Check below for this week’s 10 for the Writers video and transcript!
AW – Hi everyone, I am Adam Weiser, I’m an associate writer here at CIG, and this is another episode of 10 for the writers. Thanks to all the subscribers for being able to make this show possible. It’s always a lot of fun to come on here, be able to answer your questions, and here to join me today is…
CH – I’m Cherie Heiberg, I”m the archivist here at CIG. I”d like to re-iterate thanks to all the subscribers for making this possible, you guys are awesome. So, now that… lets get right into that. First question is from Bjoern Schwartz:
1:02 – With the name similarity to Wikipedia, how much user generated content will be allowed and how much will be curated? Is there special art stuff planned, like the famous photos bits with the Xi’An scout or Retaliator photos?
I, personally, want a lot of user-generated content once the game comes online. In my vision, users would be able to submit articles about their accomplishments in the game, or observations they’ve made in the game, for approval, and once they meet certain content standards, we’d be able to get them published. Mainly I’m going with this because the game is going to be so huge it’ll be impossible to keep everything curated without the support of you, the subscribers and backers of Star Citizen. And about hte art question, I haven’t confirmed this yet, just laying that out there, but I want official art from the inside fo the company to be in the galactapedia, like a real encyclopedia. I mean, it will be a real encyclopedia, just online. I’d also really like to accept user-submitted art. Personally, I would love to see more art of Corathol’s last stand, just so you know, and I’d really also like to see images from the Orion colony before the Vanduul attacked. Just laying that ou tthere.
AW – If there’s any entrepreneurial, artistically minded backers out there, Cherie has a dream that she’s looking to get fulfilled.
CH – I have a dream!
AW – So, now we’ll go on to one from Dargnon:
2:27 – When writing and scripting dialogues, how do you deal with the possibility that, in 2945, Humans might be using a bit different language? Even in english, some words, phrases, will be gone, while new words and terms, vocabulary, even grammar might appear.
It’s… 930 years into the future, we know things are going to be very different. If you look back at what english was 930 years before right now, I’m not sure how many conversations we could really have that would be understood. That’s our concern. We need to make a game that can be understood by everybody. Obviously English is the main language of the game, but we also have people who are playing the game who it’s their second or third language, so, we need to make sure that, when we are writing stuff, that people will be able to understand it right now, even though we understand the world would be different than it is right now. So, from our perspective, we try to use flavour language when the Lore requires it. Think technology like mobiGlas, ship components, stuff like that, money, it being creds instead of dollars, the dialogue of Cathcart is distinct, and that was a conscious choice on our part, because Cathcart is a lawless system and it has a different history than the UEE, and that was a way for us to be able to distinguish that and be able to add that little flavour, so if you are on a planet somewhere, and able to hear that, it’ll give you a hint to their background. And as exciting as it can be, Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner, both used mutated language to give a sense of the future and how it’s changed and why it’s changed, to do it on that massive level all throughout the game would be extremely difficult, especially since, accessibility issue, and there’s also alien races and their dialects that I think take precedence in having to figure out.
CH – We don’t want the humans in the game to sound like we’re reading Cantebury Tales today. That is not the goal.
AW – We want you guys to enjoy it, and not have to bang your heads against the wall cause we decided to go off and create our own language, but yeah.
CH – That’s the idea.
(4:47)Vic asks: How do you deal with published textual inaccuracies? Dates that don’t match up or something that’s just impossible given other lore…is there a certain priority of what is more important to keep in the canon?
It is absolutely a priority of what’s more important to keep. This is a very well timed question, because just last week we noticed, Adam noticed, that there were some published textual inaccuracies concerning a system of planets that contradicted the recorded lore that we have behind the scenes, and we had to engage in a discussion amongst all of us to determine what would be the right one to keep. In this instance, we decided it would be better to keep with the internal lore, because an astrophysicist helped develop this, and so we want things to be just as accurate as they possibly can be for you, and so we went with this choice. And this is the kind of process that we expect to continually engage in in the future, if we spot any more of these innacuracies again. And in my vision, again, I would like for the galactepida to be considered the final word when it’s published, and I have a few ideas on how this’ll play out. So. Stay tuned for that.
AW – There’s so much lore out there, part of, that’s one of the main reasons Cherie’s here, and why i’m here, is to scour what we have internally, and what we’ve published to you backers, so that we understand what we have and where we’re going and everything like that, and it’s, it’s a task, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. And that’s why we’re here, as part of the lore team, is to catch those things, and make sure we do have a process to solve that problem for when the game does go live, and the galactapedia goes live.
AW – So, next question:
(6:36)Far-seeker asks: I have heard that the overall story arc of the UEE in the PU will be inspired by the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Will the PU progress to a state closer to the 3rd Century AD, a time of unrest and civil war but ultimately resulted in stability for several decades, or the early to mid-5th Century AD when the Western Roman Empire was basically beyond saving?
CH – This is a great question.
AW – It is a great question, and I… It’s why I chose it, and I love Roman history, and I love that this game is inspired by Roman history. That being said, the game is not a mirror for Roman history. If it was, it’d be pretty anti-climactic, because we’d all know where this would be going. The game does have elements… the Roman empire did inspire different systematic problems that did come up. In the reference here to the 3rd Century, that was Diaclesian basically ended up dividing the empire, and there is a bit of internal discussion within our universe whether Sol should stay the capital of the UEE or whether
CH – Terra! Terra!
AW – Terra supporters, whether it should be moved there, a more progressive capital, so again, that is inspired by the Roman Empire. The 5th century is the Roman empire really came to a close, with the Barbarian and Vanduul raids of the Empire, and we do have the Vanduul that are consistently pushing into UEE territory, so that’s something that we also have worked into the game. Again, there’s nothing saying that they’re going to take over, to be quite honest that’s what the backers and the players are here to do, is help write the history of the UEE, and maybe steer it on a different course than was set by the ROman Empire. So, good question, good inspiration, but yeah, we’re not opening the timeline and planning stuff out bit by bit. We’re using it to kind of set up the system, set up the parameters, and then hopefully creating the sandbox that’ll be a lot of fun for you guys to go in and play in and have some fun effect in.
CH – Affect History!
So, the next question comes from Aragorn BG. Someone asked a similar question to the second half, so I”ll be covering that later, but you asked:
(9:06) AragornBH asks: Have you already determined what will be required for a player to be entered into the Galactipedia? For example, will the discovery of a new jump point, planet, or animal species get someone in? What about when a player kills or captures an infamous pirate? How famous would that pirate have to be?
Now, this is a complex question, because the determination of whether something is super influential is kind of fuzzy, it’s like, relevance and something that comes up again on Wikipedia, there’s so many arguments about ‘that’s not relevant, oh no that is relevant’, but it sometimes gets articles taken down, but in simple terms, yes, the discovery of a jump-point, planet, or an animal would absolutely merit entry in the galactapedia. Important discoveries, that sort of thing, that’s definitely worth reporting. As far as the pirate question is concerned, the pirate would have to be pretty famous, I mean, if you take down a minor pirate, someone who hasn’t made much waves, that’s definitely an interesting thing for your character to do, but if the pirate isn’t well known, then I would say that it most likely wouldn’t be recorded, but again this is just… it, there’s so many other factors that come into play like, how many systems has that pirate raided? have they raided any systems? How many people have they attacked? It’s the difference between taking down a criminal who’s shoplifting and someone on the FBI’s top 40 most wanted list.
AW – I know from a Pirates perspective, and even when the lore builder articles were done last year, the year before, there was a request for people to submit different pirate themed organizations, and one of the parameters for that was to realise the context, and realize how big the Empire is, and that when you are creating your own pirate character organization, most likely you won’t be able to have a grip over the entire Empire, because if that happens the weight of the ‘Verse would literally come down upon you. So, at this point, the pirate system is still something that, you’re right, there’s not gonna be many big big dogs for you to go out there hunting down, not to say that someday we won’t create one, and if we do do that, if something happened with that, we might be able to get you in there, but as of right now, yeah. It would heavily depend on the circumstance, that’s for sure.
CH – Absolutely. And, yeah, just like anything in history, you need to consider how it impacts everything else, I suppose.
AW – That was a good thing to consider.
CH – Yes.
AW – Yeah.
CH – Go on.
AW – Okay, next one! Consider history folks.
(11:50) Gundam asks: Does the UEE have a system or area where it does it’s military testing? If so, is it something that is along the lines of ‘Area 51’ where it is an open secret/restricted area or is it something that is completely unknown to the general public? And is there a name for this place that you can share other than REDACTED?
There is, but I’m going to hold off for a second. So, we do have a lot of systems planned out. We do have a lot of areas designated specifically for the military. Some of them you know about, some of them you will know about, some of them you… might not know about. Some are going to be accessible, you can go visit and do things there, and some you may not get the warmest welcome if you end up trying to land or get close to that system. That said, that’s all there, some of that’s redacted, there is the moon of Odin II, called Vili, that is a testing ground for experimental weapons. Technically, in the lore of the ‘Verse, Behring applied technologies does a lot of testing there, and for those who are unfamiliar with that, go check it out. There’s a really good galactic guide post about it. But in essence, it’s the ‘Verse’s worst-kept secret, that this division of Behring basically does super secret, super awesome military weapons and testing and all that. So even though it’s technically a private company, it’s pretty much well known that they’re doing stuff to advance warfare, to advance military components. Again, that’s on Vili, the moon of Odin II. You can land there at a place called Rawley station, you’re not going to get too far because of the secrecy that’s surrounding it. So you could say it’s, in essence, an area like Area 51, there’s the knowledge that it’s out there, I’m sure there’re plenty of rumours as to what exactly is being done there. You could maybe drive up to the gate, but you definitely won’t be invited in, and there definitely won’t be a lot of civilian activity there. So if you do have an interest in that aspect of the gameplay, I would suggest maybe you go hang out there, or look into that a little bit.
CH – Excellent idea. Definitely go knock on the door of the secret military base.
AW – Yeah, just say hi. Here for a tour.
CH – You’re cool, just tell them you’re cool, and they’ll let you in. Always works. So the next question:
(14:34) SwordfishLspear asks: Hello, how will the Galactipedia and Galaxy map be updated as player(and presumably NPC) discoveries of new systems, planets, and other items of interest are made public?(public, as in sold/given to an official UEE information bureau)
Well, what I want, and what hasn’t been implemented yet, which i’m going to emphasize, is that the game will have a behind-the-scenes mechanism way of recording discoveries. This won’t lead to immediate publication on the galactapedia of course, this’ll just be behind the scenes, so that we know who discovered it, who’s been to the location, etc… etc… etc…, so we have these internal numbers to compare to when you as the player report the discovery. The second part of this question is that, when you make new discoveries like this, and items of interest pop up, is that you the player should have the choice whether or not to report it. I want this because what if you are coming back to pirates, what if you’re playing as a pirate, and you discover a jump point no-one else has discovered it yet. How strategically valuable would it be to keep that jump point for yourself, and to fight people off to make sure that no-one can discover this jump point but you? And if we have it so that it automatically publishes in the galactapedia that you’ve discovered this jump point, well there’s no secrecy anymore, so why bother to defend the point, why do anything, so I feel that makes sense.
AW – A very interesting kind of strategic ability, whether you’re a corporation trying to get a better trading route, and there are plenty of jump points out there that will be up for grabs, and may be beneficial to players out there, so…
CH – So yes. The short answer to the question is that, if you make a new discovery, you will need to report it in order for it to be recorded in the galactapedia, for you to get the recognition. You also asked a little bit about certain triggers happening in the game, NPC’s revealing things, and that information would be published. If an NPC discovers something. Just… in game planned events. This is all my personal vision, this is what I want to happen, and I think that this is the best route for the players and the characters they want to be.
AW – Alright, now onto a question from:
(17:01) Nostromo1977 asks: Hi Writers, with the introduction of medical ships(Hope-class Hospital and Cutlass Red), has CIG ever considered creating lore for the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of war, similar to the Medical Neutrality Protection Act of the Geneva Conventions?
We’ve gotten plenty of questions about this kind of element to the game, and there being kind of medical rescue and stuff like that, and it is really interesting. And, from a lore perspective, it makes sense that there would be some kind of treaty that the UEE would have implemented or codified this idea, because it does seem to be an important one. That said, much like in the real world, just because we maybe create this in lore, doesn’t mean that it’s going to function in game. There are plenty of other examples, even unfortunately recently of the geneva convention being, this act of the geneva convention not working out very well with various civil wars around the world, so I don’t think the Vanduul would necessarily agree with that. I don’t think that a lot of lawless systems would also probably not care. There’s probably other players and even other pirates that would, in UEE territory, target that for their own means. So, though it’s an interesting idea, I wouldn’t be surprised if something shows up. I don’t think it would ever be a game rule, or a game mechanic. It may just be more of a moral compass that will be there. So if we create this in the lore, you can help define your character better by having them in that situation and then making the choice of whether, do they help, do they protect, do they just let it go, do they attack? So again, I think it’s an important aspect of the game, but i don’t think it’ll ever be quite a game rule where, if you do attack it automatically means something bad’s going to happen.
CH – Again, we don’t want to infringe on the way you want to develop your character. This game is all about how you build the Universe. My final question comes from:
(19:21) Steve Hunter asks: Can you make a guess-ti-mate as to how large you see the Galactipedia being by the time we finally launch? We know it will be large, but just how huge do you see it becoming?
CH: Big, large and huge is the answer. I can’t give you an estimate right now but I can tell you we’re having a kick off meeting with Turbulent to put together a plan of action for the Galactipedia this week, very exciting, I’m very pleased we are at this step. There’s a lot of stuff I want to tell you but can’t. I would like to also add that the great thing about publishing this online is that we essentially have an infinite space to develop the Galactipedia, which is not to say that it will be infinite, because that’s a complex number, we can’t reach the boundaries…
AW: It’s a philosophical thing…
CH: It’s a philosophical thing, it’s a mathematical concept, maybe we don’t quite understand. Anyway, I see it becoming very big as players affect the universe, as we reveal more lore, as it’s expanded, I see it growing, growing and growing. We will need that growth.
AW: Yes, again our internal documentation is massive even from a lore perspective and that’s just stuff we’ve created to get us to where we are right now. There’s a lot of places still to come and there’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen and be added once you guys get to be a part of the PU. So, preparing the baseline for that, I think doing that will be a good way to kinda like start to judge exactly what we’ll be dealing with. Definitely more to come once tomorrow’s done.
(21:01)Kilrathiknights asks: Hi guys, how is the writing of the Star Citizen lore constrained by the known game mechanics?
AW: Yeah, it’s a balancing act and it’s sometimes, to be quite honest, lore is not so much constrained by the known game mechanics but more often by the unknown game mechanics. It’s the stuff…the elements of ships, or weapons or worlds that we’re still in the process of getting final approval on. So, when moments like that come we need to avoid getting too ultra specific on technical issues in that regard. From a lore perspective, it makes us do is probably focus less on those specifics and maybe more on the emotional story or on the emotional specifics which from a storytelling perspective is actually helpful. It makes you realize,what is this really about emotionally, what can we tap into. It does also cut both ways. For example, with the recent Genesis Starliner sale, if you look at the flight board all the places you see that you might have trips coming into we all approved the landing zones that would be on that board; because from a lore perspective you may be able to fly a Starliner into, let’s say, the Hades system but there’s no place for you to land there from a lore perspective because it is a pirate world and it is a dead world to a certain degree and stuff like that. Jared made a really great, funny card about Hades- ‘Why would you ever go there’ and it’s an easter egg that you can find on the flight board if you search for it, if it’s there at the right time and it was a fun little joke at the beginning but from a lore perspective we had to come in and be like, ‘Oh wait, we need to do something else with this because this type of company wouldn’t really fly or probably not want to fly into the system’.
AW: There’s definitely other stations, like the Rawley station on the moon of Odin II I mentioned earlier that’s also a place where a commercial-like Starliner isn’t going to go anyways. So, from a lore perspective also it’s kinda like us being able to go in and be like, ‘the mechanics of the game doesn’t make sense for that to head there because of all these reasons we’ve built in’. So again, it’s a balancing act and it’s actually a good thing too because what it does do is it promotes in depth discussion between departments whether it’s art or whether it’s design. They come to us asking certain things or we go to them to get clarification so I think that makes for a good, healthy creative process all around.
CH: Yeah. I feel like working with constraints can really help you narrow down what it is you finally want to do. Like if you’re given like, ‘here, do whatever you want in this space’, you can get choice paralysis and not be able to develop your idea but since we have these conversations we can have these rules we can write by. That’s super, super helpful.
AW: It absolutely is. Well, thank you all for tuning in and sticking through another 10 for the Writers. I am Adam Weiser.
CH: I’m Cherie Heiberg.
AW: And we would like to thank all the subscribers, backers and people out there following in the community. Thank you so much for your support and for being a part of this, it’s been a lot of fun. Dave and Will should be back very soon from the Squadron 42 shoot, I’m sure they’ll be excited to sit down and tell you what they’ve been doing. They’re the real engines of the lore team, we are just here to kinda project the spirit of what we’re doing.
CH: We’re valuable too.
AW: We are valuable..
CH: Feel good about yourself.
AW: I do. Thanks guys for tuning in, we’ll see you next time.