Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hello and welcome to another episode of Around the Verse. I’m Sandi Gardiner.
Chris Roberts (CR): And I’m Chris Roberts.
SG: Before we get started with today’s update, Alpha 3.3 is live!
CR: Yep. It’s great. I’m very relieved after last ATV that it would be going live on Friday. As so …
SG: Yes. Exciting … I won’t be grilling Chris today.
CR: … there was some sweated bullets but we got it. We made it. It’s good … and it looks like it went over really well which is great as ... really a lot of fun watching people report their experiences on 3.3 and share screenshots and really enjoyed the framerate and the changes the game will have. So it’s great. So good job.
SG: He can get a long answer today. And with Alpha 3.3 live we’ve seen a lot of players really excited by the visual and performance improvements that come with this patch like FOIP, VOIP and OCS. Woo hoo. The community has been playing a tonne and have put together some amazing stuff with the new ships available in 3.3.
CR: Yes. So the Blackstar Initiative even launched “Operation Hammerhead” which you should check out here in this B-roll. It’s pretty cool.
SG: Yes cool B-roll. The org got together for an epic space battle designed to put the Aegis’ mighty gunship to the test.
CR: Yeah it was actually really cool because because it’s sort of a very early, early preview of what fleet combat can be like in the future. We’ve got a lot of things that we’re working on to add a lot more to it but just seeing the Hammerheads fight each other and fighters fly in was already cool, but the longer term stuff we’ve got is - first of all the bigger ships - there’ll be a whole game mechanic running around repairing and keeping them going; putting out fires when you’ve got damage. There’s going to be other crew stations besides turrets and captains. You can have a combat control officer - a weapon’s officer - calling out targets. Like I said you can be repairing stuff. You’ll have different comms channels for you and the turret gunner or you and the people in the fighters. And we’re working on vari … on decompression … things that would help on the damage side. So it’s going to be … there’s going to be a lot of stuff that’ll be added to it but already just in the very early stages you can see the potential. But when it all comes together it’s going to be pretty awesome. It’s going to be like living in a science fiction movie. It’s going to be cool.
SG: I have to get somebody in the dev team to help me multicrew then. It’s not that difficult.
CR: It’s not that difficult.
SG: It’s not that difficult? It looks kind of difficult. But you guys should check out the community hub for a bunch more awesome submissions from 3.3.
CR: Yeah, there’s been a whole bunch of cool stuff. And we also launched our Public Telemetry page where you can track your own Star Citizen performance.
SG: And so what do you mean by tracking your own performance?
CR: On our side we record the various events that the different clients that are connected to and what their framerates are. And … so we can share it to the appropriate individual what we see their machine, what their framerate is …
SG: So my own personal PC?
SG: I get to see …
CR: Well you can see … you can basically see where you are compared to the overall averages of everybody that plays Star Citizen. So you can see where you … your machine in terms of the CPU and GPU stack up next to everyone else’s machines and also where you land on the performance spectrum. So it’s a useful tool to see how the game is playing. You’ll be able to see the different snapshots of the results which is kind of cool. So we went from the filter from 3.2 to 3.3 - on our internal stuff when we’re developing it - you can see a big jump in framerate which is really cool.
SG: So I can feel a personal sense of shame if my PC doesn’t perform?
CR: Or a personal sense of pride if your PC is kicking everybody else's ass.
SG: Oh. Oh. Well now you see because he runs on two Titans like it’s, you know …
CR: But the other thing is we’re also … we’re going to add more stuff to it as we go forward. So hopefully it will be really cool because you should be able to go and get a snapshot of how you’re performing - how your machine’s performing - relative to the overall averages. And then as well - on top of that - we’re also looking at how to give you a snapshot on what the stability of the servers are. Which would also be good. So we’re … it’s all part of our trying to make this really open and everyone’s part of the team. So it’s cool.
SG: Alright. What else is happening?
CR: Okay. Well ... 3.3.5 is on the PTU now so that’s very, very cool. We actually went to Evocati on the Friday we went live. It was really stable over the weekend which was good - in fact it was more stable than live which probably mostly to do with live having a lot more people on it - but, yeah, so we went out a larger … Evocati over the weekend so now we’re out to the Wave 1 PTU group and we’re working hard. So we’re hopefully going to go even wider and live in the very near future.
SG: Yes thank you for all the Evocati to ... they do testing and they do a lot of the hard work.
CR: Yeah, yeah. And they spend a lot of time tracking down and trying reproduce bugs which is … not actually that much fun, so yeah thank you ...
SG: Some people find it fun. Clearly.
CR: … thank you to all you guys for doing that.
SG: Yes. So we are wide around PTU … I think it’s both Subscribers and Concierge which is pretty cool.
CR: Yeah. So it’s pretty cool and it’s a big achievement because 3.3/3.3.5 is the biggest release of this year and has a vast amount of content …
SG: Super cool.
CR: … so it’s great to get it out and in everyone’s hands and it’s just in time for the annual November anniversary event that we’re doing so we’re going to have a special Free Fly event and we’re going to give players the chance to fly more than 80 ships and vehicles from every manufacturer. And that’s a first for us so that’s very cool. You can find more details on the website.
SG: Yes and there are all kinds of ships including starter ships for first time players and for all you old hats out there please help out the noobs and be kind as you introduce them to multi-crew because that is harder from my perspective.
CR: Actually I think there’s a lot of Star Citizen players out there that help everyone … that’s actually kind of cool … it’s a really great …
SG: I’m not saying they don’t. I’m just saying if ...
CR: … great friendly community.
SG: I’m just saying if a starter person - like myself - is going to jump into a multi-crew it’s probably going to be a little more difficult.
CR: Well it’s not that difficult. Anyway we should probably move on to today’s update.
SG: Yes you’re right. In the CitizenCon mission playthrough we say the GreyCat Multi Tool in action.
CR: Yes and we’ve recently completed improvements to the tool and what we see here is more or less the final version. The biggest challenge was in getting the tool to fold up properly so it could be stowed on the player’s hip without being too cumbersome.
SG: Yes the devs achieved just that by moving the tools battery from it’s handle to the main body. They also added a quick release lever for easy equipping.
CR: We also see here polish work that was done on the knife that was designed live at CitizenCon with the input of all you guys. The geometry is being cleaned up and optimised. Final shaders have been applied along with wear and dirt.
SG: Mmm. I might have to get myself one of those. Let’s check in ...
CR: Hopefully not.
SG: Yeah. Let’s check in Luan Vetoreti from the Planetary Tech team to see how ArcCorp is progressing.
Luan Vetoreti (LV): So me and Pascal in German team are currently looking at these industrial ecosystems. These areas with a lot of plating, a lot of pipes, a lot of more flat but a lot more distance to see from. And one of our biggest challenges right now is that if you’re doing an organic planet the ecosystems are tiled quite a bit. This is to create a much better first person look, whereas with Arc Corp we know we’re not going to be able to fly into most areas of the planet.
So how do we make the performant and how do we make these things look good from a distance? That’s where it differs from Lorville because Lorville a lot more of smaller and focused city. You have the HD building. You can see that thing from space. With Arc Corp - basically - how can we take this HD building which is quite, quite big and make more of these in the entire planet? How can we have these points of interest? How can we have these ecosystems that look quite good from a distance?
So what we did is we took that tiling from the organic and we make it … we would just make it much bigger. We just make each ecosystem that is four kilometers by four kilometers - I don’t know - 64km how does that look? So those are the kind of things we’re prototyping right now.
And the other thing we’re trying to do to … basically balance the ecosystem to building ratio. So we’re trying to get these buildings and we’re trying to make them scatter in a way that’s quite believable. Because with an organic planet you’re having things scatter in all kinds of different tilting and scales and all kinds of … like rocks can just blend together a little bit better. With buildings you can’t have stuff crashing into one another. So we’re trying to get these things and make it so that its it’s not repetitive but also feels like it’s part of the planet.
So one of the challenges with that, is that the more you fly away from the planet the more you start to notice these things pop. Buildings just go “poop” and they’re not there anymore. So how do we fix that? One of the things that we’ve done is we’ve increased a little bit the fog of the planet and we’ve also made sure our LODs are really, really, really - well - really low poly. So you can see them as far away as the planet tech allows us to. So when you’re flying in you need these ecosystems to to also represent these buildings. So then the two things need to blend. In a way that an ecosystem can look kind of like a building from far away. But also it has to be flat so how does that look? And then how do we make these buildings and everything just gel well together? So that’s the biggest thing we’re tackling right now.
Back in the Studio
CR: There you go. So as we mentioned last week we are still working - been working - quite hard on ArcCorp and having a little extra time also helps with us working on some of the … some of the challenges to make planet work as well as possible. Because it just gives the Graphics department a little more time to work with the Art department and really try a lot of different things. So some really cool stuff ‘cause Arc Corp is essentially a whole planet covered by buildings and industrial structures. So it’s not the same as a organic planet like Hurston would be.
So… but I think it’s going to be really cool and it will be the next stage of people flying from one planet it to another planet.
SG: Alright. And that’s about it for us today. We’ll have two Thanksgiving themed contests running over the weekend so look out for the details on those tomorrow on Spectrum. Also Around the Verse will be taking a short break as in the coming weeks we shall see some ship-centric video content released along with our Anniversary Free Fly event.
CR: We’ll be back December sixth. Now remember to tune in to Reverse the Verse tomorrow live on Twitch. A big thank you to the Subscribers for sponsoring all of our video content.
SG: Yes and another big thank you to the Backers …
CR: Thank you very much.
SG: … for continuing to support our development. Until next time, we will see you …
Both: Around the verse.