Star Citizen Certainly Has Some Spacecrafting

By Jim Rossignol on July 1st, 2013 at 8:00 am.


You can tell when the RPS readership is genuinely excited about something, because the “Hey, have you seen…” emails to our mailboxes spike. They’ve done this repeatedly for one particular space game. The most recent livestream of Star Citizen‘s creation showed us frankly Too Much Information about the building of spacecraft for the mega-crowdfunded game, but it’s worth focusing in on a ten-minute fragment (below) which shows off some of the ship detail. Why is it worthwhile? Because of the insane standard which is being exacted in terms of detail and simulation. Even if you have the most nebulous interest in space games, it’s worth taking stock of what Roberts is aiming to achieve here.

Even with the millions they’ve raised, it seems like a herculean undertaking.


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Top comments

  1. SuicideKing says:

    The two at the back are a treasure trove of body language.

  1. wearedevo says:

    I’m resolutely determined not to feel anything prematurely about Star Citizen. I gave my $40. If it comes off, it will be incredible. But surely that can’t happen, can it? We can’t have nice things, can we!?

  2. Blaaaaaaag says:

    There’s a big inky black hole in my life where this game’s supposed to fit. I’m going to be over the moon the day the hangar module is released.

    • SuicideKing says:

      This game still looks like it’s light years away from completion.

      • kael13 says:

        The hangar module is supposed to be coming in a month or so.

      • Benjamasm says:

        *sigh* even if you were aiming for a pun it always annoys me, Light years are a measure of distance, not time…

        They did say that late 2014 was the best they could do for any sort of launch, im guessing alpha wont be out till the end of the year, but if it takes time to build it right, then they should take the time they need.

        • Lancezh says:

          Take it easy, when i say i can see something from miles away i don’t mean a distance either. Really. Chill out about that kind of stuff.

        • Lansevere says:

          Technically… since the Earth in respect to the Sun in respect to the Milky Way is now traveling at a rate that would justify using ‘Light-year’ it would be equally justifiable to use distance (Light-years) in silent respect to Time when speaking casually about a video game where you pilot space ships and shoot down bad guys in a simulated space where everything is made up.

          But that would just be looking for ugly in the mirror. No winning.

  3. lomaxgnome says:

    I’ve always wondered what it is about the space genre that seems to encourage these vast and seemingly impossible undertakings. At what point do all these tiny, tiny details get in the way of just making a fun game? Or what hope can they have for balance or stable release when it comes to a scope this large?

    • Kentauroi says:

      Well keep in mind the setting. The models of the ships are incredibly detailed, but what they are flying around in is mostly empty space, so it’s not like they need to spend as much time on environmental detail as most games.

  4. Loque says:

    This is a good example of what I call “unrealistic project”. I understand having high expectations but let’s be serious: a shower inside the ship? A working table to eat food? Come on. They seriously need a LOT of time and a LOT more money to meet all the expectations and deliver such a titanic project. It does not smell well, in my opinion.

    • Lancezh says:

      That is EXACTLY what i’m thinking… I don’t feel good about this. I’m very impressed by the design and all and i WANT it to happen, but there will be to much focus on details on one tiny part of the game since you can’t deliver this to everything at the same time. It’s like a tree with very few perfect leaves and the rest is ugly.

      The leaves might be impressing but the tree still is ugly… I hope i’m wrong but 12 years of Bussinessexperience in a comparable field led me to believe otherwise.

      Gameplay is what keeps me playing, keeping me interested, the most beautiful graphics is worth nothing and gets old fast anyway.

      • Loque says:

        I seriously fear this this is one of those “amazing concepts” that get easily chopped down by real-life limits: time, budget and resources. They managed to raise some decent money via Kickstarter (2mil) but still… that’s nothing, compared to what they need to spend to reach the final goal and get this kind of detail in a next-gen MMO.

        • Lars Westergren says:

          They have raised $10M now. Not sure about this, but I think they also have publisher funding?

          • Blaaaaaaag says:

            No publisher funding, and they’re at just shy of $12 million right now. $21 million is the goal, and there are a few milestones coming up that should help a great deal with getting there.

            Edit for clarification: by milestones I mean things like the hangar app and dogfighting alpha.

          • BobbyDylan says:

            Investor, not Publisher/, aparently.

        • Low Life says:

          Their Kickstarter was only a minor part of their crowdfunding campaign. They had their own campaign site, and that combined with Kickstarter came to over $6M total. They’ve allowed upgrading pledge levels since then and even completely new pledges, and the total from just crowdfunding is now at almost $12M. In addition to that, Roberts has confirmed that they also have money from outside investors.

          • Blaaaaaaag says:

            “…the goal was to raise $2 million to prove to investors that there was a market for space sims. What we’ve realized since then is that YOU are responsible for this game and not investors. So we’re going all the way: crowd funding will raise the $21 million needed to produce a AAA space sim.” – Chris Roberts, 2013

          • Low Life says:

            Oh, that has changed now. Understandable, I guess, with them having ALL the moneys.

          • kael13 says:

            So… They really expect to reach $21M?

          • Carbonated Dan says:

            they’ve made almost 12mil in nine months, so getting to 20 something in the next 18 should be a doddle

          • JarinArenos says:

            They still have the opportunity to capture the wallets of people like me, so it’s not like they’re out of people that might invest. I can see the potential of this game, but I’m *very* leery about the scope that they’re trying for here. It seems like they’re really shooting the moon. And no, missing doesn’t mean you land among the stars, it means you *crash*.

            We’ll see once the hangar is released.

        • Ace McAwesome says:

          Even with their stated goal of 20-something million, the sheer scope and size of this game is higher than anything I’ve ever seen, and this is an independent studio we’re talking about. Not to mention, the casual asking for several hundred dollar backing tiers that include massive warships totally dwarfing what most normal players can achieve in a reasonable time-frame (Roberts mentioned on a Livestream that the Constellation, a post-$100 ship, would take about 60 hours of in-game time to achieve) as if that were totally reasonable.

          Color me highly skeptical.

          • JarinArenos says:

            60 hours of gameplay for top-end ships being unreasonable? I take it you’ve never played any form of MMO before.

            Edit: Also, the constellation – the ship in the video – is apparently a 4-crewmember ship, so perhaps you’d see some pooling of resources between players, which trims that time down even further.

      • tomek says:

        All i want is a ns a nice multiplayer freelancer/privateer with rift support. They will definetly deliver that, anything else is just a bonus.

    • Ulaxes says:

      It’s possible if you think of showers, tables, etc. as modules. You just have to create it once and use it on multiple ships. Still ambitious but far from impossible. Just think of the endless list of assets in Skyrim.

      Besides, the game looks awesome and I’m really getting tempted to place a preorder.

      • SendoTarget says:

        It’s a good thing they have time and a loads of assets ready. Can’t wait for the alpha-hangar to check out the ships.

    • bstard says:

      In my spare time job as an oracle I’d say in practice this game will start selling once 50% of the goal content is implemented (‘we feel it’s ready to be played’) and then the patching crap in phase commences.

      I’ll be ready to buy it though if game is 1.0 and the reviews are positive. Sounds like a nice project, although it can drown in it’s ambition.

      • SendoTarget says:

        The game is being released in pieces anyways. In august they will release the hangar where you can check your ship. Then in december the dogfighting alpha. Singleplayer-portion will be released in 2014 summer/early fall. The Star Citizen persistent universe beta will follow in 2014 and the whole game will release in 2015.

        edit. Also the people making this game have loads of experience and past of highly succesful games. So they are no new-comers to game-developing.

    • Stevostin says:

      The guy has made numerous game and delivered each time. By delivered I mean “launched the top looking game of its time on time”. So all we can say is that apparently he didn’t loose it. I see no reason to doubt he could do it. Moreover, it may sound crazy but this is a space game where ships are everything. As impressive as it is, it’s not that complicated to make. It’s not like making an extra map that you’ll have to playtest extensively etc.

      • Arglebargle says:

        “The Strike Commander project took more than four years and over a million man hours on background development. Very little of that production time turned out to be actually usable in the final product, as at least one and possibly several complete project “reboots” were required to refine the graphical engine to a playable state.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Commander

        Didn’t do Privateer, Starlancer was developed by an out of house developer(Warthog), abandoned his position as developer of Freelancer (which was years late), wasn’t heavily involved on WC2 (due to Strike Commander), wasn’t the main programmer for WC1, and spent most of his time on WC3&4 shooting the cut scenes. But by god, his name was on the box. On time or not. Auteurism strikes again.

        • YogSo says:

          Ah, here it is. No Star Citizen post would be complete without at least one of Arglebargle’s snarky rants against Chris Roberts. I know the man personally killed your dog and then ravished its corpse, but you’ll have to let it go at some point, mate. Personal vendetta or not, that kind of obsession is… unhealthy.

          “Strike Commander is notable for many reasons, but perhaps the most startling is that it has actually managed to live up to the hype which preceded its launch. Chris Roberts and his team have not only aimed high, but they’ve also managed to hit most of their targets and have succeeded in producing a game which is just as enjoyable as it is technically accomplished.”

          PC Review UK, http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/strike-commander/mobyrank

          • Goomich says:

            Some faith in humanity has been restored. Thanks Arglebargle.

          • Arglebargle says:

            You might notice that the response was to a post claiming Roberts ‘delivered greatness on time, every time’. Nope. He also gets blanket credit for games he was only peripherally involved in too. Along with a lot of fawning adoration. Now if it was Brian Reynolds (who helmed the best game ever imo), I might be doing the same thing, I agree. But the more stories I hear from friends who worked with Roberts, the more I want to piss in his boot.

            For the sake of all the folks who’ve donated tremendous amounts of money to his project, I hope that he’s matured.

            Oh, and I can cherry pick reviews too….
            “….In almost every way this is a typical 90′s Origin game but for me it just falls a bit flat on the gameplay which isn’t as entertaining as it should be and is definitely not varied enough to sustain this many missions. There wasn’t an overall storyline running through most of the missions either beyond the minor details of the campaign itself….”
            http://www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk/category/strike-commander/

            “…You see, this game suffers from the dreaded Chris Robert’s mission design syndrome. Each mission plays just like the other twenty ones you played before, only with more enemies to shoot down. Go shoot down enemies, bomb base, return, rinse and repeat…”
            http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/strike-commander/reviews/reviewerId,3250/

          • YogSo says:

            For the sake of the backers (disclaimer: I’m not one of them) I also hope the game gets close to its promises; will probably be something really special then.

            And it’s funny you talk about cherry-picking, since I only quoted the only review in English from the 4 shown on its MobyGames page (conversely, it’s also the one with the lowest score, so I’m quite sure the German reviews are even more positive). You, meanwhile, have unearthed an excerpt from an user review that summarizes his or her opinion saying “[Strike Commander is a] Great game, just not the perfect homerun Origin had us used to” and “A flight sim designed for those of us that want to be one of those flight jocks and fly one of those F-something planes with the added touch of a much more romantic mercenary touch (…) Though it is marred by a severe case of un-originality, it is still a title worthy of checking out.

            And don’t get me started on your original quotation from the Wiki page lamenting about all the expenditure and man-hours poured into developing the game, when you “accidentally” forgot to include the sentence that followed immediately: “Nevertheless, some successful gameplay elements from Strike Commander were re-used by other more notable Origin products such as Privateer and the Wing Commander series.” Oh, snap!

            Anyway, this is no popularity contest. For any praising review of any game you will find a damning one, that’s a given. But it’s your personal (oh, this word again) campaign against Chris Roberts what really prompted me to intervene on this thread. What’s your real meat against him?

            Edit: Oh, and I have to agree with you about Brian Reynolds, assuming that was a reference to Alpha Centauri.

    • Loiosh says:

      I’m going to quote myself from another website:
      Were this 1999, I’d be in the same boat with you, right? No one can do this.

      But this is 2013, and a large number of these technologies are well established. CryTek 3 already has fully-featured flight, mod, server and server-cluster system. What Chris and his team (of 15 right now, I believe) are working on is creating assets and gamesystems on top of the already built engine. Some of their changes are to the engine/infrastructure side, but this isn’t the pre-MMO days anymore. With the exception of the dynamic matchmaking (on the back-end) all of these features are already in CryTek 3.

      He’s working with existing tools, the system simulation (for the ships) they’re doing is all built on top of CryTek’s existing modular system. The modeling is done using common commercial tools (3ds Max, Photoshop and Zbrush) which CryTek supports.

      (On boarding, which was a complaint of being impossible)

      The boarding ship stuff is already supported in engine, it comes ‘for free’ with CryTek.

      You only control the ship when your player is seated in the control/pilot chair. The CryTek 3 engine is already a fully-featured FPS engine (with advanced vehicle control, see MW: LL). So yes, you can board ships, because all of the ships are real, their interiors are real spaces, the displays are real, all of this comes from CryTek. It’s already in the engine. Do you understand what I mean about this being 2013?

      Since the ship HAS to be controlled by a player seated in the pilot’s seat, that means when a boarding action happens, everyone inside the ship is in danger, and if the crew is killed, all you need to do to take it over is shit in the pilot’s seat. (And replaced damaged components).

      • Diatribe says:

        “[I]f the crew is killed, all you need to do to take it over is shit in the pilot’s seat.”

        That is a beautiful typo.

        • edwardoka says:

          The devs MUST implement it as a feature.

          “I have defeated your crew, now I shall make a poo… r attempt at rhyming.”

  5. SuicideKing says:

    The two at the back are a treasure trove of body language.

  6. SuicideKing says:

    I really, really hope this game has good dogfighting, the rest of it i like the looks of.

  7. Loque says:

    The official website is atrocious, I really hope thy will invest some money into a total revamp.

  8. Liudeius says:

    What are people’s opinion on its pay-to-win model?
    I posted on their forums, but forgot only the most dedicated of dedicated fans (who’ve already bought their way to victory with an Idris and Constellation) use those.

    Am I crazy?

    • SendoTarget says:

      You can get any ship inside the game and then there are bomber-classes to counter those big ships.
      The key-focus seems to upgrading those ships later on out of stock-parts. I’m not worried.

      • Liudeius says:

        A rock/paper/scissors combat model doesn’t negate the pay to win potential of the game (especially since a pay-to-win player is more likely to win a paper vs paper fight, and you can’t choose your random mid-space encounters. Who’s going to be flying a slow, fighter vulnerable bomber around randomly?), and there is a hell of a lot more than combat in it.
        How does a trader in an 5 ton cargo Aurora compare to a pay-to-win trader in a 120 ton cargo Idris?
        How does a racer in a 300i compare to a pay-to-win racer in a M50 with micro-transaction maxed out speed upgrades?

        Also I think a Constellation can out run a bomber, so I’m not sure what that would be weak to.

        • SendoTarget says:

          They are also going to limit the amount you can buy credits and whole platform is still open, they might even switch out upgrades from that. Idrises cost around 1250 dollars now so I assume they will cost even more ingame.

          It’s really too early to say anything about it. All the ships now bought, you can get ingame.

          • Liudeius says:

            Sure, there’s still plenty of time, but I will be amazed if a $1,000 advantage doesn’t render Aurora level backers unable to compete on any meaningful level (especially since they won’t be able to get bombers for a while).

          • SendoTarget says:

            Why be competitive? I would guess those who want to be competitive blow those cash-buyers out of the water by sheer gameplay-hours.

            I’m not being worried about people having different-sized ships. Let them have their game and I’ll have mine.

          • Liudeius says:

            Well time investment players will start over $1,250 worth of time behind pay to win, and micro-transactions are supposed to be competitive with 40 hours per week of play.

            However as for competition…
            I’m talking about pay to WIN, of course you can have fun without competing, but if you want to win against other players, I’m thinking it pretty likely that paid will have an advantage (though it’s not certain at this point).

            It doesn’t matter if you can play without being bothered by it. The question is does paying give you an advantage at reaching MMO achievements (like discovering new systems, taking over locations, pvp combat/racing, and credit earning rate).

        • kael13 says:

          Either ships really won’t be as expensive as expected within the game as previously thought, or CR has indeed fucked the economy. What’s to stop bands of pirates throwing themselves to their deaths to screw up another’s day? Doesn’t matter; unlimited insurance.

          • SendoTarget says:

            Well there are bounty-systems and gradual death in the system, there are actually loads of info on that. Griefers will get loads of people after them. Since it’s also a skill-based game and not a rpg-stat game I assume griefing won’t be that easy.

          • Liudeius says:

            Ships will be more expensive. The live stream said so. I think they used the constellation as an example, saying (if 1k credits = $1) while the constellation may be worth 225k credits now, in the final game it will be more like 300k credits.

        • Goomich says:

          Except all ships and equipment will be available in game for in game cash.
          It will take more time for cheaper pledges to get those ship (if they”d ever want them) but they’ll get them.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      I backed for a smaller ship (300i) and I don’t see much of a problem with it. If the core gameplay turns out good (which based on what we’ve seen I’m fairly optimistic about) you’ll just want to play the game and earn better ships naturally as you go along… If someone with more money than time wants to skip ahead and buy a big ship with room for a crew they’re welcome to it. The flying will be skill-based so you can still get your ass kicked in an expensive ship.

      Personally I’m more interested in the singleplayer anyway. If I dabble at all in the MMO side it will be to explore and maybe dogfight a bit. Not interested in comparing ship sizes with a bunch of people I don’t know on the internet.

      • Ace McAwesome says:

        But we haven’t seen anything. All we’ve seen are ship models. This guy is promising an awful lot for a crowd funded game. You made a reasonable choice, the 300i is costly but not outrageous (in my opinion) but what happens when the several hundred dollar backers get burned?

    • Ace McAwesome says:

      I don’t know about pay-to-win, but it still has to compete on the free market, and charging $25 for the cheapest ship you can buy, and going up markedly from there, not to mention that if you make the mistake of getting killed when you don’t have insurance you’re totally screwed out of the ship you bought.

      Can you imagine? A $1250 dollar digital spaceship blown up by pirates, with that $1250 lost? Yes, yes, I know, you can buy insurance blah blah blah but if it can happen, it probably will happen.

      I tell you what, it’s turned me off the game a bit, that’s for sure. They are acting like several hundred dollar investments in an ambitious game that we have seen literally none of other than ship models is totally reasonable. And god forbid you bring that up to the ravenous fans, they’ll chew you apart and then high five over their several hundred dollars worth of pre-launch ships.

      • Ninja Dodo says:

        I’m not sure about purchases after launch but I know that anyone who backed the project has “lifetime insurance” included so if your ship gets destroyed you always get a new one.

        They showed quite a lot in the original Kickstarter including actual prototype gameplay which looked pretty good. Personally I really like the idea of movement that’s very physics-based (faked or otherwise). Never been interested in point & click type sims. They’re clearly putting a lot of work into it and if you watch some of the videos they’ve put out since or read a Q&A or two they seem to have good answers to design and production questions.

        Generally speaking I think it’s possible to extrapolate a fair amount from in-game footage + stated design intent. There’s no guarantees and it’s always possible it will fall flat on mission design, or moment to moment game feel, but so far it seems very promising.

        • Liudeius says:

          That “protoype gameplay” was faked apparently (they said so in the livestream, or maybe it was in a Wingman’s Hanger episode, but regardless, they didn’t make it extremely clear how. It sounded like they were just dragging the ship around and acting like it was coded motion).

          They only just decided on the physics programmer they are hiring.

          (Although I did see an extremely WIP combat clip, I’m not sure what level of coding they had completed for that, or if it’s included in the faked gameplay. It looked lacking physics though, more like cars on an ice rink sliding rocks at each other than space ships shooting laser beams.)

    • blacksun_redux says:

      I think it’s time to confront the pay-to-win boogie monster, and find out that it’s not such a monster after all.

      People that pledge to purchase upgraded ships should get just that. A more powerful ship that is somehow relative to the amount they paid for it.

      I have no issue with that at all. I pledged to have the most basic starter ship. There should be more powerful players out there. There should be that element of danger. It gives you something to shoot for.

      As long as my personal experience isn’t made significantly less productive or enjoyable, I say let people buy upgrades and let them be more powerful.

      Chris Roberts has said that there will be balancing safeguards to keep higher powered ships from impacting lower level players.

      • Liudeius says:

        I don’t know about you, but I would say spending an extra $1000 so you can win the game is pay to win. Just because you can avoid competition and still have fun doesn’t make it not pay to win.

        We don’t know anything for sure at this stage, so either of us could be right (Though I would say I have far more evidence, that is, actual ships being sold for massive amounts of money, you just have promises from a man who thinks it’s mechanically impossible for his game to be pay to win just because non-paid players can buy all the same items paid can).

        However, the recently announced 13 million stretch goal forces the pay-to-win potential even further.
        “Supervise the battle from the deck of your Constellation, Idris or destroyer (class TBA) with advanced C&C packages that allow you to tie all of your ships together and assume central command from the 3rd seat.”
        So now if you’re pay to win and bought 10 ships, you can control them all at the same time.

        I’m so glad they aren’t making it pay to win, otherwise I would be scared flying around in my 300i when a single pay to win player can attack me with an entire armada.

    • luckystriker says:

      I’m curious, what are you winning by paying $1,250 in an skill-based, open sandbox mmo? Undoubtedly that pilot will have a head start, but surely the whole of point of Star Citizen is individual skill in driving and load-out management?

      I’m a backer since kickstarter at the Bounty Hunter lvl ($60) which gets me a gorgeous-looking ship (I don’t know how good it is) and I have no problem with other people spending so much. I’m impressed with how ballsy these people are in having the faith to dump so much money into a game so far from completion. I’m also quite thankful, as it helps the pledge total creep up to that ridiculous $20 million dollar sum.

  9. derbefrier says:

    The game will be awesome no doubt. To all the cynics here I just have to say shame on you. After all the posturing over the years about how pc game could be so much more if it wasn’t being held back by consoles, we finnaly get a game that can prove that and all you can say is “I don’t think they can pull it off” or “its too ambitious”. I find your lack of faitg disturbing.

    • Loiosh says:

      There are legitimate concerns on the scope of this title as it is incredibly ambitious. Keep in mind that it was a $3.5 million dollar budget that got a 2D adventure game funded. So far we have $12 million for a game with a scope larger than anything else (including EVE, which you cannot even directly pilot your ship).

      I have faith that this development team can at least hit their alpha combat milestone, but the MMO portions of the game seem quite amazingly involved. It is going to require a significant amount of work. I wish them the best, but I’ll be a skeptical Vice Admiral until we see those deliverable. If they can hit the Hanger and Alpha dogfight milestones, I’ll be fully within the faith.

      • Liudeius says:

        From their own words, they would only be seeing at most 30% of profits with a publisher (with the best deal possible) so with this, whatever they raise in funds goes three times farther than it does with any AAA game.

        Their “AAA goal” is $20 million (corresponding with $60 million, a pretty good sized AAA budget),
        Apparently that amount of money would allow their game to be full AAA quality.
        Keep in mind, once the Alpha is actually under way, assuming it doesn’t prove the game to be crap, there will be a huge surge of pre-orders.

        I agree though, even if they make a massive universe, it all hinges on them making the flight and combat fun.
        And looking at a TON of recent AAA’s, fun combat isn’t that easy.

      • RonnieBoy says:

        Just had quick google, looking up the budget for Witcher 2 and came up with $8million for the base game and another $7million for the big overhaul patch. So $15million for a game which to this day is probably the best looking game on the market, as well as being a really great game in itself.

        So with a prospective budget of $21million for Star Citizen I’m quietly optimistic that they’ll manage to pull it off and make a great game. Although I’m going by the old adage “hope for the best but expect the worst!”

    • Rindan says:

      A little skepticism is healthy. They have bitten off a lot, they have a long time table, and they don’t yet have much of substance to show for it. This is okay. They are still in the early stages. I hope they can pull it off. A little skeptical optimism is a perfectly valid response.

    • Lancezh says:

      I love people who want to shut down well reasoned and founded criticism, wether or not we are right, it has nothing to do with your blatant refusal of contrary opinions. You can try to turn this as much as you want, we’ll see what happens, i guess noone WANTS this to fail but don’t come running back when it does in fact, because we’ve seen to many fucking times.

      The first time for me was by the way Gene Wars from Bullfrog and theres ALOT of stuff in between that and this one.

  10. waltC says:

    Looks fascinating to me–I want to know a lot more about the setting. I don’t really want to go back to Wing Commander, et al–those games, like ‘em or loath ‘em, have already been done. Space is so vast and the possibilities for settings and stories so immense that a reboot of Wing Commander almost seems like a crime. Really, it does…;)

    • Liudeius says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by setting, but this site gives general knowledge about the game and lore. http://www.eidolonius.com/

      There are a few alien species, Banu (trade, neutral), Xi’an (past hostilities), Vanduul (“Kilwrathi,” openly hostile), Telvarin (space indians), and some other race the UEE doesn’t know much about.
      Humans are controlled by the UEE, a highly militant near-dictatorial system (previously an actual dictatorship) with military service required for citizenship.

      Also there are quite a few stories about the game world under the “Spectrum Dispatch” header of the site.