Roberts on Star Citizen's work-in-progress flight model

Jef Reahard
J. Reahard|06.17.14

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Roberts on Star Citizen's work-in-progress flight model
If you're keeping up on Star Citizen current events, you probably know that there's been quite a debate brewing amongst the game's backers with respect to the controls and the flight model in the recently released Arena Commander module.

Cloud Imperium has heard the feedback, and Chris Roberts has responded with a huge post that clarifies his goals for the game's Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) as well as the flight model going forward. If you're a flight sim fan, you'll likely find it fascinating reading. If not, the primary takeaway is that Roberts and CIG are confident in the direction of the model despite community concerns. As Roberts says, "a portion of our community clearly feels the current flight model is 'wrong.'"

"We actually allow for a lot more variation and nuance in flight and combat than a simplified Wing Commander/X-Wing-style flight model," Roberts counters. "Like learning to drive a car really well... it requires some learning. You have to anticipate where you want to be and plan for it." He goes on to explain how most space games use an atmospheric flight baseline with predefined pitch, roll, and yaw rates as well as capped speeds and linear acceleration applied to a simplified mass point.

"Star Citizen doesn't do that," he writes. "We model what would be needed on an actual spaceship, including correct application of thrust at the places where the thrusters are attached to the hull of the ship -- in our model moment of inertia, mass changes and counter thrust are very necessary. Star Citizen's physical simulation of spaceflight is based on what would actually happen in space."

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