Everything posted by Akanoes
Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsGamescom 2947 DetailsGREETINGS CITIZENS
Gamescom 2947 is almost here, and Star Citizen’s presence will be felt throughout. This year, we have another booth on the show floor where anyone interested can see and try the latest Star Citizen Alpha. In addition, some of our favorite community streamers will be on hand to share the game with everyone who can’t make it to Cologne, and conduct their own interviews with CIG developers live from the showfloor. That’s all leading up to the main event on Friday night, where Chris Roberts will share the latest on Star Citizen’s development (and as always a surprise or two) with a backer-only crowd! As usual, Chris’ presentation will be livestreamed, so whether you’re attending the event or following from home, you won't have to miss out on a thing. All the details you need are available in this post. We look forward to showing you what’s next!
Read more on it here.
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsHappy Hour Gamedev - Making Star Citizen's LoreWriters Dave Haddock and Will Weissbaum discuss the process of creating memorable stories and characters for the massive Star Citizen universe, asking viewers for advice in crafting some lore that could appear in an upcoming post.
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - Making mobiGlas MatterChris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host this episode, which explores the mobiGlas. Plus, we debut “Burndown,” a segment featuring various bugs and blockers affecting 3.0.
90 issues must be fixed prior to release to non CIG testers and are categorized as blocker, critical, high, moderate and trivialQA loves it when new features come online so they can tell the developers that their babies are ugly and make them cryA bugged up example that was created by the implementation of rotating planets was waking up backwards and passing through the geometry of Olisar when spawnedThere are 10 pages of checklists that need to be covered by QA for the 3.0 releaseQA has several reviews a week due to time zones being a thing and while having tech design very handy in the UK their discussion is usually on an hourly basisQA finds ways through difficult testing and bugs to have amazing experiences togetherThere's still a lot of rough edges that need to be smoothed out, like boxy Rover wheelsOne QA specialist thinks that their newly bought Rover might actually be quite usedA ship bug is commonly troubleshooted by testing all the ships in the same manner to resolve whether it's the individual ship, the manufacturer or etc, and a note is attached for easy access and follow up by other testersThe falling animation seems to be a particularly heavy bug at the momentQA is a lot like omelette making as it requires scrambled eggsSometimes fixing issues creates others, but so far 12 have been resolvedCheck-ins or changelist into Perforce represents the work of devs in the Revision Control System with 1,892 just this week through the companyThe numbers are high due to continued use of the game dev branch for 3.0 which currently has 3,676 open items which should dwindle over the coming weeks
A UI team feature that has been overhauled is the mobiGlas to be more akin to a desktop OSRender to Texture made this much easier without having the need for writing tons of bespoke code and allows it to be viewed across many different kinds of ingame displays whether 2D or 3D and in a more realistic mannerThe UI will be designed to match environmental archetypes such as clothing, architecture, technology and culture as an example 3D holograms will be in higher tech areas whereas 2D flat displays will be more akin to the lower tech onesThe mobiGlas, like today's smartphones, serve as the primary access for game mechanics, transactions and player communicationmobiGlas home screen widgets manage mission contracts, customize player loadouts, view maps, etcmobiGlas also serves to keep you informed of your character and environmental statusSince they redesigned the function of the mobiGlas they went ahead and revamped the model as well going with two different much smaller and thinner models (military and civilian) that work better with the multiple components of clothing and armor while still always being viewableJeremiah Lee illuminated the 3D concept easily and quickly for the mobiGlas model redesignedThe redesign took into account the modular aspect of Star Citizen with widgets being customizable to your specific functionality, personality and for blingA diegetically projected UI is used so that not just the player can see it, but others around can as well with a visual connection that promotes immersion (not to be confused with Dianetics)A diegetically projected UI is a boon for creating a VR capable game, but does cause a little loss in flexibility and control by the designers especially when changes are neededmobiGlas differs from traditional UI in that they tried to make it as diegetic as possible, make it look like a real object in the world and not just sitting on top of the game worldTried to stay to simple line art, shape language, basic colour schemes and compact information light layoutsThis takes the combination effort of not just the UI team but animation, audio, VFXAudio’s focus was not to break the immersion of the player so they created a soundscape whenever you bring the mobiGlas upThey wanted to give the player the feeling of using an actual electronic deviceYour character needs to be aware of the UI so it’s one of the reasons they opted to have the arm visible on screen as the connection between UI and characterStarmap will use the same display tech as radarThey’ve done more iteration on it for new effects and to make it more visually impressiveStarmap is first implementation of the world display system which allows them to preview different kinds of data from different kinds of sourcesBiggest code challenge has been trying to translate positional data of the worlds, get these big objects to fit into your small screenRevamp of mission manager which is now named the contract manager and manages all missions between mission givers and the PU as well as eventually player created missionsApp is split amongst a number of different screen flows: available contracts screen, pending screen, a screen that displays all contracts you’ve accepted, contract history screenLater down the line they’ll add a screen where you can create your own contracts and post it on available contracts boardsInventory manager will also be introduced where players can search using a specified filter or be sorted and searched amongst, this app will also allow you to transfer items from one cargo box to another or ship to ship as long as origin and destination are in same relative locationCourtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - Secondary ViewportsChris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host this week’s episode featuring a segment on the tech behind rendering holograms and comms in real time.
The new Secondary Viewport tech uses the new Render to Texture System to allow such things as comms calls and holographic volume rendering in the PU and Squadron 42The new system creates a more immersive experience as it makes UI and game holographics seem a part of the world instead of a simple overlay while also improving performanceThe same tech will be used for many additional different systems such as visors, comms calls and mirrors further down the lineThe Renter to Texture System starts at the engine level and accounts for such things as if objects are going to be streamed, the appropriate rendering size and of objects for the “screen” that they'll be displayed uponThe Rendering System has a fixed memory budget that uses a texture pool, similar to a shadow pool, rendering in powers of two to allow for the movement closer and further away and the adjustment of lower or higher resolution progressivelyOne benefit of render texture is that it can be reused on multiple objects with the only downside being that it requires a manager for mouse pointer interactivityThe Camera Calling System and the Facial Animation System communicates with the render texture manager to determine the exact size and level of details for the facial animations and character animationsThis real time rendering allows for changes in character ships, costumes and locations as well as it allows a character to view any projection, 2d or 3D from any angle while movingThis allows the rendering of any object without the need for the duplication of material set up, and with shaders allows for the fading, dissolving and tinting of objects as they reach borders without the usual clippingThis technology basically creates an immersive telepresence that plays well with player-to-player comms and for effective mission briefingsThough developed rather quickly they still aim to optimize performance further, like with using environ probes to avoid having to render background scenes inside of a video callBeyond performance, they want to stabilize it more and improve the finalized effects such as with flickering or interlacing lines when there is a poor signal or if the display is damagedCourtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsJuly 2017 Subscriber's Town Hall w/ VFX TeamStaffan Ahlstrom and Michal Piatek sit down with Jared Huckaby to answer questions directly from our development subscribers about their work on Star Citizen.
One thing they impressed was the challenge of scaling VFX in the game. In previous projects they've worked on they only had to deal with a fixed camera angle and having to scale effects from close to very far is quite challenging.Flying through clouds and affecting the look of them by creating swirls in your wake isn't something that's planned for right now as it takes a lot of work to make something like that happen. If they did decide to do it, it more than likely would be a bit of "Magic".Sonic booms are planned, however they're working on implementing a tech that will allow not only for that to happen, but be used for other effects like shields and have them change dynamically based on the shape of the ship instead of the way they are now which is a static generic block shape of the ship.There will be a difference between effects in space and in atmosphere. They have a whole set of atmospheric VFX coming online soon and they're also taking gravity into account down the road when it comes to VFX.They showed off two gifs of the shouldered rail gun, but when asked about the Idris rail gun and if its been worked on they said it was a good question, with a smile.Footprints, impacts, and other things left behind by players won't last very long in the current game, but they're working on a tech which will allow for a much longer duration that can be affected dynamically. So they do want to have ship imprints, and of the likes last awhile, but for now it's only a short time.Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Ship and Equipment DiscussionQ&A: Tumbril CycloneGreetings Citizens!
Since the introduction of the Hull Series back in April 2015, every new concept ship reveal has had an accompanying Q&A post, where we spend a couple days collecting questions from you, pass those on to the relevant ship designer, and provide you the best answers we have available at that time.
With the addition of Spectrum earlier this year, we can now allow you to add your vote to the questions you most want to see answered. The questions included below are a combination of those that received the most votes, similar questions that were merged into a single instance, and those we felt we could comfortably answer at this stage in the Tumbril Cyclone’s life.
As the Cyclone is only in concept stage, there are still some unanswered questions we’re currently pursuing in development. As the game continues to be fleshed out, those missing answers will be determined and implemented. While it will still be some time before we see the Tumbril Cyclone in game, we hope you’re as excited as we are as the game expands with the addition of another ground-based vehicle to the Star Citizen universe.
As always, a special thanks to Stephen Hosmer, Ben Lesnick and Steven Kam for their help in answering your questions.
Let’s get to it. -DL
What ships will the Tumbril Cyclone fit into?
The concept model is currently sitting at 5.71m x 3.25m x 2.26m, but as with everything in Star Citizen, its size is subject to change as it is built out and implemented in game. At present, this makes the Cyclone smaller than an Ursa Rover but larger than a Dragonfly or Nox. Our current intention is that anything that fits an Ursa will fit the Cyclone, including the Constellation. For ships like the Cutlass and Freelancer, it may technically fit in their cargo bays, but because the ramps are tapered, a Cyclone would likely not be able to load up into it.
Are the Cyclone variants “modular?” Can we just swap the boxes out on the base model to make the variants?
While this system is not currently available in game, it is something we’re interested in exploring once that time comes. When the Cyclone is added to the game, we expect them to function as variants for the time being.
How much cargo can it carry?
Currently, the base version of the Cyclone is set to carry 1 SCU of cargo.
What can be picked up by the Cyclone RN’s scanner? People? Buildings? Derelicts? Loot? Ships?
As with all scanner systems in the game, it will pick up anything with a detectable signature, such as IR or EM. The difficulty of picking up that signal will depend on the item’s output and your equipment. It wouldn’t tell you if there’s a derelict or loot around the corner, but it should be able to tell you that there’s a large structure in the distance and it’s up to you to decide if you want to go check it out.
That said, the RN’s upgraded radar system will have a longer range and better detection capabilities than the standard Cyclone, along with data banks to store a larger amount of scanned data to help with the mapping of a planet’s surface.
How fast can the Cyclone and its variants go and how do they compare to the Ursa and Lynx rovers in terms of speed and acceleration?
We don’t have specific numbers yet, as the Cyclone is still in concept, and this will come with game balance and tuning, but it should be faster in speed and acceleration than the Ursa. We’re aiming for it to be about twice as fast as an Ursa and the RC version will be even faster than that when boosting.
Will it launch with 3.0?
The Cyclone will not launch with 3.0. Backers with a Cyclone on their account will receive an Ursa loaner vehicle until the buggies are completed in a future 3.x patch.
Can a Cyclone end up on its side or roof? If so, how do we right the vehicle post-accident?
The Cyclone features jump-jet thrusters meant to stabilize the vehicle when it becomes airborne. These will attempt to correct any deviation in the vehicle and provide a softer landing. Despite this, it is possible that your Cyclone could find itself flipped, turned upside down. Should this happen, we recommend you take a minute to sit right there, tell everyone how you became the prince of a town called Bel-Air… and then get out and lift.
Is more protection for the exposed driver being considered for the combat versions, or will a cockpit shot be a one-hit kill?
The Cyclone is equipped with vehicle shields to protect the occupants from enemy fire. More info on these shields will come when the Cyclone is implemented in game.
What are the pros and cons of the Cyclone compared to other land vehicles when it comes to terrain, handling, speed, utility, and combat?
The Cyclone is meant to be in the middle of the road between the Ursa and the Nox. The Ursa is slow and sturdy, and the Nox is fast but less rugged. The Cyclone aims to strike a favorable balance with a tough vehicle that also can’t be discounted in the speed department.
Additionally, it should handle most any terrain using its articulated treads to increase its grip. The Cyclone has four-wheel steering which gives it better stability while maneuvering at high speeds and a decreased turning radius at low speeds. Of course, its utility and combat effectiveness will depend on the skill of the driver, and the version you bring with you.
Will the co-pilot of the cyclone be able to shoot their personal weapons while seated?
This is functionality we intend to add to the game. We have no ETA for this feature at this time.
Is the Cyclone protected by a shield?
Yes. Details on the shield are included in a previous answer.
Can the Cyclone pull a trailer?
Currently there are no plans to implement trailers in the game. If this changes in the future, the Cyclone would be an appropriate candidate for hauling one around.
Can we re-arm missiles in Anti-Aircraft variants in field conditions?
The missile racks are the same racks already in use on ships and thus would need to be re-armed in the same way. We’ll have more details on how that functionality will work when the time comes.
Can the hubs inside the wheels move from the bottom we’ve seen in pictures to the top to give more ground clearance?
Unfortunately, no. At present, we have no plans to add any functionality like this, but the articulated treads can be deployed to increase traction at the cost of speed.
The Cyclone being a wheeled vehicle and all, will it have less of a detectable sig vs. a hover bike like a Dragonfly or Nox?
The Cyclone uses similar Vehicle-class parts as the Dragonfly and Nox, making its EM signature very similar, while it’s IR signature should be significantly reduced as it is not equipped with as many thrusters and Grav-Levs that can run hot if not managed properly. Then again, if you’re racing around and pushing the Cyclone to its limits, you may get noticed.
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsHappy Hour Gamedev - Creating a Solar SystemJoin Designer Gareth Bourn and Jared Huckaby as they create solar systems using the new SolEd tool with input from the community.
SolED was designed to make the creation of solar systems much quicker and give developers a way to easily setup systems in 2D and 3D.The objects in the solar systems are all affected by physics so placement of planets within a system in relation to a star has an affect on the speed of the orbit and the gravity around them.In the first half of the show Gareth showed the creation of the Stanton system with the second half being the community created solar system. The community system was named "Nope" with it having three stars and four planets. The stars were named Jared, Gareth, and Red One with the planets being planet "Nope", Spider planet, Vanduul Dog planet, and Ctrl-S because Gareth forgot to save until he was deep into creating the system. Overall the show was a fantastic way to show off the capabilities of the SolED from being able to place the planets and moons and in real time zoom all the way down the surface of said places and look back up at the stars and planets and moons and stations in the system.Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - Cyclone and Ship PersistenceChris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host this episode, which features a look at the Tumbril Cyclone and an exploration of the tech needed to get one ship to persist in another ship’s hangar. Plus, Austin and Turbulent provide updates.
Refactoring of shopping code is now to the point where Austin Design team is now plugging items back into the shops, this include first pass at getting kiosks up/running for commodity tradingFocused on getting shops related to PU/landing zones functional first and will be making a pass of Area 18 shops as wellArmour can now be bought piece by pieceRemaining ships have been implemented into the price fixer toolsThis tool is also used as a way to gauge whether or not the ships they’re building are over/underpowered for their intended purposeProgress has been made on getting Miles Eckhart ready to go, lot of work on the feather blending system and got him working with a small subset of his animationsReceived additional code support to allow reputation to dictate his conversation past with the playerNow have the ability to assign specific missions with mission brief tagsJosh Coons finished images/videos of the Cutlass Black and moved onto create base material and whitebox meshes for Cutlass variantsHe will complete the first pass on exterior looks for the variants before moving on to the Constellation Phoenix to allow Design to flesh out some key gameplay system for CutlassesChris Smith working on bugs for Hornet/Constellation Andromeda and will move on the promo video for Constellation Aquila nextBackend Services team preparing for deployment of diffusion, game servers now have full access to diffusion API and they’ll start using it with the shopping service in 3.0Started converting the persistence cache and general instance manager into smaller stateless, full diffusionized servicesPU Animation team started research/development for how to implement their wild line(dialogue spoken by an NPC) systemFeather blending allows them to blend performance capture of the wild lines with a large number of useable animationsGoing through existing animations and filling in gaps missing from original performance capture with new transition animationsAustin Ship Animation team continue to refine the cockpit/turret experienceR+D phase of implementing button presses using Item 2.0 system, this helped finalize dashboard/cockpit metrics across different ships that use same cockpit typeUK Engineers refactored some backend systems allowing to fully implement blending of base G-force pose blend spacesDevOps team working on increasing capacity of build/deployment pipelines in preparation for 3.0Making additional change/bug fixes to support new delta patcherIT department upgraded Austin networkAudio team member Jason Cobb continued work on derelict crash site sound design for different moon environments/performed a variety of particle audio implementation experiments for revamped ship debris noises/playtested and mixed refinements for ship emergency state audio and captured sound effects for various props and materialsAustin QA has been testing new Cutlass BlackNew missions/wrecks/NPCs in StantonShip testing continued as more ships converted to Item 2.0 systemLarge scale playtests of Arena Commander, Star Marine and Stanton ongoing weeklyTesting more mobiGlas applications like Starmap, the personal manager, mission manager and mission boardTesting character gravity/free fall as well as cargo mechanicsEngine/editor testers are testing new tech like capsule based actor entity, entity component update scheduler and director/actor animation and controlNew stamina/oxygen breathing system are getting some balance changesFour new people joining the Player Relations teamTurbulent
Updating ship specifications in the databaseGround vehicles can now be added to the ship matrix as well as anything that comes upNew sizing scheme for shipsResdesigned ship detail pageReworked ship matrix database to make it easier to updateSpectrum v0.3.6 with EvocatiNew features include new text editorNew tools like hyperlinks, hyperlink formatting, preview posts and draftsMini profile which include post count and karmaNew jump to track replyWorking on refreshing some UI elementsEngineering team working on getting most of the digital distribution channels ready for the Delta patching system.Ship Shape: Tumbril Cyclone
CIG's entry into land vehicles with a new manufacturer has lore that's been around awhile associated with rugged military vehiclesThe Cyclone is a fun fast four-wheeled and steered land vehicle partial to jumping off ramps with marketing design aesthetics, though clearly from a military originIf the Ursa Rover is the tortoise and the Cyclone is the hare, then the Nox is, as with Goldylocks, just right and in the middleBesides it's being fast and super rugged, it's built with modularity similar to the real worldThe variants include one for cargo, infantry support, recon and exploration as well as racing and even an anti-air versionThe recon version can not only map terrain, but drop beaconsThe racing version basically has nitrous and will be similar to a Baja racerThe anti-air model will have two size two missile racks with a countermeasure package that includes not only chaff and flares, but smokescreens and a size one EMPIt's always a struggle to balance function with design with the feedback within the pipelineThe first one of any type of entity or asset is always the hardest due to the unknown, but the most challenging tends to be making the deadlines . . . but they always doBehind the Scenes: Ship in ship Persistence
Gameplay Programmer Chad McKinney talks about how the technology involved with persistence will change in the upcoming 3.0 update.Persistence as it is now is a simple system that tracks player accounts, specifically loadouts and ships with their loadouts. While this works for the gameplay in 2.6, it limits the player to what they can do. They can't pick up items and store them on their ship, trade, etc because the server doesn't track those things.With 3.0 players will be able to start making changes to the world around them in subtle ways such as picking up cargo from an outpost they found or parking a Dragonfly in their Cutlass and having it remain there regardless of whether they log out or not.While it seems like a simple thing, it's actually fairly complicated and required a rework of the way persistence is handled in many backend systems.They've revamped the system to track legal ownership of entities and physical ownership. The difference between the two is physical ownership is having the item in front of you and in your hands or on your ship and in your possession at that moment, with legal ownership being your entitlement to a given entity like a ship for instance.Players can legally own a ship, an item, etc, but another player can physically take it and claim it as their own and it'll remain in that other players possession until someone else takes it from that player too. However it isn't without consequence, players can become wanted if they steal other players ships, cargo, items, and will be marked to the authorities as a criminal. This goes deeper as the gameplay for pirates can become very rewarding, but at a high cost. Players can steal cargo for instance and roll the dice by not including the cargo on their manifest when they come across authorities, or get creative by using secret compartments to store the cargo, or take the safest route to avoid authorities entirely.The technology doesn't stop there, with Diffusion, a service that allows for a new way of interacting with all the backend services at the same time will allow for more things in the world to become persistent. With 3.0 the amount of things that will persist in the world will still be fairly limited, but in the future it'll expand from affecting a small area in the world to having the entire world be affected by a variety of player actions from supply and demand, to wars, to NPC activity and so much more. A player will be able to take something from a planet and another player won't ever see what was taken, on the flipside a player can leave something and another player will find it. With 3.0 Player health, Stamina, Ship health and ammunition will become persistent so no longer will players be able to fire all their ammunition with no penalty, also if you fly your ship and a wing gets blown off, the next time you log in it will be still missing until you go and get it repaired or make an insurance claim.Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in General Questions & Chat[Unofficial] Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 TrailerSo, pretty neat trailer, but this is either the worst trailer ever or the best. You might notice some shots of the Idris and Reclaimer in there, if these are actually in 3.0 then this is the best trailer ever and get hyped. However, I doubt they'll put them in for 3.0 and that makes this just some hype trailer with footage of stuff that wont actually be in 3.0.. Kind of losing all meaning for a trailer (atleast one for 3.0)
Either way, it looks pretty neat, show it to some non-believers to convert them!
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - Kiosks and CommoditiesSandi Gardiner and Will Weissbaum host this week’s episode, which focuses on kiosks and commodities coming in 3.0 and beyond. Plus, Brian Chambers provides an update from F42 Frankfurt.
Studio Update Frankfurt
working on improving existing systems for 3.0: ensuring existing vehicles and systems still work as intended and doing a polish passremade the old airlock effects for both the “high tech” and “low tech” airlocksstarted shifting more focus towards Squadron 42 cinematic scenesFPS Weapons
completed passes on the last two legacy weapons: Geminii L86 ballistic pistol & Behring P4AR ballistic riflefinished Klaus and Werner laser laser repeater (S1-3) & Apocalypse Arms ballistic scattergun (S1-3)started on Klaus and Werner laser laser repeater (S4-6)Worked on general tasks for 3.0 including polishing, optimising, and bug fixingTech Art Team
finished multiple animation implementation tasks for the useables sprint & cinematicscontinued to debug weapon animation issuesadjustments a few weapon rigs to make them more realistic and believablework on a VFX Exporter primarily to support exporting simulated objects from Mayacontinued to support the animation code with ground alignment R&DGame Programming
spent time fixing outstanding issues and polishing up existing code.identified and began fixing game code vs. engine code issues with the new airlocks and elevatorsadded the ability to hide a weapon from first person view in ADS modecompleted the technology to easily apply weapons skinsworking on the Weapons System 2.0 and additional elevator and airlock feature polish for 3.0AI
working on more mission broker and mission system features for PU 3.0 and S42adapted mission broker to support multiple players accepting the same mission & asymmetrical missions for multiple playeradded support for takeoff and landing of AI ships: landing pads, ship hangars, other ships and celestial surfacesadding quantum travel functionality for the new non-Kythera AIfocusing on adding more Subsumption AI support: using nav splines and entering/exiting AI behaviourfinished the second Buddy AI sprint: a step towards having companion AI that will intelligently follow and assist the player in combatEngine
refined the handling of GPU crashes and proper reporting via the Public Crash Handlerworked on performance analysis and engine optimisations for 3.0started to work on was a new Roads System and toolset to work in conjunction with the planetary terrainLevel Design
making a pass on the Room System for Levski to ensure the player won't suffocate in random placesperformed general polish and bug fixes for 3.0.started taking a look at the Lorville: the next flagship landing zoneQA
handled multiple test requests from the Engine team including a change to the Entity Component Update Schedulerhandled test request for area optimisations: improvements to door and elevator codecontinued to support Subsumption and Subsumption tools testingperformance testing is underway for the PUtesting various gravity conditions on the new moonsSystem Design
experimenting with Levski having a full AI population and tweaking behaviours to avoid overcrowding areasstress testing servers to determine the AI populations that can be supported without degrading performanceCinematics
continued to work on scenes across all chapters of Squadron 42continued work on the two dimensional render-to-texture display screen and holographic volume renderingLighting
focused solely on applying some of the final touches for 3.0: colour grading for moons, integrating outposts and moon lighting, Levski bug fixes and polishEnvironment
polishing and bug fixing existing content for the PUadded new areas and locations to Levski, a new shop and an admin office, and performed a final pass on garagesStarted post-3.0 R&D: ArcCorp, procedural cities, and the planet HustonBehind the Scenes: Kiosks and Commodities
The kiosk is an important step in allowing players to buy and sell goods and commodities in game.Not only does the kiosk support buying and selling, but placement of cargo within ships and is the foundation for interaction with future panels such as elevators, doors, etc.With the kiosks you'll be able to sort, filter, and compare within the interface and choose where you want the items to go. It could be either to your character, your ships cargo, or a designated area.The kiosk is what most players will see, but underneath the kiosk is an array of systems unified together in order to bring the first stages of the economy to life by having price, quantity, location all have an effect on the global economy that can be manipulated by players in real time.Factories, shops, and more all have needs that players can meet or affect depending on their goal. A trader can bring supplies desperately needed by a factory producing a certain weapon or players could pillage the supply chain in order to drive prices even further up.The kiosk also expands player persistence to not only what's on them, but their ships as well. Players will be able to store items on their ship and have them remain there the next time they log in.The kiosks won't all look the same as they've designed the UI and console to be modular to allow the many shops and manufacturers in the game to have their own look and feel with some UI's being either basic or advanced.With 3.0 players will start to get a good feel at how Star Citizen as it's been talked about in the past, is now becoming playable in front of their eyes.Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - The Shape of Derelict Ships Star Citizen Star CitizenDerelict ships are the star of this week’s episode. Learn all about how we’re designing a diverse set of shipwrecks. Sandi Gardiner and Chris Smith host the show, while Eric Kieron Davis provides an update from our LA studio.
Studio Update L.A.
Finished a large refactor on the Persistent Data Manager which handled how data is stored, modified and accessed while in game. This now allows them to distinguish between player physical and legal ownership.Some examples this affects are criminality, missions, and persistence spawning.This feature also name enables them to allow a ship to be docked inside another ship persistently so that when that ship is recalled for take off from a planet for example, the ship inside will still be there.Work on cargo placement within ships cargo grids as well as cargo debris generation for when a ship explodes.They're also integrating the ability for players to sell their cargo to a shop and have it populate the shops inventories dynamically and in turn, affect the pricing and availability of items and commodities in the universe.The gravity lev system that some ground vehicles use like the Nox and Dragonfly has had some improvement made to it due to the vehicles dragging instead of hovering. Now they're hovering like they should and feel much better.Content Team
Work on simulations for liquids depending on the environment they're in was a big focus for the team. They focused on the liquid inside Miles Eckart's cup so that it reacts based off his movements that he makes during animations. This work is important for ensuring liquid on planets behaves as it should and this is a small application to test that.Landing gear will now finally feel alive and natural as it'll react to the forces applied to it during landing. It will also react based off the terrain and gravity of the planet.The team has improved several tools used by developers around the studios and recently implemented Lumberyards latest updates and bugfixes.QA
All of the ships have been converted to item system 2.0 and are undergoing testing to ensure they're functioning properly.Testing the new quantum travel system, new planetary missions and the new mobiGlas.Ship Team
The Anvil Hurricane has now entered the Whitebox phase which is used to layout the rough shape of the ship and use temporary animations, lighting, and assets to allow all departments to get an idea of how the ship will look and feel.Character Team
More bridge officer uniforms have moved from concept to the high poly phase.The newest Shubin combat flight suit has is going through the high poly phase and into the ingame modelling and texturing soon.Outlaw combat flight suit is also in the high poly phase and soon to enter the ingame modelling and texturing phase.The medical Corpsman has entered the ingame modelling phase.Several costumes for the People's Alliance of Levski are ready to be used in the verse.Tattoo's for character customization are being worked on.They're working on a concept for a ship jacker.Progress has been made on battle damaged versions for costumes used by NPCs.Work on ensuring mobiGlas fits characters properly is important as it's a physical object unlike most games that cheat by using a holographic or HUD projection. They have to make sure it works on all types of clothing, including suits and armour.Behind the Scenes: Derelict Ships
The derelict process started at Gamescom last year using the demo for the prototypeIt started off as a technical challenge but quickly grew exponentially with the creative potential it hadExisting assets and their damage states helped, but the challenge was their arrangement within different scenarios with aging in different biomes by the clever use of shader setupsLarge ships offer more creative scenarios whereas smaller ships require more detail inputThe aim was for derelicts to become characters unto themselves and not just a point on a planetMemorable encounters via the use of the many different terrain types was also a goalNot unlike in the film industry the editor was used to scout appropriate sites for the script while keeping lighting effects in mindLots of work has gone into the tech that allows them to create crash sites, and make them blended into the worlds, and make them feel unique.Lots of work on making certain wrecks feel lived in - maybe they’re a base, have windmills, cloth, solar panels, etc…Different ships break up differently, and larger ships such as the caterpillar can break up in various formats.The Caterpillar can have from 2 cargo bays, up to 15 (possibly)Lots has gone into giving the crash sites their own character; making them feel alive, feel like each one is a story.Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - Crafting Procedural MoonsChris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host this week’s episode, which explores how we craft our procedural moons. Plus, there’s an extensive update from our F42 offices in the UK.
Worked on the cockpit experience sprint with a goal of making sitting in the cockpit much more dynamic.Integrating black out/red out effects into the actor status system which also features breathing and stamina.Cockpit experience sprint also improved G-force animations and player hit reactions.Work on close combat is coming along nicely, including work in knife-based takedowns and unarmed takedowns.Near to completing the conversion of old player and actor code to the new actor 2.0 or actor status system. This makes creating new player features much easier and improves the reliability of the code.Testing the delta patcher with developers after it passed QA’s approval. Early feedback is positive.Graphics
Focus has been on the new render to texture system.Hologram system will be used for mission briefings, comm calls, mobiGlas, and other situations.Render to texture will be used for all new UI.Aiming to use render to texture for live video comm calls between players.Exposure control system upgraded to better handle the contrasts between the darkness of space and bright objects such as moons, planets, etc.New features added to the GPU particle system for 3.0 such as lighting, turbulence, and anti-aliasing.Concept
One focus has been on ship weapons - Amon & Reese laser cannons as well as Klaus & Werner laser repeaters.In terms of personal weapons, they’ve created a heavy machine gun from Gemini with an iconic cooling system.UK has added a 6th member to their concept team - this new addition is looking into Stanton locations and supporting needs on SQ42 locations.Environment Art
Environment art creating exciting prototypes for procedural cities - this will allow creating massive cities and landing zones.Work continuing to flesh out tools to decorate space - one specific element of this is a new space dust shader allowing large volumes of space dust to be added to Stanton for 3.0.Yela’s asteroid belt has been improved, in part via the new space dust shader.All major outpost archetypes are finished - this includes branding for various companies and organizations. Some unique varieties also includes such as emergency shelters, abandoned outposts, and more.Outpost clusters and exterior elements finalized. This includes, among other things, RELAY STATIONS.Ongoing work to integrate outposts with planet surfaces - sand/dust/frost finalized along with decals adding extra dirt buildup.Pre-polish and optimization work on exterior of truck stop. Work focusing on the interiors.Admin offices added to truck stop and other locations around Stanton for the purposes of mission completion.Two new shops added to Grim Hex - independent ship parts trader and an old electronics store.UI
Work continuing on new mobiGlas UI and associated apps for 3.0.mobiGlas and kiosk UIs now using render to texture.Multidisciplinary sprint ongoing for the Starmap app to implement remaining needed functionality for 3.0 and improve visuals.Basic functionality of mission manager app completed.Ongoing implementation of multifunction displays in cockpits.Audio
Audio completed for railgun.Steady progress on derelict ship audio + interior ship audio for Javelin.Improved actor status system so breathing works better alongside dialogue.Improved environmental and ambient audio for 3.0 locations.Animation
Continued development of takedown/kill mechanics.Jump mechanic has received some love to allow it to cope with varied environments and gravity states.mobiGlas moved from look pose to aim pose for better functionality and improved animations surrounding mobiGlas use.Derby
Continued work on 3.0 mission givers.Seeing quick turnaround of mocap data into the game in a matter of days.Ship Team
Derelicts prepared for ground and space include Starfarer, Caterpillar, Constellation, and Freelancer.Geometry has been finalized for the folding section of the Hull C. Work on finishing the mechanical rig and ensuring no collisions. Front interior got a lighting pass while rear interior has been blocked out.Work on Eclipse well underway - focus on the cockpit currently. Additional work has been done on landing gear and wings.Work on Reclaimer is nearly complete - only 3 room left to go through final art.Reclaimer cockpit screens will fold around the player to accommodate the tight space.Final art on tractor beam seats for Reclaimer completed.Behind the Scenes: Procedural Moons
The same planet tech that they have used all along will be going into the 3.0 release with each planet having it's own gravity, ecosystems, objects, weather and atmospheresYou can progress seamlessly from space to planet and back smoothly without any cut scenes or interruptionsTo allow landing anywhere seamlessly procedural generation and scattering is usedTo make it look good several levels from different artists are layered and faded into the final resultScaling down from a solar system perspective to a planet surface is another challengeFrom a fixed pool the geometry and the textures are procedurally generated and combined at run time blending many layers.Source data use for generation is very small and thereby the generation and blending are also very efficientMost of the R&D in the last couple of months went towards object scattering to prevent an empty look to the planetsAn algorithm was made to achieve a natural look using automation in the placement of objectsThe logic of the algorithm also allows for the defining of related particle effects and of audio as wellThese were used as packages that were designated to areas and further defined by more added parameters that would allow the tweaking of scaling, random rotation, alignment to terrain, etc.The art team built all the assets that form the rocks and shrubs are are remixed and varied by using Substance Designer allowing for smart design later and more variation in the futureLighting dictated by the time of day also has been accounted for in this systemThe assets in the library are reusable allowing more to be put into memory and also makes covering large areas fasterStar Citizen has no backgrounds or barriers like other games that prevent a player from fully interacting with the environmentThe procedural generation is deterministic with terrain generation performed by the CPU and the visual textures with the client's GPU with results cached in the fixed geometry pool mesh and distributed through the available mesh in cores, and so is very efficient and doesn't require information transit to replicate the environmentsAn example of the hurdle of scale as a challenge can be seen with the typical FPS game which covers only the four kilometer play area whereas Star Citizens is covering all areas without boundariesThe end results create delightful surprises not expected for even the artists producing a definite wow effect when it all comes togetherCourtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsAround the Verse - Engine Trails and VFX Particle EffectsChris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner host this week’s episode, which features an update from Austin and Turbulent. Plus, it explores some of the cool ship effects, like engine trails, being worked on by our VFX team.
new pass on the Price Fixer Tool to ensure all items fall within the pricing balance of the game in line with the most recent design passdoing an additional pass on mission rewards, insurance prices, and respawn timerssetting up the shop inventories utilising the new shop tech from LA Engineeringgetting NPCs into the main hub areas of our PU landing zones, starting with Grim Hexgetting mission giver Miles Eckhart into the game has required a lot of collaboration:Created the tech that allows us to link extraneous objects to other useables and still register items properlyMissions System provided the ability to find “Eckhart” tagged missions, determine availability and pass to the player’s mission logAI and FPS a “Feather Blending” technique to blend between useable object animations and the conversation animationsSubsumption tech and programming facilitating all of this through tools and game codeArt
Josh Coons has been finishing the LODs and damage pass for the Cutlass Black; tweaks to the cockpit and rotating nacellesChris Smith has been working on the Xi’an Nox from beginning to end (and the vanity shots beyond)Server Engineering
working with DevOps to integrate and test Diffusion in a QA environmentworking with Gameplay Engineering to show how to utilise Diffusion’s featuresPU Animation
started on the NPC useables for counters including working with shopkeepers and bartendersset up a quick mocap shoot in the office to capture a few missing transition elementsgetting the useable for the bar stool up and runningfinished the Carry System animations for a standard sized box: you can now pick one up and walk around with itShip Animation
wrapping up setting up the standard for the cockpit experience; polishing and creating new improved animationsworking to provide the same level of interaction for the manned turrets that you have in the cockpitDevOps
adding more hardware and increasing network capacity to handle the necessary increase in build activityLiveOps
completed the build out of the latest server side expansion, supporting the latest rev of shopping and SubsumptionQA
testing new features and preparing for 3.0: weapons, moons, Levski, missions, mobiGlas interface and apps, and shipsstability and performance has been a major focusSquadron 42 Testing has been working closely with the rest of QA new tech = new bugs that affect bothcontinued providing additional support for the animation teamnormal engine and editor testing has kicked into high gear as a surge of new tools and tech from developersPlayer Relations
continue to prepare for upcoming 3.0 and can’t wait to reveal the new player experiencewill be adding to the Evocati ranks in the coming weeksTurbulent
Spectrum Update 0.3.6A has been moved to the PTU for regression testing, this is mainly for testing the backend changes that have been made.0.3.6 Will feature forum editing which enables drafts to be created by users so that they can post something they’ve typed earlier, later if desired.They’ve also added support for inline images, styling links, and more.Custom roles will come with 0.3.6 that gives better control of permissions within orgs and roles can be added via profiles with a simple click.Mini-profiles are getting updated to show post count and replies again. They’ve also added Karma similar to the Reddit system.More work has gone into voice, specifically the backend and how data channels will be handled by the serverTurbulents “Panic” crash reporting system has now been integrated to work with the games crash reports to enable better logging of crashes for developers and allows for priorities to be set and pushed to QA with the simple, but robust UI that Panic offers.The welcome to SC website revamp is ongoing and is in full coding mode. Most of the design work is finished and they’re at the stage of building it at this time. There’s nothing to show for yet, but hopefully in the near future you will see it.Behind the Scenes: Engine Trails and VFX
VFX's challenge is maintaining fidelity and quality that scales with distance and yet still runs efficientlyEngine trails, entry and exit effects for atmosphere, as well as contrails when moving upon the planet at speed in vehicles in game were desired by Chris, but needed new techThe old system was a linear beast that became a real monster as it was built upon repeatedlyInvolving graphics programmers along with the VFX artists were needed to solve this problemsThe key solution was in generating a GPU particle system that was organized around how a modern PC works and reducing the data upload to the CPUThis was done via the use of deterministic and nondeterministic states enabling faster computation via less workloadThe code written is very generic enabling the use of all kinds of particles and adjustment on the fly via DATAForge by the VFX artistsUpon completion this will form the foundation for setting up new effectsAn example of finished code includes allowing particles to be affected as a ship passes through a particle effect and transforms it by its shapeEven the moons in 3.0 will have different levels of atmospheres providing very nice subtle effectsEngine trails will provide a nice reference for those flying together as well a visceral feeling with combatSo more effects, better effects and more efficient use of PC resources are the end result when compared to the old system all of which the VFX artists find very exciting Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsHappy Hour June 30 2017Join Ben Lesnick, Jared Huckaby, Tyler Witkin and Tyler Nolin as they reverse... the verse... to answer questions.
Today's Happy Hour was similar to old Reverse the Verse format with the community team hanging out and answering some SC related questions. On the show was Jared Huckaby, Ben Lesnick, Tyler Witkin, and Tyler NolinCitizenCon tickets will go on sale tomorrow! They will be available for sale throughout the weekend. If you didn't know yet, CitizenCon this year will be in Frankfurt.The Carrack is currently Scheduled for 2018The 600i has been confirmed to exist, but will not be the next ship for sale.The Starfarer's fuel pods will eventually be swapable, but for now they'll remain until they build the accessories.They're adding more tiers between 1-10 for the referral program and anyone who met those new tier requirements before the update will retroactively get them when it comes out.Currently the studios are very focused and hard at work, but developers are excited for what's coming to backers in the near future.Evocati will always be under NDA so no streaming, pictures, etc of 3.0 will be allowed. They also stated Evocati testers are not folks who get early access to the builds, but rather people who are dedicated to testing and finding bugs in the game to allow it to go later PTU waves. Often times Evocati have unstable and buggy builds and form coordinated efforts to repro the same bug constantly. If you would like to become Evocati, participate in the Issue council as much as possible as every couple months they will add and remove Evocati members.Courtesy of Relay
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Akanoes added a topic in Ship and Equipment DiscussionAopoa Nox Q&AGreetings Citizens!
Since the introduction of the Hull Series back in April 2015, every new concept ship reveal has had an accompanying Q&A post, where we spend a couple days collecting questions from you, pass those on to the relevant ship designer, and provide you the best answers we have available at that time.
With the addition of Spectrum eariler this year, we can now allow you to add your vote to the questions you most want to see answered. The questions included below are a combination of those that received the most votes, similar questions that were merged into a single instance, and those we felt we could comfortably answer at this stage in the Aopoa Nox’s life.
With the Nox, not only is it concept complete but it is also far along into it’s development, with a hope to include it in the upcoming Alpha 3.0 release. While it is farther along than most ships for our Q&As, there are still some unanswered questions we’re currently pursuing in development. As the game continues to be fleshed out, those missing answers will be determined and implemented. While it will still be some time before we see the Aopoa Nox in game, we hope you’re as excited as we are as the game expands with the addition of another “space bike” to the Star Citizen universe.
Also, don’t forget to check out Bugsmashers released earlier today with footage of the Nox in-engine and work being done on it’s pilot visibility. Work is still ongoing with continuing adjustments to both the pilot height and UI visibility, but we thought it was a fun chance to show you where things are right now.
As always, a special thanks to Calix Reneau and Ben Lesnick for their help in answering your questions.
Let’s get to it. -DL
Which ships will be capable of transporting a Nox?
The most common question we get, and in this case our most upvoted, too! While we haven’t finished testing the Nox’s storage capability in every in-game ship, it can be used comfortably in a Freelancer, Cutlass (new) and Constellation. For smaller ships with cargo space like the Reliant & Avenger, it can physically fit but it cannot be secured. It’s not likely that will go well in practice, but we expect you to try it all the same and let us know when the Nox is added to the game.
When in atmosphere, is the Nox a ground-only vehicle, or can it also fly at higher altitudes, across canyons, through clouds, etc.
While the Nox will always has access to its multitude of thrusters, fighting gravity can be strenuous and ultimately unsustainable. Like the Dragonfly before it, the Nox can be used in space and on the ground, but it cannot make the transition on its own. For the purposes of operating down surface-side, it’s best to think of the Nox as a ground vehicle in this regard.
When water/oceans are added to the game, will the Nox be able to speed across the water at a high enough speed?
Yes. We thought about making a longer answer to this, but decided not to. Don’t you hate it when you get long-winded answers that can ultimately be summed up in just a single word? Brevity is the soul of wit, as they say. I don’t remember who said it, though.
What is the max type of wearable armor can I wear while flying the Nox?
This is a topic that affects all ships in Star Citizen. Currently, we are still evaluating what armors you’ll be allowed to wear when piloting any ship or vehicle in the game.
How fast can the Nox fly in space?
At present, the Nox has a top SCM of 220 and with afterburner can reach speeds of 550 in space. On the ground, that ratio is 40/100. 100 meters per second, 1 meter off the ground is pretty impressive.
Does the Nox handle rough terrain any different or worse than the Dragonfly?
Even though vehicles like the Nox (and the Dragonfly before it) hover over terrain, it will still have effects on its handling. In this regard, the Nox might not handle very coarse terrain as well as the more utility-built Dragonfly.
Does the Nox have a storage compartment for small items?
It does not. The limited cargo capacity of the Dragonfly comes at the sacrifice of its rear passenger seat. The Nox is purpose built to get you where you’re going, with greater speed, and even greater style.
Will we ever be able to paint our own ships? If so, what makes the Nox Kue limited?
We do not have specifics to detail on the paint system at this time. In the case of limited edition ships like the Nox Kue (or the Dragonfly Yellowjacket) we don’t think the idea of decorating your own ship is incongruous with having manufacturer-offered editions. This is patterned after real life automotive manufacturers who typically offer a predetermined set of finishes (including limited editions.) Any car you buy today can, with varying degrees of expense and effort, be repainted to match any color of the rainbow… but collectors ascribe significant value only to the original finishes (which are also often more difficult to replicate exactly on the secondary market.) We are also exploring the idea of unique badges and identifiers for the limited edition variants. In short, while you may be able to paint a standard Nox silver in the future, it won’t ever be a “Nox Kue.”
Can I store a rifle or any larger weapons on/in as it seems you can’t ride it with anything other than a pistol?
Unfortunately no. Like a cave in the swamps of Dagobah, you have only what you take with you.
Does it lean when it turns?
Currently in testing, it will lean with you when you strafe, and when you are done with the yaw portion of the turn, you will continue to lean until you stop skidding. It’s pretty cool.
Will the Nox be faster than the Dragonfly?
Under ideal conditions, the Nox with its Competition-class components will give you a distinct advantage in races. That said, the Dragonfly may take the advantage over more difficult terrain. Choose your routes wisely.
Will the Nox have upgradable components like shields and power plants?
Vehicle-scale components are a relatively new addition to our ship item system. The Nox comes with Competition Grade C components. In the future, we intend you to be able to customize the components with higher grade Competition options. What other styles of components will be compatible with the Nox remains to be seen.
How is the Nox “powerful in combat” as stated in ATV?
When Chris Smith mentioned the Nox being “powerful in combat” on ATV, he was referring to its direct comparison with the other vehicle in its class, the Drake Dragonfly. While similarly armed, the Nox would seem to have the advantage in speed that allows you to chase down your targets efficiently, tremendous agility with its 16 maneuvering thrusters, and the added armor that protects its passenger more adequately from incoming fire.
Will the Nox have stealth capability, or have access to stealth capability in some way?
Stealth in Star Citizen is mostly about managing the emissions you make. In this regard, you will still have the same flexibility to manage your power consumption and overall signature as you will on any other ship. Additionally, you may find added benefit if you choose to replace your competition components with stealth items, but to do so would come at the cost of overall speed and performance.
Does the Nox have landing gear, for when it’s powered all the way down?
No, the Nox hovers at all times with emergency power. If you’ve drained even that, it will fall and be sad. Take care of your Nox.
What makes the Nox almost as expensive and in some cases more than a spaceship with jump engine and quantum drive?
It’s important to remember that ships are priced using a component matrix rather than some type of ladder that climbs from one to another. This matrix accounts for many factors including individual component types and rarity. The Nox, for instance, has a number of purpose-built racing components where the Aurora uses more common, mass produced equipment as it is intended both in and out of lore to be a vehicle that introduces new pilots to space travel. While it’s true that the Nox does not have a jump engine or a quantum drive of an Aurora, it boasts performance and provides specialization in its intended role that the former cannot match. (For comparison, a purpose-built racing bike can cost significantly more than an entry level car today, despite ‘only’ having two tires.)
Is this mainly a racer, or does it have other purposes i.e. ground combat?
While primarily designed for speed, with its high maneuverability and S1 ship weapons, the Nox has a devastating potential in flanking slower and squishier infantry. Just don’t crash into things. Another major ‘game purpose’ of the Nox (and Dragonfly) that shouldn’t be understated is for traveling around our procedurally generated worlds. In a word, they’re BIG… so you’ll want a fast vehicle to traverse their surfaces and explore their mysteries.
Can I gimbal the guns if I choose? or am I stuck with fixed?
Like the Dragonfly before it, the Nox can only use S1 fixed weaponry.
What distance can it travel on maximum speed?
Standard SCM flight on ships doesn’t burn fuel in the sense we know today. With the technological advancements of 930 years, ships equipped with the proper intakes like the NOX can create and replenish the fuel necessary for everyday operation. In this way, you can travel at maximum SCM speed for extended periods of time. For afterburner speed, you will still have a limited amount of fuel as with any other ship.
If the Nox loses power, would we be trapped in our seat by the articulating back plate?
Presently, the back will articulate anyway, although it’s an interesting idea that might warrant a unique animation for such an event in the future.
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Akanoes added a topic in Star Citizen NewsJune 2017 Subscriber's Town Hall feat. Character Tech TeamJared Huckaby sits down with John Riggs, Gaige Hallman and Omar Aweidah to discuss the latest improvements to character tech coming to Star Citizen Alpha 3.0.
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