This post is a transcript of 10 For The Writers – Episode 06, material that is the intellectual property of Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and it’s subsidiaries. INN is a Star Citizen fansite and is not officially affiliated with CIG, but we reprint their materials with permission as a service to the community. INN edits our transcripts for the purpose of making the various show participants easier to understand in writing. Enjoy!
10 For The Writers – Episode 06 – Transcripts
WW: Hi and welcome back to another edition of “10 for the Writers”. Your writers today are myself, Will Weisbaum, and with me is …
AW: Adam Weiser.
WW: First off we would like to thank all the subscribers out there for make the “10 for …” series and many of our other fine programs and publications possible through their generous donations; as well as all the backers for making the dream of Star Citizen possible. Thanks guys and gals!
AW: Yeah, all of you! How about we dig into it?
AW: Alright, let’s get going!
@00:43 Knight 2631 asks:
I love the News Casting, Just like watching live news. I would like to know, if lets say planet Zion, the Governor Hoover Heever, has been kidnapped, leaving an uproar in the community. Now, if someone is flying next to the planet when it flashes on their screen in the cockpit, can they fly there, and attempt to try to help, and see the mess going on, or is it more like ok it happen, skip the drama, now you see the economical results etc.
AW: Breaking news reports will definitely have elements in the game that you will be able to go respond to. It probably won’t be massive world breaking where something happens and you all need to rush there but it may open the door for an opportunity to go to a specific location and see what’s going like meet people on the street, pick up bits of information that could help lead you to other missions that are involved with that.
AW: You need to remember that once news breaks on a universal wide scale that it’s already probably happened and there’s always a few things that have happened in-between so it may not mean you will be able to go there and always see craziness happening right then and there but there definitely will hopefully be a way to direct you towards locations where there might be jobs, opportunities, NPCS, or other elements of the game like that that you can go and interact with and hopefully create your own story from.
WW: Yeah hats off to Serkis and Sandi for bringing the Empire Report to life it’s been a lot of fun having them as part of the AtV i’ve been really enjoying watching them and helping to create them, so we’d definitely like to continue that into the game and we didn’t do the little asterisk earlier but everything we say now is still in development and should be taken with a grain of salt.
The more procedural stuff most likely won’t tie into news events but if we have a big planned event rather than just relying on mission boards or the normal job givers who really need to learn of a major outbreak of a Vanduul attack or something like that on a large scale through hearing it on the news that cues players to this is a location that something is happening on and it can be a starting point for a lot of other side missions that could be interesting.
@3:16 Josh Kbosh asks:
What are the narcotics going to be like in game? Can we consume and manufacture them? or is it purely a trade item?
WW: We’ve been talking about how various narcotics and medicines are going to work in the game and it’s something we have to develop a lot further with Design. The Endeavor was a great first step in talking about how that awesome science ship is going to tie into hospitals and creating medicines and stuff.
WW: We already have a great example of a light narcotic use, when you go to your fancy bar in your hangar and you drink some booze you’ll start to see your vision get all blurry and stuff, so I think that’s a first indicator of how we’d like to see narcotic use progress in the game. That if you go through the effort of taking a drug it should have some fun, weird effect to some extent. To what extent still has to be figured out: I could see taking a stim that lets you run for slightly longer time because you’re all jacked up and then maybe afterwards you crash and you can barely move, or stuff like that.
WW: Or maybe it will just be recreational drugs that make things go crazy for a little bit: that could be really interesting too. So definitely things we want to explore in having that kind of gameplay balance will be important to work out with the designers.
WW: As far as manufacture that would also be really neat. Hopefully we’ll allow players to produce medicines and what are drugs other than than …
AW: … illegal medicines that you take to feel good.
WW: [faux serious] That you shouldn’t do! Don’t do it!
@4:56 Wreak asks:
Question for the Writers: in the PU, players will likely gain renown/infamy by engaging in many activities. Will the game world recognize and convey the renown/infamy of players, by using narratives, missions and NPC conversations/interactions, throughout the Verse?
AW: Again as we kind of start to dig into how all this is going to play out. The reputation system will hopefully be able to have NPCs respond to players based on how their reputation in the universe, that’s kind of the idea behind it. So yeah I think the way NPCs treat you, when it comes to maybe I’m not sure yet, that’s what something we have to figure it out but maybe certain missions will become available to you if you have a certain reputation, if you have a certain renown that might open a few extra things for you. It’ll be interesting to see once we dig into it how we can integrate kind of like the lore that you’re building around yourself into actual missions for ya.
WW: Yeah and with 2.0 coming online we’re starting to work with designers to dip our toes into the mission structure and think about how your reputation might tie into that and I think it’ll be nice if we can get it to a way to where NPCs are omniscient, like there wouldn’t be a reason why a shopkeeper would know on site that you’re a world class bounty hunter, he’s not connected to that world so you wouldn’t be queued into that.
WW: Hopefully the reputation will make sense that alright maybe advocacy agent would recognize you if you have a strong reputation as an outlaw and now would tie or other outlaws would recognize you on sight and kind of respect you and open up doors that way. But like a random NPC’s wouldn’t so much know on sight. So kind of figuring out that balance and because there is so many different layers of like winding through different elements that it’ll be important to kind of, minimize the options while maximizing in how much impact they have. So kind of less is more kind of thinking so we’re really trying to queue in on that, We’ll be something we look to do
@7:19 Sailor67 asks:
Are there plans for including major player driven events like Operation Pitchfork is attempting in the lore? if so can they impact the major story arcs you are writing or just news stories?
WW: We’re really hopeful that we’ll be able to take player influenced events and incorporate it into the lore. That’s one of the things we’re really excited about that Chris has talked about before: that if you are the player that kills the Dread Pirate Roberts you’ll be going down in history as that person who did that.
WW: And so if enough players get together and have a major impact or cut off resources and stuff we’re hopefully going to be working to monitor the game to see what’s happening and respond, with not only with not only our regular content updates that we’re hoping to have, but as well in the Galactopedia and whatever news stories and lore posts we keep on going to be able to look at what’s happening in real time in the game and have that influence us so that it will be a conversation almost between the developers and the players as they are playing. And that’s really exciting.
AW: The message boards are going to blow up anyway when the players start doing something or organising, so it’s going to be pretty obvious what’s going on in a lot of locations for us. I think it’s going to be really awesome to tap into that and use the potential for that to maybe open up aspects of the story or the world that we didn’t quite think of at first; or to do certain things. I think that will be a really fun part of the game: to be able to try to integrate what you guys are doing into some of the ideas we have and see how it manifests.
WW: Yeah, it will just to come down to really streamlining the process and trying to focus on remaining agile on how we can create this content.
WW: To make sure we do it. So a lot of questions remain on exactly how that’s going to work but it’s something that we’re aspiring to. So hopefully!
AW: Yeah, that’s great.
@9:17 DocAndy asks:
As a scientist I have to ask: You mentioned collaborations with actual scientists before – could you share something about that process? In which parts were they involved? did you use their input to explain your more fantasy elements or did you change the lore to accommodate science? How do you keep the balance between believable scientific explanation and enjoyable & interesting ‘fantasy’ regarding Star Citizen technology?
AW: Recently when we did work on the Star Map we definitely did a talk to a handful of astrophysicists input on the actual scientific breakdown of certain systems of habitable zones, what kind of planets could end up where based on which kind of star and details like that are very important for us so that there is a scientific backbone to the Star Map to what you’re going to see and how might of effect you know that habitability of certain worlds or not to a certain degree.
AW: I know Will has actually gone out and tracked down some young astrophysicists willing to help us kind of vet all these systems and it’s definitely a process we’re in the middle of to make sure that everything is you know, has a scientific footing to it that’s for sure.
WW: Yeah, there’s a new organization called the, I’m going to mess up this name, the Science and Entertainment Exchange which specializes in hooking up people who work in the entertainment industry with scientists who donate their time to give scientific advice just out of the sheer desire to make entertainment more scientifically accurate. So we worked with them as well as contacting people on our own and it’s a real kind of fun balance between accuracy and the fantasy elements and a lot of times it just comes down to does it feel right?
Which is kind of a thing when you’re striking that balance between what is fun because sometimes real hard science facts can be either like, stop you from doing something that would be otherwise really fun, it can also be so crazy that it doesn’t feel right when you hear it like there’s this weird thing that you get too accurate and it goes against what people’s common expectations are and so you have to say, alright even if this is true, it’s going to really confuse people to do it that way.
AW: Make for bad gameplay
WW: And then you’re going to have to explain it to people, “Oh but this is scientifically accurate even though it feels very wrong”. So there’s all these things, it’s been kind of a fun process to work with them and yeah, hopefully we’ll be releasing further updates on the Star Map where we get to unveil some more of the hard numbers that we’re using in the background so that you can actually see exact distances and stuff and then you know, still, those are still going to be chances and fleshed out more as we talk more with designers when we actually get ships flying in more and more of these systems were going to have to make further adjustments. So a lot of back and forth, give and take on that.
@12:35 GeraldEvans asks:
Is there anything about underground racing being written into the lore? With the Armada package being as much of a hit as it was, my org is looking to start an underground circuit of Capital Ship Cup Racing, where Idris and larger ships are the timing rings that the racers pass through to mark progress around a course. I had the idea when I saw the first video of Star Citizen featuring the Bengal, and then the Top Gun homage sealed it. And after seeing the hangar control room in the Citizen Con Morrow Tour I realised that tracking which ships come and go might not only be simple, but even recorded on the ship’s log.
WW: Underground racing is something we have worked into the lore and also something that will be really fun to provide the tools for players to set-up some themselves being able to create their own race courses. I’ve had a couple of conversations with design so it’s something that’s interesting and maybe we’ll be able to do it but we still have to work out some of the details of it. It’s a really fun idea using capital ships that way as the rings to race through.
WW: I’m not sure that ships themselves will allow that. And also different forms of racing too that we’ve talked about right now most of the racing is done with very fast ships but getting in the larger ships imagine a couple of Hull-E’s racing around that would be really funny. Some of the systems we’ve established lore for
AW: There’s the Able Baker Challenge which takes place in the Baker system which is right now in the lore canon the most famous underground race in the ‘Verse but that said it doesn’t mean it’s the only one and it doesn’t mean that a really cool race that is somehow put together by an Org or by you guys that comes to prominence so it’s definitely something we know is out there,
AW: You know NASCAR here in the United States started off as bootleggers just trying to run away from cops and that turned into race and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the course of making the game that you guys find some cool things to be able to do something similar to modify your ships or to (make) different courses or maybe even parts of the universe, I know we are conscious of planets and where asteroid belts are and stuff like that and once all those get fleshed out you get an actual seam in the game you may find that some places that were never intended to be a race course actually make a really cool race course we’re eager to see you guys get out there and do stuff like that.
@15:13 AragornBH asks:
What are the chances that players will get to read log entries made by pilots who have been involved in important SC lore events?
AW: Yes basically! There already is a lore series called “Discovered”, which you can find a handful already on the RSI website, that are stories of famous expeditions, famous explorers that have discovered jump points or new worlds: different things like that. So we’re already starting to build a little bit of that in; we definitely have more planned.
WW: And it could be the kind of thing that maybe you’re discovering a wreck and finding that log and you’re the one that gives it to the ARK to be stored there. I’d imagine that hopefully the ARK would have records of this kind, as well as the more important historical ones, which would be interesting to explore. So it will all be really just about how much time and content we can create. But it would be really fun to have.
AW: And I know just me personally, and I know Dave and Will does this too, there’s such a long history that we have here that if you are re-reading the lore and you find a moment that’s really cool and you’re like “oh, that would be something good to backlog for later”. I definitely have a list of moments in history that we can go back to and maybe delve into further. And as Will said it just a matter of time management at this point and being able to allocate our resources to the best possible places. But it is definitely something on our mind and you can expect plenty of logs out there explaining some …
WW: We’ve floated the idea too about making some of the more important historical moments playable as well with some kind of special mission packs or something like that. So that might be really fun if we end up being able to do that.
AW: Yeah, very cool.
@17:01 Landscaper asks:
Will there be books/newspapers/blogs in game? I envision pulling up an app on the mobi-glas and browsing my collection of magazines, selecting a rare classic book or catching up on the news and sports. Maybe you would use this as a way to feed us lore?
WW: Totally. Kind of tying into the last question as well which is why I chose both of them. It’s something we start to see a little bit in 2.0 coming up is having this content that you’ll be able to find and read as well as sit back kind of have random material. It takes a fair chunk of effort to create these assets, I was always really impressed playing in Bethesda games where they have full books you can read, it was something I thought was really neat so we’ll have to see how much of something like that, we can do.
WW: One of the neat things we have is that so many of you out there are already generating a ton of really cool content so maybe it’s the kind of thing we can look into doing a call for magazine articles for this one kind of magazine and take backer submissions for that to feature in game would be really fun but we’d have to figure all that out.
AW: Yeah it’s definitely every day it’s great to come in and see the message boards and see some of the role playing you guys are doing because it’s really inspiring and it’s really great to see your own personal spin on the world that’s being built. It’s just a different matter of timing, relocation have to go through and curate to make sure that the stuff you’re putting in will fall under lore will also take a little bit of work but I think it would be very cool and something you guys would respond to well. Hopefully down the road at some point but there will definitely be Spectrum Dispatches you’ll probably find them there too, so plenty of content for you to go through
WW: And hats from me as well in the recent news updates it’s just been absolutely awesome reading you guys in lore responses. So much fun really enjoy it so *Thumbs up*
@19:07 Chiffre asks:
For us explorers out there and those who like to live on the edge of the galaxy. How will new systems be handled by the lore writers? Will you already have lore written up for those systems and just copy and paste them in after X time passes? Or will plater interaction in the system dictate how the lore is written for it?
AW: When we are ready to release new systems to you guys, we will definitely have a firm idea of any lore that’s behind that to certain degree: if there’s any secret places; or if it was maybe formerly inhabited or not; or visited by a different species. We’ll probably have, at least at the beginning, a good idea of that but I think where the system goes from there will depend a lot on who finds it and how they present it.
AW: Some people may want to keep the system for themselves; for their org; for their pirate group and use it as some kind of black market hub for certain things. Others may just turn around the information; give it to the UEE; sell it off; and then invite people in. So there’s definitely going to be an element where you the players will be able to help determine it. If there are any important story points that we want to get across there that’s probably something we would have figured out before you get to it.
WW: Yeah, I mean until we have procedural generation of systems up and running it’s all going to be lovingly handcrafted. Which means we’ll work with Design and talk to them and come up with and idea for the systems. And it will definitely be interesting to have the systems that have had zero human interaction, or at least probably that mysterious human interaction, I don’t know, like there’s interesting things we can do where you find remnants of a old civilisation of humans that you didn’t know had been there.
AW: Potentially! Potentially!
WW: So that’ll be very different from a lot of the system lore we’ve been developing which is “right, what has the impact of humans been on this system?” But starting in fresh it means the backers will get to have a say in all those possible directions and what ends up winning out; or how that planet it either terraformed or not; or who are the settlers that take a ride on your Starliner out to that system. So it’ll be really cool to see.
AW: yeah I fully expect we might have an idea about what a system is going to be and then you guys will get in there and do something to it that we just never expected. That’s going to be kind of fun I think!
@21:42 Manta78 asks:
How will alien language barriers be handled in the PU? Will our characters automatically understand alien languages or will we need a translator (NPC or some sort of device that can be purchased in game)? Can languages be learned by the character?
WW: So this is something that we’ve had initial talks on and as we’re continuing to work with the linguists to develop the language, we still kind of sorting out exactly how it’s going to work in game, we have a couple ideas so far. One of them is that your Mobi-glass will come with standard really rough translator that can translate stuff in real time for you, but it wouldn’t be able to capture all the full nuances of a native speaker.
WW: So you would be getting the general idea of what an alien is saying in their language but you wouldn’t be able to fully pick up on everything because we want to reward players who take the time, were going through all the effort of making these languages, real languages and speakable so we want to reward players who take the time to actually learn them because that’s awesome.
WW: You asked if characters would be able to learn languages and kind of, I think the current direction might be that there won’t be like a thing you can buy where your character speaks banu, if you want your character to speak banu, you’re going to have to learn banu yourself and what you might be able to buy is an NPC who can translate for you or a better translator for your Mobi-glass or something like thats some kind of ingame mechanic but, by making there different layers of interactions with, but yeah if you want to learn that language, you’re going to have to learn the language.
AW: Yeah so if you’re a trader who’s going to Xi’an territory a lot, it’ll definitely benefit you to get a little bit more in detail of that because you might be able to pick up on small handers, small phrasing things that might lead you in a different direction than someone who wanders in there for the first time who(?) will be able to get sale.
WW: So orgs start drawing straws on who’s going to have to learn those languages. But hopefully we’ll have more information on that as we continue to develop.
AW: Yeah, it’s definitely something we’re thinking about.
WW: Cool. Well that makes ten questions so thank you so much for taking the time to listen to our very not set in stone and unconcrete kind of just feelings more than answers. We feel how things might work out and a really big thank you once again to you subscribers for making this possible and for everyone who believes in Star Citizen and is helping us bring the game to life.
AW: Thank you backers appreciate it. always fun answering your questions and we’ll see you next time Around the Verse.
WW: No no. See you around Ten For it’s a different show.
AW: What? This isn’t Around the Verse?
WW: You can’t use that..
AW: Can’t use that?