Star Citizen team releases roadmap, announces Easter surprise

A literal Easter egg?

The developers of space-based adventure game  Star Citizen have unveiled an updated roadmap for the title's remaining development cycle for 2017.

According to the announcement, the title's team will soon be working on planetary updates for some of the in-game universe's existing planets,  adding additional territory to explore and discover in the form of derelict ships, debris fields, and moons, and making overall additions to the game's existing content.

The development team also lists plans for gameplay improvements in the form of proper player interactions between cargo and ships, a new stamina mechanic, a repair system, inventory support, and a wealth of other updates that improve the game's UI, AI, and graphics.

Most notably, however, are the improvements to Star Citizen's rendering engine. Due to the massively-multiplayer open-universe nature of the game, the number one problem lately for early access participants has been attributed to extremely low frame-rate. These changes, already complete, are expected to decrease memory usage by over 50% and make overall improvements to performance.

For a more detailed list, check out the website's report, or watch Star Citizen's latest video on the subject.

Star Citizen has been subject to heated debate in the gaming community for its slow development schedule and repeatedly delayed release dates, the first of which was in 2013. Many have decried the game as a pyramid scheme due to its expensive in-game ships, which can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to over two thousand.

Despite this seemingly shady practice, Star Citizen has earned an impressive following over the years for its ambitious nature. The final release is planned to have ship-to-ship combat, first-person shooting mechanics, a trading system, and a method of mining resources.

While these promises have been enough to give most a reason for cautious enthusiasm, other players have already made enough major purchases and donations for Star Citizen to enter 2017 with over $141 million in crowdfunding.

Coupled with the recent announcement, the developers have announced a free-play 5-day trial over the Easter weekend. Players interested in the game will have an opportunity to download and install Star Citizen from April 14th to April 18th, during which they can create an account, login, and see what all the fuss is really about.

Star Citizen's next big patch is slated for a release sometime in July. Regular news and updates are released on the development team's website, Twitter, and YouTube account.