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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.
14,873 backers pledged $2,232,933 to help bring this project to life.

Evening Update May 30th, 2013

Folks,

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening here at CSE. Here’s a rundown of all the fun and frolic we’ve been up to this month and especially the last two weeks.

First, our forums have been up and running nicely since we began inviting our Kickstarter Founders in small groups. As of tonight we have sent out over 3K invitations to our Kickstarter Founders to join us as we try to break the forums. It’s our first foray with forum software and even though none of our programmers are very experienced with HTML or CSS, they did enough to get us up and running. I appreciate the patience that almost all of our backers have been showing so far but please know that we have to do things at our pace, especially when it comes to the forums. We had a problem with our ISP (they thought our first email was spam-tastic) and with our password recovery system. As much as we wanted to invite everybody to join us, it would have been a disaster if we had. If tonight’s invites go well, it should be smooth sailing. Over the next few days/week we hope to invite everyone for a pool party, bring your own ducks. We will also be wiping and reorganizing the forums so don’t worry now about the nasty layout.

Second, Scott, our lead animator, has spent about a week working on some new animation cycles for our Tuatha De Danann model to prep them for inclusion in the Unchained engine.   These animation cycles were developed to figure out approximate timing, core game play, and cape interaction. They are far from finished but the progress from the last cycles is readily apparent and, considering the time spent, quite good. FYI, no MoCap was harmed in the making of this video.

Third, Michelle and Sandra have done their usual spectacular job with concept art. I asked them to continue where we left off with a sound/music class and work on some Banshee concepts with a couple of interesting (well, I thought they were interesting) directions. Well, here are 4 of the concepts we have so far. Big smiles from all of us on all four of them. They’re all different and very interesting and some are quite creepy.

Fourth, I’ve been rather busy doing some business development stuff that has taken a fair amount of time already. It’s just part of the job so...

Fifth, we’ve begun the recruiting process for the studio as well as working on preparing to move to our slightly more spacious digs (across the hallway in our building). We’re a close-knit bunch but if we don’t want to be THAT CLOSE to each other as we expand the team. Thankfully it will be an incredibly easy move. While we’ve begun interviewing people as well but so far, no new additions to report. We are going to be very careful who we let in the door over the next few months.

Sixth, we are almost ready to get our Free+ version of March on Oz in testing mode for the iPad. We also had some great news from the Unity world as their latest update got MoO back up and running on Ouya, Kindle and some other persnickety devices/OS flavors so that’s good news and as such, Android here we come!

Seventh, we will be taking down our PayPal donation page in the next two weeks. We’re extending the initial period an extra few days as we’re still getting lots of “I hadn’t heard about this game before” emails but it won’t be staying up much long. So, if you know anybody who might want to get in at the Founder’s Level, now is the time. After we take it down we will move to a new set of rewards, Backer’s Level, which will be good but won’t have Founders Points (or anything like that) and most of the really special items (LL, islands, etc.) will also not be available. Once that happens we will begin working on a way for our backers to merge/update/upgrade their pledges as well.

Work also continues on some of the models you have all already seen but nothing all bright and shiny to show off right now (hopefully next week).

I’m sure that there’s stuff I’m forgetting but hey, it will go into our next update.

Speaking of updates, over the next month we will try to get back into a regular rhythm in terms of updates. Just so we are clear, we won’t be trying to update every day but we will be shooting for one Kickstarter-style update per week. Realistically, the forums will be the best place to get small updates and we’ll save the big updates for the really cool stuff. We plan on being very communicative on the forums and I think that will go a long way to keeping everybody in the loop. Please remember, our day job as developers of Camelot Unchained needs to be our main focus and as much as we would love to spend a ton of time on Twitter, Facebook, and our forums we need to ration our time carefully. We will be looking for a Community Manager as well to help us over the next few years.

As always, I and everybody else at CSE thanks you for your support, patience and backing of our project.

That’s it for now!

Best,

Mark

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Comments

    1. Creator DrunknGod (DG) on June 2, 2013

      Thx for the concept art!!! TBH my absolute favorite is #1, but that's because I'm actually bias to see the Dullahan get a shot at being a playable race. My runner-up is #4, as I enjoy the creepiness of the imagery.

    2. Creator Jeremy F. on June 2, 2013

      Concept Art is just that, concept. It is not meant to be "finished" or even "polished". I look at these as potential directions to go with finished works or to bring out elements that may not have been thought about in other work. So in effect, these are great pieces of work and impressive given how quickly they were able to turn them out. Unfortunately, these days at least, many people want the instant "wow" factor with everything. They do not quite understand that great ideas and work come first from those random, quick ideas. Many of which are not entirely thought out or refined. However, there are those bright flashes of genius that crop out of those fast ideas that leave you with a breathtaking piece of work. It will come, in due time, like all other bright flashes of greatness. Keep up the great work, loving what I am seeing!

    3. Creator Ixnatifual on June 2, 2013

      TDA looks too "bouncy" when just holding his basic combat stance. Like he's made of jelly. Otherwise looking solid, I must say. I like how the model design looks very appealing despite not having a Far Cry 3 detail level.

    4. Creator Negura on May 31, 2013

      Mark - much appreciate the update. There are obviously loads of fanboys and girls here and in some respects I am also one of them. I love the RVR you and your teams invented. We can put this concept art thing into infinite perspectives, but you have more than enough experience to know without of course possibly admitting to this here, that this concept art is not good. I am glad to know there is a direction behind it and I appreciate this update. How much these samples matters or not to the end result we shall see. But again, I am always happy to point this out, hoping it helps, even if sometimes it may look like an isolate voice in a sea of praise.

      Regards,

    5. Creator Pierre-Yves, Midgard on May 31, 2013

      Nice update, there are already 2 more to read nom nom nom.
      I like Puppet Masters :).
      The ghost is scary tho.

      Animations seem ok.. nice work it's living \o/

    6. Creator Mark Holland on May 31, 2013

      WOW!! I love the Banshee #1 with the kind of ghostly look. Would be great the size of a Keen :)

    7. Creator Gianandrea Ferrara on May 31, 2013

      Nice update, animations are really well done :)

    8. Creator Lewis Burnell on May 31, 2013

      What the hell sort of statement is this:

      "none of our programmers are very experienced with HTML or CSS"

      Er what? Didn't you intend on the UI to be HTML based? And a development studio not versed in the most common programming languages in the world? What the flying f*ck?

    9. Creator Robin (binskki) on May 31, 2013

      I loved this concept art - I am very impressed by both artists' abilities to come up with quite different takes on the same theme.

      Tough choice, but I think 3 is my favorite. The evil yet cheerful little girl with the horns in #4 is intriguing, though. Would love to see more of any of them.

      And, anyone that thinks that the artists should be spending days and days on one piece of concept art...hasn't been involved in any design projects, lol (at least not ones that got finished in a timely fashion). It's all about brainstorming visually and riffing on a theme; I think the art we have been lucky enough to see has given visual voice to an immense number of ideas, very very skillfully. :)

    10. Creator James Brainerd on May 31, 2013

      Exciting news about the forums! cant wait to start participating. As far as the concepts go AWSOME! deff wouldn't wanna run into one of those while running around the world. keep the concepts coming! great work gang love the colors and the creepy ethereal vibe

    11. Creator Tierless on May 31, 2013

      #4 IMHO is a creepy voodoo doll banshee with a giant scary doll thing under her spell, she is extremely unique, and extremely unsettling, which means she is also my favorite hehe.

    12. Creator Matthew Kramer on May 31, 2013

      @ Buujah - That's my favorite too.

      @ Solst - That's something I would freaking love. I totally plan on trying to get a 300-600 DPI PSD file of some of this concept art from MJ or Michelle so I can blow it up at Kinkos and get it framed at 24x36 / 36x48 for one of my rooms.

      @ time - Exactly.

    13. Creator buujah on May 31, 2013

      i like the concept art fourth most. love the colours and that creepy and loony look :) its really exciting, cause it doesn't look like the known and regular fantasy art. its something different and unexpected - and thats what it makes for me more and more interesting.

      pls feed us more with these great concept arts, its pretty cool for me as a baker to get involved in such an early development status! so thank you for this possibilty!

    14. Creator Solst on May 31, 2013

      @MJ
      In my field, we brainstorm and sketch on whatever is at hand. It's not pretty, but once a concept looks acceptable to all is when we proceed to detail the design. So fair warning to napkins, bar coasters, and legal tablets..... I have a Bic pen and I'm not afraid to use it! I think the concept art is great and does exactly what it's intended to do. If one or more ideas excites someone or gets the creative juices to flow, then it justifies having Michelle and Sandra spend their valuable, limited time on doing more.

      Which brings me to my "idear"... I would love it if some of the early concept art / scribbles was saved and made available to the early backers to frame and hang up. Nice way to feed our day dreams in the office. Not sure how to explain to my boss what a banshee is doing here, but ...

    15. Creator Tierless on May 31, 2013

      One more thing since as a creative type this strikes a cord. I know plenty of amazing artists, they make amazing art for themselves, stuff I could never even imagine, and the second you put them in a real work environment with real deadlines, multiple projects, a variety of responsibilities and clients, they can't produce anything. They completely break down. A truly great designer can make quality art withing the confines of the real work environment while pleasing the client, and themselves. I know far fewer designers who can do that.

    16. Creator Tierless on May 31, 2013

      Often my designers (especially the newbies) will get caught up on doing 4 amazing! completely developed, completely finished logo roughs for a client during the first round of proofing-the rough round not the finished round! I tell them "3/4ths of your work will end up being forgotten so don't spend too much time on them. Get the idea down, slap enough polish on communicate the idea, then get some feedback from the client on the direction. 9 outta 10 times the clients only likes 1 and hates the others, then, THEN put in the time and make that 1 as amazing as I know you can".

      CU is in idea mode here, they have 2 years to make the in game art amazing, right now I wanna see as many ideas/concepts/BSC roughs and comps as I can because at this point in development, that is what you do because that is what makes sense, and because that is how you create something special, something unique, and something memorable outside of the norm-you know, the thing too many of us keep forgetting we are asking for.

    17. Creator Matthew Kramer on May 31, 2013

      Part 2 of "regarding CU concept art" - ( MJ ) That was the point I was trying to drive home. The reason why MMos like GW2 or WoW have such stellar finished pieces if because they are just that - FINISHED PIECES. They are specifically for the sole purpose of marketing, going in books and / or otherwise. I recently looked at the Halo 4 art book at Barnes and Noble - that really big, really thick and really expensive art book. I saw a lot of similar sketch work to demonstrate quick versus time consuming work. The thing of it is though, a sketch can convey just as much information for the overall concept as a finished product can if done right. Thus far, I have yet to see an image that they've done class / race wise that does NOT convey their vision in their mind.

      When I showed off the concept art work to some industry artists their reply is: "Function over fashion and using your budget accordingly." In other words, if it demonstrates what is needed, there is no reason to go beyond unless you intend to use it as marketing materials to mass market and the game is almost finished or close to shipping. Right now they're in prototyping mode even on a concept art level. There isn't enough time for them to worry about finished pieces if they're trying to flesh out what each race will look like in the very beginning. Once they're fleshed out and decided on and they go off and create concept art or finished art later on down along the line for marketing purposes--that's a different issue.

      The reason you saw so much "awesome" artwork from NCSoft and GW2 is because they used the finished pieces as a major portion of their marketing push and to help them create a visually appealing marketing campaign. Other MMos also have much larger teams, much larger budgets, much larger time spans .. and quite frankly - CU has 2-3 years max. GW2 had .. 5-6+ years and a massive budget without milestone driven payments. Significantly different a ship to be living on for that 5-6 years than the much smaller ship that MJ and crew are sailing.

      Please keep these things in mind when you're judging the concept art of CU.

    18. Creator Ish on May 31, 2013

      In addition, the old EU WAR community manager people are on about is @Keaven on Twitter - Kevin Freeman (or perhaps Freedman).

      Tried his best with WAR, but since left for pastures new.

    19. Creator City State Entertainment on May 31, 2013

      Folks,

      Just a quick observation here. First, in terms of opinions, all are welcomed. Second, for those that are criticizing the work on the basis of quality, all I have to say is, in the nicest way possible, that criticizing Michelle/Sandra on quality is just wrong. I don't want our artists spending weeks or longer on a single piece of art. It would be easy for us to do that (some other devs do), to try to wow you with the quality of their art. That's one quick and easy way for games to get quickly offtrack. I encourage our artists to work quickly, to focus on ideas, concepts, etc. and not to spend cycles working toward creating the "perfect" piece of art. That stuff is for art school or artists who are trying to produce a finished piece of work for a variety of reasons (sale, portfolio, etc.). These two artists are fast, talented and these pieces are just some of the pieces they have worked on over the last week or so (not months, weeks) and they must have had about 3-4 dozen different concepts to show me. That's how good they are.

      I'm not running a team that is trying to win a prize for "Best Concept Art for a MMORPG", I'm running a team that is trying to build a great game and fill it with fresh and unique ideas and reinterpretations of classic legends and tales.

      So, criticize the concepts as ideas, absolutely! OTOH, criticizing the quality, especially now that some of you might understand a little better how things work here, would be wrong and unfair.

      Mark

    20. Creator Ish on May 31, 2013

      The first concept art image gets my vote too - nice!

      Looking forward to my forum invitation :)

    21. Creator Ludguallon on May 31, 2013

      the first pic is VERY cool :D
      <3 that!!!

    22. Creator Davide Leonardi on May 31, 2013

      Oh my god, the first Concept Art of the Banshee is AWESOME, I that think I never seen nothing like this.
      Compliment to the artist, I hope that this would be the Base-Model of the Banshee...

      I'm just imagining this flying head over that "Shadow Smoke-Neck", taked by the hand for "Scream" a spell.

    23. Creator Jim1701 (Radecliffe) on May 31, 2013

      I'm pretty sure that the one that guy second from the bottom was on Battle of the Planets! =D

    24. Creator Ayralea on May 31, 2013

      It's good to hear from you guys! Your updates were missed, but I know how busy CSE is. :)

      The banshee concepts are fantastic. I can't decide which one is my favorite! ♥

    25. Creator Daniel Pattrick (rareby) on May 31, 2013

      Loved the update and the video was awesome,he swings his weapon like a noob :D the first 2 are my favs..i like the look of the "little girl" in picture 4. Kobold sized in game would look bad-ass!

    26. Creator Dirk on May 31, 2013

      Oh man, I agree. That is an awesome banshee concept.

    27. Creator Alienami on May 31, 2013

      Nice! I like the first headless one the most for the direction of the class.

    28. Creator Jason (OldSkoo) on May 31, 2013

      Thanks for the update guys. My favorite part was the Banshee - especially carrying her head part. Also thought the death animation of the TDD was nice.

    29. Creator John Abbott on May 31, 2013

      don't forget the great things like /dance, /laugh, /represent! :P

    30. Creator Alan Robertson on May 31, 2013

      @CSE @MJ @Relevant Parties
      So with the merge/update/upgrade method you plan to implement. Is that intended to mean that I, as a minimum buy-in pledge that would like to be a warrior forever level would eventually be able to upgrade to that level when my finances allow?
      I hope it does but understand if that's not the case.
      Regardless all the best to you guys looking forwards to sifting through all materials made available for perusal closer to day one.

    31. Creator Tee El on May 31, 2013

      LOVE the animation! Great job Scott! My one critique, the sword swing should be faster. He looks like he's just trying to push someone out of the way with it, not rend someone/something asunder. Glad to see the capes too! I hope we're able to get our guild emblems on them.

    32. Creator Peter McKenzie (Mirelind Alb Merlin) on May 31, 2013

      I like seeing the animation test!
      Oh boy a banshee, wonder what direction that it will take! Caster or songstress/bard type?

    33. Creator Sean McDonald on May 31, 2013

      Great update, can't wait to get onto the regular forums vs. using kickstarter. Nice work on the animation for being in the concept phase of a game. Nice work. Banshee is cool, hairy is scary.

    34. Creator Steve Mato on May 31, 2013

      There was a great community manager in DAoC working for the English Euro side went by the name of Requiel. You should check him out.

    35. Creator Sebastian Schmitt on May 31, 2013

      the animation test looks already great. nice job. well done. please continue :-)

    36. Creator CU inc! hib/pry on May 31, 2013

      Awesome to see an update and very cool with some animations, absolutely loved the death animation and the attack ones.
      Maybe not so much the jump animation, felt a bit to bouncy to me and the legs looked a bit like a frog:)
      I'm also very happy to see the bainshee make it in to CU as well! Very promising concept art

    37. Creator Tommy Amundsen on May 31, 2013

      Really hope i never see those headless and hairy models ingame as players, looks bad and silly.bottom pic is just beyond silly.

    38. Creator Leif Grant on May 31, 2013

      @Gronar I totally dig what you're saying, whether I agree or not. In an ocean of "fan boys" (and girls) it's refreshing to hear from the other side. Hopefully your comments will only spur the CSE team on to even greater heights! ;)

      @CSE Team Keep up the fantastic work! I can't wait for more! (I'm a total fan boy...)

      @MJ Thanks for the update! Like many founders, I too find it difficult to be patient with updates, but it's only because of our passion for this game! Thank you for letting us be a part of this unique experience and I'll look forward to the forums. XD

    39. Creator Bernhard Mayer on May 31, 2013

      Thanks for the Update. Regarding patience: We know it's a loooong way for the game to release, I am pretty sure the community will give you the time needed.

      And I just love how the TDD drops to his knee and rolls over when dying. Not only is it smooth, but very savory.

      The 1st Banshee-CA is amazing. I just got a new Wallpaper for my phone :)

    40. Creator Bear Powell on May 31, 2013

      Hope to get a Forum invite soon.

    41. Creator Juergen Riemer on May 31, 2013

      I like that Hib dying sequence.. I hope to see this a lot :P

    42. Creator Manuel R. on May 31, 2013

      It´s really nice watching These project grow step by step, I hope every backer will get an Invitation to Forums soon.
      @Gronar
      These are just first steps of creating art, I think its just a brainstorming for ideas at the moment, we will see what it looks like in a year, it it still looks like that I ´ll share your opinion.

    43. Creator Mel A on May 31, 2013

      Much appreciated update, MJ. I love the animation and the art. While it's tough waiting for each update, mostly because a watched pot never seems to boil, I'm glad you guys are staying on task to get the game to us soonest possible. Keep up the great work!

    44. Creator Eric Reyes (Kenluin) on May 30, 2013

      Loving that animation an new sketches thanks MJ an CSE. :) I really trust in your potential an from the updates you never seem to disappoint. Good night an rest well. :)

    45. Creator Tierless on May 30, 2013

      @Gronar I'm an art guy as well, and I guess I'm viewing these as sketches, not even comps, just sketched out ideas at this point so I'm not upset about them. If they looked the same in 1.5 years I would be pretty startled.

    46. Creator Tierless on May 30, 2013

      "Please remember, our day job as developers of Camelot Unchained needs to be our main focus and as much as we would love to spend a ton of time on Twitter, Facebook, and our forums we need to ration our time carefully."

      Great update! TDD lookin good, and that concept art is interesting, I'm especially drawn to the last one, the colorful one. Looks really unique but maintains a sense of cool.

    47. Creator Fruz on May 30, 2013

      Nice concept arts =))
      The animation is also looking great, except maybe for the guard, it does not look like much of an experienced fighter to me. I mean, the way he swings the sword, but I guess there will be many other way he will do it ^^.

    48. Creator Grishnakk on May 30, 2013

      Opinions are accepted here for sure, it just so happens the opinions of other people are differing. Valid opinions and points on all accounts and the more conversation the better.

    49. Creator David Blackman (Lord Vakko) on May 30, 2013

      @Gronar
      Opinions aren't excepted here. Please move on.

    50. Creator Chris Hobbs on May 30, 2013

      really exciting being in the beginnings of a project like this!
      love the concept art for the Banshees, that first one awesome.