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Begun, the Beta Crusades Have

Tim Eisen Posted:
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City State Entertainment (CSE) continues on their crusade toward Beta One Launch on July 4th. (MURICA!) I decided to upgrade them from “a march to beta” to a full on crusade. Why? Because this time feels different. Call it my MMORPG spider sense or call it blissful gualibility; this time I think they will hit the mark and lay waste to some villagers...er servers or...well, whatever launching Beta One analogies as...I really don’t know, that’s a high level analogy and I haven’t ground out enough wordsmith XP to unlock that skill. I’d be happy to see some better analogies in the comments below.

The weekly updates continue to tell the story (if you can speak Dev) that is the Beta Crusade. It’s been a while but I decided to strap on my mining cloths, break out my pitch fork and dig into this week’s “Top Tenish” things that CSE did. In typical CSE fashion the list is too long for my little piece of interweb real estate so I’ll have to cherry pick some progress points (like younglings that strayed into the PVP zone).

As many backers can’t attest to (NDA crits you for 5k), testing continues to ramp up in frequency and scale. Sir Andrew Meggs (Tech director/Lead Programmer) stormed the castle and knocked down the Beta One gate known as “giant building refactor”. Read the next quoted section slowly. Take your time and drink it in. This is the good stuff folks.

“He achieved a 99.2% reduction in the number of bytes required to send an entire building over the network, and reduced the CPU load on proxies from over 75 msecs per connected client to a negligible level. Calculating changes between two states of a building now happens in only a few clock cycles, with comparable savings in network bandwidth for larger changes, like knocking off an entire tower.”

I can not stop reading that quote. It may be the finest example of a written developer nerdgasm I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Simply fantastic. I’m not snarking. It made me smile both because of the pride and love for craft that it represents. We should all be so lucky to love what we do half as much as the code clingers at CSE. It might not sound sexy to us plebs but its an important step toward Beta One. The rumor is this code may even be on par with some of the boot code a younger Andrew Meggs made his name off in the not too distant past (he’s being generous on that timeline). Artisans don’t age, they refine.

Sound and VFX sound like they are looking good. (You couldn’t help yourself.) Speaking of visuals, let’s take a minute to talk icons. As someone that alt’s as a graphic designer, I LOVE icons, especially game icons. They are the less interesting cousin to all the sexy motion graphics but just as important! If your icons don’t communicate quickly and efficiently you end up hanging some guy named Chad, having a court coup and wasting trillions of dollars due to a wrong turn. I can’t overstate their importance or my love of them as functional art. I dropped the icon image above out of respect, drink it in fellas, keep drinking it in. (He didn’t have posters of girls or cars or even games on his walls, he had logos and a poster of Undertaker throwing Mankind off the Hell in the Cell.)

Bull finished the Camelot Unchained Environment Manager which allows developers to create their own local workspace which also isolates said work from being bothered by stuff other devs are working on. We all know gamers, and especially developers, thrive on introversion and isolation so one can only assume this is a significant aid both in developmental work and moral! (My workspace would look like a dark basement during a rainstorm at night.)

Last, but maybe most importantly, CSE’s multiplicity of talents knows no limits! On a recent twitch stream (conveniently posted right here) we had the privilege of meeting keeper of the lore Max Porter’s alter ego “Mad MacX MMOicrophone”. This writer was legitimately impressed. For a moment I was transported to the rap from SOEcon several years ago. I hope to hear more from Mad MacX MMOicrophone in the future. He puts the RPG in CSE like writer Tim E gankin newbs on the outskirts of Mos Eisley! Now before I go, here’s some libations for S-W-G! (Mic drop, /logout)


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry