Friday 18 October 2013

Upcoming Games - Star Citizen

A shift in technology. Ambitious to levels not ever reached before. A space sim with more information than can be scaled on any Excel spreadsheet.

I'm talking of course of Star Citizen !

Brought to you by Chris Roberts who is responsible for the memorable Wing Commander. A game that is going to try and bring to life the world everyone has imagined living in while watching Star Wars or Star Trek. The possibility of a game the marries extremely dynamic and accurate physics with a massive multiplayer experience would mean a great new step forward for the MMO world. 

A common problem with MMOs is that they all seem to be a never ending amount of derivatives. One after another the mechanics and style seem to repeat each other. A special exception of this is Eve Online.
Eve allows you to pilot a spaceship among a large player base all doing the same thing. The premise is somewhat similar but there are some issues with Eve I would be very glad to see rid of. In Eve if you don't have what is the equivalent of a tutor to make any progress. The learning curve is massive (no pun intended). I played for a couple hours once. I found one set of pirate ships to battle. That lasted for about 5-6 minutes. In total the beginning of the game wasn't immersive. It really only catered to the extreme. Those willing to devote all their time are the only ones who have an chance of immersion.

ANYWAY. Star Citizen holds some promise for a more mechanically refined spaceship simulator. With Oculus Rift supporting a first person view through the customized cockpit of your ship, the game offers a much bigger sense of immersion with it's aesthetics. Here they explain how important applying the most accurate type of physics they can to the game play a pivotal role:

All videos are from the official YouTube channel. They are also produced using in game rendered graphics.

Military tours at the start give an introduction to the game and function as a sort of story line that allow you to branch off later on and explore the galaxy. The game does allow you to ignore that campaign. You can can enter the world and just explore or become a pirate. Whatever your heart designs.

You  can improve the ships and their design. This sort of reminds me of the idea of customizing your characters in a MMORPG like World of Warcraft (WoW). Since the game is allow about the ships and the gameplay is done through them as a medium it would make sense that they would be the main focus for visual customizations. Though Roberts did say that there are "100,000 faces" in game. Where most open world diverse worlds have no more than 10,000 faces for unique appearance among characters. This also indicates an increase of detailed suits and apparel. It takes the personal elements of an RPG but then applies that to the simulation aspects of the game to include you more in the self initiated narrative.

Robert has a goal to push current PC technology to boundaries never before crossed. The release of Star Citizen will be either a disappointment from the hype surrounding it or there will be a game to finally take advantage of the current generation of hardware at our disposal on the PC. A sci-fi game to break the repetition of the MMO curse and free us from the never ending line up of WoW derivatives?

Lots of features have been revealed through trailers such as the ones used in this article. The only quarrel with that is there is a lot more being focused on the pieces of the game which would compliment the gameplay. Without gameplay there is nothing that can be said about the value of those assets.

More on this story as updates on the game are released. Game is still under much development and has much more to offer for the future.

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