Discussing guild functionality with Star Citizen's Benoit Beausejour

Star Citizen organization screen
Today Cloud Imperium publicly unveiled Star Citizen's organization functionality, and Massively managed to snag a quick interview with developer Benoit Beausejour from Turbulent, a Montreal-based studio that is developing SC's web tech.

Head past the break for the full organization press release as well as Beausejour's answers to our questions.

Star Citizen organization screen
Massively: Will there be any sort of API for people who like to make game-tracker tools and things of that sort? Sort of like EVEmon and some of the ship fitting tools in the EVE community that pull data directly from the game and update it in quasi-real-time.

Benoit Beausejour: We think APIs are an integral part of the experience and there are plans to make game data available to players. Though it is still too early to detail the mechanics of how frequently the data will be updated and precisely which data will be able to be pulled, we think that allowing players to create apps using game data is a great way to expand and immerse the players into the SC experience.

Are there plans for organization assets and in-game access/permissions to be managed through the website (things like guild banks, etc.), or will organization owners have to log into the game client to manage stuff?

Since the organizations system exists on the RSI site first, with recruitment, branding and other group identity tools, we think using the web as a management interface is a great way to keep in touch with your org at all times. Management of ledgers and funds as well as managing diplomatic relations are the kinds of tasks that are nicely suited for the web and don't necessarily require a client to access.

We do have big plans to keep the web infrastructure and the real-time game infrastructure in sync which will help achieve this kind of functionality for players.

Any plans to track in-game achievements and if so, will players be able to display them via the web organization interface? What about possibly of organization owners creating/tracking individual personalized achievements for their members as a way of setting goals, etc.?

Of course, Individual players will have achievements and we could certainly allow an organization to display its members' individual achievements all in one area. But exactly how that might end up in the organizations display remains under consideration at this point. Regarding org-specific achievements, we're not quite ready to make a decision on whether those will be in the game or not.

Sounds good, thanks for your time.

And here's the full press release!

Greetings Citizens! The first release of the web-based Organization system is now live. You can access the Organization Hub via the Community menu at the top of the page. From there, you can create your own organization or join an existing group.

Registering an Organization

Click on the CREATE button to start a new Organization. You will be prompted for registration information, including an Org name and a permanent ten-character Spectrum ID ("SID"). The SID will appear in your Organization's web URL and elsewhere, so choose carefully. With the first release, every user may create or join one Organization. This will be expanded in future updates to the system. Note that you must have a Star Citizen game package on your account to take part in the Organization system.

Once you have created an Organization, you can begin recruiting members and customizing your Organization page with your own text and graphics. The sky is the limit: we saw a number of very creative Org pages set up during the test period. Select the "Admin" area for a wide range of options, from setting your group's public visibility to deciding the roles and rank titles for group members. The system is extremely customizable and we're confident that Star Citizen's creative backers will be able to do amazing things on top of this shared framework.

Organizations with pages listed as public will appear in the Organization Hub's main page. The page includes a list of the newest organizations, the most active groups and comprehensive search and listing options for those seeking an openly-recruiting group. Group activity is measured by a combination of individual user activity and group size.

Live Chat

The Organization launch also includes the launch of our new XMPP-based live chat system. Designed from the ground up to replace the existing Chatroll, the new Live Chat adds scalability and greatly improved customization. In addition to the shared general chat, users will now connect to rooms for their organizations and other roles (Subscribers, for instance, will have their own chat room.) Best of all, you can now connect to the Live Chat using any XMPP-supporting client. You can access the live chat on the go... and this cross-platform functionality will transition directly into the game itself.

The Live Chat is currently in beta, during which the Chatroll will continue be available. You can switch to the new chat via a link in Chatroll, or connect directly from the chat buttons located in the new Organizations area.

Future

This is only the beginning of the Organization system. Cloud Imperium remains dedicated to creating an environment for Star Citizen's squadrons, clans and guilds to flourish, and we have extensive long-range plans for enhancing Organizations as we build towards their presence in the persistent universe. Multiple org membership, visual organization charts and fleet views are among the features we are working on adding now.

Our goal with the Organization system, like the Hangar and Dogfighting modules, is to allow the Star Citizen community to get a foot in the door and start experiencing (and expanding) the Star Citizen 'verse as soon as possible. Remember: organizations isn't just about letting you group together with friends and gamers, it's about backers beginning to shape Star Citizen's lore!
This article was originally published on Massively.