Star Citizen gets weekly and monthly reports, free DragonCon trial

    
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If you’re attending DragonCon this weekend, you might see various Star Citizen developers chatting up gamers and sharing their perspectives on various dev panels. You might also snag a game code on the show floor, which you can redeem for free access to Star Citizen’s pre-alpha Arena Commander dogfighting module.

Per the announcement and activation instructions on the RSI website, the codes are good through September 14th. Pew pew!

In other Star Citizen news, CIG published its monthly studio report for August as well as its weekly look at progress on the Star Marine FPS module.

Source: Announcement; thanks fastcart!
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rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

Oleg Chebeneev What I posted above was the coming stages for the “Baby PU” (as CR puts it)…not for the ultimate goal.  Ignoring the “large world map” they’re rolling out for testing AC 2.0 in, they are initially aiming to give us access to a complete system:  Stanton.  And that system will include four planets mentioned above (inc. “ArcCorp”).   But ultimately they are aiming for 100+ systems.

Vikingr
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Vikingr

rioinsignia 
It’s not a random seed but a specified set of parameters that together makes a specified seed, I believe. But they have to use a seed so that it’ll be created the same every time. They may use that in cities but that’ll often be impractical. If you want something to look specific you’ll have to make it manually. However, some of the background cityscape may be procedural generated.

The areas where procedural generation mostly comes into work is for planet environments like forests, lakes, streams, mountains, etc. This is failry easy to accomplish once you have the ground elements of procedural generation laid down.
The tricky part is to sew these procedural generated environments into a persistent universe. Say a ship crashes (and make a huge impact) in the jungle, or a topedo shoots off a mountain top. In a persistent universe these changes have to be displayed in the environment after it’s procedural generated. That means additional data has to be sent to the client ater the environment is generated, but before it’s displayed on the client, so that it can be amended to show the changes too.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

LordOfBread Here’s an example of the sort of style guide I’m talking about, this one is for Stanton.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

LordOfBread  It all depends how it is programmed.  I’m not in the software design industry, but I’m going to hazard a guess and say that rather than use procedural generation in conjunction with a “seed generator”, instead they’ll establish certain characteristics for each system, and then use that list of characteristics as parameters to pump into the procedureal generation system…..Can you see where I’m going with this?
Side note:  Let’s face facts, trying to make 100+ systems, each with multiple landing zones “by hand” will take considerable amount of time.  My guess would be longer than 2 years.  So, it’s natural to consider using procedural generation to help with that.  However, like you highlight, relying solely on procedural generation can end up with the output looking cold, weird and not very “hand crafted”.  Which is why, to me, procedural generation is a tool that must be used wisely.

Now, as a layman, I would think there are at least 3 levels to the characteristics (parameters): System wide (e.g. what racial influences), Planetary (what the planetary influences, such as weather conditions) and Local (e.g. is it a city?  or just a dustpad?).   Remember those “Style Guides” we often “yawn” about in regards to the Stanton system?   Those are the kind of parameters I’m talking about.  That’s why I get the feeling those guides are about to play a very important role in the procedural generation of the game universe. 
And by using procedural generation to do the “donkey work”, then they can be
churned out much faster in a “rough” form.  Then it’s a matter of
altering each landing zone, and putting the finer touches on them.  
TLDR:  The problem isn’t with procedural generation per se.  It’s just a tool after all.  The problem is how to use it effectively.  Using it purely with a “random seed generator” without setting parameters, is a cheap and nasty way to use it.  But I’m betting it isn’t the only way. 
Like a lot of things, CIG are going into more detail on systems than what’s been done in the past.  So we might end up being pleasantly surprised with what this new system churns out……    :)

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

BobDobalina rioinsignia overall good news but not too happy about future use of procedural generation,  it´s just a randomizer of stuff that gets put in the mixer. If they use it sparsely it could be a handy tool (terrain generation) but basically it´s nothing but a pretend tool with the purpose of puking out cheap maps and then bragging about how many maps the tool puked out. That´s why all the small and one-man teams are using it extensively. (e.g. Limit Theory, No Man´s Sky )and then using an insane number of “systems” “planets” etc. for marketing purposes. PG, the perfect hyperbole tool.

Psionicinversion
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Psionicinversion

Damonvile yeah the “wings” are to help with atmospheric flight so land on planets as its physics based

Psionicinversion
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Psionicinversion

Oleg Chebeneev Darkdrakke rioinsignia no thats not release thats for the first system we can explore in the Alpha. still about 1 1/2 years of content creation to do yet

Vikingr
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Vikingr

rioinsignia 
Also this, regarding CitizenCon:

==================================================
F42 Manchester:
“A smaller part of S42’s opening will actually be shown at CitizenCon in
October so we are also working hard on the environment for this scene
which will also be perfect to show the progress we have made in facial
animation quality.”

… and:

“We recently got the first full performance of body+face of one of our
main actors working in sync in engine. Saying we are quite happy with
the level of facial fidelity we can now achieve would be a tremendous
understatement. Can’t wait to show it to the community at CitizenCon.”

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

Darkdrakke Oleg Chebeneev rioinsignia Ive read this info but I doubt PU release will have only one system.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

Darkdrakke  eeeww