chris roberts

Check out Star Citizen’s absurdly detailed in-game hologram smartwatch

Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner are helming another episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse this week, in the temporarily abbreviated format introduced previously. The headliner of the episode? MobiGlas, which is basically a super fancy in-game smartwatch that your character can use to display every imaginable statistic to you in an overlay interface. I want one!

The Burndown segment this week covers the team’s progress toward alpha 3.0. “If you saw our update to the Public Release Schedule last Friday, you should notice that we started this week at 90 must fix issues that we need to complete before we’re ready to release to our first round of non CIG testers,” Senior Producer Eric Kieron Davis says. “These 90 issues are our detailed lists with set priorities guiding the closed down phase of this release. The reason we need priorities is to help us understand which are crucial to be completed first. We currently use terms and definitions such as blocker, critical, high, moderate and trivial and identifying these issues all start with QA.”

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse format gets a shake-up ahead of the 3.0 alpha

Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts has taken the opening segment of this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse episode to personally address the reasons behind the continuing delay of alpha 3.0.

“The majority of 3.0’s new features are almost complete, and we’ve shifted into the final phase of production process that focuses on feature and content integration, optimization and bug fixing,” he says. “But we want to make sure that it’s ready.”

In fact, the studio is planning to adjust how the Around the Verse weekly video works, replacing the developer report drop-ins with a new segment called Burn Down, which’ll provide an overview of production meetings and current work, along with a “weekly deep dive into a feature [CIG is] working on for the game,” though the normal AtV cadence will resume after 3.0 has launched.

This week’s deep-dive? Secondary viewports.

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Star Citizen’s 3.0 alpha appears to have been delayed yet again

Ever wonder whether developers regret transparency? With Star Citizen, probably not so much when the money keeps coming anyway, even when the game’s 3.0 alpha and persistent universe continue being delayed.

In April, CIG estimated 3.0 for this summer, achieved mainly by pushing off many of its features to later in the year. Earlier this month, we found out that 3.0 would be delayed into August following a month in Evocati testing. And this week’s production schedule report suggests it’ll be even further delayed.

“This week, we entered the optimization, polish and bug fixing phase for the 3.0 feature set,” says CIG. “As there have been so many features and content implemented, we’ve encountered some stability issues that we want to address before going to a wider test audience. The ongoing work on the new Patcher system (that will save you from having to completely re-download each build) and some new bugs with CopyBuild3 (our internal version of the patcher) have also slowed us down. Because of this we have pushed back the Evocati and subsequent date ranges to reflect the additional time needed to get Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 ready for prime time.”

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Chris Roberts has ‘no intention of reducing the size of the Star Citizen universe’

Last week, German-language German website Gamestar published an interview with Star Citizen studio Cloud Imperium Games, noting that Roberts appeared to have said Star Citizen will launch with 5 to 10 star systems, an apparent reduction in scope from original launch plans (we already know the 3.0 alpha will launch with just one incomplete system.) That provoked this infamous missed-deadline infographic and the weekly flamewar.

A week later, CIG is finally tackling the uproar, calling the whole thing an oops over translation, chiefly a misunderstanding of the translation of the word “release.”

“Hey guys! This is a case of things being lost in translation; Chris was asked a specific question about how many systems we expect to have online at the point that we’ve got most of the core mechanics completed and we would consider the gameplay experience suitable for a larger audience. There are no changes with regards to the planned amount of systems which are well documented on the current Star Map.”

It’s hard to count all the systems on the star map because of its depth and width, but we took a look and we’ll estimate there’s about 100 on it right now.

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Elite Dangerous’ David Braben on communities, MMOs, F2P, and the space game genre

Elite Dangerous’ David Braben has a big spread in Rolling Stone’s Glixel blog this week, and it’s a fun read as he zips around discussing Trappist-1, Roman slavery, Star Wars, ant society, Shakespeare, Ursula Le Guin, computer science jobs, and the future of humanity. It’s a whirlwind, but he does eventually get around to talking about Elite itself, admitting that while the game will never achieve “perfection,” it’s “definitely approaching” his ideal space game, as “accurate as we can possibly make it.”

“When we first greenlit Elite: Dangerous, there were no other major space games since Freelancer,” he says. “Now, there are dozens. So, I think we’ve succeeded. We’ve brought the genre back to life. And we’ve proven there’s quite a lot of demand for this sort of game. Yes, it’s niche, but it’s quite a big niche. And we’ve got [Star Citizen’s] Chris Roberts coming along now, and so many other games that look interesting. No Man’s Sky, even.”

He also argues that free-to-play is a “challenge” to online communities and instancing in MMOs.

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Take a peek at Star Citizen’s procedural planets and moons

That’s no moon; it’s a… oh, wait. It’s really a moon? Oh, that kind of ruins the lede, doesn’t it? Can I at least make the joke anyway? Good. That’s no moon; it’s a procedural moon!

Yep, procedural moons (and planets!) steal the show on this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse. The Frankfurt team explains that each one of these locations is unique, with its own gravity, ecosystems, objects, weather, and atmosphere, and players can land seamlessly anywhere on the surface.

“What makes the game so challenging to build [is that] every asset must be crafted so it looks good not only to the distance but also from right in front of your eyes, and there aren’t many games that have those demands. I think it’s one of the things that makes Star Citizen so special,” Chris Roberts says.

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Star Citizen Caterpillar sales resume, particle system explained

In this week’s episode of Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner cap off another round of developer updates on the crowdfunded MMO. The Austin team checks in with news on the pricing structure for the gameworld, mission rewards, hub NPCs, mission givers, and the carry system. The Turbulent team also outlines progress on the Spectrum communication software, and there’s a behind-the-scenes segment on visual effects — they’re going to some wild extremes to make sure that engine trails look right in atmo.

Most importantly? “Along with the bartender we are also getting the useable for the bar stool up and running. Once this is done a player will be able to go and sit at a bar stool and order a drink,” Producer Jake Ross says.

Meanwhile, CIG has a flash sale running this weekend for subscribers, once again offering the Caterpillar for purchase until Monday, as well as a new Q&A on the Nox, which was the last ship up for sale. Check out the whole episode down below.

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How Star Citizen uses science to build out its galaxy

This week’s episode of Star Citizen Around the Verse sees Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts and Eric Kieron Davis bookending Foundry 42, Ship Shape, and solar system segments. From the Foundry 42 Frankfurt office, Development Director Brian Chambers checks in to discuss new hires, level design work, landing zones, atmosphere mapping, buddy AI, enemy reactions, planet surfacing, outpost lighting, environment art, and multiplayer persistent universe gameplay testing (yay!), while Ship Shape is aimed at you motorcycle lovers.

“Being able to see your footsteps in the snow or have your vehicle kick up dust while speeding across the desert are those little details that’ll make you believe that you’re really in those environments and be much more immersive, and you know me – I love immersive,” Roberts chimes in.

The best bit is easily the solar system segment, but I’m biased – I married an astrophysicist. The devs explain how they use the Solar System Ed (SolEd) to build out the parts of their galaxy in the service of the Star Map, making use of volunteer astronomers and other scientists to vet their ideas for scientific plausibility. Fun!

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Star Citizen Around the Verse: Manchester’s work on 3.0 and ship migration progress

This week’s Around the Verse has arrived for Star Citizen fans, helmed by both Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner. This episode has a crapton of footage worth a skim for the visuals alone; there’s a lengthy studio update from the folks in Manchester, discussing the accessibility of the early game, including the hint system, plus 3.0 mission development, AI pathing, lighting and reflection, weapons, animations, ships, ground vehicles, weapons, habitable units for outposts, cockpit graphics, and character customization.

Item 2.0 and the great ship migration of 2017 get the back half of the episode. The takeaway? Seats are really important. 3.0 is coming, citizens! Check it all out down below.

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Mark Hamill caps off Star Citizen’s latest Around the Verse

This week’s episode of Around the Verse sees Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookending the Austin studio update and tech check-in. The Austin branch is focused on major features for 3.0, Producer Jake Ross says, from commodity trading and the mission-giver experience to landing zones (yes with smuggling) and ship damage modeling. Work on Spectrum — that’s the huge in-game/out-of-game communication tool being custom-built for the game — continues as well.

The behind-the-scenes segment will be music to the ears of those of you who want to hear all about how the game and its builds are hosted.

The episode concludes with what is probably its best bit, a May the 4th tease that amounts to “a little glimpse of Mark Hamill in the cockpit of Squadron 42.” We’ve tucked it down below.

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‘This universe is going to be awesome’: Chris Roberts on Star Citizen’s evolving moons

On this week’s Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookend two key segments. The first is a studio update with Foundry 42 checking in from Frankfurt; Brian Chambers describes the team’s efforts on procedural planets, spawning, moons, performance capture, the conversation system, NPC AI, and missions headed into Squadron 42.

The moons “are getting cooler every week, and they’re actually a really great test example where we’re sort of pushing our tech for the planets, which will also pay off on the more involved planets like Hurston or ArcCorp or Microtech and beyond,” Roberts says. “So it’s a great test bed, and it’s kinda fun for me, and we share it with you guys, but I sort of see the progress weekly in it, and it gets cooler and better. So this universe is going to be awesome.”

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Star Citizen’s 3.0 to ‘simulate a first-person universe with almost no limits’

As Star Citizen players are still grappling with the recently revealed development schedule, Chris Roberts has swooped in to provide some context and explanation for the roadmap. He said that the early summer jump to the alpha 3.0 build of the game will greatly expand on what Star Citizen can do and offer. The June update will contain a trio of moons to explore and the possibility of a large asteroid as well.

“When you see a planet or moon, you will be able to fly there, land and explore on foot, or from your ship or a ground vehicle you have brought with you. All seamlessly, all with the incredible first person detail that Star Citizen is known for,” Roberts said. “With this we are delivering something that goes way beyond the initial promises and conception of Star Citizen; we will be simulating a first-person universe with almost no limits.”

If Roberts’ letter isn’t enough to sate your need for information, there’s also the new monthly studio report to absorb. We’ve got it for you below, so watch now and thank us later!

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Star Citizen’s Ten for the Chairman basically describes Tramp Freighters Online

Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Tony Zurovec teamed up to field backer questions on a new round of Ten for the Chairman this week. This episode is at least in part about stuff, literally: The early questions focus on cargo and salvage and how it all works. Star Citizen is all about the realism and the ecosystem of living and trading in space; you’ll be able to truly see the stuff you’re buying and hauling, there will be a combination of automatic and manual cargo unloading, salvaging will be a completely legitimate playstyle, “player-generated mayhem” will be possible across certain parts of the persistent universe, and you will indeed be able to “move fluidly between professions.”

Roberts also addresses the basic difficulty of just keeping your hunk of junk in the air. “There will definitely be a certain amount of maintenance keeping your ship running especially in the bigger ships,” he says. “If you’ve watched any science fiction movie and you’ve seen Chewie banging the Millennium Falcon or the crew of the Nostromo having to keep their ship running and stuff like that.”

It’s definitely worth a listen, especially if you’re my kind of geek — i.e., the kind who isn’t much into World of Evil Space Jerk Empire but thinks the idea of Tramp Freighters Online sounds damn fun.

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