It may be Thanksgiving but that didn’t stop RSI and CIG from outputting yet another episode of Around The Verse. It was a pretty big week for the developers as they were able to expand the release of alpha 3.0 to a wider audience for more players before going into the full public universe release.
There’s no special feature at the end of this episode of Around The Verse, but they did have big news in the form of announcing that a wider release of alpha 3.0 has made its way out to more backers, beyond the basic “Evocati” test group.
You can view the half-hour video below.
It was revealed that the entire item 2.0 shopping module is about ready to release in alpha 3.0 in full. It was mentioned that there are still a few bugs and kinks to work out, but overall the shopping module functionality, shopkeepers, and item acquisition work as intended.
They’ve fixed a number of other issues with the ships as well, including bed persistence for when players lay down and exit the game. It now properly saves the player’s data instead of crashing or glitching the player through the geometry, which was a particularly nasty issue before.
They fixed the headlights on the ships when entering into dark areas of space on a planet, so now the real-time lights work as intended on the ships.
An ESP targeting bug was found and fixed along with an LOD bug that prevented all the HQ assets from rendering up close, resulting in only the low-poly models being displayed. Well, it turned out to be a caching issue causing the level of detail bug, but they managed to find and fix the bug.
One of the other major issues that they managed to fix was on the performance side with a streaming issue. It ended up breaking when it was supposed to update by relying on server update times every millisecond. They fixed the issue by changing the streaming refresh timer based on the delta of the frame buffer updates rather than the server updates, and this fixed the problem where the entities simply weren’t being streamed into and out of the render properly.
At this stage of development they’re also looking to finalize and implement the Star Map, which is admittedly not going to make alpha 3.0 right now but may arrive in the next major build. You can see what they have in-game so far with a video demonstration by YouTuber SuperMacBrother.
With so many of the major modules ready to make their debut into the final build, they’re focused on continuing to improve performance and stability in Star Citizen. They’ve increased the player count per server instance to 60 players in the “Evocati” build, while internally they’ve been able to increase the player count up to 128 players.
After switching over to a new improved flowchart for data blocks and making some tweaks, they’ve managed to get the frame-rate stability to average above 30fps and to sometimes hit 40 – 50fps.
Last week they had 179 issues to fix before Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 was ready to release in full into the PTU, and this week they narrowed it down some more but they don’t mention by how much in the ATV episode. You’ll be able to find out exactly how many issues are remaining before alpha 3.0 is ready for a wide release for all backers by visiting the Roberts Space Industry website.