Autor Tema: 10 for the Chairman - Episode 14 - March 31st, 2014  (Leído 657 veces)

20 de Mayo de 2014, 16:14:16
Leído 657 veces


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How is your sound studio developing and what are your plans?
Have you heard of "Real Time Voice Porting"?
Good sound is an essential part of the gaming experience. Could you please present or say something about your plans.

On the sound studio front, we're gonna be building a small sound studio in the new Austin offices, plus we're also expanding into an additional space here in Los Angeles and the space we're expanding into already has a built in sound booth and room that we'll be taking into our office. So we'll have the ability to record actor's voice, for VO and stuff, and do sound balancing here and in Austin, and we'll make sure they're both connected. We have actually a gigabyte internet, fiber, running from here to Austin. So we'll be able to do a fair amount of that.

I actually haven't heard of real time voice porting, so I guess I'll go and google it and find out what it is. It could be you're in Austin and you've got an actor in Los Angeles, and you're basically directing your VO long distance, which we will have the ability to do in our stages.
But yeah, we're gonna have a full featured sound set-up here, and sound's an important part of the game, so we're really focusing on quite a few things.
We're gonna be enhancing the sound system inside Star Citizen. We're gonna make a move to WI's from Fmod. It just has some more real time filters and plug-ins that are good for the sound guys. The sound guys like to use it for the sound editing, and we're really working hard on how to make a realistic sound-scape, and also we're gonna have some great dynamic music.
Anyway, we're pretty focused on the sound, although you haven't really appreciated it yet. But you will be seeing it down the road.

With so many high value accounts existing well before the game is released, would you consider supporting security hardware such as RSA SecurID Authenticator or other such two-step verifications methods?

Well I don't know, that's a good question. That's not so much what I focus on. John Erskin who's head of all out online operations and digital publishing works closely with Turbulent and together they've been working with Jason Spangler, our CTO, on our digital platform.
We're always looking at various ways to increase our security, and thinking ahead of the game. Like when it becomes a bigger game than it is now with a lot more people, in case of fraud or stealing accounts. We've been lucky, we really haven't had much of that so far, but as you become bigger, it always happens.

Luckily we've got some people who have had experience at that. John actually came to us from NC Soft, and before that he was at Origin where he was working on Ultima Online, so he's actually had a lot of big online MMO experience.
So we're thinking about it, we don't have anything firm to say yet, but that's definitely in our plans.

Will Humans be the only playable species upon launch?
If so, do you plan on adding additional "humanoid" species, such as the Banu or Xi'an, to be playable?
I think, as a future add-on, it would work nicely as an expansion pack.

Humans are going to be the only playable species upon launch, but we've said this before, we are planning to eventually let you play some of the other races like Banu or Xi'an, and that would definitely be a major content expansion.

Our plan is that we're gonna have regular content updates, maybe not weekly, but hopefully at least bi-monthly, as we go, but then we'll also have some much bigger content updates which would be, say another single player campaign like Squadron 42, or the ability to play one of the alien races.
So that's all part of our plan, but right now we've go so much just to deliver what we've signed up for that would be stage 2.

Mining and Manufacturing will be an important part of the Persistent Universe.
Will the mining platform in the SQ42 concept art be available for us to purchase in the Star Citizen universe?
What plans do you have for Star Citizen?
Will we have warehouses and silos that we can purchase and expand upon?

I'm not sure about whether a mining operation of the size of the Shubin one that's detailed in Squadron 42 would be available for players to purchase or use right off the bat in the game.
We're definitely planning on allowing players to be able to do mining operations and get groups together to do it on a small scale or a large scale, and you certainly will be able to, as you build up, have a silo or warehouse or have your mining operation.
I think there will definitely be cases where a player will be able to buy a mining station,
then slowly build it up over time, hire other people to help them out, and do all the rest of the stuff.
So it's there, I just don't know whether it will be a base the size of the Shubin one. But maybe that could be down the road. We're still working it out.

We've actually got a pretty cool mining mechanic.
We're gonna do voxelization of asteroids, and there's a whole sort of... It won't be just holding a space bar for two hour and you've now mined something. There will be a lot of logistics involved in terms of getting the minerals, then taking it to someone to get refined, and all the rest of the stuff.
All along the mining and logistics chain, people will get involved. So I think it will be a cool game for people who like to do that, and that's the idea with Star Citizen, to have all these different things you can do with it. It sort of suits all different tastes.

Because Star Citizen is a sandbox, will it be possible to infiltrate an organization with your character?
Will there be some tools to use your main character for that?
For example, I'm in the organization A that is at war with organization B. Will I be able to hide that I'm a member of organization A without leaving my organization so I can infiltrate organization B?
Otherwise it will require a second character.

Yes, we are actually thinking about having spying and infiltration all built in to the game mechanics. It's not in organizations yet, but there is some stuff that we'll drop in the website that will maybe allow a little bit of that in there, and then in the game we will definitely allow people to do a little bit of that.
It's kind of fun, it's a whole 'nother meta-game that can happen, and quite frankly when you read about that stuff happening in EVE, it always seems much more fun than when you watch the videos of it. We're gonna try to build that in, it may actually be cooler when it's more visceral and first person.
So there will definitely be the possibility of that in the game and that's something that we're working towards.

Given the episodic delivery of Squadron 42, will consequences of our actions between episodes migrate to new portions of the story?
For example, if I was on a "losing track" during the first iteration of SQ42, would that be the path I would start on for the next installment of the adventure? (Even if I was doing awesome during my stint in the PU while the next episode was being developed.)

It's probably unlikely that the Persistent Universe is going to be up and fully functioning by the time Squadron 42 is being played in an episodic manner.
The whole concept of us to play Squadron 42 in an episodic manner is, we can't really give everyone the whole thing as a broken alpha because it's a story, so you'd ruin the story.

So the idea is, we will have Squadron 42 in a more polished state when you first start playing it, but it'll only be the first 10 missions 'cause it takes so long to get all these things done and polished correctly. Then we're gonna run it more, think of it like episodic TV or a mini-series event. The team basically will be finishing and polishing the levels, then when they've got it done, they'll be pushing it out to all the backers out there.
And that will be something you're playing while waiting for the full Persistent Universe to come up and running. We'll probably have an alpha or portions of the Persistent Universe, maybe a system or two that you can travel between, but in terms of having the full Persistent Universe that you can really go around and explore all the edges, that won't be until after Squadron 42 will be completed.
The biggest thing we're doing is the Persistent Universe, it has the most amount of content, so that will definitely take the longest.

Our roadmap really is:
Dogfighting, which we're working on right now to get Dogfighting v1 out, the single seater fighters.
Then Dogfighting v2, which will be the multi-crewed ships, the bigger things like the Constellation, Freelancer, and something like the Idris, although the Idris may not make Dogfighting v2 at the beginning and it would be a drop later.
Then after that, we would debut the First Person Combat section, which will probably have an alpha test level that's on an abandoned mining colony that's pretty cool that we're building right now.
And then there will be a combination [DFM v3/Boarding module] of that with the ships, so you can have dogfighting / ship boarding happening. You know, capture one big ship in the middle, then people have to do the fighter cover.
Then we'll probably have a Planet Side module,
And then at that point we will start to got to the episodic delivery of Squadron 42. The first 10 missions, then the next 10 missions,
And then at some point in that we would probably be giving some alpha of the Persistent Universe,
And then by the time Squadron 42's finished, hopefully the Persistent Universe will be ready at least in a beta format for all the backers.
Then sometime after all that, all these things will be done and polished and we'll call it "done." Although nothing's ever done in an online world 'cause we're always gonna be constantly tweaking and improving it.

As far as that goes, you're not really going to be able to play Squadron 42 and then just drop out in the Persistent Universe between the 10 missions you're doing, 'cause you're in the military. It's just like time will have suspended for you when you come back and pick up the story where you left it off. Generally the losing paths that are in the segments of missions we're doing will be in that, whatever you want to call it, episode or whatever. They're fairly self-contained in terms of chapter segments, the different missions. So those probably, at the end of each one you've either failed and left the military, or you're bam onto the next thing, you've got a cliffhanger on what's happening in the next 10 episodes.
That's kind of the structure that we've been working towards.

Given your background as a producer in Hollywood and with the FMV's in the Wing Commander games, what do you think the potential would be for a Star Citizen TV series?

Well, I think the universe, if we manage to do it right, will be pretty compelling, and I think at that point, it will just be about if people want to spend time in the universe.
I mean obviously flying around themselves, but there's quite a lot of people who like to read David Haddock's fiction online, and that's just in the written fashion. Longer term we've been toying around with doing some sort of linear content that would enhance the game experience. Where there potentially would be character that would... Like Kid Crimson's a good example that we had back on our website a while ago, and he'd be a great character to run around the universe. It would be great to have his stories, but not just be written in text, but actually visually see them in the environments of the world, and then occasionally in the game run across the Kid Crimson character.

So that's kind of what we're thinking. That's obviously down the road, it's game first, and then segue to that, but we'd probably want to try and do it in a holistic manner so it works with the whole universe.
We wouldn't really want to license it out somewhere, and we'd probably want to use a lot of our assets. So if we were gonna do it, we're not sure whether it would be all digital characters, or whether it would be actors against green screen, and then the rest would be the universe of Star Citizen using incredibly detailed environments and ships and all the rest of the stuff.

That would be down the road, but we think there could be some great potential there. Obviously there's a lot of stuff out there that people like, and I think people, for anything, if the story and the universe connects enough, I think people like to experience it in more than one manner. I certainly have myself for something like Star Wars.
So longer term, that's something we would consider, but short term, heads down just building the universe in the first place and getting the game out there.

Are there any plans to bring back some of the voice actors from previous Roberts productions (Tcheky Karyo, David Suchet, John Rhys-Davis), use other well known voice actors (Jennifer Hale, Ron Perlman), or start with fresh actors?
PS: Can we have a character(s) voice acted by Chris Roberts, Sandi Gardiner, or Eric "Wingman" Peterson? Beter yet, all 3!

Well we haven't disclosed who we're going to get. I don't really want to do that until we've finished the Squadron 42 script, which we're in the process of writing. We've got the outline and everything, but we haven't finished it, it's gonna be 700 pages+.
It's fairly large, but that's what happens on something that is this scale. But yes, we are going to have some, we're definitely going to be bringing back a few people that I've worked with before, and also we'll be bringing in some really interesting, good character actors.
Obviously I have a lot of experience from making my movies and I have a lot of relationships, so for instance I've worked with Ron Perlman, he's a great guy, we made Outlander together. And there's a whole bunch of other people who I think would be great to use in our game.

We'd probably, if we bring the actors in, we're doing full body motion capture, full facial capture, and also head-scanning and all the rest. So if we did have Ron Perlman or someone who's a fan favorite in, it would look like them, which would be kind of cool. We'll do that, and I'm sure there's gonna be some cameos from the various development people here.
I mean if you remember Wing 3 and Wing 4, and actually the Wing Commander movie too, I have a cameo in every one of them. I'm pretty confident that we'll be putting myself, and Sandi, and Eric, and probably a few other people in the universe.
It's a big universe, so we've got to populate it with a lot of different people.

Given the nature of the persistent universe with fringe systems also being the most lawless, are PvP and exploration intrinsically linked?
Will I need to always be ready to fight for my life while exploring and bring an Idris full of battle-hardened friends whenever I go?

I don't necessarily think so, because that's making the assumption that if you're exploring and finding new systems, that the system is teaming with pirates or PvP. Which won't necessarily be the case. Some of the exploring stuff is gonna be off the beaten path, and therefore won't be somewhere that everyone will naturally go to.
So in certain cases, in the exploration mode, we're probably going to have it tuned in such a way that the ability for a PvP encounter in that exploration mode wouldn't necessarily be as high as being in a notorious, lawless, pirate system.
Now that's not to say there won't be any chance of it at all, 'cause there definitely will be. There has to be some risk, there has to be some tension when you're in the unknown, you don't know who you're gonna come across.

I think that's definitely gonna add to the game experience, but the goal would be to balance that. There's a whole bunch of things that we're gonna try and do. I know we always have raging debates between PvP and PvE on the forums and everyone's pretty much dug in. It's intractable, it's like an argument on religion or politics, but my naive hope is that I have pretty good system that will hopefully make both sides pleasantly surprised and deal with most of the issues that everyone's worried about.
But we'll see, we have to wait until we get there. So I would ask everyone that you wait until that happens and also we do key balancing. We've got some tricks up our sleeve, I think we'll make it work well, and everyone's got to remember there's gonna be a huge amount of people from both sides, PvP and PvE, playing this game.
I know that everyone on the PvP side feels, "Well if there aren't PvP people there that I can fight, then who am I going to be able to take out easily?" Which doesn't make much sense, because there's no reason why NPCs aren't going to be as tough as a normal player, and vise versa on the PvE, "Well if everyone's PvP, they're just out to gank me." Which also I don't think is necessarily true.
But we certainly can make sure that people that have a preference one way or another tend to be grouped together when they play, and that effects what they're doing in the game.

It's sort of a delicate balancing system, there's a lot of metrics that will go into it. I have some pretty good strong ideas, I mean all I can say is that people should take faith in the fact that the game will be balanced in the way that I'd like it to be played, and the way I'd like it to be played is, I'm not extreme on either side. Some days I like to be competing doing PvP, and some days I like to be doing PvE and I don't want to be dealing with other people.
So the game is going to allow you to have those experiences in such a way that it won't be detrimental to the other experience.
There you go, I'm sure there will be a massive forum war raged on this right after this episode.

Will Squadron 42 or the Star Citizen PU contain content that pays homage to some of your past games (Wing Commander or Freelancer) that fans will pick up on in NPC dialogue, UEE news bulletins, hidden easter eggs, or the like?

So all I can say is yes in fact. If you've noticed, we already done it.
If you look at the Squadron 42 cinematic trailer we did back in 2012, there's lots of Wing Commander homages there. We've definitely got some. Even in the dogfight that's coming up, we have a homage to Wing Commander.
You'll see in the virtual network that you join to do the dogfighting simulation, the company that has created it in 2944 is all kind of a homage. We'll definitely continue to do that, and it will be fun.

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