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Star Citizen / Squadrdon 42 - a real PC game

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So there's this incredible PC game in the works called Star Citizen... you may have heard of it or even read Atomic's piece on it (Now this is the game we've been waiting for) but if you don't know about it- you need to.

 

Official website

 

It's a space sim that has both an offline storyline and an online component that is slightly MMO (instance based). It's been made solely with the PC in mind, runs on a heavily custom-modified version of CryEngine 3 and completely ignores the needs of even next gen consoles. Apparently there are 100,000 polygons for character models, 300,000 for average ships and about 7,000,000 for massive ship carriers. If you need some convincing, take a look at this real-time, in-engine trailer: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/about-the-game

 

It's a crowd funded game and has already hit its goal, but ever-increasing funds are allowing it to bring in new features and polish. Last year I got all excited about it reaching a $3 million stretch total in funding, but as of October 25 it's sitting on top of 25 fully-crowdfunded million dollars. With a release in late 2014/early 2015, that total is only going to increase as new fans join the excitement and existing backers donate more money for rewards.

 

While the game neither operates on a subscription system or a 'pay to win' system, it does operate on a 'pay to unlock stuff faster' system. It will be a single purchase like Guild Wars and Secret World. Purchasing things with real-world cash will only net you things like ordinary game cash (no 'Premium Coin' nonsense like in Farmville games). Purchasing ships now as an early-backer however will give you bonuses like free ship insurance instead of paid insurance, a free hangar to park your ship and the ability to fly/see your ship in-game before the game is released.

 

Game Demo!: The Hangar Module

The game is still in pre-alpha, but if you have at least the basic $30 game package you can view your ship in-engine and walk around poking at things. It's essentially a digital 'show room' of all the ship rewards you have purchased. Dogfighting/flying-around alpha comes this month or the next.

 

Oh and yes, I'm ******* excited for this :)

 

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Edit: Can't believe it's been a year since this all started. This thread didn't get too much traction back then, but obviously some pertinent edits are due in November 2013 :) Oh when just $3 million seemed so lofty...

Edited by 17

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I'm a lot more impressed by the clip than those stills, 17. Though, after watching said clip, and hearing how much he wants it to be reasonably accurate (to the extent of putting damagable thrusters on things for manoeuvring), there are a couple of things that bother me - rather more than they would in a game that was shameless about ignoring physics.

 

1. The main exhaust on ships runs all the time - even when the ship is stationary. In the real world, when you throw stuff overboard, you also push the ship in the other direction, so maximum speed doesn't happen - at least not until you get relativistic (and shit gets weird). Any time the exhaust port is lit up and fluffy with escaping gas, that ship should be accelerating.

(I'm assuming 'magic' powers those thrusters, 'cuz they sure ain't chemical - or needing fuel.)

 

1a. On a related theme, those thrusters which are only active when in use (good thing), seem to be acting against resistance. ie: The ship turns; thrusters fire; thrusters cut out; turn stops. This is wrong. In reality, that ship would keep right on tumbling until such time as breaking thrusters were applied to stop it.

 

2. Why do they have 'wings'? Unless you're going to mount thrusters on the ends of them for increased moment arm, those fins and stuff make no sense at all for non-atmospheric craft.

 

3. Smoke trails, whilst quite possible even in space, do not maintain coherence. Why are they not dispersing?

 

4. Where the hell is all that light coming from? Things in atmosphere are lit from all sorts of weird angles due to reflection from nearby objects, transmission through bits of themselves, and through 'diffuse' light scattered by the atmosphere. In space, the first one or two of those might apply, but that's pretty much it for natural lighting. When you're looking at the side of an object not facing the nearest star, if there's nothing shiny behind you (like a planet), that side is black. Not just a bit darker, or even a lot darker, but so black you can't see it against space except where it occludes background objects.

 

5. Nebulae are really really dim. All those spectacular shots of Orion, the Eagle Nebula, and the Pillars of Creation..? Those exposures took multiple hours to capture, through several different filters - or even are false-coloured from radiographs.

 

6. At 8:55 or thereabouts, a ship is seen front-on exiting the carrier. It has fans in the nose. Fans which are turning. They are intake fans, given the direction they're spinning. First, there is no air out there - fans would have nothing to push into wherever it's supposed to go. Second, putting intake fans in the nose of an atmospheric ship is superfluous - ram pressure from flight will be more than sufficient. Third, an open air pipe in space is not only going to not get you any extra air, it's going to lose you whatever air you had at the other end. (And, act as a braking thruster while the gas lasts.)

 

 

 

Look, it's a game, I get that. One has to suspend disbelief somewhat (or a lot) to play a space game. The very idea of space combat is pretty daft anyway with currently realistic technology - at close range speeds are too high even for computers to figure trajectories to hit, and at long enough range the target can be elsewhere by the time the shot arrives... Not to mention problems with specific impulse figures and fuel capacities, crushing pilots with acceleration forces, and so forth.

 

Proclaiming loudly that you're shooting for physics accuracy, though, is a surefire way to tick off people who know when it isn't being accurate.

 

Oh, and if he puts in dopplered engine sounds as some other ship passes you, I will have a real hissy fit. :P

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You know, that put a smile on my face- to some it may look like an over reactive rant, but to me that was quite informative and entertaining :D Believe it or not- from the few interviews, videos, comments and AMAs he's done, I'd say you're exactly the kind of gamer he likes to hear from! Apparently Chris Roberts studied physics (properly, from what I've seen other physicist commenters say) as well, so he's trying to keep that enjoyable video game experience but please people who know what they're talking about like you.

 

Another reason that put a smile on my face is that... I never defend games/companies, but for some reason with the way you pose your questions it seems like you are expecting me to :P I still can't say I'm attached enough to defend it, but I'll do my best to clarify. How's that?:

 

1. Yeah that makes no sense- in his videos/responses he's always talking about how you can turn the engine off for special maneuvers and to limit your signature, so I'm guessing they just haven't programmed it yet (it's pre-alpha). It's hard to believe they would think of programming thrusters but not the main exhaust. And yep, seems like magic video game future 'energy' fueling the thrusters at the moment. Although I think I read that they use hydrogen.

 

1a. The thrusters are actually doing micro... thrusts from computer calculations to keep the ship stable. They actually programmed it to display whenever they fired, but the constant flickering wasn't attractive from a video game perspective and didn't help give a sense of when they were doing something substantial. So they kept the calculations and micro-firing, but removed the visuals so that only constant firing would display.

 

2. They're ships used for atmospheric flight as well. Yep, some ships have thrusters and weapons on their wings.

 

3. Agreed, makes no sense, unless if you zoomed in you would see them dispersing. Just to look pretty/video game appeal I guess.

 

4 and 5. Agreed / I have no idea. Again- probably just because it looks pretty!

 

6. They said they know it causes head scratches, but supposedly the fans intake hydrogen for fuel.

 

I just looked up the doppler effect- why wouldn't it occur in space? Is it because space is a vacuum so there'd be no medium for sound to travel through? All this low-level physics stuff fascinates me.

 

Anyway, get this game! You'll have a ball poking at all the physics, seeing where it holds up or doesn't! I've been practicing martial arts since I was 7 but I still enjoy cool-but-incorrectly choreographed films and games- sometimes the material is entertaining even if the accuracy isn't ;)

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Woah! Here's an awesome find that if you're interested enough would serve you well to read, Cybes: Physics - Not a Dirty Word

 

It explains his approach to physics in the game and why they're doing things the way they are. To be honest, you'll get more out of it than me as it gets fairly technical in some parts.

 

Edit: disolusiond, tell me about it. I've basically been drip-feeding info about it 24/7 for the past two weeks.

Edited by 17

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You know, that put a smile on my face- to some it may look like an over reactive rant, but to me that was quite informative and entertaining :D

Really, it wasn't intended to be (a rant, that is). I was just reacting to the apparent "I want to be accurate" vs demo clip dichotomy. More on that in a mo.

 

Another reason that put a smile on my face is that... I never defend games/companies, but for some reason with the way you pose your questions it seems like you are expecting me to :P

They were supposed to be rhetorical, actually. If anyone is going to answer them, it should be the game dev himself, but I'm not expecting him to.

 

Believe it or not- from the few interviews, videos, comments and AMAs he's done, I'd say you're exactly the kind of gamer he likes to hear from! Apparently Chris Roberts studied physics (properly, from what I've seen other physicist commenters say) as well, so he's trying to keep that enjoyable video game experience but please people who know what they're talking about like you.

...

Woah! Here's an awesome find that if you're interested enough would serve you well to read, Cybes: Physics - Not a Dirty Word

 

It explains his approach to physics in the game and why they're doing things the way they are. To be honest, you'll get more out of it than me as it gets fairly technical in some parts.

Right. So, it appears that he acknowledges most of those points and has reasons for them; ranging from "It is actually there - you just can't see it" to "The real thing is visually pants, so I did this instead". Just the acknowledgement of the issues makes it more acceptable to my way of thinking, though if it were up to me I'd probably include a checkbox under Options to display things accurately rather than prettily. Since the engine is working it out anyway, there shouldn't be much performance hit or extra coding.

 

It really does look cool, though. I look forward to giving it a bash, though it may have to wait a little - I suspect it demands a bit more than an i5 laptop can provide. ;)

Edited by Cybes

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Recently bumped into this game through your "$30 000" Borg Cube PC thread, 17.

 

Couldnt shut my jaws watching just half of that trailer.

 

Is there perhaps a game similar to this I can play to satisfy my urge?

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I will just say:

http://www.thwacke.com/

 

This is all for you guys.. When you see it, it will all make sense.

 

(And highly relevant. Please trust me.. I'd place my hero badge on the line for this one)

 

AD

...I'm missing the point there, AD. Chris Roberts doesn't appear to be on the client list, nor the staff list - or I'm just not looking in the right place.

 

I do applaud them for the attempting to get producers to use facts.

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Edit: Oh and yeah they just reached three massive landmarks- $1,000,000 on Kickstarter, $2,000,000 on their website and $3,000,000 overall. There are only 10 days left so hurry up and geddin'! Register or pledge

 

Right. So, it appears that he acknowledges most of those points and has reasons for them; ranging from "It is actually there - you just can't see it" to "The real thing is visually pants, so I did this instead". Just the acknowledgement of the issues makes it more acceptable to my way of thinking, though if it were up to me I'd probably include a checkbox under Options to display things accurately rather than prettily. Since the engine is working it out anyway, there shouldn't be much performance hit or extra coding.

 

It really does look cool, though. I look forward to giving it a bash, though it may have to wait a little - I suspect it demands a bit more than an i5 laptop can provide. ;)

I'm glad that post was useful- it seemed to cater to your concerns pretty well. You have 12 months before an alpha is out and 24 before the full game, so you've got some time to upgrade :) And boy... is this a game that would make you want to upgrade. How's this for a tagline?: Better graphics than Crysis 3. Their dev team have actually modified CryEngine so much that some of the new features they've developed have reverse-trickled back into the official engine. Combine that with the fact that they're completely ignoring console needs and that they'll be releasing about a year after Crysis 3, and you have what'll probably be the best graphics in a game for some time.

 

I will just say:

http://www.thwacke.com/

 

This is all for you guys.. When you see it, it will all make sense.

 

(And highly relevant. Please trust me.. I'd place my hero badge on the line for this one)

 

AD

I guess that's more a service for developers who want that extra accuracy but don't know it themselves. Fortunately, the guy behind this (Chris Roberts) was a physics undergrad himself, so I think they're in good hands! Either way, I support their cause/service though- I'm sure the industry couldn't have too much of it.

 

Recently bumped into this game through your "$30 000" Borg Cube PC thread, 17.

 

Couldn't shut my jaws watching just half of that trailer.

 

Is there perhaps a game similar to this I can play to satisfy my urge?

They're a bit older, but his previous games are all classics in the space sims community. Try Wing Commander I - IV, Freelancer and Privateer. If you want something more modern, there's always BF3 jets but something I personally enjoy very, very much is flying vehicles in Unreal Tournament 3.

 

In UT3, everything with air vehicles just feels so fluid and free yet controlled. They use what is IMO the best flight controls you can possibly get for any game: WASD for horizontal moving just like strafing and running on foot, JUMP to raise the vehicle straight up (not tilt up), CROUCH to sink straight down (not tilt down), SPRINT to boost, and MOUSE for look/aim and fire. Flying through/around architecture is just so much fun and dogfights are very fast paced unlike in Battlefield where it's a lot of just chasing each other and spending ages just to turn around.

Edited by 17

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the CGI mixed in with video footage instantly brought back wing commander memories (cringe).

 

I want to play this game!

 

I've been dying for a modern day space combat/trading game since getting hooked on Firefly (why can't someone just make a firefly universe game dammit?). But this will definitely do. The one thing I hope they dont do in this game is make it like X3 where you jumped to different areas, but you were limited to that space and couldn't actually fly to the planet down below or anything. It really spoilt the immersion for me.

 

When is it expected to come out!?!?

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the CGI mixed in with video footage instantly brought back wing commander memories (cringe).

 

I want to play this game!

 

I've been dying for a modern day space combat/trading game since getting hooked on Firefly (why can't someone just make a firefly universe game dammit?). But this will definitely do. The one thing I hope they dont do in this game is make it like X3 where you jumped to different areas, but you were limited to that space and couldn't actually fly to the planet down below or anything. It really spoilt the immersion for me.

 

When is it expected to come out!?!?

November 2014 I think..

 

 

Cheers for those suggestions 17! Looking for a deal UT3 now..

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November 2014 I think..

Massive sadface

 

:(

 

But if you pledge now, you can play the multiplayer alpha in just 12 months!

 

As for flying around, basically you have jumping from system to system, but once you get there you can fly into the distance to unexplored asteroids/anomalies/abandoned stations etc. Landing on planets won't be in real-time, but flying down to one will be :) Basically, you can jump to a system, fly towards a planet, play a cuntscene, then be on the planet to do your business.

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Bumping this because it's the LAST DAY to pledge!

 

The project's smashed the $2,000,000 goal and is within reach of the $5 million stretch goal. Please pledge your hardest :)

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen

 

Edit: Just so you know, the campaign also has a massive PayPal total of about $3 million in addition to the ~$1.6 million on Kickstarter. So the total is actually $4,600,000. It has already broken Project Eternity and Double Fine Adventure as the highest funded crowdfunded game ever!

Edited by 17

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I cant wait to play this game, looks awesome, hope it is better than Free Space 1 and 2.

 

Pew pew pew times ahead!!

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This game has piqued my interest.

 

I tried Eve I think ages ago. Only got a little bit into it and was just overwhelmed with the interface and information etc.

 

Playing and loving STO atm, of which I enjoy the space battles in but know it's nothing like what Star Citizen will be like.

 

I like that there'll be an offline single player component. That alone will likely get me to try it out and go from there.

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1. The main exhaust on ships runs all the time - even when the ship is stationary. In the real world, when you throw stuff overboard, you also push the ship in the other direction, so maximum speed doesn't happen - at least not until you get relativistic (and shit gets weird). Any time the exhaust port is lit up and fluffy with escaping gas, that ship should be accelerating.

(I'm assuming 'magic' powers those thrusters, 'cuz they sure ain't chemical - or needing fuel.)

 

1a. On a related theme, those thrusters which are only active when in use (good thing), seem to be acting against resistance. ie: The ship turns; thrusters fire; thrusters cut out; turn stops. This is wrong. In reality, that ship would keep right on tumbling until such time as breaking thrusters were applied to stop it.

Ye while the game looks interesting would be nice to have full Newtonian physics like the old Iwar and Iwar2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-War_%28Independence_War%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_...:_Edge_of_Chaos

 

Iwar is available at gog games

http://www.gog.com/gamecard/independence_war_deluxe

as is the edge of chaos sequel.

http://www.gog.com/gamecard/independence_war_2

Unfortunately the game has to use a glide wrapper for 3d mode as the game was written purely for the 3dfx cards.

Some info at

http://www.gog.com/forum/independence_war_...s/scaling/page1 for scaling and resolution problems with the game.

 

Be warned it is a very complex game to play and can eat the hours away.

:P

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STAR BUMP!

 

Heads up – you have until Jul 7th to make a purchase and be counted as a ‘veteran’ backer. And until sometime in Nov to be an ‘original’ backer.

 

The differences are a bit murky, but as I understand it there are certain ships that will only be onsale until the 7th that come with full pledge packs that include game credits and maps and shit. Standalone ships can be bought until November…

 

…BUT, after that date there will no longer be Lifetime Insurance available. That’s the biggie. After that you need to pay for regular insurance, which covers ship loss in all but outlying sectors.

 

That also covers access to the upcoming alpha period, too.

 

So. Get in before the 7th Jul to get a nice package with extra goodies.

 

I have:

 

M50

http://starcitizen.wikia.com/wiki/M50

A zippy little thing that can outrun anything.

 

Hornet

http://starcitizen.wikia.com/wiki/Hornet

A fighter.

 

Freelancer

http://starcitizen.wikia.com/wiki/Freelancer

A bigger long range exploration ship with decent cargo capacity – and room for a second crewmember!

 

315p

http://starcitizen.wikia.com/wiki/315p

A smaller and sexier long range ship.

 

 

A well-rounded fleet, I think.

 

Get it going on, Spaceatomicans, we can clan-up and form the sexiest space guild out there!

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STAR BUMP!

 

Heads up – you have until Jul 7th to make a purchase and be counted as a ‘veteran’ backer. And until sometime in Nov to be an ‘original’ backer.

 

The differences are a bit murky, but as I understand it there are certain ships that will only be onsale until the 7th that come with full pledge packs that include game credits and maps and shit. Standalone ships can be bought until November…

 

hrm, I backed this, haven't really kept up on the updates about it though. Are 'veteran' backers, all kickstarter people?

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Yep! As well as anyone that buys anything before the 7th July. If anyone who hadn't bought anything prior still gets in by Nov (exact date not announced) they are 'original', and still get lifetime insurance.

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Ok I think I'm going to get on board with this.

 

I'm a bit confused about how it works though. I just go here and choose one?

How do I get extra ships? Buy more of the pledge packages?

 

Does LTI cover all ships you may ever get in the game or just the ones you get via the pledge process?

 

EDIT: Also, WOW

Edited by mark84

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Yep that's the right place Mark.

 

There's 'packs' in the main bit with all the fancy bullshit (+ game credits, which is not bullshit but we have no way of knowing yet the relative worth of what they give you here).

 

And there's the stand-alone ships listed on the left column.

 

Just make sure you have 'LTI' listed in the purchase package.

 

Best it seems to but the 'digital' packs, save some bucks if you don't want a trinket keychain/whatever in the mail.

 

LTI covers just each ship you buy with it. It covers basic hull replacement and not upgrades, and doesn't cover you when in distant sectors. But given that you'll have to pay ongoing premiums for insurance after the deal period expires, seems pretty good to me.

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Well I'm in. Went with basically the same spacecraft. Freelancer, Hornet and 315p.

 

I was almost going to ditch the freelancer and go the constellation as it seems to be a class above the lancer whilst still being able to do the same tasks and more. But read a little on their forums and people were suggesting it might cost more to run and operate than the lancer, so I figured I'd start out small (315p to begin, graduate to lancer when I've the equipment or credits whatevs) and work my way up to that should I really get into it.

 

Also, if we make or join a clan, we need to get one of those Idris class corvettes, soo sexy!

Edited by mark84

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