Welcome to some more Star Citizen News, we have news with the expected and hopefully minor 3.9 delays, roadmap & feature updates, CIG have talked more about Multi-Crew Gameplay Plans, The Idris and even Vulkan Support.
All that as well as a quick summary of the rest of the news that happened this week ending the 29th March.
Star Citizen Alpha 3.9 is still in it’s Evocati Phase… which isn’t ideal and we were hoping for at least a 1st wave PTU by now however as most CIG employees are now working from home due to the current Global Situation it was to be expected, CIG have made a statement:
“The team is hard at work on getting Alpha 3.9 ready to go and in your hands. Due to a variety of factors, such as the recent transition to working from home, and our push to improve stability and playability, Alpha 3.9 won’t quite be ready in time for its original release goal in a few days. As you know, we’re currently in our Evocati testing phase and plan to release to a wider group on the PTU very soon. We’re very close! As always, we’ll keep you updated, so keep an eye out for more information.”
There have been some Updates to the Roadmap for 4.0 and 4.1 the Q2 and Q3 2020 Patches Respectively:
Docking as a more combined feature is now in for Alpha 4.1 as the work for Ship-to-Ship Docking and Ship-to-Station Docking is the same now that the physics proxy has been completed. This will be adding the ability to dock and spawn vehicles connected to space stations, as well as docking two ships together. This functionality is required for some of the larger ships to spawn at certain locations. It was said by CIG previously as well that parasite docking for the p-52 on the constellation would be working at the same time, so hopefully that is still the case. This is also one of the major features for getting larger ships in the game, refueling ship to ship, boarding and much more.
Security Systems – Due to work on other tasks taking longer than expected, including tasks towards the upcoming Prison System and a handful of tasks surrounding an unannounced event, there was not enough bandwidth able to be allocated to this system for this quarter. They have removed the feature from 4.0 and the roadmap temporarily until they are able to accurately determine where in our schedule it will fall.
Space Station – Cargo Decks have now got an updated description – Cargo Decks are facilities within Rest Stops where players can handle all their cargo needs. From dropping off and picking up, buying new cargo equipment, and taking on cargo-related missions.
As both Docking and Cargo Decks are coming in 4.1, expect this to be a pretty big Economy Update with the patch as well.
With Inside Star Citizen (Quick Summary) we saw a little more of New Babbage the Landing Zone on MicroTech as well as updates to the Weapon Attachment UI coming in Alpha 3.9.
There were some interesting infographics from CIG this month, apparently there are around 10k missions completed by unique users a day… this would actually have Star Citizen having a reasonably high concurrent player count and active player base even at this stage in the Alpha. I am interested to know what the average play session time is of those players.
This Week’s Sneak Peek was another shot of Klesher Automated Prison, very much looking forward to that location and Prison Gameplay in 3.9.
Also it looks like April’s Sub Flair may be some Outlaw-ish helmets.
In other news, we had confirmation of a settlement between Crytek and CIG where both parties are taking care of their own legal expenses BUT the LAWSUIT is now OVER.
Calling All Devs – Idris & MultiCrew
There is an NPC Idris that you can fight as part of the Arlington Gang Mission Series in Alpha 3.9 – The Exterior of the Idris is mostly there now and damage work. However the Interior is very much still a WIP. It will get some refinement with new features coming online especially work on ship systems, UI and the multi crew experience BUT it won’t be available as a player flyable ship for a while. They don’t want to release the ship as just a functionless fighter AND I don’t believe it will be boardable in 3.9… tho it’s certainly worth a try!
The NPC idris has seen a bit of balance for 3.9 BUT it will require a big team to take it down.
They are refining the Multi-Crew Gameplay Experience – They are working on a permission system where the Captain can assign item control and MFD functionality to crew.
This allows players to actually have organic roles on ships like as an engineer in charge of the power and having access to other areas for repair. That combined with physical components and more ship based mechanics as well as expanded interactivity will add massively to multicrew. They will continue to add depth to these systems and gameplay from patch to patch. Tho every role and gameplay loop is different, they don’t really want to do abstract mini-games or quick time events, for most of the gameplay they want more interaction with individual systems like as an engineer again inspecting and maintaining individual components, sub components, substations and relays, replacing components and using a repair tool. They are still working out exactly what gameplay there will be for each of the potential roles on ship. You’ll be able to define your own role tho.
A Captain of a ship should be commanding people on the ship, direct how things are progressing, give permissions.
Tactical Officers may look after scanning and radar function.
Security officers will control doors and internal sensors.
Gen12 Renderer & Vulkan API – Gen12 Render is a name they use internally for the tech and what they are building for their renderer, this is mainly going to use Vulkan. It’s scaleable to lots of CPU, does a lot of pre-computations and is very efficient and will reduce latency and increase performance signifcantly.
The Current engine uses DX11, then they are moving to both DX11 and Vulkan and eventually ENTIRELY OVER TO VULKAN, it’s lighter weight, faster and will allow them to focus on a hardware neutral approach, tho it’s more of an initial development investment. It will give a lot more performance wins. They are working on this now though it will take some time they have, its the main focus of the graphics and engine team with lots of mini teams tackling different parts of the renderer.
One of the other things Vulkan Allows is access to more features that CIG may add in the future like RayTracing, it is basically future proofing the engine.