Jul 29

Reverse the ‘Verse: Episode 2.01

This post is a transcript of Reverse the ‘Verse: Episode 2.01, 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!

Transcripts (Incomplete)

  • Welcome to Reverse the ‘Verse! Changing things up. RtV is live!
  • Eric Kieron Davis and Steve Bender on stream.
  • They will be looking for questions in the general chat on RSI.
  • Before they get into questions, they’re going to talk about the video from AtV yesterday.
  • The goal in general for life like animations for the PU – want to be able to feel like as you get into a ship, as you land on a planet and roam around, that you’re in that world. As you go into nightclubs and bars, you’ll see things common in those things. People eating, drinking, bartenders doing things, etc…
    • There’s going to be different levels of energy of those animations as well. Don’t want everything jumping around, what they want is the illusion of life for all characters. As you go into the bar, if it’s in the middle of the day, animations may be more subdued, as the night goes on and people start to drink more, things get more active.
    • Characters getting more intoxicated and things like that happening. The world itself lives and breathes, they show that through animation.
    • Team is working now on animation, subsumption, AI.
  • [How do the animations map up, in your head, in game?] Animations should change. Lots of it will come down to how the AI programmers and designers execute things, but from an animation standpoint, they’ll have characters that, when they come in, using the bartender as an example, they’ll come in, sit down, and order a drink. There are sets of animations that functionally do the same thing. One character may come in and sit down and order a drink, looking drunk, and you’ll have others that’ll be fine, others’ll be collapsed drunk, etc…
  • [Can we speed up / slow down ship entry and exits, while we’re already doing the animations?] Kind of yes, kind of no. The goal eventually with the enter / exit, the stuff shown in the ship enter exit updates two weeks ago, the current one for the hornet is something like 8 seconds faster. Eventually you’ll be able to use the walk modifier, and your character’ll take more time to get in. With the shift modifier, you’d get in an emergency way.
    • Right now, when you exit the hornet, it takes lots of time. You’ll be able to speed that up eventually. Where they’re going, when you hold the sprint modifier and you get out, your character would execute an emergency exit.
    • As far as whether you can execute a change in the animation that’s playing, say you hit to enter the hornet, and then as you’re playing the enter animation you then hold shift, the sprint modifier, in hopes of it going emergency enter, at the moment there’s no piece of tech that allows them to do that. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible, but if you think of the way that characters connect to the ship, have to climb the railing, go left, right, left, right, to climb it. On the emergency, because he’s leaping quite a distance to get onto the ladder, he may not have his hands in the right position to just shift from one animation speed to another.
    • The first thing is getting the three speeds in. Right now they’re focusing on the combat speed, then they’ll move on to the other two. Once those are implemented, they can see what happens if they try to allow that input to be modified during the animation.
  • [From your twitter, who let the dogs out?] Steve did.
  • They won’t be answering ‘when’ questions. Also, after Steve, Elwin will be on to talk about the Reliant and possibly Caterpillar
  • [Right now animation is fixed, at some point can you look around while animation is playing?] That’s a design question. The answer, from an animation standpoint, there’s no reason why look poses couldn’t be executed on those enter / exits. This is especially important for players who want to play in VR or something, so they can look around. They need to be able to support that. It’s a step-by-step thing. They want to get the combat enters good first.
  • [PU life animations. Are players able to do those animations as well – drink, stand against a wall, etc…?] From an animation standpoint, they’re doing a lot of things where the third and first person animations are very closely tied together. Nothing stops them from ‘if you want your character to be a junkie’, they have animations for a junkie leaning against a wall. There’s nothing within the animation system and design that says you couldn’t do that. That’s more of a high-level design question on how you’d allow your character to execute that. But it falls into things they’re doing with different emotes and dancing, so that your character will feel right. If you’re army vs. navy you might have different salutes, etc…
  • [Can we interrupt some social animations?] Ultimately gameplay always wins. What they want is to be able to have really great animations and they’re fluid and they’re fun and everything like that. But if you can’t get out of them, it can be brutally exhausting. That’s why they’re doing combat animations for ships, everyone complained about how long it took to get into ships. There’s nothing that stops. them from, say a sit in chair animation is playing, and it takes 1 second. Perhaps they can give the ability to cut it short. It’s a flag within the animation that allows them to leave or not leave an animation. But if you constantly allow people to pop in and pop out of animations, it can look very ‘gamey’. It’s a fine balance.
  • That’s all the time that Steve Bender had. Going to show a quick Reliant video from AtV yesterday, and then Elwin Bachelor Jr. will join the show.
  • this is an INN note – we won’t cover what’s shown in the video, as it’s part of AtV. Watch AtV for exact details on what’s being shown.
  • they’re playing Ship Shape from AtV yesterday.
  • And now we’re back. Elwin Bachelor Jr. has joined them, Lead Ship Artist in LA.
  • In the video they talk about the Reliant being exciting. It really excited him though because he loves the way it looks. It’s a cool, unique ship, and he really likes all of Hobbins’ designs. The Gladiator, etc… really likes his aesthetic. Two, he really likes the opportunity to work on something that transforms. He spends a lot of time making sure everything’ll work properly, doing mock animations, so he creates animations and design at the same time.
  • [Reliant variants, the ship has variants. What kind of considerations did you make when designing the base one?] The way it comes down to is building the interior in a way they can swap out the interior spaces. The Reliant has a hallway area, a little hallway, and a door, so they can just swap out that back space entirely. The entire back exterior is detachable as well. They were thinking about that all along. From the concepts, Hobbins had already designed some variants, so they know what they need to accommodate with the initial design. And the idea is the initial design should accommodate all variants.
  • [Most challenging aspect of building the Reliant?] For modelling specifically, the biggest thing was the height space inside the ship. They ran into an issue where with the original concept, if they built it exactly that way, the player would have to crouch to enter the cockpit. Had to make design changes to accommodate that. Design is a little thicker than concept, but that was the biggest challenge.
    • Another challenge as a whole for the entire team is the rotating of the seats and cockpit. It’s unique to the ship, and they try to build things as modularity as possible. Anything on a ship that’s unique to that ship will always be a bit of a challenge. And it’s a multi-state ship, John Pritchett is in-house right now working on how to make the multi-state ships legit in game so they can just put them into the game and work as intended.
  • [Caterpillar – What is interesting about the Cat?] Lots interesting about it. It’s one of the most modular ships they’ll be getting out for a while. Half of it is switchable. Not initially, because they still need to make the modules, but still. The command module detaches, there’s a tractor beam. To be fully operational might need up to 8 people. It’s a constellation or Tali size ship that, depending on how you kit it out, will behave like a Capital ship because you can carry so many small ships inside (dragonflies). It’s going to look like a small cap ship flying around.
  • [Any modelling challenges creating the Cat in LA?] First large ship they’ve made in LA. Biggest challenge is the volume of content. The Cat has 14 spaces in it (including hallways and stairways). Going from a reliant that has 2 spaces to a Cat that has many and massive spaces, the volume of content is just insane. Biggest challenge is time.
  • [How many little ships in poly count is the Cat?] A lot. A lot.
    • Probably 3 little ships.
  • [Working with design, how’s that dialogue been going?] Worked with them from the beginning to do a blockout of the ship. Blocked the ship out first to make sure the spaces felt right for gameplay, then went in, did a lighting pass, used that to move it to concept artists who started to flesh it out, then they built that out. Interaction with design has been great. Design’ll have a cool idea, they’ll try to go and build it, it won’t work, then they’ll go back and forth on it with design. First Cat had ramps, but the ramps would have to go 13 meters out, couldn’t be stored anywhere, so they had to lower the walls down as elevators instead.
  • Changes like that happen in every room. And that’s all for the time with Elwin.
  • They’re gonna show a new logo, then Jared will join EKD for the wrap-up
  • Disco’s now here for a quick update on community.
  • Few things going on sale this week. They decided to add additional sizes to the Big Benny’s t-shirts, on-sale today at noon. Subscribers first, then open to everyone on Monday.
  • Gamescom – there will be a Gamescom party. They’ve got some stuff to show. Those tickets go on sale in 30 minutes as well. Concierge can buy them first. Today for Concierge, tomorrow for subscribers, then Sunday open to everyone.
  • They’ll be holding some stock over for every group. Noon pacific, today, tomorrow, and Sunday.
    • The event is separate from the Gamescom event.
    • All that information is on the website.
  • If you like this format to RtV, let CIG know.
  • They’ll be rotating the show along with AtV. Next week’s RtV will be from the UK; it’ll look slightly different, but if you like the improvements to AtV and RtV lately, consider subscribing, that’s what allows them to do the show this way.
  • And that’s all for the show.

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