Relayhttps://relay.sc/feed/transcripts/atom2017-01-16T13:02:35+00:00https://relay.sc/transcript/bar-citizen-dan-trufin-interviewDutch Bar Citizen: Dan Trufin Interview2017-01-14T23:43:00+00:002017-01-16T03:28:45+00:00CanadianSyruphttps://relay.sc/contributor/CanadianSyrup
Swift Omnium (SO): Hi there, thank you having us and giving us the time. Can you maybe make a small introduction about yourself?
Dan Trufin (DT): Yeah I’m Dan, I’m the Lead System Designer here in Foundry 42 Frankfurt and I generally deal with everything that’s relating to gameplay mechanics and generally making the game fun.
SO: Okay, great! We have some questions from the community, it’s a lot of them and we will just go through them and if you can answer them and else if you don’t, if you cannot then we just skip one.
SO: Okay then first question: With the exploration of planetside has become a reality in the not too distant future, what can we expect in the longevity of these unexplored terrains. With thousands of players scanning a planet for its secrets and resources, it won’t take too long for an entire planet to be mapped. With space, for dimensions it’s easier for point of interests to get lost or forgotten. How will this work in a physical place like planets? Will items, place of interests on a planet persist and will the coordinate data get lost over time? Or is there something else planned for planets?
DT: So we’re planning to have various types of persistence when it comes to both space and planets. Everything that’s massive and it’s a recognizable element or it’s big enough that it won’t disappear in a few moments will be persistent, it will always be there. Once you find it, you will have the coordinates for it and you can always get there fast, not fast, but get there easily without having to find it again.
We will also have missions and points of interests that are not so big like a crashed ship in a desert. That is a ship that you find today,tomorrow, the sand might come over it again. So we’re okay with that disappearing and being phased out. So there will always be new things we generate on those planets so the more you find stuff there, we’ll try to spawn more and more and the system will try to balance between… so stuff doesn’t get completely discovered on a planet.
On the other side, planets are still pretty huge. I mean planets if you think in other games, they’re small, our planets are proper planetside. You have to consider how long it would take you to map the earth, you know it would take quite a while. There’s 6 billion of us and we still don’t know a lot about the Earth so hopefully it will be that rich, our planet's will be that rich.
Also you will find three points on this planets, he will find three points, everyone will find other things. How you share that information with each other is all up to you. You might sell that information for money, you might only keep it because it offers you a tactical advantage over your enemies so there won’t be one person that knows everything about the planet so all this will change and it’ll keep moving and whatever information you have will be useful, but it’s not everything, you can’t know everything.
SO: So it’s like an endless game in a certain way/
DT: Hopefully. We’re planning for this game to offer content as long as there are people to play, it should keep refreshing itself. That’s why we’re adding all this procedural generation to be able to generate content as fast as you guys can play it.
DT: Otherwise we wouldn’t bother with it.
SO: True. Next question is about sourceable goods. In the Persistent Universe we will see different kind of goods as sellable wears. Since these products are mostly physical albeit in boxes or containers, will players of having the option of hoarding large quantities of a certain good in a location other than in their ship or hangar. Perhaps on remote moons with massive warehouses full of wares for the less legal citizens among us. Or in rented warehouses in UEE controlled space.
DT: So the short answer is yes you’ll be able to hoard goods. You’ll be able to take items, just I want to hold 500 million bars of soap because I want to be the owner of all the soap in the universe. If you can afford them, that to buy it and if you can afford the storage space because renting a storage space will cost money, the bigger the storage space, the more money it will cost; If you can afford to do that, yes you’ll be able to do that. You will not be able to break the company because we are the not the 100% player driven economy where it’s an economy that we control and the NPCs have a very heavy stake in it. You’re just one person in the universe, this gigantic universe with billions and billions of people, they will have a say in it, so if you start buying all the soap in the universe cause you want to hoard it there’ll be a lot of companies going ‘I’ll start producing soap now’ and they’ll put more soap on the market, so it’ll be very very hard to crash the market.
SO: Next Question is about, let’s see, docking I believe. The localized physics grids on ships were a great step forward for the development of star citizen. Next big step in that respect will be docking. By joining two or multiple different ships together, with the release of the caterpillar and its capability to attach and reattach its cockpit with the hull, we hope to hear more about the development of this technology, and there’s one other question that’s very similar, in what form can we expect docking to first release? Will this be with larger ships to space stations where physics grids can be meshed like the Idris shown docked at Port Olisar, or any ship with a docking port anywhere in space with another ship?
DT: So, I’m not sure if all of it will get released as one chunk, it depends on how our development cycle goes and what we manage to finish in time, but we’re definitely working right now on this docking between, we started with docking between two ships, and then we started to figure out oh yeah, we need to start docking with stations, we need to start docking with big big capital size ships, cause those ships are not going to be able to just dock and land anywhere, so you will be able to have transports coming to a big ship, picking up stuff, taking it to the station and do this taxiing between all the cargo cause they cannot fit in the station. So we’re definitely working on this, it’s been a bit of a problem initially, because we started with a lot of art that was done without this in mind, so all our, not all our docking ports are aligned right now. They kinda, the RSI ones are kinda the same size, but we need to standardize this. It needs to be, you can’t have them all the same size, but there need to be a few classes of docking ports, and you know this ship can dock with this ship at any point, cause their docking rings can meet together and lock and create a seal cause they’re the same size ship.
SO: Same manufacturers maybe?
DT: Yes, we’re kinda thinking of standardizing them beyond manufacturing, because it would be weird if you have an RSI ship, he has a drake ship, you’ll never be able to dock with each other just because it’s a different manufacturer. I mean, we're thinking a few hundred years in the future, even now everything gets standardize. People would standardize a docking ring so they know, oh, we’re a class A docking ring or class B, so we’re definitely going to do this. As to release, if it all gets released as one or not, that will have to see, probably it will be in stages as with everything we do. It’s easier for us cause we release a small part, see how it works, then we adjust, and then adjust also what hasn’t been released, and keep making better and better rather than giving everything at once and then we have to do a big chunk of rework.
SO: So you’re talking about class A and B docking ports, is that something that you’re looking at right now, to name it like that? Class A and class B?
DT: No, it’s just an example, they don’t have definite names right now, but they will be, it might be that the docking port becomes a component of it, but we’re still looking into this, because it would be weird if that docking port is always there on some ships, if people don’t need it, so then it might become a component, it might not, it depends on, we’ll see how this works in gameplay, so lots of experimentation. Because if I can put the docking port there, or I can put something else instead of the docking port that benefits me more cause I never want to dock with people, maybe that’s a better way. We’re always looking towards this modularity.
SO: So if you worked docking ports modularity, there can be something else..
DT: Yes, I mean, don’t take this for gospel, but this is, we’re always experimenting with this. If it works good, if it doesn’t, then we fall back to having it fixed, which is the easiest solution.
SO: Yes, okay, next question. What is the player cap you’re aiming for in 3.0 release, and can you elaborate what fleet combat sizes you’re looking for in 3.0, or 3. Releases?
DT: So right now there’s a lot of refactoring happening in the code, the networking code, for 3.0 we don’t know yet if what measure that refactoring will be effective. WE’re constantly looking on increasing the player count and, especially allowing players to jump from one server to the other based on their location, on who their friends are, stuff like this. But for now I can’t really predict this one. It’s in the works, that’s all I can tell you, but whether it will be ready for 3.0 release or it’s a bit further…
SO: It’s a netcode question
DT: Yes, so, even they would not be able to tell you exactly when. It’s a matter of when it’s working properly. So, it’s, it’s in the works, we’re pushing forward with this and it just takes time.
DT: Regarding fleet engagements, we would like to get it as big as possible. The main problem that comes here for us is that it’s not you’re fighting 10 ships vs. 10 ships or something like this, it’s just a matter of, for us, we have multiple people on those ships. So we have a multicrew ship, we have to sync to a lot more clients now, so we have to see what will limit, what can the guys in the ship received from all the other. Do we sync everything, do we sync less for them because maybe it’s not important that we sync every little thing that’s happening in the ship to ship combat, for them it’s more important that they manage the shields correctly and they see the situation on the ship, or they deal with the boarding party,so that's more important for the guys on the ship, so maybe that will take priority, it’s… again. Network code guys would be able to give you a lot more detail in how this will go eventually, but it, kinda that’s the idea behind it. It will take a while.
SO: Yeah, yeah, in the homestead demo, we were shown a huge sandstorm moving across the planet. Will we also see other natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions?
DT: So, what you saw there was an example of what we planned to do with our weather system, which is have a constantly changing weather on the planet, and the sandstorm actually travelling around and moving like a normal weather front. Whether we go into natural disasters more like on the planetary scale, it’s a bit more complicated. We would like to do earthquakes and all kind of random events, but like meteor showers and stuff like this. There is room for that, we’re looking into it, but when it comes to you mentioned volcanic eruptions or floods, those are a bit harder to do. I mean, we would love to do them, but there’s so much tech involved in having water physics wash everything or lava start flowing through the, in most games where we see lava it’s very, it’s either simplistic like in, I don’t know, minecraft type of game, it’s nice, gameplay wise, but it’s not looking to the standards of where we want Star Citizen to be. Or you have very scripted things, where it always flows exactly where it needs to flow and that’s the script of the movie. So, we, if we cannot reach our standards of quality, we’ll probably not go that way. We’ll have to see how far we can push the tech and if we manage to get the tech then eventually yes.
SO: So, meteorite showers…
DT: That is something that I’m… in my estimations, should be doable. It’s, even with the current tech we just, we don’t need that much to get something like that done. Sandstorm again was an example where, yes, there was a lot of work behind it, but it’s doable with current tech. When we’re talking lava rivers flowing and burning stuff down, that is far outside of what we have right now as tech
SO: Yeah, okay. Right. Will multicrew aspect of the game be touched anytime soon, for example different stations inside the ship's, better turreting, mechanics or working Merlins, etcetera? This hasn’t been touched in a while and only saw very little progression.
DT: Yes, definitely. It’s one of the things we’re looking at heavily right now. We’re looking at having multiple stations including engineering, tactical, we’re looking mainly from the perspective of capital ship, and namely the Idris for us right now, as it’s the main staging platform for SQ42, and we have guys working from the tactical battlesphere to how power gets routed inside the ship and how you can turn certain things on and off. There will be stations with controls where you can see when things overheat, things require more power, things have various problems and they need a maintenance crew being sent there.
So there will be these stations where you can command all these things. So we definitely- I mean, the first proper implementation of multi-crew was just the idea of having multiple people on that ship being able to do various things but it was a very early implementation - we definitely aren’t there yet, we’ve never thought that was the end of it, it was just the first step in a multi-crew direction.
I mean while they are functioning - you can say “yeah, there are turrets on the ship”, we never liked the idea of being completely “when the pilot goes the turret aiming goes completely ‘woah, I lost track of where everything I was doing because the pilot just took a sharp turn’”. That is something we’ll correct and we’ll try to have that turret have a bit of a smart ring where it tries to, when the ship goes left, the turret still still says in the same rather than following with the ship-
SO: Like modern tanks?
DT: Exactly, modern tanks already do this, they have the turrets completely independent from the tracks - so we will have that just as a matter of time with priorities of what to implement first but that is one of the first things that we will change for the multi-crew ships.
Yes, things will evolve from here, this is just the beginning of the multi-crew stuff. Especially- we’re thinking capital ship because once we have that working, we will have a lot of the items we need for the smaller multi-crew ship. Once this is done, all the small ones will benefit from that. It is our moment of glory when we have that Idris - all the stations on that Idris functioning as they should.
SO: Do you have any info on the non-combat game mechanics - it has been a while since we saw a design post about mining, engineering, etc. are those articles still up to date or did they drastically change during the process?DT: They didn’t drastically change, there are some changes. I can’t really give much detail until everything is again- set in stone because I don’t want to give false expectations - but there were some changes from our perspective - definitely for the better. Again, those were our first step into seeing what you guys like about mining, what you like about science, what you like about all these things.
For example, for mining, we’re still having mining as it is in the documents that are on the website but we’re kinda expanding this idea - we don’t only mining, it needs to be a resource gathering thing where you - from picking plants to gathering data about biological species to harvesting wood because you are freezing on the planet - it’s- the entire idea of gathering resources and the logistics of moving them and how we do that, there’s a lot of smaller little things that come as that - mining is one of them and there are lot of things that fall under the resource gathering.
The other side of things is the science part where it’s a lot less about gathering stuff - it’s more about analyzing and performing certain experiments and seeing how that goes - there is definitely a lot of work getting done on this part because once it is not finished- but in a state where you guys can have some fun with it, that’s where we will start learning more and more and end up in the live game.
As you’ve seen from the 3.0, there is a lot of professions coming in that is more about the cycle of pirate, transporter, mercenary - it’s like this vicious circle - this guy preys on this guy, this guy preys on this one and from here- this circle will keep expanding. This guy is gathering resources, this guy moved it to the refinery, this guy does- we’re trying to kind of create this vicious circle where everyone interacts with everyone rather than having “this is one career and it works on it’s own” - it never works on it’s own.
A pirate without transporters is pointless, a mercenary that doesn’t have transporters to defend or to fight or some reward to fight for - there is no point for him. Everyone has these ...
So, the more combat oriented professions we have, the more non-combat oriented professions we’ll need to add because these guys like to attack these guys and these guys like to develop and go away from these guys. So it’s an interesting gameplay where you’re trying to protect yourself while still doing your experiments or still mining or stuff like that. So, all of these professions have a bit of combat in them because people with combat will not leave you alone.
So yeah, it’s… we’re definitely not ignoring non-combat, this is something we’re keen on, we want those professions to prosper. Those are the money makers, the other guys are just preying on them, they’re stealing from them but these are what keeps the entire economy of the world going, is the mining, refining, producing, the scientists, the...all of this stuff definitely.
SO: Yes, it’s very interesting that you say like more gathering type of stuff, like...so maybe you can say the Reliant Sen is space’s exploration/science vessel so it would be more in the aspect of gathering certain things for science and exploration and like a 315p more of the exploration role.
DT: There’s different types of exploration where you go to a sun and analyze its corona and find if you can find some places where maybe some things can be harvested, sell that information to the harvesting guys who has the tools cause you might not have all the ships to do, you have one and you specialize and are very good in that thing and you do that part. You might have another ship that basically goes in a nebula and starts running experiments there and that’s completely different things or one that gathers bio samples and grows weird life species in space that can only grow in space because you’re in zero-G and you have a special room for them rather than on a planet.
So we want to run all these experiments and the results of these experiments will open up new technologies in the world which were not available before or maybe they were available to certain people but not you and your organization and your guys. So, that’s the beauty of having science in the game because it keeps the universe constantly evolving, it’s not a static thing like, ‘oh, I’ve learned everything there is nothing new for me’. There is constantly new things to discover and evolve the economy and the entire gameplay of the world.
SO: K, great. With improved cameras at our fingertips, what mechanisms will be in place to prevent ingame abuse of these camera views? For example, to get a tactical advantage over a battlefield situation in third person.
DT: So, it’s a bit of problem right now. It’s not a gigantic problem with third person camera because once you’re in third person, your shooting is not that good, you’d be basically a spotter at that point. You can see a bit more than other people can see but you’re not going to be good at shooting. We’re kinda looking into various other types of third person cameras which would restrict freedom or looking around so you can still see your character but it’s not if you have free flowing third person camera that you can angle around a corner and I hide here with my camera this way.
So, we’re also looking at that so if you want to inspect your character, look at your character and see all the gear and all the cool stuff or take a cool picture of your character with some nice background. We give you a camera for that but it might be… that’s not really tactical as you have almost no control over it in combat. That is another thing we’re looking into, detecting combat and when you’re in combat we would limit the third person camera functionality. This would prevent people that are anywhere near a gun being shot from going, ‘oh, third person camera. I’m going to look over this cover and see everything that’s happening here and if it’s ok then I’ll go and start shooting’.
So we’re kinda trying to restrict but I know you guys probably don’t like being… having a restricted third person camera but we’ll have to choose the lesser of two evils here because if people cheat with then we need find a solution around it. The other one would be to a very slow transition between the two cameras, so you come just go quickly from one to the other, if you want to look at third person camera for the beauty of it or because you like running in third person camera then fair enough but you should not be able to quickly transition from spying on your enemies to first person camera and headshotting everyone, cause you know exactly where they are.
SO: And in that way it will stay cinematic.
DT: Yeah you still have… Well cinematic is hard because you have your third person camera, third person camera will not give you, it gives you the opportunity to get in some nice shots of your character and nice backgrounds and maybe doing some recording in that mode, but you’ll not get the immersion you get in first person because that’s one of the man reasons we are a first person game because you’re there, you’re limited, you don’t know what’s happening here so you’re kind of [Looks around] “What the...”, You have to look everywhere and you feel like you’re constricted by your helmet and it’s a different feeling. When you go third person you are instantly relax. You go, “I see everything, I know what’s coming, I’m not getting an surprises”. So that’s why we’re making a first person game. Third person is there for some other extra activities and should not be used for cheating.
SO: Exactly. How will the overall PU system be able to deal with ping differences between players. Will some players have an advantage over others or will the system some how compensate for the ping difference.
DT: I don’t think we will compensate because most games don’t generally compensate, then you lose… When you start compensating for ping differences it becomes a slow, it’s not an action game anymore. You get what you get in most MMO’s they’re like running on a slow tick and usually you press a button and it takes awhile for an action to happen. That is not what we want, this needs to be an action instant, I push the button, the trigger goes and boom it flies it hits. It can’t be “Oh I’m estimating that the bullet will kind of hit”, we want that precision of if we have a guy that’s good at shooting, he needs to be good at shooting. If we add a lot of lag to everyone to help the guys with worse internet, then it won’t be fun for the other guys. You can’t make it… Compensating in FPS games or in space shooters same thing, it would not make this guy feel better about his lag, it will make everyone else feel as bad. Yes it will make everyone equal, but equally bad rather than some guy having a good experience and whoever has a bit slower internet will have a bad experience.
I guess server position will be very important here because if we have servers very close to the client then they will have better results, but they’ll probably get grouped more with people from their area because everyone, they’ll be playing with people that have the best ping on that server or cluster of servers rather than again, it’s a problem for the network guys and it’s way bigger than me, This is just what’s in my head of how this would probably work, but yeah I don’t think we’ll give a free advantage to someone who has a bad ping because then we’ll have to give the guys with the good ping.
SO: And especially because it’s a pretty skill based game.
SO: You don’t have like World of Warcraft where you have levels or anything.
DT: We’re talking, how Counterstrike or Quake or any, how do they feel with 200 milliseconds.
DT: It would not be fun anyway.
DT: Everyone will have a bad experience and that is not what we want.
SO: Exactly. Can you tell us more about the inevitable survival aspect of Star Citizen planetary gameplay. Chris Roberts hinted about building blocks for small rooms/buildings, that raises questions on surface gameplay will be. Will there be any ingame need for storing stuff physically or on a specific location.
DT: So there’s a lot of stuff being worked on right now about these planetary locations, especially smaller planetary location and modular bases and modular camps. We're looking into first starting them on the NPC side. It’s not a city or a town, we’re talking like the moisture farm in Star Wars or like small clusters of building that someone just dropped from space and they put together to create a small little base of operation where they’re harvesting something or they’re doing some research or have a drug lab.
SO: Like an outpost.
DT: Exactly. So tiny little outposts and then ideally we want to open that at some point to you guys so you can build your own and try the stuff. So we don’t want to build stuff that’s only for one side of the thing. Ideally if it’s good enough it should be open for the player. One of Chris’ philosophies is that if the AI can do something the player needs to be able to do something. This is a 100% living world with all the stuff being interactable by everyone. It’s not … we’re not going do a scripted thing where “Oh, only these guys have access to the cool stuff! You, ‘cause you’re the player, you only have access to what we give you.” No, it needs to be for everyone.
So there will be storage. You’ll be adding stuff, collecting minerals - or whatever you want to do in that area - and stocking it. And you’ll have to bring supplies. You’ll have to bring … you’ll have to bring food, you’ll have to bring water. You’ll have to bring everything you need for daily life there. It won’t be “Oh, I just here and I’ll survive forever.” No. If your ship … if you crash on the planet somewhere you better have someone come and rescue you because you’ll start to starve; you’ll start to slowly die.
SO: Yeah, so …
DT: It won’t be like “Oh, you crashed. You have no water. You’re dead!” No, it will take a while. We’ll give you ample opportunity of finding something to eat or hunting something. Or stealing some resources from someone else. Or calling for someone to pick you up. But if you’re still there after a few days - and not eating, not drinking - you’re health will start to degrade to the point where …
SO: So it’s a totally different game aspect. Completely.
DT: There’s a lot of … That’s Star Citizen. There’s a lot of gameplay loops into one game.
DT: There’s a lot of … you go from “I’m alone in a desert searching for water” to “I’m flying in a fleet of battleships attacking a space station.” Goes from this … it’s the eye to the to the … to the … what was it, the universe? The planet. From the eye to the planet. And ...
SO: Yeah. “Pupil to planet”.
DT: … it has all that micro to macro gameplay.
SO: So the outposts will be modular I guess?
SO: The outposts?
SO: Will be modular as well I guess?
SO: Just like the … we saw recently the satellites system?
DT: Yes. It’s very similar. It consists of various prefabricated building you could call them. They’re like … yeah, they’re modules that come together. And there’s modules of various sizes and how you purpose them or how … what you do with them they’ll be “Oh, this one I’ll … it’s good enough for a laboratory. This one is good enough for my storage of crates. This one is good for beds and showers.” So you’ll be able to take one exterior and modularise it with different interiors for what you need that unit to be. And then you can connect it to another unit which does your, I don’t know, harvesting of … or it’s your power supply unit, and this is where you control the power for the entire settlement. Depends on how big you want it. It could be one room or you can expand to … you’ll have to bring the fences …
DT: … you’ll have to make sure you can survive the weather on the planet - which will also be an element that’s important. So you might have planets in which survival … just because you are there doesn’t mean you’ll survive. It might be that overnight you get -100 degrees. You’ll freeze to death. Again you have to have enough power to run all the heaters to keep that base warm enough for you to survive the night. And so on.
Might be planets that have acidic atmospheres. So not all of them will be Earth-like.
SO: Yeah. But in theory you can say that organisations can build a small town with different outputs?
DT: This … we’ll have to see how much you can expand this but we’ll definitely first start with smaller and smaller things. It’s the best way to go. If we start with small we can expand. If it’s big it’s hard to manage.
DT: So we’d like to see it working small: one, two guys have an operation on the planet’s surface. They’re doing something there that they need to extract something or do something. They have a drug lab. They’re trying to smuggle somethings. And then we’re going to expand it where you go “Oh, okay this … this pirate organisation is creating their entire drug distribution network - they have silos where they store the chemical compounds they need and they’re building this. And they have landing strips where ships come, load up and go to sell to whatever quadrant. It can go from small to big but we’d rather start with small. It’s the wise thing to do. Otherwise …
SO: Of course.
DT: … we’re going to run into a lot of problems.
SO: Of course.
DT: And again first we’ll start with the NPC side of things.
SO: And look at what works.
DT: Of course. Yes.
SO: Several professions have had their game mechanics explained, primarily combat and trading related, could you elaborate more on the medical profession and its gameplay as it’s considered one of the more important professions according to the Hope class Endeavor variant article on CommLink. How are the Cutlass Red and the Hospital ship, and therefore medical module, positioned to play a significant role in combination with the medical role and the medical game mechanics of the character?
DT: This is a tough one to answer because it’s still very early. It’s … we’ve been looking into science. We’ve been looking into what the Endeavor can do. There is a lot of ideas but still we need a proper gameplay loop. This needs to become fun for the player to do. And it will kind of come together with all of the things that can happen to the character and how you can recover from those things and all the “rescue” part of things where you get called “Oh, this is an emergency. You have to go there.” But there is no unified design right now where we want to take this 100% so calling it would be a bit early.
DT: I’m sure it will be … you guys will hear about this as we move through the careers. One of the careers we have on the line is the medical one. But it’s still not … set in stone yet. And as the other careers make it to the live servers, we’ll also learn a lot more about what you guys like to do and this will influence the new careers coming in. It’s there. It’s coming. But I can’t give any details without maybe upsetting certain people if stuff changes in the meantime.
SO: Yeah, yeah.
DT: Yeah. It’s a fragile thing. People love their … they dream in one direction and then if you change that later they’re going to be upset about it.
DT: And we don’t want don’t want to do that. It’s … yeah, it’s coming. It’s getting there. As soon as there is more details we’ll make it public as per usual. That’s what we do.
SO: And then there’s a question about player AI. When fighting like in Arena Commander against the Vanduul, they don’t eject out of their ship because it’s a warrior race. But now when we are still fighting pirates, they’re just humans, will we see them ever eject?
DT: So there’s a big … there’s a big push that we’re doing right now in AI. AI right now we have our ship AI, we have our FPS AI. It need’s to be our FPS AI is controlling the ship. It’s not the ship that’s flying: it’s the guy thinking about flying the ship. That includes “Oh, I’m in danger my ship’s going to blow up. My behaviour says ‘eject’.”
In the case of the Vanduul they won’t eject. They will be going “I’m going to die. Where’s my nearest target that I can crash into?” So that’s a difference of behaviour. Each person will try to do something different.
And that will be also driven by - again this is another thing that we are working on right now - it’s the set of skills and attributes and traits that each NPC has which means if he’s a coward he might eject sooner. If he’s a brave guy he might try to take you out with him. So based on their characteristics they will react differently when that moment comes of ejection or of “Oh, I’m damaged I’m going to quantum jump out of here just to save my ass!”
Some will do that. Some will not. Depends … when you build a team of … when you build your wingman you’ll be able to go “Oh, I’ll choose that guy because he’ll never leave me behind. He’ll not try to run away from the battle.” So that will be an interesting part of your crew management for a ship. So you’ll try to get brave pilots.
But again everyone had pluses and minuses. They will be more or less equal when you win … when you get a guy that’s a sharpshooter he might be an alcoholic so he might have blackouts during the fight! So we’ll have to … everything will be kind of balanced and the player will just have to choose what he wants from his AI that he hires in his crew for the ships, or for escorts
DT: or stuff like that.
SO: It’ll be funny if you get a coward as crew and you’re flying your Connie and the Vanduul attacks and they suddenly just …
DT: Everyone goes to the escape pods “Whaaaaa!”
SO: … and there you are!
DT: Yeah. It would be pretty tragic for you but …
DT: … it would a fun moment.
SO: It will be. It will be. So what is your experience of the offline/online Star Citizen community?
DT: Pretty good. Pretty … I’m still amazed. I have not played a game of this size, with this many people - an online game obviously - with people that are so nice. It’s rare. Generally people either hate each other or everyone’s a noob or everyone’s “Oh, you’re a new guy. You don’t know anything.” So it has been an amazing thing just … people constantly try to help each other. They try to “Oh, you want to do that? Can I join? Can I try to do this with you?” Everyone wants to experience some new things. It’s a very interesting type of people that game attracts. And we’re ever grateful because usually having a bad community for a game spells doom for that game. And we’re just amazed.
And on the side of that is meeting people in person for the Bar Citizen stuff and all the GamesCom, CitizenCon we did. It is … that is just amazing. It’s the … you guys are … I haven’t seen any other game that attracts so much passion from the community. It’s people just go like … it’s not a step further it’s ten steps further!
It’s just like … you guys sometimes are - especially when it comes to the bigger organisations - you’re probably better organised than we are. There’s people who have business cards that look better than any business card I’ve ever seen. They come with suits with like ... stuff with the organisation logos and stuff like this. It’s really funny when we go for GamesCom stuff like this. We’re just the guys usually “Oh, we’re just in a black t-shirt” and stuff like this. All the other guys who come from the organisation come with organisation logos and all of them dress the same. Super organised. And they know everything. It’s really nice to be part of something like this. It’s a really rare thing in the games industry to have this community behind a game. That’s amazing.
SO: Thank you. Okay great. Well thank you again. These were all the questions we had. Maybe you would like to say something to the Bar Citizen community.
DT: Have fun guys. It’s amazing that you guys are doing this Bar Citizen thing. It’s just humbling for us how much you guys come together and how much effort and soul you put in this thing. And just have fun. We’re looking forward to seeing this happen again next year and hopefully we come visiting. And drink a lot of beer. Drink at least one for me! Bye bye.
SO: Thank you.
SO: Brian with explorational planet sites becoming a reality in the not too distant future what can we expect in the long …
SO: Another question. With improved camera soon at our fingertips options what mechanisms with …
SO: Hi there. Welcome for …
SO: Okay first question Brian. With exploration of planet sites …
DT: Woah, stop there. I’m Dan!
[End of Transcript]
Stay tuned for more interviews coming from the Bar Citizen event in Utrecht, Netherlands.
https://relay.sc/transcript/happy-hour-friday-january-13th-2017-highlightsHappy Hour: Friday, January 13th, 2017 - Highlights2017-01-13T21:26:00+00:002017-01-13T21:28:27+00:00CanadianSyruphttps://relay.sc/contributor/CanadianSyrup
The show today featured live gameplay of Star Marine on build 2.6.0 which is currently on live servers. Joined by them today was streamer Myre who originated from DayZ and found out about Star Citizen through hearing about people talk about it in game. Also on the show was Todd Papy, Design Director at Foundry 42 Frankfurt and Producer, Alex Marschal from Frankfurt as well. The show mainly consisted of trash talking, banter, and general conversation, but also included some Q&A which I've highlighted below, enjoy!
2.6.1. is currently being worked on, they'll be coming out with a schedule like we saw for 2.6.0 sometime in the next week or two.[Is there a backstory to the Demien level?] The backstory was that this station was taken by pirates in system that had been overrun and a massacre happened where blood was splattered all over the walls and the Marines were sent to clean the system up. Eventually they will be adding those blood effects to the level.[Blood in Zero-G] It will exist, but there are things that take priority first over other features. As features come out they’ll either take things from Star Marine to the PU and vice versa.[Gadgets] They will be adding gadgets, but one of the important things is adding reviving as they can then turn off spawning. With Gadgets Todd talked about wanting to make them more modular. An example being taking EMP and putting it on a grenade or attaching it to a drone, and giving players freedom to customise their gadgets as they please.[Game modes] Todd would love to add an asymmetrical mode that adds vehicles and ships to make a hybrid between Star Marine and Arena Commander.[Ballistic Sniper Rifle] It’s in the works. They’re designing different ammo types so that firing a different type of round makes a difference in what armour you encounter or how you decide to suit up and defend yourself.[The Difference Heavy armour will make in SM] Todd has to get it approved first from Chris, but they way they want armour to work is light armour is fast and mobile on ground, whereas heavy armour is slow and cumbersome. In EVA it’s the opposite because the heavy armour can equip better thrusters due to the extra power the suit can generate, and as such the light armour is slower in EVA because it doesn’t have the same capability. Medium armour is the jack of all trades essentially.[Feedback from SM has been that it’s quite fast, thoughts?] They agree because certain features are missing like Stamina which affects breathing and oxygen. Limb damage penalties are coming as well such as blurry vision or recoil increase from damage to your arms. The knockdowns, revives are other features as well which will go a long way to slowing gameplay down as they’ll take out respawns when revives are implemented in SM.Different armours, Light, Medium, Heavy will affect gameplay as well.They fixed an issue where the armour soaked up too much damage which will go into 2.6.1.[REC for SM] They’re working on implementing that just the way it does in AC. Eventually they’ll have REC only be available in SM/AC and UEC will be for the PU[How do the new ranks work?] It’s just by score for now.[AI in Star Marine] It’s something they’ve talked about and have it be more of a way to test things that the internal team may not be able to see, but it’s not ready for primetime yet.[Will there ever be a spectator camera for private matches for tournaments?] It’s a good idea, but they haven’t really talked about that as they’re focused on other features currently.[How does Radar work currently?] It doesn’t work to its full potential yet, there’s much more tuning involved to getting it to where they want it to be.[Is there a story behind Marines VS Outlaws?] It started out as what they wanted Marines and Outlaws to look like in Star Citizen.Down the road, players will be able to fully customize their armour how they want it to look and feel.They would love players to be able have colour customisation on armour in SM, but that’s far down the line and their focus is on features at the moment.[Any weapons you’d like to see in Star Marine?] One of the goals is getting the Railgun in. They also want an SMG in multiple variants, ballistic shotguns, etc.Takes about three weeks to a month to get a weapon modelled and in the game, animations and balance take more time.That's all for the highlights, check out the Youtube video for Star Marine gameplay and the general conversation that went on during the show.
https://relay.sc/transcript/around-the-verse-special-edition-alien-languagesAround the Verse: Special Edition - Alien Languages2017-01-12T20:13:00+00:002017-01-12T21:32:53+00:00CanadianSyruphttps://relay.sc/contributor/CanadianSyrup TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Today's show was about the Alien Languages: Vanduul, and Xi'An created by Britton Watkins, a Language Specialist at CIG.Britton has worked on and created languages for the past 6 years in Hollywood from projects Lovecraftian Mythos, to his own language in his Indie Sci-Fi film called Cen. He also worked on teaching Klingon for the movie StarTrek Into Darkness and is fluent in the Avatar language: Na'vi.The Vanduul are capable of communicating verbally as well as visually through hand gestures and changing the colour of their bodies.The Vanduul written language started out with the equivalent of three fingers or claws. They sometimes used their claws to mark whoever their victim was and each symbol was unique and over time they accumulated into a set of symbols that could be understood by many, just as the human language evolved. With Space it evolved to the point where it could be used on computers and suchXi'An is spelled the same, but spoken differently depending if you're speaking formally, or informally. "SHEE'ahn" is formal, where as "Shahn" is informal. This is due to the 30 year mandatory military service each Xi'An has to go throughThe Xi'An will refer to people as "Lae", but if they really like you they may give you the honour of calling you "i".
Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42).
Patrice Maiambana (PM): [Speaking Vanduul]
Andy Serkis (AS): [Speaking Vanduul]
Chris Roberts (CR): Both Andy and Patrice weren’t speaking English obviously, they were speaking Vanduul which is a made up language, but a proper language that was created by Britton Watkins who’s a specialist in creating languages and actually does it for films.
PM: [Speaks Vanduul] [Laughs] Konlang apparently that’s what it’s called. Constructed language.
AS: Yeah the language is very guttural. It’s kind of [Makes a awkk” Sound], lots of [Makes a “Hhccc” sound] sounds and you know [Makes a “hkkk], there’s a lot of that going on.
PM: [Speaks Vanduul]AS: Yeah it’s quite rich and it’s very fun to do.
Dave Haddock (Lead Writer), Britton Watkins (Language Specialist).
David Haddock (DH): Hello I am Dave Haddock, Lead Writer over here at Cloud Imperium Games. I’m joined today by
Britton Watkins (BW): Britton Watkins, nice to meet you all. I’m here working on the languages, the non human languages for the Vanduul and for the Xi'An.
DH: What is your sort of history with language?
BW: I’ve had about five to six years experience with Hollywood related Xeno linguistics including right now doing my own documentary on constructive languages.
I’ve created several languages including the Ocklow language from the Lovecraftian Mythos. My own language from my own Indie Sci-fi film called Cen. Worked on Star Trek: Into Darkness teaching Zoey and the Klingons their own Klingon lines so lots of different activities involved with alien languages and Xenolinguistics.
DH: And you’re also involved with Avatar too right?
BW: I do know the Na’vi language from Avatar and that’s really kind of my gateway into this whole world I guess. [Speaks Na’vi] I can speak Na’vi fluently and it’s a lot of fun. It’s an interesting global community of people who like alien languages.
DH: What has brought you onto Star Citizen and do we have you tasked with doing?
BW: Well in this big universe and on this fascinating set of interrelated projects, I’m doing right now two different languages for the franchise and they are Vanduul and Xi'An, Also known as Xian.
DH: We’ll get to that a little bit later. So let's kick off with the Vanduul, I know a lot of the backers were excited to hear just some inkling of the language from the Andy Serkis, Squadron 42 thing. So when you’re approaching a language like this, specifically with the Vanduul. What was your approach to it? How did you approach tackling that language?
BW: Well I looked at… I mean it’s kind of a standard process to see in the writing what names, personally names, place names, sometimes there’s some concepts that already exist that are alien that show up in the backstory. So I looked at that for the phenology or the sounds that would end up in the language and then they have a very interesting ability to talk verbally and in other ways too and I took that into consideration, and essentially wanted something that sounded as powerful as they are and also not too related to other languages of course. I mean it’s what we would call in linguistics an “Isolate”, it’s not related to anything else we know of yet.
BW: So I took all those factors into play and it's, you know has a combination of a strength and an elegance to it I hope.
DH: And one of these things you’ve mentioned was the nonverbal aspects of it and that was one of the things that I remember when we were first talking about it: So there’s the spoken language and then there was the bioluminescent of them and the application of that bioluminescent in addition to the language adds another depth of meaning. How do you tackle something like that?
BW: Well the bioluminescent is again something that will play out as the final visuals and the final kind of innate sense of the characters is developed. I looked at the ability to express things with Bioluminescent as a way to add an extra layer of tone or mode into the language and they’re also some gestures, some body gestures, arm, you know hand gestures that fit well into the fact that it’s also a military culture so there are times when silence is required, but you still need to give orders so the idea that they have a full verbal grammatical language is based on sound, but also visually are able to queue each other with body movements or changes in colour or other control over those elements of their unique physiology. It just made up a tapestry where the different elements overlap each other in certain cases.
DH: Now, with the written language for them, we just got out of a really exciting meeting where you pitched an approach that you would take to how their actual script developed. Kind of walk us through that process because I think the backers would really get a kick out of it.
BW: Well the Vanduul have basically have the equivalent of three fingers or talons-
BW: -claws, yeah that relate or equate to our fingers and I imagined that when they conquered whoever it was that they were conquering that they might actually use their talons to tag their prey if you will or their vanquished victims.
DH: Right, right.
BW: So in that sense I imagined symbols that they might each have as a unique identifier and then looked at the evolution of that into a formal writing system that maybe later in their culture would apply to their language - so they would take these symbols that were originally for this hero or this commander or this whomever it was in their history and re-use those symbols to become eventually something that is phonetic and useful for representing the written language. Again, evolving over time as any kind of spoken or written language will.,
DH: So the individual characters will basically represent a person that did something that was reflective of that character in a sense.
BW: Well, originally yes, you can imagine a sort of pantheon of heroes, for example, who through old history come down as being famous and with that also the symbol that got carved into whatever that individual conquered and those symbols eventually taking on a specific meaning or value and again, any kind of culture that uses symbols for communication and by symbols, I mean any kind of abstract symbols, could take those classic images from history and then incorporate them into the way they document their spoken language or whatever their version of writing the language down-
BW: -happens to be. Over time that could evolve into something that again is normal, logical orthography - a normal writing system.
BW: They are a space faring society so clearly they need to write language tools to engage in the science that they need to be a spare faring society - something that could have been something very old and traditional can evolve into something that’s very contemporary.
DH: So you have these heroes that basically had marked enemies that they killed or cities that they burned and stuff like that - so how did you come up with that kind of imagery?
BW: To go through the process of what I imagine might happen on the battlefield as somebody's scratching their tag into something else. I actually came up with three polymer clay talons or claws and put them on my own fingers and disabled my pinky and thumb and figured out what actual designs might look like.
So it was a process of sticking them on and getting out some tinfoil and making impressions in the foil and cutting out the shapes and seeing what they look like in this raw form they might have thousands of Vanduul years ago and then imagining how that would evolve into a set of unique characters that are visually distinct from each other and then how that might after a couple thousand of years and lots of technical innovation be something that might show up on a ship monitor for example.
DH: So go from claw mark to ship monitor thought.
BW: Yes, I mean, why not? The same thing happened in western society with chisels in stone and quills on parchment and the tools change over time and the language, both spoken and written, will evolve to suit where the culture is at the time.
I approach it in the same way it might have happened again with western tools out of the European evolution - even lowercase writing is an innovation that came about much later than original writing.
In Asia, there is a lot of influence of brush and ink and what happened and how the letterforms started looking. So we started everything from claw one, claw two and claw number three.
DH: Right, right, and yeah, it had this great calligraphic look in the beginning but as you see it get ported over into computer screens it gets a little bit more refined and with some new innovations added onto it and stuff like that - but you could see- pull out the foundational, traditional if you can call it that-
BW: Right. Writing is just a tool that humans or non-humans invent to make everything go more smoothly with all of the elements of culture that writing used to be a part of.
BW: You might need a special notation for music for example or you might need a special notation for a specific branch of mathematics for example and these are all just tools. So we imagined how it might be used as a tool and might have evolved as tool in Vanduul culture and society.
DH: Right, right. I remember you actually put together ... when we were doing the original Vanduul motion capture … you put together a sort of packet and when we were doing auditions and stuff like that for some of the … for the actor who was playing the Occuri, there were certain vocal qualities that you were looking for. From your experience is there a human physiology that lends itself better to being able to pronounce these languages. I mean what were the qualities that you were looking for with that type of stuff?
BW: Well with the actual performers I was just looking for a broad range of abilities to produce vowels and consonants that not everyone has in every language. So we have, for example, in Vanduul in the phrase [speaks vanduul] we have [vanduul sound] is a very unusual vowel that we don’t really have in English.
BW: And at the end of [vanduul sound], at the end of that sentence we have a glottal stop which in English we don’t typically make at the end of words like that very often. So the ability of the actors to listen to me having recorded what they are supposed to be saying, and then listen to that and - without too much pain or crying - reproduce it is the kind of quality that I look for in that side of the talent. A kind of innate linguistic ability. Part of it is mimicry, but part of it is also just being able to hear a sound and …
DH: And reproduce it.
BW: … have your brain know to move the parts of your mouth in order to get that to come out without too much pain and suffering.
[Patrice Naimbana speaking Vanduul phrases]
BW: And I will say that the people who have worked so far were extremely talented.
DH: Yeah, they’re pretty grand.
BW: And the burden on me was almost zero because they were cast so well.
DH: Yeah, they really … and they got really into it too. You could … we’d also talked about - earlier - about the non-verbal stuff which is kind of what helps elevates the Vanduul into truly an alien language because it’s something that’s intrinsic to them. ‘Cause only they have that combination of stuff. But yeah, when they were developing some of the hand gestures and … the things on set, it was really … incredible to watch.
BW: Yeah the language has these kind of “mood particles” that come, that tend to come, at the end of phrases or at the end of sentences. And those often accompany movements and instead of my doing that we thought it would be … you know, as a kind of “this is what you must do for the gestures” …
BW: … we thought it would be better to involve them and let them come up with the gestures as a function of how they felt about …
BW … the emotion of what they were saying.
DH: Playing the scene.
BW: And then I’ll get to put those in a “gesture dictionary” and publish them for everybody who cares to learn the gestures.
DH. Right, right. So actually just moving on to the Xi'An for a second. So you’re also sort of developing this one in tandem with the Vanduul. And we actually shot some of it … you worked up a very rough sketch of it early on for some performance capture shoot that we were doing. It’s interesting because it was always the thing in the community - which you alluded to earlier - of “how do I pronounce it?” Is it Xi'An or Xi'An? I think you finally have given us a solid answer.
BW: Well it was interesting to me when I joined the project to hear, in the same meeting, clearly different people referring to the same people …
DH: Yeah, probably in the same sentence too!
BW: … same culture in … using different labels. But I only ever saw it spelled one way so I imagined “Okay, what kind of parallels do we have to this in English or in other languages?” And frequently there are registers or dialects that are not always reflected in spellings. So there’s one standard spelling that’s usually more proper and formal and would be used in books or paper letters or what not. And then there’s the way people really talk.
BW: And in the Xi'An society, or the Xi'An society, they do about 30 years of compulsive military service. So it seemed to me that there could easily be a dialect, there could be this register of language that was used primarily in the military but if everybody’s doing military service then they would all have this shared, second …
BW: … dialect.
DH: Right, right.
BW: In their society now we are going to be sharing the fact that there is this kind of formal polite language of government and art and education. And then there’s the language that everybody spoke for 30 years in the military. And depending on what you are doing you might switch register. You might use the different dialects. So if you’re out with your buddies getting intoxicated you’re more likely to be referring to yourself as Xi'An. And if you are in front of a delegation from another planet then you are more likely to be the Xi'An.
BW: So we’ve come up with an interesting way to differentiate that …
BW: … in the pronunciation and some of the slang and other things. So it should be a lot of fun.
DH: Historically we’ve presented them with this very austere, very stoic - it’s considered immature to show emotion, all that type of stuff - and I think it’s easy for people to forget that they are … there’s more to them than that. Like there is this side of them - and this helps bring that out - that there’s this side to them that … there’s another layer that you can get to if you … if you are familiar with them enough. Like if you are good enough friends with the Xi'An they might feel … okay talking in this more military slang with you. Which is a lot of fun.
BW: Yeah, if they’re meeting you for the first time and the language that is being spoken is Xi'An then they’re more likely to refer to you as ‘lae’ but if you’re getting intoxicated or you’ve known somebody for several years and you’re hanging out with them then they might do you the honour of casually calling you ‘I’ instead of ‘lae’ so that kinda… you would know you’re kinda an insider…
DH: Right, right.
BW: If you get referred to as ‘I’ instead of ‘lae’ by a Xi'An.
DH: That’s awesome, we have these two dialects basically.. are they technically dialects?
BW: You could refer to them as dialects or a register, the more linguistic term is one is in a higher register and one is in a lower register…
BW: But let’s call them dialects, we have the standard dialect and we have the military dialect.
DH: Could you give sorta an example of what… how they would sound? Cause you said written wise they’re the same.
BW: Yeah, so if we think about the funny sentence, Thlon sucks at making jokes, Thlon being a character name with ‘Thl’... T, H, L being kinda a unique sound that they have in the Xi'An language. If we said that in the standard dialect, we’d get ‘Olay ha twa Thlon weth owa’ however in the military dialect, we’d get ‘Olay had dwad dron vedo vava’. So, it’s different, I mean it’s… the vowels are pretty much the same but a lot of the other sounds change in the two dialects. So you wouldn’t necessarily recognize the word ‘wawa’ as ‘vava’.
BW: They sound quite different if you’re filtering them through English.
BW: But the Xi'An or the Xi'An would filter ‘wawa’ and ‘vava’ is the exactly the same word - one of them is just slangy and maybe sounds seldom like where I was born in South Carolina.
DH: [laughs] Right, how much do real world languages factor into your design into it? I know that you would stress an eagerness to allude to current languages but not make it recognizable to speakers of that language. So how does that work?
BW: Well, we- you’re doing performance capture, you’re doing motion capture with live actors so they need to be able to pronounce everything - so the phonologies of these languages are pronounceable by human beings, 100%, and they will be pronounceable by talented game players and other people who want to learn to make those sounds so we had to start with a normal human palette - we are not creating sounds in a computer that human beings can’t make and using those as consonants or vowels for example.
BW: So there’s that baseline of using normal human phonology but beyond that we want to put the pieces of that language together in a way that’s unusual and different and kind of fun and surprising.
So Vanduul, for example, is much more of a synthetic language where pieces tend to clump together to make longer words and Xi'An or Xi'An tends to be more analytic - where words tend to be shorter and more independent of each other.
So we are taking these ideas of synthetic language or analytic language from human, natural languages and also incorporating that into what we’re doing in the intentional design of these languages for these cultures so that they a richer sense of authenticity. The tapestry of the way all the pieces and parts of the language is woven together is not ‘oofa doofa doofa doopa fupa’ - just something people just made up a bunch of sounds but they are actually grammatical and they will have vocabularies and hopefully a certain segment of the fanbase and the players will take that and run with it and enjoy it and get a whole other level of linguistic exposure and depth out of the project.
DH: Well, Britton, thanks for taking some time and sitting down with us. I’m sure like I said, all the backers are thrilled you are on board and are chomping at the bit I’m sure to see some of the work you’ve come up with. But that’ll do it for this segment, thank you all for joining us, do you have any final words for the backers?BW: Thanks so much Dave, and I just want to encourage everybody to get excited about learning Xi'An and Xi'An - the same thing, by the way - and I’d also to encourage everyone to be excited about learning Vanduul because it’s a really cool language.
https://relay.sc/transcript/loremakers-guide-to-the-galaxy-banshee-systemLoremaker's Guide to the Galaxy: Banshee System 2017-01-11T20:00:00+00:002017-01-14T06:44:30+00:00StormyWintershttps://relay.sc/contributor/StormyWinters TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Banshee is the only star system currently that has a pulsar in the centre with jump points connecting to it Banshee is at the centre of four planets: Leir, Garron, Tamsa and ForaBanshee was initially discovered from the Fora system in 2317Adaliz Dayan of the Immram Association, a group of terraformers and explorers in the Fora system, found the initial jump into the Banshee system. She sent coordinates back to the other member of the association who rushed out to see what was there but she was nowhere to be foundThe Immram Association called in the government who scanned the coordinates to discover the jump point, they went in to find there was a pulsar at the centre of the systemAdaliz Dayan was nowhere to be found and most suspect she succumbed to radiation. The system was named Banshee in her honour after the nickname she used in the Sataball arena The government decided to keep the existence of Banshee quiet as there were a lot of dangers in the system In the 26th century after having hid this for 2-3 centuries and after overpopulation of Earth there was a court case called Minto vs UPE that in the end lead to a decision that humanity’s government could not hide jump points into systems from the general population and to hold the government accountable for their discoveriesThe system initially only had a very small habitable zone but this was changed with advancements in technologyResearchers during the first Tevarin war tried to develop a system to weaponize solar electromagnetic radiation which didn’t work but they managed to develop structures that could capture this electromagnetic radiation and turn it into energy.These structures are very prominent on Lorona. Once this technology was developed and put into use, corporations started coming to the system and use this technology to get some of the resources, this is how human habitation started in this system Banshee I is closest to the pulsar, rocky dwarf planet, it has small pockets of minerals but these are hard to get due to it’s location so close to the pulsarBanshee II, terrestrial iron planet with an iron core, heavily irradiated surface from the pulsar Standing mystery with this planet is that the Messers cut out specific chunks of the planet’s surface and no one knows why or what they wanted to do with these heavily irradiated pieces of Banshee IILorona (Banshee III) is a terrestrial planet with vast resources, this planet is still deadly to humans so all landing zones and habitation is underground There is element of rich lifestyle in terms of shopping and good restaurants as mining executives do work there but most of the population is subsistent minersMiners have their own little settlements but if you’re not a resident it’s not recommended you through the tunnels alone as some encampments are not nice to people who are not from the planetLorona is also known for a pastry delicacy known as a Beutrempe, a sweet and savoury pastry Banshee IV, ice giant on the fringes of the system A company called the Cenote Concern tried to use this planet as an industrial source of heavy water for mining operations, this endeavour failed and bankrupt the company It is recommended before you visit the Banshee system you do any necessary repairs and refueling before going because getting out of your ship to do this in the system could be a deadly task
Adam Wieser: Hi, my name’s Adam Wieser and I’m Associate Writer here at Cloud Imperium Games and welcome to another installment of Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy. For those who aren’t familiar with the show, this is a chance for a member of the Lore team to sit down and give you a personal tour of one of the systems you’ll be exploring in the game, in Star Citizen and possibly Squadron 42. In this installment we’re going to be looking at a very special system in the UEE because at the centre of it is a very unique, at least...a unique star for us to be… have habitation or have habitable planets around. This week we’re going and looking at the system Of Banshee.
So, let’s….we’re starting off here as always at Earth and using our handy little Starmap, we’ll type in Banshee and we will head on out to the system. As we fly on down Banshee is a four planet system that is...that is officially a UEE system and at the heart here as we zoom on in is what makes it so special and that’s a pulsar. Now you can see it kinda here in the Starmap representation, pulsing a little bit bigger and smaller and that’s not technically what a pulsar would be in real life. It would actually be spinning very, very fast… be highly magnetized and have these beams of electromagnetic radiation coming out of both sides of the pole. So, it almost becomes a lighthouse effect, where these beams kinda spin around.
Now this makes them very easy to see from a distance, you can actually time the rotation and see where they are… these beams of radiation but it also makes it very difficult to live around because that radiation is deadly to living species and to ships. Now these pulsars are basically very interesting because they were formally massive stars that went supernova, like a giant explosion and then suffered gravitational collapse where all the mass being held together all of the sudden just kinda comes and gets pulled and gets tighter and tighter and denser and more compact form of matter. Somehow in this process we still… in this day and age still don’t know exactly how it happens, all these elements end up kinda spinning and bringing...shooting these beams of electromagnetic radiation out from the magnetic poles of the actual star. Not the actual north/south, they’re slightly off centre which makes them a little easier to see for us.
Now in Star Citizen, Banshee is the only star system currently that has a pulsar at the centre and has jump points connecting to it. This has led some scientists to theorize that maybe the pulsar being at the centre of the system maybe actually leads to unstable jump points or doesn’t have the… or doesn’t really aid in their formation but somehow in someway we discovered the jump point in Banshee and have decided to inhabit the system for reasons you’ll see in a little bit.
Now as we back out, we see that Banshee here is connected to four planets, most of them… it’s kinda out in the edges here. You’ve got Leir which is unclaimed, you’ve got Garron which is developing, Tamsa which has a black hole at the centre so you won’t be able to visit it currently as the UEE discovers it and the fourth… this was where the system was initially discovered, Fora back in 2317.
In 2317 there were a lot of terraforming workers that were in the Fora system and a bunch of them decided to ban together and create something called the Immram Association. Now this was a group of amateur explorers that when they weren’t helping terraform planets in Fora, were out searching, looking for jump points just because it was still very early in human expansion and exploration of space and this was something a lot of them were very, very interested in.
Now Immram in a reference to Banshee has Irish origins. Immram is actually an ancient Irish kinda folktale that involves a hero going on a quest and normally, in a boat, and normally journey to another world. So decided to call the group that found the system the Immram Association as a nice little reflection back to Ireland and the name that’s involved here. So, it was actually one Adaliz Dayan who found the initial jump into the Banshee system from Fora and well she found it before she went through she sent the coordinates to all the other members of the association.
They rushed out to that part of the system to see what she had found, not only to discover that she wasn’t there anymore and they weren’t quite sure what was in that area. They did pick up… they did pick up some weird anomalies, some radiation in there and they grew concerned that something dangerous or deadly could have happened to Dayan. So, at the time the other members of the Immram Association actually contacted the… humanity’s government. This is 2317, it’s pre-UEE, it’s pre-UPE, it’s pre-UNE, there was no formalized centre of government for all of humanity at that time.
So they tried to contact the powers that be just to let them know there was something funky going on in this area which brought out… which brought out the government military pathfinder to come and search this section of space. As they went and they scanned these coordinates, they were able to discover the jump point and the military went in behind and as they came in behind that’s when they realized this deadly pulsar was at the centre of the system.
Now no one knows exactly the fate of Adaliz Dayan once she went through the jump point, most suspect that she came through and her ship basically got a little too close to the pulsar, succumbed to radiation and just continued to drift off into space forever. That said, as a way to honour her and her discovery of the system, the members of the Immram Association decided to name the system Banshee after Adaliz’s nickname in the Sataball arena. She was called Banshee so they thought it would be a perfect way to kinda honour her while at thee same time warning others of the dangers of venturing into the system with all the radiation spilling out of this pulsar.
Now once the government, the form of government that was around at that time realized that there was a lot of dangerous stuff in this system, they decided to do something which was not tell people it was here. This just made a lot of sense because you don’t want people wandering off into danger and going to visit this thing if they don’t have to, if there isn’t a reason to be there because at the time there was, you know, it didn’t make any sense as there wasn’t any habitable places to go.
So, this happened for about 2-3 centuries where there were rumours that the UE...that the human government had found another system but weren’t letting people actually go visit it. It was in the 26th century when this kinda all came to a head, overpopulation of Earth meant that humanity was searching desperately for new places for humanity to populate and this rumour that there was a possible other system out there gained some traction and eventually lead to a very famous court case called Minto versus the UPE. The UPE was the formal government at that time and it was in this debated court case that it was finally decided that humanity’s government could not hide jump points into various systems from the general population.
This was seen as a thing to do to make sure that the government wasn’t maybe discovering system where there were a lot of resources or other things like that and then keeping them from private industries or other people and just to make sure that if the government knew something...they had to be accountable, they had to let the rest of the population that this was ok. This is also the reason why as you’ll look on the Starmap and as you’ll experience in the game, you’re going to know where the jump points into Vanduul space are because it did in the future obviously come back to bite them in the butt a little bit, but that was the initial thing behind it was that the UEE… the government cannot hide jump points from people.
So, people eventually got access to this system in the 26th century to find out that, yeah with this four planet system here and a very small, you can see here green habitable zone, it’s not really great for much of anything especially with all the radiation spewing out of it. Then of course like many other times in human history, war came along and changed the dynamics and changed technology and that lead to some advancements here that actually allowed this system to be habitable.
So, it was during first Tevarin war that researchers at the Upark...the secret government kinda lab, were working on some kind of system as a way that could possibly weaponize solar electromagnetic radiation. Supposedly this never really took off and never really worked but what they were able to do was what they were able to build giant things that could capture this electromagnetic radiation and at least turn it into some form of energy. Now these are very prominently featured on the one habitable planet in the system which is Lorona over here, and they are now… they dot the landscape of that planet and I’m sure you’ll see the picture that we have for as the header for this. That are in the ground and they almost look like big, kinda like solar panels, that can sit there and soak up the radiation coming from the pulsar and then be used to power everything that’s around it.
Once this happened obviously corporations started to come on in and use them to run autonomous drilling rigs in particular on this third planet of Lorona to be able to get some of the valuable resources out of the system and that’s how human habitation began in this completely inhospitable part of the galaxy.
So if we go in for a little closer view, we’re going to go in to Banshee I, which is really close to the pulsar at the centre here. Now this is a rocky dwarf planet and it... scans have revealed it does have small pockets of valuable minerals but it’s location is so close to the pulsar makes it completely inhospitable to humanity or even going… sending something there to pull that from the planet so that is Banshee I.
If we go out to Banshee II, excuse me, there we go. This is a terrestrial iron planet so it has an iron core, the entire planet surface has been heavily irradiated because of the pulsar at the centre but there’s a little bit of a mystery wrapped up in this planet because after the historical Truth Act of 2941 it was revealed that during the Messer era… specific swaths of this planet were cut out and taken away and transported for nobody knows quite what reason. What would the Messer government want to do with these heavily irradiated pieces of this planet... of these iron chunks of this planet. So, that’s one of those historical mysteries that people to this day are still trying to figure out what in the world the Messers were thinking with... doing with these specific parts of Banshee II.
Went out a little too far there, let’s go back in and now let’s talk about the one place that you can visit in this system and actually spend some time and this is Lorona which is the third planet, a terrestrial planet and it has vast resources which is why a lot of those giant panels collecting the energy from the star were put here first so miners could pull everything out. Now being on the surface of this planet is still deadly to humans, so that is why all of the… all the landing zones and all the human population are actually underground. In the parlance of the planet to go there is go below the line because that’s where actually human habitation occurs there. Most of the population is miners and because of the amount of resources and the money coming from this planet, even though everything is underground there is an element of, you know, of rich lifestyle on this planet. There’s good restaurants, there’s some high end shopping because a lot of high end mining executives do work here and that said the majority of the population are kinda subsistent miners that are there working for these mega corporations, that are basically as they cut into this planet and hollow it out and move the resources out.
These people who are working for the mining companies end up coming in after them and the places that the mining equipment has swept through and left behind they end up building their own shacks, their own little settlements which makes it a very interesting kinda place to go but one that if you’re not a resident of Lorona, it’s not recommended that you wander through these tunnels alone. Just because certain encampments are, let’s say not so nice to people not from the planet and it’s also very easy to get lost in there. One of the things that kinda… the planet is also known for is a Beutrempe which is a sweet or savoury puff pastry which can be bought from various stalls that are lined up all throughout the tunnels of this… of Lorona, a lot of the miners grab them on the way to work along with their warm beverage, their drink and stuff in the morning.
Fun little story/side note based on the Lorona… Dean Keller who did the infamous Keller’s Run a few hundred years later was a very notorious outlaw of the early 30th century in the UEE. The first… nobody knows where Dean Keller came from but his first kinda of like ping in the history of the UEE was when he was arrested for the first at 12 years old, he had snuck into a hangar and basically tied up the attendant who was working there and climbed into the ship that was there and was trying to figure out how to fire the ship’s missiles at the… basically doors of the… hangar doors so he could escape the planet. That was first time...the first of many times Dean Keller was ever arrested. Nobody knows if he was actually born on Lorona but it’s the first time he made an impression, one of many he would do throughout his life.
Finally, we’re going to spin around and visit the planet four in the system which is Banshee. This is a typical ice giant way out on the fringes of the system, in the 27th century a company called the Cenote Concern had this idea that they could use the ice of this planet for an industrial source of heavy water in the mining operations that were going on on Lorona and other places in the… around the empire. This plan failed, their ability to rip off huge chunks of ice, take it elsewhere to use as industrial heavy water failed and actually bankrupt the company, being so expensive in their failure.
So, that is a quick visit to the system of Banshee which has been around for hundreds of years. Was completely unknown to most of the general human population for many, many years and now harbours Lorona, the one place you can go and visit the system and go underground. It is recommended that if you do go visit this system, you do make sure to do all repairs and refueling before entering because if your ship does break down…getting outta your ship to do repairs or having anything done to it can be a deadly task for you.
So, thank you for exploring the Banshee system with me. Make sure to tune in… we do one of these every two weeks, one of these Loremaker’s, we offset throughout the week with Bugsmashers. So thank you once again for watching and we’ll see you soon.
https://relay.sc/transcript/bugsmashers-episode-40Bugsmashers: Episode 402017-01-04T20:00:00+00:002017-01-07T06:31:02+00:00CanadianSyruphttps://relay.sc/contributor/CanadianSyrup TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
When using a weird screen resolution when activating the mobiGlas the edges get offset and cut What the UI team have done is based on the renderer resolution or aspect they will scale it, scale down/up depending on your screen width/height Once scaling is fixed this causes the close button to not highlight because it needs to be moved down, this happens because they take into account the width and height but not the viewport offset(X/Y) This was fixed by taking into account the position change of the flash so it offset correctly
Mark Abent: Hey everyone, welcome to Bugsmashers, I’m your host Mark Abent. I’m a Gameplay Programmer here at CIG, Los Angeles and I’m here to show you behind the scenes of some bugs and how we smash them. Let’s take a look.
Hey everyone, we’re here in my fancy, dancy test level and we have a fun UI problem with the mobiGlas, as you can see I always use a weird screen resolution and it always tends to make the HUD go funky, dunky you can kind of see it with the visor right now and when you pop up the mobiGlas as you can see the edges tend to get offset and cut. If my resolution was little bit wider I would be able to see the actual extent of the mobiGlas. So the UI guys are like, “well, we can’t have this we need it to work on well, all resolutions so it scales correctly on the screen’ and so that’s what the good old UI folks in the UK office have done.
So here is our original code for our mobiGlas instance and we have a standard scale that the designers set up which for all intents and purposes worked for the scale that they were working in in their resolution, however it doesn’t work in this crazy resolution that I have of 1280 x 960 because I’m weird. I like to see my code on my left and right side and it causes all sorts of fun problems such as this resolution shenanigans.
So what the UI guys have done is based on the renderer resolution or aspect they will scale it, so it will scale down or up depending on how crazy your screen width and height are. So, let’s activate that code to see what happens, bam. So we take our original scale, we get the rendering and we scale it based on the renderer width and height so that if the aspect is slightly wider or slightly taller it will try to focus it more onto the centre of the screen. All right, let’s hit the magic recode button and see what that does.
All right, as you can see recode is finished and our scaling has worked pretty nicely in my crazy resolution it actually shrinks it down so that I can see the whole thing of mobiGlas and the only other problem that exists is here’s the close button and as you can see it’s not highlighting cause I have to move it down a bit… where is it, where is it, somewhere around here.
There it is, so as you can see there’s quite a bit offset from here to here. Let’s see what they did to fix that, so here in flash UI element, this is where it takes the mouse input and send it off to our flash elements and this specific region of code it’s getting our mouse coordinate sand it’s getting the viewport of the renderer and the flash and it’s trying to see where it should send the mouse input. As you can see we have for our X and Y we’re taking into account the width and height but we’re not taking into account the viewport offset which is the X and the Y.
So, if that button was at 0,0 way up at the top we would be able to click it because there was no X/Y offset but however we have an X and Y offset for where we are to where this button is and we’re not taking into account of that offset. So, let’s do that...let’s see what happens.
This recode should go by pretty quickly but if we have a little box and we have another like, we can use that, square here. Our mouse input for… I should say this position is going to be this X offset and that’ll be that position. For this position right here, it’s going to be this X offset plus this size and what this code was doing was taking into account this position and not the this offset. So, we do both of these and now we can click here.
All right, recode has been done and we should be able to… voila. Click on the magical button so now everything scales correctly and I can click on buttons as you would expect because well we’re taking into account all the offsets. Hope you guys enjoyed.
So, today’s bug was something to do with the mobiGlas, you pop it up and oh no, if you have a crazy resolution... mobiGlas right in your face and you can’t see on this side or this side because it’s clipping or it’s really, really small. It was just an issue with not, you know, scaling the thing based on the resolution. So the good old UA… UI programmers in the UK made it so it scales depending on your resolution and now it looks pretty great even if you do some crazy high resolution or some low resolution and it’s not all in your face or really, really tiny.
Then the other thing that they fixed was they had a little button and if you clicked on the button it wouldn’t, you know, work because it was actually offset and it was just a small little thing to take into account the position change of the flash so that it offset correctly so when you hit the button it was actually right here instead of down here. Hope you guys enjoyed, til next time.