This post is a transcript of 10 for the Chairman: Episode 75, 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 75 – INN Transcripts
Chris Roberts: Hello everyone. Welcome to a 10 for the Chairman, it’s the first 10 for the Chairman that I’m actually doing in 2016. I know we broadcast one in 2016, but that was recorded at the end of 2015. I’m back in LA for a few weeks and then I’ll be going back to the UK. So I’m spending a lot of time in the UK this year so I’ll be back and forth between the two locations, but while i’m back in LA i’ll be doing 10 for the Chairman’s so it’s nice to be back in LA. The weather is a little nicer than manchester at this time of year.
So this is 10 for the Chairman for those of you that don’t know this is where I take 10 questions from the subscribers and answer them to the best of my ability, questions obviously about Star Citizen and Squadron 42. The subscribers are the subset of our community that contribute extra money every month that allow us to do a heightened amount of community content. Shows like this, around the verse, various other video shows like Bug Smashers, Ship Shape, all that kind of stuff. As well as Jump Point which is this sort of behind the scenes in depth magazine that is usually 50-70 pages of how we build ships, design, our process and we also do other kind of little perks for subscribers like flair for hangars and stuff.
We do that to say thank you because you help us do this large amount of community outreach and content which I think sets Star Citizen apart pretty much every other game out there because we just give you guys a lot of stuff! Anyways I’m here, I think signing stuff right now, whether it will be for Pax South right? Yeah? Pax South. There’s a bunch more over in that direction that I will continue after this, but let’s get to the 10 questions. It is good to be back so we’ll do this week and next week and maybe if I get corralled into an extra one to be stock piled well doing that do.
(02:18) SuprebFret asks: Will there be 2-Step verification login and if so when will it be implemented?
We are working on two step verification at the moment. We actually just had the folks or Benoit from Turbulent down here for some planning session we were doing here in Los Angeles. So actually that was discussed and I know they’re working on it. So I would say implemented soon™. Don’t ask me for a date though, cause I always get in trouble for those!
(2:53) Truac Aldent asks: When you are part of crew on a multi-crew ship and the owner of said ship dies or goes offline does the ship go with them?
No. So the idea would be if the owner dies or goes off-line but there are other real players on the ship then the ship would still exist because you wouldn’t want to *poof* instantly disappear back to your home planet. There are probably some processes that we have to figure out so there can’t be abuse of this, because you don’t want the owner to, I don’t know, log out and everyone is flying around in the ship and then the owner logs back it and what do they do? Appear back on the ship or not? So we still have to work that out but the idea would not be to have the ship just disappear underneath you. But that’s all the kind of things in 2.1 onwards that we are slowly going to be getting to, all the case situations from that.
(3:56) Sgt. 19Delta asks: Are there any new technologies you’re working with that are going to allow you a better game for everyone with the average system, or are you expecting only the most serious gamers with high end towers?
We are definitely focused on building the game with the features which means that some of our optimization work hasn’t happened yet. We do occasional optimization but I think people will have seen sort of from 2.0 to 2.1 and even from 2.1 to 2.1.1 which just went live. That there’s been some optimization work so the framerate better, the game is a bit more stable and in fact on the older machines or even machines with less cores, the game performs much a lot better where it was performing badly before.
We do do ongoing optimization work as we go along there’s various parts of the game that are not as optimized as they should be like UI, which is a pretty bad culprit, also working heavily on the LOD of the ships and the graphic and ? team are constantly doing things that they think will increase performance but we’ll really nail a lot of that down the road when we’re much more feature complete on everything we want to do. The goal will be to mid-level machines be able to play the game, not just super high end ones, though high-end ones now are pretty good right now are pretty good for getting it to look as good as possible and run it at a decent frame rate.
(05:32) Jmojo asks: Will we be able to pick up plant life or even random items on planets in the PU? ‘That flower is really awesome, I will take it back and try to cultivate this plant’
You’ll definitely be able to collect things from different places you visit and potentially collect things like fauna. I think I mentioned in another Ten for the Chairman, that potentially you could do hunting and things like that. We’ll definitely have some sort of gameplay and I kind of want to have features in the game that encourage people to visit various parts of space and then collect mementos or trinkets.
Like if you went to Paris and you got your little Eiffel Tower statue thing.That kind of thing. I think it’ll be kind of, for met that’s much more fun than having an achievement medal you get with Steam awards or XBox Live or something.
So that’s the goal I don’t know if you’ll be able to pick every single flower you can see in a big field of flowers ‘cause we’re not at the point where we’ve got the procedural planets with all the vegetation and fauna. But there will definitely probably be some things you can collect.
We’re thinking of sort of having gameplay on some of the procedural planets that would be things like mining or mineral collection and doing stuff like that and that’s actually fairly simple to implement and so we’re thinking on the PU of some pretty interesting and fun kind of low hanging fruit in gameplay for you guys to play with. I’m kind of looking forward to that.
(6:56) Duro asks: So you may not have heard about the significant amount of “griefing” since the launch of SC Alpha 2.0. I recognize this may just be folks messing about and testing the limits of the new environment. However, what long term plans/ideas do you have to deter or punish players for poor behaviour? For example: car jacking and murder have real consequences.
I think we generally get this question fairly often. So to give you my idea of what the approach is going to be, I view the Mini PU as our sandbox testbed, and I don’t want to build in a “nanny state” from the beginning. I don’t want to be in a situation where we’re trying to figure out all the ways people can abuse the system. I’d rather put a system in and just see what happens. And then as things happen we go “okay, this is where people abuse it so we’re now going to put this kind of system in”.
And we’ve always had plans for bounties on people and both NPC and player enforcement of other players that are essentially attacking people when they shouldn’t be attacking which could be griefing or could be piracy in a safe zone or whatever.
So right now in Crusader there’s just a safe green zone around Port Olisar. But what we’re going to do is, and this will be in one of the future builds, I don’t know whether it’s the next major one or the one afterwards, but we’re going to start to put in a kind of enforcement system. So if you attack someone in an area you shouldn’t, you know, there isn’t authorised PVP, then if there’s communication satellites around, and the attack was broadcast by the Black Box then “bam” all of a sudden there may be a bounty on your head. And other players can go after you and actually earn Alpha UEC for taking you out and there’ll be NPC police that would also be going after it.
As we get more persistence in the game, which is also one of the big feature sets that is in one of the future patches, we’re also starting to put in some of that sort of reputation and, I don’t whether you want to call it “law enforcement” but just enforcing rules of conduct in various areas of space.
But we’d also have emergent gameplay so for instance, in Crusader right now the Comm Satellites are off-line and one of the ideas is in all regulated systems they have these Comm Satellites around and so if your ship gets blown up or attacked it can do its Black Box message and say “oo, I was attacked by so-and-so in their ship” and it goes “well wait a minute that was a safe zone and that shouldn’t have really happened” and it gets transferred through the Comm Satellites and “bam” all of a sudden now you are in the UEE network of someone that’s performed a crime and potentially there’s a bounty on your head, etc. etc.
Well, one of the cool emergent gameplay things is, if you were planning, say, to jack a convoy and there’s some really valuable gold on this convoy but it was only going to go through the safe space then perhaps it’s worth it to go and spend some time to try and disable the Comm Satellites. Maybe you have a crew, a bunch of people, go disable the Comm Satellites so a little area goes dark and then “bam” you jump on the convoy, rip it off, head out before the Comm Satellites are brought back up. And, of course, the missions would probably be spawned in the Persistent Universe at that time where “oh, the Comm Satellite’s down, we need to go fix it” which is kind of what you’re seeing a little bit Crusader right now in 2.1 and it was in 2.0 as well. But this would be … there would be a reason for the Comm Satellite and why it was there and why pirates would take it down.
So we’re going to try and put these play mechanisms in that will sort of be like the real world where there are consequences for doing things but you can also try to be a criminal but it is a lot of work so you should really only do it if it was for something that would be really high yield. And we’ll try to make it for people that are more griefing, that it’s just not really something that would be beneficial, like they’ll waste more time respawning and doing stuff than they would griefing a new player.
So we’ll see but that’s the whole idea of having the Mini PU is we put it out there and then we start to build structure on top of it. It will be kind of interesting so we’ll try to get some of this basic stuff I’ve talked about out in the next few patches. Not sure if it will make 2.2 but 2.3 and onwards. So look forward to that because I think it will actually be kind of fun when you see player behaviour be shaped by more and more of these rules and see which people fall in the side of enforcement and keeping the law and which fall on the side of piracy and criminality. It should be fun!
So there you go.
(11:57) Roadbeer asks: I was wondering if we will be able to move elements of the HUD to different monitors? Things like radar, wire frame, pinned targets, chat/comms, etc?
We originally had a plan to be able to move things off your HUD and put them on monitors and back and forth, but looking at it and how often it get used we sort of decided that over complicates a system and is not particularly tenable when we have so many different cockpits and everything else.
So the plan is that on your HUD you should be able to customize it by moving your widgets around or add new widgets if you get new functionality with avionics. Then on your monitors, in your cockpit, the functionality of those comes from the different devices or items or avionics that are plugged into your system. Then there is a certain amount of, “I’ll default this one to the damage screen or this one to the shield screen.” You won’t be able to take things from your visor and put them onto your monitors in your cockpit or vice versa but you will be able to customise your HUD in terms of layout and things you can see. Then you will also be able to default to what you should be able to see on the monitors.
Of course that would also depend on what kind of ship like the starter ships, which we don’t have implemented now, would have much more basic functionality for IFCS to avionics. You wouldn’t have nearly as many knobs and dials as you do currently and then as you upgrade your ship or avionics, a bigger more powerful one, then they come with the advanced operation with the many tabs that you can open up and now there’s more options for you.
So the idea as a beginner is you start with a starter ship, just like a starter car you would have, and it’s simpler to operate and use but as you play the game more you want to have control over specific stuff you would upgrade your system or move to a different kind of ship. I think that will be much better for the beginning user experience because right now the beginning user experience is pretty overwhelming. Unless you’re up on everything you get thrown into Crusader it can be pretty daunting. First of all, the control schemes are not consistent between modes (FPS to flying) and also the overwhelming things you can do in terms of shields, weapons, and all the rest is fairly overwhelming for a basic user experience.
We’re going to be working on that as well as we go forward because we’re getting bigger and the community is getting bigger, I really would like for the experience for the new people to be better. Also we’re doing things to make the tutorial to make it easier and better, maybe a different approach to the tutorial, so that’s all on the list of things that we have to work our way through. As you can probably guess, it’s a pretty big list.
(14:47) Sidhe Drac Macgillean asks: Will larger ships have damage control lockers? Places where emergency response and repair parts are stored. To respond to shipboard fires, hull breaches, dangerous gases, etc.
Yes. So absolutely we’re going to have specific gameplay on bigger ships where there will be, nodes and things that will break down so pipes are connected and the pipes are why it has power or heat or oxygen in the case of life support, would all be connected so the different items they may require power but they also emit heat or they may require a data input. On the bigger ships, those pipes go through different connectors or conduits.
You could almost think of it as a conduit that has a fuse in and maybe when there’s damage boom the fuse blows. So there’s a power surge and the fuse blows. So now this connector, the power goes here but it doesn’t go through here ‘cause the fuse needs replacing. So part of the gameplay will be like “Ok right. Crap the back turret’s down because the power nodes gone down on the left side of the hull will you go and fix it?” And you run back, take out the, open up the connector, take out the broken fuse, put the new fuse in. Power gets restored to the turret at the back. So there will be definitely that kind of gameplay, fires could break out you have to go and extinguish them with a fire extinguisher.
So we’re going to add gameplay in the bigger ships to give you things to do. There will be really cool multi crew stuff. The classic going back to the engine and it’s going to overheat and the Scotty moment and he’s got to go and fix it. So I think that will make the multi crew more compelling we’re also working on better improvements for how the turrets operate and all that kind of stuff. So watch the gameplay experience to improve over the next X number of patches and that’s a big focus for us. I think it’s one of the coolest things you can do that in Star Citizen you don’t really get to do that in, well pretty much any other game and even with the limited multi crew action you can do now I see loads of cool videos. People running back in the turret and fighting off some pirates that attack them or other players that are attacking them while their friends flying so just imagine that when you’re actually able to fix things or patch things up and you can do more from the Engineering Stations.
With the future iterations where we have our new item system comes online properly which has a lot more power and has the ability to share authority between items so we really can have a pilot designates some functions to a co-pilot in a way that you can’t presently do but it is part of the plan and it’s part of our new item system which is the first iteration comes online for some of the personal items in 2.3 and then beyond that. So I think there’s going to be some pretty cool gameplay with that.
(17:47) Cliff asks: We know there will be an Alpha 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 but how many more +.1 iterations are currently planned before you reach another major milestone, presumably an Alpha 3.0?
That is a good question, right now we don’t really have an answer so right now we really don’t have an Alpha 3.0 planned out on our roadmap. It’s all 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc. Through the year, I mean, we’re essentially going to 3.0 would be, it’s kind of hard ‘cause we’re actually adding some pretty major stuff in some of the point one iterations. So I don’t know maybe 3.0 is when you go between star systems instead of just travel around one star system but we haven’t determined that yet but we’ll figure it out so stay tuned for that one.
(18:34) Banjo asks: What are the plans for ‘Star Marine’? I know we have FPS mechanics in 2.1, but I’m curious whether the stand alone module with Gold Horizon is still in the pipeline.
So yes it is still in the pipeline. I do actually kind of like to say something because I sort of get annoyed sometimes when I see this pop up in comments like “Oh Star Marine is cancelled or Where’s Star Marine!?” Star Marine was just a game mode for people to play the FPS elements of Star Citizen until we could combine everything together: Flying, walking around, shooting, doing all the rest of the stuff, all together, that is what is in 2.0, that’s what it’s 2.1.
With SC Alpha 2.0 onwards, you have basically what we were planning to do from Star Citizen and from the very very beginning. If you could back and look at the original pitch we didn’t say “Hey we’re doing Star Marine,” We said we will have FPS and Board, well you have FPS and you have boarding right now and so what’s really happening is there will not be features that will only be for Star Marine outside a sort of competition match and scoring that isn’t going to be in the game and so we’re actually rolling out the FPS features.
So 2.2 will have some more features on the FPS side and 2.3 will have some more and so on until we sort of what we consider the basic functionality. 2.2 has cover and some other things in it and we’ll obviously have future, there’s things like vaulting and sliding and different kind of stances that we have and there’s a lot more weapons that we have and they’re all getting rolled out and honing it and you guys are going to be able to play it in 2.2 and 2.3 and 2.4
When we’ve got that basic set together we will sort of turn on the map for Star Marine because all Star Marine is, is a game mode. Basically allows you to play a game, have two teams, have some points and so you can just sort of have a Arena Commander style match, but for FPS. That’s useful for you to hone your FPS skills without sort of being in the mini PU and risking some other stuff, but you already have FPS in the game so it’s not like FPS got cancelled or anything like that.
It’s definitely in and Star Marine was originally our idea of how to get people to play the FPS before we could put everything together, but since that obviously took longer than we expected to get FPS to the level that we are comfortable with. By the time we got it to the level we said ”Okay you guys can play this.” Well we already had all the other things combined with the Large World and the 64-bit coordinates and the zone system so that was it. So there you are, we will have Gold Horizon, we will have Star Marine, but that will come online once all the basic FPS features are out in and live in the mini PU.
(21:18) krema asks: This question concerns mostly Squadron 42, but, in some extent, may also concern Star Citizen: can we expect dogfights inside huge structures (like space stations) where the piloting skills will be the only things that will keep you alive (basically, like in Star Wars, when they fly into the Deathstar)?
So that is a good question and I, that is absolutely a goal for, there will be gameplay that will give you that kind of close in dogfighting skills. So in Squadron 42. The Shubin Mining Station is about six kilometres long and there’s lots of structure stuff on it and so part of our plans is to have some low flying combat that’s happening there. So if you’re going after an OMC Outlaw you’d have to go close to it and plan and fire and so have that flying close to the structure. There’s other plans to have similar things like in asteroid fields and i’m pretty sure we will also work in that kind of stuff in some cases in the persistent universe ‘cause it’s just really cool game play and it rewards good piloting skills.
The issue with it is mostly is just getting the AI to fly smart enough. They go close and they just whack into it and it just defeats the whole purpose. I think there was one time the asteroids in Vanduul Swarm weren’t really on the radar of the AI and so you could just get all the Vanduul to basically ram into asteroids and kill themselves. So the AI’s really the hold-up and AI is a big thing for us. It’s a big focus right now for the project because there’s a lot of AI dependencies in Squadron 42 that we need to finalise up but we want to roll out more AI into the persistent universe.
So in Crusader we have some basic space flight stuff but we also want to have folks on the various space stations going about their daily lives and a higher degree of that and also have some AI on FPS combat and stuff like that. Encounters that you could maybe go to a location and maybe clear out some outlaws or something like that. So all those are being worked on and we definitely will have some close flying structures.
That is my first official 10 for the Chairman 2016, I hope you guys enjoyed it. I thought it was some pretty decent questions here. This year’s going to be a fun, big year, lots of work. I will be in cold, rainy Manchester at all the wrong times of the year, much better to be in England in summer not right now. It’s going to be worth it, I’m kind of excited cause there’s just so many cool things coming together, both in SC Alpha 2.0-2.1 onwards. As well as the Squadron 42 stuff so it’s going to be fun.
Thank you guys so much for supporting us, I’m mean we’re at an insane amount, I think $106,000,000 or something crazy, which is really just ensuring we’re building this thing to be as…the scope and the fidelity as high as possible and I think there’s going to be nothing like this game when it’s finished. It was all possible because of your guys support, so thank you very much to everyone who’s backed the game and thank you very much to subscribers for allowing us to do this extra amount of content and I will see you guys next week.