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.”
With the high drama and surly community demanding Star Citizen 3.0 already, it’s made for a slightly awkward Gamescom appearance for the crew.
On the show floor, Erin and Chris Roberts were front and center for a live show in which they discussed little else but 3.0. The team is only showing the demo of a single moon at the show, while 3.0 will reportedly span an entire system. There’s a lot of parts that the devs need to finish up and make sure they work well together, such as getting more players into the same server space, character customization, survival mechanics, and ship items.
The team said that it wants “as many [players] as it can” fit on a server at 3.0’s launch, although whatever this cap will be will most certainly increase afterward.
If you’re still wondering what the holdup is with the Alpha 3.0 release, the Star Citizen team devoted this week’s entire Around the Verse show to going point-by-point through the various issues that the team is addressing. Check it out after the jump, and then check back this afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT when Roberts takes the stage for the big presentation.
Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Forrest Stephan helm this week’s episode of Around the Verse as the team treks along toward the 3.0 release.
In the Burndown segment, the devs say they’re, well, burning down the bugs, touching on the shopkeeper, usables, mission givers, item highlighting, the UI, and ship doors that are “fleeing the nest,” something any environment modder will immediately recognize (doors suck). As of film time, Eric Kieron Davis says, the team has resolved 54 of last week’s issues, but it added 46 to the must-fix list, so there are 88 issues blocking the release: “Across all of our internal branches, we’ve checked in over 2052 updates this week alone.” The dev team has also moved to the 3.0 branch.
And in the system deep-dive, CIG covers surface outposts, specifically the detailing of the interior — from concepting to prop placement to lighting — as well as the exterior placement and weathering that’s specific to the location. The whole episode is below; it’ll be the last one for a bitsy while the team is in Cologne for Gamescom.
VR-centric website Road to VR has a brief quote from Cloud Imperium Games that might be good news to those of you still hoping to someday see Star Citizen in virtual reality.
“Nothing new really to report here,” CIG told the publication in response to its status request. “We do plan on having VR support for Star Citizen. But it’s just having to fit in as a technology with all the other tech that we are currently incorporating into the game. As I’m sure you know, VR technology is evolving quickly. As with anything that fits this category, we are going to spend the time to make sure it’s integrated properly for our game.”
Indeed, as one Redditor points out, the game’s latest Around the Verse, which we covered Friday, features what is basically an in-game holo-watch dubbed mobiGlas; during that segment, CIG explained that it’s kept VR in mind while designing it.
Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner are helming another episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse this week, in the temporarily abbreviated format introduced previously. The headliner of the episode? MobiGlas, which is basically a super fancy in-game smartwatch that your character can use to display every imaginable statistic to you in an overlay interface. I want one!
The Burndown segment this week covers the team’s progress toward alpha 3.0. “If you saw our update to the Public Release Schedule last Friday, you should notice that we started this week at 90 must fix issues that we need to complete before we’re ready to release to our first round of non CIG testers,” Senior Producer Eric Kieron Davis says. “These 90 issues are our detailed lists with set priorities guiding the closed down phase of this release. The reason we need priorities is to help us understand which are crucial to be completed first. We currently use terms and definitions such as blocker, critical, high, moderate and trivial and identifying these issues all start with QA.”
Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts has taken the opening segment of this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse episode to personally address the reasons behind the continuing delay of alpha 3.0.
“The majority of 3.0’s new features are almost complete, and we’ve shifted into the final phase of production process that focuses on feature and content integration, optimization and bug fixing,” he says. “But we want to make sure that it’s ready.”
In fact, the studio is planning to adjust how the Around the Verse weekly video works, replacing the developer report drop-ins with a new segment called Burn Down, which’ll provide an overview of production meetings and current work, along with a “weekly deep dive into a feature [CIG is] working on for the game,” though the normal AtV cadence will resume after 3.0 has launched.
This week’s deep-dive? Secondary viewports.
This week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse isn’t going to surprise anyone who’s been watching the reaction to the game’s latest concept ship, the Tumbril Cyclone rover and its variants. While the video checks in with the Austin studio and its progress toward the 3.0 alpha, the star of the show is the Ship Shape segment on the new land vehicles.
“The Cyclone is intended to be a land vehicle where you get in and drive around on the surface of a planet. It’s supposed to be a fun vehicle to drive fast. It has four-wheel drive. It’s got four-wheel steering also. Something you’re supposed to be having fun while you’re driving around on the planet taking jumps off ramps. Just doing all the things you can in a wheeled vehicle.”
The Behind the Scenes bit covers parking. No, really, it covers the tech underpinning parking ships and logging in and out and having your ship still be there when you return — apparently much harder under-the-hood than it sounds. The whole episode is down below, and don’t miss the Cyclone Q&A from earlier this week.
We’ve been chatting about game economies this week here at Massively OP, so it’s a happy coincidence than this week’s episode of Around the Verse features Star Citizen’s shopping kiosks and commodities system in detail. Heck yeah, space shopping.
“The kiosk is going to be the user’s interface to purchase things or sell them within the game that are not physically within the shop in the case, purchasing or things in their inventory, things from their ship all selling with be done through the kiosk,” explain studio reps. There’s also a nifty discussion on the difficulties of scaling the economy to support the sale of “super tiny and inconsequentially priced [items] all the way up to […] massive battlecruisers.” As for recipes,
“Recipe in the context of Star Citizen is somewhat similar to a crafting recipe in other MMOs. It defines the types of commodities and resources that go into manufacturing a given item like a laser cannon or even a ship. The way that we use recipes and the way that you may find them in another game is that those recipes generally aren’t used directly by the players, instead they’re used by the design team to really sculpt the types of goods that are bought and sold in a location in the world and that’s to make that location feel correct. So if it’s a factory that it buys and sells the kinds of things that you would expect from that location.”
Is it possible for one game to think of every little detail in a fictional universe? Star Citizen’s various teams are certainly trying to cover all of their bases to an insane degree. In this week’s Around the Verse show, details such as player tattoos, the placement of cargo in vessels, how one ship can take off with another ship in its belly, the feel of landing gear, and even the liquid physics in a cup of water are given close attention.
The main thrust of the episode, however, is what the team is doing with derelict ships and sites. These initially started as a demo and technical challenge, gradually expanding into a new type of environment for players to explore.
That’s no moon; it’s a… oh, wait. It’s really a moon? Oh, that kind of ruins the lede, doesn’t it? Can I at least make the joke anyway? Good. That’s no moon; it’s a procedural moon!
Yep, procedural moons (and planets!) steal the show on this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse. The Frankfurt team explains that each one of these locations is unique, with its own gravity, ecosystems, objects, weather, and atmosphere, and players can land seamlessly anywhere on the surface.
“What makes the game so challenging to build [is that] every asset must be crafted so it looks good not only to the distance but also from right in front of your eyes, and there aren’t many games that have those demands. I think it’s one of the things that makes Star Citizen so special,” Chris Roberts says.
In this week’s episode of Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner cap off another round of developer updates on the crowdfunded MMO. The Austin team checks in with news on the pricing structure for the gameworld, mission rewards, hub NPCs, mission givers, and the carry system. The Turbulent team also outlines progress on the Spectrum communication software, and there’s a behind-the-scenes segment on visual effects — they’re going to some wild extremes to make sure that engine trails look right in atmo.
Most importantly? “Along with the bartender we are also getting the useable for the bar stool up and running. Once this is done a player will be able to go and sit at a bar stool and order a drink,” Producer Jake Ross says.
Meanwhile, CIG has a flash sale running this weekend for subscribers, once again offering the Caterpillar for purchase until Monday, as well as a new Q&A on the Nox, which was the last ship up for sale. Check out the whole episode down below.