Star Citizen ATV Gives A Look At Shops, NPCs And Engine Trails
Star Citizen Engine Trails
(Last Updated On: June 30, 2017)

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.

Star Citizen - Shops

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.

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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.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Joe_Blober

    To Readers, the fundraising income is growing or stable every single year… with huge spike during the two last quarters.

    Nov. 2012 end of Kickstarter: goal was 2M$. They got 6M$…
    2012: 7M$
    2013: 35M$ 12 months –> 28 M$
    2014: 68M$ 12 months –>33 M$
    2015: 104M$ 12 months –> 36 M$
    2016: 140M$ 12 months –> 36 M$
    2017: 153M$ (June) 12 months –> TBD M$

    Squadron 42 Chapter 1 (solo ala Wing Commander) will get a schedule for release later this year and Star Citizen (MMO) is going to receive large patch in July, beta expected end of 2018.

    The original release in 2014 was based on less than 30M$ budget. Because of the massive pledges, Chris Roberts proposed to backers to make 2x AAA games. Hence the “delay”.
    To have a god understanding of what is Star Citizen, you can check weekly ATV’s (around The Verse) on Youtube, providing deep insight of progress.

    This is coming very well and modules (ships fight, Star Marine (fps) and Persistent Universe) are already available for test purposes.

    +600.000 backers so far. Everything is under control only a few dedicated troll are trying to create trouble on internet 🙂

  • ParasiteX

    Alpha 3.0 is getting closer, can’t wait! Hopefully we can get thru the rest of the summer without some new retarded drama cropping up…

    • Still struggling and debating whether or not I should purchase some form of the game to play it when alpha 3.0 drops. I’m going to wait to see what it’s like and how stable it is, and whether there’s a lot to actually do. I still have an ample back catalog of games to get through, anyway.

      • bar10dr

        All you need is the 45USD package for access to the multiplayer portion, Alpha, Beta and the full game once it releases. Once the game goes gold you will be able to earn all the other ships in-game with fake money.

        Another 15USD for the single player game Squadron 42 (Which will most likely go up to full price once released).