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DevTalk – Week of May 18th Written Sunday 24th of May 2015 at 03:21am by Nehkara

Welcome fellow Citizens to the inaugural DevTalk.  This is where we will collect notable posts by the CIG developers on the RSI forums, social media, and elsewhere.  Click here to check it out! Thanks for...

Welcome fellow Citizens to the inaugural DevTalk.  This is where we will collect notable posts by the CIG developers on the RSI forums, social media, and elsewhere.  Click here to check it out!

Thanks for checking out our first entry into DevTalk.  We are hoping this series will help keep Citizens up to do date on everything Star Citizen!


RSI Forums

Luke Pressley, Designer @ Foundry 42

– A target to shoot at in Arena Commander Free Flight, to test different weapons/convergence/etc, is something they would like to do and shouldn’t be difficult, they just haven’t had the time to implement it.  Source

– Dumb-fire missiles requiring a lock-on is a bug.  You will/should be able to fire them without locking on in the future.  Larger design questions remain about how you would fire them if they are mixed with other missiles on your ship.  Source

– Sudden deaths in Arena Commander are often due to the pilot getting hit by a round penetrating the canopy.  This is being examined.  The biggest thing is that they realize they need to get much better hit feedback into the game.  Source (Two consecutive posts)

– When physically-based damage is applied to ships, time-to-kill in Star Citizen will be increasing.  Source

Rob Reininger, Senior Technical Designer @ CIG Austin

– Bounty Hunters will likely need a license.  Source

– Stars will have gameplay implications including jettisoning illegal cargo into a star to destroy evidence, or rescue missions involving ships/space stations in danger from stars.  Source

– At a glance, they would prefer that you are not able to tell the difference between an NPC and a player.  Source

– Gravitational slingshots in quantum travel are not planned for the first implementation.  They may happen.  Source

– CIG is cognizant of the issues surrounding “kill-on-sight” gameplay in lawless regions.  They are hoping the bounty hunting system (players able to put a bounty on other players) will help mitigate this behaviour somewhat.  In addition, if you behave in this manner it will affect your reputation and limit your access to some systems and landing zones.  They are also aware that their star map comes into play here – that they need to ensure that you don’t have to pass through lawless space for insignificant reasons.  Source

– The ability to build things using CIG’s building sets is not in the near future… but something they would certainly like to do.  Using the Lego analogy, they are currently constructing their Lego sets.  Once they have a few of these sets finished, they can look into ways of allowing us to use them.  Source

– We will be able to use the Grabby Hands system to store things in lockers/cupboards/drawers in ships/hangars.  Source

– Trying to avoid cinematics in the PU due to the issues they can create.  Source

– Doing experiments with handling large numbers of NPCs.  Plan is to offload a lot of the processing to client PCs to reduce network traffic.  Tony Zurovec comes from an AI/Programmer background and has designed an elaborate AI system that is being built.  They should know more about what hurdles/limits/solutions they will have soon.  Source

– Initially, Quantum Travel will be locked at 0.2C but they are open to exploring different things like possibly travelling slower to conserve fuel.  Source

– You will be able to stay in first person view for the entire landing sequence on a planet.  Source

– CIG are considering ways to allow players to test-fly ships before purchasing them in the PU.  Source

– NPC crew members are not planned for initial release.  These are advanced AI and will be coming after the core gameplay elements are working.  Source [I believe the “initial release” mentioned here is the PU pre-alpha, but haven’t had confirmation yet.]

– The Casaba Outlet, clothing store, is one of the initial shops that has been built.  Customizing clothing options will be available from version 1 of the PU.  Source

– Initially ships will travel on their own through jump points and at quantum travel.  They would like to be able to have ships travelling in groups at some point, however.  Source

– They have not yet made a final decision if you can hire an NPC crew to man a ship you are not aboard and send it off to do things.  Source

– Mining planets is not planned for initial release but is possible in the future.  Source 1; Source 2

– The economy will need iterations and public testing to get it right, including with prices.  Need a lot of testing over significant time to do balancing.  They have a tool used to grab data from Arena Commander that they will use to grab data from the economy as well.  Source

– Discussing different ways to handle player disconnections.  Plans to turn your player into an AI pilot and attempt to get to safety.  Unsure if this will make the initial PU version or not, but it’s very possible due to the work being done with AI pilots on Squadron 42.  One consideration: How do you differentiate between a purposeful disconnection and a disconnection caused by connection issues?  Source

– Considering using the vast number of NPCs in Star Citizen to communicate lore.  Some NPCs live on a planet and would have information about that planet and system.  Some NPCs would have ships and fly between systems and might have information on other places they visit.  Source

– Current plans are for people on friends list to be able to see your account name when you’re playing any of your characters.  People not on your friends list can only see the character’s name and not the account name.  Source

– Tony Zurovec is currently designing Exploration.  Look for a design post in the next few months detailing this!  Source

– Player and organization housing not planned for initial PU release but they know players want it.  Want to do it right.  Source 1; Source 2 

– Aggressive criminal actions by players on planets will be dealt with in essentially a three strike system:  Jail > temporary ban from planet > permanent ban from planet.  Just examples.  Source

– If a Bounty Hunter kills a pirate and collects the stolen goods that pirate was carrying… those goods are still considered stolen and you would not be able to just sell them to a reputable vendor.  Source

– Rob Reininger recommends using a missile lock as a warning to anyone you feel is coming too close.  Source

[There is some confusion about travel times in systems… I will outline the the conversation below and then discuss it a bit.]

– The 64-bit conversion is about to come online fully.  This will allow them to easily scale the size of a system using a multiplier.  Source

– Currently systems are supposedly 100,000 to 1 million km.  Source

– CIG considers travel times in excess of 20-30 minutes to cross a system to be too long.  Source

– They would like to put up a PTU at some point to get feedback on system sizes.  Source

Discussion from Nehkara:

The issue with the statements about the star system sizes, is that the numbers don’t add up.  At the PU Townhall, Tony Zurovec stated that to cross the diameter of a typical star system would take 8-10 minutes at 0.2C.  This means the systems are roughly 28 to 36 million km across, a far cry from the 100,000 to 1 million km mentioned above.

20 minutes at 0.2C would be 72 million km.

100,000 km would take only 1.7 seconds to cross at 0.2C.

1 million km would take only 17 seconds.

I think it is fairly safe to say, therefore, that the 100,000 to 1 million km estimate is in error.

In terms of my personal feelings, I think star systems should range 25-50 million km across.

Nate Blaisdell, Senior Designer @ CIG Austin

– Astro Armada, ship dealer, may only have one ship on display in the main lobby… but they could be selling 10 different ships.  If you want to see one of the others, you let the sales clerk know and they will take you on an elevator to a different floor and into a hangar where you can examine the ship at your leisure inside and out.  Source

– Most landing zones will be populated areas for conducting business.  However, there’s no reason they couldn’t make more natural areas if they served a purpose in the game.  Source

– If you are stranded in EVA, you will eventually pass out and wake up in a med bay (it is assumed someone found/rescued you).  Source

– Your body can be looted if you are killed.  It’s likely only gameplay-relevant items can be looted such as weapons, grenade, equipment, etc.  Source

– The developers would love to include some form of atmospheric flight but the technical implications are large.  They will be exploring this possibility post-launch.  Source

Design Knight – CIG Developer @ CIG Austin
[Can’t figure out the real name for this person although I think it’s safe to say they’re a designer!]

– You can be an info runner on any ship you like, but some will be more effective than others.  Source

– A user named Nostromo1977 pointed out to Design Knight that vast majority of the stars in the Milky Way belong to multi-star systems (binaries and trinaries mostly).  Design Knight thanked him for the great suggestion and said they would keep it in mind when setting up system layouts.  Source

– Allowing players to be medics in the universe hasn’t been examined yet but is a logical choice and a lot of people seem to want to do it.  Source

– You will be able to take over certain space stations and rename them when you do so.  Source

– The intention of the design of the Banu Merchantman is as an armed and armoured merchant ship able to break blockades and discourage raids through firepower.  Source

Ben Lesnick, Director of Community Engagement and Content Strategy @ CIG Santa Monica

– Chris Roberts probably still won’t be back in town in time for E3, however, he will be providing a video message for the PCGamer/AMD presentation.  If he is able to be back in time, he will appear and do a Q&A.  Source

Will Leverett, Game Support Manager @ CIG Austin

– Rubber banding currently seen in-game is caused by ship destruction/spawning.  They are working on solutions.  Source

– Investigations will continue into gameplay issues surrounding missiles.  Source

– Confident they can soon get 8v8 matches working in Arena Commander when some current issues are resolved.  Source

– Short term goals are to provide a reliable service while working to maximize the number of players in a single session.  Source

JJ-CIG, CIG Developer @ Foundry 42
[Can’t figure out the real name for this person.  I believe they are a designer.]

– NPC counts that have been mentioned for ships include NPCs working in shifts.  During off-hours you might see some empty stations and people milling around the mess hall, but during combat all the stations will be filled and everyone will be busy.  Source


Sandi’s Facebook

May 18 – Where’s the throttle?!


May 19

May 20 – Chris lands the Hornet!

Watch the gif/video here!


May 22 – Good thing I went to flight school!


May 22 – Relaxing after a great week of shooting. Have a good weekend, Citizens!



Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.