It’s Baaaack! – Friday, February 22nd, 2019


We’re closing out a productive week here at CSE on a high note, with initial internal testing of the improved ability system! In today’s testing, we’re using the updated abilities our classes will be using moving forward, and we’ve begun testing the initial pass of the long-awaited improved version of the ability builder! Along with all the other ongoing progress you can read more about in the Top Tenish below, it’s been a solid and generally busy week here, as we churn through our work to make a great game we can all be proud of!

We are not planning on a test this weekend. Stay tuned to our tentative testing schedule next week for further testing.

If you missed today’s livestream update and Q&A, you can find that HERE.

For the rest of the week’s highlights, let’s take a look at our Top Tenish list:

  1. WIP – Tech – Improved Ability system:
    1. We’ve begun internally testing some of the real abilities for the existing classes, using our archers and fighters. We can say that performance looks promising, in a test where more frequent skill use is happening to stress the system. This early testing will give us good data to determine next steps.
    2. Ability Builder: In this testing phase, we’re beginning to use the new ability builder tech, albeit with a devUI for testing. This is a long-awaited feature we plan to get initial testing on next week!
    3. Anthony has completed the first pass on siege abilities, as well as Mage, Archer and Healer traits.
    4. Caleb spent the week squashing bugs and optimizing abilities within the improved system. Performance is always important to support large-scale battles.
    5. Wylie worked on the ability components for the Heavy Fighter classes. Most of the components have been implemented and should be finished next week.
    6. Christina ported abilities such as combat/travel stance, harvest, and sprint to the improved system.
    7. Christina also worked on implementing health/resource regen and ability disruption in the improved system.
  2. WIP – Tech – Terrain and NavManager: Lee checked in the terrain and navmanger. While this is still waiting on continued work from Andrew, it will improve our terrain query quality and speed. This iteration will re-enable better syncing between player position on client and server (You don’t pop under the terrain when moving around) and is foundational work for future pathfinding tech.
  3. WIP – Tech – UI: Matt moved UI updates off the input thread to avoid long UI frames preventing us from processing input as fast as we would like. We still need to do a bunch of optimization to the UI itself, but this way it can’t unintentionally impact frame rate.
  4. WIP – Design: Ben is working on the design for the death and respawn systems, and is updating the character progression system documentation for future tasking.
  5. Tech/UI – Respawn window: AJ added a styled Respawn UI to replace the current Dev UI. This also involved creating better support for 4k widgets in our draggable UI system.
  6. WIP – Art – Characters 2.0: Better-looking and more performant characters!
    1. Hatchery Merge: This week, we merged our changes into master on Hatchery. Tyler is getting to the tail end of bug fixes he can make. Next week, he’ll support ongoing polish work from the animators, as well as importing the artist-created LODs.
    2. Final Skin Weighting: Joe finished off the Luchorpán and Human nude meshes, allowing us to use those as bases for the undergarment and armor meshes.
    3. Animation Polish: Sandra updated the archer animations, including versions for the Luchorpán Forest Stalker. She’s right now cleaning up the Fianna human and Luchorpán assets, as well as some of the travel idle fidgets. Scott cleaned up assets for the Black Knight and Mjölnir. He’s currently working through the empty hand travel and combat idles and locomotion.
  7. WIP – Tech – Building Placed Objects:
    1. Colin worked on refactoring the physics network states to support networking BPOs.
    2. Matt has nearly finished his first pass of networking BPOs through the various servers involved, allowing the BPOs to be part of the building instead of individual objects. This will allow players to add torches and other lighting objects to their creations in offline mode and have them work after switching to online mode.
  8. WIP – Music: dB started composing new background music for our scenarios, specifically starting with our siege scenarios.
  9. WIP – VFX – Mages: Mike continues to work on the first pass of Mage ability VFX for our initial testing phase. This week, he worked on rendering out new sprites to improve the look of our assets (fire, water, explosions).
  10. WIP – Art – Wave Weaver Gauntlets: Jon and Dionne finished four of the five new Wave Weaver gauntlets this week, and are finishing up the last one today.
  11. WIP – Art – Magic Mortars: We’re very excited to get these new siege weapons built and useable in game. We created some more really nice concept art his week for the Arthurian version. Dionne began work on the Viking version end of this week. She and Jon will complete all three models early next week.

   12. Art – Ability Builder: James finished up the final look of the Ability Builder styling, and has now moved back to creating icons for abilities.

For art this week, we start off with that area of game development where lots of cool ideas are born: concept art! This week, we went through several ideas for the Arthurian magic mortar model, and believe it or not, these are only a handful of the ideas presented. The second image is the one we settled on, with further visual development to help the artists create the in-game models. If you missed last week’s update, you can see the Viking and TDD concept art HERE.

Next up, we have concept for re-skins of the current light armor models that our healer archetype classes use. The goal here is making sure our mages look different from the other classes during the initial testing phase.

Next, we have the four Wave Weaver gauntlets created by Jon and Dionne. The first image is the high poly sculpt, and the second is the low poly model with materials.

Personally, I’m excited to try out our mages once the supporting improved ability system allows. They should bring a fun new dynamic to the game, one that will only grow as we continue to work on their abilities and corresponding art! It’s not like I won’t be busy in the meantime, with the fully-networked physics destruction in our siege scenario, upcoming new siege engines, BPOs, navmeshes, and all the improvements to the character visuals!

Thanks for joining us for this week’s update, and we’ll see you on the battlefield, forums, or livestreams! Have a great weekend all, and CU next week!