Around the Verse - Eclipsing the Competition

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Posted (edited)

Sean Tracy and Josh Herman host this week’s Around the Verse, which features an update from our German office and a Ship Shape segment focused on the Aegis Eclipse.

Highlights

Studio Update

The Frankfurt office has grown to 74 employees with the annual summit taking place in Frankfurt for several days to get everyone synchronized.

AI

  • A sprint has been started on human combat with the goal of improving combat work done in previous months to bring it to a representation of the final quality. 
  • These improvements include shooting functionality with accuracy and friendly fire and behaviour to non friendly opponents both visual and hearing.
  • Ship AI has been updated to now use Item system 2.0.
  • Work on AI modules to allow players to dictate what they want controlled via AI on the ship.

System Design

  • Worked on the air traffic control system by adding conversations and a smart system for pilots wishing to land or take off.
  • Doors have been updated to item 2.0 which is needed for other tech such as breaching, hacking, and atmosphere.
  • Prototypes on dynamic advertising in game which will display relevant information to the player in the form of broadcasts or warnings to screens nearby to them in stations.

Lighting

  • Continued work on surface outposts, specifically the habitation sets.
  • Team has been trying to solve the issues of the dark side of planets being too dark and adding another layer to the atmosphere that will brighten the dark side just enough to where a player can make out silhouettes and the horizon. 
  • Supporting Squadron 42 in providing benchmarks for the environment lighting team to achieve for visuals in the levels.

Engine Team

  • Implemented the initial version of the new IO scheduler which will improve streaming performance for textures, meshes, sounds and whatever else is being streamed in and out of the game to keep it within the memory budget. 
  • Eventually it will enable the job manager to better utilize CPU cores in cases where jobs are waiting for IO.
  • This also lays groundwork for a version of the scheduler to exploit the advantage of SSDs and their superior random disk properties to allow for multiple concurrent data streams with high throughput.
  • Incremental patcher has moved to an internal phase of QA testing which allows for devs and gamers to download only what has changed or been added.
  • Revived a tool called Memory Play to help seek out memory leaks and fix them when they crop up to allow for better server stability.
  • Improvements to atmospheric lighting detail in darker areas.
  • Further work on the object container streaming, SolED, PlanED and a rewrite of the living entity code.

Environment Art

  • Exterior of Levski has been getting some attention and the surrounding area around Levski is being populated with slightly larger mining structures than what was in place before.
  • Optimizations to Levski has been ongoing as well.
  • Delmar is getting polish and the assets and rocks are being finalized.
  • Setting up specific asset scattering presets for the different ecosytems to populate the asteroids with defined objects.
  • Planet tech improvements now allow for significantly more textures on terrain which allows for more diverse surfaces.

TechArt

  • Work on animations for useables and for the cinematics steam.
  • Prototyping a Vanduul weapon and physical simulation R&D for weapons.

VFX

  • Animated decals have been implemented which allows them to project certain animated textures on objects so that it'll follow the contours of the objects instead of them being flat plane.
  • VFX team grey by one memory who has been responsible for the large amount of cinematic work left for Squadron 42 which includes soft and rigid body simulations, destruction, particle effects, and scene setups.

QA

  • John Land has joined the team and has become a valuable asset with regards to GameDev client issues.
  • Testing of the new stamina system is ongoing to provide data for game programmers to use for fixes and improvements to the system itself.
  • Testing the patcher, the editor, server connections, and the SC Client using the new PAK system to catch crashes and differences between builds pulled with the old patcher versus the new patcher.

Weapons

  • R&D on weapon skins which include camouflage, decals, and material variations.
  • Ship weapon team is working on the Preacher Armaments Distortion Scattergun S1 to S3 and the Apocalypse Arms Ballistic Scattergun S1 to S3

Cinematics

  • Focus on Previs pipeline to bring almost all cinematics into the game regardless of their current state for designers and directors to get a better idea of flow and pacing for the full playthrough.
  • Set up an area within the studio for Mocap that can be set up within an hour for animations needed for R&D, background characters in scenes, and linking animations that aren't aligning properly.

Game programming

  • Did a pass on improving door and airlock functionality. Both of which are being hooked up to the Item 2.0 system.
  • Added the feature of having different muzzle flashes based on a weapons current rate of fire.
  • Planning has started on the improved weapon system which will be based on the Item 2.0 system to allow for designers to create wider variety of weapons more easily and address certain technical issues such as clientside prediction and server authority. They hop to have implementation beginning in the new few weeks.

Ship Shape: Eclipse

  • Aegis is one of the older companies; their ships generally have long sweeping lines and clean bodies
  • Design brief was for a stealth bomber with echoes of other ships like the B2 bomber (often with Star Citizen you start with something familiar and advance it)
  • Original design started with the Avenger but moved more towards the Sabre as it developed
  • Started with two intakes, then four (two top and two bottom) but settled on four on top
  • It has a clean profile and minimal cross-section which help it to be stealthy (and menacing)
  • It has two size two guns and holds three size nine torpedoes within a new rotating firing mechanism
  • It has multiple wing configurations: in atmosphere the winds fully extend and winglets deploy on the nose and towards the back
  • It has folding wings for landing and the landing gear is part of the folded wings
  • It will have a niche: it's no dogfighter, it's not agile but you find a big target you can kill it!
Edited by Akanoes

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Posted

Almost thought you were out of town! 

Haven't seen any posts this week, bar this one, was getting worried!

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Posted

Almost thought you were out of town! 

Haven't seen any posts this week, bar this one, was getting worried!

Yea I don't put up the community and bugsmasher videos as they aren't news :P 

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Posted

Yea I don't put up the community and bugsmasher videos as they aren't news :P 

The Q&A doesn't count? :P

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Posted

The Q&A doesn't count? :P

Well, I put that one up didn't I? :P 

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Posted

That was a great update out of Frankfurt. Cant wait for 3.0 now 

seriously, Brian Chambers blew me away once more, very hyped to be on Celin as soon as I can get there.  I also realized (when that Vanduul ship appeared outside of Olisar) that I'm going to die. a lot. Like Tom Cruise in Groundhog Day a lot.  I hope that everyone who has been upset at me enjoys my horrible deaths, I know I will.

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Posted

It is two vanduul ships. One a Driller is the other a King ship? 

seriously, Brian Chambers blew me away once more, very hyped to be on Celin as soon as I can get there.  I also realized (when that Vanduul ship appeared outside of Olisar) that I'm going to die. a lot. Like Tom Cruise in Groundhog Day a lot.  I hope that everyone who has been upset at me enjoys my horrible deaths, I know I will.

I keep you safe with my aurota

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Posted

It is two vanduul ships. One a Driller is the other a King ship? 

I keep you safe with my aurota

is sex in an Aurora  Aurotica?

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