This post is a transcript of 10 For The Chairman: Episode 71, 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 Chairman: Episode 71 – Transcript
Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of 10 for the Chairman. This is the first one that i’m actually doing from the new offices in Los Angeles. We’re still in the process of moving in, it’s still pretty bare and we haven’t gotten pictures up on the walls. It’s cool, we have a bigger space, we actually have a stage space so we can do our community shooting there and also mocap once we get all that equipment set up. We’re not actually doing it here today for this one because we’re still in course of moving in and setting it up but hopefully for the next 10 for the chairman I will be using the new facilities.
Right now we’re actually doing it in one of our conference rooms in the development area which is actually joining my office that’s just behind us and this is where… Anyway, it’s all still moving in temporary stuff, pictures on the walls but hey it’s nice having a bit more space. We got a really nice open flow, I don’t know if you guys saw the old office, I think it will be better for everyone creatively so it’s kind of cool and obviously your guys continued support allows us to make sure we have a good environment for everyone to develop the game all of our dreams so thank you for that.
So this is 10 for the Chairman where if you haven’t seen this before it’s where I take 10 questions from the subscribers and answer them to the best of my ability. Subscribers are the subset of the overall people that are supporting the community that contribute every month to help fund sort of the enhanced community content we do. We do a fair amount of video shows, so subscribers are helping sort of support all the things like getting the cameras and building some little sets that Tom and his guys have been building so it’s kind of cool; Jump point which is usually a 50 to 70 page monthly magazine that goes behind the scenes of a lot of stuff we’re doing like how we build the spaceships or some of the designs that were going through or give background on certain of the parts of the Star Citizen universe, as well as have some in fiction universe stuff, so that’s cool.
Thank you very much to subscribers for allowing us to do all that and thank you to everyone in general just for continuing to fund Star Citizen as I said quite a long time ago that all the money or raise before the game is sort of what we can consider 1.0 of the Star Citizen Universe, it goes right back into development and making sure it’s as big and rich as possible. We’re going to have some cool things to show you in the up and coming livestream later this month that hopefully you guys will be excited by, we’re pretty excited by some of the stuff. I know that a lot of you are already playing the public test universe version of SC Alpha 2.0. We expanded it out to a bunch more people for the weekend and we’re hopefully *knocks on wood* touch wood, going live very soon, or today, I don’t know because i’m filming this before today. I’m from the past and… well anyway forget about it! So let me get to the 10 questions!
So the first one comes from Dzel who asks.
(3:30) Dzel asks: How are the plans on the locking/keys etc. on our ships? Will we be able to leave our ships with a reasonable security (of the locking mechanism) while EVAing on to a station?
Yes. We’re basically going to have a higher degree of security than we currently have on the ships. One of our thoughts was with SC Alpha 2.0 is, various, the, locking systems and how we’re going to do it, we sort of figure that the very first iteration that we get out there, we’re just making it more open and see what people do and then we’ll obviously adjust some things, so things will be more reasonable. People can’t steal your ships, people can’t refuel as easily in areas that you should not be getting griefed in. Those are all features and functionality that we didn’t really want to wait to program a complete nanny state and put it out there and then not have to do all that work so it’s kind of better to get it out there and see what happens, but the idea is yes your ship should be keyed to you and you could enter it and then you could allow other people to enter. Then ultimately there will be some forms that people can break in or board like out in space for instance if you left your ship there someone may be able to EVA in and break the lock or blow the seal and get in, but it will definitely have more security than it currently does now. That’s one of the things that we will start to do on our, further iterations of, the mini PU.
(05:06) Alex asks: What happens when you’re stranded far from any kind of repair facility, mobile or otherwise? Will it be possible to jury rig repairs using components from other systems to get your ship limping home under it’s own power? Will there be a skill system in place that would reflect the ability of the character to repair the various ship systems?
We’re definitely going to have, I think we may have even mentioned it and discussed it a little bit in the repair design document, it was part of when we launched the Crucible as a concept sale. There’s going to be repair of components that you can do, changing out the equivalent of all the valves, circuit boards or capacitors or whatever you want to think on certain things that could be damaged or blown to get your ship back. We’re also going to ultimately allow you the ability to do some kind of minimal repair. Like maybe EVA out and seal up an area, that you have to seal up before you can carry on going.
So we’re definitely going to give you some sort of small personal EVA/FPS style repair that you can go about your ship, like when you’re taking damage on your Constellation maybe someone has to run back to the engine room to do something in the engine room because otherwise their reactors are going to overload, so you’ve got to bring it down to take the safeties off and bring the power down to fifty percent or whatever or change out a conduit or whatever it would be. So we’re going to add that as gameplay cause we think it would be cool especially on the multi crew ships to allow some of that but obviously the proper fixing your ship up so that you can take it to a real mechanic, that kind of thing, that would require someone to show up with a Crucible or you take it to one of the NPC repair stations. Of which we have a very simple prototype in the mini PU the SC Alpha 2.0 but that’s just a basic placeholder compared to what ultimately we plan to go with. Where you would take it to a repair ship and they would say ok it’s going to take you this long and cost you this much to get it fixed.
As far as skill based settings for repairing the stuff we’re really trying to make it so the player, or your character is based on your skill of playing the game and the equipment you’ve acquired and how you use it as a player. Now NPC’s will probably have their own RPG stats cause we’ll just need to determine if they’re good or experienced or are they bad and so probably some NPC repair people can be better ones or worse ones based on their skill stats, but for you as a player it will be about just about how you do it. It will be about your resourcefulness whether you kept the extra components you need, so we kind of would think on a big ship you may actually come fly with some extra items and spare parts to fix things up when things get damaged.
(08:06) IggyPi asks: As an IT geek I would like to know more about the server infrastructure. What kind of hardware or operating system manages the global networking? What kind of challenges are you running into?
So, I did ask our IT department this and they all said, ‘Mmm, we don’t really want to say too much’ because I think they’re a little scared that people are going to take some of that information and use that to hack in. I’m not really going to talk about that much as far as that goes, we use a lot of Cisco stuff if that helps. We do on every one of our studios we have sort of a replicated server set up and we use very fast storage so we use this thing called Nimble storage and our big challenge…I mean every one of our studios has gigabit internet connection and we replicate drives perforce depots are various different shared drives between every one of the studios constantly so that way people can put up on our local network drive saying, ‘I captured this little movie of the game action’ and it will be replicated to all our different studios.
There are terabytes and terabytes of data just going back and forth all the time between our studios. It is a lot of data that is getting shunted around, we rely a lot on having a nice wide connection to the internet and fast storage, we have very fast state of the art servers and there you go. Of course the game itself runs in the cloud, right now we’re on Google Compute so we deploy up to the cloud from here. So, there you go, I don’t know if that gave you as much of a question but hopefully a little bit of it. The challenges are basically shunting all the data around and keeping everyone in sync which for all the data we deal in game making is quite a lot of data. It’s fairly painful if you’re outside one of our studios syncing from a home machine and don’t have a fast internet connection it will take a long time to sync up your build.
(10:24) Phoenix Branson asks: Has CIG ever considered adding dynamic weather or surface lights to the planet’s surface? Could players in orbit see clouds moving, lightning flashes, or surface lights that become visible as the planet enters it’s night cycle?
Yes we have definitely considered that. There’s definitely a longer term goal but we’ll be showing something in our livestream later this month that isn’t this but kind has some things along that you can sort of see the potential. Yes that’s the longer term plan, it won’t be day one but all those kinds of things would.. What we’re going to try to do is be as accurate to creating the planets and stuff so you should sort of see the day night cycles and if it’s night time, maybe you would see some city lights or weather patterns, or if there’s a landing location you can go there. So yes that’s in our longer term plans and like with everything it will get slotted in the game as we go along, but we sort of have more important stuff to knock out first so to speak.
Next question comes from crazyprsn, or crazy prsn, but I’m assuming that means crazy person, asks.
(11:31) Crazyprsn asks: Out of curiosity, what made you want to start everything Stanton system? It seems appropriate, because it’s a system full of companies who are devoted to developing great technologies, but I’m curious how the decision came about.
I don’t know why we originally started.
I know that ArcCrop was one of the very first landing locations that we were experimenting with the modular building sets and we style and prototyped. Basically we’d picked that and there was a few others, like Terra and a couple of other ones.
I think maybe when we were first doing it, we thought Stanton would be a good system because it has quite a few different planets you can go visit. They all have their own different identities and there will be quite a lot to do even if you just had gameplay in just one system. We could have the Stanton system detailed out to the level of fidelity we want to do, run around and that would absolutely be equivalent to most games, if not more that most games, out there. So there’s a lot of possibility there, so we thought Stanton was probably the best starting system for us to start building out.
Alright the next question comes from Panda Bear, who asks:
(12:48) Panda Bear asks: In the larger ships, have you considered a type of automatic battle flight pattern for those operating the ships as a single player? You could engage a type of ‘autopilot’ that would fly a predesignated pattern in a loop. While on autopilot, you would be able to man your own turret, allowing you a greater axis of movement and allowing you to track attackers easier.
I’m not sure we necessarily discussed that. It’s not necessarily a bad idea but I wouldn’t say that would be at the top of our list. We do want to encourage to play together or potentially you could hire some NPC crew, so you could have somebody to be your pilot, which would be a bit like autopilot and then you go off and be the gunner and he would be reporting to you.
But you never know we may actually engage some version of defensive circle autopilot but I would think the first push is going to be working with your friends and the second push is when we get the NPCs to board the ship and then go from there and see what we’re going to do.
(13:47) Scubi asks: What will living spaces be good for? For example, the living module option on the Retaliator bomber. Is there a game mechanic behind them?
We’ve already mentioned it was one of the stretch goals that if you have a living space, a bunk bed, on a ship that will be a way for you, when you’re not in combat and all the rest of the stuff, to save the game without having to be on a planet. So that’s really a pretty big thing because the living space is like your save point so to speak. So there you go: I think that’s actually a pretty big game aspect. And they’re kind of cool.
And we are going to do some level of very, very, very light roleplaying: so one of the reasons why Star Citizen captures the imagination and you really feel like you are part of the world is we spend the attention and the time to put the little details in there. You’re in the ship and it’s not just you sitting in the cockpit: you can walk around it an “oh, here’s where I’m going to sleep; here’s where I have my meals; here’s where I get a cup of coffee; oh, here’s where I take a shower; here’s where I can go to the toilet”. So it’s, not that we want to say “oh you have to eat every eight hours” or anything like that but there should be some stuff where you could get a cup of coffee or you could get some food and maybe there’s some very small boost or something; there’d be a reason to do that kind of stuff, just to use it, to make you feel like you are part of it. Not to the extent of a DayZ kind of thing but I feel like we want a little bit of light use roleplaying because I think it would be kind of cool. You don’t take a shower for a month and then people start to not want to talk to you much: that kind of thing. I think I’ve mentioned that before but that’s all good reasons for the living areas.
Right, next question comes from Voidhunter, who asks …
(15:40) Voidhunter asks: Will you be doing any horror type of stories? There have been some awesome stories that could be stashed away for the explorers in the deep, dark parts of the Star Citizen universe. Movies like Alien, Pandorum, Event Horizon and Pitch Black. Stories like this help reinforce the vastness of space and just how fragile the players are.
Absolutely. So, one of the big goals … we’re building a big universe but it’s not a universe that’s going to have four hundred billion star systems but it’s going to have quite a lot of locations like an insane level of detail where you can get down and sort of feel the location you’re on or the ship or everything. One of the big things we obviously want to do is derelicts, so derelicts are kind of cool, they’re definitely easy encounters to do and yeah, you absolutely should come across that derelict ship and there’s some alien like organism. Or creature on it that could attack you or later on when we get space to planet stuff working, you can land down in an area or maybe you’ve got that Pitch Black scenario where you get attacked by some kind of alien wildlife or animal or something like that. We are definitely going to build some kind of derelict haunted house kind of stuff to put in there with other encounters, more so traditional encounters you can have so that can be a risk.
You can go look and explore and salvage this derelict but maybe when you’re in there you get attacked by … I’m not saying Facehugger but the equivalent jumping down from the ceiling or there could be pirates aboard it or there could be nothing aboard it. So, I think we’re definitely going to do that, try to have some to give some atmosphere as you can sort of see what we do with Star Citizen, we’re really trying to give it texture and atmosphere and make the world feel real. We can definitely do that because we’re in this FPS first person engine that we also fly vehicles and do all sorts of stuff so the possibilities are ripe.
(17:39) Fuzzer asks: How will insurance work for pirates? (Trade routes, alien systems, being aggressor, etc)
So we talked, when we first talked about insurance, that there was still the insurance cabal for the pirates but it’s basically on the pirate worlds where you deal with, whoever the pirate insurance company would be, then you would be respawning back to a more outlaw or piratey planet but it would work more or less the same as people inside the UEE. It’s kind of hard to say cause we have to balance the ins and outs cause we don’t want people abusing insurance to be able to grief other people but we also want to make sure that if you lose your ship you have the ability to get back in the game without having too much of a penalty. We want you to have some penalty but not catastrophic penalty. I’ve mentioned before the Demon Souls example where I felt they really had a good balance between losing a lot of things but not losing everything and you really felt like when you actually managed to clear out a level or kill one of the end bosses that it was pretty risky to do it but when you did it you had a great sense of accomplishment and that’s sort of the goal that we want.
So insurance is in there to make it so you don’t go out, the first time you get in combat you get your ship destroyed and bam I don’t have a ship now what am I going to do? But we also don’t want someone to just take their Aurora and ram it into someone, instantly get their ship ram it in again, instantly get their ship ram it in again, instantly get their ship ram it in again, cause that’s not going to be a fun experience for everyone else. So I think we will figure out how to do it in ways that the more that kind of stuff happens you have more penalty, we’ll look for patterns and we’ll apply kind of the same stuff for pirates and we’ll try to balance it but that’s going to be very much in the playing and the testing of it, that’s why I really like the process we use where we’re sharing the game as we’re building it with everyone and we’re getting the feedback. I think the SC Alpha 2.0 is going to be an absolute, it’s a gold mine for that, i’m already seeing what people are doing they’re posting their videos and that’s without being specifically stable. So it will be really interesting to see what evolves there and then that will help guide us on how we’ll deal with stuff. We obviously have got an idea of what we want to do but obviously when we always say the best battle plans never survive contact with the enemy, not saying you guys are the enemy but, we need to play on that.
So basically the answer is insurance for pirates will not be too dissimilar for insurance for people inside the UEE it will just be the sort of pirate version of that, and we are going to try and balance it so either side of it can’t abuse insurance.
(20:38) Funcracker asks: There are small and big ships for transportation and warfare. But there are only big multi-crew ships for mining/reclaiming/etc. I would like to start mining, but without high ship & NPC costs, simply on my own or with a friend. Will this be possible?
Obviously for some of the larger scale stuff, reclaiming or mining, having a bigger ship helps because it’s a bulk business. But we definitely have plans to have smaller mining equipment and vehicles you can use. You don’t necessarily have to be using the Orion that will just allow you do to do it at a greater … if you are dedicated as a miner that’s how you reach that critical mass. But we’ll have mining equipment on smaller ships and probably have a smaller dedicated miner. And potentially the same on the reclaiming stuff too.
There you go, it will be possible: we haven’t designed the ships yet but we have discussed it and it is in our longer term plans. But again, like I’ve said in a few of these answers there is quite a lot of things we have on our longer term plans so it’s all a matter of priorities.
So there you go! They’re the ten questions for this week.
It’s nice to talk to you all from our new offices and as time goes by these will get moved into properly and hopefully be a really great work environment and space for everyone to continue working on Star Citizen.
And I would like to thank everyone out there for backing the game. Thank you for this past month, we had our Anniversary Sale: that went incredibly well, you guys were great and it’s just allowing us to make a bigger, cooler game.
And I’m really looking forward to showing you some stuff on the livestream and I’m really looking forward to seeing 2.0 live and just the mayhem everyone gets up to because it’s already a blast watching people do it on the PTU; and it’s a blast reading people’s stories; and I just think there’s a whole bunch more that’s going to come of it and of course we’re just going to continually adding to it and making it better there’s some stuff I can’t wait until we get all that in too. If I had a time machine it would be nice but I don’t.
But there you go! So thank you very much. I will see you next week. Bye.