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  1. GAMESTAR https://www.gamestar.de/artikel/star-citizen-ki-in-alpha-35-36,3342449.html Star Citizen: AI from Alpha 3.5 - "We're taking the next big step in artificial intelligence" "We can learn from Red Dead Redemption 2," say the AI developers behind the mammoth project Star Citizen. But Chris Roberts' space game breaks down all dimensions - and this presents the programmers with regard to Alpha 3.6 before new challenges. by Peter Bathge , 05.04.2019 09:00 64500 The insane proportions of Star Citizen make special challenges to programmers of Artificial Intelligence. We talked for the GameStar preview exclusively with the developers about AI in Alpha 3.5 and 3.6 as well as new features like female avatars and the urban planet ArcCorp. The development of Star Citizen , so the appearance, progresses in small triple steps. A release is a long way off , both for the Persistent Universe (PU) online version and for the single-player offshoot Squadron 42. Depending on the method of counting, designer Chris Roberts and his team at Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) are already working seven or eight Years on the vision of Star Citizen. For this they spent over 200 million dollars . It takes no artificial intelligence to realize that the developers' reserves are melting away for completion - that's what common sense is all about. But if we were to leave the coverage of Star Citizen to an AI rather than a notoriously reworked GameStar editor, then programming such a computer brain would be in good hands with Todd Papy and Tony Zurovec. GameStar spoke exclusively with the two Star Citizen developers . Theme: AI in Alpha 3.5 and beyond. What are the most important innovations? How does the law system with police, bounties and smuggling feature work in version 3.6? And: Can virtual bartenders finally mix drinks properly? You can find all this on GameStar PlusReply. Because: Our conversation partners are familiar . Tony Zurovec is the aptly named Director of Persistent Universe at CIG and is responsible for many of the background AI engine processes, the so-called backend. Zuvorec used to be the project manager for Loose Cannon, Microsoft's supposed GTA killer . Together with Todd Papy, the slightly more practical design director of Star Citizen, he is currently trying to give the rest of the developers the tools they need to quickly and easily determine the behavior of computer-controlled characters. Using such templates and standard routines, each designer can then create easier-to-work content such as missions, NPC-populated locations, and dialogues. In short, Papy and Zurovec are helping to bring Star Citizen's permanent construction site to life . In Star Citizen not only several thousand players are supposed to run around, but many more NPCs populate the cities, spaceships and planets. And all these non-player characters have to be controlled by an Artificial Intelligence. KI in Star Citizen: "We do not want to cheat" "There's a reason why we did not just use the AI of the CryEngine," explains Tony Zurovec in the Skype interview. "It was simply unsuitable for our purposes." For what a rather limited first-person shooter like Crysis is enough pushes the biggest project in game history to its limits. Eventually, Star Citizen is supposed to simulate a complete universe, populated by hundreds of thousands of players - and roughly nine times as many non-player characters.
  2. Let's post our ideas for Star Citizen. The galaxy's a huge place, full of curiosities and splendor! Please be polite and have fun, while we discuss in detail the additions we want to see in SC. Constructive criticism is always welcome, keep it friendly... Here are a few ideas I will start us off with: -Planets- Planets should have highly varied biomes and environments. These should include ocean planets, desert worlds, jungle moons, cavernous lands, ice planets, swamps, (and a personal favorite) lava worlds! It would be cool to have various atmospheric conditions, such as excessive heat or cold or toxicity, even radioactivity, which could have specified suits designed for protection from those environments (without which players would perish!). Planets should also definitely have varying levels of gravity, some with no gravity at all, and some with intense gravitational pull and pressure, suit required. Gas giants would be really cool, where traversing the upper atmosphere would be OK. There could be floating outposts, etc. Then moving too close to the core could crush most ships... Also would be cool to see asteroid-based outposts, with subterranean areas. -Weather- Weather should factor in on at least some planets, but not all. Some planets should remain placid, while others could have weather cycles such as: sandstorms, blizzards, high winds, etc. It would also be interesting to have electrical/radiation storms where again, special shielding would be required to survive. Another interesting addition would be meteor showers, perhaps not damaging to the player in most cases... Of course, the most intense weather should be on planets with lesser city-populations. There should also be 'weather' cycles in space the likes of radiation/electrical storms, where ships' shields would be rendered ineffective. Perhaps here or there, a neutronic wave front (Star Trek, Ahem)! Deadly nebula! -Ships- The ships so far are absolutely bad-ass. Can hardly put it into words just how right they look and feel. I do have one minor issue to discuss regarding player immersion: Planetary entry/re-entry seems a bit off... It feels somewhat awkward orienting the ship into a nose-dive and then accelerating toward the planet. While that should still be an option for entry, it seems lacking, if it's the only way. Players should be allowed to let their ships drift slowly downward towards the surface (with a horizontal orientation relative to ground), all the while getting pulled to greater and greater speeds due to gravity. Currently it seems as though there is no gravity, requiring ships to nose-dive and hit the thrusters. The level of gravity should also have effects on how quickly ships take off, and how much fuel is consumed. Also some of the more lightweight craft should be capable of water-landing and flotation, some, not all. -Weaponry- Weapons are also looking pretty nice, and I can't wait to hunt some bounties and pirates with the Scourge Cannon! Turrets on ships are awesome and so are the weapons additions to the ships main systems. Weapons turrets on ships should not be automated. Automation would detract from the challenge of the game, and we never want that! Instead the player should be able to either hire NPCs or other players to man different positions aboard their ship. Also it seems some of the infantry firearms are being slightly 'overdone', so to speak. For example the Devastator shotgun seemingly has way too much level of detail and unnecessary bulk added to it. My suggestion is to lean more on the side of realism. I know it's Sci-Fi. Still I hope devs don't get hung up on making things like fancy-diamond-encrusted-platinum-laser cannons with under-barrel flame throwers..! It would be amazing to see (in rare cases), Orbital Weapons Platforms that could, if accessed, rain supreme firepower down on the planet's surface, destroying small outposts, structures or towns... Of course it would be necessary to make accessing it an extreme challenge. Accessories are nice. But keep away from over-extravagant weapon design. -Exploration- Exploration should be the fundamental, key point of the game. While some may argue that it is space battles, I tend to disagree. With so many space craft, vehicles and weapons, the gameplay will quickly become boring and the equipment redundant if there is not a vast amount of exploration. Here are a few thoughts on aspects of exploration: Artifacts, Flora and Fauna. Scattered throughout the verse there could be a plethora of different types of Artifacts to be found, only through rigorous exploring. There should be ancient ruins with old alien technology, perhaps rare weapons. There should be Obelisks and Pyramids and rare trinkets that could be sold or held as trophies. There could be mysterious devices, like the Orbs in Mass Effect (the first game) with strange properties. There could be alien tech that could be found and then saved for use at a far later date. Regarding Flora and Fauna, there could be a huge variety of harvesting options for certain crafting items. There really ought to be many creatures, perhaps mostly neutral/friendly. However some animals, in rare cases could turn out to be hostile, and highly challenging to face. Perhaps giant worms, or insectoids! Another thing could be infected worlds, or derelict ships (think Dead Space, or The Thing) where your only choice is to fight for survival or run for your life. There should also be intact derelicts. We've seen plenty of demolished ones. Some should be intact, abandoned in space, or even on land. Exploration should not, and I can't stress this enough, should not stem solely or mostly from missions! Let the missions be vast and varying in type by all means, a multitude of missions is always welcome. But please don't conflate missions and side quests, with exploration. -Armor & Apparel- The armor should of course have good variety. Weight should factor in, which I believe it currently does. Also there should definitely be highly specialized suits for specific tasks. Of course there'll be a space suit for EVA in outer space, but adding other specializations for other armor sets/suits would be great too. There should be a set more suited for enduring intense heat, or cold or radiation. There should also mostly be non-EVA capable sets IMO. Body armor should not be conflated with EVA suits, and they should for the most part be separate, with a few exceptions. It would be cool to see a lot of options other than simple armor for combat and space suits for EVA. One thought would be a stealth-suit with either quiet movement or even invisibility. Mostly I'm hoping it will prove an actual challenge to obtain armors, so that everyone isn't immediately buffed just after they begin playing. Let there be lots of varying, quirky outfits to be found. -Miscellaneous- NPCs for hire or available as crew members should use a rating system the likes of the one used in Metal Gear Solid V. They could have a certain class of career like 'linguist' or 'gunner' or 'medic', and within that specialty a certain set of ratings. Players should be able to activate distress beacons (false or genuine). If a player's ship is captured, they should be given the option to fight aboard the enemy ship in order to escape (think Han Solo and co, the capture of Millennium Falcon!). Where are all the AIs? This is the future after all... There should be robots of some kind or another, even perhaps a sentient machine race! There should also be a minimal amount of spawn/respawn actions. I realize this is counter-intuitive, given there's a massive universe to traverse. But it will add to the replay and return-to-game value; if people can easily spawn their ships and/or fast travel around it will make things overly-easy. It's nice that there's a wait-timer for summoning ships (at least destroyed ones). However, if a ship is not at the station at which you are staying, it should take time to arrive near you, and there should be a fuel cost and fee. Having all your ships easily at your fingertips will take away from the immersion and challenge of the game. It should also be more challenging IMO, to acquire cash. Gaining millions of credits should take a very long time. The quicker people progress in the game, the quicker the MMO will die. I don't believe there should be a 'difficulty setting' option. The universe in general should prove pretty damn challenging, with areas of extreme and lesser challenges. Some mini-games would also be cool, so long as they remain within the Persistent Universe. Game modes are a bad idea. It's understandable at this point, given there are players currently in the game who want something working. But later on, when development is (mostly) "complete", having different game-modes will detract from the main MMO. All hoverbikes should remain as hoverbikes, and not be turned into flying-space-hoverbikes! Please remove the flight-function for hoverbikes. Having flight for them is ridiculous and totally misses the point of a hoverbike. While I do agree that they should have some (slight) altitude control and perhaps a jump/boost, they should not be able to simply fly away, especially up into space. A hoverbike is like a speeder from Star Wars, it's not for flight; only for elevated, fast, ground travel! This goes for all ships and vehicles; if they have a specialty let them stick to that specialty, no blurring lines, except perhaps in rare cases.
  3. More Matches are scheduled to be hosted from this Youtube channel at later dates. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP7jMXSY2xbc3KCAE0MHQ-A
  4. So, recently I've been reading scientific novels, taking a break from my normal routine of military thrillers and horror books. This reading has brought me to come to think about space, obviously, but there is a prominent subject in that myriad of thoughts, and that is artificial intelligence. To give a brief summary of my thoughts, artificial intelligence is basically a complex program inside a computer that runs with a set of parameters and instructions, and limits, right? An AI, to be functional in our sense, must be self-aware, or placed to a point in which it is able to act upon data to a reliable level that does not exceed set limits or parameters. Really dimming it down there, but that's the basics. So, what happens if one removes an AI's limits? This topic is visited in the Matrix, and that is the closest example I can think of that relates to my current thought (Sorry, I really need to find more books). Basically, my thoughts follow this; if an AI is able to learn and is self-aware to the point of it being able to make rational decisions based on data without harming itself or any other excluded items, or is able to react upon the data to a rational level I guess, then what prevents the AI from becoming "Unlimited"? (Sorry for the poor choices of grammar, thinking up this stuff on the spot) So, an AI acting without constraints, in theory, would be able to expand past known levels in a very short amount of time, limited only by it's processing power and program integrity. Hypothetically, an AI with infinite processing power, no large limits, and a program complex enough to give an AI basic functions, would be able to learn everything humanity has done in less than a half second, and surpass it in another half-second. The time would probably be even shorter than that. The reason I am posting this is because SCB is filled to the brim with people way smarter than I, and I wanted to see if this thought is possible. Could an AI without restraints and given enough processing power and material, become a "perfect" or "ultimate" entity? Sorry if this is all impossible, I am really short a few neurons from sleep right now, but I have been thinking about this for a few days now and I just want to have some opinions on the possibility. Thanks, Aethio.
  5. This week-end SDCC gave us some interesting info: CR plans on having around 20 million AI agents around the PU, and players should account 10% of the population. And we know that the PU when fully released in the start should have around 150 systems. This means that those 150 systems should be able to support those 20 million agents, although we do not know if those are both ships, crew and planetside NPCs or just ships. Also it looks like he plans on supporting up to 2 million players in the beginning in the PU. We know that the core systems of the UEE will probably be more populated than the fringe systems and so on, so a bulk of those millions of agents will be traveling trough UEE and neighboring systems. This should generate a lot of ambient traffic with actual goals and not just randomly generated. I remember in Freelancer how I enjoyed hearing the local trade traffic chatting about their destination and so on, how it added some sense of life to the sectors. Knowing that it all will be there, and interconnected in the economy should help SC feel truly alive, especially in the more populated systems where everyone is busy doing their work. It also does say something about the PvE potential of the PU, seeing how we should see the emergent gameplay out of the day to day actives of AIs (traders, patrols and pirates and so on). Anyway I am very exited to the scope of the universe right now! :-D
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