Check out this week’s 10 for, which is 10 for the Writers this week!
Will Weissbaum. Adam Wieser. Two Writers. Your Questions. Let’s roll.
Hello and welcome to another 10 for the writers, I’m will Weissbaum, senior writer and with me is Adam Wieser associate writer here at cloud imperium games, los angeles, and to start off, first of all I’d like to thank all you subscribers out there for making this show and many other things possible with your excellent help financially and emotionally, as well as all backers out there for making this awesome game possible so thanks!. We appreciate it guys, thank you!. So let’s get into it!
00:44 – Alien Technology
From Sondrex: Will any of the alien races in Star Citizen have extremely advanced technology, and if so what would their general backstory be? Also will it be possible to find ancient, highly advanced technology and if so will we get to know where it came from and what created it?
WW: Our general kind of feeling with the alien races is that we want there to be a good level of challenge for humanity to be able to do kind of engage with them on their own level, So we’re trying to make it so each of the alien races has maybe technological focuses that they have, maybe their species has over the centuries focused on this part of technology more so than humanity has. But were all still pretty much equal so that we’re gonna have good fights against them.
AW: Yeah it’s going to be fun to engage those other species if you get into such and such situation, And also you know we have some ideas for things when it comes to their technology. There’s also a lot about these races that we want you guys to find out for yourself. So that’s why we’re trying to paint with the broad brush right now, part of the fun and the exploration of the game is being able to kind of get that experience yourself.
WW: Yeah, Like you’ll learn a lot more once you start engaging with these different characters we hope and you know it’ll be a give and take kind of thing, We’ve talked about Misc going to the Shian for their sweet thruster tec so that’s a little bit different or advanced we’re borrowing from them, but that’s not something where they can move at twice the speed of us or anything, it’s just a little bit of an edge and they’ll have other tech that’s a little worse that they come to humanity for. So we’re trying to keep it balanced. As far as ancient tech we have a few bits and pieces here and there, you might have noticed ancient artifacts turn up in your hangers and so they’ll be things that were sprinkling around whether they’ll be super advanced or not I think we’ll stay a little mum right about it right now.
AW: Probably better, you know if you go look at Hades there’s split planets so who knows, who knows.
WW: to explain a little bit more yeah if you could.
AW: Oh yeah yeah so you know that there are traces in the hades system that were was an ancient civilization there, so we kinda started to seed in the things about that but again that’s something we want you guys to explore as we go live and we expand, so you can kind of unravel that mystery yourself.
WW: At least that’s what UEE archaeologists believe
AW: I guess we’ll find out!
03:38 – Aspects of Exploration
From Proclus: Chris Roberts has mentioned boarding large derelict ships before. Will there be any myster/suspense story arcs surrounding this aspect of exploration?
AW: Absolutely! Yeah, that’s definitely going to be a very fun kind of gameplay option.
WW: I mean we already showed off at Gamescom a little bit where that was the boarding of that ship that was floating out there in space, so I think it’s going to be one of the kind of encounters that’ll be readily available in the PU when you go flying out there, you’ll find a sweet ship, and part of it will be well, if you’re a salvager maybe you’ll just rip it apart, but people will be welcome to board, explore, written recordings, hints of what happened to the crew.
AW – Find the hidden smuggler’s compartment that may have different trinkets or key s to where they were going or what they were doing, and the.. yeah, there’s lots of fun little things that we’ll be able to seed into that being like an adventure for you guys.
WW: The funny thing is I love those missions, but they’re really hard to make cool. As far as action is kind of like… you can straight out the emotional arcs, but mystery and suspense and maintaining that and knowing how much information to seed, putting just the little nuggets, it’s a really fine tipping point between ruining it all too early, so everyone’s like of course it was the guy with the gun in the corner, I see him right there, or making it too obtuse, that no-one has any idea what’s going on. So, yeah, it’s kind of we’ve been playing around a little bit with that kind of storyline with kind of the secretive OES stuff that’s been going on and so… hopefully that’s been a fun mystery to follow along .
05:20 – Writing for a Developing Game
From Steve-2001: Compared to normal writing of fiction, how does writing for a developing game change how you go about making your fiction?
WW: So the development process, kind of in some regards gives us freedom because we get to help develop along with the game, as we come up with cool things, it inspires the designers and the artists to create those cool things in game and vice versa. But it also means that sometimes were a little more cautious about putting really specifics details into stuff and I know we often get questions about you know how big is this thing or you know how does this work, and until design gets firmed up it kind of behooves us to leave it a little more broad to really focus in on the emotions of characters less than the more technical aspects or the more design aspects of the game.
AW: Yeah it’s definitely a challenge but it’s something that’s fun to tackle every single day and to figure out we can kind of express our vision for what we want to bring you guys without necessarily exactly stepping on the toes of the art team, the design team and everyone like that. Yeah like will said on the emotion and we figuring out the stories we can tell in the certain contexts is challenging but also very cool to do.
06:52 – The Vanduul
From Jmojo: When will we get more back story on the Vanduul? Leaders, motives for attacks, what kind of people are they? Do they just move through space decimating all in the way, taking what they want? Or are they just mindless slaves held by a bigger and greater power we do not know about yet?
AW: We do know more about the Vanduul but again that’s something we can’t tell you about at this point except it is something we are going to be slowly trickling out to you guys throughout the whole of the game.
WW: One thing we are careful about is meta knowledge. We don’t necessarily want you going into the game with more information than your character or reasonable character in the universe would have. So knowing all this deep history about the Vanduul isn’t something the UEE itself has learned yet. Hopefully when you’re going in and discovering and interacting with them you’re learning about who they are, it’s one of the points of tension when we first encountered the Vanduul there were no diplomatic ties at all. We could not make any kind of headway into dealing with them.
AW: in the context of the game The UEE has never talked to the Vanduul has never been able to address grievances with them or even figure out what’s going on or why they’re motivated to do what they’re doing. Even if we may have an inkling or we may know its not something that makes sense for us to pass on to you guys because when you do the start the world in the PU we want you guys to be coming from the perspective of someone from that era
WW: But hopefully as develop more cool Vanduul ships and stuff we’;; have more reports from the UEE government and stuff that will leak out that we’ve been doing so far. Those are always fun.
08:50 – Jump Point Short Stories
From thanatos1973: Are the short stories at the end of the Jump Point issues actual events that have happened in the universe or just for fun?
WW: So, this is something we’ve been kind of talking internally about and how to balance these really cool stories and the general feeling right now is that they are fictional stories in the universe, like these are stories people in the verse would read about and sometimes they’re inspired by true events or real people but its always told kind of like how (@9:27????)novels would be in the old west that these people would go out and report on real characters out there but it was always sensationalized and drama but it wasn’t really based on hard facts, so that’s kind of how we’re viewing this, it’s more about the emotion in the stories than setting a firm timeline.
AW: yeah so it’s almost a like speculative fiction of the day to a certain degree where yeah there is definitely a lot of myth making around certain events but some of the people you have read about, adventures in those stories, we’d like to think they are actually alive in our universe and maybe at some point you guys could have encounters with them when you’re out there in space
WW: Yeah but don’t take it for like a fact that the banu are building an android army or anything like that, but on the other hand where as these seem more like fictional stories, the news updates we try very hard to be factual and representative of the things that are currently going on in the verse and hitting those stories lines, so those are a little bit more like timeline and fact based.
AW: Yeah, Yeah exactly.
10:35 – More Community Story crossovers
From Eschatos: Lately we’ve seen some interaction between the fiction and the community in the form of the Citizen Opinion Poll. Personally I felt that really helped bring the lore of the PU alive and made it feel like real, current events that we can actually be involved in and maybe even impact in some way. What are some other ways that the lore we’re reading now will be integrated into the gameplay and be relevant to players in the persistent universe?
AW: That was a fun little thing that we had a good time doing, writing the poll and then being able to tie in some of the responses that people wrote in-character in the poll to the latest show-down dispatch that went out. It’s really important to kind of let you guys know that we are responding and we are looking at what you’re feeling and how you’re thinking about the stuff we’re doing, and yeah, the stuff we are writing, the lore posts, they’re intended to, as Will said, they’re in-Universe, they’re supposed to be taken as this is what exactly is happening right now, and these are kinds of the things that are going on, so hopefully by you guys reading those, you’re getting hints to either the functionality of things in gameplay, or potential storylines in gameplay, so we try very hard to make sure those are going to be seeded into the Universe you guys are going to be experiencing.
WW: Yeah, cause it’s always been a goal of the game when it goes live is that you playing will be able to influence the world and make differences whether as an individual, or as a collective whole. So we’ve tried to start thinking about that now, through the lorebuilder posts, or we read your comments when we go on there, and seeing what you guys are feeling, and we love it when you roleplay in the comments, so much fun for us. And letting that influence it as kind of a precursor to how it’s going to be in the game, where one of you is going to be the Murray Cup champion, or one will be the notorious pirate who assassinated the IMperator (Don’t do that, that’s bad), but that kind of stuff, and starting to build it now and, like Adam was saying, these stories we try to capture the feeling of what we hope the missions will be like, whether the civil war will still be raging when the game comes out, that remains to be seen, but stuff like that and seeing how, seeing which side you guys are going to take is very interesting from a lore perspective.
13:07 – Current Projects
From RufuUltra: Hey Will how are you? What are you, Dave and Adam working on lately?
WW: I’m good thanks. So lately it’s been coming off of the big shoot at Imaginarium which was awesome we’ve been spreading out and focusing on some of the other stuff and a lot of the more PU stuff that’s coming up so we’ve been doing a lot of work on the exoverse baby PU minverse whatever. The 1.3 that’s coming out so we’ve been trying to work out some of that we’ve been trying build in more narrative stuff for ArcCorp trying to tie in more dialogue going on in the background and starting to think about the narrative system going to work into there with the gradual releases Tony and his team are working on. There’s been a lot of little stuff and we’ve also been doing a lot of work and helping the starmap come along
AW: That’s been one of my main focuses lately, obviously besides the weekly dispatches, the jumpoints preparing content for that. I know Dave is working on so much stuff right now it makes my head spin. He’s currently in London he’s back over there taking care of some stuff and going to be at Citizencon/ We’re all working and working very hard there’s lots of balls in the air and it’s actually exciting and fun to do as a writer because it means you can sit there and focus on something for a few hours shift gears and move on to something else it’s a good way to stay fresh creatively
WW: When we were focusing on Squadron 42 it was like this one big massive fire that we had to put out but now that everyone across all our studios is coming online to full strength things are really happening quickly so now these days it’s more about addressing all these little small fires that are bursting out and running around so that’s really exciting in its own kind of way
15:18 – Live NPCs
From RandyLove: Has there ever been any thought about having ‘live’ NPCs? I know that’s a contradiction in terms, but what I mean is a live actor who plays as an NPC and does something special in game. Like a gangster boss that comes into the bar and causes trouble or gives out a few special missions. Or perhaps, a politician who comes to town square and gives a little speech and talks to the people in town. But the gangster and politician are CIG agents/employees, role playing parts.
WW: It was kind of a cool fun idea of us playing NPC’s, it’s not something we’ve talked about before but it kind of caught our imagination live so we thought we would talk about it today. There’s some limitations to that because of the way instancing works is that we would have to either have a bunch of different actors that some people were experiencing and I think there would be kind of some technical issues but a lot of the stuff that was addressed in here about this gangland boss coming into a bar and starting trouble and giving people jobs to do, is something we actually want you all to be able to do as players to be able to take on these roles. To be mission generators yourselves and to really roleplay these cool characters and interact with each other, So whereas we might see the tools for you to do that it’ll be fun to see how you as players take on these roles and cause troubles and start off your own plot points that we can pick up on.
AW: And yeah on the other side of that too the players that are starting to see the trouble roll down the hill and kind of come in collectively go, “Wait a minute I saw that guy over there” and trying to maybe being able to counteract what that person might be trying to do to.
WW: But yeah we’ll have to think more about mind jacking NPC”s like all of a sudden the bartender slowly look at you *laughs*
AW: *Laughs* Mindjacking*
WW: But probably not, maybe but probably not
AW: Yeah great question, very interesting.
17:28 – Galactapedia
From DocAndy: Will the initial launch of the Galactapedia contain only infos we have received so far and you add new stuff when you release a new spectrum dispatch? Or will it already contain most of the historical and social infos we need for the start of Squadron 42? How difficult is it to get enough information outside to keep the crowd busy, but also keep enough secrets for future surprises? Do you have a release plan to tackle this problem?
WW: It is a big challenge that’s looming up that we’ve already started to work on, we’re already trying to gather and organize all the information we have out there already, and there’s a lot of information, that’s been something that Adam’s been awesome about tackling.
AW: Yeah I’ve been building a lore canon document, at the moment trying to track every single character that’s been mentioned, every event that’s been mentioned, where they’re mentioned, it’s quite the task, and it’s something I try to do one or two a day and keep chipping away at it. And obviously Cherie’s here to kind of help us push that ball up the hill too, but yeah, we’re starting to collect all the information to be able to get out to you guys.
WW: I think we’re going to try to be comprehensive, but we’re not going to have everything there at the first push, it’s very much going to be an ongoing project and a lot of it is going to be need based, so if there’s really a demand to have this question answered, or know more about this, or a lot of times like with SQ42 when you come across the specific company or object, that’s what’s going to inspire us to write a post or to inform more on it, vs. just trying to sit down and fill in everything we can, I don’t think it’ll be possible to be that complete.
AW: And I do think there’s more than enough information out there to keep you guys entertained, to keep you guys busy for a while. There’s so much stuff that’s already been generated that maybe not everyone has caught up on, so to be able to put it in a format that’ll make you guys easier to access it I think could keep you busy for ages. It’s definitely going to keep us busy for a while, just even trying to get int in a format that’ll be presentable, so it’s going to be a fun task to kind of upll it all together. So we’re all working towards it, I know Cherie’s super excited it’s like her dream project.
WW: Yeah, and then also what’s really exciting as well is kind of this… consolidation and streamlining of information, cause i know right now we have bits and pieces all over the place, so it’ll be great to pull it all together, as well as to have a definitive source. One of the problems that’s risen from us being in live development as we release this information is that things have suddenly shifted over the course of two- three years we’ve been working on this, so some stuff from the very beginning whereas the spirit of it is still guiding us is very much true, we’ve had to adjust some of the details, and it’s a little hard to keep that all up to date. So the Galactapedia, when it launches, will be our go-to source for if anything disagrees, the galactapedia is right, kind of thing, so that’ll be helpful.
20:30 – Multi-part Stories
From Admiral_Keen: What ever happened to the multi-part stories of old such as Kid Crimson? Any chance of bringing those back? I thought they did a great job of telling the story of ‘how’ we would live day to day from the perspective of someone inside the universe/lore. I miss those. The news posts and feeds are great (Observist, Congress Now etc), but they talk at us as if we are already in the ‘verse..would be to get some more ‘stories’
AW: The plan right now is were at the point of the game that’s slowly starting to be rolled out to you guys, you are able to run around arc corp and experience you know calaba outlet and places there so, we are at a point where you guys are starting to be able to build your own narratives to and kind of like see your own stories to starting to take shape which is very evident when you look at the roleplaying that’s going on in the message boards and the dispatches and stuff like that. So I think with the excess of other projects going on to there’s less of a focus on doing those types of stories at the moment, *WW Interrupts* AW: Yeah go ahead
WW: Of course were still you know releasing the jump points serial stories every month to subscribers so we haven’t gotten rid of it completely, it’s still something that we really enjoy reading ourselves and engaging in and providing as a benefit to the subscribers. Now the focus is we’re trying to take the stories that were maybe delivering in those serialized fictions and seeing now to be able to put it into the game directly instead and focusing on that. I Mean there is one among us to bring those back, it’s just a matter of time and priority.
AW: And to be honest, some of the dispatches do treat you like you’re already in the verse, but we do have extensive discussions about the progression of these dispatches and when they’re written we kind of, most of the time have an in goal in mind with them, so they’ve taken that over in a slightly different way instead of telling maybe one single personal story, it’s a larger story that’s being latched on from multiple perspectives, it’s something we do, it’s fantastic to do it’s fun to be apart of but there’s so much going on to that it’s tough to do that inparticular at the moment
WW: And if you are craving more stories, I have to do a shoutout to all the people who are writing such great fan fiction out there, there’s a ton of it and whenever we get a chance we like to poke around and read some of it and get inspired by it so amazing job to all of you who are out there and writing stuff, it’s really fun
AW: Yeah keep up the great work!
So that’s it! For this edition of 10 for the writers, again a big shoutout and thanks to subscribers adam wants to thank you personally
AW: The support we get from you guys, the love, the everything is great, Thank you for watching all the way to the end, I can’t believe you made it, congratulations, and I’m sure we’ll see you around the verse sometime in the future
WW: Yup, keep backing keep talking, keep supporting.
AW: Bye guys!