This week was a return to form for CIG, with their ususal "Here is a shiny or two to keep you occupied until we finally release the next big thing for you to play with." which isn't bad... just omg gib 1.3 already!
Yes, yes, it's on the PTU but I don't bother with the PTU. But that's just me. I-It's not like I'm excited to play it or anything!
Anyway, compared to the informationpalooza from last week, this one was rather low-key, as to be expected. They are reiterating that they're grinding away at stuff to get it out to us, which I believe. We've already got the 1.3 PTU, so assuming that goes live this week, we'll have early to mid-November (if we're lucky) being the SC Alpha 2 release. Hopefully they'll try to get it out for the anniversary sale, which has been rumored to start on or around the 19th.
In case you know someone looking to get into the game, the Aurora LN package is the best ship in the cheapest package at $45 USD right now, but no one knows how long it will stay that way. The Aurora is the most heavily armed starting ship (not counting the Mustang Delta) so get it while it's cheap! Here is another Reddit Post with some other great information for prospective buyers, and how to save some cash by using the upgrade system.
The weekly information post, updating us on the status of SC Alpha 2 as well as Star Marine now.
The latest Jump Point is available, with an excellent interview from F42 Frankfurt.
There was a Q&A for both the Sabre, and for the Starmap. A note in particular about the Starmap from the Q&A... they are still constantly populating it, so there is different/added content in there at least once a week.
Last but not least, Star Citizen has reached over 1 million enlisted, which is quite a milestone. I remember back before it was even 30k... time flies. Now new backers no longer have to pay extra to get into the Alpha testing phase. On top of that, everyone who has been around since before the passes got 10k UEC, and anyone who bought a pass gets a 5$ USD store credit.
Also - F42 Frankfurt is apparently putting together 'The Morrow Tour' YT version, with the syncing issues fixed, so look forward to that.
Media"Nesting Doll" Component styles. If you played Privateer, this will look familiar:
The menus in G-Loc Bar no longer show the default Redeemer screen, they now show this:
The Hangar 'Wall of Honor' for when you start getting referrals:
New fish tank currently in the PTU:
'Current' specs for shield generators on Retaliator and Constellation:
Aegis Sabre concept art gallery.
10 For the Designers, October 12thFull transcript from INN.
So the Spec sheet has almost no information for the Xi’an scout. Can you give us some of the basics such as weapons loadout, max speed, size of the components like shield(s), generator, etc/ it is billed as a scout/explorer. What jump point size can it go through, and how is that implemented in the ship? The pictures only show the cockpit and not any interior space. What are we looking at, if anything, for the interior space?
It's currently in whitebox, so not all the stats are 100% right now. For the moment, however:
- 2 size 3 guns, 2 size 2 guns.
- 1 medium shield generator
- 2 to 4 small power plants (not finalized)
- jump drive
- top speed 270 m/s
- no internal space/no cargo
Regarding modularity of the Caterpillar, some elements of the design (like the repair/salvage “chopshop” for example) seem to need external access to outer space, others (like a crew module) would ideally not have that exposure. Will there be limitations on what order the modules can be assembled in order to have the correct access to the airlock in the forward module, or will some of these modular units have their own external airlocks so they can be assembled without order restriction?
It will vary by module. As of this moment there are no quantity/variety restrictions on any of them, and some of them currently do have functionality that allows them to open on the side(s). The only real 'restriction' is that the forward-most module has to be a forward-facing one, and it will have its own types.
At what stage of development is thruster placement, thruster power, mass distribution, and other elements related to flight integrated? How far along the process does the ship go before it, or a facsimile of the ship, is “flown” for the first time?
It comes right after the whitebox phase with the correct geometry for the ship. Then they have to physicalize it and give it weight, so that they know how the various thrusters will respond when placed on various parts of the ship, which in the case of an asymmetrical ship (Caterpillar, Scythe) can be a tricky thing to do when using real physics.
Can the Command module reattach in the field (Space), or will we need to somehow get the main body towed back to port.
Think of it as the cab of a modern 18-wheeler. It will have limited Quantum abilities (probably a small amount of fuel storage), but no jump drive.
Is it difficult to do hangar ready designs for concepts that are not fully fleshed out yet? I would constantly second guess myself with interface design on stuff like EWAR consoles.
It's not terribly hard, as they only need to determine the 'physical' portion, basically its size and weight, in a default manner when building out the ships. The actual form of the object and what the displays will be like are up to other artists and ui designers.
Both the Herald and the Caterpillar are advertised as being intended for nefarious (pirate) purposes. A common example is the Herald jamming signals while the Caterpillar (with Cutlass escort) does the dirty work. How do both of you envision piracy to work within Star Citizen, and how have you designed the Herald and Caterpillar in accordance with that understanding?
The Caterpillar is essentially designed to be the anchor of any rescue (pirate) effort. Yes, the Herald can be there to broadcast (block) updates, and the Cutlass will ideally work in an escort or close-quarters role.
There seems to be a disparity in ship weights compared to what it’s represented in the model and xml values…ie…A ship that is big on the exterior, but that is mostly hollow in the inside… but it weighs as much as it looks like on the outside. And ships that are smaller and touted to have armor …obviously solid or densely packed that weigh less than slightly bigger hollow ship. Is there going to be a standard metric to determining ship weights based on the volume the ship takes up and possible list of materials the ship would be made of?
There are more solid metrics coming down the line with physically based damage, but all the materials will have their own weights too. So right now they have to eyeball and estimate a lot of the actual weights and metrics. Not only that, but there will be the different weights for different cargoes as well - that has huge impacts on thruster placement and power needed.
Can the Caterpillar stretch or contract with more or less modules?
Nope. One forward-facing and five others are required. They can be empty, but there will always be six total. Too much havoc otherwise.
With many citizens owning multiple ships, I’m curious if it would be possible to staff ‘spare’ ships entirely by NPCs? For example, if I’d like my pilot my Carrack to go exploring, but send my research back to have NPCs on the Endeavor start crunching, plus send coordinates I discovered back to my Reclaimer who could start basic salvage operations. Or to a lesser extent, could I simply send coordinates to my ships’ NPCs who could get them staged for my arrival?
Yes, you can give NPC's contracts to do whatever you want with ships you own while you're online. They'll only act within a specified set of parameters as an AI though, unlike a real PC.
A question about the design process itself in regards to heavily modular ships like the Caterpillar, Endeavor, and the Hull Series. How do you go about sketching out the game mechanics that revolve around the module’s themselves? do you all sit around in a conference room throwing around ideas to see what might and what might not work? Are there any balance consideration with ships that can effectively change their entire make-up from heavy combat to mostly harmless… or repair and medical to pure hauling? Or do you just let mass and power limitations govern what players can and can’t do?
A lot of the time its just running down a checklist to see what you'd need to fully embrace the ships original purpose. So for the Caterpillar as S&R, it was a medbay, personnel quarters, extra storage, and a launch capability. Other modules filled in what would be somewhat obvious blanks. As far as conference room meetings, yes, there are plenty of those too.
ATV, October 15thSanta Monica
- Zane Bien is working hard on the UI for all of the large world ships. Needs to tighten up and button down some things.
- Cherie Heiberg did work on the incredible Star Map.
- Constellation is being made flight ready – Kirk Tomei and Dan Tracey working on it. It’s due to be flyable in relatively short order.
- Buggies in ArcCorp! Now with explosion effects and death! If you die you respawn in the medical bay in ArcCorp.
- Animators working on female locomotion sets. Most of the male stuff done. Trying to get the female character in the game.
- ArcCorp optimization in progress to bring up maximum player count.
- New in-construction area in ArcCorp.
- Social Module V1 will be released soon.
- QA working on 1.3.0 – specifically the ArcCorp expansions and Size 4 gun.
- Another team working on Crusader. Coming along great.
- Working on EVA in large world and how that ties into SQ42.
- Looking at prefab for levels and spawning proper characters into levels.
- Working on Ship and FPS weapon pipelines to pump out more content, including unifying manufacturer identity (Behring is recognizably a Behring regardless of it being an FPS or Ship weapon). Expect to see more weapons.
Comments from Erin about ships:
Avenger variants are coming 'soon'.
Starfarer still being worked on, it's absolutely 'huge' now. Will have plenty of uses. (Not clear if this means for more than just fueling.)
Vanguard is in full production.
Sabre is also in full production.
Freelancer is still being worked on.
Retaliator modules are all done. The Retaliator and its modules are all completely done and just waiting for the appropriate coding to allow the modules to be swapped.
Idris still gets touch-ups here and there but for the most part is done.
Xi'an Scout is in full production in Santa Monica.
Reverse the Verse
- Sandi’s working on CitizenCon 2016 to be in either Frankfurt or Los Angeles. Depends on what happens with Gamescom, it probably wouldn’t be fair to do both events in Germany 6 weeks apart.
- Frankfurt has been asked to another run through of the Morrow Tour in HD, but they had a blocker this morning so stay tuned till next week for that to come out.
– New '10 For' is filming soon, 10 for the All Stars. Design team, writing team, art team, and producing team. Post questions in the forums.
- No news yet on Orgs 2.0.
- Cross-Chassis downgrades are in the works. They won’t charge for them, but it’s going to take some time to figure out how to do them.
- Q: Will the Phoenix have a modular sale like the Tali? A: No. Not like the Tali. But when the new Connie is ready to fly, there will probably be a something. The Phonix’ll be different, cause there’s a limited number of them. They’ll look at that when it’s ready.
- Q: Changes to holo-table before 2.0? A: Not before 2.0. But there will be changes. They know it sucks, but it’s not something blocking the dev of the rest of the game. Holotable’s an end goal,not an ideal interface, but it’s finished tech. They’ll do that later. Asteroid generation and other tech stuff comes before that.
- Q: Idris Q&A? A: Generally do a QA when they introduce a new ship, or when a ship hits a new point in the pipeline. Once the Idris is flight ready, there might be a QA.
- Might show more of the Idris soon. UK keeps offereing Idris pictures.
- Q: Phone version for the starmap? A: Not yet, but they’re looking into it. It’s a beefy site.
- Q: In the demo, we saw a team steal a ship. Is there a way to lock a ship? A: Yes, there will be. It won’t be that easy in the end.
- Workbenches are for tuning. It won’t be as good as a supercollider, but yes. Workbenches are for tuning and upgrading.
- There are new items to the VD store when 1.3 launches.
- Q: Do the Idris P and M have the same base hull? A: One has a hardpoint for a rail gun, the other doesn’t. Probably the largest class of weapon players’ll be able to swap out. Good luck acquiring the mount and the gun.
- For the Connie, they’re just working on the Andromeda. They’ll do variants after that.
- Q: Is the Merlin able to be hooked up the Connie in flight yet? A: Not yet, They’re close but they have some blockers in the way but they’re working hard to get that out.
- Q: Will the Tali have normal missiles? A: What is a normal and non normal missiles? All types of missiles are acceptable. But really, it probably will. You’ll have options. Probably something to do with the bomb bays.
- Q: Plans to sell the Argo? A: Why would you want one? There are gameplay considerations. The Argo would not do well in AC.
- They will offer a ‘breakout ship’ in the future. The Archimedes is being finished up by Gurmukh.
- Q: Date for anniversary sale? A: Probably November 19 – 26.
- Q: News on competitive friendly freatures? Team Balance? A: Not a focus right now. Want to get the baby PU out first. Balancing and team matching are much more complicated to do well. Long-term the’ll have them. In the near future, there are other things that need to be built in first.
- Q: Left handed version of the joystick? A: TBD, but they’re working on a Q&A with Saitek, should be answered then.
- Q: Whats the largest ship that can go into atmosphere? Q: TBD. There are many solutions for ships being too large for hangars or for landing. Don’t worry about it. There’ll be ways to get into the ships.
- All snubfighters get to be landers. That’s how you can shuttle from big ships down to the surface.
- Q: What ships have an Argo? A: Anything larger than a corvette. It should fit into other things with similar bays. It’s a fairly small ship. Bulkier than the Merlin or M50. Think a bulky, less long Aurora. Possibly like a Hull A.
- Q: Chance of seeing other manufacturer patches? Patch set of all manufacturers? A: Totally a possibility. A UEE patch set will be next probably, but they’ll look into that. Ben wants to do a second wave of ship patches.
- The Cutlass hasn’t transferred to the LA office yet. It’s in limbo.
- Q: Info on new damage system? A: That’s mostly Matt Intrieri. He does tech art and ship explosions. He’s doing most of the damage state stuff. Piercability is coming with physically based damage. Lots of cool stuff for weapons and components in the next few months.
- Connie’ll probably have as many component tuning and loadout options as character specs do in Diablo. Lots and lots of choices.
- More free fly codes when 2.0 drops? A: Probably not the day of, let backers try first, but as events and promotions happen, for sure, there’ll be codes.
- Q: Avenger update? A: No further word on Avenger variants yet, but they’re being worked on.
- Q: Updates on un-melting? A: No update. If it happens, you’ll know.
- Q: If you upgrade a non-LTI ship to a Sabre, do you get LTI? A: No. Melt the ship, then purchase the Sabre, and you’ll get LTI.
That's all that happened over the last week. All signs point to AC 1.3 going live this week, so fingers crossed.
Keep cool and game on,