Greetings everyone, this is Progress Watch !
We're back with another HUGE round of roadmap updates. CIG just dropped V1.0 of the new roadmap, which includes more data about the deliverables, as well as 22 new teams and their associated features. This has been a lot of info to digest, but we're now ready to go through all this together, and check out the cool stuff !
But first, let's start with the usual disclaimer that all of this is CIG's current vision that can (and will) change at anytime. The second important reminder is that all features listed in the Teams Roadmap aren't necessarilly going to be released as soon as they are done.
And with all that said, let's dive in !
3.13.0 Progress Watch – End of Q1 2021
The ROC-DS has been added to 3.13. This variant of the Greycat ROC is a dual seater mining vehicle, and has already been made available on the PTU.
And although that's all the changes we had on the patches this week, my spreadsheets have evolved to take advantage of the new information CIG gave us. You will now find the start and end dates of the deliverable development, its duration, as well as how many teams and disciplines are working on it overall.
3.14.0 Progress Watch – End of Q2 2021
3.15.0 Progress Watch – End of Q3 2021
3.16.0 Progress Watch – End of Q4 2021
No changes in any of the future patches this week, but check out the additional data !
Alright, now we're getting serious. There is a LOT of new stuff to go through, both with the new teams but also with existing teams that had a review of their schedule. So let's go team by team, to see what has change and take a deeper look at any new feature we might come accross.
And we start directly with a new team, the AI Content Team. Their main responsibility is creating new AI behaviors and types. They're working on a few interesting new AI types, like the Hawker who can give you information, or the Janitor to clean the streets. Another type of vendor is going to join the 'verse, and it will deal in illegal goods. To stay hidden, it will keep moving around so you'll have to track it down if you want its wares. Other AI types include the security officer, the utility officier, and the shop and bar patron.
Sitting next to them, we have the AI Tech & Feature Team. They provide all the tech and tools the Content Team needs to make their AI agents run around. Some interesting tech on their radar is EVA capabilities for AIs, better weapon handling, teaching AI pilots to target subcomponents, as well as integrating the Subsumption Editor right into the engine for easier AI tuning. As a reminder, Subsumption is the component / framework that manages all aspects of an AI's behavior.
Our next team is also a new one, although we've heard about them before, it's the Audio team of course ! Now they're working on pretty much everyting accross Star Citizen and Squadron 42, so they have a very diverse list of deliverables, ranging from ships, locations, tools, player movements and actions, and of course all SQ42 related content. They don't have any exclusive features though, as they're mainly a (very important) support team for the rest of CIG.
The Character Art and Tech Team is next to join the roadmap. Everything your character does starts with them, and they have a lot of interesting stuff in the pipeline. Animated helmets are coming, as well as dedicated backpacks to bring your stuff around once physicalized inventory hits, but also cybernetics parts to replace your missing limbs after the medical gameplay goes live, and of course a pletora of new outfits : and advocacy undersuit, a doctor and a nurse outfits, a heat suit, all orison lines of clothing, some jumpsuits, some armors for both humans and vanduuls, and, most importantly, the first NON HUMAN creature to join the PU : the SPACE WHALE. They're also workin on tooling to create all that content.
Exclusive to Squadron 42, the Cinematics Team is probably one of the most mysterious. Since all of their work is technically spoilers, we don't have any idea of what they're working on, appart from a list of SQ42 chapters.
An important change has occured within CIG's organization : the Dev Tools Team has been split into two, with the Editor Team on one side and the Tools Team on the other. They both get their respective features with them, and a few additional have been added along, like the Debug GUI for the Editor Team, to improve existing tooling for ingame debugging.
We go back to existing teams with the Engine Team. They have a lot of changes in their schedule this week, with 5 dropped features : CoRoutine V1, EntitySysem IComponentPtr, GeomCache General Support, ImGUI and Mesh Streaming. This is probably a reorganization in progress, and we're in the middle of it, so expect tasks to reappear (maybe in a different form) soon. In replacement, they have been required to help with Persistent Streaming & Server Meshing.
And now another new team, the EU PU Gameplay Feature Team. European counterpart to the US PU Gameplay Feature Team, they're working on new Gameplay for the PU, with exciting new features such as additional Environmental Interactions, a new Long Distance Probing system where you will send probes through QT to analyze far-away Points of Interest, some LOOT generation (I love loot), more mining gameplay with dedicated components and gadgets, the very exciting (for me) ENGINEERING GAMEPLAY with ship resource management (power, CPU, fuel, coolant, shields…), and ship to ship refueling.
A modest team that maybe isn't known enought, the Facial Animation Team is responsible for making your face believable. They don't have dedicated features and are supporting the other teams, in particular the Cinematics Team for Squadron 42.
Firesprite might not be a name familiar to everybody. They're a british game development studio, and CIG has contracted their help to develop Theaters of War as well as Arena Commander and Star Marine. They're currently working on that exact topic, with updates coming for both Arena Commander maps to make them bigger and more interactive, as well as of course all the work on Crossroads of Crime, ToW first map. They're also helping with the associated gameplay and UI.
Back into known territory, we have the Game Services Team. This week, they've completed their work on Configuration Service, a backend service that will be used to configure the other backend services, as well as the game clients.
Squadron 42 is an expansive story, and there is a team for that. The Gameplay Story Team is now on the roadmap, and of course we don't know anything about their work appart from a list of chapters.
The next team is another of the support teams that, despite their range of action, is very important to give the verse its fidelity : the Lighting Team. As with any other support team, they don't have any dedicated feature and are mainly supporting the work on Orison, Crusader, and the new Hospitals.
The Live Tools Team is next, and has a new feature under its belt : Services Distributed Load Testing System. It will help CIG simulate a heavy player activity to identify bottlenecks and optimize performances for backend services.
Location Concept Art is responsible for making concept art for locations. I know, it's obvious, and it's even more obvious when you see they're working on Orison, Hospitals, some general Building Interiors, and two mysterious unannounced features.
We're quickly approaching the middle point, but we're not there yet. And we have anoter new feature for an existing team : the LZ-1 Content Team has been tasked with increasing the amount of player habs per major landing zone to at least 100. Why would they need to do that ? We'll see below with a few interesting features.
The Mission Feature Team, just like the Engine Team, also had a schedule review and lost a few features. The gonners are : Dynamic Mission System (V1 and V2), Dyanmic Population, Bounty Hunter V2 and the Grim Hex Race. Instead, they'll be working on Hospitals T0 and supporting the ongoing effort with Server Meshing.
The Modular Team had two features changes this week. First, they completed an unannounced feature, and they have also lost one of their deliverables : Prison V3.
But they have gained… a sister team ! The Modular MTL Team (no idea what MTL stands for) has joined the roadmap. Currently, they're all about hospitals : on Lorville, Levski (yes), New Babbage, Area 18 and Orison, they're creating hospital buildings for the upcoming medical gameplay and death of a spacemen.
Our next team is another support team, this time for Motion Capture. They're mainly supporting the Animation Team, and have the funny grey suits covered with balls to run around and do accrobatics. Remember, each time your character does some action, it was done In Real Life by this team first !
Some of my favorite guests on any Star Citizen show, the Narrative Team is also in the roadmap. Since every aspect of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 needs lore, they're everywhere and are touching every feature, from ships, to guns, to locations, to gameplay loops even ! They have a large task list, but none exclusive to them.
The Network Team was already on the roadmap before today, but they only had one feature : Server Meshing. Well now they're a fully fledged team, and they have a lot of tech in the pipeline. The most important one is called "The Hybrid". Its role is to coordinate the various Dedicated Game Servers (DGS) that will constitute the Server Meshing's mesh. Its job will be to replicate the network state of clients and servers, and to send any persisting states to the EntityGraph. The EntityGraph is basically the "tree of life" of the PU, it will hold the persistant state of all physicalized objects in the verse.
With that comes the Atlas. Its job will be to split the universe into "territories", and, with the help of the Hybrid, give each territory to a DGS to run it. This will at first be a static split (territories will always be the same), but with future versions it will become dynamic and the territories will change depending on the state of the universe (for example if there are a lot of people regrouping in one place, it will be made into its own territory).
Finally for the Network Team, some players here might remember a once revolutionnary improvement we had during the early days of the PU : Bind Culling. This was one of the major components of Object Container Streaming (OCS) and allowed your client to NOT load the entire universe, but only what's around you. The Network Team is working on an improved version of that, using StarHash, their galactic coordinate system, to better calculate the entities "visible" by a player, and only bind those to him instead of the more crude current method.
Just like the Network Team, the Persistent Tech Team also got their load of features and became a fully fledged team. Their main work is around the Entity Graph I talked about with the Network Team, as it will be the basis of all physicalized objects persistance. What I mean by physicalized is anything that has spawned ingame and isn't stored as mere "information". For example, the list of ships you own is not "physical" information, however once you spawn one it becomes physicalized. Currently all physicalized objects are lost when the DGS that runs them gets shut down (by a 30K or by CIG when there's an update).
Next we have the Physics Team. They have lost three features this week : PhysArea Refactoring, Physical QT Movement, and Water Physics for Large Objects. As usual they've probably been moved beyond the event horizon, which as a reminder is currently set at the end of 2021.
Same goes for the Planet Content Team. They've lost two planets from the Nyx system, Nyx II and Nyx III, as well as an unannounced feature.
The Planet Tech Team however has gained a few very interesting features. First, Rivers and Roads, which we've seen previewed in an episode of Inside Star CItizen a few months ago. Next, Terrain Snow Displacement, which would be very immersive on Microtech. And finally, Underwater Rendering/Caustics. Submarines and diving maybe ? It's not for anytime soon though as its end date is beyond the event horizon, but still, it's interesting to know it's being worked on !
A new team that we often see featured, the Prop team is making an appearance. They're mostly there as a support team for both the Actors Teams and the Locations Teams, so they don't have any dedicated feature, but any object you can hold or any vending machine you come accross is from them !
A small team dedicated to SQ42 as been appearing, the SQ42 Feature Team. Half of their work is unannounced, and the rest was already known for Star Citizen, so nothing to see here.
Systemic Services & Tools Team is next, and they've lost two features this week : Dynamic Mission System and Dynamic Population. This is consistent with the changes on the other teams working on these features.
We're not done yet with animation : the Tech Animation Team is responsible for creating the features and the tools to make all these movements. They're working on a bunch of interfaces to facilitate and automate some of the animator's work, for example by creating automatic lips movement from sound files. They're also preparing the pipeline for non-humanoïd creatures, and putting some touches on Xi'an faces.
We're almost at the end, but first we need to talk about UI. The UI Feature Team and the UI Tech Team have been added, and they're working on a few very expected features, like a new building blocks editor for the designers, a rework of the options screen, a rework of the ships generic MFDs, as well as a Map and Radar system, which I hope will finally bring us a minimap is cities or in large ships. They're also supporting the efforts on new gameplay like hacking, scanning, refueling, and ToW.
We've seen at the beginning of this section the EU PU Gameplay Feature Team, now it's time for the american one. Sadly, they've lost a bunch of features this week : Building Blocks Shop Conversion, Grim Hex Race, the new Mission Manager App, Notifications T0, and Orgs Perks & Benefits. But they've come with some new ones which I think are quite worth it : Persistant Habs (which is why we need more than 100 per location), Persistant Hangars, and Selling ! By Selling, I mean the ability to sell your loot (like guns you got from enemy corpses) to the shops.
And we've now arrived at our last team for today : the VFX Team. They make the big explosions go boom. Nuff said. They're currently working on tools related to the various gameplays that are being added, as well as the ships that are in construction like the Constellation Taurus.
Wow… you did it … we did it ! We've gone through all major changes for this week ! Now, if you've counted, I haven't talked about all 51 teams. Some of them haven't had any big changes this week, but if you want to see all the details, be sure to check the associated spreadsheet !
As always I want to thank everyone for reading and commenting on my posts, and as always, I'll see you next time !
Bye everyone !
Source : Star Citizen Roadmap
- 3.13.0 to 3.16.0 and Teams Progress Watch – Update 2021-03-10
- 3.13.0 to 3.16.0 and Teams Progress Watch – Update 2021-02-24
- 3.13.0 to 3.16.0 and Teams Progress Watch – Update 2021-02-10
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