Star Citizen Summons Sandworm, Squadron 42 Delay

Los Angeles was all Star Citizen [official site] a-go-go last weekend, hosting the spaceship game’s annual CitizenCon celebration. Cloud Imperium Games took to the stage to update fans on what they’ve been up to, and show off future work-in-progress versions. Bad news: this does include a delay for the singleplayer companion game Squadron 42, now pushed out of 2016 into… who knows? On the flipside, Cloud Imperium did show some pretty planets and a honking great sandworm rising to snap at hoverbikes and aircraft so, y’know, that’s certainly a bonus.

Here’s an archive of their livestreamed presentation:

Squadron 42 stuff starts at 56:40. Star Citizen head honcho Chris Roberts says they’ve got Squadron 42 blocked out and had hoped to have one chapter polished to release quality to show at CitizenCon, but it wasn’t quite fancy enough for them to bring. “We want to do it right”, he repeated, and as they’re not pushed by a publisher to rush, so they won’t.

“That’s my long-winded way of saying that as much as wanted to have Squadron 42 for this year, it’s not going to be this year,” he continued, “because from the polish we need to do, it still needs more time.”

Okey cokey! That’s not really a surprise, especially given the game’s bumpy development. Roberts says they hope to show their super-polished mission soon.

But the real business: jump to 1:25:20 for in-game Star Citizen action with pretty planets. They fly above them! They drive over them! They shoot at people on them! They go walkies! They enrage a sandworm inside them! It is a nice sandworm. Go to 1:54:20 for the sandworm. Good sandworm. Not quite Dune-grade, but absolutely better than Mass Effect’s Thresher Maws.

They also gabbed about the game’s own communication client and development roadmaps and plans and all that but the point is: sandworm.


  1. c-Row says:

    So, Squadron 2042 then?

  2. Blackcompany says:

    Absolutely beautiful tech demo.

    Hopefully, it becomes a playable by sometime in 2018 – 2019. I want this to succeed, but…given refunds have already happened, I wonder how this community is going to weather ANOTHER delay…

    • -Spooky- says:

      HL 3 or SQ 42 first? When it´s done!

    • hpoonis says:

      I really wanted to play the single-player stuff but I have terminal life disease and since being born I am continually edging toward death. I don’t have the time to wait for release.

      They are probably including a cappuccino simulator option which they want to get perfect before inclusion into the squadron 42 piece which they also want to get perfected before including that into the main game which they also want to get perfected before…oh wait, I hear they also want to include a space lobster simulation aspect which they want to perfect before including it into the cappuccino simulator which they want to perfect before including it into squadron 42 before…

      …and then the universe ran out of time and ended, and C Roberts went bankrupt due to no one being left alive to play the software. As the final, flickering flame of universe life was dying, the universe overheard, “wait…it’s still not finished!”

  3. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    I don’t think he’s gonna get very far with that pistol o_O

  4. Bremze says:

    No one can say that CIG doesn’t deliver, they’re well ahead of the industry in delays.

  5. CartonofMilk says:

    CIG, the tech demo experts.

    Get back to me when it’s a game.

    • Chalky says:

      Yep, if anyone’s confused as to whether this is a real game or just some smoke and mirrors, at one point the developer console was opened accidentally and it contained the simple line:

      map citizencon_homestead

      Yep, this “procedurally generated” planet is just a pre-made map thrown together specifically for the convention.

      Don’t give these guys any money until they release the game. That day will probably never come.

      • vahnn says:

        You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the many times they have explained how they use procedural generation. Even within this demo from CitizenCon, it’s explained. The basics of a planet are procedurally generated. Then the artists go in and can guide more specific procedural generation of the environment, biomes, buildings, and other details. Then they can go in and manually edit or add specific details or objects as needed. (This is actually demonstrated after the main demo, in a second demo showcasing their planet-creation tool.)

        They never claim at any point that everything you see is generated entirely procedurally without any guiding hands.

        Stop spreading bullshit.

      • Irregular Peanut says:

        I believe they have said that their planet generation system is artist driven on a large scale (painting areas for certain biomes etc), but the game fills in these painted areas procedurally, from there the designers can also make minute changes to create more detailed points of interest, so there would indeed be saved data for the specification of each planet to store these designer defined values. I don’t think there is any attempt to mislead the audience here.

      • screecwe says:

        You act as if this is some sort of revelation. In fact, Chris Roberts has said multiple times before CitizenCon that they had created a planet specifically to show off the biomes in PG Planets V2. From MassivelyOP:

        “Of note, Roberts says that CitizenCon — just two weeks away now — will reveal more about Alpha 3.0 and show off a “homestead demo” built specifically to show off multiple Earth-like biomes.”

        That planet is still 90% Procedurally Generated, and 10% artist driven. That’s the ratio they’re going for.

  6. xfstef says:

    I’m curious if they’ll ever solve the stuttering. Seems to me like they’ve had it since the beginning and they just don’t care.

  7. PancakeWizard says:

    Anyone feel like the sandworm was purely a dig at NMS? If so, the idea of cobbling stuff together on a whim for tech demos doesn’t really bode well.

    • Baines says:

      That’s exactly what I thought.

      And it is entirely believable, considering CIG’s track record, that they’d take the time and money to take a shot at a “competitor” for not living up to the hype while their own game may never come out and likely will never deliver on its own promises.

      • screecwe says:

        Considering their track record? Are you serious? CIG has promoted no less than 15 different projects on their site, including No Man’s Sky.

        What other Devs have promoted competitors’ projects on their main page to that degree?

        • Jediben says:

          Well to be fair, none of those games are competitors – they will have been released for 5 or 6 years before Star Citizen appears…

    • shocked says:

      It’s hard not to be sarcastic about this. At this point a gimmick like a sandworm only looks like more bad decisions in their development.

      But yeah, now the devs have a sandworm in their spacesim… and probably 200 more bugs in the game.

    • Kurokawa says:

      Nah, not really.

      I think it’s just the good old “Let’s make our game look exciting by building a scripted demo level that follows a strict screenplay and ends with a seemingly impossible to defeat monster attacking the player” strategy at work here.

      You know, just like in about every big publisher action game presentation ever.

      The step from “desert planet” to “remember Dune?” seems almost a given once you’re on that train of thought…

    • Abacus says:

      No honour among thieves I guess

  8. Kefren says:

    I liked the sand worm in Serious Sam 3.

  9. eljueta says:

    There is a convention for a game that isn’t even a game yet? I’m old.

    • lglethal says:

      Exactly my thoughts as well.

      Woohoo! Here there showing us something that probably wont look anywhere near as good (or probably even be in the game) when we actually get to play it in undefined years time…

      • eljueta says:

        I don’t get the level of fandom being that there are literally thousands of games out there and I struggle to even get to play like half of the ones that are worth playing. I can’t justify sinking that much time on a game that’s not ready yet, only to get bored when it’s out because I already know all the content.

        I like space games and played my fair share of Elite Dangerous, and will probably play this, when or if it ever comes out and when or if it’s good. But only after release. I like releases.

        • lglethal says:

          Well that makes at least two of us who dont understand the hype. Maybe we should form a club? :P

          • kael13 says:

            Send a million quid my way and I’ll throw you all a party.

          • milligna says:

            send me $130 million and I’ll charge you to come to MY party.

  10. padger says:

    Looks amazing. If this is ever an actual game, I’m in.

  11. Shazbut says:

    This is like nothing I’ve ever seen, but these days I only get hyped for pixel art metroidvanias / RPGs that were made on 1/1000th of the budget.

  12. Jp1138 says:

    I supported the kickstarter back in the day, but after stopping reading the newletters a long time ago and having not tried the beta for a while, right now I don´t even know which game I´m entitled to receive once (if) this is launched :(

    • Marblecake says:

      If you backed at a level of $30 or above you’ll be getting both games in production: StarCitizien (the MMO-persistent universe game aka Freelancer with Multiplayer) and Squadron 42 (the spiritual successor to Wing Commander)

      • Jp1138 says:

        So it seems I should be getting everything. Thanks. I´ll sure forget all about it before it´s launched, though ;)

        • BrotherSurplice says:

          Well, it’ll be a pleasant surprise for you when it finally does come out.

        • milligna says:

          nah, you’ll still need to pay for S42 episodes 2 and 3.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Also with your $30 purchase is months of free aggravation as people who bought $5000 space ships will nuke you from orbit as you spawn.

        Buy NOW!

  13. wombat191 says:

    when i first heard this game was being made. i was all for it.. the guy who made the wing commander games? count me in. but once they got to kick starter and then came promise after promise, my warning klaxon started blaring and i havent backed it.

    that said I want this game to succeed even if practically i cant see it ever living up to the hype.

  14. a very affectionate parrot says:

    The fallout when this eventually gets cancelled is going to be incredible.

    • Baines says:

      Will it get cancelled? CIG can delay it another decade and there will be diehards still holding out for its release. CIG can just keep delaying it until something else happens to give them an excuse to more quietly kill the game, like Roberts quitting or CIG gets bought or CIG files for bankruptcy.

      Or they can just release a minimum viable product. Didn’t Roberts earlier this year actually say as much, that they were aiming for an MVP release? With that, they can if they want promise continued post-release support, and then just slowly trail off on that support as they gradually sweep the whole mess under the rug.

  15. mercyRPG says:

    If SQ42 will not have Siberian Conical leather tents I am NOT buying:
    link to

    I also want Micro Ponies on my space ship. If I can’t have Micro Ponies I am NOT buying!:
    link to

  16. Zenicetus says:

    I’m going to make a wild-ass guess that Squadron 42 looks fantastic in all the cut scenes, and it’s still nonfunctional once you step into the cockpit. Which is the core of this type of game, or at least it used to be, before game designers decided they wanted to be film directors.

    I’m still interested in Squadron 42 and not all the other Star Citizen guff and flummery, but it needs to be a solid cockpit-level experience before I’ll spend a dime on it.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Then good news, the dogfighting in the Arena mode is pretty good already.

    • KillahMate says:

      Why don’t you download the game during one of their many free flight weekends and check for yourself what the cockpit-level experience is like? It’s not exactly hard to find out, no need for guessing. Ass or otherwise.

      • SuicideKing says:

        It was pretty tedious the last time I tried doing that, to the point that I never went through with it and haven’t tried again.

  17. htran7228 says:

    People were saying the stuff they showed last year was just a tech demo until they released a lot of the stuff in the star citizen build. If 3.0 comes by the end of this people are going to be proven wrong not like we can wait until early 2017 to get it.

  18. oyog says:

    Did anyone bother watching far enough towards the end to see them show off the developer tools?

    Because that was enough to convince me to buy the game when it’s finally released as version 1.0.

  19. racccoon says:

    Blah! Blah! Blah! Bloody Blahh! BLAAAH!!
    Theatrics! that’s all it all is. No they won’t get an oscar or a bafta! They won’t even release the game because computer gaming has changed!
    In The Not too distant future…
    Welcome to Stupid C o n 2046!! Thank you everyone for the $300 billion! Sorry though guys/gals we’ve had to re-do the game as from today for the tenth time due the changing face of computer gaming, we just can’t keep up with technology at all, we hope you enjoy more theatrics and a few clips made up by our new animators and the new team. lol and so the blah.. blah.. goes..

  20. hpoonis says:

    I cannot help thinking that if the great white fart had used his own money, or money from a reputable publisher, there would have been a move to recoup some of that investment and a product would have been released which would, at the very minimum, have been playable. The fact that the big c*nt has all your free cash means he can swan off to the Bahamas at any time and fu*ck you all over with a cheesy grin on his fat face.

    To all those who will bleat that 5 years, 10 years, 15 years is not a long time in game development, see how you feel after another few years without so much as a definitive release. I haven’t checked the cash-cow website in a while but I assume it is still touting for cash…maybe his condoms don’t contain enough gold spandex.

  21. Bearclops says:

    Thanks for having a positive, honest review of CitizenCon info. It’s annoying to me as a backer and a fan of the vision to see all of the news outlets come away with “S42 Delayed” and not much else. I don’t even remember that from the show, because it didn’t stick out in my mind at all. There was so much more to see that I know isn’t exactly just over the horizon, but they’re also doing something that hasn’t been done yet.

    We used to sail around South America before someone made the Panama Canal, and I think that’s what they’re trying to do.