Star Citizen is currently in a playable alpha after being in development for 9 years. Despite being nowhere near finished, Cloud Imperium Games has been able to raise well over $300 million in funding from selling ships and packages for a game that will likely measure its development process in decades rather than mere years.
Case in point, Star Citizen player Camural recently posted a video pointing out that a feature showcased four years ago has yet to make an appearance in-game.
That feature is Star Citizen’s Atmospheric Room System. Basically, this system mimics a space ship’s atmospheric containment by assigning planets, spacecraft, and space itself as a series of “rooms” that either have atmosphere or not. If a spacecraft opens its airlock in space, that atmosphere should go rushing out into cold vacuum and leave any pilots without a spacesuit to suffocate.
That’s not exactly how Star Citizen works, as Camural shows in his video. Instead of gas rushing out of a spaceship foolish enough to open its hatch to the great void, pilots are just fine until they step out into space without an oxygen supply.
Rather than let this criticism slide, Cloud Imperium head Chris Roberts responded in the comments to say that the Atmospheric Room System is actually already in Star Citizen, just that everything else associated with it hasn’t been implemented.
“When we first set up rooms on the vehicles we didn’t have the life support component (and it’s related vents) implemented yet so we had no way to supply more oxygen to a room that had lost it,” Roberts explains. “So the designers set the ship rooms to immutable (infinite supply of oxygen basically) as a temporary measure because otherwise if you opened your door in space you would lose your internal breathable atmosphere and suffocate if you didn’t have a spacesuit on.”
Those life support components are still being developed, although Roberts says they’ve got them working on an internal build of Star Citizen.
“I know it can be frustrating to wait for all of this functionality to be online but I promise you everyone is working as hard and as smartly as possible to get there,” Roberts continued. “We are just going for a higher level of systemic gameplay (versus scripted) than most if not all games, and to architect all of this so it works in multiplayer at scale is no small feat.”
Roberts notes that the new roadmap showcased in August should be live soon which will give players a “live” look at Star Citizen’s development. But given the complexity of the systems involved and how one system’s implementation might be completely obscured without another system arriving at the same time, we’re not sure if a new roadmap will even give eagle-eyed fans a clear picture of just what’s going on.
In the meantime, you can try Star Citizen for free during the game’s Ship Showdown live event. Just don’t expect to suffocate if you pop the hatch in outer space.
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