Wyrmling has returned and so much more!

Folks,

It has been a very busy week here at CSE, so it is fitting that we end July with a User Stories update, a newsletter, a State of the Game, AND some Alpha/IT testing. That’s a heck of way to end this month, and since we have so much to cover, let us start with the best news:

Alpha and IT testing will now resume at its pre-re-abilitation schedule. You can safely expect multiple tests per week, and hopefully one major test each weekend, for the rest of the summer and beyond! We’re sorry that we had to shut down testing the last few months, but it was for the right reasons. Now, as the ability system begins to take shape, we will begin testing more often. Tonight, I’m happy to announce that Wyrmling has also been re-launched, and is now open this weekend for our Alpha & IT folks. For those who will be participating in this test, please read the email I sent out about it. This is a big step for us and hopefully, this weekend’s test will be a success, so we can bring in our Beta 1 folks as well, into our scheduled (and unscheduled) Alpha Testing next week.

In terms of User Stories, it was another good two-week sprint. For those who want the shortened version, here’s our Ten Topish list:

  1. Our big focus right now is to get back to regular testing to begin vetting the new code, as well as get our Backers in to provide feedback and have fun. Both this week and last week, we’ve done a major push on server and client stability, which has meant squashing lots and lots of bugs. As we have continued to say throughout our production, Andrew is very focused on not having a buggy mess near release, so we continually drive the team to “clean” as they go. This may mean some things take longer than we’d like, but the end result is clean, solid, code.
  2. Stability push highlights:
    • Bots are back, with basic functionality for testing.
    • Build pushes are working again on the Wyrmling server.
    • Multiple threading issues have been tracked down and fixed. Doing so helped spin up new engineers on our threading library.
    • A terrain blending fix went in for ATI cards with a major optimization pass.
    • Source code projects have been cleaned up and optimized.
    • A UI manager threading rewrite was done to use ParLL threading library – this improves performance and reduces hangs related to the UI.
  3. An important thing that came out of all our testing, which some of our Backers participated in, was “Arrow-geddon!” We’ve been spending time spamming arrows to stress test the server’s capability of tracking large numbers of physics objects. She’s been a champ, and we’ll be looking to further stress this in future tests. As a note, this is something other games cannot do on the scale we are working with. Imagine large, 500-player battles, with fully interactive physics projectiles flying through the air!
  4. Mark joined the fray, and quickly built a very useful tool to edit and export components for ability building, which works directly with the new re-abilitation code. This will save us lots of time working with the new system.
  5. Andrew continues work on the networking code to efficiently get ability data down to the client. This is a complete refactor to what was our CAS system, and is now the “Client Spec.” This package contains everything the client needs to know in order to visually show an ability.
  6. Ability disruption is back, and currently being tested on Crushing damage!
  7. We’ve begun to look at the old in-game ability crafting system, used for… wait for it… Crafting abilities in the game! Doing so has already borne fruit, as we are pushing for more flexibility in what skills we can build.
  8. Large “Benification” push on existing ability code, to make it easier for Design to build abilities.
  9. Procedural wood materials are now a thing in the engine. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but as we will have a lot of assets to create, the faster we can produce them, the better.
  10. Work in Art Land continues apace, as we are conceptualizing, modeling, and creating everything from magic staffs to character fidgets and idles.
  11. Alpha andIt Test this weekend. The servers will be up all weekend (or till they crash and won’t start up again) for our Alpha and IT Backers.

As to the User Stories themselves, we had 19 old cards with 117 completes, and 4 New cards with 26 completes.

As a Backer, I’d like to see general improvements in C.U.B.E.’s interface and functionality.
Block “snap” mode. – Complete
Slash commands for C.U.B.E. work in new chat. – Complete
C.U.B.E. files back up after every push. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to play in new biomes that change according to Realm ownership. – (Mini) Biome 05
Concept Art pass – Mini biome – grassland with rock spheres. – Complete
Concept Art pass – Grass and stone Realm variations. – Complete
Determine asset list. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to find unique environment props, or unique locations, that add flavor to the environment while I’m exploring the Biomes.
Create unique environment prop – 005 – Beehive in log, including Realm variations. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to know about smaller changes that don’t have their own user story.
Create an intro video for the “Hot Streamy Summer” streaming event. – Complete
Create an intro video for “Mornings with Max.” – Complete
Create an intro video for “Q&A” streaming events. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like the movement sounds of my character to convey the gear I’m wearing, my race, as well as the environment I’m in.
SFX: Leafy footsteps v1 – Complete
SFX: Leafy footsteps v2 – Complete
SFX: Tall grass footsteps. – Complete
SFX: Short grass footsteps. – Complete
SFX: Twigs footsteps – Complete
SFX: Mud footsteps v1 – Complete
SFX: Mud footsteps v2 – Complete
SFX: Wooden plank footsteps. – Complete
SFX: Rocky footsteps. – Complete
SFX: Deep water footsteps. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play as a Crafter with basic gathering and crafting mechanics for testing.
Replace the stand-in vox model with an actual vox model. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play in a Party, or Guild – UI.
Party Widget:
Hookup real-time data over SignalR – Complete
SignalR Session established connection to party Hub. – Complete
SignalR Client – For live real-time data:
Re-connect – Complete
Error handling & recovery. – Complete
SignalR Server:
Party Hub. – Complete
Send member data. – Complete
Member left. – Complete
Member joined. – Complete
Member permissions changed. – Complete
Member role changed. – Complete
Member rank changed. – Complete
Party name changed. – Complete
Party disbanded. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like the selection of races in Beta 1 to have shared and unique idle and fidget animations.
First Pass: Realm idle look and feel poses to inform direction. – Complete
Second Pass: Realm idle look and feel poses to inform direction. – Complete
Third Pass: Realm idle look and feel poses to inform direction. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to have a selection of weapons that visually represent each Realm’s identity. – Arthurians
One-handed maces: First Pass planning mix and match parts system. – Complete
Two-handed staff – V1: Modeling pass. – Complete
Two-handed staff – V2: Modeling pass. – Complete
Halberd: First Pass planning mix and match parts system. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to have a selection of weapons that visually represent each Realm’s identity. – TDD
One-handed maces: First Pass planning mix and match parts system. – Complete
Two-handed swords: First Pass planning mix and match parts system. – Complete
Two-handed staff – V1: Modeling pass. – Complete
Two-handed staff – V2: Modeling pass. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to have a selection of weapons that visually represent each Realm’s identity. – Viking
One-handed maces: First Pass planning mix and match parts system. – Complete
Two-handed hammers: First Pass planning mix and match parts system. – Complete
Two-handed staff – V1: Modeling pass. – Complete
Two-handed staff – V2: Modeling pass. – Complete
One-handed “epic” ice sword v1 – Modeling pass. – Complete
One-handed “epic” ice sword v2 – Modeling pass. – Complete
One-handed “epic” ice sword v3 – Modeling pass. – Complete

As a Backer, I would like to be able to give to my friends and family the extra tiers that come with my pledge.
Complete fixes from security testing. – Complete
Complete tools for weekend testing. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like the Camelot Unchained ability system to fully support the design scope of the game for B1.
Added the ability to log any data from our server easily – can be searched, graphed, quantified! – Complete
Additional logging added to better provide feedback to design and audit code. – Complete
Block and Counter-attack are now be crafted into abilities. – Complete
Equipment slots can now be independently buffed and debuffed. – Complete
Refactor of immutables to be faster and cleaner! – Complete
System to calculate skill timing costs:
Check for timing component on Phase 0 and pull times. – Complete
Combine Weapon time from component, Phase times (sum of times from Skill Nodes) and any modifiers from effects. – Complete
Create Event Handler to modify times when timing component is found, so buffs/debuffs can change skill times. – Complete
Clean up timing modifier component, event handler, and support code. – Complete
Disruption Damage:
Disruption properties on ActiveSkill. – Complete
Event components and handlers for sending/receiving disruption. – Complete
Add skillnode for disruption. – Complete
Event components and handlers for stability. – Complete
Verify skills that are currently in use can be interrupted via disruption damage. – Complete
Disruption from Movement:
Determine how physics events are observed by entities. – Complete
Player observes Movement Events from the PhysicsScene. – Complete
Ability Builder Update:
Initial testing of old system with new abilities. – Complete
Debug JavaScript skill building. – Complete
Patch ability builder JavaScript so we can build complex skills. – Complete
Skill creation – Create Costing Modifier Event Handler. – Complete
Skill creation – Create Decrease Stamina Node. – Complete
Skill creation – Create Increase Recovery Time Node. – Complete
Flatten node graph from UI into flat list server side. – Complete
Bots and testing:
Fix loadtester pipeline to get basic bot functionality working again. – Complete
Update Jenkins build to push builds to Wyrmling. – Complete
Resolve issues in moving Internal Builds to Beta builds on the Server/Client. – Complete
Update UserProxy instances with new settings to enable tests. – Complete
Add a fix to a category of bugs causing crashes on the server. – Complete
Create a tool to directly audit connected players experiencing issues. – Complete
Fix to multiple assert or crash points when starting the client. – Complete
UI manager threading rewrite to use ParLL threading library. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to improve the visual fidelity and speed of creation of our art assets through the investigation, and possible use of, the Allegorithmic software suite.
Example files: Wood surfaces. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like the new classes, weapons, and abilities to be supported by their animations.
Locomotion Travel State (walk/run):
Right and Left hands holding longsword, offensive stance – upper body locomotion. – Complete
Right and Left hands holding longsword, defensive stance – upper body locomotion. – Complete
Female Human. – Complete
Combat Flinch:
Right hand spear with left hand focus. – Complete
Right hand spear with left hand shield. – Complete
Right and left hand sword, offensive stance. – Complete
Right and left hand sword, defensive stance. – Complete
Combat Death:
Right hand spear with left hand focus. – Complete
Right hand spear with left hand shield. – Complete
Right and left hand sword, offensive stance. – Complete
Right and left hand sword, defensive stance. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like an automated system that can find data related bugs before they become a problem.
Fix texture reference test to tell us if space is being wasted. – Complete
Add a check to ensure textures have the right usage when assigned to a material. – Complete

As a Backer, I want to seamlessly move between islands and zones without being aware that I’m moving between different game servers.
Client can sync from more than one proxy and/or more than one zone on a proxy:
Determine solution to chat. – Complete
Change client to share a single terrain subdivider between all zones. – Complete
Move AttackKeys out of NetClient. – Complete
Audit NetworkWindow:
Review and fix and change requests. – Complete
Physics Subzones:
Bring in some changes from Rob’s old branch. – Complete
Change character actors to use the new system. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to use a packaged sound resource which the client can unpack and dynamically use based on the correct event.
Lump together sound events as sound packages. – Complete
Write sound packages to sound collection resource and index by ID. – Complete
Additional testing. – Complete
Rework all cogs that use sound events to use sound packages instead. – Complete
Rework all places in client where sound events are being used to use sound packages. – Complete
Improve sound import so it generates sound packages too. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to improve, and add to, the SFX for re-abilitation.
Increase ability prep/recovery time. – Complete
Decrease ability prep/recovery time. – Complete
Small blade swipe. – Complete
Sword blade swipe x9. – Complete
Dagger blade swipe. – Complete
Axe blade swipe x2. – Complete

New Cards:

As a French Backer, I’d like to visit the French version of the updated Camelot Unchained website.
Find a group of awesome French-speaking Backers to assist us! – Complete
Site navigation text translated. – Complete
Foundational Principles translated. – Complete
Stretch Goals translated. – Complete
Stretch Goal images containing text – translated images. – Complete
Alpha Manual translated – Complete
Class Reveals translated. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to be able to copy an entire skeleton and its dependencies, quickly, to support unique animations per character types.
Initial discovery of components and cloning. – Complete
Add a button to the editor to support skeleton cloning.  – Complete

As a Designer of Camelot Unchained, I’d like to have the tools necessary to create abilities using the re-abilitated, ability system code.
Improvements to facilitate work in XML – “Benification”:
Add IEval. – Complete
Add Variables. – Complete
Add Aliases. – Complete
LAE rewrite. – Complete
Multiple Contexts. – Complete
Apply mods to the math properly. – Complete
Lots of renaming for clarification, useability. – Complete
Re-work innards of events. – Complete
Re-work innard of events – again. – Complete
SkillNodeContexts span events. – Complete
Finish off some unfinished skillnodes for use. – Complete
Fix announcements in client to use with ability feedback. – Complete
Add basic logging to support testing. – Complete
Clean up “pain points” of the XML. – Complete

As a Developer, I would like to be able to quickly and easily enter, edit, and export the needed components and abilities for Beta 1 via Excel.
Create scaffolding for system that allows designers to enter data in Excel and export it in XML. – Complete
Create an ability in Excel, export to XML, and import it into the game without errors. – Complete
Create first pass at improved creation and editing of abilities within Excel. – Complete

Another great sprint. The Top Tenish list is a good one, but the full User Stories list is even better.

You’ve heard us talk about Re-abilitation and our new ability system, right? I bet some of you might wonder what it looks like from our end. Here’s a teaser:

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In terms of art, we’ve got lots and lots. Let’s start with some concept art for some Two-handed greatswords of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

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Lots of nice work there, which blends the aesthetic of the TDD while still maintaining functionality and at least some reasonable amount of realism.

Vikings love to hit things in Camelot Unchained, and the only thing they like more than hitting things in Camelot Unchained is hitting them harder! These weapon concepts for hammers do a very good job of that.

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OTOH, the Arthurians prefer a little more style for their weapons, and here are some polearm concepts.

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Concept art is great an’ all, but how will things look in the game? Well, let’s start with two work-in-progress looks at some weapons. First, some different staffs.

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If you look carefully enough, you might begin to see how our weapon customization system is going to work. We showed you some concepts for Viking swords in past updates; here are some work-in-progress ice swords for that Realm.

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As always, though, you have to be able to take a blow as well as deliver one, and here’s one look at some stylish Arthurian armor from within the game.

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Then again, if you’re going to be styling, the Tuatha Dé Danann have their own unique look. Here’s a glance at some armor from that Realm.

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Group shot!

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And that wraps it up, mostly, from Art Land.

A great sprint indeed, and one heck of a Friday update, and this is just part of it. This month’s email brings, as always, a newsletter, and also includes a State of the Game message from me. It felt good to write one of those again, and I look forward to writing many more over the lifetime of what we all hope will be a great and fun game.

As always, we thank you for your support and patience. We’ll leave you with a parting in-game screenshot. What is going through that lone soldier’s mind? You’ll find out yourself when it’s you standing there, looking at the beginning of the game, and the world that our Backers helped bring to life with their donations, support, and patience.

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Have a great weekend, everybody!

-Mark

Camelot Unchained