Mark Jacobs says Camelot Unchained’s 90-day plan is still on track

Will issue roadmap for next 90 days soon

    
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Mark Jacobs says Camelot Unchained’s 90-day plan is still on track

Camelot Unchained’s latest newsletter has arrived, and the key component homes right in on battlegrounds. “While we’ve had scenarios in Camelot Unchained before to test specific aspects of the engine such as large scale battles, battlefield objectives, and building destruction, we’re now moving more toward developing gameplay evocative of what we would like to provide in the released version of the game,” CSE’s Ben Piestick writes. “Obviously the final game isn’t meant to be a time-limited instance-based experience, but rather a persistent open world, where players can battle over control of territory and resources, building and laying siege to fortifications of their own design. There are no time limits, no victory conditions, just an ongoing war between the Realms on a massive scale. This is what makes our new Battleground different from past Scenarios.”

CSE’s Mark Jacobs has likewise posted his end-of-the-week stream and his latest letter to backers, noting that yes, the studio is “getting close to the end of the 90-day plan [it] laid out for Camelot Unchainedearlier this year and is “working hard to deliver on that plan,” including the big test for the new island.

“Almost three months ago we showed you Final Stand: Ragnarok and understandably some folks were upset and concerned about CU’s future. I tried to assure folks that CU was not only alive and well but would still be the main focus of CSE. Many of you didn’t believe me, even when I laid out the 90-day plan. And here we are, almost 90 days after the plan was revealed and we’re doing a really good job overall on delivering on it, even with the delays and issues due to Covid-19. But, we’re not stopping there. I’m happy to say that we intend to do the same thing over the next 90 days, lay out a detailed plan which puts CU at the forefront of our development with the vast majority of the studios resources going to continue, expand, and iterate on the fine work they did over the last 90 days. So, when the 90-days run out, expect another detailed plan from us showing what we are working to deliver. That’s the commitment that I and our investors have made towards CU and our Backers. I do hope you all stick around to see how things turn out because if want we have seen in the last few days are any indication, it’s going to be a lot of fun as we get the 24×3 servers ready to open and give you all what you’ve been waiting for, lots of RvR fun and frolic.”

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DG

Lost interest months ago. Major pass on this one.

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Bruno Brito

You know, i’m not going to be snarky today. While i do think CU is delayed to a point where anything said is time wasted, i also know that the current situation makes any kind of development complicated.

So i’ll just wish them the best, for now.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks BB. Have we made progress? Yep, lots. Is that enough? Nope, we have to release a game. But as the last few days (and going forward) have shown, we’re letting all of them see it and take part in it. We’ll be doing these all access tests all next week and if we knock out the key bugs that have come up during testing, we’ll have extended weekend testing as well.

Mission accomplished? Not a chance. But solid progress, yeah, there’s no disputing that, especially now under these crappy circumstances. And lots more to come over the next 90-day plan as well.

Have a good weekend BB!

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Dug From The Earth

Im still very hyped about this game. The mechanics, gameplay, classes, features, etc. I cant wait to jump into large battles, with smooth framerates and just have a blast with my guild and friends. We are already setting up battle plans and ways that we want to approach things in the game. Which faction to play, what races and classes. Its all very exciting.

The only thing that Im still struggling to be ok with, is the visual theme and look. IE: the games graphical direction.

I get that its alpha, and hopefully a lot of what we are seeing is placeholders. But its not even so much the assets like the models and textures. Its more of the color styling, lighting, and ambiance.

I wish the game could better portrait the gritty, semi dark, semi fantasy art style that the games website portraits. Instead, the game, to me, looks like an experimentation of lighting filters and post effects. Too many aspects like the definition needed to more easily focus on them, and too many other things are constantly distracting your eyes visual focus. (if any of that makes sense). Its just not appeasing to look at.

While the characters and world objects are vastly lower poly count in Daoc, the overall visual presentation of that game still is easy to look at and not harsh on the eyes.

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Mark Jacobs

WIP as you know. Over the past few months the art style/lighting have been a focus of ours. Some good things happened, some not so good things happened, and one OMG thing happened. Right now the keeps at night have gone radioactive because of the light from torches inside the buildings. We’ll be looking at that problem next week. :)

Getting the lighting right for a 24-hour cycle is, of course, a challenge for any game which is why most games don’t bother with true night. It’s more challenging for us because we’re building the engine at the same time we’re building the game so there is a constant back-and-forth between art and engineering. Things look better now than they did last year but we’re not there yet. The Cherry Keep test, for example, have its lighting model locked in, as does FS:R, so things can be tweaked by the artists to look great. Our intent is for it to look great but in order to do that, we have to put it out there for people, besides ourselves, to look at and give feedback on. That’s one of the things I respect Star Citizen for since they have been doing that for a long time even with all the criticism leveled at them. In our case, we opened the servers to everybody not only to see if the build will break but also to get feedback. So please, keep it coming and let us know on the Forums what you think so we can collect it and then talk about it. As you saw today, we had just a few things in today’s patch (30+ items) so we are paying attention to what people like you have to say to us about all manner of things.

Thanks as always for your support and patience.

Oh, and keep in mind that we’ve shown with FS:R that we can do a totally different style if we want to. One of the things we will be focusing on over the next six months is getting the look of the game just right. This island is just the first step in that process.

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Dug From The Earth

A lot of that is great to hear, but I must still not be conveying my concept here.

Lets take night time. Run into the shadows created by a forest. Completely black. Cant see anything but your characters name text floating above his head

Turn shadows off, this problem goes away. You can see everything clear as day. This is a broken element 100%, both visually and mechanically.

Blades of grass reflect light like they are made of glass. To the point where at the right angle, they appear completely white. This isnt how light works.

The wood textures on towers reflects light as if its coated in glass as well, even in the shade.

The contrast lighting difference between night and day doesnt seem balanced. Night gets really dark, mid day always look like you are still in the shade, or its overcast, even when its not. Gives the impression some sort of visual filter is being applying which removes some crispness and clearness from what we see on your screen.

Colors in general seem a bit washed out, most likely do to whatever post effect is being applied, as if you were to turn contrast down too low on your screen.

Time Shadow movement: This might be due to an incorrect time scale set for the night/day cycle, but the way shadows move as the time of day changes is way too quick and drastic. It should be a slow, gradual move, even if it only happens every 30 seconds.

Im not saying “FIX THESE”… im simply saying these are visual elements that I simply am having a hard time enjoying. They are not pleasing to my eyes, or easy to visually take in. They certainly dont make it easy for me to focus on elements like my character or things around me.

One element that I will request a fix for, however, or at least a video option:

The pop-in. Grass and bushes and small rocks, and even elements of the landscape, have extremely low distance LoD values. Adjusting and poping into view at very close ranges. Please please please give players options to adjust this (or remove downscaling of objects all together) if their systems can handle it. Its super distracting and ugly.

I do appreciate the hard work your team is doing, and the amount of face time you have with those who are interested in your game. Im glad to be a backer and support the project, despite my opinions on some of its current elements.

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Mark Jacobs

Umm, we are in agreement. My only point was that what you are seeing is a lot of new stuff/techniques that we didn’t use until recently as we brought in new artists and art director (Michelle) as well as engineering support. So what you are seeing is just the first pass, not even close to final, which is why we’re not streaming. Some things look a lot better, some things look off but this is all happening real-time in the sense of we put something in to see how it looks and folks like you get to see it sometimes in the same day. And in terms of LODs, we’re working on that too. This biome is the first new CU one we’ve built in a while so we’re trying some new things, refining some old things, etc.

That’s all I was saying. :)

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Dug From The Earth

Thanks, and I appreciate all that you are saying :P

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Mark Jacobs

You’re welcome, appreciate your patience, support, criticism, and feedback as well, truly.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Mark could you please add some kind of warning of low space to the installer? Right now it simply refuses to download the game without any indication to why if there is not enough space. I think it was already mentioned in official forums but in case you missed it for some reason I want to mention it again.

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Mark Jacobs

Nice timing RMF, we’re in the midst of redoing both the patcher (new version just went up) as well as the installer. Sorry you are caught in mid-change. :)

Yep, it should indeed tell you that and it should also be smaller both for CU and FS:R. We hope to have the next version of it up in 2 weeks.

Thanks for letting us know.

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Mr Ish

Still looking forward to this, regardless of any set-backs along the way!

Keep up the hard work, CSE & stay safe all.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks, you stay safe too please.

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Jack Pipsam

I wish them the best of luck!
I am still super eager to play this game one day.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks Jack, let me know if/when you join us!

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Jack Pipsam

I think my kickstarter tier had me at Beta3 if I recall, if that puts me in ‘Break the Build’ camp I’d happily give it a try if that’s still open.

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Mark Jacobs

These tests are “all access” so if you want to join in, please do. We’ll have more of these going forward.

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Jack Pipsam

Well it is the weekend, I’ll be sure to hop in if I can!

Do I find the download link for the client in my account page or on the CU forums somewhere?

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Mark Jacobs

It’s on the account page, towards the bottom. FYI it’s a big download and it’s slow. That’s one of the reasons we’re changing stuff up in terms of the initial download and the patcher.

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Jack Pipsam

If it’s slow for NA, then that might be unwise for me to try with my Australian internet haha, but I’d try anyway only I can’t actually find the link.
My account page has stuff with the privacy policy showing everything I’ve opted into and a link to the forums with my status, but not anything other than that.

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Mark Jacobs

Hmm, it should be the last thing before the bottom of the page:

Camelot Unchained Game Client

Welcome backers! Looking for the client download? Look no further.

Beta Manual
Client Download

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Jack Pipsam

Maybe I’m in the wrong area or wrong page, but this is what my account page looks like ->comment image

It bottoms out there with nothing below and above is just saying my kickstarter tier.

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Mark Jacobs

Well, that’s a bug on our website, I’ll get it to engineering. It’s probably been in there forever and nobody noticed since we didn’t have any All Access tests till now. :)

Sorry for the confusion Jack!

In the meantime, just go to:

http://camelotunchained.com/client/CamelotUnchainedSetup.exe

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Jack Pipsam

Okay thanks!
I’m downloading it now from the patcher, it says it’ll take just a little over an hour to download for the 17gb, which is actually for me pretty solid!
Keen to give it a shot.

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Mark Jacobs

Hope you enjoy it. As per my discussion with Dug above, this is a first pass at a large island, tons of new art, huge number of destructible blocks, etc. A true WIP. :)

Thanks for your patience over the years JP, it is appreciated.

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Buddy Barlow

Well Jack, did you try it out?

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Jack Pipsam

I had to sleep, so I missed the open-window haha.

Pretty sure I’d be under NDA as well even if I did.

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Mark Jacobs

Yep, and for the 2nd day in a row we’ve opened up CU to all of our Backers to come on in and help “Break the Build” and play/test stuff. We also just put up the latest build with almost 3 dozen changes/fixes/improvements based on the testing that was done by our IT and Alpha testers.

And as per the video/update, we’ve said again that we’ll be focusing on CU, not FS:R, over the next few months just as we just did the past three months.

Been a fun couple of days, looking forward to a lot more.

gelfred
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gelfred

Haven’t been paying much attention this year, town was flooded and then this whole virus thing. But it looks like we have good stuff coming! Will re-download and jump in soon.

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Mark Jacobs

Great, glad to have you join us in our tests and the 24×3 servers we’ll be running by the end of the next 90-day plan.

Sorry to hear about your town, that’s happened more than a few times in recent memory in the areas around us. Not fun at all.

Thanks for your support and I hope you like what you see!

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Relmharver

Looking better and better! Mark, wasn’t FSR supposed to come out before CU? Why the switch in development focus back to CU?

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Mark Jacobs

It still is intended to come out before CU but FS:R is a much simpler game than CU, so it should come out sooner. In terms of switching back and forth, I don’t know what you are referring too. When we announced FS:R we said we were going to continue to push on CU (even before we showed the 90-day plan). FS:R is essentially a mod based on the Unchained Engine. We were still working on CU while we were working on FS:R and the engine so nothing’s changed there.

Unfortunately, some people thought, no matter what I said, that CU was dead, not going to be worked on, etc., because they were upset about the announcement. Well, by the end of the 90 days, I think it’s safe to say that those statements were incorrect even though the fears were understandable. And the proof is in what we’ve been running for the last two days with all of our Backers and how much we have gotten done even during these very difficult times.

One of my catchphrases is of course time will tell and well, 90 days isn’t a lot of time but as the folks who’ve been in the tests are saying, it’s been a very telling time. :)

Lots of bugs, lots of fixes, improvements, etc. as our team is showing what we can do in terms of a game once we had less tech to focus on as a smallish team. And more is coming over the next 90 days.

Interesting days we’re in, on all levels.

Time for me to jump into the test again. CU! :)

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aendam x

Hes talking about this comment.

“And as per the video/update, we’ve said again that we’ll be focusing on CU, not FS:R, over the next few months just as we just did the past three months.”

Makes it sound like the focus switches between both games.

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Mark Jacobs

Ah, got it. That was in response to thought/worries/fear/boiling cauldron of concern that FS:R meant more delays for CU or worse, us shutting down CU permanently to focus on Ragnarok. The reveal of the 90-day plan was meant to allay that as is the next 90-day plan.