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SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY…

By June 19, 2017 No Comments

Just shy of two years at Foundry 42, I will be leaving the Cloud Imperium Games family to pursue other opportunities. I’ll be talking more about what I’m doing next in the coming weeks. But with my time on Star Citizen coming to a close, I feel this is a good chance to reflect upon my experiences.

My time on Star Citizen has been varied to say the least. I started my first year building the foundations of what would become the as-yet-unseen vertical slice of Squadron 42. In addition to the “VS”, I designed a number of other FPS scenarios across Squadron 42’s campaign. Unfortunately, I can’t go into any real detail, but I’m proud of my contributions to the project. My work has been left in the safest of hands and I’m excited to see how it turns out.

Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games

Shortly into my second year, I shifted focus from single player to multiplayer. I joined the live team to build Star Marine; the multiplayer FPS module for Star Citizen. Star Marine debuted as the headline module of Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 and was well received by the community, gaining a small but dedicated following.

Long before my time at Cloud Imperium Games (and before working in the games industry), I had built deathmatch maps for various Half-Life and Unreal mods. However, this was my first professional foray into multiplayer level design. So naturally, I learned a tonne from the experience.

Star Marine had a tight deadline, so I had to hit the ground running. I spent time researching similar games, and learning everything I could about multiplayer level design. It was quite the learning experience. I had to quickly grasp and master multiplayer level design fundamentals such as map durability and balance. These are aspects of level design that exist in single player, but are approached very differently in multiplayer. I feel this experience has expanded my personal level design toolset. Thanks to my time on Star Marine, I now feel confident in my multiplayer level design abilities and hope to exercise these skills in the future.

I continued to support the game modes and level design for Star Marine across the three 2.6 point releases, responding to the mountains of player feedback and playtest data. I’m particularly proud of the work that went into 2.6.2, where in many cases, I responded directly to community feedback. During this time I became a Twitch regular, and made a number of appearances on streams and press events. I had a real blast doing this – it’s so rewarding to speak directly to the community and get their feedback. I’m going to miss this for sure.

Echo 11 SlumsMy final work was on 3.0 which can be seen in this segment of Around the Verse. I’m excited to see how players enjoy these changes and I’m even more excited where Star Marine goes in the future. It’ll be strange to see it continue without me, but I should be used to this by now seeing as there’s a new Crackdown and Far Cry on the way.

I’m also really looking forward to seeing how Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 and Squadron 42 shape up. Exciting times ahead!

I couldn’t end this post without commenting further on Star Citizen’s fantastic community…

Community

The dialogue I’ve had with the community has been nothing short of awesome. Being able to respond to feedback directly, appreciating a shared passion for the game and just getting the chance to speak to such a good bunch. It’s been ace.

As stated above, I participated in a number of community streams too – here’s one I did with The Base Radio. It was a heaps of fun:

I’ve spent more late nights than I’d like to admit, watching various Star Citizen-related Twitch streams and participating in chat – something I’ve never dared to do in the past. However, Star Marine enjoys a welcoming and diverse audience. Frankly, a bloody good bunch.

Since Star Marine’s launch I’ve been a regular on a number of Twitch channels; Kurosaji, DrDronez, WTFOSAURUS, Eden5tar, CptKim and Bio_Mechanical to name a few. But not drummerxdan, never that guy. I jest – of course. There really are too many to mention. I even met some IRL at Britizencon!

My work on Star Marine was the first time content that I’ve built got analysed in any real detail. Some highlights were the “Chewing The Scenery: OP Station Demien” video by Mr. Hasgaha, and the incredible work by _Litauen, translating the Star Marine levels into 2D maps.

OP Station Demien Map

Echo 11 Map

As I mentioned in my previous post, the org, Angels of the Warp have genuinely helped improve Star Marine. Their detailed analysis and countless hours of gameplay helped me shave off the rougher edges across the Star Marine maps. Thanks again, guys, I hope my work in 3.0 improves competitive experiences and addresses any ongoing balance issues.

Additionally, there have been some excellent Star Marine fan videos I’d like to draw attention to – primarily this one by DrDronez, and his follow up video which I will share below.

Anyway, I’ll end this here. I want to thank Cloud Imperium Games and the community for making my time in the verse a good one.

Thanks again.