Now that Alpha 3.0 is out, we wanted to give you all an update on our plans for this coming year. As we discussed before the holidays, we now have a delivery schedule based on dates rather than features.
We are doing this for several reasons. First, thanks to the huge improvements to core tech, we can be more predictable about delivering our patches, as we are building upon and refining existing tech. Second, we want to get more build iteration, which gives us more opportunities to get feedback from the community going forward. Finally, this new approach provides more flexibility in our development. If a proposed feature takes longer than anticipated, we will push it to the next release, rather than delaying other new content.
We plan on delivering new builds once a quarter, starting with our first drop at the end of March. After that, we aim to deliver again at the end of June, September, and December of this year.
Our first release will pull together all the great work that was completed last year with a focus on optimizing the server and client. We also intend to include one or two new features which will enhance gameplay around Crusader.
3.1 is about enhancing performance and polishing the gameplay systems and UI, including ships, system traversal, a large balance pass of our economy, and improving AI for spaceflight and combat. All the great data and feedback from the community over the holiday period is really going to help us with these tasks.
Although 3.1 is our focus for late March, several teams will also be working on our long-term goals for this year, in which we plan to deliver the vast majority of systems and mechanics so players have a variety of options to lose themselves in the ‘Verse.
For our end-of-June release, we plan to implement the initial tier 0 versions of mining, salvaging, mobile refueling, and repair into the game, as well as give the player the ability to create their own missions like hiring mercs, transport, or refueling missions. On the AI side, we plan to improve both ship andFPSAI for both missions as well as general activity on space and planetary bases.
Our next delivery in late September will introduce another major long-term tech goal: Object Container Streaming. This technology will allow us to start expanding the Stanton system with additional destinations, while managing our memory usage much better. In this delivery, we would also like to start introducing the mechanics of how you stake and file land claims and the gameplay that comes with this feature. This release will also continue to consolidate and polish all the new features in the past milestone.
That will leave our final build of the year in late December. Now that our streaming tech has been tested and can support the huge amount of new data content introduced, we will continue to expand the Stanton System, allowing players to explore, fulfill their career choices, and do many different types of missions, either with friends or on their own.
Stay tuned as the new Star Citizen Production Roadmap will come online along with the newRSIwebsite later this month, with more development and release details.