Citizens! Check here for our coverage of episode 51 of Around the ‘Verse!
– Senator Polo’s Plan – The death of the UEE?
– Somebody call an exterminator – Nela bugs!
– Sad news from the entertainment industry – Arthur Vin has died. He was 137
– Sandi and Ben
– It’s time for the Around the ‘Verse fifty first episode spectacular! Starring Sandi and Ben! with a performance from Dan Tracy and the Calix Reneau Dancers! And for the first time ever, you’ll see the space crab upside-down! And James Pugh will eat an entire
– No, he will not apparently. Ordinary week for SC.
– Chris Roberts published a Letter from the Chairman on the status of the FPS. Still don’t know when FPS will be available, but the letter outlines all the tasks that are being worked on internally to make it work. It’s a good read, even though it gets a bit technical (if it’s too technical, check out The Relay’s summary / analysis!)
– Everything being done to get FPS ready will improve SC as a whole.
– It is not delayed indefinitely. They did not put in a date, because they don’t want to set an expectation. No date does not mean delayed indefinitely. All hands on deck trying to get it out.
– They’ll keep us updated each week about how it’s going.
– Starliner is now available. It’s an excellent ship concept. It’s not a ship everyone needs, but it’s part of the background noise that will help SC feel alive, not just a big battle.
– Tony Zurovec took the idea and ran with it, it’s aimed at being more fun than just moving from point to point.
– They’re building out troop transports and landers on the same ship frame.
– Expected to sell 3-400, have sold well over 1000, so the sale is going much better than expected.
5:00 – Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick
– Darian is flying solo now that Travis is no longer here. They miss him.
– Lots of Devs have been soliciting feedback, because they want to keep balance ongoing. Calix and Matt Sherman have been in the chat room trying to find people to play with, have been soliciting feedback on balance. Lots of that will factor in to future updates.
– One piece of feedback has been the boost feature. Lots of player feedback has shown that boost is being overused. it’s been tweaked and balanced. Limited to 5-10 boosts a minute, recenters the game around piloting with normal thrusters again.
– Aesthetics – Zane Bien, who’s been working on the Merlin HUD (50% finished or so), this HUD isn’t attached to the visor. It’s functional and sleek, but it looks like it’s in the cockpit of a racecar. The HUD is part of the dashboard itself.
– Again, ongoing balance passes are being done, with player input.
7:30 – Illfonic – David Langeliers
– Sean Tracy, Steve Bender, and Jason Hutchins from CIG are visiting helping out.
– Bender and Sean are helping solve animation edge-cases that come with the start-stop and juke systems.
– Sean solved an issue where there was a pause anytime there was a movement transition. With that one fix, it’s feeling much better.
– Also been making changes to the Gold Horizon level to balance. Before there was one central location to refill ammo and energy, a few more have now been added.
– Sight-line blockers have been added. There were some areas in the level with very long sight-lines, which is nice for snipers, but they were a little too much, so some blockers are being put in to angle those sight-lines.
– To make the levels look nice, there’s lots of ‘clutter’ around. Supplies, garbage bins, etc… There’s been some optimization on those kinds of objects to clear the way for gameplay space.
10:10 – Austin – Jake Ross and Eric Kieron Davis
– Eric is visiting, going over character pipelines.
– Just wrapped up the SATABall character. David Jennison and Billy Lord worked on it.
– First character to go all the way through the new pipeline.
– The UK has been working a lot on new tech for characters, to make sure the level of fidelity is very high. The SATABall character’s the first one to come through the pipeline, and now they have more coming through as well.
– More characters in development soon too.
– Also working on trying to nail down near-term animation requirements in a schedule. Lots coming back from Imaginarium. Social module animations, FPS animations, SQ42 animations etc… All needed to be mapped out to see when various animation teams can get to it.
– Large amount of animations, a lot of work to do, it all gets mapped against a schedule to figure out how it’s going to get done, and what resources they need to get it done.
12:25 – CIG UK – Simon Vickers and Will Josephy
– Level designers working on SQ42
– Will has been working on the Vertical Slice which gives an idea of where they’re going, including animations and the like. We saw a slice of it from CR’s latest video (the slice is much bigger than what was shown though)
– Should be able to see it more fairly soon.
– Simon is working on level design while the team waits for the Vertical Slice to sort out various mechanic things. Implementing objective flow, figuring out what they want levels to do, etc…
– Reviewing and iterating on that, working on getting it right.
– Also going down to the mo-cap shoot to sort things out down there.
5 Vanduul 1 Missile
– Fan Video
– Drake Herald this week.
– Drake is known for relatively cheap, affordable, well-armoured vehicles. They’re a favourite of pirates.
– The Herald is a small, well armoured intelligence ship. It has a powerful engine for data transfer and protection.
– Concept images.
– Is the ship symmetrical? Yes.
– They looked at various designs, between asymmetrical and symmetrical, but symmetrical works best.
– They originally considered asymmetrical because it would fit with the piecemeal pirate-like Drake aesthetic.
– Ultimately made it symmetrical because it’s better for flight, and it still fits the Drake look.
– Currently working on streamlining the Herald, and tying its functionality into the ‘Verse.
– Streamline wise, there are many protected compartments, for things like landing gear, antennae, etc…
– Functionality wise, there’s enough room for data modules, power plants, and other tech that the ship needs.
– Also wanted to make sure everything fit in the ship in a way that makes sense, as it’s a very narrow ship.
– Cockpit of the ship is very narrow. Made it difficult to fit seats, multiple workstations, and living quarters into the ship.
– WIP images of the Antennae for the Herald. Multiple options for layouts of antennae.
– That ship seems to be shaping up (Ben)
– Sandi hasn’t been able to quash Ben’s puns yet.
JP – Thanks guys, I’m here with one of our technical designers, Randy Vasquez, Randy, how you doing?
RV – How you doing man?
JP – Pretty good, thanks for coming on! So what exactly is a day in the life of Randy Vasquez?
RV – So, every day is kind of different. Some days documentation, some days prototyping, some days going through spreadsheets, it kind of just varies depending on whatever the needs are. Recently I was working on the Starliner so I spent a lot of time kind of concepting the interiors, working on different things, so if you guys didn’t see it last week we actually had the segment on the iterations and everything that I had so, it’s kind of crazy. Every single tech designer I’m sure you’ve talked to, we all have different days based on our specialties, based on our skill sets, so yeah, it’s kind of a different question, don’t know.
JP – Starliner is a different ship, shows a different aspect of the gameplay than we’ve shown so far. How did that impact how you designed it?
RV – Definitely where we took the inspiration came from different areas. like I said last week, it was looking at things like the Hindenburg, looking at things like cruise liners, trains, commercial airlines, cargo, even FedEx, even looking at C130’s and different things. So we took a lot of those images, took a lot of the layouts of that, and kind of mixed and matched things together, kind of a hodge-podge of things.
JP – And Chris, I imagine Chris had immediate interaction with iht?
RV – He was, early on he had already spoken what he wanted, so we had a vision going forward, and I tried to really push that vision, and here and there I went off the rails, cause I was like… lets try this, lets try this. I was actually looking at feedback on the forums, and people had some really neat ideas like the casino version, or some other type of versions, even versions that, after working on it for a bit, that I would want to do, so I don’t know if it’s possible, but we’ll see.
JP – What was it like working on that ship in terms of, like I said before, different aspects of gameplay? Did that kind of free you up to design it maybe a little different than we’d design normal ships?
RV – It definitely changed the way we design things. One thing in particular is PU took a really big interest on the ship itself, so with PU actually taking an interest they actually were able to give us more information, they were able to give us a little more direction for where they’re kinda seeing things for the future, so we kinda started playing this ship out for, alright, this is what we’re going to have for the concept, but then as it goes to the future with the actual PU, this is what they’re going to be using it for, this is how players can actually do this gameplay, because usually you have have a hornet or something, and people are like OK it’s a dogfighter, you know. The Reclaimer was like, repair things, so those were kind of already set up like, this has a specific role, and it goes from there, where the Starliner was kind of a blank slate where, this could be a luxury thing, this could be a passenger ship, this could be a cargo thing, there could be some military applications, and we still haven’t finished all the different applications that the Starliner can do, so, being right now we’re in the middle of the sale, the community when they get their hands on it they’re gonna want to change things here and there, they’re going to want different adaptations, different additions to it, so I’m excited for what they’re going to do, for what they want for it.
JP – How much has that community input affected what you’re going to do with that ship in the future? Cause you’re not done with it?
RV – Yeah, definitely not done with it, probably working on it forever. No, the community’s definitely had a lot of feedback and input. I haven’t really interacted with them much, but I’ve actually been lurking on the forums and everything, and I”m trying to look at what people are saying.
JP – They won’t bite I promise.
RV – I’m hoping that. But yeah, I’m learning more from lurking, I’m definitely interested in what they say, what they want, because that gives me more avenues to go, and then we can make more variants based on that, cause right now how I have it designed, it’s designed so the main cabin, 50 meters, and then certain size width-wise, so we can drag and drop things in and out, and hopefully people can start putting things in, and granted this is still a system that we’re developing, and we’re trying to get situated, but I really want to get this ship as moddable as possible.
JP – We gave them an inside look at how you do the whiteboxing phase, which is something we don’t usually do, but we liked it. Did that kind of scare you a little bit? Is that something you’re used to? Allowing them to see your work so early?
RV – Actually I think it’s kind of awesome. I had a fun time with it, that’s why, I was kind of expecting it because I started saving all my iterations early on instead of just deleting it and keep on going. I really wanted to show Chris and everyone else, this is what it started with, and this is kind of what it progressed to, and then I talked to you guys and you were like, we’d love to show it, the community would love this one, I was, awesome, I’ll keep saving things, and then when I start working on it again, and adding more variations, I’ll probably save those out so you guys can see where it went, and where it’s ending. Little by little i’m modding more stuff in there, I’m adding more features in there, because all the artwork in there is all placeholder. Even the sim pods. People were like ‘oh my god they have sim pods’, I was like… oooh, that’s… that’s placeholder, don’t worry about that.
JP – Community loves you right now. You just basically said you’re gonna show them how a ship gets made from start to finish. I hope you’re ready to sign up for that, cause that’s what you just did.
RV – I’m okay with that. So, the Starliner’s my first ship, I’ve never designed a ship like this, I’ve never designed a ship at all, except for legos when i was young, or… last week. But it was my first ship, I was really excited about it, kinda went overboard with a little bit of stuff, but that’s fine. I still have a lot to learn.
JP – Nah, it’s a great looking ship. I’m glad the fans got to see progress, what we have, and how it will progress it from there. Well, thank you so much for coming on, it’s been a pleasure. Back to you guys.
– Randy’s one of the people who made the Starliner a success.
– The first Starliner Q&A was posted yesterday, another will come tomorrow.
– Because tomorrow is a public holiday in the states, there will be no RtV.
– Check the comm-link tomorrow for the FPS blocker update, the second starliner Q&A, and the monthly report for June.
– KRGR Merlin
– Very pretty ship.