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Thread: [Livestreams] Questions and Answers Thread

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    [Livestreams] Questions and Answers Thread

    Hello, everyone!

    It sometimes happens that during a livestream, our hosts aren't able to get to every question asked. As such, this thread will be updated after Thursday livestreams where questions are asked, aiming to retroactively answer as many questions as we can!

    Livestreams and Links
    07/09/2017 - PS4 CQC Livestream with Ed Lewis and Lloyd Morgan-Moore.
    14/09/2017 - Thargoid Lore Run and 2.4 Release Date Livestream.
    21/09/2017 - Let's Play Community Goals with Lead Designer Steve Kirby.
    09/11/2017 - Discovery Scanner 1 - Creating a Galaxy with Dr Anthony Ross.
    16/11/2017 - Beyond - Focused Feedback Crime & Punishment with Sandro Sammarco.

  2. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #2
    QUESTIONS FROM 07/09/2017 - PS4 CQC Livestream with Ed Lewis and Lloyd Morgan-Moore.

    1. Lloyd says he talks to a lot of people in the company and uses spreadsheets. Can he provide some more insight into what producing in the Games Industry is about?

    Production deal with lots of different things on a day to day basis so it’s difficult to really sum up what the role involves. My average day can include (but is not limited to) planning future releases, catching up with members of the team and/or leads to see what state certain features or fixes are in, reviewing and assigning out bugs, ensuring departments have the right resources available to them, liaising with QA, completing the console build submission process, maintaining my areas of bug and task databases and often producing documents to cover any areas above that need to be recorded! There are many more things besides these though, and there’s always something new coming up that needs to be dealt with.

    2. Are there any further PS4 specific tweaks coming for Elite Dangerous?

    We are always working on making the game experience as good as possible for the players and the PS4 is certainly included in this. There will be small tweaks here and there with each new update. In 2.4 we’ve given you a bit more freedom with how you use head-look with the motion sensor, for example.

    3. How does the patching process on PS4
    compare to PC?

    I don’t have much experience with patching on PC, sadly, so it’s difficult for me to compare the two.

    4. Do the performance improvements seen in the PC 2.4 beta apply to consoles? Faster galaxy map for example.

    We generally try and keep things like performance improvements the same across all platforms however with the differences in tech and network conditions it’s not always possible to guarantee this.

    5. Is there any chance of us getting PSVR?

    We have nothing to announce at this point.

    6. Will the “Founder or Elite” missions ever get added back into the game?

    Nothing to talk about on this right now.

    7. Are the devs looking into the PlayStation Camera for Eye Tracking at all?

    PlayStation Camera eye tracking is not currently planned however it is something that I’m aware of and I know there are some requests for this feature.

    8. Which cupboard is Michael Brookes locked in?

    We still haven’t been able to find him… he seems happy though.

    QUESTIONS FROM 21/09/2017 - Let's Play Community Goals with Lead Designer Steve Kirby.

    Questions about Steve

    1. Steve, a question on being a Lead Designer. What do you design, the story, the environment?

    Hello, all! I'm the Lead Designer of content and scenarios. This means that I help plan out and create all the scenarios in the game, alongside other members of the team. Essentially, I help make the story work in the game! Things like Thargoid Structures, Megaships, Installations, if you can interact with it I've worked with it.

    2. What do you do as a Lead Designer on a typical day at FDEV?

    It really depends on the day. It could be looking at and developing new content, reviewing and balancing already implemented content, implementing new content. Really anything!

    3. What are you enjoying developing the most as part of 2.4 currently or for after 2.4?

    New scenarios for people to discover amidst some stuff that's being announced at FX for after 2.4... No spoilers!

    4. Where did you get your Cat shirt?

    Qwertee! It also glows in the dark.

    5. What's your favourite ship in Elite Dangerous?

    My favourite ship at the minute is the Asp Explorer, mine's called the "Wendy Two". Though, the Python is also great fun to fly.

    6. What's your favourite sounding ship(s) in Elite Dangerous?

    The Viper MK IV engine boost is wonderful, sounds just like a roaring lion!

    7. What CG will you be taking part in this week?

    Personally, I'll be taking part in the CG for Liz Ryder, but I highly recommend everyone work hard to complete both!

    8. What would you have named Ed’s new ship?

    Hmmm, either... Ed's Biscuit Barrel or the Obvious Target.

    Questions about Elite Dangerous

    1. Will there be a chance at peaceful Thargoid contact?

    All interactions between Thargoids and Humanity have the potential to be peaceful. What you do when faced with a Thargoid may very well determine its outcome, though of course, we can't know exactly what an alien will do.

    2. Will we be getting coloured HUDS for Consoles?

    At this point in time, we have nothing to announce regarding HUD customisation and we do not expect this to be available in the foreseeable future. The HUD colour is tied into many other visual aspects of the game making it difficult to amend without issue.

    3. Are we going to get a new official full timeline for Elite Dangerous universe?

    It's something we're looking into! In terms of the future of the game, there'll be more information available at Frontier Expo next month.

    4. What future proofing do the PS4 save files have when Sony discontinues the PS4?

    We've heard nothing about the PS4 being discontinued anytime soon, however, we would happily look into options should this come to pass.

    5. What happens if CG fails?

    Currently, this CG cannot fail as it has reached Tier One. Theoretically, if no-one were to contribute to the CG then the new tech would still be developed, however, it would only be available at specific Engineer bases and in small quantities. As higher tiers are reached, you can expect to find the new tech available in a growing number of locations in larger quantities!

    QUESTIONS FROM 09/11/2017 - Discovery Scanner 1 - Creating a Galaxy with Dr Anthony Ross.

    1) Is “The Bulge” what is referred to in game as The Bubble?

    The galactic bulge, or galactic core, is the blob-shaped region of stars in the centre of the Milky Way. It is a separate thing from The Bubble, which is the region of human-inhabited space around Sol.

    2) Why did Elite Dangerous decide to use light-years and not parsecs in-game?

    I don't believe there was a specific reason why. The original Elite and its sequels also used light years for interstellar distances, and it is nice to be consistent.

    3) Does the game allow for any catastrophes? Novae, rogue-planet ejection or capture, system collision?

    During the generation stage, rogue-planet events and collisions are taken into account. However, these are historical and not visual effects. When you arrive in the system, you only see the results of those effects on the resulting stable system.

    4) When do we get to hear about what is coming next for Stellar Forge? Like comets, flyable gas giants, etc.

    Oh, yeah, that's scheduled for MMPPPPPPH (Ant gets dragged away by Zac). Ahem, hm, apologies, but I can't really talk about that at the moment.

    5) Why does Elite Dangerous only use circular orbits? Are elliptical orbits too complicated?

    Elite Dangerous does use elliptical orbits. The inclination, periapsis, longitude of ascending node, semi-major axis and eccentricity information is all tracked.

    6) There are some planets in the game that look like they would be torn apart by tidal forces. Did you say you actually simulate this? What means those close planets are actually possible?

    There are some bodies which may be near the mathematical limit of that collection of matter being clumped together. However, we don't currently have the rendering feature to display what the surfaces of those look like or how you would interact with them. In reality, you may see a distorted molten mess.

    7) The in-system barycentre-orbital distribution in the game is quite vast, given the limited observed bodies (just Pluto/Charon). Is that likely true to life?

    The distant orbits which are created should follow Kepler's laws of planetary motion and classical (non-relativistic) orbital calculations. The resulting hierarchies of orbits should be feasible, but it will be very interesting to see what comes from the future of orbital mechanics analyses and exo-planet searches.

    8) Is there anything orbiting within Lagrange Points at all in Elite?

    There is a section of code running capture interactions in the virtual protoplanetary disk which can place bodies into the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. I believe this ends up being mostly asteroid clusters, but I have not had a look at them in a while.

    9) Have you ever forgot the location of a special feature, that could be found by a player?

    If I did, I have forgotten what it was. Sorry :( I did once make the galaxy produce Mr. Braben's face in stars as a test for being able to inject very bright O class stars, but that was removed pre-pre-pre Alpha.

    10) How close is this identifier system to any existing official naming or identifier protocols currently used by scientists? Like, could we input future data we collect in real life into Elite?

    Each generated body needs a unique identifier, but also any "authored" body, say from the stellar catalogs. Authored bodies, however, have their information pre-calculated, so only do partial proc-gen at most. The system is sensitive to adding new authored bodies to the system, as it could displace the identifier of other proc-gen bodies, changing the galaxy. It is possible to make changes, but we must be careful about it.

    11) Why aren't there dark regions on the other side of the galaxy?

    Do you mean lower density regions between the spiral arms? If you could please forward on an X,Y,Z sector location (as seen from the Galaxy Map grid lines) I could have a closer look and confirm. Depending on where exactly you are on that side, there are still under-dense regions, but there may also be some bleed through from the galactic bulge data placing more matter in that region that immediately appears from the image in the Galaxy Map.

    12) Will Nebulas one day resemble the Hubble painted shot?

    One of the common discussions on the dev floor is about the level of visual exaggeration we portray to the players. For example, most nebula images you can see are false colour ones of non-visible EM wavelengths. Do we make radiowaves visible in-game to reflect these beautiful photographs? Do we go the realistic route of showing these hydrogen clouds as greyish, slightly greenish diffuse blobs? No promises, no guarantees, nothing to announce at this time, but I am always interested in potential improvements to the rendering of stellar bodies and phenomena.

    13) Does the planet surface rendering use adaptive subdivision when making the hills and craters of the planets?

    Currently, the subdivisions are in smaller patches with the same amount of points in the same square arrangement. This is used, rather than non-uniform dynamic tessellation, because in our system it allows a much faster and economical generation of both render and physics meshes. We blend between detail levels of patches though, to smoothly transition from low to high vertex density.

    14) Have you thought about creating permanent, full textures for popular planets that get loaded frequently?

    Such large texture collections would take up a lot of graphics memory. I understand and sympathize with some of the popping that users have been experiencing, but using up that available memory would mean that other textures in the game would pop quite a bit worse.

    15) How come some stars are older than the Universe in Elite Dangerous?

    The oldest stars in the real Milky Way can tend towards 13,800,000,000 years. The sectors themselves have a maximum average age of 12,810,000,000 years. Unfortunately, though, there is a small, rare, bug in resolving the range of ages across a few sectors, and there have been a few cases of the stated age if a star being around 18 billion years. Yup, that's an oopsie. Bluntly fixing this will upset some generation and alter the galaxy, so a careful approach is needed for fixing this one up. It's my list of work to address, apologies for the delay.

    16) Does ED generate hidden geometry?

    The word "patch" in this answer refers to a square of terrain. For planets? The base patches on the faces of those cubes that become the planets are always there, as the data might be needed at any moment if one is traveling fast enough. The finer detailed patches are only generated when it's reasonable for the game to expect you to need that information, depending on your altitude and speed. There might be patch information which would be beyond the horizon and so not needed for rendering in this frame. In this case, the patch is culled from the list of things to render, reducing the work on the GPU.

    17) Why are there regions of stars near the core where there are defined lines of difference... i.e. one side dense star field
    other side hardly any stars at all?

    A good question; I do see the reddit posts about this one fairly frequently. There are some sectors which have a large density gradient between them. One sector is over a threshold for generating stars of the size that its layer looks after. The neighboring sector may be just underneath this threshold. As this neighbor doesn't create any systems, it donates its mass to all its child sectors and so creates many bodies. The first sector has made some heavier stars, so donates a lesser amount of leftover mass. The result is that there is an overpopulated sector and an underpopulated sector. Not all cases of this happening were smoothed out before the initial release of Elite: Dangerous, and making any alterations now would upset the proc-gen of the entire Galaxy.
    We are aware of it and are still mulling over which direction to take this in.

    18) Do you have anything to say on the real life discovery of Trappist-1, with it being so close to the system which the Forge created?

    "Well done StellarForge!"? :) Also, "Well done astrophysics and astronomy researchers! You rock!"

    19) I'd love to know how you integrate the catalogued star systems (stuff we see from earth)!

    We created a compiler that analyzed the contents of the Hipparcos and Gleise stellar catalogs of the time and created stellar forge system entries from the details. Some entries had the full details of the star, others only the brightness, colour and direction of the star, and others somewhere in between. This compiler would take the available data and fill in the gaps using the same calculations that would be used for proc-gen systems. It would also assign BodyAddress identifiers based on the sector they would be found in. When creating a sector in StellarForge, these "authored" systems are loaded in first, their pre-compiled data taking place of generated results. The authored system also take away the mass designated to the sector, like a generated system would.

    The proc-gen systems are created later with the leftover mass. The game then treats the authored and the proc-gen systems identically. As for the contents of the star systems, we have other game data resources which Mike Brookes organised which link to a system for full or partially pre-made system layouts.

    20) Will we be getting those high mountains and deep ravines back at some point?

    The crazy ravines and mountains (mostly on "Rocky Ice" planets) were quite striking, yes. Unfortunately, they were also causing issues in the creation and handling of the physics mesh that you would drive on (or fly into if distracted). The errors that would be encountered were severe enough to cause a crash (this was seen in public as us pre-emptively kicking you to the main menu on approach to the planet). Removing the crazy examples of ravines/ridges was necessary to:

    · allow the creation of physics patches
    · not be entirely scientifically inaccurate
    · avoid terrain which was sharp enough to look really unpleasantly jagged on VR setting.

    There also used to be a few cases of a bug in the noise graph allowing the occasional mountain taller than a planet sustain, taking into account material properties and gravitation. These were just reduced to the maximally supported mountain height for the planet. We want to keep working on the planets and deliver improvements. Official people will say official things when the official time is upon us. For now, the short-term work involves revisiting the planet colouration, as per the keynote from FX2017 :)

    21) How close was the old Elite 2/3 system generation compared to Stellar Forge? Are there any notable changes compared to David Braben's original take on it or was he pretty close?

    Mr. Braben worked very closely with the team to help ensure the approach was consistent but building upon his systems and that StellarForge covered any additions that were wished for at the time of Frontier and First Encounters. The maths behind the coarse level details of the models of stellar and planetary formation have not changed drastically since the 1990s, and so many calculations would be similar. What has changed is the understanding of things like how common binary pairs are and other statistical particulars.

    22) Where does the initial mass component to a galactic sector come from? Real life observation, procedural generation or guess work?

    Real life observations give us the approximate mass of the entire galaxy. There are various papers out there, some looking at the orbital velocities of globular clusters in the galactic halo, some trying to count types of stars in a region and extrapolate that across whole arms, some measuring the speed of stars at different orbital radii away from the core. The value we used was taken as an average from available research papers at the time. Observations of our and other spiral galaxies gives us a good idea of the distributions of that mass in 3d space.

    23) How does star system naming work?

    The unique identifier is transformed into a name. The sector address is encoded into a proc-gen "stellar catalog" name. The sector layer can be encoded in a single letter. Some of the numbers refer to the system within the sector at that layer.

    Questions from 16/11/2017 - Beyond - Focused Feedback Crime & Punishment with Sandro Sammarco.

    1) Will warnings be issued instead of bounties for friendly fire on NPC ships? Will this prevent security ships from killing you for hitting them with a stray bullet?

    If we go with the proposed system, the threshold for friendly fire will be increased which means that sec ships are less likely to attack you, unless you direct fire on them! We will look to include a new low-level fine for friendly fire as we currently know it, so players would no longer be hit with a bounty for a stray bullet.

    2) Can we find out what the next Focus Forum will be about?

    You can indeed! We are aiming for the next Focused Forum to be about Engineering, however, this is subject to change, so please do not submit any posts regarding Engineering at this time.

    3) What are the current thoughts on the maximum player claimable bounty?

    The current maximum player claimable bounty is 1,000,000, but we’re open to discussing how this could be enhanced! Leave a comment in the focused forum if you have some ideas on how this could be done.

    4) Could you add fines based on the wealth of the player to make that more punishing? Perhaps increasing based on amount of credits and crime severity? Bounties could be a percentage of your credit balance so that players with multiple billions still feel it.

    This is both an interesting and valid idea; however, we’ve no plans to include scalable “punishments” at this time. The goal of this rework is not to punish players with large amounts of credits, but to ensure there is an appropriate level of penalty for crime in the game.

    5) Could there be bounty hunting missions to hunt down wanted CMDRs?

    It’s a great idea, however, it would require a lot of networking wizardry so, at the moment, it’s not something we’re considering.

    6) Is there any chance we could bribe security?

    Being able to bribe Sys-Sec would add a really nice finesse to the game, however, we’d like to make sure the rules and mechanics work smoothly first. We may consider this at a later date.

    7) Would you be transported to a prison ship every time you die with a bounty? Regardless of how you die?

    No, definitely not Your bounty would have to be detected and you’d need to be wanted in the jurisdiction, to ensure you’d go to appropriate prison. If the bounty isn’t detected, then the death would be treated as normal.

    8) Will there be an escalating penalty for repeat offenders?

    So, as with interstellar bounties, there will be escalation. High-level bounties will ensure that you get the fastest, toughest security responses so there is a higher risk of being killed if you are a repeat offender.

    9) How about the inclusion of a Pilots Federation insurance that covers clean ships if they are ganked?

    We won’t be looking to include any new forms of insurance, however, the concept of some of the victims rebuy cost being removed and added to the killer’s bounty is very cool! No guarantees of course, but we’ll feed this one back and take a look at it.

    10) Regarding Anarchy systems, will "criminals" be able to freely transfer ships and modules?

    Nope! “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!” We want to prevent criminals from dodging consequences.

    11) What about a pirate station? A station in which being a wanted criminal would be a passport to dock. So there is a safe place for RP's?

    While it’s a cool concept, the game fundamentally doesn’t work this way as criminality is morally a grey area. If you annoy the Federation, you’re liked by the Empire and visa versa.

    12) Is there not a risk of people using the prison ship system as a means for transport around the bubble even if the distance is fairly low?

    There is a slight risk, but seeing as you technically have to pay for it and cannot choose the destination, which will be short range, there’s no real benefit.

    13) Sandro, why do you hate Princess Aisling Duval?

    She’s a bubblegum princess, and part of the empire! Whilst I appreciate her anti-slavery stance, she’s simply a celebrity princess and part of a tyrannical regime. Join the federation, people.

    14) Will ramming ships have consequences now?

    We may be looking at working ramming consequences into a karma system, as we’ve previously discussed. However as part of the Crime and Punishment updates, we’ll look to see if there are tweaks we can do to (for example) speed/momentum checks to reduce the use of ramming as an exploit.

    15) Could system authority vehicles have flashing lights on them for visibility?

    That’s a question for the art team, so we’ll pass the feedback along. Sandy likes the idea though!

    16) What effect will this new Crime and Punishment system have on Reputation?

    We don’t envisage there being any major changes to Rep, it’ll fluctuate as it currently does.

    17) Will it be possible to "capture" wanted NPCs pilots instead of killing them?

    As an idea for wanted NPC’s idea it’s awesome! Though for wanted players it’d be problematic as you being able to capture a player could require a whole new game loop.

    18) What about having a kill warrant jammer?

    Cool idea! We’ve nothing to say at this time but we’ll feed it back.

    19) Will insurance on Cargo ever be implemented?

    It’s an interesting idea which we may consider for the future, however, we’ve nothing to discuss right now.

    20) A galaxy map filter showing where I'm wanted or have a bounty would be great!

    That would be awesome, though it technically would be very difficult to implement due to how the galaxy map is propagated. It would likely result in longer loading times which ideally we would avoid.

    21) Has Multicrew been considered in the Crime and Punishment update?

    Yep! We are actually currently considering how we would like Multicrew to work in terms of C&P. One thing we’re looking at is making sure multicrew members are unable to avoid penalties if taking part in criminal activity. We’d love to receive your feedback in the Focused Feedback forum on this.

    22) What are your current feelings on SDC’s C&P proposal?

    We’ve nothing to say on it right now, but we will be properly reading through it, taking on the feedback and responding to it within the Focused Forum area!

  3. #3
    No idea why this thread is so quiet but just wanted to say thanks for posting these answers! I know the community often leap in and create these threads themselves but it's brilliant to see an offiicial one and I really hope this trend continues in the future. I missed both the livestreams so a quick catch-up like this is really helpful.

    P.S. were these images taken from the Steve Kirby livestream (or are they player generated)? (I found them mentioned tangentially in another thread)

    If they were from the livestream, could you maybe summarise what was said about them?

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Dang, no answer on how Thargoid weaponry effect other commanders! Seems they would be devastating to our conventional ships.

  6. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #6
    Originally Posted by Blight Born View Post (Source)
    Dang, no answer on how Thargoid weaponry effect other commanders! Seems they would be devastating to our conventional ships.
    Well if you try it, let us know! I guess they're experimental, so maybe we just don't know!

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Paige Harvey View Post (Source)
    Well if you try it, let us know! I guess they're experimental, so maybe we just don't know!
    I will make a guess that they will require incredible amounts of power, will disable your shields and won't work well on human ship hulls and shields.

  8. #8
    Thank you for the summary

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Paige Harvey View Post (Source)
    Well if you try it, let us know! I guess they're experimental, so maybe we just don't know!
    My guess is that the effect will be a bit like what happened in District 9 when the black goo got sprayed into Van De Merwe's face. How cool would it be if you looked down at your avatar after being attacked with these weapons to see a big "prawn" claw where your arm used to be?

  10. #10
    Did I miss the announcement for last night stream or was there just not one?

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by StevieG View Post (Source)
    Did I miss the announcement for last night stream or was there just not one?

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Alec Turner View Post (Source)
    Thats a youtube link which I'm currently watching. Where is a the link to the forum thread announcing last nights stream?

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by StevieG View Post (Source)
    Thats a youtube link which I'm currently watching. Where is a the link to the forum thread announcing last nights stream?
    Oh I see, sorry (I thought you meant "was there no livestream"). I actually missed it too but for future reference this thread is worth subscribing to ...

    (assuming you haven't got neilf on your ignore list)

  14. #14
    I think this thread would better serve its purpose if it were locked such that only FDev employees could post to it.

  15. #15
    ah it was in the news section thats why I missed it, Ed normally posts in the dangerous discussion...

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