Flying Fae Found Floating Far From Fairfax – Friday, March 10th, 2023


Another month and even more new people have joined CSE. I’ll talk about this next week, but we’ve grown way beyond what was last month’s high. And with the folks we have joining us in March, we are almost at where I wanted us to be by summer. One of the rare times we can say that we’re ahead of schedule. I really couldn’t be happier about that if I tried. Every different discipline is being added – and this Top Tenish, as well as last month’s, have started to reflect their additions. By the summer, well, it’s going to be a lot of fun for both us and our Backers.

Top Tenish for February 2023

  1. WIP – We Never Get Tired of Hiring: Our massive hiring push continues as we move toward the Spring. We’ve welcomed more new faces to the studio over the last few weeks, and are continuing to onboard even more staff to CSE over the next month in engineering, art, and technical positions. All of these fine folks will be a huge assist in getting new features out the door faster, and even tackling things that we simply couldn’t get to before. Expect to hear even more hiring updates in the coming weeks and months, as we continue our expansion of the team.
  2. Done – Art/Design – Hamadryad Race: Now landing are the Hamadryads – a new selectable race option for the TDD! These will be in the next CU release, where you will be able to check out the following in-game:
    1. You will be able to create Hamadryads through the launcherUI.
    2. Note: Hamadryads are compatible with all 6 of the current TDD classes.
    3. We’ve made several fixes and improvements to Hamadryad starting traits to get them ready for release.
    4. Like the St’rm, the Hamadryads have their own armor set for now, but in the coming months, we plan to have a set of TDD armor which is compatible with Humans, Luchorpans, and Hamadryads.
  3. Done – Design – Hamadryad Racial Traits: We’ve implemented a set of 13 new racial traits specifically for the Hamadryads! These traits emphasize their mystical fae origins, such as Embrace of Dawn and Embrace of Twilight, which give bonuses for being active in the day and night, respectively.
  4. Done – Art/Design – Hamadryad Racial Trait Icons: Design recently made a whole line of new icons for the Hamadryads’ racial traits – these are now visible for all of the new traits you can select when making a Hamadryad character.
  5. WIP – Design – Valkyrie Racial Traits: While wrapping up the Hamadryad Racial Traits, we’ve already started working on a set of new traits for the upcoming Valkyrie race. Once these traits have been finalized we’ll be working on Racial Trait Icons to go with them – all of these will be included when the Valkyrie race goes live.
  6. WIP – UI – New Racial UI Renders: We’re continuing to make progress on UI renders, with new renders created for the Hamadryad UI icons and posing for all of the current races now complete. Stay tuned in the future for updates to the character selects incorporating a whole line of shiny new renders!
  7. WIP – St’rm updates:
    1. Updated art for the St’rm race in the LauncherUI and Client.
    2. The bug that was preventing us from using the “minimum required” feature on exclusive traits in the LauncherUI has been fixed, players must now choose either Toxic Dragon or Scaled Body when creating a St’rm.
  8. WIP – Extraction Event Updates:
    1. All Dwellers have had an animation update! Now when you activate the extraction event you will find that the Dwellers now crawl up out of the ground to greet you. This also means that when the device is completed or destroyed they will flee back to their subterranean dwelling!
    2. Burrow Dwellers numbers have also been adjusted so that players might have an easier time reaching the third wave of the event.
    3. The first pass of the Kunal Dweller will be breaking out onto the terrain. His abilities are based on the extraction lore we had a month or so ago, so you can expect him to be spitting bile, stomping on the ground, and attempting to stop your Extraction Device. We’re looking forward to seeing concept art for both him and his abilities soon!
  9. WIP – Sound – Extraction Sound Updates: Ken has been hard at work on new SFX for the Extraction Device and the rest of the Extraction event – keep an ear out for new critter noises in the future!
  10. WIP – Crafting and Item Changes:
    1. We’re diving into the crafting system and looking at the core loop piece by piece, starting with purify, then shaping, and so on.
    2. We hope to be showing off these changes in the coming months.
    3. Item stats continue to become more flexible, which is going to be a big help to designers as we set up data for the updated crafting system.
    4. Adding support for items that have been scaled up or down.
  11. WIP – Misc Engineering Updates:
    1. Scripting support has been added to be able to react to changes to a stat’s value.
    2. ECTs can now be defined in the editor in positions/rotations relative to other ECTs.
    3. New overmind features were added including triggers to react to list length changes and actions for deactivating individual scripts.
  12. Done – Bug Fixes:
    1. Fixed a bug in the Golden Plains where TDD character could get stuck in a death loop.
    2. Fixed a bug where the local player could fall through the world.
  13. WIP – Ability Bar API Improvements: As we’ve been working on rebuilding the UI, we found some rough areas where the UI was communicating with the game client – specifically related to the ability bar. So, we’ve made a bunch of improvements around how the client and the UI communicate ability bar information. The short term goal of this is to facilitate the rebuild, with the happy side-effect of fixing several bugs and edge cases. Longer-term, we want to revisit the ability bars entirely and make them more user friendly and more powerful.
  14. WIP – Engineering – NPC Targeting Improvements Phase 3: Mike D. completed the effort to better organize how NPC targets are organized, and is now focusing on bug-fixing and improving how NPCs store information about each other as part of target selection. The result of this effort will be a number of issues fixed involving NPCs prematurely dropping their targets, as well as more maintainable code for future development and improvement.
  15. Done – Engineering – Piercing Projectiles Cap: Rob completed the feature that allows Design to specify the maximum number of targets a projectile can pass through before it is “used up.” With his effort, we can more correctly dictate which entities react to collisions under various circumstances, and more easily reason about how to react to those collisions for gameplay purposes.
  16. Done – Engineering – Animation Debugger: Now that the Gameplay Team has completed its work on the Animation Debugger, it will be much easier for us to debug animation issues going forward. For example, we’ll be able to queue up multiple animations and test/modify the blending and blend timing between them. The Animation Debugger generally makes troubleshooting a much simpler process, and will also help us create more seamless and natural animation transitions in-game. The debugger is in final testing now, and pending a successful review, should roll out to the team in the next week or so.
  17. WIP – Engineering – Camera Debugger: Using the lessons learned from the Animation Debugger (now under review, see above), James is now working on a new, powerful debugging tool – this time for the camera system. The new GUI will allow developers to experiment with different camera angles, distances, and other settings in pursuit of the best presentational experience for the player for each camera mode.

Hamadryads: Up close & personal – and now in-game!

First thing on the list are the new UI renders for the Hamadryads! With the recent updates to their character art, we wanted to update the UI to reflect those changes – expect to see more UI updates as we finish and implement renders for more races.

There’s plenty to love with the graceful new Hamadryads – here’s a quick taste of how they look in-game!

He’s so excited to be here, he could just Shout!

Not a lot to say here other than our progress continues to gain momentum, as new people join the studio every month: February was no exception and neither will be March. I’m actually looking forward to slowing down hiring to give the team, especially the leads, a bit of a respite from interviews, panels, code reviews, conversations, etc. More great stuff is coming next month, no doubt about that.

As always, we thank you for your patience and support.

– Mark