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An unofficial dev tracker for all developer posts from the RobertsSpaceIndustries.com forums for the upcoming game Star Citizen.
Updated: 10 min 57 sec ago

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:31
Can we submit fan fiction to CIG? the whole period around the Xi'an treaty, the uprising and the fall of the Messers' is fascinating and crying to be fleshed out!!

Hi @Aerolin,

Currently we've been accepting submissions for more of the serialized fiction rather than the historical lore. Mostly because there are some unreleased elements of our history that help factor into some of these eras. However, we did do a Lore Maker series where we developed aspects of the lore with the community. Maybe it's something we could return to for a little bit.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:28
One of the previous Subscriber perks was the creation of a "pirate" character to inhabit Spider.

When will we be submitting the characters names, descriptions and backstories? And what are the guidelines?

Hi @Algared,

We're actually trying to sort out a system for that. I seem to recall there are a large amount of people who would potentially be able to submit something, so we need to figure out a good way to establish guidelines and make it easy to review. I'll keep you posted.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:27
Copy/pasted from Q&A thread. Lore: Apocalypse Arms HQ

I was just watching the Loremaker's Guide about the Davien System and wanted to find out if Dalton Colabello's home is on Cestulus and if Apocalypse Arms Corp HQ is there?

Or if Cestulus is just the location where he found the crate?

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/15101-Portfolio-Apocalypse-Arms


2nd Question
Will there be any lore released in the future about the UEE Army in Sol? Or its activities and impacts in the Verse?

Hi @Farenheit,

1. Cestulus was where Colabello bought the crate. I'll need to doublecheck, but I don't think we've placed the company HQ yet, so I'll have to get back to you about that.

2. Yes, the UEE Army has definitely been one of the underdeveloped facets of the UEE government. I'm hoping to try and dedicate some time to fleshing them out a bit more soon.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:17
[Question re Loremaker's Guide for Pyro]

I was just wondering how the UEE could possibly justify tolerating a pirate-run counter-society in a system that has a direct Jump Point-connection to what is arguably the UEE's crown jewel: Terra?
Is it a "At least those vermin aren't lurking in Terra", thus out of sight, out of mind-approach the UEE employs?

Sure, one could argue that now with the war on they simply had better things to worry about, but Pyro clearly isn't something that happened just now, but instead grew over decades.

I can see the UEE not wasting resources on systems at the edges of its sphere of influence, but a system directly "next" to Terra, where the combined financial might of the UEE and some of its biggest/most successful companies is situated... I really do have to wonder why they haven't driven the pirates out of Pyro, if not outright exterminate every last one of them.

Hi @Morisson,

Well, there's probably some debate about which system is the Crown Jewel of the Empire (many think it's still Earth), but I get your point.

I have a feeling, they just will have some security on that jump to keep an eye on who's coming in or out. I have a feeling though we'll probably delve into this question more thoroughly once we start building the Terra system. Maybe if it's far enough away, it won't be as much of an issue? Or maybe distance makes it more of an issue? I'll have to keep you posted.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:14
Previous in dead of a spacemen C.R. suggested that to die in the game is not just die and respawn. That you life in game is worth to protect. Is it still valid? I'm really fearing that kill-respan kill-respan would also occur in SC.

I don't like this kind of gameplay where people don't care about their character. They let am kill and just respawn because they don't care.

So hopefully you implement a game-mechanic that dying still means a real drawback to you that you so that you really care about your character.

Otherwise it is just like Planet Side - Kill Respawn kill Respawn without any meaning.

Hopefully is not at SC?

Looking forward 2 your answer

Yours Rich

Hi @RazorFly,

As far as I know, it's still the plan. I do think that there will be extensive testing once the mechanic is in place to see if it's fun or not.

Personally, I thought that document struck a nice balance between having consequences for death, but not in a truly punishing kind of way, so yeah, I'm very curious to see how it feels in action.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:11
What happens to NPCS I have hired if I do not need all of them for a current ship/job? Do I still have to pay them? Will I have to rehire them when needed for a large crew ship? Do they just hang out?

Hi @Tristan_Daughrity,

I'm not exactly sure. I'd recommend posting the question to the Design team. Maybe even the AI team too. I'm not sure which discipline it would fall under, but they'd be better equipped to give you a more informed answer.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:10
Hi, I'm a Brazilian and I'm currently organizing a SC fansite. I've started it by translating some interesting lore posts to portuguese.

I have a problem on the translation of the two most important planets of the 'verse. In portuguese, Earth is called Terra. So what about Terra (Terra system)? How should I call it in portuguese? Terraria? Nova Terra (New Terra)?

Hi @Shimohira,

I'm sure the Localization process will have a specific approach to handle these kinds of things, but as a temporary solution, you could do Nova Terra.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:08
Greetings, just one quick question:

When did Tiber and Virgil fall to the Vanduul? The Starmap, the system guides, nothing states the dates (though its said Virgil was attacked immediately following Tiber, how soon we don't know though).

2681 - Orion System (Armitage) falls
[????] - Tiber and Virgil
2790 - Secret listening buoys placed in Virgil to monitor Vanduul movements
2871 - Caliban falls
2945 - Vega attacked, Vanduul repelled by the admirable Bishop

Thank you for your time!

Hi @JLAM,

Great question. We've actually been tinkering with the chronology of those systems, so this seems like a good opportunity to share what the current timeline we're working with:

2681 - First Contact w/Vanduul in Orion
2712 - Battle of Orion. System falls.
2732-2736 - Siege of Tiber. Ends with Tiber falling.
2737 - Virgil falls.
2884 - Fall of Caliban
2945 - Battle of Vega II. An Admirable repels the attack.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:32
I know this is intertwined enormously with game mechanics, but I figure I'll ask here first :)

Current communication speed
As far as I know we currently have this situation:
1. Instantaneous player to player communication (currently immersion breaking)
Instantaneous communication between players is possible, since the game is basically an MMO and people want to talk to their friends. Teamspeak, mumble and others will allow you to circumvent any in-game limitations anyway.
2. Slow in-game data transfer
Information runners can transfer data ingame at slower than light speed because the ingame explanation is that there is no FTL communication.

My question is then the following:
Why not just explain the information runners with the idea that encryption doesn't work perfectly in FTL communications and that is the reason for ships moving really sensitive data? It wouldn't be necessary for quick communication inside a corporation, but it would be necessary for war intel so the enemy doesn't know what we know.
It would work a bit like modern people physically running around with memory sticks or backup tapes for servers to avoid data interception through a network connection. A physical non-networked copy of the data is also good for data redundancy. This would prevent the chat breaking immersion so much.

Hi @CompactDisc,

Yeah, basically within a system, it's real time conversation, but transmitting comms and data between systems needs to go through either comm relays or via data runner.

To your question, separating the data rather than the comms is an interesting approach. I have a feeling once we get another system and really get to explore the process of comms and data running stuff, we'll be able to get a better sense of what works best and what feels immersion breaking.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:28
Down the road will you be giving some environments a good creepy factor , almost horror esk in nature ? . Maybe a nuked planet ? or some other scenario ?

Hi @Cpt_StaxMore,

Definitely. There are going to be some desolate areas.

Dave

PROGRAMMING (Engine, API, Hardware, etc) : BParry_CIG

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:05

Hi Dictator,

Are you sure you don't actually work here? This summary is pretty comprehensive, even highlighting the major assumptions & flaws in each piece of tech :-)
Haha. I guess my years of meticulously obsessing over pixels has had some benefits! *Cough Cough* If you guys are ever looking for an external graphics QA... *Cough Cough* ;)


Seconding the impressed-ness with the summary. I'm meant to be writing something like that up before we make changes... I might just use this.

-snip'd-
That sounds pretty sound. Since you guys would be then making use of the LY-screen-aligned voxels, would you guys also use that for planetary cloud rendering (non-gas-cloud-type-clouds)?

While the exact unification plan isn't nailed down, our rough view is that any system we have needs an answer for when it's inside the Froxel Fog's range, and an answer for when it's outside. We basically end up with three categories:
1) In some cases, the answer will be that it's small enough to disappear once it's beyond the range, this is the way standard LY deals with fog volumes for instance.
2) In other cases where Froxel Fog would work better, or another system that uses it may be present (eg will fog volumes exist at cloud altitude?) , we'd like the long distance solution to be able to export its own data into the froxel buffers, so that there's no discontinuity where the two solutions switch over.
3) Finally there may be cases where the "distant" solution looks as good or better than Froxel Fog, and in that case the systems don't need to interact at all.

Since planetary clouds are going to be visible at very long distances, we know they can't be solved only with Froxel Fog, so they'll fall into either category 2 or 3.


By the way, I'm avoiding the word 'nebula' when discussing space volumetrics as that suggests a ridiculous scale that is pointless trying to represent as a volume as even at light speed you wouldn't see any parallax.
Yeah, perhaps just "space dust" fits well enough ;)

Lookin at the most recent monthly report, I definitely loved seeing @BParry_CIG 's work on the rectangular area lights.



It looks a lot better on character faces than the last model... especially the way diffuse propagates over small discrete features. Like underside eye lids. Is some of this work based on the eric-heitz work / unity stuff that has been going around? If so, the most recent paper also shhowed off how to make textured rectangular area lights. That could be interesting given the amount of signage in SC atm.

I may have posted the video of Heitz's LTC paper to Ali's Facebook page under the heading "ALI. ALI LOOK" the moment I heard about it. As it happens though, we're not using it - while it's miles ahead of the pack in performance/quality tradeoff, it's still a huge cost (approx 1ms per fullscreen light on a GTX980) and we would then have no way to downscale on lower-spec machines given how different the scenes would look with them disabled.
Instead, the diffuse component is closely based on Sébastien Lagarde's work for planar lights in Frostbite engine, and the specular component is somewhat based on the version we got from CryEngine, the reworking mostly consisted of taking it apart to find out which approximations led to artefacts, replacing them with alternatives, and exhaustively testing them for new issues.
One thing that did come out of this rework, however, is that the planar lights now live in their own rendering pass. Given the time, it would be interesting to see if we could add some kind of "ultra mode" that replaces this pass with a version that uses LTC lights.

I am curious then, what kind of work, if any, will be done for occlusion or shadows from such lights? So, for example, one cannot see the specular highlight across character eyes when the hood of their eyelid would perhaps occlude it. Obviously that is an open point of research for video game graphics, but unshadowed lights in general (even area lights) tend to look rather gamey in the end. Especially given how the human face needs good occlusion and shadows to cross the uncanny valley usually.

I am curious as well, because some shots outdoors on planetside from the most recent AtV got me to thinking about specular occlusion in SC, as it seemed like some edges were highlighted from probes even though you would imagine that SSDO would directionally occlude that.


Specular occlusion and a better SSDO term are definitely on our radar. Unfortunately shadow maps from large area lights, as you mention, are a huge open research topic, so we're focusing on improving softer screen space techniques to take up the slack.

And last question, I swear. Given the prevalence of space helmets with glass in SC, how will this figure in to DOF? At the moment DOF seems to act as if the glass is not there and blends it into the background or foreground depth of field, even though it should not from a realism standpoint (like below).

I know Ryse had some funky way of making transparency not have this problem ("depth fix up"). Is a similar idea going to be used in SC when you guys make use of LY's post processing for motion blur and depth of field?

Anyway, thanks for answering any questions if you guys do.
Best!

We have two solutions to this! First, as you say, there's depth-fixup. We're already using that on hair, and (I think) on particles. In general though, the trick is to do depth fixup only on the parts that are opaque enough that they dominate the image, which is less easy to do for things like glass and holograms.
The second solution is that we simply sort objects into two lists based on whether they're beyond a certain (situationally-varying) distance. Things beyond that distance are drawn before the DOF and motion blur calculations, things nearer than that plane are left blur-free. While this clearly isn't a perfect solution, nearby transparencies tend to be more problematic when they blur with what's behind them, and more distant transparencies are problematic if they remain crisp when objects around them are blurred. This second solution is already working at the render end, but we still need to hook it up to the systems that will control it.

Keep em coming!
Ben

Grand Theft: Ship? : TylerN-CIG

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:58
Hey SpaceTours,

This is an archived section and isn't being used. Can you submit a ticket to our Player Relations team to help you out? Link is https://robertsspaceindustries.com/contact-us

Also, you can try and ask for help from other players in the #helpdesk-volunteers chat on Spectrum: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/lobby/7

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:11
How are the Alien Languages coming along? I dont think we have heard much about them since they have been announced. Any chance will get some material to learn from before the game comes out, so we can at least know some basic words to help us communicate with the other species?

Hi @Hitsman,

I realize this question was from a while ago (and again, apologize for the delay), but we did release a really fun interview with Britton Watkins, our xenolinguistic specialist where he talked about the Xi'an and Vanduul languages over here in case you missed it.

But we've continued digging into the languages. More recently we've been delving into the Xi'an society to help flesh out some of the dictionary, which has led to some really fun discussions.

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to answer your second question. We're still discussing the release plan for these, so I'll have to get back to you on that when we know more.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:03
Political question time!

Some of the lore we have been getting recently has indicated that systems on the UEE's fringe near the Vanduul border are becoming increasingly unsatisfied with the UEE, and are turning more and more towards themselves to provide defense.

What I am wonder is, are fringe systems on the other side of the empire experiencing the opposite? With the Vanduul threat being much more distant thing, one might think that those systems resented the tax burden the UEE was placing on them to fund the growing military.

Based on the lore, we do have reason to believe that fringe systems near the Vanduul are feeling the pressure of the Vanduul threat, and that the core UEE worlds may be starting to split between Earth and Terra. But what's the political situation for those systems which aren't really central to the UEE nor in any real threat from the Vanduul? Are there other political pressures at work there?

Hi @TBenz,

Great question. Yeah, I would imagine that there are people who aren't directly under threat of Vanduul who are upset that an already strained economy is now being tasked with military a prolonged military campaign. But there are also more localized political issues to those systems. The civil war on Charon III is one example.

Dave

AUDIO (Character, Ship, Environment, Combat, FPS, etc.) : Lbanyard

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 07:30
I would like to ask if there are any plans to add or overhaul the ship interior soundFX. To hear all the clinks and clanks of the ship when the engine starts, when you land or liftoff...when receiving damage, etc. It seems to me like those sounds are missing...or is it normal and will be added later. I'd like to really feel the ship I'm flying..to create atmosphere.

The ship interior audio is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. Or at least, how that used to be. It's forever ongoing and being revised. However one thing worth noting - we've had ships that have been a bit more 'loose' as you describe before, and had as much negative feedback as positive feedback (if not more). It's hard to cater for all tastes! We want the sound to be meaningful however and now that age/wear is coming online soon, we can tie certain sounds of depreciation into those. So that if you do hear the kind of detail you're talking about, it's probably going to be a sign that you need to repair your ship!

AUDIO (Character, Ship, Environment, Combat, FPS, etc.) : Lbanyard

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 07:25
Valve just released/revealed some really interesting audio-related middleware stuff that will supposedly be compatible with other middleware, including SC's, and looks like it could be quite powerful, useful, and worthwhile, even when not focusing on VR. Have you guys heard about this at all? Thoughts? Looks to have some great spatialization/propogation features and stuff.

https://valvesoftware.github.io/steam-audio/

They have acquired Impulsonic, yep - which was some tech we looked at a couple of years ago now. We didn't jump into it due to the lack of integration with the engine we were working with and also it just didn't quite live up to its promise. We're going to look into checking it out again but can't say much more than that at this point, it's difficult to cherry pick when you're as far along with what we're doing with propagation etc. as we are now! Good times for audio though right now, it's interesting how much of it is being driven by VR too.

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 19:20
I assume that we can name our ships. What would be the correct way to name a civilian ship registered by UEE ?

Would I name my Idris "UEE Viking" ?

Hi @Xris

Official military ships are designated UEES which stands for United Empire of Earth Ship. For example, the UEES Countenance is the first ship Squadron 42 was assigned to.

Civilian ships typically do need any special prefixes, though some use a prefix that designates the ships intended purpose. Most just have a name composed of one or two words. Traditionally, you are not supposed to name your ship using words that are associated with needing assistance like 'help' or 'mayday.'

In terms of writing style, a ship’s name is usually italicized.

So, your ship would probably be Viking

Thanks,
Will


In Maritime use, pretty much any civilian/commercial ship large enough to be an ocean going ship gets the designate SS, MV, MT, Or TS. Seems most personel use or inland waterway vessel have unofficaly dropped prefix use.

Merchant Marine/Commercial prefix listing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_prefix

Prefix Meaning
AHT Anchor Handling Tug
AHTS Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessel
AOR Auxiliary, Replenishment Oiler
ATB Articulated Tug Barge
CRV Coastal Research Vessel
C/F Car Ferry
CS Cable Ship
DB Derrick Barge
DEPV Diesel Electric Paddle Vessel
DLB Derrick Lay Barge
DCV Deepwater Construction Vessel
DSV Diving Support Vessel/ Deep Submergence Vehicle
DV Dead vessel[2][3]
ERRV Emergency Response Rescue Vessel[3]
FPSO Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Vessel
FPV Free Piston Vessel
FPV Fishery Protection Vessel
FT Factory Stern Trawler
FV Fishing Vessel
GTS Gas Turbine Ship
HLV Heavy lift vessel
HSC High Speed Craft
HSF High Speed Ferry
HTV Heavy Transport Vessel
IRV International Research Vessel
ITB Integrated Tug barge
LB Liftboat
LNG/C Liquefied natural gas carrier
LPG/C Liquefied petroleum gas carrier
MF Motor Ferry
MFV Motor Fishing Vessel (mainly UK Royal Naval Reserve)
MS (M/S) Motor Ship (interchangeable with MV)
MSV Multipurpose support/supply vessel
MSY Motor Sailing Yacht
MT Motor Tanker
MTS Marine Towage and Salvage/Tugboat
MV (M/V) Motor Vessel (interchangeable with MS)
MY Motor Yacht
NB Narrowboat
NRV NATO Research Vessel
NS Nuclear Ship
OSV Offshore supply vessel
PS Paddle Steamer
PSV Platform Supply Vessel
QSMV Quadruple Screw Motor Vessel
QTEV Quadruple Turbo Electric Vessel
RMS Royal Mail Ship or Royal Mail Steamer
RNLB Royal National Lifeboat
RV / RSV Research Vessel
SB Sailing Barge
SS (S/S) Single-screw Steamship
SSCV Semi-Submersible Crane Vessel
SSS Sea Scout Ship
SSV Sailing School Vessel, Submarine and Special Warfare Support Vessel[4]
ST Steam Tug or Steam Trawler
STS Sail Training Ship
STV Sail Training Vessel or Steam Turbine Vessel
SV (S/V) Sailing Vessel
SY Sailing Yacht or Steam Yacht
TB Tug boat
TEV Turbine Electric Vessel
TIV Turbine Installation Vessel
TrSS Triple-Screw Steamship or steamer[5]
TS Training Ship or Turbine Steamship or Turbine steam ship
Tr.SMV Triple-Screw Motor Vessel
TSMV Twin-Screw Motor Vessel[6]
TSS Twin-Screw Steamship or steamer
TV Training vessel

Most of these would have no usable function in space, although some might still carry on a tradition to be re-used (SS, Sinlge-scew Ship/Steam Ship becomes Star Ship).

Hi @Snagletooth,

I remember looking at a similar list back when we were doing the Lore Builder about the fleet designations, but this is good reference to have handy. Thanks.

Dave

LORE (Story, Background, Character, etc.) : DHaddock_CIG

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 19:18

...
Official military ships are designated UEES which stands for United Empire of Earth Ship. For example, the UEES Countenance is the first ship Squadron 42 was assigned to.
...

Thanks,
Will

Hi Will,

Love you folks' work!

Sorry for asking such a nitpicky question but we working on these standards for Star Citizen Wiki at Star Citizen Tools, and noticed something odd:

According to the Polaris brochure p19, its namesake -- CMDR Hester Polaris -- commanded a UPE ship named UEES Gilchrist whose final voyage was in 2543, three years before the UEE was formed?

At first I was thinking, oh UPE used UEES too? But that can't be right can it?

What is the proper equivalent for a UPE ship?

Hi @CZenStar,

Yeah, that was a typo, but @DireEvangelist95 had a good solution that had the ship continue on its service after the transition into the UEE.

But I'm not sure what the UPE equivalent would be. I'd have to think on that.

Dave

*Cancelled* PC Gamer: Star Citizen and Squadron 42 will take to the stage at the PC Gamer Weekender : DiscoLando-CIG

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 11:14
The panel went on as planned. It was a live Q&A session for those in attendance, and seemed to go over well.

What they're talking about for the livestream was a short 1 on 1 piece, and it encountered a scheduling issue.

Nothing was canceled. We're hoping to appear tomorrow. =)

Spectrum 0.3.0 is Here. : DiscoLando-CIG

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 16:11
Greetings Citizens!

As you may have noticed on your menu bars already, the first iteration of Spectrum 0.3.0 is now LIVE.

We encourage everyone to check out check out the new and improved communication platform for everything Star Citizen. The formal announcement with more information can be found here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/15741-Spectrum-Alpha-Is-Live

To find out more about the transition from our older forums and chat to Spectrum, please visit our FAQ page: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/faq/spectrum

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