Good Sunday to everyone. It was another (relatively) quiet week regarding things that are SC related. They are definitely running silent before CitizenCon in about 3 weeks, so that seems to be pretty typical of the way they operate right before a big event.
The Community Hub is now officially live to everyone, and so is the Issue Council, where bugs can be reported on by members of the community so that CIG takes note in case they missed one.
Other than that, there was the usual barrage of weekly updates, including the latest Star Marine update (it's inching ever closer!) and a note that the Avenger is free to fly for this week. Oh, and Jump Point, for subscribers.
There really wasn't anything else, but like I mentioned, they typically get very quiet before big event and reveals.
MediaCurrent box art update (a little too green):
Aurora skins (would you believe this is really old? But it shows what the plan still is):
Block-out of the Herald's computer station:
Updated/modified fish tanks!:
10FTC, September 20thAs always, INN for the humongous transcript.
One of the funding goal is Alien Language, Star Citizen’s aliens will be speaking their own language. Is there any progress on this?
Yep! Coming along very nicely, in fact... during the Squadron 42 mocap for the scenes with Vanduul, the actors were also actually speaking their language.
What will we do while transiting between systems on long flights. I have a Vanguard and while my job will be piloting, what will my gunner have to do for long flights when he is not needed in the turret?
They still haven't fully ironed out just how long transistions will take, but it's not hard to imagine in smaller ships, using your screens to play various forms of digital chess, cards, looking at media, etcetera.
Given the level of fidelity shown in the recent Gamescom demo and the Social Module v0 release, I was wondering what the road map for developing 100 complete star systems looks like. Could you provide some idea of how star systems will be rolled out to the community in the long term?
They've been working on a lot of other systems consistently, not just ArcCorp. There are four basic building sets that are made for various types of planets: Structuralism (ArcCorp Style), Super Modernism (Terra, Revel and York hangar), Monumentalism (places with lots of big monuments), and Hannowism (not sure on spelling, but a colonial, bunker-type). All of those sets can have colors and adjustments to make them further unique, but they will use those set building blocks.
Then they start planning out concourses, landing zones, shops, where NPC's will be and go, then where they want players to focus, things like that. As far as when we will see more - we're only going to end up having immediate access to the UEE territory and maybe a few surrounding systems. The rest we're going to have to explore and find, or buy the coordinates.
I have packages and ships that currently total up to 3 VFG Industrial hangars and 4 Selfland hangars. Will I be able to assign them to different landing zones and systems in the P.U.?
Don't know for sure yet, but thinking about offering 'credit chits' for a free hangar rental wherever you want, instead of having a bunch all over the place.
Are there any plans to have any type of supported add on’s in the game, in regards to UI customization or data collection? There are quite a few of us building elaborate Simpit set ups and would love to have the ability to configure additional screens for MFD’s for valuable information.
Longer term, certainly. They're planning to work on stuff like that and have the game's API available too, but right now they are focused on getting the actual game out.
Will we ever be able to install a radar that gives our HUD object detection? Specifically, will there be a radar that can outline or highlight “dead” objects like asteroids or ship chunks?
The radar can currently do that right now. The problem is that it will make it incredibly cluttered.
Will the drop of ac 2.0 multicrew mayhem see the addition of a few more maps to play in? Or will the existing two be expanded?
When multicrew arrives, it won't be in Arena Commander. It will be another zone, like ArcCorp, though your magical hangar elevator will instead take you to a space station. You'll get to pick what ship to fly on a landing pad, and then take off and go exploring in the large universe map. So it will be much more realistic, and not like Arena Commander in that regard. Obviously you won't actually lose anything, but it will more accurately simulate the PU. TonyZ has taken to calling it the 'exoverse'.
They will start adding things there to it, like capital ship combat, mining, salvaging, repair, capturing space stations... anything they want to test will happen within the several billion kilometers of that map.
Will voice comms be openly audible in open, public spaces like bars (ie. can I listen in for intel) and will it be possible to overhear voice comms when carrying out EW activities in my Sentinel or Herald?
Yes to both.
Post-release will there be more opportunities for the modding community to develop ships similar to TNGS and have them officially become part of the game? Could other acclaimed mods adding apparel, weapons or environments be made part of the official game eventually?
Absolutely, after launch. Anything wanting to get into the actual live game will have to obviously go through curation, but if it gets in, then people could technically earn a portion of all the future ship sales of something they created.
During the Dragoncon Q&A, Ben mentioned that the MISC Endeavor draws inspiration from the Valley Forge in the movie Silent Running. I love this movie and wonder if you have any other classic movies that we’ll see homages to?
Absolutely. It's Chris Roberts. Cameo and Homage are his two middle names.
ATV, September 17thSanta Monica
- Bringing the Herald out of graybox, and getting it flyable.
- Elwin is working on the Reliant as well, to get it flyable
- Lots of work on the Constellation, to get it done very soon.
- There’s a picture on the forums of Randy working on whiteboxing the Caterpillar. Still very initial and early design, come up with modules, how cargo will be handled. Talking to writers and Ben about and lore, working on the interiors. Getting the interiors done first, then go give it to artists to make it pretty.
- Working on Social Module v1.
- Recording audio soon, as some emotes (probably ~50%) will have audio in the next release. They’ll be recording temp audio in Austin. There’ll be some grunting and dialogue and such in there.
- Working on respawn functionality. There may or may not be opportunities to die in the next social module release, so they’re working on ways to respawn people once that happens. Putting spawn points in the medical unit.
- Also updating the Hangar lighting. Probably have a couple hangars updated for the next release.
- In regards to CS tickets and emails – there’s been a backlog since gamescom, and they’re working to get a personal response to everyone. They’ll continue responding as quickly as they can.
- If you’ve sent in a ticket about a time-sensitive issue (Tali sale, Vanguard variants, etc…) they’ll deal with the ticket as if they got it the day you sent it in. They won’t make us suffer because they answer the ticket late.
- Also a lot of un-melt requests, they will respond to those when they can, but there’s a temporary hold on those, so they can focus on more time-sensitive issues for now.
- Also will be doing some new updates to the website. Can’t say what they are yet, but it should make everyone’s lives better. (CCU coming in early October, probably for CitizenCon.)
- Right now Frankfurt is reviewing AI behaviours and background item elements. Organizing features, making sure that they’re all used in the modules of the game, and to make sure they all fit the picture of the game.
- Making sure that behaviours are working correctly for all the functionality Designers want to use.
- Very much working on behaviours as a central part of how AI’s work. Making sure designers have a whole toolbox to pull behaviours from.
- Also working very closely with Animation to make sure variety matches the AI behaviours.
Reverse the Verse
- They’re in the early stages of getting ready to fill the ‘create a pirate’ perk soon.
- Working on the Concierge Citizen Card. More info on that soon.
- Only two active systems are on Win 10 right now, the rest are all ‘test’ machines.
- Toast did stuff he can’t really talk about right now. They’re doing lots of contracting and stuff.
- Following up with hardware and business partners to make sure things are moving.
- There have been discussions about giving something special to everyone who’s backed before 1 million Citizens.
- Q: Ships status thread update? A: It’s due for one anytime. James will chase that down next week.
- They’re looking to do ‘special’ RtV’s for subscribers every month. They won’t limit the existing RtV, it’ll just be a special one once a month.
- Q: Reason to hype over the next 2 weeks? A: Ben can’t. He hates over-promising. They’re working on the Endeavour, hopefully in a week or two, no guarantees. Citizen Con is going to be fantastic, get hyped for that. Working on 1.2.1 patch. Maybe PTU end of next week, no guarantee.
- Status quo until CitizenCon, then hopefully some really cool stuff.
- FPS report will be minor probably. Folks all over are working on the after-shock of the merge, which is taking a bit longer than they’d hoped. They’ll put together a segment on AtV so that we can see what that means.
- Intention is to live-stream CitizenCon.
- Everyone wants a new episode of Game Commander, but there has to be something interesting to do it about. Apparently Chris has an idea for a second episode though.
- Q: Will the 890 jump be sold again? A: No plans right now. Might someday, but it’s not on the near-term forecast.
- If you’re a backer and you don’t have access (to Community Hub and Issue Council), let them know. Unless you were banned from the forums, in which case, they know. And that’s that. If you’re banned, you’re banned. Be nice.
- Q: Next flyable ship? A: Looking at multicrew stuff coming in next. Connie, Tali, possibly a Cutlass update. The Herald’ll be the next single-seater. Connie and Tali probably next though. But can’t say when or why or how or to what degree.
- Q: Plans on making something other than staff picks the front page of the Community Hub? A: 1.1 is in development. 1.2 and 1.3 are in the works, they have plans for ‘alternate viewing modes’
- Q: Info on patch 1.3? A: 1.3 is the multicrew explosion. Large-world map, multicrew testbed, etc… or it might be FPS… they have a lot coming.
- Esperia Prowler: It has a concept artist assigned, but that artist is building variants for another ship right now.
- CIG wants your Star Citizen how-to videos… how to do anything related to Star Citizen. Post them on the Hub! They might feature some of them and there could be ships to win.
- Won’t tell what to expect at CitizenCon, because it’ll be a surprise. Expect Chris Roberts, a powerpoint, and some stuff interrupting that. And there’ll be a Concorde.
- Q: Pirate Swarm? A: Still in the works. They sat down with people who did the fan-based one.
- Q: Mustang Delta have working shields by 2.0? A: Hopefully. Should have working shields by the next patch, but it can be hard to predict. Workingness of the shields is not connected to 2.0.
- Q: Holotable update? A: It still sucks. The improvement is coming. They know it sucks, and while they’d love to fix it, lets wait till they know everything that needs to go in before they build a new one.
- Q: Fan commercial submission competition on the hub? A: Yeah, that’d be cool.
- Q: Will all seats in a bar be interactive to sit on? A: Yeah? Why not?
- Disco has already seen plans to revisions for all the buildings in ArcCorp, cause they’re not good enough.
- Season 2 of The Next Great Starship would be closer to or even after launch.
- The new image of the Ursa Rover that was on 10 for the Chairman a few weeks ago was something that David Hobbins just randomly put into Shotgun. He just felt like doing it. He doesn’t even work there anymore, just occasional contract work.
- Q: HUD updates to the ships? A: Zane is over in the UK. He was promoted from UI artist, he’s a UI Director now (much deserved). They’ve done some style updates on stuff in the UK for the ships, and now he’s on vacation. When he gets back (in a week or so) there’ll be more timelines on HUD stuff. Zane will be working in the UK for a while.
- Q: Progress on getting rid of CryEngine’s ‘Use’ icon? A: It’s baked into the core of CryEngine. They’re working on replacing it. It’s ongoing. They have some of the best CryEngine experts.
- Q: Plans to re-release the original patches as physical items? Yes. They’re doing a patch set. They’ll have some stuff for Cit Con. SQ42 patch, Star Citizen, and RSI, and a special one for Subscribers. The ICC Stellar Surveyors patch.
- Subscribers are now members of the ICC Surveyors thingy. It’s being worked into the lore.
- Q: Ship Updates? A: Nothing fancy new. Still working on same ships. LA is working on Herald, Reliant, and Connie. They are going to redirect resources for a week or two to help with a milestone for the Connie. Lots being done to globalize, make sure pipelines are all the same.
- Hangar add-ons still coming.
- Q: Damage states for older ships like Aurora? A: There are other priorities before the end of the year, but it’s being discussed about when it’ll get fit into the schedule. Probably first half of next year, and it could change.
- Q: Come back Wednesday at 11am CIG (PST) time for the special RtV episode featuring Chris Roberts and questions from Subscribers!
Dev StuffsAgain, courtesy of INN.
CIG Matt Sherman: SH is still planned to have a better power plant setup compared to the other hornets. We are looking at some other weapon-options for the ball turret, though we need to get them built out and tested before committing to anything being added in.
CIG Matt Sherman: We’re still working on how the exact controls/gameplay will shape up for remote-operated weapons. There will be some aspect of slaving to the pilot, but you wouldn’t really be using the weapons to full efficiency without someone specifically operating the weapons from a different seat/station.
CIG Matt Sherman: The pods in each of the Vanguard variants serves as the escape-pod, even the Harbinger. All 3 have the beds/etc on one half with the role-specific equipment on the other half of the pod.
CIG Calix Reneau: Thrusters on the vanguard are fine. The thrusters on the escape pod are weak. When you eject the escape pod, you wil be able to maneuver it. Poorly, because it has weak thrusters. If the pod is attached to the ship, the navigation station in the pod will not offer any flight control.
CIG Matt Sherman: The Mantis is already on-par to the GAU-8, technically a slightly larger barrel diameter even. The DPS also went up because the base hull health and shield health went up, so it wasn’t just raised without any counter-balances. Ammo is getting an overhaul when we get the new damage system out. It’s more an issue for how the ammo is connected to weapons currently than anything else.
CIG Matt Sherman: Mass Drivers are going to be getting a general rework for their functionality. Definitely a slower time between shots is the plan, and the Sledge 2 would get fixed once that’s all been setup right.
CIG Matt Sherman: Plasma weapons are going to be different from laser cannons, but they still need some more aspects of their planned gameplay to be fully implemented.
CIG Matt Sherman: The Aurora CL’s box would mount on the outside of the ship, it’s not interior-cargo space.
CIG Matt Sherman: Also, procedural content can be nice, but it’s not an end-all solution to content. It’s a lot easier to make bland procedrually generated content than compelling. The best controlled and usable procedural content is just encounter generation. IMO, and from working with other procedural content systems, procedural encounters + hand-crafted assets gets the best bang for the buck, no procedural-visuals at all. You would lose some of that ‘delving’ feel quickly because you’d start to notice the room-patterns and the architecture more.
(Regarding someone standing in a ship at a terminal during combat)
CIG Calix Reneau: The 2nd person will get tossed around to whatever extent people get tossed around in multicrew ships. Which is currently “not at all” and will eventually be “somewhat”. Explosions have pressure, and so will push anything it comes in contact with. Larger weapons will only affect players to the degree that they effect the ship.
CIG Matt Sherman: Not really, a Warden and a Sentinel both explode, ejecting their pods. It’s just on the long-enough-timeline, the Sentinel pod will run out of air/etc before the Warden pod would.
CIG Matt Sherman: For what parts can change up between ships, if you don’t just look at the modules, any weapon or internal component would be interchangable to any mount of the appropriate size-class. Any S4 mount can take a S4 gun, any Medium Shield Generator bay can take any Medium Shield Gen. There’s going to be plenty of parts that can/will go between ships as-is.
CIG Matt Sherman: The LN’s stock hardpoints are 2 S2, 2 S1’s. The S2’s can have gimbals mounted to run gimbaled S1’s. There shouldn’t be any guns on the Aurora nose. Two are mounted underneath on whiskers, 2 are mounted on the upper wings, and those are the S2 mounts. It’ll most likely be getting some cleanup down the line.
CIG Matt Sherman: EWar hacks would take time after you’ve hit a target with a dataspike since where the spike hits will change what part of the targets system you’re starting your hack attempt from.
CIG Matt Sherman: The full extents/limits of NPC crew hasn’t been sorted out yet. The bigger a ship you’re flying though, the more crew/NPC’s you need to get it operational, so while you may be able to have the scenario you describe, those ships would likely be running short-staffed to some extent and wouldn’t be as effective as fully crewed ships.
CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t expect Reliants to really fit on that many other ships. It’s a lot bigger compared to an Aurora or Mustang in terms of starter ships.
CIG Matt Sherman: Bulk-hauling, we’re definitely looking at ways for larger Hull-series ships to lock a ship in for transport, but that would more be locking the ship fully in place from point A to B and not something where you’d be deploying directly off the hauler ship. The real determining factor is going to come down to the differentiation between “Can haul another ship” and “Can deploy another ship”. The Idris would be able to launch/recover a few ships, but the full loadout/extent isn’t locked in.
CIG Matt Sherman: It’s unknown right now if the Idris can launch Vanguards. If you’re specifically only thinking about the Vanguards in context though, don’t expect anything cheap/easy to operate that can launch/recover multiple Vanguards.
TZurovec.CIG: Wait’ll you see upgraded ArcCorp… now with shinier pixels. Quite a bit of work is happening in ArcCorp/Area 18 right now. Wait’ll you see ArcCorp 1.1….
CIG Matt Sherman: Right now, players aren’t able to make in-game ships. We are planning to have modding guides as the game progresses further, but that wouldn’t be in the near future. It’ll still take some time for people to get used to making content. Out ships are so complex in how they’re built/setup, it’s going to take a lot of work to make viable custom assets for the game that look right. Even skins for our ships are going to be a lot more complicated than some people may think. The high detail on the models means more basic paint-over skins don’t really hold up as much.
Toast_CIG: Everything in a package is contained strictly within the package. If you reclaim the package, everything in it goes with it. Stretch goals are not affected by melts or reclaims because they’re separate items in your hangar. Melting an independent package doesn’t affect any other package. So, let’s take a Herald LTI concept, for example. It comes with a Herald model and poster, I think. If, someday, you CCU that Herald to another ship, the standalone Herald is really a ‘package’ that contains a Herald LTI, and poster. If you CCU the Herald to another ship, the same package persists, you’ve just changed the ship inside. It’s not a full game package so there’s no passes or S42 or download or anything in it. But the Herald poster remains because the CCU only affects the ship and not any other item in it. If you melt the Herald LTI standalone, even considering that it was called a ‘standalone ship’ you might as well treat it like a gameless package – everything in the group goes ‘poof’ when you melt it for credit.
CIG Matt Sherman: Ya, Reliant will be able to haul a decent amount, 2 of the more basic cargo boxes, similar to what an Aurora could carry. What that exact number ends up being, we’ll know once the ship is actually built/flyable.
CIG Matt Sherman: We’re not going to be F2P, just B2P. Big difference since new users will still be doing an initial buy-in. There’s still going to be things sold post-launch, granted right now that’s mainly UEC and SP-driven expansions, but that’s something that Marketing will be solving, and probably as we get closer to a really completed game. The guys working on the PU are taking these things into account with what they’re planning. We aren’t just selling UEC with no consideration on the impact or reprecussions. But it’s also something far enough out in the future that it’s not worth troubling yourself worrying too much.
CIG Matt Sherman: Constellation is going through its rework currently to be one of the first ships once we get multicrew flight in-game.
CIG Matt Sherman: Hacking gameplay is still very much WIP. Making sure the different component types have appropriate gameplay to the components function. So overtaking a Power Plant would be different than a Cooler would be different than an Avioincs kit. That’s the other side of it, making sure the gameplay is fun for each type without becoming a development mess to accomplish. There’s a difference between meaningful complexity that really adds to gameplay, and more arbitrary complexity for complexities sake, which can lead to more harm.
CIG Matt Sherman: There’s going to be plenty of customization for component tuning, just not wanton overkill that makes it more a hassle to interact with.
CIG Matt Sherman: If you’re mechanically shutting down the component, they wouldn’t be able to turn it back on. It wouldn’t be something you did from a remote station, but more so, run to that component area and power it down. Just because an attacker is targeting a power plant, if the defending pilot maneuvers to avoid that missile, it could just hit a cooler. Especially on the bigger ships, you’ll be peeling the layers on an onion more than just one-and-done attacks. M50’s would more be relying on Distrution Cannons and EMP-missiles than the hacking-aspects of EWar. In general, the hacking-concepts are not being designed to be solo-pilot friendly. 2-man friendly, sure, but if you’re solo and in-combat, it’s not being made to be viable to hack. EWar itself is more an extension of the overall Electronics/Avionics plans vs just being looked at as an isolated system. Part of why we need our built out Scanner and Comms systems to really be setup before we can start locking down how jamming and data-theft actions would work. Data-Theft/Info-Running will definitely be the most accessible actions for EWar though since you don’t need to spike a target. Find a comm-relay, just start listening in and seeing what info of value passes through. Then you need to have decryption suites on your ship. Like for comparison, a Herald has a decent Avionics Rack in it. If you want to live up to the Info-Runner theme, you’d have more intercept and decryption setup in your rack, where if you want to do more active-hacking EWar, that’d be a completely different setup in the rack needed.
CIG Matt Sherman: Things are being measured in Meters, nothing to argue about for units of measurement. They’ll be using meters if they want to do commerce with UEE. We also need to use a real metric while we’re building out these ships. Making some arbitrary unit size would make building everything out take longer and be more arbitrary work for no meaningful payoff.
CIG Matt Sherman: We’re working on getting the first rollout of the new sizes out, but can’t say for sure when they’ll be ready, but we’ll start getting better updates in with that. First batch is going to be Power Plants, Coolers and Shield Generators, then more gradually rolled out. But those three parts are the most crucial inside a ship currently, so most important to get setup first.
CIG Calix Reneau: I have already made a prototype for flight characteristics that extend our speed behaviors.
CIG Calix Reneau: Guns are just components, if you think about it. Components are just guns, if you think about it. Cargo is just a slow moving projectile, if you think about it.
CIG Matt Sherman: Retaliator shields are more powerful than what the current specs page lists. A lot of that info is all wrong considering the pending updates for PBD.
CIG Matt Sherman: You want to blow up another players ship by triggering Self-Destruct, you have to risk your own ass to do so. Nothing complicated about it at all. It’s intended to give preference to the defense. No crap at all, it’s counter-balance to the potency of the attack. If you’ve driven someone off their ship, they’re not going to be in the best of ways to begin with anyways.
(in regards to self-destructing a loaned ship)
CIG Matt Sherman: And it’d only be the owner of the ship who’d ever have that privlidge. So you wouldn’t loan out a ship and that guy nukes it. Owners-discretion, and will most likely still have a max usable range so it’s not like something blows up a few systems away.
CIG Matt Sherman: Tracking other people is going to be a differet setup. Hacking will be able to shut down a self-destruct also. Tracking people or ships, it’d be the same system overall.
CIG Matt Sherman: Oh ya, there’s going to be comparable defensive measures for electronics as there would be offensive. And it’s being set so you can’t be a master-of-everything-at-once hacker, you’ll be making choices as to what you can really leverage and weaknesses in a target you can exploit.
CIG Calix Reneau: Balance is a running issue. I do wish that it was something we could really put off, but the context balance brings for new features is pretty important.
CIG Matt Sherman: Vanguards are also different role than a Hornet. Damage-output aside, don’t expect any Hornet to take as much punishment as a Vanguard would be able to withstand. Like if you pop a power plant or a Hornet, you’ll be risking losing full power if it explodes, where a Vanguard could lose one of the side nacelles but still be able to keep flying since it has fully-redundant systems inside.
CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t make any assumptions off the current data since plenty is going to change once Physically Based Damage goes in. Any assumptions made before that should be immediately considered wrong.
A MessageI had a brief chat with Shadlor_Resulon on mumble this past week, and he had asked for my help with putting together something to post on the forums (with persmission from the leadership). If you would, please read the following...
That's all for this week.
Keep cool and game on,