A hot and muggy update – Friday, May 4, 2018
Welcome to another weekly wrap-up from the hardworking folks here at CSE! This hot and humid week came and went in a hurry, which has become more and more common as we continue clobbering tasks necessary for the start of Beta 1.
This week was particularly interesting, as we made some great progress on multiple fronts, including building performance, environment art, animations, abilities, and even tracked down several bugs from last weekend’s playtest. And in even better news, we are still on track for the opening of Beta 1 on July 4th, 2018!
Because of all that hard work this week, we have a new build up for testing this weekend!
When: Saturday and Sunday, May 5th and 6th, 2018
12PM EDT – 2PM EDT/9AM PDT – 11PM PDT/4PM UTC – 6PM UTC.
If you’re confused about the times, you can go HERE (https://www.worldtimebuddy.
Who: IT and Alpha
We will send out a separate test email later with more details.
If you missed our end of the week wrap-up with MJ, you can find that stream HERE. For the highlights of the week, let’s go to our Top Tenish. If you’re just here for pretty pictures, scroll down to see some of the art from this week.
Testing: Much of this week was spent addressing the bugs in last weekend’s build, as well as finding and fixing a few new bugs. As mentioned above, this has led us to a weekend test!
WIP – Tech – Buildings: Andrew made significant progress this week improving the networked side of building updates. Check out his stream from earlier in the week HERE, showing off this work!
WIP – Tech – Building Placed Objects (BPOs): Matt completed edits from feedback on item placement, specifically around rotation controls, to provide more visual feedback and make them more intuitive. This will allow Backers greater control in placing assets. The great thing is, we can use these tools for our internal editors as well!
Tech – New Entity Commands for Items: Currently in review, Christina transformed the old item slash commands into entity commands. This gives us better admin control over controlling items and performing bulk operations on players or the game world–on a running server!
Tech – First Pass Vox Token System: The player now has a permanent token item in their inventory that is tied to the Vox they’ve placed in the world. From it, they can abandon their Vox if it is misplaced, and then deploy a new Vox. Christina and AJ also hooked up support so some items, like the token, can have item-specific actions in the inventory.
WIP – Tech – Client Skill Effect Debugging: Rob continues to make progress on his dev UI used to assist us in debugging skills. The dev UI now shows projectile effects, effect source, and soon, active effects. All of this work greatly improves the speed at which we can debug issues with skills.
WIP – Art – Animations: Work continues on the new class-specific idles and updated animations.
Fianna: Scott completed a new spear slash, pierce and deflect, shield crush and deflect, and is finishing the secondary movement animations for the Fianna.
Sandra completed an updated idle for the Blackguard, as well as the updates to special attack, death, flinch, and deflect, and is currently working on the basic attack.
Ben continues updating and adding these animations on to the classes as they become available.
WIP – Art – Environment Art: This week, Tyler and Dionne continued working through the assets in the Dragon Fang map, and will begin working on the home islands next. You can catch Tyler’s environment art stream from earlier this week, HERE. For this week:
Finished LODs and collision on all outer rock wall assets, pit edge, and “spiky rock clusters.”
Updated mats and VFX added to crystals.
First pass addition of assets in TDD spawn area.
Cleanup of pathing areas out of spawn points.
Ambient SFX added to center of Place of Power model.
WIP ground clutter assets and smaller details added.
WIP New birch tree variations.
WIP – SFX – Dynamic Combat Music: dB is finishing the first pass import of the combat music system, which lays the foundation for more music tracks, system iteration, and improvement.
WIP – Art – Trait Icons: This week, James completed a first pass on icon art to go with the new traits Ben designed, and is currently improving them, based on feedback.
WIP – Art – VFX: Mike is creating an update to the VFX asset in the center of the Place of Power, based on new concepts from Michelle. He’s also iterating upon work for void energy, with the Black Knight’s special ability as a first prototype. Plus, he is also working on new VFX for the Arthurian and TDD spawn model, to bring them more in line with the Viking spawn model.
- Art – Concept Art – Various: This week, Michelle finished concept art on a player spawn dais for scenario 2, a belt quiver for the Forest Stalker, and a Physician’s belt. These are now in Jon’s capable hands, so he can create models for them.
- Art – Modeling – Various: Jon created the new, smaller NPC dais for scenario 2, and has begun work on the previously-mentioned assets from Michelle. He also got inspired and created a new environment statue, which he calls “TDD/Depths inspired” for use in the world.
For art this week, we start off with some still images of the animation work on the Fianna. In this pass, Scott is working out the posing and timing for updated spear basic pierce and slash attacks.
Once we get further along on our needs for Beta 1, we’ll get some animations uploaded. However, you can see how all of this is done in Scott’s most recent animation stream, HERE.
Next, we have some concept art from Michelle. First up is belt quivers, which will debut on the Forest Stalker. Ben came up with this idea while we were working out ways to further differentiate our three archer classes’ animations. With this addition, the entire visual changes from an over-the-shoulder draw, which our Blackguard and Winter’s Shadow animations currently support, to a hip draw, which works well with the slightly crouched idle pose we went with.
Next, concept art of the secondary spawn point marker for the Dragon Fang scenario. In this map, when players take a control point, NPCs spawn to guard the point, and also to attack the next control point. Control of the point gives players access to a secondary spawn point near the control point, from which they can now respawn.
Next, the Physician’s belt! We’ve been talking about the physician’s animations for a couple of weeks, ahead of the animators starting on the actual work. The mechanics of this class are unique, requiring the physician to use the resources he has on his belt. While we still need to do more work on the tech side to support the full scope of the design, we can work on the assets and animations. Getting a model created early will make it easier for Sandra to animate.
As mentioned above, we have some shots from Mike of his WIP in the VFX editor. First, he’s adding some VFX to the Arthurian spawn point model.
He’s also made some nifty VFX for the crystal, which acts as our “flag” in the future capture the flag scenario.
Next up, the secondary NPC spawn marker model from Jon (say that five times real fast)! When players collect and place the crystal in its receptacle at an owned control point, additional NPCs will spawn on this.
Interestingly, this next model started as something Jon worked on in his free time, then continued a bit this week while waiting for concept art from Michelle. Jon called it a TDD/Depths-inspired statue.
Lastly, we have some of the icon work from James, for the new traits Ben designed. Personally, I (Tyler) love these. I think one of the most underrated art forms in games is the icons, which need to clearly convey what they do at a glance. It’s a tall order! These will probably be iterated upon often, based on Backer feedback.
Bonus Image: I (Tyler) made a fun mistake the other day: I accidentally uploaded a tree asset (always with the trees, right?) into the Dragon Fang scenario at the incorrect scale. This tree was exactly 100 times bigger than it should have been. With a bunch of creative developers looking at this, we realized there might be something to this we might possibly, maybe, do something cool with later 😉
As you can see, the roots of this tree cover a large area of the Dragon Fang map!
That wraps up everything for this week’s update. We’re making really good progress on our goals for Beta 1, and are still on track for our deadline. Also, one last thing: special thanks goes out to Ludovic, who sent us these totally awesome mugs! Thanks very much! We promise to use them for good, clean, caffeinated work! It’s getting very muggy here. 🙂
Have a great weekend all, CU next week!