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Call To Arms

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Lace Mamba Global
Developer: Digitalmindsoft
Release Date: Q1 2016

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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Call to Arms' Leaves Early Access Tomorrow, Details New Content

by Rainier on April 26, 2018 @ 2:55 p.m. PDT

Call to Arms offers an innovative new look into modern era combat. Initially featuring two playable factions, 20 realistically modeled vehicles and heavy weaponry, as well as over 60 firearms and customization, Call to Arms brings the very best in tactical gameplay.

Call to Arms offers an innovative new look into modern era combat. Initially offering two playable factions with realistically modeled vehicles and heavy weaponry, as well as dozens of firearms and customization. Command your troops to victory or fight by yourself in the 3rd person action mode.

The base game offers two factions: the United States Army and the Global Revolutionary Movement. Fight in rural areas, factories, railway stations or in towns and use the environment to your advantage. Cover is everywhere, and almost everything can be destroyed. An unseen amount of challenges are awaiting you in exciting online combat supported by Steamworks!

The game allows you to command your units in the classic real-time strategy mode or to fight directly by taking control over an individual vehicle in the 3rd person action mode.


Call to Arms is currently available on Steam Early Access for $29.99 (standard edition),  $39.99 (Deluxe Edition), or $59.99 (Ultimate Edition) and will officially launch on tomorrow April 27, 2018.

The Call to Arms free version enables you to have an in-depth look into the multiplayer and skirmish part of the game. Enjoy the game with your friends and unlock new multiplayer units step by step, by progressing with your online career. The free version is fully compatible with the full version packages and is always up to date. If you wish to enhance your experience, then you can do so at anytime by upgrading to the appropriate edition.

Translators are currently working in full swing on localizing the game in different languages and we use the time to polish up the game as good as we can. With a team of less than 25 people, we are very grateful for the support and help we received from our community and we want to give you a big thank you for making Call to Arms possible!

The game means a lot to us. It has been an integral part of our lives for the last couple of years and we invested more into it, than we probably should have, but we didn’t just want to deliver yet another game, but a game full of passion and exciting potential. Even if the game is not perfect and has room to improvement, we think that we can be proud of what has been accomplished so far and we hope you will enjoy it, as much as we enjoyed working on it!

We apologize for creating a lot of confusion with the monetization of the game. At any point, treating our loyal customer base fairly has been our top priority. However, we obviously have failed in communicating this well enough. During the time we have been working on Call to Arms, we have seen studios rise and fall, we have seen Early Access games pop up and never deliver what has been promised. We decided that it is extremely important to learn from these mistakes and don’t fail on delivering our promises as well. We also wanted to lay out a roadmap for people to see and understand what will come for Call to Arms after release, so that they can make an educated purchase decision and choose whether to support us further or not. Of course, we understand that it is upsetting, if we talk about DLC content without even finishing the game first, but we believe, that it is even worse to keep players in the dark.

The free version is a great way for people to have a look into the game, before purchasing it. Something that has been rather common in times of demos and open betas. It helped greatly to keep the game alive, which has been extremely difficult with so much competition around. When we first started selling games on Steam, there were at about 250 games per year. That’s what Steam has almost per week now and it’s still rising. Understandably, it has been increasingly difficult for players to make educated purchase decisions and that’s why we had to adjust to this new situation. Of course, we must find a good balance between the free version and value for money of the full version, but we certainly are getting there.

In this regard, please understand that the game is very important to us. People’s jobs and futures depend on it. Therefore, if you can, please take the time to read exactly what we wrote and don’t assume the worst. If you still can’t figure out what was happening, we are happy to help anytime. It is part of our business mentality to always hand out more content, than we promise, as we strongly believe, overpromising and underdelivering is a very poor business practice that we don’t want to be associated with. It’s a needle to our heart, if people claim that we have cheated or lied, as honesty and fairness is a core reason to run this company independently. Our principles are not for sale, even if that means, we must close our doors. Therefore, we hope, we can rebuild trust and prove to you, that you have chosen to support the right indie developer.

The game has been in Early Access for 2 ½ years. That’s a lot longer than we planned to keep it there. However, we haven’t been turning our thumbs in the meantime and to prove that, we have collected the most important changes for you and did some comparison shots with the first public version of Call to Arms!

Core engine upgrades

When we first started off with the game, the custom engine we use has been upgraded from DirectX9 to DirectX11, which was a huge improvement in enhancing the graphics and performance. Many probably didn’t know that the engine was singlethreaded, that means, it only used one core of your CPU, instead of all. We fixed this and added multithreading support. Lately, we upgraded the game from 32bit to 64bit. Something that is fundamentally important for us and modders, as it ends the out of memory issues (granted you have enough memory). This way we can support way more factions and units at the same time. Unfortunately, 64-bit has caused some side-effects with the current netcode, which we are still trying to fix entirely. These changes have been very difficult, as the engine and game are not separated from each other, this means, that we may improve and fix something and break many parts of the game at the same time. Hence, it takes plenty of time to do it right.

The most important changes have been listed below.

  • Unicode localization support (more than 1 language at the same time)
  • New font rendering system
  • Faster archive loading speed
  • Improved debugging tools to lower crash frequencies
  • Options presets for easy graphics set-up
  • Steam controller support
  • Windows API instead of DirectInput
  • XML support for interface
  • New main menu
  • New in-game HUD
  • Replays
  • Texmod multiplayer support for infantry and vehicles
  • Snow pather simulation
  • Scaleable LODing, zNear, FoV
  • New sound engine with near/far sound support
  • Enhanced environment sound support
  • Inside vehicle sound filters
  • Improved netcode
  • Improved overall game launch performance


Graphic Engine upgrades

We believe that the comparison shots say more than any words, but it doesn’t harm to list the specific improvements we have done to the graphic engine to enhance the overall visuals of the game. It has been a lot more work, than it may look like at first, because unlike engines like UE4 and Unity, our custom engine didn’t provide any support for these visual effects. We had to code them from scratch and upgrade the engine accordingly.

  • Depth of field
  • Soft particles
  • HDR glow
  • Close camera rendering support (z-near)
  • Specular effect balancing
  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion
  • Glossiness map support
  • Colored specular map support
  • Enhanced skyboxes for full HD environments
  • Ocean rendering system
  • New water technology with depth support
  • Sun and moon simulation
  • Light scattering effect
  • Dirtlense effect
  • Alpha to coverage
  • New wind shader to simulate different weather conditions
  • 1st person HD scope support
  • Blur masks
  • 3d shells and magazine drops
  • Translucency shader
  • Friend/Foe outline markers
  • New outline silhouettes
  • Support for BC5 texture compression for normal maps
  • Human heads variation support
  • Film grain support (used in specific modes)
  • Vision mode support
  • Color correction


Gameplay updates

Most important are the gameplay changes of course. The game has changed a lot from the early days and we are happy that we followed our vision on how to further develop the old-school direct control mechanics. While we appreciate the original gameplay, we think it’s great to have a new game where you can choose to play differently. Aside from first and third person controls, we have done many other improvements of course.

  • Introduced 1st and 3rd person controls for vehicles and soldiers
  • Automatic ammo supply
  • Fortification system
  • Chat wheel support
  • Multiplayer bots
  • Guided missiles
  • Night/Thermal vision
  • Smoke screens
  • Flashbangs
  • New realistic tracer system
  • Morale factor for infantry
  • Medic ability
  • Alliance system to allow multiple factions per team
  • Mechanics ability, only skilled soldiers can repair vehicles
  • Host join limitation options (experience/performance)
  • Random spawnpoints
  • Difficulty balance for vehicle armor
  • 3rd person squad control mechanics
  • Hardcore mode for more realistic engagements
  • RTS mode for strategy only players
  • Introduced helicopter controls
  • Claymores react on bullet hit
  • Alliance based tracer colors
  • Different damage for different body parts
  • Weapon damage based on muzzle speed and caliber
  • Blur for non-focus areas of scopes
  • Shooting while walking for AI infantry
  • Close tank hatch and hide commander for tanks
  • New infantry reloading system with magazine drops
  • Multiple damage states support for buildings
  • Enhanced bullet simulation
  • New suspension simulation physics
  • Bot support for “unusual” gamemodes
  • Multiplayer training for beginners
  • Normal and fast drive modes for vehicles in 1st and 3rd person

Misc and modding support

Undeniably, offering modding support is beneficial for both users and developers alike. We are very happy how talented our modding community is and what great ideas they are able to implement in our game. Hopefully, we can intensify our releationship with modders in the future! Check out their creations on the Workshop page.

  • Possibility to adjust coop player counts
  • Level down/up polygon tool in editor
  • Auto-minimap generator
  • Added in-game Workshop download and mod apply
  • Increased max camera distances
  • Environment sounds, wind, rain, thunder etc.
  • Re-designed weapon sounds
  • Re-designed sounds such as explosions, hits, walk sounds etc.
  • weapon library
  • Squad logos for player units
  • Completely reworked human skins, vehicle skins, weapon skins
  • Reworked vegetation

What was once a little game that used 4+ GB of storage, turned into a 30 GB RTS/FPS hybrid behemoth. The game started with 2 factions without vehicles to play on a couple of maps and gamemodes. In the meantime, the content has increased significantly and will only continue to increase after release. While stretched over the period of development, it doesn’t seem like that much, but if you put it into contrast, the differences are quite significant.

Gamemodes

Since the launch of the first version, we have added a multitude of new gamemodes for online and skirmish battles. Below we present the basic rules for each.

  • Domination - Capture strategic zones. The team with the most flags receives points, the more flags you have, compared to your opposing team, the more points you get. A gamemode for competitive players.
  • Last Man Standing - Defend your Forward Observation Base and capture ammo depots that will give you extra manpower to call in new units. Annihilate your enemy by capturing their FOB.
  • Combined Arms - Helicotpers, tanks, armored vehicles and infantry, all combined in large maps for intense battles. Same rules as Domination.
  • King of the Hill - Up to 4 teams. The team who controls the strategic zone receives payback on lost manpower. Capture the zone to win against all other teams.
  • Evacuation - Defend your evac zone against hostile AI players. This gamemode is designed for coop gameplay. To get additional resources, capture ammo depots.
  • Armored Combat - All about tanks and tanks and tanks!
  • Heroes - One soldier per player, make the most out of it!
  • Cooperative - Play the Singleplayer campaigns together with friends.

Factions

Upon launch, 4 factions will be available if you own the full version of the game. Contrary to previous games, we tried to accomplish factions that vary a lot more in their strategies and unique weaponry.

  • United States - Technologically advanced and well trained, the US Army is prepared for every battle. But the quality comes at the cost of quantity.
  • GRM - The GRM collected their equipment by scavenging government supplies and receiving foreign support.
  • UAF - The UAF are Arab government forces and the counterpart to the GRM. During the second singleplayer campaign, you will rise up against the UAF and join the GRM to topple the government.
  • Rebels – The Eastern European Rebels are a very interesting faction, as they combine modern Russian and Western equipment with Cold War era weaponry.

This was just a small fraction of what is new in Call to Arms, but it should provide a good overview. Thank you for reading and for your support. Let’s rock this game!


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