A Mooving Update! – Friday, May 24th, 2019


We’ve had a solid week here, filled with a lot of progress in multiple areas! It felt really good earlier today when I (Tyler) said, “No, I’m not done with the Top Tenish, it’s a bit long.” We actually ended up with 20 items this week, which translates to a whole lot of work getting accomplished in a short period! Coming off of last week’s progress, this feels like a solid two-for-two for the team!

Mark was back in office this afternoon after a VERY VERY much-deserved vacation, resplendent in his vacation shirt on today’s stream. If you missed the stream, you can find it HERE.

We are not planning on running a test this weekend, mainly because so much code has been landing this week that it’s going to take us some time to get a solid build ready. However, please keep an eye on the tentative testing schedule next week, as the minute we get something hot off the presses to test, we’ll definitely let you know!

Let’s take a look at the week’s highlights, all twenty of them!

Top Tenish:

  1. WIP – Tech – Doors: Christina now has doors animating based on a trigger through our scripting system, and we can now destroy doors. This work also supports the use of FX and animations, which will be more than a little handy when objects are destroyed! Mike D. is working on matching the physics shape to the animation of the visual object. This work will later allow us to do much more with player-interactable objects that animate!

  2. Tech – Ability Book: AJ and Christina have landed the first pass of the ability book (Hooray!) for initial internal testing. The ability book will be a player’s ability repository, where they can see the abilities they created, modify them, and later–once we add it–see their progress in leveling up components.

  3. WIP – Tech – NPC Server: The NPC server was an important bottleneck we needed to address, as it was keeping us from fully stressing other systems. Rob finished his first pass at multithreading the NPC server, which allows us to do more with NPCs with more frequent updates. This will, however, expose some new bottlenecks, which is exactly why we do things like this. While we are tracking them down and fixing them, Backers may experience new issues in near-term testing if they happen to be in a large-scale battle.

  4. WIP – Tech – Entity Movement: Colin is on the next phase of entity movement. He worked on making item entities able to use dynamic physics actors, so they can move around in the physics system.This uses the snapshot interpolation (smoothed movement) that he worked on last week. This will be for BPOs, so they can move from the building and not immediately stick to the ground. Once Spidey puts in his web fluid update, things will change back! 🙂

  5. WIP – Tech – Siege Controls: Spidey has now moved onto the next step of siege engines, which adds multiple control points to a siege engine. Our first use case he’s working on is the new battering rams! This will allow us to have several players working together to boost the engine’s performance, or perform different tasks such as loading, aiming, or driving.

  6. WIP – Tech – Support Classes: After focusing on bug cleanup with the existing abilities, Anthony is back working on the support classes, specifically Minstrel Melodies and shared Support Tempos/Dynamics. This builds off the supporting work he’d done previously. Check out our website HERE for more info on these classes!

  7. WIP – Design – Balance Pass: First off, let’s state that at this time nothing is, of course, final. This balance pass is meant to weed out any current/missed issues in the current abilities, and do some balancing to support keeping testing fun. So please, jump into our tests and let us know if you find anything that feels broken, and let us know on the forums! 

  8. WIP – Tech – Deployable items: After completing the systems first pass last week, Christina has focused on hooking up scripting support and scripting to allow our deployable item readying/unreadying process to be interrupted. This will work similarly to interrupting an ability. For example, if a siege engine gets attacked by an enemy while it’s being readied, it will gain disruption to the readying process. Too much disruption, and the readying process will abort and need to be restarted. Placing down and building a siege engine during combat was never meant to be an easy–nor instant–process!

  9. WIP – Tech – VFX: Wylie is working on changes to how we orient particle sprites in space. The goal of the change is to make the orientation system simpler for VFX artists to use, while also expanding the range of possible orientation setups.

  10. WIP – QA – Icon Audit: Brian has been working on an audit of every single icon in the game. He spent a lot of time (and still is) pulling info from various spreadsheets and code (Traits, Abilities, and Ability Components specifically apply to the latter). The purpose of this audit is to ensure minimal icon duplication, fix incorrect or missing assets, and flag icons for revision where necessary. Now that Brian has learned this valuable skill, we’re afraid he might leave us for a career with the IRS! 🙂

  11. WIP – UI – Social UI: While waiting for testing feedback on the ability book, AJ has been working on the social UI, specifically permission management, rank assignment, and resolution scaling to the social UI.

  12. UI – Nameplate: James has updated the art for the nameplates and damage numbers so the style is more consistent with the rest of the UI. Expect more adjustments to how we deal with nameplates going forward.

  13. WIP – Art – Mage Outfits: Tyler and Dionne have finished all but one last asset set, which should be done early next week. Joe has already completed a rough weighting pass on seven of the nine complete assets. We should have these updated in player default loadouts next week for initial testing. This will then allow us to work on the character creation renders in the patcher.

  14. WIP – Art – Corpse Chuckers: Dionne has completed a modeling pass on all three Realm siege engines, and completed textures on Viking and TDD models. These should be in Joe’s capable hands next week to get an initial rigging and animation pass complete.

  15. Art – Battering Ram Concepts: We’ve completed some really cool designs for the first Battering Ram models (check out the images below) which we’ll begin modeling next week! In the meantime, our engineers are testing their work with a simple rigged greybox model previously supplied by Art.

  16. Art – Animation – 1-Handed Weapon Animations: Scott and Sandra finished off the supporting work for one-handed maces, swords, spears, and daggers. These new animations will support the variable timing system, which is not yet complete, so the timing of these animations may feel off during initial testing. Ben is going to add these weapon types back into the game for testing next week.

  17. WIP – Art – Animation: Scott began work on greatsword animations this week, and is working through them at a good pace. Once done, we’ll add greatswords back into the game for players to craft! Sandra is taking her one-handed mace work and retargeting it to Luchorpán, and then will move back to bows.

  18. WIP – Art – VFX: With players now making abilities with the new ability builder, Mike C’s focus is to go through all the components and make sure they have proper VFX assigned. This will be an ongoing process as we also work through bugs associated with the improved ability system and corresponding FX.

  19. Art – Cow Ammo and Empath Gauntlet: Jon created materials for a live version and a dead version of a cow for our corpse chuckers. He’s also completed the Empath’s gauntlet, which will next need weighting and import.

  20. WIP – Art – SFX Various: dB has been working with new supporting code to get in some building destruction sounds based off material types. He’s also continued work on the Wave Weaver SFX, and when not working on those two items, is assisting Anthony to fix ability-related SFX bugs.


For art this week, we start off with a video render of work-in-progress greatsword animations from Scott. Once again, he mentioned how much he likes working with the new rig and how much faster his work has been going. For reference, check out the newsletter article from Scott HERE. One thing I’ve learned working with the animators and Ben (who did a bunch of research on medieval combat) is that the two-handed weapons are very tricky to animate–so I just love how smooth these animations are looking already!

Next up, we have the updated WIP models from Dionne of the TDD and Viking corpse chuckers, this time with an initial material pass.

These corpse chuckers are a little bit bigger, or beefier if you will, than the trebuchets. I think they’ll be a good compliment, and a fun one, to sieges.

Let’s get the next image out of the way, as it’s relevant. Here’s the skins Jon created for our cow model. The dead version will be posed to be ammo in the chucker, and a bit later, will animate when flying through the sky! I think we’re all pretty excited about how fun this is going to be!

Let’s keep on this siege roll we have going here, and take a look at the concepts for the rams, this time with color and–depending on which update you last looked at–new versions. First image is all TDD, and then the second image is Viking on the left, and Arthurian on the right.

Last but not least, we have the Empath’s new gauntlet that Jon created earlier today.

These gauntlets will act as focus items for certain classes. We had to do a bit of fun problem-solving to make these work, as they technically go into your weapon slot but take up a piece of armor on your character.

And that’s everything for art, and yes, everything for this week’s update, folks! As I said, it’s another great week full of solid progress, so it feels good to go into our Memorial Day holiday with a lot accomplished. For those of you that celebrate Memorial Day (and have it off), have a great three-day weekend. CSE will be back on Tuesday putting in the hard work that our Backers deserve.

In observance of Memorial Day, our gratitude goes out to those we have lost, and our condolences to the people whose lives they touched.

CU next week,