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Around the Verse: The Banu Defender Written Thursday 20th of April 2017 at 10:54pm by CanadianSyrup, Desmarius and Nehkara, StormyWinters

As per usual, anything said during the show is subject to change by CIG and may not always be accurate at the time of posting. Also any mistakes you see that I may have missed, please let me know so I can correct them. Enjoy the show!

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Studio Update

  • Eric Kieron Davis welcomes us back to LA and states they have grown to 74 to include a total of 12 engineers
  • New ships will have heat and power components that act as real heat sinks and affect IR signature masking

  • Shopping should be provide more responsive purchasing with CIGs reimplementation of a new replicated function system, Remote Methods

  • Improvements to trying clothes on and updating persistent data after purchases is next

  • More light group entity work allows for individual direction lighting with rotation via a simple property

  • Making light groups and interior devices rely on a vehicles power is next

  • Through hard work the control manager can now dictate the control of an item or sub-items by any particular seat, console or AI and may be toggled by a player from direct to AI control, and has been added to DATAForge

  • Whitebox of the Anvil Terrapin is complete and greybox is ongoing

  • RSI Aurora progress is steady and past general polish into fine details such as cockpit controls, screens and sleeping quarters

  • The QA team doesn't want to leave work and loves testing the new planetary tech that's soon to be released in 3.0

  • The tech content team supports every aspect of the games with tech art constantly maintaining a unified library of assets for shared use

  • Database of animations must be split logically in order that streaming be seamless or else your might do the slide

  • Engineering, tech art and dev ops parsed asset errors this month via 200 megabyte text logs line-by-line

  • A new editor tool implemented in item 2.0 characters will make loadouts easier and faster to create

  • A new skinning tool reduces turnaround for skinning complex setups and improves the process overall

  • Tech art worked hard to make sure your character's items attach and detach in real time fluidly

  • The heavy marine is the most complex character to date and is ready for the battlefield

  • The heavy outlaw is not far behind as well as various uniforms, outfits and aliens due to the character team

  • Concepts for the Xi'An and Banu are finishing up and Rudo and Miles Eckhart are ready to meet you as quest givers in the verse

Banu Lore


  • Banu were part of the original time capsule and humanity’s first contact

  • Xi'An influence came from China, Vanduul the Visigoths, Tevarin from feudal Japan and the Banu the Persian empire

  • Vernon Tar was the first human to have contact with the Banu who ended up being a fugitive running from one of the guilds

  • Material items the Banu own signify their wealth and station in life

    • They tend to travel with all their belongings, hence why their ships on on such a grand scale and artisanal in quality

  • Banu do not hold much interest in history such as who built this and when and where, they only care that it works and is effective at what it does

  • The Banu lifestyle is about accruing stuff reflecting living a full life, places you’ve been, people you’ve met, etc and living in the present


  • The original design of the Banu had lots of ridges on the face and was a little scarier

    • They wanted to try and bring more colour into them, explore skin tones, why would have different skin tones and why those things exist

    • Tried to keep the old design of lines on the face as it was an interesting design language and they wanted to run with it a little more

  • They wanted to get across some features that players can connect with with a little bit of a human element to the design

  • The clothing will be very decadent, lots of patterns, colours that’ll show different places they’ve been

  • The species as a whole is very specialized: If they’re a soldier/merchant/etc, they’ve trained their whole lives to be that.

  • The Banu are a little awkward/aggressive seeming and the way they try and make you feel more comfortable is to display their wealth and belongings for you to see

Banu Defender

  • The name of the ship implies its role, defence. It isn’t designed to be aggressive, but to protect what the pilot considers important.
  • Because the ship was Banu, they collaborated with writers David Haddock and Will Weissbaum in order to design the ship.

  • They had 18 initial ideas that were in a variety of different configurations that they had to pin down in order to get approval from Chris to begin concept.

  • The Banu fly their ships differently than that of a UEE pilot in that instead of a traditional pilot and then a gunner manning a turret separately, they work in tandem to where the gunner will control the main armament alongside the pilot which is why there is a dual cockpit system for the Defender.

  • While they were making the ship, they started via human standards, but found that things didn’t mesh correctly and wasn’t what they were going for, and so a lot of work went into how the ship “Flowed” together and made the ship feel more organic and smooth.

  • The ship is designed around having a bigger shield than most fighters available, but trades that strength for having a very weak hull.

  • The ship’s engine is a reengineered Xi’An tech engine that was put in place of a previous human engine due to its superior performance.

  • The Xi’An don’t celebrate the same things culturally as we do such as art for example and a lot of their effort is put into things like ships as you can notice from their quality and aesthetic.

  • The goal of the ship was to enable a pilot to be able to fly and gun, but if they needed a co-pilot for engineering or perhaps take over the guns to free up the pilot to do more things, then they can.

Full Transcript

Intro With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hello and welcome to Around the Verse, our weekly look at the development of Star Citizen. I’m Sandi Gardiner.

Chris Roberts (CR): And I’m Chris Roberts. We have an all Banu show today. A look at the lore and the newest Banu ship.

SG: Later we’ll share how you can earn a trip to Gamescom, plus some fun Star Kitten rewards.

CR: Hmm, I wonder what Star Kitten is, but first let's go to our Los Angeles Studio Update. They’ve got some pretty cool stuff to show you.

Studio Update With Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer). Timestamped Link.

Eric Kieron Davis (EKD): Hi everyone. Welcome back to Los Angeles. I'm Senior Producer Eric Kieron Davis here with your monthly studio update. We've grown to 74 total employees across several disciplines with one thing in common, making Star Citizen and Squadron 42 the best games possible. Now some of those new hires include talented engineers, which brings our engineering team to about 12. All of their vast and varying experience is quickly helping to bring more features to life across both games.

Soon, all of our new ships will have a heat and power component. Now that that the team has finished designing pipes and begun implementing their basic structure this will manage the flow of respective elements to allow individual component contribution to ship behavior. So, for example, coolers now contribute how much heat the system can handle rather than being statically defined by the heat-sink. Anyway, we're currently replacing the old system in the new ships with this new management system. After this is done the team must implement the minute details of each component influencing one other. For example, coolers not only affect the overheat temperature limit, they also offer IR signature masking. Heat-sinks will no longer simply define the temperature at which components overheat and shutdown. The heat will ramp up to its desired temperature rather than being generated instantaneously.

Now we've talked about shops in our last update, and now the Purchase Transaction System has been reimplemented with our new replicated function system called Remote Methods. This system will decrease the amount of calls to the server, which in turn should make purchasing things a bit more responsive.

Next we'll be working on improving the try on mode and the client side update to your persistent data after purchases. Since the previous update about the ultimate light switch, the light group entity also has several new features. Its light state can also be changed by TrackView which is very useful for cinematics. It allows for individual directional lights and now rotate with a simple property. The process was previously required flow graph. The light groups can now replace the antiquated prefabs that vehicle external lights have been using. And now next the team aims to get the light groups on a vehicle to rely on the vehicle's power in order to control all lights as well as interior devices such as doors.

And lastly on the engineering team we've been hard at work on what we call the control manager. This system will automatically give authority over items across the game, and will allow players to dictate the control of an item and its sub-items. Now in the past we've had a system prototype for vehicles that was hard coded, which meant that item connection would have to be manually primed by the designer. For instance, a particular seat always controlled a specific set of items, but now the control manager will be able to connect to any entity. For example, a designer would add a control manager to a turret and then weapons are added. The turret can then be controlled by either an AI module or by an operator seat, the player. This can also be added to the vehicle with either an AI module or again the operator seat. The framework we've setup is universal, so it can be used anywhere on anything. And this isn't restricted to weapon systems, if a player wants to control doors on a space station and terminals with an operator seat, it will link you and you can operate whatever it controls. Now the really exciting thing about the control manager is it will allow for multi-crew play depending on which seat you're sitting in. On our test ship the person in the operator seat controls the weapons but can switch them to the AI control and then reclaim control again. We've been … we've now completed adding this to DATAForge, so designers no longer have to manually state what each controller does. The system now knows what each control operates, so with the set priority it would manage itself. However, if the designer still wants to get that extra level of control or just let the system function as it wants to, they can do so.

Now over on our ship team over here in Los Angeles they've completed the whitebox phase of the Anvil Terrapin and moved them to the greybox phase, which includes the final geo on the pilot's seat, the cockpit, the main engines, landing gear and housing. Meanwhile, the whitebox is already up and flying for our initial tests. We've also done some basic rigs and animation on the landing gear and on the landing gear housing. The team is making steady progress on the RSI Aurora as well. We're working on cockpit controls, MFD screens and the sleeping quarters. They've also been through general polish such as POMs, decals and LODs. It's starting to look like much more than the modern day descendant of the X-7 spacecraft and is heading to the landing pad at maximum thrust.

Now our QA team has been quite busy. They've been testing our new ships in the pipeline and started working on our new animation pipeline. Also one of the biggest projects they were undertaking is testing the new planetary tech on moons such as Daymar. The team has had so much fun testing this new tech that they really don't want to go home. We're really looking forward to getting this for … to you as soon as we can in the upcoming 3.0 release.

[Cockpit View of Flight through Planetary Canyon]

Our tech content team has been very busy supporting, building, improving and accessing all of our processes and pipelines to increase performance, reduce dev time and help deliver every aspect of Star Citizen and Squadron 42. For instance, with multiple asset pipelines one of our biggest challenges is maintaining consistency across every asset. This means that the tech art team is constantly evaluating and auditing our materials to achieve the best and most efficient result. To insure such consistency all the asset dev teams really need to create and maintain a shared use of a single unified library. Maintaining such a library for a universe full of assets requires vigilance and maintenance. Our most recently completed audit included sound tutorials and clear documentation for all of our best practices.

Also animation is a lot like any other asset. It has a certain memory footprint that needs to be streamed in and out of the game. Think of an animation database like an object container but for animations. The DBA or database of animations is an optimized animation container comprised of hundreds of animations compressed down to a fraction of their typical size on the disk. Splitting them up logically is important, because the speed of streaming will be affected depending on the size of said DBA. For example, a locomotion set can be fairly heavy as it's comprised of hundreds of animations from walking, running, turning, idling, everything in between causing streaming of a large file to take a few frames. Perhaps you've noticed your character sliding prior to the animation beginning, which is a product of a DBA that's just too large. So tech animation developed a tool to create, manage and sort these animations within that DBA. Our goal is to ensure that while you're streaming seamlessly through the Star Citizen universe, your animations will be streaming right along with you.

Another boon on performance are asset errors. These can be quite difficult to identify when the only way to find them is parsing through a 200 megabyte text log line-by-line. So this month engineering, tech art and dev ops teamed up to automatically output and track errors and warnings associated with certain assets for easy assignment, better visibility and quicker turn around and everything from needed fixes to undefined behaviors that could negatively impact the overall game-play experience.

With the implementation of item 2.0 characters within Star Citizen will become fundamentally different than the characters in our base engine. So to manage them we needed to create a specific loadout editor tool, and now that editor tool has been used in production we've made some major improvements that allow more developers to get up to speed quickly on the usage of this tool. With new icons, documentation and general workflow improvements we now expect the loadouts to be easier and faster to create.

Now our new skinning tool also handles more complex rigs, setups and LODs. It takes our CGA format, which is a hierarchy of animated meshes, collisions and constrained pistons to become a unified set of skins with LODs that are bound to an animated skeleton with physics. This tool also reduces our turnaround for skinning complex setups and improves the overall process.

Now a critical feature required for our characters is that the weapons move to their designated positions accurately when players switch armor. Tech art worked within the confines of the skeleton extension system to develop an override technique to utilize the correct helper position based on each asset. This means attachments will now inherit positions in real time as you attach and detach armor pieces. You don't want your gun hanging off the wrong part of your armor. Not only would it look silly, but it can slow you down when switching weapons after you run out of ammo on your trusty sidearm. And also in terms of attachments, the most complex character that we've set up to date is the heavy marine. A fully equipped heavy marine has the most physical attachments or weapons than any of our other characters. This presented some pretty unique challenges. Trying to fit four grenades, eight magazines, two Med-Pens, two gadgets, one sidearm and two weapons onto a single character makes for quite the game of Tetris. The heavy marine has now been completed and is ready to hit the battlefield fully equipped.

Now the character team is making solid progress across handfuls of different outfits, uniforms and aliens. Opposite our heavy marine is our heavy outlaw which has completed its in-game mesh and will move right on into texturing, rigging and implementation, so it's not going to be too long before the heavy marine will have its potential match out there in the verse. Now in Squadron 42 we're cranking through various characters from major and from the minor background roles, and this one has now passed to the high poly stage and moved right on in to in-game modeling and texturing. The OMC undersuit has completed its high poly pass making it ready for in-game mesh and for texturing. The marine BDU has moved through texturing and on to its final stages. We have a medical rep who has finished up her high poly phase and soon will be in-game modeling. Last but not least concepts for the Xi'An and Banu are wrapping up and our newest quest givers, Rudo and Miles Eckhart, are getting ready to meet you in the verse in the very near future. Well, that's it for us here in Los Angeles. Thank you as always for your support, and we'll see you again soon.

Back to Studio With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

SG: Thanks guys. Watching the QA guys testing the canyon runs looks like a lot of fun. And as Star Citizen grows the Persistent Universe will expand to more than just the Crusader moons.

CR: Yeah, definitely. So not only will there be more environments to explore, but another important aspect is other alien species that you'll be able to interact with.

SG: And one of those alien species is the Banu, which is the first alien civilization that humanity discovered. They might be known as traders and merchants, but there's so much more to their culture than that. Take a look

Banu Lore With Will Weissbaum (Senior Writer), Josh Herman (Character Art Director), Dave Haddock (Lead Writer). Timestamped Link.

Dave Haddock(DH): So, we’re going to talk Banu.

Will Weissbaum(WW): You were here when the Banu were first thought of like from conception, right?

DH: Yeah, they were part of the original time capsule, they were humanity’s first contact.

WW: From a meta perspective were you just trying to think of a humanity encounter or was there a need particularly for a trading group?

DH: Early on there was sort of in the very rough conversations with Chris, I think I was just trying to figure out what are the sort of paradox of kind of creatures and civilizations that we’re going to deal with and there was always this sort of image… I remember from one of the conversations about Morocco in the 1940s, like very vibrant and colourful and lush. With that sort of intrigue and danger, mystery in the back alley type thing and going off the allegory of the decline of the Roman empire if the Xi'An were sort of the influence from China, the Vanduul the Visigoths, and the Tevarin were sort of feudal Japan then the Banu would be sort of the Persian empire. That was sort of their initial role.

Josh Herman(JH): So, when it comes to the look of them, the older designs we had had lots of ridges on the face and kinda looked a little scarier. So what I wanted to do was try to bring some colour into them, I really think that it’s a place that we can explore some colour in the Star Citizen universe especially with our aliens. So right now we’re kinda getting into exploring skin tones, exploring why they would have different skin tones, why those things would exist. Then there are also things that I liked about the old design with all the lines on the face, I think that it’s an interesting design language so I tried to pick that up again and run with it a little bit more.

DH: Humanity’s first encounter with the Banu was sort of a mixed bag, there was…

WW: It was our first contact with… ever with an alien species.

DH: Period. We discovered jump points, we were able to terraform but we hadn’t run into any aliens yet and so jump points at the time obviously were… are still sort of that big holy grail for exploration. So people were very protective of areas that they were scanning. The story was that there was this guy Vernon Tar who was out scanning this patch of space looking for jump points and he saw another ship show up on his radar and thought someone was trying to horn in on his territory. So he obviously shot at him and then realized far too late that it was an alien spacecraft and freaked out, called the cops basically. Yeah, that was it, they ended up forming the first intergalactic treaty.    

WW: Well, we find out the reason why he was so happy to be found by us was that he was…

DH: A fugitive.

WW: Yeah, that Banu was a fugitive from the law, was on the run so the first Banu we found was a criminal, He had upset one of the guilds and they were chasing him down.              

DH: So this Banu who was on the run from the law basically became really kind of a hero of his age.     

JH: Something that I’ve been wanting to get across is features that players can connect with, can associate with. So, there is a little bit of human element to this design. A lot in the eyes, a lot in some of the general structure of the face but I do want to get across some of the more creepy elements so their skin is a little shiny, almost fish or eel like. Their breathing… the way that it looks like maybe they could breathe is maybe in lots of different places, some crests on their head. Things are not really natural, things that are balancing human parts to that.

In the clothing that they’re wearing, it’s going to be very decadent. It’s going to have lots of different types of patterns in it, it’s going to have lots different colours in it and that’s to show all these different places that they’ve been. That they’re not just pulling from one influence, from one location. It should show a little bit of their history just when you look at them, you should be able to see where they’ve been or who they are, where they come from.

I’ve been really getting invested in who the Banu are as a species and something that I find is really interesting with the Banu is that they’re very specialized. So if they’re a soldier, they’ve been trained to be a soldier. If they’re a merchant, they’ve been trained their whole lives to be a merchant. Whatever they are, they’ve specialized in that, they’re very specialized. That’s not very typical in a lot of cultures.

WW: You know for interests sake and for having it be more fun we try to set up all the cultures kinda opposed to each other and the farther away they get the more interesting it is. So, when we’re looking at this trading group, we started asking: all right, what makes them really interesting? Those traders and part of this use of like reliance on a barter system and having that be the main value of the wealth and what do they do with that accrual of wealth and kinda that’s where it started developing the idea that that was the important aspect of their society, very real and physical. You can see what I’m worth cause it’s right here with me now.

DH: Look around, that’s how important I am because material things are very important to a Banu to signify their position and station in life. Like their ships tend to reflect this kind of artisanal quality to it. Having really nicely etched flooring and stuff like that because that’s more impressive than the ship they’re most known for currently, the Merchantman. Which is a massive, massive... reiterate that.        

WW: Cause that’s not really just a ship to them for transport, that’s their home and that’s why it’s on such a big scale, it has all their belongings on board. That they travel around with and kind of that idea of a traveling bazaar that would come visiting with people. Kind of taking some inspiration from bedouin nomadic traders, that they’re moving with everything that they own and important to them in that way.                  

DH: The background of the Banu is very tricky because we circled in on this idea that they have no real sense of history. Like that’s never really held a lot of importance to them so you know they don’t care who invented the Merchantman, they just care that the Merchantman is a ship that works and is effective at what it does. They’ll retain the sort of instructional manual of how to design and build one but they couldn’t care less that so and so built it in whatever year on this place because of this reason. It holds no interest to them, what is important is that this is a ship that is built for transport, cargo and is effective. So, that becomes the primary thing for them.

WW: Yeah, if they were viewing like American history, the walk away for them would be that America is a country, They wouldn’t care that it used to be part of Britain because that doesn’t matter anymore, it’s not part of Britain anymore and they wouldn’t care that this was the Independence year because it’s independent. What difference does it make when it happened.

DH: Yeah, it happened so long ago.

WW: So, just boiling it down to the important facts to pass on so you know their history is more like a series of manuals than it is kind of like a timeline recording, and because of that it’s been very difficult for humans to have pieced together the Banu history before they met them.

DH: The big aspect I think is about accruing stuff. So accruing stuff means you’ve lived a full life, you’ve been a lot of places, you’ve met a lot of people, done a lot of things and that’s it. It’s very much about living in the present.         

JH: Because the Banu are so heavily in trade, one thing that is also interesting about them is that they don’t necessarily look friendly, right? They could be a little aggressive, they could be a little awkward so what they try to do and this is part of why they put all their stuff on display is to show you that they’re friendly, right. The ships are going to have rooms... a greeting room and when you come into the greeting room this is all their stuff that you can see. Maybe behind these closed doors it looks totally different but they put everything out on display for you. They’re costuming and their clothes should also be impactive in the same way, so maybe they’re carrying lots of little trinkets or maybe the types of clothes they have are from all different places in the universe, where it’s going to show that they’ve been to all these places or something that’s very rare, very valuable somewhere far, far away.  

They’re trying very hard to come off as appealing even though they naturally aren’t. They should be a little creepy, they should be a little awkward, they should be… it’s kinda like judging a book by its cover thing where they probably wouldn’t be the person you come up to and say, ‘this guy’s going to be super friendly, I really want to trade with this guy’. As soon as you get to know them, you can see that they’re very friendly and they’re willing to do business with you and that they want to make you as pleasant and comfortable in their space and around them. I think that’s really interesting so it is a difficult balance to say I want… when we’re designing this race that they need to come off as a little awkward, a little creepy, a little uncomfortable but also friendly, also appealing and that’s I think the balance that we’re trying to capture right now with these guys.

Back to Studio With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

CR: Developing the Banu culture is important because it also helps us create other aspects of their civilization like their ships, language, design choices and many other things.

SG: And since the Banu are known for borrowing technology from other species, that idea was actually used in their ship design.

CR: Yes, so up next we’ll share a look at our newest spacecraft, the Banu Defender.

Banu Defender With Paul Jones (Art Director), Will Weissbaum (Senior Writer), Dave Haddock (Lead Writer), Jonathan Jacevicius (Technical Designer). Timestamped Link.

Paul Jones (PJ): So the ship is called the Defender and it literally is that. You know, it’s not an aggressive ship, I mean it’s a very unique looking ship.

Jonathan Jacevicius(JJ): We needed to link up with the writing team in LA so David and Will to find out what the Banu are about. If there are any specific things we needed to take into mind when we made the ship.

WW: We knew from the beginning that if they had a fighting ship, it probably be an escort ship primarily because what would they want to do with it? They would want to protect their valuable trading ship.  

JJ: What we generally do there is we take the requirements from Ben and Chris and we look at ships similar to that role to see kind of where it fits in the universe.

PJ: I think initially it was about 18 initial ideas, just different configurations. Often we like the two, you know, the two pods that’s been a major feature and also taking into account on the Merchantman we’ve got those ramps featured heavily and trying to sort of tie that in as well. So on this one I think Chris picked three that he liked and then we kind of just riffed on those a little more in 2D, a little more in 3D. Just super blocky, it’s almost what looks good first and then we can sort of come back from that and go, ‘ok, how do we actually make this work’.

WW: As we’ve learned more about not only our game systems but as the race itself… that’s also slowly being brought up to date and adjusting…

DH: We just had a conversation with the UK guys about like room assignment, what room does what and stuff like that and it really opening some really interesting, like fascinating unique things about how a Banu crew works and then compared and contrasted with the human crew. It’s very, very different and very weird.

JJ: The Banu quite interestingly have kind of like a social system where very specifically trained in a field unlike the UEE ships where it’s just one man in a fighter. They have possibly a fighter and a gunner and instead of the gunner being in a turret they’re actually manning the main ship weapons alongside the pilot so they’re trained to work tandem rather than like a generalist role which is why there’s a dual cockpit system going on with it.

PJ: Right after about we did a typical sort of human configuration, you know, things in racks and it was instantly obvious that wasn’t going to work. It was out of place, the whole rigidity, the structure was completely opposite to what we were trying to sort of get in the interior. So, there was a lot of drawing, a lot of line work to just sort of again it was all about flow lines, you know, curving from the roof down to the floor. So after a little more chat with Nate and Jay Brushwood, we decided to really go for like sort almost like a vertical… horizontal shutter system basically. This whole thing just like opened and go tick, tick, tick, tick and just reveal components and they’ll be in sort of a structure but the facade is still very nouveau sweeping, organic and it’ll make quite a nice experience. It should be there and you’ll press a button, you’ll have this reveal and then you can change out your components or change your fuses or whatever it is you want to do.

JJ: So, the Defender is an example has a bigger shield than most of the fighters that we’ve got in the game especially of the same size. However as a counterpoint it’s got a very weak hull so the second you get through that shield, you’re in trouble.

DH: You know the Defender has a Xi’An engine on it and at a certain point they were like, ‘oh this engine is much better suited for this ship than the previous engine we had on there’. So, they got the engine design, they retro engineered it, they figured it out, they started manufacturing it and now it’s a Xi’An engine incorporated into their tech.

PJ: It kind of comes in two configurations, like a flight configuration and landed configuration. You know, I really like the landed configuration it just creates a really nice silhouette and you’ll know straight away, that’s the Defender when you see it on the landing pad. There’s just no way you’ll mistake it.

DH: One of the things that we’ve been talking about internally is the idea that they as a culture they don’t have art, fine art. The idea being that that kind of creative energy goes into the manufacturing of the things, so that’s why all their stuff has really beautiful kind of quality to it.

WW: Also the way that they build their ships you can see the pride in how it represents their own personal worth in the artistry behind it, the intricacy. LIke it’s just beautiful to look at and that’s because of how much it represents who they are.

PJ: Both me and Nate and design have been heavily involved working with a concept artist for a palette that sort of invokes a richness basically. So, muted golds, you know pale golds. There’s hints to sort of gemstones integrated in a very functional way so they’re sort of used as light accents.

JJ: So, while flying is quite involved, so is the shooting. Especially when you’ve got the gimballed weapons on the front, you’re not waiting for the pilot to line up a shot directly. You’ll be able to have a little bit of movement there yourself so while the pilot is trying to track the target, the gunner will be able to shoot in a nice range of that. The dual seats kind of came about because we also wanted the seats to eject and we really didn’t want to force the pilot to eject the gunner as well. Also not restricted to this pilot/gunner thing either because this ship is a Banu ship produced for humans. You’ll be able to get in there, fly it on your own, be the pilot and the gunner but if you want a friend to pop in there with you… they can do some engineering work, they can jump on the weapons if they want to so you’re a bit more free.

PJ: This has been quite exciting, the whole team was pretty sort of pretty excited to work on it. It sounds a bit of a crazy mix but when people see the images it all comes together and it’s fairly obviously not human and hopefully obviously Banu. I think yeah it’s going to be good and I’m looking forward to seeing it come through the production process and then turn on people’s screens.

Back to Studio With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

CR: The Banu Defender makes a great companion piece to the Merchantman by protecting valuable cargo that many Banu merchants depend on or cargo that you have that you depend on too.

SG: Yes and starting tomorrow you can get your viewer own Banu Defender. The sale ends May 1st, so don’t miss your chance to add this special ship to your hangar.

CR: Yeah we’ve also put together a helpful guide to interact with the Banu on our website. Complete with travel tips for anyone planning a voyage to the Protectorate. It’s really cool and I definitely recommend checking it out.

SG: up next we have a special announcement regarding our Star Citizen referral program and referral contest.

CR: Yeah not only have we added new rewards levels to the program, you can also now earn a special trip to this year’s Gamescom, take a look

Referral Contest With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Tyler Nolin (Community Manager). Timestamped Link.

SG: Hello Citizens, I’m Sandi Gardiner. Welcome to the Million Mile High Club. I am here with Tyler Nolin to discuss our new 2017 RSI referral contest…

TN: And updated referral program. If you aren’t familiar with the Star Citizen referral program, it’s a way to earn in-game rewards by recruiting friends to Star Citizen. We’re now adding new levels to the referral ladder which you can see on the referral program page.

SG: And now on to the really fun part, the new referral contest. Any new Citizens you recruit from the start of the contest until August 8th, will get you additional in-game rewards.

TN: It only takes 1 new referral point to get an in-game Star Kitten t-shirt that your character can wear in the ‘verse.

SG: And you can also get a Star Kitten pink Dragonfly by gaining 10 new referral points before the contest ends.

TN: But remember, to receive these fun Star Kitten prizes, you have to get these referral points during the contest.

SG: You might be asking yourself, ‘What’s Star Kitten?” Star Kitten is our new in-lore product line. Sally is the first member of the Star Kitten family. You can learn more about her on the referral program page.

TN: So, it doesn’t matter whether you have no referrals so far or 1000, once the contest starts your next referral gets you Star Kitten. It’s the ‘purrfect’ shirt to wear in the ‘verse.

SG: That’s not all, the referral contest gets even better! The first person who has a lifetime total of 2942 referral points by August 8th, will receive a free trip to Gamescom.

TN: Plus, whichever other backer has the highest lifetime total of referral points at the end of the contest will receive an Idris-M.

SG: The Gamescom trip will include an event ticket, airfare, hotel stay for 1, and a chance to meet with Chris Roberts and other members of the CIG development team.

TN: While an Idris-M will include a chance to blow a lot of stuff up.

SG: Woohoo! Again, to earn a free trip to Gamescom the magic total to reach is 2942 points using Star Citizen referral codes.

TN: We already have some great contenders vying for the Gamescom package. Let’s take a look.

JFeezy: Man, I heard about the game really when it first started up in the crowdfunding pretty early on. For me, it was about finding something that wasn’t out there.

STLYoungblood: I think the thing that I’m looking forward to most is just supporting organizational operations. You know, so if we’re doing mining or if we’re doing transport or anything along those lines - not only just acting in a defensive manner in my combat ship but also coordinating the other ships in our fleet. I think that’s something that’s going to be really exciting for me.

Wetherbee: There’s so many other things that I wanted to get involved in. You know, data running, escorting VIPs, going on attack runs to the Vanduul home worlds. Really trading and exploring and mining, those types of things. There’s so many different professions in Star Citizen that I’m interested in and I hope to have the opportunity to really delve into the game mechanics of those particular professions.

SG: To help one of these top contenders or your friends get to Gamescom, just use their referral code.

TN: Simply click on the link in the description below for more details on the contest.

SG: And, if you want to follow the contest leaderboard, you can find it on the Spectrum announcement page.  Thanks for watching and we’ll see you…

SG + TN: In the ‘Verse!

Outro With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

SG: The new referral contest starts today. Learn how you can earn this trip to Gamescom by clicking on the link in the description for more details.

CR: Yes. Speaking of Gamescom, subscribers and concierge members can purchase early access tickets this Saturday and on Sunday tickets will be available for everyone to purchase. Check the RSI website for details.

SG: Yes, they go quickly. Like last year, we’ll have an interactive booth, live show, and opportunities to meet the CIG team. So, we hope to see you in Cologne, Germany.

CR: Yup, it will be great to see you, as always, in Germany. That’s all for this week’s episode of ATV. Please join us tomorrow at Noon for Happy Hour Gamedev where Jared Huckaby, Eric Keiron Davis, and Sean Tracy will create a production schedule LIVE! Very exciting. And answer your questions about the recent 3.0 production schedule report released last Friday.

SG: Also, just as a reminder, this week is the last week to purchase store merchandise with shipping included in the total. After that, shipping will be added at checkout. Right now, everything in store is being sold at a discount, so make sure to get your Dragonfly Poster Set, your Connie model, or a deck of playing cards while there is still time.

CR: I need a new deck of playing cards. I think I was missing a few in the one I was trying to play poker with the other night. Anyway, as always I’d like to thank our backers for our continued support. You make Star Citizen possible every day.

SG: Yes you do, and we’re also very grateful to all of our subscribers. Tomorrow, subscribers will receive the next issue of Jump Point.

CR: Yeah, and the Gladius Valiant free flight is still available to subscribers through the end of the month, so don’t miss your chance to test fly this great spacecraft.

SG: And if you’re interested in learning more about our subscriber program, check out the link in the description.

CR: So, thanks for watching and we’ll see you…

SG + CR: Around the ‘verse!


Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.



When he's not pun-ishing his patients or moderating Twitch streams, he's at Relay pun-ishing their patience as a member of the transcription staff. Otherwise, he can be found under a rock somewhere in deep East Texas listening to the dulcet tones of a banjo and pondering the meaning of life.

"If you can't do something smart, do something right." - Sheperd Book



Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.


Director of Fiction

Moonlighting as a writer in her spare time StormyWinters combines her passion for the written word and love of science fiction resulting in innumerable works of fiction. As the Director of Fiction, she works with a fantastic team of writers to bring you amazing stories that transport you to new places week after week.