September 11th 2013
Meet Star Citizen’s Tools Programmer, Kyle Rockman! Kyle was one of the major forces behind the launcher utility that starts the Hangar Module and he’s hard at work creating the tools the team needs to create a new universe. Kyle will be on this week’s episode of Wingman’s Hangar, so tune in on Friday to learn more!
I graduated from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA in 2008 and in that same year I also graduated from Animation Mentor (www.animationmentor.com) After graduation I tried looking for jobs, but breaking into the industry as an animator is no easy task. I knew a friend who landed a gig at a small startup called Divide By Zero in Seattle and I ended up doing freelance for them by working on all of the animation and rigging on their prototype. Unfortunately their prototype never got green lit so the project got cancelled. From there I landed at Lightbox like many of the guys here, as the Technical artist handling all of Starhawk’s rigging and technical animation needs. While at Lightbox I ended up learning python and wrote nearly all of the tools used by the art team. So while technically Divide by Zero was my first real gaming gig, Lightbox was where I shipped my first title and also got to see a title go from start to finish and then to live with DLC & multiplayer support.
I am currently the only Tools Programmer. My biggest responsibility is that I manage our continuous integration build process using a java software called Jenkins. I have also written the tools for turning the output from our build into patches and manage all the patch releases since we use the patcher both for internal developers and for the public. Some of the other things I do is write any number tools/scripts to help the development team where needed. Example: Our programmers wanted an easier way to submit their code for review before they checked it into source control, and I wrote a little tool they can use directly within our SCM software(perforce) to allow them to submit their code for review by any number of other programmers. I hope to eventually start helping Tom Sawyer, our network programmer, with our game servers and databases.
Data! I absolutely love data. Star Citizen has a lot of data it will be tracking, some of which we are already looking at via the release of the hangar. Things like how many people are logging in, when and where and at what times etc etc. I compose the patch notes for each new patch and I hope to keep a running section in the patch notes called “Data” in which we display interesting and unique facts about what people are doing in Star Citizen, and what the community as a whole is doing “data-wise”. I would love to hear suggestions on things the community would like to know about this massive data set we have called, “the community”!
Most recently my girlfriend and I have been smashing our way through Lego Lord of the Rings together, the co-op gameplay is fantastic in it and we are about to platinum it. Personally, I’m just about half way through the Last of Us. Then I will either go back and try to finish AC3 or move on to GTA V when it comes out.