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February Monthly Report Summary Written Friday 4th of March 2016 at 09:22pm by Erris

Hello Citizens! Another month, another Monthly Report summary! Enjoy! This month’s Monthly Report summary was done by Stormy Winters and Shiver Bathory! LOS ANGELES Engineering Looked at how player interactions work in-game. Single “Use” prompt...

Hello Citizens! Another month, another Monthly Report summary! Enjoy!

This month’s Monthly Report summary was done by Stormy Winters and Shiver Bathory!

LOS ANGELES

Engineering

  • Looked at how player interactions work in-game. Single “Use” prompt was limiting,each object to handle interaction logic by itself.
  • Each contextually possible interaction will contain a localized string token that will be used by the UI to display description of that action.
  • Allows add, remove, enable/disable interactions on as needed basis.
  • Updates to Shield system.
  • Tech Design being handled by Lead Tech Designer Kirk Tome.
  • Engineering side by Associate Engineer Chad Zamzow with oversight by Lead Engineer Paul Reindell.
  • Chad working on implementing “Shield Generator” item.
  • Consists of matching new components to the new design and involves pulling power and converting power into shield points to be pushed into corresponding shield pipe.
  • Created in-house tool called DataForge to increase efficiency in coding and provide more powerful tools.
  • Allows to create data quickly within game without need for parsing.
  • Can view data in multiple ways, as well as loads data faster and ensures data adheres to specific schema.
  • Mark Abent and John Pritchett performing various changes to game data that have potentially long standing implications to how data functions.
  • Mark’s been providing support for projectile creation through DataForge.
  • John has been working on tweaks to Thrusters and EVA.
  • Changes to projectiles provides Tech Designers with option to create projectiles directly through DataForge without having to go through XML editing.
  • John has been cleaning up Thruster effects to fix thruster effect range, boost effect range and adding transitional effect when activating Boost.

Tech Design

  • Fixing bugs for 2.2 utmost priority for Tech Design team this month.
  • Shield system has been at the forefront of tasks with regards to new content.
  • Tech Design Lead Kirk Tome completed grey box stage of Xi-An Scout.
  • Final tech design for the Scout is still underway.
  • Kirk also spent considerable time performing a re-factor of in-game masses.
  • Starting with ships, he’s been researching a more accurate and proper way of calculating the mass.
  • Tech Designer Calix has created a metric for Shield performance and is now in the midst of completing white box tech design stage of the Drake Caterpillar.
  • This stage includes determining where components will be located throughout the ship, the layout, along with other important features such as the list of what weapons it will have, where they’re located and the basics of how the Cargo mechanic will function.
  • Also is designing how Power and Cooling will function within our ships.
  • Tech Designer Matt Sherman is in the middle of converting all our Projectiles from XML and setting them up in DataForge.
  • Matt is also responsible for grey box tech designing the MISC Reliant, including the metrics that comprise the Reliant such as internal layout, placement of hardpoints and various components, etc…

Art

  • New ships/old ship revamps and character updates have been top priority for the Art team.
  • Responsible for creating lots of new artwork across the game.
  • Calix has also been working hand in hand with 3D Art Lead Elwin Bachiller who has been working on the modeling white box based on additional concept artwork using updates to the Drake style guide created by Gurmukh Bhasin.
  • Art team has also been working on the MISC Reliant.
  • Exterior LODs were completed by Daniel Kamentsky and Elwin completed redesigning the cockpit.
  • Changes to the Reliant’s cockpit include redesigning the UI in order to adhere to updated UI specifications, animation and textures.
  • All part of a “flight prep” pass completed by Elwin.
  • Flight prep pass is a review of everything that is needed before ship becomes “flight ready”.
  • Including a pass over the damage states, LODs, and other precursor tidbits before it’s released.
  • On character side, Artist Omar Aweidah has finished creating high-poly geometry for undersuit armour and several UEE Navy item variants.
  • In terms of costumes, Jeremiah Lee is submitting a first pass for Heavy Armour concept after completing early design pass on the same.
  • Designing armour and clothing go through a series of approvals/revisions before they are approved for creation, same as ships ensuring thematic style guides on key manufacturer embellishments.

Tech Content

  • Technical content team is an amalgamation of Tech Art and Tech Animation into a global unified team.
  • This team consists of Technical Animators and Technical Artists working together to bring together all the Art, Animation and even Engineering proceeds into a cohesive “in game” asset/feature.
  • This includes complex problem solving across many different pieces of software, educating members of other teams on best practices for coordination and handoffs, constant performance profiling and reactive bug fixes on release build content.
  • Team also includes key developers that perform the rigging and animation implementations of both ships/characters.
  • On the ship side, Senior Technical Artist Mark McCall has been tackling animation bugs for 2.2.0 release.
  • Including fixes such as Vanduul Scythe/Glaive firing animations, adding steps to prevent clipping animations of Landing Gear through Mannequin, optimizing thruster setups.
  • Patrick Salerno is continuing review of all ship LODS and normalizing mesh count and density.
  • Is also currently reviewing the Mustang and Hornet along with each respective variant.
  • Senior Tech Artist Matt Intrieri is performing an LOD pass on various ship components including landing gear, escape pods, thrusters, intakes and other components. This task is ongoing.
  • Associate Rigger Gaige Hallman and Senior Rigger John Riggs has completed rigging of various character assets.
  • Gaige has finalized the process of skinning vertices from character models while John has completed the asset rigging and simulation setup for UEE Navy BDU uniform.
  • Next up for John is performing R&D for rigging the Vanduul.

Narrative

  • Focusing pretty heavily on SQ42.
  • Lead Dave Haddock over in UK for the month while Will’s been skyping in to daily meetings with SQ42 designers to step through the game to see how levels/gameplay have been progressing, any changed necessitating additional pick-up line from their higher tier actors and delve deeper into dialogue and narrative needs for secondary cast members.
  • On the PU front, working with Designers in Austin and UK to flesh out more landing zones, provide lore support for ship components and help out with developing narrative in Baby PU.
  • Starmap/Galactapedia areas: Adam finished review of previously published Galactic Guides resulting in 120 page document outlining potential changes/disparities that would need to be made to bring the Galactic Guide or Starmap in sync.
  • Cherie has continued work with the astronomy consultants to generate scientific data while working with the internal wiki.

Quality Assurance

  • QA team has expanded and welcomed two new testers: Eric Pietro and Colby Schneider have joined Vincent Sinatra as members of CIG LA Quality Assurance dept.
  • Time spent training them with regards to CIG’s QA methodologies, software testing theory and acclimating them into the fold.
  • QA team aided ATX and UK counterparts in testing new 2.2 code for PTU pushes and investigating issues such as: New hostility feature, Sabre flight performance and equipment loadouts, new cooler component implementation, EVA adjustments and zone grid transitions, ship entry animations, transition from 16 to 24 playable ships in Crusader, shield recharge times.
  • Also performed an audit of the mass for all ships and landing gear pass.

CIG AUSTIN

Persistent Universe

  • Making significant progress on different features, main one being persistence.
  • Cornerstone feature of “Persistent” universe is ability to persist data across play sessions.
  • Jason Ely and server team have been making great strides into laying groundwork on the backend.
  • Whole portions of the codebase have been rewritten to get integrated into the game.
  • “Shopping” feature tested and first release with Persistence in it will utilize Casaba Outlet’s stock of shirts, pants, jackets, etc.
  • Also brainstorming other idea for opportunities to utilize Persistence in gameplay such as player health, ship/item health, currency and reputation.
  • Solidified the flow of Shopping Phase 1, wrapping up tasks that required to set up Casaba Outlet as a shop in game.
  • This means setting up clothing racks with items, tagging each item with tags to get them to show up in the UI correctly and calling out variants for clothing assets that have been made so.
  • Character team can schedule there in.
  • Hope to populate the ship with enough to keep players engaged but leave enough empty space to allow them to fill it with more varied clothing assets later.
  • Ship Artists Chris Smith and Josh Coons spent the month wrapping up Final Art phase for the Xi-An Scout.
  • Will be moving to the Herald next month.
  • Emre Switzer finished lighting passes on the shops for Levski landing zone in Nyx as well as for Asteroid and Business Hangar.
  • Mark Skelton has completed several style guides for clothing manufacturers within the ‘Verse that will inform character concept artists and 3D modelers going forward.
  • Animators spent much of the month developing animations for us in Astro Armada and G-Loc Bar.
  • Work on various enter/exit speeds for Avenger and Aurora, they’re hoping to carry this over to all ships next month.
  • Lead Ship Animator Jay Brushwood spent a couple weeks in the UK syncing up with Ship team there.
  • Establishing steps in pipeline and ironing out kink in workflow and communication.
  • Work wrapped up on Friends System 2.0 which transitions Friends/Contacts system from Platform to backend servies.
  • New Friends System incorporates much needed new features such as the Ignore List.
  • This has been handed off to UI Team to schedule in and create front-end work.

Live Operations

QA
  • QA was wrapping up previous release of Star Citizen Alpha 2.1.2 to Live environment.
  • Continued to investigate lingering issues and gathering public feedback.
  • Started focusing efforts on testing the new features.
  • Todd Raffray headed up early test of new Party System updates.
  • Each feature was documented and individually tested to ensure updates worked effectively.
  • Testing additional features slated for 2.2.0 including Monitored Space, Hostility System, and change to the layout of Crusader map.
  • Also created a list of must fix issues delivered to production.
  • Each new system was tested by coordinated efforts of QA teams around the world.
  • Starting with QA teams in UK and Frankfurt beginning testing headed up by QA Manager Phil Webster and Senior QA Tester Steven Brennon.
  • Testing is then handed off to US QA teams headed by QA Leads Andrew Hesse and Vincent Sinatra.
  • Daily information hand offs were smooth and contributed to almost 24 hour daily testing coverage.
  • This coverage ensured development continued to help release 2.2.0 ASAP.
  • As new 2.2.0 features came online they were added to list of things to test for release including flight testing of newly flyable Sabre, hangar ready Xi-An Scout, ship cooler items and new physically based zero gravity EVA.
  • In depth testing was conducted on ship combat time to kill values for each available ship and weapon and a comprehensive pass on ship landing and repair mechanics.
  • New recruits: Phil Webster joined Foundry 42 in Manchester, he will be fulfilling the role of QA Manager. Lee Jones to Foundry 42 testing team and will be assisting Veteran Liam Guest in dedicated SQ42 testing.
  • Senior QA Tester Christopher Speaks travelled to Frankfurt to Foundry 42 and held training sessions for our UK QA team on testing and use of Cryengine Sandbox Editor.
  • Team is working hard to get 2.2.0 out to live environment ASAP.
  • For March, team will be focusing on testing the new additions which will be included in Star Citizen Alpha 2.3.0.
Game Support
  • Will Leverett and Chris Danks as Game Support worked alongside QA, Production and PTU testers to get 2.2.0 branched, built, tested and fixed and shipped out the door.
  • Spent quite a bit of the month establishing new protocols for PTU invite waves.
  • This was accomplished by focusing on Issue Council Engagement and previous PTU participation.
  • Reason 2.2.0 was not rolled out to a greater number of players on PTU: Cost and 2.2.0 did not require additional waves of testing.
  • Additionally, bugs involving resource allocation and network bandwidth can result in errors that manifest quickly even with a relatively small number of players.
  • Expanding PTU access in this case often doesn’t help diagnose the problem, just makes it worse.
  • In this case, bugfixes investigated and applied while additional waves of testers proceeds at a more controlled rate until the blocker has been addressed.
  • 70% of the Wave One group participated in at least one build since 2.2.0 went to PTU and the other 30% who want to help with active testing rotated in.
  • Game Support was able to spend time on service issues and getting caught up on tickets and provide quick turnarounds now to players needing individual support.
  • Game Support will be working with Customer Service and Turbulent to assess different options for creating a true knowledge base that serves the players of Star Citizen.
IT/Operations
  • February has been about Data.
  • Working on an important project with the rest of the Operations teams and key Development team members in Frankfurt to fix these huge patches once and for all.
  • This could take some time to roll out due to depth of work involved.
  • Patch sizes have to do with the way the data is prepared for each version published.
  • Differential between builds includes between 5-10% change for most builds.
  • Changed files are mixed with unchanged files then compressed to large pak files for delivery, even one small change in data can cause an entire pak file look different to the patcher due to output of compression scheme, which the patcher sees as an entirely new large file.
  • In order to correct this, need to change a number of things including game engine reads data.
  • Also need to change build systems and entire delivery pipeline in order to do this right.
  • Once done, expecting to see major improvement in size of patches between versions.
  • Changes in build system supporting this approach should also allow us to do more incremental data builds rather than much longer full builds.
  • This would reduce time between developer fixes and testing.
LiveOps
  • Working on deployments and the build system.
  • Delivered 8 publishes to PTU with improvements to the process allowing them to minimize downtime.
  • Analytics reporting has undergone improvement both on client and data side.
  • Build system has been undergoing substantial change which leads to tricky balancing act when trying to keep up with all internal builds and PTU publishes.
  • Rolled out a new distributed compilation system which shaved another 75-90% off build times depending on build type, a new format for keeping track of data, internal/external automated crash reporting and new inclusion/exclusion system to help refine builds down to specific testing goals.
  • Been working closely with IT team and rest of Operations teams toward goal of reducing patch sizes.
  • This will likely trigger the largest set of changes introduced to build system to date since they’re incorporating changes to build process and delivery pipeline which will have positive impact on internal development and external patch delivery.
  • Will be building a completely separate build system which will run in parallel to the existing system.

FOUNDRY 42 UK

Design

  • Still working on “new player experience” which will hopefully make the learning curve less steep for new backers.
  • Encompasses a simplified UI set, also has a refactor of controls system to be more conceptually consistent across various game modes such as EVA, FPS and space flight.
  • Still working on mobiGlas, it is one of the major aspects of both SQ42 and PU.
  • Scanning for both cockpit and FPS is underway and looking forward to getting sub-targeting of components into game soon.
  • Andrew and tech team have had a number of meetings about various balancing issues and hopefully you’ll start to see positive results in coming release.
  • Idris is getting closer to a game ready state.
  • SQ42 is moving along and starting to see blockers shifted in a timely manner so design can keep rolling.

Audio

  • Usual bug fixes, very nasty in-game distortion issue at the start of February that was hard to reproduce and near impossible to profile.
  • QA team, Sam Hall, Graham Phillipson, Mikhail Korotyaev and friends at Audiokinetic assisted in fixing that and community at large for sending data and user stories.
  • Work continues on SQ42 and Ross Tregenza continues putting down many audio foundations as possible and keeping an eye on cross discipline progress.
  • All systemic elements they’re working on across whole game feed into SQ42 but lots of custom and bespoke aspects of it to keep track of and make sure they’re ready for.
  • Ross also worked with Sam Hall on monitored zone system audio which you’ll witness soon, still relatively early stage where the audio is concerned but we’ll improve further as they iterate upon it.
  • Bob Rissolo heavily invested in Dialogue Pipeline tools and database.
  • Quite a large project that feeds into main Star Citizen experience but is very important for SQ42 which is very character dialogue-centric.
  • Mainly working with Simon Price who’s joined as a Consultant Audio Programmer.
  • Bob Rissolo and Phil Smallwood built up and tested out dialogue recording rig in test shoot in mid-February to make sure they’re up to the task of recording dialogue for performance capture sessions.
  • Minor setting tweaks and optimizations required.
  • Sam Hall submitted Version 2.0 of Music System including visual logic editor.
  • This shipped in 2.2.0 and was a smooth transition.
  • Until they have new content won’t be hugely obvious it’s there.
  • First orchestral performance in Slovakia.
  • New content for ship-based space combat which will feed into music logic system when material is ready.
  • Still need extra momentary layers and elements for it to be as reactive as Chris Robert’s wants.
  • Extra material to come before taking it to a mixing session to give some polish.
  • Thinking of dynamic/procedural mix methods rather than usual state-based mixing.
  • Darren Lambourne has been putting together a dynamic bass management prototype.
  • Darren is also working on parametric mix/effects system to reflect atmospheric depressurization whether out in space or inside depressurized interior locations.
  • The concept right now whereby exterior sound is simulated within ships.
  • The player suit when exposed to space independent of one’s ship(in they’re lore) at least doesn’t have the processing power to perform the same function, not at the same level of fidelity.
  • Will be much more akin to structure-borne sound transmission coupled with a lot of suit/internalized elements.
  • Darren’s also pushed out some great EVA audio improvements re. maneuvering jetpack thrusters.
  • Stefan Rutherford’s been working on some space station mixing.
  • Done some stuff on the Reliant: ship ambient mark-up with parameterization of sounds so the are far more responsive to external factors.
  • Under his model a single light buzz on a panel can change in tone and timbre is power output is high to other components.
  • Graham Phillipson and Matteo Cerquone have a solid working piece of tech for ‘Automatic Character Foley’ in place.
  • Have a system that modulates clothing and equipment sound in response to limb velocities.
  • Hope to be able to factor in clothing changes soon and added equipment laters that’ll change depending on what weapon you equip.
  • Matteo’s also working with Xi-An Scout which has some great SFX in place.
  • Solid prototype for Automated Footsteps.
  • Graham has figured out a way to infer accurate footstep movement and articulation and play back appropriate sounds in real time.
  • ‘Wild Foley’ session upcoming to record footsteps and some physics object style sounds.
  • Stefan and Matteo to oversee this session.
  • Firearms session due end of March to capture outdoor gun-fire impulses/tails in urban environment, for in-atmosphere locations with lots of reflective surfaces.This is all about distant reflections that help define the outdoors.
  • Jason Cobb has been working on bug fixes, design documentation, scripting improvement to workflow.
  • Also has sound design coming together for ship debris clouds, subject to a system to drive this properly.
  • Luke Hatton has continued on ship sounds, fixing/refining audio for those.
  • Upcoming extended version of Big Benny noodles theme.

Engineering

  • Hostility system
  • Wanted to start coming out with ways you could see that your actions would have some consequence and as a result some additional emergent gameplay going on.
  • First step to introduce safe zone, i.e Port Olisar, where space is monitored for illegal behaviour.
  • If you start shooting at an innocent party you will automatically get a wanted level, become a hostile, and your wanted level goes up as you fire on more and more innocent parties.
  • While in the safe zone AI will spawn in and try and take you down.
  • If you have a wanted level you also become fair game for other players.
  • If you are attacking other players outside of the monitored zone it won’t get noticed and your reputation stands intact.
  • You can reduce your wanted level by using a terminal to hack into the system.
  • Outside of releases we’ve been making progress on lots of other systems.
  • The code to support turrets has been having an overhaul.
  • Want to have stand alone turrets on space station for example.
  • Start work on scanning feature, where you can use you radar to scan vehicles in more detail and get info as to what weapons they’ve got or even what cargo they’re carrying.
  • This depends on how good your scanning hardware is how good the blocking hardware of what you’re trying to scan has.
  • Scanning is also gong to be incorporated in same way when in FPS mode.
  • FPS is making steady progress on all mechanics.
  • New physicalized EVA is getting more solid, spending a lot of time trying to fix up a lot of edge case issues mostly when transitioning from inside a vehicle to outside.
  • Cover is getting better and work has now started on prone and vaulting.

Graphics

  • Final R&D work into the Gas Cloud tech, created a roadmap for the gas cloud system.
  • Outlines when we can start giving this tech to our other internal teams such as art and design to work with.
  • After resolving several bugs with our recent Vis Area/Zone tweaks the team moved to facial tech.
  • Testing current framework to find performance bottle necks, bugs and look to make general improvements to the tech.
  • Working to updates to bloom and lens flares.
  • Current bloom implementation has a harsh falloff around glowing objects and requires brightness to be cranked up significantly to be visible.
  • New system will allow for more subtle glows with a softer falloff and its performance will also scale better with higher resolution.
  • With current flare system an artist creates a flare set for each light that generates flares and simulating different lenses which requires a lot of manual work creating multiple sets.
  • Also a limit to the number of flares that can be rendered per frame before they start to break.
  • Working on a system to procedurally render flares in screen space with more physically based method and should significantly reduce workload for artists and change the look of a scene on the fly.

VFX

  • Working on getting the latest flight ready ships including Vanguard and Sabre.
  • Done some thorough R&D for Xi-An Scout effects as we want to tie in with fiction and create a unique style of effects compared to the other human and Vanduul technologies.
  • This all based on the VFX style guide which was mentioned in last month’s report.
  • Building a consistent visual language through ship’s effects is important for player readability.
  • Things are progressing on SQ42’s environmental effects.
  • Fleshing out their levels in greater detail which allows them to jump in and add effects where required.

Art

  • Idris Generator room.
  • Idris Cargo Room.
  • Idris story line look dev.
  • Planet look dev.
  • Vanduul weapon look dev.
  • Bengal Hangar.
  • Hangar Breakouts.
  • Bengal Bridge console/chair refinement.
  • Powerplants.
  • Quantum Drives.
  • Coolers.
  • Military props.
  • Shubin Pilot briefing room.
  • Shubin Bridge.
  • [CLASSIFIED] ship cargo room.
  • Research station look dev for gravity room and communal areas.
  • Scourge Rail gun final pass.
  • Rail attachment system.
  • Ammo.
  • New small ship.
  • Second pass concept on storyline bases.

Props

  • First couple of coolers and shield generators complete and power plants started.
  • Team has gone from 2 to 4 with a 5th member joining next week.
  • Focusing on low tech props, mainly on assets that can be used in both the PU environments as well as the SQ42 environments.
  • Completed a few more tests with the blend layer material mentioned last month and have a few more tweaks from the rendering team before moving ahead.
  • Making an effort to get on top of documentation backlog.
  • Important to have pipeline properly documented and updated, creating/updating template files to make animators lives easier and improve consistency.

Characters

  • Character work really starting to match up with the rest of the game in terms of fidelity and quality.
  • Two more hired to join UK team.

Environment Art

  • Fleshing out environments for SQ42.
  • Huge range of environments in production currently.
  • Lots of back and forth between level artists and designers as they move forwards refining designs and layouts.

Ships

  • Layering foundations down to hopefully make the rest of the year’s production run smoothly to push towards fully content complete of SQ42 within the next few months, meaning all assets are in-game, playable but not polished.
  • Highlights include pulling the RSI Bengal into a metric system that will take advantage of a modular construction approach.
  • Twice as much visual awesomeness with less of a knock on both visual and memory costs in the engine.
  • Bengal was first ship to be seen ever for Star Citizen in the original reveal.
  • Both Idris and Javelin have continued into final production.
  • Javelin taking advantage of the Idris’ interior modules meaning whatever wins they make on the Idris rolls over to the Javelin by default.
  • Also has the added benefit that the Javelin’s interior production will in fact finish not far behind the Idris.
  • Gaining variation between the two ships with clever use of material swaps, lighting, atmospherics.
  • Javelin will have far grittier feel to suit its role/characteristic.
  • Production almost complete on Starfarer Base variant.
  • Gemini being kitted out by Aegis brings out interesting dynamic to the ship’s aesthetic.

FOUNDRY 42 FRANKFURT

AI

  • First pass on refactoring of the Human perception system. AI will now react to visual and audio stimuli.
  • Tony Zurovec developed a tool in Austin for the designers to use creating Subsumption routines. They have been processing the data created by this tool and transformed it into behaviours for NPCs.
  • NPC use of cover has been improved. I.e. Staying behind cover for a set amount of time and blacklist specific cover spots to prevent nonsensical selection of cover locations.
  • The concept of ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ actions within the AISequences has been introduced so level designers can guarantee that what they want is being communicated to the AI.

Build Ops

  • Recently switched to BinXml assets for release builds.
  • Solid db backend on mysql/postgres.
  • Preparation work to switch Transformer to Buildbot Nine.

Cinematics

  • A crucial cinematic right before Admiral Bishop’s speech got a major upgrade, work is still ongoing.
  • Building up planetside scenes with Hannes and further work on some Bengal Carrier scenes.
  • Mike Nagasaka working on Chapter 02 and looking into different holoshader improvement options as well as some visual prototyping for a pivotal moment with alien holo tech.
  • Animation busy prepping pcap they have for Chapter ‘X’ which involves the Starfarer should be tackled next month.
  • An ongoing side project involves revamping the cinematic timeline module: Trackview so it now supports needs for ships and AI characters as well as tackling some major usability issues..
  • Sascha Hoba working on this expected to be quite some time.

VFX

  • Work on preparing the Xi’An Scout for hangar release.
  • This includes thruster effects, damage effects, weapon effects and a new version of the quantum drive based on Xi’an tech.

Tech Art

  • Continued developing the internal animation pipeline.
  • Supported cinematics for various tech setups.
  • Work on FPs weapon rigging.

Engine Programming

  • Senior Engine Programmer Christoper Bolte focused on data transfer protocols which are critical for loading times and the ObjectContainer System.
  • Progress has been made in regards to the way the client assets are compressed and unpacked. Work on the next step has begun which will involve in house testing.
  • Supporting the UK Engineers with the ObjectContainerSystem. This is a system to help optimise performance and loading times in practical terms.

Code

  • Code related improvements including: WAF build system rollout. -Devs are able to compile much faster with this.
  • Public crash handler rolled out with 2.2.
  • Improvements to code quality tracking.
  • Further progress on an improved patching solution, The goal is to only download the file packages you need..
  • Further progress on improving an optimised mesh data storage format. This should help improve load times and texture streaming as well as reduce GPU bandwith.
  • Further work on procedural tech.
  • Animation coding focused on fixing exiting bugs and getting the foundation as stable as possible.

Design

  • At the start of the month the visit from Chris Roberts help make sure everyone is on the same track and going in the right direction.
  • Andreas from Level Design has taken over work on Hurston landing zone.
  • Power distribution prototype by Clement was proved successful so work is moving forward to integrate life support systems and depressurisation to this prototype.
  • System Design has started work on some high priority systems needed for the PU.
  • Oxygen, breathing and stamina system is finished. It will handle the oxygen from your suit tanks and how it is processed by your character.
  • Designs have been finalised on how Quantum Drives and interdiction function and interact.
  • Working on a global universe spawning system that will populate systems based on information from the game world as it happens.
  • loot generation and looting system has been heavily looked at to keep it as realistic and immersive as possible but still be fun for the player.
  • Work on player transactions coupled with the looting system will help start an early version of the economy.

Environment Art

  • Completed work on [CLASSIFIED] which will feature in [CLASSIFIED] of the game.
  • Work also started on a wrecked version of the [CLASSIFIED] that will be used as a set dressing in specific cinematic scenes.
  • Creating the [CLASSIFIED] wrecked version will involve taking the existing [CLASSIFIED] and adjusting the geometry and textures to simulate damage.
  • Continued work supporting the Engine Team with procedural tech and further defining the pipeline..

BHVR

Design

  • Hurston landing zone, designed, blueprinted and whiteboxed all shop locations for the level. 10 in total.
  • BHVR artists will start working on them soon.
  • Helping design, scope and plan for shopping.
  • Made a few changes to the AR mode and AR labels, most significant improvement will come with the release but we got some very promising prototype on how this will look/feel.
  • March flair will have AR information attached.
  • March will see the new flair collection revealed which will have two decorations, a subscriber one and a stretch goal one.

Engineering

  • Polishing, debuggin and optimizing various features for 2.2.0 branch
  • Fixes on contact list, hangar swapping loadouts, turret display in multicrew and holotable features
  • Adamo Maiorano has worked on Augmented Reality prototypes for shopping experience and general AR changes to fit design changes

Art

  • Finishing available shops for Levski, polishing, dressing and creating props to give each shop a distinct look and feel.
  • Began work on performance optimization to ensure a good frame rate for once NPC and players will be populating the level.
  • Lots of support given to 2.2 release, bug fixes, updating assets.
  • Work continued on generic props for the lowtech style, useful for many planets and SQ42 needs.
  • Concept art side, began work on paintovers for future Hurston stops.
  • Next flair objects has been completed for the next release.

TURBULENT

Ship Stats

  • With over 70 ships currently listed on the site, “Ship stats” page needs a redesign with revamped readability and usability.
  • Gone back to the drawing board and created a new user interface with additional search filters allowing you to quickly find and compare ships you’re interested in and give better insight into the ship production pipeline.
  • Currently in the design phase so will post a screenshot in the upcoming report.

Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA)

  • Continued development on multi-factor authentication i.e best practices research, prototypes, and data modeling.
  • Objective is to upgrade current authentication services and allow anyone to enable this added security feature.
  • On the design front, finalized the page layouts for security settings section, where the user will setup MFA.
  • Upcoming reports will have more details about the foreseen short/long term options.

Communication Platform

  • Brainstorming a new communication platform for the site which would aggregate and blend forum threads, chatrooms, private messaging into one hub.
  • First step was to benchmark and rate other communication tools used by games and now starting the actual functional design process.
  • The aim is that this platform could be the next big functional step for Organizations.

Ship Happens

  • Last month updated the game packages website.
  • Moving forward, Star Citizen and SQ42 will be sold separately.
  • This does not affect any packages already owned, only packages sold after Feb 14.

Behind the Scenes

  • Panic Service is live, Star Citizen devs are now able to access all crash data from this database.
  • Been working with CIG to bring the next step in persistence and how it will handle what everyone had on their website accounts.

COMMUNITY

Videos

  • 10 For series reached a pinnacle when Sean Tracy and Steve Bender took over the show early in the month.
  • Around the Verse continues to evolve with the inclusion of a more newcomer friendly hosting portion, remote video segments that allow them to showcase developers around the world and return of Which Glitch and Wonderful World of Star Citizen.
  • In the coming weeks/months you’ll see gamestreamers, youtubers, podcasters, ship builders and more highlighted on Around the Verse as well as your gameplay videos in the opening of the show.
  • Reverse the Verse, recent additions to the show include a new graphics and overlay package and more structured format to the show.

Website

  • The RSI website continues to be the heart of Star Citizen related conversation.
  • Last month’s revisions of Shipyard section to the forums has taken off.
  • Small revisions to the Issue Council have helped us better track the bugs that affect gameplay experience.
  • After a slight database issue that cause havoc with the upvote system in the Community Hub it appears back on track.
  • Hopeful to have continued iterations to both the Issue Council and Community Hub in the near future.
  • Exploring options related to major upgrade to our forums, no details yet.

Live Events

  • No live events for February.
  • Continued plans for Gamecom and CitizenCon later this year.
  • At Gamescom, they’ll be on the showfloor all five days and looking to host a number of pop-up parties in the evenings throughout the week.
  • CitizenCon is in Los Angeles. Start time TBD, tickets will be on the site in the coming weeks.

Perks

  • Subscribers continue to get their monthly flair.
  • Tune into Around the Verse next week to get a glimpse at a new flair series coming to subscribers.

 

And that’s it for the Monthly Report summary! We hope you enjoy. Tune in next month for another!


 

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Erris

Founder

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.