We’ve had a busy week in the heat here in Fairfax VA, perspiring from not only the hard work but also the too-hot and muggy weather we’ve been experiencing. As I (Tyler) am from the west coast, I’m still not used to the sudden thunderstorms in the middle of a generally bright and sunny day. Who does that?!
But clearly I have digressed! We’ve been getting lots done here that has been a combination of continued work on bigger projects like the NavMesh, BPOs, or battering rams, as well as new work, starting with environment concept art. As always, lots going on!
If you missed today’s livestream update with Tim and Andrew, you can find that HERE.
We are planning on a test this weekend. Here’s the basic info. We’ll have another follow-up email for those applicable Backers with more details. As always, pay attention to our tentative testing schedule to keep up-to-date with our testing.
Saturday, July 13th, 2019
Countdown Timer HERE
3 hours: 12pm – 3pm EDT / 9am – 12pm PDT / 6pm – 9pm CEST (Get Localization)
Hope to CU there!
For the week’s highlights of work, let’s hit our Top Tenish list!
WIP – Tech – Audio: This week, Spidey started working on the audio of moving siege engines and the required tech to allow interrupted abilities to play unique one-off sounds. dB followed up on this and added ram “ready” and “unready” sounds, and began setting up ram movement SFX ahead of the upcoming tech.
WIP – Tech – BPOs (Building Placed Objects): This week and last, Matt landed some infrastructure work on BPOs that will make it easier to support large items (like doors and siege engines) not becoming detached as soon as their primary ‘attachment’ block is removed or destroyed. The actual functionality to do so hasn’t happened yet, however. This work also allowed us to enable Colin’s work on items becoming dynamic and falling when they’re detached from the building but not explicitly removed. In his free time, Matt also helped Tyler and Ben fix a couple of high-priority world editor bugs blocking their work.
WIP – UI – Heraldry Designer: James continued work on the heraldry designer this week. When complete, players will be able to create heraldry for their cloaks and banners.
WIP – Color Grading Controls: Andrew added a lot of parameters to the editor that will allow artists to change color values in the game. This is very exciting progress for the artists, who want to have more control over the look of the game. Later, we can add functionality to change these parameters based on time of day or location in the game world.
WIP – Tech – Chat: JB has been overhauling the chat server. The new version will be able to handle permissions for rooms and all the stuff we need for a live game chat like local chat, warband, orders, campaigns, custom rooms all with secure permissions/ownership and moderation. This is currently in review.
WIP – Tech – UI: AJ is working on getting the ESC key to close windows instead of opening the settings menu. We will get this to work on the full screen windows first, but our goal it to have it work this way on all UI elements.
WIP – Tech – NavMesh: Lee found a problem early this week where the server data for building the NavMesh isn’t matching what we are seeing on the client, and thus we are not getting a lot of the obstacles that we are expecting or needing. So he has been working on a way to get some visual debugging information about the NavMesh and the data used to produce it from the server to the client, so we can view it in a productive way.
Tech – Gameplay – Exhaustion: Anthony reintegrated Exhaustion back into the game, along with some relevant bug fixes to resource threshold handling that came up as a result of it.
Tech – Gameplay – Ability Data: Christina upgraded how ability data is defined to give Ben better (faster) control over the balance of various ability stats, including: cooldown time, stability, and phase times. This gives us more power in choosing the types of calculations we use for these values and makes iteration time while balancing data faster.
WIP – Tech – Server performance: Now that we have done a bunch of testing on worst-case scenarios, Rob is trying to get a more accurate performance profile for the server so we can continue to increase performance while reducing server costs. A win on both sides!
Tech/Art – VFX: Andrew has been assisting Mike recently to help improve his ability to make VFX that not only have added functionality but also look as expected in the client and editor. Mike spent much of the week problem solving and updating or fixing existing assets to account for these changes.
Art – Greatsword Animations: Scott finished updating and setting up a shared greatsword animation set. We’ll add these back into the game, so Backers can use the items and Art can test and tweak the animation.
Art – Armor: We completed some new Arthurian armor assets this week, which will be added into the game shortly.
Art – Even Moar Armor: Jon finished off his 2.0 update to the pauldrons and helmets he was working on last week. These still need LODs and fitting to the genders and races.
Art – Concept: Lots of environment art concepts were completed this week! They have a look that’s definitely on the fantasy side of things. These ideas will help inform some of the more fantastic biomes in CU.
WIP – Tech – Server: Wylie started looking into switching our servers from Windows to Linux. This change will allow us to scale to a higher server count and will help with server costs.
Art – Character Creation: Michelle assisted the UI team with additional concept art for updates to the UI.
A few of these items certainly fall into the category of totally cool big projects that I need to be patient for. Heraldry designer is a highlight for me, as well as the end goal of all the BPO work allowing us to have crafters place items and siege engines in a building that fall apart with a building as it’s destroyed. Cool stuffs!
For art this week, we’ve got new Arthurian heavy armor pieces. These are all the high poly sculpt renders.
We’re talking about making these pants into an undergarment item so that players can equip a chain undergarment and still equip armor over it.
Next up, environment concept art. Let me preface this with: While these contain some really, really cool ideas, none of these, as of yet, are things we’re planning on doing. This is just exploration and experimenting. If you guys see anything you like in here, feel free to let us know in the forums!
Personally, I really like the wolves. Those would be fun to sculpt!
As promised by Andrew in the live stream, here are a few images of the game with the color values changed.
As always, thank you all so very much for coming along on this journey with us and supporting us with messages, asking questions, or showing up for tests! You are the most wonderful Backers and supporters anyone could ask for. We’re working hard through the heat to bring you the game we promised!
Okay, that’s the end of the week here for us at CSE. I hope to see you in our weekend test!