Mark Hamill caps off Star Citizen’s latest Around the Verse

    
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This week’s episode of Around the Verse sees Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookending the Austin studio update and tech check-in. The Austin branch is focused on major features for 3.0, Producer Jake Ross says, from commodity trading and the mission-giver experience to landing zones (yes with smuggling) and ship damage modeling. Work on Spectrum — that’s the huge in-game/out-of-game communication tool being custom-built for the game — continues as well.

The behind-the-scenes segment will be music to the ears of those of you who want to hear all about how the game and its builds are hosted.

The episode concludes with what is probably its best bit, a May the 4th tease that amounts to “a little glimpse of Mark Hamill in the cockpit of Squadron 42.” We’ve tucked it down below.

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Tufao

Star Citizen project teach us all that crowdfunding should be used only as a start, not as the business end (which makes “Kickstarter” a very appropriate name).
And people thought that pay-to-win was the worst idea that was created for MMO’s and similar online games, when in fact, something a lot worst was coming… Pay-to-never-release, since 2012, full credits of this great idea for RSI. I can’t wait for the rest of the game industry to follow their lead.

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Solaris

Damn SC is looking good.

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portnavi

That’s quite a downgrade.

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Joe Blobers

Quote: “That’s quite a downgrade.”

First, it is not.

Second, whatever the name you give it is still way better than anything on any AAA, except may be some pre-rendered video.
IF CIG can provide such “downgraded” face on all the game, I will pledge a few extra package just to support that!

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portnavi

How is it not a downgrade from previous footage of that scene?

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Joe Blobers

Hw it is. By what percentage that make this video totally unacceptable by the previous one?

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portnavi

Previous scene had better lighting, model was more detailed (looked far more like Hamil) and the animation as slightly better (still overly exaggerated, but better).

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Joe Blobers

In short, nothing players will make a difference in game as both video are great…

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portnavi

Yes, people will likely not give a shit if these scenes look worse than previously shown. I mean, some will, but I imagine there will be more issues regarding missing features as that’s almost always the case.

But then people made a lot of noise over Watch Dogs.

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primal

It’s pretty simple, that scene is raw mocap footage. Previous is a cinematic where mocap is put into a scene. It’s got different lighting, different scene etc. It’s like saying laser tag got a downgrade from a neon lit room to plain boring one when the lights are turned on. Not hard to understand but haters will be haters

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portnavi

It’s not hating, it’s just noticing the downgrade in quality. No reason to get upset about that or come up with excuses like it being raw mocap footage. That’s not what raw mocap footage looks like.

And by the by, it’s not exactly a bad thing that there’s a downgrade. It means that Roberts is letting things slide a bit for gameplay (which he basically cares little about vs assets).

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Darkwalker75 .

Just because you don’t like or agree with the explanations given does not make then excuses.

What you call excuses are in reality people explaining to you that what you perceive as a downgrade is not actually a downgrade, but rather the precursor to what you have seen before.

And just because what you see now may be of lesser quality than what you have seen before does not mean that this is or will be ingame.

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portnavi

People aren’t explaining anything, just you are. Also you’re wrong. That previous footage was using CryEngine, so of course it looked “prettier”, now it doesn’t look quite so good. They’re finding a balance. I’d call that progress.

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Darkwalker75 .

If what @primal said is not an explanation, then I don’t know what it is.
Certainly looked like a decent enough explanation to me, yet you call it an excuse, its no wonder people react negatively to what you say.

As for the previous footage using CryEngine, what makes you think the current one is not using CryEngine?

And please don’t give me the Lumberyard excuse many do, I already explained that above.

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portnavi

I already explained about CryEngine. Also it’s only a decent explanation if you don’t know what raw mocap footage looks like.

I’ll say it again. This is a good thing. I know there’s a toxic community behind SC right now, ready to lash out at any slight criticism, but honestly this was more of an observation.

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portnavi

I’m sure that scene will look better with a few more post-processing effects, but there’s no denying that the model itself isn’t as detailed.

Since they’ve switched to Lumberyard (Amazon’s CryEngine), I think we’re going to be noticing a lot of these differences. They’re clearly focusing more on a playable game than they creating trailers purely for marketing.

Not sure if that means Chris Roberts will let up on the whip on high poly assets, but one can surely hope.

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Darkwalker75 .

A very common misconception based on people reading just the headlines and not the actual text.

They didn’t switch engine, they “switched like for like” in their own words.
In other words they took parts of Lumberyard(which just so happened to be a variation of CryEngine) that suited their needs and swapped them for some stock parts of the CryEninge.

Is it really too much to ask of people these days to actually read and try to understand instead of just assuming based on a headline?

As for the high poly count, that’s been in since the original demo video.

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portnavi

Holy shit, I actually included the words “Amazon’s CryEngine” in my reply. And yes, the high poly count in the original demo was my point.

sigh.

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Utakata

Where the Dark Side is made up of Darth Smart and Manzes Ren… o.O

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GoJammit

I’ve missed you. I haven’t been participating a lot lately and your ison always brightens my day.

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Lethality

Honestly, even with all of the time I put into following the game, and the depth of scrutiny, they never cease to amaze me with the quality of the work they put out.

Squadron 42 will be a milestone game for the industry, I believe. At least visually and technically… we’ll have to see from a gameplay and narrative perspective, but obviously there’s a track record there :)

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Not a lot of eye candy or flashy features in the weeks episode but the network geeks will love watching neckbeards assemble a new server rack and talk about how hardware and cutting edge server data handling and scripting will make the game seamless.

It’s can’t be glamorous every week but I do appreciate that they cover all aspects of development, not just the juicey bits.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Yep, that beats ME: Andromeda facial animations

Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

To be fair, MEA had hundreds, if not a thousand, npcs you could talk to with multiple dialogue trees, etc. SC probably has a fraction of that. There’s no way Bioware could have done mo-cap for a thousand npcs.

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Darkwalker75 .

SC will likely have thousands of NPCs you can interact with as well, possibly more than MEA.
And they don’t need to do mo-cap for thousands of NPCs, they already explained how they do it.

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Solaris

I guarantee Andromeda didn’t have even 1/3 the budget SC has.

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Darkwalker75 .

Did a quick search and as it turns out MEA cost $40 million, which is almost 1/4 the budget for SC, that falls well within your guarantee.
But that still leaves the question, is that the budget for the games development only or does it include marketing?

However my point was in response to the mo-cap and number of NPC’s comment.
SC will likely have more NPC’s than MEA, but even with the larger budget they don’t do mo-cap for all NPC’s, with the link to where they explain how they do the facial animations.
The cost of doing mo-cap for all those NCP’s is likely prohibitively high, not to mention a waste of money given how many of those NPCs are not moving much, if at all..

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primal

Yeah but it’s using frostbite 3 and supposed to have a team of high quality talent behind it and it took them 5 years to make it

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Solaris

I absolutely loved Andromeda. And you are correct. The production value could not have been even close to Star Citizen’s quality. But man that SC quality is amazing.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Lolwut? SC will most likely have more NPCs on a single planet then in whole Andromeda. And SC will have dozens of planets.

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primal

SC will have tons more than mass effect Andromeda and the system they created for it will help to make it easy to add. Fact it’s MEA system is just crap

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GoJammit

Not having mo cap available for tal the npc’s is no excuse for some of the wackiness that was seen. And I love the game, but something was off. Like when you pick up that funny looking chick from the bar. You know when you get home you’re gonna have a good time, so who cares about a few missing teeth.

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angrakhan

Looks great! Granted Chris Roberts said “fun” and Sandi said “Awesome”, so I’m sure this all amounts to over-hype and selling Start Citizen like a Best Buy salesman selling high end cables.

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Melissa McDonald

Never forget our astonishment playing Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger on our Lucky Goldstar (now LG) 3DO system. Mark Hamill as the star of the interactive movie? John Rys-Davies? Holy cow. And nobody will ever be a better Maniac than that actor, same guy who played Biff from “Back to the Future”.

I can’t imagine a game today that would be as big a leap from Sega Genesis to the amazing WCIII. It remains one of the greatest game experiences of my life.

Glad to see Hamill is still “in the family” and will be some kinda part of SC.

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Kickstarter Donor
Darthbawl

Malcolm McDowell as Admiral Tolwyn was great as well. Porn star Ginger Lynn was also in it. LOL

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Wendigo Runner

Yep, I love those old Wing Commander games. Those were good times.

WC and Descent. The invention of video cards was amazing for gaming… XD obviously.

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Armsman

Both Mark Hamill and John Rys-Davies have part in ‘Squadron 42’. It seems they went with Gary Oldman as the Admiral though. Great actor, but I would have loved to see Malcolm McDowell in there. I wonder if they asked and he passed; or just figured they’d had enough with two original WC3 and WC4 cast members?

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Schmidt.Capela

Wing Commander III came out back when I was still pirating most of the games I played; it was one of the games I made absolutely sure to get a legitimate copy, though, as it really deserved it.

(I wanted to do the same with the first Privateer; IMHO the best Wing Commander game ever made. Unfortunately it was never released here, so I only got the chance to purchase a legitimate copy when GOG started selling it.)

BTW, EA gave out free copies of Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV some time ago through Origin. If I hadn’t two legitimate copies of each of those games already (the original one in CD-ROM, and another through GOG) it might have tempted me to actually install Origin, despite how much I dislike both its name and how EA manages it (heck, EA made a DRM-encumbered version of DOSBOX to use on old games distributed through Origin, which is both insulting and comically ineffective).