Refactoring of shopping code is now to the point where Austin Design Team is now plugging items back into the shops, this include first pass at getting kiosks up/running for commodity trading
Focused on getting shops related to PU/landing zones functional first and will be making a pass of Area 18 shops as well
Armour can now be bought piece by piece
Remaining ships have been implemented into the price fixer tools
This tool is also used as a way to gauge whether or not the ships they’re building are over/underpowered for their intended purpose
Progress has been made on getting Miles Eckhart ready to go, lot of work on the feather blending system and got him working with a small subset of his animations
Received additional code support to allow reputation to dictate his conversation paths with the player
Now have the ability to assign specific missions with mission brief tags
Josh Coons finished images/videos of the Cutlass Black and moved onto create base material and whitebox meshes for Cutlass variants
He will complete the first pass on exterior looks for the variants before moving on to the Constellation Phoenix to allow Design to flesh out some key gameplay system for Cutlasses
Chris Smith working on bugs for Hornet/Constellation Andromeda and will move on the promo video for Constellation Aquila next
Backend Services Team preparing for deployment of diffusion, game servers now have full access to diffusion API and they’ll start using it with the shopping service in 3.0
Started converting the persistence cache and general instance manager into smaller stateless, full diffusionized services
PU Animation Team started research/development for how to implement their wild line(dialogue spoken by an NPC) system
Feather blending allows them to blend performance capture of the wild lines with a large number of useable animations
Going through existing animations and filling in gaps missing from original performance capture with new transition animations
Austin Ship Animation Team continue to refine the cockpit/turret experience
R&D phase of implementing button presses using Item 2.0 System. This helped finalise dashboard/cockpit metrics across different ships that use same cockpit type
UK Engineers refactored some backend systems allowing to fully implement blending of base G-force pose blend spaces
DevOps Team working on increasing capacity of build/deployment pipelines in preparation for 3.0
Making additional change/bug fixes to support new delta patcher
IT department upgraded Austin network
Audio team member Jason Cobb continued work on derelict crash site sound design for different moon environments/performed a variety of particle audio implementation experiments for revamped ship debris noises/playtested and mixed refinements for ship emergency state audio and captured sound effects for various props and materials
Austin QA has been testing new Cutlass Black
New missions/wrecks/NPCs in Stanton
Ship testing continued as more ships converted to Item 2.0 system
Large scale playtests of Arena Commander, Star Marine and Stanton ongoing weekly
Testing more mobiGlas applications like Starmap, the personal manager, mission manager and mission board
Testing character gravity/free fall as well as cargo mechanics
Engine/editor testers are testing new tech like capsule based actor entity, entity component update scheduler and director/actor animation and control
New stamina/oxygen breathing system are getting some balance changes
Four new people joining the Player Relations Team
Updating ship specifications in the database
Ground vehicles can now be added to the ship matrix as well as anything that comes up
New sizing scheme for ships
Revamped ship detail page
Reworked ship matrix database to make it easier to update
Spectrum v0.3.6 with Evocati
New features include new text editor
New tools like hyperlinks, hyperlink formatting, preview posts and drafts
Mini profile which include post count and karma
New jump to track reply
Working on refreshing some UI elements
Engineering Team working on getting most of the digital distribution channels ready for the delta patching system.
CIG's entry into land vehicles with a new manufacturer has lore that's been around awhile associated with rugged military vehicles
The Cyclone is a fun fast four-wheeled and steered land vehicle partial to jumping off ramps with marketing design aesthetics, though clearly from a military origin
If the Ursa Rover is the tortoise and the Cyclone is the hare, then the Nox is, as with Goldilocks, just right and in the middle
Besides being fast and super rugged, it's built with modularity similar to the real world
The variants include one for cargo, infantry support, recon and exploration as well as racing and even an anti-air version
The recon version can not only map terrain, but drop beacons
The racing version basically has nitrous and will be similar to a Baja racer
The anti-air model will have two size two missile racks with a countermeasure package that includes not only chaff and flares, but smokescreens and a size one EMP
It's always a struggle to balance function with design with the feedback within the pipeline
The first one of any type of entity or asset is always the hardest due to the unknown, but the most challenging tends to be making the deadlines . . . but they always do
Gameplay Programmer Chad McKinney talks about how the technology involved with persistence will change in the upcoming 3.0 update.
Persistence as it is now is a simple system that tracks player accounts, specifically loadouts and ships with their loadouts. While this works for the gameplay in 2.6, it limits the player to what they can do. They can't pick up items and store them on their ship, trade, etc because the server doesn't track those things.
With 3.0 players will be able to start making changes to the world around them in subtle ways such as picking up cargo from an outpost they found or parking a Dragonfly in their Cutlass and having it remain there regardless of whether they log out or not.
While it seems like a simple thing, it's actually fairly complicated and required a rework of the way persistence is handled in many backend systems.
They've revamped the system to track legal ownership of entities and physical ownership. The difference between the two is physical ownership is having the item in front of you and in your hands or on your ship and in your possession at that moment, with legal ownership being your entitlement to a given entity like a ship for instance.
Players can legally own a ship, an item, etc, but another player can physically take it and claim it as their own and it'll remain in that other players possession until someone else takes it from that player too. However it isn't without consequence, players can become wanted if they steal other players ships, cargo, items and will be marked to the authorities as a criminal.
This goes deeper as the gameplay for pirates can become very rewarding, but at a high cost. Players can steal cargo for instance and roll the dice by not including the cargo on their manifest when they come across authorities, or get creative by using secret compartments to store the cargo, or take the safest route to avoid authorities entirely.
The technology doesn't stop there, with diffusion, a service that allows for a new way of interacting with all the backend services at the same time will allow for more things in the world to become persistent. With 3.0 the amount of things that will persist in the world will still be fairly limited, but in the future it'll expand from affecting a small area in the world to having the entire world be affected by a variety of player actions from supply and demand, to wars, to NPC activity and so much more. A player will be able to take something from a planet and another player won't ever see what was taken, on the flipside a player can leave something and another player will find it.
With 3.0 player health, stamina, ship health and ammunition will become persistent so no longer will players be able to fire all their ammunition with no penalty, also if you fly your ship and a wing gets blown off, the next time you login it will be still missing until you go and get it repaired or make an insurance claim.
Production Schedule Update:
Evocati window now opens August 3rd. PTU window opens August 18th. Live window opens September 4th.
Delamar and Levski were completed this week along with UI for the Cargo Manifest App.