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Relay Replay: May 14 Written Monday 15th of May 2017 at 08:21am by Shiver Bathory

Nehkara and Shiver give a quick summary of the key points of the week's development in Star Citizen

AtV

Studio Update

Gameplay

  • Player Interaction system has moved along quickly and the Inner Thought System has seen further improvements

  • Air Traffic Controller initial implementation underway, working on the underlying structure

  • Finishing up the Character Status System: final implementation of procedural breathing and suit punctures

  • Working on ‘pick up and carry’ combining player interaction and Useables

  • Initial development of conversation tech into Subsumption; Design implementing all conversations to test

Audio

  • R&D and planning for systems to map and modify audio automatically

  • Work continues on Audio Propagation System, Breathing System audio and "Word Up" (a new dialogue tool)

  • Also Ship Weapons Toolkit, Gallant reload audio, weapon tell refactor, multi-positional code support

Music

  • Working on Dynamically Looping Cinematic Ambient Music System

  • Also dogfighting music logic clean up, Tension System prototyping and planetside procedural music

  • Added more music to the launcher

Graphics

  • Initial integration of real time lit volumetric fog from Lumberyard

  • Render to texture is progressing quickly; initial 2D version UI Team to update UIs (3D holographic projections soon)

  • Real time Environment Probe Tech nearing completion (allows fully dynamic bounce light and reflections on a planet)

VFX

  • Atmospheric flight effect: planetary entry VFX and engine trails are now being merged, optimised and fixed

  • Lightning entity effect improvements: attempting to create realistic lightning and electrical effects

  • Completed first pass on the MISC Prospector thrusters and damage

  • Initial work on APR Scourge railgun ‘charging’ and ‘charged’ effects

Concept Art

  • Origin 600i concept is now in its final stages

Weapons

  • Completed Preacher Distortion Scattergun and Apocalypse Arms Scattershot

  • Working on Klaus and Werner LMG.

Ship

  • Reclaimer has made a lot of progress: hull exterior (and claw) completed; interior habitation, tech and salvage completed

  • Work has also begun on the derelict ships: ships are being broken into structural elements, aged/deteriorated materials are being created and a wreckage component is being worked on

  • Razor hull is complete and damage pass in progress; LODs are being finalised, working to get it flight ready

  • Hull C exterior is largely complete: maneuvering thrusters are being incorporated and polish work done to match the interior and exterior

Environment

  • Exploring ways to create volumetric forms in space

  • Surface Outposts are finishing their interior visual benchmarks for engineering, habitation and hydroponics

  • Truck Stop space stations are in final art phase: working on shader library and bringing pieces up to final art quality

Animation

  • Working on the cover AI to improve all animations beyond ‘functional’

  • Breathing state improvements: migrating curve data from Maya to DataForge

  • Implemented multi-directional takedowns: killing enemies within close proximity

  • Improvements to weapon set ups and reloads: Devastator shotgun, Arrowhead sniper rifle, Galant laser rifle and P8SC ballistic SMG

  • Melee improvements for pistol and stock weapon archetypes

Derby

  • Busy with face and body animations for 3.0 mission givers

  • Delivered 500 facial animations files for implementing into S42

  • Tracked and solved almost 1000 body animations for the PU

  • New facial animations for shooting guns

Behinds the Scenes: Player Interaction System

  • The Player Interaction System touches everything in game opening up numerous opportunities to interact with contextual feedback

  • This is the third version since the Alpha 2.5 interaction system and incorporates Item 2.0 with raycast and collision geometry and new added features to make it more contextually aware of the player's interactions

  • The original Use System was limited to one action and wasn't very descriptive

  • A fundamental rewrite was needed to bring the interaction system to the wanted level of immersive detail

  • During the earliest cargo prototypes it became clear that a unifying core was needed to facilitate the vastly growing input systems

  • This completely new system uses a changeable cursor upon condition and highlighting of interacted object to provide more focus, clarity and feedback for the player's interaction

  • The philosophy is that the object along in tandem with the player's state dictates how interaction functions for a more natural approaches

  • The player's interaction is only limited by the animation and the physicality of the character

  • The system uses proximity query, checking interact-able objects around the character and cursor raycasts to browse the available interaction options

  • How to do these things while covering all the various player and environmental options and providing the expected level of polish took hard coordination between the LA and UK offices

  • A difficult aspect to getting this system together was they had to build various systems of the game in isolation so they would function regardless of the fact the rest of the game wasn’t there

  • Taking all these specific behaviour tailored to all these systems and create a generic interaction object that needs to sync with all these other generic aspects

  • They also need to have all these interactions that need to coexist with a wide variety of gameplay

  • A type of intelligence needed to be added to the game to create a more intuitive experience where interacting with objects is concerned

  • Anything designated as being interactable is using the Item 2.0 component System

  • The new system adds the ability to have interactions on particular bones/subregions of an entity

  • Generic components gives them building blocks to make things ultra bespoke but the downside to bespoke content is: It requires constant maintenance due to changing technology, changing environments you’ve places items in, etc

  • Making behaviours more separated/modular/generic allows for things to be built out more conceptually

  • They used subsystems such as zone system queries for figuring out which objects you can interact with are in proximity of the player and also such things like ray casting to determine which objects were best used

  • There is now through line of input you can interact with the whole game that is consistent

  • The new interaction system is more about fluidly browsing what you can clearly see, options are more clearly defined

  • The new system also requires you to move around less compared to the old one

  • They’ve been focused on consolidating their behaviours/tech to get to the point where when they build things they can just stitch them together conceptually

  • In conjunction with the interaction system they’re working on something they call rendered texture that in a UI sense means it allows the UI to render properly within the rendering pipeline

  • Rendered texture tech will also allow them to project onto curved surfaces

  • Continuously adding new things and thinking of new possibilities for the system including unifying systems to gain the benefits from the new interaction system

Of note Aegis Eclipse concept next week $275

All CCU options will soon cost an additional $5, this also applies to $0 CCUs

Shiver Bathory

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