Reached: Role-playing Pack #1 – Animations for Everyone!
Here’s a fun Stretch Goal that can be completed during the game’s development phase. Now that our new animation system is in the game, we want to give all of our players (and especially our RP-focused players), some extra love. What we’d like to do is outsource a whole lot of fun RP-focused animations to add to the game. Thus, for those of you who would love to see things like d… dan… (Darn it, you folks know I hate this word, remember the Imperator tee-shirt?) dancing, racial idles, class-based taunts, and other fun and useful animations added to the game, this Stretch Goal is for you!
For those who aren’t fans of RP-style animations, well, the good news is that because our in-house animators won’t have to create these, they can focus all their time on the more combat-oriented and difficult animations. Thus, this Stretch Goal is a win-win for all of our Backers, whether they are RP-focused or not, as it does not slow down our development schedule.
Once this Stretch Goal is met, we will contract with an outsourcing house or contract animators to provide these animations for the game. To be clear, this Stretch Goal is intended to be ready for launch; this is not an Extender Pack.
Reached: Send more programmers!
We have been very clear about our intentions to deliver the version of Camelot Unchained that our current Backers have donated for, and not have an ever-expanding game, with an ever-expanding release date (see Foundational Principle #15: http://camelotunchained.com/v2/foundational-principle-15-stretching-is-good-for-the-body-but-be-careful-not-to-overdo-it/). To fulfill those intentions, we are now focusing all of our Stretch Goals on adding additional people to the team, until we are “locked in” for release.
Thus, this Stretch Goal is all about hiring two additional mid-level, gameplay-focused programmers for the team. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to help us deliver Camelot Unchained on its current schedule, or faster (depending on when we can hire them), without sacrificing quality or features. Our other hiring Stretch Goals have had a profound effect on the game already, and we expect this Stretch Goal will be no different. FYI, when met, this goal will expand our core programming team beyond what we had originally planned for the game.
This Stretch Goal, like our other hiring goals, is not sexy, pretty, nor particularly exciting, and, well, you know where this is going. However, it is another Stretch Goal focused on what all of our Backers truly want: a great MMORPG, which can be released as quickly as possible while maintaining quality and its projected feature set, so they can play with their friends, and kill their enemies.
As always, we thank you for your support!
Reached: Stealth Unchained
Stealth in MMORPGs has always been a controversial subject but having stealth in my MMORPGs has always been a focus (sometimes “Yes, let’s do it” and other times “Oh god, my head hurts just thinking of it!”) of mine. Dark Age of Camelot is regarded by many as having the best stealth system in any MMORPG, and I think that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning also had an interesting stealth system. However, before, during, and after the Kickstarter, I was clear that we wouldn’t have a stealth system in our game unless I believed it was a great system, one which added a lot to the game, and that the stealth mechanics had to meet a number of criteria.
The most important criteria for having stealth were that it was fun, not OP, wouldn’t promote/encourage stealther gank groups, no stunlocking, no easy on/easy off stealth, no unlimited stealth + strong opener + vanish, as well as other goals that I have talked about on the forums since day one. In other words, stealth can’t be seen as an “I Win” button, or “Easy Mode” for players. As you might imagine, the “how” of achieving these goals was the hardest part. And beyond that, I wanted, no, needed, to make stealth work within the entire framework of RvR in Camelot Unchained, and not just for individual/small group encounters. Stealthers in our game must be seen as a vital part of the “big picture,” if they are worth the effort that we must put into them, just as we would for any other class.
The design goals for this Stretch Goal can be summarized below -
Goal #1 – Design a fun, interesting stealth mechanic, and classes that are not seen as “Easy Mode” by non-stealthers.
Goal #2 - Do not design a class that is centered around a strong opener, stun, and vanish with long/unlimited stealth, nor a class that can hide, one-shot, vanish again
Goal #3 – Design a class that has the ability to be very active and sought-after, either in RvR groups or as roamers
Goal #4 – Design a class that some non-traditional stealthers want to play
Goal #5 – Design a class that requires skill to play well, and not just unlimited patience
Goal #6 – Design a system where a gank group of stealthers is not possible
Goal #7 – Design a system that doesn’t affect the launch date of the game
For a full explanation of how we are going to do this, accompanied by 6K words, lots of great concept pieces and more fun stuff can be found here.
Reached: Realm Honors on Steroids
Since before the Kickstarter for Camelot Unchained™ began, we have talked about how to reward our players for their success in RvR. While we discussed progression rewards in terms of skills, minerals, and so on, we haven’t talked a lot about what we are going to do with rewards that might be considered more cosmetic and geared toward role-playing. With this Stretch Goal, we are going to take the Realm Honors concept to the next level, thanks in part to the addition of C.U.B.E. to our game.
What does this mean for our Backers? It means that we are going to add a whole bunch of cosmetic-only things to the game, which will NOT be for sale in a cash shop. These will be rewards that can be displayed on your person, your house, or in your C.U.B.E. creations. So whether they are special fountains to place outside of your home, new statues on your mantelpiece, custom Realm Honor flags for your home, or certain, “interesting,” things to put on pikes, this SG is all about the “Phat Realm Lewt!” And just to be clear, while some of these rewards are geared to C.U.B.E. or to houses, others are not.
This goal will be completed by launch, as it will only require us to outsource this work with a minimal amount of in-house oversight and design/programming work. It will not delay launch in any way, and as such, it is consistent with our stated policy of not adding “lag inducing” Stretch Goals. :)
This is part one of a possible two-part Stretch Goal. The second part could include items that would be more than cosmetic, and as such, would require significant programming and design support. Due to their effect and usefulness in RvR, as well as the time they will take to balance, the items of Part Two will only be scheduled, sometime next year, as an Extender (not expansion) Pack for the game. The reason we are mentioning it now is two-fold: to inspire discussions with our Backers, as well as to be clear, as we always try to be, when it comes to Stretch Goals and their effects on the game.
Reached: Spirit in the sky - Extender Pack Plus #1
From the onset of our Kickstarter, we have been very clear that we had no intention of creating a pet class at the launch, or maybe ever, for Camelot Unchained™, for a variety of technical reasons. Well, what if pets were more, say, ephemeral; more like spirits than flesh, more like spells rather than like NPCs? And with that idear in mind and many internal discussions, the path to adding some form of pet classes to the game has become a realistic Stretch Goal.
Why are “spirits” easier than flesh & bone pets? Well, spirits can fly/float over the ground and move through objects. Pathing, one of the banes of so many pet-based classes, would no longer be a major issue. Treating some of them as spells also means that we can leverage our tech to add them to the game at a very low cost. All of this would also reduce the usual amount of “tris” that pets normally use.
Then there is the coolness factor. Spirits, ghosts, and similar creatures can be way cooler than the average pet, and they can fit very nicely into our crazy, post-apocalyptic world, especially with The Depths™ and our day/night cycle.
Now, what the heck is an Extender Pack Plus? It is our way to sticking to our “swords,” by not adding content to the game that will negatively affect our release date. An Extender Pack is content that won’t be developed until after release. They are free to all of our Backers, and are not Expansion Packs. An “Extender Pack Plus” is content that might be released prior to launch, ONLY IF we can do so without adding to the release date but if not, it will be released post-launch.
In this case, adding one pet class to each Realm will be the first of the “EPP”s that will be considered for addition prior to launch. EPs/EPPs are the perfect way to balance the needs/wants of our Backers while maintaining our commitment to not delaying the launch due to a constant stream of new features.
As you will see from the artwork we will release over the next few weeks and from Michelle’s live streaming, it’s a pretty cool and unique concept for one of the most popular classes in MMORPGs.
BTW, what about the mechanics? Well, our design will comprise so much more than simple, common (and frankly, kinda tropish) pet classes. More on this later!
Reached: Programmers, where art thou programmers?
Okay, you folks have heard enough complaints from us about the difficulty of attracting additional senior programmers to our team. Well, this Stretch Goal is our latest attempt to overcome that challenge. We will use the proceeds from this Stretch Goal to coax two elusive senior-level programmers to join the team, by adding an appropriate amount to our current plan to pay them. FYI, these are the same two senior-level programmer positions that we have been trying to fill for well more than a year.
Now, there is another part of this Stretch Goal: I will match this SG out of his own pocket by adding $125,000 to my $2M contribution. We will use that additional money to reward the current team with an unexpected bonus to their planned raises. This is not simply a gesture: CSE is one big happy (usually) family, and it would be wrong in my mind to lure in new people without rewarding the current team as well. You don’t forget the Phouka you rode in on just because you want to add another one to your stable.
Thanks for supporting the “Hug the World” Stretch Goal; that one went down fast!
But wait, there’s more! Starting with this Stretch Goal, every time we attain another Stretch Goal we will award all of our Backers with a special item. This will be collector’s items (we will never, ever sell them or give them away, we promise) and they will not be pay-to-win items in any way. What will this first item be? That would be telling…
Reached: Hug the World
The funds from this Stretch Goal will allow us to contract/hire additional artists to accelerate the building out of the game world. Additionally, by using these artists to complete some of our planned workload, our current team will be able to focus their time on either adding other, unplanned assets to, and/or improving the quality of assets in the game world, as time permits. Because this is a 200K goal, we will begin the hiring cycle as soon as funding reaches the halfway mark.
As per our Stretch Goal policy and FPs, this Stretch Goal will not impact the development cycle of this game other than to help speed up the game's development. Again, the resources from this Stretch Goal will be focused solely on speeding up the building out of the current vision for the world, and not a «new and improved» vision, which would endanger the current launch date, and as a secondary goal, to improve the quantity and quality of the world art at release.
BTW, the name of this Stretch Goal is also part of a quick contest. The first person to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the movie that the phrase «Hug the World» was used will win a prize. In the event it was used in more than one movie, and we can confirm it, we will award multiple prizes.
As always, we thank you for your support and for completion of «The Sound Engineer Cometh!» We've had a lot of great sound engineers applying, and we're really excited to begin the final phase.
The contest is over. The reference is to the name of the dance in the movie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Reached: The Sound Engineer Cometh
While sounds and effects have always been part of the game plan for Camelot Unchained™, there are sounds and effects and there are AWESOME SOUNDS AND EFFECTS. This Stretch Goal will allow us to contract with a sound engineer to deliver the kick ass, immersive sounds and effects that we all want and you deserve. Part of this goal will cover licensing the Audiokinetc Wwise engine (https://www.audiokinetic.com/licensing/pricing/) and technical support for it, as well as some great plug-ins, while the rest will go toward the salary and expenses of the sound engineer.
When we complete this Stretch Goal, we will also pass the $3M mark of donations to this game. When we do that, we will also reward all of our current Backers with a small thank-you from all of us at CSE.
So if you want us to take sounds and effects to the next level in this game, supporting this Stretch Goal is the best way to do it! And if not, well, we'll go with a more modest effort. To help in the decision-making, we're in the process of preparing a little video... < insert evil laugh here >
In all seriousness, we will of course have fine sounds and effects without this Stretch Goal. However, we would love to be able to deliver something truly outstanding, and this Stretch Goal is the way of making that happen. Also, this Stretch Goal ensures that we won't have to use an excess of the studio's current programming/design team on sounds and effects.
Reached: The Engraving and Reaction System – E.A.R.S
This system is an enhanced gameplay item for both Crafters and Combatants that is intended to be implemented for launch. Our Crafters will have greater control of what they can engrave into items, especially armor and weapons. These engravings are more than mere aesthetics, however: they will also be used for enhancements such as elemental and physical resists to attacks in Camelot Unchained. For our combatants this system will really «light up,» so that when an item is struck by an attack that the item's protection has been enhanced against, the runes on the item will visibly activate. This will allow anyone who is looking at the target to see the type of resist(s) that the target has had engraved on his item(s). Since one of our stated goals is to limit the amount of information that is displayed via traditional and highly tropish «con » systems, this is a necessary addition to our game. This is far from the only visual clue our players will see in the game, nor is this the only system we have planned to enhance the immersive atmosphere of combat in Camelot Unchained—but it is an important one!
Reached: The Bounty System
Taking bounties to the BSC level, our bounty system applies the real-world concept of bounties to our game, and then adds so much more. Bounties can be offered by any one of three entities: by the Realm (all the way up to the king), by a Guild, and by individual players. Bounties can be placed on everything from certain NPCs in the game, to creatures found in The Depths, to the most well-known players in the land. These bounties are not daily quests, nor are most even repeatable.
Reached: The Writer Cometh
Over the last year, I've written a lot of stories and lore for this world. However, because I need to focus on the game design and business side of things, my ability to keep that momentum will decrease. We need to add a full-time writer to our team. We have fantastically exciting lore, and the writer will create even more epic stories and flavor as our universe of tales expands. He will focus on editing my stories, creating his own stories, and will become the Keeper of The Lore for this game. We are fortunate that over the last two months we have had a published novelist intern for us: Max Porter. He's been a great fit, and I would like to hire him full-time. This stretch goal will pay for his work for us and open up very cool things in the future. As a bonus, if we are able to put together a novel based on the Becoming™ tales, all our current Backers will receive a free PDF of the book! So, to sum it up, «Do it for the lore!»
Reached: The Giants
Now that The Depths™ has sunk into place in Camelot Unchained™ it's time to add some more inhabitants to our world. To date, the vast majority of our races have been of average size. It's time to add some »plus size» races to the mix. Over the course of this stretch goal we will introduce some of the possible «Giants of Camelot Unchained» for your perusal. These races will be used as both player races and as well as some of the inhabitants of The Depths. Each giant race will be unique to their Realm (no mirrors used here either). While the concept of giants isn't new, it wouldn't be Camelot Unchained if we didn't do things just a wee bit differently. Soon you will learn a little about all of these races and how they fit into our world. FYI, these giants are certainly taller than all of the other races but they still have to fit within the world as built by us and the players. In terms of size, think of them as the exact opposite of the Luchorpán. P.S. They don't start as giants but that doesn't mean…Read more
Reached: The Depths
The Depths a place that is the nightmare love child of H.R. Giger and H.P. Lovecraft. It is dark, scary and awesome. If you are looking for an RvR-focused dungeon where players can set traps, fight opposing players, find secrets/crafting techniques that have been long hidden and even come back from the dead to haunt the opposing realms, The Depths is the place for your. This is not a G-Rated dungeon. The Depths is place of horrors where nightmares have come to life that is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. It is literally alive and while you are fighting the other realm, you will also be fighting it. It wants you to join with it and spend eternity as its plaything. As the saying goes: «Here, every true son & daughter perishes»
Reached: Archers are confirmed along with one new race per realm!
With the achievement of this Stretch Goal, we add the Archer archetype as well as another race for the launch of Camelot Unchained. Each of the three Realms will have their own, non-mirrored, Realm-themed Archer class in the game at launch. The Archer archetype will be familiar to MMORPG players, but we'll add our own unique spin. Additionally, a new race will be added to the possible lineup of choices available to our players at the game’s launch.
Reached: Herald/Armory is confirmed!
Places where players can access useful information about a game and its players have been an important part of many MMORPGs, such as WoW’s Armory and Dark Age of Camelot’s Camelot Herald. Well, we want to have our own unique version for Camelot Unchained, and unlocking this Stretch Goal allows us to do just that. This is Part One of a potential two-part Stretch Goal, where Part Two would be creating our own mobile app to further enhance the experience. In the meantime, Part One allows us to create a web space that will stand on its own as fun, easily accessible, and usable by all of our players.