Roberts Space Industries released a new Around the Verse episode that covers some of the updates for the game leading toward the release of alpha 3.0. The new episode is just over half an hour long, giving gamers a look at a lot of new assets they’ve been working on, new animations they’ve added, new AI logic algorithms, new effects, new damage modules, and a look at the modular derelict ship missions.
The episode was posted up over on the official RSI website. The first 10 minutes covers a large swathe of the development that the U.K., studio has accomplished over the past month. You can check it out below.
One of the most important features they’ve worked on is the UI. The in-game GUI has been updated, along with context sensitive user interface hints to help players navigate usable objects, actions and panels within ships, space stations and other areas of gameplay. The in-game UI was one of the most highly criticized features in the current alpha builds of Star Citizen, so the all new context sensitive UI will roll out with alpha 3.0.
The UI update also ties into how the mission structures are setup and how players can easily see what new missions are available, what he objectives are, and what the bonus objectives are.
New spawn locations have been added as well as refined spawning for players who spawn into space stations within the persistent universe.
Another new feature that they’ve added are better animations for NPCs, including smoothed movements, idle stances and walking animations. This also ties into the new AI pathfinding algorithm that blends the animations and movements of the characters, so instead of moving like they’re nutcrackers on a clock track, the AI NPCs will move a lot smoother with granular smoothing as opposed to moving and turning from node to node.
The character creator is also planned for release in alpha 3.0.
They briefly showcase what the GUI looks like for the character creator, which will allow players to craft and make their character the way they want.
Briefly they discuss the interstellar nebula backgrounds becoming a big part of the traversal process, while also mentioning that they will be utilizing new volumetric and particle effects to give the vast expanses of space a lot more character so it’s not just blackness bespectacled by the light of stars.
The rest of the video covers the item 2.0 that they’ve been talking about for months, along with how they’ve had redo the way the seats and interactivity works with getting in and out of vehicles and messing around with stuff, along with a brief look at more improvements and art assets being implemented for the truck stops.
Alpha 3.0 is still a long ways off, but it’s supposed to be the defining turning point of Star Citizen’s development. If the procedural planet feature actually works as intended it would be a breakthrough in the AAA development space, along with the use of item 2.0. A lot of people are cautiously optimistic about alpha 3.0 just because of how much it promises to add to the game, but it would cement in a lot of necessary components so that they can start the final stretch of adding in miscellaneous mechanics, quests, and the finalization of the core gameplay.