Star Citizen reveals multi-crew ships; messes with gravity and our heads

It’s going to be a while before we can say Star Citizen has shipped, but it’s certainly very shippy. Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium have shown off the latest fragment of the space-and-everything-in-it sim at Gamescom: say hello to multi-crew ships. Yep, we’ve been shown vessels piloted and wandered through by several players at once... and it’s sort of brain-boggling, to be honest.

Multi-crew ships build on Star Citizen’s Arena Commander module - spawning a small group of players on a space station and leaving them to make their own fun with a craft big enough to house them all.

Players can take the controls, man turrets, and embark on space-walking missions of their own devising. 

The mode’s physics is calculated locally on player PCs - meaning that if the pilot sets the ship spinning the players walking around its belly remain upright, each experiencing their own version of gravity.

It’s far from finished, but the Star Citizen booth at Gamescom hosted a handful of PCs, each displaying utterly different perspectives on the same events. And in the centre sat Cloud Imperium king Chris Roberts.

“You’re not going to have 50 systems to adventure in, but I think most people are going to have a lot of fun,” Roberts told PCGamesN. “I’m actually expecting people to make up their own action story arc. So what we’re planning is, we’ll just have different areas you can fly in and visit and do things in, or have some AI that will spawn.”

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That laissez-faire approach to design continues with objectives, which are likely to be self-set.

“I was thinking of something like what we call freeflight mode,” said Roberts. “And we’ll have some more team-oriented stuff where you could have a combination of the bigger multi-crew ships and the smaller [ones]. A team battle thing. It should be pretty good.”

We’ll have more on how Cloud Imperium are beginning to lash the disparate parts of Star Citizen together very soon.

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Shriven avatarFraser Brown avatarDeaderBug avatarStark Reality avatarRampheus avatarGh0u1 avatar+3
Star Citizen Review
Star Citizen Review

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6 reviewers answered 11 questions

Shriven Avatar
2944
10 Months ago

A little faith is restored.

4
dudemanjac Avatar
4
9 Months ago

Is there anyway to get the whole interview, questions and all?

1
Fraser Brown Avatar
899
10 Months ago

Completely baffled as to why I would want to experience gravity differently from the people I'm playing with.

0
DeaderBug Avatar
5
10 Months ago

Gravity within the ship, outside the ship, in a second ship, they are all independent. CIG is calling it local physics grid.

5
Fraser Brown Avatar
899
10 Months ago

Yeah, just read some forum discussion about it.

2
Stark Reality Avatar
2
10 Months ago

I think they mean from ship to ship.

2
Rampheus Avatar
54
10 Months ago

When Star Citizen was first announced years ago, they promised an open sandbox universe where players could fly, explore, fight, trade, adventure in together. Where did that game go? All I read about now is "Arena Commander" and a scrapped FPS shooter spin off which is nothing remotely close to what was originally pitched and promised. This game sounds like a disappointment before it has even had a chance to release. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

-3
kaffis Avatar
5
10 Months ago

As anybody who's been following development, much less been playing Arena Commander, knows, Arena Commander is the format under which we're being given access to "modules" of gameplay as they're developed and ready for alpha/beta testing.

It's the same system that gave us a mere "hangar module" two years ago, and then added the "arena module" on top of that a little over a year ago. The single player campaign and sandbox persistent universe are still coming -- we're just being given the opportunity to help test the engine and crucial gameplay (like flight) before that's completely ready.

At the Gamescom event last night, it was announced that we should see the social module added *later this month*, in fact, which is the first step towards those persistent sandbox elements, as it'll open up the hangar to connect to a planetside landing zone environment with shops and eventually NPCs to interact with, and will host multiplayer interactions in that sandbox, rather than just match-made space flight.

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Gh0u1 Avatar
5
10 Months ago

This IS he sandbox universe in progress. What they showed in the multi-crew demo is a seamless star system, one of HUNDREDS of seamless star systems all together in a single galaxy that will make up the Persistant Universe. Arena Commander is the testbed for all the space features, and the FPS module is not a "spin off" but the testbed for all of the ground movement and combat in the game. All these pieces are going to come together into a massive seamless online sandbox.

3
midimaker Avatar
59
10 Months ago

50 star systems with random generation missions reached by A to B warping is not a sandbox.

1
Rampheus Avatar
54
9 Months ago

^ This was pretty much my point. The article has an alarming comment in it that I was reacting to... "...So what we’re planning is, we’ll just have different areas you can fly in and visit and do things in, or have some AI that will spawn.”... Or am I the only one who read that and raised an eyebrow?

2
dudemanjac Avatar
4
dudemanjac replied to Rampheus
9 Months ago

Honestly I think we need to hear the whole article in context. Everything I know about the game and what has been said for the past few years leads me to think most of this posted is about Arena Commander, not the PU. While th ePU is going to be a lot of open world, do what you want, the missions are going to be generated partly based on need, and partly given out by npc's on the planet. I appreciate this video, but it completely leaves out the ground area where a lot of the interaction is supposed to happen. There is territory control, particularly over the enormous carrier that needs to be manned 24 hours a day to be kept. They built a ship expressly for salvaging other ships and another that's a hospital ship. And those are for players. There is a very intricate mining game that involves monitoring the drill speed and looking out for gas pockets. Arena commander is being built to have a multitude of senarios not just for testing purposes but for release. It is meant to give people some danger free fun apart from the regular mmo where you can lose your gear. But they want it to be more than just standard deathmatch and capture the flag. Think the co-op missions in CoD just more intricate. I found a video for you. It describes some of the mining. I'll also link CIG's youtube page where they have the whole presentation broken up. Also a pic of that salvage ship if I can find it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PArQxi2SU4k

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTeLqJq1mXUX5WWoNXLmOIA

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/ships/reclaimer/Reclaimer

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midimaker Avatar
59
midimaker replied to Rampheus
9 Months ago

I'm sure it'll be fun in its own way but wow, it's getting so far from the original pitch. I was hoping of manual quantum drive control for interdictions, scouting, chases and the like. Not this select destination, warp, get sight-seeing achievement junk.

2
dudemanjac Avatar
4
9 Months ago

The FPS wasn't scrapped. It is delayed. Star Marine and Arena Commander are test beds for now, but they will e available as simulated environments once the game goes live with it's persistent world.

2