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  1. Vehicle Pipeline Director John Crewe and Art Director Paul Jones discuss the recently revealed Drake Corsair. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into Przeczytaj całość
  2. This week we light up the Area 18 plaza, dine on ArcCorp’s finest street meat, and get a first look at the new Drake Corsair. Przeczytaj całość
  3. Crusader Cares UEE Congress [398] COMMITTEE ON THE INTERIOR 2949-03-19 SET Session AutoScript Proofed and Admitted — Assistant Archivist Burg (#748392BDF) 2949-03-19_13:36 – Session Resumes SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): The Senate Committee on the Interior is back in session. Everyone, quiet down please. < gavel bang > Joining us now is Crusader Industries CEO, Kelly Caplan, who I’m told has prepared a statement. You may proceed. KELLY CAPLAN: Thank you, Senator Isher. And thanks to the entire committee for inviting me to discuss the successful measures Crusader has taken to ensure the safety and security of those entering its sovereign space. There’s no denying that simultaneously overseeing the operations of an entire planet, its three moons, and a massive aerospace corporation is a monumental task. Since my first appearance before this committee, Crusader Industries have completed an exhaustive review of our security protocols, procedures, and personnel. Anyone found responsible or complicit in the reporting of inaccurate crime stats has been dismissed or reassigned. This includes our former head of security, who has since been replaced with Dabir Steinfeld, the highly decorated former Advocacy section chief of Terra. We’re confident that this decisive action has cleared the bad actors from our organization and has returned respectability and responsibility to Crusader’s security services. Additionally, we’ve increased security spending and introduced the “Crusader Cares” initiative, which has substantially expanded the number of active private security contractors partnered with us. These measures, combined with more robust deep space scanning operations, have improved our data collection process and shed further light on the safety of Crusader’s sovereign space. The crime stats I submit to you today demonstrate the positive effect these initiatives have had. Considering the extensive progress made over the last fifteen months, I would humbly ask you to make Crusader’s future appearances before this committee voluntary instead of mandatory. I believe that we have demonstrated a dedication to changing our corporate culture and an ability to quickly address and correct previous issues. I believe the changes mentioned above, and my extensive cooperation with this committee, warrant the normalization of Crusader’s oversight status to the standards currently applied to the other corporate-owned planets in the Stanton system. Thank you again for having me here today and considering my request. I’m now prepared to answer any questions you may have about Crusader’s most recent security report. SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): Thank you, Ms. Caplan. I’m scanning the report now and the crime stats appear to be quite thorough. KELLY CAPLAN: Thank you, Senator Isher. SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): That said, I do wish they had been delivered to us prior to this hearing, so I could have given them more than a cursory glance before asking you about them. KELLY CAPLAN: I accept responsibility for that, Senator. In an effort to provide the committee with the most up-to-date data, I requested that yesterday’s numbers be included in this report. Updating it took longer than expected. SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): Since we have limited time today, I will stop wasting it and open the floor to questions. Senator Harren, you may proceed. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Thank you, Chairperson Isher. And thank you Ms. Caplan for once again gracing us with your presence. Most people in your position would simply send their head of security to face questions from this committee. I consider your appearance today, and in all the previous hearings, as emblematic of Crusader’s commitment to rectifying these issues. KELLY CAPLAN: Thank you, Senator Harren. You don’t remain a CEO for 43 years by avoiding your responsibilities. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Now, regarding the recent report, it says here that crime around Crusader occurs at a rate comparable to the other planets in the Stanton system. Am I reading that right? KELLY CAPLAN: Yes, Senator, you are. Headlines proclaiming that “crime is on the rise” are a bit misleading. We’ve updated and refined our data collection protocols to more accurately track what’s occurring. I believe, as well as many experts, that the increase in reported incidents merely reflects an increase in reporting and not an actual increase in crime rate. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): So you’re telling me that after fifteen months of intense scrutiny by the committee, Crusader has improved its data collection process to show that its protecting its planet as well as most other governing bodies? KELLY CAPLAN: The comparison made in the report specifically refers to the other planets in Stanton. Basically, despite all the noise on spectrum over the last year, Crusader is statistically no more dangerous than any other world in the system. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): It’s quite clear to me that Ms. Caplan has aptly steered Crusader through this unfortunate incident and installed new policies to ensure it won’t happen again. With that in mind, I believe that continued oversight by this committee, including these mandatory hearing, is unnecessary from here forward. That’s why I’m requesting that this committee vote to normalize the oversight of Crusader to bring it back in line with the other planets in the system. SENATOR OCTAVIA BEATE (U – Asura – Ferron Sys): I second the motion. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Chairperson Isher, can we proceed with a vote on this issue? SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Wait a minute. Voting to relinquish that oversight before thoroughly questioning Ms. Caplan today is absurd. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Senator Albervar, this is Ms. Caplan’s fourth appearance before this committee within the last 15 months. She’s answered every question asked of her, no matter how hostile, and supplied extensive documentation tracking Crusader’s progress. To continue looking over her shoulder feels like a waste of the government’s time and resources. SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): And you came to that conclusion based on the report distributed to us only moments ago? SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Ms. Caplan, do you stand by the numbers presented today? KELLY CAPLAN: I can personally attest to the accuracy of those numbers, as can the two independent analytics agencies hired to verify them. SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Need I remind this committee that Crusader is here because it was caught falsifying crime statistics? To blindly accept the report given to us moments before this session would be a grave dereliction of duty. For years, Crusader systematically and knowingly lied about the dangers of entering its sovereign space. These inflated safety rankings allowed it to attract more tourists and keep security spending low. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): And I would like to remind you that the company has accepted full responsibility for its actions, paid all fines levied against it, and significantly increased spending on its security forces and private contractors. Aren’t these the outcomes this committee set out to achieve? SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Only if the numbers given to us are accurate. If you recall, my proposal to send UEE assessors to independently gather data was rejected by this committee last year. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Yes, because it would’ve been a complete waste of taxpayer credits when Crusader is already providing us all the raw data. SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Again, trusting the data supplied to us by a company that admitted to falsifying information is absolutely insane. It’s not oversight, it’s acquiescence. As is allowing these corporations to masquerade as government bodies in exchange for money. SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): Look, Senator, I understand that being seen on the spectrum standing up to a large corporation like Crusader is politically advantageous to you, but that’s no reas— SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Excuse me, sir. How dare you suggest— SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): < gavel bang > That’s enough you two. Senator Harren’s motion to return to the normal oversight of Crusader will be voted on at the conclusion of today’s session. SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Thank you, Chairperson Isher. SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): Senator Harren, do you have any further questions for Ms. Caplan? SENATOR CLAY HARREN (U – Kampos – Ellis Sys): I do not. SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): Very well. Does anyone else have questions for Mrs. Caplan? Senator Albervar, you may proceed. SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): Thank you, Chairperson Isher. Ms. Caplan, what can you tell me about Jumptown? < muffled speaking > KELLY CAPLAN: I’m sorry Senator, could you repeat the question? SENATOR KELOS ALBERVAR (T – Terra – Terra Sys): This report appears to claim that Crusader has become better at tracking crime within its sovereign space. Yet, my staff on Sol were able to uncover repeated criminal activity at a location known colloquially as Jumptown on the Crusader-controlled moon of Yela. My question is, are you familiar with the location, and why has nothing been done about the criminal activity there? KELLY CAPLAN: < muffled speaking > Chairperson Isher, I’d like to request a five minute recess to use the facilities. Could I also get a refill on my water? As you can see, I’ve drank all of it already. SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): < gavel bang > Granted. Everyone, consider this a tight five. Once we’re back, we’ll proceed with Senator Abervar’s questions. << END TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT >> Przeczytaj całość
  4. Hello everyone, Last week, the February Monthly Report gave you insight into what our studios around the globe have been up to for the past month. We also celebrated all things green for St. Patrick’s Day, or should I say Stella Fortuna, with a special edition of the Ursa Rover and a Screenshot contest. We asked you to share your most outrageous in-game party pics and you still have until 11:59PM Pacific tonight to post yours for a chance to win some cool prizes. Now, let’s see what’s going on this week: On Tuesday the lore team will publish “Congress Now”. Check out previously published lore posts here. Keep an eye out on Wednesday for the winner’s announcement of our recent St. Patrick’s Day Contest. On Thursday, another episode of Around the Verse takes a look at the latest Star Citizen news. Friday sees a Roadmap update and the RSI Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. We also welcome a new episode of Reverse the Verse, which broadcasts LIVE on our Star Citizen Channel. We’ll update this post with more info about guests, talking points, and a link to the Spectrum question-gathering thread later this week. See you in the ‘verse! Ulf Kuerschner Senior Community Manager *Image credit to Blagator The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, MARCH 18TH, 2019 - TUESDAY, MARCH 19TH, 2019 Lore Post – Congress Now ( WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20TH, 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Contest Winners Announcement. THURSDAY, MARCH 21ST, 2019 Around the Verse ( Vault Update FRIDAY, MARCH 22ND, 2019 Reverse the Verse LIVE ( Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: March 18th, 2019 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it's fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it here. The highlighted content creator will be awarded an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our "MVP section of the Hub": Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! One Day Citizen by Calekplay Calekplay launched this series of videos on his YouTube channel that summarize a day spent on Star Citizen. Check it out on the Community Hub. Przeczytaj całość
  5. We sit down with our IT superstars in three studios around the world to discuss their work keeping five studios around the world talking to each other and making the distributed worldwide development of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 possible. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into Przeczytaj całość
  6. Illuminate the Day Cheers! Luck is in the air all around the ‘verse and, as you gather your closest cohorts for copious merriment, we tip our caps to you and your accomplishments. Here’s to you and new discoveries. Here’s to fate ever smiling upon you. And here’s to the opportunity to commemorate the occasion with friends, frivolity, and frothy beverages. Get in the spirit with limited edition commemorative green and gold vehicles, and show us how you celebrate in a revelrous contest. Feelin' Lucky? Don’t say the party’s over Raise a glass to another year of revelry, success, and prosperity… just don’t forget to invite us! Throughout the weekend, we want you to share your most outrageous in-game party pics. And the inevitable FOMO of your fellow citizens (assuming they aren’t at your function) is the tip of the iceberg. That’s right, the most provocative party purveyors have the chance to win fabulous prizes. So what are you waiting for? Drape yourself in green and gold regalia, get your groove on, and show the rest of the ‘verse what they’re missing this weekend. Who knows? Fortune could smile upon you. For more details and full contest rules go here. Tempt Fate! Dare to explore in this mean green machine Make your fellow pathfinders green with envy by racing headlong into the unknown in the commemorative limited-edition green and gold Ursa Rover Fortuna from Roberts Space Industries. The most trusted name in all-terrain planetside exploration now embodies the essence of good fortune and success. For more details visit the complete Ursa Rover Fortuna Ship Page Disclaimer We offer pledge ships to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The funding received from events such as this allows us to include deeper features in the Star Citizen world. These ships will be obtainable through play in the final universe and are not required to start the game. Przeczytaj całość
  7. This week we get holographic in Area 18, dodge thousands upon thousands of bullets, and party down with the Lore team. Przeczytaj całość
  8. February saw Cloud Imperium devs around the world working hard to deliver the incredible content for the soon-to-be-released Alpha 3.5 patch. Progress was made everywhere, from locations like ArcCorp to the gameplay developments afforded by the New Flight Model. Read on for the full lowdown from February’s global workload. Star Citizen Monthly Report: February 2019 AI – Character February’s roundup starts with the AI Team, who made improvements to the existing character collision avoidance system. The changes began with adjustments to the smooth locomotion path, with the data now coming from the collision avoidance calculation to make sure the character has enough free space. Time was spent generalizing the options a vendor can use so that designers no longer have to write them into the behaviors. Instead, the correct options are automatically selected based on the environment and (eventually) from the shop services. They’re also restricting combat behavior to allow better scalability when adding new tactics and are investigating some of the bugs found in the Alpha 3.4 release. AI – Ships Throughout February, the AI Team improved various aspects of dogfighting gameplay, including evasive maneuvers. Now, when an AI pilot has an enemy on its tail, it will try to utilize different break-aways with increasing and varied angles. It will also try to keep momentum and chain together attack maneuvers. To achieve this, the team exposed new ‘SmoothTurning’ subsumption tasks to the behavior logic. When detecting enemy fire, AI pilots will utilize evasive maneuvers to create a diversion. They also implemented automatic incoming/outgoing ship traffic over planetary landing areas. They are currently generalizing ship behaviors to enable the designers to easily set up traffic on multiple cities, capital ships, and so on. Animation Last month, Animation provided the remaining animation sets for previous characters already found in the Persistent Universe (PU), including Hurston, Battaglia, and Pacheco. They also finished off a new batch of animations for the ship dealer. Work continues on animations for future yet-to-be-announced characters too, which includes getting approval for the initial poses and animations before going forward with the final clean-up. American Sign Language (ASL) emotes are being added to the game and are currently being improved with the addition of facial animations. Finally, Animation is currently syncing with Cinematics for a few interesting segments that backers will get to enjoy soon… Art – Tech Tech Art invested significant effort into optimizing rig assets so that they work better with the facial runtime rig logic and the ‘look at’ and ‘mocap’ re-direction components. Since eye contact is one of the fundamental means of human communication, any error or tiny deviation can cause the ‘uncanny valley’ effect and immediately break immersion. “If the eyes of an actor converge just slightly too much, they appear cross-eyed. However, if they don’t converge enough, they appear to look through you, as if distracted. If the eyelids occlude the character’s iris just a little too much, which, depending on the distance, could amount to just 2-3 pixels vertically, they look sleepy or bored. Conversely, if they expose too much of the cornea, they appear more alert, surprised, or outright creepy.” So, the alignment of the virtual skeleton’s eye joints with respect to the eyeball and eyelid geometry is of utmost importance. Likewise, the ‘look-at’ system needs to control all relevant rig parameters and corrective blendshapes (not just the rotation of the eyeballs themselves) to create truly-believable runtime re-directions of the mocap animations. Alongside facial work, the team completed several weapons-related tasks, such as fixing offsets during reload animations and locomotion issues for the pistol set. They also completed R&D related to playing animations in sync with character usables within cinematic scenes and helped Design to unify the character tags in Mannequin. Art – Environment Predictably, the Environment Team is racing towards the completion of ArcCorp and Area 18 – they’re currently working with and implementing the custom advertising provided by the UI department. The planet itself is in the final art stage and now includes skyscrapers rising above the no-fly zone to provide the player with landing opportunities and interesting buildings to fly around. Concurrently, the ‘Hi-Tech’ common elements are steadily progressing, with the transit, habitation, and security areas all moving to the art pass stage. Players will see these common elements (alongside garages and hangars) when they’re added to microTech’s landing zone, New Babbage. The new transit connection between Lorville’s Teasa spaceport and the Central Business District (CBD) is almost ready for travellers. This route will allow players to move directly between the two locations and bypass L19, cutting travel time for high-end shoppers. Work on organics is ongoing, as are improvements to planet tech, with the artists hard at work creating a library of exotic-looking flora to fill the biomes of New Babbage with. Players can see it for themselves towards the end of the year. The community can also look forward to upcoming information on the early work the team has done on procedural caves. Audio Both the Audio Code Team and the sound designers finished their work on the new camera-shake and ship-vibration systems. Now, when an engine kicks in, the ship shakes and hums. This also extends to the player, with events like a ship powering up causing minor camera shake. The sound designers also added new sound samples to a range of ships as part of the rollout of the New Flight Model. By adding ‘one-shot’ samples to each of the various thrusters, they brought out more complexity in the sounds heard during flight. The Audio Team spent the majority of the month creating the sounds of Area 18. Due to the melting pot of ideas and themes present in the new area, the sound designers tested new methods to bring out the unique atmosphere. Additionally, they created the sound profiles and samples for the Gemini S71 assault rifle and Kastak Arms CODA pistol, both of which will appear in the PU and SQ42. Currently, the Audio Code Team is working towards an updated tool that better allows the sound designers to implement created assets in-engine whilst simultaneously testing how they sound. Backend Services Backend Services continued to lay the foundation for the new diffusion network to help scalability for the backend structure of the game. Emphasis is on ensuring the Dedicated Game Servers (DGS) correctly connect to the new diffusion services, particularly the variable, leaderboard, and account services. February marked the near-end of work on the new Item Cache Service (a massive portion of the backend has now turned micro-service) and began the end-point between DGS and this service, too. As work is completed on the new diffusion services, testing will ensure a smooth transition to the new network. Support was also added for subsumption services to read directly into the DataCore P4k system for increased efficiency and unification. With the approaching publish of Alpha 3.5, Backend Services began work on logistics, syncing closely with DevOps to ensure that new services are up and running correctly while maintaining legacy services where necessary. Community The team celebrated Valentine’s Day with community-made cards and limited-time ship offers, including Anvil’s F7C-M Heartseeker – a special version of the Super Hornet shooting straight for the heart. During the Be my Valentine greeting card contest, most Citizens got creative with their favorite image editing software, though some went old-school with scissors and crayons to create fantastic crafts to share their love across the galaxy. Also this month, Argo Astronautics released their latest addition to the ‘verse, the SRV. The ‘Standard Recovery Vehicle’ is built for tugging ships, ground vehicles, and massive cargo containers through the stars using its integrated tractor tech. If you’re looking for more information about this rough and rugged ship, head to the Q&A that answers questions voted-on by the community. As a bonus, Shipmaster General John Crewe stopped by Reverse the Verse LIVE for some in-depth tug-talk. In the February issue of Jump Point (our subscriber-exclusive magazine), Ben Lesnick took a detailed dive into the ARGO SRV’s design process and went on a worker’s tour of Hurston. The Narrative Team also introduced us to the Human holiday Stella Fortuna and shed light on the history of the revered Rust Society. A major update to the Star Citizen roadmap gave a look at what’s coming to the Persistent Universe in 2019 and what can be expected in upcoming releases. Released in January, but worthy of another mention, is the official Star Citizen Fankit, which was put together to help all of you share your enthusiasm and engagement. Star Citizen lives by the support it receives from the community, so take a look at this treasure trove of assets and get creating! The team is also excited to announce that our physical merchandise will soon be receiving a well-deserved face-lift. Having received a lot of feedback over the years, it’s clear that Citizens are passionate about merch and to make the store experience the best it can be, your input was needed. Thanks to everyone who contributed feedback to our thread on Spectrum! Content – Characters The Character Team revisited the hair development pipeline in February. With the help of the Graphics Team, they developed new tools and shader tech to improve the realism of hair while maintaining quality and performance. More work went into mission-giver Pacheco, including textures and rigging, with her hairstyle being used to trial the new hair pipeline. Work continues on the assets required for DNA implementation and the female player character, while refinement of the Xi’an concept is making great progress. Design Throughout February, Design focused on implementing Area 18’s shops, NPCs, and usables. Last month marked the end of implementation, with March being used for polish to ensure a believable and immersive experience upon release. The team also gained a new member to help with mission implementation and improvement, who is currently setting their sights on the Emergency Communication Network (ECN) mission set. Regarding the economy, the US Design Team worked with their UK counterparts on the objective criteria and value of objects in-game, laying down the track for acquiring item properties and their values. A system was built to help create an abstract representation, which is both robust and modular enough to allow easy adjustment in the future when the details are finalized. DevOps DevOps had a busy month working on the build system and pipeline that supports feature stream development. After several long nights, they rolled out the upgrades and have been happy with the results so far – internal systems are running smoothly without errors and each evolution improves efficiency and storage consumption. They’re now attempting to further compress existing data which, when multiplied by hundreds of thousands of individual files, will make a real impact to the dev’s daily development efforts. Engineering February saw the Engine Team spend time on general Alpha 3.5 support, such as profiling, optimization, and bug fixing. They also improved the instance system used in compute skinning and refactored it on the CPU and shader for better maintainability, created a budget-based output-buffer system for skinning results (so they only have to skin once per frame), made more tangent reconstruction optimizations, and worked on wrap-deformation using the color stream. Basic HDR display support was added to the editor, as was a new hue-preserving display mapping curve suitable for HDR display output. The team provided material layer support for planet tech v4 and continued to improve character hair, which included initial hair mask, support for edge masking, and pixel depth offset. Game physics is progressing with Projectile Manager 2.0, as well as optimizations to wrapped grids and state updates. Support was added for ocean Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) wave generation to physics buoyancy calculations, as well as exposed optimized terrain meshes. A major system initialization clean-up was completed as part of an initiative to share core engine functionality with PU services, work began on the lockless job manager (a complete overhaul for faster response in high-load scenarios), and a new load time profiler was created. The team are currently wrapping up the ‘ImGUI’ integration and introducing a temporary allocator for more efficiency when containers are used on stack. They made the switch to the Clang 6 compiler to build Linux targets (including compilation cleanup of the entire code base) and plan to switch to the latest stable release (Clang 8.x) in the near future. Finally, they finished a ‘create compile time’ analysis tool (utilizing new Visual C++ front and backend profiler flags) to gather, condense, and visualize reasons for slow compile and link times. As a result, various improvements have already been submitted and further action-items defined. Features – Gameplay A large portion of Gameplay Feature’s month was dedicated to implementing the new DNA feature into the character customizer. In addition, the team was responsible for creating and setting up the user interface (UI) and accommodating the female playable character, both of which are scheduled for Alpha 3.5. Another major focus was on video streaming for comms calls, which consisted of a refactor of the comms component to utilize the voice service call mechanism. Research was made into the VP9 streaming format and video streaming improvements were completed that will be rolled out in the upcoming release. Lastly, support was given to the US-based Vehicle Features Team, with updates to the turret sensitivity HUD, gimbal assist UI, and the shopping service entity registration. Features – Vehicles Gimbal Assist and its related HUD improvements were finalized and polished, allowing for better balancing of this new weapon control scheme. Turrets were also improved, as the team added a HUD and keybinds for input sensitivity, implemented adjustable speeds for gimbal target movement based on proximity to center aim, and fixed bugs with snapping and erratic movement. A lot of work went into scanning improvements, which included adjusting the area for navpoint scanning, enabling use of the navpoint hierarchy, and adding a Boolean to opt into the scanning data. This endeavor also covered adjustments to make scanning more involving by setting up AI turrets to generate signatures and be scannable and adding specific icons for scanned/unscanned targets. Ping and blob were implemented to display on the radar too, including focus angle and ping fire. To round out the month, they continuing to make item port tech optimizations, developed tech for utilizing geometry component tags in the paint system, and fixed a handful of crash bugs. Graphics Last month, the Graphics Team’s work on the PU was spread between several smaller tasks. There were many shader requests from the artists, such as adding new features to the hard surface shader and ISO support for decals in the forward rendering pipeline. The team also continued with the CPU optimizations from last month. This included a 3x performance saving on the cost of building per-instance data buffers for the GPU and better support for the depth pre-pass to help occlude hidden parts of the frame with less CPU overheads. To help the artists optimize their content, the team worked on an improved render-debugging tool that reports how many draw instructions (draw-call) a particular object requires along with a breakdown of why each instruction was needed. Once complete, this will allow the artists to dig into their material and mesh setups to save valuable CPU time. Level Design The Level Design Team soldiered on with ArcCorp’s Area 18, bringing the designer whitebox up to greybox. They began planning the modular space stations that will be built this year too, including looking at the libraries, rooms, and content that goes into them. The procedural tool is also now at a stage where they can slowly start ramping up the modular station production. Live Design The Live Team refactored existing missions to make them scalable to make more content available in the planetary system (other than Crusader). Significant progress was made on a new drug-stealing mission for Twitch Pacheco, as well as a BlackJack Security counter-mission that tasks less morally-corrupt players with destroying the stash. Another focus was on implementing a variety of encounters with security forces and bounty hunters when the player holds a high crime stat. As well as practical work, time was taken to define the next tier of many aspects of the law system, such as punishment, paying fines, bounty hunting, and so on. Lighting Last month, the Lighting Team focused on developing the look of Area 18. Lighting Area 18 is a mixture of clean-up work from the previous versions to match new standards and lighting the new exterior layout to a series of targets set by the Art Director. The team is working closely with the Environment Art and VFX teams to ensure that new advertising assets and visual effects ‘pop’ from the environment and provide interesting and varied visuals. Narrative Working closely with the Environment Art and Mission Design teams, February saw the Narrative Team further fleshing out of lore relating to ArcCorp and its moons. From new mission giver contract text to the catchy slogans gracing Area 18’s numerous billboards, a lot of additional lore was created to bring these locations to life. Additionally, expanded wildline sets for security pilots, bounty hunters, and combat assist pilots were scripted and recorded. The AI and Mission teams will use these sets to begin prototyping and testing out new gameplay for inclusion in future builds. Also, the Narrative Team made progress on generating the specific text needed for on-screen mission objectives. Currently, this is placeholder text from the designers who worked on levels, but moving forward, the hope is to begin using the proper in-lore objectives. Player Relations The Player Relations Team was busy preparing for Alpha 3.5 (including getting ready to test the New Flight Model) as well as boxing off the work created over the holiday period. “As always, we’d like to point all players to our growing Knowledge Base, which now has 120+ articles and saw almost 450,000 visitors this month! We will continue to grow this by adding more ‘How To’ articles, patch notes, and live service notifications there as well as on Spectrum.” Props February saw headway into Area 18’s props: the core street furniture is now in and the team has moved onto the dressing pass, adding in new assets to give life to the streets, alleyways, and landing zone. As the month closed out, the team jumped into release mode to get a head start squashing bugs and generally tightening up the upcoming release. QA Things ramped up on the publishing side in February as the team prepared Alpha 3.5 for the Evocati and PTU. Testing continues on the New Flight Model and other systems as they come online, such as the new weapons, ships, and locations. QA leadership continues to train the newer testers and improve the overall testing process. The AI Feature Team kept the Frankfurt-based QA testers busy with new features, such as the improved avoidance system and new break-away maneuvers. Testing mainly consists of making sure they’re working as intended, as well as noting visible improvements to what was already in place (in the case of the avoidance system). Combat AI received perception updates which were tested by QA to address issues where the FPS AI would not recognize the player being present in their vicinity. On the backend, changes to the subsumption visualizer are being tested to ensure no new issues have been introduced in preparation for their full integration into the editor. Testing for ArcCorp and Area 18 is currently underway too. The Universe Team discovered that mining entities were not appearing in the client due to discrepancies in how they were spawned in the server. This was tracked down and fixed, though testing will continue to make sure it’s working as intended. Ships The Vehicle Content Team wrapped up the MISC Reliant Mako, Tana, and Sen variants for Alpha 3.5. They’re now in testing with QA who are addressing bugs before the vehicles go live. The designers and tech artists have been busy with the Origin 300i, which will reach QA for testing in the near future. Back in the UK, the team continued production on the 890 Jump, bringing more rooms into the final art stage from greybox (including the hangar area). The Carrack is heading towards a greybox-complete state and select areas are being polished for review. Development continues on the Banu Defender which is utilizing a new style of production that caters to its organic art style. ZBrush is being used to sculpt the interior before transferring the high-density model to 3ds Max, where it is then rebuilt (low-poly) for the game engine. A large portion of the exterior greybox is complete and looking fantastic. Last but by no means least, the interior updates to the Vanguard wrapped up with essentially the entire area from the cockpit seat backwards being completely redone. This is more than was initially anticipated, but the team feels that it’s worth it. Now that the interior rework has been finalized and the framework for the variants agreed upon, the Ship Team can start on the exterior changes to accommodate them and continue with the variant-specific items. System Design The System Design Team is working on improving and upgrading the no-fly zones used across ArcCorp. Since the existing system now needs to support an entire planet, it has proven quite a challenge. For social AI, the team’s working on unifying vendor behaviors and making sure they’re built in a modular fashion. For example, the team can easily graft new actions onto the base behavior of a shop keeper to allow them to pick up objects, give them to the player, and interact with things on the counter without having to build new ones from scratch. As with social AI, the team focused on restructuring FPS AI behaviors to make them more modular, with the goal to make it easier to implement specific chunks of logic. For mining, they added new mineable rocks on ArcCorp’s moons. Wala in particular will have a new type of rock that fits better with the crystalline formations available on the moon. Finally for System Design, AI traffic over Area 18 is currently being developed. The team’s starting small, with a few ships landing and taking off around the spaceport, but they’re also investigating ways to expand it while being mindful of performance. Turbulent RSI Platform: On February 14th, Turbulent supported the announcement of a new flyable variant of the Super Hornet, the F7C-M Heartseeker. They also made major updates to the CMS backend which required all hands on deck. Services: This month’s game service work was focused around developing support for transporting video streams over the comms channels. This will allow the streaming of a user’s face/in-game texture to another player outside of the bind culling bubble, enabling in-game video calls over wider distances. This method also enables the transmission of in-game video streams to web clients. Turbulent spent considerable time standardizing services to enable them to run within a new local development environment. This will allow the entire Star Citizen universe’s services to run locally on dev systems to develop and iterate with the entire stack. The Turbulent Services Team also began work on an administration interface for game designers and game operators to display real-time information about the state of the universe. This application can display information about groups, lobbies, and voice channels along with details of online players, quantum routes, and probability volumes. UI As in January, UI supported the Environment Team with in-fiction advertising and branding for Area 18, including animation and hologram textures. They also made headway on the 3D area map using the concepts shown last month as visual targets. Finally, they began working out how to bring the rental functionality from the Arena Commander frontend to in-game consoles in Area 18. VFX The VFX Team updated the existing particle lighting system to a more modern system. The previous version was based on tessellation, which increased the rendering cost and had limitations on shadow resolution. The new one is a global change that will remove the need for tessellation and improve shadow receiving for crisper, smoother shadows. ArcCorp’s Lyria and Wala will be the first moons to use this new particle lighting system when it’s ready for deployment. It will help the particles integrate into the moons more realistically and address issues when the particles have long shadows going through them, such as during sunrise and sunset. They also continued to iterate on thruster damage effects and began rolling it out to all ships. Several new weapon effects were worked on, including a new ballistic hand cannon and ballistic assault rifle. They also carried out extensive visual exploration for the new Tachyon energy weapon class. Finally, significant time was invested in improving the VFX editor’s UI layout and functionality. Although not as glamorous as planet dressing and effects, improving the quality-of-life for artists is important and helps them to work faster too. Weapons The Weapon Art Team completed the Gemini S71, Kastak Arms Coda, Banu Singe Tachyon cannons, Gallenson Tactical ballistic cannon reworks, and five variants of the Aegis Vanguard nose guns. Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH… Przeczytaj całość
  9. Game Armada Marine One

    This portfolio originally appeared in Jump Point 5.2. The Star Marine Community Unless you’ve been living on the edge of the frontier, there’s no doubt that you’re at least familiar with Star Marine. InterDimension Software’s red-hot ground combat simulation game has been tearing up sim pods across the empire. Since its release, countless appearances have made James Romanov the go-to face of the ‘realism in gaming’ debate, while technical mastermind James Vandyke has been declared the ‘Next Gaming God’ by Hitbox magazine. While the release has had its fair share of detractors, with complaints ranging from ethical questions about whether it’s appropriate to let players assume the role of outlaws in the Walzer Massacre to a recent spate of illegal hacks, the game has still managed to garner an impressively loyal community who’ve embraced Star Marine, flaws and all. The group as a whole is hard to strictly quantify: there is no stereotypical Star Marine fan. Players, who refer to themselves as “Starheads,” range from UEE veterans lured by the incredible attention to detail to successful politicians and even to the Empire’s elite — businessman Silas Koerner keeps a sim pod in his office for regular Star Marine breaks. It seems that fans of all ages, genders, and species have found something that speaks to them in the historically-grounded battles and shoot-outs the game portrays. Starhead Central The heart of Star Marine community discussion takes place at a dedicated spectrum hub known as MARINE ONE. The core of the hub is a news and broadcast arena which collates every conceivable piece of Star Marine news for the waiting public. From plans for future updates to previews of new game assets in the process of creation and even outright gossip about the game’s developers, MARINE ONE has become the one-stop spectrum spot for all things Star Marine. Hundreds of thousands of Star Marine players can also be found casting their gameplay at any given time, with the most popular being traded around the Empire. Big name streamers like GoodTimeDuke and MARSHMALLOW run casts that have become appointment viewing, attracting sponsors and dedicated fanatics of their own. Then, there’s the Forge. Managed by a team of die-hard ultrafans, this Marine One forum is a wild, ever-expanding gyre of discussion, speculation, argument, incomprehensible in-jokes, and more. Generally good-natured despite the kilometer-a-minute movement of the conversations, the group is known to fixate on the smallest aspects of the Star Marine experience in a big way. From generating lengthy backstories for each of the game’s corpses to forming what can only be described as an unlikely cult around a cola dispenser prop created for the game, the one word that best summarizes the group is passionate. Art is also popular form of expression. Star Marine fans have turned their talents to everything from traditional pen-and-ink sketches (an ongoing comic titled Jaeger is the best known) to the creation of mods or minigames that celebrate the smallest details of the Star Marine world. Countless talented artists carefully pose in-game ‘feel shots’ to create their own, increasingly elaborate scenes. In some cases, dozens of players might work together for hours posing not only their characters in particular positions but also rearranging set pieces, props, and lights to improve a composition. That said, Star Marine players are never afraid to go toe-to-toe with the development team at InterDimension, occasionally engaging developers in debates and often protesting the appearance of bugs and (most especially) perceived inaccuracies in the battlefield simulation. One notable initiative saw players from locations around the UEE shipping empty battery cartridges to InterDimension’s head office as protest for what they saw as an inaccurate feel following a weapons pass. First time visitors are advised to interact with the community via the marked ‘Landing Craft’ welcome area. While the community is extremely accepting, it is also known for the fact that regular users speak something of an alien language. Recently-created hub accounts should also be on the lookout for grifters who will sometimes attempt to trick new Marines into giving away their weapons, armor, and REC. Electronic Access Invitational With the widespread appeal of competitive Star Marine matches, it was only a matter of time before the game went pro and joined the Electronic Access Invitational, one of the largest sim competitions operating in the Empire. The EAI brought together leading players from around the ’verse to compete in the inaugural Star Marine competition in 2946. While the event had always been popular among sim-enthusiasts, the event’s organizers considerably underestimated the public’s reaction to the introduction of Star Marine. Administrators at the EAI were flooded with fans who complained that their favorite players weren’t invited. The event, held at the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo, proved that even EAI’s best laid plans could fall short as record-breaking crowds showed up to watch the matchups. Lines formed outside the venue the night before the event, forcing them to hastily organize a thousand more seats to cover the overflow. InterDimension even got into the act by supporting this and other tournaments; Romanov famously awarded his Lynx rover to the first player who was able to beat him in a live competition. Based on the dynamic turnout, it’s a natural assumption that Star Marine will return to the competition next year and if today’s fans are any indication, they’ll show up in droves to support it. Przeczytaj całość
  10. March 2949 Subscriber Flair Subscribers Centurions will receive the RSI Venture Rust Society Arm Armor. RSI’s Venture is a lightweight armor set built for the unknown. This EVA-rated protection system features an undersuit built from a durable polymer weave that’s designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions and features component armor pieces to protect you against impacts and particulates. The Rust Society edition adds a red and tan color scheme so you look good while working hard. Imperator Subscribers Imperator-level subscribers get the RSI MacFlex Rust Society Arm Armor. Whether you’re planetside or in vacuum, RSI’s MacFlex industrial armor set has your back. Reinforced plating keeps you safe from environmental hazards while the array of pouches keep your tools accessible. The Rust Society edition celebrates blue-collar workers with an exclusive red and tan coloration that hides dirt and wear and tear well. If you’re an active subscriber, these items will be added to your account on March 18th. If you aren’t a subscriber but want to sport these gauntlets, make sure you subscribe no later than March 17th. More information about subscriptions can be found here Przeczytaj całość
  11. Hello everyone, Recently, a new ship from Argo Astronautics was unveiled. From tugging massive cargo containers to team-towing titans through the stars, the tenacity and rugged reliability of ARGO engineering are on full display in the SRV. As a reminder, this promotion ends tonight at midnight! Now, let’s see what’s going on this week: We’ve got an action packed schedule this week! Tuesday is lore day and we’ll take a look at the rabid fans of Star Marine and their dedicated hardcore Spectrum channel, Marine One. Wednesday unveils the Star Citizen Monthly Report for February, chock full of info to help you stay up to date with what our teams around the globe have been working on over the past month. On Thursday, another episode of Around the Verse takes a look at the latest Star Citizen news. Friday sees a Roadmap update and the RSI Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. We also welcome a new episode of Reverse the Verse, which broadcasts LIVE on our Star Citizen Channel. We’ll update this post with more info about guests, talking points, and a link to the Spectrum question-gathering thread later this week. Friday will also see an exciting contest kick off, celebrating this year’s St. Patrick’s Day. Word on the street is there will be a promotion as well, so get your party pants on and get ready to go green and may Fortuna smile upon you. Lastly and also on Friday, John Erskine and Jake Ross will be present at SXSW. If you’re in town for the event, we’ll also be meeting up at Iron Works BBQ on Saturday at 5pm for a proper Bar(BQ) Citizen. See you in the ‘verse! Tyler Witkin Lead Community Manager The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, MARCH 11TH, 2019 - TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH, 2019 Lore Post – Portfolio: Marine One ( WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13TH, 2019 Star Citizen Monthly Report – February Subscriber’s Newsletter THURSDAY, MARCH 14TH, 2019 Around the Verse ( Vault Update FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH, 2019 SXSW Panel: The Business of Fun: Designing a Design Culture St. Patrick’s Day Promotion & Contest Reverse the Verse LIVE ( Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: March 11th, 2019 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it's fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it here. The highlighted content creator will be awarded an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our "MVP section of the Hub": Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! URSA Polar Expeditions by Slingshot-Cal Slingshot-Cal and his Deep Space Crew took to the wild for a day of exploration, capturing stunning shots of their adventure. Check it out on the Community Hub. Przeczytaj całość
  12. We sit down with Gameplay Programmer David Colson to answer your questions about the upcoming new flight model. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into Przeczytaj całość
  13. Character Creative Director Josh Herman creates a potential helmet for a Banu Character. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into Przeczytaj całość
  14. Get to know mission giver Twitch Pacheco, take a closer look at weapons coming in Alpha 3.5, and go spelunking through R&D in this week’s update. Przeczytaj całość
  15. This Galactic Guide originally appeared in Jump Point 5.1. After centuries of cold war and tense diplomacy with the Xi’an empire, there are few places where interspecies relations have thawed more than in the Yā’mon system. This former no man’s land has, in recent times, transformed into a symbol of cooperation and new hope for all who desire lasting peace between our species. Humanity’s first view of the system came from Teesa Morrison’s flight footage as she traversed the Baker-Yā’mon jump point in 2531. What started as an exuberant accounting of her initial findings of a main sequence class F star, anchoring four planets, turned into sheer panic when she ran into a Xi’an military unit escorting a mining team to the belt. Familiar with the Xi’an from the press coverage of the Pallas incident the year prior, Morrison and her crew fled immediately. The Xi’an military ships followed closely behind, but did not open fire. Morrison later remarked that she believed the Xi’an were tracking them to try to learn where the Human ship had come from. While her crew debated the risk of giving away the location of a Human jump to potential enemies, in the end they decided to return to Baker to report their encounter as soon as possible. Within a day of receiving the report, a Naval fleet moved into position to guard the jump point, but it was another fifteen days before the first Xi’an scout emerged into Human space. It is likely that war would have broken out then and there if not for the presence of numerous members of the press who had come to cover the situation after Morrison’s footage leaked to the news orgs. With the entire UPE watching, the Navy favored caution, and the Xi’an ship was allowed to leave. Over the next several years, there were several cautious expeditions into the system from Baker. While there were still occasional run-ins with the Xi’an, it was clear that they had no permanent settlements in the system and it was surmised that they had only recently discovered it themselves. Due to the seemingly plentiful bounty of unclaimed resources, a few daring individuals and corporations rushed to begin mining the belt, but the prospect of civilians flying freely alongside alien ships was deemed a disaster waiting to happen. In 2542, UPE High Naval Commander Jianna Perry proposed that all Xi’an-connected systems be placed under Navy control to provide a buffer to protect the rest of the UPE if and when their alien neighbors decided to attack. After much deliberation, the Tribunal approved the plan and the Perry Line was born. The system Morrison had discovered was renamed Hadur to bring it in line with the military’s gods of war designations for border systems (following the pattern started with Horus’s name). Corporations who had begun investing in the system were incensed and a drawn-out legal battle for reparations would plague the UPE until Ivar Messer took power and dismissed the suit. A Fresh Start For the century and a half that followed, all traffic in Hadur comprised a melange of military patrols, spy satellites, scan drones and mine layers as both sides sought to defend their respective empires along the Perry Line. Even though tensions continued to grow over the years as the Messers used xenophobic-fueled fear as a means of control, war never came. Finally in 2789, Senator Akari was able to strike a peace treaty with the ruler of the Xi’an, Emperor Kr.ē. In the negotiations that followed after the Messer Regime’s eventual collapse, it was decided that the Perry Line systems would be evenly divided. Control of Hadur (then renmaed Yā’mon) was slated to be given to the Xi’an and on July 5th, 2793, the pact was signed, making that designation official. Though peace had been declared, many believed that both sides viewed the truce as tenuous at best. As such, the Xi’an slated Yā’mon as a prison system where lawbreakers were forced to work hard labor in mines until their debts to society were paid. Yā’mon was not unique in this. Similar strategies were seen in all the Xi’an transitional systems: Indra housed a major shipping hub, Pallas was used for research, and Virtus was given to a crime syndicate. If war ever actually occurred, all four would suffer only minimal Xi’an casualties. Then in 2942, in a surprise announcement after decades of the system seeing only minimal Human trade and traffic, ArcCorp revealed that they had procured a contract with the Xi’an government to assist in the terraforming of Yā’mon II and Yā’mon III. In the agreement, ArcCorp would be responsible for providing resources to the massive project, while the Xi’an would be overseeing operations of the technically complicated process. The decision has caused some to wonder why the Xi’an are relying on Human resources for the project instead of bringing in supplies from Ayr’Ka or Pallas. Though there has yet been no official answer, in the years since striking the deal, millions of tons of raw materials have been delivered through Baker, along with a significant and growing Human workforce. It is also not yet clear what usage for which the Xi’an will designate the worlds, as per their custom once the terraforming is complete. The rumor is that it will be a factory system, since ArcCorp has experience with that owing to their own planet being modeled on the Xi’an style. The last few years have marked a boom time for Yā’mon. A myriad of stations have been built as a steady stream of transport ships enter and exit the system every day. From the recent large investment in infrastructure, to the expansive contract with ArcCorp, to even the introduction of a Human division in the famed Xi’an Koa e Ko’ia endurance race being held in Yā’mon, it seems that Emperor Kr.ē and his people are more and more looking at Humanity as a true ally. Kuā’li (Yā’mon I) A complex on the dark side of this tidally locked, rocky planet was rumored to house a max security labor camp, where the permanent night was said to have a placating effect on Xi’an interred here. It is believed that many of these prisoners have now been drafted to assist in some of the more dangerous tasks needed for the terraforming process. Yethlūl y.ath’o (Yā’mon II) & Yethlūl s.yen’o (Yā’mon III) Both terrestrial planets are currently undergoing terraforming through a joint effort by the Xi’an government and ArcCorp. While there is still some time before the planets will be habitable, there has been significant progress and just recently, the burgeoning atmosphere of Yā’mon III was flooded by a violet hued gas giving it a memorable appearance. The project has been deemed by those in the terraforming industry as an extremely complicated venture, and many financial analysts surmise that this close relationship with the Xi’an will give ArcCorp an advantage in the field for years to come. Like other former Perry Line systems, an interesting blend of cultures has begun to develop on the stations in planetary orbit, where Human and Xi’an have started heavily interacting. Many race enthusiasts are expected to make the journey out to the main ArcCorp station above Yā’mon II to watch the upcoming Koa e Ko’ia as the pilots will be flying a difficult course that includes the tumultuous still-forming atmosphere. Yā’mon Belt Alpha Mined by forced labor for decades, it has recently begun to be mined in commercial quantities as more and more resources are needed for the ongoing terraforming projects. Yām’ping (Yā’mon IV) Since this most distant planet has few resources, it was set aside by the Xi’an to house many of the vice stations that offer services and distractions to the workforce here. TRAVEL WARNING Since there is heavy Human traffic in the system, it is important for visitors to remember that Xi’an law governs Yā’mon. Minor infractions in UEE space, like tagging with graffiti, can often carry a heavier punishment here. Make sure to familiarize yourself before making the jump, to avoid awkward misunderstandings. HEARD IN THE WIND “We cannot expect to keep our homes safe if we leave the front door wide open. We must secure and protect the border or we shall wake up to find that the Xi’an have already made themselves welcome.” – High Naval Commander Jianna Perry, Address to UPE Tribunal, 2542 “Though many people of our Empire may feel that the resources in Yā’mon should be claimed by us rather than given to the Xi’an, I contend that if they ever wish for Humanity to find a peaceful way to exist in this universe they should promptly begin to get over it.” – Ambassador Coen, private comm to Imperator Toi, 2792 Przeczytaj całość
  16. Hello everyone, Last week, we published the Q&A for the ARGO SRV, answering the top questions voted on by the community. Can the SRV tow asteroids? Can a person in a space suit be towed? Find the answers to those questions and more detailed info on Argo Astronautics’ latest addition to their roster right here. Our recent Around The Verse revealed a glimpse of the soon to come city planet ArcCorp, the versatile Reliant variants, but also featured a first look at the planned improvements for gimbaled weapons. What is your flavor? Do you trust the gimbals or do you prefer a fixed setup? Let us know in the comments! Now, let’s see what’s going on this week: Tuesday is lore day and we’ll take a look at the Hadur System with a Galactic Guide post. You can check out previously published lore posts here, or refresh your memory about the Hadur System. On Thursday, another episode of Around the Verse takes a look at the latest Star Citizen news. Friday sees a Roadmap update and the RSI Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. We also welcome a new episode of Reverse the Verse, which broadcasts LIVE on our Star Citizen Channel. We’ll update this post with more info about guests, talking points, and a link to the Spectrum question-gathering thread later this week. See you in the ‘verse! Ulf Kuerschner Senior Community Manager *Image credit to Anjeslol The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, MARCH 4TH, 2019 - TUESDAY, MARCH 5TH, 2019 Lore Post – Hadur GG ( WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6TH, 2019 Subscriber’s Newsletter THURSDAY, MARCH 7TH, 2019 Around the Verse ( Vault Update FRIDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2019 Reverse the Verse LIVE ( Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: March 4th, 2019 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it's fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it here. The highlighted content creator will be awarded an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our "MVP section of the Hub": Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! TPR News 24-2-2949 by Exile-JadeStarwatchr The latest episode of The Peoples Radio news is covering three major stories all surrounding the controversial company Hurston Dynamics. Check it out on the Community Hub. Przeczytaj całość
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  18. In this week’s update we drop in on Area 18’s spaceport, take a look at improvements to gimballed weapons, and get the scoop on the MISC Reliant variants coming in Alpha 3.5. Przeczytaj całość
  19. Q&A: ARGO SRV Following the launch of the SRV from Argo Astronautics, we took your community-voted questions to our designers to give you more information on the recently unveiled single-pilot standard recovery vehicle. The ARGO SRV depicted in the image is carrying an unknown-sized cargo container. Please elaborate more on this cargo-carrying function. Is the SRV envisioned as one of the tools used to load/unload the larger HULL series ships? One of the key design goals for this ship was to enable it to carry cargo around. Unloading larger cargo ships, such as the Hull series, is a perfect use of the SRV. This is not explicitly stated in the documentation, but the ARGO SRV has a Quantum Drive and a Jump Drive. Can the SRV tow a ship in Quantum Travel? Can the SRV use a Jump Point when towing another ship? The ARGO SRV can Quantum Travel while towing. Whilst the details of Jump Travel are being ironed out, the original design never accounted for this scenario and requires revisiting. However, our current stance is that it will not be able to tow ships through a Jump Point. If such travel is needed, we recommend towing the vehicle to a nearby repair station first or putting it inside another jump-capable vehicle. Can the SRV move ground vehicles like a Nova Tank? There is nothing to stop you moving damaged or stuck ground vehicles, such as the Nova Tank. It will work the same way as moving and transporting damaged spaceships. Can the SRV move outpost modules? No, outpost modules are physically drilled into the ground surface. The moving of player-made outposts is restricted to the Pioneer and other dedicated ships as the SRV’s tractor beam is not strong enough to wrench them from the surface. Outposts that exist already on moons/planets cannot be moved. Can the SRV tow asteroids? Physicalized items in the world can be manipulated if they’re within the mass range of the tractor beam. Currently, the only dynamic asteroids in the game are the mineable variety, though it will be possible to tow these asteroids around if desired. Can a person in a space suit be towed? Capturing an item requires it to be relatively immobile and of a certain size so that the beam can focus on it. While we don’t have the exact details of these limits yet, we foresee that active players will not be easily trapped by tractor beams to prevent griefing. Is the number of SRVs needed to tow something based on total mass or size/architecture? It is primarily mass based, though there are some size and volume requirements. There are no arbitrary design restrictions in terms of ‘ship X can specifically not tractor ship Y’. How will theft using tractor beams be guarded against? Can anyone just fly up to you and start abducting ships? The current means to limit theft and griefing is that shields will actively block or severely dampen the tractor beam strength. If you wish to have your vehicle moved, you will be required to power down your shields (which also puts you in a vulnerable position). If you wish to guard against theft, just leave your shields up when outside your ship for reassurance that it will still be there when you get back. Does the tractor beam only pull or can it push as well? The tractors beam is primarily designed to pull, though it can push to an extent. Moving from side to side, rolling, and pitching are accomplished by the range of motion available to the tractor beam’s mount. Does towing affect the SRV’s top speed and fuel economy? Tractor beams consume massive amounts of power, so while the ship’s top speed is still attainable, acceleration and fuel economy are negatively impacted. Will vehicles being towed have to turn off components for it to be towable, such as shields and power plants? Yes, the target needs to be relatively immobile with shields powered down for the tractor beam to ‘capture’ it. If the target is actively jinking or maneuvering to avoid it, the SRV pilot will require significant skill and time to capture it. If an SRV is immobile but still has a working tractor beam, can it use its tractor beam to lock onto another ship and then be towed by that ship? Theoretically, it is possible for this to work. However, the non-tractor ship would have to maneuver very cautiously and gently to prevent it from breaking away. Does the tractor beam only work in space? Or, is it possible to tow a ship from a landing pad, take off, go into space, Quantum Travel, enter a planet’s atmosphere, and finally land while towing another ship? The Tractor Beam can be used in any location, however the environment will affect the difficulty of maintaining a capture of the target item. Another one of the original design aims was for the SRV to act as a tug ship to help larger ships get from a planet’s surface back out into space. Will it be possible to extend the Argo SRV’s shields around the ship that’s being towed to offer extra protection when extracting disabled ships from the battlefield? No, the shields from the ARGO SRV and all other ships in the game are currently just for the ship itself and do not cover nearby objects. Towing a ship or vehicle puts it at risk, so the environment and flightpath should be considered carefully by the SRV pilot. There is mention of it being heavily shielded and armored. How can we expect it to hold up under combat zone conditions? The SRV carries no offensive weaponry so relies on its shields and armor to survive in combat, so if it’s being directly attacked, the best course of action is to break away and come back later. If you’re entering a known hot zone, I’d recommend bringing an escort along for support. Does the roof dish provide scanning abilities for search and rescue? The dish on the roof is simply a visual styling cue and has no specific gameplay attached to it. As mentioned on RTV, we went back and forth over the name during development. At the time ATV was recorded, it was known as the ‘Search and Recovery Vehicle’. However, we have now settled on ‘Standard Recovery Vehicle’. Przeczytaj całość
  20. Writer’s Note: Brothers In Arms: Part Two was published originally in Jump Point 3.6. Read Part One here. Gavin left Walt on Cassel. There was a time, back in his single days, when an extended stay on a resort world was the perfect sequel to a crappy job. Now he had a better offer waiting at home and two bottles of chilled Kōen Shōchū riding shotgun in the cockpit beside him. The better offer, of course, was Dell. The shōchū was his best hope to reboot his homecoming from Oberon. It wasn’t exactly the grand entrance he’d planned on making. He felt his cheeks warm and was glad to be alone. With a sigh, he squeezed his eyes shut and let his head fall back into his seat. His helmet bumped against the cockpit frame. When he opened his eyes again, the HUD had died. He rolled his head to eye the waiting bottles of shōchū. Perhaps he needed the alcohol more than she did. Rhedd Alert’s hangar was still. The lights were dialed down to a dull, sapphire glow. But while the hangar was quiet, Vista Landing never slowed down. The sounds of the complex were a pressure all around him; a constant hum of life that seemed intrusive after a long stint flying solo. Gavin shed his flight suit and then grabbed the helmet and bottles of shōchū. The helmet got dumped unceremoniously onto a workbench. The shōchū went with him to their apart­ment. It was dark inside — he was too late. Dell was already asleep. He leaned against the door while his eyes adjusted to the courtesy lighting in the bedroom. Dell lay on her side with her back to him. Her hair was a dark fan against pale pillows and sheets. There was no trace of the playful blue-dyed tips in the low light. He looked instead to the curve of her hip and the long line of her covered legs. He left the bottles on a table, not wanting to risk waking her with light from the fridge. He stripped off his shirt on the way to the little closet. She’d left it open, and piles of clothes made odd shapes in the low light. They smelled like her. He’d forgotten how much he loved that. He leaned forward, his head slipping between her hanging shirts and jackets. They didn’t have much, but this was home. They were settled, with no desire for any more living out of cockpits and dirty cargo bays. But if he couldn’t make this work, that’s exactly what they would be back to. Gavin stooped and picked up the discarded shirt. There was work to do. Things to fix. He closed the door as quietly as he could when he left. He was at a workbench in the hangar when the light pad of Dell’s bare feet on the cold hangar deck sounded behind him. “Hey, Slugger.” Her voice was playful, teasing him about the scrap with Walt. The taunting tone was good news, in a way. It meant that she wasn’t quite so angry. Regardless, he was still embarrassed about the fight and didn’t rise to her bait. “I thought you were asleep,” he said instead. She rubbed her hand across his shoulders, bumped him aside with her hip and then took a seat next to him on the bench when he moved. “I was asleep, but it sounded like a herd of Shoone came tromping through the apart­ment.” He felt better hearing the smile in her voice. “Huh . . . I guess I’m glad I missed that.” “What are you working on?” Gavin started running through his list, wondering where to start. He gave up somewhere north of fifteen and simply replied, “Everything.” “Did we get paid?” He nodded and her look of relief was frustrating. Depending on Dell’s ex-boyfriend for financial salvation wasn’t exactly how he’d envisioned his role as a business owner. “How’s Boomer?” he asked. “He can’t keep doing this. They patched him up, but he’s been banged around way too much.” It was true. Dell’s dad had been put back together more than any other pilot Gavin had ever met. Maybe a few military pilots had had more rejuvenation treatment, but their facilities had to be far better than anything civies like Boomer had access too. “You’ve got to get him to take it easy, Gav. Let him fly sup­port in the Freelancer or something.” “Let him fly support? This is your dad we’re talking about. He’s at least half as stubborn as you are. And you know how he flies. He’s cool as gunmetal in a dogfight, but he flies like a crazy . . . flying . . . kind of . . . person.” “Will you at least try? Please?” There was no way Boomer was going to listen to him, but Gavin agreed. It wasn’t worth fighting with Dell about it. They’d been over that ground before. Plenty of times. He prodded at the wiring harness of his helmet. “The heads-up out again?” she asked. He nodded. “Here, let me do it.” She pulled the tools closer and set to work. “So . . . Walt stayed to drink his paycheck away with Barry?” “Walt worked as hard as anyone in Oberon. Harder than most, actually. He can do what he wants with his cut.” “While we’re dumping all of ours into repairs and supplies?” “I brought you some shōchū,” he offered. “I saw that.” She snuggled into his side and slid her arm around his waist. “Mmmmm . . . thank you.” A peck on his cheek. “I put it in the fridge.” “You should have brought a bottle with you.” She unwound herself from him and went back to work on the helmet. “It might work out better for you if we save that for a night when I’m not exhausted.” That killed the mood. Gavin shifted the tools around on the bench. Dell must have sensed his change of mood. She sat up straight, her tone growing somber. “I’ve been doing some math,” she said. “How bad is it?” “Not good.” He hoped that the grimace he made was reassuring. It probably wasn’t. “Selling the salvage will keep us out of the red for a couple months,” she said. “Good job on that, by the way. I don’t know about the Idris, but that 325a is actually quite sell­able. Unless you want to keep it, that is.” Gavin thought about it. “Sell it,” he said. “We can’t afford to upgrade any of our people, and I’m not bringing on any more pilots until we land some steady work.” “On that topic, did Barry have something new for us, or did he come to Goss system just to carouse with your brother?” He told her about the turret job and she brightened. “This is good, Gav. You think this could turn into a steady stream of work?” “Maybe, but we’ve got a team of combat pilots, babe. They’re not going to stick around for this kind of work.” “Then screw them. Let them leave, and I’ll fly with you.” “You fly worse than your dad. Besides, you wanted to be here to run the shop.” “I’m here because I want this to work.” She put her tools down and entwined her fingers with his. “Believe me, I’d much rather be flying with you and Dad.” “Yeah, well. I don’t want you out there. Bringing Boomer back in stasis is one thing, but you . . .” She extracted her fingers and patted his hand, pulling away. “That’s an idea you’re going to have to get used to. Dad won’t be flying that old Avenger forever. Eventually, she’ll be mine. But right now,” she leaned in and gave him a quick kiss, “I’m going to bed.” Dell stood, pressed his helmet’s wire housing into place with a click and left. Gavin picked up the helmet and peeked inside. The glow from the reticle display shown within. She’d got it working again. They had a good thing going, he and Dell. But chronic, nag­ging financial worry would eventually tear that apart. He just needed work that paid and that his pilots would stay for. Work that would keep Walt from chasing something shiny, interesting, and new. What he needed was that Tyrol escort job. Gavin pushed the helmet and tools aside on the bench. He keyed up the console and placed a call to Barry’s mobiGlas. The accountant accepted the call. “Talk to me, sweetheart.” “Barry. Good, you’re still in-system.” “Just about to leave Cassel, why?” “What would a bid need to look like for someone to be com­petitive on that Tyrol contract?” “Gavin,” Barry’s voice grew serious. “You’re new to this, but you have to know that I can’t give out that kind of information.” Gavin’s mobiGlas vibrated against his wrist with an incom­ing message. “I’m sorry, Barry. I wasn’t trying to cause troub—” Barry cut him off. “Now, what I can do is point you toward the proper registration and submission forms. How you manage the pricing is your concern. Understand?” On Gavin’s mobiGlas was a message from an unknown contact. The message was simple, containing only a Credit sign and a number. A big number. Yes! “Thanks, Barry. I appreciate it and understand completely.” It took four days to clear just two turrets from the mouth of the first cave. Walt took out the first within seconds of arriving. He did it with what he swore was a purposeful and carefully aimed shot. The second turret pulverized Jazza’s Cutlass, and they had to tow the wreckage back to Vista Landing for re­pairs. Jazza herself went home in stasis after taking hits to a shoulder and both of her legs. She did not rejoin them for the moon mine job. On the fourth day — running low on patience, ammo, and foul language — they finally came up with a solution. It was ugly. It was dangerous. But as they worked deeper into the moon, it was the only thing they found that worked. “All right, Boomer,” Gavin said, “hold behind that outcrop­ping.” Boomer’s Avenger crept to a halt beside him. Deep inside the warren of caverns, the moon’s rotation was enough to give them a sense of up and down. Still, holding a relative position inside a small spinning moon was not as easy as one might think. Stabilizing thrusters fired continuously in short, irregular bursts. Gavin checked his orientation and distance from the walls. He was in place. The tag team system they’d come up with had been working pretty well, using one ship to draw fire while a second swept in to blast each turret. It was tedious and sphincter-tightening work, but the moon was nearly cleared. Only a small handful of tricky defenses remained intact. “Okay,” Gavin settled his hands on his flight controls. “On my mark.” He left the mic open and triggered a timer on his navsat. He watched Boomer’s ship ease slowly into the turret’s line of sight to the steady countdown of the timer. Right on cue, Gavin hammered his thrusters and sped into the cave, just as the first blast from the turret struck Boomer’s shields. Gavin yawed to the left, swinging the nose of his ship until he could see both the turret and Boomer’s ship. The old man’s Avenger bucked under the constant fire. The shields held, but the blast forced the Avenger back out into the tunnel before Gavin could take a shot. Gavin fired, and the turret’s twin barrels swiveled with such impeccable precision and speed that they looked like identical empty dots. “Oh, sh—” the barrels erupted in a fusillade of crimson light. Gavin fired again and had no clue if he was anywhere near the mark. The turret’s aim was flawless, however. There was an odd pulling sensation when the cabin lost pressure and his suit pressurized, squeezing around his limbs and chest. Another barrage hammered into him and he felt the Cut­lass crunch ass-backward into the wall of the cavern. The ship rolled, nose pitching wildly to one side. Gavin saw an open blackness of empty space yawn into view. He punched it, hoping he was heading back out into the tunnel and not to his death inside the smugglers’ cave. Relieved, he saw Boomer’s Avenger flash by beneath him. But dread gripped him again when the walls of the narrow tunnel loomed to fill his entire view. He reversed thrust, hunched tight around the controls and braced for impact. It was bad. He hit hard, and the impact sent him careening down the cavern. He tumbled over and over, willing his ship to hold together. When he finally forced himself to release the flight controls, the ship righted itself. “Holy hells,” Boomer breathed. “Gav? You alive, buddy?” His chest heaved like he’d been running. “I seem to recall some idiot bitching about this job being boring.” Walt, exploring a tunnel in another part of the moon, an­swered, “That sounds like it was directed at me. You two okay?” “No, I’m not okay. I just got blown up!” “Simmer down, son,” Boomer said. “I’ve been blown up plenty of times. That was nothin’. I, uh . . . I don’t think you’re taking another crack at that turret until we get your ship patched up, though.” “Oh, really? Ya think?” Gavin’s comms flashed on an incom­ing line. “Hold on, guys. Call coming in.” Boomer laughed, saying, “They probably heard us planet­side and want us to keep the noise down.” “Very funny. Actually, it’s Dell. Now shut it.” Gavin accept­ed the incoming line. “Gav?” He couldn’t tell if Dell sounded scared or angry, maybe both. “We got a problem, babe. Jazza’s out of here. Says she’s taking a ship unless she gets her cut of the turret job before she goes.” “What? What do you mean ‘out of here’?” “She’s leaving,” Dell said. “Leaving the company, I mean.” Walt cut in on the squad channel. “Hey Gav, I’m all finished in here. You want me to come take a look at tha—” Gavin juggled channels. “Hold on, Walt.” He squinched his eyes closed, sore, frustrated and confused. “Dell. Where’s Jazz going? You mean she’s quitting?” Boomer kept the chatter going on the squad channel. “Sounds like he’s getting an earful, Walt. Glad she didn’t call me.” “Tell her Gavin just got blown up.” “That would improve her day significantly.” They both laughed. Gavin spread his hands in an open-armed shrug for no one’s benefit but his own. “Would you please shut the hell up?” They did. Dell did not. “What did you just say to me?!” “Not you, babe. Walt and . . . you know what? Never mind all that. Just tell me again, what’s going on with Jazz?” His mobiGlas vibrated. Gavin swore silently and balled his fists to keep from shooting something. From within his pressure suit, it was difficult to activate the mobiGlas. He managed it while Dell filled him in on Jazza’s desertion. She was going to look for work with one of the smuggling outfits hidden in the Olympus Pool. Paying work. Blah. Blah. Deserter. Gavin finally powered on his mobiGlas display. There was a message from a contact marked “unknown,” but Gavin knew exactly who it was from. “Dell.” “I tried to talk her out of it, Gav,” Dell sounded close to tears. “I really did.” “Dell, listen to me.” “What?” “Get Jazza back. All right? Do whatever it takes.” “I’ll try, Gav, but . . .” “Whatever it takes, okay? We’re going to need her. We’re going to need everyone and then some.” “What’s going on, Gavin?” He keyed his mic to transmit on both channels, “Everybody, listen up. They only got two bids on the Navy contract. We’re the low bid.” “Is low bad?” Boomer asked. “Dell,” Gavin said, “have Jazza join us in Oberon. We’re working ’round the clock until we’ve cleared the last few turrets.” Gavin sat in his damaged Cutlass, cheeks stretched in an unfamiliar grin. “Guys,” he said, “we just won the Navy job.” “Go on in, Miss Brock.” A lieutenant held the door open for her. “Major Greely and his guest are already inside.” The major’s guest. How wonderful. Morgan Brock smoothed the front of her pleated skirt and then swept through the doorway into Greely’s conference room. The major and his “guest” stood near the head of the table. Greely was looking more Marine than Navy in his shirt sleeves. The man had arms as thick as most men’s legs. “Brock. Good of you to come personally. Let me introduce you to Gavin Rhedd, one of the co-owners of Rhedd Alert Security.” Rhedd was younger than she’d guessed, a handsome man with a sturdy frame. He’d made the curious decision to wear a weathered, civilian flight suit to the meeting. Per­haps he needed to convince everyone that he was, in fact, a pilot. Still, the rig fit him well. He looked uncomfortable but not self-conscious standing beside the granite slab that was Major Greely. “Pleased to meet you, Miss Brock.” She refused his extended hand and put an end to the pleasantries. “So you’re the cherry that low-balled my contract.” She made it obvious that it wasn’t a question. “Let me be en­tirely clear. The termination clause stipulates that I par­ticipate in a transition meeting. Let’s not pretend that I’m pleased by the opportunity.” “Well okay, then,” Greely said. “I suppose that will do by way of introductions. Let’s get started, shall we?” He took a seat at the head of the table and motioned for each of them to sit. “Now, the award and protest periods are over.” “There will be an appeal filed,” she said. “I don’t doubt that, Morgan. But my office and Navy SysCom have every reason to believe that the award will be upheld.” “I’ve invested two years cleaning up the run through Min and Nexus,” she said. “And we both know the workload is scheduled to increase dramatically. I’m not handing that over without a fight.” She stopped when Greely held a hand up, “The UEE wants us to find ways to enfranchise independents in those systems. You want to argue that point, do it with the politicians. But right now, I need a mission brief, and I think we’d all appreciate this meeting moving along quickly.” Brock let the major win the point. If nothing else, she knew when to pick her battles. There was nothing to be gained from antagonizing him. There were more profitable targets for her ire. Content with the cool tenor of the meeting, she turned her attention to Gavin Rhedd. “Yes, well,” the young man cleared his throat. His fore­head glistened where it met his close-cropped hair. “I’ve read through the, uh . . . the After Action Reports.” Rhedd swiped through several projections on an old clunker of a mobiGlas. “Every ten days we escort a new shift rotation to the Haven research facility on Tyrol V. But what can you tell me about the security require­ments for the staff transfer between the transport ships and Haven?” The kid didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Maybe her Tyrol contract wasn’t quite the lost cause Major Greely made it out to be. Brock’s smile felt genuine as she started describing the ship-to-settlement transfer process. This job was going to eat Rhedd Alert Security alive. Min system was dark. In Goss, the jump points flowed with shimmering cascades of color. They boiled the Olympus Pool’s bands of gold, amber, and blood-orange in a dazzling display of celestial mystery. Min, on the other hand, was entirely different, and Gavin wondered how many ships and lives Min’s jump gates had claimed before they were suc­cessfully charted. The approach was well marked now. Nav beacons lit a ten-kilometer channel leading six Rhedd Alert escorts and their charge, a Constellation Aquila with UEE designations, to the jump gate. The automated beacons broadcast a steady stream of navsat and transit status data in addition to lighting the visual entry vector. The gate itself loomed large. It was an empty disc, invisible if not for the faint light from the beacons. That light bent, distorting into the maw of interspace that, if entered cor­rectly, would disgorge them out into the Nexus system. Stumbling onto an unknown jump point had to be a terri­fying experience. He’d seen images of dark gates, like the ones in Min, when the beacons were offline. Even knowing what to look for in those images, it was difficult to distin­guish the subtle smudge that represented a portal through time and space. “Gate Authority Min,” Gavin read from a scripted authori­zation request, “this is Rhedd Alert Security, performing in compliance with Naval Systems Command regulations, approaching VFR and in support of UEE research vessel Cassiopeia. Request clearance for transit from Min to Nexus and confirmation of the approach.” They didn’t need the call and response to make the jump to Nexus, but their contract required record of specific communications at all jump gates, as well as of the UEE staff transfers at each end of the run. The gods only knew how many times he and Walt had hopped systems unannounced. In reflection, it probably should have felt strange entering a jump gate with legal tags and without local law breathing down his neck. But times change, and if Gavin got his way, they were changing for the better. He received the expected challenge and responded with ship IDs that matched the tags for each member of the convoy. Gavin had stumbled over the formal exchanges on the first few missions. No one had complained, but he felt better now that he had a degree of comfort with the cadence and timing of the exchange. Hopefully, that degree of comfort inspired confidence in his new pilots and the UEE scientists aboard the Cassiopeia. They got their clearance and Gavin sent the order to enter the jump gate. He took point with Jazza, each of them in place along either side of the Aquila. They slid into the gate with a familiar falling sensation. The cockpit seemed to stretch, elongating out and away from him in a rush of sound and color. It felt like someone had set a hook in his insides and pulled, stretching his gut tighter and tighter. Then something snapped and he was reac­quainted with the increasingly familiar constellations of Nexus space. “Gate Authority Nexus,” he said, “this is Rhedd Alert—” “Gavin,” Jazza’s voice was crisp. He was already check­ing his navsat displays when she continued, “We’ve got three ships inbound. Three hundred kilometers. Make that two-fifty! Gods, they’re moving fast.” “Jazz, take Mei and Rahul to see what our new friends want. Walt, you and Boomer play goalie. If these guys take a run at the Cassiopeia, make them reconsider.” A chorus of “copy that” erupted on comms and Gavin switched channels to address the UEE crew aboard the transport. “Cassiopeia, this is Red One. Accelerate in line with my mark and do not deviate from course.” “Contact,” Jazza sounded calm, clinical. “They’ve got three F7 Hornets in a variety of configurations. They’re beat to hell with patchwork armor, but coming in fast.” “They have any markings or insignia? What are their tags?” “Nothing I can see through the mismatch of weapons and scrap parts.” “Look out, they’re firing!” Mei said. “Holy hells, these guys are quick.” “Gav,” Walt asked, “do we run?” The After Action Reports from Brock showed a steady decrease in aggressive actions over time. Letting a new pi­rate outfit establish a foothold at one of their critical jump points seemed like a very bad idea. “We fight,” he said. “We can’t afford to retake this ground every two weeks if we run scared now.” “Whatever you’re going to do, do it fast,” Jazza said. “It’s three-on-three over here, and it seems these guys like to play with their food.” “Walt,” Gavin said. “Take point. If they have friends, I don’t want to get herded into a trap.” “Copy that.” “All right, Jazz. I’m on my way to you.” Gavin pulled up hard, inverted over the Cassiopeia and accelerated toward the jumble of fighters. Gavin had survived dozens of scraps before starting Rhedd Alert, but always as the aggressor. Being on the defensive was something new. It seemed strange that these crazy bastards were hitting six armed escorts. “Jazza,” he was a couple hundred clicks out and had a good look at the scrum, “I’m coming up underneath you. Time to make this an unfair fight.” “These guys are good, Gavin.” She grunted and her Cut­lass rolled in a loose corkscrew, putting her behind one of the marauders. She fired and its shields blazed. It pitched, nose down and thrusters reversing, to push up and above Jazza’s ship. The other two marauders swung into position on either side, and the three of them slashed toward Gavin like a knife blade. He rolled to his port side and tried to accelerate around them. At least they couldn’t all fire on him at once that way. Rahul strafed overhead, pouring fire into one of the Hornets, but the marauders held their formation. “Jazza, form up on me. Let’s split these bastards up.” “Got it.” They met and swept around to rush the trio of mis­matched Hornets. The marauders found Mei before he and Jazza were in firing range. “Ah, hell . . .” A barrage of precise bursts from wing-mounted laser cannons tore into Mei’s ship. It ripped entire sections from the hull, and escaping oxygen belched out in a roiling ball of flame. “Damn it!” Gavin couldn’t see if Mei got out. He and Jaz­za blasted their way through the marauders’ formation. The Hornets scattered and reformed again behind them. “We’ve got a man down. Walt, we might need your help over here.” “That’s what you get for staying to fight, Gav. We should have made a run for it.” “We can talk about ‘shoulda’ later,” he said. “Get back here and . . . wait. Belay that.” “They’re running,” Jazza sounded bemused. “Feels like they had us on the ropes, but they’re bugging out.” Gavin watched thruster trails from the retreating ships. In moments, they winked out of Nexus space. “Cassiopeia is secure,” Walt said. “Are you guys clear?” Jazza didn’t exactly answer him. “Now what do you think that was all about?” Gavin’s HUD looked clear. Relieved, he found Mei’s PRB. Everyone was alive and they appeared to be alone on the Nexus side of the gate. Walt and the Cassiopeia were nearing the extreme range of his display. “Walt, hold where you are. Stay sharp and sweep ahead. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they attacked three-on-six.” “Maybe,” Jazza said, “they knew they’d kick our ass.” “Or maybe this was a feint,” Gavin said. “Let’s not get caught with our pants down if there are more of them out here. Jazz, you and Rahul watch my back while I get Mei. We’re taking the first shots if they come back through.” There was a general clamor of agreement. Gavin was beginning to suspect that military comm-chatter was much more sparse and far less democratic than Rhedd Alert’s constant banter. Still, aside from Walt second-guessing his every move, Gavin was proud of the team. “I wonder if they’re waiting on the other side?” Jazza asked. Walt was quick to respond. “We are not going through that gate to check.” “Relax, Walt,” Gavin said. “A win is a win. And good rid­dance.” At this point, Walt’s objection wasn’t a surprise. “Lucky win, you mean. In a fight we didn’t need to have.” Gavin ignored him. Though she was unconscious, the biometrics in Mei’s suit reported only minor damage. Her ship, on the other hand, was another story completely. Gavin started running some mental math, tallying the costs of parts, labor, and med tech fees. The results were cringe-worthy. The attack would make this mission a financial loss, but the contract was still the leg-up Rhedd Alert needed. And the attack was probably an aberration, Gavin reflected, re­minding himself that Brock’s After Action Reports showed a steady decrease in hostilities over the past several years. Unfortunately, they were about to find out just how little those reports meant. h3. TO BE CONTINUED… Przeczytaj całość
  21. Hello everyone, We hope you all had a great weekend! As we head into another week, the team has been heads down, focusing on the imminent release of Alpha 3.5 to the Evocati. We’re excited to unleash our cadre of community testers on the new Flight Model (among other new additions) and to begin gathering feedback. Now, let’s see what’s going on this week: Tuesday is lore day as Brothers In Arms continues. Pass the time by catching up with previously published lore posts, including part one of this tale. If you’re looking for more information about the recently revealed ARGO SRV, this Wednesday we’ll be releasing a Q&A comprised of questions submitted by the Star Citizen community. On Thursday, another episode of Around the Verse takes a look at the latest Star Citizen news. Friday sees a Roadmap update and the RSI Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. We also welcome a new episode of Reverse the Verse, which broadcasts LIVE on our Star Citizen Channel. We’ll update this post with more info about guests, talking points, and a link to the Spectrum question-gathering thread later this week. See you in the ‘verse! Tyler Witkin Lead Community Manager The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH, 2019 - TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH, 2019 Lore Post – Serialized Fiction: Brothers in Arms (Part 2) ( WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH, 2019 ARGO SRV Q&A THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH, 2019 Around the Verse ( Vault Update FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST, 2019 Reverse the Verse LIVE ( Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: February 25th, 2019 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it's fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it here. The highlighted content creator will be awarded an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our "MVP section of the Hub": Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! Hurston Hyperlapse by Swoony Accompanied by another original track form Utho Riley, Swoony has captured stunning timelapses of Hurston in Alpha 3.4. Check it out on the Community Hub. Przeczytaj całość
  22. Jump Point Now Available! Attention development subscribers: the February 2019 issue of Jump Point is now available in your subscription area. You’ll take a visit to Hurston, learn about the making of the Argo SRV and celebrate Stella Fortuna in an all-new Galactapedia. Plus an all-new lore feature covering the history of the Rust Society! Interested in becoming a development subscriber? You can learn more here. Przeczytaj całość
  23. We sit down with Vehicle Pipeline Director John Crewe to answer your questions about the newly revealed Argo SRV. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into Przeczytaj całość
  24. Squadron 42 Monthly Report: January 2019 This is a cross-post of the report that was recently sent out via the monthly Squadron 42 newsletter. We’re publishing this a second time as a Comm-Link to make it easier for the community to reference back to, and plan on following this process for future Squadron 42 Monthly Reports. Attention Recruits, What you are about to read is the latest information on the continuing development of Squadron 42 (SCI des: SQ42). Read on for classified details from every corner of the planet, collected over the course of the last month, concerning Squadron 42-related work. The information contained in this communication is extremely sensitive and it is of paramount importance that it does not fall into the wrong hands. Purge all records after reading. Over and out, UEE Naval High Command AI The AI Team worked on the perception system, which was expanded to handle damage stimuli. AI characters now have proper perception of damage, so they can figure out the location of the source and will behave accordingly by tracking enemies and updating the knowledge they have about them. Progress was made on the Usable Builder, a tool that’s used to create and debug all usables. It allows the team to easily visualize usables, edit their properties, and test the different use channels. For the mission system, they exposed several new functionalities to the designers, such as a variety of task nodes, new variable types, and new core functionalities. A ‘group’ variable was introduced that can automatically be filled, for example, when spawning AI characters so that designers can easily track the dynamic elements they’re interested in. They’re currently implementing global callbacks to help designers track environmental events specific to the data they’re interested in without the need to explicitly create variables for each entity. Characters The new year began with Character Art supporting the SQ42 iteration of the DNA feature, which allows players to create their own unique avatar to play through the game as. They also began modeling various other characters and clothing, including the Basilisk Advocacy Agent armor. The character artists continue to create new outfits and update old ones to tie into specific in-game events. Cinematics The Cinematics Team completed a master and subsequence workflow for Track View sequences, which had become a necessity due to how the game is structured around object containers. They can now work on both master and multiple subsequence scenes at the same time. The groundwork was laid for the most crucial step in the cross-object-container cinematic pipeline: accessibility of interior sequences and their entity nodes from an exterior master level. This means the team is still able to work on interior scenes (e.g. a Bengal carrier’s bridge) while the ship is flying around in battle and banking on a navigation spline. This is crucial for camera movement as lighting and exterior vistas play a huge role in how bridge scenes appear. It also makes it easier to adjust the timing on a master sequence that brings together interior and exterior subsequences. A key sequence was brought into the current Shubin Coil pocket, as the placement of asteroids and clouds had changed due to the evolution of gas cloud tech, so there was a need to adjust framing and lighting. Time was spent working on fire track improvements with the engineers, as weapons were overheating during heavy scene work and back and forth timeline scrubbing. This was addressed, and the team can now endlessly fire the Idris’ turrets at targets without any issues. Another change allows them to adjust the weapon fire-rate, so cinematics can be independent of whatever design changes may come in the future. Some scenes were adjusted in the Shubin Foundry, Gainey base, and other places across the game. Camera passes for other key scenes were completed, including one involving the Vanduul. Priority planning was also finished for scenes scheduled to finish in the first quarter of 2019. Engineering The US Engine Team made improvements to crash handling, including various thread safety improvements to enable more robust handling of obscure crashes, and the addition of extra information into minidumps to allow the better debugging of fibers. In the UK, the Actor Feature Team started work on a new visual tool for setting up carriable items. Similar to the usables editor tool, it’s designed to lessen the time it takes to add new items to the game and make it easier to debug when testing picking, carrying, and inspecting. They also improved the vault and mantling mechanic by making it work better with different height obstacles and angles, automatically detecting whether to vault or mantle, and enabling mantle when crouched. Video comm calls can now be triggered by the track view editor, which allows video comms with NPC characters to be easily implemented within larger cinematic sequences. Because track view gives control over things like the camera, lighting, and particle effects, it offers much more control over how comms are presented. Another feature implemented for the track-view-triggered video comms was to allow pre-rendered video to be played in place of any animation. Primarily, this is used for development, so the team can see placeholder video while waiting for final character animations to be supplied, but it can also be used as part of the game if a complicated video would be prohibitive to render dynamically. On the AI side, the team adapted the ship’s AI to work with the New Flight Model and in the process took advantage of the changed handling to allow closer and more rewarding dogfighting. Environment Art Lighting work continued on the Javelin, with the first takes done for several of the states the ship cycles through as the story progresses. The blend shader is now fully up and running and rolled out to the team, giving them far more opportunity to texture large assets while maintaining pixel density. Two key areas seen within the campaign are now approaching greybox completion and are in the final weeks of ‘soft-gate’ review (playable and traversable spaces with close-to-final geometry). They’ll then roll into ‘hard-gate’ review once all feedback is accounted for. As mentioned before the holidays, significant effort has been put into destructible and deformable objects that will be placed around every area of the campaign. This work is currently being rolled out into a single ‘hero’ area to give the team a better idea of the overall costs involved and to help them establish a visual language understood by the player (e.g. allowing the player to easily recognize which items can be destroyed, deformed, or moved). Work continues on Archon Station. With its exterior ‘watertight’, the team is now tying up loose ends where sections of the exterior may intersect with the interior. While easy to hide things like this, the entire station is being constructed with correct interior and exterior dimensions as the ships are. Transport systems are being placed into Archon Station, with final art for each section currently being worked on. Graphics The Graphics Team’s SQ42 focus has been predominately on performance: This included fixing various multi-CPU issues which were limiting the performance by sometimes forcing a CPU to wait for the other due to the way they accessed specific areas of memory. The CPU-intensive technique used to clip volumetric fog to interior rooms has been completely replaced with a GPU compute shader which frees up further CPU time. The final improvement was to re-write how they merge drawcalls, with the aim to increase efficiency and support multi-threading. This will take load from the CPU used for the submission of GPU work and move it to the graphics driver. On top of the performance work, the team made various improvements to the gas cloud tech, such as unifying the gas cloud and standard lighting systems. They also finalized the signed-distance-field tech to allow the game code to efficiently query the shape of the gas cloud to simulate pressure, turbulence, and procedurally spawn natural-looking lightning. Level Design To streamline communication between the numerous feature teams, the Design Team has been split into four: One is responsible for the FPS-heavy chapters and will work closely with the actor and AI feature teams. A spaceflight team will work with the Ship AI and New Flight Model/QT team, and a dedicated social team will focus on all social AI, usables, and NPC activity. Lastly, the tech team will work alongside the gameplay story and cinematic teams to prepare motion-capture and conversations. This change has not altered the chapter responsibilities as each still has a design owner but has improved communication and allows for more-focused meetings and less wasted time. This new format is the best way to facilitate the new feature work coming in from sprint work that now has direct SQ42 use cases. Narrative The Narrative Team returned from the holidays and jumped straight into planning for the first quarter of the year. They also started work on a handful of additional lines and story points. The team is also excited to welcome a new producer to the group; not only will he help keep the team organized, he’ll also act as the point of contact for other teams to partner with. Props The SQ42 Props Team has been working towards finalizing item sub-sets while continuing to assist the Gameplay Story Team by creating props used in motion capture shoots and generally making assets animation-friendly. QA QA testers built tools to help test multiple aspects of expansive levels more effectively. The AI feature tester performed regular checks on the various AI in the SQ42 chapters, focused on Cinematic scenes and delivered additional debug info for any reported issues. System Design System Design worked with the SQ42 Mission Team to explore the specific needs of FPS AI for the campaign, and research was done on how to improve the overall accuracy of FPS AI. Gunship behavior was modified to enable ships to circle targets and bring the maximum number of turrets to bear. Fighter behaviors were also modified to get the most out of the New Flight Model. Tech Animation Tech Animation supported the various teams working on female animations with tool development, asset conversion, and batch processes. The team also created new head assets for mission givers while refining current ones. The team’s currently refining head assets at the foundation of player face customization. Additionally, they created a raft of new tools to help skinning assets. This is a ground-up rework of the rudimentary tools already available in the authoring packages and will provide greater speed and flexibility to the Technical Art Team in their daily workload. New weapon attachments are starting to make an appearance internally and have required the authoring of a new set of weapon systems and a tools base that can support attachments in the animation packages. Tech Art Tech Art made steps to finalize the implementation and pipeline of the new facial customization tech, which was previewed at CitizenCon 2018. They switched the system’s source data format from the CDF-based system (which was used during R&D) to the newer component-based loadout currently used throughout the game. This system allows players’ customized faces to be stored persistently in the database and the corresponding data packets to transfer efficiently over the network and be applied to the correct avatar at runtime. Likewise, it allows all NPCs (every shopkeeper, security guard, civilian and eventually mission givers) to have a unique face built internally by our designers. While R&D on the new ‘DNA’ system was done using male faces, the ‘face pool’ for female characters is being populated and is planned to come online at the same time. Tech Art also supported the Weapons Team with animation debugging, weapon rigging, in-engine setup, and debugging multiple render and resource compiler issues. They added a new system for weapons in Maya to allow animators to quickly attach different attachments, making it easier for them to author specific animations. They also updated the underlying metasystem in the weapon rigs to help the animators export weapons without double transforms on the root or magazine controls. Tech Art also supported the Cinematic Animation Team with various new tools and helped them debug several issues with animations in Maya and the engine. They continued to implement animations into Mannequin to make them available for the designers. They also updated the way cinematic animations are listed for different skeletons to support female players. Vehicle Features The Vehicle Team spent time with SQ42 Design to implement various Subsumption callbacks for mission-specific requirements. They also completed modifications to the vehicle targeting system so that external items, such as ship engines, can be specifically targeted. Improvements to ship combat systems continued via automated gimbals, HUD improvements to support Ping & Scanning, and the vehicle ‘XML to DataForge’ migration began. Also, a vehicle gimbal aim assist feature is nearing completion. VFX VFX starting to focus on quality-of-life enhancements to their toolset. For example, a simple interface change with the option to reset an emitter strength curve with the click of a button, instead of having to manually delete each key. Although seemingly a minor thing, it makes a huge difference to productivity in the long run. They continued to work on gas cloud tech, working even more closely with the art and design teams to make sure it provides them with everything they need to build something as incredible (and huge) as The Coil! This also included continued iteration on lightning effects, making use of the new lightning editor which speeds up the workflow compared to the previous XML set up. They also began their first pass on the Xi’an ballistic rocket launcher because the trickiest part of this weapon is getting the balance right between traditional ballistic effects and the overtly-sci-fi Xi’an effects. Weapons The Weapon Art Team worked on the Multi-Tool rework, Kastak Arms Ravager-212, and the level 2 and 3 upgrades for the Hurston Dynamics Laser Repeaters. They also made minor adjustments to iron sights on a handful of weapons to improve the sight picture and make them more user-friendly. They completed work on the Behring Sawbuck repeaters and kicked off work on Gemini S71 assault rifle and Kastak Arms Coda pistol. Covert Intel Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH… Przeczytaj całość

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