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.
Remember last June when Camelot Unchained startled everyone by announcing it was opening a second studio in Seattle? The team out west has been working on the game for many months now, but finally, it’s getting a home.
“The crew out in Washington now have an office space they will be moving into at the start of next week,” the game’s latest newsletter reveals. “After quite a journey, the lease is signed, the moving can begin, and maybe we’ll even convince them to appear on our streams a little more often.”
Also, may we say that this particular developer has impeccable taste in vintage 2015 t-shirts featuring a mascot rather near and dear to us:
Swinging axes, autumn in the spring, and new office space: This is just another week in the life of the Camelot Unchained team (they can call it the “Duck Squad” and thank us later).
This week’s Camelot Unchained newsletter exalts in the work that’s been done on the game’s combat animations as well as the plans being laid out for an autumnal biome (so pretty). And good news from the business side, as City State has signed a lease on some office space for its Seattle team.
“We’re making progress on what has been an interesting, and longer-than-expected journey,” the team said, going on to encourage fans to watch this week’s wrap-up livestream. We’ve got it for you, good buddy, right after the jump.
Live it up while you still can, zone loading screens, because Camelot Unchained has its mind to wipe you off the map.
In this week’s newsletter, the team reports that it’s working to eliminate zone loading screens to provide more of a seamless experience. As with most projects, it’s a multi-step process that is a little more complicated than you might assume. Animation development continues apace, with improved walk and run cycles moving along in testing. The team also has created generic realm cloaks for easy visual identification during skirmishes.
City State said that it’s registered the trademark for Camelot Unchained and is still looking around for office space for the Seattle team. Get even more of your weekly ration of Camelot Unchained news with the team’s wrap-up video after the break.
I know most of you come to these Camelot Unchained posts hoping to hear about beta one. I can’t wait to write that post, believe me, and I’m pretty sure CSE can’t either. In the meantime, we’re digging into another weekly update from the team, whose highlight is the fact that the weekend tester build has been updated with a proper particle rendering system, the better to make your spells sparkle.
“This is the system we have been talking about for months. Included in today’s code-drop are almost a dozen new features, as well as some added functionality for existing parts of the particle/lighting system. The next step is for Mike and the art team to update/change existing VFX as test cases of the system. Like the animation system, this is a WIP, and will serve as the basis for our next major improvement, which will happen during Beta 1. In the meantime, the new system will allow our world to feel more alive, magical, and interesting. And more performant, as well!”
CSE has also uploaded some new images — some psychedelic ones showing off the lighting systems on water, some gorgeous blossom-draped foliage, and a first pass on bits of the beta UI. Don’t miss Mark Jacobs’ end-of-the-week summary vid below either.
Terrible pun title in honor of April Fools’ Day! This week’s Camelot Unchained update touches on art, interface, and ability cooldowns, but the most interesting bits are surely the faces and the animation work.
“An image can only say so much about how actually playing the game will feel, but we want to emphasize the time and effort going into making the animations not only look good, but–just as important–feel good,” CSE’s Tyler Rockwell says. “In the past, our ‘jump’ only popped your character into the air and played a looping animation for the time you hovered. While Andrew re-hooks up ‘jump’ with the new animation system, Scott has worked out a jump with a prep and recover phase to smooth the in and out of the jump. This example also includes a pose specific to carrying a two-handed weapon, vs. having a shared pose for all weapons. Likewise, he’s begun working on a jump animation that will play when the player hits a certain velocity, to create a ‘running leap.’ The latter idea is still conceptual, but is part of our goal of making things ‘feel’ good.”
Check out the new art below, along with Mark Jacobs’ video update.
While it’s always important to get players on to test servers for that human element, what if you need a huge army of characters on demand that never give up? That’s when you take Camelot Unchained’s approach by unleashing an army of bots on its test server to stress it out as much as possible.
“Right now, we have bots firing off 20,000 skills per hour, and logging in and out 16 times per minute, to help us not only track down issues like this, but also to stress test the ability system,” the team said in this week’s newsletter.
And when there’s a Camelot Unchained newsletter, there’s always a list of Camelot Unchained tasks that the team has tackled over the past week. Some of the items of note include work on archery mechanics, figuring out where your character respawns when it dies, and the first pass of the “banes and boons” system.
While it’s certainly tempting to focus on Camelot Unchained’s progress in creating weeds (or as the devs put it, “the unsung heroes of the grass plains”), the star of this week’s newsletter is most definitely the game’s improved animated stances.
“We’ve been talking quite a bit about the progress we’re making on the new animation system, which has allowed us to see some of these assets for the very first time,” Mark Jacobs wrote. “The other exciting thing is that characters now use the appropriate animation within their stance, per the weapon(s) they have equipped.”
For a look at some of these stances, some environmental scenes, and, yes, the thrill-a-minute weeds, check out the new screenshots from the following gallery.
I was pretty well taken by multiplayer survival sandbox Rend as soon as I saw it at this year’s PAX East 2017, as I wrote yesterday. The concept immediately spoke to me as taking a lot of the cool ideas from other survival games while making the game as a whole into something very different. But I also entirely understand that sometimes you can look at the game and wonder what makes it so different. After all, it’s hardly the first time that we’ve had a game using a lot of the building blocks. So why am I over the moon about Rend but not its obvious inspirations and close cousins?
The answer is that in some cases, I am over the moon about its close cousins. But it’s also important to understand the distinction and the fact that Rend is not, say, Crowfall or Conan Exiles or any other game. So what makes Rend different? Not necessarily better, but how does it stack up to the obvious points of comparison?