May-king Headway – Friday, May 3rd, 2019
Things are moving along nicely this week, with progress on existing features and some new ones! While we continue to improve the already-amazing siege scenario we’ve been showcasing (See past news updates HERE and HERE as well as past livestreams), we’re also moving ahead on new features. We’ve got lots of ongoing design work from Mark and Ben on various topics, including new siege engines, new scenarios, ships, and–quite literally–the layout of the entire game world.
None of this even mentions new features we currently have in testing, like the new ability builder UI! In my (Tyler) humble opinion, this is a big deal–I have been waiting for this feature to return. Paired with the improved ability system, we have got a great combo to build out abilities and play how you want to play!
If you missed today’s livestream with myself and Tim, you can catch that HERE. There were a lot of great questions from attending Backers at the end of the stream!
We are not planning a test for this weekend, but keep an eye on the tentative testing schedule for more testing info next week!
For this week’s highlights, let’s jump on over to our Top Tenish list!
WIP – Tech – Doors: We have started work on doors that work as, well, doors. Besides basic animations and permissions, we’re also looking at the tech needed for portcullises and drawbridges and how they may interact with players unfortunate enough to be hit with them as they open and close.
Tech – Ability Builder: The ability builder is back! AJ and Christina have landed the new ability builder UI, and we have started our initial testing with our Internal Testers. We hope to get it into players’ hands next week!
Tech – ECTs: Christina upgraded item ECTs to allow for item state overrides from the editor. This will allow Design to make special items in the world that have non-typical item stats, such as an extra-strong keep door in a scenario.
WIP – Design – Various: Ben has been busy this week. He’s speccing out the framework for the entire game world terrain, designing how ships will work, and working on the design of doors and new siege engines with Mark and other members of the team.
WIP – Tech – Movable Siege Engines: We have started working on making siege engines mobile. Players will be able to reposition siege engines, such as trebuchets, on the battlefield.
Tech – Slash Command Key Binding: Mike D. added some handy time-saving functionality that allows devs to create and bind several slash commands to a key.
WIP – Tech – Ability Book: Now that we have the ability builder, AJ is creating a place to store all the abilities that can be created. The ability book will be the repository for all your creations!
Tech – Animations System – Blend Curves: This added functionality is a fundamental need as a precursor to the variable timing functionality of our ability system. However, this can be used for all animations, allowing us to determine speed over time. An example would be taking a basic attack and switching up its timing to begin quickly and end slowly.
WIP – Tech – NavMesh: Lee has created the infrastructure and framework for NavMesh creation and pathfinding, and has been working on an algorithm to analyze meshes for edges that are impassable based on angle. Obviously we don’t want our NPCs being able to chase you through impassable terrain!
WIP – Tech – Generated Sub-Materials: Wylie is developing a system that will allow us to change the rendering parameters of materials under various use cases. Examples include: When deploying a siege engine, we can render the object differently before committing it, like making it partially transparent, adding flat color, etc. We’ll be able to use this functionality elsewhere to basically make it clearer which items you are interacting with or selecting in the world.
WIP – Art – Mage Outfits: Tyler created LODs of the Viking armor and is now creating the female Human and Valkyrie variations.
Art – Empath Gauntlet: We’ve created several pages of new gauntlet focus items, and have chosen one for Jon to model next week.
WIP – Art – Animation: Scott and Sandra continue to work through the long list of animations needed to support one-handed weapon combinations. Scott created new unique idles and fidgets for a sword and shield combo, as well as casts when holding one of these items. Scott has begun work on daggers and Sandra is working on hammer and axe animation with a shield.
WIP – Ability FX: Mike and dB are both working through various bugs with the improved ability system, making sure tags between abilities and FX line up and play the correct assets. Additionally, dB is working on improvements to the chaos magic SFX for the Druid.
For art this week, similar to the way we did it last week, we’re starting out with some images from our animators. Because our characters can equip many different weapons, including swords, daggers, axes, hammers, and even torches, there’s a lot of animation work to tackle to allow different combinations of weapons. This work typically starts with a good idle pose that looks believable, plus a bit of artistic license to liven it up. First, we’ve got Sandra’s work on the axe and shield set.
Next, we have an image of Scotts WIP from earlier today with daggers. After we get this initial set complete, we then begin working on sword or axe in one hand, dagger in the other!
This week, we created a lot more options for the Empath’s gauntlet, and chose our first favorite to further flesh out. Jon will be able to start modeling this next week!
I (Tyler) try to keep updating and making new terrain materials for later use. These just might come in handy with that map of the world Ben is working on. These two are meant for some future shoreline work.
Jon also created a couple of TDD ruins pieces for us to use later in the greater game world.
One thing we try and do with the world is add a sense of age to it with interesting things, such as ruins, for players to find. Once players start creating their own buildings, and consequently fighting over or destroying them, it will be the players adding that sense of time.
And that wraps up this week’s update. I hope you enjoyed this peek into the goings-on here at CSE! Join us next week in our tests, or jump onto our livestreams with Max on Monday and Friday mornings, or our end-of-the-week update Friday afternoon. We always look forward to questions from our enthusiastic Backers!
Have a great weekend, all!