Interview With Chris Roberts On Star Citizen – Part 1

Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to sit down and talk with the man behind Star Citizen, the biggest crowd funded video game to date, Chris Roberts himself. We were able to discuss a number of different elements about the game, what is planned for launch and even things that might be added even after the two year development.

The interview itself covered many areas and to make easier to follow different sections have been titled off accordingly.

Life On A Spacecraft

Oliver East (JPS UK Editor) – How will roles be divided up on larger crafts?

Chris Roberts (Founder of Cloud Imperium Games Corporation) – Basically there will be multiple seats on the larger ships. Seats control various systems. One seat for steering, one seat starboard weapons, etc. There will be a flexible system with different stations for different parts of ship for the large ships such as the cruiser though, quite how hasn’t yet been decided. Basically one man just isn’t not enough to fly a big ship, you’d need a team to operate it properly. Not to say you couldn’t fly it but then at the same time as piloting you couldn’t be in control of the weaponry.

Will there be an AI system on ships, similar to Hollie on Red Dwarf?

I don’t know. It would certainly be fun as a module upgrade. Kind of like a Siri with attitude but I don’t know about it being in the game from day 1.

When wandering around the large ships what will we see the NPCs doing?

There will be sort of contexture animations to do with where they are. It will be easier for the Squadron 42 section as they can talk in wreck room potentially about events that have happened. In the persistent universe this might be harder to do but we will see what we can do.

Will be see mini-games such as Snake on the computers in-game?

No I don’t think so, but perhaps in the future.

When on the spacecrafts what will we be able to do other than just the obvious piloting and dog fighting?

You should be able to lay down in your bunk (if you have one), turn on a jukebox, make a cup of coffee… Fun stuff to give your ship a sense of home and character. And of course there will be more game specific stuff like fixing a system that has been damaged and so on. Many of them will be like idle animations but contextual idle animations and of course bigger ships with more mod cons will have more things to interact with.

For the sake of any English readers will there be tea as well?

If there is coffee there will be tea, however it’ll only be different by visuals and these things won’t have any affects on the player’s character.

You mentioned a jukebox, will this be solely music from in-game?

There might be a sort of universe news and in terms of music we will certainly look at making it possible for people to get a playlist of music from their computer or iTunes to play from the jukebox. Perhaps not from day one as I don’t know how easy it is to code into a game but I want it to be an option in the game.

star citizen

The Hanger

Can we man the turrets and hover our pledged for crafts in the Hanger?

You’ll be able to walk around and enter them – you can’t fly them yet – that’s at the end of the year in the dog fighting module / alpha.

How much of the previously mentioned ship interaction animations will be in the game ready for th Hanger?

As much of the ship functionality that we can get up and running for the hangar module we will and then bring things on line over the coming months. We’re aiming for the details mentioned, although I’m not sure if all of that will be there on debut though.

When will the Hanger module debut and what will they include?

The Hangar is planned to debut to the community for Gamescon in Germany. Your hangar will contain the ships you’ve pledged for – so if you have a few you’ll have a bigger hangar than if you just pledged for one.  We’ll also probably have some form of viewer so you can see the other ships that you don’t have. It won’t be in your hangar though – maybe in the RSI site, or a computer terminal in your hangar

Will there be a RSI style showroom then with all the crafts?

Perhaps… we’re still finalizing that part. The important bit is to allow people that have backed to see what they’ve got!

Character Customisation

So recently you have released the base male model but how much can we customise him, will it be to Saints Row lengths or simple choices?

We ultimately haven’t decided yet whether to go for choices or sliders for different things. What I can say is that at minimum people will be able to use the base head for proportions then pick the eye colour, skin colour, hair colour etc. and then pick out their clothes.

There is a concept for a space suit and some armour but what else can we wear?

Anything really. You could look like Han Solo for instance; get different jackets, trousers, hats and helmets. We want to embrace user content, similar to the Steam Workshop. On your own server you can have whatever you want but we’d vet user content before it was allowed on the persistent universe. There will be online guidelines with examples to let players create not just clothes, even weapons and ships.

What Stages Are The Already Planned Ships At?

Currently everything in the prototype is in game. At launch all pledge ships will be in the game and others. Next to be in the game fully are the Aurora and the Constellation. After that is the Freelancer and 300i, which at now at the 3D modelling stage. Finally, the concepts have been started for the Corvette and the m50 and the team is are about to start on concepts for the Gladiator and the Caterpillar.

When will we be able to see the Aurora?

I want to wait until it is in the animation stage and out of textures. Create a sort of Boeing style showing off the ship video to go along with all the normal documents we release. This is probably when we will probably show off the Aurora for the first time.


So that concludes this half of the interview. Please check back with us, for part 2, in the next few days; it is something I’m sure you won’t want to miss. In part 2 you’ll find out more about ship boarding, planned controls, planet side and what you can do outside of combat!