Sorry for the delayed update, that’s on me and my infamously bad back and me doing something dumb – like picking up a big box from Amazon which unexpectedly contained bottles of water. With October coming to an end and the leaves dying in bunches, it’s comforting to know that we are doing the exact opposite, as we continue to move Camelot Unchained ever forward. This month there’s a first in-game look at the Frozen Tundra biome, and a whole lot more. And again, sorry about the few days’ delay. I can honestly say it hurt me way more than it probably hurt you.
Link to the October livestream: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1194174838
October 2021 End of Month CU Update (11/2/2021)
- WIP – Design – Alchemy: Crafting materials for alchemy are now available. You’ll be able to test and interact with alchemy by heading off and collecting items at the Alchemical Harvest Tent, located on each Realm’s Home Island. There will be screenshots in our usual update documents to show you where to go, as well as more details on alchemy itself in this month’s newsletter. Once you’ve collected some items from these harvest points, you can then interact with your Vox and choose the Alchemy options. Alchemy potions provide long term bonuses for your ventures out across the realms.
- WIP – Tech & Art – CU Icons: Koo and Sandra have been working on various icons for CU. This includes our new alchemy items, Dragon’s Web items, infusion items, and a boatload of missing status icons.
- WIP – Tech – Melee 2.0 Shouts: Anthony is making good progress on the new melee class shouts. Shouts for the Black Knight are looking good, the Fianna are almost wrapped up, and that will just leave the Mjolnir to finish off the trio.
- WIP – Tech – Influence Maps: Lee continues the influence map development journey. With the core system in place, he is now focusing on incorporating notions of threat, danger, and entity density into the grids. This information will later be exploited for enhancing movement and combat behaviors, allowing NPCs to make better decisions about how to approach targets or avoid taking damage.
- WIP – Tech – Update to Debug Rendering Systems: Debug rendering involves showing vibrant, untextured geometry in order to display non-visual info. This could be an invisible trigger, a projectile arc, a player’s movement path, a physical volume, and so on. The system for rendering this debug data has some sorting and alpha issues that have long since been fixed for our main rendering system. So, Wylie has been busy culling much of the debug rendering, and reintegrating it with the more robust main rendering system.
- Done – Tech – Improved Physics: Colin landed some much-needed improvements to our physics system, including a fix to prevent falling entities from going below terrain on the client. In addition, he has implemented numerous fixes to how we organize physics information and communicate that information over the network, resulting in cleaner code that sets us up nicely for additional feature work later on.
- Done – Tech – Spawn Animations: Mike D. landed the new spawn animation tech, which involved fixing a few bugs related to popping in the initial animation played by any entity, followed by supporting playback of race-specific spawn animations, that blend seamlessly into idle following the spawning sequence. Entities using this tech will be briefly invulnerable and immobile as they enter the world in dramatic fashion.
- Done – Tech – Improved Entity Debugging: Rob has been working on long-overdue development support tasks that will enable us to track down problems with entity physics and game logic more easily. He has landed a host of debugging improvements to help the team visualize complex problems that manifest during interactions between different entities and the environment.
- Done – Tech – XML to Data Sheets: Christina converted all of the XML files into CSV data sheets to match our other design-controlled data.
- Done – Tech – Bug Fixes:
- Rob fixed up the trap items, which were failing to deploy properly.
- Christina fixed the character creation screen, so that Strength is once again showing up as a stat to apply bonus points to.
- Christina fixed text in the world space UI, which was not showing up. This includes nameplates, harvest text, and damage numbers.
- Mike D. fixed an issue in which the initial animation for spawned entities had a frame of “glitch.”
- Done – Tech – Sound Tech: Mike D., Cheyne, and Christina have been working on new tech for the sound system. This includes new overmind support, debug client/server commands to test sounds, and support for remembering and resuming audio tracks.
- Done – Sound – RTPCs: Ken has been busy creating and adjusting settings for RTPCs, or real-time sound parameters, that govern emitters and listener positions. He has already developed a number of audio assets for specific environments that also account for time of day.
- Done – Sound – Biome Ambience: Ken created new audio for the new Frozen Tundra biome, which features specific ambience associated with the fall of snow, and the environmental acoustics therein. He also added more ambience for other areas, including Coastal Lowlands, Golden Plains, and the Home Islands, to make each of them more unique and specialized.
- Done – Sound – Weather: You’ll now see game syncs, parameters and audio for rain and fog effects, as well as weather effects like fog and snow density. As those effects are enhanced over time, the sounds will match accordingly. Ken has created RTPCs for these already.
- WIP – Art – Races
- Jon and Joe continue to fit armor sets to our newer CU races, with the Hamadryad next in line. Rig setup for the new Valkyrie, St’rm, and Hamadryads proceeds, as new armor sets have been added to the rig and LOD0s sent to character artists.
- This month also sees progress on a new set of Heavy Armor for the Vikings, in an effort towards parity among armor sets for different realms and armor types (ie. light, medium, and heavy).
- WIP – Art, Design, and Tech – Combat
- The extensive process of updating CU combat has hit the next stage of development. With our big picture list of Heavy Fighter attack designs established, art, design, and gameplay are collaborating to review the first set of generic melee attacks for the Heavy Fighter classes, starting with the slashing category of weapon attacks.
- This review process goes hand in hand with improvements to our animation technology, allowing for easier reviews on the dev side and the creation of more dynamic animations on the art side.
- WIP – Design & Art – Realm Artifacts: Concepting for Realm Artifacts is well underway as we continue to hone in on model kits for each realm. With the Arthurian and Viking sets reviewed and onto revisions, we’ve moved onto the first pass on the Tuatha Dé Danann items. For more information on Realm Artifacts and to see the most recent concept passes, be sure to check out this month’s newsletter.
- WIP – Art – Environment – Frozen Tundra
- This month we’re excited to share with you the first pass of the Frozen Tundra biome. This Viking-associated environment is a mountainous expanse that forms the main biome for the realm, just as the Verdant Forest and Golden Plains represent the TDD and Arthurians, respectively. Now that the initial Biome Concept Zone has been constructed, the environment team will follow our usual pattern of shifting focus to a second, higher detail update pass.
- Joseph and Scout have generated a variety of assets for this first release, starting with our most important biome building blocks: terrain textures and primary environmental shapes. Backers will be able to see these in the various grass and dirt materials, and cliff and rock sculpts, in the Tundra Concept Zone. This pass also contains new pine trees and ground cover like grasses and bushes to fill out the terrain.
- In addition to placing and spawning all of the assets Backers will see in the zone, Tom also constructed the terrain for the foundational map, generating the extreme elevation changes and shaping specific load-in zones for each realm.
- The whole team will continue to develop this zone over the coming weeks, with the addition of more foliage assets, replacement of proxy materials like the dead tree textures, and polish of the current terrain.
And onward to art!
First up we’ve got quite the inventory of Realm Artifact concepts: that is, the architectural features like lamps and flags that players will eventually be able to find around the world of CU indicating which realm controls that area.
Here you can see a variety of options for different realm bridges:
And here are some realm flags, which will likely share a main flagpole but whose heraldry will change (and let you know if you’re free to saunter into town, or beat a hasty retreat).
Along with the braziers below, these light posts are crucial to navigating the often treacherous roads between settlements, and may tell you which routes are best to avoid. (Good thing your torch doesn’t play favorites – we hear that forest is deep and dark.)
Finally, to finish off our current slate of artifacts, what’s a realm without an emblem? These beastly works of art would be found throughout an environment to inspire allies and strike fear into enemies. They also make for a handy landmark.
From artifacts of the realms we move to the realm itself! This month we’re happy to unveil the first pass of the Frozen Tundra biome, which also happens to be the main biome for the Vikings on the Veilshards (a.k.a. RvR3).
New this month and with updates on the way, this build lays the foundation for the immense mountain ranges and extreme elevation changes integral to the character of the biome. As such you’ll be able to see (and, in some cases, traverse) extensive rock and cliff formations arranged to provide each realm a unique entry point into the environment.
The Tundra is a desolate landscape: hardy shrubs, thin pine trees, and some wily wildlife (which you’ll be able to hear in our next test build) are just about the only life able to survive in such a frigid climate.
Pictured: the Happiest Viking, celebrating the arrival of the third major realm biome and first Viking-affiliated biome. We feel you, buddy.
But that’s not the end of the Viking gifts this month. Here you can also see the current phase of concepting on a new Viking set of Heavy Armor, bringing them in line with the other two realms in armor set distribution.
Finally, we’ll end our usual romp through Top Tenish Art-Land with the craftiest addition to this next test build: the Alchemical Harvest Tent! Be sure to check out the market square on your respective home island – and make sure you’re out of Travel Stance – to use these new tents and start your foray into the Alchemy branch of the crafting tree.
Click the Harvest icon on your ability bar while you have the tent selected to grab the reagents you want, deploy your Vox, and craft, craft away! For more detail on the alchemy system and what’s included in this next test build, feel free to check out this month’s newsletter.
I hope you enjoyed your look at what transpired for CU this month and are excited to play around in the new biome, mess around with Alchemy, and see the good stuff in the newsletter. There’s some really cool stuff there as usual.
Please stay safe during what remains of this pandemic. We do finally seem closer to the end, rather than the beginning, but please be smart, be careful, and be considerate of others.