Aug 20

Gamescom Day 4 Coverage

Hello Citizens and welcome to coverage of Star Citizen at Gamescom 2016 – Day 4!

During the showfloor presentation, Chris Roberts sat down with Bad News Baron and Captain Richard to discuss the 3.0 presentation. Check out INN’s notes or watch the full chat here.

  • Chris Roberts has joined Captain Richard and Bad News Baron.
  • Chris was nervous about the live demo going well – some parts like running out of ammo weren’t planned.
  • In previous versions, Glen never ran out of ammo and would always kill Melissa. Chris (in the ship) didn’t have guns on his character.
  • He was happy with the reveal for the Dragonfly – a big cheer.
  • They only added the Dragonfly in the box in the last few days he was in Wilmslow – before this it was always sitting in the cargo area.
  • It caused a lot of bugs and issues. It wasn’t working and in the box until Monday – there were issues with the box in the press demos.
  • The issues were because it was vehicles inside vehicles inside the big space physics grid.
  • Occasionally server or client crashes could happen, though the demo we saw was the most stable build – the demo was run around 20-30 times for the press and they had two server crashes and a client crash.
  • It was especially lucky when they went off-script – like the Freelancer landing and not being able to get onto the ramp.
  • In the press demos they were stretched for time because they only had one hour slots and they could be running late or the press could be late.
  • He expects someone to walk/run/drive around a whole planet.
  • The engine team in Frankfurt are amazing – in the editor, the planet alone renders at 150+ frames per second.
  • The slow parts are the network code and other parts that are being optimized.
  • It’s important that you can see the actual horizon of the planet – other games don’t do that.
  • At Citizencon, the planets will have vegetation, oceans – more like Crysis – it will look like a skybox but it will be real.
  • They use dynamic tessellation so that closer areas have most detail and further away terrain patches drop in detail levels.
  • [What is the ring that you pass through to land on Delamar?] It was a lower entry space station – they are still working on the ideas for 3.0 layouts – but on most planets with landing areas like Delamar or ArcCorp they will be used for quantum drive targets.
  • On rocky planets like Delamar they don’t care where you land but in ArcCorp which is mostly covered in city – they don’t want you flying the ship into things – it’ll be an entrance to a flight tunnel – but you still have full control of the ship in the tunnel.
  • If you deviate from the flight tunnel then the ship will automatically return to the tunnel.
  • Many planets and areas won’t have limits but some will to make it fun for everyone.
  • Bad News Baron liked all the things they didn’t see – the scale of how many planets and stations that we didn’t see.
  • Not all the areas are in right now – there is a large team working hard to make them now.
  • In 3.0 there will be more duplication of modular space stations – they are working on a modular space station building set.
  • They plan to have each star system filled with detail and locations – to give variety and texture to the world.
  • In a fully realised system like Stanton you should be able to spend hundreds of hours – for a normal game that’s a lot.
  • Quantum travel is at 0.2c so the systems are scaled down for fun reasons – the tech can handle 1:1 scale but the travel times become too long.
  • Systems are 1:10 distance between planets because it felt right about time investment with travelling.
  • Planets are 1:4 or 1:6 for the same reason – time to travel and get down from orbit.
  • With those scales, it takes 40 mins in quantum travel to travel from one end of the system to the other.
  • It has to be interesting however, for haulers it can’t be instant travel otherwise it would be a way to farm money. But there will be risk and danger to keep it interesting.
  • There will be costs and maintenance involved – while travelling you might need to replace a fuse.
  • In the new item systems there are things that require consumable items – this provides things to do for people in the ships.
  • Chris just signed an autograph.
  • If you are going to do cargo hauling, in the Freelancer for example there isn’t much space – so bulk hauling will be for the bigger ships but the Freelancer can travel faster than the Starfarer – so the Freelancer takes smaller goods at higher speeds or that are more valuable.
  • Valuables might go into a Freelancer while Ore might go into a Hull or Starfarer (if liquid).
  • Buy and sell economy will be in 3.0 – this will be the foundations of it.
  • You can trade and haul stuff – then the other professions that come with it – piracy, bounty hunting, mercenary, etc.
  • After 3.0 there will be mining, search and rescue and salvage. Mining and salvage go together – collecting resources – that is the next tier of stuff in 3.1, etc.
  • Keen to put big playspace and basic professions.
  • Right now all there is to do is goof around and do crazy stuff but there will is no ongoing systemic gameplay – 3.0 adds the basic game mechanics.
  • [Will Jobwell come in these updates too?] Jobwell will be. It’s one of the simpler things to do – essentially a mission board. The beginnings of the Jobwell will be in there.
  • There will also be more random and authored missions in there.
  • Authored missions were shown in the demo, in each location there will be shady (or not shady) characters where you get higher-level, more constructed missions.
  • Mission system built to be stackable to add different components together so you can do one job that unlocks others and escalates.
  • Some of this will be systemically driven by the universe, some will be authored. We’ve seen an example of authored.
  • In 3.0 there will be a much bigger variety of missions.
  • When Chris finished SQ42 shooting they shot a bunch of PU footage – there was lots shot that we didn’t see. More 3.0 stuff will be shot in a month or so.
  • There will be a character like Miles in most of the landing locations.
  • What we saw was shot on July 21st – it was turned around really quickly, two or three works.
  • This is the benefit of work on SQ42.
  • There is more work to do – like facial stuff – eye and hair shaders, skin shader, etc.
  • More work on the facial pipeline to get things into the game more quickly.
  • They want to do more dynamic content that reacts to what happens in the game universe.
  • An example of this is a newscaster that reports on what has happened in the Universe for the past day or two. This will be done through facial capture of Gamemasters, for example.
  • He wants it to feel like it lives – in most MMOs they feel static, nothing is alive or moves, it doesn’t age.
  • EVE manages it slightly because it is player-centric but in WoW it doesn’t.
  • He doesn’t want updates once every year or two years – he wants constant iteration and the tools to do so.
  • There will be systemic stuff and scripted stuff but they want the fun to come from what the players do and how the players affect the universe, albeit in a limited way.
  • Age and wear is a component of all items, as you wear something from a long time it will deteriorate and need maintenance.
  • Like in real life, if you have a ship you need to maintain it. Wear will cause malfunction – to break or misfire. Age and wear can be mitigated by maintenance.
  • The same applies to characters – they will age, you will see yourself get older.
  • He wants the Universe to feel like it has a history.
  • [Does Austin have the ability to do motion capture?] Not currently, the equipment was shipped to the UK and used when shooting in the Imaginarium – they didn’t use the Imaginarium equipment.
  • They have the stage in Los Angeles which will be set up for motion capture stuff and they will have smaller motion capture sets that will be set up in each studio.
  • For big things they will use the Imaginarium, or Ealing studios, or Pinewood. But they don’t want that all the time – mostly for things in SQ42.
  • Chris has to leave for the pop-up party at the Beer Garden.
  • Big shoots will be focused on single player narrative, smaller shoots will be for PU stuff.
  • If everything goes well then he wants constant content – new mechanics, enhanced mechanics, new narrative story once a year, new missions, new ships.
  • Next episode of SQ42 will happen probably two years after Ep1 will come out because they are such large experiences.
  • If someone plays it they won’t feel cheated.
  • Jared is pulling Chris away.
  • Chris is thanking Captain Roberts and Bad News Baron.

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