Bows, Boats, and Bows – Friday, October 6, 2017


We’ve got an especially sweet update for you this week! We start out sweet, and we’ll end sweet, too, you’ll see. 😉 We continue the trend of more progress than we expected at the beginning of the week for the third week in a row, with a Top Tenish of 17 items! For anyone new to our Top Tenish, this is our list of the highlights of the week’s hard work from the the CSE team.

Things continue to go well here, with lots of conversation, coast-to-coast communication, regular updates, and overall progress, as we continue our large-scale siege sprint. If you missed today’s livestream with Mark, you can catch that HERE. Without further ado, let’s move into the week’s highlights and art.

Top Tenish:

  1. WIP – Tech – ParLL improvements: George’s long-awaited fix to our client lockups was deployed this week. Client and server use of ParLL are in a really good spot now, while testing continues, on the hunt for edge cases. Tim and Dave have been helping to verify the fix, running hundreds of Bots/ARCs with great success. We’re still tackling a known remaining ParLL issue – a lockup with UI, and as well as a crash in MeshCombiner, both of which are close to completion.
  2. WIP – Tech – Web Tools: JB wrapped up the CSE Web Tools, which will allow us to update the “Message of the Day” and patcher notifications through an internal website, making it far easier for anyone on the team to do so. There’s still some more work to be done client-side, to close the loop.
  3. WIP – Tech – Building Dev UI: Rob got his hands on our Dev UI this week. He made a UI widget for our gameplay team to quickly iterate on temporary UI, and integrated it with buildings. Rob said the new Dev UI made days of work take only hours! This replaces the current building UI, and adds some new features, such as:
    • A button that allows a player to take ownership.
    • Displaying the size and position of the plot.
    • Displaying the block count and limit.
    • Seeing plot info for any plot.
  4. WIP – Tech – Dev UI v2: Now that multiple gameplay programmers are utilizing the Dev UI for quick iteration, we’re now focusing on dev feedback to make it better. AJ is taking over expansion of the Dev UI, making sure that the gameplay team can continue to iterate as quickly as possible.
  5. WIP – Tech – Character Creation: AJ has been working on updating the character creation process. Not only are the new animated backgrounds hooked up, but the individual screens and general flow have gotten some TLC. Some examples include: changing attribute points updates your character stat values, and we’ve added a help button, where we can add relevant info to inform your choices.
  6. WIP – Tech – Progression Updates: Christina added a config option to be able to turn on/off progression tracking of damage or healing over time. Matt played co-pilot, and revamped skill requirements, updating all our existing abilities to have sufficient metadata to power progression and client UI.
  7. Tech – Archery updates: Gabe and Andrew are landing the recent changes for archery projectiles, which make it so the player spawns arrows in hand as if pulled from a quiver, rather than having them suddenly appear in the bow. This work can be used for other types of ammunition, such as a Physician’s flask!
  8. WIP – Art – New Bow Models: Early this week, Jon completed the LOD and import process on these weapons. Ben will add new components and add the bows to player inventory so we can test them in game.
  9. WIP – Art – New Viking longboat model: Dionne created a new Viking longboat model, large enough for players to move about on. For now, we’ll use it as a static prop on the docks.
  10. WIP – Test Siege Abilities: Ben created several fun new siege components for our Scorpions. He’s moving into siege-related abilities for the archer classes, which will further help us test building destruction and VFX performance.
  11. WIP – Art – VFX: Mike spent this week focused on roughing out new VFX to support the test Scorpion components from Ben. We’ll begin iterating through those next week, then hand them off to dB for SFX.
  12. Art – New SFX Weapon Impacts:  Thanks to a change from Christina a while back, dB can now specify the impact sounds by weapon tags, so a wooden weapon can go “clonk” and a metal weapon can go “shink!” Later tech will support armor, so we can hook up the appropriate SFX there as well.
  13. Animations – Shortbows and Longbows: Sandra completed feedback and polish for these animations, which will then be hooked up in-game for further evaluation. She is currently working through a couple of tertiary animations, such as flinch and jump, to support these weapons.
  14. Animations – Greatsword: Scott created an improved greatsword equip and unequip between travel and combat stance, and updated the emote wave and sit to work with the new travel stance idle.
  15. Art – Concept Art: Despite being under the weather earlier this week, Michelle completed a first pass of the Viking and Arthurian backgrounds for character creation. Today she began work to further define the generic clothing to be more Realm-specific.
  16. WIP – Art – Realm Portal Models: As each model has four variations to denote local Realm control, the final organizing, optimization oversight, import, and terrain mod creation have fallen to me, Tyler. The Arthurian model is now finished, and the TDD portal is close. I want to use these in our siege testing map.
  17. WIP – Art – Basic Clothing: Jon began work on generic male clothing for character creation renders and NPCs. Michelle is adding in some extra Realm-specific flair for a stronger two-for-one win.

Lots of work gettin’ done, which feels great! Let’s move on to art.

For art this week, we start off with a continuation of last week’s animation work. Last week, we showed off some of the shortbow work Sandra was doing, with a longbow animation at the end. This week, Sandra has completed the longbow animations, as well as a pass on the skirt and cape animations. She actually did such a great job with the longbow work that it put her previous work on the shortbow to shame. Some additional touches are in order! The below image will link to the current longbow animations from this week.

Scott has been busing working on new, better-looking greatsword animations based off faster static timings. Just as with the above bow animations, those parameters are part of an investigation into how to make the animations look better with our ability system. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the work Scott has been doing. Next week, we’ll provide you with a video render of his greatsword work. If you’d like more insight into the work on the animations, you can catch Scott’s livestream from earlier this week HERE.

Next up, we have the new Viking longboat model from Dionne. We’ve made this model big, to support player movement on the deck.

Below, we have some new WIP concepts from Michelle of generic male clothing for the fashion-conscious TDD out there! We’ll choose from these to dress our in-game NPCs, as well as for our character creation renders.

A big thank-you to the Backers known as Poxer, who sent us this amazing box of candy! Thank you very much. We will use its sugary goodness as fuel!

We leave off this update with an image from Michelle. This is her WIP Viking character creation background image. We’ve show the other versions previously, and you can see the Arthurian version HERE, and the TDD version with character creation interface elements HERE.

Have a great weekend all, and we will CU next week!


P.S. A minor clarification via Mark from his livestream: Mark was asked about whether you could use a combination of free-aiming and our ability system to act as a sniper and headshot people. The answer he gave, which was yes, was technically correct, but this can only be done via our component system; by adding a head targeting component to aim for the head, and using our normal targeting system.