As per usual, anything said during the show is subject to change by CIG and may not always be accurate at the time of posting. Also any mistakes you see that I may have missed, please let me know so I can correct them. Enjoy the show!
The show has begun! Hosting Today's show is Jared Huckaby with three guests: Mark "BugSmasher" Abent, Senior Gameplay Programmer. Kirk Tome, Lead Technical Designer. Chad McKinney
[What do you do Mark] Anything related to the gameplay whether it's ships exploding, flying, moving, anything the player can do and interact with.
[What does a Lead Designer do Kirk?] They're responsible for the design of ships and their systems and determining what loadout they have, their configuration of components, etc.
[What do you do Chad?] He works with Kirk so a lot of the same stuff Kirk does, but is delegated to him from Kirk.
[What is Item system 2.0?] Item 2.0 has been thrown around as the fix for everything, but what item 2.0 is not an entity, but the technology that is coming up. What exists now is this very static logic block that does its job pretty well, but when you try to do additional things with that logic block that it wasn't designed for, it doesn't go very well. So Item 2.0 takes away the logic from those blocks and allows you to manipulate those blocks in a way that you can seperate different entities to be able to individually customize those. So instead of a ship being either On or Off when you board it, now you can sit in the cockpit and sit just there, instead of having it automatically turn on, or you could turn on just radar or etc.
[Why didn't you just make Item system 2.0 in the first place?] CryEngine didn't have the systems that they have now and scaling was something that played a bit part to where you don't know the limits until you hit them. Iteration is something that happens many times during game development to where the first system will never look like the last system that is implemented. When they started the project the focus was just to start building stuff and figuring out what they need from there and then they can get an idea of what they need to work towards.
[Will Item system 2.0 finally allow us to lock our spaceships?] It does allow for that functionality to happen, but there's a little more involved to make that happen such as having a security system implemented to verify whose allowed in or not and the different ways to authorize people to have access to the interaction panel to get through said door.
They've been talking about hypothetical scenario's with Item 2.0 being implemented such as diverting power from weapons to engines to allow you to escape an encounter or how fighting a ship now will be different because ships are mostly stock in game, whereas in 3.0 and beyond people will be able to kit out their ships in ways that can drastically change the characteristics.
[With Item 2.0 allowing us to hit buttons to access the various systems, will there be shortcut keys to the systems?] Yes and no. Interaction will be done mainly through the onscreen systems, but there will be some keys you can press to swap pages or focus on a certain element.
[What will gameplay be like with the new interaction with systems compared to now?] Well before things were either on or off and with Multi-crew ships there wasn't anything one could do except be in a turret really. Now players will be able to have a co-pilot that can manage power to shields or where to direct the focus of the shield if getting hit from a certain direction. Then there's the whole scenario of components getting damaged and having to repair them in a multi-crew ship to keep yourself alive in the fight or from the elements.
[Will we see the return of an indepth power system management] Yes
[Will all ships be converted to item system 2.0 for 3.0?] Yes, they have to be. There's no way to have the old and new system ingame at the same time so it's a big effort.
[What is the Room system?] It's a generic way for designers to layout volumes to designate areas. It's a way to simplify things for designers gameplay wise. An example is atmosphere and what rooms have it and what happens when you open a door to another room, does it have atmosphere too? If not what happens? etc.
They're talking about the stamina system and how it's not static in what your character is capable of, but what your environment allows. So it works on the oxygen in your blood and some planets may allow you to run farther or perhaps not run as far because the atmosphere is thin. The system doesn't just support oxygen, but also other gases.
[Are there incompatibilities planned between components for item 2.0?] The first iteration won't have those because they're getting the system online and want to make it sure functions correctly, but they'll put some restrictions down the line and look at the components and how they're used and see if it's within the boundaries they want to see.
[Will replacing a damaged shield module bring a shield down or is their a redundancy?] That depends on the ship, but that won't be something you'll encounter now as live swapping won't be in the first iteration.
[In Item 2.0 how will stackable and variable items be handled] That's been handled by another developer, but they're not sure how much they can talk about it, but Kirk says they are working on a system to have stackable items in containers and etc.
[Final thoughts?] Kirk: Right now they're focused on polishing 3.0 and getting all the tech in that they want and working for it.
That's all for this week's Happy Hour. Next week will feature the monthly Subscriber Town Hall on Tuesday. For those who aren't aware yet, Happy Hour is now on a bi-weekly schedule so tune in two weeks from now for the next Happy Hour.