Ever since Star Citizen began development back in 2011, fans of the revolutionary space game have been patiently awaiting the day when it actually goes live, and have assisted its developer Cloud Imperium Games in any way they can in hopes to expedite the project's availability. In fact, support for Star Citizen has been so overwhelming that the title's funds have nearly reached $85 million in financing, making it the most successful crowdfunded game in history.
However, Star Citizen's boss Chris Roberts has announced that the game's upcoming FPS module called Star Marine has been delayed for an uncertain amount of time due to myriad issues involving technical and gameplay-related issues. In his latest “Letter from the Chairman” blog post on the title's official site, Roberts Space Industries, Roberts goes in-depth about the struggles that the developer has recently encountered in producing the genre-defying release.
According to Roberts, the issue boils down to the fact that the current version of Star Marine is not up to snuff when it comes to meeting the standards set by Cloud Imperium Games. Regarding the matter, the renowned game director and designer says:
"There are several issues that will need additional time in order to deliver the first iteration of the gameplay we want you to experience. The challenges facing the FPS launch are a mix of technical blockers and gameplay issues. The most significant technical hurdle faced today is the networking backend."
In addition to these problems, Roberts goes on to say that the developers tried to keep production moving along by using "legacy code"—that is, code that gets inherited by a team or a programmer from somewhere else, whether internal or external—but they later decided to forgo this approach to a certain extent which led to more difficulties. In doing so, that not only meant the Star Citizen team had to build a system responsible for the game's servers called a "Generic Instance Manager", but also that the title's Matchmaker and Game Launcher had to be rewritten from the ground up. Roberts explains, "Those efforts are all going well, but they've all taken additional time for our engineers."
While a lot of work still needs to be done, Roberts has relayed that only about 15 percent of the Star Citizen development crew is focusing on Star Marine. With that in mind, he assures fans that progress on the title's separate portions—like the dogfighting module—goes on unabated, saying, "Development of other areas, such as Squadron 42, multicrew and the persistent universe, have continued while issues with FPS have stalled development there."
Furthermore, in addition to getting the FPS gameplay ready, the Star Marine creators are also in the process of putting together new characters and weapons, as well as making minute map alterations. In spite of that, Roberts hasn't given a concrete timeline as to when Star Marine or Star Citizen will finally be finished to completion. Although, when it does, gamers ought to have plenty of storage available on their hard drives, as Star Citizen is expected to be a 100 GB download.
Star Citizen is estimated to have a release date some time in 2016 for PC.