Star Citizen provides a detailed look at the systems that will power AI, dynamic events, and the economy

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Fans of Star Citizen got a truly massive info dump thrown on them by way of a recent video from Persistent Universe director Tony Zurovec that’s all about the game’s Quantum background simulation, the Quasar event system, and various NPC AI matters.

For those who missed out on earlier discussions about the Quantum system, just know it effectively powers the game’s overall economy and NPC movement. NPCs, known as Quanta, have attributes and a personality that falls on a morality and aggression scale, which in turn powers their behavior and how they perceives opportunities; a pirate-like Quanta would have low morality and high aggression, while a security officer Quanta would have high aggression and high morality, for example. More traits on this scale are planned to be added later.

Zurovec provided detailed updates on where Quantum is going, noting how moving the system to C# has increased performance by “two orders of magnitude,” providing a look at a graph system that gives the devs a high-level view of product node and economic activity, showcasing a heatmap system that lets the devs see where PvP is happening and deploy security forces if it’s happening at a location that’s meant to be secure, and looking at tools that allow the devs to see what mission types players find interesting so more of those kinds of missions can be added.

According to Zurovec, Quantum has been “pretty thoroughly” integrated into Star Citizen’s backing architecture and will be built and shipped with all future releases of the game. Further work and testing needs to be done, and the arrival of Quantum will be gradual, starting with analysis of fuel and repair materials and the possibility to control movement of pirates, freighters, and security forces.

Zurovec also took closer looks at virtual AI systems that are in development, discussed how they operate in different states of logic, and demonstrated how they behave. He also offered a step-by-step demonstration of Quasar, a system that allows the devs to initiate dynamic events in the game through a variety of parameters. All of these systems culminate in what Zurovec hopes will be a dynamic and interesting universe for players.

These highlights are just the very top of an extremely dense iceberg, as the video provides 40 minutes of highly informative and extremely granular presentation, all of which can be found below.

source: YouTube
Longtime MMORPG gamers will know that Star Citizen was originally Kickstarted for over $2M back in 2012 with a planned launch for 2014. As of 2021, it still lingers in an incomplete but playable alpha, having raised around $350M from gamers over years of continuing crowdfunding and sales of in-game ships and other assets. It is currently the highest-crowdfunded video game ever and has endured both indefatigable loyalty from advocates and immense skepticism from critics. A co-developed single-player title, Squadron 42, has also been repeatedly delayed.
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