If you lost your mind over Star Citizen’s procedural cities reveals at CitizenCon a few weeks ago, you definitely need to tune in to this week’s Around the Verse, where city tech is the star of the episode (if a bit backloaded).
“We are just working on human cities at the moment,” CIG’s Wai-Hung Wan explains. “I would love to see how we tackle alien cities. Is that going to be completely random? Are we going to have some or a greater degree of refinement by hand? I don’t know yet. I would hope even on an alien civilisation they have some degree of control and they would make logical, intelligent choices about where they would place specific buildings – even recreational facilities – so each time you visit that location it will look exactly the same as you left it.”
Studio Director Eric Kieron Davis says the team has checked in over 700 updates since last week (with 197 total issues, not bugs, remaining to address 3.0). “We are making steady progress to get [the 3.0 alpha] into your hands as quickly as possible,” he says.
So, Star Citizen alpha 3.0. Around the Verse. Does anyone read these, or do you just skip to the comments with your popcorn? Let’s find out! In this episode, CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis, dressed inexplicably like a Star Trek character, says the team checked in 756 updates to the 3.0 alpha over the past week, as it’s focused specifically on mobiGlas, missions, traversal, shopping, and stability. No, the patch still isn’t on the PTU. They’re working on it. But seriously, what’s with the Spock shirt.
The meat of the episode is on quantum travel, and no, there won’t be a physics exam at the end (although I could actually arrange that if you want). Alpha 3.0 will overhaul that system with distance in mind; instead of just clicking your destination and be greeted with the “same experience regardless of where you were going,” alpha 3.0 players will find that long trips feel quite different from short ones.
Didn’t get enough of late October’s CitizenCon 2947? Then settle back with a cup of pumpkin space latte and drink in a retrospective straight from the crew over at Star Citizen in this week’s Around the Verse.
In addition to the recap, RSI gave an update on its 3.0 production schedule. The team said that its current focus on Alpha 3.0 fixes is on missions, ships, vehicles, traversal, MobiGlas, performance, and stability. The good news is that the number of remaining issues are “going down” as work progresses, leaving about 15 line items to address.
“This week, we pushed out four builds to the Evocati testers along with fifteen internal builds to the team,” RSI said. “Our primary focus this week was to fix the critical bugs that were affecting stability for the Evocati which prevented them from discovering any other game issues. The team completed Item 2.0 setup on the Mustang and 300 series of ships, came even closer to closing out the cargo system and continued to polish our two primary Mission Givers; Ruto and Miles Eckhart.”
While it surely won’t comfort anyone angrily counting down the days until alpha 3.0’s eventual release to all backers, Star Citizen’s CitizenCon 2017 delivered an enticing look at what players can expect in the more distant future of the game’s development: specifically, the persistent universe mechanics brought down to the city scale. Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts likened the cityscapes to Star Wars’ Coruscant or Blade Runner’s dystopian sci-fi urban settings as the demo video zipped across the planet’s smoggy surface. The downside? There’s no ETA for when these ideas and demos will be realized as truly playable.
The Star Citizen subreddit has exploded over the last couple of days as attendees and home-viewers pile in to share clips and interviews, bicker over the business model, and trade notes on the 3.0 demo. Roberts did tell attendees the game will be switching over to “date-driven content release schedule“; he also clarified his old “5-10 star systems at release” misquote and spoke to the game’s post-launch monetization, telling Eli Paley that the studio’s goal is to charge only for game packages, though it will reassess if that doesn’t properly support the game post-launch. “Our goal is that you buy a game package, or you can buy some credits, or you can earn money in the game – that’s our monetization strategy,” he says. “That’s what I’m planning. We have other things, like subscriptions, for people supporting community content.”
In this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, the team says it’s gotten its must-fix bug list down from 20 to 16 blocks, improving load times, repairing disconnection issues, and tweaking inventory use. The feature segment of the episode is the second part of last week’s legacy armor, how the team is updating (really, re-doing them) for the latest tech, and even how the team is working the older-looking armor into the lore.
Meanwhile, CitizenCon 2017 officially opened its doors just an hour ago in Frankfurt, Germany, where attendees are being treated to science panels, booze, dev demos, booze, playable demos of alpha 3.0, more booze, and of course, presentations by Chris Roberts himself. Watch the opening ceremonies below!
Let’s just get this out of the way upfront: There are 25 serious issues still on the docket before Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 moves from Evocati testers to the next stage of testing, with fixes chiefly centering on doors, broken interactions, and multiplayer crashes. That’s a bigger number than last week, you’ll notice, because while some issues were fixed, new ones cropped up. Welcome to game dev.
The rest of this week’s edition of Around the Verse is fun, as it’s all about armor sets – specifically, how the team has gone about retooling and updating one-piece legacy armor to use new tech and split into separate pieces.
Meanwhile, there was a rash of claims on the (dodgy) Star Citizen refunds subreddit last week insinuating that CIG had stopped issuing refunds now that alpha 3.0 is in Evocati testing. You’ll be shocked to find out those claims have been rebuffed. We spoke to a representative from CIG who stated that the studio’s position on refunds has not changed at all. “If a request comes through within the statutory period, we take care of them, no questions asked,” he told us. “Everything else is considered on a case by case basis.”
On this week’s edition of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Sandi Gardiner does a happy dance as Chris Roberts updates viewers on how Evocati testing of the 3.0 alpha is going. CIG says that the testers are getting daily builds and finding fun new bugs, which has brought the must-fix bug total back up to 23 before it moves along to release (and backers no doubt find even more).
The feature segment of the episode is all about cockpits. Get your snickers out of the way, folks, because this actually looks awesome. You’re not just sitting in a chair; the cockpit experience is trying to be fully immersive with all the sticks and gizmos and buttons and screens and g-forces and hit reactions you’d expect if you were actually flying (a spaceship) in combat. Things might even catch on fire! You might even need to hit eject! Maybe watch the whole episode first, though. It’s down below.
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.
Another week, another countdown to Star Citizen alpha 3.0, and we are getting close. In this week’s Around the Verse, Cloud Imperium says it’s still got 5 issues left to work on, a reduction of two since last week, although it hit 0 at one point before creeping back up.
The feature segment this week is all about the stuff you touch: the useables system. It’s everything from the hacking panels and medical tools to even more simple things like sitting in chairs, which as we all know is traditionally difficult for sci-fi MMOs to pull off. (Ahem.) The system isn’t just for the player, either; even the AI NPCs make use of the interactions.
Good news for you guys obsessed with space toilets, too: CIG has “finally settled on toilet metrics,” says Lead Animator Brian Brewer. “We’ve captured a couple little moves we needed to ‘flush out’ our toilet system.” I watched to the very end for this quote. You’re welcome.
What’s that sound? That’s the sound of Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 creeping ever closer, as the teams say they’ve made “substantial progress.”
In the latest edition of Around the Verse, Chris Roberts says the dev team is focused on “clearing out the remaining blockers,” while “the dev-ops team is going through the process of preparing the build for distribution.” They’ve cleaned up 19 more must-fix issues, with 7 more to go.
The feature for this episode centers on air traffic control, which sounds like a weird and boring thing my kids would play, but nope – it’s actually pretty important to landing ships in an open-world MMO, as it’s critical to help players land in a spot that’s actually big enough and actually empty. Otherwise, you’d be landing Serrenity II on top of my Millennium Falcon IV, and we can’t have that. The whole episode is below.
In this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Cloud Imperium says it’s reduced its must-fix issues by 50 over the last week, bringing us that much closer to the release of the 3.0 alpha for the earliest outside testers, though we should probably note that not all the issues were actually resolved, just set aside. That means there are now 26 must-fix problems left to go.
“We’ve tightened the focus of our first test plan for the Evocati, which will be traversing and experiencing the expanse of the new universe and all that entails,” CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis says. “Then, while we’re getting larger test support, we’ll continue to polish and bugfix more features, push them out for more testing, and so on and so forth until release.”
The episode’s content preview this week focuses on the mission system specifically. It’s heavy on the tech jargon, but toward the end, the devs dig into the philosophy behind really building out every detail of the mission system — customization built on top of procedural generation, not just one or the other, and not just slapping down some quest text and NPCs or letting a spreadsheet do the heavy lifting.
We still don’t know. Star Citizen’s Eric Kieron Davis begins the latest Around the Verse with a Burndown segment, noting that the team’s reduced the must-fix list down by 18. That means there are 76 critical issues left to fix, unless they find more while preparing the Evocati tester build, and they will.
In the meantime, the rest of the weekly episode is all about stamina — literally, how to breathe. And also how not to suffocate in the void of space, though space isn’t your only consideration; a player will have to carefully consider how much effort he’s expending to keep his stamina levels in check. Running out of stamina and blowing through your oxygen will directly impact your ability to play the game, from jumping and shooting to getting your suit on right before you’re spaced.
Check the whole episode out below. Bet you can’t stop thinking about breathing now.
This week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse is more or less a recap of Gamescom and a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the chaos behind the curtain, so if you follow the game closely, you probably don’t need it. As of recording time, the team says it added 27 issues to the must-fix list and checked in 768 updates over the week, bringing the game to 94 outstanding issues that need a clean-up before 3.0 can roll out to the Evocati.
Meanwhile, Cloud Imperium has posted a Q&A on the Origin 600i, one of its newest concept ships, desirable for its modularity and solo-friendliness. More stylish than the Aquila (and also pretty much every other starship you’ve ever seen), it’s admittedly “extremely expensive,” even though it’s not as powerful or long-range as other ships in its class.
“We are building a universe, and part of that means we can consider aspects that a standard game does not, such as value and desirability,” CIG explains. “When we look at vehicles in the real world, its apparent that more functionality does not always mean something is more expensive, and vice versa. In the Star Citizen universe, a sleek, luxury ship created by Origin will bring certain connotations with it, in the same way most people would find a sports coupé more desirable than a family sedan, despite the fact it has [fewer] seats and cup-holders.”