Sep 9

August Monthly Report Summary

After an incredibly exciting month for the Star Citizen community, here is our summary of the Cloud Imperium Games August Monthly Report

As is with any information on our transcripts and summaries, everything posted is subject to change by CIG and in some cases may not always be 100% accurate at the time. While we strive for accuracy, mistakes do happen so please let us know if you find something amiss that we didn’t catch. Enjoy!

August Monthly Report

Summary by Shiver Bathory, NYXT, Sunjammer

Los Angeles

Engineering

  • LA Engineering focused on fixing bugs for 2.5; ensuring the Gamescom demo worked and ensuring Item System 2.0 was ready.

Design

  • LA Design was focused on both short-term and long-term goals.
  • Short-term was Alpha 2.5 and Gamescom fixes.
  • Ship mass and health calculations were updated for multiple flyable ships.
  • Improvements were made to the Hornet.
  • Tech setup was completed for the Constellation Aquila.
  • Worked with Engineering on Item System 2.0

Art

  • LA Art did the usual bug fixes.
  • Focused on generating new content.
  • Advancements on Drake Caterpillar, now in final art stage.
  • Marine suits were updated and new fun costumes were created.
  • Heads polished to push them to the next level.

Narrative

  • Gamescom introduced Miles Eckhart – first attempt at PU mission giver.
  • Actor was captured during July shoot.
  • In 3.0 – fleshed out tone, flavor, and characters of Stanton locations.
  • Worked with Design on text for missions and NPCs.

Quality Assurance

  • Testing Gamescom demo; 2.5; Star Marine and Squadron 42.
  • Worked with developers on Item System 2.0; Ship LODs; Lighting and Landing Gear.

Austin

Design

  • Ensured Grim HEX elevators worked properly – tricky because local physics grids.
  • Coordinated with LA to ensure elevators continue to work with Item System 2.0.
  • Rob Reiniger worked on “Selling Kiosk” plan to allow players to sell things.
  • Created blueprint documents for more Grim HEX shops.
  • Worked with other teams for content to sell in new shops.
  • Pete Mackay identified first twenty in-game commodities.
  • Commodities will be able to be collected, transported and sold.
  • Iterated on designs for resource spawning, trade routes and quantum fuel models.

Backend Services

  • Jason Ely wrapped up work on Service Beacon feature and passed it on to other teams.
  • Tom Sawyer and Ian Guthrie at Wyrmbyte implemented Service Discovery. This will be helpful once we have dynamic server spinup/shutdown for the PU.
  • Worked on hooks to Player Info Service to provide details on NPC relationships.
  • Ian and Turbulent continued work on bridge between Platform and Services – allows website and game to share information on player, UEC transactions, organizations and friends.

Art/Animations

  • Excited to see their work in-game.
  • Implemented and polished numerous NPC animations.
  • Finally saw animations working within Subsumption.
  • Ship Animation Team reworked ship entry/exit to combat speed for Vanguard/Gladius.
  • Added dropship seat enter/exits to Vanguard Hoplite.
  • Completed initial pass on interactions with Ursa Rover and Drake Dragonfly.
  • Constellation Aquila update is in greybox and will be in final art soon.
  • Final polish on Herald – lighting next.
  • Emre Switzer did final lighting pass on Levski and Grim HEX.

QA

  • Lots of work on Gamescom presentation.
  • Don Allen and Todd Raffray did heavy testing on Stanton system.
  • Jesse Mark, Bryce Benton and Scott McCrea tested requests from developers.
  • QA supported deployment of 12 PTU builds and 2.5 to live.
  • Michael Blackard and Elijah Montenegro did extensive test passes, deployment services and patch notes.
  • Tyler Tumlinson and Bryce coordinated with Game Support to gather feedback.
  • Scott and Brandon Crocker worked with UK on daily smoke tests and organized Star Marine playtests.
  • Tory Turner and Andrew Rexroth focused on SQ42 and built level flow and guides for other testers.

Game Support

  • Chris Danks, Eric Green and Will Leverett worked on 2.5 with Evocati.
  • Thanks to the Evocati.
  • Worked with community team to create Austin’s Around the ‘Verse episode.
  • Published a post on migration from combat visors to in-ship multi-function displays.
  • Adding additional testers to Evocati for 2.6.

IT/Ops

  • Tested and set up equipment for Gamescom event.
  • Set up and tore down rigs with help from volunteers.
  • Provided 24hr support on builds and network fine-tuning.
  • Continued work on reducing patch size.
  • Migrating new patching process into build pipeline so it will be used internally soon.
  • New data will come from internal teams using the system.

LiveOps/DevOps

  • Deployed 11 builds to PTU and published 2.5 to live.
  • Every minuted shaved off build times helps internally.
  • Stats supplied from team – 161 successful builds; build sizes vary from 40-200GB; 7,728GB of data generated; 78 servers across all versions; 30,912GB of data replicated between studios; 1,000 copies/day to testers/developers internally; build system made up of 48 servers; configured at 524 cores with 812GB of RAM with 400 extra cores when needed.

Foundry 42 UK

Programming

  • Gamescom demo premiered the initial implementation of the in-game Star Map: now working on matching the website version in terms of UI and function
  • FPS team has been refining and implementing new game modes for Star Marine
  • Fixed a nasty performance (memory alignment) issue that was blocking 2.5.0

Art

  • Working on large and small props, including spiral fruit
  • mobiGlas got another pass to provide more flexibility and customisation options
  • Produced ship sale brochures and worked on a new ship
  • Working on the Kastak Arms ballistic shotgun, finishing up the K&W energy handgun
  • Testing the streamlined ship weapons pipeline with a Knightsbridge Arms weapon

VFX

  • Fixed bugs and polished effects for 2.5.0
  • Final pass on Grim HEX’s environment effects, and the Argo and Reliant thruster/damage
  • Improved the Aurora’s thrusters and ensure consistent boost effects for all existing ships
  • Worked on the Gamescom demo: atmospheric burn, weapon effects, Dragonfly flight and hover, improved ship landings, kicking up dust from the Ursa Rover and Levski atmospheric effects

Environment Art

  • Gamescom event showcased a number of environments: the beautiful space-to-planet vistas, Levski’s interior, the moon base compounds/temporary structures
  • Excited to develop more structures half-buried in deserts or engulfed by jungles
  • Polished Grim HEX
  • Continued work on Squadron 42

Animation

  • Provided support to the AI teams
  • Revisited player animations (aim poses, select/deselect, crouch, headcam)
  • Did some previs explorations on new FPS weapons

Design

  • Worked on core systems that needed some love:
    • Flight model improvements
    • landing/take-off system tweaked to feel more intuitive
    • Cargo system beginning to come on line: first tier design implemented
  • Tech Designers have been converting all existing ships to Item 2.0
  • Argo and Reliant flight ready, pushing on with Dragonfly and Ursa Rover
  • Star Marine designers working with Environment Art team to craft cool FPS levels
  • Working on a slalom race track for Grim HEX
  • Updating Arena Commander maps
  • Adding new missions to PU

Props

  • Polishing and bug fixing assets for the Gamescom demo
  • Investigating photogrammetry and working with Environment team on procedural planet tech
  • Focusing on S42 and CitizenCon demo: locking down the backlog and creating a solid plan
  • Started developing the damage and destruction pipeline for ship items with the goal of visually representing damage so you know what needs fixed

Graphics

  • Focused on polishing the Gamescom demo
  • Began work on tech to populate the universe with asteroid fields, gas clouds, lightning, and VFX on planets:
  • Will allow asteroids fields containing billions of asteroids
  • Focusing on the placement algorithm, ensuring it is fast and visually pleasing
  • Gas cloud and lighting tech is coming along well
  • Worked on low level tech: making it possible to render secondary camera and adding LOD mesh merging to support the object container tech

Audio

  • Bob Rissolo and  Phil Smallwood worked on integrating all the dialogue into the Gamescom demo
  • The whole team contributed to building the incredibly dense soundscapes for the demo
  • Ross Tregenza and Sam Hall continued working on the music system, specifically the music logic system, and incorporating the various musical cues into the game.

QA

  • Touched many new areas for the Gamescom demo: procedural planets, AI Subsumption, HUD alterations, the Dragonfly and the Ursa Rover.
  • Worked with the QA in Frankfurt, Austin and LA and learned valuable lessons about cross-studio testing
  • Devoted a lot of time to Star Marine: drafting test case documents and getting into the Free for All and Team Deathmatch modes

Foundry 42 Frankfurt

Engine Code

  • Various members of Frankfurt team went to WIlmslow to assist support with the Gamescom demo in the  U.K
  • Work was done on landing gear and ground vehicle suspension to make them more realistic
  • There was work to improve the Vision Stabilisation system. This affects aiming, general weapon handling et al

AI

  • There was a big push on the navigation system. This is to allow Designers to setup navigation meshes in different object containers and attribute the right zone and local physics grid at run time.
  • Streamlined elements within the Subsumption Editor and core code that will allow Designers greater freedom when modifying item variables such as: names, activities, sub-activities
  • Several new tasks are available to the Design Team to allow broader choice of activities for NPCs
  • Combat activity has been moved into Subsumption to enable a unified human behaviours system
  • First pass on the Large Object Vision map was submitted. This is as the name suggests similar to the normal system but for tracking large objects in game such as capital ships
  • The cover system was given a polish to allow Designers to properly setup cover surfaces

Design

  • Systems Design implemented Miles Eckart – mission giver
  • Started design work on new Space Flight Maneuvers aiming to make single seat dogfighting a more complex experience.
  • Some design work on resource gathering systems for various careers
  • The FPS suit design work is nearing completion
  • R&D work was finished on unmanned satellites, probes landers and small modular bases for procedural planets
  • With these systems it will significantly help build out the Stanton system

Environment Art

  • The team was fully tasked supporting the Engine Team to help develop procedural planets.
  • Ground materials, height maps, work on the functions and general usability of the ‘Planet Editor’

Tech Art

  • Tech Art focused on updating weapons to have proper physics and mass so collision can be made with items and the floor

Weapon Art

  • A batch of new prototype weapon models and gadgets was finished as well as a modular barrel attachments like compensators, suppressors etc
  • The Behring P8-AR rifle was finished also
  • A set of Behring grenades is in the final stage of art production
  • Work on the new missile racks for all sizes and variants was completed and have entered the polish stage

Cinematics

  • The team contributed to animations, lighting, blocking and camera work to the ‘quest giver’ portions of the Gamescom demo
  • Going through the entire process allowed to test the existing pipeline and make improvements for future use
  • Worked closely with Lead Engine Programmer to test how the look IK wil perform in cutscenes where the player retains full control of their character

QA

  • Lots of work on the Gamescom demo to ensure it as bug free as possible
  • Along with Grégoire Andivero from Design the team was also there to assist on the show floor for a few hours to make sure the demo PCs were setup
  • Since Gamescom time has been spent on Feature Test Levels and testing Star Marine

BHVR

  • Lots of cleanups and overdue fixes with 2.5
  • Making sure things are stable and simpler for future features.
  • Reducing time spent updating UI per frame.
  • Introduced Grim HEX they have been working on.
  • Focus on lighting to reinforce story conveyed by level art and modeling.
  • Not yet done.
  • Screenshots supplied of new Grim HEX areas in progress.

Turbulent

  • Built special Gamescom event page – included livestream and new chat system.
  • Look forward to using tech for future events.
  • Work underway on new search functionality for intuitive, platform-wide results.

Ship Happens

  • Introduction of Terrapin sale and other exploration sale packs.
  • Ursa Rover sale.
  • Argo and Reliant sale.

Newsletter

  • Unveiled updated newsletter with more curated content and community content.
  • Recaps top stories; subscriber updates; current promotions; best Arena Commander pilots; fan creations and sometimes new content.

Community

  • Big month for community with trips to other studios; Gamescom and Bar Citizen events.

Broadcasts

  • Around the ‘Verse and Reverse the ‘Verse continued with new formats.
  • Gamescom presentation drew lots of attention – able to preview 3.0.
  • Five days of streaming from showfloor booth – big success.
  • Gave away 42 game packages.

You Guys

  • Still blown away by amount of amazing community content produced.
  • One of the toughest months to choose MVPs for.
  • You can still vote for things in the Community Hub even if they aren’t brand new.
  • Excited to meet backers in person.
  • Everyone should go to Bar Citizens.
  • Everyone liked Dastro34’s Big Benny’s costume.

Looking Ahead

  • Still working on SQ42, 2.6 and 3.0.
  • Almost a month away from CitCon 2016.

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1 comment

  1. Agent_Mothman

    Awesome work, as usual

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