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Around the Verse: 3.1 - LA Written Thursday 28th of July 2016 at 03:05pm by CanadianSyrup, StormyWinters and Sunjammer, Desmarius

The next season of Around the ‘Verse has begun! Check out episode one with our transcript.

As is with any information on our transcripts and summaries, everything posted is subject to change by CIG and in some cases may not always be 100% accurate at the time. While we strive for accuracy, mistakes do happen so please let us know if you find something amiss that we didn’t catch. Enjoy the show!

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)


  • Season three of Around the ‘Verse is here with changes to the format that feature a rotating focus on each studio, every week, and different areas of development.
  • Chris is back from London after finishing up some pickup performance capture shoots for Squadron 42 and some Persistent Universe captures as well.
    • The current Squadron 42 script is at 1,255 pages.
  • Chris says they may have solved one of their difficult to crack bugs that’s holding 2.5 from going to the Evocati testers. If all goes to plan, a wider PTU test should be happening next week with a live release shortly after.
  • Chris also says they’ve been working on some exciting stuff for Gamescom, so sit tight for that.

Studio Report

  • Atmospheric Flight Model:
    • design and engineering have begun work on the first implementation
    • ships that look more aerodynamic will handle better than those that don’t
    • atmospheric densities increase closer to the planetary surface, decreasing your ship’s maximum safe speed
    • there will be pockets of varying density creating wind and turbulence
    • not intending to create ships that fly by aerodynamics but for the flight model to handle spaceships in atmosphere
    • drag is largely determined by the cross-sectional area of the ship’s three main axes
    • drag is calculated dynamically so damage affects the surface area and where drag is applied
    • other things can be used to tune performance like materials with different drag coefficients
  • Animations:
    • last week’s sneak peek was faster enters and exits for ships
    • currently taking all the motion capture shot last month and applying it to ships
    • the first ships we’ll see are Hornet, Super Hornet and Freelancer
    • also working on “life animations” (ambient animations) for the Persistent Universe
  • Male Base Model:
    • James Ku is doing a second pass on the male base model to bring it up to the level of the female base model
    • high poly sculpt, low poly sculpt are done, currently in the middle of texturing
    • focused on making the hands look really good and he’s a little fitter

Ship Shape: Reliant

  • Patch 2.5 is very close with the flight ready Reliant
  • The Reliant was a truly international effort
  • You should look for the Reliant’s unique retro-thrust animation
  • This design has opened us up to multiple flight states for ships
  • Flight speeds are constrained by the current flight mode for the time being.
  • Pilots and Copilots may only leave their seats in horizontal landing mode
  • This may change in the future.
  • The devs can’t wait to see our reaction to their proud baby.

MVP w/Tyler Witkin

Behind the Scenes: GrimHex Clothing

  • GrimHex clothing will be grungier, dirtier, counter-culture to fit the environment
  • References were taken from Blade Runner and they also looked at a lot of street wear
  • Band t-shirts will be prevalent in GrimHex as well as dark saturated colours
  • GrimHex was a starting point for designs for clothing for future locations as they want to make unique clothing for each location so when you see it, you’ll know where it came from

Full Transcript

Intro With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hey everybody. Welcome to season three, episode one of Around the ‘Verse, I’m Sandi Gardiner, VP of Marketing

Chris Roberts (CR): Hi and I’m Chris Roberts, CEO and Project Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, and I guess co-host today.

With season three we decided to change up Around the ‘Verse’s format to show you more development in progress, directly from the screens and mouths of the devs themselves. So each week is going to have a weekly Studio Report that will rotate between each of our four studios. A rotating segment that will focus either on ships, environments, characters, visual effects, or props, and finally each episode will have a deep dive on a feature that is up and coming on Star Citizen and Squadron 42.

Anyway it’s taken some effort to organise, but I’m pretty excited about this new format as it’s going to allow you all of you to see a lot more of what I see on a daily basis which is pretty cool.

SG: Cool. So speaking of that, what is going on in Star Citizen this week.

CR: Okay well lots of things have been going on. Last week we just wrapped the last of the p-cap pickups for Squadron 42 at Ealing studios in London. We’ve got some great stuff and it’s kind of funny but David Haddock tells me between all the additional mission dialogue and NPC wild lines, we are now at 1,255 pages of script which is about three times as much as Wing Commander 4. We also managed to get some additional capture for the Persistent Universe while we were shooting. It’ll help flesh out the NPCs and life in the various locations you can visit in the near future.

So on a closer to home basis, the SC Live Alpha release, it looks like we may have just solved one of the more difficult to crack bugs that have been holding up sharing the current 2.5 build with the Evocati. So if that goes well, we should go to a wider PTU sometime next week and full live release shortly after that.

We’ve also been hard at work on a lot of other stuff. Several which we’re pretty excited to show with all you guys at Gamescom. So hold tight for that, but right now we should go to Eric Kieron Davis who’s going to give you the LA Studio Update.

Studio Update With Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer), John Pritchett (Senior Physics Engineer), Kirk Tome (Lead Technical Designer). Timestamped Link.

Eric Kieron Davis (EKD): Hey everybody and welcome back to Los Angeles. I am, Senior Producer, Eric Kieron Davis here with your weekly update. We’ve got quite a busy week across the entire studio and all the disciplines so let’s just dive in.

Our Design and Engineering teams have been really busy with multiple items and one of them is atmospheric flight. The implications of this feature are really exciting the whole team and here’s, Lead Tech Designer, Kirk Tome and, Senior Physics Engineer, John Pritchett to walk you through it.

Kirk Tome (KT): We’ve begun implementation of the first stage of our atmospheric flight model. Ships that look like they can take advantage of atmosphere flight handle better than those that don’t. This means that more aerodynamic ships maneuver better because of how they utilise drag, and they can roll and pitch better in atmosphere than they can in space. Less aerodynamic ships work harder against drag and suffer decreased acceleration and maneuverability.

John will allow Design to tune the characteristics on a per ship basis. So ships that look like the Gladius will handle vastly different from those that look like the Starfarer.

Atmospheric density increases the closer you get to planetary surfaces and will include pockets of varying densities, so it’ll have fluctuations such as wind and turbulence. Your ship’s “max safe speed” decreases as atmospheric density increases. So you want to pay close attention to the velocity and altitude of your ship otherwise you risk damaging the ship while in flight.

John Pritchett (JP): So I’ve been working on the atmospheric flight model for ships and the main thing is our goal with that system is not to create ships that fly by aerodynamics, not like an aircraft. But it’s really more for our spaceships, when they enter atmosphere, we want the flight model to take into account drag, and at some point possibly lift. Kind of change the way the ships feel in atmosphere.

And so the first step for that was a way to calculate the cross-sectional area for the spaceship on all three of its main axes. You got the front, side and top. And that’s largely what determines the amount of drag for a ship. That’s going to be dynamically calculated so if a ship blows a wing off or something that’s going to change. And not only the amount of surface area but also where the drag force is being applied relative to the center of mass. Which will create really interesting flight conditions.

But every ship, based on its structure, its … some ships are going to be more aerodynamic, something like the Gladius, they’re designed more like an aircraft. Some ships are going to fly more like a bus and you’re really going to feel that. And that all comes out of the cross-sectional area for the ship.

There’s some things we can tune into that like different types of materials might have a different drag coefficient. So we can modify ships, tweak their performance a little bit but mostly I think it’s going to be defined on the actual structure of the ships.

EKD: All of those things we’ll be able to do with our fully fleshed out atmospheric flight in place. It’s really going to bring the Star Citizen universe together.

Next up is our Animation Director, Steve Bender, with updates not only on the ship’s animations but also on the Persistent Universe.

Steve Bender (SB): Last week what you saw was … you saw some animations that we showed for the enter and the exit of the ships. For the upcoming milestones what we’re working on is … we’re working on taking all of that motion capture, that we shot about a month ago and we told you about previously, and we’re getting that into each of those ships. And the first ships that you’re going to start seeing that on are the Hornet and the Super Hornet, and the Freelancer.

So for the Persistent Universe we’re also working on “life animations”. Things such as behind the bar, at a booth, sitting in chairs, leaning against walls. Various things within the Persistent Universe that are going to give the whole thing life … just in … on the planets in general and things like that.

EKD: The faster speed of our “enters” and the new life they are breathing in the Persistent Universe it’s really going to bring everything to … well, alive! Our final update for the Los Angeles studio is the update to the male base model. So here’s our Character Art Director, Josh Herman to walk you through some really exciting updates.

Josh Herman (JS): So after finishing up the female sculpt we really wanted to give the male the same level of quality. So James Ku, who also did the female, did another pass on the male. He did a new high poly sculpt, new low poly, new texturing (which he’s in the middle of right now using MARI). It’s looking really, really good.

We just wanted to give the male the same quality that the female did. So all the new … this new male as you’ll see we’ve really focused on the hands because being in first person we really want to make sure that all that looks really good. So when you’re using … doing any animations it looks super solid.

He’s a little bit more fit. A lot of our characters are going to be in the military so he should look like he hit the gym. He should be a fit guy. I think this new sculpt really does hit that bar and I think it looks a lot better. And I’m really excited for it and I think we’ll have it for you guys soon.

EKD: The base characters are looking really terrific. And with the implementation next on the agenda well it’s only a matter of time.

Well that does it for Los Angeles for this week. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you all next time.

Back to Studio With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

SG: It’s a cool update. So in other news the Free Fly just finished up. Also BritizenCon happened this weekend just gone in Manchester and check out these photos. And on top of that we had a PC Games magazine cover that came out in Germany.

CR: We did.

SG: Yeah that Chris was there for so check out the cover. Unfortunately it is in German so if you speak German, great! If not there are some great translations out there so check that out.

CR: There are I think all our fans have already translated it a dozen times in various places on forums, on reddit, wherever else.

SG: There you go, and Austin Bar Citizen happened and Tyler tells me that it was a very successful and a lot of fun so check out the pictures on that.

Gamescom party details, they just went out to Concierge and subscribers. Tickets are going on sale in three batches: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday is the ticket batch for everybody so hopefully everybody gets a shot at getting a ticket. We really look forward to seeing you there. We will have our Chris hosting the show.

CR: As always

SG: And also the Big Benny’s, we had quite a bit of a reaction from the subscribers about the Big Benny’s t-shirts and the patches, and a request to have more in some of the smaller sizes. So check out those, Alexis has organized that for tomorrow at noon PST.

CR: Who would have known noodles would be so big.

SG: I know, well actually it’s pretty cool. There’s a little clip on our youtube channel, our Star CItizen youtube channel. Speaking of our Star Citizen youtube channel, Wednesday we had the Subscriber Town Hall which was with our LA Character Art team. So that is available on our Star CItizen youtube channel, and finally lets check it over to ship shape.

Ship Shape With Elwin Bachiller Jr (Lead Ship Artist), John Pritchett (Senior Physics Engineer), Randy Vazquez (Associate Producer). Timestamped Link.

Randy Vazquez (RV): 2.5 is right around the corner. One of the exciting things is going to be the Reliant being flight ready. Now, Dave Hobbins actually hooked us up with some really awesome concept art, and then the team around the world has been making this ship come to life. Now the interesting thing about this ship is its Xi’An technology influence, right? And we’ve only seen one other ship before that’s Xi’An and everyone knows it’s the Scout. So, you know, these ships are multi-state; they’re transforming; they’re unique; they’re different; they fly different.

Elwin Bachiller: So the Reliant is a ship that I was really excited to get my hands on, because I think Hobbins did a great job with the design. And I think the flight mode was pretty interesting as well. So my team here in L.A., we did a lot of the heavy lifting on the modeling and a lot of the preliminary animations, and of course we had teams all around the world touching it and Austin doing animations and in the U.K. doing textures for the materials. So we brought it all together here. One really cool detail about the Reliant, which some people might not notice is, I mean obviously it has a vertical flight mode, but because of the vertical flight mode the engines have reverse thrusts on the front side of them that act as retro-thrust to slow the ship down. When it’s in horizontal mode the front of those engines are covered up. So in order to achieve retro-thrust we have a shunting system that takes the thrust and redirects it to the front of the wings where we open up flaps that function as retro-thrusts as well. So look out for those, those pretty cool.

John Pritchett: You know leading up to this point I’ve been working on are-factor for, for tuning for all of the ships, and so I was able to work in the ability to support multiple flight states for our ships and we’ve used that for the Reliant. And now that we have that we should . . that’ll open us up to do a lot of other ships with multiple flight states as well.

Matt Sherman: When you’re coming in for a landing doing really close precision flight, you’ll be flying in the horizontal mode of the ship. And then when you’ve taken off cleanly from a landing pad then you’ll … hey you’re landing toggled, going to the vertical mode and have the full performance of the ship available to you. So what this actually is going to mean is we have our precision, our SCM and our cruise modes. So when you’re in the horizontal mode you’re locked into precision. You don’t get to go the top speed of the ship, and it’s very constrained in what you’re going to be able to do movement wise, and we’ve also made sure that you aren’t going to accidentally pitch forward too quick and flip onto the roof of your ship and blow up, because that’s just not fun. So you’ll, you’ll take off and then you’ll hit N which is our new default key for toggling the landing mode, and then from there you’ll go into your full flight mode where you’ll have the full performance of the ship and your full SCM cruise speed, be able to go into quantum travel.

Now there is one thing we did have to restrict a little bit while you are in the flight mode and that’s actually getting in or out of the pilot or copilot seats. So just because of the space of the Reliant cockpit, it’s really tight in there when it’s transformed, and so you will have to go into your landing mode before either the pilot or the copilot can get out the seats. It may be something that we expand on in the future, but for right now it’s just how we were able to get the ship flying while also having these transformational elements. Also into the future we’re definitely hoping to get it set up where horizontal mode can be a full speed capable mode of travel, but we wanted to make sure we were at least delivering, hey, you’ve got this toggling transition state for the flight ready even if one of the modes you don’t get to have that full speed potential. So really looking forward to you guys getting your hands on this ship in the upcoming patch.

RV: We’re really proud of the Reliant and the hard work that everybody at CIG has put into it. We cannot wait to see what you guys think of it as well as we can’t wait to see you guys out there flying it around. So hope you guys like it as much as we’ve loved making it.

MVP With Tyler Witkin (Community Manager). Timestamped Link.

Tyler Witkin (TW): Hey there, Tyler Witkin, Community Manager in the Austin, Texas studio here to bring you this week’s MVP.

A huge congratulations to Glantor Enzo for creating some awesome reference cards to assist in learning the updated ingame control scheme. These things are very useful. I went ahead and printed them out myself and have them hanging right next to my desk.

So congratulations again, you’re this week’s MVP. Back to you guys.

Behind the Scenes With Josh Herman (Character Art Director), Jeremiah Lee (Freelance Concept Artist), Cheyne Hessler (Associate Character Artist). Timestamped Link.

Josh Herman (JH): So, with 2.5 we have GrimHex which is a new location for us, it’s totally different than everything else. It’s grungier, it’s dirtier, it’s counter-culture, it’s unique to Star Citizen right now, we don’t have anything else like it. So, because of that we want to have unique clothing and it should reflect the environment, it should be grungier, it should be dirtier.

So, Jeremiah did a bunch of concepts for us and we picked a couple and we’re going to use those as our starting point for GrimHex and it’s only going to go from there.

Jeremiah Lee (JL): The thought process for the GrimHex clothing was to be something different, to show our fan base something different compared to the one you see in Casaba or Port Olisar and we wanted you to see something you could express yourself a lot differently through your clothing.

Cheyne Hessler (CH): So I get the clothing from Jeremiah, the concepts, taking his ideas and illustrations and bring them into the game asset geometry. Using his designs I can create logos, illustrations to make variations of our PU clothing the community can buy and wear and apply to their characters. I can add in game wear and dirt to the clothing to kind of give a variation as players need to wear it.

JL: So, we looked at a lot of references like Blade Runner, we also looked at a lot of street wear and also we’re introducing a little bit more to the lore which is we introduced some band t-shirts so you guys seen already from our sneak peaks. We have the Leetos And we also have the Gutter Wash, so we designed some band t-shirts, some of them are a little more explicit than others as you can see but just to spice things up a bit and having just the same design language and forms and shapes tend to make things a little boring. So, we did the opposite then what’s in Casaba, so we did a lot grunge, a lot of angular shapes and a lot of like, ‘I don’t care’ that type of expression. We wanted to show that through our clothing.

CH: Because the clothing is the GrimHex kind of outlaw community, I choose varying dark saturated colours to kind of emphasize what the logos are and kind of how the clothing appeals to that certain category of our universe. So, based on Jeremiah’s signs and GrimHex clothing, a lot of t-shirts relate to certain bands that are in our universe like Gutter Wash and the Leetos. So, if you ever wore a band t-shirt, they’re going to be darker colours… reds, greens and have a lot of skulls on them.             

JH: So, we have a lot of cool new stuff, we have some new combat stuff, some cyber punk stuff and we’re just going to kind of keep building on that library but it’s not cool just because of GrimHex, this is the starting point for everything. This is the starting point for all our future locations, so every location you go to in the future is going to have it’s own unique clothing. So, you can go anywhere in the universe and you’ll have unique clothing and people will know where you got that from.  

Outro With Chris Roberts (CEO, Director of Star Citizen and Squadron 42), Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing). Timestamped Link.

SG: Be sure to tune into Reverse the ‘Verse tomorrow morning at 11am Pacific on Twitch.tv. We have a new and improved format where we’re going to have Eric Kieron Davis as the host and two special dev guests who were featured on today’s show. So come check that out, and ask your questions, it will be like a Q&A format and a bit of a community update at the end. So do that and as a little side note, we would like to wish Ben Lesnick a very, very speedy recovery and we want you back in the office as soon as you can, but looking after your health first.

CR: Health first, but it would be good to have you back Ben. So we’re glad you’re doing better and best wishes from everyone here, and I’m sure the community too.

With that, that’s the end of the show. As always we need to thank subscribers for making this show possible in the first place. I would also like to thank backers out there for enabling us to be building the game of all our dreams. All the devs that are making it, all you guys out there, we’re building something incredible and special that no publisher would ever allow you to be able to build, and that wouldn’t be possible without everyone that has backed the game so far.

So hopefully you like the new format and we’ll be doing a lot more of this. I’m pretty excited by it, it’s really great to show everyone what we’re working on and we’ll see you next week. Bye.


Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.


Director of Fiction

Moonlighting as a writer in her spare time StormyWinters combines her passion for the written word and love of science fiction resulting in innumerable works of fiction. As the Director of Fiction, she works with a fantastic team of writers to bring you amazing stories that transport you to new places week after week.



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