What is the actual status of the game?
CIG call it an „alpha“ or „early stage alpha“ phase, i would prefer the word pre-alpha because they are still developing the background technic, those are:
The netcode handle the digital informations between server and client. The idea of the actual (cryengine integrated) netcode was managing FPS on a small map, it sends all of the data from every client to the server and back to all clients. This work like intended on a small map with 16 people, but not in a giant universe with thousands of player. So CIG decided to create their own netcode (Star Network) to manage a MMO. Star Network will be released with the next major patch (3.0). Don’t expect a perfect working netcode, it will need a lot of tests, improvements and polish. But this is maybe the biggest step Star Citizen ever did.
What does this mean for me?
The finished netcode should be able to manage a big amount of players at one place. So a big battle between 100 vs 100 ships would be possible (maybe more). At the same time you are still on the same giant meshed universe server with about one million players.
- Item System 2.0
Its the system who will handle every item in the game from ships over ship parts like thruster to weapons, armor, chairs and coffeecups. The items will get simple entities who define what can the item do. If a book get the additional tag „melee weapon“ you can literally hit the books. This will make the further development and integration of new items much easier.
For a better understanding i will go more into detail what Item System 2.0 provide for us
- Cargo/Storing Items
It wont be like in other MMOs, where you have a magic bag with 50 Slots and a elephant take the same inventory space as a ring. Every Item has a defined size and will take the needed room in a cargo container (Unit = SCU= Standard Cargo Unit). A weapon, as example a rifle will be 2 units long and you have to physically put it into the container, you will be able to see this item in the container and the rifle will stay physically in this container until you remove it. If you need more informations read the Cargo Design Post
- Item Ports
Items like armors, weapons and ships work with the same Item Port System. Every of this items can have different ports, your armor could have a chest port for a power unit and if this unit has the same size like the one in your ship you could change the items (the main generator of your ship will be much bigger than the one in your armor but there will be much more parts which have different sizes parts in your ship).
- Cargo/Storing Items
- Planetary Tech / Procedural Planets
Procedural planets is the technic which make the landable planets possible. At the beginning CIG thought they will implement it after release. But they procced much faster with it. If they would create the planets with the common technic, your pc couldn’t handle the amount of data which are needed to display a big planet with high resolution textures.*
What does this mean for me?
We can fly from the verse to the planets and land at every spot we like. During the entire trip we can see the whole planet at high resolution without burning down our computer and enjoy at the surface a detailed living planet. (some planets have landing restriction, this is a gameplay and not a technical related decision and the most planets are dead because of a missing atmosphere or no water)
Video 1: first procedural planet
Video 2: improved procedural planet + mission (really impressive)
*This is again a really simple and not completly explanation, but it should fulfill its purpose.
At the moment they still create the background technic and content tools. I expect with the release of the patch 3.0, we will slowly change to the „content phase“ and get more playable parts of the game
I heard o lot of bad things about star citizen. The development time needs much longer As intended or they will run out of money. Whats going on There?
There are a lot of bad rumours about Star Citizen from people who are disappointent or just bored. It exist a lot of reasons for this, but the mosts are mad because they backed the game years before and still haven’t much content to play. The first release for Star Citizen was stated at the year 2014, this date was given under a much smaller scope of the game and before the kickstarter achieved every strechtgoal with over 100 million of dollars. In my opinion the game is still on track and a release date between 2019-2020 sounds reasonable.
2019-2020? sounds like a long time to wait for a game
That’s true, but we will be able to play the game much ealier. Like already stated with the patch 3.0 the playable content of the game will highly increase and the follow patches will be also rich in content. So it’s the right time to be a Star Citizen : )