At CitizenCon, Chris Roberts took to the stage to demonstrate Star Citizen's procedurally generated planets. Judging by the video embedded below, they're coming along very nicely indeed – but it's not just the numbers doing the work.
According to one of Roberts' presentation slides, Robert Space Industries now has a completely new terrain system implemented, which "seamlessly supports spherical terrain at a planetary scale". The tech allows for unrestricted view distance, and the algorithmic stuff is complemented by the missions which RSI has crafted manually. In other words, it won't all be random: think of the procedural generation as a backdrop.
"It's absolutely artist driven," Roberts said. "We're using the procedural techniques to author planets on a global scale very quickly, but to give it a real sense of character. There are quite a few other games using procedural tech to do planets, and those achievements are impressive and cool, but I want to be able to say: I want to build this planet that looks like Hoth. I want to build this planet that looks like Tatooine."
Update: Cloud Imperium has put up a new 60 fps Procedural Planets trailer demonstrating how crafted missions will dovetail with Star Citizen's procedural systems, which we've embedded below. The original videos are still viewable on Twitch (part one, part two).
...and here are some new screenshots: