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      =ADK= Discord Link   04/24/2017

      Come join us in =ADK= Discord To download the Discord app go here: https://discordapp.com/   Discord is going to have a small learning curve over teamspeak so be prepared, but the fellow members as well as the Admins will gladly help you if you have any issues with installing or using the app. Once you have Discord installed all that's left to do is click the button below.   Welcome to the future of the =ADK= Community.   Click Here To Join! 

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Speed Test

Found 73 results

  1. With the recent release of No Mans Sky, I was wondering which of the recent space sims are better in your opinion? Think about it? They all pretty much do the same thing, You get a small crappy ass ship, then you either go hunting or trading, get some more money, get a bigger ship, rinse and repeat....right? Okey, maybe i over simplified that and there are distinct differenence between the 3. Elite dangerous seems to be the most basic of the 3, but i say that in a very lose sense. Its still vast, the combat is not to bad and the customisation of your ship is pretty good. However where it lacks is the planet interactions, its quite limited so far and its just getting to a base and trading up. Other than that, theres no much to do. Star Citizen started of with massive hype, lots of promises and has been crowd funded to the sum of $118m, but its still not a complete game yet, the first content to come out was the hanger module where you could look at the ship you bought.... but that was back in 2013. Since then Arena Commander which brings action with the form for space combat, Planetside which brings community hubs and beautifully detailed city scapes have been released with FPS, Squadron 42 (Single player) and persistant universe and player planets (yes you can own a whole planet) to follow. All of which are great, but the real question is, when is it actually officially released and when it does.... is it going to be too late? Will the other space sims take over in popularity? The newly released No Mans Sky, seem to be a stop gap inbetween Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen. It was the same base gameplay at the other 2, such as space exploration, trading and combat but aswell as that, it seem to beautifully made with its pastel colours and seemless transitions. No Man sky on paper, doesnt seem to have as much to offer compare to Star Citizen, but brings that extra fun content on planet based exploration when comparing it to Elite Dangerous, but will this prove to be more successful as time goes on? or will the hype fade? What do you guys think? Which one is better/least playable in your eyes? Maybe you have an honorable mention? Drop a comment below. -Tomi
  2. Greetings ADK community,   My name is Juntau and I am a representative of Imperium, a Star Citizen organization.    I have been trying for a moment to reach out to some of the folks from ADK that are/will be involved with your Star Citizen branch of this community. My efforts via PM's have proved fruitless. I am wondering, do you have members appointed to speak on behalf of the ADK community in regards to Star Citizen? If so, how, if at all possible, would I be able to get in contact with such a person/persons?   Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
  3. Hi everyone! We're excited to push 1.3.0 to PTU today for testing! No downtime today since PTU is not up, and we expect to bring up the PTU servers around 3pm CDT/8pm GMT. There's quite a lot of content in this one, both for Arena Commander and for Social Module. We'll have full Patch Notes later today, but in the meantime, here's a short preview of what you can expect! PLEASE NOTE: This is only a small partial list of Patch Notes. We'll update this page with the link to the complete Patch Notes as soon as they're ready! HANGAR Additions/Balance/Tweaks/Fixes: The Greycat Buggy has received an appearance, animation and handling overhaul. The elevator to Area 18 will now show all available instances of ArcCorp, how many people are present in each one, and how many people from your contact list are present. There is now a "Loadout Selector" located in all player hangar's that will allow players to select what load out they will move around the Hangar and ArcCorp with. The Selfland Hangar is in the process of receiving a full relighting pass to improve the overall look and atmosphere. Not 100% implemented yet. Camera free-look can now be activated by "Shift+G". "Ctrl+F" is now the hotkey to disembark a ship. Fixed seating in Retaliator and Gladiator and visual shaking inside Vanduul Scythe. ARENA COMMANDER Additions/Balance/Tweaks/Fixes: The Behring C-788 Ballistic Cannon has been added to the game. This gun uses a S4 mount and fires at 2.2 shots per second. Size 4 fixed mounts for the Hornet and Cutlass Turrets have been added to accommodate the Ballistic Cannon. Apocalypse Arms WarSeries SZ4 Mass Driver has been added to the game. This gun uses a S2 mount and fires at 0.7 shots per second. Increased the health of all ships. Increased overall shield strength of all ships to reduce alpha damage and bring up survival. Missile damage has been increased slightly to keep pace with health and improve effectiveness. Missile lock time has been adjusted. Energy weapon velocities have been buffed across the board to be faster then ballistics. Our philosophy here is that as energy weapons do no damage until shields are down, it takes more hits by energy weapons to do real damage and accuracy is thus more important. Damage of energy weapons has been reduced slightly to compensate. Ballistic weapons have received a corresponding buff to their potential range so that they can potentially hit targets that are farther away. Plasma bolt range decreased by 30% for the Vanduul "Wrath" Plasma Cannon. Neutron bolt speed increased by 20% for the Vanduul "War" Neutron Cannon. Cutlass has received a minor tweak to its thruster gimbals to improve maneuverability. The following ships and all variants have received an update to their shield meshes and animations to better align with their ship models. Avenger, Gladius, Mustang, Cutlass, Freelancer, 300 Series, M50, Gladiator, Glaive Increased the power draw of the M50's engine. Decreased the strength of the M50's power plant. These two changes are to ensure that the choice of mounting a weapon with high power drain vs one with low power drain on the m50 will have a meaningful affect on performance and speed. Interacting character animations have been updated for all flight-ready ships. "Look Ahead" mode is now turned on by default. It can be toggled on and off by "Right-ALT+M". Weapon Gimbal Lock is now "Left-CTRL+G". Fixed an issue where players would not be removed from Arena Commander for being idle unless all players in the match were idle. Fixed Tutorial - Chapter 3 where the missiles would sometimes not track the target correctly. Fixed an issue where weapons fire could appear offset from the weapon muzzle, when the ship was firing while moving. Fixed an issue where a ships target could be lost when increasing distance from target, despite target still being in sensor range.# Fixed an issue where projectiles fired from ship weapons would sometimes remain protruding out of the weapon they had been shot from causing damage or display issues. Fixed a black screen that would occur when joining a Lobby when GIM services are down. Added the ability for the Lobby to return an error if a client attempts to join while GIM is down. Fixed an issue where clients would sometimes get stuck on a loading screen, if they are connected to a instance that no longer exists. Fixed an issue where the client could black screen if the lobby service was not able to communicate with the instance manager. Fixed one lobby issue where the player Host would see a different map and rule for a match in the UI then the players would. This would happen when a host created a game, left, and entered or created a new lobby. SOCIAL MODULE Additions/Balance/Tweaks/Fixes: ArcCorp, Area 18 is expanding! The new Galleria area is currently under construction, but available for exploration. New emotes have been added to the game. /agree, /angry(1-3), /attention, /blah(1-2), /bored (2), /bow(1-6), /burp, /cheer(1-8), /chicken, /clap (5-7 are new), /come(1-4), /cry, /dance(1-6), /disagree(1-3), /failure, /flex(1-3), /flirt, /gasp(1-5), /gloat(1-4), /greet, /laugh(1-3), /point(1-4), /rude(1-3), /salute(1-2), /sit, /sleep, /smell(1-2), /threaten(1-2), /wait(1-2), /wave(1-2), /whistle(1-2) The maximum character capacity for Area 18 has been increased to 36. The limit will expand up to 40, if you are attempting to join an instance with players from your contact list. Fully functional Greycat Buggies have been added around ArcCorp and include a functional passenger seat. The Greycat Buggies in ArcCorp can explode and be destroyed when they impact at high speed. Players will now be removed from Area 18 due to inactivity after 15 minutes. An inactivity warning will be displayed 1 minute prior to removal. Falling out of the terrain will now kill players, and revive them in the Area 18 Medical Unit. The chat UI has received a graphical overhaul. New features for the chat interface include multiple tabs for conversation management, private conversations, and a contacts list that can be extended or retracted into the UI. The new default hotkey for the contact list is now "F11". Augmented Reality has been moved to the "F10" hotkey. Fixed a number of texture conflicts and lighting bugs in ArcCorp.
  4. The Base radio station

    If anyone hasn't heard, there is this dank ass radio station that plays an assortment of music that started because of Star Citizen.   Not sure of their originating start date, but they've been around for a while. The station is run by a bunch of really cool people and all for shits and giggles. No one gets paid so they're really just doing it for the love of the game, kinda like college football. The music they play ranges from Chillstep, Rock, old Jazz, and some other interesting stuff. There are little tidbits of information that is read off like for instance, the entire background story of certain solar systems, or the origination of Drake Interplanetary.    Some really cool shit that yall should be checking out.    Since they are non profit, they really appreciate donations and such. They even have a few giveaways that they do every so often as like a thank you to the community.   The link to the webpage can be found here ---> http://radio.starcitizenbase.com/   They have a Twitch as well ---> http://www.twitch.tv/thebaseradio   Be sure to check the site out! There is a schedule on the webpage that shows (in your timezone) when different radio shows are. Some shows are DJs coming on and playing the music that they are interested in. Some shows are actual talk shows where they have guest speakers ( the latest being Kate Russel, a British actress that's big on the game. And the creators of the HCS voice packs found at the link here ---> http://hcsvoicepacks.com/)    Those HCS voice packs are pretty baller, and you should at least take a few minutes to check them out.   Anyway hands cramping... check this shit out and show your support!
  5. Summary of week ending on May 29 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable         Test Drive the Military Ships! ( LINK ) Greetings Citizens, For the next week our military ships are free to fly! The entire Hornet line along with the Gladius and the Gladiator are open to all Star Citizen backers! The ships available for free flight include: Anvil Hornet F7C Anvil Hornet F7C-R Anvil Hornet F7C-S Anvil Hornet F7C-M Anvil Gladiator Aegis Gladius These free fly weeks provide valuable testing metrics so we can continue to build this game together. Thank you citizens for the continued support and dedication.     Reliant Q&A (parts 1-2) (LINK / LINK ) [spoiler]   PART 1 “One thing people don’t appreciate about the Reliant is how dead on the name is. This is a ship that can take serious punishment and keep on flying. During one of the CTX-3 [first manned Reliant prototype] flights, I managed to snap half a wing off in a collision. Klaxons sounded, red lights flashing… my nav readouts went dead for half a second, until the redundancies switched on. Fly by wire was pretty much a lost cause, but with some careful manual thruster taps I managed to make it back home in one piece (minus a wing.) This is a ship that’ll keep your butt safe.” - Yark “Badger” Malloy, MISC In-House Test Pilot II “NEW for 2946: the MISC Reliant is the galaxy’s latest, greatest jump-capable spaceship. Featuring an industry-leading silhouette and the latest in adapted xenotechnology, the Reliant doesn’t just look better than anything on the flight line… it flies better, too. The base Reliant, shipping Q4 2945, is a dedicated short-range space transporter solution with the broad ability to adapt to a dozen or more different roles. Whether you’re moving your grandmother’s Hartwell or your company’s refined titanium, the Reliant will get you there. The Reliant, only from MISC.” - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945   Greetings Citizens, Last month, we ran a collection of Hull series Q&A posts during the concept sale. The idea went over so well that we’ve decided to make it a tradition. All future concept sales will include at least one ‘post launch’ Q&A post. This week, for the MISC Reliant concept sale, we’re answering questions backers have posted to this thread. An additional Q&A will be posted on Friday. A special thank you to designer Matt Sherman for answering your Reliant questions!     Question & Answer   Could you describe the Reliant’s basic role, compared to the other starters in just a few words? Utility Vehicle – While it can’t run multiple roles at once, the Reliant is a starter that was built specifically to best accommodate some of the more PU-focused play-styles like Research and Reporting.   What will the second players duties be other than manning weapons? Why will it better to run this ship with two players rather than solo? Turret-controls – If all the weapons are slaved to the pilot, you really lose out on the massive coverage arcs the wing-tip Omni-Orb turret offers the ship. So whether in combat, working scanners, or working as a news-reporter, every variant was planned from the ground up to have dedicated second-seat gameplay available.   Is there any practical benefit envisioned / planned for the transformation from horizontal to vertical orientation? What would be the advantage over simply staying in one orientation at all times? Yes, the plan right now is that the Vertical-configuration will be the ideal combat and maneuverability mode of flight because of a better spread of the thrusters. The Horizontal configuration won’t handle as well, but will have an improved top-speed over the Vertical mode.   How much walking around room can we expect to see in the Reliant? The cargo area looks wide and deep enough to walk around quite a bit (almost Cutlass sized?), but it also looks like the cargo area might compress vertically when it closes leaving not enough space to walk upright in. It’s not a fully stand-up walking space in the storage compartment while the ship is in flight. When you’re landed, you’ll have enough clearance, but you’ll be crouching to walk back there in space.   Does the stock reliant have bed(s)/a jumpdrive? a. Bed – Nothing set for sure right now, but we’re looking into a small fold-out bed from the floor for some of the variants; think more along the lines of a barebones cot. b. Jumpdrive – Unsure for all the variants, but like most of our ships, even if it doesn’t come with one stock, all models of the Reliant will be able to install one.   Will we see more ships result of Alien/Human collaboration, or is the Reliant a unique, one of a kind design? That depends on what other Human manufactures strike out and make trade deals with other races. MISC made enough deals with the Xi’an to make the Reliant, so only time will tell if anyone else makes similar deals.   How fast is the transformation from horizontal to vertical? Is it quick and easy to briskly bounce between the two flights modes? The exact time is in the works, but most likely a few seconds of transition time. It should be fast enough to change modes for most any non-combat gameplay, but it probably won’t be the safest to bounce between the 2 in a firefight.   Can players exit / change seats while the Reliant is in vertical flight mode? No, right now it’s only planned to have you getting in/out of the seats while the ship is in Horizontal mode. The upper-seat will be the pilots chair, with the lower seat the gunner/turret operator.   There is a ramp, can we park a rover inside? No, the Greycat’s support struts would get crushed when the hold compacts for flight.   Is the gimble ‘Tractor Beam’ Hardpoint, a hardpoint that can switch out weapons for tractors beams, or a gimble mount with a built in tractor beam that also mounts weapons? The Tractor Beam mount is the Wing-Tip turret. When the Reliant becomes flight-ready for Arena Commander, that turret will come stock with a Tractor Beam installed, but the tractor beam can be removed and swapped with a size 2 weapon. Whether there will be more than one turret option (e.g. two size 1 weapons, or one size 2 weapon), or other some configuration will depend on iterations to the hardpoint system and asset creation between now and then.   Is possible to just rotate the seats and fly like that? Currently not planned, but may be something we explore as the ship gets flight ready.   Visibility issue: can you make the floor retractable? Otherwise there is no visibility on the right side when vertical. Yes, we’re already looking at that floor panel. When the detailed specs for the Reliant started shaping up, and a MASSIVE, best-in-class viewing angle for both seats was a major part of that planning. Xi’an-inspired glasswork at its finest.   Do the Xi’An materials and technologies used in the construction of the Reliant enable the ship to better handle the effects of heat, radiation and gravimetric effects, when compared to its competitors? Yes, though to what extent this will play out is more something that will be sorted as those kinds of environmental hazards come online. It won’t be so substantial that it lets you fly recklessly through them, but you shouldn’t have to tip-toe through either.   Would this be any good for exploring? Jump points? How does it compare with the 315p, the only explorer in the price range? Overall, expect a 315p to be better at finding jumppoints. The Reliant is more going to be doing in-system/region sensor scanning, research, and exploration. It could still definitely map a new jump if you find one, but the bigger profile compared to a 315p may lead you to flying into a smaller point than you could fit.   A question about the weapon fittings, the spec listed two fixed mount on wing and one gimbal mount on nose, but I see from the released arts that the two M3As are mounted on a ball shape unmanned turret, which will be the case? The 2 M3A’s mounted in the concept art are installed in place of the Tractor Beam (guns are sexier anyways). When the Reliant lands in your hangar, you’ll have 2 Size 1 guns on the wings, and the S3 hardpoint on the wing-tip where the Turret is now.         PART 2 “We took the newly revealed Reliant Model 0 for a test flight, and what we found was a genuine surprise! Beneath the sleek lines and the high-tech moving cockpit, the Reliant is a sturdy, dependable ship capable of any number of flight operations. We’re so confident with what we’ve seen that we’re offering the ship our prestigious One to Watch award as one of the top new spacecraft of the upcoming model year… Now let’s cross our fingers and hope MISC starts making final deliveries of the production model so we can start converting one for racing!” - “A Hauler You Can ‘Reli’ On,” Ship and Pilot, September 2945 “We had serious problems integrating some of the Xi’an tech. I’m not at liberty to tell you exactly what we purchased, but to get the point across we asked our contact on Rihlah for one of their surge suppressors… and what we got seemed more like a gooey silicone stomach. We couldn’t even figure out where it was supposed to plug in on the Khartu we were working from! In fact, the boys in R&D are still trying to figure it out. Suffice it to say, the Reliant ships with some pretty cool tech… but it has a traditional human capacitor.” - Dar Hardwishe, MISC Ship Designer, Junior Level   Greetings Citizens, Last month, we ran a collection of Hull series Q&A posts during the concept sale. The idea went over so well that we’ve decided to make it a tradition. All future concept sales will include at least one ‘post launch’ Q&A post. This week, for the MISC Reliant concept sale, we’re answering questions backers have posted to this thread. A special thank you to designer Matt Sherman for answering your Reliant questions!     Question & Answer   What about the speed? Two TR1 as main trusters … The Aurora speed is 150 m/s with a TR3 and the Mustang Alpha flight at 200 m/s with two TR2. It’s planned to fall between both of those ships, and keep in mind, the Aurora has a single thruster where the Reliant has 2.   Why are the two S1 guns listed as fixed mounts when it appears they’re on a gimbal at the end of a wing? We really wanted to showcase just how big of a coverage angle the Wing-Tip turret would offer. Once it’s in your hangar, it’ll be a Tractor beam on the Turret with the S1 guns on the wings. Also, we’re already planning to make the Twin-mount Turret an available option through REC/VD when the Reliant is made flyable.   In particular, how does the “researcher” variant compare with / differ from the other science oriented ships? What is the prototypical mission that this variant is suited for? In-system Scanner/Research work. Sadly, there’s not as much to detail out right now as these gameplay systems are also being built up, but we wanted to make sure at a starter-ship level, there was another layer of research/exploration that wasn’t just based on finding jumppoints.   I don’t get the concept of a “tier 2 starter”. A starter for when you’re not actually starting? Or is it a starter that people buying the game post launch will have to pay extra to start as? We’re still working out many of the plans for post-launch, but the current idea is that the Reliant (and similarly priced ‘tier 2’ ships) would be part of slightly more expensive packages. It’s 100% a ship intended to start the game, though! Like the Aurora and the Mustang, the Reliant was designed from the ground up to allow players to experience as many different opportunities in the Star Citizen world as possible.   Will the vertical flight mode mean that those main thrusters will be gimbaled to allow more maneuverability? They don’t fully gimbal 360 like the Cutlass engines can, but they’ll have some range of motion. There’s also going to be some Xi’an tech at work that we’ll be talking more about as the ship gets closer to being flyable.   How did humans acquire the technology if they haven’t made contact with the Xi’an yet? MISC got the tech from trade-deals with the Xi’an, so this ship is something well beyond a first-contact with a species. (As of the time Star Citizen launches, humanity has a history with the Xi’An. There are still mysteries about them, but contact has been ongoing for quite a while.)   The turret we see in the concepts is an optional piece of equipment (Reverse the Verse) is the plan to have it ready for when the Reliant itself is hangar/flight ready? Yes, while it won’t be included with the stock Reliant, we’re planning to have both the standard S2 (with installed Tractor Beam) and twin-S1 versions of the Turret available when the ship is flyable.   What role do you foresee for the ‘News Van’ variant? Can it be used in a recon role for live updates? Yes, recon and reporting. The goal is to let the filming teams get the best picture from the safest distance possible. It won’t be as potent as something like a Herald in terms of how many systems out it can directly broadcast, but it’ll definitely be able to spread the word.   Will the “base concept model” be capable of switching or loading various modules so that it can change mission variants? It’s going to have some flexibility with loadouts, but even inside its own variants, there’s going to be limits to what you can setup. The base-model and combat variant will be more interchangeable with each other, and the research and news van comparable to each other. It won’t just be different parts on the same hull though.   Will any of the variants get rid of one seat, move the remaining seat to the center of the cockpit and use the cleared space for something useful? There’s currently no plans for a single-seat version of the Reliant.   Given that the Reliant is a “mini-hauler”, can we expect to see main thrusters capable of moving it while fully laden? It’s currently planned thrusters are fully capable when loaded. Keep in mind, the Reliant uses Xi’an tech, and we’ve still got a few surprises left for what that really means as the ship gets closer to being flyable.   For someone with a fleet of bigger ships (Cutlass, Connie, etc) how would a Reliant complement it? This really depends on what kinds of roles you’re planning to play with your other ships. Exploration Carrack? The Research Reliant would pair well with the increased maneuverability and scanner packages. Doing some crazy ad-hoc storytelling in space with friends? Bring a News Van to capture the action.   Can you clarify the maximum size and number of attachments that the gimbal hardpoint can handle? The Wing-Tip turret is the listed S3 hardpoint for the Reliant. This means you can: Run a single fixed S3 Run the stock S2 turret – It comes with a Tractor Beam installed but fits any S2 weapons. Run the optional Twin-S1 turret – This is the turret shown in concept art and will also be available through REC and VD when the Reliant is made flyable. In one of the pictures there is a silhouette that suggests that the Reliant’s wings can fold upward while the ship is landed, perhaps to save space. Is this indeed part of the design, and, if so, will the Reliant be able to land in the same cross-sectional area as an Aurora or Mustang? The folded wings are more when the ship is stored for distance-transport. It should sit in a similar amount of space to an Aurora or Mustang, but would take some extra time to become flight-ready compared to a Reliant with the wings unfolded. [/spoiler]     Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen and ImperialNews.Network)     10 For the Producers 7 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris   Travis Day and Rickey Jutley   TD – Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Ten for the Producers.  I’m Travis Day, and this is   RJ – Rickey Jutley.   TD – Rickey is joining us from the UK office this week, which is a true privilege, thank you for being here.   RJ – Thank you Travis.   TD – And thank you to all in the community who make this show possible, and make this game possible, cause without you we couldn’t do any of this   RJ – And thanks to all our subscribers for making sure we can actually do shows like this for you guys.   TD – Yeah, thank you.  So, should we get underway?   RJ – Yeah, lets do it.  First question from     Gravymonkey 35: If you run out of ammo or lose your weapon for any reason, would it be possible to use bits of debris as a melee weapon, i.e. splintered box pieces or broken beams, or a severed arm or leg from our enemy or friends? TD – Some guy dies, you take his leg, beat your enemy with it? RJ – Something like that.  I believe *name I don’t know* did that as a fatality in Mortal Kombat 4, so…Yeah, maybe some reference to that.  Good game. We could do something like that, but I think just having an item that you could just pick up around the level, or any kind of item that the players are able to interact with may be difficult to maintain, because pretty much any part of the geometry of the world would be rippable, and I just think the player holding many different items or anything they can grab would be difficult to do. TD – Yeah, it would be a difficult thing to do.  A lot of people saw the system with grabby hands and they thought, oh, you can just pick up anything and use it as a weapon, but once you start using those things in the Universe, and using them to react especially with other players, especially in a fatal way, it becomes much harder to maintain, much harder to test and balance.  So, maybe that’s something we could do in the future, probably not in the near term. RJ – We’ll probably have like, one prop that’s a dead guy on the floor, and that’s the one prop that you can rip arms and legs off TD – Just for you, just for you. RJ – Good question. TD – Our next one comes from     Shrike: Will the FPS launch with an in-game chat system?   And the answer is yes.  So, with the first iteration, of FPS we’re going to use the in-game CryEngine chat, so the default chat that comes with CryEngine.  Later though, in the social module, one of the things that’s been worked on by Austin team is the new chat surface, so this will introduce things that people are more familiar with from most MMO titles, giving you the ability to chat, in the long term, from the website to people in the game, this will come with the idea of rich presence. meaning you can see when they’re online or offline.  So you can chat with them in game, you can have private whispers, or tells, or whatever you want to call it, and it’ll also allow for things like different chat channels, i.e. your party chat, your guild chat, so that system is coming with the Social module.  But yes, in the initial FPS release, there will be local server chat, meaning that you can talk trash to your enemy team, and I guess talk trash to your allies as well.   RJ – Next question is from     alan parsons: Will all of the different controller types be balanced when the games comes to release, or will we face significant advantages in any? Well, I think with the different controller types now, obviously trying to maintain controller balance across the board, with a HOTAS, people use X52, X55, KBM, whichever gamepad they decide to use, the aim will be to have something that is balanced enough for everyone to be able to have fun with and enjoy, and not feel that there’s one that’s quite hax over the other, not feeling that overpowered if you’re using mouse and keyboard or launching missiles just like rapid-fire.  Ways that we’ll do that are still something that we’re trying to perfect. TD – And there’s a couple of avenues.  You’ve seen the first iteration of what we called ESP, giving people with sticks the opportunity to have a little bit finer control as you move closer to your target, so we can do things like that, attenuating the acceleration curve on the movement of the ships themselves, we can also do things from a game design perspective, like the refactor to gimballed weapons and sizes, so gimballed mounts and the more they gimbal having lower sizes that they can accommodate, so sure you can move around with a mouse and have pretty good aim with the gimbals, but then we’ll reduce your ability to do damage based on the size of your weapons, so there’s a couple of different avenues, and one of the things I’ve seen a lot of talk on the forums about, specifically mouse vs. keyboard, and I know we did that… on Around the ‘Verse… there was like a controller summit with some of our designers, and one of the things I want to make clear to everybody is that it is super important to us that everybody is able to enjoy the play experience, so everyone can participate and be competitive no matter what peripheral device they choose to interact with the game.  That said it is a work in progress, it’s still a pre-alpha, controls are normally something you wouldn’t do until right near the end of the game, where you start to refine and hone, right near the Beta phase, so while we are actually making efforts on this balance ahead of time, because we are released with Arena Commander, it is something that we will have to continue to balance and continue to tweak and tune, and we do have some ideas about doing more community involvement about that, so stay tuned for that.  A little too soon to say, but we have an idea for how we’ll actually get you guys to participate more in helping us to tune control devices. RJ – Yeah, and you guys have been really good so far, giving us your feedback and everything you’ve listed out.  I’ve seen so much detail from the backers already on what they believe should be default configurations, and different types of preferred control types, so yet again TD – And we’re listening.  Cause how many times have we gotten emails from Chris, cause he’s reading the forums, and he’s like…’hey, is this real?  Is this really a thing?  Can you verify cause we’ve got to change this!’ RJ – Yeah, those are… something… those emails.  Good to read.  But it’s good cause it keeps us on our toes, and it makes us believe that hey, we’re looking at sometimes a particular feature in the game, and it brings us back to controls, so it’s like how can we do better to balance. TD – Exactly, helps us keep focused better. RJ –     Nostrom01977 asks: In a universe built on immersion, will CIG add mature and tasteful romance to Star Citizen, much like Mass Effect or Dragon Age Inquisition? So this kind of question… it’s always interesting to add different types of relationships, and romance in particular.  You see games have developed over time, you can actually visualize that romance between characters with different cinematography, different scenes.  Usually by the cutscenes, but also in the actual gameplay and actions that you can do, being able to develop a good personal relationship with significant others, so to speak, and I think Star Citizen’s going to give you a great opportunity to probably do that, because there’s going to be so many different people, so many different beings, in the ‘Verse, yeah.  I think that’s something we need to…   TD – Yeah, I think Squadron 42 too, I mean, what they’re calling out is Mass Effect and Dragon Age which, it’s obviously much easier to handle relationships and romantic relationships in a single player environment, not really in an MMO, so one of the things I think that Chris is famous for, in the Wing Commander games, is having those interactive cutscenes, having the ability to make those kinds of decisions, and the branching relationships that we had with some of the wingmen in wing commander, and I know that’s something for a fact that he’s definitely planning on doing in SQ42, where your decisions, your actions, they will matter to your wingmen and they’ll impact your relationships.  Now, how far those relationships go, I guess that’s up to the decisions that you make.   Okay, so our next question comes to us from     Hammer-Head: Jump Point Warfare – Can we follow a player / NPC into a jump point and carry out an attack / continue a fight inside the wormhole / corridor? Okay, so, yes.  I believe the answer is going to be that you can.  Obviously our first iteration of jump points will be just handling a single ship, because, as we build the technology, that seems like a logical place to start.  Down the road, I do know that, there’s a concept of a stargate wormhole for example, where you cruise through and arrive at your destination, I think our concept of a wormhole or jump point is much more in line with having something that’s much more of a physical space, so something that you can actually traverse, and it has a finite distance and there are obstacles, as we saw in the SXSW previews we did for the jump points, so I believe the natural extension of that is yes, we’ll start with one ship, and then I yes, you’ll have multiple ships travelling through simultaneously.  Whether or not you’ll be able to fire weapons at each other, board each other, that simply hasn’t been fleshed out yet, because there’s no jump points yet, but once we have that and we determine what’s fun, it’d suck to go into a jump point and have that not be fun, but as we build out the game we’ll know more, but I know that’s something that Chris would like to do, there’s a lot of designers that would like to do, it’s just something we’ll have to build out to determine whether it’s good for the game. RJ – I think as like a base iteration, the first element would be making sure you can actually traverse and end up at some destination TD – Yeah, getting through it is a good step point RJ – Yeah, lets get that right as well.  But totally, i think going down that route of approaching into your jump point, and just as you’re about to come out, something comes up to you… TD – Yeah, that’d be great.  Alright, next question comes from     Grimyth: What level of detail is being put into voice chat?  Also, will there be plug-ins for apps such as TeamSpeak or Mumble that will encourage this radio chat so that people are not speaking to people without interruption from the Universe?  So I’m guessing, compelling people or, incentivising people to use in-game chat, and in game chat systems over say, TeamSpeak, Mumble, Vent… So the first answer, to the first question, what are the plans for in-game voice chat, Chris is very strongly of the idea that he wants to have in-game voice chat that attenuates over distance, the same way it would in real life.  He also wants to do things, depending on the type of helmet you’re wearing, actually have the muffling of the helmet, or the radio static if you’re over in-game radio.  So there are definitely plans for that, that’s something he really wants to do.  As for plug-ins for different popular voice apps, I don’t know that we would do that, I think we may do our own, but that’s something we’ll have to figure out when we get to the point where we’re actually implementing in-game VOIP, determining the route we want to go, and we haven’t done that yet because we haven’t determined the direction we want to go.   RJ – Next question comes from     Gwedoh: How will currency feel in the game?  Currently you can purchase about 1000 UEC per $1.  Are you intending to keep this current value in place during the course of the PU and how will you stop the inflation of currency?  So yeah, we could probably think about hiring some form of stockbroker, or financial accounts advisor to help us with the inflation problem anyway TD – Yeah, and I know we’ve gotten an economist to consult on the economy for just these kinds of reasons.  The one thing I see in this question is you purchase 1000 UEC for about a dollar, that right now is just an arbitrary correlative value.  As we go to PU, at some point there has to be a switch-over that says, okay, either these items cost more in UEC now, and we change the whole scale, or we change the dollar value of UEC, but, that’s something we’re going to deal with when the PU is actually a thing, that we have UEC in the game as a thing you can earn, that will all have to get figured out. RJ – Yeah, I think once we develop more of the features, and more of the in-game items and purchases, we’ll be able to have a scale of exactly what’s lower end, what’s higher end, to find the scale, and actually give values that are going to be fair and applicable. TD – One of the things I’ve seen people related to this asking questions on the forums, related to your initial KS pledges, saying, oh this package has 20,000 UEC, or 20,000 credits i think it was called at a time.  And lots of people are going, wait, that’s like… one big missile.  Is that all I got with my pledge? RJ – Powerful missile. TD – Yeah, the rattler is a powerful missile.  But in the end, I do suspect that there’s going to be a time when, once we have a value of UEC, then we can look at the value of those packages, and kind of re-appropriate everything along those lines. RJ – Next question comes from     Sp3ctrenyc: The 54 Million stretch goal saw the introduction of AI character roles into the game with the promise of additional roles added following future stretch goals.  Have there been any internal discussions or considerations on where you will expand AI behaviour? So I think a lot of the AI behaviours are kind of recent ?? (word I can’t understand) that’s kind of come into play when we started to think about Multicrew.  As I’ve been here, Travis and a lot of the leads here have been discussing, if you’re an owner of let’s say a Retaliator or a Constellation, and you launch into a match but you didn’t necessarily have people to form the other crew roles that are all those seats, what would be those roles, who would fill them, and the obvious answer to those people is AI   TD – Yeah, so with regards to Multicrew, it’s interesting, because AI comes with its own sort of subset of problems, which is one of the things we talked about and Dan brought up, which is if you go into the game, and you have all AI in their suits, and the’re all fully human AI and they’re sitting in your seat, you land, your buddy gets on your ship, and now you have this AI sitting in your seat, and you’re like, okay, hit the elevator button, he comes down from your turret, do you like GTA him and throw him out of the seat and out the airlock?  And what happens if you leave, so.   RJ – I think you do.  Take him and toss him out, make his head explode.   TD – Space him?  Well, you know, in the longer term, I think there’s been a lot of discussion about what capabilities does AI have.  Like, if I own 5 Freelancers, can I have them all fly with me?  They’re all different AI pilots, different AI gunners, or is it just going to be the ability to say hey, take this from this planet to this planet, and I’m going to go be over here, and this is just going to happen, and hopefully it’s a good AI pilot, what will their skills be, what can they get better at.  These are all things that the PU team is exploring right now, and we don’t have a firm solid final design on what exactly AI characters in the PU will or will not be able to do, and what kind of areas of learning that they have, but I do think there are some cool ideas floating around now, that are in the process of being locked down.  So, that’s something I think you’ll look forward to an update from the PU team on, cause I know it’s important to you guys, and it’s also important to us, cause it’s going to be a very cool part of the experience.  Alright!   Our next question comes to us from Gromph.     Gromph asks: Will the ability to toggle the camera into third person mode be included in the FPS module?  Will I be able to look around corners in third person, even if it means I briefly lose my HUD?  This seems like a very important gameplay decision and I hope this ability is not included in combat situations. So yeah, we actually made a recent decision, to actually convert the FPS into a third person shooter, kind of like Gears of War style, so you’ll be able to corner creep and…no, I’m just kidding.  Yes, we’re actually completely disabling the third person camera for FPS, so don’t be concerned about that.  One of the things we were talking about is, we have these beautiful models, we have these beautiful animations, we want to be able to show them off.  We want you to be able to be in your hangar, dress up, check it out, that’s kind of the fun part, you play an MMO, you get some new gear, you get fitted, check it out, you take a selfie or whatever, so that part we want to be able to have that experience. RJ – Selfies. TD – Yeah, selfies.  You can have a little selfie wand.. RJ – You can have a little selfie wall?  Go in game chat and say hey, check out my selfie. TD – So, to that end, I think what we’re talking about is a system that dynamically determines what cameras are allowed based on whether you’re in a combat situation or not in FPS.  So, when you’re running around on Stanton, for example, or ArcCorp i should say.  There’s a real chance you could just have 3rd person all the time, run around, check out all the cool animations, see yourself, your gear.  If you get into a situation though where you draw your weapon, or there’s a known combat situation, we just disable the camera at that point, so that way we remove that… advantage. RJ – Yeah, exactly, and I think one of the things that was asked by Grump, is if I get over from just protecting myself and turning around a corner, will I lose my HUD if I go into third person, and the answer is you would. If you got shot at that point, that’s just your own fault for going into third person, I would say. TD – So if you could go to third person, then you would lose your HUD, because your HUD’s on your visor.  And it actually literally is on your visor, it’s not like a cheat.  You move the camera away from the player’s head you can’t see the visor, cause it’s actually rendered there. Next question comes from     Madrun Badrun: Is there going to be a radiation mechanic (possibly including solar flare) that could impact play in a variety of ways?  With both natural and man made (dodgy reactor?) that would cause damage or death potentially to player or assets? Yes!  The answer is absolutely yes.  Early in the design for the FPS mechanic we were talking a lot about EVA, what advantages or disadvantages different suits had, one of them was a radiation protection rating that would limit your ability to stay in EVA permanently so you can’t just float around forever.  So we have the concept of life support, but also the idea of radiation that could build up over time to a toxic level.  Different types of suits would be rated differently for different types of radiation.  We’ve also talked about, on the Arena Commander side, different hazards that you could have, both in the gameplay environment but also in the PU, things like nebulas, solar flares, and other kind of time-sensitive or system impacting natural hazards, like what you’re talking about.   RJ – And another thing we kind of, I’m just imagining now, if you turned up with your suit at a particular area, a nebula or an area that had a particular gas cloud that you were surrounded by, and you believe that your suit is able to combat that kind of area, and another person flies in and they’re trying to get into your area, but they get totally wiped out, those kind of things are going to be really cool, just to make sure the player is on their toes of knowing what different suits do, different areas and different environments and how they can kind of affect your gameplay.   TD – Yeah and one of the mission types, cause we’ve started talking about the concept of the mission generator, or the instance action sphere generator, and some of the mission types we’ve talked about have been, oh, there’s a disabled constellation that is floating towards the sun and it’s not under power but there’s a high radiation level, so you have very limited time windows in which you can interact with it to try and reconstitute it, rescue it, or just go to hell with it and let it fly into the sun.  So yeah, definitely something we’re looking at, cause I think it adds a cool level of immersion and gameplay moments.   And with that last question, it brings us to the end of the show.  Thank you very much for joining us, and thank you to all the subscribers that make a show like this possible.  We really appreciate the opportunity to come on camera and interact with you guys and hopefully give you some more information that you didn’t previously have.   RJ – And thanks to all our backers for making Star Citizen possible.  I’ve been on this project for about a year, and it’s an awesome project to be on, it’s great to be on board.  Especially with guys like you Travis.   TD – Aww, thanks man.  I’m so glads the backers backed us so I could meet you.  Thank you guys, take care, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse. [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 46 (video/INN) [spoiler]   Transcript by Erris Check back later, Nehkara is away currently, but when he gets back, check this page for images, and gifs! Ben Lesnick – Sandi’s still in London working on the SQ42 shoot.  Things are going great. – The Reliant went on concept sale.  It’s a flying wing, it can fly vertically and horizontally.  Designed by Dave Hobbins, the first variant is called a ‘mini hauler’, but it’ll be able to do a lot more in the ‘Verse. – The first of two Q&A sessions about the Reliant went up yesterday, the second will go up tomorrow. – Reliant.  It’s what’s for dinner. 1:30 – News from the Spectrum Santa Monica with Travis Day and Matt Sherman – the Reliant – 11,000 sold so far. – They’ll get it to us as soon as possible. – Matt worked with Dave Hobbins.  Matt worked on the technical specs for the ship, he’s excited that the News Van pitch went through.  It should be very fun gameplay once they get it working. – Also on the design side, they got into physically based damage a lot more, using mass or kinetic energy to actually attribute the damage to the ships, rather than arbitrary values. – Hoping that’ll do a lot of good things for the game.  It’ll also be a really big balance pass.  Affects ships, shields, components, components taking damage (which isn’t in yet), guns damaging themselves on overheating etc… All damage will be derived off of force.  Bullets and energy weapons will have a force value.  This mass plus this speed makes this force, means this damage. – Right now, it’s a rigid single number, they’re working to make sure there’s a more dynamic scale to the number.  When you flip around in your ship, and you’re flying in reverse at 300m/s and start firing on someone, it actually makes a difference.  Chasing with ballistics is going to feel different than head on with ballistics. 4:40 – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt – Worked on hit reaction animations this week. – System that, depending on where you get shot, your body will have a reaction from that.  Some difficulties are, making sure that while the visual effect happens, it’s not too frustrating.  In the past, the first person to get shot in the arm will get the animation playing, cause them to drop their weapon, and that resulted in the first shot being the deciding factor.  They’ve been finding balance between the visuals and the gameplay. – Also working on grenade priming. – Before, it would just throw, now you can hold the grenade back in a position, so you can aim better, decide when to let go of the grenade, etc… – Switched that over to the item port system, and it’s working great in playtesting. – Focusing this week on locking down and polishing first person movement.  Still a lot of little quirks to work out, trying to get all that locked down this week. – ‘Hopefully by the end of next week it’ll be feeling better and, ah, anyhow!’ *smiles* 7:00 Austin – Jake Ross and David Peng – Past weekend Tony Zurovec finished a first draft of the ‘Universe Simulator’, formerly known as the economics simulator.  It will be the backbone structure of how the Universe and the economic factors and buying and selling and marketplace, how all that will interact to create a living breathing universe. – That work is going off to Wormbyte, who will be starting on that soon. – Concept complete of a Security turret that will go into landing zones to help deter ‘bad people’ from doing bad things.  Eventually there’ll be a system in place where the turrets will stun people, and they’ll go to jail for a period of time. – David has been working on standardizing cockpit templates. – Trying to remove as much of the rework as possible.  Trying to plan on the front end as much as possible how to get the ships so they will work when they rig them, when they shoot the mocap, no 4 foot wide toilets etc… – As soon as they get something, they’ll get the concept flushed out, get that to whitebox, and once something’s built in whitebox, they can take the character, put it in the whitebox, and modelers can build around it, making sure things are to scale. – Right now, each one of for the Hornet, it’s Hotas central left control system.  That’s roughly 50 animations.  52 types of ships, huge amount of animations.  If they standardize the animations down to 7 or so different cockpit ‘types’, that allows modelers to build them out, and they can make them as unique as they want, as long as they stay within an established template. – At the same time, it reduces animation footprint.  There’s also a 10 button power system setup.  Taking the 10 control types (button pushes, toggles, etc…), arranging those around in each unique ship, so there’ll still be a lot of variety, but it saves them a lot of work behind the scenes. 10:55 – UK – Lee Banyard and Bob Rissolo – Bob was a dialogue designer for Playstation for a number of years (did a casting session for the Last of Us).  Worked on Uncharted 2.  Came from the land of consoles, but he’s always been a PC gamer and is excited for them. – Dialogue is a crucial aspect to the game.  Music and sound effects, and visual effects, but dialogue plays a crucial part in getting people tied to the story.  It’s relatable, helps you get to know characters, become part of the world.  To have a good, well written story, and have that interact with the users is critical. – There are really good writers on board who are doing amazing content, but to get their content heard in game, and played so it makes sense and is interactible and intelligent, there’s a lot that goes on. – They work hard on making it realistic, making it fun, etc… – Production is going really well, they’re working with some great actors, the story’s great, fans will love it. What was Briefly Yours is now Mine – SC Fan Video James Pugh and John Pritchett James – Hey guys, I’m here with John Pritchett.  John, how you doing? JP – Good James – Pleasure to have you on.  So, you’re a physics programmer JP – That’s right James – WHat does a physics programmer actually do? JP – Well, the job of a physics programmer is to basically work out the simulations for systems in the game.  Try to remain as true to realism as we can, within the constraints of gameplay. es – So, how many physics programmers do we have at CIG? JP – Well, when I started, I was the only physics programmer.  I came out here to LA, but since then we’ve hired the one in Austin, and another one here, and I think in the new Frankfurt office, I think we have at least two. James – Interesting thing i find, is how do you personally strike that balance between realism and fun?  It’s a constant struggle, it’s something we talk about all the time.  How does that play out for you? JP – Well, I try to keep that in mind, but in a team situation, I feel like it’s my goal to bring as much realism as possible, then I rely on others to then feedback to me and say, we need this to change a little bit in order to balance gameplay or whatever.  So, the G-force system is an example.  I created as realistic a g-force system as I could, but I created it with enough properties to scale it, so we could then tune it to gameplay conditions. James – So, it’s your job to figure out how it would actually be, and its designers job to figure out what makes it actually work. JP – And I try not to be bothered when they, you know, completely change everything. James – You don’t see your calculations and go ‘Whaaa’? JP – Where’d it go? *laughter* James – Other than the g-force simulator, what are some aspects of the game that people will notice has your touches on it? JP – The main thing that I’ve worked on actually has been the flight mechanics and control, so that’s both the way the ship moves under thrusters, and also the control systems for interpreting player inputs and turning that into ship control. James – So when you first started you were the only physics programmer.  now we’ve added some more, has that kind of lightened the load?  Let you focus on one specific part of the game? JP – My focus has been pretty limited from the beginning.  I’m a gameplay physics programmer, as opposed to a low level engine physics programmer, and we’ve been really lucky to bring in some of the core physics engine programmers from CryEngine, and that’s a totally different realm of physics programming from what I do. James – So is there something now you’re working on you’re really excited for the fans to see? JP – Yes.  So, lately I’ve been working on dealing with very massive ships.  Going from small single-seaters that are seat of your pants control, now we’re easing up into mid-size ships and then massive cargo ships, and capital ships, and the control systems are going to be a lot different for those ships.  It’s going to be a lot more waypoint driven.  I wanted to, in terms of keeping things as realistic as possible, I wanted to use third-order motion for our motion calculations, so there’s a lot of complexity in that.  Not only is it dealing with a cubic calculation, which is difficult, but we also want to have asymmetric acceleration, cause it can accelerate more in one direction than it can decelerate in another direction, and then adding the jerk value, we want to be able to set one jerk value for positive direction, and another for negative direction. So when you factor in all those complexities, it creates a very very complex calculation to be able to say I want to go from point A to point B, and when do you start decelerating to arrive on that location on a dime, so I’ve just finished all those calculations, and I’m getting ready to start implementing them and putting them into the game. James – That brings up something interesting.  Because we’re trying to be as realistic as possible, certain things that you might take for granted, for example, if you have a thruster here on a larger ship, do you think about it differently as opposed to a smaller ship, because there’s different rooms inside of the larger ship.  Does that impact how the ship even has to be outlayed?  So if you have a calculation at this point, can that possibly change the entire form of the ship? JP – Well, for us it all starts with the design process for the ships.  These ships are designed out completely.  When we put them into the game, we’re able to calculate realistic mass distributions and so it’s all about mass distribution, if you have a room here that’s a hollow section or. if you have a place here for heavy equipment, and there’s more weight there.  So when that all gets plugged into the engine, we basically get the center of mass and the moment of inertia, and based on those things, we can boil it down to just those two things, and based on the position of the thrusters it determines how much torque you get, and how much linear push you get. So those things are all factored in, but, if you have cargo and it moves, it’ll change the center of mass, or if you get a wing blown off on a smaller ship, that can change the center of mass, so the whole field the way the ship flies will change dynamically, based on conditions. James – Yeah, how do you take that into account?  If a piece of cargo shifts, how do you take that redistribution? JP – Well, assuming that we’re going to actually real-time model out the mass and location of cargo, that’s all happening at a lower level, so by the time it gets fed into my system, it’s just the center of mass and moment of inertia.  And I work entirely based on those values. James – Alright!  Well, thank you so much for joining us, hope you’ve enjoyed being out here in Santa Monica, and back to you guys! 20:00 – Ben – Thanks James, I guess you can say that segment had some gravity to it. - NAILED IT. 20:17 – Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian – Gallenson Tactical Systems – A ship weapons manufacturing company. – Gallenson started as a shop in Salt Lake city.  Eventually, they bought a foundry, started making high-grade weapons.  Gallenson weapons tend to have high rate of fire, and high velocity, but they also have high mass, and a high heat generation. – Words to describe the brand – Solid, reliable, functional. – Pirates tend to like gallenson, even they’re more designed for civilian use.  Gallenson tries to not be associated with them.  Pirates ignore that. – Style guide for Gallenson – ‘The Last Word in Ballistic Defence’ – Style guide aims to give a ‘feeling’ for the company, so that any designer across the company can make a weapon that feels like a Gallenson gun.  On the first page, there are marketing type info.  Logo, tagline, flavour text, what they are, what they aspire to be.  Also, keywords on aesthetic and function, and systems the weapons use. – They’ve got charts that say who the company tends to produce equipment for, colour palettes the company tends to use, etc… – Second is more inspirational images.  Things that have a similar aesthetic to the company the style guide is for.  Real world vehicles and weapons, etc… – That’s it for this week’s Ship Shape. 24:20 – Ben – Like they say, you should never apologize for sporting a little style…guide. – If you have a logo / intro for ship shape, post it to the forums, they’ll pick through the entries on Friday. – And now a new segment with the Austin QA team. 24:42 – Which Glitch? Tyler Witkin, Andrew Hesse, and Jeffrey Pease (aka Bearded) – New segment to prove that QA has fun.  5 bugs this week they’ve run into this week. – number 5 – Wonka-vator.  Pants were ripped, but that’s not the bug.  The elevator in a hangar is supposed to go up and down, it’s going diagonally in the video. – number 4 – loaded into hangar with a 300i, popping a wheelie. – number 3 – It’s aliiiive – mustang that the cockpit is…flipping out.  FIrst time they got to see the mustangs, and the cockpit flipped around. – Number 2 – Mr McTwisty – Character twisting its chest around like…4 times. – Number 1 – monty python skit gone wrong – bit of FPS.  Character broke, stuck looking at the ceiling.  Interesting stuff from FPS here.  Even though it’s a glitch. Floating ammo, characters breaking, etc… 28:50 – Ben – That’s about it for this week’s AtV – New dev details next week! – Happy birthday to Chris Roberts, whose birthday was Wednesday. – Fly Free!  This week, military focus ships, gladius, gladiator, and entire AHornet lineup are fly free this week. 29:30 – Sneak Peek – Some cool concept art of an interior.  And another door.  Nyx possibly?  And now more.  Lots of cool looking concept art. That’s it for AtV this week!   [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 49 (video/INN) [spoiler] Hello there fellow Citizens!  Check here for notes from Episoder 49 of Reverse the ‘Verse!   Reverse the ‘Verse Notes by Nehkara and Erris [Questions in brackets].  Important information in bold.  Everything else is normal.   – SOON™ – We are apparently live with the QA team. And Jenny, of course. Special Episode yay! – Jeffrey (Bearded-CIG), Zyloh-CIG, Andrew… – We’re hanging out with the QA team for a few minutes, then the regular crew will show up. – There are 7 or 8 folks on the Austin QA team and more throughout the other studios around the world. – [How did you get into QA?] – Went to college for something entirely unrelated.  Met someone in a hobby shop that worked for Sony doing QA, applied and got a job working at Sony as a temp employee. Became an assistant QA specialist for a pet system. To get into QA, part of it is your how good your resume is important. – [Favourite FPS weapon?]  I like anything that explodes because I’m terrible at aiming. – [How good at programming does QA have to be?] You don’t have to be good at it, though some knowledge of it helps. – There seems to have just been a nerf-gun attack. – QA lead Trance? and NekoCIG have ambushed the three QA guys on the stream. – More than 13,000 Reliants sold so far. – Lots of examples of bugs.  Gimbals not working in singleplayer modes, being able to get into an FPS lobby without having an FPS package, etc… – Raid does not work on bugs. – QA checks Reddit and the like frequently (Zyloh-CIG corrected me for my inability to spell peoples’ names) – They mentioned Trendane, who’s pretty awesome. – It took so long to record Which Glitch that they could probably have a blooper reel for the next 30 episodes. – The QA guys gush about loving their jobs. – QA guys love the competition rising in the sci-fi games genre. – None of the QA guys have seen Tomorrowland yet. – A lot of testing of the FPS module, some epic bugs which will probably end up in the next Which Glitch. – The vast majority of bugs are very boring.  Fun/Funny bugs are the “snowflake at the tip of the iceberg”. – A lot of builds aren’t suitable for PTU because they have tons of bugs that are very obvious and if they released it publicly, they would just get a lot of bug reports on things they already know about. – They’re talking about liking tacos and pizza. – And that’s it for the QA guys. – James Pugh is here with Jenny now. – Chelsea’s around as well. – Chelsea is going to kidnap Travis. – Alyssa is dancing. – They’re talking about Kung Fury now. - [Does the Reliant have a HUD?] It’s being worked on.  Not one in game yet. – Now they’re talking about Amiibos. – Lisa Ohanian is here. – Ben and Alexis are out today because Alexis’ parents are in town. They’re having time off with family. – Travis is here. 30 minutes - Concept art on AtV was from Nyx. – [Where is Disco Lando?] Travis:  Disco Lando “turned into a puddle of water and leaked out of the building.” - [Will there by style guides for species?] There aren’t any for species, but more for weapons and ships will be shown periodically. - [Will anyone be going to E3, or will there be anything for the community in E3] No official presence, but CIG employees will be there. E3 isn’t open to the public, and is sort of against what CIG stand for. – Disco Lando is sick today. – Patrick does art and design.  He works on anything anyone needs.  Makes shiny things shinier and in-game.  Work on damage lately. - For the new damage system, there’s a new set of UV’s they’re working with, so they’re going back and taking existing ships and giving them a new UV set for the new damage states. - [What’s the next thing up for the damage state conversion?] first I do the UV set.  Once that’s in you can see through the mesh, now we need to put things underneath the mesh so you can see all the cool things inside it.   – [How many of you are going to Manchester CitizenCon?] Undetermined. – Reliant is still on sale till Monday. – Lisa Ohanian says that David Hobbins is awesome to work with. – Reliant engines won’t drop down the full 90 degrees in flight (like they do in the animation).  This is talked about in the second QA post that went out.  There’s stuff with the xi’an tech engines that they’ll talk about when the ship is closer to flyable.  They do cool things, even when they’re not gimbaling. – Different colours for weapons is not something they have thought about but it’s something that might come at some point. – [News on the Avenger remake or variants?] Nothing new to say. – James won’t divulge what the next Deep Dive Design Post is. – [Will there be a starter in the future that will have room for a rover?] Probably not.  Anything that can carry a secondary ship or craft is bigger than a starter ship. – [Any plans to sell the Orion again before the Beta PU?] Probably. - [Any more information on the dragonfly?] Lisa wanted it going out in the next few weeks for concepting, but it won’t be that soon, since it’s going to require some new functionality.  It won’t be in the next week or two. They’ll probably focus more on variants for existing ships for the next few things. 45 minutes – [When will CitizenCon tickets be available?] Soon-ish. – Not sure if all variants will be announced with ships, it depends on the ship.  Variants were announced with the Reliant, but it won’t necessarily always happen. – [What does FPS stand for?] Flight Protocol Syndicate. – [Plans for a new printed Jump Point?] No plans right now. - [How is the Scythe coming along?] Sooner than you might expect? – It’s hard to answer questions without Ben around. – Alyssa’s cats are Minion and Deathcat.  Minion has asthma. – Merlin update – moving along.  Lots of people making progress on it.  We’ll hear more soon™.  Sooner than usual ™. – CIG has talked to LEGO about the Hornet. - Cutlass is outsourced to UK, being worked on for the modular variants. - Archimedes and Lynx have not entered the pipeline. The archimedes has been designed though. – [How long does it take for a ship from concept art to release?] Varies greatly.  Two big things are how big the ship is, and what it does.  If it’s big, or it does something new, then it takes longer.  Usually have two people working, one on the interior then one on the exterior.  After art, people work on it for a month or so to get it flyable.  Other factor is what’s in the pipeline. Another factor is time differences.  Sometimes fast-tracking things can take time. – Lisa Ohanian’s new nickname is “Ship Shape”. - [Would future ships stay in hangar for a while or go straight to AC?] Two people tend to work on the art, and after that it can go hangar, but it takes a lot more people to put it in AC.  Depends on the resources they have to spend, and how much they want to get it flyable immediately. – Do not get a tattoo of the ship shape logo, or Lisa will change the logo. – [New CCU system?]  No current timeframe but they are working on it. – [Will there be a sniper?] Yes. - [How long before we can actually board a ship in the FPS?] Hopefully AC 2.0. - [Any news on the anvil devastator?] No. - [Any big blockers?] Yes, but they’re feature-locked. - [Can you shoot ground-based people with the Bengal rail gun?] Not originally, but… - [What’s the coolest gun?] Travis likes the ATT4 laser assault rifle - [Is there going to be a female character?] Eventually, yes. - [Can you list major blockers?] Game crashes when you join it.   - Feature locked – a new branch structure has been moved to.  Main sits in the middle (its the one that leaked).  Once a outside branch is ‘feature locked’, it moves to the main branch, so things can be worked on there.  Below main, there’s the game dev and feature streams, and those are worked on daily.   - FPS is in main branch, so it’s feature-locked, but now it’s getting bug fixed and fine tuned. - We will see heavy armour and powered suits. - Version of the character creator does not come with FPS - [Will weapons have camo and paint?]  Yes, eventually. – Daniel Kamentsky is here. He’s done a lot of work on the Freelancer.  Now he’s working on materials and textures on the ships.  The process of adding camo – not supported right now.  They’re changing the way the approach surfacing.  A lot they’re experimenting now though, it’ll make it easier to change colours and swap out textures.  In the future, with FPS armour and weapons, should be able to change colours, add digital camo, etc… – [If you could hype people for the FPS, what would you say?]  You can shoot people. – Coolest thing about the FPS is not even in the module, it’s what it makes possible.  Once there’s a working FPS module, things like AC 2.0, it makes zero-G from one ship to another, killing the pilot of the enemy ship and taking it over, makes that possible.  FPS is most exciting because it enables the whole FPS Universe thing. – FPS is also another module, another part of the game.  Ties a whole big chunk of the game together.  It makes it so you can walk on a planet, etc… Everything you do has FPS aspects.  AC and FPS are the base for the rest of the game. – [Are the maps large enough to snipe?] Not a super big open map at this point.  More like CS. – Herald is slated to be worked on soon, but is not being worked on right now. - [Will female characters have a smaller hitbox?] Answer is probably no.  ‘Playing a female will be like playing oddjob in Goldeneye’ (sarcasm).  The actual size of the appendages will be your hitboxes.   - Someone start a poll on the forums, let Lisa know what ships we want to see soon on Ship Shape. – And it’s over. [/spoiler]       Other Highlights Meet the Devs: Kirk Tome (LINK)     Lore Updates Far From Home: Unfinished Business (LINK)     Happening right now / real soon Reliant concept sale until June 1 Military Ships free flight for the next week Lots of waiting FPS MODULE expected sometime SOOOOOON™.
  6. Summary of 2 weeks ending on May 22 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable           MISC Reliant Concept Sale! (LINIK) [spoiler] The MISC Reliant Greetings Citizens, New for model year 2946, it’s the MISC Reliant! Following on the success of the Freelancer “Built for Life” campaign, MISC has begun development of a smaller, introductory-class spacecraft that can be operated by a single pilot. Although roughly designed to compete with the RSI Aurora and the Consolidated Outland Mustang, the Reliant is a very different animal. From the broad, sleek wings to the multiple flight modes and the second, fully-articulated crew seat, the Reliant is a small ship with a great deal of potential! The MISC Reliant makes copious use of Xi’An technology, the most ever applied to a human ship design. From a moving cockpit that slots into place depending on the flight mode to omni-directional thrusters licensed under trade agreement with Aopoa, the Reliant is one of the most ‘high tech’ ships on the market today! Advanced Xi’An metal composites make up the armored wingspan, and every control surface has been meticulously updated from those developed for the Freelancer by MISC’s internal xenotech team. A flying wing… or is it? The Reliant changes from horizontal to vertical flight modes at the touch of a button! With a larger cargo hold than the Aurora ES or the Mustang Alpha, the Reliant is a natural choice for anyone engaging in short-haul shipping. And that cargo space also means there’s plenty of internal room to expand, allowing the placement of medical systems, weapons racks and more. Ultimately, though, the Reliant is no transport: it’s a sleek and maneuverable utility ship more than capable of holding its own during combat!   The MISC Reliant As the newest ship on the block, the Reliant has a lot to prove… but one glance should tell you it has the right stuff! Whether you’re interested in the distinctive ‘manta ray’ silhouette to the spacious, high tech open cockpit environment, the Reliant will likely be a common sight on the spacelanes when it launches.   The design process – A word from David Hobbins Goals The design notes were for a Japanese aesthetic, which I interpreted by studying forms from both classical and modern Japanese art. I wanted the Reliant to evoke aspects of its Japanese design sensibility, and I looked at objects like the curve of a fan, the Ginko leaf, the beveled edge of a samurai sword, and other sources. The design became less fan-like during the course of the concept process, and that’s okay, but it was a necessary step for me to kick off the design process. Another goal for the ship was to incorporate some Xi’An technology which was to be mostly internal but still should inform the ship’s exterior.     Challenges The biggest challenge was figuring out how to maximize the cargo payload without compromising the ship’s distinctive profile and without making the overall wing frame too large. The Reliant is a mini-hauler, after all, and I needed a way to fit a respectable cargo volume into a relatively narrow wing frame. Initially I thought I could integrate the cargo into the wing frame itself, but the increased rotational weight would slow spinning maneuvers and also would open the door to other problem such as, balancing issues. For example, what if one side of the craft is loaded and the opposite isn’t? Countering this potential weight disparity would be too much for the maneuvering thrusters. So my final solution was to place the cargo hold at very the center of mass, maintaining the visual integrity of the narrow wings as well as minimizing the rotational weight and mismatch cargo configurations.     Fun The most fun was creating an animation of the Reliant – going from a landing configuration to space combat mode. It’s really satisfying to see a design fully come to life.     Highlights The highlight for me was that not only does the ship semi-transform, but also the cockpit seats reorient themselves (rotating independent of the rest of the ship) to go from side-by-side when horizontal to a stacked when in vertical flight mode, giving both the pilot and gunner maximum visibility. Should make for a really fun and unique player experience.     A new starter ship The Reliant is the first of what we’re calling ‘Tier II’ starter ships. In the future, the MISC Reliant will form the basis of an optional Star Citizen starter package, like the Mustang and the Aurora today. Ship pricing is always based on specifications, and as such the Reliant (and any future packages) will be slightly more expensive (or contain different extras) than base Mustang and Aurora packages.   Details of the Sale About the Sale We are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. All of these ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game. Additionally, all decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches. As a concept sale, the Reliant will include an in-game poster and ship model (available in a future Star Citizen patch) and is being offered with LTI during this sale week. Have a question about the Reliant? Let us know in this thread; we’ll be posting two Reliant Q&A sessions on the Comm-Link next week! Future Variants The standard model of the Reliant, currently nicknamed the Mini-Hauler, is designed to be a ‘jack of all trades’ ship with a slight focus on cargo transport. In truth, the base ship is more of a utility base which might be adapted to any number of purposes. Using the base Reliant, pilots can customize their ship for any number of roles, ranging from combat missions to electronic interception. Additionally, the development team is currently working on three future ship variants. Expect to see more on these ships when the base Reliant is hangar ready. Please note that these variants are very early concepts and that their specifications and purpose may change significantly as they go through the development process. Even their names are internal and not the ‘in-world’ designations they will launch with. “Researcher” – A science-oriented model that carries internal signal dampeners and an advanced scanner suite for discovery missions. “News Van” – Designed for deep space broadcasting, the ‘News Van’ Reliant adds an Image Enhancement Suite that helps capture every moment of lfe in the stars. “Skirmisher” – The frontier combat version of the Reliant trades cargo for a high-yield powerplant, stronger shields and additional weapons mounts. We are announcing that these ships are in the works today because we know that many backers are concerned about having LTI on their ships. With feedback from the Starfarer Gemini sale, we’re going to establish ongoing rules for variants in advance. Going forward, the policy is that if we announce variants in advance (which we will try to do when possible) they will not be made available with LTI on release and instead CCUs will be available. If an additional variant were added beyond those listed during the base concept sale, it would be considered for a possible LTI concept sale. Reliant Mini Hauler - LTI - Standalone Ship $50.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now If you’d like to add one to your fleet, they’re available in the pledge store until Monday June 1st. You can also view a detail of the ship in the Tech Overview of the ship page! [/spoiler]     Starfarer Q&A (parts 1-3) (LINK / LINK / LINK) [spoiler] PART 1 “They like to say that the hardest maneuver to pull off is in-flight refueling. And depending on the ship, sure it can be tough. My brother flies an M50 and yeah, it’s pretty tough to line it up with the nozzle. But there’s no danger. The real deadliest maneuver in a Starfarer is fueling up in the first place. You ever dive into the ionosphere of a gas giant? You lose all visibility, your sensors flicker off… and if you aren’t lucky, you’ll suffer a cracked windshield or worse from ice particles. So that’s the rule on the Treat: fueling operations are in full spacesuit only, every single time.” - Helena Malloy-Vasquez, First Mate, Starfarer Sunshine Treat The 2945 MISC Starfarer is the refueling platform of choice for the United Empire of Earth and nine out of ten major corporations. Rated #1 transport by Ship and Pilot, the Starfarer is a masterpiece of dedicated transport design. Featuring a modular nose mount capable of loading any of a dozen variant utility packages, the Starfarer can be adapted for any mission from fuel gathering to ranged radar support. Onboard refinery equipment and built-in, reinforced hydrogen piping installed throughout the hull mean that the Starfarer isn’t another converted transport: it’s been designed from the ground up to make efficient fuel transfer possible. With the MISC Starfarer, you’ll never run on empty again. - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945 Greetings Citizens, Last month, we ran a series of Hull series Q&A posts during the concept sale. The idea went over so well that we’ve decided to make it a tradition. All future concept sales will include at least one ‘post launch’ Q&A post. This week, for the Starfarer and Starfarer Gemini sale, we’re answering the questions backers have posted to this thread. We will have additional Q&A posts on Wednesday and Friday, so if your question didn’t show up today, keep watching! Question & Answer Can we get confirmation on whether or not the cargo specifications are related to the ship’s internal cargo bay, and whether or not the Starfarer Gemini’s cargo size is reduced due to the increased mass of armor? The numbers provided for the Starfarer and Starfarer Gemini are the aggregate of their internal and external cargo capacities. Most of the cargo reduction on the Starfarer Gemini is because of changes to the internals, where it will mount more reinforced bulkheads and larger military-related equipment. Will the Starfarer cargo area be able to hold pods for snub fighters and can a Rover fit inside the internal storage area? At this time, we do not expect the exploratory rover to fit inside the Starfarer’s internal bay, although something like a Greycat should. Sizing for the vehicles is still in flux, though, and in the final game the limitation will be purely physical. Does the base model Starfarer have any other advantages over the Gemini outside of increased maneuverability and increased cargo space? Increased maneuverability and cargo space are the key benefits to the standard Starfarer. There will also be differences to the internals and the finished look of the two ships. Will the inflight refueling be done while moving or stationary or both? Inflight refueling can be conducted either way; while in motion (like an actual aircraft) will be most difficult! Can both Starfarers land on a planet? Can they both land fully loaded? Yes. Unlike the larger Hull series ships, the Starfarer can set down with a full load of cargo. Would the Gemini be available to be obtained in the PU? Yes, absolutely! Anything sold through the website to benefit funding will also be available on the final universe. Are the older Starfarer owners going to get the VFG industrial hanger too? Yes, all Starfarer owners will have access to the VFG industrial hangar (also known as the “asteroid hangar.” Will the Starfarer be upgradeable to use long-range scanner, jump engine, etc, to use it as an exploration ship with a lot of cargo? Yes! There are other, more dedicated explorer ships in the ‘Verse, but the Starfarer is still a customizable platform that can be adapted for roles beyond fuel and transport. How viable is the Starfarer as a solo player ship? Max crew has grown quite a bit on it. Perfectly viable! The Starfarer has had several seats added for its part in Squadron 42, but we don’t see the gameplay changing significantly. Remember that ‘max crew’ refers to the number of people who can have a role at any one time, not the number of people needed to fly the ship in the first place. Will the Gemini variant be branded as MISC or AEGIS? Good question! In our lore, MISC builds the basic chassis of all Starfarers. If this chassis is to become a standard Starfarer, it’s completed in the MISC factory. If it’s being adapted by the military, it’s shipped off to Aegis for completion. (This is based on real life civilian aircraft which are often completed by military contractors for use as sub hunters, AWACs planes, etc.) The formal badge on the Gemini will read Aegis Dynamics, although you can rest assured a great deal of MISC work went into the ship! Can the Starfarer’s underslung fuel tanks be swapped out for holding straight cargo containers? Yes! Standardized Stor-All containers can be used instead of fuel tanks (though if you’re only interested in cargo, a Hull series ship might be a better choice; less space wasted on fuel pipes!) Can you tell us a little bit more about the state of the fuel mechanic? How important is fuel ingame? Will I have to refuel regularly on a long flight? How important is the size of my fuel tank? Is it useful to have a Starfarer on long exploration convoys? The fuel mechanic is still being developed and is likely something that will shift significantly based on actual game balance. That said, the general plan is for fuel to be important but not something you are worried about at every turn. Think of the original Wing Commander or Privateer, where you could run out of afterburner or jump fuel and be forced to travel home very, very slowly… but it wasn’t ever the key danger (jump fuel being the more dangerous of the two, as poor planning could leave you ‘stuck’ in a system without a fueling station.) We expect fuel to be a serious ‘support’ role in Star Citizen. There will be players and NPCs with Starfarers serving the masses… and the importance of fuel will go up depending on the nature of the mission. For instance, a military campaign against the Vanduul might be significantly benefited by supporting Starfarers, as the ships in battle will be taking damage and expending supplies quickly. A force of transports moving through safe space, however, might never need in-flight refueling as they will always be close to a planet. Will we Be able to Race in Old Vanderval and other Tracks Big rig racing :) Eventually! Right now, it’s likely the Starfarer would become stuck in the ‘gates’. (A racing Starfarer has already appeared in Star Citizen’s fiction.) If the Starfarer G is a military variant , can it transport one Hornet with a docking Clamp or is it possible to buy in the later PU ? The Starfarer Gemini is not intended to transport fighters. Current prototypes suggest that the midget fighter attachment for the Hull series would not really ‘fit’ on the Starfarer (as it would be blocked by the sides of the hull.) What does the Starfarer have to offer over the similarly sized Hull C? Why would you want to buy a Starfarer specificaly over the other space trucks? Fuel is the name of the game here. While the Hull C can store fuel pods (and the Starfarer can store cargo pods,) the Starfarer is further designed to do something with them. The hull superstructure has the ‘plumbing’ for actually using the fuel in those tanks, rather than just storing them. Can Starfarer be retrofitted into a heavy (but vulnerable) gunship like AC-130? We aren’t in a position to test this yet, but: quite possibly. The Starfarer (especially the Gemini version) has a number of weapons hardpoints and other modular areas. We’ve already developed a potential ‘missile pod’ that can be placed in the nose instead of the refueling equipment.       PART 2 “Welcome, new pilots and crewmen! Many of you likely dreamed about flying fighters and taking the battle to the enemy, stenciling your first Vanduul silhouette to the side of your ship. I’m here to remind you that you have an even more important job: keeping our boys and girls in the fight. Because of the fuel and support you provide, men who would otherwise perish in the cold of space will live to fight another day. No one here will judge your dedication to the Empire because of the ship you fly; you are an essential part of the process. I remind and encourage all pilots, crew and boom operators to familiarize themselves with the electrostatic hazards guide. Around here, killer aliens are the least of your worries.” - General Danis Kutler, Space Refueling Command “The weirdest thing anyone ever transported in a Starfarer? One word: spiders. Exploratory services has these three old Starfarer [Gemini]s that are slotted for supporting scientific runs but spend most of their time rotting on base. I had this idea to see how Terran spiders acclimatize on an artificial biosphere, so we kitted out a couple of their fuel pods with environmentals and we filled the tanks with a hell of a lot of spiders. Anyway, somebody [expletive deleted] up and they were all exposed to vacuum. So I guess the strangest cargo was dead spiders.” - Dr. Clyde Burroughs, Noted Exoarachnologist Greetings Citizens, Last month, we ran a collection of Hull series Q&A posts during the concept sale. The idea went over so well that we’ve decided to make it a tradition. All future concept sales will include at least one ‘post launch’ Q&A post. This week, for the Starfarer and Starfarer Gemini sale, we’re answering the questions backers have posted to this thread. We will have additional Q&A posts on Friday, so if your question didn’t show up today, keep watching! Today’s post also includes questions selected from the Star Citizen subreddit! Question & Answer How does CIG intend the Starfarer to perform in flight? 3x TR4 main thrusters and 14x TR3 mavThrusters means it will turn quite well but accelerate very very slowly. Is that intentional? To quote an earlier Chris Roberts game, the Starfarer will “maneuver like a pregnant yacht.” The standard model will maneuver more cleanly than the Gemini, but it will still be significantly slower than anything like a Hornet or even a Constellation. (Often times, the number of thrusters is defined by a ship’s shape, not because you can bring all of them to bear at once.) Do either of the Starfarer models come pre-fitted with a refinery? Also does the Gemini come with the means to collect fuel or does it come as stock with the missile system? Both variants come with limited fuel processing tools. The Gemini comes with both the external nozzle and the missile pack (in the fiction, Geminis typically mount the nozzle rather than the missiles.) Will the Starfarer Gemini suffer a reduced modularity, because of bigger engines, weapons, shields and less cargo space? This will limit some of the internal customization, as there will not be as much room as the standard model. The room system is still in the works, though, so the degree to which this is applicable is unknown at this time. Will there be any other Starfarer variants? There aren’t any in the works at the moment. Never say never, but we typically only add variants later if we have a compelling idea that we think will improve the game. But don’t plan for a ‘Super Starfarer’ any time soon! Will both versions able to have the same upgrades, or will there be some limitations due to how each is designed? The only limitations will be those introduced by equipment sizing; the Gemini can mount larger guns, shields and engines which can’t transfer back to the standard model. Everywhere else, parts should be interchangeable! EVA required to operate boom? No, the refueling equipment can be operated internally. We are playing with a mechanic in which it is faster or more efficient if operated from the external point. Which component(s) is/are responsible for the loss of cargo capacity? And can it/they be removed as well? (StarG) The primary reduction in cargo capacity is because of internal armored bulkheads which can not be removed. The larger powerplant also plays a role (and it can be reduced in size.) How many ships can one full Starfarer(G) refuel ? Like 6 Hornets , 2 Connies or even something much larger like Idris ? We don’t have an exact number yet, as it may change for game balancing, but the general thought is that it can refuel about a squadron of fighters (roughly a dozen) or a couple of larger ships. How will Starfarer Gemini be more of an Aegis design? Besides the ship interface? You will ultimately see some Aegis styling in the larger, Gemini-unique components (such as the main engine) and the internals (which are finished completely by Aegis.) Will the Gemini be available for purchase in the PU, or will it only be attainable through capture? The Gemini will be available in the persistent universe; while it’s flown by the military, it isn’t a particularly classified piece of technology. Geminis are sold not only to the UEE government, but to other powers and organizations. Will “official” fuel stations buy fuel from you while in the Starfarer? Yes. Can we refuel Alien ships like the Banu Merchantman or the Xi’An Scout with the Starfarer, or are there multiple fuel types? At the moment we’re envisioning only one type of fuel. If that changes, the Starfarer would be able to support multiple types. Can the Starfarer’s carry cargo & fuel at the same time i.e. Left side fuel, Right Side cargo! Yes! This would be accessed by the cargo management system we recently detailed during the Hull series release. Can the tanks explode? Can they be used as tactical weapons mid-flight? Under certain circumstances, the tanks can certainly explode. We intend to work out the actual physics, so it won’t be a direct ‘exploding barrel’ situation (hydrogen doesn’t explode in a vacuum in the way you may be imagining.) As for tactical weapons… well, that’s up to you! (There’s a potential Starfarer variant: an armored minelayer.) Can you go into any detail regarding the difference in the variants internals? (I want my Gemini to have that fish tank very badly) We can’t offer too many additional details, but rest assured your fish will have a home In both the Gemini and standard Starfarer (unless you swap out the captain’s quarters for another room!) Will the source of natural fuel that Starfarers collect fuel from (i.e gas giants) be relatively close to safe space? Also, will the amount of Starfarers collecting at these sources affect the output/production? Will these resources ever run out for a particular location? There will be gas giants throughout the galaxy; roughly 75% of the star systems we have built to date include at least one. The number of Starfarers shouldn’t really deplete them: gas giants are very, very big! The cargo capacity of the Starfarer changed from the Hull B Q&A (4043.52 SCU) to the Starfarer Design Update (3321 SCU). What changed over the week? Is it a difference in container efficiency of using cube shaped boxes vs round barrels in the exterior hold? This change occurred when we received the new, more detailed model to measure. You will likely see similar fluctuations with cargo on many ships as they come online, although they should all stay in a similar range. Other than fuel, what other liquid or gaseous cargo will the Starfarer be the primary choice to carry. We haven’t finished the cargo registry yet, but the options are endless. Water will be a big deal (imagine being called to help with a drought after a solar flare) as will all sorts of typical commodities: crude oil, space milk, liquid oxygen, nitrogen, melted cheese (okay, maybe not that last one.) Where will the refueling ports be on other ships? This will differ depending on the ship; though they will typically be forward of any given canopy to allow for ease of docking. Will the Starfarer be able to refuel itself? A Starfarer can refuel itself by processing fuel from its tanks. (That is to say, no need for a second Starfarer.) How many stars could a Starfarer fare if a Starfarer could fare stars? 42!     PART 3 ”The G2G Gemini is the galaxy’s premiere armored refueler. With the capacity to support a squadron of Hornets on a multi-system combat assignment, the Gemini is how the tip of the spear stays sharp. Based on the award-winning MISC Starfarer chassis, the Gemini has been rebuilt from the ground up to military specifications. Optional weapons packages ranging from missile launchers to minelayers allow this ‘turtle’ to pack a real punch! The Gemini is available for broad use today, and is highly recommended for anyone operating on the frontiers or beyond. “ - Aegis Dynamics Weapons of War! brochure, 2943 “TOP FIVE REJECTED STARFARER VARIANTS 5) Jarfarer: Carries jams, jellies and UEE Marines. 4) Carfarer: Can’t hurt to add wheels! 3) Charfarer: Packed full of delicious Terra BBQ. 2) Scarfarer: Exactly the same ship, but pointier. 1) Aarghfarer: Don’t ask.” - MISCellaneous Quarterly (internal corporate newsletter) Greetings Citizens, Last month, we ran a collection of Hull series Q&A posts during the concept sale. The idea went over so well that we’ve decided to make it a tradition. All future concept sales will include at least one ‘post launch’ Q&A post. This week, for the Starfarer and Starfarer Gemini sale, we’re answering questions backers have posted to this thread. Question & Answer With the Starfarer’s designed modular rooms, will those be unique to the Starfarer hull? Or are modular rooms being designed with cross-chassis use in mind, to allow more variety with less work by designers and artists? This will depend largely on the room; some ships (especially larger ones like the Idris and Javelin) will have rooms that could apply to multiple ships, whereas smaller ships like the Starfarer will likely end up with primarily unique rooms (although models and props can be reused between them, for ease of art and development! So while the physical room may be shaped differently, the same desk or aquarium might appear on multiple ships.) Can ALL the fuel and refining equipment be removed from either variant in favor for an all-cargo carrying version? No, you’ll always have internal fuel support systems taking up some space. Think of it this way: on the Hull series, the cargo is fully separate from the ship and the job of the ship is only picking it up and dropping it off. On the Starfarer, the ship has to interface directly with the fuel pods in flight… so there’s all sorts of internal plumbing to support this. In the PU, will it be more difficult to obtain the Star-G due to reputation requirements with a UEE military faction? Yes, the Gemini will likely be produced in significantly lower numbers. Does it come with a jump engine? Yes. Will there be other variants of Starfarer in the future, or Gemini is the only known modification? The Gemini is the only variant currently planned. Will we be able to use the Starfarer to refuel the rest of our fleet in hangar? For instance can you take your Starfarer out and collect and refine fuel and use that fuel for another ship you take out next and store the remaining fuel in some personal depot somewhere? We don’t have personal depots ready yet, but you can store the pods in your hangar. Otherwise, the answer is yes you will be able to use the Starfarer to manage your own fleet. Clearly the external cargo space of the SF can handle multiple types of cargo, but what about the internal cargo space? Can that only be used for fuel? For internal fuel, the answer is ‘anything that fits.’ It is not limited to just fuel. The stats page and ship info list the Starfarer and Gemini as having the same weapons, engines, and mass. Is this an oversight? If they haven’t yet been determined, it’s ok to tell us, it would be a lot less confusing. This is an oversight – the Gemini has one size larger turrets and engines. Because the models are very similar and components have not been finished, it’s not possible to measure a more accurate mass yet. Does the “Gemini” variant show that gas will become a strategic resource in future limited by possible trade embargoes for instance? While it’s possible in some situations that fuel will become such a resource, the existence of the Gemini doesn’t indicate this. The Gemini was created because the military needs a supply chain. In the past, we’ve told stories about fighter pilots on the front lines without filling out the entire universe… with Star Citizen, we want to show you all the support systems necessary for a universe to make sense. Can we expect soon an indepth article about fuels, liquids in general and the whole economy in the verse Yes! The fuel system and related balancing are still in development, but when we have a solid prototype in place we will present it to you. The economy will be fleshed out in many articles as we approach the launch of the persistent universe. Does the Gemini carry less actual fuel as cargo than the regular Starfarer can? Yes. I’m interested in the possibility of skimming fuel from gas giants. Any idea where they are going with that? Seems like the perfect chance for procedural generation, since you don’t even need a ground. This is one of the Starfarer’s primary goals. You can see in one of the concept pieces we put together for this promotion: the ‘filter’ is in the nose of the ship, so you need to fly down into the outer atmosphere to collect the fuel. When flying a Starfarer, will NPCs ever hail us looking for an in-flight fill-up? This seems like it could be a good way to make a little extra money for the fuel (would cost more than a normal station refill), but the request could also be a pirate trap. Absolutely! Any role we imagine in Star Citizen will be used for NPC mission generation. What is the advantage of refined vs unrefined fuel? Refined fuel can be used, unrefined fuel cannot. The Starfarer’s equipment will refine fuel much more slowly than a dedicated refinery, but quickly enough for personal use. So you’ll be able to choose between trucking vast quantities of fuel to a refinery, or refining a more limited amount immediately for your own use. What have the developers envisioned as far as mishaps during inflight refueling? What would be the results of a collision with the refueling boom? What happens to a Starfarer or refueling craft if say one of those crafts explodes mid-refueling. These situations are all bad news; we want refueling to be a challenging process, so failures and collisions should cause significant damage to ships. There seems to be a belief that an explorer would be able to hire a Starfarer for support on long trips, allowing the player to take advantage of a near unlimited supply of fuel. That seems like a good plan! Having a tanker with refinery capabilities along with you will significantly expand your range. (There will be other limitations that will likely prevent you from going forever, chief among them onboard munitions and system damage.) [/spoiler]     Summary Text of Videos These Weeks  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen and ImperialNews.Network)   WEEK 1 (May 15) 10 For the Designers 3 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript   This episode features Matt Sherman, Technical Designer from CIG LA and Pete Mackay, Designer from CIG Austin.   XPhoenix asks: If I’m a hauler and I have a friend escorting me to a new mission site, and I’m given a new hauler mission from A to B, will my friend also be generated an escort mission specifically to escort me since we are in a group, or will he just get some random mission to escort an NPC/Player from A to B?     Pete:  Well, we haven’t worked out the exact specifics on the mechanics of how that’s going to function.  But, we definitely want to keep people together.  So, if we’re in the game together, and you want to haul and I want to protect you, we want to make sure that we have some mechanism so that we can stay together for that.  But, the specifics of that haven’t really been figured out yet.       Matt:  Yeah, I mean the PU is going to have a lot of great features to it and the matchmaking is going to be one of the most challenging but the goal is to make sure that – you’re playing with your friends, let’s not artificially separate that when it makes sense that… Hey, you’re already escorting him, keep that escort going.     Aeimnestus asks: With regards to hull damage on multi-crew ships, if you have a hull breach on a Constellation during a firefight, would characters not strapped in be sucked out into vacuum?  It could be a cool idea if your ship is being boarded to vent out intruders or blow up a chunk of the hull of a ship you are about to board to deal with any walking around crewmen.     Matt:  So… yeah!  That was actually one of the things sort of highlighted in the Constellation multicrew demo last year – that we definitely want a hull breach to have some catastrophe for the people on board.  If a hole gets opened in your ship, yeah people are going to get vented out.  It’s why we’ve also got the notion of magboots for a lot of guys where… Hey, you’re under attack.  You might want to clamp onto the ground because you never know when the wall might open up or buckle on you.     Grey Beard asks: The Hull B having TR8s, while those engines are physically smaller than the Constellation’s TR5s, would be ridiculous otherwise unless all ships are having their main engines changed to a new size system. So, are ships TR limited, or size limited? Can I put TR8s from a salvage operation on my Connie if they are structurally smaller than the current TR5s?     Pete:  So there’s two aspects to that:     One is that the TR rating is not a size rating.  It doesn’t say anything about how big the thruster is, it just describes how much thrust it can put out.     The second part of that question is about taking a TR8 from a salvage operation that’s smaller than potentially a TR5 that may go on a Constellation.  In the specific case of that Constellation, I think that the thrust of a TR8 would probably shear off the engines from the Constellation, which is why the engineers limited it to only TR5s and not TR8s.     Rhapsody asks: Would it be possible to link the force of the directional thrusters to the throttle, down to a minimum force?     Matt:  So, that’s actually a really cool idea.  It’s something kind of along the lines of what we’re exploring right now with some of the ship, thruster, and acceleration updates that we’re doing.  I mean, it’s just a lot of tuning it and work for it to make sure that… what that throttle point is.  One – Is it easy to access that and make sure that you don’t have to do five different hotkeys to get into that throttle but also making sure that you get out of it quick enough and that’s not a weird sticky context.       Pete:  We’re definitely exploring some methods by where your throttle is not so sensitive, so you’re not going from huge amounts of thrust with small changes to your throttle input.  So, a good example would be: In congested areas where you don’t necessarily… you know, you want a bit more fine control over your throttle.  So we’re definitely looking at ways of scaling the throttle itself.     Jmack asks: What’s the fuel efficiency difference between larger versus smaller ships?  If you are carrying the same weight, how much difference will there be?  How much will we need to “right size” our ship to any given mission?     Pete:  That’s a really good question.  Right now, we are definitely in the analytics phase of that to try and figure out the total operating costs of hauling cargo.  Because, that is a scenario… before with all of the non-cargo-hauling ships, their masses are all relatively close together, but now that we’re adding the cargo ships the range of masses is getting so much larger.  We have to really think about how fuel costs are going to play into that.  We want to make sure that it’s balanced so that it’s no efficient that the big ships are the only way to make money, but the reverse of that is that we don’t want to penalize players in fuel costs so much that they actually make less money than if they were using a fleet of smaller ships.  We are definitely looking into making sure that both sizes of ships can be really fun to play for everybody.     Shifty asks: Will there be equally strong size 1 and size 3 weapons, or will a bigger gun perform a bigger output?     Matt:  Yes.  There is definitely going to be a range of potency on all of the weapons and all of their sizes.  It is one of the big things that we want to have as sort of the long term tuning choices that you have where you can really fiddle with a size 1 to make it your own and to really specialize what it can do.       Some of the other parts of that question that Shifty had in his post, though, was also dealing with the current Sledge II and how it’s really really powerful conceptually for a mass driver.  So, one of the big things that we’re looking forward to with the upcoming physically based damage system is actually a big overhaul on all of these weapons.  Really redefining what a mass driver’s behaviour is, this what kind of damage it’s going to be doing, this is the cost/benefit for running that weapon.  Because, yeah… the Sledge II was pretty much just free damage, no penalty and… it actually helped us find out… that’s not the best situation.     Draco Houston asks: A common complain about Arena Commander is that, for better or worse, the only way to reload missiles, bullets,  and get repaired is to eject.  Will we ever be able to escape the fight with quantum travel or go to a far off point without having to respawn?     Pete:  So, this is definitely something that is in your wheelhouse here in LA but I have seen some talk about some upcoming changes to Arena Commander.  Do you have any input on that, or insight?     Matt:  Yeah, I mean… absolutely.  Refitting and repairing your ship – it’s a core component of the game in the grand scheme of things and so Arena Commander is our big test bed for all of these features so, at some point, we are definitely going to have a system of re-equipping your ship in.  What form that’s going to take, we still have to figure that out and make sure that it’s also what you would be experiencing in the persistent universe.     Pete:  Right, so it would be something like a little nugget of what it will really be like in the full game.     Matt:  Exactly.     Pete:  Cool.     Banos asks: In space, will ships have the same optimal speed, but with a different acceleration, or simply different speed?     Matt:  Now, this is something that we’ve been working on for a couple weeks now.  It started with the throttle work we mentioned a few questions ago.  So, we’re definitely looking at that and you’ve actually been doing a lot more with what these masses are now, right?       Pete:  Yeah, there’s a lot of work that’s going on right now with thrusters in general and ship movement.  One of the things we’ve been experimenting with internally is a method of setting your maximum speed – well, it’s not really your maximum speed because you can exceed it but your normal combat speed – dynamically, based on a lot of different variables.  And, part of that is the acceleration of your ship does play a part into what speed you can reach.  So, the goal is to get something that’s really interesting and dynamic and it’s not just: Oh, well you have a Hornet so your top speed is always 200.  Not just using an arbitrary method of coming up with a new top speed… really having that top speed figured out by not just your main engines but the ability of the other thrusters on your ship to contribute to your handling.       Matt:  Yeah, the total package of how your ship moves really should be determining it.       Pete:  Right, exactly.     Shodan Incarnate asks: How will cargo be handled when having a cargo box isn’t too feasible or even possible with small ships like the Aurora or civilian Hornet?     Pete:  Right, so with those ships what will happen is that your items will go into those cargo holds but there’s no way to actually access that while you’re in flight.  You’ll have to  land at that point.  It’s not going to be an issue where you’ll ever need to look at it while you’re flying around.     Matt:  So, smaller ships – the Aurora, the Hornet, probably the 300 series.  Anything where that cargo box may have to be attached on the outside or accessed from the outside.  You would be able to open it up and see what’s in there but you won’t really be manipulating that from the pilot’s seat or really able to look at a cargo manifest like you would if you had a big hauler ship like a Hull series or even any of our other cargo ships like a Merchantman or Starfarer.     Basher asks: Would it be possible to design the Redeemer’s lower, modular section as a fully capable, theater wide C3ISTAR suite to include decoys, jamming, and intel collection?     Matt:  Probably not theater-wide because that sort of implies a lot of systems and a massive fleet that you’re coordinating.  And while we can’t say for sure that it will be its own modular room, you’ll definitely be able to outfit really any ship and not just a Redeemer by tuning what equipment you use for these kinds of communications, electronic warfare, info running-type gameplay where you can trade out some weapons for some additional comm gear.  You can tune your avionics in your ship to either defend against or make you a better info runner or jammer.  It won’t really be locked to one ship.  It will be more a style of gameplay and a set of components that support that gameplay.       Pete:  That sounds really cool.         [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 44 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris Ben – Ben is all alone this week.  Sandi is in London, shooting SQ42.  We can’t know who she’s playing or what she’s shooting, but she’s having a great time. – Week was pretty big.  Friday has Hyper Vanguard Force, a great game created by Dave Richard, Christine Marsh, and Behaviour. – The FPS status update came out on Friday as well.  Check it out for character models, back-end work, audio work.  It’s not just the folks from Illfonic, it’s involving all the teams around the world. – MISC Starfarer update post came out as well.  The Tanker was one of the ships Ben helped design early in the campaign.  Foundry 42 have taken it over, are using it for SQ42. – The Starfarer Gemini was also released.  It was originally a bit of flair text, but fans liked it, so it’s been made.  Impressive ship, more armour and weapons, but loses some speed and cargo capacity. – QA on the Starfarers this week, if you have questions, ask on the forums or on Reddit. – Crowdfunding is going very well.  Just hit 82 Million, likely thanks to the Starfarer. – John and Brenda Romero stopped by CIG early in the week.  John is the father of FPS, co-creator of Doom.  He and his wife now teach a game-design masterclass, and they got shown around CIG. – A huge shout-out to the Star Citizen subreddit, which hit 50,000 subscribers last week.  CIG do not own or operate the subreddit, but they love the community.  In fact, it was Reddit that discovered Star Citizen before the game even went live.  7 users registered before the site even went live. – Welcome aboard to Patrick Prost, new lead moderator.  He’s been answering CS tickets, and will now be moderating the official forums. 4:30 News from Around the ‘Verse   Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick and Travis Day. – They’ve been doing support for Illfonic.  Taking the vehicle radar system, doing a framework adjustment, making it more able to support things like audio events triggering radar blips.  Basically a new signature type – sound.  Different materials can broadcast sound events (materials will broadcast sound when they’re impacted, etc…), and those will show up on radar. [FPS Radar, not ship radar] – That’s being tackled by Mark Abent, who is not just a bugsmasher.  He’s also a feature-smasher. – AI programmer Chad Zamzow is coming up with a series of taunts, where you can use taunts to do things like pull enemies off you, tell your wingmen to ‘attack my target’, etc..  The ability to choose what targets your wingmen attack.   6:40 – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt – Gadgets and strategy they’ve found during playtesting. – They’ve got a hologram gadget and a personal shield gadget.  Normally you can select one, if you’re heavy you can get multiple, but light or medium you can only get one each.  It’s fun to have one person drop the personal shield, and have another drop the hologram behind it, so people get stuck shooting at a protected hologram that you don’t notice is a hologram till you’re closer. – An entire team will kit out with force propulsion grenades, and try to pull players into a warehouse when the gravity is off, then throw all the grenades at the same time.  Results in players flying off in all directions, which makes it hard to organize a team. – That’s it for this week, ‘look forward to next week’.   6:50 – Austin – Jake Ross and Lee Amarakoon – Social module – They have an emote system in testing phase (behaviour are incorporating that into the chat system).  /dance, /clap, /cheer work. – Player info service and presence service are in code review, which go into network back=end work, to help the game run smoothly. – Lee has been working on VFX for Nyx, and working on the tunnel system.  Tunnels with water dripping down that look like the sewers from Ninja Turtles, adding various things to the outside of Nyx, just making it look like an asteroid with a base inside.  Lots of fog and smoke and steam for atmosphere. – Lee also did the crystal for the flair.  If you wait a while, you can see some tendrils floating off of it.   11:00 – CIG UK – Eric Kieron Davis and Forrest Stephan – They’re normally in LA, but they’re out in the UK to work on the character pipeline. – Making sure that for FPS release, the characters are up to the standards of the rest of the Universe.  They’ve been up-rezzing the models, making sure they’re built with PBR materials, just making them look better as a whole. – In an effort to raise the bar, they’re building some new tech.  The new tech won’t be on the characters for FPS release, but it’ll raise the bar soon after.  Currently for FPS, we’ve seen the characters, but in the very near future the bar on the quality of characters will go even higher.   12:30 Sandi and Chris SG – Hey everybody, it’s Sandi, I’m here on the set of SQ42 in between scenes, and I’m here with Chris Roberts, and how’s it going? CR – It’s going good!  We’re in our fourth week of performance capture, so that’s like principal photography on a film, so, I’d like to tell you about the story, but I can’t.  But we’re having a good time.  I think we talked about what motion capture and performance capture is, performance capture is where you capture everything on the face as well as a body mesh, and you can see all these people moving things around here, we can’t really tell you what the set is, but you sort of block out elements that are the same size as the digital props or sets are, so the actors know where to touch, where to interact.  So it’s fun.  Having a good time. We’re on the Imaginarium motion capture volume, here at Ealing studios, which is where we’re shooting SQ42, and there’ll be lots of cool behind  the scenes footage, so when SQ42 comes out and you guys get to play it, you can also see a lot more of behind the scenes, that you can appreciate.  But I think you’ll appreciate that we’re not kind of sharing it all out there right now so you can discover the story and the characters and the plot.  I will say that I’m really excited by what we’re doing, I think we’ll sort of take the sense of being on a ship and interacting with various people and characters that hasn’t been done before.  The very first Wing Commander had that sort of promise, and things went on from there, but I think right now we’re doing something that’s going to be really fluid and kind of more immersive than has ever been done before. On anything I’ve seen.  But that can maybe just be my hyperbole, but I hope not.  It feels good. So we’ve still got a bunch of tech to work out, but we’re definitely capturing some great stuff, some sort of more personal, emotional stuff, characterization stuff, so hopefully your crew, you’ll really have time to sit, talk with them, interact with them, get to know some of them, so when things happen later in the story it’ll have some impact on you as a player ‘cause you’re emotionally invested so, it’s a lot of fun, we’re having a good time, Dave is videoing this right now, I trust the lead writer with Will being responsible for writing the SQ42 script, he did an amazing job, which so far about 450 pages, I think it’s going to end up at around 550, which will make it more pages than any of the ones I’ve done before, including Wing Commander 4, so….And I’m being told I should stop now, so, by the way, it’s 400, it’ll be about 500 pages solid, because Wing Commander 4 was about, the page count was higher, but not actually scene counts or line counts.  Anyway, that’s it, and, there’s the update for you guys! 15:40 Ben – Thanks for the update, we could literally not do this without you, cause you are literally the ones doing it. – Now, lets kick it to kick it to Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian. 15:50 Ship Shape – Lisa has Marc Toscano with her, the lighting and look dev artist. LO – Mark, tell us a bit about your process. MT – Well, normally what we’d do is get the ship from modelling, and put it into a grey room, a neutral environment, literally a grey room, and we work from there.  Highlight the ship, accent body parts, and just make it cool. LO – What’re the basic lights needed for an SC ship? MT – we’ve broken it down into 4 categories.  Navigation lights – running lights or strobes on any kind of aircraft or naval vessel.  Accent lights – lights that highlight logos or nooks and crannies to give the ship some character.  Beauty lights - If it’s a military ship, beauty lights are formation lights, otherwise it’s more lights to highlight the ship and the overall look. LO – You mentioned giving ships character.  What things influence the character and style of ships? MT – Mainly what kind of ship it is.  For example, the Mustang has 4 or 5 variants.  Civilian, military, racing.  The military model will be more subdued.  Running lights, maybe a strobe or two, the racing model, you want to highlight the company sponsoring the ship, the logos, make the ship look really really cool. LO – so the manufacturer impacts the look of the ship? MT – Yes.  We’re currently putting together style guides for each manufacturer, so each will have a certain look.  Even though it’s in the galactic world of Star Citizen, everything will have a standard (navigation lights and such), but each company will have a particular look to it. LO – So what’s your favourite thing about doing lighting for ships in SC? MT – Goes back to the style guides.  You get to define the overall look of everything. LO – Well, thanks for joining us.  I’m Lisa, this was Marc, and tell us in the comments and the forums what you want to see in future episodes of Ship Shape. 19:20 Ben – I guess you could say that was one of our ‘lighter’ segments. – Now over to James Pugh. 19:40 James Pugh interviewing Kirk Tome, Senior Technical Designer JP – Hey Kirk, how you doing? KT – Terrific. JP – Thanks for coming on.  So, what’re you working on right now? KT – Currently we’re developing a system called GOST.  In the past, what we’d done to hardcode ship systems, things like opening the canopy, entering ships, entering cargo areas, they were all pre-set in ways that were unmalleable. JP – Can we get an example real quick? KT – Sure, the Avenger for example.  The way in which you open the rear cargo area and enter the ship through the various interiors by opening the doors and going into the seat itself, they’re all systems in which the animations and behaviours were all set in stone.  So as we thought about making new ships, the amount of interactions we can have with them are becoming more and more limited.  So what ghost does is it gives designers the ability to incorporate actions that are specific to components, especially new ones that come aboard.  This is important for ships with large interiors such as the capital ships, in which we’ll make more interactions like, new types of beds or the shower, or getting into turrets, all those interactions we can make specific to the interaction on that ship as we see fit. JP – So instead of it being a pre-canned thing, it’s almost like everything gets its own special one? KT – Right, and we can do it on an interaction to interaction and station to station basis.  If we make a new item, we can just go ahead and implement that almost immediately. JP – So it’s almost like it’s freeing you guys.  So instead of bringing down the ladder and getting in the cockpit, you bring down the ladder, end animation, then you can go through the animation to get in the ship, correct? KT – Correct.  In the past that was a one-off animation and experience.  Now, if we choose to we can go ahead and make that interaction a little different by giving the choice to stop after the ladder has deployed, and then choose to enter the cockpit or the copilots seat. JP – Interesting, so it’s almost like you’re opening up the possibility for more interactions. KT – Right, especially for ones we haven’t created yet, and we know we’re going to have a lot more of those as we go further along and make ships that have functionality that we haven’t implemented, or even haven’t thought of yet. JP – What was the impetus for the ghost system? KT – Well, Dan Tracy knew that, going forward, our limited systems we had in place wouldn’t be enough.  So we worked with our UK office and got the ghost system up and running.  It’s still in its infant stages, but as we work with it some more, we’ll figure out ways in which we can make it a lot easier for designers to utilize and then start implementing it on our legacy ships, and then all our ships going forward. JP – It’s almost like you’re laying the foundation to allow the freedom to decide what someone wants to do. KT – Absolutely JP – Interesting.  So besides the ghost system, what else are you working on? KT – I am currently implementing the whitebox for the Constellation, taking it from Hangar-Ready to Flight ready.  I did that previously with the Gladiator, took it from Hangar Ready to Flight Ready, and it’s currently in game. JP – Another thing you work on, which our fans are really excited about, is balance.  What can you tell me about missile balance? KT – One missile that was recently balanced was the Talon (he meant to say Tempest).  Thanks to the community we discovered it was very difficult to avoid, nigh impossible, really.  What happened was the Talon system, being that it’s a cross section type missile, we mistakenly gave it the ability to see through noise quite a bit, and that resulted in that avoiding it was incredibly difficult because of the ability for it to see through almost any amount of chaff.  So we took the factor of the ability for it to see through noise, and we tweaked it so it was much closer to what the other missiles had.  Another set of balances was we made its turning rate and its maneuverability, we ratcheted it slightly down, so it would not be such an incredibly overpowered missile. JP – Is that fine? *Disco-Lando Hennessy* – Talon! (also meant to say Tempest) JP – So, after you balance the missile, how do you rectify, cause you don’t want every missile to be the same, that’s no fun, so how do you keep what that missiles’ supposed to be in mind when you’re trying to make it more aligned with the rest? KT – It’s not a case of making every single missile unique, it’s about balancing different aspects of each missile.  So, for example, with the missile type itself does a lot, whether it’s EM or Strike or a cross-section missile.  All we do is we really tweak the various sensitivities and its behaviours in ways that are significant enough for you to notice.  Nudging a number here, making it slightly slower, making it more powerful when it explodes.  Making the shockwave when it explodes larger, so it pushes objects away, making the radius of the explosion it creates so it can hit multiple ships, all those packaged up make each missile unique. JP – Sounds really interesting.  Kirk, thanks for joining us. KT – It’s been a pleasure JP – Back to you guys!   26:00 Ben – If there’s one thing that makes spaceships go, it’s thrusters!   26:15 Pete Mackay and John Pritchett on Thrusters PM – So, today we’re going to talk a bit about the flight control software that you actually built to make ships fly. JP – I’d like to discuss a bit the algorithms i use to control the ships, talk about what’s in the game so people can understand a bit about how the ships are controlled, and then talk about the next step where we’re going to start adding algorithms for waypoints and auto-pilot for the larger ships. PM – Can you start us off by giving us a high-level view of how the system works, and some of the key features of what makes the flight control software what it is? JP – Okay, sure, the current flight control system is a feedback control system.  It’s based on the idea that it’s velocity control, so you’re controlling the joystick or the throttle, and you’re setting a linear or an angular velocity for your ship.  Based on the velocity set point, it uses a feedback algorithm to decide the velocity the ship needs and achieve that, and maintain, that velocity over time.  That worked well for very dynamic control where you’re frequently changing the set point for velocity, I don’t know if we can show a graph of the controller response curve that I have. It’s a typical proportional differential controller, and that’s what I use in the game for the feedback control, so that type of control response is not optimal, which is something we got a lot of feedback from the community about, because they wonder why I’m not getting the maximum amount of acceleration out of my thrusters at any one given time, when they’re ramping up to a certain velocity or going back down to zero, and the reason for that is this type of curve here. PM – Okay, so, which part of the curve are we looking at? JP – This is just to demonstrate the form of the curve.  It’s basically an exponentially limited cosign, so based on the games that you choose it can have, it can be overdamped, you can have oscillation, we want to try to avoid that.  Or, in order to avoid that, you want to increase the damping so the settle time takes longer, but if it’s under-damped it takes too long to settle in to your set point, so there’s a critical settle point that we try to achieve that gets you there as quick as possible, given this formula. PM – So looking at this graph, it looks like the dotted line here is, you’ve set the velocity to 100m/s, and you’re starting at 0, and the flight control software on the red line tries to get you there as fast as possible, and it overshoots.  And oscillates back down until it settles out.  So what’s going on with the blue-line? JP – So that’s if you’ve tuned it so you don’t have any oscillation, but it’s underdamped so it takes longer before it settles. PM – So with the redline you get this overshoot, but it actually settles down to the target velocity a lot faster than with the blue ends up. JP – In a real control system, you want to try to tune it so there’s just about 2% overshoot before it starts to settle, and that gives you your optimal settle time, but for our practices, because of the fact that it’s a discrete system rather than a time varying system, and the inconsistencies that come out of numerical error, and things like that, I tend to work with a truly critically damped system, to try to keep things in control. PM – Well, you’ve made something really cool, and I’m glad I got to talk with you a little bit on camera today, so we can share it with everyone else, cause as long as I’ve been here I”ve been super impressed by what you’ve been able to do, cause starting from the very beginning, I saw the initial phases of the initial implementation, and it was a lot of hard work, so I think it’s really really cool that I get to help you show it off today. JP – Great, and thanks for the opportunity.  It’s nice to finally get the chance to talk to the fans a little about it and get into some details. PM – Well, back to you Ben! *If you want to see more of the interview, more will be posted on Friday (probably on Facebook?)*   30:40 Ben – THRUSTERS! – Years back, there was a point where the entire company was Ben and Pete in a room without a desk.  Good days. – That wraps it up for Around the ‘Verse this week. Subscribers, check your subscription areas for a new edition of Jump Point tomorrow evening. James Pugh will be running a charity livestream this week on Twitch, with Disco Lando, and ship giveaways!  Starts Saturday, May 16th at 10am PDT – Twitch.tv/cigcommunity If you’re in Germany next week at Fed Con, one of the larger SC orgs, Phoenix Interstellar, has decided to volunteer some demo units to show off SC. May 21 – 24, Maritim Hotel, Duesseldorf, Germany. If you’re interested in showing off SC at your own events, post it on the forums! There’ll be a free-fly event unlock this week, all ships in the Aurora and Mustang lineup will be available to test.   Sneak Peek – It’s a door.  Closed, then an open door.  Looks like…a door? [Note from Nehkara: I think this is a shot from Nyx] - Tune into Reverse the ‘Verse tomorrow at 11am PDT to find out what the sneak peek was. [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 47 (video/INN) [spoiler] Notes by Erris and Nehkara NEWS will be in BOLD, hijinks will be regular text, our silliness is in italics. – I see Ben, Alexis, and Jenny. – 11am over at CIG.  More people are arriving.  James Pugh, Chelsea, Alyssa – The Clippers are probably a horse. – SPAAAAAAAACE. – Planets!  Mining! – Jump Point piece on Oso system and the Osoians by Ben Lesnick coming today. – Ben is forgetting what everyone’s jobs are. – Ben was solo hosting AtV this week, he did a good job.  Two more solo hosts before Sandi returns. – James Pugh wrote a jump point article about something this week. – Toast is in his law cave. – Sandi and Ben are good friends and Ben misses her. – They’re talking about basketball. (I thought it was horses) Horse basketball. (best sport ever) – Ship Shape logos on reddit are cool.  Make more! – Alyssa will be a Scofield soon. – They’re going to see Mad Max tonight after work / a little bit during work.  But they’ll come back after. – Now they’re talking about dipping pretzels in things.  Cheese, marinara, mustard. – We’re 12 minutes in, and they haven’t actually mentioned a ship yet - The MISC Reliant, third starter ship which is a two seater with loads of Xi’An technology, will be on sale starting next week. - Price will come out later today – Art Sneak Peek was a door from Nyx. As Nehkara theorized - Nyx, Terra, and another system are being worked on in Austin.  Terra is quite far along. – Turbulent meeting on Tuesday – people have asked for $5 gift cards, they’ll bring it up. - What type of benefits does the Xi’An tech do in ships, what are the advantages of using it? – Freelancer that infuses xi’an, lots is visual.  It’s not that they’re necessarily better, it’s that they’re different.  Like a toilet infused with japanese toilet technology.  Which is a terrible example, and Ben is immediately backing away from it. Biggest difference is the Thrusters, how the computers work, how the interiors look, things like that. – Nothing has really changed about the FPS since the update last week.   – No sneak-peeks on ships like the Connie.  Not ready to show it yet.  But when it is, they’ll show us. 15 Minutes - We get to see a lot of stuff.  Alyssa wants to take away our stuff. No she doesn’t.  She just wants to keep some things secret so we can sometimes be surprised. - CitizenCon tickets have no ETA… but SoonTM.  They want to be able to announce all of the details when they sell tickets. Who wants INN to have a presence at CitizenCon? – No release date yet for the Herald.  Artist who was working on it is doing things for the Bengal Carrier for Squadron 42. - Can you be arrested and put in a prison?  Not as long as they don’t find out the terrible things you’ve done.  But yes, yes they can.   – They have talked about breaking people out of space prison.  Even some of the early stories were about it. - They want you to be able to do the things that are demonstrated in their official fiction. - You can be a career criminal planetside as well as in space… Tony Zurovec will update on this soonish. – CCU system update.  Disco Lando saw it.  It’s coming along, looking good.  It’ll be good once it’s ready.  - News from Around the ‘Verse will eventually feature Behaviour, Turbulent, and Frankfurt.  It’s a work in progress. – They’re going to be getting some footage of their new offices soon. - Mustang rework – It’s not getting a fancy redesign, it’s just getting moved into the new damage system / new lighting system.  It won’t be different, just prettier. – Will there be spaceships?  Yes. – Hornet is probably with Chris Smith, to get it into its new damage state.  It’ll get that rework done before SQ42 hits. – Anniversary sale will happen again this year in November, as always. – Lisa is at her sister’s graduation today. – Won’t give a hard or soft date for FPS release.  They will say NOTHING! – It’s being worked on, and the last couple of times they’ve put dates on it, development stuff got in the way / didn’t go to plan.  So now they’re trying to keep it a little more quiet so, once it is ready, they’ll announce it and we can freak out. They also want it to be more feature complete than AC, and they want to bring everyone in at one time.  It’s just requiring a bit more time.  More discussion about that ‘in the future’.   – Disco Lando DOWN!  Disco Lando DOWN!  (He came rolling into the screen and crashed into the wall.) – Most common CS questions – Can I get LTI on my ship, I can’t login to my account (cause I’m using the wrong login), changes all the time. – THEY JUST MENTIONED US – INN has a dancing Ben embedded on their page (BECAUSE WE DO!) – Will there be any ships that can morph into multiple ships? – Question just fizzled out and didn’t get answered. From Ben – If we think of a cool way to rip that up, we will. – Calix Reneau is here! :) – People want a song about LTI sung by Ben. – 16-year-olds will not be allowed at CitizenCon. – James Pugh and Disco Lando will be doing a 24 hour Livestream starting at 10 AM Pacific tomorrow for charity.  It will be on CIGCommunity channel. 30 Minutes – Controller balance – Things are balanced all the time.  No matter what CIG say about balance – they said they’re willing to change the system to get it to work, and they understand it’s not where it’s supposed to be – it doesn’t help that people flip out and say they’re being ignored.  Constructive, not angry, criticism.   – Bye Bye Star Citizen LTI, Fix your ship… [song fades away] - No new modes coming to AC immediately.  New modes are in proposal stage… proving them out in small scale.  If they work out they will look into bringing them into large scale. – Next thing we’ll see is FPS. – Posters are not important enough to shout about.  They want to do them but it’s a fulfillment issue. – Chairs are still a hot-button issue with CIG. - Will there be a long time between FPS and Social?  Hopefully not but they’re not ready to release dates for either. - LTI will not be going away.  They can’t make everyone happy.  LTI IS NOT A BIG DEAL!  It’s a slight benefit to help out early backers.  LTI IS NOT A BIG DEAL! – Ben comparing it to Privateer’s landing fees which cost ~50 credits each time you landed and it was essentially not even noticable. – Vanguard Variants – they have it going, and we’ll hear about them when they’re pretty. – If they released everything just as it was being blocked out, we’d think it was final, and we’d freak out.  They have to hold onto things until they’re a little locked down (even though nothing’s locked down) – Calix got ‘grabby hands’ working so you could play cards, but it was a prototype, but it wasn’t pretty yet, so no-one’s seen it. - Don’t insult each other in chat.  Or on the forums.  Or at all.  Be nice.  People still have feelings, even if they’re on the Internet. – Chris Roberts truly believes in Star Citizen, and it really comes across when you speak with him. – Oka – They wanted him on the show, but he didn’t want to, and they’re not going to force it.  But Oka is apparently awesome. – Fry Flee week – All of the Starter ships, Mustang and Aurora line, and all the variants, are fly free. – Starfarer QA and Jump Point will be up later today. – News on HOTAS – in plans, but still no updates.  Progress has happened.  Sandi and Ben did a multi-continental webinar (they skyped), for a design and planning meeting for the rollout.  There’s a team working on it, they’re passionate about it.  It’s being worked on, and there’re multiple things they’ll be doing.   - Reliant will be $50 – It’s so cool (the Reliant).  James’ second favourite ship.  Designed by Dave Hobbins (who is contracting ships).  Same jump from the Aurora to the Mustang (so, Reliant is two mustangs more awesome than an aurora) – Concept sale, so it’s just the standalone ship.  Will not include the game.   – They do have Crucible information.  Not the play.  The ship.  It’s currently in early early design stages, being reviewed by CR to make sure it’s on par with all the other ships. 45 Minutes - CCU’s only exist when the ships are flyable.  So, as a concept sale, there will be no way to CCU up.  Once the ship is flyable, you’ll be able to CCU.   – It has the same flair as a concept sale, all the same….ITS A CONCEPT SALE. - Is FPS delay affecting other releases?  Not significantly.  Sometimes when something needs to go out it’s all hands on deck.  That’s not the case with FPS, so there’s no huge impact on large world or multicrew or anything else.  Everything else is still on track. – There are no plans to add retroactive flair for things like the Freelancer and the Connie.  The ship models themselves will eventually be available in the game.  The Takuetsu models.  They’ll exist in the PU. – The Puglisi collection was named in memory of a fallen fan.   – 23 million flair – with 1.1.3 (which came out yesterday), anyone who backed before 23 mil gets a ‘distinct’ Xi’An ship, a collectors edition. – Gamescom 2014 trophy should be available soon.  Behaviour’s goal is to have it done before this year’s Gamescom. – The Scythe is coming.  It’s being worked on right now by tech designers.  Should be good.  That’ll allow the folks who bought it ages ago will be able to fly it. – Cheating and hacking – They’re against cheating and hacking, and they’ll do everything they can to stop it.  They just don’t know what that’ll be, but it’ll evolve as it goes.  Philosophy is to be reactive to it.  People will find things they didn’t think of, and CIG want to be able to be so in touch with the community that they can say, here’s what people are doing, here’s how to fix it.  They will be vigilant! – Travis is here! – Shooting people in the face. – Travis was going out car shopping and shaved his beard off to look more… employed. – Guns cannot be set to stun at this time. – Travis estimates that the FPS module will arrive sooner than you expect but longer than you’d like… ™. – SATABall: Space Rugby with a stun gun in a zero-G environment. – You will not be able to attack people with frying pans at this time. – The FPS Module is Gandalf… it will arrive precisely when it means to. - Dual wield guns in FPS – not at this time, but probably later.   - One-shot headshots are a hard maybe… it depends on what armour is equipped and what weapon you’re being hit by. - EWAR will probably be able to affect thrusters, causing a ship to spin out of control.  Not necessarily any weapons that’ll be able to do that.   – Travis is having a hard time leading them out of RtV. – And that’s it! [/spoiler]        WEEK 2 (May 22) 10 For the Artists 2 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Nehkara and Erris   This episode features Lance Powell, Supervising Art Director, and Elwin Bachiller Jr. [posing as Daniel Kamensky for the first 2/3 of the episode], Senior 3D Artist and later on in the episode they are actually joined by Daniel Kamensky, Surfacing Artist.   Blackjack asks: In the real world, fuel comes to the craft instead of the craft travelling to a central fuel depot. Will this be the case in Star Citizen?     LP:  Basically, they want to know if you will be able to purchase additional fuel, store fuel in the hangar, and so on.     EB:  So, a couple of things.  You will definitely be able to purchase fuel.  You will be able to – well, the plan is to allow some ships to able to collect fuel from nebulas by just flying through them and then converting it inside the ship to actually use it as a propellant.     And then we’ve got ships dedicated to fuel entirely like one of the versions of the Starfarer – the entire purpose of it is just to haul fuel from one location to the other and it’s got the ability to refuel ships while in flight… so, that’s kinda cool.     LP:  Sounds like a space AAA (Amercian Automobile Association – roadside assistance).     EB:  Yeah, exactly.     LP:  So, you run out of fuel.  You hit the button… and it says, “OnStar.  Can I help you?” and you’re like, “I’m stuck.  I’m out here in a nebula.”     EB:  I’m hoping we make it sort of like a skill challenge where you have to actually line up your ship on to the Starfarer, get them to dock properly, and then refuel and just take off.  But who knows, we’re still working on that.     LP:  And if you’re texting, then what happens?     EB:  Crash and burn… kill about 16 people.     LP:  That’s right.     Notable Joe asks: Since you’re creating pieces for the far future, how do you come up with a good design, that’s not too sci-fi cheesy, or too retro?  Have you asked CR to send you into orbit for, you know… research? :)     EB:  We joke about it sometimes… about getting sent into orbit.  I actually want to do the “vomit comet” – the parabolic flight – that would be super cool.     So, coming up with a cool design…     LP:  Can I just stop you for 2 seconds and just join me in this…     *Looks into the camera*     CR… we want to go to space.  For research.     EB:  For research.     LP:  For research.     EB:  So, the design question – I think in a previous 10 for the Artists we talked about this a little bit.  We tend to start off with real life examples of what it is that we are trying to achieve.  So, if a spaceship is designed to accomplish a specific goal – whatever that might be, transporting fuel, dogfighting…     LP:  Space AAA.     EB:  Space AAA.  A mining ship… whatever it is.  We collect as many references for the actual function before we even start figuring out how we’re going to design the aesthetics of the ship.  So, we start off with function and then we go ahead and build the design around it.  The rest of that comes from the style guides that we’ve already put in place for the manufacturers.  So, if you have an Aegis ship which is supposed to be a mining vessel – well, the Reclaimer is actually not a mining vessel.  But, as an example let’s assume there was an Aegis ship that was a mining vessel.  We would start off with mining equipment as references, and then we’d go ahead and apply the Aegis aesthetic on top of that.  So we’d have smooth curves.  We’d have like… space shuttling panelling, since that’s part of the look for them, and we’d probably have the intakes on the top since that’s like an Aegis thing.  So, we have style guides which define some of the elements that these ships need to have and that’s kind of how we arrive at the look.  And we’ll do variations of that and pick the coolest one.     LP:  Right.  I think just to add some colour to that… the game takes place in the year 2900 [not entirely accurate… 2945] and one of the things we kick around a lot, more as a form of entertainment to new people who come on – myself included – the year 2900 is just a date that works for the story.  It doesn’t have practical implications on how design is going to work in the future.  And a good example of that would be… there is some technology that is being worked on today and that technology far outshoots anything we’re planning for Star Citizen 900 years later.     So, the concept that we’ve been working with on the art side, specifically with the Persistent Universe and with some of the concept art, instead of people going… “Well, in 900 years everything is going to be a hologram and you may have a teleporter and your dog is going to be made out of nanobots and they’ll be able to freeform and reform.”  Instead of all that stuff, we’re saying… you can take a look at Rome as an example and 2000 years ago Rome was a dominant culture on the planet.  They were hundreds of years ahead of almost every other culture and then they had the plaques and wars and they were sacked several times by the Gauls and basically it sent them back into the stone age.  So, 900 years is really… what does it mean?  You look at Star Wars is at 900 years… you look at Star Trek is at 300 years.  So, it’s our timeline and how we choose to tell the story.     And to your point about the ships:  I think that the ships take a nod from a lot of the cultural and creative influences that we grew up with.  So, you’re always going to see something that inspired us at some point in time slowly work its way into some of our designs because that’s what we grew up with – that’s what we really enjoy.  More importantly, it’s also what CR’s tastes are – it’s right in line with the stuff that we grew up with.     I think the aesthetics kind of lends itself to something we’ve seen and re-envisioned, more than something that we’ve never seen because we can’t imagine what stuff is going to look like 900 years from now.   wonderCHIN asks: Are we going to see more interior concepts in future concept sales for new ships?       EB:  Yes.     LP:  Love it.  Love it.  Boom!       Now… followup question, and this is my own – When?       I’m kidding.     Jack Cruise asks: Several ships in Star Citizen take design influences from popular ships in sci-fi, and Covenant warships in the halo series have some of the most iconic and memorable designs in video game history.  Could we expect to see a pledgeable capital ship, such as the new corvette, have its design influenced by those of the Covenant?     EB:  That’s a hard one to answer.  I know for me, I try to keep my references as real-world as possible.  We do have other spaceships that we look at as reference and inspiration as well, but we’re definitely not sitting down and picking other ships from other universes and saying, “We want this ship.”  It really comes down to the purpose  – what is it that we’re trying to accomplish with the personality of the vessel, what it’s purpose is, and then we build from there.  We may use small elements from other sci-fi universes that we’ve seen but we’re definitely not sitting there saying, “We need our version of exactly that ship.”  That doesn’t happen.     LP:  To add additional information to the conversation.  This isn’t a direct response to the question but one of the things the design team is looking at is using frequencies of light.  If you’re using a red laser, you’re going to have a longer band and it will have less impact.  If you’re using a green laser it will be somewhere in between.  If you’re using a blue laser, it will be a shorter frequency and far more damage.  Everything in between, all of the various damage styles.  The various range styles that come along with that.  So, the complexity – it’s being discussed right now to incorporate more real-world style future laser effects.     I think things like neutron weapons, proton weapons, we’re treating more like practical physics instead of traditional sci-fi.  The weapon itself will provide – knock a couple of neutrons off of an atom and all of a sudden you’ve got an accumulation of something with extremely heavy mass.  So, instead of it being a beam weapon… it is a beam weapon but it’s like you got hit by a bus.     KeyserSose asks: What is the purpose of the bed and living quarters on smaller ships?  It was originally thought of as the only way to save and logout in space.  Many thought it was a balance between the single seaters.    EB:  Right now, that’s where it is still at.  You go out into space, hop into your little bed, go to sleep and that’s how you can kind of log off in space and it might save your state out there.  It’s something that we still have to prototype and test to see if it actually makes it in as a game mechanic.       So… I guess the answer to that question is… Maybe?       LP:  What about things that you’re working on right now like the component swap?       EB:  Yeah, so components… ultimately what we’ll want to do is build our components… which will include beds and sinks and toilets and bathrooms and things like that – build it so that we can just use them on every ship, or as many ships as possible so we can reuse the assets and that bakes in the ability to potentially customize the interiors.  Now, do not take me at my word on that because the smaller ships are all basically custom interiors.  You will not be able to swap out an Aurora bed for a Mustang bed for example, it’s not gonna happen… but it might be possible in the future.  We’re kind of trying to build our assets to make that a possibility later on.       Now, the other components such as fuel tanks, ammo boxes, powerplants, ballasts – like we have… I don’t even know how many… in the 10s of different types of components which are all completely swappable across all ships of the same class.  So, there’s a little bit of that going on and all of those components definitely have heavy gameplay implications.  For example, if you have an ammobox on one side of your ship that is now adding mass to one side of your ship.  The handling of your ship is going to take a hit as a result of that.  The avionics will still compensate in order to make it as unnoticeable as possible but the moment you start using the weapon and the weapon starts drawing ammo from the box, you start losing mass which changes the handling of your ship and every component, depending upon its location on the ship will affect the mass at that location which then changes the rotation speed.  It affects the physics in a major way.  I’m not the best person to talk about how the physics work but the whole thing is going to be awesome.     Rancid asks: When in the PU, will player ships be distinguishable from NPC Ships? By not having a unique identifying color or symbol it could make players think twice before engaging a ship unprovoked.       EB:  That’s an interesting gameplay question.  Right now that has to be playtested to see.  I am a really big fan of not really giving you an obvious distinguishing element between the two.  Because I do want the world to feel: 1) Extremely cohesive; 2) I want there to be weight behind your decisions.       So, if you decide to attack a ship you may not immediately know that its’ either an NPC or a PC.       Now, the cool thing about not giving you obvious identifiers on a ship is that that then requires you to get a scanner.  It adds to the gameplay loop.  So, if you get a scanner and scan the ship.  Then you might now have the information that you need to make that decision.  So, I prefer going that route.       Ultimately, it comes down to game design and they’ll make the best decision for the game once it’s playtested.  But my vote is:  Don’t distinguish.       LP:  To add a little extra colour to that as well, I think that the lighting schemes on various style ships will also play a minor part in that.  So, when we get down to a lot of the pirate ships, their visible markers at a distance based on the lights and any type of material use will show them as being a potential enemy at a glance.       But, to “Daniel’s” point, that you may not actually get a sense of friend or foe at a glance.  Because… you want that interaction.  You want that… little more thrill being able to sit back, watch before you engage.  And… if you’re engaged or if there is some other marker that comes at you that says… oh okay, they’re firing on me… it’s probably a bad guy.  Then it triggers that engagement.       The classic style gaming where it’s like… you go to your nav point and all of a sudden there’s four or five blips of red.  It’s a little arcadey and it’s something we’ve been trying to avoid.     Nostromo1977 asks: Can the Art Team create cultural goods for the PU, such as: Paintings, Sculptures, Porcelain, etc. and might not have any inherent value to players, but would be highly contested by wealthy and powerful NPCs?     LP:  I don’t want to say no.  We haven’t discussed that on the PU side.  It’s not something that potentially wouldn’t happen in the future, but I can’t say that it’s happening now.  There haven’t been any discussions.     Dr.BigMoney asks: What will the art team’s role be in uninhabited planets?  Will you guys essentially create planet texture sets and then the procedural stuff will kick in?  Can we expect to see planetside environments that require special equipment just to pay it a visit (such as different atmospheres with different breathing suits, temperature protection, gravity protection, visibility differences, etc)?       EB:  Well, right now the art team is focusing on building out the inhabited locations.  We will have uninhabited locations as well.       Further in the future once the game is released, I know that we will be doing R&D on potentially procedurally generated planets so that we can expand the number of locations.  We will still have to create art of that as well, even if it’s procedurally generated.  So… the answer is yes.  We will be building art for all locations.       LP:  Are you sure about that?  Is that your final answer?       EB:  I don’t know how else we would see art… even if the programming… it’s just not the way our game is built.  So, I am pretty convinced that we will have artists building art even for procedurally generated planets.       LP:  Yes.       So, the methodologies that we’re using right now are split between 90/10 and then 10/90 and that means that the majority of the encounters that you’ll have on an auto-generated planet will be auto-generated encounters.  Versus the other side… you go to a planet like Terra and the experience is going to be very well crafted.  So, it depends on which planet you go to… which system you’re spending your time around and so on.       Something that was also brought up in the question which is really interesting… the breathing apparatus, how is your ship impacted by planets with higher gravity… those conversations have been discussed and they’re in the works.  The details are to be determined.       EB:  I mean, one easy way that we could… for the examples you mentioned, how ships might be affected by different atmospheres and temperatures and things like that… because of the way we’re building our damage system, we may be able to leverage that in order to apply effects to the ship based on the experience that the ship is getting.  Right, so if you go through an especially hot environment and that’s peeling off your paint or whatnot.  We have the technology built in to leverage that in order to actually affect your ship in that way, so if you go to a crazy hot planet and then leave… now you may look scorched.  The foundation for doing that exists.     Akio Kahoshi asks: So far art direction has had a fairly Western feel to it (all amazing).  Will we see more non-western influence, such as Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc. in upcoming locations?     LP:  So… I’ll take a first stab at that.  I think that “Dan” will take the second part of that.     The short answer is going to be yes.  The way that we’re approaching the planets right now… through a lot of our sci-fi influences – and we’re talking more desolate planets from Star Wars, Luke’s home planet to Hoth.  But we’re also looking at components like Blade Runner.  Basically we’re drawing from all of our experiences and a lot of those are going to not just feed back into the persistent universe but we’re going to have to continue to build out the persistent universe – the styles, the structures, the environments.  Because you do want to show a cultural influence and how it has impacted planets.     That said, the way that we’ve been approaching a lot of these things is through as much modern reason as we can.  Which is, 100 years from now what happens to human space exploration.  Well, we colonize the Moon.  We colonize Mars.  200 years from now, what does it look like… okay now we’ve jumped out to maybe Ganymede or somewhere else.  200 years after that, we’ve gone out to maybe the edge of the solar system.     What happens with planets like Mars is the next wave of construction.  So the traditional cultural influences are really going to be determined by whoever is providing the finances to that location.  But, I think more importantly, they will be building on top of the structures that have been put there.  If you look at a base on the Moon or a base on Mars say in the next 100 years, you are going to find it’s very modular… very container-style setup.  It’s more akin to Cowboy Bebop in a lot of ways or the movie Moon than almost anything else.  But then say, 200 years from now you don’t just scrap those structures… you now start building on top of it with something a little more modern.     The art director who is driving that, Mark Skelton, and Corentin at the Montreal studio. – they are spending a lot of time focus on what those rings are and what happens when the humans leave our system and move out to the next system and that first system they move out to is a terraformed planet.  Now you’ve got jump capabilities.  That planet is now a complete overhaul of something that we’ve seen before, so it might not have any of the flavour that you’re used to… but it may take suggestions from Dubai or a couple of other ultra-modern cities.  But a lot of those things are being explored and the art direction that we’ve got from that so far suggests that we’re going to be taking nods from all of those components but it won’t be exact.     A good way of looking at that would be something like Naboo.  Naboo had, you know, kind of a renaissance style architecture to it.  At the same time it had, you know, a lot modern day Star Wars techie stuff as well.  So, it depends on the lens that you’re looking at the environment from but…     Short answer:  Yes.     Long answer:  It’s a little more complicated but it’s going to take nods from a little bit of everything.     EB:  We have several locations on Earth, so we will probably draw directly from the cultures at those locations.  We have landing zones in Russia, China… I would expect that those are influenced by those cultures.     So… yeah, definitely.     Dimachaerus asks: Are there any plans to allow custom coloring to our ships using RGB sliders on various layers / channels of the default ship ‘skins’?     DK: So, right now we actually have our ‘shears’ set up so you can, theoretically, tint stuff with the diffused channel, specular channel, so we can do really big, significant material changes and colour changes, but it’s yet to be implemented in programming, and a lot of the older ships that have yet to be updated with physically accurate textures still need to be brought to that system.  But once it’s all brought into place, you should be able to take like, the M50 for example, and make it black, or you have a Constellation, you want it blue, you should be able to do that.  it’s still yet to be pushed through design, but I think it’s definitely a possibility.       EB: Would you say it’s a lot like buying a car?  The question’s a lot like buying a car, right> This person wants full control of, full RGB control, but as a manufacturer and the artist for the style guide, you’d want to limit the range.  Can you talk a little bit about that, plus also the various material types?  Gloss vs. Pearl and so on?       DK: So, it’s a little bit complicated with physically accurate textures, and you do want to keep design consistency throughout your game, like, it’ll be a little distracting if someone flew through the Universe with a pink Retaliator that’d be weird, but what we’d probably end up doing is giving you different surfacing types, and different gloss values maybe, different colour values as little swatches you could see.  Almost as if you’ve ever looked at car paint.  They have orbs that you can see the surface on before you get your car coated, and you know, you probably will see your ship, and we’ll give you a really wide range, so it’s not like we’re limiting you too too much, but you know, I don’t want pink Retaliators in our universe.     AragornBH asks: What photographic or other sources do you use to inspire the space artwork in Star Citizen?  For example how do you determine the colours and shading used in star types and the various planets?     DK: Planets are a little bit…I can talk about what I use when I’m doing surfacing on ships and normally what I go to is I have, one of the popular resources for a lot of artists, especially at our company, is Pinterest.  We have running galleries of a lot of stuff, and I’ll look at a lot of planes, a lot of tanks, a lot of cars, I just slowly, whenever I see a surface I like, I grab it, I put it in a folder, and I save it for later.  So I have a library in my head of, if I was going to build an Aegis ship, I’d be like, so Aegis is kind of militaristic, scary, industrial, panzer.  That black, slightly glossy paint, you know, that kind of thing.  So it’s not so much a matter of texture reference for photo source, it’s building up a reference, and one of the things I keep catching artists doing is they will constantly look at other computer graphics to draw inspiration from, and the key to creating believable materials is drawing all your reference from real world things.     LP:  Exactly.  I think, to add to the question, and round out the PU, you also touched on it.  We’re building a Universe that’s meant to be accurate.  So, if there’s a red giant, or there’s a brown dwarf, or there’s a white dwarf, we’re shooting for something that’s meant to be plausible.  I think that from the concept creation side, the concept artists go out there and create the look they want based off of a feeling they’re trying to capture, but then the production artists get their hands on it, and we dial it in towards the real world. That’s all the questions for today.  We want to thank the subscribers for making 10ftA possible, we also want to thank all the backers for making SC possible.  I’m Lance Powell, supervising art director for CIG, and… DK:  I’m Daniel Kamensky, surfacing artist at CIG? LP:  You put a question mark at the end. DK:  There’s a little bit of a question mark there.  I’m definitely a surfacing artist. LP:  And you’re definitely at CIG?  And you’re definitely here? DK:  I don’t know, I might be on the moon… LP:  Bye!   [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 45 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris and Nehkara – Ben Lesnick – Joined by no-one this week. – Sandi’s in the UK doing motion capture for SQ42 0:40 Update from Sandi – She’s back with Chris.  They’re playing with Vicon headsets, so they can capture everything on the face. – There are three cameras for the front of the face, and there’s a battery pack on the back. – Good for getting closeups of the actors. – Sandi’s all baubled up with camera tracking thingies, there are around 50 cameras in the room to track actor’s movements.  All the body and facial motion get captured. – They also have reference cameras, to solve digital data, to solve anything that gets missed due to noise. – And that’s it, till next week. Ben – Chris and Sandi are hard at work.  Apparently the capture sessions are going very well, and Chris is having a lot of fun. – Santa Monica are celebrating the success of the Starfarer sale.  They want to know if we want them to bring back other ships in the future, like the Caterpillar. – SC 1.1.3 was released last week.  Increases stability, fixes some rubber-banding issues, and updates the Tutorial, setting the stage for the next update, which is FPS. – No release date, but it’s coming. – Aurora and Mustang models are still fly-free in Arena Commander.  This helps test for balancing.  Let CIG know how the ships fly. News from the Spectrum 5:00 – Santa Monica – Travis Day and Darian Vorlick – Ship meetings are going on right now, headed by Lisa, trying to make the Merlin flight ready.  It’s in the works. – FPS – Continuing to support Illfonic.  Mark Abent is wrapping up work on the radar now, which will be sent off to Illfonic. – Paul is working on the item port system – magazine attachments, flashlight attachments, all the attachments for weapons, they all use the same system as ships do, so that’s being worked on.  But it has some bugs right now, as things do when they’re first moved over. – Working towards true multi-crew support.  Mark Abent is spearheading that.  Ability to have multiple people flying in a crew, entering and exiting cockpits, new game modes, etfc… – lots of technical hurdles that haven’t had to be tackled with small ships. Zone system, instancing system, vehicle interior physics grid, all of these roll into, and will be driven by, the zone system.  All in R&D, and first-pass implementation. – UK is working on controlling multiple actions from multiple seats, making sure vehicle turrets work properly (driven by their own seat / power / etc…) – Moving towards multicrew as well as larger ships with more interactivity, the GOST system (interview from last week) allows CIG to do lots of cool stuff.  For instance, the video of the Retaliator, showing the steam and the emergency lighting, these are driven by the GOST system. – As you take damage, you’ll enter a damage state which will trigger things like lighting, VFX, the way turrets operate, etc… – They want the larger vehicles to be very interactive experiences, like Star Trek, not just another seat. – zane is working on the HUDS for all the different seats, as well as for one person controlling all the seats. – Multi-Crew is the unique thing that lots of people at CIG really want to do, so they’re becoming more motivated now that they get to sink their teeth into it. 9:20 – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt – Bugs and last-minute features: – Hooked up different depth of field settings for different helmets.  Makes the feel of each helmet different.  Heavy helmet has a very confined feel, whereas the light marine helmet feels more open. – It’ll be really good for VR goggles as well.  THey’ve put together some pre-vix stuff that Chris has really liked. – Zero G bug fixes.  Lots of animations are in, but lots of the animations being used are still keyframed rather than mocapped.  But they’re getting to an area where everyone’s happier with the look.  But it creates weird bugs where the arms messa round like Spiderman and such. – Ironing out some physics issues as well, but it should be something no-one’s ever seen before once it’s done. – Travis mentioned the AGIS system -= blending in and out of ragdoll.  They were having problems for a few weeks – you could blend in, but blending out would lock up, but they’ve fixed that, so it transitions in and out of ragdoll without locking up now. 12:40 – Austin – Jake Ross, Tom Davies, and Jeff Uriarte – Social Module – Subsumption – the Peaceful AI system. – Jeff did the tool-end in the activity editor, which helps the Subsumption system actually build activities. – Tom has been doing more back-end work, working on the editors. – The Subsumption system tells peaceful AI, AI on planets and space stations etc… how to react. – The tool will allow designers to build AI’s. – Designers will be able to tell a character how to behave, and the Subsumption tool will have them do it. – Bartender example – Designers can go through the activity editor to design things like, pouring drinks, sweeping floors, etc… – Makes the designers job easier when setting up 24h NPC routines. – Coming next is an Activity Scheduler – will tie into the Archetype system, which is a seperate thing. – Subsumption is a group of a lot of different techs.  The Scheduler’s point is to say, based on some factors (planet economy, time of day, etc…), what kind of NPC’s will exist in the world. – A bar will have a bartender and patrons, but it might also have pickpockets, thieves, people looking for fights, etc… – First iteration of that will be in Social Module. 16:30 – UK – Omar Aweidah, Alistair Brown – Goal to come to the UK was to help characters become more integrated in the Univers.e – Going through the FPS, there were lots of opportunities to make the characters explode, but they had to develop the systems for it first. – Want characters to be able to swap in all different types of items for things like shoes, pants, clothes, etc… – not only do a modular system, but a material based modular system, so you can choose not only how something looks, but also it will go from new to old, something will look more valuable. – To do that, they used custom materials. – To get the different material layers, they’ve gone with a system where there’s a texture going over the whole character.  Per pixel, they can edit not just what colour the pixel is, but also what material it is. – That can all be masked out, and it can be swapped out. They also define how the masks will fade over time. – Tech takes over and crunches everything, should make things cheaper to render than they are now. – Next few weeks they should be able to have better looking, less graphically expensive, player characters. Fan Video – Character walking in space. 18:50 Ben – Thanks to everyone putting their blood sweat and tears into making SC. – Speaking of blood sweat and tears, lets go to Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian! 19:08 Ship Shape – Lisa Ohanian – There’s a contest for an intro on the forums. – Reliant – concept art was done by Dave Hobbins, who also did the Mustang. – It’s a souped-up starter ship, but it’s a starter ship for multi-crew. – It’s being sold this week, but Ship Shape will go behind the scenes to show what could have been – images of early concept art. – Two major influences in mind – a Japanese aesthetic. – Dave looked at Japanese cars, symbology with Japanese traditions, etc… – They ended up going away from that a bit, and going more to the MISC influence. – The second main influence was the Xi’An influence.  Can be seen in how the ship rotates – goes vertical and horizontal. – The power centers are more spherical, and influence the rest of the design of the ship. – Reliant is a mini-hauler, will need to haul cargo. – originally, they wondered if it could load in the wings, but it didn’t make sense, as it would unbalance the ship. – Cargo holding areas are all in the center body of the ship. – Apparently the most fun thing to design was how the ship transforms.  It can fly horizontally and vertically. – That’s it on the Reliant. 22:30 Ben – The design of the Reliant shown in Ship Shape is not the one they went with. 22:44 James Pugh Interview with Ricky Jutley, Project Manager JP – So, you’re visiting from the UK.  What are you here for? RJ – So, my primary role is Project Manager on Arena Commander and the main purpose of the visit this time around is to take a step back and look at what we’ve got in game and also think about the future plans that we want to get it right on for the backers. JP – Are those plans… how far in advance are these plans?  Are these things they will see in a month or something they will see farther down the line? RJ – I think a mixture of everything to be honest.  It would start off with short term to mid term goals and then also think about the long term goals in terms of, you know, work that will be contributed towards the long term goals.  You won’t see those straight off in the game.  We are thinking about long term planning as well as something that we can do in the not-so-distant future. JP – So, what kind of systems go into that type of planning?  Are you thinking about specific things for X ship, or the ships in general? RJ – We definitely would want to think of a high level view of ships in general.  Arena Commander takes in ships and that’s how we view it.  As I work as Project Manager on Arena Commander, there are producers that work on ships specifically as well, so it’s a good liason between the producers of those ships and also the creators on the design side of those ships and the aesthetically pleasing elements from the art directors.  I think, generally, what we want to do is take a high level view – what are the ships that we’ve currently got in game?  What sort of purposes do they serve for the Persistent Universe?  What sort of purposes do they serve for Squadron 42?  – and then see on how we can introduce new ships and better our current ships as well. JP – That’s what I was going to ask next… this high level planning you are doing for Arena Commander, how does the reality of the other modules impact what you’re doing in Arena Commander? RJ – Huge.  It’s definitely a huge impact.  I think what you’ll have is Arena Commander being the current live product and eventually the FPS will feed into that as well but with Arena Commander it’s a lot of the long term work that we need to do for the Persistent Universe as well as Squadron 42.  That will actually then feed into Arena Commander.  Think of Arena Commander as somewhat of a test bed to start with but also probably something that we want to sustain as a live product as well and have something quite competitive, something very  fun that people can start having not just the singleplayer experience and the PU experience where they can explore… but where they can essentially dogfight to their heart’s content really.  Continually being on top of those leaderboards and enjoying that competitive aspect as well.  But it’s nice to be able to pull in a lot of different elements from what we want to achieve with the PU into Arena Commander itself and prototype. JP – Yeah, it must be a hard balancing act to take… you have to take Arena Commander and bring in all of these other things… the PU, the FPS module and make them one unit but you also want Arena Commander to have its own identity. 26:25 Ben – Bad puns with Ben! 26:35 Ship Materials with Daniel Kamentsky, Surfacing Artist – PBR puts everything in two categories: Metals and non-metals – Metals are shiny and have different specular properties – Non-metals have very diffuse lighting and a lot of bounce lighting – Has built a “material zoo” so artist can go in and see different textures because currently they are in the process of building a global texture library.  One place for every studio to go and find physically accurate textures that can be used across all surfaces in Star Citizen including ships, characters, environments, etc. – Metal specular values for nickel, copper, gold, iron, platinum, titanium, aluminum, and silver. – Cool thing about shaders in CryEngine is that they are very easy to edit without having to replace the textures involved.  Can swap the specular value (type of metal) without the texture changing. – All shaders have wear built into them.  Experimenting with having all surfaces wear over time – could make it into the game. – Showing texture become more and more worn/dirty until it’s almost unrecognizable. – For paints, you can tint any texture with a diffuse… so with just colour selector you can change the paint to any colour you want. – They are aware people would love to customize ships.  Considering giving RBG sliders or swatches to work with for further customization.  You could do anything from a black hornet, to red mustang, to a PINK RETALIATOR! 31:42 Ben – More bad puns with Ben! – MISC Reliant concept sale launches tomorrow for $50. – MISC Reliant concept by David Hobbins. Sneak Peek – A bunch of ships on playing cards… including a Reliant silhouette. [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 48 (video/INN) [spoiler] Notes by Erris - The Reliant is out!  It’s really early, and it’s probably a record for how early they’ve gotten something out. – The ship is epic. – ‘Cross between a manta ray and a B-wing’ - There are no packages with the Reliant yet.  It’s still a concept sale.  There will be a package sale when it’s hangar / flight ready (which should happen at the same time). – If you pick up a concept one now, you can add the package later. - [Question] Can you remove the Xi’An tech from the ship? – The Reliant was 100% Human built, 100% human labour, just has Xi’An technology. – [Is the Reliant reliable?]  No.  And a chorus of boos at the bad joke. – [What is the News Van variant of the Reliant intended for?]  Don’t want to expand too much on the variants at this point.  Streamers are a big part of Star Citize and games in general and they’re trying to figure out good ways to bring them into the ‘Verse.* – The Constellation Phoenix will likely be available again at some point but it’s not on the schedule at all currently. – Do not send birds to CIG.  They can’t stress this enough. – Jenny is sad about the Rockets.  Basketball? – She’s making excuses for why her team’s going to lose. – The Reliant’s landing mode is when it’s horizontal. – [Question] Can the Reliant take the place of the Cutlass Red as an ambulance?  Not really.  It doesn’t really have live-in modules, at least as its concepted right now.  There’s no toilet in it right now.   – [What’s the purpose of vertical orientation?] Handling.  Instead of it being more pitch/yaw, it’s yaw/roll heavy.  Going to look a lot more interesting when it’s doing its maneuvering. – [Jump drive, yes or no?] if not coming with one stock, which is still up in the air, it’ll be able to install one. - [Why pick the Reliant over the Cutlass Black?] They’re very different ships.  Cutlass is more heavily armed.   – Reliant will be available for 10 days. – [Please tell me the Reliant is almost hangar ready] No.  It’s a concept.   – [When can we expect it?] As soon as we can get it done.   – Good news: a very cool hangar-ready ship will be coming up for a sale in the near future.  It’s very cool apparently.  But that’s all we’re being told. – The Reliant cannot land vertically.  It wouldn’t make sense. – [What is CIG’s official definition of a starter ship?] A ship that comes with the starter packages?  a less expensive ship that has more potential for different directions.  Aurora, can run cargo, explore, dogfight, same with the mustang and the Reliant.  More jack-of-all-trades than masters of anything.  Lets players coming into the game experience different aspects of it.  More role specific than an Orion etc… – There’s an impromptu fan visit upstairs that will apparently pass through. – [Will the swivelling cockpit chairs let you write excuses into the lore for letting people not pass out as easily?] They’re not free-range swivelling when its in flight.  When it goes vertical in flight, the pilot seats turn and lock into place.  When it rolls, the whole thing rolls.  Pilot and copilot won’t swap positions on who’s above the other one constantly.   – CR probably had an hour off today, cause every email Ben wrote him in the past two weeks got a reply at once. – [Merchandise coming soon?] Coffee mug, track jacket / hoodie thing. – [How are the weapons set up on the Reliant?] When it’s in the hangar and flyable, it’ll have 2 s1’s mounted on the wings, one on each wing.  The turret mount on the side is the s3 hardpoint, working on having two versions (s2 with a tractor beam when it’s initially flight ready, twin-linked turret in the animation will be an optional piece of equipment) – The US and German offices have Monday off.  They will put up 10ftProducers with Travis and Ricky Jutley though. – Comm-link schedule probably won’t be up till Tuesday. – [Is the cargo bay connected to the cockpit?] It is, but it’s inaccessible when you’re in the vertical mode.  It’s part of the section that rotates when it goes vertical.  You can go into horizontal flight mode and go into the cargo hold though.   – Reliant was developed by Dave Hobbins.  He was full time, then left to work on movies everyone’s excited for.  He also did the mustang, the rover for the constellation, the carrack, etc… – He still has a full time other job, and he just does ships for SC now in his spare time. – Dave Hobbins is also designing the Reliant variants, as we speak.   – Concept artists don’t always do the variants, so it should be good. – [How do you eject?] Same way you eject from an Aurora – you don’t.  Pretty much go to the horizontal configuration, go to the cargo bay, and dive out.  In the Aurora, you can’t eject, you get out of the seat, open the side door, and bail.  Same with the Mustang as well.  No ejection seats. - One of the big goals for the Reliant though for the cockpit area is making sure it has the best viewing angles for both seats for any of the starters. – Reliant is one of James’ favourite ships. – The mounts on the Reliant – the ball turret with the two size 1’s is the listed s3 hardpoints.  It’s just one of the possible configurations when it gets flyable.  It’s not the main two s1 guns for the ship. – James started watching Hannibal this week, and apparently freaked out. – Jenny just told everyone to watch Hannibal, cause she wants a season 4. – Ben and James came up with the worst name ever – Super Mario Buddies. – They wanted to start a podcast talking about stuff, and James thought the name super mario buddies was great, and everyone else thinks it’s dumb. – Skype sound, skype sounds, gotta get those skype sounds.  *Jenny singing* – Apparently there’s a pop-up pokemon boutique coming to LA, and they want to go.  Selling pokemon-themed things. – James made an amazing photoshop of Ben as Mario, himself as Toad, and someone else as Luigi and Princess Peach.  And by Amazing I mean… not… amazing? – Lisa Ohanian is here, and she’s wearing pants. – If you have someone in the second seat for the Reliant, you can take full advantage of the massive firing arc on the turret.  You will be able to look behind you… overall, it’s about at 270 degree firing arc from that mount.  Huge coverage range. – The way the News Van variant of the Reliant will work is still being detailed out.  However, they want built-in systems in place to help community streamers and the work they do to spread the word about Star Citizen.  They want to make sure it is something everyone can get involved in and have some fun with. – The Constellation – no major updates.  It has been put aside for the moment because they needed to work on some Squadron 42 stuff but they will be coming back to it very soon… no need for panic! - Still have time to get your Ship Shape logo in for the contest! – At least one more week of ‘insert logo here’ for ship shape. – Also one more week of just Ben, then Sandi’ll be back. – Lisa Ohanian went home.  Her mom’s not a gamer, but she will watch RtV just to talk with them.  And she reads the comments for RtV. - Freelancer will be spotlighted in Ship Shape sometime in the next few weeks. – McDonald’s will not be in the PU, cause they’d probably get sued.  Unless they pay CIG, in which case, sure, McDonalds in the PU. – When someone wants to advertise in the pu, they have to be IN the PU.  They can work with companies to figure out what they’re like in 2946. – Grimace is a milkshake?  Or questionable regret.  Grimace is how you feel after you eat McDonalds. – Connie rework is being put aside for a week or two to work on SQ42, but it’s still coming along really well. – Lots of people want more Wing Commander on the stream.  The Super Mario Buddies are going to do a more comprehensive lets play of it probably. – Freelancer rework will be on ship shape in two or three weeks.  It will not be done, but Lisa will talk about it. – There’s one small ship they’re trying to get working before they move onto the larger ships (probably the Herald?) - Lots of people in the UK working on the Idris. – William Shakespeare is working on the Idris right now. (they’re joking about british names) – Lisa will never try to give dates. – Twitch just sent me its e-mail saying CIGcommunity just went live.  Only 35 minutes late. – Now they’re talking about Benedict Cumberbatch Cumberbombing. – CIGcommunity are now officially Tumblr. – The Variant sale for the Reliant is far off.  No estimated date for it, but it’s far. – they have an internal date for when they’ll maybe be, but it’s internal only. – If you want an LTI variant, get a Reliant right now, the variants will not come with LTI. – But also remember, LTI doesn’t matter, don’t chase after it. – People didn’t like being surprised about the Gemini, so CIG are trying to be more open about variants before they happen now. - The Reliant is mostly for cargo, not so much people carrying. - There is something coming for people carrying though (Genesis Starliner).  It’s getting towards final concept now, and it’s looking good. – Matt Sherman is not Calix Reneau. – Calix does weird stuff.  Lots of card tricks.  And apparently he could pull of Gambit as a costume. – Crucible is being worked on, as is the Endeavor.  – The Endeavor is a little further along than the Crucible, it’s been sent out for concept.  It came back, they wanted to make some changes, Chris wanted to… you’ll see.  The Endeavor’s being put together by Lance and Gurmukh, taking the initial concept and refining it.  They have an initial shape, they’re working on some modules that will plug into it.  Endeavor before Crucible. – Endeavor – inspiration is the Discovery from 2001: A Space Odyssey.   – They’re thinking of another concept to give to outsourcers, and they’re thinking of giving the Dragonfly to outside contractors.  The Dragonfly is a ‘space motorcycle’, might be the next ship to get concepted.  Lisa wants it to be the next thing, but it won’t necessarily be. – 2600 Reliants sold already this morning.   – Lots of chatter here that’s not terribly interesting, sorry. – In a few of the Reliant pictures you can see some intrusive cross bars that could obscure the view from the cockpit.  They are already working to minimize this and improve the view. – No sleeping/living quarters for the Reliant.  Possible one of the variants will have a fold-out cot or something. – Someone’ asking if ‘Xi’An Connery’ is going to be in SQ42. – Ben is being silly.  Much laughing. – Calix is here now. – 9 people on RtV right now. – Some of the Community team are joining some UK members in Vegas. – ‘Xi’An-luc Picard’ – No news on the Carrack right now. – Ben will not be in SQ42.  Sandi is, and she’ll be back in two weeks. – No word on the Xi’An Scout. – ‘Xi’An Claude Vanduul’ – whoever said this wins the game. – Jenny thinks they’ve over-punned. – CIG have been shooting footage every two weeks or so of the office they’re going to put in soon, and it’ll look cool when they put it together in a time-lapse. – Chris has been involved in the design of the new office interior.  Several architects have killed themselves so far, but it’s going to be cool. – They should be moving in late-July, or a bit later. – No-one working on the Redeemer right now, but it’s on the radar.  It’s not one of the next few though. – FPS – no release date, it’s still being worked on. – Company-wide FPS test with every studio participating this morning. – They definitely want to get it out.  Next step in Star Citizen. – [How fast is the Reliant?] In between the Aurora and the Mustangs in terms of speed. – [Flying in horizontal vs vertical?] You have the choice of which you want to fly in, it’s a choice of which axis of movement you want to work with.   – There will be walking space in the Reliant. - That’s it! [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Lots of FPS related content added to subscriber vault New Jump point released! (link) Flight mechanics video interview (link) facebook, really? 1.1.3 Patch released (minor fixes) (link) BugSmashers Episode 2 (link) Meet the Devs: John Pritchett (link)     Lore Updates DISCOVERED: Journals of Harper Nguyen(link) Congress Now: Goldfinch Hearings (link)     Happening right now / real soon Reliant concept sale until June 1 Lots of waiting FPS MODULE expected sometime before the heat death of the universe.
  7. zenlike

    Hey, I'm Ben.    [attachment=5575:10463970_607024238037_569126048694805893_n.jpg] (Me in Vietnam two months ago, I love pho)   I've been playing games online since the late 90s which was about the time that AOL and compuserve made that possible. The first real game I played online was DragonRealms, which was a MUD (kind of a text-based MMO). I think it made me autistic, but I can read really fast now. I played that for a few years before it became subscription based and it just wasn't worth it--not with the money I was making washing dishes in highschool.    So I moved on to playing text-based Battletech games (Mechwarrior) because I couldn't afford a good machine to play things like MW2. [attachment=5574:screenshot.gif] I could read really fast after that.   Eventually, I went to engineering school and upgraded my job to waiter, so I could afford a sweeter rig. I played a lot of WoW beta but was so burnt out on that I never really stuck with it. I also fought in the first sanctioned MMA competition in my home state. I didn't win. I did some judo/jiu-jitsu and some muay thai, too. All of that probably slowed my reading speed, now that I think about it.   Anyhow, I graduated an moved to Denver where I worked as a software engineer for a few years. I got really into rugby, ultimate frisby, and spending way too much at clubs that I thought were cooler than they were. So I didn't do a lot of gaming. I got really bored of working at a desk so I spent every minute of my free time studying to get into medical school.    In med school, I pretty much stopped playing sports, so I picked up MechWarrior Online--which is where I was first introduced to the idea of a gaming community. It was pretty sweet. I played competitive MWO for a year or two with a clan called Blackstone Knights. Eventually, I got tired of the lack of progress of the game and shitty balance, so I stopped playing.    I moved to Houston to do my first year of residency, which is basically getting paid minimum wage to stick your finger up people's butts. I'm moving into my third year of residency now, which is way less butt fingering but the money hasn't changed much. I do have a little more free time, though, so I picked up CSGO to get my FPS skills up while I'm waiting for Star Citizen to come out.    I'm pretty much down to play any genre apart from MOBA or RTS. I play a little Minecraft, GTA, BF:HL as well. In my free time I dive and drink beer.        
  8. Hello Everyone

    Hello, My name is John aka Crawlfrozen.  I am a 15 year old teen who likes to play video games.  This is my first group and i'm new to forums.  I don't get mad easily but I can when i'm very stressed other than that I am good.
  9. The first Star Citizen ADK member to point out what ship model we have included in this burst gets to borrow any non-cap ship from my personal fleet for a week at PU launch.   http://www.filedropper.com/secondpassadk   ...and feedback welcome as always!
  10. Summary for week ending on May 8 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable       FPS Report (LINK) [spoiler] Some good pics and videos in this one, check the link   Star Marine - FPS Update   Greetings Citizens, It’s no secret that Star Citizen’s next major release is Star Marine, previously known as the FPS module. In much the same way that Arena Commander (or the Dogfighting Module) is helping us build a better space sim, Star Marine is intended to introduce the first person shooter gameplay that will be part of the core of both Squadron 42 and Star Citizen. Since the days of Wing Commander, I’ve dreamed of integrating a first person shooter with a space sim. It’s such an exciting idea: you might land your fighter on a carrier and then race into battle to repel alien boarders… or you might put down on a seedy border world and fight off pirates eager to steal your cargo! And on a broader level, it speaks to our longtime goal of increasing immersion: you’re no longer taken out of the action with between-mission gameflow menus or worse. Instead, from the moment you start the game to the minute you exit, you’re living in and interacting with the Star Citizen world! That’s why we kicked off Star Citizen as a ‘First Person Universe’ right from the start, and it’s why we picked an FPS engine to build on. Star Citizen isn’t like my previous games: you aren’t directly ‘playing’ a ship… you’re controlling a character who is flying a ship. You’ve had first person action against fighters in Arena Commander, you’ve explored your hangar… you’ve even drawn your pistol in combat to take shots at other players and their ships! Thanks to the support of Star Citizen’s backers, the framework of our modular development process and the incredible talent of the teams working on the game, melding elements of a first person shooter with a space combat adventure are no longer a distant dream… it’s an impending reality! Star Marine, like the upcoming multicrew module, means a leap far ahead in this process; it’s something many of us (and I suspect many of you) have dreamed about for many years. Where Star Marine differs from Arena Commander is that we’re not launching it in its most basic game. Instead, we’re trying for something more. It includes animation fidelity and attention to detail that you wouldn’t normally expect in an “alpha” gameplay module. There’s even an entire sci-fi sports game with zero-G movement fully simulated and animated in there! (And don’t worry, there’s traditional FPS action too… with some new ideas that aim to set Star Citizen apart from the crowd.) We know you’re eager to try Star Marine, and our job today is to get it ready for you. That doesn’t mean releasing the end-all finished product; as with Arena Commander, we’re going to be revising and updating and expanding the game based both on our schedule and your future feedback. What it does mean is that we need to address everything we possibly can before we release the first version, because there’s no sense getting feedback where we know further work is needed. Recent weeks have focused on getting our ducks in a row based on our internal testing, which has lead us to revamp everything from overhauling the network backend to improving the character animations you saw at PAX East to the revamping the zero-g portion of the game to better match our lore. Today, I’ve asked some of Cloud Imperium’s department heads who are involved in developing the module to update you on the status of Star Marine. Not the broad ‘how cool is it’ information that you get at events and in the press, but the nitty gritty: what are we doing right now? What are we improving and why? I hope you find it an interesting read and that you understand why Star Marine isn’t like anything I’ve ever developed! — Chris Roberts     Characters from CIG Austin & Santa Monica Over the past couple months our character team has made great strides in pushing visual fidelity. With technology consistently being pushed forward, we at Cloud Imperium Games feel the need to always move forward and push the bar. The characters in development have had a major overhaul. We trust that the extra time we spend early in creation will improve the quality of your universe immensely. We strive to provide the best quality experience that our citizens deserve. During our first approach at these Characters we noticed certain opportunities for improvement that we felt inclined to take advantage of. With these recent discoveries we have started the development of a new and exciting approach to allow Citizens to express themselves with a customizable character system. While Squadron 42 will not allow customization of characters in the same way, the characters available have provided the research we need and has given us valuable insight (pilots in Squadron 42 will still pick their gender and look, but won’t customize outfits, gear, etc. during their military assignment.) Some of the more major development has been reconstructing and adopting ship techniques and using them on the characters. This brings the characters into the same world and quality standard as our ships. Our ships have really taken off after a few years of development. We have also introduced an entirely new level of material detail for certain characters. Our development on using true PBR materials on character assets and tileable textures to increase texture density allows us to increase the look of the characters while providing our game with less memory intensive techniques. We are also looking into multi-layer blending per material. The multi-layer blending will be the next step in character development. It will allow for modularity, optimization, and look continuity. Rather than having custom characters and materials traditionally, we are creating a system where materials are reused, physically accurate, and will be able to continually update and improve. It is an extremely difficult process but above all else an exciting one. The time taken in pre-production and development will help make the citizens more believable and beautiful. We feel great about the future of our character system, and just like the ships, the more we do, the better they will become. The Marines and Outlaws have undergone an extreme home makeover to get them ready for battle in Star Marine! The CIG Character Team, supervised by CG Supervisor Forrest Stephan, has improved the look and feel of these characters by leaps and bounds over the past couple of months. We’ve also been using these characters as a testbed for some new techniques to better improve the overall character pipeline at CIG. A major focus has been making these characters feel truly next generation, and they look the part. We’ve addressed several glaring issues that were present with the characters before, chief among them was a lack of visual cohesiveness amongst the various archetypes. The Outlaws now all look like they come from the same gang, and the Marines now look like they belong in the same outfit. This will prove crucial when trying to pick your teammates out in a firefight. Another sore spot that has been fixed up were the materials themselves. Every piece of metal, carbon fiber, and leather can be picked out at first glance thanks to the efforts made to get the characters looking as close to real-world as possible. In addition, time was spent on beefing up some of the characters’ armor to make them feel a little more protected and “heavier” than their lighter counterparts. The Helmets themselves were also addressed, revamping the interiors so that they properly reflect the geometry on the exterior. Lastly, we’ve been upgrading the RSI Space Suit characters to get them ready to go head-to-head in Astro Arena playing SATABall. We’re giving them team colors, uprezzing various parts to reach our latest quality bar (it was one of the first characters we made, after all), and improving the materials. All in all it has been an incredibly productive few months, and we can’t wait to show these beauties off to you soon! Specifics in Development: Increased poly-count More physically accurate materials Fixing and limiting Anti-Aliasing issues Laying the Groundwork for customization system Character Modularity Character Optimization and levels of detail Multi-Layer Blending Character Class and Type specifics PU Character Standards     Animation from CIG Santa Monica Re-vamping the First Person Simulation has been a monumental task for Animation. First, while we are making a ground combat FPS, we are also, at the same time, building a Zero-G combat set. The CryEngine had never had a shipped game that focused on zero-g combat for any considerable extent, so there has been a considerable amount of R&D and hand-keyed animation that has been going into that portion. We also had problems getting a really solid zero-g motion set in the game and it took a while before our partners at Illfonic and our very own Sean Tracy were able to help us solve that. While it is still an ongoing development, really getting good zero-g feel is certainly not a simple thing and will undoubtedly continue to require future development from animation. On the ground combat side, we are working on making animations for no weapon, rifles (including sniper rifles and smgs), pistols, grenades, and 2 handed gadgets for the normal Marine plus a new set of animations we are working on for the Heavy Marine. Sliding, cover, vaulting, and climbing over are all also beginning their process into game. Gunplay is important, if not paramount, in any FPS, and our team has been working on re-vamping the gunplay and feel from what was seen at PAX. To support that feel, we are also working on reloads and jukes- systems that will give more weight and realism to the movement of players. For those Citizens not in-the-know, we started re-vamping everything in January of this year, starting from scratch on most animation sets to make sure that we’re delivering the high-quality results we are all expecting of Star Citizen. But it all takes time- delivering a v0 for both a ground-based FPS and a Zero-G FPS as are both challenging tasks. I expect our first release will have many bugs, glitches and things that just overall need polish to make a truly great game. The Star Citizen dev team is dedicated to seeing this through and delivering the Best Damn First Person Space Sim ever and we all appreciate your support as we work towards that goal!     Art & Environment from Illfonic With the coming release of the FPS module we wanted to update everyone with changes to the environment artwork in terms of lighting, and support for the various game modes. We recently we made many changes to implement a new lighting approach that enhanced the game visuals for both the Astro Arena environment and the Gold Horizon station. The new lighting model is a pretty big step over what we have been able to achieve in the past, and is being applied to the entire game as a whole. The lighting effects are much more realistic and have provided the artist with a greater scope of control. Every single light is now physically calculated in terms of its volume, and brightness. Previously, most lights were simple point lights that generated a faked specular highlight which wasn’t truly leveraging PBR to the fullest. Now surfaces calculate and bounce light much more accurately. You can see in the before and after images just how big a difference the change has made. Along with the new game mode for the Astro Arena, SATA Ball, new artwork had to be created as well. The actual ball asset was needed, and a bunch of small supporting effects and animations had to be implemented as well. The ball itself needed to be easily identifiable within the environment, as well as the player who currently had possession of it. For this a heavy glow was attached to the ball, along with HUD iconography to make it easy to spot from any distance. An outline was also added to the player holding the ball so they could be picked out of a crowd.   During the PAX Demo, we also realized that players were having trouble seeing the edges of the cover objects placed within the level. To address this, we added varied lights to the edge of each piece, and gave them a solid glow and light to reflect the side of the arena that the piece is on. This made a huge difference in helping players navigate in full 360 zero-g, which can get pretty disorienting if everything looks the same from the art side. With the lighting change and adding additional game-play elements the environment art needed to reflect the realism that we all shoot for in Star Citizen. Global art improvements included : Adjusting the ambient lights Game-play layout changes in the Golden Horizon level Adding stadium style canned lighting on the ring and above the goals Increased fidelity on the advertisements on both ring and ad drones Added frosted back-lite panels on the cover modules Overall increased the global lighting contrast Added smaller human scale lights Added more smaller human sized details for scale across many assets in each level Creating animated advertisements that are used on the Ad drones buzzing around the exterior of the Astro-Arena An Improved skybox with additional nebula assets An additional lighting pass on Golden Horizon Game-play specific artistic level changes for both Astro-Arena and Golden Horizon Finally, its important to note that when the lighting integration changes came online there was a ripple effect. This means that not only did we update the lighting scheme; we also had to made edits to the PBR materials to ensure the best image quality you all expect.     SATA Ball & Zero G from Illfonic You guys have probably heard quite a bit about SATA Ball if you’ve been following the monthly studio reports or watching the Around the Verse episodes. It’s something that is very different and unique to Star Citizen in comparison to what you are probably used to with with traditional FPS games. The rules for SATA Ball are fairly simple. Two teams spawn in at opposite ends of the Astro Arena, a large zero gravity room with scattered cover objects suspended in the air. Meanwhile, the SATA Ball is spawned in the center of the room. Both teams must race towards the ball to gain control of it, using thier legs and arms for movement, as well as a grappling hook device that is attached to their sidearm. Players can disable their enemies for a short period of time by shooting them, but they can’t actually kill them, it’s only a temporary stun affect. When a player reaches or grapples the SATA Ball towards themselves, they can interact with it to grab it. The player who currently has possession of the ball is lit up so they are easy to spot by both their own team and the enemy team. As the ball carrier you cannot fire your sidearm, but you can pass, shoot or drop the ball. Players pass the ball back and forth while avoiding enemy fire until they are able to shoot the ball through the enemy gate at their spawn. Once a point is scored, the round is over and the game resets. A full match consists of seven rounds. While SATA Ball does involve some gun-play, that isn’t the main point of interest. Really what we are using SATA Ball for is a test bed to make the zero-g locomotion system something very robust, and ultimately a viable movement strategy when you are in that environment. Typically you would expect to see thrusters for movement in zero-g, but for Star Citizen the easy way out doesn’t make sense. You should have the choice to move around without thrusters… and be successful if you are skilled, and we want players to be able to do that. This is something that hasn’t really been done before, and it’s no easy task. First, the controls must feel natural and accessible. Second, we want to simulate how physics and rag-doll play into that control system. Lastly, after both of those two goals are accomplished we need a robust set of full body look poses and animations to make that happen visually with the fidelity and attention to detail you have all come to expect from Star Citizen, even in an alpha state. Working towards the goal of how rag-doll and physics play together, a new system needed to be developed which Travis Day has coined the term AEGIS. This system allows for partial or full-body transitions in and out of what is basically a ragdoll state, using both procedural and artist-driven techniques. In other words, this will allow us to change the character (or portions of the character) to collide with and be affected by their surroundings, instead of animating normally. Examples of this include: Getting stunned by a weapon, and having the character go temporarily “limp” before returning control. Allowing the extremities to go limp while incapacitated or injured. This is currently functional for full-body transitions, with partial-body support coming next.     Jukes & Movement Transitions In Star Marine (as with the rest of Star Citizen) the goal is to simulate reality as much as possible. In most 1st person games the player is able to stop on a dime and change directions instantly, forgoing all previous motion in favor of new input. For Star Citizen we wanted not only better looking motion but more realistic transitions between motions to simulate this. This is where the movement transition system comes in. CryEngine already has support for movement transitions on AI, but we needed something player driven as well. Building on those ideas we wrote a system that takes snapshots of the player’s requested movement and determines if the player is making a large enough change that would require extra steps to slow down or change direction. This comes in the form of starts (idle to moving), stops (moving to idle) and jukes (quickly changing directions). This encourages players to think more tactically about their movement and to stay aware of their surroundings. It also makes the animations look much smoother by removing pops from quick input changes. So we’re sorry to say but we won’t be supporting 180 no-scoping or strafe-jumping. The video below shows the system, but not the final result. We’re still waiting on mo-cap to be cleaned up and integrated to have truly smooth transitions. Keep watching the Comm-Link for more updates!     Matchmaking from CIG Austin Last Fall, we made a concerted effort to lock down the entirety of the networking architecture that would drive Star Citizen in the years to come. Prior to that, in order to get Arena Commander out the door, some corners were cut a bit too closely and as a result stability and performance have suffered, and the system’s extensibility hasn’t been nearly as robust as it needed to be. We greatly appreciate the patience that the community has afforded us, and are happy to announce that we’ve made tremendous progress and are getting close to beginning a phased rollout of the new features and functionality that we’ve been developing. The first pieces of the comprehensive update will arrive with the Star Marine FPS module. It will include a completely new matchmaker, game instance manager, and party service, and we refer to the collective solution as the Generic Instance Manager. That technology, linked with the new backend services and completely recrafted game server interface logic, will ultimately result in a far smoother multiplayer experience. Queue times will be dramatically reduced and you should encounter far fewer problems overall when attempting to create or join multiplayer games. The more elegantly abstracted system will considerably simplify the creation of new game modes, which we’ll utilize to great effect as we gradually reveal additional bits and pieces of the larger set of gameplay that you’ll eventually be able to experience in the full game. Under the hood, the new system will expose a lot more information to the component systems. For example, in order to provide a better, more enjoyable experience, matchmaking will now be able to take into account skill levels, player ships and their associated armaments, prioritized map preferences, ping times, and much more. Whereas until recently we were still experiencing intermittent problems when player loads reached a particular level, the new system has been built from the ground up to scale to far greater heights. While we fully expect for there to be some minor hiccups along the way, the modular architecture should allow us to deal with most issues with far greater speed than we’ve been able to in the past. This scalability was a very important goal for us as we expect to see the player count rising pretty significantly as we begin to accelerate the release of more playable functionality, and while we haven’t yet relaxed we’re all breathing a bit easier as everything is starting to come together quite well. While the new system certainly improves upon the existing functionality, it also adds support for a lot of new features that will be released throughout 2015. Arena Commander will soon gain the ability to support multi-crew operations. A full-blown chat system – replete with a multitude of powerful capabilities – is in the final stages of testing. The upcoming Social Module will allow players to invite others into their hangars and automatically form parties, and the same instance management and player routing functionality that drives it and the other game modules will soon enable multiplayer landing zones and other points of interest. We’re very excited to finally be approaching the point where we can put some of the major networking improvements that we’ve been working on for so long into your hands. It’s been a lot of work, but we think you’ll agree that it’s all been worth it once you see the results.     Technology from CIG Austin The technological requirements to achieve the vision of Star Citizen are incredible and it regularly pushes the boundaries of what is achievable with current generation engines. This requires a top level team of specialists and generalist coming together from around the world to solve some very difficult problems in unique and novel ways. It also requires the intelligent usage and re-allocation of available technology as we can’t take too long to make this all possible! Internally, major focus has been given to performance and some massive strides have started to be made some of which you’ll experience come the release of the 1.1.2 patch. Upon performing deep profiling and load time analysis there were many areas where wins could be made. Some of these changes leverage streaming better through the splitting of assets to avoid long blocking loads for said asset. An “in the verse” example of this is if you say take all the geometric data for a single ship and you pack it all up together into a single file (again consider this includes the lod’s and all the damage states) it’s extremely large and takes a very long time to load. When you split this geometry up into separate files and load it from bottom to top (low LOD to high LOD) it yields far faster loading and streaming. This optimization can also be made for textures and we’ve done this recently. This is going to be an obvious performance improvement for most users. With that said, there are even bigger changes to come for Star Marine and we want to be sure that the experience is as smooth as possible right out of the gate. We’ve updated the CryEngine version internally which is no small task as Star Citizen has diverged quite significantly from the base of CryEngine. Some of the major updates CIG has made additionally to the updated engine version are fundamental ones that might sound obscure but are important pillars for many of the major changes that are to come to scale Star Citizen to the level that the community demands. Some of these include important updates to x64 bit world coordinate system, the conversion to x64 global entity id’s, geometry streaming, GOST (Game Object State Machine), Voxelized Local/Multi Physics Grids and many more. Star Marine will also sport an updated renderer using a unified diffuse/spec attenuation model and re-factored area lights, visually this makes quite an improvement and we know the community will appreciate the extra time we’ve taken to make the Star Marine release look and perform at the highest level. These are just a few of the major underlying features that we, from the tech team, want to get into the community’s hands as soon as possible but no sooner! Finally I’d like to touch a bit on stability. Development for Star Citizen has scaled extremely quickly and there are difficulties with a project of this scale, which averages 1500 check-ins per week, to keeping builds stable for our players, testers as well as internally for our developers. Major changes were made to the development flow of features internally and the process in which they make it out to release builds. Whilst this might sound a bit boring, to maintain the tempo of development star citizen demands it’s important this stability is built into the development process which is what is being done internally.     Audio from Foundry 42 Manchester As you may have heard, Star Citizen uses an integrated, interactive sound engine called Wwise. Wwise, though its authoring toolset, gives Sound Designers the ability to manage resources such as memory, CPU, and audible bandwidth – and make decisions as to how the balance between them falls; this empowerment has exponential positive effects. With sound designers empowered, and able to balance quality against practicalities via tools and profiling, more time is made available for them to create better sounds. Thus more time is available for audio engineers to concentrate on improving game-engine audio integration tools, and improve how audio is integrated with other disciplines. Ultimately this equates to better integration of higher quality audio across the board; with VFX, with animation, with cinematics, with design through dialogue and musical score, with environments through richer ambient sound, with more accurately responsive audio for physical props and objects, with deeper audio systems for player-agency driven elements such as ships, weapons, doors, and other interactive assets. All of which leads to higher perceived quality of the entire product in the players’ hands. Better it sounds, better it looks! Wwise allows us to iterate better, more quickly, and non-destructively; we can try things out, audition changes and revert them if need be. We can more readily pick our battles and devote higher quality audio to those assets that require them most. Once you have a better appreciation of context it’s possible to make more informed decisions about what assets should be more expensive, and I don’t know of any other audio middleware that realises this requirement as much as WWise; entirely necessary on a project of expanding scale and scope such as Star Citizen. There are a number of incremental improvements in moving over to to Wwise. On the mixing side alone, we have the following tools available to us, integrated as standard: Wwise Meter: As well as assisting with mixing, with this we can actually feed signal back to the game: we’re talking with VFX about driving certain parameters based on audio signal. Fire sounds can change fire VFX, for instance. We sample reality and that can drive things realistically Ducking: If you absolutely require critical-path dialogue to be heard, it can move the rest of the soundscape down so it’s definitely delivered Loudness Metering: We want to ensure consistency and dynamic range, and this can be configured to match the hardware that the player is using, to their preference HDR: Perceived loudness can be achieved without assailing the player with sound pressure that would be actually deafening We can more realistically model spaces with Convolution Reverb – we can even sample real-world spaces ourselves and model them in-game so that a cockpit interior reflects audio like a real cockpit interior. We have plug-in suites to affect audio much as we would in offline digital audio workstations from the likes of iZotope and McDSP; we’ll be able to route and process vocals at runtime to sound as if they’re coming from a dynamic radio system rather than rely on offline processed static assets. We have the Wwise interactive music system to more readily change music in response to changing game states, important to be able to do this without breaking the inherent rules that music needs to follow. All the above represent our main ‘wins’. It’s a complex system and bringing that together with another complex system (Cryengine) is a tricky docking procedure, and we’re hoping to complete it without too much friction! Where the longer term goals of Star Citizen are concerned: we’re restructuring our sounds and approaches to audio to be more extensible, more re-configurable and layered and/or granular. Rather than mixing complex layers of sound down into single assets, which can be quite inflexible, we can cater for a more variable open-world (or open-universe, even) by recombining them at runtime. We will have a higher voice count, but with careful management and balancing, we can have exponentially more variation than the more linear approach to game sound design affords us. Where the game is based around components that the player can reconfigure into any number of permutations, the audio can follow. This is the core of a more ‘audio systems’ led approach, that can scale and vary as Star Citizen itself expands. We’ll have the tools to do this while also maintaining a more cinematic aesthetic audio scheme where that’s required for our linear swathes of gameplay (i.e. Squadron 42).   Conclusion We hope this update has helped you better understand all the pieces going in to Star Marine, with teams from studios around the world contributing essential elements to its development. We will continue to provide regular updates on the Comm-Link and during Around the Verse until we’re ready to kick off the first public release. Trust us when we say, we are as eager as you are to kick off playtesting and let the Star Citizen community see what we’ve been putting our all into. Star Marine is an important building block to the complete Star Citizen experience, it’s a showcase for how far we’ve come with many of our technologies and processes… and it’s going to be a lot of fun, too! We’ll see you on Gold Horizon. //  End Transmission [/spoiler]   Fleshing out the Starfarer (link) This one is mostly images so I can't show most of it without blowing over the pic limit.. click the link!   Arena Commander 1.1.2 is live! (link)  [spoiler] Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.2 Released! Greetings Citizens, Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.2 is here! Today’s patch adds the much-discussed tutorial mode, which teaches new pilots to fly in Arena Commander. It also incorporates a host of bug fixes and balance updates. You can find the complete Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.2 patch notes here. You can read more about the creation of and purpose for the tutorial mode below.   Tutorial Mode Creating a Star Citizen Tutorial Any developer who has worked on a tutorial for a game will tell you that they are one of the most difficult parts to do well. Not only do they rely on a whole host of highly specific code and UI which may not be required anywhere else in the game (detecting an axial roll anyone?), but they require their designers to strike the right balance between informative and engaging. They also need to deliver instruction comprehensively whilst avoiding being condescending to seasoned backers already proficient in the various aspects we needed to teach to new players. In order to appeal to players both new and long-standing we knew the tutorial had to be fun and full of exciting new content so we set out to teach the player through gameplay and engaging narrative whilst showing off our most recent ships and introducing a brand new hangar.   Contributing toward Squadron 42 One of the intentions of Arena Commander is to help test features necessary for S42 and the PU. With that in mind we wanted the tutorial to be our first attempt at a story-driven mission in the vein of something we might do in S42. We started by introducing a flight instructor as the player’s guide through the tutorial. His function is to demonstrate and explain the various maneuvers and concepts needed to become a proficient pilot, but he would also be our first interactive character. This allowed us to test the conversation system we had in development and showed up many issues which, while not fully addressed for the tutorial, are being worked on for S42. The other thing we had to figure out was how to handle complex maneuvers within confined spaces given that neither normal flight mode nor decoupled mode had the functionality and finesse necessary. The hangar flight mode you see in the tutorial is by no means complete, but is a first step in the right direction. What the tutorial covers The tutorial is comprised of 6 sections which teach the following principles:   Take-off First-person controls (movement, sprint, interaction) Free look Take-off procedures Strafing Basic Maneuvers Target friendly Match speed Rolling Throttle Basic Combat Target nearest enemy Intelligent Target Tracking System Shields Firing Missile lock and fire Rear view camera Countermeasures Decoupled mode Landing Landing mode and procedure Interacting with the ship systems (Overview, Weapons, Power, Shields panes) Advanced Maneuvers Boost Space brake Performing Sharp Turns G-safe Comstab Advanced Combat Target Cycling Self-destruct Ejection Feedback Your feedback from the releases on the PTU have already been incredibly useful and anyone who played the first release will definitely see a vast improvement in clarity and stability so thank you to anyone who contributed in making this tutorial great. As always any more feedback is extremely useful and will help us when it comes to future tutorials.     Star Citizen Patch Notes v1.1.2   Arena Commander Module     Additions: Gameplay Added a flight tutorial to the game Added a conversation system that allows NPCs to detect a character’s location and initiate dialogue Added backend functionality for game events to disable and enable specific ship controls and ship systems Added an in-hangar flight system for usage in the tutorial Multiplayer Free Flight public lobby party limit increased to 8 Added reminder hints to assist players that get stuck in the tutorial Added mission objectives to Chapter 6 of the tutorial Ships Added animation to the thruster irises on the Cutlass Added audio for getting into the cockpit of the Redeemer Added dust effects for when thrusters are being used inside of the hangar User Interface Added screen effects for tutorial Hint Nodes Added icons and images for the tutorial hints Added images for tutorial mode select Added visual shader in holotable to identify what items were purchased through REC Implemented UI messages explaining reasons a player may have been kicked back to the hangar Upon death, a notification will appear stating who killed you and with what weapon Environment Added open and close animations and audio for the Asteroid hangar doors in the tutorial Added animating time-out meter in Capture the Core Added new hangar flair Khartu-Al miniature Balance/Tweaks:   Gameplay Capped party size to 4 players for public games aside from Murray Cup Racing Multi-crew functionality – passengers are killed when the pilot dies or disconnects to prevent characters from getting stuck Updated finding a public match so the server now finds the best fit rather than stopping at the first match it finds Increased REC payout for all game modes except racing Changed button to close hints in the tutorial to ‘Spacebar’ on the keyboard and to the ‘Back’ button on the game pad Scaled ship strafe speed while near landing platforms Updated multiple dialogue lines in the tutorial Improved tutorial logic for detecting which controller type a player is using Increased flare count to 50 in the tutorial Improved tutorial loading times Components Toned down Field of View, Speed, and Turning Speed of Tempest missiles Chaff is now more effective against Tempest and Stalker missiles User Interface Tweaked lobby UI screen transparency, making the hangar less visible through the UI     Fixes: Gameplay Fixed radar / landing system not working when a copilot enters the ship before a pilot Fixed an issue that would cause the character to automatically interact with some objects after having left the sim pod Fixed an issue where the player would lose connection when exiting the holotable and become stuck on an infinite loading screen Fixed an issue reported during the Public Stress Test’s where some members would get an “ERROR – Disconnection (Code 17) Unlocalized Error” at the end of a match Fixed an animation issue when the player is sprinting Fixed an issue where players could enter each other’s ship while in flight Fixed an issue where decoupled mode was sometimes not disabled when taking off from a landing pad Fixed an issue when respawning, the ship had a chance to turn either left or right Fixed an issue where players could not respawn if another player had left the gamemode (PTU) In the tutorial, player missiles now replenish after being fired to fix an issue where players could not progress if the missile missed (PTU) Fixed an issue where turret gunners were not able to see weapon trails for shots fired by their pilot Fixed crash that occurred when backing out from a server to the hangar Fixed an issue in Chapter 4 of the tutorial where the now inaccessible landing pads in the hangar were showing as active. (PTU) Fixed an issue in Chapter 5 of the tutorial where Gilly skipped a line referring to Boost if you progressed through the previous chapters. (PTU) Fixed an issue in the tutorial where the player could be killed after receiving enough direct shots to the cockpit (PTU) Fix for auto-landing the ship entering decoupled mode, but not setting it back when taking off again Fixed long load time caused by the conversation system in the tutorial (PTU) Fixed switch used to throttle not working for the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro (PTU) Fixed several instances where the tutorial could be progressed out of order (PTU) Fixed an issue where Automatic landing attempted to land the ship even if the player is beneath the landing zone (PTU) Fixed an issue where doing a barrel roll while turning did not count towards Chapter 2 tutorial progression (PTU) Fixed an issue where the [Back] button could not be used on the Xbox controller in the tutorial (PTU) Fixed a crash that occurred if the player flew out of the tutorial boundary whilst interacting with their ship menu (PTU) Fixed an issue where the respawn HUD would sometimes not appear after player death (PTU) Fix for the pilot occasionally loading into Arena Commander game modes with UI, but no helmet (PTU) Fixed an issue where the first person to load into a race game mode will spawn outside of the starting tunnel (PTU) Fixed ship strafe speed not scaling when strafing upward during initial takeoff Fixed a pathing issue that was causing missiles to skip when following their target Ships Fixed ‘launched complete’ dialogue issue with the 300 series Fix for the 300i’s ladder causing the ship to wobble once landed Fixed an issue where the 300i did not have boost VFX for its main thrusters Fixed an issue where the 315p’s main thruster effect was slightly off center Fixed missing power throttle art in Aurora’s power management ship HUD Fixed the issue where the Aurora LN lost its wing hardpoints Fixed Aurora LN wing Hardpoints to accept size 1 weapons again (PTU) Fixed an issue where shooting the Gladiator with the pistol caused the hull skin to transition to its fully damaged state (PTU) Fixed the ability to equip Scorpions on the Gladius wing hardpoints Fixed height of Super Hornet F7C-M’s starboard side landing gear to be flush with front landing gear Fixed an issue where the M50 was sometimes too drifty (PTU) Fixed the M50’s starboard wheel from briefly detaching itself from its strut when being deployed during landing Fixed an issue where the M50’s ship exterior appeared faded/washed out in the hangar (PTU) Fixed an animation issue where the player would often clip through the ship when exiting a Mustang Fixed a collision issue preventing the player character from entering the Cutlass from the rear Fixed an issue where the player would be sunken into the pilot seat of the Freelancer Max Fixed missing collision from the Redeemer’s turret seat Fixed incorrectly positioned decals on the landing gear of the Retaliator Components Fixed missing muzzle flash from 9-series Longsword Fixed an issue where missile racks were not appearing in the holotable when an Aurora was selected User Interface Updated default gamepad controller image – strafe forward is now on Left Trigger+Right Bumper (LT+RB) and strafe back on Left Trigger+Left Bumper (LT+LB) Fix for not being able to cancel a lobby match search Fixed an issue where loading back into a lobby would reset the ship selection to its default Fixed ‘Launched Missile’ hint continuously appearing (PTU) Fixed UI objective marker not appearing to help guide players through the tutorial (PTU) Fixed an issue where all contacts would appear as online (PTU) Fixed multiple text typos in all chapters of the tutorial (PTU) Fixed an issue where the Contact List was cut off in any 4:3 or 5:4 aspect resolution (PTU) Fixed an issue where control settings could not be exported until keybindings were reset to default (PTU) Fix for multiple HUD elements being duplicated in Arena Commander (PTU) Fix for error messages for getting kicked back to hangar not being intuitive (PTU) Environment Fixed an issue that was causing small asteroids to have metallic audio when shot Fixed an issue where both rings in Capture the Core appeared blue Fixed an issue where tutorial hanger was present in Dying Star Multiplayer Free Flight Fixed an issue with missing collision on space debris in Broken Moon Fixed Murray Cup poster not appearing in Asteroid hangar Left and right side bay rock walls are missing in Asteroid hangar (PTU) Fixed missing collision on the second floor ledge in Revel & York (PTU) Fixed graphical issues with catwalks in the Self Land hangar Fix for calendar flair screen being completely transparent (PTU) Updated blue transparency of ship holograms in the holotable (PTU) Fixed an issues where lights in Chapter 1 of the tutorial were missing textures and appeared solid white (PTU)     Known Issues:   Gameplay Gameplay divergence can cause situations where it appears like a ship is being hit but not taking damage, when the shots are actually missing the ship Weapon trail trajectories are inconsistent for targets that aren’t being looked at resulting in game divergence Weapons fire can appear offset from weapon muzzle when fired while moving Combustion Pistol cannot be equipped Entering or exiting a ship will cause other clients to see the character T-pose Characters rolling while prone are not seen by other clients Characters will sometimes fail to animate correctly when exiting the pilot seat after landing Character will occasionally spawn in as a pair of eyes Client crash may occur when pressing ‘x’ to respawn after the pilot is killed by flying into an asteroid Interacting with various elements of a lobby has a chance of causing a client crash for invited players Unable to exit the cockpit if one of a ship’s landing gear is missing Inverted controls do not work in default turret camera view Character will sometimes not have a head when viewed by other clients If two players enter a new public instance as a team for Capture the Core or Squadron ** ** Battle, they will be put on opposing teams In the tutorial, there is a chance that the fail dialogue may not play or will cancel out for another line In the tutorial, the player can get stuck inside Gilly’s cockpit by sitting in the cockpit whilst Gilly is climbing in Tutorial hints will sometimes show tips for the wrong controller type The character’s hands will be broken when driving the buggy Ships will sometimes sink into landing platforms in Multiplayer Free Flight when using automatic landing Landing mode gimbal locks weapons to the direction the Look Reticle was pointing when landing mode was activated; deactivating Landing Mode will correct them The character is using the running animation instead of the floating Zero-G animation when a pistol is equipped Landing on the landing pad using Assisted landing will launch the player forward as soon as the landing gear hits the landing pad Occasionally the player will hear a banging in the ship whilst flying, whilst in third person view graphical glitches appear to the source Stretched polygons will sometimes occur in Dying Star after a short time in the map – possibly related to having an AMD CPU & GPU Client crash occurs when exiting the client When strafing up to take off from a landing platform, ships will sometimes roll to the left or right as they strafe upwards There is sometimes a second or two pause when a ship is destroyed and/or respawns Ships will sometimes begin to teleport after a spawn pause The pilot’s helmet will constantly shake in the tutorial Ships All ships aside from the Hornet are missing ship trails when carrying a Core Occasionally when exiting a ship, the ship will lose its collision. Weapons impacting shields are playing incorrect impact audio 300i, Avenger, and Hornet will sometimes tilt back when landing on landing platforms 300i, Hornet, M50, and Cutlass main thrusters are not animating during flight HUD colors are inconsistent for the Avenger, Gladiator, all Hornet variants, and the Cutlass 300 variants (except the 350r) have three engine / thruster hardpoints, letting the player move the engine off center or attach three engines Aurora intakes aren’t displaying paint Equipping Longswords on an Aurora’s bottom hardpoints will cause the ship to wobble once landed due to excess collision on the weapons Avenger has some doors that cannot be opened in Multiplayer Avenger pilot seat is missing its texture Avenger nose jerks downward after releasing Strafe Up while boosting Look Reticle/Crosshair is sometimes missing upon respawn, cycling camera views will usually correct this Gladius damage states are detaching clean sections of the ship rather than showing damaged innards When entering the Gladius from a landing zone the user will hear “Landing request approved / complete” All Hornets are missing a pipe on the main thruster All Hornets’ engine audio (boost and non-boost) is very low The Hornet Ghost and Hornet Tracker’s top hardpoint turret is missing in the holotable Character will sometimes spawn in standing in a Mustang variant’s cockpit If the large engines on the Cutlass are removed on the holotable, they cannot be reattached Cutlass isn’t attaching its Trireme thrusters for its default loadout Cutlass Trireme thrusters are not able to be attached in the holotable Cockpit of Cutlass accelerates at very high speed when separated from cargo bay Character is sunk into the seat when sitting in the Cutlass Blue and Red Cutlass Blue’s top turret is missing Killing a Cutlass will sometimes not award kill credit on the scoreboard Freelancer loading ramp has no collision Freelancer main thrusters are missing Character can get stuck inside a Freelancer’s hull above its right landing gear Multiple objects in the Retaliator are missing use prompts Retaliator maneuvering thrusters are not in landing mode when in the hangar Components User folder issues can cause weapon ammunition to go missing as well as other ship component malfunctions Rattler Cluster missile second stage rockets will all use the same trajectory Missiles aren’t inheriting velocity from the ship that launches them Thrusters cannot be deactivated in power management Seal Corporation shield generators will not be visible when equipped to Hornets Missiles cannot be seen by the player that fired them when moving at a high speed Missiles visually lag behind where they are located until they detonate User Interface Lag pips will drop out with increased distance depending on how quickly a ship is approaching their target (only happens within a few hundred meters) Shield hardpoint in the holotable is too small for Mustangs and 300 series Missiles have a small portion of the ship targeting UI on them after being launched Paint objects in the holotable are placeholders Holding tab while ship’s HUD initializes causes the HUD’s score screen to default ‘On’ Multiple HUD elements are duplicated in Arena Commander Environment Thorshu Grey space crab does not have animations Red Elevator lights are active when elevator is not in use in the Self Land hangar Clouds are popping in and out during race modes There are several locations in the hangars where the character could fall out of the game world [/spoiler]   Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen and ImperialNews.Network) 10 For the Producers 6 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript   Falcorian asks: Will you be able to have the choice to solo play against NPC’s like in Arena Commander or is the FPS multiplayer only?     On first release the FPS is going to be multiplayer only.  There will be two game modes on two different maps.  Team elimination which is 8 v 8 and Sataball which is 16 v 16.  These are the targets at least.  There are very much plans – because something that is a critical part of Squadron 42 is that we have AI working for FPS combat, obviously.  So as we work towards that goal for Squadron 42 we will be releasing game modes for the FPS much like Vanduul Swarm which are FPS vs AI that you can engage in both solo and cooperatively.  So, the idea is there to implement that but it will not be in the first release.  That’s something we’re building towards right now.     Geoff asks: Will we be able to land and make the transition from dogfighting to FPS in a single match before the PU releases? Or rather, are there going to be any maps where both flying and running about are important?     Yes.  Before the persistent universe releases, we will be having maps that include both ground-based first person shooter combat as well as ships and traversing from one to the other to accomplish the goals of that map.  One of the things we’ve talked about historically in the roadmap is that we’re going to be doing this initial FPS release to kind of get the mechanics nailed down and kind of work a little bit in a bubble so that we test it all out, we get it working, and then from there we’re going to be releasing multicrew ships some time after the social module.  Once we have multicrew ships and FPS combat working, we’re going to move to bring the two together and in what we’ve always called Arena Commander V3.0 which is “Capture the Idris”.  So, we had the idea of having a giant Idris as one of the main objectives of the map and two teams of fighters and multicrew ships that would be able to fight over it, take control of it, and pilot it.  That is what we’re building towards and all of that will be before the full version of the persistent universe has been released.     Kommadore asks: I am really interested in learning how much players will be able to interact with their immediate environment as any such element adds both depth and skill to the module.  Will we see the use of controlled explosions from grenades or even fire extinguishers to help propel players & NPCs in various directions or perhaps even launch objects at an oncoming enemy?     Yes.  We actually have a lot of interaction with the environment.  It’s one of the things that is very cool about the FPS because like so much of what we do, what we’re doing in this one module applies to the universe at large.  It’s like an R&D test bed for what we’re going to be doing in the rest of the persistent universe.  For example, on Gold Horizon – a James Cameron Alien-esque feeling space station – you walk into the cafeteria for example and you throw an EMP grenade in there.  It detonates and you can see as the pulse wave goes out, all the lights along will shatter.  All the screens will be disrupted, and it will end up darkening the entire room so you can sneak in there if you want to.  So, there’s a lot of interesting ways that you can interact with the environment – you can turn on and off gravity on the gravity generators, you can open and close doors/ammo boxes, there is vaulting, mantling, you can slide into cover.  So, there’s a lot of different ways you, as a player – both from a game-changing perspective but also just animation and immersion in the world movement – really interact with the environment and that’s only going to get more so.  I mean, you talk about fire extinguishers to help propel the player and interestingly one of our weapons, it’s a bit unique, is a force propulsion grenade which is essentially just a concussive blast wave that’s meant to propel players and it imparts a physics push on all of the players.  And with our new articulated entity ragdoll system, depending on where it hits and how much force it has at that distance from the grenade, it will impart a different level of push back and so while it may seem like kind of a lame grenade when you could just throw a frag grenade vs a force propulsion grenade, when you’re in zero-G it becomes super effective, which is really fun to see.  It’s that kind of dynamic behaviour that makes the module so interesting and so much fun and seeing how that would play out in the persistent universe is really fun too.     AllergicToBullets asks: Will we have the option to change out equipment and armors at the release of the module? If so, what can we expect to see?     Another good question.  One of the game modes we’ve talked about is Team Elimination on the Gold Horizon map we were just discussing.  We have the concept of there being two teams, the Marines and the Outlaws.  They each have a selection of armor to choose from – light, medium, and heavy armor for each team which looks completely different and is themed with stats to their distinct behaviour.  We also have a variety of weapons – submachine gun, assault rifle, laser assault rifle, electric shotgun, sniper rifle, frag grenade, EMP grenade, force propulsion grenade, area denial system, lots of things!  I can’t remember all of them.  Oh! And the burst cannon which is my personal favourite… because I shot a QA guy in the face with that and when all of the little bursty parts exploded, he crashed – it was like the ultimate kill.  So yes, there are a lot of different options and that’s all just for the V0 release.  The V0 release will include all of these different weapons and armor types.  What we’re going to do for the V1 release is we’re going to be including things like the attachment system.     Travis now demonstrates on a Nerf weapon that the attachment system will allow you to change out scopes, foregrip, barrels, silencers, and more.     Steve Hunter asks: Could you briefly describe how ‘fatigue’ will work in the FPS, especially with respect to different armour load-outs?     So, the concept of fatigue – much like in other games – is kind of stamina/the health of your character.  So, depending on the size of your load-out and the size of your armour, it encumbers you.  If you are in your light armour with a limited load-out, as you run along you will end up being able to sprint further, have better stamina.  That also means that when you come to a stop and you aim down sights, you are less out of breath so you’ll have less bob and you’ll be a little bit more stable.  As you move up to medium and heavy, as you would imagine, as you become more encumbered it’s easier for you to become out of breath.  You can see it on your visor as it steams up and you’ll see it too, as you come to a rest it will take you longer to settle if you’re more out of breath.  So, those are the broad strokes of the way the stamina system works and how it’s affected by your load-out as well as the armour that you choose.  There’s lot of little nuance things that happen in there, like how you react to recoil, how your gun moves, that you will get to see and appreciate once you play the module.     Qro asks: With the recently announced intent to switch to a “physics based damage of projectiles” system, will player clothing/armor be modelled base on the materials that make them up, so that the actual location of the projectile hit on the body zones matters in determining protection, penetration, etc?  Will a well placed shot at a joint where two armor plates come together cause the player more damage? Will armor repairs be as common as ship damage repairs (same overall approach and system), or will clothing/armor be discarded as it becomes too damaged?     That’s a very good question.  A very detailed question, and I have a somewhat detailed answer for you so bear with me.  Yes.  As we move to the physics-based damage of projectiles – we will be doing that for energy weapons as well as ballistic weapons – there are a variety of factors that will factor into how much kinetic energy is actually applied at the impact point.  We also have the concept on the ships which we will apply to the characters that it will check on the physics proxy that it hit, duck down and see what material is applied to the thing that the proxy is for – for example on this gun (shows example of yellow plastic nerf gun with plastic rail on top of the stock) if we had a physics proxy to keep you from hitting on this rail, so your character would impact it, that is then tied to the material of this which is like this yellow plastic.  That yellow plastic in the material effects table would have its own set of stats that would say: “I absorb this much kinetic energy before I allow things to pass through, it takes this amount to penetrate me,” all of these different factors that would then further allow the bullet to pass or not pass based on the energy of the weapon and the ability of the surface to deflect that energy.  If passes through, it would then hit whatever is next in line, or in the case of a character likely your skin and then apply damage as it would to your skin.  So… yes, that is something really cool that falls out of the system – that we do all of these material lookups and then can determine where exactly you’ve hit or at least what material you’ve hit and then allow the bullet to pass through and adjust all of the physical properties of the bullet which then in turn adjusts the damage.     So, it’s something that comes out of the system for free and it’s also something that is super dynamic because as we allow you to change your ammo types – so you could have a weapon that you change the barrel on and then you change the ammo for it – you’ll actually feel it behave differently.  If you get a different kind of armour made of a different material, you’ll feel it behave differently and because the materials are set on a per-item basis, it will allow you to do things like shoot into a weak point.  So, all of that coming out of one system is really cool but that’s one of the things that Chris is really good about is thinking about these things in a systemic nature which is what lends itself to a lot of the emergent gameplay that we have in Arena Commander.  So, we want to bring that to the FPS as well.     Plastix asks: What factors were considered when designing the FPS arenas, specifically in relation to the intended style and pace of the game.  For example, games like CS or Call of Duty open force specific bottlenecks and experienced players learn to anticipate the most likely attack strategy; or will the design of Star Marine encourage for more free-form and unexpected strategies for both sides?     It’s a combination of both actually.  I think choke points and focus for areas is important in map design.  This is something where I really wish I was back in Denver so I could talk to Rodney about it because Rodney is our lead designer and he’s very conscious of map design.  One thing that’s very important to him and important to us – we don’t design maps that can be used for a multitude of game modes.  So, in the most recent Call of Duty you might see… it’s the same map but you can play all 10 game modes on it and there are some very light changes to it.  But, we’re really big on the idea of designing the entire flow of the map to support one specific game mode because there are a lot of little nuance things that you can change and adjust that maybe work for one game mode but don’t work for another.     So, for example, if I think about Gold Horizon – the two starting areas are opposing on another, this is pretty standard.  There’s about three, and then immediately four alternate routes that you can take to engage one another so it keeps too much of the bottleneck from happening and too much of the focus from happening.  When you get into those next rooms there’s a lot of verticality to them so you can go up, down, left, right, and it also makes it cool for zero-G because there is a gravity generator in there.  There are a lot of options and a lot of open spaces but also narrow corridors, so what’s fun is if you – for example – kit yourself out with a light marine with a light loadout but you’re super quick, you can actually run down, go around, get into the main warehouse area on the bottom floor and usually get up before people who are in the heavier armour have gotten out from the base.  So there’s a lot of different – depending on who you are and how you kit yourself out and how you like to play and if you want to be stealthy or tanky – there’s different routes that are more conducive to that style.  You can do whatever you want, it’s just interesting the way the different dynamics play.  It’s really a lot of fun to playtest… I honestly can’t wait to release it for you guys so you can check it out and you don’t have to ask these questions… you just play it for yourself!     AggroMagnet says: 1.) Will there be any variety in the character models yet, or during the first release are we all going to be the ‘stereotypical white guy’?     You will be the stereotypical British guy, because it will include a face scan of a British guy.   2.) Is version 1.2 where we will see the improved animations make their way to the hangar module?     Yes.  Upon on the release of the FPS, which internally we call 1.2, that is when you will see all of the improved animations make their way into the hangar module.   3.) Performance wise, how demanding is Star Marine? Is it easier or harder to run than Arena Commander?     Right now, harder to run because it’s not done yet but hopefully it will be about commensurate but there definitely is a lot more – you’re pushing a lot more polys, you’re pushing a lot more particle effects, and you have a lot more geodensity on Star Marine so it will be slightly more demanding on your graphics card I think.     CyberianK asks: What is your strategy for handling the inevitable player population explosion with the FPS Alpha release? Will your dynamic cloud infrastructure and team be ready for this? We really hope so.  Because, one of the things we’re doing is rebuilding the matchmaking system, the global instance manager, and moving to this entirely cloud solution that we’ve talked about in the past.  That will be premièring with the FPS.  So, it will either go gloriously or… it won’t go well and we’ll be on the PTU for a little while.  But we’ll see!  That’s kind of the magic of this, right?  That’s the art of this – that as soon as we finish this new development… because I think we all agree that we want to improve our multiplayer stability and our matchmaking.  We’ll put it out there and we’ll test it with you guys and we’ll see how well it works and if it works great, great, and if it doesn’t we’ll improve it and we’ll get it workin’.     Amyoto asks: Do you plan on releasing weapons developed by either Xi’an, Vanduul, or Banu? Or at least weapons with their technology incorporated int our technology, similar to the Freelancer?     Yes, absolutely.  In the future.  For the first release it’s all human, UEE weapons.  As we move forward we’ll begin introducing new weapon manufacturers.  We want the manufacturers of the weapons to be as distinctive as the ships, both in their designs and their function.  And, so as we develop out these manufacturers and we give them a wider kit of weapons – we’ll get a little more background on them, some lore on them – and we’ll start incorporating things, like you have with Musashi Industrial & Starflight Concern, where they have elements of Xi’An technology or elements of Banu technology.  So, it’s just a matter of working out the lore, working out the designs both from a creative design standpoint and also a gameplay design standpoint… but once we get there, yeah!  It’s absolutely something we’d love to do.  I mean, that’s one of the fun things about MISC ships, is that they have those influences… as we’ll see in the Reliant coming up. [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 43 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris Intro: – Sandi and Ben – The Hull series is over.  A Hull lot of people picked up the new ships.  And CIG are done with Hull puns, what the Hull. – The Monthly Update for April went out last week, and it broke the website.  Longest update to the CIG website ever, and they discovered there’s a character limit to the CMS.  If they ever have more to say, they’ll have to split it into 2 monthly reports – 81 million.  Truly incredible. – Bugsmashers made its debut yesterday.  Only bad news about that is Ben can’t shout BUGSMASHERS anymore. – And now to the Spectrum!   1:55 News from the Spectrum:   Santa Monica: Darian Vorlick and Travis Day – Been working on the Repair mechanic.  From large to small, physical to data driven (getting in and actually fixing things vs. doing an assessment of damage), but they’re trying to have something that allows you to do things electronically (IT repairs) as well as more mechanical (get inside the ship, open things up, replace them, etc…) – Calix is focused on that and he’s been working on that actively. – This will eventually tie in the Repair Bot stretch goal.  Tying in things that can be done automatically by lesser beings like repair bots vs. things that have to be done by hand. – In the theme of electronics, Matt Sherman is looking at the EWAR segment.  The idea of being able to hack into an opponents system and sending a signal to shut down their thrusters, or make their computer glitch out, not necessarily to take control of their ship, but using EWAR to Jam or Spoof their radar…to screw with them. – For those who like to tinker with EWAR, both the repair and the EWAR system are good for people who want to get into the technical aspect of the game. – Very important to the design team – it’s not something you can passively do.  You need to actively do it, and you need to outfit your ship to do it.  You can’t hop in a Hornet Gunboat and go hack people left and right, and there’s no button that just says hack.  No ‘hack’ button or progress bar.  You’ll have to get good at it. – The Reliant – 2 person starter that the community voted on.  The ship makes heavy use of Xi’An tech, so the idea that MISC is heavily influenced by Xi’An, they have a deal with them.  We’ll see more in the Reliant than in the other ships.  Very cool, they’re wrapping up final designs and renders to check out.   5:40 Illfonic: David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt – Network optimization.  Lots of the work going on is to get things running as smooth as possible over the network.  Lots of stuff with FPS network wise.  One of the issues with network bandwidth in playtests were ‘rigid body entities’.  There are a lot of destructibles, a lot of props in the environment that can be knocked over, kicked over, etc…  starting to cause a problem.  Network guy at Illfonic has been working with the guys at Wyrmbyte, and they’ve been helping with iPredictor stuff, which is used heavily in dogfighting.  They’re applying it to rigid bodies for FPS.  Does prediction so it can throttle bandwidth.  So, if you kick something, it predicts where it’s going to be.  It doesn’t have to be as spot-on as a player, but it needs to land in the correct position for all clients, and it needs to move in the correct position across all clients as well, cause it’s a major thing for gameplay – That’s a lot that’s been going on this week and last to tighten up performance.  They’re about to hit playtesting pretty hard to see how all the changes work. – In general, means smoother gameplay.  More players in the match at once, and just a smoother gameplay experience.   7:55 Austin: Jake Ross, Billy Lord, and David Jennison – Working on FPS characters. – General polish to make them more awesome, but the artists have been using techniques on the ships to get the most out of CryEngine, and they’ve been moving those techniques over to the characters as well. – They’ve been working on every character, but focused on medium marine, light marine, light outlaw, working with Forrest out in LA on that. – They’ve been doing material and texture polish, but they’re bringing up the quality for everything in general.   10:00 UK: Danny Reynolds – Tutorial’s been out on the PTU now for a few weeks.  They’ve been checking reddit and forums for feedback.  They’ve changed some main issues such as: – Strafing too quickly while in the hangar, so they’ve reduced the speed, to be able to navigate the hangar more easily. – Hard to determine which ship to get into, there are now objective markers above the ship, indicating which to get into. – Added reminder hints for lots of the hints that people could skip.  Any of the actions that need to be completed to finish the tutorial will repeat every 15 seconds till the action is finished. – They changed the ‘Barrel Roll’ line to be an ‘Axle Roll’, because people hate fun.  And it’s more precise.  But people hate fun. – Give them feedback, they use it to improve things.   Fan AC Video.  Some…messed up stuff going on.     13:20 Subscribers Corner, with Alexis   – Talking to Dave and Christine at Behaviour again, because they’re awesome, and I owe them shots. – Talking about new subscriber flair series. – The series has an Italian name.  They checked just before doing the show, but they’re mispronouncing Puglisi anyway.  *sigh* – The collection is an explorer’s collection.  It’s a company, Puglisi, will send to every subscriber an ‘oddity’ from space that they can collect and put in their hangar.  Comes in a cool case with an inscription about the object – This month it’s a piece of Ellis, a destroyed moon. – From Alexis, it’s a fancy space-rock. – There will be more of this series in the future.  Every other month there’s a Takuetsu model, and for a while every other month will be a Puglisi model. – Behaviour also worked on something called ‘Hyper Vanguard Force – Hyper Vanguard Force started at lunch.  Dave usually goes and does pixel art in a cafe, and he decided to take his passions (pixel art and SC) and turn them into something.  He turned a Hornet into a shoot’em’up game, got some traction, Ben saw it, and people thought he should do a game with that, so they did.  Because that’s Star Citizen. – Christine likes projects on the side, and Dave mentioned he was going to do it, so they worked on it together.  Gave them some creative outlet.  And it actually looks pretty good! – If you’re a subscriber, the flair will be in your hangar soon.  Tomorrow in the comm-link, we’ll be able to play Hyper Vanguard Force.   17:35 James Pugh with Pete Mackay JP – Thanks guys, I’m here with designer Pete Mackay, Pete, how are you? PM – Pretty good, how are you? JP – Pretty good, thanks for coming on.  It’s good to see you out here in Santa Monica. PM – Yeah, it’s been a bit. JP – When was the last time you were here? PM – I left this time last year, so it’s been about a year I guess. JP – Cool, so what’re you here for? PM – I’m doing a bunch of stuff with thruster balance.  Doing stuff with thruster upgrades and how they swap between ships, it’s pretty cool stuff. JP – So was it like a little summit or did you come here by yourself? PM – Yeah, I traveled from Austin by myself, but John Pritchett is out here.  So it’s primarily me, John, and Matt Sherman, and Dan and Calix getting involved where they need to, making sure things match up with what they need to get done. JP – So what goes into making that pipeline?  DO you want to get everything normalized so you can pass it off or? PM – So, right now, my part of it is I build excel tools that allow us to do calculations on a really granular level on the individual parameters that make up a thruster, but then building a thruster, all of those individual parameters, and then putting it on a ship, and being able to model, in excel, how that ship will perform.  So, we can tweak a very granular value on how much thrust should this put out, and then we can look and say oh, well, now this ship takes, will accelerate this much faster, or will slide this much longer because the speed has changed or whatever, it just gives us a really big set of data that we can use to understand ship performance, with the driving goal of that being determining upgrade paths.  What ships should have parts that are compatible with each other, what types of upgrades should be available, so yeah, it’s a tool that lets us visualize all that stuff. JP – When you get a new ship, how do you look at it.  Do you just look at the information you already have based upon this other ship, or do you take it as a brand new thing each time? PM – It’s a combination of both those things.  There’s, when I set up an excel I set up a sheet for each ship, and i go through and I model each of the hardpoints that ship has.  Then, with each of those hardpoints, it generates a list of data, how much power is this hardpoint consuming, how much heat is it potentially generating.  Basically the resource management part of it.  Based on that, we generate a range of performance data.  Not movement data, but performance on other aspects of the ship.  Then we take all of that and aggregate it into another sheet so we can see all of the ships at the same time and see, if we make a change here, we can watch and see all of the ships as they change in relation to each other.  Pretty detailed. JP- The last thing I was working with you on was the Hull, I remember sitting late working with you waiting for the post to go live. PM – Yeah, Dan grabs me as, I was out the door when I got the call for that, was walking to the parking lot and he’s like hey, can you give us a hand with this? JP – Ben was sitting there saying, Pete Mackay’s just sitting in Austin, messing with thrusters. PM – yeah.  By the time I left, I was the last person in the office. JP – So, besides the Hull, what kinds of ships are you working on now? PM – Actually we started on the Starfarer.  Started to model that.  We went through and figured out where the thrusters are going to go.  Now we know how many thrusters and where they’re going to be, I can start working out how much thrust they’ve got to have to give us the performance statistics that we’re looking for. JP – Starfarer has been getting some love lately, so maybe it’s fortuitous that you’re working on it right now. PM – Yeah, yeah, well, I just got the notification of it last night, so we just started working on it this morning.  But I guess we have a sale coming up pretty quick. JP – … yeah. PM – Should I not say that? JP – Hopefully we can leave this part in. PM – We’ll just cut that out. JP – Alright, well, Pete, thanks for sitting with us, it’s great to have you out here in Santa Monica.  I’m sure people are loving the thruster work you’re doing.  I mean, it’s not the first thing people see, but it’s the first thing they feel. PM – Definitely.  more than any other item that can go on a ship, the thrusters are…you can feel it immediately. JP – Alright, thanks again, back to you guys.   22:55 Ben and Sandi – Pete is not just a designer and weatherman.  He’s also CIG’s resident DJ.  He spins. – Ben sat down with some designers about controller balance.   23:15 Star Citizen Round-table about Controller Balance Ben – Welcome to a Star Citizen round-table here with our design team in Santa Monica.  We’re talking about everyone’s favourite topic, controller balance, cause it’s been an ongoing debate since probably before the project existed.  We try to reassure people that it’s an ongoing process, we’re trying to get towards our concept of you being able to play the game with whatever the hell you want.  Today I’m joined by the people actually making that happen, so lets go around the table and introduce yourselves. DT – I’m Dan Tracy, lead technical designer here CR – I’m Calix Renault, technical designer MS – I’m Matt Sherman, technical designer. CR – All technical designers *gasp* Ben – How excited were you guys to hear that we were gonna talk about controller balance? CR – Well, I continue to strongly believe that we should have controllers in the game. DT – That’s a good notion. CR – That’s basically where I’m coming from. MS – Games need input. Ben – The metrics bear you out. DT – I also just realized what Matt is wearing, it’s perfect (he’s wearing a shirt with old NES controllers on it) MS – Yeah, I actually thought we were filming this tomorrow, so I blanked on wearing this today.  Happy coincidence. Ben – Star Citizen!  A happy coincidence! CR – We’ve actually been talking pretty recently about doing a full controls refactor.  We keep putting in these different systems, and every time we do, we have to figure out how are you actually going to interact with any of these things, and there’s actually a number of mechanics that don’t have input at all.  The most glaring of which is being seen in the tutorial is that you cannot throttle your acceleration.  When you’re leaving the Hangar, unless you’re in decoupled mode, it’s very very easy to go flying up and crashing.  We have the ability to throttle acceleration, but you don’t have a button for it.  That’s one of the things that, control disparity aside, we need to completely revisit all of our controls, because there’s a lot of things that, as things come online, we have to factor that into how the game is designed. DT – I think just taking a step back at it, you have to look at it from the top level which is, again, all of the controls in the game, control over your IFCS, control over whether you have ComStab on, targeting, missiles, all of that needs to play into how all of our controls are set up on mouse and keyboard, on the HOTAS, or even trying to do that on a gamepad.  It’s difficult to balance all of those all the time.  Like Calix is saying, adding more features is going to add more and more button presses to make things happen, so we’re also trying to do with the reflectors is streamlining a lot of this so you have the most used buttons on demand at the most used locations.  So anything that really really makes sense, and this is something I’ve been pushing for as well, is moving to more of a unified set up, where you have similar designs across flight as well as FPS, so as soon as you transfer out of the ship, your movement controls feel very samey, so i want to go forward, I want to go back, and it makes sense across the board.  So, you have to imagine like, it’s weird when you think about it.  A controller for a gamepad, when you’re using your typical FPS, you’re running with the left stick and aiming with the right stick.  In flight, you’re using that for pitch instead of for throttle, like, sure a lot of games translate that over to, with racing, is using triggers as throttle, but we’re using the triggers as the meaty button, you’re using for more so for direct firing control, so a lot of this stuff needs a lot of audience feedback as well, and we appreciate the very… verbose audience we have with controller inputs.  But everyone’s going to have their own unique control setup, so we’ve even seen on our analytics, the one guy who actually uses the wheel CR – The wheel with the pedals.  He’s one of the better flyers that we have.  He’s up there ruining our curves.  I like that guy. MS – Cause no-one expected that.  Wait, a 325 and a steering wheel is one of the best combos? DT – Sold CR – Have at it, you know? Ben – So, lets talk about those metrics.  How do we measure how successful a particular control system is right now? MS – Well, right now we’re actually still getting a lot of this built up.  We’ve got some great analytics software, we’re using something called Tableau (?) that we can just punch in raw data for as we build hooks for it into the server so, first we have to know what we want to track.  Hit chances, destruction, who’s using what weapons, who’s using what ships, and then building in those hooks so we can track this, watch this, check against different game modes so we can see, what’s the best setup in Vanduul Swarm vs. Squadron Battle vs. Battle Royal vs. Capture the Core, and so the long-term is, we’re still just getting everything built out, getting all these hooks in, and it’s slowly starting to come together to give us a better picture.  I think there’s a big perception that there’s a wild swing for top performance for the controllers, but the variance isn’t quite so bad as I think some people perceive it to be. Ben – What are we looking at right now?  We look at the leaderboards right?  What are people using right now? MS – The most successful scheme right now is either a keyboard and mouse, or a combination of joystick and mouse.  They’re a little more than 50% of the top base collectively overall, but it’s not…they’re not like, 70%+, there’s still a good 40% of HOTAS-centric users performing well.  It’s definitely harder, it’s something we need to look at between either how we handle gimbaled weapons or how we handle fixed weapons.  It’s definitely in a better place than I think some people are worried it’s at, and…just with time, more development, more iteration, it can only get better. Ben – Well, thank you guys for getting together and talking about me with this.  I have a feeling we’ll get together and do this many more times.  Appreciate it, and…back to you guys!   Ben and Sandi – Balancing is a very difficult task, but we have the best guys in the world working on it.   30:55 Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian – Hey guys, and welcome back to Ship Shape! *graphic still pending* – Josh Coons and Chris Smith have been working on the Connie.  They’ve been working on updating it with three things in mind. – More detailed, more functional to fit in the SC world.  Bulkhead to separate the cockpit from the living area has been added.  A weapon rack has been added to the living area, and a missile reload system has been added to the cargo area. – Another big thing is making the ship, especially the exterior, is making it more in line with the RSI manufacturer feel.   Making it more in-line, more functional, hard angles, making it cooler. – Third thing is making the ship compatible with the modular system.  They’ve been developing it to make sure it’s easier to create variants, and for backers to customize ships after they’re out. – For example, it makes it easier for CIG to change things such as the nose and tail of the ship. – That’s it for Ship Shape this week.  Look forward to getting behind the flight stick of the Connie when Multicrew goes live.   32:35 Ben and Sandi – Let them know on the forums what ships you want to see featured on Ship Shape. – Starfarer will be back on sale starting Tomorrow (Friday) – They’ll be making the Starfarer Gemini, militarized variant, available.  Learn about that tomorrow.   33:15 Sneak Peek – What could it be!  It’s Starfarer interiors.  Because of course it is. – And the exterior.  Looks very pretty.  Big guns.  Sexy ship.   34:00 Outro – Sandi’s going to be away for a couple weeks.  Going to London to shoot SQ42. – She might check in with some updates from London. – And thats it. [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 46 (video/INN) [spoiler] Notes NEWS will be in BOLD, hijinks will be regular text. – SOON™ is up! – And they’re live, and have sound! – I see Jenny, Ben, James, Alyssa, and Darian Vorlick is in the back grabbing a seat – Ben got a new Hawaiian shirt. - FPS post and Starfarer post will be later today.  Waiting on some concept art from Chris Olivia. - Subscribers got their Flair this morning.  It’s a space rock.  But it’s cooler than a space rock sounds. – Fridays at CIG are the days they have to be there the longest, so Friday… it’s just Friday, not FRIIIDAAAAAAY – Everyone on RTV look exhausted. – New joke is that the next survivor flair will be space paper and space scissors. – With Grabby Hands… can make rock/paper/scissors game… just throw them at each other. – Starfarer sale news: By popular request, the Starfarer will be available later today.  There will be a Q&A on the Starfarer over the next week, à la Hulls.  Base Starfarer is still $195, the Gemini will be a standard concept sale with LTI.  Price is $240.   – The Gemini upgrades the weapons, engines, and shields over the base model.  More details in an official post when the sale goes up.  More armour. – There’s some… noise in the background.  Someone’s here.  Disco just made a lot of noise coming in. – Question: The military ships that we’re selling – are there going to be access restrictions to stations or planets that might not get along with the UEE so well? Depends on the ship.  For the Gemini, it’s not as much military, it’s just… hardier, so there won’t be many restrictions.  But if you showed up with a Lightning or something, that’d be like showing up with an F-22, which lots of people frown upon for some reason. – You can upgrade the base Starfarer to the Gemini. – What ships will be available to subscribers and concierge during Gamescom? Unknown right now.  They might not tell anyone until the event actually happens.  Still far away from Gamescom, so it’s unclear.   – They’re talking about chairs now.  Disco has a bad chair.  It doesn’t roll.  But it fits his butt. – Toast says hi.  Now they’re clapping for Toast, because Toast. – Final location for the Gamescom event?  Still being worked on.  As soon as they have something, they’ll let us know.   – Will there be an active role for a fuel-specific career aboard the Starfarer?  Yes.  It can go and collect fuel and refine it.  You can go to a gas giant, skim the surface, and refine it.   – One of the concept images they are waiting for is showing what refueling will look like. – If that image is not there when the post goes up tonight… Ben has murdered a concept artist. – Lisa Ohanian is here in the back.  Starting stuff on the Herald soon.  We’ll see some on it further along from Lisa probably. – They’re not going to bump CitizenCon because of a rugby match. – CitizenCon will ALWAYS be October 10th. – FPS post – it is in the works.  They’re waiting for some more videos.  They’ve got a bunch of art aspects that Chris wanted added.  James is setting up tables, which is apparently hard in their CMS.  There will be videos, mo-cap stuff in action, how characters have evolved, we’ll hear about the back-end.  Hear about stuff from each studio. Weapons from IllFonic, audio from UK, etc…  it’s a monster of a post.  Equivalent of a monthly report, but just about FPS. – Less Katy Perry today. – Disco Lando – wander around an FPS map with no-one to fight.  I thought that was like Battlefield? – Apparently they’re asking if there will be ‘free fly’ weekends for FPS.  Ben says yes, probably eventually, but not at the beginning.  Paid players will get to play first. – 10 years ago, Ben got asked to be part of a Battlefield pitch for Wing Commander.  The logline was ‘It’s Battlefield meets GTA in SPACE’.  A little part of Ben died that day. – There will be fish in the pledge store.   – Star Wars Episode I sucks hard. – Dog tags have not shipped.  They are packed and ready to go but the hats needed to ship first. – You will see more Rovers.  Ben is meeting with David Hobbins in regards to the rovers today! :D – Community Team is playing TONS of Hyper Vanguard Force. – How many levels in Hyper Vanguard Force? – 3 in Normal, 3 in Hard, and achievements for each mode. – Will the grabby hands make dice games and card games and things possible?  Yes.  It’s designed to be able to pick things up and throw them, so that’s not out of the question. – Will there be a proximity chat for voice in FPS?  Ben’s not sure.  They’d need Travis for that.  Darian says: Not at the moment, because mobile communication would be so prevalent by that point, that proximity chat would be ubiquitous.  Unless something’s jamming a signal, you can talk like you’re next to someone.   – Interstellar communication makes it silly to have proximity communication. – Apparently the discussion between the three types of sample chairs for the new office has been a big thing in the office lately. – Darian – ‘crouching lawyer, hidden lawsuit?’ – They’re now talking about what they use their elbows for.  What are they for? – They are still planning on moving Santa Monica to a new location.   – What variant was shown in ship shape this week? – the Standard model. – Colours for the Connie? Right now they’re in whitebox – no news if they’re revamping the colour palette for the Connie.  Eventually we’ll be picking the colours anyway. – Apparently the designers of the Connie are taking a lot of fan feedback for their changes. – Can you eject someone if they’re sleeping in an escape pod? Ben: If you have an escape pod… yes? – There’s no answer for what the FPS controls will feel like yet. – Are we going to be restocking the store with more shirts and hoodies?  Alexis and Sandi are working on Hoodies, and they’re in the works with the coffee mug as well.  And they’d like to put together decals for computer cases and such as well. – There is a giant list of all the events they want to do, but they’re still deciding which they’ll do.  PAX Australia is on the ‘maybe’ list.  No confirmation either way yet. – Alyssa is doing ‘stuff’ still.  She started last week. Main responsibilities are to work with Lisa and the production team to make sure they get assets for sales on time, stats are ready to go, the goal is to make the sale process smoother so everyone’s happy (mostly Ben). – She’ll also be managing all of the Events stuff.  Who, what, when, how, where, why, and how much. – Hyper Vanguard Force is controlled with the mouse.  This is not a commentary, it’s not intentional, it’s just how you play the game. – Ben doesn’t like corn.  Lots of people are saying they don’t like corn.  I like creamed corn, but not corn on the cob. – CIG are asking for more Vegemite.  They’re out of Vegemite and Tim Tams. – Hyper Vanguard Force might be in the game.  They’ve talked about having all the mini games in the final game somewhere. – The Queen’s bodyguard did the dance moves for the Heavy Marine mo’cap dancing. – We’ll see more about the mo-cap for FPS later today. – Sandi has made it to London to work on SQ42. – Sandi is conducting a secret interview today. [I’m speculating that this might be a SQ42 cast interview.] – CIG aren’t intentionally not answering questions, just lots of the time they don’t have the answers to huge ‘what ifs’ yet.  They’re working on core concepts, working on polish and pretty – once that’s done, they’ll work on the more nebulous and complicated stuff. – Lots of systems they want to do, but they just haven’t been fleshed out yet. – ‘Something that can be imagined in a second can take months to implement.’ – #blamejames – New Starfarer has size up on engines, size up on three manned turrets, a larger double-shield.  It loses cargo capacity, maneuverability, and speed.  It has more armour too.  Clunkier, more protected version that the Military uses versus the less protected civilian variant. – They’re talking about Demolition Man.  There’s no three seashells.  The toilet paper is a sponge. – CIG is bent on creating the next “weird space toilet”. – The sponges have LTI.  They’ll last. – Reliant variants – they have ideas, and they’re going to get concept artists started on them next week.   – Freelancer- no news.  It’s being worked on and looking cool. – Ship Shape will also talk about pipelines, what it takes to get from step A to step C and such, but Lisa will talk more about the process of creating the ships, not just the ships themselves. – Lisa talking about possibly highlighting one part of the development of a ship on Ship Shape. - No new weapons for Voyager Direct in the immediate future (next few weeks). – Ben and DL just bought X-wings stuff?  X-wings miniatures game? – They’re two weeks into their diet. – Ben, Alexis, and DL started a diet two weeks ago. – Ben says it’s going great and he feels better. – Wear and tear.  Do ship hulls lose condition over time?  They do, but they can be restored to good shape again.  It’s not permanent. – No official announcement on the Reliant sale, but it’s coming soon.  Sooner than we think. – Ben and Lando won’t stop making Star Wars jokes.  Bad ones. – Don’t be mean.  They’re working on the controllers, they’ll get the CCU’s, just don’t be mean.  If you want your stuff read and considered, don’t be a jerk when you make it.   – James didn’t watch Star Wars episode 2 last night, because he’s still mad at episode 1. – Then he was going to watch Arrow or Flash, but he went to be instead. – Vanguard variants – Gurmukh will start concepting them next week. – In the case of both the Vanguard and the Reliant, they know what the variants are, they just have to make the pictures of them. – Reliant variants are with an outsourcer. – Art has come in recently on the Genesis Starliner and the Endeavor. - They have ideas in mind for dates for both the Vanguard and Reliant variants, but nothing final. – Different kinds of artists are working on different things.  Just because they have people working on concept art for variants, that’s not to say they could be doing something else.  Either they’re doing variant concepts, or they’re doing nothing.  Not all artists are interchangeable. – Lando is wrong about everything. – You’ll be able to upgrade your ships to newer ships without CCU’s eventually. – No official presence from CIG at GDC. – They’re being silly now.  Jenny put up a banner saying that the Star-G is on sale.  But it’s not.  She tried very hard on it though. – Unsure when Constellation and Merlin updates will be in hangar.  Merlin will be ready first. – Constellation’s waiting for Multicrew. – Lisa’s been around for a month, she’s happy to be at the point where she can answer lots of questions now. – Assets need to come in before posts go out… but it will happen tonight. - That’s it! [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Hyper Vanguard Force (browser SHMUP minigame) BUGSMASHERS! Episode 1 Meet The Devs: John Schimmel May Subscriber Flair   Lore Updates TERRA GAZETTE: FORA FAMINE   Happening right now / real soon LOAD TIMES REDUCED BY ~80% IN 1.1.2! Starfarer Sale, reg and Gemni varaint until May 18 FPS MODULE expected who knows when, confirmed it will be on PTU before release.
  11. Hello, folks:   These are direct links to our first rendered versions, please do not post this material in public!   Keep in mind for these drafts: - Ignore the text, (especially the font) TBD - Ignore length of the intro, we'll have long and short versions when the polish is on - A friend and I are still working on a few texture elements, camera angles, and light vector. - We are also playing around with a few different soundtracks.   http://www.filedropper.com/shield1 http://www.filedropper.com/shield2   Ambitious I know, but we are also working on taking actual Star Citizen ship objects and have them fly around the shield.    Feedback requested and welcome as always!   Cheers  
  12. Summary for week ending on May 1 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable       April Report (LINK) [spoiler] Monthly Report April Greetings Citizens, Welcome to the April 2015 Monthly Report! It was a busy month for the Star Citizen team, with the worldwide teams going full speed ahead on updates to Arena Commander, Star Marine, Squadron 42, the persistent universe and more. As we speak, Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.2 is available on the PTU. Thanks to the community, we’ve identified a number of bugs that the team is hard at work squashing today… expect an update on that next week. This is also your last weekend to pledge for a Hull series ship during the concept sale; check it out! We’ll also be putting out a more comprehensive update on Star Marine early next week, letting you know exactly what we’ve been working on these past few weeks. Until then, enjoy finding out what we’ve been up to in April!   CIG Santa Monica Greetings Citizens, April is over; man, that was fast! We’re trying things a little differently with this month’s report: instead of a single voice, we’ve given each team member the opportunity to contribute directly. And below this report, we’ve added a little background about what one of our artists does. You’ll have to let us know what you think in the comments but we believe it creates a much more dynamic update! Without further ado, let’s go to the department updates written by those who make up the departments.   Design One of the items we’ve been working on in the Design department is Pirate Swarm is a mode within the map of Broken Moon. It features Pirate pilots using UEE ships that will attack the players. The number of waves has been reduced for play times to be more manageable, waves have been balanced as well to allow players a chance to reach the end. The Swarm modes have been played a bunch over the time since Arena Commander has been released, but we want to give you more than just static waves of the same ones over and over. Moving forward we want to get away from the term of Vanduul or Pirate Swarm and make it just ‘Swarm’.   What does that mean?   We want to give you options in which you can customize your gameplay.   That doesn’t tell me anything!   Hmm, how would you like to choose what enemies you fight? How would you like to select how many waves you want to go up against? Moving forward we really want to give you those types of options. The ability to make your play experience painfully difficult as a true swarm of enemies zero in on you, or if you just want to jump in and test a new weapon set up, then spawn a single easy wave to check it out. This is a simulation, you should have the ability to set up your training simulation as you please, and we aim to give you that option.   GOST is coming! GOST is a modular system we’re developing that allows us to more directly control the varied methods of interacting with our ships. Previously hard-coded archetypes of accessing, entering, sitting within, and navigating throughout ships will instead be authored by situation-specific logical components, granting us greater freedom than ever before. One example of the advantages of this system is that in the Hornet F7CM, instead of being auto-seated in the pilot’s seat, you’ll be able to deploy the access ladder, then choose to retract it, sit in the pilot’s seat, or sit in the copilot seat. Multi-crewed ships will reap even larger functional benefits, especially while dashing from the radar station to the hangar deck in the heat of battle or while simply taking a leisurely stroll to the lounge. Interact with your ships however you’d like—it’s all possible with GOST.   Overall, April has seen a lot of great progress for our long-term itemization in Star Citizen. With the continued work on all of the ship components, we’ve been working on a full overhaul and standardization of all of our component sizes. Having these in place is going to help with all aspects of ship design and development. From the ground up, we can use these sizes to build out much more detailed component plans for each of our ships, as well as starting to help us plan out just what our increased modularity of ship components will mean when putting together a loadout.   Having these sizes locked in, we’ve already started planning out some of the possible component swapping that will be available in the future. Some of our current experiments are exploring Power Plants, Shield Generators, and Cooling systems sharing more interchangeable placement. This is still going to take a lot of testing and tuning to make sure these choices feel meaningful enough to make while also keeping the overall power of each ship balanced.   Another set of components we’ve needed to rethink the sizing on are our Ammo Boxes, Battery Packs, Fuel Tanks, and Ballast systems. With our resized components, these all now share the same size, allowing them to easily be replaced with one another. Running a ballistics-heavy ship? Bring some extra ammo. Need to make a long-range flight next? Swap that ammo out with some spare fuel tanks. While not all of these components are adjustable on a ship currently, they’re going to help play a major part in loadout customization. This month we took on tangibility mechanics – what has affectionately been called “grabby hands” – as a vital step towards bringing the cargo system to life. The basic premise is that everything is physical, that human scale objects can be picked up and manipulated, placed and tossed around with a level of fidelity and control that really brings the environment alive. Moving things around is great, and from our early prototypes it feels more natural and responsive than has ever been seen done before, but that’s only the first problem – doing it with animations that flow naturally while remaining responsive for gameplay and visibly correct in both first and third person is a whole extra level of complexity. It’s all pretty well documented here.   For all its challenges, this level of detail and interactivity is the path to a universe that feels real, from seeing a stranger flipping a coin to walking into your hangar and truly feeling at home. It extends beyond just the picking up of items, so I’ve also created early examples of direct interaction with buttons, dials, throttles, even computer screens. Being able to sit in your cockpit and manually pick out individual buttons to press, or directly pulling levers and valves to tweak and tune components for repair, or just walking up to a screen and being able to instantly interact intuitively and naturally without switching into a new mode – these are the things that make the art of Star Citizen tangible.   Engineering This month we implemented a new 3D-to-2D “point of view” radar in the style of Wing Commander’s radar. Though range can be harder to discern with this radar it makes it very easy to know where your contacts are around you and which way to turn to get them in view. We started by using Wolfram Mathematica to rapidly prototype the math necessary to map a 3D direction onto the display, creating both an interactive output and a test output using a generated array of test points so we could see any mistakes that needed fixing. Once we were sure the math was correct we brought it all into C++ and hooked it up to the flash through a custom dock item field, then attached the flash to the front HUD of an Avenger to test it. This new radar type will be appearing in certain ships soon. While the AI devs over in the UK have nowadays mostly been working on character-based AI for Squadron 42 and the Persistent Universe, we’ve been focused on the maintenance of spaceship-based AI as you see in the Vanduul Swarm game mode. Most recently, we’ve begun prototyping wingmen commands, the ability for the player to assign specific goals such as “attack my target” or “defend me” to his wingmen instead of just having them engage enemies as they please. This work will also work well towards our ability to create complex combat scenarios and missions in which AI ships will have different objectives to fulfill specific roles in the fleet. In the future, we expect to be working more in supporting Randy Vazquez, an LA technical designer who started working for us in the past couple of months and specifically focuses on AI encounter systems.   Continue bug support on release stream; crashes, mp de-syncs, unexpected behavior, and all around shenanigans. Prep work for radar system 2.0, signature system 2.0, vehicle params, and physical based damage. The improved radar system will be handle designer driven entries, threaded performance improvements, coherent abstraction so player and vehicles can use the same system with adjusted parameters, and more. The improved signature system will extend the designer driven system because calix demands more power, allow signatures to mask other signatures ( sun blocking ir signatures ), introduce the concept of frequency, and expand signature emission profiles. The vehicle params are a important step to reduce load times and allow external system to construct information on how a vehicle could be built without the need of spawning said vehicle. The params will also be used to cache resources. Physical damage will allow our kinetic projectiles damage to be based off kinetic energy and control how vehicles handle damage from physical hits and collisions.   Art Throughout April members of the Santa Monica ship team have been coming together to update the Freelancer. This process has been an intricate one as it touches many facets of the games core mechanics including some new up and coming features. Coordination between studios has been crucial to this update. Concept artists in the UK have been hard at work fleshing out the Starfarer’s design and with this has come a particular aesthetic that solidified the MISC look in the Star Citizen universe.   Unity among manufacturers is a must so artists here in Santa Monica are applying those concepts to the Freelancer interior and exterior areas. This update has involved many changes such as proper metrics for character interactions, creating zones for cargo and adding areas for modular components. Maintaining the original experience and purpose of the ship will of course be maintained. As a whole the Freelancer has increases in size but the interior has remained a narrow and functional space as the previous design intended; allowing players to be immersed in the multi crew experience of a personal ship.   Throughout the community there has been a lot of feedback concerning the Freelancer, and we’ve listened! Worries about entering the cargo bay while it is full, accessibility to the back turret and the small mid-section as well some other issues have all been addressed. (No more clipping through bathrooms or popping up and down while trying to get to your bed). When the update is completed we believe the community will be pleasantly surprised. Things have been busy as usual in the Concept department here in Santa Monica. We did a bit of concept work on the freelancer back turret and body before moving on to help where we could with the art for the Hull concept sale. That ship is looking gorgeous and we are excited for you all to see what we have done.   Omar has been doing some amazing work on the characters. He spent a few weeks in Austin working with the team there and they have all made some really amazing progress. He will be heading to the UK office for a few weeks to continue moving forward with character stuff. We can assure you that the character team is creating some really cool stuff and we know you are all going to be really excited when you see what they have been working on. Hopefully we will get Omar back in the concept department soon to work on ship stuff. Well that wraps up the Santa Monica portion of this report. Hope you’ve enjoyed your tour through our development efforts for the month voiced by those on the front lines. As always thank you to everyone in the community for their continued support and for making this game possible. It is a real pleasure to be able to work on such an amazing universe with such an amazing community! Cheers, CIG Santa Monica Team   All About Surfacing Art Hi my name is Daniel Kamentsky and I’m an Associate 3D artist at CIG in Santa Monica. You might know me from my time working on TNGS as a part of time shimapan. My role at CIG has recently shifted away from modeling and more towards surfacing. As real time rendering evolves, with new rendering techniques such as PBR (physically based rendering) there is a growing demand for artists that specialize in the creation and application of materials. As one of these artists it’s my job to think about the more micro level of detail while the other ship artist focus on the modeling and large shapes. So what does it mean to be a surfacing artist? Well for me it’s about being fascinated with small details and different surface types. Being a surfacing artist requires you to have a deep understanding of the way different materials react to light, how different materials are used in reality, and how to accurately create these materials with in a real time engine. Anyways as an artist I’m better at showing rather than saying (or writing) so let me walk you through my process in creating a material in this set of images. So for this demo I’m going to create a painted metal material. With physically based rendering you are able to create believable materials with simple solid base colors. So with that in mind the first thing I normally do when making my materials is start by blocking in some solid values. So as you can see just by applying solid values I’m already very far along. For this paint I’m going for a pearl sheen and a nice light blue color. The next phase in the process is adding in base texture maps. These are broad strokes and are meant to break up the surface. I typically use textures as overlays and let the engine drive the actual color and glossiness. This way we can reuse material later on.       AS you can see while there is some larger break up a lot of the fine detail isn’t there. This is where, depending on the surface, I will add another texture that tiles a lot over the surface to give it some micro detail.       This detail pass adds some brush stroke patterns and little air bubbles to make the surface more believable. Now since this a painted metal its time bring in the metal with the paint. In the interest of time I will skip the process for creating the metal and just show how I’m blending them.       This is the metal I will be blending with. The next step is to combine the two materials and use a mask to tell the shader where the two materials should blend.       So here is our final material I hope that this was interesting for you guys and gave you a little insight into my day to day workflow at Cloud Imperium.   CIG Austin Hi everyone! April showers have blessed Central Texas this month and we’ve been hard at work on many fronts. We’ve seen record concurrency numbers with the 1.1.1 game update, and experienced multiplayer connectivity issues as a result. We mobilized all resources to focus on this issue, and you’ll see more detail on these activities from several teams in the detailed reports. We’ve got a lot to share, so please check out some detailed info from the teams in the Austin studio!   Persistent Universe Team Art The month of April saw many developments within the Art Department of CIG Austin. We hosted an Environment Mini-Summit where our friends from Foundry 42, BHVR, and Illfonic came to visit to discuss long term planning for Star Citizen Environments. There are a lot of cross-studio dependencies that require face-to-face time to discuss in more depth, and it is very valuable to interact with people in person that we work with on a daily basis across the world. All in all the Summit was a success, and our Global Environment Leads Ian Leyland and Cort Soest have helped establish a firm foundation upon which to build the best environments possible. Our focus specifically for the PU this year will be fleshing out the “First 5” planetary landing zones, wrapping up our first batch of shops that will be found on those landing zones, and R&D on creating modular space stations that will serve a variety of functions in the PU.   Our character team has been solely focused on supporting the FPS character revisions this month. There was a lot of work to do to help bring these characters up to speed with the rest of the amazing work Illfonic has been doing to make Star Marine look the best it can. We’ve added armor plating to help beef up the Medium Marine a bit more, tweaked materials and colors to help both the Marines and Outlaws look like they belong to the same unit, and Josh Coons even jumped over from the Ship Team for a while to help bring the Outlaw helmets up to the next level. These characters are looking fantastic, and we’re really excited for you guys to get to run around with them very SOON! Other things the Art Team has been up to this month include concept work for Hangar weapon racks and Holo-Kiosks for the Astro Armada shop, concept work on shielding and radiators for space stations, explorations into Blue Collar clothing sets, flickering job board VFX for the TDD shop, and texturing work for the mobiGlas asset.   Our Animation Team has been supporting various aspects of the project, including prone weapon sets for FPS, and Grabby Hands animations for testing out picking up and putting down objects. Lead Animator Bryan Brewer has been testing and debugging the brand new skeleton we are going to be moving our characters over to in order to improve various aspects of the character’s proportions and range of motion. Our entire animation team is now transitioning over to helping retarget our whole library of animations (over 2,000!) to this new skeleton.   Design There were many discussions and meetings that took place this month amongst our designers in order to break down what we are calling the “Game Loop” for our upcoming Social Module release. Where does a player start when he/she logs in? What do they experience as they participate in various activities around a landing zone? What happens when they interact with REDACTED??? All very important questions that ultimately helped shape the design for Shopping, Storage, NPC setup, and more. We’ll continue to break these down even further as we progress into next month.   Pete Mackay has been adding extensive developments to his newly dubbed “Ship Cruncher” tool (formerly Thruster Calculator). It’s a pretty robust tool that allows designers to balance discrete item parameters, create baseline ship items for each item type, properly size ship gear and visualize granular changes on a macro scale, and collect robust data sets for each ship. The Ship Cruncher also does several different physics calculations to determine how fast a ship can change direction, its top speed, its turn radius, etc. It’s an all-inclusive package that will significantly help with ship balancing in the future.   Evan Manning has been adding data to the Star Map to be used by our friends at Turbulent for the release of the Star Map on the Platform side. There is a lot of information to be documented and Evan has been doing a great job of ensuring every element in each system is in its proper place.   Work continues on fleshing out various occupations within the Persistent Universe. Tony Zurovec continues to whittle away at the details of the Pioneer occupation, and Rob Reininger and Nate Blaisdell have taken cracks at initial passes on the Mercenary/Escort and Bounty Hunter occupations, respectively. Before long we’ll have more detailed breakdowns of how each of these occupations will work in the PU.   Engineering April was a busy month for our engineering team, as many of them were recruited to support the live patch that went out the first week of the month. Our Server Team paused their work on the Multiplayer Hangars feature in order to work closely with DevOps and QA to improve and strengthen our Instance Manager, our Matchmaking Service and other services. As a result, we have had a dramatic decrease in reports of issues related to inability to load into multiplayer matches. Congrats to our hardworking team for this splendid accomplishment!   We have other, longer term systems in the works that continue to progress closer towards completion. These systems are being worked on out of Austin with strong cross-over with Manchester and Denver (by our friends at Wyrmbyte)…such as: Unique Global Entity ID system, Generic Instance Manager, Player Info Server, Presence Server, Universe Simulator, HUB Server, and Player Persistence. Much of this work is slated to have deliverables of first iterations in the month of May…the team is definitely making some solid progress!   The team has also been working with tools such as RAD Telemetry to help them profile our server metrics, in order to support the ongoing task of optimizing server performance. They have started profiling our live builds and analyzing the results with fine toothed combs to identify areas to focus on to implement improvements.   Work also continues on our various tools systems, including support for such items as the Sandbox Editor, Trackview and our Asset Validation Tool. And development continues to progress quickly on our various AI Editors…such as our Useable Editor and our Character Archetype Editor…which are needed by our design team to help bring our worlds to life.   And while juggling all of these tasks the team has also been busy working on such things as finalizing 64-bit networking support for our Large World system, finalizing work on the iPredictor (movement prediction) system, creating a series of prototypes for the Mining Occupation, and helping support other systems that are live or in the works, such as REC and Multi-Seat Ships.   Finally, behind the scenes our team has been hard at work re-optimizing our development stream workflow, which will help us streamline our development to ultimately be more efficient and stable. Everyone is looking forward to this new workflow, which has been rolling out step-by-step over the past several weeks.   Well, that’s it in a nutshell for the month on April, 2015! We’ll be back with more next month!   Live Operations QA For the month of April QA has been busy on multiple fronts. With the release of 1.1.1, our concurrency rose to a level we had not seen before. This exposed aspects of our back-end infrastructure that were preventing successful connections to multiplayer matches. QA worked closely with DevOps and our server engineers in a full investigation. After multiple hot-fixes to our servers, the issues were dramatically improved. Subsequently a call was made for everyone to help participate in a scheduled stress test. The turnout was such that we were able to surpass our previous concurrency record and were happy to see our back-end system could handle this increased load.   Melissa Estrada has been assisting our developers in the Frankfurt studio to track down and regress editor issues they’ve encountered when doing comparison testing of our version of the editor to pure CryEngine SDK. Melissa also headed up an initiative to log all errors found in the game logs which will be a huge help in ensuring we have a cleaner game for the release of Star Marine. The team assisted our Global Environmental Tech Lead Cort Soest to filter unused maps in the editor to reduce internal build space by more than 100GB helping to enhance work efficiency.   Our checklists have been updated to include more Star Marine and Squadron 42 features as well as deeper checks to the editor. With help from Jeffrey Pease, efforts have been made to improve the patch notes creation process which help to more easily incorporate multiple members of the QA team that can assist in the event that someone is absent.   Miles Lee has made significant progress in developing test automation. As a result, we are able to automate the capturing of performance data for each of our various builds. He is also working on automating our build sanity checks and assisting DevOps with the development of a headless client system that will enable us to automate stress tests on our back-end infrastructure.   The team was also continually testing Star Marine. FPS specialists Tyler Witkin and his UK counterpart Glenn Kneal ensured production was notified of all issues found that day and highlighted any severe outstanding issues that were blocking or significantly hindering testing. Our QA team was also fortunate enough to visit Professor Paul Toprac and his aspiring game developers participating in the Capstone GAMMA program at the University of Texas. We had a lot of fun playtesting and providing feedback on their projects.   Next month we plan to incorporate Social Module in our regular testing. We will be working very closely with Jake Ross to ensure we begin testing each aspect of the Module as soon as it is available.   Game Support The month of April was quite busy for everyone, including Game Support! We’re continuing to learn and refine our processes of communicating and working with players, particularly on the Live Service Notification forums and on Reddit. We’ve seen nothing but appreciation from players for these efforts, which means we’re doing something right! Our goal of serving live players with information is carried out by giving you the most accurate and updated information on the health of the service, what kind of game experience you can expect as a player, and what we’re all doing to make it better (especially on patch days!).   Behind the scenes, we’ve made some changes that will ultimately result in you getting a better, faster response. We’re closely working with Customer Service, Community, and DevOps on a daily basis to make sure that you get the right timely support. We’ve got a good plan and we’re excited to start getting to where you would want us to be as a service provider.   On a more visible level, we’ve also begun the work of running and managing stress tests, and we’ll be involved in many more of these. The rollout of 1.1.1 and increased concurrency resulted in multiplayer instability, and we worked with multiple teams to identify and address the more common issues. To properly test these fixes, we coordinated with the player base in what turned out to be an incredibly successful test which set new concurrency records for Star Citizen. Not only was this helpful, but it was fun!   Lastly, we’ve spent some time internally on creating some plans on what we’re going to need to support future modules, namely the upcoming Star Marine module, which for us basically means supporting an entirely new game! We’ll be excited to roll these plans out in the coming weeks and months as we expand our services to better support the growing community and ever-expanding needs of the Star Citizen universe.   IT/Operations The IT team has been hard at work improving internal systems, planning for future systems, growing storage, and fine tuning service performance. The term explosive growth is often used when talking about storage and in our case, we’re no different. As our dev teams continue to produce content and collaborate, we need to make the results of their work available to all teams within the company. As storage needs grow in LA for example, we must grow storage in all other studio locations to match so that data can be replicated locally to each team. Growth of storage space is not the only aspect we’ve been focused on this month. Storage performance can also become an issue when lots of people need access to the same things at the same time. We’ve already surpassed the capability of standard replication methods and found it necessary to build our own in order to keep up with demand. I’m proud to say that the IT team has come up with some very creative and innovative strategies to make better use of existing systems and believe me, we push hardware to the limits here at Cloud Imperium Games. For example, one of our replication systems pushes about 900 mb/s for about 12 hours each day pushing content to 5 replication targets simultaneously. It is important for this data to get to each studio as quickly as possible so the performance demand on the servers is pretty high. To solve this problem we’ve built a custom flash storage system in in order to provide the IOPS we need for this process. Each upgrade seems to expose new areas we can improve on. In this example we got our replication going so fast that it began to bog down servers on the receiving end so we’ve been upgrading those servers where necessary as well.   While the IT team has been continuing to provide support to individual developers around the world it seems like storage and replication tuning have been our main focus this month. Next month we’re looking forward to building even better systems to help the dev teams crank out content even faster.   Dev Ops April was a month of firefighting and stability improvements! We launched patch 1.1.1 and worked to fix stability issues with our Instance Manager, Party, and Matchmaking services. After two weeks of deploying hotfixes from our Server Engineering team, stability increased. Due to some of the stability issues we have had over the last few patch releases, CIG has decided to change our approach to Operational Deployments. What this means to the players is that they should not expect Friday patch releases, or releases late at night. Instead we will be aiming for a more tempered roll out of patches and hotfixes to our live environment, taking full advantage of our PTU environment for config and game testing. We hope this will lead to more stable releases for our players.   The DevOps team has also been hard at work building the base infrastructure for the live environment, PTU, and internal test environments. Work on the new launcher and patcher continues, and we am sure you all will be as excited to use it as we are. We will be demo’ing it very soon with an upcoming PTU test and getting feedback and usability testing on it. Work on our automated dynamic infrastructure scaling system continues, around 40% of this system is already deployed live, and we expect the rest to begin operating over the next month. Internally, we continue to re-build our build server, change how we merge code and data between working branches, build better crash reporting, and work on automated testing.   There is still a lot of work to do to rework our internal data pipeline to get it to the point that both CIG developers and players do not have to patch and move around massive amounts of data each time there are minor changes. The DevOps team is working on a large roadmap to fix this with help from our engineering and tech art teams in Austin and Germany while being supported by our IT staff on the hardware build out. A full completion of this plan will take many months to roll out, but should drastically reduce the time it takes for a game build to be generated, the time for developers to test their changes, the size of patches, and the amount of data developers need to grab each morning. More on this plan in the months to come.   Foundry 42 Animation The UK animation team has expanded in to a group of five ready to tackle and implement the ongoing Imaginarium shoot as it comes in. As well as being on hand for any block out animations needed here at Foundry 42 we’ve been doing some of the back end work to get the databases and tracking in place that are necessary to keep on top of a project as large and ambitious as Squadron 42.   Engineering There are a couple of big ticket items coming to their first major milestones for the end of April. Firstly you will hopefully have your first taste of the new tutorial mode in Arena Commander. This has proved to be much more of an undertaking than originally planned, mainly because of just how deep our control systems go and then the complexity of trying to show the player how everything works. Sometimes when you are so close to a project you don’t always appreciate the bigger picture and realise just quite how much we’ve accomplished. We know most people internally who have played through the tutorial (including some of the QA team) have learnt something new about the game!   Secondly we’ve been doing a lot of work in the last few months converting all the game’s “entity Ids” from a 32 bit number to a 64 bit number. The entity Id is a unique identifier for each “thing” in the game, which can be stored and referenced very quickly, and for a computer is much more natural way of accessing items than something more human readable like a name string for example. For a normal single player game, and standalone multiplayer games, 32 bits is plenty (it gives you about 4 billion possibilities) but for an MMO game it proves to be woefully inadequate. The plan is that everything in the universe will have its own unique Id or a “global entity Id” as we’re now calling it, so every item in every database and on every server can be accessed via its own identifier. So as you traverse your way across the universe in your ship, with your particular loadout, with your cargo stored, and a couple of hitchhikers, and are hopping from one system to the next, it makes it much more straightforward technically to transfer all of that information from the server your currently on and onto the next, seamlessly. The fundamental change is actually a fairly simple one, the knock-ons where the code was assuming all these Ids would be 32 bits required a huge amount of fixing and is what takes the majority of the time. This process looks like it is now coming to an end much to the relief of the engineer in charge. Going into May our gameplay engineers are really focusing in on our charge for the S42 vertical slice, many mechanics of which are now in the polish stage. This is the time where you start to see parts of the project really come together, you see a game instead of a collection of bits. Exciting times!   Audio This past April for CIG Audio was mainly us keeping busy continuing our work in moving to Wwise. We’re really digging in now; assets are all across, banks created, bussing hierarchy etc. is built, and it’s giving us an opportunity now to refactor and improve while tying things together with Cryengine as much as we can. It’s a big push as Cryengine has only relatively recently begun supporting Wwise and there’ll still be a lot for us to do ourselves on that side, as we progress this year. We’re very much looking forward to releasing with it, but we’ve got plans beyond the standard tools associated with Wwise, for example automated Foley and footsteps that are driven systematically. It’s possible to spend so much time labouring over these, it’s a complete no-brainer to attempt to go the auto route with them.   We obtained some great new tools from Nugen Audio, one of which is going to be key in maintaining a good consistent loudness normalisation level for dialogue particularly, hugely useful.   As we mentioned last month, we’ve welcomed two new Sound Designers: Darren Lambourne, and Matteo Cerquone. Darren’s joined us from Ninja Theory where he worked on some amazing sounding titles. Matteo has joined as a junior, having come through the ranks at Vancouver Film School who turn out same excellent game sound designers.   Finally, we’ve welcomed a Dialogue Specialist, Bob Rissolo. Bob is straight into the deep end with a live-action shoot, helping to record great dialogue performances and ensuring we maintain the quality we need there. He’ll be moving from the US to join us at Foundry 42 which will be a real change for him and hopefully one that proves fruitful.   Luke and Pedro have been really hard at work on the Tutorial this month, which we hope you’ll enjoy from a sonic aspect, it’s highly evocative stuff in many ways!   Phil has kept on plugging away at the social module, along with Tom who’s been putting in great groundwork on S42 too.   Stefan has kept pushing on with FPS work – our Foley session at Pinewood was great, gave us an excellent kicking-off point for the different armour types. We’re still going to keep improving it through recording our own Foley assets as well, however. Can’t stop tweaking! He’s continuing the work on the guns which is a sophisticated system in its own right, getting one’s head around the HDR system is a tough first job but he’s definitely getting there. We still have more environmental aspects of the weapons audio to record though, there’s going to be a lot of audio data devoted to weapons in this game, that’s for sure. Thanks for listening!     Art Wow – April just flew by, we squeezed another birthday in while managing to keep all the plates spinning for Sq42 :) Good progress is being made on the Vanduul fleet, ships and shape language, patina paintovers, turret design, its an ever growing pandoras box of tasks. We’ve also spent a lot of time and effort on the FPS weapons needed for the campaign, this includes attachments (scopes, grips, rail systems) and also grenades, while also planning on making the existing weapons PBR correct. We’ve also started working with an new UK based concept company to help us solve the growing amount of tasks generated by the Cap ships and level design.   Environments We’ve been focusing on our Vertical Slice section for Sq42 – this means we take a section of a level and take it up to final art quality. We’ve got some fancy new tech fresh from the rendering department which will enable us to build our modular levels much more cheaply. We’re also starting to make some real progress on how props are going to be done in both Sq42 & the PU, they will basically follow our same master material system which will utilise the same started texture resource as our environments, this will mean that we can dress our levels to a much higher standard. And lastly we’ve been putting the final touches and fixes to the new Tutorial section in Dying Star – we hope you like it. Ian has also taken on the role as Global environment lead and is pushing through the many lessons we’ve learnt to our partner studios who have been helping make what you see today.   Ship Team This month, the Foundry 42 ship is hard at work preparing a lot of assets for the Cinematic shoot in London. This is an ongoing process, making sure Cinematic Directors and Chris Roberts have everything that they need to shoot all the cinematics for Squadron 42. The ship team in Manchester is working on multiple capships full force, and we are making really good process. Our goal is to make these massive ships a living and breathing world for the player to explore. The Idris and Javelin and Bengal are all going into final production, to meet the F42 standards! A huge undertaking. The Starfarer production is also making good headway, Matt is systematically working through the whole ship ,a big project, his second project after the Gladiator. We are also working on a Xi’an Cargo ship, a ship that is needed in SQ42.   Characters We’ve been concentrating heavily on the mocap/Pcap shoot, the camera rig is now in London with Andy and is being put through its paces capturing the actors as they arrive for the shoot – cant wait to see a digital version of (redacted). All in all exciting stuff! BHVR Hey all! First off, we’d like to say that it’s fantastic to be able to report to you our progress on the BDSSEtm every month. In our book, being able to interact directly with the community is the number one perk of open development.   Here’s what the BHVR team has been up to in April. Some of you asked us for the loooong version, so here it is: Pushing towards the social module’s first release, we’re focused mainly, but not solely, on supporting and polishing the shopping experience. Planetside locations are going to be rich in adventure, encounters and interactions, but before we get to present to you the fancier game scenarios and mechanics, we are focused on the essentials, so let’s start with those: When you’ll finally get to exit your hangar on foot and make your way up to planetside, we want you to have a good time visiting the various shops and markets available. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with these names if you haven’t already: Astro-Armada is a high-class ship dealer, Casaba-Outlet is a clothing and apparel franchise, Cubby-blast is a shop unique to ArcCorp-Area18 which will answer all of your personal weaponry needs, Dumper’s Depot is a scrap metal shop where you’ll find ship parts (in perfect condition for now), and last but not least the medical-unit offers medical services for that special moment when you get shotgunned in the face.   The shopping experience effort is on various fronts: On the design side, our level designers are putting together the physical and logical components needed in the levels: racks, shelves, items on shelves, the shops themselves, etc., as well as supporting our artists who are making these locations’ visuals gorgeous and reusable. Game Designers are synchronizing everyone’s work to fit the concepts and coming up with realistic solutions to epic problems that obviously come along the way (like … every five minutes).   Our UI team has been all over the place! They created some cool logos this month for “Interdimension Software“, “Electronic Access” as well as a “Star Marine” logo animation, along with decals for the Nyx planetside location. The mobiGlas and its Augmented Reality (AR), which are the main gateways into the shopping interface, are being enhanced with various visual components and other features such as reworked notifications for lobby, shops and hangars. We are not able to have the full polished set of features just yet, but giving it to you in its current state is very exciting. We’re looking forward to reading your feedback on its usability and visuals.   All of this is extremely exciting to us as we’ve written, discussed and iterated on these designs for a long time (centuries in spacecrab-time) and we’re finally seeing it all come together. Note that this first release is far from the final shopping experience we’re striving for. It is what we call “Phase one” as in “Set phasers to one”.   In other news, other Planetside locations are still being developed. Mariana, Odyssa, Crusader and Hurston Designs have passed from 2D level layouts to the whitebox stage. If you recall, we’ve stated in previous reports that we would get faster and faster in the development of Planetsides thanks to the Tag, Room and Tier systems. The four planets mentioned fit under the same Architectural style as ArcCorp, making them great candidates to prove that we can build them efficiently. So far so good! You can dig up more info and concepts about these Planets; it’s available on this very site.   As mentioned above, our little army of artists has spent a good amount of time ‘arting-up’ the various shopping locations, but also working on an all new modular set to be used in future planetside locations. For this new set, we’ve integrated a better pipeline that makes our work more efficient and with better visual results. We can’t wait to show you those results!   You’ve probably seen mock-ups of the holotable revamp. We are continuing the effort on this side as well. The visuals are still being defined while our engineers are making slight tweaks and fixes. To preserve its functionality for the soon to be released modes, we cannot dive in the full revamp just yet. You’ll understand that before making it better we’ll need to break it. Of course we don’t want you to end up with a broken holotable. For now you’ll see tweaks such as better visual cues for the REC equipment versus owned equipment.   Somewhat related to the holotable, but also affecting various systems throughout the game, we have made some progress on the holo-object refactor to reduce entity usage. In a nutshell, this means better performance which directly translates to more players in multiplayer instances! Our engineers are also hard at work supporting the FPS access, the loadout customization in the lobby and the multi-crew lobby implementation. On top of that, the chat feature has been updated to support basic features and private conversations. These aren’t accessible to you yet but they’ll come in handy when we finally roll out the multiplayer hangars, which our guys are actively working on.   We also had a very fruitful day-long meeting with Turbulent where both of our teams joined forces for skyLine, the Starmap. We can’t say much about this feature just yet except that it’ll be super awesome, promise! We can’t wait to use it!   As usual, we prepared some cool Flair Objects for the subscribers and for past stretch goals. Hope you liked our little April’s Fools prank; we’ve heard that it actually made the game FPS much better ;). The Khartu-Al Takuetsu starship model has been given, and we’d like to thank the community for reporting and helping us find an insidious error that prevented it from appearing in hangars. (Don’t tell anyone, but we’re working on a special extra something for the 23million stretch goal reward…which was also a Khartu-Al).   Next month’s flair will be the first of a new series. The Puglisi collection items are especially nice pieces. They have strong visuals and also have a great fiction around them (thanks to Haddock for that!).   Okay, we’re running out of coffee and are very low on “space ink”tm, so until next time, have fun in the ‘verse! Illfonic Ahoy Star Citizens! It’s been another busy month for the FPS team. Over the past few weeks we’ve been focused on getting the feel of movement and gun-play really dialed in, along with implementing zero g locomotion and interactions. Read below for the details…   Engineering The engineering team spent a lot of time and effort making sure all of the variables and parameters that designers were requesting were available to them for tweaking. This doesn’t just include player speed and weapon damage, but also things like breathe duration based on stamina from sprinting and how that affects aim on each of the weapons. They can now tweak how long a breath is, the pause at the top and bottom of a breath, how far that will throw off the player’s aim, etc… This allows the designers to fine tune everything to get all the weapons feeling exactly how they want in every situation. In addition, the stock CryEngine hint system was rewritten. The hint system is what was used to provide recoil and inaccuracy when continually firing a weapon. The general consensus was that the stock system didn’t provide enough control, so one of our engineers rewrote it from scratch to give tons of control over which direction the gun will recoil and what the limits are for up and down movement. Again, this is something that will give designers a much finer level of control in tuning the weapons moving forward. Another big task that has been going on is network optimization. There was quite a bit of traffic being passed from the client to the server and vice versa that just didn’t need to be there… so a few of the guys here have been profiling all of the network traffic and stripping out what isn’t necessary and restructuring what is there to be much more efficient in terms of data size. It’s gotten much, much better over the last few weeks and there is still more that can be optimized. In the end, this will mean less lag and a much smoother experience for you Citizens! We know you understand how important it is to have as little network lag as possible, especially when playing a shooter!   Art The art team has been focused on polishing ALL of the current weapons in the game, mostly making sure the materials are all up to Star Citizen standards (and you know how high that bar is!). A full lighting pass was also completed on the Gold Horizon space station level. The Astro Arena level that you saw at PAX East has undergone a complete rework on the art side to give it more depth and bring some more contrast in as a whole. Polish work on the VFX for all of the weapons is ongoing. We also want to make sure that the weapon effects in FPS are lining up with those used in ships. Similar technologies should have similar effects, even if the scale has been reduced. Lastly, work started on taking all of the Gold Horizon set pieces and making them conform to the standard tier set system so they can be used in any persistent universe locations.   Design The design team was mostly focused on tweaking the feel of movement and gun-play over the last few weeks. Now that they have all of the parameters needed exposed to them, they have been dialing in breathing, aiming down sights and recoil. Work also continued on a new map and game mode. The new mode will focus on some asymmetrical gameplay, which we are all very excited about! All of the modes that are being worked on for the FPS module are there to simulate actual scenarios that players could run into in the persistent universe. Things like infiltrating a held location quietly, possibly stealing cargo, or just running protection. With the open nature of the game and how many options the player will have in Star Citizen it’s hard to imagine every possible case, but we think we have a solid handful of situations that you might run into.   Animation The animation team has been busy creating new assets for Sata Ball. There are quite a few unique animations to that mode for interacting with the ball, mostly having to do with passing and shooting the ball around the arena. The new mocap data will also be rolling in shortly, at which point the animators will start hooking up all of those new animations. The largest bit of work here is going to be the movement transitions and jukes. These animations make the characters lean into and out of sprinting, running and walking states and gives a good sense of weight to the animations overall. The last bit to mention here is re-tweaking the animations that are present in the game for aiming, shooting, reloading and swapping weapons. After the designers are happy with the timing and feel on all of those elements, it’s up to animation to get everything synced back up again.   We know you are all really excited for the release of the FPS, and we are too! We just want to make sure that you get something really special when it drops! So please bear with us, it’s coming very soon and we think it will be worth the wait! Turbulent Here’s what we’ve been up to for the month of April, up here in Montreal.   RSI’s new style First off, RSI has a new homepage now. It’s been our main focus for the past weeks to release this new design, aiming to deliver more content at a glance, in a more legible layout with minimal unused space. We also spent a lot of time optimizing this new design so that it would be handled better on a wider range of devices and browsers, starting with significantly reducing the homepage’s total size, including the videos. New pages, like the new Dev Tracker page, will consistently be based on this new layout, and we’ll also continually transition the rest of the existing website to use this format when we add functionalities, like in the new Press page.   The Community Hub The next big item we’ve been working on is the long-announced Community Hub. As we get further along into its development, here are some of its key features. This new section will be located right at the root of the Community section, and is designed to receive and feature almost exclusively fan content : “Citizen Spotlight” will allow all fans to upload and display their own creations about Star Citizen (including but not restricted to screenshots, play sessions, rigs, cosplay, music, models…), while “Deep Space Radar” will aggregate all external contents that fans can find about Star Citizen outside of Roberts Space Industries. Among other things, the Hub will also feature registered Star Citizen streamers and fan podcasts.   This new section implies a sizeable new architecture to be able to handle that much content, and we have been finalizing its visual and technical design throughout this last month. We have since started implementing the data models and static visual integration, and are moving on to data handling.   We really want a page the community can “own” with it’s own content.   New tool in the works A new project is coming up, in size on par with the Community Hub, that we’ve been internally calling the Issue Council. Its baseline is that there is a growing need for a centralized Bug Report system for Star Citizen : a way for the community to build up a database of bugs and issues in all aspects of the game (and the website), regulated by the entire community, and then streamlined to the development teams. With this system, players will be able to report issues, have them confirmed (or contested) by other players, and follow the eventual fix in the game. This new module has been in concept for a while now, and we have started implementation.   Starmap Starmap work continues. Much progress done on the back end to ensure that the architecture of the universe updates will work for the many different components that will need them, the web Starmap being only one of those. Most of the heavy front end work this month was focused on developing the asset pipeline to bring interesting assets to our (pun) “Astrometrics room”. Having generic shapes and iconography is important for this type of app but having actual good looking models and/or texture and animation will be important to properly represent the SC Universe. This pipeline is specific to WebGL as we have now officially moved off the Unity prototype we demo’ed back in December/January. This visual language must also be common with the game and so many design meetings with all of the teams involved were needed. There is still alot of work left!   Content and updates April came with its own concept sale, and the Hull Series is currently heavily featured on our brand new homepage. With it, came the rework of the Cargo system which got recently reflected into the Ship Stats, and of top of that update we have also started a conjoint task with the game designers to update some of the most outdated ships in the catalog. First in the list is the Aurora LX, which finally got its beauty renders in the store.   Leaderboards opt-out The most active players may also notice that it is now possible to opt out of the Arena Commander Leaderboards, directly from your settings page. If you opt-out, we will still keep receiving your game data and calculate your personal; statistics and performance, but they will remain invisible to anyone until you choose to opt back-in again. While invisible, you effectively also “relinquish” your potential public rank.   CCU system As you know the current CCU system has been outgrown with so many ships now flyable. Design and basic implementation work has been done this month to bring you an alternate way to CCU. May should have more substantial progress on this subsystem. With more ships becoming flyable, this system will be required so that you can properly upgrade your existing Alpha/LTI pledges without sacrificing those precious items.   Ask a Web Dev Finally we have also stepped up our forum presence this month on the Ask a Dev – Website thread. So if you have questions about us, our process, or upcoming features, ask away and look for the guy with the 1-UP mushroom! Moon Collider This was another heavy month of planning out the roadmap of features for Star Citizen. We worked a lot with the Frankfurt, Manchester, and Austin teams in particular to continue identifying common AI needs across different Star Citizen modules and working out how to best minimize duplication of effort and getting all the crucial AI features in place as they’re needed. This is tricky enough when you’re just making a regular game, but with the ambitious scope of Star Citizen, multiple modules and a constant stream of releases, it becomes something that needs to be constantly worked on and tweaked.   Design The main design work we did this month was on improving the Kythera AI system to be more multithreaded. Certain aspects of Kythera are already run on separate threads, such as generating navigation meshes, but a lot of aspects such as behavior processing and perception are still run on a single thread. For most games with a small number of active AI this really isn’t a problem, but as we all know, Star Citizen throws normal out the window! To be able to efficiently update hundreds or thousands of AIs, it becomes critical to be able to break up as much processing work as possible into small, independent jobs and run them across multiple threads.   Our work last month on the job system helped set us up to be able to create small tasks as needed, but the figuring out how to safely and efficiently break up things like behavior processing is the hard part. It involves creating a framework that can determine which bits of code are dependent on other bits of code and therefore need to run after them, and which can be run independently. You then need to be able to efficiently schedule all of these. Oh, and it’s also handy to have your framework setup in such a way that it’s hard for programmers using it to accidentally create dependencies that shouldn’t be there and mess all of the scheduling up!   Engineering We made a nice feature improvement to our Kythera Inspector debugging tool this month, which is the addition of behavior tree visualization for recordings. As we’ve mentioned previously, Inspector allows designers to record everything that AI does while they’re playing the game, and then replay it to see exactly what the AI was doing at any point. This is an invaluable tool for tracking down bugs.   One thing that was missing, though, was being able to properly visualize their behaviors. This was something you could do in real time via some on screen debugging, but it wasn’t accessible in a user friendly way from inside the inspector. Now, when we play back recordings we can get a nice view of the behavior tree that any AI is currently running, and what state it’s in. We don’t yet have the ability to see this while the game is running, just on recordings, but that’s something we’ll be adding soon.   Another interesting feature we’ve been working on is a big improvement to our spline joining code. We’ve mentioned previously how we allow designers to create various splines to define attack paths or fancy maneuvers to take ships through tight obstacles that they might otherwise avoid, but one issue we’ve found with this feature is that it can be tricky to get the ship to the start of the spline in a smooth and realistic way. Often we want the ship to have a specific orientation and velocity when it hits the start of the spline, but we need to get the ship there from whatever its current orientation and velocity are, in a way that is within that ship’s maneuvering capabilities, and without forcing it to slow down any more than absolutely necessary.   Our existing solution did a reasonable job most of the time, but would sometimes give bad results, so we decided to figure out how to do it right. This is actually a much trickier problem than you might think. Tricky enough, in fact, that our resident astrophysicist Ben Lowing called in a second astrophysicist, and the two of them worked out a detailed solution to the problem. It’s now been mostly implemented, though there have turned out to be some extra subtleties to the problem that we will continue to address next month. Community Greetings, Citizens! Community Manager Jared “Disco Lando” Huckaby here in fantastic Southern California, where the sun always shines and the taxes always debilitate. Yeah, it’s me. I can barely believe it myself. Let’s jump right in, shall we?   Our Community Content Manager Jenny Varner relocated and joined us from her native land of Texas. While she’s struggling to adapt to our local customs, and continues to insist that breakfast tacos are superior to burritos, she’s finding her place amongst the family here at Cloud Imperium Games. In addition to managing all our social content, she’s also hard at work producing video segments for Around the Verse, running our weekly livestream Reverse the Verse, and laying the groundwork of our extended support for community content creators. For myself, I joined the team this month after years in YouTube exile. As Community Manager, my focus will be in improving the connections between you Citizens and our development team on the forums. While we have an unparalleled level of access between the fans and our team when we account for four weekly video broadcasts, weekly comm-links, and the variety of additional posts, we can always strive to do better, and that’s our goal. In addition to that, I’ve been editing Around the Verse for the last two months, trying to bring a little of our team’s personality to the forefront. We’re not the standard video game company, and we’re not interested in putting out the standard video game company community content.   That leads us to our biggest milestone as a Community Team this month, Around the Verse #42. I don’t have to tell you the significance of that number to everyone on this team. Each week we do our best to bring you the information we have available to share, and to present it in the best fashion we can. As with everything else we do, we’ll continue to do our best to improve our efforts each and every week, and with this milestone, I created a special Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy themed intro to the show with the help of Ryan Archer, and Star Citizen Angry Peas. Thanks Peas.   And as always, none of this is possible without me our subscribers, who’s contributions make these productions possible. I know we say that every month, but this is the first time I get to say it, and I’ve seen firsthand this month the level of dedication and hard work the folks on this team put into serving the community. It’s our collective hope, that the recent additions to the team combined with the established regulars who’ve been here for so long will allow us to reach more of you, and more effectively, than ever before. Ben is telling me that I have to stop talking, now. I’m going to keep typing for as long as he let   //  End Transmission [/spoiler]     HULL Q&A!   Hull A (link) [spoiler] Greetings Citizens, We thought we’d try something a little different with the Hull series: we’re focusing on a different model each day, collecting all the existing art and fiction and answering some of your questions wherever possible! Tomorrow, we’ll highlight the Hull B, Wednesday the Hull C, Thursday the Hull D and Friday the Hull E. Let us know in the comments below if this is helpful, and we’ll look at similar posts for future concept sales.   About the MISC Hull A “I bought my first [Hull] A used, when I was first starting out… her previous owner had named her SNUGBUG and try as I might to come up with something else, the name stuck. Snugbug and I had some good times. I got my start flying short runs; ground to starside, starside to ground to pick up crates off the bulk freighters over and over to make a name for myself. Spent more on fuel than I ever did flying duration missions! By the time I was worth a journeyman hauler rating, Snugbug was outfitted well enough to fend off the occasional pirate and I started moving whatever I could cross-system to make a ‘cred. Weirdest thing I ever shipped? It was livestock, grown on Terra… these weird cube-shaped chickens. Looked like meaty rectangles. Had to have a special transport module so they could breathe vacuum in-flight. I kid you not. Never saw anything like it, but the Banu ate them up. Literally.” - Captain Ike Chamner, Free Trader   Want to think big? Start small, with the MISC Hull A. With classic, streamlined lines and a single-nodule transport spindle, the MISC Hull A is the ideal spacecraft for everything from short-haul transport runs to multi-system trade routes. With the most speed and maneuverability of the Hull series, the Hull A is the perfect platform upon which to build your mercantile dreams. Featuring powerful engines, a defensive nose battery, and an industry-standard backbone capable of mounting any mid-sized cargo attachment, the Hull A is a ship that works as hard as you do. - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945     Backer Question and Answer Attention Citizens! We’re taking questions and answers on individual MISC Hulls that will appear in this space over the next week. Today’s questions focus on the Hull A; if you’re interested in learning more about the B, C, D or E, please post to this thread.   “Can containers loaded into a ship’s hull be used as external containers on other ships?” – Spacehobo Yes! Containers in Star Citizen’s universe are fully standardized, meaning that the attach points found on the Hull series are also present on everything from the Aurora Clipper to the Bengal carrier!   “Instead of having many small containers in one section, will there be a possibility to attach one large container which fits into the same said section?” – Joevar Yes! While smaller cargo boxes are pictured throughout the promotional images, the Hull series will be able to carry any type of container that ‘fits’ in the space allotted.   “Will the Hulls (or at least the Hull A) be flying in AC before CCUs or whatever they’re turning into in the future goes away forever?” – Valensiakol Yes, the CCU process will apply to the Hull A once it is available in-engine. If you pick up a Hull A today and would prefer to upgrade to a Hull B, C, D or even E you’ll have that option in the future!   “Will all or some of the Hull Series come with a jump drive as standard equipment?” – queetz Jump drives are standard equipment for all Hull series ships, from the A to the E.   “Can the hull ships carry smaller starfighters (packed or configured as cargo) such as the Super Hornet?” – queetz Yes! Spacecraft can be broken down into their component parts for transport, or carried in their completed forms aboard larger Hulls. There is also a ‘midget fighter attachment’ being developed for the Hull E which will allow it to drop and recover escort fighters in exchange for cargo space.   “How large are the manned cabs? Are there multiple rooms/areas such as a bathroom, food prep, and sleeping quarters?” – The Bevrwolf The manned cabs differ significantly depending on the ship, although all of them have some form of the ‘standard luxuries.’ The Hull A is more like a tractor trailer, with a small sleeper area, while the Hull D or E are large enough to have multiple decks.   “Why is the aesthetic for A and B, namely colours, different to the others? It looks like it could be two separate MISC ships.” – Icematt12 From a design standpoint, we wanted the ‘B’ and ‘E’ to feel like upgrades you might earn of the ‘A’ and ‘D’ respectively, with the ‘C’ as a unique central design. Expect to see this design concept expressed more as the ship enters the engine.   “After the unveiling of the hull series I’ve seen some players claim they got a Hull A/B so they can ferry goods from orbit to surface. Will players be allowed to do that or will this be automated (maybe using AI drones or npcs) without any player involvement?” – WalBao Players will be able to perform this type of mission; our thought is that it would be a good ‘first step into the ‘verse’ scenario for new players. It won’t be REQUIRED for players with larger ships, though: there’ll always be automated NPCs available to unload the Hull C, D and E on-orbit.   “I also would appreciate to know whether you are planning to release an in-game APP for Merchants to nicely organize their loadings and unloadings of cargo containers along the various many Ports which they will hit on their business trip.” – Captain B’tak Yes! Zane Bien has begun development of the ‘cargo control’ screens which will allow merchant captains full control over the contents of their cargo. This will be available on all transport ships, although it should be especially useful for the Hull series.   “If you shoot the cargo containers do they spew cargo into space when they rupture? If you target the racks can you detach them from the ship as it’s moving?” – Marcus Murphy We’re aware that the ‘spindle’ looks like the weak point of the Hull series, but do not intend for this to carry over into the game mechanics. The cargo containers will be fully shielded and will themselves have an armor value; those that wish for additional protection can use containers that trade armor for space. (But hey, what kind of pirate risks destroying their loot in the first place?) [/spoiler]   Hull B (link) [spoiler] About the MISC Hull B “I know it’s a cliche, but when I started my company I had nothing but the spacesuit on my back. We had this great idea to overclock laser weapons and sell them to enthusiasts… but the biggest loan the bank would give us wouldn’t even cover a ‘MAX. I saved up enough extra creds to afford a Hull B [instead of an A] knowing it’d be years before I was able to fill it up. Long story short, we had leased a second and then a third before the year was out. I still have that first ‘worker B,’ outfitted as a mobile office for the corp!” - Captain Mellana Oarman, Catcom Laser Limited   “WAY TO B!” – Unpopular MISC Advertising Slogan   The Hull B is the transport for the serious entrepreneur. Featuring more armor and a significantly more complex cargo spindle than its smaller sibling, the Hull B the ideal choice for captains who know exactly what they want to ‘B.’ With over three times the cargo capacity of a Freelancer MAX and the thrust-metered engine section to push such a load, the Hull B won’t win any races… but it will get more cargo where it needs to go more efficiently than any other ship in its class. Self-cleaning scanner ports and an entirely modular cargo interface mean that planetside turnaround is simple: just land, refuel and you’re ready to take off again! - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945     Cargo Chart Cubic meters? Freight Units? Standard Cargo Units?! We’ve gone through several iterations for measuring cargo, to the point that our own design team has confused the two on occasion. Today, we’re setting the record straight with a ‘master’ list. Dan Tracy has measured every ship currently ‘in-engine’ and made estimates for others (such as the Merchantman) which are not. As of today, this is the definitive list of cargo capacity and these numbers will be applied to the stats page. Please pay special intent to the comparative sizes rather than simply the number; these are the best indicator of where these ships are intended to fall on the spectrum, regardless of the units of measurement we use.   Ship Name              Cubic Meters  SCU Actual Aegis Avenger                 23.43  12 Aegis Reclaimer (Raw)      12240.00  6266.88 Aegis Reclaimer (Cargo)      562.5   288 Aegis Redeemer (Marines)      23.43  12 Aegis Redeemer (No Marines)   46.87  24 Aegis Retaliator             250.00  128 Anvil Carrack               2065.50  1057.536 Anvil Hornet F7C              24.49  12.54 Consolidated Mustang          19.14  9.8 Drake Cutlass                 63.75  32.64 Drake Caterpillar           1000.00  512 Origin 890 Jump              703.12  360 Origin 300i                    7.81  4 Origin 325a                    7.81  4 Origin 315p                   11.71  6 RSI Aurora CL                 45.00  23.04 RSI Aurora (Others)           25.00  12.8 RSI Constellation Andromeda  262.50  134.4 RSI Constellation Taurus     462.50  236.8 RSI Orion (Ore)            27000.00  13824 RSI Orion (Cargo)            421.87  216 MISC Starfarer              7897.50  4043.52 MISC Freelancer              101.25  51.84 MISC Freelancer MAX          241.09  123.44 MISC Hull A                   93.75  48 MISC Hull B                  750.00  384 MISC Hull C                 9000.00  4608 MISC Hull D                40500.00  20736 MISC Hull E               192000.00  98304 Banu Merchantman            9800.00  5017.6   Backer Question and Answer “How are you planning to land the Hull B fully loaded planet side?” Very carefully! We are in the process of updating the landing gear design for the Hull B so that it can land with the lower cargo slot filled.   “Are there beds? How can the modules have things like a med-bay? Are they capable of long haul shipping, particularly A/B?” There are beds, and the larger ships have room for more medical facilities (for the A and B, think more about an emergency kit under the seat.) Both the A and the B are capable of long haul shipping, and in some ways are even superior; they have more speed and maneuverability for traversing the more dangerous regions of space.   “The Hull B having TR8s while those engines are physically smaller than the Constellation’s TR5s would be ridiculous otherwise unless all ships are having their main engines changed to a new size system.” Remember, TR rating indicates thrust and not size! For the entire hull series, especially efficient thrusters are required, as they may be required to push up to 16 times the mass of the ship.   “The A and B says max one crew. But do they only have space/seats for one or could I bring a buddy along?” We envision at least a ‘two set’ cab, similar to a modern tractor trailer truck cab, on the Hull A and B. There is not room for multiple people to bunk down at once, but you can certainly carry a passenger.   “Will the Hull B have stronger shields than its Freelancer/Cutlass counterpart, or between the Hull A and the Hornet? It would be nice to be able to take a few hits before going down.” The current plan is for the Hull series to have efficient shields for their class as they will lack the maneuverability of other ‘jack of all trades’ ships. This may change during game balance, but the intended role is for the Hull series to be well protected transports… but also slow, easy to chase targets.   “Will the Hull B have any upgraded cargo/ trade lane software?” The cargo/trading software will scale depending on the ship, although it will be derived from the same based application. Rest assured that the cargo system for organizing the Hull E will be quite a bit more complex than the Hull A!   “If the Hull B lands empty and contracted/folded up, how will I put cargo on it while still on the landing pad? Will it unfold while still grounded?” Yes! It will be able to unfold in segments to load cargo while on the ground.   “The beam dimension of the Freelancer and Cutlass are larger than the Hull B, so does that mean the Hull B might fit through smaller jump points than they will?” The design for jump point limitations is still being developed, so there is no definitive answer yet.   “Will every arm on the spindle need to be unfolded at the same time? For example, can a “B” just use the left and right arms and leave the bottom and top folded?” The spindle arms can be unfolded individually depending on the task at hand. [/spoiler]   Hull C (link) [spoiler] About the MISC Hull C “The MISC Hull C is one of the best-selling freighters in history… but the most famous Hull C isn’t a proper transport at all. Any racing fan knows the dreaded Ship X. Painted in a constantly-changing series of garish colors and capable of seemingly changing it’s Star-Craft Identification Number on the fly, Ship X seems to travel from race to race around the galaxy, displaying profane and bizarre slogans to the assembled crowds. Holo networks always cut around the ship, but its a familiar site to anyone who has ever attended a major race in person. It’s apparent that Ship X carries no cargo, as it escapes at full thrust when its presence is spotted by track officials…” - Dr. Jave Malloy, Racing Historian   “Best game to play on a long space trip? The Hull C game. When you spot a Hull in ArcCorp markings, you get one point for yourself. When you spot one with the StorAll livery, you take a point from another player. You’ll either become obsessed or you’ll murder everyone you’re traveling with. Either way, time passes faster on the lonely spacelanes!” – “Popular Children’s Star Travel Games,” Arcology & Hangar Magazine   “You already know the Hull C: statistically speaking, you passed one on the way in to the dealership. The premiere customizable mid-range freighter ship in any company’s lineup. The Hull C can be the basis for a small business, the workhorse of a mega-corporation, or anything in-between. More a platform than a ship, the Hull C can be outfitted for traditional freight, armored combat transport or even as a highly-defended Discreet platform. The Hull C retains some of the speed and maneuverability of the A and B, while carrying the onboard luxuries of the Hull D and E (such as full cab sleeping quarters and medical interface.)” - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945     Backer Question and Answer Attention Citizens! We’re taking questions and answers on individual MISC Hulls that will appear in this space over the next week. Today’s questions focus on the Hull C; if you’re interested in learning more about the D or E, please post to this thread.   “Would some of the third party addons for the spindle accommodate cargo not in a container? For example, I’d like to use a Hull C to carry salvage transferred directly from a Reclaimer in space without needing to wait for the Reclaimer to land/dock every time its hold is full. “ A case like this would require a special container that can open during flight; we’re working on developing exactly this, both for ore transfers on the smaller ships and so that fighter scan be stored and constructed from parts on the larger models (E and possibly D.)   “Maybe the Reclaimer can compact salvage into the size and shape of Stor-All boxes which can then be ejected and fastened to the Hull C’s spindle?” In all likelihood, you would need some kind of ‘basket’ container for actually carrying the salvage. But know that the Hull series is intended to be fully modular in the Star Citizen world, allowing crews to work in tandem with all of the game’s other ‘working ships.’   “Will the larger Hulls, say the Hull-C for example, have an interior cargo area so that we can still haul some cargo without having the spindle extended?” When the spindle is collapsed, most of the space between the cab and drive unit is filled, although you will be able to use any free space on the ship thanks to the Grabby Hands system.   “The center spine on the C D and E. Is it large enough to have crew walk through it, and for that matter is it hollow?” Yes! We’re still working out the details, but it should be large enough to walk through on the Hull D and E, and large enough to crawl through (similar to the Jeffrey’s Tubes on Star Trek) on the Hull C. In all of these ships, it will be advantageous for an engineer to be able to reach the drive unit on occasion.   “Why should anyone NOT prefer the Banu Merchantman before the Hull C?” The primary advantage of the Hull C is the modularity. Where the Banu Merchantman will allow you to swap fixed hardpoints, the Hull C gives you an entire spindle of attach points to access. The Hull C is also intended to be more common (and less expensive!) than the Merchantman.   “How likely will running a Hull C without escort go well for the owner?” This will depend on what you’re going up against! We expend Hull C will make ‘safe sector’ transit without escort quite handily, and that they will have the speed and weapons to fend off some attacks traveling towards the frontier.   “Is the Discreet not an option now? Is that role for the Caterpillar or a MISC future design?” The Hull C Discreet is still in the cards for the finished game! It will include specialized containers to support it’s ‘Q-ship’ purpose.   “Is the discreet model a separate variant or something you can make yourself with modules?” The latter! Although per the fiction, MISC will offer the Discreet ‘purpose built’ in the finished game universe.   “What do the other 2 crew members do? Can it be operated without them?” Additional crew members will run the turret, navigation, scanners, repair team or whatever the captain assigns them through the multi-crew seat system. One thing to remember is that we build our ships as they should ‘work’ in the game, even if some of that isn’t as exciting for gameplay. In the Star Citizen universe, it makes sense for larger transports to have crews that ‘trade off’ the pilot seat during long-duration runs. [/spoiler]   Hull D (link) [spoiler] About the MISC Hull D “I started my career as hull gunner on an R4M Quasar [the military conversion of the MISC Hull D] and went on to command a lifter crew for nine years of supporting border actions and anti-piracy patrols. Got into more scrapes than I can count, shot up a dozen raiders and never lost a pallet. The fighter and bomber pilots I went to officer training with may get in the history books, but they wouldn’t be effective without the supply chain we provided. Not that there was a competition: I’ll tell you this, those boys on the front lines always make it easy… our fighter screen would raise hell to make sure the weekly mail drop came through.” - Colonel Yurg Cathonshew, UEE Military Starlift Command   “The MISC Hull D: how civilization moves. A major leap from the standard Hull C platform, the Hull D is a capable spacecraft used galaxy-wide for shipping everything from terraforming equipment to antimatter torpedoes. A true bulk freighter, the MISC Hull D is your first solution for dealing with large (size or quantity) stocks. Featuring full crew facilities for five and four fixed turrets positions, the Hull D is anything but a sitting duck. Cargo options include three full-sized attachment spindles powered by eight high-yield main thrusters capable of pushing many times the ship’s base mass. Please contact your MISC representative for leasing and custom corporate configuration options.” - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945   Backer Question and Answer Attention Citizens! We’re taking questions and answers on individual MISC Hulls that will appear in this space over the next week. Today’s questions focus on the Hull D; if you’re interested in learning more about the E, please post to this thread.   “Which Hull would better compliment the operation of an RSI Orion mining platform?” A Hull C or larger would be best for dealing with the amount of ore the Orion produces. If you’re mining in a safe area or have a good escort team, the Hull D would be best. If you’re looking to try and escape from scrapes more easily using just the two ships, a Hull C seems preferable.   “Do the Hull ships come with the containers or we have to buy them separately?” Containers will be separate; much of the time, they will be loaned to you when you accept a cargo run. You’ll have the option to configure your Hull with different containers for different roles as well.   “How long has MISC produced the Hull Series? Is it a centuries old model like some of the other ships?” We haven’t issued final lore for this yet, but the assumption in the design was that the Hull series is fairly old, to the point that they (or their similarly-functioned predecessors) have become the standard image of a ‘space truck’ in the Star Citizen world.   “What do the other 4 crew members do, especially the 2 that aren’t on the Hull C?” The Hull D (and E) can be operated solo. On paper, the four other crew positions are for manning the ship’s defensive turrets. Other important roles for Hull crewmen include co-pilot, loadmaster (running the cargo panel) and engineer.   “Would it be feasible to run a Hull D or E as a solo player or would I need to stick with a C?” Yes! The captain seat will have access to all crew functions, so you are able to fly solo if you so desire. Manning multiple turrets during a firefight will be a challenge, though! More crew (whether they’re NPCs or players) will always be a benefit.   “Is the modality of the Hull Series largely limited to swapping out cargo pods or is there sufficient room on other parts of the ship to include specialized areas?” There will be room for internal options, as intended for most of our larger ships. We’re still working on this system, and will release details in the future (expect to see some of the room options on MISC’s Starfarer first.)   “For the Hull D…it mentions a military variant. Would that be a choice we could change our Hull D to in the future?” Yes! The military variant (and others, such as the Hull C Discreet) will be available in the finished game world. As all of these ships are modular, you will be able to equip them on top of your existing Hull pledge if you so desire.   “Will the Hull D need to refuel after every jump or is it a long-haul cargo vessel capable of making several jumps before refueling?” The Hull D will be capable of making multiple jumps before refueling; it will also be capable of in-flight refueling from a Starfarer or similar tanker.   “For what reasons might someone choose a HULL D over the more maneuverable HULL C or the much more massive HULL E?” The simple answer is that the entire lineup is a sliding scale: as more and more cargo space is added, the speed and maneuverability is compromised. The Hull D is for pilots who want to move a lot of cargo, but aren’t willing to go quite as slowly and methodically as the Hull E will require. While it’s tempting to pick the highest number and decide that’s the best, it’s likely that most independent captains would get more bang for their buck with a smaller ship fully laden rather than struggling to afford as much cargo as it would take to stock a Hull E. [/spoiler]   Hull E (link) [spoiler] About the MISC Hull E “We shot Star Robbery! on a retired Hull E that the studio purchased for the holo. Worst part was that a 300 meter long spaceship looks like a city on camera; spacious interiors, engines you have to walk a quarter mile to reach. We actually ended up renting a Hull C for a bunch of the second unit stuff! Then for the climax, where it was supposed to blow up while Jan [Halsey, holo star] is rocketing away, the [redacted] thing just wouldn’t [redacted] explode! We rigged the spine with explosives, which the demo guys said would give it a cool collapsing effect… just snapped one of the prongs off with nary an additional scratch. Had to tow it to a drydock, reattach the prong and then tow it back to be blown up again!” - Ax Skart, Director, STAR ROBBERY!   “SUBJECT: Hull E versus Lagrange Station” - Apocryphal Comm Message Forward   “The MISC Hull E is an unparalleled bulk freighter. The E doesn’t just dwarf the rest of the series, it knocks out the competition. Simply put, there is NO human-designed bulk hauler on the same scale on the market today. With extensive after-market options, the Hull E have been adopted as everything from colonial supply trains to survey equipment platforms to orbital defensive platforms. With space for the largest possible set of container types, the properly equipped Hull E can carry everything from iron ore to passengers to fully functional spacecraft! Co-leasing opportunities are available; in some cases, it may be beneficial for smaller corporations to share a single Hull E rather than purchasing separate smaller designs outright. Talk to your ship dealer today!” - MISC Cavalcade of Transports! brochure, 2945   Backer Question and Answer “Will the Hull-E be able to disable some thrusters when not fully loaded?” This won’t just be possible, it will be necessary in many cases! In automatic flight, your thrusters will adjust based on the overall load, but you will also have the option to control them more directly yourself.   “Will the Hull E Fit inside any of the hangers, if so what ones? “ We’re making plans for larger hangar expansions to accommodate ships like the Hull E or the Orion. Until then, the Hull E will come with the standard deluxe Hangar.   “How will the perception of problem with the telescoping spine and apparent fragile nature of the spindles be resolved? “ We will take a look at making the spindles look ‘stronger’ during the next art pass, but the long term answer is that they just aren’t going to be fragile. The interiors are reinforced, they telescope out and then lock in place… they’re the same as the skeletons that form the basis of all other ships.   “What kind of options will there be for automated loading if that’s not the kind of task we want to worry about? “ Grabby Hands means that you can load every part of the ship if you so desire… but in all likelihood, you won’t ever want to do that on something as large as a Hull E. Loading can be done automatically via your mobiGlas under normal circumstances (and then the cargo itself can be organized through the console interface.)   “If the Hull E can drop escort fighters does this mean the pilots of said escort fighters need to stay in the fighters for the duration of trip, or will there be a way to enter said escort fighters from inside the Hull E? “ This is going to depend on the fighter! We have been experimenting with a system where you you must ‘construct’ a Hornet from components stored in standard containers. This would be something you do in flight, similar to sub-launched aircraft in the 1940s: unfold the container, put the ship together during an EVA and then take off. In these cases, which involve heavier ships like the Hornet, you would not be able to land on the Hull. We also plan to have smaller midget fighters (such as the Merlin) which could be launched and recovered with tractor beams.   “That Hull E looks big enough to stow away on with no one the wiser. If I fly my Aurora up to the back of a cargo crate and mag-clamp on to it, can I tag along wherever the Hull E is heading?” Good to see that you’re already imagining the Star Citizen equivalent of Marty’s skateboarding in Back to the Future! The short answer is that yes, anything you can fit in a crate (Aurora included) can be carried by a Hull E. We expect to developed ‘manned’ modules as well, if you’d like to travel on a Hull as a passenger.   “In case I transport ships with the Hull E, what kind of insurance will be necessary? Will it need a hull insurance for the transported ships, do they count as cargo or does it need hull and cargo insurance?” When a full ship is being transported, you would need the base hull insurance for that ship rather than additional cargo insurance.   “Is there a militarized Hull E version? “ Yes! It’s nowhere near as common as the Hull D, but the UEE military does on occasion utilize the Hull E as a transport. The military designation is R5M Proteus.   “Is only the Hull E capable of transporting, refueling and refitting escort fighters?” No. Any ship in the series is capable of mounting this equipment where space allows, the Hull E just has more space for it. (That is: the Hull D can likely be modified with refueling equipment or smaller ship attachments, while the Hull A probably can not.)   “How is speed and maneuverability scaling with the load level. E.g. HULL E with no cargo, and non extracted spindle should be like a gigantic ‘racing truck’?” The Hull is never going to be a speeder, but you will be able to push it quite a bit more without cargo.   “Will there be a reliable source of missions available for Hull E owners to move other people’s cargo, and how would that system work?” Absolutely; think of the Hull E as being a pure space truck, like those you might see on a cross-country trip. The cabs are owned and operated by a driver (or a corporation) and the cargo is simply picked up and moved on behalf of other parties.   “Will there be some hauling loads that physically cannot be broken down into smaller pieces, and thus must be delivered by a dedicated Hull E?” Absolutely! The galaxy is full of wonders, some of which are quite large. Whether it’s a Xi’an megapiano or a fully intact stasis unit, there’s always something out there that you won’t want to take apart to ship.   “Will you be able to have more than one midget fighter attachment at a time, and if so, how many will you be able to have?” This will purely depend on what attach points are available. Someone who trades in a good deal of their cargo space might be able to attach a number of fighters!   “Can the Hull E internal corridor fit a Greycat?” We’re going to leave that to you to figure out. Thank you for keeping up with this Q&A series! In truth, we’re just as excited about new Star Citizen ships as you are. Since this seems to have gone well, we’re going to do the same type of post for all future concept sales. If you have any suggestions to improve the process, please post them below. [/spoiler]   Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen and ImperialNews.Network) 10 For the Artists 1 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript below by Erris:   10 for the Artists   LP – Welcome to the pilot episode of 10 for the artists, this is a pilot episode of a show that is brought to you by you.  Your subscriptions help make this possible.  I am Lance Powell, the supervising art director of Star Citizen, and this is…   EB – Elwin Bachiller, senior 3d artist   LP – you had to think about that, didn’t you   EB – I did, almost forgot who I was.   LP – Sorry, go ahead   EB – So yeah, senior 3D artist on Star Citizen.   LP – So yeah, lets get this going, what do you work on specifically?   EB – Specifically, I work on ships.  I make ships possible in our game.  By building pretty polygons.   LP – Can you describe the complexity of the ships?   EB – I can, but I don’t know if we’ve got enough time for that.   LP – Perfect, cause I”ve got 10 questions that come from the audience, and I hope one of those questions shows up, we’ll have to answer it anyway.   Okay, so, the first question is from Odielthen, the question is –   The ships in Star Citizen require functional interiors with room for things such as power plants and shield generators.  How has this influenced the interior and/or exterior design of the ships which you create?   EB – So, it influences both the interior and exterior, in different ways.  So, smaller ships that don’t really have interior spaces, the components that the ship carries influences directly the shape of the ships.  So, the bigger a component, the larger that section of the ship has to be in order to house the component.  So, good ships to look at that would have that would be the Hornet, the 300i, the upcoming new version of the Merlin, basically we have to shape the hsip to make sure that it can house all the components that its’ supposed to house.  SO that’s the exterior.  For the interior, it depends on what components are going to be accessible to the player from the interior so, lets say for example something happens to your powerplant and you’re on a Constellation for example, there’s a space inside the Constellation where the player can go and interact with that object, which means we have to create a hallway that’s wide enough for the player to go into, that we have panels that open up and there’s enough clearance space and things like that, so the spaces will change in size depending on the things you interact with.  So all the components will shape the ships in every way.   LP – So I can’t help but notice you had a little gleam in your eyes when you mentioned the Merlin.  Can you talk about that ship and specifically where you started, and how you got to where you are with those volumes, keeping those volumes in mind?   EB – Sure, so, getting the concept model of the Merlin, which I think is what’s in Arena Commander right now, that’s actually the concept model, that’s not the final one, so I had to sit down and get all the components that the Merlin’s supposed to house, get all proper sizes for them and then plop them into the ship, and then realize that none of them actually fits correctly, which means i have to go through a process of changing the shapes, making certain sections fatter, certain sections thinner, to make sure it all fits, and then once that’s done I have to go through a pass of actually finessing the shapes, making sure it communicates the right personality and things like that, so I use, lets say, a Mustang or traditional muscle cars as inspiration for that, on top of making sure that all the components work, so yeah, we went through a lot of pains to make sure that functions, cause the Merlin is an incredibly small ship.  You don’t really have a lot of room to play when it comes to that, but we made it happen, and it looks pretty awesome.   LP – You talk like a man who’s been on your 10th date with the ship, and things are going well.  Second question, it’s a two-parter, from two different people.   Cyberwolf / Solo: What type of reference materials do you use for weapons and ships?  When you start out to design anything how do you get inspiration for the task?   Do you walk around the office, surf the internet, watch Star Trek,   EB – Sure, sure, well the absolute first thing that I tend to do, is find out how the thing works.  That’s number one.  Does it fold in this way, do things deploy from this location…   LP – Form follows function   EB – Exactly.  So then we’ll go ahead and do a reference dig, for things that do the same thing.  Like, landing gears for example, or how guns will deploy, what does the housing actually look like, so we have tons of references to help us actually figure out those sections, and then we start figuring out how do we communicate the personality of the ship, and that’ll come through, getting old Russian helicopters for MISC for example, or stealth actual contemporary stealth planes, like the SR-71, for Aegis, things like that, or like I mentioned before, Mustangs or muscle cars for things like Kruger, so we have a language that we want to define for each manufacturer, so we’ll go ahead and do reference digs for those, for the elements that we want to incorporate for that look.  And it doesn’t really, we’ll look at sci-fi, we’ll look at WWII references, so we’ll grab whatever works, and take the elements that we really really like.   LP – Right.  I think to also round that out is the, now that the manufacturers and the ships are starting to fit into a manufacturer, we’ve had to start defining what those manufacturers actually look like, so, if you, for example, come up with a new ship that is from Aegis or Anvil, well, there’s a distinct language that needs to be applied to those manufacturers that gives them that particular look.  For example, MISC would be   EB – MISC would be old Russian helicopters, so it’s ah, they have a lot of funky looking shapes, which is what they’re basically known for, at least their older ships are like that  Some of the new ones are a little bit more streamlined, but that’s cause they’re new.  They’re coming up with the times now.  Anvil, for example, they have a lot of fighters, military ships, they have more of sort of a blocky look to their design, Aegis is a lot sleeker, things like that so, yeah.   LP – So, we’re taking things forward, and moving them forward is going to be a lot more refined by manufacturers.  The ships will actually start becoming more distinct by that manufacturer type.  Question number 4, I”ll go back to 3, from Cyberwolf   Do the artists hang out together and exchange ideas with each other, or is each artist an ‘island’ catering to their particular strength?   EB – No, we hang out, we share ideas on a minute to minute basis.  Basically, I’ll call someone over and say, does this look like trash, does it look amazing, what do you think.  I may love it, and someone else’ll be like, that totally doesn’t work, and I”ll be like, well, why doesn’t it work?  And I’ll do it to them.  So, you do it to me all the time.   LP – The big thing is it’s a team effort.  You know, people are kind of tired of hearing this, but you know, there’s no I in Team, and the reality is, the artist in me wants to own a thing.  But not everyone’s strong at everything, except for Elwin   EB – *Elwin shakes head*   LP – But, the idea is, you do want to play guys to their strengths.  And, you don’t want to be the case all the time, ultimately you want everyone to have the same set of strengths, but given that production, that rarely ever happens, we start spreading people around and making sure that what’s getting the attention is the ship, which is what the priority is on, and not necessarily the individual.  So that individual brings their best to that particular thing, and if it can’t close out with that artist, we’ll close it out with someone else on the team.   The third question is from Rodel the Great –   When can we expect to see some concept art for alien animals and plants?  I’m looking forward to what trees and wildlife on other planets will look like.   LP – You can’t take that one.   EB – I can’t take that one.  I wish I could take that one, I’m actually, well, I can’t.  I don’t know the answer.  But I want to know too!   LP – Okay, so the long and short of it is, the alien races are being fleshed out as we speak.  Their home planets are being fleshed out by the writers as we speak.  The details of those alien races are they’re…they’re as complex as I think you’d expect them to be, given the scope of the project, but… by that I mean, every alien on Star Trek comes from the same gravity style planet.  In our world, we’ve got a handful of races that come from heavier G planets, so that impacts the way they look, some come from lighter G planets, which affects how they look.  Something we’ve been kicking around for a while, and is starting to reflect the way that they look is the Vanduul, they operate on much higher spatial function than humans.  They think very 3D, they operate very 3D, their entire environment’s very 3D, and by that i mean we walk on a 3D plane.  We usually drive on a 2D plane.  Everything we do tends to be very 2d.  If you remember the Wrath of Khan, the way they beat him, is, the guy operates 2d, in other words he’s going to attack, and then circle back and attack again, and they went in depth.  So these things are starting to manifest right now.  Plants are being worked on by the PU team, which is manned by Mark Skelton, and we should start seeing some of the PU stuff come on-line within the next month, month and a half.  PU and, I’m drawing a huge blank on the other component of the game which is the…Social module.  The social module is coming along also in a month, and that’s where the audience is going to have the first opportunity to see a lot of the plants.  The animals are something we’ve been kicking around for a while.   EB – cause we do have pets   LP – We do have pets   EB – I want some alien, alien pets.   LP – We’re going to have alien pets.  We’re going to start concepting those out, and that is something that I think, once the PU puts a nail in a hanful of environments, they’ll slowly start working on that.   Skipping number five, going to number six, from Steve Hunter,   Since the Ship Pipeline has changed (more than once) how are ships handled in the art phase?  Do you draw them from the inside out, or from the outside in?   EB – That’s a good question.  SO far we have done it simultaneously.  SO a lot of rht ehips, the Merlin’s a great example, I did the modelling for the exterior, where Paul Forgi, which is another artist, is working on the cockpit, and he’s continuing to work on it now.  So basically what we do is we define our boundaries, and we say hey, don’t cross this boundary or you’re starting to clip into the exterior, or on my end, don’t cross this or I’m clipping into the interior, so we basically just define the line.  We draw the line in the sand and say, don’t go over that side.  And then we can basically work in isolation in our different scenes, and we’ll go back and forth daily just to make sure things are working properly, but that’s basically how we’ve handled it so far.   LP – HOw do you bridge the gap?  Once you meet in the middle, how do you say pull the influence from this one into this one?   EB – That’s more of an organic process.  It comes down to, we’re working from the same base of references to begin with, so we should already be starting in a good place to begin with.  then what happens is it depends on what’s going ot be leading the charge in terms of the shape language.  SO if the exterior’s going to be leading the charge, which in a lot of ways it usually is, that will then influence how the interior must change its shape languages, so it looks like it fits.  It’s an organic process.  I’ll do something and I’ll say Paul, what do you think of this, and if he likes it, cool, lets make this change to the interior so it fits with the exterior, and we’ll go back and forth.   LP – What phases do you go through, to get them done?   EB – So, ideally, the process is we get a concept done, generally we have a couple of concept artists in house, but a lot of our concepts are getting done out of house with outsourcing, david hobbins, doing some great stuff.  He basically defines what the ship looks like and if it meets all the gameplay requirements, then it becomes a process of getting that concept to work in game.  IN situations where that isn’t such a smooth transition, cause for gameplay reasons things don’t actually work or we have to make changes, at that point we have to pivot and say, okay, we’ll start doing some concept ourselves.  And at that point, it’s us, re-concepting certain sections, making sure it works, sometimes it leads to an almost complete redo of certain ships, and then we’ll go to the full modelling process where we basically do all of our geometry, after we do that we’ll do something called custom normals, which basically makes our geo look better without using as much geo, so it’s a cheaper way of making our ships look better   LP – Circling back to our first question   EB – Right, Then we’ll go through our material pass, where we basically define what the surfaces are made of and how they look and how light reflects off of them, then we’ll go through the process of making them totally destructible so that you can blow holes in all our beautiful hard work!  Oh wait, there’s one more, we also at some point in there have to make sure that animation gets a hand on it, so that all the panels open, the landing gear deploys, a character actually sits in the cockpit and plays with the joystick, theres a huge amount of steps.   LP – Absolutely.  So, the 7th question is from Punster –   Has there been any particular design / artwork that has made you think ‘Wow, I can’t wait to see this in game!’?   EB – I’m a huge fanboy of David Hobbins.   LP – I’ve seen your desktop   EB – You’ve seen my desktop, exactly.   LP – It’s pictures of David Hobbins.   EB – On the beach.  No, I wish I had that.  It’s the Reliant, which is one of our new MISC ships, which hasn’t been revealed yet, and I love that ship.  I hope I get to work on it.  Really excited for it.   LP – Yeah, I heard you call dibs on it.   EB – Well, I tried to, but ultimately it’s not about me right?   LP – You know, under the table, cash…works.   EB – Well, there’s one other thing.  We see concepts every day coming in, and just some of the bigger ships, some of these gigantic capital ships, I literally can’t wait to be able to fly my small ship into the hangar of a bigger ship, hop out, start blasting fools, steal one of their ships, and fly it back out.  THe moment I can do that, that’s it, I’m done, that’s what I”ve been waiting for.   LP – Right.  I think in my case it’s got to be almost the exact same thing.  Going back to the Vanguard, It’s just such a sexy ship, and it does everything that I want to do in the type of ship that I can fly.  So, getting that form the stage where we’re going from concept to in-game, that tiny little window is what I’m looking forward to, cause that’s where the magic happens.  Tiny little secret, Elwin’s doing some tweaks to the   EB – The Freelancer.   LP – And it’s looking sexy.  Something you wouldn’t normally say about the Freelancer.   EB – Well, not something I would normally say about the Freelancer, but.  I may say it after this.  Hopefully.   LP – So, the fifth question that I skipped over, because we’re kind of bunching them up, it’s from Amontillado –   WHen it comes to clothing for our characters, are you designing them with the expectation that we’ll be able to change their colours, patterns, and materials?  What sort of challenge has the idea of users customizing things presented to you?   LP – the short answer is yes.  THose are things we’re going to be doing…customization across the board is something we’ve been focused on for a long time.  So, the ability to change your skin, the shape of your body, the clothing from the shoulders down to the ankles, the types of accessories, those have been on the books for a while.  The challenges we’ve come up with so far aren’t with the customization per say, but it’s how we’re using the technology and the customization.  So for example, a lot of the technology that we’re using for cloth simulation is from Ryse.  Ryse did some things beautifully, and to take that to the next stage means we have to encounter brand new tech issues.  So the nod that we’re taking from film is to take basically a normal type pattern for a shirt for example, not just the textural pattern but how is it cut, how is it stitched, so as you’re doing your simulations, it actually starts to fold and sit as you’d expect it to.  Something we’re actually starting to look at at this particular moment.   EB – And are we going to be doing that real-time?   LP – Real time.  So that’s another thing we’re looking at, which is the fidelity of the cloth simulation.  The portions of the game that are coming out soon won’t reflect that, but the long term picture will have that stuff.  So the characters will be completely customizable, the simulations that the characters have on them will be a mixture of something very simple and something very complex, like the eyeballs looking at center-mass chest, we’ll probably put some more fidelity into those areas, but those are still up in the air.  But, in terms of the ability to fine tune your character, you’re going to have a lot of flexibility.   I’m going to skip 8 for now, go down to 9, from Deaths Talon –   As someone that would like to get into learning to do 3D art, where would you suggest starting?  As in, what programs or tools would you suggest learning to use first?   EB – so the first thing is, when I was first starting to learn Maya, which is the tool of choice for me, some guys here like to use 3DSMax, and we always bicker about it.   LP – just, for the record, we actually have one guy in house who’s actually using soft image.   EB – What?   LP – Yeah.   EB – Oh wait, yeah, you’re right.  That guy.   LP – That guy.   EB – So, the great thing about the world we live in right now, is that you can almost get every question that you have  about how to do something from Youtube or online.  When I was first learning how to do it, the way I did it was I went to the help page on Maya, and went to every tool one by one, and figured out what each one did by actually failing at it nonstop.  I didn’t have this beautifully edited video showing me how stuff works.  So step one is literally get a copy of it.  They have student versions that are free, and start doing it.  Start from step one.  Just start doing it.   LP – I started in an era that was a little bit different.  Mine was more CAD drawing on paper.  Scan that in, plot your points out…no it wasn’t that bad.  But you’re spot on.  I think there’s great schools that can train you in how to be a very solid artist, they’ll train you specifically in the use of the tool as an artist all across the board.  The ability to bring stuff to the table, the talents that the individual ahs is going to be different.  People show up with interests that lean them towards a little more technical, a little more artistic, those things, depending on the type of person you are, will almost govern your interest and your focus.  But I think to Elwin’s point, there’s enough material on youTube at the very least to get started.  The things you can’t measure ever are passion, drive, and personal ability to grow, and those are independant of school.  SO I think the question, from my perspective, is always as an artist, am I proficient with the technology and the tolls that I’m going to be using, but more important thing is, do I give a damn about what I”m working on and the stuff I’m doing, because that’s what makes the difference between decent, good, and great.   EB – Right, you make a good point, just being proficient at school is just step 1 to be able to actually produce work.  It doesn’t necessarily mean the work will be good.  So, being an artist, and knowing Maya are actually two different things, two very different things.  So, the easiest one of those to get good at is just learning the tools, which you can easily do through youtube or any online resource.  Becoming an artist, that’s much, much harder.   LP – 10th question, it’s from Brynath –   Can we expect to see cool graffiti in some of the economically depressed / crime ridden areas, maybe some nice regional differences on different planets, or inspired by the Xi’An / Vanduul?   LP – Yes.  The PU team is working a lot at creating a huge mix of environments, spaces, that reflect various cultures.  The distance between the culture and the widely populated system so, for example, if you’re from Earth, everything around Earth will be built up and bustling, the further you get from Earth you’ll start feeling a little more rough and tumble, the further you are from Earth’s influence you’re much more on that edge.  Names of the NPC’s right now that we’re working with are, as boring as they are by name, ‘Frontier’, and it is, the types of frontier.  Are you an outlaw, a pirate type person.  A good description of Frontier could be Luke’s home planet.  Serenity could be Frontier.  But it’s the opposite of Star Trek, which is close-knit, the home planet which looks nice and shiny.  Graffiti is really interesting.  It’s something we talked abou with one of the teams, that you wouldn’t expect traditional graffiti, at least on a space station.  SO the question becomes, if everyone has these digital components, this digital stuff, where do they get the spray paint?  And then what kid is running around tagging on a space station?  So we do have a case with the Nyx space station, which is a derelict asteroid space station that’s been run down, it’s got a feel of Akira, the question comes back to the environment, it’s where do they get the spray paint.  SO how we go forward is we have a digital spray paint, it’s something we haven’t really explored yet, so.  We do know it’s something that we have to do, there may be an opportunity where people can actually put their own tags in the future, so we have to solve that problem.   The very last question, which is 8 of 10, from Luftwolf –   How do you personally deal with negative criticism when you’re presenting something you’d otherwise be proud of?   EB – That’s a hard one.   LP – Best for last.   EB – Everyone deal with that differently, right?  It’s something that you sort of learn to not take personally.  Because at the end of the day, what we’re all trying to do is make the best game possible.  And us, specifically, we’re trying to accomplish that by making the best art possible.  And we may think that something works very very well, and it just doesn’t, and if we keep holding that close to the chest and we take the criticisms personally, it’s just going to make it harder for us to see how we can make the art better.  So the way I deal with it is I just realize it’s not a personal thing.  Although I put myself into the artwork I create, the artwork isn’t actually me, it’s the thing I made, so you’re just trying to help me make that better, and so is everyone else, so why would I take that personally.  It’s not always easy to do that, and everyone deals with it differently, but that’s my perspective.  We’re all on the same team.   LP – Yeah, I think to add to that, this is one of those projects that’s not like a traditional console project.  It’s not a 3-4 year property, where you’re in a bubble hidden from the world for a long time and then all of a sudden the marketing machine gets turned on 6 months before hand and you’re like here’s our stuff.  And the world goes, okay, that looks pretty cool.  6 months later it’s in their hands and they’re playing it and you start watching the metacritic go down.  We’re not that case.  We’re a really public company, it’s a huge project, we’ve got a lot of really top men and women working on the job, and it’s one of those cases where we’re slowly rolling things out ot the public, in an alpha state where they have the opportunity to see things sometimes as short as days from the thought of the original thing.  So it’s a very rare case where, if somebody doesn’t like something, well, we got it out there to test it.  It’s alpha, right?  At some point in time it’s going to be refined and redefined and rolled back out and polished.  This is one of those properties where you really put your passion into it, and you meet the vision of the vision we’re matching, and then we go forward.  As long as your passion is satisfied, that’s where we usually I think we tend to kind of stop  how hard we get impacted by criticism.  I did my best, we did a great job, I like the way it looks, you can’t please everybody.  But goddamn it looks great.  And, again, like the lightsaber with the little hand-guard on the end…   EB – I had absolutely no problem with that.   LP – Right, me neither, a lot of people hated it.  In the end, they’re going to see it, and they’re going to be like, oh, that’s cool.   EB – They’re going to forget about it two seconds later, cause there’s so much more to take in.  That’s just one tiny little thing.   Well, thanks for hanging out with us, the first ever, hopefully not the last, 10 for the Artists.   LP – Subscriber based show.   EB – So thank you very much for making this show possible, and all the other 10 for the ‘blanks’.  Leave some comments down below, tell us what you think, and thanks for hanging out with us.   See you in the ‘Verse! [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 42 (video/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris [in progress] Around the ‘Verse Episode 42   – A new beginning.  It’s making fun of consoles.  And big publishers. – This is the story of a game – a game called Star Citizen. – Welcome to Around the ‘Verse Episode 42, the talk show at the end of the universe. – Opening was cute.   2:30 Sandi and Ben – 42 episodes! – Also, $80 million! – Star Citizen is 42. – Hull-a-palooza sale – the Hull series is up, and they’re answering question on them, which is great.  The ships mean a lot for SC, building the backbone where you see the world behind it.  This is part of the richer world that we’ll inhabit. – Big part of the game economy as well. – Design post on Cargo is available as well, including video demonstrations on cool things. – Calix Reneau put the post together.  The new system is ‘Grabby Hands’, and gives more direct control over game objects than any other game so far.   News from the Spectrum:   4:45 – Santa Monica – Travis Day and Darian Vorlick   – Currently, as you load into your hangar, let’s say you have every ship on offer. In order for them to populate your holotable and your AC list, they’re spawned in the world down below the hangar.  This lets the game code interact with them.  They’re working on something that’ll mean they don’t have to spawn them for you to interact with them.  Should greatly decrease load times.  Saves video memory and more.  Means getting into the game quicker. – Improvements to the Wingman system in the game.  Ability to give commands to the wingmen, such as taunting enemies off of you.  High priority from Chris.  Taunt, attack my target, defend me, go check this area out, etc… – Going to be recording a lot of voice over for the Wingmen, building towards SQ42. – Calix worked a lot on the cargo prototype.  Now he’s going through and taking all the 3D models – concept and in game, and measuring how much cargo they can accommodate, and where they fit in the Universe (we got these stats already I believe).  It will be an MMO supporting Skyrim-level interactions!   7:53 – Denver – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chad Brungardt   – Breathing.  Lots about breathing. – It’s something that’s been a thing for a long time, and there are a lot of complex systems that help with that.  We already see this in Arena Commander, where breathing affects gameplay, what with blacking and redding out. – Using the same system, but different functionality, in FPS.  It’s been worked on for a while, but there are a lot of systems that affect it – harder you run, the more you need to stabilize. – Lots of this goes into gun movement.  The breathing has to feel right, the weapon sway has to feel right, and then the stamina regen has to feel right. – That’s been the focus lately.  Making sure the breathing and stamina components fit together and work well together. – It’s much better than it was when we saw it at PAX now.  Looks much better, works really well. – The whole system drives home Chris’ vision, making you feel like you’re in the world.   10:50 – Austin – Jake Ross and Evan Manning   – Evan is working on the Star Map. – The initial star map got leaked, so they decided they had to rearrange the systems.  A lot of the systems are supposed to be hidden to encourage players to search out new places, make exploration fun. – The process started with a redesign of the map, and all 100 stars.   New map is taking into account what they want for the story of SQ42, delivery routes, populations, the danger of pirates, etc… – Once they had a 2D design for the star map, they put it into CryEngine, and started working on a 3D layout for it. Working on creating a tool that’ll interface with some things the web guys are working on.  Public star map will be exported with only the things that we can see.  Shouldn’t have any more leaks. – They’re working on a public release of the new Star Map soon.  No date yet, but soon.   12:50 – UK – Michael Dalston and Andrew Nicholson   – QA stuff, ‘cause they’re not allowed to talk about the Star Wars trailer. – They’ve been checking all the feedback on the forums, they’re collating it, passing it on.  There were some big issues, but they’re working on them. – There was a bug where they couldn’t get through doors on Gold Horizon to test it, but they found another bug to let them bypass the doors and test the rest of the level.  Two bugs in one. – Astro Arena’s been a bit of a challenge.  The collision around the map was missing, and you’d fly out of the world. – They’re getting to grips with the zero-G gameplay.   Fan video of people shooting each other in AC.   16:05 Ben Lesnick and Dan Tracy give a look at the Hull’s development.   – ‘To Hull with this.’ – Ben Ben – Thank you Sandy and Me, I’m here with Lead Technical Designer Dan Tracy, and we’re talking – what else – the Hull series.  Hey Dan. Dan – How’s it going? Ben – Not bad, seen a lot of each other in the past few days, as we fought with cargo numbers and ship sizes. Dan – It’s a lot of back and forth right?  Development and work in progress. Ben – I think people would be surprised to see how much work goes into getting the ship out on the website. Dan – Tell me about it.  So what did you want to talk about? Ben – I guess we’re going to talk about the development of the Hull series.  I will kick it off, because I was the person who initially invented them as backstory for a Jump Point.  They were originally just a riff on Larry Niven’s General Products hulls, when they were 4 or 5 different sizes of those in his worlds, and I thought ‘we should totally do that,’ and so there were originally four or five, it was A through D, it was in the MISC article in jump point.  Then we pitched it to the community, you guys voted for it, and then you came in and made it cool! Dan – Well, it was a group of us really, when we were talking about how can we set up an interesting design for a ship that can actually haul cargo, more zero-g-oriented environments.  We came up with this interesting concept, it’s been around with other sci-fi shows as well, but more the external cargo placement of these things, and of course that has its own inherent side effects of exposing your cargo so it could be shot, but if you’re in, say, UEE space, or if you have a lot of people escorting you, you shouldn’t worry about it. Ben – I hear about that all the time, and I think you’re not a very good pirate if you’re trying to gun down the cargo. Dan – Exactly, but that’s the benefit and the drawback of the Hull series: With each one of them having all of its cargo on the exterior, that means you can have tremendously more cargo than a lot of the other ships.  And I see a growing concern that people think we have maybe the wrong metrics, and I would have to say, for some of them we did, because we had some of the measurements, some of the ships were originally weighted for ‘freight units’ at the time, which, in terms of the XYZ dimension, was 0.25 by 0.25 by 0.25 [metres].  Which actually equated out to something like 1.1, I can’t remember the numbers.  Whatever.  Those were actually in a very small cubic dimension.  For each one of the particular interior nodes that we’re developing, and you can see them in the Grabby Hands video that came with the design post, which actually has all these internal item placement nodes.  You can think of it similar to other game titles that have a 2D grid that have cells in which things are being placed.  Ours is actually going in 3D.  So, each of those particular node bases are 0.25 meters, so you could put a gun, or a lamp, or whatever inside a box, and it fills its particular dimension inside of that crate.  Now, for a lot of the ships, 0.25 doesn’t make sense, cause they’re anywhere from between 10 meters to 20 meters to 100 meters in terms of their particular length or width or depth, so to make it easier for us we were just measuring out a lot of them with the simple box dimensions in 1 meter grids.  But also for our metrics, for what we want to have as cover height is 1.25 m.  So there are a lot of numbers that kind of get lost in translation, especially when we’re trying to give it all to either Turbulent or to community or internal design and animation departments, all the numbers might get lost, so we’re trying to rectify that right now by actually measuring the specific internal game dimensions of these things.  So as long as it’s physically accurate, we’ll give you guys the actual dimensions that you need, and the thing we want to hit most of all is making sure that the Hull series is as capable as like the Freelancer MAX, or the Banu Merchantman, or the Caterpillar.  Every one of those ships has their kind of equivalent, but for the non-Hull series, those are contained in the internals of it, except for maybe the Starfarer. Ben – Not talking about the Starfarer yet. Dan – But with those, we wanted to make sure the Hulls were comparable, and then the Hull E being gargantuan.  Being able to ‘hull’ the most cargo you can actually move around with. Sorry, I went on a tangent there. Ben – No, that’s the stuff people find interesting. Dan – As you can tell I wanted to get that off my chest, i’ve been seeing that from multiple angles. Ben – It’s all his fault!  No, by the time you folks see this, the corrected, Dan here’s gone through and measured every ship we have in the game, and made some estimates for things like the MerchantMan that are not in the game, so we’ll have corrected numbers on the website.  we’ll show you the numbers both in terms of meters and SCU, so you’ll have the data. Dan – Cool Ben – Well, thanks so much for coming on.  We’ll have you on next time we release something incredibly complicated. *Note – For more of this interview, check out an extended cut with additional artwork this Friday at: facebook.com/RobertsSpaceIndustries*   Ben and Sandi – It’s going to be a hull lot of fun.  And a hull lot of information.   22:50 Interview with James Pugh   JP – Hey everybody, I’m here with John Schimmel, who is head of Linear Content. JS – That’s correct. JP – What does that mean? JS – I had a sort of a sliding job description at CIG.  I started as a story consultant, then I came in full time as head of Linear Content, and I was producing a lot of the video content that’s on the site, some of the AtV’s and stuff, but most recently I’m concentrated entirely on producing the performance capture shoot for SQ42. JP – You just got back from the UK right? JS – I just got back from the UK Saturday, and I go back Saturday.  It’s just a quick trip home.  I guess you know we’re shooting at historic Ealing studios, which we share with Downton Abbey right now.  We’ve got a corridor that says Lady Edith Crowley, SQ42 makeup, which is pretty funny. JP – So how’s that going?  I know you have to be a little broad cause of the nature of what you’re shooting, but how’s it going over there?  How’s Chris feel? JS – Chris was born to be on set.  He loves directing, he’s really good at it.  The shoot’s going great.  We have an unbelievable cast, and from the bottom most unknown from the most known they’re all deeply gifted.  Somehow we’re making our days and the performances are good, and it all looks pretty good.  We’re into our second week of shooting. JP – Do you want to go into what makes it different, performance capture as opposed to what you’re used to? JS – I come out of the motion picture business.  Chris has asked us to shoot this performance capture as if it was a feature film, so whereas in general in performance capture, you can shoot one actor and then another actor and drop them all into a scene digitally, Chris wanted the energy of shooting them all on set together.  So we’re, to some extent we’re trying to shoot it as though its a feature film.  There are some profound differences though, one of which is that especially because most of what we’re shooting is first person, that means you can’t cut between performances.  You’ve got one giant performance.  You go print, and that’s what you’re using, for whoever’s in that setup.  It’s this very funny, there are moments on set when I feel like i’m in a nursery school play yard, because the folks at imaginarium will build a prop, and it’s a giant piece of PCV, and people are messing with it, and we have the ability to see the performance live in-engine, so the piece of PCV turns into this incredibly beautiful piece of artillery.  So it’s this one step more make believe than most film sets, when you actually build a set that looks like the set. JP – It’s almost like a kid with a playset and his imagination.  You take a stick and it becomes a sword. JS – Yeah, and literally, you’re taking a stick and it becomes a sword.  You’ve got a piece of wood and it becomes your mobiGlas.  It’s what makes actors actors, I guess, they totally can get into that. JP – How’s the team doing over there? JS – The team? JP – Yeah, your team, or Chris’ team. JS – We’re having a very good time.  Chris decided, we rented a house close to the studio, so Chris, myself, and Hannes Apple the cinematics director and Dave Haddock, the lead writer, we’re all living in a house together which is…kind of MTV-ish JP – Was going to say, it sounds like the worst season of the real world. JS – It’s pretty funny, we’re mostly well behaved.  It’s really convenient, because we’re literally a four minute walk from set, so we can go home at lunch, and Chris can go catch up on being CEO, then go back to directing, and we’re having a good time.  We have, this strange four story house, and the basement, living room, is where we’ve set up this facial capture set, so we have 50 cameras, and cast flows in and out getting facial scanned, so we’ve turned the garage into our living room.  It’s very sort of college, garage band. JP – That sounds awesome. JS – Yeah, it is kind of . JP – Since I started here, I know this is kind of what you’ve been working towards, this shoot.  Has it changed any since, obviously as the scope has, it’s changed, but has that impacted kind of how you look at, and how you’ve gone at it? JS – Yeah.  The game has, it’s in this constantly iterating process of getting better and bigger, and I think we were all somewhat taken aback in terms of how that manifested in terms of the production size, so we suddenly have this gigantic cast, and our production crew has grown enormously.  We started in a little two desk office at Imaginarium, and now we’ve got this, we’ve got a couple of spaces jammed with people, and you know, we’re keeping up, but it was something of a race to get ourselves up to speed with how big the production really is. JP – That sounds really interesting, and it’s personally the thing I’m looking most forward to with this game, SQ42, and, thank you for coming on, and do you want to give people a little sneak peek?  Hype up the game a bit? JS – I think what people are going to find, coming out of this shoot, is that Chris’ insists on not just shooting this a cinematic way, but in hanging on to a cinematic story.  So, we like to think there’s a really compelling story that we’re telling through this shoot.  And at the same time, we’re shooting it like a movie, and telling it like a cinematic story, but at the same time it’s a game with an environment that has to be alive, so we’ve got all these really interesting background conversations and characters to be discovered.  I think it’s going to be, people are going to be knocked out.  It’ll be really fun. JP – I’m sold.  I want to play it now. JS – Okay, well, I know where you can pre-buy. JP – Back to you guys.   30:42 New Segment – Lisa Ohanian with a Ship Update. “Ship Shape” – Segment will talk about all the ships that are in development, all the ships in the pipeline, and ideally highlight something at the end.  Possibly bring in devs to talk about what they’re working on, or show images to highlight certain ships. – Most of the work right now is on the Connie and the Freelancer. – Video of the P-52 Merlin.  Ship is being worked on right now by Paul Forgi and Dan Comenski. – Merlin’s been sold before alongside the Connie, but now they’re finishing some updates on it.  It looks much better now. – Lot of focus for this ship is the damage conversion.  Looks realistic and cool. – Next week we’ll hear more about the Connie.   Ben and Sandi – That’s it for this week. – Hard at work on Alpha 1.1.2, which is available on the PTU right now.  Probably won’t be available this week, but possibly next week. – Adds a tutorial, and sets the stage for Star Marine. – We’ll hear about the back-end work for Star Marine next week. – Check in tomorrow for the Monthly Report.   33:20 Sneak Peek – Its a bathroom.  It’s…multiple bathrooms.  Bathrooms are animated.  With a toilet that turns into a shower apparently.  Weird.  The toilet paper would get wet. [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 45 (video/INN) [spoiler] Notes – The waiting screen for Reverse the ‘Verse shows SOON™ – Everyone is there.  Alyssa is on, she’s new.  She’s the assistant marketing producer, she does ‘stuff’ – I see Jenny, Ben, Alyssa, James Pugh, Disco Lando, lots of other people too. – Disco Lando created the Hitchhikers Guide intro for AtV   – Hull B – How does it compare to the Freelancer MAX? – Freelancer is a space pickup truck.  It hauls cargo, and while it’s good at that, it’s more multi-purpose.  It can be a missile boat, an explorer, a long range whatever.  It’s self-sufficient.  Hull ships are not like that.  Plot your course, go from Planet to Planet, make money.  Hull is one function, Freelancer is multi-function.   – Now they’re talking about Beyoncé   – Ship Shape is also planned for next week, as it had resounding positive feedback, – The segment will get a proper logo and such.  Lisa Ohanian has had lots of meetings this week. – Alyssa is working with Lisa, streamlining stuff, can’t talk about all of it right now   – There is singing.   – More of the interview between Dan Tracey and Ben Lesnick that aired on AtV will be on Facebook later today. Will talk about Carrier Hull E – ‘Platform exclusives’ – they will be adding more content on, for example, the Facebook platform.  (Don’t need account to view Facebook vids, don’t worry if you hate facebook)   – The Hull C Discrete is a specific variant for smuggling.  It’s still in the game universe but not in the game yet.  It will be based on customizing the Hull C. – It will likely have sensor dampening, things to make it harder to track. – The one you buy through MISC is the base model – Bad bad Hull puns, Ben is sick of them but continues because they are so easy to make   – Ben has a large head, and the Star Citizen hats don’t fit him. – Same with Disco Lando. – They will not spoil the Avengers.  Which is good.  Because otherwise… – ‘Avengers is like if a bunch of Jupiter Ascendings were fighting Chappies’ – Ben   – Bugsmashers will be broken into its own show on Wednesdays – They’re planning to have content Monday thru Friday, and posts on the weekend as well. – Todd Papy is determining what the next Deep Dive Design post will be. – Chris is still in the UK.  He’s directing the SQ42 performance capture shoot. He’s in the directors chair.  Chris has always wanted to direct things, and it’s exciting to see him doing so with the resources he needs. – Interview with John Schimmel (name butchering by Erris ™) coming in the next ATV.  He’ll talk about what it’s like to live with Chris Roberts. 15 Minutes   – The ship you get in SQ42 will depend on the mission.  In Wing Commander 3 you had total choice at all times, you won’t have that in SQ42 – Hornet, Gladius, Gladiator, Retaliator, some civilian ships, things we haven’t heard of, the Lightning, we’ll be able to choose all of those at times, but not have the full pick of any of them at all times. – Also, you’re not in ships all the time.  It’s immersive and interactive between missions, on the ground, etc…   – If you have questions about ships, go and check out the Ship Shape segment in Around the ‘Verse. – Reverse the ‘Verse was moved to Friday, so they can answer questions about Around the ‘Verse, once everyone’s had a chance to watch it.   – There will be an episode of Wonderful World of Star Citizen this month. – Mothers day is coming up.   – Cargo-lympics is a thing, Calix is working on it, one of those things where they just let the designers play with it (like Racing) – It’s not confirmed though.  There’s a chance of it, not confirmed.  It could end up like the buggy race track and not see the light of day.   – Not much of a CS backlog, Chelsea is not giving any numbers though – This does not mean submit inappropriate CS tickets.  Never do that.  It’s mean and disappointing.   – Space toilet paper stays dry at all times.   – Two new guests have arrived, Calix Reneau and Matt Sherman. – Calix is working on the Cargo stuff – getting numbers and assets made.  He’s cleaning up his pitch for Repair features.  It’ll be his next task likely. – Calix is also working on exploration features and on Jump Points. – You can currently jump from system to system.  There’s nothing in the systems, but you can jump between them. – Also working with Mark getting scanning interesting – not ship to ship radar, but ‘what’s around here, what can I do’.  Locating jump-points and such, finding what’s around your ship.   – Jump points don’t work, but Calix has made a ‘version’ of them. – SCU: 1.25 meters cubed. (1.25 meters in all directions) – Calix does not know any magic tricks. (he’s playing with a deck of cards)   – Matt Sherman is working on more prep for Physically Based damage, which will affect almost every component in the ship. Ship health is getting changed, powerplants are getting changed, consumption is getting changed – Not sure when it’s going to come online, but it’s going to be a huge overhaul to get AC ready.  When SQ42 hits, when AC 2.0 hits, the PBR damage system will be ready so they don’t have to frantically change numbers.   – Cargolympics – Calix is building out all of the systems that go together to become cargo management.  Looking to get Cargolympics in a functional state after FPS. – This is because Zane is way too tied up with support for FPS, and in order to get ship 2.0 things working, Calix needs to be working with the HUD, which Zane has to do first. – Player to object stuff works.  Ship to object stuff needs work. – Calix and Matt Sherman will be featured next week on Around the ‘Verse, with a roundtable on Controller Balance.  Which Ben doesn’t like, but from Calix – there’s a lot of cool things we can do with controllers’. – Mouse only in the next patch. [Super serious factoids] (THIS WAS A JOKE) – DDR Pads and N64 controller support coming next. (THIS MIGHT ALSO BE A JOKE)   – Working on a post about FPS, Travis is wrangling assets, coming early next week – Post will talk about all the things being done to make FPS cooler. – Hitchhikers intro was written by Ben, voiced over by Disco, and drawn by Ryan Archer and a community member, Angry Peas (?).   – Will the community team shave beards at release? – Golfing has been outlawed by the 27th century… thus long since extinct in Star Citizen.  It killed too many people from boredom. – CIG started using beard oil, but they they found out it’s expensive, and they stopped. – Now they’re talking about Sephora? (Its right down the street) – Hats are shipping from China   – The Auroras can all carry the Big Box – They might look at cargo hardpoint mass.  Calix can’t think of his words, but how much mass you can put on a given hardpoint.  They’ll be going back to all the Legacy ships for that hardpoint mass number, but otherwise all Auroras can carry the Big Box cargo container.   30 Minutes   – Lisa Ohanian is now on the show. 9 people now! :D – She talked about the Merlin on AtV.  Exterior remodel was done by Elwin Bachelor.  It’s coming along.  Mark Toscano’s working on lights for it.  Doing work on the interior, which will also look fantastic. – The Bengal Carrier is “a ways out.” – Constellation – Lisa just reached out to Josh Coons and Chris Smith who are working on that, told them she needs some ‘nifty stuff’ from them.  She wants some of the whitebox and graybox for the interior for the episode next week. – Reliant will be “one of the next several” ships Lisa talks about.  Elwin will be working on modeling it after the Reliant is done concept. – Vanguard variants are coming eventually. – The P-72 Archimedes was going to be done at the same time as the P-52 Merlin but that has changed.  It will be coming later. Need to focus on the Bengal and such. – Lisa: “I don’t know what soon means.” – P-52 will be one of the next ships to be hangar ready (and probably flight ready) – The Avenger variants are “not coming along yet”.  Trying to give them to outsourcers for some work.  They know what they are (the concept of the variants) but they haven’t been assigned to anyone yet.   – The Space Toilet doesn’t have toilet paper… it’s a damp sponge dispenser. – Starfarer – Soon, without the ™ –  Legitimately Soon – They’re putting together something to show us, maybe next week.   – Lisa is swearing up a storm… “Ship Swearing with Lisa.” – Alyssa will have a “metric F-Ton” to say next week. – Alyssa wanted to come to CIG with Lisa when Lisa left Activision (they worked there together)   – Rene Vasquez – Tech Designer working on Pirate Swarm.  Also working on balance. – Hopefully we’ll see Pirate Swarm soon. – He’s also working on a ‘test gym’, to have various ships fight each other to see balance and such. – According to Twitch chat Rene looks like Vin Diesel, he mentioned people called him Min Diesel in the past (because he isn’t as buff) – Lisa Ohanian and Ben Lesnick just discovered they grew up near to each other.   – The P-52 Merlin has a really good looking cockpit according to Calix (internal view) – TBD on whether the Merlin will be sold or rented as a stand-alone ship. – Parasite fighters need a relay (like a parent ship) to be feeding them radar information, they don’t have a full size radar array of their own.   – Darian Vorlick working on cleaning up JIRA. – Darian Vorlick and his dad have an extra joint in their thumbs.   – There will be smaller salvaging and mining ships but they won’t be coming soon. – Later this year they will do a backer poll to ask people what ships they would like them to proceed with first. – CIG are starting to prioritize some of the stretch goals, so people can see that they are being worked on. – Gamescom trophy is in the works, and there’s an update for the 23 million Xi’an reward that was given.  Behaviour is working on making it more special, because they got a lot of feedback on it being the same as the subscriber reward. – Imagine Trailer about to hit 1 million views.  All because of Years1Hundred (Years1Hundred created the original Imagine trailer, which CIG later updated with prettier artwork). – If they hit 1 million views, Disco will sing a ‘thank you’ song.   – Herald – Lisa doesn’t know exactly who’s going to be working on it.  Whoever it is, they’re finishing up a few other things, but in the next week they’ll be working full-force on the Herald. – More RTVs than ATVs because they skipped ATVs some weeks – 2nd fleet dog tags are being packed, should be shipped in the next week or two. – On ne sait pas si CIG vont etre au ‘Paris Games week’ – we don’t know if they’ll be at Paris Games week. – CIG will have ‘a presence’ at Paris Games Week but it won’t be big and fancy. (This is what Ben said)   – Lisa at one point was able to write fluently in ‘Al-Bhed’ from Final Fantasy X – Everyone in this room is a spectacularly awesome geek/nerd/cool human. – They’re talking about speaking in Elvish and Drow and such.  Several people read the Silmarillion every year. – Now they’re speaking Japanese.   – No paint skins actively being developed right now, but they will be in the future. – TRAVIS IS HERE.   55 minutes   – Five minutes of FPS questions: – FPS = Soon – FPS release update will be early next week.  It’ll give an idea of when to expect it, and what to be expecting. – Guns will be kept to a realistic size, taking into account ergonomics – talking about reducing the size of grenades. – There is no coughing in the current animations. – You can’t shoot yourself in FPS and claim insurance. – Light armor and light loadout will mean you can move quieter and show up less on radar as a result. – Bot modes will not be in V 0, but will be in V 1. CIG are working on AI right now – Zero customization for weapons at initial launch. – Weapons – Laser Pistol, Combustion Pistol, Laser Assault Rifle, Burst Cannon, Sniper Rifle, a quick barricade, an electric claymore, a hologram that creates a 3D version of yourself, med kits, frag grenades, EMP grenades, force propulsion grenades, Electric Shotgun.  (I might have missed one or two.) – Customization will also come in V 1, with the attachment system. – Have concepts for the crossbow, but it has not been modeled, one of the things the weapons pipeline will work on.  The weapons pipeline is in the UK, led by someone. – Female character models for FPS – no.  Girls don’t exist.  Girls don’t shoot guns. – THAT WAS A JOKE.  There will be female models as they go forward, of course.   – CIG don’t have one specific military consultant, but a lot of the mo-cap performers are military or ex-military, one is a bodyguard to the Royal Family, etc… So they do have lots of input.  One QA guy at Illfonic did 3 tours in Iraq with the Rangers(? Travis couldn’t remember who with) – Ben has a Skype group of former military backers that they sometimes run things by – Hull sale is on till Monday. – Hull E post coming later today – (They’ve really stretched the Hull jokes till they ripped a Hull in them…)   – MONTHLY REPORT THIS AFTERNOON! – And that’s it. – Again, CIG ask for feedback.  There are forum threads to talk to them, and if you want to be featured on RtV after, talk to Jenny. [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Meet The Devs: Steve Bender (link) Subscriber Vault: HULL WIP Lore Updates Tracker: Disconnected Kids (via RSI) Galactic Guide: ARC CORP (via RSI) Happening right now / real soon LOAD TIMES REDUCED BY ~80% IN CURRENT PTU BUILD! FPS MODULE expected who knows when, confirmed it will be on PTU before release. Editing a post of this size hurts my brain
  13. Summary for week ending on April 24 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable       A Hull For Every Job: The MISC Hull Series (LINK) [spoiler] Some images were removed due to image count limitations on this site- Kraven The MISC Hull Series “10-4, Hull-C Alpha Seven Seven,” the voice of the Vega weigh station’s traffic control officer cracked over my comm. “You’re cleared to the outer marker. Clear skies.” I’d stopped at Vega for a gallon of coffee and what might charitably be called a sandwich, and then found myself stuck in the outbound queue in the middle of planetary rush hour. 45 minutes of shaking my fist at short-hop Aurora pilots who clearly never learned to fly and I was late. Which meant that 1,530 SCU of titanium-alloy engine cowls bound for Stanton were late, too. I swiped the console and brought up my engine status. The starboard-upper’s check-engine light flickered. WARNING: MAINTENANCE REQUIRED. To hell with this, I thought as I ramped the output up to 110%, I’m not losing my bonus…   The Hull Series’ promise In short, the MISC Hull series of ships is how cargo gets from place to place. An inter-connected system of ships designed around the same principles and intended to share the same equipment and maintenance processes, MISC has created the Hull A through E to provide countless options for every type of merchant. From the single-person Hull A to the super-massive Hull E bulk freighter, there’s a Hull for every job. Each ship includes a manned cab, a drive unit and a telescoping cargo spindle. When laden, the spindle expands to accept cargo pallets; while unloaded, the spindle unfurls for faster, more maneuverable travel.   The Hull A The smallest, most affordable Hull. The Hull A is great for those just striking out in the galaxy on their own. The Hull A is most similar to the Aurora and Mustang, but lacks the ‘jack of all trades’ nature. Where the others trade cargo capacity for firepower or speed, the Hull A is 100% on-mission transport! Additionally, Hull A (and B) are often used as station-to-orbit ferries. Hull A- Ship Details   The Hull B The Hull B is a more rugged option most often compared to MISC’s own Freelancer. But where the Freelancer is equipped for long range exploration and other roles, the Hull B is a pure cargo transport. Hull B are often used as corporate support ships, and it is not uncommon to spot several in different liveries during a single flight. Hull B - Ship Details   The Hull C Often called the most common ship in the galaxy, the Hull C is the most-produced of the range and is considered by many to be the most versatile. Intended to hit the ‘sweet spot’ between the smaller single-person transports and the massive superfreighters that make up the rest of the range, the Hull C offers the expansive modularity of the larger ships while still retaining a modicum of the maneuverability allowed the low end of the range. Hull C - Ship Details     The Hull D The Hull D kicks off the larger end of the spectrum with a massive ship build around a rugged frame. The Hull D is affordable enough to be operated by mid-sized organizations and companies. Hull D are often used as flagships for mercantile operations, but their bulk means that they should be operated with escort fighters while not in safe space. The UEE military uses modified Hull D as part of their supply chain, arming and refueling the soldiers on the front line. Hull D - Ship Details   The Hull E The largest specialized freighter available on the market today, the Hull E is generally owned by major corporations and operated with a high degree of planning. The lack of maneuverability inherent in such a large ship means that anyone planning to operate them should be careful about equipping turrets and providing escort. Their potential load (and modularity) is unparalleled, however: no other ship allows as much room to store goods or to modify towards another role! WARNING: While the Hull E has a massive cargo capacity on paper, it is also a major target for pirates and raiders. Hull E are typically used in safe sector trade routes and are operated as part of a larger fleet. Additionally, getting ‘geared up’ to operate a Hull E at full capacity will require a significant investment in terms of credits: a single load of cargo typically has more value than the ship itself. In short, Hull E operation is not for the feint of heart! Hull E - Ship Details   Modularity: Options Upon Options The standardized ‘spindle’ found on all five members of the Hull series is capable of securely attaching many types of cargo containers. These range from standard Stor-All “Big Box” containers to specialized freight units equipped for liquids, perishable goods, dispatch parcels, livestock and more. Owing to the ubiquity of the cargo pallet system, many manufacturers have created third party addons capable of taking advantage of the Hull superstructure. These range from additional ship upgrades (shield generators, sensor suites and the like) to ‘stealth’ cargo pods to gimbaled turrets and other weapons which can take the place of some cargo pallets on larger ships (with a corresponding reduction in cargo capacity.) As a result of these “expansion ports,” the Hull series is one of the most modular starships available; many view it as a platform upon which to build as much as the bulk hauler it was designed as.   But How Does It Land? Every ship in the Hull series is capable of making a planetary landing while contracted. Additionally, the Hull A and B may land while fully laden. The Hull C, D and E typically deposit their cargo at automated orbital yards before landing to dock (though they are equipped for the water landings favored on low gravity worlds.) PLEASE NOTE: The Hull series measures carrying capacity in Standard Cargo Units, or SCU. The SCU value for previously released ships can be determined by dividing the total capacity by four. The stats page will be updated with proper SCU data shortly. For more information in cargo interaction in Star Citizen, check out today’s design post !     Limited Concept Sale We are offering these pledge ships to help fund Star Citizen’s development. All of these ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game. Additionally, all decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches. The Hull series is being offered for the first time as a limited concept sale. This means that the ships design meets our specifications, but it is not yet ready to display in your Hangar or to fight in Arena Commander. The sale includes Lifetime Insurance on the ship hull and a pair of decorative items for your Hangar. A future patch will add a Hull poster and then once the in-game models are finished you will also be given an in-game Hull mini ship model! Each of the five ships will have its own model and poster. In the future, the ship price will increase and the offer will not include Life Time Insurance or these extras. If you’d like to add one to your fleet, they’re available in the pledge store until Monday May 4th. You can also view a detail of the ship in the Tech Overview of the ship page!   Hull A - LTI - Standalone Ship $60.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Hull B - LTI - Standalone Ship $90.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Hull C - LTI - Standalone Ship $200.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Hull D - LTI - Standalone Ship $350.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Hull E - LTI - Standalone Ship $550.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Hull-a-palooza Pack - LTI - Combo $1,250.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Remember: we are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. All of these ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game. Additionally, all decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches. End Transmission [/spoiler]     Design: Cargo Interaction! (LINK) [spoiler] Some images removed die to site limitations. There are also a lot of videos in this post I can't/didn't embed here so check out the link for sure- Kraven Design: Cargo Interaction Greetings Citizens, To date, Star Citizen’s Arena Commander module has put much of the focus on pure action: the thrill of deep space dogfighting. While space battles are a core element of the Star Citizen experience, they are the beginning and not the end of creating a vast, interactive world. And one of the next, most important steps is developing a cargo system that allows players to more fully interact with their environment than any previous space game. On first consideration, making cargo sexy might seem like a difficult challenge. The excitement of combat is self-explanatory, while shipping goods from star to star is a different kind of challenge, potentially more of a slow burn. The average pilot would be forgiven for having more interest in a dogfighting module than a cargo demo… but the reality is, cargo is deeply important to expanding Star Citizen’s gameplay. Whether you’re using it to customize your environment, to build a shipping empire or to run black market goods from Advocacy patrols, a comprehensive cargo system is going to enable Star Citizen to build a real world full of varied gameplay opportunities. How do we do it? In the past, space games have solved this problem by separating the player from what was being transported. Shipping a load of tungsten in Privateer or hydrocarbons in Freelancer meant selecting an icon in a menu and being told your ship had been loaded with that particular good. For Star Citizen, we wanted to do more than just give you a cargo manifest; it stood to reason that in our First Person Universe, you would need to be able to fully interact with whatever you happen to be shipping! With this in mind, we’ve set out to create a system that allows for maximum interaction directly with in-game objects.   How Interaction Works The Star Citizen design team has determined that there are five essential ‘use cases’ for cargo objects in the game environment. Each of these cases must be developed in the game to give you full control over your cargo and items. Uses cases are as follows: Player to Item: The player must be able to physically manipulate objects in the game world. Whether it’s a frag grenade, a Chairman Roberts bobblehead or a Xi’an space plant, your character must be able to grab objects with one or two hands and then place them where desired.   Player to Massive Item: In development terminology, a massive item is any one that is too large for a player to reasonably interact with themselves. Think a ton of steel, a replacement Hornet wing or a multi-meter torpedo. Massive items differ from standard items because they will require in-game tools for handling: anything from cargo drones to loader suits.   Player to Container: Current Star Citizen pilots are likely most familiar with the Stor-All container found on some models of Aurorae. Under the hood, there are two types of containers: crates and tanks. Crates are containers that can hold the loose items used in the previous use cases. You might fill a container (like the Stor-All) with anything: weapons, electronics, artifacts, personal effects… even live animals! Tanks are an alternative form of container that hold anything the player wouldn’t naturally interact with: fuel, ore, scrap, nitrogen and the like. To simplify the loading process, every container in Star Citizen will include a port for a cargo jack allowing it to be manipulated directly using an array of anti-grav pulsers. Players will load their containers (or acquire them pre-loaded) and then position them aboard or attached to their spacecraft.   Player to Pallet: Especially important for larger ships (like the Hull C, D and E) which would otherwise take ages to load, the player to pallet use case is how you will be able to stack alike containers. This allows containers to move as a group, as long as the stack is entirely within the locking plate on the top of the lower container. This holds true for grav pallets, which are giant mobile locking plates, and allows for cargo to be moved in bulk.   Player to Cargo Bay: This final state is how players interact with their entire collection of cargo on any given ship. This is where we develop formal mobiGlas and environment tie-ins to give pilots control over their entire cargo manifest. From the manifest view, they can view and track all containers and items on a particular ship. Grabby Hands All of the above use cases are built atop one requirement: the ability for the player to manipulate individual component items at will. To enable this biggest technical hurdle, we have created a system called Grabby Hands. We’ve put together four demos to show you exactly how Grabby Hands works and what it lets you do! Looking at an item and then pressing F will pick it up. The appropriate animation will play and the item will be attached to the players’ hand. The item is now held! Looking down at the item again and press F will put it down. A raycast at shoulder height will determine where the item will be put, and the appropriate animation will play to put it there. While holding an item, look down at it and press and hold F will enter precision placement mode. In this mode, an AR indicator allows the player to choose the location where the item will be put. While in precision placement mode, clicking and dragging will allow the player to rotate the object around pitch and yaw. Make no mistake, this is more than just a system for picking up and putting down objects. With this process in place, we don’t need to create a unique animation for every single object in the universe; the game adapts to interact with what you’re doing, the way you want!   Two-handed objects Two-handed objects are reoriented automatically when picked up to simplify the attachment points needed for these animations. Beyond this exception, two-handed objects work exactly like one-handed ones do.   Coin Flip Here’s where Star Citizen’s physics engine really shines! By interacting with items, you can manipulate them in a realistic manner that takes into account your environment (and its respective gravity and other conditions.) What that means in this case is that you can use Grabby Hands to manually flip a coin! Moving up while releasing the coin will cause it to flip, at which point it can be caught again. Holding still or moving down while releasing will simply drop the coin. Multiple coins can be picked up and flipped simultaneously, causing it to rain coins and make a mess. Groups of coins set down together tend to be much more organized. But this isn’t just about coins: it’s about creating a system that gives players more control over their universe. It will create new ways for players to express themselves through their interactions in the ‘verse!   Usable Items When holding a useable item, look down at it and double tap [F] to use the item. While an item is in use, double tap [F] to unused the item and return it to the cargo state. This means that any personal item you might use (such as a gun, or a flashlight) can also be stored as cargo.   Items and containers Every container has two key statistics: Standard Cargo Units (SCU) and Number of Ports. These define everything the game needs to know about loading a container onto a pallet or attaching it to a ship. SCU defines the exterior dimensions of the container in cubic meter increments, while the number of ports defines how many discrete slots into which items can be placed are available. Ports are 0.25m spaces.   In this example, the container is a 2SCU, 63Port container (a 2.5m x 1.25m x 1.25m container with a 2.25m x 1.0m x 1.0m available interior space.) Items are also rated in the number of Ports they occupy when placed into a crate: a pistol is 1p, a rifle is 2p, a missile is 6p and so on. When an item is released inside the containment field of a crate, the item latches onto the nearest port and animates into place.   Containers and Pallets As noted above, pallets are used to move more cargo in fewer trips. Loading fifty individual containers of ore would be no fun (and ultimately wouldn’t be realistic) and so a system must be put into place to allow bulk loading of same cargo. The player will interact with very large containers and pallets, often so large that they will obscure visibility. To counter this issue, the cargo jack includes a UI interface depicting the local area to the player, much like the landing assist UI recently premiered in Arena Commander. This ultimately allows for precise and intentional manipulation of cargo.     Cargo Bay The SCU value introduced earlier defines the exterior dimensions of containers, which is important to note because it allows the number of SCU a ship is rated for to actually correlate with the SCU value of all containers which can be placed inside that particular cargo bay. Containers are placed in a locking grid of sorts, which marks out (floor to ceiling) where cargo can be stored onboard a ship. The technology that drives these locking plates only require power to change state, and will secure even unboxed cargo as long as it is fully within the locking area. This means that only cargo containers can stack while disallowing infinite bridges, and that turning off the power plant won’t shred the ship with instant cargo shrapnel. Active locking plates are lit gold, although the light will change to red if there is something wrong: the cargo bay is too damaged to maintain lock, any of the items atop the plate cannot be secured and so on. The plates on the floor are 0.5m x 1.0m and are echoed on the tops of containers, allowing the containers to stack and still lock.    Ship/Cargo Interaction Finally, as included in the final use case players must be able to interact with their cargo from the ship’s onboard manifest. Using the manifest, you can activate and deactivate locking plates (to jettison cargo), set orders for arranging cargo and see the effect that all of your items are having on your center of mass (unlike previous games, your ships’ performance will be tied to the mass and volume of what you decide to load aboard her!) We are in the process of developing the UI for this system today, and are proud to present a mockup of the current version.   Cargo Concept Gallery I can't post these here because it makes too many images for the site to accept the post! -Kraven End Transmission [/spoiler]     Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen and ImperialNews.Network) 10 For the Producers 5 (video/Reddit/INN) [spoiler] Usual Producer intro and Thanks   Travis Day (Back from FPS work) and Darian Vorlick are here to answer your questions!   - On to the Questions! - RadiantFlux Asks: Will we be able to retract the wings in space? The Hornet and the Vanguard, for example, have retractable wings, but currently it looks like as if they were meant to be extracted for space flight.     DV: The vanguard and hornet have a "swing wing" configuration, but in space there's no atmosphere to create drag, so swinging them back won't have an effect of lowering a drag coefficient allowing them to fly faster. So in the case of the vanguard I went to a designer, Calix R, and he replied that there will be a button to toggle whether you want the wings to deploy on the vanguard. On the wing-tips there are thrusters though, so if you want to go really fast, you could swing the wings back to point the thrusters rear-ward to go quicker, but if you want manoeuvrability when they're fully deployed, there is more "leverage" so the craft can change direction more quickly, but it does increase your cross-sectional signature, so more susceptible to getting hit, though increasing your axial rotation.     Krel Asks: Will there be a sump for heat as part of the Heat Pipe System? That is, a way to temporarily store a certain amount of heat to prevent increasing your signature if you're trying to be stealthy? Second, if your sump fills, and you don't want to radiate the energy, will the temperature inside your ship rise, and how will that affect your avatar and the rest of your crew?     DV: Again, I went to Calix on this. When you're dealing with fusion powerplants, or thermo-nuclear weapons, you're talking about thousands of Kelvin, or thousands of degrees C or F. That's not something you're going to want to shunt inside the cabin. You'd Ace-Ventura Rhino yourself instantly. Talking to Calix, he wanted a system where you can temporarily keep heat, but that's going to put wear and tear on the ship. Components will likely heat up and fail more quickly etc, so it's not something that's likely to be used all the time. It'll temporarily give you a quick IR reduction.     TD: It's a cool idea if say you come out of a Jump Point in your Vanguard, do your stealth attack run, then dump whatever that thing is. It's also one of those things we've always talked about, having something to store thermal energy on the ship, it'd just be another thing to have plugged into a hardpoint on the ship. laughs I keep getting back to the thought of finishing a long battle in your constellation and makes prying rhino-butt motion getting out of the ship slowly.     DV: Or also Star Trek First Contact, where Data releases the plasma coolant, and the borg get fried...     Madrun Badrun Asks: Have you thought about a visual way of in-game communicating ideas and information to your fellows, such as jump point locations and ship mods etc...? My thinking was, in a hanger or ship location you could tell your associates to gather around, and enter into a "map/projector" mode that you would physically control your avatar's gestures to "point" at information displayed, and other players could save onto their own mobiglas?     DV: Yes and no, we HAVE thought about it mostly in conjunction with capital ships. So if you're on your Cap-ship leading your armada, and you're in the large bridge part and the admiral can say all ships converge on this target on a holoscreen, so all the ships in the fleet see that and can follow the directions given on their own maps, yes. It's all part of the command and control system. But concerning smaller ships like constellations etc, maybe we'll have a map that a captain can pull up in kind of like a party-mode, where you could see where things are clicked etc.     TD: I could see that kind of system working on a Carrack especially with that giant map-room thing, sketching out plans with a holo-pen with friends.     DV: It seems to be standard MMO fare.     TD: Seems like something you could do on anything, command and control would be present, it's all been built into the holo system.     GeraldEvans Asks: As a way to recruit people to Star Citizen, have you though of bringing a facial capture rig/booth to the conventions, and letting people really flesh out the PU, and become a part of the game? Would that be more of a headache than it's worth in variety and publicity?     TD: Yes.     DV: I like this question because it's something we were talking about with one of our animators John Riggs since we were working on that facial capture system. The idea of setting up a booth like that, while cool at E3 or something, it's not something that's viable in the immediate future. It'd take a MASSIVE amount of work to translate that into the engine.     TD: I mean, it's really an economical choice, do we really want to spend however many man-hours of modelling it'd take to individually make, what, a 1000 heads we shoot at E3? First we don't need that many, we make variants just by pushing around sliders, and secondly it'd probably take us until the NEXT E3 just to process them all.     DV: What about scanning your own face to play your own character?     TD: Yeah, that'd actually be... Well to get the fidelity you'd need to do it on one of our setups, and it'd take a lot of work for character artists to get them into the game anyway. I mean, look at the two British looking heads we did recently, one of our cinematics guys cleaned the models up really nicely, but that took a fair amount of time.     DV: The TL;DR version is that it's not as easy as taking a few photos and converting them to 3D with a click, it really wouldn't work like that.     Lachian Asks: When do you plan to have the FPS module released?     TD: As soon as it is ready and meets with CR's expectations.     DV: How's it looking so far?     TD: It's looking really good, but there are a tonne of things we need to do internally, so when you go buy a new game at the store, for example BF: hardline, and you play it for a month, then think "Man I wish I could do X, or Y, or Z!". We do that internally as developers too, so we're seeing the FPS module all throughout its development cycle, so from the very beginning concept to prototype, then to testing and play-testing. I mean, we're going over it in detail multiple times a day at illfonic. You actually get player fatigue, the same way that a player does with any game, so you see what its missing that'd complete the experience. So one of the first things I did when I got out there was to look at options, so do we want to ship in x amount of time, here are the things we can or can't do. We do three of those options, and in this case we've decided to go to the maximum amount of fidelity at the cost of time. It's going to be really cool, though, and lots of things happen in the middle that affect it too, like we're going from Fmod to Wwise audio middle-ware etc. In making that transition, we have to re-setup all the audio. Then we have to bring the FPS branch back into the main branch's system, which has since had changes like lighting stuff, and ragdoll physics etc. We also have a new item-port system to work in. We'll have all of these features integrated when we move into main branch, which'll mean a much cooler release which will also come with AC updated etc, but it does take more time. Sorry that didn't quite answer the question!     Dreamrider Asks: How often do the forum critiques of designs by backers, who are actual armaments experts, aerpspace engineers, physicists, combat shooters, etc... make it into the final form of an in-game ship, firearm, or other artifact?     DV: Quite a bit I think! We do integrate a lot of feedback that we get from experts in various fields, but at the same time because it's a science-fiction world there is a certain amount of suspension of belief involved. For example, the Vanguard is a swing-wing spacecraft, in terms of aerodynamics, it doesn't matter if it's a swing-wing or not, but we gave it a purpose anyway, because it looks cool and we wanted to have it in-game. Same thing with a torpedo, traditionally it's a projectile launched underwater, so it might retain its fins in space, but they don't really do anything. So while expert critique does factor into our decisions, we have to make it fun, and if a really realistic sim gets in the way of that, I'd rather go with the fun route.     TD: Yeah, it's the same with what was pointed out on the retaliator, based of his feedback on the original behring marksman, that the torpedos look a lot like Mark 48's, and don't have any thrusters on them for attitude adjustment, so we should probably add thrusters on them. The other hard thing about the internet is that a lot of our forum community ARE armaments experts or engineers, but it is also the internet. I mean, when I'M on the internet I'm a soldier of fortune for example.     DV: And I know a lot about physics. I got to teach the art team about gravity for example. No seminar yet, couple of weeks.     TD: talks about the mark 48 torpedos with someone behind the camera     Algared Asks: How is CIG prioritising bug fixes etc... compared to further development?     DV: This is an easy question for us. I actually just had this discussion with a few other producers, one of the things we have to look at is whatever given development time we have with internal deadlines, say we have a patch due out in a week, is it feasible or even wise to get all of these bugs fixed and sacrifice feature development. Do we want to take a developer off a feature to fix a bug? It depends in part on how big a problem it is, if it's a blocker, or prevents a player being able to play at all, then that'll take priority, but if its something that will ultimately be fixed in normal development, we'll not usually assign any time to it, because there's a good chance that down the line a re-design or change made in feature development might actually fix it without costing more developers time.     TD: That's a great example I was talking about with Paul with regards to the Gladiator release recently. There are certain behaviours within the ship that are exposed in the production of multicrew that are supposed to be handled by the GOST system, like the position of turret seats when a player gets in or out etc, the same thing applies to the constellation etc. All of these issues are handled by GOST, but we get into a situation sometimes where things are broken with multiple people trying to access different parts of the ship, a seat might not reset or whatever. We have to fix that, BUT there are other funny issues where if you use something before another animation is finished that should be mutually exclusive, like maybe deploying a stairwell while closing a door that it goes through, that'll all get fixed by GOST in the long run, and doesn't affect the actual game experience. DV: Actually in the context of the Constellation, because we're in the middle of a redesign of the ship, it doesn't make sense to do anything about those bugs, because they might not be present in the new version of the ships. As producers this is what we manage, we might close those bugs or shuffle them off to later versions to check if they exist then.     Beer4TheBeerGod Asks: Is the new damage system described in the latest monthly update another attempt to reduce the workload for developing new systems, or is the emphasis more on fidelity? How do you intend things given that so many "knobs" that you could otherwise tweak are embedded into the physics simulation?     TD: This guy definitely has some good questions. The answer to that question is both. In the same way that the damage system on the ships was introduced so that it would perform better, looks better and takes less work, the physically based damage of projectiles will reduce the workload (once everything is converted). Right now we're putting in arbitrary values for damages etc and trying to base those values on what we think should happen, where once this is introduced everything should make more sense relative to everything else. It also makes it so that the barrels for different ammunition types will have to match etc. Yes we do intend to tweak just as many and the same knobs, but they'll be a part of the physics simulation instead, changing density, size etc. They just come now with physics based names rather than arbitrary "damage" values.    DV: And they can be called meaningful things, like if you want it to be depleted uranium ammunition...     TD: And any changes would be standardised across ships, so if weapons are the same they'll FEEL the same, which is the cool part! If you make something a real physically based system, what comes from that are game elements that feel right to the player. That's what makes this such an important thing. AND it's easier. So.     KeyserSose Asks: How is the upgrade system going to work on ships? Say I have an Avenger, does each ship come with a level on the subsystems like it does on the Power Plant or weapons? Will each ship have different levels of targeting system, coolers etc...? Give us a brief rundown on them and how they might vary between variants. I would assume the Freelancer Mis might have a higher targeting system size than the Freelancer Max etc...     TD: This is something we already see, like the 300i lineup. The 325 has a better targeting computer so it'll lock onto targets quicker for its missiles etc. The Aurora LN has better cooling, so it'll dump heat (without a sump). We definitely do this on a default component basis. That said I think the question was also about whether we have a size 1,2,3 size CPU like we do shield generators etc, and to that I say absolutely. The idea is that the larger the CPU you have the more data it handles coming through in a given time. It may be that the avionics unit itself has a certain size, so you might be able to put a new motherboard or something with more slots for things like targetting computers etc, and how many slots that takes up etc. There will be a level of customisation under the hood that you'll be able to tweak and change. It is a bit odd that larger CPUs handle larger amounts of data etc, when in modern times CPUs are getting smaller and smaller.     DV: We ignore Moore's Law.     TD: Yes! Every 8 years OUR CPUs actually get slower.     tommytrain {Archilele} Asks: Can you describe the game design pipeline for setting ship top speeds? Are current values setby cryengine limitations, fidelity, bugs and are you attempting to change this in engine? Will relative ship values get rebalanced at progressive intervals? Should we not expect to see values ever topping 500m/s?     TD: Yes, 500m/s at one point was a cryengine limitation, but it probably won't be once we finish moving to the 64bit float system. The question is do we want to. Do I see a need for something to travel faster than 500 m/s in normal space-flight travel? One of the ideas that's been floating around is for every ship to be limited to a speed with a realistic explanation, is that each ship is designed to perform within an envelope up to that 500 m/s. Everything in that envelope is governed by accelleration. So maybe it's 300 m/s. You might be able to reach that in, say, 10s. Then when you push out beyond that, you can really only move in a straight line (mostly) because your thrusters are so weak they can't do much to change your velocity, and your ability to accelerate up to that 500m/s falls off dramatically after you reach the edge of your envelope. That was one of the ideas, which makes the game about acceleration rather than just flat out speed. We'll see what happens!   Usual thanks and Extro!   [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 41 (video/Reddit/INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris Empire Report – No Empire Report this week. Around the ‘Verse – Free-fly for racing ships ends tomorrow. – Go to the forums, let them know what ships we want to fly next. – Alpha 1.1.2 has a tutorial mode, sets the stage for Star Marine. – Lots of backend work going into this – they’re getting the servers ready, and there’ll be another stress test in the future. – Tutorial mode is great.  Teaches new backers how to fly. – Happy Birthday, Ben! The Spectrum: Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick with Eric Kieron Davis – Eric is a new Senior Producer – Working on Shotgun implementation in the studio. – Shotgun is a resource management tool for ships and such. – Ploughing ahead with the Hull series; Calix is working on it, and it should be showcasable soon. – That’s it for this week. Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt – They’ve been focusing on Sataball a lot lately because it’s the proving ground for everything they’re doing with zero-g movement. – Working on a lot of weapon balance – firing, breathing, things like that.  Now they’re refactoring the CryEngine hint system?  Helped Recoil go a certain way.  Cry-Engine’s old system had recoil be pretty set in its motions.  It’s a dated system for doing recoil, so they’re rewriting that.  They’ll be doing a more ‘modern’ system.  Finding out what works best, but it’s being worked on. – Audio system will be switching from FMOD to Wwise, which will allow a much better-sounding soundscape in FPS, and in the game as a whole.  Reverberations, echoes, etc… will be really cool. – That’s it for this week. Austin – Jake Ross and Brian Brewer – lead animator – Animation team are currently reworking the male skeleton to fit better with motion capture, especially the data from Imaginarium. – Almost finished, getting ready to retarget the 2000+ animations in-game already. – Working on ‘Grabby Hands’, the ability to go somewhere, pick something up, move it, put it down, then pick up what you put it down on… you can literally open up a crate, look at stuff, put it in the crate, put the crate in your ship, fly to another system, and then open the crate and it’ll be in there. – With Grabby Hands, we’ll be able to decorate our hangars and move stuff around. CIG UK – Lee Banyard and Stefan Rutherford – Recently went down to a place called Pinewood Studios, a world-famous post-production facility (mostly for movies, but also for games). – While there, they were coming up with sounds for FPS.  Sounds for armour types and such. – They’ve done sounds for a bunch of different characters; for the heavy marine, they shook some metal lugs to make a sound for the heavy plate armour. Thick hockey gear was also involved somehow. – Working a lot on gun sounds as well, setting them up in Wwise – They’re hoping to put a lot of detail into the environments.  Guns are so loud they sound different depending on where they’re fired, so they’ll be capturing the sounds of guns in lots of environments. 10:45 – Fan AC video Subscriber’s Corner – Flair update from Behaviour – With Christine Marsh and Dave Richard (Chelsea said David, but if I write David, I have to take a shot). – Christine Marsh is the Lead UI Designer at Behaviour, Dave Richard is the lead Game Designer at Behaviour – Fan questions: - Helig asks: There are some really interesting hangar flair pieces.  Do you decide what hangar flair pieces get created?  If so, where does the inspiration come from? – Lots come from teamwork with CIG, some ideas come from the forums and such.  Inspiration comes from all over the place.  Behaviour devs have hangars too, so it’s things they think of that they want to see in their hangars. – Vox R asks: What methods do you use to create the in-game flairs?  In the case of ships, are they just scaling down already existing models, or are there modifications so they fit? – The Hangar flair dev process: Design figures out what they’ll make.  Once that’s done, it’s sent to concept, who do some sketches.  Then that’s sent to the art team, and they develop the models.  When it comes to the mini ships, the art team does an optimization pass, reduces polys, reduces texture sizes, shrinks it to a miniature size, removes the interiors, etc… – They’re then placed inside the cases, to make sure the design doesn’t stray from the original design.  Then there’s a lighting pass and it’s released. – Also, with flairs, they can sometimes be ahead of the curve in terms of what’s in the universe.  Behaviour are currently designing the Xi’An flair, and they have to make sure it fits in universe in the future as well.  Apparently the Xi’An planet is very cool. – Steve Hunter asks: Of all the subscriber flair stuff you have worked on, what was the most fun for you, or the most satisfying? – Dave has a couple: The locker was fun and had a big payoff.  It’s fun to see that the community tries to find the secrets (there are some we haven’t found yet).  The Takuetsu ship models, and the fiction around the company and the boxes are also fun.  Also the liquor cabinet.  We can’t see it yet, but once we get mobiGlas, there’s lore built up around each of the spirits, and it was an achievement to build the flair, there were lots of mechanics that didn’t exist before they built it. – Christine’s favourite is the fish tank.  She likes the space crab.  The whole process of how it developed, asking what an alien space crab would look like, was pretty cool. – Gahrian asks: What are the limits for the flairs?  I understand it should be fairly easy (not time-consuming) to make them, but do you have specific limits? – There are definitely limits.  The more flairs they add, the more of an impact there is on performance. – The art team are very talented – they keep things at the minimum for performance, while maintaining the quality needed. – theyarecomingforyou asks: In the future, when some people have hundreds, possibly thousands, of flair items, how will that be handled with regards to performance?  If there is a limit will users be able to customize which items do and do not show in-game? – Dave – That’s an interesting question, and we’ve been talking about the Room system for a while.  We’re working on it, and it’ll be coming in the future.  When it comes, you’ll be able to add rooms, pick up flair, move it from room to room, so there’s no real limit here.  The fact that you can place them how you want, it’ll create a good dynamic, and mean there shouldn’t be limits. - Next month’s subscriber flair preview – A new collection – the Pugliese? collection (Okay, I owe Behaviour another shot I think).  You’ll have a piece of Illis, a planet destroyed by its moon.  The collection is all sorts of space ‘oddities’ that you can collect and add to your hangar. 18:15 Ben and Sandi – Sandi can’t wait to get her space plant. – She wants more than one space plants.  A whole row of space plants. And now, a talk on Game Balance: Matt Sherman, Technical Designer, and Mark Abent, Gameplay Programmer – Matt – We’re here to talk about our plans for a physically-based damage system.  One of the issues with balance right now, all of the components and weapons are hand-tuned values.  We need to make sure the damage system is as physics driven and real as the rest of our ships.  To do that, we’re shifting over to a physically-based damage system.  So, Mark, what’s that going to mean for, what each shot’s becoming now? – Mark – As Matt was saying, before, all of the damage was, ‘we’re going to make this this and this’ – no reason, it just felt right.  Now, bullets are kinetic energy.  Depending on how fast they’re going and the mass, that’ll be the damage.  So if you have a 9mm and you’re shooting a Hornet, the Hornet’s gonna brush it off.  If you shoot another Hornet at a Hornet, it’ll recognize something it it.  And how fast you shoot that second Hornet at the first Hornet will determine if it just bumps it, or if it bursts it into a million pieces. – Mark – We’re also doing something with energy weapons, where it’s not based solely on velocity, but it’s also based on the energy density of the projectile.  That means these projectiles when they hit, they won’t lose their damage when they slow down, but you get some interesting properties with those.  Shields will treat them differently.  Kinetic will pass through shields, maybe slow down, but energy will hit the shield, and get absorbed more. – Matt – Getting to clean it all up is going to be nice.  They’re going from a bunch of abstract values on things to a nice, clean, unified system where everything plays together.  A ballistic weapon – you’ll be looking at what the mass of the shot is, and at how fast the shot goes, and that’s going to be the big thing you’re looking at to find the force you’re using to shoot the ship.  For an energy weapon, it’ll be the power consumed per shot, and the heat generated, to create that force, so you’ll easily be able to know what’s causing your weapons to behave differently, but now on a nicer, physics driven system. – Matt – Thanks for sitting with us for this quick look at our new physics based system. – Mark – Hope you guys enjoyed that talk, and we hope to have a post up on it soon. 22:15 Ben and Sandi – Working on balance for Star Citizen is one of the most important things they do.  It’s a constant evolution.  They see all the threads of Joystick vs. MKB, Hornet vs. Aurora, ‘never accept the current patch’. It’s going to be different. Bugsmashers – Something about Jar Jar Binks.  ‘Meesa so bugsy’. – Bug in 1.1.1a for the turrets.  They’d randomly be rotated towards an asteroid or another player or something.  Couldn’t get them to focus on your targets. – Somehow, turrets were getting a remote entity telling them where to look. – Uninitialized variables are bad.  One little slip up will cause chaos, and they’re fun to track down.  Now there are mandatory code reviews though, which should stop these bugs happening in the future. 28:15 – Another Fan Video 28:50 Talk about Animation with Lance Powell – supervising art director, and Steve Bender – Animation Director. – Lance – We’re going to have a quick conversation about you!  What do you do exactly? – Steve – Every day I come into work and I wonder that exact question.  I direct animation, which means that, so, I was just in England for about 3 weeks directing motion capture.  We shot the mocap for stocked rifle, heavy rifle characters, for the Vanduul, for PU actions, things within Terra and the ArcCorp bar.  Some cool things with the shooters on aircraft carriers that fire off jets.  Once I’m done with that, I come back and do the selects, those get fired off to mocap studios and when they come back to us, I work with the team on implementing those animations.  One of the actions we’re working on for FPS is jukes, so we get solid weight shifts between how characters move one direction to the other.  In a typical FPS, that shift is almost instantaneous.  We want to slow things down, get a more realistic feel, so we’re getting that with those jukes. – Lance – So this is what you’re doing to up the animation side for both the FPS and PU.  What other things do you have coming down the pipe? – Steve – We’re working on AC ship enters and exits.  We took all the ships in the game and built them on set.  It was hard to get the thrusters working (jokes).  We actually had three different types of enters.  A normal enter, where you’re just getting into your ship.  We have a combat enter, where you’re scrambling units, and we have an emergency enters and exits.  You’d use this if you were standing there and you turn around, and there’s a horde of Vanduul chasing you, it’s time to go.  Or if you’re in the plane and it’s on fire, and it’s about to explode, it’s time to get out. – Lance – Can you talk about the performance you’ve captured in the past, and how is it different from the stuff you’re doing for CIG? – Steve – In the past we captured primarily things concerned, in previous games, with police / military actions, and they’re all human.  For the stuff we’re doing with CIG, we still have the military angle for this, and we hired some military gentlemen to come in and perform it for us, but we’re also mocapping aliens, so there’s a particular look that Chris was looking for, and that we worked together on pre-vising this on set with an actor, and we came to something that we thought was really solid for the Vanduul. – Spaceships.  All the stuff in ships is new to me.  I’ve done some minor flight control before, but just the sheer size of some of these ships and the things you can do in them is completely a new concept.  As well, in the PU, in previous projects, one of the things I always tried to get in is this aspect that these aren’t AI – they’re enemy characters.  They have lives, they have names, before he showed up with his gun, his name might have been Bob.  He had an argument with his wife, he put on his uniform, he comes out, and you shoot him, which is kind of uncool. – Lance – It’s very uncool.  It’s like the guys that worked on the Death Star, when that gets blown up.  What about all those personal contractors? – Steve – *laughs* – Lance – I’m not Steve Bender, animation director at CIG. – Steve – And I’m not sure if I am either, but we’ll see you next time. 34:24 Outro and Sneak Peek – Gamescom tickets are available, but there’re only a handful left, so get them while you can. – Gonna be a great event.  Lots of people, lots of stuff to show – it’s gonna be good. – Hats are here – snap-back and velcro will be available starting tomorrow in the pledge store. - Team is hard at work on 1.1.2, which will go to PTU first, but no date yet. – Hull series hitting the store tomorrow.  5 ships, the entire series, from the A to the E.  All details tomorrow. – Forget everything you’ve heard about space transports, these are something different. – There’ll also be a design post on Cargo from the design team. Sneak Peek – What’s that spaceship? – I don’t know.  But tune in to RtV to find out? [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 44 (video/Reddit/INN) [spoiler] – Lots of people on the show today.  Jenny, James, Travis, Disco Lando, hopefully a Ben soon too. – CIG will never change.  Nothing works the first time around for them.  It’s awesome.  They did something wrong, and are re-starting the Twitch stream. – Sneak peek on AtV was one of the Hull series. – The smaller the Hull ship is, the more likely it will be flying sooner.  Small ones are easier to make and require less in terms of upcoming tech. – Lisa Ohanian focusing on streamlining production on ships. (Works with art teams) – Lisa’s favourite ship she can’t talk about… they had to edit it out of her previous interview. – Lisa really likes the Genesis Starliner and the Crucible – Lisa’s goal is to “make stuff happen faster”, looking to optimize processes. – A lot of the current weapon issues are being cleaned up, new physically-based damage in the works. – Lando: Stop sending candy and stuff, send new chairs. – Hull series will first be seen tomorrow when the sale goes up tomorrow. *Half-Hour Point* – A lot of the minutiae of weapons being examined currently. – A stats page update including updates to components for ships will be coming in the near future (few weeks) – Projectiles have mass, have a base velocity, but the barrel of your gun can adjust the escape velocity.  All sorts of great physics-y things. – Zane has had his artwork in Pacific Rim, the show Eureka, other places too.  Lots of TV and Movie people use his stuff.  Sometimes with credit, sometimes without. – Aurora HUD work-in-progress. – 2D Radar is functional, but there’s no screen space available for it yet. – Org 2.0 is not at the top of Turbluent’s plate right now.  It’s going to take longer than you’d like, but sooner than you’d guess. – Disco Lando met Billy D Williams.  Ben, Alexis and him went to the Star Wars celebration. – Ship Updates: – Starfarer in greybox including textures and the like. – Caterpillar has not begun the modelling process. – Merchantman will be a while.  Hasn’t started the modelling process yet. – Freelancer, Constellation, Cutlass, Retaliator the focus currently. – Constellation is on track. – Idris is a Frigate, there’s no new Corvette planned yet. – Bengal – Travis won’t say if it will appear in SQ42 episode 1.  It will be in SQ44 (joke) *37 minutes* – They’re arguing about Mario Kart now. – The Xi’An Volper, probably won’t see it for sale.  It appears in other parts of the game, in the PU and such, but it’s a full XI’An AI piloted ship. – Helmets will not have neck seals.  The suits themselves will have the Gorget. – Ben and Sandi have arrived. – Collaboration between studios is going really well.  As releases are getting closer, there are a lot more inter-team meetings.  Lots of syncing up on what issues need to be fixed on a daily basis.  Right now it’s biweekly, as release comes closer it’ll be triweekly, and then right before release it’ll be daily. – There’s a big gun in FPS, a cluster bomb that gets fired from a launcher? – HOTAS – contract has not been signed yet.  Sandi sounded sad. – More on weapons – will ammunition constraints make projectile weapons niche things? – No – right now energy weapons are more powerful than they should be.  How much power they take, and heat the make, isn’t in line with physical weapons yet.  That’ll be cleaned up.  People will want to use them.  If nothing else, they pierce shields, so you’re doing damage to the target, not the shields. – The Herald is in the greybox phase – final phases of being modeled.  Will probably see it sooner than you think. – Any base package will likely require a ship, so you can get around places.  No FPS only package planned right now.  But never say never. – Personal weapons will work on ships, and there will be EMP type weapons. *45 minutes* – There are eight people on RtV now. – Banu Merchantman bigger cargo capacity than A or B, but smaller than C, D, and E. – Pretty close to the C.  ‘numbers haven’t been divided by four yet’  Hints on the Hull layout? – SATABall has replaced the Team Elimination game in the Astro Arena – It has replaced the team elimination game mode in Astro Arena – Crossbow will not be in release.  There’s concept art for it, but that’s it. – What prevents people from using emergency exits all the time (reference to this weeks AtV) – Generally no, it’s not just about the player, it’s also about the AI as well.  Think SQ42. *50 minutes* – What players can do with the emergency animations is still TBD – How many Hulls will fit in the hangar? “Well, the Hulls have interesting states… so more than you might think.” – Turbulent is doing most of the Web UI, not Zane. – Localized game servers won’t be available as soon as we’d like, but with the FPS module we’ll be getting a full rewrite of the matchmaking service (and other back-end stuff).  It’ll also probably get a deeper dive. – CIG partnered with Google on network services.  Possible CIG could get players not closely located geographically playing together with reasonable pings by using Google’s black fiber network. – The back-end writes – something else that’ll be revealed with the FPS module, there’ll be a new version of the launcher / patcher, which should hopefully resolve lots of issues people have been having.  This is also delaying FPS a bit, but it will all be good. – Wonderful World of Star Citizen is taking a break but will be back in May with new segments. – Sataball will be in the first iteration of the FPS module. – FPS game modes – Gold Horizon is 8v8, sataball is 16v16.  Still working on network issues and framerate issues, but it should be possible. – CIG is a little over halfway through the backend rewrite. – All of the character models for FPS dating back to PAX Australia, they’ve all been updated.  New helmets, new helmet interiors, new animations. – Galactapedia is planned to be on the website.  In game, it’ll probably be a feature of mobiGlas. – Active request from the mods – if anyone wants to be a bug mod, there’s an opening that.  PM Tiberius from the website. – Hull sale tomorrow in the late evening (AKA an undisclosed time). – No one has guessed yet the design of the Hull series. – Hats on sale tomorrow. – If you’re interested in streaming after RtV, contact Jenny. - That’s it for this week. [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Meet The Devs: Lisa Ohanian (via RSI) Simpod development images now in Subscriber vault. Star Citizen Caps for sale! (via RSI)   Lore Updates Clean Shot: Nexus Comm Trap (via RSI) Galactic Guide: Vega System (via RSI)   Happening right now / real soon HULL SERIES (A-E) SALE UNTIL FOR THE NEXT WEEK. Ver 1.1.2 (FPS MODULE) expected who knows when, confirmed it will be on PTU before release. Multiplayer is still partially borked, but it's getting better (FPS probably won't happen until this is 100%)
  14. Summary for week ending on April 17 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable         Racing Ship Week! (via RSI) Greetings Citizens, For the next week all of the racing focused ships are free to fly! If you have the Need For Speed this is for you. Be careful not to Burnout as you fly by your competitors in a Blur. The ships available for free flight the next week include: The Origin Jumpworks M50 The Origin Jumpworks 350r The Consolidated Outland Mustang Gamma These free fly weeks provide valuable testing metrics so we can continue to build this game together. Thank you citizens for the continued support and dedication. Go for the Murray Cup!         Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen) 10 For the Designers ( video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Nocturnal Nick   Usual Designer intro and Thanks   Calix Reneau (CR) and Matthew Sherman (MS) are here to answer your questions!   – On to the Questions! –   The_Vigilant_One Asks: What kind of experience does the design team have in maintenance that you are able to use in designing a repair system? How important is the repair system when designing a ship? How in-depth will ship engineer gameplay be?   CR: The first half is easy, I have none. But thanks to our backers and world spanning team I have loads of reference and people that I ask about how repair works in the real world. I’m the one that’s doing the design for field repairs. MS: What are some of the things that you’re using as a reference? CR: In terms of actual gameplay loop, there is actually some good ground tread already, and we have some military folks to bring it back into reality. The loops that I’m looking at are more built around having small discrete actions, but having a wide variety of those. Any given problem will be dynamic and different to solve, and players will have a lot to react to. It won’t be a big deal actually accomplishing a repair, but the difficulty lies in looking for what needs repairing and how to do it. I’m takng cues from Car Mechanic Simulator 2014, which came out at the perfect time for inspiration, as well as trauma centre. So these are really simple interactions, but layered such that they’re interesting and complex. I’ve also been taking cues from Penumbra, the direct interaction with the world and with the objects that you’re plugging back into your war-torn vessel. So that’s how repair is going, we’ve actually got a pretty cool prototype of that going at the moment, and hopefully we can sneak that one out pretty soon.     Solo Asks: I have heard and read a lot that the principle game mechanic is based on the individual skill of a person (dogfighting, mining, FPS) so I was wondering how are people able to play and enjoy the game who are mentally and/or physically challenged. In other MMOs they are able to “level” their characters which helps them being able to enjoy more of the content even in the confinement of their own abilities. I would love to know that Star Citizen is also supporting those citizens that already have a hard time socializing or participating in social events. Are there plans to support this group of citizens and if so, how do you think their unique requirements can be met in the game.   MS: One of the biggest things that we have right now to help with these conditions is our level of support of input devices. If you want to play with a KB/M, or Joystick, Gamepad, and full remapping. If people have challenges with accessibility, they’ll be able to remap and program their controllers (whatever they may be) to work with Star Citizen. CR: And also, one of the core elements of Star Citizen is having these specialisation roles, so anytime we’re making a new system it’s about how deep can you go, and how deep do you have to go. In general that answer is you can go really deep, but you don’t have to. Like, if you don’t want to fly a ship, you don’t have to, we have a full FPS game, and based on your playstyle and needs as a player, I think that philosophy of focussing on specialisation over a traditional progression system will mean people find a role that challenges them and enjoy at whatever level. If it’s a repair mechanic, or turrets, or shields, or comms etc. All these things.     Squirrel Asks: I was curious about some aspects of gameplay with multi-crewed ships. Will the pilot be able to “shutdown/restart” individual engines while in flight? For example, if one was piloting a Constellation on a long exploration trip would it be possible to shutdown two of the main engines. Allowing the Constellation to cruise on the remaining two engines to conserve fuel, and then if needed the pilot could restart two cold engines to engage in the flight?   CR: Yes. That’s the entire point of multicrew, taking the flight game and splitting it among multiple people encouraging teamwork. A consequence of that is that not everyone has access to all of a ship’s systems, and not everyone NEEDS access to all of a ship’s systems. That way a player has a lot more granularity/ability in an individual ship system. For example, with shields and radar, those controls will have a lot more ability to dig into exact what they’re doing when they don’t have to worry about weapons/targeting/not crashing. MS: If your shields get shot up, or your weapons do, we’re going to have to give you some way of managing that within the ship, and yeah turning those systems off/turning off different engines, rerouting power etc, that’ll all be possible.     Milton Friedman Asks: A question regarding the over clocking system: In SWG we could “experiment on” the items we crafted to get a better design for that item. This resulted in people being able to make a better version of that item. Through this system people would become the best crafters on a server and would become server celebrities. People would say “go to this person for the best armor” or “go to that person for the best plasma blaster.” Is their something similar planned for over clocking or production in Star Citizen?   CR: This is something that CR has brought up in meetings since I started here. That idea of being able to strike out and make a name for yourself in-game and doing it well, yes absolutely. The mechanics are still being determined with how that’ll be expressed, but yes, the idea is there. MS: The biggest difference we’ll have over something like SWG or a traditional MMO is that instead of having a weapon smith skill or an armor-making skill is it’ll really be more about how much stuff have you broken and tinkered with to get that skill. Very much like real-world computer overclocking, you’ll occasionally break something, but once you’ve really mastered how to make those parts to what you want, you can definitely make a name for yourself. CR: The goal is to try to balance a certain amount of art and science to get that exact amount of overclock performance without burning out an item too quickly.     Z R Asks: I’ve seen a few posts complaining about strafe fighting. Has there been any thought in observing aerodynamics in an nebula, to a point that strafe dog-fighting would be nerfed? With denser clouds of gas, any movement other then provided by main engines would not be enough to dodge to the side fast enough. So people who expect space combat to be “full throttle” dog fighting could still have some fun.   CR: The heart of the question is, does the environment affect flight. It doesn’t yet, but it’s absolutely intended to. Not to the extent atmospheric flight, but more things that’ll effect player behaviour. So if you’re flying through an ion storm you might have issues with your power-plant, or flying through a nebula that’s highly volitile, and using your thrusters too much it could blow up around you. So yes, we are looking at having it affect flight mechanics directly, the much more immediately attainable examples of this would be things that affect players flight and decisions based on that. MS: I think one of the best ways to think of this is the end of Star Trek 2, when they’re fighting Kahn in a nebula, they’re still flying normally but having to make considerations for the environment around them, which changes the tactics and gameplay a lot.     smallcaps Asks: Are we able to use the redundant systems on the Vanguard interchangeably on-the-fly? A Vanguard could be configured with low emission shields and power plant, with the secondary system configured for high performance and combat. Or possibly having both splash and direct damage shields installed, so one could change configurations mid-mission phase. thanks!   CR: This is an interesting one that you can answer, because CR was the one that did the Vanguard, and Matt was the one who did the shields, so you’re in a good position to answer it! MS: Yeah, in short, absolutely. For the exact mechanics of it that’s still being worked out, but on the idea of splash damage and direct damage shields, one of the coolest things to do with it would be putting the full force of the direct damage shield to the front of your ship, and the splash shield to the back, so if you’re doing a strafing run in on a capital ship, you’ve got the protection against their big guns on the front, and missiles from the guys chasing you on the back. CR: The Vanguard is definitely built to be versatile, the redundancy it has allows you to make decisions and combinations that you couldn’t with other similarly sized ships, at the cost of component sizes. That will be able to play in any direction you want, either you have an extra component the same for added protection, or maybe another one that has different characteristics for more layers.     Rockglen Asks: If a pilot spots another ship will they be able to project the target’s vector and send that to other players? OR will we have to describe the target’s vector?   CR: I would love to hear you describe the target’s vector. It’s incredibly difficult in the 3D space we’re working with. That’s one of the things the Hornet Tracker is particularly well suited for. What’s described here is 2 different systems, there’s the targeting system and the comms system. The hornet tracker for example is very good at detecting and targeting other ships, then transmitting that information to your ship. So if you have this ship on your radar, and I do not, you can fix that. MS: Like you’re saying that with comms, if a hornet tracker has the advantage with detecting and tracking targets, it might not be the best with communicating that, so if there was an allied herald for example, that’ll be a much better communications ship, so you would want the tracker to send the info to the herald, then the herald sends its out to the rest of the fleet. Teamwork!     Rodan Asks: Is there a plan to get rid of the non immersion “USE” icon? If not, why? and if not, is there a plan to have an animation of the hand and finger pushing buttons?   MS: In short, yes, we definitely want to get this cleaned up to work much better, and at the very least/barebones, change “USE” to tell you what you’re doing. Like if you’re opening a cockpit, or opening a canopy, lets tell you that. CR: That “USE” prompt is pretty deeply ingrained into cry-engine, it’ll take a lot of work to get that worked out and replace it with another system. I was following up on this recently and was really surprised to hear how difficult this particular use button is going to be. We have a few designs of what might replace it, though nothing is set in stone yet, we’re playing around with it. One of the obvious issues with the current system is that it doesn’t even localise. In the French version for example it still says “USE”! I don’t know what USE is in French, but I feel like we could do better. Everything is animated, so I’d expect to see the player doing animations that interact with objects in the world. That’s one of those things, we have this working in a vacuum, it’s yet to be seen how this will work when we put it all together. I’d definitely like to see that use-key changed.     Corrin Avatan Asks: Say I find a derelict or something that has a lot of value, but it is beyond my abilities to “take it all home”, so to speak. How long will that derelict “persist” in the universe, for me to sell the position data to another player, without them hauling out there, only to find that it’s gone/that instance is closed?   MS: Right now we’re still getting the exact details of our salvaging system worked out, but in short, if you find a big prize you’ll be able to take advantage of that somehow. Be sending a call out to friends and having them bring a big ship into your instance, or maybe a couple of hours could pass by and you’d still be able to get your friend into that instance to start salvaging, or if it’s repairable, bring something into fix the derelict up and take it home! CR: There are still a lot of questions at the moment about when servers will be told to spool up or close particular instances. It’ll be difficult to play this kind of thing before we work that out, so it’s definitely a priority.     FeenixRising Asks: Will there be a system implemented that assists with formations? Like in Freelancer, you could form up and jump at the same time with other ships, and be locked into an escort position when teamed up with a capital ship.   CR: This is another one of those really timely questions, I was just talking with John Pritchett a few days ago about something similar, picking a flight leader and making them your IFCS’s relative point of reference. So when they move your IFCS will track that and move to accommodate. It will require a friendly IFCS handshake, so you won’t be able to use this to make dogfighting disappear. What it will do though is allow you to make complicated flying formations by moving only relative to your squadmate, rather than relative to the universe. I’m sure that’ll make reacting to the universe difficult, but we have a fairly broad spectrum of exactly how it’s handling that frame of reference, which is something we’re looking to try fairly soon to see how the game handles it. MS: Formations are an interesting thing, especially with something as big as SC taking into true 3D space and managing all those positions at once. CR: Even to the point of being able to communicate formation. We had a proposal for just having “here are my wingmen spots” so you know where to fly in order to fly with me, so you can work together a little more. It’s all some the immersive things that come about because of our simulated systems. I’m all for the “just try it” attitude!   Extro and Thanks   A HUGE thanks as always to our friend /u/Nocturnal_Nick for providing INN with his transcripts!   [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 40 (video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris   Around the ‘Verse 40 Empire Report – Last month’s slave-ring bust has hundreds of captives returning to their homes. – Could an outer-system be the next real estate must-have? – Navy Ship surplus may mean it’s the perfect time to buy a ship. Around the ‘Verse – $79 million – congratulations, everyone! – Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 is out, and it’s what we’re officially calling it now.  Chris’ Letter from the Chairman from last Friday explains the new naming system.  1.1.1 also includes basic multicrew – If you land on a platform in free-flight, you can get out and man the turret of another ship.  People have gotten as many as 3 or 4 people into cutlasses as well. – Pick up a Super hornet or Gladiator this weekend as well. – People are asking a lot about gameplay balance, REC balance, and Auroras.  None of it is final; it will swing back and forth as they go forward. – Design Post on FPS breathing – the idea of having to think about breathing when you’re firing weapons is great. 3:00 – Spectrum Dispatch Santa Monica – with Darian Vorlick and Lisa Ohanian – Finishing the concept on the Hull series.  It’s the next concept sale we’ll be seeing. – Finishing up their character pipeline, making sure that, as things are gearing up towards character creation, things look awesome.  Working on concepts for citizens of Terra: Upper class, middle class, sub-cultures, etc… – Arena Commander: Before they start releasing 1.2 (which is the FPS patch) there’s an ‘in between’ patch, which will be 1.1.2, so many numbers.  1.1.2 will introduce the Tutorial, but it’s also a lot of setup for the FPS.  1.1.1 released some multi-crew tech, and now they’re fine-tuning that, refining it, making sure it can get done right for the PU. – I’m Ron Burgundy?  Stay classy, Star Citizen fans. Denver – with David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt – No Travis today. – Sataball – they’ve mentioned it a few times.  It’s a zero-g sporting mode that will be in the FPS.  Involves grappling hooks, zero-g movement, a ball you have to put in a goal, etc… – Right now they’re mostly done the pre-vis for zero-g movement animations.  Chris liked most of the movement.  More updates are being done to pre-vis some other mechanics, but for the most part everything looks great. – now they’re chopping that up, helping with the coding tasks, starting to really playtest the Sataball mode to see how it feels.  Other programmers that could be doing this are working hard on FPS, so both are being done. – Network profiling – working on getting better network performance.  Lots of discussions with other studios to find out how to maximise things, lots of problems on the FPS have been isolated, and fixes will be rolled out over the next two weeks. – More on Sataball – an animator has been pre-vising a ‘crumple jump’.  This should allow you to, in zero-g, when you’re floating towards an object, twist around so your feet are facing the object.  Then when you hit, you jump off in another direction you want.  Looking good – it’ll probably be implemented soon. – Chris has also asked for some tweaks to colours and sizes – colours are looking great, and the sataball has been sized down from a giant beachball to something more manageable for players. Austin – with Jake Ross, Patrick Thomas, Mark Skelton, Cort Soest, Ian Leyland. – Environment Summit going on right now in Austin, hoping to get environments out.  Review done. – Making sure the roadmap to build environments for the PU, SQ42, and FPS are all following the same system.  Because they’re spread out over continents, you don’t get good communication sometimes with emails and skype.  They’re sitting together, making sure everyone’s on the same page. – Environments are quite complex, and they’re making sure all environment sets that are being created are being created the same.  This’ll help them get the most out of each set. – SQ42 is in UK, PU is in Austin, so it’s a good chance to see what everyone’s working on. – Illfonic and Behaviour will be going to the Environment Summit later this week as well. UK – Michael Dalston – Just joined the QA team.  Brand new employee. – They’ve been monitoring the RSI forums extensively since the release of 1.1.1. – Austin QA and Dev Ops have been working really well together.  Steve Brennan, from the UK, has been going through the subreddit and watching Twitch streams, to make sure CIG can get to the bottom of all the issues. – It looks like the server is allowing more players into the game than the rules will allow, which causes tons of problems. – There’s no ‘greater chance’ of getting into Dying Star than Broken Moon.  That’s a Red Herring. – Don’t be put off by any of this!  It’s still possible to play, and SC is still very early days. – Some positive and negative feedback, but it’s all helpful, so keep giving them questions and feedback. – Majority of QA testing has been moved to the Tutorial aspect of AC.  They’ve been running through test cases, making sure it gets into a ‘complete’ state.  It’s been exciting to see it grow from a buggy mess to something that’s playable now. – You get to interact with your first NPC in the Tutorial.  Follow his directions.  Or else. – FPS module – Lots of testing over the last few weeks.  They’re getting lots of cross-CIG matches going. – Praise the Sun. AC Video – Video showing the Asteroid Hangar in Dying Star. 15:00 – Darian Vorlick interviewing Lisa Ohanian – She’s the new Production Coordinator. - How you doing, Lisa? – I’m doing well, how are you? - *silence* - We’re working on 1.2, and it’s pretty intense.  We just released 1.1, and we’re pretty glad it’s out the door, so now… you’ve been on Around the ‘Verse with me a couple times already, and there’ve been people asking who this new Production Coordinator is, where did she come from, how did she suddenly just appear on camera, so, why don’t we start by telling our backers and players a little about you?  What do you do here? – So, I am a production coordinator.  Right now I’m the only producer on the art team, which is a little scary, but I think we have another one coming on soon, which is nice.  The majority of my day tends to be, I do a lot of work with our art outsourcers.  Making sure we’re all on the same page with what we’re doing at CIG, and what we need approvals for.  Keeping track of approvals for ships, for characters, for, anything art related, really, to make sure that all the art producers and coordinators and Chris Roberts, that they all like the direction that we’re going, really.  I also help keep track of the character pipeline, which is undergoing a lot of work right now, as you know, you’re laughing.  And the ship pipeline as well, for art. - So, up until recently, that’s been shared – not just with other offices, but kind of haphazardly.  We had an outsourcing manager before, and after that individual left, we were left with a lot of balls up in the air, as far as who’s doing what work, where are we at, so you’ve also taken on the scheduling for our ships.  So how do you think that’s going to help us releasing our ships? – I think it’s going to be really helpful to have all of that in one place, because we do have certain parts of certain ships that we will give to outsourcers.  And if you don’t have the same person on the same page with where things are coming from, it’s hard to know how to slot them into our schedule.  For example, the ship box schedule that you’ve seen, where we sort of ballpark out all the phases of development and who’s going to get what, and what’s going to this person – it’s a lot easier if you have a sense of where people are coming from, because if I’m looking at how I need to move certain things around, I can say, well, we can’t give this guy more time because his contract ends this day, and he’s unavailable for a while, or knowing the strengths of different contractors and how we can give them certain things, switch them between different pipelines sometimes, so it’s useful to have that knowledge of where all the pieces are coming from when you’re determining how to move them around at a later stage in the game. - So that block schedule that you’ve inherited, created by Alex – it’s important that we have this because it’s a much more efficient way of tracking what we have now.  As a producer, that’s exciting to us.  We get to organize everything.   – When Alex was handing it over to me, and this was only a few weeks back, and I was like, where’s the rest of it? And he went no no, I started this a few weeks ago. - So, what can you tell us about that schedule?  What exactly is it, how do you use it to keep track of everything? – So, there’s a lot of different fancy tabs, a lot of different stuff in it, a lot of it inherited from Alex, a lot created by myself.  The two big ones are the backlog, and the actual schedule itself.  So, when we know, for example, we need a new ship.  I’ll go into the backlog, and I know all the different phases the ship has to go through, from concept to when it’s flyable, and sort of a ballpark of how long each should take.  And of course, different ships take longer in one area or a different area, so I always try to take that into account.  I create all of these tasks in the backlog and then as soon as we get to a point in the schedule where we need to start planning what ships are coming down the pipeline next, I’ll take that, I’ll move it over to my big schedule tab on my giant Excel sheet.  The schedule tab is actually pretty simple once you learn how to read it – it’s actually just a list of all the different people that we have on different art stages, from concept to final pass to greybox, all of that.  I take those pieces and I put them under people’s names.  It sounds really simple, but if you don’t have something where you can see across the board 10 different people, what they’re working on at a certain time, you might not realise that this guy’s not going to be done something in time to give it to this guy, in order to hit the state here that we’re shooting for.  It sounds simple, but there’s a lot of value in something simple and easy to read, where you can see so many things at once. – That’s important to us as producers, because, making order from chaos.  It sounds like something so simple, but without out, where would we be? – You wouldn’t be surprised, cause you’re a producer too, but you’d be surprised how many times I will get curveballs just from seeing that.  We’re producers, we live by what our dates are, and what our milestones are, but not everyone does, so, you know this just as much as I do.  So I try to have a weekly meeting with a bunch of the stakeholders in the art pipeline, and just go through and say, ‘so is this what this person’s working on, do they need any more time, what will be good to put on their plate next depending on their bandwidth and their strengths and weaknesses.’ And you – the proverbial ‘you’ – would be surprised about how many times you get someone saying, ‘wait no, we can do that there because this is probably going to change, and this guy is going to be grounded by this whole other team to work on this for a while,’ and it seems really straightforward, but when you get in there and start looking at it, it can get pretty tricky. - Yeah, it’s pretty much a living, breathing document, and it’s incredibly valuable.  That brings me to another point: Outsourcing.  Not a lot of people know that we actually contract a lot of third party individuals, or even companies, to design a lot of our assets for us.  And that requires us to not only keep track of their progress, but pay them as well.  So I mean, I don’t think anyone wants to work for free.  So you take care of that as well. So what do you do with our outsource and third party companies? - So, one of the most important things is, I think, we do a lot of work with outside contractor, sometimes in the early stages.  The tricky part there, is we have a really high quality bar here, and Chris has a very specific vision, so you have to be very careful when you give things to outsiders to make sure they’re on the same page about what this ship is, what its function is, where it fits in the world, ‘cause it’s easy for them to go off and create something – we’ve had this situation before already, and it comes back and we’re like, ‘this is really cool, but this isn’t the kind of ship that would have guns, why are there so many guns on it?’ They don’t really take into account that this is the kind of game where people are going to be walking around inside of the ship.  And because it looks cool on the outside, when you’re on the inside, does it match up, does it make sense for what the ship is, does the scale match up?  So that very early stage is one of the most important, I think.  Again, also a lot of coordination, determining what people’s strengths are, finding out when they’re available, making sure that we have, I actually initiated this daily review system, for all of our outsourcers who are interested.  They have certain milestones where they have to deliver things, but we really want to be involved in the process, so I encourage them, I give them all their own specific FTP, and ask them, or offer to them, if you want to drop anything in there, we will look at it the next day.  So they know if they’re on the right track. - Right – I’ve actually seen a few of them.  And it’s important because, Chris has a very specific vision for this game, and because a lot of our outsourced artists, they don’t only work on this.  They work on special effects for movies, so, this leads into the next question.  This actually requires a lot of coordination with our design team as well.  People writing up design briefs, etc… How much of that communication are you involved in in a daily basis, with design and artists and outsourcers, just to make sure these ships come to fruition? – So, designers – like I said, right now I’m the only producer on the art team, so I try to let you handle the design things as much as possible.  But I do try to check in with them to make sure the function matches to what we’re doing, and that what we’re creating is something that you guys can work with later on.  So I do have a lot of check-ins with designers, but I try not to book large chunks of their time and dictate what they’re doing for the day. - That’s what I do! – That’s what you do.  So yeah, I do check in from time to time, but I try to keep that to a functional minimum.  That being said, once I have that information, I work a lot with our production design director, Rob, and I work with our art director, Lance, a lot.  To make sure that they all know what those goals are.  They’re invaluable because they have a really strong sense of Chris’ vision.  They can look at something and predict what he’s going to say, and predict where he’s going to think it fits in the universe, what kind of changes it’ll need, so a lot of times we’ll have our contractors – again, this is the ideal pipeline for this.  They create something, and they say ‘hey, this is due in a week, I hope it’s on the right track.’ They send it to us.  We have background information on it, from when we sent them the creative brief, we’ve got all of that design information.  I look at it with just Lance and Rob, we look over it, we send them feedback sometimes, and ask them to do something different, to try something new.  Or sometimes, if it’s good enough, we try to have periodic meetings with CR as well, so he can look over the things that have already had iteration, and that we think are something good for him to get his eyes on, so I work with everyone at different levels. - So, what’s the hottest thing you’re working on right now? – I think the coolest thing I’m working on right now is the character pipeline, because we’ve done a lot of work on it, but there’s still a lot of aspirations that we have for it as well.  So it’s really cool being in some of the early meetings, and seeing some of the things we thought went well, and changing our pipeline before we start, you know, cranking on it.  It’s also awesome because we’re just starting to get a lot of concept art for some of the characters.  Some of them are bigger characters, we’re getting a lot of Vanduul coming down the line, and there’s a lot of I find this really interesting, just character artwork from people on different planets, just people who are going to be around the planet, not necessarily a major character, and that is so interesting to me because as we’re refining that, i’m getting a much stronger sense of the worlds, and not just what they are on paper, their names, but what what their personality is, and that’s the cool thing to me right now. - If you think about it, we’ve got 900 years of future history, where every planet’s going to have its independent culture, its own independent sense of fashion and what’s the norm, so that’s a lot of creative stuff that people have to come up with. – And on that note, you’ve come up with a good point.  We don’t just have one style for all of our planets.  We have the regular class, the frontier people, the upper class, the counter culture, we have so many different sub personalities of every planet, and that’s the coolest thing to me probably because, the variety there makes it feel like it’s coming to life already. - I want to work on that. – well too bad. - So, Lisa, thank you for taking the time with us for this conversation.  So, once again, I’m Darian Vorlick – Lisa Ohanian. 28:20 – Ben and the CS team are being silly, pretending they’re a Star Trek crew. All part of more Sandi goes to Flight Training School. – Sandi wins.  Apparently. 31:26 – Ben will have his revenge in Space Marine – Gamescom tickets are still available, but they’re going fast. – It will be very fun, lots of people from the LA team, Sandi and Ben, James, lots of people. – Also Chris Roberts. – CitizenCon details will be available next month. – Shot a series of new Empire report segments, and some backers have asked if they can create the green-screen for the report. – Unlocking Racing ships this weekend.  Pick up a M50, 350r or Mustang Gamma, or unlock them with REC. – Let CIG know on the forums what ships we want them to unlock next time. – The AC footage added to the show is from backers, and you can submit your own on the forums. 33:35 – Sneak Peek – Character in armour in a T pose, rotating.  Character model looks great. [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 43 ( video / Reddit / INN ) [spoiler] Reverse the ‘Verse: Episode 43 Notes: Running the show today: Thomas Hennessy, Jenny Varner, James Pugh, Travis Day, Cherie Heiberg… too many to keep track of Ben, Alexis, Disco Lando aren’t around; they’re at a Star Wars celebration New Star Wars trailer! How is REC doing for ship testing? REC allows CIG to hold flash sales and steer testing in certain ways. They’re still working on balance, but the process is extremely beneficial – they use that info to test, and they can give incentives to use certain weapons find out why they’re underpowered. But the hard part is that no one using weak weapons, so those tend to get tested much less. Sword and crossbow will likely be in someday, but not at launch Pete Mackey’s birthday! Balancing: Stay tuned – don’t wanna give everything away, balance update coming in next week’s AtV People in chat are saying not to spoil AtV, and the team is confused why Faces are being worked on – they don’t look great right now, and they will be key focus over the next few weeks Broadcast and stream them watching AtV at the same time? Hennessy thinks it’s a good idea Maybe rewatch classic episodes, while doing commentary on it 1.1.2 does not have an ETA, is the next update Star Wars trailer is awesome! Hennessy cried a little bit as it ended Jenny’s dog is named Chewbacca Will have a couple classes of characters, light medium and heavy classes, and two maps One has been shown before, while the other is new and has not yet been shown Networking and Problems concerns: Zero-g has a ton of new animations – and programming challenges – going into it Jenny wants to make a breakfast taco restaurant Team voices their opinions on Taco Bell breakfast Travis Day was a facilitator in Denver, improving communication between studios Xi’An bomber has been concepted Mass Effect 3 games will transfer to Star Citizen, co-publishing SC with BioWare and EA *this was sarcasm* Character Creation: Working on how they build the characters and tying them into FPS/Social Trying to make them like ships – base characters are built, and pieces of clothing are like ship hulls and parts that snap onto body part ‘hardpoints’ Working on the swapping-out part first Still building the tech needed for hair – it’s in the R&D phase There will eventually be lots of options for hairstyles, yes – there will be beards Cover system You duck behind objects, and the system is dynamic – doesn’t require tagging You push into cover, not snap into it Similar to Battlefield Hardline’s system, in that it doesn’t involve pressing a button (also Travis Day says Battlefield Hardline sucks) Buildings suits for all types of environments New Horizon –  shown at PAX Australia, disarming bomb, Outlaws vs Marines Astro Arena – zero-g virtual battlefield, testbed for zero-g combat Atmospheric flight physics – yes, they have plans for it, once space flight has been finalized Before PBR, characters were based on textures – they have one with solid colors now, textures will come later Each helmet defines its range of movement in its XML, head movement constraint based on how it’s attached to your suit e.g. 30 degrees of rotation for the helmet, 10 degrees for your neck, and 3 degrees more because they have modeled eye movement as well Constellation redesign looks sick! (They didn’t show it, just are commenting on it) Movement in the cockpit will work the same way as FPS Can pay for facial reconstruction to change your face Still building physics grid, instancing system, is holding back larger ships such as the Caterpillar, are testing them on smaller ships first, then move it to the larger ships All the ships including the new Constellation are being built in a modular fashion, being built in the same way as the levels Female character model – currently in the process of doing scans, so the ball is rolling and it is in progress Yes, there will be a ship larger than the Bengal (duh) No, they are not ignoring the Avenger It’s being redone to be modular – then they’ll do the variants It’s on the backburner for now Base remodel will coincide with it getting the damage system, and the concepts will be out around that time too Nebula graphics are high on the list – they will be in SQ42 Play FPS with a mouse and keyboard, like an adult! No major thought has given to joystick operation of FPS, but there will be keybindings for it because it’s easy to do Empire Reports coming up soon – ~3 weeks Galactopedia: Have not discussed the possibility of it being narrated like Mass Effect Hull Series: Will be seeing Soon™ – sooner than the Avenger variants, but later than the new AC patch Cutlass will be changed, inside and out; it’s in the same boat as the Avenger S and Q of SQ42 will be released at launch Serious: It will be a full-length single player campaign, with a self-contained story from start to finish Similar to Mass Effect, in that the choices you make will roll over to the next games in the series Someone spoiled the end of SQ42 for James, but if he played the other 41 Squadrons, he would have known! Herald will be in AC pre-multicrew VD – Vampire Diaries (and something else worse) Someone submitted a first contact fan fic… except with vampires The UEE nuked the Tevarin homeworld from orbit, then took it Toast is working on trademark applications Travis is gonna test drive some new cars! [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Meet The Devs: Cherie Heiberg (via RSI) Vault: Logo Development Volume 1 (via RSI) New Jump Point available! Forum thread on upcoming Hull sale! (via RSI Forum) Comm Link page now has "The Shipyard" Series to filter out ship based posts (link)   Lore Updates Plain Truth: Comm your Senator (via RSI) Galactic Guide: Tyrol System (via RSI)   Happening right now / real soon HULL SERIES (A-E) SALE NEXT FRIDAY (24th).  My body is ready -K Ver 1.1.2 (FPS MODULE) expected this month sometime maybe Multiplayer is still partially borked, but it's getting better
  15. Advocacy Concept: =TF1=

    Something I have been kicking around since our meeting... feedback requested and encouraged!    
  16. Summary for week ending on April 10 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable         Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 is Live! (Link) [spoiler] Greetings Citizens, Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 is now available via the launcher! Today’s update adds a variety of bug fixes, balance changes and general updates intended to improve the Arena Commander experience. Additional bomber pilots can also man their planes: the Anvil Gladiator is now flyable! 1.1.1 adds manned turrets to three of our spacecraft and introduces a new type of large missile; further information about both of these systems is included below. Please let us know about your experiences with 1.1.1 below or on the forums; your feedback, experience with game balance and bug reporting helps us improve Star Citizen as we build the final game! You can find the complete Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 patch notes here.   In honor of this release, we’ve made a significant update to the Arena Commander Pilot’s Guide! You can download the 1.1a version here.   Turrets Active One major focus for the Star Citizen team is adding multi-crew ships to Arena Commander. This is a significant engineering challenge, but it’s something we’re already making great strides with. With Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1, you can get a very early sneak peek of what’s to come. Starting today, three of our ships, the Super Hornet, the Cutlass Black and the newly released Gladiator, now feature basic turrets which can be manned by a second player. Turret seats can’t be accessed via a menu yet, but pilots eager to experiment with the system can still use them. Simply have two players land in multiplayer Free Flight mode and then board a turret-equipped ship together! There’s a LOT more to come when it comes to multi-crew systems, but we hope you enjoy your very first taste of manning a ship together. We’re putting the Gladiator and Super Hornet back on sale today for anyone interested in trying out the multi-seat capability. Both will also be available using REC.     Anvil Gladiator Anvil Gladiator - Standalone Ship $165.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now Gladiator - Package $180.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now Anvil F7C-M Super Hornet F7C-M Super Hornet - Package $180.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now F7C-M Super Hornet - Standalone Ship $165.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now Drake Cutlass Black Cutlass Black - Package $115.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now Cutlass Black - Standalone Ship $100.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now     Bombs Away You may notice that the Gladiator has something new: a quartet of very large (size 5) Stalker V missiles. We’ve created this new weapon to help make the Gladius something interesting to do in Arena Commander as we continue to develop the mechanics for our bombers. The goal for the Gladiator is for it fly like its inspiration, World War II dive bombers like the SBD Dauntless and Aichi Val. Star Citizen will feature both large class torpedoes (like those on the Retaliator) that will require careful planning and nerve-wracking ranged attack runs AND large, high explosive missiles. The Gladiator’s job is to get in close. Where the Retaliator fires from a distance, the Gladiator is part of the delivery mechanism. You’ll line up your attack run, fight your way through the fighter screens and aim your ‘bomb’ where you want to hit a ship, swooping in close to fire it. These munitions punch through shields to hit the armour of a ship directly and once fired they’re very difficult to stop. If you’re on the opposing side, your job is to shoot down a Gladiator before it can release a payload. There are no capital ships to attack in Arena Commander just yet, so we’ve provided a set of Stalkers for Gladiator pilots to experiment in Arena Commander before these new capital ship busters are introduced. After all, it never hurt anyone to have an especially large missile to experiment with! As no other currently available ships can mount a size 5 missile, they are not yet available separately in the REC store or Voyager Direct. End Transmission     PATCH NOTES: Additions:   Gameplay Added the ability to toggle ‘target focus’ mode (Hotkey: L) after a ship is given permission to land Added version control support to the custom control bindings in order to prevent control conflicts Players can now solve issues where their characters get stuck by opening the console (~), typing in stuck, and hitting enter to respawn the character Added server side improvements to help with some causes of the infinite loading screens Added backend support to allow for adjusting REC totals differently for each game mode Added [Left Alt] keybinding to toggle turret control between two modes (Turret Head Tracking On/Off) Ships Implemented Ejection Audio for the 300i Implemented Ejection Audio for the Hornet Added basic Multiplayer turret functionality to Super Hornet F7C-M Implemented Ejection Audio for the M50 Gladiator is now flight ready Added basic Multiplayer turret functionality to Gladiator Added basic Multiplayer turret functionality to Cutlass User Interface Added landing mode activation and score board viewing to the default controls images for the gamepad Added a custom keybinding option for ESP toggle Added a custom keybinding option to allow toggling between Lag Pips and Lead Indicators Balance/Tweaks: Gameplay Tweaked Vanduul Swarm Coop REC amount per wave Pilots with lower score relative to the average contribute less to the REC pool Added audio for Vanduul dropping out of warp Ships Adjusted Aegis ship AI collision warning based on community feedback Adjusted Avenger health to correct phantom health issue Adjusted power plant explosion color to match thruster color for Gladius Added ladder animation updates for the Retaliator Adjusted rotational thrust on the Mustang Delta and Mustang Beta Updated Weapon Hard-points on Aurora to reflect brochure specs (2x S1 and 2x S2 guns) Components Balance pass on Sledge 2: Reduced ROF from 125 to 60. Increased Power and Heat pershot to 50. Adjusted Power Regen and Cooling to 25 Updated Shields on Gladius to reflect brochure specs (S2 to S3 max shield) Reduced overall Sledge Rail ammo damage from 140 to 70 User Interface Updated the color of the leaderboard so that it can be seen more easily against bright backgrounds Updated controller and joystick images to include landing prompts Environment Updated lighting in Revel & York hangar Camera is now forced into first person mode when using the Holotable Adjusted spawn position for some of the flair ship models in all hangars Fixes: (PTU) – Denotes an issue from the PTU that was fixed Gameplay Fix to allow the ability to adjust virtual joystick curves and relative mode sensitivity Fix for the public-facing “pp_rebindKeys export” command Fixed an issue where the Warthog HOTAS had conflicting keybindings for landing mode and strafe right Fixed an issue where the throttle would reset itself if a ship boosted before throttling up Fixed an issue where the spectator camera would rapidly jump around if a dead character was the last client left in a match Fixed an issue where strafing would break while traveling at max speed Fixed an issue where Matchmaker would match more clients into a game mode than the instance allows Fixed an issue where the game may crash when loading into a Multiplayer Game Mode Fixed an issue where a combination of sprinting and shaking the mouse can cause the character to clip through a number of game objects Fixed an issue where sprinting and jumping into walls will sometimes cause the character to fall out of the game world Fixed an issue where players were prevented from connecting to a server Fix for cockpit audio continuing to play after self destructing Fixed an issue that could cause G-Force simulation to get out of sync with Black-Out/Red-Out visual effects Fixed an issue where a client crash occurred after kicking a player from the lobby (PTU) Fixed an issue where a client crash occurred when exiting to the hangar while in an Arena ** Commander game mode (PTU) Fixed an issue where crosshair elements of the HUD became stuck based on your starting position upon initialization (PTU) Ships Standardized look pose range of motion across all ships Fixed missing audio for various ship HUD elements Fixed an issue that caused the 300 series ships to drop out and back in when ejecting Avenger can no longer equip the Tigerstreik to its wingslot hard-points Fix for entering the back seat of the Gladiator playing the animation for entering the front seat Fixed animations for entering the Gladiator (PTU) Fixed Gladiator damage states detaching clean sections of the ship rather than showing damaged innards (PTU) Fix for Gladiator’s landing gear remaining deployed while in flight (PTU) Fix for inability to look up to aim in the Gladiator’s Co-pilot Turret (PTU) Fixed an issue where of the Gladiator’s primary thrusters will fail upon respawn (PTU) Fixed an issue where the pilot retained control in the Gladiator when another player entered the manned turret (PTU) Fix for the stuttering sound that played and persisted through respawn after ejecting from a Gladiator (PTU) Fixed an issue where a Gladiator Co-pilot lacks functionality and can become stuck if the pilot ejects from the ship (PTU) Fixed Gladius Ship Status Hologram from displaying corrupt textures Gladius can no longer equip the Scorpion to its wingslot hard-points Fix for inability to lock onto targets in the F7C-M Super Hornet’s Co-pilot Turret (PTU) Fixed an issue where a Super Hornet F7C-M’s co-pilot was able to shoot and kill the pilot from the co-pilot/turret seat (PTU) Fix for the stuttering sound that played and persisted through respawn after ejecting from a Super Hornet F7C-M (PTU) Fixed an issue where seats in the back of the Cutlass were not animating when activated Fixed an issue where the Cutlass pilot chair stayed centered after landing (PTU) Cutlass landing gear is retracted while in the hangar (PTU) Fixed an issue where the beds in the Retaliator could not be interacted with in the crew quarters Components Fixed countermeasure active dialogue being fired on ship respawn Fixed an issue where turrets could not be re-equipped after being removed from a ship Fixed an issue where Tigerstreik bullet impacts were not causing bullet hole effects User Interface Fixed an issue where the ping value was not updating in DFM modes Fixed an issue where score bar UI elements were displayed in Multiplayer Free Flight Fixed redundant message spam after player death Fixed an issue where the scoreboard REC column only appeared for Aurora pilots after death Fixed an issue where a control profile could not be exported a second time Fixed an issue where multiple exports with the same name could exist in the Control Profiles list Power Throttle is now functional and can be modified using the +/- keys on the numpad, or by holding down the left mouse button after pressing [Home] Fixed an issue where the scoreboard could not be opened when in spectator mode Fixed an issue where the contact name text field could not be edited more than once (PTU) Fixed an issue where the Contact List did not refresh with updated adds or removes until the game was reloaded (PTU) Environment Fixed crate clipping through column in Self Land central hangar bay Control panel in Self Land connecting doors between bays now renders properly Fix for geometry issue on support column in Self Land Fixed flickering passcode pad in Self Land hangar Fixed minor flair graphical and placement issues in the Asteroid hangar Fixed wall flickering issue in Aeroview Fixed minor graphical issues with the Sim Pod Fixed an issue where the character’s left hand would be flipped when driving the buggy Fixed some issues that were causing interacting with the Holotable to be difficult when standing in specific locations M50 holotable model now displays the main thrusters in the correct location Fixed missing wall collision in the upper level of the Revel & York hangar (PTU) Known Issues: Gameplay Gameplay divergence can cause situations where it appears like a ship is being hit but not taking damage, when the shots are actually missing the ship Weapons fire can appear offset from weapon muzzle when fired while moving Combustion Pistol cannot be equipped Entering or exiting a ship will cause other clients to see the character T-pose Characters rolling while prone is not seen by other clients Characters will sometimes fail to animate correctly when exiting the pilot seat after Decoupled mode is sometimes not disabled when taking off from a landing pad preventing ship movement (press [Caps Lock] to disable it) landing Character will occasionally spawn in as a pair of eyes Client crash may occur when pressing ‘x’ to respawn after the pilot is killed by flying into an asteroid Interacting with various elements of a lobby has a chance of causing a client crash for invited players Unable to exit the cockpit if one of a ship’s landing gear is missing Inverted controls do not work in default turret camera view Ships All ships aside from the Hornet are missing ship trails when carrying a Core Multiple ships will sometimes tilt back when landing on landing platforms Weapons impacting shields playing incorrect impact audio 300i does not have boost VFX for its main thrusters Ladder causes the 300i to wobble once landed Aurora intakes are not displaying paint Equipping Longswords on an Aurora’s bottom hardpoints will cause the ship to wobble once landed due to excess collision on the weapons Missile racks are not appearing in the holotable when an Aurora is selected Avenger has some doors that cannot be opened in multiplayer Gladiator Look Reticle/Crosshair is sometimes missing upon respawn, cycling camera views will usually correct this Gladius damage states are detaching clean sections of the ship rather than showing damaged innards All Hornets are missing a pipe on the main thruster The M50’s starboard wheel briefly detaches itself from its strut when being deployed during landing Cutlass isn’t attaching its Trireme thrusters for its default loadout Cutlass Trireme thrusters are not able to be attached in the holotable (this will be left this way until they are ready for use) Character is sunk into the seat when sitting in the Cutlass Blue and Red Cutlass Blue’s top turret is missing There will sometimes be an invisible block of collision in the cargo area of the Cutlass after landing the ship Killing a Cutlass will sometimes not award kill credit on the scoreboard Cutlass shots fired are not in sync when there is a player in the pilot seat and the turret seat Freelancer loading ramp has no collision Freelancer Main Thrusters are missing Character can get stuck inside a Freelancer’s hull above its right landing gear Multiple objects in the Retaliator are missing use prompts Retaliator maneuvering thrusters are not in landing mode when in the hangar Components User folder issues can cause weapon ammunition to go missing as well as other ship component malfunctions Rattler Cluster missile second stage rockets will all use the same trajectory Missiles aren’t inheriting velocity from the ship that launches them Seal Corporation shield generators will not be visible when equipped to Hornets Weapon trail trajectories are inconsistent for targets that aren’t being looked at resulting in game divergence Thrusters cannot be deactivated in power management User Interface Lag pips will drop out with increased distance depending on how quickly a ship is approaching their target (only happens within a few hundred meters) Shield hardpoint in the holotable is too small for Mustangs and 300 series Missiles have a small portion of the ship targeting UI on them after being launched Multiple in game items and ships are missing text and are displaying their internal names Paint objects in the holotable are placeholders Loading back into a lobby will reset the ship selection to its default (sometimes this doesn’t happen visually but still happens on the backend) Holding tab while ship’s HUD initializes causes the HUD’s score screen to default ‘On’ Environment There are several locations in the hangars where the character can fall out of the world Thorshu Grey space crab does not have animations [/spoiler]       Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen) 10 For the Chairman 59( video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Transcript by /u/Nocturnal_Nick   Usual intro and Thanks   Tidbit: Later this week we’ll get to meet their new German office :-) This will be the last 10FTC for a little while, CR is flying to the UK for performance capture sessions for almost 3 months. Knowing Smile we have a pretty awesome cast coming into it, it’s all shaping up really well too. They’re splitting SQ42 into a trilogy, Episode 1 (this year) has ~ 70 Wing Commander style missions, some flying, some FPS, etc etc. These might be a fluid story spanning 3 missions, there are 21 chapters or so that has a segmented mission structure. It should be ~ 20 hours of gameplay with an awesome cast. Episode 2 is “Behind Enemy Lines”, which will be free for those that backed before 20m. There may be more “rogue, han solo style” epsiodes as we go down the track.   – On to the Questions! –   CyberianTiger Asks: There are some great dogfighters in the game right now, and the more they fly the better they become. How will the concept of the more you play the better you become apply to medics and surgeons?     Good question, definitely that’ll be the case in mining and exploration, it’s probably early to say in terms of medics and surgeons. On a certain level there might be higher level of stuff the requires more skill, but really there’s always the stimpacks for combat medics etc, and then you’ve got the medical bay/recovery bay where you get on the bed and then sortof fixing them up. But perhaps there might be some skill could be involved. It’s not the first things we’ll do, but what you’ll see at the beginning it’s more about getting people, getting them to your ship, giving them a medpack or more powerful device, but at the beginning the more advanced operations etc will be the kind of thing you’ll see on a planet-side hospital or hospital equipped ship.   JSD Asks: Regarding ships weapons, can we expect to see other kind of projectiles instead of traditional coloured lines going in a straight line? Perhaps some projectiles with more erratic behaviours like lightning bolts, shock waves, or whatever your talented SFX artists may come up with?     Yes, definitely we’ll see a lot more different kinds of projectiles, you haven’t seen much at the moment, FPS will bring some more like the electric shock gun, we’re going to have neutron and plasma guns, which all have specific projectiles. You’ll see some stuff in FPS, and more stuff will be coming to AC in future.   Muad’dib Asks: With the introduction of mining and resource gathering, will there be any other uses for gathered/refined resources other than just selling them to an NPC in the system where they are worth the most?     It depends, in general you’re going to mine, then either refine it yourself or sell it onto someone for them to refine, and then deliver it to an economic node that’s a consumer of those goods. In the first stage we’ll have NPC economic nodes that you sell your refined ore to, but in future players will be able to own their own economic nodes, might even have the whole manufacturing chain covered. You might for example have a munitions business, or ship factory, or whatever. You might mine or have your people mine ore, which they take to your refinery, which then can pass the materials onto your factory to make the final goods. That’s kind of the idea of the resource gathering, hope it makes sense!   Raggs Asks: Will we have the ability to fabricate weapons/armor/ship parts?     When a player owns an economic node, one of which could be a factory/maker of these parts. We’re not planning on having an “everybody owns their own node”, but some will be available in later stages. This’d be a longer term goal for someone who is interested in a business tycoon path rather than combat or exploration etc. You could on-sell those goods, or even consume them yourself if you needed to. In terms of someone having the ability to fabricate weapons/armour on a small scale themselves not really initially. I kinda would see at some point we may have a smaller scale economic node, like say, a factory ship someone could buy and that could do that. You need to get this many resources, then after a certain amount of time with appropriate crew it might spit out a good.   [ADT] Gromph Asks: Are there any plans to incorporate helmet cam feeds that could facilitate a marine team leader role?     We’re definitely planning on having a spectator mode/modes in AC etc, so you could connect as a remote viewer or spectator client. Potentially when someone gets killed in FPS you might have a view of another team member’s helmet cam. That won’t be in the first FPS release but down the line it’ll be pretty easy to do. I don’t know so much about having a team-leader role where you’d have multiple player’s views on your screen, mainly because cryengine isn’t very good at handling that, and also you’d be rendering multiple 3D worlds at once which can be problematic with our detailed world. We’re definitely allowing people to stream their view live, so you could I guess have those streams open ad-hoc with other systems around you, that’s longer term tech we’re working on and have planned from the start, with streaming tech inside your client without having 3rd party software. We could maybe even take that and play it back inside a texture inside the game… That could be an interesting implementation actually, just thought of that now. In the long term, yeah, those kind of things are cool. Even in terms of streaming we’ll have a traffic cams or something, so you could go to our website and see maybe a few jump points, or terra, or sol or something and it’ll be streaming on the site. That’ll be kinda cool, and our tech definitely allows for that. We might start having that in AC where you’ll be able to see streams of ongoing matches, and longer term we could see that all done inside out web-platform basis. You might be able to see next to someone’s avatar in the forums if they’re streaming at that moment, click and view etc. Obviously not happening in the next few months, but we’re actively doing R&D towards that, we’re already seeing plenty of streaming on twitch and youtube, so we just want to make that easy and fun for people.   Rubec Asks: Why did you decide to move away from the asymmetrical design on the Herald?     Essentially we showed the design and Jim Martin (Herald, cutlass, freelancer) was playing with some more ideas and so I preferred one of the later ones. It’s not completely symmetrical, it still has asymmetrical elements to it, and the idea is that it can bloom out into this sortof, transmission array, and in between it looks a bit sleeker. I thought it was visually more interesting, and if I’d seen that sooner you might not have seen the first one. So I guess I’m saying it’s my fault, it was me :-P   Nikolai Armitage [On-screen it said Anomnom] Asks: Firstly I’d like to say the Vanguard is amazing. I love the redundancy. I am curious, how will the 2xS2 shields work?     Well generally what happens is we’ll have 2 shield nodes and so each node covers a portion, say half a ship, so if one goes down you don’t lose the other. So on bigger capital ships you actually get more stronger and focussed coverage with multiple nodes. It’s so you don’t have a single point of failure for your shield coverage. That’s kinda the concept that we’re working on for it at the moment.   DataTransfer Asks: As far as the FPS is concerned, what games have you drawn on for inspiration? Would you describe the Star Marine module as having a familiar feel or flavor? How will that portion of the game differ from other types of FPS experiences?     It depends, for me, I play a fair amount of FPS, I’m not a crazy FPS die-hard, COD, BF (which is my favourite because I value the idea of teamwork, like multiple people manning vehicles etc) which you can kindof see in the way we’re going with multi-crewed ships etc. I like that aspect of FPS gameplay, I liked FC4 and FC3, but I don’t want the FPS to be specifically too much like all the other ones, we have different respawn mechanics, I do think COD doesn’t feel as organic as I’d like, I’d say that FC and BF do it better for me. Arma 3 is interesting in that it’s more realism based, we’re trending towards that. We’re taking elements from all of them and going for more a slightly slower paced game, you don’t respawn instantly, if you get shot your friend might drag you back and heal you with a stimpak etc. The combat itself is potentially more lethal, it might be that you die and then you’re out for that session. I think we’ll have the battlefield feel of how your weapons and movement work, but with an influence from say rainbow 6 and arma in realism, but not too far, just an idea where we have trade-offs, like people might not want a helmet/view restrictions, so they can wear less armour, but while you might see more or move faster you’re more susceptible to damage etc. You might get out of breath quicker in heavy armour etc, all of these things will be resource management while you fight, which differs ours from some of the faster FPS’s like COD, Halo or destiny (although destiny has good weapon management). So we just need to balance it between realism and sci-fi fun, somewhere between battlefields/destinies to arma style with some extra elements like zero-g stuff and varied weapons.   Roschewort Asks: Will there be any advantages to wearing light or medium armor vs. heavy armor?     Well… Just answered that. Yes, it’s what I mentioned, the impact on your stamina, speed, damage taken, etc etc. There are trade offs with the helmet visibility etc too.   Caelitus Carnifex Asks: What level of control should we expect while working with NPC characters in FPS? How will you issue orders to your NPC’s?     I want to be clear, in the initial release of the FPS module there will be no AI or NPCs, just multiplayer. The next versions of it will allow you to do a horde mode with outlaws/marines. We will obviously have NPCs in FPS eventually, and the commands that you can issue them will be not too dissimilar to the ones we’re working on for Arena Commander which is like wingmen commands, like attack my target, cover my six, cover my wing etc. There’s the equivalent for FPS, attack my target, breach this door, go here, etc. Hopefully the NPCs will listen to you and do them, as they have their own AI they might not ALWAYS do them.   Regular Thanks and Extro   Tidbit: That wraps it up for the week, and probably much longer because I’ll be really busy in the UK with the motion cap shooting etc, and won’t have much time to record these. You’ll have 10 for the producers etc in the mean time, but I’m really excited about going off and working those long hours in the UK to get this stuff done! I can’t wait until you guys play SQ42! [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 39 (video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris Empire Report – Mars Unstable?  Could martian terraforming be coming undone? – Black Mountain tea – millions of cups drunk a day, but could it be making you sick? – the five most annoying things about visiting Stanton 3 1:00 Around the ‘Verse – 1.1.1 will be available this week hopefully.  Hit the PTU Tuesday, hopefully will be out today or tomorrow. – Big update, GLadiator is flyable, Gladiator and SH and possibly Cutlass will have second ship functionality – CR is in London, directing SQ42 performance capture shoots. News from Around the ‘Verse 2:25 Santa Monica Darian Vorlick and Lisa Ohanian – Interesting tidbit being desiged by Randy Vasquez – a sandbox gym map, where he can test how AI interacts.  An open playground, it’s a test environment.  Players will never see it, but it’s really helpful for the devs. – Ship update: Working on the concept for the Genesis Starliner.  Art outsourcers working on it, it’s a cool, big, cruise ship. – Players need to be able to ride around on it, and there will be escort missions where you have to protect the ship, things like that. – Working on 1.1.1 – first patch allowing multiplayer crew ships.  Second player can jump into turrets for SH, Cutlass, or Gladiator.  Almost ready, trying to hammer out a few more bugs, but it should be ready this week. 4:25 Illfonic Travis Day and David Lengeliers – Finished prototyping SATAball – a futuristic sport using the Astro Arena level. – They’ll be working on getting SATAball hooked up in code. – With Astro Arena, the more realistic animations for 0g are coming into play.  More realistic look animations – whole body moves as you look around in 0g (really good video of this in action) – 0g previs is finishing up.  Previs shows what all the movements should look like, and the animators have iterated on that.  Looks very good now. – Reworking all the VFX for all weapons, grenades, gadgets, etc… Trying to match up all the effects between ships and handhelds, so they’re all using the same technology.  If lasers on ships are using certain effects, pistols using the same type of tech will have the same effects.  Looking really good, ties in the companies and weapons and tech. 6:55 Austin Jake Ross and Nathan Blazon – Tony started work on the Pioneer occupation this week.  Exploration, charting uncharted territories, etc… – working on new animations for ‘grabby hands’, which is being developed in LA.  Players can go and pick things up with some amount of fidelity. – Shopping in the Social Module: Spending time figuring out how the experience shopping differs from shop to shop.  Gun store is probably more hands on, see the actual weapons, where some ship shops are probably more holograms. – For Cubby Blast, they want a shooting range in the back, so you can test-fire weapons in the back.  That’ll be in in some form in the Social module when it releases. 9:30 CIG UK Luke Presley and Danny Reynolds – Working on Tutorial for AC.  Wanted to make something that’ll cater to new players, but still have some excitement for older players. Lots of narrative – Player is enrolled in a military excercise, which is run by a veteran instructor. – Take off and landing, basic flight, interacting with ship systems, engaging in dogfighting. – First time they’ve released anything complex and story driven, lots they’ve learnt will be carried over into SQ42. – New Asteroid hangar with full interior and exterior.  As soon as the Tutorial is done, they’ll be trying to put a new asteroid hangar into Free Flight, that can be flown into and out of. – They’re looking forward to releasing the tutorial, and can’t wait to hear peoples thoughts. 11:35 Watching peoples’ 30 second AC clips Jenny Varner – Austin Artist Round Table – Patrick Thomas, Vanessa Landeros, Josh Coons, Lee Amarakoon. Austin is predominantly the PU office, do you want to discuss anything you’re working on? Levels are looking incredible.  We’re reaching a point in video games where the quality is reaching what you see in cinematics.  Everything’s becoming so detailed.  Also, the whitebox stage is very exciting.  Some stunning sets are being created by Behaviour. Also exciting about the levels is populating them with hundreds of animations.  Getting an actor to randomly act out a barfing scene is fun apparently.  Makes the PU feel more alive, the animations they’re getting to do. Hoping for different attitudes that come with the AI for dancers in the game too.  Shy dancer, drugged out dancer, they’re hoping to add crazy personalities to the game to make it feel more alive. Josh Coons is more on the Ships team. Lee Amarakoon – particles and effects, trying to keep it from blowing up peoples video cards is fun.  Holograms are fun, screens are fun.  Advertisements for the PU are fun as well.  When he tries to make screens, he tries to fit in little easter eggs.  Space effects and nebulas and asteroids are fun. Thanks to the fans who made it out to SXSW.  The fans are super cool, getting to feel the effect of your work is great. Another 30 second AC flight video Disco Lando is now Community Manager with a focus on editing Ben has no joke.  Sandi is now upside-down.   18:15 New Interview Segment Will Weisbaum – Writer interviewing Cherie Heiberg – Archivist Lots of exciting things going on.  Four studios now, Santa Monica, Austin, Manchester, and Frankfurt, and they’re expanding very rapidly. Right now, info is shared with an internal wiki page.  With all these people using them, it’s become an unwieldy beat.  Cherie has come in to start organizing the wiki. What did you think when you first came in and saw all the information there was? I thought, wow.  I could see that everyone was trying to use the space for its intended purpose, but there were no guidelines in place.  it kind of grew organically.  Someone would come in and say they wanted information about ground-based missile launchers in Art, and then someone would say well, no, I think that should be under design, and the ultimate results was there would be 8 different pages about missiles launchers spread all over with outdated information, or new information, Not that we have ground-based missile launchers.  That wasn’t confirmation or anything.   Just an example. Because confluence is one of those things people have to use every day, there were some strong opinions, lots of people thinking how things should be organized.  How was it when you came in and started talking to people? Mostly everyone was really excited that someone was coming in to help.  People were really happy to speak to me, and we had an initial meeting with a bunch of people from different offices, I eventually had individual meetings with people such as Forrest and Dan, who both had very strong opinions. Were they conflicting opinions? At first they were a little conflicting, but I think I figured a way to make them both work with each other.  We’re going to have a ‘manuals’ section, so everyone can figure out how to use tools, and that was something I talked about with Forrest, and then with Dan we talked about moving everything from departmental, so instead of having different pages across departments, you have it be asset based, so that, like, if you have a page for one certain spaceship, all the information’s in one place Amazing Amazing So, even at this level, Chris came in and voiced his opinions, because Chris is involved in everything and he’s amazing.   He did. What was his take on how all this data should be organized? He thought that an asset-based organization was a good idea, and he also wanted me to pay attention to where artists and engineers and everyone could have ‘work in progress’ places, where everybody could have documents in one place that weren’t’ approved yet, like brainstorming places. So being able to quickly see on a page where in the development process it is Yeah, that’s extremely vital, because before there were no markers to say, hey, this has been approved, or it was kind of just a blank Yeah, we have kind of two timelines, BCR and ACR as kind of employing important designation points of when things are in the approval process, of things being stamped in the process of when Chris has seen, cause really, you can read all you want, if it’s just someone tossing out an idea, then whatever. So, how did you end up being the perfect person to do this job?  what’s your background? I have a masters degree in Library Science from the University of California, and my specialisation was in Digitalization Yeah, I read a little bit of your masters thesis, and it was kind of on video games, right? That’s right.  My masters thesis was on preserving video games, because there’s just…almost no-one who’s paying attention to this important thing, which is to preserve the history of video games.  I mean, we’ve lost a lot of information at this point, because no-one…it’s like the early history of television, or the early history of film.  No-one cared about it, and they’d just throw film canisters off the Santa Monica pier, and now we have something like over 50% of films are lost, and the same thing is happening to video games.  We don’t know the exact date of when Super Mario Brothers was released in the states.  And one might think that we might know this about such a successful game, Yeah that’s crazy, and I didn’t know that, and I’m sure a lot of our backers can appreciate this, being a lot of old-school gamers, going way back. That’s pretty awesome.  Hopefully part of your efforts will be preserving our history, as star citizen Absolutely One of the kind of problems, that I’ve discussed with you before, is we have hundreds and hundreds of informational pages on the confluence, and you’re starting to introduce this new organizational system.  How do you go about making those while everyone’ still rapidly adding new stuff?  It sounds like a monumental task. It is, I’m going to have to build up the new space for sharing outside of the original space.  Once the skeleton of that is done, i’m going to have to pick a weekend where very few people are working, and then migrate everything over.  Which is probably going to take a very long time, but I think everyone’ll be happy with the new system. I think it’s kind of an under appreciated aspect of video game development.  When you have so many people working on one project, file organization and hierarchy is crucial to make sure everyone’s vision is in line with each other.   Yeah, it’s very easy to lose information in any digital environment.  Think of the way you have files on your computer.  You wrote something a few years ago, you called it doc1 because you weren’t thinking about what to name it.  That’s probably gone forever. This became a problem i became impassioned about, because trying to write these lore stories, and making sure they were accurate, and having to go through the website and sometimes even fan pages which were sometimes more accurate, it was hard to make sure I was being as accurate as possible to our universe.  It’s going to be great to have a definitive source for information.  And moving forward, we’re transitioning from taking this information on confluence and putting it on the public facing galactapedia.   Yes So you’ve also been involved in that? I have.  I’ve been creating structures for each page, so that we’d have all the right information available, like climate and history and demographics.  Anything that you’d have that would be important about a town or an economy, like where you can buy certain ship lines, like the Mustang, which is only available on rytef (sp?) Is it exciting to be designing your own encyclopedia basically? Yes, I love it! So what do you bring into it that you think other encyclopedias have done right or wrong?  What’s going to make the galactapedia awesome? It’s going to be much more in-depth than normal ones you get in other games, like the Codex in ME, while entertaining, it didn’t have much information about the planets you went to, but the galactapedia’s going to have like, encyclopedia Britannica levels of depth. It scares me to hear you say that, cause I’m going to be involved in writing this stuff. All the information that a Citizen could want. The exciting part of this is it’s going to be a living resource for when the PU starts going live, and these discoveries are going to be made by backers themselves, and adding the little add-ons citing people Yeah, it’s going to grow, it’s not going to be a static thing. Do you feel yourself becoming an expert on SC now that you’re reading all these pages? I’m on my way What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about SC so far in your deep-dive? I don’t know, I don’t know what’s… You can say it. If we can’t use it, we won’t use it. I was interested in the Tevarin, about how they were This is why we need a pronunciation guide. See, I want to do that, and then say the words.  I want to be the pronunciation voice. So what got you excited about them? I was interested in their story.  They were this race of warriors who were trying to explore the galaxy on their own terms, and then the humans come along, and they’re like, hey guys we just want to hang out and expand, and the Tevarin were like no, and then they ended up losing their homeworld, to us.  Their final stand in the Battle of Centauri, with the warlord dropping the shields on his ship, and they just kind of entered the atmosphere as slowly disintegrating comets, and that kind of touched my heart. Well, I know you and I’ve had discussions already on sort of, Terra vs. Earth Terra! Cherie is a hard-line Terran.   Absolutely Well, it’s really exciting to have you on board.  And hopefully in the upc oming months we’ll have more to share on the galactapedia.   Well, once again, I’m Will Weisbaum, and this is Cherie Heiberg, see you around the ‘Verse. 30:25  Bugsmashers – Life decided to give me lemons.  I can’t make lemons with this. – Todays bug – Bug in the Gladiator – the ship will interact with the player and kill him when you try to fly around. – Player has its own physics and ship has its own physics.  They’re not supposed to interfere with each other, but they are. – Fixed by saying, if the player is going to change its physics, it has to add itself to the ignore list for the vehicle. 35:19 Ben says lemonade is overrated. – Events – Tickets for gamescom are going up tomorrow, with more information as well.  Changing the plan for future events, so there’ll be more of the team there.  Sandi, Ben, James, Chelsea, Alexis, Manchester and Frankfurt guys, lots more than just Chris gigving a presentation. – Design post covering FPS breathing and stances tomorrow – if you guys didn’t know how to breathe before, tomorrow is your lucky day. – Sale on some of the 2 seater military ships – SH and Gladiator will be available starting tomorrow.  Both flyable, and in free-flight you can land them and let a second player get in the turret.  No menus in yet, but you can do it in freeflight. – Tomorrow – meet the Frankfurt team. 36:55 Sneak Peek – Cool looking robot thing with arms and stuff. [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 42 ( video / Reddit / INN ) [spoiler] Reverse the ‘Verse   Notes – RTV is live.  James is not here, so they don’t know what they’re doing.  Sound is…horrible. – James just called Ben.  Can’t hear what he’s saying though.  James is taking a day off it seems.  Well deserved. – Steam has stopped while they try to figure out mic issues. – 4:06 – 4:07 – They are back. – No-one knows why the show is named Reverse the ‘Verse. – James is receiving a reward for podcasting today. – Jenny is in Santa Monica full-time now. – Disco Lando is now a member of the team.  He’s giving some backers a tour right now. – Because Ben forgot about the caterpillar, a fan sent them a 3D printed model of the caterpillar.  So he’s going to start forgetting more ships now. – If I bought 80 auroras using REC, do I get 80 Auroras for 7 days, or 1 aurora for 500 days?  Ben says we’ll see what happens, cause someone did that.  Best use for REC. – What can be put in the bays behind the Hornet intakes? – Probably where things like gun cooler go, but not 100%.  No real answer from Ben.  But they do leave spaces in the current ships for things they haven’t had time to build yet. – Idris P status – being modeled in the UK.  There are some nice shots, but they can’t be shared, cause they’re SQ 42 action scenes. – Still deciding who is going to CitizenCon.  They hope to go, but they’re not sure.  Lots of people at Gamescom this year though, details tomorrow. – FPS – Doing great work on it.  Will be best-looking module when it releases. – Backend re-writes are holding up the launch of FPS. Update next week likely. – Ben ‘forgot’ entirely about the Banu and other alien ships, and wants us to send him a 3D model of them. – By the time bigger ships like the Merchantman and the Starfarer will be available, there won’t be any CCU’s anymore.  Because they won’t be needed.  There will be a new system to go from ship to ship.  No more CCU’s once large ships come into play. – No release date for Org 2.0 but Turbulent are working on it again after a few other things took up their time recently. – Now they’re back to working on things they enjoy, like the map, and org 2.0 and such.  Shout out to Turbulent, cause they’re amazing. – Female models in various stages of completion. – Not sure if female models will make it into FPS at launch. – They hope that you make a job like ‘entertainer’ from SWG yourself.  It’s not something you sign up for, but if you can entertain people and make money off it, you can. – More solid view of Squadron 42 timeline after they have some of the performance capture shoot done and they can see how much work needs to be done to it. – Ben says he thinks the whole Episode 1 will ship at once, but he is NOT sure, and wants us not to quote him.  But he already said it.  It’s news now! – Banu and Xi’An ships will be purchasable.  Ones that have been sold so far will be brought back at some point, and new ones are in concept, and we’ll see them eventually. – This month’s subscriber flair model is the Xi’An Scout – Interview with Christine and David @ Behaviour next week. Will include our first look at the Xi’An Space Plant. – Because Behaviour are incredibly cool and awesome people and Erris loves them all. – Don’t look for Behind Enemy Lines purchasable anytime soon, all focus is on the first episode of Squadron 42. – If you cut an Idris in half, as per how the physics engine works, it’s hard to say if you could control it.  Now, stuff works.  For a long time, stuff didn’t work.  We’ve seen teh Constellation floating around in the PTU now (no-one knows where it came from, by the way).  None of that is finished and working in the game, but the system is there that allow things to still work in the physics system.  The same would be true if you were cutting a ship in half.  Yes, you’d be able to cut the ship in half and fire engines, maybe, and man some engineering stations…yeah. – No news from Behaviour on the 890 Jump.  It’s not at the front of the priority list. – Jenny is watching an Operation Pitchfork t-shirt.  Big thanks from CIG for the orgs who sent them free OPPF shirts! – The next combat-ready ship is uncertain (maybe Herald or Merlin…) – A lot of server-side stuff being done right now. – CIG forgot to sell the SXSW skins.  They’ll be up soon, hopefully. – Land based races? Sure!  Grab a couple rovers or greycats and race away. – Ship-to-ship communication details later this year. – Ben considering doing a Wing Commander walkthrough/Let’s Play. – Cutlass a good platform for surgery.  Endeavour is the main platform for black market purposes and as a hospital ship.  Carrack good for research. – Can’t talk about the Manticore. – Some members of the community team will be at Star Wars celebration (Ben, Alexis, Lando). – Paint system slowly being expanded to more ships but will take some time. – A strong chance that more TNGS ships will make it into Star Citizen. – Working on bugs with new damage system.  Constellation and Freelancer are getting the new damage system right now. – Discussions about the Hadesian artifact.  We already have a clue! – Auto-renew option for REC items? Unsure. Ben will check on this. – CIG Frankfurt Inside CIG at 9 AM tomorrow.  Studio includes Todd Papy of God of War fame. – Hull series concept sale later this month! – Caterpillar vs Hull series roles will get cleared up somewhat with concept sale for Hull series. – Herald *Edit – Actually the Vanguard * is slower than Gladius but Faster than Constellation – Alpha 1.1.1 is what the next patch is called.  It won’t have a multi-seat lobby, you’ll have to land in free-flight and add the second person to the Gladiator and SH.  Just a teaser for multicrew. – Jenny needs a new top hat. – Ability to call for orbital support for ground operations is something they would love to do but it will be post launch if/when it happens. – Some people just showed up then disappeared. – Will the Herald be able to add extra fuel capacity? – yes – Will there be an option to turn off sounds in space? – Ben – mmmaaaaybe.  Do they really want this, is it really fun?  It might be a toggle they add, but it probably won’t be fun. – They will have a small event in Montreal eventually, for local people, and if anyone takes my spot at that, I will … hurt them.  (This is from Erris) – Ben’s birthday next week! He’s taking the day off. – It’s my birthday next week too! (Erris) – More AC maps in progress but not ‘soon’ tm. – Secret military bases? Yes. – If they’re building something for SQ 42, it’ll be in the PU. – SATAball likely to have another version in gravity similar to the lore. – There will be a trainer ship – a two seat trainer you learn to play in.  That was originally the Avenger, so it’s not used for that anymore. – FPS weapons overheating? Yes, but maybe not the first release. – Thorshu Grey needs to earn citizenship. – Sakura Sun weapons progress? Yes. – Ben: Why did all the old drugs stop working? All sci-fi has fancy space drugs. – Now they’re talking about their weekend plans. 52 minutes: – 10 for the designers, producers, and other people will replace 10ftC while Chris is away in the UK. – “The sun never sets on the Roberts empire.” – ‘can i kill peoples pets during boarding actions?’  Jenny is mad now.  Why would you do that.  You really shouldn’t do that sort of thing.  That’s just evil. – Gamescom and CitizenCon will be livestreamed by CIG!  Expect these events to be good – they saw the need for significant improvement in the presentations. – Planning them as a team now.  There was nothing to do beforehand, so this time there’s more people, more swag, more entertainment.  More stuff to do, a much tighter event with more interaction.  Limited edition merchandise, digital stuff that comes with tickets, it’ll be cool. – Ben will remind David Ladyman that a Caterpillar Jump Point would be cool. – Ben thinks Ben for the Chairman should be a thing. – CS people have the most exciting stories, but they can’t tell them, because it’s always ‘horrible backer a did this’.  If you keep writing in to CS asking to buy ladies shoes…don’t do that.  And don’t ask if anyone’s single.  Your secret is safe with them, but don’t. – New subscriber flair is the Xi’An scout model. – Espera Prowler info? No. Has not gone out for concept. – Melting weapons for metal? Yes. – Sandi is at a Retaliator commercial script meeting. – Ben will be missing from RtV next week. [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Multiplayer Matchmaking issues (again) (via RSI) Note from the Chairman: Version Numbering (via RSI) Design: FPS Stances and Breathing (via RSI) April Subscriber Flair (via RSI) RSVP For Gamescon 2015 (via RSI) Inside CIG: Foundry 42 Germany (via RSI) Meet the Devs: Thomas Hennessy (via RSI)   Lore Updates Galactic Guide: 78th Squadron (via RSI) ADVOCACY ARCHIVE: Manhunt (via RSI)   Happening right now / real soon Gladiator and Super Hornet Sale!. Ver 1.1.2 (FPS MODULE) expected this month sometime maybe Multiplayer is still partially borked, but it's getting better
  17. Summary for week ending on April 3 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable         March Monthly Report! (Link) [spoiler] Monthly Report: March Greetings Citizens, Between PAX East and South By Southwest, it seems like we were all over the country in March! But there was a lot more than presentations this month: we released Star Citizen 1.1 to the community, we made significant updates to the server side of Star Citizen thanks to thousands of new players joining us… and behind the scenes, we made amazing progress on the FPS module, Squadron 42, the persistent universe and more. Read on for a detailed accounting of what each team handled this past month.   CIG Santa Monica Greetings Citizens, Welcome back for another monthly report! As the month of March comes to a close and we usher in April, it’s a good time to look back and reflect upon what was accomplished! March saw the release of the 1.1.0 update for Arena Commander, as well as the public showcasing of our work on the FPS and Social modules at PAX East and SXSW respectively. Not only is it always a pleasure to demonstrate and showcase our work at these kinds of events, but it is also a great joy to be able to meet with all the backers who attend and share our enthusiasm for making the BDSSE! It’s always very inspiring and motivating for team members to be able to meet with Citizens and discuss the project. Our ability to make this dream a reality is all predicated on your support and shared vision and we deeply appreciate that support! Alright, well without further ado let’s go on to the Santa Monica studio discipline updates!   Engineering With the release of 1.1.0 we introduced the new landing mechanic which saw support from our Physics Wizard, John Pritchett. While it may seem trivial to fly over and land on a landing pad there are actually quite a few systems working under the hood that need to be properly networked with other players such as in multiplayer free flight. Many issues were encountered and dispatched during the bug fixing phase of this feature. It also highlights what is great about modular development. With the introduction of the landing feature to Arena Commander you are able to test the landing mechanics for all ships in a single-player and networked environment. This means that by the time we get to the release of SQ42 and the Persistent Universe we will have this battle hardened feature up so we can focus more on content creation and polish rather than feature development. 1.1.0 also saw the premiere of the new ship damage system on the Gladius. We are now in the process of improving that system and bringing it across to the other ships in the game. We are not stopping there however! Our engineering team is currently in the process of updating the actual system by which we apply damage and moving to a physically based system for the application of damage. What this means is that rather than each projectile (energy or ballistic) having a prescribed damage value against shields, hull plating, or components we are actually going to base the damage off the mass, velocity, and density of the projectile. Likewise on the ships we will be expanding the materials and the properties of their hull plating and shields to react in a proper way to the physical characteristics of the rounds impacting them. It is a very exciting change and one that we hope to be releasing in the near future, soon™.   Design In the Design department our team has been kept quite busy throughout March with the introduction of REC, the Retaliator, Gladius, Vanguard, and preparation for the release of another ship. The team has also been working on the introduction of “rear seat” functionality for our two-seater dogfighting ships which we plan to release as a stepping stone to full multi-crew ships. With the complexity of each of our ships, weapons, and items it cannot be stressed enough just how much detailed work our Design team applies to the release of each. As some of you may already be aware, our Design team is also working on a new game mode, Pirate Swarm. This mode will allow players to engage against waves of enemy ships similar to Vanduul Swarm except that the opposing ships will be comprised of every flyable ship that we currently have in dogfighting. This will be a great way for folks to experiment and practice against human flyable ships that are piloted by AI. Like most everything we do, this mode is also a great development building block towards the Persistent Universe and Squadron 42. Not only does it let us improve our ship AI by having the AI control a variety of ships but it also allows us to begin implementing some of the dynamic mission parameters that will be featured in the Persistent Universe. The goal for Pirate Swarm is not to just have a preset number and type of ships per wave but instead to have the types of ships, AI skill, and number of ships scale dynamically based off the number of players, their equipment, and their skill/success. It should prove to be a very exciting and dynamic game mode that will serve as a great test bed in the future.   Art With the upcoming release of the FPS module we really wanted to update the character models that you’ve seen previously at the PAX presentations. To this end Forrest Stephan, our CG Supervisor, has been overseeing and participating in a rework of all 8 character models for the FPS module. Both he and one of our Concept Artists, Omar Aweidah, have spent much of March in Austin with the character artists there refining and updating the models, materials, textures, and helmets for each of the characters. With our burgeoning Character Pipeline we are starting to apply many of the process and techniques that have been mastered in our Ship Pipeline. We are moving away from using the classic character modeling techniques that have been used in the past and taking better advantage of some of the features of CryEngine and Star Citizen, especially PBR (Physically Based Rendering) and the use of polys over normals, and hard surface modeling techniques used on non-cloth parts of the characters. All in all there has been great progress, and we hope that you guys are happy with the look of our updated characters when they make their debut in the FPS module. Meanwhile, development of new ships, weapons, and items continues unabated. We’re building a huge universe and we’re working to populate it as best we can! March saw the unveiling of the concept for the Aegis Vanguard which ended up turning out really well and we’re quite proud of it! We’ve also had ongoing concepts for some larger ships which we’ll be premiering in the near future as soon as they’re completed. At the same time our internal modeling team has been working diligently on building out ships like the Herald, P-52 Merlin, Xi’an Scout, and even starting in on the Vanguard. We’ve also been making great progress on the reworks to the Constellation and Freelancer as they get updated to using our latest modeling techniques and the modularity system. These ships will be ready to show off their new looks with the release of multi-crew ship functionality in Arena Commander. That brings our departmental updates to a close for this month. We have all reconciled our March goals against the progress made and are looking forward to continuing strong into April with our updated monthly objectives. As we wind down the Santa Monica studio report for March, we would all like to thank each of you reading for your support in making this game a reality. All of the people working on this project and all of the development that you’ve read about in our update as well as the updates from the other studios that you’re about to read would not be possible without you! So from all of us here in Santa Monica, thank you for your support and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the progress we’ve made during the month of March. Cheers, CIG Santa Monica     CIG Austin Hi everyone! March has been a great month for the Austin team. We had a blast supporting PAX East and participating in SXSW with several different events, and we revealed some work from the Austin Persistent Universe team! Our Live Operations team has been hard at work with the release of Version 1.1.0 and then a ton of research and work on improving multiplayer support and capacity on the live servers. We’ve also fired up our nascent ‘Game Support’ team to bolster our Live Operations activities and you’ll see a new report from Will in the Live Ops section of the team reports below!   Persistent Universe Team: Art: True to form, March has been a busy month for the PU Art team. We’ve had several different “hero” props in the works, with concepts being done by Ted Beargeon and Ken Fairclough on things like hulking radar dishes and solar panels for space stations, holo-object viewing kiosks for our shop locations, and the Medical Display Carousel prop which features prominently in the Medical Unit. We also have multiple outsourcers cranking away on minor props that will flesh out our planetside environments, at the moment specifically ArcCorp and Terra. The first half of this month our character team was working long hours to support the video you guys saw at SXSW. We had several new faces appear in that video, including the bartender, nurse, and a few bar patrons and workers. Recently our character artists have switched from supporting the Social Module release to helping out full time on the FPS characters. They’re making tweaks to the armor, materials, and helmets to ensure that they are the best they can be for when the first drop of FPS hits (SOON!). In other news we’ve been developing the look and feel of NPC’s in the PU with the help of Megan Cheever and another external vendor. We are setting it up so that, depending on a specific planetside location’s sphere of influence (Terra, Earth, Frontier, etc.), the NPC’s will have a slightly different aesthetic. We’ve been defining what those aesthetics are and how they all relate to one another, specifically this month working on the Terra-influenced White Collar aesthetic and the Frontier-influenced Counter Culture aesthetic. Speaking of different spheres of influence, Mark Skelton has been defining the aesthetic of various architectural styles within the Persistent Universe. The styles we are developing are all deeply entrenched in the lore of Star Citizen and reflect the era in which they were built. We just recently wrapped up defining the “Colonialism” style, which represents a style you might find on a world very recently colonized. We are also actively working on the “Monumentalism” style, the “Hennowism” style, and the “Streamline” style. We look forward to showing these off to you as they come online. Our Animation team has their hands dipped into several different areas of the project. We’ve got Daniel Craig and Jay Brushwood helping to get the Gladiator interactions running smoothly. Vanessa Landeros is working on drunk animations for booth, walking, and idle positions. David Peng has been standardizing cockpit templates so that our ship modelers going forward can be as consistent as possible. Lastly, Lead Animator Bryan Brewer has been working on an animation set we like to call “Grabby Hands”. More on that later! Last but not least, Patrick Thomas has been hard at work bringing the mobiGlas object itself to life. Pretty soon we will have a beautiful, intricate prop to go with the amazing UI work being done up at BHVR.   Design: Much of the designers’ time this month was spent setting up and capturing the footage for the video shown at SXSW here in Austin. Lots of great stuff went into that video and we have Nate Blaisdell, Rob Reininger, and Sean Tracy to thank for much of what was shown. Pete “Weekly Weather Wizard” Mackay has been developing a tool called the “Thruster Calculator” that, you guessed it, calculates thrust for our ships. It’s a very robust tool that should help us greatly in the long run when trying to balance our ships. New Design Director, Todd Papy, came over from Frankfurt and spent a week with Tony Zurovec discussing high level design for Star Citizen and delving into the nitty gritty of things like NPC AI. Some great discussions came out of Todd’s time here that you’ll get to see the fruits of hopefully in the not-too-distant future. As the release for the Social Module inches closer, ironing out details and specifics becomes a top priority. Things like what will the shopping experience be like, what happens when a player tries to enter an area meant only for NPC’s, and how will players interact with objects all become important questions to figure out answers to as soon as possible. We’ll continue to nail things down as we progress into April.   Engineering: March was a month of marvel and wonder for our ATX programming team. Their BIG ticket item was our contribution helping our SXSW demo come to life as well as their support for our recent 1.1.0 patch. Thank you to all of the great folks who came out to support Start Citizen at SXSW; our team had a great time mingling with the lot of you while consuming delicious Star Citizen themed alcoholic beverages! Our networking team has been rocking it hard! They’ve made some strong progress on a variety of systems, including: Multiplayer Hangars, Ship and Missile Movement Prediction, Player Persistence, Universe Simulator, Chat, Emotes and more! They’ve also been building out the base foundation of the game’s network architecture. We also have some engineers dedicated to building out our services to accommodate our growing numbers of players, and investigating ways to optimize our networking performance and to increase server scalability. We held a successful Network Summit here in Austin. We flew in many core members from across the globe to begin our next phase of planning for new features on our horizon and for the many boundaries that we plan to push. We were also able to share a bit of Austin culture during SXSW with our engineers from abroad—and they loved every second of the experience! Our ninja-commando strike team of programmers also continue to develop and iterate on a variety of tools for use across all CIG studios. These…oft unsung heroes…have tirelessly and enthusiastically been developing AI Editors, Asset Tools, and other tools to support our team and enable us to make our game. To top it all off, our engineers got to enjoy some green beer on St. Patrick’s Day with the entire studio…which allowed them time to reflect on their past accomplishments with their co-workers and dream of the great things we have planned. Everyone is looking forward to April and excited to continue progress on the Persistent Universe!   Live Operations: QA : The month of March was business as usual for QA. For most of the month, the team focused on testing 1.1.0 and was very excited for its successful release. In addition to testing 1.1.0, QA was also continually testing the FPS module release. Tyler Witkin and his UK counterpart Glenn Kneale have done an exceptional job ensuring the FPS module has had the proper attention it needs. QA has also been working very closely with production this month to help sync our testing standards and streamline the bug creation process across our studios. In an effort headed up by Gerard Manzanares, QA has implemented regular comprehensive performance testing to help developers investigate optimization improvements for the game. The entire QA team had a really great time showing off the game at the SXSW gaming expo this month. We were so happy to meet so many backers and supporters! Many Citizens even stayed to help explain to people who have never seen Star Citizen what the game is all about.   We have the best community! In addition to our QA responsibilities, select members of the team were able to assist in multiple special projects this month. The team helped to gather video which was used in the new trailer shown at the SXSW closing party. Also some members of the team were able to assist our animation team. Andrew Hesse, Tyler Witkin, Melissa Estrada, and Glenn Kneale all helped to gather ship metrics in 3D Studio Max which will be essential for our Imaginarium mocap shoot. This month we are happy to announce the newest addition to the QA team. Please welcome Miles Lee! Miles comes to us from Daybreak Game Company (Formerly SOE) where he was responsible for internal server deploys, live server deploys and build system maintenance. Miles will be our QA liaison to DevOps and will be helping in our efforts to expand our automated testing. For the month of April, QA is looking towards more bug fix releases and testing the Arena Commander FPS module release.   Game Support The month of March saw the creation of Star Citizen’s Game Support team, headed up by Will Leverett, and ultimately will grow to span multiple locations to best serve the worldwide SC community as we continue to grow. So… what is Game Support? Our primary mission is to serve players of the live service. Whether it’s through public communication on the forums and Reddit, individually assisting players with troubleshooting the launcher and client, coordinating with Dev Ops to monitor the live service, or working with Customer Support to identify and triage issues with new updates, everything we do is to make sure you have the absolute best gaming experience possible. Our first Game Support task was to establish a quick turnaround for players with technical support issues with 1.0.3. Once accomplished, we found that there was a need with our 1.1.0 patch to publicly communicate with players about the state of the service. Closely coordinating with DevOps and Community, we created the Live Service Notifications forum category to better relay the health of the live service to you. We’ve worked this week to better understand the nature of our multiplayer issues, working closely with many individual players to understand more about what’s occurring so that we can create a stable live environment. The discourse that Game Support has established with our players has been incredibly crucial. What we’ve learned from players providing their reports on the Live Service Notification forum has helped us better understand where we have bottlenecks on our service. This is a bit of what you can expect from us in the future, too. We’re excited to be a part of the great adventure of bringing you the BDSSE!   IT/Operations: March has been one of the busiest and most exciting months in history for the CIG IT/Operations team. The entire IT department helped prepare dozens of demo computers for multiple events including PAX East and SXSW. Systems were deployed at each event location then repacked and shipped to their next location in time for their next performance. Chris and Paul from the Austin office coordinated these efforts ensuring that everything arrived safely and performed as expected. As usual challenges surface any time we go on the road but our expert team travels with a full contingency kit allowing them to defeat any problem which could arise. We had a great time at these events and enjoyed meeting and speaking with many backers and their families. Hassan from our UK studio has kept extremely busy this month as well by single-handedly setting up for our latest mocap shoot in London. All networking and connectivity back to the home office plus security, storage, and cameras were delivered safely and configured on time to meet our aggressive schedule. In L.A. Dennis continued his evaluation of new hardware solutions while working directly with the Dev Team to ensure compatibility and correct functionality. In addition to supporting the Dev Team’s efforts toward our major demos this month, IT in Austin has been continuing our work to improve the internal build/development cycle. This is being accomplished by reducing the time it takes to move data from our build system to all development locations. Sometimes it’s hard to fathom the amount of data we’re moving on a daily basis as our build system constantly cranks out builds around the clock. Each of these builds must be delivered rapidly to each studio for testing and continued development. We’re all extremely proud of Mike “Sniper” Pickett’s work in this area but every improvement made is followed quickly by a new challenge. We have now surpassed 5 PB /mo in internal data for build delivery. This doesn’t include public data delivery of published patches from our live services. Encountering these behind the scenes challenges and designing solutions is one of the many reasons we love working on Star Citizen.   Dev Ops: The Dev Ops team has been working on several projects over the month of March, many of these will continue into the next couple months as well. Jeffrey Parker and Francesco Di Mizio have been continuing to build and roll out a new Build Server using the BuildBot frame work. Joe Holley worked with the Tech Art team and built a tool we call Copy Build that all the studios now use to get dev builds internally. Keegan Standifer has been hard at work building a new prototype launcher and patching system. Alex Peruyera has been continuing to using Chef to build out our PTU and Live environments. And Joe and Alex have been working on creating a dynamic provisioner which will supply new VMs and services to the infrastructure to scale up and down based on player and service load. As a team we have also been working improving our visualization of metrics from the live service, from Splunk, to Google Monitoring, to crash handlers, and logging cleanup and verbosity. We are slowly building a unified solution for the company to view the detailed health and status of PTU and the Live Service. We have also begun setting up several different type of databases for implementation and performance testing. In March we also participated in the CIG Networking Summit, where engineers from across the company flew in and discussed how to build a dynamic and scalable MMO. On top of all this Dev Ops supported the release of 1.1.0 to PTU and Live. Unfortunately, since 1.1.0 went live we have been experiencing extreme instability in our Matchmaking code. The Dev Ops team, along with the Server Engineering team, have been working every day to track down problems, hotfix them, or check larger fixes into an upcoming release. The Dev Ops team keeps working towards the future while also working to improve our current service. March was another crazy month at CIG, it is looking like April will be much the same!     Foundry 42 Engineering March and the team has been beavering away on all things Squadron 42 and Arena Commander. You’ll now be able to see some of the fruits of our labor in the latest AC, with the new multiplayer free flight mode, and the initial preview of the pad version of take-off and landing. As always this isn’t the finished polished version but it gives you a look at the work in progress. A lot of continued work has also been going into the tutorial which is going to be coming one of the AC releases in April. Again this system touches on many areas and helps their development. For example, although our conversation system has been designed mainly around ground based NPC interaction, we’re using it in a simpler form for all the dialogue between the teacher and pupil. This helped highlight a number of issues which required fixing. All these mechanics, although being developed in AC, are destined for Squadron 42 and a good example of using AC as part of the production process. In other news we’ve started helping out on the AI development, which means we’ve now got a dedicated engineering resource here in the UK. Having the extra body not only helps speed along the AI work, but also gives the designers somebody they can work closely with for all their AI problems or requests. Having this sort of very quick feedback loop is so important for rapid turnaround and makes the process much more efficient. Other than that it’s just the usual concentrating on the continued implementation of all the new mechanics required for the game, of which there are many, and getting them into the hands of the designers. It’s all coming along very nicely!   Design We have had another busy month in preparation for the motion capture shoot at Imaginarium Studios coming in April. The script writing team have been working round the clock to make sure that the performance capture scenes are ready for Chris to direct. On top of that casting for the game has almost completed with some very exciting actors now becoming part of Star Citizen. Squadron 42 has seen a number of good level reviews this month as things have got more tied down, and we have been hiring like crazy here in the UK. The Art Ship team has really started to grow to accommodate the massive amount of work needed to get all the ships we need for Squadron 42 in the game looking cool and in their most optimal state. As well as the Ships team, the Environments team have continued to provide more of the massive amount of modular building sets we need to make the environments look awesome and believable. The designers are loving being able iterate so quickly on the level layouts as these modular pieces continue to stream into the build. As you will already know, almost all the designers here at Foundry 42 are working flat out on their respective Squadron 42 levels day-in day-out so it becomes very hard to fill you in on those details without spoiling anything, but it’s safe to say we feel that we made very good progress on the game this month. As for Arena Commander, the tutorial is almost there now, bar a few annoying bugs. The cored-out asteroid we are using got a much needed lighting pass and now looks great, and the AI is actually starting to path correctly out of the super confided space. Also, now that you will be able to have additional crew members in a single ship, we have taken a pass at the “Multi-crew” lobby design and “Scoring system” to make that account for each player in the ship. That’s all for now, it’s been a tiring but very exiting month on Star Citizen here in the UK. Thanks for all the marvelous support as usual.   Audio On the CIG Audio front, we’ve been extremely busy, both with supporting upcoming releases and with the WWISE integration. The latter is reaching its final stage and we will soon be able to make the permanent switch. This is of course very exciting for us, but we hope it will also be very exciting for the players! Switching to WWISE will not only improve our workflow, allowing us to deliver and implement awesome sounds much faster in game, but it will also allow us to create “Sonic Events” which were so far impossible. And to be able to concentrate our efforts within one audio framework, you should hear some appreciable quality jumps. We are also very excited to announce that our ranks will grow yet again in April, with not one but two (!) new Sound Designers and a Dialogue Specialist. With Squadron 42 well under way, as well as the First Person module, Social Module, etc, we are beyond excited to get cracking and let them loose on those. Talking of the FPS Module – we have a Foley session at Pinewood coming up that should provide a great sound asset base for this; it’s such an important part of what makes the best FPS games sound that bit more polished. We’ll try to grab photos where possible from this, we’re currently prepping a lot of resources to make sure we have everything we need for it. We’re putting together plans to publish ‘Dev Diaries’ from CIG Audio. If you could let us know what sort of things you would like to see as part of this, that’d be great. We’re thinking videos are the easiest way to go with these but we can sprinkle some blog-style posts in there, some interview style stuff – but yes, let us know what YOU would like to see and hear and we’ll try to cater for that as best we can. Also in line with our last update, our Audio Programmers have been hard at work ensuring we make a move towards a far more systemic approach to the way we implement sounds, starting with weapons. Coupled with our new design approach for firearms, Star Citizen’s weapons are on their way to become some of the best heard in any game, ever, throughout the galaxy (and probably beyond). At least, this is where we’re aiming, and we’ll look to post some examples of these (without giving the game away, obviously!). If you have any references in this area, not just from games but other forms of media, always open to ideas. Finally, make sure you check out our Beyond The Verse interview of Phil, Sound Designer in Manchester, as well as his use of the fabled “Buttkicker” for source recording!   Art Overview When at Sq42 do we not have a whole ton of stuff going on! So this month, for concepts we have been solving a few areas on the ARGO ruv, Behring rifles, attachments, grenades, Starfarer modular wall interiors, shubin lighting passes, Vanduul fleet surface treatment and paint overs for two of the ships, Bengal interior improvements, modular sections – the list goes on! Our outsource partners have also made good headway with the Vanduul fleet and are starting to get them in game, testing out polygon counts, materials etc. We have also started to tackle some of the style inconsistencies in the Idris and bring this ship up to the quality bar we now expect. The team is constantly growing and we have added a few more to the environment team and ship team, Bjorn and Ian have taken on more responsibility within the CIG group and will help solidify the pipelines used within the group.   Ship Team This month the Foundry 42 ship team is laying a lot of fundamentals down for the creation of capships. We are in the process of producing a couple of the biggest ships in game, which as you can imagine are pretty complicated to set up. We started on creating modular sets for manufacturer specific archetypes, so we can easily form complete capship interiors that are within the same manufacturer in the future. Nathan Dearsley, Phil Howlett and Jay Malhotra, the strike team that tackled the Retaliator, are attacking this mega project and are making amazing progress on this. We are also taking the Gladiator to flight ready, teaming up with our Tech-Design colleagues in the L.A office. This is on schedule,and coming along really nice. Furthermore, we started production on the Starfarer. Matthew Johns and Colin Baynard are going to tackle this ship. Currently setting up all modular systems and blocking out the complete interior for this beauty.   FPS This month, the UK has started to reorganize all FPS weapon and FPS item/gadget productions for Cloud Imperium Games. Together with our colleagues in Frankfurt, Bjorn Seinstra and Alex Marshall are taking point on the production of all FPS weapons in the game! Starting off with a fully revised weapon pipeline, and production schedule for 2015, we are currently producing a lot of new stuff for FPS weapons, grenades and gadgets, aswell as revisiting a lot of weapons that are in game already to adhere to the high standard we are aiming for. Rifles/Launchers, lots of different gadgets and grenades, you name it ,we are going to produce it!   VFX Team We started the month working on the Gladiator flight-ready effects – thrusters, weapons, power plants etc! There was also a big push to work on the style guides. In particular, we updated the VFX style guide and fleshed out in greater detail and tying in to manufacturer-specific style guides. We have pretty much nailed down the human manufacturers now, with the Vanduul next in the firing line so to speak! We’ve continued effects support for Arena Commander tutorial mode and made the first pass at Squadron 42 environmental effects. Finally, we worked on various R&D for some of the more complicated effects – such as huge-scale electrical storms. Epic! General bug fixing for 1.1.0 and 1.1.0a releases. Characters This month it’s all about the heads and we have been gearing towards preparing the facial scanning rig for the Imaginarium Shoot in London. We have transported the setup to a premises in London, just over the road from Ealing Studios, and the camera rig is now taking centre stage in the basement. During the move we took the opportunity to add 2 more cameras, improved the spacing between the cameras and experiment a little with the setup generally. Overall we are seeing some great improvements on what was already one of the best rigs in the country. The only hardship has been the manual labelling and renaming of the 50 cameras and over 250 cables and hopefully we will never have to do that again! We also welcomed Jon Jones to the team as a very experience facial animator. Jon came down to London to help setup the camera rig so he can familiarize himself with the setup and FACs scanning process. We have also approved the in-game facial rig setup we received from 3Lateral and we are on track to produce fantastic quality heads with great and realistic facial animation.   Environment Art This month the environment team have been heads down building quality layouts using our build sets. The set we are using is being stress tested to the max by our world building artists, they are solving all the problems which come up turning this from a pretty modular building set into a production quality game environment. We are also going through the process of applying textures to the building set pieces which is a time consuming process but instantly rewarding when you see the results. Additional time and resource have been spent to Arena Commander, polishing up a new extra section.     BHVR Greetings Citizens, BHVR has been hard at work with multiple CIG’s team. A lot has been done during the month of March for the PU team, the FPS team and for the AC team. At the same time, we were able to progress on our longer term goals. Montréal is currently unfreezing and we are ready to achieve even more in April. Here’s the BHVR team update   Design Our designers are busy putting together various components needed for you to experience the PU as it was presented in the SXSW video and more. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we worked on during the month of March: More locations (shops & others) have been integrated in ArcCorp and Terra. More Planetside Whiteboxes have been completed in collaboration with ATX. We’re putting extra effort on Terra. As you may know, Terra consists of multiple zones that are quite different, like you would expect in any major city. More iterations on the Shopping Experience using Augmented Reality. MOAR iterations on the EPIC (DOUBLE CAPS) Holotable revamp. Support on the mobiGlas, which is coming along nicely! All sorts of support for features in development such as multiplayer hangars. We’ve started looking into the Planetside locations we should tackle next. We had a friendship breaking debate about double-monocles. Otherwise, as you may already be aware, we spend a good deal of time each month fixing and polishing what is already in game. The reality is that a feature is never completely done until the game is done…and even then. As we added new components to the game this month, we needed to refine and adapt what was considered done last month. We also have a special note about flairs this month. As always, we’ve designed more subscriber goodies to plan ahead for the next few months, and since the multiplayer hangars are soon coming, you’ll be able to brag and show them off to your non-subscribing friends. We’ve also started concepts (design and art) on the various items awarded for past stretch goals. If you backed SC early enough, you should start hearing/seeing more about the Hadesian Artefact, Xi’An plant and the other cool stuff that have been promised!   Engineering With the arrival of spring in what used to be ice cold Montreal, the month of march has also brought with it a lot of variety as far as the Behaviour programming team is concerned. A good deal of time was spent polishing the experience and adding new features to the first Persistent Universe module that will eventually be released. We’ve made a lot of changes and iterations to the mobiGlas Shopping & Augmented Reality applications, both of which hadn’t really been worked on for quite a bit of time. In relation to that, we’ve also reworked the mobiGlas Notifications framework to allow better scaling with the ever increasing number of notifications. A couple of programmers have also kept working on the multiplayer experience for the Persistent Universe for both Planetside and Hangars, that is, conjointly with the Austin studio. Finally, we’re still working on the chat implementation and making sure we’re covering all potential issues arising from localization and foreign language eventualities. As usual, we’re also taking some time away from long term development to focus on closer to the end-user features such as minor tweaks to the Holotable, more thorough handling of Rental Equipment in the game and some UI support for the Arena Commander Tutorial. We have also continued to provide support to Illfonic as far as the FPS in concerned, mostly in relation to the Arena Commander UI flow which is getting a revamp with the addition of FPS, as well as some FPS Loadout manipulation. In order to eventually get our game servers to support more players, we’re currently re-working the framework that allows displaying 3D Objects inside UI Elements, which we call Holo Objects, to be more efficient and to reduce the number of entities it requires.   Art Good progress was done on NYX with the WhiteBox phase finished and moving on to the GreyBox phase. We brought new visual improvements to ArcCorp and some of its shops, and work started on a new section of Terra. The 2D layout was validated and the WhiteBox was finished. The April flair was finished and we are now moving on to the next flair, which is going to look really cool in your hangars!   UI Meetings and Mockups! We’ve been busy refining the redesign of the holotable as well as the menu flow, working to establish an efficient and user friendly layout. We’ve also continued to improve the mobiGlas shopping app, which now has a different look for each shop you go in for a customized shopping experience. We’ve also been spending a lot of time working on multicrew lobby design, refining the entire Arena Commander menu flow, working on the FPS loadout screen, as well as some logo design and animations, some work for the SXSW presentation, and an interview in the latest issue of Jumpoint! … It’s been a pretty busy month! Still loving it! :D     Illfonic Hello esteemed citizens! For those of you who came out to se us at PAX East… Thanks! It was great meeting all of you. We hope you enjoyed another little glimpse of FPS gameplay, and hopefully you got some hands on time with it. We know it was still pretty rough, but we’ve spent the last few weeks fixing lots of the issues and addressing the feedback we heard at the event.   Engineering Engineering work is continuing on the push & pull system. In the last few weeks we started implementing a new partial ragdoll system that blends in and out of animations and physics when you collide with an object. This is something Chris believes will really drive home the look feel of being in zero gravity, and should make for some awesome moments while playing SATA Ball. SATA Ball? What’s that you say? I’ll tell you! SATA Ball is a new game mode we are implementing that is a futuristic sport of sorts. Gliding around in zero gravity, the goal is to get a ball into a goal by passing it to your team mates, all while shooting and getting shot at. It’s still all very early, but we are making good progress and look forward to playtesting it as it comes together. Two new weapons were also hooked up in game. Art The art team is basically finished with one of the FPS levels, and is only doing small tweaks and bug-fixing on it from here on out. The other level is going through some minor reworks to give it some more depth and additional elements to increase readability for the players. Two of our artists have also started working on additional grenades and weapons that probably won’t make it into the first release of FPS, but will be available shortly thereafter. Lastly, some of the team is going to start helping out with the Squadron 42 levels.   Design The design team has been prototyping the SATA Ball mode and continues to play-test and make tweaks on weapon feel. Whitebox work is also progressing on future FPS levels.   VFX We recently had a VFX review with Chris and the art directors revisiting all of the FPS weapons, gadgets and grenade visual effects. The feedback from that review is now being implemented. Most of it is focused around making sure that the visual effects are consistent across ships and FPS weapons. For example, we want to make sure that the technology for using a laser repeater with ship weapons is being represented with hand-help weapons as well, just on a smaller scale. Animation The animation team is still hard at work getting the new mocap animations hooked up, while tweaking and polishing the ones that have already gone in. Another big task they have is getting all of the zero g animations in. We recently did a pre-viz of what zero g movement should look like, and now that everyone has agreed upon the general look and feel we can start working towards that goal.     Turbulent Hi! Turbulent’s RSI team has been slowly growing over the past few months, and now there’s 10 of us working full-time on all aspects of the platform. Electronic Access and the REC system This past month saw the introduction of Electronic Access and the REC system. Anyone who plays the game now has the ability to earn credits through ranked matches that will let them try out new ships and/or equipment. There has been data exchanges between the game client and our website data for a while now: the game knows what is in a user’s account, what they can and cannot actually use, the game then feeds back data which gets integrated into our global Leaderboards. The game now impacts users’ accounts by updating their REC ledger, which in turn affects gameplay through the use of ROMs. This loop is also allowing us to test out future persistent aspects of the game, and will be extended to cover the FPS module as well. Of course this feature required a lot of coordination with the other CIG teams for connection, data integration and balancing. This common effort allowed us to launch this new store with its own style, purpose and sizeable catalog jointly with release 1.1. The granularity of how a ROM is activated will soon also take into account the actual items used in the game’s ship loadout and not active all ROMs.   Home We’ve been teasing it for a bit, but the new Homepage design is coming up, as it has now entered its QA phase. This new layout will feature denser but shows a lot more content and is cleaner with a tiling and layout approach. In order to achieve this we are also going through every post (>1800 posts!) that was ever added to the site to recatalog their channel, series and tags so we can better categorizing and prioritize the content flow in hub pages like the home. UX The UX team has been also taking a huge inventory of all UI components we use on the platform so we can start a process of reducing the amount of different styles. The site is 2 years old already and a level of unification is needed. All views and UI components are being cataloged so we can reduce the amount we use as well as design new ones that will take over. Huge job!   Starmap Much work was done on the Starmap. Our Unity-based functionality prototype keeps expanding to include prototype ideas on how to show jump routes and celestial entities. The team is currently focused on producing the actual UI and artwork for the map. This includes the UI for the map’s HUD and the various buttons that will make the universe come alive. Much research was done to get the UI concepts nailed for how we want to display information as you browse the space. A concept of “Helpers” that show around a body and displays different levels of information based on how closely you are looking at it was developed and will influence how all elements in our “Astrometrics room” will function. Major design considerations were given to how the map will be revealed as well since not 100% of the universe will be ready when we drop the starmap. Building a UI and processes to reveal entire star cluster or specific subroutes is being worked on , another piece that we incorporate in how we will display the map’s helpers.   CCU’s! Don’t worry! We know how convoluted upgrading pledges is now that AC has that many flyable ships! We spent many hours in March to devise how the new CCU system will function. We are hoping to be tackling the development of this feature soon to replace the current very complicated flow. Our current thinking is to allow you to upgrade by either starting with a ship you own or by choosing the ship you want to ugprade to. Both ways should be possible. In the case of the former you could see all potential upgrades and their pricing very easily from your hangar. For the latter, the store pages would allow you to see from which of your ships you can reach the designated destination ship. Obviously, we want to get rid of the multi-step upgrade and allow you to go straight from an Aurora to a Freelancer if you so choose. Content March has also come with its own batch of website content : 1.1 introduced many new game design aspects, the Retaliator has a lot more to show for itself, the Aegis Vanguard is now one of the most successful ships ever, and you may have noticed that we started the month of April underwater. We’ve also redone the subscription pages to better show what subscribers actually get out of supporting the project. Except a major update of the ship stats to fit the new mount system as well as possibly a refresh of all ship flyable ship stats based on their actual game state.   Platform Changelog We have designed a simple way to bring our platform changelog on the site in a permanent area. Some of you will recall we used to have an area on the forums to post our build updates (and we do ship a site build every week!) but that was lost in the forums transition. Well we want to bring it back!     Moon Collider We started March off with three of our team members attending the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. While this was a bit of a hit to the available manpower for the month, it was definitely time well spent. GDC is always a great opportunity to get new ideas and gain inspiration from what other developers are working on, and I think we all came away with heads full of great ideas that we can’t wait to put in motion! Other than this, we continued on from last month working with the Frankfurt team on developing the AI features roadmap and working out the best ways to divide up all the AI work between us and them. With the Frankfurt team now taking on a lot of the day-to-day support requests from the rest of the CIG team, we’ve been able to focus more on core AI tech, and we’re quite excited about the features that are currently being designed and implemented.   Design One of the big features that we’ve been wanting to get in place for a while now is what we call navigation objects (or sometimes navlinks, but let’s not get confusing!), and this month was heavily focused on the design and implementation of these. Navigation objects are what allow AI characters to move around an environment between points that can’t be reached by just walking along the floor. Think ladders, closed doors, vaulting over tables, jumping down off ledges or climbing up onto them, and so on. These are typically things that require the character to play a special animation or do something more than just walk or run, and so we need a way to mark up a level with these things. When done right, we can tell an AI character to move to a distant spot and it will figure out what navigation objects it can use along the way to create the shortest path there, and then automatically use those objects as it moves to the destination. We completed enough of the design to begin implementing navigation objects with basic functionality this month. You will no doubt be hearing more about this topic in the coming months as we continue to flesh out the details of surprisingly complicated topics like proper handling of doors, stopping multiple characters from using a navigation object at the same time, supporting different species/aliens in the Star Citizen universe that have different movement capabilities, and how to say that a character in light armor can climb up onto a platform but a character in heavy armor needs to use the stairs (and cut back on the cheeseburgers!) Another design area this month was fleshing out the Kythera job system and how it integrates with the CryEngine job system. A job system is basically a way of breaking down computation work into small independent chunks called jobs, and then scheduling them for execution. This is very important for taking advantage of parallel processors and thus maximizing performance on modern PCs.   Engineering As mentioned above, we did a lot of design work on navigation objects and the Kythera job system this month, and we’ve also done a lot of work on implementing those designs. Navigation objects have been quite intensive so far, since they require work to be done on multiple levels, from the creation of UI in the CryEngine editor for designers to work with, all the way down to low level changes to AI pathfinding to make use of them. We also did some work on local navigation grids. This is a major feature being worked on by multiple teams and basically allows us to put characters and objects into environments like ships and space stations that may be rotating in world space, but control them as though the ground they’re standing on is not moving. So you can have a character walking around inside a ship like the Constellation while it’s doing a barrel roll, but the AI pathfinding and behavior code can be written as though everything is stopped and up and down aren’t constantly changing. Most of the complexity of being within a moving local coordinate system is now hidden by the system we’ve implemented and dealt with transparently, which greatly simplifies code and reduces bugs. Another interesting bit of work we did this month was adding more control for AI ships during scripted sequences. Normally when we give an AI ship a spline path to follow, we make the AI manipulate the ship thrusters to control it in a physically accurate way, so that the AI can’t cheat with its maneuvers. This is generally the right thing to do, but it does mean that in certain situations such as the Arena Commander tutorial, if for some reason the AI is unable to keep to the path, such as low framerate when running on a lower spec PC, it might leave it far enough to crash into something and potentially break the tutorial. So we added in the ability for designers to set up nav splines during these sequences that specify the maximum amount that they want to allow the ship to deviate from the path, and we will then force the ship to stick to the path if necessary. This doesn’t affect AI during gameplay, but has been great for improving the robustness of the tutorial and will prove useful in story sequences in Squadron 42.   Community Greetings, Citizens! Subscription Manager Alexis here, reporting from perpetually sunny Santa Monica where we’re wrapping up another busy month at the studio. The Community team has been hard at work making sure you stay connected with the game you’re making possible (with a break every now and then to indulge in our new favorite hobby, the Star Wars card trading app!) March was quite the EVENTful month, which we kicked off at the PAX East CIG Party in Boston and SXSW Bonus Round Party in Austin. You can check out some photos from SXSW, including the award that we took home for Most Anticipated Crowdfunded Game! Our devs had a great time hanging out with everyone who attended both events and visited our booths. We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our next two events, Gamescom in August and Citizen Con in October. Look for more event details and information about tickets in the near future. Production continues to roll along on Around the Verse, with our 38th episode airing this week. We had a lot of fun with putting together a very special April Fool’s Day edition of ATV. We also debuted the second installment of the Wonderful World of Star Citizen, which puts the focus on you, the fans. If you see (or create) something that you think should be featured on the show, you can post your submissions here. Of course, none of these shows would be possible without the support of our subscribers. Part of the subscription program includes perks in addition to access to our monthly digital magazine, Jump Point! This week we launched our Year 3 subscriber perks, which includes a number of cool additions and some old favorites. The team at Turbulent also gave our subscription page a fresh new look! You can check out our updated perks and info on how to become a subscriber here. Our community has been growing in leaps and bounds; thanks largely in part to our PAX East and SXSW ‘fly free’ promotions we can now boast over 800,000 Citizens! To help keep everyone engaged, we’re doubling up on our social outreach. We’ve started a new Instagram channel to try and get across the great spirit of working here on Star Citizen… and it even features a web comic from our resident marketing artist Ryan Archer! That wraps it up for this month’s Communiteam update, see you all next time!   End Transmission [/spoiler]       Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen) 10 For the Chairman 58( video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Usual intro and Thanks   - On to the Questions! -   Rex_Maxim Asks: With the ability of having multiplayer free flight now, would it also be possible to let players join a free flight game already in session?     Yeah, actually I'll check on that, but I don't know why we'd particularly block you from joining a game in session... We're definitely working on a system where you can see what games are available and if there are open slots you can join and also see the general skill rankings of the games. It's actually a really high priority goal to optimise the matchmaking system, we've got a new one in the works but the temporary one that we've got working right now is definitely not good enough in the long term. We're replacing it with the one that will also be driving the PU and have all sorts of other features as well, but that takes time. So I guess I'll say this isn't something that'll happen next week, but it's definitely the plan down the line, it might only need some UI changes, I don't know at the moment.   Sailor67 Asks: I am planning on a hangar party, for our entire organization and their guests, once the social module is dropped. Will there be a code I can publish that will allow everyone access to my hanger for the weekend, then shut it down once the party is over? Also, with a lot of guests will my hanger get instanced?     The first iteration of the hangar or social module has a follower implementation, which we're not particularly enthusiastic about, we want more of a friends implementation. But right now the way it works is you can give out invites to people that you know and they can accept an invite to come to your hangar. If they do, when they get in their elevator in their hangar, they'll be able to go to yours as well as the surface of ArcCorp. So that's basically how it'll work at first, you send out invites and people can go to your hangar Not quite sure how many people we'll get into your hangar at the moment, in the FPS module for example we're trying to get as many as 32 people into an instance at once [before final optimisations, keep in mind this is a WIP - Nocturnal_Nick] and so we may do that or up to that level in the hangar as well. I'm not quite sure because there are extra issues having all of the ships etc in the hangar as well, we've got more optimisation to do there too, we don't want to kill frame rates etc so I'd say the amount of people you can get in your hangar will be as many as 8-32, we don't quite know yet. We're looking at releasing the FPS module first as you know, and we don't want to release the social module right after that for a number of reasons, first of all code stability and changing streams etc, you just need some time. Plus, everyone's going to be playing FPS! We decided not to have 2 modules come out within 2 or ever 4 weeks of each other. That's the plan anyway, it's not like we're doing less work for them, we're just releasing more when we do the drop. Part of that is figuring out some of the optimisation stuff, that's always ongoing, but basically you'll see you'll be able to invite a certain number of people to your hangar, which WILL be your hangar, not instanced, so everyone in your hangar will be in the same instance. We're playing around with some ideas in the cloud infrastructure that might allow us to optimise and include many more players in a single instance, but that's longer term stuff. Ultimately the goal is to be able to support lots of players running around in an environment, as well as say, in a space battle, having plenty of ships involved plus lots of people inside the ships. That kind of setup would involve multiple servers managing different players, so because some players would be inside ships we can apportionate that to different servers, so we can effectively have a seemingly higher player count in the 1 area. So in the actual space area you might be limited in the number of ships, and within the ships a number of players. That's the long term goal anyway, there are a lot of steps along the way we need to deal with.   Abysal Dragon Asks: If we decide to use a ballistic weapon that is smaller than the size alloted for it, say a size one cannon, in a slot that can hold up to a size 3 gun, could we then use that extra size to carry more ammo for that weapon?     Not really, I think the concept on the sizing of weapons is that you probably won't be able to put a size 1 gun in a size 3 slot. The system allows you to have a minimum size and a maximum size, but obviously if the size one is {this} big and a size three is {this} big then in real life the attachments wouldn't be build to handle such small guns. In general I'd say sizes are pretty much single size. If it's a size 3 mount you'll have to use a size 3 gun. Potentially there could be situation where there might be an option for size 2 or 3, or 3 or 4 or that kind of thing, but in general changing that sizing to the lower one doesn't create extra hardpoints for you to click, essentially you would have some kind of adapter item. Potentially there could be an adaptor item? Like something that plugs into a size 3 slot and can hold 2 size 1 guns and extra ammo? There's nothing in-game like that now, but the system would allow us to create it, that kinda the whole idea of the item system.   Gingen Asks: There hasn't been much information as of late on support for a Linux version of Star Citizen. Are there still plans to bring SC to the Linux platform?     We run all of our servers on Linux, we basically compile all of Star Citizen on Linux for those machines, but the issue with having it run as a client is graphics drivers. We don't have an Open GL .dll driver at the moment, crytek was working on one, but they haven't managed to get it to a state where anyone is happy with the performance being acceptable. It's also the reason we've not got working versions for mac. Longer term we're looking at openGL next and having conversations with various parties about supporting OpenGLNext such as AMD on the graphics card side. That's something we're looking at along with DX12, so OpenGLNext would allow us to consider things like Linux support as I'm sure they'll move to OpenGLNext too. And of course if CryTek manages to get their implementation of the current OpenGL working we'll look at it too. That's really what's been blocking us for the moment. Everything else runs in Linux, and lots of people here love it, but unfortunately we have a lot of things that take higher priority.   DarkRavens Asks: Currently anyone using gimbals or turrets suffers a weapon class loss of of one for each weapon. How do you plan to have this affect larger ships, as they cannot maneuver like fighters, and rely on turrets and gimbals more? Would all of my class two Constellation turrets be downgraded to class one weapons as fixed guns on larger ships would be mostly useless?     Ok, there aren't any "classes" anymore, we've thrown those out, they've not been in the code for a long time. They were just names for classes of weapons like fixed guns, gimballed guns, turret, manned turret, missile rack etc, but now it's all about sizes and the class, whether you're a weapon or a turret or a missile pylon or an ammo box, or a fuel pod etc etc so there's not really anything to worry about there. The design is the design, I've noticed a whole bunch of people get panicked about a weapon being this class/this size, oh no my ship got gimped etc. It's definitely not the case, that's part of the problem with having an open development plan like we do it's really not about the statistics! Ultimately where we want to have the Aurora on the scale, against the hornet on the scale to the constellation, to the bengal, they're all going to live in their same relative spaces, I wouldn't get caught up on sizing or class naming on weapons of turrets. I notice a lot of people saying that the constellation turret(s) should be able to have dual class 4 guns on it, but I think maybe if you want to have a look at what size 2 guns look like on an m50 for example, they look really silly. So the gun sizes and capacities will be matched to the scale and size of the ship, and not some arbitrary numbers we came up with when initially putting it down on paper. Everything is going to relatively sit in the same places, like the Aurora is never going to be a better dogfighter than a hornet, and the hornet's turret isn't going to have bigger guns than a constellation's turret, it just doesn't make sense. The constellation and bigger ships are very turret dependent, so they'll have turrets and guns that match their scale and capacity, like your question says they'll need to have these as the ships won't be as agile as the smaller ones. Likely the constellation is not really something you want to use fixed guns with, more like gimbals and turrets! But this is all a work in progress and all statistics etc are meant to change down the track, just like it says at the very top of the ship page! What you CAN be assured of, is that if you buy the ship that's described as a dogfighting ship, that's what you'll get, no matter what changes in stats say.   Chaplain Asks: What is the heaviest level of armor that can be worn while piloting a shop or manning a crew station, and how long will it take to don armor if the need arises? I'd hate to have to fight off a boarding party in my space pajamas.     I think we're talking about piloting a ship or manning a station in general would be light armour, like in a hornet you might need a flight suit up to light armour. Potentially in a bigger ship we might let you go up to say medium armour as there's more room to move around etc, not 100%. But the rule is essentially light or below to be piloting the small fighter ships, and then if there are bigger ships we might see medium armour or heavy, titan armour I doubt you'd be able to sit down and pilot ships in it. In terms of how long it takes to put all the armour on? Well we haven't decided yet, but it certainly wouldn't take as long as it might take to ACTUALLY strap on that much armour, we might just have an animation where you'd kinda do {this} and suddenly you'd be in. Potentially we'd have it take longer to don heavier armours, but we haven't decided on that yet.   Anomnom Asks: With the recent set of VR headsets being announced with various feature sets, and capabilities, and SDK's, has CIG commited to one platform, such as Oculus, or are you holding back work on the VR aspect until the right choice has become clearer?     We're definitely committing to one VR platform, that'd be like saying we're only allowing one controller or joystick setup, the idea of SC is to embrace all the variety of peripherals that you can get on a PC, that's part of the reason we're ON the PC. We'll be supporting TrackIR, we'll be supporting Oculus Rift, we'll probably be supporting Valve's Vive and if they ever get Morpheus onto a PC maybe we'd support that too, some other versions of stuff, like Magic Leap etc. There's definitely work that's going on to support some of these features, not in the current builds but we'll be including them later on. We have 3 or 4 builds going at once, so the team that's working with the FPS module is using a slightly more advanced version of the engine than what you have with AC, then the social module guys are on an even more advanced version, and finally the SQ42 and multicrew ship combat are using the "main" version which is the most advanced one. We do this so that the modules that are released now and in the near future stay stable, so we don't introduce any game breaking issues as they get to you. The new VR stuff will come in down the road, I'm thinking that it'll come with some of the Multicrew stuff later this year, but it's all about prioritising what we have to get out. So we're finishing off the large world, which we're nearly finished now, we're just on the 3D rendering/camera relative stuff now. Some base engine streaming stuff that we're working on to bring in the massive amounts of data this game needs at any one time. These are all back-end things that are needed pretty much across all parts of the game, and that obviously trumps supporting individual hardware (As cool as it is). But know that we will support everything and anything we can get our hands on, we're not gong to go exclusive to any peripherals.   Riyudo Asks: At the PAX East FPS showing, we got to see an energy based grappling beam. Is there a plan to make a physical one, with a grappling hook and wires?     I don't know, definitely there will be an energy based one, it's not that difficult to do a physical one in system, it's just rope physics, energy beam ones are just simpler and easier to do for the moment. The physical ones, well we could but there are plenty of other things that are higher on the priority list. Definitely possible down the line though.   Graxas Asks: Will the FPS damage mechanic be similar to the new ship damage mechanic? Can we expect to see clothing/skin/armor get grazed/burnt/bruised, then puncture wounds/gashes, then limp/non-functioning limbs?     The answer to that is yes, but it won't be in the FPS, because that branch of the engine doesn't have the body stuff in it right now. We're working on PBR shaders for the character models, and actually that particular build doesn't have the ship damage shader into the characters. But the plan is to have all of that in down the track, including non-functioning or missing limbs unable to be used etc. It won't all debut with the 1.0 of the FPS, but that's all stuff you can expect to come in for realism and immersion.   Dabbs Asks: Will there eventually be items like keycards, that will restrict where crew members can go on my ship?     100% yes. We already have a system that's being finished now, it's what we call the GOST system (Game Object STate machine), which basically is a modularised set of logic that's built visually and is network aware, so if it's done on one client it'll be recognised on all the other clients. And you'd just have it attached to elements of your ship or any entity or item, which can read variables to trigger items etc. The whole point of it is to have things like the interaction in the retaliator in your hangars right now, the doors opening and closing for you is all driven by an early version of GOST as you go in an out etc. But that same logic can also say, "this door is locked" and to show a red light, but if you put a keycard into this slot, that might say to unlock that and 10 other doors on the ship. So that functionality is all going to be built in too. It will be functional for SQ42, you need it for it, and definitely it'll be in the PU, and eventually along the way we'll have it available to be played with in your own ships.   Usual Extro and Thanks   Tidbit: We can't quite tell you about everything we're doing with mo-cap stuff at the moment, or who's involved specifically, but I've got to tell you that if you're putting in $25, $30 or $40 into this game, or even $100 plus dollars you're getting the deal of a century! The amount of times we're putting multiple triple A games into one... Gah, I'm really excited, the end of this year there'll be a lot more, and there will be more after that, but when it all comes together wow, it'll be amazing. [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 38 (video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Transcript by Erris Empire Report – Has a new jump-point to Sol been discovered?  Is it real, will the UEE pay? – A new study says children raised in space may have an advantage – Is the Specturm show returning?   Around the ‘Verse – April Fools fish were very fishy. – The Vanguard concept has been released.  It’s very WWII twin-engine fighter, so it’s the first ship on that vein, and they’re very proud. – 77 million $ – Thank you Vanguard, and thank you backers. – After SXSW and PAX East, lots of new backers are joining, which is great. – 1.1a is being worked on.  It’s not just a minor addition – Gladiator will be worked on, lots of work on the server backend.  Tutorial mode should make it in for 1.1b – Lots of new backers are meaning petabites of data are being downloaded (according to Dev Ops).  People playing AC in droves. – Changing the Meet the Devs series – wants to be a more intimate conversation with the devs.  First with the new design is the Meet the Devs with Gurmukh 3:45   News from the Spectrum Santa Monica with Darian Vorlick and Lisa …ohainian? (I’m sorry)- new Production coordinator – Two updates about the Gladiator – it’s being made Flight Ready – test animations being done.  Working on the torpedoes for the Gladiator – new class of projectile. – Something brewing called Pirate Swarm – a new game mode where you get to fly against pirates instead of Vanduul.  Pirates are using hornets, mustangs, etc… Denver with Kedhrin Gonzalez and Travis Day – New design director from Crytek and God of War, overseeing design of the FPS, coming up with tweaks and such.  Building not just FPS and AC modules, but PU and SQ42, so lots of considerations for FPS have to be considered for everything else as well. – The way gun animations work, spread, rate of fire, things like that.  Making everything flow together really well. – Playing around with the Astro Arena level – a new mode called Sata Ball – an EVA anti-grav soccer.  With shooting.  3D soccer with shooting.  More info on this new mode soon. – It’s a fun sporting event, but it helps teach the 0g situations that’ll exist in the PU. Austin with Jake Ross and Andrew Win – Physics and Gameplay programmer. – Austin and Behaviour – Behaviour are working on Nyx – Levsky landing zone.  They’re in greybox with that.  Nailed down the design, fleshing out details now. – Andrew is working on the mining occupation prototype.  Some of the core tech for the occupation’s being developed while it’s being designed. – Right now, the cargo operator job works, there’s a mockup of the exploding asteroid fragments, and you can play as the cargo operator trying to slow down and pull in the fragments.  Also the scan operator, manually firing scanning missiles – point of view missile that can be guided by wire. UK with Pete and Dan – Junior environment artists. – Shubin Interior – building assets for the interior of Shubin. – Starts with design doing a broad pass, then they design sets – large room sets, small room sets, halways, etc… So they’re creating modular sets.  So, all doors are in the same location, so it’s easier to click things together. – Right now, they’re working on getting the mesh working, in greybox, no textures etc… once that’s done, they’ll start adding in shaders and such.  The areas have the same pipeline as ships – really high resolution details on areas. – Currently working on a large room and a small room.  Large room set is less detailed, but its meant for things like Hangars.  Smaller set has more high-frequency details – corridors, small rooms, tight spaces and such.  Small rooms can be placed into larger room, to have small rooms in big rooms.  Everything snaps together really well. 14:40   Subscribers Corner – new segment – Segment is intended to give subscribers a special voice on AtV. – Subscribers were given a whole bunch of REC recently.  Intended to cover test badges. – Imperators have access to the ‘unique’ ships they were promised.  Vanduul will be accessible once the ship is flyable. – Year 3 subscriber rewards will be released later today. – They’ve started a thread in the subscribers den where questions for the subscribers corner can be asked.     Interview with Ryan Archer – James Wright – Senior Engine Programmer. What is it you do here at CIG? I’m a senior game engine programmer, which is, game engine in its traditional sense.   So you work a lot with the backend of CryEngine? Yeah, kind of down in the guts of CryEngine, I’ve been involved in heading up our ‘large world’ effort – taking an FPS engine that supports maps that are 16km on an edge, and making it support maps that are millions of km, which has been an ongoing effort for us.   What are some of the challenges of that? Some of the challenges are…it’s different, taking an established engine and adapting it to solve a new problem.  It’s different than if you were starting from scratch.  You’re working with trying to decide the best solution based on the technology that’s already there.   Cause you’re working on something that’s already been built, so you have to learn what they’ve done. It kind of shapes the direction of which decisions you make.   So have you enjoyed working with cryengine?  I know it can be strong, because of the details we can get, but i know it’s frustrating because it crashes a lot. It’s been an interesting experience.  Any time you wander into a huge code base that lots of great games have been made with an engine, you can tell that it’s changed over time, there’s different projects and different features.  That’s my job, being able to take an existing engine and add features and make it able to do things no-one thought it’d have to do when it was first created.   Absolutely.  So we’ve added a lot of guys from Frankfurt, guys who used to work for CryTek, have you had a chance to work with them yet? Actually we’ve been starting to work together a lot.  The Large World effort is now being run out of frankfurt.  It was primarily me and another engineer for a lot of the work, and now we have a huge group of guys.  We’re getting close to done, but it’s especially good to have the hands-on rendering expertise on the CryEngine rendering, because there’s a lot of changes that have to happen with the renderer, and also physics.   So they kind of have to reprogram CryEngine to help with it or? Not reprogram, but shift things.  Like, lets say you’re shipping on a previous generation of consoles, and you make an optimization decision on how transforms propagate through the rendering platform.  For our title, that decision basically won’t work, because of the way we’re doing things, so now you need to change how transforms are handled, when you move to a more relative space for camera rendering, for example.  Someone having that intimate knowledge of how the renderer works, who’s been through it and knows some of the pitfalls, it’s huge having those folks with us.   Yeah, it’s amazing the kind of talented people we’ve grabbed from companies as they’ve kind of moved on in their careers.  I was talking to Jason Hutchins from Blizzard, and it  just seems like we’ve got a lot of talented people who’ve joined because they’re proud of this project. Yeah, i think it’s, we’ve pulled a lot of really good talent, in that it’s an interesting problem.  It’s not another turn-based MMO, or the challenges might exist in scaling on the back-end server, but as far as real-time simulation, it’s just not that hard.  We’re doing a high-fidelity, massive online game.   Yeah, we just did SXSW, and a lot of people I talked to that hadn’t seen the game were really impressed by the amount of detail our graphics get to.  It’s, I haven’t seen anything quite like it yet, so. Yeah, and it’s fun being a part of pushing the limits.  And that’s part of our goal, to look good on a 4k monitor. If you rewound yourself 3 years and said that to someone working on a console title that, they’d look at you like you’re crazy.  It’s cool to have that kind of spec, and the fun part of being a PC title is the challenge of scaling across a range of hardware.  We’re really just starting to scratch the surface on the kind of work we have to scale well, and it’s tech we have to build to be able to do what we said we’d do, to have capital ships fighting with each other while groups board, and you have local physics sim on the capital ships with local gravity, and you have two capital ships duking it out with a bunch of fighters going around and, you can’t do that unless you build tech to support that kind of scaling.  As an engine programmer it’s kind of exciting.   So what’s the one thing you feel like you’re most excited about for the future of the PU? It goes back to what I was just saying.  You look at sandbox games, where you have this kind of simple rules that create really interesting immersion experiences, I’m interested in having a true persistent universe that you can go out in, and end up in a fight with pirates or have a new buddy who’s going to help you complete some mission.  The idea of the simple ruleset in the economics simulation that’s going to help create this living breathing thing, I’m really excited for that.   Yeah, it sounds really exciting, and as you explain I realize how ever piece of making something like that is important.  Is that something you’re proud of so far, the work you’ve put in? Yeah, and a lot of the ground-work has been laid, and a lot will be run out of Frankfurt now, but I’m excited to help chip in on those efforts.  A big part of getting us to where we are now, I’m really proud of where we’ve gotten with the large-world effort.  It was a huge problem to solve, taking an engine and getting it to do things it was never intended to do, which is support these gigantic maps, and … we didn’t just do the naive ‘okay, now everything’s 64-bit’, cause then there’s performance consequences.  It was a very directed and targeted change.  It was very surgical, and I can say we have no performance difference between running the game in 32 bit.  And setting our programmers up for success, I feel like we’ve created an API for them, that if they make a mistake, it won’t compile.  It’s not bulletproof of course, but it’s a nice, tight, clean solution for them.  As an engine programmer, you want to create kind of a grammar than other programmers can express themselves in.   You’re building the canvas for other programmers who are the artists Or am I mixing paint?  Am I building the palette that they paint with?  Or maybe I’m making pigment.   Well, it’s nice to see this side of things.  It’s nice to see what the engineers are doing, you guys are a big part of what SC is doing.  Thanks for sitting down with us.     Yeah, and thank the backers.  Without your support, we couldn’t afford specialists like myself.  It’s great being able to be a part of something this ambitious.     Sandi Flight school Sandi and Disco Lando go to ‘Flight Club’. Rule number one.  Don’t talk about flight club.  Rule number two.  Don’t talk about flight club.  Number three, if this is your first night of flight club, you have to flight. 32:20 Outro – Tomorrow’s the last day of the Gladius free-fly – let CIG know what you want to fly next in the forums. – Monthly report due tomorrow. – Watch the comm-link for updates on 1.1a.  It’ll be out when it’s ready – no word on if it’s this week or next week. – CIG wants you to submit your dogfighting clips.  Keep them to 30 seconds, there’s a thread about it on the forums. – AtV is moving – starting next week, episodes will air 3 hours later, at Noon pacific.  This will give production folks a bit more backup time to fix editing errors and such. 33:45   Sneak Peek – Guy sitting in some MISC stuff.  Looks like some Starfarer interior? [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse 41(video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Notes – Will Lewis is gone.  They miss him, he did a great job.  They’re adapting, right now. – FPS module – Travis is there working on polish.  The best indication of how it’s going is that they’re putting together a design post about it, and they’re getting screenshots ready for it in seconds. – Sneak Peek for this week was the Starfarer. – 1.1a is Very close.  QA is looking at a build right now.  It’s at the point where it’s on the PTU, but not yet public.  More information hopefully later today. – The increase in people playing has been great.  Concurrency has doubled since PAX and SXSW, which is helping reveal lots of flaws.  Guys in Austin are doing a great job trying to fix it.  The increase in players has been invaluable.  More people playing equals more people breaking it, which will equal a better game in the future. – GamesCom – Expect news by the end of next week hopefully. – Citizen Con news – In about a month.  Working on cool stuff for this. – They did a post-mortem on their last events, but they think, especially PAX East, there wasn’t enough to do.  Weren’t enough staff or giveaways or anything.  So they’re putting together more interesting stuff for Gamescom and Citizen Con. – Expect to see more from Frankfurt soon – Ben just got a cut of the ‘inside Frankfurt’ video today, that has to be approved first, but we should be getting it…if not this week then next week. – Was the Vanguard being fast tracked for SQ42? – Ben’s not sure if it’s set to appear in SQ42.  It wasn’t really fast tracked, it came in at the same time as the Hull series, it’s the first of the Wave 4, Hull is last of Wave 3, and hull’s just taking longer cause they’re turning it into a whole series of ships.  Vanguard just happened to nudge ahead. – Apart from the Hull, what are the next two concepts?  Ben can’t say yet, because he doesn’t know offhand, and it’s going to be a bit of a race.  Concept going on Reliant, Endeavour, Crucible, etc… Four or five out for concept right now. – The Community team gets frustrated with the community sometimes, but it’s still the best job in the world.  They really believe in what they’re doing, and they believe that the work they do matters.  They’re usually not very stressed. – Corvette concept sale this year? – TBD – Santa Monica and Turbulent don’t have their monthly updates in yet. – Illfonic are a bit busy, that’s why their monthly update isn’t in yet. – Update on the Merlin – soon-ish.  It’s needed, so it’ll be coming soon. – No updates on Carrack – Still waiting on technical designer. – No known Herald variants. – Endeavour is in the process of being concepted. – No deliberate separation of module releases per se.  Many things to take into consideration. – Vanguard getting some changes based on feedback – something very minor though. – Endeavour – wave 4 concept ship.  It’s the hospital sized science platform.  It’s a bigger ship – very modular, so it can take multiple roles.  Science is a broad term.  It can do research, help with mining, scan things, very modular so it can have a lot of different roles. – The Trout concept sale has been pushed back indefinitely. – There will be a “real” vault update today. – We will learn more about Wave 4 ships as they come online. – No idea of water hangars will happen or not. – 1.1a is adding the Gladiator – The Herald is looking good – it’s being put in engine now. – No news on if the Idris will be locked so it can’t be gifted – something about federal gifting laws. – Cutlass is being reworked in Foundry 42 – variants will be adapted after the Black is done. – More Empire Reports are going to be filmed at the YouTube stage soon. – James broke the aspect ration on this week’s RtV. [Will used to set up the stream.] – Vanguard does not come with torpedoes ‘Torps’ by default. – News on the Phoenix in the near future – Constellation’s being worked on right now. – They’re talking about how Star Citizen is a cake. – Now it’s a burrito.  AC is beef, FPS is cheese.  Something something. – The 100gb thing went ‘viral’.  If you go back to the initial post, he’s saying it COULD be bigger than 30 gigs.  There is NO guarantee that the game will be a 100 gig game.  There’ll be many variables when it’s finished – how much is stored locally, how much is streamed, etc… – 3 year sub perks going out today. – Jenny is here! (in Santa Monica) – The inside of the Cutlass is changing, they posted previews of that a few weeks back. – SXSW skins will be put up in the store…as soon as Turbulent can put them up. – Minimum age for Gamescom is probably 18, but they’ll check and let us know. – Next Friday – details on GamesCom event. – Sandi and Ben will dogfight in two weeks. – The Caterpillar probably won’t be able to grow and shrink by adding/removing modules.  Ben forgot the Caterpillar existed (this does not mean everyone did… just him briefly.  He is going to check up on its progress.) – Star Marine hoodie will available in the next month or two. – Baseball hats will be available in the next few weeks. – Star Map ETA – Chris is making it a priority. – Jenny is in charge of social media.  ‘Synergistic Synergy!  Paradigm!  Metrics!’ – No update on the Merchantman. – Boarding – The FPS module… BUT IN  YOUR SHIP!  Latch on and get on board. – No current plans for an event in Asia.  Notoriously hard sell in Asia, so…yeah.  Agitate for it, if you’re in the region.  People have to tell CIG they want them there, for them to go somewhere. – Avenger variants are not forgotten or lost. – There is a little bit of space in the Vanguard for cargo… not much and not dedicated to cargo. – October 10th is CitizenCon in Manchester, UK. – They’re going to do something up in Montreal later this summer. – Xi’An Volper bomber in concept. – FPS will launch with Zero-G arena combat. – They’re working on Esports modes for Arena Commander. – Alexis is doing an interview with Behaviour next week. – Next Deep Dive Design post is either tomorrow or next week -> FPS-related. Stance and Breathing stuff – Systems will be in place to prevent insurance fraud. – Any ship will be CCUable in the future.  The system is in development with Behaviour.  Direct paths from every ship to every other ship. (still needs to be flyable) – Year 3 subscriber rewards will be going up today. – Org 2.0 is still in development.  Chris wants to make it more of a priority to get done.  Org Logs and such.  Some things might come earlier than other. – More weapons in VD soon. – Research and development on Planetary procedural generation underway. – CIG have no plans for Pax Prime so far. – More T-shirts coming but not soon. – Chris Roberts leaving this Saturday for Manchester.  He will be gone for a few months to direct the performance capture shoot for Squadron 42. – Space Plant, GamesCom 2014 trophy, and much more are in the works. – Cities will be fairly large on Planetside. – In the early days at Santa Monica, Travis Day did everything… PC setup, payroll, everything. – Is Star Citizen going to be awesome? It will be awesome. [/spoiler]     Other Highlights Year 3 Subscriber Perks Update! (via RSI) Behind the Scenes: Bug Hunting QA (via RSI) Meet the Devs: Gurmukh Bhasin (via RSI) April Fools: Around the Verse Episode 2654?? (via youtube) Forum post on MP issues (link)   Lore Updates Far From Home (via RSI)   Happening right now / real soon Vanguard Sale ends monday. Ver 1.2 (FPS MODULE) expected this month sometime maybe Multiplayer is still partially borked, but it's getting better Descent Underground kickstarter still running by former CIG's Wingman and Rob Irving. [make this happen]
  18. So I went looking for a decent thread or article about what the current Joystick options are, and I couldn't find anything I agreed with 100%, so I guess I'll make my own! I'm going to make a lot of assumptions based on what I understand is popular opinion, so feel free to add your thoughts or experiences below! I'm only pricing out amazon.com to try to keep an even baseline. you may be able to find items cheaper elsewhere so look around!   This whole post is based entirely on my limited personal knowledge, so if you use a different stick than any of these that you love and it's still available for purchase, post it and I'll add it to the post!   spoiler tags to prevent Image-wall.   Budget / Starter Joysticks [spoiler] Bottom of the pile: There are plenty of basic joysticks around for $20 or less. Would not recommend for Star Citizen because you're going to need a lot of buttons to control everything and limiting your one hand to the 4-5 buttons (at most) you'll find on these guys won't do you any favors. If you've never used a joystick before and you want to just try it a bit before dropping a hundred bucks on something, sure, maybe try one of these for a while.   Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick $35 on amazon.com Logitech used to be a huge name in these kind of products but now they only really offer the entry level stuff. This stick is the most popular of the cheap options. Even has twist function and a throttle... flap.   Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X ~$50 on amazon.com (out of stock right now a lot of places) This is the de-facto, popular, entry level HOTAS. The two halves can be locked together for stability, or decoupled for a more standard setup. The stick doesn't have many buttons but the throttle has enough to make it a decent option. It doesn't stack up all that well against the next group of sticks, but for $50, it's not a bad deal. [/spoiler]     Affordable / Mid-level [spoiler] SAITEK Saitek is a very popular mid-level option for most people. They have had some issues in the past with poor quality control, and sometimes their stuff looks cooler than it is good for, but they're generally pretty decent.   Saitek X52 $149 on amazon.com / X52 Pro $177 on amazon.com The X52 and the X52 Pro are basically the same joystick, with the Pro having a few minor upgrades (more sensors on the stick and stronger construction), and a less EXTREEEEME style. Positive notes include a twist on the stick, double trigger, pinkie button for alternate functions, customizable LED colours, and adjustable hand rest and throttle tension settings. There is also a knob on the stick that lets you flip between three button configuration sets on the fly. All this combined give you an obscene amount of available key options, more than even Star Citizen will be able to throw at you. A few downsides on the design are a stupid mouse-nipple on the throttle that isn't very sensitive and (like mine) can get stuck sending bad inputs, and a largely useless display panel on the throttle base.   All things considered, the X52 Pro is generally considered the best bang for your buck and is currently the #1 seller on Amazon in the "PC Game Flight Controller" category. I own an X52 Pro, and think it is great (though with a flaw or two).     Saitek X55 $199 on amazon.com The more recent descendant of the X52, I've heard it had a lot of quality control issues early in it's lifetime but the newer batches seem to be better at not being broken. Main upgrades over the 52 are better throttle base buttons, and a split throttle.   Saitek Pedals $143 on amazon.com Adjustable pedal size and tension.     CH Products CH is a big name in professional flight sim hardware. Their quality is better than anyone and their stuff should last forever. That being said, most of it is ugly and looks cheap because of its basic styling and durable construction.   CH Flighstick $89 on amazon.com The basic thing. A hat, three buttons and a trigger. pew pew.   CH Combatstick $103 on amazon.com A more robust version of the flightstick.   CH Pro Throttle $149 on amazon.com Lots of nice hats on this one, it's worth noting that the throttle travels in a flat, linear track, and not an arc like most throttles.   CH Pedals $120 on amazon.com You put your feet on them. [/spoiler]     Expensive / Fancy High-end [spoiler] Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog Joystick $400 on Amazon.com There's really no other joystick to talk about up here, this is the most expensive mass produced consumer joystick commonly available. Quality is very good, most of the construction is metal, and it is modeled after the real A10. The software isn't any more amazing than others though, and it does lack the twist function (as do real joysticks in real planes), so you kind of need pedals to get the complete and full control you're obviously after (personally I like the twist option). Unfortunately Thrustmaster doesn't sell pedals though, so you'll have to go Saitek/CH for them. You can also buy the stick without the throttle if you only need the one piece, or can't justify the combined price tag (be aware it will probably cost more if you end up buying the throttle later, they can sell at over $250 for either piece). Bottom line is this is the best there is right now and pretty much everyone I've read about who owns one says it's worth it. It will be very interesting to see of anyone else ever steps up to compete with it's level of cost and production. [/spoiler]     Other Common Items [spoiler] TrackIR $149 on Amazon.com This is a fairly popular (among the sim crowd) head-tracking device that translates the movement of your head into the game so you can look around the cockpit naturally (usually amplified so you don't have to turn away from the screen much) without taking your hands off the controls. depending on your settings/game you can use it to control just your view, or you can do things like attach it to your gimballed mounts/turrets and control them independently from the rest of your ship.   Pros: Hardcore Extra immersion Finer control Cons: Expensive for something that essentially only controls one axis You need to wear a thing on your head for it to work (there are hat clips and clips for headphones) not fully supported in SC right now (it will be eventually)   Voice Attack $8 on voiceattack.com (free 21 day trial) This is software that translates custom voice commands into keypresses, so you can use your mouth to control things. Good for commands you want to have available but can't justify assigning to a joystick button. Also invokes Star trek feelings while you're yelling at your computer and it listens. [/spoiler]
  19. Summary for week ending on March 27 2015   For anyone not constantly hunting out every scrap of information on this game, here's a summary of the last week in Star Citizen updates! Previous weeks will be moved to the Information Center sub-forum. Text is collapsed in spoiler tags to keep this thread scrollable         Vanguard Concept Sale! (Link) [spoiler] Unveiling the Aegis Vanguard The latest fighter from Aegis Dynamics The A3G Vanguard is the United Empire of Earth’s dedicated deep space fighter. Initially developed as a bomber-destroyer, the Vanguard is a hard-charging bulldog of a ship which features extensive forward-mounted weaponry designed to tear through the shields and armor of other spacecraft. Four high-caliber forward laser cannons and a massive central Gatling gun give the Vanguard an unprecedented amount of sheer striking power. So-named because their multiple-jump range allows them to form the forefront of any military expedition, Vanguard have seen extensive service against the Vanduul. The Vanguard trades the maneuverability of the Hornet, Lightning and Gladius for extended range, armor and durability. With more hardpoints and increased space for onboard computer systems, the design can boast improved radar and a credible electronic warfare suite. In combat, the Vanguard’s roles are extensive: long range jump scout, extended duration patrol/reconnaissance ship, fighter-bomber (when equipped with torpedoes), tactical command and control ship, bomber interceptor and, in the proper hands, even a fighter-killer. The Vanguard’s extensive range can allow for missions lasting days or even weeks. Internally, the ship is fitted with sleeping berths and reclamation facilities to support such missions. With a notable silhouette, the Vanguard is best known for its distinctive twin X-Forge engines, which allow for both an impressive top speed and an extensive backup system for enhanced combat survivability. Coupled with a superstructure composed from a distinct tungsten alloy, more than one Vanguard pilot has returned to base with little more than a single engine and the charred remains of a fuselage. Vanguard units have been assigned to both planetary bases and aboard larger space stations. The fighter’s legendary durability allows it to operate in all-weather conditions with limited maintenance and makes it particularly beloved by the hard-fighting UEE Marines, who make frequent use of its ability to comfortably operate from makeshift combat bases. Though Aegis Dynamics does not officially offer a civilian variant of the Vanguard, working in conjunction with the UEE’s Frontier Protection Program they have made a number of the mil-spec Vanguard available to civilians. Known specifications LENGTH 37m BEAM 39m (25m folded) HEIGHT 8.8m (8.5m Gear down, 6.3m folded) NULL-CARGO MASS Coming Soon CARGO CAPACITY 0 SCU MAX CREW 2 persons MAX POWER PLANT 2xS2 FACTORY POWER PLANT Coming Soon MAX ENGINE (PRIMARY THRUSTER) 2xTR4 FACTORY ENGINE 2x X-Forge D/S4-320 (TR4) MANEUVERING THRUSTERS 12xTR2 MAX SHIELD 2 SHIELD Coming Soon ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT Survival Pod GIMBAL WEAPONS (CENTERLINE) 1xS4 APOC DeathBallistic Gatling FIXED WEAPONS (NOSE) 4xS2 Behring M4A High Power Lasers MANNED TURRET 1×(2xS2) Ballistic Repeaters MISSILES (BODY) 2× 4xS2 All specifications are subject to change for game balancing.   Concept Sale ends April 6th We are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. All of these ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game. Additionally, all decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches. The Vanguard is being offered for the first time as a limited concept sale. This means that the ship design meets our specifications, but it is not yet ready to display in your Hangar or to fight in Arena Commander. The sale includes Lifetime Insurance on the ship hull and a pair of decorative items for your Hangar. A future patch will add a Vanguard poster and then once the in-game model is finished you will also be given an in-game Vanguard mini ship model! In the future, the ship price will increase and the offer will not include Life Time Insurance or these extras. If you’d like to add one to your fleet, they’re available in the pledge store until Monday April 6th. You can also view a detail of the ship in the Tech Overview of the ship page! Aegis Vanguard - LTI - Standalone Ship $250.00 USD In stock more info Buy Now End Transmission [/spoiler]       Summary Text of Videos This Week  (stolen from credit to r/starcitizen) 10 For the Chairman 57(video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Transcript Tidbit: Planetside Module "still a ways off" will initially include buying/selling, improved characters and polish. FPS - Want to improve polish and balance. Had first company-wide playtest today with about 20 people from various studios.   Tony_Knightcrawler asks: Gold Horizon space stations have been presented as old, crumbling derelicts from a bygone age, filled with squatters and ne'er-do-wells. If we take over such a station, will we be able to repair it, clean it up, upgrade its equipment and possibly change our room modules?   So, long term on the space stations... we're obviously going to have more than one type of space station, they won't all be exactly the same kind of space station and some will be in better shape than other ones... and we'll definitely allow the ability to repair or fix up stuff that you could potentially own. Then, at a further point down the road we'll also allow you to add room modules and stuff. That's one of the things we have on the roadmap for the hangars, for instance, where you could have a basic hangar and then you can add extra modules and space stations will be kind of along those lines. Maybe not out-of-the-box first iteration, but that's definitely part of the roadmap on a longer term basis.   Donron asks:   Can you provide us any additional information on how taxes in the game will work? Will we have a simple sales tax or a more complex corporate income tax? Will there be a possibility to raise different taxes in organizations regarding trades, missions, and bounty hunting?   So, as far as the game goes the taxes will be fairly simple. The idea is that they would be on trade or consumption. So, if you land down on a planet you have to pay a landing fee and then if you buy or sell stuff then you will have to pay a sales tax or value-added tax. So, basically there will be things taxed on buying and selling and essentially landing is a kind of a tax or a fee. Then, organizations themselves will be able to have certain taxation or tithing. You could dictate: "To be part of the guild, you have to contribute 10% of your income to us." or "You have to contribute 1000 UEC a month." That will be settable on the organization side. Basically for belonging to the organization or for the things the organizations provides, you have to pay them. I guess it's kind of the same as being part of a country - that's why you pay your taxes so you have various things like armed forces and roads and stuff like that. That's kind of the idea. There won't necessarily be a tax on individuals from the UEE, there just will be UEE taxes on transactions essentially. Hopefully that makes sense.   Nostromo1977 asks:   Will CIG be adding natural areas to prominent locations, such as an arboretum/hydroponic garden for space station or a "Central Park" for Terra Prime?   The answer is yes. In fact, Terra Prime has some pretty awesome stuff already, definitely along these lines. But yes, we'll be building in things like bushes, plants, grassy areas, etc. Not everywhere but definitely in some places. Arc Corp, which is kind of what we've shown, is meant to be this industrial, blade-runnery kind of huge mega sprawl - expansive smokestacks and everything, so it's not really a place where you would expect to see gardens but Terra Prime and some other places you will definitely see that sort of thing.     Samuel Snow asks: Will there be game mechanics for other environmental hazards in the FPS? Such as hitting canisters of flammable gases and having them explode? Absolutely! That's already in actually. I think it may have potentially been shown at the PAX Australia show. But we definitely have canisters you can blow up, there's all sorts of environmental destruction and effects that can happen in the FPS levels. We'll use a lot of that, taking advantage of the physics in CryEngine. You could potentially hit a pipe and steam can come out and that steam can have a wind effect on things around it, blowing things around, and could potentially also hurt you if you got in the way of it - if it was hot steam. There's a lot of that stuff that's in there and we'll aim to do more and more of that because it's kind of a cool thing to make the environment immersive.     Knightwolf asks: Will we be able to store mined ore from the Orion in our hangar or will we have to purchase a storage area?   Well, I think everyone's hangars will be able to store whatever goods you have, assuming you've got the room - there's a certain amount. Now, the Orion itself mines a vast amount of bulk ore, so there's probably more ore that you would have on the Orion than you could actually store in most of your hangars. You know, generally in the sense of ore you would traditionally be mining it and then selling it to someone... but you could store it in your hangar, or you could store it elsewhere if you wanted to. I mean, it's just another unit. We basically physicalize all cargo or items, so whether it's a really big thing like a big huge container of ore or a small thing like a small gun, they're all treated the same in the system so you can put them in your hangar or if you can fit them in your hold, you can put them in your hold... and so on.     Soban asks: Will there be any sort of organic/genetically grown ships like Moya from Farscape or the Lexx? Right now... no. But longer term, we have been talking about having some more interesting alien species or races so I wouldn't necessarily rule it out long term. Short term, we don't have any plans for that in the initial pipeline... or the initial 1.0 release - I guess I shouldn't really say 1.0 since we're sort of renaming Arena Commander to Star Citizen because it also includes the FPS and all of the rest of the stuff... but whatever we call our commercial release.   Jagger asks:   With different electronic systems that are throughout the universe, will there be the possibility for ship spoofing? For example, masking your own signal to represent a different ship? Yeah, definitely. We've already talked about, that ships broadcast an ID and we know that ships broadcast signatures which can be electromagnetic or heat or cross-section. So, we've also talked about the ability to hide your ID, so if you've stolen a ship you can maybe get your ID changed or spoofed. I definitely think there will be systems out there that will potentially allow you to have a signature that would look like a different kind of ship and that could be pretty useful. For instance, you could have a signature to make you look like a freighter but you're not - as a trap - or something like that. So that's the sort of stuff longer term as we flesh out the signature and scanning system that we will definitely have in the game.   TheWhiteKnight asks:   Since combat ships have more hardpoints compared to specialized ships, how will non-combat ships stay relevant to the modularity stretch goal?  Well, mainly because the hardpoints aren't necessarily related to modules that you can switch in and out. So, hardpoints in general that we've been talking about - actually, there was a design post about itemports, right? So everything in the ship is actually attached to an itemport: Thrusters Radar Ship's computer Fuel tank Powerplant Turrets Weapons Missiles Armour So, all of those are actually items that plug into the ship and they require their own level of power, they emit heat, they may require data - all these different pipes that hook into each other. The functionality comes with the item, so to speak, so the hull itself... if you took the thrusters, the powerplant, and all these things out it would just be a floating hull - it wouldn't be able to do anything. That's kind of the modular system we have for the ships. We're only really publicizing the hardpoints related to the weapons because that's what people care about. In reality we have a lot more hardpoints and other hardpoints would entail... like a hardpoint where you can switch the crew module out for a science module or something like that. So, to think that a more specialized ship has less hardpoints is actually incorrect, it probably has at least as many - they just happen to be attaching extra things. For instance, a good example would be the Orion which we just had and was in a previously question. You can see on the outside of it there are all these containers, right, well each container - which is a fairly big container (6 m x 4 m x 2 m) - attaches to an itemport... that's more itemports than any one of our combat ships have had. So, there's plenty of option to expand - you may not realize it from the website because that's using outdated data that over time we will change. But also it's kind of hard because it's not standardized... one ship could have 100 different itemports and one ship could have 30 itemports and it sort of all depends on the itemports that are specific to their particular uses which could be anything - like mounting a cargo module or mounting a gun. I would say that non-combat ships will definitely stay relevant and will be able to change out and do things, functionality wise, at least as much as a combat ship and maybe even more so.     Notable Joe asks: Will I be able to search other players for weapons before they board my ship? This way I can prevent a mutiny or a pirate catching me off guard.   That's a pretty good idea and suggestion. I don't think it would be that particularly hard to do and I think we would want that as a mechanic - that someone could scan someone and see if they have a weapon or not and say that you're only allowed on if you don't have a weapon. That would probably be a functionality we would want to put in the FPS module. We already have some other kind of functionality which includes scanning and looting off people and stuff like that, so I think that would be something that I think we would add to that. Because, yeah... you want to make sure that people aren't packing and sometimes they say, "I'm not packing." But, what if they are?   Kommissar asks:   Regardless of it being a bad idea, will it be possible to fly a ship without a helmet, goggles, contact lenses, eye implants or direct neural interface? In other words, will it be possible to fly a ship without a HUD, and instead, being forced to rely solely upon the displays in the cockpit?   Well, it will definitely be possible to fly without a helmet and goggles, etc, etc. If the ship is set up the correct way, then you'd probably only see the display... I mean, a lot of the Heads Up Displays are actually in the cockpit space and so those probably would pop up. But the way the ship's system works, again I was just talking about items and plugging in... well, you as a player - your clothes, your shirt's an item, your space suit is an item, your helmet is an item and all of those plug in and have pipes so you, as a player, can plug in to the ship so when you sit in a seat you actually plug in to the data port and the power port and the heat port and all the rest of the things. Then, through you all of the items you are wearing plug in to the ship... so what happens when you sit in a seat is it sort of plugs in and boots up basically, so if you've got the helmet you will get the display on your helmet but if you don't have the helmet you will usually by default see it on the screens in the cockpit or the Heads Up Display that is projected inside the cockpit. So, it sort of works based on what sort of display items you have. So, there will definitely be a case where you can get into a ship and not necessarily have all of the items. Now, there will be some ships that rely on you to have a full fighter pilot setup - like a Gladius or a Hornet or something like that - where it may not let you fly unless you've got the full pilot setup on. But Civilian ships aren't like that. In a Constellation or even an Aurora, it will be much more... "What do you have" and you're using the in-cockpit diegetic stuff instead of something on a visor.     Tidbit:Some of the plans for cloud computing, if they can pull it off, could allow an even bigger and richer universe than Chris was assuming. [Chris is wearing a Google Cloud Platform hoodie] Google brought some of their top folks out to CIG's networking summit [some of these guys are even backers] Could allow them to do things never seen before in an MMO, which would be "very very cool". [/spoiler]   Around the Verse 37 (video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler]   Transcript by Erris Empire Report – Synthworld Explosion – Kilometers long burst from the station – Saisei Statesman dead – 162 years old. – This years Scientifica Honorarium Winners announced – research on how you might hear sounds in space! Around the ‘Verse Episode 37 – 1.1 was released.  Big patch for SC – another flyable ship, REC, lots of stuff.  Asking that all backers re-install SC for 1.1 – 1.1 manual and retaliator brochure published – they get lost in the shuffle of the new build, but there’s a new AC manual everytime there’s a major patch. – Server increase – so many people trying to play that it’s broken the servers, which is actaully great news. – Great feedback and working on the next patch – 1.1a (some debate over what different versions are being called.  There’ll be an official scheme soon) – Retaliator is hangar-ready, and is on sale, and will be flyable for 2.0 – Gladius is flyable – Looks great, new damage system is in effect. – Star Citizen is on Instagram.  Behind the scenes photos and stuff. @robertsspaceind News from Around the ‘Verse Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick and Tech Designer Matt Sherman – Three items to address.  First: They’re aware of the Aurora mount discrepancy.  With the hardpoint cleanup that went into 1.0.3, there were some discrepancies introduced to the Aurora, but that’ll be cleaned up to bring it back in line to what a starter ships loadout would be. – Second: A few ships entering concept stage: Endeavour, Crucible, progress on the Genesis Starliner, and more cool ships from the stretch goals in the pipeline now. – Third: Now working on getting the Constellation flight-ready.  Working hard to get it ready, flyable in the near future.  Still being redesigned, but once that’s done, it’ll be ready. Illfonic – David Langeliers, Chuck Brungardt, and Travis Day – Knocking out lots of bugs this week for FPS: Rendering issues on Gold Horizon station, which was an issue with how .pak files were compressed.  There was a physics issue – collision bugs, where if framerate drops, you can pass through objects, so that’s been closed out. – Lots of focus on breathing systems, as you sprint and wear down stamina, you breathe harder, so it’s harder to aim and such.  It’s not there yet, doesn’t feel right, so there’ve been lots of focus on that. – Zero-G system, if you come flying at an object and clip the object with your right shoulder, they want your character to react to that kind of physics hit.  Original idea was to use ragdoll, blend between that and animations, but it has big issues between ragdoll and an articulated entity. – Instead, they’re going to use something that Chris Roberts came up with himself, they’ll just use the articulated entity, and have that entity be physics controlled, rather than animation controlled – When you get an impact on your right shoulder, you’re now bound by physics, so you get hit, and then you blend back into physics reactions.  They’re calling the system – Articulated Entity something something system – or Aegis.  Travis wants it to be called Aegis. Austin – Jake Ross and …Skelton of Mark, Circus Clown – Art related things for the PU – Lots of work with Behaviour on Terra and Nyx.  Nyx is the mining colony, out in the middle of nowhere, Nyx system, Delamar planet. – Finished with the whitebox for Nyx, lots of things to see.  huge chasm that’s been mined for years, so details of that are being worked out, interiors are cool, lots of exposed rock, melting ice and the like.  Scum and villainy live there. – Also working on Terra extensively.  It’s huge.  One of the hubs of the human accomplishments.  One of the higher-end hubs in the game.  Expanding on it.  Monorails, places to see, giant spaceports, etc… CIG UK – John Crew Senior Tech Designer and Simon Vickers – They’re looking at the Argo (Idris utility ship), art coming for it and some design problems to solve.  It carries cargo, which sits under the back of the ship, which blocks certain thruster areas.  And two engines are on the landing gear, and they’re at the top, so when you want to go down to land, that’s fine, but when you want to lift off, there’re no thrusters, cause that’s where the cargo is.  They’re having to look at interesting ways to balance that out. – Also helping Illfonic balance weapons for FPS release.  They’re all in, they all work, just trying to find the blend between full simulation and fun, which is an iterative process. – Also looking at the looting mechanic.  Kill someone, take stuff off their bodies.  As everything wants to be immersive, they’re working on things being in-world.  Selecting stuff from a body, you can still look around, still react to incoming threats. BUGSMASHERS – Mark is retiring.  He got warheads.  His heads’ going to explode, because that’s what happens. – This weeks bug is a mass bug.  Ship showing 24000 mass, which is a problem, because in the XML it should be 13,500.  And that’s the ship without items. – One model has everything, another model has variants.  What’s supposed to happen is – Mass is supposed to be specified with each ‘animated’ variant. – Added a new function to ‘share’ the Mass amongst all the variants. – Also, shield proxies were inside the ships, and had mass, but they’re not supposed to. – Get rid of those two issues, and ships’ll have correct mass. MVP – Walter – The CCU and upgrade system – the diagram.  Explains the CCU system. – Organization is Grim Reapers this week.  Goes around the ‘Verse helping people, killing pirates. Artists discussing the Vanguard – Gurmukh and Lance Powell, talking about the Vanguard – Combat capabilities: it’s a deep-space fighter.  Meant to fly systems away, to hunt down Vanduul. – Can be used in a fleet or by itself.  As it’s a long range fighter, it’s got really large fuel tanks. so it can be first to the fight. – When it gets there, it packs a big punch, and can take some damage while doing that. – Vanguard, as a heavy fighter, is meant to take a lot of punches and still be able to fly home.  It sticks around so it can cause as much damage as possible. – Inspiration behind the Vanguard was – the P-38 Lightning, a WWII ship that travelled long distances.  Traded maneuverability to fly long distances.  Fuel tanks and armour weigh it down. – Major differences between the Hornet and the Lightning are its fuel tanks.  Large fuel tanks and large engine nacelles speak to the long distance travel. – For a hornet or a lightning, you’ll have to refuel on a carrier, you won’t be able to take off from a land base and go a star-system away.  You’re going to have to stop, refuel, and then continue.  With the Vanguard, you can just go straight there. – Further inspiration was drawn from stealth ships, like the B1.  Folded wings were incorporated on the Vanguard, and then other cool things like Lamborgini’s and other cool cars.  Large pool of reference. – Seeing a shift in the Aegis design.  With the Retaliator and the Gladius, now that there are a few ships designed per manufacturer, there’s more understanding on what each manufacturer looks like.  Digging deep on reference and key-words and what defines each company, and that’s being done with ship and weapons manufacturers. – Aegis are a military contractor.  Majority of their ships are military or militia, and their forms and materials are a bit more stealthy vs. Anvil ships, which are more boxy. – Also talk in-house about using an auto manufacturer as a guide for how they approach ship manufacturers.  When you walk into a Porsche showroom, you know what one looks like, and you know what it costs.  The idea behind all manufacturers going forward is the same thing.  When you walk into an Aegis showroom, you know it’s Aegis. – It’s really good to see it happening across weapons as well, so each company has a clearly designed aesthetic and brand identity.  Can recognize it just by seeing it in game. – Modularity – The Vanguard will definitely be Modular.  Potentially could design five types of nacelles or wings or cockpits etc… Not sure how far it’ll be taken, it’s not a lego ship, they have to have an identity, but some things will be swappable. – Chris had the idea of the Bulldog – which is now the Vanguard – and he liked the P38 Lightning.  The idea was to take that concept, take a few flavours of it, and that’s what the Vanguard is.  Great team effort, seeing how other areas of the company got involved on the Vanguard as well. – It’s an outstanding ship. Interview from Ryan Archer – Jake Ross – So Jake, what do you do here for CIG? – I’m an associate producer.  I work for Jason Hutchins, and I kind of help run the operation so to speak.  More of a project manager type.  I don’t physically work on anything for the game, but I make sure people are staying on schedule, I kind of act as a mediator between different parties.  If somebody has a question about something another studio’s working on, I can give that answer.  My job’s to be as knowledgeable as possible about the project in general, so I can answer any questions that come up.  Typically, I work on art and design side of things. – You used to be an artist? – Yeah, I loosely use that term.  I found that it was not my calling.  I went to school for it, and kind of went through the grad program, but found my calling was in project management and leading teams to certain goals. - So do you feel like your art background helps you understand the artists? – It does, yeah, you know I can relate a lot to Mark Skelton, I can help champion his work, and I can act as a mediator between the artists and the programmers as well, because I have some of that technology background as well, so, I know how the minds of artists and of programmers work, and they’re very different, but I can act as a liaison. - So you get to work with Mark a lot? – Yeah, Mark and I are kind of joined at the hip at times.  We deal a lot with Behaviour, so he’s the art direction guy, and I translate the art direction into actual tasks. - So how do you like working with the artists? – I sit right next to the character team, and it’s a blast.  Conversations are so goofy it’s ridiculous.  Sometimes I have to just keep my head down and work and ignore the shenanigans around be, just cause I’m constantly working throughout the day, but it’s fun to be a part of that and to listen to the guys.  It’s fun. - I take it you like the vibe at the Austin studio? - Yeah it’s great.  There’s nobody here I don’t get along with.  That’s pretty rare, usually there’s one or two people that get under your skin, but I don’t feel that at all here.  It’s great. - Working on SC, what have you enjoyed most? – the thing I like the most has been working with Mark, helping to guide Behaviour to make the best environments possible.  Working with Behaviour and the team here to help guide the planetside locations has been really cool, watching it from the beginning all the way through, arc corp and terra and nyx, it’s really cool to see those come to fruition. – What’s the thing you’re looking forward to most? – Part of my education, I started in Architecture, so seeing the development of the architectural styles we’ll see in the PU, right now we’re working with a contractor on the ‘monumentalism’ architectural style, which is kind of Jedi Temple, big pillars and form over function, huge and monumental, so developing those styles and seeing them come from an idea and Mark translating it and seeing the work being done, I’m enjoying seeing the different styles come into play.  And we’re supposed to have a ton of different architectural themes and styles in the PU, so they’ve got to be developed, so seeing those come to life is what I’m most excited for. - I feel like what I’ve seen as a trend with this game, we go into so much detail into the background, do you see that too? – Yeah, Dave Haddock and the writing team in LA, and Behaviour as well, establishing a timeline for the styles that’re coming on line, and saying, during this period, this style was really popular, but then it shifted towards, like in real life you see that, and that’s kind of what Chris is wanting.  Being able to pin down, if I walk into this area, I can tell that it’s older.  Terra’s a good example.  We have the Tower, which is very modern, kind of an Elysium feel, modernism’s what we call it, but if you go down to the Blocks it’s more streamlined, and you can tell, I know this was built a long time ago, it has a different feel than the tower. So yeah, I think that’s a huge part of the game, kind of reflecting different styles in real life. - It’s like a story in and of itself. - Yeah, it’s really cool to see. – Do you have a favourite ship? - I like the M50 right now, cause of the speed and the sleekness, and the Top Gear spinoff commercial was too good.  I think I’m most excited about the Herald right now, the super fast info running career is really intriguing. Free Fly week for the Gladius – Starting tomorrow. Vanguard on sale tomorrow – Very cool ship, lots of info tomorrow. Info on gamescom and citizencon tickets soon – coming soon. New Corporate site.   - If you’re looking for a job with CIG, take a look there. Sneak Peek (see above) – What’s that Spaceship?! (Pokemon style) – Vanguard.  It’s a Vanguard.   [/spoiler]   Reverse the Verse (video / Reddit / INN) [spoiler] Notes – Server issues – It’s great news all around, even though it’s slowing some people down.  Working on 1.1a that should fix some issues.  It’s a good problem that too many people want to play though. – Vanguard release tomorrow, waiting for release renders. – Entire community team is now addicted to ‘Star Wars Card Trader’.  It destroys lives. – Soon we’ll see things from the German office.  They’re putting together a video walkthrough.  An intro will be shot with CR later today.  The guy editing the piece is the same guy who did the Hornet commercial and all the early commercials.  Should be a good walkthrough. – Subscriber perks are coming along nicely, should be revealed next week or so.  Before they switch to a third year of subscription, they want to reward folks for now.  Awarding REC so that subscribers can fly any ship for 7 days, instead of one. – REC balance – Right now, REC is simply based on the current price on the website.  10% of the UEC, and UEC is 1000x a dollar or something. – Ship Prices in REC are not based on what the ships will cost in the PU, just based on what they’re costing on the site right now.  The prices will change significantly when the economy is implemented. – They’re talking about Doctor Who now. – You cannot buy game-character slots with in-game credits.  That’s something you’ll have to buy with money outside of the game. – RIP Top Gear. – Yes, the completionist package includes the Vanguard. – Limited ships will be “in and out” for rent with REC just like they are “in and out” in terms of being for sale. – These will be available more often through REC than they are for sale on the Site though.  More chances to rent with REC than buy with Cash. – New Starfarer art came in last night.  They will “find a way to share this”. – Ship Design is a LONG process to make changes.  They capture feedback, send it to the artists, and then see back.  They make multiple passes at things. – CIG look at all feedback.  Just because they haven’t addressed something you’re concerned about, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking at it. – Won’t make every change fans want. – Making a pass at the Freelancer and Constellation right now, because they need changes.  The Retaliator will get changes as well, but it takes time.  It won’t come tomorrow. – Probably worse to react immediately to feedback.  Need to relax and gather information and feedback over a longer period. – It sounds annoying, but they have to be measured with it.  Things have to be fixed in the best way for the most people, but also they have to stay true to the vision for the game.  They’re not ignoring any feedback.  If we know about it, Devs know about it. – Eddie Del Rio is working on the concept for the Endeavour.  He did the Xi’An Scout. – REC is a bit too easy to earn currently.  Will be adjusted. – For all