Creating the AI for Star Citizen
Star Citizen is a record-breaking, headline-making immersive space sim, set in the far future amidst a sprawling galactic empire. Brainchild of Wing Commander legend Chris Roberts, Star Citizen features an open-world, multi-player persistent universe alongside a challenging single-player space combat campaign. As Roberts explained when he unveiled his vision, it’s the all-encompassing game he’d wanted to build two decades ago... but the tools he needed simply didn’t exist until now.
With its celebrated pedigree reflected in a hugely successful round of crowd-funding, expectations for Star Citizen are rightly high. To deliver against their own exacting standards, Roberts’ team required a ground-breaking AI middleware: one which is flexible and computationally efficient, yet intuitive for programmers and designers alike. In the spring of 2013, they turned to Kythera AI.
"Working with the Kythera AI team was a fantastic experience. They are an experienced team with innovative solutions to some of the most challenging AI problems in the industry and we highly recommend them to anyone who needs advanced and comprehensive AI for their next game."
Chris Roberts’ Testimonial
“Kythera AI got our AI up and running extremely quickly in 2013 - within weeks we had AI-driven spaceships in realistic dogfights. This was critical to delivering our first gameplay to backers, which helped us raise the next $50m in crowdfunding.
Star Citizen has many more complicated AI challenges to solve than the average game: like doing a dive and then a triple corkscrew, it's a difficulty of 10 instead of 3 or 4. Fortunately, the Kythera AI team loves to solve those problems.
Working with the Kythera AI team was a fantastic experience. They are an experienced team with innovative solutions to some of the most challenging AI problems in the industry and we highly recommend them to anyone who needs advanced and comprehensive AI for their next game.
The Kythera AI team worked closely with us for 3 years while Star Citizen grew in scope and funding until we decided we needed complete customization for our truly unique requirements. Kythera AI supported us as we expanded our in-house AI team and gradually handed over the reins”
Focus on Dogfighting
With its promise of fast-paced life-and-death battle in open space, dogfighting was among Star Citizen’s most eagerly-anticipated gameplay modules. And of course, such a high-profile feature called for high-quality AI. In this set of videos, we look under the hood of the Arena Commander alpha release, to see how Kythera AI is delivering the flexibility and efficiency Star Citizen’s ambition demands.
The Development View
You’ll feel the guiding hand of Kythera AI throughout Star Citizen’s universe, in both the single-player and persistent-universe versions of the game. Based in Manchester in England, Foundry 42 is the studio at the vanguard of Star Citizen’s single-player campaign – and on this page, you can hear designers and developers at Foundry 42 discuss their personal experiences with Kythera AI.