Star Citizen concept art blow-out
The cockpits are dense with detail - but as impressive as they look, it was important to Roberts that the ships function in just as coherent and finely realised a manner. The game calculates the ship's movement using a model based on rigid-body physics, so the placement of each thruster directly affects how you can turn. Which also means damage to a specific part of your craft will radically alter your manoeuvrability.
As for the overall setting, Roberts describes the universe's premise like this: "Think the fall of the Roman empire. On the western borders there are barbarian races, and there’s a schism in the empire - there’s an eastern capital, Terra, and the western capital is Earth - the stand-in for Rome." And we know how well that all worked out for the Romans...
If you're intrigued to see more, head over to the Roberts Space Industries site.