An Entertaining End to a Good Week – Friday October 5th 2018


It’s been a great week here at CSE. We’re making steady progress on a lot of interesting fronts, and there are many cool, large tasks in-progress right now. Now that we’ve gotten into Beta 1, we’ve been able to take a step back and begin working on new features, as well as improvements to existing features or art. Check out this week’s Top Tenish for the highlights of those items!

We don’t have any testing planned this weekend, but on Monday morning we’ll be tackling the next build and getting it ready for further testing. Keep an eye on our tentative testing schedule HERE.

If you missed today’s stream, live from our Kirkland office in Washington, well, you shouldn’t have. Honestly, this was was one of the funniest and also informative streams we’ve had in awhile. Both Andrew and Ash managed to wear almost the same outfit, which of course meant they needed to do the stream together. I think we have a new team member: Ashdrew! Check out the stream HERE.

Let’s move on to this week’s Top Tenish!
Top Tenish:

  1. Coherent: With the core update loop for the HUD in place, along with basic mouse and keyboard input for the UI in, we’re moving to update all the other elements, such as options, keybinding, player/target frames, etc. We’ve had a lot of help from the Mod Squad, which has updated various elements of the new API. Big thanks for the help, particularly to Saddie! There were so many check-ins! Once all the elements are hooked up, we’ll begin internal testing of the new Coherent UI.

  2. WIP – Tech – Ability Builder and System Improvements: With some of the initial planning behind us, Rob and Caleb are moving forward with prototyping. The end goal: shortening the time it takes to create abilities. We’ve also begun work to make charges function more like resources, which are easier to work with.

  3. WIP – Player Stats: Christina has added optimization and networking support. Player stats now use a caching system, which cuts the time we spend calculating stat values by 83%! Soon, these values will be able to travel with you across zones.

  4. WIP – Tech – Building Server: The standalone server will let us offload intensive building operations, such as stability and damage, outside the game server to improve performance. Colin got the proxy and physics servers connected to the building server, and is currently working on making the building server send buildings to them.

  5. MongoDB Upgrade: Keeping track of all the items in an MMO is a very important task, and our database needs to be up to the challenge. Bull, Christina, and Tim completed the database server update. There’s still a bit more work to finish before all systems can use the new API.

  6. WIP – Tech – VFX/SFX on Destroyed Blocks: Wylie is implementing the groundwork for playing FX when blocks are destroyed, including a sub-system for prioritizing and playing building destruction FX. The goal is getting FX to play along the crack lines between the building and the rubble.

  7. WIP – BC7 Texture Compression: We’re adding support for BC7, a different texture compression method that will improve the look of our color, spec, and glow textures. Any improvement, even a small one, is appreciated by the artists!

  8. Art – WIP – Characters 2.0: This is what we call our ongoing project for updating the characters, a long process with many technical requirements. UV, Geo, Proportion, and body parts improvements are being worked on! Once we complete the art and the required supporting tech, these changes will go into the game; we won’t make this update until all that work is complete.

    • UV Sheet Improvement: Updated UV sheet slightly, giving us more room for better texture usage.

    • Textures: Created new nude textures for male and female Humans according to new UV layout.

    • WIP – Proportion Improvements: Proportions were updated after seeing the character animated. Joe completed another round of weighting so we can look at these changes animated.

    • Underwear: We’re moving underwear into the undergarment layer, which will free Art up to do more revealing outfits in the future. Jon has completed new sculpts today.

  9. Art – WIP – Animation 2.0: Updated style and timing support.

    • Documentation: Tyler finished off documenting the timing changes we’ll need to implement, and is finishing a breakdown of how animators should address melee animations. This reduces confusion and mistakes, and preps us for outsourcing later.

    • Flinch Prototyping: Scott completed some prototypes that should save us significant time on flinch animations.

    • Sword/Shield/Spear: Scott is working through the attack animations of different combinations of weapons. These include the updated style changes, as well as support for variable timing. All of this work will later allow us to unlock the use of more weapons.

    • Halberds: Sandra is working through the slash, crush, and pierce animations for this multi-purpose weapon, and will begin work on the updated timing needs next. Joe supported this effort by updating the polearm rig to make animating it easier.

  10. WIP – Art – Environment – Beech Trees: Dionne has nailed the look of these trees, which took a bit of trial and error. Now she’s begun working on textures and variations. Because beech trees can look so very different from one another, we can get a lot out of the work. Dionne has also assisted Jon in the UV updates of the characters.

  11. WIP – Tech/Art – Crafting UI: Michelle, James, and JB have been tackling the look of the updated crafting UI. Check out today’s update for some of their visual ideas. AJ is working ahead, building up some of the UI elements while the design is fleshed out.

Here’s a static image of a few key poses that Scott has been working with on the new animation updates. These use a dynamic style, both in position and in timing, making it easier to visually understand what is happening on the battlefield.

Michelle, James, and JB continue onward with various cool ideas for the crafting UI. Here’s a peek at some of the things that have been tried out this week!

Here’s a shot out of Maya showing Dionne’s new WIP beech tree, along with a couple of reference images. As you can see, two trees of the same type can look really different! Today, I told her that we should make a couple with some low branches so players can get up on them. Imagine an archer perched up on one of those!

Here we have Jon’s update to male and female Human skin materials. Jon actually completed these heads in about three hours! He’s done the full bodies, which I’ll save for next week. I asked him for a shot of one of the hands as well, simply because they look really great, and have some serious attention to detail. I hadn’t thought about the gradient under the fingernails.



Look at that attention to detail! I’m totally bringing in a nail file so Jon can work on my nails. Manicures for everyone!

That’s it for this week’s update. Stay tuned for more testing, more improvements, and more hard work from us at CSE!

Have a great weekend all,