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The Shipyard: Turrets

7 hours 19 min ago


Turrets in Bullet Points A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

From Weapons we move onto Turrets, the next logical step on our tour of the New Ship Matrix. You may have recently seen our discussion on Around the Verse about improving the overall Turret Experience, and we’ve been hard at work on what we feel are significant improvements to their usability as part of ongoing advancements planned not just for Alpha 3.0, but beyond. In our next release, the way you control them is entirely refactored with better gyro-stabilization to help keep them on target, and hopefully giving you much more enjoyable and successful time when using them.

Turrets can be found on ships of all sizes, from starters to capital ships, and the mounts they attach to can vary as dramatically in size as well. The largest found on some capital ships are as big as the smaller ships flying escort, wielding weapons capable of massive destruction.

With this update to the New Ship Matrix, we now divide turrets in to two distinct categories: Manned and Remote. Both of these turret types support player, NPC or AI control via various methods detailed further below.

All Turrets

Turrets can only be attached to turret hardpoints, they cannot go on weapon or ordnance hardpoints.

Turrets themselves have multiple itempoints of their own for attaching armament to. These are traditionally weapon hardpoints, but some turrets can also have ordnance and utility hardpoints as well.

Turrets can only be swapped out for the same type of turret, and all turrets are “hull locked.” This means you can only swap a Manned Constellation Turret out for a different variant of a Manned Constellation Turret. You can not swap one out for a Manned Starfarer Turret, as example.

Remote Turrets cannot be swapped for Manned Turrets, and vice versa due to hull requirements.

- As they are now “hull locked” turrets no longer have a size attributed to them. You can only swap out like for like. They no longer have a +2 to the sum size of the weapons calculation.

Manned Turrets

These turrets are controlled by a player or NPC acting as player within them, usually in a seat that moves from within the ship hull into the turret itself.

All manned turrets have a consistent entrance tube diameter which means that upon destruction… they become a viable breach point.

Remote Turrets

These turrets are controlled from a station or seat elsewhere within the ship by a player or NPC acting as player. Their view is remotely sent back from the turret allowing them to control it and see what it sees while physically being elsewhere in the ship.

Remote turrets have no physical path inside them for players to enter, so they’re a great way for us to add defense on ships where space is a premium, but will often pack lower size weapons.

AI vs NPC vs Point Defense Turrets

Any turret can be controlled via an NPC acting as player, but AI or Autonomous Control is a separate function requiring a blade to be added to your computer item (formerly Avionics Module).

For each turret you wish to be AI controlled i.e. it engages and tracks independently of player or NPC input, you need to have a Blade equipped for that. Ships that come with these types of turrets either have these blades already installed or additional computer items to hold them in, as blade space is restricted. This is designed to force players into choosing between adding this feature or other blade features when customizing your ship.

Point Defense Turrets are simply AI controlled turrets with the computer and blades necessary, and with a specific weapon loadout intended to make them effective at neutralizing incoming fast threats like missiles or torpedoes. Any turret can be equipped with these particular weapons and computer blades. PDTs just come ready to go out of the box.




The Future of Turret Gameplay or: How We Want Turret Gameplay to Feel

We’d like everyone who straps themselves into a turret to have a satisfying experience when doing so. To this end, we’ve been making improvements on the most important aspect of turret gameplay — aiming at, and hitting, your intended targets.

Controlling the orientation of the turrets has become more responsive and intuitive in Alpha 3.0, and the additional staggered fire mode means that you are able to scatter shots along a line of fire for better total accuracy at the cost of per-instance damage. We think being at the controls of such a powerful arsenal of weapons should be a visceral experience.

Camera shake, g-force effects, articulated directional controls, and an improved UI in which crew members can identify important targets to each other are all being worked on and should come in future 3.x patches.

When this continuing work is completed, having a crew member manning every turret should prove to be a formidable force, with each turret being capable of firing salvo after salvo at enemy targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Gather a squad of teammates, fill those once-empty turret seats, and watch ships like the Retaliator become the flying fortress it was always meant to be.

Beware, you pesky Aurora pirates!



Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: What ships had “twin-link” or two weapons on a single gimbal and are now converted to remote turrets?
  • Mustang Series (Chin Turret)
  • Hornet Series (Canard and Ball Turret)
  • F8 (Rear Turret)
  • 85X (Belly Turret)
  • Ursa Rover (Top Turret)
  • Reliant (Wing Turret)
  • Terrapin (Nose Turret)
  • Redeemer
  • Hull Series (Nose Turret)
  • Caterpillar (Command Module Turret)

Further Reading

Ship Mass Careers and Roles Thrusters Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordnance Hardpoints Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo

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The Shipyard: Weapon Hardpoints

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 12:01


Weapon Hardpoints A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

Weapons and their hardpoints. The next several topics of discussion focused on the new Ship Matrix are possibly some of the most important areas we’ll cover, and relevant to everyone who’s concerned with how their ships perform in combat. Since the start of the project we’ve gone through many iterations of design on our ship hardpoints and with SC Alpha 3.0 we’ll complete another small iteration to them in our continuing effort to address much of the confusion regarding their sizing, what can be done with them, and more.

To begin, every item on a ship is attached to a hardpoint, or “itemport” as we sometimes refer to them by their in-engine designation, and each one has restrictions on what type of items can be attached to it. This system prevents people from putting power plants where turrets should go, fuel tanks where the radar is supposed to be, and other similar examples of undesirable customization.

In this article’s topic, for the specific itemports we classify as “weapon” hardpoints, they have some restrictions of their own:


They are restricted to a single size item, no more ranges of item size such as Size 1-3.

They can only take a weapon directly attached of that size or a gimbal mount of that size attached to it.

Some specific instances may have additional restrictions to limit them to individual items or types, such as the Vanguard nose weapon array.


Fixed Weapon Mounts

Attaching a weapon of matching size (or smaller) to the itemport directly is what we call a Fixed weapon mount, and has the inherent benefit of being capable of using the largest weapon made possible by that hardpoint while contending with limited aiming and a requirement to land their shots more accurately.



Gimbal Weapon Mounts

As an alternative to attaching the maximum sized weapon to your itemport, you may choose to use a Gimbal Mount. Gimbals allow players to attach a smaller sized weapon that will enable the user to line their shots up with more ease than a fixed on it’s own. The Gimbal Mount must be the same size as the hardpoint, but can only support a weapon at least one size smaller due to the space it occupies.


These are the only two types of items that can be attached to weapon hardpoints and gimbal mounts can only contain a single weapon hardpoint.




Other Weapon Types or: What Happened to Twin-Link, Tri-Link, Quad-Link, Barrage and More?

Aside from twin-link weapons, many of the items described by various designers over time have not made the transition from drawing board to implementation. These include things like “tri-link,” “quad-link,” “barrage” and others. Most of these had problems at various stages, including the sizing penalty applied to them which soon became very unwieldy to manage. For twin-link weapons specifically, these are now as turrets, specifically remote ones, and will be discussed in that article.

There are a fair amount of ships with these sort of items attached so we encourage you not worry if you see their “weapon” count drop down, as they more than likely now have an extra turret to account for this. The primary driving factor in this was physical size. Simply put, by the time we had two weapons on a mount this was often significantly larger than the base weapon that could go on that mount and caused visual or physical clipping and often resulted in the firing arc having to be limited to such an extent that it became virtually useless. This change from twin-link to remote turret is designed to give the player as much functionality from the item as possible.

Ships that now have these Remote Turrets will find that in the majority of cases these bespoke items will only be swappable with other custom tailored turrets made for that ship. An example of this can be found in the Mustangs current Chin Turret (with 2x S1 hardpoints) that will be swapable with a new Mustang Chin Turret containing a 1xS2 hardpoint. This system will be covered further in the dedicated articles on turrets.




How Ship Items are Displayed or: You Changed Things and Now I Can’t Read Any of This

The Ship Stats Update has been a long time coming. In addition to refining our own internal policies and metrics, work was needed in order to display that information to you in as comprehensive, yet understandable a manner as possible. To that end, in addition to the changes to the Technical Information panel discussed in Part 3, we have made significant alterations to how default loadouts are presented to the backer.

To the right you will see the legend that guides all items found in the Technical Overview. For the purposes of this section, we will be focused on weapons, but the information here will apply to reading all items found in the Technical Overview.



Things That Go Boom

To the right of the Technical Overview, you will find the weapons pane, where the various armaments for a ship are found. This section is itself broken down into four sub-sections.


Weapons. The hardpoints we’ve been discussing in this article, where you can attach a variety of ballistic and energy-based armament.

Turrets. Covered in more detail in our next part. You will find both manned and remote turrets here.

Missiles. The things that go in the Missile Racks used to blow stuff up. Torpedoes or missiles can be shown here.

Utility Items. This is where you will find things like the Stor-All box on the Hornet F7C.


While this article is specifically about weapons, we’re not ignoring Turrets, Ordnance and Other Hardpoints. We’ll be covering each one individually in the next few articles, so stay tuned.




Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: Can I put missiles on weapon hardpoints?

A: No, these are counted as Ordnance hardpoints and will have their own post in the next few days dedicated to all things Ordnance.

Q: Why can I only put a S2 weapon on a S3 Gimbal?

A: This is primarily due to game balance. Gimbal weapons provide a natural advantage due to their independence from the ships movement when aiming. By reducing the maximum size they can take by 1 from the itemport, their damage output is naturally reduced and should keep fixed weapons competitive in terms of DPS.

Q: Why have you removed the range of sizes on a hardpoint?

A: When we looked at it, there were very few ships that actually had this set up. It was primarily the Aurora line and upon examination, we found it not particularly useful long term and an easy cause of various inconsistencies.

For example, having a range of S1-S2 gave you the option of having Fixed S2, Gimbal S1 or Fixed S1 and nobody ever would pick Fixed S1 as an option when you can Gimbal Lock to achieve the same result. Removing this option cleans up the design rules and overall setup significantly across the board and does so with virtually no impact on players.


Further Reading

Ship Mass Careers and Roles coming soon: Thrusters coming soon: Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordnance Hardpoints coming soon: Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints coming soon: Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo

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Jump Point Now Available!

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:44
Jump Point Now Available!

Attention development subscribers: the October 2017 issue of Jump Point is now available in your subscription area. This month’s Jump Point features the development of the Origin 600i! That, plus a look at the history behind Yorm, a visit to Branaugh, and a behind the scenes with the ship team working on the updated matrix. Finally, don’t miss the final chapter in A Gift for Baba, a famous children’s story that inspired the names of Crusader’s moons. Grab your copy today.

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

The Shipyard: Ship Thrusters and You

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 09:40


Ship Thrusters and You A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

Todays topic of discussion on the New Ship Matrix is all about thrusters and how we reflect their stats on the web page. Thrusters are obviously a key part of a spaceships and critical for getting you around and also a key area to manage in both fuel consumption and emissions. Thrusters come in a huge range of sizes and types from the smallest fixed maneuvering thruster on a Nox, the huge pivoting VTOL thrusters found on the Idris, and all the way to the humongous fixed main thrusters found on the Bengal.

The first and most dramatic thing to notice with thrusters on the new matrix is the removal of TR values or Thrust Rating from the stats page and we’ve done this for a few reasons:


With how ships are setup and tuned now we do not currently dictate independant thruster outputs, instead we allow thrust to be shunted around the thrusters as needed from a pool but within a total capped amount per thruster. With this its meant we have no “desired” or minimum thrust output values to generate TR values from or against.

The value itself was always very confusing to explain and often did not match the art of the thrusters created by the talented art team which caused further confusion. How could a TR1 thruster on ship X be as powerful as a TR1 thruster on ship Y when its 1/10 the size?

It was a un-intuitive and uninformative value to compare ships with given how complicated the flight model is, knowing that a ship had three TR2’s versus another with 2 TR3’s gave no useful information that couldn’t be better presented elsewhere, such as the values on the Technical Information panel we discussed yesterday.


The second change to notice is the removal of Size attributes for the thrusters, these have been removed for much the same reason as TR was removed. As thrusters are unique to the ship and swappable in complete sets the size loses all meaning. Instead of the old Thrust Rating and Size values we now display the amount and more information on the type of thruster equipped to your ship between the two categories of thruster:

Main Thrusters

Main {M}

The primary thrusters on the ship that are responsible for making it go forwards, these are the most important ones on traditionally constructed ships and provide the bulk of forward momentum.


Retro {R}

Having moved from the maneuvering section of the old matrix these are now counted in the Main Thruster category as they are a critical thruster set on the ship. There is little point having the biggest thruster around if you cant stop in time! Generally found in pairs some ships may have more or less depending on their roles and having a damage one can cause serious issues when trying to stop.


VTOL {V}

These thrusters provide lift in the Z+ axis and can either be fixed in one position to provide continuous upward thrust or can pivot when needed to provide that thrust. Cargo or particularly ships tend to have fixed VTOL thrusters on the underside if they are required to enter/exit planets or moons with gravity to aid them in leaving the atmosphere and to also slow their decent. If a ship does not have any dedicated VTOL thrusters it is not the end of the world, it just requires more forethought under those circumstances mentioned before.



Maneuvering Thrusters


Fixed {F}

Fixed Maneuvering thrusters provide instant thrust output as they do not need to align to the desired vector first, this gives a quicker response leading to more agility. The downside is you need to have more of them, a minimum of 12 on a ship to provide the ability to move in any direction with 6DOF.

Gimbal {G}

Gimbal Maneuvering thrusters provide thrust on one or more axis as they pivot or rotate to align themselves to the desired vector before providing thrust. This allows less thrusters to be needed but at the cost of a slower response rate and a small amount of power required to move them into position, making them vulnerable to power management problems.


The best way to theorycraft ship performance using these stats is to consider the types of thrusters in conjunction with the maneuvering stats on the Technical Information panel that we detailed in the last post.




Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: If Thrust Ratings (TR) are not displayed, will they ever come back?

A: In some form yes, whilst we’ve removed them from the Ship Matrix for now due to the above reasons we have plans to bring back a more useful form of them with ongoing thruster and flight model updates in future patches, in part to deal with the somewhat overpowered maneuvering thrusters that have become commonplace with the changes to the flight model in 2.6.

Q: Can we swap out thrusters for ones with increased performance/other abilities?

A: That is the goal but not possible in SC Alpha 3.0 and will be included in a future update. We plan to allow players to swap out their thrusters in sets, main and maneuvering together, for ones of alternate type such as Racing or Stealth styled ones. These would come with a visual difference to differentiate them from the stock loadout alongside adjusted stats in various systems to provide a different flight experience from normal. For example swapping out a Hornets default thruster set for a Stealth thruster set would seriously reduce its IR emissions over standard at the expense of performance and wear rate.


Further Reading

Ship Mass Careers and Roles Thrusters Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordnance Hardpoints coming soon: Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints coming soon: Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo

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Around the Verse

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 20:06
Sandi Gardiner and Forrest Stephan host an episode focused on improvements coming to legacy armor. Plus, watch what bugs were dealt with in this week’s “Burndown.”

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

The Shipyard: Ship Technical Information

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 13:18


Ship Technical Information A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

The New Ship Matrix retains a similar format to the prior matrix with three distinct panels: Systems, Technical Overview, and Holoviewer that have been adjusted and updated to support the breadth of new data involved. In this article we’ll be discussing the expanded Technical Overview section, where you can find a variety of information not typically suited for display via icons on the Systems panel. This also has the added benefit of allowing us to present a more raw data to the reader in certain instances.

Before we begin, a few words about stats in general.

Quite often we find it said that more is automatically better with regards to ship stats, but in game design that is not always the case. With our intention to create a diverse universe, the idea that having more of one thing than another is not an automatic advantage. In many instances, it can be either boon or downside and depending on the circumstance, even lead to a significant disadvantage.

As an example, when talking Transport career ships it may seem like bigger is automatically better, but there are considerations to be made beyond simply, “How much can it carry?” For starters, the more you carry at one time the larger a target you become. A Hull-E can carry a phenomenal amount of cargo but along with that advantage it’s also an extremely large and vulnerable ship, unable to land with the cargo and slow to load, due to it’s sheer size and the fact it stores all of that cargo externally. The risk in taking one of these ships on a long trading run or outside UEE protected shipping lanes is not only sizable, but will also require considerable expense in buying that cargo to start. Then again, there’s also the additional expense of offsetting that risk by hiring an escort to protect you. With this said, should you succeed the individual payoff can be spectacular. We mention this not to dissuade you from flying a Hull-E, but to encourage you think about what considerations should be taken in each situation, be that doing the same trip, multiple times, in another smaller, more protected ship and in greater safety, or taking the high-risk, high-reward path. These choices are meant to be yours, and ship stats are the basis for beginning these thoughts, not ending or limiting them. As one starship captain would put it: “I like to believe that there are always possibilities.”

With this same regard to Combat ships, the Buccaneer may wield an impressive array of weapons allowing it to pack one hell of a punch, but it’s trade-off in game design is that it cannot absorb a wealth of firepower in return. Trade-offs like these and others are essential in both game design, and in building the immersive universe Star Citizens deserve, and can often be offset by practice with a specific ship, individual understanding of each ship’s unique characteristics, and honing your dogfighting skills in general. Those that do can put these things to great use, but for the mere Content Manager mortals amongst us, we would probably fair better in a more rugged combat ship with slightly fewer guns and more missiles.

In the final analysis, your best bet will often be in finding the right combination of pilot, ship, and situation as opposed to just picking the one with the higher number. Which spaceship, is the right spaceship for you?

With that, there’s a fair chunk of newly available information contained here so lets dig down into each area and see what they’re all about.

The Little Chart of Big Ship Sizes
What’s Being a Capital Ship Mean, Anyway? Ship Size Sample Ships

Vehicle Ursa Lynx Cyclone PTV Snub Archimedes X1 85X Dragonfly Small Defender Razor Sabre Terrapin Medium Freelancer Eclipse Cutlass Vanguard Large Carrack Reclaimer Merchantman Constellation Capital Orion Hull-E Endeavor Polaris


* This is a partial selection of ships for various sizes.




Ship Size

The Size value is a simplified overview of both the scale of a ship’s physicality, and the scope of its player investment. While these values are not absolutes i.e. some Capital ships may be smaller, some Medium ships may be larger, it is intended only to be a starting point in your understanding of a particular ship’s place in the Star Citizen universe, and not the final word on what it can and cannot do.






Glossary of Ship Sizes

Vehicle

Can only be operated on ground, the range spans from simple personal transport vehicles like the Greycat, through exploration rovers like the Lynx and Ursa to much larger vehicles. Can often be crewed by a single player or a small group.




Snub

A ship that is completely dependent on another ship to work over a wide area. Sometimes referred to as a parasite craft. Will work in space and atmosphere with generally only a single pilot. Often has no Quantum Drive or fuel intakes which limit its range without the parent ship.




Small

Generally up to 25m in length. Ships that operate in space with Quantum capability. Ideal for solo operators but not exclusively single-seaters. Appropriate for the vast majority of landing pads on stations throughout the verse.




Medium

Most commonly 25-50m in length. Can be operated independently, but will flourish most effectively with additional crew. Often contains living accommodations for the crew to support extended missions or some form of cargo area. Designed to be played with a small group of friends well.




Large

Frequently found in the 50-150m length range, these ships can be operated with a skeleton crew, but really require an experienced medium to large crew working together as a unit throughout the mission to achieve their goals. Maintenance and repair costs often become a significant factor in this size bracket.




Capital

Huge ships that are often (but not exclusively) over 150m in length and require a significant investment in time or crew to maintain let alone run. The crew needs to be skilled in many areas to effectively operate these colossal ships and often need a small fleet of supporting ships to keep them in the best condition or out of harms way. While these ships are not designed for the casual, individual player, they will offer a unique gameplay experience to the dedicated crew who put in the time and resources.





Dimensions

These values have all been updated to the current dimensions for the ships based on their in-flight position rather than with their gears down.




Mass

We discussed Ship Mass yesterday so check the article out for how we arrive to this number, but compared with the previous values they will appear significantly higher than before. Every ship has had a pass and been updated so while they are all higher, they are now all on the same scale. Generally the dimensions of the ship will factor more into the size classification than the mass. That said, the majority of the ships fall in line with this so “Small” will usually have a lower mass than “Medium,” but we’re leaving room in the future to have ships with particularly dense or light materials straddling traditional size conventions.




Cargo Capacity

This value is the maximum amount of cargo in SCU the ship can safely carry when attached to its cargo grid in the dedicated cargo storage areas, and does not factor in the player attempting to fill every, corridor, nook and cranny with goods. As we’re discussing Cargo and SCU in detail in another article, for now we’ll say that we calculate this value using 1 SCU crates as the minimum size available to be placed and secured in the dedicated cargo grid (if any) of a ship.




SCM/AFB

The SCM value is the speed the ship moves in Standard Combat Maneuvering mode, i.e. the default, in-space movement speed of your ship. In atmosphere this speed will often be less due to the increased air resistance and drag. The Afterburn (AFB) value is split into two, the first being the standard Afterburner top speed and the second in brackets being the “Super Cruise” max speed. This Super Cruise allows for travelling at a much greater velocity than AFB, but less than Quantum travel, perfect for navigating down to planets or moons from the outer markers. You’re always in such a hurry, aren’t you?



Min/Max Crew

The minimum crew value is what we regard the minimum number of players (or hired NPC’s) to be able to operate the ship in a basic manner while still utilizing its key features, such as a salvage ship being still able to salvage and move/defend itself. We have calculated this number based on a few guidelines:

Number of “operator” seats in the ship. These are seats that control specific functions such as flight, feature critical stations like salvage or mining, or drone control stations that are used to operate other primary features.

Number of turrets divided by 2, rounded down. This provides the ship with a limited set of defense capability with the minimum crew rather than leaving it entirely undefended.

The maximum crew value is the upper limit of crew we allow to be supported onboard long term, not including passengers. The upper value is generally restricted by the amount of decidated seats for functions such as flight or turrets alongside the number of beds in the ship (where applicable.) Just like cargo these are the safe numbers. You can clown car an Aurora if you wish (we’ve seen the videos) but the on-board life support systems are finely tuned to only support the maximum crew for extended durations, so expect your resources to be consumed faster than expected.



Maneuvering Stats

In the next article, we’ll be discussing the changes to how we display thrusters in the matrix with greater depth, but for now the key information for how your ship handles can be found here. These values are the raw, unmodified speeds your ship can translate/roll in each axis without using boost or afterburn. As such, these times are never exact and can be improved both by using the various speed functions of your ship, or in the future, by component performance tuning.



This article is intended as a brief introduction to the various information you’ll find on the Technical Information tab of the ship matrix. As with most aspects of Star Citizen’s continuing development, this information is reflective of the current design in ship stats, and may evolve further in the future.



Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: Why are the SCM/AFB set at certain values and restricted?

A: In reality there is theoretically no set limit for speed in space, but we restrict this for two reasons in Star Citizen: gameplay and technical.

The SCM values are built around where we want each ship to perform from a design perspective and ensure that the ship can still do maneuvers as expected and within G-Force limits. The higher these SCM speeds are the harder it is for compelling combat to occur, with the majority of players doing little more than “shooting at blips” instead of having exciting, skill-based dogfighting where you can see your opponents.

This also factors into the Afterburn top speed limitation as well, as we strive to make each ship feel different and provide reasons to either customize your ship, or look for ship alternatives while avoiding that, “best ship at everything” that can inhibit multi-faceted game design.

Q: Can I still fly my ship Solo even though the Min Crew is listed as more than 1?

A: Yes. While there is no hard and fast rule excluding the solo operation of all Large or Capital ships, some may find themselves at a significant disadvantage trying to perform specific actions in multi-crew ships without a crew, be that player or AI-based. Every ship in the game can be flown by a single player (even a Javelin) but your effectiveness in most scenarios will be limited to varying degrees. The minimum crew number provided is what we deem as a sensible skeleton crew option that allows the ship to be used effectively as intended while performing the role it was designed for.

For ships not implemented in the game, this is an estimate based on design intentions. As with all game development, these numbers can change after implementation, testing, and feedback.

Q: How does Ship Size tie into Jump Point sizing?

A: At present, while we focus building out the single Stanton System, the Ship Size value has no bearing on the Jump Point sizing you can find in the Starmap. While the game system determining which ships can use which jump points is still having its design finalized, we can offer that it is not expected that these “ship sizes” will map 1:1 with “jump point sizes.” We are working on multiple methods to determine jump point traversal and will update everyone (and the ship matrix) in the future once this system is finalized, and we are in a position to confirm this.

Q: Can I fit more cargo in my ship that the value suggested?

A: Yes, but do not expect this to be penalty free. We will cover this topic in depth in a further post but the value given is the current maximum safe amount of cargo each ship can carry, any more will be at risk of damage during flight and other penalties.


Further Reading

Ship Mass Careers and Roles coming soon: Thrusters Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordnance Hardpoints coming soon: Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints coming soon: Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo

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Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:50
Lead Writer Dave Haddock delves into the Stanton System and provides an overview of its major planets. He even shares the system’s initial concept and description from the game’s early days.

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

The Shipyard: Ship Mass

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:47


Ship Mass:
I’m Not Heavy I’m Just Built That Way A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

With the release of 3.0.0 we have completed a ground up pass on mass for all in-game items, from the smallest bit of personal armor up to the largest spaceship. We have always endeavored to use real world items to guide our mass in-game but over time this has slowly caused issues as everyone’s interpretation of how heavy something is has wildly varied, a phenomenon especially noticeable during concept announcements when ship masses are first pitched. One area we identified was the notion of our spaceships being similar in role to modern day aircraft, so we originally endeavored to keep their mass values similar as well. Of course, coming at this from new angles caused a number of serious issues. For instance, the Gladius is a Light Fighter and to many that is similar in role/size to a modern day fighter jet like an F/A-18 Hornet (no relation to the ANVL Hornet) but when we got farther into things, the reality was that the Gladius has around 5x the volume of an F-18. This was problematic given it was originally implemented in-game at around 140% the weight of one. As we looked deeper into more and more ships it became increasingly clear that our original mass values were very inconsistent and often misleading. Given these are the basis for many areas of simulation within the game we decided to completely rework this aspect.

Given the huge range of ships and items in-game as well as in-concept we needed to solidify a way of calculating the mass correctly for both our existing assets and ones yet to come. For this, we decided to harness our existing physics meshes and use them to calculate the volume of material in the ships. Generally these are pretty accurate but with the wide range of ship types there were naturally a few different steps involved in generating a correct volume per ship.



Grasping the Concept

At the concept stage, these ships are at their trickiest to calculate, as they are generally very high poly meshes without the benefits of physics sub-meshes. This requires a small amount of work to simplify and cap hole to allow us to accurately generate a volume for the ship.

Capping Holes is the process of fully enclosing our collision proxy meshes and open faces that can cause issues in the engine. In essence we make them “watertight” while marking up specific faces that will allow entities to move through them unimpeded. Whilst this is usually done in the production stage we had to move ahead with this at a simple level for many of our concept ships to achieve standardized mass calculations for all ships.





My Density Has Brought Me to You

Once we had the volume of the ship as if it was solid block of material, we then subtracted the volume blocked out by the design team for the interior play space, cockpit and internal local grid mesh. This new volume (solid minus interior) was assigned an appropriate density value with a few modifiers:


Construction Methodology

Origin ships use more advanced lightweight materials that retain strength rather than the traditional stalwarts like Aegis and Anvil with heavier metals. The materials in play are an essential component in accurately accessing the correct mass of a vehicle, ship, or space station.


Species Construction

Xi’an ships are renowned for their materials and are significantly lighter than human counterparts, with their collaboration with MISC allowing some crossover. Design will work with the Lore Team to determine not only the aesthetics in play for a specific species like Banu or Vanduul, but they types of resources at their disposal and technological advantage of their culture in determining the materials used in construction.


Design Role

Ships that are naturally heavily armored or require more rigid internal support generate a denser value. It is vitally important not only to consider the source and history inherent in each ship, but it’s intended purpose within both the lore of the Star Citizen universe, and the design of our game.



It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Once the mass for the external “chassis” of the ship was generated, we used the internal volume again to generate a weight for the interior. This simulated all the interior panelling, doors, wiring etc as the design blockout volumes and local grids are slightly larger than the interior playable space (as they encompass the walls/floor meshes) and we felt this was a better reflection on the overall mass.



Only What You Take with You

Finally, we looked at the ship’s proposed or current default loadout, and added the specifics for each of these components (which also got a rework pass) to the final mass generated from the above steps.



What does this mean? All of our ships and characters now behave much better as the values used throughout the game are much more in sync. One example we uncovered during this rework was that on a variety of ships the physics meshes were uncapped, which during detachment and having the mass assigned to them was causing the engine to incorrectly calculate the mass of the detached part and thus it would behave poorly. With all the parts now capped or in the process of being capped, ship destruction and part detachment is much more reliable and believable, with less instances of huge ship debris parts spinning off at excessive speed. In addition to better behavior it also meant a lot of systemic features can be better accounted for such as carried items and cargo. Previously, with ships being so wildly disparate in weight, the simple act of adding a heavier weapon could significantly alter one ship unintentionally.



Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: Will changing the item mass on my ship, intentionally or through damage, actually have an impact on its flight?

A: Yes it will, though not immediately in Alpha 3.0.

When we do the initial tuning value we base it around the default loadout and structure then give the ship “goal times” to achieve the desired results in zero g and atmospheric flights. Generally the ships are able to achieve these goals, as they are not absolute timings. Outside of any external factors, adding mass will change the flight characteristics and should you make the center of mass uneven may not do so for the better!

We anticipate this feature coming online in a future Alpha 3.x release.

Q: What other aspects of mass have changed outside of ships?

A: Every single piece of armor and every item you carry on your person has an applicable mass and these all directly tie into the Actor Status System. The heavier you are the more exertion there is to perform actions and these consume oxygen quicker or may even limit what actions you can do. This system also extends to items carried on ships. Carrying a small crate of heavy metal will slow you down more than carrying a helmet in your hands and these all get added on to the mass of your ship when inside of it.


Further Reading

Ship Mass Careers and Roles coming soon: Thrusters coming soon: Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordnance Hardpoints coming soon: Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints coming soon: Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo

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TRACKER: Chaos in Kiel

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 19:13
Sponsored by WillsOp

Welcome to TRACKER, the Bounty Hunter Guild’s official show on the spec. I’m your host Garet Coliga. Glad you joined us today. We’ve got lots of important stuff to cover, so let’s not beat around the bush.

We’re going to start with the news everyone needs to know. Anyone currently working a bounty in Kiel needs to contact the Guild right away. There’s a chance you’re chasing the wrong target.

It appears that the Kiel branch had their systems breached. No word on the extent of the damage, but its effects are already being felt. Yesterday, the Guild noticed what’s being called “an alarming spike in false-positive collars.”

The issue first came to light when numerous elite bounties suddenly popped onto scanners across Kiel. Guild members scrambled, ready and raring to catch targets not seen in the system for years. It wasn’t long before reports of false-positives flooded the Guild’s comms.

Turned out the likes of Carlo ‘Crowbar’ Ellingsworth and Emma ‘Necktie’ Dudeney hadn’t suddenly come out of hiding to shop at the local Casaba. Instead, the regtags associated with many of the Guild’s bounties had been replaced by those for clean ships, leading to numerous innocent and unsuspecting people being wrongfully apprehended.

The Kiel Guild branch has apologized for the incident and opened an investigation into the matter. Meanwhile, Bounty Hunter Guild administrators across the UEE are scanning their systems to ensure they weren’t similarly breached. So far, the incident appears to be contained to Kiel.

Now, most people erroneously captured were immediately released once their real IDs were confirmed, but not everything went smoothly. Civil rights watchdog groups have condemned the tactics Guild members used to apprehend what they believed were high profile targets. In one unfortunate incident, a woman leaving her daughter’s sataball game suffered a broken arm and three broken ribs when she was incorrectly picked up by a Guild-licensed bounty hunter. In another, a family of five were held against their will and interrogated for hours before finally being released.

Joining me now from Kiel is Guild representative Lian Bolyard. He’s here to comment on the current chaos and update us on anything we need to know. Thanks for taking the time to join the show.

Lian Bolyard: I wish it could be under better circumstances, Garet.

I hear you, Bones. It’s been a few, hasn’t it?

Lian Bolyard: No doubt. Believe the last time we crossed paths was at that DefCon panel back in ’43.

Unbelievable how time flies. Well, let’s get into it. What’s the latest?

Lian Bolyard: We’ve taken the Guild network offline in Kiel as smarter folks than me try to figure out exactly what happened. That means we’re not issuing bounties, so at least the problem isn’t getting any worse. Of course, the system being down means we also can’t process outstanding bounties. To help prevent more people from being incorrectly held, we are asking Guild members to take anyone they pick up to Horus or Hadrian, which so far seems unaffected by the issue. I’d also like to say that we really need everyone’s help to spread the word about what’s going on. I know some trackers get so caught up in the hunt that they tune out all the noise. We need to get the message to those Guild members before there are any more mix-ups with innocent people getting snagged off their ships.

You heard the man. Let’s get the word out, folks. If you happen to know an associate currently working a case in Kiel, please encourage them to confirm that their bounty was issued prior to breach. They can check what dates are affected by comming the Guild directly, right?

Lian Bolyard: Absolutely. We apologize for the issue and appreciate your patience and understanding while we get things back to normal. We’ll be sure to let everyone know once our system is secured and back online. Until then, it’s probably best to either hold tight or look for work in another system.

Any idea how much longer it’ll be until things get sorted? Are we talking hours … days?

Lian Bolyard: No idea. Right now, all I can say is that we’re hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

Now, from my understanding, this seems like a very sophisticated attack. Since someone went to a lot of trouble to do this, you gotta wonder what they hoped to achieve. Did they merely want to spread chaos or was there a more sinister goal? Are there any prevailing theories about what motivated it?

Lian Bolyard: A few.

Care to elaborate on any of them?

Lian Bolyard: Honestly, Garet, right now the ‘why’ behind it all isn’t as important as shoring up our network and getting it back online without any worse unfortunate incidents happening in the meantime. I’d be more than happy to speculate on motivations after we get a handle on the situation.

Understandable. Bet you’re thanking your lucky stars that this didn’t happen during next month’s Intergalactic Aerospace Expo.

Lian Bolyard: To tell you the truth, the thought of this happening during the expo had me tossing and turning last night. Didn’t sleep a wink. That’s why I want to make sure we get the system back online ASAP, so we can focus on getting to the bottom of the situation and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Sounds good, Bones. I appreciate you taking the time outta your hectic schedule to speak with us today. Stay in touch so we can keep everyone up-to-date on the system’s status.

Don’t go anywhere, folks. Up next, we’ll be speaking with the Guild’s own legal advisor Christy Tabares about “false-positive collars” and what you need to do if you apprehend the wrong person. That and more when TRACKER returns.

The Shipyard: Careers and Roles

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 11:29


Careers and Roles A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

With the upcoming release of the New Ship Matrix, the updated database of stats for every Star Citizen vehicle and ship, and the continuing development of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0.0 we have consolidated and re-aligned every ship in the game to better serve the community in understanding which ships are right for them. Over the next couple weeks, you’ll see new posts detailing the intricacies of our new Ship Matrix, what some of these new stats mean, how we expect them to manifest in game, and our thought process behind some of the changes you’ll see when all is said and done.

Of course, even with the release of this New Ship Matrix, our work is not completed. As Star Citizen continues to develop, so to will the classifications and stats for our spacecraft and ground vehicles. With our new baseline established, going forward we intend to keep the matrix as up-to-date as possible with the latest information. It is our hope that the New Ship Matrix will be the starting point for your Star Citizen theorycrafting adventures, as we detail the stock loadouts each ship will begin with. Remember, in the finished game, you’ll be able to customize many aspects of your ship, taking your spacecraft beyond the original intentions of their designers. We eagerly look forward to the loadouts and customization you’ll one day apply to your ships, as you make each Hornet, each Constellation, or each Hull C your own. We hope you’re as excited by the possibilities as we are.

To begin this process of updating our New Ship Matrix, we started by sorting each ship into one of our new “Career” groups. These groups will allow us as developers and you as backers to broadly compare various ships with one another using common themes intended to help make the choice regarding what ship is right for you.

Currently there are six (6) defined career groups that all ships fit under:

Combat

Exactly as the name implies, all about shooting and offensive damage to other ships, vehicles, and people on both ends of the legal spectrum. Consisting of military surplus, militia converted, the rare current military stock and the more common un-gunned civilian ships there is something for everyone in this group.


Transport

Ships that transport anything as their primary income method, be that cargo, data, or passengers. From the smallest ship carrying a single crate to the massive Hull-E, these ships are the backbone of the economy; carrying goods in and between systems.



Exploration

For those ships that go on short (and long) journeys to distant locations, be it for solo, group, or commercial discovery there is a ship to suit all explorers tastes. Equipped for a variety of mission types and often with extra transport options included in the larger ships.



Industrial

If gathering items from the verse is your thing, then Industrial is the best group for you featuring Mining, Salvage, Science, and other similar ships. Anything that gathers a resource from the world is contained within this group, whether its physical matter such as Mining and Salvage or intercepting/generating data from the environment.

Support

Perfect for those who want to be involved in the action but without shooting everything in sight; Medical, Repair, and Refueling ships are all part of this group and provide a less combat orientated approach to group gameplay loops.


Competition

Almost entirely consisting of ships for Racing, the group for those who need to go fast with lightweight agile ships. Great for racing but lack the durability for much else.

In addition to the six above there are a few ships that we really couldn’t condense into one group or another so we have termed these “Multi-Role” ships as they have such a range of roles it wouldn’t be right to put them in one group or another. Once each ship had been given a Career we drilled down further and assigned it a role inside that group to further define what that ship excels at.

We have listed some of the Roles below:

Ship Career / Role Chart
Which Spaceship Is the Right Spaceship for Me? Career Roles

Combat Fighters Interdiction Drop Ship Bomber Transport Freight Passenger Data Exploration Pathfinder Expedition Touring Industrial Mining Salvage Science Agriculture Support Medical Refueling Repair Reporting Competition Racing


* This is a partial listing of Ship Careers and Roles.

Many of the Roles can have prefixes such as Light/Medium/Heavy to better differentiate ships, such as the Prospector and Orion from each other as they are very different mining ships. Combat ships also benefit from this as the Gladius (Light Fighter) and Hornet F7C (Medium Fighter) would end up being considered as direct competitors otherwise.



All these new Careers/Roles are visible on the ASOP terminals in game to help better guide your choice of ship selection as well as on the website and in the future we’re aiming to have our own version of a “tech tree” where you can see natural upgrade routes between all the ships based on what you want to do with them.





Spaceship Role Call or: Intended Purposes and How to Defy Them

Each ship has a Role assigned to it, in the case of “Multi-Role” groups these often have two to reflect their nature, this role is a further clarification of what each ship is designed to do out of the box. The Role gives an overview of what the expected minute to minute, hour to hour gameplay loop will be with this ship rather than the day to day loop the Career Group defines.

Through in-game customization these roles can get blurred together but generally you can never competitively, you can trick out a Gladius with heavier weapons to an extent, better armor and more durable components but its still a Light Fighter at its core rather than a Medium Fighter and whilst it would be competitive in the right hands against a stock Medium fighter, outside of that its best considering other options.

Ship Roles: A Visual Guide Ship Role: Pathfinder Ship Role: Pathfinder Ship Role: Racing Ship Role: Racing Ship Role: Passenger Ship Role: Passenger Ship Role: Touring Ship Role: Touring Ship Role: Interdiction Ship Role: Interdiction $(document).ready(function() { $("#slideshow").data("carousel", new RSI.FullCarousel({ holder: $("#slideshow .mask .carousel"), pagerContainer: $("#slideshow .pager"), prevButton: $("#slideshow .js-prev"), nextButton: $("#slideshow .js-next"), clickToFullScreen: true, circular: true, useKeys: true, container: $("#slideshow"), needToLoadImg: true })); $(window).bind("resize", function() { if ($(window).width() < 1200) { $("#slideshow").data("carousel").setToFitScreen(); } else { $("#slideshow").data("carousel").unsetToFitScreen(); } }); if ($(window).width() < 1200) { $("#slideshow").data("carousel").setToFitScreen(); $("#slideshow").data("carousel").onWindowResize(); } else { $("#slideshow").data("carousel").unsetToFitScreen(); } $("#slideshow .download").bind("click", function(e) { e.stopPropagation(); return true; }); });

These are but a small sample of the roles currently available among the variety of Star Citizen ships and vehicles, and by no means a comprehensive list of all there is, or all there will be. Over time, additional roles will be introduced and existing roles will be expanded upon and detailed further. For the purposes of this post, we wanted to provide you with a brief introduction to some of the gameplay we want Star Citizen ships and vehicles to offer.

Additionally, these roles are starting points for each ship based on the intended design and default loadout. Through Star Citizen’s item upgrading and customization systems, we hope to provide a wide range of options to the player in tailoring the performance and capabilities of each ship, to both improve upon the functionality of it’s intended role, and in some cases, perform adequately outside the boundaries of any original conceptions designers may have had for a ship. Want a tricked out racing Hornet? How about a stealthy Buccaneer? While not every ship is as versatile as others, we’re excited to one day present you the tools that will allow you to make each ship your own.





Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: What do the other Roles in Exploration mean?

A: Expedition ships are for the multi-crew ships in the Exploration category that are able to support extended explorations with much larger supplies and often vehicles. Luxury exploration ships cover both of the aforementioned roles, but naturally do them in a much more luxurious manner. On paper without visuals if you compared a 300i and Aurora LX they’d stack up fairly similar (one seat, one bed, similar item counts) but in reality the 300i is a much more luxurious ship.

Q: Why has my ship changed Role from what it was sold as?

A: We have tried to ensure that all ships remain as close to their originally pledged roles, however a few may seem to have changed but this is more to do with a vague or nebulous original description. As development has progressed a lot of the older ships had very unique roles which do not fit nicely in with the current game design and need to be subtly pushed in various directions to better fit their intended role.

Q: Does my Career group restrict what missions I can do?

A: Absolutely not, We do not restrict missions available to the player at all currently and have no immediate plans to, its up to you to decide the best ship for the mission based on the information provided. You would still be able to take an “Escort” mission in a 890 Jump if you so desire, but the difficulty in achieving the same income for that would be much higher than if you took that person in a ship that was a dedicated long range Combat ship like the Vanguard or Banu Defender.


Further Reading

coming soon: Ship Mass Careers and Roles coming soon: Thrusters coming soon: Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordinance Hardpoints coming soon: Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints coming soon: Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo

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This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:47

Greetings Citizens

Greetings Citizens,

We are less than two weeks away from CitizenCon 2947! We’re really excited about expanding the scope and format of our on-stage presentations to deliver you more information and content than ever before. You can find all of the details about this year’s event here.

Also, the team will be in attendance this weekend at TwitchCon! We look forward to meeting many of you on Friday at Space Madness! The Resurgence of Space & Sci-Fi Games and on Sunday for Star Citizen: How Great Communities Make Great Games.

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

We’re kicking off the week with a brand new episode of Citizens of the Stars! Sgt. Gamble talks to us about broadcasting live on Twitch from Canada, then Stephen Hosmer takes on the hot seat for Quantum Questions.

On Tuesday, the lore team publishes another detailed post for those of you looking to learn more about the Star Citizen universe. You can also catch previously released posts here.

On Wednesday we’ll take a journey together to explore another system in the Star Citizen universe with Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Then on Thursday, fresh off the digital press, a new episode of Around the Verse will release, sharing an in-depth look at the development of Star Citizen and an update to the Burndown list with Eric Keiron Davis.

Lastly, we’ll be wrapping up the week with another episode of Happy Hour: Community. Join us live at 9 AM PDT at twitch.tv/starcitizen.

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

Tyler Witkin
Lead Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16TH, 2017
            Citizens of the Stars   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17TH, 2017
            Weekly Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18TH, 2017
            Loremarker’s Guide to the Galaxy!   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19TH, 2017
            Around the Verse + Burndown   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Vault Update    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20TH, 2017
            Happy Hour: Community [0900 PDT / 1600 UTC)    (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen/)
            Schedule Update   
            RSI Newsletter   
            Jump Point Magazine   

Community Spotlight: October 16th, 2017

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


Watercolor Vanguard by Mecavity

Mecavity has painted a stunning picture of the Aegis Vanguard using watercolor!

Community Hub post here

Sandstorm Race by Ocypeta

Ocypeta has created a beautiful image highlighting the intensity of a planetside race during a sandstorm!

Community Hub post here

Citizens of the Stars

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:39
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. SGT Gamble talks about the excitement of streaming at Gamescom in this week’s Citizen Spotlight. Then tech designer Stephen Hosmer discusses the Cyclone during Quantum Questions.

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:

CitizenCon 2947 Details

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:44


CitizenCon 2947 Details A Guide to the Week’s Activities



Greetings Citizens!

CitizenCon 2947 is almost here, as Star Citizen celebrates the fifth anniversary with you, the people that make all this possible. In addition to the annual presentation by Chris Roberts, we’re pushing the boundaries of what a CitizenCON can be in new and exciting ways.

We’re expanding the scope and format of our on-stage presentations to deliver you more information and content; packing additional rooms with interactive demos to showcase new and upcoming technology while letting those in attendance get their hands on it, filling a room with dozens of PCs so attendees can play Alpha 3.0, and broadcasting all afternoon on Twitch so we can bring everything CitizenCon has to offer to those of you who can’t attend in person.

Let’s see what CitizenCon 2947 has to offer. All times are local Frankfurt time.

14:00 – Attendees Arrive

Guests are welcomed into the majestic Capitol Theatre. Built in the early 20th century, this historical landmark provides the perfect backdrop for CitizenCon 2947: Exploring New Worlds.



14:30 – Broadcasting Empire Wide

Unable to attend the festivities live? Complete coverage of the event will be broadcast with a show covering all the Capitol Theatre’s activities, interviews with UEE dignitaries, and bringing live presentations to those of you watching from across the Empire.


15:00 – Aegis Dynamics Presents: CitizenCon Opening Address

To mark the official start of this year’s conference, we will hear from noted luminaries on what it means to be a citizen in today’s Empire, and how expanding and protecting Humanity’s new frontier is changing us for the better.



15:30 to 20:30 – Five Presentations

Featuring many of the greatest minds from across the UEE, experience panels on the most recent ground-breaking research and technological trends in the fields of kinesiology, xeno-linguistics, privatized colonization and more with a special address by Innovator of the Year Silas Koerner and an inspiring look at the spacecraft being hailed as a “game changer.”

21:00 – Electronic Access Presents: CitizenCon Keynote Address

Whether it’s visiting a city you’ve never traveled to before, charting a star system newly discovered, or even battling on virtual planets in a sim, Exploring New Worlds can mean many different things to many different citizens. Our keynote address will strive to get at the heart of why exploring our universe is so important, and how each of us can be a part of it.






Additional Activities for Attendees

For those in attendance, this year’s CitizenCon offers some extra features to partake in. Whether you’re getting a behind the scenes look at the technology behind Star Citizen, exploring the moons of Crusader on our network of terminals or catching up with devs and other Con attendees at the bar, there’s something for everybody.


Tech Gallery Sponsored by Aegis Dynamics

Beginning at 15:00, journey to the cutting edge of technological innovation in CitizenCon’s new Tech Gallery. Scientists, Designers, Artists and Engineers offer up close and exclusive looks at the latest advancements in disciplines ranging from geohacking to outpost design to weapon manufacture.


The UEE Diplomatic Corps Bar

Sponsored by the UEE Diplomatic Corps, the Frontier Bar is the perfect place to network for your next exploration mission, simply connect with friends, or catch up with.


Universum Sponsored by Electronic Access

Beginning at 15:30 Electronic Access invites conference-goers to stop by one of their high-end terminals to be the first to experience their exciting new planetary technology.






Beyond CitizenCon

With Citizens attending from the farthest reaches of the Empire, the UEE Diplomatic Corps have ensured there are focal points for meeting up with each other on both the day before and after to ensure a better sense of camaraderie and in celebration of everything being a Citizen entails.



Thursday, October 26th

From 18:00 to 20:00 several members from the UEE Diplomatic Corps will be available at Champions Bar in the Marriott Hotel Frankfurt. You can enjoin with your fellow Citizens there and discuss the logistics of covering everything happening the next day.

Location: Hamburger Allee 2, 60486 Frankfurt






Saturday, October 28th

After the previous evening’s celebrations, we’ll be enjoying a quiet drink at the Apfelwein Wagner in the afternoon from 15:00 to 17:00. Come join us there and chat about your favorite experiences of CitizenCon 2947.

Location: Schweizer Straße 71, 60594 Frankfurt




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October 2947 Subscriber Flair!

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:19
October 2947 Subscriber Flair Greetings Subscribers!

This month’s subscriber flair is part of our newest “Masters of Design” series of ship schematics. Before Esperia produced working recreations of historic and alien ships, its founders Jovi and Theo Ingstrom obsessively collected ship blueprints. Thanks to Esperia’s digital archives the original schematics for the Caterpillar and Dragonfly are now available for you to examine in detail.

If you’re an active subscriber, the flair will be attributed to your account today. If you subscribe over the weekend, the flair will be attributed to your account on Monday October 16th. More information about subscriptions can be found here!

Around the Verse

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 21:04
Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host an episode that dives into the enhancements coming to cockpits. Plus, catch the first “Burndown” since the Evocati got there hands on 3.0.

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

Bugsmashers!

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:52
Spencer Johnson steps in for Mark Abent and gets physical with a bug that keeps players from interacting with clothes in Casaba. Watch Spencer smash this bug and munch on Mark Abent’s snacks in this edition of Bugsmashers.

StarWatch: Fundraiser Ruckus

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 18:03
Send Your Tips to StarWatch!

On your mark, get set … woah! What a weekend for the StarWatch team, as yours truly was front and center for what has to be the biggest celebrity scandal of the year. You might’ve heard about the aftermath elsewhere — a broken hand, a delayed blockbuster, a supposedly scratched 600i, and the arrest of a Senator’s son — but no one can drop the delicious details of the exciting events quite like me, Callie C.

That’s right, StarWatchers, there’s no need for tipsters to tell the tale of what went down at Landry Caballero’s star-studded benefit on Saturday night, because I was one of the many A1 attendees at her charity soirée in Prime. Because of my primo access to all that occurred, we’re dedicating today’s entire show to giving you exclusive insight into the events that left the UEE abuzz. But first, let’s set the scene with a little backstory.

Landry Caballero’s fabulous fundraiser was in support of her new charity Life Under Foot, which aims to raise credits “to study and support the sustainability of Tohil III’s living islands.” Landry, the star of such action-packed blockbusters as Fulcrum Force and The Reaper Files, first became obsessed with the the large botanical biomasses that dot the ocean world of Tohil III last year, while vacationing at an ultra-exclusive resort built on one of these “living islands.” According to Landry, the trip to Tohil III was an eye-opener for her in many regards, and was also where she first met her current heartthrob — Croshaw Jumpers’ bad boy Haruto Effinger.

At the fundraiser, Landry and I spoke about her profound passion for Tohil III’s truly unique ecosystem, and the lack of government funding to research its sustainability. Right as she was describing how standing barefoot on the massive, sturdy plants made her feel connected to these incredible organisms, shouts coming from the event’s entrance drew our attention.

It was none other than Rowen Haskel and a cadre of sycophantic friends. There had been much speculation about whether or not Rowen would show up, one of the many reasons I eagerly attended the fundraiser. Lucky for us all, I was right by Landry’s side when the spectacle kicked off.

For those who don’t know, Landry and Rowen have been spec feuding for a while. It all started following last year’s semi-finals match between the Jumpers and the Ferron Lancers when Rowen, who is the youngest son of Ferron Senator Turson Haskel and a part owner of the Lancers, accused Haruto Effinger of cheating during one of the game’s key plays. The allegation didn’t sit well with Landry, who quickly jumped to her boyfriend’s defense, and the two have been publicly bickering with increasing disdain ever since.

The feud turned personal two weeks ago when Rowen lambasted Landry’s upcoming Life Under Foot fundraiser as “shockingly out of touch” and “the perfect charity for those who care more about plants than people.” Rowen even went as far as to urge anyone who was considering supporting Landry’s foundation to instead put that money towards a “real” cause. Then he listed numerous Ferron-based nonprofits that help people in the struggling system.

The war of words between Landry and Rowen culminated in a bet over the outcome of last week’s Jumpers and Lancers game, with the loser promising to make a donation to the charity of the winner’s choosing. When the Jumpers — backed by what I’m told was an incredible performance from Haruto Effinger — won the match, Landry requested that Rowen’s charitable donation obviously go to Life Under Foot. To no one’s surprise, he refused to follow through on the payout.

So, when Rowen crashed the fundraiser, I knew something juicy would occur. I followed Landry and Haruto to where Rowen and his crew, who if I’m being honest all looked pretty lit, were raising a ruckus. Rowen demanded entry, but refused to purchase a ticket. I even heard Rowen say that he “was there to make a real donation and not pay for the event’s food and booze budget.”

Haruto and Rowen exchanged a flurry of words that I dare not repeat with my mother watching. Hey, Mom! Landry, desperate to not have her party turn into the debacle that it clearly already was, tried to get a handle on the sitch. She told Rowen that if he donated to her charity right then and there that she would let them into the event.

Rowen opened his mobi, hit a few buttons and then showed Landry the screen. A smirk spread across his face. He’d donated exactly one credit to the cause.

I have never seen Landry so livid outside of that incredible final fight in Fulcrum Force, when she finally avenges her brother’s death. Haruto even had to hold her back as she screamed for security to escort Rowen and his friends from the event. Meanwhile, Rowen called to the gathering crowd that they were all witnesses to the promise that he’d be let in if he made a donation. It … was … pandemonium.

Finally, event security separated the groups and moved Rowen and his crew toward his shiny new Origin 600i. Landry followed, exchanging words with Rowen the entire time. Right as Rowen got to his ship, he turned back and said something that I couldn’t hear. But, whatever it was, it launched Landry into orbit.

She rushed Rowen and hit him so hard that I saw stars. Guess all the hand-to-hand combat training for her starring roles paid off. The punch sent Rowen reeling backwards. He slammed into his 600i and slumped to the ground.

Rowen’s crew quickly pulled him to his feet. Strangely, Rowen didn’t acknowledge the punch at all. Instead, he inspected his ship and yelled after Landry, who was being rushed away by Haruto, that she would pay for scratching the custom paint job. At this point, security quickly ushered everyone else inside, while Rowen’s 600i lifted off in a hurry.

Now, I was ready and raring to file a report right then and there. I tried tracking down Landry for a comment, but she couldn’t be found. When she also didn’t appear on stage during the fundraiser’s keynote address, I knew something was seriously wrong. So when the word came down that our beautiful brawler had broken her hand, I wasn’t surprised.

Word is that they healed her up right quick, but she still needs to take it easy for the next few days. That’s delayed the filming of a key action scene for her latest vid, Deathwatch. No word on when filming will resume, but from what I hear, the vid’s producers are none too happy about Landry’s actions on many fronts.

News of Landry’s injury is nothing compared to the trouble Rowen now finds himself in. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I wasn’t present to see his attempt at revenge, but his actions have garnered the most press coming out of this entire event.

After lifting off, Rowen and his crew never left the vicinity. Instead, they apparently stayed and searched the landing pad for Haruto’s Nox. At that point, Rowen’s 600i moved into position over the landing pad, the ship’s door opened and he proceeded to relieve himself onto Haruto’s bike below. Guess we’re seeing an all new downside to flying an open-canopy ship.

What doesn’t this story have, right? All it needs is the arrest of a disgraced public figure and I’ve got celebrity scandal Bingo. Well, thankfully, this is the incident that keeps on giving.

As we all know, hovering over landing pads to target parked ships is a big ol’ no-no. I guess the local air traffic controller was aware of the incident and quickly dispatched the police in case more than recycled booze rained down from Rowen’s 600i. If his ship would’ve blasted off the second Rowen was done, then he probably would’ve gotten away free and clear. Unfortunately, his pilot accidentally engaged the automated landing system. Instead of escaping into atmosphere, Rowen’s 600i came to a rest on the landing pad next to the Nox.

The police arrived on the scene right then and there. According to witnesses, Rowen didn’t even have a chance to make himself decent before the cops swarmed his ship. Ooops!

We need to take a quick commercial break, but when StarWatch returns, crime correspondent Nash Toulouse will join me to discuss the possible legal fallout from this entire event. From the lewd conduct charges to the possibility that Rowen could accuse Landry of assault, Nash will be our brave guide through the legal morass. Don’t go anywhere. StarWatch will be back in a flash!

This Week in Star Citizen

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 16:22

Greetings Citizens

Greetings Citizens,

Wow, what a weekend it has been! Last week we released Alpha 3.0 to the Evocati and we’ve been collecting and distributing the feedback and bug reports to the development team.

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

What better way to start off a new week than with a brand new episode of Citizens of the Stars! Alcatraz talks to us about his highly detailed 3D printed models, then Bryce Benton discusses the Evocati, the Delta Patcher, and more. Catch the latest episode here.

On Tuesday, the lore team publishes another post for all you lore fiends out there. You can catch previously released posts here.

Bugsmashers returns Wednesday with guest host Associate Gameplay Engineer Spencer Johnson. Spencer will tackle on a code-related bug while resident host Mark Abent continues to focus on getting Alpha 3.0 to the public.

Then on Thursday, a new episode of Around the Verse hits your screens with another update to the Burndown list with Eric Keiron Davis.

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

Tyler Nolin
Community Manager

The Weekly Community Content Schedule

MONDAY, OCTOBER 9TH, 2017
            Citizens of the Stars   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10TH, 2017
            Weekly Lore Post   (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11TH, 2017
            Bugsmashers!   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12TH, 2017
            Around the Verse + Burndown   (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/)
            Vault Update    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13TH, 2017
            Schedule Update   
            RSI Newsletter   

Community Spotlight: October 9th, 2017

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


UEE & Me by O-Face

Follow Dignen and O-Face as they sink deeper into the crap in the pilot episode of UEE & Me!

Community Hub post here

X1 Infinity Wallpaper by STARMEDIC

STARMEDIC is back with a new wallpaper! This time it’s of the X1 force on what they describe as, “the best damn parking lot I could find in the verse.”

Community Hub post here

Citizens of the Stars

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 12:26
Welcome to Citizens of the Stars, our new weekly program exclusively about you, the Star Citizen Community. Whether through bug reports on the issue council, feedback on the forums, or the creation of content inspired by the game, Star Citizen is only possible because of the community. Citizens of the Stars not only highlights these contributions, but also puts a dev in the hotseat for a round of Quantum Questions, which addresses some fun facts about the dev and game. It’s Alcatraz’s turn in the Citizen Spotlight to highlight his incredibly detailed 3D printed models. Then Bryce Benton discusses the delta patcher and more in his round of Quantum Questions.

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:
  • CITIZEN SPOTLIGHT
    Alcatraz and his 3D Printed Weapons

Monthly Studio Report: September 2017

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 15:16
Monthly Studio Report: September 2017

Greetings Citizens!

You didn’t think we forgot about you, did you?

Welcome to the Monthly Studio Report, our chance to catch up with development teams from our studios around the world and take a look at much of what they’ve been working on in the last month. With work on Alpha 3.0 running fervently towards release, the video versions of these Studio Reports regularly found in Around the Verse have made temporary way for our popular Burndown segments each and every week. That means for September we’re back to the classic format so we can bring you the latest in Star Citizen’s continuing development. So without further adieu, let’s get to it.

CIG Los Angeles

CLOUD IMPERIUM: LOS ANGELES



ENGINEERING

This month, engineering in Los Angeles made great progress on the Item 2.0 Ship conversions, and hooked up incredible new features that Item 2.0 will offer players. One thing that really stood out was the cargo system, as it will open up a whole new play style in Star Citizen. Another cool focus for the month was the Ship Item Kiosks, this system will allow players to buy and sell goods in the game, but most importantly it will be one of the main elements needed for the game’s economy to begin to take shape.



TECH DESIGN

LA Tech Design was heavily focused on fixing issues for Item 2.0 ships, making sure all the ships were correctly converted from Item 1.0 to Item 2.0, and that all the new Item 2.0 functionality worked properly. Tech Design also implemented the Render-to-Texture (RTT) screens on all the Multi-Function Displays in the cockpits, unified seat and door interactions in the ships, and set up the new 3D radars in the ships that utilize them.

The team also continued supporting various ships as they go through the Ship Pipeline. Currently, the Anvil Terrapin and Anvil Hurricane are in production and soon they’ll begin the whitebox phase on the F8 Lightning, Tumbril Cyclone, and the refactored Constellation Phoenix. Lastly, they ensured that the edge cases in setting up armor restrictions in the cockpit types are accounted for. Final signoff and implementation of this comes next.



ART

September was a great month for the Character Team as they created new concepts for the Persistent Universe and Squadron 42 characters which they are excited to start modeling this fall. In Squadron 42, they made a lot of progress on Bridge Officer uniforms that will accurately reflect the rank of the officer. Finally, the team made significant improvements to our character production pipeline to help support the large volume of characters and loadouts needed to populate the Star Citizen universe.


This past month, the LA Ship Art team updated ships to handle new tech, such as the newly implemented fog tech, which changes the lighting to react properly with dynamic fog. The team also did a pass on the new LightGroups to update the default emergency lighting and auxiliary states, and on the Render-to-Texture technology for cockpits, which renders the viewpoint of the camera on geometry used when players are receiving incoming transmissions. Additionally, they completed the whitebox for the Cyclone, started whiteboxing the Mustang update, started greyboxing the Hurricane, and finalized art on the Terrapin.



TECH CONTENT

Over the past month, the Tech Content team tackled work across various disciplines, including Animation, Characters, Environments, Ships and Weapons.

The Tech Animation team continued to rig characters as they came through the pipeline to get them in game and working. Along the way, they fixed a multitude of skinning bugs (such as fixing a hunched back animation) to improve the quality of the character costumes, worked on a full update for the mobiGlas, and added support for our developers in the Maya Cry Exporter. Another large change is the 1:1 support in Maya of loadouts. This allows our animators to see the character they are working on correctly represented in Maya with clothes, armor or weapons, which saves loads of time.

On the Character Tech Art front, they implemented lighting into helmets, generated blend shapes for beards and hair, and updated zones on male/female character bodies. Several male and female hair variants were also implemented. The team has a major workflow improvement in progress that updates the entire character production pipeline into a more streamlined system.

For Environment Tech Art, the team made progress on procedural interiors, particularly complex multi-floor layouts and an outpost procedural library. They were also busy profiling and optimizing the performance of shadows, textures and lighting in Levski.

Over on the Ship Tech Art side, they finalized the Idris and Gladius landing gear skinning/compression. They also juggled a lot of ship bugs and tasks, such as implementing a new set-up for the Caterpillar doors.

Finally, our Weapons Tech Art team continued to set up rigs while providing support with a balance pass for FPS weapons and a script for updating IK grip positions.



NARRATIVE

This month, the narrative team pretty much kicked back… kidding. They worked heavily with the PU Live Design to generate a system for procedural mission text that could accommodate the various job boards that you will consult in 3.0 but also for the mission details that the mission givers send you. Aside from the usual News Update and Jump Point needs, they continued providing names and descriptions for the various components and items in the game, tackled a myriad of marketing related copy like the X1 sale, and managed to not break the build while working with item localization into Dataforge.



QUALITY ASSURANCE

LAQA worked hard testing any and all features coming from or supported by LA Engineering for 3.0: this included Quantum Travel, new turret controls and behavior, Item 2.0 ship MFD’s and support screens. We also looked into mobiGlas functionality and how it intersects with Quantum Travel with regards to the Star Map. In an effort to improve efficiency with the local pipelines, the team also worked on a variety of resource gathering tasks, such as capturing screenshots and videos or assembling bug lists for teams to use in daily standups and in high-level reviews.

CIG Austin

CLOUD IMPERIUM: AUSTIN



DESIGN

The Austin design team worked hard on getting the remaining 3.0 features and tasks closed out to go to our Evocati Testers. Things ATX Design have been focused on are:

To start, Ruto finally came to life as a pass of his behavior was implemented into Subsumption. The team is currently receiving feedback from the directors before we plug in the rest of his behavior. In addition, the admin worker NPC type is currently being integrated into the mission flow. There was even a recent pickup shoot to grab some additional animations for these characters to provide some bespoke animations to give and receive packages needed during missions.

The pricing matrix was also updated to bring some additional balance to the multitude of items that will be in the game. Having items that range from hats to battleships has certainly presented a lot of challenges, and this latest pass will hopefully bring more consistency to the prices between item classes.

Finally, the team completed a new pass on the “Per Item” shopping UI. While working on kiosk shopping, Design did another pass on mobiGlas shopping by adjusting the UI Layout/Design to accommodate new item information. While this may not make the 3.0 build, the updated layout will hopefully make a subsequent release.



ART

Ship Artist Josh Coons started the whitebox block out of the Constellation Phoenix’s interior and exterior. Because the Connie was created using the modular system, only the ‘body’ section needs to be changed, which will help save time with this variant. The interior layout is almost completed and is scheduled for a review soon. Josh Coons also did some bug fixes for 3.0, including a pass on the air tight collisions and lightgroup/RTT screen setup on the Herald and Cutlass.

Chris Smith updated the lightgroup and fog setup for the Constellation Andromeda and Aquila and organized the layers to reflect the correct setup for the lightgroup tech in Sandbox. He also re-lit the interiors and equipped the required lighting states (Aux, Default, Emergency) in the ships. Both of those ships also needed an updated collision pass on the interior (all collisions have been updated with cheaper primitives). After he finished with the Connie, he moved on to updating the Hornet setup level and lighting/light group setup.



BACKEND SERVICES

Like the rest of the development team, the Server Engineering group was heavily focused on supporting features and tech requirements for 3.0. One of the biggest features they tackled was Client disconnect/crash recovery. This allows players to return to their previous location after a disconnection like a lost internet connection or client crash. This includes when a player in a party gets disconnected they will be returned to that group.

The team also made some major upgrades to the persistence cache so it now properly manages items that are both physically and legally owned. Basically, this means you can drop a piece of your equipment in a friend’s ship and it will persist in that ship even after you log off.



ANIMATION

In addition to 3.0 support, the Ship Animation Team started adding in-flight comms calls between players and AI, and refined the overall comms calls experience. A motion capture session was held to pick up animations related to upcoming vehicles, as well as prototyped movements for new ships coming down the pipeline.

On the PU Animation Team, they implemented special characters into environments that a player can interact with. We now have both female and male shopkeepers and bartenders working in various parts of the levels and will continue to add more as they become available. Our usable animations can now be seen in game as work progresses to grow and refine the player experience. Right now, the AI behavior is limited to one task, like fixing something or sitting in chairs. In the future, the AI will have day/night cycles which will allow them to do their job until a certain time, head to a bar to hang out, go home to sleep, and then return to work the next day.

The team also received code support to fix some of the more persistent bugs to allow for some big advancements with the usable system. Although the AI now properly enter and exit every usable as intended, they still have work to do, like velocity matching the speed of the walk to the speed of the enter animation. During the motion capture shoot, they captured motions to help fill in the gaps of missing animations for usables and NPCs. They also corrected animations that were outdated due to updated metrics.



OPERATIONS

The DevOps team supported an increased number of internal publishes related to 3.0 and extended testing for the internal delta patcher. All automation systems were checked and rechecked to ensure confidence in stability and rapid deployments that are now expected due to the much smaller patch sizes.



QUALITY ASSURANCE

Austin QA worked closely with Production to ensure that bugs that needed to be addressed before an Evocati release (as well as the eventual PTU and Live) were identified. Simultaneously, they ensured that bugs returned to QA as fixed were quickly retested, so any further issues could be flagged. New UI and HUD elements for ships, shopping UI and Kiosks, as well as new work on the mobiGlas application were major components of 3.0 testing. They also dealt with the new Stanton missions, updates to the Air Traffic Control, Persistence, the reworked Aurora, and the KnightBridge Arms ballistic cannon.

Meanwhile, the engine and editor testers were extremely busy testing new tech, such as capsule-based actor entity, particle and VFX testing, and the deprecation of the legacy job system. They also performed serious testing of the new launcher and patcher alongside Turbulent and provided them with regular updates and information after each new build.



PLAYER RELATIONS

This past month, the Player Relations team met in Montreal with Turbulent and representatives from every studio to plan technology and organizational needs. Plus, the summit covered various policies to keep the playing environment safe and secure for all backers. Gamescom was quite the busy month for us, but the team was back at it, recently moving all efforts to focusing on 3.0 Evocati testing. The goal is to structure and organize playtests with Evocati to get feedback on different sections of 3.0. This will help get info into the right people’s hands overnight after a publish.

Foundry 42 UK

FOUNDRY 42: UK



GRAPHICS

The graphics team focused on improvements to tech for 3.0 and continued with a few longer-term tasks for the next release and Squadron 42.

They added shadow map support to the Render-to-Texture system, along with many other improvements to RTT. The tech behind static (cached) shadows was improved and this feature enabled for 3.0. This saves on CPU and GPU cost for distant shadows, especially on lower spec PCs. They also made many quality improvements and bug-fixes to static sun shadows for space stations and landing zones. The asteroid system had several changes to make it more widely usable for 3.0; including better randomization/noise, physicalization-on-demand and AI avoidance volumes. On the VFX side, they focused on bug fixes and a new streaming-update system to vastly reduce the CPU cost of distant particle emitters.

For the longer-term tasks, they added hierarchical voxel support to the gas cloud system and enabled support for third party volumetric simulations to be imported into the engine. The material blending shaders were also generalized and improved so that the team can more easily add new shader features. This will be the foundation of the new glass and various layer blend shaders.



UI

This month the UI team continued the big push for 3.0 by working on new features, as well as incorporating feedback for existing 3.0 features in order to provide players the best experience.

Over the past month, the team was involved in various sprints relating to Item2.0 in order to wrap up specific areas of the HUD and MFDs. The UI team was also involved in the Item2.0 sprint that focused around closing out all areas of Item2.0, bringing online the final remaining UI elements for ships.

The contract manager had some additional tweaks this month. As design progressed with the mission setups, they identified small tweaks to the contract manager UI that made the app more accessible, and more importantly, easier to use. The StarMap and PMA went through a few rounds of bugfixes as well. Finally, the ship selector was revised to use the updated UI, which incorporates additional functionality within the terminals for insurance claims.



PROGRAMMING

Animation flow was looked at by multiple sprint teams. The usable tech underwent a rewrite to integrate it better with the AI decision making, allowing for more seamless transitions between movement and interaction. They made improvements to Mannequin, our animation selection system, to handle situations where a performance should play on a specific idle set and then, optionally, return to some other idle. For example, Eckhart leaning forward to whisper something conspiratorial and then staying in that idle pose after delivering the line. The actor system state machine also enhanced how it deals with animation requests, specifically improving queuing and interruption, as well as opening up a new event-based communication path between the animation states and the AI Subsumption system.

The team also made improvements to the mission system by implementing and testing some new glue-code that allows for random events to be triggered throughout the game via probability back-end services. This includes dynamically spawning entities (like a character, ships and props) in any environment, like space or on the surface of procedurally generated planets. Programmers continued the ongoing work to add additional variables and Subsumption nodes to the mission system, which the design team uses to create mission content. This included hook-ups for templated descriptions and its effect on dynamically spawned mission content – a simple example would be ensuring that a mission called “WANTED: Pirate Roberts” actually spawns an enemy called “Pirate Roberts”.



SHIPS

A total remake of the Vanguard cockpit was completed to give players a more immersive experience, and to push the artistic style towards that of the Retaliator. Lighting was revamped and the player’s controls were developed for the interaction 2.0 cockpit experience sprint.

The Sabre cockpit was revamped to function better with the new interaction system. The geometry for the dashboard and displays was remade and the rest of the interior updated to add more detail and flair.

In addition, the entire lighting was redone to add more character and take full advantage of the new systems.

The Reclaimer team finished all the LOD’s and lighting optimization that resulted in some big performance gains. In addition, a full pass was done on emergency and auxiliary lighting states, complete with transitions using the new light group entity.

The entire block out of the 600i interior was completed along with a first pass on the exterior. The hub and exploration module areas were taken further by adding the modelling detail and fleshing out the molded shapes that come with the Origin style. A base set of materials were also set up and will continue to be iterated on as the ship develops.


The interior layout of the Carrack was blocked in based on designs requests. Next comes the more detailed whitebox phase that defines the shapes of the rooms and corridors, alongside a basic lighting pass.

The Void is almost fully textured with some areas underneath the ship and a POM pass remaining. A detail pass and the creation of damage states will follow. The Vanduul Blade remake has progressed well. All major shapes and functionality were blocked in following the new art style established for the Vanduul ships.


In other news, the Hull C is art complete and ready for other departments to work their magic. They are also reworking the landing gears of numerous ship to make them compatible with the new compression system. Finally, the Ursa Rover is currently undergoing a derelict pass.



CONCEPT ART

Work has continued at a furious rate for the Concept team, and they’re are still looking to bolster their numbers and hire an additional four concept artists to continue to grow the team.

Starting with Squadron 42, as levels came together they identified the visual targets, which are areas that describe the beats within the game. Then they create loose high-level images and slowly focus in and define them more and more. This enables the whole team to understand what they are driving for on a visual and emotional level. This month, they tackled a few more areas of Shubin mining station (really, it is huge!) and some of the space scaping.

For the PU, work continued on Hurston exteriors and interiors, ArcCorp and Orison. This occurred along with the props needed to support these areas.

In the world of ships and vehicles, they worked on the X1 from Origin alongside four others, which will remain nameless for now. These ships/vehicles range in size from large to small with some being simple while others are super complex. Despite the differences, they are really excited to eventually show off all of them to you.

The concept team also maintained a steady throughput of ship weapons, creating a sweet electron beam gun from Hurston Dynamics. They also finalized a Xi’an weapon, which is very different than anything the team has done to date.



VFX

This month, the VFX team put lots of cool new tech to good use! For example, now they can spawn volumetric fog via our particle system. This allows them to greatly improve smoke, dust and (of course) fog effects in the mid and near distances. Previously, they had to fade out these types of effects when close to the screen but now they fade in the fog at close range for results that are incredibly immersive.

They’ve also improved ship “deathmask” explosions by putting to use a variety of new features, which were used when blowing up the Idris at Gamescom. This includes the ability to control camera shake and screen blur directly in the particle system. They’re keeping this very subtle though and just want to add a little extra oomph where necessary. They also fixed a long-standing issue that forced them to limit the life of our deathmasks to a couple of seconds. Now they can layer them to have a bit more pop, crackle and fizzle in the initial frames before the boom!

Work continued on updating the Quantum Travel effects. A lot of time and effort went into creating new spool-up/enter/exit effects, and thanks to the extra power of the GPU particles, the team is really happy with how these are looking for the 3.0 release.

Speaking of, this month saw continued iteration on all existing effects, using the added power of GPU particles (read: higher particle count) to weapon projectiles/impacts, environment effects and basically everything else where possible.

Finally, they began a new sprint for space landscaping VFX. This starts a new collaboration between VFX, Graphics and Gameplay engineers to allow them to control particle effects based on environmental data. A simple example would be using a fluctuating density value inside a gas cloud to control the count and opacity of a camera-bound particle system. This should allow them to bring extra texture and flavor to a huge range of environments without having to resort to manually placing hundreds of entities. The team is really excited to see this tech taking shape!



AUDIO

Throughout September they primarily worked on issues relating to the 3.0 release. This included the usual iteration and revision work on ship audio, which has had to absorb various changes to upstream systems. They also kept plugging away at persistent universe locations, dialogue content and related systems, user interfaces, character Foley work, etc. Optimization and fixes were mostly the order of the day (or month!).

FPS weapons were also worked on. Iterations to the Behring P8-AR and other weapons got them to a better place. They supported some broad enhancements to the Star Marine game mode by adding new secondary weapon content and refining the differentiation between ADS (or ‘iron sights’) and usual aiming modes to give gunplay a more visceral experience when bringing guns up close.

Work on Squadron 42 continued to progress. The move to use Subsumption to drive music logic is ongoing but it’ll eventually give a more robust solution than previously. Where appropriate, they took the opportunity to do more bespoke sound design for environments and ambient sound in Squadron 42. This allows them to differentiate particular locations and have them stand out a bit more.

Also in September, they supported FOIP by improving its audio performance. This is a task they’ll continue to work on in the future.

Speaking of the future, some of the Audio team will be in attendance at CitizenCon, and look forward to getting to speak to some of you there.



ENVIRONMENTS

The Environment team completed a sprint for creating large (up to 20km!) asteroids for 3.0. They’re hoping this sprint helps our tech development create a system which allows for a greater level of detail from the ground to space. As a part of this sprint, artist Luan Vetoreti experimented with world-machine to generate larger mid-range forms to great effect!

The AsteroidField entity was updated for the 3.0 release. This uses procedural noise breakup to create more natural space rock formations. It also greatly improves the efficiency of building space scenes, as it is no longer necessary to hand place asteroids unless desired. The team also experimented with ground based atmospherics for 3.0, like thermal winds around Yela. These elements could provide some great visual interest from the surface of our planets.

Space landscaping sprints for Delamar and Yela were also finished. This utilized the new SpaceDust shader to create larger planetary scale atmospherics and space dust.

The environment team also started development of some exciting in-engine volumetric simulations for Squadron 42 and the Odin System. Finally, the space-scapes in Squadron 42 were improved based on 3.0 development sprints with asteroids and spacedust.

Additional surface outposts were placed on all three moons. Various branding and logos got their final pass, including new logos and iconography for Terra Mills and emergency shelters. A final pass on all outposts was done to guarantee that there are spaces to pick up and drop of items necessary to completing certain missions. Exterior elements were given thicker bases so they can be dropped on uneven terrain. In addition, landing pads received their final pass to bring them in line with the look of high tech outposts and to better integrate them onto the planet surface.

Now, let’s turn our attention to rest stops. The final pass on all interior rooms was carried out. They knocked out a pass on props, dressing and advertisements. Elevators from the landing pads to the main hub were set up and are now working. Rest stops were also adapted to use the procedural layout system and the team is currently iterating on these early tests.

All older locations had a bug clear out, and an optimization pass was done on the worst offending models and materials. In addition, Area18 was exported and placed onto ArcCorp. Preliminary work on the entire planet is under way, as the team iterates on how it looks from positions close to the planet surface to much farther away.

A Squadron 42 art sprint is almost finished being integrated. There was ongoing support for bug fixing, design requirements and systems. Showstoppers (including lighting) are in the process of being fixed, and an AI sprint was started. Also in progress are relighting, a props/dressing pass for three key areas to accommodate the new AI, and an optimization pass.



DERBY ANIMATION

The Derby Studio was busy moving into the new studio! After spending four months split between two offices, they’re finally back together under one roof where there’s a lot more space.

The Motion Capture and HeadCam systems were set up to run tests with the Audio team, who came down from Wilmslow in preparation for an upcoming shoot. The team also completed a bunch of facial animation and polished cinematic facial animations.

Over the past month, the Animation Team created assets for the Alpha 3.0 release and beyond. They have been updating the placeholder animations for the Player stopping. The goal is to provide a higher visual fidelity and realism to how Players move within the new speed gearing system. Animators also worked on jumping. They needed to balance Star Citizen’s signature high-fidelity look with a manageable amount of assets for when the animation bank is extended to the female model and various stamina types. Plus, they worked on stealth takedowns.

In addition, they worked on developing daily routine and life animations for characters and mission givers. A recent shoot in the Austin office focused on these behaviors, which the Derby team is now tracking and solving. The animators also added more life to the Star Citizen world with conversations characters have as they go about their routines. Finally, on the ship side, the team delivered updates for the Sabre ship set and captured enter/exit animations for the new ground-based vehicles.



Foundry 42 DE

FOUNDRY 42: DE



WEAPONS

The DE FPS Weapons team completed the initial pass on both the Gemini R97 Shotgun as well as the Kastak Arms Custodian Laser SMG. For the Ship Weapons, they finished off the maxOX Neutron Repeaters sizes 1 through 3. The Weapons team has made great overall progress on FPS and Ship weapons these past few months, even getting slightly ahead of the global schedule, so to fill up some of the additional time and to let other dependencies catch up to their work, the team helped out the UK prop team by completing some coolant silos and are currently working on a gravity console.



LIGHTING

In the month following Gamescom, the lighting team polished up the remaining sections of Levski by integrating Lit Fog, improving overall performance, and ensuring the lighting is setup according to the defined best practices. They also provided general support for other areas of the 3.0 release, including fixing bugs, improving performance, and unifying lighting quality across the PU.



QUALITY ASSURANCE

The DE QA team was heavily involved with Gamescom this year, starting with spending a few days demoing for the press and ending with the playthrough at the Gloria Theater. With Gamescom completed, they participated in a global post-mortem to help make a better experience for future events. In regard to builds, QA was involved in testing the new character capsule for improved character collision detection, as well as full PU performance testing. New changes were added and tested in Subsumption, which included a new Usable Scope for Variable Attributes which allows control over whether a variable can be injected into another as a Variable Attribute. Additionally, the creation of CTRL-D/F/G hotkeys allowed easier navigation between Tasks on both the SubActivity and Mission Function Task grids. They also worked closely with Tony Zurovec and the Design team to make sure the system was working optimally. As 3.0 closes in, the team are mostly helping with Adhoc testing and regression to ensure the game is as stable and optimized as can be. The DE team were also interviewed this past month by David Ladyman for Jump Point Magazine to talk about their involvement and work leading up to the Gamescom demo.



ENGINE

The engine team has been extremely busy with their focus spread over numerous fronts. They continued work on the Subsumption visualizer, a system meant to develop and debug AI behaviors. They made some major improvements to temporal antialiasing, this work will be ongoing and the tech will continue to be iterated on over the coming months. Also, improvements were made to our tone mapping curve (ACES based). Overall, the look is quite similar to our current curve, with a tiny bit of additional punch and contrast. The darks and shadows are preserved quite well in space, and the rolloff on the highlights is still handled gracefully as by the original ACES curve. The engine team also completed several improvements to the planetary procedural objects scattering, added some new options for Environment Art, made small terrain rendering improvements, and performed general optimizations. They did several fixes to the texture array system, PlanEd fixes and improvements, continued some cleanup duties by removing old terrain functionalities, and made some improvements on decals support.

They also pushed to complete the P4K System, which is one core part of the coming delta patcher, planned to be used for 3.0 and afterwards. The P4K System is the new data structure to allow delta patching. Now, instead of having multiple pak files, there’s a single large p4k file to hold all the data. On top of this file container, the system allows incremental patching, meaning that it will only transfer files which have actually changed. This system has been used internally for roughly two months, as well as at GamesCom, and has proven to be stable.

While doing this change, they also took the time to switch our compression algorithm from the aged deflate to the more modern zStandard, which provides a better compression rate and faster decompression to improve loading times. The P4K System also changed the low-level streaming logic. The old system was file based and was using specific threads for IO, decompression and decryption. This change means that each file has to go through this pipeline, reducing our potential for parallel execution. The new system on the other hand is block based, using kernel async IO, and is tightly integrated into the threading system (more detail for the threading system changes is below). By building it like this, they can process files on many cores in parallel, while allowing them to better adapt to changes at runtime and have multiple files transferred in parallel.

To further optimize the loading times, they developed a zero-copy allocator for the streaming request, as due to the block loading, it is not guaranteed that they have all the data needed for decompression. The new allocator allowed us to cope with this situation without additional data copies, while freeing memory as soon as it is no longer needed. While the delta patcher is production ready, they haven’t fully converted over each file format/file type used to be optimal with the new system yet, so they’ll need to change some data formats in the upcoming patches resulting in some larger delta patches.

Besides the P4K System, the team advanced the threading system into the desired direction. This involved some refactoring to allow all the high-level rendering objects to run on multiple threads. Based on this, they could remove the old JobManager and keep the new and improved system exclusively. Furthermore, for the background worker threads, they started to integrate pre-emption into the Fiber system, allowing them a more efficient usage of resources without spawning a massive number of threads. This will be used by the IO system and later for all background jobs. Lastly, to move the now highly multithreaded IO handling and JobManager nearer together, they changed the signal mechanism of the background worker threads to use IO Completion Ports on Windows and EPoll on Linux. This change allowed them to directly use the background worker thread to efficiently handle all IO processing without any additional threads or delays.



LEVEL DESIGN

The Level Design team has been preparing surface outposts to support player missions in Alpha 3.0, as well as fixing bugs and updating other locations throughout the game world. Furthermore, they’ve been testing and giving feedback on the various tools that allow the team to build the new locations at the speed and scale that they are aiming for. These tools are already being put to use in the creation of the rest stop space station, parts of Lorville and an updated version of Area18. As mentioned earlier, the team also welcomed a new Senior Level Designer who is going to focus on locations for Star Citizen’s PU after an initial training phase.



VFX

The VFX team has hard at work on new effects for 3.0 the past few weeks to take full advantage of the planet editor tech specifically developed for procedurally creating particles on the planet. They also created a fair level of hand-placed, bespoke effects that help give the bases and areas of interest a little more variety and feeling of uniqueness. Additional time was also spent improving existing particles to get them ready for release.



SYSTEM DESIGN

Work continued this month on improving the usables tech, adding capabilities for ships to have numerous usable spots where AI can interact with various elements for refueling, cleaning, repairs, etc. The team also worked on another piece of tech that would allow the team to animate usables as well as carriable objects that are in sync with the player. On the usable production pipeline, everyone is mainly focusing on the Squadron 42 usables in order to bring life to the AI in all of our levels. This also allows additional work on the behaviors of AI crews for ships, with the current focus on getting engineering and off-duty activities running intelligently.

On the AI side, the designers also pushed forward with FPS AI combat, especially the perception reactions and cover use, working closely with both animation and AI code to get the combatants feeling as realistic as possible. At the same time, work continued on the ‘Buddy AI’ and this will be working in parallel with the combat team to create realistic friendly NPC AI behaviors that will help you in the heat of battle or that you have to take care of and escort based on what the current mission is.

As a lot of the item 1.0 system for FPS is being replaced, they’re also switching all of the lootable items (medpens, oxygen supplies) to Item 2.0. The switch requires them to also update the items that produce them, so this will affect Star Marine medpen dispensers, ammo crates, as well as upcoming lootable items.



ENVIRONMENT ART

The Environment team in Frankfurt has been hard at work on closing out and fixing the remaining visual bugs for 3.0, as well as tweaking the performance on the moons. It is important that 3.0 locations are polished, so that the player’s first experience with these new additions to the game is as exciting as it can be. Further improvements and polish went into the planet tech allowing for an increase in the density of the asset scattering. This required another round of tweaking the settings for each of our moons, but offered a significant visual improvement. They have also continued work towards locations that are slated to come beyond 3.0.



TECH ART

Over the past month, the DE Tech Art team tackled a variety of content creation, animation support, tool development, and bug fixing. Some of the work completed was:

  • Multiple skinning tasks for PU Clothing and Squadron 42 Characters.
  • Wrote and refined scripts for the animation team and the VFX team, to speed up their workflow and make the tools easier to use.
  • Mannequin support for the cinematic team to get additional animations into the engine.
  • Multiple support tasks for the Usable team, including in-engine setups, animation debugging and tool training.
  • Completed the technical setup of the Behring P8-AR Ballistic Rifle.
  • Finished setups for the Kastak Arms Custodian Laser SMG, and the Greycat Industries Pyro RYT multitool.

On tools, they recently developed an animation tool called bakeCtrl, which helps animators to track backwards of any animation ctrl and bakes down the animation keys to the targeted ctrl. The end result will help save animators time as well as minimize human error. They also updated another existing tool called IKgrip. For FPS weapons, they wanted the flexibility to easily update the left-hand position as per creative needs. Currently, this is achieved with manipulating runtime IK and IKgrip from the weapon skeleton. This new IKgrip updater tool gives the freedom to animators to update the left-hand position and allows them to quickly iterate. Technically, this tool calculates the left-hand position for game and updates necessary different files in the background in real-time.



AI

The Ship AI team have an ongoing sprint focused on smooth path traversal and complex maneuvers. The traversal work progressed nicely over the month and the team now integrated a first pass version of the improvements into Gamedev for further testing. They started looking into complex actions to support and improve dogfighting maneuvers. An initial prototype for the dogfight Subsumption activities is about 60% complete and is being used as a testbed for the remainder of the sprint. They also finished up the first pass for patrolling in an ongoing attempt to phase all of our AI to this new system, this includes new patrol behavior and adaption of existing systems to work with the new AI system.

Work was also completed on Combat AI, implementing numerous reaction behaviors for when an enemy is detected. This behavior will provide more personality to an AI enemy, and serve as feedback to players on how they are perceived by various AI. The specific behavior will be triggered by numerous events, enemy seen, distance to the enemy, bullets heard, movement steps heard, damage received, etc. The team also started working on combat search behaviors which will be triggered within general combat or after first reaction to the enemy being detected if the AI will lose sight of the target. They also spent some time reviewing the current status of ground turrets as well as supporting and investigation any 3.0 issues.

Turbulent TURBULENT

SPECTRUM

With the release of Spectrum 0.3.6 last month, a long list of bug fixes was needed to make September’s patch a huge improvement on performance and usability. Some of the major additions are:

Karma: When other members upvote your content within each community, you will receive “Karma” points. The Karma number is found on each individual mini profile.

Post Count: A counter on how many posts you have made within the community. Posts from the previous old forums are included in the count.

Tracked Posts: Threads which contain roles that are tracked, for example staff posts, now contain buttons to jump directly to those special replies within a thread. This same feature can be used within Orgs, simply enable the track post within the organization settings.

The team also reworked some of the previous features to make them more user friendly and create a base for future features. These improvements include:

  • Flagging posts in private orgs will no longer create misconduct reports.
  • The RSI login page will now redirect you to your previous location in Spectrum.
  • Improved Search UI to search for all, erased or non-erased content.
  • Display the member who soft-erased a reply or message.
  • A new global permission can be given to roles to allow members to reveal and search soft-erased content.
  • Member Profile Popup
  • Cleaner, more space-efficient design.
  • Integrated message box to send a quick private message to the member without having to switch to the private message view.
  • Post Count and Karma display!
  • Removed ‘content’ from flag notifications sent to officers (redundant).
  • Added send button to mini profile popup on mobile.

Moving into October, the team’s focus remains on Spectrum 0.3.7’s additional features such as Custom roles, and group PM as well as achieving a desktop version of spectrum. Desktop version will give them a framework for the in-game overlay.



LAUNCHER

The launcher/Patcher version 1.0.0-alpha.20 has been greenlight by QA for Evocati testing in order to get a better sampling of different hardware, connection types and windows versions.

The first release of this new launcher framework is geared towards delivering the same experience as the previous launcher, but with the core internals needed for the Delta Patcher system, as well as a library system to manage installing multiple games and their associated release channels (like PTU, etc.). This paves the way to be able to distribute entirely separate games like Squadron 42 from Star Citizen. This release will also come with a new installer and a totally rewritten application core.

A new launcher backend and distribution system was also developed to secure access to pre-release builds and also ensure the proper delivery of the incremental objects for the new delta patcher library. The end result should be drastically reduced patch sizes between updates, faster install and verification times and reduction in the steps required to launch a patch for the DevOps team.

The end result that will soon be tested by the Evocati during the 3.0 PTU phase!



SHIP STATS

The team continues to tweak the Ship Stats display, ensuring that the introduction of the new and updated ship stats will bring clarity to the new ship balance. Turbulent has been adjusting the system that displays this to the backers to help them make decisions on ship purchases and better understand their rival ships in-game. New additions to the design include.

  • The introduction of VTOL, Retro, Fixed and Gimbal thruster icons to quickly identify a ship’s speed and maneuverability.
  • Additional maneuvering details including pitch, yaw, roll max.
  • Specifications for missile and missile rack manufacturers, models, and size.

As each ship is reviewed in-depth, the team will continue to refine the details. Aside from the display of the ships, they created a backend service that allows technical details to be uploaded in one shot. This system will help keep the ship matrix up to date.



SHIP SALES

The design team worked hard to create the in-lore page for the X1 which depicted the renowned designer Alberto Vara. This is your last week to pick up a X1 in the concept phase. They also brought you the Subscriber Herald flash sale for one weekend only, subscribers were able to grab the Drake Herald after testing it out for the month of September.

The team continued to prepare the website for major changes with the public launch of 3.0. Stay tuned for some very exciting upgrades to the site.

Community Community

August traditionally kicks off the busiest time of year for the Star Citizen community… and we couldn’t be happier! Gamescom in August, CitizenCon in October and our anniversary in November means that there’s a lot to prepare without many breaks. Between those major events there are dozens of shows, posts, reports, ship presentations and other important pieces of content to get out to the community.

In August, we livestreamed gameplay from Gamescom and broadcast the big Star Citizen event that shared the latest and greatest information and a pretty excellent demo of what’s coming up in Alpha 3.0. Since then, we’ve been prepping for the next two big events: CitizenCon and Star Citizen’s anniversary in November. CitizenCon 2947 is being held in Frankfurt and we’re updating the format to include more to do and see.

Of course, our events aren’t the only Star Citizen happenings. Backer-run Bar Citizens have taken the world by storm… no matter where you are, there’s a Bar Citizen full of other space gaming fans looking to connect. We attend as many as we can, but we’re just as happy seeing them take place everywhere! Several groups have also established watching events for CitizenCon for those who can’t make the trip to Frankfurt, including VerseCon in Austin, Texas and Pariverse in Paris, France.

Star Citizen’s video output continues thanks to the work of our GVP or Global Video Production team. Around the Verse continues to share featurettes on the making of the game plus Burndown segments that include up-to-the-minute status reports on the 3.0 rollout. Bug Smashers, Citizens of the Stars and Loremakers continue their respective series’ (with some additional developers sharing their bug stories!) The monthly Happy Hour has shown us everything from the making of Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander IV to the live creation of a space whale by the character art team!

On the ship side, we launched both the Origin 600i series and its little brother, the X1 space bike. The Origin lineup has always felt small compared to behemoths like Aegis and Anvil, so we wanted to give it a little love… and to focus on ships that aren’t as combat focused as previous years. We hope you enjoyed the ship pages and the brochures… rest assured we had a great time putting them together! What’s next for ships? Well, we feel it’s going to be something of a game changer…

Development subscribers have been busy these past two months, too. In August they test-flew the Herald and this month they have access to all five ‘original’ Star Citizen ships! Hangar flare schematics are rolling out, two every month, with the most recent group being Drake-themed. The September Town Hall allowed live Q&A with some of our tech specialists… and there’s new behind the screens articles every month in Jump Point (with an issue on the 600 and X1 being in the works now.)

We must close by thanking the thousands and thousands of community members around the world who make everything we do worthwhile. Your passion, your creativity, your excitement keeps us going all the time, and we’re so grateful to be allowed to be part of this adventure. Keep sharing your ideas, your artwork, your writing, your songs and memes and your opinions… your excitement is contagious. Stay tuned for more community content, more great events, more ships and more reports like this one. Until then, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!



Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH…

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