Q: What's the point of this game?
A: We want to play a tank game that hits a satisfying level of realism without imposing free-to-play economy limitations or sacrificing playability and accessibility. The options for that set of goals seem limited, so we're making it happen ourselves. For a more detailed write-up, see dev log #2: Why we fight.
(Note: our vision for GHPC has developed further in the time since that post was written. Keep an eye out for an updated one soon!)
Q: I'm lost. How do I control the tank systems and play the game?
A: There is a complete guide linked in the main menu. You can also find it here on the website.
Q: I want to make a video/article/etc. about GHPC, but I have some questions for the team first. Who do I talk to?
A: You're free to cover any build of GHPC at will, but if you require additional information, email email@example.com or ping @Media Contact on Discord. As a rule of thumb, we allow gameplay footage and commentary on official teasers, videos, etc., but re-uploads of our team's videos are not allowed.
Q: What happened to the old GHPC demo with the desert and M1A1?
A: The public pre-alpha was a proof of concept built by one person. The GHPC team is working on the new "vertical slice" build from the ground up to replace the previous version and eventually grow to a full game. We have decided the new alpha demo is complete enough to replace the old one. Currently, Patreon subscribers can access the most up-to-date form of the vertical slice build while it's unfinished. The public alpha remains available for free while the vertical slice is in development.
Q: The motion blur is really annoying. Can you get rid of it?
Q: I'm having performance/FPS issues. How do I make it run faster?
A: You can disable motion blur in the Esc menu. It's also a great place to tune other video, audio, and input options. Reducing vegetation distance and shadow quality can help weaker systems.
Q: How do I lower mouse sensitivity?
Q: How do I remap controls?
A: Esc menu, click on Options, then Input.
Q: Why can I only drive the M60A3 TTS?
Q: How do I change vehicles in a mission?
A: Press Tab to switch to the next vehicle. There are several available in the proving ground as well as in every mission.
Q: Why do my shots pass straight through some vehicles in the proving ground?
A: Armor and internal components for some vehicles are not yet complete. These vehicles are provided in their unfinished state so you can still have fun testing them on the driving course and gunnery range.
Q: How do I aim, look through sights, etc.? Where's the controls list?
A: Controls are listed on screen. You can press F1 to toggle the list.
Q: How do I use the moving target tracking or other fire control system features?
A: There are gunnery guides listed in this compilation post.
Q: My tank ran out of ammo but I see there's more ammo listed in the HUD. How do I move it to the ready rack?
A: You can start and stop ammo restocking in the quick menu, accessed via the Q key by default. You can also queue different ammo types from the ready rack with the number keys. Tanks usually carry 2 or more ammo types.
Q: Why is it called "Gunner, HEAT, PC!" and why is there an APFSDS dart in the logo if the name says HEAT?
A: "Gunner, HEAT, PC!" is a fire command used by US tank crews when targeting a personnel carrier, or "PC". It was chosen for two reasons. First, it's a play on the letters "PC" since this is a PC game. Second, it's much better for SEO than "gunner, sabot, tank" would have been. There's a dart in the logo because a dart looks way cooler.
Q: Why is some of my audio muted?
A: If you're experiencing audio glitches, try muting and then un-muting audio from the Esc menu. If this does not work, drag the volume slider to a different number. If the issue is still not resolved, try restarting your PC.
Q: How do I get the game?
A: The public build is downloadable from itch.io. The Patreon build is available to linked patron accounts here. In both cases, we recommend installing the game using the itch.io app, which gives you automatic patch updates instead of requiring manual downloads. To install with the itch app, use the app's internal browser to visit the game's download page (making sure you're using the link for the Patreon demo access if you're a patron). Click the large install button in the app's footer.
Q: Is the game free?
A: During this early phase of development, the alpha demo is free to play. Patreon subscribers get access to the "vertical slice" build currently in development. After the release of the "vertical slice" build, ongoing updates will be for supporters and early access customers only. In the end, after all of that, a final full version of the game will cost money to buy.
Q: How much will the full game cost on release? Are you going to do DLC?
A: It's too early to answer these questions meaningfully.
Q: Are you going to add premium vehicles, loot boxes, or other F2P game mechanics?
Q: Can I see / buy the source code?
Q: Do you have an update schedule?
A: In general, we aim for at least one update per month. Often, there are two. However, please note that the game has no fixed update schedule and some updates are Patreon exclusive.
Q: Where can I see a roadmap / todo list / change history?
A: Past release notes and upcoming content teasers are posted on our Discord server. We also have a #roadmap channel there that we update when new milestones become clear.
Q: How long has this been in development?
A: The lead developer started working on it alone in 2017. At the time it was called "Josh's Unnamed Tank Game". During the course of development, it was renamed to Gunner, HEAT, PC! and in late 2019 and early 2020 a few team members were added for the pivot to a vertical slice build.
Q: Are you going to add multiplayer?
A: Yes, though the main focus is currently on making the single player core more polished and efficient. Multiplayer will come later. You can offer feedback on what you'd like to see in GHPC multiplayer, though!
Q: Will there be PvP?
A: Probably, but it will not be the main focus of the game. Game modes are likely to be asymmetrical and co-op focused.
Q: Will there be multicrew?
A: Yes, one of our goals for multiplayer is to allow multiple players to operate the same vehicle together if they wish. In fact, this will likely be among the first multiplayer modes added. Multicrew will not be forced, though.
Q: Will there be interiors?
A: A detailed interior view will not be possible given the team size and funding level we have available. The research and labor costs involved are excessive.
Q: Is the game going to sacrifice single player content in favor of multiplayer?
A: No. The objective is to provide an enjoyable single player content base, such as a story mode and historical skirmishes. Multiplayer will be optional and complimentary to the base game, not dominant.
Q: What vehicles are going to be in the game?
Q: Can you add this specific vehicle?
A: Any armored fighting vehicle that was in active service in the 1980s or later is eligible. The initial focus will be on notable vehicles from the cold war and modern era, starting with the Fulda Gap setting. In general, prototypes are not eligible to be added. The demo will feature units from the US, USSR, and East and West Germany, in the CENTAG area of operations circa 1985.
Q: Are there going to be helicopters / aircraft / infantry?
A: The main focus is on armored fighting vehicles. We intend to add non-playable infantry for use by APCs and IFVs. The will be some other types of units such as Close Air Support, but they will not be player-controllable. It's too early to promise or rule out anything else.
Q: Can I send this to a content creator and ask them to play it?
A: We appreciate and welcome any creators who choose to make a video about the project. For the most accurate information, it's recommended that you send them our way first, so we can answer any questions they have and provide a correct and up-to-date summary of our goals.
Quality and performance
Q: Why are the physics / terrains / UI / etc. the way they are?
A: The game is in early development and many elements in the public build are unpolished or still in need of optimization. You can help by contributing! If you have a high level of skill in character animation, environment art, or other game development areas, contact the team via Discord or firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, consider subscribing on Patreon. Your support helps us fund the game's development.
Q: Why does the game run poorly on my system?
A: The game is not optimized for performance yet. It's recommended to have at least a mid-range gaming system to play it at this time. However, if you notice a specific part of the game is causing performance to suffer, let us know! This information can help improve the experience for everyone. In the meantime, adjusting the graphics options in the options menu (Esc during a mission, or the Options button from the main menu screen) may help.
Q: Is this going to be a simulator or a game?
A: Ideally, it will come to feel as compelling and immersive as a simulator while letting you have fun like a game.
Q: Why does this specific weapon system not perform the way it does in real life?
A: Could be a bug, could be an oversight on our part. If you have information about real life performance that contradicts the results you get in the demo, tell us about it in #testing-feedback on Discord. Most valid and properly sourced corrections will be addressed with adjustments in the game.
Q: Why do I keep getting destroyed in this tank even though it's the best in the world in real life?
A: The game simulates the weapons and armor it depicts as accurately as possible given available public information. No tank is invincible, no matter how big its reputation is. You may need to adjust your strategy to play to its strengths and guard against its flaws.
Q: Do you account for different types of armor?
A: Yes. Despite the core values being based on RHAe estimations for kinetic and chemical attacks, there are modifiers in place for specific types of armor with special properties, as well as ammunition types that are stronger against specific armor types.
Q: Is armor penetration modeled in detail like a Finite Element Analysis physics simulation?
A: No. The game needs to run in real time with multiple shots flying at once, so there are some necessary shortcuts taken. We simulate things like projectile diameter, ricochet, normalization, nutation, overpressure, and spalling, tuning the results as close to real life as possible. You can help by visiting the reference channel on Discord and sharing test reports, videos, and other sources that will allow us to come up with approximate formulas for armor and ammo performance.
Q: Is GHPC a viable platform for testing vehicles and drawing conclusions about their real-life performance?
A: No. Despite our best efforts, we cannot guarantee completely accurate results, especially for systems that are still classified. Nothing you see in this game should be taken as an authoritative indication of a real system's performance.
Q: Will there be additional optics such as commander's independent sight / CITV?
Q: If the game was truly realistic, this thing would happen, but it's not implemented!
A: Let us know in #testing-feedback on Discord and we'll see if it's something that can be added without sacrificing playability or derailing development. Please note that any flaws in currently implemented systems, such as incorrect fire control system behavior, will be corrected over time.
Documentation and sources
Q: Can I send you secret documents to help out?
A: Please refrain from posting anything that's going to get either you or us in trouble. If you're not sure, email us a question about it, or direct message a developer.
Q: I'm a tanker in real life. Can you take my word as fact?
A: If you're an armor crewman, your input is welcome! However, any unbelievable claims are subject to review, and we won't take a sole word-of-mouth source as evidence. Always back up your personal experience with documentation if possible. No one ever lies on the internet, but we want to play it safe.
Q: Do you accept documentation from all nations?
A: Yes, although if there are reasons (e.g. politics, propaganda) to doubt the veracity of a source, we reserve the right to discard it or hedge it against other data.
Q: How do I submit reference material or sources for my realism feedback?
A: If you have information that is well sourced and legal to share, you can submit it to https://forms.gle/NhjzRyNVVfQmpK7RA
Q: Are you going to simulate damage to fuel / optics / etc.?
A: Most systems will be given damage models as development progresses.
Q: Will we be able to use power-ups to repair damage in combat?
A: In general, we're focusing on realistic consequences for component damage. That includes difficult or impossible field repair. There will be other options, such as switching control to another friendly vehicle if your current one is too badly damaged to continue fighting.
Q: Will we be able to lock on to targets?
A: If the vehicle could do that in real life, sure.
Q: Will there be other kinds of missions aside from the search and destroy type in the demo?
A: Yes. Missions will be fleshed out and different scenario types will be added later in development. We're planning some campaign or story type content as well. Stay tuned for more on this.