Clear sailing…so far! – Friday June 8 2018


Spring is moving along at a rapid pace for us at CSE as we continue to work through the feature list for Beta 1 day 1 on July 4th. As Mark reiterated in his livestream today, we are still on track, but just barely–we had to spend a lot of time on our compliance with the GDPR policies as well as some other game studio stuff (all good!). Some of that work led to the re-opening of the updated Forums earlier today! We look forward to hearing from all our Backers, old and new. The Forum ToS has been updated (again, GDPR compliance), so please take note of that.

We’ve also had a fairly productive week here, with 17 items in our Top Tenish list. Not bad at all! Of particular note, I’m excited about putting the islands together and getting some solid testing in with Backers over the coming weeks and exploring, building, crafting, and fighting! And just a few minutes ago, we opened Nuada for some IT-only testing. Getting the Forums and IT testing again in the same day is a great way to end the week.

If you missed today’s livestream and Q&A with Mark, you can find that HERE.

To reiterate from previous weeks: If you missed our livestream with Mark and our lawyer Jim covering how GDPR affects CSE and our Backers, you can find that HERE. If you haven’t updated and accepted/declined our new policy, please log into your account HERE. ( ). You will be presented with the information immediately upon your first login if you have not accepted these terms. After that, you can still review or change your acceptance of the policy HERE ( ).

As MJ always says, we have to do things the right way, even if other folks don’t. And that will never change.

If you have any questions, you can email us at:


For this week’s highlights, we’ve got a lot of fun items. Read on!

Top Tenish:

  1. Forums: After some initial testing with our IT Backers this week, our Forums are BACK! As a reminder: the Forums have been wiped to remove any possible personal information Backers may have shared, which needed to be removed as part of our compliance with the GDPR policies. Once you have accepted our updated terms, you’ll be able to get back to posting! And please remember that we will remain GDPR compliant, so don’t share any Personal Data on the Forums!

  2. WIP – Design – Crafting: In between GDPR and other fun “running the studio” stuff, Mark has found time to work with Christina and Ben on updating the refining process for Beta 1. Lots of changes have been made, and more are incoming for B1D1 (Beta 1 Day 1)!

  3. Tech – Entities and Building ECTs: Caleb added support for entities to configure their communication with each other through editor data. The first example of this is activating the secondary spawn point once a control point is captured in the Dragon Fang scenario. Fundamentally, this allows us to do more interesting things with our gameplay mechanics. Caleb is also assisting with Building ECTs, which will be needed for us to quickly populate the builder islands with plots.

  4. WIP – Tech – Buildings: Matt re-enabled the saving of buildings and blueprints to files for testing the new serialization format. He also fixed an assortment of bugs, including some significant performance issues when placing blueprints of up to 200,000+ cells! Using Andrew’s updated code has already paid off with really great performance gains apparent in our early testing.

  5. WIP – Design – Progression and Portals: Ben spent the start of the week prepping all the Beta 1 ability components with changes to support progression testing. In the latter half of the week, he worked on the new contested island and on setting up portals for testing between islands/zones.

  6. WIP – Audio Improvements: To quote Dave: “So much audio!” Dave worked on audio debugging tools, bugs, and quality-of-life improvements to support Rob and dB. They now have better tools for debugging audio in-game, allowing us to find and fix issues faster.

  7. WIP – Groups and Warbands: JB made significant progress this week on updating both the supporting code and UI styling for groups/Warbands. He hopes to get this into testing next week! This will obviously pair up well with the alert messaging that AJ and James have been working on.

  8. WIP – Tech – Portals and Scenario Matchmaking: Colin is finding and fixing bugs from our early testing of both these systems. He’s also been working on small improvements to the scenario matchmaking system, in preparation for larger-scale testing with more Backers.

  9. WIP – Tech – Trade UI: AJ is working with JB and Christina to find and fix bugs in the updated trade window UI, improving the player experience. Next up, he’s adding split panel tabs for full-screen elements. He’s giving players more UI functionality and implementing context-sensitive changes, such as bringing up the trade tab only when you’re actively trading.

  10. Tech – Buildings and Plots: When not assisting AJ with the trade window, or Matt with support for building placed objects (BPOs), or working with Mark on crafting, Christina is making progress on how players interact with plots. This week:

    • Made it so that owned plots are transferred to other characters on a player’s account when the character who owns them is deleted. If there are no other characters of the deleted character’s faction, the plot is released back the player’s Realm.

    • Created server-side notifications, which will be shown when one player grants or revokes permissions for their owned plot to a specific other character.

  11. Art – Animation: Scott and Sandra continue to quickly move through our Beta 1 animation needs. This week:

    • Sandra completed new male and female NPC greeter idles and interactions.

    • Sandra completed the new Physician idle, and is working through the basic cast/throw.

    • Scott finished the update to the Empath’s special ability animation, as well as a solid first pass on a basic cast, flinch, and deflect. He’s also starting on the death and movement work.

  12. Environment Art – TDD Boat: Dionne spent most of this week working on a new TDD-themed boat asset, taking the baton from Michelle’s concepts. This week, she finished off a first pass of the modeling and materials. She’s now moving onto updating and importing a whole lot of prop assets, so players can try placing items, such as tables, chairs, and lighting, on their plots.

  13. WIP – Environment Art – Home Island Template: Speaking of boats, this week Tyler focused on building out several assets, including the large dock structure, to make the home islands feel less wild, and more lived in. This also includes breaking out areas in the terrain for builders to work in. We want to show off what we (and all of you) can do with C.U.B.E., even in this early state!

  14. WIP – VFX and SFX: Both Mike and dB continued to work with Rob and Dave on finding and fixing bugs, mainly on abilities. The goal is of course to make sure that VFX and SFX are playing appropriately on skills, to support combat readability. Mike also focused on the Fianna Special Ability as well as the Stonehealers’ rocks, which will orbit about them. The latter item will be more proof-of-concept in lieu of class-specific tech that we’ll do post B1.

  15. WIP – Updated Character Creation Portraits: Jon is back in action, catching up on all the characters Joe has prepared for rendering. This week, he knocked out the Male Stonehealer, and is working through all the human female variations. Next up will be the race variations to complete the task.

  16. Art – UI and Forums: James finished off the tab and alert styling for various uses in our UI. The alerts will be particularly important for things such as accepting a group invite or agreeing to a trade.

  17. WIP – Art – NPC Greeters: Joe finished importing and creating equipment for the female Viking, is finishing up the female Arthurian, and will create the male Tuatha greeter next week. Once these are in, we can set them up to convey important info to the player in the world. Time allowing, we’ll see if we can set up the alternate genders as well, for more visual variation.

Seventeen items this week, and plenty more coming as we wrap up features and continue bug hunting in earnest!

For art this week, we start off with an animation from Scott of the Empath’s basic cast. For the start of Beta 1, we’re focused on a limited number of animations to support gameplay and give us feedback on the animation system, style, and design of the game. Going too wide, too early, could mean a lot of rework if we need to make changes based on Backer feedback. Therefore, for the start of Beta 1, this animation will be used for all the Empath’s casts, minus his special ability. I (Tyler) particularly liked where this one was going, as Scott added a bit more flourish in this animation, which I believe helps differentiate the Empath from the other healer classes. This is just our first pass, and it will probably get some timing tweaks once we see it in-game.

Michelle and I have been focused on fleshing out some shared assets to populate the home islands. Of primary concern was making the area around the spawn point and the docks feel established and lived in. Michelle has been a HUGE help in pulling creative duties while I focused on brute-force construction of assets and materials. By the end of next week, we hope to begin propping out the map with hand-placed assets. Then we’ll clone the map and add or replace parts of the terrain or models to be more relevant to each Realm. Let’s start off with some of the quick concept work Michelle did to “town-ify” the layout from Ben.

During her livestream this week, Michelle also sketched out many assets we can create that could help make the area feel more like a town.

You can catch my first livestream, where I began wrapping my head around this work, HERE. There’s some great conversation between Michelle and myself towards the end. During this week’s livestream HERE, I continued working on the dock assets, primarily fleshing out the geo and creating all the base materials. The following three images are new mats created specifically for the dock. Later, I’d like to find some time to add these to the material list in C.U.B.E..

Dionne completed a pass on the materials for the primary TDD ship we’ll put at their home island. You can see the wireframe modeling pass HERE.

We’re not yet done with the ship, as we have some more ideas of how to better incorporate the tree making up the mast. When we have time to do more polish on the boat, we’ll revisit it.

Below, we have two renders from Jon and Joe for character creation in the patcher. As a reminder, these use the updated character models and materials, which we will put in the game during Beta. This is the male Viking Mjölnir and female Arthurian Black Knight:

That wraps up art for this week. Special thanks to Poxer, who sent Max this fantastic hat and eyepatch, which had several of us in the office giggling during this morning’s Morning with Max stream. Appropriately, we still had the mead on hand from Paladin Brewer and the members of Sword of the Dragon to round out this image!

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us here at CSE as we continue the journey to a strong start of Beta 1. Things are coming together, despite the time spent on GDPR work. I’m particularly looking forward to the next several weeks, as we get players moving between islands and scenarios, testing out all our hard work. Have a great weekend all, and we’ll CU Monday!


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