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PAX South 2015: Notes from a Star Citizen town hall

Star Citizen

Star Citizen is such a big fancy deal that instead of having a panel or booth at PAX South 2015, Cloud Imperium booked a theater down the street and hosted 10 straight hours of forums and chit-chats with backers. That's right: There wasn't enough room in the PAX convention hall to accommodate all the Star Citizening Star Citizens needed to Star Citizen, so they had their own one-day mini-convention dedicated just to their game of choice.

One has to respect a development team willing to spend the entire day with its community (for a nominal fee, of course). I'm sure Star Citizens were absolutely amped to pay the same amount of money as a PAX day pass to hang out with CI all day. Unfortunately, I attended only the evening town hall with Chris Roberts, which I would describe as impenetrable to anyone without a license to pilot one of Star Citizen's $350 ships.

I did take some notes. I will try to parse them here.

Things about Star Citizen

The town hall mostly recapped things that had already been discussed in-depth during the day's panels. There wasn't much context for outsiders, but don't take that as a complaint. These were clearly events for Star Citizens, not some cranky games writer who had been standing around all day talking to developers.

Still, I was able to glean some of the things that seemed major. Roberts and company showed off some gorgeous concept art for Terra, the bustling center of Star Citizen's universe. Think Mass Effect's Citadel combined with Star Wars's Coruscant and you're probably pretty close. The team also unveiled work on the game's extremely cool warp animation, which will require pilots to dodge hazards as they rip through the fabric of space and time. One word for that, by the way: beautiful.

Roberts took some time to show off some of the ways the game's Mobiglass augmented reality system will enhance the world. In a video demo, a player character browsed through racks of weapons while the augmented reality system provided key information about each item. Like everything else Star Citizen, it was sleek, modern, and pretty. Roberts also explained that player friend lists are about to be integrated into the Mobiglass display. Soon you'll be able to take your hangar elevator to any hangar belonging to a friend, where I assume you can touch each other's ships and stuff (if you've reached that point in your relationship).

Cloud Imperium sneaked a couple of destinations into the presentation as well. There's the city of ArcCorp (I think it was a city, anyway), which has lots of shopping for players with money to burn (though the team was careful to mention that there isn't much to buy yet), and a burned out mining colony known as Nyx. According to Roberts, Nyx is a pretty great place to get robbed in a dark hallway.

Finally, the team talked a bit about piracy. It seems as though moving about with stolen goods will be much easier than doing the same with a stolen ship, so pirates are advised to fly casual when careening around the galaxy in a hotwired ride. Or, you know... just don't steal stuff.

Most of these tidbits were greeted with applause. I'm taking that to mean Star Citizens liked what they saw.

Massively's on the ground in San Antonio during the weekend of January 23rd to January 25th, bringing you all the best news from PAX South 2015. Whether you're dying to know more about Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns, hoping to catch a glimpse of Elite: Dangerous on the Oculus Rift, or angling for some rumors from the SWTOR cantina crawl, you can bet we'll have it covered!