All the news we gathered from the PAXEast RSI FPS Module Announcement.
What we knew before PAXEast
We got a small teaser at this year’s GDC, CIG announced they was working on a brand new First Person Shooter Module for Star Citizen, They also said they would be providing more information at PAXEast.
Some of the outsourced Developers where working on a pretty sweet virtual wearable operating system for the battlefield. We was also informed that the FPS module would be developed inside CryEngine 3 (The same engine the core game uses.)
What we now know…
The game centers around a 6v6 enviroment.
At the start of the game players are dropped off onto the battleground. It is unclear if the team are playing agaist NPCs or real players. They are all talking at once in what was described by some as “fake army talk”. As the demo contiuned the “fake army talk” became an annoyance. (We hope RSI actually ships a trailer for the FPS module that isn’t a bunch of guys talking down a microphone.)
The Module has an emphasis of using VR as a targeting system
The motion tracking elements are designed with the Oculus VR in mind, The targeting system isn’t restricted to just to a mouse input. This could be awesome if you have a TrackIR headset or VR Headset to add to the immersion.
The Module has variables for a muitude of events.
The Module will take into account breathing, Recoil of the gun, Weight of the Armor and Gravitational Physics, Iron Sights and Damage.
The Movement System
The moving system will include running, crouching, walking, sliding and spriting. The jumping system will be improved and a ledge climbing system will be introduced. However the verticalaity/parcore will not be introduced into the game as RSI would like the game to focus on Zero G instances of free movement.
The Cover System has been compaired to Far Cry 3’s providing a natural flow between different areas via cover. For example: You will be able to enter prone from cover automatically via the cover system.
The movement system in zero gravity will include a “pull/push” mechanic that will allow soilders to move up and down the spaces in zero gravity. (The inclusion of gravity boots is also mentioned by Chris Roberts)
The Titan class was mentioned during the talk, the class will be a heavy armored run and gun soilder. There’s not enough information about this class as of yet however it seems to be catering more to the COD play styles of a “fast” class. In addition a heavy armor class will be introduced with a smaller armer system in comparrison to the titan.
MobiGlass is being created by BHVR Studios for the FPS Module system. MobiGlass will be the single wearable computer portal for the soilder and pilots of the star citizen world.
The Interface also shows a UEC shop
Team Death Match, Capture and Hold (CTF) and PVE (But this won’t be shipping on inital release.) The Game’s Universe will be setup as a simulator module akin to Arena Commander. The overall pace of the game will be slower than traditional FPS games such as Halo with a emphasis on being in a tatical enviroment (a great example of a tatical FPS is the Arma Franchise.)
The Developers: RSI has decided to outsource the development of the FPS module to Illfonic.
What games has Illfonic produced before? Well in 2012 they released Nexuiz, Nexuiz was the follow up to a well recivived “classic Nexuiz” developed by Alien Trap Games in 2005. The classic version of Nexuiz recivied much aclaim as it was a fully open sourced game that was free to download and had community dedicated servers. Illfonic purchased the rights to the name in 2010 and began working on “Nexiuz”, Community members decided to create a fork of the original code as they was concerned with THQ’s foot being in what was once an Open Sourced project. The community team founded Xonotic. In the meantime Illfonic released Nexuiz on Xbox 360 and Steam, From the start of the launch there was problems with the game’s bad netcode. As the game focused on multiplayer elements and the multiplayer elements made the game unplayable many felt angry at Illfonic. Some community members even claim Nexuiz is a “bad Halo port” (However Quake did arrive long before Halo so we can void that argument.) When THQ closed in 2013 Illfonic had to shutdown Nexuiz with no servers running the game became a piece of bloat-ware in the steam libaray.
Illfonic’s new lease of Life.
CryTek has always been very supportive of Illfonic, Illfonic’s experience in getting a FPS game to mark all be it buggy was recognised by CryTek whom arranged a licencing agreement for CryEngine 3. After the THQ closure Illfonic was looking for a new job, RSI propsed that they could work on the FPS Module. The company has only shipped 2 games since being created. Many are concerned that the bugs that have plauged previous titles could come back to haunt RSI and Illfonic.
“We are doing things others haven’t done before”
When one of the developers said about the FPS being one of the “doing things others haven’t done before” certainly raised eyebows by a small majority of gamers. You have to wonder has Illfonic ever heard of a PC Game called Arma? Crysis 3 or even Shattered Horizons. Trying to pull the wool over
RSI is proactively outsourcing the development of the FPS Module to Illfonic, the Operating Wearable system is also being outsourced to a seperate company whom are working with Illfonic to create the additional modules for paid for equipment. (Yes Micro-Transactions). For those whom have previously supported Illfonic’s games the latest announcement may seem good. For those outside of the loop the outsourcing of development for games has become particularlly common in an age of downsizing studios on a tight budget. (Yes Star Citizen has a HUGE budget however it doesn’t mean they will want to invest too much into a side module)
Our Hopes for the FPS Module.
While the developers picked by RSI have had a great developer relationship with crytek, the overall communities sense of Illfonic’s past may hurt the development of the game. Hopefully as star citizen is in a development phase Illfonic will be able to learn and fix the problems others have had in the past with Illfonic’s previous titles. While concerned the demo seems promising. We look forward to seeing the first elements of the module go live in 2015.