Star Citizen Detailed and Demoed
A while ago we posted a news piece about Chris Roberts, creator of the Wing Commander series and a 'big' announcement coming October 10th. Well he has stayed true to his word and revealed his new game at GDC 2012 - Star Citizen.
This highly ambitious looking, PC exclusive, space sim is already looking incredible in this trailer made up of in-game footage.
The open-world, Star Citizen, features a dynamic economy and Roberts describes it as a mash up of Freelancer and Privateer, two of his previous games, and a Wing Commander game. Playable offline or co-op not that dissimilar to the co-op found in Demon Souls, says Roberts.
The story, a political drama, takes inspiration from the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The player's goal is to be accepted into the ranks of Squadron 42, the sci-fi French Foreign Legion.
Being an online game of sorts, it's been announced that the game will benefit from micro-updates released over time. A new star system or a set of new missions are some of the possibilities. Also, if a player stumbles upon a star system, they will be able to name it if they are the first to chart it, and in turn, the charts can be sold for in game currency.
Roberts and his team of creators still have much to do in terms of fleshing out the game mechanics but a working demo was shown at GDC and minds will be blown. The video lasts just under an hour and includes footage of first and third person on foot movement within a space carrier and space combat where the perspective shifts between third person and a wonderfully detailed cockpit view. A procedural physics system operates the ships which enhances the experience of space flight/combat within the game. For example the thrusters will generate forces on the rigid body of each spacecraft in a realistic fashion, further adding to the immersion. Not only will Star Citizen support stereoscopic 3D, but the Oculus Rift headset which will make for some pretty immersive, in-cockpit view, dogfights.
The game is running on the CryEngine and the fidelity, even at this early stage is quite something. Roberts admits it's a deliberate ploy to "melt hardcore gamers' PCs".
Speaking to EuroGamer, he says, "I'm a gamer. I've never made any game I've made in my life because I'm like, oh, I'm going to sell a million or two million or three million copies and make lots of money. The reason I built Wing Commander was I saw Star Wars as a kid and I always wanted to be the hotshot starfighter and save the galaxy, and not just watch it but go and do it."
What I'm building now is something I'm missing. I've always had high-end PCs and played PC games, but I also have consoles. Quite frankly, most of the time I'll play the game on a console because I know they built the game for the console. I think there's a fair number of people like me who have PCs and consoles and do what I do. I'm not going to play Call of Duty on my PC. I'm going to play it on my console because that's what I feel like it was built for.
There are about 40 million people on Steam. PC gamers aren't getting the love. It's an open platform. It's changing all the time. It's always creatively interesting and there's no-one controlling what you can or can't do, which is a problem on the closed console platforms.
If you're online and you're on PC, you can make money and you don't need to be selling four or five million units. You don't have the same inventory risk. People like me probably represent a million or two million unit sales. There's an opportunity right now to come into the business if you focus on PC and sophisticated gamers who aren't getting a lot of content and say, look, I'm one of you. I want to make a game for you guys. Hopefully, and I could be completely wrong, they'll be like, that sounds fresh to me.
The PC gaming business is still a pretty strong valid business, but it hasn't been getting a lot of love recently. I want to come back. That's where I made my name. PC is the place where a lot of great games were started. Even a lot of the top console franchises started on the PC. I want to do my part. I'm a PC owner. I'm a PC game player and I'm proud of it. I'm going to stand up and be counted."
The game will be released without a publisher. A private investment was made but he still needs "an element" of crowdfunding to raise about 2-4 million dollars
The game has been estimated to cost between 12-14 million dollars. Roberts says "I can make it for this price because I'm not making it inside the system". "If I did it inside the system that would be $20+ million."
With the recent rise in Kickstart projects, Roberts has decided to steer clear of that route as "it's an extra step between the developer and the community". A crowd funding plug-in has gone live today at robertsspaceindustries.com where Star Citizen will eventually launch.
The full game isn't due out until late 2014, but, early supporters will gain access to builds of the game, ahead of the release date of the final, full version. Roberts is hopeful that sometime next year an Alpha version of the multiplayer will be made available.
And the Star Citizen Announcement Panel video from GDC 2012 by Gamespot.