Two days ago some questions concerning the backer event turned up in this sub. At the same time a user named Sir Stubert posted a short report on the German Gamestar website and I did forward the information to the reddit community here.
Last night the same guy posted a longer report and since it contains some interesting information I did a translation again (with some technical help). (Here's the source for anyone interested.)
Here it comes:
"Some of this will probably seem familiar to you from previous comments here and in Spectrum, but I will summarize everything again.
Before the event someone said we could spread the information about the new ship right after the announcement. But it was the other way around. The Nautilus was already leaked when I was still sitting in the train to Frankfurt. So the cat was already out of the bag before the start. For me the announcement of the ship was not the decisive point to go to the event. My primary goal was to meet colleagues from the organization and learn more about the developers/development. More about that later.
Before the event started you had the opportunity to talk to people who are as crazy as you are. ^^
Before the presentation started, there was an opportunity to talk to some of the developers. With Chris Roberts you could take a picture and exchange one or two short sentences. He looked unusually relaxed and very satisfied.
During the presentation three developers presented the ship and the different tasks and aspects of the design. The Nautilus should be shown as a nearly finished model in 3ds Max, which crashed right at the beginning and hung up the whole PC (without a crash this would not have been a CIG event). When the whole PC was down Chris Roberts left the room towards the bar. Next I saw him with a beer in his hand looking down from the gallery.
As a backup a prerecorded video of the virtual tour through the Nautilus was shown by a developer. The Nautilus is almost finished. The model looks good and already has animations. The textures still seem to be missing.
After the one-hour presentation, questions about the Nautilus and the mines could be asked for half an hour.
- So far two types of mines are planned (Explosive and Gun). It has been suggested that more types will be added.
- The mines have small thrusters. This will allow them to maintain their position. Explosive mines can move towards a target. If mines are dropped while the ship is moving, the mines will slow down with the thrusters. This makes it more difficult to position the mines at high speed. The thrusters will be too weak to counteract the gravitational force of planets. A minefield directly above Lorville does not have to be feared.
- It should not be so easy to block a jump point permanently with mines. The mines will be expensive and have to be maintained (the components age with time; just like the ships). This will prevent large minefields and a permanent blockade of important locations.
- Since the mines have components just like the spaceships, their signature can be located by a scan. It can be assumed that the signature of the mines is very small and difficult to detect. The Terrapin should be well suited for this task.
- Mines will occur in SQ42, nothing has been said about the Nautilus.
- The Nautilus has two drones to collect the mines. Thus it is not quite so annoying if a salvage fails and the drone is destroyed.
The developers seem to have thought a lot about the game play. That's not surprising for me, based on the other concepts. If I understood it correctly, the mine game play is already being experimented with. But it will take a while and it has to be tried if the game works as planned or if changes have to be made.
After the round of questions I went to the dining tables. At each table there was one of the developers to talk to. Later, you could change tables to talk to other developers. I was at the Javelin table and Hannes Appell, the Director of Cinematics, sat across from me. Accordingly, we mainly talked about the cinematics and motion capture recordings of Squadron 42. That was the most interesting part of the evening. Hannes worked at Crytek in 2012 and it was there where he heard from SC. I've experienced it. He was immediately enthusiastic about the idea and worked on the announcement trailer. Later he was involved in some of the ship commercials. Many of the allusions to Wing Commander (the name tag "Blair", the crashed ship in the first 300i trailer, ...) in the trailers came from him. One noticed that his enthusiasm was genuine. It seems to have persisted since 2012.
- Squadron 42 will probably have more animations than other games.
- It is roughly estimated that 95% of a character's animations come from the corresponding actor. For example, own running animations were recorded. As an example for the remaining 5% a possible FPS mission with Old Man was mentioned, in which he holds a rifle. The weapon animation would then be a standard animation. This was just an example and does not have to be in the game.
- Attention will be paid to the character model, animations and voice recordings coming from an actor. Thereby the character should look more real. Hideo Kojima was mentioned as a counterexample. He uses three different characters for the character model, the animations and the voice recordings.
- Often "only" stuntmen are used for motion capture (e.g. Crysis 2). For SQ42, however, a lot of work has been done with the actors.
- Often Motion Capture takes it into consideration that the actors already have experience in this field. For SC, however, they didn't want to compromise and forgo actors. It worked out well to get the actors used to the shoot without a real scenery and with a lot of cameras (over 60).
- We talked for a while about Andi Serkis and the Vanduul animations. Personally I am curious about the finished result. I think Andi Serkis is a good actor and because of his extensive experience with motion capture I hope that the aliens won't move too much like humans.
- Motion capture material is available for 11-13 hours. You can expect a playing time that is well above the average.
- Unlike Crysis 2 & 3 (and probably many other games), SQ42 doesn't incorporate levels into the storyline afterwards. Probably sounds a bit exaggerated. Basically it was about the fact that not someone has a good idea for a level and then has the plot rewritten ( even to a lesser extent ) so that the level fits into the plot. SC and SQ42 have a very detailed background story, so the ideas for the levels come directly from the background story and no level had to be discarded.
There was a quiz to win a signed issue of the first Jump Point magazine. The questions were sometimes very difficult and you had to have a comprehensive knowledge of the story in Star Citizen to answer them. Here are a few examples:
- What is the story behind the names of the three moons of Crusader?
- How long does an emperor's term last?
- What is the name of the most advanced species without space travel that mankind has encountered?
Well, who can answer the questions? ^^
This shows once again how extensive and well elaborated the story is in SC and SQ42.
For everyone there was a laptop bag with concierge logo and various goodies (scarf with inscription Chairmans Club, Aegis Mousepad, ...).
It was a nice evening and worth the money. It was nice to see how motivated and enthusiastic the developers are."
Translation mostly done by www.DeepL.com/Translator, some corrections by me. I hope you guys enjoyed the read. Kudos to Sir Stubert who wrote it all down in the first place.