A Closer Look At How Star Citizen’s Universe Is Built

A Closer Look At How Star Citizen’s Universe Is Built

Star Citizen is probably still years away from what anyone would consider a “full” release, but what’s getting built along the way is pretty astonishing.

Digital Foundry were given a tour of Cloud Imperium’s UK office, and as a bonus they got a lengthy look at the upcoming alpha 3.8 patch for Star Citizen. The whole video, however, was more of a long lens look at the projected scale for Star Citizen‘s universe, touching on the finer details of object container streaming, how Star Citizen‘s world scales, how each planet’s texture set define the height of terrain, humidity, temperature and elevation and the variables that go into that, and more.

If you’re looking for a video that goes into release dates, more details about Squadron 42 or something that just explains what the current playable state of Star Citizen is right now … well, this isn’t it. However, if you’d like to know more about the technical aspects of how a game’s universe comes together, what makes that galactic nebula look like nebula without (ideally) sending your frame rate into the toilet, it’s a solid watch.

None of this gives me any hope that we’ll actually see Star Citizen in a playable state equivalent to what we expect from most video games until 2021. Is that what’s best for the game? Or backers?

Whatever your answer to that question, watching the scale unfold – and the potential ramifications along the way – is fascinating to watch.


  • I remember backing this in 2012, for Squadron 42 with an expected release date of 2014.

    The worst feature creeper ever made me jump ship and sell of my backer package at cost to recover my funds. I don’t regret that.

    They are making something for sure, but is it worth the $267,409,925 that they have raised in the last 8 years, which led them to open what 3 or 4 studios? pay money to big time actors for mocap and voice over, and still be no where near release?

    If it ever does come out I’ll give it a look.

    • Personally I can’t imagine anything better I could do with the mere $20 or whatever it was. Why take it back just to pay full price later?

  • It’s looking amazing, I’ll have to log back in and give it a go.

    I backed it way back when. Happy I did. Wish that they’d got Chris Roberts under control about 5 years earlier, but it seems much more on track now.

    Always good to compare with Elite: Dangerous where they went the other route after raising funds – they got a basic game out and have added more and more to that live game, with one paid expansion so far and another due late 2020, hopefully adding atmospheric landings, and possibly “space legs” (first-person walking) which I care nothing for in Elite but a chunk of the player base seem to want.

    • I’ve decided to quit Elite Dangerous until they get atmospheric planetary landings in the game.

      Being able to walk around your ship would be cool, but I’m not bothered if I can’t ever leave it to walk around a space station.

      I will definitely come back when the next content season launches though.

      • Whereas I’ve been out of ED for coming up on 2 years because of moving house and a bunch of other circumstance and itching to get back in and see what’s changed.

        And my alt account is on 687 hours. 😮

        • Yeah, the other reason I’ve been out is my HOTAS is currently busted and needs repairing, and the game just isn’t as fun with a controller.

          • Yeah, I started with a normal joystick but soon grabbed an X52. Had to do some minor surgery on it to remove the throttle detente as that broke, but people pretty commonly remove it anyway.

      • Oooh, sensitive… You’ve chosen a very strange hill to die on for the sake of ‘a mere $20’.

        So how much did you really give them?

  • “So, what do you do for a living?”

    “I paint planets”.

    I feel like I made the right choice in choosing to wait for a “finished” version of this game to launch. It’s going to be amazing when it finally releases, but, like quantum computing, that release date always seems like it’s about five years away.

  • Love it or hate it, Kojima started a new studio and launched a new game well after this game was first announced. How’s that for perspective.

    • A game which takes place on one patch of land on one continent on one planet, created by a lifelong legend of the industry. You can’t compare oranges to steaks, completely different things. Ancient egyptian houses took a few months to build, the pyramids 20 years, how’s that for perspective?

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