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Around the Verse: An Armor's Legacy Written Thursday 24th of May 2018 at 12:00am by Sunjammer, Nehkara and

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)

Project Update

  • Character teams working on helmet HUDs and testing different helmet visor glass effects

  • Animations are being improved for several NPCs and mission givers; team working on more diverse NPC personalities

  • Quantum linking is receiving attention: UI for calibrating for QT, play testing linking, quantum spline jumps to help ship alignment

  • Branding and visual variation for shopping kiosks is being added

  • Grouping system is going through wireframe mockups

  • Visuals for the mining lasers and tractor beam t being refined

  • Working on power allocation: adjusting the prioritisation system and how it is reflected in the cockpit

  • Scanning system is progressing: fine-tuning logistics of searching for mine-able entities, visual elements/VFXs being added

  • Props team has added more items to the Utilitarian Set and added wear and tear VFX to increase visual diversity and grittiness

  • Environment Art team continues to refine Hurston and Loreville for debut in Alpha 3.3, doing visual development into Biome Asset Packs

Legacy Armour

  • Finally ready to release the Legacy Armours in Alpha 3.2

  • Legacy Armour redesign was necessary to make them fit with the Modularity and the Customisation systems

  • Modularity was the biggest challenge as “The more modular you make something the less different they become.”

  • They wanted to write the Legacy Marines back into the lore as an older version to the CDS Marines in 3.1

  • They wanted to redesign Legacy Outlaws but keep the same themes, mix and match of all different kinds of things

  • Modularity gives players control to customise but also allows designers to swap things in/out instead of creating new assets

  • The created concept art for Heavy Marine and Light Outlaw but the others were done by the Character artists

  • Each armour set now has 21 variants

  • Volume specifications (for modularity) were difficult for light armour because it was so tight fitting

  • There are basically four regions: helmet, arms, torso and legs

  • JLee says good design flows, like water, from top to bottom

  • With Legacy Armour they're telling a story of evolution in the SC universe

  • Six new armour sets for 3.2 that will work with all the existing armour sets

Full Transcript

Intro With Steve Bender (Animation Director), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

Steve Bender (SB): Hello and welcome to another episode of Around the Verse. I’m Steve Bender.

Sean Tracy (ST): And I’m Sean Tracy.

SB: You may remember us from a recent episode of Reverse the Verse where we accidentally destroyed half the universe.

ST: [whispers] I thought we weren’t supposed to talk about that though.

SB: [whispers] We weren’t?

ST: [whispers] No, no, no. First time. This is the first time.

SB: [whispers] Okay.

In that case, I’m Steve Bender and I couldn’t be happier to make my first ever appearance on the internet.

ST: There you go. This week we’ll see what’s up with Legacy Armour and take a guided tour of the Osiris system with one of our resident Lore Makers.

SB: Exciting stuff but first let’s go to Ricky Jutley for our weekly Star Citizen Project Update.

ST: Do your thing Ricky.

Project Update With Ricky Jutley (Producer). Timestamped Link.

Ricky Jutley (RJ): Welcome to yet another update on Star Citizen’s Persistent Universe.

Character teams have been working on helmet HUDs. Here you can see some tests with different helmet visor glass effects that add realism to the proceedings.

Animations are being tweaked and improved for several NPCs and mission givers.

Battaglia’s animations are looking good and being prepped for the game. And the Animation teams have been working on more diverse personalities for NPCs as well like you see with this perpetually annoyed shopkeeper.

Quantum linking is receiving attention. Here we see some examples of the UI as it relates to calibrating for QT. The Game Play teams have also been testing linking. And quantum spline jumps to help with alignment as ships come out of QT.

The branding and visual variation for shopping kiosks is being added and tested as we see  here.

And the new grouping system is going through wireframe mockups with Spectrum/mobiGlas integration nearing the end of this particular design phase.

Visuals for the mining lasers and tractor beam that we saw in progress last week continue to be refined.

You can see here some of the work that has been done on power allocation. In this example you can see how the Vehicle Feature team’s adjusting the Prioritisation system and how it is reflected in the cockpit’s UI.

And here we see progress on the Scanning system as the team fine-tunes the logistics of searching for minable entities awaiting visual elements from the VFX team. Some of these elements can be seen here on their most recent pass on the scanning grid.

Our Props team has added even more items to the Utilitarian Set. Wear and tear is being added to the set to increase visual diversity and grittiness when the situation calls for it. They’ve also been finding new uses for the glass shader - that we got a glimpse of in the last Squadron 42 project update - as shown here with their work on greenhouses. The development and implementation of the shader tech is sure to have a myriad of benefits across both Squadron 42 and the Persistent Universe.

Finally let’s take a few more looks at development of Hurston and Loreville as the Environment Art team continues to refine these locations for their debut in Alpha 3.3. Also we’re doing visual development work into Biome Asset Packs and potential ways in which we can build these into sandbox gameplay experiences for the player.

That’s it for this week. We’ll see you next time. Back to you in the studio.

Back to Studio With Steve Bender (Animation Director), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

SB: Thanks Ricky. Remember you can always follow the Roadmap yourself on the RSI website.

ST: As we’ve seen in updates over the last few weeks, the Character team has been working on revamping some of the Legacy Armour sets.

SB: The idea with Legacy Armour is to create historical variants of a few different types of armours for visual diversity and to inject a bit of history into their lore.

ST: Let’s take a look at the design process in this week’s feature.

Legacy Armor With Josh Herman (Character Art Director), Jeremiah Lee (Freelance Concept Artist), Cheyne Hessler (Associate Character Artist), Gaige Hallman (Associate Rigger and Character Artist), Tyler Young (Associate Character Artist). Timestamped Link.

Josh Herman (JH): So in 3.2 we’re finally ready to release the Legacy Armours that we talked to about back in October. It’s been a long time and we’ve been working on them slowly over the past six to eight months. But we’re ready to show them to you.

The main reason we were redoing all the Legacy Armours was because we needed to redesign them and make them fit into the Modularity system and the Customisation system for the characters. We wanted to maintain the existing look of the Legacy armour sets that you guys have all seen for a long time, and we were hesitant to remove them for a little while because  we knew that players and backers had gotten used to seeing them and had gotten attached to them. So we really wanted to spend our time with them and we’re finally ready to show them to you.

Gaige Hallman (GH): Modularity has always … is always the biggest challenge for an armour. We like the saying that “The more modular you make something the less different they become.” So there’s a “sameness” that happens when you make things fit together. And that’s … that was the hardest thing we had to fight.

JH: So with the Legacy Armours there were “Outlaws” and there was “Marines”. One of the things we wanted to with the Legacy Marines was write them back into the lore as an older version. So the CDS Marines you’ve been seeing in Star Marine and 3.0 and even 3.1 have been newer versions. But in 3.2 the Legacy Marines are actually going to be older, they’re going to be more retro, little bit older materials, and you’ll probably see them in certain shops specifically to give them a little bit more of a theming than the newer ones.

For the Legacy Outlaws we wanted to redesign them but keep the same themes. Material-wise, manufacturer-wise they’re really … they can go anything right? They’re not built for a specific manufacturer - they can be mix and match of all different kinds of things just like a typical outlaw would be. But we wanted to update them and fit them into Modular system and make sure that they would work.

Cheyne Hessler (CH): I think players look for control over the games that they play. Being able to customise your character or even your ship to appeal to you as a player yourself really let’s you stand out in that way. Since every single armour piece - whether it be under our UEE Marines or our Navy flight suits - you can mix it up. Even with our Slavers … in a way redesign what we've created for you to make it more personal.

Jeremiah Lee (JL): It’s easier for us especially for … for … - for example for Squadron or maybe some random enemies, or even random NPCs in the PU - we could just swap things in and out and set those up, instead of making brand new assets every single time.

CH: From us - from Jeremiah to Character Art for implementation to Tech Art - I think it was being skinned in our game. So it’s all finished up.

JL: Yeah that’s right.

CH: Right after that I jumped on the Light Legacy Marine which was fun for me because I got to be my own concept artist.

JL: Yes.

CH: Because along with most of the Legacy Armours we didn’t have concept art for. I think that helped in the design because it allowed us to look at what we used to have in our original legacy armours and let that drive the vision for what the new, updated Legacy Armours would look like.

JL: I did the Heavy Marine Legacy and the Light Outlaw and Michael Broussard did the Heavy Outlaw. But for the other three or four armours or so we had the character artists - overseen by Josh Herman of course - get the essence of the original armours and just update them to match the zones, bring up the quality of the sculpt, and also just the aesthetic in general. And also I think there weren’t that many materials, I believe, in the originals.

CH: We have a huge library of materials for character armours or clothing. We probably have - I don’t know - at least a hundred materials that allow us to create variation in colour or material itself. We’ve been recently working on the colour variants …

JL: That’s right.

CH: … for our armour sets. So I think right now each character armour sets sits at around 21 variation of colour? 21 colours. 21 variants I should say.

JL: Yeah. Originally the Outlaw and the Marine concepts were done a lot from contract - different artists - so we had different flavours from here and there. Which is cool ... because it innovates things and it pushes things and boundaries. The problem was there was no similarities between … like … it seemed like everyone … everything was built by different manufacturers so we had to bring that in. So when it was … when we decided to update the armours we decided to unify the designs, materials, colours. And so there was … I think it was a much needed upgrade and then we were tasked to make legacy versions of that. So the “before” version. So we were slightly confused in the beginning but it’s like a … how’d you say … a less sophisticated, less streamlined version of the Marine armour - and also the Outlaw as well. While making it look aesthetically pleasing, functional. So that was one of the biggest challenges. And so our answer to that problem was introducing more, softer materials like leather, cloth …

CH: Exposed wiring.

JL: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

CH: Poses.

JL: Exactly. I think the Light Marine shows that a lot I think.

CH: Yeah.

JL: He has a hose that goes through the chest. The biggest example of multiple materials? That would probably be ...

CH: Male Legacy …

JL: … male Legacy CDS Heavy Armour ...

CH: 01.

JL: … 01 is probably a best example of that because it has all sorts of different materials. We have different kinds of cloth, different kinds of leather, different kinds of metals, just kind of stitched together. It still looks cool … and it looks more … brutish I think compared to the current marines this ...

CH: Which … but also gives us more opportunity to design …

JL: Yes.

CH: … because with less streamline it’s more detail.

JL: Yes.

CH: So instead of covering everything up to be, you know, fitted, very studied. Everything: it works - we had to figure out how to put it together.

JL: Right.

CH: But with that it’s … we have to design the visual as artists to tell that story so with things aren’t streamlined we have to show this exposure of detail to make it believable that this armour set will actually work.

JL: but taking a step back and removing those innovations was a little difficult for the concept and also …

CH: Yeah.

JL: … a little bit on the character art. And … because we had to be like “This will look really cool …”

CH: Yeah.

JL: “... right now” but we have to remove that potential innovation and make it look less streamlined than …

Tyler Young (TY): The intent with this guy was to stay true to the original. We actually went through a couple different iterations. I first got put on this character with a blue sky on it. Like “Do what you want. See what you can pick and pull from the original concepts.” Concepts that didn’t get complete the first time it was made - years ago. And we - myself and Jeremiah - refined that into a really cool concept - which I think everybody’s seen - where he reconcepted it and I riffed off that - changed a few things with the help of he and Josh - we … I think it looks … I think we came out petty something … something pretty cool. It’s mixed media - which is my favour thing about it - meaning that it’s leather, cloth, metal. It’s not just an armoured marine suit that’s all metal or ... all rubbers and stuff like that. It’s a little bit of everything which is something I really like.

It’ll have a … he has like a scarf/cape on the back so that will have a sim on it in the game. Which is cool. And it’s a combination of painted maps and tileable maps for those of you out there that are super into the … into that stuff.

The volume specifications were difficult on this guy since that really … since it is such a tight fitting light armour. It was really difficult for it to be close fitting but also adhere to the volume requirements that we have in order to make our characters modular. Right? There has to be a defined minimum/maximum range in every direction that an armour or a clothing set or whatever can fit within so that those parts can be made swappable so the players can customise their characters. So when it gets put in engine - whether that’s the arm region, the chest regions - or “core” region- legs, helmet: all those things can be swapped. You can make your character look as cool or as goofy as you want.

GH: So for the volumes they can be simplified basically as four regions. You have the helmet, the arms, torso, and the legs. And they have very specific cut offs to make sure they all fit together. And the challenge can be making them look artistically interesting whilst still all having the same cut region. So we’ll have specific overlaps and buffer zones that they all need to fit within. The Character Artist - Jeremiah - and the Character team worked around those creatively to get the unique looks that we have. And to make it look special.

JL: A good design is visually if you can pour water on top of the character and - if the lines on the suit are considered little wedges - if there are a lot of those horizontal wedges and the water stops that’s not a good design. So the water actually has to flow through. And the reason I use water - Rob McKinnon told me this actually back in the day - is ‘cause your eye is like water when you look at something. Your eyes go from the top down. And so a good design will actually have your eye flow through the character. And so a lot of the current Marine armour there was a lot of that in mind. For the legacy armour I tried to do less of that. So it looks less streamlined. So it looks a little chunkier.

And just having Legacy Armours in general shows a length of time. Right? And it shows that it’s not just … you’re not just thrown into a universe that doesn’t have any history. Right? We want our … our NPCs, our characters in the game, the lore itself to feel like there has be history. There has been pain. There has been wars. There has been innovation. And we really want to show that to our backers. And so we want you to be really immersed into … into a world that’s been quote-unquote ongoing before the players even start the game. And so Legacy Armour is a way to - I think - show the remnants of those histories.

CH: So really with Legacy Armour we’re telling this story of evolution in our world.

JL: And it shows … it helps with storytelling and we just wanted to focus on a lot of those details and not just present to you a green armour and say that’s Marine.

JH: So I’m looking forward to getting all of these Legacy Armours into 3.2. One of the best parts about that is we’re going to have six new armour sets for the players to customise their characters with. That means they can customise with all the previous armour sets we’ve already done. So all our Slaver sets, all our CDS sets, all our RSI sets, all our Odessy sets: all that stuff is going to be customisable and swappable with all this stuff.

We’re working really hard and we’re going to get them to you guys as soon as we can and that’s actually going to be in 3.2.

The Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy With Will Weissbaum (Senior Writer). Timestamped Link.

Outro With Steve Bender (Animation Director), Sean Tracy (Tech Content Director). Timestamped Link.

SB: Thanks for making with the lore Will!

ST: And for all of you aspiring Loremakers out there in our community, we just wrapped up a short story contest. The Narrative and Community teams are busy reading through all of your entries and from the sounds of it, there’s been a lot of great submissions.

SB: Yeah, it sounds like there is no shortage of uses for our latest concept ship, the Crusader Hercules. You can read the stories for yourself on Spectrum and we’ll be announcing the winner soon.

ST: The first wave of CitizenCon ticket sales comes to an end tomorrow.

SB: Yes, but stay tuned in the coming months for more chances to join us at the Long Center in Austin, Texas at what promises to be the best damn CitizenCon yet.

ST: For all of your Q&A needs, don’t forget to tune in to Reverse the Verse tomorrow at Noon PDT on Twitch and check out Monday’s episode of Calling All Devs if you missed it.

SB: Thanks to all of our wonderful Subscribers for sponsoring our shows and letting us entertain you.

ST: And thanks, of course, to all of our backers for making the development of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 possible.

SB: That’s all for us this week. Until next time, we’ll see you…

Both: Around the ‘Verse!



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Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.