City State’s Tyler Rockwell has returned again this week to helm another Camelot Unchained update, and my favorite part is the tents. Seriously, how many MMORPGs have tents at all? Let alone a dozen or more of them? I’m looking forward to structures that are somewhere between “bank box” and “McMansion.”
There’s plenty of serious stuff, too. Rockwell says the team’s been focused on shadows, animations, more seamless zone transitioning, item stacking, one-handed weapon combos, two-handed sword animations, resource nodes, and back-end architecture. There’s also a look at the game’s burgeoning dock assets, so when you’ve packed up your tent, you can sail away. Check out the new pics and test videos!
Be you press or player, one of the advantages of going in person to a convention (or any other gaming event!) is surely the chance to actually meet and talk to individual developers. You can get a partial read on developers from their written words and even their speech on streams, but nothing beats actually talking one-on-one with a dev, looking him or her in the eye, asking tough questions out of PR handlers’ hearing, and chasing a conversation down unexpected paths. I’ve been wowed by devs and community leader whom I didn’t expect to be so amazing — and similarly, I’ve been let down by veteran designers I thought were much more impressive on paper than in person. Sometimes both at the same event!
Which MMORPG developer would you most like to meet in person?
(That’d be Camelot Unchained’s Ben Pielstick in the header working on polearm animations, by the way!)
As Camelot Unchained transforms from a ramshackle collection of ideas and features into a cohesive product, it’s neat to see glimpses of the game that it’s to become. Even something as seemingly mundane as an inventory screen can be exciting in this context.
In this week’s newsletter, the team shows a mockup that it is using to create the character gear and inventory screen. One interesting design element that the team is working on concerns the relationship between inventory and speed: “We finished off the first part of encumbrance penalties item on the Beta 1 Checklist. The weight of items in your inventory now affect player’s movement speed. Movement speed is also affected by exceeding one’s carrying capacity stat.”
The Camelot Unchained team continues to work on many features for the upcoming beta, including rendering improvements, seamless zone transitions, and torches (in each faction flavor). The studio even has a guy out back swinging different tools and recording them to make a database of sounds for weapons.
See how the inventory screen is being designed below!
Is beta one here yet? Nooooope. But Camelot Unchained continues barreling down the track toward it, as outlined in its latest weekly update. City State’s Tyler Rockwell explains that the devs are… watching you. “Rob even co-opted a wall-mounted TV in the office, so he can work while he watches performance changes as players interact with buildings,” he writes. You’re famous!
The team’s also been working on siege engines, player damage improvements, bots (expect a name change on those too, so no more “I like big bots” jokes), ability effects, and gear performance. On the art side, there’s been progress on polearm animations, the interface, helmets, torches, docks, and nodes.
This weekend’s alpha should be focusing on VFX, archery, crafting, and buildings. “We want to focus as much time as possible on the most important goal of the studio right now: getting into Beta 1 with a game that we can be proud of, and not a Minimum Viable Product,” Rockwell reassures players. The weekly wrap-up plus a few other new images and videos are below.
“No one said making an MMO was simple,” City State Entertainment’s Tyler Rockwell quips in this weekend’s Camelot Unchained newsletter. He writes that the team continues its work on siege firing and ammo, particle performance, seamless zone transitioning, metrics, animations, polearms, and siege engine VFX, plus a temporary crafting UI built not by the team but by a modder.
“One of our Mod Squad Backers, Mehuge, has been working on a temporary Beta 1 UI for crafting,” Rockwell says. “This will replace our current slash commands. The first pass was great, illustrating how lucky we are to have Backers working with us on the game.”
CSE is anticipating a small test this weekend as well. Check out the new art and Mark Jacob’s weekly recap video below too!
Camelot Unchained’s latest monthly newsletter has arrived, and the highlight — aside from the fact that City State hired Andrew Jackson to work on the game — is Ben Pielstick’s design dev blog.
“I’ve been intensely reviewing Mark [Jacobs]’s vision of what the player experience needs to look like in order for us to open up Beta 1 testing,” he writes, covering progress on the character creation, the starter experience, combat and animations, siege warfare, and the massive skill system. My favorite bit is the crafting, however.
“Although crafters don’t exist as a standalone class at this point, the crafting system has had a lot of work put into it. Although this will change later, the system currently allows every character to gather resources and use a Vox, which makes testing easier. Recently, we made a big step forward in crafting: All the systems are now in place to allow players to explore the world in order to find resource nodes, take raw resources from those nodes, put those resources into a Vox, use a recipe to purify them, and then make those purified resources into finished building blocks, which can then be used for building structures on a plot.”
There’s a bit of lore, a recap of the art team’s progress, and a state-of-the-build overview too to catch up anyone who’s not been following the weekly updates!
City State’s Mark Jacobs is back at the helm of the Camelot Unchained weekly update this round, with news of his team’s efforts on terrain, performance improvements, seamless zone transitions, the API server, the salvaging system, siege weapons, ambient sound and music tracks, knockback animations, and the pleasantly named wounds and trauma code.
“We’re revisiting the rough first pass of the wounds and trauma code to make use of new code written while we wrapped up encumbrance. At the same time, this pass will also fix several long-standing bugs in the system, like dummies not respawning, and issues with bleeding to death. No one likes issues with bleeding to death, amiright?”
There’s also the usual assortment of images, including a super-detailed look at the work-in-progress unitframes and… torches. A whole bunch of torches. What could go wrong, right? Pitchforks next week?
When it comes to text-based MMOs created in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, the sheer number of them would blot out the sky. There are certainly more multi-user dungeons (MUDs) than I’ve ever been able to get a handle on when I’ve tried creating lists of the most important to know, but I will say that there are a few that seem to pop up more than others. The original MUD1, created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw, was certainly a watershed moment for online roleplaying games. Learning about DikuMUD is pretty essential, considering its impact on graphical MMORPGs that we still play today.
But there’s another title that often goes unnoticed, unless you keep an eye out for it. It’s a MUD that keeps popping up when you look into the history of the MMORPG genre, one with ties to key players and design concepts that are still active today.
It’s the MUD that shaped the MMO industry, and it was called Sceptre of Goth.
Camelot Unchained hopes you’re not tired of the words “living world” because its devs are busy making “major inroads into the tech to support” just that.
“At the start of the month, we began working with our portal tech to allow players to teleport between zones, primarily to make testing easier,” City State’s Tyler Rockwell explains. “However, we delayed more expanded testing of that tech” — chiefly to improve seamless zone transitioning and terrain generation.
The art is worth a peek this week as usual too, particularly the icons. CSE says its expects the “styling and overall UI to change and grow throughout testing,” these armor, weapon, and crafting icons for beta one are ready to roll. Check them out, along with the weekly recap video, down below.
For Ashes of Creation, May 16th will go down as one of its best days. For starters, the title was featured on Kickstarter’s front page as the project of the day. This honor probably helped to push the game past not one but two significant milestones.
The same day, the sandbox MMO hit $2 million in crowdfunding, a feat that has only been done by two other MMORPGs (Star Citizen and Camelot Unchained). And to put a cap on it, a second stretch goal, 11,000 backers, was also achieved. Not too shabby for a Tuesday!
Thanks to these met stretch goals, social organizations will be included in Ashes of Creation’s feature set and all backers will receive the exclusive Tidesnapper underwater mount. There’s a little over two weeks left in the campaign, which is plenty of time to hit another stretch goal or two. Next up is a playable Underrealm beast race (unlocked at $2.5M), exclusive dye colors (12,000 backers), and unique mount barding (13,500 backers).
With the Seattle base a go, Camelot Unchained is pushing forward. City State’s Tyler Rockwell says the team has been hard at work on terrain optimization, zone transitions, portals, particle performance, crafting recipes, environment assets, and UI tweaks. Crafters, this one should leap out at you in particular:
“Crafting: Mark completed his first pass on his ‘First 30 days of Beta 1’ document and handed it off to some members of the team for commenting. This is the document that he spoke about two weeks ago. Once it goes through the rounds here, it will be passed on to our Backers, so they know what to expect for the opening of Beta 1 and a little bit beyond.”
Meanwhile, Mark Jacobs returns to helm a Q&A for the weekly round up — and don’t forget to check out the latest art uploads!
With well over two weeks to go in its Kickstarter campaign, Ashes of Creation has already outpaced similar efforts from Chronicles of Elyria ($1.36M raised) and Crowfall ($1.76M). In fact, with over $1.84M raised so far and 19 days to go, it looks increasingly probable that the project is going to easily clear two million and surpass the Kickstarters of Shroud of the Avatar ($1.91M) and Camelot Unchained ($2.23M).
This also means that the $1.75M stretch goal to include an underground area is now sealed in stone. The team teased this subterranian zone by saying, “The Underrealm will be a rich environment where bioluminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys will provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world, may awaken darker creatures than the surface. Be careful…”
The next funding stretch goal is to include social organizations such as thieves guilds at $2M. If you missed our Friday livestream interview with the Ashes of Creation team, make sure you rectify that!
From the sound of this week’s Camelot Unchained newsletter, the team at City State is having a lot more fun now that beta development is starting to shift from engine tech to actual gameplay.
“We’re slowly moving from some of our system needs for Beta 1 and into more gameplay, which has, quite honestly, been bringing smiles to the team,” CSE writes. “We’ve started feeling more like we’re making a game and not a tech solution.” That’s got to be good news for fans salivating at the thought of eventually playing the beta, too!
The newsletter talks more about the work being done on character weapon animations, siege engines, and visual improvements to Camelot Unchained’s forests. The Seattle team also showed off pictures from their brand-new office digs.
Need more? Get the full end-of-week livestream from the devs after the jump.