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Star Citizen Showcases Procedurally Generated Planets

Space, man!

Star Citizen [official site], you may have noticed, has received a fair amount of attention lately. That's probably because it recently launched its Alpha 2.0 and also surpassed $100 million via its on-going crowd funding initiative - a total accrued in just over three years. If you're not clued up on all that is Star Citizen, it's well worth checking out Alec's Star Citizen 101: What Is It And Why Is It Controversial? which should get you quickly up to speed. Done that? Good, now you can appreciate the following trailers which show off the game's procedurally generated planets and how you'll seamlessly explore them.

Announced during a livestream last night, developers Cloud Imperium Games shared the first - apparently in-engine and in real-time - demonstration of Star Citizen's procedurally generated planet systems. The following trailer explains that "since the planet [which is said to be 1000km in diameter earlier in the cinematic] could never fit in memory, the planet surface is procedurally generated on-demand at different LODs as the camera moves." It looks pretty impressive. Take a look:

The second trailer is arguably more remarkable still, as it tracks the movements of a ship from the limitless bounds of space all the way down onto the surface of a nearby planet and into the tight confines of a space aircraft hold:

Procedural planet perusal seems to be à la mode at the moment, as genre cousins Space Engineers, Elite: Dangerous and the forthcoming No Man's Sky strive to create their own constant worlds. If the lofty standards of above trailers are a byproduct of inter-genre competition, then long may it continue.

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Joe Donnelly


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