Well... it's been another week. Already. My, how time flies.
Sorry for the lateness, have a lot of other stuff going on (and I had to work today so I could have Monday off) but thats the way the cookie crumbles. Or something like that. Anyway, just getting right into it, since I still have a few other things on my plate to accomplish...
There was a 'note' from the Chairman about a new game undergoing a kickstarter called EVERSPACE. Feel free to check it out if you want more space games.
There were two separate posts because there were apparently a lot of questions... so here is the first session, and here is the second.
Next up is the glorious Star Marine update, and it does actually seem like they are getting a lot closer to release. At least, it feels like the stoppers they are facing are getting smaller and smaller every week.
Finally, the Monthly Report for August. These are always mouth-wateringly full of details. Plenty of dropped hints that Star Marine and AC 2 are actually really, really close. *shiver*
Starting to see a lot of repeat images and the like. Current stuff seems to be held close to the vest lately. Probably already saving up for CitizenCon.
10 FTC, August 31stAs always, wordy transcript here from INN.
What is the state of the NPC crew AI? Will we be able to throw a few NPC into our multicrew ships when Arena Commander 2.0 goes live, or is that something that will come in the future?
Future. They will start showing up after the Subsumption update for social.
We know ships will show wear, tear and damage. What about clothes? If I get shot or stabbed while doing shady business, will that damage show? Will the damage persist? Do I have to buy a new shirt? Because I really liked that one…
Clothing and armor will have the same damage states that ships currently do. Not sure about the route you need to take to get them repaired yet.
With the social module pending, the question of the Character Creator is on many a mind. Can you speak to the intentions of how robust it will be in regards to a player’s ethnicity, hair styles, colors and physique?
In the beginning, you'll be able to swap between some presets. Eventually there will be some morphing between two presets, then the final edition should be full morph.
The new exterior damage system from ships is stunning, but what will happen with the interior?
There will be updates on the interior too in a similar manner, and the current Retaliator shows the direction they are beginning to move in. Soon access panels will be blown off, visual displays crack, etc..
Will we be able to roam one of the big floating structures in the Murray Cup Map at some point for spectator purposes?
How will ship parking work in the PU? Will we be landing on instanced pads? Will our ship be pulled into a parking hangar after we land in order to make more room for other players?
Yes, the pads will be instanced, but you'll have your ship move to the hangar via autopilot, and see other players ships autopiloting between hangars and pads as well.
With the release of Social Module, FPS and finally Ac 2.0, I was wondering what currency we would be using when PU beta is up and running? Will we use UEC or REC and will it be deleted when PU goes Live?
REC is exclusively for Arena Commander, and will only ever be for that (or any 'game' by Original Systems). If they start to use UEC in the alpha or beta PU, they might make another 'test' currency to use, but it hasn't been finalized yet.
When you were looking to hire programmer on your team, what kind of process did you go through and what kind of qualifications did you look for?
People send in resumes and have good backgrounds, but it mostly depends on what you have actually done in the past that they look for. Extensive modding, creating your own game, working on another big project that was completed.
Will players automatically orient when traversing a ship in zero-G? Do characters automatically orient to a y-axis in the ship zone regardless of gravity effects?
There is none... and will be no automatic orientation.
For the science/research curious of us. How much realism can we expect? What resources are you using to bring interesting content to the PU? Are you consulting with real scientists and physicists? Will we be able to solve the mystery of Dark Matter in the Star Citizen Universe?
A lot. Tony is very big on that, and the Daves (the writers) are conversing with a lot of scientists and astrophysicists to get lots of information for science research. There will be a lot of 'hard' science and sci-fi that should fit into the world, and maybe some (vague) other stuff too...
ATV, September 3rdSanta Monica
- Elwin is wearing a hat. The hat is for shooting reference and scans and such for characters.
- Herald is in production, on the fast-track. Currently in greybox, doing checks to make sure it works.
- Reliant is being worked on by Elwin, it's flyable in the whitebox stage. It’s not pretty, but it’s sorta-flyable.
- Next for ArcCorp they’ll be focusing on persistence, which is the next large target, and fixing any bugs we encounter while testing.
- Tony is working on top-down layouts for Microtech and Crusader, the UK are working on Hurston, working on getting those to white-box soon to get the full Stanton System done. Multiple landing zones, points of interest in space, and more.
- Immediate objective is persistence, shared hangar functionality, and bugs.
- UI Unification Summit
- Discussed over the past few weeks how all the AR systems can connect together, making sure all the systems work on the same general idea, that the entities around the player can be displayed in a tactical visor, in the Social module AR context. Making sure not every studio has their own implementation of the UI.
- Also looking to unify the Electronic Acess interface. With Star Marine coming online, there’ll be a more consistent interface that’ll be consistent across all the things that use the EA store.
- mobiGlas: All studios and UI engineers need to be able to create apps for the mobiGlas, so they are spending time making sure everyone’s capable of implementing new mobiGlas features.
– Weapons: A new lead weapon artist – Toby – joined them recently, digging through the style-guide, making sure all the different manufacturers have different looks and feel to them.
- AI: Lead AI programmer was in Austin working with the PU team, working on improving synchronization of animations over the network.
- Core Engine: The team has been working on a physical EVA model. Refined the way that players will be able to move through zero-g. Also working on ‘grid refactoring’ which’ll allow huge objects – 8 km asteroids – to have proper physics proxies.
- R&D: Procedural planet generation tech, which’ll go a long way in the game. Can’t say much about it, but trying to help provide assets and organized pre-fabs, and think of ways to generate organics and mountains, more will come later.
- Life Support: Atmo and life-support systems on ships and stations. How to have hull breaches, what happens with AI, how to equalize pressures.
- Hacking: Trying to make it more complex. It’ll have a large scope. Can hack from small doors to large ships to shields and more.
- Cinematics: The team is very busy, should see the first bits of their work at CitizenCon.
Reverse the Verse
– Q: Vanguard commercial? A: None in the immediate future. Next is hopefully the Retaliator. There is a script, but it’s been pushed back until next year because people are working on SQ42. They’re looking at doing trailers, but not so much full commercials anymore. Commercials were a ‘test bed’ so that the animators could learn the tools
– Q: What are the trade-offs of the Vanguard variants, why buy just a Warden? A: Playstyle preference. If you buy a warden, it’s a pretty versatile ship. If you want to upgrade it later to have a more specific function, that’s up to you.
– Sneak Peek: Started a process where they were going to show fashions from the Terra ‘white collar’ line. They got derailed with the Vanguard and the Social module, but they’re back to showing the white collar fashions. Designed by Megan Cheever
– Q: Adjustments to Retaliator as it becomes flight ready? A: Yes. Nothing at all is final yet. The UK is working on the Tali. It’s being reworked to make it more space efficient in the interior. Lisa hasn’t seen it lately, but yes, that’s a goal. Also working on making it more modular.
– Q: Reliant trajectory? A: Work on whiteboxes is being done. After that, goes to graybox, then materials (making it more than shapes, make it pretty), then tech setup. Still has a while, but it’s being worked on.
– Q: Herald flight or hangar ready? A: Soon.
– Community Hub rollout starts on Tuesday. For the PTU rollout, there was a PTU first wave and PTU second wave. They’re going to use that. People who were in first wave of PTU invites will get the first wave of Community Hub invites.
– ‘Deep Space Radar’ is their version of Reddit. Post articles / websites / INN stuff about Star Citizen there. (Yes, they said INN.)
– Issue Council is separate from the community hub. Could go live any day.
– Q: Retractable blast shields for Vanguards? A: Only on the Harbinger. It’s one of the modular elements that can be swapped around.
- Q: Caterpillar? A: Randy (who worked on the Starliner) is working on it, but nothing new. Lisa might want to cover it on ship shape at some point in the next few weeks.
– Q: Connie? A: Still have Chris and Josh working on it, they haven’t stopped since Gamescom.
– Q: BMM? A: Not much movement lately, but there’s been more talk about who they want to give it to next. Hopefully someone’ll do some polish on it soon. Just conversations right now, nothing scheduled. It's about prioritization. There’s no game mode right now that’d benefit from the BMM, they’re building things that are needed for the game right now. They don’t hate the BMM, it’s just not the most important right now.
- Mustang Delta won’t get missiles, just rockets.
– Cutlass is being worked on still, no more info yet though. It’s not just languishing doing nothing, it’s being worked on. And the Cutlass is important for SQ42, so it’s not forgotten.
– There was an issue when Social module rolled out that some changes from 1.1.5 didn’t get merged in correctly. TTK is back to where they aren’t happy with it. Some of the fixes from 1.1.5 brought it to where they were happy with it, and they’ll be bringing it back as soon as they can. They have to go back individually through all the submissions. It’s not a question of ‘did it change’, cause it did, it’s a question of ‘is this the change that we needed?’
- 300 series: Zane is in the UK working on UI and stuff. Every HUD will probably change at least a bit. Other HUDs, like the 300 series, are likely to change more.
– The Origin HUD actually isn’t in game yet. Only HUDs in right now are the Merlin, the Aurora, and the Scythe. Everything else’s placeholder.
– Q: Freelancer? A: It’s been passed to the UK recently. Lisa’s not sure how it’s going, but she’ll look in on it soon, see if there’s a ship shape to be done.
– Q: 890 JUMP? A: Tentatively slated for the LA office to start working on it after New Years.
– Q: Cargolympics? A: Almost certainly. It’s in the same place as Flight Control right now.
– Q: Starfarer? A: It is in SQ42. People are actively working on it in the UK. It’s further than something like the BMM because it’s necessary for SQ42.
– Q: Vanguard turrets retractable? A: Not sure if there’s space for that anymore. If there’s space, yes. If not, no. Everything changes once the ship gets built out in CryEngine. Sometimes they think something’s a certain way, then model it, and it changes. The only constant is change.
– Q: When will CIG Santa Monica to the new office? A: They’re not sure. Probably late October. Big holdup right now is security for when they start moving things in. Don’t want anything to get stolen in that process.
– Q: More weapons coming out? A: Getting new weapons out is a thing they need to do. Looking at S1-S4 for a lot of the current weapon types, to fill out ranges. No specifics yet, but it’s something they want to get us more choices soon.
– Q: ArcCorp area 18 map for gameplay in Star Marine? A: Up to Austin. Would be cool though.
– Q: Thought about stages of ships such as outside only / grayboxed versions? A: Lisa ran that up the chain. For some of the next hangar ready ships, might try to release them early so they can be seen as ‘very far along’ graybox, and continue working on them from there. Probably not the next ship, but some of the next ones might do that. Tech setup to put things in hangar is difficult though, have to evaluate if it’s worth doing that, also low stage models don’t have LODs, so if it destroys performance, it’s not worth it.
– The Vanguard has no latent EWAR, need the Sentinel for that.
Devchat, courtesy of INN
CIG Matt Sherman: Ships may be easier, but the best of the best components and parts to install on those ships, that’ll be the real long-term challenge. Ships aren’t coming tuned to their absolute max potential out the box, there’s going to be plenty of room left for tuning/improvement/etc.
CIG Matt Sherman: No solid info on the Freelancer’s weapons, no. I know it’s getting its retrofit spec’d out in the near future, but not certain when that’d be completed or ready to be updated.
CIG Matt Sherman: Retaliator is a bit better off currently than some people may think. The shields are definitely not as weak as the specs-page, so it’ll definitely hold it’s own in combat. Turrets can all run S2’s instead of S1’s, so more combat-potency as well.
WLeverett.CIG: Currently, even the smallest change to one of the files means you have to get the entire file again. Many of those files are massive, about 2GB. A long term strategic goal is to break those files apart but that is a very, very long way away.
TZurovec.CIG: Female avatar? We’ll definitely have that for the Shopping release since it focuses quite a bit upon character customization.
CIG Matt Sherman: The S5 on any of the Vanguards would be a S5 mount, so Fixed S5 max, gimbaled S4 if you want rotation.
CIG Matt Sherman: Ya, the max-size Torps on a Retaliator are going to be bigger than anything a Vanguard could ever haul. I’ll need to recheck, I wanna say the Retaliator has S5 Torps max, the Harbinger maxes out at S2 torps.
CIG Matt Sherman: Exact ammo-counts aren’t locked in yet, though the bigger question will probably be can you fire all of your ammo before your gun overheats and explodes underneath your pilot seat. Because ya, over-heat damage isn’t really setup right atm, and that’ll really be impacting a lot of use-times on weapons.
CIG Matt Sherman: Right now, ‘Carrier based’ is going to be more an aspect of loadout-flexibility. IE, instead of installing a tank of fuel, you just load up more ammo, so you wouldn’t have the gas to jump/quantum around a region, but if you’re launching from a carrier, you’d have a parent ship to return to and change loadout.
CIG Matt Sherman: EWar won’t be like EVE, there’s going to be a lot more risk-reward involved in the gameplay.
CIG Matt Sherman: EWar will be fun to get setup for how it’s being planned right now, though it’s going to probably be a bit different from what some people expect. In part how important the data-spikes are going to be. Outside of more passive comms-intercept or comm/sensor jamming, you must spike a target if you want to have a chance to directly disable any aspect of their ship. Ya, there’s a specific DataSpike missile planned out.
You spike a target, basically planting a usable antenna you can tap into, then you’d have access to start a full hack through their systems. The Spikes would just be a different missile to choose from, so a lot of those counter-measures would still apply. Beyond that, there’s definitely going to be enough meaningful defenses to try and counter the attacks.
And you’re not SOL if you get spiked, there’s still going to be defensive measures you can take to counter and stop a hack, especially since the antenna on the spike would have a limited lifespan. Tracker and Ghost would both be tapping into the same systems of electronics though, just different applications. Also, in most ships, even the Herald and Sentinel, you won’t be able to max-out all aspects that the electronics will be covering, so you’ll always be making choices/tradeoffs in how you setup your computers.
Hacking someone elses mobiglass, not sure, but using your mobiglass or on-foot hacking, that’s being sorted out with the rest of the system. One of the more interesting things for on-foot attacks though is they’re being poised to be the most destructive. Like ship-to-ship hacking with a dataspike, at best, you can shut down a target. But get someone on-board and doing a direct hack against the ship, then you could have a chance to overload a powerplant or trigger a self-destruct. The full scope of EWar is definitely more a down-the-road implementaion since it needs a lot of other systems online first. Like the first steps are getting the entire distortion system fully working, and that’s really basic. Then it’s more layering in more gameplay as the supporting systems come online.
CIG Matt Sherman: It’s planned for the nose guns on the Avenger and Gladius to become interchangable in the long-run, but not sure when that may be able to happen. The Merlin’s centerline gun though is more a fixed-thing, but a large part of that is it’s Krueger’s first ship and is basically built around the centerline gun.
CIG Matt Sherman: So for tuning/customizing parts, it’s a few overall layers that will effect things. Like from a workbench, you wouldn’t be able to completely fry your gear just seeing what setups work. That would be more having tuned your gear, installed it on a ship, but then running it in an overclocked state which would put more strain on the component, causing it to degrade faster.
This Week in SUN...Yeahhhh so there are some not-so-big and some kinda-sorta-big things that have happened in the last week. Make sure you visit and read this post, and also this one, just to make sure you're not out of the loop.
Once you've read those, you're all caught up. Congrats!
Keep cool and game on,