camelot unchained

Official Site: Camelot Unchained
Studio: City State Entertainment
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Fantasy RvR Sandbox
Business Model: Subscription
Platform: PC

Camelot Unchained’s very busy, very productive week

If there’s one thing to be learned from reading Camelot Unchained’s weekly updates, it’s that MMORPGs take a whole lot of work in so many different areas to pull off right — moreso when you’re making your own game engine from scratch and trying a few new things that haven’t been done elsewhere in the genre.

This past Friday’s newsletter had a lot to crow about: “We checked off two important items on our Primary Beta 1 list, we’ve run several impromptu tests this week, we currently have two tests going over the weekend, we dropped in so many changes and bug fixes we had to provide a 20-page testing doc, we have a solid Top Tenish list, and we have a good number of User Stories completed.”

Among other things, the team talked about how it’s improved network stability and started testing a special physics server. For the more visual-oriented among us, a few pieces of art showed off weapons (including an axe with a heart buried in it) and two warriors duking it out on the battlefield.

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Betawatch: The soft launch of Revelation Online (March 10, 2017)

Revelation Online departs the hallowed halls of Betawatch this week, having emerged from closed beta into open beta. No more wipes are planned, and the game is now freely accessible, making the My.com import well and truly soft-launched. Fly free, my pretty! What else happened in the world of MMO betas this week?

  • Elder Scrolls Legends dumped the beta tag entirely and is now officially launched on PC.
  • Shards Online is getting a name change ahead of its planned Steam early access launch. You may now refer to it as Legends of Aria.
  • The Repopulation’s alpha is expected to resume this weekend under the new ownership. Welcome back, Repop! Don’t screw this up!
  • Gigantic just cannot catch a break: It laid off a sizable portion of its staff with the aim of “reducing the burn rate” until it can emerge from open beta and land on Arc later this year.
  • Project Gorgon tasked players with testing dungeon difficulty.
  • Camelot Unchained is still teasing its long-delayed beta one, but it sounds as if we’re inching closer now.
  • Albion Online is pushing out a big patch next week, heavily overhauling the beta.
  • Crowfall is working toward 24-7 test servers.
  • LawBreakers is planning a big beta weekend later this month. Breakin’ the law!

Follow along below for the complete list of all the games still on the grill.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall’s crafting, RUiN’s Kickstarter, Ashes of Creation’s gameplay (March 4, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we sent MOP’s Matt Daniel into Crowfall, from which he emerged with many opinions on the state of the game’s high-profile crafting and gathering systems. Economy folks should give it a read!

There are two MMO-related Kickstarters ending this week you may be interested in. Arena brawler RUiN is about 200 bucks from funding as I type this, so it’s going to happen for sure. Caribbean Conquest’s second go at Kickstarter, however, is likely to fall short; it’s secured only about $2000 in pledges of its $30,000-ish goal with only a few days left.

What else is new? Worlds Adrift got a new website (thanks, Daras!), Project Gorgon rolled out a new patch, Albion Online released videos on its sound and music, Elite Dangerous began testing part of the Commanders patch, Camelot Unchained teased beta 1, and Ashes of Creation demoed its gameplay.

Finally, get thee over to Steam, where a trial of Shroud of the Avatar can currently be had entirely for free.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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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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Make My MMO: The Exiled arrives to mixed reviews on Steam (February 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, The Exiled was released to the wilds of Steam early access. Formerly called Das Tal, the buy-to-play indie sandbox attempted to raise funds through Kickstarter back in 2015 but pulled in only €33,000 of its €50,000 goal and resorted to website preorders instead, forging ahead to now. Reviews on Steam so far are mixed; once you subtract the confused trial players who seem surprised to see PvP in a PvP sandbox, the main complaints revolve around crafting grind and lag.

Meanwhile, Ship of Heroes teased its Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar released R39, Albion Online settled on a July release, Life is Feudal rolled out its second beta, Pantheon brought on more new employees (thanks, Reht!), Dual Universe planned a GDC community meetup, Star Citizen explored the Magnus system and released a new concept ship, HEX got a new publisher, and Elite: Dangerous did science and turned… beige.

Closer to home, games critic and veritable prince of Patreon Jim Sterling scored a victory for games journalism in the courts as a judge dismissed with prejudice a game developer’s libel lawsuit against him. (Thanks to everyone who tipped this our way!)

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Camelot Unchained completes first pass on working armor, shields, and weapons

Beta 1 is mentioned 14 times in Camelot Unchained’s latest update. I’m not saying it means something, but I’m sure feeling like we’re making some headway to it!

City State’s Mark Jacobs says his team has finished up the item update, putting its new programmer to work on crafting, demoed the new social UI, completed a first pass on the manual aiming system, promoted the experimental patcher, and tinkered with VFX rendering, plus there’s new artwork from the WIP place of power.

“As you can see, more and more, our engine is beginning to resemble a game,” he writes. “As part of this evolution, we are checking off item from Primary Beta 1 list: ‘First pass working armor, shields, and weapons in game.'”

This weekend’s test is open to all alpha and beta 1 players, but Jacobs warns that the animation system is a placeholder and physicians are busted.

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Make My MMO: Smed’s new studio, Camelot’s beta, and Elite’s Holo-Me (February 18, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we did a retrospective on why crowdfunded MMOARPG Hero’s Song failed. It’s almost as if Justin knew (cue spooky music) because two days later, Hero’s Song’s John Smedley and most of the Pixelmage team showed up at Amazon, announcing a new studio and a new game for the shopping giant’s games division. In other words, don’t expect Smed back on Kickstarter any time soon.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 2.6.1 went live, we poked around TUG’s status, Elite Dangerous demoed its upcoming “Holo-Me” character creator, The Exiled prepped for next week’s launch, Ruin of the Reckless entered its backer test phase, and Camelot Unchained hinted at beta.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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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.

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The Daily Grind: Do you ever play MMORPGs against ‘type’?

Perhaps owing at least in part to the charisma of its chief executive, Camelot Unchained is one of those rare in-production MMORPGs that seems to attract people who would normally flee from it in horror.

What I mean by that is the same people I see freaking out over any new MMO that proposes open PvP of one form or another are following Camelot intently. There’s even a lot of resistance to games that are basically tame battleground PvP, like Crowfall — but Camelot seems immune.

Camelot Unchained isn’t against my type — I’m a huge fan of three-way RvR and can’t wait to see how a modern Dark Age of Camelot sandpark looks in practice — but I’m super intrigued that it’s something a lot of non-PvP players (and even some of our non-PvP writers!) are watching. Can you think of other examples? Do you ever play or follow MMORPGs against your type — and which ones?

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained, Mekria, TUG, and more (February 11, 2017)

This week in MMO crowfunding was… well, it was a big week for gaming in general, and Kickstarted games rose to the challenge! In fact, we could barely pump out the news fast enough. Here’s what went on this week:

  • Camelot Unchained continued work on “big ticket” development issues, like animation and effects and abilities for bots.
  • Mekria Online, which we introduced only last week, has already canceled its Kickstarter; the studio vows to return with more to show players next round.
  • Ashes of Creation released its first gameplay video, a “movie-like” version that’ll see a UI-laden edition next week.
  • Gloria Victis introduced its new Glory system as well as the ability to burn down ALL THE THINGS. Seriously.
  • TUG’s latest Kickstarter update tells backers that the team is working on gameplay prototyping and touted its recent investor presentation.
  • Ship of Heroes previewed one of its signature heroes, Dr. Ellen Strikewell.
  • Shards Online is prepping for its Steam launch with an impending wipe and NDA drop.
  • Valiance Online posted four new videos of the alpha client! We’ve tucked one down below.
  • Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest over studio concerns that the current version of the build isn’t up to snuff.
  • Grim Dawn rolled out a massive new patch.
  • and Shroud of the Avatar rounds out my super-long list with a post-mortem Q&A — video and text versions — on its latest release.

I told you it was busy, and there’s more down below! Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Camelot Unchained and the critical importance of video game character hands

Camelot Unchained’s latest development blog sees the team hard at work on animations, the patcher merge, the terrain editor, bots (the good kind), hair research (!), armor, the dark forest biome, and the place of power, but the true hero is the dude working on character hands. Video game character hands nearly always suck. You know I’m right.

“Jon created an updated hand for our characters, both male and female. We’re currently updating the existing nude hands, as well as armor glove parts to make use of them. We all agree the new ones look much better than the old ones. We’ll still need to make some small tweaks to existing animations as we go.”

We’ve included CSE’s latest stream and art mockups below!

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Make My MMO: Elite Dangerous betas Commanders 2.3 next month (January 28, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Frontier announced that the beta for Elite Dangerous’ 2.3 update, dubbed Commanders, will release to Horizons beta players on February 26th. “Elite Dangerous: The Commanders (2.3) will come with features such as Multicrew and Commander Creator, as well as a number of other improvements and changes,” the studio declared. “Bring your friends or invite new crew mates to pack that extra punch you might need in key situations, and add more personality to your Commander with an all-new visual upgrade.”

Meanwhile, Albion Online is running a tourney this weekend, Shroud of the Avatar released its 38th update, and Worlds Adrift revealed… biomes!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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Camelot Unchained is putting its new animation system through its paces

One of the key foundations for Camelot Unchained was laid this past week, as the team introduced its brand-new animation system. Mark Jacobs writes in the weekly update that the system is only in its first iteration, but that it should be great to build upon going forward.

“Besides the obvious effects of this new tech, it also greatly improves the workflow of our animators,” Jacobs writes. “As with any teardown and build up process, we’re going from the bottom up, with a much firmer foundation, to support more functionality than we had with the previous version. We’ve already got much more variety in fidgets and idles, smoother walks and runs, and attacks that can play while you’re moving.”

You can check out the new animation system after the break!

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