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  1. Today
  2. Extinction Chronicles IV! Extinction Chronicles IV is now live! Leading up to the release of Extinction there will be monthly drops of Extinction-related Explorer Notes on The Island, Scorched Earth, and Aberration. Once collected these notes will unlock new Extinction-related skins! There will also be the appearance of more powerful Tek-themed Dinosaur variants within the ARKs each month. These Tek Dinos are permanent additions (meaning they will continue to spawn even after the event is over), with a new one beginning to appear each month. * In Extinction Chronicles I we released three Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Helmet and the Tek Rex. * In Extinction Chronicles II we released three Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Boots and the Tek Stego. * In Extinction Chronicles III we released three Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Pants and the Tek Raptor. And now, we're excited to bring you three new Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Shirt and a new Tek creature, the Tek Parasaur! In addition, special colored dinos will be populating the ARKs. You'll be able to find creatures sporting black and green for the next month beginning tomorrow. Be sure to take advantage of these special colors before they're extinct! Patch Notes! Here are the full fixes and notes in Extinction Chronicles IV update. - Extinction Chronicles IV - Added Tek Parasaur * New breeding line * 5% chance to spawns * 20% higher base level - Added new color set (green and black) - Added 3 new Explorer Notes and matching unlock (Corrupted Chest) - Increased maximum player level by 1 - Hole fixes on The Island, Ragnarok, Scorched Earth, The Center, Aberration - Windmills are no longer affected by electric storms - Decreased Cliff Platform build radius by half New Extinction Previews! In celebration of the patch today we're sharing what we have been working on: some more brand new previews of our upcoming expansion pack ARK: Extinction. Check out the images below for a sneak peak at what you can expect to see on planet Earth! In Extinction, Earth has become an Element-infested planet filled with fantastical creatures both organic and technological. Element has ravaged the planet and corrupted both the landscape and some of its inhabitants, causing mutations in the creatures and plants that can be found there. We look forward to sharing more in the months ahead as we work towards our Extinction release! Be sure to check out yesterdays Community Crunch post on our website for the full Crunch announcement post.[survivetheark.com]View the full article
  3. Our next update is changing Competitive Rocket League in a big way! The Season 9 Update will be available on all platforms September 24 (pending first-party certification) and, as the name implies, it will mark the start of Competitive Season 9. The biggest change coming with Season 9? Ranked Extra Modes -- as Dropshot, Hoops, Rumble and Snow Day shed their 'Casual Playlist' status and join the Rank-based 'Competitive' fray. Check out our full Season 8 Rewards/ Season 9 breakdown blog from last week[www.rocketleague.com] for more information. What’s joining the new Competitive Season in the update? Season 8 Rewards A new in-game soundtrack EP -- ‘Rocket League x Monstercat Vol. 4’ Our new Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC Pack[www.rocketleague.com] Quality of Life improvements, like shortening the post-match progression screen ...and bug fixes! Remember, Competitive Season 8 will end roughly one hour before the Season 9 Update goes live -- we’ll share the exact timing on Twitter -- so be sure to lock in your top Rank and Season Reward Level before it’s too late. Thanks, everyone!View the full article
  4. OceanicBot

    Ape maps, chemists, addiction, and more. View the full article
  5. Yesterday
  6. OceanicBot

    Every week, designers, engineers and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on SPECTRUM and voted on by YOU. You can submit your questions for consideration in future episodes of Calling All Devs here. And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions View the full article
  7. OceanicBot

    Hi everyone, Last week, after gathering questions about our latest concept ship on Spectrum, we released the Q&A for the Crusader Industries Mercury, the Star Runner chassis catering to governments and the private sector alike. Make sure to check out the Mercury before it’s gone, as it’s only available until September 18th! Don’t have any plans for October 10th yet? Check out the CitizenCon 2948 website with details about the biggest Star Citizen event happening in Austin, Texas. The MISC Commercial Contest ended last week, and you should check out all of the incredible entries to get a glimpse of what the life of a miner in the ‘verse feels like. We want to thank everyone who sent in a video and hope that you had as much fun creating the videos, as we had watching them! Didn’t win anything this time around, matey? No worries, the next contest is rrright arrround the corrrner, arrr! And with that, let’s see what else is going on this week: Every week on Calling All Devs, designers, engineers, and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on Spectrum and voted for by YOU. This week we we talk about joystick and gamepad support, ship locking mechanics, rest stops and more. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on the notifications to be amongst the first to watch! On Tuesday, our Lore Team will publish another in-fiction gem, continuing the “On the Run” story published back in August. If you have some catching up to do, you can find Part 1 here. Thursday will welcome another episode of Around the Verse where we’ll take a look at the latest Star Citizen news with a project update. Finally, make sure to tune in on Friday for another episode of Reverse the Verse, broadcast live on our Star Citizen Twitch channel. We’re looking forward to a Hammerhead double feature with a Ship Shape followed by a Q&A session at 9am Pacific! Keep an eye on Spectrum for the questions thread! We’ll see you in the ‘Verse! Ulf Kuerschner Senior Community Manager The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2018 Calling All Devs (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2018 Lore Post (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2018 #TalkLikeAPirateDay THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2018 Around the Verse (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) Vault Update FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2018 Reverse the Verse LIVE (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen) Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: September 17th, 2018 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 in this section. The highlighted content creator will be awarded with 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! The Dream That is Star Citizen by WarBarbl Featuring music by the wonderful Pedro Camacho, this video by WarBarbl captures unique and atmospheric shots in a stunning 4k fan trailer. Great job! Full video on the Community Hub. View the full article
  8. https://youtu.be/QkEH61jcWBg We’re teaming up with Hot Wheels for the second year in a row[www.rocketleague.com] to bring even more die-cast inspired action to Rocket League! Dropping September 24, the Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC Pack[www.rocketleague.com] is one of our biggest Premium DLC packs ever. Working closely with our friends at Mattel, we’ve transformed three legendary Hot Wheels models into sweet new Battle-Cars -- ‘Gazella GT,’ ‘MR11’ and ‘Fast 4WD,’ each with four unique Decals. Plus there are new ‘Gorilla,’ ‘Snake’ and ‘Spider’ Toppers straight out of the Hot Wheels canon. The Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC Pack will be available on all platforms for $5.99 or regional equivalent. But that's not all! In addition to our in-game DLC, the die-cast Hot Wheels Rocket League 5-Pack will be available beginning mid-October at participating stores worldwide! The Gazella GT, MR11, Fast 4WD, and last year's DLC cars, Bone Shaker and Twin Mill III are all brought to life as real-world diecast cars with Rocket League branded paint jobs. Plus, specially-marked packs will include a code that unlocks the exclusive in-game DLC item, ‘Hot Hot Wheels.’ Finally, we're also bringing FREE Hot Wheels content to Rocket League to celebrate our partnership. A FREE ‘Hot Wheels Rivals’ Arena will be coming to all platforms, along with several new Customization Items at the same time as our DLC! Check out the trailer up top, enjoy the screenshots down below. [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net]View the full article
  9. Last week
  10. OceanicBot

    RTV is back in LA with another Gamedev special! Designer Calix Reneau will build a game system prototype for potential research mechanics and answer questions LIVE. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into http://twitch.tv/starcitizen. View the full article
  11. OceanicBot

    The return of asteroid mining, focused audio, and Lorville air traffic in this week’s update. View the full article
  12. It’s time to conquer that Diamond III-Division IV hurdle and cross-off your remaining Season Reward Level wins, because the end of Competitive Season 8 is near! Season 8 will conclude with the release of our next update and Competitive Season 9 will then officially commence! As always, we'll have Season Rewards in tow and Season 8 is all about Rocket Boosts! Check out the images up top (Silver, Champion, Gold left to right) and below (Bronze, Diamond, Platinum) to see all six Boosts planned for the roll-out. We'll have more to share on these Boosts closer to their release with the next update. Here’s the distribution breakdown: Bronze I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Bronze’ Rocket Boost Silver I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Silver’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Gold I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Gold’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Platinum I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Platinum’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Diamond I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Diamond’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Champion I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Champion’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Grand Champion – 'Season 8 Grand Champion' in-game Title + all Season 8 Rocket Boosts Remember, in order to be eligible for Season 8 Reward items, you must complete placement matches in a Competitive Playlist AND fulfill the appropriate Season Reward Level(s). You can learn more about Season Reward Levels here[support.rocketleague.com]. Additionally, any account found to be abusing the matchmaking system may lose out on Season 8 Rewards entirely. Season 9 DetailsOur next update marks the beginning of one of our most exciting Competitive Seasons to date! Extra Modes (formerly known as Ranked Sports) are coming to Competitive for the first time ever! Rumble, Dropshot, Hoops and Snow Day are all being converted to Competitive Playlists -- 2v2 for Hoops and 3v3 for the other Playlists -- found under the new ‘Extra Modes’ tab in the Playlist Menu. Similar to Competitive Soccar, you will have a unique MMR in each Playlist where you’ll need to complete ten placement matches for each before obtaining a Rank. All of the same Competitive rules (forfeiting, matchmaking bans, etc.) will still apply as well. How are Rewards going to work with these changes? Extra Mode wins will contribute to the same Season Reward Level as your Soccar matches. For those putting serious time in with Extra Modes, we’re also considering additional Season Rewards like Extra Mode-specific Grand Champion titles. Alongside these additions to Competitive play, Rumble, Dropshot, Hoops and Snow Day will no longer appear as Casual Playlist options. (You can still use these modes in Private Matches, Local Matches, and Tournaments.) Due to population split, keeping Extra Modes in both Casual and Competitive could lead to great difficulty finding matches -- something we want to avoid for their inaugural Competitive Season. Want to play Extra Modes without worrying about Competitive Ranks? We’re giving you the option to hide your Rank for these modes so you can maintain a more casual mentality while playing. We hope you’re as excited for these Rewards and changes as us -- we can't wait to see the boxing gloves, tiles, basketballs and hockey pucks fly this coming season! Be sure to share your thoughts on the Extra Modes changes on Twitter, Discord[discord.gg] and the Subreddit. View the full article
  13. OceanicBot

    Q&A: Crusader Mercury Following the launch of the Mercury Star Runner from Crusader Industries, we took your top voted questions to our designers in an effort to get you more information about this recently revealed data runner. If you haven’t watched the recent Ship Shape on the Mercury, you can do so here. We also sat down with the developers behind the ship in a special Townhall Q&A, LIVE from Gamescom which you can watch here. Special thanks to John Crewe and Todd Papy for taking the time to answer questions. What are the differences in scanning between a ship like the Terrapin and the Mercury? Are they similar enough that a Mercury can be fitted to perform a Terrapin’s role equally well, or better? Dedicated scanning ships, or ships equipped with dedicated scanners are built around that gameplay, which is not what the Mercury is built for. The Mercury’s scanners are only good enough to intercept local communications, rather than scanning of unknown areas or picking up low signatures at distance like the Terrapin can. The Terrapin, when crewed effectively, will always surpass the Mercury in terms of scanning efficiency. Think of the Mercury as a hybrid cargo ship, between freight and data. Considering its weaponry and supposed light armor, shouldn’t the Mercury be faster than the Cutlass or Vanguard, which are armored and have more firepower? To follow up, the Mercury is considered to be fast, but the stats shows us it’s not much faster than a Freelancer. Can we expect the speeds to be adjusted? As always, all stats are subject to change and if we find out during production the Mercury isn’t fast enough to fulfil its role we’ll adjust as necessary. Generally as ships get larger they get slower in the current design, so as the Mercury sits in between the Freelancer and Cutlass, it currently sits in between their speed ranges, although there are a whole host of parameters aside from top speed we use but don’t show to adjust their handling characteristics. Mentioned in the design notes for Electronic Warfare, the Drake Herald will have a dedicated e-war suite. Will the Mercury follow this data-running trend and also have e-war capabilities? Having a dedicated e-war suite was not part of the original design for the ship and at this time is not being considered for addition, instead leaving the functionality on other ships such as the Herald and Sentinel. However, a dedicated e-war suite is not a requirement for data hacking. Will the Mercury enter the ship pipeline soon and serve as the template for the larger Crusader ships? Keep an eye on the roadmap for more information on when this ship will enter production. The design work done on the Star Runner and Starlifter will both be used as reference for the larger ships, such as the Starliner. Is the Mercury expected to be able to fit through Small Jump Points? Jump point sizing and categorisation is still being worked out, but we expect the Mercury to fit through the same size jump points as the Freelancer. Is the back ramp the only entrance to the ship? The back ramp is the only entrance to the ship, and it has no docking collar or secondary lift entrances. Why only 3 beds and max crew of 3 when you have a pilot, copilot, and 2 turret gunners? Shouldn’t it have 4 beds and be max crew of 4? This was an intentional choice to make players choose between the roles. There is actually 5 distinct stations on the ship (Pilot, CoPilot, Scanning, 2x Turret) and we want players to react and choose what they want to do in various scenarios. Increasing the crew capacity means significant other knock-ons to ship design in terms of size and features, and we want to keep this ship relatively compact and focused. As a “versatile” ship, will the Mercury have variants or modules to remove the data running equipment and focus the ship on a different role? There are no plans to have any additional variants or modules at this time. The original brief was for a ship to do these two specific roles (cargo and data running) rather than be modular and changed into different roles. Can you give us a gameplay example of legal data collection vs illegal collection, ideally including both PvE & PvP scenarios? An example of legal data collection in PvE would be a mission along the lines of scanning a certain location for information, such as asteroid composition/density. Alternatively, you may recieve a mission to find specific player owned ships & their locations, which will need to be reported back the mission giver. Illegal data collection would be something more along the lines of intercepting sensitive information between two ships for PvE or intercepting and beating another player to delivery on an existing data running mission. Does the Mercury have a bathroom, kitchen, dining table, gun rack and armor storage for all crew members? The bathroom, kitchen, dining table and gun racks are shared between all crew members. Each crew member also has their own suit storage locker near their bunk. Does the Mercury have an airlock for EVA, or will we need to decompress the entire cargo room to get out of the ship in space? There is no secondary entrance/exit, so the cargo room must be decompressed to enter or exit the ship in space. There is an airlock to the rest of the ship, and the turrets are sealed off to prevent further decompression. View the full article
  14. It’s been two weeks since Rocket League’s Progression Update[www.rocketleague.com] went live and one week since our inaugural Rocket Pass[www.rocketleague.com] was released. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on both of those items, with many of you embracing the new ways in which you can earn free content by playing matches online while also unlocking new Battle-Cars and Goal Explosions with the Rocket Pass Premium Upgrade. We’re also taking your feedback into account as we consider different ways to fine-tune progression in upcoming updates and adjusting future versions of Rocket Pass. Before touching on our last update and the XP conversion, though, we wanted to share some news about RocketID, which includes cross-platform friends and parties. As outlined in our Summer Roadmap Update[www.rocketleague.com], our goal was to release RocketID in September, but we’ve made the difficult decision to push it out of September and include it in a future update. We want to ensure that RocketID is operating flawlessly on all platforms before its release, and this extra time will ensure that you'll be playing and partying up with friends on different platforms with ease. Between the progression and XP changes, Rocket Pass and the introduction of Clubs, the Progression Update is one of the largest updates we’ve ever had. An update of this size is always a challenge and the two hotfixes[www.rocketleague.com] we released in the days after the update went live are reflections of those challenges. That pair of hotfixes allowed us to address the most urgent issues -- control input and unintended changes to ball physics -- within 48 hours of the Progression Update’s release, while still leaving some additional bugs to address in future updates. Another change we made after the Progression Update, was focused on where Level 75 ‘Rocketeer’ players would land in the new XP system. Initially, most of our Rocketeers ended up between Levels 110-120 and our fix the following week adjusted placement in the new system, pushing most of those affected players up into the Level 200-225 range. Two major factors went into determining how you would be converted into the new progression system: online matches played -- which excludes private matches and is based on our own internally-tracked match history -- and earned XP. The internal match history we used for this conversion process may not line up with what you see on stat-tracking websites for a number of reasons, including local save data file corruption or manipulation. Along with matches played and XP, we've factored in progress on your last level before the update, while granting up to 10 additional levels to players based on where they fell within the curve of matches played by their same-level peers. We’ll share more on RocketID (like a release date) when the time is right, along with our Autumn/ Winter Roadmap blog in early October. In the meantime, be sure to leave us feedback on Rocket Pass and the new progression system via Twitter, Discord[discord.gg], and Reddit. Thanks, everyone! View the full article
  15. Hello, you eternally smooth-skinned angel feathers. Welcome back to the community newsletter, where this week we have some news from the Testlive trenches, an updated map and some combat gifs. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin! First off, we wanted to take a quick moment to talk about our patch schedule. Obviously, we would like to roll out fixes for the game as soon as we can, but we will also be the first to admit that we have been guilty of patching too quickly in the past. We’ve tried to learn from this to avoid creating frustrations for you, the community. Going forward, our plan is to patch Conan Exiles every 4 to 6 weeks, with one possible hotfix within that 4-6 week period if needed. This way we have time for extensive bug fixing, tweaking and testing, in order to make sure that a patch is as ready and as stable as it can be. It also gives us more time to take your feedback into consideration. We aim to patch all platforms as close together as possible, hopefully the same day. TestLive will be updated more frequently to incorporate ongoing bug fixes and testing as needed. We hope this will add to our ongoing effort on improving our patching process as well as closer communication with all Exiles players. Call to Arms event Last weekend we ran another Call to Arms event on our Testlive branch to get more eyeballs on our most recent Testlive build. Anyone participating in the event who reached lvl 40 would be eligible to receive a DLC key of their choice in a post-event raffle, if the community as a whole reported over 50 unique bugs. As expected, you all came through in a big way and helped us find some previously unknown bugs and issues. We’ll be getting in touch with everyone who qualified for the raffle, but keep in mind that we have several hundred people to send individual keys to, so please be patient. Among all these Testlive updates happening on PC we know our console audience is wondering if a similar testing environment is possible on consoles. Unfortunately, it’s not, due to the nature of deploying builds to consoles versus PC. When selling a game through Steam we can easily set up a beta branch that players can switch over to through the Steam client. Here we can deploy builds fairly quickly without needing to go through a certification process. On consoles, it’s a different story: Setting up a separate testing client is possible, but every build we deploy to said testing client would need to go through the certification process every time we wanted to roll out a new build. Players would also have to download an entirely separate client, which would be the same size as the regular game. However, that doesn’t mean that players on consoles don’t benefit from what we do on Testlive. Any and all changes, bug fixes and updates on the Testlive will eventually make it to the live builds, on both PC and consoles. Map coordinatesAs we mentioned last week[www.conanexiles.com], we’re updating the map to include a grid and coordinates system to make it easier for players to navigate and find each other. You will also be able to zoom the map out much further than before. The new map is already available on the Testlive branch and will be rolled out with the Pets update. Off-hand combosWe've been sharing a couple of gifs of some new combat animations over on our Facebook[www.facebook.com] and Twitter channels. If you missed it, we’ve been tinkering with ways of integrating off-hand weapons into the combo chains. Specifically, shields and throwing axes are now part of the heavy chains when paired with swords, maces and axes. A sword and shield heavy-combo usually looks like this: But with the new animations, it will look like this We’re also really into the new double axe spin attack: Using a mace and a shield will let you uppercut your enemies with your shield These are just a small sample of the new weapon combos we’ll be rolling out alongside the Pets update. You can watch Oscar and Jens Erik discuss the off-hand combos in a video on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/2ImFNN6CkoQ?t=8m2s 4x XP PvP eventThis weekend we’re starting up a month-long event on our official PvP servers, on all platforms. On Friday morning, when the servers restart at 5am local server time, players on all official PvP servers will gain experience points at 4 times the normal amount. We’re doing this to help new players get a fighting chance on a fresh server more quickly. Be aware that this will only affect our PvP servers, not PvE or PvE-Conflict. As always, community feedback is important to us so please let us know if this is a decision you support. Friday live streamIt is stream week once again, so we’ll be live on http://www.twitch.tv/funcom and http://mixer.com/funcom at our normal stream times: 5pm CEST / 11am EST / 8am PST. This week we’re going to be running the new Midnight Grove dungeon to see what dangerous creatures we meet there and how many bosses we’re able to take down. Will we die a lot? Probably. Will Jens Erik once again be wearing a funny T-shirt? Most definitely! We can’t wait to see you on Friday. Sincerely, FuncomView the full article
  16. OceanicBot

    Writer’s Note: This portfolio was originally published in Jump Point 4.10. With the launch of the UEE’s “Militia Mobilization Initiative,” the role that militias play in protecting the Empire has come front and center. The current directive aims to help arm civilian militias, so they can protect their homeworld and system against Vanduul incursions and outlaws. One system where militias have played a prominent role for centuries is Bremen — home to the famous Bremen Defense Force, which is the longest constantly active militia in the UEE. Bremen was a relatively quiet and safe frontier system following its discovery in 2441. That all changed with the onset of the Second Tevarin War. The armadas of Corath’Thal utilized insurgency tactics to wage an unpredictable and shifting war against Humanity. With little idea as to where or when they might attack next, the UEE needed to raise a massive and expanding force in order to protect the populace, one that they struggled to properly feed. It was then that the fertile soil of Rytif (Bremen II) became the main producer of rations for UEE forces. With this responsibility came both great wealth and an unexpected degree of danger. Bremen’s location meant the chance of a Tevarin attack was relatively low, but residents still noticed an uptick in Human threats. These outlaws were smart enough to avoid targeting military convoys, instead concentrating their attacks on civilians enriched by the system’s booming economy. Philippe Lattimore almost lost his life in one such outlaw attack. The spry octogenarian was a veteran of the First Tevarin War who attempted to reenlist in the Navy when the second one began. After his application was politely denied, Lattimore took it upon himself to patrol the system. He spent his days responding to distress calls and meticulously documenting his experience. One day he answered a distress call only to be overwhelmed by outlaws still picking apart their latest catch. He barely survived the attack and although it was a close call, it didn’t deter him. In fact, it only made him more resolute to stop what was happening in Bremen, and he realized one thing: he wasn’t going to be able to do this alone. In 2605, Lattimore met with Arcturus Koerner, Rytif’s largest landowner and de facto governor, to ask for funds to create the Bremen Defense Force (BDF). Legend has it that Lattimore spoke, uninterrupted, for over an hour about his recent experiences. He presented the detailed reports he had compiled while on patrol, highlighted the system’s current crime stats, and argued that it was vital for the people of Bremen to stand together to keep their system safe. Once done, Koerner only had one question, “How much do you need?” Weeks later, the Bremen Defense Force was up and running. Under Lattimore’s leadership, the system’s crime rate was quickly cut in half and remained that way for years to come. Being a member of the Bremen Defense Force became a major point of pride for those ineligible or unable to fight for the UEE Navy during the war. A proud tradition that carries over to this day. Peacetime Problems Following the end of the Second Tevarin War, the UEE armed forces’ demand for foodstuffs from Rytif was greatly reduced, yet the landowner collective known as Bremen Mills didn’t slow production. They had become an economic powerhouse in the Empire’s grain market, and had quickly shifted their focus to supplying food for the public. Security for these food shipments were of the utmost importance, and Bremen Mills quickly realized that subsidizing the Bremen Defense Force was cheaper than hiring full time private security forces. This arrangement worked relatively well until the grain market crashed in 2640. Bremen Mills suffered a severe financial hit and was forced to cut funds to the BDF. In addition, millions of jobs related to the grain market were lost, and Bremen saw its population dwindle. Suddenly, the BDF was on a precipice. Lacking funding and losing members, many thought it didn’t have a chance to survive. Though he had stepped away from running the militia’s day-to-day operations due to failing health, Philippe Lattimore once again got heavily involved to save the BDF. He made appeals to private citizens to donate time or equipment and called upon local businesses to provide financial support. Now, more than ever, he argued, Bremen was in need of a strong militia to protect its people during the insecurity of these tough economic times. Many resisted until in 2642 the Advocacy’s Travel Safety Advisory System (TSAS) upgraded the system’s threat level to “Medium,” its highest threat level to date. Worried that Bremen’s safe reputation was on the line, the public and private sector rededicated themselves to ensuring the system’s security. Since the Bremen Defense Force was already so deeply ingrained, the powers that be figured it would be quicker and cheaper to get it running at full capacity rather than expanding Rytif’s anemic police force. Public and private funds once again were funneled to the BDF and a widespread ad campaign to recruit volunteers was kicked off. Some balked at the system’s main defense force not being a wholly government-run operation, but it was impossible to argue with the results, as the system’s threat level soon dropped back to its previous level. This action also reinforced the tradition of Bremen relying on militias instead of normal police forces for their security. This was a unique practice when compared to other systems, and one that revolutionaries would eventually take advantage of to help bring down the Messer regime. Revolutionary Road Over the years, a number of other militias rose to prominence in Bremen, though none ever achieved the sophistication of the BDF. The system’s reputation for being relatively safe persisted and remained a point of pride. It was only because of this that the Messer regime didn’t insist that a more centralized, and controllable, security apparatus be installed. With the rising Vanduul threat on one front and the cold war with the Xi’an on another, the Messer regime didn’t see a reason to change a system that was working for them. Yet, it was the Bremen Defense Force’s decentralized nature that allowed anti-Messer activists to exploit it to their benefit. According to reports released during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Messers ran several concurrent operations that implanted loyal agents into the militia to monitor its activity. The militia stayed non-committal to Messer regime policies and deflected pressure to take sides on anything not directly related to Bremen. They changed their motto to “Bremen Above All,” and instructed volunteers to not discuss Empire-wide politics while on duty. To avoid like-minded individuals consistently pairing up, patrol partners were randomly selected at roll call. Actions like this helped the militia maintain their autonomy through the centuries of Messer rule. As the tide of public opinion turned against the despotic rulers, a brave faction within the BDF, unbeknownst to other volunteers, began to use the cover of the militia to smuggle anti-Messer activists through the system. This activity reached a fever pitch following the Massacre of Garron II in 2792. The events of this time in the militia’s history were captured in The Bremen Beltway, a harrowing account of what it was like to work this part of “revolutionary road.” The book compiled interviews with former militia members and anti-Messer activists, journal excerpts, and declassified government documents to paint a picture of the extreme danger involved with smuggling revolutionaries through the system. Most of the activists were first smuggled from their system of origin into Xi’an territory and eventually into Nyx. That made Bremen the port of reentry into UEE, and a particularly perilous part of the journey. Without this secure gateway back into the Empire, many believe the overthrow of Imperator Linton Messer XI would not have happened nearly as quickly as it did. This only highlights the importance of high ranking BDF officials guaranteeing the revolutionaries safe passage through the system. For nearly three and a half centuries, the Bremen Defense Force has been the standard that all other militias are held up to. Comprising a coalition of dedicated volunteers and funded by both public and private interests, the BDF has placed the security of their system above all else. When RSI looked to include militias in the design process of the Polaris, the BDF was their first call. Militia members consulted on the design and were among the first to purchase the new capital ship for their fleet. BDF officials can’t wait to put the Polaris to use, in the defense of the system they believe is their responsibility over anyone else to protect View the full article
  17. Earlier
  18. OceanicBot

    September 2948 Subscriber Flair Subscribers I think we can all safely agree that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and if you ask us, that adage extends to the rest of the head as well. That’s why your head gear shouldn’t be taken lightly. With RSI’s classic Venture helmet your head is in good hands, and with this exclusive Centurion edition, you won’t have to sacrifice stellar looks for stellar safety. Imperator Subscribers Imperator-level subscribers will receive this limited edition purple variant along with the red Centurion design, perfectly matching the sleek base suit whilst preventing grey matter splatter on potentially dangerous missions. If you’re an active subscriber, these items will be added to your account on September 12th. If you aren’t a subscriber yet but want to sport these suits, make sure you subscribe no later than September 16th. More information about subscriptions can be found here View the full article
  19. OceanicBot

    Floating islands, slingshots, giant crystals, and more. View the full article
  20. OceanicBot

    Hello everyone, We’re one week closer to CitizenCon 2948! As mentioned last week, we recently updated the CitizenCon website with loads of details about the event, including a breakdown of what to expect throughout the day. Find all the details here, and pick up tickets to attend in person here. We also recently revealed Crusader Industries latest ship, the Mercury Star Runner, which is only available until next week. Catering to governments and the private sector alike, Crusader Industries’ star runner chassis raises the bar on speed and efficiency while remaining a stalwart of reliability. Find out more here. On the community front, the MISC Prospector Commercial Contest has now ended. We’re currently in the process of reviewing submissions, and will announce the winners in the coming days. If you haven’t seen some of the incredible commercials submitted, check them out here. Lastly, we’re still running one of our most exciting contests to date. Head over to Spectrum to find out how you can win the opportunity to direct a Motion Capture shoot LIVE at CitizenCon in our recently announced Emote Contest. And with that, let’s see what else is going on this week: Every week on Calling All Devs, designers, engineers, and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on Spectrum and voted for by YOU. This week we we talk about non-lethal weapons, navigation coordinates, ship customization, and more. Watch the full episode here. On Tuesday, our Lore Team will publish another in-fiction portfolio meant to breathe life into the ‘verse. If you’re the type of person who truly wants to know the universe you’re exploring, these are for you. Fast forward to Wednesday for a landslide of information in our Mercury Star Runner Q&A, answering your top questions about Crusader’s new data runner Thursday will welcome another episode of Around the Verse where we’ll take a look at the latest Star Citizen news. Finally, make sure to tune in on Friday for another episode of Reverse the Verse, broadcast live on our Star Citizen Twitch channel. Stay tuned for further information about who our special guests will be and keep an eye on Spectrum for the Questions Thread! We’ll see you in the ‘Verse! Tyler Witkin Lead Community Manager The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2018 Calling All Devs (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2018 Lore Post (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2018 Mercury Star Runner Q&A Subscriber’s Newsletter THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2018 Around the Verse (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) Vault Update FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2018 Reverse the Verse LIVE (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: September 10th, 2018 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 in this section. The highlighted content creator will be awarded with 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! Daymar in 13 hours by Arty Cross Arty Cross and friends took on a true exploration challenge by traveling to every outpost on Daymar in one session, which took 13 hours. That’s some serious dedication! Full video on the Community Hub. View the full article
  21. Extinction Chronicles IV Next Week On September 18th Extinction Chronicles IV will be released on all platforms. As usual survivors can expect a new tek dino, new Explorer Notes, a new cosmetic, increased level cap, and special colored dinos on all ARKs! Developer Diaries! This weeks diary entry is brought to you by Lead Programmer, Chris Willoughby, as he talks about the process for designing gameplay mechanics for Extinction. Hello Survivors! Today, I'd like to talk today about what goes into designing and building new gameplay mechanics. For brevity, I'll focus on the Scout, a creature that we've revealed as part of our upcoming Extinction expansion. When we approach designing gameplay mechanics we start by brainstorming interesting ideas that would make a compelling addition to our sandbox. The Scout started as a desire for the ability to fly around the battlefield with a drone. We have several members of the team who enjoy flying drones, so collectively we fell in love with the idea of remote piloting early. We also had another gameplay mechanic that we were interested in that finds its origins in another franchise - the ability to tag enemies to reveal them to your allies. This idea was also high on our list, and through further brainstorming, we found it was a natural fit for the Scout, so they came together in the brainstorming phase. From there we seek to match those abilities up with concepts that fit well into the world we're building. This one was pretty easy. We knew that we were building a futuristic city for Extinction, and immediately we latched onto the idea of some kind of automated security force that patrols it. It took several more sessions to land on the idea of the interplay between Scouts and Enforcers, and the way that the Scout is deployed, but we're happy with where it landed. Next, we'll build the mechanic and iterate numerous times, using multiple weekly gameplay review sessions to nail the fine details. The Scout was deployable from a grenade and had remote viewing baked in pretty early on. Originally it's tagging mechanism was a projectile that it fired. This was very difficult to use, so we switched to more of a raygun. The tags originally lasted a very short time, so they weren't very useful. We've since upped the time that they last - making the Scout a key target for the other team to take out. In addition, we didn't originally allow the tagging of allies, but this slotted in naturally as a way to give a more complete view of the battlefield. Finally, we turn our experienced set of player testers loose to hammer on the mechanics until they fit well. This process is underway for the Scout and for Extinction as a whole as I write this. We've got nearly all of the mechanics playable and we're iterating on the roles that they play individually and collectively within Extinction and within the larger game. As such, the abilities described above represent a snapshot of where they are as I'm writing this. These can and likely will change before launch! This is part of the reason that often times when we talk about something early on it doesn't match up with what the final product becomes. However this iteration process is necessary to deliver the best playing experience that we can. Thanks for reading, survivors! Upcoming Server Maintenance! This Wednesday, September 12th at 12pm EST we will be merging the PC ARKpocalypse servers into one cluster. It is important for players on those servers to note that during this process any items or creatures uploaded into the Obelisk will be lost. Therefore it is strongly encouraged that you download anything in your cloud to ensure nothing is lost before Wednesday. You can follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with this server process. Mod Community Updates! The ARK Modding contest is now in full swing, and we've been getting some good entries, but I still want to encourage anyone that has ever considered making mods for ARK to dive in and participate. The submission period will be open until Saturday, October 6th so polish up those mods and let's have some fun. After that, we'll move into the voting phase where we'll post all the mods in the contest publicly and let everyone try them out and vote on their favorites. We've also received a couple tutorial bounty claims for chat commands and map optimizations and I have added a bunch of new bounties to the board ready to be claimed. You can find all of them here: https://survivetheark.com/index.php?/forums/topic/345036-modding-tutorial-bounty-board/ We're going to need some new tutorial requests too, and please check the list in the form to see if the request already exists, as I choose new bounties based on demand which can only be counted if everyone submits the form using one of the items from the drop-down. Next week I'll have a new tutorial ready. I've been getting a ton of requests for a tutorial on version control, so I'm going to show everyone how to use Git with the devkit. Happy modding! Community Livestream #8 This Thursday! This Thursday September 13th the community team will be doing another biweekly livestream! During these livestreams Zen Rowe, Chris, and Jen bring you ARK news, celebrate modding, and the community as a whole every other week. We mix it up between playing ARK, showing off mods, and showing off your community creations for all to see. Survivors are invited to join us in the chat (and sometimes even in-game) to play and talk with the community team. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1391754339 We are accepting any type of ARK related fanart to be featured in the showcase section of the stream and entries are always open. This can be drawings, videos, builds, ANSEL screenshots, handmade crafts, anything ARK related! You can submit your ARKwork to our streaming email address: arkfans@studiowildcard.com Be sure to follow us on our Twitch page so you don't miss a stream! twitch.tv/survivetheark We'll be hosting our next Community Live Stream on Thursday, September the 13th at 1pm EST! We hope to see you there :) Fanart of the Week! https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1504244666 https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1504249202 https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1504246010 https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1504247549 We would like to give a special shout out this week to creature paint artist Sharkcat for their Jurassic World raptor paints! ARK: Evolution Event! Survivors across ALL Platforms will be receiving a special Evolution Event perk this weekend! It will be active from Friday the 14th of September at 1 PM EST until Monday the 17th of September at 3 PM EST. All Official Servers across each platform will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes: 2x Harvesting Rates 2x Taming Rates 2x EXP Rates That's it for this post guys! As always if you’ve got anything to share please get in touch and be sure to follow us on: Community Hub: www.survivetheark.com Twitter: twitter.com/survivetheark Facebook: facebook.com/survivetheark Reddit: reddit.com/r/playark Instagram: instagram.com/survivetheark Twitch: twitch.tv/survivetheark Youtube: youtube.com/survivethearkView the full article
  22. OceanicBot

    Every week, designers, engineers and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on SPECTRUM and voted on by YOU. You can submit your questions for consideration in future episodes of Calling All Devs here. And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions View the full article
  23. OceanicBot

    LIVE from Wilmslow, UK. Engineers, programmers and QA testers sit down and discuss the nature of Object Container Streaming and what it means for the continuing development of Star Citizen and Squadron 42. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into http://twitch.tv/starcitizen. View the full article
  24. This is a call to arms!It’s that time again: we’re doing a special TestLive event! We are currently patching the TestLive server with the latest update for the new mechanics. Everyone joining us between 7th of September 2018 6.30 PM Oslo Time and 10th of September 2018 10AM Oslo time getting to level 40 on one of our TestLive servers, will be eligible for entry into a raffle to win one of 500 DLC Keys of their choice. This time there is a catch though: You have to work together as a community and report 50 unique new bugs related to the new mechanics. Please use the template for proper bug reports and report any issues in these threads: Pet mechanics[forums.funcom.com], Offhand combat[forums.funcom.com] and Midnight Grove[forums.funcom.com]. Please also check if the bug you are about to report has already been reported. There is no need to create multiple comments about a bug if a proper bug reports has been posted already. Patch Notes for this update can be found here[forums.funcom.com]. ABOUT THE TEST EVENT We will wipe all buildings and characters on the TestLive Servers and would ask you to create a new character on either EU1, 2, 3 or US 1, 2. 3. The servers will also have accelerated harvest and EXP rates. The test will start at 6.30CEST and end at 10am CEST. The Community as a whole will have to find 50 unique new bugs related to the new mechanics (pets, offhand combat and the new dungeon) and report them on the TestLive forums for the raffle to be executed. The reports need to follow our template for bug reports as provided in the forums. REQUIREMENTS AND THANK YOUWe will draw 500 lucky winners among everyone who joins the test and reaches at least level 40 to get a DLC Key of choice IF the community as a whole finds 50 unique new bugs. After the event, please send an e-mail to http://mailto:testlive@funcom.com and include your server name, character name and a screenshot of your character. Don’t forget to report your bugs! Here is how to join the TestLive Servers[forums.funcom.com] Thank you for your continued support and for helping us get this patch as smooth as possible!View the full article
  25. Monthly Studio Report: August 2018 Welcome to August’s monthly report. It’s been an exciting few weeks throughout the CIG studios with Gamescom coming and going, CitizenCon 2948 planning in full swing, and Alpha 3.3 content is getting closer to completion. Everyone’s been working hard to make our upcoming release the biggest and most exciting one yet. A big part of this is taming the beast that is Object Container Streaming. This is one of our biggest tech hurdles to date, and the team is heads down and focused on burning down remaining tasks and issues. Los Angeles LOS ANGELES CHARACTER ART This month, the Character Art Team improved upon Hair and Head tech, which will increase the visual quality of the current characters while revising the core tools used in the character wearables tech setup. The team has started testing vertex cloth simulation to allow more realistic clothing movement on all characters. They also continued the reworks of the Odyssey Flightsuit, Virgil TruDef Pro Armor, and Hurston Collection. This content comes with material variants to give Hurston a lively and realistic setting. Additionally, the team carried on with S42 costumes. VoiP/FoiP With several teams working together, the team made good progress on the VoiP/FoiP feature. Turbulent, Faceware, and Audio were able to transmit voice and face via WebRTC. In addition, voice can now be sent and received from any WebRTC enabled device, such as a PC web browser, phone, and tablet. A major risk in the project has been eliminated as getting audio and face synchronized was a major hurdle. The team is now moving onto server work to add player entities to the entire framework so that they can know who is talking and map them to players in-game. With integration wrapping up, they are at the stage when the US-1 Gameplay Team can transition to front-end UI work. NARRATIVE August saw the Narrative Team deliver On The Run, a new short story that introduced criminal data runners Alex Dougan and Mas Houlan who could later be tracked fleeing across the Starmap as part of the Crusader Mercury reveal. They also published to all backers a Galactic Guide focused on the Gurzil system and the final chapter in the serialized story The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Loremakers paid a visit to the Banu system of Bacchus, while subscribers were treated to another issue of Jump Point and an exclusive portfolio that explored how Rest & Relax became the most popular rest stop in the UEE. Behind the curtain, the team tackled a wide variety of tasks for 3.3 and beyond. They wrote mission text, dialogue for a wide variety of characters, named new weapons, and advised on signs to be found around Lorville. The team also participated in reviews for the PU and Squadron 42, and continued their work on the Galactapedia. VEHICLE FEATURES As it relates to their areas of code ownership, the Vehicle Features Team spent a lot of time on Object Container Streaming (OCS). When OCS is complete, it will allow ships and other items to stream out at greater distances, which provides improved performance and reduction in network bandwidth. Additionally, significant progress was made on the ongoing turret improvements and Ping & Scanning for Alpha 3.3. For turrets, the team is close to completing work on gyro stabilization and improvements to mouse and joystick controls. For Ping and Scanning, they’ve moved the scanning infrastructure over to the server, have been working to extend its range, and have been expanding information received from scanning vehicles. VEHICLE PIPELINE A lot of progress has been made towards the completion of several vehicles going out in Alpha 3.3. The new Tumbril Cyclone variants and the Consolidated Outlands Mustang are art-complete and in their final phase with Systems Design. The team is also in the final phase with the RSI Constellation Phoenix. Tech Art is working on the damage pass for these vehicles too. Meanwhile, post Alpha 3.3 vehicles move forward in production – the Art Team is in the greybox phase for the Anvil Hawk, while System Design is currently wrapping up the whitebox phase. GAMEPLAY FEATURES Like many other teams, OCS was the top priority for Gameplay Features. Also, of high importance was the second iteration of the Group System, which is due in Alpha 3.3. In particular, they’ve been implementing mobiGlas and Visor Chat System features and UI, along with replacing the legacy Group System and interface with new backend systems. Completing this iteration will enable the team to start the integration of VoIP and FoIP. They’ve also been supporting the Gameplay Feature Team in Austin with their work on improvements for Quantum Travel, and the Gameplay Team in the EU to implement REC Rental in Arena Commander and Star Marine. Austin AUSTIN SHIP ART Ship Art got deeper into the greybox phase of the Origin 300 series refactor by detailing out the landing gear, headlights, and other features. They made another pass on the cockpit and pilot chair and are closer to getting that area to a satisfactory level. Next up is a test of the interior collision with a character in-game, as well as testing the enter/exit animations. They’re also wrapping up some last modeling, lighting, and material tweaks on the interior of the Constellation Phoenix. When finished, they’ll move onto the LODs for the interior and exterior. ANIMATION Animation continued to push through a few more Mission Givers (like Darneely in the image below) and are almost finished with a further three. These characters will be found at places like GrimHEX, Levski, and Lorville, so look forward to traveling around to meet with them in the future. The team is working closely with Design on the Bartender to help flesh out the flow – soon players will be able to walk up and order tasty drinks from a believable barkeep. Players will also see NPCs sitting at the bar or ordering drinks to help the environment feel full of life. DESIGN This month was a busy one for ATX Design, with plenty of work done for various portions of Alpha 3.3. First up, they supported getting rentals working in Arena Commander and Star Marine to ensure players don’t need to go too far to rent a favorite gun for your ship or character. They worked with the LA Engineering team to make great progress on implementing some new improvements to Quantum Travel. These include displaying the status of party members during QT (including when a player drops out) and laying the groundwork for Quantum Travel Route Planning. Headway was made on the Economy features for this quarter, with efforts to allow the economic status of resources to affect pricing reaching a significant milestone. Recipes for all items were completed so that, as the price of resources or parts fluctuates, players will be able to see a noticeable difference in the pricing of items. However, the change won’t be instantaneous and will develop over time. They’ve also been working on creating new shops for Lorville and look forward to bringing players new items from the latest locations. BACKEND SERVICES Several Services have been written under the new architecture while support for the legacy architecture continues. This month focused on improvements to the Persistent Database, Badge Service, Leaderboards, Encryption, Security and more. Services that have received some attention or are being entirely created from scratch to provide logical and efficient micro-services are: *Badge Service: This is a simple caching service that pulls account badges from the web platform when a player logs in. The Diffusion Badge Service provides an API allowing other services, game server, and client to query individual or sets of badges. Leaderboard Service: The Leaderboard Service caches player leaderboard stats. PDB/SQL API: The new SQL API Diffusion Service provides a very simple interface allowing for Services to add, set, remove, or update data sets. It is specifically designed for persisting Ooz data structures in an SQL Database. A No-SQL solution is in the works as well. Transaction Service: A general transaction Service is being created to manage rental and store purchases, as well as currency/service transactions for missions and service beacon contracts. Loadout Service: The Loadout Service is a cache which provides an API to other Services allowing them to create, modify, and request specific loadouts for players or ships. Backend Services have also been helping the Web Platform with their work on the Group Service and integration of Spectrum into the PU. PLAYER RELATIONS The Player Relations team helped wrap up Alpha 3.2.2, essentially completing the second quarterly release for 2018. They’ve now turned to 3.3 and CitizenCon preparation (and what always turns out to be a very busy last third of the year!). They added a couple of new faces and will continue growing across the various studios. As the backer base and games grow, so do the needs of running the service. The Evocati are also growing. Invites were sent out to some of our most diligent players and those most active on the Issue Council. This will help the team immensely with some large-scale testing in the coming months. “We’d like to point all players to our growing Knowledge Base, which now has over 100 articles and has seen almost 120,000 visitors since its launch. We’ll continue to grow it by adding new ‘How-To’ articles, patch notes, and live service notifications. As always, we’d like to remind and encourage everyone to continue to use the Issue Council to help us triage and rate bugs and functionality. We use that data to prioritize for future updates, plus your IC participation will make you eligible for earlier PTU waves.” QA On the Publishing side of things, QA has been preparing for Alpha 3.3 by updating the current test plans and documentation. Game side, work continues on the internal dev stream, where the testing focus has been on Object Container Streaming. Testing priorities were coordinated with counterparts in LA, UK, and DE, and the new TestRail software was updated to help make testing more efficient moving forward. Wilmslow & Derby WILMSLOW & DERBY GRAPHICS This month, the Graphics Team have been working on two main areas. The first is on improvements to the tech for space landscapes, which includes more realistic particle movement and lighting, GPU spline-based lightning effects, multi-threaded asteroid creation, and improvements to the volumetric gas cloud tech. Also, work was done on volumetric point light shadows for gas clouds, which are crucial to convincingly lighting our more complex space scenes. These shadows are computed in a single render pass and stored efficiently in 2D deep shadow maps, which can then be used to quickly evaluate the shadowing at any distance from the light. Keep an eye out, as many of these changes will be demonstrated soon. The second major area of work this month was on shader improvements. The layer shader system can now support the cloth shading model and sub-surface-scattering. While these features were previously available using specialist and expensive shaders, the new changes can be used on a wide variety of assets with no noticeable performance penalty. “We should start seeing wider use of cloth materials and materials that exhibit scattering such as plastics and ice.” UI The UI Team has been busy iterating on the RTT item preview system, which allows for a generalized method to display 3D items anywhere in the UI as part of a scrolling list component (such as kiosks, MobiGlas, MFDs, etc.). The team has also been busy conceiving the necessary changes to the flow and layout needed to support renting ships and items through the Electronic Access customization menus. They have also been working on the UI design for the spectrum app functionality housed inside mobiGlas. They’ve also been working in conjunction with the design team to previsualize what approaching a restricted area in a city might look like to the player and continued supporting the environment team in crafting propaganda posters & signage for Lorville. The team has also made additional headway on the core tech & tools, with a recent successful prototype of the bindings system on the mining HUD display to enable a much more streamlined interface for exposing game data to the UI frontend. ANIMATION Throughout August, Animation worked on improving player stances and locomotion assets and used motion captured data to replace placeholders in the AI combat set. They also updated ship character animations to new sequenced animations for more flexibility when moving forward with new ship & cockpit designs. Going forward, they’re looking to finalize assets for looting and pickup now that the technical details are mostly resolved. GAMEPLAY STORY The Gameplay Story Team continued implementing high-priority scenes for Q3. This involved editing all the separate animations in a scene so they can play together in the correct order without any pops. They had to set up idle animations every time the game waits for the player to make a choice. Lastly, they need to ensure that the ‘look at’ is animated correctly so the character looks directly at the player at the right times. “It has been good to get stuck into detailed animation work and to cooperate closely with design on the setup and testing of these scenes.” FACIAL ANIMATION Throughout the past month, the Facial Animation Team has been hard at work developing the facial animations for Mission Givers, such as Darneely and NPCs like the race announcers, derelicts, shopkeepers, and admins. Looking forward to next month, the team will continue to deliver facial animation results for the Mission Givers such as Pacheco and other NPCs, such as security, as well as more incoming NPCs for the new landing zones. ENGINEERING/PROGRAMMING The Network Team extended Bind Culling so that, instead of only culling out dynamically spawned entities such as ships and players, it can now also cull entire parts of the solar system. QA has been putting these changes through their paces and the programmers have been keeping on top of the bugs coming back. The Network Team has also worked on converting networked entity spawning from blocking synchronous spawns to asynchronous non-blocking ones. Combined with their Bind Culling work, these asynchronous spawns should allow Object Container Streaming to work smoothly in multiplayer. PU-based feature teams worked on restricted areas, which will be used to stop players flying into planetside civilian locations. This is being complemented by an update to the landing UI. They also extended the mining feature to work with asteroids. The Social AI Team have been working on the new usable tool in the editor, designed to make creating and debugging usables as intuitive as possible. They’re also creating functionality to mark up the paths used by the AI to allow subsumption events to be triggered. This is part of the work needed for our Walk and Talk feature. Squadron 42 feature teams have been looking into triggering dynamic Track View cutscenes from conversations, including participant synchronization. This feeds well into the Walk and Talk feature work that the AI Actor Team is working through. From their work on overclocking/overpowering, the Vehicle Feature Team has been improving vehicle power distribution and heat setup. Cooler overclocking now works and per-item power throttling is being developed. Also, a big milestone was reached as the last of the old-style game objects were finally removed from the codebase. These have been replaced by component-based entities which are more efficient in terms of performance and sharing code. This also permitted the removal of a lot of now-redundant code from the codebase. SHIPS The Ship Art Team has been busy with final optimizations and polish on the Aegis Hammerhead to get it ready for its Alpha 3.3 release. The Banu Defender continues with the majority of its interior now at final grey box stage, while the Origin 890 Jump is starting to take shape in the lower decks with most of the ship receiving a grey box pass. AUDIO The Audio Code team has been working hard to integrate the new backend for FoiP/VoiP data transmission and to optimize the data compression used by this feature. Trackview support has seen some improvements in the way audio is handled to offer more options for cinematic sound. The dialog guys hunkered down to record new content for the Alpha 3.3 release and Lorville. Progress is being made on new weapons sounds and, as always, the procession of new ships is being given plenty of audio love. ENVIRONMENT ART The team has now completed the art for a host of smaller locations for Lorville, including the new habitation modules, lobbies, and the interiors for Lorville’s bar, admin office, and shops. The first iteration of a security checkpoint and a transit platform (complete with train car) have also been finished. As well as this, they’re almost complete on the Teasa Spaceport interior with its new shop archetype, the Ship Rental store. Work continues on the Underground Facility and Crashed Relay, with both moving into the final art stage. VFX This month was very much a continuation of the team’s work from last month, including polishing the VFX for Hurston’s diverse range biomes, Lorville’s modular areas, and the new weapons and ships due to be seen in the 3.3 release. As well as that, the team threw themselves firmly into Gas Clouds (not literally!), forming a mini ‘strike team’ with Art, Design, and others to really flesh out the requirements of this ambitious task. Working so closely with the other disciplines helped the team to maintain momentum, with several improvements coming to fruition as the month progressed. They also began to clean up some of the older ballistic weapon effects, making use of new GPU particle improvements and adding more visual consistency on a per-manufacturer basis. Frankfurt FRANKFURT LEVEL DESIGN Work on Lorville continues with the team looking to modify the arrival area with a few additional shops and features to make it feel more like an active spaceport. The end goal is to have an area that quickly brings the player into the city, but also offers a few select amenities for those who need it. There will also be a few minor changes to Levski to reflect the content added to Lorville. Although the rework is minor, it will add a few new things and bring Levski closer to its intended purpose and full potential. Both the Transit System and procedural tech is progressing, and the team is close to adding a new and more stable version of elevators along with moving trains/trams. Level Design also gained a new team member this month, so time was spent onboarding and getting them acquainted with our tools and best practices. SYSTEM DESIGN Frankfurt System Design focused mainly on AI improvements. They worked on populating Lorville with an assortment of civilians, engineers, guards, workers, etc. In general, they’ll exhibit similar behaviors as the NPCs that already exist in PU, but with more depth and flavor to help them better match the lore of the area. A lot of design work went into having the AI interact with one another and respond appropriately to events and stimuli generated by other NPCs or the player. For guard NPCs, they worked on designing a patrol system from the ground up. This should allow them to quickly map interest points and connect them with probability paths to define a patrol route that can change dynamically based on rules the designers control, or on game-driven events. At the same time, they are improving the existing simple patrol behaviors and prototyping more features in order to have an initial implementation for future releases before the actual system comes online. FPS Combat AI had numerous improvements which will hopefully be in players hands in the near future. For mining, they worked on getting some well-needed improvements to how the instability, resistance, and optimal window size are calculated. They decoupled the window size from instability, so now players can have unstable rocks with a large window and also stable rocks with a very tiny window. This allows the team to better control the difficulty of a rock without having to clamp its values artificially. Work was also completed on the asteroid side of mining and the team’s close to having things working as initially intended. A lot of work has gone into how rocks are spawned in space using the existing procedural asteroids. ENGINE TOOLS The Engine Tools Team worked on general usability improvements and game editor stability. The OCS and Prefab workflows received enhancements and fixes along with Trackview (the tool used by the Cinematics Team) getting general Data Core properties support. This was needed to get rid of a big chunk of the old Lua scripting dependencies used by game entities and to get one step closer to the implementation of OCS. ENVIRONMENT ART Polishing and bug fixing are still ongoing for Hurston and its four moons, and preproduction has started on the two moons orbiting Stanton 3 (ArcCorp). Beyond the roadmap, they’ve also started looking at Stanton 4 (MicroTech), which will be a significant challenge for the Art and Tech teams as they’ll be looking at frozen oceans, snowy mountains, frozen vegetation, and other elements that require technology and shaders to be modified and developed. The City or Lorville is entering its final stages as the team completes the outer boundaries of the city and the entry point from the planet’s surface. ENGINE The Engine Team completed the first part of the physics command queue refactor. The goal is to allow the move of physics away from dedicated threads and towards our system-wide batch model so that it can scale and perform better with the number of available CPU cores. They also continued progress on new solutions for cloth/soft body simulations, with several optimizations and improvements, and continued work on moving the skinning computation to GPU compute shaders. They made load time improvements that addressed some inefficient code, which should reduce load times by up to 20 seconds (depending on PC specs). Lots of work was done on generating height map cascades of planet terrain which will be used for various effects in the future. In tandem, work started on large-scale planetary soft terrain shadows. These will replace the current implementation via traditional shadow maps, improve image quality, and the visibility range of terrain shadows. TECH ART The Tech Art Team worked on tools and the pipeline for authoring true next-gen cloth simulation setups for all dynamic attachments such as skirts, trench coats, jackets, and other loose-hanging clothing and equipment. The new softbody solver, which our Engineering department developed, is functioning as it should and will enable us to create all kinds of interesting secondary animation effects such as jiggling, sliding, and collisions. The authoring of such complex and advanced setups is just as important as the solver itself – it needs to be intuitive and provide maximum flexibility to the tech artists, hide the underlying complexity as much as possible, but allow access to it if needed. While the authoring pipeline is based on Maya, changes to the setups are streamed live to the game engine through our LiveLink plugin and can therefore be previewed in WYSIWYG fashion, which is extremely important. The general workflow mimics the way Maya’s own cloth simulation setups (nCloth) are authored, thereby allowing Tech Artists and Character FX TDs familiar with the software to become productive and creative as efficiently as possible. The goal of these efforts is to make all the in-game clothing move naturally, look less rigid, and to enhance the PCAP primary character animation with a layer of physically-based secondary animation wherever possible. For Tech Animation, they made further progress on the FPS weapons rework, including updating the rigs and bringing everything into a structure that’s easier to work with. They started working on a batch exporter for weapon animations that will make it much easier to iterate on existing weapons whenever a rig is updated, or new features are added to it. They also updated the AnimEvent lists for both the PU and S42 and removed a long list of old animations that were either no longer needed or moved to an updated location. AI A significative part of this month’s activity was spent working on a performance pass concerning two crucial components that heavily impact the behavior of our NPCs – Subsumption activity updates and NPC visual perception: Subsumption: When hundreds of NPCs are active simultaneously, their activities need to update and respond to events or change in subactivity, depending on the internal or external state of the game. Updates of the Subsumption components are therefore always running each frame, thus creating a sensible performance issue as the number of active NPCs increases. Most of the time, the update is not truly needed as the NPC is just waiting for an event of some sort to determine the ‘next’ state of a behavior (e.g. walking on a path and waiting for a ‘destination reached’ event). We can therefore take advantage of that and suspend the updates whenever the running tasks allow it. Internal tests in a heavily crowded scenario confirm that when allowing suspension, the impact of the Subsumption updates is dramatically reduced. Visual Perception: One of the most useful senses belonging to NPCs is their visual perception. Visibility checks are continuously performed by every NPC to assess the clearance of their line of sight between them and all other NPCs or players in their field of view. Visibility checks are raycasts ultimately performed by the physics system. Up to now, we relied on a legacy module of the AI system provided by the Lumberyard system, called VisionMap. In VisionMap, all checks were handled in a centralized place and updated each frame in the main thread (as a synchronous update). The new system handles the visibility checks directly in the individual NPC vision components and makes good use of the entity component update scheduler (ECUS) by using multi-threaded updates in a time-sliced fashion. The team was also busy finishing work for OCS related to AI systems (Navigation & Cover). The navigation and cover data will not be part of a central manager anymore, instead there will be entity components (inside object containers) that will contain that data. This will help the OCS since the AI data is kept internally for each object container. WEAPONS TEAM The Weapons Art Team started production on a handful of new Hurston Dynamics ship weapons and a new knife designed for the ‘bad guys’ in-game. Here’s an image of the ‘Sawtooth’, which is manufactured by Kastak Arms: BUILD ENGINEERING This month, DevOps focused on tooling out a test area for the Audio Team’s build processes, so the Audio Team has more autonomy in augmenting and testing their own build tools. The Perforce submission pipeline has been refined to remove redundant MD5 hashing of verified content; previous verification checkpoints relied on a custom MD5 hashing implementation, and these nodes of verification have been updated to check with digests that have been cached by the Perforce server, cutting down submission times for heavy changelists from hours to seconds. CINEMATICS The Cinematic Team’s main priority has been to go through the kick-off and implementation pass phases of a large number of scenes across several S42 levels that are currently being worked on by the Level Design Team. The implementation pass is the first production pass on a scene where the animation is broken up into the different states that are needed for that particular scene to work. The process goes from a pre-vis of the animation (pretty much the raw PCAP playing out) to a scene functioning as a conversation with starts, idles, pauses, branching options, and resolves. Iterations by the Level Design Team often change the layout of, for example, an asteroid base or other level environments, so the team needed to come up with an easy way to keep our scenes transportable. They can now use each scene’s sequence object (the object the scene is defined in) as a root and when they move that sequence object around, the whole scene with its nodes animated within it moves with that root. This way, they can quickly accommodate a room being moved 50m down the corridor and can keep scenes up to date easily. It also helps level design to know they can adjust their level layout without having to request a big rework of a scene just to fit with a particular change. Work was also completed on the tool side of things to keep the cinematic workflow compatible with the growing tech. An example of this would be the component-based entities that are replacing the old entities. A Tools Engineer wrote a new API so animators can still animate an entity’s properties via the cinematic timeline tool, Trackview. This is necessary if a cinematic designer wants to change a light’s properties, for example, or wants to dial down sun intensity for a specific shot. QA OCS related testing continued into August with changes to test from the AI team. More specifically, a Navigation System refactor to support it. The main change for this refactor is the way navigation mesh data is saved and exported. They focused on testing navigation mesh generation in the Editor, saving levels with Navigation Area objects, and exporting the Object Container levels with Navigation Area objects. They also needed to ensure that all levels that had existing Navigation Areas could still be re-exported and that the AI was still able to move around in the level and pass through doorways, etc. The cover system and usables were also monitored to ensure they were still functional with the newly exported areas. The team worked together with ATX QA to test the new 1.003 version of the Subsumption Editor, which contained a lot of necessary fixes needed by the design team for better stabilization. Work continued with the Cinematics Team, with dedicated support for any Track View or Editor issues preventing the team from progressing on their sequences. In some cases, QA created simple test levels to better convey the issues they were encountering. They also started the process for Automated Feature Tests for the current Feature Teams, with the first meeting to go over the specific setup and requirements at the end of the month with the Ship AI Feature Team. These tests will run for each build and will focus on testing systems that would be deemed risky and prevent usage of that particular build. The goal is to keep on top of features and ensure if they do break a build that the issue is brought to the relevant developer’s attention as quickly as possible. They also continued to provide support for any general Editor specific issues as well as the monthly (sometimes weekly) CIGPhysics smoke test, where new changes are checked in by the Physics team as part of the refactor of CIGPhysics. VFX The VFX Team continued to work on the environmental effects for the new moons as well as working on how the effects function with the new biomes being introduced. They also continued working on destruction sequences for Squadron 42. This involves bringing the new workflows previously developed in the first quarter of the year into production shots. LIGHTING Progress is on track to finalize all the new Alpha 3.3 locations. The schedule is closely tied to when environments are finished by the art teams, so the focus this month has been on Lorville habitations, including prototyping a few lighting setups for each of the hab room layouts. They’ve also been finishing work on the security checkpoint common elements, tweaking the atmosphere and colorgrading for the Hurston moons. They also started work on an upcoming underground bunker location. Platform: Turbulent SPECTRUM The features of Spectrum 3.8.1-rel.8.1, including Friends and Notifications, received a positive reception from users. For this month, internal milestones were hit on the new Spectrum editor, ‘Quill’. This editor is currently undergoing testing to be released next month and will solve several bugs related to Android by replacing the old editor. RSI PLATFORM CitizenCon Microsite: The CitizenCon Microsite had an exciting update this month to include the presentation schedule. Other updates have been made as well, including the FAQ and ticket pages. If you currently hold a standard or premium ticket, the option to purchase a Junior Co-pilot ticket is now available for all guests between the ages of 13-17 years. CitizenCon tickets contain a QR code that will be compatible with the ticket-scanning app at the event. If you’re interested in attending the event, you can still grab a ticket before they run out here. Crusader Mercury Star Runner: Turbulent supported the release of the Crusader Mercury Star Runner. This release included an interactive mini-game chasing two wanted fugitives, Alexandria Dougan and Mas Houlan, across the ARK Starmap. During the game, that lasted several days, players followed clues posted by the UEE TipLine on Spectrum to locate the ever-changing coordinates of the rogue Star Runner. Players would then take note of these coordinates at certain times and enter them into the form on the site. If the coordinates entered were correct, the player could choose to alert either the UEE Advocacy or the fugitives. For playing the game, a mystery skin was added to the player’s hangar. Based on the collective choices made, more players chose the Advocacy, and so the skin awarded was of the UEE Advocacy. Free-Fly: We released the Alpha 3.2 Free-Fly which gave everyone a chance to jump in and explore the Star Citizen universe. This Free-Fly granted access to the Prospector, Cutlass Black, Avenger Titan, and Dragonfly Black. Issue Council: The Issue Council is our public bug reporting system used by the community to report issues. The upcoming version, Issue Council version 1.1.0, is scheduled to be deployed to the PTU during the first week of September. To meet this goal, the past month has been full of updates such as improved profile, more details in report creation, and newly mobile-friendly features. Plus, all known issues were fixed. SERVICES Group: On the Group System side, work this month focused on the development and integration of a major piece of the game backend: The Event Bus. Through this Bus, multiple services can communicate through domain events and affect their own relevant domains (like groups, chat or voice). With this new piece in place, we were able to integrate a fresh new lobby/chat API to replace the current in-game chat services (which were limited per instance). This will allow groups and parties to have chat lobbies that span the universe. VOIP/FOIP: One the VOIP/FOIP side, the team completed the integration of the Voice Client libraries based on our initial transport prototype within the game engine, allowing testers to have a multi-way conversation from the game client. This initial set of tests from within the game context were very helpful in confirming the approach since the technology involved with the VOIP transport layer automatically gave support for echo cancellation, bandwidth throttling, QoS, and support for transporting the encoded facial data. Work is now focused entirely on expanding the scalability of this infrastructure and adding capabilities to the game backend to create audio channels for groups, attach the sound elements to the proper in-game entities based on who is generating the data stream, as well as ensuring the voice infrastructure properly shards the audio channels across a fleet of voice servers. Community COMMUNITY CitizenCon 2948 is right around the corner! It was only last week the latest wave of tickets hit our store, so make sure you secure yours to celebrate Star Citizen live in Austin, Texas on the 10th of October. Find out more on our CitizenCon website and, while you’re there, check out the event schedule and enjoy the retrospective video with memories from past events. The month of August was also full of remarkable events, with Gamescom in Cologne, Germany being the highlight. There wasn’t a Star Citizen booth on the show floor this time around, but the team traversed the halls representing the game and chatting with the community. Some very special pins were distributed amongst the crowd and every evening saw a Bar Citizen. An exclusive Town Hall Q&A was recorded in front of a live audience, giving attendees the opportunity to ask questions about the newly revealed Crusader Industries Mercury Star Runner. You can catch up on YouTube if you didn’t attend the Town Hall, or find yourself in the video if you did. Do you have more questions about the latest data runner from Crusader Industries? Keep an eye out on the Comm-Links, as the answers to the Spectrum Q&A will be posted very soon! Speaking of events, the team held an RSI Apollo contest, asking for quotes that players think might be heard on board an RSI Apollo. It was tough to pick a winner, as we received so many excellent entries, but eventually, this won the competition: ♬ The hip bone’s connected to the, thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the, knee bone, the knee bone’s fused to this medium ablative/ballistic armor plate, please, pass the bone saw. ♬ As said before, the Community Team has been planning a wide variety of activities for this year, so there’ll be more exciting opportunities to leave your mark in the Star Citizen universe. In fact, another already started alongside the 3.2 Free-Fly event – the commercial contest is giving all producers, editors, and camera operators the chance to create a commercial video for the MISC Prospector and rewards the top three entries with sweet prizes. You have until 11:59 PM PDT on September 9th, 2018, so read up on the contest rules and start creating now! Conclusion WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT MONTH… View the full article
  26. OceanicBot

    Lighting habs, a first look at ArcCorp’s moons, lockers, ships, and Con42 in this week’s update. View the full article
  27. OceanicBot

    We took this month to focus heavily on performance, with lots of optimization. Let us know how we did. We also have a look at some upcoming additions: a new boat event, slot machines, and more. This patch wipes the servers. Enjoy! View the full article
  28. OceanicBot

    Lead writer Will Weissbaum whisks us away to Taranis, the rocky heart of the frontier, in this edition of Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Remember that you can always explore the Star Citizen Universe yourself in our web-based Ark Star Map. View the full article
  29. OceanicBot

    Chat: Rocket Pass 1 has finally arrived, which means that there are even more ways to earn in-game content by playing! Check out our Rocket Pass 1 Landing Page to find out more information: https://www.rocketleague.com/game-info/rocketpass/rocket-pass-1/ View the full article
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