Hellion isn’t the only sci-fi sandbox finally getting female characters underway: Star Citizen is working on the female body meshing, just one of the tidbits in this week’s edition of community-oriented infodump program Around the Verse, this episode helmed by brothers Chris and Erin Roberts, aka “Roberts squared.”
“A female transfer mesh has been created and the male transfer mesh has been massively updated. Now these transfer meshes are used in conjunction with all of our skinning tools to automate basic skinning of all of our new characters. Tech Animators can now spend time affecting the weighting of a mesh, allowing for a higher quality and a more accurate deformation in less time.”
The check-in with the LA studio provides updates on the narrative work and dialogue for 3.0, ship cargo mechanics, solar system content, object container editing, the intelligent flight control system, costumes, and improved character rigging. And there’s a behind-the-scenes on the game’s networking and database code. Enjoy!
This week’s Around the Verse has arrived for Star Citizen fans, helmed by both Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner. This episode has a crapton of footage worth a skim for the visuals alone; there’s a lengthy studio update from the folks in Manchester, discussing the accessibility of the early game, including the hint system, plus 3.0 mission development, AI pathing, lighting and reflection, weapons, animations, ships, ground vehicles, weapons, habitable units for outposts, cockpit graphics, and character customization.
Item 2.0 and the great ship migration of 2017 get the back half of the episode. The takeaway? Seats are really important. 3.0 is coming, citizens! Check it all out down below.
Big changes are coming to Star Citizen — well, to its website. This week’s episode of Around the Verse explains that the game’s website is being overhauled to make it more functional and responsive for both hardcore backers and newbies who stumble into it and can’t figure out what’s actually playable yet. Spectrum 0.3.5 – that’s Cloud Imperium’s built-from-scratch communication tool – is on the way as well.
Meanwhile, the studios are hard at work on all things 3.0, as the Austin studio check-in outlines, with additional work on mocap, persistent universe animations, the subsumption system, and the new mission manager. There’s also a look at the massive ongoing ship migration project as older ships are updated to the item 2.0 framework, what Producer Ashram Kain calls “one of the largest things that [he thinks] has ever been done in a game, particularly a multiplayer game.”
In this week’s rip-roaring episode of Around the Verse, the Star Citizen team checks in with the game’s Frankfurt studio. This studio has recently grown to 74 employees, which raises the question of who on this planet isn’t currently working on Star Citizen?
“We routinely visitors to the office and this month was no exception with people here from both our US and U.K. offices,” Development Director Brian Chambers said. “Most of the senior production staff from across all the offices came together in one place for their annual summit. Had some intensive meetings and discussed upcoming and ongoing plans and we found that a few days face to face without distraction can actually go a long way.”
Following an update of Chambers’ team’s progress, the episode moves on to look at the design of a stealthy bomber, the Eclipse. You can get the full effect of developer genius by watching the full episode below, or if you prefer you could always simply read the transcript via Relay.
Currently on sale in Star Citizen right now is a new concept ship, the Aegis Eclipse, on sale now for $250 for VIP backers and soon to be on sale for everyone else too. CIG has not given out ship stats, so you’re buying it blind if you’re buying it early, or you can wait for the full reveal today. You’re also buying it with cash (not credit) if you’re buying it early — part of CIG’s ongoing attempts to curb melt-down credit hoarding and exploits. The ship has thus far raised $400,000.
The sale is further teased in this week’s Around the Verse episode, in which the team checks in with the LA studio for a recap of its work on the new item system, plus there’s a behind-the-scenes update from multiple members of the team spread out over the world working on lighting and fog.
In sadder news, Rogue-Jaсk, a prominent Russian Star Citizen and dedicated translator of Star Citizen news, has passed away. Friends and gamers are currently posting in an effort to see him memorialized in the game come launch.
On Star Citizen’s Around the Verse episode this week, Erin Roberts checks in from the UK studios in Wilmslow, where the team is working on 3.0 as well as Squadron 42. Of note, there’s been progress on the player interaction system, air traffic control, player useables, conversation tech, fog, visual effects, and multiple ships, plus hundreds of animations, including facial animations for shooting guns, which is an absurd level of detail, I think you’ll agree.
The behind-the-scenes segment loops back to the player interaction system, mechanics critical to not just the player’s ability to function in the world but to immersion.
“The Player Interaction System touches everything. It’s a unified interaction across first person experience of shooting, of shopping, of looting,” Calix Reneau explains. “Being able to point at things with reckless abandon actually opens up a lot of opportunity for interactions of ‘I want to find out more about that,’ and we can give back contextual clues of the things that you can do.”
Check out the whole episode below.
This week’s episode of Around the Verse sees Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookending the Austin studio update and tech check-in. The Austin branch is focused on major features for 3.0, Producer Jake Ross says, from commodity trading and the mission-giver experience to landing zones (yes with smuggling) and ship damage modeling. Work on Spectrum — that’s the huge in-game/out-of-game communication tool being custom-built for the game — continues as well.
The behind-the-scenes segment will be music to the ears of those of you who want to hear all about how the game and its builds are hosted.
The episode concludes with what is probably its best bit, a May the 4th tease that amounts to “a little glimpse of Mark Hamill in the cockpit of Squadron 42.” We’ve tucked it down below.
On this week’s Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookend two key segments. The first is a studio update with Foundry 42 checking in from Frankfurt; Brian Chambers describes the team’s efforts on procedural planets, spawning, moons, performance capture, the conversation system, NPC AI, and missions headed into Squadron 42.
The moons “are getting cooler every week, and they’re actually a really great test example where we’re sort of pushing our tech for the planets, which will also pay off on the more involved planets like Hurston or ArcCorp or Microtech and beyond,” Roberts says. “So it’s a great test bed, and it’s kinda fun for me, and we share it with you guys, but I sort of see the progress weekly in it, and it gets cooler and better. So this universe is going to be awesome.”
Still reeling over the last Star Citizen infodump? You’re getting a breather with this week’s Around the Verse as the bulk of it is centered on… lore. Specifically, the Banu, one of the alien groups in the game initially based on elements of Persian culture and the first to make contact with humans. There’s also a check-in with the Los Angeles team (recently expanded to 74 peeps); they’ve been working on ship temperature and cooling systems, the game’s control manager, shopping systems, character gear, and the Anvil Terrapin.
But the best bit is the studio’s new referral program contest, which aims to entice followers to bring in new players and backers in return for a chance to everything from a free trip to this year’s Gamescom in Germany to Star Kitten-themed in-game merch. Star Kitten, by the way, appears to be an in-lore knock-off of Hello Kitty, so expect to see her everywhere.
Cloud Imperium’s Sandi Gardiner and Forrest Stephan return this week for another episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse. The highlight of the show is meant to be the lengthy Javelin creation walkthrough, but I’m more impressed watching Erin Roberts rattle off the five million things the UK studio is working on, from ongoing work on the shopping interface and item placement system and conversation system to “new gameplay elements like suit punctures, oxygen recharging, and depressurization,” among a few dozen other features.
Gardiner and Stephan also allude to a free-fly weekend for the holiday, along with new rewards for referrals and a ship sale. “I don’t want to spoil the official announcement but all I can say is ‘Pink Dragonfly,'” Stephan says. The whole episode is tucked down below.
It’s always a good day when you get to open up a new box full of fun toys to build worlds to your heart’s content. The folks behind Star Citizen are clearly enjoying themselves as they utilize a batch of new tools to build high-tech surface outposts for planets.
In the latest Around the Verse, the team discusses these “small locations” that players can visit on various worlds. These outposts are being constructed using a modular system, and once the kinks are worked out, the team will be able to make an array of them across the galaxy.
Other discussion in this episode covers the continued testing of Patch 2.6.2, the new Drake Buccaneer ship, an expansion to the QA team in Austin, and some additional work being done on the website, forum, and launcher.
Catch all of the latest developments by watching the show yourself after the jump!
This week’s edition of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse heralds the release of the 2.6.2 update on the PTU — and yes, the Buccaneer is in it. That’s a handy coincidence since the episode also contains part two of the ship pipeline deep-dive, which features that very starship as the devs polish it to “flight ready stage.” Technical Designer Matt Sherman and crew explain how they move ships through surface geometry and textures and parallax mapping, then adjust the joints and animations, the aural effects, the weaponry, and even the “bespoke” custom UIs for the ships that the player will use to pilot them — everything that needs to be done long before the math folks consider things like “balance.” The best bit is the designer whose job it is to think about how the ships will blow up:
“I jump in about white-box stage, after concept’s done, the modelling gets laid out, design has put some features in, I’ll go in and I’ll look at what the design is, what’s been done so far, and start to think about destruction. Very early on we start to think about how the ship will break apart.”
Try saying “mega map” 10 times fast! This week’s Around the Verse does indeed cover the heck out of Star Citizen’s mega map. Lead Gameplay Programmer Rob Johnson says that the intent of the mega map is to eliminate — or at least reduce — the annoyance of loading screens.
“We load the Mega Map as we would a standard map. The Mega Map itself is empty, but once the Mega Map is loaded, we actually start to fill the Mega Map with content of various game modes, fire, and object containers. So, we would load the Mega Map, which is empty; load the front end, which is a set of object containers; [and] load the front-end game rules, which tells the game how to work in that game mode. The user would then pick a new game mode to play. At that point we throw away all the object containers. We throw away the game mode, [then] load in the Free Fly game mode and the Dying Star object containers, but we do that via streaming rather than a complete level load, so we are able to shave the vast majority of the load time down to a few seconds rather than long enough to warrant a load screen.”
ATV also catches up with the LA studio’s work on ship production, multifunction displays, the room system, and the “entity owner manager” — critical for the persistent experience. Listen up below.