About that Camelot Unchained alpha in August
And about that name.
Just the other day, Camelot Unchained developer City State Entertainment revealed that there will be a playable alpha build of the massively-multiplayer online game for backers in August.
These days it's easy to expect a lot from an alpha, given the influence of Steam Early Access releases, so I thought I'd dig deeper and ask CSE boss Mark Jacobs exactly what we can expect.
"Please keep in mind that our alpha will be an old-school, more traditional one that won't focus mainly on PR value," he began.
"At a minimum, we expect people to be able to stage reasonably large-scale battles. ... . We want to have put our rendering and networking tech through some serious paces and to have iterated on it as well.
"We will certainly have a number of races and classes in there, but the progression/levelling system will most likely not be something we'll have focused on yet. We will certainly have some of our building system in by then as well."
That's all subject to change depending on what happens in the coming months. Overall, the focus is on getting tech working first before everything else. "Not sexy stuff," admitted Jacobs, but necessary stuff.
Camelot Unchained has a December 2015 release date and "we are on schedule", insisted Jacobs. "Is it set in stone? No. Given the fact that we are still two years out, saying a launch date is set in stone would be both foolish and naive. Do we want to hit that date? Absolutely."
Oh, and that December 2015 target, incidentally, will be for a full launch not a beta or unfinished launch (although MMOs change so much that such labelling is probably unnecessary anyway).
The recent Camelot Unchained Q&A also threw up another interesting point, which was "Camelot Unchained" not being the game's final name.
"Some of you might love to create a giant phallus home in which to mount your battle trophies..."City state Entertainment
"Yep, it will very likely change," confirmed Jacobs. "As to whether it will be a complete change, we'll see."
The Q&A said we'll know more about that when the game's website relaunches. A new iteration of it will appear next week, Jacobs hopes, whereas a complete rewrite of the website will happen in early February.
Something else that caught my eye in the recent Q&A update was talk about the game's ambitious building system, which promises the kind of freedom erecting abodes a game like Minecraft does - "erecting" being the operative word.
"We want to allow players to be ultra creative with their building designs without having the countryside littered with wood and stone genitalia," CSE responded. "Some of you might love to create a giant phallus home in which to mount your battle trophies... For others, that oversized penis-like thing kinda breaks immersion. This issue will require a lot of thought and careful planning!
"Truth is, to allow the level of creativity we desire, over-sized replicas of organs may not be avoidable, we shall see."