Citizens! Greetings and welcome to Episode 67 of 10 for the Chairman!
10 for the Chairman
Transcript by Erris, Shiver Bathory, and CanadianSyrup
Intro: Hello everyone welcome to another episode of 10 For The Chairman. For those who haven’t watched this before, this is where I take 10 questions from subscribers and answer 10 questions about star citizen and squadron 42 and answer them to the best of my ability. For those who don’t know, subscribers are the subset of our community that kicks in extra money every month to allow us to do enhanced community content so that this show, around the verse, jump point, which is this so of this big in depth magazine we do that’s normally somewhere between 50 to 80 pages long full of behind the scenes, articles, showing how we built ships or designing a system or talking about locations inside the persistent universe and also we have some fiction that’s set inside the persistent universe, and you know subscriber money, allows us to sorta do this greater community content and that content actually filters down to the backers in general. So thank you very much to subscribers for doing that. and as part of that they get to ask some questions!, So let’s get to the questions! So the first one comes from ADT Gromph
- 1:10 – [ADT] Gromph asks: In the recent FPS updates we have been told that the Team Elimination game type is being replaced with something akin to CoD’s Domination. With FPS combat in Star Citizen being described as ‘tactical’, I”m wondering what motivated the removal and replacement of this game type over simply adding a second one?
Because it’s tactical. I think the best way to give an answer to this is that, in the sort of early stages of testing, the map that we had, there wasn’t particularly a reason to gravitate you to any one area, so if you have team elimination game, and you don’t have that many people, the end it sort of… and we also don’t have respawns all the time the same time that you might have respawns in Call of Duty or another fast-paced FPS game. Then you could have the end of the match be quite boring for everyone else, where it revolves around cat-and-mouse, the last two people surviving on each one of the teams, and no-one wants to make the move because they don’t want to lose the game, so we sort of felt like, for the first game mode, we wanted to have something that was more objective based that would give players a reason to fight over a location and go for a certain location, and it certainly will fit much better with what will happen in Star Citizen in general, because a lot of the time, you’ll be boarding a ship, and the whole point of that will be to take it over. Go fight your way to the Bridge to take it over, or go disable the engine, and go down to the engine room, so we wanted to make the first game mode be more objective based, because we think it would be a better practice mode for what we think’ll happen in the game itself, and be a bit more fun. Although we will add more game modes as we go along. We’ll have Sataball come online later on, which is more sports version, kind of futuristic version of a combined basketball with football with american football. For me football, for the Americans and Canadians out there, soccer. So, we’ll have more than one game mode, but we sort of felt like the best one would be sort of headquarters mode that gives people a goal to go for, and so we think that’s a better representative of what the FPS combat experience will be in Star Citizen, so that’s why we did it.
- 3:17 – AngelusNex asks: With the plan for AC 2.0 to be a ‘baby PU’ are we still going to be able to bring the larger multicrew ships into the AC we have now?
Yes, what we’re basically calling Multicrew, or what we’ve decided, we made the switch to SC Alpha 1.0 a little while ago, but really, with multicrew, that’s… that’s pretty much you’re going to be getting what we would consider sort of SC Alpha, because you’re going to have the full sort of space experience on a huge massive scale. You’re gonna have all the sort of combat FPS elements there, you’re gonna have social elements, so all the things you see up until then will all be there in one package. So, then you can probably look at it and say, yeah, you could call this an early Star Citizen alpha. It still won’t’ have landing on planets and taking off from planets and going to different star systems, but a lot of the game mechanics will be there, it’ll be sort of the test bed that will be adding into. Now, the question is, would we be able to bring large mulcicrew ships into Arena Commander, which is sort of the game within the game, AC is the sort of practice mode for you to play to make sure that you have a chance to get good at combat before you actually put things on the line with your real ship out there in space. And I would say that, that is the long-term plan. In the short term, the very first release of SC Alpha, what we’re calling 1.3, which is going to be the multicrew release, it’ll have FPS and social and all those things in it, we won’t have the ability to bring you multicrew ships into AC as it stands. You can still do AC, still be ranked, still have the matches, but it will be the set of ships that you have right now. In a subsequent release, the next one, or the one after, we will, cause mainly the issue is there’s a whole new lobby UI that you’d need for multicrew ships in an Arena Commander sort of arena battle mode where, here’s my constellation, and here’s who’s going to be in my upper turret, here’s my lower, here’s my copilot, which we don’t have that lobby UI, and we sort of decided because we’re building the multicrew release to be sort of this ‘baby PU’ or ‘SC Alpha’, you will spawn on a space station and you and a bunch of other people will spawn on a space station like, you spawn on ArcCorp right now on the social module, and you can call up which ship you want on a landing pad that you have from your account, you go to it, and your friends can join you in that ship and then you can take off and explore around and fight other AI that are on the large map or come across other players, or sort of do what you want in a free-form fashion. So, that’s sort of the initial way of using the multicrew ships. There’s a lot more territory to explore, different locations to find and explore, so I think people are gonna have a lot of fun. We’ll be building out and fleshing out gameplay and functionality and features in this sort of map that I think I’ve referred to in the past as sort of a test kitchen of all the sort of in depth gameplay, and I think when people get SC Alpha 1.3 / multicrew, and play it, that will be the experience to go, okay, I see how all of this stuff fits together in Star Citizen, and I am psyched, because I am pretty psyched. So, that’s sort of the goal and then later on, like I said, we will make Arena Commander also work with multicrew ships, and maybe there’s classification of you know, the best Connstelation pilot, or the best constellation combat person, because we still have plans for Arena Commander, and also for Star Marine to have more in-depth matchmaking, sort of ranking systems, so that we’ll be much more akin to what you would see on you know, Blizzard do very well with their Battle.net stuff. So we’ll definitely have that, but we thought the first thing we want to do is get you into this big large world map with your friends and adventure around. So, you won’t be able to really do AC as sort of the game within the game with a constellation in the very first release of multicrew, but it will be in a subsequent release. THe one after, or the one after that, and it sort of depends when we can fit the time for the UI for it in, because everyone’s pretty much tasked fully on everything they’re doing right now. Working hard to get you something very cool!
- 7:37 – PositronicReflex asks: Will players be able to drop weapons / gadgets in FPS? For example, trading weapons with your teammates or an enemy taking your gear when you’re down.
So yes, that is 100% the plan we will have in SC 1.3 and multi-crew and may or may not make the first release of FPS depending because that’s one of the features we’re working on right now but the first release of FPS, Multi-crew are basically on top of each other so it sorta depends on timing they may become the one, the same or they may not be depending on the timing of those two, but if you don’t have it in the very first version, you’ll have it in the second version because that 100% is the plan were planning in multi crew to be able to fly out and even if you don’t have these fps weapons you’ll fly to a location, maybe scavenge some and then all of a sudden you’ll have some weapons and you go off there and terrorize some of other players or fight some AI, do whatever you want. So that’s part of our plan and I think it will be kinda a fun little sandbox for people to play around with and were aiming to continue to add the functionality and the content to it and I think hopefully people will have fun and looking forward to cool live streaming of videos of people doing wacky shit that I never guessed.
Alright next question comes from Aeras Gatherford. Who asks.
- 8:55 – Aeras Gatherford asks: Since all is coming together now and game mechanics are getting more and more complex, how do you plan to introduce the specific parts like electronic warfare, mining, etc… to players?
Well, good of you to ask because that’s I’ve been been talking about. So the whole idea is sort of SC Alpha 1.3 baby PU, whatever you want to call it. That is where we’re bringing in all the new game mechanics. So for instance, when we have the voxel asteroids up and running and we can mine them we would start spawning far asteroids fields built from voxels out somewhere in the large world map and you could fly out to it in your mining ship and you’ll be able to mine and bring minerals back and sell them for some money at a location space station or if by that time we actually have the planetary landings in, Land down on the planetary landing and sell them down on the ground so the idea is that the mechanics on some things like mining, electronic warfare, all of those sort of things are going to be tested, evolved, polished in this large world map that we have in SC 1.3 and onwards and that’s how we’re getting a lot the functionality out there in the wild and getting feedback on it and that will form the basis of star citizen so I think once that comes out it’s going to be pretty cool because you’ll start to the possibility in gameplay that you don’t see right now, cause right now if you’re flying out in the space it’s pretty much arena commander and it’s close quarters dogfighting and that’s it. So everyone very much focuses on balance for close quarter dogfighting controls for close quarters dogfighting but you know the ultimate star citizen game will have so much more than that, it’s only one small component of the gameplay they’ll be adventure components or exploration components, Trading components all these things that are going to make the star citizen universe incredibly rich and that the fidelity we’re doing which hasn’t really been seen before. and that’s going to roll out in the large world setting that we’re doing for the multi crew and so there you go! That’s where we’re going to test it and we’ll be looking forward to your feedback.
- 11:10 – Storm Raven asks: Death mechanic means that our characters will constantly be changing names when their heir takes over the account. How will we be able to track a player for bounty hunting if their name is constantly changing?
Well, I think once they’re dead then bounty is irrelevant anymore so the other thing is that if you go back and look at the death of the spaceman post which is one of the early ones, the idea is that you don’t die right aways so it’s not like one death and you suddenly have to pass off to your next Heir, we’re kinda going with the idea that it’s the future so they can probably bring you back to life from situations from today’s world that you would be definitely dead. But you can only do it so many times, so after a certain point your body is just going to give out. So you can almost think of it as an old school sort of game life or something and after you know whatever it will be, Three of them two of them four of them eight of them or whatever. There’s only so many bionic arm replacements so many times they can heal you up, you know luke skywalker, empire strikes back, and in that particular case then yes you’ll go on to pass it down to your heir but that wont necessary be happening all the time, second of all, a bounty will die with the person that dies so whoever killed that person and they had a bounty on their head. you collect the bounty. So it doesn’t pass down to heirs basically if I have a bounty on a character, it’s for that character. so if you capture them, kill them then you’d get the bounty and in some ways you start fresh as an heir and maybe there’s a small amount of reputation that carries over so you know you’re the son of the notorious crime boss of something then you know perhaps people look on you as slightly different as he would. but mostly the sins of the heir stay with the parents. For those of you who are worried if someone will kill themselves to avoid the bounty being claimed on them, I will say that since we only have a limited amount of lives and dying is kind of a pain. It would be a pretty extraordinary step to basically kill yourself rather than have a bounty claimed on you. Mainly because like I said you only have a few number of lives you’ll die, pass on, you’ll lose like whatever ship you were in at the point and the point with the equipment on it maybe you wont lose the hull that’ll pass onto your inheritance and you never know if there’s death taxes in certain areas of the universe. and all those kind of things, so we’ll definitely make it in a way that people can’t game the system, well I have a bounty on me so I’ll kill myself so my next of kin will take over. So you know you will be incentivized to try and keep your character living as long as possible in the world and that’s kind of one of the challenges on game design. We’ll try to make it like real life.
So next question comes from Shrike
- 14:10 – Shrike asks: When we reach a point where the ability to shop at ArcCorp is enabled, will the Voyager Direct store be closing down?
So as far as the Voyager Direct store…we’ll definitely transfer across the buying and selling of in game stuff that you would normally buy with in game UEC as much as possible. There may be some level of stuff that for a short period of time we keep on Voyager Direct it depends on which shops come online sooner or later. As soon as we have proper shops in the Star Citizen alpha that are connected to the persistent database and the transactions are safe and what not and we don’t have any worries about them being breached, abused. Then we would get rid of the online Voyager Direct UEC store because the UEC should really be currency you use in the game and then you would real cash currency on the normal pledge store on the site where you first buy your package to come and enter the game or where you would buy some additional UEC if you didn’t want to be earning it inside the game. One aspect that we haven’t one hundred percent decided on is in the case of the SC alpha you’re running around and we’re still testing stuff, we’ve been toying with the idea that you’re earning money during that time so you can buy things with the in game shop so that will be one thing that we do maybe not at the beginning but we’ll bring that in but we’ll probably make all that stuff that you do during that alpha phase be money that once we go commercial ok that will go away. obviously the money you’ve earned with your package or bought with real dollars would be permanent for you but any money you earned during the alpha stage would only be around for as long as the alpha stage is around or when we wipe it, there may even be a couple of times when we wipe it where we have our large test map SC alpha 1.3 that we have right now that goes on for a while and at some point we will go we’re going to shift to the proper system is inside the SC universe we’ll start with one system and then open to another and so on and at that point we may even do a temporary stuff that you’ve earned to a new temporary UEC until the final this is Star Citizen for everybody and then its fresh start. So that’s kind of how we are thinking about the Voyager Direct store and all the rest of the stuff.
- 16:43 – Priscilla asks: What is the scope for offline play outside of SQ42? Will I be able to visit planetside areas such as Arc Corp where I am the only one not an NPC, or go into the larger universe offline where it’s just me and an NPC world?
So currently we don’t have any plans for an offline version of star citizen mainly because we have so many parts that revolve around a huge simulated universe. so the only way we make this universe feel alive is because we have a detailed simulation running 20 million AI on a server that communicates with game servers and our solar system servers and that’s not practical on a single player mode. So you know since squadron 42 is your single player game and then star citizen is multiplayer, either it’s sort of Massively multiplayer online using our whole infrastructure, which scales and can handle you know lots of players millions of players or there is the private server option which we’re going to do which will be after the squadron 42 and the massively online stuff is all up and running. but the private one will be more akin to the way freelancer works where you can run your own server. you definitely wont be able to have millions of people on it and probably wouldn’t be 1000’s. but it would be more sort of like freelancer with 100 or so it would be server stood up that you and your friends or whatever could match into and go around and the universe would be more static than it would be in the sort of vastly massively multiplayer simulated one because we got a lot more servers and computing power in the cloud and were sort of doing things that of kind of similar to what people have been talking about what the cloud can do for you, where you can put a lot more of the simulation up in the cloud and make the world richer so you know that unfortunately makes the single player game in a sort of Freelancer way style, privateer style, much harder to achieve, I mean we probably could do a dumbed down more simpler version of the universe and it would look great and have lots of cool stuff it just wouldn’t be quite as dynamic but that’s not currently on the plans you don’t know whether or not maybe we’ll do that in the future, but currently that’s not on the development plans.
Okay next question comes from JarHead
- 19:00 – Jarhead asks: For us subscribers, is there going to be something to keep us coming back to subscribe in the future?
Yes. So one of the things we are constantly looking at is ways we can reward people for subscribing because it obviously helps us create all this community content. I do think one of the differences between SC and say other crowd funded games or other games in general is we are able to be much more open with our development and share a lot more. That takes quite a lot of work, a lot of effort is actually spent on various video shows, we did behind the scenes information that we share, jump-point magazine and all the rest. I do think it helps for everyone interested in it to take the journey along with us. I don’t think we would have been where we are without that involvement without the community and that involvement is really made possible by the funds subscribers kick in because that is what we use to fund a lot of the community like the video department and all the stuff that we do for that is all completely funded by subscribers the pledges that come in outside of that are really all used for development of the game and really the community interaction is in the hands by what happens with the subscriptions so we really appreciate anyone that subscribes they’re doing a great service not just for other subscribers but for everybody on the project and even people that aren’t even backing the project because a vast amount of information gets disseminated every week and it’s largely because of the support of the subscribers. So yes we want to do more to keep you going and coming back because you make a big difference and so we’re looking at doing things and talking about doing a sort of monthly live stream for subs and we’re also talking about doing more, I don’t know kind of fun flairy things so we‘ve kind of done some subscriber flair but just do some sort of elements or the way that you can fly a glaive if you’re a subscriber for a certain amount of time. Not a glaive, a sycthe but those are all things that we’re looking at. Those are all things that we’re looking at doing to make the subscribing experience more rewarding without disadvantaging anyone on a game basis cause one of the things we said we didn’t want to make was subscribers a better class of citizen inside the game itself. But I think it’s fine if they get some cool flair they get access to behind the scenes content before everyone else because they are paying for us to have the time to do all that content and at the end of the day it;s better for everyone anyway so we will trying to figure out things to make you guys feel special and thank you for what you do for us. There you go.
- 21:52 – Echo Seven asks: Fresh content is critical to engage players in the PU and you have hinted at the possibility of having players generate content. What sort of content would be considered?
Well, I’ve talked about this quite a few times. We did the next great starship to sort of develop a few ships that were user-generated. I mean, we’ve got the Redeemer already, and we actually would like to bring a few of the other ships from NGS into the game when we have time. We’ve got such a huge backlog of ships that it takes some time to get everything in. But it does help that we have quite a few people that work on the drake Brutus and the Redeemer in house, so they can help finish off their stuff properly in the game. But long-term, yeah, we’d like to try and have user-generated content. I think I’ve mentioned that we were thinking about we could potentially sort of have the equivalent of a spec that was put out by the UEE saying we need a new kind of this ship, and these are the specs of it,and then solicit designs and models from people and as it comes past a certain amount, then if it passed the quality bar, it could potentially be deployed into the game and sold online and perhaps there’d be some kind of revenue split that would go between the creator and the game itself, just like you have, Valve does this pretty well. So that would be maybe a path, maybe the same for clothing on characters, and we’re also toying around with doing some kind of mission editor stuff. That’s kind of longer term, but again, those would all be tools that would be very useful for all the modding stuff that we need to do anyway, and maybe deploy some of that early to allow some people into sort of say our test bed, to come up with like, some encounters or something and then submit them in and we’d pick the best encounter and roll that out to everyone else with one of the patches, or stuff like that. I think all that sort of stuff is stuff we’re looking at because it’s hard, even with the amount of people we have, to generate enough content to keep up with the whole of your guys consumption, and having more people in the community contribute to that, and there’s a whole bunch of people in the community who’re super talented, that would be great. So, we’re definitely thinking about that, it’s definitely part of our plans, and it’s really just sort of fitting it in with all the other myriad things we’ve got to do. But it will happen.
- 24:10 – Thomas Summers asks: With the release of multi-crew ships, will we get a loaner multicrew ship if the one we pledged for is still in development?
And the the simple answer is yes, it’s exactly the same way as we did it in arena commander in the early days. So you will probably get a multi crew ship that’s equivalent to the one that you’ve backed for and isn’t available yet, so I don’t know, it depends on what it is. but if you can’t fly redeemer, maybe you have the retaliator, don’t quote me, we haven’t figured out what the translation is but you will definitely, if you have a multi crew ship and you can’t fly it in multi crew then you would get a multi crew ship to fly for a while until your ship came online. So there you go! that’s kind of what we did with arena commander in the first stages.
So that’s it. That’s 10 for the Chairman for this week. Kind of to the point, maybe a bit quicker than I normally am, because we’re all hard at work working on stuff to show you for CitizenCon, but really we’re working on the FPS release, we’re working on the next Social side, and we’re working on Multicrew, and ultimately, it’s not really all that different. THey’re all part of the same thing, we’re all now on the same development stream, what we call GameDev, which is our central development stream, so we used to have different code paths for the FPS, we branched it about 6 months ago, and it probably wasn’t… we thought we were going to release it earlier, which is why we branched it, but then we didn’t, and we should have probably brought ‘em back in the same line, cause they diverge a lot. There’s a lot of differences and changes that happen on separate code branches so, we’ve finally brought it back together. We’re still cleaning up some of the issues with it, but that’s it. When we release whatever patch we release, it will have the code for all the stuff in it. So, you know, if we release multicrew, the 1.3 we’re talking about, that will have all the FPS code in it, it’ll have all the social code, it’ll have the hangar and it’ll have AC. So, that’s what everyone’s got their heads down to be delivering all those thing, you know, in the very near future. First stages in the very near future, and you know, we’re really thankful to you guys for allowing us to be able to do it at this scale and the ambition that we’re doing it at. It’s amazing, so, I’m very… I’m a very happy, very lucky person. There’s a lot of people on this project that feel the same way, cause we’re all very impassioned. We’re basically building the game we want to play and you guys are letting us do it, and you know, you’re part of the team as far as we’re concerned. We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you very very much. And you know, it’s not that far away from CitizenCon, which we’ll livestream, so I think… I’m pretty confident that we’ll be showing some stuff that hopefully people’ll be pretty excited by, and be putting stuff on people’s hard-drives pretty soon from then that… I’m really looking forward to seeing the response and you know, we’re just going. Heads down, we’ve got a big game to finish. Still a lot of work to be done, but I’m really, I really feel like a lot of the foundational pieces are in place, and now we’re starting to reap the rewards of that. There is some stuff that’s pretty cool that… we haven’t shown, that’ll be down the road, so… It’s.. it’s good, and thank you for all your patience, and talk to you next week!