CSE has continues to churn out fan content while they march through the crunch into beta. At this point we are either a few weeks, a few months, or a few days into the crunch. Frankly I can’t tell anymore and I don’t know how anyone as CSE can either! I got lost in the whirl wind of vines, tweets, emails, twitches updates, newsletters and all of the other community content they have produced since the crunch started! That doesn’t even mention all of the game content they have been grinding away on! I’ve said it before and I have a feeling I’ll say it many more times before all of this is said and done, I am humbled by the task that is creating a MMORPG. While the tech has gotten better over the years developers now have to pull double duty! One-part code junkie (maybe code-cowboy sounds nicer, meh junkie fits the addictive gamer type better) one-part entertainer!
(puts on a beret and lights a hand rolled cigarette to enhance his pondering journey)
The later part has been stuck in my craw for a few days. Are crowd funded game developers rockstars, captives on display, or a little of both? Are they enjoying the fame the process provides them, or is it a new part of the job that they aren’t comfortable with? Game developer doesn’t exactly scream “social extrovert” but, with things like Twitch TV, the very image of a “gamer” is evolving. I suppose it’s only fitting that the image of people making the games evolve as well? It’s not a concern of mine so much as a musing. An observation of the changing of the tide if you will. Something that wasn’t planned but was more or less an extension of the type of campaign that is necessary for a Kickstarter to progress.
(takes of his beret and puts his writing mask back on)
Speaking of progress, one thing is for sure, the camera’s eye motivates team CSE! Ok, maybe it’s not the camera, whatever it is the progress has been impressive. Here are the highlights of the last week. (Or is it two-it’s all a blur!)
1. New lighting and rendering system that exposed bugs or issues we were able to clean up to improve rendering in many areas.
2. Hitching removed and general performance increase across the board.
3. Per block stats, damage state, with material and quality based stability and health.
4. Beginnings of new character creation with new stats affecting things like encumbrance.
5. Armor weapons and items now have mass.
6. Armor has stats which mitigates damage based on substances used via crafting.
7. Ballista! (Writers note; HELL YEAH!)
8. Damage represented on buildings based on material type.
9. Crafted first item!
Those are just the highlights, an absolute inventory full of user stories were also checked off. From the outside (and the last update) the team seems to have hit a stride, gotten on the same page and is performing like the 98’ Bulls! Where has this been the last 3 years some of you might ask? I have a theory on this and it involves talented people rising up, coming together and performing even better under harder circumstances as a result but instead I’ll just use this vague analogy. You want to know why CSE is rolling like Limp Bizkit? (Yeah, I’m feeling nostalgic.) How about you ask NASA what type of conditions it takes to successfully launch a rocket! (I told you it was vague) What I mean is, everything has to align, it’s not easy, and it’s rare when they do, but by golly when they do humans ascend to the stars (both real and digital)! CSE has a great crew, a lot of things lined up for this crunch, everyone was elevated by the challenge and CSE is ascending toward beta! Will they get their before they run out of rocket fuel? Stay tuned to find out!
That was a solid closer! I have to admit, sometimes I just want to, like, suddenly end a column. No warning, just a sudden jarring lack of words but I’m pretty happy with that ending. I should probably just let it ride and not risk screwing it up…that reminds me!
Before I forget I wanted to send another shout out to The Mod Squad. One of my favorite things about crowd funded games is seeing how the community can contribute, the TMS is a great example of fan and developer working together for a better tomorrow, today. Secondary shout out to Michelle and James for the art pictured above. Sometimes I’m glad tattoos are expensive, because if they weren’t I’d look like a walking hieroglyphic history of every MMO I played for the last 13 years! Sigh, I totally killed my closer. I’ll just go with an easy ender and drop this high quality quote from CSE Ben. Not only is it a good quote taken from the abbreviated encyclopedia that is the Camelot Unchained newsletter, but it’s exactly what I was hoping they were shooting for in terms of “balance”.
“We don’t necessarily want to promote, “well we’ll just buff this and make it really strong right now and then we’ll nerf it again or we’ll buff something else accordingly, and make people shift their focus around”. We want that to happen as a natural evolution of the way that the rock-paper-scissors balance works. So that there are always counters, and there are always ideas that you can come up with, and ways that you can deal with stuff that seems to be flavor of the month and seems to be really powerful.”