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An Update on Progress

Garrett Fuller Posted:
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With the announcement of the new office opening in Santa Monica this week we spoke to Chris Roberts about his plans for Star Citizen over the next few months. Cloud Imperium Games is the office site for the team in Los Angeles that has been working on the game. This new home combined with the work in Austin and Montreal are the creative teams behind Star Citizen. If you are a programer looking for work in Los Angeles, the crew of Cloud Imperium Games could use your help. Chris mapped out his development plans and explained how each group plays a crucial role in the stages of the game.

Being crowdfunded, the team is working to make sure every dime is well spent. The office space in Santa Monica combines the creative team with the general systems team. This is where a lot of the design is being done. Most of the ships and artwork you have seen are built out through 3D models on the game side so they can be sent directly to the team in Austin who are working on the dog fight scenarios.  So each office has its clear purpose.

Chris explained that the team is very smart with their investor money. It is not a big budget title put out by one of the large publishers. This allows the team to be very nimble in their approach. The executives of the company are hands on in building the game itself. Right now there are about forty four people working on Star Citizen between full time, contractors, and come outsourcing. That number is expected to grow over the months as they get closer to tests and launch but they are definitely keeping a solid team of strong engineers and programmers. They are also fortunate to have a lot of their assets and resources created in house.

The breakdown of how the game is being built is a great lesson for any team that has multiple studios working on a big project. The team in Montreal has some great first person resources available in that area with other studios like Ubisoft etc. That team is working on the boarding and planet-fall parts of the game. All of this will be in first person. The planet material is a massive interface where players will be able to visit shops, see ships, and buy goods.

I asked Chris where the game stands currently. He had some great news about deadlines the team plans to meet in the coming months.  The first big announcement is that this fans recently get the full in game brochure of the Aurora class ship. The version players will see is the in-game version.  The plan is to use the brochures to show off all of the ships almost like high end cars. They want to bring the immersion to players with what is coming each time they show a new ship.

There are a few milestones on the horizon that Chris said the team is hoping to meet. These goals help motivate the developers and also will be used to keep faith with the crowd funding support. So, they are now actively using the full capabilities of the CryENGINE which brings them up to speed with Crysis 3. They are very excited to be able to show off some amazing shielding effects soon on the ships. This will lead the team into the summer when they plan to have the Hangar Mod released to supporters so they can test the interface. The Hangar mod will be coming in August and Chris is confident the team is on track for the goal. They also expect to launch the Dog Fight Mod by December of this year. This one is going to be really important to the players and the development team because it needs a lot of testing. It allows players to get their hands on the game early to try out the controls and helps with game balance. Star Citizen hopes to have a deliverable every six months on the project. With the main three areas of the game being built up at the same time, Chris hopes everything is on track to get the early versions in the hands of the players.

So, if you are a programmer looking for work do not hesitate to reach out to the team at Cloud Imperium Games. The team is working very hard and seems to be building a roadmap on how to create a cloud funded game. 


Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.