The alpha testing for the MMO is tardy, and the team are "deeply sorry" for the situation. They explain how the estimated timeframes for the alpha have been so delayed.
Part of the reason is that City State hadn't been able to fill their engineering positions until this May, which meant critical development fell behind.
"Call it what you like; we are late, behind schedule, etc. No sugar-coating it, we are late," posted Mark Jacobs.
"During our Kickstarter, we promised that we would always be upfront with news, whether good, bad, or middling. We are committed to an open and transparent process with our Backers, and what we are going to talk about today, with the delay and everything else, will further emphasize that commitment."
"We are deeply sorry that we have to delay the opening of Alpha Testing. While the Alpha Test date, like all of our dates, was “estimated,” that does not mean that we should be satisfied with just saying “We’re late,” and move on."
"Why are we late? As mentioned in other updates, we were unable to fill most of our engineering openings until May 2014. We had hoped to fill most of those slots by the end of 2013. This put engineering far behind schedule, which led us to:"
1. Focus the vast majority of our programming. resources only on tech foundations of the engine.
2. Slow the hiring of additional artists and asset creation as the latter might have changed as our tech evolved and left us with a lot of less-than-useful assets.
3. Spend more of studio leadership’s time on interviewing prospective candidates. Andrew and I had to spend far too much time on the hiring process and as we have talked about before, we have a pretty thorough process.
There is good news on offer for those desperate to get online with other fans of the Camelot lifestyle. "First, all of our new engineers are meeting or exceeding our expectations for them. The state of the game engine and the improvements that have been going in have allowed us to make up some lost ground, but obviously not enough," said Jacobs.
"Between the BSC Days and the present moment, there have been huge additions to the game engine and tech. Some of these changes are listed later on in this update. For example, the basic A.I.R. (Action, Interaction, and Reaction) system, that we talked about in the BSC days, of ability interaction has been up and running in our Internal Test for weeks, and we are working on implementing the next steps of its development."
The studio would rather delay than rush to get the alpha build out to testers. "We could have cut corners and made some sleazy design decisions and said “Alpha Begins Now!!!” but we won’t do that. We know that we have to hold ourselves to a high standard because of the faith and commitment that our Backers have shown us and we plan to reward that commitment not only by our work on the game but by actions such as I’m going to talk about now," he said.
Check out the full and lengthy development update from Mark Jacobs and City State Entertainment. Camelot Unchained is roughly expected to launch fully around Christmas 2015, although this could no longer be in the cards.