Better and Bigger – Friday, February 1st, 2019


As you may remember, last week’s update focused on our ongoing testing of the improved ability system. At that time, we’d continued to push the boundaries of what our engine could do, reaching 2809 connected ARCs (Autonomous Remote Clients) and players moving around an open battlefield using abilities. Believe it or not, among all the other ongoing work this week, we managed to push that number upwards of 3000! (Actually, even further to 3500 before things began to degrade.)  Pretty amazing, huh?! We’ve been running lots of testing, and the response from our Backers who joined us during these tests has been overwhelmingly positive, as you can imagine!

The team continues to iterate on improving our siege experience, improvements to the ability system and the ability builder, as well as improvements to the characters. The latter two items are further discussed in last month’s newsletter, which went out yesterday. If you missed that, you can find it HERE.

Additionally, if you missed today’s livestream update and Q&A, you can find that HERE.

We are not planning any additional testing over the weekend. Please keep an eye on the tentative testing schedule for next week’s testing!

For the rest of the week’s highlights, let’s take a look at our Top Tenish list:

  1. Ability scalability tests: As mentioned last week, we continue the stress testing of our improved ability system using our ARCs (Autonomous Remote Clients). This week, we pushed past the 2809 ARCs and players in a single battle… to over 3000 ARCs and players in a single battle!
  2. WIP- Improved Ability System: Our gameplay team is busy bringing the improved system to life. Andrew, Christina, Rob, Anthony, and Caleb have all been working on getting the system into a state that will allow us, and you, to create some pretty awesome abilities!
  3. WIP – Rubble: Colin has made some changes to how rubble and buildings are generated. This should improve performance.
  4. WIP – Ability build UI: JB has completed the initial design for the UI for the ability builder based on conversations with design. This has been passed off to James who is going to be working on the full visual concept.
  5. WIP-Battlegroups: AJ has added the ability for players to invite others into a battlegroup by right-clicking the friendly players health bar. This feature should be out for testing soon.
  6. WIP- Art/Tech/Design – Mages: Coming soon to a test near you!
    • Ben and Anthony are busy creating mage abilities. Most of the Flame Warden runes, Mage shapes, and traits are complete.
    • Jon and Dionne have been creating wands and scepters for two of the mage classes. Wave Weaver gauntlets are next!
    • Mike and DB have begun work on the VFX and SFX for the mage abilities. They are creating the starting abilities first (which will be used as placeholders), and then moving to all of the possible spell variations.
    • Scott is wrapping up the shared set of mage animations using the 2.0 character changes.
  7. WIP – Art – Updated Valkyries: Dionne, having just celebrated her birthday, has finished fitting the Viking armors to Jon’s new Valkyrie models. These assets, including the nude meshes, are in Joe’s hands to weight and get into game. Scott and Tyler prepped many of the assets awaiting the final models.
  8. Art – FX: Improved Siege effects: Mike and DB have created the new effects for the sapper bomb. Mike has also improved the scorpion and trebuchet effects.
  9. Art – Realm Specific Trebuchets: Joe has rigged all three Realm-specific trebuchets, which should add some added visual clarity in large battles. These will be available in the current siege scenario for testing soon.
  10. Art – Characters 2.0: Better-looking and more performant characters!
    • Sandra and Scott finished retargeting all the Luchorpán 2.0 animations. At a later date, we’ll consider unique animations for these guys. Scott and Sandra have now moved to cleanup of the rough pass re-targeted animations in preparation for pushing them to master later.
    • We’ve tracked down and resolved numerous technical issues associated with getting the new skeletons, models, equipment, and animations to work correctly. While art cleans up the new work, we’re getting back to supporting improvements in the animation system, as well as integrating the artist-created character LODs.
    • Joe has rigged and skinned the various capes needed for the 2.0 changes. Scott and Tyler have imported and set up all the gendered undergarment items for our existing races. These items support our layered armor system. 

Lots of cool new things in the works to go along with the “humongous” battle testing we’ve been doing. For art this week, we start off with a whole lot of UI concept work from Michelle on health bar anchors. All these ideas in only a matter of days.

Sometimes we have little minor tasks that I ask Michelle to help me out with by coming up with some ideas to spice up a prop. In this case, I asked her for some ideas for the model from which players can gather sapper bombs in the siege scenario.

Jon has continued working ahead on our next races, the giants. Last week he completed the male Viking Frost Giant model update to our 2.0 standards. You can find that HERE. This week he updated the Arthurian Golem, and the TDD Fir Bog.

These Giants won’t go in immediately, but we’re working ahead to get them prepped for after our character 2.0 work on the existing assets.

It’s been a great week here at CSE, with lots of improvement in some of our core tech as well as on several ongoing new and exciting projects. I personally can’t wait to finish off the new character work and start playing with our improved ability system!

Have a great weekend all, and CU next week!