CSE Evening Update – Friday, January 13th, 2017


   Welcome to another Friday update, where we bring you up to speed on the week’s highlights with our top ten-ish list. We’ve also hit our bi-weekly User Story update, now condensed for easier reading. Progress has been steady this week on several bigger projects, despite the plague taking out several people, including Mark, in the East Coast office. Not one to sit idly by coughing and sneezing, Mark has been in constant communication with us this week, as we also prep for the weekend’s testing with IT, Alpha, and Beta 1 level Backers. More info on that testing to follow in another email for those Backers.

In the meantime, let’s move on to the week’s top ten-ish list:

  1. WIP Building Construction and Combat: Last week, Rob quickly updated and improved our building code, and has just as quickly updated the plot UI this week. Players should now be able to see their plot info UI, as well as sort their queued items.

    1. This morning, Rob let us know building plots now use resources, which can be gathered from our temp model trees and rocks around the buildings, for testing.

  2. WIP Buildings: Brad has been making excellent progress on our path toward improving the building code.

    1. Building interface “handles” and grid lines work again with our updated building code. These core interactables are required to build awesome structures.

    2. After implementing support for round structures, the next step was to get them to play nicely with our existing rectangular walls. As of this morning, Brad is supporting square and rectangular structures inside of circular structures, all with working physics. There’s still lots of work to go, but we’re excited about the progress!

  3. Banes and Boons: The last part of the backend here is tagged expressions. These allow Ben to tag something with, for example, a ‘damage’ tag. So, when he changes a single stat, like ‘increase damage by 10%,’ it propagates across all tags. While we still need to build a UI to expose this to our players, this brings us even closer to having Ben’s entire list of B&B’s implemented for Beta.

  4. WIP Gear Slots: In our continued journey toward crafting, we’re adding the ability to have a secondary armor layer. Players will be able to equip multiple layers, like shirts of different crafted materials and stats, under their outer armor layer.

  5. WIP Animation System: Andrew is working on getting independent animations playing on different body parts at the same time, allowing the system to figure out which animations to play based on what’s happening. This means we can have player swing a sword with one hand while using a shield to deflect in the other, without needing to significantly increase our animation scope.

  6. WIP Sound preview in editor: While dB is making all of our wonderful sound effects, there was no way to actually preview them in the editor, making it extremely tedious to hook up new sounds. With Dave and Bull’s recent work, we can make sure the proper SFX are hooked up before ever launching the game.

  7. WIP Animation: Scott and Sandra continue working on new greatsword and polearm animations. Ben continues to assist as a reference point with his prop weapon demos.

  8. WIP Place of Power: We’ve vetted the updated layout, made some changes, and are now moving into finalizing art. Mike also continues to make progress on VFX assets for it as well.

  9. WIP deeper darker forest biome: Yesterday, Ben and Tyler audited the scale of the trees for the new biome and discussed playability when players are able to get up onto the trees. You can catch that stream on our Twitch channel, HERE (https://www.twitch.tv/citystategames/v/114270604).

  10. Art Environments: Jon created several statues for use in the world. Our goal here is to provide a sense of history as you come across these in your adventuring. Tyler is also keen to get a couple into the new, darker, forest.

Despite the East Coast winter plague, we’ve continued to make steady progress gluing together several of our core elements for Beta 1. Even just today, Andrew hit one of his goals for the updated animations system. If you missed it, you can catch his and my update stream from earlier today HERE. (https://www.twitch.tv/citystategames/v/114506920)

For the more verbose breakdown of our progress over the last two weeks, check out our User Story update below. If you’re keen to skip those details, scroll down to this week’s images.

User Stories:

17 Old cards with 48 completes.

As a Backer, I’d like to play in new biomes that change according to Realm ownership. – Biome 06 – deeper darker forest.
First pass concept art. – Complete
First pass white box tree models for scale and playability. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to find unique environment props, or unique locations, that add flavor to the environment while I’m exploring the Biomes.
World statue ruins x5: High and low poly modeling. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to know about smaller changes that don’t have their own user story.
Added slash command to limits the server update rate for the current client – Complete
Increase update speed for WebAPI servers – Complete
Set up network states for entity components – Complete
Create entities from terrain spawned items – Complete

As a Backer, I want to be able to own a plot of land and build within it. – First Pass
Support rectangular structures inside CylinderMorphs.  – Complete
Harvested resources can be used to build buildings. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see graphical and networking performance improvements, when building and destroying structures.
De-rust buildings and building UI for testing and metrics gathering – Complete
Improve damage output for buildings in combat log – Complete

As a Developer, I would like more insight into the state of the server.
Add feature to server config to force players to spawn when connected to a single server – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see improvements in server stability, speed, and robustness.
Improve auto-restarts – make noisy message on the console and make it easier to configure intervals – Complete
Split out hard launches and soft launches from each other to prevent interference between the two – Complete
Implement exponential backoff to space out repeated transmissions – Complete
Check addresses when checking proxies. – Complete

As a Developer and Backer, I’d like to see improvements in memory usage and threading.
ParLL – Make it possible that simple jobs can be done immediately in place if there are no conflicts. – Complete
RunOrSplit (in ParLL) now has firmer order guarantee. – Complete
ParLL guarded data will now get caught and logged. – Complete

As a Backer I’d like a patcher to not only update my game, but also give me the most important news and updates, get support, chat with the community and look awesome while doing it!
Update the patch client to support providing a unique server address per character on log-in. – Complete
Grant permissions to Beta2s to install the patch client. – Complete
Grant permissions Beta2s to use chat. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to see improvements in the editor to facilitate my work.
Add tags to trash items that are safe to delete. – Complete
Have Tag changes populate to any connected editor. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to interact with the first pass of a Place of Power in Camelot Unchained.
Second pass layout and art rough update. – Complete
Central Beam. – Complete
Pit wispy smoky effects. – Complete
Entrance braziers. – Complete
Ash/miasma vapor effect. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to prototype various combat animations to support future system improvements during Beta.
Offensive stance high attack. – Complete
Offensive stance mid attack – Complete
Offensive stance low attack. – Complete
Defensive stance high attack. – Complete
Defensive stance mid attack. – Complete
Defensive stance low attack. – Complete
Two-handed greatsword animations:
Defensive attack 01 – Slash high. – Complete
Defensive attack 02 – Slash mid. – Complete
Defensive attack 03 – Slash low. – Complete
Equip_to_Defensive Stance – Complete
Polearm animations:
Idle to offensive stance. – Complete
Offensive attack 01 – Slash mid. – Complete
Offensive attack 02 – Crush mid. – Complete

As a Backer, I want to seamlessly move between islands and zones without being aware that I’m moving between different game servers.
Update webapi server for presence controller – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like abilities to play sounds.
Expose functionality to preview sounds in editor. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to be able to further personalize my character through the use of the Banes and Boons system.
Tagged expressions. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like the set of animations the player uses to be controlled by the player’s stance, equipment, and other such gameplay factors.
Add sound effects to stance changes. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to pull the physics server out to its own process for improved network performance.
Wait for physics to finish loading before creating Entities. – Complete
Wait for physics to finish loading before creating dropped items. – Complete

Not a bad way to wrap things up. Let’s move on to the art!

For this week’s images, I have to add a small preface. Early in the week, Jon pointed out that the work he was tasked to do wasn’t too exciting to stream. So Michelle and I put our heads together and requested he make some statues to be used throughout the world. The goal here is not only do we get fun and unique things to run across in the world, but we also play to Jon’s strength as a very talented digital sculptor. And it’s fun to stream! I was expecting one, maybe two statues. He knocked out five in a day!  Here’s a sampling. You’ll have to find the rest during your in-game wanderings. 🙂

The fun thing, from my perspective, is that we can play with not only the scale of these guys, but also break them up to show age and history in our world.

Jon, Michelle, and Dionne have continued to work on our first Place of Power for Beta 1. First off, Jon updated our giant floating dragon tooth:

Neat, Huh? Giant floating dragon tooth. Metal enough for you?! Next up, we’ve got a bit of concept art from Michelle, who quickly updated the PoP art to compensate for some changes we made to facilitate gameplay.

Okay, that wraps up this week’s update. As a reminder, we’ll follow up with a separate email that has weekend testing details for IT, Alpha, and Beta 1 Backers. Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks for your enthusiasm and support.

-t + b