Citizens! Check here for coverage of Episode 39 of Around the ‘Verse.
– Mars Unstable? Could martian terraforming be coming undone?
– Black Mountain tea – millions of cups drunk a day, but could it be making you sick?
– the five most annoying things about visiting Stanton 3
– 1.1.1 will be available this week hopefully. Hit the PTU Tuesday, hopefully will be out today or tomorrow.
– Big update, GLadiator is flyable, Gladiator and SH and possibly Cutlass will have second ship functionality
– CR is in London, directing SQ42 performance capture shoots.
Darian Vorlick and Lisa Ohanian
– Interesting tidbit being desiged by Randy Vasquez – a sandbox gym map, where he can test how AI interacts. An open playground, it’s a test environment. Players will never see it, but it’s really helpful for the devs.
– Ship update: Working on the concept for the Genesis Starliner. Art outsourcers working on it, it’s a cool, big, cruise ship.
– Players need to be able to ride around on it, and there will be escort missions where you have to protect the ship, things like that.
– Working on 1.1.1 – first patch allowing multiplayer crew ships. Second player can jump into turrets for SH, Cutlass, or Gladiator. Almost ready, trying to hammer out a few more bugs, but it should be ready this week.
Travis Day and David Lengeliers
– Finished prototyping SATAball – a futuristic sport using the Astro Arena level.
– They’ll be working on getting SATAball hooked up in code.
– With Astro Arena, the more realistic animations for 0g are coming into play. More realistic look animations – whole body moves as you look around in 0g (really good video of this in action)
– 0g previs is finishing up. Previs shows what all the movements should look like, and the animators have iterated on that. Looks very good now.
– Reworking all the VFX for all weapons, grenades, gadgets, etc… Trying to match up all the effects between ships and handhelds, so they’re all using the same technology. If lasers on ships are using certain effects, pistols using the same type of tech will have the same effects. Looking really good, ties in the companies and weapons and tech.
Jake Ross and Nathan Blazon
– Tony started work on the Pioneer occupation this week. Exploration, charting uncharted territories, etc…
– working on new animations for ‘grabby hands’, which is being developed in LA. Players can go and pick things up with some amount of fidelity.
– Shopping in the Social Module: Spending time figuring out how the experience shopping differs from shop to shop. Gun store is probably more hands on, see the actual weapons, where some ship shops are probably more holograms.
– For Cubby Blast, they want a shooting range in the back, so you can test-fire weapons in the back. That’ll be in in some form in the Social module when it releases.
Luke Presley and Danny Reynolds
– Working on Tutorial for AC. Wanted to make something that’ll cater to new players, but still have some excitement for older players. Lots of narrative
– Player is enrolled in a military excercise, which is run by a veteran instructor.
– Take off and landing, basic flight, interacting with ship systems, engaging in dogfighting.
– First time they’ve released anything complex and story driven, lots they’ve learnt will be carried over into SQ42.
– New Asteroid hangar with full interior and exterior. As soon as the Tutorial is done, they’ll be trying to put a new asteroid hangar into Free Flight, that can be flown into and out of.
– They’re looking forward to releasing the tutorial, and can’t wait to hear peoples thoughts.
Watching peoples’ 30 second AC clips
– Patrick Thomas, Vanessa Landeros, Josh Coons, Lee Amarakoon.
Austin is predominantly the PU office, do you want to discuss anything you’re working on?
Levels are looking incredible. We’re reaching a point in video games where the quality is reaching what you see in cinematics. Everything’s becoming so detailed. Also, the whitebox stage is very exciting. Some stunning sets are being created by Behaviour.
Also exciting about the levels is populating them with hundreds of animations. Getting an actor to randomly act out a barfing scene is fun apparently. Makes the PU feel more alive, the animations they’re getting to do.
Hoping for different attitudes that come with the AI for dancers in the game too. Shy dancer, drugged out dancer, they’re hoping to add crazy personalities to the game to make it feel more alive.
Josh Coons is more on the Ships team.
Lee Amarakoon – particles and effects, trying to keep it from blowing up peoples video cards is fun. Holograms are fun, screens are fun. Advertisements for the PU are fun as well. When he tries to make screens, he tries to fit in little easter eggs. Space effects and nebulas and asteroids are fun.
Thanks to the fans who made it out to SXSW. The fans are super cool, getting to feel the effect of your work is great.
Another 30 second AC flight video
Disco Lando is now Community Manager with a focus on editing
Ben has no joke. Sandi is now upside-down.
Will Weisbaum – Writer interviewing Cherie Heiberg – Archivist
Lots of exciting things going on. Four studios now, Santa Monica, Austin, Manchester, and Frankfurt, and they’re expanding very rapidly.
Right now, info is shared with an internal wiki page. With all these people using them, it’s become an unwieldy beat. Cherie has come in to start organizing the wiki.
What did you think when you first came in and saw all the information there was?
I thought, wow. I could see that everyone was trying to use the space for its intended purpose, but there were no guidelines in place. it kind of grew organically. Someone would come in and say they wanted information about ground-based missile launchers in Art, and then someone would say well, no, I think that should be under design, and the ultimate results was there would be 8 different pages about missiles launchers spread all over with outdated information, or new information,
Not that we have ground-based missile launchers. That wasn’t confirmation or anything.
Just an example.
Because confluence is one of those things people have to use every day, there were some strong opinions, lots of people thinking how things should be organized. How was it when you came in and started talking to people?
Mostly everyone was really excited that someone was coming in to help. People were really happy to speak to me, and we had an initial meeting with a bunch of people from different offices, I eventually had individual meetings with people such as Forrest and Dan, who both had very strong opinions.
Were they conflicting opinions?
At first they were a little conflicting, but I think I figured a way to make them both work with each other. We’re going to have a ‘manuals’ section, so everyone can figure out how to use tools, and that was something I talked about with Forrest, and then with Dan we talked about moving everything from departmental, so instead of having different pages across departments, you have it be asset based, so that, like, if you have a page for one certain spaceship, all the information’s in one place
So, even at this level, Chris came in and voiced his opinions, because Chris is involved in everything and he’s amazing.
What was his take on how all this data should be organized?
He thought that an asset-based organization was a good idea, and he also wanted me to pay attention to where artists and engineers and everyone could have ‘work in progress’ places, where everybody could have documents in one place that weren’t’ approved yet, like brainstorming places.
So being able to quickly see on a page where in the development process it is
Yeah, that’s extremely vital, because before there were no markers to say, hey, this has been approved, or it was kind of just a blank
Yeah, we have kind of two timelines, BCR and ACR as kind of employing important designation points of when things are in the approval process, of things being stamped in the process of when Chris has seen, cause really, you can read all you want, if it’s just someone tossing out an idea, then whatever.
So, how did you end up being the perfect person to do this job? what’s your background?
I have a masters degree in Library Science from the University of California, and my specialisation was in Digitalization
Yeah, I read a little bit of your masters thesis, and it was kind of on video games, right?
That’s right. My masters thesis was on preserving video games, because there’s just…almost no-one who’s paying attention to this important thing, which is to preserve the history of video games. I mean, we’ve lost a lot of information at this point, because no-one…it’s like the early history of television, or the early history of film. No-one cared about it, and they’d just throw film canisters off the Santa Monica pier, and now we have something like over 50% of films are lost, and the same thing is happening to video games. We don’t know the exact date of when Super Mario Brothers was released in the states. And one might think that we might know this about such a successful game,
Yeah that’s crazy, and I didn’t know that, and I’m sure a lot of our backers can appreciate this, being a lot of old-school gamers, going way back. That’s pretty awesome. Hopefully part of your efforts will be preserving our history, as star citizen
One of the kind of problems, that I’ve discussed with you before, is we have hundreds and hundreds of informational pages on the confluence, and you’re starting to introduce this new organizational system. How do you go about making those while everyone’ still rapidly adding new stuff? It sounds like a monumental task.
It is, I’m going to have to build up the new space for sharing outside of the original space. Once the skeleton of that is done, i’m going to have to pick a weekend where very few people are working, and then migrate everything over. Which is probably going to take a very long time, but I think everyone’ll be happy with the new system.
I think it’s kind of an under appreciated aspect of video game development. When you have so many people working on one project, file organization and hierarchy is crucial to make sure everyone’s vision is in line with each other.
Yeah, it’s very easy to lose information in any digital environment. Think of the way you have files on your computer. You wrote something a few years ago, you called it doc1 because you weren’t thinking about what to name it. That’s probably gone forever.
This became a problem i became impassioned about, because trying to write these lore stories, and making sure they were accurate, and having to go through the website and sometimes even fan pages which were sometimes more accurate, it was hard to make sure I was being as accurate as possible to our universe. It’s going to be great to have a definitive source for information. And moving forward, we’re transitioning from taking this information on confluence and putting it on the public facing galactapedia.
So you’ve also been involved in that?
I have. I’ve been creating structures for each page, so that we’d have all the right information available, like climate and history and demographics. Anything that you’d have that would be important about a town or an economy, like where you can buy certain ship lines, like the Mustang, which is only available on rytef (sp?)
Is it exciting to be designing your own encyclopedia basically?
Yes, I love it!
So what do you bring into it that you think other encyclopedias have done right or wrong? What’s going to make the galactapedia awesome?
It’s going to be much more in-depth than normal ones you get in other games, like the Codex in ME, while entertaining, it didn’t have much information about the planets you went to, but the galactapedia’s going to have like, encyclopedia Britannica levels of depth.
It scares me to hear you say that, cause I’m going to be involved in writing this stuff.
All the information that a Citizen could want.
The exciting part of this is it’s going to be a living resource for when the PU starts going live, and these discoveries are going to be made by backers themselves, and adding the little add-ons citing people
Yeah, it’s going to grow, it’s not going to be a static thing.
Do you feel yourself becoming an expert on SC now that you’re reading all these pages?
I’m on my way
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about SC so far in your deep-dive?
I don’t know, I don’t know what’s…
You can say it. If we can’t use it, we won’t use it.
I was interested in the Tevarin, about how they were
This is why we need a pronunciation guide.
See, I want to do that, and then say the words. I want to be the pronunciation voice.
So what got you excited about them?
I was interested in their story. They were this race of warriors who were trying to explore the galaxy on their own terms, and then the humans come along, and they’re like, hey guys we just want to hang out and expand, and the Tevarin were like no, and then they ended up losing their homeworld, to us. Their final stand in the Battle of Centauri, with the warlord dropping the shields on his ship, and they just kind of entered the atmosphere as slowly disintegrating comets, and that kind of touched my heart.
Well, I know you and I’ve had discussions already on sort of, Terra vs. Earth
Cherie is a hard-line Terran.
Well, it’s really exciting to have you on board. And hopefully in the upc oming months we’ll have more to share on the galactapedia.
Well, once again, I’m Will Weisbaum, and this is Cherie Heiberg, see you around the ‘Verse.
– Life decided to give me lemons. I can’t make lemons with this.
– Todays bug – Bug in the Gladiator – the ship will interact with the player and kill him when you try to fly around.
– Player has its own physics and ship has its own physics. They’re not supposed to interfere with each other, but they are.
– Fixed by saying, if the player is going to change its physics, it has to add itself to the ignore list for the vehicle.
Ben says lemonade is overrated.
– Tickets for gamescom are going up tomorrow, with more information as well. Changing the plan for future events, so there’ll be more of the team there. Sandi, Ben, James, Chelsea, Alexis, Manchester and Frankfurt guys, lots more than just Chris gigving a presentation.
– Design post covering FPS breathing and stances tomorrow – if you guys didn’t know how to breathe before, tomorrow is your lucky day.
– Sale on some of the 2 seater military ships – SH and Gladiator will be available starting tomorrow. Both flyable, and in free-flight you can land them and let a second player get in the turret. No menus in yet, but you can do it in freeflight.
– Tomorrow – meet the Frankfurt team.
– Cool looking robot thing with arms and stuff.