Age of Chivalry is a total conversion for Half-Life 2 currently being developed by Team Chivalry. We are a close group of friends who are dedicated to creating a fun story driven multiplayer experience set in a fantasy world in the medieval ages. We are creating a fast paced and fun first person melee combat system that will take the player to a new level of immersion. The players will be able to take part in sieges, town raids and open war in a story driven game. Our goal is to let the players write the history of the game as the teams battle it out over a sequence of user controlled map cycles depending on the victor. We want to take the overall experience to a new level of fun. All of our members have a solid modding background and we hope that you support our modification as it grows and develops!
CR1 Release Date announced and interview with Team's Lead Coder, Enra
Posted by AgeofChivalry on Jan 15th, 2009
All citizens of our noble land of Agatha, tell your neighbours, friends and allies to make ready for war. The Mason Order pushes harder and harder against our defenses as our prince desperately continues his quest to be crowned as king. Many powerful nobles are still sitting off to the side, waiting to join the battle until they are assured of victory, this is our chance to make a statement, while the Mason Order's assault is at its strongest, we must prevail for the sake of our prince, our king and our land!
Age of Chivalry CR1 takes you deeper into the storyline than ever before, following the Prince's quest to be crowned and the Mason Order's continued assault on the few footholds the Agathian Knights have managed to secure. In this update to the game, timing, reflexes and skill will matter more than ever before, the combat pace is faster, more fluid and outright violent. Hack into the very bone of your enemies and batter their armour until they yield, this is the Age of Chivalry and your glory awaits...
Brief Feature List for those who haven't been following our weekly updates:
- Up to 5 Brand NEW MAPS including aoc_westerlyn, aoc_firecrag, aoc_invasion and aoc_monastery
- Brand new advanced hit detection system that is accurate and reliable
- Gameplay changes that improved fluidity of actions and force players to react faster and more intelligently
- Sprinting system adjustments to encourage players to stand toe to toe and exchange blows and parries at a high tempo
- Stats and Achievements that allow you to track your progress on the battlefield
- An epic sound overhaul that allows for thousands of impact varieties that truly allows you to feel the weight of your weapon
- Blunt Force Head Explosions!
- Completely redone GUI and interface that gives the players more information and the classes more personality
- New QuickTip entity ensures you always know where to go and what to do for objectives
- All new directional blood spray based off of the movie "300"
- "Sticky Projectiles" (See pictures below)
- A new Siege weapon - The Ballista
- Catapults now shred your enemy into nothing more than a few stumps and chunks in a spray of blood
- Finally added 3rd person longbow animations :)
- New loading screens with a medieval flavour that display game hints
- New impact effects to improve feedback to player
And no we didn't scam you on our preview this week, check it out below:
This week we sat down with Team Chivalry's Lead Coder, Enra to discuss his role on the team and how much work really goes into all this.
Tibberius: As the Team's Lead Coder, you must be a busy man when it comes down to release time, what is that whole process like for you and the team?
Enra: Being a Code Lead in this team is more like being a facilitator and to gently point the team in the right direction. Everyone works at their own speed and voluntarily takes on new assignments from a general work list.
During normal development we create a new build every Saturday for our testers to dig into. One of my tasks is to administrate our "trunk" or developers version so that we have a good control of our builds. Before a build I need to make sure everyone has committed what they want to include in this weeks build, this is the hard part as we have so many time zones involved and people tend to forget. The build itself includes a Linux version that has to be compiled on an old Celeron PC, it makes a lot of noise for an hour but then it’s ready.
And when everything is built it’s time to set up the game servers. I administrate our two test servers, one Windows and one Linux. Our testers are very quick to grab the latest build so I normally only have a few minutes until the testers arrives and start breaking things. Glory to the crash dumps.
The big rush comes when we are going for a Steam release then I also need to create the special files that we send to Valve for everyone to download. This is an extra build process with special tools that needs to be handled with extra care as one little mistake will show up in a brutal way. So far we have had no Steam related issues, knock on wood.
Tibberius: The entire team is completely unpaid and this is a hobby for all of us, for you why or in what ways do you find it rewarding to work on the game?
Enra: The reward is always in the feedback from the players. After implementing an uncertain function like the head decapitation and then to read about the sheer joy players have chopping heads off, that’s the highest reward you can get.
Being an old timer with a lot of hard team work behind me it also very satisfying to look at the change log for each build and see how extremely productive an unpaid team actually can be. Some of our team members also started with a limited assignment but have grown and taken more and more responsibility, evolving the whole team into something even more powerful.
Tibberius: Similarly there must be times when your motivation for the game is low, what are some of the worst things about working on the team?
Enra: I sometimes run out of stamina when I look at the total work list for the team and realize that we have taken on to much work to get things out in time and with quality. It is usually also in that moment that the team tries to add yet another “must have” feature and I feel like I am all alone with the knowledge how to get products released.
The bad thing is also a good thing in this case. When motivation gets low you just stop coding for a while, there is no project leader breathing down your neck and giving you attitude. Ways to get the motivation back is reading some positive feedback from the players in the forum and also to get some inspiration by kicking some CSS bot asses.
Tibberius: Do you realize you are probably the only person that still plays CSS with just bots for fun?
Enra: No, really? They are the best team players, never whine and always play by the book. I have also heard that if you play with the bots for a very long time you will find an Easter egg with a free download link to the bot code. When I get my hands on that code I will show you all nonbelievers…
Tibberius: Projectiles, such as arrows, javelins, knives and axes now stick into enemies when you hit them and to their ragdoll's when they die, what went into this feature from a code perspective?
Enra: It took me some time to accept that we should have the projectiles stick to players, in real combat it is hard to run around with arrows sticking through your head. But after testing it somewhat I came to the conclusion that it gives feedback to the archers that they hit the target and the pros outweighed the cons.
We will see projectiles sticking to players and also to some of the moving objects. The “stickies” are completely client side so there will be no extra server or network load after that the projectile is stuck to a player. The way to do this is to have the arrow follow the bones in the model and update the angles and position each frame and handle it all on the client.
Some special cases come in when you hit the shield, the projectile will stick to the shield but when you holster the shield all stickies will get scraped off. To really be able to examine your accuracy the stickies are also transferred to the player ragdoll after death for closer inspection.
Tibberius: You’re well known on the team as the much needed realist, to help keep some sanity to what the team's concept and idea generators are planning for each release, do you feel that your "real" work experience helps you in this area?
Enra: Being a realist can sometimes be seen as boring, the guy that is always ranting about that we should not add any more features now before the release. It sure helps to have real work experience to keep the focus on time and quality for a release, it is almost always better to have less features working well than a large bunch of features barely working. When the release day gets closer, not working features may get pulled by the realist.
Tibberius: What is your preferred method of celebration after squashing a particularly troublesome bug?
Enra: After debugging a hard bug for several hours and then finding the simple change that makes everything run smoothly, that’s a kick in itself.
Tibberius: Although your technically Drakir's Uncle, I understand that it’s more of a brother relationship, do you feel like working on the game has brought you guys closer together and has working with family made it easier or harder to be part of the team?
Enra: The difference in years is only seven so when you get a bit older it becomes more of a brother relationship as you say. Drakir was also the reason I joined the team, to help him get 1.0 released back then when the team had run out stamina. It sure helps a lot to discuss something in Swedish over the phone rather than in English in the forum. Even if Drakir is the medieval and sword fan we have a lot of common game experiences since we played together in the TFC clan VSOP.
Tibberius: In terms of the upcoming release, what do you feel will be the most improved aspect of the game?
Enra: This release takes full advantage of the OB-SDK and the Steamworks integration so from a coding point of view it has to be the Achievements. And although the code update was small for the new swingtrace system I think players will see a large improvement in hit detection. At the same time the block was made more consistent, maybe a little harder now but it’s a hard medieval world.
Tibberius: Looking to the future, what would you say you’re most anticipated feature for the game would be that we may see one day?
Enra: Besides my own long term goal to make some really smart bots I think adding more variation to the combat, like combos and special moves could push the gameplay forward. Combine that with a lot more of objectives that the player can do when not fighting like building things for settings up a defense line and the mod has many more years ahead.
Stay tuned next week when we take a look at the sequel to invasion, aoc_monastery!
Tibberius Bane - Age of Chivalry Marketing Coordinator