I am happy to announce we have just released Alpha 2.6 of Star Citizen to all backers!

Star Citizen Newsletter - Alpha 2.6 with Star Marine! 

December 23rd, 2016

Greetings Citizen.

I am happy to announce we have just released Alpha 2.6 of Star Citizen to all backers!

With Alpha 2.6 you can now enjoy: Star Marine, featuring a host of new FPS features; big improvements to Arena Commander; further improvements to characters and their animations; new locations and missions to try; 47 flyable ships, including 8 new ships (Herald, Hoplite, Caterpillar, 85X, Wildfire, Renegade, Valiant and Comet)!

I hope you will spend many hours enjoying all the content we’ve put into this build and meeting new friends and enemies in our expanding universe! To find out more about what it took on the development side to get the patch ready for release make sure to check out the retrospective included in the final Alpha 2.6 schedule report.

There is one other big announcement we would like to make with the release of 2.6.  We are now basing Star Citizen and our custom technology development on Amazon’s Lumberyard Engine.  Since the beginning of the project, we’ve had to make a huge number of changes to the CryENGINE code and tech to enable us to deliver Star Citizen.  While the original CryENGINE had great strengths in many areas like rendering and cinematics the needs of our game were well beyond what came ‘out of the box’.  So we have, over time, changed significant parts of the engine for our technology, such that only a baseline of the original engine truly remains. In the future we will continue to make significant changes to AI, Animation and Network code and systems.

When Amazon announced Lumberyard back in February 2016, we were immediately interested. While based on the same baseline technology as Star Citizen, Lumberyard is specifically designed for online games, utilizing the power of Amazon’s AWS Cloud Services and their Twitch streaming platform. Amazon’s focus aligns perfectly to ours as we’ve been making significant engineering investments into next generation online networking and cloud based servers.  Making the transition to Lumberyard and AWS has been very easy and has not delayed any of our work, as broadly, the technology switch was a ‘like-for-like’ change, which is now complete.

As an added benefit Amazon AWS data centers are spread around the world from North America to South America, Europe to China to Asia Pacific, which will allow us to better support the many backers across the globe as we scale up Star Citizen.

Finally, Amazon has made Lumberyard freely available for anyone building their own game. That means that technically-inclined members of the community can have a better view 'under the hood' of our game than ever before. It's also a great path for anyone interested in game development professionally; I fully anticipate that in the coming year we will be hiring programmers who have taught themselves using Amazon's Lumberyard resources!

As we move forwards, we are confident you will see great benefits from our partnership.  Amazon will bring new features to Lumberyard to assist in creating online persistent games, adding great support for their products like Twitch (which we use extensively) and of course investing heavily in engine research and development for years to come.  We could not find a more stable and reliable engine partner than Amazon, so with this partnership we are sure we have secured the future development and continuing technical innovation for Star Citizen. 

With that I would like encourage everyone to download and play Alpha 2.6. It is a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing you in the ‘verse!

Happy Holidays!

-- Chris Roberts

2.6 and Star Marine Are Here!

Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 is live! Our latest patch includes 48 flight ready ships, 17 known missions, the long-awaited Star Marine module, and much more. So get yourself ready to fight for space station domination by watching the Star Marine trailer, cut completely from footage captured during actual matches. Catch it here.

The New Pirate Swarm

Included in Alpha 2.6 is Pirate Swarm, a new Arena Commander mode that uses different ships and AI tactics than Vanduul Swarm. To celebrate, we’re kicking off a special promotion. Those that survive every wave of Pirate Swarm will be awarded a special badge allowing them to purchase a pirate themed Caterpillar. Not to be left out, the first 1,500 who beat Vanduul Swarm will be rewarded with a badge allowing them to purchase a Glaive.

Vanduul Ship Videos

Last week, we revealed a number of Vanduul videos that focused on their massive and menacing ships. Experience the deadly “Driller” capital ship in glorious 4K, see the scale of Vanduul ships to come, and then go behind the scenes with Vehicle Art Director Nathan Dearsley for a Vanduul-centric Ship Shape.

MISC Razor

Designed to be a dedicated racer, the MISC Razor was unveiled during last week’s Holiday Live Stream. Learn more about this Xi’An infused ship by watching this episode of Ship Shape. Then swing by the sales page to check out the ship’s beautiful brochure.

2.6 Emergent Gameplay

Get a taste of what’s possible in Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 with this fun adventure that sees players exploring and battling their way across the vast expanse of Crusader for a chance to capture the most valuable haul of all: Big Benny machines.

Untold Tales: The Unexpected Guest

This time on Untold Tales, we investigate a mysterious and unexpected guest who dropped in on Octavia Watt while she prepared for the Traveler's Day holiday.

Bugsmashers – Episode 39

Resident Smasher-Of-Bugs Mark Abent investigates why blackout animations aren’t triggering on the character after experiencing excesses G-forces in their ship. As an added bonus, he squashes a separate bug with no name that is triggering a ton of crashes. See what solutions he comes up with on this episode of Bugsmashers.
LIVE Version : Alpha 2.6
PTU Version : None
PTU Test Groups : None

Holiday/Boxing Day Sale

There’s only a few more days left to take advantage of our Holiday Sale, including your chance to snag a new MISC Razor, a special ship pack perfect for a new player, and more. It all ends with our Boxing Day Sale on December 26th. Don’t miss it!

IGN Free Fly

Earlier this week, Chris Roberts talked with IGN about Star Marine and unveiled a trailer completely cut from footage captured during play sessions. We also provided IGN readers a 48-hour free fly code that comes with access to a Sabre. Check out the story on IGN for complete details.

Vault Update

Subscribers, this week’s Vault Update opens a window on the development of the new MISC Razor. See 18 different shapes originally considered for the ship, a number of various paint schemes, shots of the ship in action, and more by visiting the Vault.

TOP PLAYERS

Congratulations to the following players, the best pilots in Arena Commander as of Thursday, Dec 22nd 2016. These were the last tallies of 2.5.
RightwingFanatic
RIGHTWINGFANATIC
BATTLE ROYALE
[RS] KroNos
XKRONOS
SQUADRON BATTLE
Mithraic IX
MITHRAIC_IX
CAPTURE THE CORE
[RS] malogos
MALOGOS
VANDUUL SWARM COOP
B4ckBOne
B4CKBONE
OLD VANDERVAL
Shive
GOD_SHIVE
RIKKORD MEMORIAL
Shive
GOD_SHIVE
DEFFORD LINK

TOP ORGS

Congratulations to the following Orgs, for performing the best in Arena Commander as of Thursday, Dec 22nd 2016. These were the last tallies of 2.5.
Extro Corp.
EXTRO
BATTLE ROYALE
Renegade Squadron
BOMB
SQUADRON BATTLE
Das Kartell
KRT
CAPTURE THE CORE
AUSTRALIAN CO-OPERATIVE
AUSSIECOOP
VANDUUL SWARM COOP
Test Squadron
TEST
OLD VANDERVAL
Test Squadron
TEST
RIKKORD MEMORIAL
Test Squadron
TEST
DEFFORD LINK

Combined Arms Part I: The Fleet Arrives

Under the leadership of Captain Kenny, an Outlaw Coalition seizes control of the planet ArcCorp. UEE Marine and Naval forces must unite in a desperate attempt to prevent innumerable casualties.
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Terallian
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Star Citizen Jobs - Salvage & Reclamation

An in depth look at salvage & reclamation in the Star Citizen universe!
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Star Citizen Competitive League 55+ teams!

We are looking for 55+Teams or More! for a 4v4 Star Marine Tournament. This will be a double elimination and winners will take all.
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Origin 85X

For this week's sneak peek, we've got a shot of the 85X in action. The 85X is the latest luxury craft from Origin and one of eight new ships now available to fly in Alpha 2.6.
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