Star Citizen, the space adventure game seemingly in perpetual Early Access, has been committed to adding VR support since well before consumer headsets existed. As time passes though and the game grows evermore ambitious in scope and scale, the possibility of VR support seems to have been indefinitely back-burnered. Not so, says one of the studio’s team members. Support for VR headsets will eventually come.
Developers Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) have been fairly quiet about VR support since late 2017 when they last said they’d be focusing on it alongside a new UI built with VR in mind. CIG Junior Engine Programmer ‘Silvan’ has however reaffirmed that VR support will eventually arrive.
“One of the reasons why [I] joined this company is to bring VR to Star Citizen. And there are also other people here in the company as dedicated about that as me,” Silvan writes in a CIG forum post.
There are of course challenges ahead. Silvan says that while implementing VR into the game engine itself “isn’t a big deal,” that making it actually playable is actually the true task at hand.
“I’m mostly concerned about tieing [sic] it into our animation system and what locomotion we can offer. Nobody wants to have teleporting players in the verse right?”
Beginning development as a Kickstarter project in 2012, Star Citizen has exploded in terms of its scope and scale. It’s no doubt thanks to its now $303 million in funding, practically dwarfing its original $2.1 million from Kickstarter backers. The game’s persistent universe has since added in missions, cargo delivery, piracy, bounty hunting, planetary landings, first-person combat, and mining—plenty of things to design around should the game ever support VR headsets.
Silvan admits there are still some unknowns to building VR out which require a team effort to address.
“I imagine we will implement VR in stages, e.g. for a first step just being able to view ships in the hangar or using it in a cockpit,” Silvan adds. “But a full VR implementation similar to Half Life Alyx is a whole different story. I can’t and won’t make any promises but my personal goal is to have something similar to Alyx but with a visible full body and IK. I was never a fan of just seeing your hands in VR.”
Silvan says that there are other big proponents of VR at CIG, and that “we will do anything within our capabilities to bring [VR] to Star Citizen. It will be a huge task, it will take a while, but i [sic] have no doubt we will get there.”
The game’s publicly available roadmap, which is projected out to Q3 2020, still doesn’t mention VR. While that’s not a definitive sign, you probably still shouldn’t hold your breath either way.