Hello Citizens! It’s time for Episode 7 of 10 for the Producers!
Travis Day and Rickey Jutley
TD – Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Ten for the Producers. I’m Travis Day, and this is
RJ – Rickey Jutley.
TD – Rickey is joining us from the UK office this week, which is a true privilege, thank you for being here.
RJ – Thank you Travis.
TD – And thank you to all in the community who make this show possible, and make this game possible, cause without you we couldn’t do any of this
RJ – And thanks to all our subscribers for making sure we can actually do shows like this for you guys.
TD – Yeah, thank you. So, should we get underway?
RJ – Yeah, lets do it. First question from
TD – Some guy dies, you take his leg, beat your enemy with it?
RJ – Something like that. I believe *name I don’t know* did that as a fatality in Mortal Kombat 4, so…Yeah, maybe some reference to that. Good game.
We could do something like that, but I think just having an item that you could just pick up around the level, or any kind of item that the players are able to interact with may be difficult to maintain, because pretty much any part of the geometry of the world would be rippable, and I just think the player holding many different items or anything they can grab would be difficult to do.
TD – Yeah, it would be a difficult thing to do. A lot of people saw the system with grabby hands and they thought, oh, you can just pick up anything and use it as a weapon, but once you start using those things in the Universe, and using them to react especially with other players, especially in a fatal way, it becomes much harder to maintain, much harder to test and balance. So, maybe that’s something we could do in the future, probably not in the near term.
RJ – We’ll probably have like, one prop that’s a dead guy on the floor, and that’s the one prop that you can rip arms and legs off
TD – Just for you, just for you.
RJ – Good question.
TD – Our next one comes from
And the answer is yes. So, with the first iteration, of FPS we’re going to use the in-game CryEngine chat, so the default chat that comes with CryEngine. Later though, in the social module, one of the things that’s been worked on by Austin team is the new chat surface, so this will introduce things that people are more familiar with from most MMO titles, giving you the ability to chat, in the long term, from the website to people in the game, this will come with the idea of rich presence. meaning you can see when they’re online or offline. So you can chat with them in game, you can have private whispers, or tells, or whatever you want to call it, and it’ll also allow for things like different chat channels, i.e. your party chat, your guild chat, so that system is coming with the Social module. But yes, in the initial FPS release, there will be local server chat, meaning that you can talk trash to your enemy team, and I guess talk trash to your allies as well.
RJ – Next question is from
Well, I think with the different controller types now, obviously trying to maintain controller balance across the board, with a HOTAS, people use X52, X55, KBM, whichever gamepad they decide to use, the aim will be to have something that is balanced enough for everyone to be able to have fun with and enjoy, and not feel that there’s one that’s quite hax over the other, not feeling that overpowered if you’re using mouse and keyboard or launching missiles just like rapid-fire. Ways that we’ll do that are still something that we’re trying to perfect.
TD – And there’s a couple of avenues. You’ve seen the first iteration of what we called ESP, giving people with sticks the opportunity to have a little bit finer control as you move closer to your target, so we can do things like that, attenuating the acceleration curve on the movement of the ships themselves, we can also do things from a game design perspective, like the refactor to gimballed weapons and sizes, so gimballed mounts and the more they gimbal having lower sizes that they can accommodate, so sure you can move around with a mouse and have pretty good aim with the gimbals, but then we’ll reduce your ability to do damage based on the size of your weapons, so there’s a couple of different avenues, and one of the things I’ve seen a lot of talk on the forums about, specifically mouse vs. keyboard, and I know we did that… on Around the ‘Verse… there was like a controller summit with some of our designers, and one of the things I want to make clear to everybody is that it is super important to us that everybody is able to enjoy the play experience, so everyone can participate and be competitive no matter what peripheral device they choose to interact with the game. That said it is a work in progress, it’s still a pre-alpha, controls are normally something you wouldn’t do until right near the end of the game, where you start to refine and hone, right near the Beta phase, so while we are actually making efforts on this balance ahead of time, because we are released with Arena Commander, it is something that we will have to continue to balance and continue to tweak and tune, and we do have some ideas about doing more community involvement about that, so stay tuned for that. A little too soon to say, but we have an idea for how we’ll actually get you guys to participate more in helping us to tune control devices.
RJ – Yeah, and you guys have been really good so far, giving us your feedback and everything you’ve listed out. I’ve seen so much detail from the backers already on what they believe should be default configurations, and different types of preferred control types, so yet again
TD – And we’re listening. Cause how many times have we gotten emails from Chris, cause he’s reading the forums, and he’s like…’hey, is this real? Is this really a thing? Can you verify cause we’ve got to change this!’
RJ – Yeah, those are… something… those emails. Good to read. But it’s good cause it keeps us on our toes, and it makes us believe that hey, we’re looking at sometimes a particular feature in the game, and it brings us back to controls, so it’s like how can we do better to balance.
TD – Exactly, helps us keep focused better.
So this kind of question… it’s always interesting to add different types of relationships, and romance in particular. You see games have developed over time, you can actually visualize that romance between characters with different cinematography, different scenes. Usually by the cutscenes, but also in the actual gameplay and actions that you can do, being able to develop a good personal relationship with significant others, so to speak, and I think Star Citizen’s going to give you a great opportunity to probably do that, because there’s going to be so many different people, so many different beings, in the ‘Verse, yeah. I think that’s something we need to…
TD – Yeah, I think Squadron 42 too, I mean, what they’re calling out is Mass Effect and Dragon Age which, it’s obviously much easier to handle relationships and romantic relationships in a single player environment, not really in an MMO, so one of the things I think that Chris is famous for, in the Wing Commander games, is having those interactive cutscenes, having the ability to make those kinds of decisions, and the branching relationships that we had with some of the wingmen in wing commander, and I know that’s something for a fact that he’s definitely planning on doing in SQ42, where your decisions, your actions, they will matter to your wingmen and they’ll impact your relationships. Now, how far those relationships go, I guess that’s up to the decisions that you make.
Okay, so our next question comes to us from
Okay, so, yes. I believe the answer is going to be that you can. Obviously our first iteration of jump points will be just handling a single ship, because, as we build the technology, that seems like a logical place to start. Down the road, I do know that, there’s a concept of a stargate wormhole for example, where you cruise through and arrive at your destination, I think our concept of a wormhole or jump point is much more in line with having something that’s much more of a physical space, so something that you can actually traverse, and it has a finite distance and there are obstacles, as we saw in the SXSW previews we did for the jump points, so I believe the natural extension of that is yes, we’ll start with one ship, and then I yes, you’ll have multiple ships travelling through simultaneously. Whether or not you’ll be able to fire weapons at each other, board each other, that simply hasn’t been fleshed out yet, because there’s no jump points yet, but once we have that and we determine what’s fun, it’d suck to go into a jump point and have that not be fun, but as we build out the game we’ll know more, but I know that’s something that Chris would like to do, there’s a lot of designers that would like to do, it’s just something we’ll have to build out to determine whether it’s good for the game.
RJ – I think as like a base iteration, the first element would be making sure you can actually traverse and end up at some destination
TD – Yeah, getting through it is a good step point
RJ – Yeah, lets get that right as well. But totally, i think going down that route of approaching into your jump point, and just as you’re about to come out, something comes up to you…
TD – Yeah, that’d be great. Alright, next question comes from
So the first answer, to the first question, what are the plans for in-game voice chat, Chris is very strongly of the idea that he wants to have in-game voice chat that attenuates over distance, the same way it would in real life. He also wants to do things, depending on the type of helmet you’re wearing, actually have the muffling of the helmet, or the radio static if you’re over in-game radio. So there are definitely plans for that, that’s something he really wants to do. As for plug-ins for different popular voice apps, I don’t know that we would do that, I think we may do our own, but that’s something we’ll have to figure out when we get to the point where we’re actually implementing in-game VOIP, determining the route we want to go, and we haven’t done that yet because we haven’t determined the direction we want to go.
RJ – Next question comes from
TD – Yeah, and I know we’ve gotten an economist to consult on the economy for just these kinds of reasons. The one thing I see in this question is you purchase 1000 UEC for about a dollar, that right now is just an arbitrary correlative value. As we go to PU, at some point there has to be a switch-over that says, okay, either these items cost more in UEC now, and we change the whole scale, or we change the dollar value of UEC, but, that’s something we’re going to deal with when the PU is actually a thing, that we have UEC in the game as a thing you can earn, that will all have to get figured out.
RJ – Yeah, I think once we develop more of the features, and more of the in-game items and purchases, we’ll be able to have a scale of exactly what’s lower end, what’s higher end, to find the scale, and actually give values that are going to be fair and applicable.
TD – One of the things I’ve seen people related to this asking questions on the forums, related to your initial KS pledges, saying, oh this package has 20,000 UEC, or 20,000 credits i think it was called at a time. And lots of people are going, wait, that’s like… one big missile. Is that all I got with my pledge?
RJ – Powerful missile.
TD – Yeah, the rattler is a powerful missile. But in the end, I do suspect that there’s going to be a time when, once we have a value of UEC, then we can look at the value of those packages, and kind of re-appropriate everything along those lines.
RJ – Next question comes from
So I think a lot of the AI behaviours are kind of recent ?? (word I can’t understand) that’s kind of come into play when we started to think about Multicrew. As I’ve been here, Travis and a lot of the leads here have been discussing, if you’re an owner of let’s say a Retaliator or a Constellation, and you launch into a match but you didn’t necessarily have people to form the other crew roles that are all those seats, what would be those roles, who would fill them, and the obvious answer to those people is AI
TD – Yeah, so with regards to Multicrew, it’s interesting, because AI comes with its own sort of subset of problems, which is one of the things we talked about and Dan brought up, which is if you go into the game, and you have all AI in their suits, and the’re all fully human AI and they’re sitting in your seat, you land, your buddy gets on your ship, and now you have this AI sitting in your seat, and you’re like, okay, hit the elevator button, he comes down from your turret, do you like GTA him and throw him out of the seat and out the airlock? And what happens if you leave, so.
RJ – I think you do. Take him and toss him out, make his head explode.
TD – Space him? Well, you know, in the longer term, I think there’s been a lot of discussion about what capabilities does AI have. Like, if I own 5 Freelancers, can I have them all fly with me? They’re all different AI pilots, different AI gunners, or is it just going to be the ability to say hey, take this from this planet to this planet, and I’m going to go be over here, and this is just going to happen, and hopefully it’s a good AI pilot, what will their skills be, what can they get better at. These are all things that the PU team is exploring right now, and we don’t have a firm solid final design on what exactly AI characters in the PU will or will not be able to do, and what kind of areas of learning that they have, but I do think there are some cool ideas floating around now, that are in the process of being locked down. So, that’s something I think you’ll look forward to an update from the PU team on, cause I know it’s important to you guys, and it’s also important to us, cause it’s going to be a very cool part of the experience. Alright!
Our next question comes to us from Gromph.
So yeah, we actually made a recent decision, to actually convert the FPS into a third person shooter, kind of like Gears of War style, so you’ll be able to corner creep and…no, I’m just kidding. Yes, we’re actually completely disabling the third person camera for FPS, so don’t be concerned about that. One of the things we were talking about is, we have these beautiful models, we have these beautiful animations, we want to be able to show them off. We want you to be able to be in your hangar, dress up, check it out, that’s kind of the fun part, you play an MMO, you get some new gear, you get fitted, check it out, you take a selfie or whatever, so that part we want to be able to have that experience.
RJ – Selfies.
TD – Yeah, selfies. You can have a little selfie wand..
RJ – You can have a little selfie wall? Go in game chat and say hey, check out my selfie.
TD – So, to that end, I think what we’re talking about is a system that dynamically determines what cameras are allowed based on whether you’re in a combat situation or not in FPS. So, when you’re running around on Stanton, for example, or ArcCorp i should say. There’s a real chance you could just have 3rd person all the time, run around, check out all the cool animations, see yourself, your gear. If you get into a situation though where you draw your weapon, or there’s a known combat situation, we just disable the camera at that point, so that way we remove that… advantage.
RJ – Yeah, exactly, and I think one of the things that was asked by Grump, is if I get over from just protecting myself and turning around a corner, will I lose my HUD if I go into third person, and the answer is you would. If you got shot at that point, that’s just your own fault for going into third person, I would say.
TD – So if you could go to third person, then you would lose your HUD, because your HUD’s on your visor. And it actually literally is on your visor, it’s not like a cheat. You move the camera away from the player’s head you can’t see the visor, cause it’s actually rendered there.
Next question comes from
Yes! The answer is absolutely yes. Early in the design for the FPS mechanic we were talking a lot about EVA, what advantages or disadvantages different suits had, one of them was a radiation protection rating that would limit your ability to stay in EVA permanently so you can’t just float around forever. So we have the concept of life support, but also the idea of radiation that could build up over time to a toxic level. Different types of suits would be rated differently for different types of radiation. We’ve also talked about, on the Arena Commander side, different hazards that you could have, both in the gameplay environment but also in the PU, things like nebulas, solar flares, and other kind of time-sensitive or system impacting natural hazards, like what you’re talking about.
RJ – And another thing we kind of, I’m just imagining now, if you turned up with your suit at a particular area, a nebula or an area that had a particular gas cloud that you were surrounded by, and you believe that your suit is able to combat that kind of area, and another person flies in and they’re trying to get into your area, but they get totally wiped out, those kind of things are going to be really cool, just to make sure the player is on their toes of knowing what different suits do, different areas and different environments and how they can kind of affect your gameplay.
TD – Yeah and one of the mission types, cause we’ve started talking about the concept of the mission generator, or the instance action sphere generator, and some of the mission types we’ve talked about have been, oh, there’s a disabled constellation that is floating towards the sun and it’s not under power but there’s a high radiation level, so you have very limited time windows in which you can interact with it to try and reconstitute it, rescue it, or just go to hell with it and let it fly into the sun. So yeah, definitely something we’re looking at, cause I think it adds a cool level of immersion and gameplay moments.
And with that last question, it brings us to the end of the show. Thank you very much for joining us, and thank you to all the subscribers that make a show like this possible. We really appreciate the opportunity to come on camera and interact with you guys and hopefully give you some more information that you didn’t previously have.
RJ – And thanks to all our backers for making Star Citizen possible. I’ve been on this project for about a year, and it’s an awesome project to be on, it’s great to be on board. Especially with guys like you Travis.
TD – Aww, thanks man. I’m so glads the backers backed us so I could meet you. Thank you guys, take care, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse.