To put it bluntly, this week was a snorefest. Nothing at all happened, and to be honest, nothing has been asked/answered that we probably didn't already know. CIG is keeping quiet about a lot of stuff to show it all off for CitizenCon, so between this week and next, it's gonna be the doldrums. Egads.
Just how quiet of a week was it, exactly?
Well, all I have to post in this part where I do the website updates is this little thing called the Star Marine weekly update. That's it, outside of the normal programming. Yeah, slow.
Expect more of the same next week. The week after that though? Well... heh.
You know, I tried to find something to post from CIG. I really did. Outside of what was shown in ATV, there was only one pic from Sandi... joking about pink helmets.
That was all. There was still the gamut of fan stuff, but CIG is in content lock-down mode, as stated earlier.
So yeah, pink helmets...
Here's some WIP screens of the Caterpillar from last week's Around the Verse, in case you didn't watch it.
10 FTC, September 21stThe answers are long, as is typical, and INN manages to transcribe all of it. All of the questions are either close to ones we've heard before, or things we were already familiar with though... so this one is a 'meh'.
In the recent FPS updates we have been told that the Team Elimination game type is being replaced with something akin to CoD’s Domination. With FPS combat in Star Citizen being described as ‘tactical’, I”m wondering what motivated the removal and replacement of this game type over simply adding a second one?
Because it's tactical. So you need to have objectives. Otherwise people find a good spot to camp and then sit there until someone comes across their vision or until the match ends.
With the plan for AC 2.0 to be a ‘baby PU’ are we still going to be able to bring the larger multicrew ships into the AC we have now?
Eventually, yes, there will be game modes that make use of multicrew ships that are designed for AC.
Will players be able to drop weapons / gadgets in FPS? For example, trading weapons with your teammates or an enemy taking your gear when you’re down.
Since all is coming together now and game mechanics are getting more and more complex, how do you plan to introduce the specific parts like electronic warfare, mining, etc… to players?
They will be rolled out one by one onto the 'baby PU/exoverse', the fake Stanton System. They will make coordinates for people to jump to, like a job, to go and test the functionality.
Death mechanic means that our characters will constantly be changing names when their heir takes over the account. How will we be able to track a player for bounty hunting if their name is constantly changing?
... your name won't change until you die. When you're dead, the bounty goes away too.
When we reach a point where the ability to shop at ArcCorp is enabled, will the Voyager Direct store be closing down?
It is as-yet currently undecided what the ultimate fate of Voyager Direct will be (as it relates to gameplay). It's currently being looked at to test exoverse functionality.
What is the scope for offline play outside of SQ42? Will I be able to visit planetside areas such as Arc Corp where I am the only one not an NPC, or go into the larger universe offline where it’s just me and an NPC world?
No offline play outside of SQ42. It was never planned, and Star Citizen is too MMO-esque.
For us subscribers, is there going to be something to keep us coming back to subscribe in the future?
Lots of words, little substance. "We've got ideas, we'll hopefully be able to put together a few things eventually. But thanks for subscribing!" Repeat ad nauseam. Status quo.
Fresh content is critical to engage players in the PU and you have hinted at the possibility of having players generate content. What sort of content would be considered?
Short answer: Pretty much anything, so long as it goes through a curator and QA process.
With the release of multi-crew ships, will we get a loaner multicrew ship if the one we pledged for is still in development?
Yep, you'll get one to try out. Don't know which one yet.
ATV, September 24thSanta Monica
- Kirk Tomei is working on the greyboxing of the Herald ship.
- Calix and Matt are working on balancing for the 1.3.0 patch that’s coming up soon.
- Calix has been working on new weapons, such as a Mass Driver, and a Ballistic Cannon. One s2 and one s4, should see them to PTU soon.
- Social Module v1.0. Coming up on the milestone deadline. Things are coming together for the next edition.
- Working on props to flush out the area. A second section of Arc Corp will be opening up – a construction zone.
- Working on the Million Mile High club. Goes to the first 100 backers who gave 10k. Private lounge for them.
- Working on a prop for the character loadout selector. In the next release, we can pick from loadouts with an interface that will be in-fiction. Working on a prop for that interface.
- Working on female locomotion set. Male set is in, but they’re working on female model soon.
- Working on the Hurston Dynamics whitebox.
- Darren’s been in the industry for 20+ years, 60+ titles. Working on ‘ship audio v2.0’, which will give each ship a signature sound. The resonances and such from the physics applied to the ships.
- Ross came from FPS background: composer on Timesplitters 2 and 3, did some work on an Alien title, and on Crysis 2 and 3, and on Homefrunt Revolution. Working on ambient sound design, making it feel like areas of space are vibrant and alive (or dead, as required)
- Engine prototype for procedural planet generation is done. They’ve settled on a solution they like that gets cool results, from far out to close in.
- Work on ragdoll animations. Now have going in and out of ragdoll to animation and every combo in between, as well as procedural hit reactions. It adds little details.
- Procedural hit reactions... it’ll depend on trajectory and velocity.
- Working on a new gameplay mode for FPS right now as well. No details though.
- Cinematics are making good progress. We’ll see a snapshot of where they’re at at CitizenCon.
- Weapons – working on new ship weapons that’ll be released shortly.
- Also integrated some new CryEngine animation tools that have a new attachment feature, allows for faster setup.
Reverse the Verse
- James and Alyssa are gone, Lisa put in her 2 weeks notice because she got a new job offer she couldn't turn down.
- Tony Z’s working on a science design doc.
- Sneak-peek on AtV was one of the medical pods for the Endeavor. There are many pods, they’re still trying to figure out how many. Wide array of science pods. They are blinded by science.
- The new CCU system is in active testing. First iteration will be side-grades and upgrades, and then there will be downgrades eventually.
- Q: Rain on ArcCorp? A: Yes. There are plans for day/night cycle as well. That’ll happen eventually.
- Q: Can the Hull series mount Endeavour modules? A: Don’t think so. Attach points are probably different. Also, Endeavour modules are manned modules. Have to be able to walk into them. Also the Hull series are not designed to meet the power requirements of the Endeavour.
- Q: Progress on Starfarer? A: Yes. It’s very far along. It’s huge. Sandi’s seen it, cause she was involved with the Starfarer for some SQ42 stuff. It’ll probably the first of the really big ships to make it into the game.
- Q: Crucible, what can and can’t it fix? A: It can fix Hornets, Gladiators, and regular fighters/bombers in an interior bay. It can fix other things outside. Specifically designed to repair military fighters. The bay is detachable and they envision it being swapped for other things like a workshop or something to help repair capital ships.
- Q: How long will the Endeavour sale last? A: Probably through to the start of Cit Con, because they gave notice late.
- Q: Connie? A: No updates, but you’ll see it with multicrew.
- Q: Is SC going to have birds as well as fish? A: There will be some degree of birds.
- Q: Other modules planned for Caterpillar? A: There are many. We’ll learn more about the caterplans in the future.
- Q: Anything about direction Cap ships are taking? A: Bigger, haven’t you seen the Idris? A lot of the cap ships will come along once the Idris is ready. Chris talked about this on the livestream. Now that tech issues are resolved, we’ll see more cap ship stuff coming.
- For all questions on the flight model, they’re working on something in the next few weeks.
- AC 2.0 isn’t 'soon' anymore, it’s something that’ll come out of the baby PU/exoverse. The baby PU lets them do things like chuck the mining mechanics into the live server, or salvage, exploration, and more that wouldn’t make sense in AC 2.0.
- Q: Will subscriber wall be in game somewhere? A: Yes.
- Q: Will Empire Report make it into the game? A: A version of it will. It’ll be like the proper news in bars.
- No information yet about how ships too big for the hangar will be dealt with. Either they’ll expand the hangar, or it’ll be in a different place.
- Freelancer: No info. It’s still in the works.
- For most update questions, the answer is 'no updates yet'. If you see a ship that’s done, it’s done. If it’s not, it’s in the works. They don’t sit on much. When stuff is ready, they push it out. The only stuff they keep hidden is SQ42 stuff. They’ll give answers when they have answers to give. People are still working on designing the game. When they have answers, they’ll share them. That’s why there’s no time-frame given generally.
- Q: How’s the FPS playtest? A: Disco didn’t get to participate, but it went well. There’s another this afternoon. Testing continues.
- Q: Why does the Caterpillar command module detach? A: Cause it’s awesome. Also, think of it as a safety feature. Oh man, we’re getting attacked, it detaches and breaks away. Like a lizard tail.
- Q: Events after CitCon? A: Anniversary livestream on November 19, Holiday Livestream Dec 16.
- Santa Monica offices are moving to a new office space in November / December.
- Q: Updates on original ship skins – take my money, exploration, and others. A: Those have to apply to all the ships. Waiting for tech to be available on all the ships. Skins are pretty easy, take about a day of dev time. Once they can do them, they can put ‘em out fast.
- Yes to decorating your hangar.
- Q: When will the Caterpillar be back for sale? A: It’s a limited ship. There’ll be probably a variant / module sale at some point. Look for the Anniversary sale, that sort of thing. And it’s still asymmetrical.
- Q: Move cab to the other side on the Caterpillar? A: Don’t think so, no.
- Q: Is CIG doing un-melt requests again? A: Yes, but please don’t inundate them. They can do a couple. It’s just hard when they come at the time of an event. Really impacts the response time.
RtV, Subscriber Edition - September 23rdTo be blunt, minus a couple of tidbits... we all pretty much already know everything here if you have paid attention to previous SUNSPOT's.
- Q: Are we able to move scopes around on guns for FPS? A: Not sure. It’s using the item-port system, which is different than the general CryEngine stuff. All weapons have item ports for things like silencers, magazines, scopes. Wouldn’t be too difficult, but not sure if there are plans to be able to shift sights yet. Sights are specifically tuned so they look good on screen. They’re getting basics in first, they’ll look at certain things like that later.
- Q: Additional hangars buyable? A: Yes, definitely. You’ll be able to rent them, and there are plans to have the equivalent of real estate. Hangars, places you could buy or rent, and more. Trying to do a simplified version of real life. They’ll try to simulate things. If you’re on a planet that has high law and order, there’ll be higher taxes.
- Q: Difference between missiles and torpedoes? A: In space, they’re not that different. Torpedoes tend to be bigger, with a higher yield, and less top speed and less turning abilities. Built for slower, bigger ships than missiles.
- Q: Death of a Spaceman mechanic – how does it work with SQ42? A: Death of a Spaceman is purely PU stuff. SQ42 will play like a single-player game. If you die, you can go back to the last savepoint. There will be save points, not checkpoints every two minutes. Have to clear a certain amount of the mission. Death of a Spaceman is still 100% the plan, even though it’s been a while since the original post.
- They’re building wear and age into all the shaders. Characters and ships and buildings, things will get older in the game. The technology is there for it, just have to implement it on the game side. There will be an ‘age’ variable on items that change as time goes on.
- Q: Player-owned property outside of ships and hangars? A: The Million Mile High club exists, and longer term, there’ll be some things like a penthouse apartment, stuff like that around the galaxy. Things that people can spend their money on in the game. Spend it on a giant ship or some real estate in Terra Tower or something, but that’s a longer-term plan.
- We will see Million Mile High Club at CitizenCon. It is being built in Austin.
- Q: Update on Jump Point (not magazine) sizing? A: Hasn’t changed. The Starmap, which will be unveiled at CitizenCon, will have the sizes. The idea is… think of a jump point as a mountain pass, some are narrower than others. If you have a Hull C think of it like a container ship, there are certain places it can go but it can’t go everywhere. It can carry more but have to go the long way around. Freelancer could take less cargo but potentially do it faster. That’s the attempt at balancing. Small ships can sneak through smaller jump points vs large ships can carry way more cargo.
- There will be pros and cons to flying different sizes of ships. Different reasons to do different things. Want groups of players to create fleets with an array of ship sizes, create an ecosystem. If you want to haul tons of cargo in an economical manner, you use a larger ship and it will take longer. If you want to get something quick, you use a smaller ship and it gets there quickly.
- Q: How does fuel work? A: It was in the pre-question thread, lots of people asking. They’re in SC Alpha 1.3, the multicrew, which will have FPS and stuff, it will have proper fuel consumption. There are 3 types of fuel. You need to use two types. Basic maneuvering, without boost, that’s basically free. Can’t run out if you’re flying normally. Boost though, which will have a lot more use in the multicrew stuff, it’s a resource that you use. You’d either have to replenish it or buy it at stations. There’s equipment you can get to refine it too. It’s similar to Nitrous in a car.
- More flight modes are being added. ‘Precision’ is the lowest speed, landing, maneuvering. ‘SCM’ Space Combat Maneuvering, which is what’s right now. ‘Cruise’ Faster than SCM, but not as fast turning.
- Beyond Cruise is Quantum Drive. Quantum Drive is the second type of fuel. It uses Quantum fuel. And Jump Drive – the fiction with the first Jump drive, there was a reactor leak in a Quantum drive. Jump drive is a bit bigger a Quantum fuel, but it uses a lot to go to Jump.
- Quantum’s something you can harvest, like Boost fuel, but it’s more rare a resource. This will be a good role for Starfarer captains.
- Q: Movement / progress on planets and moons rotating around their stars? A: They’d like to do it. They’re debating it. The Zone tech will allow them to do that. They can just move the zone around, and everything in that can move. Could have an entire zone moving around a star, and a space station orbiting a planet, etc… The trick is how to handle the relativistic issues of, when you’re not in that zone. They still haven’t fully made a decision if they want to go with it or not, it’ll be a gameplay thing. Probably wouldn’t simulate the proper gravity effects and orbit effects that really happen. It’d be simplified. First stage probably won’t have orbits, but they want to do it long term.
- Q: Maneuver at all in Quantum? A: No. Quantum is moving forward only. If there’s anything betweeen you and your destination - ship, planet, or something else. Quantum will pull you out. You can’t do a course correction at Quantum speeds.
- Q: Org owned stations and ships? A: There will be org hangars, where Orgs can decide to tithe their members, so the orgs would have their own treasury, to buy and assign equipment.
- Q: Updates on PvP slider? A: It’s still how it was described. People should, before theorycrafting on it, should try to experience it. Because they’re simulating the game with so many NPC’s, doesn’t matter if there’re no humans, there’ll be lots of NPC’s around. There’ll be a whole world of life just like Privateer or Freelancer.
– PvP in a lawful area, you’ll get bounties on you, and other players can get bounties on you and will come after you. If you want to have the Privateer experience, you can find that. You won’t really be forced into either.
– Even if there are millions of players, you’re more likely to encounter AI than players, because the world needs to feel alive. Part of the SC setup is building the live world. Can’t rely on the player base, cause sometimes there might be few players, sometimes there might be lots.
– But really, 9/10 of people and ships you meet will be AI, not players. It’s up to you to decide what style you want. Chris sees PVP coming into play a lot more with Orgs. Orgs will want to fight over asteroid bases. There’ll be areas where players can come together to try to dominate them.
- Q: Is there going to be a method to knock ships out of Quantum and Jump travel? A: Jump points, no, but Quantum, if you’re in the way of someone travelling in a straight line, Quantum’ll pull someone out. If there’s a trading lane that you know people go through that lane, and you park your ship or a beacon in it, that’d probably bring people in Quantum out, and then you can try to attack them.
- Q: How often do you get questions about DirectX 12? A: Get lots. Chris is doing a Gamers Nexus interview about it soon. They’re working on DX12. It’ll take a bit longer for SC to support it, they’re refactoring some base engine features to use it better. They want to support DX12, not just use the API, but use it to its full potential. Next year they’ll probably have DX12 implementation out.
- Q: Cap ship battles? A: Definitely, they’ll happen. Still early days yet though. The biggest things being worked on right now is server stuff. Some of the changes recently allow them to be more flexible with transitioning between servers. Lots of games, you get bound to one server. SC’s system is a global entity ID system – 64 bit rather than the usual 32 bit.
- Switching to 64 bit ID’s means that your ship in the game, that ID is your ship, and that’s your ID forever.
- Right now, things aren’t consistent, which is why you have to load and unload when you go between multiplayer and such. But when the new system is implemented, your ship will always have the same number, regardless of the server, regardless of if you’re online or not. This means that servers can hand over object ID’s a lot more easily. Very big change. Not many online games do this, but it allows flexibility to connect people to multiple different servers.
- Multiple servers can talk to one planet, for example. One server taking care of people inside a cap ship, and then another server handling all the ships around the cap ship.
- Q: Paint system – Where’s that, where’s it going, will it apply to interiors as well? A: Not sure if it’ll apply to interiors. You’ll be able to change wall colours for the interior probably. There’s a new character shader system, which allows them more control and fidelity, and some of that tech will be in the ships. Not all ships are done with the new system. New ships are, because the paint system and the damage system are using the same system. But until all the other ships have been outfited with the new system, which is an ongoing process, they’re working on finishing that up before we get a paint system.
- They’re doing Version 3 of the Connie, they’ve done at least three versions of the Hornet, now they’re trying to focus on getting newer stuff done, and only going back when they have to. Painting tech is set up, but people won’t get to play around with it till later on. It’s a longer term goal, as is giving people mission creation tools eventually.
- They still can’t generate stuff quick or fast enough, so they’ll try to give us some tools to create stuff eventually.
- Q: FoV’s for people with multi-monitor? A: Three monitor surround view stuff is cool, but it clashes with the idea of, if I have a heavy marine helmet I should have a restricted view. They’re figuring out how best to do it right now.
- Q: What methods of Star Marine are there for marking things. Dropping flares, etc… so you can mark rooms as clear for fireteams? A: As of now there aren’t any, but it probably wouldn’t be difficult. Could add a flare item. In the first FPS there isn’t anything. There’s a set of gadgets, holograms, shields, area denial systems, etc.., but no markers yet. But it’s a good idea.
- A:What’s being done to flesh out gameplay for explorers, miners, salvagers, and so on? A: It’s a big focus for Chris and Tony. People think FPS has taken over everything, because it’s what’s going to be next, but most of the design work going on right now aren’t working on FPS, or even combat. Yes, people are working on balancing, but they’re working on lots of stuff for what you’ll do with exploring, what you’ll do with medical stuff, refueling, mining, etc…
- There’s some tech that needs to be deployed – for mining, the asteroids will be voxel, they have the Endeavour that we’ll get to see soon, but you’ll be able to do tons of things with an Endeavour – Farming, hospital ship, observatory, etc…
- Chris wants there to be combat, but he also wants lots of non-combat stuff, because that’s what makes it feel like a real world, and inclusive. Can potentially avoid combat entirely.
- CryEngine’s always been a First Person engine. Even the first prototype, it was in First Person. All through the characters eyes. FPS means you can have guns and shoot people, but the focus is on FPS because that movement, the movement that comes from FPS, is essential for everything. But you don’t have to fight. You can have a peaceful occupation.
- Q: Favourite ship? A: Idris is turning out to be pretty amazing. Connie’s pretty awesome too. People’ll see some peeks at the inside of the Idris next month, which is way bigger than it was first imagined. It’s massive inside, so the few people that have it, they A, got a deal, and B, they’re gonna need some friends.
- The Idris and Starfarer and Endeavour are very big.
- CCU system is coming in ~3 weeks time. It’s beiing worked on right now.
- Q: Connie having research, medical, or mining modules? A: No talk on that yet. All the modules will be premiered on the biggest possible coolest ship. Endeavour for Science, Orion for Mining, then they’ll go back and see how to slot them into smaller ships. Ideally they’ll make smaller ships for those things as well too.
Fuel use and Flight types clarification:
There are three types of fuel and six types of flight that use them.
Normal Fuel is unlimited. The modes that use this type of fuel are Precision, Standard/Combat, and Cruise.
Boost Fuel is limited, but can be very slowly replenished by fuel scoops. This fuel is used by your Booster/Afterburner. It is quickly replenished by landing/docking on a planet or station (or carrier), or by a fuel tanker.
Quantum Fuel is very limited, and does not replenish. It must be refueled by landing on a planet or station (sometimes a carrier), or by a fuel tanker. The modes that use this type of fuel are Quantum and Jump drives. The Quantum Drive will sip fuel, while the Jump Drive will take big gulps.
Dev Talky Stuff...Thanks to INN...
CIG Matt Sherman: Woo, enough of the backend setup for the component changes are set so it can actually goto the live-implementation setup. New components are going well, going to be starting more into the core implementation soon, so definitely getting there.
CIG Matt Sherman: Mining would be something layered into the PU as the mechanics come online, it won’t be a day-1 (alpha) gameplay system. There’s going to be several mining ships overall, just not day-1.
CIG Matt Sherman: The ‘landing through atmosphere’ sequence would effectively be a hidden load screen without having to dump you out to a hard load-screen. It’s not a dynamic/self-landing through the planet, so the automated routes would be masking the loads. Manually-controlled landings are something that would be more explored later on once things have built out a bit more. It’s not off the table forever, but for now, it’s going to be the assisted landings.
CIG Matt Sherman: Coolers would push more heat when ‘overclocked’ but there will still be ways to constrict them aside from just heat. Especially since they’d be chewing up even more power from your power plant to provide that cooling. Components generate heat, Coolers pull that heat out from the components at the more direct cost of power from the power plant. The coolers freak out a little when they stop receiving power.
That's all for this week. Don't expect next week to have much more, since it's the week right before CitizenCon.
Keep cool and game on,