Dark or Light

Reviewing the Progress

Tim Eisen Posted:
Columns 0

I’m going to touch on some top secret information...information that many Bothans died to bring me…information that came from the latest Camelot Unchained update! Ok so it’s not really secret since I share it with roughly twenty thousand Camelot Unchained backers and whoever reads the newsletter and updates on the CU website once they are added...Not every CSE update is “ZOMGmazing”. Like everything they boon and bane but this update made me especially excited because DESTRUCTION!

Ever since I was the adopted son of a Tusken digging a ditch living the SWG dream I wanted to have full destruction in a MMORPGs baby! Specifically I wanted to admire something greater than I could ever build in an MMORPG…then BURN IT DOWN! I’ve patiently waited over 12 years for the tech to evolve and now it is closer than ever! If you follow Andrew Meggs (Co-founder of City State Entertainment as well as its lead programmer and technical director) on the Twitter then you might have the inside track on this one (and several other CU developments) but for those that don’t team CSE has recently developed dynamic building destruction!

It’s extremely early, and extremely rough, but its freakin’ dynamic building destruction for a MMO! Traditionally MMORPGers will fight vehemently over pixels, this feature enables us to fight for the preservation and perseverance of our own creations! RVR just got MORE personal! I’m excited to watch it grow and eventually experience it in game! Out of a possible 5 “Bionic Elbows” of Anticipation I give this CU developmental milestone a whopping 5 Bionic Elbows! Things like this are why I backed CU to begin with! CSE also gave a little preview of the terrain shader and editor both of which look pretty good in the vids (especially for how early they are) but let’s be honest, we all came to destroy and the destruction makes us excited for…MORE DESTRUCTION!!! Watching my guilds long standing keep crumble before our rivals might be the ultimate PVP motivator! I got chills baby, chills running up and down my spine just thinking about it! IT’S CLUBBERIN TIME!

(Takes a breath and calms down)

Sorry about that, after 12 years I seem to be a bit...overly passionate about MMO destruction. Let's bring it back down with something I was skeptical about. CSE added to the “user stories” section of their website. When I first saw the idea behind the user stories content I thought “just tell us what’s happening, we don’t need to have a weird format to interpret”. Yep, I was completely wrong. It is a unique, effective, and memorable way to communicate development progress. Not only do we get a nice little art tidbit but we get information given to use in a more relevant way that forces us to explore a bit and also adds to the investment and retention of that information. It feels almost like a mini game that involves the community and informs them at the same time much like how good writing does, or at least I’ve heard it does... On a scale of 1-5 I give it an impressive 4 Bionic Elbows and I bow my head in shame for my prior skepticism.

Speaking of my prior skepticism let's talk about the crowd funded UI concept. For a few years I’ve basically said “paid by, made for, and developed with” is the now and the future but that doesn’t mean I’m entirely comfortable with it. Some things, like crowd sourcing the UI, scare me a bit. Lucky for CU we have a few savants in the crowd! You know the ones, the kind of people that walk into the arcade for the first time then proceed to mop the floor with you even though you’ve spent hundreds of hours mastering Virtua Fighter effectively shattering your dream of being the best player in town, destroying your self-esteem and sending you into a downward spiral that involves too many piercings, black eyeliner, a red mohawk and a long black trench coat with a hood that you use to hide that fact that you are sleeping through class because you now game all night long in your parents basement alone and afraid to venture back to the arcade for fear of further trauma...I mean, hypothetically speaking that is one example of how that scenario might play out for someone...(snuggles old trench coat).

In my humble opinion the early results from the open UI have been…impressive, given I know nothing of codey thingys. I do happen to be an excellent example of everything crowdsourcing does not work for but fortunately for CSE, CU, and the CUniverse many of you backers are! You speak the language of the machines and you speak it well. I haven’t seen enough to give this one a solid rating and I’m still a bit nervous about the end result so until I see more I’m going to go with a respectable 3 Bionic Elbows.

I hope you don’t think I’m shilling for CSE, I’m not. It just happens that this last update was packed full of what I consider VERY exciting news. Best of all, much of it has been given away if you know where to look, which I want to point out. Don’t just take my word for it, you can seek it out, view it and judge it for yourself. This week I give CU development an overall of 4 out of 5 Bionic Elbows of Anticipation for lots of progress and exciting updates!

Condolences to the Rhodes family. The stratosphere really is reserved for you now Dream if you will!


Tim Eisen

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