Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 | The 'Verse Awakens

Haven't really been keeping up with this lately but just got an email about some exclusive preview for the Eclipse, Reddit says it only went out to concierge members or something. Here's the picture for those who can't wait a day to see it. The "warbond" purchase (think that means no credits?) is $250.

I've really sunk far too much in this game than I'd like so I'm pretty much passing on everything from here on out. I saw the news about CCU changes and went ahead to finalize my ship lineup, since I hadn't yet applied the various CCUs I've collected. Now I have a Carrack, Constellation Andromeda, Sabre, 350R, Herald, Avenger Titan, Mustang Beta, and Dragonfly. At times I've regretted spending so much on the game, but it is what it is. I haven't even really played in the PU or anything since I keep waiting for the game to get to a more complete state. Hopefully it turns into something I'll enjoy. Until then, the only way I'll be getting new ships is by melting/upgrading what I currently have.
 
"our lighting is 100% physically correct"

I love your stuff guys, but I think not even movie CGI has 100% physically correct lighting :D

Great stuff though. Interesting that they talked about integrating some Signed Distance Fields into the engine, too. Seems like a real craze lately

The new fog is interesting, it's certainly a hot research topic for all engines. I wonder how cheap it is right now, the quality was most likely not final. Jaggies and resolution artifacts were clearly visible in the demonstration. Pretty cool though.
Since they are so ambitious with being physically plausible I wonder if fog actually dims the light that reaches the opaque surfaces.

What impressed me, too, actually was the light (with the Star citizen logo) being projected onto the smoke particles. This quality for transparent objects seems almost inconceivable, usually stuff like this is handled with very fuzzy, low res light approximations
 
What impressed me, too, actually was the light (with the Star citizen logo) being projected onto the smoke particles. This quality for transparent objects seems almost inconceivable, usually stuff like this is handled with very fuzzy, low res light approximations
https://fat.gfycat.com/GlamorousJitteryFrigatebird.webm

Projector light textures also projecting onto particles is cool, and it looks surprisingly high quality like you mention (also notice how the smoke particles are physically bending with torque when movement is applied to the emitter). I can already imagine some great artist tricks there to make some environments look very very cool. You could get some very itneresting blade runner kind of environments with that... It also makes me wonder if the frustrum aligned voxel fog also can have the proector texture from a spot light project 'through it'. That could give you a cool way too fake stained glass or just have a individual light beams of different colour cutting through the fog from an RGB light, for example.
 
Impossible to say for sure. It's certainly in engine, but whether that branch of the engine is optimized enough right now to run such a scene in real time on reasonable hardware is conjecture. Most of what CIG shows is running in real time (like the previous webms), but unless I see a debug overlay or it being interacted with on ATV, I don't take that as a given. That said, even if it's not running in real time right now, it's certainly the goal to get it so.
 
Most likely, it should be quite efficient.

Love the summed ray method they use to prepare the final texture from which scene is sampled.
Basically you sum the light/fog contribution from eye outwards and add the change between voxels to the next.
This is done in voxel resolution, not final screen resolution so it's lot faster and has some additional benefits like an ability to take two values from different distances and tell lighting and total density change between them. (IE. 38-15=23)

Quality of stream was quite crappy, but I really hope they have or will add screenspace scattering to fog. (When light travels trough fog and scatters and makes things look blurrier further in fog.)
Should give even stronger impression when something creeps out from mist. (IE. Sathanas in Freespace2.)
 
i am confused about this game is it in early access and did a read that right $100 for a ship how does that work is the base game free and you have too spend Money on ships or do you buy the game and ships the 2nd seems a joke
 
Wait... the sun is the actual key light source down on a planet?


That's unbelievable. How the fuck is that even possible?
That's what I understood too. This is incredible.
the power of the light source must be extremely high, but at the same time it shouldn't otherwise it would be way too bright on the surface of planets, and the dark side would be pitch black. Maybe they're using the atmosphere of each planet to tweak the light emited by the sun I don't know.

And the new fog, it's amazing. It feels way more natural. Even though it may be a bit too thick sometimes, especially when they showed inside a ship.
 
i am confused about this game is it in early access and did a read that right $100 for a ship how does that work is the base game free and you have too spend Money on ships or do you buy the game and ships the 2nd seems a joke
Star Citizen is in alpha phase.

You buy either or both of the games with real money. (And possibly a ship/s to use in MMO.)
Singleplayer = Squadron 42 (Wing Commander like military campaign, not in early access yet.)
MMO = Star Citizen

In Star Citizen you will be able to earn in game money which you can use to buy ships. (After needed components are implemented.)

That's what I understood too. This is incredible.
the power of the light source must be extremely high, but at the same time it shouldn't otherwise it would be way too bright on the surface of planets, and the dark side would be pitch black. Maybe they're using the atmosphere of each planet to tweak the light emited by the sun I don't know.
Sun must be bright and large area light source.
Light Sources should have realistic values when using PBR or things look wrong. (Candle being brighter than sun, etc.)
What comes to bright day and dark night, it's up to tonemapping to fit it properly to screen. (And GI/Atmospheric scattering and additional lightsources to give some light.)

It should be given that atmosphere affects light that goes through it. (PBR)
Reflecting some of the light to space and some getting to surface of planet thus causing change in light conditions for different times of day. (Sunsets etc, should be 'easy' to get values from scattering function.)
 
Star Citizen is in alpha phase.

You buy either or both of the games with real money. (And possibly a ship/s to use in MMO.)
Singleplayer = Squadron 42 (Wing Commander like military campaign, not in early access yet.)
MMO = Star Citizen

In Star Citizen you will be able to earn in game money which you can use to buy ships. (After needed components are implemented.)
Thanks so i can earn money in game to buy ships instead of real money
 
Even though it may be a bit too thick sometimes, especially when they showed inside a ship.
Yeah, I'm not a fan of the density shown in the ships. Hopefully that's entirely for demonstration purposes. The only time there should be that much vapor/particulate in the air is when there's something wrong with the ship.

We have a leaker here! =P *Revokes iHaunter's TOP SECRET clearance*
 
And the new fog, it's amazing. It feels way more natural. Even though it may be a bit too thick sometimes, especially when they showed inside a ship.
I think that is because it is not fog, inside of a ship it would be smoke to represent a damage state. I am sure it is to make the situation even more scary since you are in a ship that is in a vacuum, so no way to adequately get rid of smoke.

EDIT: Closest I would imagine is a fire inside a submarine

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/15/nuclear-submarine-fire/1990663/
Eric Hardy, a shipyard firefighter who suffered back and shoulder injuries fighting the blaze, called it the worst fire he had ever seen.

"The best way I could describe it, sir, is fighting a fire in a wood stove and climbing down a chimney," Hardy told the judge.

Hardy said the smoke inside the sub was so thick he couldn't see more than a foot and his flashlight was virtually useless.
 
I think that is because it is not fog, inside of a ship it would be smoke to represent a damage state. I am sure it is to make the situation even more scary since you are in a ship that is in a vacuum, so no way to adequately get rid of smoke.
It certainly should be interesting to be within a burning ship with smoke starting to build up.
 
Sun is a light source as any other. What makes the planetary lighting cool is that all the atmospheric scattering of light is done in real time dynamically.
But.. how the hell can this light source travel all the way to the planet. I guess that's what I don't understand. If they turn the sun off in a solar system, all planet would be darkened like they would if our sun evaporated in the real world?


I assumed that you'd go to a planet and each planet would have its own unique skybox with its own unique sun.


Will planets rotate? does anyone know this? so the the opposite side of the planet will be night?
 
But.. how the hell can this light source travel all the way to the planet. I guess that's what I don't understand. If they turn the sun off in a solar system, all planet would be darkened like they would if our sun evaporated in the real world?


I assumed that you'd go to a planet and each planet would have its own unique skybox with its own unique sun.


Will planets rotate? does anyone know this? so the the opposite side of the planet will be night?
-Yes, if you don't have any other light source, without the sun a planet is dark. It remains to be seen what their solution will be for things like light reflecting off moons, they're considering a few options there each with some different trade-offs.

-Yes, planets will rotate, maybe even orbit.
 
This game looks and sounds amazing anyone know when its going to be fully completed from what i have read its been in dev for years
You're looking at years more for SC to hit a final release. We're still in alpha phase with many of the systems yet to come online. Alpha 3.0 should hit relatively soon which will be a big milestone, but there's a lot more to be done after that.
 
But.. how the hell can this light source travel all the way to the planet. I guess that's what I don't understand. If they turn the sun off in a solar system, all planet would be darkened like they would if our sun evaporated in the real world?


I assumed that you'd go to a planet and each planet would have its own unique skybox with its own unique sun.
This is not much different to how a lot of games already work even if they don't involve space travel, eg. Horizon Zero dawn.
Last I heard they are still using a direction light for the sun for now, so find the vector between the centre of the sun and the centre of the planet once per frame and that gets used as the sunlight direction.
 
I'm a third person guy, so I found this really interesting. < The first thing I thought of was the first person mode in GTA5. It really does have that GoPro Forehead tilt haha.

It blows my mind that other first person shooters fake this. We can only hope that going forward, other games will use this tech. When SC is out, they should license all these tools to other developers as middleware.



This is not much different to how a lot of games already work even if they don't involve space travel, eg. Horizon Zero dawn.
Last I heard they are still using a direction light for the sun for now, so find the vector between the centre of the sun and the centre of the planet once per frame and that gets used as the sunlight direction.
Right, but it's the scale of this. I never imagined that all the worlds within the same system would rotate their planets and use the same main light source as the largest key light.

I expected it would be like Horizon with just a lightsource in the skybox and that would be it.
 
Right, but it's the scale of this. I never imagined that all the worlds within the same system would rotate their planets and use the same main light source as the largest key light.

I expected it would be like Horizon with just a lightsource in the skybox and that would be it.
You have to remember how space to planetside is a seamless transition. You need the light source direction from space to match the direction in atmo to match the direction on the ground, no matter what your approach vector is.
 
You have to remember how space to planetside is a seamless transition. You need the light source direction from space to match the direction in atmo to match the direction on the ground, no matter what your approach vector is.
Is there any game beside No Mans Sky that has seamless space-to-planet gameplay? Does NMS do this as well?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the logistics of all of this, because it seems pretty incredible. Like I want Neil Degrasse Tyson to explain it to me, haha xD
 
Are there any updates on vegetation? I remember CIG talking about showing off a planet that was highly forested. I would love to be able to land on a planet that had landmasses like the island Crysis 1 took place on, with the level of physics interactivity to boot. I loved being able to shoot down trees, then pick the them up!
 
Is there any game beside No Mans Sky that has seamless space-to-planet gameplay? Does NMS do this as well?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the logistics of all of this, because it seems pretty incredible. Like I want Neil Degrasse Tyson to explain it to me, haha xD
Unless things have changed in NMS, it's faked there. The planets don't rotate, and the "sun" skybox element rotates around the planet.
 
Is there any game beside No Mans Sky that has seamless space-to-planet gameplay? Does NMS do this as well?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the logistics of all of this, because it seems pretty incredible. Like I want Neil Degrasse Tyson to explain it to me, haha xD
I cant think of a game with lighting like SC. There same games with solar scale suns and seemless transitions to planets like Space Engine, Evochron or Elite (no atmospherics though), which also do not use Area Light for suns, just point lights.

NMS fakes their sun on the planets. Planets do not rotate at all in that game, sun just moves through the sky like most games like Skyrim for example.

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This is not much different to how a lot of games already work even if they don't involve space travel, eg. Horizon Zero dawn.
Last I heard they are still using a direction light for the sun for now, so find the vector between the centre of the sun and the centre of the planet once per frame and that gets used as the sunlight direction.
I know that Killzone SF, so probably also Horizon Zero Dawn, simulated area light sun to be at real distance from earth, but they do not factually have the sun on such distance.
In SC the sun is physically hundred thousands kilometers from planets.
 
Impossible to say for sure. It's certainly in engine, but whether that branch of the engine is optimized enough right now to run such a scene in real time on reasonable hardware is conjecture. Most of what CIG shows is running in real time (like the previous webms), but unless I see a debug overlay or it being interacted with on ATV, I don't take that as a given. That said, even if it's not running in real time right now, it's certainly the goal to get it so.
well....

Ben Parry CIG said:
Its all done in-engine.

I asked Nate about that right after I saw it actually, wondering if it had seen some post-production, but it's just the engine running on some very high settings, having a bit of cinematic light placement here and there, that sort of thing.
I guess that is kinda an answer. Again no idea which version they are talking about and the optimizations.
 
-Yes, if you don't have any other light source, without the sun a planet is dark. It remains to be seen what their solution will be for things like light reflecting off moons, they're considering a few options there each with some different trade-offs.
Yeah this one is curious as to how they will handle it. There was one part of the most recent AtV where they showed this situation off, I think it was done primarily by probe capture and not a large area light like the sun (check out the moonlight glow from Crusader here on the planetoid surface).

The thing about moonlight glow though is it is stark enough at times to cause visible shadowing... I am curious how they could manage that... if at all. The picture above iwth the bounced light glow from Crusader (unless I am mistaking it for some other bounce light in the atmsophere) does not have any at all.


-Yes, planets will rotate, maybe even orbit.
It already looks super fantastic.
https://fat.gfycat.com/ContentExcellentCommabutterfly.webm
That makes me wonder a bit if the PlanetEd TOD settings change the planets orbit and tilt when you adjust sun settings - the inverse of what normal level editors do.