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Blowing up Star Citizen's space ships never looked so good

Upgraded damage model in detail.

There's blowing up space ships, and then there's blowing up Star Citizen's space ships.

Developer Cloud Imperium Games released a video showing off the space game's new damage model, and it looks more detailed than any we've seen.

The video, below, is little more than a technical showcase, but it shows how much effort has gone into the simple act of shooting space ships into smithereens. At one point, a cannon is used to draw letters out of the damage caused to a ship's hull.

The game tracks four damage values: temperature, burn, thickness and deformation. CIG uses these to make the hull glow with heat, make paint burn and bubble, peel paint off to expose the underlying metal and dent and deform the surface. You can even cut holes through the hull to expose the internal wiring and mechanics.

CIG said it now models the internals under the vast majority of the hull, which sounds like a hell of a lot of work. But when you've got millions of dollars swelling CIG's coffers each month as players buy virtual space ships, perhaps it's not so unrealistic a feature to add.

And the developer won't stop there. It said it plans to add more effects under the skin of the ship as holes are revealed. Stuff like sparks on damaged equipment. Because why not?

"Several lighting and particle setups are being prototyped to take our ship interiors through Healthy, Damaged, Critical and Flatline states that will inform and immerse our players during battle," CIG wrote in a post on the Roberts Space Industries website.

"Our new state machine being developed called GOST, will determine the healthy (or unhealthy) flow of energy around the ships systems and will have a big impact on our multi-crew interactions and the effect of ship damage on them.

"Given the complexity of our largest ships, that are really like floating levels, big questions remain about hull breaches and how to portray critical damage in the vacuum of space and how this will affect players inside. And optimizations in all areas will allow us to add more and more players simultaneously to create massive multiplayer battles.

"We are very pleased and excited to be releasing this first iteration of our newly optimized damage technology and hope the players feel the same."

Parts of Star Citizen are already up and running, although CIG boss Chris Roberts predicts a 2016 launch for the complete package.

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