Star Citizen, Squadron 42 & Theatres of War News, Guides, Videos & Gameplay by BoredGamer

Star Citizen PU November Update – Creatures, Alpha 3.18 & New Features

Hello, we have the Star Citizen Persistent Universe Monthly Report for you today.

Looking at what CIG have been working on feature & development wise over the last few weeks and what they are focused on now in November 2022 as we prepare for the 2952 IAE and Alpha 3.18.

The Gameplay Features Team continued work on the initial implementation of the cargo refactor and new commodity kiosk UI for Alpha 3.18. This will affect buying, selling, and moving around single-SCU resource cargo containers with the tractor beam after purchase and outside green zones. Gameplay Features also continued to support the buying and selling of FPS refillable RMC  (Recycled Material Composite) containers and the containers created by the Vulture and Reclaimer.

Updates were made to the prison, including the kiosk, which received new gameplay items. Alongside this, the setup and inventories were adjusted across all shops for new commodities that come with the cargo refactor. They also updated the shops to support IAE merchandise. The shop setup for Pyro began and is ongoing. UI screens for the commodity kiosk, mission manager, and bounty hunting progressed too.

Planning and documentation began for freight elevators and subsequent cargo refactor updates, which will begin in Q4 2022. Documentation and investigation began into multi- and large-container cargo delivery missions that could coincide with the delivery of T1 cargo.

The Manchester and Frankfurt-based teams progressed with hull scraping, adding the finishing touches and quality-of-life improvements for its balance pass. Additional time was also put into the ‘fresh derelict’ harvestables that can spawn in space to make them look more worn and authentic.

They also worked with the Montreal team to add some not-clearly-identifiable pieces to debris fields, and helped the US team with the cargo refactor.

The team’s work on gravity and life support is approaching final, with the remainder of the work on the resource-management system that will bring it all together.

Narrative also started working with Mission Features on the existing air-traffic-control behavior. This will help fix problems with the existing behavior while also supporting the newest upgrades to the system, which will then be standardized for any additional air-traffic-control characters and scripts in the future.

They also continued to meet with the Mission teams to develop the ‘investigate’ missions featured in Narrative CitizenCon video. The writers were tasked with coming up with a sample mystery for players to investigate to stress test the foundational system and see how scalable this mission could be.

In addition, they provided text for upcoming missions and opened discussions on a handful of other mission types that will be coming in the next few patches. The team worked closely with the Design and UI teams on some of the upcoming mobiGlas apps that will support new gameplay currently in development.

The UI team continued developing the new StarMap, particularly the underlying tech to allow them to easily display it in different locations. For example, in ships, the mobiGlas, and potentially screens in levels. They also updated the controls and improved the look of planets.

Alongside working on the interaction prompts seen at CitizenCon, UI continued to adapt and bugfix the loadout system to ensure it works with Persistent Streaming.

Mission Features added final polish to various missions, including a new ending to the prison escape that will add further excitement and challenge.

They then worked with Art to further expand the Jumptown drug lab.

“It has doubled in size and includes a second entrance, second drug dispenser, and multiple windows and skylights to see inside. To improve gunplay on the interior, we made it circular and removed most of the doors for longer sight lines.” Mission Feature Team

Trespass areas were also updated so that lawful trespass and entering hostile areas are now different. The name of the org in control of the area is also shown upon entering and, once access to the area is revoked (e.g. at the end of a mission), players are shown a countdown to when they will be trespassing should they remain.

Finally, bugs relating to CrimeStat and ship collisions were identified and fixed.

The Features Team improved various existing features, including the ability to vault or mantle over a ledge, which can now be triggered mid-jump or fall. This adds further options for the level designers when constructing on-foot traversal puzzles.

Players can now also look up and down while moving on a ladder to help them see where they’re going. If they stop, they can look around 360 degrees too. This is done by creating an idle animation with 360 poses. The game then picks the frame from the asset that matches the player’s yaw relative to the ladder. This then becomes the base idle on top of which the team can build other actions. For example, being able to jump away from the ladder in the facing direction.

The ability to move all items from one inventory to another is now in the final internal test sweep.

“A number of the features the team have been working on were on show during CitizenCon and we really appreciate all the positive feedback received.” Features Team

The Animation team began discussing bringing creatures into the PU.

They said “Our team had just signed off on the rig for the first creature, meaning we can finally start animating our first interactable creature! 

They also worked on various performances for IAE and the gameplay for delivering a person from one location to another.

The Character Art team delivered armor variants for Security Post Kareah. Production started on frontier workwear outfits and undersuits following work by the Character Concept Art team too. 

Ships & Vehicles – The Ship team progressed with the Argo SRV, moving the exterior through to the final art stage.

The Vehicle Features supported the docking and transit features. Both continue to be long-term requirements for the team as each release poses new issues, particularly with transit, which will likely remain until the launch of the new transit system.

Multi-function-displays (MFD) progressed well, with the weapons, emissions, and ship models submitted and working in-game. 

Work also began on the new version of quantum travel, which currently involves refactoring the current feature in preparation for rework.

Support for the Q4 ship releases began too, with tuning currently in progress. Alongside this, the new ground-vehicle tech was further developed and will be enabled in a coming sprint. Before this, issues with the Drake Mule driving like a tank will be resolved.

Master Modes progressed well in testing. The team confirmed the speeds for SCM, boost, and quantum travel and are now testing racing ships and looking into how to balance disabling ships as they change between SCM and QT.

“We also used this opportunity to rebalance a lot of weapons, redoing the differences in behaviors we had reset for the Alpha 3.14 rework.” Vehicle Features Team

Recourse network support continued with the power conversation and initial work on integrating heat components. The team are currently setting out their design support for the feature as a lot of components will need converting once the technical work is complete. Alongside this, the aiming refactor is now almost complete, with the remaining work focusing on implementing the new UI.

A big step was made on control surfaces. Now, ships gliding without thrusters has been reduced over the previous surface model. Finally, the new restricted areas system passed its go/no-go and is now enabled.

The VFX team complete their work on the salvage and repair feature.

Two vehicles continued through the VFX production phase, receiving effects for thrusters, damage, atmospheric entry, quantum travel, and shields.

Arena Commander Feature Team made Various fixes and improvements to Arena Commander & Star Marine Modes.

The team finished its integration of Alpha 3.18’s deliverables into game-dev, with some minor items pending. 

A new concept was made for the Duel Mode pre-game, as the team shifts Arena Commander’s focus to being the primary competitive ranked mode. The new pre-game allows players to select from multiple ships outside of their selected one from the frontend, as well as see what their opponent has picked. This will act as the game’s initial draft system. Following community feedback, additional ways to improve Duel Mode itself were discussed and tasked. 

The Team said:

“We are very pleased that the team’s direction already matches public opinions; every topic and issue brought up had already been discussed and scheduled by ACFT.” 

Feature additions and bug fixing continued for the new Arena Commander 1.5 frontend, including adding video backgrounds per game mode. The team also explored how to improve the first deliverable of the new frontend, including changes to the layout and how to make the scene feel more like a simulation.

Design finished their initial pass on five new racetracks: Snake Pit, Icebreaker, Ratari Station, Dunlow Derby, and Lorville Gateways. A new dogfighting map, Jericho Station, was successfully playtested and is planned for an upcoming patch.

The EU Locations team continued to work on Pyro’s Rest Stop, making great progress on the internals of the station. They then moved focus toward the station’s external arms. 

Work was also closed out on Security Post Kareah, and progress was made on the IAE event halls and cargo. They continued their ongoing task of “adding life to landing zones” too.

Lighting continued their work on Pyro, Lorville, IAE, Orison’s racetrack, Security Post Kareah, and derelict space settlements.

Lorville received a lighting clean-up to improve certain areas, while the level as a whole was tidied up to bring it back to its originally intended state.

They also closed out various previous locations to ensure that everything is up to scratch.

There are a huge amount of initiatives & features being improved for the Engine.

Various Physics & Networking Improvements have been made.

The Gen12 Renderer has seen fantastic progress and looks to see it’s initial release in Alpha 3.18.

Entities Streaming in and out have been streamlined.

Damage Maps & Persistence for debris saw work.

There are Gas Cloud, atmosphere, shader & CPU particles improvements.

The team also closed out RaStar v1 and fixed the remaining bugs and crashes raised by the content teams. There were also various fixes submitted for rivers, and R&D began on water sim and water rendering improvements.

The Online Services team spent time completing several remaining features, including the new character repair/reset process and how in-game transactions are handled.

They also improved the new login-flow process to allow for faster entry into the game when a player has a pre-entitled account, as well as the new retry service that will resubmit a message back to the service application for a reattempt.

Lastly, the team made a quality-of-life update that sorts the in-game friends list alphabetically. This is planned to be included in Alpha 3.18.

Boom thas it for your monthly report this time.