Parts and Labor – Friday, September 1, 2017

Folks,

We’ve been fairly busy this week on various parts of Camelot Unchained™, from ARCs (previously Bots) to progression, siege engines, stats, art, animation–you name it, we’re working on it! As always, we’ll continue our open and honest communication with you, our Backers, who have graciously joined us on this journey. We’re closing out the week strong here, as shown in our Top Tenish below.

We’ve also updated the Beta 1 Doc on our website with new information. If you’re curious about what we’ve added, you can find the English page HERE, French HERE, and German HERE.

By the way, we have a three day weekend here, since we’re celebrating Labor Day on Monday, so we’ll see you all again Tuesday.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s highlights:

Top Tenish:

  1. WIP – Tech – Progression: Christina has started building the progression system, which will track players’ progress as they play. The current iteration is focused on Beta 1 needs first, and will add more features later. Matt is jumping in to help build more functionality within our ability system to support leveling and unlocking components based on players’ actions.

  2. WIP – Tech – NPCs: Colin continues work this week on building support to place NPCs in the world through the editor. The next step will be working on the capability to display text from a ‘signpost’ NPC. When a player walks up to an NPC in the game and interacts with them, we need to be able to choose the specific text that NPC displays.

  3. WIP – Tech – Client Stability: We were unfortunately unable to test last weekend, due to some lock-ups experienced on the game client. George spent this week fixing these. While the frequency at which they happen has decreased significantly, we can do better. In lieu of testing this weekend, we’re opting to move forward a better fix for us all in the long run, which will take more time. We want our Backers to play the most stable version of our game, so thanks for your continued patience.

  4. WIP – Tech –  Animation – Superman bug fixed: We think we may have found a fix for the infamous “Superman bug” where players or Bots would get stuck in their falling animation and appear to be flying about as they moved. We’re leaving this as a WIP, just in case it reappears. Here are the fun details:

    • Each animation has a priority. In this case “jump” has priority over “land.” The issue was one of timing, where in some cases the jump animation hadn’t blended out before the land animation had blended in, therefore trumping the land animation and getting stuck in “fall.”

  5. Tech – Animation System Support: Bull set it up so that members of the team looking to change animations can open the correct spreadsheet from the editor, as opposed to making an educated guess at which one needs editing. This is necessary because each server (Hatchery, Fledgling, Wyrmling, etc.) runs different versions of the spreadsheets, so that changing data on one doesn’t change data on other servers. This is the kind of change that removes a chance for human error, preventing many potential bugs or issues in the future.

  6. WIP – Design/Tech – Beta 1 Siege Battles: Ben and Mark are working through some of the design scenarios for Beta 1 siege battles, and are looping in engineers to begin architecting the systems. These battles are being designed primarily to be fun, and importantly, to test our work in Beta 1 and beyond.

  7. WIP – Tech – Improvements for setting player stats: The way we store and edit stats used in character creation wasn’t ideal, and could produce incorrect or confusing results. Caleb set it up so that stats used for character creation exist in a spreadsheet (like we do for items), to allow Ben to edit them easily. This allows Ben the ability to quickly and easily change player stats, such as speed.

  8. WIP – Tech – New in-game options menu: AJ spent some time this week giving our options menu a facelift and fixing some outstanding bugs. Sliders now work again, and have tick marks through the low-to-high options.

  9. WIP – Art/Tech – First-pass Empath Component VFX:  Mike and Ben are working through the Empath components. This will test some of the more general work from Gabe, allowing us to show VFX on your target, such as the temporary VFX from a heal, or the splatter of blood when hit.

  10. Art – Wood Resource nodes with Realm Variations: Dionne has worked on the first pass of Realm variations on the wood resource node for Beta 1. Each node will have a visual Realm ownership variation to support Realm control changes in the world. These nodes will be used in lieu of future tech, like harvesting from trees. Next up, leather and cloth.

  11. Art – Animation – First Pass Left-hand Shield: After blocking out the left-hand shield animations last week, Sandra is wrapping them up this week, working on the skirt and cape animations for those movements.

  12. Art – TDD Realm Portal Materials: Jon has finished a pass of all three Realm variations of this model, which will then be propped out and imported.

  13. WIP – Art – Updated Character Select Screens: For Beta 1, we’d like to have some moving backgrounds, similar to the work we did with the patcher images. However this time, James is doing these movements through code to improve performance. Michelle is assisting with ideas and test art. 
  14. WIP – Art – Basic Clothing Concept Art: Michelle completed a pass of some male clothing, from which we can select a few pieces for our NPCs. These will be changed slightly to fit the different Realms.
For art this week, let’s check out those previously mentioned resource nodes Dionne is working on. If you’d like to see any of the creation process of these items, you can catch a couple of livestreams HERE and HERE. Also, special thanks to Dionne, who rescued me from my own stream when I was unable to run it!
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Next up, we have renders of the TDD portal marker with terrain ownership variations. This means that if another Realm owns the surrounding terrain, the model will shift to show that influence. The couple of roots crossing across the front will act as steps, with our procedural terrain system creating a small hill to support the model. These first two images are renders from Substance Painter, the primary program we use to create the materials.You can catch Jon’s stream working on a bit of sculpting and materials HERE.
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Jon has been experimenting with a different rendering program called Marmoset, which has become one of the industry standards for creating great beauty shots of 3D art, particularly for showcasing. The below shot is of the Viking Realm variation in Marmoset:
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Moving to concept art, we are looking at creating NPCs the player can interact with for Beta 1. Michelle has taken this opportunity to work on some more basic clothing designs, which can later be used by our players, when they don’t want to run around all armored up for combat! This week we have some ideas for the men, from which we’ll choose our favorite pieces to begin working on, and add some Realm-identifying details.
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We also just put out a new newsletter this week, which you can find HERE. Much appreciation to Max, who not only assembles the entire thing, but makes sure those responsible for content get their work done on time! There’s lots of extra information in there, and a great intro from Mark.

By the way, if you happen to be in Atlanta this weekend for Dragon Con, you can catch Mark and Andrew’s panel at 2:30 on Saturday, where they will be talking about our progress over the last year, and showing off our work on large-scale battles!

That wraps up our week’s update. If you want to see the more theatrical version of the Top Tenish, with Q and A, you can catch Tim and my (TnT) update stream from earlier today HERE. Many thanks to Apollon who has been amazing in heading up the German translation team, and sent us several wonderful gifts, all the way from Germany! It was a very fun package to open on stream. Danke schoen!

Have a great weekend, all!

-t

Camelot Unchained