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Relay Replay: February 27th, 2017 Written Monday 27th of February 2017 at 09:19am by Shiver_Bathory

Nehkara and Shiver go over the week's news and summarise the most important developments.

Around The 'Verse

Misc Info

  • 2.6.1 went live last week along with Spectrum.

    • Includes regional servers, singleplayer mega map, ship and weapon balance changes

  • Next concept ship is the Anvil Hurricane which the concept sale will begin Friday 24th.

Studio Update

  • Technical Content team working with Engineering on the new damage system

    • This new system creates more random, organic damage effects via procedurally generated materials and an internal skeleton

  • Working on adding physics driven destructible behaviour to item system 2.0

    • Networking, persistence and VFX improved but also extends destructibility to a broader class of entities like props

  • Working with Animation to implement the intro of facial idles for pilots of all ships

  • Developed a tool for marking up zones that are used by renderer to hide/show different areas on a character mesh when layered pieces of clothing/armour are equipped

    • This tells renderer to high/ignore any part of clothing that is out of sight

  • Tech Content Team created a tool that automatically zones and splits any number of assets regardless of topology allowing for quick implementation of zone culling feature onto a massive database of character art in a fraction of the time

  • Tech Design Team develops prototypes of upcoming features and gameplay, with two most recently

    • First being based off Chris’s initial vision of interaction system, which is the interface by which players will be able to control/manipulate various objects in the world such as ships, control panels, etc

    • Second prototype was how the player controls the properties of items to manage their signals generated by entities like space ships such as manage power to shields, weapons, thrusters allowing them to manage emissions and engage in stealthier gameplay

  • Working on the setup of Drake Cutlass Black, Buccaneer and RSI Aurora rework and another ship that they can’t discuss yet

  • Ships stats page on the website is being updated to most current specs and they’re planning to provide regular updates on any changes to each ship going forward

  • Engineering Team working on instance properties, allowing Designers to modify any part of an entity in the editor or in-game

    • With this feature Designers do not have similar entity templates, just need to expose some parameters that the designer can modify inside the editor saving asset storage, reducing number of entity components and allowing for many more variations

  • Team is also working toward seamless transitions throughout the universe

    • The Engineering Team is making progress on object container streaming by changing some of the core engine code which will greatly increase the amount of content they can put into the game all at once without sacrificing performance

  • Radar front, added an extra timer value to object databank used to specify how much time an entry can remain as an echo contact and also implementing meta component interface which is an entity component that can be attached to make it radar detectable

  • Added object databank linking/unlinking feature so entities can inherit databank entries from parent

  • New scanner gameplay tied into new radar system built on game mechanics of revealing more or hidden information on radar objects

  • Engineering Team working on lighting states with the goal of having more context for space stations, ship interiors, other sorts of man/alien made environments to add altered states to reflect certain situations like low power, etc

    • Current method is using layer switching but this requires duplicate lights for each state and offers no options for transitioning animations

    • Therefore they’re currently developing a new entity called a light group which will take control of lights assigned to it using its own internal state machine

  • Deck crew outfit in high poly modeling phase

  • Explorer space suit, finalizing texturing and it’s already been sent to rigging for testing

  • Have 3D concept for heavy Outlaw outfit and will move into high poly modeling phase once concept’s approved

  • Heavy Marine armour is in engine and headed over to the Rigging Team before final implementation

Behind the Scenes: Spectrum

  • SC is a lot of things and needs a communication platform that offers the least amount of friction between players and the communication tools

  • When they launched the campaign in 2012 they had a traditional website, traditional forums and Chatroll

  • Over time parts of the platform were replaced or improved for example; Chatroll was replaced with their own XMPP-based system

  • Over the years there's been a lot of talk about upgrading the forums and allowing orgs their own forums on the RSI site

  • The team developed a plan for a new forum engine that could be replicated to the 30,000 orgs - but it was still just a forum engine

  • It became key that framework allowed the application to be built into the game: the application would be available in and out of the game

  • The organisations have done amazing things with a simple set of tools: Spectrum will give them a whole new set of tools to cultivate presence

  • Chris told them to think bigger!

  • The team continued to brainstorm and considered everything: Discord, Reddit, Stack Overflow, forums, etc.

  • It was a gigantic challenge that required may design cycles and technology innovations in order to ship it in a reasonable time

  • The key roadblocks they encountered were the need to extend the RSI platform to include a lot of real time services and determining which technology stack to build the application on.

  • The team settled on using React (an open source framework maintained by Facebook and others) and Redux to build out all of Spectrum.

  • One of the biggest roadblocks was getting player presence system to work not just with the client, but the browser app and mobile.

  • Initially they had a prototype that worked, but could only handle one connection and so they hired engineers to have Spectrum be able to scale off the players needs.

    • Players can be connected through mobile, in-game and browser all at the same time.

  • Their upcoming tasks are to sift through the player feedback and continue to work on implementing features at a pace of once a month.

    • These features in include mobile, VOIP and more.

  • Throughout the entire process of Spectrum since PTU, they’ve been clear about making a direct effort in communicating with the community openly and developing a more personal relationship in order  to better understand the needs and suggestions of the community.

  • Spectrum will eventually replace everything, forums, XMPP chat, and combine them into a single entity that services players, organisations, hosts VOIP and connects the community on a level not seen in a game.

Happy Hour

Today's Happy Hour featured the first live concept of a creature for Star Citizen. Josh Herman sculpted the creature live with suggestions from the forum thread earlier and polls during the stream to create a creature of the community's choosing.

  • The initial type of creature chosen was a flying spider hybrid.

  • The livestream poll results were as followed:

    • Hostile or Friendly: Hostile

    • Predator or Prey: Predator

    • How many Legs, 6-7-8-9-10: 9

    • Weapon, Stinger, Grabby Hands, Single Poker: Stinger

    • Size, Small, Medium, Large, Huge: Huge

    • How many eyes, A few, A bunch, All of the eyes: All of the Eyes.

  • The end result was a terrifying flying spider with a massive stinger that was the size of something a grown man could walk underneath.

  • The name will be decided by the community via forum post on the site!

  • Also the Anvil Hurricane is now on sale! Check out the concept sale on the RSI website.


Director of EU Operations

The consummate English gentleman, Shiver Bathory can be found posting news to The Relay, when not making puns that is.When not typing furiously at his keyboard he enjoys hanging in chat with The Relay community and every once in awhile can be found playing some game or another. Every Wednesday on The Base he hosts Dead Air - An alternative and extreme metal music show