Death, Loot, & Parachutes | Learning About Player Facing Features in Star Citizen

“Reacting to a couple videos talking about the actor feature team and the features they create for our characters.”

The video discusses various topics including the changing roles within the Star Citizen team and the development of a range of features related to player avatars. Richard Tyrer, head of the team that focuses on player-centric features, has moved to work predominantly on Star Citizen’s single-player campaign, Squadron 42. His team, the Core Gameplay Pillar, focuses on player actions and interactions, however, the features they work on will still make their way into the Star Citizen Persistent Universe.

Significant emphasis is placed on systems that allow players to interact with the game world in new ways. One of the most prominent features discussed is the physical inventory and localisation system, that the developers are aiming to integrate with missions and other gameplay mechanics. They are also working on systems to allow players to carry weapons when wearing civilian clothing, but this feature is being held back by technical challenges associated with making the system work in a way which is not intrusive to gameplay.

The team plans to introduce a new feature called ‘actor status’, which essentially marries the physical status of the player’s avatar with their game abilities. This will include a realistic health system and changes to the death mechanics. An actor’s status could be influenced by factors like hunger, fatigue, and the conditions of the environments they’re in. It’s mentioned that this might be frustrating for some players, but the idea is to create a systemic experience where every aspect of the character’s condition has a tangible impact on gameplay.

The actor feature team is working on ‘death of a space man’ mechanics. They aim to develop death into a more vital and engaging part of gameplay, adding urgency and real consequences to player actions. For example, once a player has been incapacitated, they might be dragged away by a teammate or enemy. In the meanwhile, their character is still present in the world, and can be interacted with. They could be robbed, healed, killed, rescued, or left for dead.

The video wraps up highlighting the continual development of Star Citizen’s universe and mechanics. The team emphasizes that they are striving to improve all areas of gameplay, from the legal and illegal interactions with NPCs to the expansion of content for planetary gameplay. They address the criticism from some quarters that they’re prioritizing the development of features for Squadron 42 over Star Citizen, highlighting that a lot of work is being done behind the scenes to ensure both games benefit from the features being developed.