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  • Writer's picturePinstripe

Keep ya heads down chaps and carry on! That's been our team's philosophy for the last few months while everyone has been hard at work on bringing Lardcore up to scratch! But now its time for some of our leading hogs to come above ground, out from the safety of the nearby shelter, to answer some of high commands burning questions!


Now, the last thing we want is for the identity of our top hogs to fall into enemy hands, so for the sake of secrecy we'll be using code-names! The following answers have been provided by Captain Cody of the Programming Division, and Corporal Drew of the Art Division!


[Latest Lardcore Devlog Video, Episode 2, check it out!]


Correspondence from Captain Cody:


What has been the biggest programming challenge for you so far within Lardcore?

The landscape rendering. The original game renders a single mesh with a texture mapped onto it. The original port code used Splat Maps to generate the terrain detail and a lot of work had gone into the system; it created great terrain pixels but led to huge shaders when we switched to forward+ rendering.


I have lost track of how long I've spent on this problem! I've tried splitting the mesh into water / terrain and various ways of delineating the water / land boundary in the fragment shaders. Eventually I hit on rendering the terrain textures on level boot and animating the water into that texture set per frame, which can then be lit using the general purpose dielectric shaders.


What programming language is being used within Lardcore and how easy/difficult has it been to integrate it alongside the original game’s codebase?

C++ 20 for the engine / support code and PSSL for the shaders; most of the system interfaces are implemented using C style functions to cleanly decouple the various modules and also keep the hardware interfaces clean. The new code base / engine is kept as separate as possible, we leave the original code to do its thing and then grab the information we need from it.


What sort of new content can players expect when looking at Lardcore’s game engine?

The original game code has only been touched when we have been forced to for some reason, so the game will respond as an experienced player would expect. We've added the new rendering and sound engines, global illumination, screen space reflections, new particle engine, dynamic fog, dynamic clouds, sky and star system, dynamic water, procedural grass, decal system...


How do you approach optimising game performance within Lardcore?

The original game doesn't need any optimising, it was designed for a 25 year old+ processor (PS1) so it runs like lightning on modern hardware. We have made various fixed point operations use floating point or vector operations for integration or stability purposes but it wasn't needed for speed. Lardcore's bottleneck is the GPU, mainly because we're calculating the global illumination cascades every frame rather than spreading it out.


In one word, how would you summarise working with the original hogs codebase so far?

Interesting.


What’s a feature, mechanic or bug fix in game you’ve worked on that you are particularly proud of?

Figuring out how to animate the water when there was no water mesh to add animating UVs to was "fun". After a lot of experimentation I hit on using an incompressible water model using compute shaders to do the maths, we use the output of the system to generate a per-pixel UV animation. It can do a lot more than we're currently using it for, for instance we could dynamically have flows going around objects in the water.


What has surprised you most when working on Lardcore?

How much game code the original game had.


As the project moves forward – what are you most excited about/looking forward to?

Getting it into the hands of the fans. Shipping a product is always great but thanks to Covid and other issues this project has been a long time in the making, it's going to be great to see people playing it again!



Correspondence from Corporal Drew:


What has been the biggest artistic challenge for you so far within Lardcore?

Lardcore has been a chance to explore and think about a lot of things at once. One of the great things about it is the challenge of being visually consistent - making everything look as though it belongs together, but in a balanced and interesting way.


Can you explain a bit about your creative approach to the kind of art style we have seen so far in Lardcore?

There’s so much inspiration available that collecting and organising it all is a key part of the process, as well as looking at existing media and weighing up what works well or what could work better for the project.


It’s important to really consider the ideas you want to convey – in an ideal world, every asset would be uniquely tailor made and non interchangeable with any other project. Lastly, iterations – prototypes and remakes – of assets is absolutely vital in bringing us one step closer to the ideal as issues and processes get ironed out.


What would you say are your main influences for world building within Lardcore?

Lardcore has been influenced by a lot of media - there are so many incredible things out there that need exploring and pork-ifying! Influences have shifted as development progresses, but incorporating so many really helps expand the world of Saustralasia.


Artistically, do you feel a remaster should look to capture its original style, expand on its own uniqueness or maintain a balance of both?

Both absolutely, there are so many key iconic elements that need to be retained as well as scope for expansion and world building. Solid game mechanics are fundamental to any game, but it's the world and narrative that cements the experience together. The visuals are key in selling these worlds to us, and making us believe.


How do you ensure your artwork and 3D modelling is optimised for performance without compromising on quality?

This will always be a challenge but working in very high resolutions means that we can have the best quality on any platform hogs might expand to. Optimising by downscaling will always be better than trying to upscale things that are too small.


What has surprised you the most when working on Lardcore?

The sheer diversity of things we get to work on day to day, and all the fascinating research we get to do to make it happen, each day brings us new challenges.


If you could add one new object/asset into the game, what would it be and why?

A lot of easter eggs and fun things could be added, but specifically a hug action would be hilarious, especially in multiplayer. To have the ability to walk up to any hog in the field – friend or foe – hug them, and have both pigs gain a tiny amount of HP from it, without using up a turn.


With the rise of AI art, could this speed up game development?

Despite the rise of AI, AI imagery will never be used in the making of Hogs, which will be 100% organic and ham-made!


As the project moves forward – what are you most excited about/looking forward to?

Seeing everything coming together is always very exciting - as well as hearing from the kind community who haven’t given up on us yet, as we try our best to get the hogs onto the battlefield!



So there you have it, first hand accounts from our very own troops in the trenches! Going forward to intend to bring you further blog interviews with other members of the team, but as you can expect everyone is rather busy preparing for the big push!


The upkeep of blog posts have been few and far between over the last few months, so you can also expect more regular updates in future, both relating to Lardcore and on-going community events. Cheerio for now!

The Hogs Community have been very busy testing the latest multiplayer update, and I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has provided their feedback and findings to help assist in this update process. Our community are a dedicated bunch, especially for competitive play, here's to another success League year! The Patch is Available Here!


For those interesting in getting involved this season - there is still time! Come join the hogs community discord and get in touch with our mod team!


The Latest Patch for all Hogs of War League ISOs is out now. Changes Include:


Hogs of War League ISO File 1 has been updated, changes and patch notes include:


Iceflow

  • Attempted fix for instakill out of bounds areas implemented

  • TNT Weapon Changed to Cattle Prod, Bazooka & Mortar

You Hillock

  • Spawns adjusted and trees added into instakill zones in an attempt to reduce first turn kills

Graveyard Shift

  • Incorrect Weapon Fixed (Airburst), Homing Missiles Changed to Bazookas

Well Well Well

  • Rocket Launcher Quantity Corrected (x1)


Hogs of War League ISO File 2 has been updated, changes and patch notes include:


Morning Glory

  • Attempted fix for instakill out of bounds areas implemented

Hedgerow Warfare

  • Minefield crates now altered to 10HP medical crates

  • Homing Missiles changed to Mortars

Barnyard Blitz

  • Additional wall added to prevent minefield jump


Hogs of War League ISO File 3 has been updated, changes and patch notes include:


Death Patch

  • All additional buildings (shelters and small medical tents) removed due to lack of memory causing crashes, should now be playable

Porkchop Temple

  • Madness Gas Crates replaced by Bazookas

Field Hospital

  • x2 (Small) medical tents removed

  • Large medical tents health reduced from 100 to 80HP

  • Shelters moved from high ground to low

  • Minefield increased in size to prevent direct access to both sides of map via bridge

  • Writer's picturePinstripe

Its may not be as large as previous updates, but it brings with it plenty to sink your little trotters into!

With the Hogs of War League marching into its 5th Season, it was time once again to cook up something special for the community. Since the dawn of time, hogs modding has been limited to just the available assets you find within any given map, as attempting to swap them around would simply crash the game. Until now. At the expense of pig voices and game music, 8 new maps for multiplayer bring with them an entirely new method of play to this game mode. New climbable structures (most being indestructible) vehicles and previously unused building types, particularly those of the medical variety, will now be available!

Because multiplayer is limited to 25 maps by default, over the years I've had to use entirely new ISO files to fit the new content in, and that's exactly what we find within this update. The third and newest ISO (previously) only housed one map, but that has now been modified to include the other 7 additions. Pdrag is now called 'Death Patch', along with the new entries of Grassy Outpost, Bomb Town, Porkchop Temple (its back!), Field Hospital, Nightwatch, Daybreak and Aqua-Base!

Five of these new maps are actually alternative versions of either their existing or unused counterparts, including Skulduggery, TDD, Canal, Pdrag and Bridge the Gap.

Having studied the strong points from the old Alpha version of Hogs, I wanted to apply that learning into this new update, specifically in the building design. The use of elevation and cover in combination with each other are deeply underused throughout hogs, but as we've discussed previously - this was primarily down to the limitations of the game's AI. For Human vs Human play however it should hopefully prove fun! Just watch your footing, its a long way down soldier!

[Ridge Back has received a big update in ISO 1!]

But of course the star attraction of this update comes in the form of a big 'n' shiny red Aquatank! Four of them to be exact! Aqua-Base sees additional buildings, shelters and a pillbox thrown into the mix, with plenty of space to take to the seas and do battle against your opponent in open waters!

The details don't stop there though! Along with the new maps in ISO 3, you'll also be finding several balance changes and new additions to ISO 1 and 2! As mentioned above, Ridge Back has been redesigned, Artilleries have been added to Over the Top and a whole lot more, check out the full patch notes below to see all changes! You can download the update here!


An update for the Hogs of War League ISOs & the Hogs of War Website has been released:


Hogs of War League ISO File 1 has been updated, changes and patch notes include:


Iceflow

  • x3 Spawn Points adjusted to avoid first turn kills

  • x2 Rocket Launcher Crates changed to Bazooka & Mortar

Upstream

  • Weapon crate changes (healing items replaced with sniper rifle and jetpack)

Square Off

  • x2 Spawn Points adjusted to avoid first turn kills

You Hillock

  • x1 Spawn Point adjusted to avoid first turn instakill

  • Jetpack crate reduced from x3 to x2 quantity

Graveyard Shift

  • x8 Weapon crates added along outer edges (x4 over each wall, spawn in over time)

Over the Top

  • x2 Artilleries Added on High Ground

  • Slight Spawn adjustment to allow possibility of both teams being close to artillery that is accessible without a jetpack

Frost Fight

  • Self Heal crate replaced with Jetpack

  • x2 medical dart crate moved onto high ground

  • x3 mine crate reduced to x2 quantity

  • cluster grenade crate changed to x1 heavy machine gun

Well, Well, Well

  • x12 low to mid tier Weapon crates added (x3 in each corner of the map, spawn in over time)

Ridge Back

  • Several New Buildings added

  • x3 explosive barrels added (dropped in over time)

  • All weapon crates adjusted to low/mid level weaponry

Hogs of War League ISO File 2 has been updated, changes and patch notes include:


Morning Glory

  • Weapon Crates adjusted for competitive play (Heavy M. Gun, Hide, Mortar, Mines, Roller Grenades, Bazooka)

Temple of Doom

  • Weapon Crate changes (super airburst removed)

Hedgerow Warfare

  • Artillery HP reduced from 250 to 200

  • Existing crates have been adjusted (minefield crates now Freeze Gas) (Airburst, rifle burst, homing missile, jetpack, rocket launcher, shrapnel grenades)

Saustralia Stand Off

  • Weapon crate position adjusted & suicide crate changed to Jetpack

Barnyard Blitz

  • Minefield strengthened to prevent mine skip jump


Hogs of War League ISO File 3 created. New Maps Available:

  • Grassy Outpost

  • Porkchop Temple

  • Bomb Town

  • Death Patch

  • Nightwatch

  • Daybreak

  • Field Hospital

  • Aqua-Base


Additional - Major Site Update 10 Release:


Home Page

  • Social Image Links have been updated, including YouTube channels for Pinstripe, Lardcore and the League

Workshop

  • Hogs of War League ISO link updated

  • New Community Mods added, these include Herpderp's Mod and Angurio's Nuzlocke Mod)

League

  • Middle League added

  • Rulebook, Game and Maps in Rotation Files have been updated

  • Team social links have been updated

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