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Game Design Questions July – Calling All Devs Summary

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, with some of the most informative bits of news we have had about game systems in ages. Looking at NPCs Crews, Mobility on Foot, Disabling Ships, Survival Mechanics, Medical Gameplay and the Next Concept Ship.

Summary of Calling All Devs – Calling All Papys, Part 1 from the 16th of July.
NPC Crews vs Human Crews
NPC Crews will be able to compete with Human Crews, in fact they have now suggested that they can be just as good as a human crew if all other conditions are equal.
With Turrets and weapons they can balance them to be as accurate as they want.
When it comes to decision making with when to come off consoles and repair parts of a ship or move to other stations, that’s where the AI & subsumption behaviors require more work.
They will know the layout of a ship, be able to run off to repair something, then run back to their original job OR whatever their behavior says they should do.

On Foot Mobility
EVA thrusters might be able to help you break your fall. But they haven’t talked about grapples, jetpacks or on foot mobility for exploration. It’s something that will be looked at in the future.

Disabling Ships
They are currently working on misfires, wear and tear & item degredation working.
Damage to items will affect other systems.
Once this is done, the vehicle team will have external ship and item damage work internally having the external and internal object containers talk with each other.
This means ships won’t have a health pool then explode, they will take damage more appropriately to areas hit and taking out systems or sections of ship will disable or cripple them. Explosions may still happen if you use huge ordnance OR take out a power plant OR if there is a critical fail on a system.
This is going to be incredibly important for escape pods, piracy, salvage and risk reward gameplay.

Survival Mechanics
They are implementing character properties currently. This can be thirst, hunger, being drunk.
You’ll be able to eat, drink, shower, use the toilet. It looks like this will be used in SQ42 as well.
It’s potentially buffs, debuffs and light survival mechanics. They have debuffs already in the form of bleeding so it’s not too crazying to imagine other buffs and debuffs with this.

Medical Gameplay
They are working on knock downs, knock backs and staggers, typically as hit reactions these are coming online soon.
They are effectively increasing TTK. They don’t want players to get instantly, pop deaded, especially if they have travelled a long way.
Going Down & Reviving will be a thing, at the moment the medipen heals you BUT in the future it will be a temp heal & then it’s effects will start to wear off. They are supposed to be used in combat OR to patch you up until you can get to a medical facility on a ship OR hospital. Other players will be able to revive you and get you medical aid.
The fuller medical gameplay and experience is likely to come when more ships are rolling out with those features.

Summary of Calling All Devs – Calling All Papys, Part 2

Hull C
The Art for the ship is done, there is a couple of code issues which need to be solved.
They need it to expand and have the physics grid expand with it.
It’s a ship that needs to be able to dock when it’s full of cargo too.
Also currently all the cargo in game right now is ½ or 1 scu in size, the containers on the Hull C are much bigger.
Moreover the vast amount of freight requires a larger playspace.
Potentially they could have the first iteration of the Hull C land by not allowing cargo to be attached underneath it, but the plan is to have it dock with ships and stations to shift cargo when laden and to contract to land.

How will will travel from Port Olisar to Hurston as it’s too far to do in a single QJ?
They have a test map where they have placed Hurston.
They have 8 rest stops along the way from Crusader to Hurston at the moment.
They will be adjusting the amount of rest stops potentially and other ways to populate the system for 3.3.
It’s likely this will continue to evolve as they haven’t worked to this scale before in the PU.
They don’t want players to have to refuel every 2 mins tho, they want travel to be meaningful but not unfun, but pretty much all ships are likely to need to need to refuel on their way from PO to Hurston (maybe not the Starfarer?)

ESP Fixes
3.2.1 contains some rough balancing for ESP, the system is in designer control now.
3.3 will contain a lot more adjustments. There may be a 3.2.2 patch as well.

Prospector Mining
At the moment there is no filtration of useless rock in the Prospector.
The mining team is currently working on making ground mining better & then getting mineable asteroids in space. Then they will move onto another career or other aspects of mining, like refining or filtration.

Todd Pappy – Star Citizen Live Game Director is happy with the progress over the last 9 months. The quarterly releases come with constant feedback and focus.