Sean Tracy (ST): Just when you thought it was safe to watch videos on the internet: Around the Verse is back! I’m Sean Tracy.
Steve Bender (SB): Howdy ho!
ST: That’s right ...
SB: Sorry I had ... I had to.
ST: … you are.
ST: I’m Sean Tracy.
SB: And I’m Steve Bender.
ST: That’s right you are. That’s fuh …
That’s right you are!
SB. Alright. Alright now … now that we’re loosened up …
ST: Alright we got that out of our system. Okay.
SB: … we got that out.
ST: The one and only.
SB: We l ove it.
ST: Yeah that’s what I’ll say. The one and only.
SB: [“singing”] Organisation.
ST: Alright we’re going to get it this time. Alright.
SB: Alright we’re starting.
ST: I’m Sean Tracy.
SB: And I’m Steve Bender.
ST: And for the next seven exciting day and eight romantic nights we’ll be your hosts.
SB: Oh yes we will Sean. And we’ve got some fun stuff on deck for today’s update. We’ll meet a member of the Hurston family, look inside Lorville’s central business district, and take a trip to Lyria. But first let’s see what the Community has been doing in game.
ST: The Citizen’s Coffee Company organisation recently held an event they called “The Coffee Cup”.
ST: Orgs affiliated with the Citizen’s Coffee Companies were invited to partake in the event. Two teams of 23 players each were given two start points on Cellin and two hours of game time. Their objective? Mine as much as you can with three MISC Prospectors and carry the ore to GrimHEX to sell for profit.
SB: The other twenty players on each team acted as security, duking it out all around GrimHEX. As you can see in this footage - captured by Marshal Quinn - the entire area became a battlefield. Pretty wild.
ST: Yeah. Really cool.
SB: Now on to development. Let’s head to Lyria - one of the moons of the upcoming planet ArcCorp. Environment Art is working out the various ecosystems along with the global pallet.
ST: Environment Art is also working on the Lorville Central Business District: a whole new explorable part of the city that includes the massive Hurston Dynamics building that looms over everything.
SB: Here are Jussi Keteli, Boy Sichterman and Stephan Dammrau to shed more light on what goes into bringing this new area to live.
Jussi Keteli (JK): Right now we are working on the Central Business District - the CBD for short - we all refer to it as the CBD - which is the Hurston family’s headquarters in Lorville, on Hurston. It’s a big expansion in terms of being very different place. So for us right now the challenge has been what’s CBD look like inside? Like we all know Lorville from the outside, but from the inside it’s a completely different beast. And it’s a chance for us to do something we’ve never done before with Star Citizen which is culture.
Everything is different. The materials are different. The architecture is different. The lighting. The feeling is very different. It’s not somewhere you go that’s been built by builders who are just cobbling things together, like just paneling there - functional - everything is just supposed to work. The CBD’s about the Hurston family showing off. We’re building essentially a family heirloom. The building itself is something which belongs to the family.
As artists how do we communicate this? What kind of people the Hurston family is? Our tools here are really contrast - where we want to pull you in from the outside - out of the gritty … the gritty world of Lorville - of L19 - and the city in general. And then pull you in and show you something extremely different. And for us it’s a lot of having these blocky - like Lego block - shapes which we usually have when we build - not just Star Citizen but most sci-fi is built in a very modular way. When I work with more … with things that flow into each other - things that communicate weight - which communicates elegance - like does there need to be gold everywhere? No but the Hurston family would do that - they’re that kind of family. And in general it’s about capturing a feeling of … of putting you in someone’s home rather than someone’s backyard.
And from the … from the train station, when you go up and we put you into the main hall we have this very, very nice transitional space which is meant to make you feel like … to put you in a very small space - to make it a bit claustrophobic - and then we send you into the main hall which is where you find the gigantic statue of Archibald Hurston and a lot of the weapons from Hurston Dynamics on display in cases and little plinths of obsidian around the room. As well as to the right you have the HD Showcase where you can actually buy all the Hurston weapons. Go and have a browse - it’s a very … it’s a very nice designed showroom. And on the left you have the transfers where you can do all your trading and there’s also a mission giver in there as well.
Boy Sichterman (BS): So, currently I’m working on the CBD Transfers. This room, it’s set up kind of like a bullpit. So, you have a lot of overhang in the architecture. It makes you feel kind of small and daunting I guess, to walk there and see all of this massive CBD structure hanging over you. The room is kind of split up into two areas where you have this main trading pit where the player will walk on the first floor and then you have the bottom floor where you can see the AI battle it out, same as in Wall Street or any other big trading area that currently exists. Then you have the room in the back which is the room of Mr. Constantine Hurston.
So, Constantine Hurston is a lower member of the family who wants to earn his spot higher in the family so he is working day and night to earn that spot and he is going to be the mission giver as well where you will get your missions from coming with this update.
Stephan Dammrau (SD): I am working on the HD Showcase which is in addition to the Transfers which Boy is doing. It’s the other shop in the CBD. The main point of this room is the equivalent of the space version of a car dealership. It has the Hurston weapons on display and they show them off and you can walk up to them and buy them. Obviously, it has been kind of an iterative process to get to the result we have now. What also was challenging was, just with this new art style we’re trying out, to get the balance right between details and big shapes. So, usually with the stuff we’ve doing earlier it’s been more about the detail on the architecture itself while with this one it’s having these really big shapes work together and more about the whole read of the environment and not so much about a tiny bolt somewhere.
So, for the showcase one of the challenges was because of the architecture of the room which in essence is one big block with the art style we’re going with, so it’s all merging together as if it were to be made of one piece. And the challenging part was to bring all of the different shapes together without them looking weird or awkward. For example, there are a lot of different angles running into each other and kind of just getting that work without the player feeling weird while walking in the room was a bit of a challenge.
What’s been really cool about the CBD is generally this different art style we’re doing now. So, before we had usually these more grungy, dirty places and CBD is kind of the other side - the other extreme. It’s a really kind of fancy - nice materials, big shapes, and not so much high frequency details but more the shapes and the materials speaking. So, it’s been a nice change compared to what we’ve done in the past.
SB: The props team is contributing to the Central Business District as well with some of the bureaucratic set pieces we see here.
ST: The new area will include a new mission giver, like Constantine Hurston! Here is Senior Character Artist Claudio Clemente with more on this new character.
Claudio Clemente (CC): So, Constantine Hurston is one of those characters here at Foundry 42 we have created entirely from scratch. He is a character who has to act like he is always working and he is trying his best to make a career in his own department. That is where we try to give that feeling while we are sculpting the model and actually finishing touches with textures and materials.
When we start with these kinds of characters, we have to start from a proper 3D scan that gives the perfect volumes based on the photoshooting of the actor. We try to keep the resemblance with the actor as constant and as high detail as possible but unfortunately the 3D scan has a limited amount of details that it can reach, so what you can see is that even after we have made a 3D scan, the detail is washed out and what we try to achieve is implementing all of those details that we are not able to achieve with the 3D scan. That is where this starts to become a really long process of tweaking in order to sculpt all of the details that are actually missing, especially because we want these kinds of relief details to overlap the colour textures but as you can see, the quality becomes really sharp and really detailed. Once we have done this, we have to create the proper missing channel of texturing what we have is the scanning details of colour that comes out from the photoshooting which is still imperfect because it contains a lot of information and a lot of noise that is due to lighting environment and the bruising and scratches on the textures.
What we try to arrive at is something like this, flattened down result with sharp details and a perfect amount of balancing between the details of the textures and all of those irregularities that we try to remove in order to make the character to look more natural and fresh. The final result is something like this. We have our setup of lighting and with the help of the shader that we have created, we can actually verify that everything is working accordingly - even the translucency in the ears and the greasiness of the skin. Once everything is done, this is moving to another department that are actually implementing the animation - the bespoke one that has been created for this character. We will apply the hairstyle that has been created specifically for him, a costume, and he’s going to be set inside the game - and that’s it for what concerns this character.
ST: Thanks Claudio!
SB: Well, it looks like we made it through another one Sean!
ST: Just by the skin of our teeth, barely.
So, tune in to a new episode of Reverse the Verse Live tomorrow on Twitch where John Crew will be answering many ship-related questions that weren’t answered in the anniversary roundtables.
So, thanks as always to our Subscribers who sponsor all our shows…
BOTH: So, until next time… we’ll see you... AROUND THE VERSE!