Afternoon Update – Friday, January 16th, 2015
Happy Friday, everyone! For those that missed it, we completed another Stretch Goal for our game last night, while at the same time crossing the $3M mark for the crowd-funded donations. Of course, both are major milestones for our studio and we couldn’t be more pleased. Now that we have completed that Stretch Goal, our interviewing process for the sound engineer has kicked into high gear. We have had a lot of good, experienced candidates send in their resumes, and we hope to add CSE’s first sound engineer to the team before the beginning of Alpha testing.
Our thanks to our Backers, new and old, who have helped us take the sounds and sound effects in Camelot Unchained™ to the next level. As a small thank you, all Backers who had backed our game prior to the completion of the last goal will receive a special and permanent house-warming gift from us. This gift will not be given/sold at a later date and will apply across your account(s). BTW, going forward we will continue giving out different gifts as we hit additional major milestones.
With the Stretch Goal completed, it was time to announce our newest Stretch Goal, which we did last night here. For those of you that read my Foundational Principle #15 here, you know that we said that we are not going to announce any further Stretch Goals that could endanger the current launch date of the game. Keeping this in mind, I decided that the best possible Stretch Goal was one that could speed up some of the art-based milestones for the game, and free up our current hard-working artists a bit. Again, the next Stretch Goal is “Hug the World” which can be found here.
This is, IMO, the best Stretch Goal that we could have chosen at the present time, as it benefits all of our Backers as well as the studio. By helping to speed up the art pipeline, we not only eliminate one of the areas that could have delayed launch, but should also add additional time for polishing the game’s art assets. This makes it a win-win, which is very rare in MMORPG development. 🙂 And, to once again reassure our Backers, this is not a backdoor way to “expand the vision/scope of the game” but is nothing more than it seems, a way to speed up delivery of the current planned vision.
Based on the reactions we are seeing on our Forums, we’re glad to see that the vast majority agree with this type of Stretch Goal. For those who wish we would do something sexier, well, we can’t do that in good conscience and also keep to our current date. It’s not that we wouldn’t like to be able to add some other really cool stuff to the game, but as always, we would need additional programmers, and we haven’t had a lot of luck lately in luring them to beautiful, downtown Fairfax, Virginia.
In other news, we have just updated our P.A.T. #3 checklist. We have added nine new items and checked off four items, for a total of thirteen changes. Given that some of the bugs we are tracking down are quite nasty and complex, some things have taken a little longer than we would have liked, but all in all, it was a good week. In terms of how the list has been changed:
1. Character Art Pipeline – Pull geo from sub materials assigned to model.
2. Character Art Pipeline – Merge per-slot pieces with vertex merg/averaging.
3. Preliminary VFX concepting for ability types. Determine tech needs moving forward.
4. Abilites – Create physics entity Pool = AOE collider on ground.
1. Move patcher off of main game server.
2. Multithreaded renderable/animation updates on client.
3. Better concurrency on octree updates.
4. Editor – User is now able to create their own working channel in an easier manner.
5. Better error handling in client if it encounters a missing resource.
6. Models 2.0 complete – Assets can now be made of multiple parts, such as meshes, VFX, and lights.
7. Slope Sliding – Character will now slide down slopes, dependent upon the angle of terrain on which they stand.
8. VFX now properly attach to bones at lower LODs.
9. First pass Concept – TDD Archer (shown below).
For today’s bonus update news, I have some interesting concept art for you folks to look at and ponder. This will be a multi-part update, and for Part I we have some concept work for archers of the Realm of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Let’s start with some arrows because, after all, what is an archer without arrows?
Therefore, let’s start with some arrowheads.
Now, some fletchings (ends/tails).
The next shot is of a female TDD archer wearing some armor from the Fall Court.
This next work is of a Luchorpán archer skillfully using a nearby rock to almost reach the height of a small TDD child. Isn’t he the cutest little thing? 🙂 C’mon, I kid, I kid.
For the final piece of this update, I have a screenshot from Scott showing his initial work on a mage casting a spell.
Well, that wraps up this update, and I hope you enjoyed it. My best to everyone reading this and have a great weekend and a good week.
P.S. Here are some bonus archer thumbnails as well!