Star Citizen's Spaceships Are Ridiculously Expensive

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Star Citizen's Spaceships Are Ridiculously Expensive

Star Citizen Screen 01

According to Chris Roberts, Star Citizen's fighters are so detailed that their real-world cost is in the thousands of dollars.

Star Citizen recently became the most successful crowdfunding project of all time when its combined donations surpassed the $10 million mark. Some of you may have looked at that number and wondered how Chris Roberts could possibly spend it all, considering that most of Star Citizen's gameplay occurs in an empty void. To help answer that question, Roberts broke down the development cost of Star Citizen's spaceships, and you'll want to sit down because this one's a doozy. Roberts estimates that a single finished in-game fighter would be worth approximately $35,000 in real-world currency, while large carrier ships rate even higher.

"[A single ship] can be anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000," Roberts explained. That figure accounts for everything from time and money spent modelling the item, to making sure each component part functions realistically. According to Star Citizen's campaign page for example, one fighter can consist of 300,000 polygons, while carriers can use up to 7 million. For comparison, the average character model in a Triple-A game uses 10,000 polygons.

These numbers certainly aren't insurmountable, given Star Citizen's new budget, but it's still pretty shocking to learn how detailed the finished game might be. And that's just game models, without taking into account details like physics, ship interactions, lighting, or multiplayer servers. Here's hoping that Star Citizen's donors, including 35,000 Kickstarter backers alone, notice the difference their money made when the game launches in 2014.

Source: Joystiq

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... Well I won't be able to play this until I get a new computer.

Don't care though. Money well spent for the sake of such an awesome project.

That explains why the pledge ships cost upwards of $70

Mein. Gott.

This is getting completely out of hand... and I love it.

Holy hell, that's one expensive ship. Can't say I'm particularly interested though.

PC Master Race represent!

Yeeaahh... I also really need a serious computer upgrade, seeing as mine is, well, solid but from 2009.

Well, I'll say that money was well spent.

ZeroMachine:
... Well I won't be able to play this until I get a new computer.

I suspect this will be the new Crysis.

(rather ironic considering it runs off a modified Cryengine 3)

lacktheknack:
Mein. Gott.

This is getting completely out of hand... and I love it.

Its really good that he had outside backers that are backing the game at a 1:1 rate for pledges, meaning they have right around 20 million to work with for Star Citizen instead of only 10

That's a shitload of emotions.

*wipes a tear* The 300 commercial was beautiful.

I'm looking forward to this game.

Wow, I'm impressed. Hadn't heard a damn thing about this game, but between the buzz and the "commercials" I'm actually getting kinda hyped.

Evil Smurf:
That's a shitload of emotions.

This is easily going to be the most emotional game ever released. The world will dehydrate in tears!

Not sure if my computer will be able to handle this...

image

he strikes again!

really? this is news worthy?
are we going to have an incredible advanced a.i. of space fish traveling in the opposite direction of your ship whenever you get close to them and risk a collision?

Now, that you have justified my 2014 computer upgrade, can you please get on to make gameplay actually good instead of using the crysis route of "graphics is everything"?

Strazdas:
Now, that you have justified my 2014 computer upgrade, can you please get on to make gameplay actually good instead of using the crysis route of "graphics is everything"?

They are working very hard on this game, and the people working on art and animations are only a small part of the team. The reason we're hearing about models is that simply it's the easiest thing to use to generate buzz from words. Go watch their live streams for gameplay answers.

You need artists, designers, modelers, animators, scripters, and you can figure an average of $60-80K a year. It's not surprising at all that quality content will take a lot of man years.

This reminds me of when everyone was so shocked about how much money it took to make a new Skullgirls character. Unless someone's doing it for love, quality content takes money.

All they need is 2000-5000 people to buy it to make back the money.

rhizhim:

are we going to have an incredible advanced a.i. of space fish traveling in the opposite direction of your ship whenever you get close to them and risk a collision?

Don't be silly. With these kinds of ridiculous polygon counts, you'll be lucky if there's enough things on the screen for there to even be a collision.

But seriously, 300k polys is insane for something that, at normal view distances, is nearly indistinguishable from a 2D sprite. I can understand throwing a couple hundred - or even a thousand - at the carrier itself, but fighters are basically expendable specks. You'll zoom in on them maybe once to see how detailed they are and never again because you'll need to see the whole situation and not just one ship.

Rob Robson:

Strazdas:
Now, that you have justified my 2014 computer upgrade, can you please get on to make gameplay actually good instead of using the crysis route of "graphics is everything"?

They are working very hard on this game, and the people working on art and animations are only a small part of the team. The reason we're hearing about models is that simply it's the easiest thing to use to generate buzz from words. Go watch their live streams for gameplay answers.

Fair enough, im jstu simply afraid this is going to be all graphics and promises like so many other games resulted in.

Veylon:
Don't be silly. With these kinds of ridiculous polygon counts, you'll be lucky if there's enough things on the screen for there to even be a collision.

But seriously, 300k polys is insane for something that, at normal view distances, is nearly indistinguishable from a 2D sprite. I can understand throwing a couple hundred - or even a thousand - at the carrier itself, but fighters are basically expendable specks. You'll zoom in on them maybe once to see how detailed they are and never again because you'll need to see the whole situation and not just one ship.

You realize that the game is a space sim and not an RTS right?

As in, you play as a single pilot controlling a single ship. As in, your camera will either be in the cockpit or right behind the ship you are controlling, and as such the ship (fighter, carrier, transport, whatever) will take up a significant portion of the screen real estate at all times. You'll never be in a top-down/"RTS-cam" view at any point in the game[1].

The poly count here may well be excessive (I'd have to see performance details before making that call, CryEngine3 is supposed to be really good at this kind of thing), but it's for a good reason at least. The ships are the primary visuals of the game, and the thing people will spend by far the most time looking at. Making them as good as can be will only help.

[1] With the possible exception of a couple crew spots in the carriers. There might be a radar station or whatever that simulates that.

Seems wasteful; especially if all of those ship models are meant to interact with each other.
It's their project though. *shrugs*

I'd look up more specific information about what the game is, but apparently their website is in the shitter for the next 8 hours or so. (Wikipedia says its an MMO version of Wing Commander, Freelancer and Privateer with private server and single player options.)

Sounds intriguing, but at the same time, I fear it will fall into the same boredom pitfalls as games like X3 and Evochron Mercenary.

ill still wait for it to be released although i know right now there isnt a chance in hell my pc could run it

And the thing is, CR offered us this in the Pilot video he used to run the campaign, not afterwards, when he had secured the money.

The Livestream is up/will be up shortly to celebrate the launch of the actual website. Remmeber to tune in for new reveals and the chance of free stuff. I'm trying for a Scythe. Class 4 ramming blade ftw.

Veylon:

rhizhim:

are we going to have an incredible advanced a.i. of space fish traveling in the opposite direction of your ship whenever you get close to them and risk a collision?

Don't be silly. With these kinds of ridiculous polygon counts, you'll be lucky if there's enough things on the screen for there to even be a collision.

But seriously, 300k polys is insane for something that, at normal view distances, is nearly indistinguishable from a 2D sprite. I can understand throwing a couple hundred - or even a thousand - at the carrier itself, but fighters are basically expendable specks. You'll zoom in on them maybe once to see how detailed they are and never again because you'll need to see the whole situation and not just one ship.

I'm pretty sure they know how to use LODs. As in, the 300k figure is probably specifically for the player ship, the one whose arse you'll be staring out for most of gameplay, watching all the little components move with your actions. The count probably also extends to cockpit detailing, again something you'll be seeing a lot of depending on preferred viewpoint.

The ships you'll be fighting probably won't be displaying anywhere near that polycount unless you're right on top of them, and even then I imagine lack of cockpit detail and what not will keep the polycount from reaching the towering heights of your ship.

Also, yeah. As someone else said, your comment on zooming and needing to see 'the whole situation' implies you seem to think this is an RTS. It's a flight sim, and spaceship porn has always been a standard feature of such games.

Hmmm yeah, I'm going to need a new PC for this. Good thing I still have over one year to sort it out before I dedicate my life to this beast of a game.

GOOD! if a game takes 99% in the void of space, and most of the time you spent you WILL be looking at a "ship's ass" - the least they can do is make those asses look good!

I just hope my pc can handle it....

neonit:
GOOD! if a game takes 99% in the void of space, and most of the time you spent you WILL be looking at a "ship's ass" - the least they can do is make those asses look good!

I just hope my pc can handle it....

Their demo was shown on a gtx670/i5-3570K, and as far as i know that's still their target for what will be needed to run the game well. There'll probably be some extra pretties developed for cryengine over the coming 2 years to warrant going higher, but for now you're looking at something in the 600 region to run the game as well as shown in trailers.

Which isn't bad considering the xbox one, a much less powerful system, costs 425. Plus the xbone doesn't even support occulus rift.

Give it to me! Give it to me now!

Saulkar:

Evil Smurf:
That's a shitload of emotions.

This is easily going to be the most emotional game ever released. The world will dehydrate in tears!

this is truly the future of gaming.

A waste of money. I'd rather see interesting gameplay mechanics than fantastic graphics.

TheComfyChair:

neonit:
GOOD! if a game takes 99% in the void of space, and most of the time you spent you WILL be looking at a "ship's ass" - the least they can do is make those asses look good!

I just hope my pc can handle it....

Their demo was shown on a gtx670/i5-3570K, and as far as i know that's still their target for what will be needed to run the game well. There'll probably be some extra pretties developed for cryengine over the coming 2 years to warrant going higher, but for now you're looking at something in the 600 region to run the game as well as shown in trailers.

Which isn't bad considering the xbox one, a much less powerful system, costs 425. Plus the xbone doesn't even support occulus rift.

I have 660ti so i guess that with some tweaking i should be able to run it. Thing is, im never content with just running it. I want stable 60 fps, with drop up to 40 fps in heavy performance situation.

Ehh, we will see.... At this point it is all speculation anyway.

Proud backer of the kickstarter. Very much looking forward to this. I wish the real-money pre-order ships weren't so stupid expensive though as I'd love to buy some, but I'm not spending $100 on a virtual ship.

An honest to God PC game with top end graphics, and further, isn't a generic, bland grey/brown shooter. Of course I'm gonna back that. F**k consoles, f**k triple-A, f**k homogenised garbage, MMSs, EA/Activision, f**k dumbing down and f**k mass-market appeal.

dochmbi:
A waste of money. I'd rather see interesting gameplay mechanics than fantastic graphics.

Luckily, you don't have to choose, as people in the video game industry have different specialties and doing 'more' with graphics never means you are doing less with game play or vice versa, unless you can't afford to, which isn't a problem for Star Citizen - the most successful crowd funding campaign of any type in the history of human beings.

Holy shit.

That's all that really needs to be said, isn't it.

That's really cool.

But yeah, you're still going to need great gameplay to make any of that worth it. I hope they deliver on that front too.

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