With Extra Cheese – Friday, December 15, 2017
Welcome to another weekly update with CSE! We’ve been very busy this week on several different fronts, ranging from combat readability and new scenario functionality to patcher updates and new VFX. We also had a lively livestream this afternoon with myself (Tyler) and Tim, plus a couple of drop-ins by Mark as well. You can catch that stream HERE.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the week’s highlights!
- WIP – Entity Component Templates: As mentioned in last week’s Top Tenish, the work to implement these has involved Andrew, Bull, and Caleb this week. Caleb has been working on playing with the new editor functionality, and setting up spawn points to use the new ECT system. Andrew has been providing design guidance, as well as helping Bull streamline some of the editor functionality. Bull has been working on making the editor even more useful, with the goal of allowing other programmers to rapidly change the format of the components that define entities, and have the editor work with the changed format without intervention. This work will support more gameplay mechanics, and make them easier and faster to create and iterate upon; first for scenarios, then for the larger scope of the game.
- Permissions Update: Christina has been quietly working on our permissions tech to make it easier to use in multiple gameplay systems, currently affecting items and plots. We’ll also be able to support more types of permissions, such as granting permission to your Realm to build on your plot, but not dismantle it. Plots can now be granted permission settings based on scenarios as well, something specifically needed for the next scenario. She’s also working on remote plot functions, such as the ability to release a plot without being near it, and adding more flexibility to control the number of plots a player can own. Some of these changes are waiting on UI updates to allow players to make use of them.
- Tech – Scenarios and Combat Readability: Matt has been fairly busy this week, helping out with several items:Daytime and ammo generation settings have been added to scenario definitions.Tab-targeted projectile prediction improvements. Projectiles, such as arrows, go towards your target immediately, vs. curving mid-trajectory.Client-side bindings for new ability buttons. More info passed to the UI allows us to give more visual feedback for your abilities.
- WIP – Tech – Updated skill buttons: AJ made some long strides this week with the first pass of the updated skill buttons. Currently, they support toggle, prepare, disruption, and recovery. Up next, with some help from Matt, will be cooldown, running, and queued.
- Tech NPCs: Currently in review from Colin: NPCs can spawn, move to an area, and defend it, returning if pulled too far from their defense point. We plan to use this work in the next scenario, discussed in last week’s livestream, HERE.
- WIP – Battlegroups/Warbands: Pass one of JB’s work is currently in review, and AJ’s UI work is close to review. Once these items get through the review process, we can begin some testing focused on performance in those truly large-scale battles we’ve shown with our ARCs and Backers.
- WIP – Tech – Graphite Client: After getting a bunch of Battlegroups work into review, JB created a Graphite client with basic query language for building requests. This can be used by our servers to pull metrics data from our Graphite server. The first use will be for getting player count data and making it available on our Web API server. This gets us real-time player count info on our patcher, or for fan-made sites. Additionally we can get historical data, in JB’s words, “for building some awesome graphs!” Using this also makes more of our metrics data easily accessible in the same manner.
- WIP – Art – Deflect animations: We committed an updated bow deflect animation this week, which inform timing and silhouette changes to pre-existing weapon deflects. Sandra has since updated the left arm shield, polearm, greatsword, and longsword deflects.
- WIP – Place of Power: Dionne continued work this week on assets for the “wasteland” look we’ll have which results from the influence of the Place of Power. We can also leverage some of these assets elsewhere. This week, she worked through two sets of dead or dying grasses and began work on several dead trees and branches.
- WIP – Armor Variations: Included in today’s update below, Michelle continues her work on armor variations for Jon to start on next. This process also helps inform the team how far we can push the fine layer sculpting detail and materials, without having to create all new in-game geo.
- WIP – VFX: Sitting near Mike is fun, because there’s always something interesting on his screen. Currently, he has some electrical effects sparking around a player’s arm, as he fills in some gaps for the Mjölnir class. He’s also been working on slash and crush weapon trails as well as hit effects.
- WIP – SFX – Combat: dB has created a first pass prototype of general combat ambiance that plays when there are a large amount of players in combat around you. This also involves working on new parameters that will affect the interactive combat music.
- Weapons – Focus Items: Jon completed two new tomes for each Realms. Each is built in parts: the book cover, center accessory, and frame, for later use as separate elements in crafting. Jon will be working on the frame elements next week, and we’ll add in focus items in a future sprint.
- WIP – Animation – Focus Items: Speaking of focus items, Scott has worked out one-handed animations for holding a focus item and casting empty-handed. We’ll use these for the one-handed weapon combination animations once we get the focus items added to player inventories.
For art this week, let’s start off with a link to some work-in-progress on casting animations from Scott. As mentioned above, these will support the future addition of focus items and right hand empty casting, as part of the one-handed weapon animation assets.
Next, we have some work from Dionne for the terrain surrounding the place of power. The first images are of general grass and weeds. These were assembled from photogrammetry scans, and optimized to use as little geometry as possible. If you look closely at the second image, you may see how some pieces fit within a single triangle.
Next we have a shot of some of the dead, dried-out tree stumps. These are also taken from real-world scans and optimized to use a shared, repeating texture. Once the initial terrain mod is assembled and working as intended, we’ll do a pass to stylize the textures a little bit, to show Realm influence.
Next up, we have several images of the tome items Jon worked on earlier this week, from concept artprovided by Michelle. We start with the Arthurian versions with their high poly sculpts and materials.
Last but not least, we have some variations of the Arthurian heavy armor chest piece from Michelle. You can catch her livestream HERE.
That wraps up the week for us here! We ended on an extra cheesy high note thanks to our “anonymous rich creepy uncle” (one of our Backers) who was kind enough to send us pizza to both offices! Thank you very much! We called lunch early, as it simply smelled too good to wait!
In addition, one of our Backers, Poxer, sent us this amazing Christmas card, which we opened on today’s livestream. Included below is the card itself (sorry for the reflection, it’s under glass) and the call to arms in the attached note!
If you’d like to take up Poxer’s challenge, you can contact Max on Discord, or in our forums, for the address. Once again Poxer, well done (we see your little jokes in there!), and thank you! While it is already late in the month, we’d still be overjoyed to read Holiday cards in January.
CU next week!