. By popular demand we're designing a ranking system for Onward to give you a sense of achievement and recognition for your skills in game. You will get real time stats on your captured objectives, accuracy, kills/deaths, revives, headshots, body shots and more. This is still in its infancy, but keep an eye out for updates.

We will be adding more spawn locations to Assault and PVE game modes to add more variety to these game modes, and we're working on new social game modes for Onward to complement Spec Ops, One in the Chamber and Gun Game

Finally, there's always room to improve the game's code, and top of our list is currently refactoring our lobby and game mode states to further improve stability and remove inconsistencies in these areas. Especially competitive players have been running into issues here, and we will be addressing this.

We're constantly working and preparing on polishing the current existing features. If you have any suggestions please share them in our Discord! Stay frosty!


Sitrep - August 2020
August 21st. 2020

Hello everyone!

It's already been a couple of weeks and two patches since we released Onward on Oculus Quest and the PC 1.8 update. There's been a lot of discussion, and a lot of things are happening backstage, so it's time for us to share our plans moving forward.

 

Reflecting on our release and latest update

As with any release a few issues weren't caught or resolved before the game went live, and we're currently addressing those issues in patches. There's a handful of issues that we've labelled as critical out in the wild or that we consider to be fixable in a very short time frame. These will continue to be resolved in the coming weeks with further updates to the game. These issues include voice chat sometimes cutting out, improvements in for example gun firing sound effect loudness, and upgraded visual assets for PCVR.

On the PC side there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the changes in graphics levels that have proven to negatively affect the immersion that is vital to so many of you. Although the changes we've made under the hood with update 1.8 are fundamental to Onward's future development the simple truth is that we misjudged the impact the changes to the graphics would have on the immersion for many of you who play on PCVR. That led to two specific mistakes: most importantly, we didn't allow ourselves enough time to bring the level of graphics for PC back up before the release, and second we didn't communicate this change clearly to you, nor what our plan would be after release.

This is something we've learned from, and some of you will have read the post on the Onward Discord in which we committed to bring the graphics quality for PC back to the levels it was at in a series of incremental and quickly succeeding updates that will be coming out over the next couple of weeks and months. Version 1.8 created a lot of performance headroom in the game, and we intend to make use of that headroom to push the graphics to a higher level. We will be committed to our PCVR community. Without you Onward wouldn't have been possible, that's beyond discussion.

Onward's launch on Quest has been amazing: we've welcomed a whole new group of players who have been enjoying Onward over the past couple of weeks. With the successful launch of Onward on the Oculus Quest we've been having discussions backstage about our development roadmap going forward. The overwhelming support for the game on Quest has enabled us to not only finish Onward in the way we had planned, but also means that we'll be developing Onward beyond the original timeframe and scope, on all platforms. Over the coming months we'll be hiring new developers to help us make this happen, and we'll be keeping all of you up to date on the changes that will be coming. Exciting stuff!

 

Update planning

One of the things we've reflected on as a team has been the amount of time we took to bring you a new update. Going forward we want to bring patches and incremental updates to the game as soon as they are finished, instead of collecting the changes made over several months and then releasing major updates. This requires us to make large changes to the development process, which is something we'll be doing starting next week. Our goal is to have a new patch or update ready for you every couple of weeks to every month at least. These updates will not only include fixes and improvements, but also new and returning features for Onward. In this new setup we're also planning to invite players to give us feedback on an update before we push it to all players- this is something we're still drawing the outlines for, and that we'll be sharing more details on in a future Sitrep.

 

So, what's cooking?

As we're working on fixing critical issues that have popped up after release, we're also looking into the improvements that will follow the update, based largely on the feedback we've gotten from you. Right now we're investigating a significant improvement to lighting and shadows for PCVR (the first results are very promising), as well as adding new particle effects and more details for PCVR maps, we're adding a recenter button button for the tent and main menu that will place you back in position should you need to and we're reintroducing features to the AI such as for example allowing them to throw grenades and allowing them a greater variety of weapons.

Custom maps will be making a return on PC, while launching for the first time on Quest. We're very excited to see what maps, old and new, the map makers among you will bring to the game. While we complete the map maker tools for Onward 1.8 we're also working on bringing back the Jungle, Turbine, Snowpeak and Abandoned maps. Outlet will also be making a return as the custom map update is released.

Even the best made plans don't survive contact with reality of course and so some of these fixes, changes and improvements will take more time than others, or may turn out to be infeasible. We also haven't included some of our more ambitious and/or opaque plans yet - we'll share more on those in the future.


Onward Patch 1.8.3
August 20th. 2020

Hello everyone!

We have just released patch 1.8.3 to address an issue where an online lobby could get frozen when a player was kicked from it. The patch also includes updated vegetation art assets for the Downfall map on PC.

 

Tomorrow we'll post a Sitrep about our plans for the coming months, and beyond. Stay frosty!


Onward Patch 1.8.2
August 13th. 2020

Hello everyone!

Work here at Downpour continues in the wake of the PC 1.8 and Quest release. Today we're releasing version 1.8.2 of Onward for both platforms. We've been hard at work making improvements and solving issues you've reported to us. Thank you for all the feedback.

 

The highlights of this patch include:

  • Fixed map vote getting stuck if the master client paused or left their playspace mid-vote.
  • Fixed many instances of voice chat not being in the proper state, and thus not being audible.
  • Fixed player collision becoming offset incorrectly if you placed your head inside of a wall.
  • Resetting your orientation on Oculus devices will now recenter you as well in the tent or menu, so you will not become offset.
  • Made gunshots louder. We have plans to further improve gunshot audio in future updates
  • Fixed realistic gunshot setting and audio device setting not saving your choices properly.
  • Fixed the shadow resolution option not working on PC.
  • Increased the speed of the AI death animations.
  • Fixed the holes in the backs of AI meshes.
  • Slightly reduced the volume of tent chat.
  • Slightly increase the volume of players if their voice chat is quiet.
  • Tweaked the volumes of atmospheric sounds on several maps.
  • Fixed servers sometimes showing that they support custom maps erroneously.
  • Fixed issues with featured social mode timings.
  • Made the level boundaries on Shooting Range the same on PC and Quest.
  • Improved shadows on night maps to make night vision more effective.
  • Suburbia PC has had vegetation changed and some detail added to improve visual fidelity.
  • Brightened indoors in Bazaar and Downfall.
  • Fixed collision issues with some buildings and vehicles in Bazaar.
  • Fixed collision issues with downstairs areas in Tanker.
  • Fixed z-fighting on some assets in Suburbia

The update will be available shortly.

Follow us on Discord or social media to stay up to date with Onward. We'll be sharing our plans for the foreseeable future soon.

Stay frosty!


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