During the last days and weeks we, the development team behind "Blade of Agony", received a lot of emails, comments and news about the release of the project. While the overwhelming majority found the result and the execution of our work successful, there were also critical voices, among others, which we take just as seriously.
First of all, Blade of Agony is a fictional scenario based on the alternative narratives of the Wolfenstein game series by id software and Bethesda and the corresponding canon. It does not represent accurate history, our political stance or thinking of the development team. We reject any form of racial hatred, discrimination, (Neo-)Nazism, anti-Semitism or glorification of the Second World War.
We have invested a lot of time and work to communicate this message in our game, to deal sensitively with the content and to create a respectful game experience without discriminating against people or groups of people. Despite meticulous care, we have not succeeded perfectly in all points, which is why we have taken the current version of "Blade of Agony" offline until further notice.
We are currently working on a revised version in which we will correct these mistakes and respond to the players' comments and reasonable demands. Until then, we ask for your patience and understanding. Stay psyched!
The final release of Blade of Agony has been unleashed more than a month ago now and the feedback has been amazing so far. We are currently working on the 3.1 version and several hundred issues have already been adressed as well as various new features, that have been added during the development. Now, to stay in contact with you and all the players out there, we decided to create our own Discord channel where we can discuss your ideas, your feedback and well... talk about the game. Join us, we are hyped to see you there!
Some days ago a Blade of Agony player named Evilhalfer stumbled upon one of the super secrets, prudently placed by the developers into one of the maps. We congratulate Evilhalfer for finding the super secret and praise his attentiveness!
The super secret contains a link to a hidden webpage with a form, where you can post your personal experience with Blade of Agony, and also questions to the developer team if you want to. Please do not hesitate to write us there if you manage to find the page: we will be very pleased to hear from someone who played our game this thoroughly. These feedback messages are treated by us with the highest priority.
Good luck in secret hunting!
What a crazy night that was, and an even crazier first day. It's been barely 24 hours since the release of Blade of Agony and it couldn't have been more exciting for us developers.
Last night we sat together in a video meeting, equipped with a couple of bottles of beer, a bottle of wine and some cigarettes, and talked about the last 6 years. 6 years of building wonderful friendships, of working hard side by side on a vision that is now available to a wide audience. And: we couldn't have imagined the response any better.
Ozymandias81, DoomJedi, DoomJuan, MaudDib90, Tormentor667 (fltr)
Just a few hours after the release, the first Twitch livestreams were running, a few moments later we cracked the 2.500 downloads (!) mark on ModDB and reached number 2, and this morning no one less than John Romero himself sent out a tweet about our work.
The feedback so far is insane, and we are very happy about the kind words and messages that have reached us in the last 24 hours. Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and played Blade of Agony so far, and thank you also to all those who have donated a few dollars
We, in turn, will be enjoying the spectacle in the upcoming days, collecting bug reports and continuing to work on the project, as we have a few more surprises in store for you, so: Stay psyched!
After a total development time of 6 years, 1 month and 20 days, we proudly present you the final version of Wolfenstein: Blade of Agony, a standalone fan-game in the spirit of first-person shooters from the late 90's, set in the WWII and powered by the Wolfenstein canon. This is our vision and creative freedom how a official sequel of Wolfenstein 3D might have looked like, inspired by games like RTCW, Call of Duty and Medal of Honor but with a twist.
Blade of Agony is much more than just a pastiche of the classic shooters that inspired it; the project offers a unique experience with many features not often seen in free fangames:
- 30 playable and unique levels in 3 different chapters (plus secret maps)
- Orchestra-quality game music
- Voice acting and ambient soundscapes
- Available in 10 different languages (en, de, es, ru, pt, it, tr, fr, cz, pl)
- A combination of low-poly models and hi-resolution sprite assets to create the perfect retro feeling
- Devastating armaments from the battlefields of WWII
- Interactive NPCs that support the twisted plot's progress and help you understand the game
- Improved enemy AI for more dynamic and challenging fights
- Beautiful special effects (weather, elements, explosions, etc.)
- Modern post-processing shaders (motion & effect blur, noise, flares, etc.)
- Much, much more!
The team was working hard to create an experience that is dedicated to all those oldschool gamers born in the 80's and 90's; not only when it comes to the visuals and gameplay but also for the easter-egg and reference hunt, for the retro feeling the nostalgia and the attention to detail. There is so much to discover for you, and we really hope that you enjoy what has cost us a lot of sweat, nerves and life time. May it be as fun to play for you as it was for us all to create it!
Check our downloads page for the complete standalone package, download it now and get psyched!
A few days ago, the czech gaming magazine Score published a full preview article of Blade of Agony's Chapter 3 release after we've given access to a release candidate version to them. What can I say - it was worth it and the whole team is totally excited by the article, the kind words and the overall score of 92%. It is a great honor to see interest in our project and that even professional gaming journalism takes care of this.
If you aren't speaking czech yourself, don't worry - click on details for a full translation of the article done by MuadDib90, no spoilers included.
One of the most important ingredients of a good game is to make it accessible to a large audience of people. Using English as the base language for Blade of Agony was already a step towards this, but before starting with the development of the third and final chapter of our project, we thought about making it available in other languages as well - common languages for people who aren't native English speakers, or who have problems with enjoying a game written in a different language - other than their mother tongue.
The developers behind the game can be considered a potpourri of nations, from countries all over the world, so why not use this to our advantage? Said and done. The final version of Blade of Agony will be translated into over 10* different languages, including German, Italian, Russian, French, Spanish and many more. Our team and numerous volunteers spent months manually translating every single sentence, every single word into the appropriate target language, giving the opportunity to almost everyone who wants to enjoy the game in their native language. Viel Spaß damit!
*a few languages aren't completely finished yet. If you want to help us, check our Google Spreadsheet and drop us a line!
The war is balancing on a knife's edge. It's not taking much longer for one side to win. Both sides have exhausted their forces, their morale is down to earth, and it's just a question of time when the war ends. While the Allied Forces have been leading their efforts successfully against the Thor's Hammer project and Hitler and his scientists continued to examine the Spear of Destiny, the only thing you are looking for is revenge...
Wolfenstein | Blade of Agony's Chapter 3 (including an completely overhauled Chapter 1+2) will be released in the first quarter of 2021. For now, check our teaser trailer at YouTube or on our media section, we are looking forward to your comments. Stay tuned, get psyched!
Video by Twitter @theswabiangamer, Thanks so much for your effort and dedication!
After almost 6 years of being in development, we reached a special milestone today. With the latest commit on Tuesday, November 10th, 2020, the mod is fully playable, that means: all chapters can be played through from start to finish.
Because any of us in the dev team lives several thousands miles apart from each other (not to mention COVID-19 restrictions), we had to celebrate this with some good old German beers in our chat group, exchanging a few photos and videos to make sure everyone was drunk to celebrate this glorious moment - well it wasn't that glorious anymore after beer number then but... well, we had some fun, now on to the news people are waiting for.
In the middle of the year, we were certain that a release in the fourth quarter of 2020 was realistic. But during our own playtests, a large number of issues came up, and we needed to adress those first. This was also the reason why finishing the maps took us longer than expected. We fixed game-breaking bugs, we improved the storytelling, and we added new content to the first two Chapters - we polished like crazy.
Now that all of the maps are done, we will start to balance, fix, and finish the mod in order to make the best possible experience available for all you players out there. This also means that we need to spend some more time on the mod in order to achieve that. As of now, we are confident that a release in the first few months of 2021 is a reasonable target. Until then, we will make sure to keep you informed and entertained when it comes to Blade of Agony.
I recommend subscribing to our YouTube channel. We will be posting some interesting content on our YouTube channel over the next few weeks for those who are really impatient. Until then, stay safe, and have a good time.
Public inactivity doesn't necessarily mean inactivity behind the curtain. After months of tireless commitment, we can finally announce that the third chapter of Blade of Agony is finished - well, at least the rough outline. Chapter 3: The Final Confrontation, renamed for story-consistency, as well as an homage to the original Wolfenstein 3D, is playable from start to finish now. I admonish people not to cheer and ask for the download link though.
Even though we are making big steps towards the release of our game, there is still a lot of work left to do: Translations, ensuring plot and lore consistency, gameplay testing and implementing further improvements for the best possible experience.
A few days ago we added a custom help and info system directly into the game, that resembles the areas of our page. This will definitely come in handy for all those playing the mod for the very first time but somehow missed the website. On top of that, a new epilogue and cutscene system has been implemented, beautifying the old text displays with a nice frame and some custom art images.
Well, we don't want you to visit this page for paragraphs of boring text, do we? We've added 18 brand new screenshots of chapter 3 to the media section, so before you leave, you might want to check these out - and stay tuned!
People who are familiar with the id software universe already know that Commander Keen, Doom Guy and B.J. Blazkowicz are somehow related to each other. For anyone else not in the know: Billy "Blaze" Blazkowicz aka Commander Keen is William "B.J." Blazkowicz' grandson.
It's obvious that this fact is the perfect hint when it comes to the question: "What kind of secret levels does Blade of Agony offer?". Ever since the Chapter 1 release, there was a game console prototype in Professor Gutenberg's lab, but it did nothing. For the release of Chapter 3, you will finally be able to do something with it. In all 3 episodes, the player can find a single, unique prototype of a game cartridge that can be put into the console, and you will be able to do the impossible: Play a game based on your future grand son's destiny. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?
For the development of these levels, AFADoomer analyzed the reverse-engineered source code of Commander Keen - Goodbye Galaxy, and with the help of the dedicated and skilled community of the Public Commander Keen Forum, we were able to replicate the look and behaviour of all the items, enemies and game mechanics from the Shadowlands, and implement these into our game using ZScript. After making some mapping magic happen, we believe it truly feels like a 3D Commander Keen title. We are proud of what we've achieved by working with the Commander Keen fandom, and we can't wait to hear your feedback on the secret missions. Stay tuned, it's closer than you might think.
After the past three months have been pretty silent when it comes to public news, the team had been working unweary on the final chapter of Blade of Agony. We made huge progress leaps in the mapping department and there is only one map left to be finished in the main part of the third chapter - Airport Berlin Tempelhof (without mentioning our secret operation and the three specials that can be played at the console, but more about that in the future). After that we will concentrate on polishing the storyline and the structures, adding sidequests and making sure everything works without any flaws and is playable from the start to the end.
"And what comes next? A release?" Well, it's not as easy as that. One of our additional goals for the final release is the localization and the voice acting. For the localization we plan to release the game in various different languages (german, italian, russian next to english) to reach a wider audience. On the other side, we want to improve the atmosphere with a special audio addition, therefore we plan to add voice actings to the briefing, the dialogues and the ingame messages. But this all can only be done as soon as most of the game is set in stone to avoid gaps or redundancies. Anyway, we won't be able to do all this on our own.
So if you are used to translating texts in the languages we aim for, or if you are interested and skilled in doing some voice acting for a specific character in the game, drop us a line, get in conctact over the forums and let us know. We are looking forward to any kind of support in this area.
From the beginning, we followed a certain philosophy when it came to map design: "Every mission has to be unique." Taking a look at the first two chapters which have already been released, I can say we managed to keep up with that. From a desert excavation in Tunis, to a snow-covered volcano in Iceland, to the liberation of Paris - no single mission is like another; there is so much to discover, and I can still promise you that there is little or no repetition through all the places you have already visited.
Chapter 3 doubles down
Ideas for the first chapters have been quick at hand. For the third and final chapter, things have been more difficult at first - that's why we can't estimate a release date yet. How can we go above and beyond peoples' expectations for missions like Operation: Astrostein? Don't restrict your imagination. For The Final Confrontation (the new title for Chapter 3, as well as an homage to Wolfenstein 3D), we will push GZDoom to its limits once again, but we're still staying within the limits of what GZDoom can reasonably handle. In the upcoming version of Blade of Agony you can expect the unexpected.
The process of bugfixing and improving our previous chapters of Blade of Agony is something that we have already written about. We want a polished final product with the release of Chapter 3. This also means that we are considering ways to enhance the replay value of our project. Youtube and Twitch have revived the competitive spirit of gaming, and encouraged players to out-perform each other, no matter whether it is by speedrunning, or just maxing out their kills, loot, and secrets. So how can we implement features that support these kind of people?
At the beginning of the development, I decided to get rid of the intermission sequence because it ruined the atmosphere which is so important to this project. Regarding the aspects from the introduction paragraph though, I was considering renewing the concept of showing your stats at the end of the mission, but in a way that is more integrated with the game just as most of the other aspects are - that's our philosophy. The idea of a mission summary in the Allied Headquarters was born, and AFADoomer brought these ideas into a working implementation.
After completing each mission, you will be able to check this blackboard in order to find out: Did I kill everyone? How much loot did I collect? How many secrets did I find, and how long have I been playing this game? It's competition time! Share your results with a screenshot, or just try to do better on your second or third run. Maybe you will even find a hidden bonus if you are good enough...
No, your eyes are indeed working properly.
Wolfenstein: Blade of Agony Chapter 3 will now be releasing exclusively on the Epic Games Store. There will be no release of Wolfenstein: Blade of Agony Chapter 3 on Flathub, Snapcraft, Steam, Itch.io, GOG, ModDB, or even this website, at least until next year.
Tim Sweeney saw what we were doing, and saw how our game could become a major attraction to the Epic Games Store, and offered up a grand total of $2 million to us, in order to convince us to release exclusively on the Epic Games Store, as well as help us migrate from GZDoom to Unreal Engine 4.
This wasn't an easy decision for us to make, but after a lot of careful consideration, we decided we could go through with it. For those disgruntled fans that donated to us in the past, but are displeased with our move to the Epic Store, you can ask us for a refund by clicking here.
Thank you - and click on "Details", it's worth it!
In the process of creating a project with the kind of scope and scale of Blade of Agony, you tend to try out things that haven't been done before. Having a kind of Metal Gear Solid-style introduction to Chapter 2 where William breaks out of a prison was a brave, but dangerous undertaking. Will players like a completely new mechanic in a Doom mod, or will they hate it? The community's response was mixed - some people liked what we did, but others said that we were wrong to make such decisions. To be honest, we didn't find it as enjoyable as we hoped, but we believed that after some fine tuning and improvements, we can make the new gameplay mechanics a lot more enjoyable. And so, we started all over again...
Sneak Mode Improved
AFADoomer spent a very long time improving the stealth mechanics for Operation: Ausbruch (C2M1), and I remember it taking me almost the same time to play the map over and over again after changing things and editing actor placement and structures in order to make the map benefit from the script changes. We can firmly say that the escape is a lot more intuitive now, and many things that felt like they were totally "random" can now be controlled from the player's point of view. We didn't want to make it too easy, so we added a few interesting mechanics like alarm switches that can be activated by guards to draw other guards' attention towards you. Since it is a waste of effort for only one single map, you can expect some more of that gameplay in Chapter 3 - this time the way it is meant to be!
Shaders being added to the GZDoom engine opened a completely new dimension of special effects to mods. We have already introduced the power of Post Processing Shaders with noise, flares or motion blur, but this is only one part that can be controlled by the player. Shaders can also be used to enhance the atmosphere and realism of a project, and this is what we took advantage of.
Imagine a long endless street in the desert, it's daylight and the sun is boiling the ground without mercy. If you look closely, you can not only feel the heat, you can see it on the asphalt, and in the distance on the horizon. You can see the heat in the air. This is one example of an effect we've added to various hot places in the game (e.g. lava rivers, hot engines). Another addition is the distorted player view when you are hit by the shockwave of an explosion. Instead of seeing clearly, you need some time to recover from the shock and see clearly again. These changes also affect the gameplay, but it's a very realistic and interesting addition that makes the environment and the battles more intense.
And with some slight tweaks, these shaders can even be applied to textures, which will give you a totally new experience in the briefing room at the HQ. Finally, we have those scratches and flickering light that every diascope has had in the 1940's.
While mapping is a very organic progress, you sometimes lose the objectivity when it comes to size and length. Instead of knowing when it's time to stop adding more, you simply think "Wow, this is something I could add here as well". This is what happened to a lot of maps in Chapter 2, especially Operation Schlangenkopf (C2M3). While we were watching various gameplay videos on Youtube (specifically ZikShadow and MrIcarus), we simply went overboard, putting more and more stuff into one single map. Players needed almost an hour to complete one map. This is simply too much and absolutely not satisfying.
We needed to check all the maps (from the beginning of Tunis up to the Astrostein missions), and find out what areas are needed to keep the tension and gameflow, and what portions of the map could be removed because they do not add to the overall experience. C2M3 was a very good example. As soon as you collect the yellow key, you enter a huge area of containment and underground labs that just doesn't add anything to the story or the gameflow. It's just there. Removing it was the logical consequence, and that's what we did with a lot of places. Instead, we tried to add something in the spirit of the map, or tossed areas around to make the progress more fluid and organic.
Sometimes, if you play your own maps again after a while, you start to think of different approaches, different solutions, different possibilities that will make your original vision more convincing. The second half of Operation Astrostein is a very good example of how a map can still improve, despite it already being finished (Yes, this is a spoiler; I hope you've played Chapter 2 already). When I first created the map, I had a very clean futuristic design in mind, just like the original Astrostein episodes. After visiting New Berlin again however, I thought that this approach wasn't realistic. I imagined this place to be more dirty, more dangerous, something between Coruscant and Los Angeles from the blockbuster movie Blade Runner. And that's what I turned it into - and it's worth a second visit, I promise.
Believe it or not: I actually watched almost every Wolfenstein Let's Play video on Youtube - at least those in a language I know (sorry for skipping the Polish, Czech and Russian ones), and for me this is the most useful feedback you can get on your own maps. You can see and hear how people react in certain situations, what they think and how they approach your creation. We listen closely to the feedback we get and there are hundreds of changes and improvements that we made in order to improve our players' experiences. So thanks a lot to all of you for sharing that - it got noticed!
How terribly insulting it was for us to hear that most of the people playing the second chapter of Blade of Agony hated our friendly NPCs: Douglas and Ryan (well, the latter still for a reason) were a pain for the players. Instead of helping you, giving you cover, and being a new and interesting gameplay feature, they just - well - sucked. It was about time to change something here.
Improvements for friendly NPC followers
AFADoomer took the community's feedback very seriously, and started re-writing most of the code in order to improve sidekicks like Douglas, Ryan and Ascher, so that they were actually useful companions, rather than annoying obstacles that get in your way instead of covering you. They will now try to avoid being in your line of sight, they will try to move away from you if they are in your way, and most importantly, you can interact with them. Just like in Half-Life 2, you can "use" them once to make them hold their position, and then "use" them again to make them follow you. So if you want a sidekick following you, just leave everything as it is, and if you are more of a "James Bond" special agent who doesn't need or want support, simply leave them behind; it's up to you.