Feb 24

Reverse the ‘Verse: February 2016 Subscriber Edition

This post is a transcript of Reverse the ‘Verse: February 2016 Subscriber Edition, 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!

Full Transcript

  • We’ve got Cherie Heiberg, Dave Haddock, John Schmmel, Will Weissbaum and Adam Wieser.
  • Will Weissbaum – Does a little bit of everything for SC. Supports Dave in writing scripts and story for SQ42, creating content that’s going into the PU Alpha. Creates the news updates on the site (developped as a team), and helping some marketing lore for ships and stuff.
  • John Schimmel – Job has warped. Started as a story consultant with Dave, produced video content for the site, now produces performance capture shoots done in Eyeling’s Imaginarium studios.
  • Adam is an associate writer, supports Dave and Will, writing jump point articles, news, lore for marketing, Galactic guides, Starmap stuff, etc…
  • Cherie manages the game design document making sure all game information is findable for developers / writers. Validates astronomical data to make sure all systems are scientifically accurate, etc…
  • Dave Haddock – Does a little bit of everything. SQ42, PU, marketing stuff, whatever they give him to do but basically all star citizen, all the time. He’s in the UK doing deep dives doing SQ42 stuff right now.
  • Questions taken for this RtV are exclusively from the RSI Subscriber chat. If you’re a subscriber, you can ask questions. Everyone else just gets to watch.
  • [How is progress on Galactapedia?] They’ve made plans with Turbulent to get it launched. Working on deciding what content to début first. It’s a long-term thing, going through and compiling lore ‘cannon’ that keeps track of people, places, and events and such.
  • Culling through old news updates and stories and making sure everything that’s been done thus far has been logged and tracked.
  • May of 2014 there were over 350 official characters mentioned in lore.
  • Galactapedia is in-game encyclopedia of everything Star Citizen. Wikipedia but better maintained. Shots fired
  • Galactapedia will be available in-game, but it will likely go live on the website first. Should be available in game and out of game.
  • [Will the Galactapedia include Vanduul stuff?] Initially they tried to contact the vanduul. It didn’t go well.
  • [Updates to star map in batches or incremental?] Updates will trickle in slowly as they’re added, and there is a changelog.
  • [Option to run around naked in your own ship?] Don’t quite know exactly how the clothing system will work, but Dave mentioned that he’d love if players had the option to wear like flip flops and shorts in space. But if you got in a fight and got spaced you’d be toast.
  • Dave wants that mostly cause it’d be funny.
  • [There’s no threat info on the Starmap. Intentional?] They have high-level rating systems going on where they track economy, security level, and population, but they’re still working with PU design team to figure out the specifics of what a ‘threat level’ would be and how it’ll be spread across systems. Systems will have danger hot spots and such. Still working through that on the gameplay side.
  • [The current env. for SC holds lots of parallels to the golden age of piracy. How aware are you of that, any lessons learn able from history?] Yes. The piracy era was a part of conversation early on in development. Ben and Chris would talk about that kind of thing. It’s a launching place to create the broad strokes of the Universe then make it their own. There are elements directly influenced by it, but lots of the Universe takes a life of its own.
  • [Plans to update lore / history of a system based on actions of PU players?] Yes. That’s the idea. Once it gets to the ‘newsworthy’ level of actions, hopefully they’ll be watching on a game level and be able to track that and incorporate it into lore.
  • Same with the economy. If the economy tanks, ideally that’d effect the direction of the system, etc…
  • Talking to environment artists about having economy effect the amount of graffiti / litter / etc… the worse an economy is, the worse it’ll look.
  • On the Galactapedia, as the game unfolds and gets released, they’d like to be able to record ‘big’ player events. Just have to find the right threshold for it.
  • [If player names will be made part of official history, what’ll happen if the names are dumb / inappropriate?] If corruptu4fun1 does something significant; there’s a buffer, stuff would have to be accepted by the UEE, but for the most part… if you do something significant with a silly name, then you’re in anyway? Also it’s likely to grab your characters name, not your account name. Might do character name (account name) or something. They have to figure all that out.
  • [Will there be NPC’s based off of CIG team?] There were a fair amount of team members that got their heads scanned in the UK. Spent part of yesterday assigning team members to roles too.
  • [How involved is the writing team in creating alien systems and species?] Usually an open experience. As more people get into the conversation for art and animations and such, more and more people get involved and contribute.
  • [How do you come up with names / backgrounds / etc… to create diversity?] It’s part of casting. Part of talking to casting director, they ask for diversity. When naming characters, international boundaries have devolved in the empire it’s more about planets. Before names were segregated by countries, that’s eroded away. Will often take first names from one country and surnames from others, give a different ‘vibe’ to names.
  • Often have to make things randomly, pick from random pages of a magazine. Not every name can be a reference.
  • [How is the Banu alien language?] Vanduul is first, then another, then Banu. It’ll be a while before Banu.
  • [Does game development drive the story or other way around?] Very much both. They’ll come up with a fun idea and go pitch it to design, or design’ll come up with a scenario and go to writers to smooth it out, fit it in the universe. Lots of back and forth.
  • Chris is very intent on the game feeling cinematic and hanging onto a cinematic sense of story and character. The writing team drives the story in the dramatic parts of the game, and design has a lot of input on gameplay, but it’s an ongoing collaboration.
  • [Families in the game, in cap ships or starliners etc…?] Having children included in games is a risky proposition. Violence against children falls into a different category. They’re also a whole other set of character models and animations. Question more for Chris probably. There will definitely be couples.
  • [When does info become lore? Can you rewrite anything you’ve written or is it unchangeable?] They can. They try not to retconn unless absolutely necessary. technically it’s all malleable, but they’re developing it publicly, so they have to be careful with retconning things.
  • Under normal circumstances you could retconn up until release, but SC isn’t normal. And you have to watch out with retconning waves – change one thing, and lots of other things can change. Because the game is so story driven, it’s shocking how much impact one small change can make.
  • [Ever write easter eggs into the story for SQ42 or SC?] Yes.
  • [Any you wanted in but couldn’t?] They can’t think of any. Not yet. They try to make them on the subtle side. It has to exist within its own right within the game so it can’t stand up too much, but you can still catch the reference. You won’t find The Big Lebowsky in the game, but there could be a guy known as the dude who wears sunglasses.
  • [What is the SC novella?] It’s a book.
  • Dave Haddock is working on it. Developing it over the holidays. It’ll be cool. He wont’ spoil anything yet though.
  • [Do you have a storyline in mind when the procedural generation team creates a planet, or do they create a planet and then you write for it?] All planets started in the Starmap and were very lore-based. Lots of what drives them is written, not as much designed. Procedural generation will hopefully be building their planets based on the scientific data and lore written for the planets. Working lots on the tech right now, not so much building planets. All the planets around Crusader have changed size in 2.2 too.
  • in 2.0 and 2.1 it was the size of Jupiter just to see if they could. It wasn’t the intended size.
  • [Is the backlog archived?] Still organizing that. There’s always new content being produced; it’s like fighting a mountain. Fighting a little bit every day. It’s what Cherie does 60% of the time, and 40% of the time on the star map.
  • [How is writing the political stuff between races?] It’s fun. They’ve been fleshing and talking about lore and backstory for the alien species, and they’re getting that balance of what each species unique perspective on topics is. Going through how they treat crime and slavery etc…
  • Starting recently to put out more alien-based content in weekly news stories and jump points as well.
  • It’s fun to think about how life in a certain system developed based on mixture of alien influences and astronomical features.
  • They spent so much time trying to make sure the UEE felt morally grey, want to get that same sort of richness to the rest of the alien races as well
  • [Anyone writing things like the UEE navy field manuals?] Not directly. It’s tough to write that as a straight up “I’m going to write this.” It gets seeded into other documents.
  • [Talk generally about the Xi’An? How do you pronounce Xi’An? Tidbits about Xi’An Life?] There are many pronunciations of the word. Something fun about the Xi’An that won’t have much game impact – talking about the possibility that they evolved as carrion eaters. Means their spicing is very heavy to make up for their lack of taste buds; also lots of texture based spices. Prickly or numbing etc… Xi’An food might be a melted wilting plant seasoned with spicy pricklies.
  • There are some docs floating around that sketch out ideas for Xi’An culture and nature and such. They’re coming into focus now.
  • Letting everyone pronounce it how they want is very diegetic, very like the real world.
  • [How will company lore feature into daily lives in the PU? RSI faking efficiency of a PowerPlant etc…?] Talking with one of the designers about how fun it’ll be to have a ship come out once the PU is live. A company launching a new ship in the ‘verse, experiencing that fiction in’verse. Scandals could be interesting – Goldfinch scandal with Origin, stuff like that could pop up in game. Recalls would be interesting too. Done that in lore, but they could do it with bug fixes and such.
  • Lots of ads for the companies in-game too.
  • [Do you sometimes adjust dates in Lore?] Been pretty good about dates in lore so far. With lots of it, with developments in Vega II, things don’t happen on a dime, so there’s some latitude. With the Vanduul war there’s some latitude about when events happen; there’s room to play.
  • 900 years of history’s a lot of time. Dave laid good foundations at the start in a really broad timeline, with large gaps, so it’s pretty easy to throw things in between ‘major’ events, and have things work.
  • In the initial phase, PU was supposed to be 20 or 30 systems, then it expanded. The ones they’d already created expanded till there were 100+, so there they had to change dates around a bit.
  • [How updated will the human language be? Will there be unique slang?] There’s pirate slang, but they’re keeping it somewhat similar. Shouldn’t need a dictionary for the game. Once localization comes in it’d be even more difficult. It’s how movies will often ‘fudge’ things. Characters will speak with accents instead of in foreign languages, etc…
  • Movies don’t portray old English properly cause no-one would understand it.
  • [Is the Starmap an accurate physical representation of locations?] No. Still working with designers to make sure things will be in the places they want things in the PU. Star Map is evolving constantly. Jump points are accurate for now though.
  • [Will there be underground cities / bases designed to protect people from a hostile planet environment?] Yes. Nyx is an example of that; Levsky’s underground. Banshee and Lorna too. Banshee has a pulsar star, makes it uninhabitable, but there’s lots of mining there.
  • [How does the Ark compare to the Galactapedia and other libraries of the Universe? How will things differentiate themselves via star map, Galactapedia, etc…] Not sure if Galactapedia is a publication of Ark or not. The Ark tries to be independent, so they don’t have to worry about whose lense the history’s being told, but… Galactapedia is ‘pure’ information, where galactic guides have a ‘tone’ to them.
  • [How many planets make up the UEE?] There’re 90 systems on the star map… UEE is member systems, rather than member worlds. The UEE controls 34
  • [Are there old earth myths taken into the SC lore?] Can’t think of any off the top of the head. Not playing into fantastical as much, drawing more from history; taking things as ‘seeds’ before spinning them off.
  • As they start doing more creepy PU missions they’ll look into weirder or wilder stuff.
  • [How can we expect lore to be revealed in game? Will it be only through Galactapedia? random data pads?] They’re starting to explore that as they develop missions. Hoping it’ll be a wide variety of sources. The Galactapedia is good for light summaries of everything. If you wanted the full history of a company, for example, you’d have to go visit the companies HQ or something. Galactapedia is for generalities.
  • A lot of backgrounds for companies are there for artists to start designing things; you can often infer the background of a company based on its advertising and products.
  • There are few other games that would have pages written up about a vending machine manufacturer.
  • [How many alien races have been discovered in SC history, but 2946? Tevarin, Banu, Vanduul, Xi’an, etc…] There have been a few that have collapsed in the lore. Hadesians, a planet with a Cephalopoda race, etc… there are protected planets, life that may develop civilization. When it comes to unannounced alien species, they haven’t announced any.
  • [Will the ability to discover a race be down the line?] The Kr’Thak will be a big moment like that.
  • [What happens if a player lands on a developing alien planet?] Good question! But they probably get arrested by the UEE. Or eaten.
  • And that brings the RtV subscriber edition to a close. AtV tomorrow, regular RtV on Friday.
  • Thanks for watching, thanks for reading, see you soon!

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  1. Cheesemp

    Thanks for this as always. Fyi -Eyeling should be Ealing (I’m a Brit)

  2. Marzipan

    Great stuff, thanks for the transcripts guys

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