Framing a good week – Friday, June 14th, 2019
We’ve had a solid week, once again full of tons of progress. This includes keeping our word to focus on getting a new solid build up for testing! After four productive weeks, there was a lot of work to do to shore up bugs, work on performance, and fix issues from the update to Visual Studio 2019 (which was honestly more daunting than we expected).
This week saw the return of the ever-impressive Cherry Keep scenario, as well as the Dragonfang (Capture Point) scenario over three days of testing!
If you missed out on these tests, we are planning on having a weekend test. However, this is a TENTATIVE test, because we have electrical work going on this weekend in our building. If everything works out and comes back online Saturday, we’ll be testing on Sunday.
Here’s the details for this weekend’s TENTATIVE test:
Sunday, June 16th, 2019
Countdown Timer HERE
3 hours: 12pm – 3pm EDT / 9am – 12pm PDT / 6pm – 9pm CEST (Get Localization)
IT / Alpha / Beta 1 and 2
Hope to CU there!
Keep an eye on our tentative testing schedule to stay up-to-date on testing.
If you missed today’s update livestream with Ben and Andrew, you can find that HERE.
Let’s go to our lengthy Top Tenish list for the week!
WIP – Tech/Art – Bugs – Various: This week, we began a sprint we refer to as “hardening,” which means wrapping up the previous three weeks of productive work (closer to four), and addressing bugs. Several people have been focused on bugs this week, so while we would have an excuse to say this Top Tenish is shorter than usual because of that, it actually isn’t short at all! Go team!
Tech – VS2019/Perf – Testing: One of the results of bug fixing, improvements, and hammering out all the VS2019 changes was a return to testing! We also managed to get some optimizations onto the NPC server, which added even more active NPCs to the Battle for Cherry Keep! As promised, we also caught up on all the work completed over the past several weeks, and got a stable build up for multiple tests this week.
Tech/Design – Ability Bug Fixes/Class Balancing: We have fixed several bugs with the abilities this week. Most noticeable was a filtering issue that has caused several problems. In addition to Ben’s balance work, Abilities should be shaping up to be a bit more fun and fair.
Tech – Doors: We landed the initial code work for single doors. One of the next tasks will be supporting double doors, i.e. multiple physics actors. Once Jon completes the large door for Cherry Keep, we’ll integrate it and test it out!
Art – Concept – Basic Doors and Portcullises: Now that the initial supporting tech is done, we’re looking at other types of animated doors. We’ve completed a bunch of concept on Realm-themed basic doors and portcullises this week. The end goal is for players to have a selection of door types of different sizes they can use within their building plots.
Tech – Animated Items: One cool thing we have been working on for a bit. Animated items supports animations on placed entities in the world. This will let us do cool animations when we spawn or destroy items, as well as have interactive things in the world.
WIP – Tech – Building Destruction FX: Now that we can play FX based on building material types, we’re working on adding support for particle effects on collisions between rubble pieces, buildings, and terrain, as well as the position accuracy of these FX. We’ve also begun work on material-specific effects for building blocks as they become more damaged.
WIP – Tech – Entity Movement: Colin performed a bit of “tricky” magic this week and merged the first part of entity movement work with the item animation work. There won’t be a noticeable (to Backers) change yet, but this has allowed him to move to the next part, which will result in items transitioning between frozen to moving around. This means items will be able to fall off buildings like rubble! Careful where you leave your Vox!
WIP – Tech – Reactive Particle Scripts: We have ongoing work to make our visual effects for spells dynamically adjust to what’s actually happening with spells and objects. Instead of pre-animated and pre-designed effects, we’re making things adjust to the actual world — including dynamic adjustments driven by statuses and buffs. Beam effects should be the exact length of the actual ability, cone spells should be the exact width of the actual spell, and shapes should conform to the actual character.
Tech – Updated Damage Numbers/UI Bugs: AJ completed his work on the changes to player damage numbers, which also includes damage type icons. This work, as well as several other UI changes, are working their way through review, which will bring some solid improvements to the UI.
Art – Animations – Various : Scott completed the attacks, walk, and run locomotion for the greatsword animation set, and is also working on setting up all the Luchorpán one-handed weapon/open hand/casting/torch variations into the game. Sandra is working on long and short bow generic use attacks, and finished the skirt and pauldron polish work on the same set.
WIP – Art/Tech – Battering Rams: Now that we’ve got it so players can deploy, interact, and move a battering ram (not in this weekend’s test, but soon!), Scott is improving the skeleton on the new models. This will allow us to get them in game with a working ability.
Art – Cherry Keep Door: Jon finished the sculpting and materials for this asset. Next, we’ll make sure it fits on the building grid, rig it, place it, and open and close it!
Art – 4K UI – Paperdoll: James completed 4k assets for the paperdoll UI this week as part of the ongoing support for 4K resolutions.
Art – SFX – Various: dB has been busy this week creating block removal sounds for different material types on buildings. The supporting tech isn’t quite ready yet due to perf issues. He’s also got a siege scenario intro music track waiting to be hooked up, and managed to go through and fix a bunch of misc. bugs and performance issues. Oh, and he improved the Flame Warden’s impact sounds.
Art – VFX – Various: While continuing to clean up some of the VFX tagging now that we have the ability builder back, Mike has also handed off a first pass VFX to Christina to test for deployable items. Additionally, after Wylie’s fixes and improvements to particle orientation, he’s updating any current VFX that didn’t migrate “perfectly.”
WIP – Tech – Editor/Client Rendering Unification: Because the editor has to be set up differently than the main game client’s rendering pipeline, it has caused a discrepancy, visually, in how assets look between the two. Wylie is currently fixing this, making the artists’ lives a little easier.
Tech – New Gameserver Introspection Tool: Rob created a new tool that allows us to visually inspect what is happening on every thread on a frame-by-frame basis during the core update loop, helping us better understand and optimize it. Work like this helps us accomplish what we’d previously thought impossible in our very large battles!
Like I said, still plenty of work getting done, despite that hardening focus. I’m proud to work with such a great team!
In terms of art this week, we start off with the work-in-progress Viking battering ram from Tyler, with a bit of sculpting help from Jon on the ram head.
The next step, as we did with the previously-shown Arthurian and TDD versions, is to get it rigged and into the game for testing. You can see the concept art for this guy HERE.
Next, we have some screenshots of the ongoing animation work from Scott and Sandra. First, Scott is trying out a different “carry” pose than the “attack” pose with the greatsword. Previously, without the added blending functionality in our animation system, our movement animations had to closely match our combat poses. This test will see if we can blend from this pose to the attack animations successfully. We’ll see!
Sandra has been retargeting our wand/scepter animations to the Luchorpán, a process by which we copy the animations from the Human skeleton, to the Luchorpán skeleton.
Per the Top Tenish above, now that we have code support for doors, we’re going a bit door crazy concepting different door types for each Realm. Here we have possible ideas for the TDD.
And here’s a few ideas for TDD portcullises (Yes, I had to look up the plural of portcullis :P).
And last but not least, we’ve got a shot of the still work-in-progress Cherry Keep door with materials. The next step will be to finish it and get it in game on the keep itself, and to see if we can destroy it with a battering ram!
And that’s everything for this week: highlights, bug fixes, art, testing, livestream, and more! We’re working hard because you, our Backers, deserve it.
CU (hopefully) this weekend,