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Star Citizen - cockpit lighting issue - inside cockpit too dark

this is the only way to arrive in Lorville, comm'ing for landing permissions surrounded by massive skyscrapers and.... oh, wait a minute, that's not what this post's about.

Bright strong daylight outside, yet inside the cockpit is almost SILHOUETTED against the city scene. It's like there's no light inside the cockpit when it's clearly supposed to be streaming through the glass. It's certainly flattened, in no uncertain terms.
This ain't right, and I'll tell you why, "There is no support for or simulation of Real Time Ray-Tracing," otherwise known as the bouncing around of light within a confined transparent space such as every ship's cockpit, in Star Citizen. When we made GhostMaster, we ran a custom lighting pass for each light and baked that off into a lightmap so you could turn on and turn off this light-bouncing actually in game.

When you drive your car, in the sunny daytime, the inside of your car isn't dark. Why? Because t…
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Star Citizen - piracy interdiction routing - accretion disc gameplay

...and by 'gameplay' I mean 'sandbox features that allow for multiplayer fun'.

"Mike, what's fun about restrictive stellar accretion disc gameplay?" where the play area is basically a two-dimensional plane and the lanes between static trading planets are easy-pickings from pirate interdictions and taxes from corporations.

Well, look at this schematic of the Stanton Star System that includes planets Hurston, Arc Corp, Microtech, Crusader and their moons. Look real close. While CI's Star Citizen currently suffers from planar/static gameplay with easy trace-route solutions masquerading as gameplay, this design image hints towards maybe planetary-orbits that are not all on the same plane, maybe even the orbits aren't going round in the same direction, maybe the spin axes aren't all aligned...

I think there's REAL POTENTIAL here for decent multiplayer sandbox gameplay iff CI:

allow for non-planar orbits of planets and moonsallow for non-linear …

Star Citizen - ladders chairs consoles - why so complicated?

How many more times is the Star Citizen player going to be confused by the following in-game logic puzzles?




FREE LOOK IS THE KEY:
Free Look (F-key) on foot allows player to look around while you are already doing something, this will become relevant when we start to See It, Use It, later on in this blogpost. Free Look (F-key or B-key) while in cockpit or pilot seat is QUANTUM TRAVEL TARGETING because it's the ship's quantum engine capability you're Free Looking with, not only your eyes.

Now, back to what normally happens... and I've seen this on countless occassions. Player tries to get into a single-seater ship's cockpit. You've already locomoted on foot up to your ship. You F-click on ship canopy, in case there's some function you can use. You see the cockpit ladder highlight. First thing most players think they have to do is 'activate cockpit ladder' so they can locomote up it. They do so, in their minds they're unlocking the cockpit door and…

Star Citizen - game identity crisis - real design conflicts

...so, "What kind of a game are CI or Cloud Imperium making?"

We know the genre, it's science fiction. We know the year, it's 2949. We know (instinctively) that that's as far as they've got. The original KickStarter pitch kinda set the design flavour as 'world war 2 dog-fighting in space' but even films like Star Wars have g-dampeners because of the insane torque of space combat machines.

But there's a more sinsiter conceptual spectre hanging over development that never seems to be address and (from all the evidence of released footage of both SQ42 i.e. single-player variant called Squadron 42, or SC i.e. the multi-player sandbox called Star Citizen) it's understandably hard to put one's finger on.

Is it the fact that Items 2.0 has only recently been introduced?Is it the fact that Planetary Landing has only recently been introduced?Is it the fact that CI are no longer making the game that was pledged in 2012?
Of course, it's all of the…

Star Citizen - towards a more unified - mainstream gaming experience

In this third and final part of the Citizenship trilogy I'm going to attempt to summarise how we can drag Star Citizen kicking and screaming from the 1990s era of game design where it's currently languishing into something worthy of its hundred years in the future setting.

CITIZENSHIP:
as discussed in the last couple of posts, Citizenship doesn't have to be connected to military service i.e. completion of Squadron 42's single-player first-chapter missions. It can be something you earn over time in various star systems of the 'verse before first encountering your Starter Ship. At that point where you can commendeer a Starter Ship (by hook or crook) you choose a Home System from the star systems you've already tried.

PERMADEATH:
you'll get killed all the time in this game, so the Death of a Spaceman idea of repairing an injured player and showing these changes on his body during the course of the game is pointless. There's no escape pod solution or don'…

Star Citizen - earning my citizenship - an alternative method

Planetary Landing wasn't the be-all and end-all of Star Citizen, it was just something alongside zero-load-times data-streaming and third-person-camera view that was added in only recently. It was never part of the stretch goals of the game in its pre-$60,000,000.00 KickStarter iteration circa 2012-13.

Planetary Landing is a new thing, and as such hasn't had the time to mature in Chris Roberts' head as his tried and tested game-ideas Freelancer and Wing Commander have had. I seem to be one of the only people who think planets should be (narratively) embargoed as part of the post-Squadron 42 Star Citizen launch experience, only opened in spectacular fashion as a narrative game upgrade a year or two after launch due to some clever storyline'd political agreement between various corporate once-warring factions has taken place. All the combat/trading action in post-Squadron 42 Star Citizen should have taken place either in space or in space stations overlooking these emba…

Star Citizen - design redundancy - duplicate systems

look at this mess-of-a shop screengrab from Cloud Imperium's current pre-alpha of Star Citizen (build 3.4.2) and understand what I mean by Design Redundancy or Duplicate Systems.

There's a similar situation with Thinky vs Manual in this game, where you can physically manipulate some aspects of the game (any bespoke hands-on animation situation they choose) and you 'thinky' your way telekinetically through other aspects of the game; ship ramps, buy/sell consoles, ship elevators... it's all broke, weak, timid in real 3D design terms. Human-scaled hands-on design is DESTROYED when you can look up at an elevator node under a five-storey ship and activate it with your mind.

Retail moment-wise, you bolt through the shop door looking for armour, which option of the three in the above image do you go for; the screen, the model or the (redundant) shopkeep? Most plump for the self-service screen as it's 'got all the shit on it' and it means by-passing a Humb…