Pax South 2015 Town Hall Panels

Discussion in 'Star Citizen' started by Arcfire, Jan 28, 2015.

Pax South 2015 Town Hall Panels

Discussion in 'Star Citizen' started by Arcfire, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    I am working on breaking down the points of interest, about halfway done so far:

    Some info will obviously be old news:

    Official Schedule:
    1:00 pm Backer Entry
    2-3 pm Panel 1: The Path You Choose
    3-4 pm Panel 2: A Living, Breathing World
    4-5 pm Panel 3: Getting Social
    5-6 pm Game Ideas Forum
    6:30-8 pm Team Meet & Greet
    8-9 pm Presentation with Chris Roberts
    9-11 pm Citizen Mix & Mingle

    First panel - The Path You Choose

    Part 1:
    - Layering being worked on, tucking layers into other layers, etc.
    - Base male mode we see in game no is oging to be completely replaced with physical scans, much higher fidelity
    - Talks ongoing with 3Lateral (Ryse)
    - Face scanning rig, at UK studio, Chris had head scanned recently
    - Working on face detail blending from various scan samples, muscle simulation, etc.
    - Working with The Imaginarium Studios (Andy Serkis) and Cubic Motion on body and facial animation
    - When FPS and Social module comes out (end of March-ish) you will see first iterations of these new character systems.
    - Looking into better ways to do hair like TressFX
    - Will be able to adjust character size, and thin and fat, within certain upper and lower bounds to fit into cockpits
    - Jewelry and tattoos are a given
    - Face scanners don't really work with beards currently... TressFX might be the solution, eventually they will find a way, they promise
    - Two versions away in PU build from letting you select starting planet
    - SimPod is new access point for AC and FPS module, coming with room system, etc.
    - Social module will use main elevators as access points from hangar into main PU city spaces
    - Buggy skins are basically a test run for the new paint system they have been working on

    Part 2:
    - Near term project, automated loading hangar, in-game selection (and animation) of ship deployment, like the Japanese parking structures
    - Some ships will be too big for hangar parking, will likely park in orbit and shuttle down
    - After visiting a place for the umpteenth time, how do they change things up to keep it interesting? #1 implement active security measures (turrets, guards, etc.), then allow open carry. Security coverage will vary from one area to the next and depend on time of day.
    - Customs will determine whether you are licensed to carry a weapon in a given area (based on your reputation per planet, etc.)
    - Security measures will be higher quality on upper scale planets like Terra, but may be completely absent on places like Nyx

    Part 3:
    - Instance technology will allow GMs or Mods to place players flagged as "griefers" into separate instances where they wont bother anyone except other griefers
    - Griefers are not the same as pirates
    - Griefing might result in revoked carry licences to start, then instance flagging, then ultimately full on banishment from the planet as a whole for a TBD period of time.
    - Stealing will be some sort of fleshed out mechanic
    - Gold Shirt will be hidden in temple of doom on a rim world somewhere (probably)
    - Astro Armada, an upscale ship dealership, was shown off
    - Aiming for 6-ish shop types with 10-ish quality variations of each shop at release
    - Cubby Blast, weapons shop, was shown off
    - Transactions will be done via MobiGlas, purchases will be delivered and show up in your hangar
    - Hangar is basically a repository for all your junk
    - Some stores are chains, some are not
    - Hospital, where you spawn after dying, also where you buy medical consumables of various types
    - TDD, Trade Development Division, place where you go to post and accept public jobs/missions, see market prices, buy/sell, etc.

    Part 4:
    - We will have a lot of new stuff to walk around and explore in two months or so!
    - Mercenary jobs = paid gun for hire, assault and secure target xyz, escort, defend, retrieve, etc.
    - Rescue jobs = medic + evac + recover ejected pilots
    - Transport jobs = move junk from A to B
    - The point is to have a plethora of mission types for players to peruse
    - Mining is dangerous, gas pockets can rupture and blow stuff up. You will have scanning operators, beam operators, loading operators, pilot to move around the asteroid, refinery operator, etc.
    - Splitting these jobs among several players makes the process much more efficiently, hence multicrew
    - Exothermic reaction monitor (avoid chain reactions), seismic monitor... basically lots of shit can go wrong when mining
    - NPCs have various stats monitored in the background, Vanduul AI already has this sort of thing going on

    Part 5:
    - Pioneer/Explorer = guy who just wants to fly around and discover new stuff all the time, makes money selling nav data to get to those places
    - Scientists = make money risking their asses by flying too close to scary stuff like stars, black holes, comets, trying to collect data

    ----Break, end of first panel

    Second Panel - A Living, Breathing World

    Part 6:
    - Takes time for quantum drive to spin up, have to be pointing in the right direction, etc. much like Elite Dangerous Frame Shift
    - Can't change course once quantum drive engaged
    - Wormholes rated by class (size) into about 3 categories, class 1, 2, 3 for small medium large
    - Might result in perishible items being very expensive to transport
    - Navigators map jump points, keep the data up to date as wormholes shift, sell data to others
    - Flying a jump is not 100% automatic, but having nav data makes it easier
    - They don't like the idea of failing a jump destroying your ship
    - Instead they might calculate what percentage of the jump you have completed, then throw you either back out the start, or out the finish, but with some damage to your ship
    - Wormholes are being approached with an artistic mindset of Fantastic Voyage
    - Showed off an early concept build of galactic map
    - Information grow stale over time

    Part 7:
    - Transitory PoI (point of interest) = things that pop up temporarily that you can quantum drive to, unlike permanent PoI like planets, stations, etc.
    - Also will be able to see distress calls in system on nav display
    - If your quantum drive takes you near anomalies like meteor showers, battles, etc. you will drop out automatically and have to navigate around or deal with the issue before going back to quantum.
    - Want the ability to have big FPS battles in some areas for those who just want to go do a bunch of FPS, hence places like The Blocks on Terra, various stations, etc.
    - Modular building sets help make it easy to build out big battlefield areas for this purpose
    - How to make modular building assets not look too samey? 1) architecture styles (hangars represent the first few styles). 2) History of each place informs details. 3) Historical landmarks. 4) Ruins. 5) Economic slider changes blend layers from super filthy to very clean. 6) weather. 7) day-night cycles.
    - Various economy statistics are tracked and factor into what you see going on day-to-day on the ground. Things like population cross section, smog levels, proportion of storefronts open or closed, etc.
    - There will of course be time compression, still no decision on numbers
    - Shops will not be open around the clock so you will have to decide if it is worth waiting or going to somewhere less reputable to get what you need asap

    Part 8:
    - Unlikely that players will be able to corner the market, but never say never. 90% NPC population will make it difficult. Your best bet is to go to areas with smaller NPC populations to have a bigger impact. This suggests some places will have different ratios of NPC to PC, and that 90% is just an overall average figure
    - Example, two orgs go to war, a third clever org starts stockpiling ships and weapons, knowing that prices will go up soon as demand rises
    - How do players contribute to the PU at large? 1) do missions. 2) participate in transitory events.
    - NPCs will interact with each other whether or not PCs are there to observe or not, to keep things moving and changing at all times

    Audience questions:
    - If someone discovers asteroid field, etc but then abandons it forever? If transitory events are left alone for long periods of time, they might get phased out to clear room for explorers to come in and discover new sites.
    - Safeguards against race conditions? Will there be GMs, etc.? Everything that happens on the player side doesn't have 1:1 correlation in the PU simulation, it is more fuzzy logic, hitting thresholds that then flip switches to trigger changes. There is a fudge factor in translation from what players do and how it is reflected in the simulation. Even if the simulation server goes offline, the game doesn't crash, it just cant change things in the PU until it gets started back up. It's always possible that things can get out of whack, no hard limit as to how far you can push things one way or another, but the farther things get pushed, the harder it becomes to push it. "Spring based scaling"

    Part 9:

    Audience questions cont.
    - Economy simulation is like a turn based game, the server steps through systems one by one, checking status, tweaking values, over and over and over. Each turn is X minutes (haven't decided how often tweaks will be made)
    - Devs make sets of random encounter templates, then economy sim determines where to load them in, and as the encounters are dealt with, simulation check for that, sees it, then factors back into the system

    ----Break, end of panel

    Third Panel - Getting Social

    Part 10:
    - Social module release (March/April) bullet points:
    - Multi-player hangars (server persistence)
    -- Chat system, friend system, elevator up to city, sim pod, shops, (no clothing store yet), early NPC interaction, 50% of underlying technology in place, lots of MoCap still to do, test animations for NPCs, no real economic simulation plugged in yet, invite other players to your hangars
    - When two players go into same hangar, it magically gets shunted over to a server rather than existing client side, tentative plans to allow you up into ArcCorp to look around, but not do much there as of March
    - Real problem at this point is optimizations to relive server load, more logic needs to be moved client side (several months of work) before they can allow more than a handful of players into the same instance, and start dumping in tons of NPCs to those instances
    - Plans for friend system, contact list on website is not a true friend system yet, as there is no accept request functionality, work is going in to making that reality, looking to expand on that after social module release

    Part 11:
    - Might eventually have a mailbox attached to account on website linked to game, etc.
    - Social module is a test bed of migrating all your client data into the PU database, in a middle ground mode. Changes to ships, damage, etc. will persist between log-ins, but they will give you the option to reload your inventory up from scratch whenever you want to get yous ship back in shape, etc. Just a test mode for the next 6-9 months or so while full persistence gets worked out, etc.
    - Org chat and friends list will have to more or less be MAGIC FTL speed as far as game fiction goes, because even though you shouldn't be able to know what is going on all over, people in real life will always be communicating that sort of information. You can't force a time delay for that sort of stuff.
    - 3 major PU milestones planned for this year: (1) Social module (walk around mode) (2) more persistence, buy and sell, visit other planets in system, maybe some quantum travel (3) end of year, mini version of PU with maybe 5-10 systems to travel between and check out.
    - planning on Terra prime, Chris looked at it and it suddenly got bigger... Super Modernist architecture set, Terra is going to be huge compared to a lot of places, because in fiction it is one of the largest known trading centers in the galaxy
    - Terra is a special case, going to take more time to build out than places like ArcCorp or Nyx
    - Scope of game has gone way bigger than Chris originally envisioned

    Part 12:
    - Originally planet side locations weren't even going to be something you could walk around in
    - Technically two people could land on the platform, get out, and have a pistol duel already because of the Cryengine back end
    - Insert joke about pulling up skirts and working to polish what is underneath
    - Someday, long from now, pets will be in game, just not anytime soon
    - Chris tangents, reiterations of stuff we already know (how far we have come, yadda yadda)
    - Much of the work going on in Austin is behind the scenes stuff that we don't see much of. Live operations and dev-ops and QA, Take code, deploy it, test it, build it, etc. Public Test Universe, copying account data, is early version of what you will see in social module, copying your client data back into the system
    - Load balancing, account databases, etc. all interesting stuff but maybe not so glamorous to show off to public

    Part 13:

    More Audience Questions:
    - Player inventory, how will it work in PU? Can people shoot you and take all your stuff or will it be more percentage based like WoW? If you kill someone, yes you can loot all their stuff. In space, cargo and stuff will only persist as long as the instance stays up, so you wouldn't want to dump cargo out in the middle of nowhere and come back for it a week later, because it would have evaporated by then most likely
    - Instancing will be handled in background, you wont be able to choose what "district" you are in manually.
    - Game server is the real time server that handles the simulation, like in AC now. There are other separate servers like economy server that feed into the bigger servers to balance load and break up work. Should feel seamless and relatively smooth so long as you are within reasonable distance of their geographic game servers
    - Party system will always take precedence to allow you to play with your friends, follow specific target players through instances, respond to distress calls, etc. Default matchmaking gets overridden by that stuff
    - APIs will allow players to pull various data about leader boards, pilot data, etc. Not sure how much of it will be available publicly or privately or not at all
    - Want to allow you to do some busywork type stuff on tablet app or through website out of game like check inventory, check mission boards, watch market values, star map, etc.

    Part 14:

    Questions cont.
    - What happens if you leave you ship unattended in space for some reason? Not decided yet, maybe it wont persist as an instance for everyone to see, but that instance might get rebuilt when you come back to the location. Though if you try to log out or leave in the middle of a battle instance, obviously your ship will stick around because other players are active, and thus the server keeps the instance open with all the stuff active in it, attended or no
    - In addition to reserving instance slots for friends, there will also be slots reserved for your rivals, as they might be trying to hunt you down, track you, etc. Not sure how that factors into griefing yet.
    - Probably will end up being more mission triggered, like you put out a bounty for player X, then someone sees player X and contacts you to relay that info, then you would be able to show up and the server would prioritize putting you in the instance with them.

    End of third Panel

    Supposedly there was another panel (Game Ideas Forum) after this but it didn't get covered by these guys for whatever reason.

    Then there is the 'Presentation with Chris Roberts' which I believe is the first video they put up:

    Presentation: (may reiterate some information stated above)
    - End of march, start of april, FPS and Social Module release
    - Pic of Terra tower 3:20
    - Terra tower ~ 3 km tall (Skelton showed up)
    - Who controls currency in the PU? How does a pirate use currency? No physical currency? Maybe there will be bitcoin type currencies. Perhaps the currency will not be tracked easily. You will probably be limited more on where you can buy and sell rather than what currency you use.
    - Terra is THE big place, but will not be in the first PU drop around March/April (that's ArcCorp), maybe more like the second drop around early summer
    - v1.1 is Social Module
    - Simpod will be in hangar for AC and FPS in v1.1
    - Early NPC AI will be seen in v1.1
    - Jump point relay pic 8:45
    - Relays release drones that relay info between wormholes
    - Buggy skins whee, demonstrate paint system being implemented
    - Long term you will be able to make your own paint jobs
    - Sim pod pic 11:00
    - multiplayer hangar elevator pic 12:20
    - Short term, landing zones will have some window shopping (look but can't buy yet)
    - Cubby Blast shop 14:00
    - Only Dumper's Depo and Trade Development Division shops are anywhere near being done at this point
    - 15:00 showing off some mobiglas demo footoage
    - Planning to have glasses or holo-lens so you dont have to bring up an arm mount to look at stuff (not sure I want to be a glasshole, but w/e0
    - Mark says to be aware while browsing, that's when people sneak up and shiv you while you're distracted.
    - Chris says you wont always have to bring your arm up to use mobiglas
    - early inventory screen shown off 17:40
    - showed some art updates to ArcCorp customs area 18:00
    - Customs might reject admittance if your carry licence is revoked, etc. until you go stow your weapon back on your ship
    - showing off medical unit 19:25
    - medical unit is where you will respawn or buy medical items like bandages, defibrillators, stims, etc.
    - showing off bar 20:10
    - you can actually sit in the seats and dance in there whee
    - will see people wandering around doing rudimentary AI
    - bar quality will change depending on the neighborhood
    - showing off some clothing layers 21:40
    - Astro Armada ship dealer footage 22:25
    - TDD footage 22:50
    - TDD has market info, missions, etc.
    - Getting close to having some test missions for PU to go obtain loot etc.
    - Cargo containers have a stasis field to keep junk from bumping around
    - Containers will have a sort of power pack control device that lets you plug in to the container and maneuver them around with some hover packs or thrusters etc.
    - 26:30 concept pic of Mobiglas nav map interface
    - 27:00 early mockup vid of nav map displayed in ship holo interface
    - these maps are what your will see distress calls etc. pop up on
    - 27:30 pic of jump points
    - 28:15 good quality jump point video (lookee here)
    - Mark says don't screw up or you'll die (maybe jokingly?0
    - 29:35 pic of Nyx area, pirate zone

    30:00 bookmark, more notes to come

    UPDATE: hit the character limit, see below for last chunk of notes
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
    Signal Warden and Cirsphe like this.
  2. Cirsphe

    Cirsphe Veteran Member

    Thanks for this - I don't have the time recently to sit through these presentations anymore.
  3. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    planning to do second half at work tomorrow
    Cirsphe likes this.
  4. Fell

    Fell Guild Admin Staff Member

    Hmm, need a keep thread unread switch to remember to come back to this when i have time - good stuff thanks for putting it all down here!
    syberghost likes this.
  5. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Parts 7-14 are up, apparently there was a fourth panel (maybe more?) that these guys were not able to cover. Perhaps we will see it tomorrow. Also there is was a presentation later in the day that I am working on getting some notes for, but its a whole other hour so might take some time.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  6. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    further note updates rolling in, nearly done
  7. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Guess I hit the character limit. Here is the last chunk:

    - Nyx was originally mining colony, then abandoned, squatters and pirates came in and set up shop
    - Not necessarily a friendly place to visit
    - Virgil, in concept only, 32:00
    - Helios, concept only, 32:20
    - Helios is a water planet with a walled city, very old city, lots of history
    - another neat picture of Helios at 33:10
    - There will be planet locations that incorporate technology of the other races, or mixes thereof
    - valdir put us over $70 Million, as prize he gets a Connie Phoenix whee

    Final Q&A:
    - What about pirates? They will be one of the more interesting roles in game. They are constantly thieving and smuggling, which means there will need to be tons of mechanics for smuggling, stealing, jamming distress calls, sneaking items through customs. Best way to get small stuff through pirate controlled space is to outrun them, for bigger stuff you will want good armor, turrets, and escorts. Any UEE assistance will have a lag time to get there to help out, so you will need to have a way to protect yourself.
    - Can you permahire NPCs? No, that would be slavery, NPC mercs are hired on monthly contract (don't think that applies to character slot NPCs)
    - Fake ship ID codes, shielded cargo holds, fencing items, etc.
    - Places like Nyx will be more willing to deal in contraband than places like Terra Prime, but those fences will likely take a heavier cut, so it might not be as profitable, but better than nothing.
    - Currently not planning to have NPCs mutiny on you (unless you miss too many paychecks of course)
    - Will we see an SC movie or TV series? Game comes first, but maybe some in fiction linear stories will be done. Might be doable down the line to have some features every now and then.
    - Can we mod our own movies or series? Yes they are working on cinematic camera tools and so on to let people do that sort of thing if they like
    - In the real world people would use nukes. Are there any plans for that sort of thing? No, it isn't particularly fun for game scenarios, but there will be stuff like long range radar (10-30 km out) and maybe some long range missile type stuff.
    - Will we have AWAX and target handoff mechanics? Yes you will see that sort of thing show up around multicrew.
    - Combat is not the primary way you will be finding good salvage, odds are most of that stuff gets blown up in the process. Probably will find more goodies on derelicts and stuff out of combat zones.
    - How fast will quantum travel be? The upper limit is basically how long it takes to stream the new area data to your computer. Until then actual speeds are more or less up in the air. Full speed traversal of systems will take like 10 mins.
    - Will there be other games on the SimPod? Other than variations of AC and FPS, they don't really have any plans for other stuff right now, they have plenty to do. AC and FPS modes will continue to expand though.
    - Eventually you will see combined modes like 'capture the Idris' that wraps all the prototype stuff together.
  8. Cirsphe

    Cirsphe Veteran Member

    Rapiers and Sabers for boarding actions confirmed!
  9. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    I think the disintegrate gun in the sneak peak today would probably get the job done.
  10. Cirsphe

    Cirsphe Veteran Member

    would a "Defenestrate gun" count as a "fencing item"
  11. Thrack

    Thrack Veteran Member

    So glad Chris R. brought on his old friend Tony. Tony lives for this type of complexity, perfect person to implement this. Saw a multi part interview with him last fall, right before he came onboard. He was trying to implement stuff like this (crudely due to the limits) back in the 90s on games he worked on.
  12. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    I just wish someone would give him some public speaking pointers, ya know?
  13. Thrack

    Thrack Veteran Member

    Nervousness with a stream of constantly flowing ideas. Always been behind the scenes, now front and center, guy just wants to devise systems lol.
  14. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Finally got some time to watch the game design forum video they put up. Was choc full of goodness, but sadly only lasted an hour, and with setup and such the video ended up about 40 mins. They definitely need to do more of these in the future, and make them a lot longer.


    Persistent Universe Game Ideas Forum:
    - Take in game photos of your character with your future replacement benefactor at character creation? A sense of historical connection through your predecessors? They liked the idea.
    - What if reputation increased the scale of response of NPC factions when you attacked other factions, etc. They already plan to do that sort of thing.
    - If you have multiple game packages, you can play any of them as different characters, you can have friends jump in and operate them, and you can have them controlled by A.I. No info on what kind of cap on slots there might be. (If I were to ask a follow up it would be if we could purchase additional game package slots with in game currency)
    - Long term they want to add more procedural exploration, allow colony founding on newly discovered planets. Might come down the line after content allowing players to own and operate existing places. Not necessarily on a Simcity sort of scale. More end game style with many players working together to contribute resources and build up bases of operation or take over economic nodes to exert player control.
    - Crafting is one of those things they aren't fully ready to talk about yet, it is further down the line (like a year away).
    - You wont be able to just buy the best version of everything in every shop on every planet. The best stuff is going to be spread far and wide so that players can make long term goals out of seeking out the next neat upgrade, and players will also be able to make a business out of moving that kind of desirable merchandise around, under contract or otherwise.
    - A bunch of stuff in the final design of the game is going to be skill based (but maybe not so much twitch based) to make being better at the game actually produce better rewards. They don't like the way may games encourage farming or just mashing the same buttons over and over.
    - A nemesis system (sort of Shadows of Mordor in concept) is being worked on. Being able to avenge your predecessor, etc. Looking at implementing Meta AI, sort of a high level decision making process for AI at larger scope. Life goals and so on that NPCs work towards over long periods. They want a macroscopic component to NPC AI to layer on top of the day to day AI tasks.
    - Universe simulation is intended to have a lot of built-in levers that devs can pull to set up chain reactions for big NPC events in order to keep the economy and PU as a whole from getting too stale. (I assume these sort of dev-induced macro events would roll out along with each patch on the sort of two week turnaround schedule they are aiming for)
    - Strip clubs, casinos, collecting rare alien animals and selling them to pirate lord collectors? They were not keen on discussing strip clubs so much, but you will probably see some more wilderness oriented landing sites sprinkled around that are not really based on city centers. Example given by CR was a science station up on the side of a mountain that you would land at the base of and use a rover to deliver supplies up the winding mountain road, maybe whilst getting accosted by poachers or wild (alien) animals.
    - There is definitely a gun nerd faction within the Austin dev team that wants to see traditional firearms that have stood the test of time make it into the future (M1911, AK-47 and so on).

    Then they ran out of time and the video ended rather abruptly. Sadface.
    Fell, stat and Cirsphe like this.
  15. Fell

    Fell Guild Admin Staff Member

    Thanks for that last batch of notes, that was probably the best of the bunch in terms of new information and game direction.

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