‘Star Citizen’ Releases a Trailer of a Procedurally Generated World

Probably the most massively multiplayer online game ever conceived, Star Citizen has surpassed more than $100 million this month in its ongoing crowdfunding campaign.

Today, the company released a trailer that shows the camera backing out from one avatar’s eyeball, up through a space hangar buried in the ground, over a planet’s surface, till it flies out higher in the atmosphere and then transitions to a view of the planet with its sun behind it, from out in space.

Star Citizen is one of two buzzy space sandbox games soon to be released. The other one is No Man’s Sky, which showed off its method for procedurally generating terrain, plants and animals at The New Yorker festival. Both are spiritual heirs to Eve Online, which has been running a persistent universe for more than a decade now.

The world shown, at least what we see of it, looks rocky and barren. It’s not nearly so lush, with crazy dinosaurs walking around, as in No Man’s Sky’s various promos, but this is just one world. There will be lots inside the game. Running it locally will require a 100 gigabyte client download, and that’s not counting all the content that will be held on its servers.

The choice of the rocky world here appears to have been chosen because, as the text in the video indicates, the company wanted to focus on the way the atmospherics look as the camera’s altitude changes. The video goes on to say that the planet is procedurally generated on demand, because the world is too big to be loaded in memory.

Star Citizen has been at the heart of no small amount of controversy recently. Perhaps to counter the doubters, this is the second trailer released by Roberts Space Industries, the company behind the game, this month. Earlier, it showed of a gameplay trailer.

The first playable alpha version of the game was just released to backers, though it isn’t the full game, it’s the first to let players experience different parts of it working together, from space flight to one-on-one combat. From the announcement:

 Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 is set in the environs of Crusader, a gas giant in the Stanton System. We’ve packed this area of space with multiple points of interest and player options that will deliver our first true multi-crew experience.

‘Star Citizen’ Releases a Trailer of a Procedurally Generated World