State of the Game August 2016

So what’s changed in CU well, my monthly updates fell by the wayside pretty sharpish and frankly there’s no surprise there.

Despite determined optimism in April BETA 1 of Camelot Unchained has still not arrived and frankly at least for me goodwill is drying up.

This game is late. how late do you ask? Well by CSE original (i.e. Kickstarter) timeline the game has been out for about 8 months. the fact that the company has largely made attempts to expunge most of theses dates from their campaign page and website should tell you a lot. For a while it seemed at least that despite the year long delay that by march this year we would have had something vaguely resembling playable in our hands seemed feasible. However that simply isn’t the case, I especially am eagerly awaiting the release of the crafting design document that was promised in December last year. It is not august I remind you and summer is nearly over, the “promised” BETA 1 of winter 2016 now seems to be aiming for an arrival in about October or November of this year, but after that who knows? How long will the beta period last as long as alpha? Less? Or perhaps more.

We have been led to believe that the lead designer and principal financial backer of this project Mark Jacobs is an experienced studio head. but is that really true? The last successful game Mythic released was in 2001, yes 2001. WAR, before you comment, was dead in only 5 years and 6 months, had no expansions and by 2011 (just three years after release) was down to just three servers. So having not actually released anything as successful as DAOC in well over 10 years we are to believe that he can make lightning strike twice.

The last 8 months has been an almost unbearable parade of art interspersed with just surface level nods to the back end of the game being worked on. There is just too much sparkle and not enough hard information on where the game is at. In march we were offered an excuse that the ability system was broken on an almost fundamental level necessitating a complete rewrite of a large portion of the games code. Jacobs has for a long time lamented his inability or perhaps unwillingness to hire programmers due to his companies headquarters being in Fairfax, VA and has openly admitted to having difficulty in hiring there. to the point at which in the last two months we have been told there is now a secondary office open in Seattle.

For the first the three months of the year the CSE team working in hard crunch to try and meet the April deadline, only to be met with a crippling anticlimax. The cycle was repeated again when during various livestreams and communications throughout early summer that we’d have something to look forward to at the end of July instead the alpha and internal test server was reopened the vast majority of players and followers of the game cannot access. This lack of clear communication is compounded by the companies strict insistence or retaining it’s NDA. This document itself only available in full to backers ensures that the company keeps a very tight rein on what the general public is allowed to see. But look past that you’ll notice a trend, for the vast majority of it’s media output CSE are pointedly not showing what the current build actually looks like in motion. What actually is in the game?

Knowing how and why the game has been delayed it’s no surprise why CSE have been so stingy with dates, not wishing to nail themselves to the mast again for failing to deliver so as of this moment Camelot Unchained is dead in the water with no appreciable end in sight for its alpha phase.