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Around the ‘Verse – Episode 57 Written Thursday 20th of August 2015 at 12:08pm by Nehkara

Hello fellow Citizens and welcome to The Relay’s coverage of the 57th episode of Around the ‘Verse! Around the ‘Verse   Sneak Peek   Images Helmet Development Transcript by Erris Empire Report – Could lives be...

Hello fellow Citizens and welcome to The Relay’s coverage of the 57th episode of Around the ‘Verse!

Around the ‘Verse


Sneak Peek



Helmet Development

Transcript by Erris

Empire Report

– Could lives be saved if the drug Widow were legalized?

– School Corruption – The corruption might be even deeper than previously thought.

– Zero-G yoga. Will the new fitness trend be good for your back? Or will it break it?

1:20 – Around the ‘Verse

– Ben and Sandi!

– 57, just like the ketchup!

– Sandi’s back from the UK. Sandi stole Ben’s line, so Ben stole Sandi’s line.

– Lots of work setting up for CitizenCon, doing tech setup, seating plan, there’s a concord inside, so people will be able to go inside and visit.

– If you can’t make it, and you have a ticket, let them know, as they’re very full.

– Did some more motion capture in Manchester.

– Sandi has just done a forecast for the next 18 months, needs some help. If you’re out there, and you enjoy events, merchandise, CS is involved, marketing, branding, etc…

– Chris Roberts is also back. He did some more work on the performance capture. Came back to the U.S. to do a presentation about one of INTEL’s new hard drives.

– Preparations for CitizenCon are in full swing.

– Ben, Dave Haddock, and David Ladyman will be going to DragonCon, Ben will be on a few panels during the event.

– Everyone can now test the Merlin. Through Monday, there’s a free-fly for the Merlin in AC.

– Gamescom freefly is still happening thorugh Monday as well. Bring your friends into Star Citizen! Register for a free account, test the game, see AC, etc…

– Thousands of new backers from the Gamescom promotion, so welcome to all of them!

– Ben really enjoyed Cologne, meeting backers, and everything else.

– First release of Social module will be to PTU, kicked off to a few thousand backers first before releasing to everyone, but more details on that will come soon.

News from the Spectrum

6:40 – Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick and Lisa Ohanian

– Post Gamescom, doing post-mortem meetings on a global level, finding out what to do for CitizenCon.

– Figuring out what tech to stabilize for Cit Con, and for AC 2.0

– Working on the ship schedule, for art and all other disciplines. Working with the UK making sure everything is syncing up.

– Should predict what the next ship over the coming year will be.

– Will also have a good idea in the coming weeks what components will be delivered before the end of the year.

– Artist wise, fixing lots of bugs around the game in general.

– People are also working on the Herald, getting it ready.

– Calix is working on his balance pass, making sure all the feedback from player input is getting tweaked to perfection.

8:25 – Illfonic – David Langeliers and Jason Hutchins

– Jason normally works out of Austin, he’s in Denver this week.

– Arrowhead sniper rifle has had multiple tweaks, changes, etc…

– Adjusting recoil – was bouncing too much when aiming down sights.

– Charging mechanic is going through stages. there’s going to be an ‘overheat’ mechanic. Closer you get to overheat, more damage it’ll do, but if you pass it, the weapon will fail.

– Making small changes to the scope, the texture work on the scope.

– Adding a variable zoom in, various zoom levels will be selectable.

– Jason is there with Todd Pappy, working on the cover system, that work is continuing. This week finished the hip-fire peak out. If you’re in cover and you peek around a corner, you can shoot from the hip.

– Working on gadget placement issues as well. New rig is coming along, but there have been some issues about gadgets getting stuck in hands, stairs, etc…

– Apparently the shield got attached to someone’s torso at one point.

– With the new rig for the skeleton, re-parenting the weapon to the hand. Currently it was closer to the spine. This will help with ragdoll, hit reaction animations, etc…

– Before, when it was parented to the spine, the animations would play but the weapon would stay frozen. That’s being fixed now.

11:30 – Austin – Jake Ross and Ali Seiffouri

– Comes from Orlando, Florida. He’s new to Texas.

– This week, animation team is starting on specific ‘bespoke’ skeleton for a character in SQ42, who shall go unmentioned.

– Custom skeletons for each hero character. Get them more proportionate to the people that played those characters.

– Starting kick-off on next planetside landing zone, which will be Microtec, in Stanton.

– Ali’s background – in visual effects since ‘98. Background in physics, then started into animation. Got a Masters degree in visual effects. Started working with EA sports as a tech artist, creating procedural tools for artists.

– Here as a technical artist and tool engineer. Between artists and engineers. Creates tools for the artists so that assets can be created more easily.

– Main focus will be on Python and C++ for CryEngine.

– Creating a selection filter now, so that users can filter objects based on type, field of view, radius, etc…

15:10 – CIG UK – Alastair Brown

– Responsible for the graphics team.

– Worked on three main features for Gamescom

  1. Quantum Drive. Had to make some bespoke effects, things like the Blur effect seen on the demo, to give a sense of speed.
  2. Asteroids – for the number of asteroids, they were causing a performance problem, tech hasn’t been finished yet to create the amount of asteroids they want. Used a new system to combine many meshes together to increase performance, got the cost of sorting and rendering the asteroid field down from 20 milliseconds to 1 millisecond, which is needed to make the game playable.
  3. Worked on the multicrew damage system. The new ships (Tali and other ships coming soon, Connie) needed more work for the damage system. They have modular pieces, need to make sure the damage system will work regardless of the module plugged in.
James Pugh and Jeremiah lee

JP – Thanks guys, I’m with Character Concept Artist, Jeremiah Lee, hey Jeremiah, how you doing?

JL – What’s up man?

JP – Thanks for coming out.

JL – Glad to be here.

JP – So what’re you working on right now?

JL – So I’m currently working on the Shubin miners. The EVA suit, and the guys in Texas, they’re talking about grabbing minerals and stuff from asteroids, and so I’m specifically designing the EVA suit for the Shubin guys, and also developing just what the NPC’s and the characters would be wearing when they go out to EVA, they have a specific outfit and look.

JP – So are you doing any NPC’s or civilian concepts right now? Or are you just working on the mining stuff?

JL – I’m working on the suits for the NPC’s and also possibly for the players.

JP – What were you working on before that?

JL – I was working on a lot of UEE navy outfits. Worked on the deck crew for a while, the EVA suits for the general crew, for instance the Bengal you saw in the trailers before, lets say the Bengal got attacked and there was a hull breached, or maybe the side of the Bengal got hit and there’s a giant hole there and they need to repair it, they’ll send the deck crew out, and they’ll get on their EVA suits, and so you’ll see NPC’s getting on their suits and EVAing and just fixing it from the outside. So I actually designed, under the supervision of Rob McKinnon, also what the deck crew would be wearing for fire extinguishing inside the Bengal, so we have all kinds of suits for the general crew. I also did some first-pass concepts for just our hero characters, for SQ42. Some Senators for the Tera faction, I did some of those, and also some hair fashions.

JP – Terra faction man, it’s the pinnacle of the Fashion world right now.

JL – It’s not Terra-bad…


JP – Oh man, that was so terriBLE, that was terrible dude.

JL – Oh we gotta cut that.

JP – No, that’s staying in, keep going.

JL – Oh no

JP – So what’s it like working with CR as opposed to any other Directors you’ve worked with?

JL – CR is very particular about what he wants. He’s got a specific vision, especially when it comes to characters, since he did all the Wing commanders and a lot of films, he has this vision in hs head of this is what I want this character to look like, so it’s a bit easier for us to kind of hone it to what he wants. But he’s sometimes very lenient, is that the right word?

JP – Lenient? Yeah. For stuff in the peripheral like NPC’s, and stuff he’s not as… he’s got more…

JL – Right right right, so especially stuff that’s based on SQ42 he’s very particular about what he wants, but when it’s just like some med pack that you put on, he’ll be like, yeah, that looks cool, or he’ll be like, nah, I don’t dig it. But then he’s a little more

JP – Hands on?

JL – Yeah, but there are some things where he just lets the artist do their own thing. But since I’m working on characters it’s a little rough because these are characters you’ll see on the screen, and you’ll interact with, and it has to be very specific.

JP – Yeah, they’re parts of the story, and your experience in general.

JL – Right, right.

JP – Alright, so what do you really want to be working on next?

JL – I really want to work on the Xi’An.

JP – Why? What is it about them that interests you so much?

JL – It’s just… first of all, they’re aliens, aliens are always cool

JP – Aliens are cool dude

JL – right, they’re awesome. And number 2 it’s because they kinda remind me of the Solarians from Mass Effect, but a little bit more on the military side, but they have that elegance to them, which I really dig. So, I really want to work on it, but..

JP – Would it be fun now to make the Xi’An capital faction? Is that what you’re about next?

JL – I am so down. But it really depends on my production designer so, I”m at his mercy.

JP – Alright man, well again, thank you so much for coming on.

JL – Thank you.

JP – A blast, and your art’s looking great, and I hope we get to share some with you guys.

21:51 – Character Update with Omar Aweidah

– For the past couple months, Omar’s been working on helmets.

– Generally they get a quick concept art or drawing from Rob McKinnon, Kelton(?), or Jeremiah Lee, and when that happens, the 3D concept art can move a bit faster.

– We’d get a sketch like this (22:28) from Jeremiah Lee, and the end product, from me, would be something like this

– I’m just, I just want to get Jeremiah under the bus.

– So, me and Gurmukh use Maia, and the first thing I’ll start to do is start to build general shapes, either out of Zbrush or Maia and make sure we get it onto our base-male character, so as you can see here, the helmet fits onto the head of our character. So even when its’ our concept art, when we give it to the modelers, they have the proper scale reference for the helmets, and we try to keep our topology pretty clean.

– Once we get a design that we like, or is approved by Rob or whoever’s in charge of concepts, right now it’s Rob McKinnon, once they like the general shape we’ll bring it into this program called keyshot (right before I do that I’ll make sure all the materials are called out. Each colour represents a separate material, and when we do this it helps me understand what’s what.

– The colours here don’t actually mean anything, it’s just the fact that there’s a separate material.

– So here’s what we’re coming to, this is a different helmet, this is the EVA helmet.

– When we were designing this one, objective was to had a less obstructed view.

– So, when I rotate this [it goes all wonky], this is essentially just a way to put materials on an object, and get a good image out to start, before we paint over. It starts to get all frazzly because it’s a progressive render, which means over time it’s gathering more and more samples. So the longer I don’t touch it and don’t move it, the better the image quality will be, cause it’s constantly sampling and constantly growing and growing and growing.

– Where I derive a lot of my inspiration is mostly vehicle design. I wanted to make this one pretty sleek, but depending on the characters and the position and what they do, you have to get a bit more industrial.

– Once we get a nice image out of keyshot, it’ll probably look something pretty clean, something similar to this. Then with photoshop we try to give it a little story, a little grunge. Tells what pass it is, what kind of glow and dust on the lense.

– once we get some nice images and get the helmet approved, we move on to either the outfit for the character, the outfit was designed previously, and there’s a rough helmet done, or there’s a helmet done, and sometimes we’ll design the outfit depending on the helmet, and sometimes there’s a situation where me and Jeremiah will talk and figure out something for that.

– So for this one, Jeremiah did a quick sketch, and I ended up modeling it, and here’s what it looks like once we start modeling it, and this one’s interesting because it has kind of an oxygen mask that can be taken on and off during situations, so during an emergency it can be EVA capable.

– Also we do the interiors of all the helmets as well, and this one has a good look at the interior of the helmet as well, and everyone knows what it is.

– So once we get something that’s a concept that Rob approves, and he likes, then we can integrate it into the character designs. So then Jeremiah will put it on one of the characters that him and another artist Mark Decker worked on, so you can see what it looks like, or what it may look like, in game. So lots of these are 3D models it’s pretty accurate to what our end-goal is.

– Jeremiah does a good job pulling it together with callouts of the types of fabrics, and he’ll take my helmet and snapshot it from different angles so he can photoshop it right in there. It ends up being pretty cool, and you have a fully fleshed out concept all the way from the interior of the helmet to the clothes to everything.

– Also the lights will glow and blink in different patterns depending on what they’re doing and the operation they’re doing.

28:25 – Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian

– Hard work goes into the ship releases. talking about the work, the people involved, and the high level and ground level strategies.

– Three people drive ship releases. Sandi, Ben, and Alyssa.

– Sandi is VP of marketing, deals with high-level strategy. She’s in charge of the long-term schedule

– Ben is director of ships, helps with high-level strategy, and also works on ground-level strategy.

– Ben will help Sandi decide when the next three ships will come out, and also will make decisions about, one’s a fighter, one’s a mining ship, and that they’re well spaced, and there’s variety going forward.

– Alyssa, associate marketing producer. Works closely with Sandi and Ben to make sure decisions they’re making are actually happening. Works with the development team and other cross-functional groups to make sure they have pieces from artists and designers to give content out.

– High level strategy – work to have content every two-weeks. This can be from ships being flyable, to hangar-ready, to concepts.

– Try to keep a schedule that covers the next 18 months, but things can change very quick.

– Thankfully, everyone understands that they need to focus on the game needs as a whole, rather than just what can get ready in the next two weeks.

– The two weeks thing is more of a guideline, than a rule. Sometimes content will be ready sooner than normal, more often later than normal, sometimes they’ll know they have an event coming up, and they’ll hold off to make a bigger deal out of it when they know people’ll be watching and excited already.

– On the ground level, there’s an image of a template they use for concept releases.

– Ships will need beauty shots, product shots, videos, blueprint images, etc…

– Need this for every concept release they have.

– Template is only a starting point. Things will change for every ship, and sometimes extra things will be thrown in, like the Flight Attendant outfits for the Starliner, to help people understand the lore and such.

31:45 – Ben and Sandi

– MVP – This week’s MVP is – Black Cat Jack – has a fantastic roleplaying thread on the forums, that’s very civil.

– Big surprise this week, variants are coming online starting next Friday. Two variants of the Vanguard. Tune in next week for exact details, but they’re coming soon.

32:60 – Art Sneak Peek

– Oh look, Vanguard variants are the Art Sneak Peek!

Tune into RtV tomorrow for answers to questions about things like those variants.

One of the most frequent questions asked on RtV is ‘where is my ship’. What’s the status of the Caterpillar, etc…

There’s now a forum thread that lists the status of every single ship. Turning that into a static website, Turbulent are working on that. Will tell where the ship’s at, when it’ll be in hangar, when it’ll be flyable, etc… will include everything from the Merlin to the Javelin.

Thanks to subscribers for making the show possible!

And that’s it.



Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.