Apologies for the tardiness. We've entered crunch time at work because it's the wonderful 'holiday season' already, so my free time is at a premium. Even moreso because we're short 2 people that we normally have this time of year.
Add that to my increasing disinterest about Star Citizen on a micro level. It's not a bad thing, at least I don't think so, but I've been following this development so closely and they hit a definite 'stall' point in development (for whatever reasons they list) since about April of this year. You can only take so much 'this is gonna be awesome!' week after week and not pick up some degree of cynicism. Yes, I know it will be cool... when we get it. Eventually. As a result, I've kinda-sorta cut back on the massive amounts of research I used to do.
To be fair, most of the information we've been getting since CitCon (and some before) has been rehashing old material anyway. We're still being told things about what they're doing, but we can't see (most) of it in practice or play with it for ourselves yet.
They did just patch to the latest launcher version today... so who knows. Maybe Alpha 2 is right around the corner...
Anyway, most stuff is going to be brief (that can be) and there will be no real media section this week, because everything is already embedded in the linked articles.
- There is a new launcher today. (Monday on US East Coast right now)
- Weekly Progress Report. Even fewer blockers, and they are hoping it will be the last weekly updated needed. We'll see about that.
- Monthly Update for October. Lots and lots to read. Bunches of stuff we were at least peripherally aware of, and a few things we didn't know (much) about.
- There was also a previz showing the Avenger picking up a Retaliator escape pod, but I didn't save the link because it was actually a year old and has since changed. It's in the monthly report anyway... I think.
Not doing a media post, like I said earlier, because I'm crunched for time atm. (Sorreh). There was only one picture worth showing anyway: the command chair for the Crucible. Practice your -zoom, enhance- skills, folks.
10 For the Writers, November 2nd(Yes, I know 10FTC for today is already out... lol)
As always, the wordy INN transcript. Once again, though, most of these questions and answers we already know (at least those who have been following for a year or more will likely know.)
I love the News Casting, Just like watching live news. I would like to know, if lets say planet Zion, the Governor Hoover Heever, has been kidnapped, leaving an uproar in the community. Now, if someone is flying next to the planet when it flashes on their screen in the cockpit, can they fly there, and attempt to try to help, and see the mess going on, or is it more like ok it happen, skip the drama, now you see the economical results etc.
Yes, players will have the opportunity to react to quite a few in-game issues as they happen. Not procedural things, but there are going to be a lot of Game Master type events that happen.
What are the narcotics going to be like in game? Can we consume and manufacture them? or is it purely a trade item?
They will be manufacturable and usable. Illegal and Legal.
Will the game world recognize and convey the renown/infamy of players, by using narratives, missions and NPC conversations/interactions, throughout the Verse?
Yes, as you do things pertaining to your 'job', and have successful missions or make a lot of money, you will gain reknown/infamy with NPCs, and it will be recognized.
Are there plans for including major player driven events like Operation Pitchfork is attempting in the lore? if so can they impact the major story arcs you are writing or just news stories?
Yes, that's the plan, though they're going to be observing very carefully.
You mentioned collaborations with actual scientists before – could you share something about that process? In which parts were they involved? did you use their input to explain your more fantasy elements or did you change the lore to accommodate science? How do you keep the balance between believable scientific explanation and enjoyable & interesting ‘fantasy’ regarding Star Citizen technology?
Yes, they worked with the Science and Entertainment Exchange which has many scientists from different fields donate some time to try to help make Sci-Fi and other entertainment more scientifically accurate or believeable. They will still have things be fiction, of course, but hope to have many elements grounded with Science Fact.
Is there anything about underground racing being written into the lore? With the Armada package being as much of a hit as it was, my org is looking to start an underground circuit of Capital Ship Cup Racing, where Idris and larger ships are the timing rings that the racers pass through to mark progress around a course. I had the idea when I saw the first video of Star Citizen featuring the Bengal, and then the Top Gun homage sealed it. And after seeing the hangar control room in the Citizen Con Morrow Tour I realised that tracking which ships come and go might not only be simple, but even recorded on the ship’s log.
Yep, it's already written into the lore and eventually players may be able to make their own racecourses.
What are the chances that players will get to read log entries made by pilots who have been involved in important SC lore events?
Yes. If someone who has a major achievement wants to do a write-up about it, it can be submitted and they will clean it up if necessary and put it in the ARK and Galactapedia for everyone to read.
Will there be books/newspapers/blogs in game? I envision pulling up an app on the mobi-glas and browsing my collection of magazines, selecting a rare classic book or catching up on the news and sports. Maybe you would use this as a way to feed us lore?
Already in the works. There are planned shows, magazines, billboards, flavor text... lots of stuff.
For us explorers out there and those who like to live on the edge of the galaxy. How will new systems be handled by the lore writers? Will you already have lore written up for those systems and just copy and paste them in after X time passes? Or will plater interaction in the system dictate how the lore is written for it?
Most stuff will exist already, waiting to be discovered. Some things may be 'given' before they can be found, depending on various circumstances, but until procedural generation kicks in on a large level, everything will have to be hand-crafted and carefully doled out.
How will alien language barriers be handled in the PU? Will our characters automatically understand alien languages or will we need a translator (NPC or some sort of device that can be purchased in game)? Can languages be learned by the character?
You'll have to get a translator for your mobiGlas. They are full languages though... so if you want to learn them without the need for a translator, you'll actually need to learn them yourself.
ATV, November 5thSanta Monica
- Reliant has been moved to greybox.
- Randy Vasquez and Ryan Church working carefully on the concept for the Crucible.
- Tons of fine tuning for the IFCS 2.0 system.
- Hurston (planet) has entered whitebox (was in concept).
- Backend work for new party/group system is done, going to BHVR to put together the end-user experience.
- Bouncer animation work complete for night clubs/bars/mile high, as well as patron/bouncer interactions.
- Talked about the Squadron 42 shoot.
- Discussion from the engineer who works on deep-engine things. Multi-threading, culling, LOD's, architecture re-write optimizations, and the Zone system.
Reverse the Verse
- Black VIP citizen cards are available as of now. They’ll be on order for about a month. (High demand, cutoff changed to November 14th). They’re non-personalized, but they’re available only to Concierge backers. $10 for shipping and construction.
- Lots of progress on the Cutlass post, probably see that next week or the week after. Top level design doc. where it was, where it is, where it’s going.
- They sat down with Randy to map out the interior of the Crucible, and we’ll see that when they launch the Crucible probably. The Crucible concept will be ready soon.
- Q: Why are concierge black cards not customized? A: Because it was a lot easier production wise to do a non-personalized one. Apparently the customized cards were ‘hell’.
- Q: What does the Latin mean on the concierge cards? A: Faithful until death, or something similar.
- Q: What will the mocap studio in the office provide? A: It’s a shared space. They’re building 3 standing spaces for community productions, one for AtV, one for Meet the Devs, and something else. They’ll be on wheels, so when they need to do mocap with the mocap equipment they have, they can wheel that stuff out, and do mocap in the room. Performance capture will still happen at proper studios.
- Q: Backer tours of the new office? A: Probably not till after the new year. They’ve got lots of work and have to get settled in first.
- Q: Will all ships be available in anniversary sale? A: No announcement on what’ll be available yet but most ships are a possible option. Anniversary Week kicks off Nov. 19, with a three-hour livestream. A good livestream. Chris, Sandi, cool new stuff to show. Mini-CitizenCon vibe. Lots of new videos and things to show. They’ll probably do theme days, there’ll be surprises, not everything’ll be available at once.
- Q: What ships will be available in Alpha 2.0? A: Connie and Tali for Multicrew. Might have a hangar-ready surprise or two also, but they won’t talk about that yet. No hype for things that might not happen.
- They saw the Reddit thread decrying the lack of 2.0 talk on AtV, not intentional. It’s just at a point where there’s not much to say. It’s ‘content complete’, but it’s in the long and boring QA process where they build, send the build to QA, QA says it crashes when you take off in a Tali, then coders and designers fix that, make changes, build again, send to QA, QA says ah, Tali is fixed, but now all the Hornets are backwards...
- They did a big play test on 2.0 yesterday that worked very well. Very productive playtest. Blockers reported from the playtest: If Tali is spawned, players can’t connect. Connie can’t be spawned. Tali engineering control panel has no effect on ship. Spawning Andromeda issue. Spawn issue in Vanduul Swarm. Crash with particular animations. Ghillie stops talking in the tutorial. One part of the map where damage isn’t reported correctly. Use prompt isn’t being reported in one station. There was another issue that would only happen if they had 16 people on the map. That’s one of the reasons they put it on the PTU before it goes live, to help test the game, but they have to get it to a working point before that.
- Connie Andromeda will be in 2.0, no other variants.
- They’re leaning towards the Connie in most cases for what you get, but they’ll be posting the rules for that. If you have a more expensive ship, you’ll probably get a Connie till your ship is done.
- Q: Ship status page? A: They’re very close. There hasn’t been an update in a while cause the ship team is redoing the pipeline, breaking it up into new segments. Until they had that key, updating the old pipeline made no sense. Talking to Elwin, they’re close, probably have signoff in the next two weeks, then they’ll work on an update pass on where all ships are in the new pipeline.
- Q: Concierge cards in 20% off sale? A: No. It’s a pre-order, and they’re not making any money on them. That 10$ is production and shipping. Also, for the anniversary physical merch sale, 20% off all merch excluding the concierge cards, deeper discount on the Connie models – 80$
- Q: Unmelting ships before 2.0? A: Probably not. Just talked to Turbulent about it this week. It’s in the works. Soon, but… no idea of when exactly it’ll be.
- Don’t plan on being able to unmelt ships through the automated system, or through CS, for the foreseeable future. Certainly not till after the Anniversary sale.
- Q: Morrow tour? A: Still working on it. They want it to look as good as humanly possible, so they’re still working on it.
- Q: Updates on Archimedes? A: Concept complete. Gurmukh has done the artwork and presentation stuff, just lacks a blueprint. Going to a technical designer next to put it in the game.
- Q: Orgs 2.0? A: No comment.
- Q: Next patch? A: 2.0. There will not be a 1.3.1
- Q: Merlin able to dock with Connie in 2.0? A: No. Chris said 2.1, maybe 2.2.
- They won’t say when we get 2.0, cause they don’t know. It’s an iterative process. Once they have a build that works, then they’ll release it. it’s soon, very soon, barring terrible incident, but they don’t know.
- Q: Other physical merchandise considered? Lanyards? A: Just sent a lanyard sample over to their manufacturer. Looking to it for future events. Could probably also sell it. There will be hoodies in 2016, but not drake hoodies
- Q: Updates on SC HOTAS? A: No, but tune into the Livestream on the 19th for the latest on the HOTAS!
- Q: How do we access hangar in 2.0? A: Good question. Ben doesn’t know. But it’s one of the 10ftC that’ll be on Monday. (up now)
- Q: Updates on the Freelancer? A: Probably the same as last week. Folks at F42 have accepted the Freelancer into their collective. They looked at the inside, said hell no, done some new concept work that they’re trying to get approval to show us. Some internal changes. It’s the next ship. The Connie was a priority cause its’ the closest to the Tali. And there are a LOT of Connie players. It’s the proof of concept, it does everything. Multiple crew, modular system. Once the Connie is ready, they can take that tech to more ships easily.
- They’re hoping to go out to the UK a little more often to film tours and such. They can’t do it constantly, but once in a while, they’re working on a plan for that next year.
- Q: CIG holiday livestream? A: Yes. December 16th. It’s going to be fabulous and fancy fun.
- Q: Can ships fire at Curise speed? A: Not sure. Might not be able to? They don’t know the answer.
- Q: CCU from standalone ship to a package? A: No. Strictly ship to ship. Created ideally so you can maintain your package. If you want a different package, you should melt your ship and buy it.
- Q: Are you hoping for 2.0 out by Anniversary sale? A: Not necessarily. Everyone who wants to buy ships knows about Anniversary. They don’t plan releases around anything but when Devs say it’s ready. They’d love if they could do that, but it’s never happened before.
- Q: Why don’t you just release Tali and Connie into the hangar till 2.0? A: It’d be a seperate build, they’d have to test it separately from 2.0, they’d have to pay to push it to everyone, it’s dead-end work. That would be a waste of money.
Quick-er RTV this week too, because they're moving offices.
Sorry if this seems like a shorter than normal SUNSPOT. It is, I admit. In a bit of a rush, but it still clocks in at over 2.6k words (normal is about 3 to 3.2k) so not terribly shabby.
My schedule will hopefully lighten up once our new hires are trained and start working, so... here's hoping I'll be back to normal posting schedules next week-ish. Fingers crossed, anyway.
Keep cool and game on,