No matter how you look at it, Star Citizen is destined to have a huge impact on the PC gaming landscape. In a time when traditional publisher-backed game development takes the occasional backseat to crowd funded independents, the dev team over at Roberts Space Industries turned up on Kickstarter in 2012 and delivered their gaming vision pitch perfect.
And at the core of the pitch was, a PC-only space opera where the more funding it achieved the more incredible the game would become. Millions of dollars of unprecedented backing flooded in to show everyone that this MMO space simulator was something that has been missing from our collective lives. And as crowd funding records were broken by the sheer volume of PC gamers clamouring for a piece of this conceptual juggernaut, the vision continued to expand in line with that funding.
Chris Roberts is the visionary behind Star Citizen, himself a well regarded developer with a long list of accolades under his belt. A few years back he approached investors to discuss the funding of this project but at every turn the potential publishers tried to narrow Chris’s vision or they would highlight that the hardware plus infrastructure needed to achieve Star Citizen was beyond the scope of the console generation and therefore financially not viable on PC alone. Upon turning to crowd funding it became obvious that the PC interest was in fact real and Star Citizen’s early investment success started to shape the PC indie landscape.
The other area where Star Citizen will cause shockwaves in the PC gaming arena is its unashamed need for an incredibly powerful PC. You will want to have an eye wateringly splendid PC to get this title to run well and Star Citizen is going to be, among other things, an MMO. Traditionally MMOs are designed with the masses in mind. they want to get millions of people into one gaming space, therefore you lower system requirements to a below average PC, and that lessens the PC requirement entry barrier.
The level of detail being shoehorned into this game is both amazing and worrying. And that brings me onto one final area where Star Citizen is pushing the PC gaming experience. Can they pull it off? The game is not allowing itself to be restricted by scope, including genre. Its going for immersion and fidelity. Star Citizen is a space flight sim, but its also a trading game that stretches across a multiplayer universe, it has a built in starship racing game, a dog-fight arena, public and private server options, modding community support, a complete single player campaign called Squadron 42 that will deliver 50-100 hours of single player gameplay and to top it off, Star Citizen will be a first person shooter to deliver the final slap of immersion gamers are looking for. This basically means that whenever a player wants to hop out of their ship and board an enemy capital ship on foot you can (assuming you have a jet pack and hull breacher), or perhaps you have just bought your new frigate and want to take a stroll around it with your online buddies where you discuss how to best defend it from ground troops or what places to upgrade with external gun batteries of missile emplacements, yup thats possible to.
With Star Citizens exciting PC focused stuff already in full development and scheduled public rollouts for some components beginning mid next year, we decided that we needed to talk to the guys over at Roberts Space Industries and see how they can possibly achieve all of this and more.
Over the coming weeks we will have an in-depth analysis on what Star Citizen actually is, interviews with some key people behind the game, insight into their game development studio, a talk at length about Star Citizen’s expected mammoth system requirements and of course, what this game will mean to the PC gaming community as a whole.