Quantum is the behind-the-scenes system that will allow Star Citizen developers to create and manage a realistic and dynamic universe through in-world actions by NPCs. Quantum has access to all backend services and actively manipulates game data in real-time to adjust to the needs of the star system in question.
Quantum works through observing the actions of hundreds of thousands of lightweight NPCs called Quanta. Each Quanta has its own desires, skills, jobs, and inventory, but without the overhead of things like pathfinding, animations, or even geometry. Quanta represent the rich background world of Star Citizen that the player is a part of, and Quantum will use these Quanta to create contextually appropriate NPCs or events for the player to interact with. The system allows the developers to add resources and locations of interest that will spur Quanta to move about the star system, complete tasks, and affect those actions by adjusting variables (ex. resource refinery time, wages at factories). Quanta will be making the same choices as players make, choosing between jobs like mining, security, or even piracy. Like players, Quanta will also generate mission content, such as an NPC stranded after a pirate attack who will call for player's help with a service beacon.
Quantum is not just an NPC simulator, player actions will feed back into the system to influence what kinds of jobs, trades, and actions all the Quanta choose to take. Player choices and activity are all fed back to Quantum to influence the behavior of the world real-time and make the world a living, reactive place.
- ↑ Quantum AMA with Jake Muehle. Spectrum