Welcome to some more Star Citizen with the Monthly Report looking at what CI have been working on recently & what they are working on now for Star Citizen’s Persistent Universe with Alpha 3.10.0, updates with the Pyro System & some new ships/vehicles as well as various other features.
Environment & Location
The Environment Art Team wrapped up their work on Pyro 1 and 2! The planets are not complete yet BUT they have all the required ingredients and are currently awaiting shader features and several polish passes. They are currently scheduling and breaking down their tasks for Pyro 3 and 4, applying the data gathered during the production of the first two planets and shaping assets to hit the visual targets for the various new biomes.
Work continued on Orison too as well as rest stop layouts the new cargo / refinery facilities & Improvements were made to restricted areas.
It seems the large ship docks used for Fleet Week may be used in the future and have helped with the Docking Feature Planned for 3.11.0.
They started lighting the newly expanded sections of Grim HEX, including the exterior and hangars. They’re currently lighting the upcoming set of Hi-Tech hangars for New Babbage.
Visual-prototyping for fire hazards continued and voxel-based code prototyping began.
Ships & Vehicles
There are various mentions of some new Ships & Vehicles in the Monthly Report… it looks like we might be seeing 2 New Ships, a New Ship Series (potentially previously announced) and a new Vehicle all being worked on by CI, tho it’s possible it’s referencing the same ones twice… Let’s look at what CI had to say:
Two as-yet-announced ships transitioned from internal concept to development and are getting close to reaching the whitebox-review phase. I suspect these are the going to be 2 of the evolved versions of the Concepts that were briefly talked about at CitizenCon 2019 without any names, those being a Xi’An Cargo Ship, Tevarin Fighter, Mining Vehicle & Mobile Refinery.
Preliminary work on an undisclosed upcoming vehicle began.
Also an all-new ship series reached the greybox-complete milestone, with the exterior heading into final art where it will receive its definite material set.
I would be interested to see what you think about those “new” Ships/vehicles and what they might be in the comments below, back to the report & ships being worked on tho:
They continued building out the Crusader Hercules, it now has landing gear, bedrooms, and an elevator. Progress is currently being made on the large cargo bay door and the corridor leading to the bridge.
Progress was made on the Crusader Mercury, with greybox work done for the thrusters, ramp, sub-level, server room, and neck.
They prepared the F7A & F8 for Fleet Week & created new skins for several military ships as well as reworking the dashboard of the F7A mk2.
There is a lot of vehicle feature work going into Alpha 3.10 patch that’s being worked on including New in-atmosphere aerodynamics that enables more depth and varying behaviors between vehicles. This change is closely related to the long-awaited thruster efficiency curves feature. When both launch, ships will behave completely differently in-atmosphere compared to space.
There was a significant UI push too, with several new targeting features being developed.
Final integration of the animated dashboard button is being completed to allow for fully animated, interactable buttons in the Gladius cockpit.
They’re also preparing new restricted area splines for Alpha 3.10, which will help guide players to landing zones and specific planetary areas.
Looking further ahead, improvements to ship radar began, which is all tied toward enhanced scanning, detection, stealth and discovery mechanics.
Development of the Life Support system continued, which will result in a functioning item that can depressurize and repressurize vehicle interiors, this works with the room system to actually have areas of appropriate atmosphere/or lack there of from room to room.
Further improvements were made to the signed-distance-field-based procedural atmospheric entry for small ships too.
New Items & Equipment
Props for the upcoming Factory Line shop in New Babbage entered production, including the new Mirage Holo-Projector, Muse Simpod, and Hi-Tech Hacking Chip. This gives us some additional info of what we might see with these shop additions and the Factory Line at New Babbage, Simpods are supposed to be to connect to things like AC/SM from in game, a new expensive crypto-key makes sense too, the Mirage Holo-Projector is that a flare item OR a gadget I wonder?
They finalized the latest Behring ballistic Gatling gun, final art for the Behring S12 torpedo was completed.
For FPS weapons, work was completed on the Gemini C54 SMG. “The C54 is looking great after some initial tweaks to the block-out to make it feel more balanced and fit with the character’s range of motion better.” – The Art Team
The final art pass on the Lightning Bolt Co. Atztkav sniper rifle was concluded, while the Behring BR-2 shotgun is nearing completion too.
Progress was made on the upcoming electron energy weapon effects. “This type is much more “exotic” than existing weapons and, as well as looking great, will lead to some very cool FPS encounters.” – The VFX Team
They are updating the UI for Ammo Counters on several weapons.
Body dragging, throwing, and knockdowns have seen various work.
They have improved various elements of how they handle the mo-cap process and are looking into how to shoot mo-cap during the lockdown.
NPCs & AI
Combat AI focused on realistic firing for the PU with the ultimate aim for NPC characters to feel real and for players to understand how they’re managing their ammunition, with sensible timed reload based on their situation.
They have made ammo boxes usable by AI so they can use them appropriate to rearm and know when they need to start thinking about getting ammo.
More generally work on getting AI using cover effectively continued.
Ship AI worked on the Javelin and its escorts, ensuring they arrived and departed correctly at designated space stations across Stanton for Fleet Week.
The Javelin and two Idris spawned in via quantum travel and started following a path leading to their respective docking hubs. Their Escort Fighters of F7A Hornets and F8 Lightnings stayed close to them to form a convoy and then engaged any enemy targets. NPC ship requested landing Permission from the ATC before landing at the military docks.
This was used as an opportunity to test how single assignments (formation, defend target, land, etc.) could be organized together to implement a desired flow and wider experience.
There are various improvements being made NPC target choice across the game.
Social AI wrapped up the first iteration of the bartender. This is a big step in achieving the gold standard for Social AI and their interactions with players and each other.
Patrons can order and consume various drinks and use different seats around the bar.
They also animated actions to enable AI to undertake generic inspections, move crates, and complete hangar actions
Engine, Server & Backend
The Gen 12 Render saw a lot of work (this is ongoing graphics rendering improvement and vulkan integration).
The render-to-texture system was also integrated into the texture streaming system – This feature is fundamental to the Canvas Manager, which is used to create dynamic texture content such as signs, name badges, ship names, serial numbers, etc.”
Both GPU Performance Issues and Backend Service Issues during 3.9.x & Fleet Week have seen ongoing support.
There were physics optimizations.
They helped offset jitter.
For physical damage, they started looking into deformation and how to decouple the renderer and sim-mesh and iterated on the damage TDD.
One important performance change was to adjust the texture resolutions on machines without enough video memory to run the game at full quality, especially at higher resolutions, which would of previously caused memory paging problems.
Work continues on server meshing support & features.
Long-term item persistence was improved. They’re now also able to run several instances of services at the same time to provide players with a better experience during events with peaking load.
Work on the iCache and GIM micro-services continued, as did development towards a meshed loadout, the new refining mechanic, and LTP services.
They have a scenario feature that allows them to activate dynamic missions on/off PU servers when they want, such as the Invictus Launch Week event.
They now have the Team Service, an important feature that enables players to form squads, teams, and enter matchmaking.
Gameplay & Other
They have completed the initial implementation of the new Player Trading app that will be available in-game via mobiGlas soon. The initial release will give players the ability to send different currencies to each other. Later revisions will extend to trading physical inventory items.
They continued to build the new 3D UI system that will replace the old flash and engine-based system – work included progress on ship targeting, an update to the inventory, and various screens for new environments.
Galactopedia continued to expand, with a whole host of new articles added, for those following the Imperator Elections… Expect to hear more about them in the coming weeks as the UEE prepares for the final in October.