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Relay Replay: April 9th, 2017 Written Sunday 9th of April 2017 at 04:39pm by Erris

This week on the Replay...


Likely to go straight to 3.0.  Production schedule being put together now.


Studio Update


Design Team:

  • Focused on 2.6.2 out the door.

    • Adding new subscriber flair.

    • New subscriber flair is called the vivid display which can display game locations holographically and find more information about said location.

    • Other items like ship schematics can put on light displays on walls.

    • Revising the Stanton system map, will give more details later.

    • Landing zone AI and useables undergoing further development.

    • Updating shop related elements and the system itself.

    • The update will change how players could only purchase an outfit as an entire set on items to purchasing items individually or bundled for a discount price. For players this is great, but for Designers it's even better because it allows them on the backend to setup a variety of different combination of outfits quickly for display in the verse.

PU Animation Team:

  • Finished up a mocap shoot using the in house Optitrak system to help fill in the gaps from performance shoots down at the Imaginarium studio.

    • Captured transition animations for female and male characters such as sitting down at tables with trays, getting food, eating, drinking, etc.

    • This transition animations are important as they're used for useables which are objects players or NPCs can interact with in the environment from doors to cups to switches.

    • Currently they're working with the Frankfurt and U.K. studio to allow NPCs to work with multiple useables and interact with them all at the same time such as grabbing food from the chow line, using a tray to put other useables on it and then walking to a table and sitting down with the useables, then after they're done, throwing away the useables and putting the tray back.

Ship Animation Team:

  • Finished major animation tests for the Cutlass Black.

    • Implemented a new cockpit template called the stick template which positions a player in a pose like that of a helicopter.

    • Also planning to support the cockpit experience improvement pass, but details on that will come later.

DevOps Team:

  • Additional logging that was added to the game better track issues player’s experience and download the status of the user’s session the moment the issue is experienced.

    • Debugged further issues with the launcher itself and fixed the music bug for the launcher where Windows 10 user’s launcher would crash because Windows 10 set the kilohertz rating at 192 which caused the launcher to crash with music so now music is working again.

QA Team:

  • 2.6.2 testing and Squadron 42 testing.

    • Cross studio testing was done for the Multiplayer MegaMap and Seralized variable.

    • Tested the new Drake Buccaneer.

    • Tests involving ground vehicles on planetary surfaces in a multiplayer environment.

    • Testing the PlanED tool and subsumption tool.

    • Expanded the QA team by four which brings the total to 24 QA members in Austin.


  • Enjoyed being on the Subscriber Town Hall and want to do more Town Hall questions in the future.

  • Spectrum V0.32 launched with performance updates to how messages and threads are rendered in the client.

    • Also allows the ability to reorder communities at the top left sidebar.

  • Channel thread list now allows you to see the thumbnail images and and video previews.

    • V0.33 is being worked on to include nested threads which allow players to choose between chronological type, or nested type which is similar to Reddit in that replies are contained in an area based on who they replied to.

  • Bugfixes and optimisation didn't make it into V0.32 for Android, but hope to have them in for V0.33.

    • In the coming months when they've added the above features and more, they'll begin the archive and shutdown process of the old forums. They won't be importing the old forums, but will keep the forum and subforum categories. Plenty of notice will be given when this will happen. - (On April 14, the old forums will be archived. You will no longer be able to create new threads or reply to old ones. Please prepare to make the jump to Spectrum.)

    • The new launcher is being built with Electron Shell and has been going well.

  • The Delta patcher technology is now being used internally to some extent and hope to have it out to the community in the coming months ahead.

    • Another project started was the redesign of the RSI website. The goal is to make it better for new users and old users. This project has only just started so there isn't much to see yet.

    • Also being worked on is the ship stats page update. Certain ships aren't being properly reflected in the stats page and are being updated to reflect that. The ship stats page is supposed to display what the design/intent of the ship is and not exact stats.

Behind the Scenes: Planetary Outposts

  • Ian Leyland, F42 Environment Art Director and the team talk in depth about surface outposts

    • The initial idea for came from Design's need to create small locations to bring players to.

  • The team with concepts and mood shots, which were validated, before going into production

  • The visual style and elements needed to support a modular format and enable Design to create some interesting layouts which still felt unique

  • Once the concept was signed off it was broken down into its constituent parts: the start of the High Tech Surface Outpost building set

  • They made a whitebox using the standard ‘template set’, modified it and added ‘add on’ pieces

  • The greybox had to be in line with art style but remains as modular as the whitebox

  • The greybox is often more detailed than the production version: some of the details are baked down into textures

  • The materials library is finalised and tested for production and applied to the assets

  • Once testing started it was obvious a flat base wouldn't work due to clipping or floating so a system of legs were added

  • Ramps, elevators and ladders were rejected in favour of ‘high tech’ stairs to get the player from the surface to the door

  • The final assets are grouped into prefabs to allow outposts to be developed more rapidly

  • Future work will be to add variety: new layouts, new materials and new add ons

    • Not just look good, but look correct for the story behind it i.e. lived in.

  • The modules link together to allow for generation of outposts

  • The goal is to create multiple variations and perceived variations.

  • Planetary materials, the weather system and aging are examples of variables being used.

  • One hurdle is getting the planetary editor to put the outposts in the right spot.

  • Interiors and exteriors change and have differences/variations from one to another.

Happy Hour

  • Today's Happy Hour featured members of the Ship Tech Art Team: Matt Sherman, Patrick Salerno and Matt Intrieri.

  • The damage modelling system that's currently in the game apparently scales very well when it comes to bigger ships. They did mention that the pixel density may be a little less due to size, but it more than likely won't be noticeable.

  • Someone asked about radars being switchable such as going from a 3D display on one ship to 2D one from another ship for example, the answer was they're not at that point where they can do stuff like that. Their focus right now is making ships have their unique flair and feel to them and down the line they'll look into specifically allowing stuff like that. They want ships to be as customizable as possible, but right now there's a limit.

  • Jared(Disco Lando) won't be shaving his beard until 3.0 comes out.

  • When asked about what tech they’re looking forward to the most coming online was unanimous in being Item 2.0. We've all heard it, but the way they talk about it will really open up how ships operate such as leaving the cockpit and still having the ship on. Matt Intrieri also talked about the new implementation of turrets and how the work on that has been promising.

  • Damage states in atmosphere won't be any different than space, apart from the fact that debris in atmosphere is affected by gravity. They are however working on another iteration of the damage state system which will create a more realistic look and feel when it comes to parts being shot off as right now they sort of ‘pulse’ the item off the ship in a cone rather than taking the physics of the projectile into account which is what this new system is aiming for.

    • Someone also asked about deflections and ricochets and they said they will happen, but not to the extent where the projectile will keep travelling and then hit another ship or object as it's too taxing to do that at this time.

  • Ship ramps and lifts are taken into account when you do land a ship on rough terrain, however there is a limit to how far the ship will account for terrain and finding a suitable landing spot will be important.



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.