Camelot Unchained Beta 1

svartalf

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FROM HERE: Overview of Beta 1 Features, Systems, and more! | Camelot Unchained
USFRDE






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[*]Foundational Principles[/list][*]C.U.B.E.[*]Media[*]Community [*]News[/list]




Overview of Beta 1 Features, Systems, and more!

Thank you




I wanted to show you folks as much of the “official” document as I could without editing. This is what I said to the team after we finished our work on the document. And I do mean our work. CSE is a highly collaborative studio. We talk, exchange ideas, disagree, argue, and—almost all the time—it is done professionally and respectfully.After all, nobody is perfect, right?
Thank You to CSE!


I just want to say thank you to all the people at CSE who read the document. I also want to thank those folks who spent a lot of time on what I wrote before the document went to the whole team, suggesting, commenting, questioning, filling in gaps, etc. Finally, to those who spent a lot of time in the comment section of this document: Once it went to the whole team, you folks did a really great job as well, and I appreciate it. Like our game, this document is what it is thanks to all of us working together.

I’ve kept the older doc up in the previous location so we can always reference it, as well as the comments we all made there.

This document is now the official guide for us for Beta 1. In the coming weeks, I’ll do two more things:[*]Create a redacted version of this document for our Backers to read. Once that document is complete, we will reveal it serially to our Backers on our website.[*]Work on a “storified” version of this document from the perspective of our Backers.

Thanks again, everybody, you did great!
Thank You to our Backers!


It’s been a longer road to Beta 1 than we expected it would be last year. For that, you have our most sincere and humble apologies. I have always, dating back to old Mythic, believed that CEOs of companies need to take ownership in situations such as these. I’m doing so once again, and saying "mea culpa." However, that’s not enough, at least not in my/our opinion. Mere words are just that—words. They may be heartfelt, true, and meaningful, but in this case, they are just not enough. We have to do more, and we will.

To begin with, speaking on behalf of everyone at CSE, we thank you for your patience and support, truly. It means so much to us that you still support us, send us little gifts, and don’t make our lives miserable. You truly don’t know how much it means to the team and to myself when we see the extra effort some of you have gone to in order to support us with words and occasional deeds. It really is a game-changer for the studio, at times.

On my end, I’ve already committed more money to the studio than I originally planned. I’ve opened the office in Seattle and expanded the team there. We have never asked you folks for additional money to pay for that expense, which is considerable. Fortunately, the results from it have been equally considerable! By the time you read this, we will have moved achingly close to the first of the SNS trials, will be back up to 2.1K ARCs/Bots, the new ability, animation, and VFX systems will be performing as expected, and the programmers’ focus will have turned more heavily than ever to gameplay and not tech.

It’s been a long road, way longer than we expected, but we have kept faith with our Backers and now are almost in the next stage of testing. As always, we thank you for your support, understanding, and most of all, your patience.

-MarkGuiding Principles

What are the overall Guiding Principles for Beta 1?[*] We must present a game that, while certainly not a Beta 1 game compared to today’s “almost ready to launch” or “have launched in other countries” Beta tests, should be solid enough to make our Backers excited about the Beta test process. Beta 1 is just the start of our Beta process, not the final part of testing for a game that is feature-complete or is just getting localized to another country.[*] We must remember that most of our Backers have waited more than an extra year for this Beta due to re-abilitation. We must reward them for their patience, understanding, and support. There is nothing more important than that.[*] Beta 1 should be more about the fun, whenever possible for the players, than Alpha was. While it is still a Beta 1 test, having more fun things to do, such as the Saturday Night Sieges and other such tests/games, will go a long way toward making Beta 1 something that non-Backers as well as Backers will want to be part of over the remainder of the year.[*] Beta 1 tests should be as solid as possible. Shit happens, but we shouldn’t run Beta 1 tests with an unstable version just to keep to a schedule. Unless, of course, the purpose of the test is to help find and fix the instability and we need the Alpha, Beta, and IT Backers to help us out.[*] We must remember that the servers will not be up 24x7 in Beta 1, so we must be able to have sped-up versions of systems such as progression, crafting, building, etc. This is talked about in my crafting documents, other documents, and this document as well. This ability should be able to be changed during a test, whenever possible.[*]We should we have a central spreadsheet, not XML, for all of these variables, as it would certainly make it easier for the designers to work with these values and also for the programmers since they won’t have to worry about building out separate spreadsheets, functions, etc.

MJ Notes- This section of the document reflects the core "principles" of our Beta 1 tests and of our company. I’ve used this term many times in the past, and these are the equivalent of the Foundational Principles of Camelot Unchained. They are meant to serve as a guideline for everything that follows.Purpose of this document

The purpose of this document is to lay out a broad cross-section of the game that our players should expect to see from us on the opening of Beta 1. It also serves to lay out some of the specific goals for the team as we continue to develop the game through Beta till Launch. This is not intended to be an all-encompassing look at the features of our game, or a deep dive into all the details of any particular feature, system, or mechanic, but more an overview of the things that we think should be delivered for the opening of Beta 1. This document is meant to be fluid, so if there are things that we have to sacrifice being in Beta 1 based on complexity or other things that we might want to replace other items here, I’m open to discussions on them.

After we are comfortable with this document, a redacted form of it will be given to our Backers so they can see what they can expect from the opening of Beta 1. We will not be showing them the Bonus items (covered below) for both competitive reasons and plain old “preserving my sanity” reasons, since I will be dealing with the questions/comments/etc. from our Backers that will result from even the redacted form. Plus, as Bonus items, they are lower on the developmental food chain than other items that need to be in.

MJ Notes- The key for our Backers here is that this document is not meant to encompass everything that is intended for Beta 1, let alone for launch. This document is meant to give you some very clear insight on what you should expect when the game enters Beta 1. It was not written with explanations of each item, details, etc. as that would have pushed this document to 100+ pages. Rather, think of this document as a Minimum Viable Vision of Beta 1. Key for this document

BLACK = Needed for Beta 1

RED/BONUS = Anything red is just a bonus for the opening of Beta 1, but is something we do need added during Beta 1.

PURPLE = Questions for the programming team. All old questions that have been answered are removed, only unanswered questions and NEW QUESTIONS remain in the document.

BLUE = Specific design question

The material redacted in this document falls into the following categories:[*] Quotes/ideas attributed to specific devs. That information is in our team doc, but as this is going out to you Backers, it doesn’t belong there. Plus, since some folks might not like some of the ideas, I don’t want any member of CSE to be blamed/attacked personally. If you feel the urge to criticize CSE/our ideas on the Forums, blame me (MJ), since I wrote the main document and then approved everything that is in here.[*] Material that we don’t want to reveal yet. As many of us have noticed, ideas from CU have found themselves in other games, just as ideas from other games have found themselves in CU. This is normal, but I don’t want to give anybody a head start on us. [*]Material that is considered BONUS for Beta 1.The Patcher
patcher.jpg


[*] Improved UI for servers and characters. All UI bugs should be fixed so that players know which characters are on which servers, which character they have currently selected, etc.[*] The Getting Started link should point at a “Welcome to Beta 1” doc. Right now, it goes to the main website for the game, and anybody who can reach this point in the patcher is already a subscriber, so there is no need for it to go there.[*] A player count in the chat section of the patcher. It will be very handy and necessary to have a running count somewhere that is easy for both us and Backers to see. We should be able to see how many people are in which part of our system (chat, patcher, fledgling, etc.) from outside the game as well as inside the game.[*] We will also show the number of people on each server on the patcher itself on each server entry.[*] We will change the way the patcher automatically patches all the channels and replace it with a slightly different system. We will automatically update the currently-selected thing if nothing else is updating, with the play button either queueing or immediately starting the update if something else is going.[*]Links to FAQ, Guide, Known Issues link/section and other material for the game, new Beta welcome screen, our own explanation on how to get a DXDiag, and some additional new screens for Beta 1.[*] A Help Me! button that opens a document which shows the most common problems players have had in the past, instead of the larger, less-focused FAQ doc. FAQs tend to be long, and I want this one to be short and easy for our localization folks to localize.[*]A Banner (or page) that lists the most important issue(s) of the day (if there are any), such as All Servers are Down, Test on Wyrmling Prep today, etc. This will allow players to get important information from us without having to go into the game, Forums, etc. We can also have this page linked on our website, FB, etc. as well. For example, messages that our servers are down, if displayed in the game, can’t be seen from the patcher.The bottom line is that we need to communicate better with our Backers on a lot of levels, and this is a good place to do so.[*] For people on old patchers, what we need to do is send a message to the patch client which would disconnect it and display a message to the user that it is shutting down for an update or temporarily disabled and so on. The user can then click "ok" to show that they read the message, and it updates itself.

MJ Notes: As you can see from this section, we are even focusing on improving the patcher for the opening of Beta 1. We have a lot more ideas for post-Beta 1, and I had to redact this section a bit. We don’t expect that this will slow down the release of Beta 1, of course. However, if that did turn out to be the case, we would be willing to sacrifice some of the items in this section to speed up the opening of Beta 1.Character Creation
character.jpg


[*]Players must be able to create a character of any allowable Realm/race/class combination.[*] Change the order of the attribute points so that they are in alphabetical order. We will also call them out in terms of importance to their class by a simple visual treatment, and look at the concept of “concept groups” as in Exalted or some old pen-and-paper games for additional points of reference.[*] All attributes can be changed, even if some of them have no purpose yet.[*] We need to have a number entry box, so players can simply type the numbers or use up/down arrows.[*] Fix the highlighting on the screen so that all text elements look the same. Some of the entries per attribute are dimmed/not dimmed within the same attribute description, which just looks sloppy.[*]A help button for every part of the selection process. Each page should have a help file/information, which is only a button click away, which covers the section of the character creator you are in. If possible, you should stay within the character creation process instead of going to the website for the information.[*] Players can choose from a small selection of Banes/Boons upon character creation. These will be race, class, and general. Right now, we'll have a minimum of 10 Banes and Boons per character created (when you factor in race, class, and general). If we can do more, great![*]On the B&B screen, change “Minimum Points” to “Minimum Total Points Needed”[*]On the B&B screen, change “Maximum Points” to “Maximum Total Points Allowed”[*]Unique player names per server.[*]Add a different animated background for each race in the game, just as we do for the classes.[*]Players will start with Realm- and class-appropriate equipment; each player will also have a Vox Magus, since we will not have the crafter class for the opening of Beta 1. As I mention below, we don’t want people to be able to create Voxen at will, unless we make it so that the player can’t just keep recreating them and dropping them on the ground.[*] Add a Cancel button opposite to the Next button to cancel the current character creation instead of using Home as we currently do.[*]Hide/grey out the bottom bar of the patcher while we’re creating a character. I want to do that because seeing that bar there can be confusing for some players, especially new players.

MJ Notes – We don’t want to put a ton of effort into improving the character creator for the opening of Beta 1, but we do want to make it a better experience than it currently is for our players. Expect that the character creation system will change a lot over the course of the Beta process. Spending a lot of effort on it now doesn’t make sense, since the underlying systems/stats could change. As we lock down that stuff and confirm it for launch, then we will do a lot more work on character creation.

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Raven

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All I care about is the "when" bit, at least we would have a rough idea on time scale for full launch.
 

Raven

Happy Shopper Ray Mears
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Patience getting close to zero now... $50 paid, $0 delivered.
 

Raven

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edit. and it appears that was $50, 4 years ago.
 

BloodOmen

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I knew it would take awhile, you have to remember they're building the engine from the ground up - they aren't using the unreal engine etc, doing that alone would take awhile.. then everything else factored into that it was never going to be done in less than 5-6 years.

I paid £115 or something for the alpha access hero tier, I don't mind waiting.. i'd rather it was complete than a rushed mess like 90% of games today.


That said! Freddyshouse guild when its live :p? @Deebs as our fearless leader
 

Deebs

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I knew it would take awhile, you have to remember they're building the engine from the ground up - they aren't using the unreal engine etc, doing that alone would take awhile.. then everything else factored into that it was never going to be done in less than 5-6 years.

I paid £115 or something for the alpha access hero tier, I don't mind waiting.. i'd rather it was complete than a rushed mess like 90% of games today.


That said! Freddyshouse guild when its live :p? @Deebs as our fearless leader
I can be a fearless leader but I tried Dark Arseholes of Cuntalot and I just couldn't get to grips with it, not sure why.
 

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