Camelot Unchained sees ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’

There’s no doubt that it has to be difficult for the Camelot Unchained team to continue to ask for patience week after week when all the players simply want to hear the words “beta!” While the game is not quite there yet, Mark Jacobs reports that the team is seeing a “light at the end of the tunnel” in regard to its efforts.

This week’s update letter once again rolls through 10 or so projects that the team is working on, including manual aiming, weapon animations, additional polearm designs, and the banes and boons system. There has also been work on armor models to make them look more weathered and used instead of impossibly shiny.

“I know it has been a longer road than we expected, but the good news is that not only have we stuck to our principles (openness, integrity, not treating our customers as an ongoing cash shop), but now we can show the kind of progress that so many of you have so patiently waited for,” Jacobs said. “Whether it is the engine, the game, or even the office in Seattle (I hope to sign a lease when I’m out there this week), we continue the march to Beta 1.”

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40 Comments on "Camelot Unchained sees ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’"

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Jeff

I respect Mark Jacobs a great deal, I’m still playing DoaC and if UC is a better game I may finally leave it, surprisingly many of the old guard feel the same way as I do.

Reader
Briar Grey

One of the best things about Mark and the CU team is that they are very good at communicating and sharing expectations and changes, and they never make you feel like you’re just getting wool pulled over your eyes. I have every faith in them. I toy with jumping in to the testing from time to time; I backed at the level that I could, but I’m just not a good alpha/beta tester, so I’ll just keep reading the updates and marveling over the artistry ;)

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Oleg Chebeneev

Fans might disagree with me, but some designs in CU look very strange if not silly. Look at this castle: https://goo.gl/paCnpM

Did people who design this ever see real castle? This thing looks like an oversized 3dprinted toy. I bet it is also sterile inside with square walls and nothing inbetween.

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Bryan Correll

To me that looks like a temple/cathedral more than a castle. Those do tend to be over-designed in the real world.

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Francis Baud

Currently players can create basically anything they can imagine in their head: sci-fi ships, WW2 bunkers, impossible castles, etc.

At launch or earlier, construction will be submitted to:
-physics and stability (which means structures can be built only in certain realistic ways, or will collapse),
-CSE’s standards (if I’m correct they’ll have ways to monitor buildings and may use their power of veto)
-as well as limited resources and PvP/Veilstorms’ destruction (players likely will build more practical and tenable buildings rather than wasting valuable construction materials on silly decorations… hopefully).

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

It looks like a fantasy castle, and the Authorian legends are the epitome of medieval fantasty.

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Anastasios Voyietov

I dont think anyone is gonna blame them that they stuck with their principles and took their time to improve their designs to the level they wanted. IMHO more developers need to do this, instead of going for a quick buck and releasing half-finished games. Yes, delays can be frustrating, but i ‘d take that in place of an unpolished mess.

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Francis Baud

The evolution of the Arthurian heavy armor:

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drgreenhoe

100% improvement in the looks of the heavy armor. The cloaks look better as well. Some serious progress in my opinion. Things are looking good for the studio as a whole. The Seattle expansion is another win for the game. Keep up the awesome progress.

Reader
Schlag Sweetleaf

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Sorenthaz

Tbh it’s better to get a beta rolled out when it’s ready VS shoving it out and dealing with all of the issues of a rushed release. As long as it isn’t financially screwing them over ofc to hold back. Either way hopefully the wait will be worth it for those eagerly awaiting the beta.

Reader
Koshelkin

Excellent.

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

Jacobs, after you sign the lease, how about I take you to the coolest restaurant in the area to celebrate?

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Alex Hyer

Isn’t that what someone says when they’re dying?

Seems like strange phrasing.

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Brother Maynard

It’s not strange at all. To my knowledge the phrase has always been understood to imply the end of a struggle and moving on to a calmer and more pleasant sailing (i.e. death -> afterlife). Totally metaphorically in line with how the team exits CU’s more turbulent development phase, I imagine.

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Armsbend

Maybe the team is wishing for death.

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Mark Jacobs

LOL, no.

“Don’t go into the light” vs. “The light at the end of the tunnel” are, fortunately for CSE, very different phrases. And in the case of the latter, an old school expression, even more old school than me. While the latter also has a different usage in he last decade or so, the older, and more common usage is the one I’ll stick with. :)

Various online dictionaries, etc. as sources.

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Francis Baud

@Mark Jacobs That’s a different interpretation than what you’ve explained in the past on the forums. If I remember correctly it was about a menacing train approaching that represented the backers or something like that.

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Bryan Correll

It’s probably not an oncoming train since it’s a fantasy game. It could be a dragon…..

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Brother Maynard

.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks Justin and MOP as always for the coverage!

As per the update, the last year has really been a tough one but as our Backers can see, the gameplay that everyone has been waiting for is being added at a good clip. And as more of the programmers transition to gameplay-focused, rather than engine-focused tasks, the pace will pick up nicely.

I’m out in Seattle now, on a ferry to visit Bainbridge Island and spend the day by the water. I’ll be meeting with the team next week and hope to get the office lease done while I’m out here.

I couldn’t be happier with our team’s progress, and I hope our Backers are and will feel the same way in the coming months.

Thanks again Justin, Bree, and MOP as always!

Mark

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

Seattlites represent!

Hitting ECCC tomorrow?

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Armsbend

Too bad the game wasn’t ready in 2017. People are so hungry for a new, decent game and the prospects are so slim it would have been a great time to get a beta out.

I’d pray you don’t spend so much time focusing on your principals that you end up smack dab in the middle of Sea of Thieves, New World and Star Citizen.

I put in Star Citizen for the lols. You game will be in it’s third year on that release.

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J.T.

Star Citizen won’t release this side of 2020. Seemed like a side-poking joke years ago, but it is now realistic fact!

New World just started development when? Um…ya, they’re very far behind. Even dumping tons of [Amazon] money into a game development doesn’t speed it up or make it any better. (See references for Warhammer Online and Star Wars The Old Republic just to name a few. )

As for Sea of Thieves, I don’t see that as a competing product with this one. The graphical aesthetic reads the game like “Disney’s Sea of Thieves”, and a large portion of the gaming consumer base does not like that cartoony stylized look. It is also not an MMO in the same sense that CU is going to be on.

CU did spend a good 3 years of its initial development cycle in building a custom engine specifically designed for the mechanics made for the game. This is better progress than trying to fit a square peg (large game ideas) into a round hole (licensed engine), because they don’t have to shave off the peg’s edges to make it fit.

The game itself is looking pretty …beautiful right now. They’re layering in new graphics weekly as well as new mechanics. Adjustments to many things that are practical rather than just whiteboard ideas. It will have a beta before 2017 ends, for sure. Whether that translates to a Holiday 2017 launch window is a matter of development and feedback progress throughout.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

We don’t know when New World has started development. I would honestly assume that it has been in development for several years. ESO, SWTOR and Wildstar were all announced about two-thirds of the way through their 6-7 year development periods.

I think Crowfall is actually the closest to a competitor CU has. RvR with sandbox elements. New World is PvP sandbox, but whether its RvR sandbox… only time will tell and as it goes for horror mythology in early modern weaponry and CU for more Dark Ages with fantasy setting, there’s a lot of differences.

The main ‘survival of the fittest’ will be between Crowfall and CU. I hope the best for both and that there will be enough room and money for both to be successful, as there isn’t too many coming games in the genre if we leave outside the F2P cheapo conversions from East Asia, which honour neither the customers or the source games.

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Francis Baud

Amazon has done the licensing deal with Crytek in 2015 I think, and they’ve then started modifying the engine they’re now calling Lumberyard. They have purchased Twitch less than 3 years ago and are building all their games with it deeply integrated. I doubt they’ve started the development earlier than that. AGS published games from other studios in the past but I think they started creating games themselves only recently. Also AGS are still hiring developers to fill key roles for New World. https://www.amazon.jobs/en/search?base_query=new+world&loc_query=&job_count=10&result_limit=10&sort=relevant&cache

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Development teams are adding people all the time. Some leave and teams also get added more staff.

What is interesting in that list are Head of Community and Player Relations Specialist.

Assuming time to get accustomed with their work, the project and helping to build the plan and resources with interaction with interested players, it still hints at we will see development sooner than later that will move the game to a more open phase when it comes to publicity and the scrutiny of the players’ community and game media.

Reader
Francis Baud

Open-development projects often hire community liaison / managers early in the development. We don’t know yet if New World is going to follow the OD trend though.

Reader
NovaScotiaCitizen

Joke? How is CU less a joke than SC when both crowdfunded two months apart?

CU feature list is probably 20% of SC and yet it’s not out, I don’t see how one is funnier than the other. How are things that take time funny in any way? Do you have some sort of strange Beavis and Butthead humor laughing in inappropriate situations all the time?

Reader
Reht

Pretty damn simple: 20% of the features (your statistic) from ~3.2% of the funding. It silly trying to compare progress and effort from a studio that has raised $4.4 million to that of one that has raised $144 million. CU is trying to make their money last by going slow and steady, they don’t just throw out new store shit to get the whales to dump even more money into their game – it has never felt like they have tried to milk their backers for every last penny they can get, SC started to feel that way over a year to me.

Reader
Francis Baud

@Reht CU had one of the highest rate of money pledged / backer during its Kickstarter for a video game project (avg. of $150 per backer, vs. Crowfall: $105/backer). CSE sold in-game island tiers for $5,000. More than 250 backers purchased KS tiers that cost between $1,000 and $10,000. CSE sold “Dragonwhale” rewards for $10,000. They’re still selling $425 bundles that contain an Alpha testing reward even though Alpha, according to the Kickstarter estimates, was supposed to end more than 2 years ago.

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Reht

SC had original pledges like that too and i have NO problem with that. CU isn’t continually adding new to the store like SC does to keep the money flowing. SC has something like 92 ship packages (including the $3,000 Javelin). How many new tiers and packages has CSE added to the CU store after they added the founder pledges? I can’t think of any.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

MMORPG’s are big. Star Citizen, Camelot Unchained, even my own City of Titans, are going to take time. Money cannot make it go faster, only make it go bigger, with more content. You can’t have five artists all working on the same streetlight or sword. I saw both Star Citizen and Camelot Unchained set that expectation. I fully admit that CoT hit a big delay, but communicated that when it hit.

For me, the thing to be truly worried about are MMORPG’s which go to Kickstarter promising to deliver Alpha within a few months. They are only setting themselves, and their supporters, up for a lot of pain. Games which say up front “this is a long-term effort” and give regular updates, I’m more than happy to wait for, and I strongly recommend for others to be patient.

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

If we look at crowdfunding efforts, its best to leave out SC which is in its own heights altogether. Leaving it out, CU is very near the top place when it comes to funding trawled in.

We can’t really blame SC for taking all the money they can. If people want to give to a company, why shouldn’t they take it? They can develop not only their dream game, but their studios as well, creating a strong basis for future development of SC and also projects beyond it.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Thanks for the kind words. The game is really starting to resemble a modern game and will continue to get better looking as we move forward. Now it is a matter of adding fun gameplay.

The best part is exactly what you lay out, that we have been building an engine to handle our game design wants/needs and not the other way around. It’s starting to pay off now and we hope to really reap the rewards as we move through Beta and not to have constantly tweak or redesign the core engine to handle lots of players/effects. That’s when the path we have chosen to go down will be shown to have been the right one.

Thanks again!

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

As my own game Kickstarted a few months after yours, I can really empathize here.

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Reht

Keep up the good work CSE! I want a good game, not one that launches a year too early.

Reader
J.T.

“…we continue the march to Beta 1.”

March Beta confirmed!

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Robert Mann

Beta begins, March 2024. *Sorry, the whole corrupt a wish forum games with friends has become a bit habit forming.*

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Mark Jacobs

LOL, wanna bet? :)

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