Area 18 on ArcCorp

In the Beginning

Until now you could go to ArcCorp and see a big starry nothing… I certainly did. From where I started it took more than 10 minutes of twiddling my space-pencil to get there. But all that emptiness has changed – we now have Area 18 in full Technicolor (yay).

There used to be nothing there
Where there used to be nothing, now there’s a big hairy dev weaving his magic. Soon there will be ArcCorp …that’s got to be easier to land on than a dev. Thats me on the right, an actual screenshot of ArcCorp’s location where not much is going on.

The devs have been casting spells over the ArcCorp using Lorville as a reference. In their scarily infinite wisdom, they have decided to locate the spaceport further away from the city in order to increase game performance. They’ve obviously been drinking at the Genius Bar again.

Map of Area 18

If you wake up here, your Hab unit is marked in black in the centre of the diagram below. It’s on one of the floors in Adira Falls. You will be able to see an external view of the building later on as you pass it in the transit shuttle.

Map of Area 18
Area 18 on Arccorp

From Hab Unit to Spaceport

Area 18, ArcCorp
  1. Exit the bed Y
  2. Move to the hab door W, rotating the mouse wheel to increase speed.
  3. Exit the hab unit and find the lift
  4. Go to the ground floor and exit Adira Falls
  5. Turn right and go forward into the passage
  6. Follow the passage into Zone 3
  7. At this point, if you want to visit the mission giver Tecia Pacheco, she will be on your left as shown on the map.
  8. For transit to the spaceport bear right and go under the Fizz advert
  9. Enter the City Flight building on the left
  10. There are two platforms available but you won’t be able to see which one will have the next arrival unless you visit them both.
  11. The shuttle will drop you off at the Spaceport which is fairly linear at the moment, so you can easily find the Fleet Management console.
  12. Retrieve your ship
  13. Continue onward behind the Fleet Management consoles to the elevator bays leading to the hangers.

Common Tasks

The Spaceport

area 18 spaceport aerial view
Area 18 spaceport

How to Land at the Spaceport

  • Assuming you have already targeted and approached Area 18, the target marker will bring you to the spaceport.
  • Approach to within a few thousand meters then halt.
  • Deploy your landing gear. It’s a good habit to get into since it will allow feedback markers to be visible to your HUD.
  • Use F1 to bring up the mobiGlas
  • Find the Comms button on the bottom left of the screen
  • Use the Contacts tab to locate the Landing Services comms, then click on its icon.
  • You will be allocated a Hangar which will be marked with an icon. Hangars may be below ground with overhead doors or in the side of the building with side opening doors.
  • If you are not given landing permission its either because
    • The landing pad you need is being used – try again in a minute
    • A bug!
  • Set the limiter low using the mouse wheel
  • Disengage Cruise Control
  • Approach you hangar using manual thrust control
  • Set the limiter to a minimum to land your ship
  • Use U to power down, I to turn engines off, Y to exit your seat

A Favourite Location

You can spend a lot of time in this area just admiring the work that has gone into it. It’s a beautiful construction and although there might still be doubts that they will ever get this game to a finished state, what they have done is still quite gripping.

Area 18 transit shuttle
Area 18 Zone 1 with a transit shuttle flying over the bridge

Here is a passing transit shuttle in Area 18. This location is a great piece of work from all the team.

Better than I hoped for by a long, long way :0)

Preview Posts

Here is some of the preview information from CIG/RSI prior to the release of Area 18.

High over Area 18
Area 18 concept artwork

Plaza Adverts

The Fizz Advert

The original concept work shows a water bottle to the left of the central globe. The bottle was altered to be a can with streams of neon magenta fizz lines underneath. The final image shows particle generators positioned to make rain streaming down.

The plaza with fog, lights, shadows & reflections

Props

Concept drawings for fast food stalls

Shop Construction

Tecia Pacheco

Tecia Pacheco played by actress Katrina Nare

Tecia Pacheco
Tecia Pacheco
Tecia Pacheco
Actress Katrina Nare

The Spaceport

The spaceport will have AI landing pads near to the player’s pads to increase the traffic flow. That will make Area 18 constantly busy and a percentage of them will be commercial flights. I would anticipate finding a commercial flavour to the shopping and admin areas inside the building as well.

It’s safe to assume the first iteration will have a minimum of functionality, which would be the transport between the spaceport and the city. Perhaps this will be similar to the way that Lorville was expanded with the business district. It adds a lot of space and atmosphere but perhaps the gameplay elements will take a while to catch up.

Slotting this much into the game on the first quarter of the year is a big jump. Fortunately, the OCS tech makes it’s presence a little more like a modular add-on than ever before.

The Atrium at Area 18
The spaceport Atrium

To link Area 18 with the spaceport a transit route has been created that will carry space going passengers with a shuttle-bus style air transport which will be soaring majestically along the path of the highway. A double-decker bus full of screaming kids would be more realistic but wouldn’t get upvoted much. They probably made the right decision since space kids suck.

Star Citizen videos have already revealed that the ArcCorp sprawl will be created using a mix of automated building, POM textures to add depth and detail to the polygon models and artwork. Distant traffic lines will be created using animated textures that will be illuminated at night to show that the densely populated city is still on the go. To preserve the illusion and to mimic real-life safety concerns, player ships will not be able to get too close to the buildings.

Modelled and whitebox towers in area 18

The next piece of building-block tech that devs will have to account for will be the player communication placeholders. These haven’t been spoken of for a few months, but they are an essential piece of the OCS jigsaw puzzle. They act as router nodes for in-game comms links between players in separate OCS blocks and on different servers. It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done. Even if all the building blocks exist already, making the life-cycle of such a thing will be another complication in an already complicated setup.