mark jacobs

Camelot Unchained’s Jacobs offers progress report, praise for his dev team

Camelot Unchained’s traditional Friday update has been published, and CityState’s Mark Jacobs has a lot to talk about on the heels of the recent beta delay announcement. He says that less than 50 of the game’s 22,000 backers opted for a refund after the news, though a handful of those were higher end pledges. The good news is that those limited rewards will be made available again to founders.

Further good news takes the form of Beta 1 backers being granted access to extended alpha as of today.

This afternoon’s update also recaps CityState’s recent livestreams, and Jacobs says that work is proceeding “quite nicely on all tech fronts, from our stance editor to our animations, particle effects, etc.” Finally, Jacobs praises his dev team for its work thus far in building an engine from scratch and staying under budget. “Maybe it’s time that I began to emphasize the great progress a small, underfunded (by typical MMORPG standards) and young (well, not me) team has made on delivering not only an engine, but a game, albeit in the early stages; and a standard for treating our backers that is, IMO, the best in the industry,” he writes.


MMO devs pay tribute to Smedley

Former Daybreak CEO John Smedley may have been a polarizing figure to MMO gamers, but several high profile devs have spoken up in the wake of Smedley’s resignation announcement. Former PlanetSide 2 creative director Matt Higby says that he and many other devs owe Smedley a great deal, and he also says that if you’re a gamer, Smedley is exactly the sort of “maverick, passionate, risk-taking leader you want running a company” as opposed to many industry CEOs who prefer “insipid reliably-profitable clones.”

Trion boss Scott Hartsman says that Smedley “always led with his heart, and there are easily a thousand people’s careers, [Hartsman’s] included, that he’s touched or helped grow in meaningful ways.”

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Mark Jacobs explains Camelot Unchained’s beta delay, confirms game title [Updated]

Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs has admitted to backers today that the first round of CU’s beta, originally planned for August, will be delayed.

Jacobs has explained that the senior programmer hired in June was essentially poached two days after his arrival. While CSE has since hired yet another new programmer, he won’t begin until September, making the August beta impossible. Jacobs told Massively OP that the beta could be delayed into next year, but he won’t set any date until the refreshed programming team is back on course.

He has, however, assured backers that the game’s “spending is below projections,” so the budget is good shape. CSE will continue to issue a refund to any crowdfunder who requests it.

We spoke to Jacobs prior to the official announcement to ask a few questions about the delay and its impact on the development of the game. Read on for the full Q&A and the Twitch stream.

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Camelot Unchained crammed a bunch of people into a zone and it went pretty well

Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs returns with the game’s latest Friday update. He says that it’s a short one on account of a monster update coming next week, but there’s still plenty of reading for fans of the crowdfunded RvR fantasy title.

The recent 72 hours of alpha went “exceptionally well,” Jacobs writes, as there wasn’t a single server crash to be found during the whole event. He also mentions that there was no rubber-banding until 1700 backers and bots were crammed into a single small zone, which sounds even better given that the team hasn’t really begun the optimization process yet.

You can follow the link below to read all about CU user stories, swag updates, and more.


Camelot Unchained has made progress on performance, procedurally generated terrain, and more

It’s Friday, which means there’s probably a Camelot Unchained update floating somewhere around my inbox. Yep, here it is. Let’s see. Head honcho Mark Jacobs says that CityState has made “significant progress” on the rubberbanding and performance issues that have been focused on for the past few weeks.

There’s also a blurb about procedurally generated terrain, which is “moving along nicely.” Jacobs also mentions that an official beta announcement is coming “within the next two weeks,” so that’s pretty exciting news for fans of fantasy PvP sandboxes in general and Camelot Unchained in particular. There’s much more to this afternoon’s update, too, but you’ll need to click through the link below to read all of it!


Jacobs on destroying Camelot Unchained structures and more

Mark Jacobs is back with a Friday afternoon update for Camelot Unchained. In it, he says that players will soon be able to destroy structures with spells, after which they will break and fall apart (the structures, that is, not the spells or the players).

Jacobs also says that the dev team hit 58 items on CU’s user stories page, including 15 new cards. A full list of changes and improvements is available via the source link below, along with more information about hirings, a tease for the next stretch goal, tidbits about the game’s UI, and some new art.


The Game Archaeologist: Mythic’s Imperator Online

It is a truly difficult thing to create something completely new and original, especially in storytelling and setting. It’s perhaps impossible in this day and age, as we tell variations on time-worn tales. But what is almost as good of a substitute is to take two elements and put them together to make an interesting new mix — such as science-fiction and ancient Rome.

That was the premise for Mythic Entertainment’s Imperator Online, a fascinating project that was originally to be the follow-up MMO to the studio’s Dark Age of Camelot but instead was cancelled before it ever launched. Even so, players got hooked by the intriguing premise: “What if the Roman Empire never fell, but instead continued on to become a really radical futuristic online roleplaying game setting?”

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Camelot Unchained’s Friday update talks blowing stuff up

Mark Jacobs has posted Camelot Unchained’s traditional Friday update. In it, he thanks a couple of backers for their gifts to the team, and he also talks a bit about the “39 new completes and four new adds” to the user stories section of CU’s website. These include everything from the ability crafting system and the combos that result from it to the ability to destroy structures in the game world.

“Blowing, blasting, and otherwise reducing the hard work of your opponents draws ever closer,” Jacobs notes. He also hints at some good news on the hiring front in the near future.

Finally, the blurb features some updated golem art assets and it mentions Jacobs’ appearance on this Monday’s Twitch stream.

Source: Friday update


Jacobs elaborates on spirit pets in Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs has posted a Thursday afternoon update that’s basically required reading if you’re a fan of the fantasy RvR title. He talks about a whole bunch of stuff including last week’s successful 24-hour alpha test and the recent announcement of the spirit pet stretch goal.

Jacobs mentions some curious new gameplay wherein the player sets up a series of portals that a pet must move through in order to attack its target. He also touches on more traditional pet roles like turrets, crafting assistants, etc. There’s even a blurb about pets who do everything from serving as scouts and messengers to spreaders of disease and darkness!

[Source: Thursday update]


Camelot Unchained’s Friday update talks alpha progress, stretch goals, and more

This afternoon’s Camelot Unchained update is a lengthy one, as head honcho Mark Jacobs has a lot to say about topics ranging from stretch goals to new builder tiers to alpha testing progress reports.

CityState is approaching the current stretch goal, which means that the firm is also preparing the next one. “It’s not a hiring stretch goal (yay!), and it’s one that I think will surprise and excite some people,” Jacobs hints. “It’s a clever one that keeps both the spirit of the Foundational Principles and to the statements I have made in the past about what we would like to do.”

On the alpha front, CU has had “a less-than-expected number of bugs,” and other than a troublesome player positioning bug that may affect this weekend’s test, things are going well. There’s a lot more to the update, so be sure and read the full post at the Camelot Unchained website.

[Source: Friday update]


Camelot Unchained alpha test ‘a huge success’

“Alpha was, quite frankly and with as little hype as possible, a huge success.”

Mark Jacobs used the above to lead into a debriefing of Camelot Unchained’s first technical alpha test. The test ran for a continuous 72 hours after a start delay. He reported that the game handled 1,100 players and bots without a problem and did not crash during the entire test.

Jacobs is pleased to see the creativity that fans are demonstrating with the new offline building program. He also said that the team is slated to get additional programming support and that future stretch goals will come with extra rewards for all backers.

[Source: Evening update]


Camelot Unchained busts out a new stretch goal

Camelot Unchained reached the $3,225,000 “Hug the World” stretch goal in its ongoing crowdfunding campaign last night, meaning that City State Entertainment will hire or contract more artists to hasten the game’s development.

But the next stretch goal is even juicier. CSE founder Mark Jacobs posted today that the next stretch goal — the $3,350,000 “Programmers, where art thou programmers?” goal — is CSE’s attempt to overcome the challenge of “attracting additional senior programmers” to the team.

We will use the proceeds from this Stretch Goal to coax two elusive senior-level programmers to join the team, by adding an appropriate amount to our current plan to pay them. FYI, these are the same two senior-level programmer positions that we have been trying to fill for well more than a year.

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Camelot Unchained launches alpha, standalone builder

After a short delay to track down some bugs, Camelot Unchained’s alpha has begun for realsies.

“We are proud and happy to tell you that as of this writing, the alpha testing phase of Camelot Unchained has begun!” Mark Jacobs announced last night. “Starting tonight, we will begin regularly scheduled tests of our game.”

Jacobs said that on top of participating in the online alpha, testers will also get a “standalone building program” called C.U.B.E. with which to experiment, test, and create. “So, how’s that?” he wrote. “Not only are we opening alpha, but we are giving you a fun building tool that you can use without having to be in the main game! Testing an MMORPG only when the tests are being run? That’s so 20 years ago.”

[Source: Alpha announcement. Thanks to Tim, Dreda, and Amber for the tip!]


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