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Relay Replay: April 30th Written Sunday 30th of April 2017 at 04:02pm by Erris

This week on the Replay...

News!

Subscriber’s Town Hall
  • The Town Hall was centered around the Alien races with guests: Senior Writer Will Weissbaum, Lead Writer Dave Haddock and Technical Designer Johnny Jacevicius

  • They clarified a few things about the Banu Defender:

    • It has one size 2 shield.

    • It has two power plants, not one

    • It has four size 2 weapons on size 3 gimbals which can be swapped for size 3 fixed guns.

    • Ballistic weapons against the Defender will be more effective, but the Tevarin shield which the Defender has will mitigate some of that.

    • They are going to show some of their visibility ideas to address some of the concerns with the cockpit visibility.

    • You can swap out components on the Defender or any alien ship without too much hassle so you won't be stuck with finding rare components to repair your ship, but don't expect them to perform the same.

  • The BMM will be significantly bigger than the current specifications, but not as big as an Idris. They're looking to have it be around the size of the Polaris, but nothing is confirmed until they build it out.

  • There will be Banu landing zones that we can visit when they're made.

  • The Banu language hasn't been worked on very much as most of the attention is on the other alien languages at this point

AtV Frankfurt

Studio Update

VFX

  • working side-by-side with Engineers to flesh out tools and tech for procedural planets

  • made progress on manual setups required to spawn effects in engine

Cinematics

  • new Designer has joined the team

  • churning through performance capture scenes across numerous S42 chapters

  • pushing on all story scenes taking place in the Shubin facility so it can be finalised

  • doing edits for big sequences for the opening and middle of the game

Environment Art

  • fleshing out different procedural terrain elements of Delamar and resolving various challenges

  • made a few changes to Levski exterior: integrated garages for ground vehicles

  • made the mining structures in and around the borehole more functional and did a polish pass

  • did some finishing touches to the moons to make the feel more distinct from each other

Level Design

  • finished the design pass on the surface outposts and handed them off to the Art Team

  • started work integrating Levski into the procedural version of Delamar: lobby, airlocks, garages, roads and parking areas

  • planned out the elevator network and workers area and added Administrative offices

Tech Art

  • performed some R&D work on foot constrained locomotion to give characters a true sense of weight at all speeds and angles

  • worked on some skinning tasks to widen the range of character customisation

  • worked with Weapons Team on tools to spot errors in the pipeline and rigging new/updated weapons

System Design

  • progressing with Actor Status System: incorporates breathing, stamina, G-forces, injuries, etc.

  • added subsystems for suits getting punctured and patched and recharging oxygen tanks

  • started mass production on Usesables

  • finalising the design of the Spectrum game integration to enable access to core Spectrum functionality in-game

QA

  • began testing the new Stanton system PU level

  • tweaks and testing to in-house server launcher tool "Catapult"

  • performed initial round of testing on the Subsumption Editor's new conversation system

  • worked with System Designers to create the AI basic feature test level and add behaviours for all NPCs

  • added new VFX test cases and editor checklist for the Particle Editor

Lighting

  • focused on supporting 3.0 release of Cellin, Yela and Daymar

  • defining the visual quality required for surface outposts in 3.0 and beyond

  • implementing the new Light Groups System: surface outposts lighting reacts to low power, emergencies, hazards, etc.

AI

  • new developer joined the team

  • refactoring the ship movement system to unify the movement pipeline between NPCs and ships

  • general improvements to the AI pathfinding and navigation: fixed issues with certain configurations of corners

  • focused on missions from two S42 chapters: expanding existing functionality and adding new ones

  • Subsumption Visualiser now allows the starting mission for a level to be overwritten for testing

  • added ‘platforms’ (a template object container with a list of items) for the Mission System

Weapons

  • blocking out new weapons: 2 Vanduul, 4 Kastak Arms, 3 Gemini, 1 K-Hex

  • completed first pass on Knightbridge Arms ballistic cannon (size 2 and 3) through the new modular pipeline

  • assisted the UK team with props in spare time

Engine

  • continued work on Object Container streaming and SolEd

  • performed housekeeping on existing code base to reduce compile time by several minutes

  • further improved procedural planet tech: blending (terrain, scattered objects) and dissolve blending

Quality Assurance

  • QA tests tech that goes into builds

  • Finding issues, write out step by step how to reproduce them

  • QA has to touch pretty much every discipline and be an authority on pretty much anything as developers/Designers cover most bases

  • Issue Council is important to QA as the players will often run into issues by just playing the game and will usually be problems QA either didn’t run into or hadn’t thought of as being a possible point where one could occur

  • Both Chris and Erin Roberts have emphasized how important QA is as a department to the building and development of the game


Erris

Founder

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.