[KS Update] Afternoon Update – July 9th 2013
June ended up being a very busy month for us, filled with both highs and lows. On the sad side, one of our team suffered a tragic personal loss and life, as usual, also threw another member a bit of unexpected news. I abhor the usual clichés and as everybody at CSE looks out for each other, we have dealt with and continue to deal with these issues as a family.
Last month and this month as well have seen us spending a lot of time in the interview process. For example, we had four interviews lined up on Monday including some 2nd and 3rd interviews with prospective candidates. We are very picky who we let in the door and while we wish that the process could move a bit faster, it’s really important that we bring in the right people since we are not simply looking to “put some bodies in seats” as sometimes studios have to do. If things go well, we hope to make offers to at least 2 and possibly 3 of these candidates by the end of the week. We’ve also had to spend some time doing some business development stuff and that too occupied some of my and the studio’s time last month.
That being said, this should be a fun week for our backers. First, we are bringing back Smackhammer for some duck-hurling, fireball dodging fun. We will keep this version running for a week or so and then we will replace it with SH V0.2. That version of SH has improved client/network code that will lay the foundation for the same code in Camelot Unchained. We will also open a discussion thread on our forums to talk about SH. As we said during the Kickstarter, based on the feedback we got from our backers we want to look at making a more polished product out of the demo. At a minimum, SH should serve as a great place for us to test aspects of Camelot Unchained well in advance of IT testing. We will also consider replacing SH’s server code with the core server code for Camelot Unchained well over the next few months. My hope is that things work out so that SH ends serving as a wonderful way to playtest certain key technical aspects of Camelot Unchained under even more demanding conditions than IT. That would be a win-win situation for both our backers and CSE.
Secondly, two weeks ago I asked Michele and Sandra to experiment with some concepts for the land and one of the inhabitants of the Tuatha Dé Danann. I laid out some things from the backstory and general direction including that the lands shouldn’t be “Triple D” (dark, dank and depressing) but also with no sparkly forests full of even more sparkly elves. I told them to just have some fun and let their minds and styluses wander for a bit. Well, they did just that and as usual they came up with some great concepts, some new ideas and some nice chewy bits as well. We will be sharing some of these concepts with our backers at the end of this week and I will also have another “Becoming” tale to accompany their fine work. FYI, I’ve attached one grey-scaled environmental teaser to this update.
Thirdly, we have selected our new digs, as our current space is not large enough for the size of Camelot Unchained team. We don’t anticipate any significant downtime when we move because we are simply moving to a space across the hall in our building. Like our current setup it will be an “open office” floor plan but it is a bit bigger and has a nice space for a server closet if we choose to run some servers out of here during IT (not likely but possible). We will video the move when it occurs sometime early this fall.
Before I conclude this update I just want to take this opportunity to once again thank our backers for giving us the opportunity to make our game, our way. Whether you came through Kickstarter or PayPal, we are grateful to our Founders for the trust that you have shown us. We will reward that trust by working our collective butts off to make a great game. We might not have the financial backing of a company like EA but what we do have is a Community of Founders who want this game to succeed every bit as much as we do. When we began this project, one of the things I told the team was the same thing I said when Mythic Entertainment began work on Dark Age of Camelot. That is, we have to work harder and be smarter than our competition because we don’t have the luxury of a huge budget or deep-pocket publisher backing. To their credit, everybody then at Mythic did just that and I expect our team will do the same thing here going forward. I am proud of both their effort to date and the best is yet to come.
Again, and as always, my thanks.
P.S. Some Founders have asked on our forums if we are currently using some of funding for Camelot Unchained while we were/are finishing off stuff on March On Oz. The answer to that is no, we are not. I’m still funding MOO myself so no worries on that front. Every dollar that we raised for Camelot Unchained will go towards the funding of Camelot Unchained.