[Jun 19, 2014, 09:21 am ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
A post to the
Roberts Space Industries website
from Chris Roberts discusses the flight
model and input controls in Star Citizen
, now that backers have had the
chance to experience some test flights. He explains why they chose the level of
real-world fidelity they did:
We model what would be needed on an actual
spaceship, including correct application of thrust at the places where the
thrusters are attached to the hull of the ship Ė in our model moment of inertia,
mass changes and counter thrust are VERY necessary. Star Citizenís physical
simulation of spaceflight is based on what would actually happen in space.
There were a couple of reasons why we went this direction Ė
1. Because we were planning on modeling and simulating spaceships with a
fidelity that hadnít been seen before I felt we needed a simulation that
would let the player have different flight behavior if a thruster is
damaged, a wing is blown off or a pilot overloads his ship with weapons and
ammunition? I wanted a system that could feel distinct for a huge variety of
ships, with wildly different sizes and roles because in Star Citizen you can
go from a single seater ship 15 meters in length to a huge capital ship over
1km in size crewed by many players. I wanted these ships to come with their
own identity and feel much like similar sized cars, even if equivalent in
mass can feel radically different. I wanted ships to have their own
personality Ė not just a slower of faster version of the base ship.
2. The second is that Star Citizen will have a significant amount of player
vs. player combat. I donít know how many people played Wing Commander Armada
(the first Wing Commander game to feature multiplayer) but it wasnít that
much fun in battle mode (the head to head mode). When you design a single
player game you can deliberately dumb down the AI to allow the player to get
on the tail and shoot down multiple enemies, which gives the player a sense
of achievement. Thereís nothing more fun than single handily clearing a wave
of 10 enemy Kilrathi fighters. But letís be honest, in single player games
the ability for the player to gun down waves of enemies has less to do with
the skill of the player because the player is usually overpowered in respect
to the base enemies he will fight. You canít do this in player vs player,
and itís likely that multiple players will have the same ship. Without a
sophisticated simulation and flight model, with lots of options for a pilot
to fluidly try different tactics to get the upper hand the battles can end
up as a frustrating stalemate when both pilots have the same ship as no one
can get on the otherís tail because you donít have the same forces that
affect air combat (namely gravity and air resistance) to bleed energy from
These reasons are why we went out of our way to fully simulate the physics
that would involve controlling and moving a ship in space with no short
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||Re: Star Citizen's Realistic Flight Explained
||Jun 20, 2014, 10:53
HorrorScope wrote on Jun 19, 2014, 21:11:
Razumen wrote on Jun 19, 2014, 17:01:
Meh, some of us prefer to become actual space combat badasses rather than have it handed to us on a silver platter, but to each their own I guess.
Do we know that? It sounds like all space sims so far have been handed to us on a silver platter.
Thus the "become" part of the equation
Although there's been a few, like Independence War, that have tried to model spaceflight combat more accurately.
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