Citizens! Welcome to The Relay’s coverage of the 63nd episode of Around the ‘Verse!
Transcript done by Erris, CanadianSyrup, Sunjammer and MEEEEEEEEEEEE!
– Slavery Ring Stopped!
– Atlas tower shut down as a personal weapon is fired
– Sataball! What new material could be changing the way combatants think about their gloves?
Around the ‘Verse
– Welcome to AtV Season 2!
– On the Interview, Jared sits down with Dave Haddock, to talk about writing for Star Citizen!
– Lisa Ohanian talks to Matt Sherman about changes to the component system on Ship Shape.
– Ben Lesnick goes behind the scenes on the development of the Endeavour pods!
– They’ve made some changes to where they film the show, and content will be upgraded slowly as they go along too.
– 9 days away from CitizenCon. Can print tickets at the end of the week. Sandi’s been organizing swag bags, food, drinks, concord tours, seating, presentations, everything. It’ll be a fun night. Sandi will be there!
– 25th anniversary of Wing Commander. Ben and Jared streamed through the entire original Wing Commander. If you want to watch 9 hours of Wing Commander trivia, check out the vid! Also, Chris roberts stopped by to try Wing Commander for the first time in 25 years.
News from the Spectrum
3:38 – Santa Monica – Darian Vorlick and Eric Kieron Davis
– Ship designer and tech designer Randy Vasquez is working on the Caterpillar. Medium-size hauler. It’s really cool looking.
– Doing a lot in LA. John Riggs is working on rigging a bunch of characters.
– Connie – people are finishing it up. Should be flyable very quickly.
7:00 – Foundry 42 UK – Mike Meaden and Adam Parker
– QA gets to see cool stuff, but can’t tell you.
– Issue council has gone live. They’ve seen lots of submissions coming in, but there are a few ways to improve bug submissions:
– Clear and Concise. Description needs to be crystal clear.
– Keep it simple. No need for a thesaurus.
– 3-5 reproductions of the issue before you submit a bug.
– Be as unbiased as possible. A feature isn’t a bug, just because you dislike it
– No suggestions or reviews. Issue council is purely for technical bugs.
9:10 – Foundry 42 DE – Brian Chambers and Andreas Johansson
– Team is very busy. Lots of work going into SQ42 core-systems right now, and some non-core systems.
– Focusing this week on level design.
– Andreas is the lead level designer. Working with the UK office building singleplayer levels and content for the PU.
– Building a system of procedurally generated missions, that are scalable and reusable, so there can be lots of elements to make missions interesting and replayable.
– multi-tiered system. Lots of modules that combine to create an entire mission. All the modules can be connected and replaced in different ways, changing up the mission.
11:40 – Jared Huckaby interviewing David Haddock
JH: Thank guys, so new around the verse means a new interview set. Yeah, its pretty nice!. We’re here with our first guest on our new set, Mr Dave Haddock. Dave! How are you doing?
DH: Hello, good!
JH: Now we had you on around the verse on our third episode I think. third episode?
JH: Let’s say third episode. So it’s been quite a awhile since we talked to you, I think we’ve gained several hundred thousand new star citizens since that interview so we thought we’d check in again and see what you’ve been up to. So starting at the beginning, How did you get started with star citizen
DH: I knew Chris from my backgrounds in film so I actually worked for chris’s production company
JH: Okay and that was Acendant?
DH: Acendant Pictures, where I also met john schimmel and I worked on a movie of there’s called outlanders. So I was sort of got to know them through that, and basically after that was over Chris and I ended up collaborating for a little while on a script but he got busy with stuff so we ended up not meeting as often and kinda faded away temporarily and then he called me up saying hey i’ve been working on this thing and putting together something, you should take a look at it. you might be good for it.
JH: And that was star citizen?
DH: That was the original GDC 2012 demo of the honest magic, bengal carrier, running dudes,
JH: So before of the crowd funding campaign
DH: that was July I think I actually started in August. But it was july of 2012 that we met headlong at lunch, I actually had two job interviews that day, so I had met with chris in the morning and went to the other one
JD: What was the other one:
DH: It was a visual effects coordinator job
JH: So you were going to be the visual effects coordinator for something or the lead writer for star citizen
D: Uh, Yes, Well no because the visual effects coordinator place didn’t call back.
JH: Well we’re glad you’re here!
DH: yeah, no I am happy to be here.
JH: something’s work out the way they’re supposed to
JH: Now you were there for the start of the GDC thing and you helped out with the original you know campaign.
DH: yeah, I mean the initial phases of it was all sort of sitting with chris and working out the framework of the universe and then working with ben and sandi and stuff like that to put together stuff like the time capsules and how we’re going to sustain interest and golden ticket and all that stuff. Yeah and then once the site went live, building up anticipation for the GDC announcement, Then you know going through the whole Kit Kabootal
JH: So you said Chris, Ben, Sandi, you, how big was the crew back then?
DH: I think it was 7?
JH: 7? so who are we missing
DH well there were a couple guys who did the initial, Well Oalwind, so that’s 4. and there were the guys who built the original website, Hanas was sort of doing stuff on the side or at night helping out and we have forrest who was helping out a night back then.
JH: So it was a very small crew?
DH: Very small crew
JH: Very small crew, and you got it done, I think the results speak for themselves! *laughs*
DH: Yeah, yeah
JH: Now you’re the lead writer of Star Citizen and by extension squadron 42.
JH What does a leader writer for a game like star citizen do?
DH: I mean the writing department, we carry a lot of halves. Right now it’s a lot of the scripts for squadron 42 and the performance capture stuff we did. Sort of narrative storyline, stuff like that. Characters, I mean we helped out with marketing needs if they needed our help. We’ll put some stuff in fiction, we’ll do editorial and help out with editorial and content finding for jump point and helping out david ladyman. You know, weapon descriptions, papers about architecture.
JH: When we were doing the San Diego comic con presentation, you were helping out with the photoshopping of the images.
DH: Yeah *laughs* yeah
JH: I remember being here with ben and I’m like oh I can do the photoshopping and I was struggling and you were like well I can take a swing at it and he did it did it better than I did and it was very disheartening that the guy who was our writer was doing the marketing stuff better than I was.
DH: I had place where I was working for a motion graphics company that helped me out a lot with photoshop.
JH: It helped us out a lot for that thing, I was very pleased to have your help that day. Alright now, recently you spent three months?
JH: in the UK for a squadron 42 motion capture shoot. What can you tell us about that experience that won’t get Chris or sandi running in here and kicking my butt
DH: I mean it was awesome, hopefully in about a month I can talk a lot more about it.
DH: Maybe I don’t know?
JH: Maybe a month, maybe a couple weeks? Who knows?
DH: I don’t know, but you know, speaking of which it’s hard to talk about things without talking about things. But no it was a great. You know it was the imaginarium crew that were awesome.
JH: Now that’s Andy Circuses company?
DH: Yeah we were on their studio and it was their team that was handling the capturing and kind of running the performance capture, motion capture.
JH: Out of Eling studios?
DH: Yes, and I mean everyone who was on that was awesome. I had a great production crew. But it was a good time, a lot of people, it was a company wide effort. We had UK and you know, as of yet at the time unformed Frankfort office, LA, Austin, everybody was pushing to help get stuff together to kind of start shooting that stuff. A lot of it was close to the wire and it was really cool and it’s fun going back to the stuff that was performance and you know, it was technically very bizarre to sit and watch people walking around on two by fours that are supposed to be spaceships.
JH: With Pingpong balls and giant cameras in their face
DH: it’s a very weird process you know and after you could see a lot of people would take a little while to acclimate to it. We would get kind of you know, just assume we’re having actors come in and stuff like that and it must be weird for us to yadada, but it’s weirder for them to get used to that whole dynamic because in a sense it’s very much like theatre which is an analogy we kept using, it’s all imagination. Theatre in the round type of thing, you’re always in a close up effectively because you have a camera up to your face. So you know it’s interesting because there are people who really gravitated towards it and found the process to be sort of free because you didn’t have the technical limitations of you know resetting lightning or resetting camera for close up and stuff like that. You sort of performed the scene and chris would rehearse the scene with the actors and stuff like that and then when you got it you pretty much got it, you got close ups and wide shots and got everything you need.
JH: What was your job on the set? Because wasn’t the script written?
DH: Well no, Well yeah… I mean will was over there with me for the majority of it and our basic thing, we were kind of there to field questions a lot of the time, you know
JH: Background for the actors
DH: Yeah you know if there was ever a question of what is this weird acronym that came up, what does that mean? It came up a few times, we were there for that. You know just general support but for the most part the day to day thing we actually ended up doing a lot was writing wild lines because you know it’s interactive you can run into people, you know, It’s not all entirely scripted cinematic events. There’s obviously the bulk head of it wandering around halls and running into people and stuff like that. Aside from the plot critical stuff that you would normally do, you would need contingency lines that were programmatic things so you bump into somebody and do they go hey watch where you’re going! But if you had someone say watch where you’re going, you would want them say it differently or in a different phrasing because if they said the same hey watch where you were going, it was start to sound very repetitive and very gammy so you know we would write two to three alts for Hey watch where you’re going and then you start to break it down into well if you’re doing really well on the game and so you’re popular if you will and you run into somebody, would they say that differently because you’re a hotshot pilot, so they might not go hey watch where you’re going they would go I’m sorry I was in your way, and if you’re doing okay it’s a different thing, if you were doing poorly it’s a different thing
JH: it’s the same way when I walk through the office it’s a different reaction walking past Chris Roberts than walking pass Tom.
DH: So what ends up happening is that the one line for one character has now become nine lines and then that’s one circumstance and we have fifty characters. It was a lot of wild lines.
JH: Did you ever change the dialogue based off the actor or actress who was performing it?
DH: Yeah a lot of it, well not a lot but there we definite times we would see how people were playing it and stuff and wasn’t even necessarily about strength to weakness. something they would do something interesting that we kind of would go oh that’s really cool, hadn’t thought of that.
JH: So before we let you go, what are you working on now? That you actually tell us about
DH: A bunch of stuff for citizen con. And the PU
JH: And nothing you can tell us about it???. That was a dead end question, good job jared! We’ll let you go, Dave thanks for coming on again, that is Jared Huckaby for out ATV interview, Back to you guys
22:30 – Any Landing you can Walk Away From & Rare Area 18 – Fan Videos
23:20 – Ship Shape, with Lisa Ohanian & Matthew Sherman
– Matt Sherman has been one of the front people working on components.
– Hasn’t stopped working on components for months.
– There are nine main types of components. Working on a v 0 roll out now, hoping to get that out in the next couple of months. v0 would be powerplants, shield generators, and coolers for ships. That drives all the functionality.
– If you don’t have those, everything overheats and you explode.
– Getting those components set up, mapping them out against ships. Once it’s rolled out, ships will fly the same, but there’ll be new tuning data.
– The biggest change to look forward to is moving from ‘one-off’s of all the components, to multiples. The 300 series will have 3 power plants in everything but the 350r, versus just a single one. This’ll give a lot more tuning options.
– There’ll be racing-tuned powerplants, stealth-tuned ones, military tuned ones, etc…
– All those parameters will change the characteristics of the component. A stealth powerplant will have a low IR signature, good heat throughput, so it doesn’t show up on a radar, but it might not have as much raw power.
– Really just more compelling choices to tune and style the ship.
– Everything has a set number of parameters that define its function. A Powerplant has health, power output, cooling potential, how much distortion damage it can take, etc…
– There’s a baseline for all the values that are a ‘C’ grade, and the tuning hinges around that. If it’s weaker or stronger, it’s based on that ‘C’ grade.
– If a small power plant is C grade, it’s 1000 units of power out per second. Taking that into the 300i, baseline of 3000 power (3 plants). If you install stealth power plants on that instead, you’re looking at probably having ~2400 total power, because they’ll have their power reduced, but the signature on other players radar will be much less, because they built for that.
– There are IR detectors that ramp up to determine how much another player can see you, so having those stealth powerplants will make it harder for enemies to see you vs. something like an Aurora CL.
– The Aurora CL has ‘industrial’ powerplants, which means it’s got power to burn, but it’ll glow ‘like a christmas tree’ on someone’s radar.
– Really about having interesting tradeoffs and spanning them across all parameters, so when you go to a workbench to tune it, it’s easy to see all the parameters and what they’re graded at.
– Like having different builds for the same ship.
– v0 will only have a few component types. On all of the live ships, they’ve determined where on the ships those components will sit.
– For many of the current ships, there won’t be much of a change. For the v0 rollout, lots of the parts will be hidden, because lots of the ships weren’t built with the new standard sizes in place. There’ll have to be an update pass for lots of those ships.
– Life Support, for example, needs to be accessible. It’s the one component that all ships will have access to.
– On the 300 series, it’s about finding the important components and where to put them, and mapping out any changes that might have to be made to fit all the components.
– Bigger thing that’s helped is going into new ships like the Connie, having standard sizes for components, everything you need to interact with on the Connie will be tangible and real. It’s going to make the ships a lot more alive.
– And that’s it for Ship Shape.
31:05 – Ben and Sandi
– Ben finally found a pun he wouldn’t say!
– This week saw the MISC Endeavour go on sale in a special Tuesday released.
– One of Ben’s favourite ships. Inspired by the Discovery in 2001. This is the flagship science ship.
– There’s a design doc up from Tony Z. Talks about a lot of the different roles.
– Endeavour’ll bring a lot of new gameplay to SC. And now, Ben, talking about the Endeavour!
Behind the Scenes: MISC Endeavor
JH: Thanks guys. On this week’s ATV’ Behind the Scenes we wanted to take a look at the Endeavor’s science pods, that are said to add all kinds of new gameplay to Star Citizen. So when sitting down with the science pod’s creator that turned out to be Ben Lesnick.
BL: Hello! I guess I’m the “creator” of them in that I did the initial pitch of them way back when with Tony Z back in Austin needs a whole lot of credit for fleshing them out and making them work with the game. I was very happy to be involved with that process. I think it turned out great. I hope the community thinks so too because this is one of my favourite ships we’ve done.
JH: I remember a couple of months ago you sent out the email “who has ideas for science pods” because we pull from all sources. I brought up this wikipedia page with all kinds of sciences; I’m giving him a list and I’m giving it to Ben, and Ben blew that list out of the water with more details and ideas than I could ever come up with.
JH: So why don’t you take us through the start of the Endeavor science pods?
BL: Well, here we have an Endeavor (gestures to whiteboard). If you want to draw an Endeavor it’s just a broom with a Freelancer at the end, or a Space Shuttle perhaps. Endeavor is divided into three stages: the Explorer which separates from the rest of the ship to explore a star’s corona, travel into an asteroid field; it’s heavily armoured and shielded and keeps this part of the ship safe while all the delicate instrumentation is in stage 2, which is the Workshop. Heavily inspired by the Shuttle’s orbiter: you could stick a space lab in the back of the Shuttle, you could stick a zero-g experiment pallette, you could bring up a communications satellite. We wanted a multi-purpose delivery vehicle in that same vein. And that is where the pod attachments come in.
BL: The Endeavor technically has six attach points per pod: three on each side. Every pod we designed so far is balanced 2×2. (looking at drawing) That the confusion I suppose …
JH: Now this is just a visualisation for this so it looks a bit like the Hull series but in the actual model it doesn’t have six giant spindles.
BL: No, it’s more like little portholes. You’ll see in a lot of the Endeavor material there is a 2×1 component or a 2×2 or a 3×2. I’ll show you what that means (start drawing). So a 2×1 is two attach points crosswise; a 2×2 is four total: a cube with two extras; and then, fact I don’t think we’re offering any 3x2s
JH: Not at this time.
BL: when we do it’s the whole darn ship!
JH: Which there might be at some point later on.
BL: Yeah we have all sorts of ideas on how to expand this thing. You know one of the great things about these sales is we can look at it and say “Oh wow, this many people are excited about the science ship we can put this much money and this many more resources into expanding it”. Hopefully we can do even more pods.
JH: So one of the big pods that people are talking about right now is the BioDome pod. So how does the Bio-Dome pod fit in?
BL: So the Bio-Dome pod owes quite a bit to Chris Roberts. Who mentioned the movie Silent Running in the meeting about the ship design.
JH: Yes he did! Yes he did! (removes Ben’s scribbles)
BL: The idea is you have this have these big circular pods (draws circles) that are Bio-Domes like the Pauly Shore movie, and they have this hexagonal dome over top with glass and there’s plants; crops and little bodies of water; and all sorts of organic living things. And you will fly them off into space, get them to the right place in the green band of a star and you’ll grow your crops and you’ll take them to sell them on planets that can’t grow that particular fruit or vegetable or grain for a profit.
BL: It’s one of the things we looked at for all of the pods. Not just how do you do science with this; how do you do gameplay but how do you tie that back into Star Citizen’s economy. So with this one you’re generating crops that you sell and where you sell them in the universe will give different levels of profit.With the Telescope Array, which is a 2×2 that goes like that (draws) with a telescope array that gathers data; locates jumpoints, comets, interesting things out in space. And that’s data you can process and sell or you can take advantage of it yourself.
JH: Before go on with the Bio-Domes, the Bio-Domes are a 2×1?
BL: They are 2×1 but you are limited to two sets total.
JH: Gotcha, so they do overlap?
BL: Yes they do overlap at the edges.
JH: So you do the two can you still put a module in the middle?
BL: You can: you can put any of the smaller modules, the 2×1 modules, in the middle.
JH: The serice crew module, the general science module?
BL: Yes the different layouts. The fuel pods would be useful for this one especially. By the way when and Endeavor has two sets of Bio-Domes we call it an Olympic class which we picked by looking up a list of national parks and picked the one that sounded best for a spaceship.
JH: You heard it here first! We look at the national parks!
BL: Well they were America’s best idea.
JH: So we’ve seen the Bio-Domes. We’ve seen the Telescope Array that takes up 2×2. And then we have the Particle Accelerator?
BL: The Particle Accelerator ties into the overclocking mechanic that Chris described very early on. The idea that our components work the same way as an Intel processor: you get the stock model and you tune it very slightly until it gets a fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction of a percent better. So if you want to get the best possible version of a gun you have to do some work on a workbench; you have to avoid exploding it in the process; you tune it as far as you can.
BL: The idea for the Particle Accelerator, it’s also a 2×2, it’s got that cool, cool ring (draws) and it has two “white room” workshop lab here (draws). You do the actual overclocking work in the labs and you test them in the Particle Accelerator.
JH: Gotcha, and where the other modules that we’ve talked about pretty much sit above the ship, the Particle Accelerator goes around and below.
BL: Yes. When you are picking out your module, you have to pick your ship on a 2D plane. So sometimes there will be some underneath, like the Landing Bay, sometimes there will be some all the way on top, like the the Telescope, and sometimes they’re just going to be on the side, like the individual smaller labs, the storage, that sort of thing.
JH: Okay. Next (removes Ben’s scribbles) I don’t think we can get away without talking about the Hope class and the medical modules.
BL: Yes! The Hope class, this has gone back and forth internally, we’ve said “we’re going to do a separate hospital ship”, “no we’re going to convert this one” and so on, and so on. We ended up … Jim Martin actually saw the design doc that mentioned the hospital stuff in one of our meetings and said “oh let me go ahead and do this too”. So we had no problem with that.
JH: Jim Martin is kinda good.
BL: He’s a fantastic artist. This ship is by Jim Martin. He did the Defiant for Star Trek Deep Space 9; and he’s done … pretty much any space ship you can picture from your childhood Jim Martin’s had something to do with.
BL: So our initial idea for the hospital ship is that it would be even more tiny modules: you’d pick an operating theatre, you could have a recovery room; you could have storage rooms. We decided instead we’ll just have a single 2×2 hospital complex that has all that (draws) because you really need all that regardless what you are doing. The cool thing about the hospital is it’s going to excite everybody who has their fantasies of pocket carriers is there is a second module 2×1 which slings underneath the ship (draws) a Landing Bay.
BL: The Landing Bay fits pretty much any of our single seat ships. You can get two Cutlasses in a row in there! I think I said two Cutlasses across at one point, it’s actually two Cutlasses deep.
BL: You can get a Hornet in there. It will support a ship or two.
BL: And the idea is this is an ambulance bay, the Cutlasses will bring the battlefield casualties up to the ship and they’ll go through decontamination and rushed to the operating theatre. It acts as almost a mobile spawn point for our FPS encounters. The UEE Navy uses them as a hospital ship; civilian organisations use them and now so can you guys!
JH: Now you can use the Landing Bay module without the Medical Bay?
BL: Yes! If you want a Landing Bay module and a couple of labs or, it’s 2×2, so I guess you could have a Particle Accelerator there. Part of the idea is building the ship of your dreams. We sell the base ship and you can pick up and use the modules; we sell a couple of pre-configured versions that we think will be profitable, viable ships in the ‘Verse but it’s your adventure.
JH: Now can you use more than one Landing Bay?
BL: No. It’s a limit of one Landing Bay per ship. I’m pretty sure that’s listed on the website.
JH: Okay. So little pocket carrier, not big pocket carrier.
BL: It’s pocket: it’s small.
JH: Pocket carrier, not full sized carrier. Okay. Now the cab, the Explorer cab detaches?
BL: It does.
JH: What can you tell us about the detachable cab. What can it do on it’s own?
BL: So the idea is it’s this heavily armoured, heavily shielded, well protected Explorer cab. We call it the Explorer: we may come up with a better name than that. It goes into dangerous situations: that could range from anything “oh, we want you to go get solar wind reading close to a star”, “oh, we want you to dive into the edges of a gas giant”, “oh, we want you to land on a dangerous planet and Indiana Jones it up and escape quickly”. So you leave your orbital section, you leave your workshop and your drive unit somewhere: a lagrange point or in orbit somewhere and you just go down and you do the dangerous stuff in the Explorer and you leave the sensitive, more expensive equipment for other folk.
JH: Now it does not have a jump drive?
BL: Yes. That is the limitation of the Explorer because we didn’t want create this cool ship that does everything. The Explorer does not have a jump drive, it just has these two smaller thruster engines (points). So it’s not going to be going fast and it’s not going to travel from system to system. It has to link up with the drive system. Like Obi Wan’s fighter in Attack of the Clones that has to go to that stupid ring thing to get to outer space.
JH: That very cool ring thing.
BL: Right! Rings are cool.
JH: Rings are cool. We love rings! Now, out of curiosity, what happens if your Explorer cab is destroyed while you are separated.
BL: Well it’s bad news for you because presumably you’d be in it.
BL: This can function as sort of an orbital, well not really orbital, but anywhere in space, station. You can go out there and tow it home with a Crucible or something, or just leave it there and you’ve got an impromptu space station for as long as your stores will last.
JH: You mean the Anvil Crucible? Coming soon?
BL: The Anvil Crucible. Coming soon!
JH: And finally, will people be able to buy the Explorer module separately?
BL: Not at the moment but we’re thinking in the ‘Verse there’ll probably be a situation where you want to go replace your destroyed or lost or stolen Explorer cab. On the website it would just cause confusion because you’d have people picking one up and then not being able to play the game because they were stuck in one system without a drive unit.
JH: Cool. Well I think that about wraps us up but of course we’re doing three Q&A posts. The first one will be out tomorrow and then two more the following week. Check next week’s Comm Link schedule to find the exact dates they’re going up and the questions thread is in our Official Announcement forum. So Ben thanks a lot.
BL: Well gosh Jerrard, I’ve got to say, not to sound like a corporate shill or anything, but that is a fantastic Track Jacket. Where did you get that?
JH: My new Track Jacket? I’m so glad you noticed. These Track Jackets are currently on sale now in the Pledge Store and right now they’re on a pre-order 10% discount. So order them now for 10% off because they will be going up once they begin shipping.
BL: Did you say people should order their Track Jackets right now?
JH: I think people should order their Track Jackets right now Ben.
BL: By the way no one asked us to do this.
JH: Back to you guys!
45:40 – Ben and Sandi
MVP! – Bored Gamer – Put together a ‘Start Here’ Star Citizen Tutorial.
SC Alpha 1.2.1 has become 1.3, and it’s working towards a public release.
– No new ships or new environments in this one, but it’s the ‘game-dev’ stream. After months of being apart, this brings it all back together, sets the stage for more cool stuff.
– Hangar Lighting improvement comparison images.