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10 for the Chairman Episode 58

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Transcript generously provided by Nocturnal_Nick in this Reddit thread.

A link to the episode can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d2T5vN8SVc


Questions and AnswersEdit

Question 1 - Join a game in sessionEdit

With the ability of having multiplayer free flight now, would it also be possible to let players join a free flight game already in session?

–Rex_Maxim

Answer 1Edit

Yeah, actually I'll check on that, but I don't know why we'd particularly block you from joining a game in session... We're definitely working on a system where you can see what games are available and if there are open slots you can join and also see the general skill rankings of the games. It's actually a really high priority goal to optimise the matchmaking system, we've got a new one in the works but the temporary one that we've got working right now is definitely not good enough in the long term. We're replacing it with the one that will also be driving the PU and have all sorts of other features as well, but that takes time. So I guess I'll say this isn't something that'll happen next week, but it's definitely the plan down the line, it might only need some UI changes, I don't know at the moment.

Chris Roberts


Question 2 - Hangar partiesEdit

I am planning on a hangar party, for our entire organization and their guests, once the social module is dropped. Will there be a code I can publish that will allow everyone access to my hanger for the weekend, then shut it down once the party is over? Also, with a lot of guests will my hanger get instanced?

–Sailor67

Answer 2Edit

The first iteration of the hangar or social module has a follower implementation, which we're not particularly enthusiastic about, we want more of a friends implementation. But right now the way it works is you can give out invites to people that you know and they can accept an invite to come to your hangar. If they do, when they get in their elevator in their hangar, they'll be able to go to yours as well as the surface of ArcCorp. So that's basically how it'll work at first, you send out invites and people can go to your hangar Not quite sure how many people we'll get into your hangar at the moment, in the FPS module for example we're trying to get as many as 32 people into an instance at once [before final optimisations, keep in mind this is a WIP - Nocturnal_Nick] and so we may do that or up to that level in the hangar as well. I'm not quite sure because there are extra issues having all of the ships etc in the hangar as well, we've got more optimisation to do there too, we don't want to kill frame rates etc so I'd say the amount of people you can get in your hangar will be as many as 8-32, we don't quite know yet. We're looking at releasing the FPS module first as you know, and we don't want to release the social module right after that for a number of reasons, first of all code stability and changing streams etc, you just need some time. Plus, everyone's going to be playing FPS! We decided not to have 2 modules come out within 2 or ever 4 weeks of each other. That's the plan anyway, it's not like we're doing less work for them, we're just releasing more when we do the drop. Part of that is figuring out some of the optimisation stuff, that's always ongoing, but basically you'll see you'll be able to invite a certain number of people to your hangar, which WILL be your hangar, not instanced, so everyone in your hangar will be in the same instance. We're playing around with some ideas in the cloud infrastructure that might allow us to optimise and include many more players in a single instance, but that's longer term stuff. Ultimately the goal is to be able to support lots of players running around in an environment, as well as say, in a space battle, having plenty of ships involved plus lots of people inside the ships. That kind of setup would involve multiple servers managing different players, so because some players would be inside ships we can apportionate that to different servers, so we can effectively have a seemingly higher player count in the 1 area. So in the actual space area you might be limited in the number of ships, and within the ships a number of players. That's the long term goal anyway, there are a lot of steps along the way we need to deal with.

Chris Roberts


Question 3 - Weapon size smaller than maximum slot sizeEdit

If we decide to use a ballistic weapon that is smaller than the size alloted for it, say a size one cannon, in a slot that can hold up to a size 3 gun, could we then use that extra size to carry more ammo for that weapon?

–Abyssal Dragon

Answer 3Edit

Not really, I think the concept on the sizing of weapons is that you probably won't be able to put a size 1 gun in a size 3 slot. The system allows you to have a minimum size and a maximum size, but obviously if the size one is {this} big and a size three is {this} big then in real life the attachments wouldn't be build to handle such small guns. In general I'd say sizes are pretty much single size. If it's a size 3 mount you'll have to use a size 3 gun. Potentially there could be situation where there might be an option for size 2 or 3, or 3 or 4 or that kind of thing, but in general changing that sizing to the lower one doesn't create extra hardpoints for you to click, essentially you would have some kind of adapter item. Potentially there could be an adaptor item? Like something that plugs into a size 3 slot and can hold 2 size 1 guns and extra ammo? There's nothing in-game like that now, but the system would allow us to create it, that kinda the whole idea of the item system.

Chris Roberts


Question 4 - Linux version of Star CitizenEdit

There hasn't been much information as of late on support for a Linux version of Star Citizen. Are there still plans to bring SC to the Linux platform?

–Gingen

Answer 4Edit

We run all of our servers on Linux, we basically compile all of Star Citizen on Linux for those machines, but the issue with having it run as a client is graphics drivers. We don't have an Open GL .dll driver at the moment, crytek was working on one, but they haven't managed to get it to a state where anyone is happy with the performance being acceptable. It's also the reason we've not got working versions for mac. Longer term we're looking at openGL next and having conversations with various parties about supporting OpenGLNext such as AMD on the graphics card side. That's something we're looking at along with DX12, so OpenGLNext would allow us to consider things like Linux support as I'm sure they'll move to OpenGLNext too. And of course if CryTek manages to get their implementation of the current OpenGL working we'll look at it too. That's really what's been blocking us for the moment. Everything else runs in Linux, and lots of people here love it, but unfortunately we have a lot of things that take higher priority.

Chris Roberts


Question 5 - Large ship gimbalsEdit

Currently anyone using gimbals or turrets suffers a weapon class loss of of one for each weapon. How do you plan to have this affect larger ships, as they cannot maneuver like fighters, and rely on turrets and gimbals more? Would all of my class two Constellation turrets be downgraded to class one weapons as fixed guns on larger ships would be mostly useless?

–DarkRavens

Answer 5Edit

Ok, there aren't any "classes" anymore, we've thrown those out, they've not been in the code for a long time. They were just names for classes of weapons like fixed guns, gimballed guns, turret, manned turret, missile rack etc, but now it's all about sizes and the class, whether you're a weapon or a turret or a missile pylon or an ammo box, or a fuel pod etc etc so there's not really anything to worry about there. The design is the design, I've noticed a whole bunch of people get panicked about a weapon being this class/this size, oh no my ship got gimped etc. It's definitely not the case, that's part of the problem with having an open development plan like we do it's really not about the statistics! Ultimately where we want to have the Aurora on the scale, against the hornet on the scale to the constellation, to the bengal, they're all going to live in their same relative spaces, I wouldn't get caught up on sizing or class naming on weapons of turrets. I notice a lot of people saying that the constellation turret(s) should be able to have dual class 4 guns on it, but I think maybe if you want to have a look at what size 2 guns look like on an m50 for example, they look really silly. So the gun sizes and capacities will be matched to the scale and size of the ship, and not some arbitrary numbers we came up with when initially putting it down on paper. Everything is going to relatively sit in the same places, like the Aurora is never going to be a better dogfighter than a hornet, and the hornet's turret isn't going to have bigger guns than a constellation's turret, it just doesn't make sense. The constellation and bigger ships are very turret dependent, so they'll have turrets and guns that match their scale and capacity, like your question says they'll need to have these as the ships won't be as agile as the smaller ones. Likely the constellation is not really something you want to use fixed guns with, more like gimbals and turrets! But this is all a work in progress and all statistics etc are meant to change down the track, just like it says at the very top of the ship page! What you CAN be assured of, is that if you buy the ship that's described as a dogfighting ship, that's what you'll get, no matter what changes in stats say.

Chris Roberts


Question 6 - Body armorEdit

What is the heaviest level of armor that can be worn while piloting a shop or manning a crew station, and how long will it take to don armor if the need arises? I'd hate to have to fight off a boarding party in my space pajamas.

–Chaplain

Answer 6Edit

I think we're talking about piloting a ship or manning a station in general would be light armour, like in a hornet you might need a flight suit up to light armour. Potentially in a bigger ship we might let you go up to say medium armour as there's more room to move around etc, not 100%. But the rule is essentially light or below to be piloting the small fighter ships, and then if there are bigger ships we might see medium armour or heavy, titan armour I doubt you'd be able to sit down and pilot ships in it. In terms of how long it takes to put all the armour on? Well we haven't decided yet, but it certainly wouldn't take as long as it might take to ACTUALLY strap on that much armour, we might just have an animation where you'd kinda do {this} and suddenly you'd be in. Potentially we'd have it take longer to don heavier armours, but we haven't decided on that yet.

Chris Roberts


Question 7 - Committing to VREdit

With the recent set of VR headsets being announced with various feature sets, and capabilities, and SDK's, has CIG committed to one platform, such as Oculus, or are you holding back work on the VR aspect until the right choice has become clearer?

–Anomnom

Answer 7Edit

We're definitely not committing to one VR platform, that'd be like saying we're only allowing one controller or joystick setup, the idea of SC is to embrace all the variety of peripherals that you can get on a PC, that's part of the reason we're ON the PC. We'll be supporting TrackIR, we'll be supporting Oculus Rift, we'll probably be supporting Valve's Vive and if they ever get Morpheus onto a PC maybe we'd support that too, some other versions of stuff, like Magic Leap etc. There's definitely work that's going on to support some of these features, not in the current builds but we'll be including them later on. We have 3 or 4 builds going at once, so the team that's working with the FPS module is using a slightly more advanced version of the engine than what you have with AC, then the social module guys are on an even more advanced version, and finally the SQ42 and multicrew ship combat are using the "main" version which is the most advanced one. We do this so that the modules that are released now and in the near future stay stable, so we don't introduce any game breaking issues as they get to you. The new VR stuff will come in down the road, I'm thinking that it'll come with some of the Multicrew stuff later this year, but it's all about prioritising what we have to get out. So we're finishing off the large world, which we're nearly finished now, we're just on the 3D rendering/camera relative stuff now. Some base engine streaming stuff that we're working on to bring in the massive amounts of data this game needs at any one time. These are all back-end things that are needed pretty much across all parts of the game, and that obviously trumps supporting individual hardware (As cool as it is). But know that we will support everything and anything we can get our hands on, we're not gong to go exclusive to any peripherals.

Chris Roberts


Question 8 - Grappling hooksEdit

At the PAX East FPS showing, we got to see an energy based grappling beam. Is there a plan to make a physical one, with a grappling hook and wires?

–Riyudo

Answer 8Edit

I don't know, definitely there will be an energy based one, it's not that difficult to do a physical one in system, it's just rope physics, energy beam ones are just simpler and easier to do for the moment. The physical ones, well we could but there are plenty of other things that are higher on the priority list. Definitely possible down the line though.

Chris Roberts


Question 9 - FPS damage mechanicsEdit

Will the FPS damage mechanic be similar to the new ship damage mechanic? Can we expect to see clothing/skin/armor get grazed/burnt/bruised, then puncture wounds/gashes, then limp/non-functioning limbs?

–Graxas

Answer 9Edit

The answer to that is yes, but it won't be in the FPS, because that branch of the engine doesn't have the body stuff in it right now. We're working on PBR shaders for the character models, and actually that particular build doesn't have the ship damage shader into the characters. But the plan is to have all of that in down the track, including non-functioning or missing limbs unable to be used etc. It won't all debut with the 1.0 of the FPS, but that's all stuff you can expect to come in for realism and immersion.

Chris Roberts


Question 10 - On-ship permissions/accessEdit

Will there eventually be items like keycards, that will restrict where crew members can go on my ship?

–Dabbs

Answer 10Edit

100% yes. We already have a system that's being finished now, it's what we call the GOST system (Game Object STate machine), which basically is a modularised set of logic that's built visually and is network aware, so if it's done on one client it'll be recognised on all the other clients. And you'd just have it attached to elements of your ship or any entity or item, which can read variables to trigger items etc. The whole point of it is to have things like the interaction in the retaliator in your hangars right now, the doors opening and closing for you is all driven by an early version of GOST as you go in an out etc. But that same logic can also say, "this door is locked" and to show a red light, but if you put a keycard into this slot, that might say to unlock that and 10 other doors on the ship. So that functionality is all going to be built in too. It will be functional for SQ42, you need it for it, and definitely it'll be in the PU, and eventually along the way we'll have it available to be played with in your own ships.

Chris Roberts

SummaryEdit

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