Cloud Imperium Games unleashed another video of Around the Verse for Star Citizen, covering some of the community events that have been emerging as part of the emergent gameplay that has become possible since the release of alpha 3.2. The video also lightly covers what’s coming for 3.3 and new features entering into prototype testing.
The video starts with the event organized by the Spanish and French Star Citizen players that featured 50 players doing synchronized flying, and planetary infiltration. You can check out the video below.
The episode doesn’t dive into a whole lot of new information, but it does have some neat updates for certain features coming down the pipeline.
For instance the team is finalizing the dynamic environmental particle system for Hurston, which allows particle effects to fly and move around depending on the direction of the wind.
Additionally, mining is about to get a lot more interesting, as asteroid mining is in the prototype phase. Scanning and zero gravity mining in space are on the docket next, and so far the scanning looks like it’s nearly complete.
Also, they previewed the FOIP for 3.3 release. The Face Over Internet Protocol allows users with a webcam to use their webcam to scan their eyes, nose and mouth, and use the scanned data along with a microphone to speak through their in-game character, who will then mimic the facial expressions of the player through the webcam. Yes, this is some next level MMO interactivity.
Right now the core feature is in place but they need to refine and debug the operability so that it’s more accurate and consistent depending on user changes, such as putting on or taking off glasses. The team is currently optimizing the tracking, and the facial tracking is about capturing all the facial types whether you have different skin or somatic structure. What’s more is that this data is also being synchronized with the server so that local FOIP features can be rendered for other players on the network server. This is all planned to go live wit h the 3.3 release.
New sounds have been implemented for the Vanduul lance and plasma rifle, which were previously in concept phase and are slowly moving through prototyping and implementation. And there’s improved grip mechanics for picking up and carrying objects. This is all done on the coding side, so it’s script-based instead of using bespoke animations. It allows player-characters to pick up objects of different sizes and densities and hold them accurately.
And finally, there are improved animation synchronization for both players and combat AI when it comes to traversing the environment. There’s also shorter or no stop-gaps when it comes to animation transitions between vaulting objects, jumping over blocks, and climbing up structures.
You can learn more about the upcoming updates for Star Citizen’s alpha 3.3 release by visiting the developmental roadmap page over on the official website.