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Star Citizen love sharing with you everything we’ve been working on so enjoy and always let us know if you have any questions or thoughts!

Star Citizen CIG SANTA MONICA

Hey everyone! It’s been an amazing month chalked full of exciting work here in sunny Santa Monica. Star Citizen love sharing with you everything we’ve been working on so enjoy and always let us know if you have any questions or thoughts!

 

Design

The design team here are keeping incredibly busy with all the upcoming ships, modes, gameplay needs, and so on. One of the bigger focuses for us was on the Genesis Starliner. We wanted to make sure we thought everything through to be ready to bring this awesome ship to you. We had a lot of work to get through this month such as establishing the initial gameplay balance plan which includes potential updates to stats, features, game modes, hud, controls, missiles, etc. Here are some of the in-depth details of this month:

We fixed an issue with the RSI Constellation Andromeda where the old Hangar Ready version would crash the hangar. Oops! We also switched the main elevator entrance from being a door to a switch to allow for entering/exiting via different doors without resetting the animation states. We also fixed both upper and lower turret hand positions. Also, in an effort to make the Constellation flight ready we overhauled thrusters.

For the Scythe dogfighter we dove into an issue in which the multilight was not loading into the light port and the archetype was crashing the client. We also removed unnecessary AI Space Ships and updated the Scythe to utilize “Scythe_Swarm” modification block to adjust AI Scythe health.

On the Hornet F7CM, we fixed an issue in which one of the thruster hard points was misnamed, preventing the thruster from loading onto the ship. We also combined the bound geometry and Weight Transfer Tool while refactoring controls design quite a bit.

On the Mustang Delta, we removed inclusion of default animations, which were colliding and causing problems (such as misplaced hatch and open/close animations not playing). We also implemented the AEGS Retaliator enter and exit Pilot Seat and updated the Interiors to use latest from Production level. That’s quite a bit of how our month went and are ready to go for the month of July.

Art

Overall, it’s been a very busy month for our art team in Santa Monica. Specifically, the vehicle artists have been busy focusing on the Merlin that just went through its final art pass and delivered to design to get flight ready. In addition, our Senior Vehicle Artist, Paul Forgy kicked off the first stages of getting the Bengal Carrier exterior white boxed and in the game engine. Can’t wait for those capital ships! With the new damage tech coming online, LA artists have been working hard to make sure the flight ready ships support the revised system. The Scythe is one of the first and has been setup for full damage support. Be sure to look for that in the near future. Now that’s not the only update to the Scythe. The ship’s cockpit has been retrofitted for human flight. Be expecting that in AC soon!

Alongside our ATX comrades, the LA studio has been working on revamping characters for not only the FPS, but for characters across all modules. Omar Aweidah is nearing finalizing the first gold standard to fully utilize the new character shader tech powered by Multi-LayerBlend written by our very own, Okka Kyaw. Now, we are ready to step up the character’s visual fidelity and take the massive leap into the future of character development for the Star Citizen universe.

Speaking of characters, our Production Designer of character concepts, Rob McKinnon is really ramping up our concept development quite heavily. We’re making great strides in developing looks for the characters of Star Citizen. 3D sculpts provided by Rob McKinnon and his team have given us our first 3d look at marine uniforms. Whether it’s a bridge office or a BDU, the marines are looking top notch. The Navy has tons of roles and responsibilities and we now have an outfit for each of them. From Officers on deck, to medics on call, the Navy uniforms are sharp and ready to begin 3d production.

Star Citizen CIG SANTA MONICA


With all the excitement of getting to ride the Meridian Transit, we have made sure you weren’t without a drink. The Genesis Starliner now has the very first concept designs for flight attendants. Also, the Vanduul just got a lot tougher with new images created from the concept team showing off new armor sets. The Vanduul now look meaner than ever. Under the armor has gone through revisions to attempt at finalizing the skin of this Alien race.

Engineering

Our engineering team has been really busy this month. Everything from datastore clean up to the new character material system creation to large world updates. So let’s dig in:

We did some early implementation of the vehicle parameters where we were off loading the vehicles from parsing an xml on every spawn to parsing a single xml once and using it from then on to build a vehicle. Also, the only way we knew how to build a ship is to spawn it then look at what it contains. Now, other systems can just look up the parameters to build out a ship. We no longer need to spawn every ship below the hangar which was a massive change. We also had lots of integration bug fixes for FPS & Arena Commander. We continued working on the Radar 2.0 system where we moved the system from entity-only-based to practically anything the designers need to show on the HUD. The back end work is built, now we need to change HUD and other vehicle components to handle those objects so the designers can go nuts! We also did a lot of vehicle code clean up by deleting unused code which sped up a lot of the slow bits but this is going to be an ongoing process.

UI has been working tremendously hard on upcoming ship designs and implementation. Specifically, the glitch effects and boot up for the Vanduul. We reviewed a proposal for improved cockpit interaction and began preparation for HUD to support different seat actions and roles.

We’ve been doing some datastore cleanup, removing duplicated code, unifying different spread out code into single pass, and began preparation for Multicrew spawning/MP hangars. We separated object spawning from player spawning to move Hangar loading into level loading phase.

We’ve also been working on multi-layer material system. The goal is to end up with a fixed library of base materials that are blended together (up to 4 layers) to create more complex materials with minimal draw calls. Texture library and core shader functionality are mostly done, now working on the base material library that would bridge the render resources with the blended materials.

On the AI side, we’ve been doing a lot of ship bug fixing, particularly in regards to the pilot an AI ship creates and maintains. We also did a bit of work on the “defend target” wingmen command, creating an AI ship aspect that keeps track of nearby threats so that escorting ships will know what to attack.

On the Large World side, we fixed various trigger area issues in LW maps such as removed the +/- 16km limit for all the trigger areas and additional boundary conditions fix-up. We did a bit of interface clean-up for Matrix34 / Quat and established the prerequisite to make the rotational part of all those primitives to float. We also fixed the position info bar and GOTO position dialog and increased camera move speed in Sandbox while authoring LW maps. Lastly, we finished thread-safe texture loading with thread-safe shader parsing and thread-safe shader resource creation almost done. Phew, we had a great month and are looking forward to more!


And that does it for the Santa Monica studio update for this month. Thank you so much for taking the time to look over all of the team’s hard work and supporting the creation of the game. None of this would be possible without your continued support and we’re honored to be able to make this game with you. We value your feedback and thoughts so keep them coming.

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