Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of (some) player testers

Get your “it’s happening” gifs out: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 is here. Kind of. Sort of. It’s here if you’re a member the 800-member Evocati group, who are generally high-dollar-amount donors and hardcore bug-reporters. But hey: It’s non-CIG testers. This is really happening, and you can put away your tired old “scam” cards.

If you’ve learned anything from the Burndown segments on Around the Verse, it’s that organizing and producing the schedule for a game this big is boring. But in case you hadn’t figured that out, today’s episode has 25 minutes of meetings to remind you again.

The fun part of the update is all about the ongoing turret gameplay overhaul, which is actually pretty cool for anybody who’s played a rare MMO with multicrew ships – in fact, apart from the 2017 graphics, the whole system looks an awful lot like climbing into a YT-1300’s turret dome and pew pewing. Watch along below.

Source: Official site. Cheers, Cotic!
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70 Comments on "Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of (some) player testers"

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Sheryl Lard
edangerous
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edangerous

Totally not a cult…

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Byórðæįr

I was giggling at gimbling of the turret reminding me of the last star fighter scene, shooting at the kodan armada. That is sweet looking.

so that havoc code is spawning nibbling zombies again. snicker

The havoc physic engine code caused the zombie level in call of duty black ops and modern warfare. Every time activision thought it was fixed in a new game and it spawned it’s ugly head they would add zombie mode at some point when they got the rest of the game working. It is funny considering I remember the qa guys laughing at the nibbling zombies and still having no idea why a half a byte offset could cause so many problems with the code. hopefully once they figure out it is the branching logic only sending half of the byte then changing it’s mind and offseting the rest of the code it should be an easy fix.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

havoc physics? did they mention that by name suddenly? because as far as i’m aware one of the reasons they chose CE was for it’s built in physics and there’s never been havoc in the splash screen as required by the license. nevermind the game’s physics are stereotypical CE physics engine behaviour.

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Byórðæįr

cry engine bought a license to derivative works around the time snow blind came out I think. either way it is likely the same problem. the code starts to send a nibble or half a byte at a time, then branching logic says nope don’t need to do that and cancels the second half the code so that everything is half a byte off until the program crashes. I was working at activision part time as qa part time as a developer and when it came up for modern warefare it was ignored as a pc problem and would only happen very rarely but as they increased the physics engines calls the effect spiraled way out of control and almost caused the project to be canceled, the way it was solved they forced dwords to be sent. I don’t think they would have canceled mw3 but that is what was going around when it happened. I am sure most of the guys who were there back then remember the jokes about zombies nibbles and dwords. A dword is double word or four bytes. It could have been solved with words which are two bytes but rather than risk the stability of the client a month before release they used dwords.

It is not phyics in the game firing off it is ones where the client thinks you might stand up and sends half of the byte to stand and you log off or accelerate. Maybe it is when the sit moves upward on a gimble and the client thinks the player is standing up and everything is half a byte off set from what the game thinks is being sent to the cpu. Sometimes it sends the physics to a card and instructions to the cpu and being half a byte off it sends half the byte to the cpu as instructions and half the byte to the gpu to calculate the physics.

It was funny that the guys there that ran into with mw3 did not notice the same effect not that it happens. It haunted five versions of call of duty, to the point even when they thought they had code written from scratch it still came up in later versions. but the odds are from the video it is zombie nibbles haunting the studio. The easiest fix is to make sure that the branching logic does not send code unless it is sure it actually needs it but it can be fixed a dozen other ways.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

crytek developed their own physics engine starting in the late 90s and first appeared in far cry 1. it would be further developed into what we know it today in the cryengine and crysis games and games that utilize that engine. like star citizen.

OO
:S

but yes it does behave oddly at times. we used to joke about it in the crysis 1 is interesting at all days. and alot of that joking is touched upon by those of us familiar with it when playing and observing SC, which alot of SC fans think the bugs and quirks are evidence of totally realistic physics at play instead of the physics engine spazzing out like it’s known to do.


this is a rather mild example of this. :D

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Byórðæįr

As far as I know the first physics engine was not until far cry one when crytek got their start in 2004… so what you played in late 1990’s must have been a piece of paper. That alone pretty much invalidates any thing else you might say.

But if you actually want to learn look up a copy of snow blind it havoc on the cover of the box. The current version five code is used for a lot of small projects because you can swap out the default physics code for various different code blocks. I know they used havoc because the animation streams had the same weird issues. There may be pieces of code or simply similar block logic. Meaning that a frame of data holds vectors for representenal point cloud data, meaning it holds how the xyz points move and which direction and how fast they start moving, how they move and they end up facing. There really is not a lot of ways to do that. Thousands of ways of writing the code but not the actual functions.

I have been a backer and friends of several of the idiot guys running rsi so I am familiar with the engine they are working and the code, unlike some one who thinks far cry was the late nineties despite the clothing. snicker.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crytek

crytek was founded in 1999 and started developing their engine at that time. which is what i’m referring to.

far cry 1 came out in 2004.

havoc physics engine made it’s debut also in 2004 in half life 2.

the behaviour of the two game’s physics are dramatically different.

idk what snow blind is but it’s not made by crytek.

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Byórðæįr

instead of quoting a site that has been litigation for slander more times that even the national inquirer try quoting their site.

http://www.crytek.com/cryengine/cryengine1/overview

It is great you are building you own game and easy to figure out who you are but you were not working in the industry back then, so you may have played with both that is great. But you simply are saying they physics are different when if you look at the code you find why there were problems back then.

When it came to litigation Crytek and Carnival Games shared code years ago using github by open sourcing much of the code to further development and focus on having the best code they could instead of complaining about who first wrote the cin operand. I referenced that case in the novel verse sco case. If you try to suggest this is legal advice go get a law degree and stop wasting time, and or finish your game.

In 2004 the physics mostly consisted of rag doll physics, max scripts, hand code c++ or c#, texture tricks where a spirte was rendered flat to the camera with pre-rendered effect, sprites with pre-rendered simulated particules, set driven keys to move a second object when the first object triggered a piece of code, and canned animation being streamed. Not one company had the end all to be all back then and most of it was still being done on the cpu.

Project Snowblind before someone make a game with that was the internal name or working title for frycry, but thank you for having confirmed you never worked at crytek.

To think this trek down memory lane started with a simply comment about glitch or bug that happened at Activision Blizard in 2010-2011, using the streaming animation bits that were getting offset by a half of byte due to code efficiencies that used as a library in the Modern Warfare Three title and several other games. But I have Doctoral of Philosophy in Computer Science from Rutgers University in New Jersey, if you have access to the library I am pretty sure anyone who can get access to the school library can read every thesis on record they have. But the code is simply the people’s perspectives are not.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

github started to be developed in 2007 years after your game you have attached to crytek somehow came out, even tho the game in question has nothign to do with crytek or activision.

there’s no indication on any official cryengine or crytek website they use havoc. certainly not in your link.

i can’t find any trace of a lawsuit between involving this mysterious carnival gaming company or any trace of such a company.

project snowblind is a game that came out in 2005 and was published by eidos and developed by a completely unrelated company to crytek crystal dynamics. it appears to have very little in common with far cry and doesn’t use Cryengine.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/7010/Project_Snowblind/

RSI is the shortened url of the star citzen website, the company who makes star citizen is called cloud imperium games or CIG for short.

and my compsci professional friends had a good laugh at “and still having no idea why a half a byte offset could cause so many problems with the code. hopefully once they figure out it is the branching logic only sending half of the byte then changing it’s mind and offseting the rest of the code it should be an easy fix.”

as it makes absolutely no sense in any kind of software or game development terms. in fact it sounds like something straight out of an episode of NCIS if anything.

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Byórðæįr

grin so you don’t know what slash dotted means, github was the svn for slash dot, that became source forge, but because it was a svn became a separate project now know as github. grin. So never developed any open source code from 2000 to 2017. Never worked on Netscape/Mozilla code or any bugzilla projects.

Physics


eventually it cycles around to what they used to call themselves when they made the small game engine as a demo for the engine prior to be actioned by a couple companies.

Seriously
Roberts Space Industries International is basically a holding company to hold their different branding. Both Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and Foundry 42 Ltd. are wholly own subsidiaries that you can find with a simple google search. Companies have to do that when they hold companies in multiple countries. Companies often hold multiple trade marks. the best example is coke a cola, which is coke, coke a cola, Simply —–, a dozen others I don’t feel like looking up right now. Do your own research your clearly too lazy to think for your self.

Actually if they slept through computer science to know understand what a stack over flow error is, then that is software that under modern software will simply crash a lot. So what companies do they work for so people can avoid that software. People on older operating systems with out protected memory what to avoid it at all costs so they don’t end up with a corrupted hard drive. Look how memory the hard drive works. or don’t bother acting like a child you are far more entertaining as a kid screaming at an xbox controller, because you got killed over and over again.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

this is quite the fantasy you’ve concocted for yourself. i hope your health improves in the future.

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Byórðæįr

so derrek are you willing to admit why you got fired from activision?

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

Lol wat?

nomadmorlock9
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nomadmorlock9

“the whole system looks an awful lot like climbing into a TY-1300’s turret dome and pew pewing.”

It’s actually a YT-1300. Don’t defile the sacred lore with a typo! :)

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roo woods

I wonder if any of them have seen spacecraft hung in the sky the way that bricks don’t yet .

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Alex Willis

I remember the Evocati from SWTOR. They were terrible. Why someone would ask them to test an Alpha is beyond me. (Wait, what’s that? Evocii? Meh, I stand by my statements.)

evocii.png
oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Money

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Space Captain Zor

who are generally high-dollar-amount donors

source?

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Sheryl Lard

source? A hole without sunshine. Welcome to journalism 101

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Utakata

Here’s what I got from /Google foo’ing so far…

What does ‘Evocati’ mean with regards to Evocati 3.0? from starcitizen

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Space Captain Zor

And nowhere does it cite financial contributions, as what I quoted above would insinuate.

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Utakata

No…but it does give a generalized overview of who and what they are. The financial details you’ll likely have to /Google foo yourself. :)

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Space Captain Zor

It’s an illogical assumption. Being part of that group has everything to do with their participation in the Issue Council (ie, testing the alpha) and nothing at all to do with contributions.

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Utakata

Sounds like you are arguing with an invisible or imagined argument to me. I am not sure what “claim” I’ve made in helping you source your inquiry that’s “illogical”. Unless it’s on of those straw type assumptions you have constructed yourself. o.O

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Space Captain Zor

Not invisible at all. Go back to my OP. My beef is with the article spin that these testers are being pejoratively marked as “generally high-dollar-amount donors” when there is just nothing to back that up. It doesn’t even make sense. And it reads like CIG is just handing out exclusive testing rights to whales which is completely false.

Your claim was, in context of why you posted it, that your Reddit link was proof to the above. Nope.

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Utakata

I never claimed to support the author’s position on that, beyond the fact I am sure she had her reasons for making that assertion. Nor did she put any number to her claim. So why don’t you ask her instead about it if it bothers you that much?

And finally…

“Your claim was, in context of why you posted it, that your Reddit link was proof to the above. Nope.”

Yep! That would be a strawman. o.O

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Space Captain Zor

Idk, sounds like you’re not really paying much attention to what either of us is actually saying but just writing replies. How can that be strawman when I replied explicitly to why you posted a reddit link? Why else did you post it if not to cite a source for which I was asking?

I never said you claimed to support the author’s position.

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Fluffy Magical Unicorn

Don’t mess with her pigtails. ;)

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Utakata

Thank you for that. /bows <3

Estranged
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Estranged

Zor – sort of an easy inference.

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Space Captain Zor

It infers an assumption that I would say has no basis to be made.

Estranged
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Estranged

Zor, this is supposed to be an elite testing group, so you couldn’t test enough functions without paying a fair amount.

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Space Captain Zor

Incorrect. You can test the same at $45 as you can $4500.

Estranged
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Estranged

They asked me for a kidney and I refused.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

not really at all. $45 doesn’t even make you viable at a basic level of play.

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Space Captain Zor

If they want you to focus test a gameplay function that you can do with ANY ship in the game, your statement is entirely inaccurate.

Focus testing specific areas or gameplay functions one at a time is exactly what they are charged with doing.

So called “viability” has nothing to do with testing and finding bugs. And there’s nothing that says the developers aren’t equipping those players with anything they need to do that testing, wether they “own” it or not. As that would make fundamental sense in every way, I would just assume that’s what they do. Same as any “free fly” event where they grant access to a ship or ships to all players.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i suppose you’re right but you’re unliekly to engage with the game long enough in the past having spent only $45 to have gotten an evocati invite due to teh viability of the basic packages.

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primal

you could join a group of people or make friends with other people with other ships to join up and fly around in

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

depends on how much a person bangs his head on the game after he realized that his aurora or mustang alpha is as useless as tits on on a bull.

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Space Captain Zor

Maybe maybe not but the people testing are the only ones who know the answer to that. And they’re under NDA.

In my opinion these people love the process of being involved and testing and helping to shape the game. Being a part of it at that level doesn’t require anything beyond the base game as long as the devs give you the tools you need to do the job.

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Alex Willis

comment image

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Oleg Chebeneev

@haters:

comment image

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andrew saunders

An alpha build that is well over a year late for a game that is well behind on its initial development timeline is nothing to get too cocky about .

But having said that yes it is good news :)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

>bragging about a year late multiple times delayed milestone finally getting non in house testing.
>mfw

13557830_10209681471619450_9209917398586290551_n.jpg
Estranged
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Estranged

DK, no you didn’t!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

memes!

DK.gif
Estranged
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Estranged

DK, lol!

memes are life, memes are good

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Space Captain Zor

And yet there’s nothing significant about it being late or delayed. Why beat this to death? Scathe the bad communication about it instead.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there’s nothing signifcant about backers being critical about it being delayed countless times in the face of feature tech and content cuts to it and countless overly optimistic revised ETAs that couldn’t possibly have been realistic either.

so the apparent schadenfreude that it finally hit NDA external testing is unwarranted and counterproductive in the face of those realities.

no one but derek smart and goons and a few trolls are legitimately hating on the game and goons do it within the confines of their own private paid access forum and no one should be giving someone like derek smart attention to begin with.

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Space Captain Zor

there’s nothing signifcant about backers being critical about it being delayed countless times

Never said there was, but I am implying that it’s getting old.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

and i’m implying that posting memes about msyterious bogeymen haters is even older.

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Space Captain Zor

I wouldn’t disagree there.

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TheDonDude

Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.

edangerous
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edangerous

Bit late for that.

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Tazuras

Woo! Maybe 3.0 will be out by Christmas ;)

Honestly I don’t mind it going to Evocoti first, they can help work out all the nastiest bugs.

Finally here is a Slashdot brief of an article explaining how precise scheduled project management doesn’t really apply super well to software development, in case anyone is interested https://ask.slashdot.org/story/17/09/25/2140216/is-project-management-killing-good-products-teams-and-software .

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

looks like as a newly christened whale (cocncierge member) i get first wave access once the NDA drops and it heads to public PTU. so stay tuned for raw warts and all streams and videos of 3.0 in the coming weeks. https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/74kg5i/will_leverett_all_concierge_members_will_now_be/

here’s leaked patch notes for the first round of evocati testing: https://pastebin.com/ns8vTSp4

and yes, turret play is as bad or worse than the yt1300 in SWG JTL in years of old. especialyl considering the UI is at best broken in 2.6 if not severely lacking in general, and the targetting for turret gunners often malfunctions (read: doesn’t work at all, or elements break such as hit registration feedback cues). there’s also alot of ship geometry in teh way of many turrets on MC ships with them that makes it even more annoying.

i did manage to get crim status in 2.5.x flying turret seat in my friends connie in a 3 way fight tho that one time.

Estranged
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Estranged

Just make one video with a Cher song and I’ll be happy.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus


here’s the singular best episode of turret play i have on video btw. and the anecdote i shared above as well. it is 2.5.x but i’ve ran into issues with turret play in 2.6. lemme see if i can hunt down a more recent video of turret play (i think i might have one in a cutlass).

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus


here’s what turret play in a gladiator looks like, which is more of a dogfighter type ship. should note how much i’m unintentionally overshooting aiming solutions constantly and how i’m unabl to simply zero forward on my pilot’s forward gun firing solutions.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

also turret game play generally works ok in gtao. on some helicopters it’s a bit mixed at times but in most vehciles it’s fine and very effective.

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Ket Viliano

Ty for YT vids, and gameplay comparisons.

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Green Dragoon

The Evocati group is actually selected from players who frequently report bugs. It has nothing to do with pledge amount. Later when PTU testing expands beyond Evocati, some waves will be based on subscriber/early adopters/concierge. But, Evocati selection is based on how good you are at filing bug reports.

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Space Captain Zor

My hunch is most “whales” supporting this game are money rich time poor individuals who have not actually played this game during development much at all. That’s not an ideal testing candidate.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

you don’t watch many star citizen streamers do you? :D

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Space Captain Zor

Admittedly, no. I watch about 0 streamers per week for any game.

Are streamers in the habit of disclosing how much money they have pledged?

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i tune into random ones from time to time and they always have a shit tonne of ships. and their whole thing is just streaming SC for the most part (even tho they dont get much viewers really).

wpDiscuz