Guild Chat - Episode 78

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Guild Chat - Episode 78

Title
Game Development in 2018
Host
Rubi Bayer
Guests
Joel Helmich
Matthew Medina
Mike Zadorojny
Date
December 7, 2018
Official video
YouTube


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The following is an unofficial, player-written transcript of the episode. The accuracy of this transcription has not been verified by ArenaNet.

The episode of Guild Chat aired on December 7, 2018. Join host Rubi Bayer and guests for a discussion about the changes and evolution of industry processes.

hi everybody and happy Friday welcome to
guild chat thank you for joining us I'm
your host Ruby and we're going to talk
today about development of Guild Wars 2
and 2018 one of the things that we've
talked about previously on guild chat is
that with an MMO you're never really
done developing there's no point where
we shut the door and say ok with this
the state game is done we are completely
finished working on it we're constantly
adding improving changing things so I've
rounded up a couple of our guild wars 2
developers today to chat about that and
see what we've done in 2018 let me have
you guys introduce yourselves talk about
who you are and what you do here -
Raymond it so I'm Joe Helmick I make I
make things ok they're like hey we need
somebody we need someone who made stuff
this year and like I made some stuff
this year
so you made great things so so they're
like you should you should talk about
stuff and like cool I can act on Buzz's
Here I am tucking fun stuff no way
that's rescission happened all right I'm
Matthew Medina I'm a game designer I
design stuff so yeah I specialize in a
lot with story and narrative stuff I
work pretty closely hand-in-hand with
those guys but yeah we we have done a
lot of stuff to sort of improve the
store the quality of our storytelling in
the last several years and this year in
particular we've had some new cool tech
so talk about someone hi I'm Michael
Eisner I'm the game director on Guild
Wars 2 if you couldn't tell stuff is the
word of the you direct yeah pretty much
mostly I'm the the player advocate so
when working with the teams I spent a
lot of time trying to look at things
from the from a player from a veteran
players perspective from a new players
perspective and identify kind of
direction that we should be focusing our
efforts on and and how we can make
either the game more approachable or
adding more compelling bosses rewards
those types of things into a larger
package that is Guild Wars 2
how do we you know take Guild Wars 2
from where it was last year to this year
all right that works all right let's
talk about stuff that we made I want to
one of the things that we kind of
brought back into Guild Wars 2 and
brought it up to snuff for 2018 was the
festival of the four winds and I wanted
to start with that because that was one
of the earliest things in 2018 I
remember talking about because we talked
about that like in January yeah that's
when I first got involved with the
project and I actually was sort of like
a bit surprised myself because it was
like oh wow we we were considering doing
this awesome
having been involved in the previous two
iterations of the festival I jumped at
the chance and so it was really good but
after sitting you know in our perforce
Depot for four years untouched it
certainly needed a fair amount of you
know bringing it out taking it down
polishing up the bits that we needed to
bring back but also then take a look at
what are we gonna add that's new we now
have mounts
how do mounts work in this map because
it was definitely not designed for
mounts so there were some definite
concerns there about how that would work
thankfully it's you know it was really
easy to turn mounts on in that map and
start playing around and immediately it
was very clear that they were going to
be really good I mean we had to do some
map updates to make sure that you
couldn't get too far out of bounds and
we weeks expanded the boundaries of them
a little bit to account for the extra
space that mounts need to move around in
but like getting on the Griffon was the
first thing I tried and it was just
glorious because it's such a vertical
space I mean that's one of the things I
really loved about the evolution of of
coming from path of fire into living
world and looking at how the mounts play
a part of that you know we had a lot of
fun building the maps designed for it we
had a lot of fun taking him to the the
old world but this was a map we had
never really seen at that level of
verticality that had as much content
crammed into such a small space and so
being able to take advantage of that I
think was really all
we're gonna see that there was another
evolution of what we wanted out of the
mounts and that system and having just
layer on top of festivals was just
awesome for us yeah and that's you had
mentioned it was sitting there for four
years and that kind of speaks to what
we're talking about overall today in
that this is a very different game than
it was four years ago
Guild Wars 2 at the core of it is what
it is but there's so much that we've
done in four years and it's not just
like a matter of wood rot yeah it's yeah
a good example that a specific example
that is the aspect skills which is the
thing that was central to that map when
we released it yeah pick up these
crystals and then you could move around
and you could jump and lightning
together across chasms and and that kind
of stuff and those were great and they
they they mostly worked but you know the
test the tech was definitely competitive
you asked yes there was definitely some
some things that didn't like the
lightning tether when I first loaded
that map up I tried to tether across two
things and more often than I just fell
into the into the pit yeah because we
didn't have some of the things that we
do now of you know taking the player and
launching them across a you know a thing
which is now technically have and so I
had to pretty that up but then also that
was authored in a way that was similar
to the way mounts got authored and so
the two things couldn't coexist so as
soon as you mount it up you lost all
your aspect skills and you'd have to go
back and get a crystal and that was just
super
oh that's knowing unfriendly to the
player so I took it and I was like ok
we're gonna have to do this the entirely
different way so I made it a different
way
basically re I mean it was taking
scripts repoing them through another
pathway that was friendly so that when
you got on a mount you kept all your
buffs and you kept all your skills and
then the two things played well together
and I think it was really important for
us to do that because it allowed us to
design a lot of the events around being
able to pick and choose because the
whole point of that festival in that map
was joy boomin and Mount
obviously in impact of that a lot but so
did the aspect skills so like we wanted
to make sure that you had the choice and
you didn't have to just pick oh I'm
gonna do mounts now and then later I'll
do the crystals um so we wanted to have
that play well together so we could
design like the treasure hunt for
example is an event where I saw people
doing everything in their you know in
their arsenal some you get off a mount
hop on a mount spring her up to the top
you know get off your mount again
lightning tether across to the thing you
know so like just being able to do that
was it was so important I think one of
the themes that you're gonna see is part
of this conversation is programmers give
us a box to play in designers will go
cool I found a way out of the box by
doing this really crazy thing over here
and then you know it might work in that
particular instance but what programmers
will come back and say hey there's a
better way a safer way to do this and we
want to give you that tool and in this
particular case because it's been so
long since we went back and looked at
that all of our like the tools that we
use to build these things which are now
faster more efficient better performance
on the server didn't translate
one-to-one so there's a lot of kind of
replumb in this is kind of the thing we
talk about when we look at season one
and trying to bring it back because we
know is there's a lot of you know good
memory just a lot of really cool content
than yeah but it's it's this kind of
almost archeology that that Matthew had
to go do is this is on the same level of
every single piece of content we've done
that we need to make sure works in the
new space and plays with a lot of the
new features that we've built over time
as well yeah and that's from a non
programmer perspective the aspect skills
are a really good example because yeah
these were great and like you said they
were all about the joy of movement and
you have different methods of moving
through those aspect skills but they
don't take what happens if you mount up
we don't we don't think of that if
you're not a programmer if you're not a
designer off the top of your head or
even gliders I mean we haven't even
mentioned adding gliding in there to and
how those are factors now and what they
might do and how they interact with that
box and how they explode that box yeah I
mean Blighty was another one that was
like it seemed like such a natural and
so but I I had to add up drops in there
like we didn't have updrafts on the map
originally but I was like well
if you're gonna jump off and glide like
you have to be able to get around so
like adding but all that was stuff that
we didn't know about at the time that we
built the event yeah yeah that was it's
just all of those little things that you
have to think about and it took a long
time but I think it was worth it I mean
the festival turned out beautifully yeah
I was really happy with with the
reception and and just how how well I
think everything came together yeah
speaking of things that seem simple to
bring back I have a list chairs okay so
actually I think we're moving on because
that's a big topic like it would be but
yeah on since we're talking about like
let's look at old content oh dear
there's problems light and Heather's was
mentioned so before we get to chair they
will the lightening Kathryn particulars
is a good like example of this is a
thing that was made in the past with the
tools that were available at the time
but better tools now available and so
anytime we look at older content we're
like well did we made this what we had
but maybe this tool sucked or thick they
just didn't do what we needed and so
they kind of faked it and kind of worked
and so the way that light and how they
used to work is it would it would jump
you upwards and then the animation with
Neji for to sort of simulate the
parabola and it was the gnarliest
Cruise's thing and so when we're working
hard thorns like we want these like
mushrooms or I know if we knew through
mushrooms originally but we wanted way
to like jump you see refer and they're
like this this little text night it's
not gonna work it's it's so gross and
it's laggy and it feels bad and so let's
not do that and so we we put the
programming team guy worked right by
make sure there's interesting um we're
like okay we'll make like a real clean
versus it doesn't nice work and so then
coming back to the festival were like
cave you know we have this tech now that
launches you to a spot why don't we fix
those skills goes the group instead of
just simulating a pro yeah just actually
actually do that so like with that kind
of stuff comes a whole time we're like
we have a better way to do it now and so
if we're gonna go look at some what
piece of content and the resurrected
or let's do something similar let's make
new content but it's similar the old
stuff and rather than just copy pasting
about just stuff like wow this doesn't
work last time let's keep using it or
like we could do this about make it more
efficient that was my that was my thing
on playing tiller Cheers
so chairs are fun in that there's there
some history here when I was originally
working on Mount things way back like
two years before pacifiers she probably
freaked when they started on it but it
was like one of the first things I did
on the mouse team was get a character to
attach another character you know we had
a live stream or that guild chat
long ago where I was like flying around
the river and stuff in this one right
yeah no thanks but so when I implemented
all that I so little history first in
our game there's a concept of a
character it was conscious concept of a
gadget they're similar ish but they have
some differences and the kind of
arbitrary gadgets or a little sheep or
sometimes I'm it doesn't matter too much
but the point is when I implemented on
the mount stuff it only assumed
characters could attach to characters
it's like well that was just I just made
that decision arbitrarily because like
oh the beach a little cheaper did and
then like surely will never want to do
the other thing why would you want to
character to attach to a gadget that's
silly and so that that got embedded in
all of our piping all of all the layers
all the code everywhere and then
sometime after we should paths fire
rather than even we were working I was
like we can't receive detached we catch
it but yeah that's a lot of work it's
not it's not bother and and then we time
went on path fire ship like oh that were
that worked and then well could we
attached to a gadget and so at some
point last December it says yeah I'm
just gonna I'm just gonna do that just
as a thing okay so let me interrupt you
for a second to find gadget yeah well
people are you that's a problem so so so
in example five words are yes an example
to get it would be like we placed like
some share in the world and it doesn't
have a care it's not a character it
doesn't move I guess there's a really
the main difference is it doesn't move
under its own power
okay it's not the precise scientific
definition they say because we have
moving tip
on the list not a precise scientific
definition but like they this is why is
this hard I had a herd definition I
would just give it but anyway the point
is it would be great to sit in chairs
that's actually I mean that there's
ultimately where's like this would be
pretty funny we should do this and so
they all right let's let me just reflect
your stuff and so I went through code
and the largest changes to have ever
made here gnarliest three factors like
hundred forty files suitable chairs for
the biggest refactor you've done it is
the largest single like you can there's
the second icons one of my local
programmers and decoder being it is it's
the only time that's ever gonna work man
it was almost fortuitous because like I
don't think we knew what we were doing
for April Fool's yeah until about a
month before when they were showing me
the prototypes is like okay well how how
fast can we get this cleaned up like
yeah we got this and we and when
programmers say that it's like okay well
they didn't say interesting interesting
is the scary one yes I think is
interesting then you don't know how long
it's going to take but it's like hey you
know it's awesome that we we had people
working and being creative with the
technology let's go for this let's go
all in and figure out because whenever
these types of things happen it opens
the door to what designers can do with
the content and so you'll see an
evolution of how we've been telling
stories in the open world with the idea
of like an individual owning an
individual character in the open world
which is something we hadn't seen before
this year these are all things that like
programmers were just experimenting
seeing what they could do with our
system and again it's about like okay we
originally had this box and now the box
is getting oddly shaped in other areas
and bigger in certain areas which gives
us the designers to freedom to kind of
explore in different areas more space to
play in and it also opens windows into
how strange game development can be
sometimes because when I first got hold
of because I was on the festival and and
the chair's team were sort of Co
coexisting on a certain branch for us
development wise so I was able to see
some of the the chair stuff early and
was able to put some of that in festival
for ends like at the bar at the top you
could like sit on them
stools and like actually have you know a
nice experience of sitting there and I
also put the chairs on the the boat that
went around there the tour it's also the
first like crazy like hey chairs on a
moving platform we've never done that
before let's do it we'll be back yeah
but when I when I dug into it the first
thing I thought of is as a story person
especially I was like I really really
want Queen Jennah to finally sit on her
throne because she has been in that
place in her instance for the longest
time just sort of standing there and so
I went in there and I cracked it open I
was like I'm gonna make this and I and I
attached a gadget to her throne and
realized that her throne is the entire
room no because she has this large sort
of clamshell thing behind her but it's
attached to everything else so I was
like this is not going to work because
she was gonna be sitting up and like it
picks the you know it tries to find the
place to for her to sit and I don't know
where for her set so it was the hole so
so her her throne is technically the
entire did you get far enough to where
she attached and actually tried to sit
no I think it I think it just failed
Oh cheers on a moving platform I wanted
to I just look mark that I know so so
the with interesting historical note the
first chair we actually shipped alive
was in episode two but players could not
sit on them the char NPCs the they all
come were there like leader people's
they were station
yeah they had like these great big
wooden Thrones and they would sit on
them and the fun thing I discovered fun
thing I discovered there so the the way
the way attachment works in our game
it's it's you just take a bone like a
skeleton bone on the sitter and a
skeleton bone on the attaching thing and
you stick close together and the bone
that they wanted the chair peoples to
sit on was not centered it was kind of
off to like one side cuz I can't cuz
they're at their chair I think they were
using like the doom throne animations
originally maybe yeah
cents and so doom Thrones not gadgets
that's different story so anyway the the
problem is that the designer working out
was like hey hey droll the char doesn't
sit in the right spot and like why cuz
the bones right here and sits there but
then the charge over here why is the
chair over here I don't I don't
understand and someone digging into I
was like okay with and it turns out that
there's some gnarliness in our how our
gadgets work versus characters where the
their base rotation is off by 90 degrees
like rotated 90 degrees some characters
and so if you said I have no rotation
whatsoever I have an identity rotation
matrix it's the world rotation of that
is different for a character in a gadget
so I had to go through all of the code
that does they like put if if I am
attached to this bone this is where I
should be in the world I'd go through
all that coding a well fit stick if
you're attached to a gadget rotate 90
degrees
don't say like whatever this vector is
rotate it like that and I know and then
like counter where these Chris so that
was fun that's what it was it was lady
was mind boggling to for cuz I didn't I
was not the first thing I jumped to is I
obviously why would that why so that was
worth it but so the car suffered so that
you may sit on benches the thing that
the thing that's interesting to me about
how you're explaining how all of this
works is something that that I realized
in watching people ask for suitable
chairs for so long is that from a non
programming perspective a lot of people
and not everybody not like all of you
are doing this but I saw a lot of people
the way they were asking for it the way
they were talking about it was that in
your mind you're equating it to your
physical body in the real world just
walking up and sitting in a chair and
it's very simple and why is it not
simple it seems like a very simple thing
and you're not translating it through
all of this stuff that you were
explaining when we're building games we
tend to make
a paradigm for us to make assumptions so
that it's easier for us to approach a
problem and that is this is a prime
example of past us going okay well sure
for whatever reason we decided that
characters need to be one way and
gadgets need to be another and then
future us coming going hey look the
system we want it to do more than what
we've done before and when we look at
the two technologies it's they're not as
compatible as we would think or there's
not as uniform a decision now I can't I
don't know why we ended up with the
90-degree offset like it'd be fun to you
know good time machine back and figure
out why we actually made that I'm I'm
almost betting it's like a gw1 legacy
thing at this point because like I don't
remember that coming up during she'd be
too development well you never know this
until you cross them that's the thing
right cuz they're all in their own
little local world okay sometimes you
find out things the hard way right
exactly and so this is where it like I'm
saying it's like when you come up with a
plan to make things easier for us in the
short term you sometimes don't think
about what the long-term consequences of
those are going to be or you are and
you're willing to accept that because it
means that you can either get better
performance today you can make it look
better in certain ways with certain
graphics cards or whatever but there's a
sumption you're making for an individual
reason that don't equate to the new
formula that we're applying and which is
something that we're always trying to
push is okay we want to do things we
haven't done before which means we have
to think about problems in a new way and
that which also requires us to go back
and look at our old assumptions and see
if we need to make changes to them as
well thank you so moving platforms or a
thing that they had they have a rich
history mmm that was like a pained grunt
yeah yes yeah for a very long time they
were certain this space were so that
they got added I wasn't here when this
happened but my understanding of the
history is they got added so we could
put them in victory death so we should
have the the airship flying thing we're
like what if we were on the airship and
it was flying out as you were gonna
fight say it was I think one of the last
major pieces attack we added to the game
ship and there
is nothing inherently wrong say nothing
but their dairy there's not too much
inherently wrong with how they're
applied they're fine but there are a lot
of little details that you only notice
after something has been hammered on for
a long time oh wow that was that was
wrong we should have fixed that that's
hard to do when you have to ship things
very quickly after you implement them so
as a result moving platforms had this
thing where they mostly work but then
sometimes they don't and so coop and so
design goes well they mostly work but
sometimes they don't I don't think we
can use them and because nobody use them
programmers like well no one uses them
we're not gonna bother fixing bugs or
them because we have so much other stuff
to do so you have this cycle of look
platforms in my head is exactly what
happened I mean kind of and then we'd
also discover new interesting ways of
using them we wanted to use yeah we
always wanted to and so when we use them
in victory or death it was really
expensive so we made the clear cut rule
hey don't use them in the open world
because the processing of doing all the
moving navmesh yourself was just too
expensive for our servers to handle and
then we kind of left them by the wayside
and it wasn't until super venture box in
world 2 and they were using them on the
logs okay which was interesting it was a
nice accident because we when we
actually went back and looked and were
like there's no way that this should
work but the way that they got away with
it is there's actually no navmesh on
those gadgets so it was never
calculating like having of NPCs on it
which made them a little bit cheaper so
we just started discovering new ways
that we could actually use the
technology or push in different
directions that made it so like moving
platforms weren't nearly the taboo word
that they were and when we initially
shipped the game and and so anyway as
they start and then like Razer
practicals they have some adventurers
folks those seems like what we use them
more and then because people started
using them like oh now people are using
them I guess we should start fixing bugs
so the the most common kind of bug on a
living platform I guess if you try to
visualize it if you are standing here on
a platform and you're facing that way
and then the whole platform rotates so
now you're facing that way you still
think you are facing toward that end of
the platform you don't think you've
turned at all
according the world you'd like turn 90
degrees and a lot what we do in a lot of
places as we say
okay here's the direction that you were
facing like have sir off some vectors
somewhere like this is reaction I'm
facing and so if you're walking along
and there's this platform facing that
way you're walking along and then and
then you cross onto the platform it's
like okay you're on the platform now
what direction in my facing it goes well
I didn't change so I should be facing
forward is okay for they know what that
is that's this way now they're on the
platform so you be walking and then you
turn suddenly and and we've fixed some
of them but then others would be messed
up like the like one random example a
fixed like there's this this this
cameras layer you can i slide it
sideways right worked on that years ago
and it's just it's just this like horace
it of the target position of the cameras
like okay i want actually look at this
points to this point and that did not
translate correctly when you would go
onto and off with moving platforms and
so we go from being here to like maybe
being here and so you'd see your camera
move whenever you get onto a platform
like strange and we just no one really
fixed it stuff happens right like yeah
first weird stuff happens amounts were
loaded with problems they had all kinds
o lots the store effectors they all need
to get updated and so i spent a while
some amount of time i don't remember how
long just going to okay it what went
wrong and you walk onto platform okay
what we wrong this time and then they
were pretty good now and so and then
they just hope people use more then we
fix my problems and then people used to
more and then and then we end up with
movie stuff
platformers have always presented
designers with this sort of I could do
this and but then oftentimes you're
you're often like oh but it doesn't work
the way I wanted it to so I it is nice
to see how how it's continues to evolve
I mean even path a fire starting that
first instance
on the air Charlotte's right coming in
presented so many problems because like
normally we are used to the player
spawning and at a set point we know
where that is and like well you can put
that on a movie platform but when we
first did it like I put you there and
the the airship would go off and
everyone would stay behind and so you
have all the characters the NPC's and
you're like Oh drop it's that wily
coyote whoa no you're looking down like
if I move I'm gonna fall and then that
we had the parameter come in and they
took a look at it they said they shipped
a fix we got it across to us on the
design team and then we had the opposite
problem now we are moving and the
airship is behind us we're like that's
not right either and then you know went
through a number of iterations and my
favorite though was we finally got all
working and but we wanted to have it so
that players could have the agency to
fly off if they want to because we had
gliding and we were gonna have mounts in
the expansion so I started testing that
and as soon as you got off the airship
it kept the airships momentum yes
and so you would jump off and you'd
glide and you'd be going twice as fast
because you had both your speed and the
airship speed and it would add them
together and that actually was like that
there's those elevators were the real
problem
I like we're another were like as it's
going up you like well I guess we're
going up still and so you jump off and
like I go so I added another thing where
the you because you kind of want that
you want like if you jump if you're just
jumping on the platform you want to move
with the platform it feels a little
better if you don't but if you're like
off for a while that the percentage of
velocity of the platform that you hear
it starts to decay then go back to okay
now you're from tiger
their friction I suppose you back to
reality I think moving platforms is also
one of those examples let you look at
other games and go hey look this is this
seems commonplace over here why is it so
difficult for us and again it goes back
to that original design assumptions
about how we were crafting the game some
of the things that we wanted out of the
pathfinding system how like creature he
hate deals with players and those types
of things and so there were certain
assumptions I think coming from gilbert
warning to Guild Wars 2 that made it
harder for us to kind of look at those
style tech later on in the game like and
and that just becomes one of those
hurdles that as we push forward we're
like no no we really want to do these
things and they should be simple like we
look at the common foot the common case
of this and we we realize that we have
to do a little bit of extra work because
we had made assumptions earlier on that
are hurting us today yeah it's it is an
interesting example just overall I feel
like we could keep coming back to the
whole moving platform question because
like you said we shipped victory or
death and that was the first moving
platform that you saw they popped up
again in super adventure box world 2 and
in the ensuing years we've piled all of
this other stuff into our game like
shares and had to figure out how to make
moving platforms interact with that
correctly without the weirdness of Oh
double speed gliding I think seems
awesome and I'm a little bummed it fixed
but I'm assuming it was not as awesome
as I think the thing for design is that
they're always looking for what is the
coolest experience that we can give the
players and so this is where it becomes
that kind of that cost analysis of ok we
want to do this cool thing we can do a
hacked version which might work but
we'll make programming want to kill me
or we can spend the time actually going
back and looking at that tech which
opens up the door for us to do things we
hadn't thought before or to push in new
areas that we hadn't thought we had
access to and I think this is some of
the things that you see like I look at
the initial moving platform of what we
saw in victory or death compare it to
the way the raids team used it in the
Kadeem fight and it's like that was cool
stuff and so that is like we haven't
even really thought about that back when
we were doing the original tech and this
is just what what excites me about
working on a live game versus
that you ship and your one-and-done is
like we get the opportunity to go back
and look at the things that we did
before and say that was awesome we can
do it better let's try a new way let's
come at it from a different angle let's
look at the problem differently and try
and figure out what is the next exciting
way or the next cool aspect of whether
it's storytelling whether it's open
world events whether it's you know how
the hub plays into the larger scheme of
things these are all things that we can
continue evaluate and make additions to
or changes because you know it's not
just the players that are coming along
for the journey we're along with them
trying to keep up and go hey you know oK
we've told you the story this way and
you've gotten used to it
now we're going to try a different way
to kind of you know turn it on its head
and give new expectations to where the
game can do or what the game can do and
where we want to take it yeah because
you're constantly learning you're
constantly getting access to better
tools and better methods and it makes
sense to apply them but there's a little
bit of learning curve there sometimes
you mentioned unless we have something
else about chairs or platforms jolin I
didn't mean it like that
we could go in for a while I mean I
definitely the back to the the opening
instance about the fire with the
platform the first time of some
programming so they're like oh no it's a
no but you know you have to use it as
we're saying after you people have to
use them before we bother trying to fix
them because right away when my favorite
bugs on that that I fixed that thing
some people were said is a it used to be
that if you were on the Mount and then
the platform is sort of dropping a
little amount would stir over to clean
and it just it just wasn't inheriting
platform velocity correctly just deal
but I much prefer the fix than me having
a seizure ah yeah that's all I could
think was like all the sand is shaking
off there everything's ruined
yeah no that's it's uh it works down
that's good thank you
yeah well you know he's always kind of
work it just it just it works better or
worse better now which is the whole
point yeah we had mentioned open world
and living world and story several times
and I want to touch on that because
there's a lot that we did
there I mean starting and I had to get
my list because there was a lot um like
moving from story instance to story
instance without that break making them
Maps bigger and better I mean there are
a whole bunch of things what would you
guys like to talk about first the
incident instance thing is certainly one
of those that we had talked about it for
the longest time and anytime it came up
it was like oh don't it's impossible
it was missing platform so and you know
there was just I think it was just the
the Texas wouldn't have been there to do
it when we launched the game but it was
something that we continually wanted to
push on because it is jarring sometimes
to have a story have to take a break and
you have to go out to the open world and
the open world maps follow different
rules you know because they're you know
there's cycling events the the world can
be in a different state than when you
left the instance and it can be this
sort of like take you out of the story
moment yeah you lose a little bit of
your immersion so we tried constantly to
find a way to solve this and I think it
was season three living world worried
for first sirup toyed with the idea of
hey if we could do this how do we do it
I don't remember exactly if it was the
first one but I know we did that with
when you were doing the hologram tiny
yeah I think that was the first time we
used that tech and then we began to
slowly you know sort of and again a lot
of times we will do this is like we're
gonna do this here and make sure that it
doesn't completely blow up in our face
that you know we think we've considered
all the cases but there's always going
to be an edge case there's always going
to be a strange thing that we you can't
always account for every single variable
and the way every player is going to
approach content and so like what if the
err on the instance boundary and you
leave you know that kind of stuff
what I was gonna say is it possible to
is there a situation where you could
possibly consider every case I don't
that doesn't that doesn't seem likely
thing that could be done yeah
to me like no no you a is for to think
of these things yes so what were some of
the hurdles in getting that instance to
instance up there the biggest one I
think the biggest challenge that we were
presented with is that our party system
didn't know what to do so when you enter
instance you have an instance owner is
what we call it internally they are the
person who controls the instance and
everything sort of feeds off of them and
we can direct things at the instance
owner and say hey do this to this
person's party and so a lot of our
scripts rely on that a lot of the the
underlying quest tech result has to have
an instance owner and the problem with
going in since instance was we would
lose track of who the instance owner was
because if somebody had a faster
connection in your party they might end
up in the instance first and then their
the instance owner now a linear instance
and so the mg's there was and a lot of
times it would just move players
individually so you'd every like if you
went from one instance with a party and
you send them to another instance
everyone would get their own copy of the
instance so was there's just a lot of
sort check ethical hurdles about keeping
the party together between the two and I
don't know what magic we've made yeah it
was funny because there was actual a bug
with it to that because of all the ways
that we used it up until episode 2 of
the season we just naturally maxed the
bug because we had the the way that the
quest steps had in order and then we did
the final instance where you were
jumping through the portals and fighting
that one boss and then you ended up kind
of at the end of kind of space all of
those started discovering new issues of
like hey when I leave the instance and
come back like it puts me like it was
resetting quest steps and kind doing all
these things I was like no no that's
what the system has always been doing we
just never knew and so for us it was
like it's just broken this one instance
but it works over here it's like no no
it's always been broken we just we just
never could see it before and what was
interesting about that and I I don't
know the history of this but it felt to
me always that this was one of the
things
kind of led the even solving this
problem led to us solving another
problem which was checkpointing in
instance one of the things that we had
always been sort of hobbled by on the
story team was like you couldn't have a
checkpoint you just had to have start to
finish
you had to finish the instance and if
you disconnect here you had to log out
or whatever you just had to restart the
instance from the start point which is
still true but in order to solve the
problem of like well how are we gonna
have instant instance we ended up
breaking up story quests into smaller
chunks and then when we do that it's
like oh well if we're doing that now
anyway why can't we now have these
things sort of bookmark where you are in
the quest and so that enables us to
start thinking about quests in terms of
instead of a quest is a long series of
events with all these different things
no let's have smaller discrete chunks of
things that you complete and then each
of those break points we now have a way
to set up picking up right where you
left off
it does require us to have to contend
with that but I mean that's on us to do
it's like that's what we want we want to
be able to give players the option of
logging out and saying oh I beat this
really hard fight and I don't have to go
do it again so let's put it instant
checkpoint it's not always easy
you know we're trying to do it more and
more and more now I think that's now
becoming the standard that every
instance has to have certain checkpoints
along the way just so that we don't have
to the problem we kind of run into when
testing the game on our dev environments
and from either open world or from story
perspective is the game is not
deterministic
so as characters are running around as
your interaction we think you are
changing what the state of the world is
and it's reacting to you so like in the
original story quest area I was like
okay if everything is going into linear
and I say okay I just want to start from
this point because we had not said
discrete breakpoints before it's you
can't just like save state and then
reload because the game would go okay I
gonna run through that path and things
are gonna be different this time because
maybe this NBC was
was spawned as a child instead of an
adult or was male instead of female and
so the interaction is slightly different
so this the the way that the technology
has come about and the way that the
designers now thinking about the problem
allows us to do things differently and
frame it in such a way that we can do
things like checkpoints and and make
more kind of quality of life
improvements to the system that makes it
easier for us to respect players time
and that is I mean that was a thing that
as we were improving it could be rough
if you got disconnected and okay I got
it or something happens because life
exists and okay I have to I have to stop
and logout yeah too bad we just I'm
gonna have to do all this again and
being able to eliminate that was such a
victory yeah I mean it's it like I said
it's more set-up time for the designer
but it actually saves us time in the end
because having checkpoints also benefits
us while we're play testing and we play
tests I mean so much I would say you
know taking one instance from start to
finish you're gonna have played it as
the designer you're gonna have played it
hundreds of thousands thousands of times
so like having the ability to like I'm
just gonna checkpoint myself here and be
able to pick up and test each chunk you
know discreetly and then at the end
coming back through and make sure that
all the things flow together well nicely
but it really helps it helps QA as well
because if you're saying hey I just made
this change to the back half of the
instance they can check point to that
point and then you know test the back
half thoroughly make sure that that's
clean and then again go do their their
full pass so it helps development
tremendously to have in checkpoints you
mentioned just integrating a lot of that
stuff and making it a smoother
experience something that you had talked
to me about a little bit was taking
story and since like cinematic moments
and story instances and and we've moved
those more into gameplay yeah that was
definitely a mandate from upper
management and our directors that we
want to stop so pulling player out of
out of the game as much as we can it's
cooler is to be in the moment as opposed
to be a spectator of the moment yes yeah
and so that was one of those things that
we really wanted to focus all our
efforts on that this season
yeah and so it's just it's it's it's
actually made us work more closely
hand-in-hand with
Cinemax team with artists because now we
are trying to present something that
typically we've sort of pushed off on
them and said hey make us this awesome
cinematic moment and you know they did
and they would go off and do it and you
know we would see a you know regular
updates but now it's more of us having
to have regular collaboration and having
them come in the the most recent example
of that was when we did at the end of
Episode four of this season
at the first instance when you come out
of the the keep and you're supposed to
see the shatter air fly in and you know
that was a big moment that we initially
had pitched as a cinematic and then we
decided that at some point no we we need
to do this in game which presented a
number of challenges because you're
dealing with a lot of million parts and
we workshop that with Cinemax team with
producers with everybody because it's
it's a moment that it's very fast really
in game it's about an eight or nine
second sequence and so it can you can
blink and miss it and so we were
bringing people in out of the halls are
like have you played this episode yet
they're like no all right like cool get
to get you in a room I wanted to make
sure that everybody we showed it to
would actually follow the action and so
it's it's a different skill set it
requires a lot of different thinking
about the way that we construct story
but I think overall it's it's a great
direction for us to be moving in one of
the other things the biggest challenge
is when you're doing a cinematic there's
a fixed camera and when you're in the
world and you want to highlight the same
actions or same moments you have to
change what the sight lines are for the
player - or that expectation what can
you do that calls attention to make sure
that players are going to want to go
naturally to that spot I think just
before that in that same instance when
the council or the the kind of
congress's meeting and then there's a
roar and we wanted to call people's
attention to the door it's like okay we
NPCs we had everyone looked there we had
a screen shake we had an effect out
there we had all these things that were
building up towards kind of basically
putting a giant arrow saying players
walk over here so we can do the next day
surprise you it was actually happening
and these are there again it's its new
challenges or new ways of thinking for
designers who are used to building
content a certain content in a certain
way that I think opens up the doors for
how we can deliver things better in the
future and that's I have to say as
speaking strictly as a player and
stepping aside for a second that was one
of my favorite story steps because of
that particular kind of work that you
put in your comment about this okay
we're not we're not coming out and we're
gonna watch this little movie and then
we're gonna get back in the game but
that roar and that screen shake
happening in the world as a player makes
such a big difference and all of those
little touches that you have to think
about to draw the players attention you
go this way look this way go over here I
mean this is the the value and the the
potential of a game as entertainment
versus a movie as entertainment right
the the player is not a spectator
they're an actor and so we need to make
sure that the game recognizes that and
revolves around that and then highlights
that as well and so this is again taking
more like the approach towards cinema
events as we're kind of calling
internally versus actually doing a
cinematic I think there are times and
places for cinematics and we're gonna
continue using because we want to
because there's really cool things that
they can do that we can't do in game but
if it's it feels almost cheap to remove
the player from the action in in
specific cases so we want to put those
back into the end of the game and now
that you have a way to do that and
you've got a solid direction for that it
it would feel cheap to go back and you
know what you're just gonna watch again
because experiencing it is it's so good
yeah I mean it even I even translates
down to the little things like one of
the things that I I don't know that
anyone's even noticed it but I was
particularly proud of was in the very
beginning of that instance you meet up
with Bram and the two of you get out and
mounts and you ride down towards the
thing and so I did a number of little
things to try to make that cuz really
you're just having a conversation
and that's traditionally an area where
we would just probably just have
characters you know walk and talk but
I'm like no let's not just have it be
that so like Branwell will stop if you
get too far ahead he will stop if you
lag behind he tries to keep pace with
you I put a lot a lot of little critters
that kind of direct you you know like
they're on the same line as you I have a
little thing of antler antelope type
creatures I can't really cold the rock
gazelles yes yeah they hop out and like
you know they kind of guide you you know
because I wanted to tell players hey you
need to turn left I don't wanna have a
big game II arrow of like I mean the map
markers are always there but like but in
the world I want you to experience stuff
in the world so like I tried to do a lot
of and it's it's all little techniques
like that that we're starting to try to
implement to make it so that you're
experiencing the story and not just you
know passive witness to what's happening
you're actually controlling the action
honestly I'm not sure how many people
have noticed that but I almost feel like
that's okay because it's one of those
little subtle things that you've put in
there to make the entire world a lot of
guide a lot of the way that we know
we're doing our jobs right and the way
how we're presenting it is the things
that go unnoticed but that players are
going wow I had this really cool
experience I had this emotional bond
with a character with the game with a
friend in living the in the game and so
for us it's it's a lot of the making
sure that the little things support
what's happening but don't overshadow
kind of what the experience we want to
give right that makes sense can we if we
can't can we pull it out of story
instances for a second because there's a
bigger part of living world that I
really wanted to talk about because it
was something where we had to overcome
hurdles and challenges and figure this
out and that's the changes that we made
in open world maps and making them
bigger and better and doing more with
them and that was the thing that we
figured out and turned out really well
in the end so not without headaches
though I think the I think what you saw
was an evolution of us developing or
coming into land expansion or pacifier
at the same time is already going into
four or five months of development on
Episode one and so with path afire we
knew we wanted to build these big
expansive Maps and we wanted to capture
the exploration that you had in the
original game the first time you you
walked into teria in the Guild Wars 2
era and so we we put a lot of effort
into trying to make it so there was a
lot of mount usage and what this ended
up being is teams were looking at the
expansion human development and then
trying to capture that same element on a
smaller time frame or feel like they
have to go bigger on a smaller time
frame and so we've we've kind of had to
readjust how we approach map design and
from a level our perspective but also
from a Content perspective because I
think we've discovered new tricks and
ways of you can build cool content in
the world that doesn't require you to
have a flat open space and that was the
natural tendency that everyone was kind
of gravitating towards the beginning of
the season and so we've been finding it
more interesting ways of how we can make
the content more meaningful and not have
it spread out as far but the some of the
things that we discovered through this
is we originally were cataloguing how
expensive map was based on its CPU
performance so whenever we do our test
remember you are all calls we were
always looking at one metric as saying
okay this we know this map is performant
because when things were much smaller
and contained that was the the key
indicator that was our canary in the
coalmine and week I discovered with
episode 3 yeah that memory usage became
a much more bigger thing and so because
we were doing bigger maps because we
were loading everything in or with also
with the dynamic loading of of or
evolution of instances like the
boundaries changing as you were getting
because we want to help but have that
better direct experience we were still
loading in the full map which would mean
that the that was all getting chunked
into memory which meant that even we
were though we were checking our CPU
performance memory uses was going
through the roof and
this is why we saw a bunch of problems
and initial crashes with Episode three
when I first came out is we thought we
are goodbye all over internal metrics
and we discovered there was a metric
that we had now put back into play
because of the way that we were
approaching design that we hadn't
considered for a very long time you
mentioned I want to call that out
because you mentioned that there were
headaches and there were struggles but I
feel like that's a part of continually
making this bigger and better because
it's not going to be just like alright
yeah I feel like doing this thing now
it's done and now it's perfect
you're you're improvising and you're
improving the game the gratification
that or the excitement we get when we
solve these major hurdles is hard to
describe because again it's it's that
opening up doors of potential that we
couldn't do before but obviously one of
the questions is to come in like when
programmers initially discover early
designers find the problem or QA helps
us find the problem and then programmers
go okay this is an investigation that
might be very scary because of you know
touches 174 files those types of things
and that's where it becomes a you know
we have to look at it in terms of what's
the benefit we get out of this how much
do we want to invest in the current
problem solving or do we want to develop
something new and I think this is one of
the balances that we've we've been
dealing with for at least the last you
know since six years since we've
launched the game is do we do we go back
and refine something we've already done
or do we do push forward in terms of
building new concepts new maps new ideas
new things that we we didn't conceive
when we originally got to the game and I
think there's that delicate balance that
we've been trying to how can we bring up
the rest of the game while still pushing
forward and I think the thing that we've
seen is that the quality bar of the
whole game has been you know getting
higher and higher and that means that we
have to also spend time making sure that
we are making the system robust that
we're not leaving things permanently
behind and this is the delicacy of an
MMO right like it's so great to be able
to say like we're not done yet but
that's a double-edged sword right we're
not done yet building new cool content
we're not done yet also making sure the
rest of stuff doesn't crash while we do
the cool new things as well and you have
to get into what seems like almost the
pedestrian problem of how do we allocate
our resources
which is just a constant thing to think
about right so yeah and if it was if it
was easy it's just part of the learning
curve it was all easy it's part of the
game as part of the developments part of
us working on a franchise or a game like
this and it is a huge challenge and I
don't want to undercut that or sell it
short but no that's that's part of the
excitement of why people are working on
this game because they've liked this
challenge they want to step up and they
want to do more better faster than we've
ever done before and so like when I was
talking about one of the previous
episodes being delayed it was us going
back and looking at the how we can
better support our technology moving
forward and obviously that comes at a
cost at current development rate and so
I think we've already seen some cool
things associated with it and there's
plenty more where that's coming that's
awesome can when you talk about mounts a
little bit because we did a whole I said
a little heaven note here that's like
beetle tech lifts but not for the whole
hour yeah what do you want to start with
Auto dismounting like yeah that's that
is probably my favorite single mounts
bug so that's a good physics buster so
that we had this bug it's like a pleat
jump from what we were just talking
about but like it's it's still fun like
we fixed probably find funny problems
and fix them like it's part of our job
and so there's this bug where if you
were so one step back if you are on a
mount and you are unsupported like
you're like you get stuck in some
crevice or something and so you're like
you're not really on the ground but you
can't move the we ran this problem when
we were working up how the fire was like
wow sometimes happens this really sucks
because you can't move it it's terrible
you're like okay fine
use your solution we just dismount you
no problem and so there's this code that
detects hey if you're like if you're
stuck and you haven't moved for a while
but you're not only you're not supported
yeah if we should probably smile to you
and so the fun thing we discovered with
that is the way this implemented is that
the lowest layer is sitting on top of
Havok were like hey like it should
happen other layers above us who should
smelt and so it sends it up the chain
and then somewhere up further up it goes
hey I got the signal saying I should
dismount so I guess I'm going to take my
character and dismount him problem is
it's take my character and dismount them
so what happened is you would be
standing somewhere if there be ten other
people around you all mounted and
something that probably lot of people
don't think about is you as an observer
of other players have to simulate all of
their physics because that's that's how
I'm in those work and so you would be
simulating oh I see that he is
unsupported or he's he's like supported
but not really and then like you should
dismount of so he's clearly stuck and so
you the second coming up going alright
this guy's doing the dismount just
another thing gets to the layer it
actually does a dismount he goes I
should dismount because I should take my
character and dismount not that
character dismount and so what happened
is you're the one mount would do the
thing everybody's seeing him would also
dismount because they all thought I
should just mount to this it's peer
pressure peer pressure and guys it's
just a we had never really it almost
never happens unless you intentionally
earthly someone figured out oh I can
just intentionally like stand in this
spot and I'm like it'll happen after
isn't and because I think doesn't the
raid Lobby where someone post a video
about that was funny you get some weird
stuff when you because you are
simulating everybody else's physics and
whatnot like what actually ends up
happening just very brief you get like
broad seems like and you didn't move
this way I need you to like turning the
spun you need to jump whatnot and then
so the other thing of the client who's
watching it's like okay you wanted to
move that way you want to jump you want
to like move that way and this is our
and I will move your body around like
that and then everyone somewhere the
services you should you should be
hearing like oh I'm wrong I guess I need
to jump back but by and large you were
simulating what you see other people
doing and so you end up with strange
things like this sometimes were if you
are not careful and assume obviously
it's me that's doing the thing then
anyway wonderful bug
there there are other bugs I don't know
how how many we want to go into any time
we have because I could also talk
forever about mules uh you talk about
the jackal bug first bit oh yeah that
was them that's just a nice quality real
life thing that was that was a and
oversight from this is is they sometimes
we go back and look at old content go
house that's wrong
so check portals you'd supposed to
jackal a poop and you go the portal and
out you go on the other side right easy
problem is the way we actually detect
that is we put buff on you it says I can
go through portals and that buff is not
being someone who's trying to be clever
when they were that originally like okay
well what if you're on a jackal and you
unlock the mastery to use a portal while
you're still on the jackal and then you
try to use a portal that should work so
it has this check that's like every
three seconds in the background that
checks hey do we have the master you
have the master how about no how about
now but now and eventually once together
he's like cool I got it
I put the buff on me now and the problem
is that like little little pulse timer
in the background doesn't trigger
immediately when you mount up so for the
first three seconds he doesn't check
sure they put the buff on me so for a
second round three ish actually is you
would smash into portals like a and so
and so it happened I'd run this all the
time I assume there's just some lag
issue or into it I get on the jackal and
smashing smashing to plain and so fix
that and now it's better and I just I
just wrongly assumed yeah there's just
some lag issue and I tried fixing it so
sometimes it pays to deeper you just you
have to get frustrated enough well that
goes back to what she was saying about
making the game better and thinking what
make a better experience for the player
and he made one and this honestly those
little quality of life changes here
they're they add up they make they make
the world better so good work
yep yeah there's a number of updates
this year that we were looking at kind
of the fundamental mostly specifically
with a skill system right like when we
did the the underwater rework it puts a
light back on all the under water
content and players being underwater so
it was like okay well now it's weird
that I can't look at what skills I have
unless I'm underwater so
back in started cleaning that system up
and part of that work was also looking
at like okay I used a skill but now I
want to slot somebody else in there but
we had this assumption that you can't
change unless the skills not active so
we started again it's it's digging in
deeper and smooth lining or trying to
smooth out those those those bumps so
that it's it's a much cleaner experience
the game feels more intuitive and it's
not like I have to learn oh there's this
one rule I have to keep in mind that I
can't do this thing because there's an
exception over here and that's just
that's not great so you know this is
just kind of where a lot of those
efforts came from the season there's
like paving over all of this teams like
yeah we did like system steam stuff for
a while I'm going I'm gonna let you talk
about roller beetles but first if you
guys have questions drop them in chat
we'll try to get to some of them here at
the end I just looked at the clock it
was like oh yeah let's talk about my
stuff somewhere
although I shall have the skill stuff
too so be like it there's all kinds of
good fun stuff that I had to do to make
that thing work so I guess I'll just
I'll just pick one of the heavy tech low
side to do which was friction
not exactly rotating collision so talk
about this on the a little video app I
remember well anyway talk about it now
it's still one of my favorite is things
they had to do mostly because the
reaction I got from other programmers so
basically normally when when I mount
collision visits I can't really with my
hands but it's like top like it's got
silicone on the bottom and then I saw
someone run up and normally they just
kind of move like this and they bump
over things and you smash them into the
things have like if it goes up over the
bump and then you keep going the problem
and for the beetle it's like well if
you're going really fast I'd like you to
be able to go up steeper Hills it'd be
cool to like go up a really steep slope
we don't really steep one like well how
we're gonna do that because you slide up
into the thing X cameras this way it was
propagating grains on the cliff and then
and it doesn't doesn't move so like a
well easy solution we'll just take the
thing rotated easy and so ever in this
past a me or resident havoc experience
she was like oh my this what are you
doing no it's fine this will be this
will be perfect
there's no way that this carefully laid
plan could possibly fail I feel like
there's a little bit of a designer in
you yes a little bit well I mean and so
there that I added about a month to
things but it's fine and so that means
is I guess as it rotates up a hill now
like it can like go over steeper
surfaces doesn't grant into the hill
looking like bounce over pumps and
things but like they were just there
there's a lot of gnarly yeah I again I
could go into like so much cruise detail
but I don't know you're fine you have
you have some time do I have infinity
time from well done you know is this
what it's like working with Jowan yes
okay I have infinity times wheat I feel
like you you are definitely getting the
most out of all the mathematics you took
yeah in school for all of the reasons
like translations and yeah matrix
operations definitely like you find the
actual parts that are useful like do
math kids like you won't use most of it
but some of it man you'll use it anyway
yeah I like it
we like that so other minor details so
the way that I was explaining this top
shape right and do you've any handy
things to like point on the bottom and
then Randy on the top and and what the
way that actually works internally is is
like if you hit a thing here because I
can call so anything under the on the
the pointy part will support you you can
like stand on anywhere on the pointy
part and so when you once I wrote a
they're like oh I guess I need to like a
rotate the whole plane I didn't think
that originally put thumbs like oh yeah
I need to like still anything on the
pointy part here should support you and
the problem is that slope now of like
the like I touched like a super steep
surface and it's like 80 degrees or
something and how it's like I don't
think you should stand on something this
80 degrees that's way too steep and so I
hadn't do some creative lying to ya and
then in like fix about her third it's a
I'm sorry is like if only the world was
nice and clean though the inputs were
nice then everything we worked perfectly
and looking yeah you can't have that no
we're going to do what we want to do
it'll be fun
havoc just rolling over like okay yeah
this is fine world is on fire I do like
the the fact that the top speed of the
roller beetle when you're normally
moving non boosted is not actually the
top speed value we put in the game and
in our client that you're faking it with
friction and holding the player the
player character back look what you've
done
no no the whole thing is like I have to
go
gosh down a now I mean well I was like I
said I could talk about this for an hour
if you wanted but let's answer a
question from our viewers okay yeah
let's do question if there's a question
kiss like otherwise we'll just guys this
question what language is G W humanely
programmed in it yes C++ is correct we
also have another layer of like our own
sore the in-house baked scripting stuff
that designers usually use you have a
name I mean no as we know the tools in
the actual language having a name
yeah although I believe all most of our
tools to over now is in C
yes that's correct yep cool system you
know those things sit there just no no
no we've got to give the tools
programmers like to hear how oh I
remember what you said on the Gil Chad
yeah this is recorded I'm sorry yeah no
yeah any of you guys can grab any of
these questions too okay well what's
good okay so so like the fun thing about
beetle physics is and just design this
whole thing is it's super fake like
under the hood it's beautiful it's
beautiful thickness and Griffin is the
same way where it does this kind of like
with the way that you can like take
turns at high speeds and stuff like that
it's just like well if I just you know
this is your forward speed and now
you've turned and we'll just like well
ignore physics we'll just like keep your
forward speed the same and just assume
friction turn to you and so like there's
no we're not actually doing like
friction forces turning it like kind of
water but we aren't allocated anyway
there were fun bugs though where when I
built Griffin using that same sort of
tech you could only accelerate with
gravity past its natural speed limit as
you could accelerate up with gravity and
then it would slowly die off but you
could keep that speed for a while as he
does he turned that leak-proof new
things and so on the beetle though it's
like well gravity's not the only way you
can also hit the boost button so there
is all kinds of gnarly math okay well
when when you're doing this specific
thing that speed can increase but only
sort of kind of sometimes reasons and
that took a lot of that codes also
really gross it was that was another
case of something that started nice and
clean and pretty and then we kept adding
pieces which happens and someday I'm
going to go back to it and like we
should fix this and make it more
efficient this is just like a smaller
scale version of it was gross actually
we should make it end gross that's the
story for another time everybody help me
remember that yes I am a mess burger
rush says joel is a Mesmer shattering
all of the game's illusions but in a
good way
yeah something like that I hope it's
good anyway so there's just a couple
beetle things there's they're there many
beautiful things they spent a long time
on that sort of like December of last
year I think oh my god it was long ago
long ago and then so they often they're
working on skill stuff too and like
tears are kind of the same era yeah
because I got frustrated it's not a year
you don't like let's build chairs
instead that wheezing my favorite early
beetle stuff was when we first got
access to one version of the beetle and
I was like oh I can't wait to get on the
beetle I want to try it out and I got on
it and I instantly started floating up
in the air infinitely so so so there's a
fun story behind that so I added a thing
where there's more beetle physics when
you are going up I think up or down the
hill I don't remember what there is
normally head like gravity like straight
down I'm like okay well so the
components of that you have like a
perpendicular component of it and a
parallel component of it and so the
parallel component will slow down and
the perpendicular component keeps you on
the ground and I found just been trying
to to numbers that I wanted to
individual control over those to compose
just kind of sheet physics cos x and so
I added these two new parameters for
multipliers on the perpendicular and
parallel components of gravity and the
problem is when you add new movement
parameters in our grand movement system
that we built for mounts they all
default to zero so any old mounts where
I hadn't gone back and updated them or
anyone who didn't have the content yet
for like hey I updated these numbers see
them as zeros like I guess we don't have
gravity now he's jumping and you are
off into space I guess we don't have
gravity now yeah W suck its w3 it's ten
after so you can afford more beetle
story oh and then because it's fair I
can give each of you one more sternum
out there's only one that's like ha it's
so hurt pink your favorite well he
thinks about that yeah Oh ask an
astronaut
not the example asks is Sunspear i'll
fit new physics a teaser for more on
where we works to come i don't know if
we will go back and do more armory works
like that one particular atom the
character lead made the original
Sunspear outfit gave it to us as a bonus
when we were working on path the fire
and so we're like okay we think we can
give this way as part of the i think was
the pre-order bonus and then he self
shamed himself by playing Assassin's
Creed and was looking at all the cool
physics and things that they were doing
and he was like man I feel so bad about
the work that I did on this particular
one and so he went back and he was like
I need to fix this and so he made the
the the changes to it and then pitched
like hey I want to change this because I
feel like this is such a better version
of it I think you'll definitely see that
tech being used a little bit more moving
forward and then maybe in the background
you'll see the character artists picking
up pieces here or there but this was
specifically a passion project of one of
the artists and and I try and get out of
the way of passion projects on the team
as long as they're like moving in the
right direction oh really
as well as they're moving in the right
direction
I mean chairs was another one of these
things yeah that's true just did that
said yeah I did right before winter
break do so no one could stop me that's
coming out because another show that
this if to go on stories
one question raised its questions I feel
some time Pam I'm not qualified to
answer any of those questions I am
remembering what we're talking about all
of these things that we did I invited to
you man back in like it had to have been
like 2010 2011 like eight years ago
before launch one of my first looks at
Guild Wars 2 and I remember just being
enchanted at this little detail of oh my
gosh this character is standing on an
incline and her leg is like cocked up to
account for that incline and how that
was such a cool thing to me and how far
we've come I was 8 years of the first
pax we had the playable demo and you
were there I knew you were gonna bring
that we're going back that far I was
like I had very 2009 something like that
it might have been nine or ten or so
nice well and we they warned me they're
like okay so we have Ruby oh god stop
superfan who knows like everything about
our game so you better make sure that
you know you're you're able to show off
the cool aspects of it and you're like
have you met me Yeah right so I was like
okay so here's you know I think we can
see God's law swamp and I was showing
did all of the kind of what happened to
the temple the ages I was freaking out
it was so great news adorable thanks man
I'm older than you
that was amazing but that was the moment
like those are the types of moments like
that's what I want all of our players to
feel and so that's let's it's those
types of things that are inspiration
about like when we're introducing
characters for introducing storylines I
want people to feel those moments and
that connection of I mean we tried a
little bit of this with season one of
hey you were there for the moment and
there was a really cool thing actually
even before that with the lost Isles the
original kharka invasion and stuff and I
think we hit strong on a couple of those
notes but there's a problem with if that
content goes away you can't feel that
that same connection with the next
player and so that's kind of where a lot
of the focus is is how do we give those
cool moments how do we give that aha
excitement that that general enthusiasm
that we haven't necessarily been able to
that we lost a little bit by not doing
those types of content anymore so it's
it's all through evolution of the game
through the storytelling through the
content we're doing through the system
through the rewards through quality of
life all of this has been what's fueled
this past year I'm sorry I'm lost in
nostalgia and I'm no good to anybody
that was it was such an amazing moment
it was incredible okay so Asura hole
Smith asks what considerations do you
make when design features you can fight
over it yeah yeah well I was gonna say
is it cool what's our budget look like
okay I think I feel like this is like we
should do this awesome thing there's
like I think it's the first one more
than the site's usually we'll usually do
the jumping off and do some of the
exploration yeah well the lake mallet is
like just do all the budget yeah and
then secondarily will come okay how do
we actually feasibly make this work one
of we so we've been there's an analogy I
like that says that jutsu designers are
generally raised by wolves like we don't
have well as the organization it's not
formal to trained like here's all the
things that you're supposed to do but we
generally get to good ideas and good
results and so a lot of what's been
going on internally for the last year
and a half has been putting us more on
to it more or less to an individual gate
structure allows us to do things like
identify like an innovation gate like
what is the cool thing that we want to
do for the next season what is the thing
we want to do for an expansion level
feature or those types of things and it
allows us to refocus our efforts and
allow programmers and designers to take
off the producer hat and protect them
and go go develop a cool thing or go
pitch a cool thing and then come back
talk to us and we'll figure out how to
make that work or if we can't then
what's the next thing on that list that
we can do so a lot of the stuff you saw
moving into path of fire or even sorry
heart of thorns originally was joy of
movement we saw that with the the
festival of the four winds with the
crystals we saw that in dry top how do
we how do we capture that that element
of joy of movement and so gliding became
an element of lighting mushrooms they
have those two yeah okay obviously it's
the next next evolution of that and then
looking at mounts it wasn't about how do
we do a movement in speed increases like
okay how do we how do we have that joy
of movement
and have it meaningful and having the
mounts be characters as like having a
giant bunny sounded cool idea was really
awesome to kind of go and you know be
able to do that versus writing a raptor
and being able to do long jump so that
was kind of that the joy of finding the
new ways to traverse and have those
things and I think this is part of the
the design challenge we have looking at
mounts is like all of the mounts have
been innovating in different spaces and
there's only so many of those before you
start squishing all the previous ones
yeah so that's the fun challenge that we
get to deal with internally but for us
in terms of how do we we look at
features is its what's cool what's fun
and and what do what do we want to see
or what do we wanted to experience what
would player be excited about yeah
exactly what will get the most I mean
it's going back to Mo's adage wait let
go surprise and delight like what are
the things that we think are gonna be
really cool when players get their hands
on it and be able to experience it yeah
I think that's it's almost 20 after one
and I am officially keeping you guys
from your work for a very long time and
kind of your lunch so yeah we could go
on forever but alas we could but I'm
gonna have you back on so you can go on
for like another hour
and it'll be wonderful I will tell you
all thank you very very much and all of
your works is here yeah this year has
been fantastic from a development
standpoint from a player's standpoint
from our interactions with the players
it's been a lot of fun to see the game
grow to what it is and I mean we're not
done yet we've got a lot of cool that he
has a lot of cool things that we're
trying that we want to share with you so
obviously stay tuned as we move into the
holiday season obviously enjoy it and
hopefully we will see you next time well
thank you guys see you next time buddy

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