Just Push Start was recently fortunate enough to talk with Chris Roberts, the creator of Wing Commander, about the hugely successful crowd funding project Star Citizen. We were able to get a lot of interesting answers about the direction the team wants to take Star Citizen and also about features they can now guarantee will be in the game on launch thanks to the extra crowd funding money.
We jumped straight into questions about the Carriers both battling with them and why they won’t be online, then onto the individual characters, how players will interact with planets and much more. So, let’s kick off the interview!
Will we see the 1 km Carriers online and if not what is the biggest craft?
Roberts: Unfortunately not. While with the engine we are technically able for the sake of balance currently they won’t be in the persistent universe. Currently [Since the time of the interview a good few stretch goals have been smashed] the biggest ship that you’ll be able to fly online is the Constellation.
How would we go about taking down a Carrier in the Squadron 42 campaign?
All of the large ships are built in a simpler way and will be made up of hundreds of components that can affect systems. There will definitely be some areas to target to cripple it though. Players will be able to use an EMP to take down some systems and for example they will have the ability to take out the enemy craft’s radar.
How many NPCs will there be on the Carrier
While the exact figure hasn’t been decided it needs to make the ship feel populated with key areas like the bridge fully manned. There will probably be a couple of hundred however they don’t need to rendered all at once as long as it feels like the area you are in is full.
When will we be able to board and take the fight in their Carrier?
All of the enemy systems must be down including thrusters, their shield and more. Then players will be able to dock onto the enemy ship. This will take some time allowing the defending forces some time to prepare for the boarding party.
How will the shields work, will they be shield bubbles or physically attached to the crafts?
While the visual effects aren’t yet added what I am aiming for is a system that projects an invisible field around the ship, that is exactly the same shape of the ship only a couple of foot bigger in all directions. It’ll only be seen when a laser hits it, which will make it slightly colour and ripple.
Will it be possible to get a stealth craft?
Players will be able to make their craft mostly stealthy but for balance they would in turn lose turrets or speed perhaps.
Can you turn off all bar basic systems and drift in space?
It’s actually kind of the point the way the system is being built so that systems can be turned on and off. Also so that if one part is destroyed there is going to be a difference.
When in a dogfight will players have the option for popping flares or other countermeasures?
Definitely yes! The dogfighting is going to be a massive focus with a lot of weapons and a decent amount of countermeasures. Dogfights need to be fun for years for the game to be fun for years as it is such a large part of the game.
In the original trailers how much of the piloting and the take off was scripted?
When players want to get into the crafts they walk up to the craft and will be given a prompt asking if they want to get in, by pressing the button there character will then get into the craft and start up the craft. Then when the initial panels go back the script ends and like in the video players will manually fly out of the Carrier.
In terms of the formations video players will bring up a menu, in the form of the in craft panels, and select attack a target or break formation. There could be the possibility for hotkeys for certain formations but that isn’t determined yet. Also in the finished game the replies will be via voice, the text responses is purely for testing, unless the player enables subtitles.