Feb 3

PU Townhall Panel 2: A Living, Breathing World – Transcript

Star Citizen Feature Image

Hello fellow Citizens! These are my notes for the second panel of the PU Townhall.

– 0.2c Quantum drive to go from one navigational marker to another within the system.

– Quantum drive will take time to spin up and you will need to align your ship.  Taking fire interrupts the process to an extent.  If a ship or object gets in front of you during the process, it will interrupt it.

– If you feel you can take the hits, you cool try to spool up the Quantum drive in a fight and jump out but since you can’t maneuver you are very vulnerable.

– There might be some variation in the Quantum drive speed of ships.

– 8-10 minutes for a typical star system to complete traverse at 0.2c.  There is also spool up time though which is not included.

– You can wander around your ship during Quantum travel.

– If you are navigating a wormhole, you have to follow the twisting and turning path that it takes.

– Different classes of jump points/wormholes.  These classes could mean that only ships of a certain size or manueverability can traverse them.  The effect could be that a small ship might have a quick route between two systems, while a large ship might have to take a much longer route through a few other star systems to get to the same destination.

– They’re currently thinking about three classes.  One for capital ships and below, one for multicrew ships and below, and one for single-seat ships.

– The upshot of this is that smaller ships will still be useful and needed throughout the game to navigate quicker routes from place to place.  A trader might much prefer to take a 1 jump route in his Aurora CL or Hull A rather than a 4 jump route with his Hull C or Merchantman.

– Jump points will also vary in stability.  Slowly all jump points will go out of phase and need to be re-navigated.  This will create a career of people whose job it is to re-map the jump points.

– If you fail navigating a jump point, what happens will depend on where you failed it.  It if it close to the start, you will take damage and be spat back out into the system you started in.  If it is close to the end you will take damage and be spat out into the system you are going to.

– Visually the inspiration for the jump points comes from Fantastic Voyage.  Want it to move/undulate in an organic, predictable way.

– Appearance also comes from fractals, electrical impulses, and undulation.

– Jump points an collapse/open up at any time and move continuously.

– Some wormholes might have the walls connecting like columns (as seen in the jump point images and video) while others the walls might constrict and expand throughout the length of the jump.

– Galactic map will give you information on commodity prices throughout the ‘Verse and such but since information moves around the ‘Verse at a delayed rate, your information can be stale.

– Local star system map will show all of the points of interest that you know of, including permanent ones and transitory ones.  For example, an explorer/pioneer finds something (asteroid field, derelict ship, comet) and sells that information to the local information dealer, you can buy that information and have those points show up on your map.

– On the local star map you will also see distress calls from players and NPCs.  For example, if you are a mercenary who is looking for folks in need of combat assistance, you will be able to see those points of interest on your star map.

– You can be kicked out of Quantum drive by large battles, a large force of pirates, micro black holes, dark matter phenomena, and more!

– Lots of space stations will exist which will allow for mission variety.  There will be military, mining, medical, research stations, etc.  The mission system will use them to create FPS missions in the PU.  The space stations, like the cities, will have modular building sets which will allow them to create all sorts of different stations for different needs.

– Self-Land, Aeroview, and Royal & York are sort of base examples of three pillars of architectural styles (low tech, high tech, and supermodernism).

– They want to incorporate the history and lore of the cities into the architecture.

– Looking to make some locations “Destinations”.  Terra Prime is an example.  Best way to create those “Destinations” is to have locations with significant history, and also events in the ‘Verse that make people want to visit.

– Architectural styles being worked out so they have base sets to construct cities/stations.  These can be mixed with lighting changes and unique props to make them different.

– Economic state will change the appearance of a location.

– Weather and time of day cycles on planets.

– Long term evolution of cities will see things like levels of smog and cleanliness change as the local economy changes.  You will also see changes in the numbers of certain kinds of NPCs depending on the local economy.  If things are going well you could see more blue collar workers or tourists or businessmen depending on the type of economy present.  If things are going poorly you could see criminals and vandals.

– If you land on a planet during the day, you will see security guards on the streets and the shops open.  If you land at night, shops may be closed.  You can wait until the shops open, or you could (for example) go down a dark alley and do a deal with a shady arms dealer.

– Commodity prices and goods available on a certain planet will change over time in response to economic conditions.

– You could team up with friends in a more thinly populated area to have an impact on local commodity prices and the availability of goods (preventing all of the cargo ships from reaching a particular destination).

– On a larger scale, a massive battle in a star system between the UEE and a large force of pirates (for example) with NPCs and players on both sides, would chew through ammunition, missiles, and ships and create a significant demand for those commodities.  That demand will cause a rise in prices and a lack of supply.  Chris mentions here that he could see an enterprising organization stockpiling weapons, and then surreptitiously starting a war between two other organizations in a system… then selling off their stockpile for inflated prices.

– Tony also discussed the idea of players being able to stockpile other tradeable goods in anticipation of events in the market.

– Two types of mission acquisition – going and looking for them planetside at the TDD (Trade and Development Division) or through NPC interactions OR just participating in what is happening all throughout the universe around you.  Examples from Tony:  You see a freighter under attack by pirates or a player has had to eject from his ship – you will see those distress calls on your star map and you can go help.  There will be a large number of tasks that you can accept or ignore simply by choosing whether or not to participate.

Comment from Nehkara: The game universe will be roughly 90% NPCs.  This means that the universe is very alive with activity.  Ships  are moving around, carrying goods, selling goods, getting attacked by pirates.  Goods are being manufactured.  Resources are being collected.  Even if no players are online, the universe is buzzing with activity.

– If an explorer finds an asteroid belt, comet, derelict ship, or some other point of interest and players get that information… those locations will  be persistent in the universe as long as they are visited by either players or NPCs.  If no one visits a location for a significant amount of time, it will fade away (like if an asteroid belt gets mined out).  Then a new procedural thing will be generated to take its place.  This will mean there is always stuff to discover.

– The simulation that runs the universe is separate from the game servers.  The universe simulation runs millions of AI.  It doesn’t have to be real-time.  It  is linked to what the players experience by fuzzy logic.  If the economy simulation has 10 pirates running amok in a system and 12 players take missions to kill them, it still works just fine… the pirates are wiped out in the eyes of the economy simulation and the appropriate responses occur.

– The above also means that if the economy/universe simulation server goes down or has to be taken down for a period of time, it won’t instantly impact the game universe that the players see and are playing in.  It will simply stop things like commodity prices from changing for a period of time.

– The economy has “rails”.  This means that you (or a situation) can push something (like a commodity price) further and further and further but as it gets away from the “norm” it becomes harder and harder to push it in that particular direction.  This should eliminate or severely limit issues with the economy that adversely effect your enjoyment of the game.

– The economy/universe server will run like a turn-based strategy game, updating the economic state of each star system in turn at regular intervals.

– When you are traveling through a system, the economy simulation is determining what encounters you may have.  For example, based on the economic conditions, you could have a 30% chance of encountering a pirate in this specific are of space.  If you do run into a pirate, the system will generate an encounter based on ones that have been built.  Then when you kill the pirate, that information gets fed back into the economy simulation.

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2 comments

  1. Saoldian

    Man you guys are dedicated! Thanks for the transcript!

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