Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers

Cloud Imperium announces the release of Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 for all backers of the upcoming online space game. They celebrate the news with an updated Production Schedule Report to help us understand the game's current state of development. The announcement also has a detail that impacts that development, as it includes news that they've pulled a Duke Nukem by switching engines, sort of. Star Citizen began using Crytek's CryENGINE, but is now using Amazon's Lumberyard engine. The good news is that Lumberyard is actually based on CryENGINE, with additional support for online games using Amazon's AWS cloud. The game is already overdue based on their initial announcements, and the project has drawn fire from skeptics who think it is an endless crowdfunding scheme, and this news does not include any outlook on when the game be released or hit the beta stage. This project was split into two games almost a year ago, and the most recent word on the offline Squadron 42 half is that a first episode for backers is due next year. Here's more on the alpha release and the engine switch:
I am happy to announce we have just released Alpha 2.6 of Star Citizen to all backers!

With Alpha 2.6 you can now enjoy: Star Marine, featuring a host of new FPS features; big improvements to Arena Commander; further improvements to characters and their animations; new locations and missions to try; 47 flyable ships, including 8 new ships (Herald, Hoplite, Caterpillar, 85X, Wildfire, Renegade, Valiant and Comet)!

I hope you will spend many hours enjoying all the content we’ve put into this build and meeting new friends and enemies in our expanding universe! To find out more about what it took on the development side to get the patch ready for release make sure to check out the retrospective included in the final Alpha 2.6 schedule report.

There is one other big announcement we would like to make with the release of 2.6. We are now basing Star Citizen and our custom technology development on Amazon’s Lumberyard Engine. Since the beginning of the project, we’ve had to make a huge number of changes to the CryENGINE code and tech to enable us to deliver Star Citizen. While the original CryENGINE had great strengths in many areas like rendering and cinematics the needs of our game were well beyond what came ‘out of the box’. So we have, over time, changed significant parts of the engine for our technology, such that only a baseline of the original engine truly remains. In the future we will continue to make significant changes to AI, Animation and Network code and systems.

When Amazon announced Lumberyard back in February 2016, we were immediately interested. While based on the same baseline technology as Star Citizen, Lumberyard is specifically designed for online games, utilizing the power of Amazon’s AWS Cloud Services and their Twitch streaming platform. Amazon’s focus aligns perfectly to ours as we’ve been making significant engineering investments into next generation online networking and cloud based servers. Making the transition to Lumberyard and AWS has been very easy and has not delayed any of our work, as broadly, the technology switch was a ‘like-for-like’ change, which is now complete.

As an added benefit Amazon AWS data centers are spread around the world from North America to South America, Europe to China to Asia Pacific, which will allow us to better support the many backers across the globe as we scale up Star Citizen.

Finally, Amazon has made Lumberyard freely available for anyone building their own game. That means that technically-inclined members of the community can have a better view 'under the hood' of our game than ever before. It's also a great path for anyone interested in game development professionally; I fully anticipate that in the coming year we will be hiring programmers who have taught themselves using Amazon's Lumberyard resources!

As we move forwards, we are confident you will see great benefits from our partnership. Amazon will bring new features to Lumberyard to assist in creating online persistent games, adding great support for their products like Twitch (which we use extensively) and of course investing heavily in engine research and development for years to come. We could not find a more stable and reliable engine partner than Amazon, so with this partnership we are sure we have secured the future development and continuing technical innovation for Star Citizen.

With that I would like encourage everyone to download and play Alpha 2.6. It is a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing you in the ‘verse!
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56 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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36.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 23:39
36.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 23:39
Dec 24, 2016, 23:39
 
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:35:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:30:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
That's never going to happen. think

learn how to read
35.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 23:35
35.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 23:35
Dec 24, 2016, 23:35
 
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:30:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
That's never going to happen. think
A mask is not a political statement.
It's an IQ test. It's a compassion test. It's a decency test. It's a social responsibility test.
Cover Your Eyes for even more protection.
Avatar 58135
34.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 23:30
34.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 23:30
Dec 24, 2016, 23:30
 
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
33.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 22:50
Slick
 
33.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 22:50
Dec 24, 2016, 22:50
 Slick
 
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
Avatar 57545
32.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 22:41
32.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 22:41
Dec 24, 2016, 22:41
 
Mordhaus wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 21:59:
Calling it now, just like Microsoft did with Freelancer, Amazon is going to end up buying (bailing out) SC from Roberts. It will be released

nah, if Amazon buys out SC, which it might indeed do - they will gut the assets and usable code for some other F2P MMO or something along those lines... nobody in their right mind will continue this farce, especially a corp as savvy as amazon
31.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 22:06
31.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 22:06
Dec 24, 2016, 22:06
 
star marine plays like a crysis mod. the wait for 3.0 continues
30.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 21:59
30.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 21:59
Dec 24, 2016, 21:59
 
Calling it now, just like Microsoft did with Freelancer, Amazon is going to end up buying (bailing out) SC from Roberts. It will be released but it won't have anything near what he promised, then CR will go back into hermit-mode for another 10-15 years so people will forget.
Avatar 57294
29.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 21:51
Slick
 
29.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 21:51
Dec 24, 2016, 21:51
 Slick
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 20:25:
Alrighty just played some Star Marine and here's some impressions:

- The game runs in DirectX 11 mode
- There are no detailed graphics options but only presets
- I played with 'very high' at 2560x1440 resolution
- My GPU is a GTX 1080 (1950MHz), 16GB RAM and a i7-4790K at default clocks
- My ping was ~130ms from EU (thus came across the typical lag and ghosting issues)
- The game ran at 50fps to 80fps on average most of the time
- It consumed ~4500 to nearly 5000MB of VRAM
- It does look quite pretty on very high, animations are still a mixed bag tho
- Sounds are broken (very muffled and it's obvious that there is no spatial/surround sound of any kind yet)
- It feels very much like a spit&glue alpha release
- Changing key bindings does not seem to work or they don't stick
- It is also very annoying that the default key bindings deviate from standard FPS bindings (e.g. 'TAB' does not bring up the scoreboard but the scoreboard is bound to 'F1') or scrolling the mousewheel did not switch to the next weapon for me
- Some key bindings do not seem to work at all, e.g. 'Enter' for chat did nothing for me. I could not chat at all.
- There are no loadout descriptions yet so picking equipment is kind of pointless since you do not even know what the advantages or disadvantages of the (very sparse) available items are... in fact the whole loadout screen does not make any fucking sense at all at this point
- When a MP match ends you get dropped all the way back to the main menu instead of being able to just continue with the next round

Overall, this is quite disappointing for 4+ years of development and let's not forget that Star Marine was originally promised to be released in early 2015.
There are a myriad of similar FPS games out there which are in a much better state than this half-assed garbage. It offers nothing special so far and annoys the user with the absence of standard FPS features or even a fully customizable control scheme.
It does have potential to at least match other standard FPS games in a few patches. It's not a lost cause beyond hope. It'll get there but there is nothing special setting this apart from any other FPS on the market.

how's the gunplay? hitboxes? time-to-kill? anti-lag? cone of fire or laser-like CoD style where there's no deviation?

Also nice computer specs, we have the exact same rig it would seem, other than my 1080's running @ 2050 mhz although it downclocks to 2025 after about 5 minutes.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
Avatar 57545
28.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 20:25
28.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 20:25
Dec 24, 2016, 20:25
 
Alrighty just played some Star Marine and here's some impressions:

- The game runs in DirectX 11 mode
- There are no detailed graphics options but only presets
- I played with 'very high' at 2560x1440 resolution
- My GPU is a GTX 1080 (1950MHz), 16GB RAM and a i7-4790K at default clocks
- My ping was ~130ms from EU (thus came across the typical lag and ghosting issues)
- The game ran at 50fps to 80fps on average most of the time
- It consumed ~4500 to nearly 5000MB of VRAM
- It does look quite pretty on very high, animations are still a mixed bag tho
- Sounds are broken (very muffled and it's obvious that there is no spatial/surround sound of any kind yet)
- It feels very much like a spit&glue alpha release
- Changing key bindings does not seem to work or they don't stick
- It is also very annoying that the default key bindings deviate from standard FPS bindings (e.g. 'TAB' does not bring up the scoreboard but the scoreboard is bound to 'F1') or scrolling the mousewheel did not switch to the next weapon for me
- Some key bindings do not seem to work at all, e.g. 'Enter' for chat did nothing for me. I could not chat at all.
- There are no loadout descriptions yet so picking equipment is kind of pointless since you do not even know what the advantages or disadvantages of the (very sparse) available items are... in fact the whole loadout screen does not make any fucking sense at all at this point
- When a MP match ends you get dropped all the way back to the main menu instead of being able to just continue with the next round

Overall, this is quite disappointing for 4+ years of development and let's not forget that Star Marine was originally promised to be released in early 2015.
There are a myriad of similar FPS games out there which are in a much better state than this half-assed garbage. It offers nothing special so far and annoys the user with the absence of standard FPS features or even a fully customizable control scheme.
It does have potential to at least match other standard FPS games in a few patches. It's not a lost cause beyond hope. It'll get there but there is nothing special setting this apart from any other FPS on the market.

This comment was edited on Dec 24, 2016, 20:36.
27.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 19:51
27.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 19:51
Dec 24, 2016, 19:51
 
if game reporters were better they'd report this as "star citizen changes engine name, partners with amazon"
26.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 19:44
26.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 19:44
Dec 24, 2016, 19:44
 
oh we just spent a $100m and fucked it up, so we need some more plz.

Feck off..(although i wasn't dumb enough in the 1st place).
Avatar 52166
25.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 18:36
sir
25.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 18:36
Dec 24, 2016, 18:36
sir
 
"Fast Buck" Roberts in the 25th Century

In the year 2012, Kickstarter launched one of the last of America's deep wallet probes. Aboard this compact starship sim a lone astronaut, Captain Chris "Fast Buck" Roberts, was to experience comical forces beyond all comprehension. In a freak mishap, his hooker-and-blow-support systems were overloaded by cash injections beyond imagination. Star Citizen was blown out of its plan trajectory into a developmental orbit 1,000 times more vast, an orbit which was to return "Fast Buck" Roberts to earth 500 years later. *cue music*
Avatar 17694
24.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 18:23
24.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 18:23
Dec 24, 2016, 18:23
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 17:18:
Bwwwwaaaaaahhhhhahahahahahahahahahaaaahahahahaaaaaa...

Oh man...

What a clusterfuck of monumental proportions. So, this is apparently their admission that -as predicted by many- they simply can't hack the netcode then isn't it?

It will be quite interesting to find out how this will affect development from here on out. The next predictable changes will most likely be downscaling and outright feature cuts due to AWS/Lumberyard limitations.

Oh well, my download just finished so gonna check out the latest 2.6 trainwreck by myself. It is apparently too much to handle for AWS to properly download the client in one go as the download stopped about 50MB short of completion and only finished on resuming so I'm not exactly hopeful to be entertained much. Shit's buggy as fuck at the launcher stage already (which is business as usual).
I'm also not impressed that the graphics options still boil down to 'low', 'medium', 'high', 'very high' etc. without any more refined options to turn certain features on or off. Come on. After 4+ years there should be at least a rudimentary menu for more detailed graphics options.

The whole package what we have here is a sad joke for 4+ years of development but that's what happens when approximately 3 years were wasted on making pretty JPEGs for sales and "cool" trailers'n'demos for embarrassing (live) shows and conventions in order to keep the money train rolling. The even sadder part is that idiots actually keep supporting this shit "development model" (LOL).

I'm not hopeful either. This change might be a positive one from a development point of view, but they are woefully behind their targets without even a single playable mission of Squadron 42 available. The increasing desperation that they are showing trying to peddle more JPG ships makes me think that they are finally running out of money.
Avatar 55592
23.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 18:05
23.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 18:05
Dec 24, 2016, 18:05
 
They changed some code which allows them to integrate Amazon's web services and netcode into the already heavily modified CE that they were using, even Roberts said that this did not really cost them anything and was very easy, which means that it's a mostly superficial update so that they can get updates from Amazon's branch of CryEngine since it's more fitting for SC.

Also the change is completed since they are using AWS 1 year now
22.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 17:41
22.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 17:41
Dec 24, 2016, 17:41
 
Jeez this thing is so fucked.
Avatar 15920
21.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 17:18
21.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 17:18
Dec 24, 2016, 17:18
 
Bwwwwaaaaaahhhhhahahahahahahahahahaaaahahahahaaaaaa...

Oh man...

What a clusterfuck of monumental proportions. So, this is apparently their admission that -as predicted by many- they simply can't hack the netcode then isn't it?

It will be quite interesting to find out how this will affect development from here on out. The next predictable changes will most likely be downscaling and outright feature cuts due to AWS/Lumberyard limitations.

Oh well, my download just finished so gonna check out the latest 2.6 trainwreck by myself. It is apparently too much to handle for AWS to properly download the client in one go as the download stopped about 50MB short of completion and only finished on resuming so I'm not exactly hopeful to be entertained much. Shit's buggy as fuck at the launcher stage already (which is business as usual).
I'm also not impressed that the graphics options still boil down to 'low', 'medium', 'high', 'very high' etc. without any more refined options to turn certain features on or off. Come on. After 4+ years there should be at least a rudimentary menu for more detailed graphics options.

The whole package what we have here is a sad joke for 4+ years of development but that's what happens when approximately 3 years were wasted on making pretty JPEGs for sales and "cool" trailers'n'demos for embarrassing (live) shows and conventions in order to keep the money train rolling. The even sadder part is that idiots actually keep supporting this shit "development model" (LOL).
20.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 16:28
Sho
20.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 16:28
Dec 24, 2016, 16:28
Sho
 
One of the big problems they had with CryEngine was that it used a 32bit coordinate system, which isn't enough precision to put objects at great distances to each other yet also resolve small distances locally. They made extensive code changes throughout the codebase to switch coordinates to 64bit. Wonder how that fork was resolved.
19.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 16:10
19.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 16:10
Dec 24, 2016, 16:10
 
This is a good move for Star Citizen. Moving to horizontally scaling cloud architectures from a hyper optimized vertically scaled architecture is always a good thing. It will let them handle massive traffic spikes and save costs when things die down.

I'm also assuming that this system will optimize by region and aggregate users by region out of the box. I'm just curious how much of the latest release uses this tech... especially the star marines multiplayer. If this can get them into a rapid dev cycle then we may start seeing real world value and so much code won't need to be thrown out.

I'm most definitely not a fan boy, but this is tech I would look into if I was looking to create a MMO.
Avatar 20018
18.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 15:24
18.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 15:24
Dec 24, 2016, 15:24
 
The plot thickens! Im sure the fanboys will appreciate another possible excuse for why everything about this "game" is being pushed back, arriving late, or more accurately never, the next time CIG switches goalpost.
Avatar 58327
17.
 
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers
Dec 24, 2016, 15:00
Slick
 
17.
Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 15:00
Dec 24, 2016, 15:00
 Slick
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 14:05:
Someone else already pointed it out but they're not really switching engines DNF style. Lumberyard is a fork of CryEngine and is more or less the same thing. They're likely making that switch because Crytek is all but dead at this point. The reason Crytek didn't go under the last time they had money problems is because Amazon paid them $75M to basically buy CryEngine outright, everything except the actual copyrights. That's why CryEngine is actually free now, except for premium support, because Amazon made Lumberyard free.

The reason CIG is switching to this is likely because Crytek is all but dead now. They just closed all but 2 of their studios, after months of payroll issues. Crytek took the money Amazon gave them and blew it making VR games. VR games that no one bought because so few people have bought headsets that it's almost impossible to make money on VR games unless a headset maker bankrolls it for you.

I have little faith in Star Citizen but all this took me 5 minutes to figure out. Of course, proper research is too much to ask of the gaming press these days, especially when it's easy to generate clicks with a controversial headline. Bottom line though is that CIG isn't really switching engines, they're just switching to the Amazon version of it because Crytek will probably be bankrupt within a few months.

I'd be surprised if their forray into VR wasn't bankrolled by oculus. "The Climb" released for oculus only, playable with a controller, while they've completely ignores the vive, with its hand controllers perfectly suited for that game.

This could have instead been an instance of them taking Facebook money that sank them, as the potential for that title to be a defining launch title for VR was squandered.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
Avatar 57545
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