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Reverse the Verse: Episode 2.07 Written Thursday 15th of September 2016 at 07:00pm by CanadianSyrup, StormyWinters and

After an exciting episode of Around the ‘Verse, it’s time to end off with the week in Austin with Reverse the ‘Verse! Check it out

As is with any information on our transcripts and summaries, everything posted is subject to change by CIG and in some cases may not always be 100% accurate at the time. While we strive for accuracy, mistakes do happen so please let us know if you find something amiss that we didn’t catch. Enjoy the show!

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

  • Today’s show was in Austin with Tyler Witkin and two guests: Mike Jones, IT Director and Josh Coons, 3D Artist
  • DevOps consists of 9 people including Mike Jones and everyone who thinks QA doesn’t get sleep, QA themselves wonder how DevOps get any sleep at all.
    • Mike says there’s times when he sends people home because they’ve worked so much, but then when they’re home they’ll continue working on their laptop because they’re passionate about what they do.
  • The patch size reduction project is a big undertaking that affects them internally just as much as the end user.
  • Everyone in DevOps has epic beards because when Mike won the mustache contest, everyone grew beards instead and so Mike grew a beard to win that contest too and it stuck.
  • Josh Coons has worked on the Mustang Delta, Constellation Andromeda w/Chris Smith, Xi’An Scout w/Chris Smith, and Herald.
    • Josh is currently working on the Cutlass Black and later the Hornet and Constellation Phoenix.
  • Josh doesn’t have a favourite ship because they’re like his children, he appreciates them for their unique attributes and they all have their own characteristics.
  • Josh does sign his concept work, but doesn’t sign the ships visually ingame, unless you removed the art.
  • Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary livestream of Wing Commander 2 with Ben Lesnick.

Full Transcript

  • Hello folks! Show will start in approximately 2 minutes!(Hopefully). Your transcribers today are myself CanadianSyrup and Stormy Winters assisting with editing.
  • Show is live and after some audio issues we’re good to go!
  • There’s Tyler Witkin, Community Manager for Austin and Mike Jones, IT Director

[What’s the insight from a Devops perspective preparing for presentations?]

It starts with the IT group, a lot of setting up and testing. From Devops there’s a couple months of prep before the actual show to allow for a lot of builds to be put together and test those publishes. The other thing is the systems no matter what, ride the edge of their capabilities and push the boundaries further on improving the infrastructure and upgrade with no downtime.

Tyler talks about how QA pulls some ridiculous hours, but when it comes to Devops, they wonder how they manage to get any sleep.

  • Mike: It’s dedication at the end of the day. Ahmed for example is passionate and when he gets told to go home and rest, he’ll just open up his laptop at home and continue working.

[How many people are on the DevOps team.]

9 people including Mike Jones.

  • Tyler talks about how patch size externally, affects the internals just as much and they’re pushing so much data and the patch project is a huge deal internally.
  • There was a time where Tyler complained about slow internet speed at one point, but it was because he happened to be on the same network that was publishing and it was sending so much data. Instances like that is what they want to reduce.

[From a DevOps perspective, what is the biggest challenge you face on a day to day basis and does it affect other departments?]

Mike: You could say everything is a challenge, but they welcome challenges and it’s fun to overcome them.

  • The patch size reduction has been a big challenge, but it’s less fun and more of a pride thing to be able to make it happen and it’ll pay off in the end.

[What goes into releasing a patch to the public?]

In general terms, because specific would take too long. Typically the process starts when QA gives the green light. Then the checklist happens to make sure everything is ready on the backend. With PTU they’re moving a copy of the build to all the servers simultaneously

  • It’s quite tricky, but they upload to a server that players can’t see while other servers are running and then when that server has been green lit, then they’ll begin the uploading process for the patch to the launcher.
  • Then after some final tests and making sure everything is golden, they’ll flick the switch and it goes live.

[What skills are required to get a job in DevOps?]

It varies from company to company. Any type of publishing, IT, webwork experience is good. For CIG it’s Engineering, Network engineering, Linux is important because the servers run in Linux.

Some companies won’t have you work with Linux much, but CIG is big on Linux.

[What is with everybody in Devops having epic beards?]

Mike doesn’t know why it got started, but it was well established after Mike won the mustache contest and people started growing beards, Mike decided to win that contest too and he decided to not shave because it was tedious and it caught on.

  • That’s all with Mike and they’re currently playing a video of the Herald in white box I think.
  • They’re back with Josh Coons, 3D Artist.
  • Josh worked with Chris Smith on the Constellation, but worked alone on the Drake Herald for the most part and is in charge for how it will look in the end.
  • Some ships you work together with others, some you work alone.
  • With big ships you separate it into chunks like you would an environment team.
  • It’s a collaboration with many different people, Designers, Artists, QA, etc.

[What ships have you worked on?]

The last ship Chris and him did together was the Alien scout, it was probably the fastest ship ever made in his opinion. The Constellation of course. Mustang Delta is one of his favourites that he worked on.

[How was the Drake Herald different from other ships you’ve worked on?]

The Herald because it was his first ship to do, he got to set the pace. The difference being milestones or gates such as white box, grey box, Flight, etc. There’s a lot of iteration in the earlier phases.

[What do you do to find inspiration on projects?]

Look at what the spirit of the project is and in the Herald case was looking at Drake. Defining the traits of each company was important when Josh joined CIG and having something to look at and reference. Looked at construction equipment, barebone engines…

[How involved are other department throughout the process of making a ship?]

They’re everywhere, especially near the end when everything is coming together and that’s when the issues tend to crop up.

The smallest problems can end up being a big problem if it’s not taken care of in white box and grey box which is what those phases are for.

[What type of ship do you prefer working on the most?]

Josh is a big WW2 nerd so anything that’s militarized. When he got to work on the Delta he was very excited. He doesn’t have a true favourite because ships are like children to him, you love them all for their unique characteristics.

[Do you sign your work?]

During concept sure, in the final product? Not on the surface.

[Do you know what assets are common between the Caterpillar and Herald?]

There’s a lot that they share. Herald reused hull textures, and some others.

[Did you add your own personal touches that weren’t on the design brief?]

Yes, the huge pipes weren’t in concept, but Josh took a risk and Chris liked it and approved it.

He made the angles a bit more aggressive as well.

[Does the ship size affect difficulty? And what’s your favourite size of ship to work on?]

Yes, and the sizes have advantages and disadvantages. On the Constellation and working with Chris Smith was a lot of fun because you could get constant feedback and work off the other person, but it takes longer to see the final result. For smaller ships it’s just you and it gets out faster, but not as much collaboration.

[What ships are you working on now or will be working on?]

Cutlass Black, Hornet, Constellation Phoenix.

  • That’s the end of the Q&A with Josh Coons.
  • A small community update. There’s a Barcitizen in Orlando Florida this Saturday. Details can be found at tinyurl.com/floridabarcitizen.
  • On Saturday as well is the 25th anniversary livestream of Wing Commander 2 being hosted by Ben Lesnick
  • The weekly newsletter comes out today with a special sneak peek inside.


Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.


Director of Fiction

Moonlighting as a writer in her spare time StormyWinters combines her passion for the written word and love of science fiction resulting in innumerable works of fiction. As the Director of Fiction, she works with a fantastic team of writers to bring you amazing stories that transport you to new places week after week.