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Camelot Unchained is a counter-revolutionary RvR-focused MMORPG from Mark Jacobs and CSE set in a post-apocalyptic yet familiar world.
Camelot Unchained is a counter-revolutionary RvR-focused MMORPG from Mark Jacobs and CSE set in a post-apocalyptic yet familiar world.
14,873 backers pledged $2,232,933 to help bring this project to life.

Afternoon Update April 21, 2013


From what I can tell, you are enjoying Michelle’s live streaming today, great! Thanks for taking time out of your day to participate in her event.  

Yesterday was a big day for all of us, both backers and CSE unlike. We unveiled our plans for the one of, if not the most innovative building & crafting system in an RvR MMORPG to date. Over the next two days I am going to outline some additional features of the system. Here's Part One; Part Two will be posted tomorrow.   

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday (unless of course it is already Monday in your part of the world!).


Building a world – Part One

The world of Camelot Unchained has gone through an extinction-level and it needs a lot more than a few new screen doors; in other words, it’s a real fixer-upper! With the piercing of the Veil and the Veilstorms that followed, essentially, this world was paved over. Thus, one of the goals of our building, crafting and mining systems is to give players that to create the structures that they need to build a new world out of the rubble of the old world.

To understand how this is going to work, we have to start with the concept of cells. Cells are the building blocks of the world, similar to the blocks in Minecraft™ or pieces in Lego™ and other games. Our cells are different though not only size from Minecraft (they will be at least ½ the size) but in other ways as well. These cells can be placed down in the world in the same manner that blocks are placed down in other games, individually or in groups (Prefabs). Cells are perfect for the builder that wants a free-form building method of improvisation. However, instead of having to build the entire world one cell at a time, builders can also choose to use prefabs to help speed up their building time.

Prefabs are constructs made up of a group of cells that the players can also place down in the world. Unlike cells, prefabs

  • Are not solid and/or filled.
  • Can be made by combining cells.
  • Prefabs can be added to other prefab to create a new prefab.
  • Simple Rotations – Major cardinal directions only.  

Using both cells and prefabs players can build structures throughout most of the world (you can’t build in certain parts of the main cities and other locked locations). Crafters/builders can create the cells, prefabs, etc. are used by players. These come from mines and other resource producing areas. For the purposes of this document, let’s just focus on mines.

Mines are going to be one of the primary sources of materials for builders. They come in all shapes and sizes and they are filled with various raw materials. Players can enter these mines and gather the materials; they can also dig shafts looking for new veins. Unlike mines/nodes found in most MMORPGs, these mines are not meant to be mined out quickly by one or even a few players. Additionally, to help encourage realm pride, we will design these mines to be mined cooperatively by players. Think of the gold mining scene in the film “The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey” for reference. 

Since Camelot Unchained is an RvR game, we have to be careful with the amount of digging and tunneling we allow players to do. After all, if we allowed players to simply dig wherever they wanted, the game would quickly turn into “Tunneling Unchained” instead of Camelot Unchained Also, unlike some other games, digging through the ground is not instantaneous or easy, so like in “The Great Escape” don’t expect to easily tunnel out of trouble and into freedom. To prevent players from all doing their best imitation of the gopher in “Caddyshack” I introduced the concept of bubbles into the design.

Bubbles are areas that exist below the surface of the world. These bubbles can be of different sizes but are totally self-contained and while you can dig throughout them, you will eventually reach the wall of the bubble. Once you do that, you cannot dig any further with or without magical help unless, of course, we allow that to happen (open up a new bubble/mine). This helps prevent players from using the mines as a way to tunnel into enemy territory and simply pop up under the enemy’s structures. Now, I’m not saying this can’t happen because we may want to use this concept to have hidden paths that can be discovered by the players but players should expect this to happen very often. Also, Bubbles are contained within the “zone” structure of Camelot Unchained. They are not individual instances but simply zones that players move in and out of as they pass through the mine entrances. 

Players can control mines through the territorial control system of Camelot Unchained. In order to help foster realm pride, owning most mines doesn’t give total control of the mine to a player or guild but rather it yields a “piece of the action” to he player or guild that controls it. This will reward the player or the guild for discovering and controlling the mine but not harm realm pride because it encourages, rather than discourages, cooperation between players and guilds. Some mines, because they are either too small or too large will allow for control by an individual or the realm itself but these are in the minority.

Mines, since they are persistent and non-instanced, can also be set up with traps and other devices to protect it from attack by the other realms. Additionally, like other structures in Camelot Unchained, in times of strife, the side that controls them can destroy these mines.  

Overall, the key features of mining in Camelot Unchained are:

  • Mines are bubbles that are contained within separate world zones. 
  • Long lasting, not simply “hit with a hammer a few times and watch them disappear” types of mines.
  • Mines are meant to support many players unlike traditional MMO mines.
  • More players/miners = more bonuses (more on this in the cooperative play section).
  • Overall design encourages realm-mates working together and helps build Realm Pride rather than discouraging it
  • Mines can be claimed.  
  • Small mines can be claimed by individuals, groups and guilds.
  • Large mines can be claimed by the realm as well and shared with players. 
  • Mines can be protected – i.e.: traps and defenses. Collapsible – Can heavily damage them to prevent easy reuse by the enemy. 


 Another aspect of these systems that will set it apart from the crowd is the introduction of cooperative play into the building, housing and mining system. We will both encourage players to work together and at the same time, create mechanics to reduce the likelihood of elements of our systems harming Realm Pride. One of these elements is how we are going to use positive reinforcement through cooperative play. 

First, while players can own and control plots of land, they can also give permission on these plots to other people to allow them to build on them at the same time. While this will certainly lead to some mischievous behavior at times, the time, energy and cost of carrying out this behavior will help discourage some potential griefing both by friends and other members of their realm. 

Secondly, as I explained in the video, our mines are not going to be short duration, one-at-a-time affairs. Our mines are more realistic in that are designed to be used by lots of different miners over time. As a matter of fact, while multiple miners will indeed deplete the resources more quickly, the miners will also get a bonus for working together.

Thirdly, players will also gain building "speed bonuses" for working together on structures. While 50 crafters cannot put up a huge wall instantly, the work will go much faster if they work together. Cooperative play will also be encouraged through the use of caravans and other ways to get both crafters and materials to the front lines. We will also explore the concept of allowing players to act as foremen on projects to help speed things up, add some additional quality/durability/etc. High-level crafters and builders will also be able to speed things up by hiring NPC helpers for some tasks. 

In summary, cooperative play in Camelot Unchained’s building system has the following planned core components: 

  • Players work together to build structures, mine, etc.
  • The more crafters involved, the more benefits will scale till max. 
  • All plots have permissions to allow other players to build/help build a structure on a plot. Plots 
  • Plots can decay/degrade overtime if not kept up (Possible – time and/or monetary costs). 
  • Players risk of losing plot ownership if player doesn’t maintain properly. 
  • Bring in Prefabs and/or Material/Resources to help build a structure. 
  • Possible use of foremen on projects, mines, etc. 
  • Possible “Can I help” coordination, permissions, etc.  
  • Possibly allow control of NPCs to speed up some activities for high-level crafters/builders/
  •  Upgrades – any player can contribute to upgrading a structure (wood -> stone -> metal -?) 
  • Constructs can evolve over time. 

That’s all for Part One!


    1. Creator Lance Shannon on April 27, 2013

      The fact there is a DAoC 2 out there is enough for most of us but nothing has me more excited about the game really other than the crafting system for CU. Being able to actually PLAY a crafter that can and will have an affect on the Realm itself and not just as a coin sink for the game or a gear whore for other players is just short of brilliance IMO. Allowing cooperative crafting on large objects and structures is taking the old old wall repair a la DAoC in a whole new direction.

    2. Creator Jeffrey Paquette on April 23, 2013

      This really sounds innovative and fantastic. Some realism but not too much to where it will feel like real life because well, lets face it, most of us play games for a little escape from RL.

    3. Creator Scott Boren on April 22, 2013

      I am so excited for this crafting system! It has elements of realism, player driven world progress, and danger! I hope this game funds. I am thinking of increasing my pledge just to get it there.

    4. Creator Mike Buedel on April 22, 2013

      I will double my pledge also last week if needed, this game has so much potential.. wish people would stop crying over wing placement and look to the future of RvR and Crafting!


    5. Creator Ross Dickens on April 22, 2013

      Im gonna craft so hard...

    6. Creator Alex von Minden on April 22, 2013

      I know what you mean @Dennis Wynjadal. I'm amazed that more haven't joined the bandwagon to support CU. Usually with these things, there is a flurry of activity in the closing days of a Kickstarter - at least that's what I understand from a co-worker who successfully funded his Kickstarter project. We'll see how it goes!

    7. Creator Dennis Wynjadal on April 22, 2013

      I'm seriously worried about the lack of pledges. I'm willing to double up if necessarily, but I just can't understand how this has not caught fire, its so damn hot!

    8. Creator Andrew Williams on April 22, 2013

      I have NEVER been this excited for any game, ever! Since playing a dwarven hunter in DAOC ever other game I have played has lost my interest within a few short months. I am ready to double my pledge and hope everyone else is ready to ante up if need be!

    9. Creator Nekura on April 22, 2013

      @Randy Vice
      I'd be more than happy to give my money straight to CSE with the same perks as KS. I'm sure it would be a nightmare for MJ especially since they have no CS/billing. I wonder if they could use Amazon payments like KS does.

      @Dan Biela
      We haven't seen a 30k day in nine days. The last nine days have been 12-25k, more often on the low end. I really don't know what that means for the project, but we're definitely not looking at 1.7 if this rate continues.

    10. Creator Tierless on April 22, 2013

      "Building system sounds pretty cool... it's about time someone expanded and improved upon SWG's build-able cities." Exactly!

    11. Creator Josef on April 22, 2013

      Building system sounds pretty cool... it's about time someone expanded and improved upon SWG's build-able cities.

      I am starting to get a little antsy - we have ten days to raise slightly over seven hundred thousand dollars. Could we get a Dev post on what happens if we don't raise the money? Is there anyway the deadline can be extended or the project just be put on hold? It's not like this project has been heavily promoted and the website is bare bones (Foundational Principles won't exactly incite interest when people aren't familiar with Mark Jacobs or his other games - lots of people make similar claims).

      I gave $120.00 because that is all I could afford (college student, just lost my job due to availability) but give me another few months and I'd gladly donate more (and so would many others here).

      This game will always be niche... but I am sure it could become another EVE.

    12. Creator hajtez on April 22, 2013

      So You can be the bad Viking that will destroy the "Penis Castles" around the realms :D Imagine a huge boulder fired from the catapult right into the balls :D Uuuu that gotta hurt :P

    13. Creator Jacob Gramm Gren on April 22, 2013

      I'm a little worried about this...
      How are you guys going to make sure that the "Penis-Clan" isent going to make a lot of Penis-houses and Penis castles?
      Someone will try doing this at some point

    14. Creator Alienami on April 22, 2013

      CSE gets it.. The more I see and read the more I know they get what made DAoC great, they get where the game needs to evolve, they get what the players want and need. -- The demand is there for this game, even if funding falls short and they have to have higher than promised subscription models at first (approx. $15 a month instead of the less than industry standard sub they spoke of and then if possible over time lower it as player base expands), then fine. Whatever it takes. I'll double my pledge or more if need be and I can find the money.

    15. Creator hajtez on April 22, 2013

      @Dennis t
      Then agreed as I also think something like that should be optional. Maybe even payed as for an extra feature :)

    16. Creator Dennis Wynjadal on April 22, 2013

      Yeah it would stress me put to be reminded about it at eork or when im trying to sleep, there's aenought pinibg and reminders in my work, don't want it from games as well ;)

      OTOH if its Optional I don't mind :)

    17. Creator hajtez on April 22, 2013

      There is a saying "don't measure all people needs by your needs". E.G. I travel a lot, I work a lot - sometimes I don't have the opportunity or time, or just I want to do sometihng else than to ping web app every 10 minutes. Not all people have time. Also the idea for this game is that it will be good for "casual players" and it will not boost "all the time players". By enabling easy pickings it will happen the opposite. "So easy game" is to pick on players that cannot perform actions -so easy and so lame.

      API that would notify like an SMS would be also ok.

      @Dennis You would stress - I would take one hour off to defend :P Or imagine that it happened when You were sleeping. There should be a note in such cases "Suprise - castle down! Looted at 1:30 a.m. - hopefully You slept well and it was worth it" ;)

    18. Creator James Brainerd on April 22, 2013

      Great video to help describe the building/crafting found in CU. I like where the team is going with this the mines (bubbles) are very interesting. But I also wonder what happens when bubbles run out? are the randomly generated or do these locations replenish over time? The minecraft-esq building is interesting and I agree there's alot of games where you can just "snap your fingers" and a house appears. I like the fact that building is more customization so that we don't see the same houses/structures across the world. I also assume that each realm will have there own style of building vikings have there mead halls, Arthurian have there castles etc.

    19. Creator Dennis Wynjadal on April 22, 2013

      Not to mention the IRL stress, sitting at work, knowing your stuff is under attack and you can't do a damn thing about it ><

      In game notification is well enough.

    20. Creator Tenacious on April 22, 2013

      @hajtez: SMS ? Seriously ? We are here for an Old-School MMORPG aren't we ?
      No, we have to keep us far away from anything that could just bring us to a "so easy game", since it's not what everyone here want !
      We could however imagine an ingame notification system ( like in DAoC in fact ^^ ) where you're notified that one of you possession is attacked. May be your guild should be notifiied too, and may be the webUI should allow you to check your possessions' status ! But no more than that because we just don't want to ruin the attackers' fun !! ;)

    21. Creator Paul ILLY on April 22, 2013

      @hajtez: Maybe with Andrew's great vision of "detachable UI" (+ IG information available time-to-time), we will be able to check the status of our buildings and constructions in real time from a website, or external apps... Imagine how cool it can be to check the evolution of our construction at work from your favorite tablet :)

    22. Creator hajtez on April 22, 2013

      I have a question - maybe it will be an idea to add. Will players will be able to hire mercenaries? I would imagine that when I will have a castle I would like to buy lot's of guards so random vikings will not tear it down when I will be at work. Also will You implement SMS system that will notfiy players if something bad happens to their housing (attack, decay, rent out of date :P ) ? I think it would help also :)

    23. Creator Tommy Amundsen on April 22, 2013

      They always say on twitter when they go love like all MMO houses do these days
      Sign up on twitter and follow CU Here is CU

    24. Creator Dennis Wynjadal on April 22, 2013

      Sorry for spamming but I keep thinkin of more and more.. :p

      So, crafters will need protection from fighters to not risking their mine or structure.

      How fun will that be? As a guard I mean.
      Standing around doing nothing isn't really fun game play. This is another reason to have fighters being able to do rudimentary things.

      Maybe let the fighters be able to mine as well, but ina slower pace, just like the crafters can fight, but not as well as the fighters.

    25. Creator Dennis Wynjadal on April 22, 2013

      Oh and yeah, where is the info about these livestreams I keep missing? No email sent and no info here that I can find.

      Is there some specific forum I have missed to keep my eye on?

    26. Creator Dennis Wynjadal on April 22, 2013

      As much as I love this indepth crafting and mining system, I think you will have to let the "normal" classes be able to build rudimentary structures as well. Just like most soldiers learn how to build simple fortifcations and maintain them.

      The crafter class is however the only one that should be able to do everything beond the most basic stuff.

      I'm just a bit worried what will happen if I end up as a fighter in a realm severely lacking front line crafters.

    27. Creator Franklin Hurst on April 22, 2013

      Is it just me or are there others who are getting notified of the livestream by reading this update, and generally by that time, everything is already over?

    28. Creator Tommy Amundsen on April 22, 2013

      Thank you Michelle for that livestream, i was Kark in the chat guy who asked for Elis jump suit and glasses for my characters ^^ anyways you were great fun and such a sweet voice to listen to and your a really good artist.Knowing there are people like you working on this project just makes it all so much better :)

    29. Creator Randy Vice on April 21, 2013

      @Nekura: I don't see a reason for MJ to do another kickstarter. If he doesn't get what he thinks is reasonable in the way of backers, it's not going to happen. If he does get close to what he considers a reasonable number of backers and near to the $2M mark, what is he going to gain by doing a 2nd kickstarter? If he is committed to CU and he and his VC are going to pony up $3M, he may as well kick the CSE door open with an order page and do credit/debit/PayPal/wiretransfer with whatever deadlines he think is to CSE's advantage and save 5% by bypassing entirely. MJ has stated several times that his reason for kickstarter is to gauge if there is enough subscriber demand for the game. If he has what he needs, kickstarter is no longer of use to him and he may as well get the money immediately from sales. This would also allow him to "adjust" offerings that did poorly in kickstarter to make them more attractive. I'm pulling with my $250 + $50 FPs that this kickstarter works out for CSE, but in realville, it matters not to me if the above goes to or directly to CSE's bank account. I just want the game.

    30. Creator Greg Christiansen on April 21, 2013

      I really hope as a crafter I can carry a bow to shoot at the enemy when I am not building.

    31. Creator draw on April 21, 2013

      I think it will be a case of some crafters set up mine, other crafters lay traps, more crafters mine etc

    32. Creator Curtis Miller (Gylnne) on April 21, 2013

      Wow, what an update! If CSE pulls this off crafters will gain a new respect in MMO's:)

    33. Creator Paul V. Rotondi on April 21, 2013

      Also (from another perspective)... Crafters aren't going to be completely defenseless while out in the field, especially if they have time to prepare static defenses to cover their backs. As a Legendary GM Crafter in DAoC, I too have concerns that there won't be enough "incentive" for the hacky-slashy types to cover our butts while we toil in the mines to get the resources we need...but somehow I think that a master Weaponsmith/Armorsmith will be worth his/her weight in Dragonium, and jealously guarded by their Realm against being ambushed/ganked by the opposing factions.

    34. Creator Paul V. Rotondi on April 21, 2013

      "Looks up momentarily from sharpening the blade of his Viking Great Axe..."

      @Tenderheart - Here's an incentive for Non-crafters to protect the crafters: You want those shiny new suits of Platemail or Greatswords of "OGRE Decapitation" (Also works great on TDD's or Albies ;) ) and you need ore from that mine so they can make it? Stand guard on the mine and keep the crafters/miners safe, or guess what? You ain't gettin' those armor pieces & weapons you ordered.

      Not getting what I ordered because I was too lazy to get off my Arze and stand guard so my realmmates/guildies could gather the materials they need to make me stuff is all the incentive I need.

      (Disclaimer: No Actual Albies or TDD's were harmed during the making of this post...but it wasn't for a lack of tryin', I can assure you :P)

      "Swears under his breath in fluent Viking for a moment, then resumes his blade tending..."

    35. Creator Dan Biela on April 21, 2013

      @Chris Landrie - Although I haven't seen a ton of Kickstarters myself, I can tell you that we are still in really good shape. Generally speaking Unchained has been pulling in about $30-50K/day the last few, meaning at that rate we should still hit about $1.7M just from new backers. However, there are also upgrades you can purchase like additional Founders Points and such that a lot of people are waiting to do at the end in case we need a boost, as well as many people who have VERY generously donated $10K or more. I am willing to bet that those folks REALLY want to see this game made, and if it means bumping in some more duckets, I think we'll see it happen. Plus there are still plenty of upper-tier level pledges open that people can upgrade into, so if they want to give more but still get added benefits, we have a lot of slots open for that. Don't be surprised to see a big surge on the last couple of days in order for us to meet the $2M goal.

    36. Creator Tenderheart on April 21, 2013

      @MJ Pls give incentives to non-crafters to protect the crafters! Can you imagine, 50 crafters mining in the shaft, and getting wiped by 5 enemies? :)

    37. Creator Chris on April 21, 2013

      Here are my worries.

      - What is going to prevent fortresses to be every 10 feet
      - Are resources going to be limited, or do they respawn?
      - Is the world going to reset, or will the digging come to an end at some point?
      - About how big are these bubbles going to be?

      I enjoy the idea, but too much of mining can make this game "Mining Simulator 2015"

    38. Creator Nekura on April 21, 2013

      @Christopher Landrie

      Mark said if we get to $1.9m he would restart the kickstarter with some changes to the tiers and try to find additional investors. If it doesn't fund close to what it is now he said it's not worth redoing the KS.

    39. Creator Simon Lawrence on April 21, 2013

      @Christoper Landrie Then the game wont be made; I think Mark states that in the kickstarter vid(?)

      I'm uber excited that it's going to encourage cooperation, as it definitely makes it worthwhile (and not douchy) to help :) And with the UI I'm pretty sure somebody will make an app to incorporate TeamSpeak or Mummble or SOMETHING :P Which would make cooperation SO much easier :D Especially being RVR ;)

    40. Creator Erev on April 21, 2013

      @Chris - Don't panic. I've been through a lot of these and we are well on course still. :)

    41. Creator Christopher Landrie on April 21, 2013

      I'm worried. There is 10 days left, and 700k$ left to obtain to fulfill the kick starter. What is going to happen if it isnt fully funded.

    42. Creator TigsKC on April 21, 2013

      Another great CSE update!

      I think it is easy to want everything at once, but rushed development is failed development. I am stoked about what we know and trust it is just the beginning to one hell of a ride.

    43. Creator Brad Rapp (Mid Igraine/Gareth - Frogi) on April 21, 2013

      @Mark This is like a crescendo in music... Starts off softly and gradually get louder and louder... And hopefully we will get our ears blown out this week!!

      "Creator City State Entertainment about 1 hour ago

      @Meddyck - RvR's time is coming. I wanted to talk about crafting, housing, etc. first. We'll move on the meat next week."

    44. Creator Tierless on April 21, 2013

      I think I broke my hype bone. I have become so excited for CU that I am simply unable to ever be excited for another MMO again. This system is simply beautiful!

    45. Creator Mark on April 21, 2013

      WTB RvR / combat info..

      we've had enough on the mining part by now. mining stuff is brilliant but give us more RvR Combat Infos. Thats why we want this Game. If we want build stuff, we can play Minecraft...

    46. Creator Carty (Sacred Silver Blades) on April 21, 2013

      Mark: As you have described housing so far, I'm in (and content as an LL backer). But I have some burning questions:
      1. This is a non-auction house game, so presumably you will go with NPC vendors or automated display cases in our homes. First, care to share how that will work? And more importantly at this stage, what happens when the house is destroyed? I get that we have to rebuild our buildable elements but will our vendors have the sense to flee and return when we rebuild with our stock intact, or will we lose our inventory?
      2. And the same question for memorabilia -- every game has stuff you collect and display that isn't part of crafting....will that stuff appear in our bank account or some other mechanism when a home is lost?
      3. The city mechanic: Are you thinking along the lines of SWG that would allow a mayor/planner team to control the placement of stuff? Would really love that!
      4. Public/Private: In old UO if you used your home for vendors it was a public house and anyone could enter. Folks used locking down furniture to keep some areas off limits. Later the game added chests with permissions that ended the need for that. How will you handle public v. private areas of the home? Can we have doors with permissions? Or stairs?
      5. House fighting: Can we have decks, porches, flat roofs that will allow ranged DPS to fight from (and be attacked) from below? Can our homes be part of the street fighting in a town under attack? Pretty please....

    47. Creator salem on April 21, 2013

      how I can watch it if I missed the live stream?

    48. Creator DrunknGod (DG) on April 21, 2013

      In a word...Awesome!

    49. Creator Tyler (Kermichil - Hib/Guin) on April 21, 2013

      Loved Michelle's live stream! Thank you for letting her do that. It was great to see the process how she develops the concept art. I'm amazed at how well and how quickly she can do it! She was also fun to listen to through out the day. Thanks again for bringing us in on that, very memorable!