Friday, 30 March 2018

Dead Frontier 2: Potato Mode, Servers & More

Potato Mode
Ever since I posted up the first screenshots of Dead Frontier 2, one of the most common questions I've been asked is "will my PC be able to run this?". Since the screenshots are fairly modern and shiny (in my opinion anyway) it would be easy to think that DF2 is only going to work on rigs sporting the latest graphics cards, and that people with laptops or slightly older hardware would be left out.

However one thing I've always insisted on throughout my 15 year indie game development career is that my games should run on the most machines possible. So in the last week I've been working on providing as many graphics settings options as I can. You can now literally enable/disable just about every feature of the 3D engine. If you're not well versed on all the different technical details, I've also added some general profiles for different types of hardware.

One of those profiles is "Potato Mode" which pretty much disables everything. I'll warn you, it doesn't look pretty, but I think it's an option worth having for those with weaker PCs.


Based on my recent testing with these different modes, I've now lowered the minimum system requirements to:

OS: 64-bit Windows
Processor: Intel Core i3 or AMD FX
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon HD 8550 or equivalent
DirectX: Version 9.0
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 5 GB available space

These are pretty much the exact specs on my own budget laptop that I bought almost 5 years ago. To be honest, while running in potato mode I suspect that game might even run on something much weaker, but I'm loathed to suggest lower requirements than this until I've been able to verify them first hand. I'm hoping that during alpha testing we'll get an idea how it works on some truly awful hardware =D

Servers
Another big thing I've done since the last report is setup all the final servers for the game. The DF1 open beta launch was a huge disaster, and that is something I'm hoping to avoid this time around. I am expecting there to be up to 20,000 players online in the first day DF2 is on Steam, and I need to make sure we can accommodate all of them.

Using locust.io and 13 different cloud instances (virtual machines) I simulated over 40,000 concurrent players on the servers. And whilst the loading times did increase slightly, I'm pleased to report that the game was still very much playable and fun. This is honestly a huge win for me, as it was something I was really worried about. It's good to know that if necessary, we can handle 10 times the load that we had for DF1.

For multiplayer, we currently have servers in North America, UK and Poland. I am eventually hoping to add more in South America and Singapore so that everyone can have a nice low ping. However the reality is that bandwidth costs are something like 15 times higher in those areas, so it's only something we can afford to do if the game proves popular in those locations.

General Progress Info
I'm happy to report that my motivation to work hard on DF2 is sky high. One reason why I've been taking so long to get this report written is that I've just been so focused on getting the game done ASAP. At this point all I do breath, eat and sleep DF2.

Just to make you all aware, these features are still missing from the game:
- Clan System
- Competitions
- Item > Item Trade
- Outpost Attacks
- Barricading

My plan is still to complete them all by summer, but for now I am focusing on making the core game (looting, hunting zombies, boss fights, missions, leveling etc) as fun and addictive as possible. If it comes to it, I would much rather release a fun and polished core game, with some features missing, than a boring feature complete game.

That's pretty much it for now, but figured I'd leave you with a couple more random screenshots I took over the last week:







If you'd like to stay up to date with DF2 developments, please sign up to the mailing list, like/follow/subscribe/wishlist us on social media (especially Steam!). All those lovely links can be found here: http://deadfrontier2.com :)

Thanks for reading!
-Neil

83 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. This is amazing, what you're doing, im an veteran player since 2d, and im seeing this and im about to cry you know, i want this to procces a lot more dude!!!

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    3. ^ Agreed ! Been forever it feels since I created my first acc (75k ID) and I couldn't be happier to see it still going. Congrats !

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  2. Potato mode looks like your average 3d mobile game lol

    But then alot of df1 players do play on a potato, myself included. Getting lag during massive aggro that often kills me

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    1. This is something I'm trying to avoid with DF2. One reason why we've tried to keep the zombie numbers a bit lower this time.

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    2. Well in the potato mode sample picture it is fine though. But the hair lol.

      Can we laik have disabled special effects and shadows and lightings and all but at the same time we can hav medium textures of our character with the seperate option of the textur level of other players and another seperate one for zombies.

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  3. Nice there Neil, I think my PC will be able to run the game just fine!

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    1. That's great news, I really don't want anyone to be left out.

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    2. i will not miss df 2. I will play df 1 and df 2 forever.
      Thanks, Neil for creating df. Your gameplay system really makes me fall in love.

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  4. Awesome possum!! Great to see so much progress! I don't have a potato myself but I have plenty of friends with them! Great to have a game anyone can play and get into. Thanks for all the hard work :D

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  5. Definitely DO add servers on Singapore, many of my friends from Asia are expecting this game. Good job Admin! it's looking great, keep it up.

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  6. So t looks like you can have 3 character connected to one account? from the last photo there's a 3/3 so is that what it means?

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  7. Goooood shit good shit! I hope we get to see Nastya's soon

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  8. While you didn't mention it at all, a Sydney based server in Australia for all the Oceanic region would be insane! Getting 250 ping to NA is not my idea of having fun a lot of the time.
    However, getting a Singapore server could help as the ping to there is only about 100-150 for a fair bit of Australia (except when the undersea cable breaks which happens bloody often!)

    But love your work man and I am looking forward to the game! Just please remember us Australians and other fellows down south (like those kiwis).

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    1. I second the OCE region server, a lot of new games emerging now have them and it makes all the difference in the purchase of a multiplayer game these days. In saying that I 100% understand the cost and would not expect it initially, however please do keep it in mind!

      The game is looking fantastic, keep doin what you're doin! :D

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  9. Replies
    1. He has stated in previous blogs that DF2 will be free to play on launch with no pay to win factors, the only thing that costs real money are cosmetics.

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  10. No server in Scandinavia? Think again Neil..

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    1. I'd love to have a server in every country but it all costs money. If the game is popular though I'm sure we'll expand all over the place :)

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    2. Sounds good, I don't wanna have to go viking on England again..

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  11. Lookin' good! I don't use a craptop anymore, but I do have it lying around as backup.

    And it's nice to see that there are more servers around the globe. The lag didn't bother me that much in DF3D, though. Mostly played in solo-mode... but in Multiplayer it can be pretty annoying.

    Compared to the old 'to-do' list, it's seems like you've been going all-out with the development of the game. Can't wait for the beta release!

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  12. I'm from South East Asia, so I'm really hoping there will be Singapore server for DF2.

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  13. There will be no for 32bits? :(

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  14. Please, Translate game for portuguese

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  15. Replies
    1. hell yea garpie I am hype to ill see you there
      aka it me halo

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  16. Looks like it's coming along pretty great Neil. Can't wait for the final product because I know you put quality above everything.

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  17. Noice, and i agree, its better to have a fun addictive polished game than a boring one

    Take your time admin.:D

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  18. The game is sounding (and looking) better and better every update, Admin. I might not even have to play on potato mode (unlike DF1)!

    I'm curious to see what you have in store for outpost attacks, but I'm sure that'll come in due time. Keep up the good work.

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  19. So... will you add more languages to the game?

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  20. Hahaha, the potatoe graphics are going to be my best friend! Not because I can't handle, but because it reminds of the good old days of Goldeneye 64! xD

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  21. no server in singapore yet?

    well,i guess i just wait for it n patiently play with 200 ping XD or singleplayer

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  22. The potato graphics gave me a little chuckle. I honestly can't wait for this game to release, but don't let anyone's anticipation for the game make you rush it at the last second and have the unfinished parts be glitchy and broken. I want this game to succeed, long live the Dead Frontier franchise.

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  23. dude i love this game, thanks for doing all this effort.
    Ive been playing for years and with the news that you where doing a new game i literally cryied <3 my english is crap btw

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  24. MY friend came up to me and straight told me that my favorite online game is being revitalized. and i couldn't believe him as he always tricks me into getting excited. when he showed me the website i couldn't believe what i was looking at. i literally cried as it all came back to me Newgrounds ect. i am deleting everything and only DF2 will be on my laptop im leaving league of legends!

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  25. I absolutely can NOT wait for this game.

    Ever since I was a kid and played in 2D, later to 3D, and now it's come to this; absolutely stunning work. I hope for the best of this project's future and will have to start preparing for countless all-nighters this summer and beyond.

    :]

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  26. I have a total toaster i would love to be there at Alpha for that =D [email protected]

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  27. any bonus for the people from df1?

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  28. really cant wait, any possible way you could tell me more or less what date in summer df2 will be released?

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  29. Dear Admin Pwn:
    Though DF2 is your primary focus, please add an option to or just do it all together: Remove fog from Dead Frontier 1. I know most of the community has complaints about dogs/exploders/etc because they're annoying and difficult, but fog just makes the game unplayable. Me and most of my friends lower DF1 to "Potato mode" to see zombies in fog.

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  30. hello neil very well you are playing the game but there is something I want to mention that does not come in the case of df2 that comes from the df1 is the support took more than 1 month sending a support that I stole and never answer and apologize if you do not come to case but I need help my name that I'm sending the support is diegotorres.

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  31. Hey Neil,
    In DF3D most fun part for me was when my account was between lvl 1 and 40, after this, incentives like earning money and gaining xp was just not enough to keep in the game :(. Will there be any new incentives in DF2 that will keep players in game for longer? i.e. more multiplayer aspects/strategies, achievement lists. In fact what makes a lot of other MMO games fun the variety of multiplayer strategies to choose from.

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  32. Hey admin out of curiosity what is your main graphics card on your development computer i was pretty amazed at what that 1050 was kicking out considering its nvidias more budget graphics card, to be honest its changed my opinion on the card. personally still using my 980ti lightning edition from msi love it not found a reason to upgrade :).

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  33. And that table? , more tits

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  34. I only just discovered today that you're working on DF2 (6 months after the announcement) and I must say that I'm pretty excited to give DF2 a try! You (in my opinion) are one of the greats that embarked on browser game development during it's prime. You never turned your back on your player-base, or any of your previous games.

    I was 15 years old in 2008 when you released DF1 in Apr 21, 2008. I'm 24 going on 25 now. Although- I wasn't entirely loyal as a player since DF1. I will always try any new game that you create; and I know I'll find some fun. I wish you the best on your journey onto Steam, and pray for DF2's great success!

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  35. this is my first time commend a game. i love DF1 and i'm really excited for DF2 to release. wish you luck and don't give up

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  36. <1 About potato mode>
    Execente! It shows that the creator is really worried about all players. I have some weak notebooks that out of the house will make me play dead frontier in my travels and moments that I will not be able to be near my pc gamer.
    <2 On the future of dead frontier 1, and popularization of dead frontier 2>
    I know this is probably not the recommended topic to express such an opinion. But for some time now I've been thinking about how good it would be for dead frontier 1 to become a game for android, being able to be played on tablets and cell phones besides pcs.
    I play a game called sas zombie assalt 3 & 4. I like them a lot, although they are not as good as dead frontier.
    I think that if dead frontier 1 gets popular with google play, and it will improve a lot for the monetization of the company, it would help a lot in the popularity of dead frontier 2. It could have small advertisements that would give money to the players when seeing commercials and trailer of deadfrontier 2 this happens a lot in sas zombie assalt).
    <3 Translation>
    It would be great if in the future I translated the game into some languages. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know English. I'm not American (I'm Brazilian), I do not mind playing English games after all, I'm already used to it, but I'm sure a translated game would open the doors for several players.


    And finally, I'm proud to finally have a real mmo rpg game.

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  37. In what month exactly will the game leave?

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  38. I can help translate it to Portuguese.

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  39. Well, my computer is an i3-2100 cpu @3.10 ghz with 16 gb of ram and my vid card is a GeForce GTX 750 Ti. Won't run at the very top of a graphics intensive game but I will never be able to afford such a card but I'm content with what I see on the screen. And a Windows 10 comp.

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  40. Looks interesting Since graphics are close to the ones that Dead By Daylight has. Really interesting to be a game able to play in old pc's

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  41. Replies
    1. Yes bro, this game is free. You can take it 100% free on steam.

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  42. Mr. Neil, please don't delete df 1. I'm your loyal fan. I'm playing df 1 everyday. I will play df 1 in the rest of my life forever.

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  43. I played the Original DF1 for EVER & had 6 separate Character Types, but was out of the country for a while & lost EVERYTHING, as I had not been on in over a month.

    My MAIN Question is this.....When this releases on Steam, will it have the "All Content will be deleted if not active for 30 Days..."? Also, will we be limited to just 1 character or will we be able to create multiple characters classes?

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  44. I remember playing this when it was just 2D. I think it was on Kongregate at the time. I can't wait for this to launch.

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  45. DF1 2D for Android Pls!!! T^T

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  46. Heya Neil, I used to play Dead Frontier 1 2D and 3D way back in 2010-2011 and I thought it was great back then. drago433, 1337drago and I think another account which I can't recall were my main ones, god the cringy 1337 name, ugh, moving swiftly on.

    You might even say this was the game that started my love for zombie/survival games. After that I played dozens and dozens of zombie/survival games including over 2k hours in the DayZ and DayZ Standalone. Because I look back fondly on those times I thought I'd just chip in some advice on what I think would make the game as successful as it can be. On the top of the list of course: Keeping true to the original and just to preface, I'm not saying this because of nostalgia, I'm saying this because I think the original, even in it's unrefined ways, has what it takes to stand out in the saturated market of today's zombie/survival games. Of course you're going to have to do a lot of adapting to things like balance, feel and graphics for this new game but I feel like there are 3 main standouts and they definitely overlap each other.

    - Zombie count
    This has to be at the top of the list, I know you mentioned in a post above that you'd look to have less zombies and yes making them just 10-15% less plentiful is fine but anything more than that would completely change the feel of the game in a direction where zombies would feel bulletspongy with lower end weapons or higher end weapons wouldn't feel satisfying enough. Making zombies less plentiful while keeping the same balance would NOT work, as the difficulty would be decreased which is a core element of this game.

    - Difficulty/Game Flow
    Again, as previously mentioned this just needs to be transitioned from top-down to 3rd person and re-adjusted accordingly. Zombie blocking and zombie horde size was definitely one of the reasons people kept playing even keeping in mind the simplistic gameplay. It kept the gameplay tense and made you keep target selection in mind. With that being said you should look very closely at properly integrating this into the new game. Difficulty of loot accquisition and "skipping potential" are 2 things, which you need to pay close attention to as well. You need to only look to games like DayZ to see the effects of "skipping" progression. That being said tips for this are: Make it so it's basically impossible for an under-developed character to loot difficult areas in a NATURAL way. Do NOT implement level gating, it's just bad game design.

    - Performace/Graphics
    If this ratio isn't good the game will not succeed in today's market, especially after going cosmetics only for monetary support. I think the fog is a great idea and is probably the best way to transition from top-down to 3rd person while keeping the same feel outdoors. The baseline for acceptable (not good, acceptable) performance is a constant 60fps minimum under load for the respective graphics configuration (under load: i.e. zombie horde in your area and shooting/explosions) For high end(1080ti and i5/i7 @ 4.5GHz+) you would be looking should be looking at constant minimum of 100fps+ on the highest settings.

    And please for the love of give the animations more love this time around, you really really needed in today's gaming world if you plan on making a repetitive game.

    But yeah, that's it. I look forward to trying out your new game and trust me, if you do it right there is definitely a market for this, it's just untapped because none of the early-access trash is getting it right.

    Good luck, I wish you all the best.
    - Drago

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  47. Would not it be possible to develop a 32-bit set with minor requirements? because in the way that many players will not play what will generate some discomfort DF1 players, the game is getting very good, but if you can get it to run on a dual core and 32bit systems the game would receive much more players than expected, and given to that the profits for both companies developers and resellers would increase by at least 40%.
    ZoorOBr - DF1

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  48. Will a Windows Surface Pro 3 be able to run this game?

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  49. Hey Neil, I understand that your making this for PC but I was wondering if you’ve considered bringing this game to consoles? I’ve always wished I could play a Dead-Frontier-like game on my Xbox but nothing came close to the competitive multiplayer/looting system you gave us in DF1. I literally judge zombie games based on my DF1 experience.. And now, from my understanding, it’s easier than ever to make/release a game on the Xbox One. Just an idea. I’ll be playing DF2 for sure and I’ve been inviting all my friends to try it with me again. Keep up the good work!

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  50. I am so incredibly stoked for this. I started playing the original Dead Frontier back in '08 and played it found a good 6 years, so to see you furthering the franchise is exciting! Good luck Neil!

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  51. Will there be a mini map? :)

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  52. Please inlcude NZ/AUS servers. Ive been playing DF ever since it first came out and I'm a GM.

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  55. I really hope we get our own NZ/AUS servers for DF2 because its a multiplayer game. Ping and latency is a major factor.

    Also if AdminPwn can organise a voting poll on whether or not how many Kiwis and Australians would be interested to play Dead Frontier 2 on Steam to determine the setup of our own servers is justifiable that would be great. Perhaps worth considering??? Or no???

    This game so is beautiful and so much potential to become the best rank 1 zombie MMO.

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  56. I'm Lvl 95 in DF1 should i make it to lvl 100 before DF2 comes out for the skin?
    How to transfer my account to DF2?
    I changed my old email to my new email. Do you accept that for transfer?

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  57. I loved im going to play on My note

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  58. I loved im going to play on My note

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  59. I had trouble launching the game at first, and had to use the alternate launch option, now the second it finishes the first loading sequence it says I cannot connect to servers due either to internet (not the problem) or security is blocking it, if it is the security, I don't know how to get past that. I was a big fan of DF1 and really wanna try this so I would appreciate help, thank you.

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  60. Pena não ter o jogo para x86 se tivesse eu jogava.. Num vou formatar só pra jogar isso.

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