Star Citizen is an upcoming space sim video game for Microsoft Windows and Linux. Star Citizen is planned to consist of four main components: first-person space combat, mining, exploration, and trading with first-person shooter elements in a massively multiplayer persistent universe and customizable private servers, and a branching single-player and drop-in co-operative multiplayer campaign titled Squadron 42. The game is built on Amazon Lumberyard.
Both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are set in a 30th-century Milky Way centered on the fictional United Empire of Earth (UEE). A central theme of the game is citizenship – or lack thereof – in the UEE, which must be earned through player actions such as completing a period of military service. It is anticipated that citizens will enjoy certain in-game benefits, like paying a reduced tax rate, but the exact details are yet to be determined.
A strong focus will be placed on player interaction, with player behavior influencing and being influenced by a dynamic economy system.
Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are produced by Chris Roberts’ company Cloud Imperium Games and its European counterpart Foundry 42 and marketed under the Cloud Imperium Games subsidiary Roberts Space Industries.
Star Citizen aims to combine multiple video game genres, including space trading and combat simulator and first-person shooter elements, in a massively multiplayer online game.
Alluding to Star Citizen’s online universe, Chris Roberts highlights the importance of player-driven content: “It’s like a sandbox for everybody, and occasionally you’ll sprinkle in little bits of scripted content to give a bit of character, but you’re letting a lot of the players generate the intrigue and the drama.” The economy system is described as being NPC-driven, however, with players slowly taking over to ensure changes in game population do not disrupt the economy.
Arena Commander is the second playable alpha component of Star Citizen. It is an in-fiction space combat simulator allowing players to playtest ship combat against other players or AI opponents. It features a highly detailed ship flight model, simulating space flight using the mass of the ship and location and force of the thrusters. Other features include realistic application of g-force on the pilot and a high level of visual fidelity. Racing and cooperative game modes were added in an update. Of note is the ability to “decouple” ships from the axis of travel to gain a combat advantage.
Star Marine is the first-person shooter element of Star Citizen; like Arena Commander, Star Marine is an in-fiction combat simulator. There are two ways to play Star Marine: one game mode is a ‘capture-and-hold’ game (‘Last Stand’), where two opposing teams (the Marines and the Outlaws) each attempt to capture one or more ‘control points’ to gain points; as a team captures more control points, they gain points at a steadily increasing rate. ‘Elimination’ is a free-for-all ‘last man standing’ match; unlike the team-based ‘Last Stand’, players work individually to gain the highest kill-count before the match ends. Both game variants last for ten minutes or (in the case of ‘Last Stand’) until one team accrues the higher score. The first person shooter mechanics are designed to be relatively realistic with armor levels, weapon stances and stamina effects manifesting as heavy breathing.
Star Citizen will continue to develop after commercial release via a combination of emergent gameplay generated by players and new content which will be developed by Cloud Imperium Games on an ongoing basis. Players and organizations will be able to own certain production nodes including factories and mines. Capital ships can be owned and operated by players. Select “lawless planets” will feature ground-based combat using infantry style weapons. Personal armaments can also be used to board disabled ships and stations. Planetary landings and take-offs were demonstrated on the holiday Live-stream on December 16, 2015. The technology is being developed by Foundry 42 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Squadron 42 is a story-based single-player campaign set in the Star Citizen fictional universe described by the developers as a “spiritual successor to Wing Commander”. It is being developed by the Foundry 42 UK studio under the supervision of Chris Roberts’ brother Erin, who had already worked with him on the “Wing Commander” series and led the production and development of titles like Privateer 2: The Darkening and Starlancer.
Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are produced in a distributed development process by Cloud Imperium Games and Foundry 42 with studios in Austin, Frankfurt, Santa Monica and Wilmslow, in cooperation with Behaviour Interactive and Illfonic. The game’s release date has never been officially advertised. The games utilize the artificial intelligence system Kythera, developed by Moon Collider. Additional partners that are or have been working on the project include CGBot, Rmory, The Imaginarium Studios, Turbulent, Virtuos, voidALPHA and Wyrmbyte. The developers also exchange knowledge and technology with Warhorse Studios, the creators of Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
In October 2012, the developers of the game started a crowdfunding campaign on their own website using IgnitionDeck, a crowdfunding plugin for WordPress. Just over a week into the campaign, they also started raising funds via a supplemental Kickstarter campaign. Funding quickly surpassed initial target goals and subsequently additional stretch goals have been added to the funding campaign, most promising more or expanded content at release. The initial end date of the funding campaign on the RSI website was later extended by 10 days to match the Kickstarter end date and enable additional funding. On November 17, 2012, two days before campaign closure, the game achieved the record for highest crowdfunded game project with over US$4.2 million. At initial pledge campaign end, the total pledge amount was above all goals initially set by Cloud Imperium Games and reached US$6.2 million.
Star Citizen Key Features:
- FPS in Space: Star Citizen features a unique sandbox first person shooter gameplay on individual planets in a large persistent universe.
- Customize Your Ships: load out your ships to match your playstyle, with multi-crew ships available.
- Great Graphics: realistic physics with top-notch graphics.
- Control the Economy: player-driven economy with in-depth crafting and resource gathering.
- Play Solo or Duo: story-driven single player and co-op campaign available.