This month, the team crunched in preparation for a pair of internal 3.0 milestone reviews to assess the state of the build and player experience.
This month, Turbulent restructured the Ship Matrix so that it reflects the design intentions for all the ships with the release of Item 2.0. It is now able to display details about ship loadouts that previously weren’t available on the site. In the propulsion category, they added details about fuel tanks, fuel intake, quantum drives and jump modules. The ship team also added some categories in Avionics and Weaponry, including countermeasures. It had been years since the ship matrix had been revisited, and they needed to adjust the stats to allow for additional details.
With the Ursa becoming drivable in 3.0, you will also find ground vehicles listed in the ship matrix. The team also standardized the sizing on all components to five size variables. Weapons will keep a size range from 1-12.
On the ship detail page, they redesigned the ship loadout icons to give you a better indication of available slots on a ship, while the item details will outline how to upgrade your ship. They also improved the backend to ensure that ship statistics from the design team can be easily updated. This means they will be able to get ship balance changes on the site much sooner than in previous iterations.
Spectrum 0.3.6 is coming soon and is currently being tested on the PTU. One big feature in 0.3.6 is the text editor update that makes forums post much easier and more malleable. Soon, it will have draft mode, so if you stop writing midway through a post and navigate away from the page, you can come back later to finish it. This is great for those times you forgot to hit enter or were distracted by something else.
The updated and redesigned mini-profile brings many new features. It even tracks your post count, including those from the old forums. When viewing an account mini-profile, the karma feature allows you to see how many up votes a user has. With the mini-profile, the team is trying to squeeze in an additional block feature. This is a mod tool that the community has asked for and they really hope to include it in the next iteration.
Lastly, they are introducing a track feature that allows you to jump between staff posts. Previously, you had to scroll to find all the staff posts. The track post feature is a faster way to find information from Star Citizen developers or community team. Orgs can also use it by enabling a role to be tracked in the settings. Custom roles are still being worked on. The biggest design challenge has been with very large orgs and finding the appropriate filter/search function to allow members to find each other.
The team worked very hard with CIG engineering on the new Delta launcher which comes with the Delta patcher. They also worked on refreshing some of the UI elements with new 3.0 imagery. They are essentially changing the entire core of the application, so they have to test on multiple platforms and installation paths. At the same time, our engineering team worked on getting the digital distribution channels ready, so they can disburse those objects as fast as possible when the game version is requested. This also required additional security reviews and deployment scripts.
This month, they introduced a new ship that’s … a little buggy! The Cyclone buggy is our first ground vehicle built with our procedural planets expressly in mind. It was available in five different options (regular, recon, racing, turret and anti-air) and will come online in a future patch. A new kind of vehicle also called for a new kind of manufacturer, so Tumbril was created. No, it’s not a social network media sharing service. It’s Star Citizen’s first dedicated ground vehicle manufacturer. The team had a great time putting together the ‘launch’ brochure, complete with a stock certificate, and they’re already looking forward to the NEXT Tumbril vehicle which will come online later this year.
To help promote the Cyclone sale, they worked with Narrative and the team at Turbulent to create an interactive 2947 drivers license test. You can take the multiple choice test to earn a license to be shared on social media. They love doing promotions like this because it lets everybody have fun, though perhaps only in the Star Citizen ’verse can taking a drivers test be considered fun!
This month’s videos covered many aspects of Star Citizen’s development, with sights and sounds aplenty on AtV. Bugsmashers showed you some of the incredible work going into Star Citizen Alpha 3.0, Loremakers took us around the galaxy to some of the systems we will be building, and Happy Hour even created a star system live using SolEd!
July’s Jump Point covered the development of the game’s second space bike, the Aopoa Nox, which will be in Alpha 3.0. The team even got to sit down and share a little bit about how they plan our ship promotions.
Speaking of subscribers, July’s ship of the month was the RSI Constellation, which saw plenty of backers put it to good use. Next month, it will be the Xi’an Scout (or Khartu-al) and they’re eager to see you put it through its paces. The team also rounded out the Subscriber flare space station series with the station that’s closest to all our hearts: Port Olisar.
Thanks to Subscribers, they held a live town hall Q&A with the VFX team at Foundry 42. The VFX team is doing spectacular work on the effects and it was a true pleasure to be able to share it with you. Plus, when you have effects guys on, they bring their own clips to show off!
There were Bar Citizens aplenty this month, including one attended by over 100 people in Lyon France. And on the subject of fan-organized events, be sure to check out ‘Verse Con, which, while not a CIG event, is going to be a great way for backers in the US to get together during CitizenCon. You can find out more details at versecon.com.
Far and away the biggest job this month has been getting ready for Gamescom. Putting together an event is no small feat, and the team is lucky to have a very dedicated events manager coordinating the show floor booth, developing marketing material to give out, and planning how to spend as much time as possible with the community.