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Around the Verse - The Origin of Spaceships

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Chris Roberts is joined by Sean Tracy in this week’s episode, featuring 2018’s first installment of Ship Shape. Find out where ship ideas come from, meet the teams responsible for designing and developing them, and gear up for some high-speed thrills with the MISC Razor.

 

Highlights

Meet The Ship Team - Foundry 42 UK

  • Concept team ensure that every idea Chris or Todd have comes to life
  • Vehicle Art team are responsible for creating all the artwork on the ships: interior, exterior, kits, textures, shaders, and lighting
  • System Design template the interface for the UI team to plug their work into
  • UI team are responsible for implementing the visual style and functionality into the ship MFDs and HUDs
  • Audio department adds all the sound effects, ambience and music to the ships and trailers
  • QA department test all the different aspects and sure all the different aspects work together as intended
  • Marketing department is responsible for concept sales, flight ready sales and ensuring CIG deliver what's expected when the ship's released
  • Tech Design team touches every aspect from initial design briefs through blocking out to set up, balance and release
  • VFX team starts as soon as a mesh is available and take account of all the features and manufacturer style

Meet The Ship Team - CIG Austin

  • Chris Smith has started working on the Anvil Lightning F8 and is excited to get this heavy hitting fighter in your hands
  • Josh Coons is just chillaxed to the max while working on ships, character models and props

Meet The Ship Team - CIG Los Angeles

  • Dave Haddock helps to ground the ship concepts in the reality of the Star Citizen universe
  • LA's 3D art team worked on the Caterpillar, and is working on the Hurricane, the Mustang redo, and the Cyclone
  • Matt Intrieri over the last four and a half years worked on just about all aspects of the ships, but mainly helped to design many of the design tools found in the RSI Toolbox these days
  • Kirk Tome's tech and design team in LA is responsible for ships and their related systems – how you fly and interact with them
  • Mark Abent makes all the ship function magic happen and passes the buck to his two assistants, Max and Patrick

How Ship Ideas Are Born & Where They Come From

  • Chris Roberts draws inspiration from sci-fi film and literature as well as World War influences to create ship concept ideas
  • Ship concepts usually come with a related function or gameplay mechanic – combat, mining, salvage, etc
  • The ideas are bounced around amongst the team as to all the possibilities associated with the concepts
  • Logical design requirements and emotional attachment are balanced for the role of the ship in conception
  • Then the design team dictates which studio gets the ship to design preferably with the same designer that created the original concept
  • This is further divvied up with a manufacturing line and a designer and artist that are paired together
  • The concept is reviewed for redundancy and glut in certain manufacturing lines to promote balance, choice and variety within the gameplay
  • Hierarchy within the ship line is then determined
  • There’s a lot of back and forth when it comes to the ships. They have to be vetted and approved by a large team of people, with Chris at the top.  
  • They try to make sure newer art members get the chance to work on ships as well, giving them the more ‘standard’ portions, while more outlandish ships still go to senior designers.
  • Occasionally they’ll switch the manufacturer planned for a ship, if another manufacturer meshes better.

Ship Updates

  • Avenger rework: SQ42 work is done. Back to PU ship team to finish that work.
  • Eclipse: Final art phase, nearly same state as the Avenger rework.
  • Hammerhead: Kitbashing the remaining interior.
  • Mustang Alpha rework: Final modelling.
  • Idris: Final modelling.
  • 600i: Final modelling.
  • Hurricane: Grey box surfacing.
  • Blade: Grey box modelling.
  • Constellation Phoenix: White box complete, moved on to grey box modelling.
  • F8 Lightning: White box.
  • Razor: Flight prep.
  • Terrapin: Flight prep.
  • Reclaimer: Flight prep.
  • Cyclone: Flight prep.

Ship Shape: MISC Razor

  • Dedicated racing ship. MISC manufacturer but definitely draws very strongly on their partnership with the Xi’an - does not resemble MISC design.
  • One of the inspirations was Nathan Dearsley’s McLaren MP4-X concept race car design.
  • The Razor has faster straight line speed than the M50, but the M50 is more maneuverable.
  • Razor changed significantly while it was being made - it had to be slimmed down from the original design to make the animations work.
  • Razor uses the character animations from the M50.
  • Cockpit canopy design is one of the things that sets the Razor apart, with the canopy enclosing around you after you get in.
  • Cockpit was originally very uncomfortable looking with a lot of bare metal surfaces.  This was given a luxury pass and now looks more like a high end super car, with inspiration taken from Lamborghini.
  • Making the sleek shape of the Razor look good was very difficult and had to be iterated on repeatedly.
  • Turned out great - perhaps even better than the concept art.
  • Primary focus of the Razor is the Murray Cup race.

Courtesy of Relay

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Can't wait to get my hands on my Razor! Hopefully I can store it on my Hull Series so while the ship is being unloaded, I can take my sexy Razor around and sight see. :-D

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