One could say that Star Citizen is becoming a behemoth of a game.
Star Citizen is an upcoming space epic—a game that will appeal to either players who would love to play online or offline in Windows and Linux. It has become one of the most anticipated crowdfunded games in Kickstarter, successfully funded in November of 2012, reaching about $2.13M and backed by 30,000 people at the time. Support continued to pour in for Cloud Imperium Games the team behind Star Citizen. It hasn’t even launched yet but it has already been recognized as the largest crowdfunded projects of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records upon reaching $55M.
And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop doing things in great numbers. Jeremy Masker, Game Operations Director of C.I.G, took to the game forums a week ago to answer some questions and give a development update if possible. Questions range about compressing around 20GB of patches every few weeks to an estimation of how much the future client download would be, to which Masker replied:
The game compression and asset removal is unlikely to yield such high gains that we will be able to reduce our client size to 30-40gb. The size and number of assets that are left to deliver means that our client size is much more likely to be 100gb.
Also, yes we are optimizing game patching for speed and to only deliver diffs, but this is unlikely to reduce actual patch size. Again, each patch has 100s of assets, each of these assets are at times 200mb, this leads to 2-6gb patches, and if we end up doing a file type re-factor and have to re-download 30-40% of the assets on the hard-drive, then the patch will be 14-20gb.
You could say we’d need a huge space for the game alone.
Masker also took the time to address the question about the patching size.
“Right now we are not looking at doing patch compression. The reason is it is an added step of tech that we simply haven’t had the time to fully research and add into our development pipeline,” Masker wrote.
“The real solution is to go to image dif patching, which is where the full game is on the CDN in a static image, the patcher difs your version of the game vs what is on the CDN and then only downloads the exact files that have changed. Even better if these downloads are using a technology that makes the most of your bandwidth and peer to peer filesharing; like bittorrent. Needless to say, there is much more work to come.”
Since 2013, Star Citizen has been consistently releasing content or modules, which Masker had attributed as to why patches are large. To date, they have released the Hangar, a Dogfighting Module, and showed off the FPS module. They have released a demo of its Persistent Universe Module, whose alpha is anticipated to be released late this year.
As of press writing, Star Citizen has reached around $74.9M and is estimated to be released in late 2016.Related: Crowdfunding, News, Star Citizen