Star Citizen is a controversial and ambitious space exploration epic, and more details about the project’s persistent universe were shared in a Subscriber’s Town Hall clip on Tuesday. In the 30-minute chat, director Chris Roberts made comparisons to Star Wars while implicitly downplaying the locales of No Man’s Sky.
Speaking to variety, Roberts said Star Citizen will make differentiation “one of [its] big focuses.” “You watch Star Wars and you go ‘Okay, yeah, it’s Hoth. It’s the ice-snow planet. And Endor’s the forest moon or whatever.’ And we’re definitely going to have different planets, moons even, that would have those sort of different feels. And in some ways maybe have more of a variety of ecosystems,” he mused.
But these varying environments aren’t just meant to give players something fresh to look at. As stated by persistent universe director Tony Zurovec, new surroundings “directly benefit the types of gameplay that we’ll be able to have the players engage in. Everything from reduced visibility from snowstorms, sleet, fog [and] impaired navigational capability from sources of radiation.” “All of these different types of mechanics come together and allow us to present new and different challenges,” he said.
What this essentially means is that, on particularly hostile planets, the inhabitants of Star Citizen may have to spend some time surviving before they can be rescued by a distress beacon. While unfinished, the loop might involve hunting and gathering until safety arrives. Each circumstance therein is dictated by the variety in planets. Roberts also feels that multi-crew ship concepts will take those experiences even further.
That being said, the director also tried to distance himself from games like No Man’s Sky, which hinged heavily on its universe of 18 quintillion planet-sized planets. “Even though we may not have a billion procedurally generated moons or planets, we’ll have a huge… we’ll have a very large amount of actual planets and moons that have a really well-constructed set of environments and ecosystems that should be challenging and interesting to explore,” he said.
In other words, the goal of Star Citizen isn’t just to offer players lots of places to explore but to also make sure those places are detailed and carefully designed. The apparent lack in environmental beauty remains one of No Man’s Sky’s most critical issues, despite its massive scope. There was no specific name drop in the chat, but it’s clear Roberts wants to let fans know similar mistakes won’t be made.
Ironically, however, it should be noted that some of No Man’s Sky’s staff is currently working on Star Citizen.
The full discussion goes into much greater detail on subjects like server disconnects, quest generation and more. It can be watched at the embedded YouTube link above. Star Citizen remains one of the most funded game projects ever made and has been in development for several years. Its most anticipated module, Squadron 42, is planned for initial release later this year.