A link to the episode can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsWDLHVYNHI
|“|| Hello everyone, welcome to yet another episode of Ten for the Chairman.
For those of you who don't know about it, this is where I answer ten questions submitted by our very generous subscribers, that they have asked over the past few weeks, or maybe even a month or two ago.
Question 1 - Emergency landing
|“||I was wondering when you call for an emergency landing on the carrier, will emergency nets come up to catch the ship to prevent it from causing more damage inside the carrier? If the ship crashes on the flight deck will there be a bulldozer that will push it off the deck and have an emergency crew to put out the fire?||”|
|“|| I think someone has been watching the Wing Commander movie, which is kind of cool.
I don't know about emergency nets, I mean we actually haven't even thought about this it. It will probably be more something that we would have working in Squadron 42 because there would definitely be cases where this sort of thing would be happening there, but I definitely think we'll probably have some level of emergency landings and rescue crew and all the rest of it. So I don't know whether there will necessarily be nets, but we will definitely have that whole sense of bringing in your damaged ship. Hopefully you can bring it down and people will come and beat out the flames and any burning parts of your ship.
Question 2 - Server wipes/Alpha progress carryover
|“||Will there be server wipes during alpha/beta? I’m very much looking forward to helping flush out bugs during alpha/beta but wondering if any of our work will carry over into the PU if there will be a clean wipe before release?||”|
|“|| That's a good question. We don't really have a specific stance on this at the moment.
My guess is probably we would reset everybody when the game goes properly live. It's sort of hard to say because I think when we go into like beta for the actual game that the backers will have, but not for the full public yet, we probably wouldn't wipe that late stage stuff. But certainly some of the early stuff like dogfighting module, planet-side module all that. You'll definitely be able to earn some money from winning some fights and doing stuff, and that will be money that will allow you to buy some weapons, but it will be for that dogfighting test area. It won't be money that will carry through to the persistent universe. So I guess the answer is there's going to be a combination of this, so there will be wipes of some of the stuff but not all of the stuff. As you get close to the final release, maybe some of the stuff you've done will carry over.
Question 3 - Release order for ships in AC
|“||What order are we looking at seeing the ship models in-game? Cutlass was in the latest Jump Point, so will that be next? Avenger looked almost done in the video, so that next? Retaliator is a huge favorite on the site so maybe focus there?||”|
|“|| That's quite a lot of questions and suggestions there.
So yeah, the Cutlass is actually going to be the next ship that everyone is actually going to see in their hangar. The ship that we've actually been working on the longest outside of that is actually the Idris Corvette. But it's a really huge ship and we've been going through a little bit of a rearrange/redesign on the interior side to be able to fit the number of ships we want to fit on the hangar deck. I'm not quite sure what then next one is. We're doing the variants on the Freelancer and we're also going to be doing some stuff on the Caterpillar and stuff like that. So I guess it will be a horse race between those, we'll see what happens.
Question 4 - Exploration/Jump Points
|“||Can you tell us what exactly exploration entails and what plotting a jump point will be like?||”|
|“|| What exactly exploration entails; that's a lot. That's like “how long is a piece of rope.”
So there's a lot to exploration. It's not just going to be looking for an undiscovered jump point, plotting the jump point, and going to the new system on the other side. There's going to be a lot of mapping that will happen so even in systems that are known not all of the space is mapped. So basically there will be certain areas on the trade lanes and the general areas that you pass that will have nav-points on them and be mapped to a certain extent, but the vast amount of it won't be mapped. So maybe you find an asteroid field that isn't on the map, maybe that asteroid field has some really good minerals, or maybe there's a wreck. So we're going to try and add things to discover even in known space. So we're really trying to up the amount of things that you can do if you're an explorer where it's not just about jump points or finding a new system even though that's pretty cool. But obviously we can't do everything all at once at the beginning so that's all stuff in the content we'll build to.
Then the other thing I'll say is that we're doing a lot of work in R&D on procedural content generation. I know a lot of people think "Oh all of Star Citizen is completely scripted," or designed and crafted, and yes it has a huge amount of stuff like Terra and Earth where pretty much everything will be hand crafted. But to build the universe on this scale we need to balance some procedural stuff as well as crafted stuff, which is the way I think is actually the best way to build a big expansive universe. It's the same way that we're approaching the gameplay. You can't script every mission so we're actually building it in such a way that the universe itself dynamically runs itself and the player interactions generate a lot of the missions and the intrigue and the action.
So I didn't answer what will plotting a jump be like. Well it should be a lot of fun and very scary and very risky. A jump point is sort of a rip in the space-time continuum that takes you almost instantly between two points many light years from each other. So the concept with it is to have, I don't know whether it's the space-time fabric as a big breaker if you want to think of it in surfing terms, you want to surf in and hit exactly the right lines or else you're going to go off track and potentially get ripped apart or spat out in some random part of the universe. Obviously this will require a combination of some skill and some specific equipment, but once you've gone through and you've recorded your jump, you can then turn around and sell that to the government or share it with your friends, and then obviously you can name the jump point or the system after yourself. It should be pretty cool. It should be like trying to ride the various big waves off the north shore of Hawaii, but with cool space effects.
Question 5 - Tablet companion platforms
|“||I was wondering about the $5 million stretch goal “tablet companion application.” What tablet platform are you looking to support? iOS, Android, other?||”|
|“|| So we haven't really though it out. I think by default we would want to support both iOS and Android.
Depending on the application we may use something like Unity or something for the tablet side or something else. I'm not quite sure about that, but probably the likelihood is support for iOS and Android.
Question 6 - Funerals in SQ42
|“||In the early Wing Commander games when we lost a wingman there was a short funeral sequence. Will there be something similar when it happens during SQ42.||”|
|“|| Yes, absolutely there will be.
That was one of the best parts of the original Wing Commander and we sort of took it with Wing 2 had it in Wing 3, I think we had it in Wing 4. So we'll definitely have the funeral sequence. We couldn't have a Squadron 42 without it.
Question 7 - Player built colonies/stations/defenses
|“||Will organizations upon discovering new systems be able to colonize planets, build stations, put up defenses?||”|
|“|| That's a great question, that's actually something that we, long term, want to do. I'm not so sure whether you'll be able to do the fullest of that on the initial release.
Longer term is to do it fully, but shorter term we'll have some mechanics in there that will allow planets themselves or outposts themselves to evolve during the game based on player action and what's happening in the universe. Which I think will be really cool and will fold into my goal of a living breathing universe. We're already looking at organizations, groups of players, being able to buy and build up some industry on various planets. So a certain aspect of that will be there, but to have completely new planets that you'll fully colonize and do all the rest of the stuff, that is definitely a goal, we are definitely working towards that. That is in the feature set we want to promise, but it probably won't be on the initial release just 'cause it's got a lot of stuff to do with it. But again, that's along the lines of some of the procedural R&D that we're doing.
Question 8 - Short range voice communications
|“||Will there be short range voice communication to hail other unknown vessels or call for help?||”|
|“|| Yes, absolutely yes.
So you should be able to hail nearby vessels even if they're not on your friends list, and you should be able to put out a global distress call "Help me I'm under attack" or that kind of thing. So I guess the answer is yes.
Question 9 - Server locations vs central server
|“||How is the ‘one server’ setup going to work with servers being hosted in various parts of the globe? If I’m in a guild with someone from say, Australia, how wouldwe get grouped together if I’m playing on a US server and they’re playing on the Australian hosted one?||”|
|“|| The thing to remember in our server set up is that we have one central server that is basically the general tasking server, but the actual servers that would handle the local instance information when you're flying in space dogfighting against someone or figuring out when you're on a planet what the other people are doing right next to you, they're actually going to be mostly distributed around the world. So that's where the local instance servers spin up, and what happens is the master server is really the match making server.
It's sort of going "Ok you and you, I'm putting you together in the same instance server," and it has a whole set of criteria when it does that matchmaking. So a large part of it is the friends list so it will try to match you with your friends, and also it will do things like, we'll try and have, if you want to do PvP put maybe some of your enemies in there and people of similar skill levels. This is by the way just to stress in the case that you're in an area that there are more people than can fit in any one instance. If there's enough people just for one instance, everyone will be in the same instance. With a few exceptions. Like if someone is in a safe area and they don't want PvP, and someone just wants PvP, then maybe there would be two instances, one for the PvP, one without the PvP. But generally what happens is, there's a whole sort of matchmaking criteria and it's based on ping, friends list, associates, persons of interest, enemies, skill level, and it uses that criteria to match you up dynamically as you move around. As you fly around space, you go from area to area, it's matching you up and putting you in different instances and it's doing exactly the same down on the planet.
So what would happen if someone is in America and Australia is, depending on what you tell the game, it probably would not opt to put you together if the ping was high, but you certainly could say "Hey you know what, I want to hang out with my friends no matter what, even if my pin is bad," and in that case the friend relationship would trump the ping in terms of the matchmaking criteria. So generally we would default to trying to keep you flying with people at low pings, but if you specifically say "I want to be with this person" we'll make an exception for you. So I hope that answers you question BigDamnHeroes.
Question 10 - Large ship planetary landing
|“||I’d like to know about landing on planets in the really large ships. We already know that ships will land on planets Freelancer style, but what about some of the truly huge player-flyable ships such as destroyers or battlecruisers? Will these remain in orbit (crewed by our friends/AI crew) while we take a shuttle to the surface? Or will owners of these ships have to be content only docking at space stations?||”|
|“|| Ok, well that's a good question. We're definitely not going to let you fly the really big ships down onto the planets.
So probably the Destroyer and up will not be able to go down. Although, we don't know, maybe on the Destroyer, but probably not. Kind of what you'll have to do is you'll either have to dock with a local space port and take a shuttle down to the planet. We'll probably have those on some of the bigger, busy planets, so I could see it on Earth and Terra, or just take a shuttle down, your ship's in orbit and you just take a shuttle down. So I hope that answers that question.
|“|| Alright, so that's another episode of Ten for the Chairman. I hope the answers were interesting and informative. I would like to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm for the game, we couldn't be doing this without you.
I'll catch you next week, goodbye.