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Updated: 16 min 14 sec ago

Q&A: Aegis Eclipse

5 hours 42 min ago


Q&A: Aegis Eclipse

Greetings Citizens!

Since the introduction of the Hull Series back in April 2015, every new concept ship reveal has had an accompanying Q&A post, where we spend a couple days collecting questions from you, pass those on to the relevant ship designer, and provide you the best answers we have available at that time.

With the recent addition of Spectrum, we can now allow you to add your vote to the questions you most want to see answered. The questions included below are a combination of those that received the most votes, similar questions that were merged into a single instance, and those we felt we could comfortably answer at this stage in the Aegis Eclipse’s life.

Now that the ship is concept complete, it will enter our development pipeline where many of the answers you see below will be fleshed out, and those missing will be determined and implemented. While it will still be some time before we see the Aegis Eclipse in game, we hope you’re as excited as we are as the game expands with the further development of stealth mechanics for the Star Citizen universe.

As always, a special thanks to Geoffrey Coffin, John Crewe, Todd Papy and Ben Lesnick for their help in answering your questions.

Let’s get to it. -DL

What does “stealth” mean within the Star citizen universe?

Stealth in Star Citizen resolves around being hard to detect via in-game systems, these being primarily radars and scanners. As mentioned previously in the Sabre Q&A, the Sabre and Eclipse are both built from the ground up around the concept of stealth whereas the Hornet Ghost was retrofitted to this mechanic. Not only does the specific hull design of the Sabre and Eclipse provide benefits to reduce their visibility on radar, but they are both equipped by default with Stealth-class items.

The item/component classes we currently have are Military, Civilian, Industrial, Stealth and Competition. Stealth class items of each item type provide the lowest emissions (IR and EM) at the expense of raw output and durability. Other classes will have comparable benefits and weaknesses allowing players to mix and match items to tune their ship’s behavior. Ships like the Eclipse come default with all Stealth class items, whereas the Sabre comes with some Military and some Stealth and the Ghost has Civilian and Stealth. We’ll be discussing the different classes of items in-depth in the future.



It’s said that the Eclipse will bring unique stealth components to the game. Will older stealth ships like the Sabre and Hornet Ghost be updated to include these stealth components, or are they specific only to the Eclipse?

It is very rare that these items are hull locked and currently none of the default items (i.e. power plants and shield generators) are tied to a specific ship such as the Eclipse. As mentioned previously, we have the stealth class of items which provide significant benefits to signature reduction and applicable ships will either come default with these or be able to equip them.



Wouldn’t Size 9 torpedoes in fighters be considered “game breaking” when the Retaliator already has S9 and the Polaris capital ship has S10?

The Eclipse was designed from the start to carry S9’s, the tradeoff is it doesn’t carry much else and is neither very tough, nor agile. It’s not designed to be a dogfighter, but rather a very specialized bomber that wants to approach a target silently, fire its payload, and leave. The Eclipse carries three size 9 torpedoes, and two size 2 ballistic gatling weapons. These larger torpedoes take a while to lock on to smaller ships, and combined with its relative lack of agility, that will mean the Eclipse will have a tricky time trying to use them in a dogfight.



The Eventual $330 Flight ready tag is quite expensive for a single-person ship and given how little detail we have at this stage. What is the intention behind the ship’s design that warrants the high tag that we may be missing at initial glance?

For its size, the Eclipse punches far above its weight class with its ordnance armament. It’s capable of destroying large ships, and causing serious damage to capital ships. Its specialized loadout of stealth equipment and large torpedoes all contribute to its ability to perform this task.

With regards to the announced future price, keep in mind that every Star Citizen concept ship is priced below its component value in the in-game economy. In the past, it was difficult to predict the final price with ships going through significant iterations between the concept and flight ready stages. With the ship pipeline functioning as it does today, we can now provide a solid estimate of future pricing.



Will there be any civilian companies looking to retrofit this military craft’s torpedo ports allowing for stealth cargo running?

A fun idea, but this is not something we’re currently exploring.



Will the Eclipse torpedo bay be modular, so that the ship can be used for other purposes such as electronic warfare?

This is not something currently planned. The Eclipse was designed around this sole purpose, while something like the Vanguard series will be more flexible with its modularity.



Can the Eclipse carry anything other than 3xS9 torpedoes (like for instance a ton of regular missiles or multiples of smaller torpedoes like the S5 carried by the Gladiator)?

Again, the Eclipse is an extremely specialized vessel, designed to excel at its intended task and role, so this is not something currently planned.



What ship hangars will the Eclipse fit into?

It’s a sizable ship, to be certain. While it cannot fit into the Polaris, it should be able to operate snugly out of a Javelin hangar.



Can the Eclipse bomb both air-to-air AND air-to-ground?

If you can lock on to the target, you can attack it with the torpedoes whether it is air-to-air or air-to-ground.



What kind of quantum jumping range can we expect from this ship?

The Eclipse currently sits in-between the Gladiator (essentially a carrier born torpedo bomber) and the Harbinger in terms of range, and is expected to stay around there. It doesn’t currently have a lot of fuel reserves so a single mission is the best plan of attack rather than daisy chaining a few together, where a Retaliator or Harbinger would fare better.



Can a Terrapin pick up the trail of an approaching Eclipse (both in their default configuration) in time to warn a nearby fleet?

It’s possible, but it won’t be easy for either ship. Terrapins are extremely strong at detecting signatures and whilst the Eclipse is very good at having low signatures, it still has one. With a Terrapin in a good location, with an operator on their toes they should be able to detect it but whether they have time to get the message across is a different problem entirely.



What purpose does the Eclipse serve in the civilian market? Can the bay be retrofitted for carrying cargo or data storage modules, or some other use, or is this a dedicated bomber suited for private military contractor use only?

There are no plans for swap-able bays, it is a dedicated bomber with that sole focus.



What are the expected Speed and Agility levels of the Eclipse

The Eclipse is currently planned to be pretty fast (in a straight line), having comparable speed to the Gladius, but it’s also not an agile ship. It’s currently planned to be comparable with the Gladiator for flight agility.



How many Eclipse will it take to take down say a 890 Jump, Polaris or Idris?

As always, we must preface this by reminding everyone that all things are subject to change during game development, but our current thinking about how this should currently play out is:

A pair of Eclipses, going unnoticed attacking an Idris with its shields down and its defense turrets disabled can cripple the ship if they hit in the right areas. Attacking such a large target like this though would be fairly foolish with such a small attack force though once you factor in the overall shields and defensive capabilities of everyone involved. Sub Capital ships however are much more vulnerable to an Eclipse or two, whereas assaulting a capital ship would most likely require a first strike with an Eclipse or two followed by a heavier sustained assault with Retaliators, Gladiators or Harbingers.



Is 2x fixed ballistic S2 really going to hurt anything significant?

While the weapon compliment is only one component in the overall success of any dogfight, similar loadouts on other ships designed for that purpose can often be more effective than on a ship with a specialized focus like the Eclipse. Here, they function more as deterrent, or tool to finish off a crippled target, than an effective fighting loadout. The Eclipse isn’t supposed to be hanging around in a dogfight. This is a specialist ship with a very niche role: to deliver its devastating torpedo payload to unsuspecting targets.



Considering the sensitive nature of this ship, will purchases of this ship be limited in game, like by reputation? Does the UEE try to prevent ships like this from falling into pirate hands?

With the 2947 announcement, we consider the Eclipse to now be ‘for export,’ meaning that it can be sold to select groups outside the UEE military (including you). We anticipate there will be any number of limitations in the game world including both the number of bombers produced at any given time and other factors relating to reputation. It seems unlikely that the UEE would sell bombers directly to known pirates or other criminals, but it’s also easy to imagine other ways for such individuals to acquire military spec’d ships.



How does the Eclipse place among other bombers, specifically in range, speed, maneuverability, armament, survivability, role flexibility, and jump capability?

Range can be a tricky one to quantify, but basing it on duration and distance we see it as follows: Polaris, Retaliator, Harbinger, Eclipse, Gladiator. The first three all have support for long duration trips with on-board facilities while the Eclipse and Gladiator do not.

As speeds will naturally change over the course of development, the current ordering in terms of max SCM speed, going from fastest to slowest in a straight line acceleration, is as follows: Eclipse, Gladiator, Harbinger, Retaliator, Polaris

Maneuverability will be the Eclipse’s “Achilles’ Heel” and is squarely at the bottom of the smaller ships in this trait, with both the Gladiator and Harbinger outmaneuvering it.

Armament is another trait not easily compared straight across against other ships, as it obviously packs a devastating punch with its torpedoes, but once those are gone it’s will be considerably outgunned if you choose to stick around without re-arming. If you intended to hang around after attacking then the Eclipse is not the ship for this and a Gladiator or Harbinger are much more suited to that role. Survivability also comes into play here with the Eclipse being less durable than either the Gladiator or Harbinger, currently expected to have a similar durability to that of a 300i.

Basically, if you use it for it’s intended role, we expect the Eclipse to excel above others, but deviating outside of that the Eclipse will not fare well with its lack of cargo space, a single seat with no interior and limited weaponry. The Harbinger will allow you to maintain a longer time in the ‘verse and the Gladiator will pack a more rounded punch.

To summarize the intended roles between the four bombers (Polaris excluded):

  • The Gladiator is the short range bomber, capable of absorbing and dishing out damage.
  • The Eclipse is the mid range stealth bomber, capable of sneaking behind enemy lines and delivering a high damage strike, but should not stay in combat due to its defensive shortcomings.
  • The Harbinger is the mid to long range endurance bomber, carrying more weapons and armament than the Gladiator and able to take more of a pounding and survive deeper into space, but without the stealth capabilities of the Eclipse.
  • The Retaliator is the dedicated long range bomber, able to carry the most ordnance, the most men and the most weaponry to defend itself via its turrets. It can sustain itself and its crew much deeper in the verse and is ideal for striking targets a long way away. This is a good opportunity to mention that we are well aware of many in the community’s issues with the Retaliator (capacity, turret behavior, layouts, etc) and whilst we can’t commit to changes presently in the short term, it is on our radar and we’ll be reviewing at some point in the future.


Will I be able to purchase a large cloth to keep this covered in my hanger?

While the Historical Truth Act has permitted an unprecedented release of previously-classified UEEN military information (including the existence of the Eclipse bomber) it has NOT authorized any discussion of the Crusader Industries B419-AR Tactical Stealth Utility Tarp (TSUT.) Any discussion of its capabilities or availability should be reported to the nearest Advocacy agent.

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Bugsmashers!

9 hours 40 min ago
Senior Gameplay Engineer Mark Abent addresses a bug that has the shotgun recoiling before its deadly projectiles are fired. Can Mark smash this bug and improve the weapon’s accuracy?

Clean Shot: The Baker Backup

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 21:03
The Baker Backup Start Transmission

Howdy, folks. Craig Burton here, coming through loud and clear with all the important news haulers need to know. This is another edition of Clean Shot.

Fair warning everyone, we’re desperately over capacity on valuable intel this episode. That means Skinny’s detailed assessment of Juno Starwerk’s latest take on their classic Endurance industrial-class power plant might get bumped to our next show. I hate to do it since I know many of you are waiting to hear how this model stacks up against its predecessors, but Skinny’s got a lot to say about the subtle tweaks they made and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna cut him short.

The reason we’re so tight on time today is because, well, Skinny booked us a hell of a show. Funny how that works, huh? I’ll be speaking with military historian Lavern Carlin about the Eclipse, which the UEE revealed last Friday through the Historical Truth Act. Now that we know this stealth bomber exists, and will soon to be in the hands of Citizens, we’ll find out what haulers need to know about its capabilities. That way you can not only stay safe from them, but also maybe even use one of ‘em to your advantage. Remember, the type of ship you hire for a protection run is, I would argue, almost as important as the pilot hired. Now I know there’s different schools of thought on this, but no matter where you stand, we can all agree that it’s important to know what your options are.

But first, let’s turn our attention to the growing brouhaha in the Baker System, where haulers have been reporting a dramatic increase in wait times at the customs stations checking ships coming from Xi’an space into the UEE. Seems there’s been a huge uptick in not only the number of scans but also the depth of the searches being performed. Rumors have been spinning out of control, with some claiming that the increase may be due to a classified security concern while others believe the reasons behind it are entirely political.

Recently, the Senate announced that it had scheduled a vote on HuXa, Imperator Costigan’s proposed Human-Xi’an Trade Initiative, for Tuesday June 6 SET. With that date quickly approaching, seems politicians and experts of all kinds are flocking to spectrum shows to debate the pros and cons of increased trade with the Xi’an. The recent customs issues in Baker have only fueled the flames on both sides of the argument, while some are even saying that the HuXa vote may be the cause of the crackdown in the first place.

Let’s set the potential causes aside for a moment and focus on the effects. With the tightening of Baker’s customs security entering its sixth day, the backup’s been causing all kinds of headaches for haulers across the Empire. Those of you who don’t work Baker might not realize just how vital it is to our trade with the Xi’an. Let me explain it this way. If you’ve got a Hull-E full of valuable ore from a Xi’an mining operation, and you need to get it back into the UEE, there are only three large jump points you can use. Two of them are located in Baker. This has big rig haulers watching their profits evaporate while sitting in long customs lines, and even has people frantically offloading cargo to different ships that can fit through smaller jump points.

This morning there were even reports of CTR stations in a number of systems suffering from fuel shortages and depleted store shelves — all because CTR is owned by the Jysho Corporation, a Xi’an company. The slowdown has forced station owners to seek out local vendors to restock items that would normally come from Xi’an sources.

Here to discuss with us exactly what’s going on is Jasper Grzenda. He’s the spokesperson for Baker’s Public Sector Union Local #1011 and also a Customs Bureau shift supervisor within the system. He’s been in the thick of it for the past few days, and hopefully has some answers for us.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. I know a lot of haulers out there are wondering exactly what’s going on in Baker. What’s the first thing you would tell them?

Jasper Grzenda: First, thanks for having me on, Craig. If you’re a hauler sitting in one of Baker’s long customs lines, then let me apologize for the inconvenience. I can guarantee you that the Customs Bureau agents currently working the jumps to Pallas and Hadur are doing their very best to get you cleared in a timely manner.

Let’s cut to the chase. What’s going on here, Jasper?

Jasper Grzenda: As you mentioned, Baker is an essential part of Humanity’s trade relationship with the Xi’an. Every day we process more ships and cargo going to and from the Xi’an Empire than for any other system. It’s a massive operation with massive responsibilities, chief among them to ensure we don’t let anything in or out of the Empire that shouldn’t cross our border.

Come on, Jasper, there are hardworking haulers who are getting boned because of the sudden and unannounced changes at Baker’s customs stations. You know as well as anyone that haulers carefully plan and time their routes. That’s how we turn a profit. Doubling or tripling time spent waiting in one of Baker’s customs lines has messed with a lot of good people.

Jasper Grzenda: Trust me, I can sympathize, but we all have tough jobs to do. If anyone knows what it’s like to be overworked and underpaid, it’s the good folks of the Local #1011. Traffic through these two customs stations in Baker has increased significantly over the past few years, yet our budget has barely changed. Everyone here’s just trying to do their job with the resources they have.

Guess I’m more curious about the sudden shift in how you’re doing the job. Some trade groups told me that scans and ship inspections have almost tripled over the past few days.

Jasper Grzenda: And yesterday, the Pallas customs station broke its previous record for the total amount of contraband seized in a day. The increased scans might have slowed things down, but you can’t argue with the results.

It’s a silver lining, for sure, but does it really justify this entire mess?

Jasper Grzenda: Craig, I understand your frustration, but, if I can be blunt, you’ve got a bit of narrow vision here. If you were in system, I’d invite you to the Pallas customs station to see all the illegal goods and contraband we confiscated yesterday. The crates of undeclared weapons destined for who knows where. The shelves overflowing with e’tâm that otherwise would be poisoning our youth and addicting them to a substance that we know next to nothing about. Is tackling these problems not worth the minor headaches being caused by the backlog?

Hey, I’ve got no problems with the increased enforcement, only that its execution was so poorly managed. You guys dramatically increased the scan and search rates without bringing in additional agents to support it. Why would you do this if you didn’t have the staff to handle it?

Jasper Grzenda: Because if we waited until we were properly staffed, then it’d never happen. “Extra resources” and “overtime pay” are not part of the Custom Bureau’s vocabulary. Our budget is already stretched dangerously thin, so bringing in extra agents to expedite the backup just isn’t an option.

So why do it at all?

Jasper Grzenda: We’ve been told many times that a lack of personnel and resources is not an excuse for failing to do our jobs. So we’re doing our damn jobs, Craig.

I just find the timing of all this to be very interesting.

Jasper Grzenda: How so?

Well, this stricter enforcement policy went into effect shortly after the Senate announced a date to vote on HuXa.

Jasper Grzenda: Just because two things happen around the same time doesn’t mean they’re related.

But the Public Sector Union Local #1011, of which you’re a member, has some skin in that game, doesn’t it? The group has been extremely vocal in their opposition to the bill. That’s a fair characterization, right?

Jasper Grzenda: Absolutely. We have to be.

Why’s that?

Jasper Grzenda: Because Baker lacks Senate representation, so there’s no one on Earth advocating directly for us. That makes it our job to bang the drum about what’s not working around here.

So, you can see how trouble at the Baker customs stations right now might draw attention to your cause and, say, get you booked on shows like this to push your agenda.

Jasper Grzenda: I’m only here ’cause you guys commed us.

Because of all the trouble your Customs Bureau is causing over what looks like a political dispute.

Jasper Grzenda: See, this is one thing that rubs me the wrong way about the rest of the Empire. No one pays much mind to Baker until an issue arises. Well, let me just say that if HuXa passes, you all will have to get used to this.

Used to what?

Jasper Grzenda: Long lines going to and from Baker. Some experts are predicting traffic through the system could as much as double if HuXa passes.

Aren’t there measures in the bill that would address and ease your budgetary issues?

Jasper Grzenda: Yeah, but no more than a nine or ten percent increase. To put that in perspective, that much would barely cover the cost of getting us out of this current situation. It’s not even close to what we need to handle the kinds of traffic increases we’re talking about. If HuXa passes, then this might very well be the new normal, and haulers should probably adjust their timetables accordingly.

Then we’ll just have to find other solutions. Bonded cargo. Trusted hauler programs. Hell, might even be a good time for us to look harder for a few more large jumps into Xi’an space. But after being in this business as long as I have, longer lines or not, all I know is trying to limit trade and commerce is never a good solution.

We need to take a quick commercial break. There’s more with Jasper Grzenda around the bend, so keep Clean Shot locked in.

This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 15:52

Greetings Citizens

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Things are business as usual around here as everyone is focused on preparing for the imminent release of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0. Last Friday, after a series of… mischievous leaks, we began a new concept sale for the Aegis Eclipse. You can find out everything you need to know about this now declassified ship here.

With that, let’s take a look at this week.

On Tuesday, the Lore Team will release another installment in one of their many continuing series. The Star Citizen Universe is rich with history and a past/future worth exploring. If you find yourself easily immersed in a good story, fascinated by the design of Star Citizen, or just hungry for more information, these posts are made for you.

On Wednesday, Mark Abent is back for another episode of “Bugsmashers!” Have you ever wondered what goes in to finding/fixing a bug you may have encountered in the Star Citizen universe? If so, this show is not one to miss!

And if you are interested in learning more about the Aegis Eclipse, Wednesday also brings us a detailed Q&A which covers the questions you have been asking on Spectrum.

On Thursday, Around the Verse checks in with Foundry 42 Frankfurt for an in-depth look at what the studio has been up to in the last month. I won’t speak for the rest of you, but something about Brian Chambers always gets me excited!

As a reminder, there will be no Happy Hour this Friday, as we are on a bi-weekly schedule now, but we’ll see you next week.

That’s all for this week, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

Tyler “Zyloh” Witkin
Lead Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, MAY 22ND, 2017
            Citizens of the Stars   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, MAY 23RD, 2017
            Weekly Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, MAY 24TH, 2017
            Bugsmashers!   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Aegis Eclipse Q&A THURSDAY, MAY 25TH, 2017
            Around the Verse   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) FRIDAY, MAY 26TH, 2017
            Vault Update
            RSI Newsletter

Community Spotlight: May 22nd, 2017 – Music Citizen

This week’s theme is “Music Citizen,” highlighting some of the original compositions and music videos from the Star Citizen community. Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing your content here!


Big Bennys Noodles Music Video by Z-A-L

Z-A-L has created his own rendtion of the very popular Big Bennys Music Video.

Full Video

“Space Fleas” by jakemartins

“Space Fleas” is the second video production of Mustang Intergalactic, a YouTube channel highlighting J Matt Wallace, Jake Wallace, and Brian B Barrett’s desire to create music and music videos based on community interaction and lore surrounding Star Citizen.

Full Video


Welcome to the Verse by LilAdamXD

A composition written by LilAdamXD on how they imagine the game will be once the game is fully released, and this is sort of a musical take on that feeling of excitement and awe.

Full Video

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Citizens of the Stars

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 12:47
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. In the Citizen Spotlight is Streamer Captain Richard and his recent feature on the front page of Twitch playing Star Citizen. After that, don’t miss Associate Writer Adam Wieser in the Quantum Questions hot seat!

Remember, many of the questions used are taken from our Star Citizen Subscribers in this thread here. Don’t forget to add yours for inclusion in future episodes, vote for the ones you want to see answered, and remember to keep them short and concise if you want your best chance of having them answered in under two minutes.

The links for this week’s content are below:

Jump Point Now Available!

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 18:00
Jump Point Now Available!

Attention development subscribers: the April 2017 issue of Jump Point is now available in your subscription area. This month’s Jump Point features the development of Aegis Eclipse! That, plus a look at Ascension Astro, a visit to the Gliese System, behind the scenes of Spectrum and an all-new chapter a Star Citizen serial from lead writer Dave Haddock! Grab your copy today.

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

Aegis Eclipse: Stealth in the Shadows

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 13:08
Read Full Terms Project Eclipse Armed with multiple torpedoes and state-of-the-art scan diffusing technology, the Aegis Eclipse has been the UEE’s best, and least known, protection. It is the Navy’s top choice in border defense and a preferred first-strike weapon against the Vanduul. Now, in an effort to increase transparency with the Xi’an, the Eclipse is declassified and available for purchase by Citizens. Achieving Stealth In 2930, the UEE Navy was in need of a more advanced stealth bomber to use specifically in defensive operations against the Vanduul. Military casualties were mounting in cases of direct combat with Vanduul capital ships. The Navy needed a ship that could strike quickly before the enemy detected their presence or soften up strategic targets in anticipation of a larger attack. Aegis Dynamics won that bid. The arrowing design, massive firepower, and cutting-edge clandestine technology of their design easily surpassed the competition. The Eclipse’s advanced hull system is adaptable to environments thanks to multiple wing configurations that adjust to space or atmospheric flight. After years of extensive field tests, the Aegis Eclipse went into service in 2932. Since then, the Eclipse has served as the unseen sentinel of our borders. Now, it is time to recognize the Eclipse’s many years of service. About The Concept Sale The Aegis Eclipse is available for purchase at a Concept Sale price of $275 and War Bond price of $250. By purchasing this ship, you are supporting the development of Star Citizen. Every dollar earned from Concept Sales goes directly towards creating the Best Damn Space Sim Ever. The developers at CIG appreciate your support. War Bond SKUs include a unique serial number, an additional in-game poster featuring the Project Eclipse logo and an alternate ship skin featuring an alternate ice blue-and-matte black livery used by the UEEN. Funding from War Bond sales goes directly to the ‘war effort’ with funding going to support and enhance the game development process. The Eclipse sale will run through Friday, June 2nd. The loaner ship will be the Aegis Retaliator bomber, with additional access to the Anvil Gladiator for use in Arena Commander. The flight-ready price for the Eclipse is expected to be $330. Aegis Eclipse Sale War Bond Issuing Serial Stamps 1-100 The Eclipse Unveiled The secret is out! Discover why the Aegis Eclipse is the UEE Navy’s premier stealth bomber. Open the Magazine or Download Click To Read CLASSIFIED IMAGES

About The Concept Sale


In addition to the Aegis Eclipse offers above, we are also making several discount packages available. These packages are themed to match the Eclipse, providing you access to other bombers, escort fighters or even the entire 2947 Aegis lineup.



New Component Category

With the reveal of the Eclipse, a new category of ship items have been introduced: the Stealth component. For the Eclipse, the Power Plant, Engines, Thrusters, Cooler and Shield Generator utilize Stealth components to allow the Eclipse the greatest specialization in this regard. Like other categories, these Stealth components operate on an A to D scale, with A being the best in class.

Disclaimer

Remember: we are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The funding generated by sales such as this is what allows us to include deeper, non-combat oriented features in the Star Citizen world. All ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the final persistent universe launches.

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Around the Verse

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 12:14
Sandi Gardiner and Forrest Stephan preview the Aegis Eclipse and share an in-depth look at game lighting. The Los Angeles studio checks in with their monthly update.

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

Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:54
Adam Wieser travels to the Nemo System and dishes all the drama over when the system was discovered.

Remember that you can always explore the Star Citizen Universe yourself in our web-based Ark Star Map.

HISTORICAL TRUTH ACT: SHIP REVEAL???

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 17:09
ZERO-G GEAR HEADS ZERO-G GEAR HEADS
FORUMS > MILITARY SPACESHIPS > RUMORS HISTORICAL TRUTH ACT: SHIP REVEAL???

Posted: 2947.05.09, 15:24 SET

Word around the campfire is that the UEE is prepping another big release of information through the Historical Truth Act. Right now, no one’s confirming what will be included, but there’s a ton of speculation that a super-secret ship is going to be part of it.

Can anyone here confirm or deny what I’ve been hearing? I’m just dying to know what kind of awesome tech the Navy has been sitting on. With all these near mil-spec ships flying around thanks to Militia Mobilization Initiative, you’d expect the UEEN to have a few more surprises up their sleeves, right? Got to have some way to keep us rabble in check =)

-TurretMasterBlaster

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Posted: 2947.05.09, 16:11 SET

I heard this too, TMB! I’m dying to know what beast the Navy’s been sitting on all these years. Fingers crossed for some Messer Murder Monstrosity.

Can’t wait to find out!

-LastSquad333

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Posted: 2947.05.09, 21:54 SET

if theres a new ship reveal coming soon through HTA, i guarantee that its an aegis ship. they were basically like messers personal designers.

-KimzAllRight

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Posted: 2947.05.10, 02:36 SET

Wow! How cool is it that Imperator Costigan checks these forums. I mean, who else in the entire UEE has the authority to confirm an Aegis ship will be a part of the Historical Truth Act reveal without facing reprisals for revealing classified information?

-SirFrancis

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Posted: 2947.05.10, 02:38 SET

its called speculating. thats like the hole point of this thread. if you dont like it, go hang out somewhere else.

-KimzAllRight

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Posted: 2947.05.10, 02:41 SET

Speculation is fine, I’m just sick of everyone coming in here trying to act like they know something. If you’re going to say it’s an Aegis, how about some proof?

( Also, it’s ‘whole point,’ not ‘hole point.’ S/NS. Total grammar fiend. )

-SirFrancis

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Posted: 2947.05.10, 20:05 SET

Speaking of Costigan!

Don’t know if any of you watch Showdown, but they had him on and I think he mentioned the ship.

< QUOTE >

COSTIGAN: What I can say is that a number of long classified military projects, including the rumored Project Eclipse and Operation Deadbolt, will be retired and details released through the Historical Truth Act.

< /QUOTE >

Anyone know what these secret projects are? Is one of them the ship?

-DanceSoFine

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Posted: 2947.05.10, 23:41 SET

Actually, if the big reveal is Project Eclipse, I may know what it is …

I can’t say too much, but I work at a data center that does storage for some big projects doing archival clean up. There was some poorly shot classified naval footage that was labeled Eclipse that I did a scrub on recently.

Had this old Naval base out in the middle of nowhere on Hyperion. I looked it up and technically, it’s ‘decommissioned,’ and it definitely looks that way, but I think they have it classified that way so no one has a reason to stop by.

Anyways, the footage looks like handheld vid. There must have been a helluva dust storm when they shot it because even after cleanup the frame wasn’t steady at that distance. From what I could make out, the ship definitely didn’t match any ship I know about. The front tail of the vid said UEEN Bomber Command, so my guess is they caught someone filming their secret bomber and confiscated the footage.

Sorry I can’t show you the vid. I would, but I’m pretty sure I’d lose my job …

-BomberBoy2783

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Posted: 2947.05.11, 07:41 SET

Woah! Sweet!

What’s this thing look like?

-TurretMasterBlaster

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Posted: 2947.05.11, 08:22 SET

Yeah, what an awesome totally not made up story! /s

First Kimz and now you, BB2783. This forum has turned into bullshit.

If this vid really exists, I’ll give you my 2783 Tali. It’s fairly obvious that you don’t already have one. If you did, you wouldn’t have such a gauche handle as “BomberBoy2783.”

-SirFrancis

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PRIVATE MESSAGE

Recipients: SirFrancis
Posted: 2947.05.11, 10:40 SET

It’s on SF! You have no idea who you’re messing with. Just did a little digging on you, Nathan, and confirmed that you have a 2783 Tali registered to you. Now I’m set on proving you wrong.

You’re right about one thing, though. I don’t have a 2783 Tali. Just a 2550! Your ship is gonna look so good in my hangar soon.

One thing. If I show you this footage you got to promise that it stays between us. My ass would be toast if anyone back at work could trace it back to me.

-BomberBoy2783

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PRIVATE MESSAGE

Recipients: BomberBoy2783
Posted: 2947.05.11, 13:05 SET

Oh, look who learned how to hire an infoagent to dig up basic intel on someone? I can’t believe you’re actually putting effort into this. Sure I promise not to show it to anyone. Especially since it doesn’t exist. At this point, I’m fully expecting you to try and pass off some shitty vid with a model ship in it as the real deal.

-SirFrancis

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PRIVATE MESSAGE

Recipients: SirFrancis
Posted: 2947.05.14, 05:39 SET

Bet you thought I’d gone away, didn’t you?

Took a bit of elbow grease, but look what I managed to grab from the office!


Now that I’ve produced the vid, you’ve gotta produce the Tali. I’ve got a few associates that are familiar with the 2783s. Let me know when I should send them by. If you don’t schedule a time by tomorrow, then I’ll have them show up unannounced. The choice is yours.

-BomberBoy2783

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PRIVATE MESSAGE

Recipients: SirFrancis
Posted: 2947.05.15, 15:55 SET

Asshole! How could you release the vid!

Don’t think you won’t pay for this …

-BomberBoy2783

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PRIVATE MESSAGE

Recipients: BomberBoy2783
Posted: 2947.05.16, 07:44 SET

Whoops … I wonder what happened. Did that vid you steal suddenly appear all over spectrum?

That’s tough luck on your part. Didn’t your mom ever teach you not to trust strangers?

-SirFrancis

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This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:32

Greetings Citizens

Today we are releasing another episode of Citizens of the Stars, our weekly show dedicated to all of the amazing content creators in the ‘Verse. Our Spotlight guest is Alysianah, a long-time game blogger who has a couple different shows on YouTube. After that, ship designer Josh Coons tries his luck at becoming Quantum Question champion. Find out of he is successful by watching the video here

On Tuesday, tune in for the regular Comm-Link Lore update. This time, they’re going to be talking all about [OFFICIALLY REDACTED AT THE REQUEST OF UEEN BOMBER COMMAND.] As you can tell, you won’t want to miss it!

On Wednesday, Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy returns! Writer Adam Wieser travels to the Nemo System and dishes all the drama over when the system was discovered.

On Thursday, Eric Keiron Davis is back to give you an update from the LA Studio on Around the Verse, our flagship weekly broadcast where we showcase the latest in Star Citizen’s continuing development.

To wrap up the week, we have a day jam-packed full of excitement! To start, Happy Hour Gamedev invites Josh Herman to create another creature live with your input, but only if you tune in live at https://twitch.tv/starcitizen. If you remember the last time Josh was on Happy Hour Gamedev, then you already know this is not one to miss!. We also have a top secret Vault Update and new issue of Jump Point exclusively for Subscribers.

That’s all from me this week, I’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

Tyler “Admiral Sloth” Nolin
Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, MAY 15TH, 2017
            Citizens of the Stars   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, MAY 16TH, 2017
            Weekly Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, MAY 17TH, 2017
            Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) THURSDAY, MAY 18TH, 2017
            Around the Verse   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) FRIDAY, MAY 19TH, 2017
            Happy Hour Gamedev   (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen))
            Vault Update
            Jump Point
            RSI Newsletter

Community Spotlight: May 15th, 2017 – Machinima Citizen

This week’s theme is Machinima Citizen,” highlighting some of the beautiful short stories and movies in Star Citizen Alpha 2.6. Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing your content here!

Visit the Community Hub




A Good Friend by Sonic_Temples

Part 3 of the series follows Captain and K.A.R.L. during the good times and the bad at the VFG in this dark narrative.

Full Video

The Creature From Outer Yela by deadweight

Space is a scary place when you are flying solo, and stranded with no hope of rescue. Nothing can prepare you for… The creature from outer Yela!

Full Video


Fight and Flight Fan Trailer by TheSamon

TheSamon creates a fan trailer for Star Citizen utilizing some historical footage to remind us of Humanity’s journey to the stars.

Full Video

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Citizens of the Stars

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:37
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. In the Citizen Spotlight is Youtuber Alysianah Noire and her two fan shows, Casual Citizen & Star Citizen Nightbus. Don’t miss Josh Coons in the Quantum Questions hot seat!

Remember, many of the questions used are taken from our Star Citizen Subscribers in this thread here. Don’t forget to add yours for inclusion in future episodes, vote for the ones you want to see answered, and remember to keep them short and concise if you want your best chance of having them answered in under two minutes.

The links for this week’s content are below:
  • MVP:

Darjanator and the Mark Hammil in Gladius MFD

Monthly Studio Report: April 2017

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 13:25
Monthly Studio Report: April 2017

Greetings Citizens!

Welcome to our April Monthly Report! Below you’ll find a compilation of the ATV studio updates. You can easily find out what the developers in Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Austin, and the UK have been up to for the past four weeks in both written and video form. And the studio update cycle starts all over again next with the LA offices. Check it out on ATV!

CIG Los Angeles

CLOUD IMPERIUM: LOS ANGELES



ENGINEERING

Soon, all new ships will have a Heat and Power component now that the team has finished designing pipes and begun implementing their basic structure. This will manage the flow of respective elements to allow individual component contribution to ship behavior. For example, coolers now contribute to how much heat the system can handle, rather than being statically defined by the heat sink. The old system in the new ships is being replaced with this new management system.

After this is done, the team must implement the minute details of each component influencing one another. For example, coolers not only affect the overheat temperature limit, they also offer IR signature masking. Heat sinks will no longer simply define the temperature at which components overheat and shutdown. The heat will ramp up to its desired temperature, rather than being generated instantaneously.

The Purchase Transaction system has been re-implemented with a new replicated function system called Remote Methods. This system will decrease the number of calls to the server, which should make purchasing things a bit more responsive. Next, the team will improve the Try-On mode and the clientside update to persistent data after purchases.

The team is also working on Object Container editing. When creating a gameplay level, the level is built with a combination of Assets and ObjectContainers. Originally, ObjectContainers had to be built in the dedicated ObjectContainer level, which, unfortunately, made the contents of the ObjectContainer only editable in the actual objectContainer level. In other words, when designers are building levels with ObjectContainers, but want to modify the contents of that ObjectContainer, the only way to do that is exit the current level, open the ObjectContainer level, do some tuning, save, export ,and leave. Then, the designer would have to move back to the level. What the team has done now is allowed the designer to edit the contents of a ObjectContainer, save and export all while inside the level. This creates a much better experience for our design team and saves time.

Since the previous update about the ultimate light switch, the Light Group entity also has several new features. Its light state can be changed by Track View, which is very useful for cinematics. It allows for individual directional lights to now rotate with a simple property. This was a process that previously required Flow Graph. Light Groups can now replace the antiquated prefabs that vehicle external lights have been using. Next, the team aims to get Light Groups on a vehicle to rely on the vehicle’s power in order to control all lights as well as interior devices such as doors.

Lastly, the team has focused on the control manager. This system will automatically give authority over items across the game and will allow players to dictate the control of an item and its subitems. In the past, there was a system prototype for vehicles that was hardcoded. This meant that item connections would have to be manually defined by the designer, for instance, a particular seat always controlled a specific set of items.

Now, the control manager will be able to connect to any entity. For example, a designer adds a control manager to a turret and then weapons are added, the turret can then be controlled by an AI module or by an Operator Seat. This can also be added to a vehicle with either an AI module or the operator seat. This framework is universal. It isn’t restricted to weapon systems. If a player wanted to control doors on a space station and there are terminals with an operator seat, it will link to the player and then the player can operate whatever it controls.The control manager will allow for multicrew play, depending on who is in each seat. The team also added this to dataforge so designers no longer have to manually state what each controller does. The system now knows what each control operates. With a set priority, it would manage itself. However, if the designer still wants to, they can give that extra level of control or just let the system function as it wants to.



SHIP ART AND DESIGN

The ship team has completed the whitebox phase on the Anvil Terrapin and moved into greybox phase, which includes final geo on the pilot seat, the cockpit, the main engines, landing gear, and housing as well as basic rigs and animation for some of the features. The team has brought the whitebox into the engine to get it up and flying for testing. The team is working on the RSI Aurora’s cockpit, controls, MFD screens, and sleeping quarters as well as general internal polish, such as poms, decals, and LODs. Meanwhile, the QA team has been testing new ships in the pipeline and starting on the new animation pipeline. Their biggest undertaking is testing the new planetary tech on moons, such as Daymar.



TECH CONTENT

One of the biggest challenges when dealing with multiple asset pipelines is maintaining consistency across every asset. To ensure such consistency, the asset development teams need to create and maintain a shared, unified library. This means the tech art team is constantly evaluating and auditing materials to achieve the best and most efficient result.

Animation is like any other asset. It has a certain memory footprint that needs to be streamed in and out. The DBA, or database of animations, is an optimized animation container comprised of hundreds of animations compressed down to a fraction of their typical size on disk, similar to our Object Container tech, but for animations. Splitting them up logically is important because the speed of streaming will be affected depending on the size of the DBA. For example, a locomotion set can be fairly heavy as it is comprised of hundreds of animations (walking, running, turning, idling, etc.), causing the streaming of a large file to take a few frames. If a character slides prior to the animation beginning, this is an indication that the DBA is too large. So, tech animation developed a tool to create, manage, and sort the animations within DBAs.

This month, engineering, tech art, and DevOps teamed up to automatically output and track errors and warnings associated with certain assets for easy assignment, better visibility, and quicker turnaround. This affects everything from needed fixes to undefined behaviors that could negatively impact the gameplay experience and performance speed. Implementing this tech should alleviate the performance hit from costly asset errors.

With the implementation of Item 2.0, the Tech Content team needed to create a specific loadout editor to handle the characters as they will become fundamentally different than the characters in the base engine. Now that it’s been used in production, there have been some major improvements like new icons, documentation, and general workflow improvements that allow for more developers to get up-to-speed quickly on the usage of this tool. It will also make creating loadouts easier and faster.

They also created a new Skinning Tool to reduce turnaround by taking the CGA format (which is a hierarchy of animated meshes, collisions, and constrained pistons) and turning it into a unified set of skins with LODs that are bound to an animated skeleton with physics. This tool will not only allow for more complex rigging setups and LODs, but also reduce turnaround for skinning complex setups and improve the overall process.



ANIMATION

Since hands tend to be a third of the screen space in a typical first-person shooter, they must be at a higher quality level. An interesting byproduct of unifying the first and third person is that, without a separate asset to represent first-person hands, all character assets must be to the level of a typical first-person shooter arm asset. Meaning, the quality should be to the correct level of fidelity and the hand weights should allow for more accurate animations. The new hand updates done by the rigging team allows for better deformation and drives the eye forward to connect with the weapon, which also lends itself to the use of longer weapons.



TECH ART

A critical feature required for characters is that the weapons move to their designated positions accurately when players switch armor. Tech Art worked within the confines of the skeleton extension system to develop an override technique that utilizes the correct helper positions based on the asset. This means attachments will now inherit positions in real time as armor pieces are attached and detached.

Also, in terms of attachments, the most complex character to date is the Heavy Marine. A fully equipped Heavy Marine has the most physical attachments, or weapons, than any of our other characters. This presented some unique challenges in trying to fit four grenades, eight magazines, two medpens, two gadgets, one side arm, and two weapons onto a single character.



CHARACTER TEAM

The character team is making solid progress across handfuls of different outfits, uniforms, and aliens. The OMC undersuit has completed its high poly pass, making it ready for in-game mesh and texturing. Our Heavy Outlaw has completed its in-game mesh and will move into texturing, rigging and implementation. In Squadron 42, the team is working on major characters to minor background roles. The Marine BDU has moved through texturing and onto its final stages. A medical rep character has finished up her high poly phase and will move to in-game modeling. Concepts for the Xi’an and Banu are near completion. Our newest quest givers, Ruto and Miles Eckhart, will be in-game soon.



NARRATIVE

The narrative team dipped their toes in a lot of different pools in the last month. On the alien front, they worked with the design and AI teams in Frankfurt to brainstorm Vanduul behaviors and delved even deeper into the Banu to flesh out more of the civilization to help with the Defender brochure. Dave and Will also appeared on a Subscriber’s Town Hall to field questions about aliens in general. Otherwise, although there were the usual weekly needs (News Updates, marketing blurbs and Jump Point), the bulk of the time was spent working on 3.0. They synced with the UK designers to talk out mission types and the art teams to help figure out ways to dress the various surface outposts that you’ll find around the moons.

CIG Austin

CLOUD IMPERIUM: AUSTIN



DESIGN

The team has made progress implementing Commodity Trading in 3.0. Since several things need to come together on the tech side first, the programmers worked furiously on the Shopping Code Rewrite, the Commodity Kiosk, and Ship Persistence so Commodity Trading can be possible. Also for 3.0, the designers finished the first batch of usable requests for the first round of shops. These are created so the 4 required disciplines (Design, Animation, Tech Art and System Design) understand each usable’s intended purpose and functionality. Once all the required assets are created, they will come back for design to do the final hookup. Also, the first mission giver experience is being plotted for 3.0. Getting Miles Eckhart, who you met in last year’s Gamescom demo, into the game is the primary focus while work on Ruto, our criminal fixer, is also proceeding nicely. The team worked on giving Eckhart a constant stream of missions and enabling players to earn reputation and higher tier mission options. Lastly, the team did a breakdown of the Levski landing zone, which included how players will smuggle cargo into the city; the placement of the mission givers and their content; the factions within Levski; and the political aims of these factions.



ART

On the Art side, the team is completing the damage model pass on the Cutlass Black rework. By far, the most time-consuming part during this phase is creating the intricate trellis work on the parts that get blown off, like the wings and the body. This requires working closely with Tech Art to make sure the ship breaks apart and receives surface hull damage in the correct areas. Once we complete the damage phase, all that’s left to make are the LODs.

The team also worked on the lighting for one of the Squadron 42 stations and are also in process of converting existing setups to use the new light group system. This system will allow a much greater degree of control for the look of a room under different gameplay circumstances – such as when the power is on or off, when emergency lighting has been activated, or when gravity has been disabled. All of these changes will not only add a dynamic quality to the lighting but also make the environments feel responsive to player input. Initial testing has begun on a new volumetric fog solution, which lets every light cast volumetric fog, with the hope that it will allow many more high-quality atmospheric effects.



PU ANIMATION

The PU Animation Team updated all the existing usable animations to the new robust system. This will save on memory footprint and create a larger number of unique animations more quickly. The team also did a quick pick up shoot to capture lifting crates of different sizes from different heights, operating door controls, and various other transition animations. They also worked on picking up two handed objects as part of the Looting system. This allows more object interaction in-game and opens the possibility for more missions and activities. If a player sees a box on the ground and wants it, they will be able to pick it up, carry it back to their ship, and put it in their cargo hold for transport back to their hanger.



SHIP ANIMATION

Ship Animation wrapped up the reworked version of the Drake Cutlass, as well as new Zero-G enter-exit animations for the Drake Dragonfly. They also improved the cockpit experience by adding hit reactions, button presses, and updated cockpit layouts.



ENGINEERING

The Backend Services Engineering team has been bringing Diffusion online. The more trivial services, such as Friends, Analytics, Authentication, and Presence, were converted from legacy architecture to fully Diffusionized services running with Ooz. Next, we will start to convert larger and more complex services like Persistence Cache, Game Server Management/Matchmaker (GIM), and Persistence Database. These services will be broken up into smaller micro-services to meet performance, scalability, and availability standards. The Game Server and Client are very close to being Diffusionized, which will close the communication gap between the backend and front-end. In addition, the system is being optimized using a technique called Router Biasing. This allows the team to apply advanced bandwidth and control bandwidth techniques between service types in the Diffusion network.



DEVOPS & IT

This month, the DevOps and IT teams completed a project to expand the build system by 50%. This project is an important part of the build and deployment pipeline and the goal of this upgrade was to fully isolate and expand the try-build system. This will lead to much faster check in times for the engineering team and improve overall stability and performance of the builds in general.



QA

QA’s focus in early April was testing 2.6.3 to get it out to the players. They helped with multiple PTU pushes that led to 2.6.3 going Live. After the push, the team spent a lot of time supporting the Live build before shifting full-time to test the Game Dev branch. This has been both to stabilize the branch and to begin more rigorous testing and preparation toward 3.0. Some of the items being tested include a number of new ships, in-depth sweeps of some procedural planet environments for bugs, testing megamap improvements, new implementations for player interactions, item 2.0 conversions, movement system refactors, and new field of view controls. The development teams have been lining up new documentation and data for QA to polish up to ensure they are ready to jump on new content as it comes online. One of our testers worked directly with the Austin Animation team to clean up new mocap files for the development teams. Several other team members have been working with the Frankfurt QA team for in-depth testing of new and updated engine tools, ensuring that the new tools will function so designers can better implement and create content.



PLAYER RELATIONS

The Player Relations team was excited to spend a full week with the Turbulent team working on Spectrum improvements and focusing on how we can better improve the new player experience. We’ve begun work on revamping many areas of our service, and started the process of adding headcount to support our ever-growing community. Lastly, of particular relevance to 3.0, the Player Relations team has started adding new Evocati and updating our PTU waves.

Foundry 42 UK

FOUNDRY 42: UK



SPRINTS

One of the big advances this past month has been with the player interaction system. Further improvement of the personal inner thoughts system will allow players to select functionality which is not directly tied to a particular object, like selecting an emote or exiting your seat. There will still be a quick select function to access default actions for experienced players. Also, item ports now allow objects to be physically attached to other objects, such as, how a sight is attached to a weapon.

The air traffic controller sprint was set up to figure out how to manage the flow of traffic to a location, in particular, it is responsible for assigning out and reserving a landing pad when a player wants to land, as well as freeing up that landing pad once they’ve landed and cleared the area. Conversely, this system will deal with reserving a landing pad and spawning a ship when the player wants to take off. The initial stages of the implementation are now underway and the team worked on the underlying structure of how the system works.

The functionality on the Character Status system is almost finished, which included bringing the procedural breathing and suit punctures to final implementation. Once this is done, the focus will be getting the system switched on by default in the game.

The team is also working on Pickup and Carry, which is a bit of a mashup between the player interaction system and the usables sprint. The usables were more concerned with getting the AI to interact with objects in the environment, whereas the player interaction system is more for the player UI to interact with the environment. These two systems are now being brought together so the player can pick up, carry, and then place objects in our universe.

Finally, they completed the initial development of the conversation tech for the subsumption tool, which streamlines the creation of NPC conversations. It has been handed over to the designers to test by setting up different conversations. They’ll provide feedback on any necessary improvements.



AUDIO

The audio team has been working on procedural planet audio processes, including R&D and planning, for systems to map and modify audio automatically. Work continues on the Audio Propagation System, the breathing system, audio for the character status system and also a dialogue tool called Word Up.

For weapons sound effects, the ship weapon ‘tool kit’ is in progress, which includes reload SFX for the Gallant, the weapon tail refactor and multi-positional code support for weapons, which will handle summing up the audio for many of the same weapons mounted to a single ship. For ships, the Prospector audio is done, with work on the Greycat and Cutlass Black still in progress.

The music department worked on the ‘Dynamically looping cinematic ambient music system’ and the ‘addition of tension system.’ They also cleaned up dogfighting music logic, prototyped planetside procedural music, and added more music to the launcher.



GRAPHICS

The graphics team worked on many separate pieces of tech this month. The first is the integration of real-time, lit volumetric fog from Lumberyard, which is going to be a huge boost for the lighting and environment art teams. The render-to-texture feature is progressing quickly, and the initial version is in the UI team’s hands. They will use it to upgrade our 2D UI’s, and create 3D holographic projections to power various holographic displays. The real-time environment probe tech is nearing completion and allows fully dynamic bounced light and reflections on a planet where traditional light-baking techniques are not possible.



VISUAL EFFECTS

The visual effects team have completed a pass at planetary entry VFX. The effect is controlled by speed and atmosphere density values. With this core functionality in place along with advances in the engine trail tech, these two sprints are now being merged. Design and art feedback were being implemented alongside optimization and bug-fixing. In addition, there have been some lightning entity effect improvements, where realistic lightning and other electrical type effects are created. The first pass of vfx for the MISC Prospector, including thruster improvements and damage, has been completed. For weapons, initial work on the Apocalypse Arms Scourge Railgun continues, including the charging and charged effects. Additionally, the weapons team completed the Preacher Distortion Scattergun and the Apocalypse Arms Scattershot. They also made good headway on the Klaus and Werner LMG.



SHIP TEAM

This month the Reclaimer received a lot of attention. On the exterior, work on the hull was completed and the huge claw came together. The team is now splitting the mesh up and getting it ready to use the damage tech. On the interior, the habitation, tech decks, and an enormous salvage processing room have been fully fleshed out. Next on the list is finishing the drone room, engineering deck and cockpit.

Work also began on derelict ships, so that design can lay the groundwork for mission specific scenarios encompassing ships and wreckage.

An initial batch of ships that include the Connie, Caterpillar, Starfarer and Freelancer are being broken down to their structural elements and made to look destroyed. Material work is being done in tandem to give the ships a more deteriorated and aged look. A wreckage component was also worked on. This is a library of nondescript ship parts that will be used to help embed and integrate derelict scenarios into the environments. The Razor artwork is now complete, and the ship has gone through a full damage pass. Some cool work has been done on breaking it into pieces. Currently, LODs are being finalised on the hull, and art is working closely with tech design to get it flight ready.

The Hull C also progressed nicely. The hull mesh is now largely complete, manoeuvring thrusters were incorporated and polish work done to match the interior and exterior. A detail pass adding all the finer details expected is ongoing. The interior went through the block out phase, and is now well into art production. By utilising assets from other MISC ships, spaces can be created quickly and efficiently, with the intention to use these across the Hull series.



ENVIRONMENTS

The environment team alongside the graphics team continues to explore ways to create volumetric forms in space through simulations and initial renders.The surface outposts are finishing their interior visual benchmarks for engineering, habitation and hydroponics. These will then be distributed to the various outpost layouts and configurations. The team continues to set dress, light and polish these interior spaces to build character while also exploring options for navigation and branding based on the lore. The Truck stop space stations have moved into the final art phase, so the team is busy building the shader library and working on example pieces to final quality. As it’s a modular system, the building set is being refined to explore potential build configurations, which will ensure the set is as flexible as possible.



ANIMATION

The animation team worked on cover AI, with the aim to improve all animation assets beyond ‘functional.’ Breathing state improvements are now in line with backend code improvements. This involves getting curve data out of Maya and into Dataforge, which allows for more refined procedural breathing curves. The team started implementing multi-directional takedowns for killing enemies within close proximity of the player. Also, there were further improvements to weapon setup & reloads across the board, including the Devastator shotgun, Arrowhead sniper rifle, Gallant laser rifle, and P8-SC ballistic SMG As well as melee improvements for pistol and stocked weapons.

Finally, the Derby Foundry team were busy with face and body animations for our 3.0 Mission Givers and handed over 500 facial animation files that are now ready to be implemented in Squadron 42. The Motion Capture team has tracked and solved almost 1000 new body animations for various characters within the Persistent Universe.The team also worked on new facial animations for shooting guns. Animation Director Steve Bender has been a great source of inspiration, so expect new and improved faces soon.

Foundry 42 DE

FOUNDRY 42: DE



ENVIRONMENT ART

The Environment Art team fleshed out the different procedural terrain elements of Delamar, which is mostly covered with mountainous shapes.When placing the Levski landing zone onto the planet, there were a few challenges such as: What’s the best workflow to create the large borehole in front of the landing zone and the roads leading up to it, and what specific elements are needed to make the station blend smoothly with the terrain? The exterior of Levski had a few changes made to it, such as integrating garages on the lower levels so players can make an approach with ground vehicles. The team also made progress on the mining structures in and around the borehole to give them a more functional feeling and a polish pass. There were also some final touches done to the moons to differentiate them from each other.



VFX

Work moved forward as the team collaborated with the engineers to flesh out the tools and tech required for the procedural planets. Progress was made on the manual setups required to spawn the effects in engine, and moons are slowly taking on their own subtle personalities.



CINEMATICS

The team’s primary focus continued to be performance capture scenes across numerous Squadron 42 chapters. The current priority are story scenes on board the giant Shubin Archon facility, so the level designers and artists can finalize the Shubin environments. In addition, the team edited a big sequence for the middle of the story and progressed with setting the vista for a major story event during the opening of the game.



TECH ART

The Tech Art team performed R&D regarding foot constrain locomotion. The end goal is to get the feet to properly plant on the ground with each step, to the give the character a true sense of weight, at all speeds and angles. There was work on some skinning tasks to widen the range of character customization. Collaboration with the weapons team continued, both on Tools to help programmatically spot errors in the pipeline, as well as rigging for new and updated weapons.



SYSTEM DESIGN

The System Design team progressed on the Actor Status system. It now incorporates player breathing, suffocating, stamina, g-forces, drinking, injuries, etc. Other work included: subsystems for suits getting punctured in combat, the ability to patch damaged suits, and recharge oxygen tanks.

The usable systems reached full production status and is now being mass produced for both S42 and PU. Once implemented into the levels, these will make the world feel so much more alive as the AI will be able to interact with almost any item in the world. The system is incredibly flexible from simple actions such as an AI leaning on a wall to complex ones like the opening of a service locker, accessing the power supply item inside, inspecting an item inside the power supply, removing a broken item and replacing it with a new one, and restarting the power supply. The system allows either the player or AI perform those actions, or have both players and AI working on the same usable together.

On the social side of things, the design for the Spectrum game integration is being finalized. This will allow players to access core Spectrum functions inside the game, like party creation and management, chat, friend’s list, organizations, etc. The goal is to keep the majority of the stuff available in the Spectrum app, while the core functionality needed for minute to minute gameplay remains available directly in game.



LEVEL DESIGN

The Level Design team finished their design pass on the Surface Outpost, as the Art Team worked on its modular system. Levski is now being integrated into the procedural version of Delmar. An Upper Lobby was created, which will connect the Levski interior to the planetary surface via airlocks and serve as a place for a future possible air rail to outlying landing areas. Garages were implemented on the surface so people can spawn or park their vehicles. We also added new approaches to the Levski site itself, with roads and parking zones. Additional custom work that included planning out the elevator network and worker’s areas, and adding administration offices, was also done.



QA

The QA team began testing the new Stanton System persistent universe level this month with a focus on finding any major gameplay blockers. The entire process of connecting to this new PU level has changed, which led to additional tweaks and testing done to the in-house server launcher tool called Catapult. With Port Olisar now in the Stanton System level, traveling between the different moons, landing on them, getting out, etc, is being tested. In the Subsumption Editor, the new Conversation system was recently added and was available for an initial round of testing. All issues encountered were entered in JIRA and sent over to our Austin studio to be investigated.

The QA team also worked with the internal system designers to fix up the AI Basic Feature Test level and add behaviors for all AI NPCs, so that their designated tests could be run. The Feature Tester is kicked off whenever new code changes are submitted to the Game-Dev stream. The AI Basic FeatureTest level catches any AI related issues that could potentially be caused by a code submission. The team also further expanded QA’s depth of testing with the Particle Editor. New VFX test cases were created and added to the Editor checklist. These tests will continue to be maintained as additional feedback is gathered from other technical testers and the team.



LIGHTING

The lighting team supported the upcoming 3.0 release of the moons Celin, Yela, and Daymar. There’s been a particular focus on the visual quality of the surface outposts for 3.0 and all subsequent surface outpost variations. The first stage of our new Light Group system is being implemented, which will alter the lighting and mood of a surface outpost based on various states like low power, emergency, or hazardous conditions.



AI

The ship AI team refactored the Movement system to unify the movement pipeline between NPC’s and Ships. This enables the NPC’s to truly control ships while piloting them, amongst other things. This will ultimately give the AI a finer level of control and a way to contextualize their actions. There were some general improvements to NPC’s AI pathfinding and navigation. At times, AI NPC’s were getting blocked on certain configurations of corners, and this work will resolve that. There were also some fixes for the mesh regeneration to correctly exclude areas that AI should not be able to get to.

Regarding the mission system, the team focused on two different chapters of S42 mission: expanding existing functionalities and adding new ones for the designers. Through dataforge, designers can now define and initialize which default missions play when entering specific game modes. Through the subsumption visualizer, designers are now allowed to overwrite the starting mission for a specific level. This ultimately makes the setup and review of missions much more efficient for the team. Designers can now create a platform, which is a list of items that live within an object container with their known world coordinates at runtime. A platform can be accessed by the mission logic and customized in numerous configurations. For example, an Idris would be a basic platform and, in the game, multiple Idris’s can be setup in different ways: occupied by pirates, another by UEE, etc. All those unique setups would reference the same base platform of the Idris and have their own unique customization layers on top.



WEAPONS

The weapons team has been blocking out new FPS weapons: two Vanduul weapons, four from Kastak Arms, three from Gemini, and one from a new manufacturer. For ship weapons, a first pass on the Knightbridge Arms Ballistic Cannon Size 2 and 3 was completed. This is the first ship weapon through the new pipeline to prep for the modular upgradeable system.



ENGINE

The engine team worked on Object Container streaming to help with the PU and SolEd, which is an internal tool that helps easily build full Solar Systems. Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are developed with C++, a programming language known for high performance. But due to the languages design, large projects can suffer from long compile times if not careful (the time spent translating program code into machine instructions).

Even with careful code design, compile times for a large project tends to increase over time, so the team recently spent time doing house cleaning on existing code. For this, the team had to touch each GameCode file (nearly 2000 files). In the end, it improved the compile time by several minutes, which will have a positive impact company wide.The engine team also spent time further improving the procedural planet tech, including terrain blending, blending of terrain and scattered objects, and improved transition-dissolve-blending.

Turbulent TURBULENT

This month, Turbulent released Spectrum version 0.3.3. This version contains a new type of discussion called nested threads. A nested thread works by stacking replies to an earlier comment directly below it, so users can see a discussion evolve from a specific comment or reply. The first level is sorted by votes, so the most upvoted sub trees are on to top. Nested threads are akin to Reddit discussions.

When a new discussion is started on Spectrum 0.3.3, the user can choose between a nested thread and a chronological thread. This new type of discussion allow for faster and more dynamic threads. The upvote feature is also useful for the community teams to gather questions, among other things. Turbulent is looking into how the nested thread option can be transformed into a view option, so users can decide how to view threads. The team is also improving the unread status as well as adding staff tracking, so users can know from the top of the thread list which ones have a had a staff response. This will be particularly useful for the Ask The Dev forums.

Also included in 0.3.3 is the ability to flag posts for moderation. This works within orgs and the public community. Users can flag a reply, a thread, or message for moderation, so public moderators know to intervene. In your private orgs, anyone who has the moderation permission will receive a notification to investigate. There has been massive progress on mobile support for the keyboard system in 0.3.3 and it should be fixed in the next release.

Currently the team is working on the 0.3.4 release. The main feature of this release will be more refinement on tags in sub forums. These tags will be surfaced at the top level of the community index in the channel list, so that users can jump directly from a global community index to a specific tag within a channel. The second part of this release is that users will be able to bookmark a tag just like it was a channel in itself. This will give the functionality of a sub forum, while keeping the tagging system in place.

The team is also adding more filters and working on the search subsystem, which will power all the “view my own posts,” “view somebody else’s posts,” and let users search by author, role, or dev posts. This feature will also power a new mini profile, so users will be able to just jump directly to a list of posts from a specific player directly from the mini profile.

Virtual lists are also being developed on the back end. Currently, there is an issue rendering long presence lists in the chat lobbies, which causes the backers group to collapse by default in the general forum. Virtual lists will allow for rendering what is visible plus a buffer. This will save on performance and allow everybody to be present in the lobby lists. One of the most reported issues is that users can’t jump directly to a message and then go back in time. Virtual lists will allow this.

In the meantime, the research team from Spectrum is working on the overlay for Spectrum desktop, which is an integration between the game and Spectrum. This means taking the redux application store and moving it to an area where two processes can benefit from it. Then, there can be an overlay that will keep the game and the desktop client synchronized without having to double the resources for it.

There has been some research on PM groups, specifically the ability to refactor the currently 1 on 1 PM system to have more than one person in a group, so users can have a party system for specific a lobby.

Turbulent also visited the Austin studio to presented the new art design for the site revamp. There were also some major infrastructure changes as the platform was moved to a new set of hardware. There was a brief downtime while it was shifted, but everything was quickly back up and running better than before.

Community COMMUNITY

The Banu Defender was launched via a concept presentation. As part of the process, the ship rollout system was upgraded with an improved Q&A, a live Town Hall to discuss the ship, and a focus on the development process in Jump Point and the Vault. Simultaneously, the updated Banu race was revealed in a futuristic ‘National Geographic’ style magazine.

The Star Citizen store added new merchandise, including Star Citizen and Squadron shirts and hats, plus a beautiful new Terra mousepad. Subscribers can purchase exclusive Polaris shirts. Shipping and handling was revamped as a part of these new additions. Now, merchandise ships immediately instead of as a pre-order.

Internally, the team is in the process of supporting a major website update, which includes a long-awaited overhaul to the ship stats page. New player content is also in production thanks to community feedback, which has highlighted how daunting Star Citizen can be to new players.

Tickets for Gamescom went on sale this month and event planning continues. Our community team and staff from Austin attended DREAMHACK, where they met with backers and talked Star Citizen. The con concluded with an appropriately Texas-themed BBQ Bar Citizen. Devs also attended the backer-organized BritizenCon and took part in not one, but two panels! It was an honor to participate and connect with the community.

The team ran four Happy Hour livestreams this month, including a live look at how production schedules are made. Happy Hour will be going on a ‘half hiatus’ for a bit as the team works on the New Player Experience videos, but it will return to its usual schedule in the near future.



Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH…

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April Monthly Studio Report

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 13:25
Monthly Studio Report: April 2017

Greetings Citizens!

Welcome to our April Monthly Report! Below you’ll find a compilation of the ATV studio updates. You can easily find out what the developers in Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Austin, and the UK have been up to for the past four weeks in both written and video form. And the studio update cycle starts all over again next with the LA offices. Check it out on ATV!

CIG Los Angeles

CLOUD IMPERIUM: LOS ANGELES



ENGINEERING

Soon, all new ships will have a Heat and Power component now that the team has finished designing pipes and begun implementing their basic structure. This will manage the flow of respective elements to allow individual component contribution to ship behavior. For example, coolers now contribute to how much heat the system can handle, rather than being statically defined by the heat sink. The old system in the new ships is being replaced with this new management system.

After this is done, the team must implement the minute details of each component influencing one another. For example, coolers not only affect the overheat temperature limit, they also offer IR signature masking. Heat sinks will no longer simply define the temperature at which components overheat and shutdown. The heat will ramp up to its desired temperature, rather than being generated instantaneously.

The Purchase Transaction system has been re-implemented with a new replicated function system called Remote Methods. This system will decrease the number of calls to the server, which should make purchasing things a bit more responsive. Next, the team will improve the Try-On mode and the clientside update to persistent data after purchases.

The team is also working on Object Container editing. When creating a gameplay level, the level is built with a combination of Assets and ObjectContainers. Originally, ObjectContainers had to be built in the dedicated ObjectContainer level, which, unfortunately, made the contents of the ObjectContainer only editable in the actual objectContainer level. In other words, when designers are building levels with ObjectContainers, but want to modify the contents of that ObjectContainer, the only way to do that is exit the current level, open the ObjectContainer level, do some tuning, save, export ,and leave. Then, the designer would have to move back to the level. What the team has done now is allowed the designer to edit the contents of a ObjectContainer, save and export all while inside the level. This creates a much better experience for our design team and saves time.

Since the previous update about the ultimate light switch, the Light Group entity also has several new features. Its light state can be changed by Track View, which is very useful for cinematics. It allows for individual directional lights to now rotate with a simple property. This was a process that previously required Flow Graph. Light Groups can now replace the antiquated prefabs that vehicle external lights have been using. Next, the team aims to get Light Groups on a vehicle to rely on the vehicle’s power in order to control all lights as well as interior devices such as doors.

Lastly, the team has focused on the control manager. This system will automatically give authority over items across the game and will allow players to dictate the control of an item and its subitems. In the past, there was a system prototype for vehicles that was hardcoded. This meant that item connections would have to be manually defined by the designer, for instance, a particular seat always controlled a specific set of items.

Now, the control manager will be able to connect to any entity. For example, a designer adds a control manager to a turret and then weapons are added, the turret can then be controlled by an AI module or by an Operator Seat. This can also be added to a vehicle with either an AI module or the operator seat. This framework is universal. It isn’t restricted to weapon systems. If a player wanted to control doors on a space station and there are terminals with an operator seat, it will link to the player and then the player can operate whatever it controls.The control manager will allow for multicrew play, depending on who is in each seat. The team also added this to dataforge so designers no longer have to manually state what each controller does. The system now knows what each control operates. With a set priority, it would manage itself. However, if the designer still wants to, they can give that extra level of control or just let the system function as it wants to.



SHIP ART AND DESIGN

The ship team has completed the whitebox phase on the Anvil Terrapin and moved into greybox phase, which includes final geo on the pilot seat, the cockpit, the main engines, landing gear, and housing as well as basic rigs and animation for some of the features. The team has brought the whitebox into the engine to get it up and flying for testing. The team is working on the RSI Aurora’s cockpit, controls, MFD screens, and sleeping quarters as well as general internal polish, such as poms, decals, and LODs. Meanwhile, the QA team has been testing new ships in the pipeline and starting on the new animation pipeline. Their biggest undertaking is testing the new planetary tech on moons, such as Daymar.



TECH CONTENT

One of the biggest challenges when dealing with multiple asset pipelines is maintaining consistency across every asset. To ensure such consistency, the asset development teams need to create and maintain a shared, unified library. This means the tech art team is constantly evaluating and auditing materials to achieve the best and most efficient result.

Animation is like any other asset. It has a certain memory footprint that needs to be streamed in and out. The DBA, or database of animations, is an optimized animation container comprised of hundreds of animations compressed down to a fraction of their typical size on disk, similar to our Object Container tech, but for animations. Splitting them up logically is important because the speed of streaming will be affected depending on the size of the DBA. For example, a locomotion set can be fairly heavy as it is comprised of hundreds of animations (walking, running, turning, idling, etc.), causing the streaming of a large file to take a few frames. If a character slides prior to the animation beginning, this is an indication that the DBA is too large. So, tech animation developed a tool to create, manage, and sort the animations within DBAs.

This month, engineering, tech art, and DevOps teamed up to automatically output and track errors and warnings associated with certain assets for easy assignment, better visibility, and quicker turnaround. This affects everything from needed fixes to undefined behaviors that could negatively impact the gameplay experience and performance speed. Implementing this tech should alleviate the performance hit from costly asset errors.

With the implementation of Item 2.0, the Tech Content team needed to create a specific loadout editor to handle the characters as they will become fundamentally different than the characters in the base engine. Now that it’s been used in production, there have been some major improvements like new icons, documentation, and general workflow improvements that allow for more developers to get up-to-speed quickly on the usage of this tool. It will also make creating loadouts easier and faster.

They also created a new Skinning Tool to reduce turnaround by taking the CGA format (which is a hierarchy of animated meshes, collisions, and constrained pistons) and turning it into a unified set of skins with LODs that are bound to an animated skeleton with physics. This tool will not only allow for more complex rigging setups and LODs, but also reduce turnaround for skinning complex setups and improve the overall process.



ANIMATION

Since hands tend to be a third of the screen space in a typical first-person shooter, they must be at a higher quality level. An interesting byproduct of unifying the first and third person is that, without a separate asset to represent first-person hands, all character assets must be to the level of a typical first-person shooter arm asset. Meaning, the quality should be to the correct level of fidelity and the hand weights should allow for more accurate animations. The new hand updates done by the rigging team allows for better deformation and drives the eye forward to connect with the weapon, which also lends itself to the use of longer weapons.



TECH ART

A critical feature required for characters is that the weapons move to their designated positions accurately when players switch armor. Tech Art worked within the confines of the skeleton extension system to develop an override technique that utilizes the correct helper positions based on the asset. This means attachments will now inherit positions in real time as armor pieces are attached and detached.

Also, in terms of attachments, the most complex character to date is the Heavy Marine. A fully equipped Heavy Marine has the most physical attachments, or weapons, than any of our other characters. This presented some unique challenges in trying to fit four grenades, eight magazines, two medpens, two gadgets, one side arm, and two weapons onto a single character.



CHARACTER TEAM

The character team is making solid progress across handfuls of different outfits, uniforms, and aliens. The OMC undersuit has completed its high poly pass, making it ready for in-game mesh and texturing. Our Heavy Outlaw has completed its in-game mesh and will move into texturing, rigging and implementation. In Squadron 42, the team is working on major characters to minor background roles. The Marine BDU has moved through texturing and onto its final stages. A medical rep character has finished up her high poly phase and will move to in-game modeling. Concepts for the Xi’an and Banu are near completion. Our newest quest givers, Ruto and Miles Eckhart, will be in-game soon.



NARRATIVE

The narrative team dipped their toes in a lot of different pools in the last month. On the alien front, they worked with the design and AI teams in Frankfurt to brainstorm Vanduul behaviors and delved even deeper into the Banu to flesh out more of the civilization to help with the Defender brochure. Dave and Will also appeared on a Subscriber’s Town Hall to field questions about aliens in general. Otherwise, although there were the usual weekly needs (News Updates, marketing blurbs and Jump Point), the bulk of the time was spent working on 3.0. They synced with the UK designers to talk out mission types and the art teams to help figure out ways to dress the various surface outposts that you’ll find around the moons.

CIG Austin

CLOUD IMPERIUM: AUSTIN



DESIGN

The team has made progress implementing Commodity Trading in 3.0. Since several things need to come together on the tech side first, the programmers worked furiously on the Shopping Code Rewrite, the Commodity Kiosk, and Ship Persistence so Commodity Trading can be possible. Also for 3.0, the designers finished the first batch of usable requests for the first round of shops. These are created so the 4 required disciplines (Design, Animation, Tech Art and System Design) understand each usable’s intended purpose and functionality. Once all the required assets are created, they will come back for design to do the final hookup. Also, the first mission giver experience is being plotted for 3.0. Getting Miles Eckhart, who you met in last year’s Gamescom demo, into the game is the primary focus while work on Ruto, our criminal fixer, is also proceeding nicely. The team worked on giving Eckhart a constant stream of missions and enabling players to earn reputation and higher tier mission options. Lastly, the team did a breakdown of the Levski landing zone, which included how players will smuggle cargo into the city; the placement of the mission givers and their content; the factions within Levski; and the political aims of these factions.



ART

On the Art side, the team is completing the damage model pass on the Cutlass Black rework. By far, the most time-consuming part during this phase is creating the intricate trellis work on the parts that get blown off, like the wings and the body. This requires working closely with Tech Art to make sure the ship breaks apart and receives surface hull damage in the correct areas. Once we complete the damage phase, all that’s left to make are the LODs.

The team also worked on the lighting for one of the Squadron 42 stations and are also in process of converting existing setups to use the new light group system. This system will allow a much greater degree of control for the look of a room under different gameplay circumstances – such as when the power is on or off, when emergency lighting has been activated, or when gravity has been disabled. All of these changes will not only add a dynamic quality to the lighting but also make the environments feel responsive to player input. Initial testing has begun on a new volumetric fog solution, which lets every light cast volumetric fog, with the hope that it will allow many more high-quality atmospheric effects.



PU ANIMATION

The PU Animation Team updated all the existing usable animations to the new robust system. This will save on memory footprint and create a larger number of unique animations more quickly. The team also did a quick pick up shoot to capture lifting crates of different sizes from different heights, operating door controls, and various other transition animations. They also worked on picking up two handed objects as part of the Looting system. This allows more object interaction in-game and opens the possibility for more missions and activities. If a player sees a box on the ground and wants it, they will be able to pick it up, carry it back to their ship, and put it in their cargo hold for transport back to their hanger.



SHIP ANIMATION

Ship Animation wrapped up the reworked version of the Drake Cutlass, as well as new Zero-G enter-exit animations for the Drake Dragonfly. They also improved the cockpit experience by adding hit reactions, button presses, and updated cockpit layouts.



ENGINEERING

The Backend Services Engineering team has been bringing Diffusion online. The more trivial services, such as Friends, Analytics, Authentication, and Presence, were converted from legacy architecture to fully Diffusionized services running with Ooz. Next, we will start to convert larger and more complex services like Persistence Cache, Game Server Management/Matchmaker (GIM), and Persistence Database. These services will be broken up into smaller micro-services to meet performance, scalability, and availability standards. The Game Server and Client are very close to being Diffusionized, which will close the communication gap between the backend and front-end. In addition, the system is being optimized using a technique called Router Biasing. This allows the team to apply advanced bandwidth and control bandwidth techniques between service types in the Diffusion network.



DEVOPS & IT

This month, the DevOps and IT teams completed a project to expand the build system by 50%. This project is an important part of the build and deployment pipeline and the goal of this upgrade was to fully isolate and expand the try-build system. This will lead to much faster check in times for the engineering team and improve overall stability and performance of the builds in general.



QA

QA’s focus in early April was testing 2.6.3 to get it out to the players. They helped with multiple PTU pushes that led to 2.6.3 going Live. After the push, the team spent a lot of time supporting the Live build before shifting full-time to test the Game Dev branch. This has been both to stabilize the branch and to begin more rigorous testing and preparation toward 3.0. Some of the items being tested include a number of new ships, in-depth sweeps of some procedural planet environments for bugs, testing megamap improvements, new implementations for player interactions, item 2.0 conversions, movement system refactors, and new field of view controls. The development teams have been lining up new documentation and data for QA to polish up to ensure they are ready to jump on new content as it comes online. One of our testers worked directly with the Austin Animation team to clean up new mocap files for the development teams. Several other team members have been working with the Frankfurt QA team for in-depth testing of new and updated engine tools, ensuring that the new tools will function so designers can better implement and create content.



PLAYER RELATIONS

The Player Relations team was excited to spend a full week with the Turbulent team working on Spectrum improvements and focusing on how we can better improve the new player experience. We’ve begun work on revamping many areas of our service, and started the process of adding headcount to support our ever-growing community. Lastly, of particular relevance to 3.0, the Player Relations team has started adding new Evocati and updating our PTU waves.

Foundry 42 UK

FOUNDRY 42: UK



SPRINTS

One of the big advances this past month has been with the player interaction system. Further improvement of the personal inner thoughts system will allow players to select functionality which is not directly tied to a particular object, like selecting an emote or exiting your seat. There will still be a quick select function to access default actions for experienced players. Also, item ports now allow objects to be physically attached to other objects, such as, how a sight is attached to a weapon.

The air traffic controller sprint was set up to figure out how to manage the flow of traffic to a location, in particular, it is responsible for assigning out and reserving a landing pad when a player wants to land, as well as freeing up that landing pad once they’ve landed and cleared the area. Conversely, this system will deal with reserving a landing pad and spawning a ship when the player wants to take off. The initial stages of the implementation are now underway and the team worked on the underlying structure of how the system works.

The functionality on the Character Status system is almost finished, which included bringing the procedural breathing and suit punctures to final implementation. Once this is done, the focus will be getting the system switched on by default in the game.

The team is also working on Pickup and Carry, which is a bit of a mashup between the player interaction system and the usables sprint. The usables were more concerned with getting the AI to interact with objects in the environment, whereas the player interaction system is more for the player UI to interact with the environment. These two systems are now being brought together so the player can pick up, carry, and then place objects in our universe.

Finally, they completed the initial development of the conversation tech for the subsumption tool, which streamlines the creation of NPC conversations. It has been handed over to the designers to test by setting up different conversations. They’ll provide feedback on any necessary improvements.



AUDIO

The audio team has been working on procedural planet audio processes, including R&D and planning, for systems to map and modify audio automatically. Work continues on the Audio Propagation System, the breathing system, audio for the character status system and also a dialogue tool called Word Up.

For weapons sound effects, the ship weapon ‘tool kit’ is in progress, which includes reload SFX for the Gallant, the weapon tail refactor and multi-positional code support for weapons, which will handle summing up the audio for many of the same weapons mounted to a single ship. For ships, the Prospector audio is done, with work on the Greycat and Cutlass Black still in progress.

The music department worked on the ‘Dynamically looping cinematic ambient music system’ and the ‘addition of tension system.’ They also cleaned up dogfighting music logic, prototyped planetside procedural music, and added more music to the launcher.



GRAPHICS

The graphics team worked on many separate pieces of tech this month. The first is the integration of real-time, lit volumetric fog from Lumberyard, which is going to be a huge boost for the lighting and environment art teams. The render-to-texture feature is progressing quickly, and the initial version is in the UI team’s hands. They will use it to upgrade our 2D UI’s, and create 3D holographic projections to power various holographic displays. The real-time environment probe tech is nearing completion and allows fully dynamic bounced light and reflections on a planet where traditional light-baking techniques are not possible.



VISUAL EFFECTS

The visual effects team have completed a pass at planetary entry VFX. The effect is controlled by speed and atmosphere density values. With this core functionality in place along with advances in the engine trail tech, these two sprints are now being merged. Design and art feedback were being implemented alongside optimization and bug-fixing. In addition, there have been some lightning entity effect improvements, where realistic lightning and other electrical type effects are created. The first pass of vfx for the MISC Prospector, including thruster improvements and damage, has been completed. For weapons, initial work on the Apocalypse Arms Scourge Railgun continues, including the charging and charged effects. Additionally, the weapons team completed the Preacher Distortion Scattergun and the Apocalypse Arms Scattershot. They also made good headway on the Klaus and Werner LMG.



SHIP TEAM

This month the Reclaimer received a lot of attention. On the exterior, work on the hull was completed and the huge claw came together. The team is now splitting the mesh up and getting it ready to use the damage tech. On the interior, the habitation, tech decks, and an enormous salvage processing room have been fully fleshed out. Next on the list is finishing the drone room, engineering deck and cockpit.

Work also began on derelict ships, so that design can lay the groundwork for mission specific scenarios encompassing ships and wreckage.

An initial batch of ships that include the Connie, Caterpillar, Starfarer and Freelancer are being broken down to their structural elements and made to look destroyed. Material work is being done in tandem to give the ships a more deteriorated and aged look. A wreckage component was also worked on. This is a library of nondescript ship parts that will be used to help embed and integrate derelict scenarios into the environments. The Razor artwork is now complete, and the ship has gone through a full damage pass. Some cool work has been done on breaking it into pieces. Currently, LODs are being finalised on the hull, and art is working closely with tech design to get it flight ready.

The Hull C also progressed nicely. The hull mesh is now largely complete, manoeuvring thrusters were incorporated and polish work done to match the interior and exterior. A detail pass adding all the finer details expected is ongoing. The interior went through the block out phase, and is now well into art production. By utilising assets from other MISC ships, spaces can be created quickly and efficiently, with the intention to use these across the Hull series.



ENVIRONMENTS

The environment team alongside the graphics team continues to explore ways to create volumetric forms in space through simulations and initial renders.The surface outposts are finishing their interior visual benchmarks for engineering, habitation and hydroponics. These will then be distributed to the various outpost layouts and configurations. The team continues to set dress, light and polish these interior spaces to build character while also exploring options for navigation and branding based on the lore. The Truck stop space stations have moved into the final art phase, so the team is busy building the shader library and working on example pieces to final quality. As it’s a modular system, the building set is being refined to explore potential build configurations, which will ensure the set is as flexible as possible.



ANIMATION

The animation team worked on cover AI, with the aim to improve all animation assets beyond ‘functional.’ Breathing state improvements are now in line with backend code improvements. This involves getting curve data out of Maya and into Dataforge, which allows for more refined procedural breathing curves. The team started implementing multi-directional takedowns for killing enemies within close proximity of the player. Also, there were further improvements to weapon setup & reloads across the board, including the Devastator shotgun, Arrowhead sniper rifle, Gallant laser rifle, and P8-SC ballistic SMG As well as melee improvements for pistol and stocked weapons.

Finally, the Derby Foundry team were busy with face and body animations for our 3.0 Mission Givers and handed over 500 facial animation files that are now ready to be implemented in Squadron 42. The Motion Capture team has tracked and solved almost 1000 new body animations for various characters within the Persistent Universe.The team also worked on new facial animations for shooting guns. Animation Director Steve Bender has been a great source of inspiration, so expect new and improved faces soon.

Foundry 42 DE

FOUNDRY 42: DE



ENVIRONMENT ART

The Environment Art team fleshed out the different procedural terrain elements of Delamar, which is mostly covered with mountainous shapes.When placing the Levski landing zone onto the planet, there were a few challenges such as: What’s the best workflow to create the large borehole in front of the landing zone and the roads leading up to it, and what specific elements are needed to make the station blend smoothly with the terrain? The exterior of Levski had a few changes made to it, such as integrating garages on the lower levels so players can make an approach with ground vehicles. The team also made progress on the mining structures in and around the borehole to give them a more functional feeling and a polish pass. There were also some final touches done to the moons to differentiate them from each other.



VFX

Work moved forward as the team collaborated with the engineers to flesh out the tools and tech required for the procedural planets. Progress was made on the manual setups required to spawn the effects in engine, and moons are slowly taking on their own subtle personalities.



CINEMATICS

The team’s primary focus continued to be performance capture scenes across numerous Squadron 42 chapters. The current priority are story scenes on board the giant Shubin Archon facility, so the level designers and artists can finalize the Shubin environments. In addition, the team edited a big sequence for the middle of the story and progressed with setting the vista for a major story event during the opening of the game.



TECH ART

The Tech Art team performed R&D regarding foot constrain locomotion. The end goal is to get the feet to properly plant on the ground with each step, to the give the character a true sense of weight, at all speeds and angles. There was work on some skinning tasks to widen the range of character customization. Collaboration with the weapons team continued, both on Tools to help programmatically spot errors in the pipeline, as well as rigging for new and updated weapons.



SYSTEM DESIGN

The System Design team progressed on the Actor Status system. It now incorporates player breathing, suffocating, stamina, g-forces, drinking, injuries, etc. Other work included: subsystems for suits getting punctured in combat, the ability to patch damaged suits, and recharge oxygen tanks.

The usable systems reached full production status and is now being mass produced for both S42 and PU. Once implemented into the levels, these will make the world feel so much more alive as the AI will be able to interact with almost any item in the world. The system is incredibly flexible from simple actions such as an AI leaning on a wall to complex ones like the opening of a service locker, accessing the power supply item inside, inspecting an item inside the power supply, removing a broken item and replacing it with a new one, and restarting the power supply. The system allows either the player or AI perform those actions, or have both players and AI working on the same usable together.

On the social side of things, the design for the Spectrum game integration is being finalized. This will allow players to access core Spectrum functions inside the game, like party creation and management, chat, friend’s list, organizations, etc. The goal is to keep the majority of the stuff available in the Spectrum app, while the core functionality needed for minute to minute gameplay remains available directly in game.



LEVEL DESIGN

The Level Design team finished their design pass on the Surface Outpost, as the Art Team worked on its modular system. Levski is now being integrated into the procedural version of Delmar. An Upper Lobby was created, which will connect the Levski interior to the planetary surface via airlocks and serve as a place for a future possible air rail to outlying landing areas. Garages were implemented on the surface so people can spawn or park their vehicles. We also added new approaches to the Levski site itself, with roads and parking zones. Additional custom work that included planning out the elevator network and worker’s areas, and adding administration offices, was also done.



QA

The QA team began testing the new Stanton System persistent universe level this month with a focus on finding any major gameplay blockers. The entire process of connecting to this new PU level has changed, which led to additional tweaks and testing done to the in-house server launcher tool called Catapult. With Port Olisar now in the Stanton System level, traveling between the different moons, landing on them, getting out, etc, is being tested. In the Subsumption Editor, the new Conversation system was recently added and was available for an initial round of testing. All issues encountered were entered in JIRA and sent over to our Austin studio to be investigated.

The QA team also worked with the internal system designers to fix up the AI Basic Feature Test level and add behaviors for all AI NPCs, so that their designated tests could be run. The Feature Tester is kicked off whenever new code changes are submitted to the Game-Dev stream. The AI Basic FeatureTest level catches any AI related issues that could potentially be caused by a code submission. The team also further expanded QA’s depth of testing with the Particle Editor. New VFX test cases were created and added to the Editor checklist. These tests will continue to be maintained as additional feedback is gathered from other technical testers and the team.



LIGHTING

The lighting team supported the upcoming 3.0 release of the moons Celin, Yela, and Daymar. There’s been a particular focus on the visual quality of the surface outposts for 3.0 and all subsequent surface outpost variations. The first stage of our new Light Group system is being implemented, which will alter the lighting and mood of a surface outpost based on various states like low power, emergency, or hazardous conditions.



AI

The ship AI team refactored the Movement system to unify the movement pipeline between NPC’s and Ships. This enables the NPC’s to truly control ships while piloting them, amongst other things. This will ultimately give the AI a finer level of control and a way to contextualize their actions. There were some general improvements to NPC’s AI pathfinding and navigation. At times, AI NPC’s were getting blocked on certain configurations of corners, and this work will resolve that. There were also some fixes for the mesh regeneration to correctly exclude areas that AI should not be able to get to.

Regarding the mission system, the team focused on two different chapters of S42 mission: expanding existing functionalities and adding new ones for the designers. Through dataforge, designers can now define and initialize which default missions play when entering specific game modes. Through the subsumption visualizer, designers are now allowed to overwrite the starting mission for a specific level. This ultimately makes the setup and review of missions much more efficient for the team. Designers can now create a platform, which is a list of items that live within an object container with their known world coordinates at runtime. A platform can be accessed by the mission logic and customized in numerous configurations. For example, an Idris would be a basic platform and, in the game, multiple Idris’s can be setup in different ways: occupied by pirates, another by UEE, etc. All those unique setups would reference the same base platform of the Idris and have their own unique customization layers on top.



WEAPONS

The weapons team has been blocking out new FPS weapons: two Vanduul weapons, four from Kastak Arms, three from Gemini, and one from a new manufacturer. For ship weapons, a first pass on the Knightbridge Arms Ballistic Cannon Size 2 and 3 was completed. This is the first ship weapon through the new pipeline to prep for the modular upgradeable system.



ENGINE

The engine team worked on Object Container streaming to help with the PU and SolEd, which is an internal tool that helps easily build full Solar Systems. Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are developed with C++, a programming language known for high performance. But due to the languages design, large projects can suffer from long compile times if not careful (the time spent translating program code into machine instructions).

Even with careful code design, compile times for a large project tends to increase over time, so the team recently spent time doing house cleaning on existing code. For this, the team had to touch each GameCode file (nearly 2000 files). In the end, it improved the compile time by several minutes, which will have a positive impact company wide.The engine team also spent time further improving the procedural planet tech, including terrain blending, blending of terrain and scattered objects, and improved transition-dissolve-blending.

Turbulent TURBULENT

This month, Turbulent released Spectrum version 0.3.3. This version contains a new type of discussion called nested threads. A nested thread works by stacking replies to an earlier comment directly below it, so users can see a discussion evolve from a specific comment or reply. The first level is sorted by votes, so the most upvoted sub trees are on to top. Nested threads are akin to Reddit discussions.

When a new discussion is started on Spectrum 0.3.3, the user can choose between a nested thread and a chronological thread. This new type of discussion allow for faster and more dynamic threads. The upvote feature is also useful for the community teams to gather questions, among other things. Turbulent is looking into how the nested thread option can be transformed into a view option, so users can decide how to view threads. The team is also improving the unread status as well as adding staff tracking, so users can know from the top of the thread list which ones have a had a staff response. This will be particularly useful for the Ask The Dev forums.

Also included in 0.3.3 is the ability to flag posts for moderation. This works within orgs and the public community. Users can flag a reply, a thread, or message for moderation, so public moderators know to intervene. In your private orgs, anyone who has the moderation permission will receive a notification to investigate. There has been massive progress on mobile support for the keyboard system in 0.3.3 and it should be fixed in the next release.

Currently the team is working on the 0.3.4 release. The main feature of this release will be more refinement on tags in sub forums. These tags will be surfaced at the top level of the community index in the channel list, so that users can jump directly from a global community index to a specific tag within a channel. The second part of this release is that users will be able to bookmark a tag just like it was a channel in itself. This will give the functionality of a sub forum, while keeping the tagging system in place.

The team is also adding more filters and working on the search subsystem, which will power all the “view my own posts,” “view somebody else’s posts,” and let users search by author, role, or dev posts. This feature will also power a new mini profile, so users will be able to just jump directly to a list of posts from a specific player directly from the mini profile.

Virtual lists are also being developed on the back end. Currently, there is an issue rendering long presence lists in the chat lobbies, which causes the backers group to collapse by default in the general forum. Virtual lists will allow for rendering what is visible plus a buffer. This will save on performance and allow everybody to be present in the lobby lists. One of the most reported issues is that users can’t jump directly to a message and then go back in time. Virtual lists will allow this.

In the meantime, the research team from Spectrum is working on the overlay for Spectrum desktop, which is an integration between the game and Spectrum. This means taking the redux application store and moving it to an area where two processes can benefit from it. Then, there can be an overlay that will keep the game and the desktop client synchronized without having to double the resources for it.

There has been some research on PM groups, specifically the ability to refactor the currently 1 on 1 PM system to have more than one person in a group, so users can have a party system for specific a lobby.

Turbulent also visited the Austin studio to presented the new art design for the site revamp. There were also some major infrastructure changes as the platform was moved to a new set of hardware. There was a brief downtime while it was shifted, but everything was quickly back up and running better than before.

Community COMMUNITY

The Banu Defender was launched via a concept presentation. As part of the process, the ship rollout system was upgraded with an improved Q&A, a live Town Hall to discuss the ship, and a focus on the development process in Jump Point and the Vault. Simultaneously, the updated Banu race was revealed in a futuristic ‘National Geographic’ style magazine.

The Star Citizen store added new merchandise, including Star Citizen and Squadron shirts and hats, plus a beautiful new Terra mousepad. Subscribers can purchase exclusive Polaris shirts. Shipping and handling was revamped as a part of these new additions. Now, merchandise ships immediately instead of as a pre-order.

Internally, the team is in the process of supporting a major website update, which includes a long-awaited overhaul to the ship stats page. New player content is also in production thanks to community feedback, which has highlighted how daunting Star Citizen can be to new players.

Tickets for Gamescom went on sale this month and event planning continues. Our community team and staff from Austin attended DREAMHACK, where they met with backers and talked Star Citizen. The con concluded with an appropriately Texas-themed BBQ Bar Citizen. Devs also attended the backer-organized BritizenCon and took part in not one, but two panels! It was an honor to participate and connect with the community.

The team ran four Happy Hour livestreams this month, including a live look at how production schedules are made. Happy Hour will be going on a ‘half hiatus’ for a bit as the team works on the New Player Experience videos, but it will return to its usual schedule in the near future.



Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH…

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Around the Verse

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 19:40
Hosts Eric Kieron Davis and Kirk Tome share a look at player interaction and get an update from the Manchester studio.

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

Bugsmashers!

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:00
This installment of Bugsmashers features an uninitialized variable wreaking havoc on the IFCS system. See how Mark Abent smashes this bug in today’s episode.

Showdown: "Interview with Imperator Costigan"

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:41
SHOWDOWN! Auto-Transcript for S&P and NFSC Submission
EP:61:76 : “Interview with Imperator Costigan”

ERIA QUINT: Thank you for joining me for a special edition of Showdown. I’m your host, Eria Quint.

Today, we’re breaking from our normal format because we have a very special guest joining us. Here to discuss a range of issues currently affecting the UEE is Imperator Kelos Costigan. It’s an honor to have you on Showdown.

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Thank you, Eria. I’ve been a longtime fan.

ERIA QUINT: Let’s not waste any time and get to the question on everybody’s mind. How about that Jumpers’ match last night?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: (laughter) You did your research. Not many know they’re my team, seeing as I’m not even from Croshaw. Have you had the chance to see Sath Ben-el play?

ERIA QUINT: Only the highlights, but what I’ve seen has been extremely impressive.

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Absolutely. I don’t think anyone expected the first professional Banu player to have such an immediate impact. I would love to see more teams taking chances on Banu players. Not only is it good for the sport, but it also brings our two species closer together. I welcome any initiative, whether from the public or private sector, that strengthens the UEE’s ties to our neighbors.

That’s why the Human-Xi’an Trade Initiative is such an important step for Humanity, one which I truly believe will go a long way to ensuring strong and peaceful relations for centuries to come.

ERIA QUINT: Let’s discuss HuXa for a bit. The bill is currently being debated by the Senate’s Subcommittee for Commerce & Trade and has faced some spirited opposition. Insiders claim that your administration has been blindsided by the stiff resistance.

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: That’s a bit of a mischaracterization. Do I wish the process would move faster? Of course, but that’s only because I understand all of the ways this trade pact will benefit the Empire. Not just economically, but also socially and politically.

ERIA QUINT: Paul LeSalle, leader of the Centralist Party, has come out on record saying that HuXa is a danger to the Empire’s independence and that he will block the initiative at all costs. Some analysts are predicting that the bill might stall out in committee. How do you read the current political situation?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: I’m confident they’ll make the right decision. Look, this is a big, complex piece of legislation that requires time, effort and an understanding of the underlying issues to fully grasp. That’s the process the Senate subcommittee is going through at the moment. It’s slow, a bit unwieldy, but absolutely necessary to the democratic process.

I’ve reached out to Senators on the committee and told each and every one of them that I am willing to make myself available to answer any and all questions they may have. I’ve already had a number of extremely productive conversations.

ERIA QUINT: What do you see as the biggest misconception about HuXa?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: People seem concerned that granting Xi’an businesses and goods more access to the UEE economy will result in catastrophic job losses. Let me be clear, that is simply not true. While certain sectors will experience some rebalancing once the deal goes into effect, if you look at the numbers, the net result of continuing to open our borders to further trade will be positive economic growth.

ERIA QUINT: Can you guarantee that people won’t lose their jobs due to HuXa?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Well, Eria, making such a promise would be just as misleading as the opposition’s claim that entire industries will simply be outsourced to the Xi’an Empire.

There’s an old Earth aphorism that I keep going to, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” If someone faces turbulence on a microeconomic level, the improvements to the greater economy should provide increased opportunities for them to take advantage of. And, Eria, that’s really what this is all about. More opportunities for more people.

ERIA QUINT: Let’s change gears slightly. Some oppose HuXa not for economic reasons but because they believe it’ll make the UEE less safe. Retired Vice Admiral Caroline Nichols said, and this is a direct quote, that “HuXa commands the UEE to expose its soft underbelly to a patient and calculating enemy that’s waited centuries for the perfect time to strike.”

How do you respond to that?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Well, the imagery is quite vivid but the perspective sorely outdated. The Akari-Kr.ē Treaty was signed close to two centuries ago, but there’s still a small but vocal contingent who believe we need to maintain the cautious hostility of that regrettable era to stay safe. That same group also seems to forget that we never actually fought a war with the Xi’an. So, I’ll simply remind them that the UEE has been at peace with the Xi’an Empire for a long time. We should start acting like it.

This treaty continues down a path intended to bring lasting peace between the UEE and Xi’an Empire. Not only through increased trade, but also through improved diplomatic relations. One of the direct benefits of the latter has been a transparency clause included in the initiative to promote de-escalation.

ERIA QUINT: I haven’t heard anything about this. How would it work?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: It’s quite simple. Each side has agreed to provide increased transparency about their military capabilities. The philosophy being that the closer we are as neighbors, the more trust can be built up, and the safer both sides will be.

In practice, it means the Xi’an have agreed to eliminate a Messer-era program that monitored comm and transmission metadata in Perry Line Systems. At the time, they deemed it an essential tool to protecting their Empire against a sneak attack. Now that such a UEE strike is no longer a threat, the Xi’an have agreed to dismantle the program.

ERIA QUINT: What has the UEE promised to give up in exchange?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: There will be more specifics about this soon. What I can say is that a number of long classified military projects, including the rumored Project Eclipse and Operation Deadbolt, will be retired and details released through the Historical Truth Act.

ERIA QUINT: That’s big news. There have been whispers surrounding Project Eclipse’s use in black ops for years. Will the information also include details on all operations that it has been involved in?

IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: I’ve said all I can for right now. You’ll have to wait until the release to find out the rest.

ERIA QUINT: Hate to pause here, but we need to take a quick break. More with Imperator Kelos Costigan when Showdown returns.

May 2947 Subscriber Flair!

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 14:22
May 2947 Subscriber Flair Greetings Subscribers!

This month’s subscriber flair is part of a our newest series of holographic space station models. This model represents an exact replica of Icarus One from the Sol System. The Icarus One transfer station was constructed in 2148 to act as an intermediary stopover point between Earth and Mars. Designed by Pietro Moretti, this sprawling station initially served to accommodate resource haulers transporting goods to aid in the terraforming of Mars. However, once Mars was officially cleared for Human habitation in 2157, Icarus One transitioned into a civilian station for aspiring pioneers, eager to start a new life on the alien world. The Icarus One continued to be one of the primary transfer hubs even after Humanity discovered jump points and expanded into neighboring systems. In 2407, the Icarus One was declared a historical landmark and decommissioned for civilian habitation. The aging station remained in its place until 2657, when Messer V had the station destroyed as a ‘relic of a bygone age.’

If you’re an active subscriber, the flair will be attributed to your account today. If you subscribe over the weekend, the model will be attributed to your account on Monday May 15th. More information about subscriptions can be found here!

This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 16:08

Greetings Citizens

Greetings Citizens,

I hope you all had a stellar weekend. I know I did! I am in the final stretch of my trip to LA, where I have been working closely with the rest of the team planning and discussing all things community/event related for 2017. We’re really excited about meeting many of you at Gamescom and CitizenCon later this year.

With that, let’s take a look at this week.

On Tuesday, the Lore Team will release another installment in one of their many continuing series. The Star Citizen Universe is rich with history and a past/future worth exploring. If you find yourself easily immersed in a good story, fascinated by the design of Star Citizen, or just hungry for more information, these posts are made for you!

On Wednesday, Mark Abent returns to smash yet another bug in an all new episode of Bugsmashers! This show gives a unique opportunity to explore the complexity of Star Citizen’s development.

On Thursday, Around the Verse checks in with Foundry 42 UK for an in-depth look at what the studio has been up to in the last month.

Speaking of last month, Friday brings us the April Monthly Report! Having the opportunity to take a step back and see all the work being done by our team around the globe is nothing less than inspiring. These are a treat for us as much as they are for all of you!

As a reminder, there will be no Happy Hour this Friday, but we are really excited to have Josh Herman joining us next week for another installment of Happy Hour: Gamedev.

That’s all for this week, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

Tyler “Zyloh” Witkin
Lead Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, MAY 8TH, 2017
            Citizens of the Stars   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, MAY 9TH, 2017
            Weekly Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, MAY 10TH, 2017
            Bugsmashers!   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) THURSDAY, MAY 11TH, 2017
            Around the Verse   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Vault Update    FRIDAY, MAY 12TH, 2017
            Monthly Report
            RSI Newsletter

Community Spotlight: May 8th, 2017 – Gameplay Citizen

This week’s theme is “Gameplay Citizen,” highlighting some of the beautiful gameplay in Star Citizen Alpha 2.6. Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing your content here!

Visit the Community Hub




Sniping by Diabolus

A collection of fast paced kills using the Arrowhead Sniper in Star Citizen Alpha 2.6.3. This video is a friendly reminder to tread lightly when matched with Diabolus.

Full Video

Joint Ops by Solarmute

The United Earth Mining Corporation took part in a training mission designed by the paramilitary organization VVARMACHINE. UEMC member Solarmute recorded the event and now presents a video after action report.

This video demonstrates the exciting level of emergent gameplay that the Star Citizen universe provides.

Full Video


TrackIR by Jack_Frak

Jack_Frak shows us the beauty in the freedom that TrackIR offers when piloting your ship.

Full Video

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Citizens of the Stars

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:55
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. In this week’s Citizen Spotlight is Karmola and his backer-organized convention, BritizenCon. Can Eric Kieron Davis take the top spot on the Quantum Question leaderboard?

Remember, many of the questions used are taken from our Star Citizen Subscribers in this thread here. Don’t forget to add yours for inclusion in future episodes, vote for the ones you want to see answered, and remember to keep them short and concise if you want your best chance of having them answered in under two minutes.

The links for this week’s content are below:

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