Welcome to a Star Citizen Monthly Report Looking at What CI have been working on over the last few weeks of April/May and what they are working on this current Quarter with Pyro the New Star System, New Crusader Ships like the Mercury Star Runner & Hercules Star Lifter, Vulkan Integration & Gameplay Improvements. This is a summary of the Star Citizen Monthly Report for the Persistent Universe with a focus on what’s new!
Game Features & Locations
CI continues work on Pyro the next Star System we will have in the PU with an unstable star, hostile landscapes, and dangerous plant life when it launches.
The Environment Art Team said:
“After the frozen dangers of microTech and its moons, Pyro will definitely put the players in new and exciting surroundings filled with new challenges.”
Pyro I and II seemed to be a focus recently which will make full use of Planet Tech v4. They’re currently creating new geology and vegetation packs and putting them together on the new planets in that System. Art is currently being created for various carnivorous species.
The Level Design Team are working on Orison the Crusader Landing zone, they are working on the environment and creating Orison Tourist Characters.
As well as making updates to Grim HEX, which involves finishing the internal racing kiosk, making structural changes to the asteroid, and finally adding hangars that will allow the storing and spawning of large ships. This will have GrimHex a true landing zone and a haven to criminal and outlaw players in the Stanton System
The Lighting Team looked at adding a day and night setup to Lorville, which will create different ambient moods depending on the time of day. Cubemaps saw updates preventing areas looking too dark.
They have been working on Restricted areas ensuring they work as intended when added to the PU.
They have started implementing new Refining Station kiosks, players will be able to use these to convert their raw materials into refined goods that can be sold for higher prices (and in the future used to craft items). You’ll take your mixed materials to a station with refining capabilities and then start a refining job. Based on the type of refining process, the materials they want to refine or discard, and how busy the refinery is, the player will pay a fee and the job will begin. Refining will then run, even if the player is not present in the station or logged on. Once finished, the player will receive a notification and will be able to return to the station to collect their goods.
They also began preliminary work on a new player trading app for mobiGlas. The first phase focuses on the ability to send currency between players, with later revisions extending to physical inventory items.
Fire will be more of a mechanic it seems, the ship and environmental fire propagation system was further developed for this. It will spread fire based on various material parameters, such as fuel, surface type, and oxygen level. They also plan to make the fire interactive with environments and player interaction, such as wind blowing it around or it reacting to a player’s fire extinguisher.
A new life-support item is in development that allows ships to re-pressurize after their internal atmospheres have been vented. It will also work in stations, outposts, and other room-based structures with airlocks.
There has been work to support initiatives for Arena Commander, Star Marine, Theaters of War, and Invictus Launch Week otherwise known as fleet week AND The Vehicle Technical Team have incorporated a new in-game system that will be revealed at an upcoming event.
Is this something for ToW OR is it Ship Color Tinting, Customization, Vehicle in Ship Spawning? It could be none of that tho!
We will have Fleet week at somepoint in may this will see a Free Fly, Ship Sales & that sort of thing going on… and I expect the 3.9.1 patch too at this time AND we know that ToW is getting at least a weekender test this month so there could be a lot going on!
Ships & Item Updates
Talking of Ships tho Progress on the Crusader Hercules continued; the bulk of the exterior is now greybox-complete, while the thrusters and turrets are currently being worked on. Inside, the bridge is greybox-complete and the rest of the upper deck, including the hab area, is making great progress. The interior doors are complete and the large hold is starting to take shape.
With the Mercury Star Runner, they are working through the cockpit greybox and cargo holds. Progress was made on the wings and turret exteriors too.
The ongoing improvements to the Origin M50 entered the polish phase and the Cutlass Blue’s prisoner pods were tweaked after feedback.
Work on an unannounced ship continued too… this could be the Origin JumpWorks Teased Project or something else entirely.
There are lots of UI improvements going on notably to targeting, missile lock, cockpits and landing UIs. They continue to rebuild the Vehicle HUDs using the new Building Blocks tech.
There is work on improving how IFCS copes with an imbalance in ship thrusters. For example, when thrusters are damaged, the imbalance will cause undesirable power delivery and make controlling the ship more difficult. There is also testing going into improving ship combat in general.
Progress on docking was also made, with the team figuring out how to connect ships while the physics engine reacts appropriately.
The Weapons Team iterated on the Behring GP-33 grenade launcher bringing it up to current standards. The Lighting Bolt Co. Atzkav sniper rifle and Yubarev pistol received final art and LOD passes. These electron weapons require new functionality not seen in Star Citizen before, it will be exciting to see what they have chosen for them effect wise.
The Gemini C54 SMG was reviewed by Design, which led to its dimensions being significantly trimmed down to make it feel more like an SMG and less like an assault rifle.
Pre-production started on the S12 torpedoes and updates to the Sledge mass driver weapons.
They also worked on reloading and malfunction animations for all weapon classes. Development of stumbles, knockdowns, body dragging, and what happens when a player is injured or incapacitated continued.
Backend & Renderer
Work continued on the Gen12 Renderer which is basically Vulkan and CI’s integration of that and other improvements to the Star Citizen Engine. The focus is on getting a preliminary pipeline up and running. They have made headway into permanently enabling certain G12 effects and improving streaming for Object Containers. Lots of optimizations are going on with that.
This is the first of several major milestones in the development of the new renderer and will allow them to deprecate much of the old post effect code.
The organic shader used for vegetation and rocks is currently receiving a long-planned upgrade that will integrate into Planet Tech v4 and add many new features, such as better integration of assets into planetary terrain.
The long-awaited real-time environment probe feature was completed. This allows bounced lighting and reflections to be re-computed dynamically to account for the ever-changing lighting on rotating planets, orbiting space stations, lights being turned on/off, and destroyed interiors.
For the ongoing ocean work, the team upgraded buoyancy physics to make it functional with the new changes, fixed motion vectors on deferred oceans, and added sub-surface scattering to improve the appearance of crest waves.
CI have dealt with a variety of bugs and fixes for 3.9, some of which are implemented others planned for 3.9.1 these include memory leaks that were discovered on some of the backend services.
Work began on the new dynamic mission service as well as Entitlement processing, iCache Advanced Query and GIM (General Instance Manager) service development was also undertaken.
There were general improvements to physics, updates were made to body dragging making it less resource intensive as well as making it look good when dragging someone.
Basic ricochet behavior was added.
AI & Character
Social AI & Useable Item Improvements they’ve streamlined and optimized the way NPCs will interact with items and how the move away from or with them.
Work started on compound usables, which can inherit functionalities from other usables and override data based on specific setups. For example, maintenance or inspection operations on a Gladius might use generic animations in most locations, but a more complex section of the ship may require specific tags.
Functionality and visual quality were further developed for vendors such as the Bartender. This will represent the first gold standard of a fully developed Social AI when complete. Including more subtle things like the AI will be able to differentiate between open and closed bottles and act accordingly. They have more generally worked on Animations and wildlines for Shop Keepers too with a significant improvement in the visual fidelity of their behaviors.
AI Patrol pathing saw improvements with a streamlining of how NPCs move to and use doors, elevators and transit systems.
Improvements were made allowing for quicker mocap shoots & manipulation in the future.
They are updating face rigs with the new RuntimeRig System Improvements – Better Faces and Expressions.
For hair, they created a new slider for creating a ‘salt and pepper’ look and improved scattering for blonde and bright hair.
And that’s it for this month’s report. We know CI are changing the Naming of the next patch so it’s not 4.0… as they are saving that moniker for when we have the Pyro system in game so we should see some updates to the Roadmap.