Eric Kieron Davis (EKD): And that was the winning entry in our recent MISC Prospector Commercial contest.
Sandi Gardiner (SG): Yes, very cool. Congrats to the creators NarayanN7, Usgard, and Gintenzo. Excellent work.
EKD: Yes indeed. A perfect introduction to another episode of Around the Verse. I’m Eric Kieron Davis.
SG: And I’m Sandi Gardiner. This week we’ll look at mobiGlas app improvements, mining the moons of ArcCorp, and building out the Stanton system. Plus Jared stops by for a ship pipeline checkup. But first let's go back to that Prospector commercial.
EKD: Recently we launched a contest to see who could come up with the best commercial for MISC’s dedicated mining vessel.
SG: The Community team had a really rough time determining the top three entries having received a supernova of stellar submissions.
EKD: Oo. Yeah this contest really shines some starlight on the amazing creative talents of our players. Make sure you head to Spectrum to check out the two runners up in all their glory, and take a peek at the other great submissions.
SG: Moving into development updates, work continues integrating navigation capabilities and route lists into player’s mobiGlas. Right now devs are figuring out best to indicate you travel distance and how much longer you can travel along your selected route without running out of fuel.
EKD: This is but a potential exploration of the earliest versions of this mechanic in the Persistent Universe. Let’s go to Rob Reininger for more.
Rob Reininger (RR): Route planning is the ability for the players to go into the Starmap and select any destination in the Starmap. And what it does is automatically create a “highway” to that destination. Think like Google Maps. You can pick any place in the world. It will automatically tell you where to turn - what points you need to go through - in order to get to that destination. So it’s very similar to that.
John Hayter (JH): Right here you can see a concept that I worked up about a month ago. This system will allow you to set a final destination and will automatically plot your route around various stellar objects. Additionally it will show you a list of all of the waypoints in your route.
Here we have this red section which demonstrates where you might run out of fuel if you have insufficient fuel to complete the whole trip. And then that is represented over here in the master waypoint-by-waypoint list - or jump-by-jump list. The green section represents the distance that you have yet to travel. And the grey area over here represents the distance that you have already completed. With your little dude located right here showing where you are - overall - in the current journey.
And so over here - on this screen - we have some of that work in progress happening right here. And so we set a route to a location. So as you can see this screen looks significantly different from this one.
And one of the things I am definitely looking forward to, with regards to this system, is that I’ve been playing Star Citizen for years before I came on the team - and I’ve only been here a couple months - but I’m eager, I’ve always been as a user eager, to see updates to the Starmap and I know there are a lot of other people out there like that. So I’m really looking forward to getting feedback about the functionality aspects that we’re putting in and how they are received, what kind of changes we can make to make this a really solid system.
EKD: Now work also continues on adding multiple chat group functionality to the mobiGlas, which will add to the social and group experience in the PU.
SG: Here we see explorations of Walla - one of the moons of ArcCorp - that we saw early concept art for a couple of weeks ago. These icy formations have led to discussions of new mining types beyond the ship based mechanics that are currently in game.
EKD: Yeah, it’s too early to confirm how these new visual cues will inform new gameplay mechanics of course.
SG: Yes, of course. But it’s fun to see how our designers key off conceptual efforts of the Environmental Art teams.
EKD: When we add new planets, moons, and other celestial bodies into the game world there are tons of different things to consider.
SG: Yes there are. It isn’t just as easy as plunking a planet into Stanton’s orbit. Multiple teams must collaborate to make sure the design works for both artistic and logistical standpoints.
EKD: Let’s check in with Luke Pressley for more on the process of building out a solar system.
Luke Pressley (LP): So when we started building out Stanton proper we realised that the first thing we had to do was agree on scale. There are maybe technical limitations on how big you can build planets. Maybe Art would like the moons to look more epic or the sun to look … ‘cause you’ve got to remember that the star is Art’s primary light for the entire level.
But it can’t just be an art piece because you’ve got to fly around it. It has to be consistent across the levels. The way we did that was by recreating our solar system using all the various scales.
So we ended up with planets and the distances between everything being one tenth scale and moons being one sixth scale - so moons are bigger - and suns themselves are just 1:1 scale. So when you’re, say, on Mercury you’ll feel like you’re right next to the sun.
So what you’ll notice in the Stanton system is that the sun is maybe twice as big as it was before. Crusader’s shrunken a little bit. But ... what you really notice is … with all the new stuff, like the first time that you’ve seen a planet and you’re seeing the sun through an actual thick atmosphere. You’re seeing it’s moons orbiting it. These things, hopefully, appearing a little sci-fi - Star Wars - scale as they go round rather than the little dot that they might - should - be.
SG: Jared is back in the studio and geared up with a ship pipeline update.
EKD: Let’s see what he’s got for us now.
Jared Huckaby (JH): Hey everyone, Disco here, back from his European adventure with another semi-weekly dose of ship updates for you.
To start things off: the F8 Lightning. Pride of the UEE Navy. Well it got an update this week. Now Chris Smith in our Austin studio stepped away from his work on the 300 Series for just a little bit to make updates necessitated by recent changes to the enter and exit animation templates. Primarily of which included, you know, raising the pilot position up within the cockpit. Now you’re not going to see the fruits of this change in the Persistent Universe until after the ship makes its debut in the upcoming Squadron 42, but I’ll take any excuse I can to showcase one of the more storied ships currently in our development.
What can I say? I like spaceships.
Meanwhile here in our Los Angeles studio work continues in whitebox on building out the Anvil Hawk - a bounty hunting ship that was first introduced to the Star Citizen community during last year’s holiday livestream. Last year’s holiday livestream, not the one we don’t talk about. Ever.
With the cockpit set work has moved into fleshing the unique exterior before it moves into greybox modelling sometime next month. The Anvil Hawk is being worked on by the same team that built my current favourite spaceship - the Anvil Terrapin - so you can be certain we’re going to be checking in on its development as it continues through the pipeline in the coming months. ‘Cause I love these guys.
Finally the Aegis Hammerhead continues barrelling its way towards its intended release in the upcoming Alpha 3.3 with working continuing on its VFXs and damage states. And I’m going to encourage all of you to tune in to Reverse the Verse live tomorrow at 9am Pacific - 4pm UTC - for the premier of the Aegis Hammerhead Ship Shape followed by and in-depth Q&A with designers and artists who are working to bring the ship to life.
Now it’s going to be your chance to have your questions answered live by team members and get your best look yet at the current state of the Aegis Hammerhead. And here’s a hint just to hold you over: not only did it get bigger - big surprise - but it also got an additional second deck too. So much room for activities!
I beat you.
So until tomorrow back to you in the studio.
SG: Thanks Jared. Finally we’re back at the scramble races. Recent adjustments to GravLev have been a gamechanger with this mission type. Here’s Ed Fuller with more.
Ed Fuller (EF): So the latest improvements we’ve made to the scramble race feature are ... we have improved the lights for all ground vehicles. We’ve improved the durability for the Cyclone’s wheels so that they stay on the vehicle and they don’t fall off so quickly. We’ve also made it so that GravLev are incapable of going into SCM mode so they can’t take off - they stay on the ground - it makes for a better racing experience. And we are working towards having the ability for passengers of Dragonflies to be able to help our their pilot by providing covering fire, and then also for the Cyclones for the passengers to do the same.
EKD: Those races look like they are shaping up to be really fun. And we can look forward to seeing them hit the PTU reasonably soon.
SG: Yes, Alpha 3.3 are gearing up to endure Evocati testing. Getting them into their hands as early as possible is an important step towards a wider PTU release.
EKD: Yes and as we mentioned last week on Reverse the Verse, this round of testing is a bit unique: we’ve split Object Container Streaming out to its own build. OCS is a big technical challenge that’s going to take more testing and attention than the rest of the features and improvements planned for 3.3.
SG: And due to our date based schedule it has been split out so it won’t hold up the release. That means Alpha 3.3 will be released on October 10th at CitizenCon with new ships, features, and gameplay. You’ll see things like FPS AI enemies for the first time and those scramble races we’ve seen in development making it into the game.
EKD: We’ll get OCS and all the content that comes with it - like Hurston and Lorville - live as soon as it’s ready via a dedicated patch we’re currently calling 3.3.5. You can look for that update on the Roadmap tomorrow.
SG: And that just about does it for this episode.
EKD: We’d like to thank our subscribers for sponsoring this and all of our shows.
SG: Yes and, of course, thanks to the backers for making the development of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 a reality.
EKD: That’s right. Until next time, we’ll see you …
Both: Around the ‘verse.