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Fresh Screenshots & Novella #2 Delivered!


Hey y'all, Mitch here!

On behalf of the whole team, thank you for the overwhelming show of support and positive energy we received after our last update. We deeply appreciate it. When you’re flying full-throttle down the Death Star trench with turbo-lasers blazing past your cockpit and the exhaust port coming up fast, it’s nice to know that “The Backers are with you.” 

No update on our Backer Beta timing yet - we’re stepping back to make sure our plan is solid, our team is working at a healthy pace, and we have the right level of internal testing before releasing it into the wilds of Backerdom. As many of you have speculated, it’s unlikely we’ll announce a new date until we’re very confident we will hit it. 

In the interim, we thought we'd show some new screenshots of the game in action to help tide everyone over. These are unedited shots - though we did turn off the interface and use a debug camera in-game to get the pretty we wanted. You can click on the images to get a hi-res version for each. Hope you enjoy!










2nd Novella, APPARENT CATASTROPHE, Now Available for MechWarrior Level Backers

We’re happy to announce that the second in a series of four linked digital novellas by Mike Stackpole is now available for Backers at the $50 MechWarrior level and above! Again, if you’re a current Backer and you want to upgrade to the MechWarrior tier to get your copy, email us.  

You’ll find a file including the pdf, mobi, and epub versions to download when you hit “Get My Digital Rewards” in your BackerKit account. It takes a little time for the files to populate to everyone's account so please check back in a couple hours if you don't see the files right away.


That’s it for now. Remember that there’s a great community waiting for you on the BATTLETECH forums and the dev team often stops by to say hi and answer questions.   

Take care!  


Jordan B. Anderson, Chadwick, and 222 more people like this update.


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    1. Arthur Marquis on

      I appreciate it takes time away from the development, but I am ready for a hard date on the beta being available.

    2. RC on

      During a long discussion on the forum, HBS's Tools Designer, "Eck" mentioned he hadn't had a chance to play the internal development PvP skirmish game yet. Then, he completed his current workload, had the opportunity to play, and kicked ass! Check out what he had to say, and some of the internal HBS PvP rankings here:

    3. RC on

      @Nick Gray - Upates aren't monthly. They're *roughly* every 4 to 6 weeks. With the live HBS Dev Q&A coming up on May 10th, and us entering the 6th week since last Update, if they keep to schedule, we should see a new Update within the next week or so. ^_^

    4. Missing avatar

      Nick Gray on

      Where's the monthly update??

    5. RC on

      @Frank No info yet HBS posts Updates roughly every 4 to 6 weeks, not exactly every month. ANd when they have info to give us. They also provide a lot of information through their forums which they keep telling us to go to (because they're rightfully not happy with Kickstarter's comments system for so many reasons).

      There's an "Ask the Devs" section there to scroll through for hundreds of answers ^_^

    6. Frank Wuerbach on

      Any news about the Beta?
      It is almost one month again since this update ...

    7. Missing avatar

      Russell Selkirk on

      @Dunc Wilson - Just remember the penalties to jumping into rough terrain for your piloting rolls. ;)

    8. Missing avatar

      Russell Selkirk on

      I still remember the "people who ripped off Japanese anime movies" (who shall not be named) somehow won in actual court, the right to solely use those now missed 'mech designs, even though they themselves stole 3 entire movies and turned them into an Americanized television show.

      I remember it with pain and sadness, because I genuinely enjoyed both the show (and RPG based on it) and Battletech immensely in my youth. It was like watching a bad divorce where the obvious criminal got sole custody of your child somehow. :/

    9. Missing avatar

      Dunc Wilson on

      Looks good, I hope we can actually use jump jets to perch in silly places as pictured.

      I don't understand why 'Apparent Catastrophe' made it as a title, it's a catastrophe, oh wait we only thought it was one.

    10. Maxwell LaChance on

      What's the timeline like at this point? When can we expect this project to actually be finished?

    11. rodabon on

      @Chistopher, I appreciated your insights and that helps. I came to the realization that some of my difficulty might be due to different loadouts on the mechs. The MWO version of the Quickdraw is very different from the classic one but I can appreciate the more 'western' silhouette and stance the re-envisioned version has. I can live with it.

      @Khell, I was busting a gut at your humorous anguish over trying to identify some of these models. I echo some of your sentiments over the loss of the older classic models that I was more familiar with. It will take some getting used to.

    12. Khell

      @Christopher, on the MechCommander mechs we might have to agree to disagree. MC1 was very faithful to the sourcebooks on the mech designs. It was the loadouts and how MC mechs were customized that wasn't at all Battletech, but the models were bang on, and impressive for the time. Can't speak for MC2...played it, but all my memories are from MC1 for some reason.

      #1 - good eye on the CenturiNot. Could be an Atlas being lit up. The far right one might be a QD, but it just doesn't seem right.
      #2, Trebby could fit the bill. The right torso fits the profile of the LRM rack. But that head, why is that a Trebby? Darth Vader is crying NOOOO in shame.

      #3, Good eye again. A Shadow Hawk makes more sense than a Hunchback with a wonky barrel on the AC20. I've actually gotten so used to the Project Phoenix Reseen, I forgot how retro-Hawk looked (though the AC is very boxy compared to the shoulder-howitzer original).

      #4, Please, PLEASE be wrong about that one. If that's a Battlemaster, then I'm Jake Gyllenhaal, and I don't want to leave the International Space Station even if there is a murderous martian on the loose. Thanatos, easily. A Marshal might be a stretch, but less of one than a B.Master. Add some fins, gunfist the left arm and double the rack size and it's far more of a Naginata.

      #5, On behalf of Warhammers everywhere, oh thank Kerensky.
      #6, Kintaro-san? You mean they managed to make Kintaro-san not look like somebody put Asimo in a poofy-shouldered dress? Kudos.

      #8 - Again, where is Battlemaster's hand cannon, or shoulder pod? Not happy about that one.
      #9 - Think your guesses are pretty much bang on.

      I know I said they can take the time they need...but I really REALLY would like to be playing this tonight. Sad panda.

    13. Missing avatar

      Trevor Capp on

      The environments we'll be fighting in are stunning

    14. Missing avatar

      Andreas Trageser on

      Looks gorgeous to me. I am so glad that we have finally a round based game again without all the constant hectic. Allows nice 'chess-like' games with long breaks if necessary and doing other stuff on the side. Just two questions:
      - Can the game be saved between any round?
      - Will there be at some point mod support where people can create own maps? I really hope that game will get a workshop as that's what made MechCommander such a blast.

      Keep up the good work and take your time with the release.

    15. Missing avatar

      Christopher Werling on

      @Khell: I think the MWO designs is the only thing that somehat redeems that game... sure they're not like the originals, but let's face it, those aren't up to snuff these days (YMMV however :) ) and they're a hell of a lot better than what the mechcommander series did (this i consider objective fact :P)
      IDing the pics top down (several hundred MWO hours on this hunched back):
      1: Griffin firing at Atlas (unsure) in the river left to right: Centurion, unknown, Quickdraw
      2: Trebuchet and Centurion
      3: Shadowhawk firing at unknown, Atlas in backdrop
      4: Battlemaster
      5: Orion
      6: Atlas, Trebuchet to the left, Kintaro coming down the hill
      7: Orion vs Jenner
      8: Battlemaster on fire, Centurion in river
      9: the hard one, left to right: unknown (trebuchet?), Atlas, unknown (Hunchback? behind the hill), Orion, Jenner, Shadowhawk, unknown (guess battlemaster because of shoulderpads, but unsure)
      Hope that helped a bit.

    16. William Janak on

      Those lighting effects with the dusk and almost night pictures are great. Really looking forward to this and I will not lost my Backer key for this! I will never admit to exactly how many games where backed and download email deleted.

    17. RC on


      If you've backed multiple projects that on backerkit, make sure you're in the Battletech Backerkit.

      Did you click the "Get Your Digital Downloads" button? That takes you to the Digital rewards page with the downloads.

      The novellas are rewards available for the MechWarrior ($50) tier and greater. Check to see if you qualify. If not, and you want to, email HBS and they'll work out the difference with you.

      Did you back the project with more than one account? Check to make sure you're logged into the account that qualifies for the novellas.

      If none of this helps, contact HBS directly on their web page Good luck! ^_^

    18. Khell

      Oh thank the gods of Coolant and HarJel, that isn't a Warhammer (probably). Poling through MWO, it looks to be an Orion, just with non-standard arms. And a fair number of the models look a lot more authentic - it seems the ones from these screenshots are actually the worst offenders for not looking as they should. Fin McStinger is a Centurion (Kind of wish it was the stinger, it's even less-so a Centy). Wham is Orion. And Tom Hardy might actually be an Atlas.

      Oh I hope the Mauler made it in, or will be made available down the road. Very close to original design, still a beauty, and it always was a favorite of mine after the Whammy. Oh, and the of my most effective (and most hated by others) designs was a custom QD.

    19. Missing avatar

      michaelAmiller on

      I went to my backerkit and no novella?

    20. Khell

      As someone not at all rusty at my Battletechedness (it's a real word, I swearify), I have a hard time ID'ing mechs in those screenshots - so it's not just you, it's MWO's imperfect interpretations. It's the one sad spot of this project, using MWO's models instead of something more core-game authentic has made the models very samey, very boxy generic. But I'm sure the gameplay will more than make up for it...

      Near as I can tell;
      Screenshot 1 - Griffin on the hill, can't be sure of any of the rest.
      Screenshot 2 - Unless someone horribly botched the Centurion, I'd say it's a Stinger charging forward. An 80T, hit-the-gym-daily oversized Stinger. Back-facing guess.

      #3 - Deffos an Atlas near center-right. The one shooting, maybe a Hunchback, but the shoulder cannon would be on the wrong side. Thunderbolt has a history of the shoulder pod flipping sides book to book, but it doesn't look right for that either. Center screen there's something poking over the mountain, can't make out any distinct identifier. The one being shot, I can only assume was Tamatoa, because nothing else on this world is that shiny.

      Screen 4, well that's clearly something from Armored Core, right? No, it's a Mech? It has me quite stumped, because the cockpit could be Battlemaster or Wolverine, the shoulders are very Battlemaster, and yet it lacks all the defining weapons of either. No hand cannons, no shoulder pods. An Archer is possible, and sad to say most probable with those torso launchers, but if that's an Archer, I'm Ryan Gosling, bow down in worship of my golden scorpion white leather jacket. Everything is just wrong on it, the launchers are horizontal instead of vertical, and take up too little of the chest. The cockpit is too small, and the legs dwarf the torso in size when the Archer has in every iteration been a beefcake top-heavy model. Deffos not a Commando.

      #5 I am going to assume the worst, and say it's the Warhammer. That would be a literal knife through my heart, because if that's a Warhammer, I'm Ryan Gosling, please don't break my arm Russel Crowe. I won't point out the myriad of ways that's not a Warhammer, for the blood gushes too freely from the knife wound.

      6 has a couple tough calls on it. The back-facing one could be and most likely is an Atlas, the visible weapons suggest it possible. Loadout-wise, the leftmost looks to be a Trebby, but that ain't no Trebuchet without the 'Vader helmet. Nothing else fits the bill unless we open this up to 3055+ models. The dude on the mountain, too far to make out anything clearly. The torso makes me think Dragon, but not with that head. The head makes me think Atlas, but not with that torso. I'd put my bet that neither are right, and it is in fact, Tom Hardy as Bane. And now you are reading this in his voice.

      #7, that's my NotHammer again. Please say it's an Orion and spare me another blade to the left ventricle. That arm, it could be, right? Caught bathing nude in the river, 20% chance that's a Cicada. But more likely a Jenner, albeit one that has too much junk in the trunk. Maybe it's just the angle, but that's one big honkin booty on Jenny.

      Screenshot 8 is much easier. Color of the flames, that is definitely a Pah Wraith, and someone should be contacting the Bajorans to warn them. Seriously, though, not a clue. Too much obscured by the flame, maybe Battlemaster because of the ribbed upper arms, but no silhouette of the SRM-6. The cholo in the lake could be a Wolfhound if not for what looks like a clawed left hand, and that ain't no Wolf Trap, or I'm Ryan Gosling, and I'm off to hunt Replicants with Harrison Ford later this year. The fin shoulder has me thrown for a loop there. The possibly-Stinger had that, so Stinger maybe? Pretty beefcake if that IS a stinger.

      Screenshot 9. Yeah right, can't tell a single one for certain. Possibly an Atlas, Jenner and Whammy, and if we ever figured out what shooting dude from Screenshot 3 was, that's him on the right mesa.

      All of that was said out of humor and love for Battletech (this project and the original namesake). I would prefer the mechs to be more TRO-authentic and would 100% buy a reskin pack that put the proper models in down the road, but MWO's models will suffice and I'm still just stoked to have a new proper Battletech game on the near horizon. With time, I will adjust to the less-stylized looks of these mechs...except for the Warhammer, I will never call that thing a Warhammer. Long-armed Jumbo Hankyu, maybe.

      Can't wait to pew pew dakka boom woosh a lance of these against my friends. And if anyone thinks they have better guesstimates on what's what, do speak up. Quite curious as to the true identities (except the Warhammer, don't shatter my poor heart there).

    21. Missing avatar

      VeiledMalice on

      Holy crap, those models. Even up close, they look amazing. I suppose that fits, given they're from MWO, but wow. And yeah, everything looks great. Super looking forwards to that beta, but only when it's ready!

    22. ☜☆RSF☆☞ on

      Wow! Just wow! At the last update I said to be patient and take your time, get it right… and that's exactly what you're all doing... but man, the feels, you hit me right in the feels. I'm struggling to be patient! Waiting another month or so for an update feels like a Centurion. But Atlas we'll have a fantastic BattleTech game & thankfully we don't even have to go all Mad Cat or Rifleman about looking for one. It's right here - this team delivers and has Catapulted to new heights.
      This is evidenced by those screenshots; yep nothing Spartan or Locust here and no Hatchetman job either. Unlike an Urban myth, BattleTech will rise again. It might not quite be the Phoenix but there is no Shadow of a doubt that the devs are putting in a Valiant effort and should feel Vindicated.
      The only Stinger here is we all have to wait longer. I might just have to keep myself amused playing Blackjack, Warhammer or watching Commando reruns. Might even watch ant-man again as I heard Wasp makes an appearance. If I have to amuse myself watching movies, I might as well watch Wolverine or even Mauraders. What has been seen cannot be Unseen. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to JumpShip now and can't wait to see who the true Battlemaster will be.
      In other words... Keep up the Awesome work! ;-)
      P.S. I can't stop Raven to Jenner about how great this game looks!

    23. Mihael Dreo on

      You give us goodies and keep us updated, why shouldn't we put our trust in you. Keep up the good work and share it when you're comfortable with it.

    24. Dean Browell

      I just want to say, in case those of us watching this game develop don't see the forest from the (ahem) trees: this game is GORGEOUS. Like, seriously beautiful. I was thinking as I expanded the screenshots that if you had shown me this even a few years back I would have been skeptical it would ever be playable.

      Fantastic job everyone!

    25. Missing avatar

      Mark Brereton on

      "our team is working at a healthy pace"

      Speaking as someone who works in software engineering I'm very happy to hear this. I can stew in impatience for a little while if it saves people burning out.

    26. Nine

      Me gusta :)
      Nice Pictures

    27. Salvatore on

      What's wrong with this BackerKit? I can't download anything. Connection simply breaks in the middle of downloading.

    28. Josep Gaspar on

      Keep it up and take your time! Looks terrific !

    29. Kevin Delval on

      Still looking great; keep us posted!

    30. Missing avatar

      Nicolas Bastien on

      I haven't been on the forums more than once so I apologize if this is something that was discussed or asked there but in the third screen shot, there's a grid. I was assuming the game would use a "hex" based system.

      I know you're not doing a 100% adaptation of the table game but is there a reason why you went from a hex based system to a grid one?

    31. rodabon on

      Looking at these screenshots I'm curious what scales the devs are using for the mech heights? It would be cool if they published a list of their mech heights in the game. Generally I'm thinking they look more vintage height and not the more bloated heights Mechwarrior published later on.

      For example early on an Atlas was around 12 meters, but later on in the Mechwarrior days it was around 16 meters if I'm remembering correctly.

      I'm having trouble identifying some of the mechs in these shots too. I am a bit rusty though after 20+ years without consuming anything Battletech/Mechwarrior related.

    32. BeCause on

      Wa, wait, what!? Star Wars analogy? C'mon man, should have done like a TAG or Narc reference with us backers supporting with LRMs or close range fire support.

    33. Bad_Syntax

      Looking great.

      Crossing my fingers somehow we get the ability to specify units on each side, a map, and so forth that will let us launch games from the command line. Would be a great campaign tool!

    34. Robert Colt on

      Love the progress notes. Is that a Primitive Wasp on the cover of the new Novella?

    35. S. D. Tortorice on

      Great screenshots! I hope we'll be able to turn off the UI and get near ground-level screenshots, too!

    36. Bernie Monsanto on

      Ohh, the shines are pretty. :) (If Mitch can make a Star Wars reference in a Battletech game I will make a Firefly reference.) lol

    37. Eck on

      So freaking pretty. It's crazy how awesome it looked just a month ago, and how much MORE awesome it looks now.

    38. [E] Caladus on

      Keep up the great work! Going to tuck into the novella meow.

    39. Benjamin Hunt on

      Holy mother, those screen shots are gorgeous! Keep plugging away, Mitch. I know the end result will be worth it (at least we always have Death From Above to keep us company!)

    40. RC on

      SUH-WHEEET! I love the close-ups as much as how the distance perspective works. Can't wait to play! ^_^

      (Checks Backerkit for 2nd novella...)

    41. Jacob Albers on

      Thanks for the update Mitch! We're with you guys! Based on the beautiful mech porn in this update it looks like things are headed in a consistently beautiful direction. Now to hit refresh on my backerkit in anticipation of the latest novella. Stackpole, you magnificent bastard, you've done it again!

    42. Devin C. on

      Thanks for the update and the screen shots! And thank for not working the team into the ground.

    43. alcaray on

      Question: Are there any visual clues that an opponent is getting into heat trouble (other than the obvious flames, when actually on fire)?

    44. Missing avatar

      Angel Rua Amo on

      Nice shots! Thanks you very much for the update. Since I'm a great fan of your previous work, I don't mind to wait a little more. I'm very confident that Battletech will be a great game.

    45. Eric Loken on

      Looking good. I thought the 'Mechs stood out too much in that first screen shot, they seemed to be too bright and not looking like they were part of the scene, and yet they look fine in all the other screen caps. Odd.

      I particularly like the second shot, the two 'Mechs look appropriately lit, the shadow on the one leg while the rest is in the sun, the smoke, the battle damage on the closer 'Mech. They also look like repeatedly patched together machines that have been weathered, not like a shiny machine straight out of the paint shop in the factory - it's all dead sexy! ;)

      Like I said, looking good. I had thought the Spring 2017 beta goal had been too ambitious, so that you are probably only going to miss it by a few months is not a big deal to me. I much prefer it being solid on release (after beta of course), than the usual Release and Patch (maybe) tactic that many big houses (cough)EA(cough) are so fond of. So, keep at it. You're clearly getting there.

    46. Frank Wuerbach on

      Well, one thing I have to say. Although sad that there are no news about the upcoming beta, I am so happy, that you are not rushing into this but really take your time to make sure it will be a great experience.
      I rather wait a while longer and will bite my nails than be frustrated about a beta I can not enjoy. Way to go folks, I am in a YT-1300 above the trench to blast them solar panel salesmen in their solar panel space crafts.

    47. Missing avatar

      Alan the Alpal on

      That is SO freaking weird! I LITERALLY had Star Wars A New Hope playing while I'm working and it was on the Death Star battle when this email came in!! =O

      Every time I see more of this game, the more I want to play it. And I'm SO glad HBS is being open and cautious.

    48. Chadwick on

      Again, thank you for your transparency. I applaud you not releasing the game until we have a solid product that we are going to he happy to play. The markets are unjustly fickle to games.