Mageapalooza – Friday, April 26th, 2019

Welcome to the end-of-the-week update from your hardworking team at CSE! We’ve got a lot going on right now in the studios, so let’s jump in, shall we? 

Starting off, we’ve been doing a lot of testing today with Backers up to Beta 2 joining us in our WIP siege scenario. And frankly, for a work-in-progress, it is utterly astounding! The feedback from Backers jumping in and seeing this, some for the first time, is really great! This build, with over 200 trebuchets and over 800 other siege engines and NPCs, continues to be iterated upon by several team members, looking for ways to further optimize things. As you can see week-to-week, we continue to push the envelope of what an MMO–and our engine–can do!

Additionally, some members of the team spent the week looking ahead and planning new features and improvements to our siege scenarios. We’ll have more info on that over the coming weeks, but you can get a hint at that work in the Top Tenish, below.

On a third front, for those not directly involved in the siege scenario work, we continue to push forward on other exciting features and assets. To name a few standouts: we’re working on the support class abilities, some really great-looking new UI elements (which you can see more of below), as well as new ability system functionality like infusions, also mentioned in the Top Tenish. 

So yeah, you might say we’ve got a quite a few things going on right now, in an ever-improving engine no one can touch in terms of large-scale battles!

If you missed this week’s livestream and Q&A with Mark, you can catch that HERE. For this week’s highlights, let’s jump on over to our Top Tenish list!
Top Tenish:

  1. WIP – Building Destruction Optimizations: Andrew is currently focused on additional optimizations based on our testing and Backer feedback. If anyone remembers our initial tests, we’ve already come a long way (baby) and there’s more to come!
  2. WIP – Tech – Terrain Queries: Lee checked in several months of code changes for terrain queries and debugging UI to help solve issues like players sinking into terrain and mesh simplification. This is currently disabled while we get it profiled in our massive siege scenario and work on optimizations. Terrain Queries should all work more accurately and be much faster than they used to be (on average about 2x faster, sometimes more).
  3. WIP – Design: Mark and Ben are currently working on new designs for exciting things such as new scenarios and siege engines, as well as on more practical needs like functional, animated doors for buildings.
  4. WIP – Tech – Support Classes: Anthony has been busy coding in the foundation for the support classes’ abilities. Once these initial components are working he can begin quickly building out the rest of the required ability components.
  5. WIP – Tech – Color Grading/Sky Settings: Wylie is working to expose a bunch of new settings in the editor for art to begin using. He’s got the cloud settings finished, and is working on wrapping up support for LUTs (Look Up Tables), allowing us to generate LUTs for color grading more easily.
  6. WIP – UI – Orders: AJ did more work on Orders UI this week, primarily on Ranks and Permissions (front-end and back-end).
  7. UI – Crafting: Christina and AJ also landed the crafting UI ingredient changes. These changes allow for more flexible recipe rules that we commented on last week. This was the final step in getting the new crafting recipe changes working.  
  8. WIP – Gameplay – Infusion Items: Christina has added support for infusion items. Infusions are stackable items which are consumed by some magic abilities in order to modify what the ability does. (This code has been committed, but we haven’t added a way for players to get these items just yet.)
  9. Tech – Crash Fix: Matt and Rob spent some time this week tracking down and fixing a pretty nasty server crash bug found by StrikeJK. Thanks for finding this one for us!
  10. WIP – Tech – Post Office: The post office is our generic message sending system, primarily for things like scenarios. Caleb is currently working on optimizations to support the amount of load we are planning for it. This will also increase the flexibility of our improved ability system.
  11. WIP – VFX – Wave Weaver: Mike is currently working through more effects for the abilities of this class. He’s created several new effects, including dart and ball shapes, as well as the “moist” status effect and an improved water casting effect around the caster’s hands.
  12. Art/Tech – SFX: Projectile Sound FX: dB has received some one-on-one time from engineering to now allow him to mix the audio of projectiles according to ownership. This will help add clarity for the player in large battles, as the audio can prioritize projectiles they need to worry about, like which one is yours or the enemy’s. dB is currently focused on the new siege SFX mix.
  13. WIP – Art – Character LODs and Initial Weighting: We’re just about at the end of the road on these and should finish them early next week. This week, Dionne completed several more armor sets, specifically for the male and female Luchorpán, as well as some cleanup on existing female Tuatha and Viking assets. This work is currently in Joe’s capable hands, who has also completed initial weighting on several assets this week. Sandra has also helped out with importing all these new assets. Outside of siege scenario needs, art will next tackle the mage outfits.
  14. Art – Animation – One-handed Combo Weapons: Scott finished off a pile of animations for one-handed weapons, spears, and shields combos and is currently working on setting them up for use. For now, these will replace the old animations, and we will begin creating unique attacks for hammers, axes, and daggers. He’s currently moving forward on unique Realm idles for dual one-handed swords.
  15. Art – Animations – Luchorpan Mages: Sandra retargeted all the shared mage animations to the Luchorpán skeleton, and these are now set up and useable on Hatchery.

Like I said above, we’ve got a lot going on right now. Though I’d be hard-pressed to remember a time we didn’t have a lot going on!

For art this week, we start with a couple of images from Scott, who is working on the updated one-handed weapon combination animations. The first image illustrates the subtlety in the various poses that we try out for our equipped weapon idles. We did a bit of YouTube research looking at HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) videos of people dual-wielding swords to get started. After that, we add a bit of artistic license to accentuate the pose, and add a bit of aggression to it. For the first idle, we’re using the pose in the center of the first image, with a better shot of it in the second image. Our goal is to have a different idle for each Realm to help further differentiate players at a distance. 

Next, we have some really nice work from our UI guys on the WIP Orders UI.

Empaths will soon have a new gauntlet focus item. Here’s a few concepts of this item that we’ll be modeling soon. 

When not working on the siege scenario, I, Tyler, have been trying to update some of the old terrain textures and add to our library. One thing we were missing was some good roots for our pine forest!

Also, we’ve got some great concept art for the board game with this scorpion-like monstrosity, clearly straight out of The Depths.

And an update wouldn’t be complete without some unretouched (other than the watermark) screenshots of the build from us. You want to see what you’ve been missing in our tests? Here you go:

First up: On a clear day, you can see a whole lot of mages and friends.

Green is a nice color, but Mike C delivered a nice touch for our chaos users.

Got milk? Nah, but we have chaos mage spam!

Let’s bring some light to this subject…maybe a bit too much light.

A bit bright. Let’s take a step back and see how a large siege could start in Camelot Unchained.

Many thanks to our Rich Creepy Uncle, who sent both offices a fantastic pizza lunch today! Many thanks for the lunch! As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed it! (Hint: that second image is me, Tyler, after too much pizza.) Thanks so much!

And with that, I hope you enjoyed our regular, and always honest, peek into the week’s goings-on. If you have not yet had a chance to join us in one of these siege scenario tests, keep an eye on next week’s tentative testing schedule. As you can see from our previous coverage and screenshots, it’s really impressive to see a lot of our core tech coming together so well!

Have a great weekend, all!