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Around the ‘Verse – Episode 35 Written Thursday 12th of March 2015 at 10:09am by Nehkara

Greetings fellow Citizens!  Here is The Relay’s coverage of Around the ‘Verse – Episode 35. Around the ‘Verse Images Transcript by Erris   Empire Report Are your information transfers safe?  Your information may not be as...

Greetings fellow Citizens!  Here is The Relay’s coverage of Around the ‘Verse – Episode 35.

Around the ‘Verse

Images

Transcript by Erris

 

  • Empire Report
      • Are your information transfers safe?  Your information may not be as secure as you think it is!
        • 5 ways to stop Data Theft
      • Find out what you can do to keep your children away from the Vanduul threat
      • Xi’Nu Cuisine – the Hot new dining experience
  • Around the ‘Verse
    • PAX event seemed like a success
      • Ben hasn’t played the 0G stuff yet, but
        • Highlight reel of PAX stuff.
        • Showing people, some CR on stage, some temporary tatoos, some Gladius damage, etc…
      • Now some Retaliator footage
        • same footage that was shown during PAX I believe
    • Monthly Report for February
  • News from Around the ‘Verse
  • Santa Monica with Travis and Darian
    • Drake Herald
      • inforunner, being modeled by Paul Forgi
      • chunky, blocky ship.  Redesigned to be a little more symmetrical
    • Retaliator
      • It’s gotten some work.  yes, it’s in 1.1 in the Hangar, but it’s also the test-bed for multi-crew ship functionality.
        • hud displays to different seats
        • also testing better ways to render large ships.
    • 1.1.0 push
      • tidying up the last bits.
      • Intense patch so far, lots coming.
        • Retaliator hangar ready
          • shows off some of the technology
          • one shot shows the hit impact and the emergency lights and such.  This is the test bed for all kinds of conditional and reactive lighting
      • Balancing
      • Gladius
        • new damage states cut down on load times.
        • Looks better
        • easier for the artists to make.
        • New damage tech reduces the game size of the ships by almost 2/3rds, which is huge.
          • the difference between caching 100mb and caching 14mb
        • This will cut down on load times, once all ships are on the new damage tech.
          • should be pretty quick.
    • Cool interviews coming out of PAX – GamersNexus
      • Chris talks about the new Zone system
        • instancing, local physics grid, and how CIG are changing how that’s being done.
  • Illfonic with Kedhrin Gonzalez and Chuck Bruegarde
    • Back from PAX East
      • event went really well, showed off the first preview of the Astro Arena and such
      • Definitely some issues still, but it was a good reveal.
    • Next
      • looking at the Astro Arena looking at more.  Lots of the movement was cut from the demo, because they weren’t quite working correctly yet.
      • A few things with 0g movement they want to really detail and fine tune.
        • working with Steve Bender, animation director, trying to tighten up animations and how the character reacts to gravity, and grabbing on to things.
      • Getting the module ready is the next push, animations and a few little bugs.
        • there’s going to be another mo-cap shoot to fill in more details.
      • It’s fun already, there’s a game there, going to start having a lot more company playtests soon, and then it’ll come to the backers soon.
  • Austin with Jake Ross and Patrick Thomas – lead artist
    • Update on the Demo we’ll see at SXSW
      • VFX work being done in house, setting up steam coming out of grates, playing some screens in the bar
      • Bits and bobs bringing the arcorp level to life
    • R&D being done on Mining gameplay
      • starting to implement the mining design this week, setting it up now.
      • Probably be able to start mining in the not-too distant future
    • Patrick
      • mobiGlas
        • the model is beautiful and amazing and incredibly detailed
        • they’re going through it bit by bit.  Taking the model apart, dissecting it, building more detail in, dividing it into its materials (silver, plastic, etc…)
        • Then they build meshes that they project into the game
        • Effects get added
        • Very exciting and important part of the game they’re working on.
  • CIG UK with UK QA team
    • new features being tested for 1.1
      • multiplayer free-flight
        • a lot of fun to test
        • new landing features are in, testing that to make sure it works
        • getting out, sitting in different seats, stealing each others ships, backstabbing, etc…
        • but fun.
      • make sure you put bugs on the forums, keeps their job much easier.
      • REC credits coming in in 1.1
        • be earning credits as you play in certain game modes
        • rent weapons and ships and such with the credits.
        • a cycle of epic win.
        • More incentive to play, more interesting to play.
      • Gladius is flight-ready
        • lots of time looking at the new damage state
        • squibbing is in.
        • lots of making sure the damage states look natural and good.
        • flies like a dream.
  • Bugsmashers
    • Binging on house of the Kardashians last week, that’s why he wasn’t here.
    • Vanduul Swarm, ready to fight A.I.
    • Waiting for some A.I. to spawn, but they never spawn.  A.I. got busted.
      • had to pull in some features from ‘main’ into ‘1.1’ so the Retaliator would be set up, uses a complicated pre-fab system (design a ship like a level), everything gets imported dynamically.
      • After that got imported, A.I. in dying star got broken.
      • Swarm mode uses a series of flow-graphs that do logic.
      • the flow graphs have very specific entities.  there’re spawn points all around the map, and there are flow graphs tied to those.
      • For some reason, entity ID’s are getting nulled out in the flow-graph.
    • LOOOONG story short, when the level loads, there are flow graphs.  These are tied to entities.  Since the entities don’t exist when the flowgraphs are created, there has to be a list for them.  Flowgraphs and entities have to point to each other.
    • Some stuff was ported from main build to 1.1, but the prefabs were overwriting the flowgraphs, so nothing was getting spawned in.
  • MVP
      • Nero and Mondecus
        • Mondecus hijacks a Glaive and flies it around.
      • Organization
        • Black Star Initiative
          • the premier organization for security.
  • Customer Service
    • Finally almost through ticket mountain, so response times should improve.
    • Hired two new CS to work in UK.
    • There will be SC baseball caps coming soon.
  • Interview
      • Jeremy Masker – Director of Game Operations
  • So, you’re out here visiting, what are you doing out here?
        • I’m out here to basically meet wtih Chris and Alex Mayberry to talk about how things are going in Austin on the infrastructure side.
  • Glad we could grab you while you’re here.  So questions!  What does a Director of Game Ops do exactly?
        • Good question!  Originally I was in an Operations role at Blizzard, and now my role here is like…a gradiant step of that.  Instead of doing coordination, I”m helping engineers do more research and design, and basically being an engineering manager for the operations team in Austin
  • So a more technical slant than at Blizzard?
        • yeah, before I was dealing more with comunication, scheduling, tasking, things that production usually deals with.  A lot of coordination between multiple departments.  Now I’m more focused on making sure the engineering team has everything they need to accomplish the massive amount of server infrastructrure building.
  • As director of game ops, can you please define and summarize the key performance indicators and other metrics used for Star Citizen?
        • The short answer is we don’t have any KPI’s.  I’m sure that eventually we’ll get there, but the game that’s live currently is a very immature form of what we’re going to have, so it doesn’t require a huge amount of overhead in service-level tech that larger MMO’s FPS’ and such need where they have a large backend team looking at health checks and metrics.
        • While we have these kinds of metrics, graphs to see logins, memory allocations, or how much CPU is being used, generally we do all that pretty manually.  It’s more like, we take a look at AC and make sure all the services are up and make sure nothing’s crashing constantly.  Right now there are so few metrics theres’ no reason to have KPI’s, but as the game grows that’ll be an important part to define.
  • Can you comment on how dynamic battle instances will work?  If a battle instance becomes too full, will the instance be split into two adjacent instances which players can traverse between invisibly?
        • How we’re currently planning is if you’re flying around in space you’re on a server.  As that server fills up, the hope is we’ll be able to subdivide the backend load onto multiple servers, and have that be invisible to the player.  Servers would be doing network handoffs, so if you have a geographical area being run by a server, and it’s starting to get overloaded, basically another server spins up to support it in the load, and possibly they subdivide it geographically.  Lets say an asteroid field is a high bandwidth to render and do physics on, then you can keep the space station and most of the surrounding space on one server, and you just do all the asteroid fields are run by another server.  There are plenty of different ways to do that subdivision.  Might not be done that way, but there are lot of options.
        • If i’m flying from one server to the next, there’s going to be a sort of ‘invisible handoff’.  You’ll stream in all your server and network data, and the handoff will be invisible.
  • Sounds like a future deep dive post.  Next question – what do you consider the biggest bottleneck to system performance for the PU?
        • My first long-winded answer to the last question makes it sound like you can subdivide infinitely, and we’ll be able to support these massive space battles.  The actual bottleneck comes down to, as much work as we subdivide, we still run into the bottleneck of the client.  How many player entities can the client render on screen.
        • You could have a very widespread solar system run by one server, and if it’s 100km by 100km by 100km, if there are lots of people all throughout, their clients aren’t viewing each other, so there’s no bottleneck there.  As long as we keep subdividing that work, we could get lots of people, a theoretical high number of people that we don’t have an answer for yet, we’re hoping for over 250, but we still have to do all that optimization.  But we’re hoping for a large number on the back end.  But when all those players congregate in one area, the bottleneck becomes a client performance bottleneck, of how many entities can we render on a users screen at the same time before you’re watching a slideshow, not playing a game.  I think that’ll be the big bottleneck, and we’ll have to work on that as best we can.
  • Last question.  Coming from a WoW and Diablo background, how do you think Star Citizen will hold up down the road?  Do we seem to have similar foundations on the development side of things?  Will there be any more studios?  If so, what will they be? I don’t think you can answer the last two, but…
        • So, WoW and Diablo 3 are both different beasts from one another, and we’re a completely different beast from that.
        • The way SC is going is a cloud-based solution.  Price-tag becomes the problem in that, as you scale up more services you have to pay for, it gets expensive, but from a technical perspective, if we needed to create 7000 solar systems, we have the ability do to that, and even if we have millions online, as long as they’re not all in once place, that’s all being handled by disparate systems and different server architecture that’s caching and is not IO dependent and is allowing data to be read and multiplied across various regions so we have this ability to have a unified game world.  A lot of games in the last 10 years have come up with, they’ve hit against the problem where players in Europe play in Europe, players in American play in America.  And there’s been some work to improve on that, and our game is going to bbe that next iteration of, a truly seamless game where there are no national or regional boundaries.  The problem really just becomes player congregation habits.  I mean, what we had at Blizzard, WoW had those problems all the time.  How do you design a game to keep players from sticking in one small area.
        • So, I see the future as very bright.  We’ve got a lot of technical challenges ahead of us, I think we’re building a very good foundation.  It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot more investigation and technical research and trial and error, but we have our PTU servers so you know, we’re definitely going to be utilizing those to try out solutions, so that’s going to help us out a lot.
  • What I would do in WoW was just go into first person and just look at the ground when I went into stormwind, so there was no slowdown.
  • Ben and Sandi
    • Big things are coming!
      • 1.1
        • It’s even more true this week than last week, it could be as soon as tonight
      • special free-fly week
        • All ships are flyable for a week as part of the presentation at SXSW.
        • Free party on Sunday
      • They’ve replaced their Banner, because it was stolen at the PAX East party
        • if you have their banner, if you stole their banner, you are a terrible, terrible person.  This is coming from me, not them.  But seriously.  Return that shit.  *evil glare*
        • from Ben – Please please, we’re a crowdfunded game, we can’t afford unlimited banners.
      • Subscriber flair releases tomorrow
      • Inside CIG with Pedro tomorrow as well.
  • Sneak Peek (see above images)
    • big gunzzz!
    • really big, pretty looking gun.

Nehkara

Founder

Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.