Greetings fellow Citizens! Check here for The Relay’s coverage of Around the ‘Verse Episode 45!
– Ben Lesnick – Joined by no-one this week.
– Sandi’s in the UK doing motion capture for SQ42
– She’s back with Chris. They’re playing with Vicon headsets, so they can capture everything on the face.
– There are three cameras for the front of the face, and there’s a battery pack on the back.
– Good for getting closeups of the actors.
– Sandi’s all baubled up with camera tracking thingies, there are around 50 cameras in the room to track actor’s movements. All the body and facial motion get captured.
– They also have reference cameras, to solve digital data, to solve anything that gets missed due to noise.
– And that’s it, till next week.
– Chris and Sandi are hard at work. Apparently the capture sessions are going very well, and Chris is having a lot of fun.
– Santa Monica are celebrating the success of the Starfarer sale. They want to know if we want them to bring back other ships in the future, like the Caterpillar.
– SC 1.1.3 was released last week. Increases stability, fixes some rubber-banding issues, and updates the Tutorial, setting the stage for the next update, which is FPS.
– No release date, but it’s coming.
– Aurora and Mustang models are still fly-free in Arena Commander. This helps test for balancing. Let CIG know how the ships fly.
5:00 – Santa Monica – Travis Day and Darian Vorlick
– Ship meetings are going on right now, headed by Lisa, trying to make the Merlin flight ready. It’s in the works.
– FPS – Continuing to support Illfonic. Mark Abent is wrapping up work on the radar now, which will be sent off to Illfonic.
– Paul is working on the item port system – magazine attachments, flashlight attachments, all the attachments for weapons, they all use the same system as ships do, so that’s being worked on. But it has some bugs right now, as things do when they’re first moved over.
– Working towards true multi-crew support. Mark Abent is spearheading that. Ability to have multiple people flying in a crew, entering and exiting cockpits, new game modes, etfc…
– lots of technical hurdles that haven’t had to be tackled with small ships. Zone system, instancing system, vehicle interior physics grid, all of these roll into, and will be driven by, the zone system. All in R&D, and first-pass implementation.
– UK is working on controlling multiple actions from multiple seats, making sure vehicle turrets work properly (driven by their own seat / power / etc…)
– Moving towards multicrew as well as larger ships with more interactivity, the GOST system (interview from last week) allows CIG to do lots of cool stuff. For instance, the video of the Retaliator, showing the steam and the emergency lighting, these are driven by the GOST system.
– As you take damage, you’ll enter a damage state which will trigger things like lighting, VFX, the way turrets operate, etc…
– They want the larger vehicles to be very interactive experiences, like Star Trek, not just another seat.
– zane is working on the HUDS for all the different seats, as well as for one person controlling all the seats.
– Multi-Crew is the unique thing that lots of people at CIG really want to do, so they’re becoming more motivated now that they get to sink their teeth into it.
9:20 – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt
– Bugs and last-minute features:
– Hooked up different depth of field settings for different helmets. Makes the feel of each helmet different. Heavy helmet has a very confined feel, whereas the light marine helmet feels more open.
– It’ll be really good for VR goggles as well. THey’ve put together some pre-vix stuff that Chris has really liked.
– Zero G bug fixes. Lots of animations are in, but lots of the animations being used are still keyframed rather than mocapped. But they’re getting to an area where everyone’s happier with the look. But it creates weird bugs where the arms messa round like Spiderman and such.
– Ironing out some physics issues as well, but it should be something no-one’s ever seen before once it’s done.
– Travis mentioned the AGIS system -= blending in and out of ragdoll. They were having problems for a few weeks – you could blend in, but blending out would lock up, but they’ve fixed that, so it transitions in and out of ragdoll without locking up now.
12:40 – Austin – Jake Ross, Tom Davies, and Jeff Uriarte
– Social Module
– Subsumption – the Peaceful AI system.
– Jeff did the tool-end in the activity editor, which helps the Subsumption system actually build activities.
– Tom has been doing more back-end work, working on the editors.
– The Subsumption system tells peaceful AI, AI on planets and space stations etc… how to react.
– The tool will allow designers to build AI’s.
– Designers will be able to tell a character how to behave, and the Subsumption tool will have them do it.
– Bartender example – Designers can go through the activity editor to design things like, pouring drinks, sweeping floors, etc…
– Makes the designers job easier when setting up 24h NPC routines.
– Coming next is an Activity Scheduler – will tie into the Archetype system, which is a seperate thing.
– Subsumption is a group of a lot of different techs. The Scheduler’s point is to say, based on some factors (planet economy, time of day, etc…), what kind of NPC’s will exist in the world.
– A bar will have a bartender and patrons, but it might also have pickpockets, thieves, people looking for fights, etc…
– First iteration of that will be in Social Module.
16:30 – UK – Omar Aweidah, Alistair Brown
– Goal to come to the UK was to help characters become more integrated in the Univers.e
– Going through the FPS, there were lots of opportunities to make the characters explode, but they had to develop the systems for it first.
– Want characters to be able to swap in all different types of items for things like shoes, pants, clothes, etc…
– not only do a modular system, but a material based modular system, so you can choose not only how something looks, but also it will go from new to old, something will look more valuable.
– To do that, they used custom materials.
– To get the different material layers, they’ve gone with a system where there’s a texture going over the whole character. Per pixel, they can edit not just what colour the pixel is, but also what material it is.
– That can all be masked out, and it can be swapped out. They also define how the masks will fade over time.
– Tech takes over and crunches everything, should make things cheaper to render than they are now.
– Next few weeks they should be able to have better looking, less graphically expensive, player characters.
– Character walking in space.
– Thanks to everyone putting their blood sweat and tears into making SC.
– Speaking of blood sweat and tears, lets go to Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian!
– There’s a contest for an intro on the forums.
– Reliant – concept art was done by Dave Hobbins, who also did the Mustang.
– It’s a souped-up starter ship, but it’s a starter ship for multi-crew.
– It’s being sold this week, but Ship Shape will go behind the scenes to show what could have been – images of early concept art.
– Two major influences in mind – a Japanese aesthetic.
– Dave looked at Japanese cars, symbology with Japanese traditions, etc…
– They ended up going away from that a bit, and going more to the MISC influence.
– The second main influence was the Xi’An influence. Can be seen in how the ship rotates – goes vertical and horizontal.
– The power centers are more spherical, and influence the rest of the design of the ship.
– Reliant is a mini-hauler, will need to haul cargo.
– originally, they wondered if it could load in the wings, but it didn’t make sense, as it would unbalance the ship.
– Cargo holding areas are all in the center body of the ship.
– Apparently the most fun thing to design was how the ship transforms. It can fly horizontally and vertically.
– That’s it on the Reliant.
– The design of the Reliant shown in Ship Shape is not the one they went with.
JP – So, you’re visiting from the UK. What are you here for?
RJ – So, my primary role is Project Manager on Arena Commander and the main purpose of the visit this time around is to take a step back and look at what we’ve got in game and also think about the future plans that we want to get it right on for the backers.
JP – Are those plans… how far in advance are these plans? Are these things they will see in a month or something they will see farther down the line?
RJ – I think a mixture of everything to be honest. It would start off with short term to mid term goals and then also think about the long term goals in terms of, you know, work that will be contributed towards the long term goals. You won’t see those straight off in the game. We are thinking about long term planning as well as something that we can do in the not-so-distant future.
JP – So, what kind of systems go into that type of planning? Are you thinking about specific things for X ship, or the ships in general?
RJ – We definitely would want to think of a high level view of ships in general. Arena Commander takes in ships and that’s how we view it. As I work as Project Manager on Arena Commander, there are producers that work on ships specifically as well, so it’s a good liason between the producers of those ships and also the creators on the design side of those ships and the aesthetically pleasing elements from the art directors. I think, generally, what we want to do is take a high level view – what are the ships that we’ve currently got in game? What sort of purposes do they serve for the Persistent Universe? What sort of purposes do they serve for Squadron 42? – and then see on how we can introduce new ships and better our current ships as well.
JP – That’s what I was going to ask next… this high level planning you are doing for Arena Commander, how does the reality of the other modules impact what you’re doing in Arena Commander?
RJ – Huge. It’s definitely a huge impact. I think what you’ll have is Arena Commander being the current live product and eventually the FPS will feed into that as well but with Arena Commander it’s a lot of the long term work that we need to do for the Persistent Universe as well as Squadron 42. That will actually then feed into Arena Commander. Think of Arena Commander as somewhat of a test bed to start with but also probably something that we want to sustain as a live product as well and have something quite competitive, something very fun that people can start having not just the singleplayer experience and the PU experience where they can explore… but where they can essentially dogfight to their heart’s content really. Continually being on top of those leaderboards and enjoying that competitive aspect as well. But it’s nice to be able to pull in a lot of different elements from what we want to achieve with the PU into Arena Commander itself and prototype.
JP – Yeah, it must be a hard balancing act to take… you have to take Arena Commander and bring in all of these other things… the PU, the FPS module and make them one unit but you also want Arena Commander to have its own identity.
– Bad puns with Ben!
– PBR puts everything in two categories: Metals and non-metals
– Metals are shiny and have different specular properties
– Non-metals have very diffuse lighting and a lot of bounce lighting
– Has built a “material zoo” so artist can go in and see different textures because currently they are in the process of building a global texture library. One place for every studio to go and find physically accurate textures that can be used across all surfaces in Star Citizen including ships, characters, environments, etc.
– Metal specular values for nickel, copper, gold, iron, platinum, titanium, aluminum, and silver.
– Cool thing about shaders in CryEngine is that they are very easy to edit without having to replace the textures involved. Can swap the specular value (type of metal) without the texture changing.
– All shaders have wear built into them. Experimenting with having all surfaces wear over time – could make it into the game.
– Showing texture become more and more worn/dirty until it’s almost unrecognizable.
– For paints, you can tint any texture with a diffuse… so with just colour selector you can change the paint to any colour you want.
– They are aware people would love to customize ships. Considering giving RBG sliders or swatches to work with for further customization. You could do anything from a black hornet, to red mustang, to a PINK RETALIATOR!
– More bad puns with Ben!
– MISC Reliant concept sale launches tomorrow for $50.
– MISC Reliant concept by David Hobbins.
– A bunch of ships on playing cards… including a Reliant silhouette.