There was nearly half an hour’s worth of content covered in the latest development update for Star Citizen. The various teams gave gamers a look at a variety of different aspects of the game that are all supposedly coming together in preparation for the alpha 3.0 launch.
Items, shops, AI, and behaviors have all been updated ahead of the alpha release. They briefly showcase how the in-game shops will look and what it will be like when players begin shopping around for new gear and clothes. These shops and NPCs will be present in Star Citizen.
This ties into the new animation system that they’re refining for NPCs working at bars and shops, and how the AI can interact with the player. They’ve also made it possible so that players can pick up and carry around objects, such as boxes and other items. Now that the basic carry setup has been established, this will be used to expand the different items and objects that players can carry throughout the game.
In addition to this, they’re starting to finalize implementing the first major NPC quest giver, which required a lot of collaboration between all four studios in order to ensure that the voice acting, the facial animations, and the interactions from the NPC with the environment were done proper.
You can see some of what’s been demonstrated for the upcoming alpha 3.0 with the Around The Verse episode below.
One of the other core aspects of the Around the Verse episode focused on the exit and entering trails in the atmosphere, as well as the engine trails for different speeds of the ships, entry and exit effects for different states.
The special effects team have been working with ensuring that each engine type has its own special effects as the ship moves through space, along with taking advantage of the custom-designed DataForge effects utility so that artists can manually create or modify the ship effects without having to dabble into the game code. This has resulted in the artists being able to make the ship effects and trails thicker or smaller depending on what the ship is doing, as well as different trail effects based on combat, convoys, joyrides and other flying states.
Obviously the ship effects for engine trails aren’t nearly as impressive from the gamer point of view compared to things like scaling the universe based on astronomic units, or how the procedurally generated outposts and quests will be designed, but from a design perspective this actually makes things a heck of a lot faster with creating new content for the game.
Each of these behind-the-scenes looks at the development is leading up toward the release of alpha 3.0 later this summer.