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Around the Verse

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:58
Chris Roberts is joined by Sean Tracy in this week’s episode, featuring 2018’s first installment of Ship Shape. Find out where ship ideas come from, meet the teams responsible for designing and developing them, and gear up for some high-speed thrills with the MISC Razor.

And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions

Bugsmashers!

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:09
Mark Abent is back, smashing bugs and taking names in a new season of Bugsmashers! In this episode, he shows us what goes into creating the framework that will allow multiple ships to spawn in-game with little-to-no lag.

And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions

Empire Report: Stranded in Vanduul Space

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:58

BECK: Welcome to Empire Report and thanks for joining us. I’m Beck Russum.

ALAN: And I’m Alan Nuevo. We begin today’s show by turning our attention to the Vanduul front. While the public is often regaled with stories about high level accomplishments, the incredible, personal stories of the starmen tasked with protecting the Empire are often overlooked.

BECK: Victoria Hutchins is in the Killian System to bring us one such story detailing the incredible journey home for a UEE Navy combat pilot.

VICTORIA: This massive hangar on Osha may not look like much, but for members of the military and their immediate family there’s no sweeter spot in the UEE. It’s here that one day each week, starmen step off transports, having completed their tour of duty in some of the most dangerous corners of the universe, to be reunited with their family. While these homecomings are typically filled with excited loved ones holding handmade signs, gracious government officials and even a military band, last night’s return of Lieutenant Commander Liam Nealey was a much different affair. The usual pageantry was put on hold, as a support ship that normally carries supplies pulled into this hangar with Lt. Commander Nealey aboard. Only his wife, Anaya, daughter, Gabija, and a few high-ranking military officials were present. This emotional homecoming was arranged specifically for the pilot, who only days earlier had survived the unimaginable — being trapped alone in Vanduul space. Empire Report was granted an exclusive interview so that he could share his harrowing story.

LIAM NEALEY: Thanks for having me. To be completely honest, at one point I never thought I’d ever make it back here.

VICTORIA: Lt. Commander Liam Nealey’s incredible journey home might have ended safely in this hangar, but it began on the Vanduul front. A decorated fighter with hundreds of missions and dozens of confirmed kills under his belt, he knew an enemy encounter was possible when he launched from UEES Ammit.

LIAM NEALEY: We’d been tasked with doing a recon sweep. Military Intelligence wanted updates to their maps and the system was supposed to be uninhabited. Well, it wasn’t. Turns out a small Clan had taken up residence and was chewing up resources. We ran into them as we were exiting the jump. I’ve tussled with ’duul before, but something was different that day. They just had our number. Everywhere I turned, they met me and just hammered my shields. Outgunned, our flight didn’t stand a chance.

I knew I wouldn’t last long once my shields were down, so I threw everything I had at ’em. There was one countermeasure left when my shields phased out. That’s when I looped around and pointed my nose just below the wreckage of this Driller we’d somehow managed to knock out.

I really didn’t think about what I was doing. It was all adrenaline and instinct.

Thankfully, I timed it right. I juked left, dropped that last chaff and hit eject, hoping they’d lose me in the lightshow. Didn’t even look back to see my ship actually crash, just kept moving until I got inside that destroyed Vanduul ship.

VICTORIA: Unsure if he’d appear on Vanduul scans, Lt. Commander Nealey avoided sending a distress call right away. Instead, he relied on tactics learned during Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training to stay alive. He kept moving, and most importantly, tried to control his breathing.

LIAM NEALEY: It’s much harder to do when you’re moving through a blasted Vanduul cap ship. Can’t tell you how many corners I turned to come face-to-face with a dead ’duul. Never been so close to one before and hopefully never will again. I’ll tell you, I don’t know how the Marines do it.

VICTORIA: When Lt. Commander Nealey felt confident he wasn’t being tracked, he shifted focus to the next step, getting rescued.

LIAM NEALEY: I sent out a distress call, but no one responded. That meant that everyone was either too preoccupied saving their own hide or gone. Only way to know for sure was to look.

VICTORIA: Nealey risked venturing back out into open space. What he saw confirmed his worst fears.

LIAM NEALEY: There was wreckage everywhere, but that was it. The battle was over and I was alone.

This wave of panic washed over me. That was the moment I never thought I’d see my family again. The Ammit was an entire system away and there was no way to let them know what happened. It’d be hours before my squad was officially deemed overdue and a rescue party organized.

Thankfully, my training took over. Some quick math proved what I already suspected. My suit didn’t have enough oxygen to survive until the search party reached the system.

VICTORIA: Lt. Commander Nealey found himself in a catch-22. He needed oxygen to survive, but the exertion of searching only used more of it. Slowly, he EVAed through the debris looking for any O2 that had survived the destruction.

LIAM NEALEY: Wreckage of ships blown to bits kinda looks the same too. Sometimes I’d waste precious time EVAing to a debris field only to discover it’s a Vanduul ship.

VICTORIA: Nealey didn’t have much luck finding O2 floating amidst the wreckage, forcing the task to take a macabre turn.

LIAM NEALEY: The one place I knew I could find O2 was … well, attached to other flight suits. Finding fallen starmen became my priority. It was hard to inspect the remains of pilots I’d trained and grown close to. I logged their name, ranks and exact location. That way, if I survived, I could ensure they made it home too.

VICTORIA: As Lt. Commander Nealey systematically searched the debris field, his oxygen supply slowly ticked away. The little O2 he found added precious minutes to his life but he was still running out of time.

LIAM NEALEY: I thought about stopping my search to focus on conserving O2, but it still wouldn’t last until a rescue party mobilized. I was growing desperate and drew more and more deep breaths to stay calm.

That’s when I saw this Gladius in pretty good shape floating in the distance. The hull was riddled with plasma fire but from what I could tell, the cockpit seemed mostly intact. I took a risk and EVAed further out than was probably smart. As I approached, I noticed the canopy was open but the cockpit and console were in one piece.

VICTORIA: Nealey climbed in the cockpit and closed the canopy. Knowing his life was on the line, he took a moment and then began to activate the life support systems.

LIAM NEALEY: My heart almost exploded out of my chest when it sprung life. Don’t know what I would’ve done if it hadn’t fired up.

VICTORIA: Miraculously, it did. The life support system cycled O2 into his suit.

LIAM NEALEY: Everything hit me at once in that moment. The realization that I might survive just about overwhelmed me. Don’t know what I did to get so lucky.

VICTORIA: Lt. Commander Nealey stayed in the cockpit, patiently waiting until he knew a rescue party would be dispatched. He factored in the time it’d take them to launch, travel to the jump point and traverse it. He feared that sending a distress signal too soon would attract the Vanduul, who are known to return to battle sites to scavenge resources.

LIAM NEALEY: Thankfully, I timed it right. They weren’t in the system long before I sent my first distress call. Seeing that rescue party drop outta quantum in front of me was one of the best moments of my life. It meant that I was going to make it home.

VICTORIA: And home is exactly where Lt. Commander Nealey is right now. After being rescued, he helped locate the bodies of starmen found during his search. His valor earned praise from High Command, who granted him a temporary leave to rest and recuperate with his family. As for his future, Naval officials have offered him a teaching position at the academy, and though he claims to have not made an official decision, when asked about his plans, Nealey’s eyes sprang to life.

LIAM NEALEY: Well, what I can say, right now, is that our mission against the Vanduul isn’t over, and I’m obviously not one to give up.

VICTORIA: I’m Victoria Hutchins reporting from Osha. Back to you, Alan and Beck.

BECK: Thanks, Victoria.

ALAM: What an incredible story.

BECK: Absolutely. On behalf of a grateful Empire, thank you for your bravery, Lt. Commander Nealey.

ALAN: We need to take a quick break. Coming up, we’ll head to the Ellis System with sports reporter Colt Legrande to get the lowdown on a few new rules and regulations for this year’s Murray Cup. That and more when Empire Report returns.

This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:42

Greetings Citizens

Greetings Citizens,

PAX South was over the weekend, and several developers from our Austin studio took the time to visit with the community at a nearby Bar Citizen. Thank you to everyone who came out. Great drinks and great company!

With that, lets see what’s going on this week:

Today is the premier episode of “Calling All Devs”, a weekly Q&A show where we take the most burning questions from Spectrum and get answers straight from the developer’s desk. Watch it here

Tomorrow, The Lore Team publishes a News Update feature providing new and original content on the Star Citizen Universe.

On Wednesday, Mark Abent is back with the first episode of “Bugsmashers!” this year. Catch up on what Mark has been working on since we launched Alpha 3.0 to the entire community.

On Thursday, Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host another installment of Around the Verse. This week, we’ll feature the MISC Razor in an all new Ship Shape. Make sure to tune in for the latest news on one of the ‘Verse’s fastest ships.

To wrap up the week, we’ll be back again with Reverse the ‘Verse. Join us live with Geoff Zanelli and host Disco Lando as they discuss the music of Squadron 42. We received a lot of positive feedback about the music during the SQ42 Vertical Slice, so this is your chance to ask him all about it. Start asking your questions here.

With that, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

Tyler Nolin
Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, JANUARY 15TH, 2018
            Calling All Devs   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, JANUARY 16TH, 2018
            Lore Post – News Update   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17TH, 2018
            Bugsmashers!   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) THURSDAY, JANUARY 18TH, 2018
            Around the Verse – MISC Razor Ship Shape   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Vault Update   
            Squadron 42 Newsletter    FRIDAY, JANUARY 19TH, 2018
            Reverse the Verse LIVE   (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen)
            Schedule Update   
            RSI Newsletter   

Community Spotlight: January 15th, 2018

We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it’s fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here!


My Little Daymar by KungLi

KungLi has created this cool photosphere while visiting an outpost on Daymar. P.S. I love the Rick & Morty version.
Check out the phto on our Community Hub.

Cyclone RN Racing Skin by Yura

Yura took the time to create a racing skin specifically for the Cyclone RN and it looks fantastic. Exactly what I expect to see at a professional race in the Star Citize universe.
Check out the rest of the images of the skin here

Calling All Devs

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 11:31
PILOT EPISODE! Jared Huckaby pulls some of your most burning questions and poses them to our devs in the premier episode of our new weekly Q&A series.

You can submit your questions for consideration in future episodes of Calling All Devs here. Submission and voting is open to all backers.

And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions

Monthly Studio Report: December 2017

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:11
Monthly Studio Report: December 2017 Greetings Citizens!

Welcome to the Monthly Studio Report, where we collect updates from our various studios around the world to show you what they’ve been working on this past month. In the rush up to the holidays, the entire company was focused on accomplishing two major tasks: pushing Star Citizen 3.0 to the Live Servers and polishing up work on the Vertical Slice, which featured an hour of gameplay from Squadron 42. Afterwards, everybody broke for some much needed rest before coming back to hit the New Year running. With that said, let’s get to it. CIG Los Angeles CLOUD IMPERIUM: LOS ANGELES

ENGINEERING Alpha 3.0 was a monumental engineering milestone for Star Citizen, particularly for the LA vehicle team. During December, the first tier of Item 2.0 for ships was finalized with several bug fixes and important features closed out for 3.0. The team tackled a major hurdle with the integration of UI with this very complicated system. Finally, some of the underlying systems that play a huge role in Squadron 42 and the Persistent Universe (Scanning and Quantum Travel) saw some iteration and prototyping that they were really proud to bring to fruition.

As the 3.0 release came together, the core system team focused polishing and stabilizing some key parts of Star Citizen. Cargo and shopping saw significant bug fixes, bringing these features in alignment with long term goals. Infrastructural game code such as the room system, interaction system, and even damage saw significant bug fixes right up to the release.

TECH DESIGN LA Tech Design spent the majority of December getting the new Item 2.0 ships working as smoothly as possible for Star Citizen Alpha 3.0. They knocked out a multitude of bugs, including but not limited to enter/exit alignment issues on the Scythe, an issue where damage was not passing to all parts of a ship, seat access issues with the Caterpillar, atmosphere bugs in the Herald, and IK issues in the Mustang seats. The team also spent time balancing the shield stats to account for better power retention and heat generation, hooked up cursors to all player interactions in the ships, and finished setting up bed conversions from Object Container to ItemPort.

Beyond Alpha 3.0, they continued to work on ships like the Anvil Terrapin, the revised Consolidated Outland Mustang, and Tumbril Cyclone to get them set up and flyable (or drivable, as the case may be). They also completed design briefs for the [REDACTED] ship that they are really looking forward to.

Lastly, the team supported the UI Team in completing the Scanning Visor, MFD, and hooked up all assets to be released in the future.

ART The Ship Art Team wrapped up 2017 with a bang. The new RSI Aurora was completed and officially released. Major progress was made on several other vehicles such as the Anvil Hurricane, the reworked Consolidated Outland Mustang, and the Tumbril Cyclone. The team had their fair share of bug fixing and support tasks for various features released with Alpha 3.0 in addition to upcoming releases.




The Character Team put the finishing touches on the Squadron 42 cast for the Vertical Slice. One key development was the work done with the graphics team to implement a new hair shader to make the characters shine. Finally, the team added wear and tear to some of our character loadouts, giving them an authentic feel in-game.

NARRATIVE In December, the Narrative Team worked closely with Design to chase down any lingering bugs and issues that arose to ensure that mission content, item descriptions, and even posters were ready for Alpha 3.0. They also helped provide additional environmental storytelling and prop write-ups to help sell the world of Squadron 42 in the Vertical Slice. In addition, they delivered weekly lore updates, wrote three pieces for Jump Point, continued the development of the Xi’an language, and supported the marketing department on numerous tasks including the Tumbril Nova brochure.

TECH CONTENT The Global Technical Content Team delivered some great accomplishments in December to wrap up 2017 on a high note. The Tech Animation team was busy with tools support, character rigging, and various MoCap tasks throughout the month. For tools and related work, they improved Mannequin Python Tools, the CIG Tools Installer, a Jump/Spike Detection Tool, and the Skeleton Table as well as added several new health checks to the pipelines. The team also supported the S42 Vertical slice by rigging several characters and fix a ton of skinning bugs as well. The MoCap team tracked, solved, and processed a large group of characters in support of Squadron 42. A MoCap shoot was also held to capture some additional footage needed for key characters.

On the Tech Art side, the team sub-divided between Environments, Ships and Weapons. For Environments, a lot of support and R&D was put into our glass shader and a vertex curvature script. Additionally, they planned for Procedural Layouts work coming in 2018. A lot of bugs were investigated as well… for lights/shadows, hair rendering and texture streaming. For Ships, the team supported the release of the several new vehicles in the Alpha 3.0 release. This included work on damage and VisAreas, as well as bug fixing and investigating a lot of log spam issues. The team also worked on landing gear compression for the ships in the Around the Verse holiday special.

Finally, on the Weapons front, the team was in R&D mode for Animated Attachments/Magazines. They made progress on the P8AR magazine, Gemini F55, and a skin transfer script/tool. They also fixed several weapon bugs. Lastly, the Global Technical Content team supported other areas, such as the reorganization of the tool branches. CIG Austin CLOUD IMPERIUM: AUSTIN

DESIGN Getting 3.0 ready to go live was the big focus this month for the ATX Design Team. Using feedback from those testing the PTU builds, they were able to tackle a variety of bugs relating to shopping and cargo trading across the stations and moons surrounding Crusader. The economy and item pricing continued to be balanced based on collected analytics. Of course, there is still a lot more dialing in to be done once the systems function together on the live servers.

Further work on Mission Givers Ruto and Miles also was an important task for the team. Representing a complex mix of numerous systems like animation and subsumption, it has been encouraging to see the progress made on getting these first two characters into the game. We have already learned a lot so far that will help streamline and improve the process in the future.

ART With the release of 3.0.0 to Live, the community finally got to see the updated Constellation Aquila, Drake Cutlass and Aopoa Nox. The ship team spent the month providing support to push the Persistent Universe to the Live servers. The Constellation Phoenix was whitebox complete and progressed onto greybox. Meanwhile, the Anvil F8 Lightning entered the whitebox phase at the beginning of the month and progressed nicely in between bugfixing tasks.

BACKEND SERVICES To start the month, the DevOps team delivered multiple PTU publishes each week. They monitored performance and feedback from the Evocati and PTU players and pushed out builds that contained fixes and feature deployments as fast as possible. They also worked with IT to ensure everything was ready for the Live release. This included dealing with a number of system failures just prior to 3.0 going Live.

After the intensive 3.0 publishing process, the team carefully tracked the bandwidth being used and adjusted the servers accordingly. They also worked with design to apply a number of hot fixes to address unexpected issues that negatively impact performance and gameplay. They accomplished this without affecting players by carefully watching servers and restarting them with the better code when the server population reached zero.

In addition to everything surrounding the Live release, the team continued to support devs with diagnostics, performance captures, and more.

ANIMATION The Animation Team this month spent time looking at the Player experience in Alpha 3.0 to make sure that all the animations associated with the various interactions that people would encounter while running missions and exploring around Crusader were looking good as possible. This included some bug fixes, some adjustments on various transition elements, as well as just general polish. The team also began work on the Tumbril Cyclone animations that were recorded in a motion capture shoot last month. On the ship side of things, there was additional technical set up that was needed to be looked at on several ships as the team investigated a few linger issues that had been noted by players testing the PTU.

Outside of Alpha 3.0, a lot of time was spent on the Squadron 42 vertical slice as the date of the Holiday Special approached. As the directors and leads reviewed the content daily, the team performed polish passes on the numerous interaction animations on the Idris to make sure the crew looked as good as possible as they moved around the ship performing various tasks through the usables system

ATX QA As Star Citizen Alpha transitioned between the PTU and Live, needless to say ATX QA had a busy month, tirelessly testing the bugfixes and change submissions to the 3.0.0 build. One of the biggest challenges, especially with a release that incorporates as many new updates and features as this one, is making sure that fixes to the game don’t destabilize a build in other places. To help minimize this risk, the devs adopted the QA test request system more vigorously, and every single feature-related check-in towards the end had to be tested thoroughly. Although this increased the team’s workload in order to maintain the daily pushes to PTU, this process helped ensure that the army of testers would have a stable enough build to keep providing key feedback.

PLAYER RELATIONS With the holiday season right around the corner, there was a lot to be “tonkful” for this month. Right on the heels of Star Citizen’s Anniversary, the Player Relations team assisted backers with the newly announced Aegis Hammerhead and Anvil Hawk. Plus, the Holiday Special brought with it the Tumbril Nova tank and three exclusive Holiday Game Packages perfect for sharing Star Citizen with friends and loved ones. The team also continued to coordinate with the massive ongoing testing effort as alpha 3.0 PTU continued to roll out to more and more backers, and most excitingly, the build went Live! Thanks again to all the Players for their ongoing contributions to the Issue Council. Your help is vital to the project. Foundry 42 UK FOUNDRY 42: UK

GRAPHICS Over the last month, the graphics team focused on both 3.0 and the Squadron 42 vertical slice. Most of that time involved bug fixes. Highlights included major fixes to texture streaming bugs (they’ve since found another bug in Lumberyard and the fix will vastly reduce VRAM usage on the next release), a fix for facial animation glitching, and various fixes for hair and temporal anti-aliasing. They also continued to develop the Render-To-Texture system, including adding expose control to video comms calls and using the system for the new ship targeting displays.

The Squadron 42 vertical slice also benefited from some of their new features, such as a new cloth shading model, improved light-beams, the debut of volumetric gas-cloud tech, and a new particle-based shield effect that uses signed-distance-fields to allow the particles to flow smoothly along the hull of the ship. Their r-focus for the new year will shift to improving performance and various planned shader improvements to enable more dynamic materials.

SHIPS Hammerhead
The team was really excited to reveal the Hammerhead in November and since then they’ve been hard at work finishing the exterior sections not seen in the video. They did a detail pass across the hull and engines, and gave the underside more attention. The landing gears were also added, so the exterior is now ready to start on the damage set up. For the interior, they blocked out the floor plan using existing Aegis kits from the Idris and Javelin. They also worked out what bespoke and new pieces are needed to finish the interior and have a couple of guys at work on these now.

Revised Avenger
The Avenger has been undergoing a complete re-make to address issues with the original and make it conform to the current ship metrics and requirements. The updated Avenger revealed in the Around the Verse holiday special was a combined effort between the ship team and the newly formed Squadron 42 team. The cargo and bounty hunter variants are art complete, and work on the EMP variant is scheduled for January. Work to finalize the remaining exterior parts, such as landing gear, damage and LODs, will start soon.

600i
The 600i is entering the final art phase. On the exterior, the thrusters and landing gear are near completion, and work is due to start on the turret. The interior is going through a polish pass, while work on the bridge, corridors and exploration module are due to be wrapped up soon. Since the last update, the team listened to backer feedback and removed the struts from the bridge windows.

Gladius
The Gladius was a big part of the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice, so they spent time tweaking it for the demo. This included implementing the new glass and screen shader, cockpit lighting and headlight tweaks, screen sizes/positioning and adding the new starmap. Cockpits are the most complex parts of the ships, bringing together input from across the company, and they went through many iterations before satisfying the requirements of all departments.

Eclipse
Work continued on the Eclipse, as the cockpit and exterior were grey boxed. The mesh is currently going through a detail pass before starting on textures and shaders.

Blade
The Vanduul Blade exterior is almost complete, and has been brought into line with other Vanduul ships. The team’s current focus is on the interior and working out the enter and exit mechanism for pilots.

VFX The UK VFX team spent December bug-fixing and optimizing for 3.0, following on from the sanity pass discussed last month. R&D work continued on signed-distance-field shield effects, including power-on, power-off and impact effects for the Gladius, Cutlass and Buccaneer. They also honed in on the finer effect details seen in the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice demo. There are too many to name individually, but highlights include the Coil itself, the lightning storm inside the giant asteroids and the Slaver base cryo-pods.

The team also made solid progress on VFX for the Scanning feature. Amongst other things, it will emit a virtual particle grid (only seen via the UI) that allows players to better visualize 3D space when they’re in, well, space.

UI The UI team spent December splitting their time between wrapping up features for 3.0 and working on bugfixes for the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice. On the PU side, the team had daily standups for each feature with Directors to get feedback straight away. These daily syncs not only helped progress for the Starmap, PMA, VMA and MFD/Visor holodisplays, but ensured that communication was kept close between the various departments involved in pulling these features together ahead of 3.0 going Live.

In the run up to the Holiday Special, the UI focused on various bug fixes, including ensuring that the Visor UI would turn on at the correct time, removing quantum linking text from the Gladius HUD, and providing performance fixes alongside others to polish the experience. In addition, fluff screens for Chemline were designed and implemented ahead of the stream.

ENVIRONMENTS In December, the environment team delivered final optimizations and bug fixes deemed as ‘must fix’ for the release of 3.0. As those tasks were completed, the team began to work on the next environments. A big focus of 2018 will be on getting spaces that are shared across locations functional, so the team worked on whiteboxing the kits for both hangars and habitation modules. The idea is to create kits for all these ‘common’ elements in a specific art style so they can be used across different locations. The whitebox stage allows design, art, and code to lock down the features of an element before committing to final art.

Elsewhere, the DE team has been looking at improvements to the planet texturing systems. The main goal is to improve the diversity and breakup of terrain types across a planet’s surface. The new tech increases the number of supported distribution channels by 5x, meaning there’s some improved visuals across terrains in the not too distant future.

AUDIO SQ42
The audio team had all hands on deck in the lead up to the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice. They ensured the demo was fully supported with all the Dialog, Music and SFX content required. This work included additional sound design for cinematics, location ambience polish pass, ship SFX balancing, dialog attenuation/mix pass, and new music content/logic implementation via Subsumption.

PU
The audio team simultaneously supported the Alpha 3.0 release with content creation, implementation and polish of dialog, SFX, and music assets. These included implementing new music logic and content for PU armistice zones (Olisar, Levski and Grim HEX), improving definition and intelligibility of weapon sounds, and adjusting thruster sounds for the Dragonfly and Nox in light of ongoing flight model tweaks.
Going forward, the audio team looks to iterate on the current Foley system and actor status system (breathing component). They also plan to begin work on a fully fleshed out sound simulation system.

ENVIRONMENT ART The Concept and Tech teams introduced a new core structure and narrative behind how Lorville on Hurston function and come together. They developed an exciting and visually interesting city archetype for integrating procedural and landing zone elements. The team did an extensive amount of concept work to solve most of the major design issues.

The base archetype for a utilitarian habitation was established for the first procedural and fully interactive room. Concept is busy investigating and solving both material and theming diversity for generating these units across the Stanton system.

SHIPS AND WEAPONS This month, the team wrapped up the super large Tumbril Nova tank plus three other new ships of varying sizes and roles. They also provided support where needed and helped with marketing and new website revamp. For ship weapons, the team completed the Trident Laserbeam S4-S6 and the Hurston Electron Beam Alterations S1-S3.

DERBY ANIMATION The Derby Facial team was super busy right up until the 21st Dec with Facial animation tasks ranging from polishing the Prisoner Arrival scene to adding more in-game dialogue for random NPC characters.

The team also held their first Studio Christmas Party. It was a fairly small key event, but a good chance for staff and partners to enjoy some good food and a couple of drinks.

The team’s pleased to announce that Senior Facial Animator Tony Wills is moving positions and is now Lead Gameplay Story Animator. Tony will oversee 800+ in-game mini “cut scenes.”

ENGINEERING The UK programming team did a lot of bug fixing and polish work to get Alpha 3.0 out of the door as well as the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice in preparation.

On the cinematics side, they implemented the dynamic lighting mentioned last month. This allows the devs to fade up a specific lighting rig for a cutscene to highlight the quality of the characters. They also experimented with a new dynamic depth of field (DoF) mechanic for non-combat scenarios to give the game a more cinematic feel. Rather than having an infinite DoF, which is usually the case, the game focuses on what the player is currently looking at and applies a subtle blur for everything that is nearer/further away.

The networking team worked on serialized variable culling, which will eventually become entity bind culling. This stops the server from distributing the state of variables on an entity after a certain distance. Considering the massive size of the PU and the content required to fill it, sending updates to everybody became a bottleneck. This helps the network bandwidth and performance side, as the server/client doesn’t have to deal with nearly as much data. The downside is that when the code is not expecting this behaviour, these edge cases introduced new bugs that needed to be found and worked through.

Otherwise, they tackled other performance issues and optimizations, polished as many features as as possible before the end of the year, and a enjoyed a nice break over the holidays! Foundry 42 DE FOUNDRY 42: DE

ENGINE The DE Engine team spent a majority of the past month focused on improving performance and addressing issues for the current Live release. In the process, they worked with most other disciplines to help profile items and make recommendations and/or fix issues when needed. Some cases are straightforward and addressed promptly, but for others the fix may be deemed it to risky to address immediately. Those items are still worked on, but will take a bit longer to verify and be included in future patches/releases.

In addition to performance improvements, they worked with the Environment Art team to further enhance the visuals of the planet terrain. They made improvements to a new memory tracking tool for both server and clients. Implemented scripts to automatically analyze gathered statistics to quickly find leaks and dubious allocations. Fixed several issues related to how data is collected in our crash database Sentry. They started implementation of horizon based SSDO, and the initial results look really good. They reworked the cloth shader to use a more physically based shading model for cloth, as well as fixed shading discontinuities within it. They also reworked the motion blur implementation in game, and continued work on the Subsumption visualizer.

LEVEL DESIGN The Level Design department finished locations found in the 3.0 release ahead of schedule, so they focused on both bug fixing and polish during the latter part of December. After 3.0 was in PTU for a while, the decision was made to increase the server size. That meant they had to add more spawning areas to enable people to spawn in smoothly without conflict with one another. Finally, the DE Level Design team is looking to expand. As more features come online, they’ll need additional designers to keep on top of the increased content and the R&D for upcoming system solutions and releases.

TECH ART The DE Tech Art team split their time between both 3.0.0 and Squadron 42 tasks. They’re currently extending the FPS weapons pipeline with a new tool called CIGSiknXfe which will enable weapon artists to transfer skin weights to different meshes from one source skinned object. They started work on real-time cloth and flesh sim R&D and development of a live-link between Maya and the game engine, so animators can tweak animations, in particular facial animations, while enjoying the advanced shading quality of the in-engine real-time renders vs. Maya’s own low quality viewport renders. This tech will be particularly useful for integrating and tweaking the p-cap (facial) animations in Squadron 42’s cinematic cutscenes. This artistically controlled lighting will have a huge impact on the look and feel of an animation/performance, meaning that iterating real time and in-game will make things much more efficient for the team.

VFX Last month, the VFX team focused on the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice. They contributed to the Coil volumetric cloud, adding exterior effects to the slaver base on Gainey, and specific effects for the cinematic sequences. They dressed the exterior of the Slaver Base in the low technological style with suitable effects for the dusty planet surface. The cinematic effects were bespoke for the cutaways in the vertical slice. The work on the Coil gas cloud tech went through a good amount of R&D. The team focused on developing methods to create an interior volume while keeping in-line with the base concepts and art direction. It went through numerous iterations, and they paid close attention to how the interior created interesting compositions and visuals while flying.

WEAPONS The FPS weapons art team completed the first art pass on the Gemini F55 LMG and the Torral Aggregate Kahix Missile Launcher. Meanwhile, the ship weapons art team finished the first pass art for the A&R Laser Cannons (Size 1-6) and the Gallenson Tactical Ballistic Gatlings (Size 1-3). The team has also been working on scripts and tools to help further speed up their art pipeline. One such script is a Ship Weapon Tool made to assist in the creation of modular weapons. This new tool creates a larger number of weapons in a short amount of time by allowing artists to preview different component setups in real-time and automates the export process directly to the game engine. All animation exports and engine related meta-files are handled by the script, leaving the artist to focus on making the art.

BUILD ENGINEERING The Build Engineers added QA-TR (QA-TestRequest ) options to trybuild, which has already proven beneficial for the team. They also developed a feature to offload QA-TR trybuilds to dedicated agents in an effort to reduce compile times. So far, trybuild has been a simple code validation tool through which coders must check if their changelist compiles correctly against the most recent code updates. This ensures the next build will function correctly if they submit their changelist. This newest feature allows coders to have their changelist compiled against a specific CL. Within the tryBuild UI, the user can select an archive option and will receive an email with a link to a zip archive containing their binaries. At this point, a programmer can send a request to QA (namely QA-TR) asking to thoroughly test their binaries, making sure that their fix and/or new feature works as expected. If QA approves the changes, then the programmer can submit their changelist. This provides an added layer of security, helping to reassure that the current active build is functioning as expected. Since the archive option also involves changing two waf compile options, compilation times inevitably got longer. To work around this issue, IT set up dedicated trybuild machines whose sole role is to accept trybuild requests only when the archive options is ticked. This brought the trybuild system back to normal compilation times.

QA The DE QA team spent December dealing with various in-house test requests for 3.0 and focused Squadron 42 testing. For 3.0, Hangar and shield test requests were completed for our Level Design and AI team, while additional testing for character movements was done for Animation. They also obtained in-game footage of the current state of various systems to be reviewed at a director level. Mission Giver testing was done for Ruto and Eckhart, as well as specific footage recorded for each of these NPCs with criteria provided by the Design team.

DE QA eventually shifted focus to testing Squadron 42, specifically testing Combat AI, Flight AI wildlines, and AI turrets. They worked closely with the development teams designated for each of these sections as part of individual sprints to ensure that they had the needed QA support. For Combat AI, regular stand-up and review meetings were held leading up to the Squadron 42 Around the Verse holiday special. This involved reviewing the state of Combat AI daily and creating JIRA reports for any new issues called out during the review, as well as regular testing of the Combat AI. To test AI wildlines, they regularly played the vertical slice up to the dogfight that happens after quantum traveling to Gainey moon, then they had to ensure that all intended wildlines would trigger based on certain events performed by the Player.

AI December was a very intense and productive month for the AI team. Regarding Subsumption, they introduced several new functionalities: the new Subsumption Event Dispatcher, the Mastergraph, and the Dynamic Trackview implementation. The Subsumption Event Dispatcher is a way to fully support the Subsumption events without relying on any other external system. It’s composed by a central system that allows user code to create and send an event. The events are created in a pool to allow the AI system to efficiently handle and reuse the allocated memory, and each signal lifetime is automatically managed by specific structures called Handlers that also allow fast access to the signal itself.

User code can specify a direct event to an entity, or send an event to all the entities in a range from a specific location. Send events in a range is now zone safe and all the code efficiently uses the zone system for special queries and entity filtering. The Mastergraph is a way for building a relationship between multiple Subsumption activities. The team wants a general way for handling assignments (requests from designers), combat and regular activities. The Mastergraph allow them to specify transitions between our scheduled activities and other logic that should be executed when specific events are received. They also provided support for dynamic trackview scenes. A dynamic trackview scene is a cinematic scene where the participants can be replaced at runtime with actual AI NPCs. This allows the cinematic designers to work on their scene in a controlled environment. It also allows level designers to populate their level with NPCs that might have different activities, specific clothing, customizations, etc., based on how the Player affects the game. All the changes in the character might influence the real NPC characters and be part of the cinematic scenes. Also, dynamic trackview scenes can be potentially interrupted, so the AI system needs to know how to take over when and if that happens.

Ships AI also got some attention last month. The Squadron 42 Vertical Slice showed the first version of the updated spaceship behavior. The current Movement System is in control for both on-foot and flying movement requests, and Subsumption is in charge of controlling the pilots/seat operators behaviors. The new spaceships are fully controlled by the NPC seating on the operator seats, each operator has specific behaviors to use the items they control. The first version of turrets has been implemented using Subsumption, and initial accuracy parameters introduced for the NPCs using seats items. The missions system progressed for the Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 release, introducing both environmental missions and interdiction. All the logic required for Office Admin NPCs was implemented to allow designers to create delivery and pickup missions. Additional work was done as well, which they’ll provide more details in the near future.

CINEMATICS The Cinematic team spent the month hard at work prepping the relevant sequences and tech needed for the Squadron 42 Around the Verse holiday special . Here’s a small portion of what they’ve been recently working on. They scaled PCap performances for the character Vat Tagaca, played by Craig Fairbrass, to emphasize his real-life, intimidating body stature. They changed the base lighting of the Idris aft hangar deck, featured when the Argo arrives, to be darker and more moody than the standard light setup. There was much back and forth with AI and Cinematic Tools Engineers to get the AI functional and the tools to properly place them.

Work was done to the Trackview Navspline tech that allows them to precisely puppeteer AI ships, like going from the interior zones to outside Shubin space seamlessly. They worked with engineering on several features that enrich the game cinematically. They prototyped and then enabled an always-on autofocus FSTOP based Depth Of Field (mostly for non-combat situations) that adds a filmic realism to walking around and exploring interiors. The team successfully created a couple of gold standard scenes, which take into account all departments necessary and represent the flow and interaction that will be applied to future applicable scenes. Tech that uses lightgroups as cinematic light layers for scenes was also completed. With default or custom individual timing of lights coming online, any scene can be tagged and a corresponding lightlayer triggered to fade in. This can be a light rig per scene or per location, as both are viable. The cine lighting rig will be used to push certain cinematics further than what the environmental base lighting provides. The cinematics team generally doesn’t go into too much detail, so they don’t spoil the story, but they’ll go into more detail on the Vertical Slice in a future update.

ENVIRONMENT ART Last month, the DE Environment Art team spent time preparing for 2018 and the challenges ahead. It is always good to look back at the progress made during the year and realign the goals for the new year. A lot of preparation and R&D went into updating the planet tech and tools. As the game moves from moons to full planets with more visually diverse ecosystems, the team wanted to have more control and variety of colors and materials. Work is being done on updating the planet tech as well as the shaders used on the scattered assets. This allows them to have the visual palette they want in the upcoming locations. It also provides a nice visual update and boost in quality for our existing moons.

SYSTEM DESIGN The System Design team spent December finalizing work on both 3.0 and the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice. A lot of the work went into the first major mission givers, Eckhart & Ruto, and ensuring there are no edge cases where they can get stuck or players can abuse them. Both presented different challenges, as each has their own conversation flow, way of being found and triggered. They also completed the first implementation of the Admin Officer for all our major locations. Once again, many edge cases had to be considered and a lot of work went into making sure the players can’t block him for too long or give him items that he can’t properly handle. There are still some issues, but the team is sorting out the solutions.

Another big focus was FPS combat AI. It’s not finished but showing a lot of promise. The combat AI are beginning to act in a more believable manner, as they continue to add behaviors, adjust the timing of combat, and strive to get AI fights to feel challenging and fun to play. Things they also completed include: override pump upgrades to doors, hatches received locks that could be cut through, the beds in the Idris got upgraded with shutters, and more complex usables were added to make the game feel more alive. Turbulent TURBULENT
December was a release month as the Turbulent team was instrumental in getting 3.0 in your hands!

LAUNCHER Finally released, the new RSI Launcher replaces the CIG Patcher that was previously used to distribute the game assets to your desktop for Star Citizen 2.6 and lower.

This release marks a major milestone for the team as the entire system that powers the launcher will allow us a direct integration path with the game where we will be now be able to open communication between your game sessions and the Spectrum client through integration points. This also opens the door for integrated anti-cheat sandboxing systems.

Getting the launcher in your hands as part of 3.0 has been our team’s main focus for while as multiple rounds of testing on multiple platforms have taken place to ensure the new delta patcher, UI, installer and application shell perform well in all supported machine types and versions.

3.0 release also marks the deployment of the launcher backend which provides a new and secure way to distribute game update notifications and asset authorization to backers.

ROADMAP A separate team was split from the main group to work on a new and updated Roadmap display engine for the producers at CIG to use to update the community on the schedule and plans for the game. This new engine will allow the producers to create releases, place them in time and have feature cards on each to describe a feature of the game planned for a specific period.

We hope this new format will make the schedule updates more fun to read and will also help the teams produce more updates, as the backend systems provide more tools to update the schedule per feature card.

SHIP SALES Our design team added life to the Tumbril Nova concept in December, fleshing out the first ground vehicle tank in the Star Citizen universe, inspired by 1980’s action figures.

This week is your last chance to pick up a Tumbril Nova in the concept phase!



WELCOME TO STAR CITIZEN Throughout December, the web team has been hard at work on the next iteration of the Star Citizen site. You can view a full report of our work on Welcome to SC in the January episode of ATV! We are hoping to launch a first pass of this new iteration in the first month of the year. Community Community

While December is traditionally an action-packed month for Star Citizen, the team took it to the next level in 2017. On December 22nd, the Squadron 42 Vertical Slice was revealed during the Around the Verse holiday special and shared more than one hour of raw gameplay, including a special version with Director’s commentary from Chris Roberts himself. If you’re interested in more information about Squadron 42, you can enlist now to receive regular updates and exclusives on the updated Squadron 42 page here.

The holiday special also introduced the legendary battle tank — the Tumbril Nova. This battlefield dominator is available through January 15, and you can find all of the details here.

If the Holiday Special was not enough, the team published Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 to Live servers just before the holidays. This required a herculean effort by teams around the globe and we’re not finished just yet! Releasing Alpha 3.0 has opened the gates for what promises to be an exciting new year of updates to the Star Citizen universe. If you’re curious to see what’s next, you’ll be able to check in with our updated roadmap for 2018 that will come online with the revised RSI website.

We said it last month, but we’ll say it again — thank you to each and every one of the dedicated testers who helped make the release of Alpha 3.0 possible. We truly appreciate you and your efforts!

Thanks to the release of Alpha 3.0, we have also seen a massive influx in community-created content submitted to the website. We highly encourage you to browse the Community Hub and check out all of the new videos, screenshots, guides, music, 3D prints, and more. Keep ‘em coming!

Lastly, we’ve taken the time to go through and organize your feedback on a variety of topics. We’re in the process of planning and executing some fun changes that you’ll see rolled out during the new year.

And with that, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse! Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH…

Around the Verse

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:19
Sandi and Chris host this week’s episode, featuring a studio update from our team in Austin, with an in-depth look at the Star Citizen publishing process.

And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions

Galactic Guide: Kellog System

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:05
Galactic Guide: Kellog System Galactic Guide: Kellog System

INNOCENCE AND IMMORALITY

The Kellog System is known throughout the UEE as the home to both innocence and immorality. Centered around a G-type main sequence yellow dwarf, the system’s two inhabited planets stand in stark contrast to each other: Kellog II, Xis, is heavily guarded to protect the new species developing there, while Kellog VI, QuarterDeck, is heavily guarded to ensure the hardened criminals imprisoned there can’t escape.

Credit for Kellog’s discovery goes to navjumper Patek Coen, who uncovered the system in 2811. Unfortunately, Coen’s dream of living in a system he discovered never came to pass once initial surveys revealed that Kellog II was brimming with sapient life. Kellog quickly received protection under the Fair Chance Act and seemed destined to be a haven for researchers and scientists from throughout the Empire. However, that wound up not being the case; in less than five years, two jumps into Vanduul space were found.

The UEE knew Kellog needed an alert system to warn of Vanduul incursions. Increases in Navy personnel and standard proximity sensors were considered until Senator Daniela Agren (U-Idris) suggested another unusual option: converting Kellog VI into a prison planet. Senator Agren argued that such a facility would not only solve security concerns, but would do so for fewer credits and have many other additional benefits. With the heavy guard presence such an outpost would need, the prison could serve as a tripwire against Vanduul attacks while also isolating the Empire’s worst criminals. Still, Agren’s masterstroke in the plans for QuarterDeck was including a revenue-generating antimatter facility to be staffed by prisoners.

The Senate approved Agren’s plan, which has turned Kellog into the busiest Fair Chance Act system. Today, Army spacecraft patrol Xis, while antimatter haulers and bounty hunters frequently visit QuarterDeck. All this activity has converted the system from an isolated frontier to an integral part of the UEE.

TRAVEL WARNING

The Kellog System is located just a jump away from what is generally considered Vanduul territory. Although the organization of Vanduul clans is still not well understood, it seems that none have tried to claim Kellog as their own … yet. Though few enemy raiders have been spotted in-system, travelers are advised to take extreme precaution while in Kellog.

KELLOG I

Kellog I is a terrestrial planet located so close to the system’s sun that its surface is lava. If there’s anything of value underneath the molten rocks, Humanity has not yet found a way to reach it.

XIS (KELLOG II)

Xis is the system’s picturesque protected planet. Dotted with deep, multi-canopied jungles and a biodiversity that rivals any other part of the discovered galaxy, Xis is the reason the Kellog System achieved recognition under the Fair Chance Act. Its warm seas are home to a wide variety of creatures, while its dense rainforests play host to millions of insects, primates and most famously, Flo-Pets.

Few can forget the Flo-Pet craze of the early 30th century that saw the rich and powerful desperate to collect and breed the unusual creatures. Since the first few were captured by an intrepid smuggler who thought they might be an easily bred, compact protein source (further study has succinctly established that Flo-Pets are not edible), there was initially a move by the government to outlaw ownership of the creatures. Many, worried that their pet would get them in trouble with the law, set their Flo-Pet free, which has resulted in significant populations of feral Flo-Pets on many worlds. In the end however, the creature’s popularity was such that any attempt at a ban proved all but impossible.

Since the Flo-Pet debacle, the UEE has remained vigilant about protecting Xis from unwanted visitors, particularly protecting a primitive hominid-like species known as the Orms. Populating the planet’s northern polar region, the Orms have, in the past hundred years, begun to develop more complex social interaction schema and extremely primitive tool use.

KELLOG III

Kellog III is a typical smog planet with a thick atmosphere unfit for Human habitation. Even so, there are rumors that the planet’s atmosphere provides cover to crews staging jailbreaks from QuarterDeck.

KELLOG IV

Surveys of this super-Earth suggest it could possess copious resources. Much to the dismay of the mining corporations, Kellog IV’s proximity to both a developing world and a prison planet has made UEE authorities refuse to authorize any mining permits. There have been some suggestions that the prisoner population in the system could be used as a cheap workforce, if legal and environmental concerns could be sorted.

KELLOG V

With its rocky core and expansive atmosphere, Kellog V is technically not a smog planet or a gas giant, but rather a gas dwarf, one of only a few such planets in the UEE.

QUARTERDECK (KELLOG VI)

Kellog VI is home to the UEE’s massive QuarterDeck Prison, a maximum security penal facility that houses hundreds of thousands of hardened criminals. Orbiting well past the green band, the planet’s conditions were meant to make escape from QuarterDeck almost impossible. Unfortunately it has not stopped prisoners from orchestrating successful escapes, usually aided by associatess on the outside.

QuarterDeck features a full-process antimatter refinery, which means the resource is more readily available here than in most places in the UEE. Antimatter processing is an incredibly dangerous operation and results in the deaths of prisoners, but the plant finds itself in no shortage of workers since reduced sentences are given to those who volunteer to work in the refinery.

The UEE has also developed a system by which wanted criminals can be delivered directly to QuarterDeck by properly bonded bounty hunters. JusticeStar station sits at the planet’s closest Lagrange point, allowing processing, trial and sentencing to take place swiftly and efficiently. Booking officers on JusticeStar have been known to pay a premium for wanted criminals, reflecting the reduced cost to the UEE that comes with having prisoners delivered directly to the system.

HEARD IN THE WIND

“Flo-Pets adapted swiftly to sewers around the Empire. Much like their home world of Xis, the underbellies of Human cities are wet, humid and teeming with microscopic life that Flo-Pets find delicious.”
- Garret Bedi, Anthology of Unexpected Adaptation, 2921

“My proposal to decommission QuarterDeck’s antimatter facility is motivated by several factors. First, its current conditions are well below the standard mandated of privately run operations. Second, there’s a growing concern that the military is too dependent on the antimatter produced there. A recent report by the SSA stated that loss of antimatter production on QuarterDeck, whether due to cataclysmic event or Vanduul invasion, would severely disrupt the military. Fellow Senators, our military becoming dependent on antimatter produced in a system with two connections to Vanduul space is too dangerous a situation to continue.”
- Senator Ghata Veras (C-Lo-Corel Sys), Senate session 2943-11-18

Q&A: Tumbril Nova - Part 2

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 19:02



Q&A: Tumbril Nova – Part 2

Greetings Citizens,

Below are answers to the most voted questions in our Tumbril Nova Q&A thread posted last week on Spectrum. Thank you for taking the time to submit and vote. In case you missed our initial Tumbril Nova Q&A, you can find it here.

Please note that the Tumbril Nova is still a concept and the answers to these questions are subject to change based on internal balancing and community feedback.

Also, special thanks to Lead Technical Designer John Crewe for his help in answering your questions.


How does the driver see out of it? Does it have thermal/night vision?

The driver, along with all seats, has the ability to view through an external camera like the Super Hornet gunner. In addition to this there, is an armored flap that can slide open on the front of the vehicle to provide a natural view out, protected by armored glass.



How effective are EMPs against the Nova Tank?

While it is somewhat hardened against EMP strikes with its military grade components, a big enough EMP weapon will cause the same shutdowns as with our ships.



What will the fuel range on the Nova be like?

The Nova has an average range for its type, it is heavy and is unable to travel huge distances like dedicated exploration vehicles.



Why should I have a battle tank if nearly no ship can transport it into combat?

Ground vehicles can already be spawned planet-side, and a large proportion of ground vehicles usually never leave the planet they were spawned on originally.



Can the Nova realistically hold its own against ships like the Sabre and Hornet?

The missiles and laser repeaters on the Nova are realistically the best defense against ships attacking it, as the main cannon does not have the speed or articulation to hit fast moving targets. When considering damage output, those weapons might be enough to deter a dedicated fighter like the ones mentioned but not for long. Using modern day scenarios as an example, the best use of tanks is with combined forces against an unprepared enemy or lower tier fighter it should be able to hold its own easily.



Is the Tumbril Nova amphibious?

The Nova was not designed to be amphibious in any way.



How high vertically can I aim the turret?

The current range on vertical motion on the main turret weapon is -10 to +35 degrees, however as with all assets this is subject to change during development. The Laser repeaters on the turret can aim much higher.



Can the tank be used to provide indirect artillery fire?

The Nova was not designed to do this with the current turret weaponry but it is possible to a limited extent..



What anti-ship capabilities does it have?

As described above, the primary anti-ship capabilities are the missiles and laser repeaters on the turret.











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This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:26

Greetings Citizens

Happy New Year!

We hope that you all enjoyed the holiday season and found some time to jump into Star Citizen Alpha 3.0. For us, our team is now fully back and in high gear working on Alpha 3.1, Squadron 42, and more.

Last week, we updated our Production Schedule with a brief roadmap for 2018. We encourage you to check out all the details here.

With that, let’s see what’s going on this week:

There’s no Citizens of the Stars this week, but we’re working on something new for you that will air next Monday the 15th that we think you’re going to enjoy. Stay tuned!

On Tuesday, the lore team will be releasing the Kellog Galactic Guide that was made available to Subscribers in our second ever Jump Point Magazine.

On Wednesday, the team needed a bit more time to get back into the swing of things, so we won’t be airing an episode of Bugsmashers this week, but make sure to check in next Wednesday for an all new episode.

On Thursday, prepare your F5 keys. We’ll be bringing back our Studio Updates with a new episode of Around the ‘Verse. The first of this year’s Studio Updates starts with the team in Austin and their publish of Alpha 3.0.

Lastly, get ready for something old, AND something new. Reverse the Verse returns LIVE every Friday to recap the week and answer your questions after each Around the Verse with special guest: Global Head of Development Erin Roberts.

With that, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

Tyler Witkin
Lead Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, JANUARY 8TH, 2018
            No Show This Week   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, JANUARY 9TH, 2018
            Jump Point Vault – Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10TH, 2018
            Subscriber’s Newsletter    THURSDAY, JANUARY 11TH, 2018
            Around the Verse   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Vault Update    FRIDAY, JANUARY 12TH, 2018
            Reverse the Verse   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Schedule Update   
            RSI Newsletter   

Community Spotlight: January 8th, 2018

We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it’s fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here!


One Minute Cinematic by Frustmaster

Frustmaster has created an amazing video of all the things you can do in Star Citizen Alpha 3.0. Definitely one of the coolest we’ve seen.
Check out the video on our Community Hub.

Wonderful World of 3.0 by Lonewolf

Lonewolf is now on his 5th volume of breathtaking 4k screenshots of just how amazing Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 is.
See the entire album on the Community Hub.

Around the Verse

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 12:57
The first Around the Verse of the new year gives us an inside look at the brand-new RSI website, redesigned by our team at Turbulent. See an exclusive preview here before the site goes live later this month.

And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions

2018 Lore Release Schedule

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 19:01
2018 Lore Release Schedule

Happy New Year from the CIG Narrative Team!

Now that 3.0 has been released, we will be increasing our focus on in-game content for Squadron 42 and Star Citizen. Between creating NPC dialogue, mission text and a wealth of item descriptions, there’s a lot of narrative content needed to bring the world alive. So, we are going to adjust our 2018 release schedule in regards to lore content on the website.

As opposed to a News Update every Tuesday, you can now expect a different type of post each Tuesday of the month, including a steady release of older content that hasn’t yet trickled down to the site. Here’s how the schedule will break down.

1st Tuesday Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Loremaker’s will now become a part of “Lore Day.” You’ll be able to begin every month with a member of the Narrative Team providing an in-depth tour of one of Star Citizen’s 100-plus solar systems.

(Please note that our stable of shows returns next week. That means the first Loremaker’s episode of 2018 will air on Tuesday, February 6th.)

2nd Tuesday Jump Point Vault and Exclusive Subscriber Content

For years, Jump Point has provided Subscribers with lore content that has not yet been made available to all backers. The second Tuesday of each month will be dedicated to posting either a Galactic Guide or Portfolio that was previously available to Subscribers in our monthly Jump Point magazine.

Meanwhile, current Subscribers will get exclusive first access to a brand new piece of lore with the release of the Subscriber newsletter each month.

3rd Tuesday Original Content or Lore Builder

Every third Tuesday, we will post a News Update feature, providing new fictional insight on the Star Citizen universe. We might also use this slot to publish a new installment of Lore Builder, if there’s specific lore-related content that we want to develop with the help of the community.

4th Tuesday Serialized Fiction

Numerous serialized fiction stories have appeared in Jump Point but never been made available to all backers. The fourth Tuesday of each month will be dedicated to bringing you these stories one exciting chapter at a time.

5th Tuesday (if applicable) Original Content or Lore Builder

January, May, July, and October all have five Tuesdays in 2018. That means the Narrative Team will deliver another dose of original material in the fifth week of these months.

We look forward to sharing all this content with you in 2018. As always, feel free to catch up on all of our lore posts here, or ask the Narrative Team a question by using the ‘Lore’ tag in the Ask The Devs thread on Spectrum.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.0.0

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 11:53

Star Citizen Patch 3.0.0

Alpha Patch 3.0.0 has been released to all Star Citizen backers. This update contains one of our largest feature sets to date – including the three moons of Crusader, a new mission system, improved shopping and cargo mechanics, and increased our server player count from twenty-four to fifty players. Alpha 3.0.0 is also the first implementation of a lot system changes that go on in the background. For example, with commodity trading, we’re testing out the very first iteration of the dynamic economy that will control the marketplace of the universe.

With our new procedural planet tech, there was a strong need to make sure that we efficiently update all the entities and components in our game world (their number increased significantly compared to 2.6.3). We therefore implemented a new update scheduler that allows us to efficiently batch update them per type and update strategy (range based, manual, always, conditionally). As this puts more strain onto our job system, we further refined its core to allow for even lower latency scheduling and supported even more CPU cores.

In short, it’s a big update that lays the foundation for larger developments down the road.

Apart from the improvements already made, there’s still a lot of work that has to be done to get the performance up to where we want it to be, but this will take a bit more time. Object Container Streaming and Entity streaming are major aspects to reduce memory footprint and further scale the game world for many star systems in a seamless way. There will also be a concentrated effort into better scaling of existing game systems with increased player count and world complexity (entity count). We’ve been investigating range based culling of entity updates which will provide significant gains, but still needs additional work to properly integrate into all game systems.

With the release of 3.0.0, the Persistent Universe is now shifting to a quarter-based release schedule. This approach means that after each live delivery we can return to the main development branch and pick up all the changes and optimizations that have been worked on in the background and ready them for our next live release. 3.0 has been about completely revamping systems and gameplay as well as adding new content. We will now go back into our development branch, which we need to do for our Q1 release in March and will pick up the latest code and concentrate on optimizing performance, using our new gameplay and systems to the fullest, as well as continuing with the balance and polish of the PU.

Your feedback and engagement is what makes Star Citizen special, so drop into the ’verse, grab your ship and explore the vastness of 3.0.0.

New RSI Launcher

Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 requires the installation of a new launcher which will tremendously reduce the amount of data transmitted during game updates and allow the team to deliver more patches quickly. The RSI Launcher will also be used to deliver Squadron 42 once it begins shipping.

In order to play Star Citizen 3.0, download the new RSI Launcher. The installation program will guide you to remove the older CIG Patcher and then perform your initial installation of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0.

NOTE: Once totally installed and patched, Your launcher should display 3.0.0-695051 as the client version.

NEW FEATURES Three Crusader Moons Cellin
  • Cellin is Crusader’s closest satellite. Visitors to the moon are greeted by the massive gas giant sitting prominently in the sky above. If you can take your eyes off the sky, then you’ll notice that Cellin’s flat surface is punctuated by dormant volcanoes.

Daymar
  • With the thickest atmosphere of the three moons, Daymar is covered with winding canyons and rugged mountain ranges, giving it the appearance of an arid, desert planet. Though Crusader has been granting mining licenses to tap into the moon’s resources, the atmosphere is unbreathable for Humans.

Yela
  • The third and final Crusader moon is Yela, the moon’s covered in ice crust on certain sections of the moon, while other parts are dominated by a typical mixture of soil and snow. The temperatures are quite bracing here, so plan to bring a thermos of tea or a nip of something stronger to help stay warm.

Levski
  • The home of the People’s Alliance, this new landing zone was founded in an abandoned mining facility as an egalitarian alternative to the UEE.

Surface Outposts
  • Over two dozen planetside outposts that can be visited. These buildings cover a variety of operations (both legal and illegal) and can serve as drop-off and pick-up points for missions.

Derelict Ships
  • Crashed or abandoned ships within the Stanton system as points of exploration.

Mission Givers Ruto
  • This criminal hacker provides the players with missions and introduce the first iteration of the reputation system.

Miles Eckhart
  • The head of a private security company, Eckhart provides the players with missions and introduce the first iteration of the reputation system.

Mission System
  • Around 20 distinct missions, most with lawful and unlawful variants and all with hundreds of random permutations. These missions can be picked up from the Mission Givers or from the Contract Manager App.

Derelict Ships
  • Multiple ship wrecks on planets and in space. Some may contain cargo that can be scavenged and sold.

Random Encounters
  • 10+ encounters which the player can come across through travel or by Quantum Travel Interdiction.
  • The area you are within will dictate the types of encounter you can come across

Admin Officer AI (mission related)
  • Admin officers will appear at larger landing zones such as Port Olisar and Levski to act as pick up or drop off points for mission related items.

Shopkeeper AI
  • Adding the shopkeeper AI to give environments more life.

Pickup & Carry objects
  • As we’re introducing cargo with 3.0.0, players will be able to manually interact with their cargo to load and unload it properly on their ships.

AI Turrets
  • We are adding the ability for AI to operate turrets in Crusader, so we are working to make sure that they track and fire upon the correct targets.

Interaction/PIT
  • We’ve added an interaction mode system which enables you to interact directly with the world around you. This will act as a shortcut way to select actions with your mouse, to avoid remembering complex control binds.

Stamina System
  • We are introducing the concept of stamina in to 3.0.0, this will mean that physical actions will have consequences. For instance, sprinting will drain the stamina of your character, causing loss of breath and difficulty in aiming a weapon.

Item 2.0 Ships
  • We are converting our available ships over to the item 2.0 system. This will allow for greater player control of the ship and expanded gameplay.
  • Multi-Function Displays (MFD) are being implemented in the new item 2.0 system to give pilots even more control of their ships.

ATC System
  • The Air Traffic Control system assigns landing pads to players once permission has been requested. The system also tracks the stored location of player-owned ships and allows for cargo to be delivered to a ship parked in that landing zone.

Item 2.0 Doors & Airlocks
  • We are starting to update the doors and airlocks within the game to be more intelligent. In time, this would mean that the door would ‘know’ if a room beyond them is depressurized and would stay shut for safety.

Cockpit Experience Improvements
  • Multiple changes that affect how the player moves and reacts in the cockpit as well as the overall feeling for the player while flying (interactions, reacting to hits, etc.)

Shopping
  • Commodity buying/selling.
  • Physical item shops.

Render to Texture
  • This will have many uses going forwards, but our focus for now is to improve UI rendering and to introduce live rendering of video communications. We’re aiming to improve rendering performance by rendering as much of the UI ahead of a frame. For video communications, this will mean that we don’t have to pre-render the comms and store those files on the hard drive, as is the case with most games, allowing us to maintain fidelity and save hard drive space.

Cargo
  • Players can purchase commodities from the kiosk that will be transportable in the cargo holds of vehicles, to be sold in another location.
  • Implementing items to represent units of tradeable cargo.

Planetary Tech
  • The Physics Grid for planets and the modular space stations.

Planetary Rotation
  • Planets and moons now rotate to give a day/night cycle.

mobiGlas Visual Update
  • Redesigned the interface and apps.

mobiGlas Apps
  • Contract Manager: This is a redesign of the mission App that is currently available within mobiGlas and is the next step in allowing players more control over their mission tracking.
  • Personal Manager: This App will allow players to review their inventory and customize various aspects of their suit and weapons.
  • Vehicle Manager: This mobiGlas app allows the Player to modify/customize their ships directly rather than using the upright terminals.
  • StarMap: The Starmap will be introduced to allow players to view the Persistent Universe at large and select planets to quantum travel to.

Starmap on Ship Radar
  • Incorporating the Starmap into ships with 3D radar so players don’t have to open the mobiGlas app when piloting to select their travel destinations. Remaining ships will be added later.

Updated Visor HUD
  • Updating the Own and Target ship displays for both the visor and MFD in the Item2.0 ships. With this enabled in ships, pilots will be able to see the health of their ship and shields

Atmospheric Flight
  • With 3.0.0 players will have the chance to land on celestial bodies, which, in some cases, will involve passing through the atmosphere.
  • A modified set of physics parameters to change the flight pattern of ships when they transition into a moon’s atmosphere.

Engine Trails/Contrails
  • VFX improvements for engine trails, and the creation of contrails for ships when flown in atmosphere

Gravlev (for hover bikes)
  • This tech covers the transitions from flight to hovering and hovering to flight, but also lets the hoverbikes (Dragonfly and Nox) traverse the planetary surfaces.

Second Stage Afterburner
  • Adding afterburner functionality to allow you to traverse from space to ground faster.

Hint System
  • A first iteration of in-game hints to help new players acclimate to the various complex gameplay mechanics in Star Citizen.

EMP Weapon update
  • Updates to the EMP weapon functionality to properly affect ships now the item 2.0 conversion has taken place.

Entity Owner Manager
  • The Entity Owner Manager tracks entities that are moved around the universe, making sure we spawn and despawn them at the correct time.

Physics Serialisation
  • This will fix a few long-standing threading issues between then network and physics code. Improves separation of physics and netcode for better maintainability.

New Message Queue
  • Now that all our messages are strictly ordered, we’ve streamlined the processing, allowing us to send and receive messages with less overhead. The new message queue also has a few extra features to better handle packet loss and jitter, helping reduce average bandwidth and latency.

Mission System
  • The overall system that will be used to create mission flows for missions like Patrol, Assassination, Smuggling, etc.

Persistence of Ship Damage, Ammo, & Missiles
  • Persistence ensures that your vehicle state is saved between sessions.

Ship Insurance & Claim
  • This will be an alpha version of the insurance system where if your current ship becomes damaged beyond repair, you will be able to request a replacement ship (with basic loadout) from the insurance provider.

Planetary Navigation Marker Generation
  • A dynamically generated set of Quantum Travel points around planets and moons to enable for quicker and easier traversal around them.

Persistent Spawning & Reconnecting
  • First pass at persistence which allows us to save the state and location of the player and ships between game sessions.

New & Updated FPS weapons
  • BEHR P8-SC – SMG
  • APAR Scourge – Railgun
  • [UPDATED] KLWE Gallant – Rifle
  • [UPDATED] KLWE Arrowhead – Sniper Rifle
  • [UPDATED] KSAR Devastator-12 – Shotgun
  • [UPDATED] KLWE Arclight – Pistol
  • [UPDATED] Gemini LH86 – Pistol
  • [UPDATED] BEHR P4-AR – Assault Rifle

New & Updated Ships/Vehicles
  • [Updated] Cutlass Black
  • Drake Dragonfly
  • Aopoa Nox
  • RSI Ursa Rover
  • RSI Constellation Aquila
  • MISC Prospector
  • Updated RSI Aurora
  • Aegis Sabre Raven

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Jump Point Now Available!

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 17:18
Jump Point Now Available!

Attention development subscribers: the December 2017 issue of Jump Point is now available in your subscription area. This month’s Jump Point features the development of the Idris frigate! That, plus a look at the history behind Chemline Solutions, a visit to the Idris, System and a behind the scenes with the character team. Finally, an all-new short story from Star Citizen writer William Weissbaum! Grab your copy today.

Interested in becoming a development subscriber? You can learn more here.

Holiday Special

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 14:19

Greetings Citizens,

The Holidays are here, and as a special gift to you, we’re offering three exclusive Holiday Game Packages. Each Pack includes a Digital copy of Star Citizen, Digital Game Manual and 60-Month Insurance policy on one of our favorite starter ships, like the versatile Aurora, the chic Mustang or the ever popular Aegis Avenger.

And don’t forget to tune in for our ATV Holiday Special featuring gameplay from Squadron 42, airing on twitch.tv/starcitizen

Legendary Battle Tank Reborn

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 14:10
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Q&A: Tumbril Nova

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 14:10



Q&A: Tumbril Nova – Part 1

Greetings Citizens,

Following the launch of the Nova, below are some questions and answers to provide more information on this important heavy battle tank from Tumbril. There is also a Spectrum thread where you can post additional questions and vote for the ones you want to see in the second part of the Q&A.


What ships will the Nova fit in?

The Nova is a serious war machine, bigger and more massive than all other ground vehicles introduced to date. One consideration, however, is height as the Nova requires ships with a high ceiling. The Idris, for instance, has ample clearance, but many cargo ships do not.



What size is the main gun?

The Nova’s main gun is equivalent to a S4 Ballistic Cannon, and is integrated into the vehicle’s turret design. While the main gun is not modular, other weapon hardpoints on the tank are interchangeable with weapons of the appropriate size.



Why would I use a tank versus a ship?

It entirely depends on the situation. Both have different strengths and weaknesses. Some areas might have particularly strong aerial defenses, are difficult to traverse by air, or have ground terrain that provides a lot of cover. In this case, the tank is the solution to blast through enemy defenses and open the way to friendly ships.

Ships are a good recon method to help the tank find the best entry points or plan different attack maneuvers. Ships and tanks are complementary as they can be used together to accomplish objectives. In addition, the Nova is also suited to destroy ships.



Can the Nova fire different ammo types like modern-day tanks?

While the Nova tank has been configured for a specific kind of ammunition, the gun’s ammo box has been designed to accommodate different types of ammo if those are made available in future updates.



Can the Nova be loaded or dropped from a dropship?

Yes. However, given its intimidating size, the Nova tank can’t fit in most currently available ships. Any present or future ships able to transport the Nova can also drop it from a reasonable height (to be determined in development). While it’s not advised, provided it lands upright, its tracks and hull are sturdy enough to survive this kind of maneuver.



What are the crew positions?

The driver and support crew are at the front of the tank, while the gunner is in the middle of the tank, in a separate room.



Does it have a ‘deployable mode’?

While we considered this in its early design stages, the Nova does not have any alternative modes, and instead stays focused in a single configuration.



What range does the main gun have?

While we’re still determining the exact range, it should fall within the same range as other ballistic cannons.



Does the Nova hold any cargo?

The Nova tank does not hold any cargo, but it can be used to clear the way for other ships and vehicles, allowing them to grab cargo. This tank exists to protect and destroy, but not to transport.



How rapidly does the main gun fire?

While stats might change, its fire rate should be a bit slower than S4 ship ballistic cannons, around 30-50 rounds per minute. We also try to match the rate of fire with the Nova’s expected ammunition storage.



Does the Nova have countermeasures?

The Nova tank indeed has countermeasures! Four launchers are set up on the turret to maximize coverage and protection from enemy missiles.



Considering we have Gravlev technology, why isn’t the Nova a hover tank?

While Gravlev technology is indeed a thing, it is expensive to produce and maintain, and is more vulnerable to things like distortion damage. What the Nova loses in agility, it gains in defense.



Can I operate the tank by myself? In other words, can I slave the main gun or must there be a dedicated gunner?

Yes, a solo player can operate the Nova without assistance. However, the main gun is designed to shoot directly forward when slaved. We recommend having a second player or NPC to man the Nova.



Does the Nova have a compact mode when in storage, or being transported?

The Nova tank is already about as compact as it can be for a main battle tank of its capability, and as such, has no particular storage mode.



What is the top speed of the Nova?

Its top speed is currently planned to be around 20 m/s, which may seem high for such a massive vehicle, however, its acceleration is also relatively slow, so it would still take time to reach top speed.



Does the Nova have any weak points?

Yes. While the Nova has a formidable defense, its rear entry point and the exposed parts of its tracks are weak spots. Any operator should be cautious and avoid exposing these areas to last longer on the battlefield.









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The Observist: Crusader's Moons, Stanton

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 18:01
The Observist: Crusader's Moons, Stanton

Greetings, traveler! With millions of sights to see in the universe, the team at THE OBSERVIST is here to make sure you get the best traveling experience possible.

Stanton System

Discovered a mere forty-four years ago, this system quickly turned into an industrial powerhouse after its four planets were auctioned off to massive corporations. The system’s second planet, a low mass gas giant, was originally considered to be a ‘tough sell’ by the UEE. Rumors at the time indicated that they had even toyed with bundling it together with one of the other planets. However, it was eventually bought by Crusader Industries, as the planet’s iconic floating platforms, originally built by the Navy, provided a unique opportunity to construct large-scale commercial transport ships in an atmosphere. At the time of the purchase, the Terra Gazette called the Stanton II sale the most expensive real estate deal ever done that didn’t involve any real land.

That statement wasn’t completely true. Included in the purchase of the gas giant now known as Crusader were its three moons. No one thought much of the moons when the planet was purchased, but that didn’t stop Crusader CEO Kelly Caplan from devising a plan to utilize them. Encouraging travel on the company’s line of starliners, she wanted tourists to flock to Crusader’s floating platforms for the unique experience of standing in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant, and she hoped to convince them a trip to the planet’s moons would also be worthwhile.

Caplan also let it be known that Crusader welcomed outpost development on these moons. Since space on the floating platforms was extremely limited, they encouraged companies to set up shop on solid ground as another way to increase traffic to their part of the system. Companies needed only to adhere to strict environmental standards meant to preserve each moon’s natural beauty. Many companies found the rules to be too onerous and decided against establishing any operations.

To further entice visitors and companies to Crusader’s moons, Caplan gave them names everyone would recognize — Cellin, Daymar and Yela. The names were taken from characters in a famous 24th century children’s story, A Gift for Baba, a longtime favorite of Caplan’s youth which she in turn had recently begun to read to her own children. The names turned out to be perfect, as each moon had a distinct environment that corresponded to its namesake’s temperament. It also didn’t hurt that the story’s tale of traveling through space fit in with Crusader’s corporate ethos.

Though Caplan’s plan didn’t populate the moons as much as she hoped, several outposts were built and still dot the moons’ surfaces today. Some outposts are abandoned, but many still do brisk business and need haulers to deliver supplies and snag outbound shipments. Yet, the team at THE OBSERVIST doesn’t think that outposts are the reason to visit Crusader’s moons. No, it’s these moons’ stunning pristine vistas, which feature the beautiful, swirling gas giant looming above that make a visit to any of Crusader’s moons memorable.

Cellin (Stanton 2a)

Cellin is Crusader’s closest satellite. Visitors to the moon are greeted by the massive gas giant sitting prominently in the sky above. The view alone will take your breath away and makes for some truly spectacular photo opportunities.

If you can take your eyes off the sky, then you’ll notice that Cellin’s flat surface is punctuated by dormant volcanoes. It’s from these geological features that the moon got its name. Cellin, the youngest sibling in A Gift for Baba, is known for simmering with anger over the slightest offense. Thankfully, the moon’s volcanoes aren’t as easily agitated as its namesake. There have been no known eruptions since the moon was first visited, but scientists continue to carefully monitor it for volcanic activity. Visitors are warned to be careful as the steam that vents from the surface’s many rifts and geysers is extremely hot.

Currently, hydroponic outposts comprise the main industry on Cellin. Both Terra Mills and Rayari have established outposts to experiment with the moon’s soil, in the hopes of discovering new ways to use it to their advantage. The unique tart, purple berry that was introduced into Golden Bran cereal last year was developed exclusively at the Terra Mills outpost here!

Daymar (Stanton 2b)

Daymar’s mountainous surface creates wonderful, often wide canyons ideal for exploring on an open canopy craft. But be careful, as many of the canyons twist and turn in ways that may take you in a different direction than you expected. That’s a fitting outcome though, since the moon was named for the middle brother in A Gift for Baba, who has a penchant in the story for getting lost.

Crusader’s second moon has the most resources of the three, which attracted the attention of Shubin, ArcCorp and independent miners, all of whom still have established operations on the planet. Yet thanks to the isolated nature of the moon’s valuable ore and Crusader’s protective policies, most of Daymar remains untouched by industry. Visitors are encouraged to take one of the many rover tours that are offered along Dunlow Ridge or out to Wolf Point for some spectacular views of the moon’s geographical features. The higher-end tours will often include picnics with fresh produce grown right on the surface at the Bountiful Harvest Hydroponic farm.

Despite all its beauty, visitors to Daymar should expect to get dirty. The moon is known for its fine sand whipped up by the wind whistling through its canyons. Be prepared to brush yourself off before entering your ship or make peace with the fact that you’ll be finding it everywhere long after leaving.

Yela (Stanton 2c)

The third and final Crusader moon is Yela. The moon’s water-ice crust is why it was named after the oldest sibling in A Gift for Baba, who was known for her cool and calculating manner. You can clearly see this ice crust on certain sections of the moon, while other parts are dominated by a typical mixture of soil and snow. The temperatures are quite bracing here, so plan to bring a thermos of tea or a nip of something stronger to help stay warm.

Yela’s surface has vast mountain ranges that provide spectacular views of the surrounding area. These mountains funnel the cold wind onto the moon’s icy plains and send wisps of snow and ice particles across the sky. Once you look up to track these cold clouds crossing the sky, it’ll be hard to look away.

Encircling Yela is a gorgeous ring made of various particulates and asteroids. Its blueish-green color is particularly apparent once night falls. Plan your visit right to enjoy an unforgettable view of the ring and a brightly illuminated Crusader sitting in the sky.

Finally, open canopy racers flock to the plains of Yela due to its jagged terrain. Companies have seized on this trend by constructing race courses around the moon for people to test their skills. According to some, the colder temperatures help the pilots push their vehicles harder without overheating components, which allows for faster performances. Please note that these courses do not have personnel or facilities on site, so you are racing at your own risk.

Citizens of the Stars

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 13:22
Welcome to Citizens of the Stars, our new weekly program exclusively about you, the Star Citizen Community. Whether through bug reports on the issue council, feedback on the forums, or the creation of content inspired by the game, Star Citizen is only possible because of the community. Citizens of the Stars not only highlights these contributions, but also puts a dev in the hotseat for a round of Quantum Questions, which addresses some fun facts about the dev and game. It’s our Season Finale! Will our final Quantum Questions challenger have what it takes to become the first Quantum Champion? Also: SuperMacBrothers discusses what it’s like having your face scanned into the game.

This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 09:54

Greetings Citizens

Ahhh, exciting times!

Just last week, we sent out our Squadron 42 Official UEE announcement newsletter. If you want to stay in the loop, head to our website on Wednesday and subscribe to all of our future Squadron 42 newsletters to never miss out on exclusive information and updates on the game’s progress.

The biggest event this week will without a doubt be our Around the Verse Holiday Special on Thursday, December 21st. Shake the dust off your Christmas Jumper, put on your fluffy slippers and make yourself comfortable in front of the screen when we go live on Twitch at 12 PM PST/8PM UTC. This unique episode will focus on all things Squadron 42 with the latest updates directly from the developers.

With that, let’s see what’s going on this week:

We’ll jumpstart the week before Christmas with the season finale of Citizens of the Stars. Tune in to find out who we crown as the first Quantum Questions champion. Our Quantum Questions guest this week is Jeremiah Lee. We’ll also welcome SuperMacBrothers, who got his faced scanned during CitizenCon and had to shave his glorious beard as a requirement. Has it grown back yet? Find out here.

On Tuesday, the Lore Team expands on the rich history and lore of Star Citizen. Looking for full immersion in our universe? These posts should be on your to-do list!

On Wednesday, we’ll open the sign-up for the Squadron 42 newsletter, so make sure to enlist! “Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is on hiatus this week and will make a return in the new year!

Thursday. 12PM PST/8PM UTC, you know what to do, right? What more can I say? Join us for the ATV HOLIDAY SPECIAL! o7

We’ll end the week with the latest Roberts Space Industries newsletter and provide a look at what we’ve worked on in our updated Schedule Report!

While the snow started to fall here in Frankfurt, I wanted to wish you a happy holiday season, Citizens. And now:
Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Ulf Kuerschner
Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, DECEMBER 18TH, 2017
            Citizens of the Stars   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19TH, 2017
            Weekly Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20TH, 2017
            Sign-Up for the Squadron 42 Newsletter    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21ST, 2017
            ATV Holiday Special – 12 PM PST/8PM UTC   (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen)
            Vault Update    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22ND, 2017
            Schedule Update   
            Jump Point   
            RSI Newsletter   

Community Spotlight: December 18th, 2017

We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it’s fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here!


The Choice by Bartfresse

When playing around with the camera tool always looks this beautiful: please Bartfresse, do it more often!
Check out the full image on our community hub.

Galactic Historian Lecture: UEE Government Part One by the AstroPub

Galactic Historian is a lore series where Paul breaks down the lore of Space and Sci-Fi games. This episode he’s talking about the UEE Government in part one of a two-part lecture. Take notes, Citizens – there might be a test later on!

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