Getting ever closer!


Another week, another seven days full of progress. It’s late here, so let’s start with the Top Tenish™ list.

Top Tenish

  1. WIP – Tech & Art – Hooking up items to updated system –  Scott and Ben have been working together the majority of this week to not only set up the art assets, but also the game stats for the updated armor system. Armor is now broken up into more slots, and includes our layering functionality. This has not yet merged to the main code branch, as we need to make an update to our placeholder inventory and character UI before we can begin testing these changes. We’re shooting for next weekend to test these updates, but we have lots of other things coming in at the same time, so we’ll see where it lands.
  2. WIP – Tech – Animations: Andrew got the plague this week, so there are several WIP pieces that have had progress made, but are not yet fully implemented in the new animation system. Among those WIP items are:
    1. Weapons having knowledge of their damage type, high, mid, or low swing, as well as client-side skill timing.
    2. Playing the correct animation and also getting in proper skill timing. Don’t be surprised if your character is currently playing what seems like a random set of animations. Because that’s exactly what they are sort of doing right now. 😉
    3. Additionally, jump, flinch, and death animation hookups are in progress.
    4. Toward the end of the week, Andrew has also been working on bugs, to clean up some of the wonderful Cthulhu-like characters you may have seen. As of right now, we weren’t able to fix that for the weekend test, so some characters base layer may include gloves or boots instead of “nude” body parts.
  3. WIP – Tech – Banes and Boons screen: We’ve done a lot of work to support our deep Banes and Boons system, using the updated ability system. This week, we began work on a very basic UI pass in the character creation process to expose this to players for testing. Next up, basic UI functionality with minimal Banes and Boons examples, then more Banes and Boons using more and different parts of the system, and finally more functionality for requirements in the Banes and Boons system.
  4. Tech – Hot reload of gameplay config files: We completed an improvement to how we load config files. We can now open them up, make changes, and see those changes in game without restarting. This will greatly improve iteration time in our workflow, and during testing.
  5. WIP – Tech – Bots Using Abilities: Bots can now use abilities! Bots will now run around targeting other players and choosing from a set of abilities to use. This also allows us to set up bots to help test specific sets of abilities, like making an “Archery Bot.” Marc was also able to greatly improve performance related to the number of bots on a server. We used to run 120 bots on a server, and can now run around 350 on the same server. This reduces our costs for Big Bot Battles, as well as ramp-up time for the tests.
  6. Tech – Useful tool updates: We made some adjustments to the editor this week to make editing much larger islands easier, such as in-editor teleport functionality, pushed out clip plane, and more.
  7. WIP – Tech – Fast entity reader: What this does is quickly and efficiently fully migrate C# entities from one process to another. This is the core of our multi-server tech. We currently have this working for items, recently got it fully working for players (we would lose some data in the moves, previously), and will continue to work on improving it further.
  8. WIP – Tech – Building bug fixes: Rob has been in building and building plot bug fixing land most of this week, to continuing their development and testing.
    1. Players capture plots by standing in the middle of them. If a plot is already taken by a member of a different faction, standing in the middle will contest or seize ownership.
    2. Flags change to show ownership.
    3. The plot UI shows permissions and updates accordingly.
    4. Blocks will show up in a queue when you place them on a plot. If you look at the plot queue, it will show a progress bar and remaining time.
    5. Queued blocks can be canceled and reordered.
    6. Queued blocks will slowly build until completion, and you’ll see ghost blocks while you are in build mode.
  9. Art Biome concept art: Michelle completed concept art for the next biome. The work provides direction not only for Realm variation, but also biome variation. The current focus is a “neutral” variation of the deep dark, wet, decaying forest. From that, we can work the art into all kinds of variations, while getting the core concept in place.
  10. Art – Characters and Items: Scott has segued from Animation asset data entry to body/armor part asset data entry this week. We are updating not only the types of armor slots available, but also the concept of layers for your armor. We’d like to get this all in next week for an armor swap-a-thon test between characters once we get the placeholder UI updated to reflect the changes.
  11. Art PoP: We completed the first pass on materials, and are currently starting on polish and tweaks for them. While we’re not spending time on additional shaders for our crystals, we’re putting some effort in this week to spruce them up and prep to add VFX and lighting.
  12. Art /Tech – Sky: Dave found a last-minute bug this afternoon that ultimately was causing the sky bowl color values to not display properly, causing certain times of night to be even darker than intended. He also tweaked the star brightness to look better after our lighting changes.

Some nice wins for us as we continue to work on “big ticket” items, such as the animation and VFX systems. In terms of User Stories, we had 21 old cards with 50 completes. Here we go:

As a Backer, I’d like to see the sun, moons, and stars in the sky, with sky color changes based on time of day and position of those celestial bodies. – Second Pass
Tweak sky color values and star brightness to work better with PBR update. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to play in new biomes that change according to Realm ownership. – Biome 06 – deeper darker forest.
Second pass concept art with Realm variations. – Complete
Create a series of body shape geometry for use in tree models. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like a way to be able to edit gameplay variables on the server, live.
Automatic reloading of gameplay config for quicker iteration on Ben’s side – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to know about smaller changes that don’t have their own user story.
Bots have simple targeting – second pass. – Complete
Improve number of bots that can be controlled by a single server. – Complete
Bots use abilities from the updated ability system. – Complete
Remove local-only skills from the client’s skill queue when they get cancelled – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see the world of Camelot Unchained continue to develop through its lore.
The Great Depths Raid Part 12 – Final Draft. This completes the entire Great Depths Raid. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see graphical and networking performance improvements, when building and destroying structures.
De-rust stability for testing and metrics gathering. – Complete
Better mapping for sub-grid rendering stuff. – Complete
Refactor data structures for holding BuildingEntity’s renderables and physics. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like the movement sounds of my character to convey the gear I’m wearing, my race, as well as the environment I’m in.
SFX: Sand footsteps. – Complete
SFX: Additional slow and fast armor movement variations. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see improvements in server stability, speed, and robustness.
Implement FastEntityReader to transfer entity data across servers – Complete

As a Developer and Backer, I’d like to see improvements in memory usage and threading.
Add ability to check if read-only access to a context is safe in assert – Complete
Locally save blueprints when connected to a server for improved performance – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like the Camelot Unchained website to convey its main features in a more concise and visually impressive manner.
Audit screenshots before pushing new media pages. – Complete
Update videos page in media to use new layout and plugin. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to see improvements in the editor to facilitate my work.
Enter map coordinates directly, rather than needing to scroll through values.  – Complete
Ability to adjust far clip plane in editor. – Complete
Add button to editor to suppress console spam. – Complete
Tag Editor:
Shift click while clicking trash item will permanently delete cog. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play as a Crafter with basic gathering and crafting mechanics for testing.
Vox can be defined within the new data format for items. – Complete

As a Developer in Beta 1, I’d like to see improvements in the ability system’s stability and robustness, as well as make it easier for developers to work with.
Automatic reloading of gameplay config file changes. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play in a Party, or Guild – UI.
Update player and target HUD to use correct race image. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to be able to pick an item up off the ground, put it in my inventory, and if applicable, equip it.
Optimize the packed network data for gear. – Complete
Update data structures to support single entry for races that share the same body type – Complete
Set up two-handed weapons not to deflect for each hand. – Complete
Break down pre-existing armor assets to make use of added slots. – Complete
Update art to be consistent with design vision of slots and layers. – Complete
Design: Update all armor item values to work with updated slots and layers. – Complete
Support for race and gender fields – Complete
Update armor art assets to make use of layering/masking tech. – Complete
Update data structures to support single entry for races that share the same body type. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to interact with the first pass of a Place of Power in Camelot Unchained.
First pass materials. – Complete
Second pass crystal material and geo layout. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like the Camelot Unchained ability system to fully support the design scope of the game for B1.
Make script compilation more robust by always logging warnings – Complete
Remove local-only skills from the client’s skill queue when they get cancelled – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to prototype various combat animations to support future system improvements during Beta.
Polearm animations:
Offensive Stance to Defensive Stance. – Complete
Block. – Complete
Equip to Defensive Stance. – Complete
Defensive Stance to Offensive Stance. – Complete

As a Backer and Developer in B1, I’d like to see improvements in the visual quality of armor for CU.
Update nude male characters base model with improved hand models. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to hear ambient Realm-based music during loading island transitions.
Generic ambient track #2 – Complete
Generic ambient track #3 – Complete

As a Backer, I want an animation system that blends multiple animations together, allowing for immersive and fun combat.
Clip selection driven by server. – Complete
Choose animation set based on gear currently equipped – Complete
Debug feature: filter skeletons to build by either FBX asset ID or skeleton cog ID – Complete
Second pass data entry for additional weapon types and break-up of pre-impact and post-impact in swing animations for improved network syncing. – Complete

Again, lots of fun stuff and progress as we push through to our next major milestones. In terms of art, as we continue to polish some existing assets, we don’t have as much to show today, but here’s some of the concept pieces I talked about during today’s update. First up, a tree from the land of the deeper, darker biome owned by the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Now, some quick variants on the tree.

Here’s a piece of accent bloom for the forest. Purty, eh?

Let’s finish our brief journey to the woods with a new concept piece from Michelle, for a good look at how we want our deep and dark forests to look in the finished game.

And yes, we want that figure on the tree branch to be to scale.

And let’s end the artistic portion of this update with some hair concepts for the game that our players will get to choose from. These are, of course, works-in-progress, and they do not represent all the choices players will have.

In terms of this weekend’s test, expect an email to go out about it shortly! We fixed the most pressing problems, so we’re good to go! Whew, that was a close one. It is a little less stable than our usual Wyrmling Prep build, but there’s enough interesting stuff there to justify the weekend test. So, expect some instability, some issues, but some interesting things as well.

Okay folks, it’s late here, and time to call it a week. As always, we thank for your support and patience!