Draugr’in the heat – Friday, July 19th, 2019


This was one of those regular weeks that I think Mark previously referred to as “workman-like.” I can tell you that I walked in Monday morning and suddenly it became Friday afternoon! That’s how busy it’s been here!

We’re covering a lot of ground this week with a mix of bug fixing, new tasks, and continuation of larger tasks, such as the pathfinding work for our NPCs that Lee is working on, or the three battering ram models we’ve been testing. I worked on the Viking version of the battering ram (not yet in game), but eventually had to hand it off to someone else to finish up because, frankly, I just had too much else to get done! Like I said, busy busy. And yes, this definitely goes for the rest of the team, as well, who continue to prove every day they are a smart, hard-working bunch. Hats off to you guys!

If you missed today’s livestream update with Mark, you can find that HERE.

We are not planning on a weekend test, but keep an eye on our tentative testing schedule to keep up-to-date with our testing plans.

For the week’s highlights of work, let’s hit our Top Tenish list!

Top Tenish:

  1. Tech – Jumping: Matt investigated why jumping twice in a row didn’t seem to work consistently, and in response decreased the explicit ‘landingTime’ value that effectively prevented jumping twice in a row. This should please everyone, especially DonnieT.

  2. Tech – Loot: Christina created a method for handling items that are only visible (and useable) for a specific character in the game. We can use this to create items which only a particular player is allowed to pick up.

  3. Tech – Data Storage: Christina upgraded how our static data is stored to make it a lot more flexible. This data includes entries like: items, abilities, etc., which will help keep us more organized going forward.

  4. WIP – Tech – Ability System: Anthony began investigating additional functionality needed in the ability system, specifically mobility-based skills and the ability to throw weapons.

  5. WIP – Tech – Audio: Spidey worked on audio improvement for projectiles. Projectiles now know who their owner is and the type of entity that they hit. This will help us with the audio mixing, so players are not hearing hundreds of projectiles at the same level. Instead, we can adjust the mix to prioritize the ones that are most important, like the arrow coming at you!

  6. Tech – Metrics: Rob added more metrics to the proxy to better analyze how we are packing our packets, so we can figure out how to shove more stuff into them and generally improve the smoothness of the client.

  7. WIP – Tech – Editor: Matt tracked down and fixed a world editor crash that was preventing Ben and Tyler from being able to make edits to the game world. He also fixed several crash issues and a few other annoying bugs that came up while he was looking into the big crash.

  8. WIP – Tech – Server: Wylie continued work on converting server code to compile in GNU in addition to the existing MSVC support. In other words: Linuxification of the servers. This will help reduce server use costs.

  9. WIP – Tech – NavMesh: Lee spent much of this week planning out a roadmap for the remainder of the navigation system, and caught up on a few bugs. In addition, he also made some major improvements to the quality of the algorithm to detect obstacles for the NavMesh in his spare time.

  10. WIP – Art – Music: dB spent time this week working on new music tracks with new instrument prototyping.

  11. WIP – Battering Ram LODs and Cleanup: We completed two of the three models this week, with a bit of cleanup on each. This work will help overall performance during big battles. We’ll get the Viking battering ram in next week, with all its spiky bits!

  12. WIP – VFX – General Cleanup and Improvement: After Andrew made improvements to color accuracy, Mike began updating and improving the existing VFX throughout the game. He’s also updating some assets that had placeholder art. Mike also wrapped his head around the color controls Andrew put in last week and began fiddling with things. Don’t be surprised if you jump in the game and the color values have changed. Also, none of this is set in stone, and it is expected to change.

  13. Art – Arthurian Heavy Armor: This week, we completed the skirt asset sculpt, including LODs and fitting to both the male and female models.

  14. WIP – Art – Animation – Movement Prototyping: Scott completed a rough prototype of a different movement set, including the walk, run, and jump animations. Sandra also began work on a variation using Scott’s animation as a starting point.

  15. Art – Draugr Concepting: Michelle worked on several new NPC concepts with further refinement on a couple we really liked. This exploratory work will help define the required assets for various parts of the gameworld, like The Depths.

  16. Art – WIP – Body Types: Jon created six low poly models exploring different body types of the same rig (skeleton). The goal here is to support different body types that all use the same rig, which saves us time on the animation side. This exploratory work can be used for our various NPC needs.

  17. WIP – Art – Armor Weighting Polish: Joe made a lot of weighting polish improvements on the male and female human TDD armor. This cleanup is one of the last things needed to finish up the original work on the 2.0 character art refactor.

  18. Art – General Environment Concept Art: We continued to come up with lots of really cool ideas for the world of CU. We’ve got a few artists excited to realize some of these ideas in game! Check out the update for the art!

For art this week, we start off with a render of the high poly mesh for an Arthurian lower torso piece, that in this case takes up our skirt area. You can see the previously completed pieces in last week’s update HERE.

This will still need textures, which we are holding off on for now until we further define tinting in the engine.

Next, we’ve got some concepts of Draugr that Michelle completed this week. We did a quick pass on some initial ideas and followed up with further development on two of them.

This second one was a favorite in the office, mainly because of his “skin flap” head piece! Mark really liked the glowing flame in the chest of one of the guys above, so we incorporated it into this guy. Some fun design ideas were thrown around of how we could use this. Can you think of any cool ideas? Let us know in the forums!

Next up, we have various ideas for the environment of CU.

Like I said last week, there’s plenty of cool ideas in here. Sometimes, when the artists (myself included) see these images, they start calling dibs on things they want to make!

That completes this week for us at CSE. Again, many thanks to the team for all the hard work and perseverance, and many thanks as well to our wonderful Backers!

We’ll CU next week!

– Tyler