Camelot Unchained is building a new siege scenario test map as backer siege testing continues

    
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Last week, I saw some commenters discussing how Camelot Unchained had nothing to show from years of development, but of course, testers know better. In fact, beta one backers were treated to a multi-day test just last week.

“Many scenarios were played, bugs were found, fun was had! In other words: lots of progress as lots of new Backers had their first look at V0.1 of our Saturday Night Siege scenario,” City State’s Tyler Rockwell notes in the studio’s latest dev writeup. “While this is still very much a work in progress, it’s been awesome to see players deploy siege engines against our fully destructible castle while its defenders scrambled to keep the walls up! Watching towers crumble and fall, sometimes in wacky ways, was always entertaining!”

Work also continues on building deconstruction, the new siege scenario test map, lighting FX, the crafting UI, siege engine equipment like the trebuchet, animations, the shapeshifting classes, and skill icons. Images include snaps of that new siege scenario map too. “This will replace our quickly-built ‘desert’ map we initially began testing on at the end of last year,” Rockwell explains. “We’re all excited to continue work on all the new features, especially siege-style scenarios, as well as new races, classes, fireballs, and the epic battles to come!”

The latest Q&A (the first of the year) with Mark Jacobs is also below; it also touches on siege map testing.

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Dean Greenhoe

Looking good. Cant wait till my mage starts long range bombing the folks manning the trebuchets. At least until they learn to use them at extreme range. Choices matter.

Close your eyes and think of the day when there will be hundreds of structures in the CU world. All asking to be torn down and looted. Delicious :)

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Mark Jacobs

Me too, so very much.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

I know Mark reads these comments, so hopefully he can answer. In many screenshots and short videos, I noticed that this game is using a lot of brown-like color and the colors in general (like green) don’t look saturated enough. This looks the same on all my monitors (which are calibrated with hardware colorimeter to 6500k color temperature and 2.2 gamma) and on my smartphone (which has good color accuracy by default).

Is that’s the kind of style you’re aiming for with the final game or will you be making colors less “brownish” and more saturated in general?

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

I think it’s cause they take most screenshots at dusk to show off their lighting/sky system.

During the morning/midday/night, it’s a lot less brown, more greens and blues in the lighting.

That all said, pretty sure they’re going to do a bunch more tweaking to the palette closer to launch. 80% sure they confirmed they’d be doing this on an area-based level, so different parts of the map have different lighting (like in most MMO’s).

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Mark Jacobs

Hey Random, first time I’ve seen you post here right?

As HP says, a lot has to do with the time and day of the screenshot. The other thing to keep in mind is that we’re still working on our lighting model (we just added “god rays” as you see). Once that is done we’ll be tweaking a lot of things, including textures.

The game’s biomes will be quite different in terms of their flora/fauna and lighting as well. It is not our intention to make “BrownWorld, the MMO.” :)

Thanks for the question.

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Dug From The Earth

My biggest issue with the game right now, is that its NOT a beta, despite what they are calling it.

Its alpha. A beta is something that you could market and sell RIGHT NOW, but with lots of bugs. The state of this game right now is that its not something you would want to openly show the masses, and it has nothing to do with it simply having the expect beta bugs.

The devs may have made tons of leaps and bounds with their behind the scene engine and code, but the current playable “beta” of the game doesnt reflect much of this.

For example, I loaded up the most recent beta this last weekend, and my son (age 20) who was visiting for the holidays, who is a HUGE gamer, saw me playing. His response, “Ew, what is that?”.

Thats the type of response MOST consumers/gamers would have to this game. A “beta” shouldnt create that type of response without even a hands on experience. When just looking at the graphics, the UI, the gameplay, the animations, etc.. causes the reaction of “ew…” then your game is not ready to be in beta.

I was very hopeful for this game when it was first announced, but I worry very much that if they are fine calling this current stage “beta”, then the “Release” version of the game is going to be quite disappointing.

Even the most current alpha of star citizen, feels like more of a complete game than this….

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Lucky Jinx

Beta wasn’t something you traditionally sold as a product. Beta used to be exactly what CSE is doing with their game. It all changed not too many years ago, but CSE has said all along that the beta will be old school. So that’s what you get, beta in old school style. Putting out games in alpha stage and declaring they’re in beta bundled with soft launches just to make a desperate money grab is not really the way to go. I’m glad how CU is building up. If I were you I’d put the game up, come back when it’s time for open beta, and you will probably be a lot happier than worrying over over it right now.

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Dug From The Earth

You are right… Betas werent something traditionally sold as a product. Why? Because they had tons of bugs that still needed to be fixed, optimization to be done, and often, the final bits of content to be added.

However, the game, as a whole, felt like a complete experience. It didnt feel like just a bunch of tech demos testing out concepts, none of which made up any feeling of a whole game.

The current state of CU is so far from anything other than a bare bones frame work. And not even a framework for a complete game, just a framework for one specific thing… Massive World Vs World battles.

CU feels like how star citizen did, back when it was ONLY a hanger demo and a closed off space section to semi dog fight in.

That isnt a beta. Nor would it have been a beta 20 years ago. A fractional portion of a game barely making up a framework, is an alpha.

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Mark Jacobs

Were you in Dark Age’s Beta 1? That was more than we have here but it certainly wasn’t something you could sell or even close to selling. But, as you say, what qualifies as Beta is something very different today than it was in 1999. That’s also why we are calling this Beta 1 and not Beta, just as I did back with Mythic.

As to people seeing it and not liking it, that’s the whole point of being under an NDA. We know we aren’t ready for prime time yet so we’re not showing it. :)

The good news though is this:

1) You are underestimating how much tech is really there. It looks like all it is a bare-bone’s framework but that’s not the case. That’s one of the reasons we were able to go from no scenario to this scenario in less than two weeks. Back with Mythic, it would have taken more than a month just to get the basic island done according to Ben (who went through that at Mythic).

2) We were upfront with people about what was going to be in our Beta 1, we even laid out the exact points on our website. No “bait and switch”, no false promises and we got almost all of those things in and subbed in some things that we got in for a couple of not very important bits.

3) Before we start showing the game to anybody, we will be much further along. I’ve steadfastly been against early streaming of the game for the very reasons you laid out in your posts. I know how people will react which is why we still have a full refund policy and are not marketing the game in any way other than just having the website page. No PR announcements, no gimmicks, no “limited time sales”, etc.

4) Oh, and we’re already testing an improved version of what you saw last week. Better looking map, improved rubble code, etc.

5) You said “…just a framework for one specific thing… Massive World Vs World battles.” Yep, that’s partially true but keep in mind that’s not only exactly what we promised during the Kickstarter, but it’s also the toughest technical challenge for this game. It’s not true that’s all it is but as I’ve been saying from the get-go, we wanted to tackle the toughest challenges first because if we didn’t and then things went wrong at the end, we’d be in deep shit, really, really deep. Fortunately, because we went down the path of focusing on tech, we can say that we can easily meet and exceed the Kickstarter goal of 500-players battle. That’s a pretty big deal actually.

As to the whole “This is Sparta, I mean Alpha/Beta 1” thing is how the company markets it. I was yelled at (including by people in the industry) when I used the Beta 1 tag for the first time in the industry (at least that’s what people were saying while hurling rotten fruit at me). Because we’ve been upfront about what the game has/doesn’t have, the tag is irrelevant. The terms alpha/beta have been so mangled by so many developers than it doesn’t matter much anymore. What matters is whether the developers stand by their product (we do) and if the developer set reasonable/clear expectations. We did with our roadmap as well as warning people, when they pledge, about the state of the game. In my mind, that’s what matters most.

Oh, Part II, the argument that “it looks like this now and so at launch it will look like…” is just wrong. We’re one of the few KS-backed games that told people what the game would have/look like from day 1 and we’ve stuck to it. For Beta 2, the expectations from me for CU are much higher and for Beta 3, higher still. But as always, time will tell.

Let’s talk about this again in 2 months. My guess is that you will have a different opinion then, at least I hope so. :)

Cheerio!

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Dug From The Earth

Im not giving up on the game yet, MJ.

Its just hard for me to ignore the trends and examples set by pretty much the entire rest of the gaming industry, and apply that to the current state and label of the game status.

If CU breaks those trends, awesome. Ill be happy.

But until then, CU is your Baby… and a parent will defend their baby no matter how ugly and gross it actually turns out to be.

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Mark Jacobs

Dug, LOL, not me, you must confusing me with some other dev. Remember, I’m the guy who has said in livestreams that if something sucks, we’ll remove it. :)

As to labels, that’s why I’m not worrying about them now and not livestreaming either.

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PanagiotisLial1

I mainly got one concern, personally and its actually more for after delivering the full game

I think the biggest challenge the game and any PVP-first mmo will face will be the one most PVP orientated games faced last 8-10 years. How it will not turn from a PVP orientated to gankbox. Cause when there is way too much freedom established PVP players tend to drive away new people trying out the games by killing the whole map. Also seen one entity(usually alliance) getting so strong it can stagnate an entire server. Its among the difficulties that come in later management of PVP MMORPGs. One example that didnt work that well is Mortal Online, on its core the game was fun but community was using its freedom in such a way it was hurting the growth of the game effectively keeping most newcomers(through griefing in starter points and main city) from growing enough to actively participate in the gameplay.

That said when these game work as intended and offer organised PVP they can be very fun and I hope CU delivers

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

@PanagiotisLial1

It’s split into 3 teams, each team holds large amounts of territory.

Nobody on your team can attack you.

Your team will attack the enemy teams with you.

It’s not all vs. all or free for all PvP.

Worst they can do is attack an enemy building you’re standing on and reduce it to rubble, you fall, get crushed in the debris.

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PanagiotisLial1

Nice to know. I didnt happen to play DaoC so I didnt know exactly how it worked.

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

For anyone who didn’t play DAoC or ESO AvA or GW2’s WvW, it’s not intuitive to know how much less chance there is for griefing when you’ve got a massive team that (sometimes – people can still be ****s) backs you.

This’ll be different than most game’s PvP, no doubt.

Whether it’ll be good is another question lol.

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Mark Jacobs

That’s a fair point HP. The good/bad thing about creating entertainment is that you never know how people will react when the thing is released.

One thing I know for sure, it will be interesting. Whether it is fun or not over the long term is not up to me/CSE, it’s up to the players. Who would have thought that a game called “Goat Simulator” would be as successful as it was/is or Minecraft would be one of the most successful games of all time? And then, well, there’s Fortnite of course. I’m sure Tim S. is surprised as anybody at its unbelievable success

Tl;dr – this is why I always say, time will tell. :)

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PanagiotisLial1

I can understand Minecraft success, in a way they offered “digital legos” in a world that grew up with legos, if you understand me.

I cant really understand why people like Goat Simulator – it can be funny for a few mins and that is about it

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

@Mark Jacobs.

Definitely. This game might be wildly successful, mid range successful, or just not work as a game at launch. Impossible to know yet.

Something that keeps me thinking itll be one of the first two (and not-secretly hoping its the first one) is that you’ve been willing to make changes when most people agree a change needs to be made – but not in a knee-jerk way that ignores the fallout of the change.

The example I can think of that’s most recent is the change the health bar to make it have fewer moving parts and less UI clutter, while still keeping wounds and damage/CC to individual body parts.

I think that’s the right approach to making changes, at least as far as keeping me impressed with your studio’s mindset goes.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks HP, appreciated.

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

You’re welcome, was in the test today, was pretty damn cool.

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Mark Jacobs

We’re getting there, slowly but surely. :)

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Armsbend

Project Ew would be a funny name for a game.

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Mark Jacobs

Wasn’t that the sci-fi version of Goat Simulator that they had planned on doing before the devs went to work on Satisfactory?

Bah…

:)

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

@Dug from the Earth:

It really doesn’t matter what I think, you think, your son or my uncle think about the game while it’s in early stage beta 1.

When it’s late beta 2/early beta 3, this is a more legitimate complaint.

If there’s something specific you want them to change, consider making a thread on the beta feedback subforum – but I haven’t seen anything in your post other than “my family is unhappy the game isn’t further along,” which everyone agrees on lol.

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Armsbend

Dug is clearly saying the game is being called one thing while all other games at that one thing are further along. Dug doesn’t have to wait for anyone to say “NOW ITS BETA 2” for an opinion – or his boy’s opinion when he said, “Ew”. Dug’s point (imo) is the terms themselves are just arbitrary bullshit – most betas look and play better – according to him and maybe his son.

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

Ah, ya, you’re right.

Seems like Dug has the more popular, modern idea of what betas are. Which is reasonable, everyone entitled to their opinion, etc.

But MJ has said 1.2 billion times this is not going to be like those other betas, going to be clunkier and bareboneser.

Dug may not have seen any of the 1.2 billion times MJ said that, which is fair, but he did say it.

In that case, Bree’s comment seems bang on the money.

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Armsbend

And that’s fair of course. But he can still be bummed out.

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

Absolutely! Im bummed out too about my expectations for beta not lining up with reality.

But that’s on me, cause what they delivered was pretty consistent with their beta doc – I just let me my hopes get away from me/the doc/reality :/ .

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Mark Jacobs

AB, yep, I have *zero* issue with Dug being bummed, he has every right to his opinion. My main point there in my original screed was that even if he was bummed (or HP here), we tried really hard to set expectations. And for those people who were unhappy, we pay refunds.

And that’s why I’ve chosen not to get on the hype train for CU. There will be a time (but no sunglasses), but now isn’t it. We haven’t earned the right to buy our own tickets, let alone heavily promote the game.

One thing please keep in mind about criticism about CU and that is when people have criticized our animations for example, I didn’t tell them that they were wrong, I explained how we were writing a new system and once that was cooked, we would start improving how they looked. Same for other parts of the game. And in some cases, I’ve even said that we won’t have certain things or the game won’t look as good as say BDO. I’ve really tried, as much as possible, to keep peoples’ expectations in check for Beta 1, even reminding people when they donate exactly what shape the game is in now. It’s really important to do that and not just the usual “You’re donating to a KS” type disclaimer.

We’re not perfect and lord knows I’m not, but we are trying really hard to hold ourselves to a high standard. I won’t get into the “We do it better than anybody else!!!” stuff, but are trying not only to make a great game but do it the right way as well.

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Bruno Brito

I may be wrong here, but this means you won’t sell this game as a Early Access title?

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Mark Jacobs

As of today (and all our yesterdays too), we have not considered making Camelot Unchained an Early Access game. We have discussed putting it on Steam in the past, but not as an EA title.

Maybe it’s the abbreviation that puts me off the idea. :)

In all seriousness, I don’t want to say there zero chance of doing that but neither CSE, nor our investors, think that is something we should do.