Citizens! Greetings and welcome to Episode 66 of 10 for the Chairman!
Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of 10 for the Chairman! For those of you who don’t know, 10 for the Chairman is where I take ten questions from our subscribers . Our subscribers are the subset of our community that contribute money every month that allows us to do enhanced community content, so this show, Around the Verse, Bugsmashers, Ship Shape, sometimes the behind the scenes videos we’ll do, as well as Jump Point which is a sort of deep dive monthly magazine which goes into how we build certain ships or certain game design, has fiction, talks about various parts of the universe, normally about 50 – 70 pages in length, so it’s quite hefty. But all of that is made possible by the generous contribution of the subscribers, because without you guys contributing money every month, we wouldn’t be able to do the insane amount of community interaction and content because it basically pays for all the folks who do all of that. Thank you very much for doing that, and for that I try my best to answer the questions you guys answer, well ask, I do the answers, the questions you ask about Star Citizen and Squadron 42.
So, let’s see. A little thing here, we got a black mamba joystick, that was sent by the “ZA RODINU” organization, the joystick is made by VKB Sim Pro. I haven’t actually seen these before, but they’re super cool, very nice and solid, good HATS, very cool, and it’s even got a little Star Citizen logo on it, so it’s very cool, and thank you very much for that, it’s pretty awesome. There’s like shields on the side, there’s Comstab and G-safe here, so it’s been all sorts of customized for Star Citizen which is pretty damn awesome actually. It also comes with rudder pedals, I didn’t want to leave that up on the desk, we haven’t got these out yet, but very cool. I’ll have to get that all hooked up. It’s got LED’s for missile lock, shields, and all that kind of stuff. I’m not entirely sure how the missile lock or shields would come up, but maybe that’s something you can support by doing some custom programming for it, so I don’t know. I was given this just before we started shooting this, so this is pretty cool. So thank you very much for that “ZA RODINU”.
Alright, let’s get to the questions. First question comes from Sylvok.
One of the funding goal is Alien Language, Star Citizen’s aliens will be speaking their own language. Is there any progress on this?
CR: Yes, there is progress on this. Vanduul is one of the languages, there’s many we are working on, but Vanduul we needed for Squadron 42, so in August when I was over in England just after Gamescom, we shot a few days with the actors playing some of the Vanduul in Squadron 42, and they were speaking Vanduul, and it’s very cool. We’ve actually got quite a few pretty good foreign language, sort of, made up language linguists or whatever. The person who was doing the Vanduul language, has worked on quite a few films and apparently he’s one of the world’s foremost experts on Na’vi…. he’s one of the foremost experts on it and a bunch of other things like various Star Trek stuff like Klingon. In fact, he’s the one who coached a whole bunch of people to be Klingons in the last couple of Star Trek’s, so anyways, we developed this language which I think works quite well for the Vanduul. Of course, we are doing the same thing for the Xi’An, and for the other stuff, so that was sort of Dave Haddock, working with the various folks who will be doing that. We’ll be moving forward on that, and you will in the near future, not in the immediate near future, but you will definitely be hearing Vanduul and then ultimately the other alien languages, so yes we’ve been moving forward on that.
Okay, so next question comes from Virus_1 who asks…
What will we do while transiting between systems on long flights. I have a Vanguard and while my job will be piloting, what will my gunner have to do for long flights when he is not needed in the turret?
CR: Well, I guess it sort of depends on how long you are considering the transiting is, but you are aboard the ship so I guess he can move around and stand behind you and say, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
I don’t know whether ultimately we’ll give you like a little virtual chess game that you can play like Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon. We’ll probably do some goofy things like that on board the ships.
The idea is that you won’t be sitting in quantum travel very long because the things where you would spend the most time would be quantum travel when you’re doing the jump, that would typically be a shorter period of time than if you were going from one side of a solar system to another solar system.
We haven’t 100% determined what our ratio of scales are in terms of being 100% accurate to a solar system scale or being some portion of that. Like, we’ve been discussing things like perhaps 3 hours of gameplay would represent one full day cycle in the solar system which would – potentially we’d say, “Okay, well maybe we want to have everything be 1/8th scale.” I don’t know. So, we haven’t quite figured that out but the idea would be that obviously it takes you real time to do the quantum which you are doing at some fraction of the speed of light per our fiction and you can’t shortcut it because it is a multiplayer game so you can’t time dilate the way you can in a singleplayer game where you can just sort of fade down to black and fade up and an hour has passed. But we also don’t want to make so you just sit there you’re in quantum drive forever and it’s really boring. So, we’re sort of juggling and that’s kind of where the scale comes in. The difference between absolutely 100% accurate – because even if you’re 100% accurate, traveling at 0.2 the speed of light, it would still take you quite a long time to get somewhere like Pluto and you wouldn’t want to commit that much time, hours of sitting at quantum drive, to go that distance but maybe you would commit 10 minutes. I don’t know. So, we’re sort of playing with that to see.
We don’t want to make it so long that you would get bored but we do want to make it take a bit of time, so obviously if you want to go from a long distance haul to a short distance haul there is a difference in time and commitment because it’s sort of your reward for… you know, if I’m taking goods from this planet to this planet, well I should get paid more if I’m taking it to THIS planet because I’ve gotta go twice as far and therefore it takes twice as long. So, we’re still juggling with that but on the long flight basis, you know, I think we would – I don’t know… that’s the whole point of flying with a buddy! Entertain each other with chatter when you go so it won’t be such a solitary experience. We’re going to try to make it so it’s not like strenuously long. We’re still in that process of figuring out what the appropriate amounts will be – enough to make the trips worthwhile and make you feel like, “I’ve done a trip” but not enough where you just spend your time in boring quantum space.
Next question comes from Fastball115 who asks…
Given the level of fidelity shown in the recent Gamescom demo and the Social Module v0 release, I was wondering what the road map for developing 100 complete star systems looks like. Could you provide some idea of how star systems will be rolled out to the community in the long term?
CR: Even though you’ve just seen ArcCorp, we’ve got quite a few other locations that we’ve been working on. More importantly, we’ve been working on these base architecture sets which we’ve talked about before. We use this architecture style in ArcCorp that we call Structuralism. Structuralism is one of the five or six fundamental architecture sets that we’re going to have in the universe of Star Citizen. Other examples would be Super Modernism, which you’ve kind of seen in the high end sort of luxury hangar, also sort of stuff you’d see on Terra. We’d have Monumentalism, which would be the big edifices, big, sort of huge imposing buildings. Our own version of Monumentalism would be the kind of stuff you’d see in Rome, with the Colliseum, these big imposing monuments of civilization. So that’s monumentalism.
We have Colonialism, which is more of like frontier outposts, ??Hannowism??, which is sort of more like this bunker style stuff. So we have these various differenty styles of architecture, and they are built of modular pieces called the tier sets, and so a good example is in the Stanton system which will be the first system that you will be adventuring around, we’re putting you in the large world map, a sort of fictionalized version of Stanton, not the proper Stanton, that will come online separately, and then we’ll just activate it. But Stanton has four main planets in it, and each of the main planets has a distinct feel. You’re on ArcCorp, and you know, the big thing with the Stanton system is that the planets were sold off to various corporations, so ArcCorp owns one, Hurston Dynamics owns another one, Microtech owns another one, and Crusader Industries owns another one. Crusader are the guys that built the Starliner. So each one of those places is quite distinct, Crusader sort of these floating buildings around the gas giant that allows them to build these bigger ships, not constrained so much by gravity. Then you have Hurston Dynamics which is sort of like this industrial world, an industrial wasteland where it’s full of smog and foundries, it looks like something from the beginning of Joe Versus the Volcano. And then we have ArcCorp which is this whole world covered by this city essentially. And then we have Microtech which is the company behind the mobiGlas and sim stuff, and they are on a perpetually cold snowy planet, so they’ve all got very different feels to them, but they all fundamentally underneath it all use this structuralism set with some modifications and styles, so they have some sort of unique bespoke aspects for each one of these locations, but they all use this common building set and then materials, colors, and stuff change out.
So we’re building these sets, and they are interchangeable, and modular and can be built on top of each other to allow us once we’ve got those building blocks in place, to be able to deliver a lot more of these locations. One of the first things we’d deliver would be the Stanton system with these four different planets you can travel between and get missions, do business, and trade. And then, we’d ultimately open up some jump gates to go to other systems and that’s kind of our plan. You know right now we’re going to give you this large world map which comes with multi-crew which will be a baby version of Star Citizen. You’ll be able to do a lot of the things you’ll be able to do in Star Citizen, but missing a bunch of the functionality we plan and full time proper persistence. Being able to buy and sell different stuff in game will be coming pretty soon, landing and taking off from different planets won’t be there, but will be something we’ll be rolling in, but that will be our test bed, I think I mentioned this before, as a multi-crew. And then we’ll be building these systems, in parallel, when we have our first one ready to go, BAM! We’ll drop you in it, and then we’ll be flying around our very first system which will be Stanton. And then some more systems which will come online and we’ll open up jump points between them and we’ll slowly expand out. The plan is, we’re laying a lot of track, with these pieces that we’re putting together and you’re going to start to see the benefit of all that coming towards the end of this year and through next year where all these pieces have been built, and then it is quite quick for us to lay out the environments where you’d land. Yes, there’s a lot of crafted stuff, but we’re also using some systematic or procedural tools to populate stuff. So there will be like – you put a bar in there, and there will be all sorts of rules with a bar, like I can just populate NPCs around and they’ll be like, “Oh, there’s a bar nearby. I’ll go there to have a drink after work and then after that I’ll go to my home”. We’ll set all that up, that’s what subsumption is, as mentioned in Tony’s plan, but people would have their lives and all this other stuff that we’ve talked about.
So, that’s kind of the plan, we’re planning to deliver more systems. Just to let you know, when it says 100 complete star systems, we don’t mean we’re delivering 100 complete star systems tomorrow or all in one day because you know, we got to a bunch of our star systems in our stretch goals, and also some of these star systems are to be explored and found. So, our focus is to get the core UEE space and the surrounding systems. The ones that you see will be on the star map, which we’ll be revealing and sharing on the web next month, you’ll have the first couple of key systems where you’ll be able to adventure in, in more detail on this star map and then the other ones will be more high level, and then as we get into them, we’ll build them up. But, that’s the plan is to start with one system and then move our way out. We’re sort of laying the groundwork for that. So that’s our plan, that’s how we’ll roll them out, but not committing to specific dates though cause I’ve learned that issue.
Okay, so next one comes from Doc Tari who asks…
I have packages and ships that currently total up to 3 VFG Industrial hangars and 4 Selfland hangars. Will I be able to assign them to different landing zones and systems in the P.U.?
CR: Yeah, I would guess so. The mechanics… with people having various packages, so a character would come with a package, they would come with the various… whatever type of hangar. We haven’t fully worked out the dynamics but I think the intention was especially… I think we’ve already talked about this is to allow someone that has backed us to the extent that they have that much stuff, thank you very much by the way Doc Tari. We would allow you to maybe sort of split that around different places in the universe. In terms of the mechanics and how it works, it would be hard to say right now, maybe you would have the ability or a chit to start in a couple places and you can pick them. Maybe you decide not to turn the chit in and perhaps when you come into a certain place you say, ‘oh, I’d like to have a hangar here’. Then because you still have a hangar credit you can basically turn that in for a hangar at that location. That is to be worked out long term but at first we want to get the hangar connected to the local environment, connected to the space and flying around. So, I would say that you probably will be able to assign them to different landing zones and systems in the PU. You may have to travel to those systems first to do that or you have your starting location in a few places and you could maybe pick a couple places you could have your zones. We haven’t quite figured that detail out but you will be able to do longer term so there you go. All right.
Next question comes from Ghostwolf who asks…
Are there any plans to have any type of supported add on’s in the game, in regards to UI customization or data collection? There are quite a few of us building elaborate Simpit set ups and would love to have the ability to configure additional screens for MFD’s for valuable information.
CR: Yeah, so I think this is where we’re sort of talking about having this API available from the game, to allow people to scrub some economy data, or also get inputs or date for secondary screens and stuff. So, longer term, yes. We’ve said we want to do that, so those are things that would definitely be on the list. They would not be obviously the first up, because let’s get the game finished and get it done, and let everyone adventure around it, but long term we would. This is not going to be a short term project, I mean, it hasn’t really been for you guys, because you’ve backed it and stayed with it. It’s obviously taking longer, but it’s going to be much bigger and I think, much better than everyone was originally thinking it was going to be because it’s got a level of detail that’s just going to be amazing. But, it is something we’re going to commit to longer term and these are the sorts of features that once the base version is up and running, we’ll start to add on this extra stuff. The more stuff that people can connect into it, the more that they’ll be able to add their own, user generated content, and all that stuff. So that is something that we’d put on our long term roadmap, and have in fact some of it we’ve already announced that we would have an app that would hook into say, your mobiGlas, and you could check on like an account, or arrange for a meetup with people, or transfer stuff around in system on an app, and we’ve definitely talked about secondary screen stuff. We’ll probably also do secondary screen stuff also for the high end Saitek HOTAS that we’re developing with them, so yes. Long term, we definitely want to create some level of API for you guys, because I think it would add to – it’s amazing what you guys have managed to do without us providing any of that, so imagine what if we did provide you something like that.
Okay, next question comes from RustySpoork who asks…
Will we ever be able to install a radar that gives our HUD object detection? Specifically, will there be a radar that can outline or highlight “dead” objects like asteroids or ship chunks?
CR: I mean, yeah, there’s nothing that really stops it from doing that right now other than the fact that we made a conscious choice not to allow it to detect every object or entity out there, otherwise it would clutter up your radar. So I guess I’m sort of debating about this, because I’m not sure you’d want to be flying and have an asteroid, you know, 10,000 asteroids on your radar because that would be a lot of noise. I think we’d definitely have the bigger, like an asteroid over a certain size, or an asteroid base would show up on it, and ship chunks, but basically the system already does that because everything in space is what you’d call an entity. So a spaceship is an entity, an asteroid is an entity, a projectile is an entity, a floating pilot would be an entity. So it’s really about filtering out what you want to see. Right now, we filter out everything but the spaceships and the missiles, but we could have modes where you know, you might want to say “I’m just looking for downed pilots,” or “I’m looking for reclaimed debris”, and it wouldn’t be too hard for us to actually do. I think at some point we’d have those scanners put in there, say for instance if you’re in the Reclaimer and you’re looking for debris, you’d probably have a scanner that would look for debris areas. Now maybe it won’t give you a location of every piece of debris, because that would be too much, but it would say, there’s a good concentration of debris over here, so maybe this is a good place to go reclaim some debris.
So I guess the answer is, yes we can do it. We can do it right now. The only reason we haven’t done it yet is because we’ve been combat focused in Arena Commander and obviously you care more about other spaceships and missiles. It’s really about filtering out what you see and what you don’t see. The question mark with it is say with an asteroid field, you probably don’t want to see every asteroid because that’d be too much, so set a filter to have it only be asteroids over a certain size or whatever it would be or only asteroids so close to you would be another way of doing it. Next question.
Will the drop of ac 2.0 multicrew mayhem see the addition of a few more maps to play in? Or will the existing two be expanded?
CR: First of all, I think we’re starting to, well not really starting to, we’ve decided it’s not really Arena Commander that we’re dropping, we’re dropping multi-crew which is really, we’ve been calling it SC Alpha for awhile, but SC Alpha as we drop with the multicrew will have Arena Commander inside of it, it will have Star Marine inside it, it will have the social Planetside inside it. Plus, you’ll be playing on a brand new map, so I think I’ve talked about this before. It’s a large world map, it’s much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, MUCH, MUCH BIGGER than the Arena Commander maps, which are limited to I think about 8 to 10 km in diameter. For this map, it’s hundreds of thousands or millions of kilometers in size, so it’s geometrically larger by a long way. It’s setup to be more like the persistent universe, it’s not meant to be a simulation the way Arena Commander itself is, which is a bit more gamey. You are going to spawn on a space station the way you saw at the Gamescom demo. You’ll be able to go to different panels and say “Oh, I want to pull up this ship from my account”, and say you own a Constellation, so it will say “Yup, Constellation is on Landing Pad 3”, and then you can go over to Landing Pad 3. It’ll be keyed only for you use and once you’ve used it, your other friends can come and join you and you can take off from Landing Pad 3. We’ll have a safe zone surrounding the starting space station, and it will be a station similar to what you saw at Gamescom, but with more stuff and more additions and then there will be other areas you can go and explore.
So you could go and explore other space stations, other moons, asteroid fields, communication satellites that you’ll be able to hack into and get information, and destinations you’ll be able to go and fly. There will be areas you can go and salvage stuff, reclaim stuff. There’s some asteroids, some space stations, there’s some stuff where you’ll be able to go and have PVP fights inside as well as on ships, there will be weapons you’ll be able to salvage and scavenge, it’s going to be kinda fun. It’s going to be kind of a mini little game, much more free form and allow more things for players to do. So yeah, it’s a pretty big map, and it’s got a lot more than any of our other stuff has, and there’ll be a fair amount of stuff for people to do. We’re interested in seeing what happens. There will be random AI encounters you can go and find, sort of have a more single player experience, but there’ll be other areas where it’ll be okay to fight other players and then you can have at it. Yeah, it’s going to be a fun, free form experience and like I said, it’s our version of the test kitchen of the Persistent Universe, where we’ll start to roll out new functionality and new testing. We get minable asteroids happening with the voxel tech we want to work on, put asteroids out there you can go mine, you can have that happening. You want to have a cargo mission where you go from A to B, those kinds of things would start to happen and spawn on here.
That’s what we’re calling our large world map, Crusader, is the name of the map, and it’s based around the gas giant of Crusader. Instead of adding new maps, we’ll probably just keep adding points of interest because we’re on a large world map so the thing is massive. It could be a couple billion kilometers across, so we’ll be able to keep on adding points of interest. There will be places where you can repair your ship, there will be places where you can refuel. So yeah, a big difference between Arena Commander and what we are calling SC Alpha. Obviously then, we start expanding on that, because then at some point we’ll let you go down and land on a planet, and then you’ll be on the Planetside location as you’ve been seeing in ArcCorp. You can also buy and sell stuff, and then take off and go to other places. That’s basically the Star Citizen game cycle, and then we keep adding more functionality, more locations, open up more jump points and then go on from there.
It’s going to be cool, and we’ll be giving you the first drop of SC Alpha/multicrew ready for you after Citizen Con, so end of October. We’re feeling pretty optimistic about being able to do that, but you know, that’s still a little ways off, so don’t shoot me if something blows up and goes wrong. So far, in what we’ve got left to do, in terms of scoping it we think we should be on that target, but you’re getting it raw from the source, there’s no padding in that. But definitely, you’ll be playing it not far after that, and having a good time. We’re excited about it, we’re kind of keen to see how people feel about it, because there will be lots of more stuff to do and I’m sure there will be loads of cool videos you guys will be making and we’ve got a big plan to deliver a lot of content, carrying out from then onwards.
Okay, next question comes from Starswift
Will voice comms be openly audible in open, public spaces like bars (ie. can I listen in for intel) and will it be possible to overhear voice comms when carrying out EW activities in my Sentinel or Herald?
CR: Yeah, I mean if we have VOIP which we do plan to have and we’re going to have it diegetic so it’s in the universe so to speak. So, you know if I’m talking to Thomas, he’s on the other side of the camera here, and you’re sitting over here *indicates to his right* you’ll hear me situationally talk to him. I guess people could make sure to be careful about eavesdropping or try to find other communication methods to trade dastardly plots or whatever. You will also be able to overhear voice comms – one of the whole points of electronic warfare kind of setup like things like the Sentinel or the Herald is all about being able to sort of intercept communications. So, you’ll be able to do that and I think there will be a certain case like when you’re flying in space you can channel the comms to just to be to the person you want to talk to or you can just broadcast a comm too and if you broadcast it, everyone can hear it. Of course, anyone on their side can say, ‘nope, I don’t want to hear broadcast comms’. So, anyway that’s the plan.
Okay, Dawn-ke asks…
Post-release will there be more opportunities for the modding community to develop ships similar to TNGS and have them officially become part of the game? Could other acclaimed mods adding apparel, weapons or environments be made part of the official game eventually?
CR: So, the answer to that is we absolutely do want to do that, I think I’ve said before that there will need to be a certain amount of curation to make sure what people build fit inside the fiction and the world. Also, we have to make sure that people are building things that are like.. make sense inside the world. For instance, someone can’t just build a ship with like 500 death guns on the front and the biggest thruster you’ve ever seen because that would unbalance the game. So, we’re sort of thinking that perhaps we would say, ‘so, here’s an approved spec of a ship’. It can have these kind of guns, it can have these kind of thrusters, it will be this approximate mass or this size. You, the community, would come up with it and we would maybe do that not just for ships but perhaps guns or clothing items or other things and allow people to mod that and put that in. Then perhaps we could do something that would be along the lines of what Valve does on their stuff, to allow the people that create it to share in the revenue from that in some form or fashion. We haven’t figured that out yet but long term it would be really great for the community to generate a fair amount of content because it’s pretty hard to keep up with everyone’s consumption rates and so we’re really focused on creating systematic gameplay that really feeds into what players do and their actions generate other actions and other possibilities and other missions. That would also go into…it would be great if the community also was helping create ships, or weapons, or clothing items in the same way that our internal team is because we’re hoping this will be a game that goes on for a long time, there will be lots of people playing it and so therefore there will be a lot of people who will want to have all these different things and we probably won’t be able to keep up with it as well as we could without the community helping us out. So, that is our goal. There you go.
Alright, last question comes from Zodiac Medicae,
During the Dragoncon Q&A, Ben mentioned that the MISC Endeavor draws inspiration from the Valley Forge in the movie Silent Running. I love this movie and wonder if you have any other classic movies that we’ll see homages to?
CR: Well, I mean you’ve already seen some. You’ve seen the Constellation commercial which is an absolute homage to 2001 with the very famous time cut of throwing the bone up and turning into a space station and a ship docking with a space station and I definitely think that you’ll see lots of sci-fi homages whether it’s to Star Wars which obviously a fair number of people here are fans of. Things like Battlestar Galactica. Things like Firefly/Serenity, Aliens, Alien, Blade Runner. I mean, you can see some of the stuff that we’ve been doing for ArcCorp and you can think, “Ah… maybe a little bit of Blade Runner.” Today I was just looking at some stuff. We were kind of playing around with some ship ideas and designs and we were looking at the Eagle in Space 1999. So, yeah there will be lots of stuff out there. There’s plenty of great sci-fi movies. You know, there’s some other stuff… Like, I don’t know if any of you guys have seen Sunshine – that’s a Danny Boyle movie, it’s actually quite an underrated movie. It’s really good and it had a really great ship design in it.
Note from Nehkara: I am completely agree with Chris here. Sunshine is a fantastic and underrated movie. I encourage everyone to check it out!
Note from StormyWinters: You’ll cry. It’s sad. Viewer beware. Incredible soundtrack though
Note from Silverb0lt: I cry at the drop of a hat. I’m adding it to my queue.
All I can say is, yes we will have quite a few homages as we go on and it will be kind of fun. We do it because we like it, everyone here are sci-fi fans and I think most of you guys are. So, there you go.
Alright, well that is the 10 questions for 10 for the Chairman this week.
I would like to thank all of you for listening in. I would like to thank the subscribers that have been generously contributing to allow us to have the people to do this and take the time to do this.
I would like to thank the community in general that have backed us to make the game. It’s constantly amazing me that everybody has been so supportive and allowing us to make the game of this ambition. Thank you very very much. It’s a privilege and an honour. I can tell you that everyone is working really really hard to deliver the game of your dreams because it’s the game of our dreams. It’s gonna be really cool. Obviously, things take a little longer than sometimes we want but I can see it as it comes together and I don’t think this opportunity would ever happen anywhere else but for what happened here. It would have never have happened with a publisher. It would never have happened the old way. This is totally something that is happening because of a new way of how community and the people making the games can come together to achieve a dream. Thank you very much for allowing us to do that, giving us your trust and faith and you will not be disappointed. You may be slightly impatient waiting for some things but you will definitely not be disappointed.
Thank you and I’ll see you next week!