Under The Bonnet | Patch 12

Written by Parias on . Posted in Scattered Chatter, Under The Bonnet

Summary:

(As per \CitizenClient\Client_Release.id)

A new month has finally heralded the release of the much-awaited Dogfighting Module (more formally known as “Arena Commander”) release for Star Citizen! After more than a few mishaps and unexpected delays, the team finally rushed it out the door early last week…. and then rushed it out the door again a few hours later after realizing the actual dogfighting maps had accidentally been excluded somehow. Whoops.

But everything’s in order now and many of us have had a chance to check out the first evidence of real, actual gameplay that Star Citizen has to offer. This turned out to be one of the largest patches yet (understandably), bringing the game download size up to 10GB. This also makes for a somewhat daunting exploration of the files given the sheer amount of stuff that’s changed… you’ll also notice we’re back down to Build 75 now. Correspondingly, I’ve noticed that the Client_Release.id file shows a completely different branch this time (“release12” vs last month’s “patch11”) so there’s some strong evidence that we’re working with a very different build this time.

In fact, this build is so different that it took me several days to actually work through the insane number of changes and pick out what was worth reporting on! It actually took me so long that CIG snuck out a second update while I was still working on this, so you’re actually getting an Under The Bonnet back-to-back special. See part two here.

CIG has also confirmed that the .PAK files have been locked down a bit; Scripts.pak cannot be opened at all now with standard tools (and requires a bit of extra know-how parse), and while the other archives can still be edited freely, the game will fail to read them properly on boot-up if modified. This limits the amount of fun one can have versus the previous builds, but is understandable given the need to keep the testing environment sane while the actual gameplay builds start ramping up. Still, this is a bit disappointing for modders and machinima artists who relied on being able to manipulate the game’s assets to create some of their works, so I hope they open the game files up to modding again soon (for private gaming only, of course).

Again, this is a very significant new build with a lot of little changes, so I’m going to just be focusing on (arguably) the most interesting bits that I can find – with the script / gamedata changes taking up a sizable chunk of attention. If you know of something else cool that you think should be included, drop a comment! Let’s dive in.

Quick workaround – custom bindings (i.e. yaw/rudder swap) for patch 12.1

Written by Parias on . Posted in Scattered Chatter

We’ve seen a few cases of the previous process for fixing the infamous “twist / X axis controls should be swapped around” issue some people have with the Arena Commander release no longer working as of today’s patch (12.1). The console command pp_RebindKeys layout_joystick_spacesim now just throws a file not found error, even though the XML still exists in GameDat.pak in the same location.

We haven’t yet thoroughly reviewed the data, but a quick workaround for this has been found:

  • Open GameData.pak with your favorite archive tool (i.e. recent WinRAR / 7Zip build)
  • Navigate to GameData.pak\Libs\Config\
  • Extract layout_joystick_spacesim.xml to some easily-accessible location, i.e. C:\temp
  • Finally, retry your console command with the new path, i.e. pp_RebindKeys C:\temp\layout_joystick_spacesim

This seems to work as expected and restore the desired control scheme for those who want it. The existing process prescribed by CIG for implementing your own custom bindings should of course still apply too, for those who were unaware of it.

I’m also still in the process of prepping the next couple of issues of Under the Bonnet; for both patch 12 and 12.1. CIG has sure been busy with their patch releases, and we’re struggling to keep up! I’m expecting to have a back-to-back release covering both patches out shortly though, so stay tuned.

Update:  Reddit user lotexor confirmed that you can actually just use pp_RebindKeys Libs\Config\layout_joystick_spacesim.xml to call the file internally, which is much easier than extracting it first. This seems to indicate the game can still call these binding scripts internally just fine, but maybe the default paths for some commands got broken. Thanks, lotexor !

Under The Bonnet | Patch 11.2

Written by Parias on . Posted in Scattered Chatter, Under The Bonnet

Summary:

(As per \CitizenClient\Client_Release.id)

It’s finally that time again! Our last update was late February, so this is sure overdue. Understandably the developers have been incredibly busy trying to get the DFM (or “Arena Commander” if you prefer) release in order, so we can expect that any interim updates will be considerably less dramatic in nature until that comes out.

This patch serves as a good testament to this; we have a few new hangar additions to oogle over and a few code and functionality fixes, but the usual gamut of other updates (ship models and animations, loadout adjustments, etc) are absent. I’m even finding myself hard-pressed to find tangible content of significance to write about — but don’t worry, I’ll always find something.

There also seems to be quite the discussion about this patch being ~4GB in size. An actual under the hood analysis shows this really isn’t the case; it’s pretty common for the patcher to just assume your entire installation is invalid and it will actually force you to redownload the whole thing (particularly if you get a metadata error and a “Repair” option). The actual data-file differences between builds are much smaller in size.

Read on to see what’s new – and to see if you can unlock the mystery behind the enigmatic “Dumper’s Depot!”