And So 2017 Begins & What It Might Bring
CSE started 2017 with a top ten completions list. We all know what that means, let’s jump in like Scrooge McDuck! CSE’s Top Ten-ish completions as of January 6th;
Two successful Impromptu tests to end the week: On Thursday, we invited our Alpha and IT folks to join 1020 Bots and run around in our Fall biome. Yeah, we’ve seen it before but every time they do these tests they are one step closer to launch. The most impressive revelation isn’t that the client is holding over 1k testers/bots without exploding, it’s that the number doesn’t seem to be going down as they add more stuff to the game. It will be interesting to see, with the additions over the next year, where that number is next January.
Building combat up and running again: Rob revisited our old building code this week, dusted the cruft off, and verified we can still wreak havoc on structures. I didn’t realize the building code had been put on hold, then again everything had while re-abilitation was under way. I knew the ability re-build was bad but damn, I’ve only just begun to realize how damaging it was. I want everyone to stop and think really hard about how frustrating that is, now amplify it by ten and try to imagine your livliehood is tied to losing that time and you might get a fraction of understanding about how upset I’d wager CSE was about the issue.
WIP Items: The first step towards making awesome crafting for Beta is to make sure our item tech is rock solid. I’ve become MMORPG notorious for stating PVPers need PVErs but PVErs don’t need PVPers. I stand by that statement. Camelot Unchained needs great crafting to retain crafters to retain PVPers. May the force ghost of Star Wars Galaxies guide them.
WIP Upgrade Windows Server from 2012 to 2016: Marc has continued to upgrade our server tech to significantly decrease our hard launch by 40 minutes, which also saves us money when running servers. This vastly increases iteration speed for all our server-related testing. After reading this I can confirm one thing, I have no idea what any of that means. My entire archive of dev knowledge is based entirely on classical fiction from nearly 20 years ago known as The Matrix…I…that’s a lot older than I’m comfortable realizing…(cracks another beer and pours libations for his youth) I’m assuming, on the developer end of things, it takes time and money to spin servers up for tests and this helped with both.
WIP Tool usage improvements: Bull has been hard at work setting up special tags in our editor. Its perplexing that studios like CSE don’t just build their games, they build their tools to make their games! Yet another drop of humbling knowledge that I never imagined before this ride began.
WIP UI for guilds: JB has been working on the underlying framework to hit our guild MVP feature set. The next step is to build a first-pass UI to expose those features to players. What doesn’t JB do? The guy seems to be all over the place spreading dev voodoo and creating various things for testers to break. As a longtime leader of many guilds (almost all of which were filled entirely with my and my alts) - I’ll be keeping a close eye on the guild UI.
WIP Ability and stance change sound effects: dB is composing and hooking up Physician sound effects, which will help make this class stand out from the others. Audio is the unsung hero of MMORPG feels. I look forward to feeling what DB brings to CU.
WIP Place of Power: We’ve completed our rough pass layout, taken notes, and moving into changes before we begin on final geo and materials. We’ve seen this built over the last several updates. It’s been eye opening. I’ve appreciated CSE taking us along for the ride.
WIP Deeper Darker forest: We’ve fleshed out a rough pass of our very large, walk-on-able trees to do some prelim look and feel testing with. I’ve ranted about my long-standing dream of a legitimate forests to PVP in. Words cannot express my anticipation for CU hosting such a forest.
Art – Armor: Completed modeling and rigging of the Fall court heavy TDD armor for the female TDD, as well as the male and female Luchorpan. Due to my longstanding fandom of one Darth Maul I’ve loved the TDD since the first piece of concept art. That said, seeing that armor on Luchorpan’s sends my gank instincts into overdrive! It’s not personal, it goes back to a strict kill on sight Jawa policy my first guild had in Star Wars Galaxies…I can’t help it, bird dog’s gotta hunt and I gotta kill Jawa’s! (toasts Jawas)
Art – Armor: Updated the heavy Arthurian armor for our female, using far less polys with no visual degradation. Less…hurm, sounds like Arthurian stuff, plain and boring just like their culture! I kid! I plan to collect Arthurian armor, from those that my arrows fell!
WIP Animation: Slashing, piercing, crushing, offensive and defensive, mid target, combat animations for polearms. I’ve leveled entire classes for no reason other than they could wield a pike or polearm, hopefully CSE can win my fandom.
WIP Crafting System: The crafting system continues to be rounded into shape for Beta 1. I hate to add pressure to this but I believe the fate of Camelot Unchained lies heavily on how retentive this system is.
As we head into 2017 I find myself thinking deeply about the known and unknown and how they may or may not affect Camelot Unchained over the next year. I’m thinking about where we’ve been, how long it’s taken to get to where we are and how long it will take to where we want to be. I could fill a column with all of that but frankly, I’m more interested in what all of you think. Let me know in the comments below.