After a developer meeting that took place last Saturday it has been decided that I and Tama will be leading the development team from now on. Our former lead Beerdude will be stepping down. Amongst the many things discussed was the future of Empires. As a result of the meeting a consensus has been reached that can be summarized as follows: After porting our build server, we will work towards finishing the implementation of a new GUI system that will be both more user and performance friendly, and offer a high degree of client side customization. GUI changes will include the removing of redundant tabs, drop down menus and drag-and-drop item selection in favour of a system that gives players access to all the information they need, while also supporting key binds. The research and commander view will be further optimized with the addition of research planning, a fully unwrapped research tree, easier ref placement and the ability to bind keys to squads. In the upcoming weeks we will release mockups and keep the community updated about our progress. Assuming the go-ahead is given Empiresmod will become open source once the new GUI system has been implemented. A single client will be released by the official team though. Though again, we are still looking for explicit approval for this action. We will prioritize polishing the game before moving on to a different engine. What engine we will use has not yet decided, though Unreal Engine 4 was the most favoured candidate. Major tests will be scheduled on Friday 21:00 GMT on a weekly basis. A 24/7 test server will be maintained and the Beta branch will be downloadable for all players. Upcoming events will become visible in the menu. Including PUGs, Scrims and Tests. A WIP new XP system and scout hide mechanic (similar to TF2) will be implemented. Commander markers and the ability to donate wages to the team will also see implementation. Revive will become a default skill. We're also working on bots/drones. The artists (Mappers, textures, modellers and animators) will focus on creating new HD textures, adding additional chassis variants for both teams, polishing some of the rough animations and enhancing existing maps. Certain exploits that have come to our attention will be fixed. Balance (Script) changes and suggestions will be discussed on the forum. So far the changes include faster all around gameplay through more lethal weapons while reducing lag from too many projectiles. Other changes include an optimized research tree, additional light weapons, new chassis, asymmetrical research options and more wages being gained from destroying vehicles rather than killing infantry.* *These changes are still being tested and continue to be up for discussion. We have also had new additions to our team. If you would like to help with Empiresmod or have ideas. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.