Monthly Studio Report: September 2017

Monthly Studio Report: September 2017

You didn’t think we forgot about you, did you?

Welcome to the Monthly Studio Report, our chance to catch up with development teams from our studios around the world and take a look at much of what they’ve been working on in the last month.

With work on Alpha 3.0 running fervently towards release, the video versions of these Studio Reports regularly found in Around the Verse have made temporary way for our popular Burndown segments each and every week. That means for September we’re back to the classic format so we can bring you the latest in Star Citizen’s continuing development. So without further adieu, let’s get to it.

SPECTRUM

With the release of Spectrum 0.3.6 last month, a long list of bug fixes was needed to make September’s patch a huge improvement on performance and usability. Some of the major additions are:

Karma: When other members upvote your content within each community, you will receive “Karma” points. The Karma number is found on each individual mini profile.

Post Count: A counter on how many posts you have made within the community. Posts from the previous old forums are included in the count.

Tracked Posts: Threads which contain roles that are tracked, for example staff posts, now contain buttons to jump directly to those special replies within a thread. This same feature can be used within Orgs, simply enable the track post within the organization settings.

The team also reworked some of the previous features to make them more user friendly and create a base for future features. These improvements include:

  • Flagging posts in private orgs will no longer create misconduct reports.
  • The RSI login page will now redirect you to your previous location in Spectrum.
  • Improved Search UI to search for all, erased or non-erased content.
  • Display the member who soft-erased a reply or message.
  • A new global permission can be given to roles to allow members to reveal and search soft-erased content.
  • Member Profile Popup
  • Cleaner, more space-efficient design.
  • Integrated message box to send a quick private message to the member without having to switch to the private message view.
  • Post Count and Karma display!
  • Removed ‘content’ from flag notifications sent to officers (redundant).
  • Added send button to mini profile popup on mobile.

Moving into October, the team’s focus remains on Spectrum 0.3.7’s additional features such as Custom roles, and group PM as well as achieving a desktop version of spectrum. Desktop version will give them a framework for the in-game overlay.

LAUNCHER

The launcher/Patcher version 1.0.0-alpha.20 has been greenlight by QA for Evocati testing in order to get a better sampling of different hardware, connection types and windows versions.

The first release of this new launcher framework is geared towards delivering the same experience as the previous launcher, but with the core internals needed for the Delta Patcher system, as well as a library system to manage installing multiple games and their associated release channels (like PTU, etc.). This paves the way to be able to distribute entirely separate games like Squadron 42 from Star Citizen. This release will also come with a new installer and a totally rewritten application core.

A new launcher backend and distribution system was also developed to secure access to pre-release builds and also ensure the proper delivery of the incremental objects for the new delta patcher library. The end result should be drastically reduced patch sizes between updates, faster install and verification times and reduction in the steps required to launch a patch for the DevOps team.

The end result that will soon be tested by the Evocati during the 3.0 PTU phase!

SHIPSTATS

The team continues to tweak the Ship Stats display, ensuring that the introduction of the new and updated ship stats will bring clarity to the new ship balance. Turbulent has been adjusting the system that displays this to the backers to help them make decisions on ship purchases and better understand their rival ships in-game. New additions to the design include.

  • The introduction of VTOL, Retro, Fixed and Gimbal thruster icons to quickly identify a ship’s speed and maneuverability.
  • Additional maneuvering details including pitch, yaw, roll max.
  • Specifications for missile and missile rack manufacturers, models, and size.

As each ship is reviewed in-depth, the team will continue to refine the details. Aside from the display of the ships, they created a backend service that allows technical details to be uploaded in one shot. This system will help keep the ship matrix up to date.

SHIPSALES

The design team worked hard to create the in-lore page for the X1 which depicted the renowned designer Alberto Vara. This is your last week to pick up a X1 in the concept phase. They also brought you the Subscriber Herald flash sale for one weekend only, subscribers were able to grab the Drake Herald after testing it out for the month of September.

The team continued to prepare the website for major changes with the public launch of 3.0. Stay tuned for some very exciting upgrades to the site.

August traditionally kicks off the busiest time of year for the Star Citizen community… and we couldn’t be happier! Gamescom in August, CitizenCon in October and our anniversary in November means that there’s a lot to prepare without many breaks. Between those major events there are dozens of shows, posts, reports, ship presentations and other important pieces of content to get out to the community.

In August, we livestreamed gameplay from Gamescom and broadcast the big Star Citizen event that shared the latest and greatest information and a pretty excellent demo of what’s coming up in Alpha 3.0. Since then, we’ve been prepping for the next two big events: CitizenCon and Star Citizen’s anniversary in November. CitizenCon 2947 is being held in Frankfurt and we’re updating the format to include more to do and see.

Of course, our events aren’t the only Star Citizen happenings. Backer-run Bar Citizens have taken the world by storm… no matter where you are, there’s a Bar Citizen full of other space gaming fans looking to connect. We attend as many as we can, but we’re just as happy seeing them take place everywhere! Several groups have also established watching events for CitizenCon for those who can’t make the trip to Frankfurt, including VerseCon in Austin, Texas and Pariverse in Paris, France.

Star Citizen’s video output continues thanks to the work of our GVP or Global Video Production team. Around the Verse continues to share featurettes on the making of the game plus Burndown segments that include up-to-the-minute status reports on the 3.0 rollout. Bug Smashers, Citizens of the Stars and Loremakers continue their respective series’ (with some additional developers sharing their bug stories!) The monthly Happy Hour has shown us everything from the making of Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander IV to the live creation of a space whale by the character art team!

On the ship side, we launched both the Origin 600i series and its little brother, the X1 space bike. The Origin lineup has always felt small compared to behemoths like Aegis and Anvil, so we wanted to give it a little love… and to focus on ships that aren’t as combat focused as previous years. We hope you enjoyed the ship pages and the brochures… rest assured we had a great time putting them together! What’s next for ships? Well, we feel it’s going to be something of a game changer…

Development subscribers have been busy these past two months, too. In August they test-flew the Herald and this month they have access to all five ‘original’ Star Citizen ships! Hangar flare schematics are rolling out, two every month, with the most recent group being Drake-themed. The September Town Hall allowed live Q&A with some of our tech specialists… and there’s new behind the screens articles every month in Jump Point (with an issue on the 600 and X1 being in the works now.)

We must close by thanking the thousands and thousands of community members around the world who make everything we do worthwhile. Your passion, your creativity, your excitement keeps us going all the time, and we’re so grateful to be allowed to be part of this adventure. Keep sharing your ideas, your artwork, your writing, your songs and memes and your opinions… your excitement is contagious. Stay tuned for more community content, more great events, more ships and more reports like this one. Until then, we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

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