Welcome back to Just Push Start’s interview with Chris Roberts, the founder of Cloud Imperium Games Corporation and the main man behind Star Citizen. Star Citizen is the space based title that has to date received over $8 million in pledges. If you haven’t yet read part 1 head there to hear more on the Hanger, life on the ships and character customisation. Without further ado, enough of what we already know about the game, here is part 2.
Combat And After Effects
Just Push Start’s Oliver East: When your ship is being boarded could you vent enemies, like on FTL?
Chris Roberts (founder of Cloud Imperium Games Corporation): I want decompression and zero g stuff but I can’t promise it. However, it will be a feature down the road. There may be environmental effects when on board to do with the boarding such as fires. This hasn’t been decided on though.
What happens if you are vented?
Venting with a space suit on will be fine, just like being picked up after a battle you’ll be taken to the last planet. Without a space suit and that would probably be the death of that character.
My ships damaged, can I go for a space walk to repair it?
Yeah, we’ll let you go around in zero g and fix things with ‘wielding gun’ style tool. This will only be as a temporary fix though, only just enough to get home. You’ll have to land on planet to properly repair major damage.
Will there be a reset time before a new ship spawns?
There will definitely be different levels of damage and repairs. Obviously it would cost less money and time to fix a few laser scratches than half destroyed hull. You probably wouldn’t fully repair the ship after it has been destroyed. Perhaps just fix these few critical systems to enable you to get going again and then they can be repaired or parts re-purchased later on.
Second Hand Ships
Recently the question of second hand ships was asked by the community how would they work?
We want a sense of wear and tear for ships. So they feel like a ship has been weathered and beaten from its battles just like the players characters. To get second hand ships to work there would have to be physical not just visual wear. It would be great especially for the economy but we would have to look at how good an idea it is when testing.
Outside Of Combat
How will the big universe work outside of combat?
Everyone will be able to trade, buy and sell most things within the game. People that want to run a business and a factory they can. Factories could be run by AI or by an actual player. They need profit but also resources to keep going. They could provide missions for example they need so much titanium to make something. Everything will be in a limited supply. One factory will only have a limited supply of Hornets. Similar to present day mines, minerals will be mined out then players will have to find a new area to mine for that resource.
Is it just physical goods that will be traded?
Well a fast ship could be a courier for messages from outer systems. While most systems will have a message drones, like a relay system, for them some of the out systems or planets may be too far out to reach the network. Players could be paid to take the messages from one part of a group of players to the other half or just to where the message drones network begins.
Are there some goods that will only be available to certain races?
Some cargo will be generic but there will be some specialty goods but anyone could buy them. There will also be geographic items, things only found in that area for players to find.
How can we interact with the NPCs in Star Citizen?
You could hire them to be on the ship or to fly a ship. We haven’t fully decided yet whether they can do every role but a player would be able to that role better than the AI.
What is planned to be in the game for the ‘launch’?
A lot of people ask about launch and I don’t see it as here is the final game now I can walk away Star Citizen is a game that will certainly grow even after it initial launch. In terms of that initial ‘launch’ there will be the persistent universe, all the named ships, 100 star systems although not all of them will be discovered allowing players to find the jump points to new locations, multiple races but as said during the Kickstarter campaign only the humans will be playable, Squadron 42 and in terms of features the dog fighting and ship boarding etc.
In terms of controller, keyboard etc. how flexible are you with controls?
We aim to support as many types as possible. From a controller to mouse and keyboard to a joystick. The Cry Engine 3 is actually great for allowing multiple controller options which is helpful. In terms of keyboard controls there will be basic ones allowing you to access a lot from a few simple control keys, but you can key map other things such as thrusters off and on.
How much space will there be to walk around on the planet side?
During the Kickstarter campaign we released a short video where you could see a cityscape and that gives you an idea of what you will see but you won’t be able to get off landing pad area. It gives you the feeling like you are visiting a big busy city without being able to explore it. Realistically we don’t have time to model a whole city and it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
What is there to do there?
In the released concept art called Spider the landing pad you see there is where you will land and you’ll be able to go inside that building. Inside there will be a bar to chat and get missions, perhaps a black market dealer, somewhere to buy ship modifications and maybe a place to kit up a ship with fake panels.
How many landing platforms will there be?
On places like Earth or Terra there will be multiple landing bays with different things on each. Each with multiple ship dealers, different stores and places of interest. Some might have one place to visit, some up to twelve different shops. It will depend on the planet but there will also be space stations and asteroid bases to land at.
Will we float around in a asteroid base?
I’m sure they will have some kind of gravity but perhaps it could be turned off.
How many of the development team has worked on next gen titles?
We have people from Crytek that worked on and helped develop the Cry Engine 3 and others worked on the PlayStation 4.
How will having multiple offices work?
Spreading the location creates a very different work dynamic. It changes when small groups become too large, you can’t just go out for a lunch as a group and the team splits up into small groups. Even the smaller offices the artists often spend more time with the artists etc. In terms or development we have one team working on the dog fighting, one on planet side and that content and another looking at the first person and ship boarding.
What has the extra funding helped with most?
The extra funding partially makes it possible to bring elements that would have still come to the game be there sooner rather than later. It also means we don’t have a publisher over our shoulders saying ‘do this’ for their own profit instead of ‘do this’ as we want it.
How long has Star Citizen been in full development?
Development only started this year. The team started properly about 6 weeks ago.
Will it be possible to slingshot missiles towards ships via planetary bodies?
Probably not. On the scale it wouldn’t be 100% accurate as the planets will feel big and massive but the actual masses won’t be coded in.
How much has fan feedback affected development?
Well the irises of the base head model is a good example. If the feedback is something that wouldn’t take too long to implement and more importantly makes sense then we will either consider it or do something about it. One thing we found with a lot of feedback from the original freelancer model were complaints that the finished design wasn’t like the concepts. The design wasn’t final at all we were showing off something that was work in progress and we should have made that more clear. Like I said if the feedback makes sense and we see it as an improvement then we will go ahead and make that change.
That concludes Just Push Start’s interview with Chris Roberts on Star Citizen. A huge thanks to Chris for his time and the great answers; which I’m certain have made many gamers want to play the game even more!