This post is a transcript of Around the ‘Verse: Episode 2.35, 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 2.35 – Full Transcript
Jared Huckaby (JH): This week, part one of our sit down conversation with Concept Artist and extraordinaire Jim Martin.
And Writer Adam Weiser takes us on a guided tour of the Davien System
And in the ATV Fast Forward we look at the continuing development of EVA FPS combat
All this and more on this week’s Around the ‘Verse.
Cain: Okay, this is it Brock, are you ready?
Brock: Hell yeah! But what if they come through another door?
Cain: You’re joking right?
Brock: I mean, what if they want us to think that they’re going to break through this door, but they go use another one instead?
Cain:Brock, command just told us they were coming through this door.
Brock: Yeah well, what if they’re wrong, or lying?
Cain: Are you serious? Yeah… Yeah you are, okay Brock why, why would command lie to us.
Brock: I don’t know, maybe they’re working with the pirates.
Cain: But they’re our command.
Brock: That’s what they’d want you to think if they were pirates.
Cain: Oh okay Brock, listen to me and listen to me real good: Command are not pirates, they’re not against us and they did not intentionally lose your laundry last Thursday, they definitely didn’t try to assassinate you by planting a chicken bone in your soup last night. Now please, we’re about to be attacked, if we could just concentrate on that door there for like, one single minute.
Brock: Okay, but it goes past that doesn’t it Kane. Think about it, and add everything together. First there’s the crew, look at us, the cooks poisoned half to death with salmonella the other day and then remember when someone accidentally turned off the barriers on the flight deck and space and trevor got blown into space, it’s madness, madness I say!
Cain: Brock just listen to yourself, I mean it’s like you’re saying the guy that put itching powder in your underwear is out to get you, it’s just a prank, these are all coincidences, maybe just a bit of bad luck or something.
Brock: What about that time the shipment of avocados fell over on Jerry. Faulty storage equipment my ass. Or when those stock rifles backfired and blew up in the faces of those two grunts, second rate ammunition? Yeah, starting to see a pattern here.
Cain: Okay fine, Brock even if you have a point, we’re going to get blasted if they come through that door and we’re not ready.
Roger : Hostiles down, sweep the corridor, tight pattern, keep low and stick to the walls.
Marine 2: Roger
Marine 3: Roger
Roger: Stop saying my name!
Marine 2&3: Shut up roger
Quasi: Attention, simulation terminated. Pirates win, again.. I repeat simulation terminated.
Marine 4: Awe, look at the little babies taking a nap.
Cain: Brock I should have you spaced out the airlock for this.
Brock: Yeah if command doesn’t do it first.
Supervisor: Bulkheads are you two sleeping on the job again? You two had shields and you didn’t even manage to get one single shot off at the enemy? What are you gonna do when a pirate or Vanduul attack no wait, I know what you’re gonna do, you’re gonna die because you’re useless.
Wesley: [laughs] that there now, that’s what we call a nice haul
Pierre: [Laughs] Good joke mate, really though, what’s our target
Wesley: Did I sound like I was joking?
Pierre: You think mate? The bloody Bengal. A UEE controlled Bengal at that. I signed on this crew to make money, not go on a suicide mission.
Wesley: Alright, you’re new so I’m going to forget you said any of that. Listen kid, that there is the impericum, worst crew in the entire UEE. We could attack that wheel in an Aurora with one rocket, no guns and an on fire powerplant and we’d probably come on top. Trust me, they’re harmless.
Captain Benedict Cumberbund – Fitzgerald the Third: Enough chatter gentleman, it’s time to man the turrets, arm the torpedoes, warm up the shields, stoke the fire, and put on the kettle. We’ve got some marines to kill and we better get it done before the tea gets cold.
Sandi Gardiner (SG): Wow, it looks like they even went as far as reskinning some of the spacesuits we created
Ben Lesnick (BL): Yeah it was really impressive. It’s definitely going to be the future of the Star Citizen fan community creating stuff like that, our first machinima, am I saying that right?
BL: Machinima, machinima, computer movie! [finger guns]
BL: Hey everybody welcome to Around the ‘Verse, I’m oh no I did it backwards, I’m Ben Lesnick.
SG: That’s alright. Hey everybody, I am Sandi Gardiner, I’m the VP of marketing and this is your weekly look at Star Citizen’s development, welcome to Around the ‘Verse.
BL: So Sandi, where is Star Citizen Alpha 2.4.
SG: Where is Star Citizen Alpha 2.4, that is an amazing question and Star Citizen 2.4 is currently on the PTU and we are looking at bringing it live very, very soon.
BL: We’re still, we’ve seen a good improvement on the network issues we talked about last week. It’s just not quite ready to go live, but as our PTU testers we can tell you we’re getting there and all this work will improve the final game.
SG: The Buccaneer sale is over and it was really great success, I managed to pick myself up one and I hope that nobody out there is planning to do anything nefarious with them
BL: It really was a truly spectacular sale. The Buccaneer is already one of our most popular ships by the numbers, it’s just after the civilian variant of the hornet so we’re really excited about this one.
SG: The winning gun in the Drake Interplanetary customer survey has been selected. Every backer with a Buccaneer on their account will receive…
BL: A Behring C-788 Ballistic Cannon.
SG: And those who said eat the food, shame on you.
BL: And to clarify for folks who are confused. You will receive one gun for every Buccaneer on your account. Those are going to be distributed Monday, so please keep your Buccaneer on your account until then.
SG: What and then get rid of it?
BL: You can melt it if you want.
SG: Oh I see and then I get to keep the gun?
SG: Wow, tricky. Our next concept sale is the Drake Dragonfly which I’m really looking forward to for all the pirates out there.
BL: This is going to be a good one. This is our space motorcycle, it’s a totally different aesthetic for Star Citizen. We like to bring in vehicles from all different walks of life, from Racecars to rocketships to fighter jets and this is letting us bring in this kind of new infusion of culture, it’s a really cool one.
SG: So expect more details about pricing and its release tomorrow on RTV.
BL: Sounds good.
The monthly report is now available so if you’re curious what we were working on last month, check it out on the Comm-Link
SG: Yay and the subscriber flair goes live tomorrow, what is it?
BL: So the subscriber flair this month will be the Sabre Model. It’s included in 2.4 so it won’t show up in your hangar until it goes live, but it will be attributed to accounts tomorrow, check it out.
SG: Cool! With that let’s check in with our studios around the world for News From Around The Verse.
News From Around The Verse
Darian Vorlick (DV): Hey everyone, welcome back to Cloud Imperium Games Los Angeles, I’m production coordinator Darian Vorlick and we’ve got our- one of our starting QA testers-
Eric Pietro (EP): Eric Pietro.
DV: So here we are with this week’s update out of the Los Angeles studio – so starting with the tech design team we’ve got one of our designers, Matt Sherman, he is working on a whitebox and actually moving onto the greybox for the technical design for the Buccaneer that you guys have recently seen that we’ve announced. So on top of that, on the Ship Art team, we’ve got both concept artists and 3D-modellers working on the interior modules for our large Caterpillar – that’s turning out to be a pretty cool and pretty massive ship – so hopefully you guys will see some pretty cool action coming out of that. And on the 2.4 front we’ve got-
EP: Alright, now we’re working on Network Stability- looking at procedural planetary interactions- mainly focused on stability for going into 2.4 PTU release.
DV: So as always, stability is one of our greatest priorities so it is something that- it is being addressed, we’re working on it, so hopefully you guys will see the fruits of those labours pretty soon.
So once again, I’m Darian-
EP: I’m Eric.
DV: See you guys next week.
Jake Ross (JR): Hey guys, Jake Ross here, producer of the Austin studio and I’m here with you this week to talk a little bit about what’s going on here in Austin.
I want to talk about design first off – we are looking ahead past 2.4.0 – it’s pretty well known now that we’re going to have Shopping out there for you guys- we’re going to have what we’re calling try-on mode where you can actually try on the clothing and inspect the weapons that you’re buying.
So we’ve got the first little bits of Shopping in so next we’re going to move our attention to selling things – we’re trying to complete that loop, so to speak, of buying something and then putting it in storage – in inventory – and then selling it back to the shop.
So we’re working on the selling portion of that – we’ve got Robert Gaither over from QA helping us out on the design side for the selling design so it’ll be very similar interface to the buying and shopping and stuff but it’ll be- instead of buying things it’ll be selling things.
In addition to that we’re working on commodities so we’ve done a couple passes on commodities in the past but we’re looking to get a full list in place for all the different kinds of commodities you guys will be able to buy and sell in-game and that includes things like elements that you can mine from asteroids and things like that, to gold, to crushed minerals and to things like livestock and grain and things you can grow and farm and stuff.
It’s all very specific to this kind of commodities design that we have Pete Mackay here in Austin working on – so running that by Tony and Todd Papy and we’ll have a first iteration of that fleshed out here pretty soon so that’s exciting.
This week I wanted to talk a little bit about DevOps, because we don’t do that very much here and DevOps is a huge part of what we do here in Austin so I wanted to give a couple cool stats to you guys for the month of May – we sped up build times here in Austin, we’re able to put some tech in place that removes some things from the PAK files that weren’t necessarily required at all times so we sped up build times quite a bit – which is good.
We ran 60 gamedev builds – gamedev is our main development chain here in Austin – we ran 85 release builds which includes 2.4.0 so we branch off of our main development stream into our release stream so our 2.4.0 stream which is what we’re releasing 2.4.0 off of – we ran 85 of those builds in the month of May – which is a lot.
We had 9000 gigs of data come out of gamedev and 9350 gigs of data out of our release streams so it’s a lot of data and then we deployed 98 internal servers so- for all streams, for gamedev and release streams – so it’s a couple interesting stats there.
I don’t understand a lot of what goes into the DevOps side of things but I know those guys do a great job and they are constantly looking for ways to improve the backend infrastructure so that the development team can work simultaneously with our release schedule and not fall behind due to bad build times or things like that.
So shout out to those guys, we really appreciate all they do as well. I think that’s all I got for you this week, thanks, see you around.
Foundry 42 UK
Mici Oliver (MO): Hi everyone, it’s Mici over in the UK and I’m with Matt Webster today-
Matt Webster (MW): Hello!
MO: -and we’re going to talk a little bit about the future of the PU.
MO: So what exciting things are coming into the Persistent Universe?
MW: Lots of exciting things – some of which I can’t quite talk about – one thing I am going to tell you about though is the pirate base that we’re working on – which we’re hoping to get out as soon as we can but no time limits obviously.
MO: Yeah, yep.
MW: Because we want to make sure it’s looking awesome – the idea for the pirate base is that it’s going to be the pirate version of Port Olisar so you’ll be able to have an area that sort of similar but with a lot more grungy, grittier – maybe a little bit dieselpunk-esque – I don’t know?
MO: There’s going to be some new shops and stuff in there as well.
MW: Yeah, it’s going to be a sort of mirror but more- I don’t know, less clean than Port Olisar?
MO: Yeah, yeah.
MW: Port Olisar is quite-
MW: -it’s a bit more- Port Olisar is quite clean and sparkly and this is going to be a bit more pirate-esque-
MW: We want dirt scattered on there and people that don’t wash.
MO: Sounds pretty cool – so I’m trying to think what else is going into the new stuff. I’ve been working with a few outsourcers that are working on hairstyles for the PU and Squadron 42. We’ve finally got the base model for the female – not sure when that’s going to be ready – but the facial scans have been done and the body is all prepped, clothing is all concepted. So that’s another thing that hoping to look-
MO: In the not-so-distant future-
MW: Hoping to get that polished up as soon as we can, it’s going to be awesome.
MO: Yeah – I’m trying to think what else – so the audio stuff-
MW: Yeah, we’ve got some good stuff being done in audio at the moment – this is all going to go in when we’re ready to- when we’re ready to give it the best bang for it’s buck – we’re not going to put it in before it’s ready to go. We’ve got Ross working on some music logic so it means the music is going to be a lot more dynamic as you start going through the game.
So when you are just out and exploring you’ll have a nice exploration-type music and then as enemies start to attack you then the energy and the music will start to get wrapped up – it’s going to sound- if you are winning for example we’re going to try and sound more- give it a proper epic feel to the music, get some stings in there. If things are going badly for you, you’re going to get a very grim sounding music coming in to- to really sell that you are in trouble with this-
MO: Yeah, yeah.
MW: It’s going to be awesome.
MO: That’s really cool. Right, I think that’s all we’ve got time for this week, so we’ll see you in the ‘Verse.
MW: See you later.
Foundry 42 Frankfurt
Brian Chambers (BC): Hey everyone, Brian from Frankfurt office. This week instead of running through all the disciplines we have a large amount of people here this week, one of them – Sean Tracy – as you guys know. This week we have yourself, we have- Chris is out here, we have Tony from Austin-
Sean Tracy (ST): Yeah.
BC: We have Ricky from the UK – there’s another eight or nine people out here.
ST: That’s right – we’ve got people from every studio.
BC: Absolutely bursting at the seams – but everyone is coming together for good reasons – we cover some pretty good, strong topics – things that we need to get sorted – a lot of the times when we work remote we absolutely make good progress and time zone handover and all that stuff but if we can pull everybody together for a week like we’re doing now then we can churn through stuff a lot quicker. So, what are some of the things you guys are covering this week?
ST: Well there’s a lot of little stuff, but there’s some big ticket items – some of the big ticket items all centre around Squadron 42 so we’ve got AI and Cinematics and a lot of people think they are not necessarily related but within Star Citizen they absolutely are-
ST: -because we need to be able to signal these AI to transition to the very cinematic modes that we’ve got. We’ve got so much performance capture that we want to allow this player to experience, we’ve got these huge name actors, we want you to be within that story-
ST: -but at the same time, we don’t want to just cut out to decoupled cutscene where the camera is flying around-
ST: -we want you to be living in this world.
BC: That’s one thing that I was answering some questions earlier – like “Oh, are you going to do a transition and then it’s just a big cutscene with no interaction?”-
BC: -and the answer is it’s all over the place. There is so many things that we’re creatively doing seamlessly-
ST: That’s right.
BC: -that sometimes a player is on rails, sometimes you cut away – but only for certain reasons-
BC: -if it helps with story and all that. And all that with AI in it, that’s just nuts-
ST: That’s right, and we’ve got them reacting to you, we need them having conversations with you, we need them giving you missions. We need all levels of different interplay between it and then we’ve got so much content that we get in – so we need to figure out the best way to get it in-
BC: Yeah, yeah.
ST: Sure, we can do these the old-style way where we’re actually plugging in a bespoke scripted sequences-
ST: -but again when we’ve got hours and hours of cinematics, when we’ve got hours and hours of gameplay that has to play between the two-
ST: -we have to be very intelligent over how we actually implement this.
BC: And then part of that process, at least that I’ve been involved in, we’re creating a system that from the foundation is going to allow all these different types of events, the different behaviours-
BC: -the different ways we want them triggered. All the variables we want them to do and not do.
ST: Yes, that’s right. Exactly.
BC: -and that’s where I think a lot of that focus has been on is “OK, what is that solid foundation?” and then to get the rest of-
BC: -those few questions that are unanswered, get those sorted.
ST: Right, and when we have so many questions like that – it’s a lot easier for everyone to get together-
BC: Yeah, yeah.
ST: -because, like you said, we collaborate really well across the studios but there is something to be said for all of the people being in one place because you get this one little question here, this one little question here and before long you’re death by a thousand paper cuts-
BC: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.
ST: -because if you’ve got to wait for two hours for that answer then you can’t just really quickly come up with a nice design plan.
ST: There’s things we’re adjusting – like the animation pipeline – to make it so that we can accomplish all these AI and Cinematics-
BC: What cinematics stuff have you had a take on? – one or two examples of the pipeline actually be able to pull that off.
ST: One of the big ones is the tools that we did in Maya and our motionbuilder set up. There’s a big one that we use with a company called Red 9 called CManager and CManager and Asset Manager is basically a way, within Maya, to take all our performance capture and basically two-clicks-
BC: Yeah, yeah.
ST: -and you’re in Maya built up all the characters, they’ve got all the weapon attachments-
BC: That saves so much time.
ST: Two clicks and it’s out to engine and ready to go.
BC: Yeah, and we’re syncing time code and we’re lining everything on.
ST: Exactly – and then you’ve got to plug the audio in and things like that. And then as a bonus, y’know-
BC: Wait, wait-
ST: Oh, I can’t talk about that – OK.
BC: Oh, go on.
ST: Well as a bonus anyways for me personally is that the other two tech directors on the entire project – Senior Tech Directors, right? –
ST: So Carsten Wenzel and Marco Corbetta and I talk about them a lot- and everybody within the game industry, including me, needs to learn from somebody and luckily I can come out here and pick their brains-
ST: -about all sorts of stuff.
BC: They are smart dudes.
ST: And we know what’s happening out here around procedural planets-
BC: And then I, and y’know, everybody’s going to see stuff when they see stuff – it’s going to come here in the- we can’t wait till the point where we can actually show you more of what we’re doing. What would you say, at least in your high level take-away-
ST: It’s mind-blowing. It’s really good.
BC: Yeah, you’re digging it?
BC: Yeah, I know-
ST: -the scale is mind-boggling.
BC: I know we’re throwing you guys stuff back in LA and all that and you guys are helping out-
ST: It’s something else to come out here and see the latest of the latest. You know what I mean?
BC: Yeah. That’s cool. Awesome. We’re going to shut up, we’ve already run five minutes – thanks again for all the support and you’ll hear from us next week.
ST: Awesome, thanks guys.
Back to the Studio
SG: Next up Jared goes to the gym?
BL: Jim Martin, that is.
BL: Jared sat down with Jim to talk about his career and the work he’s done on Star Citizen which dates back to the very, very start of the campaign.
SG: I walked right into that one.
ATV Interview: Jim Martin
JH: Thanks guys. On this week’s ATV Interview we’re sitting down with concept artist and illustrator extraordinaire, Mr Jim Martin. Jim, how you doing man?
Jim Martin (JM): Jared it’s great to be here man.
JH: Thanks for coming by. I mean, we don’t get to see you in the office very often. So it’s always a treat when you can come by.
JM: My pleasure.
JH: And you got to see our new office for the first time today.
JM: Pretty spectacular.
JH: How do you like those spaceship doors?
JH: Spaceship doors.
JM: I love it.
JH: Spaceship doors.
JM: It’s a great set up. Check this out too.
JH: Yeah, no, this is cool. This is our “fan cave”. All … most of these things are things fans have sent us and whatnot. Some of the things are things that we buy. But …
JM: I’m a fan.
JH: Yes you are.
JH: We’re happy you are because you’ve been working on Star Citizen ships since before the beginning. I mean you came on board in 2012 before we went live and whatnot. We’ll get to that. I did … do want to start by talking about you and your career at first.
JH: So for those of our fans who may not know who you are, why don’t you give us the quick run down. How did you get your start in being a concept artist?
JM: You know, so I’m a kid from Eureka, California. Humboldt, up north.
JH: Shout out to Humboldt.
JM: Alright Humboldt. 707. That’s the area code.
JM: I grew up watching sci-fi. Loved it. And left for college. Came down to LA, and went down to Cal State Northridge. I was an art major and not really sure what to do with that. I thought you were supposed to go into advertising.
JM: And I got out and I got hired as a PA on a sci-fi show. Right? Just luck. It was kind of a lucky moment. And it was Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
JH: Yeah! It’s like my all time favourite show. So … I’m watching it right now. People following me on Twitter have been watching me live tweet it for the last several weeks.
JM: What season are you on?
JH: Right now I’m in the middle of season five.
JM: Okay, okay. One, two, three …
JH: So it’s … it’s … season four is probably my favourite along with seasons six and seven. Five took a step back kind of thing …but it’s … I’m really … I love Deep Space Nine.
JM: You know that was the show that really gave me an understanding of what it was to be a concept artist or illustrator in the industry and I kind of cut my teeth there. And really it was a family environment where it was okay to try and fail and try again, and kind of build your skill. And … and, you know, I was there three years. And, yeah, I didn’t know how good I had it because I was young and eager, and I left after three years to go do feature films but I really look back on that like …
JH: Now you’re a kid out of college …
JH: … and you get hired to work on Star Trek …
JH: … so they bring … when you’re a kid out of college, what kind of things do they have you start on?
JM: So you … I’m out of college, I come in, I’m the PA, right? So I’m the Production Assistant. I’m running around, I’m making blueprint copies and I’m running them down to set, I’m doing errands and things for the Art Director, I’m making sure everyone all have the supplies they need. And on the side I’m doing drawing. And the illustrator at the time is mentoring me. Ricardo Delgado was the illustrator for season one and … so I’m … it was sort of like a rush education, that first year of like …
JH: Doing props and stuff?
JM: Yeah. So I did The Runabout with Rick Sternbach and did some set pieces. And at the end of the season I had shown the Production Designer, Herman Zimmerman, that I really wanted to do … take on the challenge and he made me illustrator for season two.
JM: And that was my official start. Yeah.
JH: Nice. And some point they asked you to do, what has to be the most important ship in Deep Space Nine. Easily … well I’ll let you say it … I don’t want to …
JM: You may be referring to The Defiant.
JH: The Defiant! He made The Defiant!
JH: I have a little … Disclosure, full disclosure: I have a small Defiant that sits on a base that’s signed by Jim Martin. It’s the only piece of signed merchandise I have. I don’t even have anything signed by Chris … by Chris Roberts. It’s the only signed merchandise I have. So …
JM: Well it’s my honour then.
JH: The Defiant!
JM: And you know what? Cherish that … Just kidding!
JH: So we’re going to forget … so for the rest of the interview I just want to talk about The Defiant.
JH: So … no. 60 seconds because we do have to move on. This is a Star Citizen interview and we’ll get to the Star Citizen stuff.
JM: Okay, sorry.
JH: Tell me about The Defiant for 60 seconds.
JM: It popped up in season three. Okay, they needed something kind of more aggressive, more challenging than The Runabout. And so they were going to introduce a new, small, light fighting starship. And we did some designs and we were going to go into our meeting and my boss, Herman, he liked a design I had done for another show which was still floating around my desk. And it was kind of “defiantesque”, it was similar in shape with the built-in side nacelles, and he said “Let’s show that too”. And that was the genesis of where that design path was going to go.
JH: Got you. Yeah, The Defiant was the first ship in Star Trek … well the first Federation ship that showed that nacelles didn’t have to be out and away from the body …
JM: Yeah, that they could be connected.
JH: I mean it make sense. Every other race has … can go to warp with … don’t have nacelles …
JM: With connected engines?
JH: … so it’s like “The Federation finally caught up to everybody else: they don’t have to keep the nacelles way out.” It was like that. So it was very cool. It was very different but still distinctly Federation and Star Trek. And I adore it …
JM: Tony Meininger did the model for it. So he had a lot of great input on that as well.
JH: Can you hook me up with Tony.
JM: Let’s find out where he is and get him in here.
JH: So you leave Star Trek, and I don’t know how a person does that … but we won’t … I don’t want to know because … beyond me, but okay! Alright, so you’ve decided to leave Star Trek.
JH: You want to spread your wings. You want … you need some new challenges. You’ve conquered Star Trek. You made The Defiant: what else is there to do?
JH: Where to you go from Star Trek?
JM: I was on the Sony lot working on The Phantom. Right? The Billy Zane superhero movie. And they were … they were starting to crew up for Starship Troopers. And we … at Sony the art departments were in one building so I went over and introduced myself to their Production Designer, Allan Cameron, showed him my work and again they brought me on. I was a young, eager, hard working kid and they slotted me in as one of the illustrators with John Bell and Jim Lima …
JH: Alright I know who you mean.
JM: … and I came on and then I got to do all the ship stuff. Which …
JM: …was … that was a great show to work on too.
JH: … the ships in …
JM: … so much fun.
JH: … the ships in Starship Troopers … wow … the name’s … the name’s blank …
JM: The Roger Young.
JH: The Rodger Young! Jeez!
JH: The Rodger Young is amazing and it’s … it’s … I think you see it’s influence in sci-fi movies for the last 20 … has it been 20? … it’s been … almost … I just realised it’s been about 20 years!
JM: It’s kind of of a time.
JM: That’s like … like sci-fi design of the nineties.
JM: But Paul Verhoeven said he wanted it to feel like a World War II battleship. And I heard that and I’m like “I got that! No worries!”
JH: We don’t have any World War II influences here in Star Citizen. None at all. No World War II here at all. You also … I … you … also I have to mention you designed “Death From Above” …
JH: … tattoo …
JM: I did.
JH: … that Ben Lesnick has on his own body. We’ll superimpose a picture here of Ben Lesnick. He’s got that tattoo on his arm. And he got that Star Citizen, before he knew … and I remember you were here in the old office last year working on the … we’re doing the Hull series? Was that what we were doing?
JM: We were working out the Hull.
JH: Yeah. It was the first time I’d met you and I’m talking to you about Starship Troopers and you mentioned the tattoo and I’m like “Oh my gosh!” So I went and grabbed Ben and brought him over and he just happens to have a tattoo that you designed on his thing. And you were able to give him … he was very, very please that you were able to send him the alternate design …
JM: Oh, right, right!
JH: … of that.
JM: Yeah. I pitched them two and they went for the skull one.
JM: And you can tell it’s all hand lettered because there was no font at the time. You couldn’t go Google a font and say “Hey, what would look good?”
JM: It was all hand lettered and if you look it’s crooked. Like the “Death” the “TH” are kind of funky. And that’s how you know that …
JH: He’s got …
JM: That’s what I look for to go “Oh yeah, that’s the one I did.”
JH: … yeah, he’s got it crooked on his tattoo. Hopefully if we had the picture you saw it there.
JM: It’s the charm of the time. Right? We were doing markers and coloured markers and ink on bond paper. That’s how everything was designed. Yeah.
JH: Right so from Starship Troopers, you know we’re only in 97: we’ve got a long way to get befor we get to Star Citizen so we’ll speed ahead here.
JH: In the intermediate … in the intervening years, from 97 to 2012, what were you doing? Top level stuff: what else were … some of the things people could … may have seen that they could go “Oh yeah, that was Jim Martin influence.”
JM: Okay. So I went to … did some animation for a time in 97 to 2000. Atlantis: Lost Empire …
JM: … Lilo and Stitch. Kind of the other side of work. Which is a little bit … not the heavy sci-fi: more of the fun. And then Hollywood went into superhero mode and I was on Spider-Man, the Sam Raimi version. Too I worked on the Matrix sequels: Owen Paterson was the Production Designer and, yeah, it did it’s own thing and had it’s own look and a lot of things … trends came from that …
JM: … series of movies.
JM: It was the coolest of the cool at that time. Yeah.
JH: So that’s the Matrix. That’s only 2003 so let’s get one more highlight before we get to Star Citizen here. One more watershed thing that you are really proud of between 2003 and Star Citizen.
JM: Alien Resurrection!
JH: Alien Resurrection.
JH: So we go back in time a little bit. Alien Resurrection. Some great ship design. Which ship did you do for Resurrection?
JM: I worked on The Betty.
JM: Yeah and lot of concept stuff for the big ship. And a lot of set interiors.
JH: Yeah. See I’m a big fan of the “used future”.
JH: I’m much more a Blade Runner guy than Minority Report kind of guy. So ships like The Betty … it’s one of the reasons one of my favourite manufacturers here for Star Citizen is Drake.
JH: So it … which is another reason …
JM: I like Drake.
JH: That’s a good segue Jared. A good segue to actually talking about Star Citizen in a Star Citizen interview.
JH: So we’re skipping ahead tell us how you hooked up with Chris. Tell us how you got involved with Star Citizen.
ATV Rewind: The Next Great Starship Launch
Loremakers Guide to the Galaxy: Davien System
Welcome everyone, my name is Adam Wieser and I will be your host this week for another installment of Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For those unfamiliar this is a show where a member of the lore team sits down and walks you through a specific star system, tells you a bit of the history, some of the stories that have occurred there, some of the science and other little tidbits about it. So you can kind of get educated on the entire galaxy that you’ll be exploring in the PU and enjoying in Squadron 42.
So, this week we’re going to go to an extremely important system for many reasons. A lot of them being historical and some just on it’s mere placement. It is one of only two systems that is directly connected to the Sol System. So as we look here on the map where we are starting we’re on Earth, it’s one of the systems we can just even pitch up here a little bit and there you see the jump point that will lead us to it. So today we are going to go and visit the Davien System. Alright, so we’re going to back out here.
As you can see besides Croshaw, Davien is one of only two systems that is directly connected to Sol, because of this the Davien System is notoriously, has notoriously difficult customs standards. Just because not only is it one of the gateways to humanity’s homeworld, it also lays on a very important and strategic trade route that connects Sol and Terra. So Sol and Terra, I believe is like a five jump journey which has to go through, which goes through the Davien system as kind of one of the quickest ways to get there.
So let’s zoom on in and take a bit of a closer look of this system. It’s a four planet system with a K-type main sequence star at the center. Now a K-type main sequence stars are kind of like a yellowish-orangish in color and they normally have an average surface temperature of around 5,316 degrees Kelvin. Just for a point of reference the sun at the heart of our system sits at 5,778 degrees Kelvin on average, so it’s just a little bit cooler than what you would see in the Sol System.
Now Davien was first discovered in 2430 by Wendell Dopse who very smartly named the system after his father-in-law. It’s got a four planet system and I think the best way to actually break it down and explore it is to actually work it backwards, so we are going to start out here at the Davien IV. Let’s zoom right on in and Davien IV is an ice giant that is renown for having a very picturesque and beautiful atmosphere, yet the most interesting thing about Davien IV is actually what is in orbit around it, and that is the Banu Friendship Museum.
Now this is important and even though the museum is hardly ever visited and seems to presently be on the chopping block when it comes to government funding. It’s still there and still a very important part of UEE history, because it was in the outer reaches of the Davien System that humanity made contact with the first aliens in their history.
It was out here in 2438 that Vernon Tar, an explorer, was searching the outer reaches for potential jump points. While doing this he spotted a strange ship kind of following him, and just out of instinct figuring that this was somebody trying to jump one of his potential claims, he shot at that ship. Luckily for all parties involved he missed. And the pilot of that ship was a Banu who humanity would come to know and love and call Jerry who was piloting a Banu Merchantman. Needless to say Jerry was just as surprised as Wendell was that there was a new race out there, and it turned into a meeting even though it started with shots fired across the bow.
After the authorities were contacted the UNE sent out a General Neal Socolovich to come and deal directly with Jerry and then the Banu delegation that was dispatched to the system shortly thereafter. Once humanity and the Banu were able to figure out how to communicate together it didn’t take long, I think maybe a month or two, before the first interstellar peace and trade accord was signed between humanity and the Banu. When this happened this generated a lot of buzz within the UNE at the time, not only because there was obviously our first alien friends in the world, but there was also a lot of potential for trade. The Banu are huge traders, so people and corporations flooded to the Davien System in hopes of doing deals with a whole new market.
What was interesting though is that, and humanity did not discover this until years later as we back on out, is that Davien is actually nowhere near the Banu front. As you can see here, here is Davien which is essentially probably we would’ve considered a core human world, but the Banu world, you can see I’m backing out here and we’re not even, we’re not even getting it in the picture. We’ve got Geddon, we’ve got Bacchus here, so it’s still a good deal away from Davien space. It turns out that Jerry, the pilot of the Banu Merchantman, was also a fugitive from a few Banu guilds and had some people after him he did not want to have to deal with. It was because of this he found himself so far away from Banu space. So, even though a lot of people and a lot of corporations flooded this system in the hopes of making new alien friends it was never quite to be, because Davien actually in the grand scheme of things didn’t turn out to be on the edge of the Banu world.
So let’s go back in and let’s move on closer to Davien III. Now this planet is a terrestrial smog planet with a very dangerous atmosphere filled with acid. So it’s one of those you don’t want to get too close and humanity never really considered doing much with it, because the acid is supposedly so strong that it can melt ship hulls. So while you may want to avoid it, there are often reports that crime syndicates in the Davien System use this planet to let’s say dispose of objects, ships, people that maybe they don’t want to be found. So if you do pass this system be careful not only for it’s acidic atmosphere but also for the type of people who do spend a lot of time around it.
Now moving on to Davien II this is really the heart and the soul of the Davien System. It’s named Cestulus and the main city that you’ll be able to visit there is called Jata. Now Cestulus was recognized in the early 25th century and has been an important part of the empire ever since then. As I mentioned previously when the Banu were first discovered lots of corporations flooded to the system in hopes that this be a great place to spend time and meet the new alien race. One of those companies which you are all probably very familiar with is Aegis Dynamics, the ship company. Now Aegis was originally a merger between two companies which is Aegis Macro-Computing which was an earth based company and Dynamics Production which was actually based out here in Davien. And when they merged they came together and they put their center of operation right here to be able to access the wider world. So when you visit Jata you’ll be able to go to the Aegis showroom and see the show floors and see a variety of their ships.
Now Aegis famously were the favorite ships of Ivar Messer, the despot that ruled the UEE for, whose family ruled the UEE for centuries. And because of this they were popular with the military for a handful of centuries, but once the Messers were deposed they quickly fell out of public favor and were almost seen as a symbol of that era. In the subsequent decades and centuries after the Messers went aside a lot of these military ships that Aegis had built trickled down to the secondhand market and became extremely popular in certain civilian circles. Because of this popularity and because of the ship’s performance and the stuff that they could do, Aegis has recently experienced an uptick in kind of a resurgence in popularity now that they have put enough distance between themself and the Messer Era.
So yeah, going back to the early 26th century when this planet became first recognized, and when we say recognized in lore that means that the planet gets an official name and it also gets voting rights in the Senate, the government senate, and it didn’t take long for Cestulus’ political might to kind of come to bear. In 2525 their senator, Nomi Ral, stepped onto the floor and presented something that would become known as The Common Laws. Now at the time the UPE was struggling with how to govern an ever expanding empire where there was a diversity of opinions and governments styles and lots of different factors. What the Common Laws proposed was a baseline of rights that any planet that wanted to join the wider government and become a voting member of the senate would need to follow to basically achieve those, achieve that status. After a year of very vigorous debate the Common Laws were passed. This allowed those planets and systems and local governments to basically govern themselves in whatever way they saw fit or that was best suited for their planet as long as they adhered to these common standards. The Common Laws are a very important piece of legislation and are considered one of the cornerstones of the government to this day.
A few years after that happened another incident occurred on Jata, in the city of Jata that would be politically important also. After unifying under the common laws, the UPE decided it was time to unify the currency too and thus the UEC was created. Now not everyone was extremely happy with the fact that there was going to be one unified currency and some even predicted it could lead to economic collapse.
The most vocal opposition actually occurred in rioting on Jata during 2529, now this became known as the Siege of Jata lasted two weeks and actually required the UPE to deploy the military into the system to actually stop the riots. Hundreds were injured, even two police were killed and the UPE military got a lot of flak for it taking so long.
Now one of the interesting reasons why the riots were able to last so long is that Jata unlike many other places on the planet of Cestulus are actually covered by biodomes. Now these biodomes have become the iconic symbol you’ll see when you fly down over the city or when you look up into the sky when you’re visiting Jata. These biodomes are essential because when the UNE basically got bids to have companies terraform this planet, this being the only habitable planet in the Davien system, they awarded the bid to BabCo Geobuilders who were a kind of young terraform company that won the bid not because of their sterling reputation but just because they brought in the lowest bid.
Now at the time that the Geobuilders built the… terraformed the planet, not everything went quite right and it resulted in a very thin atmosphere. It’s still breathable to humans but it’s let’s say more equivalent to trying to live on the top of a Himalayans or the Andes or the Alps, it’s something you could deal with but is not ideal.
So, giant biodomes were built over many areas of the planet as a way to be able to more easily pump oxygen into the areas that humanity was taking over. Again, this happened right on the heels of people trying to come into the system and check out the Banu and all that stuff so the idea of having to spend money to re-terraform the planet just doesn’t make sense and the biodomes was the solution.
Now how this factors into the Siege of Jata is that part of the reason why these riots lasted so long is that protesters had taken control over a series of the air purification units in the city of Jata and the UPE military was concerned that these units could be turned off and possibly not give… help pump enough oxygen into the area or even worse that other chemicals or things could be pumped into the system through these units.So, that was their justification for why the Siege of Jata lasted for two whole weeks.
Moving onto 2545, another extremely important historical event occurred here on Jata and involved the biodomes. At noon on December 15, 2545 a series of strategically placed bombs exploded and actually crumbled the biodomes of Jata down onto the population below, killing hundreds. This was travesty and it was shocking to the entire empire. It was also the first of six bombing campaigns, bombing attacks that terrorized the UPE over the course of the next few months.
Even though nothing was proven at the time there were strong implications based on the materials used in the bomb, that Xi’An terrorists were the ones responsible for it which fed into the burgeoning cold war between humanity and the Xi’An. At the time the high general of the UPE government was one, Ivar Messer, and he proposed something called the Prime Citizen.
Now what this was, it was a referendum that citizens voted on and eventually would pass which would consolidate power of the government under one position, a Prime Citizen, also to become known as Imperator. Prior to that the UPE was governed by triumvirate, which included the high general which at the time was Ivar Messer, a high secretary and high advocate. Messer argued that the triumvirate was as a political system, a political way of governance, it was weak and ineffectual. It was slow to respond to emergencies, all points would seem to be emphasized by the UPE’s inability to track down who was causing these terrorists bombings all around the empire.
Of course, after the Prime Citizen initiative passed Ivar Messer did ascend to the role of Imperator and his family would then go on to tyrannical rule over the coming centuries. It wasn’t until 2806 that a Truth and Reconciliation committee was finally put together to come to terms with the atrocities that happened during the Messer era.
This was after the Messer family had been officially deposed and one of the people who spent time digging through the archives of all the information that was released in the Truth and Reconciliation committee was a researcher and a scholar, a Rhetor based scholar by the name of Sydney Kamarck who was always obsessed the bombing campaigns that had basically led to the Prime Citizen plan being adopted.
Now as she started to dig through details she uncovered some new information which had never been seen before which she published in a book called The Path to the Prime Citizen which became a bestseller and basically implicated Ivar Messer as the orchestrator of these terrorist bombing campaigns.
Now Sydney Kamarck was able to pull this thread through based on evidence she found coming back here to Jata. So, in the days prior to the explosion that collapsed the biodomes, a man by the name of Cyrus Ishitaka was arrested in a SLAM sting in Jata. Later that night he was very quickly and very quietly released from jail without much reason except for one name which could be tied back to an Adam Corr.
Now Sydney Kamarck as a researcher recognized these names because Cyrus Ishitaka and Adam Corr were both soldiers that fought alongside Ivar Messer during the Battle of Idris IV. Adam Corr was an infiltration expert and Cyrus Ishitaka was a demolition expert. She was able to follow the connection through even more thoroughly by noting that Cyrus Ishitaka could be tracked to five out of the six planets in the days prior to the terrorist attacks that occurred there.
Cyrus Ishitaka’s fate is a pretty sad one, he was discovered shot dead in a New York city alley days after the final bombing did occur. Reports of the autopsy around his death were sealed, it was wiped under the rug as a SLAM deal gone wrong but the Truth and Reconciliation council basically released this detail too and it was found that Cyrus Ishitaka actually had trace amounts of Xi’An explosive under his fingernails in the autopsy.
Adam Corr the other member was a complete ghost during this time, during the terrorist campaigns, but he did very fortuitously suddenly surface after Ivar Messer became elected Prime Citizen because Ivar Messer then appointed Adam Corr a prominent role in the UEE military. Now again, while none of this can be definitively proven it is considered by many and is almost public belief at this point that Ivar Messer did orchestrate these bombing campaigns to ascend to the Prime Citizen.
Now another fun little thing about the planet of Cestulus here beside Aegis Dynamics having it’s main headquarters, it can also be considered the birthplace in a strange way to Apocalypse Arms, the ships weapon manufacturing company. That you should be familiar with already and can fire their guns in Arena Commander and some of the games right now.
So in 2792, Dalton Colabello who was a construction magnate and a collector of antique military replicas bought this strange crate at an auction at a Davien warehouse. When he got home he opened the crate and inside he found two prototypes of weapons that he’d never seen before. Now Colabello just became obsessed with figuring out the history of these weapons and spent the next few years of his life consulting experts in trying to track down exactly where they came from.
So, it turns out that these weapons were built by a former Aegis engineer by the name of Juliet Maupin. She was put into contact with Linton Messer XI who was the last Messer to rule the UEE. Now Linton Messer understood at that time that the walls were closing in on their dictatorship and he was growing concerned that there might be a rebellion against him. As his way to kind of ensure against that he decided he needed a new line of extremely powerful ship weapons to defend himself in case of this occurrence.
Through some back channels engineer Juliet Maupin was put in contact with him and went off to design these weapons. Now she understood that working with the Messer government in a politically sensitive time could be problematic and because of that she snuck away and did her work in secret using a variety of shell companies to hide what she was doing.
When she finished her prototype she put them in this case and sent them off to Messer and while they were in transit, the Massacre of Garron occurred, which was the… basically the tipping point which basically deposed Linton Messer and the entire Messer family from control of the UEE. That crate with those two prototypes was then stuck in this Davien warehouse and sat there for decades until Dalton Colabello finally picked it up and bought it.
Now Colabello was able to track Maupin who after the fall of the Messers fled to the Corel system where she worked there and still had relatives and was able to even track down some her old notes and diagrams and plans for these weapons. He has since used those to basically start Apocalypse Arms and sell these weapons to the public. Even bragging that these were weapons intended for the Messers never got to use. To him, this is a success story.
The Messers created these extremely powerful… weapons but were never able to to use them but now you can so that’s who he’s kind of spun his sales pitch, the history behind these weapons.
Finally just one other personal note I want to add here, I know I’ve been talking about Cestulus a alot but Cestulus here is, and Jata in particular, is the home to Ellroy Cass. Now any of you who read the lore know that Ellroy Cass is a frequent guest in the Star Watch post which tracks the star and celebrity culture of 2946 UEE, and Ellroy Cass is let’s say is the misfit extraordinaire of the era so far. I like to personally think of him as the Keith Richards of our universe. The one who can outparty and outlast and somehow outlive everyone despite doing some of the most hard core things out there. So, just want to tip my cap very slightly to Jata being the home of Ellroy Cass the infamous Davien deviant.
One more planet here in the system for you to check out, this is Davien I which is a rocky terrestrial world. Has no minerals on it, has no core, it’s probably best compared to our moon. Yeah, just another little rock circling close to Davien K-type star. So, that concludes this week’s episode to Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I’m Adam Wieser this has been the Davien system and I’ll see you around the ‘Verse.
MVP w/Tyler Witkin
Tyler Witkin (TW): Hey there, Tyler Witkin, Community Manager in the Austin, Texas studio here to bring you this week’s MVPs. Unlike previously, this week we have 10 MVPs – so I’m going to have to read this, a huge congratulations goes to FiendishFeather, Dolvak, StormyWinters, TheAstroPub, sixfsincaps, Splicepoint, Grakees, Myre, Trendane and Erris for working together to create the first episode in the hopefully long series Bulkheads.
It is very clear that a lot of time and effort went and talent went into the making of this episode and we know first hand that this is no easy task, we’re really excited to see what you guys come out with next. Congratulations again, you all are this week’s MVPs. Back to you guys.
SG: Great work everyone, it is really cool to see our Citizens getting together to create a story.
BL: Now here’s something our folks are getting together to create in ATV Fast forward.
SG: Be sure to tune in to Reverse the Verse tomorrow at 11am on Twitch where we will talk about everything that happened today and then some on RtV. If you like us, hit like below and subscribe. I don’t know why he’s having a giggle out of that. I can’t make my voice go lower.
BL: There’s something scary when you look right at me doing the Ben voice and I-
SG: You could look right at me and do the Sandi voice and say how scary I-
BL: I don’t want to do that.
BL: With that thank you to the subscribers for making this show possible, citizens for making everything possible and we will see you next week on Around the ‘Verse.
SG: Around the ‘Verse.