Star Citizen’s FPS Module sounds – fittingly – complex

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AimMode_ADS

Judge me all you like, but I’m still not entirely sold on Star Citizen. The insanely successful crowd-funding project is still far off from actual release, and the inclusion of new modes such as First-Person shooting just makes it all seem a little unfocused at times. It is, however, interesting to see just how different this component in particular is going to be from the rest of the market.

Star Citizen prides itself on realistic space simulation, but the last bit doesn’t end once you’ve docked in a station. The FPS module for the game is every bit a simulation as flying, forcing you to juggle Stamina as a precious resource. Just like other shooters, stamina will govern how accurate you are with your weapon of choice, but it has a far more delicate balance in Star Citizen.

Stamina will determine how much your weapon sways in the natural, ready position, and just how accurate you are when aiming down the sights. You can, of course, hold your breath to steady this with any weapon, which subsequently drains the bar. Let it get too low (or run out completely), and you’ll be severely penalized for the next few moments – at least until you manage to fill it up again. The exact breakdown of the entire system is as follows:

Breakdown of full stamina breath pattern:

  • 1 Second pauses at the top and bottom of the each breath
  • 2 Seconds to move from the top to the bottom of the breath
  • Left and right sway and up and down limits are dictated by the weapon and attachments’ values
  • Up, down, left and right sway values should be determined by modifiers on the weapon’s sway

Breakdown of no stamina breath pattern:

  • Very short pauses at the top and bottom of each breath, about .2 – .3 seconds
  • Very rapid up and down travel time of about 1 second
  • Left and right sway and up and down limits can have a modifier on top of the base weapon and attachments’ values
  • Up, down, left and right values should be determined by modifiers on the weapon’s sway
    Holding your breath is the active part of the breath system. By holding a button, you will hold your breath for a specific amount of time before your character releases the breath for you. The longer you hold your breath, the lower your stamina gets. If you have little to no stamina, then you will not be able to hold your breath very long.

Breakdown of full stamina breath hold:

  • Holding [key] will begin the “hold breath” state
  • Sway is reduced to 0 for the duration
  • You can hold your breath for 10 seconds before needing to release (this action will be involuntary)
  • The release will create sway for 3 seconds, with a modifier making it a bit more extreme
  • After the sway, breathing returns to normal

Breakdown of no stamina breath hold:

  • Holding [key] will begin the “hold breath” state
  • Sway is reduced to 0 for the duration
  • You can hold your breath for 1 second before releasing
  • The release will create sway for 6 seconds, with a modifier making it a bit more extreme
  • After the exaggerated sway, breathing returns to the breath cycle based on current stamina

Lowered_Stance_HUD

That’s…pretty complex for a first-person shooter. Or at least more than most of the ones I’ve played. Rather than just running and gunning it, you’ll have to treasure your fitness just like a real-world situation, on top of shifting gravity and varying weaponry. It adds another important layer onto the mode, which jettisons it into the realm of simulation.

It’s not just breathing you’ll have to worry about too. Stance is just as important, with three variables to pick from. Lowered Stance doesn’t allow you to shoot, but you’ll have a faster movement speed and greater flexibility when it comes to jumps and grabs. The Ready Stance is your traditional, on the shoulder view, with limited aim but the ability to fire off rounds. Lastly is Aim Down the Sights, or ADS, which is what you’ll be using to pop most space helmets off your foes. It takes time to transition between all three of these – giving you even more to think about.

It’s small tweaks to existing mechanics, but it already makes the FPS Module for Star Citizen sound a lot more complex than your run of the mill shooter. That, and it immediately sets it apart from the idea of a cheap, shoe-horned in feature – which is exactly what naysayers like me were thinking it would be.

Last Updated: April 13, 2015

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

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