State of the Game April 2016

Hello and welcome to the first monthly round-up of the most important happenings in the CU community and most importantly updates on the development of Camelot Unchained.

The first and largest item of this month is the delay of the first beta, having originally been promised to start in July 2015 consistent delays have now pushed the start date back and has yet to be confirmed. Mark Jacobs , design lead and head honcho at City State Entertainment, promised to do everything in his power to get Beta one out by the end of winter 2016, which is apparently the end of March, ultimately even after a period of hard crunch, programming failures have yet again delayed the project. That has also ended crunch time as a problem surrounding the custom ability system is expected to take over a month to solve and the leadership has seen no reason to extend the crunch period. That being said the developers have stated that we should at the very least expect beta one by the end of this year, though that is cold comfort to the fans who have now in some cases been waiting for three years now.

To understand why this has occurred we have to wind back around 18 months to late 2014 possibly further into 2013 after the Kickstarter ended. Jacobs has explained recently that CSE has experienced extreme difficulty in hiring the quality of programmers the company wants primarily due to the companies location in north Virginia and has done since that time. He also suggests that due to the nature of the project he is unable to offer salaries that can compete against mobile developers and the giants like Amazon and Google, even with the lower costs of living compared to central California.

However despite these delays it is important to remember that CSE made a very brave move when publishing the initial dates, and this may be Murphy’s law rearing it’s head. There are still some reasons to be confident about the progress being made despite the programming bottleneck. First off for all for the members of the community who have been sharpening their pitchforks (understandably after 18 months delay), it is critically important to understand that despite setbacks the development of the game hasn’t actually stopped. Even though the art live-streams are neither particularly stimulating from a viewers standpoint, and don’t particularly contribute anything new to the body of knowledge we have on the game; the important takeaway point is there are still people in the office working hard, making artwork and models that ultimately would have to be made regardless. To this end the recent stretch goal of just over $4m has been completed as being the last that CSE is going to state publicly for the time being, as CSE as a whole feels uncomfortable setting any new goals whilst the project is so far delayed.

The latest UI update kit.

The second biggest update or set of updates of the month is the expansion of C.U.B.E giving us the opportunity to get a look at the first incarnation of the Vox Magus the magic crafting station at the heart of the games crafting system. The update included a physically based rendering system and some back end code laying down the early foundations of the new structural integrity system that will be used to determine whether buildings fall over or not. To this end individual blocks now have damage states and calculations performed server sidle to determine whether they are supported adequately or not. General performance updates have been abounds with significant rendering performance increases and making the client more stable. Another improvement made was the removal of the mega weeds that plagued the test island, they have now been scaled back to a more reasonable foot high rather than the 8 foot tall monsters before them. Plus there is now a flat land empty map for people who want to build without the pesky limitations of lakes, trees or hills.

April also saw the first footage of the siege engines in action. Whilst appearing basic the code behind it is all there and working well and over the next few months we should expect to see more improvements to not only the visuals but possibly the introduction of other pre gunpowder siege engines as well.

That wraps it up for this month and thanks for reading hopefully you’ll come back later in the week when I explore siege warfare and do some theory crafting about what it might look like come D-Day.