@Julian I have included unseen concept art from the Winter Army update. Grab a drink and get comfy, this is a long one!
New Camera, Old Guns.
During the development of Winter Army we designed a large number of new firearms for the game. You still have not seen them all! We initially intended to release more with every minor update during the Winter Army cycle, but we knew the camera was going to change and chose to hold back the new guns to take advantage of the extra range of the new camera. With the old camera Long Rifles were especially hard to make stand out from the normal Rifles. That said, with the new camera there will be tweaks to some of the existing guns in the game too.
Rifles, only longer!
The Long Rifles were kind of a no brainer. We figured there was room for rifles between the standard ones and sniper rifles. Something with more range and a slower firing rate. These felt natural to include despite being hard to place at first with the old camera.
Volta Repeater and Revolving Rifle.
There was a choice made to turn the relic rifle into a fully fledged producible gun. This was in part so we could give the Wardens a ‘relic’ gun of their own. The Volta has gathered such a following with the community that we wanted more people to get a chance to use it. Based on the size of the asset in game we did not think we needed to update the existing model, however if we have the time in the future I would love to give it a new coat of paint. Same gun, just matching the quality of the newer stuff up close for the fans.
The Warden Revolving rifle was my pitch for what a Warden relic might be. I wanted to make the gun different than the current era Warden rifles and ended up making a gun that uses revolver ammunition. I figured this would be a fun one since Wardens don’t have a faction specific revolver… yet.
The ‘Relic’ rifle now fills a role of ‘Heavy’ rifle. Something with more stopping power then the normal rifle but not much more range.
The Warden Automatic rifle was intended to come out with the Winter Army update. The original idea was to have the Assault mini update with the ARs and SMGs, then have a rifle update. I envisioned it to be the Warden trench clearing gun. I wanted to continue the Warden storm rifle style of two firing modes. A unique close range powerful gun with a small clip. This would be the guns trade off to the Colonials Dusk and its massive drum of ammo.
Bonus, Assault Update.
Here are the concepts for the Assault mini update during Winter Army. Most noteworthy was the Booker storm rifle. The Booker was originally conceived as a slow rate of fire AR. Matt even had a custom SFX for it, however in testing Mark did not like the feel of the gun and suggested it become the Warden burst rifle. On top of that, the original concept file for this gun got saved over, and I had to recreate it. Oddly enough, this is one of my favorite designs because it’s unique. If we ever get to a point of adding weapon variants (no plans yet), I would want to bring back the Booker full auto.
We have been chipping away at uniforms for a long time at this point. Over the past few years we have tried a few tests with block in test models. We explored larger alterations to the basic soldier and more simplistic ones. Mark retained his strong sense that he wanted the look of one unified army. Everyone is still a cog in the war machine, no stand alone heroes. The next major step was figuring out what uniforms do in the game. Many meetings between Mark, Max and Myself happened and everything from D&D style stats to ‘cosmetics only’ was discussed.
Eventually we landed on having the visuals match to what you can stack or what makes sense for that class to carry was decided on. There are a few exceptions however, some leniency was made for things like Scouts being less visible on radars. This is a new frontier for the game and much like the first time we added tanks this feature will refine over time and find its place in the complex web of Foxhole.
We knew the Soldiers were going to lose the big backpacks. This led to designing the back straps for the basic Infantry. We did a number of variations and narrowed it down to what we liked. The Engineer we actually tried a number of different options including adding shovels to their backpacks (not like the original models from 5 years ago). This changed when shovels got added to the game as a tool. We ended up liking the simplicity of keeping the backpacks as the look of the Engineers. We updated the 3D models and joked about HD remastering the backpacks, also adding a few extra items onto their belts.
Medics, Scouts, and Specialists.
The Warden Medic and Scout we hit on designs we liked early and kept them to the final. The Colonial Medic took a lot more variants before we found what we liked. I was partial to giving them a WW1 style cap but Mark wanted the white helmet. The Colonial Scout actually didn’t have camo patterns on it till late in the game. It was not until Mark figured out exactly what the Scout would do before we thought it needed to look the part with proper camouflage. The Ammo specialists were easy once we decided which faction got which. The Warden ordinance tubes are one of my more favorite backpacks.
I actually just sketched them both without thinking about them while working on tank designs. They were just for fun as the ‘scale guys’ standing next to tanks in those concepts. Then when we came to finalize the looks Mark and I said, yup these work great!
There was almost a time when the Colonials were not going to get a snow uniform at all. When planning Winter Army we decided to try to add weather uniforms, both snow and rain. When I started the promo art, that was still the plan. The Warden snow uniform and Colonial rain uniform were finalized first. It was later decided that we didn’t want to add just one uniform into the game and make uniforms a fully fledged out feature. I think we made the right call to hold them back. It gave me time to convince Mark that Colonial’s would have some kind of snow jacket.
The Warden jacket was meant to look more like an entire outfit. The Wardens are used to blizzards. The Colonials are meant to look like they layered up in what little the Legion provided them with while keeping the look unified. What made it work was the removal of the shawl for the arm band. Until we did that, it always looked too close to the basic Soldier. I assume the shawl is under the layered light coats or on their person.
The raincoat was actually the first uniform completely finished. Mark, Adam and I all liked it right away. How Wardens fight in the rain is yet to be seen….
Here is a fun look at some old art back when we were trying to nail down the factions and started chipping away at uniforms from years ago. To me this feels like a different era. Sadly some of the early art was lost in a hard drive crash a while ago.