Star Citizen 3.0 Detailed – Planetary Tech, Performance Updates, and More!




/ 3 years ago

Star Citizen 3.0 Detailed - Planetary Tech, Performance Updates, and More!

Star Citizen may have been in development for a very long time, but it’s certainly not time wasted. The game has seen many huge updates, and version 3.0 doesn’t disappoint. Star Citizen’s 3.0 update fits in with Cloud Imperium’s Road Map for 2017, and it’ll make the first time that gamers will be able to try out the highly anticipated planetary tech in a live build, not just a preview.

Performance improvements can be found here too, with over 50% of video memory usage saved thanks to RenderTarget refactor, while Area Lights will allow for proper shadowing, Light Controller for runtime light switches, improved vertex and position format for all geometry, Dynamic Physics Grid for improved support of both sparse and dense game environments.

The list of changes is long and technical, but you can check out all out below!

GRAPHICS

  • RenderTarget refactor
    • This saves over 50% of video memory usage.
  • Area Lights with proper shadowing
  • Shadow System refactor
    • This is more efficient and allows for planetary scale shadows.

DESIGN

  • Crusader Converted to Object Container Setup
    • With the transition to Object Containers, the Crusader map was completely re-designed. Each Point of interest is now an object container laid out via the Solar System Editor. This is in preparation for Object Container streaming and seamless transitions from different POI’s and between Star Systems. Mission Flowgraphs are converted over to use Subsumption and the new Mission System
  • Mega Map for Persistent Universe
    • Mega Map tech (also used in Crusader for seamless loading between different gamemodes) is now possible in the new PU map, which is setup in the solar system editor. This allows the utilization of Mega Map technology.
  • Revamp of Power Plants / Shield Generators / Coolers and the Heat & Power System for improved gameplay and conversion to Item 2.0

ENVIRONMENT

  • Modular Room System for procedural generation of planetary outposts
    • Official Outpost Spawning System ready for mission designers
    • Integrated Outpost distribution to PlanetEd
    • Single outpost Object Preset
    • Cluster of Outposts
    • Crash site mission
    • Interface to hand place modules and save to Layer
    • Interface to teleport the camera to the closest outpost
    • Area boxes created by artists (all room sizes are now usable in the outpost procedural system)
    • Entrance Room system working (stairs and ramps are now available as initial rooms)
    • Rooftop Prop system working for Solar panel
    • Wall prop system working for additional prop variations
    • Material Wear/Dirt on props using Layer Blend done and actually working
    • Developed Outpost “feet” system
    • Set random rotation and offset caps on planet editor
    • Start documenting 3 possible map layouts looping system (using 2 or 4 meters metrics * system; using connection additional corridor pieces; using spline skinned corridors)
    • Support Aircon/solar panel system on outposts
    • Added color tinting to Outposts
    • Added color tinting interface to Planet Ed
    • Created material distinction for interior / exteriors
    • Group elements offset in Planet Object Preset to be able to offset landing pads

TOOLS

  • Solar System Editor
    • A tool that will layout entire solar system with their astral objects (sun, planets moons) as well as space stations, etc.

PERFORMANCE

  • New Light Controller for runtime light switches
  • New network message queue (current in QATR) to reduce network bandwidth and network thread time.
  • Light Entity Render node merging.
  • Dynamic Physics Grid to support sparse space areas vs. dense areas like space stations.
  • Highly optimized vertex and position format for all geometry
  • Texture memory usage reduced across the project
  • Unified material libraries for use across all departments
    • Comparing and finding all duplicated normal maps and albedo maps in the LayerBlend texture library
    • Clean up LayerBlend Material Libraries, Resolution Adjustments, Renames to Lower Case
    • Follow-ups on list of unused textures and materials
  • Massively improved LOD computation and average face sizes for ships
  • Shared hair assets (instead of bespoke asset per head) for character creation
  • Automated facial asset LODs, skinning algorithm per lod updated.
  • Reworked mesh setup of facial assets for optimal performance and reduced drawcalls.
  • Unified helmet and character mesh into singular render proxy for better performance and visuals.
  • Various portal and culling improvements.
  • Improved Animation Data Base collection and build process for optimized animation data streaming also added external tools to manage this.
  • Deprecated thousands of legacy and test assets including animations, geometry, libraries and more for reduced build size.
  • Automatic Asset Error collection and tracking.
  • Reworked itemport layout for characters and character items
  • Updated all assets using HumanSkin to highly optimized HumanSkinv2 shader. This saves upwards of a 100 megs of texture memory per face.

ART

  • New Assets:
    • Heavy Marine Armor
    • Explorer Suit Armor
  • Cloth and Clothing simulation on various assets old and new
  • Updated helmet interiors and exterior for updated art, FOV tech and standardization
  • Armor converted to work within modular customization structure
  • Finalized delivery of ALL facial assets from 3lateral.
  • Ships:
    • New Skinning and Rigging tools for landing gear on ships.
    • Constellation Cargo Bay/Elevator extensions
    • Light Group entity optimization

CODE

  • New Radar Databank
  • Subsumption
    • This is the initial release of the foundational technology that drives all of the AI, mission, dynamic content, and conversational logic. The mission content previously created with FlowGraph has been replaced and the implementation time to achieve a desired effect has been cut dramatically.
  • Various Performance improvements
  • Planetary Physics Grid to support orbiting and rotating planets
  • MFD implementation for Item 2.0 Components on ships
  • IFCS improvements to support AI & Takeoff System
  • Unified Visor for seamless Ship 2.0 / FPS transition
  • HUD/Visor integration for new Radar Databank
  • Vehicles No Longer Use Lua
    • This is a huge step forward on the code side.
  • Skeleton Extension support for Item Port Offset overrides per item
  • Numerous types of physics simulation for all Item 2.0 attachments including hair, weapons, grenades and more.
  • Destructible component for items, props and environment assets
  • Nested Physics Grids support for vehicle transportation inside large ships, i.e. DragonFly & Rover
  • Physics simulation gravity vector now respects planetary gravity
  • Modular loadouts rule sets and support for up to five loadouts
  • Animation driven facial audio implemented
  • Updated Sandbox Editor Python integration.
  • Zone culling on all character assets and layers, system complete and mesh markup complete supplemented with tools to easily support new assets.


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