Star Citizen sets procedural generation as next goal. Passes $39m in funding | PCGamesN

Star Citizen sets procedural generation as next goal. Passes $39m in funding

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Our style guide has a whole section devoted to Star Citizen. For the past year every article we’ve written has needed to start in the same way “Star Citizen’s now has more money than [insert large, fiscally abundant country :: Note: make sure it is larger than previous country referenced].” It has to stop. Star Citizen’s clearly out of control. It will never stop sucking in money. It will be referred to in the future by economic historians as the event that tore assunder our world of separate nation states as all governments became indebted to the Star Citizen machine.

On a separate note, Star Citizen’s next stretch goal is to add procedural generation.

“Our previous stretch goals have been about expanding Star Citizen immediately; adding new ships, new systems and more,” writes Chris Roberts. “Each one has added something to the game while allowing us to widen our bandwidth: hire more employees, expand our development facilities, purchase new technology and so on. Now it’s time to look a little further in the future!

“Star Citizen isn’t just about the game we launch with. We’re going into this building not only an immersive launch experience, but the platforms and the tools to let us keep expanding the game to meet the available technology. The game won’t be a static experience: we want to build Star Citizen in a way that the experience will be fresh in five years, ten years and into the foreseeable future.

“Among the most common feature requests for Star Citizen are atmospheric combat and ground exploration. These are the single biggest things we would like to include in the game, but they’re also something we know we can’t have day one. Our universe is a big place, and creating the hundreds of existing landouts properly is enough of a challenge… building entire continents and atmospheres in the current system would take a lifetime.

“That’s where procedural generation comes in. If we can develop a truly great procedural generation system, one that lets us create entire planets for you to populate, then we can expand the game to add these features (and more) in the future.”

That’s where the procedural generation R&D team come in. They’re working on “creating entire planets worth of exploration and development content.”

I’m concerned by how much money is pouring into Star Citizen with so little to show for it so far. The thinking behind that is that, with so much money, the team need to spend a lot longer in pre-production. That sounds reasonable but no publisher would throw $40 million at something without getting something to show for it.

That said, the original idea for Star Citizen is still compelling, those original videos are still spectacular, as are the previz videos released later. Procedural generation thrown into the mix makes everything a little bit sweeter but a little more convoluted too.