The crowdfunding efforts that saw Star Citizen raise a record-breaking $6,271,458 (and which are still going, passing $6,576,000 thanks to a grace period) also unlocked a host of new elements and features that Chris Roberts and his team will now be adding to the game, everything from cockpit decorations to carriers. Here’s a roundup of everything that we’re now expecting to see in the game. Brace yourself, cause there’s an awful lot of it.
A persistent universe with 100 different star systems and multiple races
system after star system. Most of these have multiple planets, but there
are a few exceptions to the rule. Take the Cathcart System, for
example, which has no planets orbiting its star and is under pirate
control. It won’t all be star systems, though. Keep an eye out for
nebulae and other “space terrain” as well.
addition to the humans that have scattered themselves across the stars,
at least two spacefaring alien races will also call this universe their
home. The Xi’An Empire are a race of vaguely reptilian and pretty
authoritarian folks, while not much is yet known about the Kr’tak, which
backers unlocked at the $4.5m mark.
A 50 mission single-player “Squadron 42” campaign
Star Citizen will offer players the opportunity to be privateers, pirates,
traders and, of course, fighter pilots. The latter career choice offers
less freedom as you’ll always be acting under the orders of your
superiors, but this is where you’ll get to enjoy a branching campaign in
the spirit of the classic Wing Commander games. An expansion with 16
additional missions, scheduled to touch down rrive some time after the
game’s launch, will be free to all backers.
Many, many spaceships
The galaxy will be a-glitter with starfighters, bombers, transports,
interceptors and even capital ships, and new funding targets have
unlocked even more than Roberts originally planned to include. For
example, the Retaliator strategic bomber came into being when total
funding reached $3.75 million, while the Caterpillar Armored Transport
stepped off the drawing board when Kickstarter funding came to $1.5m.
When the total raised reached $5.5m, Roberts introduced the Bengal
carrier, a capital ship that will be extremely difficult to earn
in-game, but that is nevertheless “an amazing base for clans, squadrons
and guilds.” Expect to be able to walk around in many of the largest
ships in first and third-person.
At the moment fourteen different ships are confirmed and redditor psych2l recently put together a helpful spreadsheet that containing all their details.
As Roberts explained to me last month,
all of these vessels streaking through his star systems will be modular
in their design, built from individual components that influence their
flight model and behaviour and which can, of course, be damaged or
destroyed while in combat. Some of the larger ships will have room for
multiple crew members, allowing your friends to take a seat in a gun
turret, while the Constellation (available to those who pledged $250)
has its own miniature flight deck complete with short-range fighter.
also be able to upgrade, tweak and re-skin your ships, perhaps
installing a tractor beam and slapping on a paint job that you’ve
christened “BLOOD RED DEATH.” Those who have already backed the game
will be able to add special decals and will also have the advantage of
lifetime insurance for their ships, should any, er, accidents befall
them. The rest of us will have to make do with, at most, 12 months
insurance on any new purchase, though in all cases only the hulls are
insured and not any upgrades or cargo, so the game already has small print on its insurance policies. That’s what I call realism.
There will be starbases, too
These will include starports and asteroid bases,
also unlocked by Kickstarter pledges, such as unsavoury smuggler
hideouts and hidden supply depots, as well as a trading post which was
unlocked when funding passed the $4.5m mark. Derelict alien vessels also
hang in the cold vacuum of space, waiting for explorers to step aboard
and search for their secrets.
it goes about its business, the muttering of the AMX-1 is a series of
reassuring beeps and whirrs. The nine-armed machine will be able to
“access and repair any standard ship system with ease.” Even if you’re
alone out there in space, you’ll never really
be alone with one of these things on board. Imagine it as a metallic
pet, a chrome sidekick. The AMX-1 will also be free to all backers.
No server shards, but instanced battles and the opportunity to drop in on friends
In a blog post last week,
Roberts explained that, while he wanted to avoid the player
fragmentation that’s caused by separate server shards, he’s aware that
hardware limitations would prevent even the best PCs handling star
systems packed with thousands of vessels. Instead, players will be split
into level-appropriate instances based on their skill and PvP
preferences. Those playing the Squadron 42 single-player campaign can
also drop into other people’s dogfights, Demon’s Souls-style, so they’ll
still enjoy a taste of multiplayer. Roberts has also said that players
will have the opportunity to create private servers and mod them.
No monthly subscription cost, but a chance to buy in-game credits for $1 per 1000cr
Guild Wars 2, you’ll only have to pay a one-off fee to buy the game,
which represents your putting down money to buy your first vessel.
Roberts wants to avoid boring grinding routines as much as possible and
he says the opportunity for players to buy in-game currency will attract
more casual gamers.
A dedicated Star Citizen app
iOS or Android device will keep you updated with in-game affairs and
allow you to tinker with your inventory while you’re away from your PC.
Imagine it as your own in-game PDA, letting you do everything that isn’t
to do with space flight, such as checking your space mail and reading
the space news and paying your space taxes.
The opportunity to take part in boarding operations
can be boarded and captured in FPS-style combat, which will feature
both gun combat and melee, as well as simulation of zero gravity for
anyone who happens to find themselves outside of the ship. Perhaps
you’ll be clomping along the hull in your magnetic boots? It’s entirely
yes, this does mean you’ll be able to steal other people’s ships. Of
course, your own will also be at risk. Better buy a steering lock.
Support for Oculus Rift and dedicated flight sim controllers
includes support for multiple monitors and some of the more esoteric
flight sim accessories that are out there. In my interview with him,
Roberts said he hoped to include Oculus Rift support and this is now
confirmed. Expect this support to extend to peripherals like flight
pedals and dedicated throttle controllers.
A full orchestral score
Ba-BOOOO dadadadda ba BUUUMMM ta ta dadadada is how it’ll probably go.
Professional motion capture and the voice talents of one of the Wing Commander cast
you’ll be able to walk around inside capital ships and bases, I assume
the motion capture is relevant to the movement of pilots and crew rather
than the spaceships themselves, but who knows? Perhaps Chris Roberts is
motion capturing real-life spaceships as we speak. On second thoughts,
probably not. Who could the returning cast member be? Malcolm McDowell
or John Rhys-Davies? Thomas Wilson? Mark Hamill?
Trading and some degree of crafting
always has opportunities for cargo haulers and Star Citizen will give
you the chance to make your fortune by trafficking goods across the
galaxy. While some crafting will be possible, it’s not something Roberts
is as keen to focus on and he’s emphasised that it will not be as
complex a system as we see in, say, Eve Online.
NPCs who will remember you and react accordingly
wants you to find your place in the universe and if this is as a total
jerk who keeps spilling drinks on other pilots or who doesn’t hold open
doors for other people, then so be it. I should hasten to add that
door-holding hasn’t been confirmed, but what Roberts means is that your
actions and your responses will gradually shape your reputation not only
with other players, but within the game world itself.
Monthly “Town Hall” and “show and tell” events
will give Roberts and his team the chance to both keep backers
up-to-date on the progress of the game while it’s in development and
answer questions from their community. Star Citizen will also have a
monthly digital magazine, called Jump Point, which will feature updates
from the team and include in-universe fiction.
Customisable player avatars, cockpit decorations
be able not only personalise your avatar as you might expect to in any
RPG, but also make your cockpit space your own. If you want a tacky
plastic dinosaur with a head that wobbles every time you’re hit by laser
fire, you can stick it to your cockpit dash, though I’d be quite happy
with the standard pine tree hanging off the mirror. Expect to spend at
least an hour a day fiddling with blutac or losing the thing somewhere
between the windscreen and a fan outlet.