Guard Frequency Episode 274 | Information Firehose

Written by First Verse Problems on . Posted in Podcasts

Cits and Civs, Captains and Commanders, you’re tuned to episode 274 of Guard Frequency — the best damn space sim podcast ever! This episode was recorded on September 6, 2019 and released for streaming and download on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at GuardFrequency.com

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Comments (9)

  • seannewboy

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    3 points for Longbow/Janes reference, loved both.

    Wonderful show everyone.

    Reply

  • Sarah

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    Geoff’s question on “why prioritize prisons as opposed to other stretch goals that were also reached” resonated with me. This is my speculation, but I wonder if the reason caves and prisons are being added in now, is because the assets needed for caves and prisons were done for SQ42? It seemed odd to me at first that the prisons were inside caves, but it makes more sense to me if it is based on a single player story (bandits taking you hostage or something similar).

    Coupled this with a comment on 4.0 being able to be viewed as a “vertical slice” (1:01:28 of the all about development video), makes me think that even more so than the roadmap, a more realistic way for backers to guess what gameplay features will be added to Star Citizen in the near term (especially 4.0), is what gameplay will be needed for SQ42.

    Regarding Vulcan, instead of for PS5, what about Google Stadia?

    No hate for anyone. Was surprised to hear my comment read this week. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

    Reply

  • Ken from Chicago

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    Henry said he thought that I was being contradictory in my previous post in complaining about Tony’s Star Citizen complaints but then telling Tony to share his pain over the game.

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    Not Henry, but me. Clearly I was wrong to think I could just gloss over my reaction and thoughts. Surely I needed to have issued a longer, more detailed comment, as I shall now. No, just kidding.

    Seriously, though, I didn’t have a problem with Tony complaining about Star Citizen but rather HOW he was doing so. Thank you, Henry, for pointing out how I didn’t make this point clear. Namely, I thought Tony was complaining about contradictory issues simultaneously and thus actually masking his real fears, which I tried to address in my second (technically, third) comment last week.

    Aside from figuring you all or at least Tony, the former and sometimes current guest, host of a Star Trek podcast, might recognize the Star Trek V quote, I meant it. It contains a truth that’s often overlooked, by stating your pain, your fears aloud, it can help you see that it is not so bad. It’s why often in science fiction and fantasy our heroes facing their fears concretely helps to see they are not so scary.

    SHARING your fears to another person also lets them respond with a different perspective that can also make it easier to deal with a problem. That’s why I am thankful that Brian pressed Tony on this to clarify what Tony meant by fearing Star Citizen might not “happen”. For the first time in years, I think I fully understand, not just in general but specifically:

    Tony is like those who saw the original Star Trek. Unlike the casual fans who saw the pew pew, the fist fights and Kirk kissing it up with the space lady aliens and robots, Tony was like the fans who saw deeper, the world-building, the themes and ideas of Star Trek. So while many video game, space sim fans, saw the original Star Citizen kickstarter trailer for Squadron 42 and thought this would be a great sequel to the 1990s’ Wing Commander series, Tony saw the deeper world.

    Where some say if the Squadron 42 isn’t a commercial success then at least they will still have a sequel to Wing Commander, Tony, on the other hand, wasn’t as attracted to the single player game and was looking forward to the bigger multi-player universe of Star Citizen. He fears if S42 isn’t a success, the investors will step in and strip Cloud Imperium for parts and immediate cash and that will cancel HIS wish for Star Citizen. Tony was right—again. He really does want the game to succeed, the whole game.

    With that finally out in the open, I think I have some good news. What is commercial success for S42 or any AAA video game? Fun? Sure. But let’s break that down some. Fun in a video game is to a large part compelling graphics, in-depth story and satisfying gameplay.

    There are many successful examples, so let’s pick one akin to Star Citizen, Mass Effect. It had an in-depth storyline, compelling graphics, and satisfying gameplay, at least until Mass Effect 3’s ending. Can Cloud Imperium replicate Mass Effect (while avoiding Mass Effect 3’s terrible ending, to say nothing of Mass Effect: Andromeda)? I think it can.

    As Tony stated, Star Citizen’s graphics are breathtaking. Not only was Tony right that it will be a machinima filmmaker’s dream—it already has been. #TonyWasRighterThanEvenHeKnew A few months back you review a short about someone walking on a planet. The earliest machinima series I know of for SC is Bulkheads. And there was a breathtaking one, Letters from Vega, which still blows my mind.

    Cloud Imperium has shown it can weave an intriguing backstory. A simple description of the Vanduul as warriors who believe that your skill as a warrior results in using less armor was a nice twist or warrior tropes. Some of the lore about the various worlds explored, as well as the disappearance of the AI generation ship has been interesting. And of course 2017’s vertical slice, while not the most complex of plot, was captivating in the characterizations portrayed.

    But what about satisfying game play? Satisfying gameplay is like a satisfying meal, you need a nice variety in a large enough serving size to be filling. Whether you are serving a meal or programing a game for a large crowd, you need a large enough variety of entrees or game loops so that if one group of players don’t like one element of the game, it’s made up for in other elements of a game. Moreover you want a nice serving size to be filling. A good rule of thumb for triple-A video games is shooter games last 10 hours, adventure games 20 hours and role-playing games 40 hours if not more. Seeing how S42 seems like it’s between (space) shooter and adventure, I’m guessing 10-20 hours would be required. The vertical slice lasted about an hour as well as the previous CitizenCon playthroughs with Miles, um, Teller? O’Brien? Whatever. If the first chapter is about 10 hours and subsequent 2 chapters are the same, at no cost, or maybe a discount $5-10, I’m fairly confident that S42 will be a huge hit.

    But wait, there’s more reason for Tony to hope. Thank Geoff for suggesting a literal game-changer. It’s often said that during the Gold Rush of the 1800s, the people who really made money were not the people seeking the gold but the people selling the tools to seek that gold, shovels, pick axes, mules, wagons, camping supplies, etc. Geoff mentioned that Cloud Imperium has created valuable game technology that could be sold or licensed. If not full-fledged game engines then significant adaptations for people creating games.

    — Ken from Chicago

    P.S. Yes, this is longer than I had intended but still shorter than the two (technically 3) comments from last week. That said, I’ll try to post an abridged, more podcast-friendly version before the livestream.

    Reply

  • Ken from Chicago

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    [So I trimmed it down somewhat:]

    Henry thought I was being contradictory in my complaints about Tony’s complaints about Star Citizen then ending by telling Tony he should complain.

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    Not Henry, but me. Clearly I was wrong in not spelling out in detail in my last cursory comment. I’ll fix that now. Kidding. Seriously, though, my complaint was about HOW Tony’s complained, in that his complaints contradicted each other. Thank you, Henry, for making me see I didn’t make this point clear. Namely, I thought Tony’s contradictory complaining hid his real fears that I tried addressing in my second (okay, third) comment.

    My Star Trek V quotes, aside from the humor, contains an overlooked truth: Stating your pain, your fears aloud, CONCRETELY, can help you see that they aren’t so bad. Many stories are about the people confronting the sources of their fears and discovering they aren’t so scary.

    SHARING your fears to another person also lets them share a different POV that can also make it easier to deal with a problem. Thanks, Brian, for pressing Tony to clarify he meant by “Star Citizen might not ‘happen’”. For the first time in years, I think I fully understand Tony’s fear, not just in general but specifically:

    Casual fans of the original Star Trek might have liked Kirk with the pew pew, the punch punch and kiss kiss, but some saw deeper, the world it was building. Tony is like those latter fans when he saw Star Citizen’s original kickstarter video, not just as a Wing Commander space *combat* sim but a virtual universe.

    Some say if SQ42 flops, then at least they have a Wing Commander sequel. But that never attracted Tony, certainly not to co-found a podcast, but rather the bigger virtual world of Star Citizen. So if SQ42 flops and takes down SC with it as the investors sells the remains of the company for cash then Tony’s left with nothing, not the Star Citizen that HE was hoping for. #TonyWasRight. He really does want the game to succeed, the whole game.

    With the details out in the open, I think I have some good news. What is “commercial success” for S42 or any AAA video game? Fun as in compelling graphics, in-depth story and satisfying gameplay. Look at Mass Effect, it had all three, except for Mass Effect 3’s ending. Can Cloud Imperium replicate that success? I think it can.

    As Tony stated, Star Citizen’s graphics are breathtaking. Not only was Tony right that it will be a machinima filmmaker’s dream—it already has been. #TonyWasRighterThanEvenHeKnew A few months back you reviewed a short film about someone walking on a planet. The earliest machinima series I know of for SC is Bulkheads. And there was a breathtaking one, Letters from Vega, which still blows my mind.

    Cloud Imperium has shown itself to be good storytellers. They twisted a common warrior trope so that the Vanduul are warriors who use LESS armor as they advance. Some of the lore about the various worlds explored, as well as the disappearance of an AI generation ship has been interesting. And of course 2017’s vertical slice, while not the most complex of plot, was captivating in the characterizations portrayed.

    Like a satisfying meal, satisfying gameplay is about variety and serving size:
    — Sure, a well-done simple meal can be pleasing—unless the audience doesn’t like it. A variety of entrees increases the odd everyone will find something they like. While SQ42 will be combat focused, we’ve seen a lot of variety of tasks involved in gameplay videos and more activities are planned (eg, combat in space, air and ground, ranged and melee, etc.), so it’s not just shoot and fly. Don’t like one game element, then audiences will like others.

    — And when they do, you want them to have a large enough portion to be filling. A good rule of thumb for triple-A video games is shooter games last 10 hours, adventure games 20 hours and role-playing games 40 hours if not more. Seeing how S42 seems like it’s between (space) shooter and adventure, I’m guessing 10-20 hours would be required. The vertical slice lasted about an hour as well as the previous CitizenCon playthroughs with Miles, um, Teller? O’Brien? Whatever. If the first chapter is about 10 hours and subsequent 2 chapters are the same, at no cost, or maybe a discount $5-10, I’m fairly confident that S42 will be a huge hit.

    But wait, there’s more reason for hope. Thanks, Geoff, for raising a literal game-changer. Like during the Gold Rush, the people who really made money are those who sold supplies & tools. Geoff mentioned that Cloud Imperium has created valuable game technology that could be sold or licensed. If not full-fledged game engines then significant adaptations for people creating games.

    Reply

  • Theoden Clown

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    My Dear Henry,

    You Sir are my Gandalf.

    Regrettably, I have for many millennia kept the counsel of one particular nattering nabob of negativity. I have welcomed his poison into my ears, and into my heart. For this I am deeply embarrassed and I am ashamed.

    But then you Henry, you came to me and pierced my hardened heart with your powerful staff. And you opened my eyes Henry. You offered me other worlds filled with moons, planets and stars. My god Henry, the stars!

    Not since I was a small boy at play in the towers of Gondor has my imagination and spirit for adventure been piqued as they have since you convinced me to give No Man’s Sky another chance.

    True freedom is found only in forgiveness granted. Most of the time.

    And if you have any tips tricks and or super dope mod recommendations for No Man’s Sky in Virtual Reality, please do help a brother out.

    With undying gratitude,

    Theoden Clown

    https://media.giphy.com/media/D4pbP2P1aIaFa/giphy.gif

    Reply

  • Sarah

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    One note, because Ken reminds me that this was brought up:

    It is unlikely any technology developed for Star Citizen will be able to be sold piecemeal to other companies due to the culture of “not invented here” (you can look up how this kind of attitude is already very prevalent in the video game and other industries).

    Whether or not it is ideal, the logic is quite simple: implementing another companies technologies opens up a number of issues: Licensing fees, lack of expertise, patent issues, etc. So many companies would rather try to do it themselves internally than deal with those problems.

    This isn’t meant to trivialize what CI has developed. But realistically, companies are adverse to implementing other company’s technology unless they’re using an entire suite (for example like a graphics engine).

    Reply

  • EditBot 9000 - Summary Statistics Department

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    Weekly KFC Report

    Submissions –

    Ken from Chicago – September 13, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Pages: 2
    Words: 1,017
    Characters (no spaces): 4,801
    Characters (with spaces): 5,800
    Paragraphs: 17
    Lines: 60
    Linked video 15:39

    Ken from Chicago – September 13, 2019 at 5:35 am (TL;DR version)

    Pages: 2
    Words: 806
    Characters (no spaces): 3,891
    Characters (with spaces): 4,683
    Paragraphs: 14
    Lines: 47
    Linked video 15:39

    Reduction Efficacy –

    Pages: 00.00%
    Words: 20.75%
    Characters (no spaces): 18.95%
    Characters (with spaces): 19.26%
    Paragraphs: 17.65%
    Lines: 21.67%
    Linked video 00.00%

    Conclusion –

    #TonyIsRight

    Reply

  • Ken from Chicago

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    [One last try, I’ve gone from 900+ to 800+ down 700+ words. When I try to edit further I end up adding words, some I’m going to stop at this point:]

    Oh, first, more data firehose the better.

    As for Tony, …

    Thanks, Henry, for showing my comment last week lacked enough detail. Let’s expand on it. Kidding. Seriously, though, I wasn’t complaining that Tony was complaining about Star Citizen but HOW he was complaining. By being contradictory, he undermined himself and buried his real fears. Those real fears I guessed at in my brief(er) follow-up comment last week.

    Thanks, Brian, for pressing Tony for details and thus confirm that my quote of Star Trek V’s Sybok, “Share your pain and draw strength from the sharing” was more than a punchline but also true. By stating aloud one’s fears, they can seem smaller and sharing one’s pain or fears allow others to show another POV that might help further still. After years, I think I truly understand Tony’s fear.

    Unlike those who only wanted a Wing Commander sequel, some, like Tony, saw more: The potential universe of Star Citizen. So he co-founded a podcast about it. (Personally, I didn’t see the potential until Years1Hundred’s original “Imagine Star Citizen” video.) Fast forward years later to now.

    Some say if SQ42 flops at least they have a Wing Commander sequel, but that never attracted Tony, he wanted the SC universe and if SQ42 flops, then the investors might take control, sell Cloud Imperium for a quick buck and he never gets the SC that *he* wanted after years of waiting, hoping and dreaming. #TonyWasRight He really does want the game to succeed—the whole game.

    Now that we know Tony’s fears, I have some good news. Aside from sales, “commercial success” for S42 or any AAA video game is fun. Fun as in compelling graphics, in-depth story and satisfying gameplay. Look at Mass Effect, it had all three, except for Mass Effect 3’s ending. Can Cloud Imperium replicate that success? I think it can:

    Great graphics are the bait that can instantly draw audiences. As Tony stated, SC’s graphics are stunning. Not only was Tony right that it will be a machinima filmmaker’s dream—it already has been: The Man From Nowhere, Bulkheads and one that still blows my mind, Letters From Vega.
    #TonyWasRighterThanEvenHeKnew

    The in-game story can hook a person to come back to see what’s next. Cloud Imperium has shown it can be good storytellers. They twisted a common warrior trope so that the Vanduul are warriors who use LESS armor as they advance. Some of the lore about the various worlds explored, as well as the disappearance of an AI generation ship has been interesting. And of course 2017’s vertical slice, while not the most complex of plot, was captivating in the characterizations portrayed. Beloved characters also draw audiences.

    Between first drawn and being drawn back is the actual gameplay. You want to like playing the game and playing enough of it to be satisfied. Like a satisfying meal, satisfying gameplay is about variety and serving size:
    — Variety of game elements ensure even if some are bored with one element then they’ll like plenty of others. While SQ42 will be combat focused, there’s variety now & planned (e.g., combat in space, air and ground, ranged and melee, etc.), so it’s not just shoot and fly.
    — Serving size of game play should be large enough to be satisfying. A good rule of thumb: Shooter games last 10 hours; adventure games 20 hours and role-playing games 40 hours if not more. S42 seems between (space) shooter and adventure, so 10-20 hours. The vertical slice lasted about an hour as well as the previous CitizenCon playthroughs with Miles. If the first chapter is about 10 hours and subsequent 2 chapters are the same, at no cost, or maybe a discount $5-10, I’m fairly confident that S42 will be a huge hit.

    Thanks, Geoff, for raising a literal game-changer. During the Gold Rush, the people who really made money are those who sold mining tools. Geoff cited Cloud Imperium has created valuable game tech that could be sold or licensed, if not full game engines then significant adaptations for game devs.

    Long story short(er), I don’t think we have to worry about the company crashing and burning before it releases Star Citizen. They’ve shown skill at addressing huge technological and even managerial hurdles. Like a certain Firefly class ship, they keep flying.

    Reply

  • Ken from Chicago

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    [Argh, it’s no 100-word story but I got it down to 200 words.]

    I’d like to thank:

    Henry, for showing my comment last week was too brief. Kidding. My complaint was HOW Tony complained, contradictorily, thus undercutting himself & hiding his real fear.

    Brian, for pressing Tony for details, clarifying for me that Tony fears that the multiplayer Star Citizen, he loves most, is doomed if SQ42 (which he likes least) flops commercially.

    Good news. Aside from marketing, AAA video game success is due to great graphics, storytelling and gameplay.
    — CIG has mastered great graphics, so much there’s already machinima from it.
    — They have shown skill at storytelling in depicting the warrior Vanduul, space exploration lore and characterization in the vertical slice.
    — Satisfying gameplay requires variety and proper serving size and CIG has shown and planned a variety of gameplay, plus their CitizenCon gameplay videos average about an hour or so, they’ve shown they’re well on their way to a good 10-20 hour game. I’d suggest 3 10-hour chapters for SQ42.

    And I’d like to thank Geoff for citing CIG’s developing new game tech that could be sold or licensed to game devs, further securing finances for SC completion.

    So, I say, cheer up, Tony, I think your SC dreams will come true.

    Reply

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