Shield Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain – Friday, October 11th, 2019
For us here at CSE, this week really flew by! I’ve learned this feeling often comes because of the pace we’re keeping (healthy, I might add, for our industry), as well as all the different tasks in progress, being discussed, or getting completed. Check out the number of items in this week’s Top Tenish!
Making games is a challenging process, which I (Tyler) honestly very much enjoy. That’s not to say every day comes up roses. Case in point, I came home one night and was telling my wife about a particularly convoluted task to get FX and animations hooked up on something using different processes. She told me, “I don’t think you’d enjoy a job where there wasn’t a new problem to figure out, almost daily. You don’t strike me as the type of person to enjoy figuring out a problem, then coasting.” And she’s very right.
As we continue to build out the CU engine to support all the cool designs and art we want, each solution builds on previous tech, becoming ever more intricate. It’s frankly a lot of fun!
We are planning on a test this weekend, though it comes with a few caveats, as it has had limited testing today. PLEASE MAKE SURE AND READ THE FOLLOWUP EMAIL for more details on this test. Here’s the basics:
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Countdown Timer HERE
3 hours: 12pm – 3pm EDT / 9am – 12pm PDT / 6pm – 9pm CEST (Get Localization)
Stay tuned to the tentative testing schedule for updates next week!
If you missed today’s Live Stream with MJ, you can check it out HERE.
Let’s jump over to this week’s highlights. As mentioned above, there are many!
WIP – VFX – Dark Fool: Mike worked on the VFX for the Dark Fool. The placeholder VFX for the Dark Fool’s starting abilities have been replaced with VFX that are more appropriate for the class. We are aware that some of the support class VFX are playing on the wrong targets, and hope to get to this next week.
WIP – Tech – Support Classes: Anthony and Scott did some science to address issues with the Minstrel’s harpolyre and Dark Fool’s bone reed pipe so that they attach to the right place while animating.
WIP – Tech – Knockback: Matt is currently doing support work around the capability to predict and approximate spatial queries on the client. This may eventually enable better FX for non-projectile abilities, but for the near term it will only be used for knockback prediction.
Tech – Bug Fix: Christina fixed a crash with the progression app where mongo was complaining about transactions being too big. This issue was happening on Hatchery, and because of it, we had to turn off progression there.
Tech – Tools – Transform Gizmo: Rob updated the input shape of the Transform Gizmo from a sphere to make it easier for designers to use the gizmo when manipulating objects in the world editor.
Tech – Tools – Object Selection: Another Rob item, who continues to make it easier for Design and Art to build out the world, by improving the picking and highlighting of objects. Issues like this, while seemingly minor, can slow and frustrate progress, particularly when making very dense scenes like our B1 home islands.
WIP – Tech – NavMesh: Lee spent the week getting the 3D navmesh working. Serialization, Visualization, Unit Testing, etc. The largest amount of time was spent on getting the pathplanner to work with the new system. This involved overcoming previous 2D assumptions built into the old system and converting all the tests to doing real 3D math instead of 2D. He is in the final debugging and cleanup phase before rolling things out to master, where it can be fully tested.
WIP – Tech – Tools – Terrain Gizmo: Rob continued his work on the Terrain Gizmo. He is working on smoothing out the updating of the grid points and the terrain visuals. This performance improvement when editing is important, as it adds on top of previous work allowing users to edit multiple points at a time.
WIP – Tech – Chat Server Linuxification: As we mentioned last week, JB is working on updating the chat server. It is currently non-functional until we Linux-ify the server and update the chat UI.
WIP – Tech – Ragdoll: We have not yet talked about this, because we remain concerned about getting it to work in our engine, as well as being performant. Good news! We’re actually pretty close to landing the first pass of this work! If you’ve ever played a game that supports this, you know there’s tons of fun things we can do with it. Remember that cow model we made for the corpse chucker!? Now, no guarantees here, but we are hopeful we can add this in a meaningful and fun way. One of the advantages of using ragdolling is that it can save the animators from having to create death animations for all NPCs and players (if we want to use it) in the game. That alone is a big deal for a team our size.
WIP – Tech – Linuxification: Wiley continues to assist this effort, and is currently working on porting our resource, networking, and proxy libraries to cross compile on Windows and Linux. Additionally, Colin worked on setting up a way to build and run our .NET Core servers in a local Linux VM. This allows us to easily test and debug our servers running on Linux.
WIP – Tech – Texture Processing Improvements: We’re currently working on a tool that will allow us to do more advanced texture manipulations as part of our build pipeline. This in turn will help us resolve visual artifacts, such as bad alpha maps, and more.
Art – Concept – Medium Armor: As mentioned last week, we had more armor concepts incoming. Michelle did a great job coming up with Realm-specific, full outfits that are themed around the support classes. She also updated last week’s concepts to be more in line with the existing CU medium armor, so the different parts can be mixed and matched better. These updates also include changes to fit our armor parts system.
WIP – Art – Spears: Per last week’s concept art of TDD spears, we’ve begun work on a couple of new weapons. As with our previous weapons, these are assembled in parts for more variation from Crafters.
Art – Viking Shields: We completed two new Viking shields, one more basic, one a bit “cooler.”
Business – Cloud Providers: MJ continues to work with Tim and various providers to get the best home for us. It’s been a lot of fun, but it is a bit time consumptive.
Design – Scripting: MJ also found time to work on some scripting design for our engine’s ability to have world-based events and timing. Whether lightning strikes or VeilStorms, we are building out the systems we need to make the world become more alive and aware. SkyNet, here we come!
Obviously, at least for me, that ragdoll physics item is a fun one we had not yet discussed in detail. When I wrote up that item, the corpse chucker siege engine immediately came to mind, because I remember talking about how we’d animate the cow body in lieu of ragdoll-ing it. Having ragdoll options, specifically in this example, would save us a bunch of time, and honestly just be way more fun than spending time on a hand-animated and time-consuming animation! I’m looking forward to having this available to play with.
As I’d mentioned above, Michelle also updated last week’s concepts to be more in line with the existing art and part system. You can see that HERE, if you’re curious about the smaller changes.
And that wraps up another productive week. Thank you for your time, patience, and enthusiasm. We’ll CU next week!