Camelot Unchained talks about development challenges and beta announcement

There are several notable quotes in this week’s progress report from the Camelot Unchained team. Mark Jacobs said that encumberance penalties are being worked into the inventory system and explained why doubling the programmer team hasn’t resulted in double development speed.

“The fact remains that for a programming team whose size just reached the double-digits, making a game like the one we are making would already be difficult. Making an engine at the same time is, in the eyes of many of our industry colleagues, a ride on the crazy train. Well, we are on that train, picking up speed, and we can see the next station in the distance,” he wrote.

As for the eternally pressing question of when Beta 1 will be coming in 2017, Jacobs said that the studio will be providing “more clarity” about a release date once a couple of key systems are fully active and working well.

If you’re a sucker for visuals, Camelot Unchained was focusing on polearms this week, showing some animation frames of an attack sequence as well as concept art showing several potential types of weapons. The team also posted a picture of some of the placeholder icons it’s been using in the UI.

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24 Comments on "Camelot Unchained talks about development challenges and beta announcement"

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Dro Gul

How does this game compare to Ashes of Creation?

https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Calidor/?campaign=Info

Reader
DasSchaf

Ashes of Creation is running on the Unity engine which looks good, but can’t hold many players while Camelot Unchained use their own Unchained engine which can hold all their techs. Ashes of Creation will feel like a totally different game.

Reader
Koshelkin

What shall I say. I’m waiting patiently and still hope I can make this my main game when it releases.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Thanks for your patience, as well as the patience of the vast majority of our Backers, it is greatly appreciated. I hope to reward it with a great game, which hopefully will be your main.

Reader
GiantsBane

Yea, I’ve got high hopes for CU, but after following titled like Darkfall for a very long time (throughout highschool into college before launching) only to be letdown by the final results I always stay a bit distanced.

DAOC was one of my first mmos though, so to see its spiritual predecessor coming along nicely makes me hopeful, and having a design team and leader who care more about staying true to their vision than trying to rake in fast cash by pandering to the wider public is reassuring as well.

Cheers Mark, I wish you the best of luck from my current abode here in Cambodia and know you guys will produce a great product.

Reader
odin valhalla

Gratz on the project progress Mark. For those of us watching and backing, we all knew it would be a long road. Its nice to see some miles have been traveled and progress is moving us forward. As someone who can read the alpha forums, i dont have much else to say here other than for the general public who is watching on the sidelines.

The devs are active and honing systems. Progress is happening. We all agree not at the pace we all want but since the game has been out there Mark has been up front about the peaks and valleys. I cant imagine a better dev/producer in the sense he is front and center.

We’ll get there. I believe 2017 is going to be a year when CU catches a lot of peoples eye.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

I share that sentiment, 100%.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Jadefox

” encumberance penalties are being worked into the inventory system”
I would really like to know the reasoning for this. I know, sometimes, that creators like to add a level of realism to the game they make… But I don’t know of one instance that it was ever liked.

Where is the fun in killing 2-3 mobs. Looting some armor and weapons. Then having to go to a town to unload.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

As Adri correctly points out, it’s not about looting corpses in Camelot Unchained. Because of that, we can work things like encumbrance into the game without it being a “OMFG, this sucks!” mechanism, whether old school or modern. :)

OTOH, by working encumbrance into the game, people can make meaningful choices that actually affect gameplay. You want to be that plate wearing moving tank? Great, now you’ll pay the price for it by being a bit slower to move and react. OTOH, your armor will really matter and help you survive longer.

I’m sticking to our Foundational Principles, one of the most important was/is “Choices Matter”. We said it, and will back it up through mechanics/systems while keeping in mind that we want the game and gameplay to be fun.

Reader
Frank White

I’ve got one question: will you be able to swim in heavy armor? I was dressed all in heavy armor and swimming a river in ESO a couple days back, and thinking, “I’m really having a hard time suspending my disbelief here.” LoL

Reader
adri

First: You don’t loot stuff. This is not a game with full-loot PvP. There will be NPC monster but they won’t drop you a set of armor (yeah a deer with a chainmail armor ;) ).
Second : This is an old-school mechanic from the pen and paper era. You have to be careful what to carry around. You can’t carry an armor for every situation. You have to know what you want to do and prepare.

Reader
Reselect Name

the kiddies want that easy mode

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

Been following this for years. Studied their Kickstarter before we did our own heavily. You guys rock!

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Thanks! City of Titans right?

Reader
Slaasher

Cant wait for Beta1. Bought myself a founders pack for Christmas that will LET ME IN!!

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Thanks and we’ll do that.

If all goes well over the next few weeks, expect to see an Alpha and Beta 1 test over an upcoming weekend. With all the new building, animation, and soon, VFX tech hitting around the same time, it’s interesting times in “build” (compile the game) land.

Good times, good times. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Reader
Wanda Clamshuckr

I’m looking forward to eventually seeing class gameplay footage. DAoC had that nice balance of identifiable, cool particle effects that didn’t go overboard into a fireworks show. By identifiable, I mean you could tell what an opponent was, and what they were about to do, by casting animations. I think this will be important in CU due to the diversity of classes, and the lack of duplication across the realms.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Agreed. We’re doing the same thing with Camelot Unchained. That won’t be the case for the opening of Beta 1, but as we move through the Betas, we’ll be adding more and more animations once we know that our animation system (which is 100% homegrown) is working as designed. Once we have that confidence, we want to crank up the animations that we’ll be doing in-house and through outsourcing. Doing it earlier would have been a waste of time and money. I don’t mind taking longer to create a great game, but I hate to waste money. Go figure. :)

Thanks!

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Thanks Justin, and MOP, as always.

It was a really good week for the studio, and we’re hoping this coming week will be even better with some additional systems landing.

Crow
Reader
Crow

I know I’m mighty excited to see Beta 1! Good luck :D

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Thanks! We’ll need it as we are trying to put together a lot of interesting systems for the opening of Beta 1. We’ll be light in terms of content, as we’ve been saying forever, but you shouldn’t build the content first. We’re building the engine, pushing the limits of our tech, and when things are working the way we need them to, the content can come in after that. But if you don’t have all the tech you need in place before you start spending on content, very bad things can happen.

Thanks again Crow!

Reader
Sleepy

Any plans to license the engine when it’s done Mark? Decent mmo engines that can throw hundreds of toons into a single place seem to be a thing of the far distant past, Planetside being the notable exception. I remember instancing started off in EQ2 as a crowd control measure, but over time seems to have become a ‘feature’ designed to keep people apart.

Reader
adri

Selling this engine is like selling a super rare one and only ancient artifact (yeah the engine is not ancient but this analogy works ok-ish). What would you pay to own such an item?
There is nothing out there you can compare it with. I think when the engine is finished it’ll be some kind of invaluable. Especially when CSE creates more games with this super flexible and allrounder engine.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

As Adri says (he’s on a roll today!), we have no plans to turn our engine into Unreal, Unity, etc. There are enough engines like that already, the world doesn’t need another one right now.

OTOH, an RvR-focused game with large-scale battles, that’s a different story. One I hope with a very fun, exciting, and thrilling ending for all concerned.

And Adri, thanks, as usual, for the support and help!

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