Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delayed
It always sounded a little too ambitious.
Chris Roberts and the team working on Star Citizen originally wanted to put one of the core gameplay elements of the space sim, multiplayer dogfighting, in our hands this month. For those of you keeping track, that would have been just over one year after Roberts launched the Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign in October 2012.
When it’s put in perspective, it’s no wonder the Star Citizen Dogfighting module has been delayed and won’t be ready for would-be star fighters until sometime in 2014.
Roberts made the announcement on the official Star Citizen site last night, explaining that the original plan was to use the Dogfighting module as a tool to help bring in additional backers. Roberts said he never foresaw the level of support Star Citizen has received (300,000-plus backers have contributed more than $34.6 million and counting), and the current, temporary backend systems were never designed to handle this volume. Cloud Imperium Games is currently building its own backend specifically for Star Citizen, and it should be ready in a “couple months.” Roberts noted that the delay will also give the team more time to tweak and add to existing dogfighting gameplay.
“I feel that the Dogfighting module, especially with Star Citizen’s greatly increased profile, needs to be more polished than a typical ‘alpha,’” Roberts said. “There are a lot of eyes on the game, and more than a few people wanting us to fail. Because Dogfighting is the first module that will involve significant gameplay, it has to be good – I don’t feel that we will get a pass just because it is pre-pre alpha.”
“So we had two choices: either fork development and spend time building something that would involve throwing away work in order to meet the December deadline and deliver something that wouldn’t have the level of polish I’m happy with, or stay on course to build something that would lead directly into the finished game.”
Roberts chose the latter. So while Star Citizen’s many enthusiastic backers won’t be getting the Christmas gift they were hoping for, we will be getting something. Roberts said the existing Hangar module will be updated this week with “some new functionality” and on Friday, December 20, the devs will host a live stream that shows off dogfighting in its current state.
The live stream kicks off at 9 a.m. Pacific on the Roberts Space Industries Twitch channel and is set to run for two hours. I plan on tuning in to see Star Citizen in action for the first time.