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Star Citizen News | Alpha 3.5.1 Soon, Cave Systems & 300 Series Customization

Welcome to some more Star Citizen News with the latest on Alpha 3.5.1, the new ship customization system, Roadmaps, a lot on Procedural Cave Systems, this is a summary of weeks news including Inside Star Citizen, Star Citizen Live and the RSI Newsletter from the week ending the 26th of May.

Star Citizen Newsletter – Flame of Origin

“We successfully deployed Alpha 3.5.1 to the PTU for Evocati testing this week. Look out for this patch bringing quality-of-life improvements to a wider audience in the near future.

Fans of the ‘verse’s most luxe ship manufacturer can look forward to lore and more in the coming weeks as we gear up for the Origin Celebration.

Also this week: Got questions about the lean, mean, Tumbril Ranger? The Design Team has the answers. Want to know about the best meals on the go for the busy hauler? Clean Shot has you covered. Yearning for the open road? Snag a Ranger or three for yourself. “

The Tumbril Ranger is still on Concept Sale until the 10th of June, there was a Q&A that went into more details of the ship, I’ll link my summary of that and my channel has most of these news items covered in greater detail too for those of you interested.

Alpha 3.5.1 is currently with the Evocati, the Patch is expected to deal with some of the issues that 3.5 has as well as deploy the rest of the 300 series as flyable those being the 315p, 325a & 350r.

There was a note on a planned Origin Event / Sale – IT’S A CELEBRATION!

“If it is possible for a company to merge class and sophistication with the sheer risk of spaceflight and the cold-blooded nature of interstellar dogfighting, Origin Jumpworks comes the closest.”

Celebrate the upcoming release of the new and improved 2949 300 series by delving into the history of Origin in next week’s lore post.

It is expected that with the release of Alpha 3.5.1 to LIVE that this may coincide with an Origin Ship Sale and potentially the New Customization System for at least the 300 series of ships to start with.

This week’s sneak peek was at a computer chip, which assumidly is a mission item OR sub-component for customization of vehicles.

Star Citizen PU Roadmap

With Alpha 3.6 planned for the end of June we have a lot of progress on Rest Stop Exterior Variations,Player Free Look, the Law System v1, Weapons Attachments, FPS AI Cover Usage, Bartender AI, the Banu Defender, the weapons of 3.6, Asynchronous Disconnection Refactor, Distribution & Ecosystems Improvements, Client to Server Actor Networking Rework. Ship Rentals have also started development with just 2 tasks needed for their completion. Harvestable Entity Spawning is now in polishing

The Transit System v2 & Black Market Economy have seen some additional tasks added.

There have been some push backs with a couple of features that were planned for Alpha 3.7 the Q3 Patch – Player Swim & Player Locomotion Stairs Improvements have been pushed to Alpha 3.9 Q1 2020.

Alpha 3.8 has seen the first task of Planet microTech complete, which fills me full of joy for the future.

SQ42 Roadmap

There are some more tangible Delays with some of the Squadron 42 Features – AI for FPS Grenades & FPS Realistic Firing v2, Player Stealth v2 are pushed to Q3. Player Swim, Player Locomotion Stairs Improvements & Weapon & Item Customization have all been pushed to Q4.

Progress wise – FPS AI Cover Usage, Player Free Look have all seen a lot of work complete.

Player Jump v2 and Player Carriables v2 are fully complete.

Vehicle Scanning v3 has started development and is almost 50% done by task already. On Demand Physicalizing v2 which is incredibly important for the game has seen it’s first of 3 tasks marked as done too.

Inside Star Citizen Summary

The 300 Series Customization allows for internal aesthetic changes such as steering wheels and chairs to be changed as well as internal color options for the ship. We shall see more of the system in the coming weeks.

Ship Component Sub Items were shown, ship systems will typically have a slot for 1 or more subcomponent that will further customize the item and also allow for repairs.

New Babbage Plant Life has seen some work, with lots of mutant / GM plants, that are massive and cool looking.

Star Citizen Live – Cave Tech Revisited

They have been continuing work on R&D for Cave tech and this now has them working towards procedural layouts and dressing caves as well as working with some other disciplines to test them in engine in more detail.

They know they can make good looking rocks so until recently they were focusing on the general pathing and shapes that the caves create.

They are building out various assets, rocks, pathways, POI, rooms, caverns.

Then these are used to build a cave to order based on their chosen ruleset.

The areas then will add smaller assets, and set dressing.

Their tests had very basic corridors that look a bit cave like and then generate rooms between them.

They then made this more organic/natural and with more variance.

Even if they generate a cave from the same seed they will get a different result.

Cave entrances are also generated. These can be sinkholes, cracks in the ground, craters or an archways, mounds, dirt piles or in the side of a hill / mountain.

It’s hard to have cave entrances that look good, subtle and merge with terrain appropriately.

They want to be able to easily embed caves and entrances into existing environments.

They show tree stumps as cave entrances and talk about waterfalls covering caves too.

They need to make the entrances diverse and not easily recognisable.

They want to have potentially 1000s of caves on the surface of planets

They have began experimenting with larger rooms/chamber and larger assets.

Wall textures and shapes can have variance.

Objects plance need to not block entry ways.

Large structures work, however there are lots of edge cases, the procedural logic generation needs to be perfect so there aren’t floating , ceilings or ridiculous caves and assets.

They have a balance of bespoke assets now combined with procedural variance.

They went further and have changes in ground and ceilings, this allows for a lot less repetition.

So even within similar rooms they will look completely different.

Traversal around these areas is incredibly important, the system takes into account that a pathway is always needed to be kept clear to get from A to B.

They mark these pathways blue or green based on whether the path is optional or critical to generation of the area.

They mark orange areas for set dressing and poi.

Hazards and areas that players will need to think about traversing could be part of the system too. Climbing, collapsing bridges, crawling… are all possible.

They describe customizing these caves as lego like, each of the pieces being at least partially procedural.

A lot of the work they are doing is to test what is possible and appropriate, Pillars and Pits, Mineables. They tested water volumes too.

They reduced their rooms to 24 modules for their tests rather than having 100s. This allows them to still have a huge amount of variety BUT in a much more streamlined and controlled way so oddly generated terrain in a cave happens less.

They have further iterated on cave tech, it’s all crude geometry and place holder at the moment still.

They have solved many of the biggest issues for the procedural tools for caves.

They are talking to design, vfx and lighting about getting appropriate additions to caves.

This includes things like fireflies and organics light sources.

There will be different types of caves, occupied by NPCs, previously explored, unexplored, abandoned.

Environmental effects can be added to caves Icy, hot humid,

They have moved further with the art, some of it receiving a first art pass. They now have a cave systems vertical slice to show off the tech as it is at the moment.