Cloud Imperium reveal their estimated Star Citizen development timeline

Star Citizen timeline

Cloud Imperium have thought long and hard about sharing an estimated feature timeline with their audience, and they've decided to go for it, despite concerns that some might take the dates as gospel. Games development is a malleable, shifting thing, as we should all be aware from the many high profile delays of late. Star Citizen is no different - it's just much more public. 

Keep an eye on our upcoming PC games list and you might see some shifting dates there too.

It's clear that the goalposts are moving with Star Citizen especially. It was a game with a much smaller scope, but it's bloated in tandem with its funding. 

As Cloud Imperium put it: "Quality will always be our number one goal. We set out on this journey by looking at the gaming landscape and asking: can we do better? We continue to ask that question about everything we do.

"As a result, we will ALWAYS extend timelines or re-do features and content if we do not feel they are up to our standards. The freedom to fight for a new level of quality in game development is what crowd funding has allowed us, and we will continue to fight to make sure Star Citizen is the best possible game it can be."

The goalposts can also move because of unforeseen issues. Videogames are complex, and changing one thing can cause shockwaves through the entire project. This could also lead to features missing their estimated delivery date. 

So with those caveats in mind, let's talk about that timeline and incoming features. Here's a breakdown:

Star Marine changes

 A screenshot of Star Citizen's FPS module

Code

  • Feature complete
  • Improvements have been made to network synchronization, cover, jumping, grenades, gamerules, vault/mantle, walking, running and weaponry
  • Leaderboards are complete code wise and can be tested as soon as release related game mode issues are resolved
  • Team is on blockers and critical bugs only

Animation

  • Feature complete
  • General improvements to weapon handling animations are done
  • Pick-up and health mechanic improvements are done
  • Jumping animation improvements is done
  • Reviewing all in game animations to identify improvements

Combat Signals

  • Feature complete
    • Ready for QA

Destructible Props

  • Engineering has a version working for glass
  • Props (Serialization issues require code investigation) ETA due shortly

Facial Idles

  • Firing, neutral and combat are implemented
    • Mapping out remaining work with Code for the other idles (beinghit, dying, hurtbad, hurtmild, sleeping, killsatisfy, dead)
    • Animation team are tweaking animations
    • ETA: 30th November

Character Art

  • Feature complete
  • Marine and Outlaw material updates are completed

Level Design

  • Level Design and art is final for Echo 11 for Last Stand & Elimination
  • Level Design is final for Demien for Last Stand & Elimination
    • Art ETA for Demien is 18th November

Arena Commander Balance / Improvements

Star Citizen

Pirate Swarm

  • Feature complete
    • Further polish and tweaking is still needed
  • The gamerules will be set up with the new method as part of the mega map work.
    • This means that for the time being, QA will have to access this mode in profile by debug commands
  • An image for the mode is needed for the front end UI. ETA is 30th November

Pickups

  • Feature complete
  • VFX need to tweak the effect for the pickup
  • Audio complete
    • Audio code is providing some assistance in hooking the audio asset up. ETA is 18th November
  • Gameplay Engineering is fixing a bug where the pickup object disappears very quickly after spawning

New Missions

  • Feature complete
  • Design have provided information to QA that outlines two new missions, how to access them, and other pertinent information.

Scoring Rebalance

  • Feature complete
  • Battle Royale and Squadron Battle have now had their win scores reassessed, it should now be possible to reach the target score before the time runs out

IFCS Missile Guidance

  • Engineering are improving tools and features to help design balance and tune missiles. ETA is 18th November

Ship Balance

  • Rotational limitation ramp as ship approaches max (cruise) speed. ETA is 23rd November

Tech / Systems

starcitizen.jpg

Network

  • Bind Culling
  • Network Engineering is currently working on State object refactor. ETA is 23rd November

Message Ordering

  • Network Engineering is finishing off current work on message ordering before moving over to Serialized Variables. ETA is 18th November

Serialised Variable (stretch goal)

  • Network Engineering will begin work on 21st November. ETA is 8th December

Camera Improvements

  • Gameplay Engineering has fixed up some issues with cameras in Star Marine and is now looking into a Camera bug for S42 for the moment. ETA is 18th November

Music Logic System

  • Feature complete
  • New music is still being delivered by composer. ETA is 23rd November

Ship Computer 1.X

  • Ground work for allowing the player to select the verbosity of ship computer. ETA is 25th November

Content

Star Citizen free ships

Vanguard Hoplite

  • Feature complete
  • In testing with QA
  • Bug Fixing

Drake Herald

  • Feature complete
  • In testing with QA
  • Bug Fixing

Grim Hex Bar

  • Requires prop dressing. ETA 2nd December

UI and Front End Refactor

starcitizen.jpg

UI

  • Star Marine Environment Screens. ETA 30th November
  • Arena Commander Pickup Icons ETA 28th November
  • Electronic Access Widgets game widgets. ETA 18th November

Lobbies and Main Menu

  • Star Marine Loadout Customisation. ETA 25th November
  • Arena Commander Ship Customisation. ETA 5th December
  • Front End Flow. ETA 28th November

Leaderboard Service

  • Two blocking bugs that were preventing testing of the Leaderboard stats being sent to Platform have been resolved.
  • Turbulent work on updated Leaderboards starts 23rd November. ETA is 25th November
  • Following this Live Ops can complete Leaderboard Service. ETA is 30th November

Mega Map (stretch goal)

Mark Hamill's Star Citizen character

Gamerules

  • Gameplay Engineering have been continuing to look at refactoring and bug fixing based around the new Game Rules layout
    • They are also looking into a crash on Arena Commander that is blocking QA from testing
    • They are looking to complete their refactoring task. ETA 2nd December
  • GameMode (within game rules) works in SP.
  • GameMode (within game rules) for MP requires more testing and development. ETA is 2nd December

Entities

  • Work for this is now waiting on Gamerules being complete. Once that is done, the remaining work should take a few days. ETA is 6th December

Network

  • The progress overall is really good thus far, the Network now works for all scenarios, including: connecting to different map, or map with different object containers.
    • Server-side changes for disconnects, refactoring and bug fixing remaining
  • Network also need to take the entity updates and Gamerules changes so that they integrate.
    • We would expect that there will be some engine lobby changes that need simplified so that the mega map works with the backend servers
  • This is complex code and new territory. ETA 8th December

This is everything that's planned for the immediate future, or by the end of 2016. Over on Roberts Space Industries, there are some suggestions as to what's coming later too, albeit with no estimated delivery times just yet. That page will be getting update regularly, however, as the project evolves. 

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Shriven avatarAerowix avatarQDP2 avatarWhiteCrow avatarbrmorgen82 avatar
Aerowix Avatar
30
11 Months ago

Shriven, Video game development timeframes http://imgur.com/u6UJDyK

1
WhiteCrow Avatar
398
11 Months ago

That is intensely interesting, thanks for sharing.

1
WhiteCrow Avatar
398
11 Months ago

Lmao. Someone serially downvoted every comment in this section. Star Citizen attracts an interesting bunch.

1
Shriven Avatar
3453
11 Months ago

4 fecking year ago I threw money at this....

0
QDP2 Avatar
832
11 Months ago

I almost feel sorry for you, but then I remember it was also announced 4 years ago that Chris Roberts would be the director for this game.

This documentation feels less like a fan service, more like a declaration that they are running out of funds and need to restrict themselves, hit all the Kickstarter's stretch goals and release this game.

3
brmorgen82 Avatar
58
11 Months ago

The message from Roberts that we get in our e-mails read like a doomsday announcement. It's simply a matter of how badly this game is going to fail, not if.

1
WhiteCrow Avatar
398
11 Months ago

Indeed. The sky is no longer the limit for them I think.

0
WhiteCrow Avatar
398
11 Months ago

"As a result, we will ALWAYS extend timelines or re-do features and content if we do not feel they are up to our standards. The freedom to fight for a new level of quality in game development is what crowd funding has allowed us, and we will continue to fight to make sure Star Citizen is the best possible game it can be."

Given the dearth of quality, stable releases of major projects lately I can absolutely respect that point of view. It's a balancing act to be sure, and considering things like quality and release schedules must be some kind of nightmare I never want to have the misfortune of having.

I think they're beyond paranoia at this point. Given the wait, and their rabid fanbase, they know that if they were to release something lackluster it would absolutely blow up in their faces. It would snowball so hard I'm not sure they would be able to recover.

0