Winter is Here, as are Reinforcements – Friday, February 3rd, 2023
As the Top Tenish list shows you, hiring has been one of the main focuses for certain people in the studio. By the end of this month, CSE will be the largest we’ve ever been. When you add that to the number of people who have signed, and we’re just waiting for their arrival, we’ll be continuing to grow over what remains of the winter. Our goals remain the same, grow the studio by 50% and hire enough talented team members to speed up the delivery of our games and continue to refine and improve the engine’s performance. For CSE, the money we have received has been the game-changer that we thought it would be and speaking for myself, this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time. And, as always, I thank you for that.
Top Tenish for January 2023
- WIP – Hiring, Hiring, HIRING: Mark and the team have spent a considerable amount of time in the biggest recruiting push CSE has ever had. Mark talked about this in the livestream and the team is growing very quickly. Based on the number of qualified candidates in the current pool, CSE is expecting to add even more people in February. While this has been a huge time sink for a number of CSE’s personnel, the results so far have lived up to both our expectations and hopes. We’ve welcomed a lot of new hires to the team in nearly every area, from tools to gameplay to design, art and even a CFO. Not only will this help us build content more quickly, it also expands our capabilities on a number of fronts. Stay tuned for even more news next month!
- Done – Art/Design – St’rm Race: The St’rm have been implemented and are now a selectable race option in all their winged glory!
- The St’rm can be created via the Launcher UI and are compatible with our six current Arthurian classes.
- For the moment, the St’rm have their own armor items, which cannot be worn by other races. This will be updated in the near future.
- Done – Design – St’rm Racial Traits: There are 11 new racial traits specifically for the St’rm. These Racial Traits are a combination of automatic traits, optional, and some additional traits open for this race to add some extra interest!
- Check out the Newsletter for a breakdown on these options!
- And be sure to try these out for yourself in the latest test build, as well. If you missed this past weekend’s build featuring the St’rm, don’t worry – we’ll be running that same build again this coming weekend.
- Done – Art/Design – St’rm Racial Trait Icons: Kara worked up some fancy new icons for the St’rm-specific racial traits! These are in and visible for the new traits you can select when making a St’rm character.
- WIP – Engineering/Art – New Burrower NPCs for Extraction Event:
- We’re close to rolling out two variations on the current Burrow Dweller NPCs – a healer and a boss.
- These will show up in an update to the recent Extraction Event.
- Also, all of the Burrower NPCs will gain both a Burrow and Unburrow ability for entering and leaving combat respectively.
- WIP – Design – Hamadryad Racial Traits: The traits for the upcoming Hamadryad race are scripted and nearly ready to go! These will be included when this race is ready to be released, most likely in a few weeks.
- WIP – Art/Design – Hamadryad Racial Trait Icons: In preparation for the upcoming Hamadryad race, Kara has been working on new icons for their racial traits as well. Stay tuned for more info on those!
- WIP – UI – New Racial UI Renders: As part of our ongoing updates to races, we’ve been working on implementing new UI renders. The St’rm race select renders have been completed and should be showing up in a coming UI update, while others for Hamadryad are currently in progress. The eventual plan is to update renders for all of the races in both the race and character selects, over a series of updates.
- Done – Engineering – Launcher and Patcher Updates:
- In the Holiday Update, we mentioned we had updates coming for the patcher and launcher with a bunch of fixes, improvements, and updates. Those changes have gone live as expected.
- We rolled out updated launcher UI and API servers to support new races (including the St’rm – see the St’rm updates earlier in this list).
- Some of the other server configuration and deployment tech we’ve been working on also impacted the launcher API server, and those updates went out with the latest deployment.
- Done – Engineering – Crash Investigation Improvements: We’ve been working on several improvements to how we detect, analyze, and triage client crashes. We’ve improved both the quality of data available, as well as the tools our devs use to access that data. This will make us more effective at finding and fixing crashes.
- WIP – Engineering – NPC Targeting Improvements Phase 2: Mike D. continues his multi-phase rework of the various NPC targeting systems. His current effort focuses on simplifying how targets are stored and prioritized, which will make troubleshooting targeting issues much easier, as well as reduce the effort required to extend the logic for future features. This improvement also includes fixes for long-standing bugs in which NPCs can abandon their current targets unexpectedly, or can get locked into a state in which they won’t choose new targets at all.
- WIP – Engineering – Piercing Projectiles Cap: Rob is working on a feature that allows Design to specify the maximum number of targets a projectile can pass through before it is “used up.” More significantly, this work entails much-needed improvements to how we categorize and handle collisions between entities. With this effort, we can more cleanly specify which entities react to collisions under various circumstances, and more easily reason about how to react to those collisions for gameplay purposes.
- WIP – Engineering – Animation Debugger Phase 2: The Gameplay Team continues its work on the Animation Debugger, focusing on bug fixing and UX improvements that make it much easier to debug animation issues from now on. This phase lays the groundwork for being able to queue up multiple animations and test/modify the blending and blend timing between them. This work is invaluable for examining and troubleshooting “real-world” use cases in-game, as part of our effort to make animation transitions more seamless and natural in appearance.
- WIP – Engineering – Stats and DamageType System Updates:
- We’ve done some backend upgrades to how our player stats and damage types are handled behind the scenes.
- It’s now much easier for designers to add and modify player stats and damage types.
- Plus, we’ve been able to simplify our code by taking systems like Damage Resistances and Armor Class and making those player stats as well.
- In the coming months, we plan to continue this trend and upgrade systems like our player resources and item stats too!
- WIP – Engineering – Bug Fixes:
- A bug was fixed where there could be too many worldspace UIs at once, causing one UI to show up where another one belonged.
- A bug was fixed which sometimes would cause one part of the worldspace UI to bleed into another part.
- When an item changes its model, its FXs and shaders are no longer lost.
- Using the Helbound “Life Barrier” ability to target an entity that already has the buff will no longer result in a server error.
- Walk mode no longer has a hot key by default, but you can set one in the keybinds settings menu.
- Warband UI correctly shows wound counts again.
- WIP – Art – Animation Retargets: Scott has been focusing on retargets for all of the Luchorpan animations. This is part of a series of animation updates for Melee 2.0 and should be coming to a future update soon.
- WIP – Art – Animation Updates: The Animation team continues to work on animations for the updated Valkyrie, and Hamadryad, as they near completion. We’re making great progress so far, and should be getting close in the coming months.
- Done – Art/Design – Weapons 3D: All of the basic weapon sets for each Realm are complete and have been added in-game! Before the holidays we were still finishing off Polearms for TDD and Vikings, plus adding the Shortspears. Those are now all finished, with the updated weapon list below:
- Swords – Dagger, Shortsword, Longsword, Greatsword
- Axes – Axe, Great Axe, Halberd, Bardiche
- Hammers – Hand Hammer, Medium Hammer, Warhammer, Maul
- Maces – Mace, Great Mace
- Spears – Shortspear, Spear
And now for something completely diff… no, actually, it’s quite on-topic!
To start things off, we’ve got the shiny new race selection UI of the shiny new St’rm! In the future, we plan to update all of the races to this standard – the upcoming Hamadryad and Valkyrie have UI renders already in the works!
And now we’ve got Storm the St’rm showing off the race (and some sweet Greatsword moves) in-game!
He’s so excited to be here, he could just Shout!
What I can say that hasn’t already been said here, CSE continues to bring in great additions to the team and push our games and tech forward. 2023 is off to a great start and thanks to the investors, we were able to to hire folks even before the deal closed. And over the next six months CSE’s ability to deliver will change significantly as the new folks’ efforts begin to show up in all sorts of ways.
As always, we thank you for your patience and support.