Old bugs out, new bugs in! – Friday, June 28th, 2019

Hey folks,

It’s another very busy week here at CSE, which might be surprising when you consider that the week’s focus was on fixing existing bugs. Much of the team has been finishing up existing feature work or fixing bugs and performance issues. Nevertheless, we’ve once again got a very long Top Tenish list full of highlights for the week’s work. We’ve been doing a lot more testing over the past two weeks, so many thanks go out to our Backers for helping us find and fix those pesky bugs you’ve been reporting!

This month’s newsletter is also going out today, and as usual it’s full of plenty of behind-the-scenes info about the development of CU and its developers!

If you missed today’s livestream update with MJ, 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 info. As always, pay attention to our tentative testing schedule to keep up-to-date with our testing.
When:
Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Countdown Timer HERE

Duration:
3 hours: 12pm – 3pm EDT / 9am – 12pm PDT / 6pm – 9pm CEST (Get Localization)

Where: 
Nuada Prep

Who:
IT/Alpha/Beta 1

Hope to CU there!

Now, let’s check out the week’s progress highlights in our Top Tenish list!

Top Tenish:

  1. WIP – Tech – Navmesh: This week, Lee did a lot of work on debugging and visualization of the navmesh and path planning. Up until now, he could only estimate how things were going to work.  Now that he has a visual representation of both the navmesh and path plans, he can start really solving the meatier problems, like buildings, overlapping terrain, stairs, etc. He also had his first successful test of a path plan that showed a path + a navigable channel around it for a large creature – Charlotte. We’ll get to her later.

  2. WIP – Tech – Animated Models: Mike D. added support for NPCs to use simple animated models that don’t have the explicit needs of player characters. This will allow a wide variety of animals and other creatures to be added, later, into the game.

  3. Tech – Character sizing: Mike D. also added the ability for us to change the size of a model based on its gender, allowing us to add more visual variation to characters or NPCs when needed.

  4. WIP – Tech – Item Hit Boxes: Mike D. is working on some fixes for our interaction hit boxes. This will improve the accuracy of players trying to interact with various things like doors and siege engines, and will fix some of the issues around the wrong interaction point getting selected when there are multiple points close to each other.

  5. WIP – Tech – Gameserver Optimization/Introspection: As expected, Rob’s past improvements to the NPC server helped us find bottlenecks in the gameserver. This week, while working to improve the gameserver’s performance, he found memory-related issues and created tools to track those issues down.

  6. Tech – Code Cleaning/Bugs: Christina worked on porting resource node deaths and plot control to the new scripting system, allowing her to clean up a lot of old code. She also updated items so that they can no longer drown if placed in the water. While doing so, she was able to make some useability improvements to the scripting system.

  7. WIP – Design – Class Balance: Ben continued to work on class balance to help improve the playtesting experience and find bugs. As we have been saying, balance passes at this time are not final in any shape or form.

  8. Tech – Ability bugs: This week, Anthony landed a handful of ability bug fixes, including the issue where invulnerability prevented damage from damage-over-time statuses. He also implemented an Immunity status, which is applied when a character is affected by CC to prevent further CC effects from applying for a brief period of time. The CC immunity timer is in code review, and will be available for testing once that is complete.

  9. WIP – Tech – FX – Building Destruction: Going into review today will be new functionality to add FX to building blocks based on block type, through their different damage states. Not only will this add more fidelity to the destruction of buildings, but it will also give Mike and dB more hooks to play with!

  10. Tech – Camera: Spidey added new camera tech that improves collision detection and reduces the amount of camera clipping.

  11. Tech – Item Placement/Manual aiming: Spidey added tech allowing placed items (siege items) to face the same direction as the person placing it instead of the default item facing. Additionally, he fixed an issue with aiming where the visual aiming arc would not detect players, despite the projectile, once fired, hitting the player you could not target with the visual arc.

  12. Tech – Siege Engines: Colin made siege engines move dynamically when they become detached from a building as it is destroyed. This expands on his current work supporting generic items attached to buildings.

  13. WIP – Tech – Projected Particles: This week, Wylie started on projected particles. This is a rendering option that causes particles to ‘stamp’ onto opaque surfaces, like a real world light projector. We can use this for abilities that could project an image onto the ground to define an area of affect, among other things.

  14. UI- Bug Fixes:  AJ made a host of small changes and bug fixes to the UI this week.

    1. The paper doll UI will now show what weapons a player has readied.

    2. Added in armor class to item tooltips.

    3. Fixed an issue with the compass that would show info for other zones.

    4. Fixed an issue that allowed players to invite siege engines to things that only players can join, such as Orders, Warbands, etc.

    5. Full Screen UI (Inventory, paper doll, etc.) will only show one UI element once the width of the window is below 1440 pixels, instead of split screen with two UI elements.

    6. Updated the respawn UI with a new look.

    7. Added a fix that will increase the performance of the new damage numbers.

  15. WIP – Art/Tech – Charlotte: High-res model for testing the engine.

    1. Textures: Aside from the initial modeling and texture pass Jon previously completed, he updated three different texture sets for more visual variation when spawning lots of these in game.

    2. Rigging: Joe completed a second rigging pass to fix a few issues and include more of the model for animation, such as the guns and secondary “undercarriage tentacles.”

    3. Animation: After completing an initial movement set, Scott blocked out death, jump, attack, block, and flinch animations.

    4. Tech – Playable Character: Mike worked around the existing character rendering pipe so she uses her high res materials, and allowed devs to play her with a debug command.

    5. Tech – NPCs: Mike set Charlotte up as a character (race/gender/etc) and NPC, so we can spawn lots of her for testing.

  16. WIP – Art – Siege Engines: This week, we finished creating LODs (level of detail) for two of the three Corpse Chuckers, and will wrap the third up early next week.

  17. WIP – Art – Character Weighting Polish: After updating the Charlotte skeleton, Joe began work cleaning up the rough pass weighting on our 2.0 character art. This work is meant to address the jagged weighting seen at times as characters move.

  18. WIP – Concept – World Art: We’re planning a lot of environment art to fill out the world of CU. This week we focused on scouring the web for imagery of different types of environments, and then began concept work on the more fantasy-influenced areas.

Okay, so you may have noticed several items referring to “Charlotte” in #15. So what, or who, is Charlotte? And what did we mean about new bugs in?

Folks, please meet Charlotte:

The Charlotte model (named so by Mark) was initially meant to prove (successfully, we might add) that the CU engine can render high resolution assets. The Charlotte model is over 151k triangles and uses three 4k material sets! To put this in perspective, the higher end of our character models for CU come in at around 18k tris and use two 1024 sets and a 512 set. Getting Charlotte into the game has helped us identify further work we’ll need to do to support not only large creatures such as this one, but in general NPC creatures for CU. While her initial design includes lots of futuristic tech (Jon had designed Charlotte for fun many months ago), this will be later changed so we can re-use her as a monster players will encounter in Camelot Unchained.

Jon created several textures for her so we have more variation when spawning lots of them as NPCs.

Here’s a close-up of her glorious and freaky-beautiful punim.

She also has a glow map on her, making her particularly menacing at night!

Scott initially blocked out her movement animations so we could drive her as a player-character in the game, and then began blocking out more animations. Click the image below to call up a render of some of those WIP animations.

And that’s Charlotte! I (Tyler) can’t wait to change her up a bit more so she fits the CU aesthetic and get her creeping about a matching environment! Jon and I are sitting here while he makes these renders, talking about getting some lights and VFX on her 🙂

In terms of additional art this week, we have a couple renders from Jon of trebuchet ammo. These are meant to be a generic ammo type, respectively for each Realm: Arthurian, Viking, and TDD from left to right.

Once we get the supporting tech to show an ability’s ammo on the siege engines, you’ll see these in game, perhaps in one of our siege scenarios?!

As mentioned above, we’ve been concepting other biomes for CU. Here’s a couple images with various ideas for areas ravaged by Veilstorms.

Creepy, right?! None of this is set in stone of course, and is still just part of ongoing concept work, but I soooo want to make some of these things, especially the weird crystal, twisty, tree thing!

And that’s everything for this week’s update from us hardworking folk of CSE. As a reminder, next week we’ll be celebrating the Fourth of July and will be closed on Thursday and Friday, so there will consequently not be an update livestream.

Have a great weekend all, and I hope to see you in our weekend test!

– t

Camelot Unchained