10 for the Chairman is back! Check out the transcript below
Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of 10 for the Chairman. This is the first one in a while, because I’ve been over in Europe, mostly in the UK, first of all for the leadup to CitizenCon, which went over really really well. I think, well it felt to me anyway like a lot of people really liked what we showed, we’re physically working right now on finishing off 2.0 for you guys to play in the very near future. But this picture back here actually is something that I promised one of our long-term backers, a gentleman called Hank who sent me this for my Birthday, but I was over in UK shooting Squadron 42, so I didn’t see it, and when I ran into him at Gamescom he says oh, did you see my painting that I sent you, and I said no, I haven’t seen it yet, and then when I saw him again at CitizenCon, I was like, no, still haven’t seen it, so I came back, went over to Community, saw it, and it’s awesome, so thank you so much, it’s a really great painting of a Scythe, and we’ll get it framed and we’ll put it in the new office, so thank you very much.
It’s good to be back here in Los Angeles, the weather is, well, normally a little better than England, although it was kinda rainy yesterday, but it’s certainly warmer than Europe is at this time of year. As much as I like going to Frankfurt, as much as I like being in Manchester, it is kind of nice back when there is sunshine out here. And it’s good to be back with the team who I haven’t seen for about five weeks, cause I was doing work on CitizenCon stuff, and then also finishing off the selects for all the Squadron 42 P-cap we shot, so sitting with the editor, picking the various takes we want to send over for motion capture, and also for sort of the facial capture. So that’s going to be super cool, we’ve sort of revealed the cast, which is great, but as we go along we’ll give you some more in-depth stuff, and be showing you the facial and body tech as we move along, cause what we showed was very early , and it’s going to be so much better by the time everything’s done, so I’m super excited by Squadron 42 as I am about Star Citizen 2.0, which is going to be cool.
So, for those of you that don’t know, 10 for the Chairman is where I take 10 questions from our Subscribers, and answer them to the best of my ability. Our subscribers are the subset of our community that contribute money every month to allow us to do a higher degree of community content, and it’s one of the things, I think that set Star Citizen apart from other Crowd funded games, and generally games in development. Because we have a huge amount of interaction with everybody in the community. It’s amazing to have all of you support us in building this game, and we like to share the development with you guys so you can sort of see us building Star Citizen and building Squadron 42 as we go along, and without the subscribers contributing the money, we wouldn’t have the funds to have all the sort of additional community staff and video staff and be able to do the multiple video shows every week and, you know, the many posts we do every week on our website, so we have more posts than days in the week, I think we’re up to three or four video shows a week, which is pretty crazy, but it’s all really down to subscribers, so thank you very much. It’s a lot of work to do all this content, but I think sharing the journey of making the game is something that for the team is really fun.
I mean, I know when we were at CitizenCon, it was one of the first times that the UK team really got to experience being around the community and the sort of support and excitement and enthusiasm, there’s 130 people in the Manchester office, it’s our biggest office, and it’s full of really talented people, but they hadn’t really experienced it in person until CitizenCon and I have to tell you that after CitizenCon, for the next week, there was a massive buzz in the office. It just makes you, when you… making games is hard. Making a game as big and complicated as Star Citizen is several orders harder than normal. But it’s worth it when you know there’s a huge audience of people out there that can’t wait for the game, are excited by it, and also excited to sort of learn how it’s getting put together and be involved in the process, give their feedback, and all the rest of the stuff. So, we’re all super excited about getting 2.0 into your hands in the very near future, we’re all working on that very hard, in all the offices, so we’re all pretty excited to get, and see what happens, I mean, I already go online and see youtube videos of people doing crazy stuff in free flight, so what people are going to be able to do in 2.0 is going to be a whole nother level above that, so that’s going to be awesome. So, let’s get to it, and I’ll answer the first of the ten questions here. So the first one comes from Mario, who asks…
@ 4:47 Mario asks:
What are the plans about the separate release of Squadron 42? Will you treat it like any other retail game with TV commercials of will it be something smaller?
For us you know I think were not standard. We’re not going to be doing the typical sort of you know big publisher, blanket the TV commercials, I mean first off. We’ve been pretty much taking all the money we have raised and putting it into development opposed to things like marketing. Essentially everything we have done in terms of marketing has been completely viral, it’s been sort of PR driven and community driven and you guys have actually been the best marketeers for us we haven’t been doing banner ads we haven’t been doing anything.
I would say for Squadron 42 especially at the beginning, we’re showing the PC. I don’t think we see a massive benefit of doing sort of TV advertising because we’re hoping the games going to speak for itself and it will be great word of mouth and we’ll kind of go from there and if it’s doing well and making us money then maybe we would sort of doing some more traditional marketing to reach some of the audience that we don’t normally reach through the typical sort of PR or viral channels that we have been doing. I think we’ll certainly at the beginning anyway, Squadron 42 will be sort of much more kind of guerilla style marketing. Maybe there will be one or two things a banner ad or two, who knows.
We’re not really planning on doing it the full sort of EA treatment because we would much rather put the money into the game to be honest with you. Like I said if we sold a bazillion copies then maybe we’ll double down a bit. Upfront it will be kind of what we have been doing now with probably some more of some of the events and publicity to raise the awareness, so there you go!
Next question comes from CommodreFly who asks
@ 6:37 CommodreFly asks:
If having downed shields prevents you from entering Quantum Travel will a ship be able to remotely ‘hack’ another ship’s shields to temporarily go down or reboot as to force the ship of a Quantum Leap? Likewise, would it be possible to use something like a probe or other mass (like my ship) to interrupt the course of a ship in Quantum Travel to render similar results?
Yes, we’ve talked about having the ability beyond things like EMP like electronic warfare and hacking other ships, disabling systems or interfering with systems and so if you manage to bring the shields by doing something like that yes it would stop the ship from going to Quantum drive. Also the whole point of having the Quantum drive and Quantum Travel you can’t have objects in your path because you’re just going in a straight line and going very fast so if you are in the way of a ship going into Quantum Travel or there is something with mass like a probe or whatever in the way of the travel then yes it would pull that person out of Quantum Travel and that is the whole idea. So that will definitely be active in the PU, i’m not sure about the very first version of 2.0 we’ll do that I would actually have to check thats a later stage PU but that is the whole idea of the design, so there you go!
@ 8:06 Vacation asks:
Will you have NPC’s crewing a ballistic turret are they aware they have a finite number of shots, and how do they pace themselves?
Well, yes we’ll definitely have NPCs, they’ll be able to crew various stations so turrets, engineering, communications stations, all that kind of stuff. And if they are crewing a ballistic turret, part of the idea of sophisticated AI is for them to know their weapons. If they are using an energy weapon they know they can’t use it too much or else it’s overheating; a ballistic one they should maybe make their shots count, if they have not so much ammo then maybe they won’t be as liberal with shooting as if they had lots of ammo. So that will all be part of the AI.
Obviously AI is an ongoing quest; we’ll constantly be working on it and improving and adding to it. So the early AI may not be as sophisticated as the stuff we’ll have later on down the road but all those will be factors that should and will be considered in the AI.
@ 9:07 HeroicFrog asks:
Will there be any incentives to keep your original ships hull? (I.E: Ship’s name displayed as a decal after ‘X’ amount of flight time. or simply a different paint job becomes available, etc..)
I’m planning and wanting to have the ability to sort of name your ship and put details and name it. That’s not necessarily going to be obviously in 2.0 but that is definitely something we want part of the PU and a persistence thing. You have your own kind of identity right? You want your Millennium Falcon but you’ve done all these things with and has a history.
I think that you know we’ll let you name it and do some other stuff and I don’t know what necessarily they’ll be other incentives to keep the hull but I think potentially longer term we can have aspects where you sort of wear it in and get to know sort of the boundaries or edges of your equipment and we’re definitely going to do that on the components where you’ll know which ones you can overclock or not overclock and stuff like that.
You set it up a certain specific way and so turning and getting a new ship setup will take a little bit of time and investment so a lot of times when you got a ship you got it setup you want to keep it that way and won’t necessarily want to lose it because you’ll have to set a new one up the same way and it’ll just take a bit of time to dial it in so to speak, so there you go on that one!
Alright next question comes from Jmojo who asks
@ 10:32 Jmojo asks:
What kind of missions will we see generated by the game? Will we be able to have a freelance as prisoner transport for the UEC prison system? Or as Drake Herald latch onto a bigger ship and take information from them?
Yes, well, I mean there’s going to be a vast amount of missions, many more than done here, but yes. I mean, there potentially could be things like prisoner transport missions, I mean obviously I”ve talked about things like trading missions, bounty hunter missions, mercenary missions, there’s information running, so that’s the Drake Herald which will be taking data from point A to point B. I’m not sure that the Drake Herald will latch onto a bigger ship, but it certainly will take an information burst and then it can carry it to a destination and broadcast it, or you could hand deliver a data drive, and stuff like that. But there’s going to be a whole bunch, I mean the whole idea with the mission system that will run in the persistent universe is that we sort of have this bigger Universe simulation that happens, and that’s sort of more a turn-based simulation, but it has 20 million AI and PC’s running all around doing their stuff, and there’s a whole set of rules of, these economic nodes need these kinds of products, so they request them from other areas and that will generate missions where people will take the goods and if pirates attack them then there’ll be more missions for bounty hunters to go after the pirates and mercenaries to protect the convoys, and all those missions become available for AI or players.
So players can take ‘em or AI can take them if players don’t take them, and then depending on the outcome of the missions, that either is simulated on the Universe side, if there’s no players involved, which is more sort of high-end turn-based simulation, or, if players did get involved, or come across these missions, they get simulated on a high-fidelity basis, which is sort of the gameplay, running around, flying the ship, doing the actions, and the results of those get fed back into the universe simulation so if you kill some pirates, it gets told back to the Universe simulator, which says okay, these two pirates were killed in this system, so now there’ll be two less pirates in that system, so you could have a whole bunch of bounty hunters, clean out the pirates in the system, and then all of a sudden there won’t be pirates on the universe simulator in that system, so there won’t be so much piracy, so there won’t be so many missions then for mercenaries to do escorting, but of course, some pirates in another system may hear that there’s no no pirates there, no competition, so they may move into it, so all of that happens, the universe system sort of runs this echo system that has a feedback loop from the game, and the game itself basically scrapes the state of the universe system periodically.
We haven’t quite determined whether it’s every 30 minutes or every 5 minutes, but it sort of time-slices across all the systems and says, okay, who’s in this system right now, what AI do we have, what are they doing, what locations they are, and then it uses that to sort of generate the local situations that you experience when you’re flying around yourself. So it’s kind of like the universe system is a dynamic mission generator for the game experience. You have, and so it’s got a really cool feedback loop, it’s going to feel really alive, even if there’s only you in the game, there’s still going to be loads of AI moving around. I’ve already said that I’ve got almost a 90% AI and PC’s to 10% player base, even if we’ve got millions of players, so what that means is no matter what, the Universe will b e alive, things will be happening, there’ll be reactions to what you do, and it can be with you and your friends, you can come across other players, so I think it will be a really really cool experience, and there will be lots of missions, so… not just the ones I’ve mentioned, or that was asked questions about. okay, next question comes from Hardwired who asks…
@14:16 Hardwired asks:
Do all ships have the same speed while in Quantum/Supercruise?
No they don’t all have the same speed in Quantum/Supercruise. Supercruise itself, I don’t know if you’re thinking Supercruise as in the definition of it in Elite: Dangerous, because we actually have our own version of cruise that’s one of the new flight modes what will debut in 2.0 which is somewhere between SCM (Space Combat Maneuvering) and Quantum Travel and that will be based on mass and thrust and everything else, it will change depending and that number will even change dynamically for an individual ship depending on what you’re doing in terms of power and thrust and fuel and all the rest of stuff. Quantum itself; we’ve talked about different Quantum Drives or different levels of mass of a ship affecting the rate of Quantum so we sort of discussed the best Quantum Drives in the galaxy right now in human hands anyway does 0.2 speed of light but that doesn’t mean they all do that maybe a slow boat trading ship would be able to do maybe 0.1 but it just take them longer to get somewhere but they can haul a whole bunch more cargo and goods, so there you go!
@15:33 Wraithking asks:
How will communications between two ships be organized? Do you have to choose different frequencies talking to an alien ship?
In terms of the communication between two ships it’s still early days on that, obviously there’s a simple chat system that’s in the game right now, but we’re thinking that you’d open a channel; you’d target a ship; you’d request to talk to them and then you can make that a channel that you can talk on your frequency or you could have it public and broadcast. And then, potentially, if you’re talking between someone on that frequency, depending on the ship and equipment, someone else could potentially snoop on it depending on what they’ve got. Not all the time but some people would. So we’ll allow you to hail ships and open secure transmissions with them or just generally broadcast stuff and go from there. But it’s still early days so they’re all functionality and features that are yet to be properly implemented into the game but we have some pretty strong ideas on how it will work and hopefully you guys will like it too.
@16:41 Aiden Feskin asks:
Will the Vanduul be fundamentally evil? Or can we find or see peaceful Vanduul?
I would say as far as the UEE’s concern and as far as your point of view, the Vanduul are out for the destruction of humanity. Who’s to say there isn’t some stuff longer term that you may discover that has a bit more backstory to the Vanduul but generally they’re sort of an opposition to the UEE in the same way the Visigoths and the Vandals and antiquities were in opposition in the Roman Empire.
They don’t think or approach things the same way that we do as Humans and so they sort of see us and our planets as weak and as resources to harvest basically. They take what they want where they want. I don’t know whether you would say they’re fundamentally evil or they just have a very different point of view than we do, so there you go!
Next question comes from Midyen who asks.
@17:47 Midyen asks:
With the release of the Star Citizen Alpha 2.0, what will become of our hangers, simpod and holotable? The demo at CitizenCon didn’t show the players in a hanger, nor did I see the simpod or a holotable when they requested their ships. Will there be a mechanic tin place to customise our ship loadout in the initial release of 2.0? Will the hangers be temporarily disabled?
No, hangars will still exists. You can still load into your hangar; you can still mess around with your ships; you can still change the loadouts on your ships; and from the hangar you can access ArcCorp; you can access Port Olisar, which is the space station which you start on in 2.0; or you can go into the Simpod and access Electronic Access to play Arena Commander and, when we turn it on, Star Marine. So in some ways the hangar is still going to be the hub. We have some later stage stuff that we’ll debut that will remove the loading screens and make it more seamless and streaming: it’s not just there yet but it will be in the not too distant future.
And longer term for the first version of 2.0 we probably won’t have a holotable available or a MobiGlas UI available for you to customise your ship while you are at Port Olisar or a space station or pad but that is the long term plan. So that will be in 2.2 or somewhere around there. And ultimately we’re just trying to bring this all together fairly, actually, fairly soon, but we’ll be able to… Port Olisar will just be a space station orbiting in the Stanton system and you’ll be able to fly down and visit Crusader; or fly down and visit ArcCorp; or fly down and visit MicroTech; or fly and go visit Nyx. So all the early stages of the PU are gestating with SC Alpha 2.0 and it’s the first baby step. And we’re really excited to see what you guys do with it because there is a lot of opportunity for fun; cooperative play with other players; or having head-to-head fights against other players; or just encountering AI.
@20:04 Folka asks:
What can we be expecting as far as jump distances out of ships? Is a Gladius only going to be able to perform one jump while s Sabre can perform 3? What about the larger ships?
It’s too early to be definitive on this but yes obviously different ships will have the ability to have different ranges. Quantum fuel is a separate resource to the boost/afterburner fuel and obviously the amount of Quantum fuel you have combined with the efficiency of the drive you have which essentially is a modified Quantum Drive and the distance you’re going to have to do in the jump through the wormhole will affect how far you can go. The smaller ships that have jump drives probably will not be able to go as far without having to re-fuel or collect some more fuel, bigger ones will be able to carry on going for much further distances. We’re expecting a fair amount of gameplay long term for players that want to be flying their Starfarer around and selling fuel to people or there will be refuelling stations and all the rest of the stuff. But I would say the smaller ships have a much shorter range before they have to refuel versus the bigger ones, so there you go!
So there you go, alright, that is the end of the ten questions, and my first Ten for the Chairman for about a month and a half. It’s good to be back. It’s good to be answering you guys’ questions. I have to say again, thanks to all the subscribers for making it possible, I’d like to say thank you to all the backers out there for enabling everything that we’re doing, so it’s amazing, it’s like I said, top of the shop, being at CitizenCon, every time we do these shows whether it’s Gamescom or CitizenCon, it’s really humbling and great to be amongst all you guys. You’re making this happen, we wouldn’t be able to make this game without your support. It’s just the best experience in the world to be able to make a game so ambitious that I’ve always wanted to make and play and I think most of the people we have working on it feel that way, and I think pretty much all of you guys feel the same way. Without the support, and it’s unique in the industry, I don’t think anyone has ever seen anything that has approached this level of enthusiasm and support, I mean, you are competing with the biggest multi-nationals out there that finance games.
It’s amazing the power of individual gamers coming together to pursue one dream, and so, you should all pat yourselves on the back, and I thank you very much. We’re working super hard to get you the next stage of stuff out, and I know i think I say this a fair amount of time, it is taking longer than we wanted, but the game is much bigger, much more detailed, much richer, than it was originally conceived to be. And in the long-term, I think it’ll be a universe and a world that everyone will be happy to spend many years in. I certainly will be happy to spend many years in it, and helping make it better, so thank you all and I”ll see you next week. Bye.