Feb 1

PU Townhall Panel 1: The Path You Choose – Transcript

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Hello fellow Citizens! Here are my notes for the “Panel 1: The Path You Choose” PU Townhall Presentation. I hope you like them!

  • It’s very nice to throw bits and pieces of the game outward to get feedback on them – they look forward to hearing from fans in the future as concepts and gameplay elements are tested
  • Question: How customizable are character appearances?
    • A character summit just occurred in the UK
    • Layering of clothes is being developed – shirts, jackets, shirts tucked in, boots, untucked boots, etc.
    • Base male model has been switched out for complete body scan – allows for much higher fidelity
    • After watching Ryse, Chris Roberts contacted 3Lateral and was able to learn from their head rigs – how the face is structured and the like
    • A fantastic face-scanning and body-scanning rig has been set up, involving 80-90 cameras, although the number of cameras will be expanded eventually
      • Squadron 42 actors will be scanned, future male and female character models will be scanned
        • This will allow for intense character customization, including facial sliders
      • Muscles and secondary muscles are being working on, and will be completed in approximately two weeks
      • Also working with Imaginarium, the company than Andy Serkis developed, in order to research into even higher fidelity
      • Cubic Motion is another company CIG is partnering with for this
      • Current Hangar character model is not even close to the final result
      • FPS and Social Modules will be the first iterations of the advance character model CIG is working on
      • Pipelines have all been worked out, everything just needs to be implemented now – in a few months, they should start bearing results
      • Concerning hair, CIG has been looking into alternate ways to do hair – not just pieces of geometry that make up sections of hair
        • One idea is using TressFX, which is a spline-based hair – still kind of in its infancy
      • Always pushing to increase fidelity
      • Jewelry will be a thing
      • Thin vs fat
        • There will be a maximum and minimum deal for weight settings, as characters have to fit inside cockpits and ships
        • But there will be thin and heavy and adjustable between those two options
      • Tattoos will also be a thing
      • Beards will be a thing too… but in order to have faces scanned, they have to be clean-shaven, which is why Chris out of all four presenters is the only one with his face scanned so far
        • This also delves into the TressFX deal
        • This is on the horizon – it will happen eventually – it’s just a matter of time
  • Question: Where will characters spawn?
    • Players will spawn in their Hangars
    • The Sim Pod will serve as the gateway to Arena Commander and the FPS Module
    • Customizability in terms of rooms will soon be added to Hangars
      • Targeting rooms, Overclocking rooms, Entertainment rooms, etc.
      • Trophies will also be big, obtainable from many different places in the game
        • Such as a Trophy from the top of Terra Prime, a snapshot that can be displayed in the Hangar
      • Elevators will soon serve as transportation to primary cities
        • In the Social Module, an elevator will take you to ArcCorp
    • Buggy Skins have just been released
    • Sim Pod is being modeled in-game at the time of this presentation
      • It’s designed to serve as a virtual reality
    • Current Hangar ship limitations are a temporary stopgap
      • CIG has played with a few other options to solve this problem, but none really panned out
      • What’s currently planned is an automated loading Hangar
        • With this, while five ships may still only be visible at once, you’ll be able to swap ships within your Hangar due to utilization of the ship loader
      • Idris in the Hangar is a problem that CIG is working to resolve
        • Various options have been discussed, but none of been fully implemented yet
        • Caterpillar is currently the biggest ship in the Hangars
        • One option for ships like the Idris and Starfarer is to have them docked on a jumbo-sized landing pad in the middle of the Spaceport that you’re currently at
        • Really big ones will be in orbit, however
    • Back to buggy skins!
      • This is demonstrating the paint technology currently being used on the 300i series and the Aurora series
      • Skins are gonna be implemented soon for ships, such as the ones people pledged for years ago
  • Question: Can guns be carried into public area landing zones?
    • Originally, landing zones would be combat free and then a player could take transportation to more dangerous areas
    • This was revamped so that more freedom and flexibility can be given to the players
    • Players will now be able to carry guns into any of the landing zones
    • One conundrum that CIG mulled over was that when players first enter amazing-looking social areas, they’ll be blown away. But after they’ve visited them many times, the same old same old will become unexciting – a lack of variance creates a negatively complacent effect
      • This led to the allowance of guns
      • What will happen is that when you go to a planet in the daytime, the amount of security on a planet will impose limitations on players
      • Some places, like a major hub such as Terra Prime, will have tonnes of security guards, security cameras, security turrets, etc.
        • So if you try to pull out a gun, security in such areas will be so advanced that you’ll be immediately stunned, you’ll wake up in a hospital, you’ll be fined credits, and then you’ll be warned not to do it again
      • The original idea was that weapons would be deactivated in social areas
        • However, this led to problems of how players would experience planetside combat in seedy/unsafe areas
      • But if you arrive on a planet at night and see that there are very few security guards and other security measures, the normal shops you’d visit are closed, and so you can go visit a seedy arms dealer in a back alley, and when you walk down there, you can be jumped by criminals
        • This will create a sense of risk, and so it will increase excitement and player interactions
      • If you go to sketchy bars, you should be prepared to defend yourself
      • In order to prevent griefers, whenever you go through a landing zone, you have to go through Customs, where it’ll determine if you’re authorized to carry a weapon into the area you’re trying to enter
        • If you’ve been banished from a planet, you’ll be refused entrance
        • Though this will not apply on a planet that has no law and order
        • Furthermore, griefers will be confined to their own instances
      • On Terra Prime, if you pull a gun, a turret will shoot you instantly with high accuracy, but on ArcCorp, if you pull a gun, turrets will be less accurate
      • If you wind up shooting people in a secured area and you get caught, then a planet with Customs will revoke your license to carry weapons – so that the next time you come to the planet, you won’t be allowed to carry a weapon
        • This will put you at a disadvantage, because you’ll be having to walk seedy areas at night without being armed, which will be extremely dangerous for you, so this promotes good behavior
      • There is a 90% AI to 10% player ratio, so even if you PVP, there will be a huge number of encounters that will be AI-based
        • So there will be a fair amount of Co-op vs. AI, and there will also be PVP options
      • If a mugger mugs you in Terra, and you pull your gun in self-defense, that’s okay – you won’t get in trouble for that
        • So lots of opportunities for you to have fun in tense situations
      • The purpose of having weapons planetside is not to be griefed, but to allow for fun engagement opportunities/gameplay
        • This makes it so that a planetside isn’t a glorified 3d shopping interface
      • This also creates variety, as planetside locations will change depending on current circumstances
        • So if the economy is doing well, then the place will look good, whereas if the economy is having trouble, things will look run-down
      • Repeat offenders who try to skirt the rules will be penalized even further and more heavily – you can end up completely banished from planets for certain periods of time
  • Question: What kind of things can we do in shops?
    • One of the first shops Backers will experience is the clothing shop – these will be popular among various landing zones
    • Stealing from shops will be possible
      • There will be, as an example, cameras in a bar – so players can time their thefts with rotations of security cameras
    • There’s no physical money in the game – credits are entirely electronic, so while you will indeed be able to steal from shops, looting change from a cash register (as an example) won’t be possible
  • Question: What’s up with clothing?
    • Clothing is already being implemented in a way that takes clothing layers into account
    • Players will be able to mix and match articles of clothing
    • If you see a fashion on the street, you’ll be able to go to the store and buy it
    • You can even stick a guy up for his shirt
  • Statement: Check out this shop concept art!
    • Astro Armada is an upscale ship dealership
    • The goal is to have 9-11 variations of shops by the end of this year, but this number will just continue to expand as time and development goes on
    • Dumper’s Depot gives better prices than more posh stores, at the cost of quality
    • Cubby Blast sells FPS weapons and such
    • How purchasing items will work: you’ll walk into the store, use your mobiGlas to look at all the prices, then select how many of said item you wish to purchase through your mobiGlas, complete the purchase through your mobiGlas, and then the items will appear back in your Hangar and/or ship, etc.
    • If you buy clothing but don’t wanna wear it immediately, the clothing will be delivered to your Hangar
      • Same thing with personal weapons, ammunition, parts for your ship, etc.
      • Your Hangar is gonna be a large repository for your stuff
    • There are gonna be a large variety of stores, from chains to mom-and-pop stores, etc.
      • There will be chains (like Dumper’s Depot) that are on multiple different planets, and then there will be unique stores (like Cubby Blast) that are planet-specific
    • ArcCorp will be the first planetside prototype, which will show you what you can expect from planets
      • Like the bar, getting healed up in a hospital, shopping, etc.
    • The Hospital will be where you respawn when you die out in space or mugged on a planetside
    • The Trade Development Division (TDD) is the shop where you’ll be able to pick up missions, learn information regarding commodity prices, etc.
      • This is one of the more attractive shops in terms of eye candy… and you’ll be able to explore it in the Social Module!
      • It’ll grant jobs like transferring cargo from one place to another
      • It’ll also serve as a commodity broker
      • It’ll look different depending on what planet/city you’re at
  • Question: What kind of jobs will we be able to expect in terms of mission types?
    • While CIG refers to jobs like “mercenary” or “pioneer” and the like, there’s no real formal concept of occupation in the game
      • It depends on what you wanna do, what your skillset is, and what your ship/configuration allows you to do
    • Tony Zurovec says that, in certain cases, the Rescue occupation can sound awfully similar to the Mercenary occupation
      • Where he draws the line is that Mercenary missions are categorized as paid guns for hire involving combat
        • Destroying a particular ship, securing a particular area of space, assaulting a space station, etc.
        • They’ll also have defensive missions
          • Like protecting a space station, protecting space traders, etc.
        • They have retrieval missions as well
          • Rescuing a kidnapped politician, retrieving an ancient artifact that’s been stolen
        • Meanwhile, the Rescue is not a Mercenary, nor is it a Medic
          • It’s different from a Medic in that, as a Rescuer, you’re not always trying to heal people, but rather, you’re looking to help and assist in a non-combat oriented way
          • So you could help evacuate scientists from a space station that’s close to a star
            • This star has started having unpredictable solar flare activity, and so the space station has suffered catastrophic damage
            • So you’ll dock manually, infiltrate the space station, free the scientists who are trapped inside, and then take them to safety
          • Or you could patrol a battlefield, and then tractor in players/NPCs whose ships blew up and are thus floating in space, so that you can save them
            • And then you’ll get paid according to how many people you rescued
    • When you accept a mission, it’s not exclusively tied to you – some missions can be accepted by multiple players
      • In this case, all player sharing the mission will also share the same objectives, and will be rewarded financially depending on their level/percentage of contribution
      • So if someone agrees to quell a pirate sector of space, and fourteen other players also take on this mission, you’ll be paid according to your contribution to squelching those pirates
    • You’re not confined to your role – you can do whatever you wanna do at any time, as long as you have the ship/configuration to do it
      • So one day, you could be taking Mercenary missions, then the next day, take on Rescue missions, then the next day take on Transport missions, then get bored with this and become a Pirate the day thereafter
        • Though if you become a known Pirate, you could have difficulty not getting arrested in lawful space
      • This will allow for lots of roles that are not combat-oriented
  • Question: How will multicrew elements work?
    • There will be a number of jobs that will benefit from multiple players/NPCs working together
    • Mining
      • It’s not job that will be safe
        • Asteroids will contain volatile materials, compressed gasses, etc.
          • There will be multiple ways in which you can accidentally end up blowing up your target asteroid instead of properly mining it
        • You can have a dedicated Scanning Operator when heading into an asteroid field
          • His entire purpose will be to figure out which asteroids in this vast field of thousands of asteroids will have valuable materials to mine
        • Beam Operators will direct the mining lasers that will drill out valuable materials
        • Cargo Loading Operators have repulsor and tractor beams that they’ll use to pull valuable materials into the ship’s cargo hold, while pushing away useless materials
          • Repulsor beams push things away while tractor beams pull them toward you
        • Beam Operators have quite a bit of work to do, as they’ll have to monitor the amount of energy they’re producing so that they won’t accidentally blow up the asteroid they’re drilling (by accidentally shooting a volatile substance with the mining laser)
          • They’ll also have to watch out how much the asteroid is vibrating as it’s being mined, as tremors can set off volatile substances that are sensitive to vibrations
        • Pilots will have to fly the ship appropriately to match the asteroid’s speed and rotation
        • Refinery Operator will melt down unrefined ore into pure materials that can actually be sold at planets
      • If you’re mining by yourself, it’s possible, but it will also take longer
        • The idea is that as more people band together, greater production is possible
        • If you’re mining solo and you set off a chain reaction and the asteroid is about to blow up, spending thirty seconds getting from the mining laser to the pilot’s seat might not be fast enough and you could be damaged from the explosion
    • However, if you don’t have access to players for these multicrew roles, you can hire NPCs
      • But if you hire cheap NPCs, he might make mistakes or perform jobs with less efficiency
      • Meanwhile, if you hire expensive NPCs, they’ll do a much better job or make fewer mistakes
    • As NPCs do a job more, they’ll improve their skill
      • NPCs have hidden background stats, and as they perform more, their stats will increase
      • This won’t be as complex as a full-on RPG, but it’ll be enough to give skill levels and allow for skill improvement concerning NPCs
      • A Pioneer is the closest thing to someone who just wants to see what’s out there and go exploring
    • A lot of the game’s Careers are turning out to be very symbiotic in nature
      • After a Pioneer discovers a valuable asteroid field, that info can help out Miners who want to apply their own trade
      • A Pioneer might discover a comet that a Scientist will wanna research
      • A Science mission might involve recording a thirty second video of asteroid while dodging chunks of asteroid that are dislodging, breaking off, and flying in all directions
      • A Pioneer might discover a derelict ship, upon which Salvagers will wanna strip it for valuable materials and components
      • A Scientist might get a sample of a coronal mass ejection in an area that’s very dangerous
      • A Scientist might get precise measurements on a micro black hole
    • Many jobs have dangers associated with them, but it won’t be danger of the combat variety

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2 comments

  1. Landshark

    This is an excellent transcript. Thank you very much for your work on making this possible, it’s extremely helpful to myself (and others like me!) who don’t have time to watch the videos, but can sneak in some reading time while at work, etc.

    This is the first transcript I’ve ready on this site so far, I will be reading many more!

    • Thank you very much, Landshark! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much – while we would be glad to do this for the Community even if it went unnoticed, it is nice to know that people enjoy the material we put out! And since this is the first transcript I’ve ever done myself, it’s also encouraging to me in that regard. :)

      So thank you for your kind and generous words! I really appreciate it!

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