Subscribers Town Hall
(Huge thanks to StormyWinters for her hard work on this summary.)
On the show was Jared Huckaby, Sean Tracy(Technical Director of Content), Forrest Stephan (Computer Graphics Supervisor) and Gaige Hallman (Tech Artist)
[Are tools done?] While they’re implemented and somewhat working, they still need a lot of work.
[We recently released our feature trailer which led to you(Forrest) working on another tool, tell us about that] In the past we would run the game through the editor and then render it out into video format and we would do everything by hand. Our tools got more and more complex and surpassed our cinematic methods and we decided to make a tool by taking the current spectator/director’s cam and building on that.
[We just released our public roadmap and many people have seen character customization is slated for 3.1. You talked a bit earlier how sometimes you have a thing going and it’s done on the development side but implementation side is still waiting] It was definitely a goal for 3.0 but it wasn’t where we wanted it and again not because the actual assets weren’t ready it was more the interface wasn’t where we’re demanding the interface has to be.
[What will it have versus what it won’t have, this first version] Just won’t be sculpting, the DNA because we could absolutely give you but there’s complexities because of the rig logic and because of things like we want drive the face with face work, we would like animation shared and even further we would like to be able to runtime rig code implementation(DNA) at runtime and be able to save this for your given character. You’re going to have head/hair/eye selection.
[Insurance system and pirated ships?] More information on this Friday’s RtV with Todd Papy and Brian Chambers.
[Chris talked about on last week’s RtV that the Hull C was having retraction problems due to the animated physics grid, know anything that we’re doing with that?] Haven’t come up with a solution because we’re not working on it right now.
[We talked a little bit about what Forrest is working on, what are you guys working on right now?] Sean: Right now I’m spending a lot of my time in Outlook at this exact moment, not where I want to be but where it needs to be. Working with various tool teams and making sure we’re supporting all the feature teams. Gaige: Tools development for the character side.
[We haven’t heard about Faceware in awhile, what’s going on with that?] It’s coming along good.
3.01 patch for testing to Evocati last night
Contributed to the Coil volumetric cloud, exterior effects for slaver base on Gainey, and bespoke effects for cinematic sequences
Refactored cover-movement transitions in the movement system to include improved path analysis enabling better transition smoothing
Revealed first version of updates spaceship behaviours: AI ships are now fully controlled by the NPCs inside them
Introduced new subsumption functionality: new event dispatcher, master graph system and dynamic TrackView scenes
Lots of effort showcasing moments and areas in vertical slice: establishing shots, framing points of interest and improving readability
Acquired lots of ideas for better tools and workflows going forward to ultimately improve player experience
Finalising legacy lighting conversion to volumetric fog technology
Building a lighting language for the upcoming modular truckstop features
First art pass for Geminii F55 LMG and the Torral Aggregate Kahix Missile Launcher
First art pass for A&R laser cannon (s1-6) and the Gallenson Tactical Gatlings (s1-3),
Blocking out Trident Attack Systems laser beam weapons (s4-6) and Associated Science & Development Distortion Repeaters (s1-3)
Working on script and tools to speed up the Art Pipeline, e.g. modular weapons creation script
Responsible for quite a bit of content in the December reveal and pushing tech to make it all happen for the livestream
Scaling up Vat Tagaca to be more intimidating required careful adjustments to performance capture data so lined up with the environment and other actors and in fact some changes to the Argo mesh were needed as well.
Custom lighting is used to get the right mood for a scene.
Launch sequence of the Gladius fighters required a lot of new tech and code improvements, helped drive feature development - including AI, TrackView nav spline, and a new cinematic camera.
For big cinematic scenes, gold standard sequences are created utilizing the most likely responses to create a linear cinematic master take that informs the departments what the final product should look, feel, and behave like in-game with all systems active. These scenes have also been used to develop the workflow switching to and from subsumption and to and from TrackView.
Other work for the livestream included several cutaway scenes - some of these will be optional in the final game.
A lot of back and forth between the Cinematics Team and the game Designers about camera control during cinematics. Agreed upon solution is to cutaway the camera for important scenes, but allow the player to easily regain camera control if they’d prefer to see the scene from their character’s perspective.
Players can walk/move around during a conversation and the effects related to conversations (reduced walking speed, camera focus) remain in effect.
Cheating to get a risky shot is okay to prevent actor injuries, but can require lots of logistical planning even small scenes
The DE Tech Art Team is extending the FPS weapon's pipeline with a new tool that will make production more efficient and give more control in the overall aesthetic
The DE Engine Team focused on improving performance and addressing issues for the current live release via a new lighter weight memory tracking tool and new scripting for automatic analysis related to memory leaks and allocations
Nikko, a new Engineer, started working on a more accurate ambient occlusion solution
Shader optimization continues including a rework of the cloth variant providing more consistency in shading through the game
The System Design Team focused primarily on tightening up the first major mission givers, improved FPS combat AI believability, and a few other items that should make the game feel much more alive
The build Engineers and the Austin studio ran virtualized and nonvirtualized testing comparisons to reduce the layers of redundant variables and to improve the overall incremental building process
They also added an extra layer for bug checks for riskier code changes
The DE Team recently had its first taste of mission testing regarding the mission givers, Eckhart and Ruto, via the use of shelf changes with Perforce by System Designers and QA
The subsumption and Lumberyard editors continue to be used everyday for anything related to procedural planet tech
John Lang is the main point of contact and QA Tester for anything S42 related out of the Frankfurt office
Towards the end of last year the DE QA Team were included in review meetings and cleaned up the whole issue catching process by decreasing turnaround time with a whole rinse and repeat aspect, not unlike shampoo
The Environmental Art Team spent most of last month prepping for 2018 to update planet tech and tools to give more diversity and control of colors and materials as well as shaders to improve the visual palette and quality
Work on Lorville, the Hurston main landingzone, has begun to include a big hub area like with Levski and Area 18 and will include the possibility of trading in the Hurston Dynamics flagship store
Voyager Direct Dying - working on approach. Likely give players UEC for items.
Very early talks about underwater vehicles. Will likely be in the game if there are significant underwater areas. Would likely also include the presence of underwater flora and fauna.
SC Alpha 3.01 LIVE - Ships are easier to kill. Admin NPCs should work better and accept boxes.