Star Citizen’s new Pillar Talk series stars key devs discussing the 3.6 alpha

    
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Your eyes aren’t deceiving you: Cloud Imperium has brought back Pillar Talk as a real thing for the Star Citizen community, and it’s not just a joke title this time. MMO players will recall that after alpha 3.5 launched, CIG retired its long-running Around the Verse program in favor of shorter weekly Inside Star Citizen episodes.

“That show we kind of defined as like the what,” CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis explains. “Where this is going to be where we talk about the why.” Joining him for this quarterly Pillar Talk are the decision-makers behind the core pillars of the game – in this episode, that’s Game Director Chris Roberts, PU Director Tony Zurovec, and Vehicle Pipeline Director John Crewe, plus Davis, who’s being billed as the Chief People Officer.

The quad discuss plans for 3.6 specifically, covering the law system, upcoming ships (including the Banu Defender), FOIP and VOIP improvements, flight improvements, shield systems, vehicle loadouts, and server-side tech. It’s actually an interesting discussion once it gets rolling and they all get comfy talking, so don’t judge it by the beginning.

Source: YouTube

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Godnaz
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Godnaz

“That show we kind of defined as like the what,” CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis explains. “Where this is going to be where we talk about the why.”

This touches on and explains some of that ‘Feature Creep’ a lot of people, including myself are worried about. While it’s not specific to the general question, it’s worth a watch if you wonder why it’s taking so long to make this game.

The gaming climate we are in (lack of technological innovation, profit margins over creativity/variety, unstable work place environments), Star Citizen is pushing boundries it can afford to take its time with whether we like it or not. With a stable enough monetary outlook that is out of backers hands, explaining ‘why’ at this point can now be conveyed comfortably.

You’ve heard me say this before but had Chris Roberts told potential backers that they wouldn’t see an actual game for 10 years, no one would have funded this game. Yes, he lied. Yes, once funding poured in, the scope of the game changed. With another 2-3 years to go before SC beta, I am betting his gamble pays off.

Aside Cyberpunk, was anyone really satisfied with E3? Gaming is ready for an evolutionary change.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

i think there’s an actual game now, and i don’t think chris roberts had the foresight to see that, or that *launch* would take 10+ years

i think his brother and his contacts basically rescued the project thusfar. and that chris owes them all alot more than money can buy.

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Tee Parsley

Chris Roberts is just slightly better than a forum user who dreamily says, ‘My perfect game would be this, and this, and this, etc….’. Worse really, in that years into production he adds different things that should have been baked in earlier in development.

And as far as his lies go, yeah he’s full of them. But as one long time coworker told me, ‘Chris Roberts believes everything he says, regardless of its relationship to reality.’

deekay_000
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deekay_000

alot of what you says is true. it’s also not uncommon amongst game directors/senior leads. especially in the more mmoish if not straight up mmorpg genre of the gaming industry. especially dense of the kickstarter video game developer face bracket.

it’s a good thing we’ve got solid strong willed people reigning him in for the past some years so production has been moving forward.

beyond that, alot of the “new” stuff people have been noticing was talked about a long time ago. like the prodution schedule and prioritizing of those things over others one way or the other or not… there hasn’t been a whole lot of actual feature/function/mechanic creep in a longggg time.

stuff is being implemented on an ongoing basis and more frequently they are talking about what’s directly ahead for a change.

beyond that, their marketting is absolutely manipulaitive in how it’s presented. just like… all other marketting. just don’t ever forget all corporate comms are also marketting. and so are youtubers looking to make a dime off any given game or product.

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Arthen Wolfsbane

So you are saying Chris Roberts was duplicitous on purpose because he realized that if he told the truth about how long the game would take to release no one would have been in interested in backing it .

My impression of Chris is different I genuinely think he thought he could release it sooner but he became over ambitious for the game and the so called “feature creep” is what has led to such a long development .

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris will eventually have to step down and it will be completed under someone else’s leadership . It might even take longer than 10 years to finish .

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

I think this game out of any game would really benefit from being on a service like Stadia for people that don’t have crazy rigs. Here’s my reasoning:

1.) Can play it on anything w/a controller means LOTS of people play it.

2.) You can put EVERYONE on the same shard for the persistent universe. EVERYONE.

3.) Picture in picture streaming support for your team/guild/party whatever means seasoned players can aid newbies without having to be with them in game. That’s a HUGE boon for corps/guilds whatever they’re called in SC.

People are still gonna want to play on their rigs built for the game. When it’s considered “launched” no longer in beta w/e you want to call it I will too. I just think that this game above any other is the type of game these cloud sub services are made for. The ENTIRE universe and playerbase fitting in one game is what we’ve all dreamed of and the Stadia type services are offering that.

Before you go, “Like Stadia’s actually gonna work” I could say the same thing about a “launched” out of beta SC. We kind of have to take both on faith and that’s what my premise here assumes. The benefit of the doubt for both services.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

is there something magical about stadia hardware that is about 20 years ahead of current technology in multiple areas or something?

also star citizen will be presumably single shard to an extent when full OCS comes in regardless of stadia. by a number of mmorpg’s standards it’s already more or less single shard just with bad match making.

anyways stadia is just like any other expansible cloud service, just with some blingy gaming features thrown in on top of it. it’s also extremely bandwidth hungry for the end user even by north american cable internet standards, let alone other means of connecting and consuming the service.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

in case it’s not clear, firs ttwo paragraphs are both about

2.) You can put EVERYONE on the same shard for the persistent universe. EVERYONE.

from different perspectives. first one is some what assumptive on the premise of what i imagine he must be picturing there. really stadia is no different than aws in any material form for the purpose of sharding and instancing, and stadia really just servers the same purpose as AWS does for the purposes here.

2nd one is just the basic break down of how instancing works wether it’s gw2 or sto or ffxiv. it’s just star citizen’s matchmaking sucks right now as it’s temporary ahead of them moving to something more like wow’s megaserver tech. which sc is already more single sharded in key ways than wow’s mega server is the last time i looked(admittedly it’s been a while)

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Natalyia

Stadia (or any “cloud gaming” service) can get you #1, and #3 sounds handy – it might also be possible with things like Twitch’s squad-stream thing. I know Bored Gamer (a SC streamer) is promoting a cloud gaming service which he’s been happy with running SC (although I can’t recall what it is :) )

But the second benefit won’t arise from Stadia, or any other cloud gaming service. What they do is move the work your PC (the “client”) does off into the cloud, and stream the video to you instead. That frees you to use almost anything as the client, with a loss in responsiveness and a cost in bandwidth. How much of both will vary, but it’s always going to be there.

What it can’t help is #2 “Everyone on the same shard”, because that’s a server-side issue. Simulating thousands of players in the same place at the same time will bring anything we have to it’s knees. EVE online is a “single-shard” universe, and when thousands of players show up at the same place, at the same time, that area of space slows down. A second in game time becomes many seconds to the people playing. Or a minute.

Star Citizen has a number of tricks up it’s digital sleeve for finessing that as much as possible without resorting to EVE’s solution, as it won’t work for the sort of game they want to have. In a battle with large, multiplayer ships they’ll be able to put the people on those ships in their own shard, with just the ship itself having to be in the server running the space-battle. And being intelligent about what ships could “see” each other will let them shuffle people to different servers behind the scenes as a fight progresses. But in the end, if a 1,000 person org tries to attack another 1,000 person org, all 2,000 of them won’t be able to target each other at the same time – especially if they’re all in single-seat fighters.

They’ll all be able to “talk” to each other. But the 1,000 person ground assault on the other org’s base? I’ve no clue what the plan there is, but you’re not going to have 1,000 troops in one place at one time shooting at another 1,000. The laws of physics are going to get in the way.

And in the end, you wouldn’t want that anyway. In a fighter, your target options are “next enemy” “previous enemy” and (I think) “closest enemy”. That’s going to fall apart with dozens of targets, much less hundreds. Let’s assume there’s going to be some sort of really good UI in the ships with holo-globes to let a fleet commander give squadrons targets, and a simpler (but still good) UI for the squadron leader to send targets to the pilots of the squadron.

Even there, I doubt you’ll be happy with that UI at 1,000 targets. Maybe not with 100. And making a good one even for 100 targets is going to take quite a bit of time to design, implement, and then iterate on it until it is good. At some point you have to ask how much effort is it worth to handle 1,000 player battles well when they’re going to be quite rare, even if they’re technically possible.

In the end, I suspect the limits are going to be set more by the chaos of battle than the hard-caps of the technology. If nobody can figure out what’s going on with 200 targets on their hud, then even if that works, people aren’t going to do it much. It won’t be any fun, even for the victors.

In any event, Stadia (or technologies like it) aren’t going to help the single-shard performance problems for Star Citizen (or anything else.)

deekay_000
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deekay_000

there was a target manager way back in like 1.3 but… it’s been gone for a long time. it would be super handy in some of the busier scrims you can get into now but… it would not help at all in the kinds of battles people are envisioning.

in a 1000 man battle your entire screen in every direction would be filled with green and red triangles. it’d be useless. i believe there’s going to be some idk what stuff for directing pilots via the command consoles on certain ships but…

deekay_000
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deekay_000

i think foip is pretty cool but… it doesn’t work with my camera and as cool as it is i fail to see it as critical to either sq42 or pu development at this stage. i like that it’s a thing in this game, i just feel it’s premature to be much if any of a focus/usage of resources.

voip is similar state. i like the idea, like their take on it, but it doesn’t work well right now, and it’s another thing that isn’t particular critical to either game here. i think it will be used more often than say…. any other in game voip outside of forced voip games like csgo or w/e… while hopefully being … easier to use than past mmorpg examples and games like csgo in a number of ways… >>

that all aside sounds like some of the improvements here do apply to grouping up and sq42 gameplay beyond the actual voice and face talking stuff.