I am here to talk about whatever you want.

After a hiatus making films I'm back to make the game I've always dreamed about: Star Citizen! You can learn about Star Citizen and support it at http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/ and also http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen

I look forward to talking to you all!

Hello everyone! I need to log off for the night but I really enjoyed having the chance to talk to you. I'd like to thank you for all the great questions. I promise that we will do this again soon and that I will stay in contact as frequently as possible as we continue building the Star Citizen universe.

Comments: 1492 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

Murmadamus310 karma

I played Freelancer for years and to this day it has remained my favorite game of all time. That game had so much potential. Is it fair to say that Star Citizen is going to be what Freelancer tried to be?

CommanderRoberts301 karma

Absolutely - A lot of SC is the vision I had for Freelancer (but in a different universe with a more realistic gritty tone) but didn't get to achieve as I sold Digital Anvil to MS and took a break.

Nilef189 karma

Will there be "boarding parties"? I loved that element in Battlefront II

Also, can you tell us more about the use of spacestations?

The 10K donator package spoke about "private clubs". Can you elaborate on what clubs will be?

Finally, will there be vacant spaceships or stations that you can salvage from? Imagine if squatter communities eventually formed inside a stripped, dormant spacestation :O

CommanderRoberts232 karma

Yes - you will be able to board, both in the single player Squadron 42 and also in the MP SC.

A private club is your own piece of real estate inside the SC Universe that you can set how enters - think of it like your own exclusive club that you can invite your friends to in order to hang out, plot or chat. If you're not on the list you don't get past the door!

There will definitely be some abandoned places - a station, a derelict wreck an abandoned mine that you could find and explore.

SpaceNavy107 karma

Are you saying there will be a FPS aspect to this game?

CommanderRoberts291 karma

Most definitely. On board spaceships and other large space objects with interiors (like a space station or asteroid base)

CommanderRoberts116 karma

Yes there will be boarding parties in both Squadron 42 SP game and Star Citizen's persistent universe. You'll be able to capture bigger ships, or perhaps an asteroid base or space station.

SendoTarget188 karma

Hi and welcome to Reddit

First of all I want to thank you for one the best gaming moments I had as a kid.

My parents bought me Wing Commander III and I kept playing it for nearly 3 years straight. It was one of the rare games that I wanted to try over and over again back in the 90's. It made me feel like I was meant to be a star-pilot.

I have some questions about Star Citizen:

  1. Will there be space-ships that will be monumental ie. Death Star that will require many fighters and other big ships to take out?

  2. Damage control: I've always loved the fact that a laser or a missile can rip parts out of your ship. How damage will be inflicted on ships?

  3. Shield control: Will there be a possibility to control shields and power them to the area you want?

I can't explain how I felt like an 8 year old kid again when you announced Star Citizen. I had to pledge as soon as I had the chance

Thank you so much for doing this AMA =)

CommanderRoberts290 karma

Hi SendoTarget! Glad you like WC3!!! :-)

  1. Yes - not sure about the "Death Star" but certainly huge capital ships like the Carrier in the prototype demo

  2. SC is designed to have a level of detail on individual ships like not other space game done to date - each fighter has something like 100-300 parts, most of which that have individual damaged versions and can break off. Its also not just visual, losing or damaging parts affects how you fly, what systems work and so on.

  3. Yes. You will be able to increase or drop power to your shields depending on where you need to place your ships power output (i.e. in case you want to juice your ability maneuver or need to replenish our guns)

CommanderRoberts181 karma

Hey everyone - I unfortunately have to call it a day, but I intend to come back and do this very soon in the near future, especially because the reddit outage prevented some of the European fans from getting a chance to ask questions before they had to go to sleep!

You've all been great. I apologize to those I didn't get around to answering and to those that I manged to get to I hope my answers were helpful.

In the mean time if you would like to support Star Citizen you can back us at http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/ or at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen

Evening all!

That_Frog_Kurtis139 karma

Hi Mr Roberts! First I want to thank you for doing this AMA and also for being so brave and challenging the industry and it's BS console focused mindset. This project is one that I personally had given up on ever seeing and I believe it will have a massive impact on the future of gaming. I am very excited.

I have a couple of questions that I have tried to think out as best I can, which I think are points the current community would like clarification on, and I hope they are answerable.

Physics: I have been playing A LOT of /r/kerbalspaceprogram recently and have a pretty good understanding of how spaceflight works in reality. In your physics explanation video you explained how the ships will fly - kind of. You said that it was absolutely rigid body but the demo showed a slightly different picture.

  1. I'm pretty sure I heard or read somewhere that you will set a desired speed setting, not a thrust setting and that there is a max speed for each ship. Obviously this is not true to space flight but a needed consession for a space fighting sim. Will it take as long to decelerate back to zero from a ship's top speed as it took to accelerate to it?

  2. Must my ship travel in the direction it is pointing? For example, could I accelerate to a given speed, cut my engines and, as I would be able to in reality, use my RCS to turn my ship to a retrograde attitude and blast my tailing attacker while still traveling in my original trajectory?

  3. Orbital mechanics - will they be included in any way? I can see phase angle calculations and orbital ejection proburns being very difficult if max speeds are limited. I can play KSP for that.

  4. Jumping, warping, subspace, whatever - Could I set out a tasty bait freighter bumbling along with a shitty escort and have an ambush squadron ready and waiting to drop in from just under 12 parsecs away?

  5. Will the universe exist mostly on a single plane with an up and down orientation, like the one in freelancer? Or will it expand equally in all directions with the only up/down orientation being shown on maps for readability?

Ships: This is probably the most important area for most people. I will let others ask most of the questions on this topic but here are two of my own:

  1. How many ships, roughly, do you aim to include at release?

  2. Are there plans to allow players, or groups of players if necessary to buy and operate all classes of ships? For example: me and my 5 buddies work hard for a few months and buy a big-ass cruiser. On the Star Trek style flight deck it needs a pilot to fly it, an engineer or two to look after energy distribution, co-ordinate shield cover with threats and to prioritise what order damaged systems get repaired, and a few or two of us to operate weapon systems. We could fill most of these positions with AI crew but today is a big day so we leave our fighters in the ship's internal hanger and hop in the hot seats. We hire a merc escort crew of 3 fighters and then join a loose conglomerate flotilla of like minded privateers and sail off to where we know by (devious means) Bothan Spy Network that the flagship of a massive, player run, multisystemal child care corporation, a Super Leviathan Treasure Battle Destroyer Pony class ship named Dingo Express manned by 15 players and escorted by another 40 in their various cruisers and fighters is being moved to another system but on our way we encounter an uncharted small moon...That's no moon Anyway, yeah the question: are there plans for big ass player controllable ships or are we going to be limited to small single seat fighters and freighters, leaving anything bigger to NPCs like in Freelancer?

Well, like everyone else, I have lots more questions and have asked more than my fair share with 7. At this point single sentence or even single word answers would be more than I could hope for given the unexpectedly long winded nature of my questions. Thank you so much for your time and best of luck with the project!

  • Colonel That_Frog_Kurtis

CommanderRoberts126 karma

  1. Yes you control your desired speed setting and the ship's fly by wire systems try to achieve it. The speed setting is limited on the top end for fun / gameplay reasons but the physics that get you to this speed setting are all 100% correct. acceleration and deceleration are all determined by your thrusters - how much thrust they can bring to bear and how quickly they can articulate in that direction - so if your main engines are more powerful than the thrusters that can apply retro thrust (which is almost always the case) you will likely accelerate faster than you will decelerate.
  2. You will have the ability to do this. Its a more advanced maneuver, and it may require an upgrade to your fly by wire system but it is definitely part of the arsenal of tools available to an advanced pilot.
  3. Probably not - mainly because the focus is on space combat and exploration, not hanging around large celestial bodies! 4.Yes - you could fly as bait (or one of your friends could), and when they are attacked and dropped into a battle instance send out a distress call, allowing your friends (or you) to warp in to rescue. You would have to be close by - the same system
  4. It will definitely have 3D components
  5. Around 10-12 flyable, significantly more in int he game (probably 40+) 7.You will be able to operate with your friends (or AI to a certain extent) bigger ships. The RSI Constellation is an example of this, but it will go up to larger ships - maybe not as big as the carrier int he demo, but probably a destroyer or corvette.

CommanderRoberts47 karma

  1. Yes you control your desired speed setting and the ship's fly by wire systems try to achieve it. The speed setting is limited on the top end for fun / gameplay reasons but the physics that get you to this speed setting are all 100% correct. acceleration and deceleration are all determined by your thrusters - how much thrust they can bring to bear and how quickly they can articulate in that direction - so if your main engines are more powerful than the thrusters that can apply retro thrust (which is almost always the case) you will likely accelerate faster than you will decelerate.
  2. You will have the ability to do this. Its a more advanced maneuver, and it may require an upgrade to your fly by wire system but it is definitely part of the arsenal of tools available to an advanced pilot.
  3. Probably not - mainly because the focus is on space combat and exploration, not hanging around large celestial bodies! 4.Yes - you could fly as bait (or one of your friends could), and when they are attacked and dropped into a battle instance send out a distress call, allowing your friends (or you) to warp in to rescue. You would have to be close by - the same system
  4. It will definitely have 3D components
  5. Around 10-12 flyable, significantly more in int he game (probably 40+) 7.You will be able to operate with your friends (or AI to a certain extent) bigger ships. The RSI Constellation is an example of this, but it will go up to larger ships - maybe not as big as the carrier int he demo, but probably a destroyer or corvette.

shinyenginehuh87 karma

Hi Chris,

I've been reading about Star Citizen and how it aims to be a great game for space combat but I'm more interested in the exploration of space and the dynamic of living on a spacecraft. I've been longing for an immersive first person space game for a long while and while I enjoy reading about all the time and thought you guys are putting into how combat will work in this type of environment there are other things that I'd be more interested in hearing about. I would like a game where the ships' interiors are very detailed and sufficiently large. I don't just want bland corridors that lead me from place A to place B. I want interiors that I want to spend hours in; I want plenty of interactable parts and I want the ability to customize what the ship looks like inside. If I'm allowed to dream a little (make that a lot actually) then the game I would like to play in 2014 is a game I play with maybe 4-8 other persons, we are all part of the same ship and we all have our specific roles on that ship. We don't spend all the time in combat or doing other goal oriented tasks. Instead we spend time our time interacting on the ship, working on the ship (improving it for example) and just getting lost in another reality. Maybe it is the role player in me that is playing tricks on my mind but I really think that Star Citizen has the potential to deliver the tools necessary for the crafting of amazing immersive games by its players. Imagining playing this game with Oculus Rift or similar equipment makes me giddy to be honest and I would love it if the game delivers even a fraction of what I dream it will.

So my question to you is what do you plan to do for players like me? What plans are there for inclusion of features that are focussed less on combat and more on facilitating the simulation of being a crew member on a ship that is travelling the universe?

CommanderRoberts157 karma

The larger ships are designed so multiple people can crew them - one player as the pilot, one on the scanners, one on the fire control, and so on. In addition a large focus of the design is to allow players to "find" their profession - solider, merchant, pirate, explorer... So there are definitely parts of the game focused of discovery and exploration. I've already talked about how we're going to let the players discover new jump points and star systems rather than us reveal them. There will be a lot more stuff like this. Being an explorer will be a fun and noble part of SC.

Zeldafreakneo80 karma

Chris Today I rage quit in Wing Commander because I just finished Killing a destroyer with Iceman but died on my way home to an asteroid. I have been trying that mission for a few days now. Can I expect the same difficulty and sense of reward for completing single player mission? (Also please tell me there wont be any impossible missions like that one where i have to defend a friendly destroyer from 3 bombers. It blows up seconds after I come in! Not fair!

CommanderRoberts202 karma

Hah!

Star Citizen is not going to be as easy as a modern game where there is no penalty for failing or being sloppy.

But I''ll try not to have something quiet as difficult as the the mission you're talking about - that was the one WC mission that was maybe a little too hard (although the trick is to taunt the bombers) :-)

Fuzzy-Realist79 karma

Are you a Firefly fan?

CommanderRoberts105 karma

Yes

neo776 karma

Hey Chris, your game was the greatest announcement since months or even years and I am really looking forward to the final game.

Anyways I have a few questions:

  1. It is possible to have a seamless transition between space to a planet (landing on it)?

  2. According to these artworks it seems we can freely move on a or more planets. Is that correct? Do we also have something to do on there, like missions? Or only in space?

  3. Is it beginner friendly for newbies who have never played a space sim before or is there some knowledge needed? Meaning it is easy to control the ships or does it take a long learning curve? Also are the controls on a keyboard not more difficult than on a gamepad or joystick?

And an advice about translating the game in other languages if I may: Please keep the names of the cities, planets and other stuff in the original language. WoW made that mistake and it's really annoying and confusing with all the different names of the cities for example.

I already would be grateful if you answer one of my questions. Thanks and keep up the good work with your game!

Greetings from Germany.

CommanderRoberts123 karma

  1. Not in the initial release if you mean actually flying down through the atmosphere and exploring it in the same level of detail the ships are built. The design is already ambitious as it is. It's something long term that I would love to be able to do, but its a matter of content - We can build a whole universe as we're not having to detail each world out to the fidelity of the ships. To do this you would need a whole other level of computer and content.

  2. The on planet stuff will be like Freelancer / Privateer. You will be able to visit a few locations to buy / sell / upgrade ships, buy / sell commodities, get missions, listen to rumors in the bar and so on. In space you'll be able to move around in first person on spaceships, including boarding and capturing (or defending) larger spaceship s/ installations.

  3. It will be like Wing Commander & Freelancer. It should be simple to learn the basics and you should have fun flying the early missions and it wont overwhelm you with the "sim" of it all. But once you get comfortable there will be a lot more nuance and detail you can delve into if you so wish. Keyboard is supported but personally I think that would be more difficult than a joystick or mouse (which are also supported)

Feallan67 karma

boarding and capturing larger spaceship

50 players boarding a battleship (CryEngine 3 gameplay), fighting for every corridor

50 fighter pilots + carrier covering them

PvP

Please let it be real

CommanderRoberts105 karma

Not sure if we would manage quite that number of players all in the same instance, but the goal is to have this in the Squadron 42 co-op / mp part.

clarkster39 karma

My favourite part about Independence War 2 was that you could turn off the flight computer's compensation. It would no longer simulate drag, help stop your turn, etc. I would speed up full blast, turn off the computer, spin my ship sideways and strafe a larger vessel.

CommanderRoberts87 karma

This will be all possible in SC. BTW there is no simulated drag in SC, but the ship's fly by wire systems try to keep the ship heading in the requested heading at the requested speed.

thebigmack68 karma

Hi Mr Roberts! I'm curious about the levels of visual customization for the player ships/avatars in Star Citizen. Games that let me be creative, really amp up the immersion for me. Thanks for doing the AMA and good luck with SC!

CommanderRoberts76 karma

There will be a high degree of customization n to your ship and you'll also be able to skin it with decals and the like

thejohnfist61 karma

Everyone seems to be hitting you with a lot... here's something simpler!

As you develop Star Citizen, are you having any troubles translating your vision of the game into a reality? In other words; are you having to sacrifice any major features you really wish you didn’t have to?

CommanderRoberts84 karma

Not yet! But its early days. I'm sure there will be some features that end up not being practical for balance of technical reasons. And there will be some cool new ones that never occurred to us at the outset!

ShepardSC59 karma

Question: If general funding reaches about 2.2-2.5 mil in the end of funding campaign will we only get the "Squadron 42" single player campaign or you still plan to grant players access to persistent universe at the game release time? If yes on persistent universe, will having micro transactions be enough to support that universe and provide enough budget for adding new regular 'micro' updates? I bet that many players wouldn't mind to pay monthly to support the idea of persistent universe and be a part of it.

CommanderRoberts117 karma

We plan on building the full SC experience even if we only end up with just $2-$2.5M which is unlikely given where we are now and our current pace. We should be well beyond here by the end but keep up the support!

Te only difference is that we cant promise the full SC experience in 24 months after funding - it may take longer and we may not have as much content on launch, but we'll still deliver it!

Razdan52 karma

Will Tom Wilson be voicing an NPC? I miss Todd "Maniac" Marshall.

CommanderRoberts64 karma

If we hit some of our later stretch goals I fully intend to try and get a lot of the WC actors to do voice work for Star Citizen!

MiccoHadje51 karma

I'm interested in learning more about the "Private Server" features you are envisioning.

How much will someone's private server be able to function as a sandbox, like the persistent server?

Or will Private Servers be only for dogfighting?

Thanks!

CommanderRoberts70 karma

It wont be as full featured as the persistent server but should have more functionality and persistenace than just a multiplayer battle instance a la BF3 or WoT

piderman45 karma

Hey Chris, thanks for making another (sure to be awesome!) game :)

My question: Speaking of realism, will Star Citizen feature actual solar systems, with planetary orbits and such? One thing that bugged me about Freelancer are those fast lanes between planets. Imagine what would happen to the one between Earth and Mars when the planets are at opposite sides of the sun :D

CommanderRoberts72 karma

Its not been decided whether we will actually model things like planetary orbits - it may be overkill and I'm not sure people will notice it. But again it is a little like time of Day, so you never know!

AllGamer41 karma

Economy... the #1 problem of any MMO game

I've been playing PC games & MMO for 20+ years, seen it all, been there done that, yet only few MMO games have ever tried to address this issue.

What game mechanics will be in place to prevent Players from ruining the economy?

Most MMO game with an in-game currency / economy will eventually inflate to exorbitant levels if you let the players do as they please when selling/trading in game items; for example a top of the line sword with good "upgrades" & stats selling for 6 billion in game currency, while the actual NPC price tag if you buy it in the store is no more than say 200,000.

My vision would be to have NPC controlled sales of used weapons, ships and ship parts, with a SYSTEM set maximum cap price per item, so you can always sell lower, but you can't go over board to exploit the system.

Hackers/cheaters always uses this exploit to sell stuff from account A to account B and make tons of money; even if we do assume some one is able to come up with 6 billion legitimately in game, and buys whatever item, then this will automatically encourage all sellers to jack up the prices to exorbitant levels, and cause an unmanageable inflation in game.

or make it even more simpler, no Player to Player trades, just Buy and sell back to NPC, like you'd in the single player game (Freelancer style)

CommanderRoberts93 karma

Players will have the ability to trade amongst themselves and their will be supply and demand on goods.

I think most MMOs have failed int he past because they only simulate PART of an economy and so you have no "drain" from the money supply like you do in the real world. In SC you will have to pay landing tariffs, you'll have running costs and will have to pay taxes on the goods you sell (in the more civilized parts of the universe). These taxes pay for the infrastructure and law and order (just like int he real world)

By properly simulating who a real economy operates (as there is always a cost to services but almost no one models that) the hope is to avoid some of the issues that you've seen in other MMOs.

One caveat. This is my theory - we've yet to test it out yet :-)

Lozeng3r39 karma

Welcome!

I really love what you've shown us so far!

The trailer had great cinematography and the gameplay has looked solid and impressive, especially for pre-Alpha stages!

I made a Star Citizen trailer using bits of gameplay from your various demonstrations- are we likely to see any more gameplay footage before the crowdfunding ends- even just a little more footage of the Vanduul fighter in flight?

Also, as someone with a creative mind, I have to ask if we'll be able to somehow design/customise elements of our own ship if we're outside of the $10,000 pledge?

Thanks for this AMA, and good luck :)

CommanderRoberts44 karma

Yes, there is a good chance of this - watch www.robertsspaceindustries.com over the next few weeks!

WonderPenguin37 karma

My question has to do with multiple ship ownership. When I played EVE online, moving my base of operations to another part of the galaxy took some logistical planning. I couldn't just fly off into the sunset and have access to all of my goods. My ships and items were tied to a physical location, and to move them I had to secure a ship big enough to haul them.

What is your take on this aspect of gameplay?

CommanderRoberts44 karma

Its a good question - my current thought is that you need to start /pick on a planet as your home base - think of it where you keep your residency. This is where your extra ships would be kept, where you would end up if you got blasted and you were rescued. You can "check in" to other planets as you adventure and when you do this will be considered your new rescue point.

But I don't feel like this has been fully thought thought as I don't want to make it too much of pain to switch out into another ship in your "garage"

Changelinq33 karma

Hey, glad to have you back as a game developer!

I'm curious about the budget, you're looking to raise a few million dollars but promise an amount of depth and complexity (MMO & singleplayer, visuals, etc) that needs at least 20 million (and that's probably not enough by far). Any plans on where to get the other 80-90% for the game? Do you plan on working with a publisher or do you have private funding?

The game sounds great but very, very ambitious without some big funding and you won't really come close to the required amount of money with crowdfunding.

CommanderRoberts45 karma

We have private funding (not publisher funding). The crowd funding side helps to determine how ambitious we can be upfront. The overall game wont cost $20M upfront, but probably by the end of the first year of public release we will have spent that much between the original game and the ongoing content that year

Papa_Dragon30 karma

Chris, i'm referring some concerns from other redditors about cockpit, shown in the tech demo @ GDC2012:

Only 31.8% of the viewing area shows a view to the outside

You already said you love all those little details in the cockpit, which help a great deal in player's immersion. But don't you think that such a limited view of the outside space is a little extreme?

CommanderRoberts46 karma

The GDC demo did not show the final cockpit implementation - your view is going to focus / scope depending on where you are looking - look out the windshield at a ship in the distance your focus and FOV will gravitate there (making this area of space you're looking at cover a lot more of the screen). Look down inside your cockpit at a LCD or buttons or your legs, the FOV will widen and the focus will be near.

tbk5027 karma

Hey Chris, big fan. I want to preface my questions by saying I am a huge freelancer player and fan, so a lot of what I'm wondering is kinda in that direction.

  1. Being a freelancer player, I did a lot of my flight time in 3rd person mode and mouse flight (though I did do first person occasionally I'm one of those people who really likes to see my ship). Will something like that be an option in Star Citizen. And as an addition to that, for bigger ships will there be a hull, rotatable view around the ship so we can fire the turrets without doing much larger ship maneuvering?

  2. You've talked about firefights on ships in regards to boarding parties, do you see this as almost being a game within a game as a 3rd person or first person shooter angle?

  3. Since you can walk around in larger ships do you foresee internal ship customization at all in terms of aesthetic and practical things?

CommanderRoberts32 karma

  1. Third Person will be an option always - if you look at me demo the game you can see I switch to it quite a bit to show off how cool the Hornet is! And yes on changing your view when dealing with a capital ship

  2. Yes - think of it as capture the flag with the flag being a spaceship!

  3. Not decided yet, but if so would probably be pretty limited.

Harashu26 karma

Is there any update on the chances of a Linux version?

CommanderRoberts49 karma

We would be happy to support it and the CryEngine srever can run on Linux. The problem is the client side as that relies on DirectX (which obviously doesn't work on Unix). If Crytek can add OpenGL support then I would say, we will do it.

Choctah21 karma

Hi Chris, What programming tools / languages / environments do you use? I know you did a lot of work in Assembly when you started out, is that still useful these days?

CommanderRoberts36 karma

No Assembly any more!

Pretty much C++ for everything. There is some LUA in CryEngine but I hate that!

On the coding / debugging IDE its currently VS2010

Schmidtrock21 karma

Hello Chris welcome and thank you! Will there be guilds/fleets/clans etc type organization available in SC? If so, could you briefly outline your vision for how they will work?

CommanderRoberts41 karma

We're saving this for a further reveal but there will definitely be a group feature - we're calling them squadrons rather than guilds but its the same idea, although it meant to be more about a group of friends forming a squadron and fighting together rather than some massive corp of guild with 1000s of members.

DarthGus20 karma

What is the largest type of ship a player will be able to fly? Anything like the cruiser we saw in the trailer?

CommanderRoberts31 karma

Probably a destroyer or Corvette - the carrier int he trailer would probably be too unbalancing for the Star Citizen persistent world in a player or group's hands!

OmegaVesko19 karma

Thank you so much for doing this. I've been a huge fan of Freelancer and I've lost exactly zero insterest in your games in the last decade. I knew you'd come back :)

Just one question from me. How similar (or how different) is the control scheme to Freelancer? I see you're also focusing on joysticks heavily and going for a more Wing Commander style approach to the controls, but I'd also love an option that's like Freelancer's controls. I loved those.

CommanderRoberts28 karma

We'll fully support mouse like in Freelancer, and Joysticks as in Wing Commander

Harashu16 karma

You have said that credits will be purchasable with real money, will these be the same credits earned in game? If so, how will you deal with their effect on the dynamic and player-driven economy?

CommanderRoberts33 karma

There is only one in game currency. You can buy some in game currency with real money, but we're probably going to limit the amount you can buy per month.

Adamanter15 karma

It was stated that SC is not a MMO, as we know them, but it’s clear that it’s got role elements. A player that goes pirate it’s playing a role. How strict will be naming policy to prevent inmersion breaking names?

CommanderRoberts23 karma

hasn't been worked out yet, but its a good point! Its similar to the name the star system / jump point issue. I think there will have to be some level of sanity check of obviously crude or insulting names.

mprey14 karma

Care to share a few thoughts on your experiences in the film industry? How do you see the Wing Commander film, and how did you get to co-producing films like Lord of War? Are you still involved in the industry or strictly focusing on your new game now?

CommanderRoberts27 karma

Its been a fun 10 years in the film industry and I've made some films I'm proud of like Lord of War and Lucky Number Slevin. I wasn't happy with how the Wing Commander turned out - it didn't match the picture I saw in my head - which is unusual for me, but I think it was down to my inexperience as a first time director, having a deal making vs a film making producer, a ridiculous short pre-production time (2 months!) and a low budget ($20M) for a complicated sci-fi film. There's still some parts of it that I thin are very well done, but if made that film again today t would be 10x better

I'm giving film a break for now and am fully focused on building SC as it represents everything I love about games or movies - universe building!

Kaltern13 karma

In the online persistent world, what incentives to improve will there be? Special rare weapons/ships/etc?

CommanderRoberts26 karma

Upgrading your ship, buying bigger and better ships, Bunin real-estate, controlling sections of space.

crazedhatter13 karma

Hi Chris, I am a long time fan and big supporter of the Star Citizen effort, I love what you are planning, taking the game to a level not seen before. To that end, the forums have become something crazy and it seems like there are a lot of questions about specific plans that are floating around. So my big question right now, is how will you handle multi-crew ships when you have but one person available? Will we be able to hire NPC crew to run our ship, or is it going to be pure automation?

CommanderRoberts24 karma

The ship's functions will be automated when you're flying the bigger ship's solo.

Cucamont12 karma

How persistent will destroyed ships or wreckage be? Meaning if I attack a bigger ship and win but do not have room to carry off all the loot/cargo, will I be able to make a run back to my base then go back to the coordinates and grab the cargo I left (Or give a buddy the coordinates for him to grab the rest)?

CommanderRoberts20 karma

I think cargo / wreckage will have a finite time and after that it will be gone. So unless you can radio a friend to warp in and help tractor in the salvage it probably wont be there when you return (if you can return as many battle instance is not "locations" on your nav map)

foamed12 karma

Hi, Chris.

How will Star Citizen stand out compared to other similar space simulators currently available on the market? Will it be like Freelancer (only online, bigger and better), or will it have new features and gameplay elements which will capture and/or introduce new players to the genre?

CommanderRoberts27 karma

Both! :-)

For me its what I dreamed I could do with Freelancer combined with how I would do another Wing Commander if I had the opportunity.

But there's so much more nuance and detail I can add to this type of game due to the power of current day PCs that I never could do previously that I genuinely believe when you play the whole package you will be completely immersed and lost in it.

Macgyveric11 karma

Thank you for making this game, Chris. As an EVE player, I've been in battles including 2500+ people and it was the most lag I've had since the days before broadband (10+ minutes for a command to go through, and that's without all the real time twitch flight commands Star Citizen looks to have).

I know you have instances of up to 100 people in mind, but what happens when people want to form up to attack or defend something like a station or other high value asset?

ShepardSC21 karma

I may be mistaken but I think that early persistent universe military conflicts will be like FPS matches where 60-100 people meet and deathmatch in dogfighting... There was one of the examples that persistent universe keeps track of destination and flight path of every player. So say if a trader on his ship and a pirate ship crossed in the same sector they will be dropped into a separate instance where the fight will commence. They will have some reserved spots so that they can invite friends who are not too far away to assist them.

CommanderRoberts24 karma

ShepardSC is correct! Thanks for helping me out - its a lot of questions to get through so I appreciate all the help I can get!

ScornAUT11 karma

Hi Chris,

any news on new ship info and/or artwork?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

CommanderRoberts23 karma

Ship info tomorrow. Artwork over the coming weeks.

jagermo11 karma

Hi Mr Roberts, and thanks for the AMA. I was wondering:

I always preferred Privateer to Wing Commander (especially Privateer 2). How much Privateer will be in Star Citizien?

CommanderRoberts23 karma

The whole open world / persistent universe is all Privateer! Squadron 42 is the Wing Commander part.

CedarMadness11 karma

Alright, so from reading your previous posts in the forums, it sounds like navigation will be like in Privateer, you set a destination, hit A, a whoosh scene plays, and you are there. Is that correct? If so, how will that work in multiplayer?

For those who didn't play Privateer, here is an example of how it looked.

CommanderRoberts25 karma

It will work like WC / Privateer (but there isn't any loading screen) and teh warp will be in-engine.

In MP the universe server matches up players and NPCs based on general proximity - the ones that look like they will cross paths are dropped into a dynamically created battle instance (that their friends can now warp in to ) to resolve the conflict before auto-piloting on.

Feallan11 karma

Hi!

I have question about Squadron 42 campaign. What will the storyline look like? I don't want details of course, but I watched the trailers and I'm little worried that it'll look like USA vs dirty savages, so maybe some reasurring, that it won't be so black and white? :)

CommanderRoberts29 karma

More like the Roman legions trying to fend of the Visigoths... If they flew spaceships and existed in 2942!

ai126510 karma

Hi, Mr. Roberts! Really glad to see you're back in the gaming scene. Only played one of the WC games, and with a friend, but we wore out the CD. Great times.

I've just got one question:

Will we be able to build as well as purchase? I don't mean in the RTS sense, but will we be able to establish our own base of operations, in the sense that it's not a ship, but a stationary base?

CommanderRoberts23 karma

Yes - it will be at the higher end of the progression (will cost a lot of money or you'll have to get some friends together to take over a derelict base)

andy_herbert10 karma

Which is your favourite Wing Commander, or Wing Commander-alike game?

My personal favourite is Privateer :)

Many thanks for literally years of enjoyment!

CommanderRoberts21 karma

WC1 & WC3 are tied for different reasons. WC1 is probably the most perfect game I'e ever made in terms of matching the vision in my head to what the finished game was. WC3 is my other favorite as its where I think we perfected the combining the story with the action i a big cinematic way.

mrtalliban9 karma

Chris

Will there be things like factories,powerplants and real estate in this game you can own ? Beiing able to produce ships ,weapons and so on like in the game "X3"where you can build up you own economic empire? Even controll multiple ships at the same time ? Your own squad or fleet ?

I am highly anticipating your game and pledged ofcourse !

CommanderRoberts20 karma

There will be some crafting and a lot of trading. I hope that various players gravitate to different roles ; solider, merchant, mercenary, pirate, explorer, miner and even industrialist.

en3x9 karma

I'm curios about coms system - will it be like in modern airplane or like in DCS manual controls with a learning curve to learn radio procedures or will it be something else? Greetings from Slovenia and I admire your Courage with this type of game!

CommanderRoberts21 karma

It will be similar to WC / Privateer / Freelancer with some standard (and some context sentive) comms to NPCs that you can select from a list. We'll probably let friends talk P2P and it's undecided on whether this will also be enabled for foes (need to make sure people aren't abusive)

Edbergj8 karma

I love the idea of content weekly or bi-weekly. Is it even possible to turn out content that fast? What sort of content can we expect in a weekly update?

CommanderRoberts15 karma

Well it would be weekly or more likely bi monthly but the key is being able to do small updates here and there - a 4 mission story thread, a new star system and so on...

voin_bg7 karma

Is the Constellation a jack of all trades ship? Good for exploring, trading and combat? Will we be able to fly it solo?

CommanderRoberts20 karma

You can and it definitely will cover all angles. There are cheaper ships that can also cover all angles but none have the abilities, size or luxury of the Constellation.

Ionicawa6 karma

Hi Chris thanks for being here. I'm really looking forward to Star Citizen and I will pledge as soon as I get my paycheck! Freelancer learned me that I am a trader by heart. Therefor I have a few questions regarding the trading aspect of the game.

  • What trading methods will be available to the player?
  • Will you be able to craft a ship from materials that you bought/found or only through official dealers? This is primarily for potential ship merchants hoping to make money with building/upgrading ships.
  • Continuing with the last question, In what ways will you be able to upgrade your ship? You have said that a ship can contain hundreds of individual parts. Can we upgrade/change all of those, or only the important ones?

That's what is on my mind right now, I'll be back with more if I think of something.

Thanks in advance! :)

CommanderRoberts12 karma

You'll be able to trade all sorts of goods (as you could in Privateer, Freelancer and more recently Eve). You can also hire others to protect you or even do the runs for you

There will be some crafting in the game, but I'm not sure you will be able to craft a complete ship - maybe a special component or something

There's going to be lost of ways to upgrade your ship - look for some info from RSI in the near future.