Star Citizen may get procedurally generated systems

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The crowd-funded game that just won’t stop getting more and more cash thrown at it, Star Citizen has now amassed over $39 million of your money. It reached that lofty goal this weekend, unlocking a stretch goal for the  "penultimate user-chosen star system." That’s not nearly as interesting as the $41 million stretch goal,w, which could make the game infinitely playable.

Star Citizen "isn’t just about the game we launch with," Roberts Space Industries’ Chairman said on the site.

"We’re going into this building not only an immersive launch experience, but the platforms and the tools to let us keep expanding the game to meet the available technology," Roberts wrote. "The game won’t be a static experience: we want to build Star Citizen in a way that the experience will be fresh in five years, ten years and into the foreseeable future."

To that end, the $41 million stretch goal is to start getting procedurally generated planets and star systems up and running.

"Advanced procedural generation will be necessary for creating entire planets worth of exploration and development content," Roberts said. "A special strike team of procedural generation-oriented developers will be assembled to make this technology a reality."

I have…mixed feelings about this. I have no doubt that Star Citizen will keep on rolling and hit that target, meaning procedural generation is an inevitability; it’s just that computer-generated worlds can become dull, dreary and tedious -  and end up feeling lifeless. Plus, with the scope of this thing just snowballing, it may end up never actually being finished.

Saying that, I’m actually still keen for Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky, which is also a procedurally generated exploration-heavy space sim – just with a very different aesthetic. And a much smaller budget.

Last Updated: February 24, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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