In last week’s update, I opened with a comment on how busy we are, and consequently, how that can make a day seem to fly by. Right before jumping into this update, Mark and I were trying to remember who streamed last week. Neither of us could quite remember, and both of us mentioned how quickly the weeks fly by, a consequence of how busy we are and the pace we’ve been setting! Certainly a good thing!
In terms of testing this weekend, we are not planning on a weekend test. However, keep an eye on our tentative testing schedule for more info on testing next week.
If you missed today’s livestream update with Andrew and Michelle, you can find that HERE.
Let’s move to the week’s work highlights in the form of our Top Tenish, below!
WIP – Tech – Linuxification: This week, Colin finished converting the NPC server to .Net core. This was a necessary step in our ongoing Linuxification of the servers, and will help us save money on server costs.
WIP – Tech – More Linuxification: This week, Wylie continued work on Linuxification. He replaced Windows code with “portable” code, that can perform the same task on different operating systems.
Wip – Tech – Even More Linux: One of the major components of getting our system to run and compile on Linux is our unique parallel structure. George focused on this work in order to assist the other engineers’ ongoing work.
WIP – Art – Procedural Materials: This week, we focused on some procedural materials for props, such as boxes and barrels. The ongoing goal of this work is to provide a consistent material library for artists to use, that ideally requires less hand painting than we’ve previously had to do. Obviously this cuts down on the time to create new art assets, while making it easier to not only tweak the textures later, but also create variations faster.
WIP – Tech – Audio: Spidey created new audio hooks for the start of a scenario and for the victory and defeat screens at the end of the scenario. dB will be able to add music to these hooks in the near future.
Tech – Abilities: Anthony cleaned up null references and bad data in our defs, so all of our CSVTests pass again. Some of our ability data (and related stuff like item scripts) had small problems like Null descriptions or names, and a few even had wrong IDs (which would have had gameplay implications downstream). We created tests that try to detect some of those, and Christina fancied them up to be more aggressive in finding problems.
Art – Concept NPCs: I can confidently say we have quick concept artists. This week, we completed over eight pages of concept art primarily focused on what we’re calling magic-using Draugar. Now the hard part is figuring out which ones we might like to see in CU down the road!
WIP – Tech – Tools: Rob worked on Spatial state visualization tools. These tools will allow us to visualize, in the game, the space an ability affects. We will be using this to help track down targeting issues and make sure that abilities with arcs hit the proper targets.
Art – Music – Low Intensity Track: dB got the key changes for his music in. This helps add more variation to the same music track, making it less repetitive on those long nights of gaming.
Wip – Tech – Pathfinding: Lee and Mike continued working on our pathfinding solution now that we can generate nav meshes and paths. The current goal is to alleviate the problem where groups of NPCs clump together, and get them moving along paths a bit smarter.
Art – NPC Animations: Scott and Sandra both completed a lot of additional animation block-out for possible use on various NPCs. These movement sets are different than our basic player character movements to further differentiate the NPCs. Additionally Scott worked on movement and attack animations for one-handed and unarmed attacks.
WIP – Tech – Tools: Matt and Rob spent a good deal of time fixing up some long-outstanding issues with our editor tools. This has made artists’ lives easier when working in the editor, and should help us speed up a lot of Art and Design tasks. As we move forward, we should be able to do more faster, particularly Rob’s work on improved placement of assets in the world editor.
Tech/Art – Traps and Dragons: Joe assisted Christina this week by providing some simple assets and animation to test the functionality of traps. He also worked with Mike D. to test whether we could add animations to that really old, and very ugly, dragon model we’ve had flying overhead. Verifying this latter functionality works will allow us to create various ambient animated models.
I’m looking forward to working on traps. Not only because, well, traps are fun, but it uses tech that could be used to trigger animations or events on other things. A simple example could be a firework mortar on the ground that triggers on proximity. There certainly isn’t a lack for creativity in our studio, and I fully expect us to come up with fun ways to use this tech!
For art this week, as mentioned in the Top Tenish, we have a bunch of NPC concepts for our possible magic using Draugar. As with all our concept pieces, remember that just because we’re showing you these, doesn’t mean these are assets we immediately plan on making. This is our way of letting you see a bit of how our game is being made, starting with the concept phase where we let the artists creativity run wild, with as few parameters as possible.
At this stage in concepting, we focus on the ideas, which means rough shapes and quick sketching. It allows us to see if we’re on the right track early, before spending too much time rendering out a nice picture.
Determining a character we like is partially done by committee. Often, our final models are a combination of concepts, such as taking the skirt from one guy, the chain idea from another, etc. Then we take those pieces and quickly put them together to see if they work well as a whole. If that’s approved, we may go in and further refine the model, possibly including a back or side view if needed. Our art team has been working together long enough that this last step isn’t always necessary, and can sometimes just be done verbally, saving us some time.
That wraps up everything for a productive week here at CSE. As you can see, we continue to work both hard and smart to deliver a great product that we will all enjoy for years to come!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
P.S. Hey folks, MJ here. The word Linuxification has been sticking in my head for weeks and when I was going over the update, and thanks partially to a discussion thread on MOP, I decided to stay late and write this. So, with all apologies to the great and talented Mel Brooks, Windows (which we do usually do love) and the Lady J (I was supposed to leave an hour ago), here’s the short version of “The Linuxification” from the forthcoming film History of the Game Part Deux!
We have a mission to covert the code!
Code Code Code Code Code
We’re going to teach it-
To save us cash
We’re going to help it-
Run like Dash!
And make it run all throughout the cloud
Run throughout the cloud, run throughout the cloud
Hey Andrew Meggs, whaddya say?
I’ve been Linuxifying all the damned day!
All the damned day, all the damned day?
Yeah, all the damned day makes Windows goes away!
The Linuxification what a chore!
The Linuxification what a bore!
We just can’t wait
Till it goes away!
So c’mon you ioctlsockets, WSAPolls
Our engineers are treating you like trolls
We’re gonna change your statements, we don’t play
‘Cause the Linuxifcation is here to stay!
If you haven’t seen Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I, linkage here (unless you hate Mel Brooks or offend easily) – https://youtu.be/
Have a great weekend all!