Hello citizens of the ‘verse! It’s Monday which means 10 for the Chairman!
Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of “10 for the Chairman”. For those of you who haven’t watched this before this is where I take ten questions from the subscribers and answer them to the best of my ability. The subscribers are the subset of our community that contribute money every month to enable us to do enhanced community content: this show, Around the Verse, Jump Point. Which is a 50 to 70 page sometimes longer actually, monthly magazine which has deep dives into how we build the ships, various behind-the-scenes design stuff, how we put things together and also has some pretty cool and interesting fiction and background notes on parts of the Star Citizen universe. It’s a great read if you haven’t checked it out; Jump Point. But the subscribers allow us to do the enhanced amount of community content that I think sets Star Citizen apart from a lot of other games out there, crowd-funded games as well as regular games. So thank you very much subscribers and that’s why I answer ten questions every week.
So speaking of people that have enabled us to make the game, I have a rather detailed and nice letter from, I won’t read his real name, but he goes by Vlog, aka Seth Darklight on our forums, who wrote an eight page design, feedback, suggestion stuff. It’s good and it’s the same as we see on the forums, on our own site, Reddit, and stuff like that. And it’s one of the things that’s really cool about Star Citizen: the ability to read and look, and not necessarily agree with everything, but if there’s good ideas you take it on board. The opportunity to do this in a way you never would in a traditional development because you tend to be closed and everything tends to … at some point the team can lose sight of forest for the trees, so to speak. So it’s good to have the feedback loop we have and have it early enough in the process to affect stuff.
So we have 2.0 coming out very soon, we have a live stream here a little later on this week and 2.0 is going to be very close to that. Anyway I hope you guys are going to enjoy it, it’s going to be a whole other level of play and interaction compared to what you’ve done in the past in Star Citizen and Arena Commander and ArcCorp. I’m pretty interested because there will be a bunch of stuff that will come to light and playstyles and things that people do that you can’t really do in the current set up. We’ve put a little bit of content in there, but not really close to what’s ultimately going to be in there but I think it’s a really great foundation. It’s going to be the first place where you’re going to have everything together: the vehicle flying around but also moving around EVA, you engaging in FPS, going off fighting AI or fighting other players. And then we’re just going to build from there. I’m actually really curious to see that because it’s very foundational for what we’re going to do. The whole team is so they’re all working really hard, me myself included, which is maybe why my eyes are slightly tired today because I’m not necessarily getting as much sleep as I would if we weren’t trying to get towards getting 2.0 out for you. But we’re all pretty excited for that.
So anyway, I just wanted to let you know that. But thank you very much Seth Darklight for your suggestions and I think you may have sent this [holds up book]. We don’t really know, if it wasn’t you then whoever it was let us know via Customer Service. But thank you for the Stephen Hawking novel “A Brief History of Time” that’s very cool. It’s two books in one as you can see here on the bottom. So thanks but now let me get to the questions.
The first one comes from ….
@4:25 [127th] Chaos asks:
Can I swap out my P-52 to a P-72 on the base model of the Constellation?
I haven’t really decided, we’ve just finished off. Gurmukh who is one of our internal concept artists and has done some really great stuff. He did the Vanguard for instance and the Carrack. He’s done the P-72 which we’re setting up as a racer. So we may have the ability to upgrade it or buy a P-72 separate from what you get with your Constellation Phoenix. But we haven’t fully made a decision yet but they’re all going to be cool and I can’t wait to see the Constellation flying out in space and you have your Merlin or Archimedes and you can take it from your Constellation and fly around and come back and dock. That’s going to be pretty cool it won’t be in 2.0 but hopefully will be in 2.1 we just have to finish up the final bit of binding one vehicle to another and dealing with the physics grid. But when that happens it’s going to be pretty awesome and it’s a whole other level of cool gameplay stuff we’re going to do.
@5:45 Resk asks:
Will escape pods be functional in the multi-crew ships upon the release of Star Citizen Alpha 2.0? How are they intended to work?
So the escape pods will not be functional in 2.0. Longer term they will but probably not for 2.1 but I would say after that. The idea will be you should be able to… especially for the PU you should be able to get into the escape pod, seal it up and get out of there which is sort of your escape when the ship’s going down. So the bigger multi crew ships when they’re about to blow I think we’ve sort of previewed some kind of warning and damage states that you got only so many seconds to get out before the thing blows and that will be either getting into your EVA suit and trying to EVA far enough away so the explosion won’t hurt you or getting into an escape pod and escaping away which will eject you and probably keep you more safe.
Generally if your ship is about to ready blow in the PU especially you would get into your escape pod and the escape pod has a tracker or tag on it, so that’s how you would get found and respawn and go back to sort of the last friendly planet you were on. That’s how they’re intended to work so if you obviously do use the escape pod that’s one of the ways to save your lives so to speak otherwise when your ship blows up, then you’ll have lost one of your lives and you’ll wake up in the hospital after they found your almost dead body and charred and brought you back to life, so yes use escape pods when we have them working that is.
Next question comes from
@7:19 Xneon asks:
In regards to Personal Amor (FPS). Currently we have Light, Medium and Heavy Armors that a player can wear and it comes a “suit” of armor. Is there any plans to allow us to mix and match armor types. If so, how is the overall protection value determined or is it protection based on hit location and armor protecting that particular location?
For the initial 2.0 and Star Marine we just have the light, medium and heavy which are full suits of armour. That’s just temporary the actual long term plan is actually in the process concepting is to have the armours be very much pieces. Almost like the medium armour is heavier pieces on the same base suit the heavy would go one step beyond that. You could mix and match say breast plates or shoulder guards or armour padding on the legs and that absolutely will be based on physical hit location and the density and strength of the material you’re hitter there that will come with the physically based weapon damage stuff that we will be working on. It’s not going to be in 2.0 it will come when we bring the newer refactored items to the table which is likely to be probably 2.2 I would think. Because 2.1 is going to be fairly close to 2.0 so we may not have time to get in. It’s a pretty big refactor but I think it will give a lot more flexibility and fidelity and should be pretty cool when we get proper physical damage and physical characteristics for projectiles.
@9:14 Draconis asks:
Have you seen any signs that anyone in the gaming industry is taking to hear the points you made during your presentation at GDC? If so could you provide an example?
Okay… Just trying to think. Presentation at the game developers conference because I don’t think I’ve made a presentation at the game developers conference since I did one at the sort of GDC online that was here in LA quite a while ago? But I haven’t really done one at GDC. Maybe I did one like at gamescom not this year but the year before I did one and I guess that’s a European GDC? I’m not sure whether.. We definitely are doing, I think I made my points fairly consistently about what we try to engaging the community and sharing the work we’re doing and by doing that and also having the ability to iterate and make things better because you have a community involved and giving you feedback on a level that you wouldn’t have with a sort of internal development team or internal testing.
I definitely see people out there that are sort of taking to heart the more community driven development process. We’re not the only ones that do that by the way. There are people who have been community driven in the past as well but I certainly think that the fact that we’ve managed to mount a project this ambitious with the support of everyone out there has opened a lot of eyes because it’s a totally different way.
Before people dismissed crowdfunding and doing things the openway has been a small niche thing to do but were not small or niche, were competing with the biggest projects out there and it’s all because of you guys and that’s pretty good so I definitely see when I talk to people in the industry on the gaming side, there’s a lot of people that have paid attention to that and understand the power of it and like I said I don’t think we’re the only people that have ever done that, it’s not unique to us. I just think we’ve sort of committed it wholeheartedly and that’s helped out. I do think that in some ways we are helping sort of change things slowly, crowdfunding has done that as well.
So, there you go.. I mean it’s kind of hard to say giving an example, you can kind of see some other crowdfunding campaigns and they do sort of follow a lot the processes we started. I definitely know that even in the case of Shroud of the Avatar quite a while ago I was telling
Richard: “Hey you should go and crowdfund” and when they were starting it perhaps Richard would tell us. We had some chats and I’m like yeah this is kind of what worked for us and they’ve been doing an amazing job themselves. I’m always impressed how consistent they are, how they’re constantly pushing out new content, how they’re engaging their community and there doing a great job and to be honest with you there are a lot of other crowdfunding campaigns that are doing a good job of that too.
We’ve shouted out a view of them and backed a few and I think you’ll also see longer term even publishers sort of embrace the model of engaging the community early, giving them access, giving them an opportunity to feedback and make them feel like they’re involved with the process.
Alright, next question comes from …
@12:39 Leonhard Seppala asks:
How will landing on Crusader in the Alpha 2.0 release compare to what we saw at CitizenCon 2014. and how close will that be to your final vision for planet landing sequences.
Well CitizenCon 2014 we showed landing in ArcCorp but we’re not going to be landing in ArcCorp in 2.0. We don’t have planetary landing we have landings on various space stations then we have three main space stations and six or seven communication satellites scattered around the Crusade gas giant. We’re not going to have the planetary landings this year. It will be next year. It will definitely be like the CitizenCon we saw in 2014 but probably much better.
We’ve got some pretty cool stuff we’re working on. Not ready to show it yet, but I think people will be very pleasantly surprised when they see what we’re working on cause it’s…. Anyway, we’re going to do something I didn’t think we were going to be able to do for quite a while so i’m quite happy with that but again like I said we’ll wait to show you that we got a bunch of stuff to do first, I think there will be more freeform from space to planets and than we were originally saying and it will all stream and be pretty cool. There’s a bunch of tech that’s coming together towards the end of this year/beginning of next year that will enable that and we’ll be showing it to you guys some time early next year and hopefully you’ll like it.
@14:26 MooKids asks:
In Multi-crew ships, will the ships be capable of performing extreme maneuvers that can cause blackout/redout? If so, would that mean people on board not strapped in would be prone to be thrown around the interior of the ship as the G-force needed to cause a blackout/redout would be too much for an unrestrained occupant to stand still?
Longer term in the multi crew ships I would like you to be able to do more violent maneuvers and in development even if you’re not strapped into your seat you’re going to get kind of thrown around a little bit just like if you are on a ship or aeroplane and if you’re in a violent maneuver you get thrown around. That will not be implemented in 2.0 it’s actually not particularly that difficult to implement it’s just we’ve got so many things to do there are lot of things that are a priority above that. I’m not sure we’ll be able to ever have multi crew pull the kind of extreme G-forces that a high performance fighter could it’s going to be very similar that a passenger jet airliner would be compared to an F-16. An F-16 is built for much more aggressive maneuvers than a passenger jet liner but you should be able to maneuver your multi crew ship fairly violently and throw people around ultimately. Like I said it won’t be for 2.0 but it’s absolutely part of the goals it gives you a reason to strap in in combat and if you had boost boxes they would get moved around and stuff like that. Coming but not in 2.0
@ 16:02 Krash asks:
If I purchase components, missiles, a shield generator, weapons, etc. Will they remain in my inventory when the PU goes live or are these purchases just to support the continuing efforts to create the best damned space sim ever and will be deleted when we go live?
If you actually purchased components using UEC which we’ve given you by default with your account and occasionally give additional ones and you can even buy some UEC. Those will all be permanent and will carry across into the PU anything you would purchase with a temporary currency. We’re debating doing a temporary currency for the baby PU that we’re working on now that would allow you to earn some money. That would obviously be wiped and obviously REC which is the rental equipment stuff which we may also carry across into Crusader the baby PU. It’s obviously temporary it runs for a period of time.
Essentially if you’ve bought some stuff with hard cash then yes you have it in the baby PU and you would have it all the way to the proper game works because that wouldn’t be very fair if we didn’t let you do that. I will say that it doesn’t mean that some of the items and components may not get balanced cause obviously as you’ve seen as we put out there occasionally stuff needs to be re-tuned or rebalanced based on new features that come in or gameplay or maybe we’ve just made a weapon or a component too powerful and maybe we need to adjust it. But if you bought it you’ll be able to get it and obviously once we get UEC working properly in the game you’ll also be able to earn items and sell them to get credits back to get other stuff inside the game system.
@ 17:53 Dreada asks:
Are there any changes being made to start-up sequence for large multi-crew ships? I’ve noticed in the 2.0 demo that within a few seconds of the pilot taking controls that the ship was airborne and flying off.
Well I mean you’ll get into the ship, you’ll sort of turn it on and you’ll get the HUD booted up and then after thrusters have spooled up you should be able to fly it. Longer term we’re actually working on the stuff that will be a bit more involved. So having an interactable cockpit where not just having the screen interact with but turn switches off and on and so more old school ships you may have to click stuff off and on and some more modern ones maybe just touchscreens or holograms.
We’ll probably make some of that more involved later on; so there’s some new stuff that’s coming with our usability and item refactor that will allow us to sort of look around the cockpit and I think you’ve seen a preview of what we’re doing with the interactive screens but that will all extend to also: “Oh look here’s a switch I can turn a switch.” So interact with buttons and everything in cockpits. So you get in and turn your powerplant on and turn your HUD on and those kind of things. We will probably add some of that.
We don’t want to go too crazy on it because we want to make this game accessible. We’re already fairly… I know some people think we’re a very simple game but if you compare us to say even the past Wing Commanders, I’ve done the Privateers, we’ve got a lot more knobs and dials you turn, modes you switch between and I mean just moving between the flight modes that’s already four flight modes where in Wing Commander there’s just one flight mode.
So we’re adding this extra complexity for when you get into the game you can really get the most out of it but we also need the kind of basic “Oh I’ll get in my basic starter ship, it’s an automatic, I don’t need to tweak anything and I can just easily fly and take off” and then as you get more into it and you want to sort of get better performance or more control then you would go into a more manual state. So that’s kind of like the analogy between having a car that’s automatic and a car that’s manual. Right now our startup sequences will be short to allow you to get into the action but longer term we will make it more involved for the bigger ships and make it generally cool.
Okay, next question comes from …
@20:26 Saber asks:
Will there be voice commands to act as shortcuts so if you want to change your shield parameters you can say “shields” as a voice command and it will direct you to the shield options?
So right now I know our community has been pretty active, there’s been a bunch of really cool Voice Attack profiles that have been put together by people. So you can kind of do that on a community side, people have been sharing their profiles and set up for that.
Longer term that is absolutely on our audio roadmap: so it is one of the things that I will have on the audio roadmap is basically building in voice command into the game itself. I mean it’s pretty appropriate, we’re a sci-fi game; you already have voice recognition engine on Windows which is pretty good, which is what Voice Attack uses. So it is one of the things that the Audio Department have on their long term roadmap to implement, but of course we’ve got quite a few other things like the VOIP, the situational voice that people could do whether they are behind you or talking to you over your helmet. Stuff like that.
But long term, yes that’s the plan. Short term, you can do this right now just by setting up Voice Attack and getting some of the profiles set up by the community.
@21:39 Sensi asks:
My org is in the process of choosing its home planet. We have an in-lore history and we’d like to settle on a planet like Yar or Hyperion. Could you tell us how you envision the PU release regarding star systems availability? Will all star systems be available e.g. at the end of beta, or after a gradual provisioning?
It’s actually too early to make a call on which planets will allow players to start. We are going to have a selection of planets that people could start on when they start the game so we don’t have player crowding in one location. We haven’t made a decision on how many there will be and where they will be located. It probably wouldn’t be all the places we have. It probably would be the bigger or more likely candidates in UEE space. Whether it’s we give an option of four starting locations or ten starting locations we haven’t determined that yet that will iteratively be decided as we grow the universe. Right now obviously there’s one starting location in Stanton but that’s going to change as we add more places with content.
It’s too early to say we will give you a choice and maybe it will be related to some of the preferences you want to do. Like if you’re more keen on being an outlaw or on PvP then you probably don’t want to be in the heart of UEE space, so things like that will also factor in. It’s early days yet so we haven’t fully decided what that’s going to be. There will be multiple choices, we don’t know how many of them and whether we’ll have some small amount at the beginning and roll out larger options as we go alone which I would suspect would probably be the likely route we take.
So there you go! There’s the ten questions from Subscribers for this week. I’ll be seeing you a little later on, on Thursday, for the livestream.
And I would just like to thank everyone out there, especially Subscribers, for contributing money every month to allow us to do this kind of content; to the community at large for backing us and enabling us to make the game of my dreams, and the team’s dreams, and I think your guys’ dreams. It’s unprecedented that we’re building a game of this scope and scale; the amount of money we’ve raised is mind-boggling; but it’s as I said, quite a while ago, everything we raise goes back into the game and that’s kind of unique. Most people when they make lots of money they take it off as profits but as far as I’m concerned it just allowing us to build a bigger, much richer universe and so I thank you all for that. I’m going to continue that commitment and pledge until we’ve got the game to the state that it’s fun. And hopefully we’ll just earn enough money to maintain the world and add more content to it. It’s great! It’s a lot of work but I’m really excited to see it come together: more and more elements are dropping in and I think the level of fidelity, combined with the scope and goal and ambition of it, is really what’s going to set it apart. So starting with 2.0, you’re going to start to feel a bit of that and then going into next year you’ll definitely be feeling and seeing a lot more of that.
Thank you all and I’ll see you on Thursday.