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Akanoes

Around the Verse - Austin Studio Update

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Sandi and Chris host this week's episode, featuring a studio update from our team in Austin, with an in-depth look at the Star Citizen publishing process.

 

Highlights

  • CIG debated cutting critical foundational features from 3.0 but didn't to ensure they could deliver all of the 3.x series on a quarterly basis in 2018
  • Now that most of the uncertainty, R&D, and challenges associated with integrating new tech are out of the way the 3.x iterations will be more predictable
  • Switching to date-based from feature-based is going to dramatically change everything next year: no more holding back a version for a couple of features
  • 3.0 was always going to be an anomaly and letting a critical piece of infrastructure slip might have prevented the release of an entire branch
  • Challenges: dynamic pricing and interdiction were being worked on right up to the end (and even into the holidays)
  • 3.0 integrated a lot of new technology, new technology that hadn't been finalised, and performance could only be assessed once it was all glued together
  • 3.1 primary focus is performance: identifying/addressing the biggest problems in terms of server & client frame rates
  • Single biggest feature in 3.0 is the procedural planetary tech: it dramatically changes the entire game
  • Now turning their attention to mining in a "significant fashion" as they are targeting 3.2 for the initial iteration
  • CIG were able to make changes during the holidays without a patch because those issues were controlled via the backend services
  • Probability volumes are areas of space in which events can happen to the player based upon inputs from the economy (i.e. flying through a probability volume that includes a pirate haven will likely lead to a pirate encounter).
  • Probability volumes hook up to the economy to provide a dynamic experience.
  • Probability volumes act as optimization as they allow for many different types of encounters without having the explicitly hard code them.
  • The back end simulations are planned to be hooked up towards the end of this year.
  • The team did a lot of work on the back-end for publishing 3.0, and it was a huge come-together between the publishing side, the QA side, the network side, everyone.
  • The delta patcher helped hugely
  • The team also have the ability to issue hotfixes without kicking all players off the servers; they can issue a hotfix, and then ‘spin down’ servers gradually, only resetting them when there are 0 remaining players.
  • This allowed the team to do many hotfixes, even during the Christmas break, all without ever kicking all players out.

Courtesy of Relay

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Watching this hearing the devs talk abouth fixing and improving servers and performance. Then seeing the background gameplay with 9 to max 30 fps. I get mixed feelings.

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