Last week, Star Citizen Lead Level Designer Michael Barclay ran a piece on Gamasutra discussing the conflict between sandboxes and cinematics. He argued that while size and scope matter in storytelling, so does player agency, the drama of player vulnerability, and the “space to ground” philosophy.
“With Star Citizen I want to focus on the philosophy of what we’re trying to achieve in a game about adventuring, exploring, combat and storytelling, whether you’re piloting a star ship or running around on a planet’s surface,” he wrote. Immersion boils down to creating realism and fidelity in detailed locations from space to ground, which he illustrated with a hunt for a can of beans that ultimately leads a logical player to investigate a kitchenette on a human space station. And this is why Star Citizen has toilets everywhere — and no, it’s not because of the beans:
“Why do you think we stick toilets everywhere? Immersion! Making the impossible seem possible by eliminating improbability where we can. This affords players with more explorable space, more intuitive ways to explore and builds the legitimacy of a location.”