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August Monthly Report Analysis Written Saturday 19th of September 2015 at 01:35pm by Erris

Hello Citizens! Check out The Relay’s analysis of the August Monthly Report, below! Before we get to the Monthly Report, I’d like to apologize for how long it took us to get this out. It’s...

Hello Citizens!

Check out The Relay’s analysis of the August Monthly Report, below!

Before we get to the Monthly Report, I’d like to apologize for how long it took us to get this out. It’s been a busy month. Also, we have decided to combine the ‘Monthly Report Analysis’ with our ‘State of the Game’ reports. This means we analyse what CIG have done in the month, and now we also give our thoughts about the developments. Please leave us feedback. How do you like this system? Should it change? Let us know!

Monthly Report Summary and State of the Game Analysis

CIG Santa Monica – Erris

  • Started working on delivering systems for Gamescom, now working on game-implementation, bug fixing, etc…
  • Working on Pilot AI and UI’s
  • Working on bringing all the different dev-streams back into one branch.
  • Design is working on finishing up last-minute items for when multicrew launches.
  • They’re working on getting the Herald ready and flyable, and have been fixing bugs with GOST, the Gladius, and the Constellation.
  • Art has been doing a lot of work for Gamescom, as well as the multicrew and S42 releases.
  • On the character side, Art has been finishing up various character models and items, such as helmets for UEE deck staff.
  • On the ship side, Art got the Herald white and grayboxed, and got the Constellation and Cutlass Blue’s LOD’s done.
  • Writing have been working on star systems, organizing the different planets and systems, preparing to have them vetted by real-life science professionals.
  • Writing have also been working to consolidate the list of corporations that manufacture ship parts, helping artists and designers establish ‘brand identity’ for all the entitites in the ‘Verse.

Erris: I feel like a lot of work this month is going to be Gamescom focused. The presentation itself was incredible, and I’d imagine up until the presentation they were fully focused on that as their goal. Now that the presentation’s over, I expect everything to be working towards CitizenCon, and the release of AC 2.0. From Santa Monica, I’m glad that they seem to be moving ahead with several of the ships, especially the Herald, which I look forward to trying out.

Dolvak: I agree that they are most likely focusing on CitizenCon and at the same time I feel slightly disappointed. CIG has a lot of interaction with us as fans but I can’t help but feel it’s also taking resources away from development. No matter, once october is over things should be back in full swing.

CCT: Glad to see we’ll be seeing the Herald soon. One of my favorite small ships and it’s been a long time coming. Curious to see if any of the EWAR systems will be put into place when that ship becomes flyable, otherwise it won’t last long in Arena Commander.

CIG Austin – Dolvak

  • Art spent most of the month finishing ArcCorp with BHVR
  • Revamped lighting in the environment so courtyard was more impressive
  • Fleshing out the look and feel of upcoming planetside locations.
  • Working on style guide for Crusader and MicroTech
  • Implemented all current in game emotes
  • R&D working on the base of new hairstyles. Will be in game soon.
  • Design working on NPC’s and hooking up emotes as well as ship traffic patterns
  • Working on “Periodic Table of Elements” to define commodities and recipes.
  • All that was learned from ArcCorp is being implemented into other landing zones in progress
  • Engineering working on getting social out the door.
  • Engineering working with designers to get NPC’s out the door.
  • merging game development streams with each other.
  • QA team in crunch mode with the content at the gamescom demo
  • Fixing critical issues with ArcCorp and other new content
  • Identifying critical issues with the generic Instance Manager.
  • Added a new member to the QA team, Marissa Meissner
  • updating chat functions and adding 25 new emotes

Erris: So, we know that Social has launched, which is incredibly exciting. I’d say the thing on this list that excites me most, after Social, is probably hairstyles. I really can’t wait till we’re not all bald men running around in 6 different suits of armour. Also CIG have been hyping their hair tech a lot lately, and I really can’t wait to see what they’ve managed.

Dolvak:  I am also excited about hair tech. Hair is something that is often done poorly but if Chris “fidelity” Roberts things it’s good then it’s most likely damn good.

CCT: I’m very excited for the other planets in the Stanton system. Especially because of how different they are. Not only that, but using a lot of the same architecture on them truly means we’re going to get those LZ’s sooner rather than later.

Foundry 42 UK – CCT

  • Engineering got the Quantum Drive mechanic up and running for the Gamescom demo this month, as well as assisting other studios in FPS work. The S42 engineering team has been working on sidling, looting, security, and the conversation system.
  • The animation team has begun sync work for a lot of the performance captured animations and their audio. Facial animation is well on its way to being in-game.
  • Graphics has been working on character shaders, including the development of a “change of properties” shader, which allows for dynamic changes like dirt, tears, or burns, or allowing the art director to change the look of something from one manufacturer to another without having to make a ton of new items.
  • The art team in the UK has been tasked with concepting a new ship, and “Gavin Rothery is doing a Sterling job” is our only clue.
  • Environment crew has been hard at work on the AC 2.0 map. There are three main stations, with interiors whiteboxed, one planet, three moons, three smaller satellites and a set of small asteroids. Next is refinement of all of this!
  • VFX is working on GOST, Quantum, and ship destruction, as well as bug fixing.
  • Props has nailed down their pipeline, next up is improving legacy props.
  • Most of the ship work was on the Retaliator to get it ready for Gamescom, as well as continuing work on the Starfarer. The work on this ship will transfer over to other MISC ships, starting with the Freelancer.
  • The audio department did extensive work on recording weapon sounds, emphasis on environmental reflections. They’re also working out a few more bugs before moving on to “large world audio”, so the detail translates on a grand scale.
  • QA is now moving on to 2.0!
  • Design is tidying up 2.0 to get it released, as well as additional progress on radar, scanning, ship signatures, the conversation system, and repair. A huge push is being made to try and get as many ships as possible hangar ready by Christmas!

Erris: I’m going to start off by saying NEW SHIP BEING CONCEPTED YES YES YES, and follow that by saying, I wonder if CCT’s going to freak out because it’s probably the Prowler? I’m going to continue by saying Yes to more work on 2.0. Environment crew are dealing with 2.0, QA are testing 2.0, Design is tidying it up to get it released… it just… everything sounds like 2.0 (or what we used to call 2.0 anyway, see the most recent 10ftC) is well on schedule. Which… yeah. I like that. A lot. I also can’t wait to see the work F42 UK have been doing on the Starfarer, and see what happens when it transfers over to the Freelancer.

Dolvak: I am super excited to see the other areas of the 2.0 map. We only ever saw the moons at a distance and never got the chance to really explore. Plus we will get to see the exterior of gold horizon for the first time. They showed the thing mostly working at gamescom so I imagine it’s not that far off.

CCT: As excited as Erris thinks I’ll be, it’s probably not the Prowler. BUT what is exciting is that it’s likely a ship we haven’t seen yet. I really hope it’s the new corvette. Most exciting thing in this update is most definitely how close 2.0 is, since QA has their hands on a build of it.

Foundry 42 Frankfurt – Erris

  • Frankfurt’s engineering team have largely been focused on moving subsystems, such as streaming, loading, memory usage, etc…, over to the zone system.
  • Engineering have also been removing old legacy code, in order to prepare the system for new, more up-to-date systems.
  • Also working on a new way to drive animations and ragdoll techniques, finding better ways to have the two blend together seamlessly.
  • The AI team in Frankfurt spent August working on getting things ready for the simulation of the Persistent Universe, as well as working with WormByte to reduce the network bandwidth required for Star Citizen.
  • AI team have also been working on synching animations, sorting out spawning mechanics, etc…, and have been working with Moon Collider for tweaks to things such as ship behaviour and movement.
  • Design started the month by finishing up the Retaliator interior for Gamescom.
  • Design have also put a lot of effort into making sure that setting up the next multicrew ships goes smoothly, with design documentation for how to set things up.
  • They’ve also been working on SQ42 and Marine Commander level design.
  • The Cinematics department went back to Imaginarium for more shooting in August.
  • They also worked on a Capital ship dock, a UEE Navy hospital facility, and a UEE admin building, all for SQ42.
  • They got the first facial animation rigs set up and working in game, and we’ll see the fruits of that labour at CitizenCon.
  • the Audio team spent the month building and improving tools for other studios to work with.
  • F42 Frankfurt also did a lot of work building the Quantum animation and VFX for Gamescom.

Erris: I’m really glad that CIG brought Frankfurt on, and that they’ve started contributing both to AtV and to the Monthly Reports. The work that Frankfurt have been putting into animations and redoing all the legacy CryEngine code should be tremendously helpful in the long run for CIG, and for fans.

Dolvak: Frankfurt seems to be picking up the scraps like animations and VFX but then they are also working on stuff that I am super excited on like the cap ship dock. I really can’t wait to see it, huge ships are my jam. I am curious if it’s going to be some form of planetside drydock like we say in the UEE retribution concept art or simply a space dock.

CCT:  I wonder if the cap ship dock will be used for just large ships in general, like the Orion or the bigger Hulls. Either way, I’m really glad CIG went with a studio that’s extremely technically focused, because awesome things like this are possible only if the tech allows it.

BHVR – Dolvak

  • UI team working on contact list art upgrades, improving AR mode and holding a UI summit with F42 and L.A.
  • Working on the Million Mile High Club with more details coming soon
  • Delivered the August Subscriber flair
  • Helping optimize the Art of Area 18 for PTU release
  • Polishing building set with new specs that should allow them to run faster and look better.
  • Polishing that chat experience, making the transition between chatting and playing smooth.
  • Reworking how Loading Screens are handled so new loading art can be added easily.

Dolvak: Not much going on here. Work on AR and some other small things. They pump out the sub flair every month so I guess that’s pretty cool but any studio could do that. Not much specifc stuff here except MobiGlas.

Erris: BHVR are often pretty quiet. It sounds like they don’t do much, but the art that they put out is SO GOOD. I’m still incredibly excited to see mobiGlas, especially after the peek we’ve gotten at the AR mode they developed.

CCT: I’m pretty sure the big parts of their contracts with CIG have been concluded, with the work that went into Stanton’s architecture, mobiGlas, and the 890J. Still, these folk are crazy talented and I’m very happy they’re working with CIG still.


  • The ILLfonic team working on Star Marine has been scaled back, as was always the plan, but there is still a small team working on the game internally.
  • Lots of work has been going into re-targeting the animations to the new rig that’s been created for SC, and making sure the animations look fluid.
  • Engineers and Animators have teamed up to create a new reloading system, which will check the current mag loaded in a weapon against other mags on the character, to decide whether to swap out mags or keep the current one in the weapon.
  • The Engineering team has also been focused on fixing bugs.

Dolvak: This looks like the end of ILLfonic working on SC. Things are wrapping up and that’s good for everyone. They did their job now it’s time for the rest of CIG to get their hands on the work that was done so experience can be built for the future. ILLfonic has their own project they are working on and this was job another job for them. I am excited to see what projects they work on in the future.

Erris: While I really like the work that ILLfonic put in towards SC and Star Marine, I’m also glad to see that they’re wrapping up. Not because I don’t want them to do more, but because it means that Star Marine is almost done.  Star Marine, and all of the gameplay that comes with it, is going to make Star Citizen so much more than just a space game, and I can’t wait to see what ILLfonic have come up with.

CCT: Really looking forward to finally getting all of ILLfonic’s work in my hands again. They’ve done a phenomenal job, and I hope this gets them a ton of work and success in the future as well. Though I can’t blame them for moving away from CryEngine after this. Thanks guys!

Turbulent – Erris

  • Lots of work last month went into improving how the Star Map will function.
  • The Community Hub and Issue Council were brought close to the release point.
  • Turbulent helped out a few sales, such as the flash sale during Gamescom, the Glaive sale, and the Vanguard sale.
  • They also completed the migration over to Google Cloud, which should allow a 20-25% increase in performance across CIG’s infrastructure, while also reducing costs.

Dolvak: First off the move to Google Cloud is great and a much needed change. A 20% performance increase in the backend is crazy good and gives them that much more to work with. Now onto the bad, I think the work done on the Community Hub and Issue Council was halfhearted. The Community hub is still in progress but is fundamentally broken and hard to use. The Issue council is better but still needs work. I am glad to see these features but I am let down by the state they are currently in.

Erris: Similar to BHVR, we often don’t hear much out of Turbulent, but they’re definitely one of the core teams working on Star Citizen. I really really can’t wait to see the Star Map at CitizenCon. It looked amazing the last time we got a sneak peek at it, and that was months, and many changes, ago. Now it should look absolutely stunning.

CCT: Very excited for the star map. I think we’ll start to get a sense of the scale of the universe CIG is building when we see even just UEE space. There’s going to be a ton that we won’t see on the star map, obviously, but still very exciting.

Moon Collider – Erris

  • Moon Collider has been doing work this month on AI ‘perception’. Behaviour trees now have more control over how AI’s respond to world events, such as gunfire, unexpected noises, etc…
  • By re-working the AI perception behaviours, they’re giving designers more control over both ships and character AI.
  • Work has been put into ‘Pirate Swarm’ this month, making the enemy AI take into account things like weapon ammo and shields. They’ve also implemented two different vision ‘cones’, one for ‘fast’ perception by the AI, and one for ‘slow’ perception.

Dolvak: Super excited for this. A few games have come out recently with some damn good AI (Looking at you MGSV). I really hope we get enemy AI that is smart and will dogfight with you instead of just attempting to face you and melt your ship.

Erris: I really like the work that we hear coming out of Moon Collider. Especially things like the work they’re putting into the ‘perception’ system… that makes me think stealth might factor in to SQ42 at some point. I like that idea. I really hope that SC’s AI is more varied and nuanced than the AI in most FPS games, because… well… you know. I mean, you know if you’ve played an FPS recently. Here’s hoping!

CCT: I’m most definitely looking forward to Pirate Swarm, and it looks like progress is being made. On RTV they also said that they’re talking with the guys who made the mod and incorporating some of their stuff into the game mode, which is always awesome to see. The modding community is where a lot of companies look for employees. An example would be Mark Abent, who I believe was a programmer on Insurgency, a CS mod.

Community – Erris

  • The Community team put a lot of work into making sure Gamescom would be something special. From the Free Fly week ship, to the Connie pins, there was a bit more ‘personal’ touch to everything.
  • Lots of work went into working with fans like FiendishFeather, to make the Gamescom presentation the best it could be.

Erris: I will admit, the Gamescom stream was one of the better streams we’ve seen. The presentation itself was epic, and I’m sure being there live would have been even better. I really hope CitizenCon can match up to Gamescom!

Dolvak: It feels like the Gamescom stream was forever ago but it was pretty recent. It lacked the technical issues CIG has been plagued with at live events. If they can keep it up for Citcon I will be a happy camper. Also the Connie pins are awesome (I have one!).

CCT: Hats off to the community folk for always keeping us informed. The Gamescom presentation was incredible and all of us were greatly impressed by the increase in quality. Keep it up guys.



Erris is Canadian. He does some random things for Relay, no-one really knows what, but still they're stuck with him. He’s also written one Young Adult novel that he can’t stand, which can be found here.

You can find him on Twitter too, if you want.