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Around the Verse: 3.15 - U.K. Written Thursday 1st of December 2016 at 12:00pm by CanadianSyrup, Sunjammer and Desmarius

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)

Intro & Other Information

  • The Intergalactic Aerospace Expo was an idea that came together in a short period of time. They used an old facial rig and polished it up for the Galactic Tour videos.
  • Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 has been handed to the Evocati. Once it’s deemed stable enough, it’ll go to a wider PTU and finally live.

Studio Update

  • Asteroids were previously hand-placed - this took time from artists and designers and put a practical limit on total numbers.
    • New system was requested to place hundreds or millions of asteroids and cope with any scale.
    • Each field has a few properties - density, colour, type, etc.
    • From each field’s properties, a field can be generated and every client can then decide what they need to render.
    • There are four main properties of an asteroid field.
  • For Saturn’s rings - they would have textures that define the height, a offset (flat in this case), variation for colours, and density.
  • Luke demonstrates the old asteroid system in comparison with the new system.
    • The new system has much greater density. The asteroids are rotating subtly.
    • Larger asteroids will rotate slower or not at all so bases can be put on them.
  • There are handcrafted locations in exclusion zones that stop dynamic asteroids being generated there.
    • There is no limit to scale, all asteroids are uniquely positioned.
  • Excited about the richer, more detailed environments and enhanced gameplay this will bring.
  • In 2.6, all ships/vehicles will have default first person cameras, a third person “chase” camera, a orbit camera and passenger orbit.
    • Current controls are based on previous controls - F4 is still the primary modifier.
    • F4 and +/- will change the lens size to presets. Changing the lens size affects depth of field.
    • F4 and * will reset the camera.
  • Target offset will allow the target of the camera - defaulting to the centre of the ship - to be adjusted.
    • F4 and the left and right arrow keys will adjust the x-axis.
    • F4 and the up and down arrow keys will affect the y-axis.
    • F4 and the PgUp and PgDown keys will affect the z-axis.
    • Z key now toggles a free-orbit camera that allows movement around the ship.
    • In this mode you retain the all the new controls as before.
  • After death in any game modes, you instantly start in free-orbit camera spectating another player.
    • In this mode, pressing Z will go to a freecam that can move around the entire level.
    • In addition to previous controls, holding F4 and 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 will save a camera viewpoint.
    • While pressing F4 and 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 will return you to that saved viewpoint.
    • These tools aren’t just designed for gameplay, but also for content creators.

Community Update w/Tyler Witkin

  • Galactic Tour is over and CIG enjoyed making it.
  • Noobifer wins the week’s MVP award for his video on CIG’s ship development pipeline.
  • Reverse the Verse live on cigcommunity on Twitch at 8 AM PST.

Behind the Scenes: The Sound Of Star Marine

  • Ross Tregenza and Sam Hall have spent a lot of time unifying the music across the game into one global system
  • The conditions and gameplay for Star Marine allowed them to be more cinematic flow of the music logic system (compared to the PU and S42 where anything can happen)
  • They use a lot of low-pass, high-pass filters, volume effects, etc. so the three stages of music edge in subtly
  • At 25% there is a gentle bubbling of music; at 50% you can start to feel the energy; and at 100% it's big, full spectrum music
    • To avoid it being too jarring the rate rises very slowly and they have a limit on the speed it can progress through the stages
    • Time is also a factor and controls the percussion which comes in when time is running out regardless of intensity
  • Nicola ensure the team gets the right information at the right time to work on the highest priorities first
  • They developed pressurised and depressurised states: when in a depressurised are everything sounds muffled and sounds don't carry as far (e.g. into a pressurised area)
  • They provided dialogue for the Announcer (a female announcer that explains and controls the game) and the team Leaders
  • For ambient sound they decided not to be too subtle and push more of the character of the space into the audio mix
  • The engineering area of Echo 11 is dark and industrial: lots of steam, rattles and metallic groaning
    • You can hear the water moving through the pipes; when steam erupts from the floor it's both visible and audible
    • They used tight reverb on the sounds to make the crawl spaces feel tiny and enclosed
    • The environment reacts to weaponry: gunfire will rattle and reverberate off some object (like junk) and resonate inside other objects (like pipes)

Behind the Scenes: Flight Balance

  • Flight balance changes the way you fly, not the fundamentals of flying
  • This balance change is in response to feedback from the community
  • SCM speeds have been halved and cruise eliminated to increase the closeness of combat
  • Afterburner is now used to fill the speed gap
  • Afterburner burns fuel quickly to reach the higher speeds, but less fuel is burned to maintain that higher speed
  • Afterburner decreases maneuverability as determined by throttle placement before entering the mode
  • Boost shortens the acceleration times in any direction by over-thrusting your secondary thrusters
  • Racing is not super slow, but more complex with afterburning and boosting choices
  • Maneuverability will be adversely affected while afterburning.
    • Ship maneuverability will now vary from ship to ship
  • All ship components have been rebalanced completely
  • More complexity for those who want to learn them
  • Added missile camera
  • Still a work in progress.

Full Transcript

Intro With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hey everyone and welcome to Around the Verse, our regular in depth look behind the scenes of Star Citizen. I’m your host Sandi Gardiner and joining me today is Technical Director, Sean Tracy. Thanks for joining me Sean.

Sean Tracy (ST): Of course, happy to step in while Chris is away visiting Foundry 42.

SG: Yes he is and this past week saw the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo draw to a close. It was great being able to show those clips from Galactic Tour. What started off a just a fun idea really grew into something special thanks to the team and their hard work.

ST: Yeah it was a really tight schedule, but it was impressive to see what they were able to keep tweaking as the week went on and on. Even though it was one of our really older facial rigs, they were able to polish it up a bit more with each video that we released.

SG: Very cool, and the other big announcement this week is that the 2.6 Alpha build has officially gone out ot the Evocati, Yay!

[Jazz hands]

SG: Jazz hands.

ST: Yeah, In addition to testing Star Marine and new ships like the Herald, the 85X and the Caterpillar, they’re also going to be helping test the web version of Spectrum. There’s a lot of kinks to work out still, but so far they’ve already done a lot to help us find and tackle bugs.

SG: And we will keep on patching to the Evocati until it's stable enough to roll out to the PTU and then eventually live to you all. To keep track of the latest updates, make sure to check out the 2.6 production schedule on the website.

ST: To find out more about some of the tech going into 2.6, lets go now to the U.K. for the Studio Update.

Studio Update With Mici Oliver (QA Tester), Steve Turberfield (Technical Designer), Alistair Brown (Director of Graphics Engineering), Luke Pressley (Designer). Timestamped Link.

Mici Oliver (MO): Welcome back to the UK, I’m Mici Oliver, QA Tester, here to give you this week’s studio update. Now over to Ali and Luke to talk about asteroids.

Alistair Brown (AB): Asteroids in our game were previously all hand-placed, painstaking for the designers and artists who positioned them and obviously had a practical limit of how many we could actually place by manual process so with the new request from design was so they could place hundreds or even millions of asteroids so the new system was designed and built to cope with any scale that we can come up with.

So, each asteroid field, will only have- the clan has a few basic properties of how that asteroid field should look so what type of asteroids it should be, what type of density, what colour - some fairly basic information and from that it is able to seed where every single asteroid in the entire asteroid belt will be from that small bit of information and the benefit of that is that every client doesn’t really need to communicate with the server and they can on their own decide what they need to render and what they need to simulate per frame.

This is from our design document on how we design the asteroids and how we want them to work for the designers so we produce a texture that has four different channels to control the four different main properties of the asteroid field - or the four properties that they want to change per asteroid field. So to achieve something like Saturn’s rings like this we would have textures like this where we would define the height of it.

The offset is a bit- the offset is like how- if it was going to wiggle up and down - which for Saturn’s rings are perfectly flat so it is a flat colour. Variation is to handle different colours, different materials, made of different composites of metals, whatever we might find and there is density control away.

And if we go to another sample - this is from Oblivion - and they have this destroyed moon which is a bit like our broken moon example - we might have something like this where we have a lot more interesting variations - we have a pattern in the height, it is going to have some verticality in it from this offset, it is going to have some variation and the density has a nice feather off on it and it should be really easy for the artists or the designers to quickly go through and make asteroid fields or changes to them which they then have to spend an eternity coming up with.

Luke Pressley (LP): What I want to show you today is how we’re going to use the new asteroid tech in practice - first what I want to do is show you how we used to have to create asteroid fields because you’ll see this new tech just makes it so much easier and look so much better.

So this here as you probably recognize is Yela, it’s the moon with the asteroid ring about it that we put in our first iteration, 2.0. This here is the current density that you’ll see in 2.5. That’s the old tech, turn that off, here is the new. As you can see, generating- the way it generates that is we have say, about nine or ten asteroids that are unique asteroid models in there and it goes through and it makes them one at a time, layers them on top of each other, as you can see there.

The density, the depth, just the sheer amount - as you can see these things are rotating very subtly - obviously the point is very subtle, but I can show you this to the extreme just very quickly. There you go - what’s going to happen for smaller ones will rotate much faster than the larger ones to the point where the largest don’t rotate at all because we’ll be putting bases on them, these kind of things.

For instance, in Yela there are these locations, here, that are full of pirates - there is gameplay involved, we’ve actually hand crafted those things - what we’ve put around here is an exclusion zone which prevents all the other asteroids from spawning in there - the dynamic asteroids. So as you can see, all of this combined, we’re going to end up with a really much more cinematic asteroid experience - you can imagine flying through here - it’s going to be really exciting and we are finally getting the kind of density and movement that we’ve been aiming for.

AB: There’s literally no limit on the scale - we can have them millions and millions of miles wide, the asteroid fields, and we can have them moving as well and you’ll never find the same pattern twice - every single asteroid is positioned uniquely. I think that’s quite exciting for the gameplay that you literally - every single place you go in this asteroid field will be unique.

MO: Thanks guys, this will give us richer, more detailed environments and really help the development process when designing new systems. Now over to Steve who will guide us through the new camera options.

Steve Turberfield (ST): Last time around, we did a bit of a brief overview of the camera and what tools our community are going to have to play with and today I’m just going to go a bit more in-depth with that - show you what exactly it is you’re going to be able to play with and give you a bit of a overview of how the spectator mode is going to work as well.

Going forward in 2.6, all ships and vehicles will have the default first person cameras which you’re familiar with - we have the third person flight, which we commonly call a chase camera. We have our orbit cam, which as the name suggests allows you to orbit around the ship from different angles, and then the passenger orbit so you can basically focus in on your pilot and manipulate the camera around him.

So just to give you a bit of a rundown of how the controls work - we’ve decided to build more upon what our players already know with the little camera control that they’ve had previously - so we’ve always keybound everything to the F4 key so you just cycle through the views by pressing F4 and they just go in order - so we’ve built in that by using F4 as what we call a modifier.

So basically in order to operate the camera, you just hold down F4 and plus and minus will change the lens size to a preset one - so you can to an angle like that where it zooms in close and flattens out the view or you can pull right back and like I say it’s changing your depth of field. With all the camera features I’m about to show you, we have a nice reset key - simply because if you wanted to change things on the fly or you’ve done something you’re not happy with and you want to go back to the start - you simply hold F4, press the star key and that’ll reset exactly where you were previously.

So that’s your lens sizes. The other new control I want to show you is the target offset and that basically just allows you to move the position the camera’s pointing at. Rather than focusing bang on the centre of the ship, if you want to look a bit to the side, a bit above, a bit below you can do that as well.

So just like before, hold F4 and to manipulate the offset, use your arrow keys primarily. So left arrow will move you left in the x-axis, right in the x-axis, forward and back in y is your up and down arrows and if I just reset that I can just show you F4 page up, strafe up, page down, will strafe down in the z-axis as well.

So now if I change to the orbit camera which I mentioned before, what we’ve basically done is very, very similar to what our players have had before but by pressing Z as a toggle, it toggles on the orbit controls - this will allow you to move around the ship - you can still, in this mode, change your offsets and lens sizes and then you can reset them at the touch of a button. All of the controls that are described before, such as lens sizes changes and target offset all that is included but we’ve also gone the extra mile and added a few additional features in here which we think our community will make a rich use of.

So, just to give you a bit of an overview, this is basically the screen that you see when you die - and if you are anything like me, this is going to happen regularly - so when you are in a team deathmatch mode, when you die, you’ll automatically start viewing your teammates, so the camera will lock onto those and you can cycle through any teammates who are still alive during the game using the mouse buttons.

From here, by default, the orbit controls are unlocked - because you are not controlling the player, we can get those ready straight away so you can manipulate the orbit as they are running around the level and it will track the player as they go.

Probably what I think is the most exciting thing for our community is we’ve also included a freecam function - because our orbit controls are live all the time in spectator mode, you can use the Z key instead to detach the camera from the player - this enables you to basically move the camera wherever you want in the level. In addition to this, you can make use of the save/load system. So if you are making cinematics, you can cut to different cameras on the fly that you’ve set up in advance. So I can just give you an example of that now - I like that shot now, I can save that to slot one - so holding F4 and holding the one key on the number pad. I like this one as well - just getting all the different angles that you can’t normally reach while you are playing the game - so a real high up angle there, save that.

And then in addition to this, we’ll do a nice close-up on the player and then let’s go ahead and change the lens size so we can look quite close and see all that detail - I’ll save that to slot three.

So, while the game is going on, you can literally just change this on the fly - that camera one that I saved is there, back to camera three, over to camera two for that high angle shot - the tools have been designed for not just use in gameplay, so you will be able to create new views and bespoke camera angles for while you are actually playing the game but we’ve also given this to people who want to create their own content, their own cinematics, their own screenshots and all that manner of thing that people are doing but we’re just giving them the tools to make it easier and get better results at the end of the day as well.

MO: That’s awesome Steve, that’s something that really helped me in my character testing and I can’t wait to see all the screenshots and the videos that you guys post to show off our beautiful game.

I’m a big fan of these updates because they are going to make my job a lot easier and that’s all for our studio update, so back over to LA.

Back to Studio With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

ST: Thanks Mici, that asteroid tech is really going to help the designers a lot, when tech like this comes online, it can drastically reduce how long it takes to implement things which will allow for new content to be added faster in the future - I’m really excited to see what the artists and designers will come up with for players to explore.

SG: As cool as the asteroids were, I’m really excited about the new camera system - our community was already creating some amazing videos and I can’t wait on them to get their hands on these new tools.

Speaking of community, let’s go now to Tyler for the latest.

Community Update With Tyler Witkin (Community Manager). Timestamped Link.

Hey everyone, Tyler Witkin, Community Manager in the Austin Texas studio, here to bring you this week’s community update.

The Intergalactic Aerospace Expo has concluded and we hoped you enjoyed the Galactic Tour videos as much as we did making them. In other news, throughout the month of December we’re going to be making the MISC Freelancer flyable to all subscribers. So if you’re a subscriber and you’ve been wanting to fly the Freelancer, now is your chance.

Now it’s time for this week’s MVP award. A huge congratulations to the Noobifer for his detailed efforts in creating a video called “The Birth of a Starship”. Now this video outlines the ship development pipeline here at CIG and has a lot of interesting tidbits and I encourage you to check it out for yourself over at our community hub.

Lastly, the week would not be complete without Reverse the Verse, so make sure to tune in live tomorrow at 8 AM Pacific Standard Time at twitch.tv/cigcommunity where we’re going to be talking about everything you saw on today’s episode.

Thanks for all the support everyone and we’ll see you in the ‘verse.

Back to Studio With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

SG: Noobifer that was a really great walkthrough. A really great explanation of all the massively complex elements that go into building a ship.

ST: Yeah it was really solid, although to be honest this week’s a little light on weird gifs of me.

SG: Yeah we can maybe fix that, sorry Sean, maybe they need fresh some material.

ST: Good call. Make some extreme expression as fodder.

[Extreme facial expressions]

SG: For our next Behind the Scenes feature, the audio team walks us through all the work they’ve been doing to get Star Marine ready to play.

Behind the Scenes: The Sound of Star Marine With Ross Tregenza (Senior Sound Designer), Barney Oram (Junior Sound Designer), Nicola Grelck (Associate Producer). Timestamped Link.

Ross Tregenza (RT): Overall Sam Hall, the coder, and I we spent a lot of time, first of all unifying the music across the game because Star Citizen is so huge and there are so many different aspects of it that we were working very hard in these different areas but it was all getting very compartmentalised. We’ve managed to bring it back into this one whole, global system. And that’s given us a really nice foundation for Star Marine now. We have this great clarity. We know how to build these systems and get the best out of them.

While we have the music logic system for the PU and for Squadron 42, for Star Marine the conditions that you’re involved in and way the game plays out is a little more set which is a luxury we don’t have when you have the more open world situation where people could be doing anything anywhere. So we’re able to be a little bit more authored and bespoke in the flow of it which is nice.

So we … we obviously have the game rules for the different Star Marine game modes and that gives us the foundation we work from. So we’ve got a nice cinematic flow that we’ve built that picks up pace as the game progresses.

Here we have six layers of music. This is the main, sort of, bed of the music during the game mode. From the start of the match this is all actually active but it will be completely quiet because the two parameters that feed into this at this point are both on zero.

The two parameters we have are control and time limit. So the first one is a parameter that feeds into the main body of the music and as that number rises up, as you get more and more successful in the game, the music will slowly start fading in and we use a lot of low-pass high-pass filters, volume effects, etc., etc., so that these three stages of music are quite subtle as they start edging in.

So I’ll take it up to about 25% … and here it comes. As you are playing game, you’re doing well, you’ll start to hear this little gentle bubbling of electronic music. And if we take it up to just over 50% … you can really hear it starting to pick up now. And you’re about 50% successful at this point, you start to feel the energy - it’s getting exciting. We take it up again. See these three layers of music are starting to build up now. Take it up to here. At this point it’s really starting to pick up its pace. And we can take that all the way up to 100%. And now it’s big, full spectrum music. You get a real sense of excitement.

What we really wanted to do was make sure it wasn’t too … too jarring and too obviously tied into … events in the game. It is, but we want to make that a slow evolving sound. As opposed to “oh, you’ve done X, so now Y has happened”. That’s a really old, old style of game mechanic that we avoiding. So while information is being fed into the music system it’s rising very slowly and we have a lock on the speed it is allowed to progress through its various stages. So you don’t get this bam, bam, bam, bam of increased steps of intensity. You get this cinematic flow upwards that gets more and more intense.

And there are two different elements at play as well. There’s the gameplay element that’s the main factor of how the music progresses and gets more dramatic. But there’s also a time element that’s independent from the other one. And although it works as one piece of music, the time element controls the percussion and that will start coming in as time runs out regardless of where we are in that overall intensity layer.

Nicola Grelck (NG): So I’m Associate Producer for the Audio team. My role is to communicate with all the other studios and with all the other producers all over the world. So in Germany and LA and Austin. I have to make sure my team gets the right information and right on time so we can actually work on the highest priority first to make sure everything is just good in the game and has a proper sound and proper music and dialogue.

I’m really looking forward to see sound went into the game because it is … we have so many features that are coming in from the audio side as well. We have the pressurising and depressurising states and when you’re outside in a depressurised area everything sounds muffled and you know actually that you are outside. And all sounds sound like this. The other way round, when you are inside and pressurised everything is … it’s just normal but the people outside actually have the muffled sound so you know there are some people outside and not that loud.

We also have the Music Logic System which is reacting to the state in the game where you are. So am I losing? Am I winning? Is it the beginning of the match? Is it the end of the match? So it’s well reactive and gives you a lot of audio feedback of where you are.

And on top of that we have the dialog edits. So we have the Announcer - which is a female announcer I’m very proud of - because she’s giving the rules of the game. So she explains the game mode, she’s telling you when the match started and when the match ends - so she’s actually rules the game. But additionally to that we have the Leaders from the Marines side and the Outlaws side that is a bit like the music logic system so it gives you feedback depending on where you are in the game so when you have to hack more control points in the Control game mode for example, it gives you the advice and tells you that you have to do that. I’m really looking forward to Star Marine.

Barney Oram (BO): When I was thinking about creating the atmospheric sounds, one thing that I thought about a lot was whether it should be more subtle or more in your face and very intense and dense. Because obviously the focus is in on the first person weaponry - the shooting and the action and that kind of thing and the other players - but I decided not to be too subtle with the ambients and try to push more of a character of the space into the mix of the audio.

So this is part of the engineering area of Echo Eleven. It’s quite an industrial, dark sounding space. There’s a lot of steam and rattles and groans of metal contracting and stuff like that. It’s quite ominous - it’s supposed to be quite dense and quite heavy I think. All of these little spots are placed audio that are emitting a … one specific sound. And … they all work together to build up a sound of the level - a sound of the room - in one area.

This is some pipey type things. And you can hear … hopefully you can hear the water and stuff like that moving through the pipes and … there’s steam and things that that emit from the floor and occasionally you’ll get bursts of steam and air and stuff like that, both like that in the audio and visually.

There’s a little bit here that I’m quite proud of. It’s a vent that you can crawl through and get into another area but I spent quite a lot of time trying to make it sound very encased and isolated and small. So it’s got things like … it’s got the same kind of metal rattles but with very tight reverb on them so it feels like you’re really in this tiny little crawling space.

Another thing we are looking at doing in this first iteration of Star Marine is creating sounds that react in their environment to weaponry. So if you’re in a particularly junky room - and especially in some of the maps we’re putting out for Star Marine soon - it’s got a lot of bits and bobs and junk and stuff like that. So when you shoot your gun in this room it will rattle and resonate. And some of the big metal objects - like pipes and stuff like that as well - if you get close to them and shoot you’ll hear that resonance - which is really cool and really … I think it’s very engaging - it really immerses you in the experience of being in that world. Firing your guns and everything reacting around it.

Back to Studio With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

ST: The Dynamic Music System is another example of a new tool that really let our creative team shine. To be able to have the game adjust the music on the fly depending on what’s going on is going to add a lot of dimension to the game experience.

SG: We go now from gunfights to dogfights for all the work that has gone into balancing the ships for 2.6

Behind the Scenes: Flight Balance With John Crewe (Lead Technical Designer), Andy Nicholson (Technical Designer). Timestamped Link.

John Crewe (JC): So, we're going to talk about changes to the flight balance today. I try to avoid saying flight model, ‘cause the flight model fundamentally is still the same as it was. It's still the same, simulated system that John Pritchett and Chris really want in there. This is more iteration on how the values we put in and get out have changed, that changed the way you fly not, the fundamentals of flying. We've had some feedback from the community on what they've heard about the changes, what some of the Evocati have tested. We had some ideas that what we thought people would like, what they wouldn't like, so we're looking to do some more changes and the community feedback just sort of solidified that. So we're going to talk about what's changed from a month ago when you were talking …

Andy Nicholson (AN): Yeah …

JC: ... last time on Around the Verse.

AN: The first, the first thing we were doing, obviously everyone will know about, is the SCM speed change. Where we kind of halved those speeds from what they were and try and increase the closeness of combat. Make it feel a bit more engaging in that sense. And that was, that just had to be addressed in some way. And that I guess leads us to demonstrate how cruise is no more, and how we've adapted afterburner to, to fill that gap to reach those speeds. Here we go. [Shows in-game footage] This is me now using afterburner. And as you can see, I'm hitting cruise speeds here, and I'm just holding the shift key to get there. Then when I release, the current plan is to, once you afterburner you will stay at the velocity you've hit once you release the key, and you'll stay in what we're terming like an afterburner active or afterburner primed mode. Where you will continue at this velocity your afterburner or hydrogen fuel will start creeping down slowly, but you've used a lot of it to burn up to this velocity in the first place and gone out of bounds.

JC: Once we have reduced the SCM speeds the afterburn speeds get ... push you back up there, but the fuel consumption has had a complete overhaul, so you can maintain those faster speeds for longer.

AN: You'll be able to maintain it at that, at that velocity and use less fuel pretty much as we show here, but there will be a higher burn cost for getting up to that velocity from a point after that will be the penalty of using afterburner quickly. You have to wait a little bit, but if you're using it to get over great distances you're burning it fast, but then truck on as you are consuming very little. But it's, it's those moments where you have to quickly engage it in a combat situation that might cost you in terms of fuel use.

If people are familiar with how boost works, it's essentially shortening acceleration times on all of your directional vectors, so that you can maneuver a lot faster and that's what boost has been used to. If you're sliding off course you hit the boost key, and you get back on course much quick than you would, but then at the cost of the fuel, so you'll use a penalty to that. Once you trigger the afterburner you become a lot less maneuverable much like you do in cruise as I'm demonstrating here. [Shows in-game footage] This is me at full afterburn. I've got the restricted maneuvering. This is entirely based on where your throttle is once you enter the mode. So, the lower the throttle is the more maneuverable you are whilst afterburning. Suppose you try to change your course quickly. You decouple. You spin round. You hit afterburner to get those main engines to change direction as quickly as possible, as you can see by that. If you want to afterburner into six you just press shift and hold it, and that's … that's all you need to do. It's no tap and hold anymore.

JC: It's the same key that it was …

AN: Yeah …

JC: … on other input devices like pad, HOTAS …

AN: … We've just, we've just moved boost away ...

JC: Yeah.

AN: … from that key. Yeah so, so boost now being on X; it means you can... afterburner and boost at the same time, which opens up another level of complexity to the game-play.

JC: Using the phrase turbo like we did before, it overpowers, over-thrusts all your secondary thrusters. I think is the correct term for it.

AN: Yeah.

JC: So that's all your maneuvering thrusters, your retro-thrusters, not your main thrusters. So, it gives you increased thrust output to all of those ones. So, when you're boosting you can arrest your slides quicker. You can stop quicker. So, you can combine that now with afterburner to do a bit of both or use it independently. So, afterburn in. Let go of the afterburner. Hit boost. Do a tight turn. Something that's going to be really useful for racing.

So, racing. Everyone was super worried that SCM speeds were cut in half. They thought it was going to be super slow, and it's not, because you've got all these new ways of boosting. So for example as Andy tries to fly, whilst I'm talking him through it, you can use the afterburn down the straighter sections, and obviously you can modulate that with your throttle to sort of decide how much afterburn speed you want. He can absolutely bomber down the straights and then back off, hit boost, put all of the power into his manoeuvring and retro-thrusters to do tight turns. We’ve been doing a lot of testing in this with QA and the designers here, and we're getting pretty, pretty good times with, by no means fantastic races, but we're …

AN: [laughs]

JC: We’re getting some pretty comparative times too, some of the fastest ever ones that have been set on the leaderboards. I’m sure that in the hands of the backers we’re going to have some pretty good new records.

AN: This really creates this balance of afterburn and boost at the same time. You’re switching between one, the other, or both at the same time, try and get the fastest laps. When it comes to a straight line I’m afterburning, I’m trying line my ship up as straight as possible, hit the afterburner for the main engine boost, and speed increase. We’re gonna see it restricts your manoeuvrability as well while your afterburning at full throttle, so you have to be careful of that.

JC: That’s another thing that’s changed, a lot of racing at the moment is simply throttle to 100% and away you go. With this, actually managing your throttle can give some quite big improvements to it. The M50 handles quite differently to the 350R and not just a case of linear acceleration or turning speed now. A lot of the ships have favourable axies so they can turn better when they’re angled one way versus another. How you do really fast lap in the m50 is not going to be how do that fast lap in a 350R. You’re going to have to learn how your ship works, what’s the strongest axis of thrust on your ships, and customise that.

AN: I think it’s a lot of fun now with these changes, especially when you hit the afterburn, it locks you into a straight line in the wall. Good fun.

JC: It also changes dogfighting as well. Those SCM speeds have brought in the combat massively.

Another thing we haven’t really talked about is all the weapons have had a complete rebalance as well. We’ve gone and actually ground up, across the board, all the ships have had their turning changed, all the weapons have had their tuning changed, the shields have had their tuning changed, the health points, the ships have had their values changed. It’s really not a clean slate because we’ve had for a lot of the ships we knew where we want them to be and they were getting there, but it was sort of piecemeal. Every now and then we’d tweak one and we’re like “Oh, that’s fine”, but it was out of whack with the others. Now they’ve all had same parts together so it’s more comparative of the game as a whole where everything’s gonna sit.

We’ll talk a bit how these changes affect combat. We’re in Dying Star in Vanduul Swarm now in a Sabre Comet, so Andy’s using the new Afterburn to really close the distance quickly.

Bit too quickly. Ah, he’s done it.

Then you use presumably the boost there to stop yourself. Get right on the tail of this Scythe. And then hopefully do some damage. As you can see everything sort of much closer, in your face, looks much more dramatic than it was or is in 2.5 where everything always stay far away, everyone’s flying really fast and that’s one of the things we really wanted to tackle with this to get combat in close, in your face.

AN: You still got the advanced skill of a pilot can use afterburner to their advantage. They still have it, as much as fuel as they’ve got. They use it to their advantage. It’s still combat at high speed, if they’re good enough to do it around tight spaces and around these asteroid belts for example.

JC: Those who want to push themselves, those who want to push themselves with advanced tactics, skills, and mechanics can still do that and they’ve got new challenges to learn. We’ve also got the missile camera as well which is in there.

AN: Oh yeah, let’s do that. Alright. We’ve got a victim. Goal.

JC: Works-

AN: Still going now.

JC: Yes. Still going. Works really nicely with some of the bigger torpedoes. That we have in the game, like on the Retaliator.

AN: Yeah.

JC: Seeing these torpedoes go for ten kilometers into something.

So, that’s the new flight model that we’re working on. Still lots of iterations to go. Got a lot of some of the UI elements to help improve there. Hopefully that clears up some concerns that people had. Makes people happy. That’s all from us!

AN: Thanks.

JC: Bye.

Outro With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

SG: Missile cams are pretty cool.

ST: Yeah

SG: It’s a great way to see explosions up close and who doesn’t like explosions.

ST: I know there’s been some concern with Cruise Mode going away, but I think once backers get a chance to test the new adjustments for themselves, they’ll see that all of these changes, we’re giving them a lot more options. With the weapon and component balancing along with afterburn and boost working in conjunction, it can provide players with a lot more flexibility while flying and finding.

SG: Very cool, and I wonder what the new race lap time will be.

ST: Yeah it’s probably going to be way better than something I can do, but of course it’s not only about the new times, now that there’s going to be all those new ships to try out too.

SG: True, we will have to see how the Herald and the 85X do against the old favourites, but speaking of crossing the finish line.

ST: That’s all we have for todays show. We’d like to thank our subscribers who help us produce extra content like this and Bugsmashers and Loremaker’s and all our Behind the Scenes shows.

SG: Yes we do and a special thanks to all of our backers new and old who have made Star Citizen possible and we could not do this without all of your support.

ST: To find out more about some of the features we highlighted, tune in tomorrow at 8:00am Pacific time, oh…

SG: For Reverse the Verse with Nick Elms in the U.K.

ST: in the U.K. Thanks Sandi.

SG: And until then, we will see you.

ST/SG: Around the Verse.

ST: Oh you do this? Around the Verse

[Waves his hand]

SG: The other way.

ST: Around the Verse

SG: It’s okay, we’re all good.


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.



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