Star Citizen‘s FPS module (nicknamed “Star Marine”) was scheduled for an initial release for the game’s backers shortly after PAX East in April, but it didn’t happen. Recently, Game Director Chris Roberts issue a very detailed statement on the game’s official website, explaining what happened.
Basically, the module doesn’t yet live up to the standards the team expects from Star Citizen, so the release has been delayed as developers work on the “Generic Instance Manager,” and rewrite the matchmaking code and launcher.
The Generic Instance Manager manages instances for Arena Commander and Star Marine, and will also generate and recycle instances for the multiplayer hangars and the persistent universe. The new matchmaking system is also described as a large improvement, avoiding “Match Not Found” situations, eliminating long waits, keeping friends together and more. It’s already integrated in the system and it’s currently being tested.
Work is also undergoing on the gameplay and visual side, with R&D going on to remove animations that feel “fake” when seen in third person by another player. The new Frankfurt studio and some ex-Crytek leads from the studios in LA and Austin are currently helping with that.
Lastly, new characters, weapons and animations recorded with motion capture are being implemented, alongside subtler changes to the maps, including lighting and detail passes.
The delay of the Star Marine module won’t majorly impact the rest of the game, as work is being conducted across multiple studios working on different elements. The biggest issue is that most of the latest Arena Commander work has been done alongside Star Marine, and was supposed to launch with version 1.2, taking advantage of the tech provided by the integration with the FPS module.
As work on Star Marine progresses with the allocation of additional resources and “increased cross-studio focus,” the team is currently investigating the release of a build with the FPS module disabled, in order to let backers test the rest of the new content.
While Roberts did not provide a new release window for Star Marine, he clarified that it’s coming, and news about its ongoing development will be released weekly from now on.
While we wait, below you can enjoy a gallery of new screenshots of the module, showing maps and characters.