The latest Around the Verse episode spent an hour on one of the most criticized elements of Star Citizen at the moment: optimization. Frame-rates are no where near where they should be for a fully functional level of performance that players find acceptable. For 3.1, Cloud Imperium Games are reworking certain features, physics, assets, and how entities are loaded into and processed through the pipeline in order to improve overall playability and frame-rate performance in Star Citizen.
The start of the video focuses on what new features and upgrades will be added to Star Citizen alpha 3.1, which will include a lot more playability and gameplay options within the persistent universe. You can check out the video below.
They’re working on more than 1,000 different outpost layouts based on procedural prefabrication as more outposts are being added to the game.
The 3.1 update will also feature improved MobiGlas support for clearer text and better quality of icons and image displays. The next major alpha milestone will also add new segmented armor pieces, allowing players to mix and match armor parts.
The character creation has also undergone some major upgrades, including multi-pass lighting modules for the character shaders across the head and body, including improved specular highlighting.
You can see how the character creation has been greatly improved, including adding more idle facial animations to the characters while you customize their face, eyes, and hair selections.
While there have been some huge updates in the pipeline for 3.1 when it comes to the persistent universe, the rest of the video focuses on the most important aspect of Star Citizen’s development right now: optimization.
As most alpha 3.0 users have reported, the game’s optimization isn’t quite up to par.
The Around the Verse segment centered around optimization explains what sort of methods and tactics the engineers are utilizing in order to improve optimization for Star Citizen.
Given the amount of entities within a single Star Citizen instanced shard, optimization is a heck of a lot more difficult than in other games, where there are usually a limited number of physical entities within the area, or there are optimization trade-offs made to ensure the game doesn’t crash by supplementing what’s loaded into memory at a single time.
For Star Citizen, Cloud Imperium Games are attempting to reduce load on GPU by reducing the amount of particles present in a single render pass at a time. The art team and graphics engineering team also had to rework the damage on the ships, where they reduced the particles that are rendered when ships take damage. They’ve been condensing and combining certain assets to improve render times and increase the frame-rate, which is probably one of the biggest complaints about Star Citizen‘s performance at the moment.
You can keep track of their production schedule and what they’re working on next for Star Citizen by visiting the official website.