Let the Deathmatch Begin! – Friday, November 17, 2017


We had a great end to the week, with a “Welcome Back” to our IT testers, re-opening Hatchery and getting some IT Backers in for an SNS playtest on Fledgling. Much fun was, had, much laughter, much killing, and it felt great! It was a great point of progress for the team, and it only gets better from here. As with our previous weeks, much of this update will cover a lot of work going into not only the SNS tech, but also improvements and fixes to the look and feel of combat, all of which helps pave the way into Beta 1.

Let’s move into the highlights of the week. If you want the more detailed version of the month’s progress, you can check out our User Stories below, or use our website to search for specific topics you’re interested in. If you just want to check out the art, start scrollin!

Top Tenish:

  1. WIP – Tech – Siege Deathmatch Support: It’s been all hands on deck as we prepare our siege deathmatch scenarios for IT testing. While we’ve continued finding and fixing bugs, we have some more notable improvements to scenarios:
    • The spawn points have been upgraded to have spawn IDs. This allows us to no longer use hard-coded spawn positions, allowing us to quickly iterate on the specific position of where players spawn in the world editor.
    • We’ve expanded the game gules for scenarios, which makes it easier for us to add new rules to scenarios and/or rounds later.
    • Marc has been dusting off our logging infrastructure in preparation for testing, so we can get valuable information about what the code is doing and where it is less performant while we play.
    • Christina has been focusing on supporting item loadouts. Scenarios can now replace your normal gear and inventory when you enter them, and also have the capability to append items to your inventory. These items are ‘gifted’ for use only during that scenario and your normal gear is returned when the scenario is over. This aids in testing different item combinations without forcing testers to set up their characters in a certain way. It also allows for a scenario to grant an extra special item that is tied to the rules of the particular scenario.
  2. WIP – Tech – Animation support: Brad has continued to expose animation debugging information to our animation team. This week he’s focused on exposing region priorities in the PerfHud, which lists the regions an animation has, its blend mode (non, modify, overwrite), and its current blend amount. This is a major workflow improvement for our animators, which allows them to build, test, and tweak animations at a faster rate!
  3. WIP – Tech – Tools Support: Bull has been cranking away at making our tools even more useful for our team.
    • He’s made an entity editor and improved the world editor so that people can design entities exactly where they are needed on the map vs. jumping between editors.
    • Bull is also creating editor controls that make the above simpler, and lets him implement the idea of “templated content” retroactively to content we already have. This means less bugs for the designers to work around, and makes it easier for other programmers to compose tools for new features.
    • Related to that, Bull is building templated content which lets content designers use things they already made instead of maintaining multiple copies of the same content. Having a templated content system has a direct effect on the ability of designers to create, fix, and test different ideas for content.
  4. WIP – Tech – Particle Bug Fixes: Dave has been supporting Mike by fixing several particle bugs we’ve found during playtesting new VFX. Luckily, several noted bugs were all similar enough Dave was able to knock several off quickly. These fixes should go in for testing next week.
  5. WIP – Tech – Drag and Drop: AJ is adding Drag and Drop functionality to our UI, which is in its second round of review. AJ is building this code in a way that it can be used across multiple UIs. Players will first see it (and play with it) in the inventory and inventory and equipment screen.
  6. WIP – Tech – Battlegroups: JB continues his work on adding battlegroups. Currently he’s updating the Web API and UI layer to facilitate real-time updates of active groups, so as players join new groups they are notified right away. This piece of tech, and integrating it into our scenarios, will allow us to support our previously shown huge battles in our SNS scenarios.
  7. WIP – Tech – Healer NPCs: After adding melee and archer NPCs, it only felt right that we add some healers to the mix. Colin is currently building these new behaviors into our NPCs, which will provide a way for us to make playtests more varied and effective.
  8. Tech – Progression Tracking Upgrades: Christina has been adding summary information on a per realm basis. She’s also upgraded scenario summaries to know more stats specific to the scenario and rounds in the scenario. She’s also splitting up players and NPCs, so we don’t factor in non-player characters into player stats. This will give us better stats for us to help do things like balance the game. Some of this data will become player facing so our Backers will know more about what their characters or realm is up to.
  9. Art – Concept: Michelle completed her pass on the TDD boat concepts, then provided Jon with an update to the female NPC clothing, which synced them with the male versions and fixed possible rigging issues in the modeling phase. She is finishing up the week working on SNS splash image ideas for the patcher.
  10. WIP – Art – Female NPC Clothing: Jon has moved onto the NPC clothing for the ladies of CU. He’s completed a high and low modeling pass on the Arthurian outfit, and is currently working through the TDD variation.
  11. Art – VFX and SFX: Our daily SNS tests have created some great feedback internally. Much of Mike and dB’s time this week has been working on combat visual feedback with Ben. This includes a lot of tagging updates to get the appropriate sounds and visuals to play where needed, as well as adding in new assets to better communicate what is happening. This will be an ongoing process throughout SNS testing.
  12. Design – SNS Testing Improvements: Thanks to Ben’s tireless efforts, players now begin with a set of pre-made abilities, giving them a well-rounded starting point to try out their chosen class. Players are still free to remove these and make their own, however our goal right now is getting players in quickly for some fun SNS testing!
  13. WIP – Art – Emote Animations: Now that we have working emotes, Sandra is taking a quick pass on two of the very rough, placeholder animations that were created long ago. We’re focusing on just a couple of the worst offenders for now, the “yes,” and “no” emotes, which also didn’t use full body animations. Next up will be improving the shouts and casts for different weapon sets.
  14. Art – Animation: As usual, Scott’s week was fairly varied in support of animation:
    • Rough pass block out of an animation/animation system highlight reel.
    • Animation bug fixes from SNS testing.
    • Update animsets for daggers to temporarily use sword animations, removing old, rough, animations. (We’ll add in new dagger-specific animations later.)
    • Fixing shield models to sync better with updated shield animations.
    • Work with Brad to test animation region blending. The goal is the ability to blend together different regions with tag weights, as well as make some things, such as attacks, override jump and flinch animations.
  15. Art – Environment: Tyler spent his copious (Joke!) free time this week updating the SNS testing map with a rough art pass. This included the new willow trees, as well as temporary, non-C.U.B.E. castles on each of the five plots, in preparation for outside testing.
  16. Art – Character Creation Backgrounds and Store UI: James finished up his pass on the three animated Realm backgrounds earlier this week. These will show up in the next patcher update. Additionally, our Mongo database driver update testing has born fruit in store testing. James is improving some of the UI elements to be clearer, or work better, based on feedback.


Once again a hearty pile of work this week, clearly focused on a lot of our SNS progress. Let’s do the deep dive into User Stories covering the last four week’s progress, in a more detailed format.

User Stories:
151 Completes in 38 Old cards

As a Backer, I’d like to be able to be able to play an Archer.
Manual aiming revisit post re-ab
When a skill starts, capture what aiming mode the player was using and put that on the active skill. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to increase physics performance, as well as make changes easier to integrate.
Send player move and jump commands directly to the physics server rather than through the game server. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to know about smaller changes that don’t have their own user story.
Change ClipTag to read as a short instead of as a byte. – Complete
Allow client to control visibility of a DevUI using OnOpenUI and OnCloseUI. – Complete
Add some metrics around DevUI to measure performance impact. – Complete
Rate limit DevUI messages from the server to 1 per second by ID. – Complete
1st pass Dragon Circle and Saturday Night Sieges logos. – Complete
Cache player stat data once at startup instead of using reflection every time we query it. – Complete
Set daytime via a console command on the server that acts like ‘daytime’ buildvar on all clients. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see the world of Camelot Unchained continue to develop through its lore.
Silverhands Becoming – Part 7 Final Draft – Complete

As a Backer, I want to be able to own a plot of land and build within it.
Auto generate a placeable master blueprint. – Complete
Enable committing current master to a placeable. – Complete
Make it so deletion works on subgrids other than the root. – Complete
UI for grid manipulation. – Complete
Setup config for enabling adding of subgrids. – Complete
Add options for clearing master blueprints to the building delete command. – Complete
Clear the root grid when getting a copy of the grids. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see improvements in server stability, speed, and robustness.
Write our own ConcurrentBatch container to do minimal allocations. – Complete
Update SingleThreadedUpdater to not lose completions when passed in from the WorldUpdater and not attached to an action. – Complete

As a Developer and Backer, I’d like to see improvements in lighting and rendering.
Don’t try to render an impostor texture if its renderable isn’t ready to render. – Complete
Use a flag parameter for keeping track of queued status on a MeshBufferPool to slightly optimize shadows. – Complete
Expose BlurRadius through a build variable. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to see improvements in the editor to facilitate my work.
Add feedback button to channel copy webpage. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play as a Crafter with basic gathering and crafting mechanics for testing.
Add re-combine logic for alloy item stacks. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to have a selection of character emotes to use.
Create emote icons.
Update all character anim sets with emote sets. – Complete
Add Beta 1 emotes. – Complete
Add slash command aliases. – Complete
Add text for message when emote plays. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to have a selection of weapons that visually represent each Realm’s identity. – Arthurians
Realm-specific torch VFX and integration. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to have a selection of weapons that visually represent each Realm’s identity. – TDD
Realm-specific torch VFX and integration. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to have a selection of weapons that visually represent each Realm’s identity. – Viking
Realm-specific torch VFX and integration. – 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.
Items and Equipment:
Updating the GQL field name for item debug names. – Complete
Optimizing sendToServer for item location fields. – Complete
Fixing a bug with playing audio on item location which failed to associate the sound with a character if the new location didn’t have a character but the old one did. – Complete
Item cache is now rebuilt whenever either gear slot or gear layer lists change. – Complete
Modify the GQL query result for accessing armor stats per body part from a dictionary to a list. – Complete
Added custom delta receive code to rebuild the armor stat info. – Complete

As a player, I want to view a character UI that shows me my stats, allows me to swap out my equipment, organize my inventory, and see my collection of crafting resources.
Add session information, Banes & Boons, offensive/defensive stats, and general info to character info screen. – Complete
Make offense page show stats for each slot. – Complete
Add armor class to defense stats page. – Complete
Additional inventory icons – new bows. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like a progression system that allows me to upgrade my abilities, stats, and items
Add admin tools for modifying XP/levels of skillparts/stats. – Complete
Record damage/healting as the amount that the character’s health actually changes. – Complete
Remove the damage type field from damage events. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like the Camelot Unchained ability system to fully support the design scope of the game for B1.
Make ability builder component-selection-modal scrollbar thicker. – Complete
Simplify how the client and server negotiate phase advancement for held skills. – Complete
Use local variables when there’s only one layer, and a scratch Array of structs intead of multiple layers to improve LAE evaluations. – Complete
Filter out entities without damageable components from abilities. – Complete
Sort starting skill by their ID to provide control over the layout. – Complete
Fix prebuilt skill IDs to be unique. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to test the look and feel of combat with the new animation system, while wielding a polearm.
Offensive stance: Update old mid pierce attack. – Complete
Offensive stance: Update old mid crush attack. – Complete
Offensive stance: Equip and unequip. – Complete
Offensive stance: Block/Deflect, flinch, death. – Complete
Offensive stance: Update movement animations to match combat pose. – Complete
Offensive stance: Skirt and cape polish. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to test the look and feel of combat with the new animation system, while wielding a one-handed sword in either, or both hands.
Offensive stance: Update all races to use one-handed weapon set animations. – Complete
Offensive stance: Set daggers to temporarily use sword animations in order to remove older, less attractive animations from daggers. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to test the look and feel of combat with the new animation system, while wielding a one-handed club/mace/hammer in either, or both hands.
Offensive stance: Update all races to use one-handed weapon set animations. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to test the look and feel of combat with the new animation system while using a shield and one-handed weapon.
Offensive stance: Update shield arm position so it doesn’t obstuct player character eyeline. – Complete
Offensive stance: Update shield arm position so Luchorpans’ heads don’t penetrate the shield! – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to test the look and feel of combat with the new animation system, while using a shortbow and longbow.
Hook up animations to spawn ammo during clip. – Complete
Update animations to use correct arrow orientation in ability system. – Complete
Offensive stance: shortbow and longbow deflect animations working in game. – Complete

As a Backer, I want to seamlessly move between islands and zones without being aware that I’m moving between different game servers.
Use Presence server to spawn players:
Reference zones in shard by ZoneInstanceID. – Complete
Add support for Realm resrictions on zones. – Complete
Add support for starting zones. – Complete
Add support for hidden zones, which can overlap with other zones. – Complete
Add support for main zones, allow the ResourceID to be used for linking portals and spawning players from saved data. – Complete
Mark zones as starting zones by default. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to improve the visuals of our current characters and armor, and note lessons learned to move forward into our next iterations.
Update male Valkyrie and Pict nude model hands with better geometry. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play the Viking Stonehealer class.
Temporary VFX assigned to spawned rock models for testing. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play the Arthurian Blackguard class.
Blackguard – Arthurian – ENG – Additional B1 Class specific needs.
Munitions. – Complete
Improve Archery ability VFX and hook up on hit affects for testing. – Complete
Improve Archery ability SFX. – Complete
Entangling cord SFX to test and debug editor functionality. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play the TDD Forest Stalker class.
Forest Stalker – TDD – ENG – Additional B1 Class specific needs.
Munitions. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play the Viking Winter’s Shadow class.
Winter’s Shadow – Viking – ENG – Additional B1 Class specific needs.
Munitions. – Complete

As a Backer, I want an animation system that blends multiple animations together, and allows for immersive and fun combat.
New Animation System
ClientSkillHit becomes flag field. – Complete
Deflect animation assets hooked up and working for all weapon sets. – Complete
Increase the maximum allowable anim sets so we don’t get sync errors. – Complete
Remove weapon from deflection table if it is unequipped. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like the ability to build, spawn, aim, and fire a siege engine at players and buildings.
Don’t let the player switch to another engine while they have one in their control already. – Complete
Additional scorpion siege engine bolt models for SNS testing including LODs. – Complete
Fix siege engine network desyncs from mismatched strings. – Complete
Break siege engine control when the player is out of range. – Complete
Update scorpion SFX. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like the landing areas to be propped out with a wharf from which player can travel to and from other islands.
First pass – Arthurian ship model and materials. – Complete
Second pass concept art – TDD ship designs. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to improve the speed of creating environments, adding additional assets, and audit work needed for Realm territory variations for Beta 1.
New terrain assets:
Terrain: Updated generic sand, yellow and grey variations. – Complete
New Models w/ Mods:
Mossy rock set x2. – Complete
Huge mossy rock set with repeating material. – Complete

As a Developer and Backer, I’d like the character selection screens to be updated with new and improved visuals, including character renders that better represent my class choices.
TDD Realm final background art. – Complete
TDD Realm backgrounds animated. – Complete
Viking Realm final background art. – Complete
Viking Realm backgrounds animated. – Complete
Arthurian Realm final background art. – Complete
Arthurian Realm backgrounds animated. – Complete

As a Backer during Beta 1, I’d like to have a selection of basic clothing to wear about town.
Second pass female concept art and unification pass. – Complete
First pass male clothing assets – Low poly modeling. – Complete
First pass male clothing assets – materials. – Complete

As a Developer and Backer during Beta 1, I’d like to see improvements in client rendering performance from improvements in art assets.
Add LODs to new siege bolts. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I want NPCs that serve as both allies and enemies in battle, as well as characters that provide important information to players.
Add NPC melee behavior. – Complete
Add starting skill for melee attack. – Complete
Add slash command to kill NPCs. – Complete
Don’t require ammo for NPCs. – Complete
Add prebuilt basic bow skill. – Complete
Add archer NPCs. – Complete

As a Backer, I want to enter a siege scenario, complete objectives, and have the outcome factor into my character’s progression.
Design technical architecture for scenarios and scenario manager. – Complete
Add admin commands to restart/kill scenarios and rounds. – Complete
New scenarios can be spun up in parallel. – Complete
Create scenario admin panel, allowing us to spin up scenarios on a whim for quick testing. – Complete
First iteration: CU Button Clicker! Click a button to add points to your team. – Complete
Design Entity Component Template system (ECT), which will allow designers to build data-driven scenarios quickly. – Complete
Build config system to specify win condition, team sizes, round length, and number of rounds. – Complete
Allow players to auto-join an in-progress scenario. – Complete
Set up concept of teams with constraints (can be on only one, one team is friendly, all others are enemies). – Complete
Ability to add or remove players from a team. – Complete
Second iteration: Deathmatch! Kills add points to your team. Win conditions are configured for the scenario. – Complete
Integrate Warbands into SNS to support 8v8 teams. – Complete
Create rough pass SNS test map with spawn locations. – Complete
New, shared Scorpion siege engine abilities created with new bolt models, VFX, and SFX. – Complete
New, Realm-unique, bow siege abilities created with VFX and SFX. – Complete
Rough pass environment art added to multi-scenario test map for perf testing. – Complete
Expand scenario game rules to set constraints via slash commands. – Complete
Added a Validate button on the scenario management page. – Complete
Add actual scoreboard background UI element. – Complete
Teleporting in SNS placement will snap Z to ground. – Complete
Returning players to a position when leaving scenario. – Complete
Create Types for Scenario and Round IDs. – Complete
Prevent API server from failing to read scenario member components – Complete
Place teleport in a scheduled action. – Complete
Siege engine kills properly award points to its controller. – Complete
Added AdminCharacterID to scenario commands for progression tracking. – Complete
Create and hook up start, end, killed, and restart scenario-related progression events. – Complete
Save scenario summary after it is processed by the progression app. – Complete
Track scenario progression per shard and per character. – Complete
Create icons for new scorpion siege abilities, as well as archer siege abilities. – Complete
Update rough SNS map to have five separate scenario regions. – Complete
Update SNS map with rough art pass. – Complete
All scenario regions have placeholder, non-C.U.B.E. static castle pieces for testing combat. – Complete
Add buttons to ScenarioDevUI for adding melee NPCs. – Complete
Generate fake CharacterIDs for NPCs when creating for scenarios. – Complete
Make NPCs respawn if in a scenario. – Complete
Add scenario names and descriptions. – Complete
Add buttons to ScenarioDevUI for adding archer NPCs. – Complete
Add scenario victory and defeat popups. – Complete
Ensure scenario progression stats are only applied to a single game day. – Complete
Add points required to win each round to the scoredboard DevUI. – Complete
Allow players to join a scenario after going through a zone transition. – Complete

Beta 1 Feature List:
Extended List:
First pass working emotes. – Complete


For those of you who took the short route and scrolled past the details of the month, let’s take a look at art from this week. We have a little bit less art to show this week as most of us have been heads down finding and fixing bugs for SNS testing. However, let’s start off with some work from Michelle! These are the updated TDD boat concepts finished early this week.

Before Jon begins work on the clothing or armor for our characters, we first have a review to determine if any changes are needed as reflected in this image, with some back views so Jon knows what to model.

Jon has already begun work on these, starting with the Arthurian outfit.

That wraps up this week’s wrap-up. (I just don’t get tired of that one) We had a really strong week, ending in a great playtest with some of our IT folk! And the start of a new approach to our Alpha and Beta testing. As Mark said in the update, we’re not running Saturday Night Sieges yet, but as today’s test showed, we’re pretty close. Based on today’s results, IT will be doing a lot of testing in the next few weeks. Then, as the experience is fine-tuned a bit more, it’ll be time for our Alphas to get in and have some fun. On that note, have a great weekend!