September 21, 2017

Holdfast: Nations At War released! Development roadmap

Main Image

Holdfast: Nations At War has been released on Early Access! Have a look at what's to come. The development roadmap details a list of new features and improvements upon existing ones that you’ll be seeing get into the game.


Early Access will be used for its intended purpose; allowing the community to become directly involved in the development of the game and helping to fund further development.



Holdfast: Nations At War - Steam Early Access Alpha

Holdfast: Nations At War is still under active development (and will be for some time).


This Alpha state means that some features and content are not in their final form. Improvements are ongoing for the core mechanics of the game such as the melee and naval combat along with player count optimisations. On top of this base we also planning on the inclusion of new features such as cavalry, new factions and maps.


These features have been the most-requested additions to the game in our draw-down period. We hope that this shows that we are listening to you and mapping development accordingly!



Holdfast NaW - Vive L'Empereur!




Flexible development. Being transparent

We believe that being open and transparent with our community is far more important than the potential hype over a hidden surprise. We will need your help to refine the feature list as we progress. To that end, we are also very open to iterating or including new features within the roadmap for the game if there is a demand for that from our community.


Both the communities’ and our priorities will change as development progresses. We haven’t dated our roadmap so that we can ensure that Holdfast: NaW’s development can be adjusted flexibly based on feedback.


Game content. Constant updates

Simply put, we understand our responsibility towards our Early Access supporters in bringing our game out of the early access phase and into a full release. In order to achieve this in a timely fashion, we will be pushing out regular updates and improvements to the game based on our development roadmap. We will also be releasing changelogs with each and every game update to provide you with greater visibility of our progress and plans.


Community driven. Ongoing dedication

We are completely dedicated to make Holdfast: NaW the next big “thing”. Thanks to your feedback, support and a lot of hard work; we’re building our dream game from the ground up.


Due to the growth of the community, we are now in need of a method to easily gather opinions from a wider audience. We will start submitting polls so that our players can vote on the prioritisation of new features that make it into the game for instance.  Visit the below board on our forums to get involved.

Go to the Polling Booth - Have your say on the game.


You have our word that Holdfast: Nations At War is and will always be community driven!


Feedback and Interaction. Answering your questions

Feedback is greatly welcome! Don’t shy away from voicing your opinions on all aspects of the game. We believe that listening to our players is crucial for the success of Holdfast: Nations At War.


We will also frequent discord and our forums for more direct communication.


Anvil Game Studios. Meet the core development team

Holdfast: Nations At War at war is being built from the ground up by a core development team of 3! Andrew “Refleax” Farrugia, the Producer is to the left, Andreas “Dreas” Grech the one and only Programmer working on the game sits to the right and Julian “Rycon” Farrugia the lead 3D Artist, is standing in the middle.


We’re a small indie team putting long hours into something that we all love to do. We are giving it our all to make Holdfast: Nations At War truly great.



Anvil Game Studios - Core Development Team [Malta]




The development roadmap for Holdfast: Nations At War will is tailored based on community feedback. Improvements on core mechanics of the game such as the melee combat, along with game balance and bug fixes are given the highest priority in our plan.


Melee Combat (High Priority)

Strong and enjoyable Melee combat is important for sustaining a healthy and competitive player base. This is why we’ve placed improvements and additional functionality for this core mechanic at the very top of our priority list. Work on improvements for melee combat is ongoing


If you can spare a moment of your time to provide us with additional ideas, suggestions or feedback on melee combat, we’d be very grateful. Post in the below thread to join in the discussion. Good melee mechanics are great fun and we really enjoy working on them!

Melee Combat -  Send us your feedback!


We will also continue working closely with members of our competitive community to continually improve upon this core mechanic of the game. All the improvements for melee combat listed here in our roadmap are based directly on their feedback. 


Secondary Attacks - Secondary attacks specific for each and every melee weapon which would cancel another person’s block if hit, are being worked on. You’ll be seeing this in the game shortly after the animator finishes working on the animations.


Hit Reactions - Hit reactions to help players more easily identify if they managed to hit another person with a strike.


Hit Reaction Animations (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Hit Reaction Animations



Hitbox Bugfix - Sometimes, issues with hitboxes are occurring when two players with a different latency are combating each other. This is being given the highest of priorities.


Improved Feinting - We are currently working on improving the melee combats’ feinting mechanics. This is also an effort to add more depth to the system.


Animation Improvements - Work on improving animations related to melee combat is ongoing.


Additional Improvements - There are a lot of factors to take into account for melee combat. The smallest of changes could make a big difference to the entire system. We’ll be working on additional improvements and tweaks during Early Access pending on feedback from our community.


Two-Handed Axes - Animations for the two-handed axes are currently being worked on. This weapon will be given to the Sapeur and Carpenter classes.


2-Handed Axes (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - 2H Axes [WIP]



Shooting Mechanics & Firearms

As the game is set during the Napoleonic Wars, the firearms of the time were very different to what you may be accustomed. The reliance on muzzle-loaded smoothbore muskets (and less often rifles) means a longer reload time. The accuracy of these weapons is also limited to a much smaller range. You will often have to rely on your sword or bayonet during combat.


Additional Improvements - We also greatly welcome feedback on shooting mechanics. Feel free to have your say on this on our forums.


New Firearms - You’ll also be seeing a new set of firearms for both the British and French faction in the game during Early Access. They’ll be there to complement both the existing and new classes.


French Firearms (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - French Firearms [WIP]


British Firearms (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - British Firearms [WIP]



Gameplay Balance

We’ll be here to engage in discussion and take action upon any gameplay related issues that may crop up during public, organised as well as competitive play. If you feel that any aspect of the game could be improved upon, you’re more than welcome to post here on our forums.

Holdfast NaW - Suggestions & Feedback


Bug Fixes

We are always on the lookout for bugs which slipped through the cracks of our testing before the game was released on Early Access. If you face any bugs or issues whilst playing, we would be extremely grateful if you can report them to us so we can get them fixed!


You can do this by posting in the below thread:

Holdfast NaW - Report a bug


Player Count

Since we announced the game back in July, Andreas has managed to ramp up the player count to over 125 players on land, per server. Needless to say, we won’t be stopping here! We will be continuously working on this during Early Access. We want to see epic Napoleonic battles rage on just as much as you do.


Research on the way forward to support an even higher number of players per server has already been completed. The battles in Holdfast: Nations At War will become more grand during Early Access.



Holdfast NaW - Sunday Napoleonic Battle Event (Tahir Desert)




Cavalry played a huge role in the Napoleonic era! You’ll be seeing them added to the game during Early Access.


Other systems have been designed in a certain way to make the integration of cavalry as smooth as possible. We would have never promised this feature to our community unless we had already done our research and preparation.



Artillery pieces were the backbone of an army during the Napoleonic era. In Holdfast: Nations At War the selection of artillery pieces is already quite vast. This ranges from a variety of long guns, field guns and mortars. We’re not stopping here, however, have a look at what we have planned for improvements on artillery mechanics, new artillery pieces and shot variety.


Ramming Your Shot - We are looking into ways on how to make the operation of artillery pieces more teamwork oriented and this is one of them.


Shot Bounce - Round shots fired from artillery pieces bounce off the terrain until they lose momentum.


Moveable Artillery - Multiple players can interact with an artillery piece to start moving it around the battlefield.


Additional Improvements - We’re always looking for new ideas to some interesting mechanics we can include in this area. You’re welcome to engage in discussion about additional improvements for artillery mechanics on our forums.


New Artillery Shot Types - We’ll also be working on a variety of different artillery shots such as the infamous canister. Carcass and case rockets can also be fired from rocket emplacements.


New Artillery Pieces - New artillery pieces such as howitzers and rocket artillery will be added into the game. You will be able to fire rockets from boats!



Rocket Artillery (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Rocket Artillery [WIP]



Naval Mechanics & Ships

The fight at sea in Holdfast: Nations At War certainly won’t be ignored. With larger naval vessels being worked on and additional features and functionality, the naval combat will only keep getting better.


We’re a community driven team. Features for naval combat will be worked on depending on the priorities of our community.


Ship Repairs - The carpenter will take on the important task of repairing naval vessels to keep them afloat. Damaged artillery pieces aboard ships can also be repaired.


Resources - Resources aboard a ship will deplete with each and every time a carpenter repairs a damaged object. This will be especially useful to balance out gameplay.


Take A Prize! (Capture) - You can take enemy ships as a prize through a boarding action! Capturing a naval vessel will prevent the enemy faction’s players from spawning on it.


Ramming - Ships receive damage when they collide into one another. You will not be able to bring larger naval vessels to a halt by ramming them with much smaller ships or boats. Damage to your own ship will also be received if you hit sharp edges or rocks.


Running  Aground - Ships can run aground if they sail through waters that are too shallow.


Drowning - Players will drown after a certain amount of time swimming in the water.


Additional Improvements - As with all other features, we welcome all feedback on naval combat. We’re looking forward to some interesting additions the community can come up with.


New Naval Vessels - We are planning on adding larger ships to complement our current selection and the frigate class of ship seems to be a good place to start from. Armed with a larger number of guns, her broadsides will bring a quick end to other naval vessels. Check out our progress on the French frigate ‘La Proserpine’.


Frigate 'La Proserpine' (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Frigate La Proserpine 1 [WIP]


Holdfast NaW - Frigate La Proserpine 2 [WIP]



A cutter based on ‘HMS Aldebaran’ will also be making it into the game. You can have a look yourself at our progress on this ship down below.


HMS Aldebaran (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - HMS Aldebaran [WIP]



We have not forgotten about the rocket boats! Rockets can be fired on both land and on sea.



We will be including new factions in Holdfast: Nations At War - The community will be involved in our decision as to which faction is brought first into the game during Early Access. We’ll be doing this through a poll on our forums.


Variations to uniforms for existing classes within the same faction will also be introduced depending on the priorities of the community.


Class System & Classes

We have already talked about the inclusion of Cavalry above and you can see a render of the new Grenadier class further down below. There are also plans for additional classes to make it into the game other than what we'll be mentioning here. We will be updating this section of our roadmap to keep you updated.


On top of this, we are also going to be working on expanding the features of all the current classes.


Class System Expansion - We will be working towards expanding the features of all of our current classes. You can have a look at our very first developer blog about the Officer class which also goes into detail with an overview of the class system. Do let us know what you think!

Developer Blog 5 - Infantry Officer (Class System Overview)


Cavalry Classes - A selection of diverse cavalry units ranging from hussars to dragoons will be making it into the game.


Sapper (Engineer) Class - Constructs player built defences, reinforces doors and repairs damaged objects! Equipped with a Two-Handed Axe, they are your go to class of choice for breaching the enemies’ defences.


Some of our current thinking in terms of the Sapper (Engineer) class is as follows:

  1. Reinforce Doors - Engineers can reinforce doors to increase their resistance to damage.
  2. Repair - The sapper will also be able to repair destroyed artillery pieces, player built defences and other objects on the map.
  3. Explosive Barrel - Engineers can construct and carry explosive barrels underneath fortifications to create breaches. Explosives can also be used to destroy bridges.
  4. Gabions - Engineers can construct wickerwork defences filled with earth to provide cover.
  5. Shooting Platform -  Engineers can construct platforms to allow players to shoot above cover such as walls.
  6. Chevaux de frise - Engineers can construct chevaux de frise which damage cavalry if they touch them.
  7. Infantry Spikes - Engineers can construct spikes which damage infantry if they touch them.
  8. Chairs - Engineers can construct chairs because chairs are nice.


Bagpiper Class - You’ll be able to gloriously play bagpipes into battle! All the backend work required to get this class into the game is already done. We now need to record a couple of period tunes and everything’s good to go.


Grenadier Class - Grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest of soldiers during the Napoleonic era. They will be making their way into the game during Early Access.



British Grenadiers Uniform (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - British New Class [WIP]


French Grenadiers Uniform (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - French New Class [WIP]




The selection of maps available on land, sea and coast will continuously be expanded upon. A substantial number of maps are already a work in progress and will be introduced into the game during Early Access.


We are also taking what you are saying into account when it comes to the design of our maps. The most obvious example of this is the creation of a place for you and our entire community as a whole to share with us your map ideas! You’re most welcome to join in the discussion by heading here:

Map Concepts - Share with us your Ideas!


Our priorities for maps intended to cater for a specific type of gameplay defined below will depend on the feedback we receive from our community.


Army Line Battle Maps - Continue expanding on our current selection of plains maps specifically designed for competitive and organised play. They will feature different environments ranging from deserts, grasslands, snow-covered plains and more.


Army Public Play Maps - These maps are specifically designed to cater for the Assault, Deathmatch and Battlefield game modes. They can range from ancient desert ruins, villages, towns and dense forests.


 Land Based Map 1 (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Land Based Map 1.1 [WIP]


Holdfast NaW - Land Based Map 1.2 [WIP]


Land Based Map 2 (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Land Based Map 2 [WIP]



Army Siege Maps - Additional maps specifically designed for the Army Siege game mode will be introduced in Holdfast: NaW during Early Access. You can also have a look at our plans for the Sapper (Engineer) class for an insight on how we will continue to expand on the following game mode.


The destruction mechanics that can be seen on coastal fortifications will also be present on land-based siege maps. Here’s a look at some of the siege maps we’re working on right now.



Star Fort (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Star Fort [WIP]


Siege Map (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - Siege Map [WIP]


Naval Maps - Designed with the intent to provide players with a variety of interesting points to sail around.


Coastal Siege Maps -  These maps offer combined gameplay on land and sea! Both factions will clash over a coastal fortification.


Training Maps - Maps specifically designed for crews and regiments to train their men with the use of firearms, melee combat, artillery pieces, formations, sailing naval vessels and more. These will be coupled with shooting targets and areas where promotions can occur.


Map Editor

We will be providing our community with tools to design and create maps. Even though right now our priorities are focused on the core mechanics of the game, we have already put a lot of thought into the technicalities behind a map editor! Steam workshop integration would also greatly complement this feature.


User Interface

The user interface is yet another aspect of the game that we’ll be focusing on during Early Access.


Spawn Menu - Work on redesigning the spawn menu is ongoing.


Here’s a look at our progress in this area. We’re also thinking ahead on how to allow players to select different uniforms (Multiple regiments per faction) for the same class from this interface. Uniforms from the Napoleonic era are a beautiful sight to behold.



Spawn Menu UI - Equip Weapon (Work In Progress)

Holdfast NaW - User Interface Equip Firearm [WIP]


Server Browser - Functionality for the server browser isn’t fully fleshed out and will be finalised during Early Access. You can already sort servers in the browser and join a game directly through a friend on Steam.


Score Board - Change the text for the scoreboard to the more readable variant and display a total number of kills and deaths per faction.


Victory Screen - Bragging rights! Show the scoreboard in the victory screen after the match ends.


Interaction Icons - These icons will help players better visually identify the various interaction points throughout a map or when sailing aboard a naval vessel. An example of a few interactable objects within the game are lanterns, artillery pieces, benches, the captain’s wheel and more.


The interaction icons will only become visible when a player is closeby an interactable object. They can be toggled on and off through gameplay settings.


3D VOIP Speech Indicator - An indicator within the game which shows above a player when they’re communicating through 3D VOIP. These indicators can also be toggled off through gameplay settings.


Improved Wind Indicator - Improvements on this interface to help players better identify the direction they need to sail towards to be in favour with the wind.


Other Features

This is a list of features that will be making it into the game which don’t fit under a specific category.


Climbing - Players will be able to climb rigging, ropes and ladders. Everything will be handled through an animation.



‘Roleplay’ sits quietly in the corner of a game like this, taking form in small ways like spontaneous duels on the battlefield and even bigger ways like entire servers dedicated to the simulation of a garrison. We will continue to support this within Holdfast: Nations At War.


Surrendering - A plea for mercy! If another player accepts your surrender, you will not incur a death in the scoreboard. This will also be coupled with an animation.


Fix Bayonets - Players can attach and detach bayonets. Having a bayonet detached will slightly increase your accuracy with that weapon.


Voice Acted Orders Expansion - Integrate the older sounding voice acted cheers, taunts, shouts and orders into the game to complement our current selection of voices. You can have a listen to them in the blog post below.

Developer Blog 7 - Voice acting. Vive L'Empereur!


Role Playing Game Mode - We’re also very open to engaging with our community in a discussion about a role play specific game mode.



We have plenty of ideas on how to continue improving the game’s atmosphere! Any ideas from our community in this area are also greatly welcome.


Environment Sounds - A selection of environment sounds on land, naval and coastal maps will be making it into the game during Early Access. There will also be improvements upon sounds on naval vessels.


Marching Sounds - Canteen, weapon rattling and breathing sounds will also continue increasing the atmosphere of the game while on the march.


Musket Sounds - Work on designing a new set of musket sounds. We can also provide a selection of different sounds that players can choose from within the game.


Animations - A variety of work on improvements upon animations is also ongoing. We’ll keep you posted about this through our change logs.



Improvements on graphics will also be ongoing during Early Access. This will not come at the cost of performance.


Quality Of Life

These are a variety of changes, improvements and additions which will facilitate the way you go about doing things in the game.


Reload Firearm From Melee Mode - Players will be able to reload their firearms whilst in melee mode. This can also be toggled off through the gameplay settings.


Go To Melee Mode While Crouching - Go directly into melee while crouching by pressing ‘x’. This will also cancel your reload.


Configurable Class Limitations - Server administrators will be able to configure their own specific limitations for classes per map rotation through the server configuration file. This will help facilitate the hosting of events where the entire selection of classes (Line Infantry, Light Infantry, Rifleman, Guards, Etc.) is permitted.


Artillery Cooldown - Right now there’s an invisible cooldown timer which prevents you from interacting with an artillery piece such as the swivel gun or the carronade on the 12-Gun Brig-Sloop after you fired it. This is a temporary measure to prevent players from firing consecutive artillery shots too quickly and will not be relevant anymore when functionality for ramming shots into artillery pieces is brought in the game.


Disable Cannons On Maps - Server administrators can disable artillery pieces from spawning on land-based maps per rotation. This could help facilitate certain organised events.


Multiple Rounds - Server administrators will be able to specify the number of rounds for each and every map rotation through the server configuration file. You’ll be able to play 3 rounds on the same map rotation before it switches to another for instance. The faction which gathers the most victories will win the match.


Server Administration - Continue expanding upon features to facilitate server administration. The temporary banning of individuals, detailed logging and a chat solely reserved for administrators are some of the things we will be working on during Early Access.


Server Admin Message Improvements - Display the name of the server administrator broadcasting the message on screen and improve the design of the message outputted.


Freeflight Camera - Additional improvements upon the freeflight camera to help casters gather better shots during an organised match.


Player Indicator Improvements - Officers, Captains and other classes with a leadership role to be introduced in the future will have a different colour for their player indicator, separating them from the rest of the rank and file. This will help players better distinguish the high command during organised play.


Chat Font Size - Players will be able to adjust the chat’s font size through the gameplay settings.


Toggle UI - The ability to toggle on and off the entirety of the User Interface in the game by pressing a single key. Functionality to selectively toggle certain elements of the User Interface can already be found in the gameplay options.


Ship Colour Schemes - Randomise the colour schemes for each and every ship before they spawn on the map.


Different Crosshairs - Players will be able to choose from a variety of different crosshairs through the game options. The community will also be involved in the creation and design of these crosshairs.


Game Translation

We will be translating the game into multiple languages to make it available to a wider audience.



Thank you very much for supporting Holdfast: Nations At War! We're Looking forward to your feedback. 


Feel free to join in the discussion on our forums here and as always, may good health be yours.





Once again thank you for all of your support from all of us on the Holdfast: NaW team,

- Peter, Andrew, Julian, Andreas, Nico, Cameron & Tassilo

Anvil Game Studios

Join the discussion
Go to forum
Share Post