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'Star Citizen' announced by 'Wing Commander' creator, coming 2014

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Star Citizen has been revealed by Chris Roberts, the creator of pioneering space simulation title Wing Commander.

The ambitious title is an online connected universe and encompasses the ideas of his previous games, including Privateer and Freelancer, and will be available for high-end PCs in 2014.

Video: Watch the first trailer for Star Citizen featuring in-game visuals:


"[Star Citizen is] taking my greatest hits and rolling it all into one connected online world," he told Digital Spy.

Described as a "hybrid" between an MMO and single-player, it'll offer a single-player campaign with optional co-operative elements inside a persistent universe with instanced combat skirmishes.

The core objective is to gain citizenship, which can be achieved in several ways, from Wing Commander military duties to becoming a merchant and buying your way in.

Players can become a soldier, merchant, bounty hunter, pirate or explorer, travelling between planets, purchasing or taking goods and upgrading their ships.

Tools are in place to offer micro-updates rather than large-scale expansions, which will regularly introduce new missions and star systems.

One example of player engagement is the addition of new star systems, which will be hidden away from the population until they stumble upon them.

Doing so will allow the player to sell the navigation data onto the community and name it whatever they please.

Roberts says Star Citizen will be heavily engaged in community feedback, which is inspired by the communities still revolving around Wing Commander and Freelancer today.

"There's a lot of energy and creativity and enthusiasm that I'd like to embrace in what I'm doing next," he said.

One form of this is the development team will "behave like an old-school dungeon master", with story direction and conclusions dictated by player reaction.

Players will also have the tools to create their own ships which can be sold to ship dealers, and will allow support private services for custom-user mods.

Star Citizen concept art

© Robert Space Industries



Roberts, who has been away from game development for several years, said it was the right time to make Star Citizen thanks to the arrival of the "digital connected world" providing online distribution and updates.

He also said the arrival of high-end PC visuals - ten times those of current generation consoles, comparable to the CGI in the Wing Commander film - would provide the perfect level of immersion of the project.

Talking about the potential audience for the game, he believes that the genre has never gone away, but laid dormant in his absence.

"It's mostly that people haven't been doing interesting [space games]," he explained.

"The genre doesn't feel like it's moved on for a long time. It's not like a genre dies - it's the same with movies - it's just more about whether it's a good film or not.

"There was a point of time where they said sci-fi is dead, but then someone makes whatever it is, and it's huge. It's not whether a genre is dead, it's whether it's people are making good movies for it."

Star Citizen concept art

© Robert Space Industries



On release, Star Citizen will adopt a Guild Wars-style business model, where players initially buy into the game by purchasing a ship, and won't be charged a monthly subscription.

Players can register their interest with a Minecraft-style crowd funding model starting this month through the official Cloud Imperium Games Corporation website.

The advantage of buying early is to purchase their starter ship at a lower cost, and to enter into alpha builds - a multiplayer space combat build in eight months and an alpha of the persistent universe a year after that - which is "well before" the game releases.

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