Camelot Unchained demo shows 500 characters fighting at 90 FPS on a 2011 MacBook Pro

UPDATE: Passes funding goal with 19 hours to go.

UPDATE: Good news, everyone. Camelot Unchained has reached its $2 million goal with 19 hours left to go.

The current tally is at $2,013,612.

Watch developer City State Games revel in glory below in its Twitch.TV livestream below.

Original story: Remember Thanes in Dark Age of Camelot RVR and that hammer spell that would grind everything to a halt as dozens of oversized magical hammers crashed down on everyone's heads?

Remember entering Orgrimmar in World of Warcraft and loading the sea of people surrounding the Auction House?

Remember the culling ArenaNet used in Guild Wars 2 World vs. World gameplay to hide characters so that your client could cope?

Camelot Unchained wants all of the scale but none of the performance trade-off, and because it's an MMO focused entirely on large-scale PVP, it is being built from the ground-up to achieve it.

Cue a videoed tech demonstration of 500 (well, I could only see 450, tops) of the game's highest resolution characters battling it out at up to 90 frames-per-second on a 2011 MacBook Pro.

Camelot Unchained is aiming to have battles scale to "somewhere in the range of 500 up to 1000", according to Andrew Meggs. He's the co-founder of developer City State Entertainment, and he's worked as a key programmer on games like Warhammer Online.

One of the character models in the tech demonstration belongs to the Irish mythology-inspired Tuatha Dé Danann, the other belongs to the Norse mythology-inspired Vikings. The animation is "not final" and was thrown together in a couple of hours for the demo.

While the characters all look the same for the purposes of this demonstration, in the final game, customisation will be top priority.

"Customisation is going to be a really big thing for this game," Meggs promised. "Nobody else in the world should have to look like each other. No two crafters have to produce exactly the same looking item. There's a lot of good stuff we did with the Warhammer character art system, and what I really want to do with Camelot Unchained is take it to the absolute next level."

Clearly the demo is missing all kinds of effects and environmental detail and so on and so forth. But the code is also so rough that, with optimisation, there will be plenty of room to add that detail in. The main message, however, is performance over pretties, as Andrew Meggs explained in an earlier post on Kickstarter.

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