Ramming Speed! – Friday, June 7th, 2019


We’re on a nice four-week streak here, as the team wraps up the current sprint with another long Top Tenish list full of tasty new features and art! Unfortunately, thanks to some issues with upgrading to VS 2019, as well as some perf regression from all the new stuff we added, we were unable to get a solid build together to have a weekend test. We do sincerely apologize, as we know there are plenty of Backers out there hoping to jump into a playtest. The Visual Studio update, along with all the added code from the past three weeks of significant progress, has been more daunting than expected. We’ll be doing our best to, again, get a decent build up for testing next week.

Keep an eye on our tentative testing schedule to stay up-to-date on testing.

If you missed today’s update livestream with Mark, you can find that HERE. For those new Backers joining us, we try to have a weekly livestream not only to give you an in-person progress update for the week, but to also let you ask questions to us, the developers. If you have any burning questions not answered in our forums, please feel free to jump on our stream!

Let’s go to our lengthy Top Tenish list for the week!

Top Tenish:

  1. Tech – BPOEs: Matt made up a new acronym! He committed a first pass of more than a week’s worth of work to Building Placed Objects as Entities. These allow players to place an object as a BPO, which will become a fully-fledged entity. Siege engines and doors will be our first use case. These items can be targeted, damaged, interacted with, and fired (in the case of siege engines) just like ones deployed out in the rest of the game world.

  2. Tech – NavMesh: This week, Lee was able to pull all the disparate pieces of his work together and made a working NavMesh. He also hooked up the pathing library to start initial testing. At this point, he expects it will need a lot of testing, but the initial prototype and harness is in place! To further test this, one of the next steps will be to hook it up to our NPCs!

  3. Tech – VFX:  Wylie wrote and tested data migration code for the particle orientation update. This will auto-update Mike’s existing VFX work to the new changes. This gives Mike more ways he can orient particles to get the desired result for abilities as described by Design.

  4. WIP – Tech – Moving Siege Engines: Spidey has submitted his initial work on moving siege engines into review. This first iteration allows the asset to move about the world based on player input. With battering rams as our first use case, players (in this case up to six) will be able to attach to the siege engine and collectively “drive” it about. There’s plenty more work to be done to fulfill the game experience, specifically all the animation support of the engine itself and attached players.

  5. WIP – Tech/Art – New Siege Engines: With an initial rigging pass and animation completed on the corpse chuckers and smoke mortars, Anthony has started work on their abilities. We can’t wait to see a bloated cow carcass fly through a cloud of smoke and go splat on some poor soul!

  6. WIP – Design – Balance Pass: Once again, this is not meant to be a final balance pass or anything close. This is meant to first weed out any issues in the system or specific abilities that are not working correctly. As that work is completed, Ben is working through a balance pass to improve the overall fun during testing.

  7. Tech – Internal Tools: To help Ben with his balancing work, Christina has improved the tool Ben uses for class balance, which should speed up his turnaround time!

  8. Tech – UI: Christina fixed a fairly important bug that prevented a character’s defensive stats from updating unless the player made an update to their equipment. Players will no longer log in with all of their defensive stats displaying 0 within the UI.

  9. Art – Mage Armor: Tyler and Joe finished the mage outfit LODs this week, which have now been added to the game. We still have a few character-related bugs to sort out, but let us know if you find something obvious like a missing leg! You will need to make a new mage character to get these items in your starting loadouts.

  10. UI – Icons: With all the new assets going in , we had to call on our master icon maker! James made new icons for all the new mage armor, smoke mortars, and the corpse chuckers.

  11. UI – Nameplates: James has also finished the redesign of character name plates and floating combat text. AJ then used the redesign to make some tweaks to these UI elements. The text is a little more vibrant and easier to read in the chaos of battle. Also, players will see an icon of the damage type for each damage number, and nameplates are smaller.

  12. Tech – Ability Prediction: Rob landed his work on ability prediction, allowing accurate numbers to be produced for abilities that are sent to the client so they can preemptively run them. This should lead to smoother ability running, and serve as the future means for describing abilities to the ability builder UI.

  13. WIP – UI – Ultra High Definition: AJ spent some time this week upgrading the inventory, paperdoll, and character stats UI to make them look good on UHD (Ultra High Definition) monitor displays.

  14. Art – Siege Engines  – Battering Rams: Dionne, Tyler, and Jon played divide and conquer this week to create the three Realm-themed battering rams. The initial modeling pass is complete on the TDD and Arthurian versions, which have been handed off to Joe for rigging and initial attack animation. Now Tyler just needs to finish up the Viking version, which he’s currently enjoying attaching lots of pokey spears to!

  15. WIP – Art – Animation – One-Handed Weapon Combinations: Scott is working through a long list of weapon permutations allowing mages to cast with their right hand while holding a shield, sword, dagger, or torch in their left hand. For non-mage attacks, he’s also set up the empty hand permutations to the new one-handed weapon animations. One of the next steps is to re-target all these new animations to the Luchorpán skeleton.

  16. WIP – Art – Animations – Bows: Sandra is back to short and long bows to finish up their attacks with the updated rig. Previously, she completed the one-handed mace/axe animations for humans and Luchorpán.

  17. WIP – Art/Tech – Doors: We created several cool concepts this week on the first door we’ll be testing in-game. This door will be a massive double door asset, which will be integrated into Cherry Keep. Jon is currently modeling out the art side of the work, and once the supporting code from Mike D. is through review, we’ll test it all–hopefully next week!

  18. WIP – FX: Mike’s continued work this week was mainly focused on VFX for all the components players use when making abilities, specifically heavy fighter and archer abilities. Additionally, he’s working on new siege engine-related VFX and readying/unreadying VFX. On the sound side, dB has been working on general ability SFX, and on the new building destruction SFX, getting buildings to play the correct sounds based on material types.

Like I said, another solid week, for four in a row!

For art this week, we start off with out-of-game renders of the completed Arthurian and Tuatha battering ram models.

Next week, we’ll show off the Viking model, which I (Tyler) am still working on. Just like in the top Tenish above, I really am adding in a bunch of spears all across the front of the model, per the concept you can see HERE.

Next up, we have some of Jon’s supporting modeling work for the battering rams. As Jon is the fastest and most skilled in Zbrush, it made the most sense to hand this work off to him so we could get the initial modeling pass of all three assets done within the week.

Lastly, we have the final approved concepts for the large Cherry Keep doors. You can see some of our previous concepts HERE and HERE.

Here’s a shot of the still in-progress work Jon is doing to sculpt out the door itself.

A lot of supporting code has been written for the first working doors. This work will actually be the basis for other animating objects players can interact with; doors will just be the start! It will be fun getting this giant door set up.

And that’s everything for us here at CSE this week. Again, apologies for the lack of a playtest this weekend. We’ll continue to work on a new build next week. Thank you as always for your patience and support!

CU next week,