Cloud Imperium Games released a Star Marine “status update” yesterday detailing the progress made this week in pushing the long-delayed Star Citizen FPS module towards release.
Several of the features that were previously holding back release became functional this week. The new launcher, the component that backers use to download and run new versions of the game, was successfully tested internally and performed its duties “3 times faster than the old launcher.” The new character running animation was implemented, accommodating smoother transitions between states so that there isn’t “popping” when a character starts, stops, or suddenly changes direction. And the “generic instance manager”, which allocates and cycles server instances used by any module of Star Citizen (and eventually will handle instancing in the persistent universe) was also “run through” for the first time, but details of the success or failure of this test were not shared.
Other systems are not quite there yet. The cover system is back in again with “base functionality”. The prone animations were improved but don’t yet include visible weapons in first person mode. The team worked on concepts for laser rifle gun sights, soliciting feedback on which design should come standard with the rifle, and stating that they will all be available in the end as modular components for the laser rifle and other weapons. Another VFX and optimization pass was done on Gold Horizon, the results of which can be seen in the following 17 second video:
Perhaps in response to criticism of their apparent struggle to build and ship a fairly generic FPS prototype in Cryengine, an FPS-focused engine, the progress report also contained this enigmatic statement:
There has been a cross discipline effort between animators, engineers, and technical artists, and tools specialists to resolve character locomotion animation issues. One thing to keep in mind is that while we are using CryEngine, what we are doing is not a simple reskin of a game like Crysis 3. There are fundamental differences between Star Citizen and other traditional shooters in the way we keep our 1st person and 3rd person models and camera in sync. Going into why we are in this state is a much longer topic for another day.
This combined with a long list of unfinished locomotion animation work, including weapon select animations in all positions (prone/crouching/standing), and all the “juke” work for the crouched position, suggests that the developers’ insistence on animation fidelity has been a considerable source of delay.
Melee attacks, recoil, “hit reactions”, and death ragdoll animations are also listed as blocking release until more work can be done on them.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Ramon Rakow.