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Reverse the Verse: 2.11 - DE Written Thursday 27th of October 2016 at 07:00pm by CanadianSyrup, StormyWinters and

After an exciting episode of Around the Verse, it’s time to end it off with Reverse the Verse in Frankfurt.

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 RTV featured Pascal Puller, Environmental Artist and Hannes Appell, Director of Cinematics for Squadron 42.
  • Pascal talked about ecosystems blending.
    • Naturally it works to an extent in the game, but requires artist intervention at certain points.
    • They currently have concept artists drawing up what a biome should look like and what will be inside and then folks like Pascal will go in and make it happen.
  • Long lasting environmental effects is something that’s being thought of. An example Pascal gave was if there was a forest being harvested, over time the density would decrease and the player would be able to see that and it would change the environment accordingly.
  • Water as it stands doesn’t have much interaction for now. Down the road probably, but other than going in it, there won’t be much initially.
  • Large cities being generated procedurally like Arc Corp is in prototype stage now for using large objects.
  • Hannes talked about cinematics mostly during his time.
  • Cinematic quality is the same ingame as it is in cut scene and their goal is to use CryEngine as much as possible and allow the player to still move, look around at times.
    • There will be moments where the player won’t have that freedom for gameplay reasons like being briefed on a mission or story to make sure they hear it, but rarely you’ll encounter the dreaded cutscene button smash some other games have.
  • Objects like crashed ships and other unique items won’t be procedurally generated, but rather hand placed by a developer who found a suitable spot and placed it there. They intend to automate it to an extent, but want players to feel like they’ve made a neat discovery because someone took the time to place it there.
  • The quality of faces back during the Gary Oldman speech was around 60% of what it is now, they’ve come a long way and in some cases the accessories have to be updated because they were a lower quality  than the faces themselves.

Full Transcript

  • Seeing some footage now of them zooming from space in editor to the planet in front of them, pretty neat perspective.
  • We’re live! I see Brian Chambers and Pascal Muller from yesterday’s episode of Behind the Scenes.
  • If you want your questions answered you can submit them to the live chat at Robertsspaceindustries.com

[What do you do Pascal?]

He started at Foundry 42 a year ago and back then procedural tech was still a concept and a long term goal, so he worked on space stations and supporting other aspects of the project.

Normally when you work on a game, you don’t see your items getting used for a long time, he made the console for Crusader so it was neat seeing something he made get used right away.

[How’s that been working with the programmers?]

It’s been like two worlds colliding. It took some time to adjust, but one of the guys, Mark he talked with him to create a bridge between their departments art and programmers.

[As an environment artist, specifically procedural planets how do you tackle designing each ecosystem that they have to blend in ways you don’t even know yet?] different biomes and how they should look and what’s inside each one and then handed off to people like Pascal to make it happen.

The blending of different height maps in general, such as mountains and then sand next to it works, but in some cases it doesn’t make sense. For example, you have a pitch black mountain and white sand… it doesn’t look right, but that’s where artists come in and make touch ups. We have concept artists mock up the

[Will we be able to see permanent lasting effects caused by the environment such as lightning hitting a tree?]

They have a plan where the terrain changes if there’s big explosions, but that will go away after awhile, but they’re thinking about when you harvest resources such a forest for example, the density will shrink over time after a couple months lets say and players will see the difference in the terrain.

[How much interaction is there with water?]

Visually it’s close to where they want it, as far as water is concerned there’s not much to it right now as that involves other systems, but they won’t restrict you.

[Will procedural generation be used on giant city planets like Arc Corp?]

This week they’ve started to prototype Arc Corp. It’s very different with building a city as you can get away with certain things in terrain, but not a city. They’re prototyping a way to do that with making large objects currently.

  • That’s all with Pascal. Up next is Hannes!
  • They’re back. Hannes Appall is the Director of Cinematics at Foundry 42 in Frankfurt
  • Hannes is responsible for the cinematic of Squadron 42 and supports Chris at Imaginarium by making sure the cast is in the right places and props are set up correctly, where as Chris makes sure they’re saying and doing the right things. They also want to have all cinematics in real time, not pre rendered to allow for AI triggers to be used as an example.

[How was it to mocap at Imaginarium?]

It was amazing, running through the emotions of dreaming you’re there to actually being there and finally wow this is going on for awhile. It was amazing to see Gary Oldman do his speech for the first time and everyone in the room was running around and stopped in their tracks to listen.

[Will we see the same level of quality in cinematics as in game?]

Yes because they’re the same, cinematics are not special scenes, no tricks. There’s some cases where the accessories are lower detail than the faces themselves.

[Which departments contribute the most to cinematics and what do they contribute?]

Definitely character and animation team. Without them you couldn’t really do much. The tool designers are also important as well to give the tools necessary to create the scenes.

[The area we saw on the Homestead demo, was it the only place populated with items?]

Currently there’s two systems in place for that, one involves rocks, grass, etc is automatically placed. Crashed ships are hand placed where the designer sees fit so it’s special when you find it because they’ve actually taken the time to find a place to put it. They will design a logic set to automate certain things like that, but hand placing will be the norm.

[For the cinematics are you confident where they are and how it’s going?]

It’s going very well, they’re pretty happy with what they’ve been able to accomplish and the tech they’ve designed has in some cases helped other aspects of the project. Their goal is to keep the player in control as much as they can. They give a lot of thought into how a cinematic is, whether it makes sense and how often they take the camera away from the player.

[What tools do you guys use for creating cinematics or is it 100% CryEngine?]

Camera shake, All the cameras get setup in CryEngine, of course they use Maya, they do texture work in Substance Painter, but it’s mostly done in CryEngine.

[In cut scenes will the player be restricted or can you move around?]

As long as the player isn’t knocked out and is aware, you have freedom in the scene, but certain scenes like getting a briefing and sitting in a chair, you won’t be able to get up and etc.

[Where facial quality is now, using Gary Oldman as an example from the speech a year ago, where was it in terms of percentage of quality then to now?]

About 85% performance wise, 60% visually. There was a lot wrong/not done for that speech that’s fixed now.

  • That’s all with Hannes.
  • Community update: Free fly is going till the end of the week. Esperia Prowler art contest is going on currently, you can find more information on the forums, winners will be announced at the anniversary livestream. There will be a Barcitizen around that time as well in Montreal and several members of Turbulent are expected to turn up.


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.