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Relay Replay: March 5th, 2017 Written Monday 6th of March 2017 at 07:46am by Shiver_Bathory

Nehkara and Shiver go over the most recent goings on and summarise the weeks news in development.

Around The 'Verse Frankfurt Report

The team is now 67 strong, made up of 14 nationalities.

Tech Art Team worked on a tool to allow Cinematic and Gameplay Animators to quickly render out previews of their work within Maya

The Weapons Art Team is doing a final polish pass on the Behring and Klaus & Werner weapons.

Also finishing up a new double barrelled ballistic shotgun from Kastak Arms.

Ship Weapon Team has been finalizing the pipeline for the new modular and upgradeable system for future ship weapons.

As shown previously on ATV, the VFX Team in Frankfurt has now implemented a system to replace the particle system on planets making it easier to set up particles on future planets. (i.e. snow, leaves falling from trees, dust blowing off rocks)

The VFX Team has also been working with System Designers on a brand new oxygen or breathing system and the visuals attached to it.  The whole system is currently very early in development.

As has been mentioned previously in the news, System Designers have been working to allow AI and players to interact with the same useable.  In addition this work includes allowing the AI to use objects within a useable, for example allowing an AI to sit at a table and use a cup or knife and fork or allowing them to get a gun or grenades from a locker.

Work has also been done to get the behaviour of all Squadron 42 characters standardized across the board.  They began with a single main cast character to get him working correctly in a full 24 hour cycle.  This template will be used to standardize all other characters.

Level Design Team is polishing its main three surface outposts: Hydroponics, Mining, and Storage which are also configurable with each other in a variety of ways internally and externally.

Engine Team has revised the cloud texture LODs to reduce aliasing and shimmer artefacts, also simple cloud animation support has been added, to be expanded upon in the future. There is now also an option to tint clouds.

First edition of the Solar System Editor is almost complete and was needed due to the size of objects they're working with.  This system allows for the macro setup of a solar system, planets orbiting the star and moons orbiting the planets.  

Crusaders Moons: Yella, Daymar, and Cellin have had significant work done on them to feel unique to one another while keeping them recognizably part of the same family.  They have also had their ecosystems completed and work on refining the geological elements and adding objects for players to explore.

AI Team in Frankfurt completed two sprints in the past month related to implementing the subsumption mission system.  This allowed for the implementation of the research and rescue missions in Crusader into Subsumption.

The team has also completed the subsumption visualizer to allow real time debugging of Subsumption.

Ship Shape: Hurricane

The Hurricane was originally designed by Casse Aerospace to overcome Tevarin shield technology, but was late to war and was phased out

Anvil Aerospace updated the design due to pressure from the Vanduul

The Hurricane was originally a starter ship with a turret focus concept

Rough preliminary information like dimensions, number and type of weapons as well as necessary animations are used to coalesce a visual design

Manufacturer styles and existing assets were used to speed up the building of this ship

Often times parts of different ships are brought together to quickly mashup a rough sketch with which to start

The Hurricane's was designed to balance out the strength of the Prowler that was developed concurrently

It's designed to hit hard and get out fast while punishing those that follow yourself

It sacrifices all to have functional engines and very powerful weaponry

The Anvil style is easily discerned from the Hurricane's visage

It takes a special gunner and pilot to man a Hurricane, albeit not necessarily sane ones

Behind the Scenes: Character Customisation

Bringing character customisation online takes several departments from Design, to Art, to Engineering.

With the base CryEngine/Lumberyard you couldn't swap out geometry, what you saw is what you got which is fine for games with maybe 20 characters, but SC is an MMO with hundreds and hundreds of players and NPCs and requires something different.

After the ship customisation system was implemented using item ports, the same concept was adapted to characters, but more refined as clothing was more delicate compared to a ship

With SC, you'll be able to select the type of head you want, skin tone, hair, eyes, etc, but what makes the character customisation system truly special is the Layering System.

The Layering System allows a player to swap any piece of clothing they want and can wear clothing on top of each other like a t-shirt with an open jacket and have the original t-shirt be visible.

This is possible because of the Zone System they've devised for clothing.

Artists are given zones for how far they can go until they'll start to clip, what's unique is the system may have up to 20 zones per section, so a t-shirt doesn't have to be the same length, this applies to all clothing.

The benefit of this is whatever is hidden won't be draw called by the game so it saves a significant amount of resources, while giving artists the creativity to make clothing that's unique and still looks great

This also applies to armour in that you can customise armour with any type of it you want, and it'll go on top of your current clothing and not rendering whatever can't be seen, saving resources again.

EVA suits however may require a certain undersuit in order to wear so going out in your Hawaiian t-shirt and shorts may not be applicable.

The system also can support items like a cape that's different compared to other games in that the cape may collide differently depending on what you're wearing so it's not always the same like other games


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