This post is a transcript of Around the ‘Verse: Episode 2.21, 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!
Around the ‘Verse: Episode 2.21 – Full Transcript
Jared Huckaby (JH): This week, Star Citizen Alpha 2.2 goes live!
Jared talks music with Composer Pedro Camacho.
and we go behind the scenes with the orchestration of the Star Citizen Soundtrack.
All this and more on this week’s Around the ‘Verse.
Sandi Gardiner (SG): Thanks Ethnine and his fellow Star Citizens for making a pretty cool video.
Ben Lesnick (BL): Yeah and the great thing is that these citizens all got together and made this battle like you would make a movie, they positioned themselves and they scheduled it all out and it’s just great that there’s enough in the game already that you can do that and there’s just going to be more and more.
SG: I feel like I should be invited as Pusher42 who are you ingame?
BL: I’m WCloaf if anyone wants to add me to their space battles?
SG: Of course you are, wing Commander. Hey everybody, welcome to Around the ‘Verse, I’m Sandi gardiner and I’m in charge of Star Citizen’s marketing
BL: I’m Ben Lesnick, I work with our community outreach and ship designs.
SG: Breaking news this week is Star Citizen Alpha 2.2 is now available live.
[Ben gives two thumbs up]
SG: Alpha 2.2 is our latest major patch, part of our commitment to expanding the mini PU into a complete universe. Lets run down the features, firstly Physicalized EVA.
BL: Physicalized EVA is a massive update to how we do everything outside your ship. When you leave the docking ring and you float around in space and in the past is treated like a FPS level with a floor, now the game correctly changes your centre of mass and your movements are much more fluid and natural and it’s a whole different experience for playing in zero G.
SG: Reputation system, tell us a little bit about that.
BL: Reputation system is the very very first, touching on something that has been a big part of Star Citizen from the start which is the idea of citizenship. There are people out there who are doing good and there are people who are pirates or marauders and have a totally different gameplay experience, but it’s all balanced against each other and now with the mini pu we’ve kicked off a five level reputation system that takes into account criminal activity. So if you’re blowing up ships on the landing pad or you’re shooting down people who haven’t attacked you, it’s going to count against you and mark you as a criminal and there’s different levels, five different levels in sort of a cat and mouse game where people are rewarded down shooting particular types of criminals. It’s the very start of the reputation system, it’s the very start of the bounty system, it’s a lot of fun.
SG: I love how he looked at me when he said criminals, but I am actually squeaky clean I like to tell you.
The Saber is now flyable and quite a few of our fans have a Sabre including myself. What about you Ben?
BL: I do have one, I look forward to taking that out for a spin. The cool thing about the Sabre is you may remember it’s one of the more recent ships we announced, infact it may have been the last concept ship we did, but this is an example of kind of the fully functioning ship pipeline for Aegis. You can go from a concept to a flyable ship much more quickly than we have in the past.
SG: I plan to sneak up on WCLoaf who has stealth features.
BL: Yes there has been some debate on this lately, but one of the key touchstones for the Sabre is it has these stealth features: Low observability, reflective skin, that sort of thing. It’s oriented for much more maneuverable hiding gameplay.
SG: And we have Coolers! Yay!
BL: The Coolers, they seem like a small thing, but they’re actually a big deal because they mark the start of our new component system. The design team has been working on this for several months now and the idea is to make all the ships as customisable and sensible internally as possible. The coolers are the first use of the new system, you’re going to see Shields and Engines and so on come online in future patches. There’s another surprise for the Coolers which is that one of them is the J-Span Cryocooler that was the 56 million dollar stretch goal. If you pledged for Star Citizen before we hit 56 million you’ll have one in your account. If not you can pick one up from the voyager direct store and play around with it.
SG: I am seeing that it says J-Span Cryostar.
BL: J-Span Cryostar, that’s right.
SG: Yup! The Xi’an Scout is hangar ready and mine looks pretty cool. It actually reminds me blades, I don’t know why, it’s very sharp and pointy.
BL: It kind of, it has this moment even when it’s standing still. They did a lot of great work on the art on that one and people seemed impressed.
SG: And that will be flyable soon.
BL: Soon ™
SG: Soon ™, Yes. Damage states for the Freelancer
BL: We kicked off the Freelancer in 2.1 last month and we had not finished the damage states yet, now when the Freelancer takes a hit, it shows it.
SG: Alright, and changes to Crusaders environments.
BL: You may have noticed, but the planet in Crusader got a great deal smaller. That’s to better match with the lore and to kind of position the system more towards its final layout that we intended. That doesn’t mean that giant gas giants are, gas giant planets are leaving the game forever, it just means this particular one needs to be smaller because as some of you know, we are build a facility right on the external surface where you’ll be able to dock.
SG: And that’s not all. The patch is full of dozen of fixes, balance updates and other improvements. I certainly know Chris has been chasing this one bug.
BL: Yes actually this has been one of my favourite patches to watch because Chris has been so personally involved and he seems to spend all of his time.
SG: He has, he has been spending all of his time trying to find this bug and he’s like “Ah, we’re almost there,” The other days “Gah, were almost got there”, him and Paul Reindell.
BL: Yup, funny thing I think a desync bug and EVA transition and hopefully it’s all working now.
SG: And what else can players do in Star Citizen’s do today for all the newcomers we have on the show.
BL: Well in addition to the mini PU, we’ve been talking about where you can do fps gameplay, grouping up to 24 players, sort of experience the soul of Star Citizen; we also have Arena Commander which is our Dogfighting Module and the ArcCorp which is our Social Module which gives you the walking around experience you know, seeing what our planets are going to be like.
SG: So now with 2.2 out, what is the team working on?
BL: Well 2.3 is next in the hopper. Some of the team will be monitoring 2.2 for the next few days incase we need to issue any patches for things that come up after it goes live, but a lot the technical design, artists and so on have moved on to 2.3 which will be the next set of larger features that we hope to get out in the not too distant future. Too early to spoil many of them, but I heard a larger ship might be involved.
SG: mmm and don’t forget that Squadron 42 is working diligently in the background, by itself.
BL: Yes, the team is also working on Squadron 42 in the UK which is our single player adventure.
SG: And the physical Starmap.
BL: Yes! Physical Starmap, you got the demo didn’t you?
SG: Well, sample.
BL: Sample, sample, I’m thinking game terms not merchandise terms.
SG: No, it is a poster a physical poster that some of you bought back during the star of the campaign. So you will all receive that and there will be provision to change your address and do all those good things so don’t worry miss out if you already got one. If you would like one and did miss out the first time around, lets us know on the forums, maybe we can start a thread and see how many people would like one.
BL: It’s pretty cool, it turned out very neat, check it out.
SG: Check it out. We’ve also kicked off temporary sales of the Sabre and also the Xi’an Scout in honour of 2.2.
BL: And do you want more Star Citizen development straight from the source’s mouth? We are kicking off the February monthly report tomorrow, check it out. It’s kind of our document of record put together by the producers at six different studios, telling you exactly what each team month.
SG: And Reverse the ‘Verse has Reversed.. Of course. I don’t know who thought of this
BL: The great line read, the line read.
SG: Yes I know right, yup yup. Check out the most recent episode of our format of our liveshow designed to keep backers updated on the weeks news and we’ll be doing it again tomorrow, there’s a proper format so we don’t talk about useless things. What we had for lunch, how the hairs doing.
BL: My hair is doing fabulous.
SG: Of course it is. Alexis does it so it looks good.
BL: And Happy Birthday to Wing Commander 4 which turned 20 years old this past month February. Sandi actually pointed that out to me in an email last night. “Oh we gotta do Wing Commander 4.”
SG: I was watching at Mark Hamils instagram and somebody said in there “Oh this was way back when I was playing Wing4”, and then I asked “When did Wing 4 launch?” and he said “1996”. Well that’s the 20 year anniversary and of course Ben knew the exact date and so here we are.
BL: This was Chris’s last contribution to the Wing Commander series and it goes above and beyond in everything. It was a six CD-Rom game full of full motion video with Mark Hamill, Malcolm Mcdowell, John Rhys Davies, sort of like Star Citizen.
SG: Are you an Aurora pilot who received an invitation upgrade to a 300i? If so, then get it now, it finishes on Monday! It was originally supposed to finish on Friday, but people asked for an extension so Monday, get in here.
BL: Lets check with our studios from around the world for more details on Star Citizen’s development!
News From Around The Verse
Darian Vorlick (DV): Hello everyone, I’m Darian Vorlick, Production Coordinator here at Cloud Imperium Los Angeles.
Elwin Bachiller (EB): And I’m Elwin Bachiller, Lead Vehicle Artist.
Why would I stumble on that?
DV: And we’re with this weeks update. So from the production end we are pushing out the next part of the 2.2 patch so that is inching towards completion hopefully any day now, we’ll be getting out there. So our tech design team and engineering team are working on clearing as many bugs of those to get the stability and bugs out as quickly as possible. I think we have a few couple last items on the ship side?
EB: Yeah we have, I mean aside from actually have to fix some bugs for 2.2, some of the major things that we’re working on right now is we’re actually fitting some of the older fit ships that are already done such as the Gladiator and Hornet to move all the screens in the cockpit to fit with the new UI guidelines. So basically this will physicalize most of the screen displays inside the cockpits.
EB: And those are two of the main ships that we’re starting to do that for so that’s pretty cool.
DV: And you got a Caterpillar update right?
EB: Yeah so actually I just, oh right. I just finished working on doing some tweaks to the design blockout for the interior of the Caterpillar. So we’re at the very beginnings of production on that, there’s a lot more work to do, but it’s pretty cool so far.
DV: So that’s what we got from Los Angeles, So once again I’m Darian Vorlick
EB: And I’m Elwin Bachiller.
DV: Signing off, thank you.
Jake Ross (JR): Hey guys, Jake Ross here, Associate Producer of the Persistent Universe and I got some little updates for you this week what we got going on here in Austin
So first things first I want to talk about locomotion sets. We’ve gotten some data back from Imaginarium. Were going to be starting to help out with some Squadron 42 stuff, starting with some locomotion sets for some of the characters you’ll see in game. First and foremost we’re going to be starting with Admiral Bishops locomotion sets, so it’ll be really cool to get that up and running; along with some other characters that I won’t name right now, we’ll be tackling those in the near future as well.
Friend system 2.0 has just wrapped up work, it’s left testing phase and now it’s onto UI. So the backend work was done here in Austin by Tom Sawyer. Kind of revamping that system so it’s not housed in the platform, but rather in our backend services. We’ve added various functionalities including an ignore list now so you can ignore people if you want to, I know some people will be happy to hear about that, so now it’s up to the UI guys to implement that on the frontend and we’ll get that out to you in the near future as well.
Last thing I’ll mention is this week we’re hopefully by the time you’re watching this week we’ll have pushed out 2.2.0 to live. We got some brand new features in there, hopefully some of you have been able to test some of those out on the PTU including the new hostility system as well as some new ships to fly around and view in your hangar, amongst other things. So 220 is a nice new release full of brand new stuff for you guys to check out. I hope you guys are enjoying it and we’re onto 2.3.0 after this. That’ll have even more things to look forward to. That’s all I got this week for you guys, thanks, see you around.
Foundry 42 UK
Tom Johnson (TJ): Hi everyone welcome to the UK, I’m afraid you’re just stuck with me. For this week it’s basically going to be a quick low down on all the things going on here in the UK that I think could be of interest to you, it’s just the high level list and a small snapshot of what’s going on here that I think that would be of interest to you so, let’s get going.
So the FPS team now are putting the Physicalized EVA work to one side. We’ve got that now on test and it feels pretty good with everything. Working with environmental collision and feeling good to you guys too. Now we’ve got that extra resource to spend and we’re going to be putting that more onto FPS player traversal, getting the player feeling good on foot, just generally moving around and also looking to add new features, abilities to traverse in the environments such as vaulting and mantling.
The player health system on the character side of things is also now test out. We’re going to be doing a devo prototype to see how the penalties work with what affects your health and what doesn’t, what feels good and then before we start adding in the other tasks from the other departments and getting that feeling really good before we go ahead and sort of polish it up.
Interestingly, the Vanduul character design of that alien race at least for the warrior side of things, that’s been nailed down now so that’s going over to character, that’s really exciting. The Idris I’m sure you’re all waiting to hear the progress on that. The flight issues we’ve been working through, just generally, just playing it, getting bugs in, figuring out any new tasks needed and there’s a lot of underlying systems that go into that as well. The item system and how the piping system works for the kind of general management of the ship.
The live team have been breaking down designs for other ship systems such as cargo, refueling, mining and interdiction so yeah lots of stuff going on here and that’s just a small snapshot of it so I hope you enjoyed that and we’ll see you in the verse!
Foundry 42 Frankfurt
Brian Chambers (BC): Hey everyone Brian Chambers from the Frankfurt office. This week what I thought I’d do is bring in Francesco Roccucci our Lead AI Programmer, here’s been in here with me before.
Francesco Roccucci (FR): Hi guys
BC: As I mentioned in the last couple updates, we’ve amongst other things, pushing all over the place in different disciplines, we’ve also been pushing a lot on AI both NPC AI and ship AI. We had Chris out here and Tony and a whole kind of group. So I thought I would bring Francesco in and talk about what a little bit they went over, the plans they put in place and what him and his guys are working on.
FR: So hi everybody. So basically the last few weeks have been very busy and very all interesting because we laid down a big plan for what to do next.
FR: And these weeks, basically last week, we mostly focused on 3D frontings. So one is perspective, so we got into the work that we kind of announced already in the previous episode of ATV’s. So vision was already done, we finished the perception and now we moved into conglomerate, or accumulate all this information into one center place.
FR: And allow the behavior tree basically to collect the information about the target the AI wants to use for it’s normal tasks. So that is going very well, the target is connecting with it’s own systems so we are already supporting all the moving objects in the world and being able for example to track one guy that enters into a ship and then the ship flies away and they still want to track him and shoot him so that work fine.
BC: What would you say honestly out of the stuff that you guys covered and you’re either working on now or it’s coming up in the near future that you’re the most excited about?
FR: So for perception. I think the most exciting thing is the power that gives us for actual behaviors.
FR: basically like call the group behaviors we’ll work at in the next weeks, that we’ll start to work on. With this perception we are allowing the NPC to request the target of their crewmates. So again go and help other people because they can understand who they are engaged with.
BC: That makes it more immersive.
FR: Yeah it makes it more like, I think the experience may seem a bit more balanced first of all and then more real because you see that if somebody comes to help you and you ask for help, usually I know they contact by your request of help and basically we can simulate these type of things. The other thing we really made good progress in i subsumption. Basically I’m working along with Tony. Tony is working on the tool and the tool itself, so basically with this first high level design, basically created that tool that allowed designers to create subsumption tasks and activities and some activities. Basically what we do is now we are working very close together and I’m taking the data that the tool outputs and create like the actual code that runs in the engine to make these real.
BC: Yeah I’ve seen some of the designs on, once subsumptions in place for AI where it’s going to go and how it’s going to have a play in things and it’s a trip, it’s stuff that absolutely is possible with the tech that’s coming online, but stuff that I haven’t seen appropriated in the way that we’re appropriating it, which is cool.
FR: Yeah , it’s great because basically for all those do doesn’t know what subsumption is, is basically creating, right now at least for the beginning is to rid of the idle behavior. So all the things that are not happening during combat, but to allow people to have special jobs, their routines and how these routines are created, like so what are the tasks you actually do, if I want to come here and answer the phone I would just come, I will search for a phone, I would pick up the phone that is ringing and then I will talk to somebody. Then we can basically create all these things with designers and what I’m really exciting about is first that we laid down the code in a way that is which super optimized. So having 50 characters doing stuff right now is a matter of kilobytes in memory.
BC: That’s cool.
FR: Because we can run it on a Commodore 64 or something.
BC: And that’s one thing I always push back to and always remind people. I mean us creating, taking a little bit of of time, extra time maybe if you will to create a solid foundation, enables things to be more efficient, to be more robust, to be more optimised and all that stuff as we move forward from day one.
FR: Yeah totally. I mean this one really gives a lot of flexibility. For example the tool from Tony is a way to express in a conditional form, some query. So imagine if you want to say “I want any object on this table that is grey or black and it’s a phone”.
BC: Yeah, that’s cool.
FR: And then you can basically express it like a bullet condition and then we roll out our own parts that is very efficient as well and manually connects to both tag, search, or environmental search and that allows us to basically, now we have a good foundation and you can extend much more in the long grand.
BC: Of course. I know you probably have a lot more to say.
BC: I’m gonna cut you off.
FR: That’s fine, next time we’ll have more stuff
BC: Absolutely, as always thanks for everybody for watching and backing us. We’re having fun doing what we’re doing and seeing your guy’s comments, till next week! Chow
Back to Studio
SG: Thanks guys. This week’s Around the ‘Verse is all about the music which means it’s time to visit Pedro Camacho, the man responsible for Star Citizen’s score and several pieces that you’re probably already familiar with.
ATV Interview with Pedro Camacho
Jared Huckaby: Thank guys, on this week’s AtV interview we’re sitting down with Star Citizen music composer Pedro Camacho. Pedro, how you doing man?
Pedro Camacho: Hi, how are you doing? Thanks for having me.
JH: No problem man, we wanted to get you on the show for a long time. I honestly don’t know what took so long, I’m glad you’re here.
PC: Well, I think there are more people who deserve the spotlight than me to be honest, it’s a really large team and everyone here is super talented and really dedicated to this project we’re doing. We’re making some history here I think and it’s been great so I am just one of them. Thank you for finding some time for me.
JH: No problem man. I think the hardest part is because the community team is so LA focused it’s hard for us to get stuff from the other studios worldwide and you, first why don’t you tell people where you live, you live on a island don’t you?
JH: Is that what I heard?
PC: I live in Portugal, on an island… Madeira Islands, it’s a really nice inspiring place. They have really great weather here and really great nature and also technologically speaking it’s pretty much advanced, we have everything anyone would need. I have all the movies that goes any cinema. Internet here is fantastic actually, curiously I’ve met several people in US, you name it, many countries that have really lousy connections, right here is good service, good quality of service. So, it’s really nice here and to make music all you need to have is the right idea.
JH: Well, it sounds perfect, I’ll be over in a week.
PC: Sure yeah. By the way, I will invite you at the end of the show to come, I’m serious about that. You wouldn’t be the first so please consider that. It’s really great and you will be well treated here.
JH: Well, if we do our job right… while you were talking there we put some pictures up of your island so people will see how beautiful it is.
PC: Yeah, if you put pictures from nature they may see that I am a lone guy in the middle of the jungle… just kidding. You can get some good pictures from here.
JH: So, let’s start at the beginning here, we did an Inside CIG with you years ago but we’ve gained several hundred thousand Star Citizens since then. Let introduce you to everybody, who is Pedro Camacho, who are you?
PC: Citizen world and Earth, my name is Pedro. I’ve been doing Star Citizen music for quite a long time basically since the project started. It was a very curious moment to me, I actually made Chris… it’s a funny thing that happened to me. This is a bit personal but I think it’s ok for me to say it, I heard in that day and I knew Star Citizen was being done, I was a Wing Commander fan.
This was a perfect project for me and I remember us playing Wing Commander with my father, who has died a long time ago but this is a really personal thing to me. A really, really personal thing and he loved Wing Commander as well, Wing Commander 1, he could only see Wing Commander 1.
Anyway, when I heard for the first time the heartbeat of my son, he was still in my wife’s womb, he was still not born. I heard it for the first time and I was really happy that day, like really, really happy and I thought, “You know what, I’ll just email Chris and let him know”. I didn’t tell him about this lousy story otherwise he’ll just close the email. I was really precise and to the point, hello, my name is Pedro. I would like to work for you.
He probably got thousands of emails and I did that and for some reason on that same day he heard it… he read it and he heard the stuff I sent and he liked it and so that’s how it started. So, he gave me some… the first work I did was the 300i commercial, it was a moment that I think this finding in Star Citizen was kind of stalled in that moment, it grew a little bit but then it was kind of not going to fall where we’re still like struggling and it was an amazing team.
We had Hans Apple doing the cinematics, all the team we had back then were really talented in doing 3D and models. Chris Roberts, we really created a very small group in the end which was me, Chris, Hans and small cinematics team. I remember that was basically my first big test… we have to cut.
JH: Are you being invaded?
PC: I’m being invaded basically.
PC: We made that so that was my opportunity basically, my first public opportunity. I remember Chris gave me a temp track which was really one of the best movie tracks that we had recently in cinema back then and…
JH: What track was it?
PC: I’m sorry.
JH: What track was it?
PC: Oh, good question. It was from Man of Steel, one of the tracks from Man of Steel. It was a really, really great track. So, I did my… and a completely new thing of course but Chris really liked it. I remember he said when I sent it, he completely forgot about the previous one which was really one of the best things you can hear from a producer cause usually the temp music is something that has been with them for a long time. It doesn’t happen every time.
After that video got publicly released, you know, funding for Star Citizen really ramped up a lot and then I scored Aurora commercial and then the Hornet commercial because I was doing stuff for the game. The first they called, the nickname the launcher music it was actually a piece I did initially with another thing in mind because back then it was kind of stuff for eventually Squadron 42, wasn’t really very… they didn’t know very well what it was going to be used for but they used it in the launcher so everyone was very nice to me.
I remember being a bit afraid that if, you know, you can do whatever you wanted then maybe Chris would like it and would people like it. They were fantastic, really supportive people, you know. The community is really supportive, we have a great community. I think that’s what most people think about this game is we have really great guys with us and that’s what makes it worthwhile for us to be here. At least for me I can tell you, I don’t do music to get praise.
I do music because I’m passionate about it but knowing that people are out there waiting for it makes me want to question myself every time I do something and say, is this really good enough? You know, there are people that they’re placing their own money, it’s kind of different. You get like, the feeling is what their placing in the project… is what I’m doing the project worthy of the effort they have.
Some people are wealthy and this is little effort for them but most people that place money in the project, it’s from their savings. That’s something you should always have in mind, people that have to make options in life and they did an option to support us so we have to do our best, not just good, you know.
JH: Absolutely. That’s never far from any of our minds every single day.
PC: I know.
JH: The people have put an amazing trust, some amazing faith in us and that’s never far from our minds. That informs every action, everything the community team does, everything the designers do, the artists do. We know who we’re working for.
PC: Oh yeah, I feel that from Chris always. Chris is very sentimental about you know… hey, did you see from People to Planets video last month, it was crazy good. Can you imagine that? I was blown away when I saw it. It was very lucky for me, honoured for me to score it. Thankfully people also enjoy my music. So basically that’s it, that’s what I am for Star Citizen, been doing all this mostly since the start.
JH: What influences your music, like what have you seen and experienced in life that has influenced your music that you’re composing for Star Citizen?
PC: That’s a great question. As a person, as a person, I look at Star Citizen as a way to go back to childhood like kind of a way for that. It’s always sort of my dreams, I used to look at the sky and imagine what’s out there, it would be so cool to see the stars and travel through them so that’s one part I bring into Star Citizen.
Another part is definitely movies and games I’ve played, which one of them was Wing Commander. A lot of movies as well because in the 80’s, I was born in ‘79 so 80’s were really an important part of me and for movies like Star Wars is what I’m using cause everyone knows that and they are great movies. The Last Starfighter, Aliens, and another movie as well like Gremlins. My god, there was such great movies with a certain sci fi, you know, oops sorry. Touched the mic.
You know, sometimes it doesn’t have to have spaceships, for great movie, you know. Movies where melody was like queen or king, however you want to name it. That’s also something I tried to bring back, I wanted to give Star Citizen. Make something that has a certain melodic identity, you can feel the passion in it. I want not too over the top but you can actually feel when you’re playing it, it’s good, that’s what I want to bring in, probably that.
My music is also really influenced classically speaking, many composers, lots of them from era Renaissance. I love Renaissance music and I base a lot of my harmony, etc from there like Josquin Des Pres, composers people usually don’t hear about a lot. Then of course, classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and some people that came… some of them came later on, Olivier Messiaen, Faber, Debussy. I liked the French school a lot, not so much the Wagnerian probably. A little bit Frenchy style, Frenchy kinda touch, in terms of classical you know. It’s what I like, I really like that.
Of course, I spoke about Beethoven a lot. I love Beethoven, you know, who doesn’t. Ninth symphony is probably some of the best stuff that ever happened. Well, I can tell you I live Star Citizen in such of way that when we were in our last orchestral session we had last week in… we were in central Europe recording a fantastic orchestra, I actually had some tears coming out of me during… when they were performing the Arena Commander theme that I did. Which is a homage to my old sci fi, it’s not actually the kind of sound I wanted to bring into Star Citizen so yeah, that’s just it. There’s a lot more but it’s very difficult to explain.
JH: Absolutely. Well, Pedro we’re going to take a break, we’re going to come back in a little bit with a behind the scenes look at how you actually make the music so folks watching Around the Verse stayed tune we’ll see you in a minute.
ATV Rewind: 300i Commercial
Behind The Scenes: The Music
Jared Huckaby (JH): And we’re back. Now on this week’s ATV Behind the Scenes, we’re here with Pedro Camacho. He’s gonna take us on a brief behind the scenes look at the recent scoring session and some of what came out of that. So Pedro, welcome back!
Pedro Camacho (PC): Thank you. You’re welcome.
JH: Hope you enjoyed your break! So you just had a scoring session like last week, why don’t you tell us about that.
PC: Yeah it was a crazy amount of work, so we did a lot of new battle music actually. Also we recorded the Arena Commander theme that some of the backers might know already. Because a mini version, not very final, kinda went through to the game and was actually part of the launcher for some time. Now we actually record everything … and it was great fun. Really great fun. A lot of pages I had to… I really… in the end we had probably near 800-pages of music. It was a lot of music and very little time to you know. You’re always trying to correct things and doing things better.
PC: So that was very cool.
JH: How long did you guys record? How many days?
PC: We were gone for two days for now and we’ll come back in April and record another two days, and so on I believe. I’m not sure.
JH: Gotcha. And where did you..
PC: As much as needed.
JH: Right. And where did you guys do the recording?
PC: It was in Bratislava, so in Slovakia, and it was a great orchestra by the way, it was one of the best. We initially used one orchestra in Czech Republic which was also really great. This one is an orchestra that has been used by the same fixer that has done a lot of big film and game soundtracks. Actually when we were going to record, the previous day they were recording something for LEGO… LEGO Star Wars I believe, something like that. So you can see it’s a really great orchestra, a really large orchestra so really good whole, really the top that you can get in the world right now. Some of the top. Yeah.
PC: Really great.
JH: So I understand you have some stuff you can show us?
PC: Oh yeah! Sure! I’ve thought about…
JH: The fruits of your labor.
PC: Yeah I’ve thought about sharing with you, just as quickly as possible, a bit of how the process is done, maybe. I’ll just share my screen right now with you so you can get an idea.
PC: I don’t know if you can see it right now.
JH: Yep. We See it.
PC: Okay. Alright nice. So this is kinda one of the screens I have. I have like several screens. I have three screens. This is just one of them and it’s full HD so you can see it. So when you compose something, you actually first, you make a mini-mockup so that people like Chris, mainly Chris actually always has a final word in every music I do, also Lee Banyard who is the the Audio Director. Ultimately all the audio team because we all work in a team. Oops. In a team, because a team is what makes something work, not someone alone.
To make a really good template you need to have all the instruments in orchestral and non-orchestral stuff, like you can seen and heard from People to Planet music, which is very hybrid at start and then adds more orchestral. So I’ve got in both, you know, libraries with many instruments with orchestral. Let’s see if I can try to play one of them. Oh. Oop! Just a second…
This is one of them, so there’s many. This is an Oboe. There are many kinds of Oboes, many kinds of sounds. Trumpets from both public and private libraries that I’ve done through time. Let’s see…
Something like that is horns, etc, etc. Then it goes down to strings, for example.
Yep. This is actually a private library that I own, that I’ve been using for Star Citizen. Very good, very realistic. So we create that, which is already really realistic. We show it to Chris and Chris says, “Yeah. This is great, let’s put that in the orchestral.” So if we put that in the orchestral, if it’s accepted, which is usually is then we have to make the scores. Just to get an idea, I’m looking at here. Okay, yep. For example, here it is:
[Many screen lengths of sheet music are on screen]
So I create the full score. I use a notation program to write all the notes. This is a lot of pages as you can see. Just this one is 59-pages because you have to do every single instrument in the orchestra, full score. Then you have to edit every part for each guy in the orchestra to see just their part. This is actually the Arena Commander theme as you can see. This is open, not in the best PDF viewer, but okay, that’s what’s open there now I’m going back. So that’s it.
Then after that you go to Bratislava, like we did, record the full orchestra playing. Probably you’ll seeing some videos about the orchestra doing some stuff right now so you can get a sense of the scope of that. Then you get the audio back from the orchestra which has a lot of mics, this is just a couple of them, but there’s a lot of mics. Then when you actually get them, you can mix and do, and hear some of the music. Probably you hear this more completely in the soundtrack that you should pre-order of course.
[Orchestral music playing and video of mixer boards and audio equipment and people]
That’s just a very small taste of that. So you can hear actually a theme that means a lot to me. It’s like Sci-Fi, like an old school Sci-Fi homage, to the scoring of Sci-Fi movies that Chris felt it would be really good to have in Arena Commander. As if Arena Commander was one, kind of a time machine in terms of music maybe.
That was something that I, really cool to be done. So it’s very fast in here, but it takes some time to do it. But it has to be done pretty quickly because there’s a lot to be done. And that’s it!
JH: Well, that was astounding. I love that thing, a little behind the scenes of them behind the scenes. Pedro sometimes shares his music with me early and he shared that with me like day after it was recorded, maybe two days after it was recorded. And that was when it was, “This is so amazing, I need to get Pedro on the show so that it’s an excuse just to share that little bit with people.” So, so thank you…
PC: Thank you very much.
JH: … so much for coming on the show Pedro…
PC: You’re very…
JH: …so that I had a reason…
PC: No-no. Thank you.
JH: …to share just that much with people. Pedro mentioned the Star Citizen soundtrack, that’s in production now. We’re putting that together with the folks at the UK audio team and Pedro. You said there’s possibly another audio scoring session in April?
PC: Yeah, there’s another scoring session in April. Basically, we have a lot of music that’s sounding, in my opinion, pretty well. Like the music you heard in the commercial, for example. That’s one of them the 300i, because I like it very much. That was all done… unfortunately there no time back then because it was in MIDI. So there was not a reliable orchestra that you heard.
For the sounds, right, this is something that. I know many people are sharing the tracks around and there’s a lot of stuff people have been taking out of the game and placing it on YouTube. For the sound, Star Citizen soundtrack, we will have all that music actually performed with an orchestra as we promised. So we are recording everything. So there is no MIDI in it, except for some synthesizers like for hypertrack which is the usual. The core orchestra sound is actually live people performing it and giving their awesome passion into it.
Then all that sound will be mixed in one of the best mixing studios in the world, so not what you’ve been hearing in the game so far have been temporary mixes. Hopefully, I’m pretty sure it will sound a lot better. I want people to have… that’s my goal that I want people to have that CD and actually enjoy it outside it, outside the game. You know, just enjoy it for… you know have a good moment.
We are, we are trying to make the CD as broad, as if it was a story that’s being told. So it’s not always battle music, which kind of is really good to be hearing in a game. In the soundtrack there can be some examples of it, but if all you’re hearing is battle it’s kinda like, “Mmmm, okay, I don’t know if I want to hear that every time I’m at home.” Probably you will have a much improved version of the Starmap music for example, which is one of the stuff I like. Very simple, but I think it’s very soothing. I like it! I like to hear it personally. I don’t know why I shouldn’t say good things about my own work. I’m very sad. I’m just the worst at that.
JH: No. No. I’ll share another behind the scenes story. Pedro sent me the Starmap music about a week or two before the Starmap went live. It was about a week actually, just a couple days. I was in the middle of this CitizenCon site where I hadn’t slept. I was… eight hours of sleep in five days cutting together the various videos. He sends me this and he goes, “Listen to this. Does it sound good?” And I actually do it and I’m like, “Pedro it’s awesome. It’s always awesome.” And he goes, “Yes, but I need you to listen to it for eight hours.” Do you remember asking me to listen to it for eight hours?
PC: I remember! That’s actually….
JH: I need you to listen to it for eight hours and tell me if you get sick of it!
PC: On a loop.
JH: Exactly, and I did!
PC: Exactly! That’s….
JH: I didn’t do it with Headphones either! I unplugged the headphones and I made everyone in the community team listen to it for eight hours. They may have hated me, but it did not get… we did not get sick of it. So that’s a true testament to that music.
PC: That’s a great sign after eight hours of hearing the same thing and not get tired of it. Well, that’s also another good aspect of game music, it’s a lot of repetition so it shouldn’t be too boring after a couple listens. So yeah, some hours is always a good stress test. So yeah, we’ll have some soothing music like that. Music that’s melodical. Of course the Arena Commander theme will definitely be there and in the end as a homage to our backers.
That track to me at least is like a homage to our backers. I don’t know if this is true, maybe there’s a lot of young people with us, which is great, but I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of people around our age group that were born in the 70’s, 80’s. You know, have this world like 80’s culture. This is kinda our tribute to that, so I really hope they enjoy it, I really hope so. We’re doing our really best we can to make sure… it’s not… we have more music. We can’t put everything there, at least right now. I’m pretty sure there will be extensions, I’m not really sure.
My goal, if I can have one CD, maybe the soundtrack will have more, maybe it can have two. But if it is one CD that I can take to a car or something, now we probably use more USB sticks anyway, but anyway. I prefer to have this amount, like one hour of music, then I go travel to a place and I just enjoyed the experience. That’s what I would like the soundtrack to be.
JH: I have no doubt that’s exactly what it will be. Pedro, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us on a Saturday and get this recorded. We’ll let you go get back to your family.
PC: No it’s fine, thank you. It’s perfectly fine. It’s a pleasure, really a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you to you, to the team, and every backer that’s out there that’s placing trust in us. You can be sure that we are doing really our best we can.
JH: Alright man. Thanks a lot Pedro. Ben and Sandy! Back to you guys.
Back to Studio
BL: Well that’s music to my ears.
SG: Moving right along, it’s time for this week’s MVP. Ben the envelope please.
BL: Duh, duh, duh.
SG: Wow, we have one, yay. The winner is: Imperial News Network. INN congratulations, INN does a lot for Star Citizen but did you know that in addition to putting together transcripts for Star Citizen about CIG’s broadcasts they also provide closed captioning for those same videos on Youtube.
BL: Great thing about INN is they remind me of the Wing Commander fan site I ran back in the day. There are plenty of amazing Star Citizen fan sites out there but these guys are one of the one’s that goes above and beyond and we wanted to honoured them in some small way this time. So, thank you INN and you’re transcribing this right now!
SG: Congratulations! Well they can’t cause we talked over each other.
BL: Who will know what we said.
SG: Now, it’s time for this week’s art sneak peak.
BL: Be sure to tune in to Reverse the Verse tomorrow at 11 am Pacific, we’ll be talking about that art sneak peek, answering your Star Citizen questions and updating you on the status of a great many things.
SG: Yay and it’s on Twitch.
BL: On Twitch, 11 am Pacific.
SG: Thank you as always to all of our subscribers for making this show possible. We will see you next week on Around the Verse.