This post is a transcript of 10 For The Chairman: Episode 72, material that is the intellectual property of Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and it’s subsidiaries. INN is a Star Citizen fan site 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 72 – Full Transcript
Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of 10 for the Chairman. For those of you who don’t know about this show. This is where I take 10 questions that have been asked by our subscribers and answer them to the best of my ability. Our subscribers are the subset of our community that contribute money every month to enable us to do a greater degree of community content. It’s one of the things that sets Star Citizen apart from pretty much most games out there and that we really spend a lot of time and effort on trying to engage and share things with all of you out there. The subscribers make that possible and so we can shoot this and shoot Around the ‘Verse and BugSmashers, Ship shape and a whole bunch of other shows. We’ll have some more now that we’re in our new place and this is actually the last 10 For the Chairman I will do from here.
We’re actually going to have out on our little stage and there will be a little set to do 10 For the Chairman, just like there will be for Around the ‘Verse and all the rest which I think we’re going to be debuting this week which will be very cool. It’s really nice to sort of have it partitioned so we can shoot and not have everyone talking in the background or distracting people developing while we’re all doing this. It’s all made possible by the subscribers so thank you very much for that. That’s why I try to answer ten questions.
So speaking of thank you, there’s a really nice RSI ballcap that showed up here. So, let’s see if this works.. Although it’s probably on the super tight setting… that’s tight, there you go a nice RSI Ballcap and a very nice card, Christmasy card from dehero over in… “Says underground, hampton caught by a trout and.. Dear Christmas, merry Christmas. Enclosed is a present for you not only keeping in the holiday season, but also for the release of Star Citizen 2.0 and most importantly the RSI Constellation Andromeda ready to fly. I made two of these hats and I can think of no better person to have one than you. May you keep the sun out of your eyes and on the tennis court and in space for years to come. Give my best to Sandi, Ben, Jared, and everyone else at CIG this Christmas season. Sincerely Brian and Chelsea”.
Thank you very much Brian and Chelsea. This is very appropriate because well I’m shooting this on Friday, but it will Air on monday, but as of today we are deploying as of live. So by the time you’ve watched me or watched this, hopefully a bunch of people will have been playing 2.0 and it wont of fallen over too badly. I’m really looking forward to all the videos of people’s shenanigans and seeing what people get up to because there’s already been some really cool stuff I’ve seen on the PTU.
Of course we’ll be constantly improving and we have one more patch that we’re going to do.. 2.1 before the end of the year. That will have some new things in it. That should be pretty cool and that’s not really far out because the end of the year is pretty close. So that’s what we’re deploying live and rolling over some of the further optimizations we’re working on, some bug fixes and some new bits of content are going to go into 2.1 which everyone will get to experience in the next few weeks. Definitely before Christmas. There you go! It’s a good day today and pretty sure, hopefully it will be a good day on Monday because… Anyway… I’m in the future of the past, I can’t remember it… Here we go! Let’s ask the 10 questions.
(3:15) R0das asks: I recently have stopped playing an FPS game that uses Cryengine, because of the amount of cheats players are using (aimbot, for example). Are you considering any special cares for SC against these kind of activities?
We definitely are aware and have plans to do stuff to crack down on cheating obviously we’re at a very early stage, so at these early days we’re not doing as much as we will do long term, because we’re just trying to get the basic fundamentals in there.
Not sure which CryEngine game you play, if it was an FPS one. Depends on whether it was a peer to peer or a server client model. Server client model’s a bit easier to validate and make sure there isn’t as much cheating because you own the server which we would, and that’s, you can always do sanity checking against what the client is doing. So we definitely plan to have stuff in there to try and stop people from cheating by using bots and everything.
There’s always ways that people figure out how to do stuff, but that definitely is on our road map to try to make the experience as good for everyone as possible and I would also say it is, Star Citizen isn’t a pure competitive FPS game, it has everything, right, that’s part of what you can see in 2.0 there is FPS stuff, there’s flying the ships around. In the big universe there’s going to be exploration , visiting places, talking to people, doing things like hauling cargo, mining, so I don’t think it will have the same sort of pressure that you see in a straight up FPS arena shooter or something like Team Fortress or War Face which is a Crysis based free to play shooter. So we’ll see, but we definitely are going to try our best to make sure that people don’t abuse the system and cheat.
(5:47) krema asks: In the previous 10 for the Chairman, you talked about NPC’s being useful or not (for instance, when they have to do maintenance or use manned-turret) depending on their skill. Will they have levels or maybe ranks? How will we be able to help them increase that experience?
So yes NPCs absolutely will.
They will be treated much more like you would have a character in a traditional RPG game: they’ll have skill levels; they’ll probably have different traits, whether it’s strength or loyalty, dexterity or intelligence; and skill with certain things, like skill in being gunner or skill in being a pilot.
We’ll generate them at different levels: rookie, starting out not so good is obviously much cheaper to hire than the veteran that super bad ass at a bunch of stuff, so you can also get what you pay for in terms of hiring your NPCs. But if you start with someone that isn’t as experienced, the more you take them into battles and stuff they’ll level up and they’ll get better and more experienced just like people do in real life. So we do do these stats for the NPCs because we need to track how they get better and everything; we’re just not doing it for the player because we want the player to be you doing it and your skills, so it’s you getting better playing the game, not necessarily just leveling up stuff.
So that’ll be there. You’ll get some access to it. I’m not sure we’ll expose the individual background stats we track but you’ll get an idea of whether they are experienced: veteran or rookie and stuff like that. So there you go.
(7:30) Degorth asks: Will ship sensors be able to scan an area for evidence of a ship having been there recently? I.E some kind of thruster trail or reactor emissions left behind. Could enhanced sensors scan for Quantum Drive wakes and determine where the ship jumped to, possibly even what kind of ship jumped?
That’s a very good idea I don’t think we have that in our initial plan of scanning and functions and stuff.
But I think longer term that will probably be something that would be, something we would want the basics in there, and could add because it would be really good for bounty hunting and sleuthing missions where you could show up and get an idea of was this person here or not by the IR, residue, or the radiation signature or something like that.
So not yet but I would say longer term yes.
(8:28) QuartzBear asks: With the introduction of the Avenger Warlock, we’ve gotten our first glimpse at the prospects for non-lethal combat options. Will it be possible to add such non-lethal combat modules to other ships? Say an EMP module as defense for a hospital ship?
Yes it will be possible to add nonlethal combat modules for the ships. EMP isn’t going to be strictly limited to the Warlock we actually have some modules and plans for some of the other ships. Obviously there, normally be the bigger ships that would have them.
We’re definitely building the game to be quite item and component centric and module centric. So you’ll be able to switch and chop and change how your ships equipped more so than you have in the past. One of our drawbacks, cause the underlying system supports this already is just generating all the components with the right variety of functionality.
So we have a plan for that it’s just there’s so many things in terms of just getting the ships out and other things. Even though we have a pretty big team for a game of this size with this many options, there’s never enough people, but absolutely we’re planning for you to be able to switch out components and customise your ships and one of those things say would be EMP.
(9:42) lianglonglong asks: Is it possible to raid a supply shipment , not for piracy, but to destroy it to possibly damage a rival orgs cargo thus it’s revenue and operations?
Yes absolutely. That is going to be possible to do it, not only in the world like the NPCs’ supplies or goods or equipment or resources that are going between resource nodes or stations or planets, but you could definitely do it for orgs as well I would think, player controlled ones, depending on what they were moving around for their own stuff.
But were really going to try to have a game that’s based around being able to deal with logistics. So you’re going to need, we’ve mentioned it before, but you’ll need things like fuel; certain kinds of ammunition are obviously consumable, so ballistics are consumable, there’ll be other sorts of consumables that’ll happen. So if you’re out on the frontier or you’re waging a war there’ll definitely be the need to rearm, restock, refuel and you’ll have to get those arms and weapons: maybe someone can sell them to you; maybe your org has someone coming in with a supply ship to do that. We have a variation of the Crucible that would be a restock and supply version that you could use in the background to backdrop an offensive to bring it in.
We definitely want to make that part of gameplay for the bigger organisations team play because we think one of the most interesting things is not just the frontline combat but how people work together as a team to achieve things and obviously the logistics are pretty good with that. And therefore one of the techniques to degrade your opponent is to go for its supply line. So yes that will definitely come out as emergent gameplay in the system we are setting up.
(11:33) Avitus asks: If you own an alien ship, will that race recognize you as one of their own, a delayed death until they figure out who you are, or immediate recognition?
To be honest with you we really haven’t thought about that, you’re not likely in the near future to be in the Xi’an scout and coming up against Xi’an raiders are going to attack you, because the Xi’an are more to the edges of the UEE so we’re going to be building out some of the interior parts first. I don’t think they would necessarily recognize you as one of their own, they would probably know the Xi’an ship you’re flying is the human modified sale one, what the Scout we’re doing is. Then if you’re on territory you shouldn’t be then maybe they would do something about it. They may potentially be a little more friendly or predisposed to you because bought something that uses their technology.
In general, the Xi’an don’t fire on sight against humans. For instance even though there’s a bit of a stand off if you want to think of it a bit like China and America, trade together but maybe there’s some idealistic differences and they kind of distrust each other but still work together pretty closely. I think that would be a good analogy for the Xi’an empire. I think if you run across Vanduul flying a captured Scythe or a Glaive, generally they would know from the scan if you’re Vanduul or not. Probably go after you in fairly short order although if you had a captured one that was rigged to spoof being part of a Vanduul clan, then perhaps you may be able to slip through or slip by. We haven’t really fleshed that out yet.
(13:15) Twitch asks: I have a dream of being a smuggler in the PTU. Will I be able to create hidden compartments in my ship to hide certain items?
Yes. We are absolutely going to have that. We’re going to have the ability, we’re trying to think of how to do smuggler caches, cause obviously we want to have some creativity up to the player, so it’s not like “Here’s always the secret compartment in the Constellation” cause obviously then law enforcement will know where to look.
We still have to finalise the design on that, but the intention is to allow you to buy, purchase or install certain items that could potentially have false bottoms or all that kind of stuff to hide some cargo and then maybe if someone’s playing the role of an officer or something or an NPC they can come in and board you and they check your ship out and give you a pass and you fly on smuggling that contraband and stuff like that. That’s absolutely going to be part of the gameplay.
It’s a long term, obviously not happening in 2.0 cause there’s some more basic gameplay like cargo hauling those kinds of things, bounty hunting, mercenary escort missions. They will probably happen first but smuggling’s definitely on the list and it’s kind of a fun one involves interaction with other NPCs and potentially other players so yes you’ll be able to do that.
(14:41) Irathi asks: Will you be able to use the gravitation of planets/ large objects to catapult you, or will it otherwise impact the flight model?
Probably not going to model gravity in planets to the level we can do the slingshot stuff that NASA does, when it’s trying to figure trajectories or trying to figure how to get back to Earth from the Moon and all that sort of stuff.
We are going to model gravity to a certain extent where there’s a planet you’re landing on a planet; well the effect of gravity as you get close to the planet is greater right? So in the upper atmosphere, the distance out from Earth, nine point eight meters per second it’s less than that. So we will do that level of it and gravity will have some effect on flight, on atmospheric flight and all that kind of stuff as well.
You can actually even now if you fly in the game and go onto some of the landing pads, the landing pads themselves have artificial gravity in a certain volume around them and in that case the actual flight model compensates for it, so the thrusters and everything produce additional thrust to negate the gravity so it does actually affect the flight model and we were anticipating all these when we get down and do stuff closer to planets and there’s atmosphere and all the rest of the stuff then there’ll be even more of that.
(16:12) ChillZilla asks: The climactic chase through the claustrophobic tunnels of the 2nd death star in Return of the Jedi really highlighted Lando’s skill as a pilot. The changing and narrowing tunnels requiring constant re-correction to navigate them safely. Similarly, the absolute extreme of this is Niobe’s complete control of the Logos in the Matrix Revolutions whilst escaping Sentinels. Are we likely to experience environments like this within the PU (or missions in Squadron 42) that will equally challenge your piloting skill and the true maneuverability of your ship?
I would say yes, definitely. I think we’ve mentioned before but jump points in some ways are going to be quite similar to this, not necessarily going through a death star but they are tunnels that collapse, undulate and move around and narrow and the more risky, the more unstable ones are worse that way but sometimes the risky, more unstable ones are the best shortcut to get to a location.
What our plan is that navigating a jump point potentially if it’s not a safe one could require some extreme piloting skills along the lines of what was described here. Then I’m pretty sure we’ll have some other areas where whether it’s flying inside a big structure in space or even down planetside, we’ll put some challenges in there that are pretty cool. Possibilities are endless with the structure in the game we’re building, it’s one of the reasons it’s taking so long but we are engineering it to do some pretty amazing things so I think you’ll all appreciate that. May have something cool to show in a few days to sort of underline that.
(17:51) Banjo asks: What is your feeling about the recent Star Citizen 2.0 PTU testing experience? Is there any downside to publishing new patches so frequently?
Well I think the only downside is that we spend a lot of money on CDN costs. Every time we push 30 gigs to thousands of players we’re paying for all that data bandwidth getting pushed down from our CDN provider who is Amazon AWS.
So that is kind of the down side but the upside is we get much better turn around and iteration. We were looking at the stats and the last PTU build, before we went to live, compare to the first PTU build was over 100 times more stable than the first one. Which is a pretty massive change in a fairly short period of time. And a lot of that was because we had a large group of players stress testing in a way that we just can do internally. Currently we have 24, 25 QA between the UK and the US which is not a small amount of QA but on a game this big it’s really hard to cover all the features and stress test it. But when we are out on the PTU we can have 1000 people concurrently and that can really be pushing what we see, push the engine, have cases created that we wouldn’t seen in an internal test case, and allow us to see some of the problems. And we’re continuing to add, to improve on stuff, so we’re going crash reporting automated stuff built in in some future version of the clients we’ll give people so we can see, the call stacks and what was going on on the client side as well what we see on the server side which we already do.
I think the 2.0 PTU testing experience was really great. The one that we spend a fair amount of time on the PTU comparatively to what we’ve done before. It’s also the build we’re delivering that probably stresses the engine and the game the most we’ve ever done. Just the sheer scope and scale of it. A lot of features like the Zone System; the Local Physics, Local Grid: they’re all very new systems and of course we’ve flown around on them but we haven’t got all the edge cases you get when you’ve got tens of thousands of people playing it and seeing if it can break or not.
So it was pretty impressive to go from where we started to where we are releasing it live and that’s really due to the PTU iterative process: getting a new build out; seeing if things worked; or even sometimes we put things in there that may have made the experience a little worse, because we actually had some extra bug-tracking, memory walking to see if there was memory corruption, and stuff like that.
So I thought the PTU experience was great so we kind of want to focus on more of that where before we do a patch we are on the PTU for at least a week or so, so we give it time, we get enough people hammering on it, we can fix some issue and then we go live. So that’s going to be our newer model going forward starting next year.
So anyway it was great and I would like to thank everyone that participated in the PTU cause we’re delivering 2.0 to everybody or have delivered 2.0 to everybody because of their dedication and their willing to get in the game after it crashes after two minutes or three minutes and I think now we’re at the point people exit the game normally or play for hours before they even see it crash. Which is pretty good because when you think about the past. Arena Commander those are short games they don’t last for hours and so in those particular cases you may not have even played it long enough to see the engine start to get into troubles because there’s just too many things being created and some things have been left around.
So everyone working on the PTU really makes a big difference and like I said when we build some more tools to make that even better, an iterative process so we really appreciate it and I think we’ve got a pretty good production plan for the coming year, that I think will be good for all the teams here, and everyone out there and i’m excited so anyway. Thank you PTU testers hopefully people are having a great time on 2.0 live right now and thank you to everyone that’s backed Star Citizen, you make it all possible
I hope that we’re showing stuff to you every day that makes you feel good about backing us we’re trying to do nothing less than build the best possible game we can that has a level of scope, ambition and scale you haven’t seen before and I think we’re starting to show the bits that make Star Citizen special compared to other games, you can sort of see the beginning of that in 2.0, and thank you to the subscribers who make this show possible and a lot of other things that we do for the general community at large. I will see you guys in our livestream in a few days. Alright.