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10 for the Designers: Episode 02

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Published on Apr 13, 2015

Calix Reneau and Matthew Sherman answer 10 questions submitted by the subscribers. If you'd like to become a subscriber stop visit www.robertsspaceindustries.com!

00:46 - Repair System

03:17 - Physically Challenged Play

05:36 - Multi-Crew Stations

07:20 - Crafting System

09:03 - Environmental Impact on Flying

10:59 - Vanguard Redundant Systems

12:52 - Target Vectors

14:27 - USE Icon

16:22 - Persistence Duration

17:51 - Formation Flight

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- What kind of experience does the design team have in maintenance that they are able to design the repair system? How important is the repair system when designing a ship? How in-depth will ship engineer gameplay be?
  • 1) None. But thatnks to the entire team at CIG we have a lot of people we can refernce.
  • The gameplay loops they're looking at will have a lot of discreet actions so an overall problem can be quite complex.
  • Inspired by CarMechanic 2014 and Trauma Center.
  • There's a cool prototype being worked on.


- How are people who are mentally or physically challenged going to be able to progress through skill-based progression?
  • Part of our solution here is the wide variety of support for input devices.
  • One of the core elements is the specialization roles: You can go really deep, but you don't have to.
  • You don't even have to fly a ship. You can find something that you enjoy.


- Will a pilot be able to shut down and restart individual engines in-flight? Perhaps shutting down two of the four engines on a Constellation in cruise to conserve fuel.
  • Yes. The whole point of multi-crew is that you can split up the systems, but that means not everybody needs access to them all.
  • Radar, shields, etc will have a lot of granularity that you can focus on when you're not in combat or otherwise having your attention maxxed elsewhere.


- In SWG we could experiment on items to become better crafters. Is there something similar planned for Star Citizen so that an individual can make a name for themselves?
  • Yes. CR wants this.
  • Instead of a weapons-smith skill it will be more about how many things you break until you determine just how to max things out.
  • It will be equal parts art and science.


- Has there been any thought given to observing aerodynamics for instance in a Nebula or denser clouds of gas to nerf strafe fighting?
  • Does the environment affect flight? Not yet, but it is intended to.
  • Not to the extent of atmospheric flight, but there will be ion-storms that may affect your shields or volitile nebulas that prevent you from using your thrusters too much.
  • TL;DR: No


- Are we able to use the redundant systems of the Vanguard on the fly, using low-emission systems for cruise and switching to higher powered ones for combat? Or installing both splash and direct damage shields so you can change configurations mid-mission?
  • Absolutely. The exact mechanics are not set up yet, but you could set your direct damage shield to the front and your splash damage shield to the aft and then do an attack run on a capital ship with balistic defense to the fore and missile defense to the rear.
  • The redundancy will be able to function in whatever direction you want.


- If a pilot spots another ship, will they be able to project the target's position and vector to other players or will they have to describe the target's vector.
  • I'd love to hear you describe the ship's vector. Seriously. I don't know how you'd do that.
  • This is an intersection of the targeting system and your comm system, and the basis of the Hornet Tracker.
  • You will be able to send target information to another player who doesn't have it.
  • A Tracker might send it to a Herald and the Herald can send it much further.


- Is there a plan to get rid of the USE icon?
  • Yes. But beyond that it needs to tell you what you're doing, whether opening a cockpit or a jar.
  • USE is pretty deeply set in the game engine so it will take a lot of effort to replace it.
  • We have it working in a vacuum but we're not sure what it will look like when it's working all together.

- If I find a derelict or something that that has high value but is beyond my ability to retrieve, how long will it persist in it's location so I can notify other players and have it be there when they show up?
  • We're getting the exact details sorted out.
  • If you find a big prize you should be able to send a mesage and have friends show up with a bigger ship if you're still there.
  • A lot is still in the works. It is a priority though.


- Will there be a system put in place to assist with formation flying and even jumping so that you could be locked into escort formation when flying with a capital ship?
  • Recent conversation with John Pritchet about picking a flight leader and having your IFCS (via friendly IFCS handshake) to do complicated maneuvers based around the leader's position instead of around your position in space.
  • This should be difficult but it's something we're hoping to try soon.

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Clever pick with the question 6 about the Vanguard. I'm glad they cleared that up since there's still a lot of unknown features of that ship. Wish every concept sale would have a "10 to the devs about the ship" during the last day.

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