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.”

Star Citizen, the highly anticipated space sim from Cloud Imperium Games, just announced its sale of the Aegis Vanguard ship to its backers. The ship has been long-awaited by fans of the yet unfinished game, serving as a United Empire of Earth deep-space fighter. CIG's sale of the ship begins effective immediately and extends through April 6.

It's like watching a pair of kids excitedly explain their make-believe games to one another, but in this instance, the kids are veteran developers and the games are real. We managed to get Richard Garriott (SOTA) and Chris Roberts (Star Citizen) in a room together to discuss the early days of the industry, and during camera setup, the two talked space.

Physically-based rendering promises photorealistic lighting in 3D environments by offering a mathematical, less production-intensive approach to the rendering of light. The three letter acronym – “PBR” – has circulated lately as industry frontrunners like Chris Roberts (Star Citizen) have touted its presence in triple-A titles. A few game engines come to mind when we think of advanced, hyper-realistic graphics capabilities; one of those engines is the CryEngine, developed and maintained by Crytek and best-known for advancing PC graphics with Crysis.

While at GDC, we had the opportunity to ask a pair of CryEngine developers to explain what PBR is, how it affects gameplay, and if it has any performance or production impact to games. Joining us in the below video is 3D Environment Artist Sina Els and Engine Programmer Scott Peter, providing a top-level definition of physically-based rendering and its uses.

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:

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.

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