Chris Roberts & Sandi Gardiner have returned to Star Citizen in video format with Chris Answering a multitude of questions on what’s next for the game and whats to look forward to. Here is a summary of what was said:
There are about 720 people “working from home” on Star Citizen.
They had to quickly move (over a week) a huge amount of people to the working from home system March last year.
This requires the studios to communicate much more and lots of zoom meetings!
They are looking forward to opening up the offices again with LA and Austin Opening fully again Soon TOUCH WOOD.
Nothing beats working with people, on these kinds of creative projects… even tho remote work has it’s advantages as well.
Alpha 3.14 When?
3.14 is around the corner (mid july looks to be the expected live release date)
The first gen cloud tech is going to look better in the future. They need the clouds to be really scaleable.
It’s going to be rolled out to other planets in the future and then they will start working on dynamic weather too.
What’s Happening With Server Meshing?
They are working on it now with a large engineering strike team.
Networking, Engine, Backend services Teams are working together…. Around 20 people on Server Meshing. It’s their biggest technical initiative and is considered SUPER critical.
It allows for a huge amount more players as well as addressing server performance issues, as they don’t have to worry as much about server degradation.
A lot of the core features are done to at least some degree, authority transfer allowing servers to pass players/entities between each other, the backend entity graph (previously icache) is being built out, which remembers the state of every single entity and object and can stream it in and out.
They are making good progress, by the end of the year they are hoping to have proper persistence complete for this.
There will be a Server Meshing Panel / Presentation in the Virtual 2021 CitizenCon.
They want to do a physical CitizenCon in 2022.
What Are you looking Forward To?
Alpha 3.15 has a load of new features, they are going to have major medical and personal inventory updates and these will be covered in the near future in a calling all devs show.
Personal inventory is part of the whole persistence and world gameplay, what you can carry will be pretty limited and there are new ways to equip items too, the PMA is horrendous currently (personal manager app), it was never fully completed and will be replaced with a paperdoll drag and drop system… and much more intuitive and limited to your local inventories you have access to.
Medical Gameplay here is the first step towards Death of a Space man and meaningful mortality / risk reward. Healing other players, reviving people, respawning at hospitals.
In the future there will only be SO many times your character can get brought back to life (Chris said 3 or 4 here) after which your character would be permanently dead…
They changed the lore so it’s actually you being cloned but it’s functionally the same.
You’ll then make a new character (your next of kin) and pass your ships and items to the new one.
Just as a note they were working on medical insurance too and there might be some ways to get lives back or mitigate death risk… that was talked about previously… also I wouldn’t take Chris’ comment of 3-4 times before you are dead as a hard number… it might be 10 once the game goes live… or you can keep paying to renew your clone or something.
We will get Hospitals at Orison, New Babbage and grimhex as well as clinics at space stations, so you’ll be able to at least spawn about the major landing zones if the other Hospitals are not complete.
They are working on Persistence Hangars and Habs to, they will appear on the schedule shortly after persistence work is done. This will radically change the game experience.
They are revising the cargo system to be physical and practical that also ties into this persistence too.
The AI guys are working on some cool stuff and Chris wants people to see it… low tick rates and server performance issues have caused AI to not work as intended but also there are lots of new stuff coming, new behaviors.
Chris’ 9 year old daughter complained that the AI were all standing on tables.
The Enitity Graph and Persistence work will actually help a lot with this, meaning it remembers that AI are supposed to be sitting down on chairs… not standing on tables.
Is Chris Coding Anything?
He doesn’t have much time BUT he is trying to finish physical skins… which will have your character and their clothing / armor have physics information & geometry embedded within it. So your physics shape and profile will change based on your gear… and this means better hit detection and prediction. If you hit the model it will hit the model.
This makes a big difference with physical interactions with cloth, cloaks and environmental deformation. It’s almost ready to go in… maybe 3.16… they don’t put Chris’ code in right away just in case it blows some stuff up.
What Games have been Playing?
Chris and Sandi along with their 2 daughters have been playing – Valheim, Minecraft, Among Us, Fortnight…AND Star Citizen!
An interesting thing, they said some of the survival light of Valheim is where they want to be going with the feel of Star Citizen in some areas too.
They Are Moving to the UK
Either end of 2021 or start of 2022, they are planning to move over to the UK for sometime, to spend some time with the Squadron 42 team to get it finished!
They are going to moving to new offices in the UK as they are out of room at their current office, it’s still around Manchester and it should have 400 staff there and be their flagship office. Chris will be there on a day to day basis!
There are new Offices in Germany too in the One Frankfurt… to say that the Manchester office will be flagship after seeing that building… that means Manchester must have something pretty special… maybe it will be like Star Citizen Land if JRFabrication have anything to do with it?!
Boom, that was supposed to be a short video update from Chris and Sandi but turned into a beast of a Q&A… was good to hear from them tho and good to know that they are going to be moving SQ42 in the not too distant future.