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RAD Soldiers Update: Canada, Front-end Menus and Release

RAD Soldiers has been in limited release in Canada for two months to thoroughly test its proprietary multiplayer back-end to make sure it’s ready for a worldwide audience. Ever since launching in Canada, the RAD Soldiers-focused corner of the internet has been alight with the following questions: How long does it take to test these things, and when will RAD Soldiers reach the rest of the world?

A shiny new blog update over at WarChest addresses both of the questions and reveals what the RAD Soldiers team has been up to recently. It's a delightful mix of unforeseen issues and brand-new game features - if you're looking forward to RAD Soldiers, give it a read!

Community Question: Powering Class Abilities

Community, all of our games have featured special abilities that are usually tied to the combat role you've selected. Be it the Medic's health packs or the Lieutenant's airstrike marker, these abilities are usually limited in some fashion to prevent them being spammed. For example, we've had energy meters that would slowly replenish. Another popular approach is to have each ability on a separate cooldown timer, so using one ability doesn't preclude you from firing off another. What we'd like to know from you today is if you have a preferred approach for how abilities are powered in our games:

In a multiplayer shooter, how should your character's special / class abilities be powered?

Cast your vote in this week's Community Question poll and do let us know in the comments why you think your preferred approach is the way to go. We look forward to your replies!

Community Question: Spread vs. Recoil

Guns! They're a big part of shooters and, one might argue, the main characters you interact with. But how does one differentiate similar weapons from one another to make every single one a meaningful addition to the arsenal? Beyond obvious things like rate of fire, the two main protagonists we're looking at here are spread (increasing/decreasing the cone of fire based on distance to target) and recoil (kickback exhibited by the weapon while firing it). This brings us to this week's community question:

What's your preferred way of differentiating weapons of the same type in a shooter?

Please cast your vote in this week's Community Question poll and do share any thoughts you have on the issue in the comments. We look forward to your replies! Pew.

Sign-ups Open for First RAD Soldiers Tournament Ever!

RAD Soldiers is currently in limited release in the frozen kingdom of Canada, and to celebrate, TrackBase has organised the first RAD Soldiers tournament ever. Sign-ups for the tournament are now open and will run until 10th August. Proceedings will kick off after with group stage matches followed by a knock-out phase.

If you've been playing RAD Soldiers, sign up now and enter the tournament - it promises to be great turn-based fun and you might even get to play against some of the folks who helped make RAD Soldiers.

New RAD Soldiers Update Adds Push Notifications

Those of you that are part of our Canadian RAD Soldiers stress test can now download a new game update for RAD Soldiers, adding push notifications. If you choose to enable them, you'll now get a notification when Important Things Happen, including:

  • You receive a turn back from your opponent
  • A new multiplayer challenge arrives
  • A challenge you've sent has been accepted
  • One of your matches is going to expire shortly
  • One of your matches has ended

In other words, with notifications enabled, you'll now know the instant one of your games is ready for your tactical brain-thoughts, which should make playing matches faster and more efficient than before.

To update the game, you'll need to be signed into the iTunes account you used to download it in the first place. Once you've done that, just head to the App Store and check out the Updates tab.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve RAD Soldiers? Post them up in the comments or in our feedback forum!

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Laurens 'Xoliul' C.

Jubilations! We've got a brand-new staff interview for you today, shining our very inquisitive spotlight on Laurens, the only certified Belgian in the office. You may remember Laurens as the man behind the awesomely fantastic Brink Nerf Gun from a few months ago - turns out he works on video games, too. As one of our Technical Artists, Laurens is the vital glue between artists and programmers, ensuring there's nothing standing in the way of awesome art for our games. Here's a slice from Laurens's interview:

Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started?

I guess I never really grew up and still prefer to play with and build guns, tanks and little soldiers, things just got a bit more advanced as I got older. I used to build a lot of little models and gradually moved on to doing this in 3D on the computer, being shown basic 3DS Max when I tried Architecture in university helped a lot. I also fiddled with game config files when I was younger, it was fun to tweak numbers and experience the results ingame. I ended up studying “games” in Belgium. I was one of the first people to ever graduate from that course.

To find out more about Laurens's work here at Splash Damage, his tips for breaking into the industry, his Dopefish nightmares, and much more, read the full interview.

New RAD Soldiers Trailer Serves Up a Cocktail of Explosions

We've got a brand-new RAD Soldiers trailer for you, packed with gunfights, explosions, and at least one pigeon. Titled 'A beginners guide to the Combat Cocktail', it cunningly blends backstory, character customisation, and the arenas you'll be fighting in with a generous helping of new footage of RAD Soldiers in action. Check it out via the embed below or head over to WarChest's YouTube channel for the splendid HD version.

Let us know what you think of the new trailer in the comments!

Community Question: Measuring Player Skill

Splash Damage has released several team-based multiplayer shooters over the years, and they've all featured various ways of showing off how skilled a player you are. For starters, experience points (XP) has been front and center on all of our in-game scoreboards, while player rank icons were featured in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory's Campaign mode and persistent ranks first made their debut in Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars. In addition, we've had statistics sites filled with data, allowing players to examine many different aspects of their performance and in-game achievements.

With so much data out there, this week's Community Question is this:

What do you think is the most important stat for player skill?

Please cast your vote in this week's Community Question poll. We'd also like to know why you think your stat of choice is the right one to go for.

We're looking forward to your replies!

WarChest and Splash Damage Raise Over £4,000 for Special Effect

This weekend, a combined force of Splash Damage and WarChest team members took to the British 10K London event to raise money for Special Effect, a charity dedicated to making games accessible to young people with disabilities.

We're absolutely delighted to announce that our runners managed to raise a total of £2,016 - all via generous donations from family, friends, and, of course, you, our fans. Better yet, all donations are being matched by WarChest and Splash Damage, so we've now ended up with a fantastic grand total of £4,032! All of that will go to the good folks at Special Effect, so they can keep doing what they're doing.

We'd like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who donated and, of course, to all of our runners for putting in the effort! You rock, all of you!

Paul Wedgwood to Discuss Metacritic at Develop Panel Tuesday

If you're attending Develop Evolve in Brighton on Tuesday (that's tomorrow!), keep an eye out for Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood, who'll be discussing Metacritic's impact on gaming and gamers at a special panel there. Titled 'Metacritic Killed the Video Game Score', the session also features journalists Simon Parkin, James Binns (Network-N), and Jon Jordan (PocketGamer), and the chairman of UKIE, Andy Payne. Here's a clip from the session description:

Metacritic scores are now cited in publishing contracts – yet ironically the declining punch of any one magazine or website's opinion is weakening the case for creating quality reviews. At the same time, social media and user-review sites are gaining ground. Where does it leave publishers, developers, retailers – and consumers – who will always want to know if a game is any good?

The 45 minute panel is set to kick off at 14:50 tomorrow, 10 July 2012. You'll need to buy a pass to attend, which'll also give you access to all of other other sessions at Evolve. For more information, visit Develop Evolve's website.

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