cloud imperium

Studio known primarily for Star Citizen.

VR is still on the table for Star Citizen

VR-centric website Road to VR has a brief quote from Cloud Imperium Games that might be good news to those of you still hoping to someday see Star Citizen in virtual reality.

“Nothing new really to report here,” CIG told the publication in response to its status request. “We do plan on having VR support for Star Citizen. But it’s just having to fit in as a technology with all the other tech that we are currently incorporating into the game. As I’m sure you know, VR technology is evolving quickly. As with anything that fits this category, we are going to spend the time to make sure it’s integrated properly for our game.”

Indeed, as one Redditor points out, the game’s latest Around the Verse, which we covered Friday, features what is basically an in-game holo-watch dubbed mobiGlas; during that segment, CIG explained that it’s kept VR in mind while designing it.

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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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Derek Smart’s Line of Defense brings on secondary team for console version

Derek Smart’s MMO Line of Defense has a progress update this week covering the state of the game’s build. A new patch is on the way, and it’s fairly light, according to the post, being focused on the “underlying tech.” But that’s partly by design.

“Progress has been somewhat slow due to various factors including team and tech related challenges, as well as scheduling,” Smart says. “In addition to this, due to resources, scheduling, and dev costs, I also made the final decision to complete the PC version of the game using the existing custom engine in order to avoid any long term delays and complications.”

This means Line of Defense will be ported to UE4 by a secondary team. “In the end, we’re going to end up with two engine versions of the game, one for the PC, and the other for consoles,” he tells early access backers. “But due to the similarities between our Havok based custom engine, and UE4, there are currently no concerns related to parity in the game’s features. If anything, most of the noticeable differences will be in visuals, due to the vastly superior graphics of the UE4 engine.”

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Global Chat: Dipping into Albion Online

Now that Albion Online has officially launched, what’s the verdict? It’s a little hard to get a feel for that, since I haven’t seen a huge crowd heading off to play it, but I do know that there are some that have been waiting for this colorful sandbox MMO.

Occasional Hero posted his launch impressions, saying, “Playing Albion feels a lot like going back to RuneScape. It’s an isometric, crafting-focused, click-to-move game where players have to compete for resources. Even the graphics are similar […] If I get to the endgame and everything I need is walled inside PvP zones controlled by massive, EVE-style guild conglomerates, I won’t be sticking around. Sadly, from a lot of the player feedback I’ve been hearing, it sounds like that’s what a lot of it is going to end up being.”

And SparkoMarkoGaming has done us all a service by blogging through his first few days in the game. “I knew what to expect from playing the beta and nothing seemed to have changed in the gameplay,” he noted.

Continue with us on our journey through MMO blog essays in this week’s Global Chat! On deck is a look at Star Citizen’s alpha, an evaluation of Secret World Legends, and a look at gamers’ “play personalities.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 129: Treasure Trove

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about Trove’s underdog status, the impact of server merges on open world housing, playing as a deer, gender stereotypes in MMOs and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Star Citizen addresses its latest delay, studio is ‘working feverishly’ on 3.0

If you were one of the many backers and industry watchers raising eyebrows over Star Citizen’s latest production schedule report and delay, you’re going to want to read the followup.

Cloud Imperium’s Will “Soulcrusher” Leverett addressed followers on Spectrum, reminding everyone that the production schedule has always been merely an estimate and that the scope of the 3.0 update is “an an order of magnitude larger and more complex than all of our previous versions combined” such that “integrating all of [it] has revealed to be MUCH more of a bug fixing project than anticipated, which obviously reshapes those estimates and changes those dates.”

“As gamers, we are conditioned to consider all dates as static points in time that we can wrap our heads around and plan for in advance,” he argues. “The nature of this project does not neatly fit into that mold due to the complexity of what we’re building, and with what we learn about what’s possible and needed along the way. These date ranges are dynamic according to the challenges presented to us at that time, and we actively maintain that to keep you up to date.”

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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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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse makes parking your ship sound way hard to design

This week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse isn’t going to surprise anyone who’s been watching the reaction to the game’s latest concept ship, the Tumbril Cyclone rover and its variants. While the video checks in with the Austin studio and its progress toward the 3.0 alpha, the star of the show is the Ship Shape segment on the new land vehicles.

“The Cyclone is intended to be a land vehicle where you get in and drive around on the surface of a planet. It’s supposed to be a fun vehicle to drive fast. It has four-wheel drive. It’s got four-wheel steering also. Something you’re supposed to be having fun while you’re driving around on the planet taking jumps off ramps. Just doing all the things you can in a wheeled vehicle.”

The Behind the Scenes bit covers parking. No, really, it covers the tech underpinning parking ships and logging in and out and having your ship still be there when you return — apparently much harder under-the-hood than it sounds. The whole episode is down below, and don’t miss the Cyclone Q&A from earlier this week.

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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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Star Citizen Q&A covers the Cyclone concept vehicle, which won’t make it into 3.0

Earlier this week, we reported on Star Citizen’s latest concept ship: The Tumbril Cyclone, a ground vehicle whose multiple variants will run up to $70 for those who buy in and whose fundraising has pushed the game’s tally over $155,291,000 as of this writing.

Today, Cloud Imperium has released the official Q&A on the rover, information you’d think you’d want to have before plunking down cash on pixels, but hey, this is Star Citizen we’re talking about. Of note, the devs say the Cyclone can carry 1 SCU of cargo, that the RN variant will have “longer [scanning] range and better detection capabilities” than the basic model, that it’ll probably be about twice as fast as an Ursa, that the current variant system isn’t modular, that Cyclones should fit into anything that fits an Ursa, and that trailers aren’t on the agenda.

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Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship, and it’s pushed the game to $155M funding

Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship — it’s a freakin’ rover. Dubbed The Tumbril Cyclone, the vehicle’s multiple variants will run up to $70 for those who buy in.

“The Cyclone provides multiple interactive displays to give both the driver and co-pilot ultimate control of their vehicle and its systems. The Co-pilot’s seat not only gives the ability to survey the area, but also provides controls to additional systems provided by the various modules. […] The new X-TEC tires are the perfect solution for off-road vehicles. These articulated treads can change their configuration to handle soft and loose terrain or harder surfaces to provide equal traction, no matter the environment.”

Perhaps the bigger news is that sales of the ship this weekend have pushed crowdfunding for the sci-fi MMO to a grand total of $155,000,000. Going on $155.2M, in fact.

Reddit is chattering with details on which ships the Cyclone will fit into, if you’re worried about that. Is there a point to them in a game world where you can land on planetary surfaces in your spaceship? Maybe. Expect the full Q&A later this week.

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Let’s go space shopping in this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse

We’ve been chatting about game economies this week here at Massively OP, so it’s a happy coincidence than this week’s episode of Around the Verse features Star Citizen’s shopping kiosks and commodities system in detail. Heck yeah, space shopping.

“The kiosk is going to be the user’s interface to purchase things or sell them within the game that are not physically within the shop in the case, purchasing or things in their inventory, things from their ship all selling with be done through the kiosk,” explain studio reps. There’s also a nifty discussion on the difficulties of scaling the economy to support the sale of “super tiny and inconsequentially priced [items] all the way up to […] massive battlecruisers.” As for recipes,

“Recipe in the context of Star Citizen is somewhat similar to a crafting recipe in other MMOs. It defines the types of commodities and resources that go into manufacturing a given item like a laser cannon or even a ship. The way that we use recipes and the way that you may find them in another game is that those recipes generally aren’t used directly by the players, instead they’re used by the design team to really sculpt the types of goods that are bought and sold in a location in the world and that’s to make that location feel correct. So if it’s a factory that it buys and sells the kinds of things that you would expect from that location.”

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