Welcome to some more Star Citizen with a Summary of Around the Verse – Pathfinder looking at NPC Movement, Network Service Improvements as well as updates to Lyria and the Damage Thruster Effects on ships all coming with Alpha 3.5.
They have been working on FPS Collision Avoidance and more believable NPC movement.
Currently they are trying to improve pathfinding.
Players move unpredictably and so they need a very reactive system allowing the animations to reflect this.
They have AI follow a path and plan/predict where it’s going to go.
The old system pulls the AI off their path in order to handle a collision avoidance request.
It has the AI move to avoid walking into an object, npc or player that has cross their predicted path.
The system works out the speeds of actors that may intersect each other and moves appropriatly to avoid that in a believeable fashion.
The system they use is called ORCA – Optimal, Receivable, Collision Avoidance, it also tries to work out optimal speeds for actors to avoid each other too.
Through more complex behavoirs and actions it also works, so you can have AI keeping a target in view and aiming at it as they strafe around an area.
This can speed up an NPC walking/moving, change it’s path or have it make a push out the way animation.
We should see AI moving better, staying in sync better, use the most appropriate animation for any given movement or action as well as building sensible dynamic paths in pathfinding.
3.5 has some Network Service Improvements Planned
There are planned improvements to Object Container Streaming, they are ironing out stalls from the system. Currently when you enter QT you can get hitches and brief pauses when you stream out the data from the location you were at and also when you enter the new area when it streams the new assets in, they want to reduce and eliminate those stalls at least from the network side.
They are also working on the Async Disconnect Refactor. This generally makes the netcode more robust and should see less server and client crashes as well as infinite loading screens.
They are working on Snowy Atmosphere Effects as well as Cryo Geysers for Lyria one of the Moons of ArcCorp coming in 3.5.
The Geyser effects are made from steam and water that can explode into snow as they are exposed to the atmosphere.
They have wind affect the steam blowing it in various directs and different levels of turbulence.
They have some more updates to the thruster and damage thruster effects.
They have dialed in the look they want.
The more damaged your engines / thrusters are the more obvious sparks, smoke and misfires will be, so at a glance you can roughly see how damaged they are on another ship.