Citizens! Welcome to The Relay’s coverage of the 60th episode of Around the ‘Verse!
– Terror on Riise – Casualty reports continue to climb after an out of control ship crashes into the Carrey University campus.
– Drifter’s Daze – Is the condition real?
– The Aeros Sataball team could face huge fines after allegations they hacked opponents comm systems.
Around the ‘Verse
– Welcome to AtV! Sandi and Ben!
– DragonCon was this weekend, they had a blast meeting fans. Met backers from all over the place, handed out constellation pins. Sandi saw her first hard-core Sci Fi convention.
– Panel was great, Sandi answered two questions, people really enjoyed the Endeavour (which they show several shots of).
– Shots are of the Endeavour, the upcoming science ship. Not the finished version of the ship, but they’re getting close. Developing pods, changing the front section a bit as well.
– With DragonCon came another free-fly promotion. There’s a code for that – DRAGONCON2015
– Candice shared her table at Bar Citizen, I think they’re talking sports now.
– For everyone joining through the DragonCon code, welcome!
– Ben is a natural salesman.
– Vanguard sale ended this week. Ben picked up a Sentinel. One of CIG’s most popular ships.
– Couldn’t get Gurmukh to stop rendering artwork, so there are more images of the Vanguard now.
– Also this week, release of the newest addition to the website – the Community Hub. Front-page for Star Citizen backers. Backers create incredible content that doesn’t always get highlighted, now there’s a hub that’ll show all that.
– Everyone should have access now.
– Next great Star Citizen contest will show up in the Community Hub soon.
– Issue Council – issue council is kicking off. It’s the bug reporting ‘mega system’, will go live this week. Posting bugs more like a QA tester than a message board poster. It’ll help CIG fix AC, Social, etc… much better.
– Explosion of Bugs!
News from the Spectrum
7:15 – Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick
– Eric Kieron Davis isn’t in the office this week.
– Fundamental Changes being made to the GOST system.
– with SC 1.3.0 coming up, they’re making changes to how GOST works. More details will come as they go foward, but it’ll be preparing for multicrew.
– Several producers and designers are visiting from the UK to talk about CitCon.
– Item Redesign – Paul Ryndall and Mark Abent are working on it. Too premature for many details, but some fundamental changes are coming to some core technologies. We’ll see updates on those soon.
8:40 – Austin – Jake Ross
– Something something sports
– Mo-Cap shoot just wrapped up on Friday. It was a mini shoot in Austin, lead animator and designers were there, working to capture more emotes. Working on 25 more emotes for the next release.
– Also wil be adding audio to the emotes. Express yourself audibly yay!
– Character work coming up. Working on hair internally. They have a ‘gold standard’ hair model for characters, so that’ll start being outsourced and varianted, so characters’ll be a little more fleshed out soon.
– Outsourcing some character clothing – CGbot will be helping with that. More than just 6 FPS armours soon.
– Environment tweaks – clouds will be added, give the impression of weather.
– Also working on a seperate section of ArcCorp. One of the alleyways that lead back into the depths of Area 18 will be opening to a new area soon.
11:10 – CIG UK – Geoff Kid and Clive Johnson
– Working on optimizations for networking. Workig on reducing CPU usage.
– Some of that can be seen in the 25 player limit in social module.
– Largely revolving on high-level features. Disabling features that aren’t needed anymore, etc…
– working on replacing entire components of the CryEngine network code. It’s a system designed for 10s of players, they’re scaling towards 100s instead.
– Also working on global entity ID system. Previous CryEngine system only allowed 65,000 entities. Entities are anything you might interact with in the game.
– New system uses 64 bit, can now have quadrillions of entities in the game. Benefit is it simplifies the network binding – how an entity identifies itself.
– also an important first step on the road to PU, because it allows CIG to give each entity in SC its own unique entity ID, so each object is identified in the backend uniquely.
13:10 – CIG Frankfurt – Brian Chambers and Jason Cole
– Cinematics – getting data back from Imaginarium. Reviewing shots ans scenes, figuring out how things’ll be implemented into the game properly so they sync.
– working on AI systems with the designers, to get the most out of the animation. Starting to layer animations on top of cycles.
– Facial tech is coming very very well. Still adding wrinkle mass and stuff. Adding bloodmaps and wrinkle maps so it’ll look really nice and in-depth when it’s presented at Cit Con.
– CitCon’ll be the first time everything’ll come together.
15:20 – James Pugh with Benoit Beausejour (except James is actually Lando)
*NOTE – due to time constraints, I will be summarizing the interview. Full text will come later in the evening.
– Lando – Thanks for coming on. You work for Turbulent, what’s turbulent?
– BB – We’re a web-shop. We build web platforms for games, TV, movies, whatever.
– Lando – What do you do for SC?
– BB – the website, the store, and the ‘platform’ that supports the game.
– Lando – so when we want to add a ship, that starts with you?
– BB – yes. If we add a new variant, that starts with us. We define an item code that represents that ship. Then we’ll sync with the engineering departments, make sure everyone knows how it’ll be sold, earned, etc…
– Lando – So things like the recent play to win Glaive
– BB – Absolutely. The reward system would recieve a notification of you hit wave 18, and would reward you with the glaive if you did.
– Lando – And for when we do posts like monthly reports, you guys help with styling?
– BB – Yes. Most of the time, our team is involved in big releases. Concept sale, Letter from the Chairman. We come into those posts and add a little flavour.
– Lando – So everything from the platform that supports the game to the site people go to and the forums and the community hub.
– BB- absolutely. It’s all stuff we’re adding to the existing platform we built two years ago. So based on that, we keep expanding it.
– Lando – You started almost three years ago?
– BB – In 2012, I guess.
– Lando – How’d that come about?
– BB – that’s a funny story really, we got into contact with Chris by pure luck. Chris needed help on his site, and we were available to do some work on the old site. So we worked in the following 6 months to build the current site. Chris came down to Montreal, talked about the plans, what it’d need on e-commerce and authentication and such. Already in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign and we were talking about the Hangar, because that’s the way it is. We planned how we were going to power the launcher. When you log into the game, the authentication against the game is done through the platform. This was engineered when we made the first release of the Hangar module. We built the first platform, and we’ve kept expanding that since then. Adding more code, more logic, etc… We’ve been sending code updates for the website every week since November 2012.
– Lando – You mentioned authentication. When players log in, your work’s the first layer?
– BB – Yeah exactly. If the authentication service is down. Not the one you get in game, once the game launches, that’s separate. But before that, the launcher, all of that’s running off the platform.
– Lando – And you helped with the new launcher?
– BB – Yeah, the team in Austin who’ve been doing a fantastic job with the new torrent launcher needed our help to take the old UI and port it to the new system, so we built a new UI that would help with the PTU.
– Lando – Whose idea was it to finally put live and PTU in the same launcher?
– BB – THat was me and Jeremy masker from Austin. We needed a solution, cause the previous launcher wouldn’t allow it.
– Lando – I’m a big fan of the new launcher
– BB – thanks. We want to keep expanding it so that we have, in the launcher, more stuff that you can do. Account layout tool, news, etc… in the launching, so while you’re patching there’s something to see.
– Lando – So how did you come to Turbulent?
– BB – I’m a co-founder. Turbulent is a two headed beast. Me and Mark started it, Mark is business, I’m technology. That was in 2002.
– Lando – How long have you been in business then?
– BB – 13 years?
– Lando – So you’re how old?
– BB – 36
– Lando – Ok, we’ve covered how you became part of SC. What’s next? Organizations 2.0?
– BB – When we built the initial org system, we had plans to keep expanding it. We can’t go too far though cause the game needs to catch up. Systems need to be able to interact with each other. If we tried to go too far, we’d be wasting backer money. But we’re talking about adding microblogging functionality, etc… We’re working on more communication tools right now. Not sure what the roadmap is yet, lots of things are getting launched right now, but we do want to keep expanding that.
– Lando – Alright, Org 2.0, community hub, and issue council. What can you tell us about that?
– BB – I’m excited about that. Backers keep asking for ways to help and participate more, and that really is embodied by the issue council. Not only just a bug tracking system, but a system where the community can filter the right bugs, so the QA teams don’t have to do that. Makes it more streamlined, will save money, time, and allow backers to help out by testing bugs before they reach CIG. And they make CIG accountable on the bugs too.
– Lando – It’s sort of the realization of one of the original pledges, that the backers would help us build the game so when a bug goes up there, and 50 people share it, it helps us identify it faster.
– BB – The first layer is ‘is that bug valid’ which is, can other players replicate the bug. The second layer is ‘is that bug important’. It’s prioritization in layers. It’ll help producers looking at their JIRA tickets, they’ll see community ratings for everything. Brings the voice of the community in.
– And that’s it.
25:42 – Ben and Sandi
Sandi – Does James look different?
Ben – His head is bigger.
Sandi – He’s got more hair.
Ben – And his face is stupider.
Sandi – Speaking of hair, lets check in with Matt Sherman about EWAR
Ben – That’s a segway worthy of… me!
Sandi – I’ve learnt from the BENst
25:55 – Matt Sherman – EWAR
– Hi everyone, Matt sherman here. Wanted to talk about a new feature, EWAR.
– Already been a couple of questions and concerns, just want to clarify some things.
– EMP might be a bit OP from how it was described – don’t worry. They want it to be a balanced aspect, but not a ‘guarantee win’. Wouldn’t be triggered ‘cheap and easy’. If you pop an EMP on your ship, your ship’d go down too. It’s not going to be a totally ‘free’ attack.
– Data Spikes – For that system, and EWAR in general, it’s a few layers of gameplay. Data Spike is the ‘hacking’ layer. Hack a target, then go through their systems to shut down individual components / aspects of their ship. The reason we’re putting a missiles behind this, is that kind of a shutdown is going to be similiar to blowing someone up with a torpedo. If it requires an ordinance for a kill, we want it to require some sort of ordinance for EWAR. That doesn’t mean there won’t be other ways to try to disable a target without the missiles, but the higher the reward, the more risk that you’ll have to put up front for it. If you’re doing an on-site hack, then you could do something like set a self-destruct timer. Because you’re not just going to set a timer and kill yourself, you’ll set one and give yourself time to get out, so the people defending’ll have enough time to react to what you’ve just done.
– It’s a big system that’ll play into lots of core systems like communications and scanners, so it’ll come out piece by piece. First functionality is going to be function on distortion weapons. It’s part there, but not 100%. Not enough of a ship shutdown when the target’s been hit enough.
– That’ll carry with it some early work for EMP attacks – maybe an EMP missile doing a massive amoutn of distortion damage.
– Then other things’ll get layered on. Once communications are in place, jamming and interception’ll get added.
– Once multicrew is in, more nuanced gameplay will be added.
– Last big step will be the ‘active hacking’ gameplay. Still something being sorted out. Wont’ be 100% super real, but it’ll be faithful to the intent of the gameplay. Still researching that.
– Leave feedback about games that have good hacking minigames. Send CIG their thoughts as the system is still growing.
– Wont’ be the last post about EWAR. As more systems come on line, there’ll be more posts about exactly what’s being added.
31:12 – Ben and Sandi
S: Thanks Matt!
B: Does Matt look different to you?
S: We already did that bit.
B: Oh well then, we should move over to ship shape with Lisa Ohanian.
S: I heard she is talking about the avenger this week.
B: Avenger? I hardly know her.
S: *Noise of anguish*
B: You have much to learn…Here is ship shape.
31:30 – Ship Shape with Lisa Ohanian
– Devs in the UK are focusing on making the Avenger more modular. Two artists, one working on the cockpit, one working on the cargo module.
– Cockpit images – WIP – None of which have been signed off on.
– Showing a proposed layout for hte ‘double cockpit’ in the ship. Challenge is that the same ull and shape as the original ship have to be kept, but more functionality has to be added.
– Avenger used to have a double-cockpit, but the one in-game doens’t. CIG liked the idea, hoping to implement it back as an option.
– Cargo module for the ship – it’s being retextured to make it look more hi-tech. magnetic plates are being added to the floor, lighting being added to the roof, to give it all a more industrial feel.
– the Avenger shares a lot of art with the Tali.
– Artists are challenged by modifying the inside of the ship to still fit the outside of the hull. There are specific requirements for cargo units, and the size of the room had to be increased enough to fit all the cargo, and for people to walk around, without changing the size of the exterior.
– That’s it for today for the modularity for the Avenger.
35:00 – MVP
– This week’s MVP is AtonalFreerighter1? Created a Lego Vanguard.
– Two weeks ago there was a contest for Star Citizen infocards.
– Picking winners was incredibly difficult, but folks who will recieve a Vanguard are:
CIG want to see our Arc Corp videos. There are many ‘urban explorers’ doing interesting thing to the area around Area 18. Share them, and they’ll show ‘em on the show!
Art Sneak Peek
– a few different female hair options.