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!
This town hall featured Character Artist Omar Aweidah, Senior Character Rigger John Riggs and Tech Artist Gaige Hallman
[Can we wear an additional layer like robes/cloaks/capes over armour in the future?] Not impossible but hasn’t been talked about. The system does allow for it to be possible.
[Jared: What layers exist now?] Divide it into two systems, body and on that attach mobiGlas and a head. Once you have a body you can attach clothing or an undersuit and an undersuit opens up ports for armour then you have legs/torso/arms/helmet. The body has ports for clothing. So at present clothes or armour, you’re unable to mix them presently. You can wear clothes technically but they’ll be hidden by your undersuit.
[Jared: Culling system… what happens in a lot of games is when you have to bend down and if you’re wearing a duster it ends up clipping through your butt. How are we dealing with that?] In terms of culling, we’ve developed a thing where CryEngine you have your top nodes and meshes under that. Normally you have your CryEngine node and mesh node and that’d be a shirt but we’ve gone further and divided that into your CryEngine node which is your item and then divides into all these zones which is the body. They mark up on a top item which zones it should hide/cull.
[Will there be long hair for female models in the future of this game?] Yes, even currently. A lot of it exists but they don’t want to release it til it’s all functional.
[Jared: How will long hair work with helmets?] They’re figuring that out. Currently experimenting with things like snoopy caps, hair variations and seeing what the best solution would be without putting in an overwhelming amount of work.
[Chris described tiers of NPC detail for Squadron 42, can you go into more detail about the tiers of NPCs in the PU such as how many of which tier will populate the average system and how detailed various tiers will be] Tier heads: Tier 0 has the most amount of geometry, most detail and the most amount of time spent as well as blend shapes and higher fidelity. The higher the number, the less fidelity. Tier 0 being for like Mark Hamill’s and Gary Oldman’s characters. Tier 0 or tier 1 have triple wrinkle map blending, tier 2 double wrinkle map blending, tier 3 single wrinkle map blending.
[Jared: What’s the virtue of having more wrinkle maps?] It just looks more realistic and way better.
[Has the team designed any robot characters for Star Citizen?] No.
[Jared: Recently you’ve been working on the load out tier system…] They finalizing how they’re going to break it up. Like with the armour vs clothing, they’ve solidified how they’re going to divide up the ports for torso items. Riggs is making an automation system in Maya that’ll help animators automatically put together loadouts the same way they do their end game loadouts. Not saying it’s the final way they’re going to do it. The idea is that between character art, tech art and animation even they can have the same thing working in Maya as they do in engine.
[Jared: That’s not a tool that exists?] No it’s custom, they have to make it.
[Will hair bones be weighted for physics?] Yes, they’re working on the systems and fine tuning how the simulation is going to go like going back to resting positions, etc. Also testing zero-G, hair in space.
[What are you working on specifically for 3.0?] Make game. Gaige: Locking down a lot of things like loadouts and working with Riggs to solidify the process so there’s less things to fix later on. Riggs: Nothing really 3.0 specific, it’s just studio efficiency. Speeding up the process all the time and updating the pipeline and soon they’ll be able to test their stuff in engine before it even gets rigged. Omar: Not so much implementing a lot of content, bug fixing.
[Anything you can tell us about the type of customization options we’re going to get?] There’s a lot of stuff in the works, but not sure what they can talk about. Stuff is all over, clothing, colours, heads, hair… a lot of stuff. Armour, hopefully colour tinting.
[Has any work been done on beards yet?] Yes, a lot of good beards.
All characters have been upgraded to update to current tech
[What about dresses?] Mark has also been working on that. Dresses are in the works, they’ve got it working but don’t want to release til it’s final.
[Jared: What is simulation in clothing?] Basically imagine you have dress/skirts/long coat, they can either do vertex animation or bone animation but basically they’re going to do it for the sake of cost of processing power. They puts rows of joints down these jackets/dresses/etc and engine will simulate how they collide with the body, how they rotate and do their thing and simulate. They’ve also set up a tool for setting up dresses in Maya, to make it a lot easier and instead of manually placing these joints it does it for them automatically and next step is to make the digital content side same as engine side.
[Jared: Does that take anything from Marvelous Designer?] Character artists do use Marvelous Designer but they don’t simulate through that but they do a lot of initial wrinkles, etc from sculpted and Marvelous Designer, simulated wrinkles. No simulation in engine or Maya for that.
[Body hair?] No. Everybody shaves in the future. Not at this time.
[What’s been the most satisfying part of this whole process?] John: Getting to the point where they are, seeing from where it started and how far it’s come. Gaige: Hop into a level sometimes and see the solar system, hop in a ship with the characters you made and pipeline development. Omar: Growth of all departments and teams.
[John Riggs why are you so bad at PUBG?] Oh JJ, nobody likes that JJ guy anyway.
[Will our characters get dirty, wet, snowy, etc?] Hasn’t gone through them but there is dirt and wear. Maybe there can be there can be environmental things that can affect your armour and clothing but as far as specific terrain, not that they know of.
[Are cybernetic bionic limbs still a thing?] Bionic eyeballs have actually been discussed, haven’t done it yet but they’ve implemented the backend of being able to have separate eyeballs. So if you want a robot eye, actually possible. With the zone culling system they could actually give people robot arms but not doing it right now but backend exists.
[Jared: What about capes?] We don’t have a port for a cape but not impossible.
[We haven’t seen anything on scars or blemishes yet, any plans to implement them?] There are, so facial textures, decals and stuff. Omar just did a scar.
[Will it be possible for characters to dye their clothes?] I’m not sure, recently they’ve been trying to standard colour systems they use. They want to give players the customization ability to choose your palettes, so they’re playing with the idea.
[What steps are being taken to allow for concealed carry of small arms?] Not at the moment, not impossible but haven’t talked about it.
[Battle damage for character armour, what if anything have they done for armour in this regard?] Been talked about but probably waiting on what the cost might be.
[When scanning someone’s head into the game can you take two different features from two scans to make one unique head?] Yeah, blend shaping features from two different heads. It’s in the works but it’s going to go through a lot of processes to make sure it’s a smooth thing.
[From Calix Reneau: After drinking too much coffee will my character accurately develop a nervous facial tic? Will that adversely affect trade deals?] Is Calix adding new features right now? Good job Calix.
Wednesday, special edition Bugsmashers. AtV Thursday with AtX and Turbulent teams and Friday Happy Hour at noon.