“We wanted to take some time to day and talk about the process, how lore is actually made for a video game, since that’s not a part of a video game’s story that’s often told.”
And thus begins a remarkable, nay, monumental episode of Star Citizen’s Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy. OK, maybe it’s not going to rock your world, but it is kind of interesting to hear about the years — dating back to 2012 — of lore creation for this upcoming space sim.
If you can’t wait to sink your teeth into the backstory and world setting of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, you’ll want to check out this week’s episode!
Recently I came across a Star Citizen fan asked: Will organizations be able to hold territory in Star Citizen? Or more specifically, similar to the experience in EVE Online, will large orgs be able to dominate areas of the ‘verse, effectively shrinking the playable area for small, independent operators?
This question captured my imagination. I think it’s because it immediately evokes visions of massive space battles with capital ships blasting away at each other broadsides, while small fighters circle in graceful, zero-g jousting matches and torpedo corvettes drop in their deadly payload to a dazzling array of explosions.
However, while witnessing something like this will be cool for reasons obvious to anyone attracted to the space sim genre (pew! pew!) -I have no interest in being part of or building an organization big enough and with all the infrastructure necessary to operate on such a scale. To the contrary, I am much more interested in living a life like Han Solo out there. Coming and going as I please, taking missions when I want. (When I’m not gathering the news!)
So what’s the answer to the question? To be honest, it’s still difficult to say. Some are quick to point out that Star Citizen is not Eve, that there is no area on the map which can be compared to ‘Nullsec’ because there will be NPC factions and alien races outside of UEE controlled space. Plus there’s the important, open question of how instancing will eventually be handled in the open universe. We definitely know there will be instancing. However, how many players can be in one instance at a time is still not clear, but estimates are growing.
Based on the information CIG has released so far, we also know the game will have a 90% NPC population. Such a balance does seem to indicate that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to take and hold any territory for any amount of time. However, we’ve also heard from Chris Roberts it will be possible to possess objects such as space stations. In episode 39 of Ten for the Chairman he said:
Definitely organizations will be able to have some sort of real estate, have a headquarters, we already talked about having some sort of persistent areas in space, like an asteroid base/derelict station that a group of players can take over and make their headquarters and defend it from other players. And of course, down on planets, there’d be some more safe areas you could buy a “guild hall” that you could have for your organization. Down the track, we want to have real estate for players and organizations to buy and own, like factories etc which would extend to and be good for organizations.
MY ANALYSIS: IT WILL BE POSSIBLE BUT NOT PRACTICAL TO HOLD TERRITORY IN STAR CITIZEN
Let’s assume for a second that all our instancing wishes come true player limits are not a practical concern. It’s important to remember that there are already orgs with over 10,000 members so even if they could rally a tenth of their base to a single cause, it will not be impossible for a single org to occupy and patrol the region around a planet, or perhaps multiple planets in a system outside the control of one of the bigger NPC factions. On the flip side, if we see the kind of instancing player limits we have all grown to expect, then a large org can simply log in together and hold some patch of space for a while.
However, then the problems begin. If you can’t create the infrastructure necessary to support a fleet over the long term, holding some patch of otherwise barren space is unlikely to be a compelling, long-term goal. It’s certainly interesting through the lens of winning a fleet battle, but I don’t think it will be easy to keep a thousand org members excited about a long term occupation mission. Possible, not practical.
While the guys over at Cloud Imperium Games put a ton of effort into keeping the community updated on development progress several times each week, the game only hits mainstream news when something major is announced. Even though the team puts out a whole suite of different posts, ranging from videos showing how they fix bugs through star-system lore written up by their creative team all the way to in-house interviews, something major like, say, a new spaceship being announced, is needed to make a bigger splash.
The latest ship to be unveiled is one that looks quite different from anything seen in Star Citizen before, from a stylistic standpoint. While so far everything we’ve seen more or less follows a sleeker and obviously far-future aesthetic, this newest ship takes a different approach. The recently announced Esperia Prowler rather looks like something that dropped out of a near-future military sci-fi action flick, or even a game like Deus Ex.
The backstory of the Prowler is that it’s a recreation of a historic ship used by the Tevarin, one of the many alien races in the Star Citizen universe. The Prowler’s main role is that of a troop transport, as it has stealth abilities, unique magnetic thrusters for low-altitude atmospheric flight and individual hatches for the soldiers being carried for quick deployment and extraction.
Star Citizen’s already broad lineup of ships is constantly being added to, and this is hardly the first dropship in the selection. That said, the Prowler manages to stand out by virtue of its unique design, both in terms of visuals and gameplay. While most ships can be used in a number of creative ways, those geared towards being dropships didn’t really have a stealth angle until now. The two main advantages the Prowler has is stealth systems and the individual troop hatches. The latter effectively removes the main drawback of traditional dropships, which is the single ramp or hatch being an obvious bottleneck target for any opponents on-site.
Those familiar with Star Citizen will know that one of the most popular dropships is the Redeemer, which is an entirely different beast compared to the Prowler. While the Prowler will likely live up to its name, the Redeemer is a much more aggressive ship with greater focus on offensive capabilities alongside the transportation of other players or NPCs into battle. While the Redeemer is likely to blow stuff up on the approach, the Prowler will deploy troops without the enemy even noticing.
Like all ships in Star Citizen, the Prowler will be available in-game, for in-game currency, upon launch. The ship was briefly available for real cash following reveal, however, it has since been pulled from sale – though it will likely resurface every now-and-then when there is some special event going on. You can also probably grab one on the Star Citizen gray market for a massively inflated price, but the latter option does much to damage the game’s economy – and your wallet.
In other news, Cloud Imperium Games’ writing team has released another system-profile. The game’s second star system to be named after a German city, Bremen is being set up to have quite a bit of historic significance in the game. Those familiar with the lore and backstory of the game will know that prior to the events of Star Citizen, the United Empire of Earth – the human spacefaring civilization – was ruled by the tyrannical Messer dynasty, which was a xenophobic and oppressive establishment. The Bremen system was key to the eventual downfall of the dictatorship, which gave way to the much more peaceful Federation-esque government which allows for humanity in Star Citizen to not seem like a bunch of space-nazis.
Star Citizen will be rolling out its next major update in the following months. Currently, a single star system is playable for early adopters and backers of the massively ambitious game on PC.
Star Citizen has been in development for a long, long time now, as the original Kickstarter campaign began in October 2012. Pieces of the game have been released, but the full thing isn’t out yet. The game has grown in scope over the years, so the initial target release dates have come and gone. In a frank and candid blog post today, director Chris Roberts announced a major change for how the studio will communicate release dates, namely that the studio will share “target” dates that could change.
“Whether or not to share this kind of information has been a long running debate among the team here at Cloud Imperium Games,” Roberts said. “Target dates are not release dates, and everything you see will shift at some point, sometimes slightly and sometimes wildly. The danger in doing this has always been that casual observers will not understand this, that there will be an outcry about delays every time we update the page.
“We’ve taken stock, thought through everything and decided that, while that is a risk, above all we trust the community that has given us so much support,” he added. “The community that has let us focus our passions on this incredible project. You have allowed us to take this journey, you have tracked and followed so much of how game development works… and now we think it is right to further part the curtain and share with you our production process.”
Beginning with Star Citizen Alpha 2.6, Cloud Imperium will share its internal development schedule on a weekly basis. “These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions: the individual developer names assigned to the tasks will be omitted (for obvious reasons), we’ll remove the JIRA details and we’ll modify the technical wording to make it readable for a wider audience, but otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know,” Roberts went on to say.
Here is a sample of what the production chart will look like:
This schedule will be permanently posted on the Roberts Space Industries website; additionally, the developer will provide updates every week with a new “snapshot” of its internal schedule.
“We take the process of production very seriously and spend a lot of time on improving our ability in this area,” Roberts added. “Our worldwide Production Team is twenty-five strong and they are the backbone that drives our development forward. They work closely with developers to break down and create tasks, chase up task completion daily, update their respective team’s schedules, encourage and strengthen open communication by organizing meetings, agendas, and creating action items to help push the project forward day by day. The Production Team has many collective years with some of the biggest developers, publishers and games. They are like the rest of the CIG team, world class.”
Also in the blog post, Roberts spoke about how the studio has “take a lot of flak” over the years for pushing Star Citizen’s timeline further into the future.
“But the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated. If you talk to any developer that works on large titles they will tell you that schedules, especially early in the development cycle, move all the time,” he said. “Most people never see this because a publisher won’t announce a project publicly until it is very far along; normally at least in Alpha, with all the technology and gameplay R&D completed. Even then, the timelines can be unpredictable as can be seen in the delays on big name titles from publishers.”
“Open development does have its drawbacks,” he added. “Not everyone understands the process or how difficult it can be. We have always tried to be open and share our progress. We refactored Around the Verse to focus more on developers showing and talking about their work to help give insight into the process. Our monthly reports have more information than any monthly report I had to do for Electronic Arts or Microsoft when at Origin or Digital Anvil.”
Star Citizen fans should really read the full blog post here from Roberts.
As alluded to, not everyone has been thrilled with Star Citizen’s delays. One backer recently received a refund after complaining to California’s Attorney General
Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries have slowly been releasing new promotional videos for Star Citizen as they continue to move toward the next alpha release for the ambitious, crowd-funded space simulator.
DualShockers spotted the latest promo video for the game, which covers the Origin space vessels. There’s a video just under two minutes long that give you a quick look at the sleek transports. Check it out below.
The majority of the video consists of the fake version of Jeremy Clarkson talking up the M50 from the fictional in-game manufacturer, Origin.
The imperfect teeth and wind-creased wrinkles across the face of the aging enthusiast highlights the detail they’re putting into Star Citizen. It’s definitely not realism achieved, but it looks about par the course for most game’s CG sequences. Amid the talk and the banter about the high-tech ship and the things that you can do it, we get a brief look at the 350i stationed in the background on the hardwood floors like a trophy worn on the raised palms of a premiere league champion.
The 85x – amidst a haze of smoke and giant billboards lined along a convention center in the backdrop – looks like a sleek sports car on a showroom floor. The bright lights from the convention center bounce off the glossy, curved plates like the lights reflecting off the shiny botox-forehead of a celebrity accepting an award on stage.
The graphics, as usual, look gorgeous.
There’s no arguing that the game has the visuals nailed down tight. Now they just need to get the persistent universe situated, the procedurally generated planets optimized, and more of those quests finished.
It’s been a slow road toward the finish line, but the developers have been inching their way toward completing various alpha builds.
Up next, they’ve promised that the Star Marine FPS module will be due at some point in the near future. So we’ll how long that takes before it arrives fo
The makers of Star Citizen will make their production schedule public in a show of transparency, four years into a $131 million, crowdfunded project which shows no signs of a completion date, much less one by the end of this year.
In a lengthy note to donors, Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts said the schedule for Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 will be shared on a weekly basis with the public. This page breaks out production schedules for the Star Marine and Arena Commander modules; the technology/systems, content and UI teams, and the Mega Map stretch goal, with bullet-point notes on where they stand.
Notably, the production schedule for Squadron 42, the single-player campaign, is not among them. That long anticipated module, originally expected in the fall of 2015, was not even shown at CitizenCon in October. There is no timeline on when the campaign, which stars Mark Hamill and Gillian Anderson, will be shown or made available to backers.
“As you know we’ve not been keen to give hard dates on the project after the initial set of dates which we had estimated when the project was a lot smaller in scope,” Roberts wrote. He insisted that any dates he’d given for the completion of a module or the release of a beta were rough guidelines only, “but unfortunately some people often tend to forget the qualifiers and treated my comments nonetheless as a promise.”
At this point in Star Citizen’s development, though, he and a development team of 377 across four internal studios felt it was appropriate to share the schedules with the more than 1.6 million individuals who have given to Star Citizen’s campaign, a record-setter in video games development and crowdfunding as a whole.
“These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions,” Roberts said. Individual developer names will be removed for privacy purposes, technical wording will be rewritten to make it understandable to non-developers and the JIRA project tracking details will be omitted. “But otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know,” Roberts wrote.
The ambitious, sprawling space epic led by Roberts, the creator of the Wing Commander space combat simulation series, has published an alpha (currently version 2.5.0) but the repeated delays of modules and features along the way to that have made some backers restless. Some have demanded and received refunds.
Roberts said sharing deadlines and completion goal dates seemed to divide Star Citizen’s community between one group upset that the game is continually portrayed as delayed, and another that wonders why a date would be shared if developers aren’t solidly assured it is attainable.
“We have taken a lot of flak over the last couple of years for the extending timeline of Star Citizen, but the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated,” Roberts wrote. “If you talk to any developer that works on large titles they will tell you that schedules, especially early in the development cycle, move all the time. Most people never see this because a publisher won’t announce a project publicly until it is very far along; normally at least in Alpha, with all the technology and gameplay R&D completed.”
Star Citizen, of course, has no publisher and was announced with practically nothing built at all, in the form of a $2.1 million Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2012. Its crowdfunding has continued since, largely through the very lucrative sale of in-game spaceships.
– How the open world space battle will actually look like?
I tried to google it, but could not find any info (maybe there is just I could not find it, in that case please link it here)
The reason why I ask it:
In first place SC grabbed my attention when it was announced since it used to be an open world never seen virtual universe.
Most of us have a vision due to the mentioned description as an epic adventure.
It’s always exciting when an adventure based on challenges, so the free aim space and inland fight system is really my taste. Actually I can not stand tab target games. I already played a few open world, free aim MMO games so I know well that no matter how complex the questing layer will be, how complex contents the world will hold, the fighting ground always will be a cardinal gaming space. If you explore you do it for a reason, the goal probably will have ingame value, so others will try to hunt you down. If you mine, salvage…whatever game content you will play out you always have to prepare for battle.
PK players will lurking around mineable asteroid field
PK players will looking for to board your exploration ship and stole the gathered data
PK players will looking for your salvaging ships cargo
They will try to loot your science ship’s gardens, laboratories…
Loot you if you will try to play out the merchant role
So basically every even act will be spiced with space combat.
If I walk around in the existing space stations I can imagine my upcoming adventures… If I enter the broken satellite to handle the daily mission I exactly smell the atmosphere of SC that I imagined when it grabbed my interest… But when I do “dogfights” the dimension that SC builded up with it’s unique and chiseled atmosphere crashes to parts in a second. There is one exception: when I turn into 3. person view and I do not use “select target” (T) so I do not see the ship computer or the aim compensation circles, the “select” circles around the ships that makes ship painting, real hiding using asteroids, objects makes a non existing content. In first person dogfight view we not just losing these above mentioned super fun contents, but it’s absolutely overwrites the extremely detailed and well done space environment and also ship visuals.
In my opinion:
– real hiding mechanics
– matter of ship coloring
– snaking mechanics
all would be super fun and actually a have to in the world of SC known what it will offer and how it fulfill the visuals, the look of it.
Of course, it’s a space mmo, so would be funny to do not have radars BUT! Also would be funny to do not have technical solutions to disable radar signals : )
I can imagine just one radar: the 3D one at our frant monitor, but no target selection circles that light up true objects, no aim helper movement compensation signs, just the front radar that would lose the object if an asteroid covers it out and the pure crosshair. Of course under this system the hitbox of the missiles should be a bit bigger (not too much, but a little bit bigger) Dog fighting arenas still can exist for e-sport lovers as raceing. Yea, I mentioned e-sport, since it’s clear like sky for me, that at the moment we have 2 totally separated concept, 2 totally separated games:
– e-sport games as dogfight arenas and racing
– Star Citizen alpha an upcoming epic open world space adventure with inland and space actions
And I do not even wanna mentioning that dogfight arenas + racing is for joystick users since SC the open world MMO is for classic mouse+keyboard users.
I honestly hope that the dogfight space combat style will be somehow separated from SC the mmo (due to the mentioned above reasons) and it will hold the real atmosphere of Star Citizen and in the same time keeping the free aiming system.
Hello all, so I recently joined up for the free fly. I’ve been itching to try Star Citizen since the Free Fly I missed back in July, when I’d only just started really researching the game. Since then I’ve been itching for another try.
Well, now having tried it, I’m going to try and keep the review as brief as I can. There’s a -ton- I want to talk about, but frankly it’s such an early Alpha that I only want to cover ideas and concepts rather than anything to do with performance or bugs.
-Generic missions. I got to try some of the standard leveling up/standard missions, namely repairing uplinks, defending Kareah, and probe quests. They’re acceptable for what they are, but as they are, they lack that feeling of “living, breathing universe” that SC is going for. One of Tessa’s missions for instance involves saving pilots under attack and finding distress beacons, but once you’ve finished them, that’s it, you get the reward and it’s over. If I had to make a major change to these generics, it would be to add a post-quest effect; one of the pilots you save during one of the missions says “thanks, I hope I can pay you back someday” – well, what if she did? If I ever get into another fighting mission further down the line, could I have a generic fighter show up and say “you helped me/my friend out earlier over in [x solar system], let me give you a hand.”
-Group questing. One of the things I was noticing when doing uplink and probe missions is that, when more players showed up, more pirates showed up. However, only one person ever got the money from repairing an uplink, even though we all contributed. It’s kind of fun being able to 2-man these, but the second person needs a little credit! We all just fought off our share of pirates, we should all get a cut.
-Uplinks. They’re a nice little generic mission for newcomers to get some quick money off of, but they don’t feel like they fit in the “living, breathing universe” idea. For one, they break down all the time and for no reason; this is obviously because you need to give players something to do, but it is a little silly. I know it’s a minor thing, but I’d prefer if the quest said “pirates have implanted a jammer on our uplink; eliminate it”, and if the quest is left alone long enough, the quest evolves into “pirates have taken over our uplink and shut down our defenses in that area; eliminate the pirates and reactivate our uplink.” Same task, but higher difficulty and better rewards if an uplink is left alone for too long. It also makes more sense than ‘maintenance’. As well, active Uplinks should spawn security, making them difficult to travel to for real pirates; pirate players may want to shut them down so less security shows up?
Minor cases of taste, but in a game as ambitious as Star Citizen, I want to feel like the things I do to at least act like they have an impact.
At The Game Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Cloud Imperium has released the official launch trailer for Star Citizen Alpha 2.0.
Cloud Imperium’s CEO Chris Roberts and actor Mark Hamill, who is set to star as one of the characters of Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 singleplayer campaign, unveiled the official trailer for Star Citizen Alpha 2.0. They confirmed that all of the footage used in the trailer had been “captured in-game from live play sessions” a phenomenal feat when you see the quality that is on show.
I like to think there are two kinds of people, the engineers and mechanics who can build a race car. then there’s the race car drivers. some developers just cant play the game they created as well.Whatever you say does not change the fact that this video does not show what the FPS looks like. There is no current video of the FPS available and it has been “delayed/canceled” for almost 2 years now. They promised it again for Gamescon, then CitizenCon and now no one knows any more since all these lies are just getting confusing even for the most hardcore cult members.
The reason many people still find CS in general entertaining is because even though the game offers the same thing it has done for 15 years, the base game is still interesting and has a huge skill cap, like many other competitive games. With your logic, Starcraft, Dota, League, and various other games would be dead and gone because they also offer the same content since their inception.
I like games with good guns like wolfenstein the new order. They have the most badass guns in any game. Star Citizen has one of the best graphics of any futuristic game. I think the guns from Star Citizen are just or almost as good as wolfenstein guns.
I’m thinking that because elite dangerous and star citizen are at opposite ends of the system, elite dangerous with no walking around or advanced flight systems like SC but with a big universe, SC with the basics done but with a small space to play in. So if they were put together it would be perfect. But in the real world things like that don’t work for the reasons you mentioned.