First up we have an interview of Chris Roberts by Gear Patrol, some great stuff in here:
People can complain about dates and timelines, but what they really want is a great experience. We’re not doing just a single player game. We have this open-world universe, that you can venture around in for years to come. You don’t want to cut corners — you want to build it right. Something that’ll last for a long time — that’s my goal. I’m not looking at this game like I’m going to finish it and then move on to the next game. This is it. This is going to be a living product, a living world. It will evolve with content, features, graphical capabilities. It will be a constantly living product getting bigger, better and richer over the years. When you do that, you need to make sure the foundation is right.
Next up we have a quartet of articles/videos spanning two interviews, one with Chris Roberts and the other with Sean Tracy:
Sean [Tracy] is working hard on it with a bunch of talented people, so that's [how] we're showing off the potential of V2 planets and some of the cool stuff and play action that can happen in 3.0. We're […] taking one of the missions that's in Squadron 42 and showing how that would feel, from the briefing, to the ship, to taking off, to the mission, and the combination of flying and FPS stuff, so those are the two things we're going to show. We're going to show full-focus this is what V2 planets can do for you, then this is what Squadron 42 is going to feel like and play like, and this is the experience of a mission in SQ42.
A visual FX artist could create a flow map for clouds, and it would look pretty cool and everything, but then you'd have to be creating flow maps for every single planet you do. [...] Whereas this way, if they create the planet and the biomes [go], 'OK, this is a hot area, this is a cold area,' and then the simulation just simulates the wind and weather patterns, which would generate the cloud patterns, then you just don't have to do anything. It takes more work to do that upfront, but longer term [the weather system] allows for a greater range of gameplay and fidelity, and also less work needed down the road.
That's one of the bigger changes we made with the implementation of planets, but more just with the positioning of it. I think with the first system that we're going to do – this is just right now, maybe quantum travel speeds will change or so – but it takes about 45 minutes at our 'jump' or 'quantum jump' speed to cross an entire system. And that's just one system. If you want to think of the systems as levels themselves, that's how to think about it. There would be basically no loading for 45 minutes of quantum travel, which is the actually realistic value of 0.2c [c=speed of light]. It's crazy how large that area is.
I think the implication of V2 planets and what this brings [is important]. I came from the modding side, so I didn't just jump into this as a programmer, I've always been a gamer first. I think we've gotten used to the fact that we're being lied to [by games]. We know we're in a skybox. We know that sun is just a little sprite up there. We know we're being lied to, and we're OK with it because it's fun and it looks good or whatever. But to wrap your mind around the sheer volume and scale that is there in Star Citizen, around you... it's something different and it feels different when you're in it and experiencing it. If you could go into Witcher and just run forward for – I don't even know how long it would take to get around the planet, but run forward for 24 hours and it actually be different and you wrap yourself around. It's a different mentality.
[...] There's so much that you can explore and do, and without it being empty is an important thing. Lastly, really important to understand as well, would be the AI implications of what we're going to show for the Squadron 42 preview. The AI that's going on within there is fairly complex because it's similar to an Elder Scrolls or something, where they live their lives. These are crew mates, they're at this desk from 9-6, then they go to the cafeteria, and they go do this. What people I don't think will see immediately – and again, the demo can only be so long – I don't think people will necessarily grasp that that's happening for those characters. It will feel like, well he walks by you, great, but what you don't know is he's going down to his crew, he's got stuff to do. Those two are important to understand.