HAPPY NEW YEARS FOXHOLE COMMUNITY!
The dust is finally starting to settle from the crazy holiday period that Foxhole just went through. Most of the team has returned to the office while some are still on extended vacation, but the development gears are starting to turn once again. Starting next week, we're going to be returning to our regular schedule of bi-weekly Devstreams and Devblogs, but I wanted to take the time to do a quick review of 2018 and a look ahead at what's to come in the new year.
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Foxhole in 2018
Now that last year has come to an official close, it's safe to say that Foxhole took much greater strides towards reaching its vision in 2018 than any prior year. The goal has always been to deliver the ultimate persistent world war game where hundreds if not thousands of players are working together to determine the narrative of a massive online conflict.
In December alone, we had dozens of thousands of players fighting in the same persistent war, peaking at around 1500 concurrent soldiers in World Conquest simultaneously. If it wasn't for our current limitations in content and technology, this number certainly would have been even higher.
Here are some interesting statistics about the player population year over year:
December 2016 - 31 avg / 155 peak concurrent players (Foxhole Pre-Alpha)
December 2017 - 309 avg / 1,011 peak concurrent players
December 2018 - 812 avg / 1,694 peak concurrent players
Player populations always rise and fall depending on the time of year and during key events like Early Access launch, low seasons, etc. This is why it's important to look at the same period between one year and the next where no unusual event has occurred. We don't expect this momentum to necessarily continue every year, but we're confident right now that Foxhole is more alive than it's ever been. We're excited about how big the persistent war will get in the coming year.
Here are some cool highlights from the year.
World Conquest Launch
We finally pulled off the long awaited game mode that puts every Foxhole player into the same persistent war. We're also finally able to say that wars in Foxhole lasts for weeks. Prior this World Conquest, the wars took place on separate disconnected servers and they were usually so short that when you logged off from a war you would rarely ever come back to the same one the next day. Achieving this game mode meant a lot to us, because its the core of the game that we promised to deliver when we first presented Foxhole to players.
12 Game Updates
We went from 0.9 to 0.20 which was roughly one update every month. These updates included an Amphibious warfare revamp, a communications tools revamp, a combat revamp, 5 new world regions, UI Redesign, loads of new content (Armoured Car, Cargo Ship, AT Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Battle Tanks, etc), and tons of other features and improvements. You can view our release history here.
Dead Harvest Halloween Event
While this event wasn't essential in our development roadmap, we felt it was important to take a break from the mission critical stuff and have a bit of fun sometimes. This was the first comprehensive seasonal event we did and it was a really fun hobby project that the dev team was enjoyed spending a few days on. We hope to continue the tradition in the coming year.
Update 20 : Foundation of War
Foundation of War was the biggest update in Foxhole history, transforming the entire world, and adding in more significant content than we've ever packed into a single update. It certainly brought back a lot of veterans to the game and also attracted a ton of new recruits as well. It was also an important milestone because it laid the groundwork for how the world should be built in the future. Prior to this update, we were a bit gun shy on expanding the world too much because we knew that our process for building the environment, villages, and towns was going to be overhauled. Now we're now ready to pull the trigger on an even more expansive world.
We also saw some really cool community driven events this year, like the 2nd Annual Foxhole Festival and the Foxhole Competition League Season 3.
I myself can't wait for the 3rd Annual Foxhole Festival.
Foxhole in 2019
2018 was a big transition year for us that brought about a lot of growing pains. We had to nearly double our team size which required us to rethink a lot of our internal processes. We had to rebuild a lot of new technology from the ground up to properly support World Conquest and to turn Foxhole from a server browser based game to a true MMO. We also had to reinvent the way we built content for the world. These monumental efforts have evolved the dev team to a new level. More than ever I feel that we are equipped to execute on some of our loftier goals for the game.
In the coming year, the goal will be simple: to double our focus on the fundamentals of what makes Foxhole great:
1. Larger scale wars
We want the wars to scale to higher player numbers and for all parts of the World Conquest to feel more integrated. We hope to have multiple significant fronts and narrative threads happening simultaneously and even better, to have them tied together in some way. We want players to be able to mobilize large groups to tackle massive operations that will be remembered for many years.
2. More dynamic wars, player agency, and persistence
We're really happy that wars are now able to last longer and have more persistence than before. However, we have a lot of work to do to make each war feel truly unique. Right now by virtue of us changing the game constantly with updates each war does feel different, but we want to empower players to do it themselves as well. The narrative of the war should be able to play out differently every time, with players in control of the plot.
We've always wanted players to be able to make lasting impact on the world and war. Our map designers have done a great job at laying the foundation of the world, but we want players to have more of a hand in crafting the rest of it.
3. Richer strategic game
There are many strategic components of the war that we feel still need a lot of work. We feel that we've barely tapped the potential of what communication and intelligence can mean in the persistent war. Watchtowers and Radios are great, but we feel it could be so much more. The logistics game can still be a lot deeper and more satisfying to play. Base building is long overdue for an overhaul. We want to give builders the tools to create useful bases and elaborate fortifications that have a lasting effect on the world. The supply line game also has a ton of room to evolve at the player level and at the world level. We want there to be world scale implications for resources and supply.
Besides these larger goals, we are going to be working diligently to address all the other important parts of the game like quality of life, performance, game balance, and bugs. Please continue to deliver your feedback to us through Reddit and Discord. It has been essential in the growth of the game thus far and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
We look forward to delivering another 12 or so updates in the coming year. There's so many exciting things in motion that I can't wait to share with you guys.
Catch us on our first Devstream of 2019 next Tuesday at 2PM ET on Twitch. See you all soon!