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Around the Verse: Making mobiGlas Matter Written Thursday 10th of August 2017 at 12:00am by Desmarius, StormyWinters and

As per usual, anything said during the show is subject to change by CIG and may not always be accurate at the time of posting. Also any mistakes you see that I may have missed, please let me know so I can correct them. Enjoy the show!

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

Burndown

  • 90 issues must be fixed prior to release to non CIG testers and are categorized as blocker, critical, high, moderate and trivial
  • QA loves it when new features come online so they can tell the developers that their babies are ugly and make them cry
  • A bugged up example that was created by the implementation of rotating planets was waking up backwards and passing through the geometry of Olisar when spawned
  • There are 10 pages of checklists that need to be covered by QA for the 3.0 release
  • QA has several reviews a week due to time zones being a thing and while having tech design very handy in the UK their discussion is usually on an hourly basis
  • QA finds ways through difficult testing and bugs to have amazing experiences together
  • There's still a lot of rough edges that need to be smoothed out, like boxy Rover wheels
  • One QA specialist thinks that their newly bought Rover might actually be quite used
  • A ship bug is commonly troubleshooted by testing all the ships in the same manner to resolve whether it's the individual ship, the manufacturer or etc, and a note is attached for easy access and follow up by other testers
  • The falling animation seems to be a particularly heavy bug at the moment
  • QA is a lot like omelette making as it requires scrambled eggs
  • Sometimes fixing issues creates others, but so far 12 have been resolved
  • Check-ins or changelist into Perforce represents the work of devs in the Revision Control System with 1,892 just this week through the company
  • The numbers are high due to continued use of the game dev branch for 3.0 which currently has 3,676 open items which should dwindle over the coming weeks


mobiGlas

  • A UI team feature that has been overhauled is the mobiGlas to be more akin to a desktop OS

  • Render to Texture made this much easier without having the need for writing tons of bespoke code and allows it to be viewed across many different kinds of ingame displays whether 2D or 3D and in a more realistic manner

  • The UI will be designed to match environmental archetypes such as clothing, architecture, technology and culture as an example 3D holograms will be in higher tech areas whereas 2D flat displays will be more akin to the lower tech ones

  • The mobiGlas, like today's smartphones, serve as the primary access for game mechanics, transactions and player communication

  • mobiGlas home screen widgets manage mission contracts, customize player loadouts, view maps, etc

  • mobiGlas also serves to keep you informed of your character and environmental status

  • Since they redesigned the function of the mobiGlas they went ahead and revamped the model as well going with two different much smaller and thinner models (military and civilian) that work better with the multiple components of clothing and armor while still always being viewable

  • Jeremiah Lee illuminated the 3D concept easily and quickly for the mobiGlas model redesigned

  • The redesign took into account the modular aspect of Star Citizen with widgets being customizable to your specific functionality, personality and for bling

  • A diegetically projected UI is used so that not just the player can see it, but others around can as well with a visual connection that promotes immersion (not to be confused with Dianetics)

  • A diegetically projected UI is a boon for creating a VR capable game, but does cause a little loss in flexibility and control by the designers especially when changes are needed

  • mobiGlas differs from traditional UI in that they tried to make it as diegetic as possible, make it look like a real object in the world and not just sitting on top of the game world

  • Tried to stay to simple line art, shape language, basic colour schemes and compact information light layouts

  • This takes the combination effort of not just the UI team but animation, audio, VFX

  • Audio’s focus was not to break the immersion of the player so they created a soundscape whenever you bring the mobiGlas up

  • They wanted to give the player the feeling of using an actual electronic device

  • Your character needs to be aware of the UI so it’s one of the reasons they opted to have the arm visible on screen as the connection between UI and character

  • Starmap will use the same display tech as radar

    • They’ve done more iteration on it for new effects and to make it more visually impressive

  • Starmap is first implementation of the world display system which allows them to preview different kinds of data from different kinds of sources

  • Biggest code challenge has been trying to translate positional data of the worlds, get these big objects to fit into your small screen

  • Revamp of mission manager which is now named the contract manager and manages all missions between mission givers and the PU as well as eventually player created missions

    • App is split amongst a number of different screen flows: available contracts screen, pending screen, a screen that displays all contracts you’ve accepted, contract history screen

    • Later down the line they’ll add a screen where you can create your own contracts and post it on available contracts boards

    • Inventory manager will also be introduced where players can search using a specified filter or be sorted and searched amongst, this app will also allow you to transfer items from one cargo box to another or ship to ship as long as origin and destination are in same relative location

Full Transcript

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

Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hello and welcome to another episode of Around the Verse, our weekly look at Star Citizen’s ongoing development. I’m Sandi Gardiner.

Chris Roberts (CR): And I’m Chris Roberts

SG: On today’s episode we dive into the mobiGlas and show off the numerous features and functions you’ll be using in game.

CR: Yeah, we’re excited to show you the awesome work the UI team has done, but before that it’s time for our new segment called Burndown. In the run-up to 3.0 we’re going to provide you with a behind the scenes access to the developers as they battle various bugs and blockers currently affecting the release of 3.0

SG: Now let’s see what issues made this week’s Burndown.

Burndown With Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer), Vincent Sinatra (QA Lead). Timestamped Link.

Eric Kieron Davis (ED): Welcome to Burndown, our new weekly show dedicated to reviewing progress on issues blocking the release of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 If you saw our update to the Public Release Schedule last Friday, you should notice that we started this week at 90 must fix issues that we need to complete before we’re ready to release to our first round of non CIG testers. These 90 issues are our detailed lists with set priorities guiding the closed down phase of this release. The reason we need priorities is to help us understand which are crucial to be completed first. We currently use terms and definitions such as blocker, critical, high, moderate and trivial and identifying these issues all start with QA.

Vincent Sinatra (VS): So in QA whenever a new feature comes online, testers always lick their chops, because it means we’re really going to be able to do a lot of work. We’re going to be able to take someone’s special baby that they’ve been working on as a new feature for weeks and weeks and weeks, and we basically tell them their baby is ugly. We collect developer tears as we like to call it, because we’re able to fill the database with new Jiras which we may have noticed in the last couple of weeks when we took early looks at it, but now the gloves are off, and we’re finally able to bug-up everything.

Matthew Webster (MW): Done from QA on the 3.0 build which was tried to … was attempted to be done on Friday and also Saturday, but it seems there’s a crash on boot on the 3.0 build. That issue is set with Gordon at the moment, so once I get out of here I’ll follow up and see how that’s going. It didn’t from the … really from the comments on the bug it didn’t seem like a very particularly difficult one to fix up, so I just want to find out where we’re up to on that and get a new 3.0 build kicked off, so that QA can do a sanity check on it. That will be mostly checking to make sure that all the areas of the game load, that there’s nothing obvious missing like the entirety of the Stanton map for example or Port Olisar ... something like that.

VS: So, when we implemented rotating planets it really changed everything that was going on in the world, cause the helpers got turned around. So, what would happen was you would spawn in Olisar, and you’d end up going through the geometry of Olisar itself, because you were waking up backwards. Instead of coming out of the bed, you were going into the bed.

Justin Binford (JB): I feel the more serious open issues right now are memory related issues, various client crashes, spawning multiple ships simultaneously from the ship spawn terminal causes an undefined error, insurance and repair will deduct currency but not actually repair …

VS: That seems bad.

Mike Snowdon (MS): We got so many checklists per ... for 3.0 release. We got … I’m mean I’ve got probably like 10 pages of checklists that they’re very specific, and it’s just a case of all the red unticked boxes … we just want to get them all green.

Nathan Dearsley (ND): Primarily we have several reviews through the week, because obviously we work in several time zones and several studios, so they need to be a high level of transparency with what every department is doing. We’re lucky enough to have tech design in the UK with John Crewe and his team, so we’re pretty much speaking to each other on an hourly basis … me and my guys and what’s going on there.

John Crewe (JC): We’re testing it the other day in tech design as a group. Any of them though, the build we had, had absolutely no UI. We still had an amazing time as a group navigating our way round one of the asteroid fields trying to find a landing spot on Yela, and with no UI you had to do it by communication and just signals, so firing flares off, firing your weapons and listening for where everyone was, and that was quite an amazing experience.

Zane Bien (ZB): You know we’re just sort of neck deep in feature development right now. We’ve got a lot of the stuff done, but it’s still kind of real rough around the edges.

VS: Today we’re working on the Rover. Trying to make sure it’s got all the features that it needs to and make sure it’s behaving like it’s supposed to. Like currently we’ve got some vis areas with the wheels not quite working right. We don’t have the LODs hooked up to the tires, so it looks like it’s driving around on these big boxy wheels.

Unknown female QA: I was just like, “Hey, I just got my Rover, and I jumped in it …started riding around near Levski, and I hit a bump, and then my hubcaps fell off.” It just hit, so I just hit some collision. Looks like it’s …

Unknown male QA: Oh, they’re already detaching …

FP: Yeah, they’re already detaching. It’s not very visible …

MA: This was not as visible as the other one, but …

FP: … Yeah, …

MA: … you can see that they’re not …

FP: … but see they’re not aligned …

MA: … aligned anymore.

FP: Yeah. So, right here [Points at Monitor] and right here they’re not aligned anymore, but these are still fine as you can see. So, it’s a fun bug. It’s like maybe, maybe I didn’t buy this Rover at a … maybe didn’t buy it new [Both Laughs]

Unknown Speaker: Oh it’s not *unintelligible* by the end of the day. Let’s send out an E-mail to directors saying, “Hey, this is where we’re at with the Rover including the *unintelligible*  response. It making clear that if we do this Item 2.0 falls.

Ray Warner (RW): Generally when we do ship testing … the way that it’s done normally now days is test out one ship. You try it with the different manufacturer to see if it’s a game wide issue or if it’s just something to do with the manufacturer or it’s very ship specific, because we’ve got 50 ships in the game at the moment. Doing that with every single ship that’s just gone through a 2.0 conversion is excessive at best. So, I think all we can kind of hope for at the moment is to stick the issues in one by one and hope that their caught up, which is what I’ve just told Andy there, is to put a note at the bottom saying it’s not been checked and confirmed with other ships. So, people find it in another ship you can find that issue and then add it rather than trying to do it over and over and over again.

VS: Later on in the week we’ll probably going to be switching up to check animations such as the falling animations which have gotten a lot of attention lately. It has sort of comedic effect where you’d be stuck in a falling animation when you’re just jumping up you’d immediately go into a falling animation, would create a number of different issues depending upon where you were whether you were within a ship’s physics grid or you were on the station or you were on a planet or sometimes you could get stuck in a falling animation. Sometimes all the UI would be stuck in a falling animation.

ND: You’ll go through this process of things being kind of broken for an awful long time. You kind of work with that. It’s like the old saying goes, “If you want to make an omelette you’ve got to scramble some eggs”, right?

ED: Now we’re making solid progress on issues as they crop up, but there’s still more work to be done. We’ve currently knocked out 32 issues and added 20 leaving 78 remaining. As Vincent explained, “You don’t always know what’s going to happen when you bring features together”, but as we’re completing and polishing features those numbers will change dramatically. Sometimes higher. Sometimes lower.

Beyond our Jira tasks and our bug count another interesting metric we try to keep a close eye on is our check-ins or changelist into Perforce.  These represent the work our developers are doing and checking into our Revision Control System. Now in one week we’ve checked in 1,892 times across the entire company.

Now the reason that number is so high is because we are all still working in our game dev branch. Now this branch houses everything across both Squadron 42 and Star Citizen. Now we’ve already generated our 3.0 branch which currently has 3,676 open items which includes the 78 must fix issues, and we’ll begin shifting our developers over in the very near future. Then we’ll lock the branch down and keep a close eye on what needs to be fixed to make a stable release, the Burndown. Now once we’ve done that you’ll see this number dwindle week by week until we’re ready to release, and with quality as our top priority we’re going to keep pushing hard to this release out as quickly as possible. So, come back next week to keep up to date on the Burndown.

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

CR: So, hope you enjoyed that look at some of the issues that we’re currently facing in 3.0 Check back next week to see the progress we’ve made, what we’ve managed to burn down and if any new bugs have reared their head, which probably will have done.

SG: Now it’s time to lift our arm and open our mobiGlas.

CR: [Lifts Arm & Looks at Left Wrist]

SG: This important device will be your primary access point to many of the game’s features including the Star Map, inventory list, contract manager and so much more.

CR: That’s right. The mobiGlas was intended to fill the role most people’s smartphones occupy today. With that came a unique set of challenges and a lot of hard work, but as you’ll see the payoff will be more realistic and immersive game.

SG: For further details let’s check in with UI Creative Director Zane Bien and team.

mobiGlas With Zane Bien (Global UI Creative Director). Timestamped Link.

ZB: So as always there’s a plethora of features that the UI team has been working on. One of those features has been the mobiGlas, and we’ve been kind of overhauling that over the course of the past few months. We had done some preliminary concept work last year working closely with our assistant design team to design something that would assume something more akin to what you would find in a typical desktop OS.

However, what we really needed was a few key pieces of tech that would really make it worthwhile without us having to write a ton of bespoke code and functionality. One of those is what we call the Render to Texture tech and that’s something that the graphics team has been working on and providing us. So, we are essentially now integrating this tech with all of our UI across the board including the mobiGlas, so you’ll find this eventually in ship displays, shopping terminals, kiosks and so forth. So, the key effect that this provides us is that it enables us to render a 3D scene whether it’s a video comm call feed or an image representation of an item in game, but we’re able to render that on either a 2D screen or actually within a 3D holo volume.

So, in both cases it’s actually the same exact display tech being used. We don’t have to write bespoke code to display a UI or a 3D representation in a 3D volume versus a 2D one. So, this allows us to have things like 3D holograms of ships and minimaps and the Star Map and so forth rendered onto screens in game, and it looks much more proper than it would otherwise.

You know in our game we have a lot of different environmental archetypes that we need to account for. When you’re travelling across the universe you’ll come across environments that are more technologically dated and ones that are more technologically progressed. So, this extends to a lot of different things including their style of architecture, their style of clothing, the devices that they use, the goods and so forth, and for the UI in particular this affects us in that we need to design our UI based on that archetype, so in a more lower tech environment we can just display the UI on flat 2D panel displays. So, for a more technologically advanced setting that’s where we bring in our 3D holographic style of UI, and so the mobiGlas in particular is manufactured by this corporation called MicroTech, and they actually manufacture all of the handheld devices in the universe. So, naturally they’re very high tech, so you would find in the mobiGlas that it’s a holographic projection.

So, the mobiGlas assumes a very crucial role on the universe as it serves as the primary access point to all the different game mechanics and transactions, player communication and so forth. So, it’s sort of akin to what we have in smartphones in today’s world. That’s basically what mobiGlas is in Star Citizen, and that’s kind of how we designed it to be in the Persistent Universe. You know you have a home screen, which has various widgets which provide you at a glance information, but we have all these dedicated apps which serve very specific purposes in the game world. Things like managing mission contracts, customizing your loadout, viewing maps and so forth and so on.

It’s designed to be this very direct link to your player character as well as the surrounding environment, so if you want to more information about yourself or the outside environment, that’s what you would infer from the home screen widgets. So, if you wanted to check what is my current oxygen level or what’s the current atmospheric composition outside or the atmospheric pressure, is it safe to take off my helmet, is it safe to walk around outside without a suit, and if not do I have enough oxygen to make it to the next destination or where I’m trying to get to ... It’s like what is the state of the health of my character? Am I hurt in any way? Or what is the state of my mission objectives that I currently have tracked? How much money do I have?, and all of these questions can be answered through the use of the mobiGlas.

Josh Herman (JH): Because we’re doing all of this new work on the mobiGlas and the screens and stuff, we really wanted to also upgrade the model a bit. The mobiGlas is essentially a watch and it’s a completely different element than any of the screens or any of the buttons that you actually push on it, so in that way we had a little bit of free reign, but we also wanted to make it … we knew that we wanted to make it smaller and more streamlined, so that it could fit with everything and we didn’t have to adjust too many of our other assets, but we also didn’t want to reign in and constrict ourselves for later too, so that’s why it got much smaller.

The mobiGlas model that you’ve seen for a long time is getting a little old, and we wanted to update it with not one version but actually two versions. Because, as you’ve seen in some of the previous character videos before, we’ve been updating our modular system for all our clothes and our armor, this meant that the mobiGlas is going to have to change as well. Because you have all these different version of jackets and shirts and things that are going to be able to take on and off and show, the undershirt or maybe the overshirt or a jacket or a suit, it really needed to fit and be an all in one solution.

What we would did is we made the new mobiGlas much thinner and much smaller to accommodate that. We didn’t want to go through … running through any of these weird tech restrictions where maybe you have a jacket that covers the mobiGlas and to see that you’d have to pull the sleeve back and that gets … just gets really complicated. So, we want make sure that the players can see the mobiGlas at any time.

It wasn’t that complicated to do. It was mostly a little bit of a redesign. Jeremiah Lee, one of our concept artists here, did a 3D concept so we could really easily and quickly see it. The civilian mobiGlas is the one that you’ll be wearing in clothes, and then the military version is going to be the one that you wear in your undersuits and your armor. Something that’s a little bit more rugged, and it’s going to be for combat use.

So one of the biggest challenges on doing the new mobiGlas was the modular system from the clothing and the armor. So because the modular system is the main reason we had to redo the mobiGlas, we had to go through all the different options of the different types of clothes. You’re going to be wearing long sleeves and jackets and undersuits, and that was where we really figured out that something that was thinner was going to be better than something that was thick and bulky, but also where we realized that some of our current assets might have to be adjusted. If we’d made it really thin and it fit with some assets that was great, but other ones might have to be pulled back so you could see it all the time. We really want to make sure that it’s available for access, because it’s cool to see, but also it adds a little bit of a level of detail where everybody’s wearing one, and everyone has them up, and everybody is eventually going to be able to customize them to show how much you’ve spent on your mobiGlas or how expensive it is or what brands you’ve got.

ZB: We want to make each application very robust for the specific functionality that it’s meant to serve in game, but on top of that we want to introduce the ability for players to personalize his or her mobiGlas such that it’s more contextually relevant to his or her common tasks that another player might not actually care so much about. So, for instance on the home screen you have all these different widgets that you’ll eventually be able to customize as we start adding more and more functionality in game than we would kind of fit … be able to fit on the homescreen,  so that’s kind of the idea behind that.

So fundamentally the mobiGlas is a diegetically projected UI, and what this means is that the UI is meant to be seen not by just you as the player, but also as is meant to be visible by your ingame character as well. So, basically your player character is aware of the UI just as you the player are aware of it through your screen. We do this for a couple of different reasons. One, is because the fact that we retain the visual connection between your player character and the UI makes it much more immersive to use.

Because we will be a VR capable game, we’re kind of forced to project the UI in 3D space, because otherwise it just wouldn’t work. You know in the traditional flat 2D menu you just wouldn’t be able to read it, so you need to project it at some sort of distance away for it to actually be usable, so we sort of do that from the get go, and that’s always been our driving paradigm in UI design. In general for all of the advantages that a diegetically projected UI has, we as UI designers lose a bit of control and flexibility in terms of being able to adjust the UI. The UI in general is at the mercy of the display geometries and animations and so forth. So, if we need to change something it’s not necessarily as easy as just adjusting something on our end and calling it resolved. We actually need to work really closely with the other departments to ensure that the UI is usable. So working with animation, working with the art teams and working with gameplay engineers to make sure that the user experience isn’t hampered negatively

Treavor Wernisch(TW): So in UI design you can only subvert player expectations so much before they find your UI clunky, frustrating or unuseable. Something we absolutely don’t want in our game, a good rule of thumb we use is that you should only be focusing on and changing one unique angle of your UI to ensure that the core components of the rest of the system remain understandable and within the expectations of the player.

So what I mean is that the main thing you’ll see with the mobiGlas that differs from traditional UI systems is that we made it as diagetic as possible, making sure it was immersive and stayed garnered in the game world. So things like attaching it to your wrist movement, tilting it back a little bit and adding visual effects to make it look like a real object in the world and not just something sitting on top of the game world.

The visual design style and user experience of the interface itself, while interesting is fairly straight forward. Simple line art and shape language, basic colour schemes and compact information light layouts. Again this is because we felt if we created an overly unique visual style coupled with the diagetiness already it would be kind of like a sensory overload and would actually inhibit useage and useability. As with all UI especially in gaming, that’s the goal we’re always trying to strive for. How can I make something visually interesting and unique, fun to use but also make it immediately understandable to a new user.

Putting in the UI in the game world comes with a unique set of challenges, it’s not just the UI sitting in a silo and it’s on top of the game and it’s an afterthought. It’s something that needs to be integrated with animation, with audio, with the VFX team so it’s super rewarding to work with all those different teams and be able to build a system together instead of just working with the UI team alone.

Matteo Cerquone(MC): What we do in terms of audio is obviously not trying to break the immersion that the different parties have put into work but instead we try to enhance that player experience by addressing them sonically. So one of the first things we did was basically sitting down the Zane and we went through different concepts that were done for the mobiGlas as well as listening to different references as well as music. As we wanted to create a soundscape whenever you bring the mobiGlas up so we could immerse the player in a more suiting stage.

What came out of the meeting was that we wanted to keep the player not just the feeling of using sci fi tool like sci fi futuristic tool, we also wanted to give the player the feeling of using an actual electronic device. So visually we would have a screen flickering or different images distorting every now and then so in order to address that we used coiled pick up microphones and what’s really particular about these microphones is that they do not reduce soundwaves into an electric signals but instead we’re able to capture those electromagnetic fields created by electric devices so you could actually hear the hard disk of our computer working or you could basically hear your mobile phone working under the hood and things like that. That really helped us bring that extra layers of reality when adding them to more synthy tones.

One of those challenges was basically trying to immerse the player into a different state, like usually when you are in a specific area you will hear ambiences, you will hear while different things happening around you. Again we also wanted to create something like another state like a soothing moment whenever using the mobiGlas so creating a soundscape like an overall ambiences for that it was something that I’ve trying to redo and redo a few more and more times just to basically try to make it more interesting and relaxing.

ZB: So another challenge is that because we’re a first person game we don’t necessarily see much of the character in frame except for instance if you were to look down at your feet. I mean at the same time we need to be able to make it apparent that your character is aware of the UI, so how do we do that. That’s one of the reasons we’ve always opted to have the arm visible on screen, is because that’s the visual connection between the UI and the character.

So the interesting thing about the Starmap and where we want to take it in the future is that the Starmap will actually be the same display tech being used for the radar. You can sort of think that the Starmap as sort of like a Google Maps of the Star Citizen universe, it’s basically we eventually want to make it where by you can zoom in far enough and it basically turns into a radar in a ship or your surroundings like who’s around me if I’m in first person.

We’d initially showed off the Starmap as Gamescom last year, which was basically to be able to quantum travel to a location but since then we’ve actually iterated on it heavily. We’ve done a sprint for the Starmap which involved VFX, gameplay engineering, audio and so forth to really drive this UI to the next level. So we have all kinds of new effects in the Starmap, we’ve iterated on the user experience of the Starmap and made it much more visually impressive than it was even a few weeks prior.

Leo Vansteenkiste(LV): The Starmap is a first implementation of the world display system, the world display system basically allows us to preview different kinds of data from different kinds of sources. So these different kinds of sources could be radar, navigational data, could be ships, people on your radar, could be celestial objects, could be all kinds of data. The thing about the world display system is that we can preview it and zoom in on it, zoom out of it, rotate around it, display it so we have a whole view of whatever we want to show. The Starmap is a really good implementation of it because it shows planets, star systems, galaxy… you can zoom into stations, stuff like that. Later on we’ll be able to show area information, minimaps even implement radar into the same Starmap so if you zoom in you’ll see radar data like blips of different vehicles, different ships on your radar. If you zoom out you’ll be able to see the navigational data of celestial objects, for example a star or your planets, moons and that’s the basic of the world display system.

For the Starmap, I’ve been mainly involved in working on the polish of the Starmap which involves getting some good navigation inside your Starmap so if you zoom in, zoom out, if you rotate yourself so it feels right… feels very smooth and feels like the user experience is right for your Starmap. I’ve also been working on the animations, like little animations like when the Starmap pops in, everything zooms in. It feels kind of animated, gives it a little bit of an extra edge on the Starmap and visuals. So the visuals I’ve been working on as well as like adding some kind of backdrop lines and different kind of stuff to make the Starmap look better. The biggest code challenge for getting the Starmap to work is kind of translating the positional data of the worlds. So your planets are somewhere in this large universe and these have to be kind of translated into this very small screen, it’s a very basic game kind of problem but it’s kind of hard to get it right I guess because you have to work with transforms and the rotation, the translation and the scaling of your object. You have to make these big objects and kind of compress the into this small screen, you have to structure your code very well in order to get the results that you want like these big objects are these small things on your display.

ZB: We’ve also done a revamp of the mission manager app which we’ve actually named now the contracts manager and the contracts manager is the mobiGlas app which manages all missions between the mission givers and the PU as well as eventually player created missions. The app is now split amongst a number of different screen flows, the first one being the available contracts screen which is where you’ll be able to view all available contract opportunities within your particular area, view the details of each contract such as the reward and who it was posted as well as explicitly accept those contracts as well. We have a pending screen also which displays the particular contracts which have been sent to you directly via the game or in conversation, say for instance, you’re in a meeting with a mission giver like Miles Eckhart. Players can then accept or reject these contracts, you then also have a particular screen which displays the contracts you’ve accepted and from here you’ll be able to view all the dynamically generated list of objectives for each particular contract as well as track or abandon those contracts. A contract history screen will allow players also to review the ones which you’ve previously completed or failed.   

Later down the line we want to introduce another screen in the app which will allow players the ability to create their own contracts and post it on the available contracts board. Another application we’ll be introducing is the inventory manager which will allow players the ability to view all items that their character has in possession across the Star Citizen universe, from small antique coins all the way up to something more significant say a large capital ship. To make it easier to navigate amongst potentially thousands of items players can specify a filter and also items can be sorted and searched amongst.

Another purpose of this app will allow the ability for players to transfer items from one cargo box to another or ship to ship as long as both the origin and destination are in the same relative location. This app along with many others like the contracts manager and the Starmap will play crucial roles in aiding the various professions like mining, trading, transport and so forth.

As you can see we have a lot in the development for the upcoming release. A lot of new apps that we’re doing on top of the general overhaul of the mobiGlas so what you’ll see is basically a very initial feature set in all these different apps and we’ll be continuing to expand on this going forward. Introducing more robust features and more robust functionality for additional gameplay mechanics that will be eventually introduced. I’m kind of excited to get this into the players hands and seeing what they think of it.

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

SG: So in last week’s feature we highlighted how we’re using the render to texture to create holograms and comm calls in real time. Now you got to see it in use with the mobiGlas, it just goes to show how our new features are really coming together.

CR: Yup, they definitely are and one thing I’d like to mention is that I saw a few, ‘what’s so special? You can render to texture in lots of engines or even DirectX’ after we showed the show last week and my answer is yes, that’s correct if that was all we were doing but the key thing is our ability to open up an arbitrary number of secondary views onto the world and render them to a 2D texture or more importantly holographically into a 3D volume inside the main rendering pipeline and I don’t know any engine that supports the second part of what our RTT does. So lots of people cheat with tricks like placing a character model with a special shader directly into the scene to make it look like a hologram and that’s how a movie would achieve the sort of hologram effect you would see in something like Star Wars. We actually broadcast in 3D to a volume somewhere in the game and that’s super cool, so there you go. I digress, being able to diegetically render the mobiGlas interface inside the world including holographics versions of your character, ship or items instead of simply sending to a menu screen was a goal of ours from the beginning and I’m really happy that we’re getting there, it’s fantastic.

SG: Now say that all backwards super fast. That’s all for today’s episode, a big thanks to all our subscribers, your support is what makes shows like AtV, Bugsmashers, Loremakers and Citizens of the Star possible. There’s also a new Happy Hour game dev tomorrow at 12 pm Pacific, this time members of the Lore team join the show to discuss their process and ask you for help in crafting lore that could appear in a future post.

CR: That’ll be cool. Finally thanks to all our backers, making this game has been an incredible journey and still ongoing and one that’s only been made possible by your continued feedback and support so thank you very much.

SG: Thank you very much and until next week, we’ll see you…

CR/SG: Around the Verse.

Desmarius

Transcriber

When he's not pun-ishing his patients or moderating Twitch streams, he's at Relay pun-ishing their patience as a member of the transcription staff. Otherwise, he can be found under a rock somewhere in deep East Texas listening to the dulcet tones of a banjo and pondering the meaning of life.

"If you can't do something smart, do something right." - Sheperd Book

StormyWinters

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.