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Reverse the ‘Verse – January Subscriber Edition Written Wednesday 27th of January 2016 at 11:07am by Erris

Hello Citizens! Welcome to The Relay’s coverage of the Reverse the ‘Verse January Subscriber Edition!   Transcript by Erris & Shiver Bathory TLDR(Too Long; Didn’t Read) Landing zones – Area 18 is 4-6 gigs of...

Hello Citizens!

Welcome to The Relay’s coverage of the Reverse the ‘Verse January Subscriber Edition!

 

Transcript by Erris & Shiver Bathory

TLDR(Too Long; Didn’t Read)

  • Landing zones – Area 18 is 4-6 gigs of data within the level. Imagine flying up to a planet, and also having to load the landing zone. Streaming that much data seamlessly is difficult, have to make sure it’s not just objects popping in. Working on that with object containers and the like.
  • [Physicalized EVA? There were expectations of it in 2.1] It was in 2.1, but they pulled it out on purpose. It’s ‘definitely’ (not definitely) in 2.2. It’s in the branch for 2.2. But there’s been a lot more work done on it.
    al actions.
  • They changed the way that the character is locomoted in the EVA. It’s a driven ragdoll. If anyone’s seen Morphene, or in Fifa they use a similar system, where there’s a level of driven ragdoll. A set of rigid bones that blends animation on top of physical actions.
  • When you’re in EVA, your origin changes, and your center of mass changes. Usually it’s around the hips, but because it moves, it makes control difficult. So there’s been a lot of work on it, apparently it feels much better than it did initially. There will still be bugs, but it’ll be good.
  • Also, with the physical EVA, they get ‘fall and play and fall’. As you transition in and out of gravity, right now, as soon as you’re within gravity, you get dropped and land on your feet. What they want to do with it is give a range that you’d be able to land on your feet. Right now, it’s 20 or 30 degrees. A little cone in which you can land.
  • Even in a station that has gravity generators; if you’re in a ship that has two teams, you can use it to your advantage. Hangar + gravity generator, turn on gravity, everyone’ll fall to the ground, so you can even use that tactically.
  • [How are FPS animations coming?] Coming really well. Steven Bender was in Frankfurt 2 months ago, doing a lot of work. Apparently many Crisis people worked on the animations back when they were at Crytek, the blending of first and third person animations, but they’ve made a change, and they solved the problem apparently. One line of code, and he solved it. ‘1000 man hours, I do in one line’.
  • Apparently it feels like an FPS again. The weapons’ in the right place, etc… You’ll see, if you look at the old videos, the weapons bounce. It doesn’t look like a solidified shooter. But they didn’t want to have static, floaty weapon. The problem used to be that, in an FPS, the weapon’s the only thing that communicates your weapon to you. If you’re turning, the weapon needs to ‘cant’. Same with cover, you need to be able to tell if you’re looking out, etc…
  • It’s going very well though, better than it ever has been. They’ve made a bunch of changes that’ll make development even easier. THey ahve 4 or 5 layers of animation now; including things like ‘weapons hand over’. For different sizes of weapons; sniper rifles vs. rifles, they have to change the hand poses. They’ve added another layer of animation to move the hand slightly, which lets them make more weapons faster without uniquely animating them all.
  • The start-stops have made good progress as well. Steve Bender came up with some ideas on it. Jukes are still a challenge; they’re in, and responsive, but in the original implementation they felt unresponsive. Now they don’t.
  • They’re making it not completely symmetrical; the animations look a lot more realistic now.
  • [Turrets on multicrew ships. Right now they’re not very fun. What’s being done to improve that?] Lots of testing. Trying lots of different ideas. Chris has a good direction on it; what they want to try, and they’re just doing it internally, right now, you sit in it, you’ve got a crosshair, and that’s how it’s moving. The problem with that is it’s nothing like anything else in the ship. Floating reticule, everything else follows it, etc… they want to have a floating reticule that the turret will catch up to, but they have to make sure it’s fast enough.
  • No promise that they’ll do that, but they’re going to try it internally to see how it feels. They also want to add some feedback internally about where your turret is facing on the ship.
  • [Hair. TressFX? AMD’s PureHair? What’s the plan?] Apparently there’s an update for TressFX; CIG evaluated it when TressFX 1.0 came out, Sean Tracy was on the team that got PureHair into Crysis (he worked on it with Illfonic), but there are SO many characters on screen in SC, they can’t just have one character having amazing hair and everyone else having bad hair; it’s too much of a performance impact. TressFX is not a system for 60 characters on screen.
  • [Matchmaking, Lobby system?] Sean doesn’t really do much with it. They’re working on getting an ‘ELO’ rating online. The ELO rating is a guys last name, Elo, apparently. They need that so they can match make between similarily skilled players. That should come online soon, but likely as AC makes further progress. The real focus is the mini PU right now. Once sim pods are in that, there should be a lot more work on AC
  • [Will bullets from FPS bguns be effected by gravity?] Right now they’re not, but that system is already in CryEngine; bullet drop. But they could. Right now they just haven’t been working ever at ranges where it’d make sense. Most of the FPS combat scenarios don’t extend past 2-300 yards right now. That’s not to say they won’t, because of things like planetside, but currently there’s been no reason for it.
  • Right now, within a local physics grid ship, you wouldn’t feel a gravity change. It’s artificial gravity, so the ship compensates for the inertial effect. They do want a reaction at some point though; A Connie pilot can still red out and black out which doesn’t make sense, but that’s balanced. What they do want are damage reactions – Star Trek seat shaking. They can’t take control from the player, but they can make the character react a bit.
  • [Right now on Crusader, players inside the local physics grid can’t be killed?] It’s a bug. It’ll be fixed. There will be combat on ships, for sure. Especially larger ships than the Tali / Connie. Gotta have boarding ship battles.
  • Trick is, (they just had a meeting about this) they need a piercing system for item components; shield, hull, then component, and there needs to be some piercing. Right now though, the system works as ‘can I go through it, or can I not?’ If you say ‘yes you can go through the armour’ they just go through, so they had to pull that back. Have to implement a deeper system, not just a true / false logic system.
  • “Space glass is pretty strong” They don’t want you to be shot from outside the ship and die while piloting.
  • [CryEngine doesn’t natively support rendering the world into subframes? The Khartu was supposed to have a holographic viewscreen?] Yes? There was never a need for subframes (picture in pictures). They want it, and there is stuff in the engine that’s doing something simliar (Stereo does something very similar. Post stereo will render the scene once, then generates a second image based on the first frame). They could do something to that effect. The trick is, there’s so many screen-based and camera based effects that are done, that it won’t work very well if you’re trying to do picture in picture.
  • There will be more work on turrets and being able to see what they can see. They want to be able to take the tech to such a level you could use security cameras aboard large ships. This may even lead up to tech so a ship could have no window what so ever
  • [With the release of the Rift and Vive, will SQ42 have official VR support?] Can’t answer that. Sean doesn’t know. There will be VR support, yes, and it’s probably expected for SQ42, but it’s more a question for Chris. It’s a matter of time.
  • Saitek preorder will be a bit longer. They had planned end of January, but they’re going to do it a bit closer to when things would be shipping. It’s not immediately, but it’s still coming. The design is pretty finalized. There are folks from Saitek there today.
  • [Integrated voice chat? There’s tech demos on positional audio and the like…] A lot of voice chat stuff does that already. TeamSpeak, you can set users to be in different 3D areas, etc… For CIG to know where players are speaking, they know that all the time, they can absolutely do it. CryEngine already has VOIP in it, but the quality isn’t something they’re happy with, or the bandwidth. They’ve talked to some vendors about it, but they’re just going to do their own. It will definitely support positional audio.
  • Some of the ideas they’ve had about other things, like run-time facial movement, there are lots of R&D things going on. A lot of facial animators will just capture their own faces with their webcams. All the tech exists, it’s just a matter of priority. They know they can do it, and it’ll benefit the players more when there’s a better party system. Cart before horse. They know how they’ll do it though.
  • [Is there a better party system coming?] Yes. Eventually. But it doesn’t work right right now. Contacts don’t work, etc… There’s lots of things that do it right, a billion different communication systems (skype, etc…) and they’re not going to reinvent the wheel. But that has to come online before VOIP stuff.
  • [What important tech are you not sure about working?] Normally the job is to know how they’ll attack something. Very seldom do they jump in and have 0 idea. The stuff that scares Sean the most is stuff they don’t know that they don’t know. It’s nebulous, but the worst problems are the one you don’t know are coming.
  • [Will local gravity in a system ever affect the performance of a ship, when a ship gets close to a planet or star etc…?] They all want that, yes. What it’ll be is a ‘smaller scale’ planetarily initially. Approach a planet, and that’ll effect the ship. Once you start doing atmosphere entries, then you’ll start getting gravity affects. There won’t be further out stuff out of the gate. If you have a space station orbiting the planet moving at 13,000 km an hour, how do you ever get to the station, so they have to fudge some things.
  • ut of the gate, planets will have gravity that’ll affect you when you get pretty close. They do also have tech for gravity wells, gravity streams, etc… for black holes, nebulae with weird gravity effects, etc…
  • [Will there ever be a ship that could affect other ships with its mass?] Not sure that it’d have mass enough to do that, a Kingship. Doubt that ships will have that much gravity. There might be a weapon of some sort that could maybe…’Interdiction ships create gravity wells that pull things out to interdict them – Disco Lando’
  • There are little buttons for camera speed. .001, 1, 10. They’ve had to add 100, 1000, and 10,000 buttons for the procedural planets to look around them in the editor. He never expected to see CryEngine at this scale.
  • The package split is not happening January, it’s happening February 14th, Valentines Day!
  • The one-time use melt tokens for the buyback store – lets you bring back one ship with store credit – is one time use only, those’ll come soon.

Full Transcript 

  • They are live but no sound!
  • They are back and with sound now!
  • I see Lando, Ben and Sean Tracy
  • Sean Tracy is Technical Director of content
  • There are five directors in total spread across the company; 2 in Frankfurt 2 in UK 1 in the States.
  • With a planet of 10,000 km, you can’t possibly load the entire physics mesh. Even if you tried, the count of it, even if it were low res, would be incredibly high, so it hast to be loaded dynamically, per client.
  • apologies The Relay fans; work meeting ran long. I missed 7 minutes of the transcript, but here we go!
  • On top of the physics of the planet, the visuals of it are very important. How does it look when you’re 300,000km out from the planet? It has to go from it being 1 pixel, to taking up the entire screen, to transitioning through the atmosphere and being on the planet?
  • It’s actually more complicated than LOD’s. There are a ton of different levels of processing that go on. It’s a dynamically tesellated object, so you only do that with objects that are close to you. The trick is to get it to work on a sphere, and to be synced across the network, which touches physics, multiple clients, etc…
  • *they’re talking about procedural planet generation, and the difficulties in it*
  • Landing zones – Area 18 is 4-6 gigs of data within the level. Imagine flying up to a planet, and also having to load the landing zone. Streaming that much data seamlessly is difficult, have to make sure it’s not just objects popping in. Working on that with object containers and the like.
  • Everything has to be streamable at run-time, which is very challenging. There are very few level loads.
  • It’s challenging, but the plan is in place. They’re getting it working. It’s very difficult, but they’ll get it working.
  • [Physicalized EVA? There were expectations of it in 2.1] It was in 2.1, but they pulled it out on purpose. It’s ‘definitely’ (not definitely) in 2.2. It’s in the branch for 2.2. But there’s been a lot more work done on it.
  • They changed the way that the character is locomoted in the EVA. It’s a driven ragdoll. If anyone’s seen Morphene, or in Fifa they use a similar system, where there’s a level of driven ragdoll. A set of rigid bones that blends animation on top of physical actions.
  • The old system was an animation based EVA, which was simple, it’s more tricky with driven ragdoll because there’s a lot of physics involved.
  • They want Driven ragdoll so things react in 0g as you’d expect them to react.
  • When you’re in EVA, your origin changes, and your center of mass changes. Usually it’s around the hips, but because it moves, it makes control difficult. So there’s been a lot of work on it, apparently it feels much better than it did initially. There will still be bugs, but it’ll be good.
  • ‘Why don’t we just fake it?’ That’s what they had before, and people were happy with it. But visually, when you ‘pitched’ or ‘rotated’, you rotated around the feet. If you’re in a gunfight with someone, and you rotated, it would look fake. They don’t want the game to look fake.
  • Because the ‘origin’ point is between the feet, they couldn’t just move the rotation point to the hips, because it wouldn’t work that way.
  • Also, with the physical EVA, they get ‘fall and play and fall’. As you transition in and out of gravity, right now, as soon as you’re within gravity, you get dropped and land on your feet. What they want to do with it is give a range that you’d be able to land on your feet. Right now, it’s 20 or 30 degrees. A little cone in which you can land.
  • They could try to animate a bunch of directions, but it gets heavy and doesn’t look right. Now, when you enter gravity, you’re a driven ragdoll; control gets taken away. You have mass, they give gravity as well. You lose control. You’ll hit the ground, in ragdoll, and whatever pose you land in is blended into a ‘get up’ animation. They have 8 of those; on the belly, on the back, on the side, etc…, and it’ll blend into that animation from your fall.
  • Even in a station that has gravity generators; if you’re in a ship that has two teams, you can use it to your advantage. Hangar + gravity generator, turn on gravity, everyone’ll fall to the ground, so you can even use that tactically.
  • They can add items to the game and stuff too that help with landing; do you have thrusters on your suit that can increase the ‘cone’ that you can land at?
  • [How are FPS animations coming?] Coming really well. Steven Bender was in Frankfurt 2 months ago, doing a lot of work. Apparently many Crisis people worked on the animations back when they were at Crytek, the blending of first and third person animations, but they’ve made a change, and they solved the problem apparently. One line of code, and he solved it. ‘1000 man hours, I do in one line’.
  • Apparently it feels like an FPS again. The weapons’ in the right place, etc… You’ll see, if you look at the old videos, the weapons bounce. It doesn’t look like a solidified shooter. But they didn’t want to have static, floaty weapon. The problem used to be that, in an FPS, the weapon’s the only thing that communicates your weapon to you. If you’re turning, the weapon needs to ‘cant’. Same with cover, you need to be able to tell if you’re looking out, etc…
  • It’s going very well though, better than it ever has been. They’ve made a bunch of changes that’ll make development even easier. THey ahve 4 or 5 layers of animation now; including things like ‘weapons hand over’. For different sizes of weapons; sniper rifles vs. rifles, they have to change the hand poses. They’ve added another layer of animation to move the hand slightly, which lets them make more weapons faster without uniquely animating them all.
  • The start-stops have made good progress as well. Steve Bender came up with some ideas on it. Jukes are still a challenge; they’re in, and responsive, but in the original implementation they felt unresponsive. Now they don’t.
  • It used to feel super sluggish, and they didn’t want to release it because it looked great in third person, but in first person there was no communication on the animation sides. It was very hard to communicate movement in FPS; many people are used to Battlefield and COD, instant response, etc…
  • They’re making it not completely symmetrical; the animations look a lot more realistic now.
  • When you’re running backwards, the shoulders dip down on one cycle, and it looks good apparently. The whole system looks very real.
  • [Turrets on multicrew ships. Right now they’re not very fun. What’s being done to improve that?] Lots of testing. Trying lots of different ideas. Chris has a good direction on it; what they want to try, and they’re just doing it internally, right now, you sit in it, you’ve got a crosshair, and that’s how it’s moving. The problem with that is it’s nothing like anything else in the ship. Floating reticule, everything else follows it, etc… they want to have a floating reticule that the turret will catch up to, but they have to make sure it’s fast enough.
  • No promise that they’ll do that, but they’re going to try it internally to see how it feels. They also want to add some feedback internally about where your turret is facing on the ship.
  • There are people in the UK working hard on it, but he’s not.
  • [Hair. TressFX? AMD’s PureHair? What’s the plan?] Apparently there’s an update for TressFX; CIG evaluated it when TressFX 1.0 came out, Sean Tracy was on the team that got PureHair into Crysis (he worked on it with Illfonic), but there are SO many characters on screen in SC, they can’t just have one character having amazing hair and everyone else having bad hair; it’s too much of a performance impact. TressFX is not a system for 60 characters on screen.
  • ‘Do we need super advanced level hair simulation?’ Probably not really. There’s things they can do with item ports and advanced rigging, they should be able to do a lot of hair styles without resorting to a GPU hair (TressFX, etc…). Can’t say no for sure, but they’ve evaluated what’s there, and none of it was suitable.
  • Also it can be difficult with those systems; one hairstyle, a long flowing braid, works well, but as soon as you want interesting haircuts, it gets hard.
  • Also TressFX doesn’t deal well with 0g
  • With all that said, there will be hair, and there is hair on characters now. Also, because they want character customization on hair; style, length, etc… (Sean is plugging Black Desert’s character customizer). In terms of hair customization, its system is excellent. Couldn’t do that with TressFX probably.
  • Ben ‘ I’m just bummed there’s not going to be a Tomb Raider where she goes to space!’
  • Long story short, hair confirmed.
  • [Matchmaking, Lobby system?] Sean doesn’t really do much with it. They’re working on getting an ‘ELO’ rating online. The ELO rating is a guys last name, Elo, apparently. They need that so they can match make between similarily skilled players. That should come online soon, but likely as AC makes further progress. The real focus is the mini PU right now. Once sim pods are in that, there should be a lot more work on AC
  • [Will bullets from FPS bguns be effected by gravity?] Right now they’re not, but that system is already in CryEngine; bullet drop. But they could. Right now they just haven’t been working ever at ranges where it’d make sense. Most of the FPS combat scenarios don’t extend past 2-300 yards right now. That’s not to say they won’t, because of things like planetside, but currently there’s been no reason for it.
  • The ELO rating is a way to give a single number to your skillset. Based on kills, deaths, time played, etc… it’s just a formula. You can look it up.
  • [How do you plan to transfer mass inertia of a ship to its passengers? i.e. pilots will red out and black out. Will those effects transfer to others in the ship?] It totally could. They’ve talked about it a lot. With g forces, there was an initial implementation that was pretty crappy. They refactored that so that it uses a ‘blend space’. G force interactions are parametrically driven (?). You can blend that into animation sets based on g forces? (getting very technical, sorry​)
  • Right now, within a local physics grid ship, you wouldn’t feel a gravity change. It’s artificial gravity, so the ship compensates for the inertial effect. They do want a reaction at some point though; A Connie pilot can still red out and black out which doesn’t make sense, but that’s balanced. What they do want are damage reactions
  • Star Trek seat shaking. They can’t take control from the player, but they can make the character react a bit.
  • It could extend to items in the ship as well. If they do it with the player, they have to do it with everything. But it’d probably be minor?
  • They take it to the edge of realism, then bring it back to ‘fun’. If you want realism, sit on the bus bench, how fun was that?
  • [Right now on Crusader, players inside the local physics grid can’t be killed?] It’s a bug. It’ll be fixed. There will be combat on ships, for sure. Especially larger ships than the Tali / Connie. Gotta have boarding ship battles.
  • Trick is, (they just had a meeting about this) they need a piercing system for item components; shield, hull, then component, and there needs to be some piercing. Right now though, the system works as ‘can I go through it, or can I not?’ If you say ‘yes you can go through the armour’ they just go through, so they had to pull that back. Have to implement a deeper system, not just a true / false logic system.
  • There’ll be some places you can’t shoot ‘through’, but that’s being decided by Design right now.
  • [Hello Sean] Hello.
  • “Space glass is pretty strong” They don’t want you to be shot from outside the ship and die while piloting.
  • [CryEngine doesn’t natively support rendering the world into subframes? The Khartu was supposed to have a holographic viewscreen?] Yes? There was never a need for subframes (picture in pictures). They want it, and there is stuff in the engine that’s doing something simliar (Stereo does something very similar. Post stereo will render the scene once, then generates a second image based on the first frame). They could do something to that effect. The trick is, there’s so many screen-based and camera based effects that are done, that it won’t work very well if you’re trying to do picture in picture.
  • Capital ships will need cameras so you can look at different areas of the ship, for example.
  • There will be more work on turrets and being able to see what they can see. They want to be able to take the tech to such a level you could use security cameras aboard large ships. This may even lead up to tech so a ship could have no window what so ever
  • There are ways to do things like cockpits that are fully closed, but it’s not supported in CryEngine, but other people have done it. Big Red Button
  • Sonic Boom did it, with splitscreen rendering. It’s all about using the data from one frame and making an image based on it to re-project.
  • [With the release of the Rift and Vive, will SQ42 have official VR support?] Can’t answer that. Sean doesn’t know. There will be VR support, yes, and it’s probably expected for SQ42, but it’s more a question for Chris. It’s a matter of time.
  • Saitek preorder will be a bit longer. They had planned end of January, but they’re going to do it a bit closer to when things would be shipping. It’s not immediately, but it’s still coming. The design is pretty finalized. There are folks from Saitek there today.
  • [Integrated voice chat? There’s tech demos on positional audio and the like…] A lot of voice chat stuff does that already. TeamSpeak, you can set users to be in different 3D areas, etc… For CIG to know where players are speaking, they know that all the time, they can absolutely do it. CryEngine already has VOIP in it, but the quality isn’t something they’re happy with, or the bandwidth. They’ve talked to some vendors about it, but they’re just going to do their own. It will definitely support positional audio.
  • Some of the ideas they’ve had about other things, like run-time facial movement, there are lots of R&D things going on. A lot of facial animators will just capture their own faces with their webcams. All the tech exists, it’s just a matter of priority. They know they can do it, and it’ll benefit the players more when there’s a better party system. Cart before horse. They know how they’ll do it though.
  • [Is there a better party system coming?] Yes. Eventually. But it doesn’t work right right now. Contacts don’t work, etc… There’s lots of things that do it right, a billion different communication systems (skype, etc…) and they’re not going to reinvent the wheel. But that has to come online before VOIP stuff.
  • [What important tech are you not sure about working?] Normally the job is to know how they’ll attack something. Very seldom do they jump in and have 0 idea. The stuff that scares Sean the most is stuff they don’t know that they don’t know. It’s nebulous, but the worst problems are the one you don’t know are coming.
  • [Will local gravity in a system ever affect the performance of a ship, when a ship gets close to a planet or star etc…?] They all want that, yes. What it’ll be is a ‘smaller scale’ planetarily initially. Approach a planet, and that’ll effect the ship. Once you start doing atmosphere entries, then you’ll start getting gravity affects. There won’t be further out stuff out of the gate. If you have a space station orbiting the planet moving at 13,000 km an hour, how do you ever get to the station, so they have to fudge some things.
  • Out of the gate, planets will have gravity that’ll affect you when you get pretty close. They do also have tech for gravity wells, gravity streams, etc… for black holes, nebulae with weird gravity effects, etc…
  • The tech is there, it just needs designs
  • [Will there ever be a ship that could affect other ships with its mass?] Not sure that it’d have mass enough to do that, a Kingship. Doubt that ships will have that much gravity. There might be a weapon of some sort that could maybe…‘Interdiction ships create gravity wells that pull things out to interdict them
  • Disco Lando’
  • [How do you test lobby if the lobby is so bad?] They test that stuff internally, not externally.
  • Last question: [Are you impressed with how far SC has pushed CryEngine? Did you think it’d ever be used in this context?] No. Even at the onset when demoing the engine for Chris, the scale of the game was smaller. Never expected a solar system scale. Super impressed with where the engine has gone. There’s still some CryEngine in it, but there are so many improvements across the board; that’s very impressive.
  • Local physics grid especially is incredibly unique and amazing. Experiencing that was really cool. Additionally; 32 bit depth buffer stuff, etc… Also, when Sean first loaded procedural planets, the scale. He’s used to working on like 8km level, which was massive. Tons of terrain as a guy. The scale of procedural planets is… mind boggling.
  • There are little buttons for camera speed. .001, 1, 10. They’ve had to add 100, 1000, and 10,000 buttons for the procedural planets to look around them in the editor. He never expected to see CryEngine at this scale.
  • That wraps up the January Subscriber Edition of RtV!
  • Around the ‘Verse is tomorrow, regular RtV on Friday, might have some special visitors on Friday
  • Housekeeping! The package split is not happening January, it’s happening February 14th, Valentines Day!
  • The one-time use melt tokens for the buyback store, lets you bring back one ship with store credit, is one time use only, those’ll come soon.
  • And that’s it! See you all in the ‘Verse!​

Erris

Founder

Erris is Canadian. He does some random things for Relay, no-one really knows what, but still they're stuck with him. He’s also written one Young Adult novel that he can’t stand, which can be found here.

You can find him on Twitter too, if you want.