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Relay Replay: April 16th Written Monday 17th of April 2017 at 08:54am by Erris

This week on the Replay...

3.0 Schedule & March Report are up, will be summarised at a later date.


Studio Update: U.K.

  • Ongoing player interaction sprint.  This work now allows for individual buttons to be pressed in the cockpit, amongst other implementations.

  • New system for handling objects. Can choose their orientation when setting them down and can throw them simply by trying to put them down too far away.

  • Fatigue can cause your player to struggle or fail to perform certain actions such as vaulting. Mass of your suit and weapons now influence player stamina.

  • Suit punctures, oxygen recharging and depressurization work has begun.

  • UI Team has done significant work to kiosk shopping interface.

  • Working to unify the way players interact with in-game UI screens across the board.

  • Graphics Team working on new render-to-texture tech. UI team looking to use this tech for UI on inside of helmet. This included testing how text will read including what occurs after post-processing is added.

  • Also in testing is how helmet UI text in the helmet responds to the incoming dynamic field of view system.

  • Audio Team involved in all gameplay features. However, in particular work continues to be done on the audio propagation system which allows sound to properly move from room to room.

  • Additionally, two passes on the mix management system have been completed. The mix management system allows for realtime tweaking of audio mixes which are applied to areas or rooms.

  • Finally for audio, significant progress has been made on the WordUp dialogue tool which manages the huge amount of dialogue in Squadron 42 and Star Citizen.

  • Concept Team finishing off Gemini ballistic shotgun and a new ship weapon manufacturer known as Preacher.

  • For the Environment Team, work has continued on the truck stop interiors, satellite interiors, microTech New Babbage and habitation modules.

  • Ship Team has been working on the Hull C and Reclaimer as well as working on the new light controller.

  • The VFX Team has been working on the Buccaneer, Aquila, Prospector, engine trails, KLWE Gallant energy rifle, APR Scourge railgun and KSAR Devastator plasma shotgun. This team has also rolled out the layered impact library, allowing for more flexibility in terms of weapon impacts on surfaces.

  • Animation Team has worked on character animations for the railgun including shouldered weapon and prone. This team also worked on breathing and stamina as well as no-weapon jumps and weapon reloads for the Devastator, Gallant, Arrowhead, railgun and new pistol.

  • The Derby studio has continued work on facial animations for Squadron 42 and the PU including a 3.0 performance capture shoot.

Ship Shape: The Aegis Javelin

  • The Javelin was born out of the need for another UEE capital ship

  • 60 percent of the Javelin took inspiration from the Aegis Idris

  • The floor plan is the first step in designing the Javelin with distinctly separate and different decks and areas in function and aesthetic

  • Careful not to be on the wrong side of a bulkhead if a section gets shut down

  • What the Javelin lacks in carrier capacity it makes up for in the coolness of a drop ship style hangar

  • Another big difference is that a Javelin is basically a space faring turret cake

  • Rear turrets retreat to the back of the ship on rails when not in use

  • Designed with fun FPS gameplay as well as backer feedback and balanced levels in mind

  • The U.K. tends to make things big through design change

  • Squadron 42 is always kept in mind as well as the flow between ourselves and the writers

  • Many folks from many disciplines are involved in this challenging but rewarding endeavour

Happy Hour

  • On the show is: host, Jared Huckaby. Animation Director: Steve Bender. Q.A. Lead: Vincent Sinatra and community streamer: DeejayKnight

  • TrackIR support was re-enabled with 2.6.2.

  • [What is your favourite animation that you've worked on?] Steve: "One that you've seen or one that I'm working on now?" He smiled big on that one. Some of his favourites are the animations on the Behring, also the P8A4.

  • [How are female character animations coming along and can we expect them ingame anytime soon?] In anything with animation development you need to start somewhere and iterate on a particular functionality. Say sliding for example, you have to iterate it to get it to feel right. It's not efficient to do it on two different skeletons at the same time. They've done retargeting of male animations to female so they can play around with that character, but because of the difference in the skeletal structures it has issues with, for instance, position with hands that affects reloads etc that need to be adjusted, similar issues with cockpits.

    • Certain motions are easier to retarget than others. Running animations may be pretty similar, but walking is different as females don't have a girly walk, but do have a way of walking that's different to that of a male.

    • Steve says right now he's not comfortable releasing the female character just yet as it's not up to the standard he wants it to be. He wants it to be where when it's released, the quality is close, if not the same as the male.

  • [Will we be able to switch between various styles of weapon carry] It depends. The first thing to understand that the typical ways you can cheat in other games, don't apply here because of the unified system. If you want something like hip firing an AK it would be A: Ineffective, B: You wouldn't actually see the weapon as it would be at your hip. If you want something like left handed versus right handed, that's a design question.

    • For AI: They intend to have their difficulty displayed through animations. An untrained soldier may lean way out from a corner, presenting a larger target whereas a trained soldier will try to keep their profile as minimal as possible.

    • If players want to be ‘gangster’ and hold their weapons in a certain way that makes them look cool, probably won't happen. So in summary different ways to carry weapons isn't a thing right now.

  • [Are there plans for animation customisation during character creation?] They have talked about implementing styled poses like being able to choose how your character idles, but Steve goes into detail about how they talked about wanting to have certain combat variations be learned through different ways ingame. So you'd have to complete a quest or visit a certain person to acquire a melee technique.

  • [Right now items seem to teleport into a person’s hands when they inspect something, is this how it will be?] No, they're working on pick up and looting animations. Their goal is to take away the ‘gamey’ aspect of a game where there's one animation for all. So they're developing a system to adapt to a variety of objects.

  • There's also a balance act involved where you don't want to make it tedious to loot or pick up objects.

  • [How does Q.A. help with the animation process?] Their work is helping the animation pipeline and trying out the animations and recording it for Steve and others to look through and find the faults. They use an FPS test level that allows them to test all the animations ingame.

  • [What is the FPS test level?] If you load your average level in the editor it can take awhile to start and it's not really optimized for everything you may want to test. The FPS test level is a very basic, but planned layout that allows developers to test anything from looting, to shooting the various weapons at the range, interaction with AI through either killing them or whatever. There's no art or anything so it's not an Echo 11 where it's pretty, it's very basic.

  • [Do you have an update on injured movement animations] They are on the development schedule for later this year.

  • [Plans for dragging an Ally?] Yes, it's still a thing.

  • [When carrying a weapon, will we be able to carry them in a stand down position, as in a relaxed or non threatening state?] Yes, you'll be able to carry it in a relaxed state that's not pointing at people.

  • [How are the three animation speeds for entering, exiting cockpits going?] They're focused on the combat speed animation right now. They're also working on the overall cockpit experience, or as Steve calls it, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Once the latter is nailed down they can proceed to finalize them.

  • [Will there be animations for EVA in small spaces such as interacting with the walls, floors, ceiling] There was at one point a design for that to where if you have no weapon out that you'll do just that.

  • [Will stamina potentially affect reload animations?] They can't talk about that right now as they're still fleshing out the stamina system and how it affects reloads hasn't been talked to great effect. You could slow the animation down a bit, but then it could look awkward.

  • Additionally there's a Freefly starting 14th April with a variety of ships for flight and some going on sale as well.



Erris is Canadian. He does some random things for Relay, no-one really knows what, but still they're stuck with him. He’s also written one Young Adult novel that he can’t stand, which can be found here.

You can find him on Twitter too, if you want.