Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 Public Test Universe AAR

Star Citizen continues to develop over time, with an important next step being the ‘baby universe’ test bed of the Public Test Universe (PTU) and the 2.0 client. What’s going on with Star Citizen and where they are on their plans is an entire article in itself, and not something I’m going to tackle here (we do plan a good look soon!), but I did want to give a quick sneak peek to show what is going on.

For the first time this test release features multiplayer missions and crewable ships in a much larger universe area. It’s not quite stable yet, but the ideas are certainly starting to come together. So, let’s take a quick test drive. Are you ready Star Citizen?

 


So the first change is a snazzy new main menu screen. At the top is the typically ambitious option of ‘Universe’ which represents the MMO side of the game and this small test play area. The ‘Electronic Access’ provides entry to the existing ‘Area Commander’ single and multiplayer virtual sim aspect (dog-fighting and racing with three smaller maps to try out your ships), plus also a teaser screen for the new First Person Shooter side of things ‘Star Marine’.

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So let’s access the Universe, or at least the baby test one. Access that elevator pad!

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Port Olisar in the Crusader system is our test-bed, and this next launch menu certainly seems quicker than the old way of having to run to the elevator behind the hanger each time. The ‘Social Module’ of ArcCorp is till there and something I provided some screenshots and walk-through of here.

The online system map is available here, and shows the game has some very ambitious plans for places to go and things to do:

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/starmap

I slowly wake up, with probably not the best night of sleep wearing this enormous space helmet.

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Looking back at the bed, I suspect I might be in Tokyo and have crashed out with too much sake after a hard day at the office in a capsule hotel?

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I guess the bed height explains the helmet. Peering out of my room, I’m still get that Tokyo, vibe. Oh, noodles! I could go for some noodles. Not sure placement next to the Ladies Toilet is cool, but hey, I’m hungry, whatever.

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Not many people around – this is kinda creepy actually. Looks like we all get the economy room option.

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So I wonder around Deck 3, looking for a way out of the ‘EZ Hab’. Good storage though, very metal and military looking in that Alien sort of way.

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Wandering down the stairs, my nose still twitching from those noodles and 200 space-suit helmeted people in tiny 10×10 rooms, I see a glowy blue ball. Hmm – huge glowy ball in a room either good or bad but never dull.

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People! I’m not alone, Wilson (I’ve decided to name my helmet Wilson).

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They look busy. These are the consoles you can order up your ship to a landing pad. Not sure I’m ready to leave the station just yet, I’ve just woke up and haven’t brushed my teeth (reason #3 for the helmet so far).

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Let’s take a look around. There’s a pretty big complex of landing pads around here.

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Oh, nice. A lounge with some exterior views. It’s actually not Tokyo after-all Toto!

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There’s a ship on the pad – a ‘Constellation Andromeda’ (a big guy). Nice! The rings of the station slowly rotate around, probably for the people paying more for a room than I did.

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Another tourist – let’s say hello!

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We chat, but of course, the best way to communicate is through the medium of dance. Ax0 here gets his groove on. There’s someone that has taken a Zumba class before I think.

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My new buddy is the proud owner of one of those big ships, so I follow him like a lost puppy while he orders up something for the landing pad.

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Off to the air-lock!

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..which has a neat pressure/air cycling thing going on.

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The comforting cold hard vacuum of space. The sense of scale is great, with the station moving in the background.

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Here’s my ride (well, not mine but I’m going to crew and earn my keep).

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The captain looks on, proud of the good ship SS Frog. (Not real name, I’ll tell him later).

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To put the ship size into perspective, I hop over to the edge of the pad and look up into the glass cockpit. Wow, check out the tiny man!

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She’s a fair size indeed (that’s not Ant Man, that’s the Captain stood there agog)..

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The boss activates the opening platform. Personally I had no idea how to get in, so this was a big clue.

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Ok, All Aboard! Could do with a plant or something homely, but nice interiors.

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Captain on the bridge, sir! The three seats at the front offer engineering, pilot and shields stations. There isn’t much to click on just yet but the idea is that multi-crewable ships will require more than one person to get the best out of the ship. I believe the plan is for AI to fill in as crew.

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Not knowing how anything works, I think I’ll take charge of a large gun – there’s a turret underneath, so let me play with that.

In I go, down the hatch..

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Pew pew! ‘Nice shot kid, but don’t get cocky’.

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The turret is pretty hard to get a good view from, and we’ve taken off already so I unseat from the ball turret and get back to the bridge.

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It’s the weirdest feeling to walk around this large ship with these huge windows while someone else flies it like they stole it.

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The Captain has a special mission for me, he takes me to one side to explain:

‘Frog, I need you to do something. Something no-one else on this crew can do. It could make the difference between success and failure. Listen up.

I’m going to need a coffee, go get me one’.

Ok, coffee it is. Aye aye, Sir. Sigh. I’m sure there is a machine back here that does that, so let’s go look. I take a last look at the bridge, where the ‘proper’ crew work, and shut the airlock before returning to my critical errand.

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Hmm, this doesn’t look like the kitchen. Let’s try that door at the back..

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I’m lost. On a ship, while it is moving. In space. Every now and again I get a glimpse of outside hurtling past which is freaking me out.

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Oh, look at that. A docked stub fighter. A guy could steal that, with mutinous thoughts.

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..but not today, as it doesn’t work yet. Not that I tried. Coffee right away sir!

The galley. Isn’t this the Maaaalm kitchen set from Ikea?

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Even before I could finish my critical mission, disaster! We’re under attack from unknown assailants! She’s taking damage Captain..

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Off to my less important role as turret gunner! The coffee has to wait.

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I have no idea what I’m doing. There are bright lights and noises.

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I’ve got this. It’s all good. Watch this!

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So we died.

Being the internet, we got killed by another player around the space port. We didn’t get as far as signing up for a mission or warping out to a comm relay, but it was still fun. People get game crashes often still, so it was amazing to see it working like it did. Without his coffee, the poor Captain didn’t stand a chance. Until next time!


 

So such a short look there were a lot of exciting things going on – looking forward to see how this shapes out in 2016!

Note: the screens were taken on the lowest settings possible, as that helps the client remain more stable for me. A lot of the bugs are already reported, so hopefully lots more people will get let in soon and we’ll see some fixes. I hope you enjoyed this quick AAR.

 

Notable Replies

  1. That was quite interesting. Something to keep an eye on.

  2. Thanks. Yes, it’s creeping forward. There was a time when I thought perhaps it would collapse inward in its own ambition, but it really does seem to be getting there.

  3. @fearlessfrog - Fantastic article (just now finding a breather to read it!)…

    Couple comments…

    Personally, I always wear my space helmet to bed. Maybe it’s just me…

    Regarding the ship entry via the platform…is that all sort of scripted when you get on there…or are you allowed freedom of movement throughout that process?

    Interesting that you were killed by another player at the port. Sounds like Space GTA-V Online… Hopefully there is a purpose to that…like I’d assume if someone were just camping and killing people near a space port that the space port would open fire and kill someone like that. But what do I know?

    Really nice write-up. One of those games that I bought (I think I bought it…pretty sure anyway)…and haven’t kept up with the progress yet…so I appreciate these updates on its status.

    Nice one!

    BeachAV8R

  4. Thanks!

    The ship entry on that platform that goes up is unscripted, in that the guy that owned the ship, and I was blagging a ride from, just opened it and I jumped on. It’s possible to get crushed. :smile:

    Most of the interactions like ‘press F to get in’ with the Use Action do run a short animation, which always feels a bit weird to be honest.

    There’s certainly some discussion about how ‘grief free’ to make SC in this sort of environment. At the moment people are barely being able to run it (it’s better a few days later when I write this now, but at the time it was rough enough that I didn’t know if I could get screenshots before a crash). I think the invite status is about 50,000 people out of the 1,000,000 that are eligible, so really it’s still the Wild West on the test servers (where there are no consequences for anything yet - I can only imagine how rage inducing it’ll be to destroy someone’s USD $1,000 real-life ship if they don’t have insurance… oh my).

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