Star Citizen 3.0 update shown at annual Gamescom presentation, includes procedural planets
Cloud Imperium Games has shown new footage of the upcoming Star Citizen 3.0 update last week during the game's fourth annual Gamescom presentation in Cologne, Germany.
In the backer-only presentation Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts showcased many new features and bugfixes that are included in the 3.0 update for Star Citizen. The recorded gameplay footage from the presentation is now available online.
During the presentation Roberts demoed the game's new procedural planets technology as developers play together to travel to several planets. The planets are fully rendered with no skybox and may feature pre-built structures such as base station where spaceships can request docking.
The presentation kicks off with a quick tour of the port Olisar ship deck as two developers meet up to fly off in their Freelancer spaceship. It is here that one of the game's big new features is shown: the star map system.
The new star map system allows players to freely explore star systems by zooming in. Once zoomed in players can view a system's planets and moons. Doubleclicking on one of them allows players to wrap there within seconds.
As the developers move past two orbit stations and get closer to the surface of planet Delamar a red glow appears around their spaceship due to atmospheric friction - the crowd goes nuts.
Once landed on a planet players can freely move around whilst staying in the seamlessly connected world. In the presentation the two developers land their spaceship in a base station called Levski. Inside they show off how one player is able to see another player controlling a spaceship by looking through a window.
In the game players are able to seamlessly travel between space and a planet's atmosphere, much like the space exploration game No Man's Sky.
Inside base stations players can access the game's trading systems to buy and sell items and upgrades. This is also where players can interact with other NPCs as they give out optional story missions.
Inside Levski players are able to use elevators to get around. During this part of the presentation Roberts assures the audience that everything that is seen on the screen is real and that there are no secret rendering tricks used to make this possible, hinting at game's that use teleportation to make elevators work.
As the developers continue playing the game a new story mission unfolds that has them travel to a different planet within the star system to retrieve a black box of a badly damaged spaceship. By utilising their spaceship's Quantum Drive Engine they arrive at their destination within seconds.
Maneuvering through the damaged spaceship is awe-inspiring as there is no gravity that keeps objects in place. Inside the bodies of the ship's crew can be seen frozen, hovering in mid-air.
Not long after one of the players finds the black box inside the damaged spaceship. Once retrieved the player gets a new optional story mission. It is here that Roberts shows off the game's first spacehawk called the Drake Dragonfly - again, the crowd goes nuts.
Players are able to use the Drake Dragonfly both in space and on planets, by using the vehicle's gravlev system, a system that enables it to stick to gravity sources.
The newly given story mission has the two player Freelancer spaceship crew search for cargo inside a pirate camp. In this last part of the presentation the developers use several vehicles to travel the planet's surface to get to the cargo.
Players are be able to pick up cargo and place it in their spaceship after which they will most likely be able to sell it in one of the game's trading hubs, such as base station Levski as shown at the start of the presentation.
The presentation ends when the two developers get double-crossed by one of the NPCs that had given them their first story mission.
With the new 3.0 update that includes many new features, such as the new planetary technology, a new star map system and a new music system, the 50 minute presentation gives us a good insight into what Cloud Imperium Games has been working on the past year, and it certainly leaves fans of the game yearning for more.
In October of 2012 Cloud Imperium Games launched a crowdfunding campaign with the stated goal of raising between two and four million dollars to produce a space sim PC game. By November 2012 the campaign had reached $6,238,563 in funding, breaking video game industry crowdfunding records.
Star Citizen is in active development and does not yet have a release date. The 3.0 update for the game is expected to launch later this year.
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