So yeah, nothing really of note happened this week, so unfortunately I don't have anything to report on. Sorry about wasting a serviceman tag.
Star Citizen 1.2 has arrived, and it arrived with a vengeance, unloading the glory of the first iteration of the Social Module upon our unsuspecting selves!
Well, perhaps not entirely unexpected, they did tell us that they would have it out at the end of the month, and by golly they actually did it. With 3 days to spare, even!
So yes, be sure to check it out if you are able. Even though it hasn't really had much optimization it still runs very good (for me at least, but I have a GTX 980) and the load time is still minimal. It will be seamless eventually, but for now I don't mind loading screens - and I don't think most others do either.
The link above has an in-depth posting about what is in store for the social module, and to expect a few big updates interspersed between a bunch of little ones as they begin to test the first of their next upcoming projects for the social aspect - Subsumption.
Oh, and of course, don't forget this little gem:
So what else happened this week... does it really matter?
Just kidding, again... or am I?
There were two Vanguard variants put up for sale, along with the base model again. Check here for details.
Also the Star Marine update, the latest weekly tradition telling us where they are. Even with the updates, though, it seems like there is always something else holding it back that keeps it from release. Ah, software development. It's really hard to gauge just how close they may (or may not) be from release. I believe they are still aming for the end of September.
Lastly, electronic warfare. There is a whole big post about how it's gonna go down. Make sure to read it if it at all interests you.
MediaGo play the Social Module. No really, go play. If you can't, go look it up on Youtube, because pretty much every screenshot there is this week is about that.
Oh, fine. Here's a 'gimme' shot. The Vanguard Harbinger's torp bay:
Oh, and a teaser from 10FTC:
10 FTC, August 24thAs always, if you want to read the full, very-wordy transcripts, check INN.
Can we expect to have any Chris’isms in S42 and the PU? It’d be great to hear someone yelling “Can’t fire, can’t move. This is bullshit!” while your ship is falling to pieces during a battle.
Expect cameos. Definitely expect cameos.
Can we look forward to concept sales of more alien ships such as Xi’An, Vanduul, Banu, etc?
Some down the road, sure. Human ships are the focus, and keep in mind that you aren't really supposed to be able to easily acquire alien ships, or at least not their original versions.
I understand in space you have the ships (obviously), then you’ll have space combat with weapons and other sorts of equipment such as grenades and so on. However on the planetside of things you only have weapons and equipment, oh we can’t forget the buggy! But what about other types of vehicles for planetside?
Yes, eventually. They are doing some part-time work on the procedural generation development, but for now there will be a few closed off areas with a couple vehicles. Remember, this is a space game first and foremost.
How do you plan to address players sprinting everywhere in social settings? In most MMOs you see social areas populated with NPCs walking around like we might in the real world, and every single player sprinting maniacally about (which may not be completely immersive). Is this something worth pushing against or is it something that you plan to allow in the name of convenience?
There is a stamina model in game (temporarily disabled for now) that will keep people from sprinting around everywhere constantly. But there are a few things that it's okay to break the immersion for the sake of convenience, and sprinting around is one of them. In game global chat is currently the other, since people will do it outside of the game anyway.
With the stretch goals cutoff, for obvious reasons, I’m wondering how far you are wanting to take Star Citizen. How long after the final release do you intend to roll out major additional features? For example: new game modes/mini games, planets, star systems, ships, etc.
As long as they get the funding to continue making content, the content will keep coming. This game is pretty much Chris's planned magnum opus.
I’d like to know more about planets and how do we interact with them. It seems nearly impossible to make a whole planet explorable to us. Will there be like Landing Zones where we’d be directed to and from there we can explore a part of that planet?
Yes, there will be other places, and some tech that they are working on that they aren't ready to talk about. But there are planned stages for all of this, which will come eventually.
1 - Set landing zones that are hub areas on planets. One to three per planet, typically.
2 - Extra landing zones that are not hub areas, but places for people to explore, harvest minerals, explore ruins, etc.
3 - Random landing zones that are procedurally generated.
4 - Full procedural generation of the rest of the planet (maybe).
Are there plans for other NPCs to actually pronounce the names of your characters and ships when they are talking to you?
If the tech becomes good enough, sure. For now though, nope. Sticking with pre-generated speech for now.
Can you give us some insight as to how electronic warfare will work in the PU?
(See the EWAR post on the RSI site for details.)
I was wondering if there will be some kind of Cargo storage facility that will be player owned or a place where we can rent a space for storing our excess stuff? Like if I buy a cargo load of fabric from Planet A and the prices aren’t satisfactory in Planet B to sell them. Could I take it to this place and maybe wait till prices go up?
Yes, your hangar will have a set amount of storage space, but you can rent more.
Will there will be integration or support for the new Steam controller that is coming out later this year?
As soon as Gabe sends them one sure. Chris mentions something about shooting him another email...
Any bets that Gabe will say, "Sure, as soon as you put Star Citizen on Steam."?
ATV, August 27thSanta Monica
- Ships on the tech design side, whiteboxing the Herald to get it hangar / flight ready.
- Also looking to focus on the Reliant. Elwin, lead vehicle artist, is focusing on that ship.
- Looking at bugs (for Social), mostly to do with the Generic Istance Manager. Have to make sure everyone’s synching and showing up in the right places.
- Looking at various art tweaks. Looking at an issue where doors aren’t opening or closing when they should.
- Can’t give anything away about the future, but it’ll be exciting. Lots of stuff to be added to Social Module.
- Right now social module is light on features, cause it needs testing, but more will come as time goes by.
- All the UI artists and devs are there for a UI mega-summit, about a month long. Purpose is working towards unifying the UI across the game in terms of visuals and how code hooks in to systems.
- Want consistent branding across the SC Universe, setting up style guides, standards, and guidelines.
- There was a summit in February in Montreal, summits are good to meet the people you’re working with around the world. Being face to face is nice, helps with communication and bouncing ideas back and forth.
- They’ve been trying to get on to AtV for a while, but they’re here now.
- Now out of their temporary office, and into their new permanent digs. May shoot another office video to show it off. Hopefully will get that together in the next few week.
- Chris has mentioned in the past, but Frankfurt is driving core engine, lots of the core tech that will build off for SQ42 and evolve for numerous things for the game.
- Doing a big push on Design – Todd Pappy is there pushing on FPS, building up the FPS team to be able to drive that.
- Hiring in people to be able to handle the charge on AI, working on getting NPC’s as immersive as possible, for the amount of variety and intelligence they have.
- Also pushing on cinematics.
- Working on facial animations for the past few weeks. Should see some of the first stuff at CitizenCon coming up soon.
- Mainly getting the place sorted and running, and getting tons of interviews done. Attracting some really good talent.
Ship Shape: The 9 Multi-Crew Stations, so far...
- Captain’s station: Usually the owner of the ship. Can see what everyone else is doing, can also override another station and take control of it. Can set room and station permissions, security clearances, set lockdown, vent rooms, and more.
- Pilot/Helm: Flies the ship, does any docking and boarding.
- Engineering: Responsible for overall power management/resource allocation. Not enough power from the reactor to use everything at full capacity all the time.
- Tactics: Responsible for weapon strategy. Ammo consumption, targeting, countermeasures.
- Navigation: In charge of the star map, route prediction, and fuel management.
- Turrets: In control of either an individual manned turret, or slaved unmanned turrets.
- Science: Can be a variety of things. Could be EWAR, medicine, scanning, and more.
- Communication: Internal and external comms. Talking to other ships, intercom, and also market data for stores within the ship.
- Security: In charge of crew NPC’s staffing the ship, can also perform various functions across the ship like locking and unlocking doors, setting off alarms, and more.
Reverse the Verse
- Post focuses on the interiors of the variants.
- EWAR design post was by Todd Papy.
- Getting ready for DragonCon next week – Star Citizen Q&A @ Hilton. Will have swag. Walk up to them and demand a pin.
- Ryan Archer is creating the art for the Star Citizen Conceirge citizen cards. They will be for sale probably within a month. (I'm concierge, didn't realize this was a thing?)
- Battlefield upgrade kits upgrade the components but not the look for the Vanguard variants.
- Internal studios will be the focus of News from Around the ‘Verse from now on. Still get FPS updates Fridays.
- The escape pod portion of each Vanguard variant is swappable with the other Vanguards.
- PMs will be in chat system eventually. A lot of iterative development coming on chat system.
- The Social module, the deployment of features is very scheduled and timed out for the next year or so.
- No ETA on the new holotable.
- Q: Is the Vanguard Harbinger superior to the Retaliator? A: No? What does it mean for it to be superior? Less ordinance on the Harbinger but somewhat more maneuverable. It’s a tradeoff.
- Battlefield upgrade kits, the Hornet lineup might get something like that someday.
- PAX South? No plans for pax south right now, but there might be people there. That’ll be decided later.
- No info on the Freelancer right now, it’s been handed off to the UK. It’s actively being worked on.
- Probably won’t see the Drake Dragonfly before end of 2015.
- Blanket answer for all ship status questions – there’s the post on the forums that has the most up to date information they’re willing to release.
- Q: Will Anvil get a cap ship someday? A: Maybe. They’ll have the Crucible, which can carry a fighter around in it. Mini capital ship, coming soon-ish.
- Work continues on the base Constellation.
- Q: Will the Phoenix be sold again? A: There were a couple (less than 30) left after last sale. There could be another lot of them at some point.
- Q: How’s the Carrack looking? A: No changes lately. When more work starts, they’ll let us know.
- Ben’s going to say two words he had a meeting about this morning. Caterpillar Variants.
- Looking to put the ‘pillar in the game, so they’re thinking seriously about what’s next for it.
- In the future, we’ll be able to explore more of Arc Corp. Lots of the alleyways will expand, Casaba will open at some point, etc…
- Zane is in the UK right now working with UI designers to come up with strategies for how manufacturers will be styled for ship HUDs. Some will be holographic-ish, some will be less. They’re figuring out HUDs for the companies vibe now.
- Q: Update on new jump point hardcover? A: None yet.
- Q: Buggy racing in ArcCorp? A: Someday. Disco wants it. He’s talked to everyone for it. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but he’s championing it.
- Q: Are the blades on the vanduul fighter supposed to heat up? A: No. They should not heat up, and there’s no way they should be capable of it.
- Q: Why don’t the Glaive blades do any damage? A: Do they not? Calix has seen them do damage. He’ll look into it.
- ArcCorp is limited right now because it’s just a grain of sand. Soon we’ll see the whole beach.
- Q: Can you take the launcher from the Harbinger and put it on the Warden? A: Yes. That’s the idea of the battlefield kits.
- Cutlass has had its health changed previously, but the health of the components wasn't changed (just the base hull), so they all still had the old (3x less) health values. Those have now been increased, and should be seen in an upcoming patch. This should also affect the Hornet. Not the Gladius though. Gladius’ mostly lose thrusters cause they lose wings.
- Q: Can you take the rocket turret from the vanguard and put it on the Tali? A: Not sure given the current design. It was originally specced that you could, but it was also designed so if you move it to another ship, it doesn’t come with its suite of ammo. ~30 shots, instead of constantly reloading. Buyer beware.
- Q: Can you rotate rocket turret 360 degrees? A: Just a concept right now. Will be cleaned up when the ship gets built to ensure you don’t tear a feed belt off your ship when you rotate the turret to shoot some guy behind you. It will definitely be taken into consideration.
- Q: How will ships go from hangar to takeoff platform? A: Door will open and it’ll go out. They had a lot of meetings about this early on, it’s been thought out.
- Q: New weapons in Voyager Direct? A: Not soon enough. You’ll see more components soon, but not weapons yet. They want to get a full set of weapons out soon, cause they realize it’s limiting.
- Q: Javelin updates? A: Nothing right now. It’s in the works for SQ42, probably will see it later this year. Same with the Idris, but it is further along.
- Q: How many ship artists working at CIG? A: A lot. Several in Santa Monica, a few in Texas, most in the UK. Tricky to give an exact number. Some artists go back and forth between ships and other things, some don’t work on creating them but do bugs and support, less than 10 in Santa Monica, a few in Texas, more than that combined in the UK.
- Mustang Delta hasn’t recieved changes to how it flies, but the rockets have increased damage and flight speed. Should be more useful now.
- Balance is generally future focused. Changes to health and damage is more on establishing what’s expected out of physically based damage system. Same thing for signature work that’s being done now.
- Q: Why are Dominator II missiles slower? A: Matt will check their stats to check their current performance. Probably a lot of legacy things in missiles that needs to change. Need lots of engineering time to re-examine missiles.
- For bigger ships that have more stations and more responsibilities, the Captain could theoretically run them, but it’s not really feasible. As far as station design is going, you’re empowered to access everything on your ship as a Captain, but you won’t necessarily be awesome at it. A solo managed Idris won’t be good. It won’t be able to beat a crewed Idris. That doesn’t represent the full breadth of design decisions, but nothing will mechanically lock you out of full control of your ship if you want to do it alone. You just wont't be effective. Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should do a thing.
Random DevtalkThanks to INN for catching these. I wonder if they sit in chat all day...
Matt Sherman: Don’t over-estimate just how Grabby-hands is going to be setup. It’ll be good for interactions, but you won’t be Garys-mod-flailing your arms about.
Matt Sherman: Missiles don’t travel slower, they’re the same speed in 1.1.6 as they were in 1.1.3. Tracking angles were reduced, but not speeds. Plenty of ship match ups will come down to who gets the first shots off. Like a MIS getting the jump on anyone can do damage with the missiles, but if you get past that first volley, they’re not going to be instant-reload for a second round.
Matt Sherman: Reloading ballistics from cargo space is still being sorted, no final decision on how that may pan out right now. There’s going to be some upcoming changes for ammo though when we get physically based damage in, so once that’s working, we’d re-evaluate the from-cargo loading.
Matt Sherman: Weapon-type specific mounts are unlikely, too many arbitrary restrictions on a hardpoint-level, but we’re looking at different tuning aspects that can be applied to the supporting equipment like gimbals/etc.. So a fast-tracking gimbal may have more spread to shots, or a high power/heat throughput having reduced range of motion.
Calix Reneau: In the example of a Super Hornet and a Hull B (as pirates), you have a ship that deals plenty of damage and ship that holds lots of loot, spread across 3 players. To move the successfully gotten loot into cargo, at least one of those players has to get out of their ship (since neither the Hornet or Hull B can bring NPC's). Let’s say that you have gone ahead and successfully loaded up the Hull B and returned to your ships and then someone responds to that distress signal and shows up – maybe even other pirates. You still have a Super Hornet, nothing to scoff at – but it now has to protect the Hull B, which can’t help. I expect there to be additional flight considerations when flying in large world maps. But this is an example why simply having a Cutlass or two might be simpler and faster.
Matt Sherman: And however NPC’s are implemented, there’s going to be limits to what you can do with them. Don’t expect a giant NPC-driven spacefleet per person. Private armies would be terrible for the games long term health.
Matt Sherman: (Disruption damage) Jams up power flow, though the fully intended functionality is still being setup. It’ll be more developed once physically based damage gets rolled out. It can cut off power if you manage to overload the powerplant.
Matt Sherman: Holoviewer models are no where near what the actual game-models of the ships would be in terms of detail.
Disco Lando: You can sleep in a Vanguard. It wouldn’t be an effective “long-range” if you couldn’t sleep in it.
Matt Sherman: Not every module-bay for a ship is going to be fully interchangable between all types of ships. There’s definitely going to be enough supporting module choices though to let people meaningfully customize their ship, but there’ll always be some semblance of limits at work for these setups.
Matt Sherman: The ‘Pillar (Caterpillar) is still going to be made, everything has its place and priority in the schedule. Plus, it’s at that ‘just right’ size for a ship where it really needs more of the other supporting systems for the game on-line and running before it gets fully built out.
Matt Sherman: Something important to consider though with any possible exploits is making sure they’re reported and not pocketed away. That’s also going to be a big thing in terms of helping to prevent cheaters/botting in the game, the community will need to be super-narc’ing on any/every bot/cheat-author around. Because say there’s a credit-exploit, reporting it after you’ve abused it and not detailing the extent of the abuse is just as bad as not reporting the exploit in the first place. Also, in terms of anti-cheat stuff, I’ll never directly comment on what measures would be taken. No reason at all honest players need to know, and any info would just do more to help cheat-authors preplan on what they may need to workaround. It’s not something we’re gonna let slide, but not something we’re going to show our hand out the gate.
Matt Sherman: Something to keep in mind though with the insurance, LTI or not, is the plans for replacement times on those ships. You won’t be getting your ship back instantly like AC does in the PU.
Matt Sherman: Expect most weapons to be getting some change ups in the future. Some of the sizes are just way out of line for sensibility, especially for how large of a bore some of the ballistic rounds would end up being. Also, varied energy-weapon colors are something we’re looking at, though part of our goal would be that those shots would need to be cleanly identifiable in terms of what they do. A lot more of the color-usage is going to hinge on the performance/etc of the weapon in question. It wouldn’t be “pick your projectile color” or anything, but more so different weapon types have different projectile looks. Don’t expect fully transparent shots. Projectiles with no discernable tell are bad design.
Matt Sherman: Orion isn’t actively being built, so atm, nothing is going on with the interior, it’s just waiting its turn. Starfarer is also waiting its turn just like every other ship waiting to be built out.
Matt Sherman: Specs Page is WAY out of date, but needs a lot of the pending work for the component overhaul before we can properly update it. But it’s definitely a pressing concern for a lot of the component work I’m doing.
TZurovec.CIG: I was actually talking about the elevator ride between your hangar and ArcCorp/Area 18. That will eventually be seamless, just like the planet-to-space transition. You are correct, though, that when approaching/leaving a planetary city you’ll effectively be on auto-pilot.
TZurovec.CIG: Chat window spamming? Yeah, you’ll have the ability to ignore other users fairly soon. Chat is currently totally global. Chat channels will come in an update. They’re already supported at the network service level, but the user interface doesn’t yet expose them.
TZurovec.CIG: Going into friends hangars will arrive with what I’d call Social Module 2.0. That’s the next major milestone, but I’ll likely aim to slot a half-point upgrade before that once we’ve back in the main development stream. Ironically, most of the code to share a friend’s hangar is already done. It’s just in a different development stream.
TZurovec.CIG: The Social milestones are more about laying groundwork and testing base functionality – network functionality and performance, in particular. Two months ago we couldn’t put a dozen players into ArcCorp without cratering the frame rate. Now at 25 the bandwidth is irrelevant…and it will be getting much better over the next couple of months.
TZurovec.CIG: You’ll likely see a grabby hands update with the AI Module, or possibly the earlier Character Customization Module where you’ll be able to change your clothing.
TZurovec.CIG: Vlothing customization will come first. Facial and body customization will come a bit later. The exact elements haven’t yet been decided, but the basic thinking is that you’ll be able to select your sex, possibly some level of height/weight, hair, skin tone, facial texture, possibly eyes and nose, likely distinguishing marks (like scars), and other such things.
TZurovec.CIG: The networking could easily handle 50 players at the moment. It’s the graphics performance that’s the limiting factor. That graphics performance will take a substantial leap forward as soon as we’re back in the “GameDev” stream. It’s a long story, but basically Star Citizen split the code base into streams for Star Marine, and we had to do the Social Module in 1.2.0 – which doesn’t have access to the latest graphics stuff – because that’s where GIM was, and we had to do GIM in 1.2.0 with Star Marine because it needed a more robust matchmaker. We’ve still got a lot of substantial network optimizations in development. We’ll be going higher than 50. This is just the start. There’s a lot more on tap that you’re not seeing.
TZurovec.CIG: Casaba is still being modified, so we just closed it off rather than show something that wasn’t quite ready. ArcCorp is actually getting a facelift as well. The store facades will look much better in the near future… the main building below Astro Armada will get a big bump in its visuals… and we’ll go to lower-poly but parallax occlusion mapped objects to get better performance while maintaining high visual fidelity.
TZurovec.CIG: Functioning stores will appear two milestones from the Social Module. In between there is a persistence/shared hangar milestone.
TZurovec.CIG: Terra Prime has had some development, but the primary focus is on Nyx, Hurston, Crusader, and Microtech. Yes, Nyx is almost complete. Looks way better than ArcCorp. Crusader is in the very early stages. Terra Prime is far larger than ArcCorp/Area 18. It’s basically three connected maps.
TZurovec.CIG: No, what you are seeing in terms of ArcCorp is actually about one third of the city. The area just past Dumper’s Depot ends at a fence. You’ll be able to go past that eventually. The area to the left of Casaba and heading away from the Skywalk ends at a fence. You’ll be able to go past that as well.
TZurovec.CIG: You’ll see SM updates daily this week. (We did.) Going forward, the plan is to start releasing updates far more regularly. I’d like to put at least two more major PU updates out this year, and at least a couple of minor ones.
TZurovec.CIG: Nyx will be rolled into one of the other major milestones. It all factors into the release schedule – going forward, the plan is to start putting out regular major updates – roughly every 6-8 weeks or so. I’d guess that we’ll release Nyx sometime around late October or November.
TZurovec.CIG: I think you’ll see an AC 2.0 this year, but the exact feature mix is hard to say. There’s still a number of things being debated there.
This Week in SUN...
Briskit has been promoted to OF-2, and placed in charge of AF EU-22. Congrats!
Also a few transfers to report on...
Zombie has been transferred to FF EU-43.
Aegrum_Falx has been transferred to AF OL-42.
Skeraan has been transferred to AF EU-23.
Vox1 has been transferred to TAR T EU-12.
That about sums it up for this past week. Enjoy the Social Module (what there is of it so far)!
Keep cool carry one and game on,