Star Citizen: The Road to CitizenCon

Sean Tracy (ST): We’re two weeks away from
Citizencon. Chad McKinney (CM): It’s a little bit down
to the wire now. Josh Herman (JH): Chris has very high expectations
and I think a lot of us do and we all want to match them. Ricky Jutley (RJ): But I think together with
the Directors and Chris and there are late night syncs we have that we’re able actually
to deliver. Jeremiah Lee (JL): We are two weeks away from
Citizencon. Forrest Stephan (FS): So for Citizencon, we’re
actually working on two demos – Proc Planet v2, also known as Homestead; and a full chapter
of Squadron 42. JH: We’ve planned for this for several months
in advance. Vanessa Landeros (VL): It’s a matter of
getting things polished now and getting things in looking good. Nick Elms (NE): And in usual Star Citizen
style, everything is coming in hot, but I think we are looking good. Erin Roberts (ER): We are all based in different
continents so you basically have a 24hr cycle with hands off which basically means we have
development going all the time between the studios. Chris Roberts (CR): The Squadron 42 Chapter
is a lot, I mean, to do a full playthrough of all the action is over an hour. NE: We’re trying to give people a snippet
of what Squadron 42 is going to be about. Omar Aweidah (OA): We have some new costumes,
we have some new characters, now we are going in there, so it’s probably going to be the
biggest implementation of character tech that we’ve seen so far. JH: So each deck crew, there is eight different
colours of deck crew – we know what the person’s name is, we know what their job title is – we’re
really fleshing out every part of the ship. So you can walk around and follow a character
around. If you want to follow around the Sanitation
Guy, you can follow around the Sanitation Guy. Squadron for us, for the character team specifically
is really important – we didn’t put in ten characters, we put in, as far as I can remember
it, up to 70 characters in this demo. Eric Kieron Davis (EKD): And it’s challenging,
you have a lot of challenges. Paul Jones (PJ): We might not get it all right,
but we’re all going to die trying basically – it’s one of those things where you just
keep going and going and going until Chris says stop. Fingers crossed. RJ: A lot of my role has been producing the
Homestead demo. CR: We said, let’s up it and put a whole
Javelin there and let’s bring in a Sandstorm and lets get some Sand Nomads and then I was
like “let’s have a big worm too” and everyone was like “haha, very funny Chris”
and I was like “Oh, no, I’m not joking.” JL: The giant sand worm, yeah, that is scary. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. JH: In the PU you don’t have to play as
a pilot, you can play as any kind of character you want, so I really wanted to make sure
we brought a character that looked very different than what we had before. JL: I’ve been working on the desert nomad
character – we’re trying to push our tech for our game – it has a lot of cloth, a lot
of frayed cloth edges. JH: I’m very proud of that character, I
think he is probably one of our best looking characters that we have to date. Ashram Kain (AK): We’re trying to build
these really complicated foundation systems that are going to support massive structures
to come when we expand the Persistent Universe into this huge entity, it’s not a tech demo,
we’re actually showing off what this system that we’ve built and that foundation is
going to support. Vincent Sinatra (VS): We got a lot of new
features that are going to be- new assets that are going to be appearing. Steve Bender (SB): We’re putting in new
functionality, like the stealth kill. NE: I’m most excited about seeing it all
come together on the day and seeing the excitement and hope from the fans. Matthew Lightfoot (ML): We’re really trying
to get as many features in there and get them as polished as possible to show you that we’re
making this game a reality. Dennis Daniel (DD): We’re prepping for a
really big show – it’s going to make sure this is one of the best Citizencons ever. CR: Challenge accepted. [October 3, 2016 – 6 Days Until Citizencon] Zoe Collier (ZC): It’s been quite a big
challenge because we’ve really pushed the boat out with the scope for this one. We’re trying to show all the features we
can possibly cram into the experience that will be Squadron 42. CR: We think these people sitting incorrectly
are physics issues, so what is the issue on that? Other than the fact she hasn’t got a body,
face looks as good as it’s looked. OA: You open up folders and there is just
much stuff that needs to be completed that it becomes a pretty daunting task. Brian Chambers (BC): Squadron 42, there are
so many new things we are putting in there – you can feel the tension on the floor. We’re still not 100% confident that we’re
going to be able to pull of everything we need in the time we have. [October 4, 2016 – 5 Days Until Citizencon] CR: That’s incredibly important thing for
me, it’s something I’ve been asking for since last Morrow Tour so I’m pretty frustrated
on that side because I- it’s the thing that makes them feel more natural and real otherwise
it looks like your typical bad game AI. Steve Bender (SB): I can’t guarantee that
we can get to all fixing- fixing all the retargeting problems with everything else we are trying
to do at the same time. CR: I mean, I understand that you guys are
working on it. I’m not saying you guys are sitting there
having a party and then showing up for a playthrough. But, it’s just helpful to see little bits
in progress earlier on to call out animation changes or whatever we would want. [October 5, 2016 – 4 Days Until Citizencon] BC: Progress on Homestead, it’s incredibly
ambitious, so many new parts, so many new pieces. CR: I’m hoping the animation that I see
at the end of your video isn’t what we are calling the final one because we basically-
it just comes out of the ground and goes ‘woo-ahh’ and we pull out. It feels- it doesn’t feel dramatic very
much to me. RJ: As always, global communication is one
of the big things. A lot of the tech is being done in Frankfurt
while we are still providing the assets over in the UK, while the demo is being driven
and done out of LA. EKD: These moments are crucial communication
– you miss an email, you miss a conversation and in thirty minutes you might already be
behind. JH: You spend hours upon hours upon hours
making something look perfect and then you put it in the game and you see it move – it
doesn’t look as perfect as you thought it did, and that’s not anybody’s fault it’s
just the process of working in a collaborative space. CR: I’m not against the scanning thing you
talked about Hannes if that can work. I just wanna sell the narrative and you’re
like- you’ve got a general distress, you’ve got a beacon, you’ve been looking for something
and you basically have to get closer and closer and get more fidelity to find and recover
the stuff. JH: If something is in the game and it’s
working, does it work all the time? Is it only if you do it in certain ways? Is it only being triggered in certain ways? That’s very different from being in an isolated
controlled test level where you know it’s going to work every single time. Because then when you put it into the game,
you are expecting it to work and you know that it can work but that doesn’t mean it’s
going to work. [October 6, 2016 – 3 Days Until Citizencon] Developer: For some reason, this guy ‘Console’
doesn’t care but the powerplant does. Mark Abent (MA): Is the powerplant CGF or
CGA? Developer: They are both CGFs. Vincent Sinatra (VS): We got some bugs currently
around the Connie and the Rover. Also the AI seems to like to shoot rocks instead
of shooting the player. SB: We have been doing a lot of rewriting
of a lot of the AI code and the AI systems in that process things, especially within
the animation, start to look a bit broken. These are in some cases, really enormous systems
and trying to get them all done at the same time is overwhelming. Paul Reindell (PR): It’s crazy, databank
entry and it has scanner data for the entry and the scanner data has a list of subcomponents
and each subcomponent can have another subcomponent and then for each subcomponent you have “Item
Data” and the Item- it’s crazy. EKD: Our job for the most part is the city
is on fire, constantly. And the fire only gets bigger before you release
it and you release it. SB: And I haven’t been sleeping. Todd Papy (TP): And it sucks. Paul Jones (PJ)I really have not been sleeping. [laughs] EKD: I’ve been having sleepless nights about
Citizencon for over eight weeks. NE: I’ve lost my train of thought. SB: Oh, hello, chirpy, how are you? Not now! I’ve told you before. CR: It’s kinda a pull on me to see what
it is like to be a Kim Kardashian. Paul Reindell(PR): [laughs] [With time running out before Citizencon…] CR: How are we going to fix this? Because it’s consistently shows up all the
time, it’s borked. I thought we fixed this. Sean Tracey(ST): All the indirect shading
on the particles is corrupt. […a decision about SQ42 had to be made.] Erin Roberts(ER): We need to make a call on
this. We know we’re not going to have the section
on the Idris ready with the thing done, well polished through and looking awesome. CR: Right. ER: If we just show it, it’s like… without
stuff working properly. I just don’t see what we’re getting out
of it. We should get that mail out tonight to the
guys in the UK and say focus on that. I just think if we do that then we’re going
to get complete focus but we have all the focus making sure that Homestead is the best. CR: Well, that’s a call we’re going to
make tomorrow. ER: Yes, it was but I think if we do it now,
then we get two full days on it rather than one which is Saturday. CR: Hey Carl, Erin, should we just have a
quick pow-wow about this? ER: The call is we’re not going to share
this on Sunday. CR: It was, it was hard. It was kind of depressing actually. So the decision not to show Squadron 42 after
everyone working so hard and actually of the company I would say a lot more of the company
were working on Squadron 42 which was by far the most ambitious of the ones that we’ve
gone for so it was tough to work… and people were working quite a long… because we’d
been working towards this for a long time. It was not something we started a few weeks
ago, working towards it for a long time so it’s tough to get there and not quite cross
the finish line. Jared Huckaby(JH): I saw everyone here working
hours and hours late into every day, you know, putting their time and effort into making
that everything they could. It’s a shame. BC: The decision was absolutely right, I absolutely
agree with it. CR: It was right up until the very end, it
was starting to make some decisions that were more about fixing it for the demo versus fixing
it for the game. BC: That’s slide just gives somebody a taste
of something and show a little bit of progress. Let’s show a snippet that shows it really
dialed in, and we also have a level of quality that we’re not going to set down. Phil Meller(PM): It’ll pay dividends when
people see it. ER: The good thing about it is actually a
huge amount of of work went into Squadron 42. We really moved it forward, we actually answered
a lot of issues and solved a lot of technological issues which means that actually it really
pushed us very close to getting something that we can show the community and that’s
basically where we are now. We’re basically working on getting Squadron
42 to a level where we can give it to the community as soon as possible. Randy Vazquez(RV): We were splitting resources
between the two and it was really tough for some of the engineers because those engineers
are being pegged for both demos. It was actually a relief for a lot of people
because they were able to focus and jump onto the project and help out. We can now give more resources over to just
this one demo and make it really good. Paul Reindell(PR): We basically pulled over
the entire team to Homestead. [October 7, 2016. 2 Days Until Citizencon] Developer 1: The passenger lift’s not working
on the Connie right now. CR: So we need to get the passenger lift working… Developer 1: That’s one way to get him in
there. CR: So, we don’t want to start on the slaver
outfit? Why do we have the gigantic radar thing? RV: It flickers in and out sometimes, it was
working fine last build but this build it seems it’s back again. Developer 2: The use prompt, it’s always
lagging behind. CR: Yeah, we need to fix that. Developer 3: Say that again. CR: The, all this Investigate goes away, it
should be Distress Signal cluster, Distress Beacon cause you don’t have HUDs tell you
Investigate, because that’s the gameplay concept. ST: That was cool. ER: The thing is it’s going to be the level
detail on our procedural worlds, people have done procedural worlds before but the level
of detail we’re bringing to it is something no one has seen before. NE: Most worried about the usual thing, will
it go all right on the night. We think we’ve done everything possible,
I think it’ll be great but you never know. CR: Cause we always do live demos, we don’t
like to pre-canned or pre-recorded stuff. There’s always this sense of is it going
to crash. EKD: In production these are some of the more
fun times but also some of the more stressful times, our job becomes more people focused
and calm and looking towards the correct goal at the end. ER: You just have to just stay on it and just
keep on, you know, one by one knock over each of the milestones and keep on delivering that
stuff. [October 9,2016] Tyler Witkin (TW): Hey guys. We are on the floor at Citizen Con 2946. As you can tell it is absolutely wild here. The show’s about the start. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. What does Star Citizen mean to you? Grakees: They mean everything. They’re family. Clifford aka Miku: It means finally being
able to be what I’ve always wanted to be. Grakees: They are the best community I have
ever come across. Chris Roberts (CR): We are going to go to
the demo. This is all 100 percent live, in the engine,
in real time. Let’s, let’s go. Eric Kieron Davies (EKD): My biggest worries,
like they always are right before release, are the unknown and wondering if it’s going
to work and the anxiety. CR: Just do it! GiogetMoney: This is like the Star Wars game
we never got, and it was just amazing. Ben Lesnik: Nobody else could do a show like
that. Dave Haddock: The planetside stuff, that demo
really, just … I mean it was stunning. Vinnie Sinatra: I’m glad I hit the sniper
shot. That was a nice one. Knight Wolf: Blew my mind. Steve Bender: I thought it was awesome. Are you kidding me? Backer: The Dune reference, it just does not
get enough love in Sci-Fi. Randy Vasquez (RV): I’m speechless of how
good it came out. Years1hundred: It’s kind of like… space
worms! CR: Well, what we showed was really just sort
of us using those tools to put something together fairly quickly with all of the work that we’ve
done to illustrate how we can build like compelling worlds at scale in you know an efficient time
line that allows us to build the whole universe, which is what we are trying to do with Star
Citizen. Jimi: The game will come out when the game
comes out and in the meantime we’re seeing the development, we’re seeing behind the
curtain and we’re playing aspects of the game that are just stunning. Backer 2: I definitely backed the right game. [Audience cheers] Steve Bender (SB): I’ve doing this stuff
for 20 years, and the fan involvement and the fact the fans care so much is just mind
boggling. Jimi: You look at the team and you look what
they’re developing and you see that they’re doing something nobody has ever done before
and then from a fan perspective it’s like, “Alright cool, I’m on board”. We get passionate about the project, the development
staff’s passionate about the project and it’s this cyclical thing where everyone’s
supporting everybody else. SG: I think this before it is the first gaming
community that i’ve ever been apart of and I’m biased to say that it’s the best gaming
community ever. I would personally like to thank all the community
because if it weren’t for you all, I don’t know how I could do my job. JH: One of the reasons I backed the game and
many people backed the game is to provide Chris Roberts and by extension Cloud Imperium
Games the freedom from publishers, the freedom from compromise to do these things the way
they’re supposed to do and to push these things as far as not only technology, but
the people making the game can push them. Ben Lesnick (BL): I sat down with Jared and
Tyler after the event and we were just, I don’t want to look at reddit. This makes us so sad, we don’t want to disappoint
people, but it’s for the best and I’m so proud to work for someone who’s willing
to make that call. Who’s willing to take the short term hit
on reputation and that sort of thing so that we have a better game, so that we deliver
what we promised. So there’s an old saying that a delayed
game is good eventually, whereas a bad game is bad forever, and crowdfunding lets us put
that to the test. This has been the sentiment throughout. Take your time, make it perfect, we want the
best damn space sim ever. BC: I think Citizencon went extremely well. It’s always a strong show for us, it’s
always kind of the more emotional as well. We came to show off our progress and I think
that’s what we did. RV: Whenever we do demos, Chris is usually
talking through the demos and he’s not really looking at the demo itself. If you see him, he was like looking at the
screen and he had this grin on his face you know, you could tell he was proud. The responses I got afterwards going around,
walking around, talking to people, I mean, just can’t thank our community enough. SG: Everyone who’s been here right through
the beginning, who may have just joined yesterday or who’s thinking about joining now, thank
you very much. ER: I just want to say thanks to everybody,
to the community for all your support. We get to make this dream come true because
of you guys and that means alot to everyone here in Cloud Imperium around the world, and
so I really look forward and I know we all really look forward to showing you all the
great stuff that’s coming up over the next few years. CR: Thank you for watching. So If you want to keep up with the latest
and greatest in Star Citizen and Squadron 42’s development, please follow us on our
social media channels. See you soon.

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