Hello there fellow Citizens! Check out The Relay’s coverage of Around the ‘Verse Episode 42!
Sneak Peek: SPACE TOILET!
Around the ‘Verse Episode 42
– A new beginning. It’s making fun of consoles. And big publishers.
– This is the story of a game – a game called Star Citizen.
– Welcome to Around the ‘Verse Episode 42, the talk show at the end of the universe.
– Opening was cute.
– 42 episodes!
– Also, $80 million!
– Star Citizen is 42.
– Hull-a-palooza sale – the Hull series is up, and they’re answering question on them, which is great. The ships mean a lot for SC, building the backbone where you see the world behind it. This is part of the richer world that we’ll inhabit.
– Big part of the game economy as well.
– Design post on Cargo is available as well, including video demonstrations on cool things.
– Calix Reneau put the post together. The new system is ‘Grabby Hands’, and gives more direct control over game objects than any other game so far.
4:45 – Santa Monica – Travis Day and Darian Vorlick
– Currently, as you load into your hangar, let’s say you have every ship on offer. In order for them to populate your holotable and your AC list, they’re spawned in the world down below the hangar. This lets the game code interact with them. They’re working on something that’ll mean they don’t have to spawn them for you to interact with them. Should greatly decrease load times. Saves video memory and more. Means getting into the game quicker.
– Improvements to the Wingman system in the game. Ability to give commands to the wingmen, such as taunting enemies off of you. High priority from Chris. Taunt, attack my target, defend me, go check this area out, etc…
– Going to be recording a lot of voice over for the Wingmen, building towards SQ42.
– Calix worked a lot on the cargo prototype. Now he’s going through and taking all the 3D models – concept and in game, and measuring how much cargo they can accommodate, and where they fit in the Universe (we got these stats already I believe). It will be an MMO supporting Skyrim-level interactions!
7:53 – Denver – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Chad Brungardt
– Breathing. Lots about breathing.
– It’s something that’s been a thing for a long time, and there are a lot of complex systems that help with that. We already see this in Arena Commander, where breathing affects gameplay, what with blacking and redding out.
– Using the same system, but different functionality, in FPS. It’s been worked on for a while, but there are a lot of systems that affect it – harder you run, the more you need to stabilize.
– Lots of this goes into gun movement. The breathing has to feel right, the weapon sway has to feel right, and then the stamina regen has to feel right.
– That’s been the focus lately. Making sure the breathing and stamina components fit together and work well together.
– It’s much better than it was when we saw it at PAX now. Looks much better, works really well.
– The whole system drives home Chris’ vision, making you feel like you’re in the world.
10:50 – Austin – Jake Ross and Evan Manning
– Evan is working on the Star Map.
– The initial star map got leaked, so they decided they had to rearrange the systems. A lot of the systems are supposed to be hidden to encourage players to search out new places, make exploration fun.
– The process started with a redesign of the map, and all 100 stars. New map is taking into account what they want for the story of SQ42, delivery routes, populations, the danger of pirates, etc…
– Once they had a 2D design for the star map, they put it into CryEngine, and started working on a 3D layout for it. Working on creating a tool that’ll interface with some things the web guys are working on. Public star map will be exported with only the things that we can see. Shouldn’t have any more leaks.
– They’re working on a public release of the new Star Map soon. No date yet, but soon.
12:50 – UK – Michael Dalston and Andrew Nicholson
– QA stuff, ‘cause they’re not allowed to talk about the Star Wars trailer.
– They’ve been checking all the feedback on the forums, they’re collating it, passing it on. There were some big issues, but they’re working on them.
– There was a bug where they couldn’t get through doors on Gold Horizon to test it, but they found another bug to let them bypass the doors and test the rest of the level. Two bugs in one.
– Astro Arena’s been a bit of a challenge. The collision around the map was missing, and you’d fly out of the world.
– They’re getting to grips with the zero-G gameplay.
Fan video of people shooting each other in AC.
– ‘To Hull with this.’ – Ben
Ben – Thank you Sandy and Me, I’m here with Lead Technical Designer Dan Tracy, and we’re talking – what else – the Hull series. Hey Dan.
Dan – How’s it going?
Ben – Not bad, seen a lot of each other in the past few days, as we fought with cargo numbers and ship sizes.
Dan – It’s a lot of back and forth right? Development and work in progress.
Ben – I think people would be surprised to see how much work goes into getting the ship out on the website.
Dan – Tell me about it. So what did you want to talk about?
Ben – I guess we’re going to talk about the development of the Hull series. I will kick it off, because I was the person who initially invented them as backstory for a Jump Point. They were originally just a riff on Larry Niven’s General Products hulls, when they were 4 or 5 different sizes of those in his worlds, and I thought ‘we should totally do that,’ and so there were originally four or five, it was A through D, it was in the MISC article in jump point. Then we pitched it to the community, you guys voted for it, and then you came in and made it cool!
Dan – Well, it was a group of us really, when we were talking about how can we set up an interesting design for a ship that can actually haul cargo, more zero-g-oriented environments. We came up with this interesting concept, it’s been around with other sci-fi shows as well, but more the external cargo placement of these things, and of course that has its own inherent side effects of exposing your cargo so it could be shot, but if you’re in, say, UEE space, or if you have a lot of people escorting you, you shouldn’t worry about it.
Ben – I hear about that all the time, and I think you’re not a very good pirate if you’re trying to gun down the cargo.
Dan – Exactly, but that’s the benefit and the drawback of the Hull series: With each one of them having all of its cargo on the exterior, that means you can have tremendously more cargo than a lot of the other ships. And I see a growing concern that people think we have maybe the wrong metrics, and I would have to say, for some of them we did, because we had some of the measurements, some of the ships were originally weighted for ‘freight units’ at the time, which, in terms of the XYZ dimension, was 0.25 by 0.25 by 0.25 [metres]. Which actually equated out to something like 1.1, I can’t remember the numbers. Whatever. Those were actually in a very small cubic dimension. For each one of the particular interior nodes that we’re developing, and you can see them in the Grabby Hands video that came with the design post, which actually has all these internal item placement nodes. You can think of it similar to other game titles that have a 2D grid that have cells in which things are being placed. Ours is actually going in 3D. So, each of those particular node bases are 0.25 meters, so you could put a gun, or a lamp, or whatever inside a box, and it fills its particular dimension inside of that crate. Now, for a lot of the ships, 0.25 doesn’t make sense, cause they’re anywhere from between 10 meters to 20 meters to 100 meters in terms of their particular length or width or depth, so to make it easier for us we were just measuring out a lot of them with the simple box dimensions in 1 meter grids. But also for our metrics, for what we want to have as cover height is 1.25 m. So there are a lot of numbers that kind of get lost in translation, especially when we’re trying to give it all to either Turbulent or to community or internal design and animation departments, all the numbers might get lost, so we’re trying to rectify that right now by actually measuring the specific internal game dimensions of these things. So as long as it’s physically accurate, we’ll give you guys the actual dimensions that you need, and the thing we want to hit most of all is making sure that the Hull series is as capable as like the Freelancer MAX, or the Banu Merchantman, or the Caterpillar. Every one of those ships has their kind of equivalent, but for the non-Hull series, those are contained in the internals of it, except for maybe the Starfarer.
Ben – Not talking about the Starfarer yet.
Dan – But with those, we wanted to make sure the Hulls were comparable, and then the Hull E being gargantuan. Being able to ‘hull’ the most cargo you can actually move around with. Sorry, I went on a tangent there.
Ben – No, that’s the stuff people find interesting.
Dan – As you can tell I wanted to get that off my chest, i’ve been seeing that from multiple angles.
Ben – It’s all his fault! No, by the time you folks see this, the corrected, Dan here’s gone through and measured every ship we have in the game, and made some estimates for things like the MerchantMan that are not in the game, so we’ll have corrected numbers on the website. we’ll show you the numbers both in terms of meters and SCU, so you’ll have the data.
Dan – Cool
Ben – Well, thanks so much for coming on. We’ll have you on next time we release something incredibly complicated.
*Note – For more of this interview, check out an extended cut with additional artwork this Friday at: facebook.com/RobertsSpaceIndustries*
– It’s going to be a hull lot of fun. And a hull lot of information.
JP – Hey everybody, I’m here with John Schimmel, who is head of Linear Content.
JS – That’s correct.
JP – What does that mean?
JS – I had a sort of a sliding job description at CIG. I started as a story consultant, then I came in full time as head of Linear Content, and I was producing a lot of the video content that’s on the site, some of the AtV’s and stuff, but most recently I’m concentrated entirely on producing the performance capture shoot for SQ42.
JP – You just got back from the UK right?
JS – I just got back from the UK Saturday, and I go back Saturday. It’s just a quick trip home. I guess you know we’re shooting at historic Ealing studios, which we share with Downton Abbey right now. We’ve got a corridor that says Lady Edith Crowley, SQ42 makeup, which is pretty funny.
JP – So how’s that going? I know you have to be a little broad cause of the nature of what you’re shooting, but how’s it going over there? How’s Chris feel?
JS – Chris was born to be on set. He loves directing, he’s really good at it. The shoot’s going great. We have an unbelievable cast, and from the bottom most unknown from the most known they’re all deeply gifted. Somehow we’re making our days and the performances are good, and it all looks pretty good. We’re into our second week of shooting.
JP – Do you want to go into what makes it different, performance capture as opposed to what you’re used to?
JS – I come out of the motion picture business. Chris has asked us to shoot this performance capture as if it was a feature film, so whereas in general in performance capture, you can shoot one actor and then another actor and drop them all into a scene digitally, Chris wanted the energy of shooting them all on set together. So we’re, to some extent we’re trying to shoot it as though its a feature film. There are some profound differences though, one of which is that especially because most of what we’re shooting is first person, that means you can’t cut between performances. You’ve got one giant performance. You go print, and that’s what you’re using, for whoever’s in that setup. It’s this very funny, there are moments on set when I feel like i’m in a nursery school play yard, because the folks at imaginarium will build a prop, and it’s a giant piece of PCV, and people are messing with it, and we have the ability to see the performance live in-engine, so the piece of PCV turns into this incredibly beautiful piece of artillery. So it’s this one step more make believe than most film sets, when you actually build a set that looks like the set.
JP – It’s almost like a kid with a playset and his imagination. You take a stick and it becomes a sword.
JS – Yeah, and literally, you’re taking a stick and it becomes a sword. You’ve got a piece of wood and it becomes your mobiGlas. It’s what makes actors actors, I guess, they totally can get into that.
JP – How’s the team doing over there?
JS – The team?
JP – Yeah, your team, or Chris’ team.
JS – We’re having a very good time. Chris decided, we rented a house close to the studio, so Chris, myself, and Hannes Apple the cinematics director and Dave Haddock, the lead writer, we’re all living in a house together which is…kind of MTV-ish
JP – Was going to say, it sounds like the worst season of the real world.
JS – It’s pretty funny, we’re mostly well behaved. It’s really convenient, because we’re literally a four minute walk from set, so we can go home at lunch, and Chris can go catch up on being CEO, then go back to directing, and we’re having a good time. We have, this strange four story house, and the basement, living room, is where we’ve set up this facial capture set, so we have 50 cameras, and cast flows in and out getting facial scanned, so we’ve turned the garage into our living room. It’s very sort of college, garage band.
JP – That sounds awesome.
JS – Yeah, it is kind of .
JP – Since I started here, I know this is kind of what you’ve been working towards, this shoot. Has it changed any since, obviously as the scope has, it’s changed, but has that impacted kind of how you look at, and how you’ve gone at it?
JS – Yeah. The game has, it’s in this constantly iterating process of getting better and bigger, and I think we were all somewhat taken aback in terms of how that manifested in terms of the production size, so we suddenly have this gigantic cast, and our production crew has grown enormously. We started in a little two desk office at Imaginarium, and now we’ve got this, we’ve got a couple of spaces jammed with people, and you know, we’re keeping up, but it was something of a race to get ourselves up to speed with how big the production really is.
JP – That sounds really interesting, and it’s personally the thing I’m looking most forward to with this game, SQ42, and, thank you for coming on, and do you want to give people a little sneak peek? Hype up the game a bit?
JS – I think what people are going to find, coming out of this shoot, is that Chris’ insists on not just shooting this a cinematic way, but in hanging on to a cinematic story. So, we like to think there’s a really compelling story that we’re telling through this shoot. And at the same time, we’re shooting it like a movie, and telling it like a cinematic story, but at the same time it’s a game with an environment that has to be alive, so we’ve got all these really interesting background conversations and characters to be discovered. I think it’s going to be, people are going to be knocked out. It’ll be really fun.
JP – I’m sold. I want to play it now.
JS – Okay, well, I know where you can pre-buy.
JP – Back to you guys.
– Segment will talk about all the ships that are in development, all the ships in the pipeline, and ideally highlight something at the end. Possibly bring in devs to talk about what they’re working on, or show images to highlight certain ships.
– Most of the work right now is on the Connie and the Freelancer.
– Video of the P-52 Merlin. Ship is being worked on right now by Paul Forgi and Dan Comenski.
– Merlin’s been sold before alongside the Connie, but now they’re finishing some updates on it. It looks much better now.
– Lot of focus for this ship is the damage conversion. Looks realistic and cool.
– Next week we’ll hear more about the Connie.
– That’s it for this week.
– Hard at work on Alpha 1.1.2, which is available on the PTU right now. Probably won’t be available this week, but possibly next week.
– Adds a tutorial, and sets the stage for Star Marine.
– We’ll hear about the back-end work for Star Marine next week.
– Check in tomorrow for the Monthly Report.
– Its a bathroom. It’s…multiple bathrooms. Bathrooms are animated. With a toilet that turns into a shower apparently. Weird. The toilet paper would get wet.