Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 PTU - Leaves Me with Concerns

I’ve been play-testing the newest patch for Star Citizen, Alpha 3.0, on the Private Test Universe. I’ll admit up front, this is the first patch that’s left me feeling concerned about Star Citizen as a whole. I’m a long time backer with a considerable amount pledged. I’m not worried that the game won’t be completed. I’m not concerned about how backer money is being used. I believe that CIG is doing everything in their power to deliver what has been promised. However, the time it’s taken to develop and test 3.0 leaves me with the impression, it’s a much longer road to hoe than many of us think. And I considered myself realistic and patient, recognizing the ambition of the game and its feature-set. However, the condition of 3.0 after the Evocati has already been testing for weeks and the fact that we don’t even have all of the planned 3.0 content to test yet, gives me pause. The mountain I knew we were climbing and willing joined in on the adventure, suddenly appears considerably steeper.

I believe certain design decisions will be reoccurring issues, the detailed animations being among them. I fear that some aspects of what Chris Roberts and crew think adds immersion is going to seem like unnecessary time wasting fiddly bits to me. There’s lots of time to change course if enough backers don’t like an implementation. But who among us wants more rework?? I know I don’t. I work in product management so I get the iterative nature of agile development. At this point, however, I’d probably vote to suffer a few things I don’t like then see systems reworked, delaying the release further.

In the end, I still have confidence that CR and CIG will deliver the goods. I believe they’re doing everything in their power to get there. Hell, I’m sure they want things done even more than we do as backers. I may not agree with how some things are implemented. I’ll adjust as and where I can. But this is going to be longer than I’d dared to think it would be.

Want to hear specifics? Check out my First Impressions of the Alpha 3.0 PTU.


Star Citizen Nightbus EP7

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Star Citizen or produced one of my related shows. It’s not because I’ve lost steam or interest in following the game. I’ve just been very busy with real life commitments, some of which, are the result of producing my SC content.

Nightbus Episode 7 discusses the following:

  • Why I purchased the controversial Origin 600i Explorer
  • My Favorite Player Speculation about the ‘Game Changer’ Ben Mentioned
  • When I think I’ll be producing more SC Content
  • New Visual Map added to Aly’s World

Links


Nightbus Special Edition: Journey to Stanton

Hello, this is Alysianah from Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen. Welcome to a stand alone record of my fan-fiction set in the Star Citizen universe. The story you’re about to hear continues the journey of Cami from Chop Shop which aired in Nightbus Episode 3. Moving her into the star systems where John and Maggie from The Exterminator reside. You can catch up with John and Maggie’s take starting in Nightbus Episode 5.

I wrote Journey to Stanton as an experiment of doing audio content that uses more than one narrator. Wanting to dip a toe into the pool without dramatically complicating the production side, Journey is written from four distinct points of view. I’d like to thank BoredGamerUK & Twerk17 from Redacted and Andrew from OldBloodandGuts for lending their voices.

Regardless of whose channel you hear this on, please stop by to give the other participants some love too. You’ll find links in the show notes.  I’d also be interested in knowing if you’d like to hear more collaborative narrations.

Be kind and fly safe!

Narrator Credits

Cami | Medical Freelancer – Alysianah Noire
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq5UB9mFw8C8-VPbCx2Y2pQ

Silas | Hull B Pilot – BoredGamerUK
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7W5LTUy7DJYpx0cpVKJe0g

Keokuk | Freelancer Pirate – Andrew OldBloodAndGuts
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNDkFnYOJHu2gfN2qKwcOjw

Huyn | Herald Pilot – Twerk17
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOblfLLbNni0_VUeGWhiKDw


Aly's Fiction Writing Template

Writing and I go back a long way. I used to write scripts for the neighborhood kids to act out when I was around eleven. I participated in the writing publications all throughout my school years and went to college for Mass Communications. But a funny thing happened to me along the way to my career called personal computers. I had a knack for them when they first landed on people’s desks at work. I found out that my love and penchant for the English language extended itself to programming languages. Before I knew it, I was in IT then Business Intelligence then Research and Development, and now Product Management in R&D. I never gave up on writing. I’ve done technical writing where I’m a thrice published author, instructional design because I enjoy teaching people and I’ve kept a blog of one sort or another for the past 20+ years.

KNOWING WHO YOU ARE AS A WRITER IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR GROWTH.

My creative writing’s been a bit spotty. I have multiple novels in the works that linger for a year at a time before I take them up again. Mastering such a long form on your own can be daunting, even though I’ve taken several writing courses since my college days to help move things along. It often felt like my weaknesses were insurmountable in the amount of time I was willing to dedicate to the craft of writing fiction. My plots can be complicated and I can run out of the emotional steam half way through. I lose the motivation to start a story after outlining it which is what you’re taught to do.

Late 2016, I happened upon a video series by Brandon Sanderson that gave me insight into the type of writer I am. I learned that my style and issues aren’t unique to me or absurd. I’m a gardener/pantser style writer. Meaning, I write by the seat of my pants. Like a gardener, my story develops as I go, growing over time. Detailed outlining diminishes the joy of writing for me. It destroys the story and motivation which causes me to drop an idea dead in its tracks. So while I may not be alone or crazy in my style, it does necessitate I find what works for me, which might be contrary to what’s taught in school. 

DEFINED TEMPLATE AND PROCESS THAT WORK FOR ME.

Writing fan-fiction for Star Citizen has helped me tremendously. It provided me with a pre-existing universe to write about and through those efforts, I’ve been able to identify writing tools and processes that work for me. AND for the first time ever, I’ve been able to consistently write shorter fiction, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but couldn’t quite constrain my ideas to the necessary length. I’m by no means a master writer but I do feel that I’m on my way to improvements and I’d like to share what I’ve developed for myself with others who may be facing the same struggles.

Luckily for me, I’m never short on inspiration for ideas. I’ve never had writer’s block. I’ve never needed writing prompts. I have more story ideas than I can shake a stick at. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t use things to distinguish a specific point of inspiration for a story.

I’m a visual person which is how I ended up in Business Intelligence when it was discovered that I had a knack for visual data analysis. I can “see” correlations. I can look at data and recognize the visual outputs that would express it best. This is the same skill I use for formulating a story from inspiration. To me, they’re part and parcel of the same ability to puzzle things out.

I VISUALIZE A PERSON, PLACE OR THING…
IMAGINE A PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE…

Every story that I’ve written has started has either a person or place that popped into my head that felt interesting. A digital image I saw that made me wonder what that would be like if it was real. In the case of Star Citizen, I add to my musings the locations described in the ARK Starmap. What is it like to be there for the average person? What types of challenges would they face?

Distilling these to a fine point my primary sources of inspiration are:

  • Things I daydream about
  • Digital images from the internet
  • Digital images from Pinterest which I keep on a personalized board for future reference
  • Locations that interest me in Star Citizen lore

Corralling that idea into a bonafide story is the hardest and most important part. I believe in the saying that ideas are cheap. Anyone can dream up an idea. The proof of the pudding is assembling it into a cohesive tale.

TEMPLATE FACILITATES A PLOT-DRIVEN STORY

It’s easy to get lost in the woods of your idea, words, characters, events and required story structure. As a Meyers-Briggs INFJ, I can get too focused on the puzzle pieces and I lose sight of writing the story. Since we’re rule followers, I used to inadvertently launch down the detailed outline path as most courses, professors and books suggest, forgetting that for me, it would result in a dead-end.

However, there are certain elements required for writing a cohesive story. And if you want to end up where you want to go, you need to know where you’re headed in the first place. To accomplish this without developing an outline, I created a template to capture the minimum elements contained in any story, of any length. These attributes are represented in a template with (4) sections.

IT WORKS FOR ANY LENGTH STORY

Section One helps you solidify the idea. What is the story you’re trying to tell? This is the most important part of the template. You shouldn’t start writing a single word of your story until you can articulate this much!! Completing Section One will save you countless hours of having to edit your plot and the sequence of events because you hadn’t really formulated the story before you started writing it.

The exception noted in the template is the Theme. You may not truly know what it is until you’ve completed a majority of the story. Once you’ve identified the theme you may want to go back and edit your story to make it more apparent IF you feel you REALLY have something distinct you’re trying to impart about the human condition.

REDUCE EDITING TIME – CLARIFY YOUR LOGLINE AND MDQ FIRST

Always start with the logline. This is a one-sentence summary of the whole plot. That’s right, you should be able to reduce your whole idea to a maximum of two sentences. Movies do it all the time. It’s the elevator pitch. It’s the tagline you see on the billboards. Search loglines for your favorite movies to see examples.

Here’s the logline for Gladiator starring Russel Crowe: When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor’s corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge. This logline superbly sums up the whole movie. It also leads you directly to the Major Dramatic Question (MDQ), the next most important thing to clarify before you begin.

The MDQ in Gladiator is will he get his revenge? This is the question you must answer by the end of your story. Ideally, it’s at the very end, depicted in a direct showdown with the antagonist/blocker. Your story plot should have the protagonist taking steps toward achieving the MDQ during the course of the story in his/her favor but failing to do so, until the final encounter/showdown/attempt. This is the essence of establishing your plot and conflict. Joe wants X but Y is preventing him from accomplishing it. What lengths will Joe go to in order to achieve X?  How much opposition can Y exert? Who wins in the end – X or Y?

ESTABLISHING THE SETTING IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE STORY’S PLOT

Establishing the story’s setting for sci-fi and fantasy is called world building. This is where you specify the time period, dictums and societal norms of the environment your characters are in. We can’t recognize what’s extraordinary if we don’t know what’s common. You need to take the time to clarify these rules for yourself first to ensure consistency in your fiction. And yes, it’s important to do this upfront and play by the rules you set. Readers don’t like Deus Ex resolutions, where you have to solve your plot by the sudden appearance of an all-powerful item, person, etc. that falls from the sky and was never heard of in your story until that moment.

READERS DON’T LIKE DEUS EX RESOLUTIONS

If you knew up front that you were going to use a miraculous device/person as part of the resolution, hints of its existence should have appeared very early or at least midway through the story. Ideally, using an element of foreshadowing. This is satisfying for readers who connect the dots. Sometimes in movies, you’ll see them flashback to the foreshadowing moment to ensure the audience realizes it’s not a Deus Ex event.  All of these are things you consider in the Setting section of the template and you add to it as ideas develop while you’re writing.

For me at least, Section Two of my template, plotting the story, is the easy part. However, that might be because I spend the most time defining the story in Section One. By the time I’ve completed Section One, I’ve already visualized all the major plot points. In Section Two, I’m simply jotting them down in chronological order.

Some writers find it easier to plot backward. If they know where they have to end up, it’s easier for them to plot logically what must have preceded it. I’ve done a bit of both in longer form fiction. I may immediately know the beginning and end but have to noodle on what comes in between. Here you want to do what works for you but I caution starting to write your story before completing Section Two. Especially if you’re not a fan of large scale plot editing after the fact.

The only other advice about my template for Section Two is that the Life Today and Inciting Incident are particularly important. If we don’t know what’s normal for the character’s life, we won’t recognize when something happened that tipped their world off center. We won’t recognize the event that established the MDQ which is their quest. It’s imperative that the reader recognizes it so they can cheer them on and become invested in the actions that follow.

The rest of the template is cake and self-explanatory. After the character’s world has been rattled what will they attempt to set it straight? What obstacles will you put in their path to establish conflict? Typically the Dire Straits moment should be the most dramatic and meaningful. This is the last stand attempt at achieving the MDQ, where all hope is lost if they fail.

WRITING STAR CITIZEN FAN-FIC HAS AN EXTRA SECTION

When writing fan-fiction it’s important to readers that you remain authentic to that world and its canon. Unless of course, if you’re intentionally shifting its lore like people do when they change the endings or the outcomes of relationships. In the case of Star Citizen, I use the actual ships, Galactic Guides, Lore Dispatches and the ARK Starmap to ground my stories. Everything else is fair game but I want the elements of the physical universe I depict to be accurate.

An invaluable resource for me in doing this is my own website that contains information from the official ARK Starmap, Galactic Guides, and Dispatches presented in a format that’s searchable and easier to scan all the known star system information on a single screen.

I use my:

  • Starmap Matrix to scan systems to see what catches my interest in relation to the story I’m telling.
  • Detailed Composition page to see all the known objects in the system (s) I decide to use.
  • Route Planner to see ALL possible routes between systems when travel is involved. Unlike the official ARK Starmap, I show every single option which often plays into adding points of conflict such as devising reasons why they have to take the longer or more dangerous route.

All of the above helps to create authenticity in the story for readers who are informed Star Citizen fans. And although I consider my content for ‘casuals’ I know that I have SC lore fans among my followers.

BEGIN PRACTICING THE ART OF STORYTELLING

If you want to take a stab at writing fiction but don’t have a formal training, I think my template is distilled to the essential elements necessary for a story. Although writing short form versus long form such as novels is a very different beast, you can still hone your craft and establish your style and voice by practicing with short fiction. You also have the added benefit of being able to finish more stories in the same period of time as a learning experience.

If you’re interested in writing sci-fi or fantasy, I think doing fan-fic has the benefit of only having to dabble in world-building while focusing on the craft of writing first. When you feel you have sufficient writing practice under your belt, you can stretch your wings toward developing your own worlds. You can access my template as a Google Doc. It’s my prefered format because it allows me to access my story ideas from any device at any time. It’s a convenient method of ensuring little things that pop into your head make it into the story template for safe keeping. I also maintain a Pinterest board of writing tips.


Star Citizen - My EVE 2.0

Earn 5,000 in-game currency when you create your Star Citizen account here and supply this referral code: STAR-QSVR-JFTR

It’s been several years since I’ve had an MMO to call home. I’ve played all the AAA MMOs that have come to the NA market. Unfortunately, out of the seemingly endless sea of them, the only ones that felt like home for any period of time since my WOW days were Guild Wars 2, EVE Online, Runes of Magic, Warhammer Online and ArcheAge. With EVE being the only sci-fi title among them.

I’m not a traditional RPer but I love lore…

There’s a particular blend of gameplay needed for me to find long-term satisfaction in a game. A compelling mission system that provides progression to max level or whatever is considered end game. A sense of exploration, where I can wander freely while traveling, harvesting or completing quests. A robust crafting and/or trade system on which to hang my character’s hat in her adulthood. Regular injections of new content, abilities, professions and economic opportunities. And although I’m not a classic RPer, I enjoy good lore – deep backstory and context that gives meaning to what we’re all supposedly doing in that universe. My Holy Grail MMO needs to have all of the above or at least, a majority.

I wanted the original pitch of EVE’s Incarna expansion – avatars walking in space stations and player run shops…

EVE online had many of these qualities but the lore played out mostly as off-line content to me because of the shallow mission system. You could explore except in their version of deep space, there’s not much to see. Most of all, you aren’t a person, you’re a ship. There’s nothing meaningful to do with your character as an avatar. I always hoped more character features would come. I wanted the original vision they said would be Incarna – walking in space stations and player run shops. Alas, it wasn’t to be. And so, for me, EVE could never be home for more than a few months at a time even though I’ve played it across many years. It served more as my personal sensory deprivation chamber. A place to play when I really wanted to be alone in a universe of others.

My interest in Star Citizen began as a desire to have EVE 2.0. EVE Online + the missing pieces for my MMO preferences. However, in the years since I first pledged it has evolved to more than my initial small hopeful wish. It’s grown to be the game I’m expecting will be my next MMO home, whose years played will only be rivaled by the years I spent in World of Warcraft.

I’m in it for deep space, but now, I have a better understanding of the scale and scope of what’s to come…

I’m in it for the deep space gameplay. Predominantly the career ships and the economy topped off with exploration. Until today, I viewed the planetside content as a “nice to have”. Nothing I’m particularly interested in other than for exploration and harvesting resources related to my career ships. I’m not at all interested in doing missions planetside. There are only a handful of quest types in MMOs reskinned for a different environment. After playing MMOs for 30+ years, good lord, I’ve done them all. So if it’s not directly related to a player career or for exploration, I DON’T CARE.

The most recent Star Citizen Around the Verse featured CIG’s procedural planet tech. Of course, it’s impressive. As are the tools they continue to develop to assist in the massive undertaking of populating 100+ star systems with high visual fidelity and content. I watched all of it saying, “sure, that’s cool”, “whew, that will certainly help move things along” and reactions of that nature. Not to take anything away from the achievements but as I’ve said, that’s not why I came to the party. I came to explore deep space – be aboard my ship doing captain type things IN SPACE.

Even so, my jaw dropped during the final demonstration of the technology, as the SCOPE of the universe they’re building hit home. Yes, I knew it was on a grand scale. Yet reading the sizes of the ships and planets as text on a web page hadn’t adequately prepared me for the in-game reality.

As an explorer and a player who loves wandering off the beaten trial, it was mindboggling to see. Compounded by the realization that we were seeing wasn’t even a planet-sized object. Holy f–k! Delays be damned. The alpha patch with that content will be here within the next couple of months. I was already dubbing Alpha 3.0 as the patch that starts the type of content I care about enjoying, an explorer playstyle. Now that I see it with clearer eyes, the magnitude of what’s coming is breathtaking. It’s going to be buggy and laggy at points ‘cuz alpha but it will be nothing short of amazing.


Nightbus Fiction Collective Volume 1

I just released Star Citizen Nightbus Fiction Collective Volume 1. Whew, that’s a mouthful. It’s a compilation of the fan-fiction I’ve written thus far for Star Citizen. It contains the serialized stories that were previously released in NB episodes 1 to 6, plus the narration of Maggie’s Origin Story.

Star Citizen lore and the upcoming MMO have inspired me to start writing fiction again and I’m enjoying it. As ever, I wish there were more leisure hours in a day to explore all of my hobbies but, I try to make do as I can. Smile Somehow, I’m going to begin making time to resume writing my own fiction while I’m feeling excited and motivated.

There’s more to come for my NB fan-fiction too. The next two pieces of fiction that will appear alongside my OpEd pieces will be “An A.I.’s Story” and “Murder on the 890 Jump”. A.I. will play around with the idea of telling a story with a non-human as the protagonist and Murder will be in the style of Clue, letting readers play along to guess the identity of the killer. These are both a few weeks out as I have other obligations to fulfill in between.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this collective. Time stamps are in the YouTube video description.


Newsletter June 2017

Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen Subscriber Newsletter

NEWS

Female Avatars are Coming

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been seeing more and more about CIG’s progress on character customizations, which has also yielded glimpses of the female avatar. As a woman that “plays” her character in games and writes fiction-like tales about my adventures, having a female avatar is paramount. Even with the limited customization, we’re likely to see initially, I’m delighted about the prospect of selecting and customizing a female avatar.

As I’ve said before, my journey in MMOs is always a personal one that manifests itself as blog posts, stories, and pictorial vignettes. Seeing a representation that I picked and suits my tastes is an important element. Thus far, I’ve been using my EVE avatar as my character’s likeness. It will be great to finally create her first iteration in Star Citizen.

Route Planning – Know Your Limits

When I’m doing the logistics included in my short stories, I endeavor to make them factually accurate according to the current configuration of the ARK Starmap. I, of course, use my own tool, the Route Planner on Aly’s World because the ARK Starmap doesn’t actually return all possible paths. I could figure it out manually using one of the maps various other content creators have made but you might be surprised to know how many paths there are between two star systems.

Doing research for Journey to Stanton, it finally hit me that you can’t arrive at all UEE systems without traveling through unclaimed or dangerous ones. This may become problematic for players seeking a PVE focused experience. For example, getting my character from Tanga to Stanton required that she travel through at least one unclaimed territory. As such, it’s a potentially more dangerous star system.

In a scenario for another story, it finally dawned on me that large ships simply can’t reach all destinations. I suppose that’s like “Duh!” but the realization hadn’t set it yet, as someone who owns larger ships. To date, we don’t know the actual size criteria for small, medium and large ships to correspond with the jump point sizes, other than the Freelancer is supposedly the largest in the “small” category.

These size limitation will require lots of logistics planning for ship captains. Not only will it determine where you can’t take that ship but it impacts the number of star systems you must traverse when you can only utilize medium or large jump points. This, in turn, translates into more travel time and fuel costs. I would also think that traversing more star systems increases the probability of running into an aggressor.

I was researching a story involving the 890 Jump and was planning to have Helios as one of the ports of call. Only to realize that depending on how the 890 is classified in terms of jump point size, it might not be technically possible. Helios only supports up to medium sized ships. So while there are 893 possible routes to get from Sol to Helios. That’s an insane number, isn’t it?? You can’t get there with a large ship. You also can’t start in a UEE system and get to another UEE system only passing through UEE systems.

I’m intrigued by the impact jump point sizes will have on travel logistics. AND how the community will react to those limitations once the realizations hit. Are any of your plans likely to be impacted by ship size? What will you do if your ship can’t go through the gate required for your ultimate destination? I can think of a couple of things, neither of which will be quick or convenient.

COMMENTARY

Small Ship I’m Most Excited to Own

Without a doubt, the Drake Herald is the small career ship I’m most excited about flying. There isn’t even a close second anymore. This ship and my fascination with it, speaks loudly about how I often play MMOs.

Confession time, I solo MMOs and I profoundly enjoy doing so. I know. I know. This preference is anathema to more traditional players. I don’t ask or expect the game mechanics to be changed to accommodate me. I don’t kick people in teeth for inviting me to do group content. I’m not antisocial. What I am is on a journey that is best served alone – a good bit of the time.

I like doing my own thing, at my own pace, enjoying the story that evolves in my head. I often take the scenic route versus the fastest. I like to figure things out for myself versus looking them up on the internet. I want to enjoy the ride not hurry to max level. I need downtime after work and family responsibilities and then, I have the time and desire to do content with others. But I will always leave time to end a gaming session doing something alone.

All that said, I have a large fleet of multi-crew ships that excite me more than the Herald. I can’t wait to travel the ‘verse with family, friends, and org mates. I look forward to the group shenanigans we’ll invent. However, when it comes time to do my own thing, I plan on doing that in the Herald.

As a professional in the Business Intelligence field for many years, first as a practitioner and now as a senior product manager, I’m fascinated by the idea of being an Info Agent. I’ve always believed that information is power with the ability to make or break. I’m curious to see how the mechanic will be employed in Star Citizen. Although my natural alignment is chaotic good, I’m willing to at least stretch into chaotic neutral during my adventures.

I like that the Herald can be run solo and that’s the plan for the most part. However, it’s equally great that I can take a friend along if someone’s interested and I have the time. Equally compelling is that the ship can also serve a reconnaissance and/or electronic warfare role in group operations. It’s the best of all worlds in flexibility – solo, duo, and group opportunities. Here’s crossing fingers, eyes, and toes, that the mechanics are implemented well. This is likely the first career I’ll pursue in the released game. As a career, I think the output has the strong potential to inform other careers such as science, exploration and resource collection which benefits a wide variety of other ships. What’s your favorite small career ship? What career do you plan to take on first when Star Citizen releases?

Inspiration Behind Journey to Stanton

I consume a lot of science fiction and fantasy content. Books, audiobooks, movies, cable shows, and podcasts are staples in my entertainment collective. In recent years, I’ve become enamored with narrated drama podcasts because they’re serialized, designed to be consumed in small bites and can be enjoyed while performing other tasks.

My Star Citizen content takes on many faces, two of which are narrated fiction. CIG’s fiction that I record from their Discovered series and my own fan-fiction on Nightbus. On several occasions, I’ve considered dramatizing these in the style of old-time radio to produce what’s now being called audio drama, by amping up dialogue aspect, collaborating with others for voice-overs, and including meaningful sound effects. It would take considerably more work to produce the show. It’s time I barely have but the idea wouldn’t let me alone.

I knew that I wanted to write a story that continued Cami’s tale from Chop Shop and move the story closer to the star system we all know the most about – Stanton. I also wanted it to be a different listening experience than the first time. After much consideration, I decided to dip a toe into the audio drama realm by including different narrators. This would make the production more complicated so I tried to simplify that by keeping the audio for each person in a single block. Hence the strategy of writing the story from four distinct perspectives. The story/script is now with all of the character narrators. I’m excited to see how this all turns out. Depending on the response I might continue this particular story in an audio drama format, as a trial. You can read the short story, Journey to Stanton, in the Fan Fiction section on Aly’s World.


NightBus Episode 6 - Alpha 3.0 Awakens Explorer Play-Style & The Exterminator Part 2

Show Transcript

Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. There are only two show topics this week since both are rather lengthy. Alpha 3.0 Planetside Content and the conclusion of The Exterminator. You can hear part one of The Exterminator in NightBus episode 5.

Please sit back, relax and enjoy.

The Nightbus is existing statis. Please secure all personal items. Departing the station in 3…2…1

THE STAR CITIZEN EXPLORER PLAY STYLE TAKES FLIGHT

I gaze as far as the eye can see and I can go there if I please.

With the coming of Alpha patch 3.0, Star Citizen backers will be experiencing what I’m dubbing Explorer 1.0. It’s our first taste of seamlessly moving from space to a planetside location and back. Our first look at a free-roaming borderless planetside location. Where if you choose to, you can walk, fly or run the full circumference of a world. No barriers. No invisible walls.

In Richard Bartle’s classification of player types, I’m predominantly an Explorer. In Marczewski’s Hexad, I’m a Free Spirit and Philanthropist combo. I play MMOs to experience someone else’s vision of a fantastical world. Share stories about my adventures and help others along the way. I revel in turning what was provided to everyone into a unique experience that speaks to me and of me. I want to excel at the things that delight me most – crafting, trade and the economy. The content coming in Alpha patch 3.0 is the first beacon of light for my particular playstyle.

Our journey from deep space to a planet will be entirely under our own steam. No magic portal system handwavium lives here. From Port Olisar, I will request one of my ships and depart. Using the upcoming in-game Starmap, I’ll be able to choose a destination and quantum travel there, much like we can today, except that planetside locations will also be available. If I prefer the slower route, I can simply point my ship in the right direction and go.

As seen in the Gamescom 2016 demo, your ship will transition from space flight to atmospheric entry, and finally to atmospheric flight. This will be a seamless transition. No loading screens. Content will be streamed to your client as needed. After descending into the atmosphere you can put down at a designated landing zone or free roam, and land anywhere The only game controlled landing we expect to encounter, is if you deviate from authorized approach lanes, in densely populated cities. Beyond that, fly to where your desire leads.

A TRAVELER’S GUIDE: SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR ALPHA 3.0 CELESTIALS

In order to create and continually populate CIG’s ambitious universe, they’ve developed technology for procedurally generating planets, painting biospheres, controlling weather effects, day/night cycles, dynamic lighting and the construction of modular surface outposts. Players will be play-testing the results of all this new this technology for the first time in Alpha 3.0. This is probably one of the reasons that the surface locations in the upcoming patch are three moons and a planetoid sized asteroid. By and large, these aren’t the types of locations you’d expected to be populated with dense cityscapes. It’s an alpha. They need to refine and test the tech’s core abilities first.

That said, there is diversity among the locations themselves:

  • Cellin features over a hundred dormant volcanoes said to represent its simmering anger. These volcanoes can become active at any time. It’s also dotted with dangerous thermal geysers that erupt without notice. Your visibility can also be hampered by highly corrosive clouds of gas that are regularly released from its.
  • Yela is the most frigid of the Crusader moons. Anyone careless enough to step outside without a spacesuit will die instantly from its freezing temperatures. Watch out for cryo Volcanoes that erupt unexpectedly from this moon’s deep crevasses.
  • Daymar’s surface is a harmonic blend of Yela and Cellin. It’s mountainous and shares a warm likeness to Yela’s frozen crevasses. Its dense atmosphere, thick fog, and a loose dirt surface make traveling difficult.

In addition to exploring these three Crusader moons, two new mission-givers will be introduced. Miles Eckart and Ruto, both of whom made appearances in the GamesCom 2016 demo. With cargo hauling, trade, inventory management and grabby-hands arriving in the same patch, I’m certain we’ll see a diverse set of missions on planet surfaces and in space.

Given that this is a sandbox game, we can’t neglect the infinite opportunities for players to create their own fun – impromptu planetside PVP warzones. Dragonfly cannon races ala pod racing in Star Wars. Ground vehicle races using the Ursa Rover which will be available for the first time. And lots of RP type shenanigans.

Haters will denounce the release for starting with the moonscape type locations. I believe that you walk before you run. A slew of new tech is being rolled into Alpha 3.0 for play testing. I think we’ll enough on our hands to help test and bulletproof without the complexity of vast cityscapes.

Although space exploration is why I backed Star Citizen, I’m an MMO Explorer at heart. I enjoy seeing the sights and sounds of strange new worlds. I delight in finding quiet out of the way places. I’m fascinated by poking around the dwellings and artifacts of those worlds, discovering what they say about that supposed culture. Alpha 3.0 is where that journey begins for me.

BHAG – BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL INCOMING

To augment the procedural generation of planets and modular building sets, CIG will also be hand-crafting many zones to ensure that the universe feels unique and varied. Many have dubbed these efforts Hero Zones. One such zone has been included in the Alpha 3.0 schedule as a stretch goal. Meaning, if it’s ready, it’s in. If not, it doesn’t hold up the release.

The BHAG Zone for 3.0 is the inclusion of Delamar and its Levski landing zone. We saw a video of the landing zone quite some time ago and expected it to be added last year. However, CIG’s improvements to their development process with new technology and systems, sometimes means that completed content has to be reworked to fit the new standard.

Delamar and it’s landing zone will be added into the Alpha using sleight-of-hand. It’s not actually located in the Stanton star system, which is where the persistent universe alpha takes place. Delamar’s home is Nyx, an unclaimed star system populated with Anti-UEE activists, political radicals, and criminals.

For testing purposes, it will be temporarily placed in the Stanton star system. I’m crossing my fingers this zone makes it into 3.0. There’s cool lore about the subculture living there and the opportunities that can be found IF you’re willing to go off the beaten path into the underbelly of the beast. I’m no criminal but hey, it’s all in the name of testing.

I can barely contain my excitement. With this one patch, CIG breaches the siloed play testing we’ve experienced thus far into a unified game. There’s lots more coming in Alpha 3.0 – commodities trading, cargo hauling, true piracy targets and a reason to actually be a mercenary, all which I’ll discuss in NightBus Episode 7.

THE EXTERMINATOR PART 2 OF 2: You can read the conclusion of The Exterminator here.

WRAP UP

That wraps up another episode of the Star Citizen Nightbus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up. For more game commentary, lore, reviews, and other Star Citizen coverage, including mobile-friendly easier to read version of the official ARK Starmap data, please visit AlysianahsWorld.com. Be sure to register on Aly’s World for an exclusive Monthly Newsletter.

You can also support my videos, Alysianahsworld.com and my Star Citizen fiction efforts through my Patreon. A big thank you to my current subscribers. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated!

If you haven’t created an account yet on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com, you can earn 5K in-game currency when the game goes live by using my referral code when you do and I’ll also earn some in-game goodies. You’ll find my referral code in the show notes.

This is Alysianah signing off until next time. Be kind and fly safe!

The Nightbus has arrived. Please watch your step while departing. Re-entering stasis in 3…2…1


The Exterminator Part 2 Teaser

Earn 5,000 in-game currency when you create your Star Citizen account here and supply this referral code: STAR-QSVR-JFTR

My weekend started on Thursday. I’m taking time off for some family activities. During any downtime, I’ll be working on the conclusion to The Exterminator, which debuted in Nightbus Episode 5. Yesterday evening I did something rather unnerving – for me at least, that will be shared on Monday. I’ll give you a hint. Tyler from Cloud Imperium Games was involved.

After The Exterminator, I’ll be revisiting Cami from Chop Shop, whose story was told in NightBus Episode 3. The narration of the story will be a collaboration that I’m very excited about orchestrating. I’ll be writing the story specifically to support three different character points of view. I’ll discuss more as I get closer to finishing the content.  For now, here’s a teaser for the conclusion of The Exterminator.


More Content Incoming

Earn 5,000 in-game currency when you create your Star Citizen account here and supply this referral code: STAR-QSVR-JFTR

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reorganizing the content on AlysianahsWorld.com to meet near-term plans. I will be writing more about Star Citizen, what I’m doing within that community, writing more fiction and getting back to my blogging roots. I felt it was necessary to reorganize how my articles are grouped and categorized to support these changes.

For the hardcore followers of Star Citizen’s development, there’s no lack of available topics. For me, it was about finding the time to research and produce the type of shows that bear my personal signature, which takes a lot of time just for that, much less blog or author other articles. Now that things have settled down in my world, I have more time for my longest running hobby – gaming and writing about my gaming. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more.