Welcome to the third entry in our series of Developer Logs.
We cannot thank you enough for all your support as we launched Six Days into Early Access to the world just two short months ago. Early Access is the first stop on our road to full release, and so far we've only released about 10% of what we have planned.
Speaking of which, here's a look at two new features coming with our next update—Flares and Sandstorm.
Please remember all assets shown are currently a work-in-progress.
Let’s start with our newest setting for time-of-day—Flares. Players will find themselves in a rhythmic cycle of darkness and light as bundles of flares are launched into the sky and illuminate the area of operations before slowly fizzling away. The illumination length is random, which means the period of time players spend in the darkness cannot be predicted. Just like actual combat, players will never know what to expect.
Available for all four of the cooperative fireteam missions we've released so far, Flares fundamentally changes how players approach each of our combat scenarios. Visibility, or lack thereof, is the variable to keep in mind when playing in this setting. You'll have reduced visibility in the darkness, but this also means you aren’t as easily spotted by enemy AI -- unless you're using your flashlight. When players go “lights-on,” you might as well be broadcasting your position to the entire enemy force. Do you risk giving away your position, or do you risk navigating the AO in the darkness?
It’s important to consider the advantages Flares pose for enemy AI, too. When flares light up the sky, Insurgents conceal themselves to stay hidden. As soon as the lights go out, they’re on the move to establish a better foothold. They’ll also be looking for player muzzle flashes just as often as player flashlights. You’ll be fighting an elusive enemy, and he’s got the home-turf advantage.
We also wanted to let our community know that players will not have access to NVGs or NOCs just yet. We have plans for these, but they are reserved for later in our development.
The combat simulation changes completely when pivoting to Sandstorm. Players will find themselves in a thick, chaotic disarray of sand particles and heavy wind. Sandstorm intensity will vary based on the procedural roll, and it may even roll into the AO halfway through the mission. What’s more, player uniforms accumulate dirt based on wind direction when clearing exteriors.
Reduced visibility also plays a role here, and there is a heavy emphasis on CQB in this setting. Here, engagement distances are shorter and player radios are less effective. Just like players, enemy AI visibility and hearing are both less effective, too. With that being said, Insurgents take full advantage of these conditions, using the density of the sandstorm as more opportunities for cover and repositioning.
Enemy AI are no longer the only threat with a sandstorm on the field. It’s a very different type of player fear and discomfort compared to Flares, and we’re excited to watch as you tackle these new challenges.
As a reminder, this is not an exhaustive list of new features coming with Patch 0.2.0. We’ll take a deeper dive as we bring back our developer diary series—SITREPs—when we get closer to release.