'Star Citizen' Devs Talk 890 Jump Release & Designing a Pricey Super Yacht

Star Citizen, at its core, is a game about luxury. From its sometimes costly ships to its sprawling persistent cities, it's envisioned as a rich experience. The game's $300 million budget is funded by well over 1 million high-paying backers, so it's clear many members of this passionate community have no problem shelling out a few extra bucks to experience the finer side of life.

For those elite folks foday is a very special day, because the 890 Jump has finally made its way to Star Citizen's Persistent Universe. You'll have to pay a steep price to fly this Capital Ship yourself, but it remains a huge piece of the narrative behind Chris Roberts' evolving solar system. To tell us more about the arrival of this highly anticipated craft, Newsweek spoke with Cloud Imperium Games Vehicle Pipeline Director John Crewe. In our chat, he discussed the ship's benefits, drawbacks and purpose in Star Citizen's larger universe.

890 jump hangar
The 890 Jump has finally released in 'Star Citizen's Persistent Universe. the ship is huge, luxurious and pricey. 'Star Citizen' is in alpha on PC. Cloud Imperium Games

If you're just looking at an 890 Jump for the first time, the ship's most obvious feature is its landmark size. The 890 is Star Citizen's largest available asset and is the biggest player-usable object Crewe has ever constructed. "If it was literally empty with no interior, you could probably fit about six to eight ships inside it," Crewe described to convey the 890's scale. "Like a Hornet, you could probably fit eight of them in a line if it was completely empty. The previous biggest ship we had was the Reclaimer, which is 150 meters long, and this is 210." With more than 60 full-size rooms in the single craft, calling the 890 massive would be an understatement.

And, if that's not enough to pique your interest, maybe the pleasurable purpose of those dozens of rooms will. Star Citizen has plenty of combat-focused ships, but the 890 isn't one of them. To Crewe and his team, the 890 is primarily one big super yacht.

890 jump bar
Since the 890 Jump is built for pleasure, it's got a full-service bar and spa on board. Cloud Imperium Games

"Like real-world super yachts this is a status thing. Nobody in their right mind would buy a super yacht as a practical boat to travel around in. It's completely impractical because of the size of it, but it does say 'I'm an affluent businessman and this is the status of my wealth and a reflection of how I've led my life.'

"Beyond the personal status, [the 890] is a great business or Org hub. With this you don't have to go to a planetside location to do your meetups. You've now got a ship that can carry everybody and cater to them, keep them fed and watered, lodging... It literally is a mobile base that you can use," Crewe said. It's got multiple bridges, escape pods, a full-blown spa and enough space to transport multiple decent-sized ships. For the 890's interior design, then, CIG took cue from iconic American symbols of wealth. "It's like the Titanic," Crewe mused. "Anywhere the guests go is more luxurious, and where the crew goes is a step down. It's still luxurious because it's an Origin ship, but it has its own different styling." This dual vision meant developers had to create two custom styles for the 890's decks and interweave those styles throughout the entirety of the ship.

But, for the sake of the real-world $890 individuals or groups will have to pay to put one of these in their hangars, Crewe wants 890 buyers to know the ship can take, and dish out, an unparalleled level of abuse. "It was always designed to be luxury ship, but it is quite armed and armored for its size," Crewe assured. "When it comes out in-game, it's going to be the toughest ship we have to take down." With its size-four shields, the 890 can endure tens of thousands of units of shield damage per second.

Regardless of the challenge to destroy one, however, Crewe still believes the 890 will be a massive target for community members. "It's going to draw attention, so I expect there will be a mad race to be the first one to kill an 890," Crewe said with a laugh. "People will run into some hard choices trying to do that."

890 jump bridge
Piloting a huge ship like an 890 Jump essentially mandates having an equally large crew. Cloud Imperium Games

Those decisions stem from the fact that the 890 should be piloted by a large group, and those trying to harm one must be equally prepared. "Whilst we don't have the full breadth of multi-crew gameplay going with it, [the 890] brings a lot of choices people haven't had to make...I spend that time going to get it and going places, but I can tank all that pesky damage. If a little, annoying Hornet comes along and starts shooting at me, I don't care...

"Likewise, if someone's going to come after you, they've got to organize themselves and a group of people to come after you. When they turn up, it's an experience. There are four or five guys in Retaliators turned up that are after a huge prize. When that happens you need to do something about it. It's not just a case of pointing and shooting. You've got to man the turrets and hope you've brought enough people with you to do that."

With these specialty encounters in mind, Crewe takes no issue with the fact that he and his team have spent years designing interiors and tuning glass transparency to make the 890 usable even though the vast majority of players may never set foot inside one. "If one person buys this ship it's of equal importance to me," Crewe said of the 890's steep financial investment. "If they're so rare that you rarely see them, when you do see one it's a completely different experience from looking at just another Hornet landing somewhere. It becomes an event when these big ships turn up." It's in these unexpected sightings that Crewe feels Star Citizen's millions-strong community can take part.

890 jump clouds
When it's in the skies, the 890 Jump is 'Star Citizen's toughest currently available ship. Cloud Imperium Games

And, just like the rest of Star Citizen, the 890 is just the start of work being done to bring in more large ships with different skill sets. While Crewe cautioned this new ship would be the only one of its kind for the next few quarters, crafts like the Javelin and the ever-elusive Carrack remain in the pipeline. "We're starting to get into the world of the big ships existing, so, for now the 890 is going to be a big, impressive showpiece. But it's the start of things to come," Crewe teased. Players will have to wait for further developments as they happen, but, after endring nearly a decade of delays, Citizens are pretty used to doing that. At least now you can relax in a giant floating spa while the rest of the universe takes shape.

Star Citizen is in alpha now on PC.

What are your thoughts on the 890 Jump so far? Does this huge ship deliver on its lofty promises? Tell us in the comments section!

'Star Citizen' Devs Talk 890 Jump Release & Designing a Pricey Super Yacht | Newsgeek