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Around the Verse: Can you Hear Me Now? Written Sunday 16th of September 2018 at 08:06am by Sunjammer, Desmarius 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!

Full Transcript

Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hello and welcome to another episode of Around the Verse. I’m Sandi Gardiner.

Eric Kieron Davis (EKD):  And I’m Eric Kieron Davis.

SG: This week we’ll dive into flight AI, audio design, and - get a load of this - asteroid mining.

EKD: Ooo!

SG: Mmm. But first let’s see what players have been up to in the ‘verse.

EKD: Recently a strange monolithic effigy appeared in the unforgiving Daymar desert.

SG: Dubbed “The Daymar Rocketman” this emergent art project was the culmination of ten players working to position a bunch of ships - including four GreyCat buggies - into the shape of a huge and seemingly happy human.

EKD: Sandi can you name all the ships used to construct said “Rocketman”?

SG: Yes I can. Constellations, Caterpillars …

EKD: Yeah, yeah. Starfarer.

SG: … there was a Cutlass Black. Yep. Mmm hmm.

EKD: Yeah.

SG: At any rate impressive work there. Now let’s march on to development updates. We’ve been following the development of asteroid mining for a while now and the mechanic is now feature complete. Yeh! With the Gameplay team making final tweaks to space friction. Here’s Dan Trufin to take us through a full gameplay loop.

Dan Trufin (DT): Hey I’m Dan Trufin. I’m the Lead System Designer in the Frankfurt office. And I’m going to show some of our work on the … on the asteroid mining. Basically it is an evolution of our planetary mining and the next logical place to take it would have been space so here it is.

We’re here in the asteroid belt around Yela. We’re going to find a rock and try to extract various important minerals from it. Generally rocks are going to be a bit harder to find in space - at least useable rocks - they’re going to be a lot further apart.

Generally we use new assets for this but we also managed to reuse some of the existing rocks just with a nice texture. They went again through our minable rock pipeline. They have a different texture and on the inside of them. Also when they break they look different from the rocks on the planet.

The mining process basically works very similar to how you guys are used to. You just aim the mining laser and try to keep the rock energy level where it needs to be in the optimum zone. You try to keep it in the green zone and not go in the red zone as I am right now. Going in the red zone is a lot more detrimental in space because once the rock explodes the pieces will end up going in every direction. Since this is space they take a while to stop - there’s no ground to stop them. As you can see they’ll be flying and flying and flying. So if you do a bad job you really will have to run after every piece of rock.

Provided you guys don’t mess it up and do what I did, you should be able to extract valuable resources. If you’ve managed to keep your extractor beam in the same position you’ll extract faster. If you move it around on the rock you’ll extract slower. So obviously a rock that is hurtling through space is going to be slower to extract.

That’s about it. I’m really not going to spend time searching all of these rocks. They might take a while to get all of them. But hope you guys enjoyed this.

EKD: That’s not all from the exciting world of mineral extraction. New surface-side rocks are being introduced as well.

SG: The Environment team has been working on minable formations for the acidic biomes we’ll see on Hurston and its moon Ariel.

EKD: They’ve been improving the existing rock generator pipeline to create a variety of different shapes faster. Not only does this help when creating new types of minerals, it also helps improve the look of existing mineable rocks and adds clear visual differentiation between their exterior and interior textures

SG: The Audio team has been working on a feature that lets the player focus their listening. This will allow you to listen to specific cues - or conversations - even if you’re in a crowded room or noisy area.

EKD: Let’s go to Bob Rissolo and Simon Price for more on this feature.

Bob Rissolo (BR): So listener focus is a new feature we’re working on to mimic the phenomenon that happens when you focus intently on something. You get this sense of tunnel vision. You focus on what’s in front of you and everything behind you starts to blur out. Well we want to do this with audio. The thing that you are looking at intently comes sharply into focus in the mix and then everything else drops back into the background. And it allows for better immersion. It really has that realistic feel to it ‘cause it’s a natural phenomenon.

Simon Price (SP): The listener focus effect effect is sometimes call the “cocktail party effect” So I thought I’d load into Cafe Musain to demonstrate it today.

So here we are in game. I’ll enable some debug commands so we can visualise what the audio engine’s doing.

The grey balls represent a neutral focus because we’re not paying attention to any person in the bar right now. I’ll play a little dialogue so you can hear the reference levels.

[Dialogue not transcribed]

Can hear the bartender struggling over the music. And Eckhart over the other side is barely audible.

[Dialogue not transcribed]

Now image we’re really thirsty: I set the focus to be on the bartender. The music dies down. And there are red balls represent negative focus.

[Dialogue not transcribed]

We can hear the bartender clearly now. If we zoom back out we can hardly hear Eckhart at all.

[Dialogue not transcribed]

Imagine we’re not thirsty. We’re looking for a mission. We’re here to meet someone. I set the focus onto Eckhart. The green balls represent a positive focus. So here I’m using the effect additively: I’m not only bringing down sounds that we’re not interested in, but we’re raising Eckhart so we can hear him from all the way across the bar.

[Dialogue not transcribed]

And that’s how the listener focus effect works.

Des 6:16

EKD: We've previously taken looks at some of the background effects and details the various teams have been developing to make Loreville feel like a bustling kinetic location. One such detail that is being worked on currently is the presence of AI controlled non combat ships taking off and landing at the city's Interstellar Transit Hubs.

SG: Here is Andre Beccu to walk us through the process of getting these ships into and out of Loreville.

Andre Beccu (AB): Hello; my name is Andre Beccu. I'm a Senior System Designer on Star Citizen. At the moment for 3.3 I am working on enabling civilian AI ships to appear over Loreville then make their way down to the city, touchdown, stick around for a bit, take off again, make their way back to orbit, and then quantum travel somewhere else. What I can show you here is in a test environment what this looks like. So this is a Starfarer coming down from orbit via a spline which is basically a preplaced path. Once the Starfarer has reached this placeholder landing pad it will switch over to the take off and landing system which is powered by the IFCS. It will then touchdown, stick around for a few seconds even though this is still placeholder. In the final version they will stick around longer. The IFCS lets it take off again, and then it switches back to the preplaced spline, the path that will take it back to orbit.

AI: Launch sequence completed.

AB: This is the environment where the city will be but with everything else but the splines made invisible. The splines are those blue paths. They are coming down from the orbit to the surface of the planet where the landing zones are, which are those LZs here, and then there are more splines going back into orbit. What I'm doing right now is I'm trying to give the ship a more cinematic feel by adding something that looks like the air brake that ships usually do in other cinematic products. So in this case for example, this is the orientation of the ship which I can adjust on the spline, so I will pull up its nose a bit and on the next point maybe a bit more, and then on the final one it goes down a bit again, and this is when IFCS takes over, and on the next spline everything is already taken care of by the automated system, but if for example I wanted it to fly a little bit more straight for a bit I could do this or to bank around. So, this is what we're working on for 3.3; we hope you like it, and see you in the verse.

SG: Here we see more of the props. In this case cable sets being polished and implemented into utilitarian hangars and other locations around Loreville.

EKD: Designers continue working on combat AI for FPS situations with attention being given to sharp turns, guard and patrol behaviors using new idle animations, hit reactions both in and out of cover, and search path logic. Anyone joining us on October 10th in Austin, Texas for CitizenCon 2948 should take advantage of a fun contest we have going right now.

SG: Yeah. You can enter your best ideas for new emotes on Spectrum. The winner will get to direct professional MoCap actors live at CitizenCon where their winning emote will begin its journey towards ingame implementation.

ED: Just imagine every Star Citizen will be thinking of you whenever it is you're doing the Hokey Pokey or …

SG: … Really?…

EKD: … other dance types.

SG: Uh, yeah.

EKD: Yep, okay. Well.

SG: And with that we say goodbye for this week. Don't miss Reverse the Verse back in the USA and streaming live on Twitch tomorrow.

EKD: Big thanks to our subscribers who sponsor the shows, and of course thank you to our backers.

SG: Yes, thank you. Until next time we will see you …

SG & EKD: … Around the Verse [Exaggerated Hand Wave]

Sunjammer

Contributor

For whatever reason, this author doesn't have a bio yet. Maybe they're a mystery. Maybe they're an ALIEN. Maybe they're about to get a paddlin' for not filling one out. Who knows, it's a myyyyyyystery!

Desmarius

Transcriber

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