Around the Verse Episode 38


(Citizen Star News) - by Nighthawk - 2015-04-02

Pirate Swarm game mode coming! Arrrrr!

Update: Our new writer Nighthawk joins us to provide a write up for this episode of Around the Verse!

Updated with additional reporting from: Gerard Evans of StarCitizenBase

Empire Report

  • Jump Point for ransom. Has a new Jump Point to Sol been discovered? “Yes,” says one explorer who is demanding an exorbitant amount for the information. Is it real? Will the UEE pay??
  • A new study states: Raising children in space may have an advantage. However some are claiming the practice to be cruel. Find out what both sides of the debate are saying.
  • Is a fan-favorite show planning a return to The Spectrum? We talk to Entertainment Correspondent Torlion Vasharka to find out why the answer may be “Yes,” “Yes,” and “Yes.”


03:45 - News From Around the Verse

  • Fantastic April Fool’s Day “Fish Citizen” prank was enjoyed by many.
  • Aegis Dynamics Vanguard Concept Sale is under way! Pick yours up while they’re available.
  • Star Citizen v 1.1a will introduce the flight-ready Anvil Aerospace Gladiator, as well as sport new bug fixes and better back end support for servers.
  • Work on the flight tutorial continues and they hope to have it implemented by Star Citizen v1.1b.
  • Star Citizen player numbers continue to rise as Dev Ops reports Star Citizen downloads to be in the Petabytes.
  • The format of CIG’s weekly Meet the Devs series has changed slightly and they are asking for your thoughts and opinions.


Spectrum Dispatch

CIG, Santa Monica, CA

  • Kirk Tome(sp?) is working on making the Gladiator flight ready for Star Citizen v1.1a. Torpedoes for the Gladiator are being designed and modeled by Patrick Solerno.
  • One of the new designers, Randy Vasquez, is working on a “Pirate Swarm” game mode where players will combat Non-Vanduul NPC piloting player accessible ships.


Illfonic, Denver, CO

  • The new Design Director has joined Travis Day and the crew at Illfonic overseeing the design of the FPS module, coming up with new tweaks to make the mechanics translatable across Arena Commander/Star Marine, Squadron 42, and the Persistent Universe.
  • A new game mode, Sataball, is being developed for the zero gravity arena map. The future’s more violent form of futbol/rugby!
  • There will be another mo-cap session in the near future to add to the animation library.


CIG, Austin, TX

  • Austin and the Behaviour office in Montreal are working together on the Nyx Levski landing zone. “Lots of piratey activity going on there, so it’s a little different from what we’ve seen in the past.” –Jake Ross, Associate Producer of the PU in Austin
  • Work on the mining core tech prototype is in heavy development. Working gameplay includes: Cargo Operators and their ability to harvest Asteroids fragments after mining/destabilization from over mining; Scanning Operators can guide missiles from a first person perspective, and once impacted on the asteroid begin feeding data from scans.
  • R&D for mining game play moves into the implementation phase this week with in-house gameplay programmer Erwin. Expect to start mining soon!
  • Modeling of the MobiGlas is underway.


Foundry 42, Manchester, UK

Interior assets for the Shubin Mining Facility are being modeled out to complete the map. Asset Pipeline follows: Design Pass on a specific area, then a layered pass to put everything in modular pieces, and categorizing it all by room size, type and need. The team is now split into Asset Builders and World Builders. The World Builders are responsible for modeling out the level at large.


14:40 - Subscriber’s Corner w/ Host Alexis Lesnick

This new segment is meant to give Subscribers a voice on the show they help to create. If you’ve subscribed for a while you’ll notice that a lot of REC was added to your account today. This is to cover the “Test Pilot” and “Advanced Test Pilot” badges promised last year. Also, Imperators have been given access to renting ship variants like the Super Hornet, as promised. “Vanduul Test Pilot” badges will be available once the Scythe becomes flyable. Year 3 Subscriber perks will be going out later today, 2 April 2015. They’re bringing back some old rewards, and introducing some new ones, too!

If you’re a Subscriber and would like to let Alexis know where the segment should go, and what it should cover, then visit the thread in the Subscriber’s Den. Readily accepting questions to be answered on air, as well as any perk suggestions.

15:50 - James Wright Interview

Ryan Archer Interviews - James Wright, Senior Engine Programmer

From Gerard Evans of StarCitizenBase (used with permission):

What do you do here? I work on the core technology and the backend of CryEngine. I'm heading up the large world effort going from environments that are 16km on an edge and going to maps that are millions of kilometers.

What's been some of the challenges there? It's different taking an engine that does certain things well and solving new problems with it like the Large world, instead of starting from scratch to build something from the ground up.

Have you enjoyed working with CryEngine? It's been fun but you can tell that it has supported different projects and features and adding new features is part of what I'm here for.

We've added some guys from Frankfurt who worked for CryTek. Have you started working with them much?  We work with them a lot. In fact the large-world effort is now based out of Frankfurt. It used to be me an another engineer, but now we have a whole group of guys and we're getting close to do. They have a lot of rendering expertise that help us make the changes we need to with the physics.

They have to reprogram CryEngine? No, but shift things. Like shifting how transforms propogate through the pipeline and how they're handled given that we work in camera relative space. Having Carsten on board is a huge asset.

We've grabbed a lot of talented people who have moved on. Do you feel we've gotten people because they're proud of this project? I think we've gotten a lot of new talent because it's a really interesting problem. It's not another turn-based MMO where the problem is scaling. We're doing a high-fidelity massive online game.

Coming from SXSW it was great seeing people who hadn't seen this level of detail in a game before be exposed to Star Citizen.  It's fun being a part of pushing the limits and part of our goal is to look good on a 4K monitor. And it's fun scaling across a range of hardware, and working one the things we promised in the game: Capital ships fighting in zero-gravity but local physics and local gravity on board the ship. You can't do that unless you build tech just to support that.

What is the thing you're most excited about with the PU? In other sandbox games there are simple rules creating emergent experiences. I want a true PU where you can get in a fight with pirates or make a friend that will help you complete a mission. The simple rule set will help us make a living and breathing environment.

Are you proud of the work you've put in?  Yeah.  A lot of the groundwork has been laid but I'm really proud of the efforts like taking an engine that was never intended to support large-world environments. We didn't do the naive "Okay it's all 64bit!" It was directed and targeted change to do that and not have performance differences between this and 32bit. We've set up our designers with an API where mistakes don't keep things from compiling. As an engine programmer you want to create a language that others can use to express themselves. I'm making pigments that painters can use to cover a canvas.

Thanks for helping SC become a reality. The fans are grateful that you're helping to make it possible.  Thank you. Without the backers like you they couldn't handle specialists like myself.

25:35 - Sandi's Flight School

We don't talk about Flight Club

32:20 - Outro

From Gerard Evans of StarCitizenBase (used with permission):

  • Tomorrow is the last day of Gladius Free Flight, let us know in the forums what you want next.
  • The monthly report is due tomorrow.
  • Watch the comm-link for 1.1a. Not sure if it will be this week or next week. When it's ready.
  • We want you to submit 30 seconds shots of your dogfighting prowess for us to use as bumpers. Do so here.
  • AtV is moving to noon Pacific (starting next week).


33:50 - Sneak Peek

Starfarer Interior (Confirmed by Ben on RtV Ep 41)

Null Captured gif via Reddit

See Also


RSI-Forums Feedback Thread

Reddit Discussion

StarCitizenBase Discussion

Imperial News Network