Star Citizen’s latest StarEngine tech demo showcases incredible visuals
Star Citizen’s newest StarEngine demo claims to showcase “the future of gaming”
Cloud Imperium Games, the studio behind Star Citizen, have released a new tech demo for StarEngine, the game’s custom engine. The demo is titled “The Future of Gaming”, and it highlights many of the tools and features that are behind Star Citizen and Squadron 42.
One of the most impressive aspects of Cloud Imperium Games’ 24-minute tech demo is the fact that it is seamless. The demo moves players from one side of the galaxy to the other, seamlessly moving on and off planets and inside and outside of ships and buildings. Star Citizen promises to give players access to an open world galaxy with hundreds of star systems. The seamless nature of this tech demo is incredible, as it should mean that Star Citizen players may be able to travel though the whole galaxy without loading screens.
With StarEngine, gamers will be able to explore planets and move from space to ground (and vice versa), without loading screens. The tech demo also showcases incredible visuals, and highlights the technologies that make Star Citizen so visually appealing. Below is a list of features that are showcased within StarEngine’s tech demo. Warning, this list is huge!
- Solar System-size game spaces
- 64-bit large world coordinates engine
- Fully explorable planets without loading screens or barriers
- Physically based atmospheres with multiple light scattering
- Seamless transition from space to ground (and vice-versa)
- Planet surface generation on client and server at different levels of details
- Object container streaming allows for expansive exteriors with interiors
- Locations populated densely with characters and players
- Real-time transit systems across city districts
- Fully interactable and explorable multi-crew spaceships
- Real-time biome generation
- Subterranean locations
- Mineral extraction and resource simulation
- Ground fog fully integrated into the atmosphere
- Sunlight shafts into the atmosphere
- Rivers driving terrain modification and object distribution
- Dense environment procedural generation based on rulesets
- Terrain tessellation and hardware displacement
- Dynamic planetary winds driving physics simulation
- Dynamic ecosystem generation for flora and fauna
- Generation and rendering of volumetric clouds at planetary scale
- Real-time large scale asteroid belt generation and rendering
- Real day/night cycle based on planet rotation
- Volumetric clouds on a gas giant scale
- Multiscale volumetric space scaping
- Fully explorable space stations streaming on demand
- Melanin driven skin shader with blemish, freckles, and tattoo layers
- Sun shaft occlusion on a planetary scale
- Dynamic fire simulation based on voxel grids
- Volumetric shadows from clouds cast into the atmosphere
- Streaming hierarchical object container technology for outposts and POIs
- Physically based advanced water effects
- Physically based destruction
- Real-time water interaction effects
- Real-time cloth simulation
- Dynamic sweat and tears
What is StarEngine?
When Star Citizen’s development started, the game was based on a customised version of Crytek’s CryEngine 3. Since then, Cloud Imperium Games has transitioned the game to Amazon’s Lumberyard Engine, which is itself a derivative of CryEngine. The engine has been enhanced and altered by Cloud Imperium Games in many ways, and the engine will see further changes before Star Citizen or Squadron 42 launches.
Currently, Cloud Imperium Games are working on a new “Gen 12 Renderer” that will make their games “more performant”. The new renderer will also help transition the engine to the Vulkan API. CPU scalability should improve greatly with this update, allowing the game to utilise more CPU cores/threads effectively. Ray tracing support within the engine is also in the works.
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