At CitizenCon 2021 we learnt more about Pyro, JumpPoints & Planet Updates and a little bit about Player Bases. This is a summary of Crafting Worlds and Pyro System Updates from the Life In The Verse Keynote.
Jump Points have changed and they are being built to be wondrous
The Infrastructure around jumpoints don’t necessarily impact their function as they are naturally occurring BUT in UEE space or occupied areas you may see structures, security and customs BUT there may be ways to bypass this.
Jump Points don’t need the infrastructure… they are more like checkpoints.
Gas clouds help create part of these POI.
Jump Points are massive as well.
Stanton’s Jump Point to Pyro is very different on the Stanton side compared to the Pyro one.
The pyro cloud by the jump point is very dense, chaotic and oppressive. Compared to the peaceful more tranquil one at Stanton.
Ruin Station and some older infrastructure is still in the Pyro system… reclaimed by outlaws and squatters. There are basically some older space stations that have been abandoned too… so there is a lot more POI than we had originally thought.
They may house shanty towns on the stations.
The stations may be branded for some of the outlaw factions in the area too.
Factional Warfare is an important part of Pyro.
They’ve thought about where NPCs and players would be in these areas and where heating, electricity, lighting and food would be.
There is a strong gang presence… and they may act similar to security.
They may shakedown the player… or nearby NPCs.
They are going to start opening up the engineering sections of stations and living quarters of where NPCs would be living.
They basically broke and damaged current stations to make these facilities.
The gangs might set up checkpoints and barriers that players may want to avoid.
Players will be able to get rep with these gangs to get into certain areas potentially.
There is rain inside this station… this is because the heat and water from general every day use is causing precipitation (or at least a build up of condensation) in the area.
They showed the building of these stations, from concept, to interior fleshing out and building up the props, lighting and environment.
They looked at some of the planets and moons.
We saw a commander’s view of the different biomes for each of the planets and how they differ. We also got to see a sizzlereel of how this looks in engine at the moment.
Planetary Clouds – The Global Property map and cloud type maps allow them to have a huge range of clouds built for atmospheric needs.
Pyro 5 is another gas giant, that uses this and they use the color gradients to really bring these to life.
Ground Textures are really looking amazing in Star Citizen, they blend various techniques together… in the example they showed a desert area with bushes, ground rocks and dirt.
Then they showed some biomes and cliffs still be worked on.
Pyro 3 has very distinct biomes, yellow mossy areas juxtaposed with volcanic areas.
They evolved from blobby moss to make it a loke more grass like… it looks like sulfur but it’s moss trust me. They also added some rocks and high grass.
New Outposts will appear around the Pyro System and they are different from what we have in stanton. We will have little villages, towns around.
This is also big steps towards player bases as they want to put the ability to build them in our hands at least eventually.
There is a huge range of assets and buildings that they have worked on and the sets are modular and can be used together.
For the interiors of the buildings, the social space was a focus… these are hubs of activity.
They need bedrooms and bathrooms and various other rooms like Engineering Rooms, Technical Rooms… as the act like ships and need power to fuel their functions.
These facilities are supposed to be self sufficient
They’ve basically built a space furniture catalogue with loads of assets and styles.
They talk about trading outposts, as these will be important for frontier zones.
Lots of space junk!
The interiors are supposed to be warm and cosy.
Rastar is CIs tool for building planetary locations, it moves away from prefab placement to a more object container focused one. It acts like an RTS game placement tool for buildings, that also appropriately deforms nearby terrain.
Homestead buildings are modular and can snap together and can be procedurally populated with props.
It appears that they will be evolving this tool somewhat and then it will form the basis for players to make their own bases. Dropping in / planning buildings in this RTS fashion.
Gen 12 Updates also improve Planet Tech helping provide next gen features, reducing cpu latency and bottlenecks.They have been refactoring everything to be compliant with this.
More efficient use of resources and better multithread scaling mean a better looking more performant game.
There have been some recent improvements:
They use GPU dynamic tessellation increasing triangle counts on the fly… at ground level they use this to to improve surface visuals and it’s replacing their older parallax relief mapping which was an inefficient per pixel technique.
They are also using a tessellation-driven method to improve terrain/ocean intersection.
They have been overhauling the ecosystem spawning that spawns all trees and objects over the terrain. They have much better control of what objects spawn and where by dividing the planet up into a grid.
They can also have scaling bias’s based on environmental data. So if it’s more humid certain trees or moss might be bigger. Colder, you might have smaller plants.
They can specify animals into a biome and they will be made appropriate to that environment… so small critters on an ice planet might be arctic rabbits but something totally different in a jungle biome.
There is a new foliage shader that takes into account the health of the plant and surrounding area and the season.
Coasts and Rivers have better dressing and look better merged in with proximate terrain.
They have much more control with what spawns around the areas, objects can appear wet.
There are river basins and lakes. They are building a river creation tool and they are also apparently working on a little bit of lava flow.
Boom, that’s a bit of a planetary and Pyro update for you… I am very excited for base building… I am looking forward to making my own base and being able to exploit the land there. When are we going to see Pyro? We don’t yet… hopefully in 2022 and that’s what progress suggests.
New Biomes, Rivers, Outposts and more are coming and planets are looking better each quarter…