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Around the Verse: The Labours of Hercules Written Thursday 3rd of May 2018 at 11:07pm by Desmarius, Sunjammer and Erris

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)

Project Update

  • Work going into art stations and kiosks, including boot sequences and better animations.

  • Work also going into button location, tooltip info, and animations for mobiGlas

  • QT bug where ships would spin out on exit has been fixed

  • Work continues on streaming the QT process, especially for groups.

  • Lots of VFX work on both scanning and more particle effects

  • Hammerhead, Origin 600i, and Mustang rework have all had good progress

  • Props team have added more heavy machinery to the hangar prop sets.

  • Work is being done on a modular cable set, so that inner ship cables can be placed more efficiently.

  • Tech art team has prototyped a procedural prop placement tool, allowing prop layouts in rooms to be created quickly. The system will work on walls, decals, usable items, etc… and designers can use the tool to specify a volume of space to be randomized, which the tool will then fill appropriately.

  • A designer could spawn a table, with a volume for plates on top of it, and each plate has a volume for food, and food has a volume for forks and knives. Very customizable, supports ability to create elaborate variations.

  • Environment team continues work on Hurston and its moons.

Ship Shape

  • 300 rework is in design review.

  • 100i is concept complete

  • Orion is on hold, no current ETA

  • Carrack is in grey box.

  • 64 ships have gone through the pipeline, 55 left in it.

  • The new Crusader Industries Hercules Starlifter has 3 variants

  • M2 milspec edition, rated to transport military ground vehicles

  • C2 civilian edition, for large cargo

  • A2 gunship edition, meant to bring guns and bombs to any fight.

Ship Shape: Hercules Starlifter by Crusader Industries

  • Crusader Starlifter is a new ship, a new role, and - for the UK team - a new manufacturer

  • It is a transporter ship with a large cargo capacity (it can hold up to two tonks) and hefty firepower

  • Commercial Hauler variant: white, red and black livery, ramps front and back for roll on/roll off, four unmanned turrets, VTOL, standard interior

  • Military M2 variant: grey livery, more firepower in front, more heavily protected.

  • Gunship variant: four additional unmanned turrets but half the cargo space is convert to hold either four MOABs or a modular unit for bomblets.

  • It's about 100m long and 70m wide

  • Commercial Hauler has s3 and S4 guns; Gunship has several S5 guns

  • Started with about 30 sketches, developed two or three, took two into 3D and then CR made the final decision

  • The team has already checked/confirmed many aspects: dimensions, cargo capacity, components, ejection seats, player traversal, atmosphere, metrics, etc.

Ship Shape: Anvil Hurricane

  • The Anvil Hurricane hits capital ships hard with its four size-3 guns on it's manned turret

  • Long sweeping lines and a separated pilot and gunner differentiates this ship from other of Anvil's line

  • The Hurricane is no brawler and is best used in ambush and swarm attacks in wings due to poor armor and tremendous sustained firepower

  • Effort was taken to stay true to Anvil's style and yet visually differentiate it from its sister ships being more minimalist and giving the pilot the feeling of being the actual guns firing

  • The ship may be divisive in the community for being so powerful in the hands of a skilled pilot and gunner while being fragile

  • Classic match-up of firepower and fragility with massive sustained damage on target should make this quite different from the usual every day ship associated with dogfighting as well as the traditional bombers with a very aggressive feel

Full Transcript

Intro With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer). Timestamped Link.

Sandi Gardiner (SG): Hello, and welcome to another episode of Around the Verse, I’m Sandi Gardiner.

Eric Kieron Davis (EKD): And I’m Eric Kieron Davis.

SG: This week, Jared Huckaby brings us another installment of Ship Shape, with looks at the Anvil Hurricane and something new from a manufacturer we haven't heard from in a while.

EKD: You’re definitely gonna want to stick around for that. But first, let’s drop in again on Ricky Jutley, for your weekly dose of road-map goodness, and another Star Citizen project update.

SG: Show us what’s new for the PU Ricky!

Project Update With Ricky Jutley (Producer). Timestamped Link.

Ricky Jutley (RJ): Thanks guys, let’s get things started and take a look at the roadmap. The PMA / VMA has been integrated into the arts and kiosks. Working on a boot sequence planned for the Kiosk monitors, the intention is to animate the character shown on the kiosk to specifically show off weapons and clothing as the player is browsing through options. Wireframe for the shopping flow continues to be worked on.

Speaking of the PMA / VMA, mobiGlas improvements continue, with gameplay teams adjusting the arm position to better match the target, adding fade in and out to the loading screens, and integrating tooltips on the app buttons to reveal what each app is when you hover over it.

As a result of these adjustments, the button press is misaligned, and the animation team will be helping to get that back in line with the app projection graphics.

A quantum travel bug causing ships to spin out of control on coming out QT was recently fixed. Turns out the game was storing mouse moves made during the Quantum Travel process, and executing them all in short order upon exit.

And the gameplay teams have been working on streamlining the quantum travel process for better functionality and ease within the developing group system, with UI mockups for Quantum Linking almost complete, and calibration base implementation for the feature in progress.

Looking forward to future releases, VFX has been doing scanning R&D for visuals, and the way that the scanning grid is implemented in a cockpit. This is very early prototypical work, and the team is taking feedback from Chris Roberts and others into account as they continue to research and tweak the mechanic.

VFX has also been doing R&D on a very experimental particle spline emitter, that could potentially be used to create various space anomalies like aurora borealis, energy pulsing through the Coil, and more elaborate and diverse explosions.

The ship team have been looking at the interiors of the Aegis Hammerhead, performing color palette tests to determine which colour and lighting combinations work best, with early work continuing on the bridge, cargo room, and captain’s quarters.

On the Origin 600i, the exploration module is complete, and work on the ships’ escape pods and interior corridors is almost complete. As we finish designing the escape pods, the ship team is putting their heads together with design and animation in order to nail down how the functionality and animation will work with game mechanics.

Meanwhile, the rework of the consolidated outland Mustang line is ongoing, with the ship now in the final art stages.

The props team have continued their work on the hangar props, adding more heavy machinery to the set, to bring movement and live to the utilitarian hangars. The utilitarian material has gone through a polish, improving the wear to give a harsher transition between the layers of paint and surfaces that have accumulated over years of use and maintenance.

And here we see their work on a modular cable set, which has been white-boxed and handed over to the environment art team for validation, before taking them further through the art pipeline.

The tech art team has been prototyping procedural prop placement. Work is being done on different layouts to add variety to rooms. The systems can be used for decals on walls, exteriors, and usable items as well. When using the tool, a designer can place a volume in the environment, which can be named or tagged to indicate a prop or a collection of props to be spawned. The tool will specify the category, type of prop, dimensions, branding, and theme. The props are setup to allow a layered approach to these volumes, where a certain volume placed by design could suggest an object with smaller objects on top of it, which in turn specifies smaller volumes.

For instance, a designer could spawn a table which has a volume allowing for something to spawn on top of it. The volume could be tagged to spawn one of a variety of plates, which would also have a volume to spawn food. The food could also spawn something, like a fork or knife stuck into it. The tech can be applied to many different prop sets, and designers can increase the variation through creating more elaborate setups via prefab libraries.

The environment art team is focused on visual development for Hurston and its moons, set to be released in Alpha 3.3. Here we see recent work done on components for Lorville, Hurston’s main landing zone.

That’s all for this week, we’ll see you next time with more PU progress. Back to you in the Studio.

Back to Studio With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer). Timestamped Link.

EKD: That’s cool stuff Ricky, it’s gonna be really fun watching the progression of Alpha 3.2 features over the next couple of months as they really start coming together. Remember, you can always follow along with development yourself via our public roadmap on the website.

SG: That’s right. And, for an overview of the work done on the PU as well as Squadron 42 over the last month, check out Comm Links for our latest monthly report.

EKD: Yeah, we’ll have another project update next week. Now, who’s ready for a shipload of new info? Sandi?

SG: Yup, I’m ready.

EKD: Alright. Let’s go to Jared for our double-dose of Ship Shape.

Ship Shape With Jared Huckaby (Community Manager). Timestamped Link.

Jared Huckaby: Greetings Citizens, and welcome to another brand-new edition of Ship Shape, where we take a look at what’s on the ship pipeline, who’s working on what, provide interviews with developers, and sometimes, just you know, sometimes, I let people pick my new favourite ship in the comments below the video. And that, in turn, forces me to do something I don’t want to do.

I’m your host, content manager Jared Huckaby. Now, behind me, you see the ship pipeline. That’s the ever evolving, continuously refined network of phases, milestones, and review points necessary to ensure you the best possible spaceship or vehicle for your Star Citizen experience.

Like the 300 series rework, which is still in design review. It’s scheduled to resume its journey later this year.

We’ve also got the origin 100i, which we introduced in last month’s show, which is of course concept complete.

The Orion, massive mining vessel that it is, it’s currently on hold pending additional resources, that means there’s no ETA available for that at this time.

Also, absolutely nothing in Grey Box. Nothing to talk about there at all.

All told, there are sixty four different ships and vehicles that have already made their journey through the pipeline, and are now available in the Star Citizen Universe, with another fifty two on their way. Actually you know what, we’re going to have to make that fifty five after today’s show, that’s because it’s my honour to introduce to you, three brand-new additions to Star Citizen’s pantheon of spaceships.

Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, I hope it’s Aegis. Well, let me tell you fine citizen, at this point there are no more plans for Aegis ships for the remainder of 2018. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

So what is it then? Drake? RSI? Both worthy manufacturers for new additions. But instead we’re going all the way back to where my work with the ships of Star Citizen began. Yes, it’s time to reintroduce the world to Crusader Industries, and their brand new line of military-grade transport ships, the Hercules Starlifter.

Now whether it’s the M2 milspec rated to transport ground vehicles like the Cyclone or Nova tank into the thickest warzones, the C2 civilian cargo variant, meant to carry large-scale cargo as safely and securely as possible, or the devastating A2 Hercules gunship that’s meant to bring the pain down upon anyone and anything in its path, Crusader Industries is back and ready to make its presence felt in the Star Citizen Universe.

Let’s check in with the team members in our Manchester studio who are working to bring the new Hercules Starlifter to life.

Ship Shape With Paul Jones (Art Director), Corentin Billemont (Technical Designer), Michael Oberschneider (Senior Concept Artist). Timestamped Link.

Hercules Starlifter by Crusader Industries

Paul Jones (PJ): The Crusader Starlifter; this is a new ship, new role, and for me and the team - a new manufacturer. This is the transporter - military transporter - ship basically. It’s got quite a large cargo capacity: it can hold up to two Tumbril tanks - so that’s some hefty firepower that you can store inside it. And then we’ve got the three variants depending on which… what role you want to play and what’s… what piece of the game you want to take on.

So the base variant, this is more like your commercial… commercial hauler. It comes in the white, red, and black livery. Looks pretty cool. It has full cargo capacity. Essentially a roll on/roll off type of situation so has ramp at the front, ramp at the back. So we can just - like I said - you can roll tanks up and then roll them off. Comes with four… four turrets - essentially - unmanned turrets. Two on the neck and then two on the back. So it has… decent amount of firepower. Obviously comes with the VTOLs. Standard interior. So that’s split into two: you’ve got the main cargo section and then there’s a lift at the side that takes you up and then that takes you into the main habitation guts of the ship. So you can get from there into small hab zone and then the bridge .

Michael Oberschneider (MO): If it would be in our world it could be used by the UN, for example, to reach certain areas in danger: to supply the people or to help the people there.

Corentin Billemont (CB): After that we got the military variant which is the M2 Hercules. It has ??? one size three remote turret at the front. Which is just under the nose so it’s even more firepower at the front. It’s mostly the same ship we just... do we want the regular variant with more cargo capabilities or do we want the military variant which is more heavily protected and a bit more guns.

PJ: It comes in different livery; so it comes in the greys. And then we’ve got the full on gunship version which is… this is… does exactly as it say on the tin. I mean this is the full hopped up, full firepower. Comes with four additional unmanned turrets and also you lose half of the cargo space - so you still have a fair amount of space to bring stuff with you - but in that space you’ll have an option of using either some… the equivalent of MOABs - mother of all bombs. So you’ll have four of those that can be stacked - like it’s two either side - and they… at an angle and they just drop down through the floor. Or a modular unit for bomblets. So we’ve worked out, again, a small modular unit that they can… that we can slot in so you’ll have four of these so you and your buddies can run in, up the lift. Run to where your command station is, get in your chair, screen comes down, and then you’re essentially looking through the eyes of the gun. And then you’re all shooting away. So, yeah, I think that’s going to be... that’s going to be a pretty hefty one for sure.

MO: The gunship has the guns more focused on the bottom of the hull. Imagine it’s about … it’s almost 100 meters long, 70 meters wide. So it’s not a dog fight ship. You have additional seats where soldiers can control the guns. That’s quite nice. The interior design between the gunship and the basic version, for example, is quite different when you are in the cargo area because you have all the new equipment for the bomb systems. There’s also an additional seat in the cockpit area. The additional guns on the gunships, they changed the shape quite a bit. Because you have… it’s up to… well at the basic version we have S3 and S4 guns and with the gunship version you have several S5 guns.

PJ: So it’s always interesting to work on new… new manufacturers. New to us. Obviously Chris had worked early… earlier in the project and they’d worked on the Genesis Starliner which is more of an airliner just for… it’s for carrying people: passenger airliner. There’s already some existing art language - design language - for that. In Star Citizen now we’re generally trying to get things into quite different categories so you know, “Okay, that’s Crusader. That’s Aegis. That’s Anvil.” In the past we’ve had some crossover and… we’re trying to keep things quite separate where possible.

And so on this… there were just some… some key shapes that we’ve taken. It’s literally just… there’s a certain profile of that Starliner that is very similar that we’ve taken but… with the Starlifter it’s a different role of ship isn’t it? So we didn’t want it just to be a standard military carrier. So Mike’s done a good job of taking… taking the functionality and taking those initial styling cues that we wanted and then advancing it. And… that’s always the best part for a concept artist. It’s new. It’s fresh. They’ve got a lot more freedom to define things.

MO: As usual I like to start with just simple thumbnail sketches. Just black and white. And then doing the first versions of them. Selecting best solutions of the sketches - let’s say two or three - and then continuing with those. So it took two sketches into 3D. Made a rough concept work out of them and then there was a final decision between those two. And then… after you have the rough final hull idea of the overall ship and interior you go ahead with a bit more into detail. Not too much but, yeah, you start defining the shapes and how it fits with the interior. Continue with the interior and adjust the exterior and some until you can focus on buttons in the cockpit.

CB: We… we had some concerns at some points like, “Isn’t that too many guns? Isn’t that like too much firepower?” But we’ve tried to balance it as much as possible so that’s why the guns that are on the gunship are not facing forward. So, for example, a single player if he was just alone in his gunship it wouldn’t really make a big difference with a military ship. If you want to fly the gunship you need to have friends or AI with it so they can fire the guns towards the ground or towards the side.

It’s more in there to combat design. The guns are angled on the side but they are more angled a bit downwards as well. So obviously it’s not like real planes where live gunships will try to circle around the position because those are spaceships you don’t really have to circle around. But still you have to angle a bit to be sure you can hit this way or both ways at the same time.

PJ: I mean probably Mike probably did like, I don’t know, 30 - 30 or so - initial sketches. And then from those probably we developed another ten. And just building up. Building up. Building up. And my job is really to work with Mike to get us to a point where we’ve got a couple or three solutions for Chris to choose from. On this occasion it was dialled down to two. And, as Mike was saying, one definitely was more sci-fi. Both really good, like, strong … strong silhouettes, strong form language. And then it just comes down to Chris … what does he want.

The version that people are seeing now is the… is the version that Chris went with. And initially I don’t think we’d really factored in the VTOLs and they became a big feature of the ship. And we… as the design developed we still… reference back to the Starliner. We’ve still got the key things here that we want to keep.

The Starliner’s basically like a double wing. We haven’t kept the fan but I wanted to keep that double wing with the negative space. So you see that very much in the front shot of the vehicle. And again it was just keeping the hump of the head and the slender neck. And then a little bit of a hump at the back. Little bit of a spoiler. And then that… after that tails off into its own thing.

And with all these things it’s… it’s your… you’re in constant development. The next… the next one we’ll do will advance a little bit more. We’ll be like, “Okay, currently we’ve got these three things that we hang our hat on - that we always use - for our design. Now we’ve got these other two things now that we like that makes… that becomes part of the style guide. It’s always got to have these things.

MO: I think the biggest challenge for me was the pure size of it. When you compare it to the Hawk - which was the ship I did before - it was like this size, the Hawk, and now you have the Starlifter is like this. So, yeah. And then designing this in the same amount of time with much more content - it’s quite challenging, yeah.

CB: So obviously it’s not going to fly before a while but this is… we have the dimensions, we are sure we can fit two tanks inside. We can fit the specific amount of cargo units. We can check all the components inside. We can… will the ejection seats work? Will… the player be able to walk inside without any issues? Will there be any issues in terms of atmosphere? Will there be any issues in terms of metrics? So obviously all of this we already checked.

MO: I’m really looking forward to see the behaviour when it’s flying in atmosphere. How it changes from flight mode to landing mode with the VTOLs on the side because they’re … kind of separated wings which can rotate when it’s landing.

PJ: In a traditional, strict sense of what this vehicle would be imagined to be used for, yeah, it would be… would be that...  would be softening up the enemy. You take out their defences, then you can come in, land - with having that… with those large VTOLs you can land pretty much anywhere - unload your ground forces. So, yeah, we’re looking at… it can hold two Tumbrils but the community - who knows - will probably load up 200 people. Do you know what I mean? It’ll be like we… we don’t know what will happen. But, yeah, you could have an army - mini army - just roll off, roll out the back. And then… yeah, you’ll have clans who’ll have, not just one, they’ll have multiple. Also, yeah, just like in the promo shots we’ve done you could have, essentially, a task force coming in and just completely taking over somewhere and just blitzing it.

Back to Jared With Jared Huckaby (Community Manager). Timestamped Link.

(JH): Ramps in the front and back, cargo capacity enough to hold two immense Nova Tanks, size-4 guns, manned turrets, remote turrets, and a gunship variant all combined to make this Hercules capable of completing any labor set before it. That's a Classical Lit joke. Now you'll be able to get your hands on a brand new Hercules Starlifter from Crusader Industries when it's concept promotion opens to everyone on May 11th, but before we get to our next feature let's get a quick update on a few more ships making their way through the ship pipeline.

In Grey Box Phase the Constellation Phoenix is making it all the way to the Grey Box Final Approval Stage, and as you may have already seen from Sandi's social media accounts tech designers have already begun the process of hooking up things like the doors and the seats while ships like the Mustang, the Blade, the Eclipse and the Hurricane are all continuing their journeys through the Final Art Phase.

Now ships like the Hurricane are scheduled to come online with Alpha 3.2 with the end of this quarter. So let's check in now with some of the team working on that ship that introduce the phrase, “glass hammer”, to Star Citizen Universe.

Ship Shape With Elwin Bachiller Jr (Lead Ship Artist), Matt Sherman (Technical Designer). Timestamped Link.

Anvil Hurricane

Matthew Sherman (MS): The Anvil Hurricane is a hard hitting anti-capital ship type craft. It's all in the same kind of the shape and styling of a dogfighter you'd see with the Sabre or the Super Hornet, but it's strength really comes from being able to leverage the four size-3 guns on its manned turret against a larger target.

Elwin Bachiller (EB): What was interesting about the Hurricane specifically… it's got some… some shapes on it that aren't really common on many Anvil ships, so what you'll notice is that you've got sweeping lines that go from the nose all the way to the wing and some lines that go all the way from the nose over the back all the way to the tail. So you have the circle turret on the back, and you've got a lot of sort of flat shapes and vertical stabilizers. So the first thing I had to do was sort of approach the ship slightly differently than we do other Anvil ships. So you'll notice that the wing flows directly into the side of the body which flows directly into the nose. It was also really cool to work on it, because I was able to incorporate almost directly elements from other Anvil ships like the Gladiator. What's cool about this ship in particular is that we physically have separated the position of the gunner and the pilot so there's no conflict between the enter and exits between those two, but I was able to do a pretty refined sort of mechanism for pulling the seat up and then also ejecting out of the pilot seat. So it's got… it's got a rail that's separate from the seat and everything is sort of mounted together in a really cool way.

MS: The idea with this is you've got a pilot and a gunner team working in concert with each other where the pilot is finding and setting the best lines to give the turret gunner the longest on target field of fire to whatever they're attacking.

PJ: But on the flip side it's got sort of poor armor, poor shielding, so on it's own you know it's kind of a bit of a gamble how you'll do in a fight. If it's the classic you're coming out of the Sun and you take somebody by surprise chances are you'll just blow them out of the water. No problem. But if you are spotted then you're probably going to have some issues.

MS: So the Hurricane's turret is a bespoke setup that we've made just for this ship. Normally a turret is only going to have a pair of guns total on it. With this one we decided to make it a quad laser type setup so it's got two guns on either side of the turret. Just more throughput to it, and giving the ship the ample power and cooling throughput to actually handle all of those guns firing at full force as long as possible.

So we're adding the Hurricane, because we want something where you can get that swarm of fighters approaching, but that swarm is going to tear apart a large target. Think of it almost like a swarm of army ants or fire ants coming at a piece of carrion on the ground. They're going to pass over that and there's not going to be anything left but bones in its wake, and that's sort of the idea where you get a wing of Hurricanes working together maybe you put a Vanguard in to serve as a spearhead for that wing to take some of the damage from whatever target you're fighting, and you're going to put a tremendous amount of damage on whatever target you want to. They're not going to… not going to hold up that well on their own against sustained fire, but you put a pack of them together they're just going to shred things apart.

PJ: It's difficult, because you know that it's got to be part of the family and for players and for the community you want something slightly different, but it's where to push and pull, where to go wild or not, and so we sort of… there was a lot of hopping around on this one especially in the early stages, and I remember there was one key stage we hit where it looked really good, really solid, it was hitting all of the sort of key beats, and then yeah we kind of… ideally we should have just gone it would have been a nice straight road from A to Z, but you know we sort of meandered, and so when you sort of look at our initial sketch and the final sketch they're not really that far apart, but we did do a bit of crazy loop to get to there, but it's kind of… for me it's just part of the process. You know I personally want to… I want to make sure that we've investigated the options and not just plumped the obvious thing. I want to make sure that… let's look at something that gives it more of a fragile nature. Let's look at adding extra fins or taking off fins, adding a bit of more Gladiator influence or more Hornet influence and just see where that takes it. So there's always that process.

EB: So the cockpit on this particular ship is a little bit more minimalist than other Anvil ships. So we still have a bunch of buttons all over the place which corresponds to every system in the game, but for the most part the dashboard is very clean. We're not adding tons of detail in areas just for the sake of adding them on this one. We're keeping the player view… we're trying to keep the player view as clean as possible, and any details that we have are meant to mostly be functional. So the cockpit in this particular ship is a little bit more minimalist than your average Anvil ship, but the cockpit and the turret I think is extremely cool, because that thing you basically are sitting in a bubble surrounded by weapons, and when you start firing you can see the muzzle flash of each gun around you just going off. So it feels like you are the gun firing, and that thing is super cool.

PJ: You know we've got the style guide. You know here are the key things, the key beats, that need to be hit. We can do variety within those beats in terms of proportion and placing, but those are the things that are important to this brand, and so the ships follow that in terms of its line-work, you know the split lines. I mean the ship comes across as a little more… not complex… but slightly high-end manufacturing kind of abilities. It's a little sleeker in places, but generally there'll be familiarities in terms of what you see in the Gladiator and what you see in the Hurricane. I think the sort of increase in skill needed for the ship could well be a selling point. I think it'd be… I think it's going to probably divide the community. You know how people are like. I don't want to touch this ship with a barge pole, because I'm just going to get shot to pieces, and that'll probably be me. And then you're going to have players that are just like, “Yeah, I'm going to take this on. Let's see what we can do with it.”, and with that firepower, and there are other games which you can't mention but that have those sort of similar mechanics where you have just got massive firepower, and you just see… you take a chance. See if you can get away with it. Dare I say would you be the griefer? I'm not quite sure, but I think it'll be fun. Yeah.

MS: The benefit of the Hurricane over say a bomber like a Gladiator or an Eclipse against a larger target is going to be just sustained throughput. Ordinance – so missiles, torpedoes, rockets, anything like that – it's a finite supply on any ship that carries it. Laser blasts aren't as finite. As long as you've got a functional powerplant and functional coolers you can keep shooting, and so it's that sustained sustained throughput that's going to give the Hurricane its advantage in fighting these larger targets, because a Retaliator comes in, drops all of its torpedoes in a big salvo. We'll say anti-missile systems take out a couple of those torpedoes or one of the torpedoes manages to hit a fully shielded face. That Retaliator isn't going to wait 20 seconds, 30 seconds for its systems to cool down a bit and fire another volley. They're going to be out of ammo, whereas the Hurricane, okay, I messed up on one pass. Well the pilot can find a new line. We do another pass. Zip down the ship. Zip down the target. And keep just pushing out that steady throughput of damage on target.

The Hurricane definitely feels like it's the kind of ship that's going to appeal the most to teams of players wanting to pick on bigger targets. It can punch above its weight class, and then it gets hit once in a wrong spot and it's going to go spiraling a bit. It's a fun ship, but it's not the kind of thing you want to go picking fights with more purebred dogfighters in.

EB: Just take a look at the nose. I think it has an incredibly aggressive nose. There's a lot of detail on there. It looks like a really angry face, and I think that sort of reflects what it's supposed to feel like when this thing is bearing down on you. Just get out of the way man.

Back to Jared With Jared Huckaby (Community Manager). Timestamped Link.

JH: Let’s just call this thing the “pew pew” edition of Ship Shape. I mean, seriously, you can admire that ship from any angle but not the front. Do not get in front of that thing.

Now before we bring this edition of Ship Shape to a close I promised to do a thing. Last episode I said I didn’t know how to pick my favourite from among Star Citizen’s now 119 different ships and vehicles; and that instead I’d let the comments below the video decide a new favourite for me. Well in what some might have called predictable fashion, you fine citizens overwhelmingly suggested that my new favourite ship should be… the Carrack.

Now I was going to do this silly thing here but I figured you’d rather some real information about this - very popular - exploration ship.

So I don’t have much but what I can tell you, right now, is because the Reclaimer has been implemented in Alpha 3.1 a very small team of artists that worked on that ship - after finishing some other minor tasks we need them to, you know, do first - those guys will move onto the Carrack.

Now this small team is scheduled to do a couple months of what we call R&D where they flesh out things like the Anvil’s style guide - as it applies to ships that are much larger than something like the Hurricane - as well as adjust the interior design inline with everything we’ve learned since the concept was first introduced in 2014 which, let me tell you, is a lot.

Now when they’re done with those sprints the team will expand and work will begin proper on bringing this fabled ship to life.

So what does that mean timeline-wise? Well, while everything is still subject to shifting priorities and schedules work by the small R&D team is currently scheduled to begin … next month!

So does that mean we’re going to see the Carrack in 2018? It does not. At this moment it’s a 2019 ship and it’s not on the public roadmap that’s already available for first quarter 2019 so you should adjust your expectations accordingly. It’s going to be a long road to bringing the Carrack to life but since we get better at this with each and every ship we make I think you can agree… I think we can all agree the wait will almost certainly be worth it.

For Ship Shape I’m the guy that tracks all the ship stuff, Jared Huckaby. Back to you Eric and Sandi.

Outro With Sandi Gardiner (VP of Marketing), Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer). Timestamped Link.

SG: Thank you Jared. As mentioned haven’t seen a ship from Crusader Industries in some time. And the Hercules looks like a worthy follow up to the Genesis.

EKD: Yes, another big, useful ship from Crusader. Keep an eye out for more information on the Hercules and the upcoming concept promotion.

SG: Our Intel Screenshot contest continues and we’ve had a lot of really impressive entries so far. With Hasgaha taking home the prize in round one for his dramatic capture. Check it out. Check out Spectrum for a closer look at these awesome shots and find out how to enter for the chance to win your own Intel Optane 900P solid state drive.

EKD: And tickets are available for CitizenCon, and we welcome you to join us on October 10th at the Long Center in Austin, Texas. Check the offical CommLink for details and while you’re on the website don’t forget to enlist to get our Squadron 42 newsletter to receive project updates and development highlights from the game.

SG: That’s all for this week. Make sure to tune in to this week’s new Lore Maker’s Guide to the Galaxy for a tour of the Oso system; and Calling All Devs for answers about the planets Crusader, Hurston and more.

EKD: And don’t miss this week’s Reverse the Verse, live at 9am PDT for Q&A on the Hercules following it’s reveal on today’s Ship Shape. Thanks and, as always, to our subscribers for sponsoring all of these shows.

SG: Yes and of course thank you to all of backers: your support makes it possible for us to deliver truly remarkable gaming experiences.

EKD: So until next time, we will…

Both: See you, around the ‘verse.



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



For whatever reason, this author doesn't have a bio yet. Maybe they're a mystery. Maybe they're an ALIEN. Maybe they're about to get a paddlin' for not filling one out. Who knows, it's a myyyyyyystery!



Erris is Canadian. He does some random things for Relay, no-one really knows what, but still they're stuck with him. He’s also written one Young Adult novel that he can’t stand, which can be found here.

You can find him on Twitter too, if you want.