star citizen

Official Site: Star Citizen
Studio: Cloud Imperium Games Corporation/Roberts Space Industries
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Sci-fi Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

A trimmed-down Star Citizen 3.0 alpha is coming this summer

You can stop fidgeting about what might or might not arrive in Star Citizen this year: Cloud Imperium has released its promised development roadmap for the rest of 2017. The studio stresses that quality will trump everything, that estimates are merely estimates, and that the schedule isn’t all-encompassing, but the words “3.0” and “persistent universe” and “planetary tech” have been enough to send Reddit into a tizzy of excitement.

It’s also sent the community into a tizzy of concern, as it appears the original plans for 3.0 have been trimmed down to get it out the door this summer, with many of its features pushed off to later patches later in the year. According to the newsletter, this is partly the result of Behaviour Interactive ending its subcontract for Cloud Imperium (you MMO folks will know it as the studio behind Eternal Crusade).

Check out the whole shebang below.

Read more

Star Citizen Around the Verse on the Javelin and weekend free-fly

Cloud Imperium’s Sandi Gardiner and Forrest Stephan return this week for another episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse. The highlight of the show is meant to be the lengthy Javelin creation walkthrough, but I’m more impressed watching Erin Roberts rattle off the five million things the UK studio is working on, from ongoing work on the shopping interface and item placement system and conversation system to “new gameplay elements like suit punctures, oxygen recharging, and depressurization,” among a few dozen other features.

Gardiner and Stephan also allude to a free-fly weekend for the holiday, along with new rewards for referrals and a ship sale. “I don’t want to spoil the official announcement but all I can say is ‘Pink Dragonfly,'” Stephan says. The whole episode is tucked down below.

Read more

Make My MMO: Ship of Heroes’ canceled Kickstarter, Edengrad’s early access (April 8, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, City of Heroes-inspired superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes launched its Kickstarter, seeking $400,000. But three days later, Heroic Games canceled the crowdfunding attempt, saying it believed it “went to Kickstarter too early.” The new plan is to return to development, raise awareness, take donations through the website, and retool development based on its current level of funding, meaning a potentially smaller but earlier game.

In happier news, congrats are due to post-apoc sandbox Edengrad, which successfully launched into early access. Edengrad was funded last year for over $50,000 US thanks to Kickstarter backers.

Meanwhile, Dual Universe reached another stretch goal, Worlds Adrift launched its 6.0 update, Grim Dawn detailed the Necromancer class coming in its first expansion, Elite: Dangerous dropped its cash shop prices permanently, Starfighter Inc. continues to inch its way toward its Kickstarter end, and Shroud of the Avatar is in the midst of another free trial period.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

Read more

Star Citizen starts building surface outposts, continues to test Patch 2.6.2

It’s always a good day when you get to open up a new box full of fun toys to build worlds to your heart’s content. The folks behind Star Citizen are clearly enjoying themselves as they utilize a batch of new tools to build high-tech surface outposts for planets.

In the latest Around the Verse, the team discusses these “small locations” that players can visit on various worlds. These outposts are being constructed using a modular system, and once the kinks are worked out, the team will be able to make an array of them across the galaxy.

Other discussion in this episode covers the continued testing of Patch 2.6.2, the new Drake Buccaneer ship, an expansion to the QA team in Austin, and some additional work being done on the website, forum, and launcher.

Catch all of the latest developments by watching the show yourself after the jump!

Read more

Multiplayer space sim Starfighter Inc. has 12 days to finish raising $150K

We’ve been covering Starfighter Inc. for the last few weeks in Make My MMO, but apparently a lot of you folks who say you want to hear about up-and-coming MMOs aren’t following that column (*HARD STARE*), so let’s shine a brighter spotlight!

The 20-man Impeller Studios team is marketing the game as “Counter-Strike meets World of Warships in Space.” It’s been in development for three years already, has a ridiculously high bar for scientific accuracy, uses Unreal Engine 4, and will indeed support VR.

Starfighter Inc. puts you in the cockpit of the future in a hard science-fiction based multiplayer space combat simulator for Windows PC, featuring hardcore shooter gameplay in the spirit of X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter, but with unprecedented depth and sophistication. Starfighter Inc. combines the lethality and permadeath of Counter-Strike with the technical depth and customization of World of Warships. The key difference is that players operate a variety of nuclear-powered single and multi-crew fighters, reconnaissance ships, strike craft, and support ships, with weapons ranging from lasers, railguns, and missiles, to electronic and cyber warfare capabilities.”

Read more

Make My MMO: Elite’s Commanders, SOTA’s R40, Starfighter’s AMA (April 1, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous rather unceremoniously announced on social media that the 2.3 Commanders update will launch around the middle of April — this is the huge update with multicrew ship functionality and the character creation system. (Thanks, ThatLanteshGuy!)

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar launched its 40th update, Sweden jumped into small-scale equity crowdfunding with FundedByMe, Dual Universe reassured players about its video graphics, Edengrad hits early access this coming week, and Starfighter, Inc. held an AMA to promote its ongoing Kickstarter.

We also hosted Legends of Aria founder Derek Brinkmann on a special edition of the podcast this week, so if you’re curious about the large-scale future of what used to be the more small-scale Shards Online, give it a thorough listen. Then read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

Read more

Star Citizen Around the Verse: Building ships and then blowing them up

This week’s edition of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse heralds the release of the 2.6.2 update on the PTU — and yes, the Buccaneer is in it. That’s a handy coincidence since the episode also contains part two of the ship pipeline deep-dive, which features that very starship as the devs polish it to “flight ready stage.” Technical Designer Matt Sherman and crew explain how they move ships through surface geometry and textures and parallax mapping, then adjust the joints and animations, the aural effects, the weaponry, and even the “bespoke” custom UIs for the ships that the player will use to pilot them — everything that needs to be done long before the math folks consider things like “balance.” The best bit is the designer whose job it is to think about how the ships will blow up:

“I jump in about white-box stage, after concept’s done, the modelling gets laid out, design has put some features in, I’ll go in and I’ll look at what the design is, what’s been done so far, and start to think about destruction. Very early on we start to think about how the ship will break apart.”

Read more

Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s subber promo, Planet Nomads’ early access, Project Gorgon’s bards (March 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen capped off a week of DirectX revelations and mega map explanations with a round of celebrations — for its fifth year of subscriptions. Folks who join the game’s dev subber program pick up a magazine, discounts, and extra test access; sub before April 17th while the promo is live, you get vending machine flair for your hangar. At least you’ll have cold beverages while you wait for the game, right? (Thanks, Cotic!)

Elsewhere in space MMOs, congrats are due to Planet Nomads, which was Kickstarted last year and is now plotting an early access launch for April 18th.

And in epic news for fans of the best video game class of all time, Project Gorgon rolled out the bard support skills for testing this week. Don’t think you’re just going to pick up a lute and start strumming, either: “As you advance in Bard skill, you will also need to improve other skills, including performance, vocabulary, and poetry appreciation.” Bring your thesaurus!

Meanwhile, ECO patched in some major upgrades to its economy, Starfighter is nearing half its goal with 20 days remaining (thanks Crow!), Ever, Jane’s beta picked up horseback riding features, Camelot Unchained danced with its own bot army, City of Titans previewed its core archetypes, SOTA nabbed a new newsletter layout, and The Exiled’s early access began its second season.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

Read more

Star Citizen’s Around the Verse on the benefits of the ‘mega map’

Try saying “mega map” 10 times fast! This week’s Around the Verse does indeed cover the heck out of Star Citizen’s mega map. Lead Gameplay Programmer Rob Johnson says that the intent of the mega map is to eliminate — or at least reduce — the annoyance of loading screens.

“We load the Mega Map as we would a standard map. The Mega Map itself is empty, but once the Mega Map is loaded, we actually start to fill the Mega Map with content of various game modes, fire, and object containers. So, we would load the Mega Map, which is empty; load the front end, which is a set of object containers; [and] load the front-end game rules, which tells the game how to work in that game mode. The user would then pick a new game mode to play. At that point we throw away all the object containers. We throw away the game mode, [then] load in the Free Fly game mode and the Dying Star object containers, but we do that via streaming rather than a complete level load, so we are able to shave the vast majority of the load time down to a few seconds rather than long enough to warrant a load screen.”

ATV also catches up with the LA studio’s work on ship production, multifunction displays, the room system, and the “entity owner manager” — critical for the persistent experience. Listen up below.

Read more

Star Citizen will drop DX11, avoid DX12 support

Over the weekend, Cloud Imperium fielded questions from players on some of the more technical elements on display in Star Citizen’s last Around the Verse. Turns out that some major DirectX changes are on the horizon.

“Years ago we stated our intention to support DX12, but since the introduction of Vulkan which has the same feature set and performance advantages this seemed a much more logical rendering API to use as it doesn’t force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 and opens the door for a single graphics API that could be used on all Windows 7, 8, 10 & Linux,” explains Director of Graphics Engineering Ali Brown. “As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn’t effect any of our backers. DX12 would only be considered if we found it gave us a specific and substantial advantage over Vulkan. The API’s really aren’t that different though, 95% of the work for these APIs is to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline, which is the same for both APIs.”

Read more

Star Citizen’s level design is coming along much faster than you probably thought

Following what turned out to be an intriguing Ten for the Chairman earlier this week, Cloud Imperium has released a Star Citizen Around the Verse episode that — our tipster summed it up perfectly — represents a “decent barometer of where we currently are in Star Citizen.” Design Director Todd Papy and Persistent Universe Lead Level Designer Andreas Johansson provide a behind-the-scenes look at the sci-fi MMO’s level design, arguing that using traditional level design would have meant their four level designers would need “650 years” to build out the game.

“We do build our locations with a tile set, which is small pieces of walls and corners and doors that we put together into rooms, but this is still not fast enough,” Johansson says. “We have to find a quicker way to do this. So, the way we can approach this is to looking into grouping these smaller tile sets into bigger entities, rooms. We have kitchens. We have toilets. We have locker rooms. We have lobbies.”

A modular approach using seeds and flowcharts proved necessary, allowing a level designer to theoretically pushed out dozens of space stations every day, although of course the designers have to playtest each to make sure they’re logical and consistent — in other words, to make sure “we don’t walk into a room and it’s a door into space and everyone has a very bad day.”

Read more

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.

Read more

1 2 3 4 5 36