Welcome to some more Star Citizen, I was recently at BritizenCon where there were various Star Citizen panels and questions asked to Clound Imperium devs, This covered UI, Missions, Props, Environments and More and was quite interesting, this will be a summary of that and some follow up questions. I’ll do an event summary and some of the less game relevant stuff in a stream or as a seperate video, links to the BritizenCon Panels and Stream down below.=
UI’s & HUDs have a huge amount of variety it ways they expose data, brand, tech and their engine needs to cater for them all, the UI system take game code and exposes it sensibly to the player. This also includes physical buttons, touch displays, holograms. These all need to be diegetic too (so exist for the character to see not just the player)
A Huge amount of the info is physicalized and exposed to the player.
You will be able to see other players interacting with their mobiGlas and screens and see what they are doing.
A players helmet visor can show a huge range of data, they are still deciding on exactly what to allow players access to BUT can plug in various pieces as needed and build the UI for it. The system can take info from weapons, items, armor, player states etc…
They can take data from any part of a ship or attached item or system to make an MFD.
The UI is very scalable for their future needs, they do want to optimize it as much as possible so it isn’t resource heavy on your PC.
Transit Displays are coming in the future.
Missions – Luke Pressley (Lead Star Citizen LIVE Designer) talked about Missions – Missions at the moment are very limited by the rules sets and mechanics supported by the game, when they make a mission they will talk to the writers and environment designers to see how they can best use mission givers, lore and the gameplay area to build them out.
Currently missions are really Fighting, light exploration & transport archetypes (racing too)
Local Inventory will help develop missions.
They decided to add 1 big mission for Twitch in 3.5, where she gives you a ship to use, that isn’t the way they necessarily want to led you a ship in the future though, it’s just the way they game currently supports doing it. In the future you’ll be able to have your friends flying mission ships as well rather than just the mission owner.
Luke doesn’t feel like they have created a mission yet, what they have currently is very simplistic.
A Mission should be dynamic, have several objectives, lots more new gameplay – kidnapping (with knocking players out) was an example he gave.
They don’t want to spoon feed players, they are aware that if players know how to do a mission that they won’t read the description, they also did have to change the description of the Mission Item in Pachecos Mission from Bark to Wood Chips as players were confused / commonly used Wood Chips to describe it’s look.
In the future though, they want players to figure it out themselves. Luke watches a lot of people play through those missions and adapts them based on feedback.
There is sometimes situations where these changes will look like a mission is broken to players who did not realise there has been a change.
Service Beacons are the very early state of player generated missions. In the future they could for example have players delivering items for service beacons. This system will continue to be built modularly and exposed to players when they can.
They want to have animals in game, tracking them – these are planned for the future.
Dynamic Missions – Tony Zurovec is working on the Economy and Dynamic Mission System.
There are going to be missions based on the needs of the area you are in but also have missions made up of various modular parts.
Luke Answered some questions afterwards too in regard to that & about some ideas for missions in the future.
The Dynamic Mission system allows for much more appropriately generated content BUT they still need to build all of those mission modules, possibilities, plan the variables, balance the enemies and their loadouts. More and more modules, types of mission and more will come online from each major release. ScrapYards / JunkYards are a potential future location or area in the Verse that will be Outlaw-centric allowing for the sale of stolen ships, these may also be mission areas or general POI for bounty hunting / intrigue.
Props – Props covers a few things including dressing areas, standalone items but it can also be larger items of parts of them. They will build props to suit locations, for missions, add flavor to environments. The Skimmer Probes for example were made by the props team.
Anything that is interactable they consider an entity. They can build pretty much anything.
They are updating the entities system currently.
Props will sometimes imply use or have partial use. Eventually they want to have many more objects be able to be picked up and interactive.
Sometimes fully functional props wouldn’t be appropriate or take far to much time, they also create assets that add flavor or have implied use like filing cabinets & set pieces this adds to immersion and world building. If they have a ladder or item that should have use, then it should have use, it won’t be non-functional for dressing, they do want lots of functional flair and items though.
They try to build props with what they would look like in the future BUT also they don’t want to take players away from what they know, vending machines, chairs, toilets, they will look like you expect them too.
They had a random concept of a turtle in area 18 that the prop team ran with.
They can have weight to props too that will affect your stamina.
Environments – When fleshing out areas like ArcCorp and Area 18 the environments they need to make and catalogue all the assets that they are going to use, some of this might be already made, the props guys might make some bits too, the design guys will give a brief on how they want the area to be used. The Environments guys will then with system resource budgets in mind build the area, for example in Area 18, they have a mixture of low poly assets that are low to the ground and high quality assets that are close to where the player will be flying around or exploring. They take feedback/suggestions from players across Reddit, Spectrum & other places too.
Originally Signage in Lorville was very limited, they expanded the area to have very clear signs to help players get around, this evolved though QA and the PTU, a lot of influence it take from the players.
They want more moving items in environments, like flags moving, additional vfx, making the more static scenes have more movement. The more of these little pieces and effects they add the more these areas can come to life, there are currently more resource restrictions than they’d like.
Orison is something they are very much looking forward to building an amazing cloud city above a gas giant.
Some other questions I had answered after the panel about environments were answered too.
The placement of the other areas around ArcCorp was done by hand and mainly because they made sense and looked cool there. They looked at the skyline and where players would be moving around and made sure that the area felt and looked right, this seems to be a portion of what environment guys do when they are build large areas, making sure that the area looks great, day & night and from various ranges. (They have a day night slider they can use to change the time) ArcCorp took 2 people around 2 months to build out environmentally.
The various teams will communicate and evolve ideas for environments, props & missions.
There is a lot of plans they have for all of these as the game becomes less limiting.
There was some General Building a Studio info
They have quickly gone from a Start-Up to a company with 550 employees.
They embrace new challenges and face them.
They continue to try and expanded their workforce, mentor juniors and make their processes more efficient.
Sever Meshing was also talked about in the Panel BUT I have already made a video about that information, links below.