What features does Star Citizen need to be considered a more complete game? Well it’s quite a lot BUT the basics of an MvP (Minimum Viable Product) or something Feature Complete over Content Complete is actually something that I think it worth talking about.
Just to be clear, content complete would maybe having the PU have 100 star systems, that’s obviously many years off BUT Feature complete might have a few star systems and all the tools and supporting features completed, jump points connecting them.
This is a rough list of Features to Completion for the Game and I will have something up on my website I will maintain… more as an Expanded Unofficial Roadmap.
For this video we will be looking at Beyond what is currently in game now and for Alpha 3.10. Also there is a huge amount of potential gameplay and mechanics that could be created for each of the features and components BUT we are going to briefly mention them more generally. Star Citizen is going to massively iterate on and evolve it’s mechanics over the life of it’s Playable Alpha. Also I may have missed a few pieces or included some you don’t consider essential BUT this is I suppose then my understanding of the features they want to have in their game AND I am open to discussion and feedback.
Something that is very much a focus for the game’s Development at the moment is Completing the myriad of Ships & Supporting Systems. A Finalized Flight & Combat Model for both space and atmosphere. Physicalized Components with a Power / Resource Transfer System, Sub-components & Subsystem Targeting. This will have ships be disabled, individual components damaged or destroyed will mean that ships loses that functionality. This paired with a Physical Damage System that works out more accurately what a projectile does when it hits a ship.
Ship Customization require in depth customization – Manufacturer & Aftermarket, so you can paint and set it up as you want, Ship Modularity for major room functionality changes, Ship Tuning & Different choices for things like Thrusters, Scanners, More Ship Components like Computers. The new SDF Shields, that has effects wrapping around vehicles and deforming appropriately.
A fleshed out Insurance System
They need to Get as many of the remaining Ships & Vehicles “Flyable” as possible:
Banu MM, Polaris, Nautilus, Titan-Suits, Hull Series, Starlifter, Starrunner, Orion, Crucible, Endeavor, Starliner, Redeemer, X1 Series, 100 Series, Vulcan, Vulture, Pioneer, Nova Tank, Apollo, San’Tok’Yai, F8, Kraken & Privateer, Ranger, Ares, Corsair & SRV… All the Vanduul Ships… Capital Ships, Idris, Javelin, (Maybe the Bengal, Redemption & Pegasus).
More appropriate Ship Hailing, Chatter & Interactivity, VOIP/FOIP.
Ship/Vehicle in Ship Spawning
Docking to allow for larger ships to be spawned, despawned and use Stations.
Gravity, Decompression, Life Support & Fire in Ships
New Damage & Weapon Types – Beam Weapons
Boarding & Ship Capture
A Permission Systems to allow certain players access to ships, areas of ship, systems on ships… you can allow an engineer access to the engine room and their quarters for example BUT not the bridge. This could include things like door control and other security features too. Really the expansion of this, multi-crew gameplay and group features allows for players to organize and act as a group, share ships and assets. You need deeper org features as well tho like having a player org show when you scan a ship.
All the ships and weapons obviously need Balance as well!
Beyond evolving the current Gameplay Loops there is a huge amount more that are needed. Medical Gameplay from treating wounds in facilities/medibeds to field medic getting friendlies up and using the correct items for the right issue.
Repairing Hulls, individual components, junction boxes, both with a ship and by hand.
Salvage – Syphoning Gases & Liquids, Breaking Ships apart and cubing them, stripping the Hulls and removing more valuable components.
Gas Harvesting, Refueling, Refining, Farming , “Tweaking/Improving” Items,
Things like Crafting is likely to be included in the game to some extent this might be just refining type processes, fuel, or crafting drugs with science facilities BUT it could be as in depth as making munitions, supplies & potentially even components and ships.
Passenger Transports from planets to systems – There will also be NPC Services for this.
Hacking & E-War Gameplay, spoofing signatures, breaking into ships.
Data Running / Data as Cargo
Expanded Radar & Scanning not just for discovery, combat & detection but also to allow for Stealth Gameplay, there is no optic camouflage in SC only the management of the environment, your signature and scanners. As with all these mechanics choice of components and systems is really important too.
Bounty Hunting 2.0 having players hunt down and capture players and NPCs, store them in pods and take them to a security station or prison.
There is the need for a Robust Contract / Mission System that allows players to create their own.
Drones & Mines
News Van / RTT
Deeper Law Systems & Piracy Mechanics
Scramble Space Races
Command & Control interfaces allow for the organization of Players and NPCs in Fleets, Battles and Operations.
Tractor Beams – Small (handheld) & Large to help move ships, salvage, mineables & cargo.
Cargo 2.0 with Physicalized Cargo in appropriate Containers and larger ones where necessary. Gravity Tools & Push/Pull Mechanics, Items being placeable in Containers that can be detected by the Cargo-Grid.
Cargo Facilities for Stations & LZ with Loading / Unloading fees and times.
Missions associated, with Escorts, Freight where you’d be given a ship with cargo to transport (probably having to pay a deposit)
A huge host of Missions for each gameplay loop and ship type including things like Search & Rescue… Espionage… some of this can be supported by the Contract Systems.
Reputation for those missions, factions, guilds & mission givers that then allow you access to more missions or different items / gear.
The Universe Sim & Quanta System will handle the Spawning of Dynamic Missions & Content a Dynamic Economy with Nodes that consume and covert commodities into goods.
This will also support a wider Economy with players being able to sell goods, items & ships, buy at player shops. They did say they wanted places to sell things like stolen ships as well.. Though that would be at a fraction of their cost.
Resources that are mined will be somewhat finite or at least change over time.
They need a Loot System, the ability to trade between players, a physicialized limited inventory for players and NPCs so that loadouts matter, along with having to store items.
There will be NPC Guilds that give players more opportunities for your chosen careers, like a bounty hunters guild that gives you missions & info on where bounties were last seen and makes it more easy to potentially engage them.
Expect to see Fees & Taxes on transactions or rewards to maybe help artificially restrict players in an area.
To fill out all the gameplay are and make the universe a living breathing place they need NPC/AI – the Quanta System handles theirSpawning / Despawning Physicalization vs Simulation. More to that we need, Functional Smart AI, that spawn with the correct loadouts, Social Interactive AI with NPC Schedules. We know that things like AI Blades (that can automate turrets) & Hireable NPC Crew are needed but also NPCs as part of missions, wingmen, escorts and them filling out the verse doing all the jobs that players can do and Orders to NPCs.
This is basically a huge amount of appropriate content generated based on player and NPC actions and interactions.
Essential to the economy and universe sim for a MVP is NO MORE RESETS & for the game to be “LIVE”.
The Gameplay Area needs to expand out finishing off the Stanton System first with The Gas Giant Crusader and it’s LZ Orison, the Aarron Halo MASSIVE asteroid field.
And then Jump Points opening up the new Star System Pyro… other Star Systems are needed and 100+ Star Systems Eventually tho this could be many many years after release to get all of those.
They require more Assets, Archetypes, Station Facilities, New Biomes (Jungle, Lava, Banu City) & more POI.
Planets & Moons are supposed to be Orbiting
Saving/Sharing Locations & Deeper Mapping & Navigation Systems
They have previously talked about Underwater exploration potentials and boats, buoyancy… I would expect that ships floating/sinking is the most simplest necessary mechanic.
They will be adding Security & Defenses & Removing Armistice Zones.
Players will be exploiting this Gameplay area with Land Claims, Base Building there will be physical Player Habs & Hangars
There was even a stretch goal of Player Managed Stations BUT that is less MVP in my opinion.
There are some Character & FPS features that are needed.
Expanding the Player Status system for Different damage, hazards, buffs, hygiene, tiredness etc… and this being part of an NPCs schedule as well.
Character Customization Gene-Splicing for Players to make a more unique look but also for NPC variant.
Players will be able to Swim, there are FPS Gadgets, more weapon types and Ammo Types for weapons with different Status Effects & some less than lethal.
Death of a Spaceman so you are can eventually die and pass your assets to a new character you create. They wanted a deeper risk/reward… tho you will be able to be respawn a good few times before you are dead dead.
Also there will be some way of a player Surviving Ejecting in Atmosphere.
There is still a load of Human assets and architecture to do as there are for all the other alien races for their cities and systems, these races also need the Character Models, Animations, Loadouts and AI to function:
That’s the Banu, Xi’An, Vanduul (which are already quite far along) and Tevarin (which are assimilated by the UEE).
Alien Animals and Creatures are also very much a big part of the game, we have seen a Sandworm, SpaceCow, SpaceWhale, microTech Yeti, Giant Pyro Crab and Xiphopods shown off by CI previously.
Playable Alien Races in the far future is a possibility and we know that Pets were a Stretch Goal.
The Engine & Tech of the Game needs to support it being an MMO and very pretty.
There is Server Meshing – Lot’s of Network Improvements, Full Persistence & iCache
This plans to allow 1000s of Players Potentially in each area. Ships and items will persist in the area you leave them.
Engine Polish and the Gen12 Render & Vulkan are essential to having a scaleable, better looking, better performing game.
There are various Engine Updates – including Cloth Physics, Deformation that are all needed too.
Some Other bits that were afterthoughts or I didn’t know where to include were
Player Influenced Politics
You might see large AI fleets moving around and invasions, public Missions.
There is a Cutting tool and generally lots of modular additions for the mutli-tool needed.
Physics & Item Puzzles & Mini-Games
Lots of various mobiGlas Apps
Expanded Multi-Crew Experience
There are a lot of other bits like VR Support which are possible BUT they are likely far after a release and aren’t needed for a release as well.
And that’s it for my brief look at what is needed for a Star Citizen PU Minimum Viable product and something I would consider reasonably Feature Complete but not content complete. And expect these features to have a lot more content and gameplay to them, some of them simple, some of them super indepth.
I’ll make a pretty infographic thing of the Roadmap at somepoint!