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SUNSPOT #59: October 17th to 24th

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Jasticus, Oct 25, 2015.

By Jasticus on Oct 25, 2015 at 8:33 PM
  1. Jasticus

    Jasticus Well-Known Member

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    Servicemen

    Hello everybodyyyy...

    There isn't a lot to announce, because Alpha 1.3 has arrived. So everybody should probably be playing that, while anticipating Alpha 2. Supposedly a lot of the new damage states are in for some of the older ships, or so I've read/heard?

    What happened this week anyway, you ask? To be completely honest, there was only one standout item this week that isn't in video format, and that was the...

    ...weekly update on the status of Alpha 2 and Star Marine was posted, as always. Seems to be getting ever closer.

    Oh, and even if you have seen the updated SC Alpha 2 WIP video... watch it again.




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    Media

    Admittedly not much last week, but considering what we got earlier in the month, plus we just got the next Alpha patch.

    Xi'an Scout:
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    Starfarer room layout:
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    10 For the All Stars, October 19th

    As amusing as this was, it was pretty fluffy and full of things we mostly already knew.

    INN transcript.

    Who generally starts the idea process for a ship, a planet, etc? Are there writers the ones who start with the lore first, or do they just fill in the details if an artist comes up with a really specific good ship idea from scratch? Do you all follow a specific guidance from CR, or are you all allowed to submit ideas through a creative development process that vets different game features?
    Anyone can come up with an idea, and it often gets passed by others for their input. As with everything, CR has the final say.

    From a team perspective, producers, writers, artists, and designers. How have the ship pipeline and development/balance process changed since the original ship packages were put on sale? Did those changes, if any, change how the ships and the lore involving those ships have been developed since then to account for balance those ships with other ships that have been introduced after the first batch?
    Before a person might have an idea, and they would start to implement, then it would have to go back for a bunch of revisions. Now everyone who the ship applies to gets in on the designs early thanks to the new pipeline, so the final product should arive faster and be in its 'final' state, or very close to that with no major updates or revisions needed. It's also good because they'll be able to get the more recent stuff into the game much sooner than they would have otherwise.

    Will the starmap be available on the App Store for iPad/iPhones? Will we be able to download an offline version of the Star Map to our devices for those times when either don’t have an internet connection or don’t want to use mobile data?
    Looking into it, but there are some technical limitations and it is extremely data heavy.

    In the monthly report there was talk of restructuring understand to bring the various disciplines together in a more cohesion team. I’m guessing this also to take full advantage of the increased space in the new la office building. How much of an impact will this have on the team’ productivity and efficiency? Will there be drawbacks now that the teams aren’t working around the clock in different time zones?
    They've streamlined the offices so that people working in the same disciplines are all going to be in the same offices, and so far that is showing great dividends on productivity. On top of that, they still get to develop 24 hours a day... if one office can start a bug but not finish it, the other office can and likely will have it done by the time that the next handoff would come around.

    Can you explain in short what DataForge is and how it is used in the different areas?
    It's how the XML is integrated into the game. Otherwise the data streams are just so large that it would take forever and there is lots of potential for human error to mess things up. It helps them update stats, connect pieces of the game together, and lots more.

    How does having the level of open development that CIG strives for impact how you do your jobs, compared to a more traditional company? How do you decide what’s okay to share and when?
    It's a lot more awesome and a lot more freeing. It's also helpful to get feedback early instead of when it's too late to do any meaningful change. It's hard to figure out exactly when to share something, but based upon what everyone says, it seems they aim for 66-75% completion on something before they put it out into the wild on things that concern gameplay. For the most part, design and lore are unaffected and get shown when 'complete'.

    (not SC related) What computer games do you guys play? Arena Commander doesn’t count, of course.
    Battlefront, Witcher 3, some indie stuff. Everyone is waiting for Fallout 4.

    In the live stream for Subscribers, Chris mention that players potentially can avoid combat entirely. I have tried to play many different games peacefully in the past, but most games almost “require” combat to advance or progress. The daily “work” was just a grueling grind– and my IRL job was more fun. How is the team working together to make peaceful occupation exciting, fun, and intriguing– and how big of a priority will this be moving forward?
    PVP slider, watch the map and follow safe trade routes... if you try to avoid combat you likely will. Or buy an escort to handle the combat for you. The game will follow a risk vs reward system, too.

    We have seen many manufacturer logos for Star Citizen. Will CIG also create new logos for fast food restaurants for the Persistent Universe, such as a pizza join, taco stand or ice cream parlor?
    They'll be created as needed. For most things there is a style guide. If further content is needed by the PU team in Austin, it isn't long before the writers in LA know about it and start churning out content, along with perhaps a few graphics from the artists.

    I would love to get what the thought process is throughout each stage in re-building or re-designing the older ships, for example the hornet or 300 series. Does a lot of talk between each department happen or is it just tossed back and forth till it’s perfect and not something completely different from the original.
    The biggest thing is when they have new tech that comes online, as we've seen recently. With component and weapon size changes, not to mention the new damage states and internal 'zoning' for a lot of the legacy craft, they pretty much have to go back, gut them, then rebuild parts. In some cases, where they need an extreme makeover (Constellation), they just rebuild the whole thing from the bottom up. Other craft like the Hornet have been having constant iterations of some form since the Hangar module first launched.

    I would love to get what the thought process is throughout each stage in re-building or re-designing the older ships, for example the hornet or 300 series. Does a lot of talk between each department happen or is it just tossed back and forth till it’s perfect and not something completely different from the original.
    Generally speaking, it's broken down into three levels. First it is decided amongst producers. If they can't decide where the priority should go, it's up to the directors. If the directors still can't decide, then it goes up to Chris, and he has the final say. Things typically never even make it to the director level, as the producers can usually figure out what needs to be done when.

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    ATV, October 22nd

    SANTA MONICA
    - Gurmukh is working on the P-72 Archimedes concept, the ‘racer’ variant of the Merlin.
    - The Archimedes is a luxury, racer version of the Merlin. More speed, less attack options. (this has since been clarified, it's not necessarily just for 'racing', but it is faster and has a boost recharge)
    - Mark Abent is working on optimizing the Radar system, make it more accurately give feedback. They found a bug where the pilots head would block the rest of the ship from being detected by the radar, so they’re optimizing things like that. Make it more streamlined and tactile.

    AUSTIN
    - No more Denver updates because Illfonic has finished their part of the work. They’ve got some new projects though. Check out their link for Friday the 13th the game.
    - Concept artists are working more on clothing lines and props. Some of those’ll be visible in Jump Point.
    - Also working on hairstyles, Million Mile High club, animations for SC 2.0, the female locomotion set (which should wrap up and start testing in a few weeks)

    WILMSLOW
    – Mike has been working on ship damage effects, specifically iterating on the effects, trying to theme explosions and damage based on ship manufacturers.
    - Tali and Connie have different styles of explosions. Getting that working nicely.
    - Adam’s been tasked with doing environmental and ambient interior effects for interiors we’ll explore on the AC 2.0 release. Anything that would make the environments look different; thematic to the state of the environment. Can give mood – dust, clean environments, stuff like that.

    FRANKFURT
    - Lots of the team is working on optimizations, working on keeping code clean and responsive.
    - More work on procedural planet tech. Not sure when we’ll see it first, but they’re making good progress on atmospherics as far as when you’re coming into the planet.
    - AI’s done some stuff, supporting AI code in zone systems, working on extending AI ship nav so they can dynamically navigate around asteroids and debris.
    - Cinematic team did a great job on the Bishop speech. The level still isn’t final, it was a testing ground for the AI systems and animations, so it’ll keep growing.
    - Lots of the work they did created the foundation that allowed characters simultaneously with body, face, audio.
    - Now it’s going and growing. Lots of stuff they couldn’t even be shown at CitCon, but there are layering animations on top of AI and such. Lots of extra stuff.

    Reverse the Verse

    - Ben had a large meeting about Crucible, Reliant variants, and the next wave of ships. Crucible needs one more pass. Reliant variants are art-complete, going to design soon.
    - There’ll be an update on the Reliants soon. Dave Hobbins worked on them.
    - Ben’s going to work on the Crucible this afternoon, to show things like ‘how the robot arm works’
    - Sandi is working on the USB prototype to look like the Constellation, VIP Citizen black cards, and MkIII Model.
    - Anniversary live stream is a week early due to thanksgiving and physical store merchandise will be 20% off.
    - Putting together a Cutlass Q&A, John Crewe from the UK will be answering some questions from the forum thread.
    - Q: Does the 20% off sale include the connie ship model? A: 20% off will be all physical merchandise, with the exception of the Connie model. Those will also be discounted, They will be a Flat $80 across the board. It’s considered a Bigger discount for non subscribers as there is a 20% discount for concierge / subscribers normally.
    - Q: Art Sneak Peek? A: The Art Sneak Peek was one of four different ‘style boards’ that surfacing artists are working with for the Xi’An scout. Not indicative of what you’ll see when the ship gets to the game, it’s an experiment, to see some work in progress.
    - Prowler is starting its creation process this week.
    - Q: Archimedes? A: Ben was in the forums a little yesterday about the Archimedes. On AtV, it was referred to as a racer. Just because they call a ship something, does not mean that that’s the only thing it does. They called it that because it’s the faster snub fighter, vs. the Merlin.
    It is still an interceptor, it still has guns, it’s just faster than the Merlin. They’re removing the centerline gun from it, but it’s being replaced with a ‘fuel supercharger’ that allows the P-72 to recharge its boost, which the Merlin can’t do, and it gets 4x size 1 guns instead of 2 like the Merlin.
    - Remember that the component system will allow us to configure ships well beyond what they’re specced for. We get one configuration when it’s sold to us, but we can alter it heavily.
    - In the SC lore, no-one’s building a straight racer ship. The M50 and such, they’re variants of fighter ships that have been modified to race better.
    - ‘What’s a Pirate ship?’ Any ship a pirate has use for.
    - Q: Alpha 2.0 let you play with friends in your user list? A: Unsure. Last Disco heard, you’ll be able to see specific instances, and if your friends are in an instance, you’ll be able to coordinate to join the same instance. But that’s the intention, might not be at the start, might be a few patches in.
    - Q: Play as female in Alpha 2.0? A: There’s a segment from Jason Hutchins in yesterdays AtV talking about that. Wont’ be in the first drop of 2.0, but it’s on the horizon.
    - Q: News on the automated un-melt? A: Still in the works. It’ll be done when they can. They’ve got a plan in place, they’re working on making it a reality. Lots of considerations for the system.
    - Q: VR in SC? A: Absolutely. No ETA.
    - Q: Will we get the Vanguard or Sabre in the PU soon? A: You will be able to fly them when they’re ready, It’s a long way off for those ships still, when they’re ready you’ll know.
    - Q: Connie in PU? A: Just the base Connie at launch, but the work on the base one will be worked on to create the variants, they’ll happen after baby PU.
    - The Direct Feed version of the Morrow Tour, they’re working on that in the UK, but they don’t have it yet.
    - Q: When can you add EVA mechanic back? A: 2.0 probably.
    - Q: Can we use Vanguard for exploration? A: Yeah, why not. Shine on. The Sentinel would be best in theory, cause of its electronics kit, but… it should be able to go out and come back. Not as good as a dedicated explorer, but having options in your ship is important.
    - Q: How many players will Alpha 2.0 support? A: Pushing for 40, not sure what they’re at right now.
    - Q: Will the Aurora get an update pass like the Connie & Freelancer? A: Possibly not the same scope as the Connie. Long term, it’ll likely get some visual updates for the new component system. Some cleanup so all parts have a place on ships. That’ll apply to all current flight-ready ships. There are lots of ships they need to get into the game, but the retro fits would be taking invisible components and giving them a place in the ship. Any visual updates would be part of that update pass. They’ve got a lot of ships they want to get flyable first, but they have a plan, and older ships will get love eventually.
    - Q: Bottom turret in Connie to be inverted? A: Not sure. Something that’s been explored, but might not happen. Disco’ll find out later.
    - Q: News on optional rear turret for Connie? A: No speculation till the base Andromeda at least is flyable. They need to get things they’ve promised in first, then they can consider other options.
    - Q: Avenger variants? A: They’re coming. They’re in the plan. We’ll hear more. There’s a new ship pipeline that’s getting close to wrapping up, we’ll get more info when that’s done.
    - Q: Can we play as aliens in the future? A: Not at launch. Something they’ll consider post-launch, but no promises.
    - Q: Will large ship owners get a loaner Connie in 2.0? A: Yes. Either a Connie or a Tali, it’ll depend on the value of your larger ship.
    - Q: Grabby hands news? A: It’s a system. It’s a name. That’s it.
    - Q: Glaive currently has S3 shields, yet the xml for S3 shields on the Gladius says it’s 3x stronger? A: Lots of things are in-flux. They’re not going to tune to a razor’s edge balance yet. There will be wild variations that pop up in the next year or so. Things need testing and tuning. It’s an iterative process. Long term there will be cleanup, but it’s not a drop everything to fix just one thing, cause there’s other stuff that needs work first. Plus, components will be going through iterations, and those’ll start filtering down through ships. Old size system doesn’t apply any more. There’s a lot more to customize your ship when the components come though.
    - Q: Work on 890 jump? A: Not much beyond the concept for the 890 jump. No answer on if it’ll get bigger or not yet.
    - Q: Xi’An scout still 2 person? A: Yes.
    - Q: How large is the Crucible? A: Big. Its internal repair bay is large enough to fit a Hornet or Gladiator. Big, but not Huge.
    - Q: Next 10ftC? A: When Chris gets back. Chris gets back the 30th or so. He’s still in the UK, working on some SQ42 stuff. Going from stuff they have recorded to final product of stuff.
    - Q: 85x jump drive? A: Nope. It’s a snub. It lands, but it doesn’t jump.
    - Alpha 2.0 will launch with Tali and Connie hopefully, that’s the plan, and the single seat ships already available. Freelancer’ll come at a later point. Not at launch.
    - Q: Animals in PU? A: There are pets, and there are fish.And there’s Flat Cats and such. So yes.
    - Q: Space Pets? A: Yes. They were a stretch goal.
    - Q: Pisces? A: No. It’s a rover. Nothing on that.
    - Q: Can snub fighters super cruise? A: Yes, but not Quantum. A minute in Quantum could be 30 minutes at super cruise.
    - Loaner for Sabre will be the Hornet, that’ll happen soon.
    - Q: Professions testing in 2.0? A: Not in the first drop, but it will test mining and salvage and such eventually, as they’re finished. First drop of 2.0 is basically what we saw in CitCon (with a few extra surprises that we have to look for).
    - Q: Why aren’t there more droids? A: Because 'Droid' is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm & Disney. But you’ll see some droids in 2.0, cause they’re used in places there’ll be deeper systems later (like repair).
    - There is lore why there’s no extensive AI and such, but there will be repair droids and such.
    - There WILL be ship sales, but not ‘on sale’, just 'brought back' ships for the anniversary livestream. There may be a new ship. Maybe a chance to buy the Caterpillar.
    - They don’t know what they’re bringing back internally, so believe nothing.

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    No Devchat stuff that is standout, and the stuff about the Archimedes was already mentioned. Mostly a lot of CitCon review (still) and upcoming merch discussion for the anniversary coming in November.

    So... that's it for this week.

    Keep cool and game on,
    - Jasticus
     

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Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Jasticus, Oct 25, 2015.