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January 2017 Monthly Report Summary Written Friday 10th of February 2017 at 08:04pm by CanadianSyrup

Hello Citizens, The Monthly Report is here, but in a summarised version for you all you folks out there who don't quite have the time to read through it all, check it out!

January 2017 Monthly Report

CIG Los Angeles

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Engineering

  • Engineering has been busy with the new Modular Character Customisation screen.

  • Working on bringing the core systems online that allow Solar system sized maps

    • These include reimagining entities, fundamental components such as lights, radar system and level hierarchies.

  • First technical application of node-based controller managers was introduced which enables improved networking of item components that also benefits Multi-crew gameplay

  • New damage controller for explosive props and destroyable objects to the Item System framework.

Tech Design

  • Buccaneer and Cutlass black have entered greybox phase.

  • Aurora update coming along well.

  • Prototype by Calix on players interacting with the world and items.

  • Kirk worked on ingame pricing, ship balance and underlining systems.

Art

  • Elwin Bachiller, Daniel Kamentsky, and Byungjin Hyun worked on the Buccaneer which has moved to the final art stage and the Aurora rework.

  • Justin Wentz is creating concept art for a new Anvil ship.

  • Explorer suit has been created for the PU as well as Heavy Marine Armour for Star Marine.

  • Continued work on more clothes for shops and NPCs

Tech Content

  • Sean Tracy has been working with 3lateral and other outsources on R&D projects that will be revealed soon

  • Fps weapon optimisation to ensure universal compatibility with male and females.

  • R&D on foot anchoring that adapts leg IK and ground alignment based on whether characters are on their feet or heels.

  • Alex Remotti recently joined the team and has taken initiative on procedural environments for planets and has integrated the initial system into the planet editor which allows for outposts and buildings to be spawned using splatter maps for ecosystems

  • Updates to older ships such as the Mustang, Super Hornet and others.

  • Improvements made to animation tools such as prop rigging, health tests, bone influence reduction tools, automated LOD creation for facial assets, and an improved tool for managing the Database of Animations.

  • Updates to the facial and head assets which is over 120 currently.

  • Updates to the Female Rig: Gripping of weapons, skinning tools for the rest of the team.

  • Facial idles for pilots has been added to 2.6.1

Narrative

  • Fleshing out mission stories for 3.0

  • Building a database of text needs for SQ42: Terminals, Galactapedia entries.

  • Continued work on building out the Xi’An language.

Quality Assurance

  • Ship self-destruction, damage states, missile functionality, character loadouts and early iterations of Item 2.0.

CIG Austin

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Design

  • Busy with defining details for PU shop Archetypes and making design doc outlining specifics. This helps in the long run with having shops having universal requirements.

  • Work on the foundations for the first iteration of the PU economy.

  • Final approval for the Shopping Kiosk feature and has been given the go ahead to start development

Art

  • Emre Switzer Wrapped up work on lighting for Star Marine and moved onto SQ42

  • Chris Smith finished his work on the Super Hornet and is now working on a new vehicle.

  • Josh Coons is working on the Cutlass Black which is in the greybox phase.

Animation

  • Work on usable interaction animations for Sq42: Pushups, stretches, leaning on a table and polished some of the useables to work for use by players in first person.

  • Ship animation team has finished work on ship enter/exit combat speed animations and await approval.

    • Work on animations for the Prospector and Buccaneer have begun.

Backend Services

  • Refactoring the backend infrastructure to new architecture being labelled as Diffusion which improves scalability.

Quality Assurance

  • Network Message Queue, Serialized Variables, Particle Preloading, Megamap, and AI balance tests.

  • Also focused on issues with Gamedev steam to ensure stability of SQ42 and 3.0 development.

Player Relations

  • Caught up with backer’s support requests from the holidays. Last years holiday requests took till April to get caught up.

IT/Operations

  • General housekeeping.

  • Focus on expanding bandwidth between offices.

LiveOps/DevOps

  • Multi-region support and efforts towards network and server side of services which will be a boon that will be explained why soon.

FOUNDRY 42 UK

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Graphics

  • Focus on lighting improvements: Shadow quality and performance within interiors.

  • Cubemap capturing is almost complete and begun writing systems to maximise the tech for truly dynamic lighting on planets and stations.

  • Work on area lights have begun.

  • Early stages of planning for a new and more efficient particle system.

Programming

  • Leaderboards and MegaMap implementation.

  • Networking: Serialized Variables, message queue rewrite.

  • FPS actor code refactor for reliability and robustness

  • Mission system, item pickup and drop improvements, 3d minimap, etc.

VFX

  • Internal data cleanup using Asset Manager.

  • Improving particle streaming for better dynamic loading.

  • Pipeline documentation updates

  • Planning breakdowns of Atmospheric Flight Model Effects

  • Experiments with new assets to blow up

QA

  • SQ42 testing, weapon balance, Star Marine bug fixes.

  • Shoutout to Evocati and frequent PTU testers.

Art

  • New to be announced ships entering concept and wrapping up a new Anvil design

  • Reclaimer is in production with two teams working on exterior and interior.

  • Prospector has received polish for LOD’s and preparing it to be be made flight ready.

  • MISC Razor has been adapted to work within the constraints set by animation and resulted in a sleeker technical design.

  • Technical and sanity pass over SQ42 interior sections.

  • Props for medium ship components and dressing sets.

  • Destructible props were added to 2.6.0, further will be added on a larger scale.

  • Narrative assets have been added to certain environments for 2.6.1

  • Allocating more resources to universe development including moons, nebulas and space stations.

  • R&D on improving the planet's material systems to keep the same fidelity and realism from space to the ground.

  • R&D on what space will look like visually.

Audio

  • Housekeeping: Bugfixes, cleanup of assets for older ships.

  • First pass of the Mix System which means SQ42 will have a full music logic set.

UI

  • Leaderboards for 2.6 and a new pause menu.

  • Planning and scheduling large scale UI features for upcoming releases such as purchasing and selling through the kiosk interfaces.

Animation

  • Two new additions to the team.

  • Improvements to animations for 2.6.1 such as fps assets, and grenade throwing.

  • Ongoing improvements for weapon animations that will be used for new weapons in the pipeline.

  • Improvements to Prone Locomotion assets.

  • Female mocap data implementation for subsumption.

Design

  • Preparing for the new, more robust Mission System that will replace elements previously done in Flowgraph.

  • Maximising the performance of the Object Contain Stream System by splitting chapters into logical object containers

  • Fixing bugs and implementing a scoring rebalance for Arena Commander and Star Marine.

  • Moving ship functionality to Item System 2.0

  • Adding lots of detail to the multi-crew Seat Actions framework

FOUNDRY 42 FRANKFURT

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AI

  • The team started with a week long summit in Los Angeles.

  • Subsumption core functionalities being put into the Subsumption Mission System

  • These are being integrated into existing Crusader missions

  • Continuing work on changes to the Cover System and Posture Manager to allow the AI to be able to make use of the environment and work within the Object Containers system

  • Refactor work on flight control towards removing some of the complexity involved from an AI perspective

QA

  • The month of January has been spent catching up with test requests that were low priority

  • A time was spent revamping Editor checklists and documentation and providing additional training for testers in the UK

  • Community feedback for Star Marine was addressed and test cases done to provide more information for the Design Teams

  • Liaised with Production over bug tracking procedures to ensure the process is smooth as possible

  • Additional debugging was implemented to the Game-Dev branch to track down a bug in the ZoneSystem, that lead to a crash introduced in 2.6 release and is now fixed

Cinematics

  • Part of the team is working towards a more final look and feel for the conversation system for player to NPC communication

    • UI text placement and animation for dialogue choices.

    • Solving if, how, and when to slow a player down running towards and NPC

    • How to make gentle collisions between characters

    • Adjusting performances based off where the player is or changes position

    • Dynamic camera effects for when a conversation starts.

  • Conversations should feel as a film, but giving player freedom.

    • Steps were taken to gradually tune the FOV so that it doesn’t cause distortion issues if the player is too close and brings it to a wide angle lens.

Engine

  • Work started on the Solar System Editor to create a top/down universe view for better customisation.

  • Continued work on procedural object distribution on planets,moons, etc.

  • Initial passes on object containers such as small outposts and also adapting them to adjust to the parts of the terrain and colours

  • Zone system fixes and optimisations.

  • Work on new Pak system for patcher updates (Delta Launcher).

Tech Art

  • Support from technical artists in frankfurt on FPS features and weapons for 2.6.

  • Improvements to the weapon IK grip setup.

  • New cVars for previsualizing and testing new weapons in engine with their functionality.

  • R&D on improving foot planting.

Design

  • Prototyping the modularity system for Satellites, Surface Outposts and Space Station Interiors is almost complete.

  • Continuing work on the Truck Stop, Refinery and Cargo Station in preparation for when that gameplay becomes available.

  • Refactoring the Useable System to allow both AI and players to make use of objects (e.g. tables) at the same time.

  • Adding support for multiple actions (e.g. eating, talking) to be performed inside a useable state.

  • Started implementing the Oxygen, Breathing & Stamina systems.

  • Started implementing the  Landing and Take-off systems and unifying the S42 and PU mechanics; implementing an air traffic control system.

  • Making small additions to the designs for the Mercenary and Bounty Hunter careers, and Customs.

VFX

  • Working with programming on tools required to spawn particles across planets.

  • Rewritten the planetary wind system to account for the spherical nature of planets.

Environment Art

  • Two new people have joined the team.

  • Building assets for individual moons

  • Refining procedural tech and tools for moons, planets and full systems.

  • Focusing on the procedural scattering system to enable rule-based scattering of rocks, plants, trees, etc.

TURBULENT

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Spectrum Alpha

  • To release alongside of 2.6.1 and to be used by the community’s many orgs

  • Includes web version of private and public chat, forums, search functions, member presence and a decent mobile experience

  • Evocati reports helped to focus our fixes on the most important of these tools

  • Improvement will continue upon release with continued feedback

  • Customization and dedicated mobile apps will be added past this introduction and stabilization phase

  • More to come

Sales

  • A revamped Vanduul Swarm and Pirate Swarm competition awarded an aggressor badge upon successful completion as well as the opportunity to purchase a Vanduul Glaive and Pirate Caterpillar respectively

  • Also new were the Dragonfly Posters and Squadron 42 hoodies that won’t last long

COMMUNITY

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Broadcasts

  • Continue to balance Around the Verse showcasing progress versus monopolizing developer’s time

  • A rare inclusion of Chris & Erin Roberts, Tony Zurovec and Todd Papy happened in the Subscriber’s Town Hall of January

  • A new show, Star Citizen Happy Hour, was introduced that focuses on fan streamers, CIG developers and gameplay while hanging out with the community

  • Another introduced new show is Citizens of the Stars highlighting the community contributions to the game and includes Quantum Questions, a two minute quickfire Q&A session from the community to the devs

  • Iteration continues

Events

  • Tyler Witkin and Jared Huckaby a stellar Bar Citizen in San Antonio and attended Pax South

  • Being 100% fan organized Bar Citizens for your area can be found at barcitizen.sc

This Week in Star Citizen

  • A weekly front page post that has replaced the old Community Manager’s Log and Schedule highlights the week’s events and points out community content that you may miss

  • You can join the testing of Spectrum that will replace our current forum and chat systems at ptu.cloudimperiumgames.com/spectrum.

  • Builds are released each week and will be iterated based on your feedback

CanadianSyrup

Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.