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Around the ‘Verse – Episode 41 Written Thursday 23rd of April 2015 at 01:32pm by Nehkara

Hello fellow Citizens!  Check here for Episode 41 of Around the ‘Verse! Around the ‘Verse GIFs and Images http://i.imgur.com/rdU1ywF.webm http://i.imgur.com/6yuvq4x.webm   Transcript by Erris Empire Report – No Empire Report this week. Around the ‘Verse...

Hello fellow Citizens!  Check here for Episode 41 of Around the ‘Verse!

Around the ‘Verse

GIFs and Images


Transcript by Erris

Empire Report

– No Empire Report this week.

Around the ‘Verse

– Free-fly for racing ships ends tomorrow.

– Go to the forums, let them know what ships we want to fly next.

– Alpha 1.1.2 has a tutorial mode, sets the stage for Star Marine.

– Lots of backend work going into this – they’re getting the servers ready, and there’ll be another stress test in the future.

– Tutorial mode is great.  Teaches new backers how to fly.

– Happy Birthday, Ben!

The Spectrum:

Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick with Eric Kieron Davis

– Eric is a new Senior Producer

– Working on Shotgun implementation in the studio.

– Shotgun is a resource management tool for ships and such.

– Ploughing ahead with the Hull series; Calix is working on it, and it should be showcasable soon.

– That’s it for this week.

Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chuck Brungardt

– They’ve been focusing on Sataball a lot lately because it’s the proving ground for everything they’re doing with zero-g movement.

– Working on a lot of weapon balance – firing, breathing, things like that.  Now they’re refactoring the CryEngine hint system?  Helped Recoil go a certain way.  Cry-Engine’s old system had recoil be pretty set in its motions.  It’s a dated system for doing recoil, so they’re rewriting that.  They’ll be doing a more ‘modern’ system.  Finding out what works best, but it’s being worked on.

– Audio system will be switching from FMOD to Wwise, which will allow a much better-sounding soundscape in FPS, and in the game as a whole.  Reverberations, echoes, etc… will be really cool.

– That’s it for this week.

Austin – Jake Ross and Brian Brewer – lead animator

– Animation team are currently reworking the male skeleton to fit better with motion capture, especially the data from Imaginarium.

– Almost finished, getting ready to retarget the 2000+ animations in-game already.

– Working on ‘Grabby Hands’, the ability to go somewhere, pick something up, move it, put it down, then pick up what you put it down on… you can literally open up a crate, look at stuff, put it in the crate, put the crate in your ship, fly to another system, and then open the crate and it’ll be in there.

– With Grabby Hands, we’ll be able to decorate our hangars and move stuff around.

CIG UK – Lee Banyard and Stefan Rutherford

– Recently went down to a place called Pinewood Studios, a world-famous post-production facility (mostly for movies, but also for games).

– While there, they were coming up with sounds for FPS.  Sounds for armour types and such.

– They’ve done sounds for a bunch of different characters; for the heavy marine, they shook some metal lugs to make a sound for the heavy plate armour. Thick hockey gear was also involved somehow.

– Working a lot on gun sounds as well, setting them up in Wwise

– They’re hoping to put a lot of detail into the environments.  Guns are so loud they sound different depending on where they’re fired, so they’ll be capturing the sounds of guns in lots of environments.

10:45 – Fan AC video

Subscriber’s Corner – Flair update from Behaviour

– With Christine Marsh and Dave Richard (Chelsea said David, but if I write David, I have to take a shot).

– Christine Marsh is the Lead UI Designer at Behaviour, Dave Richard is the lead Game Designer at Behaviour

– Fan questions:

– Helig asks: There are some really interesting hangar flair pieces.  Do you decide what hangar flair pieces get created?  If so, where does the inspiration come from?

– Lots come from teamwork with CIG, some ideas come from the forums and such.  Inspiration comes from all over the place.  Behaviour devs have hangars too, so it’s things they think of that they want to see in their hangars.

Vox R asks: What methods do you use to create the in-game flairs?  In the case of ships, are they just scaling down already existing models, or are there modifications so they fit?

– The Hangar flair dev process: Design figures out what they’ll make.  Once that’s done, it’s sent to concept, who do some sketches.  Then that’s sent to the art team, and they develop the models.  When it comes to the mini ships, the art team does an optimization pass, reduces polys, reduces texture sizes, shrinks it to a miniature size, removes the interiors, etc…

– They’re then placed inside the cases, to make sure the design doesn’t stray from the original design.  Then there’s a lighting pass and it’s released.

– Also, with flairs, they can sometimes be ahead of the curve in terms of what’s in the universe.  Behaviour are currently designing the Xi’An flair, and they have to make sure it fits in universe in the future as well.  Apparently the Xi’An planet is very cool.

Steve Hunter asks: Of all the subscriber flair stuff you have worked on, what was the most fun for you, or the most satisfying?

– Dave has a couple: The locker was fun and had a big payoff.  It’s fun to see that the community tries to find the secrets (there are some we haven’t found yet).  The Takuetsu ship models, and the fiction around the company and the boxes are also fun.  Also the liquor cabinet.  We can’t see it yet, but once we get mobiGlas, there’s lore built up around each of the spirits, and it was an achievement to build the flair, there were lots of mechanics that didn’t exist before they built it.

– Christine’s favourite is the fish tank.  She likes the space crab.  The whole process of how it developed, asking what an alien space crab would look like, was pretty cool.

Gahrian asks: What are the limits for the flairs?  I understand it should be fairly easy (not time-consuming) to make them, but do you have specific limits?

– There are definitely limits.  The more flairs they add, the more of an impact there is on performance.

– The art team are very talented – they keep things at the minimum for performance, while maintaining the quality needed.

theyarecomingforyou asks: In the future, when some people have hundreds, possibly thousands, of flair items, how will that be handled with regards to performance?  If there is a limit will users be able to customize which items do and do not show in-game?

– Dave – That’s an interesting question, and we’ve been talking about the Room system for a while.  We’re working on it, and it’ll be coming in the future.  When it comes, you’ll be able to add rooms, pick up flair, move it from room to room, so there’s no real limit here.  The fact that you can place them how you want, it’ll create a good dynamic, and mean there shouldn’t be limits.

– Next month’s subscriber flair preview

– A new collection – the Pugliese? collection (Okay, I owe Behaviour another shot I think).  You’ll have a piece of Illis, a planet destroyed by its moon.  The collection is all sorts of space ‘oddities’ that you can collect and add to your hangar.


Ben and Sandi

– Sandi can’t wait to get her space plant.

– She wants more than one space plants.  A whole row of space plants.

And now, a talk on Game Balance: Matt Sherman, Technical Designer, and Mark Abent, Gameplay Programmer

– Matt – We’re here to talk about our plans for a physically-based damage system.  One of the issues with balance right now, all of the components and weapons are hand-tuned values.  We need to make sure the damage system is as physics driven and real as the rest of our ships.  To do that, we’re shifting over to a physically-based damage system.  So, Mark, what’s that going to mean for, what each shot’s becoming now?

– Mark – As Matt was saying, before, all of the damage was, ‘we’re going to make this this and this’ – no reason, it just felt right.  Now, bullets are kinetic energy.  Depending on how fast they’re going and the mass, that’ll be the damage.  So if you have a 9mm and you’re shooting a Hornet, the Hornet’s gonna brush it off.  If you shoot another Hornet at a Hornet, it’ll recognize something it it.  And how fast you shoot that second Hornet at the first Hornet will determine if it just bumps it, or if it bursts it into a million pieces.

– Mark – We’re also doing something with energy weapons, where it’s not based solely on velocity, but it’s also based on the energy density of the projectile.  That means these projectiles when they hit, they won’t lose their damage when they slow down, but you get some interesting properties with those.  Shields will treat them differently.  Kinetic will pass through shields, maybe slow down, but energy will hit the shield, and get absorbed more.

– Matt – Getting to clean it all up is going to be nice.  They’re going from a bunch of abstract values on things to a nice, clean, unified system where everything plays together.  A ballistic weapon – you’ll be looking at what the mass of the shot is, and at how fast the shot goes, and that’s going to be the big thing you’re looking at to find the force you’re using to shoot the ship.  For an energy weapon, it’ll be the power consumed per shot, and the heat generated, to create that force, so you’ll easily be able to know what’s causing your weapons to behave differently, but now on a nicer, physics driven system.

– Matt – Thanks for sitting with us for this quick look at our new physics based system.

– Mark – Hope you guys enjoyed that talk, and we hope to have a post up on it soon.


Ben and Sandi

– Working on balance for Star Citizen is one of the most important things they do.  It’s a constant evolution.  They see all the threads of Joystick vs. MKB, Hornet vs. Aurora, ‘never accept the current patch’. It’s going to be different.


– Something about Jar Jar Binks.  ‘Meesa so bugsy’.

– Bug in 1.1.1a for the turrets.  They’d randomly be rotated towards an asteroid or another player or something.  Couldn’t get them to focus on your targets.

– Somehow, turrets were getting a remote entity telling them where to look.

– Uninitialized variables are bad.  One little slip up will cause chaos, and they’re fun to track down.  Now there are mandatory code reviews though, which should stop these bugs happening in the future.

28:15 – Another Fan Video


Talk about Animation with Lance Powell – supervising art director, and Steve Bender – Animation Director.

– Lance – We’re going to have a quick conversation about you!  What do you do exactly?

– Steve – Every day I come into work and I wonder that exact question.  I direct animation, which means that, so, I was just in England for about 3 weeks directing motion capture.  We shot the mocap for stocked rifle, heavy rifle characters, for the Vanduul, for PU actions, things within Terra and the ArcCorp bar.  Some cool things with the shooters on aircraft carriers that fire off jets.  Once I’m done with that, I come back and do the selects, those get fired off to mocap studios and when they come back to us, I work with the team on implementing those animations.  One of the actions we’re working on for FPS is jukes, so we get solid weight shifts between how characters move one direction to the other.  In a typical FPS, that shift is almost instantaneous.  We want to slow things down, get a more realistic feel, so we’re getting that with those jukes.

– Lance – So this is what you’re doing to up the animation side for both the FPS and PU.  What other things do you have coming down the pipe?

– Steve – We’re working on AC ship enters and exits.  We took all the ships in the game and built them on set.  It was hard to get the thrusters working (jokes).  We actually had three different types of enters.  A normal enter, where you’re just getting into your ship.  We have a combat enter, where you’re scrambling units, and we have an emergency enters and exits.  You’d use this if you were standing there and you turn around, and there’s a horde of Vanduul chasing you, it’s time to go.  Or if you’re in the plane and it’s on fire, and it’s about to explode, it’s time to get out.

– Lance – Can you talk about the performance you’ve captured in the past, and how is it different from the stuff you’re doing for CIG?

– Steve – In the past we captured primarily things concerned, in previous games, with police / military actions, and they’re all human.  For the stuff we’re doing with CIG, we still have the military angle for this, and we hired some military gentlemen to come in and perform it for us, but we’re also mocapping aliens, so there’s a particular look that Chris was looking for, and that we worked together on pre-vising this on set with an actor, and we came to something that we thought was really solid for the Vanduul.

– Spaceships.  All the stuff in ships is new to me.  I’ve done some minor flight control before, but just the sheer size of some of these ships and the things you can do in them is completely a new concept.  As well, in the PU, in previous projects, one of the things I always tried to get in is this aspect that these aren’t AI – they’re enemy characters.  They have lives, they have names, before he showed up with his gun, his name might have been Bob.  He had an argument with his wife, he put on his uniform, he comes out, and you shoot him, which is kind of uncool.

– Lance – It’s very uncool.  It’s like the guys that worked on the Death Star, when that gets blown up.  What about all those personal contractors?

– Steve – *laughs*

– Lance – I’m not Steve Bender, animation director at CIG.

– Steve – And I’m not sure if I am either, but we’ll see you next time.


Outro and Sneak Peek

– Gamescom tickets are available, but there’re only a handful left, so get them while you can.

– Gonna be a great event.  Lots of people, lots of stuff to show – it’s gonna be good.

– Hats are here – snap-back and velcro will be available starting tomorrow in the pledge store.

Team is hard at work on 1.1.2, which will go to PTU first, but no date yet.

– Hull series hitting the store tomorrow.  5 ships, the entire series, from the A to the E.  All details tomorrow.

– Forget everything you’ve heard about space transports, these are something different.

– There’ll also be a design post on Cargo from the design team.

Sneak Peek

– What’s that spaceship?

– I don’t know.  But tune in to RtV to find out?



Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.