We were recently joined by Cloud Imperium Games' Chris Roberts, known best for space sim Star Citizen, to discuss DirectX 12, Vulkan (OpenGL Next), and game engine pipelines. This content has been split into two pieces: This content and the second video & article, which will discuss game engine architecture and engineering solutions to development problems. The second piece will go live on Friday this week.
A truncated video can be found below. The remainder of the discussion goes live alongside the Friday content. Note that, unlike most our previous interviews with Roberts, this was conducted over Skype – that means occasional connectivity problems and reduced overall video quality, but the content is still strong. Highlights are in the below editorial content.
Cloud Imperium Games' Star Citizen has several planned differentiators when it comes to space sims. One of the most noteworthy is the promise of ships manned by multiple crew members, expected to be released as a separate “multi-crew module” in the near-ish future. Pilots, co-pilots, gunners, engineers, and other roles will all need to be filled to create a co-operative, team-intensive gameplay experience; it's an ambitious goal, but one that CIG's Chris Roberts feels confident can be achieved.
Our recent trip to CIG's Santa Monica offices already yielded a progress update on the game's “Star Marine” FPS module, addressing concerns of delays, and now we're back with multi-crew. CIG CEO Chris Roberts joined us to discuss multi-crew combat, game engine technology, technical challenges faced with zoning and instancing, and more.
Star Citizen’s been oscillating in the news cycle lately. The game – now around $80m in funding – has reached a point of industry-wide recognition, ensuring contentious encounters with groups unsupportive of the game’s progress.
We first went deep on Star Citizen’s first-person shooter module, now called “Star Marine,” at PAX East in April of 2014. This was Chris Roberts’ first time explaining (with great detail) the overall vision for FPS and its interaction with other gameplay elements. Following this, an unveil event at PAX Australia showcased some of the FPS module’s progress. In January of 2015, CIG CEO Chris Roberts revealed new information on the persistent universe during PAX South, leading the PAX East 2015 hopes of FPS availability to backers in the March to April timeframe.
Regardless of how its mechanics pan-out, Star Citizen is slated to claim the throne as one of the most graphically intense PC games in recent history. This is something we discussed with CIG's Chris Roberts back when the Kickstarter was still running, diving into the graphics technology and the team's intent to fully utilize all tools available to them.
We've been trying to perform frequent benchmarks of Star Citizen as the game progresses. This progress monitor comes with a massive disclaimer, though, and is something we'll revisit shortly: The game isn't finished.
The recent launch of the GTX 980 Ti, R9 Fury X, and AMD 300 series cards almost demands a revisit to Star Citizen's video card performance. This graphics benchmark looks at GPU performance in Star Citizen's 1.1.3 build, testing framerates at various settings and resolutions.
In a move reminiscent of Far Cry's over-the-top, 80s-inspired “Blood Dragon” title, CIG has launched its “Hyper Vanguard Force IV” in-fiction mini-game using official Star Citizen ships. The arcade-style game draws basic concepts from the likes of Galaga, which is, consequently, one of a few arcade cabinets present at CIG's offices we toured.
If nothing else, we’ve learned one very critical item when working with Chris Roberts: Film everything. With most of our interview subjects, we go through a brief “pre-interview” process that provides a synopsis of the forthcoming questions and builds comfort between the presenter, the subject, and the camera. Every time we’ve done that with Roberts, we’ve accidentally dived into the actual content of the interview – I’m then forced to interrupt the CIG CEO and turn our cameras on.
This time, we did it differently.
“Just – just set the camera up right when we start talking and hit ‘record,’” I told Keegan Gallick, our camera operator and video editor. “Chris immediately starts talking about usable content items.”
Cloud Imperium Games CEO Chris Roberts today unveiled PTU 1.1.0, additionally detailing the roadmap for Star Citizen over the course of 2015. Today’s announcements include information on the damage modeling, animations, FPS module graphics, a new ‘sports mode,’ and more.
Our video coverage of the entire event can be found below:
PAX East 2015 kicked-off to an energetic, populous crowd earlier today, and the day’s activities concluded with similar veracity: A panel of MMO & RPG veterans collected to discuss the future of massively online gaming, filling-in the entirety of the assigned theater.
We always manage to include the site's technology-driven coverage spectrum in conversations with Star Citizen visionary Chris Roberts. This has been true since the very beginning of our Star Citizen coverage, which heavily [focused on the technology] of the colossal space sim. Our hardware content greatly benefits from these conversations with game systems engineers, too: Such discussions lend a basic understanding of engine architecture, assisting in the development of GPU, I/O, and CPU test methodology as it pertains to real-world gaming use cases.
In this case, the CIG CEO joined us for an extensive discussion on Star Citizen's great engineering challenges, to include the recently-discussed zone system and instancing mechanics.
Day one, year one of PAX South concluded with an off-site event hosted by the Cloud Imperium Games team, headed-up by CEO and Star Citizen lead Chris Roberts.
We moderate comments on a ~24~48 hour cycle. There will be some delay after submitting a comment.