State of the Empire, #6

Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome to the 1st State of the Empire for 2014.

The Holiday break didn’t stop Star Citizen’s backers from hitting another funding milestone, we hit that $36 million mark a few days into 2014.  At $36 Million, we unlocked the next ‘Community Choice’ system type:

  • Tamsa System – Located near the fringe of Banu space, Tamsa System features a massive central star that has collapsed into a black hole. Only two planets remain in the system, a chthonian world and a gas giant located far from the black hole’s event horizon.

We also got a neat bit of lore behind the Tamsa system, partly to address changes in how the system was originally described (Star Citizen backers provided a lot of feedback on how Black Holes really work, vs how they are used in Sci-Fi).  Here’s a brief excerpt:

Tiego went on to provide the proper contact channel for the scientific community to solicit information about Tamsa and then contradicted early speculation:

“Before we conclude, I wanted to take a moment to address these rumors that the Tamsa’s two planets are being drawn toward the black hole. This is false, originating from data incorrectly entered on the initial 57392_DTC submission form.”

“My scans need update,” Cothi chimed in.


We also got a look at the Cutlass Concept Art, from the article that had previously been published in Jump Point:



Everyone who owns a Cutlass, also got the Cutlass added to their hangar in the last patch of 2013, so they could wander around their Cutlass for the Holidays.

Going with the Cutlass concept art, was also the Drake Interplanetary article from Jump Point as well.

Sales were phenomenal: within nine months, Drake had opened six offworld factories and had licensed dealerships in nine systems. In another year, the company had quadrupled again. Within five years they were the fifth largest spacecraft manufacturing concern and couldn’t license subsystems manufacturers quickly enough. The company was lauded as a massive business success, credited in financial magazines as the little engine that could — finally a competitor that would change how companies like Roberts Space Industries and Musashi Industrial ran their businesses. From the numbers alone, it looked like everyone would be flying a Cutlass in ten years.

We got an interview with Patrick Thomas, the Artist responsible for finishing up the Cutlass, and getting it in everyone’s hangars. Mr. Thomas has quite the impressive list of games he’s worked on:

  • Halo Wars (2009), Microsoft Game Studios
  • Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs (2006), Microsoft Game Studios
  • DOOM³: Resurrection of Evil (2005), Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • DOOM³ (2004), Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • World of Warcraft (2004), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (2003), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (2001), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Diablo II (2000), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 (1998), Eidos Interactive, Inc.
  • StarCraft: Brood War (1998), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Batman Forever: The Arcade Game (1996), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
  • NFL Quarterback Club 96 (1995), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
  • Aero the Acro-Bat 2 (1994), Sun Corporation of America
  • NFL Quarterback Club (1994), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.


The week ended, as always, with our weekly dose (because, more than weekly would be way too much) of Eric Petersen and crew:


The Forum Feedback Q&A had quite a few good questions:

Q: When absorbing damage, will shield power have a recharge mechanic, will lower power/integrity provide diminishing returns?
A: Shields do recharge over time, as shield power is lower, they will stop less damage

Q: Group gameplay going to be like?
A: Similar to old Wingman game

Q: How far along is the Organization stuff?
A: Initial version ‘very very soon’ (Before end of month)

Q: Weather Conditions in game?
A: Yes, there will be weather in the game

Q: Where in the Sol system will we be able to land?
A: Several landing zones picked out for Sol (May not all be there on day 1)

Q: Big freighter coming?
A: Coming soon MISC-D for example.

Q: Avenger weapon loadout – what is tigerstriek?
A: Will be a gun, and renamed since German translation is “Tiger on Strike”

Q: If captured, what happens to you?
A: You won’t be forced to server prison sentence, stuck in a hole, etc.. not fun.. you’ll go back to your hangar.


As is now normal, we got our ’10 for the Chairman’ segment as part of the Hangar (link to standalone video of this segment here).

One non-Q&A related detail from this segment… it opens with a slow-motion shot of Chris using a Star Citizen coffee cup, so I’d assume we’ll be seeing those in the store soon.

Here are the Q&As from this segment:

Q: Emergency landing on carrier, will the emergency nets pop to catch? if you crash on the deck, will a bulldozer move the wreck, emergency crew put out the fire?
A: Haven’t really thought about it.. thinks there will be some level of emergency landing/crews

Q: Server wipes during Alpha/Beta?
A: No specific stance yet.. will probably reset everyone when the game goes ‘properly’ live. Early stuff for sure

Q: What order are we looking at seeing ship models in game?
A: Cutlass in hangars next, Idris the ship they’ve been working on longest, not sure what is next. .freelancer variants being worked on, as is Caterpillar

Q: What does exploring entail, what’s plotting a jump point like?
A: Lot to exploration, not just looking for undiscovered JP, things like mapping, finding wreckages, asteroid fields, etc..

Q: $5 Mill stretch ‘tablet companion’ what OS?
A: Probably both iOS and Android

Q: Funeral sequence in SQ42 for lost wingmen?
A: Yes

Q: Can organizations colonize new planets?
A: Long term they want to, probably not initial release

Q: Short Range voice comm to hail/call for help?
A: Yes, should be able to hail nearby vessels, even if not on friends list?

Q: How is the ‘one server’ setup going to work with servers hosted in different parts of the world?
A: 1 Central ‘tasking’ server, but ‘instance’ servers will be regional/local. Part of ‘matchmaking’ criteria is looking at friends list. If there aren’t enough people to fill multiple instances, only 1 instance. Can apply higher priority to friends list over ping

Q: Really large ships, and landing on planets. Destroyers/Battlecruisers remain in orbit?
A: Can’t land really big ships (possibly destroyer and up), dock with space station, take a shuttle down, or just leave in orbit and take a shuttle down


Not a bad bit of information for their first week back in their new office (I’d imagine there is still a bit of unpacking and setting up going on too).

Coming up this week, Chris Roberts is on his way to Manchester to work further with the SQ42 team on fleshing out the first 10 missions.  The team is also still going through all the “Next Great StarShip” entries, to whittle them down to the ones that will actually be on the ‘show’.