Chris Roberts Returns To Game Design: Unveils ‘Star Citizen’ At GDC
Dedicated PC gamers everywhere are rejoicing over the news that Chris Roberts has returned to game design after a 10 year absence. Chris gave the world a dramatic first look at his new game, Star Citizen, at yesterday’s Game Developers Conference in Austin, Texas.
Roberts is famous in the gaming community as the man behind such hits as Wing Commander and Privateer. Chris is also known as the director of the Wing Commander movie that starred an up and coming new face in Hollywood, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Matthew Lillard. Since his retirement from game design, Roberts produced several feature films including The Punisher, The Jacket, and Lord of War.
While he was busy producing movies, Roberts waited patiently for computer technology to catch up to his vision for the perfect space combat game. Sensing the time was finally at hand, Roberts began work on Star Citizen last year, and yesterday he was ready to unveil his new game to the world.
At the GDC, Chris spoke at length about Star Citizen, and he explained why he wanted to design a game that pushed the PC to its limits:
“I’m a PC gamer in my heart, but I have consoles at home and I tend to buy the console version of a game that’s built for a console because I don’t want to play it on the PC. But if someone was building a game that really pushed the limits of the PC, and said this is what it can be if you dream it, then I think I’d definitely buy that. That’s one of the big reasons for me to come back.
“In recent years, game designers have stopped innovating and pushing the boundaries of what you can do in this genre. I plan on bringing that kind of development mentality back into PC gaming and space sims in particular.
“There is a lot of noise out there regarding social and mobile games right now, and I think PC gamers are feeling a little left out of the mix. But the PC is still incredibly capable of presenting an experience that doesn’t take a back seat to any other platform out there, including consoles. With my game, I want PC gamers to stand up, be counted and get excited again about all the great experiences their computer can deliver”
Of course no presentation would be complete without a new video that showed off the new game in all its glory, and Star Citizen got the full treatment at the GDC. Watching the video, you could see the incredible amount of detail that went into the design of the game. Most striking is the manner in which real physics are applied as huge carriers maneuver in space. Roberts discussed the principals behind the stunning visuals:
“In terms of a physics model, everything’s rendered and modeled physically correctly, If we take a look, as I’m yawing, you’ll see that my thrusters on top are articulating to give the thrust in the correct place to rotate, the proper pitch when I bank. This ship isn’t set up to roll at thirty degrees a second, it’s actually modeled properly. It’s a full rigid body and it has these thrusters at different points.”
He has always been a hardcore gamer at heart, and Roberts is fondly remembered for his dedication to the gaming community. Perhaps that is why he also announced his decision to use Crowd Funding for Star Citizen. A website has been created at www.robertsspaceindustries.com to raise funds for the project, and the response has been overwhelming. Just hours after the announcement, so many people were trying to contribute that the site was actually knocked offline for a brief period.
Crowd Funding is becoming quite popular as an alternative to traditional fund raising, and Chris explained his reasons for choosing this innovative new method of financing:
“We are taking this approach to fund-raising for several reasons. For one, this route takes the traditional game publisher out of the mix and enables us to take the millions of dollars normally used by publishers for a triple-A title and plow them right back into developing the game. Secondly, using our own crowd funding mechanism allows us to reach out to our international fans, who have been devoted followers of my games in the past. Thirdly, going direct gets us much closer to our fans and allows us to focus more on the community side, create more updates for our fans and directly interact with them as we are making the game.”
Star Citizen is still about two years from launch, which means that the technology will continue to evolve alongside the game. Participants in crowd funding will be invited to play an early beta version of the game in about a year, and The Inquisitr will be keeping you up to date on all the latest development’s as Chris and his team continue to work on Star Citizen.
We can only imagine what sort of computer we will use to play Star Citizen when it is released 24 months from now. How much more can we add to a system that already has 16 gigs of ram, a hex core CPU, and dual Nvidia 660 TI graphic cards. Oh well, one can always dream, and, like many of our readers, we can’t wait to play Star Citizen.