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From East to West

Tim Eisen Posted:
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This week in the Camelot Unchained universe we got another user story heavy update. What does that mean? More importantly what does it show? I believe it shows that progress has picked up thanks to the addition of 4 new programmers and a pace that is more in line with what I was hoping for a few months ago might have been set.

It’s hard to define “ideal development pace” since Camelot Unchained is my first Kickstarted game and I know they spent a large amount of time on their engine which, lacking visuals, is hard to watch progress. I never felt like things were abnormally slow and the updates and newsletters have always been packed but at the same time the pace felt off at times. Last year I predicted this year would be the one where the game transitioned from a server test to looking like a fully fleshed out MMORPG. 7 months in and I was getting nervous!

Enter Mark Jacobs, City State Entertainment (CSE) owner, with a very Jacobsinsian idea. If you can’t get programmers to come to you go to the programmers! Thus the Camelot Unchained satellite office in Seattle was born! Some developers might have made it a stretch goal and put the task of raising money onto the community, Mark did no such thing. He and Camelot Unchained’s primary investor (who or whatever that is) are fronting the bill. It’s a stand up move that is clever from all angles and sends the message “this is going to get made no matter what I have to do”. As a backer the news gave me a sigh of relief.

Why are programmers so averse to the East and so in love with the West? Giant trees and coffee perhaps? A desire to be as far away from the hive of scum and villainy that is the political center of America as possible? Have all of Mark’s local programmers put in transfer requests to get back to their “natural” West coast environment? Who or what is this primary investor? On second thought, who cares! I’m just glad they made a big move to get the development of this game moving!  That brings us back to the number of completes in the user stories.

18 old cards with 99 completes. 4 new cards with 31 completes.

CSE’s Top Ten Cards:

1. Fixed threading problem with building loading. I have no idea what this means. I’ll assume it means they can sew buildings now.

2. Improved terrain generation speed. Always a good thing.

3. Improved performance when placing large blueprints. An extremely important improvement for the singularity when Camelot Unchained and C.U.B.E. finally merge into one almighty MMORPG.

4. Global reduction of chance of hitching. Good. Look, I get it, its “cool” to hitch a ride but with apps like Uber it’s just unnecessarily risky.

5. Long-requested plateau mod in testing. A plateau, like, from Cowboys of Moo Mesa? I’m down with that.

6. Landed first pass of building with curved surfaces. This is one of those things that sounds tiny but look around the “games with building creation” and you will see a serious lack of things that aren’t square. Curves make the world go round, remember that when you are admiring the creations in Camelot Unchained, or at the club...

7. Lots of movement in re-abilitation - First pass of knockback, armor resistances, block, animation sets for different weapons, multi-stage skills, channeling, ability builder, damage to buildings, collision volumes like fire wall, and counter attack. Is this for the re-built ability system? If so, To quote Anakin, “yippee”! Yes, Darth Vader said that, and I’m still trying to burn it from my memory as well. Let us hope Disney does an Episode I-III re-boot sometime soon. I take that back, I’d much prefer Obi-Wan and Mace Windu solo stories over more time spent on those dysfunctional Skywalkers.

8. Several quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes for the next C.U.B.E. push. Some of us get nervous about CSE’s love of C.U.B.E. but remember, every step for cube is one closer to it merging with the rest of Camelot Unchained. Besides, they should love it and especially be proud of it.

9. Progress on groups UI. This is big news! It even came with a couple of pretty screen shots from CSE’s “Chrome dev environment” (whatever that is)! I could spend a thousand words dissecting all the info in these two screenshots alone! Certainly not your Daddy’s health and energy bars are they? This time I’ll leave the wild internet speculation up to you, feel free to drop it below.

10. Progress on C.U.B.E. UI update. The update to the C.U.B.E. user interface looks like a godsend! People made some amazing art before, I can’t even begin to imagine what they will build now! That might be half the appeal post launch. I could easily see myself logging in just to walk around taking in all the beautiful buildings then venturing in to speak with their owners.

As a Backer, I'd like to play in new biomes that change according to Realm ownership. CSE didn’t have this one on their top then but I had it as my number one! Biomes that change according to who controls them, I’ve been waiting many years for this! Nothing is as insulting as watching your hard work not only burn down, but be rebuilt in the image of those that defeated you! Not only will the buildings in Camelot Unchained reflect that insult and damage to our pride, but the landscape will as well!

From East to West and everything in between CSE appears willing to do whatever it takes to get this game out the door sooner than later (other than compromising on quality as Mark often says). With a group of new programmers live via satellite I look forward to the pace of development picking up and chugging toward Beta and beyond.


Tim Eisen

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