Last week the big news was that Cloud Imperium Games only had seven issues left to fix before some version of alpha 3.0 would be in the hands of select backers. This week the big news is just how few of those blockers are left before alpha 3.0 can finally go live in a limited test environment for select backers.
The latest episode of Around the Verse starts with the Burn Down where there were only seven issues left as of September 22nd, and then they talk about what’s left before they start working on getting the alpha 3.0 up and out the door in what they call “Evocati”. You can check out the video below.
So essentially, the near 40 minute episode starts by talking about the three major bugs they needed to fix before they released Star Citizen alpha 3.0 into “Evocati” for select backers.
So talking about the three major bugs, the first one was that everything moved really slowly. There was an algorithm consisting of multiple samples for game sim timing and one of the samples came out of synch between the server time and the client time due to the algorithm not necessarily compensating for latency. They managed to pair the samples in the algorithm in order to ensure that when it’s going through the timing check – including for latency – it stays synched and flushes the cache to avoid any of the slowdown that they had encountered.
The GamesCom bug that caused a crash during the live stage presentation was also found and fixed.
So where do they see at the Burn Down? Well, they fixed four of the issues but encountered two more issues that have caused regular crashing in alpha 3.0.
They now have five major blockers to fix before they can distribute alpha 3.0 into “Evocati” for select backers.
The rest of the video talks about the usables and how both the players and the NPCs will interact with objects, and how the animation team have setup procedural animations for basic series of layered behaviors for the AI.
They’ve designed a stackable series of behaviorisms for the AI, which will allow NPCs to interact with different scenarios in different ways. The idea was to make sure that the NPCs don’t all just mimic the same thing over and over again when they perform actions such as sitting down, getting up, and interacting with different objects within the area while a usable is available.
They’re not only using procedural dynamics for how the NPCs move, interact, enter and exit a usable, they’ve setup the pipeline flow so that the team can create and add new entry points for the interaction, so that NPCs can continue to expand their behavior as the game production continues to grow.
Entry and exit points have been scaled based on what entry and exit points are available. They’ve also designed inverse kinematics in data driven procedural blending to allow for smooth adjustments for slightly askew objects, weapons, or other usables within the game world.
Cloud Imperium Games are essentially doing what NaturalMotion’s Euphoria is known for, except they’ve built up their system from the ground up. A lot of this was necessary because they needed a large cache of animations and animation transitions due to all the different activities that players and NPCs can perform in the game.
You can learn more about the adjusted production schedule by visiting the official Star Citizen website.