The future of Star Citizen

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“We’ll also have a limited amount of PvE stuff that’ll happen on planets. Maybe you’ll go down a dark alleyway to sell some contraband to a fence, and as you go down there, you’ll get attacked by muggers. You’ll have to take them out, Han Solo-style, with your blaster. We want these places to feel like they’re alive, rather than just glorified shopping and mission interfaces.”

But while Star Citizen is going to be a game for solo privateers as well as mega-corporations, multiplayer will be a massive part of it, Roberts confirms. “The bigger ships have been designed with co-op in mind, and players can take on different roles, like piloting or manning turrets. In space you can open the airlock and leave your ship in an EVA, and dock with another ship, or repair your own. Or you could be exploring a derelict sitting in an asteroid field. We want to have interesting, fun gameplay for everyone. It won’t be like World of Warcraft where you need a big group to do the really cool stuff.”

I finish by asking what he thinks about the grey market: a community built around the buying and selling of Star Citizen ships, sometimes for thousands of dollars, even though the buyers can’t even fly them yet.

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“We thought that if someone is backing the game for $250, they should get a better ship than if they’d spent $40. Then we had a lot of requests to sell ships separately, and this is when we had to decide on the pricing. We couldn’t really take, say, the Constellation, which was on the $250 pledge, and make it a $30 ship. That’s how we set the prices.”

He cites the game’s insurance system as a big factor. “If your ship gets destroyed in the game, you’ll get a new one, providing you keep your premium valid... But we decided that, to reward backers, we’d offer them lifetime insurance on their ships, and it’s those ships that became highly sought-after on the grey market.”

Roberts is clearly incredibly passionate about Star Citizen, and you can tell he’s approaching its development primarily with a game design brain, not a marketing one. I sincerely hope the game can live up to Cloud Imperium’s bold, skyreaching ambitions.

Andy Kelly

If it’s set in space, Andy will probably write about it. He loves sci-fi, adventure games, taking screenshots, Twin Peaks, weird sims, Alien: Isolation, and anything with a good story.