Another episode of Around the ‘Verse is here! Check out today’s transcript of the show
Transcript by CanadianSyrup, Erris, Shiver Bathory, Sunjammer, Stormy Winters, NYXT, Psylence.
Jared Huckaby (JH): This week. Part one of our chat with Viking hair God Brian Chambers about his career in video games in the ATV Interview.
Lead Writer David Haddock explores the origins and design of the Feron system in the Loremakers Guide to the Galaxy
And we look at the continuing development on EVA in Star Citizen in the ATV Fast Forward
All this and more in this week’s Around the ‘Verse.
Sandi Gardiner (SG): Now that’s a wingman I would want at my side.
Ben Lesnick (BL): Yeah pretty cool! The explosion, VFX keeps getting better and the action looks really neat. We should really “Sabre” the moment.
SG: Oh boy.. Hey everybody, welcome to this week’s episode of ATV. I am Sandi Gardiner, Head of Marketing
BL: I’m Ben Lesnick. This is our weekly community show where those of us here at Cloud Imperium Games tell you what’s going on with Star Citizen
SG: And Squadron 42
BL: And Squadron 42
SG: And Ben what is the latest on Star Citizen?
BL: Well we pushed Star Citizen Alpha 2.3.1 on Friday, that’s a mouthful, but it’s essentially a small update to address some bug issues, some balancing, some performance stuff we’re continually improving.
SG: And what are we working on right now?
BL: The team is working on Star Citizen Alpha 2.4 which is our next major patch. We are on content lockdown right now and QA is starting to test builds that have all the features we want to put out. Once we’re confident of what we’ll actually be releasing we’ll let people know some more details, but the hope is that this is going to be the build with the very first inklings of persistence.
SG: So with persistence does that mean everything’s now permanent?
BL: Nope nope, we’ll have a ways to go before we have our kind of kick off of the universe starting and growing, but you will start to see individual elements get carried over between play sessions such as your reputation when you’re off causing criminal mischief or your weapons loadouts between ship spawns and it’s just going to continue going on from there as we build more and more of this technology as we get it online, just like the rest of Star Citizen.
SG: The Monthly Report of March is now up on the Comm-Link. You can check out and read the comprehension updates from each of our studios
BL: The studio also included a pretty cool video of our EVA Transition System which is how we’re hopefully making our transition from zero gravity into walking to the ground seamless. It’s a lot more natural than it was before, check it out!
SG: And much to Ben’s excitement there was a Wing Commander Livestream on the weekend. How did it go?
BL: We had a great time. We played through all of Secret Missions 2 thanks to Jared and Toast for coming along and listen to me talk for eight hours. Check out a clip!
SG: Looking forward we are kicking off a Freefly in honour of the Pax East event that is starting this Friday.
BL: And we’re also gonna have a small “Tax” day sale on Friday. We’ll be bringin back some surplus military ships such as the Gladius, Gladiator, Retaliator and Super Hornet.
SG: Actually Ben the Super Hornet is a civilian variant based on the military F7A ship.
SG: Yeah, kind of like the Hummer is to the Humvee.
BL: Ah, well it will be in the sale anyway
SG: See, I can do me some explaining. And if you were fooled by our April first career post check our email. We send every back who clicked to buy a Big Bennys Reliant a five dollar coupon.
BL: You can pickup a skin or a ship or whatever you want.
SG: Have you ever thought to yourself I’d love a Star Citizen Track Jackets as well as a notepad, some cards and a pen.
BL: Well gosh Sandi I wonder that all the time!
SG: No to be honest we just received some Track Jackets in the office because we’re going to do a new staff photo in this office and we also have them on sale and you get a little freebie notepad, pen, and cards with it. The cards are actually very cool.
BL: Well so it’s a discount on the Track Jacket plus free cards!
SG: Yay we should play card games.
SG: He’s up for it. Finally we are very excited to announce the next Star Citizen concept ship which will be, drum roll.
BL: [Amazing Drum Roll]
SG: The MISC Prospector.
BL: The MISC Prospector is our so called “Mining ship” and you’ll be learning all about it in about a week. We’re going to go ahead and give you a heads up on the price, it’s going to be a $140 dollars for the concept pledge and it’s looking really cool. It’s been developed by the folks in the UK. If you loved the lines on the Freelancer you’re definitely going to like this one. It’s a MISC ship through and through.
SG: Cool! And now let’s check in with our studios around the world to find out what they’ve been working on in this weeks News From Around the ‘Verse.
Darian Vorlick (DV): Hey everyone welcome back to Cloud Imperium Games Los Angeles, I’m production coordinator Darian Vorlick and today I’ve got with me…
Erin Pietro (EP): Erin Pietro QA.
DV: So here we are with this week’s update – so, on the LA-end as far as go Tech Design wise, we’ve got the tech setup is actually working on getting the Reliant flight ready. So, that’s something that looking pretty, pretty awesome so hopefully you guys get to see that soon. On the engineering and tech design side we’ve also got refactoring the component system to be functional with the new Item System 2.0 that Mark Abent and Paul Reindel have been reengineering for the game – so that’s on the development side. What we got your end for QA?
EP: Lot of regression, we’re going through flight balance right now – quantum jumps, working on the EVA system as well. Just a lot of sweeping right now, getting ready for 2.4.
DV: So if I remember correctly you said 1500 bugs that have been fixed that need to be regressed.
EP: Yeah, that’s right, we’re trying to get through that as quickly as possible.
DV: That’s a lot of bugs. So we’ll get back to work here, just take a little bit of your time, once again I’m Darian Vorlick.
EP: And I’m Erin Pietro.
DV: That’s the Los Angeles sign-off.
Jake Ross (JR): Hey guys, Jake Ross here, Producer of the Austin studio and I’m here with you this week to talk a little bit about what going on here in Austin. First thing’s first, the- I’m going to talk a little bit about something that’s not going on here in Austin but still relates to what we’re doing here. The Port Olisar changes that we’re making, so the team in the UK and the team at Behaviour are working together to update the Port Olisar station – like I’ve mentioned previously, it’s coming along really nicely.
We have a new commercial galleria area that we’re going to be housing our shops in- in Crusader, so not only will our shops be available in Area 18, but we’ll also have them on Crusader which is cool, we’ll probably have to do some rebranding on some of the shops because fictionally there are some shops that are completely local to Area 18, so we’ve got Dave Haddock meeting with our environment team to come up with a different option there.
So yeah, that’s coming along really nicely, we’ve got that out of whitebox and into greybox, final art is in progress as well, we’ve got a VFX and lighting pass coming up. It’s a really cool looking area and we’re excited to show that off. We’ve got a brand new elevator that’ll take you to it. It’ll be cool to see players walk around Crusader buying stuff.
We also have the new flight suit, which is in and done. The character team has been working on updating the Sataball costume that you guys may have seen in a few promotional materials to do the new flight suit, so we have- or undersuit rather, so this suit will be the kind of preliminary layer underneath all the amours for the features but we’ll selling those.
We’ll be putting them up on mannequins in the Cubby Blast shop or equivalent on Port Olisar and those’ll be available for sale, we’ll have different colours and variants you can choose from so that’ll be one of the options as part of the switch this new Item 2.0 you’ve heard about that we’ve been working on, the old legacy armours which is the light, medium, heavy marine and the light, medium, heavy outlaw and the flight suits will all be ready to be sold and used in Crusader so you’ll be able to mix and match however you like – which is cool.
So with that comes along the ability to switch between civilian and armour loadouts, so the flight suit is technically part of the armour loadout – there will be these new valet, they call ‘em easy-hab-valet-clothing-storages, which is kind of a mouthful, but it’s kind of what we’re calling it, it’s going to be this little valet clothing storage locker area right next to the airlocks in Port Olisar, you actually will be able to, before you leave the airlock, you can go to this easy-hab valet system and access it and it’ll swap your loadout from civilian to armour so you can actually go out into space without dying – so that’s cool.
It’s nice that you’ll be able to do this because you’ll be able to come in after landing at Port Olisar – you’ll be able to go through the airlock after a busy day of completing missions and fighting and killing wanted people and be able to take a load off, take your armour off, put in this easy-hab clothing storage and switch to your civilian loadout and just hang around Port Olisar with your friends, in a t-shirt or shorts, pants and jacks and just the normal people clothes, and then when you’re ready to go out on another mission, you can go through the airlock to the easy-hab clothing valet and switch back to your armour and go back out in space. It’s kind of this cool little feature that we’ve got in place just to give players that little extra something if they wanna switch between the clothing and the armour so that’s in progress as well.
We have the Port Modification UI in place, finally and it’s really cool, we got Simon White and Zane over in the UK who helped out with this and they created this new UI for this Port Modification app in the mobiGlas – it’s- some of you may remember the shipWorks app that we advertised way back in the day, it’s the first little foray into this new app for shipWorks and you’ll be able to access the UI – it’ll have a nice pretty list right there for putting things in different places, I’ve talked a lot about Port Modification in the past few weeks but it’s really exciting new thing that we’re having a ball playing with – we’re excited to put that in your hands as well.
So, yeah, I think that’s really the big updates for this time guys, running out of time, so I’ll talk to you next week, thanks, see ya.
Tom Johnson (TJ): Hi everyone, Tom here, and welcome to the UK again. This week, to spice things up, I’ve brought along Mici Oliver, QA Tester who’s just recently joined Foundry 42. I thought you guys should all get introduced and Mici – do you want to tell us a little bit about what it is you’re going to do here?
Mici Oliver (MO): Yes, I’m Mici, and I am QA here at Foundry 42. And I’ll be working on the community feedback side of things. So you might have seen me in the forums and on Discord, just chatting to people, trying to get feedback for the new PTUs and just new patches that we’re going to bring out and things like that.
TJ: There’s an awful lot of feedback out there so we definitely need…
MO: Yes. [laughs]
TJ: …more eyes on the forums.
MO: So many things, we need to know what’s going on.
TJ:So what have you been working on so far while being here.
MO: Yes, just getting used to the game itself and the control-changes and stuff. And I’ve been looking at a few ships.
TJ: Which ships have you had your hands on?
MO: Mainly the Starfarer at the moment.
TJ: Exciting yeah.[shared laughter]
MO: Yeah, just getting used to the place..
TJ: Quite a big ship, the Starfarer.
MO: It is, I don’t think I’ve been in every room yet.[more shared laughter]
MO: It is very big.
TJ: Okay cool, well thanks very much for joining us Mici. Hope you guys enjoyed that and yeah, look out for Mici on the forums in the near future, so, thanks very much guys, we’ll see you in the Verse.
MO: Thank you.
Brian Chambers (BC): Hey everyone, Brian Chambers from the Frankfurt office, I will jump right into it and tear down what the team’s been doing since you heard from me last.
On the game-code side, folks eating up bugs, as they do. Been working on phase 2 of the player health system – in adding the debug functionality into that, or additional debug functionality to help us quickly go down and break down if we have any issues. They’re working also with design for feedback on what’s been implemented so far so they get it in their hands and they get to play with it.
Level Design – shopping district for Port Olisar and Pirate Base for PU and also some on-site interviews, I believe we had two of those take up pretty much a whole day almost of the team’s time.
System Design, AI characters and perception, reputation 2.0 and interactors and inner thought. On AI- working with Interactors as said, the first version is up and running, that’s what allowed us to give it to the designers to play with and start giving feedback. They’re doing some work on how to disable collisions on characters for if and when needed in any case scenarios.
Ongoing work and discussions with Subsumption- Subsumption is very large, so that’ll be ongoing for quite a while. Bug fixing for both Live and S42, again, something that’ll be ongoing pretty much across all disciplines – the moment you put something in hopefully you need to test it across everything else and modify what you need to make sure everything works as it should. They’re also working with design on how to integrate subsumption into combat and documenting stuff from there that’ll make the most sense when having to use that.
On the engine-code side, they’ve done some code work to expand the support for water volumes, that’s not only for procedural planets but for other things we have got going on. Working with Build Ops to roll-out TriBuild for the team – a server performance and client performance debugging in work, editor debugging – the editor is a place where large majority of the team does work, so constantly going in there to make sure that it’s as efficient as possible, it’s performing as quickly as possible and has the functionality is huge for us. In that they also implemented a new free-flight camera control in the editor.
With Marko we continued pushing on procedural planets – stuff is going good – terrain is looking good, things are progressing step-by-step; bug fixes for Live and GameDev; improvements and bug-fixing for TrackView – again I’ve mentioned that in the past, that’s for Hannes and the guys there, get the functionality they need to be able to put the cinematics as efficiently as they need. On Physics – just rattling through my head – on Physics, worked on fixing projectiles to function with the local physics grid, also did some refactoring on the physics grid.
Again, once we implement new things, once we see how it starts working together we need to go through again and debug – it’s a common practice with what we’re doing. Also worked on fixing a few audio-related issues. We also added a new engine programmer to our team last week, Hannes – we started him off, or the engine team started him off by giving him some bugs for him to go in and get his chops up on the engine a bit and specific areas that we want him to handle in the coming future.
On weapons, we’ve- since we’ve talked last, we’ve finalized two weapons and started two new weapons. Cinematics side, progress is going good, can’t give away any details on what they’ve been putting together but they’ve definitely been making progress. Judith is on board now, our cinematics producer- senior cinematics producer and we’re starting to wrangle some stuff for an upcoming MoCap shoot, so starting those discussions on pre-pro so we’re as prepared as we need to be.
I think that’s pretty much it for the team, I’ve tried to jump on the forums this week and answer some questions, keep ‘em coming if you’ve got questions for me, if you’ve got questions for the Frankfurt guys, whether it be design/cinematics/engine, we’ll try to pass ‘em out and get some answers as quick as I can. Cool, thanks again, see you next week.
JH: Thanks guys. On this week’s ATV Interview we’re sitting down with Development Director out of Foundry 42 Frankfurt, Mr Brian Chambers. Brian how you doing man?
Brian Chambers (BC): Good, good. How you doing?
JH: I’m doing well. We feel like we know you from the News From Around the Verse segments. We do these News From Around the Verse segment we tell people “Yeah, give us a minute, give us 90 seconds, whatever. Talk about the stuff you want and what not”. And then Brian Chambers comes in like a Viking warrior and he’s like “Here’s five minutes of everything that we’re doing here in Frankfurt”.
BC: Hey but I don’t put fluff in there. I hit the point. I go “This is what we are doing”. This is what people want. Right?
JH: No, no. We love it. Thank you so much for doing it.
JH: So I’m glad we got some time to sit down and chat. Sad we couldn’t do it in person but we’re making do here.
JH: So you’re Brian Chambers. You’re the Development Director of Foundry 42. Start us off real quick what does a Development Director do?
BC: Development Director directs development.
JH: Alright. That’s been your ATV Interview for …
BC: Really my position here is … a lot right now is getting the office up and running. We’ll talk in a bit, we started with nothing and built up and and here we are today. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make sure it’s transparent to the guys on the floor. At the same time there’s a lot of stuff I’m doing focusing on hiring to bring it in and build up the team: get the right talent, the right skill set, that we need. And on top of that I’m now looking also at, kind of at a high level and mid level, on what each department’s doing to make sure that we’re on track and we’re nailing what we need to nail.
JH: Alright. So why don’t we start at the beginning with Brian Chambers. Tell me how you got started in video game development.
BC: It was too long ago. Makes me feel old. I had been working with digital stuff for just about 20 years now. I went to art school, a school in California called California Institute of the Arts. Originally started by Disney and Sharon Dance School and so on. I went there for Fine Arts so I was painting, sculpting, doing the whole bit. After there I ended up in an effects studio and we were doing special effects. I did special effects for about six years.
JH: For movies? For television?
BC: Yeah, for movies and TV. So worked on a lot of … a few different seasons of Star Trek, Star Trek Voyager, so on and so on. Lots of TV shows, lots of kids animated shows and so on. When we were doing the practical effects that was old school stuff. Right? You really didn’t have the power to create particles and stuff as you do now, today. So we were blowing up stuff against green screen, and high speed film, and comping it in. Right? It was … you were getting splinters in your hands at the end of the day. It was pretty cool.
And then I turned more, and more, and more into digital and digital. And so from building stuff to then actually building stuff digitally. In school I had done a lot in animation as well as part of my Fine Arts so then I fell into animation at the studio. They had a very, very old motion capture system. That was before optical was really used for any entertainment value: it was more in the medical field. So we had an old system: I learned it. So it was only me and one other guy that knew how to run the system.
In a short amount of time the studio landed an animated show called Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles. I ended up working on that for two and half or three years. That forced us to use mocap and it was me and one other guy in the studio that knew how to use it. Right? So it was sink or swim. So I pushed more on the animation side. Again I was there for about six or seven years. The studio finally went under after a bunch of ups and downs.
At that point I switched over fully into games. When I was at the first studio we were doing some outsourcing work for studios: game studios would come in and use our motion capture services. So I’m cleaning up data and shooting stuff for ingame moves but I still wasn’t fully in games. After that studio though I jumped into a place called Shiny Entertainment …
BC: … and that was run by David Perry. They were working on Enter the Matrix which was the first Matrix game. So I worked there for a couple of years, working with The Wachowski Brothers on all of the cutscenes for the cinematics they had. And that was a chore because I think there was three and half hours of cinematics in that game.
BC: So I go from doing effects to then basically being a lead cinematic animator. After that I left there for a few years I worked at Rockstar San Diego. I was an Animation Director there for a few years. Worked on a bunch of titles over there.
After that me and a few guys decided that we wanted to do our own thing so we took a leap and started our own company. Own company we probably go up to about 75 or 80 people at one point. We immediately, when we started, we immediately got acquired by a publisher, THQ. We were all still pretty young but we had mortgages and stuff to pay so it was a little too risky to do it on our own. And you really didn’t have the concept of crowdfunding or anything at that point. Right?
BC: So we started up our own company. After about two years there they decided that our company should disperse and so they let some people go and other people they wanted to retain. For myself at that company I wore a tremendous amount of hats: I was basically Animation Director, I was Art Director from my background of being within art, I also ran a lot on the Production basically being the Development Director there as well and working Budget, working with Marketing and so on.
At that point they said I could … THQ was cool and said “Hey you have the option to look around. Look around within THQ, let us know what you want to do.” And at that point I remember looking at the VP that was telling me that and I said “Well, you know, how much time do I have? What are we talking here?” He was like “Well, you know, if you don’t find anything within six, seven months we should talk. Right?” And that was an awesome opportunity because that showed me that they believe that I was at least of value. Right?
I looked around and I ended up going to their corporate headquarters and working out of their corporate office. They had just acquired the licence for UFC. MMA: a bunch of punching and kicking and rolling around on the ground and they were struggling with animation. I’m one to usually take on projects that are fairly ambitious and I thought they’re going for realism, thinking of two guys independently controlled, going at it …
BC: … punching, rolling on the ground: that was pretty ambitious. So I took that gig. I was the Animation Director part way through and then they said “Well how about you become the Art Director as well?” So … important to point out in that part was at the publisher level we had all the leads and directors there. Right? So we had a team of probably 12 people. The main development happened in Japan, in Osaka Japan. So for about four years of my life I was in Los Angeles for three weeks, and we’d get on a plane and go to Japan for a week. And I did that for about four years. Which was pretty nuts.
BC: Yeah, it takes it’s toll but I earned my miles in the process.
JH: I guess. You said you worked for… just before we move on too far, you said you worked for Rockstar, San Diego… what games did you work on when you were there?
BC: We had finished the original Red Dead, the original, original one which I think at that point had been in development for like 6 years or something. Worked on some Midnight Club, pulled in and worked on some GTA stuff with Rockstar North. Then we had our own game that we were pushing that was under codename Agent, I believe that ultimately went away. I heard it was almost resurrected a couple of times but…
JH: I have heard that… it comes up every once in awhile and you’ll see an article about it.
BC: Yeah, yeah. It was cool, they actually pulled in mechanics and little bits we could see in further GTAs when I look through them and play them.
JH: Gotcha, what did you work on at THQ before you decided to go to Corporate?
BC: THQ… that was another big, open world game that completely got killed but it was a big, open world… the working title was Revolution and you’re kind of working through these Mexican and spanish favelas using propaganda to kind of built up people around you and build up followers to help overthrow areas, very much kind of a risk, take this area, then this area, then this area.
So, it was cool I still actually have the design docs for that, I worked on that for a good amount of time. Learned a lot about drug cartels over that time and I was certain at that point that if there was any hitlist on crap you look up on the internet, I’m on it, because it had every propaganda, every conspiracy group, every you know…that was big, just doing that research to get it pulled into that world.
JH: Well, when I come out there in August, I want to see that stuff…
JH: All right, so you’re at THQ Corporate…
BC: I’m at THQ Corporate… give you some of the abridged version of that then. So, I’m on UFC, UFC blows it out of the water, we sold like over four million units at the time and that was big. They said, ‘hey Brian, you’re successful, thank you. How about you take on these other licenses as well’.
So, it was the fight group we were called and they also owned the WWE license. Now I go from punching and kicking to more wrestling, right. That was cool, that was fun. Working with the WWE, the developer for the WWE franchise was also in Japan. It was a sister studio to the other one.
BC: So, now I flash forward, we’re using all of these outsources to help build characters and build environments. Usually all throughout Asia, so now I’m going to Osaka to work on UFC for four days then I would jump to Yokohama to work on WWE for four days and then we would jump over for a few days to China or Korea to be face to face with vendors that we’re working with.
It was a pretty nuts few years. In that process we also, I think we put out three separate UFC titles, I was at THQ for a total of I think 7 years. So a few UFC titles, WWE title every single year…
BC: We had other, I think there was some Facebook titles we put out there, we put a UFC Fit title once that was a Wii game, right. I look back at some of this stuff and I’m like, uh. So after…
JH: It’s work.
BC: Yeah, it is. After I did that for a little bit then they made me, which was a little silly and I can say this now cause THQ no longer exists, I was Art Director but they gave me all these additional responsibilities, right. They wanted me to be in more of a global position, looking at other things and they basically started giving me more and more responsibility and they wanted me to go to the other sister THQ studios which at that time they had like twelve of them
They wanted me to go to these studios and work with the guys and help direct stuff to make sure it was on point of where it needed to be. They didn’t want to give me a title, they didn’t want to give me a title from Art Director to Director, Art because it meant two things… it wasn’t a change in salary at that point, it meant that I got a parking spot and they were short on parking spots. It also meant that I could travel business class, if I wanted and they knew how much I traveled and they went, ‘oh crap, if we do that his budget’s nuts’, right?
So finally, after another four or five months they did change my title and I still flew economy because at the end of the day it’s similar to now. You know, we want to spend our money as wisely as possible and I go, ‘look, if I fly economy and that means we save a thousand bucks then somebody else get’s an monitor in the office’ or right, it’s all balanced.
Then I was at… I kind of since I was at THQ for so long I was in all their corporate meetings and for me the writing was on the wall. I had been there through three separate sets of VPs, there were decisions that were being made and so on, that really put it in a bad financial situation.
So, I decided to look around. As I decided to look around CryTek was one of those options in Frankfurt, which I ultimately took. At that point they were working on Ryse, it was just starting to get some more momentum, it was going to be a launch title. It was fairly ambitious what they were trying to push, they needed help with animation. I came in, was helping with animation for awhile and while I was there, there was a really, really strong team.
I kept asking questions saying, ‘well, where’s this, where’s this, where’s this’, based on my experience and seeing it from a publisher level and down in the trenches… I kept asking a bunch of questions. After awhile of me asking questions and kind of raising flags, the studio director at the time, this guy by the name of Nick, pulled me aside and said Cevat wants me to help finish the game.
Then they made me Senior Producer and before I agreed to it I said, ‘well, what does that mean?’, I can’t just be a yes man and run around and go crazy. They said, ‘no, no, you’re the final call on stuff, obviously you’ll work the owners and so on’. The next week Cevat Yerli moved his desk right next to mine and for the next six months we worked our butts off to finish Ryse’s launch title. It made it out there and looked pretty cool.
Then I was still at CryTek for about another twelve months or so, until I started to just personally for a bunch of different reasons thought it would be time to look around elsewhere.
JH: K, that brings us to… you discover Star Citizen, so tell me what that was like.
Dave Haddock: Hello! Welcome to another edition of Loremakers Guide to the Galaxy. If you’re unfamiliar with this segment this is basically, we get some time with a member of the Lore team to dig into some of the systems that you see on the Starmap and ultimately will be able to play and visit, and inhabit in the Star Citizen universe. So we’ll just get started. Today we are actually going to start with kind of a smaller system but actually a personal favourite of mine, ‘cause Will took Elysium, which I loved the Tevarin so i’m a little upset about that. Anyway we’re actually going to do Feron system. Now if you remember some of the, if you’re a subscriber, you saw Jumppoint Galactic Guide that highlighted Feron system, gave you a bit of an idea. So we’ll go into the overall sense of the system, the planets themselves, and a little bit into the backstory,what’s fun about them.
They’re kind of a sneaky one, ‘cause I really like them just ‘cause visually it feels like a very rich world. So let’s jump right in, so this is not a barren system that we are looking at now. This is a planet called Earth, which I’m sure we will get into at some point and talk about. I don’t know what happens there off the top of my head. So we go Feron System. So Feron system actually, before we dive in let’s go a little bit more macro. So we’re going to zoom out here. So you can see a sort of proximity to Sol System heere, Earth there, Feron here, let’s turn on jumps. So you can see it’s very close. So it’s, Crowshaw which was famously the first system that Nick Crowshaw discovered that lead to this idea that “Oh wow we don’t need to physically burn our way towards these other star systems, we actually have these tunnels we use to get there.” Which completely obviously revolutionised thinking as far as Astro-travel.
So the idea once that happened and people started to realise that this, happened once so it’s a good possibility it will happen again. It sort of created this new culture of Nav Jumpers, Explorers and inflamed the notion of ‘We need to start reexamining our galaxy with these new understandings and see what we can find out’. So in the year 2460 basically Feron system was discovered coming out of Crowshaw, right there. The funny thing about the way it was discovered, it was discovered by a guy named: Hallie Lamatt. Who was part of a Sol Astro Exploration Society and it was a, if you think of a classic, if you read League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Allan Quatermain, explorer type gentleman that would go out and be exploring the galaxy. That was the idea behind them.
So he was captain of a ship who was out looking for potentially new jump points. So they were at the end of their tether about to run out of supplies and stuff like that and one of his crew named Darcy Feron ending up discovering that there was a weird anomaly with their gas, their fuel was not adding up, and through exploration they ended up discovering that it was being drained, so they started scanning and they ended up discovering that it was actually a jump point that was causing this weird fuel anomaly. And that’s what ended up leading to discovery of Feron system. So as sort of compensation for discovering this he decided to name this system after Darcy. So, and then of course being part of the Astro Exploration Society it was all for the benefit of humanity’s advancement and stuff. So they donated the system, at the time it was the UNE, United Nations of Earth, and for expansion into. So Feron System was then born. So one of the things we always discover when we work this stuff out is when a system is discovered there’s a period where the reigning government, which in this case would be the UNE, would analyse and assess the system.
So they would take time before opening up to the public where they would look at the planets, they would do a survey gig to see what the system held, was there potentially any dangers, all that type of stuff. Once things started to get a little crazier as they do in the next few hundred years once this rapid age of expansion starts, they started to slip a little bit on that kind of stuff. So when they got on to Feron they looked around and started scanning it and they discovered it was four planets and if I zoom in here to the star, which is very big and bright, it is a F – type main sequence dwarf star. So you have Feron I as you can see right here, is very, very small. I didn’t like to say that. But technically it’s a mesa planet and it was uninteresting. A lot of these planets just turn out to be ‘meh’. We can or leave it. They couldn’t terraform it so ‘meh. But it was very, very close to thes star which was the one, as you can see here, unique aspect to it.
So next in line here you have Feron II which is a terrestrial coreless planet. So there is no atmosphere on the planet and soil samples basically determined that there was no real minerals there to harvest. The few minerals that were there they ended up cleaning out rather quickly. The big thing about Feron and the immediately association with it, when approaching the system and breaking it down as sort of thinking of a once thriving popular very rich, resource heavy system that suffered a complete and total economic collapse. It died, but it’s still trudging on type thing, was sort of the idea.
We have Ferron III, which is somewhere on here, Asura. Asura was basically a heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy resources. Tons of stuff to mine. So mining became immediately the number one thing to do there. So, as such they were able to extract a lot of minerals, and make a lot of money. Industry moved in there and started building up the city. The main city, and the landing zone, we’re thinking now is called Tram, was this massive industrial megacity effectively. It was like that for a very, very, very long time. Tram and Ferron fueled the economy of the UNE.
When they were first looking at the planet, they realized that there was so many resources there, that they had to be smart about how they divided it up. They couldn’t just do a land rush because it would get too crazy, and so the idea was that they were trying to mediate the land rights, the mining rights, and stuff like that for the planet. It was so messed up, and they kind of screwed the pooch so badly on it, that the government ended up – because at the time, bear in mind, that this was still the United Nations of Earth, Earth was very much the center point of the universe, and the expansion. Croshaw system didn’t necessarily have much for representation, they were represented by nations of Earth type thing.
What ended up happening was once this system came to be and they were trying to break apart this planet to assign mining rights. It got so screwed up that some people actually claim or believe that it’s what triggered the transition into the United Planets of Earth, which became the early foundation framework for what would ultimately become the UEE. Planets would gain equal representation along with earth and stuff like that. So yeah, on one hand ended up pushing humanity forward in a way that they probably didn’t necessarily anticipate. Basically just think massive development, massive mining operations, tons of money. I mean, you know, gold rush type… that type of tone to it, a lot of money in there, and presumably a lot of crime moved in along with it because that kind of tends to go hand-in-hand. It was on a fast track, so it was one of the big boys, if you will, of the UPE because it was such a massive economic force within the planets. I mean this went on for centuries, literally.
Even through most of the Messer era, from once they rose to power, was still… they probably gained a reputation that they were untouchable because they came from such a position of power and resource, that they were almost untouchable. These being a fanatical family of despots, they will find a way. They managed to last until the last Messer, Messer XI, who was Linton Messer if I remember correctly, who accused… basically falsely accused the system of housing dissidents and tried to put them on lockdown. It was obviously very untrue, because he was kind of a lunatic, but scared enough people that thought the hammer of the Messer’s was coming down. They ended up, some of the wealthier citizens, and people started fleeing the system because they didn’t want to be part of whatever kind of sort of bad stuff was going to go down there.
There was the whole thing, if you read the story of the 78th Squadron, they got orders to kill civilians and they refused and it was this sort of big to-do. Luckily the Messers were overthrown the next year so, yay. The system managed to kind of limp on, but this mortal strike had already happened, and it was starting to falter. It wasn’t until the mid-29th century, where they started… the unthinkable was happening, where they were running out of stuff to mine. There was only so much they could do. Basically the system started to dry up, whatever money that was still there was starting to realize they were taking losses by trying to strangle whatever minimal resources from the ground that they could, and so companies started leaving.
Then basically they had nothing lined up that could offer the type of income or export, that their mining stuff had. The system completely collapsed and fell on itself which leads to the thing that I love about it. Tram is a city that you imagine this massive, I was always kind of thinking like early 1900’s… Chicago, Detroit, you know like these sort of massive buildings. Just beautiful structures of industry and stuff like that, that are now just abandoned and falling apart.
At the time, I was actually reading a really fun book, well not reading, but I had a fun book called Detroit Disassembled which was an urban exploration photography book that’s just these beautiful pictures of downtown Detroit and just sort of the state of urban decay. It’s really beautiful, sad and beautiful, you know. That was the thing whenever I think of Tram, I think of these like huge beautiful buildings that represented that one point… the pinnacle of human industry and commerce, that are now these sort of shadows of what they used to be and stuff like that.
The people that are still there and stuff… it’s one of those places that if I’m ever trying to work out a character, and I want to give him an inherent edge, to me Tram is always the first place I think of. Like, “Oh they should come from Tram, because they’ve clearly had a hard upbringing.” Also actually if you look at the Jenk Gallen, I believe, in the News Updates who had been caught trying to… as a “Spy” in Xi’An territory, he was from Tram. That sort of background.
That’s a very long description of Asura, and way out there we have Ferron IV, which is a gas giant. And it’s a gas giant. You can’t live there, presumably you have fuel that you can grab from it, but yeah it’s pretty much just a gas giant. It just kind of hangs out, that what they do. So yeah, that’s basically Ferron in a nutshell. I’d like to thank all of our subscribers who kick in extra money every month to support content like my rambling about decrepit cities. Yeah, we will see you next time on Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
SG: Thanks guys and now let’s throw it over to Tyler Witkin, our community manager out of our Austin studio to find out who this week’s MVP is:
BL: Tyler who’s this week’s MVP?
Tyler Witkin: Hey there Tyler Witkin here, Community Manager in the Austin, Texas studio, here to bring you this week’s MVP. A big congratulations to Hasgaha for his weekly Star Citizen’s screenshots. MVP was a pretty easy choice this week, once we got finished discussing the stipulation that you would need to stop tagging us on Twitter so much.
[Disco Lando Says: Seriously]
TW: No, in all seriousness your screenshots did an amazing job of capturing the thrill and adventure that make Star Citizen what it is. My personal favourite being the Xi’An Scout you posted on April 4th. In addition to posting screenshots Hasgaha also runs a YouTube channel jam packed with Star Citizen content that’s definitely worth checking out. So congrats to you great work sir, you’re this week’s MVP back to you guys
BL: That Mr. Hasgaha certainly shots a good screen
SG: I’ve seen you retweet him he’s actually really good.
BL: It’s really cool
SG: Yeah and speaking of future art let’s see what’s on the way in the ATV Fast Forward
Audio Rework on EVA Thrusters
BL: Be sure to tune into Reverse The ‘Verse tomorrow at 11AM Pacific on Twitch, we’ll talk about that Fast Forward and all other aspects of Star Citizen development.
SG: I really wish my voice could get that low but it can’t!
BL: I’m glad it doesn’t honestly!
SG: With that, thank you to all of our subscriber’s for making this show possible, we will see you next week on Around the ‘Verse.
BL: Around the ‘Verse!